Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[blocks in formation]

the Sikhs were preparing for our destruction; but all united in asserting that reinforcements were pouring into their camp from the opposite side of the river. Our best spies were furnished by Captain Hill's corps of Irregular Horse, many of whom, disguised as faqueers, entered the Sikh camp and brought accounts of the enemy being about forty thousand strong, with seventy or eighty guns, and of their being employed in throwing up entrenchments similar to those of Ferozeshuhur. This burrowing system was universally practised by the enemy, even when they were meditating offensive measures, and therefore it formed no clue to their present intentions.

Our cavalry reconnoitring parties were daily in the enemy's vicinity, and officers were employed to form plans of their position; but our adversaries had great objections to this inquisitive practice, and threw forward their outposts to check the intruders. But, amongst the whole army, for constant activity and careful observation of the enemy's proceedings, none, even in the prime of life, displayed more

INDEFATIGABLE COMMANDERS.

161

alacrity than the two generals, Sir Harry Smith and Brigadier Cureton.

Daily, at the first peep of dawn, our indefatigable commanders were hovering around the enemy's post, whilst the whole of the troops stood ready accoutred for immediate action in case of the enemy being equally vigilant; but our opponents testified less appetite for the keen morning air.

The Sikhs talked boldly in their own lines of their daily intention of coming out to attack us, and the spies failed not to report the resolution; but as it had now been deferred so many days, there appeared some probability of their being anticipated.

The main object of the Sikh's change of position seemed to be to secure a post on the river where they could receive reinforcements which had been sent from their head-quarter camp, and at the same time occupy our direct* road of communication with the main column.

* The route we had taken by Dhurrumkote and Jugraon is not the direct line between Ferozepore and Loodiana.

[blocks in formation]

The siege train, which was approaching from Delhi with a very small escort of native troops, was also, beyond doubt, the ultimate object of their maneuvres, although it had not yet approached within reach of a safe “ dour.”

By advancing from Loodiana to Buddewal, Sir Harry Smith was better enabled to watch the enemy until the time for action; and the post being (as we recently experienced) on the line of communication with our head quarters, by Jugraon and Dhurrumkote, the main object of the Sikhs was, in a great measure, neutralized, and we had much reason to be thankful to them for having given us so eligible a lodgment without a struggle. In the meantime, reinforcements were in full march, to join Sir Harry Smith, from head quarters by the Jugraon route; and two eight inch howitzers were being equipped for field service, having been hastily mounted and brought to Buddewal from the fort of Loodiana.

ARRIVAL OF REINFORCEMENTS.

163

CHAPTER VII.

SIR HARRY SMITH ADVANCES TO ATTACK THE SIKHS IN

THEIR CAMP-THE BATTLE OF ALIWAL-THE ENEMY
DEFEATED AND DRIVEN ACROSS THE RIVER-OB-

SERVATIONS.

On the 27th of January, all the reinforcements which had been on the march to join our column had arrived, and Colonel Godby's force, part of which were in Loodiana, moved out in the evening to Buddewal. The whole force, which amounted to about ten thousand men, were brigaded for the approaching struggle, and verbal orders were issued to the several commanders.

164

BRIGADES OF CAVALRY.

*

The cavalry,* which were formed into two brigades, were placed under the direction of Brigadier Cureton, of H. M. 16th Lancers; and to the cavalry division were attached the four troops of horse artillery,

The infantry consisted of four brigades,

[ocr errors]

* CAVALRY-
1st Brigade . H. M. 16th Lancers.

3rd Native Cavalry.

4th Irregulars.
2nd Brigade

Body-Guard.
1st Native Cavalry
5th ditto.
Shekawattee Horse.

.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »