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It was impossible to compute the metal in these guns; but it was evident they were heavier than those of similar calibre in the Bengal artillery.

The carriages all in good repair, except one or two, struck by our shot. The whole were destroyed, and the guns left at Moodkee.

Four guns, reported to have been dismounted, and left on the ground by the men of the Horse Artillery, for want of means to bring them away.

(Signed) G. BROOKE,

Brigadier, Artillery

PREPARATIONS.

91

CHAPTER V.

THE ARMY ADVANCE TO ATTACK THE SIKHS IN THEIR EN

TRENCHED CAMP AT FEROZESHUHUR-THE ACTIONS OF
THE 21ST AND 22ND OF DECEMBER—SIKHS RETREAT
BEHIND THE SUTLEJ-OBSERVATIONS.

On the morning of the 19th, intelligence was brought by the spies that the whole forces of the Sikhs had resolved upon advancing to attack the British army at Moodkee. Preparations were made to receive them, and a more advantageous post than that of the former day was taken up, to act on the defensive, as reinforcements were hourly expected.

The spies' reports proved false, as is not unfrequently the case in Indian warfare, and on the

92

ADVANCE OF THE ARMY.

night of the 19th, the arrival of H.M. 29th Regiment, and the Company's 1st European Regiment, from their hill cantonments, was welcomed with much satisfaction.

The 20th of December was given to the army to recruit their strength, after the toil they had endured, and to prepare for the approaching struggle.

Authentic accounts having been received of the enemy being in position at Ferozeshuhur, about nine miles from Moodkee, and twelve from Ferozepore, and on the direct line of communication between those places, orders were sent to Sir John Littler, commanding at Ferozepore, to move out, with his division, from cantonments, and unite with the main column in the attack on the enemy planned for the following day.

Early on the morning of the 21st of December, the British forces advanced from Moodkee, having left the wounded in charge of a small party in the fort, and marching slowly in order of battle, moved obliquely from the enemy's position towards Ferozepore. Having marched across about fifteen miles of country, covered mostly with the

FEROZESHUHUR.

93

same stunted trees as at Moodkee, and in other places with a sandy soil, on which grain and wheat had been planted, Sir John Littler's division was descried advancing about one in the after

noon.

Sir John Littler having left two regiments of Native Infantry to protect Ferozepore, and eluded the vigilance of the enemy's cavalry, who were posted to watch his division, effected a junction with the main column unmolested by the enemy.

The position of Ferozeshuhur was then hastily reconnoitred. The Sikh camp, consisting of a dense and confused mass of tents, encompassed the village of Ferozeshuhur, which occupied a rising ground, and was armed with batteries of heavy guns. The entrenchments, which had been thrown forward to cover the village, were an irregular quadrangular figure, of upwards of eighteen hundred yards in length, and rather more than half that distance in breadth, and consisted of a ditch, about four feet in depth and from six to seven in breadth, the deblai earth from which formed a parapet, protecting the defenders from

94

SIKH ENTRENCHMENT.

fire of grape or musketry. Batteries of the enemy's lighter guns were disposed at intervals in rear of the parapets, where the ground was uniformly flat, save in the centre of the position, where it rose gradually into the mound, covered by the mud-houses of the village, as before mentioned.

In front of the entrenchment, every obstacle to the range of fire had been removed, and a plain, mostly bare, or producing scanty crops, presented no shelter for the assailants; such trees or shrubs as might have afforded any cover, having been lopped or cleared away by the enemy.

The village of Ferozeshuhur is situated on the road between Moodkee and Ferozepore, but the road is rarely a matter of much consideration in military operations in India, where the country is usually flat, and unobstructed by fences.

It was past four in the afternoon when the British forces advanced to storm this position, defended, as it was conjectured, by an army of more than fifty thousand Sikhs. The investing force, numbering altogether about sixteen thousand five hundred men, with sixty-six pieces of artil

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