21 OCTOBER 1843, Page 15


MILITARY Anvzwruaes. Diary of a March through Sinde and Afghanistan, with the Troops under the Com. mand of General Sir William Not:. K.C.B.. Sze. And Sermon, delivered on va- rious occasions during the Campaign of 1842. By the Rev. L N. Allen. As-

sistant Chaplain on the Hon. East India Company's Bombay Establishment.

TRAVILS, Hat chard. Narrative of the Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet in California. Sonata, and Western Texas. Written by Captain Marryst, C.B. In three volumes. Foamy, Lungs's. sad C . Poems, Original and Translated. By Charles Bann Kennedy, Esq Musics.


ME. ALLEN, an English clergyman, arrived at Bombay in April 1841, as an assistant chaplain of the East India Company ; and in

May he was ordered to Kurachee, the sea-port of Sinde. In De- cember he received a nomination to a regiment at Candahar, then supposed to be one of the peaceful stations of our Afghan triumphs;

but a few days after, he was informed, en route, of the Cabul out-

break, and deemed it prudent to halt at Sukkur on the Indus, till the arrival of a detachment of General ENGLAND'S division should furnish him with an escort. Henceforth the chaplain was truly of the

church militant. He began field-service by burying a man without a coffin, the body being sewed up. in his bedding ; which shocked

our chaplain from the clearness with which the form of the corpse was shown, and its flexibility when lowered into the grave excited a momentary shudder, from "its resemblance to voluntary mo- tion " : before the end of the campaign, however, Mr. got

accustomed to the task of burying corpses without any wrapper. Our divine's next step was to wear pistols in his girdle : the hard-

ships, privations, and hardenings of the campaign, came by little and little ; but he first smelt gunpowder at the affair of Hykulzye, when General ENGLAND, in consequence of imperative orders, made his second and successful advance upon Candahar. At this city the author sojourned till General Norr marched to Ghuznee and Cabul : whither Mr. ALLEN accompanied the forces, zealously discharging his clerical duty ; praying devoutly for the submission of the enemy—if not, for victory over them ; and taking his chance of distant shot, and sometimes of something nearer. After the de-

struction of the bazaar of Cabul and the plunder of the inhabit- ants,—which, it seems, was reserved for our crowning triumph, and a Sunday,—Mr. ALLEN attended the rear-guard of the army in its harassed " withdrawal" ; nor parted from it till after the shows at Ferozepore.

In one point of view, Mr. ALLEN has an advantage over most of the later writers on this part of India. He has brought to

the observation of the country a matured European and more scholarly mind. His vision is not limited or coloured by preju- dices of company, or caste, or any of the other notions that warp the most enlarged minds that have long been mixed up with the cliques of a colony. Mr. ALLEN is also a man of observation, with an agreeable and graphic manner of presenting what he observes. The distinguishing characteristic of his volume, how- ever, arises from his profession. It is the civilian and the divine suddenly thrust upon scenes of war, and noting all its features with an attention unblunted by habit. Things in the daily life of the camp, which custom renders a second nature to military men, or inconveniences which if felt are scarcely to be complained of, struck the late curate of a quiet parish in England as startling

novelties ; which indeed they were. His descriptions of the " pomp, pride, circumstance of glorious war," as well as of its sterner ac- tions, have more of life and intelligibility than those of profes-

sional men, from the absence of technicalities. A soldier describing in military terms a battle or an "affair," often does not convey the notion of men so much as of masses, or even machines : the idea of individuals is sunk in that of the body of which they form the units. A novice like Mr. ALLEN does not so much see a certain amount of force moving in a certain direction, and represented by

so many rank and file, officers and non-commissioned officers, as a number of men in uniform marching along a plain or scrambling up a rock ; so that he conveys a better idea bow an affair looks when taking place. He shows his readers what his readers would have seen had they " been there to see." In native powers of observa-

tion, as well as in the acquired art of expressing the results in language, be is equal to any of his predecessors in the Afghan war, and superior to some.

It is not only in war, however, that Mr. ALLEN may be recom- mended as an agreeable companion. His sketches of the manners

of the Anglo-Indians in the remote stations, as well as of the people of the country, and of the country itself, are fresh and striking. Many of these descriptions and remarks would furnish exceedingly pleasant reading ; but we prefer such parts as illus- trate the militant divine.

Excepting the plunder of Cabul before the withdrawal, Mr ALLEN considers that the charges against the troops, of cruelty and devastation, were all exaggerated, or untrue ; and that nothing hap- pened which is not inseparable from war. He seems, however, m the course of his campaigning, to have picked up some practical notions of war's allowable necessities. Witness this


The cavalry, with Leslie's guns to reinforce them, again advanced over the bills to recover the bodies of their killed, while we turned with the infantry, Captain Blood's nine-pounders, and Captain Anderson's six-pounders, to the fort from which the attack on the grass-cutters was said to have been made. It was rather large, and with three towers within. As we approached, several unarmed people came out to meet us with supplicating gestures, and pleaded

that their village had no share in the matter. The general listened to their tale, told them to remain quiet, and ordered Captain F. White, with the light company of H. M. 40th regiment, to proceed and examine the fort, and ascer- tain whether there were any evidences of their having taken a part in the Affair. As they approached the gate, accompanied by Major Leech to act as inter- preter, the infatuated wretches, though they had professed to surrender, dis- charged a volley of matchlock balls at the company, one of which very nearly killed the Major. The men upon this rushed in : the light company of IL M. 41st, another company of H. M. 40th, under Captain Neild, and some light companies from the native corps, were ordered to support Captain White : they had been enraged by the previous events of the morning, and one of those pain- ful scenes ensued which are more or less common to all warfare, and which, I fear, under such circumstances, it is almost impossible to prevent. The fort was found full of people, and all armed and resisting. Every door was forced, every man that could be found was slaughtered ; they were pursued from yard to yard, from tower to tower ; and very few escaped. A crowd of wretched women and children were turned out, one or two wounded in the melee. I never saw more squalid and miserable objects. One door, which they refused to open upon summons, was blown in by a six-pounder, and every soul bayoneted.

At this titre I was with the Generals staff, very near the walls; and some said the volley of balls fired on the company passed close over us; but if it were so, I was too intent on the fort to notice them. I drew gradually nearer and nearer, till at length, curiosity prevailing over prudence, I entered it. Seldom, I apprehend, has a clergyman looked on such a scene. Destruction was going on in every form ; dead bodies were lying here and there ; Senor and followers were dragging out sheep, goats, oxen, and goods, (a string of our camels, with the Commissariat brand upon them, led out of a walled enclosure, clearly proved the falsehood of the assertion that the inmates were not par- ties to the attack); European and native soldiers were breaking open doors where they supposed any thing might be concealed ; and every now and then, the discharge of a firelock proclaimed the discovery of a concealed victim • while the curling blue smoke, and crackling sound from the buildings, indicated that the fire was destined to devour what the sword had spared.

The bugles sounded, and I retired from this painful spectacle. It is difficult to ascertain the number that perished in the fort, but it is probable that not less than from eighty to one hundred were shot ; and if any remained concealed in the buildings, they must have perished in the flames, for it was one mass of blazing ruin before we left it, and continued flaming all night.


While we were standing inactive, and gazing with little satisfaction at these disheartening operations on the fort, the enemy had collected in dense masses an the hills to the left of the gate, and were keeping up a fire of matchlocks. For these we cared but little, as they were too distant to be very effective; but, suddenly, whiz came a round shot just over our heads, followed in instant suc- cession by another: both pitched about fifty paces in our rear, and the ricochet carried them over the 16th regiment N. L It is impossible to describe the effect they produced: it was utterly unexpected, for we had been assured that the guns had been taken to Mookoor; and I fancy very few who were there had ever been under the fire of round shot before. None but those who have expe- rienced it can conceive how immense is the difference between watching the practice of your own guns against the enemy, and that of the enemy's against you. People at home think the effect of two trains on the railroad passing each other at speed somewhat startling ; and so it is; but Icon assure them it is nothing to the thrill excited by one of these iron missiles whirring over your head, when you know that there is no tram-road to protect you from collision. 1 am not naturally nervous, but am constrained to confess that the first dis- charge produced an effect like that of an electric shock, which seemed to vi- brate from the crown of my head to my toes ; and though I became more used to them afterwards, I never bowed with such profound reverence to any one in my life as to these gentlemen : nor was I singular. all around me seeming to concur in paying them the same respect : the effect was the greater that we were at the time standing listlessly without excitement to engage our atten- tion. Our own guns were immediately turned upon these hills, and thundered forth an angry reply to their salute; and the action was maintained for some time with artillery alone.

We were in frequent peril, for their guns were well laid and fired with amaz- ing rapidity ; and bad they not been posted on a height, and consequently sent plunging shots, our loss from them must have been great . they providentially fell a few paces either in front or rear of the line. One, however, came bound- ing through No. I company of R. M. 40th, and set those who were Dearest in motion to save their legs : bat, extraordinary to relate, when the clouds of dust which it threw up were dispersed, it was found that there was not a man touched : one struck a doolie in pieces about ten paces to my right, and cut off both legs of one of the bearers another struck the shoulder of the horse of Lieutenant de Blacquier, M. 41st, and knocked it in pieces, carrying away, at the same time, the leg of the groom who held him. It was strange to ob- serve the almost entire absence of any sense of danger in all around : jokes and laughter resounded on all sides, and the general feeling appeared to be rather that of a set of schoolboys at a game of snow-balls than of men whose lives were in instant peril. An Irish sergeant of H. M. 40th had his bead grazed by a spent ball : it confused him for the moment, and he exclaimed, " Och! some- body take my piece l I'm kilt—I'm kilt-1'm kilt!" As they were leading him off, he looked over his shoulder, and cried out, " Faith, boys, and I don't think I'm kilt entirely yet:" His second thought called forth shouts of laughter. The fact is, the excitement is so great that there is no time tothink, and it is not till afterwards, in an interval of cool reflection, that the mind becomes awake to the dangers which have been incurred : if it were other- wise, I conceive men could never be brought into action at all.


9th, Sunday. With Mr. Scott about seven a. m., and found him apparently much better. After prayer with him, rode to our own camp, and had divine service at eleven a. m. Returned afterwards to General Pollock's camp, and found so great a change for the worse in Mr. Scott, that I feared he would not survive many hours : witnessed his will, and administered the holy communion, which appeared to give him much comfort. I was greatly gratified here, as I bad often been before, to see the kind and brotherly attention, and the many little offices of friendship rendered to their sick comrade by the young officers of H. M. 13th. Those who only see the soldier in the glitter of gay society at home, have little conception of what he really is. It is in the field, in the absence of almost every comfort, in the face of disease and death, that his real character is developed, and exhibits, often in mere boys, a tenderness of heart, a delicacy of attention, and extent of self-denial, that would astonish and perhaps shame many of their seniors who are more happily situated.


The entrance to the Pass would have formed a fine subject for Salvator Rosa. The sun had not risen, and the gorge looked dark, gloomy, and threatening. I was between the Quartermaster-General's party and the column ; consequently there were but few people, and one or two officers scattered about. The craggy and fantastic rocks towered almost perpendicularly on both sides, many of them quite so, to an enormous height. The foreground ass occupied by the skele- tons of the ill-fated troops, with the larger forms of camels and horses. The gray light of morning scarcely allowed the eye to penetrate the pass, which appeared entirely shut in. Large carrion-crows and vultures, with flagging

wings, were soaring heavily over head. As we entered, the ghastly memorials of past calamity became more and more frequent. It is impossible to estimate their numbers, but the ground through the whole length of the Pass, about five miles, was cumbered with them. Some were gathered in crowds under rocks, as if to obtain shelter from the biting wind : we could conceive what it must have been in January, for such was the intensity of the cold that we were al- most all compelled to dismount and walk, to keep life in our limbs and the water froze in icicles on the legs of the horses. I counted in one place twelve skele- tons, huddled together in a little nook. Some, from their attitudes, appeared to be those of persons who had expired in great agony, probably from wounds. Most of them retained their hair, and the skin was dried on the bones, so that the hands and feet were little altered in form. Some were still covered with fragments of clothing, and here and there the uniform was discoverable. The horse and his rider lay side by side, or men were seen clasped in each other's arms, as they had crowded together fur warmth. One spot, where the Pass was almost closed by rocks projecting from either side, was literally choked with the corpses of men, horses, and camels. It appeared as if a tremendous volley had been poured among them, or that the delay unavoidable in passing so narrow a gorge bad caused them to drop from cold. A small ruined building, on the left of the road, was quite filled with dead bodies.


The following day, the 9th, presented one of the most gratifying and at the same time most painful scenes I have ever witnessed, an apt illustration of what Dryden has termed " pleasing pains and bitter sweets." Major (now Lieutenant-Colonel) Ilibbert, C.B., who had long commanded the regiment, and most deservedly possessed the respect and affection of both officers and men, was about to leave, and with him Captain Neil, and Lieutenants Sey- mour, Carey, and M'Andrew. My time had also arrived for quitting the corps, with which I had been most closely associated, and with the officers of which I had really been as a brother and a comrade. I have before mentioned the unity of the officers of this corps, which exceeded any thing of the kind I have seen elsewhere, and the parting was like the separation of a private family. At tiffin in the mess-tent but little was said, for every one's heart was full. Seve- ral tried to make speeches; but all broke down, and the signs of feeling were too unequivocal to be mistaken. But when we really started, the scene was be- yond description. Tha band had been assembled to attend the Major out of the lines, as a compliment to him ; but this did not appear sufficient to the men, who all spontaneously turned out in uniform, and followed us. For more than two miles these noble warm-hearted fellows kept us company; and "One cheer more for the Major !"—" One cheer more for Captain Neil! "—" One cheer more for the minister!" and so on, through the whole party, resounded again and again. We tried to speak to them and to thank them ; but in vain, for words were choked in the utterance. Still they followed us, shaking our hands and loading us with blessings : and thus amidst tears, and shouts, and benedic- tions, we took our leave of the gallant old 40th foot. Never shall they be with- out my prayers and best wishes, to whatever part of the globe they may go.

Several sermons preached during the campaign are added as an appendix to the volume. The texts are well chosen in relation to the occasion, the subjects appropriately handled and applied; and the execution is above the general run of sermons, though perhaps not plain enough for all the audience, unless preached at extra- ordinary service, when chiefly officers attended. They are not, however, the most attractive parts of the volume ; having the same characteristic as the soldier's account of war—they are a shade too technical. When we know the text and the occasion, we can pretty well guess what is coining,—though this is perhaps a technical remark.