28 DECEMBER 1878, Page 1

Jellalabad was occupied on the 20th inst., and the present

work of the Eastern column may be considered closed. No further advance is expected before the spring, and the General, with good cantonments for his troops, has now only to guard his communications. General Roberts, of the central column, has been compelled, we regret to see, to shoot one Pathan Sepoy and imprison fifteen others for long terms, for treachery in siding with their kinsmen. Two fired a signal to warn the defenders of Fleiwar, and fourteen refused to fight. The defection is natural enough, but every Sepoy is a volunteer, with an officer's right to resign, and the men, therefore, in breaking their oath in the field, de- serve little compassion. The General seems uneasy about the moun- taineers, but the explanation hitherto is imperfect. The western column, under General Stewart, is still struggling towards Candahar. It has only eighty miles to march, but the difficulties of transport are extraordinary. The camels cannot traverse the Khojak Pass, because they would split on the ice, and the bullocks die of fatigue, or break their fetlocks in the shingle. The 40-pounder guns were dragged through part of the Bolan by English soldiers, with incredible toil, the men often working up to midnight. The correspondent of the Standard denounces the mismanagement as extraordinary, but he blames the commissariat too quickly. The Department was not warned in time to purchase mules, the only animals to be trusted in such work, and even they might have been beaten by a march of such extraordinary severity. Sixty miles of a mountain-torrent bed is a frightful task for artillery.