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Our casualties between the 15th and the 23rd were remarkably few: 2 officers, 9 men, and 7 followers killed, and 5 officers, 41 men, and 22 followers wounded; while the enemy lost not less than 3,000.

I think I had great reason to be proud of my force. All night and every night, the ground covered with snow and the thermometer marking sixteen degrees of frost, officers and men were at their posts, and each day every available man had to be hard at work strengthening the defences. Native and European soldiers alike bore the hardships and exposure with the utmost cheerfulness, and in perfect confidence that, when the assault should take place, victory would be ours.

Early on the 24th the fort of Mahomed Sharif was occupied, and a force moved out to escort Charles Gough's brigade into Sherpur, a precaution which, however, was hardly necessary, as there was no enemy to be seen.

I next set to work to re-open communication with India, Butkhak was re-occupied, and the relaying of the telegraph was taken in hand. General Hills resumed his position as military Governor of Kabul; the dispensary and hospital were re-established in the city under the energetic and intelligent guidance of Surgeon-Captain Owen ;* and in the hope of reassuring the people, I issued the following Proclamation:

'At the instigation of some seditious men, the ignorant people, generally not considering the result, raised a rebellion. Now many of the insurgents have received their reward, and as subjects are a trust from God, the British Government, which is just and merciful, as well as strong, has forgiven their guilt. It is now proclaimed that all who come in without delay will be pardoned, excepting only Mahomed Jan of Wardak, Mir Bacha of Kohistan, Samandar Khan of Logar, Ghulam Hyder of Chardeh, and the murderers of Sirdar Mahomed Hassan Khan. Come and make your submission without fear, of whatsoever tribe you may be. You can then remain in your houses in comfort and safety, and no harm will befall you. The British Government has no emnity towards the people. Anyone who rebels again will, of course, be punished. This condition is necessary. But all who come in without delay need have no fear or suspicion. The British Government speaks only that which is in its heart.'

The effect of this Proclamation was most satisfactory: the city and the surrounding country quieted rapidly, shops were re-opened, and before the close of the year the bazaars were as densely thronged as ever. Most of the principal men of Logar and Kohistan came to pay their respects to me; they were treated with due consideration, and the political officers did all they could to find out what they really wanted,

This hospital was admirably managed, and was attended by a large number of patients, half of whom were women. The disease most prevalent in Kabul was ophthalmia, caused by dust, dirt, and exposure, while cataract and other affections of the eye were very common. Dr. Owen, amongst his other many qualifications, excelled as an oculist, and his marvellous cures attracted sufferers from all parts of Afghanistan.


THE outlook in Afghanistan on the 1st January, 1880, was fairly satisfactory; the tidings of the defeat and dispersion of the tribesmen had spread far and wide, and had apparently had the effect of tranquillizing the country even in remote Kandahar, where the people had been greatly excited by the news of our retiring from Sherpur, and by the exaggerated reports of their countrymen's success. No complications now existed anywhere, and preparations were commenced for Sir Donald Stewart's force in southern Afghanistan to move towards Ghazni, in anticipation of the carrying out of a complete and connected scheme for the pacification of the country, and an early withdrawal * In reply to a reference made to me on the subject, I represented that, before operations could be undertaken on so extensive a scale as was proposed,

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ceful administration

would create confi

ed in other ways to Snow was still deep ding General Baker dwelt an influential he revolt. All walled t were razed to the he outside walls and ng, while two bridges, own across the Kabul

the arrival of Gough's a Hissar, the defences nuous line of fire, and As were made through ers were built on the

ed on the south-west Hissar and the city; ver; and as these two r to connect them was Sang.

solute protection of the rdeh direction, a third completed a formidable olonel Perkins and his

', 1880, was fairly satisn of the tribesmen had e effect of tranquillizing e the people had been m Sherpur, and by the cess. No complications re commenced for Sir stan to move towards complete and connected nd an early withdrawal

bject, I represented that, ve a scale as was proposed,

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from northern Afghanistan. No withdrawal, however, would be possible until durable foundations had been laid for the future safety of the Indian frontier, and reliable guarantees given for the continued good behaviour of India's Afghan neighbours.

The two questions, therefore, which chiefly exercised the minds of people in authority, both in England and in India, with regard to Afghan affairs were, What was to be done with Afghanistan now we had got it? and, Who could be set up as Ruler with any chance of being able to hold his own?

The second question depended a good deal on the decision which might be arrived at with regard to the first, for the selection of a Ruler could hardly be considered until it had been determined whether the several provinces of Afghanistan were to be again formed into one kingdom, or whether the political scheme for the future government of the country should be based on the separation of the several States. I myself had come to the conclusion, after much deliberation and anxious thought, that the latter course was the least dangerous for us to adopt. Disintegration had been the normal condition of Afghanistan, except for a short period which ended as far back as 1818. Dost Mahomed was the first since that time to attempt its unification, and it took him (the strongest Amir of the century) eight years after his restoration to establish his supremacy over Afghan-Turkestan, fourteen years before Kandahar acknowledged his authority, and twenty-one years ere he got possession of Herat, a consummation which was achieved only just before his death. His successor, Sher Ali, was five years making himself master of Afghanistan, and he could never have attained that position but for the material assistance he received from I felt it would be in the future as it had been in the past, and that there would always be the danger of a Ruler, made supreme by the aid of our money and our arms, turning against us for some supposed griev


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