Auction Date: 3/07/2020 at 10am
India & Punjab - Rare First edition of Narrative of the Second Sikh War in 1848-49 with a detailed account of the Battles of Ramnugger, the Passage of the Chenab, Chillianwallah, Goojerat, &c., by Edward Joseph Thackwell. When the second Sikh war began Thackwell was appointed to the cavalry division on the death of Brigadier Cureton in the action at Ramnagar, on 22 Nov. 1848. After Ramnagar the Sikhs crossed to the right bank of the Chinab. To enable his own army to follow them, Gough sent a force of about eight thousand men under Thackwell to pass the river higher up, and help to dislodge the Sikhs from their position by moving on their left flank and rear. He had orders not to attack till he was joined by an additional brigade; but he was himself attacked towards midday by about half the Sikh army. They kept up a heavy fire of artillery till sunset, and made some feeble attempts to turn the British flanks. By morning the Sikhs had disappeared, and it is doubtful whether they had any other object in their attack than that of gaining time for a retreat, six weeks afterwards, went far to justify Thackwell. He was in command of the cavalry at Chilianwala, but actually directed only the left brigade. At Gujrat he kept in check the enemy's cavalry when it tried to turn that flank. After the battle was won, he led a vigorous pursuit until nightfall. In his despatch of 26 Feb. 1849 Gough said: ‘I am also greatly indebted to this tried and gallant officer for his valuable assistance and untiring exertions throughout the present and previous operations as second in command with this force.’ He received the thanks of parliament for the third time, and the G.C.B. (5 June 1849). Written soon after the event, this is the first full account of a campaign which saw the pitched battles of Ramnugger, Chilllianwallah and Goojerat. The narrative of these actions is supported by publication of the official despatches covering the campaign from the officers in the field. In original red embossed cloth with gilt titles.