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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Tej Singh broke down the bridge over the river



In the mind of the Ministry, as well as of the country at large, the threatening state of foreign affairs claimed precedence. In Autumn the Sikh army of the Khalsa had crossed the Sutlej, to the number of 60,000 warriors, 40,000 armed followers and 150 guns. Sir John Little marched out of Ferozepore with 10,000 troops and 31 guns to offer battle, but the Sikhs preferred to surround them. Meanwhile, Sir Hugh Gough and Sir Henry Hardinge, the new Governor-General, hurried toward the frontier with a large relieving force. On September 18, they met the army of Lal Singh at Moodkee and won a slender success. But for the flight of Lal Singh, the Sikhs might have claimed the victory. The British troops now advanced on the Sikh intrenchments, Ferozeshahar, where they effected a junction with Little. On December 21, the British advanced in force, but encountered such stubborn resistance that the day ended in a drawn battle. Not until after sunset did Gough's battalions succeed in storming the most formidable of the Sikh batteries. After a night of horrors the battle was resumed. The Sikh soldiers, who had risen in mutiny against their own leaders, fell back and yielded their strong position. The second army of the Sikhs under Tej Singh came up too late. After a brief artillery engagement, all the Sikh forces fell back across the Sutlej River.


justify;"> [Sidenote: Battle of Sobraon]

[Sidenote: End of first Sikh war]

In January, the hostile forces on both sides of the Sutlej River in India were reinforced. The Sikhs recrossed the river, entered British territory, and hostilities were renewed. On January 27, Sir Harry Smith defeated a part of the Sikh forces at Aliwal. The Sikhs threw up intrenchments at Sobraon. On February 10, the British army advanced to the attack under Gough and Hardinge. The battle proved one of the hardest fought in the history of British India. Advancing in line, the British had two battalions mowed down by the Khalsa guns. Tej Singh broke down the bridge over the river. After fighting all day, the British at last succeeded in driving the Sikhs into the Sutlej at the point of the bayonet. The victory was dearly won. The British losses were 2,000 men, while the Sikhs were said to have lost 8,000. This practically ended the first Sikh war. The British army crossed the Sutlej River by means of their pontoons, and, pushing on to Lahore, there dictated terms of peace. An indemnity of a million and a half pounds was exacted. It was paid by Gholab Singh, the Viceroy of Cashmere and Jamu, upon British recognition of his independence of the Sikh Government at Lahore. The British frontier was extended from the banks of the Sutlej to those of the Ravi.

[Sidenote: English internal affairs]

[Sidenote: Death of Clarkson]

[Sidenote: Disraeli]

[Sidenote: Repeal of corn laws]

[Sidenote: Fall of Peel's Ministry]

[Sidenote: Richard Cobden's reward]

[Sidenote: Modern progress]

[Sidenote: Astronomical discoveries]

[Sidenote: Sue's "Wandering Jew"]

In England, Sir Henry Hardinge's services in the Sikh war were rewarded by his elevation to the peerage. The distress of the previous year continued, owing partly to a commercial panic brought on by overspeculation in railways, and

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