To Caubul with the Cavalry Brigade


To Caubul with the Cavalry Brigade is an account by a British officer, Major Reginald Mitford, of the actions of his unit, the 14th Bengal Lancers, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80) in the period between September 1879 and January 1880. The war began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan, invaded the country from British India. The first phase of the conflict ended in May 1879 with the Treaty of Gandamak, which permitted the Afghans to maintain internal sovereignty but forced them to cede control over their foreign policy to the British. Fighting resumed in September 1879 after an anti-British uprising in Kabul that resulted in the death of Sir Louis Cavagnari, the British resident in Kabul and a negotiator of the Treaty of Gandamak, and of nearly all the British soldiers at the residency. The Kabul Field Force, commanded by General Sir Frederick Roberts and composed of British and Indian army regiments, including the 14th Bengal Lancers, was sent to Kabul to restore order and take revenge. Mitford’s book offers a first-hand account of the march to and operations in Kabul, including the harsh suppression of the uprising and the execution of many Afghans judged guilty of participating in it. Mitford and his unit also took part in the bloody siege of the Sherpur Cantonment of December 1879, in which Afghan forces mounted a nearly successful attack on the Anglo-Indian forces. The 14th Bengal Lancers were ordered back to India in January 1880, and marched to Peshawar by way of Jalalabad. The Second Anglo-Afghan War finally ended in September 1880, after the decisive Battle of Kandahar. The book contains illustrations based on sketches and a fold-out map of the Kabul district.

Last updated: September 30, 2016