Journal of a March from Delhi to Peshâwur and from Thence to Câbul


Journal of a March from Delhi to Peshâwur and from Thence to Câbul is a firsthand account by a British officer, Lieutenant William Barr, of an operation led by Lieutenant Colonel Claude Martine Wade during the first year of the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839‒42). The war began when the main Anglo-Indian force, the Army of the Indus, advanced toward Kabul through the Bolan Pass and southern Afghanistan, with the aim of overthrowing the Afghan ruler, Amir Dost Mohammed Khan. Wade was given the assignment of making a converging attack through the Punjab and the Khyber Pass, with the objective of compelling Dost Mohammed Khan to divide his army. Barr was part of a force of nearly 10,000 soldiers that included 5,000 Punjabi Muslims, 4,000 Afghan troops raised by Shah Shujaʻ, Dost Mohammed’s British-backed rival, and 380 regular British troops. Barr’s account, which was published in London in 1844, consists of journal entries written between January 21 and July 25, 1839, and connecting narratives composed at a later date. The most dramatic part of the book is the account of the attack on July 22 on Ali Masjid, the fort commanding the entrance to the Khyber Pass. After four days of heavy fighting the invaders prevailed against the local Afridi defenders, and from there proceeded to march to Kabul. In addition to his accounts of the military engagements, Barr offers descriptions of the territories through which Wade’s army marched, including an especially detailed description of Lahore (in present-day Pakistan). The book concludes with the march from Kabul back to Firozpur, in British India, which was completed on December 31, 1839. The book contains six hand-colored illustrations of scenes in Afghanistan.

Date Created

Publication Information

James Madden and Company, London


Title in Original Language

Journal of a march from Delhi to Peshâwur and from thence to Câbul, with the mission of Lieut.-Colonel Sir C.M. Wade, Kt. C.B., including travels in the Punjâb, a visit to the City of Lahore and a narrative of operations in the Khyber Pass, undertaken in 1839

Type of Item

Physical Description

410 pages : illustrations ; 21 centimeters


  1. H.W. Pearse, revised by Roger T. Stearn, “Wade, Sir Claude Martine (1794–1861),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Last updated: August 31, 2016