Lumsden of the Guides: A Sketch of the Life of Lieut.-Gen. Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden, K. C. S. I., C. B., with Selections from His Correspondence and Occasional Papers

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J. Murray, 1900 - 336 pages
Lumsden of the Guides is a biography of Lieutenant-General Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden (1821-96), co-authored by his younger brother, General Sir Peter Stark Lumsden (1829-1918) and George R. Elsmie (1838-1909), a judge and writer in British India. Harry Lumsden was a soldier in the army of the British East India Company who was part of the Anglo-Indian force that occupied Kabul during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42). He subsequently held posts on the North-West Frontier of India and in 1857-58 undertook a mission to Kandahar to ascertain whether the Afghan ruler Dost Mohammad Khan was adhering to the terms of a treaty that required the Afghans, in exchange for British subsidies, to maintain their defenses against Persia in the region of Herat. The "guides" of the title refers to the corps of guides, locally recruited soldiers that the British used to defend the frontiers of India from attacks and uprisings by warlike tribes hostile to British rule. Lumsden recruited and commanded this force at different times in his career, beginning in 1846. The book covers Lumsden's background and education and his military career and diplomatic missions. Three appendices consist of unpublished writings by Harry Lumsden, including sections from a notebook entitled "Frontier Thoughts and Frontier Requirements" concerning all aspects of the recruitment and command of the guides; an essay entitled "A Few Notes on Afghan Field-Sports" dealing with hawking, hunting, and related subjects; and a few pages of recollections of the march from Peshawar to Jalalabad in 1842. The book is illustrated with drawings and photographs and contains a fold-out map of the Afghan frontier with an inset of the route from Kandahar to Herat. Peter Stark Lumsden was also a distinguished soldier in the Indian army. He accompanied his brother on the Kandahar mission of 1857-58 and in the 1880s headed the Anglo-Indian side of the Joint Boundary Commission formed with Russia to define the northern border of Afghanistan.

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Page 23 - Campaign, on the extraordinary fact, never before witnessed of half a dozen foreigners taking up a lately subdued mutinous army through as difficult a country as is in the world to put the chief, formerly their commander, now in their minds a rebel, in possession of the brightest gem of their land.
Page 64 - It is hardly enough to say that on the enrolment of the Guides each man's personal history was known to Lumsden. Men from every wild and warlike tribe were represented in its ranks — men habituated to war and sport, the dangers and vicissitudes of border life : Afridis and Goorkhas, Sikhs and Huzaras...
Page 22 - We had not been many days in the city,' wrote Nicholson, ' before we learnt that the governor had made up his mind to drive Gulab Singh's small force out of the valley and seize us. We had great difficulty in effecting our escape, which we did just in time to avoid capture.
Page 65 - Yusafzai in search of recruits — in his own words — "of men accustomed to look after themselves, and not easily taken aback by any sudden emergency " — Dilawur Khan was notorious.
Page 242 - Mohammedan struggle. But these officers and Khans, by a soldierly equanimity, by a fortitude equal to the occasion, by a calm trust in the cause of England, by the good feeling which their previous demeanour had created, and by keeping the Cabul Government candidly and truthfully informed of real events...
Page 119 - Yusafzai and Hashtnagar, preparatory to proceeding to Europe, the BrigadierGeneral desires to offer him most cordial thanks for the able manner in which he has conducted the duties of his command for so long a period on this frontier. The Brigadier-General has not had the pleasure of service with Lieutenant Lumsden, and the Guide Corps has only been incidentally and occasionally placed under the orders of the senior officer at...
Page 19 - James Abbott, Edwardes, Lumsden, Nicholson, Taylor, Cocks, Hodson, Pollock, Bowring, Henry Coxe, and Melville are men such as you will seldom see anywhere, but, when collected under one administration, were worth double and treble the number taken at haphazard. Each was a good man ; the most were excellent officers.
Page 65 - Guides had a camp language or patois of their own. Lumsden sought out the men notorious for desperate deeds, leaders in forays, who kept the passes into the hills, and lived amid inaccessible rocks. He made Guides of them ; tempted by regular pay and enterprise, many joined the Corps and became conspicuous for daring and fidelity. On the Border and in the ranks of the Guides, tales, abundant in humour, were told of Lumsden's interviews with men who had defied all authority, and had never been seen...
Page 276 - Ali as the de jure as well as the de facto ruler of that country, and, in a letter addressed to that prince, engaged to view with severe displeasure any attempt on the part of his rivals to disturb his position.
Page 24 - The conduct of the Sikh troops, under the same officers that led them so lately in their invasion of our provinces, now employed in carrying out the conditions of the Treaty of Lahore, (and perhaps the least palatable part of those conditions,) under the instructions of British officers, cannot but command your admiration.

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