Departure from Kabul

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Departure from Kabul
Part of 1st Afghan War 1839-42
Date: 6 January 1842
Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Presidency: Bengal
Co-ordinates: 34.528456°N 69.171705°E
Result: British retreat
British & Indians Various Afghan tribes
Maj-Gen William Elphinstone
Brigadier John Shelton
Mohammad Akbar Khan

This was an event during the 1st Afghan War
For context see main article Retreat from Kabul to Gundamak

Kabul to Bagrame

After terms had been agreed for safe passage of Elphinstone's army to Peshawar (see Kabul Uprising), the Afghan chiefs made various excuses for delaying the departure. Eventually on 6 January 1842 4,500 fighting men and 12,000 followers began to leave the Sherpur Cantonment where they had been besieged for two months. In bitter weather with a foot of snow on the ground, the retreating army moved out into the countryside with only five days supplies and no sign of the promised Afghan escort. As they left, the Afghans started to plunder and destroy the cantonment. At evening the main column was still passing out of the gate and the rearguard was having to defend itself against sniper fire which killed Lt Hardyman of 5th Light Cavalry and fifty other ranks. Eventually all were across the river but two Horse Artillery guns and a quantity of baggage had been abandoned. It was 2 am before the rearguard reached the night halt at Bagrame 5 miles down the road.

External Links

Historical books on-line