[SECOND SIKH WAR]. Autograph journal of General Sir George Brooke KCB (as Brigadier), Punjab, 4 October 1848 - 12 April 1849, containing seven sketched maps and plans of battle, on blue paper, 217 pages, 8vo (unobtrusive worming, scorch mark on one page), contemporary morocco (losses and encrustations, later repair to lower cover).
A factual and tactically alert account by Lord Gough's artillery commander of the entire campaign in the Punjab of 1848-9, including the skirmish at Ramnagar at which General Cureton and Colonel Havelock were killed (an action Brooke describes as 'Unforethought, carelessly pursued beyond first intent and ending in rather a discredit than otherwise'), the bloody battle at Chillianwalla (where only 'a good Horse & a good Seat carr[ied] me out safe clear of Swords and a galaxy of Small Shot' in an entanglement with a Sikh charge) and the decisive victory at Gujerat ('a battle the property of our Artillery'). Brooke is throughout critical of the conduct of the campaign: of the victory at Gujerat he judges 'we owe little to Generalship'; his Christmas Day wish is for 'the luck of never participating in another such a Campaign, or again holding so nonentical [sic] a Brigadiership - Amen'.
The Second Sikh War began as an uprising against the British protectorate which was the legacy of the first conflict. On the decisive conclusion of the campaign at Gujerat, where the Sikh loss of life was enormous, the Punjab was annexed to British India. The role of the artillery was vital throughout the campaign: an account by the senior artillery officer is thus significantly of interest.
Brooke was arrived in India a Lieutenant Fireworker in 1808, eventually retiring as a General and Knight Commander of the Bath. His last command in India was of the artillery at Meerut, the station at which the first action of the Indian Mutiny took place the year after his departure. The lot also includes his papers as an Indian military officer, consisting chiefly of several hundred letters and official documents addressed to him, and including documents signed by William IV and Queen Victoria, and autograph letters signed by Lord Gough, Lord Hardinge, Lord Ellenborough, Sir Henry Havelock and Sir William Gomm.
A few of the letters bear 1854 adhesives, and one the stamp of Thomas Waghorn.