Home >> Cyclopedia Of India, Volume 2 >> Number to Or New Guinea >> Viscount Hardinge

Viscount Hardinge

sir, army, british and sikh

HARDINGE, VISCOUNT, G.C.B., a general officer of the British army, who distinguished himself in the Peninsula under the Duke of Wellington. He took the office of Governor General of India, 23d July 1844, and held it till the 12th January 1848. He endeavoured to preserve peace, but, after the death of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh nation had been agitated, and anarchy followed. On the death of Kurruck Singh, the Sikh army freed themselves from all control, and 50,000 men in vaded British territory, and they began to cross the Sutlej on the 11th December 1845. Lord Hardinge had left Calcutta on the 22d September, and placed himself under the orders of Sir, Hugh Gough ; and on the British Indian army arriving at Moodkee on the 18th December, they found the enemy advancing in order of battle, and the battle that ensued lasted from three in the after noon until nightfall. The Sikh army lost seventeen guns and several thousand men. In this battle Sir Robert Sale fell. The Sikhs retreated to Firoz Shahar, where for three days they were throwing up entrenchments around their camp. On the 21st December Sir Hugh Gough attacked their entrenchments, and the British army and its generals bivouacked on the field, exposed throughout the night to the fire of the enemy.

The battle was renewed next day, and terminated in the success of the British, the camp being taken, after a long and bloody conflict. Prince Vladimir of Prussia was present in this engage ment, and his physician, Dr. Hoffmeister, was killed.

The Sikh army retired to the right bank of the Sutlej opposite Lodhiana, which Major-General Sir Harry Smith was sent to protect ; and in the subsequent movements the Sikh army opposed him at Aliwal on the 28th January 1846, but were defeated with great loss, and the left bank was cleared. Sir Harry Smith rejoined the commander-in-chief, and on the 10th February 1846 the battle of Sobraon was fought and won, but with great loss on the part of the British, thirteen officers were killed and above one hundred wounded. A treaty was signed, trans ferring all the country between the Sutlej and Beas, and afterwards modified to the Beas and Indus. Raja Dhulip Singh was reinstated on the throne, and Raja Gulab Singh made inde pendent, and granted Kashmir and other territory. Sir Henry Hardinge was created a viscount, Sir Hugh Gough a baron, and Sir Harry Smith a: baronet. Lord Hardinge returned to England, and Was succeeded by Lord Dalhousie.