Saturday, October 27, 2018

Achakzai troopers, 1843




Troopers of the Auchukzye (Achakzai) horse, Fort of Killeh Abdooleh (Qillah Abdullah) in the background, 1843. By James Atkinson.

The fort of Qillah Abdullah belonged to Abdullah Khan, Chief of the Achakzais (who was killed in 1841 in Kabul, fighting against the British). Achakzais launched fierce and frequent attacks on the baggage of Lord Keane’s army in 1839. To keep open the communication through their country, a body of two hundred horsemen, was raised from among them and was stationed in the fort. A detachment of the 20th Bombay Infantry of British-Indian army was subsequently sent to strengthen the post, but circumstances necessitated the withdrawal of British from the fort. The Achakzais troopers deserted the British and cut down some of the British Infantry as they went off. In the plate, their Commander, Rissaldar Ghulam Khan, is represented on horseback, while two dismounted troopers occupy the foreground. Their uniform was a tunic of green cloth, and they were armed with matchlock, sword, and shield."