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OF THE FORT POWDER MAGAZINE, 1848
'On the 28th, and up to the 2nd January, 1849, when the town was stormed, the town and fort were shelled, and the breaching batteries were erected to batter the town wall. On the 30th December, about 9 a.m., the magazine of the fort blew up, being ignited by a shell from our battery. I happened to be on my way to the battery at the time, about a mile from the city, and saw the explosion just at the proper distance; and it was certainly the most awfully- sublime, or, rather, sublimely-awful, sight I ever saw. The whole earth shook for miles around the fort, and the atmosphere darkened for hours a ft~erwards by the dense cloud which hung like a ma~tie above the city. We have no exact account of th damage done by the accident, but the native report is that 600 lives were lost.' (Extract from Dr. Dunlop's letter dated 14 January 1849 from Camp Mouitan, quoted in The I/lust rated London News.)
Another eye-witness present at the action recalled:
'At first we felt a slight shock like that of an earthquake, and then, a second or two afterwards, such a tremendous and prolonged report, that it was like
an awful clap of thunder. I hardly know what to liken it to, it was so inconceivably grand; then a mass of dust rose to the very clouds, yet so perfectly distinct was its outline, and it was so dense and thick, that nobody at first could tell what it was. It looked like an immense, solid, brown tree suddenly grownup to the skies, and then it gradually expanded and slowly sailed away. The shock at four miles distance knocked bottles off the tables, so terrific was the report.'
The ammunition store had contained 16,000 lbs of gunpowder, accumulated by Dewan Mulraj over five years. On the following day another major conflagration occurred when the grain and stores within the fort were set ablaze, stoked by the oil and ghee; 'they burned all day and night so fiercely that they illumined the surrounding country, and completely obviated the use of nightballs, so that the besiegers carried out their murderous work by the light of the blazing citadel.'
Undaunted by these major set-backs, Dewan Mulraj maintained his posture of defiance and when approached with a formal summons to surrender, 'his reply was characheristic; he rammed the letter down his longest gun, and fired it back.'
|Explosion of the fort powder magazine, 1848|
|Breaching the Koonj Burj, Multan, 1849|
THE KOONJ BURJ, MULTAN,
Engraving from a sketch by Dr. J. Dunlop done on 2
January 1849 and published in The Illustrated London
News, 10 March 1849.
|Stroming of the Koonj Burg, Multan, 1849|
|After the fall of Multan, 1849|
|After the fall of the Citadel of Multan, 1849|
|North-East side of the fort wall, Multan, 1848|
|North-East aspect of fort, Multan, 1849|
|Funeral of Vans Agnew and Anderson, Multan, 1849|
|North-West corner of fort, Multan, 1849|
|Siki gate of fort, Multan, 1849|