Representing a major accomplishment for the Navy Department Library we present to you, A Narrative of the March and Operations of the Army of the Indus. This digitized version of the book is now in our Online Reading Room. This very detailed work describes the march into Afghanistan in 1839 by the British Army combined with the Bengal and Bombay Forces. It is a fascinating look at military operations in Afghanistan in the past, and gives a context for much of today’s fighting. Compiled and largely written by the Judge Advocate General of the “Bengal Column and the Army of the Indus,” it describes in detail the conditions of the march into Afghanistan and the military operations in Ghuznee. Everything from the political climate, including a look at the history of the region, to the number of camels lost on the expedition is covered in this very thorough book. While this book does cover a British Army invasion and is not a work of naval history it does give us a sense of the history of the people of Afghanistan and what today’s sailors and other military members are facing in the region.
The Navy Department Library traces its roots to a letter dated 31 March 1800 from President John Adams to Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert directing him to establish a library that would contain “the best writing…on the theory and practice of naval architecture, navigation, gunnery….”
From that beginning, the Library’s collections have grown to 156,000 books and tens of thousands of manuscripts, periodicals and government documents, with an emphasis on naval, military, and nautical history including foreign navies. The Library is home to the most comprehensive collection of historical literature on the United States Navy.
To enhance and enrich naval and maritime knowledge-based heritage by preserving, acquiring, and providing access to pertinent books, manuscripts, and other print and non-print materials for the benefit of the Navy and the nation.
To increase and foster that heritage by providing access to information using both traditional and non-traditional formats and sources.