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Recollections of Thirty-nine Years in the Army
Chapter XIII


1857. ABERDEEN-DINAPORE - OUTBREAK OF SEPOY MUTINY

Mutiny and disaster—Major Eyre at Arrah—Outbreak at Patna—A dastardly proceeding—Progress of events—Further reports—The regimental hospital—Soldiers' wives to be armed—Madras regiments—English reinforcements—Meean Meer— Shannon Brigade—Victims of mutiny— Women and children—Details of Cawnpore—A lady refugee—Mortality in 5th—Extension of mutiny—Current events— Action and contrast—Delhi and Lucknow—Successes—Bankers—Reinforcements —English opinion—Active proceedings—Ghastly evidences—Sir Colin Campbell -" Clemency "—Active work—Blown from a gun—More active work.

THE force stationed at Dinapore consisted of two troops of European Artillery, 10th Foot, a portion of the 37th British, the 7th, 8th, and 40th Native Regiments. Among the three last named signs of disaffection had for some time past been apparent to their officers, though unhappily ignored by the general,' an old, infirm, and irresolute man. On the 25th of July he was so far moved to action as to direct that percussion caps should be taken away from their magazines of arms, and from the men themselves. A parade for the latter purpose was ordered; thereupon the sepoys became openly mutinous, fired upon and otherwise threatened their officers; they finally broke away, taking their arms with them. Meanwhile, the white troops were not permitted by the general to open fire upon or pursue the mutineers, who, taking the direction of Arrab, soon placed themselves under the leadership of the powerful chief Koer Singh. Arrived at that place, they laid siege to the house of Mr. Boyle, in which the few residents of the small station had collected, and, to some extent, fortified the building. On the 27th a party consisting of men of the 10th and 37th proceeded by steamer, in view to relief of those besieged; but the vessel ran aground, and so their object was frustrated. On the 29th a second steamer having been procured, the combined party proceeded in her; in due time arrived at Beharee Ghat on the river Sone; there landed, and began their march towards Arrah. Unhappily, a night advance was determined upon. After much toil, not acquainted with the ground, not knowing their way, having to cross a deep ravine or nullah, and to surmount other difficulties, they entered the town about midnight, and after the moon had set. A heavy fire was thereupon opened on them. Men and officers were unable to see each other. Captain Dunbar, the officer in command, fell dead; confusion was the immediate result. A certain number found their way back to the open country; but so heavy were the losses, so great the disorganization of the whole, that the expedition not only failed in its intended object, but met with serious disaster. The remnants were brought back to Dinapore, where they arrived on 3oth of July; it was then found that out of 415 officers and men who had started on that service, 110 were killed and 120 wounded, making a total of 290. The wounded who were rescued were more in number than could be accommodated in hospital; supplemeitary buildings had accordingly to be utilised for them. Throughout the regiment chagrin and disappointment were general; stories circulated that acts of atrocity had been perpetrated on some of the wounded. Soldiers were loud in their imprecations against the rebels, declaring their determination "to pay them off for it."

Major Eyre, hearing of the disaster that had befallen the troops under Captain Dunbar, advanced by forced marches from Buxar; on August 2 he attacked and dispersed the besieging rebels at Arrah, who thereupon fled towards Jugdispore. On the 8th a party of the 10th under Captain Patterson, together with some other troops, arrived at Arrah from Dinapore. On the 11th, in conjunction with those of Major Eyre, it started in pursuit of the sepoys; they had taken up a position at a village named Jota Narainpore. There they were attacked by the men of the 10th, who rushed upon them with a shout, killing numbers and dispersing those who escaped their bayonets.

At Dinapore, Sir James Outram inspected the 10th, and having issued orders with regard to further proceedings continued his journey southwards, taking with him some officers belonging to the mutinous native corps. The arrival of Sir Cohn Campbell at Calcutta to assume supreme command was followed by the departure of Sir Patrick Grant to resume his own proper command at Madras. At Patna a partial outbreak by the Mahomedans had recently taken place, Dr. LyelI being killed during it. A recurrence of that disturbance being threatened, a detachment of the 10th was sent to Bankipore as a personal guard to the Commissioner of Behar, whose residence was at that place.

When the great body of the sepoys at Dinapore mutinied and fled, certain of their number were employed on various duties within the barrack ranges occupied by the British troops. Unable like their brethren to effect their escape, they laid down their arms, declaring themselves to be loyal, or "staunch," according to the phrase of the day; tents were issued for their use, and a neat little encampment established on a space of open ground between the barracks and adjoining river bank. In the course of the following night screams issued from that encampment; in due time some soldiers, with their officers, proceeded with lights to the tents, to find several of the sepoys dead, others more or less severely wounded by bayonet thrusts, but without any clue to their assailants. Whether or not, as asserted at the time, the men of the 10th were implicated in this dastardly outrage, remained uncleared up by the official inquiry which followed in due course.

In rapid succession news reached us of events at different places within the sphere of mutiny. The investment of Delhi more closely pressed by the combined British and Sikh besieging forces. From Agra that the rebels had withdrawn therefrom. From Oude that Havelock had resumed his advance towards Lucknow, inflicting en route severe defeat upon the opposing rebels. From Calcutta that reinforcements were being daily dispatched inland by bullock trains; but as the rate of progress of those animals did not exceed two and a half miles per hour, considerable time must elapse before the troops so sent can be brought into actual use. Other items of intelligence were, that a body of Ghoorkas sent by Jung Bahadur as an auxiliary force had been attacked by the rebels, upon whom they inflicted defeat with heavy loss. The river steamer Jumna in its progress upwards beyond Allahabad was so heavily fired upon by the mutineers, at the same time the water of the Ganges becoming so shallow, that it had to abandon further attempts to proceed; there was therefore no alternative but to withdraw.

In the city of Patna the condition of things, already unsatisfactory, became still more so, the intention of the Mahomedans therein declared to be an attack on the "Kaffirs" on their great festival day of the Mohurrum, falling this year on 31st of August. As a precautionary measure, therefore, a line of defences was rapidly thrown up between the city and cantonments. Next came a report that the 9th Irregular Cavalry, after doing good service at Delhi, had fraternised with the rebels; with them made a dash at a besieging battery protected by Sikhs, their attempt defeated by the 75th Regiment. Then sad accounts of sickness and mortality by disease in addition to casualties in battle among the besiegers; for example, the 1st Battalion 60th Rifles, 400 strong when it first took up its position, had not in its ranks now 200 effectives. From Allahabad the statement came that some of the "staunch" gun lascars were detected in an attempt to load their guns with bricks and mortar.

The state of things in our regimental hospital, characteristic of the time, was this :—In the months of July and August deaths included two officers and seventy men. The long corridor-like wards of the building, together with its verandah, were filled partly with wounded men, remnants of the unfortunate Arrah expedition, partly by those affected with diseases special to the season of the year. The requirements of the wounded demanded much manual attention. What, therefore, between handling wounded tissues and their dressings, finger-tips became sodden like those of a washerwoman, and tender to the touch; the stooping attitude necessary while performing dressings and operations so fatigued the muscles of the back as to make it painful to be in, or again to change that attitude; at the same time the moist heat prevailing made such exertions particularly exhausting. The hospital had already been fortified, arms issued, and so arranged that in case of necessity they could be made use of by some of the patients; sandbags were arranged for purposes of defence on the roof, the walls loop- holed; indeed, the only shots at the escaping sepoys of the 40th N.I. were from it.

Rumours circulated that a combined line of action by the disaffected in Patna and mutinous sepoys under Koer Singh, one of the Nana's lieutenants, was contemplated against Dinapore, garrisoned as the station by only a portion of the 10th Foot. To meet such a contingency, it was proposed to arm the women belonging to the regiment; nor had those of us who had some knowledge of their general style and prowess any doubt as to the result, should they come in conflict with such adversaries. Indeed, there was every reason to believe that already a mutineer had lost his life by the hand of one of our Amazons armed with a bayonet.

The arrival of a Madras infantry regiment, in the ranks of which were some Hindostanees, gave rise to some little speculation as to possible events, should they be brought against their rebel countrymen. At the same time news circulated that a mutinous spirit had been shown in one of the cavalry regiments I of that presidency, and in at least two of infantry in that of Bombay.

Under the circumstances of the time, welcome was intelligence by English mail that a powerful force was in progress of dispatch to India; its numerical strength 25,000 men, including Royal Artillery, then to be employed in Hindostan for the first time. Now also came the first faint rumour that the transfer of Indian administration directly to the Government of Her Majesty was intended.

From Meean Meer came news of successful action against intended "rising" on the part of native troops at that station, the attending circumstances of that action being in some respects like those of the historical ball at Brussels on the eve of Quatre Bras. Among the regiments disarmed, as an outcome of that action, was the 26th N.I. For some time thereafter the sepoys belonging to it remained "loyal" and "contrite." Suddenly, under the shelter of night,2 they fled, having first murdered one of their officers. At break of day troops were sent in pursuit; the fugitives overtaken on the left bank of the Ravee. Of their number fully 100 were shot down, 10 or so drowned in their endeavour to swim across that river, the remaining 200 ultimately captured, brought back to their station, and executed. It was of the concluding act of the drama that news now reached us.

In the afternoon of September 4, the River Bird arrived from Calcutta, having on board the "Shannon Naval Brigade," under Captain—soon to become Sir William Peel. No sooner were they disembarked than all paraded for drill. Lookers-on rapidly collected to witness the novel proceedings, the wild rollicking manner in which the bluejackets pulled about and worked their ship's guns of large calibre. That evening the officers were our guests at the regimental mess. Our next meeting was to be under circumstances even more stirring than those now taking place.

From time to time the papers of the day gave what statistics were available in regard to lives sacrificed, directly and indirectly, by the present outbreak of the sepoys. According to one paper, those numbers were as follows, soldiers, officers, women, and children being included in the totals; namely, Meerut, 29; Loodianah, 3; Sealkote, 8; Fyzabad, 7; Gwalior, 15 ; Rohnee, i; Jounpore, 1; Jhelum, 1; Allahabad, 1; Mehidpore, 7; Mosuffernuggar, 1; Bareilly, 70; Delhi—on the outbreak of the mutiny, 82,—killed or died by exposure subsequently, 40; Hissar, 9; Shahjehanpore, 1; Cawnpore, 19 (exclusive of those to be subsequently enumerated); Meean Meer, 2; Mhow, 34; Sooltanpore,; Saugur, 1; Neemuch, 4; Indore, 2; Patna, 1; Moradabad, 4; Darjeeling, 1; Futtehpore, 1; Lucknow, 22; Benares, 5 ; Agra, 16 ; Jhansi, 43 Jullundhur, ; Ferozepore, 3; Raneegunge, 3; Indore, 1; making in all a total of 494. These numbers do not include the many instances in which lives were sacrificed by exposure and hardship, nor the numerous young soldiers who succumbed while being conveyed along the Grand Trunk Road.

With regard to the most terrible of all episodes,—namely, that of June 27, at Cawnpore,—an account by one of the very few survivors was published in the Friend of India; namely, "Those who in the boats survived from the artillery fire directed upon them were taken back to Cawnpore; the men secured by cords, and with the ladies brought before the Nana, who thereupon gave orders for their destruction. The ladies were placed on one side, the men, bound as they were, drawn up in line, and his troops ordered to fire upon them. Some of the ladies broke away, and rushing to their husbands, clasped them in despair, determined to die with them. A chaplain who was of the doomed number begged that a few minutes might be granted them to prepare to meet their God—a favour which was granted; others called upon their executioners to finish their bloody work. A volley of musketry; the victims reeled and fell, some dead, others still alive, though wounded; their murderers rush upon them with tulwars; they deal death around, nor do they cease their work when life is extinct, but continue to mutilate the bodies of the dead. The women and children, numbering one hundred and fifty-nine persons, were retained till July 15, and then destroyed by butchers employed for that diabolical purpose. Two days thereafter, but too late to avert the catastrophe the forces led by Havelock entered Cawnpore." At a somewhat later date further particulars appeared with reference to the same sad episode. According to them the list of persons whose lives were sacrificed there, whether in the entrenchments between June5 to 27, in the boats on the latter date, or on July 1, when the last remnant was butchered, as just related, was as follows; namely, Honourable Company's Artillery, 61; H.M.'s 32nd Regiment, 84; 1st European Fusiliers, 15; H.M.'s 84th Regiment, 50; officers of regiments and staff, 100; merchants, writers, and others, 100; drummers, etc., 40; women and children of soldiers, about 160; of writers merchants, and drummers, 120; ladies and children of officers, 50; servants (after many had absconded early in the outbreak), 100; sepoys and native officers sick in hospital, 20; total, 900. But there is every reason to believe that these figures are approximate rather than actually exact.

Orders were received and quickly carried into effect, whereby the wives and children of men and officers of the 10th were dispatched by steamer to Berhampore, at the time considered a place of safety. A company of our regiment marched towards Gya, then threatened by the mutinous 5th Irregulars, and defended only by a small body of Rattray's Sikhs. The withdrawal of the Treasury from that station resulted in the official ruin of the civilian concerned; but under the circumstances of the time the verdict of opinion among those on the spot was that his action was justified.

Among the refugees proceeding by steamer down country was Mrs. Mills, whose husband, Major Mills, of the Bengal Artillery, had been shot by his mutinous men while endeavouring to escape from Fyzabad, by swimming the Gogra. This unfortunate lady had been wandering in the jungle for nearly three months. She now was ill from hardships and starvation; one child, an infant, had died, the remaining two were ill with cholera; she herself nearly devoid of clothing, without servant or other help, almost completely broken down; nor was it until a few days ago that she learned the fate of her husband. A brother officer of Major Mills, Captain Alexander, placed a suite of rooms in his house at her disposal. In due time she and her children were so far restored in health, and provided with clothing, that they continued their journey towards Calcutta.

For some time past a detachment of the 5th Fusiliers occupied a building connected with the Opium Stores in Patna, the rate of sickness and mortality among the men composing it being so great as to equal 90 per cent. of deaths per 100 strength per annum. A visit to the place by Colonel Fenwick and myself revealed the fact that the quarters assigned to them were in all respects unsuited; while, therefore, the remaining portion of the men were withdrawn, their place taken by men of the 10th, steps were taken, and successfully, to avert similar casualties among the latter.

Still there came news of mutiny from stations far apart: from Assam on the one hand, to Ferozepore on the other; while of regiments of the Bombay Presidency, a similar spirit had extended to at least four of their number. Indeed, so general had mutiny become that scarcely a remark was made as the news of some fresh outbreak circulated; but among officers and men of our regiment the desire was loudly expressed to "get fairly at them in the field," little if any account being taken of relative numbers.

At this time my own physical state gave way under the weight of arduous duties; several brother officers also were rendered temporarily incapable of work; but at the earliest possible date we returned to our respective spheres, determined to "put the shoulder to the wheel." The good news reached us that a further defeat had been inflicted upon the Arrah mutineers by Major Eyre. The arrival of reinforcements by ship from England had begun to cause wonder and some consternation among the rebels. For reasons the nature of which did not transpire, certain newspapers were temporarily suppressed. The immediate result of that measure was that private letters took the place of the journals so dealt with; groups of men assembled at the post office on the occasion of morning delivery, news was interchanged, and thus a tolerable knowledge maintained of events in progress at different stations.

From Azimghur came information that there the rebels had been attacked and defeated by the Ghoorka troops of Jung Bahadur.' It was said that a force consisting of 3,000 Cashmere troops, sent by Goolab Singh, was approaching Delhi, in aid of the British, by whom the siege of that city was being vigorously pressed on. Then came news that on September 16 an entrance had been effected by the Cashmere Gate; 125 guns captured, though with a loss to our troops engaged of between forty and fifty officers and 60 men killed and wounded. From Nagpore, that the mutinous 5oth N.J. had been attacked, and to a great extent destroyed by the column advancing from Madras. From the Punjab, that some fifty men of the 10th Cavalry and a number of mutineers of the 55th N.J. had been executed by order of Sir John Lawrence. In contrast with these energetic measures were Proclamations by Government, full of sympathic expressions with regard to "the poor misguided men," as applied to the perpetrators of deeds already alluded to.

A few days passed, and then came information that very stirring events were in progress; that Delhi was completely in the hands of our troops, the king a prisoner, two royal princes shot by the hand of Hodson. The forces under Havelock and Outram had effected an entrance into the Residency of Lucknow, and so "relieved" the besieged garrison of that city. The story of that "relief" was everywhere related with pride. But the fact was deplored that the "relieving" force, as a result of the losses sustained, had itself to add its numbers to the besieged. Among the latter, casualties by shot and disease had, up to the date of "relief" included fifty-seven women and children. On the following Sunday, collections were made in cantonment churches, for the purposes of a fund being raised wherewith to aid sufferers by the present rebellion.

Thereafter news of successes at different points against the rebels came in rapidly. Thus from Delhi a force had gone in pursuit of one party of them; in Central India the 52nd N.J. was broken up by the Madras column; near Sherghotty the Rarnghur Battalion annihilated; in the vicinity of Mirzapore a body of mutineers defeated by a small force comprising the 5th Fusiliers and 17th Madras N.J. At this time the "Pearl" Brigade, under command of Captain Sotheby, arrived at Dinapore; two companies of the ioth, under Major Longden, started towards Benares, there to be ready for emergencies. At intervals disaffection occurred in portions of the 32nd N.J., occupying various positions in neighbouring districts. Now came news that the last fragment of that corps had broken into mutiny and fled; their object to unite with the rebel force beyond the Soane, commanded by Koer Singh.

Information was received that a body of mutineers 4,000 strong, with twelve guns, was in progress from Oude to make an attack on the Treasury at Chupra, and afterwards to threaten our small body of effectives at Dinapore. Then we learned that Rajah Maun Singh, of Gorruckpore, hitherto believed to be "loyal,"—he having given protection to some ladies whose husbands had been murdered by the sepoys, —had joined the rebels with a force of 9,000 men. As a counterpoise to such items, the troops under Colonel Greathead, descending by the Grand Trunk Road, had defeated the sepoys, inflicting heavy loss upon them, subsequently possessing himself of Alighur, together with its guns and stores. A significant indication of the tendency now being assumed by bazaar opinion was that native bankers, who in the first outbreak of the mutiny sent their treasure to Calcutta, are having it brought back to their places of business.

We were at this time in a position to estimate the strength of reinforcements already sent, and in process of being dispatched from England, to re-establish authority in India. These comprised eleven regiments of Light Cavalry; fifty-five battalions of Infantry; four troops of Horse Artillery; eleven companies of Foot Artillery; seven Field Batteries; four companies of Engineers, equal to a total of 87,000 men. With these there were fourteen medical officers, over and above those pertaining to regiments and other bodies.

As each successive body of troops arrived, officers belonging to them were invited to our mess; thus we gathered something in regard to the tenor of opinion in England in reference to events in progress around us. Very different was the impression so conveyed, of views entertained at home, from what under the actual circumstances of the time was to be expected. From the long distance, the sepoy was looked upon as mild and harmless in disposition, but driven to revolt by acts of oppression to which he had been long subjected,—those acts, however, not definitely stated; Sir John Lawrence and General Neil were said to be cruel and otherwise objectionable persons; the policy of "clemency" all that was estimable, and to be desired. The contrast between the views so expressed, and actual occurrences such as have been already mentioned, taking place almost before our very eyes, gave rise to comments, some of them more expressive than sympathetic.

Meanwhile the progress of events went on. A body of mutinous sepoys had found their way from Delhi to Bithoor, the residence of the Nana. There they were attacked by a force sent ifor the purpose from Cawnpore, under the command of Colonel Wilson, their stronghold destroyed, guns, ammunition, and other stores contained in it captured. At Raneegunge the Headquarter portion of the 32nd N.I.' was disarmed by Colonel Burney, their commanding officer, to whom was given up also the treasonable correspondence being carried on by the sepoys belonging to it. At Agra the camp was attacked by a body of rebel cavalry, estimated at 1,500 strong. The picquet of the 9th Lancers, comprising not more than twenty-four troopers, under command of Captain French and Lieutenant Jones, charged and cut its way through them; but in so doing the first-named officer was killed, the second wounded. The station of Chupra in our near vicinity being threatened, the "Pearl" Brigade, under Captain Sotheby, R.N., was ordered by the Civil Commissioner of Patna to proceed for its protection—a new experience for a naval officer to be ordered by a civilian. At our own station reinforcements, comprising a portion of the 82nd Regiment, were a welcome addition to our weak garrison. Particulars were published of the cost in casualties at which the troops under Havelock attained the relief of the Lucknov garrison; namely, sixteen officers killed and forty-five wounded; of soldiers, 400 killed and 700 wounded, equal to nearly one-third of the force engaged. No wonder that in their turn the remnants became part of the besieged garrison.

The party of the 10th already at Benares was held in readiness to enter Oude, and there act as occasion might require against assemblages of mutineers. At Jounpore, a body of rebels were attacked by the Ghoorkas, who severely defeated them, killing or disabling some 250 out of 1,200 of their strength. Some ghastly indications of events in progress were furnished by floating bodies in the Ganges, these being seen during several successive days, as with vultures or other foul birds perched upon and tearing their flesh they were carried past our station. Among them were six white bodies, lashed together by ropes, suggesting the means by which the victims had been destroyed.

By the end of October, Sir Cohn Campbell started from Calcutta to assume direct command of the troops actively engaged against the enemy. Travelling by "dÔk," and having with him an escort of inconsiderable strength, he narrowly escaped capture by the mutineers of the 32nd N.I., who lay in wait in the vicinity of the Soane, his escape being due to the fleetness of his "gharry" horses. After that incident the same party of mutineers doubled back and endeavoured to enter Oude by crossing the Ganges near Patna, but were defeated in their attempt by the armed river steamer Koiadyne.

In bitterly sarcastic terms the policy of "clemency" towards and sympathy expressed for the "misguided" sepoy found utterance after this manner in the Friend of India

"Pity the sorrows of a mild Hindoo, whose tottering steps have brought him to your door,
To murder you he did what man could do, and can you blame him that he did no more?
Ripped from the body of your outraged wife, he tossed your unborn babe upon his pike!
Yearns not your heart to save and sooth the life of one who thirsts again to do the like?
You do not kill the serpent in your path, you do not crush the bug when you have caught him;
And why bear malice 'gainst one who bath but turned on you the arms whose use you've taught him.
Those arms at present I have flung away, finding that somehow we miscalculated.
And that we should have picked a luckier day to glut us with the blood we hated.
And now I stand expectant at your gate, trusting for pardon and fraternal love:
Of serpent wisdom you have shown of late not much; show me the softness of the dove.
And then I promise you, as time shall suit, the rich reward you'll have deserved to share,
The untiring hate of a remorseless brute, the poison of the reptile that you spare."

While Peel's "Shannon" Brigade, so recently with us, was in progress from Allahabad to Cawnpore, it became united to the 53rd and a party of the 93rd Regiments. The combined force was seriously engaged at Futtehpore with a strong body of mutineers, and although successful in defeating them severely, after a conflict of two hours' duration, the victory was at the cost of many lives, among them Colonel Powell, formerly a brother officer in the 57th. The mutineers of the 32nd N.I., unable to cross into Oude, had again taken up a position on the Soane; there they were attacked and defeated by Rattray's Sikhs, though not without severe proportional loss among the latter. The party of the ioth from Benares came in contact with and routed a body of the Oude rebels at Atrowlea. Meanwhile the forces under Sir Cohn Campbell were fighting their way from Cawnpore towards Lucknow.

Martial law had for some time past existed at Dinapore. In accordance with that effective code a Court-Martial was ordered to assemble for the trial of a sepoy of 14th N.I., on the charge of taking part in the massacre of our men at Arrah, as already mentioned. Before that tribunal the man was duly tried; by it convicted and sentenced to suffer death by being blown from a gun. Early in the day following a strong guard of the 10th took charge of the doomed man, to whom, in the usual way, the sentence of the court was read. He was immediately marched to the rear of the barracks, where preparations were complete for carrying into effect the dreadful penalty. His step was firm, though his countenance expressed despair and terror; his hands quivered, lips moved as if in prayer. While being secured in the fatal position, he seemed dazed; the heart-beat reduced to a mere flutter; a bandage tied over his eyes, he faintly said, "Hummara kussoor uahin hye"—it is not my fault. The officiating assistant stood aside, the hand of the Provost Marshal was raised, there was a loud report, and shreds of humanity flew in various directions. A scene to be witnessed only under compunction of circumstances. Mutineer prisoners brought to the station for that purpose had in all cases fair and open trial.

Welcome was the news that-during the night between November 22 and 23 the besieged garrison of Lucknow had been withdrawn therefrom by the force under Sir Cohn Campbell, and was being escorted towards Cawnpore. At the same time accounts reached us of the attack by the Gwalior contingent on the last-named station; of their temporary success by reason of numbers, and of their defeat with heavy loss in men and guns by the Commander-in-Chief. Worn out by fatigue,—for he was physically a delicate man,—General Havelock fell a victim to cholera shortly after reaching the outskirts of Lucknow. In the vicinity of Jounpore a small British force came in contact with the Oude rebels. On that occasion our Ghoorka allies were said to have expressed a wish not to fight any more, and to have shown their reluctance accordingly. Then came information that a large number of ladies and children from those besieged, together with a considerable body of sick and wounded soldiers, had arrived safely at Allahabad from Cawnpore, en route to Calcutta.


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