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Grant of Rothiemurchus
Part I - Biographical Sketch - Chapter IV


THE Sepoy Mutiny, which broke out within a year after the passing of the Widows’ Re-marriage Act, naturally retarded, if it did not completely stop the course of domestic and social legislation. Yet when disturbances were at their worst, and the North-West Provinces had been lost for a season, the Council found time to consider a Bill which, though it did not become law till 1859, did much to protect the tenants and under-tenants from the oppressions and exactions of the Zamindars and Talukdars in Bengal and Behar. This law was, practically, the redemption of the pledges given to the whole body of the tenantry by Lord Cornwallis some sixty years before. The statute has been popularly termed the Magna Charta of the ryot. It did not interfere with the vested rights and privileges of the landholders, while it gave stability and permanence to a very valuable class of agriculturists, to whom are due the clearance of the jungle, the spread of cultivation, and the introduction of the highest kinds of produce. The time of the Council was also devoted to bills arising out of the Mutiny; desertions, offences against the State, courts-martial, and the enrolment of volunteers. Lord Canning also found it necessary himself to preside at one sitting of the Council, and to urge the prompt passing of a law, enabling the Executive Government to deal vigorously with disaffection and disloyalty, and the license of the Press. In all these measures Grant took an active part, and he gave his support to other steps adopted by the Governor-General for the restoration of order and the security of property and life. A detail of these proceedings may be found in the histories of the Mutiny, and in narratives published at the time or afterwards, and they do not come within the scope and object of this chapter.

But the time had now come when an old and familiar adage was to be reversed, and the gown had to give way to the sword. In the hot weather of 1857 the Mutiny burst upon us, as it has been aptly remarked, “like a bolt from the blue,” and put an end, for the time, to a good many projects of legislation and internal reform.

Grant, at the close of this memorable year, was afforded an opportunity of doing service to the State in what was, to him and to many other civilians, a new and unfamiliar field of action.

It is needless to give even a summary of the disastrous events by which, in 1857, we lost district after district. The average reader may be credited with a general knowledge of the evolution of the Mutiny. But it is necessary to show the precise state of things at the beginning of August, the extent of our authority, and the towns and cities which we had managed to coerce and to keep in hand, up to the Doab of Hindostan. August was, indeed, according to the opinion of nearly every one then in India, the most anxious month of an iron time. The massacres of Cawnpore and Futtehghur had taken place. Lucknow had not been relieved. Delhi had not fallen. The English regiments sent out from England were anxiously expected, and were only just beginning to arrive. Mr John Colvin was confined to the Fort of Agra, with thousands of non-combatants and a small force. Whatever civil functions could be discharged in the districts that remained to us at one end of the North-West Provinces, were performed by John Lawrence, Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab. Benares owed its safety to General Neill, and to such energetic civilians as H. C. Tucker, the Commissioner of Division, and F. Gubbins, the Magistrate and Judge. The Fort at Allahabad, at the junction of the Ganges and Jumna rivers, was preserved for us by Havelock and Brasyer’s Sikhs. On the other hand, the neighbouring districts of Azimgurh and Jaunpur had been occupied by mutineers, and the civil officers had retired, not without some loss. All the Doab of Hindostan had returned to chaos. Oudh was swarming with Sepoys and with a rabble eager for plunder. Gorakhpur, a very important district bordering on Nepaul, which, it was hoped, might have been saved by the Gurkhas, had been abandoned; and there were troubles and trials in Behar, Arrah, and Patna; that is to say, below Benares, and even in the peaceful districts of Lower Bengal.

“The condition of the country,” the Governor-General wrote to the President of the Board of Control, “about Allahabad and Benares, where we are recovering our own, but where every man is acting after his own fashion and under no single authority nearer than Calcutta, has made it necessary to put some one in the temporary position of Lieutenant-Governor; all communication between Agra and those districts being indefinitely cut off. There is no man in whose capacity for the task of re-establishing order I have so much confidence in as Mr Grant, and certainly none who will act more in harmony with the military authorities. I have therefore sent Mr Grant there in the character of Lieutenant-Governor of the Central Provinces. He will exercise precisely the powers which Mr Colvin would exercise if the latter were not shut up in Agra, without means of communicating with those parts of his government, and this will continue till Mr Colvin is set free.”

Sir John Kaye, at page 191 of the third volume of his “ History of the Sepoy War,” has made some remarks to the point. The historian, while commenting on the departure to the Upper Provinces of Sir James Outram and Grant, writes of the last named, that—

“His great abilities had not, up to this time, been much tested in situations of exceptional responsibility, demanding from him strenuous action in strange circumstances. But although his antecedents, and to some extent, indeed, his habits, fitted him rather for the performance of sedentary duties, as Secretary or Councillor, there was a fund of latent energy in him, and he was eager for more active employment than could be found for him in Calcutta. When, therefore, the state of affairs in the Upper and Central Provinces was seen to be such as to require closer supervision and more vigorous control than could be exercised in such a conjunction by the existing local authorities, and Lord Canning determined to despatch a trusted officer of high rank with a special commission to the disturbed district beyond the limits of the Lieutenant-Govemorship of Bengal, he found Mr Grant quite prepared to undertake the work at any sacrifice to self, and to proceed at once to the scene of action.”

It was obvious that Lord Canning could not himself leave Calcutta, and the position of public affairs, at this crisis, proved beyond any doubt or question the paramount necessity of retaining for the seat of Government an easy and rapid communication with the seaboard. From this point of view alone the Governor-General can only reside permanently at one of two places— Calcutta or Bombay. It has been thought possible to localise the supreme and central authority at Nasik in the Bombay Presidency, or at Jabalpur in the Central Provinces. Experience has dispelled these illusions. Simla may, of course, like Ecbatana in the Persian Empire, be the summer residence of the Viceroy. But in times of war or rebellion there must be close communication with the coast

Grant left Calcutta by steamer on the 7th August, and assumed what was termed the Government of the Central Provinces at Benares about the last days of August. He remained at the Holy City till the end of December, and then spent a month at Allahabad. Lord Canning, by that time, was enabled to leave the Presidency and to direct the affairs of the North-West Provinces on the spot; so Grant’s Special Commission came to an end, and he returned to his seat in the Supreme Council This brief historical retrospect is a necessary introduction to explain the line taken by Grant in preserving tranquillity, restoring order, and regaining what we had lost; and above all, in keeping up communication on the Grand Trunk Road with Allahabad, as well as with the Lower Provinces. My sources of information, besides Blue Books, Histories, and published papers, are supplied by a volume of demi-official letters which have never been published, and of which copies were carefully taken at the time. It should be noticed that the border line of Grant’s authority was occasionally difficult to define with precision. For instance, Captain Willoughby Osborne, the political agent at Rewah, one of the Bundelkhand States, was under the orders of the Governor-General in the Foreign Department, yet during the weeks that this gallant officer remained at his post, cut off from friends and beleaguered by enemies, open or concealed, the only authority with which he could hold communication was the Government of the Central Provinces.

It was surmised in some quarters that friction was likely to occur between a civilian Lieutenant-Governor and the various military officers in charge of mixed bodies of troops; jealous of interference, and not unnaturally disposed to think that men wearing black coats were rather out of place, and unlikely to give much useful aid or advice. But no such mischief resulted from the course followed by Grant. Though the exact spot where political considerations ended and strategy had to begin, was not easy to hit, Grant kept in touch and harmony with colonels and captains of different views and idiosyncrasies; and no difficulty arose between him and Sir Colin Campbell, the Commander-in-Chief, who, like William III., according to Macaulay, was prone to regard the uncalled-for advice and intrusion of gownsmen with “more than the disgust ordinarily felt by soldiers on such occasions.”

During his progress up the Ganges the steamer touched, besides other stations, at Monghyr, Patna, Dinapur, and Ghazipur; and Grant kept Lord Canning fully informed of everything that occurred, and gave his own views and those of Outram on precautionary measures and apprehended difficulties.

Gunboats manned by sailors might be distributed along the river. The Commander-in-Chief doubted whether Madras Sepoys would be of much use without English troops to lead them. Irregulars accompanying the Commissioner, Mr George Yule, had behaved very well. Gurkhas would not cover more than six miles in a day’s march. The abandonment of Gorakhpur was very unfortunate, and it might have been preserved by three thousand Gurkhas who were available for the duty. An energetic planter who offered his services must, Grant wrote, “be a Government servant” if the offer were accepted, but he could not be allowed to fight for his own hand, like the Gow Chrom in the “Fair Maid of Perth”; and more to the same effect Soon after the arrival at Benares the correspondence took a wider range. To H. C. Tucker, after a forcible seizure of coal, he wrote that if coals were wanted for river steamers, the individual owning them must be paid the full price for the article. If any magistrate was not up to “rough and very difficult work,” he would very soon be replaced by some one who was.

To the same Commissioner he writes for information about the beheading of sixty-eight persons in one village, adding that he will hold the magistrates responsible for all burnings and slaughterings not done in battle. That portions of mutinous strong holds were levelled was all very right, but it was absurd to sow the ground with salt Mr Samuells, the just and energetic Commissioner of Patna, is informed that he will soon have 200 English soldiers, who ought to make the station of Chapra quite secure. Then follow comments on some soldiers of Her Majesty’s fighting 10th Regiment who began by attacking the natives, and ended by pulling a major out of his buggy because, they said, he had spoken ill of their corps. A magistrate was allowed to raise 100 Sowars if he thought that they could be turned into a body of fighting police. One Hingan Khan, a Muhammadan, who had behaved well and deserved much, would be better rewarded by a jagir or rent-free life tenure of land than by a pension in money. If it was right to cut off the sixty-eight heads alluded to in a previous letter, it could hardly be right now to pardon everyone who had still his head on his shoulders. The raising of a new corps of native Christians is deprecated for what appears a very sound reason. On this side of India they were too few in number to be of real military importance, and yet just sufficient to expose us to misconstruction, and to make enlistment in the police unpopular with the ordinary Muhammadan and Hindu. The most absurd and improbable stories were finding credence at that time, and anything like a marked division of creeds was sure to add to the difficulty of division of races. It seemed to Grant the highest policy to raise no new question of religion, because prudent men should beware “ of novelties into which this element enters.” The general rule for the guidance of executive officers was severity and sharpness with the guilty, and mildness and encouragement with the innocent; and in all cases, discrimination. Such a matter as the formal reception of native noblemen and gentlemen was not overlooked when the tide was turning in our favour; and it was suggested to the Commissioner who was to hold the Durbar, that a better political effect would be produced by the reception of two Nepal princes and the Raja of Benares, on two separate days, as loyal friends to Government, than by a general levee at which all and sundry could be present, and which would be sure to raise inconvenient questions of relative precedence and rank. Praise is awarded to an officer who had stuck to a post where his presence was required, and where he might be of use, and who had sent away those whose presence was not required, and who might be incumbrances. In writing to a Political Agent at a small Principality, he conceals his meaning by transliterating his English into the Greek character. This composition might not, perhaps, satisfy a pundit or a Board of Examiners, but it doubtless had the effect of not letting a native know that, just then, not a single English soldier could be spared. One district official, who had been warned that he must look into his Intelligence Department, was consoled by being told that a similar warning had been sent to the Head of a neighbouring district The employment of active and well-paid natives might prevent credence being given to reports which either exaggerated or minimised the numbers of the plunderers and mutineers. The Foreign Secretaryship at that period was filled by Mr G. F. Edmonstone, a man of high character and attainments, who had done some excellent work in the Punjab; and he is told, “ If you give me an order which is meant to look pretty but not to be enforced, then, unless you give me a wink at the same time, we shall both come to grief.” To the Viceroy it is suggested that we should make a good parade of our troops, and not in a mere technical sense. It is necessary that the natives should see English soldiers in masses, and not merely hear about them. “They believe nothing they don’t see. They will not credit the fall of Delhi, and they know that we have come away from Lucknow.” Native folly and incapacity luckily took another direction. A Subahdar or Naik, with dash or daring, might have cut the wires between Allahabad and Benares, and blown up the bridge at the former place; and even though, “ by delays and other causes, we had given,” Grant said, “longodds to the cowardice and folly of our adversaries, it was twenty to one we did not lose in the end.” More than once did Grant, like others at that time, remark on the non-appearance in Oudh and the Doab of any single leader of marked merit. Such a one, with vast numbers of trained Sepoys at his disposal, might have besieged Allahabad, captured Benares, and raided on Behar. But, in this tract at least, there was no fatalis dux,though many a dux turbidus set our Adria in commotion. Koer Sing in Gaya, Tantia Topi, the weaver-artillery-man in Central India, the Rani of Jhansi, and the well-known Maulavi, did show some evidence of strategy, and gave much trouble till they were put down. But the mutiny gave birth neither to a Sivaji nor to a Hyder Ali. The days of “rugging and reiving” had returned. But military native genius, happily, had been crushed out by our rule, though the Sikh, the Gurkha, and the Pathan were and are as ready as ever to follow where the English officer cleared the way.

There are divers remarks and suggestions of a similar kind in the correspondence which went on unceasingly with Commissioners and Magistrates; and in all such matters Grant wrote from a position of distinct and recognised authority. Zeal had to be moderated. Vigorous efforts, apt to extend themselves in a wrong direction, had to be directed towards practical and possible ends. Harmonious co-operation was pointedly enjoined, and occasionally warnings were given to subordinates who neglected their own duties and meddled with operations entrusted to others at a distance. But on the whole, Grant was very well served by the civilians of the North - West Provinces, and I have found no instances of defiance, disobedience of orders, or irreparable mistakes. That in such a crisis, with administration rudely interrupted or at an end, there should be some diversity of opinion, was to be expected, nor did thousands always flee at the rebuke of one man. Still, it was happily remarked by one historian of the Mutiny, that our supremacy in India was justified by the final result We put down the rebellion, because we had a right to be there.

At that period the Punjab was separated from the Lower Provinces by an impassable gulf, and the communications of Lawrence with the Viceroy on several occasions were carried on by the Valley of the Indus, and by Sind and Bombay. Grant had occasion to ask the opinion of John Lawrence as to the best mode of recruiting the native regiments, so as to avoid the previous mistakes which had fostered disloyalty and intrigues. It is almost needless to say that even among military experts, few could be found whose opinions on such a point were more worthy of attention than the Civil Ruler of the Punjab; and as there was a slight difference of opinion between Grant and Lawrence on the recruiting question, it is as well to quote a large portion of Grant’s letter. It shows how cautiously the writer proceeded when discussing such a subject with one whose knowledge of the Punjab was second to none. On the 7th of September Grant had written to Lawrence, informing him that a Sikh of distinction had been appointed Commandant of a police corps for the Central Provinces, modelled on the Punjab Police; and asking if a thousand Sikhs could be sent down from that Province. In this letter Grant hazarded the opinion that mixed corps or regiments, composed, say, of Pathans, Brahmans, and Hindostanis, had been failures, and that what was wanted were corps composed of separate castes. To this Lawrence had sent a reply, drawing attention to three points, which Grant discussed in the following friendly language, in a letter of 30th October:—

“As to , I am sorry that the appointment is not thought wise by you, than whom none know better what is prudent and imprudent in regard to the great Punjab families. It was not suspected in Calcutta that you would have a special objection to the family, if serving away from the frontier. Edmonstone was entirely in favour of the appointment I do not expect that will set the Indus on fire, and he will have less chance with the Ganges. At this distance he could hardly play us a trick if he wished to do so; however this may be, the deed is done. It was impossible to consult you by post beforehand.

“I entirely agree with you as to the necessity of caution, lest we overdo the raising of the Sikhs. After the lesson the Hindostani family has given us, it would be madness to put ourselves in the power of any other military family. But though I think this a very practical question with you in the Punjab, where you have an immense mass of Sikh soldiers collected, it does not seem to me a practical question with us here, where we have hardly any, and where it is only proposed to employ, comparatively, a very small number. Indeed, in the way I look at the question, it should on your principle, in which I fully concur, be a prudent measure of precaution to transfer some of your excessive proportion of Sikhs to this place, and elsewhere, at a great distance, where the proportion of the same class is, and will be, smaller. In these Central Province divisions, viz. Benares, Allahabad, and S£gar, there will certainly be hereafter not less than seven European regiments with European artillery. I think it will be quite safe to have, in the same provinces, three Sikh regiments without artillery. It seems to me that if the number of Sikhs, on the whole, and in every province, are decidedly less than half the number of Europeans (including amongst Sikhs both police and military corps), we shall obtain the high military qualities of that race, as well as that of their hatred of Hindostanis, without running any risk whatever. Indeed, though the sentiment may sound strangely now, I think it possible that occasions may arise when we shall be very glad to have in India some moderate proportion of real soldiers, not Europeans. Unless we commit the old folly of officering these native regiments as if they were Grenadier Guards, such regiments will be, at all times, a real saving, and the great inconvenience of having no native troops is at this moment patent to us. In all this you will not differ. Now as yet, instead of three, I only know of two Sikh corps contemplated here: local police corps and the general military corps, which I understand is to be raised at Allahabad. On reading your list of your Sikh force, I am inclined to think it is already too large, and that it might be gradually reduced. But I do not see why we should not have our share of them here. As to your third point, I am afraid I differ from you, though, after explanation, perhaps you will not think my idea fundamentally different from your own. We both re* nounce the old notion of one mixture, of which the whole army is to be composed. I recommend a variety of sorts, each regiment being composed of one sort of men. You, I infer, recommend all regiments to be of one sort, each to be composed of different sorts of companies, every company being composed of one sort of men. I adhere to my preference, in general, to the principle of different sorts of regiments, but I will not inflict a discussion on you. Only, I will say that if you and I were talking the matter over, I believe we should finish with very little difference of opinion. I am ready to have some sorts of regiments composed of a variety of sorts of companies, though I should prefer it otherwise, because I think the more separate we can keep the several races and classes of soldiers, the less likely we are to have any large portion of our army subject, at one and the same time, to one and the same quasi-mesmeric influence. For my present purpose there can be no objection to having one police corps composed of one class of foreigners. Composed of Sikhs, it will be unique, and cannot be mischievous. I see from a note of poor Colvin, written to George Campbell a month before his death, that he was alive (as I am) to the risk of Punjabi Muhammadans, after being some time in Hindostan, forgetting their Punjabi qualities and becoming mere Muhammadans. Oddly enough, since I received your letter, three Punjabi Muhammadans deserted from the Ludiana Sikhs, and set off to fight for Din (the faith). They had money, but no arms or uniform.

“Then there is the case of a plot at Allahabad, in which Punjabi Muhammadans were concerned with Hindostani Muhammadan conspirators. The end of this is, I should prefer none but Sikhs and Hill Rajputs, and even this mixture I take in the hope of making two regiments of them eventually. After we are supplied with a moderate proportion of Sikhs, we should still have plenty of employment for the other classes you point out; for we must have a considerable proportion of native Irregulars, and we must have organised police forces in considerable number. It is very uphill work, but I am doing all I can in the way of experiment My one rule is to have neither Pandy nor Pandy’s cousins; with that one restriction, I am open to all comers. At Benares, I am raising a small police levy of the middle class, commencing just below akirs, who are Pandys, and troublesome ones. I have about 300, the levy being fixed at 400 and odd; little fellows, and not strong, and not as yet promising, but I am confident that we shall get better men when the people see the thing is really intended. At Fatehpur, we are raising an auxiliary temporary police force of Lodies, chiefly under a rich Lodi Zamindar. Mayne, of Gopiganj, is raising a police force of impure castes. Captain Bruce at Cawnpore has had real success with Sweepers. On the Juanpur frontier we are subsidising friendly Zamindars, each of whom brings a hundred of his own men as an auxiliary fighting police. The pressure for fighting men who are practically available for the protection of life and liberty, not to speak of revenue where military honours are not to be gained, is so extreme, that you need not fear our being over nice. Pray, therefore, as fast as possible, send me 1000 Sikhs and Hill Rajputs for my police corps. If you can send men already trained in your levies it would be a great advantage, and if a bonus will induce such men to come, it will be well bestowed. Can you send me, as a loan or otherwise, two infantry Punjabi levy corps here for present service, and about 400 cavalry? The road will be clear enough.”

This interchange of ideas between two men of widely different experience and administrative training can hardly fail to be interesting. Grant’s views as to the policy to be pursued in keeping open communication, and recovering our lost ground, appear sound and politic. More than once he strongly deprecates every attempt to recapture Stations which had been once lost, unless it was quite certain that they could be permanently held. To re-occupy a town or district with a moderate force, and then to be compelled once more to abandon it, would do more harm than the original loss. The captured station, the plundered treasury, the ruined houses, the chaotic district, might be left till we had force sufficient to set up once more the civil administration, complete, permanent, and stable. Some civilians were for making rapid raids, with a small military force, into the interior of districts bordering on the Grand Trunk Road, to disperse bands of Sepoys or insurgents. The Lieutenant-Governor’s answer was that the primary consideration must be the retention of the high roads for the passage of troops and supplies, and that the dispersion of armed bodies, unless they threatened the line itself, was comparatively of small importance. I have already intimated that Grant was most careful to leave the execution of any plan, suggested and recommended—to the discretion of the officer in command of each detachment, whoever he might be; and how this was effected can only be shown by extracts from the correspondence. To Lord Canning, he ventured, without so much as one word of disapproval of the Commander-in-Chiefs strict and excellent orders against distant and military expeditions, to express an opinion that the force occupying the fort at Allahabad might be quite equal to secure such a position against any force short of an army with siege guns, and also to detach a movable body sufficient to clear the neighbourhood of the fort and town, returning within a fixed number of days and hours. Two hundred and fifty men, Sikhs and Englishmen, might surely, he thought, prevent the intrusion into the district of any adventurer from Oudh who chose to take a number of villages in the Doab and call them his own. And it would be a military as well as a civil disgrace if a set of Peons or orderlies were to cut the communications between Calcutta and Allahabad within sight of the Fort Sir Colin Campbell's orders alluded to were surely never intended to prevent our dispersing such a rabble by a good rush and a well-planned sally. There was a question how to treat some 250 Sepoys who had stuck to their officers when the rest of the regiment had mutinied, but whose loyalty had to some extent given way after a longer trial. Grant writes to Colonel Gordon that such men should not be harshly treated, and that to deprive them of their arms would be contrary to the wishes of Sir James Outram and the Governor-General. Could not these men be sent somewhere out of temptation’s way? And then Grant adds pointedly : “ Clearly, I have no right to interfere.

[It is just as well to describe the system under which the native regiments are now recruited. After the Mutiny there was, not unnaturally, a dislike to have too many Pandys, as they were called, collected together. From information kindly supplied by the authorities of the India Office, the following is the present composition of our Native Army in India.

With a very few exceptions, all the Cavalry of the Indian Army is class squadron : two troops of one class in a regiment of 8 troops. Of the 60 regiments in Bengal only 20 are class company corps. Of 33 regiments in Madras all but one are class company, and so are the whole of 29 regiments in Bombay and 6 in Hyderabad. Thus there are 87 class company regiments of Indian Infantry, and 41 class regiments, and of these 41 regiments 12 are composed of Gurkhas.

Practically, all the Cavalry and Infantry of the Native Army are now organised either as class regiments, or on the class squadron or troop or company system. Most of the Bengal and Panjab Infantry Regiments fall into the former category. The remainder of the Army fall into the latter, with one or two exceptions. Some of the cavalry squadrons are split into halves.]

If I think a regiment with arms dangerous to the peace of the country, I may go a great way in recommending a measure of precaution. But if a military man desires to take a precautionary measure with a military levy, I have no right to interfere, Colonel Otter, a distinguished and very capable officer, had arrived at Allahabad to command the force there, but discovered, to his dismay, that such a command would entail the abandonment of his post as Assistant Adjutant-General. Grant could not take on himself to ask the Commander-in-Chief to allow Colonel Otter to hold both appointments for a few months, but he urges the Viceroy to see if this could not be arranged, as the Military Chief “should be a man with a good head.” Though Sir Colin Campbell did not see his way to adopting the suggestion, Grant hastens to assure him that it was impossible “not to recognise the perfect soundness and wisdom of your Excellency’s conclusions on the larger considerations which you have been so obliging as to point out” Colonel Wroughton, who was to command a combined force of Queen’s soldiers and of Gurkhas from Nepal, under Colonel Pahlwan Sing, is asked to take with him “ three regiments to Jhusa, leaving one at Juanpur,” and he is informed that much importance is attached to clearing off the insurgents, and recovering a part of the Allahabad district up to the Oudh frontier. “You must be aware of the urgent want of troops in advance; nevertheless, the Commander-in-Chief has concluded that to clear off the rabble which threatens our communications is a primary object To make this a complete affair, his Excellency looks for the co-operation of the Gurkhas, and I am confident that no want of exertion on your part and that of Colonel Pahlwan Sing will be wanting. You can tell them that the 93rd are brother-Highlanders. I believe they have brought their kilts.” To Captain, afterwards Sir William Peel, Grant suggests that, as the Gurkhas have two good guns, and a nice little Howitzer, it would be a great favour if sailors or others could be spared to work them, as no real artillery men had come from Nepal. “ I mention this without, in the least, knowing whether it can properly be done. The Gurkhas are extremely brave little fellows, and are great at a rush, when they use their kookeries (knives) in a very ugly manner. They say, however, they are hard to keep in hand. I trust that the opposition Lieutenant-Governor will stand to be made an example of. It is not yet quite cool enough for Gurkhas who are more tender in the sun than seasoned Europeans. They will be knocked up, many of them, on a long day. This I think makes a body of Sikhs, who stand anything, desirable supports to Europeans, but you are the judge of this.” About the Madras Sepoys, the Viceroys is informed that Captain Pinkney, an officer of “ ability and sound sense,” was somewhat doubtful of their fighting powers when opposed to revolted Bengal Sepoys. The best plan would be, to send the Madrassees with some supports of English and others, and guns, through Rewah to the S.igar and Narbada territories, where they could secure the road to Bombay, punish rebellious, and support and encourage loyal chiefs.

The second subject of Captain Pinkney’s letter, Grant tells the Viceroy, is confidential. “I can vouch for the truthfulness and public spirit of the writer. Your Lordship should see what is said of ——. I have always known him for one of the most offensive, quarrelsome, and ill-conditioned men going, but I don’t know anything more about him.”

To Sir W. Mansfield, who was then the Commander-in-Chiefs right-hand man, Grant gives an account of an affair in which the Gurkhas suffered a loss of 12 killed and 49 wounded. “The enemy had many mutineer Sepoys amongst their infantry, and their guns were well served by mutineer artillerymen, who were cut down at their guns. The Gurkhas, never having stood before well-served guns until this occasion, are very sulky, and say they will not fight again unless supported by Europeans. Depend upon it, Sir Colin has no cause to regret the little force he was so considerate as to allot to the frontier. Colonel Longden has not arrived one day too soon. He will march to the frontier to put the Juanpur Gurkhas there into spirits again, and then probably along the frontier to Azamgarh, where another attack is threatened; and I have no doubt the sight of the 10th will efface the recollection of the 12-pounders.”

Colonel Bushe, who was about to leave the station of Ghazipur, is asked if he could not postpone his departure for a few days.

“I presume that your orders are not so peremptory, and that your presence with the Gurkhas is not so pressing as to disable you from a compliance with this request I find that a very uneasy feeling exists at Ghazipur, both among the civil officers and the native population, in regard to the men of your regiment—not, I fancy, with much special reference to the individuals, but with reference to the general body of which they form a part. I find, too, that your ability to keep them to their duty is universally spoken of in the highest terms, and I may say, in confidence, I am told that the reliance which is felt in you by the unmilitary public, whose safety more or less depends on the conduct of your men, will no longer be felt if the command is left to the chapter of accidents.” And in a letter written to the Viceroy at the same time, and on the same subject, Grant goes over the same ground as to the uneasy feeling of the residents of Ghazipur, and says that the incapacity of the officer on whom the command of the station would devolve in the absence of Colonel Bushe was “notorious and unquestionable.” And he then adds that nothing short of the general disarmament of the 65th Native Infantry, “who were supposed to have an eye to the Treasury, would satisfy the reasonable and well-disposed residents, if Colonel Bushe were allowed to leave.Colonel Longden is commended for “his admirable judgment in not having thrown away the lives of the few Europeans” for no adequate result, and for not having gone out of his way to attack some insurgents at Chanda in their own position, considering their strength in men and guns. “ They do us no harm as long as they stay there. It is an object with us to put off time so long as we can keep our own districts from injury. Luckily for us, the enemy, whose object ought to be the reverse, don’t know the value of time to either party.” The policy in all these incidents was not to advance if there were any risk of falling back. Congratulations to Sir Colin Campbell on the final relief of the Lucknow garrison in November are coupled with a hope that Outram would be able to hold his own at the Alumbagh, just outside the city. It is well known that this gallant officer did keep his position in an entrenched camp, until the return of the Commander-in-Chief with an overwhelming force in March 1858.

To a Brigadier he writes that he has provided for the accommodation of a good many wounded men, and that he has ordered a plan of a spring ambulance cart to hold two men, to be sent for his approval and for any suggestions. The cart was to cost 200 rupees, but would effect a saving in the end. Complaints had been made, rather hastily in some quarters, that Civil Government did not promptly follow the establishment of military power at Cawn-pore; and this was so late as the 26th of December. This complaint forced Grant to explain matters to Sir Colin in the following measured but candid language:—

“I hope your Excellency will not think me inconsiderate. I know that your military means are limited, and that until the great wants are supplied the smaller must wait But, in justice to the civil officers, it must be remembered that they have, and can retain at this moment, no fighting police —no man who will stand against insurgents in arms; they can only look for support to the regular troops. Therefore, until there has been a demonstration by a military party, however small, through every part of the district, punishing bad villages, dispersing all parties in arms, and elsewhere supporting the Magistrates in seizing strong criminals and mutineers lying in their own villages, and encouraging the well-affected, nothing really effective in the way of civil reorganisation can be expected of a Magistrate, however able and zealous, in districts which have been so long in the enemy's hands as Cawnpore, Futtehpur, and part of Allahabad. On this frontier of Oudh all is now abundantly secure, thanks to your Excellency's reinforcements. Indeed, for defensive operations, which are all we are concerned with, the force must be admitted to be more than enough. If a regiment is wanted, I am pretty sure that General Franks will be able to spare one.”

And tfien General Franks is offered the services of two or three civilians to assist his soldiers in civil business — “Mr Jenkinson, a very energetic young fellow, who has done great things in getting native Sowars together, Mr F. O. Mayne, an excellent and most active officer who knows every village in that tract,” and one or two others. At the same time, the General is informed that at the end of December 1857, there is still “ an enemy’s picket within three miles of Allahabad, though the mutineers prudently keep the other side of the river.” And at the beginning of the next year a Nawab Nazim, as he styled himself, had “just in homage, treated the Fort to a serenade of an hour and a half.” However, within a week Grant was enabled to inform General Franks of a raid, admirably managed by Brigadier Campbell, in which 300 of the enemy were killed, with, on our side, one man killed and four or five wounded. This was owing entirely to having the Sowars in the first part of the day, and a few horse artillery as cavalry in the last part “ It shows what the effect of a mere handful of cavalry is with these runaway fellows.” By another letter about this date, written to Edmonstone, the Foreign Secretary, General Franks is described as clearly understanding himself and Pahlwan Sing, the Commander of the Gurkhas, to be ostensibly in the same position as Lord Raglan and Marshal Canrobert. Then Jung Bahadur objects to his Gurkhas being on the two flanks in camp and in the field, very much as the Chief of the Macdonalds at Culloden objected to the position assigned to his clan in the army of the Pretender. It would be very easy to give more extracts from this correspondence with military men, but I must close this part of the subject with Grant’s emphatic declaration in a letter to the Viceroy, that “ since his arrival at Benares he had not had the slightest approach to a difference with any military officer, in any position, anywhere.” Grant’s treatment of one other matter at this crisis cannot be passed over. He was anxious about sufficient provision for carriage, transport, and supplies. At an early stage the paramount necessity of feeding and transporting a large force had his constant care. In September 1857 a Commissioner of Division is told to consider means, difficulties, and prospects, and his subordinates are warned against seizing grain and bullock carts by force, instead of paying for them at once. “ This is the way to drive grain into Oudh.” And a few days afterwards Grant, in a letter to Lord Canning, expressed a fear that “ neither the Commissariat nor the civil officers have their eyes open to what is really before them.” “ Within a month or six weeks about ten times the number of Europeans that of late years has ever been at one time in the North-West Provinces, may be expected to pass through this part of the country.” On the question of supplies, he writes to the Commander-in-Chief:—

"I have been long attending to the terribly important business of carriage and supplies for the immense European force thatwill pass this wayin the course of the coming season, a duty which always falls, in practice, on the Civil Department. The result is, that I believe that it will be enough to start in December with a stock of food for man and beast, calculated for two months' supply of 24,000 men. We shall be able to do it as to food and all country articles. Groceries and shop stores are wholly in the hands of the Commissariat I venture to suggest an early looking after this, for, to my mind, it appears as if the stock was nothing at all. For carriage I can promise fully enough for 20,000 men. But then for stores, guns, engineering parks, there will be little left. Yet I think we may expect all that may be wanting to be supplied from the country ahead as it gradually opens, and from the Bengal carriage of such of the troops as must be marched up here. On the whole, since I completed my calculations, I felt easier on this head than I felt before. . . Within the Oudh frontier appearances appeal* to indicate that the Regulars—that is the mutineers and the retainers of the chief men against us—have been recalled into the interior. For the moment the rabble only are left to trouble us.”

The same fears are shown, and the same activity and exertions are enjoined on soldiers and civilians all through the autumn. Eight hundred carts might perhaps suffice for two English regiments, and a few elephants and camels and bullocks might enable such a force to move with a couple of batteries; and at repeated intervals similar warnings are dealt all round. One thousand hackeries (bullock carts) had been supplied at Benares. Does Sir James Outram’s column for the relief of Lucknow procure its own fodder as it moves onward? Can one bullock, elsewhere, be found for every soldier? Will Captain Osborne send carriage as well as sheep from Rewah? The Commander-in-Chief may rely on it that, by December, he will have a stock of food for man and beast, for 24,000 troops, to last two whole months. There would be no use in numbering separately the carts furnished by each district They are all for the use of Government to be paid for under one list, and under one set of numbers. Evidently, this was not the time to multiply the forms, headings, and statistics so precious to the official mind. Sir William Mansfield may be sure of having the number of 2000 carts which had been promised him, and they will be sent on at the rate of 200 a day.

The system of supply thus organised by Grant was maintained after his departure by the Commissioners and District Officers, whose strenuous exertions to meet the wants of the troops pouring along the Grand Trunk Road, to the relief of Lucknow were completely successful. How considerable was the effort this involved will be understood, when it is stated that, in the end, a larger force was under the command of Lord Clyde for the final conquest of Lucknow than what had enabled Lord Hardinge and Lord Gough to drive the Sikh and Akali in headlong rout across the Sutlej ; and four years afterwards was sufficient for Lord Gough to end the second Punjab campaign by the crowning victory of Gujarat In illustration I give the following statistics, kindly furnished me by a military officer of high position and of great experience. In round numbers, Sir Colin had under his command, at the capture of Lucknow in March 1858, 31,000 troops of all sorts—British, Native Army, Naval Brigade (nearly 500), and Nepalese (6000 to 7000) with a total of 164 guns, including in this total, mortars, siege guns, etc. Of the Nepalese troops, some 5000, under Jung Bahadur, did not reach camp till the attack had gone on for four days, was fully developed, and was nigh conclusion.

At Sobraon, Lord Gough’s force was 17,000 strong, with 75 to 80 guns.
At Gujarat he had 25,000 and about 75 guns; rather more than less.

Only one other episode of this trying period remains for notice.

It had been gravely stated in several newspapers published in England, that 150 of the Cawnpore mutineers and rebels, seized by General Neill on his march, had been pardoned and set at liberty by the Lieutenant-Governor; and some English papers went on to say that the same authority had punished with death some English soldiers who had assaulted the mutineers. For this story there was not even the slender foundation which, in troublous times, now and then induces an excited and bewildered community to lend an ear to reports discreditable to the English character and name. Not one mutineer had been captured by General Neill. No one had been pardoned by Grant; nothing of the kind had happened anywhere. Grant had had no correspondence with the General on any one subject; had never criticised any one of his measures; and had never spoken of Neill, alive or dead, but with the admiration for his soldierly qualities which he had always felt The author of this contemptible and mischievous lie was never discovered,, and in India men first heard of it on the arrival of the English mail. History, or pseudo-history, it has often been said, repeats itself at critical periods. The exploded fiction of the Cawnpore mutineers has not prevented slanderous calumnies about our soldiers in the Soudan.

With the preparations for the relief of Lucknow as far as Civil Administration could be of use, the residence at Benares and Allahabad comes to an end. Lord Canning takes up his quarters in the house occupied by the Lieutenant-Governor, which had been made fairly comfortable by an engineer officer. “It is large and comfortable, but will only accommodate two of your staff (four of us live in it, however), so that tents must be pitched for the rest.” The house, it was believed, was the property of some man in Lucknow, probably in rebellion, and would be liable to be confiscated. The agent who received the rent for the absent man had prudently absconded; so with a mixture of judicious policy and equity, the Commissioner was devoting a part of the rent to repairs, and retaining the balance of 120 rupees for the person entitled to the same, if he should ever claim it.


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