COLIN CAMPBELL, Lord Clyde,
is said to have been very fond of children, and, as a natural consequence,
to have had very many little people to love him, and be his friends, in
return. And now, surely, many another who gazes at the kind, anxious-looking
face, the wrinkled brow, the mass of curly hair, which the portrait of this
Scottish warrior shows, will want more and more, as he learns to know the
history of the good and brave deeds that won for Lord Clyde the name of hero
in the battles of the Peninsula, the Crimea, and Indian Mutiny, to be
allowed to count among his friends and admirers too.
The child Colin was not born
a Campbell, for his father, who was by trade a carpenter, was named Macliver.
He married Agnes Campbell, of good Scottish family, and this son of theirs
afterwards took his mother's name. The Maclivers having settled in Glasgow,
here their son Colin the eldest of the family, who had one brother and two
sisters, was born on October 20th, 1792. But very little seems to be told us
of the boyhood of Lord Clyde, though there is little doubt that he was a
steady, plodding Scottish boy, who had his own patience and perseverance to
thank for his future greatness.
His first lessons were
learned at the High School in Glasgow; but he was removed from there at ten
years old, sent to England, and placed, by an uncle on his mother's side,
Colonel John Campbell (who took care of him as a boy), at the Royal Military
and Naval Academy at Gosport. Established in the year 1791 by the Rev. Dr.
William Burney, the academy is still carried on by a younger son, and the
tradition of the school is that while Colin Campbell remained there he spent
his holidays with Dr. and Mrs. Burny.
Many youths who afterwards
distinguished themselves were here with him at school, among others the late
Lord Chelmsford, who entered the navy, and then, fifty years after leaving
Gosport, became Lord Chancellor. Old Gosport scholars were wont to speak
with the greatest pride of Colin Campbell as one of the most distinguished
of their schoolfellows.
He remained at this academy
for five years, and when fifteen and a half entered the army, receiving a
commission on May 26th, 1808, in the 9th Regiment of Foot. It was at this
time that his name became changed, for the Duke of York, supposing "the
boy," as he said, "to be another of the clan," put it down as Colin
Campbell, which name he afterwards always bore.
On both sides of his family
the boy had relations who had distinguished themselves in the army, for his
grandfather Macliver had followed the Pretender in the rising of 1745, and
had lost his property on an island called Islay, in Argyleshire, in
consequence; and many a Campbell relative had carried arms before him.
Five weeks after receiving
his first commission he was promoted to a lieutenancy, and, in the August of
the same year, began to take part in the battle of Vimiera, in Portugal,
where the Duke of Wellington, then Sir Arthur Wellesley, defeated the
At the beginning of the
battle, when Colin Campbell was with the rear company of his battalion, his
captain called him, and, taking the boy's hand, led him to the front and
walked him up and down before the leading company, for several minutes, to
try his nerve and accustom him to fire, for he was then in full view of the
enemy's artillery, which had begun to play upon our troops. Then, letting go
of Colin Campbell's hand, the captain told him to join his company; and his
object had been attained, for, the boy had gained confidence. In later years
General Shadwell tells us (in his most interesting biography of Lord Clyde,
from which many of his sayings and great doings recorded in this volume have
been gathered, and the letters and speeches have been taken) that he said to
him, "It was the greatest kindness that could have been shown me at such a
time, and through life I have felt grateful for it."
After this battle he was
transferred from the 2nd to the 1st Battalion of the 9th Foot, to go to
Spain with Sir John Moore, to help to drive the French from Spanish
It was of the greatest
advantage to Colin Campbell to be gazetted to this regiment, for Sir John
Moore trained his soldiers so very well, and was the institutor of some of
the best maxims of war. His officers bad to learn and share the soldiers'
duties, till, by doing so, they felt more interest in their soldiers, who
also, in return, looked upon them in the light of protectors and friends.
The lad, for he was then
about seventeen, took part in 1809 in the great retreat to Corunna. This
retreat was found to be necessary, as Napoleon was advancing with the very
large army of fifty thousand men, which Sir John Moore felt, with his small
detachment, it would be most unwise to encounter. Colin Campbell used to
tell his friends how he had to march with bare feet some time before he
reached Corunna, because the soles of his boots had quite worn away, and he
had no chance of replacing them; and when he arrived on board ship he could
not take them off, as, through not having been able to do so for so long a
time, the leather had stuck to the flesh of his legs, and he had to soak
them in very hot water to have the leather cut away in strips, which brought
the skin away with it, and all this hardship was aggravated by the march
taking place in cold winter, till many of the men became so exhausted on the
march that numbers died, and others were taken prisoners. It was at the
battle of Corunna, as we know, that Sir John Moore so bravely fell, and the
soldiers of Colin Campbell's regiment had the honour of digging his grave,
and laying the great man to his rest on the ramparts.
In the summer of 1809 Colin
Campbell was unfortunately attacked by a fever, which very often troubled
him during his life, for he and his battalion were sent with the force that
had been told off to attack Antwerp, under the Earl of Chatham, and were
there stationed in such marshy land that very many of this battalion died
there, and the rest had to return that same summer to England.
In 1811 Colin Campbell fought
in the battle of Barossa, which brought him into very favourable notice. The
battles of Tariffa, Taragona, Vittoria, San Sebastian, and Bidassoa
followed, and he took part in them all. At the assault of San Sebastian he
led the storming party, and received two wounds. First he was shot through
the right hip, and tumbled down the steep breach. Rising, and going up the
breach once more, he was shot in the left thigh, and so brave was he that
after the battle Sir Thomas Graham, the general in command, in his despatch
to Lord Wellington, said: "I beg to recommend to your lordship. Lieutenant
Campbell, of the 9th, who led the forlorn hope, and who was severely wounded
in the breach."
The battle of San Sebastian
was on July 25th, 1813, and when, the following September, Colin Campbell's
division marched farther on, his wounds were not healed, so he was left
behind in hospital; but thinking that another engagement was likely to take
place, he and a fellow officer escaped from the hospital without leave, and
with difficulty found their way to their division, and took part in the
action of Bidassoa the next day, where Colin Campbell was once more badly
wounded. Both officers were reproved by Colonel Cameron, their superior
officer, though, on account of their bravery, they were, as we can well
imagine, soon forgiven. But after that battle Colin Campbell did no more
duty with this 9th regiment, because of his wounds, from which he did not
now recover for a long while, and he soon had to go home to England on leave
of absence. In reward for his services he was, however, made. captain,
without purchase, of the 60th regiment, being then twenty-one years of age,
and having served a little over five in the army. He carried with him, we
are told, a letter to the Horse Guards, recommending him as "a most gallant
and meritorious young officer."
Colin Campbell had no private
means of his own, so had only had his small pay as lieutenant upon which to
live, but he always seems to have been most anxious to keep out of debt, and
to have also gone without every luxury that he felt himself unable to
afford, even when the temptation to do otherwise was very great; and so soon
as he received a captain's pay he made his father an allowance of between
£30 and £40 a year. His leave of absence he spent with his uncle, Colonel
Campbell, and now received a pension of £100 a year in consequence of his
wounds; but he still suffered so much from them a year afterwards that when
he then joined his regiment in Nova Scotia he had to come home once more;
and during seven years, from 1819 to 1826, that he spent in the West Indies
as a staff officer, they often gave him trouble, when also from time to time
he was attacked with his old fever. But on the whole he withstood the hot
climate very well, especially as he was five years of the time in unhealthy
Demerara, where, in 1823, he quelled a negro insurrection. He seems to have
had really a strong constitution, and to have been wise enough to take every
proper care to preserve it.
At the end of the year 1825
he became a major by purchase, a friend kindly lending him most of the money
to obtain the commission. Being a major made it necessary for him to give up
his staff appointment, so he returned in 1826 to England, bringing with him
a letter from the Commander-in-Chief which spoke of his services in the West
Indies in the highest terms.
Major Campbell joined the
depot of the 21st Regiment, at Windsor, afterwards going to Portsmouth, and
then to Ireland, with it. In the year 1831, five years later, the major was
very anxious to purchase his lieutenant-colonelcy, and some relations of his
mother's kindly offered to help him to do this, but it was not until the
following year that he was able to make the purchase, and then he could only
obtain an unattached lieutenant-colonelcy, which enforced for some time an
idleness that he did not like at all. Having received his first commission
in 1808, and it being now the year 1832, he had served in the army about
five and twenty years, and was forty years old.
He now went to Germany, where
he determined to spend a quiet time and master the German language. But as
soon as he had made these arrangements he received a letter from a friend,
advising him to return to England, as there seemed to be a prospect of his
being employed in a service in Spain. Always ready to obey a call at a
moment's notice, Colin Campbell went back to England the next evening, but
he was disappointed in obtaining the employment, and seems to have spent a
very weary, anxious time in London, longing for attachment to some regiment,
and active service.
At last the long looked for
appointment came. His first regiment, Sir John Moore's 9th Foot, had been
ordered to India, and he was gazetted to a lieutenant-colonelcy in it; but
although he wrote in his journal, "Gazetted to the lieutenant-colonelcy of
the gallant and good old 9th regiment on 8th May, 1835, in which I had
received my first commission on May 26th, 1808, and in which I served until
promoted to a company in the 6oth regiment on November 9th, 1813," a few
days later, the general, Sir John Cameron, was saying how disappointed he
was to have heard that Campbell, whom he had been so very glad to welcome
back into the 9th, had exchanged into the 98th regiment.
The reason for making the
exchange had been that the 98th had nearly ended her foreign service and
would now remain in England, and after well considering the matter,
Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell decided that it was wiser for him to remain
there and keep his health than go to India, receive much more pay, but in
all probability have a return of the Demerara fever and trouble with his San
Sebastian wounds, if not lose his health altogether.
During the few weeks' leave
of absence that he now had, until the return of his regiment, he again
visited Germany, and upon his return to London - made the acquaintance of
Captain Eyre, of the 98th, who became one of his best and dearest friends.
He had come up from his depot on a visit to the capital, and now gave all
the information he could with regard to his new regiment to Colonel
Campbell, who in the summer of 1837 assumed command of the 98th, which
regiment very soon seems to have begun to profit by the extra good training
that he himself had had in the 9th Foot.
He quickly won both love and
respect from those under his command, for although he was very stern, when
stern discipline was required, he was a most kind and considerate commander,
and made officers and soldiers alike feel proud to serve under him. He
required no punctuality and obedience from the soldier that he did not
enforce from the officer, and none from the officer that he did not practise
himself. He would sympathise, too, with their different occupations, until,
through him, a good feeling spread through all ranks of the regiment, and,
to set an example to his officers to regularly pay their mess expenses, we
hear of his being most frugal and economical himself. Habits of drunkenness
he also tried to put down, and was very careful of the health of his men,
sparing them all unnecessary fatigue.
In General Shadwell's "Life
of Lord Clyde," we read an interesting anecdote to show the discipline and
order perfected in the 98th. During one of its long marches from Hull to
Newcastle, before railroads were introduced, a halt was made one Sunday at
York, where accommodation had been provided at an inn for the troops. Sir
Charles Napier, returning from a tour of inspection in the north, arrived by
the coach, and also went to the same inn for refreshment where Colin
Campbell was billeted (a billet is a ticket directing soldiers where they
are to lodge). Sir Charles asked a bugler at the door if the commanding
officer were inside, and at once introduced himself. He looked at his watch,
and saying that the coach stopped so many minutes for dinner, he asked if it
would be possible to collect the men under arms during that time. Colin
Campbell quickly answered "Yes." The assembly was sounded, the men collected
in front of the inn, and directly after his dinner, Sir Charles Napier
inspected the troops, and as the horses were put to, just as he had finished
the last company, he mounted the box, exclaiming, "That's what I call
inspecting a regiment." This was in the year 1839, and was not only Colin
Campbell's first, but a most satisfactory, introduction to Sir Charles
COMMAND OF THE 98TH REGIMENT.
Two years later Sir Charles
Napier had another opportunity of congratulating this regiment and her
commander, for in May, 1841, before the 98th left Newcastle, he made' the
half-yearly inspection, when the ceremony was a most interesting one, as he
presented them at the same time with their new colours.
"Soldiers of the 98th," he
then said, "it is a proud thing to present 600 British soldiers with those
splendid standards, under which they are to fight the battles of their
country—a country that will bear no baseness, a people that exult in the
achievements of their warriors. These colours, I well know, will never be
abandoned by the 98th. The first colour is that of the Queen, which
represents the honour of the British Crown, and of the navy and army, which
has guarded its glory untarnished and refulgent for a thousand years. As the
Queen's colour represents the general renown of the whole army, so does the
regimental colour represent the immediate and particular glory of the
"Regiments are the real,
constant, and integral parts of which the British army is composed. To these
celebrated battalions has England confided the honour of her arms. Bravely
have they responded to the trust reposed in them, and more so in this, than
in any former age; for never before did they encounter so noble and fierce a
warrior as Napoleon, never before were they led by so great a general as
Wellington. In presenting to you these colours, soldiers, it may not be out
of place to observe that we all enter the British service of our own free
will. We are not slaves forced into the ranks by a despot; we are free men
who enlist from a spirit of enterprise, loyalty, and patriotism.
"We swear before God and man
to be true to our colours, round which we are bound to rally. To break such
a solemn oath is to dissolve the ties of military society. A deserter is a
scoundrel, who betrays his God, his Queen, his country, and his comrades. He
betrays his Creator, because he swears in the presence of the God of truth
to be true, and he is false. He betrays his Queen, because he swears to
stand by his colours, and he abandons them. He betrays his country, because
she pays him, she feeds him, she clothes him, she arms him, and he deserts.
He betrays his comrades, because by desertion he throws that duty upon them
which he has sworn to do himself. Soldiers, it is incumbent upon those
sensible and right-minded men, whom I have the honour to address, to
admonish the young and thoughtless against the disgrace of desertion; I say
'disgrace,' because no honourable man can think without shame and sorrow, of
seeing the British uniform paraded in a felon's jail. That noble red
uniform, so admired by our friends, so dreaded by our enemies! That uniform
.which Wolfe and Abercromby and Moore shed their life's blood to honour!
Shall this be seen herding in a felon's jail? The very thought of it is
disgusting to the heart of a soldier, and I will turn from it to a subject
that is more grateful to my feelings, and speak of the beautiful regiment
which is before me; and in truth I know of nothing which makes a perfect
regiment, that the 98th does not possess. Young and hardy soldiers, steady
and resolute non-commissioned officers, enterprising and honourable
officers, the whole well knowing and well doing their duties; and above all,
because it is the mainspring of the machine, an able and experienced soldier
at your head. When I say this, I pay no vain and empty compliments. It is
not in my disposition to say such things without foundation.
"Of the abilities for command
which your chief possesses, your own magnificent regiment is a proof. Of his
gallantry in action, hear what history says, for I like to read to you of
such deeds, and of such men; it stimulates young soldiers to deeds of
similar daring." Sir Charles Napier then read the account of Colin
Campbell's attempt to mount the breach of San Sebastian on 25th July, 1813.
. . " It was in vain that Colin Campbell, breaking through the tumultuous
crowd with the survivors of his chosen detachment, mounted the ruins. Twice
he ascended, twice he was wounded, and all around him died.' "There,"
continued Sir Charles Napier, "there stands Colin Campbell, and well I know
that should need be, the soldiers of the 98th would follow him as boldly as
did those gallant men of the glorious 9th, who fell fighting around him in
the breaches of San Sebastian.
well-drilled, high-couraged as you are, and led by such a commander as
Lieutenant- Colonel Campbell, I must, and do, feel proud to have the honour
of presenting you with these splendid colours, confident that if the day of
trial comes, and come I think it must, they will be seen waving victoriously
in the smoke of battle, as the 98th forges with fire and steel its onward
course through the combat. War is to be deeply regretted; it is a scourge
and curse upon nations. It falls not so heavily upon soldiers—it is our
calling; but its horrors alight upon the poor, upon the miserable, upon the
unhappy, upon those who feel the expense and the suffering, but have not the
glory. War is detestable, and not to be desired by a nation; but if it
comes, then I will welcome it as the day of glory for the young and gallant
army of England, and among the rest for those brave men who will fight under
the consecrated banners which I have this day the honour of presenting to
the 98th Regiment."
But in the following year
dreadful sickness came to this "beautiful regiment," and one by one her
young and gallant men were swept away even by hundreds. The 98th was ordered
to China, and arriving at Chin-kiang-foo in very hot summer, in thick
European clothing, many were at once struck down by sunstroke, their
commander amongst them, though he happily soon recovered.
Many others were seized with
cholera, till the troopship Belleisle, which had brought them hither, was
soon made into a floating hospital, and the sickness continued to attack the
regiment for a long time.
Every possible care was taken
by Lieutenant- Colonel Campbell of the survivors, but it must have been a
terrible grief to him to watch these splendid, well-trained soldiers, of
whom he had been so justly proud, thus to fall ill and one after another
die. In eighteen months we read that he had lost 432 men. He .suffered on
and off repeatedly also from fever himself, but he never seems to have
lessened his duties, and he was so abstemious and careful in his diet, that
he quickly recovered from his attacks.
After the treaty of peace was
signed between England and China, in August, 1842, at the conclusion of the
Opium war, the small island of Hongkong, at the mouth of the river Canton,
was ceded to the English, and Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell was appointed
Commandant of that island, where he seems to have been a universal favourite
with the English and Chinese residents. He was then made Commander of the
Bath, and in 1843, at which time he had served thirty-five years in the
army, was appointed aide-de-camp to the Queen, with the rank of Colonel.
He obtained permission, when
later on he was, as brigadier of the second class, in command of Chusan, a
healthier part of China, more in the north, thither to remove the 98th from
her unhealthy quarters in Hongkong, which he did early in the year 1845, and
the men very soon felt the benefit of the better climate.
By now Colonel Campbell had
not only made provision for his sister, to whom he was also making a yearly
allowance, but for his father as well, should he die before them; and,
although he often longed for rest and repose, and to save money for that
purpose, yet he never seems to have saved for himself when others could
benefit by his spending; and was glad, against his own inclination, to
remain abroad, so as to add to the comfort of those dependent on him. His
incessant care of and self-denial for others was a beautiful trait in this
great soldier's character.
At some expense he had now at
Chusan a little house fitted up for himself in the cantonment, so as to be
near to the regiment, and while there he wrote in his journal :-"I feel
grateful to the Disposer of all goodness for my good fortune in having been
so much favoured in being sent to Chusan."
Fever and ague every now and
then returning, would bring with them great depression at times, but
notwithstanding this, a spirit of thankfulness was evidently most natural to
On March 5th, 1846, this
entry was in Colonel Campbell's diary:---"Anniversary of Barossa. An old
story—thirty-five years ago. Thank God for all His goodness to me! Although
I have suffered much from ill-health and in many ways, I am still as active
as any Man in the regiment, and quite as able as the youngest to go through
And what about the beloved
98th Regiment by now? This we find—that in 1847 the zeal of her Colonel had
once more brought her to a very faultless condition; and, with reference to
a toast that was proposed for him at mess after an inspection, before he
bade good-bye to the regiment to go to Lahore, there to take command as
brigadier of the second class, Colonel Campbell writes in his journal:-" I
could not speak with indifference, and my manner could not conceal my deep
anxiety respecting a corps in which I had served so long. I begged that, if
their old Colonel had been sometimes anxious and impatient with them, they
would have the kindness to think of their exertions, and the satisfactory
feeling which that recollection would occasion, and to forget the manner and
impatience of one who had no other thought or object in life but to add to
their honour and reputation collectively and individually."
His naturally quick temper
seems often to have been a source of great sorrow to Colin Campbell; but
perhaps the great man shows us his greatness as much in his sorrow for, and
acknowledgment of, this weakness, as in all his brave deeds. "I wish I had
not allowed my temper to beat me," he writes in one part of his journal;
"but I am too old, I fear, to change my bad ways and habits, Sand this heat
of temper has always told against me."
Then, again, we read that he
was in the habit of making entries of "having forgotten himself," and that
on the fly-leaf of one of his diary-books he wrote in French:-"It is very
seldom that what we say in a moment of passion does not cause us regret."
But he must have been very gentle, too, for children to be his especial
pets; and he seems to have been most polite and courteous towards ladies,
and a great favourite with them.
Colonel Campbell had worked
off another load from his mind, for by now he was nearly free from all money
obligations, and to be in any debt seems always to have been a great trouble
to him. Another anxiety, however, befel him. His eyesight for a time became
defective, but with care and medical treatment this trouble passed away.
The Sikhs, or native soldiers
of the Punjab, now threatening to rise against British authority, Colonel
Campbell was soon very busy taking precautions to put them down. He took
active part in October, 1848, in the battle of Ramnuggur, that same battle
in which Major-General Sir Henry Havelock's eldest brother William lost his
life, and then at Chillianwallah, where he himself was wounded again.
An interesting incident is
told of one of these wounds. An enemy had inflicted a wound on Colonel
Campbell's right arm, but he only found out the next morning, when he was
being helped by his junior aide-de-camp to take off his clothes in his tent,
that he had also a bruise under the lowest rib in his right side. After that
a hole was found in the lower pocket of a waistcoat which he had once
promised a lady, who had made it for him, that he would always wear when he
had ague. His aides-de-camp had in fun put a small pocket-pistol in that
pocket in the morning, the handle of which had been smashed to pieces, and
his watch had also been broken by the shot; and the seeming accidental
circumstance of his having worn that waistcoat and carried the pistol in its
pocket had, humanly speaking, saved his life.
Colonel Campbell seems not
only to have been kind and considerate towards people, but towards animals
also, for we are told that after the battle of Chillianwallah he found that
his horse was ill and could not eat, whereupon he had it brought into his
own tent, where it remained for the whole of forty- eight hours, until a
veterinary surgeon could be brought to it. When he arrived he found that the
poor horse had been wounded in the mouth.
But the Colonel still longed
for home and rest, and wrote during these Sikh wars to his sister Alicia,
who was two years younger than himself, in these words:-"If it should please
God to take me through this war, I hope my circumstances will admit of my
return to England in course of another year. I must say, however, that I
never entered action with a lighter and happier heart than upon the recent
occasions, for I had you provided for."
Towards the end of 1849, Sir
Colin Campbell was appointed to the command of Peshawur. Yes, Sir Colin
Campbell now, because, when the Sikh wars ended, for his great services
during them, he was promoted to the second grade of Knight Commander of the
Bath, which gave him the title of Sir. And when Sir Charles Napier wrote to
his friend to congratulate him upon this promotion, he said that "No man had
won it better, and he hoped he would long wear the spurs."
THE CRIMEA AND THRICE HOME TO
SIR COLIN CAMPBELL had a
great love, veneration, and respect for Sir Charles Napier, who was then
Commander-in-Chief of the army in India, and he, on his part, seems quite as
much to have appreciated the merits of Sir Colin Campbell, and once after
the latter had had a rather severe attack of fever, he said that if he were
to vacate the command of Peshawur, there was no one upon whom he could lay
his hands to replace him. But Sir Charles in 1850, to the great grief of his
friend, resigned his command of the forces in India, and was succeeded by
Sir William Gomm, and two years later Sir Colin resigned his command also.
Since he had been at Peshawur
he had deservedly won the esteem and love of all classes, as he had before
won them in Hongkong, and on one occasion, when he dined with a regiment
stationed there, these men, whom he had once led and commanded in the field,
showed him every honour that they could.
He was induced to send in his
resignation of the command of Peshawur, because of displeasure that the
Governor-General had expressed with regard to his movements. The reason he
gave, and a very good one for the step he was taking, was failure of health,
and having now been in active service in India for eleven consecutive years,
it was surely high time that he should pay some attention to that, and his
medical advisers also said that it was urgent that he should leave India as
soon as possible.
Sir Charles Napier, who was
then in England, having read what the Indian papers had, as he evidently
thought, most unjustly written of Sir Colin's conduct, with regard to these
causes of displeasure, sided with him entirely; but it must have seemed hard
to his loving, generous nature, to have been by some so unthankfully
It was March, 1853, when Sir
Colin Campbell, now sixty years of age, arrived in England once more. How
gladly he must have been welcomed by his relations and friends; but as to
the little friends whom he had left behind eleven years ago, surely many of
them must have grown almost out of his recollection, though he is said to
have had so good a memory, that after ever so many years, if he saw a man,
he could tell him his name and in what regiment and rank he had served, so
perhaps he did ntt forget them, and certainly all the children friends, who
had been old enough eleven years ago to remember anybody, would now remember
After Sir Colin's resignation
of Peshawur he was once more senior Lieutenant-Colonel of the 98th Regiment,
but on reaching England he retired on half- pay and visited his friends,
amongst others Sir Charles Napier. A great grief befel Sir Colin Campbell
during that brief holiday, for this dear friend, and former chief, then died
in the August of 1853, when he was one of the mourners at. his grave.
But the holiday of rest,
though yearned for so long, was indeed brief, for early in the following
year (1854) Sir Colin was called upon to go to the Crimea in command of the
Highland Brigade, there, with the allied armies of England, France, and
Turkey, to defend Turkey against the inroads that Russia was making upon
her. His Highland brigade was to consist of the 42nd, 79th, and 93rd
Highlanders, and to form the left wing of the Duke of Cambridge's division.
In July, 1854, he was made a
Major-General, and in the September following, the battle of Alma, the.
first of these Crimean battles, was fought. It took its name from the river
Alma, that had to be crossed before the troops could ascend the heights on
which the Russians had intrenched themselves and secured their batteries;
and at this battle Sir Colin and his Highlanders very greatly distinguished
Having forded the river,
which was already dyed red with the blood of wounded British soldiers, he
led his brigade up the left of the steep heights at four o'clock on the
memorable 20th of September, 1854, the Guards ascending on the right. First
telling his staff not to follow him, Sir Colin called to the 42nd, "Forward,
42nd!" and they, the "Black Watch," went with their leader up the heights to
ascertain the enemy's position. His horse was twice struck while he was
surveying it, but did not appear to be much hurt. The 42nd swiftly climbed
the hill, from the top of which the Russian batteries were described as
"vomiting down fire," and Sir Colin was about to engage against twelve
battalions with only three. The 79th next came following in the rear, when
the chief lifted his hat as a signal for the 93rd to come on too, when they
also rushed up the hill-side, which soon re-echoed with glad, confident
The Guards and Highlanders
dashed forward, crossed bayonets with the Russians, and the latter turned
and fled to the top of the heights, which our troops had not yet reached.
Followed by them, they were soon utterly routed, and galloping off, left
their position. The Guards and the Highlanders were each anxious to be the
first to enter the Russian redoubt, "and," we are told, "the brave old Sir
Colin, far ahead of his men, shouted to them, with heroic emulation, 'We'll
hae none but Highland bonnets here! and the Highlanders "rushed into the
battery like lions." Sir Colin's horse was shot under him, when its rider
instantly mounted the charger of Lieutenant Shadwehl, his aide-de-camp.
Kinglake says, in his "History of the War in the Crimea," "twice wounded
already, but hitherto not much hurt, was now struck by a shot into the
heart. Without a stumble or a plunge, the horse sank down gently to the
earth and was dead."
Most of the Russians had now
fled, those that remained were killed, and at five o'clock that September
evening the allied armies were in possession of, and had taken in three
hours, a strong position, which in the morning the Russians, when they
occupied it, had thought impregnable.
It was a grand, but to the
Russians a terrifying, sight to see Sir Colin's splendid Highlanders
ascending the hill, for they were men of great height, and wore a strange
dress, with large waving plumes hanging from their caps. "We thought," some
of the Russians said, "that we had come to fight men, but we found devils in
Very eager, very impetuous,
as well as very brave, were those men of the Highland Brigade, and Kinglake
tells us how the chief, before the battle began, gave them this warning
:-"Sir Colin," we read, "had spoken to his brigade a few words while they
were still in column, words simple and, for the most part, workmanlike, yet
touched with the fire of warlike sentiment.
"Now, men,' he said, 'you are
going into action. Remember this: whoever is wounded—I don't care what his
rank is—whoever is wounded must lie where he falls till the bandsmen come to
attend to him. No soldiers must go carrying off wounded men. If any soldier
does such a thing, his name shall be stuck up in his parish church. Don't be
in a hurry about firing. Your officers will tell you when it is time to open
fire. Be steady. Keep silence. Fire low. Now, men, the army will watch us;
make me proud of the Highland Brigade.' And," Kinglake adds, "those who know
the old soldier can tell how his voice would falter, the while his features
were kindling," while he said this.
And Sir Colin was proud of
the Highlanders, for we are told by General Shadwehl that in a letter which
their commander wrote after the battle to Colonel Eyre he said :-"Lord
Raglan" (who was Commander-in-Chief in the Crimea) "came up afterwards and
sent for me. When I approached him I observed his eyes to fill and his lips
and countenance to quiver. He gave me a cordial shake of the hand, but he
could not speak. The men cheered very much. I told them I was going to ask
the Commander-in-Chief a great favour: that he would permit me to have the
honour of wearing the Highland bonnet during the rest of the campaign, which
pleased them very much, and so ended my part in the fight of the 20th
"My men behaved nobly. I
never saw troops march to battle with greater sang-froid and order than
those three Highland regiments. Their conduct was very much admired by all
who witnessed their behaviour.
"I write on the ground. I
have neither stool to sit on, nor bed to lie on. I have not had off my
clothes since we landed on the 14th. I am in capital health, for which I
have to be very thankful. Cholera is rife among us, carrying off my fine
fellows of all ranks."
Both Sir Colin and his men
had suffered very much from the summer heat, but as of old, every care that
it was in his power to take of his men seems to have been taken by him now.
And that four-footed friend that he lost was again mentioned by Sir Colin
after the battle of Alma, in a letter to his sister. "His best horse," he
told her, "a noble animal, was shot"; but he added, "and sank at once," as
though pleased to be able to tell her that it did not linger on in pain.
To retain possession of
Balaklava was a most important point in this war, and Sir Colin Campbell now
took charge of the troops in defence of that place. It was a very anxious
time for him, and all day long the men were hard at work putting up, and
strengthening, the defence-works, and through the night keeping watch and
vigil. A few moments at a time only here and there did he snatch a little
sleep, till his troops wondered how, at the age of sixty-two, and after
forty-seven years of service, he could keep up so well. When he did lie down
he seems to have been always the last to do so, and the very first to rise,
on foot or on horseback all the day, commanding, encouraging, or rebuking
his men as occasion might require; and then again at night visiting them
from time to time, and cheering them.
A very strange story is told
us by Kinglake of a diversion that the Highlanders had at Balakiava. It was
after the Turks had fled and left their guns. "They saw," he says, "how the
Turks in flight met a new and terrible foe. There came out from the camp of
the Highland regiments a stalwart and angry Scotch wife, with an uplifted
stick in her hand, and then, if ever in history, the fortunes of Islam waned
low beneath the manifest ascendant of the Cross, for the blows dealt by this
Christian woman fell thick on the backs of the Faithful. She believed, it
seems, that besides being guilty of running away, the Turks meant to pillage
her camp, and the blows she delivered were not mere expressions of scorn,
but actual and fierce punishment. In one instance she laid hold of a
strong-looking, burly Turk, and held him fast until she had beaten him for
some time, and seemingly with great fury." She was known in the regiment by
the name of Kokono, which means lady or madam.
On October 25th the battle of
Balaklava was fought. Infantry usually prepare to meet cavalry by forming
squares, but Sir Colin did not think it worth while thus to receive the
Cossacks (Russian cavalry) at this battle, and arranged his men in an
unbroken even line, which, from the colour of their uniform, was called "The
Thin Red Line."
Before the battle he rode
down it, and said to his soldiers, "Remember, there, is no retreat from
here, men; you must die where you stand," and the men, we are told, cheerily
answered, "Aye, aye, Sir Colin, we'll do that" He also reminded them that he
would be with them. But they had not to fall where they stood, for the
Cossacks, as they advanced to attack the line, were instantly shot down, and
having deviated from the precedent of forming squares to receive the
cavalry, the victory gained at the battle of Balaklava, made this "Thin Red
Line" of Sir Colin's memorable, and a general order after the action on the
25th of October, conveyed this compliment to him and his troops: "The
Commander of the Forces feels deeply indebted to Major-General Sir Colin
Campbell for his able and persevering exertions in front of Balaklava, on
the 25th instant, and has great pleasure in publishing to the army the
brilliant manner in which the 93rd Highlanders, under his able directions,
repulsed the enemy's cavalry."
When the battle of Inkermann
followed, in the first week in November, the Highlanders were still busy at
their defence of Balakiava, and when now heavy rains came down, and a
hurricane and snowstorm followed, for a very little while Sir Colin and his
troops took shelter in a house. But soon he thought that this was too far
off the defence works to be quite safe, so he sought refuge for his men in a
stable nearer to hand, though they often "stood to arms' in all weathers.
The well-being of his troops,
their food supply, in the midst of other deep anxieties, were all matters of
grave consideration to the commander, for whose little word of praise, so
gladly and willingly bestowed, they laboured in return so indefatigably;
and, not only were his own troops a matter of consideration with the
Major-General, but when he saw the Turkish troops overworked in unloading
ordnance stores, he interfered to protect them, obtaining also for them
working pay; and thus he won not only the love and respect of his own brave
Highland regiments, but of their allies, the soldiers of the French and
Turkish regiments too.
The French commander Vinoy
was a very great friend of his, and they would often meet to consult and aid
At last, during the month of
September, Sir Colin consented, for a short time, when heavy work and
anxious thinking and planning, and want of rest were beginning really to
tell upon him, to occupy a little house some hundred and fifty yards from
the battery; but he was so anxious all the time that he could not really
rest there, and would sleep in a tent near to the defence works, when he
would rise very often during the night and visit his guards in the battery.
And meanwhile another anxiety awaited him: the trying winter weather began
to swell the sick-list.
But on the 5th of December,
Sir Colin Campbell really did lie down for the first time for many weeks
with his clothes off; but so unstrung were his nerves, after the many
anxious nights of watching that he had lately spent, that an officer, who
passed the night in the same room with him, told an anecdote of how, in the
middle of it, he jumped up and cried, "Stand to your armsI" The reason for
venturing upon this more comfortable rest was that the Russian infantry had
now retired across the Tchernaya river, first having, as could be seen by
their adversaries, set fire to their huts. Their reasons for so doing were
not known at first, so yet greater precautions had to be taken.
A great compliment was now
paid to Major-General Sir Colin Campbell. General Bentinck, who commanded
the 4th division, had been wounded and was going home to England, and it was
probable that the Duke of Cambridge would leave the army in the Crimea, and
thus create a vacancy in the 1st division, so General Lord Raglan told his
military secretary to offer Sir Colin his choice of the command of the 4th
division at once, or of that of the 1st should the Duke vacate his command.
But Sir Colin, although greatly pleased and flattered at Lord Raglan's
offers, made no choice whatever himself, but just left it to the
Commander-in-Chief to choose whether he should accept either of these
offers, and if so, which, or stay with his Highlanders; as he himself wished
to do that which would be best for the service. So Lord Raglan left him with
the Highlanders at Balakiava; but he was later on appointed to the command
of the 1st division.
A funny story is related of
the vigilance that was kept up at the Balakiava defence-works. General
Canrobert visiting Sir Colin's troops one day, was told that a few nights
before a strange noise was heard, which had caused "a general turn-out,"
but, when the cause of the noise was ascertained, it was found to have been
occasioned by some frogs in the neighbourhood. General Canrobert, as we may
imagine, was very much amused, but the soldiers, who were known to say that
they had learned to sleep with one eye open and one shut, were very much
complimented for the good look-out that they kept.
In June, 1855, another great
sorrow befel Sir Colin Campbell, for the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Raglan,
died. Not only because he had been so good a friend to Sir Colin, who loved
and respected him very greatly, did he so mourn his loss, but Sir Colin felt
also that his death was a grievous calamity to the army in the Crimea and
the cause in which they were engaged. "God pity the army," he had said some
time before, if anything were to occur to take him from us!"
General Simpson was made
Commander-in-Chief in his place, and by other vacancies occurring Sir Colin
Campbell became second in command. For the services that he had already
rendered in this Crimean War, he had been made Knight Commander of the Grand
Cross, or highest order, of the Bath.
Sir Colin's Highlanders were
again so strong in health and numbers that he was hoping he would be sent
with them to make the final assault upon Sebastopol, and he had with General
Cameron, who commanded another division, and also hoped to take part in the
action, been making arrangements as to the plans they had better adopt, when
Lord Panmure, the Minister of War, insulted Sir Colin by offering him a
command of no importance whatever in Malta. He was most justly angry,
feeling sure that it was an underhand way of trying to get rid of him from
the army in the Crimea, which his honest heart resented. Here, he knew that
his services could still be of the utmost value, whereas for no purpose
would it seem did Lord Panmure wish suddenly to send him off the field to
train young soldiers in Malta. General Simpson, the Commander-in-Chief, was
also intending to resign, and it was reported that Sir William Codrington
was to be placed in command over Sir Colin's head, as it were. Sir Colin did
not wish to be Commander-in-Chief, but it was surely a great injustice to
place a man his inferior in rank, in service, and in age thus over him. He
did not, however, remain in the Crimea to see whether this took place.
Although he was full of
humility, always ready to deem himself unworthy of honours, he must have
felt that after his long and faithful service, .it was right and only just
to himself, to resent the unfair way in which he was now being treated; so
resigning his command, he returned to England. After arriving Sir Colin was
told that a letter had been sent to him to the Crimea, which he had crossed
on the road, to inform him that Sir William Codrington was appointed to the
He was now honoured, however,
by being sent for to pay a visit to the Queen herself and the Prince Consort
at Windsor, whose reception of him was so kind and gracious, that every
feeling of anger went away at once; and because her Majesty wished him to
return to the Crimea, his answer to her was that he was ready to return
thither to serve under a corporal if she wished it, and he accordingly went.
As a General Sir Colin landed
for the second time in the Crimea; but peace being soon concluded, he
returned once more to England. Before starting home again we are told that
he assembled his Highlanders and thus affectionately addressed them :-
"Soldiers of the 42nd, 79th,
and 93rd Old Highland Brigade, with whom I have passed the early and
perilous part of this war, I have now to take leave of you. In a few hours I
shall be on board ship, never to see you again as a body. A long farewell! I
am now old and shall not be called to serve any more, and nothing will
remain to me but the memory of my campaigns, and of the enduring, hardy,
generous soldiers with whom I have been associated, whose name and glory
will long be kept alive in the hearts of our countrymen. When you go home,
as you gradually fulfil your term of service, each to his family and his
cottage, you will tell the story of your immortal advance in that victorious
echelon up the heights of the Alma, and of the old Brigadier who led and
loved you so well. Your children, and your children's children, will repeat
the tale to other generations, when only a few lines of history will remain
to record all the enthusiasm and discipline which have borne you so stoutly
to the end of this war. Our native land will never forget the name of the
Highland Brigade, and in some future war that nation will call for another
one to equal this, which it can never surpass. Though I shall be gone, the
thought of you will go with me wherever I may be, and cheer my old age with
a glorious recollection of dangers confronted and hardships endured. A pipe
will never sound near me without carrying me back to those bright days when
I was at your head and wore the bonnet which you gained for me, and the
honourable decorations on my breast, many of which I owe to your conduct.
Brave soldiers, kind comrades, farewell I"
It must have moved these
Highland men much to have listened while their old loved and venerated chief
thus grandly and affectionately spoke to them; but he was not right in
saying that he would never serve again, as great work for him to do was yet
before him, and in command also of some of those same brave men of the 93rd
Scotland was not behind
England in conferring honours on Sir Colin Campbell, when he returned the
second time from the Crimea; for Glasgow, the city of his birth, so proud of
him now, proud that Sir Colin Campbell, who as long as fifty years before
had left his native place, was yet one of her own children, conferred on him
the freedom of the city, and six thousand contributors presented him with a
sword of honour.
THE HIGHEST COMMAND IN INDIA.
SAD but important news now
arrived from India. The outbreak of the dreadful Mutiny was reported, and
also the death of Lord Anson, the Commander-in-Chief, from cholera. The high
post held by the latter, therefore, became vacant, and was offered to Sir
Colin Campbell by Lord Panmure.
It was on Saturday afternoon,
July 11th, 1857, when this offer was made, and, on being asked how soon he
could start for India, Sir Colin replied that evening, if necessary, as he
could purchase what socks, and such-like necessaries, he would need, at
Southampton. That evening he was still required in England, but the very
next day (Sunday) really saw him off, but he had first the honour of once
more waiting upon her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
"Nothing," he wrote in his
journal of July 12th, "could be more gracious or kind than the Queen's whole
manner, and her expressions of approval at my readiness to proceed at once
were pleasant to receive from a sovereign so good and so justly beloved. . .
"Started after dinner for the
station at London Bridge. Never did a man proceed on a mission of duty with
a lighter heart and a feeling of greater humility, yet with a juster sense
of the compliment that had been paid to a mere soldier of fortune like
myself in being named to the highest command in the gift of the Crown.
"My sister had been made
independent—a great comfort to my feelings—and I left England on terms of
friendship with all I cared for in any degree at home. Started at 8.30 p.m.,
bidding adieu to London with a confident hope of returning to England, to
pass a little time with the few friends that may be left to me."
On arriving at Suez Sir Colin
heard more details of the horrible Mutiny, and soon afterwards of the deaths
of Sir Henry Lawrence at Lucknow and of Sir Hugh Wheeler at Cawnpore. All
the native troops at Lucknow, but one regiment, had mutinied and run away.
Sir Henry Lawrence (who was then Resident at Lucknow) had gone out to fight,
but his men had also run away, upset the guns, and he had had to retreat The
guns were lost, including a large howitzer, which the enemy used, and it was
a shell from one of these that killed Sir Henry Lawrence. The garrison
defended themselves very gallantly.
On landing at Calcutta, news
of the awful massacre at Cawnpore reached Sir Colin, and how General
Havelock had retaken the city and had made an advance to the succour of
Sir Patrick Grant, who had,
after Lord Anson's death, until Sir Colin arrived, acted as
Commander-in-Chief, gave him much information with regard to the mutiny,
and, after assuming command of the army, he communicated first with Sir
James Outram, and then with Havelock, writing him the letter which approved
of his movements. A petition from General Havelock for reinforcements then
arrived, another letter was sent to say that they had started, and very soon
afterwards news reached Sir Colin of the magnificent way in which Sir James
Outram had behaved in choosing to waive his superior position and serve
under General Havelock as a volunteer.
Then General Havelock, as we
know, and Sir James Outram, valiantly fought their way through the town and
reached the Residency, but were not strong enough to go back again. The new
troops had to remain besieged with the old garrison, and at the end of
October Sir Colin left Calcutta to proceed to Lucknow, and join, and take
command of, fresh troops to relieve Sir James Outram, General Havelock, and
the rest of the besieged. He meant, if possible, to avoid what he called the
"desperate street fighting so gallantly conducted by General Havelock and
Sir James Outram—the only course open to them;" but, although Sir Colin knew
the urgent need there was for him to reach Lucknow so soon as he could, he
was resolved to make no unwise haste, and to have his plans well laid, and
enough troops at his disposal, before he made the venture.
Part of the journey—that from
Calcutta to Raneegunj—Sir Colin took by rail, and part by carriage-dāk or
post-chaise, and when driving to Benares from Raneegunj he had a narrow
escape of being taken prisoner by a party of the 32nd Native Infantry
mutineers, who almost crossed his path, mounted on many elephants, but
fortunately they did not recognise Sir Colin.
At Allahabad, where Sir Colin
halted, he was glad to receive the news that Sir James Outram thought he
could hold out, if necessary, on further reduced rations, until the end of
November; but still the cries for succour from Lucknow continued to be very
urgent, and everywhere difficulties stared him in the face, one of the
greatest perhaps being that so much of the field artillery was shut up at
At Calcutta Sir Colin
Campbell had been very busy seeing to the pressing forward of the troops,
but when he reached Cawnpore he found that the road thither from Allahabad
was again threatened by rebels; so by leaving Cawnpore he laid it open, as
it were, to a re-capture; yet push on to Lucknow, in spite of all
counter-calls, he felt he must. On November 9th another start was therefore
Sir Colin had told his
Highlanders in the Crimea that their old General would serve no more, and
had bidden them a long farewell. He was in command again, and would yet
serve as gallantly and victoriously as ever, and among the troops, too, from
England, who had come to reinforce him, was the 93rd Highland Brigade; and
it must have been difficult to say, when chief and soldiers met, whether the
commander was more pleased to have them once more to command, or they to be
commanded by him, so much did they honour and love him. Dr. Russell, the
Times correspondent, once said: "The Highlanders are proud of Sir Colin, and
he is proud of them. They look on him as if he belonged to them, like their
bagpipes—a property useful in war."
There was desperate fighting
before the Residency could be reached, for the enemy to be encountered was
numerous, and their position was very good, and the loss to Sir Colin, as
they pushed on, was 45 of his brave officers and 426 of his brave men; but
Malleson tells us that "as the grey-haired veteran of many fights rode at
the head of his army, with his sword drawn, keen was his eye, as when in the
pride of youth he led the stormers of San Sebastian."
As they advanced nearer and
nearer to the Residency the garrison was cheered by hearing the Highland
pipes playing "The Campbells are coming, they come, they come," for those
glad sounds told them that deliverance, so long yearned for, was really
quite near to them at last.
It was midnight on the 19th
of November, when the beleaguered garrison, 600 women and children, and
1,000 sick and wounded, moved out of the Residency without one loss of
woman, of child, or of European or native soldier, in the withdrawal, so
completely was the enemy vanquished.
How glad, how thankful the
gallant old chief must have been; but how well he deserved his success!
However much he might long
for repose, at a moment's notice he was ready to embark on any and every
perilous undertaking, and he never spared himself any pains or trouble, and
overwhelming numbers had no chance against the overwhelming courage of the
leader of the well-disciplined, courageous few.
But in the midst of triumph
and glad deliverance, a great sorrow befel the relievers and relieved. To
the Dil Khoosha the sick and wounded had first been taken, and there, on
November 24th, 1857, one died who had risked his health, his life, his all
for the sake of British India, and British life in India. Major- General Sir
Henry Havelock's death cast a very sad gloom over the little camp.
Leaving Sir James Outram with
a division at the Alumbagh, about five miles from Lucknow, Sir Colin retired
to Cawnpore, where the garrison had been attacked by the mutinied Gwalior
Contingent. Galloping thither, attended by his staff, while the sick and
wounded were left in the rear, in charge of the infantry, with orders to
press on, he was met by an officer who brought bad news from the Cawnpore
garrison, and, chiding the officer for his desponding tone, he spurred on
his horse, and made for the intrenchment. As he entered it he found more of
the Balaklava Highlanders, who, directly they recognised him, shouted
gladly, and these glad Highland cheers were soon re-echoed, as soldier after
soldier learned who stood among them.
Sir Colin reinforced the
garrison, and the Gwahior Contingent was thoroughly beaten; but not yet, for
until, on the 3rd of December, the women, children, and many of the wounded
were sent on via Allahabad to Calcutta under a strong escort, the
Commander-in-Chief did not attempt to strike a blow.
On December 5th the battle of
Cawnpore was fought, and we are told that by the 8th of December Sir Colin
Campbell "had so thoroughly beaten the enemy that he had disposed of 2,500
of them, including the formidable Gwalior Contingent, at a cost of only
ninety-nine casualties amongst the troops he had led to victory." The enemy
had lost thirty-nine out of the forty guns with which they had advanced
against Cawnpore, nineteen of which had been captured by Sir Colin
Campbell's force at the battle of Cawnpore. General Hope Grant, who had ably
seconded him throughout, had captured fifteen of the guns.
Lord Canning was now
Governor-General of India, and had written from Calcutta in most grateful
and flattering terms to thank Sir Colin Campbell for all that he had done
for the relief of the garrison at Lucknow, and he was anxious for him, as
soon as it would be advisable to do so, to lay siege to that city.
HONOURS AND THE PEERAGE.
THE greatest honour that
could come to Sir Colin Campbell in the way of congratulatory letters now
reached him, for the Duke of Cambridge, we are told, sent him a letter from
Queen Victoria, which ran thus :-
"Jan. 19, 1858.
The Queen must give utterance
herself to the feelings of pride and satisfaction with which she has learnt
of the glorious victories which Sir Colin Campbell and the gallant and
heroic troops which he has under his command have obtained over the
mutineers. The manner in which Sir Colin has conducted all these operations,
and his rescue of that devoted band of heroes and heroines at Lucknow (which
brought comfort and relief to so many, many anxious hearts), is beyond all
"The Queen has had many
proofs already of Sir Colin's devotion to his sovereign and his country, and
he has now greatly added to that debt of gratitude which both owe him. But
Sir Colin must bear one reproof from his Queen, and that is, that he exposes
himself too much. His life is most precious, and she entreats that he will
neither put himself where his noble spirit would urge him to be, foremost in
danger, nor fatigue himself so as to injure his health. in this anxious wish
the Prince most earnestly joins, as well as in all the Queen's previous
expressions. That so many gallant and brave and distinguished men, beginning
with one whose name will ever be remembered with pride—viz., General
Havelock—should have died and fallen, is a great grief to the Queen. To all
European as well as native troops, who have fought so nobly and so
gallantly, and amongst whom the Queen is rejoiced to see the 93rd, the Queen
wishes Sir Colin to convey the expressions of her great admiration and
"The Queen cannot conclude
without sending Sir Colin the congratulations and good wishes of our dear
daughter, the Princess Royal, who is in a fortnight to leave her native
land. And now, with the fervent wish that the God of battles may ever attend
and protect Sir Colin and his noble army, the Queen concludes."
His Royal Highness the Duke
of Cambridge also wrote to say that the colonelcy of the 93rd Highlanders
having become vacant, he had recommended the Queen to remove him to the
command of that corps, and added:---"I thought such an arrangement would be
agreeable to yourself, and I know it is the highest compliment that her
Majesty could pay to the 93rd Highlanders, to see their dear old chief at
In a letter from Lady Canning
to Sir Colin, dated February 6th, she said:-" I must tell you of the Queen's
last joyful letter to me, after hearing of your rescue of Lucknow—news which
filled their hearts with joy, and gave them all the happiest Christmas that
ever was. Her letter begins with this, and ends by these words:-'I hope and
trust dear old Sir Colin is not seriously hurt. Say everything, pray, most
flattering and kind to him from us on his success, which is such a
Once more Lucknow was now to
be besieged, and Sir Colin spent much time in preparing for the siege,
ascertaining the position of the enemy, and the works of defence that they
A funny little anecdote is
told by Dr. Russell, who accompanied Sir Colin and his army on their
marches, which shows somewhat the opinion in which the men held their
leader. He relates how he was kept awake one night by a very talkative
picket, near the watch-fire, close to his tent.
"An Irish corporal was
instructing his men in the art of war. 'It all dipinds,' said he, 'on where
you hit yer inimy. Suppose I offered to hit you, Hollman, on the head, ye'd
have yer two hands ready for me, and I would't hurt you a bit; but suppose I
gev you a shtroke in the stomach, bedad I'd do for you. That's what we calls
a vinerable part; and that's the whole art of war to find it out and do it
cane and clever. It's Sir Colin finds out the vinerable part; its their
flanks or their sides he comes down on, and thin they turn their backs in a
minute, for they're 'cute enough to know when they're bate, anyhow; and
sometimes they discovers it afore it happens, the poor craytures.'"
Having collected a large
force once more, Sir Colin now joined Sir James Outram at the Alumbagh, and
It was on the 2nd of March,
1858, that a division of infantry moved upon the Dil Khoosha, soon after
which the palace was taken, then outer works were carried, and the enemy
were gradually beaten from their strongholds. The advance to the Kaiser Bagh
followed, and when on the 13th of March this Kaiser Bagh fell into the
possession of our troops, although much work was still here to be done,
Lucknow was considered to have fallen. The Kaiser Bagh was a citadel of the
rebels, and consisted of many courts and buildings, shut in by several lines
The palaces of Lucknow were
soon afterwards captured; severe fighting took place in obtaining possession
of some, particularly of the Secundar Bagh, which, after a desperate
resistance, was carried by assault, and the garrison were put to the sword,
while the victors cried 'Remember Cawnpore!"
Twenty days from the time
that the recapture of Lucknow began it was accomplished, and the last of the
mutineers were driven from their strongholds. Although 100,000 armed rebels
had now been expelled from the strong positions they had made for
themselves, the British army had suffered on the whole but little loss.
And thus British authority
was, in March, 1858, again established in Lucknow, the capital of Oudh, and
the city gradually became quiet and orderly.
After the fall of Lucknow Sir
Colin Campbell, on April 13th, 1858, sent the following reply to the Queen,
for her gracious letter addressed to him:-
"Sir Colin Campbell presents
his humble duty to the Queen, and ventures to give expression to his deep
feelings of respect and gratitude towards her gracious Majesty. Sir Colin
Campbell has received the Queen's letter, which he will ever preserve as the
greatest mark of honour it is in the power of her Majesty to bestow. He is
happy to be able to assure the Queen that her Majesty's gallant army, to
which he is so much indebted for this great proof of her Majesty's favour,
is in good health and condition, and ready to undergo whatever fatigues the
present service may render necessary. He will not fail to execute the most
gracious commands of her Majesty, and will convey to the army, and more
particularly to the 93rd Regiment, the remembrance of the Queen."
The service to his Queen and
country was not yet ended, and for many months Sir Colin, with his brave
men, was busy in bringing British India again under British control. Summer
came back and still they were marching and fighting, till many a British
soldier in the Indian heat fell dead from sunstroke.
Sir Colin shared their
privations; when they bivouacked at night so did he; he spared himself in
nowise, though now in the year 1858 he was 66 years of age. And, as he rode
on the march, and bore the heat and fatigue of each day, the men marvelled
at his wonderful endurance. Then, when they were inclined to grow weary, he
cheered them with kind, hopeful words, that he knew so well how to speak
In a forced march across the
Ganges to Futtehguhr, crossing a sandy plain, they one day encountered a
wind of hot dust, which nearly blinded them, and the men had to crouch on
the ground on their faces. This was a simoon. Dr. Russell, in telling us of
this misadventure, said, "Presently sitting over his horse's shoulder, with
an air of fatigue, as well he might, came Sir Colin himself, with a few of
his staff. His clothes and face were covered with dust, his eyes were
half-filled with sand, and indeed I scarcely recognised him for a moment,
when he drew up to speak to me. 'Futtehguhr is only four miles away,' said
he; 'we'll be there in an hour and a quarter."
In June the Indian mails
brought back the answers from England to the news there received of the
recapture of Lucknow.
A vote of thanks to Sir Colin
had been carried through both Houses of Parliament, and Lord Derby, the then
Prime Minister, wrote to tell him that to mark the Queen's high sense of his
eminent and brilliant services, he was to be raised to the dignity of a peer
of the United Kingdom, by the title he should see fit to assume.
"I have the highest
gratification," Lord Derby wrote from Downing Street in May, 1858, in being
honoured with the Queen's commands, to signify to you her Majesty's
unqualified approval of the distinguished services which you have rendered
to her Majesty and to the country as Commander-in-Chief of the armies in
India. Sanguine as were the hopes which her Majesty had entertained of the
results which might be expected from your appointment to that high command,
you have more than realised them all;". and then the letter went on to
praise every action of Sir Colin's, and the qualifications which had led to
his great successes, for which he was now to be made a peer.
There was a Lord Campbell in
the House of Peers already, so he chose the name of Clyde, because it was
associated with his birthplace; but he seems at first to have been too
modest to like to receive so great an honour, and we are told that he very
rarely signed the name of "Clyde" in his letters, but generally put "C. C."
or "C. Campbell."
In replying to Lord Derby's
letter, Sir Colin wrote back right loyally, "I beg the great favour of your
lordship to place me at the feet of her Majesty, and to tender the
expression of my profound devotion to the Queen, and of my gratitude for the
extraordinary favour with which her Majesty has been pleased to regard my
At first it was proposed that
he should be "Lord Clyde of Lucknow," but he refused that title, because, he
said, "the baronetcy of the late Sir Henry Ravelock was distinguished in
that manner," and so he became Lord Clyde of Clydesdale. "It might be
unbecoming in me," he added, "to trench, as it were, on the title of that
very distinguished officer."
It was winter again, and yet
war for the re-establishment of British supremacy in India was still being
carried on, and on the 26th of December, 1858, another accident befel the
Commander-in-Chief in battle. The day before the Chief had looked at the
sides, as if he were contemplating a march, but when a staff officer said,
"Oh! sir, remember it is Christmas Day," and he was told that the men's
puddings would be spoilt, he gave them their way, and rested that day. The
accident happened thus, and was at Burgidiah. Lord Clyde's horse, while he
was galloping at full speed to overtake a young officer, who had gone off
with the Horse Artillery guns, putting his foot in a hole, fell, and threw
its rider with great violence on to the ground. Lord Clyde's surgeon was
fortunately near, and dismounting quickly, found him sitting up, but
evidently in great pain, with blood trickling down his face, and unable to
move his right arm. He had hit his head on very hard ground, his right
shoulder was put out, and a rib was broken. All that Lord Clyde himself
seems to have remarked about the accident was how unlucky it was for him to
be disabled in this manner, just as he was on the point of bringing the war
to a conclusion, and, getting up, he walked to the front as though nothing
had happened. Even now he would not give up his work, and still personally
superintended the operations.
From the back of an elephant,
while the battle fasted, Lord Clyde, after his accident, watched and
directed the movements of his troops, and one district after another, that
had been in insurrection, became subjugated, and her armed men, who had
rebelled, succumbed to the power of the British arms.
After a few weeks' rest in
Lucknow, which he was obliged to take, he seems to have to a great extent
recovered from his accident, but later on had so severe a relapse that for a
time he was obliged to remain in bed and have his doctor constantly with
This mishap had prevented the
Commander-in-Chief from writing any letters for some time, but at last he
was glad to be able to write and congratulate Lord Canning upon the Oudh war
having come to an end, and to thank him for the kind anxiety he had shown
with regard to his accident.
The Governor-General had
expressed a wish for Lord Clyde to go to Simla, there to try to regain his
health, but now, when he felt that he could be spared from India, his
longing for England and rest seemed to come back in full force. Home, quiet,
peace, these were what the veteran now yearned for, and he wrote to tell
Lord Canning that he meant soon to write and ask the Duke of Cambridge to
accept his resignation. It was accepted, though the Duke wrote back:-"I
regret the resolve deeply, as I know how important it is to have an able and
distinguished man like yourself at the head of the army in India, and that
it will be indeed difficult to find another officer to replace you; but, at
the same time, I cannot be surprised at your wish after your anxieties and
severe bodily and mental labours, to enjoy some quiet and repose in your
But the quiet and the repose
were pleasures to be still deferred, for hostilities broke out in China,
and, Lord Canning requiring the advice of his Commander-in-Chief with regard
to the expedition thither that was being planned, he remained in India to be
of this further use, and it was June 4th, 1860, before he set sail for
England, to be succeeded in command by Sir Hugh Rose; and on reaching Paris
he heard from the Duke of Cambridge that he had been appointed to the
Colonelcy of the Coldstream regiment of Foot Guards.
LORD CLYDE'S reception in
England was most warm and enthusiastic from all classes. His father had died
at a good old age in the January of the previous year, and, after
establishing his sister in a home of her own, he took chambers for himself
in the Albany.
As though, some thought, to
escape from the great attention that he received, Lord Clyde visited the
Continent, and renewed his intercourse with his friend Vinoy, who had been
made a general for his successes at the Malakoff; and, later, when he had a
house in which to receive them, the French general and his wife paid him a
The freedom of the City of
London was conferred upon Lord Clyde, and he and Sir James Outram, now home
too, had the honour together of being presented with swords at the Mansion
House. Lord Clyde was also raised to the highest military rank—that of Field
After paying a second visit
to France, when he, in the spring of 1861, returned to the Albany he did not
look as well as he had when he left it, and complained of a feeling of
weakness. He would also tell, of a pain in his heart, which was sometimes so
severe that when he was out walking he had to stand still and almost groan
Many a short enjoyable visit
he seems to have paid to his friends General, Mrs. Eyre, and their
children—yes, the children must not be left out, for their society seems to
have been one of the charms that tempted Lord Clyde to visit their home at
Chatham so often, where their father held command.
But even now he does not seem
to have really taken entire rest, for we read of his soon being sent by
military authorities to Prussia, there, at some manoeuvres, to represent the
British service, when he was received by the Prussian Royal Family.
At the beginning of November
in that year he also had the honour of dining at Windsor Castle with the
Queen and Prince Consort, which would have been about a month before the
Prince Consort died. He was now made by her Majesty a Knight of the Star of
There seems even after this
to have been a question raised as to the possibility of his being required
to go to Canada, and once again, though he was feeling weak and ill, he
records, "If asked to go I am quite ready." But his services were not
needed, and he remained in England.
Sometimes he paid one visit,
sometimes another, evidently much attached to his old friends; but, on the
whole, his health was breaking, and the feeling of weakness increasing. In
November, 1862, he took a house in Berkeley Square (No. 10), but only for a
short time was it to be his abode. We read that when he moved into this
house in March, 1863, one of the great pleasures to which he looked forward
was the fact that his friends, General and Mrs. Eyre, would be able to visit
him, and he sent this message to their children, "he had two nice little
iron beds, of the same size and form, put up in the room above the one
destined for their father and mother." So children were to be his guests
there too! But we never hear of these little beds being occupied—and only
too soon of the increased failure of health of the children's would-be kind
Their parents paid him a
visit in May, when he was suffering more or less. For some time he had now
had to be careful of the night air, and to always drive, instead of walk
home from his club of an evening, which he used to like to do; but when they
went back to Chatham, he did not seem to them to be really ill.
Soon after General and Mrs.
Eyre returned from their visit to Chatham, however, the General was
telegraphed for to come back, because Lord Clyde was very ill and wished to
see him. He soon rallied, and General Eyre went home again, when Lord Clyde
himself, the next month (June), suddenly arrived there too. He stayed with
his friends a fortnight, during which time he seemed to be very unwell, his
eyesight also troubling him. After returning to Berkeley Square, for a few
days, he left his new house, once more, and now for the last time went back
He was decidedly worse, and
apparently did not think himself that he had long to live. Since he had been
in England he had been most liberal with the money that he had saved, and
gave it away in thousands of pounds, we hear, the year before; but for
himself he does not seem to have cared for riches, and called money "dross
that he could not take away with him." With the title of Lord Clyde he had
received a pension of £2,000 a year.
We are told by General
Shadwell that now the great soldier "prepared himself in all humility for
the end, and said to the friend at whose house he was dying: 'Mind this,
Eyre, I die at peace with all the world." Also, how he would ask Mrs. Eyre
to pray with him. and to read aloud portions of the Bible and sacred poetry.
At times he would be nervous and excitable, and would then jump up from his
chair if he heard a bugle, and exclaim, "I am ready." He seems to have
suffered a great deal, but when well enough to have loved to be taken for a
drive, or to sit on a chair in the garden.
For rest he had longed in
China, in India, in the Crimea, but had patiently toiled far away while his
work and labours were needed by a Queen and country, and now he seems to
have longed for a more lasting rest than was to be found here on earth, for
General Shadwell relates that once, after suffering great pain, he
exclaimed, "Oh I for the pure air of Heaven, that I might be laid in rest
and peace on the lap of the Almighty."
July 24th came round, and
Lord Clyde was still suffering, but he did not wish to die that day, for the
next was the anniversary of the attack on San Sebastian. He said to General
Eyre, "I should like to live till to-morrow, because it is the anniversary
of San Sebastian, which is perhaps a fitting day for the old soldier to
His memory too, we read,
"would frequently dwell on his faithful Highlanders, and find expression in
terms of gratitude for the trust they had reposed in 'the Chief who loved
them so well," when he would be anxious, too, that they should receive due
reward for their services.
Everybody, more or less, was
now deeply grieved to hear of Lord Clyde's severe illness, and longed for
better accounts, which, however, never came.
The Queen herself had another
letter written to him by Sir Charles Phipps, in which she expresses her
sincere sympathy and anxious hope for his recovery. "You are well aware,"
was added, "of the high appreciation of her Majesty of your invariable and
unbounded devotion to duty, which has rendered your life so glorious and so
valuable to your Queen and country." The letter ends with these words:-
"She prays that a merciful
God may lessen your sufferings and grant you peace."
When about to see his sister
on the 1st of August we are told that he was anxious to take a stimulant,
"to give me strength," he said, "to go down a few steps to meet the old
sister when she comes, that I may embrace her before to-night—before I die;"
and also that their interview was most touching. She remained at Chatham,
and, when she could not be in the sick-room of him who had been so good a
brother to her, but whom she had not strength now to nurse, she watched
But still he lingered on for
days. All through the night of August 13th his sister sat by his side till,
in the early morning, he recognised her, and made her go to bed. That day,
at a few minutes past noon, she was summoned again to his side, when calmly
he passed to his rest, whilst General and Mrs. Eyre and a faithful servant
of his all knelt around him.
Lord Clyde had said that he
wished his funeral to be a very quiet one, so preparations were being made
for him to be buried in Kensal Green Cemetery; but the Government resolved
to pay a national tribute to the memory of this great hero of so many
conquests; so he was buried in Westminster Abbey, on August 22nd, 1863.
A plain stone which marks the
spot where he lies is inscribed with these words:-
Beneath this Stone
Rest the remains of
COLIN CAMPBELL, LORD CLYDE,
Who, by his own Deserts,
Through 50 years of arduous service,
From the earliest battles in the Peninsular War
To the Pacification of India in 1858,
Rose to the Rank of Field Marshal and the Peerage.
He died, lamented
By the Queen, the Army, and the People,
14th August, 1863,
In the 71st year of his age.
Lord Canning and Sir James
Outram lie close beside their friend in Westminster Abbey, both of whose
funerals he had himself attended, that of Sir James Outram in the spring of
that year (1863), and of Lord Canning (who had died on the very day that he
landed in England from India), with Sir James Outram, the previous year.
"Loyal, loving, generous,
self-denying, unflinching in his duty," was this brave old soldier, and when
he passed away from this earth to a well-earned, long-coveted "rest," we may
say truly that in Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde, we lost a hero of whom all his
country may justly feel proud.
Shortly after Lord Clyde had
been laid in his grave these appropriate lines made their appearance in
COLIN CAMPBELL, LORD CLYDE,
Died Friday, August 14th; buried, Saturday,
August 22nd, 1863.
ANOTHER great, gray-headed
To join his brethren on the silent shore!
Another link with a proud past undone!
Another strain of life-long warfare o'er.
Few months have passed since
that gray head we saw
Bending above the vault where Outram slept;
Lingering as if reluctant to withdraw
From that grave-side, where sun-bronzed soldiers wept.
The thought filled many
minds, is he the next
To take his place within the abbey walls?
A gnarled trunk, by many tempests vext,
That bears its honours high, even as it falls.
He is the next! the name that
was a fear
To England's swarthy foes, all India through,
Is now a memory! no more fields will hear
His voice of stern command, that rang so true.
The tartaned ranks he led and
loved, no more
Will spring, like hounds unleashed, at his behest;
No more that eye will watch his soldiers o'er,
As mothers o'er their babes, awake, at rest.
A life of roughest duty, from
When with the boy's down soft upon his chin,
He marched to fight, as others run to play,
Like a young squire his knightly spurs to win.
And well he won them; in the
In foughten field, by trench and leaguered wall,
In the blank rounds of dull routine, that damp
Spirits of common temper more than all.
He trod slow steps but sure;
poor, without friends.
Winning no way, save by his sweat and blood;
Heart-sick too often, when from earned amends
He saw himself swept back by the cold flood.
Against which all must
strive, who strive like him
By merit's patient strength to win the goal,
Till many a swimmer's eye grows glazed and dim,
And closes, ere the tide does shoreward roll.
Stout heart, strong arm, and
constant soul to aid,
He sickened not nor slackened, but swam on;
Though o'er his head thick spread the chilling shade,
And oft, 'twixt seas, both shore and stars seemed gone.
Till the tide turned, and on
the top of flood
The nigh-spent swimmer bore triumphant in,
And honours rained upon him, bought with blood,
And long deferred, but sweeter so to win.
And fame and name and wealth
and rank were heaped
On the gray head that once had held them high;
But weak the arm which that late harvest reaped,
And all a knight's work left him was to die.
Dead! with his honours still
in newest gloss,
Their gold in sorry contrast with his gray,
But by his life, not them, we rate his loss,
And for sweet peace to his brave spirit pray.
No nobler soldier's heart was
Into the silence of a trophied tomb;
There let him sleep—true gold and thrice assayed
By sword and fire and suffering—till the doom!
The Life of Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde
Illustrated by Extracts from his Diary and Correspondence by Lieut-General
Shadwell in two volumes (1881) (pdf)
Volume 1 |