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The 78th Highlanders or Ross-Shire Buffs

On the 10th of June 1857 the 78th Highlanders proceeded to Chinsurah, where arrangements were made for their immediate transit to Benares. The grenadiers and No. 1 company started on the 11th and 12th. On the night of the 13th, at 11 P.M., an order was received by express from Calcutta for the 78th to march immediately to Barrackpoor, and if possible reach that place by daybreak. The regiment marched to Barrackpoor, and after assisting in disarming the native troops, it returned to Chinsurah on the 16th, and the daily departure of detachments to Benares was resumed.

After a short halt at Benares the detachments proceeded to Allahabad, at which place a moveable column was being formed under Brigadier- General Havelock to advance against the mutineers. On arrival at that place it was found that the whole of the country between it and Delhi was in the hands of the insurgents; that Cawnpoor and Lucknow were in a state of siege and a rumour, which eventually proved to be too true, stated that the British garrison of the former place had been induced to surrender, and had been basely massacred.

[The garrison at Cawnpoor, under the command of Sir Hugh Wheeler, was induced to surrender, after a most heroic defence of three weeks, on promise of a safe conduct to Allahabad, and on condition that the force should march out under arms, with 60 rounds of ammunition to every man; that carriages should be provided for the conveyance of the wounded, the women, and the children; and that boats, victualled with a sufficiency of flour, should be in readiness, at the Suttee Chowra Ghat, or landing-place (on the Ganges), which lay about a mile from the British entrenchment. On the morning of the 27th of June 1857 the garrison, numbering, with women and children, nearly 800, was marched down to the landing-place; but before the embarkation was completed, a fire of grape and musketry was opened upon the boats, and a fearful massacre took place. Only 125 women and children were spared from that day’s massacre, and reserved for the more awful butchery of the 15th of July. Upwards of a hundred persons got away in a boat, but only four made good their escape, as within three days the boat was captured by the mutineers and taken back to Cawnpoor, where the sixty male occupants were shot, the women and children being put into custody with the 125 already mentioned.]

On the 7th of July General Havelock advanced from Allahabad with a small force of about 1000 British and a few Sikhs, with six guns, to endeavour to retake Cawnpoor and rescue Lucknow. His force consisted of a light field battery, a portion of the 1st Madras Fusiliers, the 64th Regiment, and 78th Highlanders; of the latter were the grenadiers, Nos. 3, 6, and the light, companies, numbering 305 men, besides 13 officers, under Colonel Walter Hamilton. The heat was intense, and the monsoon having just set in, the rain fell in torrents, rendering the entire country one large morass.

Major Renaud had been sent on with a small force as an advanced guard, and on the 10th General Havelock set out after him, coming up with him at moonlight, after a hard and long march. The united forces continued their march to Khaga, five miles from Futtehpoor, where Havelock commenced to encamp. His force now amounted to about 1400 Europeans and 400 natives, with 8 guns. While the camp was being pitched, the enemy, numbering about 3500, with 12 guns, was observed in the distance bearing down upon a reconnoitering party which had been sent to the front under Colonel Tytler.

Futtehpoor constituted a strong position, and the enemy had already occupied the many advantageous positions, both natural and artificial. Among the rebel force was the 56th Bengal Native Infantry, the regiment which Havelock led on at Maharajpoor.

After the General had disposed his troops the action was soon decided. Captain Maude, pushing on his guns to point-blank range, electrified the enemy with his fire. The Madras Fusiliers gained possession of a hillock on the right, and struggled on through the inundation; the 78th, in extension, wading knee-deep in mud and water, kept up communication with the centre; the 64th gave strength to the centre and left; while on the left the 84th and Sikhs of Ferozepoor pressed back the enemy’s right.

As the British force pressed forward, the rebel guns continued to fall into its hands; the rebels were driven by the skirmishers and columns from every point, one after the other, of which they held possession, into, through, and beyond the town, and were very soon put to a final flight. General Havelock then taking up his position in triumph, halted his weary men to breakfast, having marched 24 miles, and beaten the enemy so completely that all their ammunition, baggage, and guns (11 in number) fell into his hands. The loss on the British side was merely nominal; but the moral effect on the mutineers of this their first reverse was immense.

During the action the heat was excessive, and 12 men died from exposure to the sun and fatigue. Next day General Havelock issued a Field-force Order, highly and justly complimenting the force for its conduct, which he attributed to the fire of British artillery, to English rifles in British hands, to British pluck, "and to the blessing of Almighty God on a most righteous cause."

On the 14th the moveable column recommenced its march, and after dislodging the rebels from a strong position at Aong, pushed on for Pandoo Nuddee, at the bridge of which place the enemy had prepared another strong position. Here, also, by the promptitude and admirable tactics of General Havelock, the rebels were completely routed; both on this occasion and at Aong they left behind them a number of heavy guns and a quantity of ammunition. It was on hearing the intelligence of the defeat of his troops at the Pandoo Nuddee that Nana Sahib put the finishing stroke to the atrocious conduct which has rendered his name an abhorrence to the whole civilized world, and which turned this warfare on the part of theEnglish into "a most righteous cause" indeed. On the 15th of July this diabolical wretch filled up the measure of his iniquities; for it was on hearing that the bridge over the Pandoo Nuddee had been forced and his army driven back, that he ordered the immediate massacre of all the English women and children still in his possession.

Between four in the afternoon of the 15th, and nine in the morning of the 16th of July, 206 persons, mostly women and children of gentle birth, comprising the survivors of the massacre of 27th June and the captured fugitives from Futteghur,—who had been confined for a fortnight in a small building which has since been known in India as the Beebeegur, or House of the Ladies, in England as the House of the Massacre, —were butchered with the most barbarous atrocity, and their bodies thrown into a dry well, situated behind some trees which grew hard by. Just within the doorway, at top of the flight of steps, may be seen the carved pediment which closes the mouth of the well. Around this pediment are carved the words:

Sacred to the perpetual memory of a great
Company of Christian people, chiefly women
and children. XVI. Day of July MDCCCCLVII.

On the pediment has been erected, since our view was taken, an emblematical figure of an angel in front of a tall cross, carved in marble by Baron Marochetti.

At daybreak, on the 16th, Havelock’s column again moved on, the troops being strongly in hope of being able to save the wives and children of the murdered garrison of Cawnpoor, being ignorant of their brutal massacre. After a march of 16 miles the army halted in a mango grove at the village of Maharajpoor, to take refreshment and a slight rest in the shade from the powerful sun, before engaging the Nana, who was strongly posted about two miles off.

The camp and baggage being left here under proper escort, the column again moved at 2 o’clock P.M. The Fusiliers led, followed by two guns; then came the 78th Highlanders, in rear of whom was the central battery under Captain Maude; the 64th and 84th had two guns more in the rear, and the regiment of Ferozepoor closed the column.

Nana Sahib had taken up a strong position at the village of Aherwa, where the grand trunk road joined that which led to Cawnpoor. His entrenchments had cut and rendered impassable both roads, and his heavy guns, seven in number, were disposed along his position, which consisted of a series of villages. Behind these the infantry, consisting of mutinous troops and his own armed followers, numbering in all about 5000, was disposed for defence.

General Havelock resolved to take the position by a flank movement. Accordingly, after a short advance along the road, the column moved off to the right, and circled round the enemy’s left. As soon as the Nana perceived Havelock’s intention, he pushed forward on his left a large body of horse, and opened upon the British column a fire of shot and shell from all his guns.

Havelock’s troops continued their progress until the enemy’s left was entirely turned, and then forming line, the British guns opened fire upon the rebels’ batteries, while the infantry advanced in direct echelon of regiments from the right, covered by a wing of the Fusiliers as skirmishers. "The opportunity had now arrived," wrote General Havelock in his despatch, "for which I have long anxiously waited, of developing the prowess of the 78th Highlanders. Three guns of the enemy were strongly posted behind a lofty hamlet, well entrenched. I directed this regiment to advance, and never have I witnessed conduct more admirable. They were led by Colonel Hamilton, and followed him with surpassing steadiness and gallantry under a heavy fire. As they approached the village they cheered and charged with the bayonet, the pipers sounding the pibroch. Need I add, that the enemy fled, the village was taken, and the guns captured." Until within a few hundred yards of the guns the line advanced in perfect order and quietness, with sloped arms. Here for a few moments they lay down to allow the fierce iron storm to pass over. At the word from the General, "Rise up, advance," they sprang to their feet, and with a cheer rushed upon the battery. General Havelock followed close in behind, and when the regiment was halted in rear of the village, exclaimed, "Well done, 78th, you shall be my own regiment! Another charge like that will win the day."

Having halted here for a few minutes to take breath, the regiment pushed on at the double march to a hamlet about 500 yards distant still held by the enemy, who were quickly dislodged from it. Meanwhile, the 64th and 84th regiments advanced on the left, and captured two guns strongly posted on the enemy’s original right.

Nana Sahib having withdrawn his forces in the direction of Cawnpoor, and taken up a new position in rear of his first, the British infantry now changed line to the front and rear, while the guns were brought up. This was a work of great difficulty, the ground being very heavy and the bullocks worn out with fatigue. About this time the Nana sent some of his numerous cavalry to the British flanks and rear, which did some execution before they were repulsed. The rebel infantry appeared to be in full retreat when a reserve 24-pounder was opened on the Cawnpoor road which caused considerable loss to the British force; and under cover of its fire, at the same time two large bodies of cavalry riding insolently over the plain, and the rebel infantry once more rallied. "The beating of their drums and numerous mounted officers in front announced the definitive struggle of the Nana for his usurped dominion."

But the final crisis approached. The artillery cattle being tired out could not bring up the guns to the assistance of the British, and the Madras Fusiliers, 64th, 78th, and 84th -formed in line were exposed to a heavy fire from the 24-pounder on the road, and from the musketry of the rebel skirmishers. Colonel Hamilton about this time had his horse shot under him by a musket ball. The General now called upon the infantry, who were lying down in line, to rise and make another steady advance. "It was irresistible," he wrote, " the enemy sent round shot into our ranks until we were within 300 yards, and then poured in grape with great precision." The gun was more immediately in front of the 64th, which regiment suffered severely by its fire; but the line advancing steadily upon the gun, at length charged with a cheer and captured it.

The enemy now lost all heart, and after a hurried fire of musketry gave way in total rout. Four of the British guns coming up by the road completed the discomfiture by a heavy cannonade; and as it grew dark the roofless artillery barracks were dimly descried in advance, and it was evident that Cawnpoor was once more in possession of the British.

The entire loss from the action of the day was about 100 killed and wounded—that of the 78th being 3 killed and 16 wounded. Many men also died from the effects of the sun and extreme fatigue, the 78th alone losing 5 men from this cause.

An incident occurred about this time which is worth recording. By some mistake a bugler sounded the "officers’ call" in rear of the 78th. The officers of the regiment immediately assembled near the general—who was standing close by—imagining that he wished to see them. On finding out the mistake, General Havelock addressed them as follows :—" Gentlemen, I am glad of having this opportunity of saying a few words to you which you may repeat to your men. I am now upwards of sixty years old; I have been forty years in the service: I have been engaged in action about seven-and-twenty times; but in the whole of my career I have never seen any regiment behave better, nay more, I have never seen any one behave so well, as the 78th Highlanders this day. I am proud of you, and if ever I have the good luck to be made a major-general, the first thing I shall do, will be to go to the Duke of Cambridge and request that when my turn arrives for the colonelcy of a regiment, I may have the 78th Highlanders. And this, gentlemen, you hear from a man who is not in the habit of saying more than he means. I am not a Highlander, but I wish I was one."

The wounded were now gathered together and cared for, and the tired troops lay down for the night, when a crash that shook the earth woke them; Nana Sahib had blown up the great Cawnpoor magazine and abandoned the place.

The next morning a few troops were sent into the town, which was found to be entirely evacuated. The sight presented by the house of murder, and the well into which were thrown the mangled bodies of upwards of 200 women and children as yet scarcely cold, can never be effaced from the memories of those who witnessed it, and who, though fresh from the horrors of the battle-field, shuddered and wept at the revolting scene.

On the morning of the 17th, the force was joined by the camp and baggage, and encamped on the Cawnpoor parade-ground (where the 78th was last encamped in the year 1799), and on the 18th moved round to the western side of Cawnpoor, where General Havelock issued a stirring general order, his words burning with horror and righteous indignation at what had taken place at Cawnpoor. "Your comrades at Lucknow are in peril," the order said, "Aora is besieged, Delhi still the focus of mutiny and rebellion. . . . Highlanders it was my earnest desire to afford you the opportunity of showing how your predecessors conquered at Maida. You have not degenerated. Assaye was not won by a more silent, compact, and resolute charge than was the village near Jansenvoor on the 16th instant."

On the 20th of July, Brigadier General Neil arrived from Allahabad with 270 men.

Thus reinforced, Havelock began to cross the Ganges; and on the 25th, with his band of 1500, commenced his first march to relieve Lucknow, leaving General Neil to command at Cawnpoor. Though the season was that of the monsoon, and the country in a deluge, the troops took the field without tentage of any kind, getting such shelter as could be afforded by the deserted and ruined hamlets.

The strength of the 78th was 16 officers and 293 men, being the grenadiers, Nos 3, 6, and light companies.

On the 26th, the force moved forward a few miles and took up its quarters at the village of Mungulwar, about six miles from Cawnpoor. On the morning of the 29th, it advanced to meet the rebels, who were stationed in great strength at the town of Oonao, and a small village close in front of it. The houses were surrounded by walled enclosures, every wall being loopholed, and a deep swamp protected the enemy’s right.

The 78th and the 1st Madras Fusiliers, with two guns, began the attack. They drove the enemy from the gardens; but when they approached the village, where every house was loopholed, a destructive fire was opened upon them. From one house in particular the line suffered a heavy musketry fire; Lieutenant Bogle with part of No 3 company was ordered to attack it. He gallantly led on the men through a narrow and strongly defended doorway (the only means of ingress), into a court filled with armed fanatics, but immediately on entering he fell severely wounded, together with nearly all who had entered with him. The defenders were ultimately overcome by shells thrown into the house by the artillery. After an obstinate resistance, the mutineers were driven beyond the town, where they rallied, but were soon put to flight, and their guns taken.

After a halt of three hours the column moved on, and in the afternoon came in sight of Buseerutgunge, where the rebels again made a stand. This town was walled, surrounded by deep ditches, and had been strengthened by earthworks. The gate in front was defended by a round tower, mounting four heavy guns. Behind the town was a wide nullah full of water, crossed by a narrow causeway and bridge.

The troops immediately deployed, the 64th being ordered to turn the town on the left, and penetrate between the bridge and the enemy. The 78th and. the Fusiliers advancing on the front face, carried the earthworks and drove out the enemy, capturing their guns. It was now 6 P.M., and too dark, without cavalry, to pursue the enemy through the swamps beyond the causeway, over which the rebels succeeded in escaping.

These, two actions had cost the little force 12 killed and 76 wounded, and cholera had, moreover, broken out. To send the sick and wounded, numbering nearly 300, back to Cawnpoor would have required an escort which could not be spared, and Lucknow was still 36 miles away. Without reinforcements General Havelock found the relief impossible, he therefore fell back to Mungulwar, which he reached on the morning of the 31st. Here he remained entrenched awaiting reinforcements from Cawnpoor, whither all the sick and wounded were sent.

Brigadier-General Neil having thrown up a strong entrenchment at Cawnpoor, sent over all the men whom he could spare to Havelock, who, with his force thus again increased to about 1400 men, commenced on the 4th of August his second march to relieve Lucknow. The enemy were found on the following day occupying their old position at Buseerutgunge. They were driven from the town in confusion and with severe loss, by Maude’s battery, the 78th, and the Sikhs, and also from a position which they had taken up across the nullah. Their loss was supposed to be about 300, that of the British being 2 killed and 23 wounded; Colonel Hamilton’s charger was killed under him.

The British force being again diminished by sickness and the sword, General Havelock was compelled to retire upon his old position at Mungulwar. It was the only course he could pursue, as to advance to Lucknow with the small force at his command was to court annihilation, and as a consequence the certain destruction of the British garrison at Lucknow. Preparations were therefore made to recross the river to Cawnpoor, which was now threatened on all sides by the Dinapoor mutineers, the Gwalior contingent, and Nana Sahib at Bithoor. Perceiving Havelock’s intention a large force of the enemy assembled at Oonao, with the design of attacking the British position at Mungulwar, or of annoying the force during its passage of the Ganges. To obviate this the general moved out to meet the mutineers in the morning of the 11th of August, after sending his force, now reduced to about 1000 men, and all his baggage and stores across the river. On Havelock’s force reaching Oonao, the enemy’s advanced posts fell back, and it bivouacked during the night near the town.

On advancing the next day (July 29th) the enemy were descried drawn up at the village of Boorbeek Chowkey, about a mile from Buseerutgunge. Their centre rested on the village, and their guns were conveniently placed behind a series of high mounds, forming strong natural defences, which they had scarped and otherwise artificially improved. The British troops deployed, and, covered by artillery fire and skirmishers, advanced in direct echelon of battalions from the right, receiving, as they came within range of the enemy’s batteries, a deadly fire of shell, grape, and round shot, which was aimed with greater precision than had hitherto been manifested by their artillerymen anywhere. The British guns on the right having sufficiently advanced to get a flanking fire on the enemy’s line, the 78th charged a battery of three guns on the enemy’s left, captured two of the guns, and turning them on the retreating hosts, pounded them with their own shell and grape, putting them completely to rout. At the same time the Madras Fusiliers repulsed a strong demonstration made by the enemy’s cavalry on the right. The loss of the British in the action was 140 killed and wounded.

Having rested for two hours on the field, the column slowly retired to Mungulwar, and on the following morning, August 13th, recrossed the Ganges to Cawnpoor, having been in the field, in an Indian monsoon, without tents, for twenty-three days, during which it had four times met and defeated the enemy.

In these four engagements the 78th lost 6 men killed and 2 officers, Lieutenant and Adjutant Macpherson and Lieutenant Bogle, and 6 men wounded. To Lieutenant Crowe of the 78th the Victoria Cross was subsequently awarded, as having been the first man to enter the battery at Boorbeek Chowkey, where the two guns were captured.

The regiment was joined at Cawnpoor by Colonel Stisted, Captain Archer, and No. 4 Company.

Early on the morning of the 16th of August the movable column marched against Bithoor, the residence of Nana Sahib, about 14 miles from Cawnpoor. About noon the column came in sight of the enemy, numbering in all, infantry and cavalry, about 4000, strongly posted. General Havelock called it "one of the strongest positions in India." The plain in front of the enemy’s position was covered with thick sugar-cane plantations, which reached high above the heads of the men, and their batteries were defended by thick ramparts flanked by entrenched quadrangles. The whole position was again flanked by other villages and comprehended the town of Bithoor.

The enemy having opened upon the advancing British force a continued shower of shot and shell, and as the British guns made no impression upon them, it was resolved to have recourse to the bayonet, and a simultaneous advance of the line was ordered. While the Fusiliers moved upon the flanking villages, the 78th advanced upon the batteries, alternately lying down and moving on, as the volleys of grape issued from the enemy’s guns. The rebels awaited the approach of the advancing men until the foremost entered the works, when they fled in confusion. The British troops pursued the enemy into and through the town, but being completely knocked up by exposure to the fierce sun, and by the great fatigue they had undergone, could follow the retreating rebels no further, and bivouacked on the ground they had won.

The 78th had in this affair only Captain Mackenzie and 10 men wounded, though several men died of cholera, which had again broken out.

The next morning the force returned to Cawnpoor, and took up a position on the plain of Subada, where General Havelock issued a commendatory and stirring note, in which he told the small force that it "would be acknowledged to have been the prop and stay of British India in the time of her severest trial."

During the next month the force rested at Cawnpoor, while reinforcements gradually arrived. Immediately on crossing the Ganges cholera broke out, and carried off a.great number of the little band. The headquarters of the 78th lost from this cause alone 1 officer, Captain Campbell, and 43 men. The strength of the regiment was still further reduced by the departure of 1 officer and 56 men, sick and wounded, to Allahabad. At the end of the month, however, the five companies that had been left behind, and the detachment that came from Chinsurah by the steamer route, joined headquarters from Allahabad

In the middle of September the regiment was supplied with Enfield rifles, but there was little time left for giving the men any instruction in the use of that weapon.

The force despatched from England to assist in the Chinese war (the 23rd, 82nd, 90th, and 93rd Regiments) had been stopped at Singapore and brought to Calcutta. The 37th Regiment also arrived from Ceylon, and the 5th from Mauritius. Of these regiments, the 5th and 90th were immediately on arrival sent up the country, and reached Cawnpoor in the beginning of September. Sir James Outram also arrived at this time, having been appointed to the military command of the Cawnpoor and Dinapqor divisions.

A. bridge of boats was thrown across the Ganges, and every preparation made for another attempt to relieve Lucknow, the garrison of which was still successfully and heroically holding out. On the 16th of September, Sir James Outram issued a division order, in which he generously resigned to Major-General Havelock the honour of leading on the force intended to make a second attempt to relieve Lucknow. This Sir James did "in gratitude for, and in admiration of the brilliant deeds in arms achieved by General Havelock and his gallant troops." Sir James was to accompany the force as a volunteer, and on the relief of Lucknow would resume his position at the head of the forces.

The army of relief was divided into two brigades of infantry and one of artillery, as follows :—First brigade of infantry, under Brigadier-General Neill, consisted of the 5th Fusiliers, 84th Regiment, 1st Madras Fusiliers, and 100 men of the 64th Regiment. Second brigade of infantry, under Colonel Walter Hamilton of the 78th, consisted of the 78th Highlanders under Colonel Stisted, 90th light infantry, and the Sikh regiment of Ferozepoor. The Artillery brigade, under Major Cooper, B.A., consisted of the batteries of Captain Maude, Captain Olphert, and Brevet-Major Eyre. The volunteer cavalry, a few irregulars, under Captain Barrow, and a small body of Engineers, accompanied the forces. The entire force was under the command of Brigadier-General Havelock, accompanied, as we have stated, by Major-General Outram as a volunteer.

The entrenchment at Cawnpoor having been completed was garrisoned by the 64th regiment under Colonel Wilson.

On the 18th of September an advance party, consisting of No. 8 and the Light Company of the 78th, the Sikh regiment, and four guns under Major M’Intyre of the 78th, was pushed across the river to form a téte-de-pont to enable the bridge to be completed on the enemy’s side of the river. The men were exposed during the day to a skirmishing fire from the enemy, who also opened a few guns upon them from a distance, but with little effect. During the day these companies were relieved by Nos. 6 and 7 of the 78th, and Major Haliburton took command of the advanced party. Before daybreak on the 19th, this party, which was stationed all night on a dry sandbank in the middle of the Ganges, pushed quietly across the intervening islands to the mainland, in order to cover the advance of the force, which crossed with little opposition, the rebel army, after a slight show of resistance, retiring on their entrenched position about three miles off, towards Munguiwar.

The strength of the force amounted to about 3000, that of the 78th being 26 officers and 523 men; Colonel Walter Hamilton being Brigadier, Colonel Stisted commanded the

regiment. On the morning of September 21st, the advance on Lucknow commenced, and the enemy’s position was soon reached near Mungulwar, which for some weeks they had been busily employed in fortifying. The position, however, was soon carried, the enemy rapidly pursued, and many of them cut up by the British cavalry; four guns and a colour were captured. The British loss was merely nominal.

Rain now commenced to pour in monsoon torrents, and hardly ceased for three days. Through it the force pushed in column of route over the well-known scenes of their former struggles, by Buseerutgunge and the village of Bunnee, when, about 2 o’clock in the afternoon of the 23rd, the enemy were descried in a strong position in the neighbourhood of Lucknow. The head of the column at first suffered from the fire of the enemy’s guns as it was compelled to pass along the trunk road between morasses ; but these passed, the force quickly deployed into line, and the 2nd brigade advancing through a sheet of water drove back the right of the mutinous army, while the 1st Brigade attacked it in front. Victory soon declared for the British force, which captured five guns. The enemy’s cavalry, however, 1500 strong, creeping through lofty cultivation, made a sudden irruption on the baggage in the rear of the relieving force, inflicting some loss on the detachment of the 90th that was guarding it. In this engagement the 78th lost 1 man killed and 6 wounded.

The British passed the night of the 23rd on the ground they had won, exposed, however, to a cannonade from the enemy’s guns. On the morning of the 24th, their fire inflicted such loss on the British force, especially the 78th, which had 4 men killed and 11 wounded by it, that the General, having determined to halt this day to obtain rest previous to the attack on the city, found it necessary to retire the left brigade out of reach of the guns.

The 24th was spent in removing all the baggage and tents, camp-followers, sick and wounded, into the Alum Bagh, which, on the advance being made next day, was left in charge of Major M’Intyre of the 78th, with a detachment of 280 Europeans, some Sikhs, and 4 guns. Of these, Major M’Intyre, Lieutenant Walsh, and 71 non-commissioned officers and men, besides 34 sick and wounded, belonged to the 78th.

A short description of the desperate position of those whom Havelock hoped to rescue may not be out of place here.

In the month of June (1857), most of the native regiments at Lucknow, as elsewhere, having broken out into open mutiny, the Residency and a strong fort in the city called Muchee Bhorwan, were put in a state of defence for the protection of the Europeans. On the 30th of June, the garrison, consisting of 300 of H.M.’s 32nd Regiment, and a few Native infantry, cavalry, and artillery, marched out to Chinhut to meet a rebel army which was marching upon Lucknow; but the native gunners proved traitors, overturned the guns, cut the traces, and then deserted to the enemy. The remainder of the force thus exposed to a vastly superior fire, and completely outflanked, was compelled to make a disastrous retreat, with the loss of 3 guns and a great number killed and wounded.

The force being thus diminished the Muchee Bhorwan had to be evacuated. On the night of the 1st of July it was blown up, and the troops marched into the Residency, the investment of which the enemy now completed; and for three months the brave garrison had to undergo a siege regarding which the Governor-General of India justly writes, "There does not stand in the annals of war an achievement more truly heroic than the defence of the Residency of Lucknow."

This brave handful had heard through spies of the frightful tragedy of Cawnpoor; the dangers multiplied; the provisions were failing; more than 300 of the men had been killed, and many more had succumbed to disease, when the joyful sound of the British guns at the Alum Bagh, on the 23d of September, announced to them that relief was at hand.

And now came the rescue. On the morning of the 25th of September, General Havelock’s force advanced from the Alum Bagh.

The enemy had taken up an exceedingly strong position at the village of Char Bagh, on the city side of the canal, the bridge over which was defended by several guns in position; they also occupied in force numerous gardens and walled enclosures on one side of the canal, from which they poured a most destructive musketry fire on the advancing troops.

The 1st brigade led, accompanied by Captain Maude’s battery, and after a desperate resistance, in which one-third of the British artillerymen fell, they succeeded in storming the bridge of Char Bagh and capturing the guns, supported by the 2nd brigade, which now moved to the front, and occupying the houses on both sides of the street, bayoneted the defenders, throwing the slain in heaps on the roadside.

From this point the direct road to the Residency through the city was something less than two miles; but it was known to have been cut by trenches and crossed by barricades at short intervals, all the houses, moreover, being loopholed. Progress in this direction was impossible; so, the 78th Highlanders being left to hold the position until the entire force, with ammunition, stores, &c., had passed, the united column pushed on, detouring to the right along a narrow road which skirted the left bank of the canal. The advance was not seriously impeded until the force came opposite the Kaiser Bagh, or King’s Palace, where two guns and a body of mercenary troops were entrenched, who opened a heavy fire of grape and musketry. The artillery with the column had to pass a bridge exposed to this fire, but they were then shrouded by the buildings adjacent to the palace of the Furrah Buksh.

In the meantime the 78th was engaged in a hot conflict. As soon as the enemy perceived the deviation made by the main body, and that only a small force was left at the bridge of the Char Bagh, they returned in countless numbers to annoy the Highlanders. Two companies, Nos. 7 and 8, under Captains Hay and Hastings, were sent to occupy the more advanced buildings of the village; four companies were sent out as skirmishers in the surrounding gardens; and the remainder, in reserve, were posted in the buildings near the bridge.

The lane out of which the force had marched was very narrow and much cut up by the passage of the heavy guns, so that it was a work of great difficulty to convey the line of commissariat carts and cattle along it, and in a hours the 78th was separated from the main body by a distance of some miles. The enemy now brought down two guns to within 500 yards of the position of the 78th, and opened a very destructive fire of shot and shell upon the advanced companies, while the whole regiment was exposed to a heavy musketry fire. This becoming insupportable, it was determined to capture the guns at the point of the bayonet. The two advanced companies, under Captains Hay and Hastings, and Lieutenants Webster and Swanson, formed upon the road, and by a gallant charge up the street captured the first gun, which, being sent to the rear was hurled into the canal. In the meantime the skirmishing companies had been called in, and they, together with the reserve, advanced to the support of Nos. 7 and 8. The united regiment now pushed on towards the second gun, which was still annoying it from a more retired position. A second charge resulted in its capture, but as there was some difficulty in bringing it away, and it being necessary to retire immediately on the bridge to keep open the communications, which were being threatened by the hosts who surrounded the regiment, the gun was spiked, and the 78th fell back upon the bridge, carrying with them numbers of wounded, and leaving many dead on the road. In the charge Lieutenant Swanson was severely wounded.

The entire line of carts, &c., having now passed, the regiment evacuated the position and bridge of the Char Bagh, and forming the rear-guard of the force, proceeded along the narrow lane taken by the column on the left bank of the canal. The rebels immediately seized the bridge, crossed it, and lined the right bank of the canal, where they were protected by a wall, from behind which they poured a galling musketry fire, and placing a gun upon the bridge, enfiladed the road along which the route of the 78th lay; thus the regiment was almost completely surrounded, and had to stand and protect its rear at every step. Captain Hastings was severely wounded, while making a brave stand with No. 8 company against the advancing mass of rebels; Captain Lockhart and a large number of men were also wounded here.

A report having been sent to the general that the 78th was hard pressed, the volunteer cavalry and a company of the 90th Regiment were sent back to its assistance; the lane, however, was too narrow for cavalry to work in, and they suffered severely. At length a point was reached, near Major Banks’s house, where four roads meet; the 78th had no guide, the main body was far out of sight, and all that could be ascertained regarding the locality was that the turning to the left, which evidently led into the city, was the direct road to the Residency. The force therefore followed that route, which led through a street of fine houses loopholed and occupied by the rebels, to the gate of the Kaiser Bagh, or King’s Palace, where it came in reverse upon the battery which was firing upon the main body near the Motee Mahul. After spiking the guns, the force pushed on under the walls of the Kaiser Bagh, and after being exposed to another shower of musketry from its entire length, the little column, consisting of the 78th and cavalry, about four o’clock in the afternoon, joined the main body near the entrance to the Furrah Buksh, where for a short time it obtained rest.

From this point the Residency was about half a mile distant, and as darkness was coming on, it was deemed most important to reach the Residency that night.

The 78th Highlanders and the regiment of Ferozepore were now directed to advance. "This column," wrote General Havelock in his despatch, "pushed on with a desperate gallantry, led by Sir James Outram and myself and staff, through streets of fiat-roofed, loopholed houses, from which a perpetual fire was kept up, and overcoming every obstacle, established itself within the enclosure of the Residency. The joy of the garrison may be more easily conceived than described. But it was not till the next evening that the whole of my troops, guns, tumbrils, and sick and wounded, continually exposed to the attacks of the enemy, could be brought step by step within the enceinte and the adjacent palace of the Furrah Buksh. To form an adequate idea of the obstacles overcome, reference must be made to the events that are known to have occurred at Buenos Ayres and Saragossa."

Lieutenant Kirby was mortally wounded in this advance, while gallantly waving the Queen’s colour which he had carried throughout the action. On his fall, Sergeant Reid of the grenadier company seized the colour and carried it for some distance, when assistant-surgeon M’Master took it from him, and carried it up to near the Residency gate, where he handed it over to Colour-sergeant Christie, by whom it was brought into the Residency. The regimental colour was carried throughout the day by ensign Tweedie, 4th Bengal Native Infantry, who was attached to the regiment. Lieutenant Webster was killed within 200 yards of the gate; Lieutenant Crowe and Lieutenant and Adjutant Macpherson were wounded, and 2 officers attached to the regiment-—Lieutenant Joly of the 32nd Regiment, and Lieutenant Grant of the Bengal army—were also wounded, the former mortally.

Early the next morning a party was sent out under Captain R. Bogle, of the 78th, to assist in bringing in the wounded, who had been left with the 90th Regiment and heavy guns in the Motes Mahul. While performing this duty Captain Bogle received a severe wound, of which he died two months afterwards.

A request for reinforcements having been sent by Major Haliburton of the 78th, who now commanded the troops at the Motee Mahul (his two seniors having fallen), the 5th regiment and part of the Sikhs were sent to assist him. In the forenoon another party was sent, consisting of 50 men of the 78th, under Captain Lockhart and Lieutenant Barker, who occupied the house called "Martin’s House," on the bank of the Goomtee, which secured the communication between the palaces and the Motes Mahul. Here they were exposed during the whole day to a hot cannonade, until towards evening the house was a complete ruin.

In the meantime the wounded men were conveyed from the Motes Mahul under charge of their medical officers, Surgeons Jee of the 78th, and Home of the 90th, who had gallantly remained with them under the heavy fire to which they had been exposed for many hours. Some of them, with the former officer, reached the Residency in safety, but those under charge of Surgeon Home were misled by a civilian, who had kindly volunteered to show the way. The enemy surrounded them; the doolie bearers fled, and the small escort, with a few wounded officers and men, took refuge in a neighbouring house, where during the whole day and night they were closely besieged by a large body of rebels, numbering from 500 to 1000, against whom the escort defended themselves and their wounded comrades in a most heroic manner. Those of the wounded, however, who were unable to leave their doolie, fell into the hands of the enemy, and were put to death with horrible tortures, some of them being burned alive. Lieutenant Swanson was one of the wounded of the 78th who were saved, but not until he had received two fresh wounds, one of which proved mortal. Privates James Halliwell, Richard Baker, and William Peddington of the 78th, were among those few gallant men who fought against such unequal odds. The first-named was rewarded with the Victoria Cross, as were also Surgeon Home of the 90th and two men of other regiments. The party was most fortunately saved from this perilous situation on the following morning, as will appear in the sequel.

After the wounded and commissariat stores had left the Motee Mahul by the river bank, it was found impossible to take the heavy guns by that way, and the only practicable route for them being the high road which ran through the enemy’s position to the Furrah Buksh palace, it was resolved to attempt to bring them in by that route under cover of the night. The remainder of the 78th, under Colonel Stisted, was sent out from the Residency about sunset on the 26th to assist in this operation, together with two guns under Captain Olpherts, and some irregular cavalry. The 5th, and part of the Sikh Regiment had already been sent there in the early part of the day.

At three o’clock on the morning of the 27th the column was formed in perfect silence, the 78th leading, and the remainder following, with heavy guns and ammunition in the centre; the Sikhs covered each flank. Thus formed, the whole force proceeded undiscovered up to the enemy’s posts. The leading division had nearly reached the palace when the alarm was given by the enemy’s sentries, bugles sounded the "assembly," and confusion reigned in the rebel camp. The British soldiers now raised a cheer, and rushed on the opposing force into their own line of works, losing only 1 officer and 2 men killed, and 1 officer and 9 men wounded—2 of the latter belonging to the 78th.

The route of this little force fortunately lay through the square where, as above mentioned, a few men were heroically defending their wounded comrades in a most critical situation, and they were thus saved at a most opportune moment.

The relief of the Lucknow garrison having been thus gloriously accomplished, Sir James Outram resumed his position as the commander of the troops, and in an Order (dated the 26th of September 1857) he bears just and high testimony to the bravery and heroism of the troops and their leader, who thus accomplished a feat unsurpassed in history. Among the regiments specially mentioned in the Order is "the 78th Highlanders, who led the advance on the Residency, headed by their brave commander, Colonel Stisted."

In effecting the relief the army lost 535 in killed, wounded, and missing. The loss fell heaviest on the 78th, which throughout the day was exposed to more fighting than the rest of the force. This regiment alone lost 122 killed and wounded; 2 officers and 39 men being killed, and 8 officers and 73 men wounded, out of 18 officers and 428 men who left the Alum Bagh on the 25th. Besides the officers already named, Lieutenant Crowe was wounded.

The Victoria Cross was subsequently awarded to Lieutenant and Adjutant Macpherson, for "distinguished conduct in setting an example of heroic gallantry to the men of the regiment at the period of the action in which they captured two brass 9-pounders at the point of the bayonet."

The Victoria Cross was also conferred upon the regiment as a body, which was required to nominate one individual to wear it as its representative. On a vote being taken, it was almost unanimously agreed that it should be given to Assistant-Surgeon M’Master, upon whom accordingly it was conferred, "for the intrepidity with which he exposed himself to the fire of the enemy in bringing in and attending to the wounded on the 25th of September at Lucknow."

In addition to these, a Victoria Cross was conferred upon Colour-sergeant Stewart Macpherson and Private Henry Ward of the light company.

On the 26th the enemy were cleared away from the rear of the position, and on the 27th the palace, extending along the line of the river from the Residency to near the Kaiser Bagh, was also cleared and taken possession of for the accommodation of the troops.

At daylight on the 29th three columns, aggregating 700 men, attacked the enemy’s works at three different points, destroyed the guns, and blew up the houses which afforded positions to the enemy for musketry fire. One of the columns was composed of 20 men of the 32nd Regiment, 140 men of the 78th (under Captains Lockhart and Hay, and lieutenants Cassidy and Barker), and the 1st Madras Fusiliers.

The column fell in and filed out of the breach in the Sikh Square at daybreak, the advance consisting of the 32nd and the 78th, the Madras Fusiliers being in reserve. They formed silently under cover of some broken ground, and made a sudden dash upon the first gun, which was taken by the 32nd with a cheer, and burst by an artilleryman. The 78th, led by Captain Lockhart, who was slightly wounded, then charged a gun up a street leading to the right; the covering party of the first gun and a considerable body of the enemy rallied round this gun, which was twice fired as the regiment advanced up the lane. Sergeant James Young, of the 78th, the first man at the gun, bayonetted one of the enemy’s gunners while reloading for the third discharge, and was severely wounded by a sword-cut. The rest of the gunners were shot or cut down, and some who had taken refuge in an adjoining house were destroyed by means of hand-grenades thrown in by the windows. Proceeding further, the regiment captured a small gun and some wallpieces, which were brought in, the large gun being blown up. The position was retained while the engineers made preparations for blowing up the houses which it was deemed advisable to destroy; these being ready, the columns retired into the entrenchment, and the explosions took place. The loss of the 78th on this day was 1 man killed, and 1 officer and 8 men wounded.

Brigadier-General Neill having been killed on the 25th of September 1857, Colonel Stisted was appointed brigadier of the 1st brigade, and Major Haliburton assumed command of the regiment.

After the heavy loss sustained by the relieving force in pushing its way through the enemy, it was clearly impossible to carry off the sick, wounded, women, and children (amounting to not fewer than 1500) through five miles of disputed suburb; the want of carriage alone rendering it an impossibility. It was therefore necessary for the now considerably increased garrison to maintain itself in its present position on reduced rations until reinforcements should advance to its relief. Brigadier Inglis retained command of the old Lucknow garrison, reinforced by the volunteer cavalry, Madras Fusiliers, and a detachment of the 78th; while General Havelock commanded the field force that occupied the palaces and outposts.

One of the enemy’s batteries, known as Phillip’s Battery, still remained in a strong position close to the Residency, and continued to annoy the garrison by its fire; its capture, therefore, became necessary, and a force, consisting in all of 568 men, of which the 78th formed a part, was placed at the disposal of Colonel Napier, of the Bengal Engineers, on the 1st of October. On the afternoon of that day the column formed on the road leading to the Pyne Eagh, and advancing to some houses near the Jail, drove the enemy away from them and from a barricade, under a sharp musketry fire. The column having to work its way through strongly barricaded houses, it was late before a point was reached from which the enemy’s position could be commanded. This having been obtained, and it being found, on reconnoitring, that the battery was in a high position, scarped, and quite inaccessible without ladders, it was determined to defer the assault till daylight. The position gained having been duly secured and loopholed, the men occupied the buildings for the night, and were subjected to a heavy fire from the battery.

On the morning of the 2nd the troops advanced, covered by a fire of artillery from the

Residency entrenchment. A severe fire was opened from a barricade which flanked the battery on the right; but this being turned, the troops advanced and drove the enemy from the battery, capturing the guns, which had been withdrawn to some distance, and driving off the enemy, who defended them with musketry and grape. The guns having been destroyed, and Philip’s house blown up, the troops withdrew to their position of the previous night, the 78th having lost 1 man killed and 3 wounded.

The command of this sallying party now fell to Major Haliburton of the 78th, who, under instructions from the general, commenced on the 3rd of October to work from house to house with crowbar and pickaxe, with a view to the possibility of adapting the Cawnpoor road as the line of communication with the Alum Bagh. On the 4th, Major Haliburton was mortally wounded and his successor disabled. On the 6th the proceedings were relinquished, and the troops gradually withdrew to the post at the junction of the Cawnpoor road and Main Street, which was occupied by the 78th Highlanders, and retained by that regiment as a permanent outpost during the two months’ blockade which ensued.

The regiment being greatly reduced, both in officers and men, the ten companies were told off into four divisions, each under the command of an officer—Captain Hay, Lieutenants Cassidy, Finlay, and Barker. The position was divided into three different posts, each defended by one of these divisions, the fourth being in reserve. By this arrangement, each man was on guard for three days and nights out of four, and on the fourth day was generally employed on a working party in erecting the defences.

Everything was now done by the garrison to strengthen its position; barricades were erected at all available points, the defences of the Residency were improved, and all the palaces and buildings occupied by the field force were put into a state of defence. One of the greatest dangers that the besieged had to apprehend was from the enemy’s mines, which threatened the position of the British from every possible quarter, thus requiring the garrison to be continually on the alert, and to be constantly employed in countermining. In this the garrison was very successful, the underground attempts of the besiegers being outwitted on almost every hand, and many of their mines frequently destroyed. The outpost of the 78th, under Captain Lockhart (who on the death of Major Haliburton took command of the regiment, and held it during the rest of the siege), was vigorously assailed by these means by the enemy; but they were completely outwitted by some of the soldiers of the 78th (who volunteered for this work, for which they received, extra pay at the rate of 10s. per diem), directed by Lieutenant Hutchinson, of the Bengal Engineers, and Lieutenant Tulloch, Acting Engineer.

The enemy kept so persistently sinking shafts and driving galleries towards the position occupied by the 78th, that in order to countermine them five shafts were sunk at several angles of the position, from each of which numerous galleries were driven, of a total length of 600 feet. Indeed, in regard to the mining operations in connection with the siege of Lucknow, Sir James Outram wrote, "I am aware of no parallel to our series of mines in modern war; 21 shafts, aggregating 200 feet in depth, and 3291 feet of gallery, have been erected. The enemy advanced 20 mines against the palace and outposts."

The post of the 78th was all this time exposed by day and night to a ceaseless fire of shot, shell, and musketry, and scarcely a day passed in which some casualty did not occur. The outer walls of the houses forming the post were reduced to ruins by round shot, and sharpshooters occupied the houses around to within 50 yards, watching for their prey. All the other regiments were similarly situated during the two mouths’ blockade.

The rations had now for some time been reduced to one-half, and the troops, having left everything behind them at the Alum Bagh, had nothing to wear but the clothes they wore on entering. At length, however, tidings of relief arrived.

Sir Colin Campbell arrived at the Alum Bagh on the 12th of Nov. 1857 with about 700 cavalry, 2700 infantry, and some artillery (being chiefly troops which had been engaged in the siege of Delhi), after having a smart skirmish at Buntera, where Captain Mackenzie of the 78th was a second time wounded; that officer, with lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, Captain Archer, and several men of the 78th, having accompanied the relieving force. Changing the garrison of the Alum Bagh, where the 75th Regiment was left, Sir Colin Campbell formed a battalion of detachments of the 7th Fusiliers, the 64th and 78th Regiments, numbering in all about 400 men, of whom 118 belonged to the 78th, with Lieutenant-Colonel M’Intyre, Captain Archer, and Lieutenant Walsh, the battalion being commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Henry Hamilton of the 78th.

The commander-in-chief being further joined by a reinforcement of about 700 men (of the 23rd Fusiiers and 82nd Regiment), advanced from the Alum Bagh in the direction of Diilkhoosha Park, and after a running fight of about two hours, the enemy were driven through the park of the Martinière beyond the canal. The Dilkhoosha and Martinière were both occupied, and all baggage being left at the former place in charge of the regiment, the advance on Secundur Bagh commenced early on the 16th. This place, as well as the Shah Nujeef, was taken in the most gallant manner, the 93rd Highlanders forming part of the attacking force.

In the meantime Havelock’s force had been employed in digging trenches and erecting batteries in a large garden held by the 90th Regiment; these were concealed by a lofty wall, under which several mines were driven for the purpose of blowing it down when the moment for action should arrive. It was determined by the general, that as soon as the commander-in-chief should reach Secundur Bagh, this wall should be blown in by the miners, and that the batteries should open on the insurgent defences in front, when the troops were to storm the three buildings known as the Hera Khanah, or Deer House, the Steam Engine House, and the King’s Stables.

On the morning of the 16th, all the troops that could be spared from the defences were formed in the square of the Chuttur Munzil; at 11 A.M. the mines under the wall were sprung, and the batteries opened an overwhelming fire, which lasted for three hours, on the buildings beyond. When the breaches were declared practicable, the troops were brought up to the front through the trenches, and lay down before the batteries until the firing should cease, and the signal be given to advance. The storming parties were five in number, with nearly 800 men in all, each accompanied by an engineer officer and a working party. A reserve of 200 men, part of whom belonged to the 78th, under Major Hay of that regiment, remained in the palace square. The 78th storming party, 150 strong, was commanded by Captain Lockhart, and the working party by Lieutenant Barker, accompanied by an engineer officer.

The guns having ceased firing at half-past three in the afternoon, the bugle sounded the advance. "It is impossible," wrote General Havelock, "to describe the enthusiasm with which the signal was received by the troops. Pent up, inactive, for upwards of six weeks, and subjected to constant attacks, they felt that the hour of retribution and glorious exertion had returned. Their cheers echoed through the courts of the palace, responsive to the bugle sound, and on they rushed to assured victory. The enemy could nowhere withstand them. In a few minutes the whole of their buildings were in our possession."

Guns were mounted on the newly-occupied post, and the force retired to its quarters. On the following day the newly-erected batteries opened fire upon the Tara Kotee (or Observatory) and the Mess House, while Sir Colin Campbell’s artillery battered them from the opposite direction. In the afternoon these and the intermediate buildings were occupied by the relieving force, and the relief of the besieged garrison was accomplished.

All arrangements having been made for the silent and orderly evacuation of the Residency and palaces hitherto occupied by General Havelock’s troops, the retreat commenced at midnight on the 22nd, and was carried out most successfully in perfect silence, the 78th Highlanders forming the rear-guard. When the 78th reached the last palace square, Sir James Outram, who was riding with it, halted the regiment for a few moments, and in a low but clear voice addressed to them a few words, saying that he had selected the 78th for the honour of covering the retirement of the force, as they had had the post of honour, in advance, on entering to relieve the garrison, and none were more worthy of the post of honour in leaving it. The evacuation was so successfully accomplished, and the enemy were so completely deceived by the movements of the British force, that they did not attempt to follow, but, on the contrary, kept firing on the old position many hours after its evacuation.

The entire force reached the Dilkhoosha Park at four o’clock on the morning of the 23rd. Here the army sustained a great loss by the death of the brave and noble-minded Sir Henry Havelock, K.C.B., who died of dysentery brought on by the severe privations of the campaign.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton’s battalion of detachments was broken up, and that part of it belonging to the 78th joined the headquarters of the regiment, that officer assuming the command. For their services in Sir Colin Campbell’s force, Lieutenants-Colonel H. Hamilton and MacIntyre received the thanks of the Governor-General, and were afterwards created Companions of the Bath.

Between the 26th of September and the 22nd of November, the 78th lost in the defence of Lucknow 9 men killed, and 5 officers and 42 men wounded; the names of the officers were, Major Haliburton, Captain Bogle, Assistant-Surgeon M’Master, Captain Lockhart, Lieutenant Swanson, and Lieutenant Barker. The two first mentioned and Lieutenant Swanson, besides 27 men, died of their wounds during these two months.

As might be expected, Sir James Outram in his despatches spoke in the very highest terms of the conduct of the troops during this trying period, and the Governor-General in Council offered his hearty thanks to Brigadiers Hamilton and Stisted, and Captains Bouverie and Lockhart of the 78th, for their efficient co-operation. General Havelock’s force was rewarded by a donation of twelve months batta, which reward was also conferred on the original garrison of Lucknow. Colonel Walter Hamilton and Surgeon Jee of the 78th were made C.B.’s, the former receiving the distinguished service pension of L.100 per annum, and the latter the Victoria Cross; Captain Lockhart was made a Brevet-Major.

Mention should be made of the occupation and defence of the post at the Alum Bagh under Lieutenant-Colonel MacIntyre of the 78th, from the 25th of September until the arrival of Sir Colin Campbell’s force. That officer, it may be remembered, was appointed to the command of the Mum Bagh, with detachments of regiments of about 200 Europeans, with some Sikhs, and foreigners. In it were placed the sick and wounded of the force, amounting to 128 (of whom 64 were wounded), the baggage, commissariat and ordnance stores. The native followers left them amounted to nearly 5000, and there was an enormous number of cattle of various descriptions. Though closely besieged by the enemy, and suffering greatly at first from scarcity of provisions, the small force held gallantly out until relieved, with a loss of only one European killed and two wounded during the 49 days’ siege. For this service Lieutenant-Colonel M’Intyre received the special thanks of the Government.

On the afternoon of the 25th of November the whole force under Sir Colin Campbell encamped in the plain to the south of the Mum Bagh. On the 27th, the commander-in-chief moved off with General Grant’s division in the direction of Cawnpoor, which was threatened by the Gwahior contingent, leaving Sir James Outram’s division, now numbering 4000 men of all arms, to retain a defensive position at the Alum Bagh, with a view of keeping in check the masses of Lucknow rebels. Sir James took up a strong position, fortifications being erected at every possible point, and the force at his command being disposed in the most advantageous manner. The circuit of the entire position was nearly ten miles, and here the force remained for the next three months (December, January, and February), while Sir Colin Campbell, after retaking Cawnpoor, was engaged in recovering the Doab, and making preparations for a final assault upon the city of Lucknow. The numbers of the enemy daily increased in front of Sir James Outram’s position, until they amounted to little less than 100,000. The unceasing activity of the enemy kept Outram’s force continually on the alert.

Towards the end of December, Sir James learned that the enemy contemplated surrounding his position and cutting off supplies, and with that object had despatched to Guilee a force which took up a position between that village and Budroop, which places are about a mile distant from each other, and were about three miles to the right front of the British position. This force, on the evening of December 21st, amounted to about 4000 infantry, 400 cavalry, and 4 field guns.

Sir James moved out at 5 o’clock on the morning of the 22nd, with a force composed of 6 guns, 190 cavalry, 1227 infantry under Colonel Stisted of the 78th, including 156 of the 78th under Captain Lockhart. Notwithstanding the very unequal odds, the enemy were completely and brilliantly repulsed on all hands, 4 guns, and 12 waggons filled with ammunition being captured. In his Division Order of the next day Sir James Outram said, "The right column, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Purnell, 90th Regiment, consisting of detachments of the 78th and 90th Regiments and Sikhs, excited his admiration by the gallant way in which, with a cheer, they dashed at a strong position held by the enemy, and from which they were met by a heavy fire, regardless of the overwhelming numbers, and 6 guns reported to be posted there. The suddenness of the attack, and the spirited way in which it was executed, resulted in the immediate flight of the enemy, with hardly a casualty on our side." In the same order, Sir James thanked Lieutenant-Colonel H. Hamilton for the manner in which he commanded the reserve, and Brigadiers Hamilton (78th) and Eyre, who had charge of the camp, for the way in which they kept the enemy in check.

After this successful repulse the enemy did not again attempt to surround the position, but continued day after day to make attacks upon it from their position in front. Want of space forbids us to give details of these attacks, every one of which, notwithstanding the overwhelming numbers of the rebels, was most brilliantly repulsed with but little loss to the British.

"Thus was this position before Lucknow held for three months by Sir James 0utram’s division, his troops being continually called on to repel threatened attacks, and frequently employed in defending the numerous picquets and outposts, all of which were exposed to the fire of the enemy’s batteries."

The casualties of the 78th during this defence were only 8 men wounded.

On the 26th of January 1858, the 2nd brigade was paraded to witness the presentation of six good-conduct medals to men of the 78th Highlanders, on which occasion Sir James Outram addressed the regiment in terms in which, probably, no other regiment in the British army was ever addressed. Indeed, the ROSS-SHIRE BUFFS may well be proud of the high opinion formed of them by Generals Havelock and Outram, neither of whom were given to speaking anything but the severe truth. So extremely complimentary were the terms in which Sir James Outram addressed the 78th, that he thought it advisable to record the substance of his address in writing, lest the 78th should attribute anything to the excitement of the moment. In a letter addressed to Brigadier Hamilton he wrote,— "What I did say is what I really feel, and what I am sure must be the sentiment of every Englishman who knows what the 78th have done during the past year, and I had fully weighed what I should say before I went to parade." We must give a few extracts from the address as Sir James wrote it

"Your exemplary conduct, 78th, in every respect, throughout the past eventful year, I can truly say, and I do most emphatically declare, has never been surpassed by any troops of any nation, in any age, whether for indomitable valour in the field or steady discipline in the camp, under an amount of fighting, hardship, and privation such as British troops have seldom, if ever, heretofore been exposed to. The cheerfulness with which you have gone through all this has excited my admiration as much as the undaunted pluck with which you always close with the enemy whenever you can get at him, no matter what his odds against you, or what the advantage of his position. . . . I am sure that you, 78th, who will have borne the brunt of the war so gloriously from first to last, when you return to old England, will be hailed and rewarded by your grateful and admiring countrymen as the band of heroes, as which you so well deserve to be regarded."

In the meantime Sir Colin Campbell having relieved Cawnpoor and retaken the Doab, and having received large reinforcements from England, had assembled a large army for the capture of the city of Lucknow. This army was composed of an artillery division, an engineer brigade, a cavalry division, and four infantry divisions. The 78th Highlanders, consisting of 18 officers and 501 men, under Colonel Stisted, formed with the 90th Light Infantry, and the regiment of Ferozepore, the 2nd Brigade, under Brigadier Wanklin of the 84th Regiment, of the 1st Division under Major-General Sir James Outram, G.C.B. In the 2nd Division were the 42nd and 93rd Highlanders, and in the 3rd Division, the 79th Highlanders. The whole army amounted to 1957 artillery, 2002 engineers, 4156 cavalry, and 17,549 infantry, or a grand total of 25,664 effective men, to which was added during the course of the siege the Ghoorka army, under the Maharajah Jung Bahadoor, numbering about 9000 men and 24 guns.

We need not enter into the details of the siege of Lucknow, especially as the 78th was not engaged in the aggressive operations, particulars of which will be found in our histories of the 42nd, 79th, and 93rd. After nineteen days incessant fighting, the city was taken complete possession of by the British, and the enemy put to utter route. During the siege operations the 78th was in position at the Alum Bagh, where the regiment sustained little more than the usual annoyance from the enemy, until the 16th, when the front and left of the position were threatened by large forces of the enemy’s infantry and cavalry. Brigadier Wanklin had hardly time to dispose his troops in the best positions for supporting the outposts, when a determined advance of the enemy’s line took place, their cavalry in myriads making a most brilliant charge on the front left picquets. A heavy fire from these, however, aided by that of the field artillery, who were detached to the left, caused them to turn and flee precipitately.

The 78th being thus not actively engaged during the siege, sustained a loss of only 1 officer, Captain Macpherson, and 2 men wounded.

The officers of the regiment honourably mentioned in the despatches were Colonel Stisted, C.B., Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel H. Hamilton, C.B., Brevet-Major Bouverie, on whom the brevet rank of Lieutenant-Colonel was conferred, Captain Macpherson, on whom the brevet rank of Major was conferred, and Lieutenant Barker. The brevet rank of Major was also conferred on Captain Mackenzie.

On the 29th of March 1858 the divisions of the army were broken up, and three new forces of all arms combined were formed as follows: —the Azimgurh Field Force under General Lugard, the Lucknow Field Force under General Sir Hope Grant, and the Rohilcund Field Force under Brigadier-General Walpole.

After going to Cawnpoor the 78th joined, on the 26th of April, the Rohilcund Field Force, among the regiments composing which were the 42nd, 79th, and 93rd Highlanders. On the same day Sir Colin Campbell arrived and took the command, moving on the following day to Bareilly, the enemy everywhere retiring before the advancing forces. Early on the morning of the 5th of May a movement was made upon Bareilly from Furreedpoor; but into the details of the hot work that took place here we need not enter: they will be found elsewhere. On the forenoon of the 7th, the 78th was sent to protect the heavy guns which were detached to the front for the purpose of shelling some large buildings intervening between the British force and the town, and which were supposed to be undermined.

On the morning of the 7th the town of Bareilly was finally reduced, and the Mussulman portion of it, where there were still detached parties of Ghazees remaining with the intention of selling their lives as dearly as possible, was cleared. In these affairs the 78th lost only 1 man killed and 1 officer, Lieutenant Walsh, and 1 man wounded.

The 42nd, 78th, and 93rd Highlanders were now left to garrison Bareilly, where the 78th remained till February 20th, 1859, having in the meantime received orders to prepare for embarkation to England; previous to which 176 of the men volunteered to join other corps remaining in India. Before leaving Bareilly, an order highly complimentary to the corps was issued by Brigadier-General (now Sir Robert) Walpole, K.C.B. We regret that space does not permit us to reproduce the order here, and for a similar reason we must pass over with as great brevity as possible the remaining history of the regiment; we have devoted considerable space to its periods of active service.

The regiment left Bareilly on the 20th of February, and on the 4th of March reached Agra, where a farewell order was received from the commander-in-chief to the regiment leaving India, in which he, as was to be expected, spoke in high terms of the 78th. The whole of the regiment was collected at Mhow on the 30th of March 1859, and here a banquet was given by the inhabitants of the station to the officers of the 64th and 78th, to welcome back to the Presidency of Bombay these two regiments which had been so distinguished in the late struggle.

On the 26th of March another complimentary order was received from Sir Henry Somerset, commander-in-chief of the Bombay army.

Finally, on the 28th of April, the whole regiment, which had been travelling in detachments, assembled at Bombay, and in honour of its arrival Commodore Wellesley, commander-in-chief of the Indian navy, ordered all H.M.’s ships to be dressed "rainbowfashion."

On the evening of this day a grand entertainment was given to the 78th by the European inhabitants of Bombay, in the form of a banquet, to which were invited the non-commissioned officers, privates, women, and children of the regiment. A magnificent suite of tents was pitched on the glacis of the fort, and many days had been spent in preparing illuminations, transparencies, and other decorations, to add lustre to the scene. At half-past 7 o’clock P.M. the regiment entered the triumphal arch which led to the tents, where the men were received with the utmost enthusiasm by their hosts, who from the highest in rank to the lowest had assembled to do them honour. After a magnificent and tasteful banquet, speeches followed, in which the men of the Ross-Shire Buffs were addressed in a style sufficient to turn the heads of men of less solid calibre. The entertainment was described in a local paper as "one of the most successful demonstrations ever witnessed in Western India."

The depot had a few days previous to this arrived from Poonah, and joined the regiment after a separation of two years and four months.

Finally, the regiment embarked on the morning of the 18th in two ships, under the distinguished honour of a royal salute from the battery. The two ships arrived at Gravesend about the middle of September, and the regiment having been transhipped, proceeded to Fort-George, where it once more rested from its hard labours, after an absence of seventeen years from home. The strength of the regiment on leaving India was 21 officers, 44 sergeants, 30 corporals, 11 drummers, 424 privates, 30 women, and 67 children; 59 men only being left of those who came out with the regiment in 1842.

We may mention here, that during this year an alteration was made in the clothing of the pipers, the colour of whose uniform was changed from buff to a dark green.



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