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"Now hold thee well together,
would be overcome and driven out of India for ever.
While occupying this village an occurrence so ludicrous, yet tragical, occurred, though not with a man of our corps, that I insert it. In the intense heat a soldier of the 2d Fusiliers and a Goorkah sought the shade and protection of the wall of a house, a window of which looked into the lane where they were seated. Not long had they rested when, from the open window, was seen to project the head of a Sepoy. Now all Hindoos have what ladies at home call "back hair," and this is usually turned up in a knot; by this the unlucky wretch was at once seized, and, before he could even think of resistance, his head was, at a stroke, severed from the body by the sharp curved knife of the Goorkah. The soldier who saw this was so astonished at the whole thing, which looked so like an absurd scene in a pantomine, that he could not stir for laughing. It was on this day, too, I think, that Sergeant Dunlavy, No. 8 company 1st Fusiliers, held his celebrated courtmartial. He had captured a man, evidently a Sepoy, who had thrown away his arms. The Sergeant, therefore, considered it unfair to take advantage of an unarmed man, and at the same time could not think of permitting a mutineer to escape; he therefore summoned some of his comrades, tried the man by military law, and as the judges were unanimous in sentencing the prisoner to be shot, the sentence was there and then carried into effect.
July 2-Bareilly mutineers marched into Delhi with band playing, tune supposed to be the Rogue's march, as being most appropriate. Turned out at 11 P.M. to attack Delhi, by blowing in the gates. No. 1 company, under Lieutenant Cairnes, ordered to form storming party, supported by Nos. 2 and 3: point of attack to have been the Lahore gate. For some reason unknown the troops never marched, and, I think, every one in camp is now fully agreed that the abandonment of this measure was most fortunate. On the 5th, General Barnard died of cholera, succeeded by General Wilson,
Thou proud and knightly band,
July 9.-We were sitting at breakfast when the alarm sounded; the men turned out instantly. There were only about two hundred men in the tents, the remainder being on picquet.
Of these a hundred had been told off for night picquet, and in case of alarm during the day, were to go to the posts to which they had been told off.
On the alarm sounding, the men and officers formed up immediately and doubled to their posts, as above arranged; for at this time some of the carabineers were seen galloping in disarray; and loose horses, with saddles under their bellies, tearing through camp, added to the confusion. The party told off for the rear battery moved quickly in that direction, but were much impeded by various orders given by different staff officers, such "Where are you running to?" "Come this way." ."""Don't run from a handful of natives,"--which considerably riled our men, who were only apt at running to the fighting point; however, on getting to the graveyard, the whistling of lead showed this point had been reached, and several sowars seen with drawn swords in their hands riding down the banks of the canal, seemed to indicate that the picquet of the 9th Irregulars were driven in.
About a hundred of these men were collected behind the graveyard wall, but as they did not fire, and by waving their swords in a friendly manner, and calling out at the same time, "Dont fire on friends," they were considered as such. Two sergeants were sent to them, and asked who they were, and were answered, Brothers" the men were therefore ordered to double on to the rear picquet. All had passed the bridge save about ten, who were in the act of doing so when the sowars advanced and fired on the party. The men on the bridge were at once halted, and directed to fire; this at once checked the advance of the sowars; a second discharge sent them to the right about.
This prompt act of Lieutenant Brown, little as it may seem, was of
or effect desired. wounded in this affair.
the greatest consequence; for had the bridge been gained by the enemy's cavalry, not only would a clear and open road have been secured for them, but our rear picquet, together with the battery, would most probably have fallen into their hands, as just at this critical time other columns of cavalry could be distinguished at the edge of the open plain, within a mile of the rear picquet, evidently there with the purpose of supporting those who were in our camp.
While this was going on in our rear, a second detachment under Lieutenant Owen had moved rapidly in the direction of the mound. Here it was quickly perceived how matters had gone, and Lieutenant Owen, seeing no artillery officer in the battery, at once took charge of the guns, the loading and firing of which he superintended, while men of the 1st, and Sikhs, worked them, firing the 18-pounders on the enemy till an artillery officer came up.
While the detachments were thus doing their duty nobly, the main body of the regiment, under Major Jacob, moved at once to the rear, where a considerable body of cavalry was seen among our light guns, and within probably a hundred yards of the tent where we had been breakfasting. These quickly edged off as we advanced, and were mistaken for the 9th Irregular Cavalry then in camp; in truth, there were good grounds for the error, since sowars of the 9th were shot amongst these men! It was not for some time that they were discovered to be the enemy; probably but for Lieutenant Brown's holding the bridge, all these miscreants would have escaped. This post, however, was now secured as above narrated. It was, therefore, necessary to find another road to retreat by; this they were almost on, and most unfortunately it led through our bazaar and the commissariat cattle. When, therefore, our mistake in not treating them as enemies was discovered, they were still able to retire, though in great precipitation, and leaving some behind; yet from the extreme confusion in the bazaar and among the cattle, it was impossible for our men to fire with the accuracy
We had three
To show how little we were able to distinguish between these horsemen of the enemy and our own native sowars, I may briefly narrate a conversation I had with one of our wounded. "Well, Conolly, I see you have got a bad cut, but I hope you gave as good as you received." 'No, sir, I am sorry I did not, for the villain came up to me dressed like a respectable native, and the first thing he did, without saying a word, was to cut me over the fingers, and before I could put my bayonet into him, he gave me the other cut over the head and I fell." I am glad to say Conolly recovered, and no doubt will avoid too intimate relations with respectable natives in future. On this day, too, Corporal Moran had a little "birding" of a peculiar character. The Corporal was our Provost-Marshal, and one of the 'cutest men in the corps. He was not at all satisfied with so many rogues escaping; and being a "detective" by nature, after searching all about on the ground, began to look up in the trees, and seeing a large pair of spurs, took a shot and brought down a remarkably fine sowar, whose nest was particularly well-feathered, much to the Corporal's satisfaction.
July 14.-A column was formed under Brigadier Showers, and directed, acting on the right against the enemy, to drive them back from the Subzee Mundeh as far as our right battery. The 1st led the column under Major Jacob, two companies skirmishing to the right of the road leading to Delhi as soon as we entered it; and this order was ob served till the Subzee Mundeh picquet was reached, when two companies were also thrown out to the left, and almost immediately the enemy opened fire from the gardens, houses, and walls in front, and from light guns on the road. Our men advanced steadily, the enemy retreating rapidly; just then BrigadierGeneral Chamberlaine came up, and
assuming command, directed the advance, the whole of the 1st being thrown out on the right skirmishing: the advance now became most rapid, in fact, a chase after a flying foe, for our guns had opened on the enemy down the road. The 1st continued at the run for about a quarter of a mile, and then part of the men formed up at a narrow bridge, so as to protect the guns from the enemy now retiring from beneath our batteries on the left of the road, while Major Jacob advanced with the principal part of the regiment to the right. It was about this time Lieutenant and Adjutant Wemyss was struck by a musket-ball on the side, but he continued to perform his duties. Here, indeed, the enemy's fire became most deadly, and many of our men fell; Major Jacob's horse was shot under him by a ball in the forehead, and very shortly after this the order was given to retire, when the enemy again advanced in force, infantry and guns, those guns which Greville "longed to take." Lieutenant Daniell was about this time wounded severely, and obliged to retire, though the brave young soldier was loth to do so, and endeavoured, by attempting to whistle, to hide the agony he suffered. I have not yet heard what tune he attempted. I am glad to be able to add he is doing well. The picquet two or three times re-formed to meet and receive the enemy, who, however, kept at a very respectful distance; and thus we returned to camp at sunset, our loss in the 1st alone having been sixty-four in killed and wounded. About this time the work became much lighter, and the attacks of the enemy less frequent and harassing, so that the soldier had some time to devote to the fine artsat least I judge so from a drawing I saw on the walls of one of the houses in which they were picqueted. Of this I send you a copy; the painting itself needs no interpreter, and you will see the colour of the times tinges the ideas of the artist.* Others again devoted themselves to poetry, of which the following is a specimen :
23d. A column was sent, under Brigadier Showers, in the hope of surprising and capturing some of the enemy's guns on the left. The whole of the 1st formed part of this force, and, marching down, deployed off the road at a bridge to the right of Metcalfe's picquet, H.M.'s 8th leading. After advancing a short distance in line, four companies, under Captain Greville, were ordered to the left of the road to clear the gardens up to Ludlow Castle; this they did, opposed by a numerous enemy. The main body of the corps meanwhile advanced so steadily and quickly as soon to be in line with H.M.'s 8th, and, clearing Ludlow Castle, occupied a house to its right front. After remaining there for about half an hour, the order was given to retire, the enemy having successfully withdrawn his guns. The order was only accomplished for about 300 yards, when the adjutant of H.M.'s 61st called on us for assistance, many wounded having been taken into Ludlow Castle, and the enemy being on the advance. The 1st immediately turned to the rightabout, and lined the walls of the grounds of Ludlow Castle, till all the wounded of the 61st were removed; we then retired in skirmishing order, in alternate lines, with H.M.'s 8th. On this day the brave Colonel Seaton, 35th N. I., and brother of Colonel Seaton of the 1st Fusiliers, was struck by a musketball while humanely helping a wounded man: the ball entered directly over his heart, but it fortunately glanced from the rib and passed out behind; he thus escaped a mortal injury, and we the loss of one justly esteemed.
August 10.-The regiment was on
* The drawing represents a gigantic Sepoy being transfixed by a British bayonet.
VOL. LXXXIII-NO, DVII.
picquet at Metcalfe's Compound; the enemy attacked, bringing two guns to bear on the stable picquet, but were driven back. On the evening of the same day they again came on in force with like result. We lost nothing.
11th. The enemy opened with artillery on Metcalfe's Picquet, killing Colour - sergeant Grey, No. 8 Company.
"Come, noble gentlemen,
August 12.-The enemy had, as above described, been for some days annoying the picquets in Metcalfe's Compound from guns in and to the right of Ludlow Castle; we were not, therefore, surprised when, at 11 P.M. on the 11th, the 1st Fusilier picquets were relieved, and, on reaching camp, were told to be ready to turn out at 3 A.M. At that hour, then, the regiment was ready, and, marching round the ridge so as to avoid being seen, joined the rest of the force. We then moved off down the road leading to the Cashmere Gate; shortly after passing the Racket Court we moved off the road to the right, and then the three left-flank companies under Greville were told off as skirmishers, while the remainder of the regiment acted as a support. The orders were concise and distinct: "Move up silently and take the guns at Ludlow Castle." The manœuvre was accomplished in perfect silence -so much so, that the first word heard was the challenge of the enemy's sentry, "Ho come dere?" "Khou hye?" the reply was; "Take that!" as the bullet entered his body. On this the skirmishers brought their right shoulders forward, and opened fire on the surprised enemy, who confusedly attempted to return it; those who could escape, quickly did so, but many were surprised and killed in houses. Only two guns had been fired when our men closed on the battery. Private Reagan, rushing forward, prevented the discharge of the third-a howitzer loaded with grape-which, primed and ready, was pointed on our men. The artilleryman was in
the act of applying the lighted portfire, when Private Reagan bayoneted him, but at the same time received a severe wound, which will disable him for life. The fight continued confusedly for some minutes, and about this time day dawned, when it was found we had captured four guns and killed many of the enemy. We then retired, bringing the guns safely into camp. Captain Greville was again wounded, also Lieutenant Owen slightly. This was a most brilliant affair, satisfactory in every way; and, considering the proximity of the enemy's post to Delhi, and that the action was fought under the guns of a heavy battery of theirs, the result must be considered as most felicitous and happy. Lieutenant Warner, 1st Fusiliers, had the satisfaction on this occasion of testing the value of a regimental spit as a cutting weapon against a powerful native who came out sword in hand. The young soldier made such a stroke as knocked the Pandy down without even cutting his skin; the fallen enemy was quickly accounted for, however.
This evening the regiment was ordered to be in readiness to march at 11 P.M., the ist forming part of a force moving in the Allepore direction: the corps moved at the time appointed. The weather, however, proved so stormy, that they were obliged to return the next morning, it being found impossible to get on the guns.
"EXETER.-There's five to one; besides, they are all fresh!
SALISBURY.-God's arm strike with us! 'tis a fearful odds."
August 25.-The corps moved at about 5 A.M. on the Allepore_road, forming part of a force under Brigadier-General Nicholson, sent to attack a division of the enemy which had moved out from Delhi with the intention of capturing our siege train, then coming to us from Kurnaul. On reaching Hoordapore, our force, leaving the main road, marched across the country to the left, and continued to advance till about 11 A.M. After halting for about an hour, the route was continued over most difficult ground and swamps till
about 3 P.M., when the enemy were found occupying an old serai, or fort, armed with six guns, with a village to our left, where four guns were also placed other guns were in the enemy's camp in rear of this position. As the troops advanced, the artillery of the enemy opened on our column, which was, however, protected greatly by the inequalities of the ground.
The advance continued steadily till in line with the serai, when the regiments were thrown in line to the left, and the General addressed a few short words to the men-short, but vastly to the purpose: "Fusiliers, remember that the greatest successes of the British have ever been gained where the bayonet has been used, and the musket discharged when close to the breast of the foe! I need say no more." Of course the men went and did it.
Our artillery had in the mean time come to the front and replied vigorously to the enemy's guns. After a few rounds the 1st advanced in line, charged and took the serai-the 61st and Green's Sikhs being engaged also in this.
The enemy quickly retired, and began to mass in their camp, but, on our again attacking, retreated on the Delhi road, crossing the canal, and leaving the whole of their camp equipage, military chest, and guns (with the exception of two) in our hands. The 1st were halted at the canal, close to the bridge, held by about twenty men, till the enemy came down in such overpowering numbers, and a heavy fire of shot and shell, that they were obliged to retire singly among a crash of cattle, carts, and guns. Two companies coming to support, the bridge was again held, which it was then attempted to blow up, but unsuccessfully. The enemy kept up a heavy fire from two guns till their tumbrils were exploded by Major Tombs' welldirected shots. They then retired, and the Engineers were able to effect the desired destruction of the bridge about 3 A.M.
Our men were engaged till daylight securing the guns and ammunition, after which they returned at once to camp, only halting for a short
space, having in thirty-six hours gone over some forty miles of bad road, fought a general action, and brought the trophies into camp!
This was a most dashing affair, the importance of which cannot be too highly estimated, and the vigour and judgment displayed by General Nicholson cannot be too highly praised. By this victory, not only were the enemy well thrashed, and by the result greatly discouraged, but the road was most effectually opened for our heavy guns, which were brought into camp a few days subsequently without the slightest molestation; and from that time only the siege of Delhi may be fairly said to have commenced.
"Fair St George Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons! Upon them! Victory sits on our helms."
After the 1st September our men were exercised in escalading in the Engineers' yard, and working-parties were told off for the trenches, which were pushed on resolutely to within 200 yards of the walls. After the batteries were completed, the guns opened on the devoted city; and our batteries having thundered on the walls, bastions, and town for some forty-eight hours, arrangements for the assault were completed.
In order to relieve the columns selected for this, an attack was planned also on the right, and in both attacks our regiment bore a part. The right wing, under Major Jacob, attacking the Cashmere Bastion by escalade; the left wing, consisting of 130 men under Captain Wriford, forming a portion of the force acting on our right. As this last detachment started first from camp, we shall endeavour to describe its movements on this truly eventful day.
The party passed out of camp at 7 P.M. on the 13th, and, proceeding to Hindoo Rao's house, placed themselves under Major Reid, who commanded the right and right attack. There they remained with other troops intended to act in this direction till 4 A.M., when the whole body proceeded through Subzee Mundeh to Kissengunge. This is the second village on the road to Delhi, a sort of suburb to that place, and was reached