The Project Gutenberg eBook of Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde

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Title: Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde

Author: Archibald Forbes

Release date: March 24, 2015 [eBook #48577]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Shaun Pinder, John Campbell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)



Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

More detail can be found at the end of the book.

English Men of Action



Publisher's colophon

After the Picture by Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A.









All rights reserved

[Pg vii]


Early Life—The Peninsula1
Colonial and Home Service22
China and India39
The Crimea82
[Pg viii]The Indian Mutiny—Organisation—Relief of Lucknow—Defeat of Gwalior Contingent110
The Storming of Lucknow144
The Campaign in Rohilcund173
The Campaign in Central India187
The Pacification of Oude—End of the Mutiny198
From Simla to Westminster Abbey212

[Pg 1]


The British Military Service is fertile in curious contrasts. Among the officers who sailed from England for the East in the spring of 1854 were three veterans who had soldiered under the Great Duke in Portugal and Spain. The fighting career of each of those men began almost simultaneously; the senior of the three first confronted an enemy's fire in 1807, the two others in the following year. In 1854 one of these officers, who was the son of a duke and who had himself been raised to the peerage, was the Commander-in-Chief of the expeditionary army. Lord Raglan was a lieutenant-colonel at the age of twenty-four, a colonel at twenty-seven, a major-general at thirty-seven. He had been colonel-in-chief of a regiment since 1830 and a lieutenant-general since 1838; and he was to become a field-marshal before the year was out. Another, who belonged, although irregularly, to an old and good family, whose father was a distinguished if unfortunate general, and who enjoyed the patronage and protection of one of our great houses, belonging though he did to an arm of the service in which promotion has always been exceptionally slow,[2] was a lieutenant-colonel at thirty and a colonel at forty, and was now a lieutenant-general on the Staff and second in command of the expeditionary force. The third, who was the son of a Glasgow carpenter, sailed for the East, it is true, with the assurance of the command of a brigade; but, after a service of forty-six years, his army-rank then and for three months later, was still only that of colonel. Neither Lord Raglan nor Sir John Burgoyne had ever heard a shot fired in anger since the memorable year of Waterloo; but during the long peace both had been attaining step after step of promotion, and holding lucrative and not particularly arduous offices. Since the Peninsular days Colin Campbell had been soldiering his steadfast way round the world, taking campaigns and climates alike as they came to him in the way of duty,—now a brigade-major, now serving and conquering in the command of a division, now holding at the point of the bayonet the most dangerous frontier of British India against onslaught after onslaught of the turbulent hill-tribes beyond the border. He had fought not without honour, for his Sovereign had made him a Knight of the Bath and appointed him one of her own aides-de-camp. But there is a certain barrenness in honours when unaccompanied by promotion, and it had fallen to the lot of the son of the Glasgow carpenter to serve for eighteen years in the capacity of a field-officer commanding a regiment.

Yet even in the British military service the aphorism occasionally holds good, that everything comes to him who knows how to wait. Colin Campbell, the half-pay colonel of 1854, was a full general in 1858 and a peer of the realm in the same year; in 1862 he was gazetted[3] a field-marshal. In less than nine years the half-pay colonel had attained the highest rank in the service,—a promotion of unique rapidity apart from that conferred on soldiers of royal blood. Along with Lord Clyde were gazetted field-marshals Sir Edward Blakeney and Lord Gough, both of whom were lieutenant-generals of some twenty years' standing when Colin Campbell was merely a colonel. Sir John Burgoyne, almost immeasurably his senior in 1854, did not become a field-marshal until 1868.

Colin Campbell was born in Glasgow on the 20th of October 1792, the eldest of the four children of John Macliver, the Glasgow carpenter, and his wife Agnes Campbell. How Colin Macliver came to bear the name of Colin Campbell will presently be told. The family had gone down in the world, but Colin Campbell came of good old stock on both sides of the house. His grandfather, Laird of Ardnave in the island of Islay, had been out in the Forty-five and so forfeited his estate. General Shadwell, the biographer of Colin Campbell, states that his mother was of a respectable family which had settled in Islay near two centuries ago with its chief, the ancestor of the existing Earls of Cawdor. But the Campbell who was the ancestor of the Cawdors was a son of the second Earl of Argyle who fell at Flodden in 1513, and he belonged to the first half of the sixteenth century; so that, since Colin Campbell's maternal family settled in Islay with its chief, it could reckon a longer existence than that ascribed to it by General Shadwell. Not a few of Colin Campbell's kinsmen had served in the army; and the uncle after whom he was christened had fallen as a subaltern in the war of the American Revolution.


His earliest schooling he received at the Glasgow High School, whence at the age of ten he was removed by his mother's brother, Colonel John Campbell, and placed by him in the Royal Military and Naval Academy at Gosport. Scarcely anything is on record regarding young Colin's school-days there. The first Lord Chelmsford was one of his schoolfellows; and there is a tradition that he spent his holidays with the worthy couple by whom the Academy was established, and by a descendant of whom it is still carried on. When barely fifteen and a half his uncle presented him to the Duke of York, then Commander-in-Chief, who promised him a commission; and supposing him to be, as he said, "another of the clan," put down his name as Colin Campbell, the name which he thenceforth bore. General Shadwell states that on leaving the Duke's presence with his uncle, young Colin made some comment on what he took to be a mistake on the Duke's part in regard to his surname, to which the shrewd uncle replied by telling him that "Campbell was a name which it would suit him, for professional reasons, to adopt." The youngster was wise in his generation, and does not appear to have had any compunction in dropping the not particularly euphonious surname of Macliver. On the 26th of May 1808 young Campbell received the commission of ensign in the Ninth Foot, now known as the Norfolk regiment; and within five weeks from the date of his first commission he was promoted to a lieutenancy in the same regiment.

He entered the service at an eventful moment. Napoleon had attained the zenith of his marvellous career. He was the virtual master of the whole of continental Europe. The royal family of Spain were[5] in effect his prisoners, and his brother Joseph had been proclaimed King of Spain. The royal family of Portugal had departed to the New World lest worse things should befall it, and Junot was ruling in Lisbon in the name of his imperial master. But the Spaniards rose en masse in a national insurrection; and no sooner had they raised the standard of independence than they felt the necessity of applying to England for aid. Almost simultaneously the Portuguese rose, and no severity on Junot's part availed to crush the universal revolt. Almost on the very day on which young Campbell joined his regiment in the Isle of Wight, the British force of nine thousand men to the command of which Sir Arthur Wellesley was appointed, sailed from Cork for the Peninsula. Spencer's division joined Wellesley in Mondego Bay, and on the night of the 8th of August 1808 thirteen thousand British soldiers bivouacked on the beach—the advanced guard of an army which, after six years of many vicissitudes and much hard fighting, was to expel from the Peninsula the last French soldier and to contribute materially to the ruin of Napoleon.

Campbell was posted to the second battalion of the Ninth, commanded by Colonel Cameron, an officer of whom he always spoke with affectionate regard. The first battalion of the regiment had already sailed from Cork, and the second, which belonged to General Anstruther's brigade, took ship at Ramsgate for the Peninsula on July 20th. Reaching the open sandy beach at the mouth of the Maceira on the 19th of August, it was disembarked the same evening, and bivouacked on the beach. Campbell notes, "lay out that night for the first time in my life;" many a subsequent night did he[6] lie out in divers regions! On the following day the battalion joined the army then encamped about the village of Vimiera. Wellesley had only landed on the 8th, but already he had been the victor in the skirmish of Obidos and the battle of Roleia; and now, on the 21st, he was again to defeat Junot on the heights of Vimiera.

Directly in front of the village of that name rose a rugged isolated height, with a flat summit commanding the ground in front and to the left. Here was posted Anstruther's brigade, its left resting on the village church and graveyard. Young Campbell was with the rear company of his battalion, which stood halted in open column of companies under the fierce fire of Laborde's artillery covering the impending assault of his infantry. The captain of Campbell's company, an officer inured to war, chose the occasion for leading the lad out to the front of the battalion and walking with him along the face of the leading company for several minutes, after which little piece of experience he sent him back to his company. In narrating the incident in after years Campbell was wont to add: "It was the greatest kindness that could have been shown to me at such a time, and through life I have been grateful for it." It is not unlikely that the gallant and considerate old soldier may have intended not alone to give to his young subaltern his baptism of fire, but also to brace the nerves of the men of a battalion which, although part of a regiment subsequently distinguished in many campaigns and battles, was now for the first time in its military life to confront an enemy and endure hostile fire.

The brigade was assailed at once in front and flank.[7] The main French column, headed by Laborde in person and preceded by swarms of tirailleurs, mounted the face of the hill with great fury and loud shouts. So impetuous was the onset that the British skirmishers were driven in upon the lines, but steady volleys arrested the advance of the French, and they broke and fled without waiting for the impending bayonet charge. It would be interesting to know something of the impressions made on young Campbell by his first experience of actual war; but the curt entry in his memorandum is simply—"21st (August), was engaged at the battle of Vimiera."

At the end of the brief campaign Campbell was transferred to the first battalion of the Ninth, and had the good fortune to remain under the command of Colonel Cameron, who had also been transferred. In the beginning of October a despatch from England reached Lisbon, instructing Sir John Moore to take command of the British army intended to co-operate with the forces of Spain in an attempt to expel the French from the Peninsula. The disasters which befell the enterprise committed to Moore need not be recounted in detail because of the circumstance that a young lieutenant shared in them in common with the rest of the hapless force. The battalion in which Campbell was serving was among the earliest troops to be put in motion. It quitted its quarters at Quelus, near Lisbon on October 12th, and reached Salamanca on November 11th. When Moore's army was organised in divisions, the battalion formed part of Major-General Beresford's brigade belonging to the division commanded by Lieutenant-General Mackenzie Fraser. On reaching[8] Salamanca Moore found that the Spanish armies which he had come to support were already destroyed, and that he himself was destitute alike of supplies and money. In this situation it was his original intention to retire into Portugal, which might have been his wisest course; but Moore was a man of a high and ardent nature. When on the point of taking the offensive in the hope of affording to the Spaniards breathing-time for organising a defence of the southern provinces, he became aware that French forces were converging on him from diverse points; and on the 24th of December began the memorable retreat, the disasters of which cannot be said to have been compensated for by the nominal victory of Coruña.

In the hardships and horrors of that midwinter retreat young Campbell bore his share. Little, if any fighting came in his way, since the division to which his battalion belonged was for the most part in front. During the retreat it experienced a loss of one hundred and fifty men; but they are all specified as having died on the march or having been taken prisoners by the enemy. Nor had it the good fortune to take part in the battle of Coruña, having been stationed in the town during the fighting. There fell to a fatigue party detailed from it the melancholy duty of digging on the rampart of Coruña the grave of Moore, wherein under the fire of the French guns he was laid in his "martial cloak" by his sorrowing Staff in the gray winter's dawn. Beresford's brigade, to which Campbell's battalion belonged, covered the embarkation and was the last to quit a shore of melancholy memory. General Shadwell writes that, "To give some idea of the discomforts of the[9] retreat, Lord Clyde used to relate how for some time before reaching Coruña he had to march with bare feet, the soles of his boots being completely worn away. He had no means of replacing them, and when he got on board ship he was unable to remove them, as from constant wear and his inability to take them off the leather had adhered so closely to the flesh of the legs that he was obliged to steep them in water as hot as he could bear and have the leather cut away in strips—a painful operation, as in the process pieces of the skin were brought away with it."

After a stay in England of little more than six months Campbell's battalion was again sent on foreign service, an item of the fine army of forty thousand men under the command of the Earl of Chatham. The main object of the undertaking, which is known as the Walcheren Expedition, whose story occupies one of the darkest pages of our military history, was to reduce the fortress of Antwerp and destroy the French fleet lying under its shelter, in the hope of disconcerting Napoleon and creating a diversion in favour of Austria. But opportunities were lost, time was squandered, and the expedition ended in disastrous failure. Montresor's brigade, to which Campbell's battalion belonged, disembarked on the island of South Beveland in the beginning of August, to be the gradual prey of fever and ague in the pestilential marshes of the island. Nothing was achieved save the barren capture of the fortress of Flushing; and towards the end of September most of the land forces of the expedition, including Campbell's battalion, returned to England. Over one-sixth of the original army of forty thousand men had been buried in[10] the swamps of Walcheren and South Beveland; the survivors carried home with them the seeds of the "Walcheren fever," which affected them more or less for the rest of their lives. Colin Campbell was an intermittent sufferer from it almost if not quite to the end of his life.

The second battalion of the Ninth had been in garrison at Gibraltar since July, 1809, and to it Colin Campbell was transferred some time in the course of the following year. In the beginning of 1811 the French Marshal Victor was blockading Cadiz, and General Graham (afterwards Lord Lynedoch) determined on an attempt in concert with a Spanish force to march on his rear and break the blockade. Landing at Tarifa he picked up a detachment, which included the flank companies of the Ninth in which Campbell was serving. Graham's division of British troops was now somewhat over four thousand strong, and the Spanish army of La Peña was at least thrice that strength. The allied force reached the heights of Barrosa on March 5th. Graham anxiously desired to hold that position, recognising its value; but he had ceded the command to La Peña, who gave him the order to quit it and move forward. In the conviction that La Peña himself would remain there, he obeyed, leaving on Barrosa as baggage-guard the flank companies of the Ninth and Eighty-Second regiments under Major Brown. Graham had not gone far when La Peña abandoned the Barrosa position with the mass of his force. Victor had been watching events under cover of a forest, his three divisions well in hand; and now he saw his opportunity. Villatte was to stand fast; Laval to intercept the return[11] of the British division to the height; Ruffin to seize the height, sweep from it the allied rear-guard left there, and disperse the baggage and followers. Major Brown held together the flank companies he commanded, and withdrew slowly into the plain. Graham promptly faced about and made haste to attack. Brown had sent to Graham for orders, and was told that he was to fight; and the gallant Brown, unsupported as he was, charged headlong on Ruffin's front. Half his detachment went down under the enemy's first fire; but he maintained the fight staunchly until Dilke's division came up, when the whole, Dilke's people and Brown's stanch flank companies, "with little order indeed, but in a fierce mood," in Napier's words, rushed upwards to close quarters. The struggle lasted for an hour and a half and was "most violent and bloody"; only the unconquerable spirit of the British soldiers averted disaster and accomplished the victory. Many a fierce fight was Colin Campbell to take part in, but none more violent and bloody than this one on the heights of Barrosa. His record of his own share in it is characteristically brief and modest: "At the battle of Barrosa Lord Lynedoch was pleased to take favourable notice of my conduct when left in command of the two flank companies of my regiment, all the other officers being wounded."

Late in the same year Campbell saw some casual service while temporarily attached to the Spanish army commanded by Ballasteros in the south of Spain. In the disturbed state of the surrounding region many Spanish families of rank were glad to find quiet shelter within the fortress of Gibraltar, and their society was[12] eagerly sought by young Campbell, who was anxious to take the opportunity of improving himself in the French and Spanish languages. When in December, 1811, a French force under Laval undertook what proved an abortive and final attempt to reduce the fortified town of Tarifa, he accompanied the light company of his battalion to take part in the vigorous and successful defence of the place, a result achieved by the courage and devotion of the British garrison sent to hold it by General Campbell, the wise and energetic governor of Gibraltar, and by the skill and resource of Sir Charles Smith the chief engineer.

At the close of 1812 Colin Campbell had just turned his twentieth year, and had been a soldier for four and a half years, during which time he had seen no small variety of service. Vimiera and Barrosa had been stiff fights, but neither belonged to the category of "big wars" which are said to "make ambition virtue." Young Campbell had virtue, and certainly did not lack honest ambition. In a sense he had as yet not been very fortunate. In a period when interest was almost everything, he had absolutely none. While he had been on a side track of the great war, his more fortunate comrades of the first battalion had fought at Busaco and Salamanca under the eye of the Great Captain himself. But the time had now come when he, too, was to belong to the army which Wellington was to lead to final and decisive victory. He accompanied a draft from the second battalion of his regiment which in January 1813 was sent to join the first battalion lying in its winter cantonments in the vicinity of Lamego on the lower Douro, and to his great joy found himself again under[13] the command of his original chief, Colonel Cameron. In its winter quarters the allied army had recovered the cohesion and discipline so sadly impaired during the retreat from Burgos in the preceding autumn, and, strengthened by large reinforcements, was now in fine form and high heart. The advance began in the middle of May, when Wellington's army, seventy thousand strong, swept onward on a broad front, turning the positions of the French and driving them before it towards the Pyrenees. Of the three corps constituting that army Sir Thomas Graham's had the left, consisting of the first, third, and fifth divisions, to the second brigade of which, commanded by General Hay, belonged the first battalion of the Ninth, to the light company of which Colin Campbell was posted. The march of Graham's corps through the difficult mountainous region of Tras-os-Montes and onward to Vittoria was exceptionally arduous, but the obstacles were skilfully surmounted. Of the part taken by his battalion on this advance Colin Campbell kept a minute daily record, which has been preserved. He acted as orderly officer to Lieutenant-Colonel Crawford of his battalion, who commanded the flank companies of the third and fifth divisions in the operation of crossing the Esla at Almandra on May 31st. Continuing its march towards the north-east Graham's corps crossed the Ebro with some skirmishing, and on the morning of the 18th of June its advance debouched from the defile of Astri and marched on Osma, where the French General Reille with two divisions was unexpectedly met. Reille occupied the heights of Astalitz. The light companies of the first brigade were sent against the enemy, who were evincing an intent to[14] retreat, and Campbell accompanied his company. He notes as follows:—"This being our first encounter of the campaign, the men were ardent and eager, and pressed the French most wickedly. When the enemy began their movement to the rear, they were constrained to hurry the pace of their columns, notwithstanding the cloud of skirmishers which covered their retreat. Lord Wellington came up about half-past three. We continued the pursuit until dusk, when we were relieved by the light troops of the fourth division. The ground on which we skirmished was so thickly wooded and so rugged and uneven, that when we were relieved by the fourth division, and the light companies were ordered to return to their respective regiments, I found myself incapable of further exertion from fatigue and exhaustion, occasioned by six hours of almost continuous skirmishing."

On the 20th Wellington's army moved down into the basin of Vittoria. King Joseph's dispositions for the battle of Vittoria, which was fought on June 21st, were distinctly bad. His right flank at Gamara Mayor was too distant to be supported by the main body of his army, yet the safe retreat of the latter in the event of defeat depended on the staunchness of this isolated wing. Graham, moving southward from Murguia by the Bilbao road, was to attack Reille who commanded the French right, and to attempt the passage of the Zadora at Gamara Mayor and Ariaga; should he succeed, the French would be turned, and in great part enclosed between the Puebla mountains on one side and the Zadora on the other by the corps of Hill and Wellington.


Graham approached the valley of the Zadora about noon. Before moving forward on the village of Abechuco, it became necessary to force across the river the enemy's troops holding the heights on the left and covering the bridges of Ariaza and Gamara Mayor. This was accomplished after a short but sharp fight in which Colin Campbell participated. Sarrut's French division retired across the stream, and the British troops occupied the ground from which the enemy had been driven. Campbell thus describes the sequel:—"While we were halted the enemy occupied Gamara Mayor in considerable force, placed two guns at the principal entrance into the village, threw a cloud of skirmishers in front among the cornfields, and occupied with six pieces of artillery the heights immediately behind the village on the left bank. About 5 P.M. an order arrived from Lord Wellington to press the enemy in our front. It was the extreme right of their line; and the lower road leading to France, by which alone they could retire their artillery and baggage, ran close to Gamara Mayor. The left brigade moved down in contiguous columns of companies, and our light companies were sent to cover the right flank of this attack. The regiments, exposed to a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, did not take a musket from the shoulder until they carried the village. The enemy brought forward his reserves, and made many desperate efforts to retake the bridge, but could not succeed. This was repeated until the bridge became so heaped with dead and wounded that they were rolled over the parapet into the river below. Our light companies were closed upon the Ninth, and brought into the village to support the[16] second brigade. We were presently ordered to the left to cover that flank of the village, and we occupied the bank of the river, on the opposite side of which was the enemy. After three hours' hard fighting they retired, leaving their guns in our possession. Crossing the Zadora in pursuit, we followed them about a league, and encamped near Metanco." The French left and centre had been driven in, and Graham had closed to the enemy their retreat by the Bayonne road, so that there remained to them only the road leading towards Pampeluna, which was all but utterly blocked by vehicles and fugitives. In the words of one of themselves, the French at Vittoria lost all their equipages, all their guns, all their treasure, all their stores, all their papers, so that no man could prove even how much pay was due to him; generals and subordinate officers alike were reduced to the clothes on their backs, and most of them were barefooted.

After the battle of Vittoria Graham moved forward to the investment of San Sebastian. In itself before that battle the fortress was of little account, but since then the French General Rey had used great energy in restoring its powers of defence; and its garrison at the beginning of Graham's operations reached a total of about three thousand men. San Sebastian is situated on a peninsula jutting out into the sea, and is connected with the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The western side of the peninsula is washed by the sea, the eastern by the estuary of the river Urumea. At its northern extremity rose the steep height of Monte Urgullo, the summit of which was occupied by the castle of La Mota, a citadel of great strength, capable of being defended[17] after the town should have fallen. The town, surrounded by a fortified enceinte, occupied the entire breadth of the peninsula. The high curtain protecting it on the southern or landward side had in front of it a large hornwork, with a ravelin enclosed by a covered way and glacis. The east and west defences were weak; along the eastern side the water of the Urumea estuary receded at low tide for some distance from the foot of the wall, leaving access thereto from the isthmus. At the neck of the peninsula, about half a mile in advance of the town defences, was the height of San Bartolomeo, near the eastern verge of which was the convent of the same name. This building the French had fortified and had thrown up a redoubt in connection with it, convent and redoubt forming the advanced post of the garrison.

Graham was in command of the operations, his force amounting to about ten thousand men. The obvious preliminary was the capture of the redoubt and convent of San Bartolomeo. An attack on this position, made on the 14th of July after an artillery preparation, had failed with heavy loss. A second attempt made on the 17th was more successful, three days of unintermitting artillery fire having reduced the convent to ruins and silenced the redoubt. The attack was made in two columns, the right one of which Colin Campbell accompanied with his own, the light company. The chief fighting of the day was done by his regiment, which stormed both convent and redoubt and after some hard fighting drove the French out of the adjacent suburb of San Martino and occupied what fire had spared of it. In this affair the Ninth lost upwards of seventy officers and soldiers. Campbell's laconic entry in his journal for[18] this day is simply, "Convent taken." But he must have distinguished himself conspicuously, since in Graham's despatch to Lord Wellington, among "the officers whose gallantry was most conspicuous in leading on their men to overcome the variety of obstacles exposed to them" was mentioned "Lieutenant Colin Campbell of the Ninth Foot."

The Commander-in-Chief desired judicious speed, and the operations were hurried on unduly by men who were too impetuous to adhere to the scheme sanctioned by their chief. After a four days' bombardment of the place the assault was ordered for the early morning of the 25th. The storming-party consisted of a battalion of the Royals, with the task of carrying the great breach; of the Thirty-Eighth, told off to assail the lesser breach further to the right; and of the Ninth, to act in support of the Royals. Colin Campbell had a special position and a special duty, of a kind seldom entrusted to a subaltern and markedly indicative of the estimation which he had thus early earned. He was placed in the centre of the Royals with twenty men of his (the light) company, having the light company of the Royals as his immediate support and under his orders, and accompanied by a ladder-party under an engineer officer. His specific orders were on reaching the crest of the breach to gain the ramparts on the left, sweep the curtain to the high work in the centre of the main front, and there establish himself. The signal for an advance to the assault was given prematurely, while it was still dark, by the explosion of a mine, and the head of the storming-party moved out of the trenches promptly but in[19] straggling order. The space between the exit from the parallel and the breach, some three hundred yards, was very rugged, broken by projecting rocks, pools, seaweed and other impediments. These difficulties, the darkness, and the withering fire from the ramparts, increased the tendency to disorder, and presently Campbell was not surprised to find an actual check. The halted mass had opened fire and there was no moving it forward. He pushed on past the halted body having there lost some men of his detachment; and reached the breach, the lower part of which he observed to be thickly strewn with killed and wounded. "There were," to quote from his journal, "a few individual officers spread on the face of the breach, but nothing more. These were cheering, and gallantly exposing themselves to the close and destructive fire directed on them from the round tower and other defences. In going up I passed Jones of the Engineers[1] who was wounded; and on gaining the top I was shot through the right hip and tumbled to the bottom. Finding on rising that I was not disabled from moving, and observing two officers of the Royals who were exerting themselves to lead some of their men from under the line-wall near to the breach, I went to assist their endeavours and again went up the breach with them, when I was shot through the inside part of the left thigh." In the language of the brilliant historian of the Peninsular War—"It was in vain that Lieutenant Campbell, breaking through the tumultuous crowd with the survivors of his chosen detachment, mounted the ruins—twice he ascended, twice he was wounded, and all around him died."


The assault failed; and the siege of San Sebastian was temporarily exchanged for a blockade. There was much angry discussion and recrimination as to the causes of the disastrous issue. It was remarked that no general or staff officer had quitted the trenches, and that what leading there was devolved entirely on the regimental officers. They, at least, had fought well and exposed themselves freely, and none had behaved himself more gallantly than Colin Campbell. This was heartily and handsomely acknowledged by Graham when he thus wrote in his despatch to Lord Wellington describing the assault:—"I beg to recommend to you Lieutenant Campbell of the Ninth, who led the forlorn hope, and who was severely wounded in the breach." Such a recognition, barren of immediate results though it was, Colin Campbell probably thought cheaply earned at the cost of a mere couple of bullet-holes. These, however, hindered him from participating in the desperate fighting of the final and successful assault on San Sebastian; and, indeed, when after the surrender of the place his division departed, he had to remain an invalid in the shattered town. He was now about to perpetrate the only breach of military discipline ever laid to his charge. Having heard of the early prospect of a battle, he and a brother officer who had also been wounded took the liberty of deserting from hospital for the purpose of joining their regiment. How long it took them to limp from San Sebastian to Oryarzun is not specified; but they reached the regiment on October 6th just in time to join the midnight march to the left bank of the Bidassoa opposite Andaya, and on the following morning to wade the river and enter France.[21] The British cannonade awoke the French to find their country invaded by an enemy and hostile cannon-balls falling in their bivouacs.

From Andaya the division in which Colin Campbell marched sprang up the slopes to assail the key of the position, the Croix des Bouquets. To that stronghold reinforcements were hurrying, and attacks on it had already been made in vain; "But," in the burning words of Napier, "at this moment Cameron arrived with the Ninth regiment, and rushed with great vehemence to the summit of the first height. The French infantry opened ranks to let the guns retire, and then retreated themselves at full speed to a second rise where they could only be approached in a narrow front. Cameron quickly threw his men into a single column and bore against this new position, which curving inwards enabled the French to pour a concentrated fire upon his regiment; nor did his violent course seem to dismay them until he was within ten yards, when, appalled by the furious shout and charge of the Ninth, they gave way and the ridges of the Croix des Bouquets were won as far as the royal road." The regiment in this encounter lost nearly one hundred men; and Colin Campbell, who commanded the light company in its front, was now again severely wounded. The breach of discipline he had committed in discharging himself from the hospital his colonel condoned with no sterner punishment than a severe reprimand, on account of his gallant conduct in the first action fought on French soil.



With the wound which struck him down on the Croix des Bouquets on the 7th of October 1813 Colin Campbell's active service in his original regiment ended, and on the 9th of November in the same year he was promoted to a captaincy without purchase in the Sixtieth Rifles. Still enfeebled by his wounds, he came home before the end of the year with the strongest recommendations to the Horse Guards from the commanders under whom he had served in the field,—recommendations which do not appear to have availed him materially. He made good his claim to a temporary wound-pension of £100 a year, but the application made on his behalf for staff-employment with Sir Thomas Graham in Holland was not successful.

One would fain gain some introspection into the nature, character, and tendencies of this young soldier, who in his twenty-first year was already a veteran of war after more than five years of pretty constant active service. It would be pleasant to have opportunities for regarding him as something other than a mere military lay-figure,—to attain to some conversance with his habits, his tastes, his attitude towards his comrades, his[23] relations with his family, the character of such study and reading as he could find time for, and so forth. But the means for doing this are altogether lacking. Lord Clyde was a very modest man, and it was with reluctance that he allowed his papers to be used for the purposes of a memoir. He, however, left it by his will to the discretion of his trustees to dispose of his papers, with the characteristic injunction: "If a short memoir should appear to them to be absolutely necessary and indispensable (which I should regret and hope may be avoided), then it should be limited as much as possible to the modest recital of the services of an old soldier." The trustees, seventeen years after Lord Clyde's death, judged wisely in sanctioning the compilation of a memoir, the material available for which was confided to the late General Shadwell who had been long and intimately associated with Lord Clyde both at home and on campaign. General Shadwell's biography of his chief is a most careful and accurate work; but probably because of a lack of such material as, for instance, familiar correspondence affords, it somewhat fails to furnish an adequate presentment of Colin Campbell as he was during the long years before he emerged from comparative obscurity, and became gradually a marked and characteristic figure familiar to and cherished by his fellow-countrymen.

Campbell served with a battalion of the Sixtieth in Nova Scotia from October, 1814, to July, 1815, when ill-health caused by his wounds compelled him to return to Europe. After a course of thermal treatment in southern France he served for two years at Gibraltar, and early in 1819 followed to Barbadoes the Twenty-First[24] Fusiliers to which regiment he had been transferred. The next seven years of his life he passed in the West Indies,—the first two years of the seven in Barbadoes, the latter five in Demerara, where he served as aide-de-camp and brigade-major to the Governor, General Murray. The tropical climate of the West Indies agreed with him, and notwithstanding recrudescences of Walcheren fever and frequent annoyances from his wounds he was able to enjoy life and relish the society of the colony. During his soldiering in Spain he and his friend and comrade Seward had perforce lived on their pay, and had firmly avoided incurring debt. With his captain's pay and his wound-pension Campbell found himself no longer obliged to live penuriously, and indeed was able to assist his father by a considerable annual payment. And now in Demerara with his staff-appointment he was so well off that, in his disregard for money, he carelessly allowed his pension to lapse, a neglect which he had bitter reason to regret later. His friend General Murray was succeeded in the Demerara command by General Sir Benjamin D'Urban, a distinguished Peninsular officer, between whom and his brigade-major there was speedily engendered a mutual esteem and affection. Probably, indeed, those years in Demerara were the pleasantest of Colin Campbell's life. Comfortable (and we may be sure efficient) in his staff-position, and the right hand man of a chief who loved him, he was happy in his regiment and welcome everywhere in society. When in November, 1825, the opportunity presented itself for his promotion by purchase to a majority in his regiment, it was the spontaneous generosity of a colonial friend which mainly[25] enabled him to buy the step. The promotion was of the greatest professional importance to him, and indeed may be considered the turning-point of his career; but it required him to vacate his pleasant appointment and to take leave of the chief whose friendship he so warmly cherished. Returning to England in 1826 to join the depôt of his regiment, he took home with him the strongest recommendations from Sir Benjamin D'Urban to the authorities at the Horse Guards; but he continued to serve with his regiment at home until the autumn of 1832 in the rank of major, although through the kindness of a relative the money was ready for the purchase of his promotion to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

General Shadwell furnishes us with an interesting sketch of Colin Campbell's personal aspect from a portrait taken of him in his uniform at this period of his career. "A profusion of curly brown hair, a well-shaped mouth and a wide brow, already foreshadowing the deep lines which became so marked a feature of his countenance in later years, convey the idea of manliness and vigour. His height was about five feet nine, his frame well knit and powerful; and but that his shoulders were too broad for his height, his figure was that of a symmetrically-made man. To an agreeable presence he added the charm of engaging manners, which, according to the testimony of those who were familiar with him at this period, rendered him popular both at the dinner-table and in the drawing-room."

After several disappointments, in October, 1832, through the good offices of Lord Fitzroy Somerset he was gazetted to an unattached lieutenant-colonelcy by[26] purchase. The promotion cost him £1300 and relegated him for a time to half-pay, "after," to use his own words, "a period of nearly twenty-five years on full pay—viz. upwards of five years as a subaltern, nearly thirteen as captain, and seven as major." His time being now at his own disposal, his active and energetic temperament would not allow him to vegetate in idleness. He determined to watch the operations of the siege of Antwerp conducted by a French force under Marshal Gérard against the resolute but scanty Dutch garrison, which under the energetic command of General Chassé was holding the citadel and outworks of the historic Flemish city. He kept a detailed and technical journal of the siege operations and of Chassé's obstinate defence, from which he compiled reports for the Horse Guards; and for these he was afterwards thanked by Lord Hill and Lord Fitzroy Somerset. It was an experience which must have been of service to him when he came to hold high command; as he wrote at the time, "To have been present at and to have witnessed the operations of a siege commenced and carried on en règle to the crowning of the crest of the glacis, and the establishment of the breaching and counter batteries thereon and the descent of the ditch completed, has given me great satisfaction." After the capitulation of Antwerp Campbell wintered in the quaint old city of Marburg in Hesse-Cassel, with the twofold purpose of acquiring the German language and of living economically. The summer and autumn of 1833 he spent in Germany, but was in England during most of 1834 undergoing disappointment after disappointment. His means he found wholly inadequate for a London life, yet it was clear[27] that it would be unwise to absent himself from proximity to the authorities. "Doing nothing and expecting nothing" is one dreary note of this period. Indeed inaction, which he detested, and the dregs in his constitution of the old pestilential Walcheren mischief, were combining to make Colin Campbell morbid and desponding. Yet, considering all things, he had attained better advancement than many of his old Peninsular comrades. Take, for example, George Bell of the Royals, a fellow subaltern with Campbell in Hay's brigade of Graham's corps in the Vittoria campaign. Bell was a younger soldier than Campbell by three years, but he had seen infinitely more service than his senior. Bell "was engaged in the action of Arroyo de Molino, the final siege of Badajos, capture of Fort Napoleon and bridge at Almaraz, in the retreat from Burgos and Madrid, the battles of Vittoria, the Pyrenees, Pass of Maya and Roncevalles, the Nive, Bayonne, St. Pierre, Orthes, Tarbes, and Toulouse, with many other affairs and skirmishes; and he possessed the Peninsular War medal with seven clasps for as many pitched battles." Since the Peninsular War he had fought in India and the Burmese War and had served in the West Indies. And whereas Colin Campbell was a lieutenant-colonel in 1832 George Bell was still a captain in 1839. To complete the contrast, while Campbell was a peer and a full general in the middle of 1858 Bell was still a colonel, after having fought throughout the Crimean War in the command of a battalion. If the former despaired of fortune when a lieutenant-colonel after twenty-seven years of service, how bitterly must the latter have known the hope deferred that maketh the heart sick when[28] still a colonel after forty-eight years of continuous service!

In the early part of 1835 Colin Campbell, still despondent, was in London "living in very scanty hopes of employment." But in May of that year he was offered and accepted the command of the Ninety-Eighth regiment. Its service companies were at the Cape, but as the regiment had nearly completed its period of foreign service it was finally determined that it was not necessary that he should join it there. How poor he was when he had the good fortune to revert to full-pay, may be gathered from his hesitation to become a member of the United Service Club. "My debts and embarrassments" he records "indisposed me to entering it;" but a wise friend insisted upon his taking up his election and backed his insistence by advancing the entrance fees. The depôt of the Ninety-Eighth was at Devonport, commanded by Captain Henry Eyre, afterwards General, and Colonel of the Fifty-Ninth regiment; an officer between whom and Colin Campbell there soon began a friendship which ripened into a most affectionate and enduring intimacy. By dint of questioning this officer regarding the minutest details of the regiment, its new chief was already familiar with its interior economy before its arrival at Portsmouth in the summer of 1837. He then assumed command, and at once set about putting in practice the sound principles on which he himself had been trained in the Ninth regiment,—principles which were the legacy of Sir John Moore to the British army. In the camp at Shorncliffe that great soldier had introduced a system of instruction and interior economy which, in the words[29] of General Shadwell, had produced in the regiments serving under his command an excellence that had borne the test of trial in the varied phases of the great Peninsular struggle, and had left a permanent mark on the service at large. Campbell's anxious and successful endeavour was to make the Ninety-Eighth a well disciplined, thoroughly instructed and trustworthy regiment. The material to his hand was good. He found the depôt in fine order; the service companies brought home by Major Gregory required merely the weeding out of some hard drinkers whose example was prejudicial to the younger soldiers and whom the colonel was able to obtain permission to discharge.

Colin Campbell had a genuine liking for and a thorough knowledge of the private soldier. Throughout life he was by no means slow to wrath when occasion stirred it, and sometimes, indeed, when the incentive was inadequate, for hot Highland blood ran in his veins; and when his face flushed and his gray eyes scintillated with passion, he was not a man with whom it were wise to argue. The slack officer and the bad soldier found no sympathy from a chief whose rebukes were strong and whose punishments were stern; but he had a true comradeship with those in whom he recognised some of that zeal of which he himself had perhaps an excess. Himself ever sedulous in the fulfilment of duty and sparing himself in nothing, he required of his officers a scrupulous attention to their duties in everything regarding the instruction, well-being, and conduct of their men. General Shadwell writes: "Frugal in his habits by nature and force of circumstances, Colonel Campbell laid stress on the observance of economy in the officers' mess,[30] believing a well-ordered establishment of this kind to be the best index of a good regiment. Regarding the mess as one of the principal levers of discipline, he made a rule of attending it even when the frequent return of his fever and ague rendered late dinners a physical discomfort. Cramped in his means, he denied himself many little comforts in order that he might have the wherewithal to return hospitality and be able to set an example to his brother officers in the punctual discharge of his mess liabilities. His intercourse with his officers off duty was unrestrained and of the most friendly character. He sympathised with them in their occupations and sports, and though the instruction and discipline of the regiment was carried on with great strictness, the best feeling pervaded all ranks."

In the ordinary tour of duty the Ninety-Eighth removed from Portsmouth to Weedon, and thence it proceeded to Manchester which was in what was then known as the Northern District command, now subdivided into the North-Eastern and North-Western Districts. In those days there were no railways, and the long marches by road, in many respects advantageous though they were, and worthy as they are, at least to some extent, of being reverted to at present, certainly tested severely the discipline of regiments. An officer who took part in the marches of the Ninety-Eighth thus records his recollections:—"The regiment was in such a high state of discipline in these marches through the length and breadth of the land, that none of those occurrences which have since been the subject of complaint took place. Day after day I had seen the regiment turn out without a man missing; and drunkenness[31] was very trifling considering how popular the army then was, and how liberally the men were treated. The fact was that Colin Campbell appealed to the reason and feelings of his men, and made it a point of honour with them to be present and sober in their billets at tattoo and at morning parade for the march. He could invite, as well as compel obedience."

In April, 1839, the command of the troops in the Northern District, which then comprised eleven counties, was entrusted to Sir Charles Napier. For some time previous the disquiet among the manufacturing population in this wide region had occasioned great anxiety to the Government; and it seemed that the Chartist movement might culminate in actual insurrection. An outbreak was apprehended almost momentarily, and might occur at any point; so that all over the north magistrates were nervously calling for military protection. Napier had at his disposition a force of barely four thousand men; and those were so dispersed that on assuming command he found them broken up into no fewer than twenty-six detachments, spread over half England. Those scattered handfuls of soldiers were worse than useless; their weakness was dangerous and actually invited to mischief. Fortified by the cordial support of the Home Secretary Napier insisted on three points: the concentration of his troops, and, where detachments had to be granted, proper quarters for them so as to keep the soldiers together; that magistrates instead of clamouring for troops should rally loyal citizens around them for self-defence; that the army was to be regarded as a force of ultimate reserve, and that therefore it was the duty of Government[32] to establish throughout the country a strong police force,—a measure which was soon to be dealt with by Sir Robert Peel.

Napier had been in command of the district for some three months before he and Colin Campbell met, although in the interval they had corresponded officially and thus may have come to know something of each other. Napier, at least, had gauged the character of his subordinate officer. In July he had ordered the Ninety-Eighth from Hull to Newcastle-on-Tyne. Things were then at about their worst, and Napier wrote: "Great anxiety about the colliers in the north. I have sent Campbell, Ninety-Eighth, there from Hull. The colliers had better be quiet; they will have a hardy soldier to deal with; yet he will be gentle and just, or he should not be there." During its march the Ninety-Eighth was halted in billets over Sunday in York. It chanced that Napier during a tour of inspection arrived there by coach about noon, and alighted at the inn where the hurried coach-dinner was served. Ascertaining that Colonel Campbell was quartered in the house, the General promptly introduced himself. Mentioning the number of minutes allotted for the meal, he asked if it would be possible to collect the men under arms before the coach went on. With perfect confidence Colin Campbell replied in the affirmative. The "assembly" was sounded; and as the men were gathering from their billets Napier, as he ate, cross-examined the colonel of the Ninety-Eighth regarding the internal economy of the regiment. He then inspected the troops, and on finishing the last company as the horses were being put to, he mounted the box with the remark, "That's what[33] I call inspecting a regiment." "It was," comments General Shadwell, "what some commanding officers might term sharp practice; but it was a satisfactory test of the discipline and order which Colin Campbell had perfected in the Ninety-Eighth." And he adds that this hurried meeting "formed an important epoch in Campbell's career. From that moment he conceived an esteem and respect for the noble soldier under whose command he had been so fortunate as to find himself placed, sentiments which speedily developed into a feeling of affectionate regard well-nigh amounting to veneration."

The arrival of the regiment at Newcastle was welcomed by the magistrates, colliery owners, and county gentlemen of Northumberland, who in their apprehension of a Chartist rising leaned upon its commanding officer for the maintenance of order. At no period of his career did Colin Campbell evince greater wisdom and shrewdness than during this critical and sensitive time. Neither rash nor weak, he reassured the apprehensive and awed the disaffected. He visited in person many of the Chartist meetings, and was not slow to discern that the movement included a large proportion of supporters who advocated moral in preference to physical methods for the accomplishment of their objects. He became convinced that no serious rising would take place, yet he took every precaution to meet such a contingency. The regiment was carefully trained in street firing, and such dispositions as would be requisite in the event of the troops being called upon to act were sedulously practised. The Ninety-Eighth were loyal to a man, and their discipline was faultless. Once the Chartists seized a[34] drummer-boy of the regiment and forced him to beat his drum at the head of a procession. The cry rose that the soldiers were fraternising with the mob and a magistrate hurried to the barracks with the ominous tidings. Campbell immediately answered—"Come, and I will show how the soldiers feel in the matter, midnight though it is!" Ordering the bugler to sound the "assembly" he took the magistrate into the barrack-yard. From the barrack-rooms came rushing out the soldiers armed and accoutred, venting vehement imprecations on the malcontents; and Campbell grimly called the magistrate's attention to the wholesome views expressed by a local "Geordie" of the regiment, who frankly signified his readiness to "stick his own grandmother if she were out." But midnight alertes on scant provocation Campbell steadfastly discountenanced. His most sedulous care was for the health of his men. He habitually dispensed with all superfluous and needless guards, and he resolutely cut down sentry-duty which he did not consider absolutely necessary for the protection of public property or the requirements of the service. In this solicitude for the well-being of the soldier Campbell was stoutly upheld by Sir Charles Napier. Holding though he did to his conviction that no rising would occur, he nevertheless could not resist an urgent application from the magistracy of Durham for military assistance, and he took upon himself to despatch a detachment to that town, reporting his having done so to the general commanding the district. Napier approved of his conduct, but enjoined on him the exaction from the Durham authorities of the stipulation specified in the following terms:—"If the detachment[35] is to remain at Durham, the magistrates must furnish a barrack with everything requisite for the men, and this barrack must be so situated that the communication with the open country can be maintained—that is to say, on the outskirt of the town. It must also be perfectly comfortable for the soldiers, and the officers' quarters attached to it. Unless these conditions be complied with, you must inform the magistrates that I must positively order the detachment back to Newcastle. I will not have troops in billets."

The disaffection in the north gradually died down as Colin Campbell had prognosticated; and his wise and judicious conduct during the troublous time was fully acknowledged by the authorities. From the Home Office came the following approval of his behaviour. "Lord John Russell desires to express to you the satisfaction he has received from the report of the Newcastle-on-Tyne magistrates of the prompt and valuable services which you have constantly rendered them since the commencement of their intercourse with you. Lord John Russell has not failed to make known to Lord Hill" (the Commander-in-Chief) "the testimony borne by the magistrates to your valuable services, and Lord John requests that you will accept his best thanks for your exertions, and for the zeal manifested by you in supporting the Civil authorities, and in the preservation of the public peace." Lord Fitzroy Somerset conveyed to Campbell Lord Hill's satisfaction in learning that "his conduct had met with the unqualified approbation of Her Majesty's Government;" and the magistrates of the county tendered him their acknowledgment of the cordial and efficient manner in which he and the troops[36] under his command had co-operated with the civil power in the preservation of the public peace.

It is the experience of all soldiers that a regiment broken up in detachments tends to fall into slackness as well in discipline as in drill. But throughout his command of the Ninety-Eighth Colin Campbell had the invaluable advantage of having exceptionally good and zealous officers serving under him. Alike at headquarters and on detachment discipline was rigid without being unduly severe; and when the regiment was together at Newcastle its drill was admirable,—"so steady, so perfect in battalion movements, so rapid and intelligent in light-infantry exercise." It was when the regiment was stationed at Newcastle that Campbell taught it to advance firing in line, which was a specially difficult movement with the old muzzle-loader of the period, but which on two subsequent occasions he brought into practice against the enemy with particularly advantageous results.

The Ninety-Eighth had been serving for more than two years in the Northern District, and a move was imminent in the summer of 1841. But it would seem to have been considered that the regiment before leaving the north should receive new colours, and those were presented to it by Sir Charles Napier on the 12th of May on the Newcastle racecourse in presence of a great assemblage gathered to witness the ceremony. Sir Charles addressed the regiment in a long oration in the true Napier vein, in the course of which he paid an almost ruthless compliment to Colin Campbell. The episode, if somewhat theatrical, must have had a stirring effect. In the course of his address the General said:[37] "Of the abilities for command which your chief possesses, your own magnificent regiment is a proof. Of his gallantry in action hear what history says, for I like to read to you of such deeds and of such men; it stimulates young soldiers to deeds of similar daring." Then he read from his brother's History of the Peninsular War the account of Lieutenant Campbell's conduct in the breach of San Sebastian: "'Major Fraser,'" he read in his sonorous tones, "'was killed in the flaming ruins; the intrepid Jones stood there a while longer amidst a few heroic soldiers hoping for aid; but none came, and he and those with him were struck down. The engineer Machel had been killed early, and the men bearing the ladders fell or were dispersed. Thus the rear of the column was in absolute confusion before the head was beaten. It was in vain that Colonel Greville of the Thirty-Eighth, Colonel Cameron of the Ninth, Captain Archimbeau of the Royals, and many other regimental officers, exerted themselves to rally their disciplined troops and refill the breach; it was in vain that Lieutenant Campbell, breaking through the tumultuous crowd with the survivors of his chosen detachment, mounted the ruins—twice he ascended, twice he was wounded, and all around him died.' There," continued Sir Charles—"there stands the Lieutenant Campbell of whom I have been reading; and well I know that, if need be, the soldiers of the Ninety-Eighth will follow him as boldly as did those gallant men of the glorious Ninth who fell fighting around him in the breaches of San Sebastian!"

In July the Ninety-Eighth left Newcastle for Ireland, where, however, it remained only a few months, its[38] term of home service being nearly completed. The original intention was that it should be sent to the Mauritius. Colin Campbell worked hard to have its destination altered to Bermuda, in the belief that the strained relations then existing between Great Britain and the United States would result in war, in which event the regiment at Bermuda would be advantageously situated. But the roster of service, he found, could not be dislocated to meet his desire; and all that he could accomplish was the permission on arrival at Mauritius to effect an exchange with the officer commanding the Eighty-Seventh, then garrisoning the island, should that officer desire to remain there, and to return to Great Britain in command of that regiment. Later he had reason to believe that the Ninety-Eighth was intended for service in China; but that this was so he did not ascertain for certain until the middle of October, when he was informed that the service companies were destined to take part in the hostilities against China which had been in progress with more or less vigour for the last two years, and which were intended to be prosecuted to a final issue when Lord Ellenborough, in the beginning of 1842, should succeed Lord Auckland as Governor-General of India.



The Ninety-Eighth had been moved to Plymouth in anticipation of departure on foreign service, and on the 20th of December, 1841, it embarked for Hong-Kong on H.M.S. Belleisle, a line-of-battle ship which had been commissioned for transport service. According to present ideas the Belleisle, whose burden did not exceed 1750 tons, was abominably overcrowded, especially for a voyage of six months or longer. The Ninety-Eighth embarked eight hundred and ten strong; and what with staff officers, details, women and children and crew, the ship carried a total of nearly thirteen hundred souls. Among her passengers was Major-General Lord Saltoun, the hero of Hougomont, who was going out as second in command of the Chinese expeditionary force. During a short stay in Simon's Bay Colin Campbell had the pleasant opportunity of visiting his old Demerara chief Sir Benjamin D'Urban, who since they last met had served a term of office as Governor of Cape Colony, and was now living in retirement among his orchards and vineyards a few miles from Cape Town. The Belleisle made a fairly quick voyage to Hong-Kong, where she arrived on June 2nd, 1842, and where orders[40] were awaiting the Ninety-Eighth to make all haste to join the force of Sir Hugh Gough operating in the region of the estuary of the Yang-tse-Kiang. Active hostilities had for some time previously been in progress. After the capture of the town of Chapoo on May 18th the fleet carrying the expeditionary force had proceeded to an anchorage off the mouth of the Yang-tse-Kiang, where it lay for a fortnight while the bar was being surveyed and buoyed. The Chinese had constructed a great line of defensive works about Woosung, but the British fleet anchored in face of the batteries on the 16th of June, and as the result of a two hours' bombardment the Chinese fire was crushed and the garrisons were driven from their batteries by the sailors and troops. Shanghai was occupied, and the expedition remained in the vicinity of Woosung while surveying steamers were prospecting the river. It was during this halt that the Belleisle with the Ninety-Eighth aboard joined the expeditionary force at Woosung on the 21st of June. The regiment was assigned to the first brigade under Lord Saltoun, and occupied part of the third division of vessels during the ascent of the river.

The expedition left Woosung on July 6th, its objectives being the great cities of Chin-Kiang and Nanking. The strength of it was overwhelming, for the fleet consisted of fifteen ships of war, ten steamers and fifty transports and troop-ships, on which were embarked nine thousand soldiers and three thousand disciplined seamen ready for service on shore in case of need. The Belleisle was off Chin-Kiang on the 19th, and on the morning of the 21st the troops disembarked in three brigades. The columns of Sir Hugh Gough and General Schoedde had[41] some hard fighting with the Tartar garrison of the city commanded by the gallant Haeling. Lord Saltoun's brigade, with the Ninety-Eighth in advance, marched against a Chinese force occupying a low ridge some miles inland and to westward of the city. The opposition encountered was trivial, and was easily overcome by the light company of the Ninety-Eighth in skirmishing order supported by a few discharges from a mountain-battery. But the regiment, debilitated as it was by a long tropical voyage in an overcrowded ship, unsupplied with an equipment suitable for the climate and wearing its ordinary European clothing, was in no case to resist the fierce summer-heat of China. The sun had its will of the men, thirteen of whom died on the ground; and Colin Campbell, seasoned veteran as he was, was himself struck down, though he soon recovered. From this day forth for months, and even for years, disease maintained its fell grip on the victims of overcrowding, and Napier would have been puzzled to recognise in the shattered invalids of Hong-Kong the "beautiful regiment" which had sailed from Plymouth in fine physique and high heart. On the night following the disembarkation several cases of cholera occurred, and fever and dysentery became immediately prevalent. Within ten days from the landing at Chin-Kiang fifty-three men of the Ninety-Eighth had died, and the Belleisle was rapidly becoming a floating hospital.

A garrison was left in Chin-Kiang, and on August 4th the Cornwallis man-of-war anchored in front of that very gate of Nanking which twenty-six years earlier had been rudely shut in the face of a British ambassador. Opposite that same gate it was destined that severe[42] terms should now be dictated by a victorious British force. The mass of the expedition reached Nanking on the 9th and preparations for the attack on that city were promptly begun. The Ninety-Eighth men fit for service were transferred from the Belleisle to a steamer which conveyed them to a point where a diversion was intended. Colin Campbell was too ill to accompany his regiment, and when he joined it a few days later he was again prostrated by fever. But Nanking escaped its imminent fate. Negotiations resulted in a treaty of peace which was concluded on August 26th; the expedition retraced its steps, and in October the Belleisle reached Hong-Kong with the wreck of the unfortunate regiment. Even after those long months fate still kept imprisoned on ship-board what remained of the hapless Ninety-Eighth. The regiment had to remain on the Belleisle until barracks could be built for its reception. Writing to his sister in December, Colin Campbell had the following sad tale to tell:—"The regiment has lost by death up to this date two hundred and eighty-three men, and there are still two hundred and thirty-one sick, of whom some fifty or sixty will die; and generally, of those who may survive, there will be some seventy or eighty men to be discharged in consequence of their constitutions having been so completely broken down as to unfit them for the duties of soldiers. This is the history of the Ninety-Eighth regiment, which sailed from Plymouth in so effective a state in all respects on the 20th of December of last year—and all this destruction without having lost a man by the fire of the enemy!" His estimate of the losses, grave as it was, did not reach the grim actual total. From its landing at Chin-Kiang on[43] July 21st, 1842, up to February, 1844, a period of nineteen months, the unfortunate regiment lost by death alone four hundred and thirty-two out of a strength of seven hundred and sixty-six non-commissioned officers and men; and there remained of it alive no more than three hundred and thirty-four, an awful contrast to the full numbers with which it had embarked at Plymouth twenty-six months earlier.

When the expeditionary force was broken up at the end of 1842 Colin Campbell became commandant of the island of Hong-Kong, and he devoted himself to the care of the survivors of his regiment. The worst cases were sent to a hospital ship, those less serious to a temporary hospital on shore. The remainder of the corps, some three hundred and thirty men, at last, in February, 1843, quitted the Belleisle and occupied quarters at Stanley. While at Hong-Kong he learned that he had been made a Companion of the Bath and aide-de-camp to the Queen, the latter appointment conferring promotion to the rank of colonel. In January, 1844, he left Hong-Kong to succeed General Schoedde in command of the garrison quartered on the Island of Chusan, a transfer which gave him the position of brigadier of the second class. In the more bracing and salubrious climate of Chusan Campbell materially regained his health; and he had not been many months in his new command when he began his efforts to have the Ninety-Eighth removed from its unhealthy quarters in Hong-Kong to the reinvigorating atmosphere of Chusan. This he was able to accomplish in the earlier months of 1845, and he immediately set about the restoration of the regiment to its former efficiency. He was a rigorous task-master, but if he did[44] not spare others he never spared himself. He seldom missed a parade, and except in the hot season there were three parades a day. Leave of absence except on medical certificate was refused to officers who had come from England with the regiment, on the ground that their experience was needed to instruct the comparatively raw material from the depôt. The officers of the Ninety-Eighth who belonged to the garrison staff were also required to perform their regimental duty. The painstaking and laborious chief thus notes in his journal the progress of the regiment in the midsummer of 1845: "Parade as usual morning and evening; men improving, but still in great want of individual correctness in carriage, facings, motions of the firelock, etc.; but they move in line and open column very fairly, and I confidently expect before the end of the year to have them more perfect than any battalion in this part of the world." When toward the close of the year the health of the regiment was fully re-established, its colonel conceived that it should undergo higher tests than the ordinary movements of the drill-ground afforded. He accordingly took it out into the open country and divided it into an attacking and a defending force, in order to train the men in the art of taking cover and skill in skirmishes over broken ground. By the beginning of 1846 he was "quite at ease as to the appearance the regiment would make on landing in India."

The time fixed by the treaty of Nanking for the evacuation of the island of Chusan by the British troops was now approaching, and on May 10th the Chinese authorities resumed jurisdiction over the island. Until then Campbell's duties had not been purely military,[45] the entire civil charge of Chusan having been vested in his hands. The most friendly relations existed between the British Brigadier and the Chinese Commissioners. Arrangements were made without a trace of friction for the preservation of the European burial-grounds and in regard to other matters. Campbell was the recipient of an interesting letter from the Commissioners, passages in which deserve to be quoted:—"While observing and maintaining the treaty, you have behaved with the utmost kindness and the greatest liberality towards our own people, and have restrained by strict regulations the military of your honourable country.... The very cottagers have enjoyed tranquillity and protection, and have not been exposed to the calamity of wandering about without a home. All this is owing to the excellent and vigorous administration of you, the Honourable Brigadier.... Now that you are about to return to your own country crowned with honour, we wish you every happiness."

Notwithstanding occasional attacks of ague which rendered him liable to depression and irritation, Campbell appears to have been fairly happy during his stay in Chusan. He writes on the eve of his departure of "'my last walk' in Chusan, where I have passed many days in quiet and peace, and where I have been enabled to save a little money, with which I hope to render my last days somewhat comfortable. My health upon the whole is pretty good; and altogether I have every reason to be thankful to God for sending me to a situation wherein I have been enabled to accomplish so much for my own benefit and the comfort of others, whilst my duty kept me absent from them." The latter allusion[46] was to his father and sister, for both of whom he had been able to make provision in the event of his predeceasing them. Having left England heavily embarrassed, the increase of his emoluments during his stay in China had enabled him to relieve himself of liabilities, and this without being at all niggardly in the hospitalities which he dispensed.

Sailing from Chusan on July 5th in the transport Lord Hungerford, the colonel and headquarters of the Ninety-Eighth landed at Calcutta on October 24th, 1846; the last of the detachments carried by other transports arrived at the end of November, when the regiment was complete. Colin Campbell meanwhile had been in charge of Fort-William, but when the regiment began its march to Dinapore in December he resumed its command. He really seemed to live for the Ninety-Eighth. Lord Hardinge had expressed his intention of appointing him a brigadier of the second class. "This," writes Campbell, "is very flattering; but I would prefer to remain with my regiment." He writes with soldierly pride of its conduct on the route-march: "The march of the regiment has been conducted to my entire satisfaction, no men falling out, and the distance of sections so correctly preserved that their wheeling into line is like the operation of a field-day. Those who follow me will benefit by this order and regularity in conducting the line of march." On arrival at Dinapore in the end of January, 1846, he found his appointment in general orders as brigadier of the second class to command at Lahore. Before starting for his new sphere he held what proved to be his last inspection of the Ninety-Eighth. "Men steady as rocks," he writes, "moving by[47] bugle-sound as correctly as by word of command—equally steady, accurate, and with the same precision." In the evening he spoke to the regiment some simple manly, soldierly words, to which the men must have listened with no little emotion. He dined with the mess the same night, when the president rose and proposed his health in connection with the day's inspection of the regiment and the exertions he had made as commanding officer to produce such results. "The toast," he wrote, "was received with great warmth and cordiality.... I could not speak without emotion, and my manner could not conceal my deep anxiety respecting a corps in which I had served so long. I begged that, if their old colonel had been sometimes anxious and impatient with them, they would forget the manner and impatience of one who had no other thought or object in life but to add to their honour and reputation collectively and individually."

Next day he started for Lahore, "feeling," as he records in his restrained yet sincere manner, "more than I expected when taking leave of the officers who happened to be at my quarters at the moment of my departure." He had a pleasant meeting at Cawnpore with his old West Indian comrades of the Twenty-First Fusiliers; and on the road between Kurnal and Meerut he had an interview with the Governor-General. Lord Hardinge received him with the frank kindness of an old Peninsular man to a comrade, described Henry Lawrence, the British Resident in the Punjaub, as "the King of the country, clever and good-natured, but hot-tempered," and gave Campbell to understand that if any part of the force in the Punjaub should be called upon[48] to take the field, he should have a command. A few days later he reached Saharunpore, the headquarters for the time of Lord Gough, the Commander-in-Chief, also an old Peninsular man, whom he found most cordial and friendly. The old Chief asked him whether he could be of any service to him. Colin Campbell, sedulous as ever for the welfare of the Ninety-Eighth, replied that he had no favour to ask for himself, but that his lordship would give him pleasure by removing his regiment nearer to the frontier as early as might be, away from its present station which afforded the men so many temptations to drink. On his arrival at Lahore in the end of February, 1847, he was cordially received by Henry Lawrence, whose guest at the Residency he became until he should find accommodation for himself.

Campbell came into the Punjaub at a very interesting period. The issue of the war of 1845–46 had placed that vast territory at the mercy of the British Government, and Lord Hardinge might have incorporated it with the Company's dominions. But he desired to avoid the last resource of annexation; and although he considered it necessary to punish the Sikh nation for past offences and to prevent the recurrence of aggression, he professed his intention to perform those duties without suppressing the political existence of the Punjaub State. The Treaty of Lahore accorded a nominally independent sovereignty to the boy Prince Dhulip Singh, a British Representative was in residence at Lahore, and the Sikh army was being reorganised and limited to a specified strength. Within a few months Lall Singh, who had been appointed Prime Minister, had been deposed, and a fresh treaty was signed in December,[49] 1846, which provided that a council of regency composed of eight leading Sikh chiefs should be appointed to act under the control and guidance of the British Resident, who was to exercise unlimited influence in all matters of internal administration and external policy. British troops were to be stationed in various forts and quarters throughout the country, maintained from the revenues of the State. The management was to continue for eight years until the Maharaja Dhulip Singh should reach his majority. The treaty conferred on the Resident unprecedented powers, and Major Henry Lawrence, an officer of the Company's artillery, became in effect the successor of Runjeet Singh.

This settlement had a specious aspect of some measure of permanency. It might have lasted longer if the state of his health had enabled Henry Lawrence to remain at his post; but it was unsound at the core, for a valiant and turbulent race does not bow the neck submissively after a single disastrous campaign on its frontier. But the Punjaub seemed in a state of unruffled peace when Colin Campbell shook hands with Henry Lawrence in the Residency of its capital. In those days the familiar sobriquet of "Kubhur-dar," of which the English is "Take care!", had not attached itself to him; but Campbell, even when his Highland blood was aflame in the rapture of actual battle, was never either reckless or careless; and the motto "Be Mindful," which he chose for his coat of arms when he was made a peer, was simply a condensation of the principles of cool wisdom and shrewd caution on which he acted through life. A strong Sikh force, he found, was located in and about Lahore, and the population of[50] the city had a name for turbulence. In order to inform himself as to how the troops were posted in relation to the defences of the city, as well against an interior as an exterior attack, one of his earliest concerns was to make a careful inspection of the positions along with the responsible engineer. In choosing his residence he held it to be his duty to have it in the proximity of his troops. Soon after his arrival there was a fête in the Shalimar gardens to which all the garrison had been invited, but he allowed only half of the officers of his command to be absent from their men, giving as his reason that "if the Sikhs wanted to murder all the officers, they could not have a better chance than when these were gathered four miles away from their men, enjoying themselves at a fête." In the measures of precaution which he adopted he had the approval of Henry Lawrence and of Sir Charles Napier, to the latter of whom he wrote on the subject. Napier expressed himself in his trenchant fashion:—"I am delighted at all your precautions against surprise. In India we who take these pains are reckoned cowards. Be assured that English officers think it a fine dashing thing to be surprised—to take no precautions. Formerly it was an axiom in war that no man was fit to be a commander who permitted himself to be surprised; but things are on a more noble footing now!"

In the end of 1847 Henry Lawrence left Lahore and went home to England in the same ship with Lord Hardinge. A week before they sailed from Calcutta Hardinge's successor, Lord Dalhousie, arrived there and took the oaths as Governor-General,—a potentate at whose hands a few years later Colin Campbell was to[51] receive treatment which caused the high-spirited soldier to resign the command he held and leave India. In the Lahore Residency Henry Lawrence was succeeded temporarily by his brother John, who in March, 1848, gave place to Sir Frederick Currie, a member of the Supreme Council. The position was one which required the experience and military knowledge of a soldier, but Sir Frederick Currie was a civilian. In January Sir John Littler had been succeeded in the Punjaub divisional command by Major-General Whish, an officer of the Company's service, an appointment which disappointed Colin Campbell who had hoped for the independent command of the Lahore brigade.

The deceptive quietude of the Punjaub was now to be exposed. When Sir Frederick Currie reached Lahore, he found there Moolraj the Governor of Mooltan, a man of vast wealth who had come to offer the resignation of his position for reasons that were chiefly personal. Moolraj stipulated for some conditions which were not conceded, and ultimately he resigned without any other condition than that of saving his honour in the eyes of his own people. A new Governor was appointed in his place, who set out for Mooltan accompanied by Mr. Vans Agnew of the Bengal Civil Service and Mr. Agnew's assistant, Lieutenant Anderson of the Bombay Army. Moolraj marched with the escort of the new Governor, to whom, on the day after the arrival of the party in Mooltan, he formally surrendered the fort. After the ceremony Agnew and Anderson started on their return to camp, Moolraj riding alongside the two English gentlemen. At the gate of the fortress Agnew was[52] suddenly attacked,—run through by a spear and slashed by sword-cuts. At the same moment Anderson was cut down and desperately wounded. Moolraj galloped off, leaving the Englishmen to their fate. Khan Singh's people carried them into a temple wherein two days later they were brutally slaughtered; their bodies were cut to pieces and their heads thrown down at the feet of Moolraj. What share Moolraj had taken in this treacherous butchery was never clearly ascertained; but every indication pointed to his complicity. This much is certain, that on the morning after the assassination he transferred his family and treasure into the fort, and placed himself at the head of the insurrectionary movement by issuing a proclamation summoning all the inhabitants of the province, of every creed, to make common cause in a religious war against the Feringhees.

News of the outrage and rising at Mooltan reached Lahore on April 24th. It was emphatically a time for prompt action, if an outbreak was to be crushed which else might grow into a general revolt throughout the Punjaub. It was extremely unlikely that the fort of Mooltan was equipped for an early and stubborn defence. To maintain our prestige was essential, for it was by prestige and promptitude only that we have maintained our pre-eminence in India. Sir Henry Lawrence would have marched the Lahore brigade on Mooltan without an hour's hesitation. Lord Hardinge would have ordered up the troops and siege-train from Ferozepore and the strong force collected at Bukkur; and would have invested Mooltan before Moolraj could have made any adequate preparations for prolonged[53] defence. Marches through Scinde, from the north-western frontier, and from Lahore, could not have been made in the hot season without casualties; but, in the words of Marshman, "our Empire in India had been acquired and maintained, not by fair-weather campaigns, but by taking the field on every emergency and at any season."

On the first tidings from Mooltan Sir Frederick Currie ordered a strong brigade of all arms to prepare for a march on that stronghold, being of opinion that the citadel, described in poor Agnew's report as the strongest fort he had seen in India, would not maintain a defence when a British force should present itself before it, but that the garrison would immediately abandon Moolraj to his fate. Colin Campbell, on the other hand, held that since the fort of Mooltan was very strong it was to be anticipated that Moolraj would obstinately defend it; in which case a brigade sent to Mooltan would be obliged to remain inactive before it while siege-guns were being brought up, or, as seemed more probable, should no reinforcements arrive in support, it would have to retrace its steps followed and harassed by Moolraj's active and troublesome rabble. Eventually, in great measure because of the arguments advanced by Campbell, the movement from Lahore on Mooltan was countermanded; and the Commander-in-Chief, with the concurrence of the Governor-General, intimated his resolve to postpone military operations until the cold weather, when he would take the field in person.

Meanwhile a casual subaltern, for whom swift marches and hard fighting in hot weather had no[54] terrors, struck in on his own responsibility. Gathering in the wild trans-Indus district of Bunnoo some fifteen hundred men with a couple of guns, Lieutenant Herbert Edwardes marched towards Mooltan. Colonel Cortland with two thousand Pathans and six guns hastened to join him; and on May 20th the united force defeated Moolraj's army six thousand strong. The loyal Nawab of Bhawalpore sent a strong force of his warlike Daudputras across the Sutlej to join hands with Edwardes and Cortland; and the junction had just been accomplished on the field of Kinairi some twenty miles from Mooltan, when the allies, about nine thousand strong, were attacked by Moolraj with a force of about equal magnitude. After half a day's hard fighting the enemy fled in confusion from the field. Edwardes and Cortland moved up nearer to Mooltan, their force now raised to a strength of about eighteen thousand; and there was a moment when Moolraj seemed willing to surrender if his life were spared. But he rallied his nerves and came out on July 1st with twelve thousand men to give battle on the plain of Sudusain within sight of the walls of Mooltan. After another obstinate fight his troops were thoroughly beaten and fled headlong into the city. "Now," wrote Edwardes to the Resident, "is the time to strike; I have got to the end of my tether. If," added the gallant and clear-sighted subaltern, "you would only send, with a few regular regiments, a few heavy guns and a mortar battery, we could close Moolraj's account in a fortnight, and obviate the necessity of assembling fifty thousand men in October."

Meanwhile the Resident had taken the strange[55] course of empowering the Lahore Durbar to despatch to Mooltan a Sikh force of some five thousand men under Shere Singh. It was notorious that both commander and troops were thoroughly disaffected; and so anxious was the Resident to prevent the force from approaching Moolraj that Shere Singh had orders to halt fifty miles short of Mooltan, and was only allowed to join Edwardes after his victory of July 1st. In tardy answer to that young officer's appeal for reinforcements, in the end of July a force of seven thousand men with a siege-train was ordered to converge on Mooltan from Lahore and Ferozepore under the divisional command of General Whish. It had been chiefly at Colin Campbell's dissuasion that the Resident had relinquished his intention of sending a force to Mooltan in April. Campbell's argument in that month had been the unfavourable season for marching; and now in a season not less unfavourable he was scarcely justified in considering himself the victim of a job in not obtaining the command of the Lahore brigade ordered on Mooltan. The disappointment proved fortunate, since a few months later he found himself in command of a division in the field with the rank of brigadier-general. By August 24th the whole of Whish's field-force was before Mooltan, but it was not until September 7th that the siege-guns were in position. Moolraj, confident in the increased strength which our delay had afforded him, spurned a summons to surrender. Active and bloody approaches were carried on for a week, when Shere Singh with his contingent suddenly passed over to the enemy. After this defection Whish held it impossible to continue the siege, and he retired to a position in[56] the vicinity pending the arrival of reinforcements from Bombay. The siege was reopened late in December: the city was stormed after a hard fight; and finally on January 22nd, 1849, Moolraj surrendered at discretion. It must be said of him that he had made a heroic defence.

By the end of September, 1848, the local outbreak was fast swelling into a national revolt. The flame of rebellion was spreading over the Land of the Five Rivers, and by the end of October only a few brave English officers were still holding together the last shreds of British influence in the Punjaub outside of Lahore and the camp of General Whish. Moolraj was the reverse of cordial to Shere Singh, who on October 9th quitted Mooltan and marched northward towards Lahore, his original force of five thousand men strengthened at every step by the warriors of the old Khalsa army who flocked eagerly to his standard. After threatening Lahore he moved westward to meet the Bunnoo insurgents, who had mutinied and murdered their officers, and he finally took up a position à cheval of the Chenab at Ramnuggur, his main body on the right bank of the river.

During the summer and autumn Colin Campbell passed an uneasy and anxious time. It was not until the beginning of November that he had the full assurance of being employed in the manifestly impending campaign. By this time Cureton's cavalry brigade and Godby's infantry brigade were in the Doab between the Ravee and the Chenab, and on November 12th Colin Campbell joined Cureton there with two native infantry regiments, taking command of the advanced force with the temporary rank of brigadier-general. At[57] length Lord Gough himself took the field, and on the 19th he crossed the Ravee at the head of an army of respectable strength. Apart from the division before Mooltan and the garrison required for Lahore, he had available for field service four British and eleven native infantry regiments. He was strong in cavalry, with three fine British regiments, five of native light cavalry, and five corps of irregular horse; and his powerful artillery consisted of sixty horse and field-guns, eight howitzers, and ten 18-pounders. On the early morning of the 22nd his lordship, with Colin Campbell's infantry division and a cavalry force under Cureton with horse and field artillery, marched from Saharun towards Ramnuggur with the object of driving across the Chenab some Sikh infantry reported to be still on the left bank. Some small detachments hurrying towards the river were pursued somewhat recklessly by horse-artillery, which had to retire under the heavy fire opened from the Sikh batteries on the commanding right bank. A gun and two waggons stuck fast in the deep sand and could not be extricated. Colin Campbell suggested to Lord Gough the measure of protecting the gun until it could be withdrawn at night, by placing infantry to cover it in a ravine immediately in its rear; but the Commander-in-Chief disapproved of this measure. The enemy lost no time in sending the whole of his cavalry across the river to take possession of the gun under cover of his overwhelming artillery fire. Our cavalry was foolishly sent forward to charge the superior hostile horse,—a folly which was committed, according to Colin Campbell, under the personal direction of the Commander-in-Chief. Ouvry's squadron of[58] the Third Light Dragoons made a brilliant and useful charge which materially aided the withdrawal of the artillery. In the face of a heavy fire Colonel William Havelock, a noble soldier who had fought in the Peninsula and at Waterloo, led on the Fourteenth Light Dragoons to a desperate combat with the Sikh horse. The horses of the dragoons were exhausted by the long gallop through the heavy sand and the casualties were heavy. Among the slain was Havelock himself, after a hand-to-hand combat; and while riding forward to stay Havelock's last advance Brigadier-General Cureton, who had raised himself to distinction from the ranks in which he had enlisted as a runaway lad, was killed by a Sikh bullet.

Lord Gough withdrew his troops beyond the reach of the Sikh batteries and awaited the arrival of his heavy guns and the remainder of his force. If his intention was to refrain from coming to close quarters with the enemy until the fall of Mooltan should bring him reinforcements, he was well placed on the left bank of the Chenab, covering Lahore and the siege of Mooltan and leaving Shere Singh undisturbed. If on the other hand he preferred the offensive, that offensive should have been prompt; a rapid stroke might have ended the business, for the Sikhs, as the sequel proved, were eager enough for fighting. And to all appearance the Commander-in-Chief meant to gratify their desire. To do so he had in the first instance to cross the Chenab. To accomplish this by direct assault on the Sikh position on the opposite bank was impracticable; and he resolved to compel the enemy's withdrawal by a wide turning movement with part of his force under the[59] command of Sir Joseph Thackwell, an experienced soldier. Thackwell's command consisted of Colin Campbell's strong division, a cavalry brigade, three troops of horse-artillery, two field-batteries and two heavy guns,—in all about eight thousand men. This force started in the early morning of December 1st, and after a march of twenty-four miles up the left bank of the Chenab was across that river at Wuzeerabad by noon of the 2nd. The same afternoon the force marched ten miles down the right bank and bivouacked. During the short march of the following morning Thackwell learned that a brigade was on its way to reinforce him, crossing by an intermediate ford; whereupon he halted the force and rode away in search of this reinforcement. Before he departed Colin Campbell asked permission to deploy and take up a position. Thackwell replied, "No—remain where you are until my return."

The force was then in open ground in front of the village of Sadoolapore, which has given its name to the engagement. Campbell rode to the front to reconnoitre. In front of the centre were some hostile horse; to the right in wooded ground some detachments of cavalry and infantry were seen scattered about. Certain that the enemy was in force and near at hand, he returned to the force and as a measure of precaution occupied with an infantry company each of the three villages in his front,—Langwala, Khamookhan and Rutta. The force, in his own words, "was not in a state of formation for troops to be when liable to be attacked at any moment. However, my orders were imperative not to deploy." Two hours later the enemy opened fire with their artillery from the woodland behind the villages.[60] At that moment Thackwell returned, and he ordered the companies holding the three villages to withdraw and rejoin their respective corps. The columns were immediately deployed. Between the British line and the Sikh troops, which had occupied the villages and were firing heavily from some twenty pieces of artillery while large bodies of their cavalry were threatening both flanks of the British force, was a smooth open space over which Thackwell desired to advance to the attack. Colin Campbell suggested that "as they were coming on so cockily, we should allow them to come out into the plain before we moved." He states in his journal that, since presently the enemy halted at the villages and there plied their artillery fire, he was convinced that they did not intend to come further forward; and that he twice begged of Thackwell to be allowed to attack with his infantry but was not permitted. The affair then resolved itself into a simple cannonade the result of which was to silence the Sikh fire. By this time Thackwell had received permission from the Commander-in-Chief to act as his judgment should dictate, whether his reinforcements had come up or not. It seemed the moment for an advance; the troops were full of eagerness, and a portion at least of the enemy's guns were in Thackwell's grasp. Thackwell, however, exercised caution for the time, hoping most likely for a decisive victory on the morrow. But during the night the enemy withdrew and marched away towards the Jhelum, probably without having sustained serious loss. That of the British amounted to some seventy men. Thackwell's turning movement had not been brilliant, and Sadoolapore was not an affair to[61] be very proud of; but it had brought about the relinquishment by the Sikhs of their position on the right bank of the Chenab, and this enabled the main British force to cross the river. By the 5th the mass of the army was at Heylah, about midway between Ramnuggur and Chillianwallah; but the Commander-in-Chief and headquarters did not cross the Chenab until December 18th.

If until then Lord Gough had been trammelled by superior authority, a few days later he was set free to act on his own judgment,—the result of which was simply absolute inaction until January, 1849. On the 11th of that month he reviewed his troops at Lassourie, and next day he was encamped at Dinjhi, whence the Sikh army had fallen back into the sheltering jungle, its right resting on Mung, its left on the broken ground and strong entrenchments about the village and heights of Russoul. Colin Campbell had been suffering from fever resulting from night exposure in bivouac during Thackwell's flank march; he had been on the sick list until the 10th and was still weak. In the memoir of the late Sir Henry Durand by his son occurs an interesting passage illustrative of Campbell's anxiety that the ground on which the enemy's position was to be approached should be properly reconnoitred. Durand writes: "Whilst in the Commander-in-Chief's camp to-day (11th) the projected attack on the enemy's position was described to me by General Campbell. He had just been with the Commander-in-Chief, who had spoken of attacking the Sikh position on the 13th. Campbell, seeing that his lordship had no intention of properly reconnoitring the position, was anxious on the[62] subject; and we went into the tent of Tremenheere the chief engineer, to discuss the matter. Campbell opened on the subject, announcing the intention to attack, and that it was to be done blindly, that was to say without any reconnaissance but such as the moment might afford on debouching from the jungle. He advocated a second march from Dinjhi, the force prepared to bivouac for the night, and that the 13th should be passed by the engineers in reconnoitring. Campbell wished Tremenheere to suggest this measure in a quiet way to the Commander-in-Chief; but he said that since the passage of the Chenab the Chief was determined to take no advice, nor brook any volunteered opinions; and he proposed that I should speak to John Gough (the Commander-in-Chief's nephew) and try to engage him to put it into the Commander-in-Chief's mind to adopt such a course." It is not certain that anything came of this improvised council of war: but there is no question that up to the afternoon of the 13th Lord Gough intended to defer the attack until the following morning.

Early on the 13th the army was at length marching on the enemy. The heavy guns moved along the road leading over the Russoul ridge to the Jhelum fords. Gilbert's division marched on their right, Colin Campbell's (the third) on their left, with the cavalry and light artillery on their respective flanks. The original intention was that Gilbert's (the right) division, with the greater part of the field-guns, was to advance on Russoul, while Campbell's division and the heavy guns should stand fast on the left, overthrow the left of the Sikhs, and thus cut them off from retiring along the high road toward Jhelum. Their left thus turned, Gilbert and[63] Campbell were to operate conjointly against the Sikh line, which it was hoped would be rolled back upon Moong and driven to the southward. A reconnaissance made by Tremenheere and Durand reported the road clear and practicable up to Russoul, but that the enemy was marching down from the heights apparently to take up a position on the plain. The march was resumed to beyond the village of Umrao; but when deserters brought in the intelligence that the enemy was forming to the left front of Gough's line of march behind the village of Chillianwallah, he quitted the Russoul road, inclined to his left, and moved straight on Chillianwallah. An outpost on the mound of Chillianwallah was driven in upon the main body of the enemy, and from that elevated position was clearly discernible the Sikh army drawn out in battle array. Its right centre directly in front of Chillianwallah was about two miles distant from that village, but less from the British line, which was being deployed about five hundred yards in its front. There was a gap nearly three-quarters of a mile wide between the right wing of the Sikhs under Utar Singh, and the right of the main body under Shere Singh. The British line when deployed could do little more than oppose a front to Shere Singh's centre and right, which latter, however, it overlapped a little, so that part of Campbell's left brigade was opposite to a section of the gap between Shere Singh's right and Utar Singh's left. Between the hostile lines there intervened a belt of rather dense low jungle, not forest, but a mixture of thorny mimosa bushes and wild caper.

It was near two o'clock in the afternoon of a winter day, and the troops had been under arms since daybreak.[64] Lord Gough, therefore, wisely determined to defer the action until the morrow, and the camping-ground was being marked out. But the Sikh leaders knew well how prone to kindle was the temperament of the gallant old Chief. They themselves were keen for fighting, and the British commander needed little provocation to reciprocate their mood when they gave him a challenge of a few cannon shots. Late in the day though it was, he determined on immediate attack. The heavy guns were ordered up and opened fire at a range of some sixteen hundred yards, the gunners in the thick jungle having no other means of judging distance than by timing the intervals between the flash and report of the Sikh guns. The advance of the infantry soon obliged the fire of the British guns to cease. The line pressed on eagerly, its formation somewhat impaired by the thickness of the jungle through which it had to force its way, and met in the teeth as it pushed forward by the artillery fire which the enemy, no longer smitten by the heavy guns, poured on the advancing ranks of the British infantry. For a while nothing but the roar of the Sikh artillery was to be heard; but after a short time the sharp rattle of the musketry told that the conflict had begun in earnest and that the British infantry were closing on the hostile guns. Of the two divisions Gilbert's had the right, Colin Campbell's the left. The latter had been the first to receive the order to advance and was the first engaged. Pennycuick commanded Campbell's right brigade, consisting of the Twenty-Fourth Queen's, and the Twenty-Fifth and Forty-Fifth native infantry regiments; Hoggan's, his left brigade, was formed of the Sixty-First Queen's and the Thirty-Sixth[65] and Forty-Sixth Sepoy regiments. In the interval between the brigades moved a field-battery, and on the left of the division three guns of another. At some distance on Campbell's left were a cavalry brigade and three troops of horse-artillery under Thackwell, whose duty it was to engage the attention of Utar Singh's detachment and to attempt to hinder that force from taking Campbell in flank and in reverse. The nature of the ground to be fought over rendered it impossible that the divisional commander could superintend the attack of more than one brigade; and Colin Campbell had arranged with Pennycuick that he himself should remain with the left brigade. Pennycuick's brigade experienced an adverse fate. During the advance its regiments were exposed to the fire of some eighteen guns on a mound directly in their front, from which they suffered very severely. The Twenty-Fourth, a fine and exceptionally strong regiment, advancing rapidly on the hostile batteries carried them by storm, but encountered a deadly fire from the infantry masses on either flank of the guns. The regiment sustained fearful losses. Pennycuick and thirteen officers of the regiment were killed at the guns, nine were wounded, two hundred and three of the men were killed and two hundred and sixty-six wounded. The native regiments of the brigade failed adequately to support the Twenty-Fourth, and musketry volleys from the Sikh infantry, followed by a rush of cavalry, completed the disorder and defeat of the ill-fated body. Already broken, it now fled, pursued with great havoc by the Sikh horse almost to its original position at the beginning of the action.

Hoggan's brigade, the left of Colin Campbell's[66] division, had better fortune. Campbell himself conducted it and its advance was made without any great difficulty. Its experiences he thus described in his journal:—"I took care to regulate the rate of march of the centre or directing regiment (H.M.'s Sixty-First), so that all could keep up; and consequently the brigade emerged from the wood in a very tolerable line. We found the enemy posted on an open space on a slight rise. He had four guns, which played upon us in our advance; a large body of cavalry stood directly in front of the Sixty-First, and on the cavalry's left a large body of infantry in face of the Thirty-Sixth N.I. That regiment went at the Sikh infantry and was repulsed; the Sixty-First moved gallantly and steadily on the Sikh cavalry in its front, which slowly retired. When the Sixty-First had nearly reached the ground which the cavalry had occupied, I ordered the regiment to open its fire to hasten their departure." This fire was delivered as the corps advanced in line, a manœuvre constantly practised by Campbell, and it put the Sikh cavalry to a hasty flight. At this moment the enemy pushed forward two of their guns to within about twenty-five yards of the right flank of the Sixty-First, and opened with grape while their infantry were actually in rear of its right. Campbell promptly wheeled to the right the two right companies of the Sixty-First and headed them in their charge on the two Sikh guns. Those were captured, whereupon the two companies opened fire on the flank of the Sikh infantry in pursuit of the Thirty-Sixth Native Infantry and obliged the former to desist and fall back. While the Sixty-First was completing its new alignment to the right, an evolution by which Shere[67] Singh's right flank was effectually turned, the enemy advanced with two more guns strongly supported by infantry. Neither of the two native regiments had succeeded in forming on the new alignment of the Sixty-First; "but," writes Campbell, "the confident bearing of the enemy and the approaching and steady fire of grape from their two guns made it necessary to advance, and to charge when we got within proper distance. I gave the word to advance and subsequently to charge, heading the Sixty-First immediately opposite the guns as I had done in the former instance. These two attacks," he continues, "gave the greatest confidence to the Sixty-First, and it was evident that in personally guiding and commanding the soldiers in these two successful attacks under difficult circumstances, I had gained the complete confidence and liking of the corps, and that with it I could undertake with perfect certainty of success anything that could be accomplished by men."

While Campbell was leading the earlier charge on the two first Sikh guns, one of the enemy's artillerymen who had already fired at him from under a gun apparently without result, rushed forward sword in hand and cut at the General, inflicting a deep sword-cut on his right arm. Not until the following morning was it discovered that the Sikh gunner's bullet had found its billet, fortunately an innocuous one. It had smashed to atoms the ivory handle of a small pistol which Campbell carried in a pocket of his waistcoat, and had also broken the bow of his watch. The Sikh's aim was true, and but for the pistol and the watch Colin Campbell would never have seen another battle. His charger was found to be wounded by a musket-shot[68] which had passed through both sides of the mouth and finally had lodged and flattened in the curb-chain.

The journal thus continues:—"After the capture of the second two guns, and the dispersion of the enemy, we proceeded rolling up his line, continuing along the line of the hostile position until we had taken thirteen guns, all of them by the Sixty-First at the point of the bayonet. We finally met Mountain's brigade coming from the opposite direction. During our progress we were on several occasions threatened by the enemy's cavalry on our flank and rear. The guns were all spiked, but having no means with the force to remove them and it being too small to admit of any portion being withdrawn for their protection, they were, with the exception of the last three that were taken, unavoidably left on the field."

Colin Campbell had to fight hard for his success, and it was well for him that in the gallant Sixty-First he had a staunch and resolute English regiment. But he would have had to fight yet more hard, and then might not have attained success, if away on his left Thackwell had not been holding Utar Singh in check and impeding his efforts to harass Campbell's flank and rear. Brind's three troops of horse-artillery expended some twelve hundred rounds in a hot duel with Utar Singh's cannon which else would have been playing on Campbell's flank, and Unett's gallant troopers of the famous "Third Light" crashed through Sikh infantry edging away to their left with intent to take Campbell in reverse. Thackwell did his valiant best until he and his command were called away to the endangered right, but before then he had time to serve Campbell materially,[69] although he could not entirely prevent Utar Singh's people from molesting that commander; and although Campbell did not record the critical episode, there was a period when he found himself engaged simultaneously in front, flank, and rear, and when the brigade was extricated from its entanglement only by his own ready skill and the indomitable staunchness of the noble Sixty-First.

In spite of the disasters which chequered it the battle of Chillianwallah may be regarded as a technical victory for the British arms, since the enemy was compelled to quit the field, although they only retired into the strong position on the Russoul heights from which in the morning they had descended into the plain to fight. The moral results of the action were dismal, and the cost of the barren struggle was a loss of two thousand four hundred killed and wounded. At home the intelligence of this waste of blood excited feelings of alarm and indignation, and Sir Charles Napier was immediately despatched to India to supersede Lord Gough in the position of Commander-in-Chief. Meanwhile the army lay passive in its encampment at Chillianwallah, within sight of the Sikh position at Russoul, awaiting the surrender of Mooltan and the accession of strength it would receive in consequence of that event. The Sikh leader more than once gave the British Commander-in-Chief an opportunity to fight, but Gough with tardy wisdom resisted the offered temptation, resolved not to join issues until his reinforcements from Mooltan should reach him. On the night of February 13th the Sikh army abandoned Russoul, marched round the British right flank, and on the 14th was well on its way to Goojerat. Gough, who had slowly followed to within a[70] march of Goojerat, was joined at Koonjah by the Mooltan force on the 18th and 19th, and on the 20th advanced to Shadawal whence the Sikh encampment around the town of Goojerat was within sight. The battlefield of February 21st was the wide plain to the south of Goojerat, intersected by two dry water-courses. The Sikh line of battle extended from Morarea Tibba, where their cavalry was in force, along an easterly bend of the Bimber (the western) channel, thence across the plain, behind the three villages of Kalra which were occupied by infantry, to Malka-wallah a village on the left bank of the eastern channel. Against this extended front advanced the British army, now twenty-three thousand strong with ninety guns, eighteen of which were heavy siege-pieces. The heavy guns, followed by two and a half infantry brigades, moved over the plain between the two channels. Campbell's division and Dundas' brigade were on the left bank of the western channel, with Thackwell's cavalry still further to the left. The Sikhs, ever ready with their artillery, opened the battle with that arm. Gough at last had been taught by hard experience that an artillery preparation should precede his favourite "cold steel." The British batteries went out to the front and began a magnificent and effective cannonade which lasted for two hours and crushed the fire of the Sikh guns. The infantry then deployed and marched forward, stormed the three Kalra villages after experiencing a desperate and prolonged resistance, and swept on up the plain toward Goojerat. There was little bloodshed on the right of the Bimber channel, where marched Campbell and Dundas, but there was plenty of that skill which spares precious lives. Campbell[71] describes how he handled his division:—"I formed my two brigades in contiguous columns of regiments with a very strong line of skirmishers—the artillery in line with the skirmishers. When we arrived within long range of the enemy's guns, we deployed into line. In this order, the artillery—twelve 9-pounders with the skirmishers and the infantry in line close in rear, advanced as at a review; the guns firing into the masses of infantry and cavalry behind the nullah, who gradually melted away and took shelter in its channel. I then caused the artillery of my division to be turned on the flank of these throngs while the Bombay troop of horse-artillery fired direct on their front. I finally dislodged them by artillery which enfiladed the nullah, and which was moved forward and placed in position for that object. I was ordered to storm this nullah; but to have done so with infantry would have occasioned a useless and needless sacrifice of life. Recognising that the result could be obtained by gun-fire without risking the life of a man, I proceeded on my own responsibility to employ my artillery in enfilading the nullah; and after thus clearing it of the enemy, I had the satisfaction of seeing the whole of our left wing pass this formidable defence of the enemy's right wing without firing a shot or losing a man. We had too much slaughter at Chillianwallah because due precaution had not been taken to prevent it by the employment of our magnificent artillery. Having felt this strongly and expressed it to the Commander-in-Chief in warm terms, I had determined to employ this arm thenceforth to the fullest extent; and I did so, accordingly, in the battle of Goojerat."

The discomfiture of the enemy was thorough.[72] Cavalry, infantry, and artillery left the field in utter confusion. The rout was too complete to allow of the reunion of formed bodies in anything like order. A body of Sikh horse with a brigade of Afghan cavalry adventured an advance on Thackwell's flank. He hurled against them the Scinde Horse and the Ninth Lancers, and a wild stampede resulted. The rest of the British cavalry struck in and rushed on, dispersing, riding over, and trampling down the Sikh infantry, capturing guns and waggons, and converting the discomfited enemy into a shapeless mass of fugitives. The horsemen did not draw rein until they had ridden fifteen miles beyond Goojerat, by which time the army of Shere Singh was a wreck, deprived of its camp, its standards, and fifty-three of its cherished guns. On the morning after the battle Sir Walter Gilbert started in pursuit of the broken Sikh host, while Campbell took out his division in the direction of Dowlutanuggur, but the latter was recalled on the 25th. On March 6th, however, he received the order to join Gilbert's force in room of Brigadier Mountain who had been injured by the accidental discharge of his pistol. On the road to Rawul Pindi on the 15th he passed the greater part of the Sikh army with its chiefs, who were laying down their arms. Campbell was moved by the fine attitude of the men of the Khalsa army. "There was," he wrote, "nothing cringing in the manner of these men in laying down their arms. They acknowledged themselves beaten, and they were starving—destitute alike of food and money. Each man as he laid down his arms received a rupee to enable him to support himself while on his way to his home. The greater number of[73] the old men especially, when laying down their arms, made a deep reverence or salaam as they placed their swords on the heap, with the muttered words 'Runjeet Singh is dead to-day!' This was said with deep feeling; they are undoubtedly a fine and brave people." On the 21st Gilbert and Campbell reached Peshawur, and the latter encamped near the fort of Jumrood at the mouth of the Khyber Pass, through which the Afghans, whom Dost Mahomed had sent into the Punjaub to reinforce the Sikhs in their warfare with the British forces, had retreated very shortly before. The campaign was at an end; and early in April Colin Campbell took command of the Sind Sagur District with his headquarters at Rawul Pindi. There he shared a house with his friend Mansfield, who in the time of the Mutiny was to be his Chief-of-Staff. In July there occurred an event which called for all his firmness and discretion. Two native infantry regiments stationed at Rawul Pindi refused to accept the cantonment scale of pay, which was lower than they had been receiving when on campaign. Evidence was clear that the combination to resist the cantonment scale had spread to other stations, and the situation was temporarily critical; but fortunately there was a British regiment at Rawul Pindi, and the sepoys came to reason without the necessity on Campbell's part of resorting to strong measures. When at Rawul Pindi he had the gratification to learn of his having been promoted to be a Knight of the Bath for his services in the recent campaign; and Sir Charles Napier in sending him the intimation added that "no man had won it better," and expressed the hope that "he would long wear the spurs."


In November he was transferred to the divisional command of the Peshawur District, a more important, but also a more unquiet post than Rawul Pindi. Thenceforth for three years he was to be the Warden of the turbulent north-western frontier. It pleased him to find in his command his old regiment the Ninety-Eighth, and also the Sixty-First which he had led at Chillianwallah. When in February, 1850, Sir Charles Napier reached Peshawur on a tour of inspection, Sir Colin was able to assemble for review quite a little army of all ranks; three troops of horse-artillery and two field-batteries, three cavalry regiments, three European and three native infantry regiments. While Sir Charles was in Colin Campbell's district, it happened that he came under hostile fire for the last time in his tumultuous life. Between Peshawur and Kohat, both places in British territory, a mountain road ran outside that territory through a long and dangerous defile. The Afridis inhabiting the intervening hill country had complained that their subsidy for keeping open the pass had not been paid, and in revenge had slaughtered a working party of sappers and miners. Sir Charles determined to force the defile in person. Campbell, on Napier's requisition, detailed a tolerably strong force as escort to the Commander-in-Chief. It chanced that before starting Napier inspected a regiment of irregulars under the control of the much-vaunted Punjaub Government. The men were of fine physique, but "one soldier had a musket without a lock, another a lock without a musket. A stalwart soldier, his broad chest swelling with military pride, his eyes sparkling with a malicious twinkle, held on his shoulder between his finger and[75] thumb a flint—his only arm." The defile was duly forced, but its passage was one long skirmish. Kohat was inspected and reinforced, but Napier, on commencing his return march, found that the pickets left to keep the road open had been roughly handled and had suffered serious loss. The Afridis were very daring, and actually fired on Sir Charles and his staff at short range. The loss sustained in this somewhat quixotic expedition amounted to one hundred and ten men killed and wounded—"not much," comments Napier grimly, "when one considers the terrible defile through which we passed, defended by a warlike race." His biographer calls the enterprise an "interesting episode"; it certainly was not a very wise enterprise to be undertaken by the Commander-in-Chief of British India. It was Napier's last eccentricity of a military character. By the end of the year he resigned the command of the army of India, and was succeeded by Sir William Gomm, an old brother officer of Colin Campbell in the Ninth in the Peninsula days.

In March, 1851, Lord Dalhousie visited Peshawur and discussed with Sir Colin the policy to be adopted towards the troublesome and turbulent tribes on the north-western border. Scarcely had the Governor-General gone when news came in that a Momund tribe, of the region north of Peshawur between the Swat and Cabul rivers, had been raiding into British territory. Dalhousie left to Sir Colin the decision whether to make signal reprisals or to adopt defensive measures, and, as the result of the description of the wild and rugged region sent him by Sir Colin after a reconnaissance he had made, elected for the defensive as an experiment.[76] It failed, for in October the Momunds of Michni made an irruption upon some villages within British territory. The Governor-General now decided on an immediate resort to active measures, and Sir Colin was ordered to inflict summary chastisement on the offending tribe. He marched from Peshawur on October 25th with a force of all arms about twelve hundred strong, and advanced to the confines of the Michni territory. He did not hurry, because he desired that his political officer should have opportunity to inform the inhabitants of the conditions intended to be offered them; which were annexation of the territory, exile for the irreconcilables, and the retention of their lands by the cultivators on payment of revenue. Campbell's humane view was that "to drive into the hills the whole population of Michni, occupying some seven and twenty villages, could only result in forcing them to prey on the plunder of the villages inside the border." The villages and fortalices whose inhabitants were implicated in the violation of British territory were destroyed under a harmless fire maintained by the mountaineers; but, as Campbell records, "while engaged in duties in which no soldier can take pleasure no lives were lost on either side. God knows the rendering homeless of two or three hundred families is a despicable task enough, without adding loss of life to this severe punishment." The British camp was more than once assailed by bodies of Momund tribes, and one of those attacks was made by some five thousand hillmen whom Sir Colin dispersed by shell fire. A fort was built and garrisoned in the Michni country, and the field-force returned to Peshawur[77] in February, 1852. With the results it had accomplished the Governor-General expressed his entire satisfaction.

The column had scarcely settled down in Peshawur when fresh troubles were reported from the wearyful Momund frontier. Sir Colin hurried thither with two horse-artillery guns and two hundred and sixty native troopers, to find the Momund chief Sadut Khan in position on the edge of the Panj Pao upland, fronting towards Muttah, with six thousand matchlock men and some eighty horsemen. The affair had its interesting features. Sir Colin took in reverse the Momund hordes with his artillery fire, broke up their masses, put them to flight, and pursued them. As he was preparing to return the Momunds suddenly wheeled in their tracks and rushed upon him over the broken ground. The guns were instantly unlimbered, and double charges of grape checked the wild and gallant attack,—a brilliant rally after the endurance of two hours' shell fire followed by a hasty retreat. The mountaineers continued to press Campbell's slow retirement across the table-land, notwithstanding the fire of grape which he maintained. The incident strengthened his belief in the superior efficacy of defensive operations, and he declined to fall in with the anxious wish of the Punjaub Board of Administration that he should act on the offensive against the Momunds, on the ground that he was not prepared to execute operations of that character without the most precise orders by the Commander-in-Chief, the authority to which he was responsible. His reply met with the full approval of the Commander-in-Chief, which however the Governor-General did not[78] share. Sir Colin maintained his ground with the approval of the former authority, when pressed by the Commissioner of Peshawur to enter Swat. Meanwhile the Ootman-Kheyl tribe had become implicated in the murder of a native official in British employ at Charsuddah. Sir Colin had no hesitation in taking measures to inflict punishment on this powerful and turbulent clan. A column of all arms, two thousand four hundred and fifty strong, was assembled on the left bank of the Swat river, and on May 11th proceeded to destroy a group of deserted villages belonging to the Ootman-Kheyl. The column then advanced on the large village of Prangurh, the Ootman-Kheyl stronghold. It had been prepared for defence, and was crowded with men who opened fire on Sir Colin's advanced guard. Covered by artillery fire his troops carried the village with a rush, after a stout defence on the part of the enemy. During the destruction of Prangurh letters were found proving a strong feeling of hostility towards the British Government on the part of the rulers of Swat. Sir Colin then fell in with the views of the Commissioner, and declared himself prepared to invade the Swat territory unless he should be absolutely prohibited by the Commander-in-Chief.

The British force next moved upon Iskakote, a large village of Ranizai, a dependency of Swat, whither large bodies of hillmen hastened to defend the village and valley. Sir Colin estimated the number of the hostile clansmen to be not less than six thousand. They made a stubborn resistance, and endured a sharp cannonade with great firmness. The Guides and Ghoorkas stormed the nullah with some hand-to-hand fighting, whereupon,[79] having suffered severe loss, the enemy broke up and made for the hills pursued by the cavalry.

The Commander-in-Chief interposed no veto on the invasion of Swat, but it became apparent to Sir Colin Campbell that the transport for that operation was inadequate and inefficient. Experience of the opposition he had encountered in the Iskakote affair, and a subsequent reconnaissance in the Ranizai valley, convinced him that his infantry would require a reinforcement of two thousand five hundred men, without receiving which he could not proceed to the invasion of Swat. The Punjaub Board of Administration refused his requisition for the number of troops he asked, and as it was unadvisable to keep the force in the field in the hot weather, the column returned to Peshawur in the beginning of June.

Campbell had already been made aware by the Commander-in-Chief of the Governor-General's dissatisfaction, which in the shape of a formal censure awaited him at Peshawur. Lord Dalhousie used expressions which must have cut the old fighting man to the quick. His lordship chose to tell the soldier of many battles that he had manifested "over-cautious reluctance" in advancing against the Swat marauders in March. Presently came the further charge that not only had he "transgressed the bounds of his proper province," but that "he had placed himself in an attitude of direct and proclaimed insubordination to the authority of the Governor-General in Council." Campbell replied with disciplined dignity and self-respect, expressing his regret that expressions so strong should have been used in regard to him, and his painful surprise that after a[80] lifetime of unswerving military subordination he should be accused of the reverse. He was aware that he was in disaccord with the Government, and already when in the field he had determined to resign his command, an intention which he had communicated to the Commander-in-Chief. To that old friend he wrote without heat:—"I have come to the conclusion that I should be wanting in what is due to myself, if, after what has passed, I were to continue in this command; there is a limit at which a man's forbearance ought to stop, and that limit has in my case been reached."

Sir Colin resigned his command on July 25th. He declined a farewell banquet to which the officers of the Peshawur garrison desired to invite him, believing that in the circumstances to accept the honour would be contrary to the spirit of the Queen's regulations. After spending three months in the bracing hill-station of Murree, in the end of October he visited at Dugshai the Ninety-Eighth regiment, to his original position as senior lieutenant-colonel of which he had reverted on the resignation of his divisional command; then, after a brief visit to Simla, he sailed from Bombay, arriving in England in March, 1853. Before leaving India he had read the official acknowledgment by the Government of the services of the troops engaged in the recent operations. The despatch recorded the Governor-General's regret "that any incident should have occurred to deserve a censure of any portion of Sir Colin Campbell's conduct;" but it "acknowledged in the most ample terms the ability, the personal intrepidity and activity, and the sterling soldierly qualities, which this distinguished officer had displayed in the military command[81] of the troops at Peshawur upon every occasion on which they had taken the field." The amende honorable was well enough in its lumbering way; but it could scarcely take away the bitter flavour of the barbed and venomous insinuation conveyed in the cruel words "over-cautious reluctance."



Soon after his return to England Sir Colin Campbell vacated the command of the Ninety-Eighth and went on half-pay. He had earned a modest competence, and after those long years of campaigning abroad he considered himself at the age of sixty-one entitled to enjoy peaceful repose at home for the rest of his life. But this was not to be; there was still before him much arduous and active service in the field before he went to his final rest.

Kinglake in his War in the Crimea pays Colin Campbell a fine tribute—not less fine, however, than deserved; a passage from which may fittingly be inserted here:—

"After serving with all this glory for some forty-five years, he returned to England; but between the Queen and him stood a dense crowd of families extending further than the eye could reach, and armed with strange precedents which made it out to be right that people who had seen no service should be invested with high command, and that Sir Colin Campbell should be only a colonel. Yet he was of so fine a nature that, although he did not always avoid great bursts of anger, there was no ignoble bitterness in his sense of wrong.[83] He awaited the time when perhaps he might have high command, and be able to serve his country in a sphere proportioned to his strength. His friends, however, were angry for his sake; and along with their strong devotion to him, there was bred a fierce hatred of a system of military dispensation which could keep in the background a man thus tried and thus known."

The time was soon to come when such a man as Colin Campbell could no longer be kept in the background. England and France had formed an alliance in defence of Turkey against Russia, and in the end of March, 1854, war was actually declared. English troops had already been despatched to the East; Lord Raglan had been appointed to the command of the expeditionary force, and Sir Colin Campbell had been nominated to a brigade command. He embarked for the East on the 3rd of April accompanied by Major Sterling his brigade-major and Captain Shadwell his aide-de-camp. On the 23rd he reached Constantinople, where on the arrival of Lord Raglan a few days later he was appointed to the Highland Brigade consisting of the Forty-Second, Seventy-Ninth, and Ninety-Third regiments. That brigade and the Guards formed the First Division, of which the Duke of Cambridge had the command. The Highland Brigade was completed in the second week of June by the arrival of the Forty-Second.

Although himself a Highlander, it had never until now fallen to the lot of Colin Campbell to command Highlanders. But he understood the Highland nature, which has its marked peculiarities; and he speedily won the respect and goodwill of the fine soldiers whom he was privileged to command. A thoroughly good understanding[84] soon grew up between him and them; not only was he commanding officer of the brigade; he was also regarded as somewhat in the character of the chief of a clan. He was fortunate in finding in the commanding officer of the Forty-Second, the son of his old chief Sir John Cameron of the Ninth, and not less fortunate in being able to avail himself of Colonel Cameron's long experience at the head of a Highland regiment in many important details connected with the internal management and economy of the brigade.

In accordance with the scheme of operations agreed upon by the English and French commanders in conference with Omar Pasha at Varna, the allied armies were gradually concentrated about that place and inland therefrom in support of the Turkish army at Schumla. The position at Varna was found unhealthy and the Duke of Cambridge marched his division on to the plateau of Aladyn, where it was visited by Omar Pasha who expressed his great admiration of the magnificent appearance of the Guards and Highlanders paraded for his inspection. But tidings arrived that the Russians had raised the siege of Silistria and recrossed the Danube, and presently the troops of the Tsar withdrew altogether from the Principalities. The object for which the allied armies had been moved into Bulgaria no longer existed; and on July 18th the resolution was taken to make a descent on the Crimea and assail Sevastopol. The preparations for this daring enterprise were at length completed, and the Highland Brigade embarked at Varna on August 29th. Sir Colin sailed in the steam-transport Emu. He was now at length a Major-General after a service of forty-six years and one month; the[85] date of the promotion was July 10th. "This rank," he remarks philosophically, "has arrived at a period of life when the small additional income which it carries with it is the only circumstance connected with the promotion in which I take any interest."

The voyage across the Black Sea, the landing on Crimean soil, and the advance to the Alma, are familiar history to every reader. Campbell had given up his journal before the landing, and all that he wrote of his personal experiences in the battle of the Alma is contained in two letters, one to his sister, the other to his friend Colonel Eyre. The former is a mere sketch, alluding to the fine courage exhibited by his young Highlanders and to the circumstance, mentioned with characteristic modesty, that "he was supposed to have made a disposition and an attack of importance which led to results of considerable advantage." He thus concludes, "I lost my best horse—a noble animal. He was first shot in the hip the ball passing through my sabretasche, and the second ball went right through his body passing through the heart. He sank at once, and Shadwell kindly lent me his horse which I immediately mounted."

The letter to Colonel Eyre is more detailed. "When," he writes, "the Light Division was ordered to advance, we (the First Division) followed in close support. My brigade was on the left of the Guards. On the face of the slope immediately in front of the Light Division, the enemy had made a large redoubt protected on each side by artillery on the heights above and on either side, covered on flanks and front by a direct as well as an enfilading fire. This artillery was supported by numerous large masses of troops near their guns, and also by other[86] large masses in rear on the inward slopes of the heights. These heights extended far to the enemy's right, with a bare slope without bush or tree to afford cover down to the bank of the river, on which we had to form and advance to the attack after crossing.

"The vineyards and garden enclosures in the narrow valley through which the river runs, completely broke the formation of the troops. They crossed necessarily in a disorderly manner; but the left bank being high, I was able to collect my right regiment (the Forty-Second) under its cover. On gaining the top of the bank I observed a large portion of the Light Division advancing to attack the redoubt, which was a good deal to the right of my right regiment. I hastened its formation, the other two regiments being still struggling through the difficult bottom from which I had emerged.... The Forty-Second continued its advance, followed, as I had previously ordered, by the two other regiments (Ninety-Third and Seventy-Ninth) in échelon, forming in that order as they gained in succession the summit of the left bank of the Alma. On gaining the ascent we found the enemy who had withdrawn from the redoubt, attempting to form on two large masses of troops advancing over the plateau to meet the attack of the Forty-Second. The men were too much blown to charge, so they opened fire while advancing in line, an operation in which I had practised them, and they drove before them in confusion with cheers and a terrible slaughter both masses and the fugitives from the redoubt.

"Before reaching the inner crest of the heights, another heavy mass of troops came forward against the Forty-Second, and this was disposed of in the same manner[87] as the two first we encountered. I halted the regiment on the inner crest of the heights, still firing and killing more of the enemy as they were descending the inner slope, when two large bodies came down from the right of the enemy's position direct on the left flank of the Forty-Second. Just at this moment the Ninety-Third showed itself coming over the table-land, and attacked these bodies, which did not yield readily. The Ninety-Third, which I had great difficulty in restraining from following the enemy, had only time to inflict great loss, when two bodies of fresh infantry with some cavalry, came boldly forward against the left flank of the Ninety-Third, whereupon the Seventy-Ninth made its appearance over the hill, and went at these troops with cheers, causing them great loss and forcing them away in great confusion. The Guards during these operations were away to my right, quite removed from the scene of this fight which I have described. It was a fight of the Highland Brigade.

"Lord Raglan came up afterwards and sent for me. When I approached him I observed his eyes to fill and his lips and countenance to quiver. He gave me a cordial shake of the hand, but he could not speak. The men cheered very much. I told them I was going on to ask of the Commander-in-Chief a great favour,—that he would permit me to have the honour of wearing the Highland bonnet during the rest of the campaign, which pleased them very greatly, and so ended my part in the fight of the 20th inst.... My men behaved nobly. I never saw troops march to battle with greater sang froid and order than those three Highland regiments.... I write on the ground. I have neither stool to sit on[88] nor bed to lie on. I am in capital health, for which I have to be very thankful. Cholera is rife among us, and carrying off many fine fellows of all ranks!"

This description is not in Kinglake's style, but in its soldierly curtness it may strike the reader as having the valuable attribute of greater directness and lucidity, and it was written by the man who not only controlled every movement on his own side of the fight on the left of the great redoubt, but also watched with cool, keen eyes every evolution of his adversaries. He had need to be on the alert, if ever man had; for he had to his hand but three battalions, and he had in his front no fewer than twelve Russian battalions each one of which was numerically stronger than any one of his three. Nor were his opponents raw militia or reserve battalions such as confronted Prince Napoleon's division. The Russian regiments on the British side of the great road, the Vladimir, Sousdal, Kazan, and Ouglitz, constituted the Sixteenth Division, the division d'élite of the Tsar's troops of the line; that same division which three and twenty years later won for Skobeleff his electrical successes. It was twelve battalions of this historical division against whose massive columns Colin Campbell led his brigade in the old two-deep British line formation with the result he has told in his quiet sober manner. No wonder that Lord Raglan's "eyes filled and his lips and countenance quivered" as, too much moved to speak, he shook the hand of the commander of the Highland Brigade.

"So ended my part in the fight of the 20th inst.," writes Sir Colin in the soldierly and modest narrative of his share in the victory which he sent home to his friend[89] Eyre. That narrative, lucid though it is, is also almost provokingly curt. Fortunately, thanks chiefly to the industry of Kinglake, there exists the material for supplementing and amplifying it. According to that writer during the last of the halts on the march on the morning of the Alma, while the men were lying down in the sunshine, Sir Colin, the provident soldier of experience, quietly remarked to one of his officers, "This will be a good time for the men to get loose half of their cartridges;" and Kinglake adds that, "when the command travelled along the ranks of the Highlanders, it lit up the faces of the men one after another, assuring them that now at length, and after long experience, they indeed would go into action."

It does not appear that Colin Campbell ever made any reference to an incident which Kinglake mentions. The brigade of Guards before crossing the river was exposed, it seems, to a fire of artillery, which, as is not uncommon with that arm, struck down some men. There was a tendency to hesitation, when, according to Kinglake, some weak-kneed brother in the shape of an officer of "obscure rank" had the pusillanimity or the impertinence to exclaim, "The brigade of Guards will be destroyed; ought it not to fall back?" "When Sir Colin Campbell heard this saying," says Kinglake in his high-strung manner, "his blood rose so high that the answer he gave—impassioned and far-resounding—was of a quality to govern events:—'It is better, sir, that every man of Her Majesty's Guards should lie dead on the field than that they should turn their backs upon the enemy!' Doubts and questionings ceased. The division marched forward."


Mr. Kinglake owns that he did not himself hear the words; and it is permissible, therefore, to doubt whether they were uttered. They certainly are not in Colin Campbell's manner. It would have been more like him to express himself in strong and frank vernacular to, or of the officer of "obscure rank" who had evinced a propensity for "falling back." No doubt he was with the Duke of Cambridge in front of the left of the Coldstreams when the Guards were encountering obstacles among the vineyards before reaching the river. In that position the Highland Brigade would be under his eye. Sir Colin Campbell, a soldier inured to war, certainly was of great service on the advance to the brigade of Guards, scarcely a man of which had ever seen a shot fired in anger. He remained near the Duke of Cambridge until the Guards had crossed the river; and when the Light Division was retreating in disorder on the brigade of Guards he advised His Royal Highness to move the latter somewhat to the left, to avoid the dislocation of his line which otherwise would be occasioned by the rush of fugitives. After the momentary confusion caused by the retreat of the Light Division behind the advancing Guards to reform, the Duke thought it would be well to make a short halt for the purpose of dressing his line, but Sir Colin earnestly desired him to make no such delay but to press forward on the enemy with the initial impulse, and the advice was followed with triumphant result.

It fell to Sir Colin Campbell and his Highland Brigade to protect the left flank of the British army, with three battalions to vanquish and put to flight eight Russian battalions, and to compel the retreat of four[91] more. The arena of this exploit was the slopes and hollows of the Kourganè terrain to the Russian right of the great redoubt from which the British Light Division had been forced to recoil with heavy loss. On the extreme Russian right flank and rear stood three thousand horsemen, and to protect his own left Campbell had given the order to the Seventy-Ninth, the left regiment of his brigade, to go into column. But a little later, when he had ridden forward and so gained a wider scope of view, it became apparent to his experienced eye that he need fear nothing from the stolid array of Russian cavalry on his flank. He therefore recalled his order to the Seventy-Ninth and allowed it to go forward in line. His brigade after crossing the Alma fell into direct échelon of regiments, the Forty-Second on the right being the leading regiment of the three, the Ninety-Third in the centre, and the Seventy-Ninth on the left. Just before the Guards began their advance on the redoubt which the right Vladimir column was still holding, Sir Colin Campbell was in his saddle in front of the left of the Coldstreams talking occasionally with the Duke of Cambridge. When the Guards began their advance Sir Colin also proceeded to act. He discerned that by swiftly moving a battalion up to the crest in front of him, he would be on the flank of the position about the great redoubt where the right Vladimir column was confronting the Guards. This attitude of his would probably compel the retirement of the Vladimirs; if it did not, by wheeling to his right he would strike the flank of the Russian column while the Guards were assailing its front. He had the weapon wherewith to effect this stroke ready to his hand in the[92] Forty-Second, which having crossed the river now stood ranged in line.

Before his brigade had moved from column into line Campbell had spoken a few straightforward soldierly words to his men, the gist of which has been commemorated. "Now, men," said he, "you are going into action. Remember this: whoever is wounded—no matter what his rank—must lie where he falls till the bandsmen come to attend to him. No soldiers must go carrying off wounded comrades. If any man does such a thing his name shall be stuck up in his parish church. The army will be watching you; make me proud of the Highland Brigade!" And now, when the time had come for action and that rugged slope had to be surmounted, he rode to the head of the "Black Watch" and gave to the regiment the command "Forward, Forty-Second!"

He himself with his staff rode rapidly in advance up to the crest. In his immediate front there lay before him a broad and rather deep depression on the further side of which there faced him the right Kazan column of two battalions, on the left of which was reforming the right Vladimir column whose retreat from the vicinity of the redoubt had been compelled by the pressure of the Guards on front and flank. Both columns had suffered considerably; but assuming their previous losses to have been one-third of their original strength, they[2] still numbered three thousand against the eight hundred and thirty of the Forty-Second. And when Campbell looked to his left, he saw on the neck bounding the left of the hollow another and a heavier column consisting of two[93] perfectly fresh battalions of the Sousdal regiment. This last column, however, was stationary, and notwithstanding that the men were out of breath Sir Colin sent the Forty-Second, firing as it advanced, straight across the hollow against the Kazan and Vladimir columns. The regiment had not gone many paces when it was seen that the left Sousdal column had left the neck and was marching direct on the left flank of the Forty-Second. Campbell immediately halted the regiment and was about to throw back its left wing to deal with the Sousdal advance, when glancing over his left shoulder he saw that the Ninety-Third, his centre battalion, had reached the crest. In its eagerness its formation had become disturbed. Campbell rode to its front, halted and reformed it under fire, and then led it forward against the flank of the Sousdal column. The Forty-Second meanwhile had resumed its advance against the Vladimir and Kazan columns.

Before the onslaughts of the two Scottish regiments the Russian columns were staggering, and their officers had extreme difficulty in compelling their men to retain their formation, when from the upper ground on the left was seen moving down yet another Russian column,—the right Sousdal column—and heading straight for the flank of the Ninety-Third. It was taken in the flagrant offence of daring to march across the front of a battalion advancing in line. At that instant the Seventy-Ninth came bounding forward; after a moment's halt to dress their ranks, the Cameron men sprang at the flank of the Sousdal column and shattered it by the fierce fire poured into its huddled ranks. And now, the left Sousdal column almost simultaneously discomfited by[94] the Ninety-Third, and the Kazan and Vladimir columns which the "Black Watch" had assailed being in full retreat, the hill spurs and hollows became thronged by the disordered masses of the enemy. Kinglake brilliantly pictures the culmination of the triumph of the Highlanders:—"Knowing their hearts, and deeming that the time was one when the voice of his people might fitly enough be heard, the Chief touched or half-lifted his hat in the way of a man assenting. Then along the Kourganè slopes and thence west almost home to the Causeway, the hillsides were made to resound with that joyous assuring cry which is the natural utterance of a northern people so long as it is warlike and free." It is curious that nowhere in his vivid description of the part taken by the Highland Brigade in the achievement of the victory of the Alma, does Kinglake make any mention of the bagpipes. It is certain that they were in full blast during the advance of the regiments and throughout the fighting, and their shrill strains must have astonished the Russians not less than did the waving tartans and nodding plumes of the Highlanders.

Sir Colin, careful ever in the midst of victory, halted his brigade on the ground it had already won, for his supports were yet distant; and mindful of his situation as the guardian of the left of the army, he showed a front to the south-east as well as to the east. The great Ouglitz column, four thousand strong and still untouched, remained over against the halted British brigade. Chafing at the defeat of its comrades, it moved down from its height, striving to hinder their retreat and force them back into action. But the[95] Ouglitz column itself had in its turn to withdraw from under the fire of the Highland Brigade, and to accept the less adventurous task of covering the retreat of its vanquished fellow-columns.

After the flank march to the south side of Sevastopol the allied forces took possession of the Chersonese upland, and the Highland Brigade, leaving the Ninety-Third at Balaclava, encamped with the Guards in rear of the Light Division. Lord Raglan was solicitous regarding the port of Balaclava which had become the British base of operations, and measures had already been set on foot to protect it by a series of batteries and field-works. On the 16th of October Sir Colin was assigned by the Commander-in-Chief to the command of the troops and defences covering the port, and he promptly undertook the important and responsible duty of protecting the rear of the army. The inner defences of Balaclava consisted of a series of batteries connected by a continuous trench extending from the sea eastward of the port round the landward face of the heights to the chapel of St. Elias near the road from Balaclava to the Traktir bridge. This line of batteries and trench was held by some twelve hundred marines landed from the fleet with a weak detachment of marine artillery. About Kadikoi, on the low ground at the head of the gorge leading down to Balaclava, were several batteries, and in front of that village was the camp of the Ninety-Third Highlanders with Barker's field-battery on its flank. The exterior line of defence consisted of a chain of redoubts on the low ridge dividing the southern or inner plain from the exterior or northern valley, along which on the 25th of October the British light cavalry[96] brigade was to make its memorable charge. Those redoubts, which were still unfinished on the day of the battle, were very weak. They were garrisoned by Turks, and their armament consisted of but nine guns in all. It was to the assault of those poor redoubts that Liprandi's field-army, some twenty-four thousand strong, advanced across the Tchernaya at daybreak of the 25th. Doubtless the Russian general had ulterior designs, comprising the discomfiture of Campbell's Highlanders and an attempt against Balaclava.

Riding with Lord Lucan in the early morning of the day of Balaclava, Sir Colin Campbell witnessed the advance of the Russian columns, and it was by his advice that the cavalry chief refrained from taking the offensive. One after another of the four easternmost redoubts fell into Russian possession. The Turks garrisoning No. 1 made a gallant and stubborn defence; but they were only six hundred against eleven battalions with thirty guns, and after losing one-fourth of their number they fled towards Balaclava followed by the garrisons of the other redoubts. The Turks rallied for a time on either flank of the Ninety-Third, which stood drawn up in line in front of the knoll before Kadikoi. Sir Colin's active share in the further proceedings of the day was soon over. He sums it up in a few sentences of his official report:—"When the enemy had taken possession of the redoubts, their artillery advanced with a mass of cavalry and their guns ranged. The Ninety-Third Highlanders, with one hundred invalids under Colonel Daveney, occupied, very inefficiently from the smallness of their numbers, the slightly rising ground in front of No. 4 battery. As I found that round shot and shell[97] began to cause casualties among the Ninety-Third and the Turkish battalions on their right and left flanks, I made them retire a few paces behind the crest of the hillock. During this period our batteries on the heights manned by the Royal and Marine artillerymen made excellent practice on the enemy's cavalry which came over the hill in our front. One body of that cavalry, amounting to about four hundred, turned to their left, separating themselves from those who attacked Lord Lucan's division, and charged the Ninety-Third, who immediately advanced to the crest of the hill on which they stood and opened their fire, forcing the Russian cavalry to turn to their left; after which the latter made an attempt to turn the right flank of the Ninety-Third on observing the flight of the Turks who had been posted there. Upon this the grenadiers of the Ninety-Third under Captain Ross were wheeled up to their right and fired upon the enemy, and by this manœuvre entirely discomfited them."

The erratic charge upon him of four Russian squadrons gave the old infantry commander very little concern. That approach he confronted calmly in line,—the "thin red streak tipped with a line of steel" which a brilliant phrase-maker has made historical. When it was a subject of remark in his presence that the Ninety-Third never altered its formation to receive the Russian cavalry in a period when the square was the approved formation in which to meet an onslaught of horse, he said in his genial way, "No—I did not think it worth while to form them even four deep." His concern was in the fact that his regiment was the only infantry body on the British side in the field, while the Russian chief was the master of many battalions[98]. Those six companies of kilted men, with a few guns, were the sole protection of the port the possession of which alone enabled the British army to remain in the Crimea. It was in the consciousness of a momentous responsibility that, as he rode along the face of his noble regiment, he judged it wise to impart to the men the gravity of the occasion. "Remember," said he, "there is no retreat from here, men! You must die where you stand!" The cheery answer must have gone to his heart—"Aye, aye, Sir Colin; we'll do that!"

There were a great many young soldiers in the ranks of the Ninety-Third, and it needed to be controlled with a firm hand. As the Russian squadron approached, the impetuous youngsters of the regiment, stirred by their northern blood, evinced a propensity to break ranks and rush forward to meet the Muscovite sabres with the British bayonet; but, in the words of Kinglake, "In a moment Sir Colin was heard shouting fiercely, 'Ninety-Third, Ninety-Third! damn all that eagerness!'" and the angry voice of the old soldier quickly steadied the line.

The main mass of the Russian cavalry, from which the four squadrons which were repulsed by the Ninety-Third had detached themselves, rode up the north valley until it was abreast of the abandoned redoubt No. 4, when it inclined to its left, crossed the low ridge and moved down the gentle hither slope falling into the inner valley. It was there met by the charge of the British heavy cavalry brigade; and during the short but warm encounter Barker's battery, at Sir Colin's order, opened fire with round shot on the Russian centre and rear. The Ninety-Third watched with keen[99] rapture their fellow-countrymen of the Scots Greys slashing their way through the graycoated mass of Russian troopers; and when the enemy's column wavered, broke, and then fled in disorder, Scarlett's victorious troopers were greeted from afar by the ringing cheers of the delighted Highlanders. When the brigade had completed its triumph, Sir Colin Campbell came galloping up to offer his congratulations. As he approached the Greys he uncovered and spoke to the regiment. "Greys! gallant Greys!" he exclaimed, "I am sixty-one years old, and if I were young again I should be proud to be in your ranks." Sir Colin does not appear to have seen anything of the subsequent charge made by Cardigan at the head of the light cavalry brigade, which was made down the north or outer valley, on the further side of the ridge on the crest of which were the abandoned redoubts.

In the afternoon the troops which had moved down from the plateau in the morning returned to their camps, but the Forty-Second and Seventy-Ninth passed again under the command of their own brigade commander. The contiguity of the enemy's forces in such great strength made very welcome the accession to Sir Colin's scanty means of defence. During this critical night the Forty-Second and Seventy-Ninth held the ground between the Ninety-Third camp and the foot of the Marine heights, and Vinoy's French brigade was sent to the high ground overlooking the Kadikoi gorge to strengthen Sir Colin in the defence of his position. He was so apprehensive of a night attack that he placed the Ninety-Third in No. 4 battery, half the men posted behind the parapet, the other half lying down with[100] their loaded rifles by their sides. He himself was on the alert throughout the night, moving about among the men; his anxiety was great, for he was not aware of the distaste of the Russians for night attacks. Amidst his cares it was pleasant to receive and promulgate the following general order complimenting himself and the Ninety-Third on their conduct on the 25th: "The Commander of the forces feels deeply indebted to Major-General Sir Colin Campbell for his able and persevering exertions in the action of the 25th; and he has great pleasure in publishing to the army the brilliant manner in which the Ninety-Third Highlanders under his able directions repulsed the enemy's cavalry."

For weeks, while the Russians were so close, Sir Colin never relaxed his activity and vigilance. Not for an hour did he leave the position. He was awake and about all night and the little sleep he took was by snatches in the daytime. By constant industry and with many devices he laboured to strengthen and improve his defences. The first relief from toil and anxiety which he experienced was when on December 5th the Russian field-army withdrew across the Tchernaya to Tchorgoum. "Then," writes Shadwell, "that night for the first time Sir Colin lay down with his clothes off in the house; but even with a roof over his head he was restless; and such was the tension of his nervous system from the continuous strain of long weeks of anxious watching, that an officer who shared his room was startled in the middle of the night by his chief jumping up and shouting, 'Stand to your arms!'" Towards the end of December the Seventy-First Highlanders arrived and joined his command, and on[101] Christmas Day he received the notification of his appointment to the colonelcy of the Sixty-Seventh regiment.

Towards the end of January, 1855, Sir Colin was able to have nearly all his troops hutted. Before the end of the first week in February the whole brigade was comfortably in huts; and he was able to spare daily large fatigue-parties for the carriage of shot and shell to the front. An experience he underwent on February 20th illustrates the risks and vicissitudes attending an attempt to effect a combined movement in the darkness of a winter night. Sir Colin had received instructions to support, with four infantry regiments and a force of artillery and cavalry, the movement of a considerable body of French troops under General Bosquet, with the object of surprising the Russian troops on the right bank of the Tchernaya behind the Traktir bridge. It was a bitter night of snow and frost, but the English details duly rendezvoused and marched to the named point without seeing anything of Bosquet's people. Sir Colin covered the bridge and left bank with a couple of battalions, holding the rest in reserve; his troops were in position before daybreak. He was not entitled to take the offensive save in combination with the French, of whom there was no appearance. The Russians as day broke were seen taking up positions, but they remained on the defensive. Sir Colin stood fast until 8.30 A.M. expecting the arrival of Bosquet; then, concluding that the expedition had been countermanded, he prepared to return. His conjecture was correct; a countermand had been despatched which had duly reached Bosquet, but the messenger[102] charged with the countermand for Campbell had lost his way and did not arrive. As the British force was about retiring the French general Vinoy appeared with his brigade. He had learnt at daybreak that no countermand had reached Kadikoi, whereupon the gallant Frenchman, unsolicited and on his own responsibility, hurried with his brigade to support his English comrade who, isolated as he was and with an overwhelmingly strong force in his front, might well have found himself in difficulties. Vinoy's kindly and helpful action was heartily appreciated by Sir Colin's soldiers.

In the end of February the brigade of Guards came down to Balaclava from the front, and Sir Colin, who had succeeded the Duke of Cambridge in the command of the First Division, now had the whole of it under him. By steadfast labour and attention he had very materially increased and developed the strength and scope of the Balaclava lines. When he contrasted the existing with the early state of the position, he frankly owned that for a great part of the time he "had held the lines by sheer impudence." In May he experienced a great mortification in not being allowed to accompany, on the expedition to Kertch, his Highland Brigade and other details of his original Balaclava command. Lord Raglan tried to pay him a compliment by explaining that he could not be spared from the position which he had guarded so long and so well; but Campbell felt the disappointment deeply, nor was it mitigated when a newly-arrived Highland regiment with detachments for the Brigade was sent off to join the Kertch expedition. On its return the First Division, now again reunited under his command, moved up to the front in the[103] middle of June. It was in reserve and not engaged in the unsuccessful assault on the Redan on June 18th; and thenceforth for a time it took its regular term of duty in the trenches. But Sir Colin was soon to undergo another disappointment. He had been cherishing the hope that the division, which was in full efficacy and high morale, would take a prominent part in the final assault on Sevastopol, and he had prepared a scheme of operations in case the conduct of the assault should be committed to him. But he had now to endure the disruption of his command. The Highland Brigade was withdrawn from the First Division and formed into a separate division, the complement of which was to be made up by the addition of other Scottish regiments. The nucleus of the new Highland Division, consisting of the Forty-Second, Seventy-Second, Seventy-Ninth, and Ninety-Third regiments, was sent down to Kamara in support of the Sardinians, and remained there until September when it returned to the front to serve as a reserve to the troops taking part in the final assault. The British assault on the Redan unfortunately failed, and Sir Colin took up the defence of the trenches with his Highland regiments on the withdrawal of the troops employed in the abortive affair. The same evening he was desired by the Commander-in-Chief to hold himself in readiness to make a renewed assault on the Redan with his Highlanders on the following day. But during the night the Russians withdrew to the north side. A patrol of the Ninety-Third entered the Redan at midnight and found it abandoned. The long siege was over, and Sevastopol had fallen at last.

Sir Colin Campbell was a man who could admire a[104] brave and skilful enemy. He wrote: "The Russians, it must be acknowledged, made a noble defence; and surely never was a retreat from an untenable position so wonderfully well-managed, carried out as it was in the face of a powerful enemy and without any loss whatever, while the withdrawal of the troops from their defences through the town and across a single bridge was being effected. I cannot conceive anything more perfect and complete in every detail than the manner in which they accomplished the withdrawal from Sevastopol and the transport of their troops across the harbour.... While they fired all the other magazines along the line of their defences, they did not touch those in the Great Redan—an act of great humanity, for the whole of our wounded who remained in the ditch and our trenches would have been destroyed. Indeed, before the Russians left the Redan some of our wounded were carefully dressed by them and placed in safety from the fire of our own shells."

Campbell's position in the Crimea had become exceedingly uncomfortable. Before the final assault General Simpson had informed him that he was desired by Lord Panmure to offer him the Malta command, an offer which appeared an indirect attempt to remove him from the army. Later he became by virtue of seniority second in command, and it was known that Simpson was about to vacate the chief command. The tone of the press was emphatic in favour of the employment of a younger man in that position, and the Government followed the lead of the journals. Sir Colin could not but realise that his presence with the army in the Crimea was no longer[105] desired by the War Minister. Having seen the Highland Division comfortably hutted for the winter during which no active operations in the field would be possible, he took farewell of his troops and sailed for England on November 3rd. Three days later was announced Sir William Codrington's nomination to the chief command; and with that despatch came a letter from Lord Panmure to Sir Colin, the contents of which he did not learn until he visited his lordship on his arrival in London on November 17th. This letter, in Campbell's own words, "contained an appeal to my patriotism of the strongest nature, to induce me to accept a command under Codrington." To his old friend Lord Hardinge, now Commander-in-Chief, Campbell frankly said that he had come home to tender his resignation. "But," he added, "if her Majesty should ask me to place myself under a junior officer, I could not resist any request of hers." He was promptly commanded to Windsor; and, to quote General Shadwell, "the gracious reception accorded to him by the Queen and the Prince Consort struck a responsive chord in Sir Colin's heart. It completely dispelled all angry feeling from his mind, and in a true spirit of loyalty he expressed to her Majesty his readiness to return to the Crimea and 'to serve under a corporal if she wished it.'" At the Queen's request he sat for his photograph, and by her Majesty's special desire, "the gallant and amiable old soldier was asked to have it taken in the uniform he wore at the Alma and at Balaclava."

On his way back to the Crimea he visited Paris where he was presented to the Emperor and Empress, and where to his great joy he found his genial Crimean[106] friend General Vinoy. When he returned to the Crimea he found that the division of the army into two army corps, the Government's intention to carry out which scheme Lord Panmure's letter had intimated to him and to take the command of one of which it was that he had returned to the East, had not been effected, and that Sir William Codrington did not intend to carry out the arrangement until immediately before the army should take the field. The Highland Division was placed under him with the understanding that it should contribute the nucleus of an army corps to be formed later if hostilities were to be prosecuted. He quartered himself at Kamara with his division, resolved, as he wrote—"to accommodate himself to all that might happen, and that nothing should disturb the cordiality which ought to exist between himself and the commander under whose orders he was to serve." He had not long to practise patience. By the end of February, 1856, an armistice was arranged and in the beginning of April peace was proclaimed. Before finally leaving the Crimea Sir Colin assembled the regiments of the original Highland Brigade that he might take farewell of the soldiers who had served under him since the beginning of the war. He was not much of an orator, but when he was moved he could be eloquent in language which went right to the hearts of soldiers. His farewell was uttered in the following words worthy alike of him and of them.

"Soldiers of the Forty-Second, Seventy-Ninth, and Ninety-Third!—old Highland Brigade with whom I passed the early and perilous part of this war, I have now to take leave of you. In a few hours I shall be on[107] board ship, never to see you again as a body. A long farewell! I am now old and shall not be called to serve any more; and nothing will remain to me but the memory of my campaigns, and the memory too, of the enduring, hardy, generous soldiers with whom I have been associated, and whose name and glory will long be kept alive in the hearts of our countrymen. When you go home, as you gradually fulfil your term of service, each to his family and his cottage, you will tell the story of your immortal advance in that victorious échelon up the heights of Alma, and may speak of the old brigadier who led you, and who loved you so well. Your children and your children's children will repeat the tale to other generations, when only a few lines of history will remain to record all the enthusiasm and discipline which have borne you so stoutly to the end of this war. Our native land will never forget the name of the Highland Brigade, and in some future war the nation will call for another one to equal this, which it never can surpass. Though I shall be gone, the thought of you will go with me wherever I may be, and cheer my old age with a glorious recollection of dangers confronted and hardships endured. The bagpipes will never sound near me without carrying me back to those bright days when I was at your head and wore the bonnet which you gained for me, and the honourable decorations on my breast, many of which I owe to your conduct. Brave soldiers, kind comrades, farewell!"

This address, delivered with much feeling, was received with manifest emotion by the troops, who regarded as final the separation from the chief they had learned to regard with affection. They did not know[108] that the farewell was to be but temporary, and that ere long the three regiments would be under his command in another continent, ready there to display the same soldierly virtues which had already earned them the gratitude of their chief and countrymen.

In the summer of 1856 Sir Colin was appointed to the post of Inspector-General of Infantry in succession to the Duke of Cambridge, who became Commander-in-Chief of the army on the resignation of Lord Hardinge. In December of that year he was sent to Berlin as the representative of her Majesty, on the errand of presenting to his Royal Highness the Prince of Prussia (afterwards the Emperor William the First) the insignia of the military Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. During the first half of 1857 he was actively engaged in the official duties of his important position. Beginning with the depôts in the south of England, he then spent some time in his inspections in Ireland, whence he visited Scotland and returned to London in the beginning of June. How retentive was his memory for faces, names, and events, is illustrated by the following incident told on the authority of the gentleman to whom Sir Colin related it. "While," said Campbell, "I was inspecting the depôt at Chichester, I noticed that an old man, evidently an old soldier though in plain clothes, was constantly on the ground and apparently watching my movements. As I was leaving the barrack-yard at the end of the inspection, he came towards me, drew himself up, made the military salute, and with much respect said, 'Sir Colin, may I speak to you? Look at me, sir! do you recollect me?' I looked at him and replied, 'Yes, I do.' 'What is my name?' he asked. I told[109] him. 'Yes, sir; and where did you last see me?' 'In the breach of San Sebastian,' I replied, 'badly wounded by my side.' 'Right, sir!' answered the old soldier. 'I can tell you something more,' I added—'you were No. — in the front rank of my company.' 'Right, sir!' said the veteran. I was putting my hand into my pocket to make the old man a present, when he stepped forward, laid his hand on my wrist, and said:—'No, sir; that is not what I want; but you will be going to Shorncliffe to inspect the depôt there. I have a son in the Inniskillings quartered at that station, and if you will call him out and tell him that you knew his father, that is what I should wish.'"

The anecdote is a typical sample of the kindly and self-respecting relations of the men of the old army with their officers, before the era of short service set in. When Colin Campbell commanded the Ninety-Eighth he knew the face, name, and character of every man in the regiment. When he was Commander-in-Chief in India, which position he was now immediately to attain, he could recognise by name all the Crimean men of his favourite regiment the Ninety-Third Highlanders.



In the beginning of 1857 the clouds that presaged the awful storm of mutiny which Sir Charles Napier had foretold and temporarily averted seven years earlier, were ominously gathering over the Bengal Presidency. On the 19th of February the first flash of actual outbreak burst forth at Berhampore. The revolt spread to Barrackpore, and in the course of a few weeks it became apparent that the spirit of insubordination was gradually but surely ripening throughout the Bengal army. In the middle of May the crisis which had been threatening for three months came to a head at Meerut. The revolt of the native troops at that great station was consummated in rapine and slaughter. Delhi, with its vast munitions of war unprotected save by a handful of devoted European soldiers, fell into the hands of the insurgents. The pensioned King of Delhi was drawn from his senile obscurity and proclaimed Emperor of India, and the great city became the capital of a rival power and the centre of attraction to the revolted army. The native regiments in the stations of the North-West Provinces broke out successively into revolt and hastened[111] tumultuously to Delhi, which soon contained within its walls a turbulent mass of many thousand mutinous soldiers. Within a month after the outbreak at Meerut British authority had become almost extinct throughout the North-West Provinces. From Meerut to Allahabad, among a population of some thirty millions and throughout an area of many hundred miles, there remained no vestige of British occupation, save where at Agra the British residents were waiting anxiously for the signal to withdraw from their bungalows into the shelter of Akbar's fort, and the hapless people closely beleaguered in Wheeler's miserable entrenchment at Cawnpore. Across the Ganges throughout Oude, British men, women, and children were being mercilessly slaughtered by revolted sepoys; and Henry Lawrence, himself in the midst of troops scarcely caring to cloak their mutinous intentions, had soon sadly to realise that all Oude was gone except the Lucknow Residency, where he was to die after having exhausted himself in successful exertions to make that position defensible by the brave and steadfast men who survived him.

While on the march from Umballa towards Delhi the Commander-in-Chief in India, General the Hon. George Anson, died of cholera at Kurnal on May 27th. Tidings of this misfortune did not reach the War Office until July 11th. On that same afternoon Sir Colin Campbell was sent for by Lord Panmure, who made him the offer of the high command rendered vacant by Anson's decease. Campbell promptly accepted the offer and expressed his readiness to start that same evening if necessary. He stipulated successfully that his friend Colonel Mansfield, then Consul-General at Warsaw[112] (afterwards Lord Sandhurst), should be offered the appointment of chief of staff with the rank of major-general. This settled, Campbell had an interview with the Duke of Cambridge, then as now Commander-in-Chief, who approved of the selection of Major Alison[3] as military secretary, and of Sir David Baird and Lieutenant Alison as aides-de-camp.

It had been arranged at Sir Colin's interview with Lord Panmure that he should start next morning. He was ready and his modest kit complete; but sundry matters intervened delaying his departure for a few hours. The Queen, for one thing, had desired that he should wait on her. The Duke of Cambridge brought him to Buckingham Palace; and, so Sir Colin wrote in his journal, "Her Majesty's expressions of approval of my readiness to proceed at once were pleasant to receive from a Sovereign so good and so justly loved." He left London by the continental night train, full of a justifiable elation. "Never," he wrote, "did a man proceed on a mission of duty with a lighter heart and a feeling of greater humility, yet with a juster sense of the compliment that had been paid to a mere soldier of fortune like myself in being named to the highest command in the gift of the Crown." Hurrying through Paris he found time to breakfast with General Vinoy his old Crimean friend, and reaching Marseilles on the morning of the 14th he immediately embarked for India on a vessel which was in readiness with its steam up. During the voyage he prepared a strategic scheme, the essence of which was a great concentric advance upon the Central Indian States, to be undertaken by the whole[113] disposable military forces of the Madras and Bombay Presidencies, that would effectually engage the whole rebel strength of those turbulent territories, and so in some degree divert the severe pressure of the Gwalior Contingent on the left flank of the long and precarious main line of communication. This object obtained, Bengal and the Punjaub once more united by the reconquest of the intervening territory, and the left flank and rear of the reconquered base secured by the reduction of Central India, the most arduous work of the war could be safely undertaken; the vast, populous, and bitterly hostile province of Oude might then be subdued, with the result of securing non-molestation on the right flank of the region through which the principal line of communication must pass. The operation of this grand strategic scheme was weakened and retarded by various causes; but the sound wisdom of Campbell's prescient conception was ultimately in great measure vindicated.

The new Commander-in-Chief landed at Calcutta on the 13th of August and became Lord Canning's guest at Government House. The situation which confronted him was gloomy almost to utter hopelessness. It was true, indeed, that John Lawrence was holding the Punjaub in his strong hand, and was pressing forward all his available reinforcements to strengthen the British force contending against overwhelming odds before the walls of Delhi. But meanwhile that force was little over four thousand strong, and it seemed more than doubtful whether it could hold its ground until reinforcements should reach it. The garrison at Agra was isolated and cut off from all communication. That of Lucknow, hemmed within the feebly-defensive position of the[114] Residency and its environs by many thousands of fierce and relentless enemies, encumbered also with a great company of helpless women and children, had numbers wholly inadequate to man the defences and was maintaining an almost hopeless resistance against overwhelming odds. Havelock, at the head of less than two thousand brave men, had fought his way from Allahabad to Cawnpore, too late to save the lives of the hapless women and children who had been reserved from the massacre of the men of Wheeler's command only to endure a crueller fate. His gallant and persistent efforts to relieve Lucknow had failed and he had been obliged to fall back to Cawnpore, where with an attenuated force he was maintaining himself precariously in the face of the threatening attitude of the revolted Gwalior Contingent on the further bank of the Jumna.

Through the gloom there was one gleam of sunshine. The fortress of Allahabad, with its magazines of military stores, remained in British possession. At the point where the Ganges and the Jumna blend their waters, distant by land five hundred miles from Calcutta, it was a position of the highest strategical importance, forming as it did an advanced base for operations in the regions beyond having for their object the relief of beleaguered places and the restoration of communications with Delhi and the Punjaub. From Calcutta to Allahabad there were two available routes; by the Ganges a distance of eight hundred miles, to accomplish which by steamer required from twenty to thirty days; by the land route of five hundred miles, one hundred and twenty of which was by railway and three hundred and eighty by the Grand Trunk Road. The troops as[115] they landed were despatched up country in detachments by one or other of those routes. The common objective for the time was Allahabad, where Sir James Outram, who had returned from the command of the Persian expedition and had left Calcutta on the 6th of August to assume the command of the combined Cawnpore and Dinapore divisions along with the civil appointment of Chief Commissioner in Oude, was to collect the detachments of reinforcements as they arrived, preparatory to moving upward to Cawnpore there to join Havelock and advance with him to attempt the relief of the beleaguered garrison in the Residency of Lucknow.

But the troops, which as soon as possible after landing at Calcutta should have been pushing straight up country to Allahabad either by land or by water, suffered unavoidable detentions by the way. So disturbed was the country that posts had to be maintained to keep the routes open, and their occupation absorbed a certain proportion of the scanty European force. The mutinies of native troops at Dinapore and Bhagulpore caused the temporary detention by the local authorities of important reinforcements; and it was not until the first week of September that Outram was able to collect his scattered detachments at Allahabad. After a sharp and successful fight on the way he reached Cawnpore on September 15th; bringing reinforcements which raised to a strength of about three thousand men the force of which he chivalrously waived the command in favour of Havelock. Ten days later was accomplished what is commonly though erroneously styled the First Relief of Lucknow,—not a "relief" in any sense of the term, but simply a great augmentation to the defensive strength[116] of the garrison which had been holding the weak position of the Residency with a heroism so staunch.

Sir Colin found Calcutta all but entirely bare of material for a campaign; nothing was in readiness for the equipment of the troops fast converging on his base on the Hooghly. Means of transport there were scarcely any; horses for cavalry or artillery there were none; ammunition for the Enfield rifles was deficient; flour even was running out; guns, gun-carriages, and harness for the field-batteries were either unfit for active service or did not exist. Prompt and active were the exertions made by the energetic Chief and his subordinates to cope with needs so pressing. Horses were purchased no matter at what cost; ammunition was gathered in far and wide; flour was commissioned from the Cape; field-guns were cast at the Cossipore foundry; gun-carriages and harness were made up with all possible haste. The Commissariat and Ordnance departments were stirred from their lethargy and stimulated to an activity previously undreamed of; and the whole military machine was set throbbing at high pressure. As the falling of the Ganges gradually made the river route precarious, great exertions were made to quicken and extend the means of transport by the Grand Trunk Road, for which purpose the Bullock Train, as it was called, was established. Relays of soldiers travelled up night after night in bullock-waggons, halting during the heat of the day at prepared resting-places. Ultimately this system was so perfected that two hundred men were daily forwarded from the end of the railway at Raneegunge; and they reached Allahabad after about a fortnight's travel, perfectly fresh and fit for immediate service.


In the midst of the pressure of his preparations Sir Colin found time to write with soldierly appreciation and cordiality to the principal officers now under his command. His first message to Outram concluded with the words, "It is an exceeding satisfaction to me to have your assistance, and to find you in your present position." To Havelock he wrote: "The sustained energy, promptitude, and vigorous action by which your whole proceedings have been marked during the late difficult operations deserve the highest praise. I beg you to express to the officers and men under your command the pride and satisfaction I have experienced in reading your reports of the intrepid valour they have displayed upon every occasion they have encountered the vastly superior numbers of the enemy, and how nobly they have maintained the qualities for which British soldiers have ever been distinguished—high courage and endurance." To Archdale Wilson, commanding the force before Delhi, he sent on August 23rd some words of generous encouragement, the first communication which had reached that officer from any military authority for many weeks: "I must delay no longer to congratulate you on the manner in which the force under your command has conducted itself and upheld the honour of our arms. You may count on my support and help in every mode in which it may be possible for me to afford them." And when on September 26th the happy news reached him that Delhi, the head and heart of the rebellion as it was then considered to have been, was once more in the occupation of a British garrison, the Chief promptly telegraphed to Wilson, "Accept my hearty congratulations on your brilliant success."


It seems quite clear that Sir Colin regarded it as virtually certain that Outram, who assumed command when Havelock and he had fought their way into the Lucknow Residency, would succeed in speedily effecting the relief and withdrawal of the garrison which was still holding that precarious position. But his confident hope for the prompt relief of Lucknow was doomed to early and utter disappointment. Outram's column had proved to be simply in the nature of a reinforcement, and that, too, with no corresponding addition to the supplies of the original garrison. The beleaguerment was close; the position environed by some sixty thousand armed and rancorous enemies. Outram sent word on October 7th, just a fortnight after his entry, to the effect that by eating his horses and gun-draught bullocks he would be able to subsist for a month; and he added that a force equal at least to two strong brigades would be required for the extrication of the garrison.

The sudden and pressing danger threatening Outram's isolated and beleaguered force in Lucknow imposed on the Commander-in-Chief the most urgent exertions. Every military department was stimulated to the utmost; the whole resources of the Government were thrown into violent action. Stores, provisions, carriages, ammunition, guns, all were hurried forward upon Allahabad. But the available resources were sadly limited. The infantry were straggled in small detachments all along the Grand Trunk Road from Calcutta to Cawnpore. No cavalry existed except some two hundred men of the military train, and there were scarcely any horses for the field-batteries which were[119] being organised at Allahabad. All told, the troops on the up-country march constituted a force hardly equivalent to a single weak brigade, less than half the strength which Outram had specified as requisite for his extrication. To relieve Lucknow in time seemed a sheer impossibility and disaster to the garrison there inevitable.

Fortunately, while every nerve was being strained to succour Outram from below, the welcome tidings were received that invaluable co-operation was approaching from the opposite direction. As soon as Delhi had fallen General Wilson had sent out in pursuit of the fugitive rebels a mixed column under the command of Colonel Greathed. The strength of this force amounted to two thousand eight hundred men, of whom nine hundred and thirty were Europeans. It was made up of two troops and one battery of artillery with sixteen guns, the Ninth Lancers three hundred strong, the Eighth and Seventy-Fifth Regiments four hundred and fifty strong, two hundred native sappers, four hundred Punjaub cavalry, and two regiments of Punjaub infantry twelve hundred strong. Marching down the Gangetic Doab, Greathed defeated bodies of mutineers at Bolundshuhur, Malaghun, and Allyghur. Failing to overtake the main body of fugitives which had crossed his front towards Oude, he pushed on to Agra by forced marches, and had barely pitched his camp there when he was suddenly attacked by the Indore brigade. Recovering from their momentary surprise, the British troops notwithstanding their exhaustion met the hostile onslaught with vigour, and after a sharp engagement routed the enemy with heavy slaughter and the capture[120] of thirteen guns and a great quantity of baggage and stores in the lengthened pursuit following on the combat. During the march from Agra down the Doab Colonel Hope Grant overtook the column, and having taken command of it in virtue of seniority arrived at Cawnpore on October 26th. Four days later, at the head of the Delhi column reinforced by several companies of the Ninety-Third Highlanders and some infantry detachments, he crossed the Ganges into Oude. Strictly enjoined to refrain from any serious operation pending the arrival of the Commander-in-Chief, Grant halted at Buntera, six miles short of the Alum Bagh, with the garrison of which position he established communications. As the reinforcements and supplies reached Cawnpore they were sent forward to the depôt-camp at Buntera. The arrival of this Delhi column was of priceless value to Sir Colin, on whom his all but utter want of cavalry and his deficiency in field-artillery had hitherto weighed sorely. The column had come well provided with carriage, a hardly less valuable acquisition than the cavalry and artillery it brought. Now the Chief had to his hand the elements wherewith to organise a field-force strong enough to justify the opening of active operations at an early date.

Sir Colin left Calcutta on the 27th of October, and hurried with all speed to the seat of war. On the way he narrowly escaped falling into the hands of a body of mutineers who were crossing the road just as he came up. At Allahabad on November 1st intelligence reached him that Outram considered himself able to hold out on further reduced rations until beyond the middle of the month,—a welcome announcement, since it afforded Sir[121] Colin more time to complete his arrangements and gave opportunity for the arrival of reinforcements still on the way. On the morning of the 3rd he reached Cawnpore, where he remained a few days to get the engineer train and commissariat in trim for the projected operation.

That operation was of the most difficult and embarrassing character. Its urgent objective was the relief of Lucknow, whence came an importunate cry for succour. Yet to attempt the immediate relief of Lucknow was at the imminent risk of the sacrifice of his communications; and the result of relieving the city at the cost of the forfeiture of his communications, would be simply to find himself in the air, hampered by a great convoy of sick and wounded, of women and children, his scanty force ringed around by vast hordes of enemies. For, as he knew, at Calpee on the Jumna, forty miles south of Cawnpore and directly on the flank of the road between Allahabad and Cawnpore, was gathering the revolted Gwalior Contingent, a large force under the Nana Sahib, and portions of the Dinapore mutineers—a collective body at least triple his own strength, having the obvious intention of striking at Cawnpore and his communications so soon as he should be fairly committed to the Lucknow enterprise. Of this eventuality he had no alternative but to take the risk, leaving in Cawnpore General Windham with a few hundred men to remain on the defensive in an intrenched position and not to move out unless compelled by threat of bombardment.

On the 9th Sir Colin reached the camp at Buntera, where he placed Hope Grant in divisional command,[122] reserving to himself a general superintendence of the operations. During the halt there the brave Kavanagh, who had volunteered to pass from beleaguered Lucknow through the hostile lines in the guise of a native scout, came into camp with despatches for the Chief. The scheme of operations settled on was to skirt the city from the Alumbagh to the Dilkoosha; thence to advance upon the Martinière and the line of the canal; to follow the right bank of the Goomtee seizing the barracks and the Secundrabagh; thence under cover of batteries to be opened on the Kaiserbagh to carry the remaining buildings; and after effecting a junction with the Residency to withdraw its garrison. A message was sent in to Outram informing him that the Commander-in-Chief would leave the Alumbagh on the 13th; that he hoped to gain possession of the barracks and the Secundrabagh on the 14th; and on the 16th to carry out the women and children and the sick and wounded.

On the afternoon of the 11th Sir Colin's little army, all told barely four thousand five hundred strong, was formed up on the plain for the inspection of its Chief. A spectator has graphically depicted the scene. The field-guns from Delhi looked blackened and service-worn; but the horses were in good condition and the harness in perfect repair; the gunners bronzed; stalwart, and in perfect fighting case. The Ninth Lancers, with their gallant bearing, their flagless lances and their lean but hardy horses, looked the perfection of regular cavalry on active service. Wild and bold was the bearing of the Sikh horsemen, clad in loose fawn-coloured dress, with long boots, blue or red turbans[123] and sashes, and armed with carbine and tulwar. Next to them were the worn and wasted remains of the Eighth and Seventy-Fifth Queen's, who with wearied air stood grouped under their colours. Then came the two regiments of Punjaub Infantry, tall of stature, with fierce eager eyes under their huge turbans,—men swift in the march, forward in the fight, and eager for the pillage. On the left of the line, in massive serried ranks, a waving sea of plumes and tartan, stood the Ninety-Third Highlanders, who with loud and rapturous cheers welcomed the veteran commander whom they knew so well and loved so warmly. Till he reached the Highlanders no cheer had greeted Sir Colin as he rode along the line of men to whom as yet he was strange. But the Ninety-Third were his old familiar friends. "Ninety-Third!" so ended his little speech—"You are my own lads, I rely on you to do yourselves and me credit!" "Aye, aye, Sir Colin!" answered a voice from the ranks, "Ye ken us and we ken you; we'll bring the women and bairns out o' Lucknow or we'll leave our ain banes there!"

The expected reinforcements having joined, the column, Sir Colin riding at its head, began the flank march towards the Dilkoosha at daybreak on the morning of the 14th. No opposition was met with until the advance approached the Dilkoosha park, whence came a smart fire which was soon overpowered. The Dilkoosha was promptly occupied and the straggling enemy hurried down the slope towards the Martinière, whence presently came a heavy fire of artillery and musketry which was beaten down by Travers' heavy guns. At the approach of the British[124] skirmishers the Martinière was evacuated, and all the ground on the hither side of the canal was won. The field-hospital and commissariat were installed in the Dilkoosha and headquarters were established in the Martinière, the wood to the west of which was occupied by Hope's brigade with guns on the higher ground on its left. An attack on the position made by the enemy in the afternoon met with defeat, and they were driven back across the canal by a couple of regiments which made good a lodgment on its further side.

All the 15th the advance halted to admit of the closing up of the rearguard, which had been constantly engaged with the enemy during the previous day and did not reach the Dilkoosha until late next morning. The nearest road from Sir Colin's position to the Residency was by the Dilkoosha bridge, the Begum's palace, and the Huzrut Gunj,—the road followed by the Seventy-Eighth Highlanders in the first relief; but it was manifestly extremely dangerous. Another road, starting also from near the Begum's palace and passing between the barracks and a suburb, led straight to the Secundrabagh. This was the route traversed by Outram and Havelock's main force on the 25th of September, and it was recommended in the plan Outram had sent out by Kavanagh. But Sir Colin was assured that this road also would present formidable obstacles to his advance; and he could not afford to run the risk of compromising his scanty resources, already diminished by the detachments he was obliged to leave in his rear. He wisely resolved to make a detour to his right and approach the Secundrabagh by the open ground near the river. In the afternoon a reconnaissance was made by the Commander-in-Chief[125] of the position opposite his left, the intention being to impress the enemy with the belief that his advance was to be made in that direction. The massing of all his artillery on that point and the maintenance upon it of a fire of mortars during the night, together with the entire absence of outposts on his right, were measures intended to contribute to that conviction.

By daybreak of the 16th the army was in motion. The enterprise before it was arduous in the extreme. After the subtraction of the details necessary to hold the Alumbagh, the Martinière, and the Dilkoosha, there were available for the relief operations only the Ninety-Third, part of the Fifty-Third, two weak Sikh regiments, two provisional battalions of detachments, and portions of the Twenty-Third and Eighty-Second regiments—in all not above three thousand bayonets. Opposed to this handful was a host of some sixty thousand armed men concentrated in a central position of great strength. The task would have been rash even to madness but for Campbell's great strength in artillery, on which he chiefly depended for overcoming the obstacles which interposed between him and the garrison he had come to relieve. That artillery comprised the gallant Peel's naval brigade, consisting of six 24-pounders, two 8-inch howitzers, and two rocket-tubes; the sixteen field-guns of Greathed's column, a heavy and a light field-battery and a mortar-battery of the Royal Artillery, one half field-battery of the Bengal Artillery, and two native Madras horse-artillery guns—in all thirty-nine guns and howitzers, six mortars, and two rocket-tubes.

The line of Campbell's advance was from his extreme right along the right bank of the river for about a mile,[126] and then by a narrow and tortuous lane through thickly-wooded enclosures and between low mud-houses until the vicinity of the rear of the Secundrabagh should be approached. A strong advance-guard of cavalry with Blunt's troop of Bengal Horse Artillery and a company of the Fifty-Third led the way. Hope's and Russell's brigades followed, the ammunition and engineer park came next, and Greathed's brigade brought up the rear. After passing the village of Sultangunge the lane by which the force was advancing turned sharp to the left, when the rear of the Secundrabagh became immediately visible, from the loopholes in which and from the adjacent huts on either side of the lane came a brisk fire. The moment was extremely critical; for the movement in advance was checked, while the cavalry, jammed and helpless in the narrow lane, hindered the passage forward of the artillery and infantry. Sir Colin pushed to the front regardless of the enemy's fire, thrust the cavalry into the side alleys of the village, and ordered a company to line and cover the continuation of the lane passing along the west side of the Secundrabagh and debouching into the open space in its front. He himself then brought up to the front of the building two of Travers' 18-pounders, which promptly set about battering a breach in the south-west bastion of the Secundrabagh. Blunt's troop of horse-artillery came tearing up at a gallop through a heavy cross-fire till it reached the open space between that building and the serai a couple of hundred yards to the southward. Blunt gallantly maintained his fire in three different directions, sustaining heavy losses in men and horses. The Ninety-Third now coming up, three companies of that regiment[127] cleared the serai and the adjacent buildings, drove out the enemy holding those positions, and pursuing the rebels across the plain seized and held the barracks while part of the Fifty-Third in skirmishing order connected that post with the main attack against the Secundrabagh. Sir Colin was near one of Blunt's guns when a bullet which had passed through a gunner struck him with great force on the thigh, but it did not penetrate and he escaped with a severe bruise.

While the 18-pounders were doing their work the infantry were lying down behind an embankment waiting impatiently till their time should come. After an hour's battering a Sikh native officer, without waiting for the word, sprang forward sword in hand followed by his men. Sir Hope Grant[4] states that the brave Sikh was outrun by Sergeant-Major Murray of the Ninety-Third. Mr. Forbes-Mitchell[5] says that the Sikh officer was killed on the way and that the two European officers of the Sikh regiment were wounded, misfortunes which caused a temporary halt on the part of the Punjaubis. "Then," according to Forbes-Mitchell, "Sir Colin called to Colonel Ewart, 'Ewart, bring on the tartan!'; his bugler sounded the advance, and the seven companies of the Ninety-Third dashed from behind the bank. It has always been a moot point who got through the hole first. I believe the first man in was Lance-Corporal Donnelly of the Ninety-Third, killed inside; then Subadar Gokul Singh, followed by Sergeant-Major Murray of the [128]Ninety-Third also killed, and, fourth, Captain Burroughs[6] severely wounded."

The foremost men climbed in through the narrow breach. The bulk of the Ninety-Third and the Sikhs entered by the great gate further left after its massive locks had yielded to many bullets, and they were followed by Barnston's battalion of detachments. The Fifty-Third broke in through a window to the right. The vast interior garden in which the deadly strife was proceeding rang with the clash of weapons, the crackle of musketry, the shouts and yells of the combatants. The scene baffled all description. The enemy, caught in a death-trap, fought with the courage of despair. The conflict raged for hours and the carnage was appalling. When the enclosure and buildings were finally cleared of their ghastly contents, no fewer than two thousand native soldiers were found to have been slain.

That Sir Colin's temper was apt to break out in sudden passion, he himself was very ready to admit; and if the passion were causeless, he was equally ready to make amends for the outburst. Forbes-Mitchell tells a story of him which illustrates both characteristics. Colonel Ewart, he says, in the fighting inside the Secundrabagh had captured a regimental colour from two native officers, both of whom he had killed notwithstanding that he had been himself severely wounded; and seeing that the fight was over, Ewart, bareheaded, covered with blood and powder-smoke, his eyes still flashing with the excitement of the fray, ran up to where Sir Colin sat on his gray charger outside the gate of the Secundrabagh and called out "We are in full possession of the place, sir![129] I have killed the two last of the enemy with my own hand, and here is one of their colours!" Sir Colin had been chafed by events, and he turned angrily on Ewart. "Damn your colours, sir!" he thundered—"it is not your place to be taking colours; go back to your regiment this instant!" Ewart turned away, much disconcerted by the reception given him by the Chief; but Forbes-Mitchell adds that he subsequently heard that Sir Colin sent for the colonel later in the day, apologised for his rudeness, and thanked him for his services.

Some distance beyond the Secundrabagh, and about one hundred yards right of the road towards the Residency, was the Shah Nujeef, a great mosque and tomb surrounded by a high loopholed wall fringed by trees, jungle, and enclosures. About midway between the two places lay a village to left of the road. Having drawn off his brigade from the Secundrabagh Hope cleared and occupied this village, while Peel brought up his heavy guns and placed them in battery within short range of the Shah Nujeef. The defence of that stronghold was most obstinate, the enemy maintaining from it a severe and incessant musketry-fire which cost Peel very heavy loss. The attack had lasted for nearly three hours, yet no impression had been made on the massive structure; and Peel was enduring a double cross-fire from the left bank of the Goomtee and from the Kaiserbagh in addition to the injury wrought him by the garrison of the Shah Nujeef. A gallant attempt made by Barnston's battalion of detachments to clear the outlying enclosures failed; Barnston was struck down, and the determined attempt then made by Wolseley to escalade could not succeed, for he and his men were[130] raked by a storm of missiles,—grenades and round-shot hurled from wall-pieces, arrows and brickbats, burning torches of rags and cotton saturated with oil. A dangerous crisis was imminent. Retreat was not to be thought of, even had it been possible, which it was not. The veteran Chief was equal to the occasion. He sent orders to Middleton's light field-battery to advance, to pass Peel's guns on the right, and, getting as near as possible to the Shah Nujeef, to open a quick and well-sustained fire of grape. Peel, for his part, was to redouble his fire; and the Chief rode back to the village occupied by the Ninety-Third to tell his favourite regiment that no matter at what cost the Shah Nujeef must be taken, and since the place had withstood gun-fire the cold steel would have to play its part. Many words were not needed, for Sir Colin and the Ninety-Third understood each other; and so, announcing to the regiment that he would himself head its advance, he led it out from the village into the open, ready to press forward at the word.

Middleton's battery came up grandly. With loud cheers, the drivers waving their whips, the gunners their caps, it galloped through the storm of fire to within pistol-shot of the wall, and poured in round upon round of grape. Peel, manning all his guns, worked them with swift measured energy. The Ninety-Third, with flashing eyes and ardent step, the Highland blood throbbing in every vein, came rolling forward in a great eager wave, the war-loving veteran of many battles riding at its head. As he approached the nearest angle of the enclosure the men began to fall fast, but without a check its foot was reached. There,[131] however, the gallant Scots were brought to a stand in face of a loopholed wall twenty feet high. There was no breach and there were no scaling-ladders. Unable to advance and resolute not to retire, the Ninety-Third resorted to a stationary fire of musketry; but the garrison of the place had all the advantage and the assailants suffered severely. Of Sir Colin's staff both the brothers Alison were struck down, and many of the mounted officers, including Hope, his aide-de-camp, and his brigade-major, had their horses shot under them. The aspect of affairs had become exceedingly grave; the dusk was falling and the Shah Nujeef still remained untaken. Just at this critical moment Sergeant Paton of the Ninety-Third came running to Hope with the glad tidings that he had found a breach in the north-east corner of the rampart near the river. Hope quietly gathered a company and followed the sergeant through the jungle to where the latter indicated the narrow fissure he had discovered. He clambered up and then assisted Hope, Allgood, and others; the soldiers followed in single file. A body of sappers hurried up and enlarged the opening, and then the supports rushed in. The garrison, taken by surprise, glided away amidst the rolling smoke into the dark shadows of the night. The main gate was thrown open and at last the Shah Nujeef was in British possession.

Enough had been done for one day. The Shah Nujeef was garrisoned by the Ninety-Third, where also headquarters were established for the night. The roads and positions in rear of that advanced post were strongly held, and the wearied troops lay down to well-earned rest. The relief of the Residency, a few hours before[132] problematical in the extreme, was now fairly assured. Taken between Campbell's batteries and Outram's cannon, the enemy could not long maintain themselves in the intervening buildings. In the early morning of the 17th Peel's heavy guns were already in steady action on the Mess House, a place of considerable strength, with a ditch twelve feet broad backed by a loopholed wall. For several hours it was bombarded, until, the musketry fire from it having been subjugated, about 3 P.M. it was successfully attacked by Captain Wolseley[7] with a company of the Ninetieth and a detachment of the Fifty-Third. As Wolseley's men, flushed with success, followed their gallant leader in pursuit of the fugitives across the open into the Motee Mahal, Lieutenant Roberts[8] raised the flag on the top of the Mess House, the specified signal which notified to the Residency garrison the near approach of the relieving force. On the 16th Havelock had made a sally the result of which was to give him the possession of the advanced posts of the Herrn Khana and the Engine House; and thus communication was opened between the two forces as soon as the Motee Mahal had been carried. The meeting of Sir Colin Campbell, Outram, and Havelock, commemorated in a well-known picture, marked the virtual consummation of the operations for the relief. That object had been accomplished at the cost of a loss of forty-five officers and four hundred and ninety-six men.


It still remained, however, to withdraw from Lucknow the garrison and its encumbrances. To effect this evacuation in security required the utmost vigilance on the part of the troops and the greatest nicety in their handling, for the enemy still held threatening positions in overwhelming strength, and the long line from the Residency to the Dilkoosha which had to be traversed by the garrison and its convoy, was exposed to hostile fire at many points. From the 17th until the evacuation on the night between the 22nd and 23rd, Campbell's force in effect constituted a huge outlying picket which could not be relieved until the ultimate withdrawal should have been effected. Sir Colin's first operation was to protect the left flank and left rear of his force by a chain of posts extending from the barracks to Banks' house, and this was accomplished after some sharp fighting. To protect the women and children from exposure to fire from the Kaiserbagh while crossing the open space between the Engine House and the Motee Mahal, a flying sap with canvas screens was constructed; and during the afternoon of the 19th their retirement as far as the Secundrabagh was accomplished in safety. They were received by Sir Colin at his headquarters near that building. To assure their safety he detained the ladies until nightfall, when he sent them on to the Dilkoosha in doolies. The Government treasure, the crown jewels of the King of Oude, and all the serviceable guns were then gradually sent out; and at midnight of the 22nd the withdrawal of the garrison began. In deep silence the original garrison quitted the Residency and passed through the advanced posts to the rear. Those in succession[134] fell back until the ground had been abandoned as far as the Secundrabagh, where Hope's brigade was in position with fifteen guns. The troops were then drawn back across the canal, Sir Colin remaining with a detachment until the last gun was reported clear of the last village. Before dawn of the 23rd the whole force was in its assigned positions at the Dilkoosha and the Martinière. So adroit had been the arrangements that the enemy continued to fire on the positions for many hours after they had been relinquished. Thus terminated a series of difficult and delicate operations, the entire success of which was mainly owing to the steadfast adherence to Sir Colin Campbell's original design. Wisely planned and skilfully executed, it proved how much a comparative handful of disciplined soldiers could accomplish against stupendous odds and in difficult ground, under the guidance of a leader who combined great experience in war with the full possession of the confidence of his troops.

On the afternoon of the 24th, just as the life was quitting the worn frame of the noble Havelock, the relieving force with its unwieldy convoy began its march to the Alumbagh, its rear covered by Outram's division which closed up next day. It was not until midday of the 27th that Sir Colin, leaving Outram at the Alumbagh with four thousand men and twenty-five guns, put in motion towards Cawnpore his own vast miscellaneous column of soldiers, women and children, sick and wounded, guns, treasure and material. When the camp at Bunnee was reached in the evening, the sound of heavy firing was heard in the direction of Cawnpore. For several days all communication[135] with Windham had been cut off; and when it was known that a cannonade had been heard at Bunnee on the previous day, the conclusion became inevitable that the Gwalior Contingent had caught at the opportunity to assail the feeble garrison of Cawnpore. The apprehension of this had been haunting Sir Colin ever since the rupture of communications some days back; but nevertheless it must be said that there had been a certain measure of deliberation since the accomplishment of the relief. The weakness of Windham's resources and the disastrous consequences of his being overwhelmed by numbers, occasioned very serious disquietude. Cawnpore and the bridge over the Ganges in hostile possession, it was but too obvious that Campbell's force with its huge and helpless convoy would be gravely compromised. A night-march made by such troops as could be spared from escort-duty might have saved some valuable hours, but the force did not resume its progress until the morning of the 28th. The thunder of the cannon waxed louder as the column advanced; and note after note from Windham, delivered by panting messengers, gave ominous intimation how greatly endangered had become the situation at Cawnpore.

Leaving the infantry to hurry forward with the convoy and heavy guns, Sir Colin pushed on rapidly with the cavalry and horse-artillery. Leaving those in the Mungulwar camping-ground he galloped on to Cawnpore with his staff. Near the bridge an officer reported to him that "Windham's garrison was at its last gasp." His soldierly nature chafed by the flaccid despondency which tone and expression alike disclosed, the hot old Chief spurred his horse across the bridge and rode[136] straight for the entrenchment. As he passed, some men whom he had commanded in the Crimea recognised through the gloom the familiar face and figure; and cheer on cheer was raised as the word passed like lightning that the Commander-in-Chief had arrived. No more caitiff babble now of the garrison being "at its last gasp!" The feeling was universal that with Sir Colin's arrival disaster was no longer to be dreaded; and the situation was already retrieved in spirit.

Windham had not followed the instructions given him by the Commander-in-Chief before the latter crossed into Oude. He had loyally forwarded to Sir Colin the reinforcements as they arrived, until the communications were cut off between him and his Chief. Left then to his own resources both moral and material, and aware that a rebel force of trained soldiers, fourteen thousand strong with some forty guns, was daily drawing nearer and nearer, he abandoned the defensive prescribed to him, and on the 24th of November he pushed some six miles out into the country with his mixed force of detachments, numbering all told less than fourteen hundred men with eight guns. Accepting his challenge, Tantia Topee, the rebel general, and the only real soldier the mutiny produced, threw forward his advanced guard into a strong position lining the dry bed of a nullah. That position Windham on the morning of the 26th carried at the first rush; but he found it necessary to withdraw in face of the main body of the rebels, and he fell back nearer to his base. At noon next day, skilfully withholding his infantry, the rebel general opened a heavy cannonade on Windham's front and flanks. For five hours the British troops held their[137] ground staunchly against overwhelming odds, but at length they were forced to retreat. This movement through narrow streets and broken ground was attended by considerable disorder, and the camp-equipage had to be abandoned. Reluctant to withdraw into the entrenchment, Windham during the night between the 27th and 28th still held with his right the broken and wooded ground between the city and the river, while his left stretched into the plain beyond the canal. The fighting, renewed on the morning of the 28th, proved disastrous to the attenuated forces of the defence. Walpole on the left held his ground and even took the offensive, and Carthew gallantly maintained his position on the right until it became quite untenable. But the retirement of the latter gave possession to the enemy of the Church and Assembly Rooms containing the stores and baggage of the Commander-in-Chief's army, which Windham had omitted to remove within the cover of the entrenchment. Gradually the hostile batteries closed in around Windham's last defensive position near the bridge head, and directed their fire also on the bridge itself. A sally was made which for a time gave promise of a retrieval, but it was ultimately repulsed with heavy loss and great discouragement. By nightfall the garrison had been obliged to take shelter in the entrenchment; and when Sir Colin rode into the work it had become the mark for the cannon-balls and even the musketry-fire of the victorious rebels.

On the morning of the 29th Sir Colin's artillery on the left bank, aided by that of the entrenchment, gradually beat down the fire which the enemy were directing on the bridge; and the crossing of the troops then[138] began. The passage of the vast convoy lasted unceasingly for thirty-six hours. As the women and children, the sick and wounded crossed, the interminable cortège swept by the rampart of the fort and encamped on the plain among the mouldering remains and riddled walls of the weak shelter wherein Wheeler's people had fought and died. Day after day the enemy cannonaded Sir Colin's camp, but effective reprisals had to be postponed until the convoy of families and wounded which had started for Allahabad on the night of December 3rd should have been far enough on the journey to be safe from danger at the hands of the rebels. Meanwhile, the communications having been restored, the current of reinforcements was resumed, and the eager soldiers needed only to recover the fatigue of their march.

The enemy, whose forces were now increased to some twenty-five thousand men, had their left strongly posted in the broken ground of the old cantonments between the city and the river. Cawnpore itself was occupied; and its face towards the canal, opposite the advanced posts of the British camp, was thickly lined with troops. The hostile right was behind the canal on the southern plain, the Calpee road covered by the camp of the Gwalior Contingent. To fall on the enemy's right and prevent assistance being rendered it by their left, was the governing idea of Sir Colin's plan of attack. He determined to throw the whole weight of his force on the rebel right on the plain, to strike at the camp of the Gwalior Contingent, establish himself on its line of retreat, and having thus separated it from the Bithoor force constituting the rebel left, to effect the discomfiture of both bodies in detail. The troops at his disposal amounted[139] to five thousand infantry, six hundred cavalry, and thirty-five guns.

At 10 A.M. of the 6th, while the troops of Sir Colin's left were being formed in order of battle on either side of the Grand Trunk Road, Windham opened a fire of heavy artillery from the entrenchment upon the enemy's right between the city and the river, with the object of concentrating their attention on that quarter and of masking the main point of Campbell's attack. When this cannonade slackened Greathed, moving up to the line of the canal, engaged the enemy holding the edge of the city with a heavy musketry-fire for the purpose of detaining them in that position. On Greathed's left Walpole with his riflemen and the Thirty-Eighth crossed the canal, skirted the southern edge of the city, then bringing forward his right shoulder, swept across the plain towards the enemy's camp. Simultaneously the columns of Hope and Inglis, forming in successive lines further to the left under cover of the heavy artillery and preceded by the Sikhs and the Fifty-Third, drove the enemy across the canal, followed them up closely, and pressed eagerly forward upon the camp of the Gwalior Contingent, hurling back the foe in utter confusion. A battery galloping to the front poured round after round of grape into the tents, which were speedily cleared. So complete was the surprise, so sudden the onslaught, that the chupatties were found baking on the fires, the bullocks stood tied beside the carts, the sick and wounded were lying in the hospitals. By noon the enemy were in full flight by the road to Calpee. Such was the demoralisation that a pursuit by Sir Colin, his staff and personal escort, along with Bourchier's[140] field-battery, sufficed to keep the fugitives on the run; for the cavalry which was intended to cut off the enemy's retreat had missed its way, and only joined in the pursuit some miles beyond the abandoned camp. Gun after gun was captured in the chase. Sir Colin maintained the pursuit with the cavalry and the horse-artillery along the Calpee road for fifteen miles, capturing seventeen guns with their ammunition waggons and a great booty of material. The Gwalior Contingent, for the time being, was utterly discomfited.

The defeat of the rebels would have been complete, but for the escape of the Bithoor troops constituting the enemy's left in the ground between the city and the river. After the capture of the Gwalior Contingent's camp there had been assigned to General Mansfield, Sir Colin's Chief-of-Staff, the task of cutting off the retreat of the rebel left along the Bithoor road. Mansfield advanced, with the Rifles in skirmishing order followed by the Ninety-Third and covered by an artillery fire, to a position near the Subadar's Tank, where he halted short of the road which was the enemy's line of retreat. This passive attitude not only permitted the escape of the enemy, but emboldened them to venture an artillery-attack on Mansfield's stationary troops; and the rebels were allowed to carry off their guns without hindrance and to make good their retreat on Bithoor. Mansfield's inaction would have more seriously detracted from the completeness of the British victory, but for the success of the enterprise which Sir Colin committed to Hope Grant on the 8th. That gallant soldier hurried in pursuit of the Bithoor fugitives with some two thousand five hundred men and eleven guns.[141] On the early morning of the 9th he overtook them at Serai Ghaut twenty-five miles above Cawnpore. Promptly opening fire on them, he drove them across the river and captured fifteen guns. Of the forty guns with which the rebels had advanced on Cawnpore, they had now lost all but one. Sir Colin had disposed of some twenty-five thousand enemies, including the formidable Gwalior Contingent, at the cost of only ninety-nine casualties among the troops he had led to a success so signal.

He was free at last to appreciate the virtue of the old proverb, "All's well that ends well." But he had run great risks and had narrowly escaped disaster. Nobly stimulated by an exigence in the urgency of which he put faith, he had set aside ordinary military considerations and concentrated every energy on the relief of a garrison which he had been led to believe was in extremity. As a matter of fact, there was no such imminency as had been represented to him. It must be said that both the chiefs who successively conducted the defence of Lucknow were unduly impatient of beleaguerment. Havelock sacrificed half his scanty force in successive attempts to reach Lucknow, urged to try and to try again by Inglis' needless nervousness on the subject of rations. Outram's sole edible contributions to the resources of the original garrison were the bullocks which had hauled his guns and ammunition waggons; yet no approach to starvation threatened either the original garrison or the so-called "relieving force." As a matter of fact there was no resort to horse-flesh; and there never should have been any occasion for reduced rations of farinaceous food, of which, indeed, Sir Colin[142] carried away one hundred and sixty thousand lbs. The commissariat had simply miscalculated; and there was really no need that Sir Colin should have strained every nerve for the immediate relief of Lucknow, involving as it did the postponement of military undertakings of more imminent importance. This fact impressed itself on the Commander-in-Chief; and the realisation that he had been influenced by representations which circumstances did not warrant gave occasion to a coolness on his part towards Sir James Outram.

It is fair, however, to state that Outram wrote from Lucknow to Captain Bruce in the following terms:—"However desirable it may be to support me here, I cannot but feel that it is still more important that the Gwalior rebels should be first disposed of.... We can manage to screw on, if absolutely necessary, till near the end of November, on further reduced rations.... But it is so absolutely to the advantage of the State that the Gwalior rebels should first be effectually destroyed, that our relief should be a secondary consideration." Had Outram written in this tone three weeks earlier, the option would have been with Sir Colin to strike at Calpee before undertaking the relief of Lucknow. But it was not until the 28th of October, when Sir Colin had already taken his line, that Outram wrote as above; and his communication was addressed neither to the Commander-in-Chief nor to Brigadier Wilson in command at Cawnpore, but to a subordinate officer. Outram adds that his letter, since it reached Bruce on October 30th, was no doubt communicated to Sir Colin who did not leave Cawnpore for Lucknow until November 9th. But a plan[143] of campaign cannot be altered at a moment's notice and at the eleventh hour. Nor is there any evidence that Sir Colin ever saw Outram's letter to Bruce. It is true that intelligence reached him at Allahabad on November 1st that Outram "was prepared, if absolutely necessary, to hold out on further reduced rations till near the end of November;" and the announcement pleased him, as it afforded him a longer period in which to make his preparations for the relief of Lucknow. But he wrote to the Duke of Cambridge on November 8th that "all accounts from Lucknow show that Sir James Outram is in great straits;" and his biographer Shadwell testifies that "the urgent cry for succour which reached him from Lucknow overbore every other consideration."



Sir Colin Campbell had effected the relief of the Residency of Lucknow and the withdrawal of its garrison, and he was now free to devote himself to the strategic prosecution of the main campaign. Some delay had to be endured pending the return of the carriage which had conveyed the great convoy from Lucknow to the advanced base at Allahabad; but the interval enabled him to concert the measures necessary for the restoration of British authority in the Gangetic Doab and the opening of communications with Agra and Delhi. Greathed's column on its descent from Delhi had already traversed this region through fire and blood; but the wave of rebellion had closed in upon its rear and obliterated every trace of its hurried progress. Campbell had now not merely to traverse but to subdue and occupy; and this was to be accomplished only by the methodised sweep through the length and breadth of the Doab of columns restoring, as they moved, the British authority, and expelling the numerous bands of mutineers. Sir Colin with a wise perception decided on the fort of Futtehghur as the objective point on which the columns to be employed should converge.[145] For various reasons the possession of this strong place, situated as it was on the Ganges about midway between Allahabad and Delhi, was of great strategical importance. It was close to the town of Furrukhabad, the Nawaub of which was a bitter rebel; and it covered the floating bridge on the Ganges at a point where the states of Oude and Rohilcund met, from which hostile territories the enemy were as yet free to enter the Doab and intercept the communication by the Grand Trunk Road with Agra, Delhi, and the Punjaub. His occupation of Futtehghur, on the other hand, would carry with it the command of the fourth side of the Doab; while Agra, Allahabad, and Delhi, whose respective positions dominated the other three, were already in British possession.

Sir Colin fully recognised the strong strategic temptation, before advancing up the Doab, to root out from Calpee the Gwalior Contingent which he had just defeated before Lucknow, and so secure his flank and communications. But he also realised that the Contingent had been so cowed and weakened by its recent overthrow that many weeks must elapse before it could rally sufficiently to venture on any serious offensive operation. The brigade left at Lucknow under the command of Inglis, Sir Colin judged amply sufficient to prevent the interruption of his rearward communications; and it was with no apprehensions on that score that he proceeded to carry out the details of his project for the subjugation of the Doab by a concentric movement on Futtehghur. Before the close of November Colonel Seaton had already left Delhi in command of a column of all arms about nineteen[146] hundred strong, in charge of a vast convoy covering some seventeen miles of road, and comprising carts, camels and elephants laden with tents, stores and ammunition for the headquarter column. Marching down the Trunk Road and sweeping the upper Doab, Seaton was the victor in two successive sharp combats with insurgent bodies, and having reached Bewar on December 31st he remained there until January 3rd, when he was joined by Brigadier Walpole. From that point the united force under Walpole was to move straight on Futtehghur, driving before it the rebel bands from the Delhi, Agra, and Etawah sections of the Doab.

Of the two columns marching up country, one commanded by Walpole the other by Sir Colin himself, the former had the greater distance to travel and was therefore the earlier to move out. On December 16th Walpole quitted Cawnpore with two thousand men consisting of two battalions of Rifles and a strong force of cavalry and artillery. Making a semicircular sweep to the left through the lower Doab in the direction of Calpee, a movement in the nature of a threatening demonstration against the Gwalior Contingent, he swung round to his right by Akbarpore and marched up the left bank of the Jumna to Etawah, whence he struck across to Mynpooree and, as has been said, joined Seaton at Bewar. On December 24th Sir Colin at the head of the main army some five thousand strong set out from Cawnpore, moving by easy marches up the Grand Trunk Road and clearing the right bank of the Ganges as he advanced. Thus three columns, from the north-west, from the south, and from the south-east, were simultaneously moving to converge on Futtehghur,[147] driving before them the malcontents of the Doab with intent to push them across the Ganges into Oude and Rohilcund.

No matter how careful may be the pre-arrangements for precision in the execution of a combined operation when the distances are wide, as often as not there interposes some complication which detracts from the fulfilment of the combination. Sir Colin had anticipated a simultaneous concentric advance on Futtehghur, but events forestalled this operation. On the 1st of January 1858 Brigadier Hope with two infantry regiments and some cavalry and artillery reached the point, about fifteen miles from Futtehghur, where the road crossed the Kala Nuddee stream by a fine suspension bridge, just in time to prevent its total destruction by the enemy who had torn up a great part of the planking. The engineers and sailors had already repaired the structure when in the early morning of the 2nd several rebel battalions of the Nawaub's force under cover of a thick fog came down to dispute the passage of the river. When the fog lifted the enemy were seen to have occupied in great force the village of Khoodagunj, whence they opened a vigorous musketry-fire covered by several heavy guns, one of which, a 24-pounder, had been placed in the toll-house commanding the bridge. Sir Colin had come up and promptly made his dispositions to meet the enemy's rapidly developing attack. He sent back the order for the main body to hurry up; and meanwhile he pushed the Fifty-Third across the bridge to reinforce the pickets, with strict orders not to advance but to remain on the defensive so as to allow time for the cavalry, which had been sent across five[148] miles up stream, to get behind the enemy and cut off his retreat to Futtehghur. One wing of the Ninety-Third was in reserve behind the bridge; the other with some horse-artillery guns was detached to hold a ford three miles down stream for the purpose of securing the right flank.

Peel sent an eight-inch shell through the window of the toll-house which burst under the enemy's big gun in that building, upsetting it and killing or disabling most of the rebel gunners. Campbell's main body came up, and under cover of a heavy artillery fire which soon silenced the hostile guns, the passage of the river was accomplished. The Fifty-Third regiment had been lying for hours under the bank of a road which afforded inadequate cover, and had lost a good many men. It was comprised chiefly of Irishmen,—fine stalwart fellows and ever keen for fighting, but somewhat difficult to keep in hand when their blood was up. When the main body began to cross, the Fifty-Third conceived the idea that they were to be relieved; and this suspicion, coupled with glimpses of the enemy attempting to withdraw some of their guns, overmastered their sense of discipline. All of a sudden, and in spite of the attempts to restrain them, they made a dash with loud cheers and charged and captured several of the rebel guns. Sir Colin had intended to make a waiting fight of it, to give plenty of time for the cavalry turning movement; when the hot-headed Irishmen interfered with this project he galloped up to the regiment in high wrath and objurgated it in terms of extreme potency. But each volley of his invective was drowned by repeated shouts of "Three cheers for the Commander-in-Chief,[149] boys!" until, finding that the men were determined not to give him a hearing, the sternness of the commander gradually relaxed and the veteran turned away with a laugh. He might have made his voice heard over the cheery clamour of the Irishmen, but that a few minutes before he had been hit in the stomach by a spent bullet, happily with merely the momentary inconvenience of loss of breath.

The village of Khoodagunj when attacked by the Ninety-Third and Fifty-Third was carried with little opposition, the enemy abandoning their guns which had been posted in and about the place and retiring with the remainder of their artillery in good order along the road to Futtehghur. But they had yet to experience the fierce mercies of Hope Grant and his horsemen. Making a detour to the left, that fine cavalry leader rode parallel with the rebels' line of retreat, screened from their sight by groves and tall crops. Then, wheeling suddenly to his right, he crashed in on the flank of the insurgent force moving on a narrow front along the high road. Taken utterly by surprise, the mutineers fled panic-stricken before this terrible onslaught. Hope Grant's cavalry, committing ruthless havoc with lance and sabre, maintained the pursuit for miles, capturing guns, ammunition waggons and material of all descriptions; and so demoralised was the foe that he never halted in his camp at Futtehghur, but rushed across the floating bridge into Rohilcund. The return of Grant's troopers to camp in the evening was described by Alison's vivid pen as "a stirring scene of war." "The Ninth Lancers came first, with three standards they had taken waving at their head; the[150] wild-looking Sikh cavalry rode in their rear. As they passed Sir Colin, he took off his hat to them and said some words of soldierly praise. The Lancers waved their lances in the air and cheered; the Sikhs took up the cry, shaking their sabres over their heads; the men carrying the standards spread them to the wind. The Highland Brigade encamped close by, ran down and cheered the victorious cavalry, waving their bonnets in the air. It was a beautiful sight, and recalled the old days of chivalry. When Sir Colin rode back to camp through the tents of the Highland Brigade, the cheering and enthusiasm of the men exceeded anything I had ever seen."

Hitherto Sir Colin Campbell had been carrying on the plan of campaign which he had formulated without interference on the part of the Governor-General. If he had continued to have a free hand, no doubt he would have followed up the clearance of the Doab by the immediate invasion of Rohilcund and the destruction of the rebel power at the important centre of Bareilly. Those objects he would have had ample time to accomplish before the setting in of the hot season. At its approach he would have distributed his force in quarters throughout the recovered provinces, and while restraining the Oude insurgents within the borders of their own territory, he would have employed the summer in the restoration of our authority in our old provinces. With the advent of the autumn cool weather he would have concerted a great concentric movement on Lucknow, driving the Oude rebels from the circumference of that territory into the heart of it, there to be hemmed in and finally crushed. His scheme was based alike on[151] strict military and hygienic principles, avoiding at once a harassing guerilla warfare and the depletion of his invaluable European army in a hot weather campaign. The project thus outlined furnishes in itself the fullest testimony to the scope and accuracy of Sir Colin Campbell's strategic coup d'œil.

But he was now no longer free to conduct military operations in accordance with his soldierly sense of the fitness of things. Political considerations intervened, and Lord Canning was strongly in favour of proceeding to the reduction of Lucknow and the subjugation of Oude in advance of any other enterprise. Sir Colin's views, on the other hand, were in favour of the course briefly summarised in the preceding paragraph; but he fully realised that the decision of the Government was paramount as regarded the future course of the campaign. A long correspondence ensued on the subject between Lord Canning and Sir Colin, the terms of which illustrate the cordial relations existing between the head of the Government and his military subordinate. Some short extracts from this correspondence will serve to indicate its character. Lord Canning took the initiative. In his letter of December 20th, 1857, he writes: "So long as Oude is not dealt with, there will be no real quiet on this side of India. Every sepoy who has not already mutinied will have a standing temptation to do so, and every native chief will grow to think less and less of our power.... I am therefore strongly in favour of taking Oude in hand after Futtehghur, Mynpooree, etc., and when the Great Trunk Road communication shall have been made safe." Sir Colin forwarded to his lordship a memorandum in which it was pointed out that[152] twenty thousand men were necessary for the reduction of Lucknow, and thirty thousand for the complete subjugation of the Oude province. "It is," in the words of the memorandum, "for the Government to decide whether it be possible, with regard to the circumstances of the Presidency, to effect the necessary concentration of troops for this purpose." It was further pointed out that, "If through exposure during the hot weather of 1858, the strength of the British forces in India be seriously reduced—viz. by one-third, and less than that number could not be reckoned on were the campaign to be prolonged throughout the year—it will not be in the power of the Government at home to replace them." In his reply to Sir Colin's memorandum Lord Canning was willing to limit his demand to the capture and holding of Lucknow, without attempting more for the present. "Paradoxical as it may appear," wrote his lordship, "I think it of more importance to establish our power in the centre and capital of Oude, which has scarcely been two years in our hands, than to recover our older possessions. Every eye is now upon Lucknow, as it lately was upon Delhi. I grant that, as with Delhi so with Lucknow, we may find ourselves disappointed of a very wide-spread and immediate effect from its capture. Still I hold that the active mischief which will result from leaving it untaken will be incalculable and most dangerous—just as a retirement from Delhi would have been, and scarcely less in degree." Sir Colin replied temperately but firmly, maintaining his standpoint so far as true military principles were concerned. "After much thought," he wrote, "it appears to me advisable to follow up the movement now made[153] by this force by an advance into and occupation of Rohilcund, to root out the leaders of the large gatherings of insurgents which we know to exist there, and to establish authority as is now being effectually done in the Doab. It seems to me that if we halt in this course to divert the only force at our command to another object, we run no slight risk of seeing the results of our late labours wasted, and of an autumn, perhaps a summer, campaign on the present ground to rescue the garrisons left in Futtehghur and Mynpooree. I come therefore to the conclusion that Oude and Lucknow ought to wait till the autumn of 1858." The Governor-General naturally had the last word, and his decision was for the earlier operations against Lucknow. "I am obliged," he wrote, "to say that I hold those operations should be directed against Lucknow at no long interval. I believe it to be impossible to foresee the consequences of leaving that city unsubdued." The tone of the correspondence, though expressing divergent convictions, may be held up as a pattern of the temper in which the interchange of opinions between the civil and military chiefs of a great Government should be carried on.

Sir Colin lost no time in giving loyal effect to the views of the Governor-General by pressing on the preparations for the reduction of Lucknow. An inevitable pause in the active operations now occurred while the siege-train at Agra was being equipped, while reinforcements and Peel's 68-pounders were being brought up from Allahabad to Cawnpore, and while the needful amount of ammunition, provisions, and carriage, and the numerous requirements of the artillery and engineer parks[154] were being concentrated in the same depôt. The soldiers meanwhile were in expectation of an immediate forward movement, and they wondered exceedingly at the incomprehensible delay which their Chief seemed to be maintaining. Keeping his own counsel, the Commander-in-Chief awaited the development of his plans, wholly indifferent to the abuse of the Indian press. Pending the moment for renewed action he took post at Futtehghur, where he could cover from above the concentration of his resources at Cawnpore, and at once dominate the reconquered territory and keep in check the enemy in the regions still unsubdued. Futtehghur was an excellent strategic centre whence troops could promptly be pushed out to points threatened by insurgents from Oude, Rohilcund, or the trans-Jumna territory, while it covered the long-distance transport of the siege-train from Agra to Cawnpore. From Futtehghur movable columns were from time to time sent out to scour the surrounding country and reduce the still insurgent villages. Sir Colin for weeks deceived the Rohilcund mutineers as to his intentions, and for some ten or twelve days they were kept in position on the Ramgunga watching Walpole, whose force they supposed to be the advanced guard of Campbell's army of invasion. When at length, losing patience, some five thousand of them crossed into the Doab some miles above Futtehghur, Hope made matters extremely unpleasant for them. He overwhelmed them with gun-fire, crashed in upon them with cavalry; and although they fought desperately, four of their guns were taken, their camp was captured, and they were pursued hot-foot for several miles.


Before quitting the Doab Sir Colin assigned a brigade under Colonel Seaton to the task of holding several main positions in that territory, to be relieved presently in some degree by a force from the Punjaub which was being organised at Roorkee for the purpose of invading Rohilcund from the north-west. The siege-train was now well forward on its way to Cawnpore; the secret which Sir Colin had rigidly kept for three weeks, was a secret no longer; and on February 1st he left Futtehghur with his cavalry and horse-artillery, and making forced marches reached Cawnpore on the 4th. A few days later he made a short visit to Allahabad for an interview with Lord Canning, who had arrived there. By the middle of February the greater part of the army destined for the operation against Lucknow was in échelon along the road from the Ganges to the Alumbagh, covering the advance of the vast military stores and supplies which were constantly being brought up. Sir Colin anticipated that he should be ready to begin operations about the 18th of February with his own army of ten thousand men. But the Nepaulese force of some nine thousand men with twenty-four guns under Jung Bahadoor, which had been on the frontier of Oude since the beginning of January and had subsequently done a good deal of sharp fighting in the eastern part of that province, was expected to prove an important reinforcement to Sir Colin's army. The gallant Franks was fighting his way from south-eastern Oude with some three thousand men. The twelve thousand additional troops which Sir Colin might look forward to obtain from those sources would be extremely valuable, bringing up his total strength to twenty-two thousand men.[156] But neither body could reach Lucknow at the earliest before the 27th. Sir Colin left the decision to the Governor-General, whether he should proceed at once, which he was quite ready to do holding himself perfectly able to reduce Lucknow with the force now at his hand; or whether he should delay operations until Franks and the Nepaulese should arrive. Lord Canning promptly replied, "I wish," he wrote, "that the delay could have been avoided; but I am sure that we ought to wait for Jung Bahadoor, who would be driven wild to find himself deprived of a share in the work."

After some tentative efforts the Lucknow mutineers on the 21st made a serious attempt on both flanks of Outram's position behind the Alumbagh. Assailed by artillery and cavalry they accepted a defeat after sustaining heavy loss. They came at him again on the 25th, when they fought under the eyes of the Begum and her minister. Between twenty and thirty thousand came into the field. But Outram handled these masses so roughly that they gave way, and their retreat became a headlong rout when British cavalry attacked them on both flanks. Outram's loss was trivial; the enemy suffered heavily.

Towards the end of January the convoy of ladies from Agra had passed safely through Cawnpore on their way down country, and a month later Walpole rejoined the army after having given the Agra convoy escort to Allahabad. The whole siege-train by this time had come up; the engineer park, the commissariat supplies, the countless legions of camp-followers. The dense battalions, the glittering squadrons, the well-horsed batteries had traversed the bridges across the Ganges, and[157] were faring over the sandy plains of Oude, every man's face set towards Lucknow. It was a great convergence. Such a force India had never before seen. Under the Commander-in-Chief were arrayed seventeen battalions of infantry, fifteen of which were British, twenty-eight squadrons of cavalry, including four English regiments, fifty-four light and eighty heavy guns and mortars; while from the south, right across Oude, Franks with three British and six Ghoorka battalions with twenty guns was pressing on strenuously, and from the south-east Jung Bahadoor with nine thousand men and twenty-four guns was marching on the common goal, to join the strange miscellaneous force whose rendezvous was before the rebel defences of the capital of Oude.

On February 27th Sir Colin Campbell established his temporary headquarters at Buntera, where the Second Division had already arrived. His force had now increased to eighteen thousand seven hundred men with eighty heavy guns and mortars and fifty-four field-guns; and in addition he could reckon on Franks' column and eventually on the Nepaulese contingent under Jung Bahadoor, when his total effective would amount to about thirty-one thousand men and one hundred and sixty-four guns. To the command of the artillery was assigned Sir Archdale Wilson of Delhi fame: the brigade of engineers was confided to the able charge of Brigadier Robert Napier; and the cavalry division was placed under Brigadier-General Hope Grant. Of the three infantry divisions, the first was under Major-General Sir James Outram, the second under Brigadier-General Sir E. Lugard, the third under Brigadier-General Walpole. Sir Colin had come to the conclusion that it would be[158] impossible to invest the city, the circumference of which was quite twenty miles, and he determined, therefore, to operate simultaneously upon both sides of the Goomtee. By so doing he would be able to enfilade with his artillery fire the enemy's triple line of works, and thus weaken the resistance to his advance on the line of the canal and the approaches to the Kaiserbagh, which the rebels regarded as their citadel. It was covered by three successive lines of defence, of which the outer conformed to the line of the canal, the second circled round the Mess House and the Motee Mahal, and the inner one was the principal rampart of the Kaiserbagh itself. Those lines were flanked by numerous bastions, and rested at one end on the Goomtee, at the other on the massive buildings of the Huzrut Gunj, all of which were strongly fortified and flanked the street in every direction. The artillery of the defence was believed to consist of about one hundred and thirty guns. Apart from the normal population of Lucknow, which was reckoned about two hundred and eighty thousand, a turbulent and bitterly hostile community, the rebel garrison was estimated to amount to one hundred thousand fighting men, consisting of mutineers of the sepoy army, the Oude force, irregular regiments, and the levies of disaffected chiefs.

On March 2nd the Commander-in-Chief, with Lugard's division, a cavalry division, four heavy guns and three troops of horse-artillery, moved forward to the Dilkoosha by way of the Alumbagh and the fort of Jellalabad, sweeping aside as he marched some trivial opposition. When all the forces had come up, his camp in rear of the Dilkoosha extended to Bibiapore and[159] the Goomtee on the right, to the left as far as the Alumbagh. Franks arrived on the 5th and his column became the Fourth Infantry Division. The position was strongly garnished with heavy guns on the edge of the Dilkoosha plateau to keep down the fire from the canal front and the Martinière, and with others down on the river side on the outer flank of the Dilkoosha park to enfilade the Martinière and command the left bank of the Goomtee.

For the important duty of operating on the left bank the Chief had selected Sir James Outram, who for the last three months had been gallantly holding the Alumbagh against overwhelming odds. While he was receiving his instructions from the Commander-in-Chief, two cask-bridges were being thrown across the Goomtee near Bibiapore. As by a mistake they were constructed within range of the fire from the Martinière, Outram was ordered to cross with his division before dawn of the 6th. Hope Grant, who was Outram's second in command and had charge of the passage of the river, records that, "Sir Colin, being anxious to get the division across before the enemy could discover our position and open upon us, rode down to the river side, and pitched into everybody most handsomely, I catching the principal share. But this," he frankly says, "had a good effect and hastened the passage materially—everything was got over in safety just as daylight appeared." Sir Colin understood the art of "pitching in" better than most people; he did not frequently resort to it, but the impression it created was immediate and stirring.

Outram took out a very fine force consisting of the[160] Third Infantry Division, the Bays, and the Ninth Lancers with a body of Punjaub horse, five field-batteries, and an engineer detachment. When about to camp across the Fyzabad road he was threatened by a body of rebels, who were speedily driven back into Lucknow by the field-guns and artillery. In this skirmish fell a gallant officer, Major Percy Smith of the Bays. During the night of the 8th, under instructions from headquarters, Outram's people were engaged in preparing batteries for twenty-two heavy guns which Sir Colin had sent across for the purpose of bombarding the Chukur Kotee, the key of the enemy's position on the left bank. The batteries opened at daybreak of the 9th and in a few hours Outram's ardent infantry had carried the Chukur Kotee, whereby the enemy's outer line of entrenchments on the right bank was turned and taken in reverse, and had reached and occupied the enclosed position of the Badshahbagh. Outram promptly moved to the village of Jugrowlee on his extreme left a heavy battery whose fire enfiladed the enemy's outer line on the canal.

Meanwhile the Commander-in-Chief was perfecting his dispositions. From noon until 2 P.M. of the same day Peel's bluejackets were pouring shot, shell, and shrapnel into the Martinière, whose fire was replied to occasionally by a battery at the corner of that building, and by a heavy but wild musketry-fire a bullet from which wounded in the thigh the gallant Peel, who later, to the grief of the whole army, died of smallpox when being carried down to Calcutta on his way home. At two o'clock the order came for Lugard's division to advance, and the Forty-Second and Ninety-Third swept[161] down the slope abreast, clearing off the enemy from the earthworks, trenches and rifle-pits in front of the Martinière. The rebels abandoned the place in panic and fell back hurriedly upon their first line of works whence they opened a sharp fire. Outram's artillery at Jugrowlee had cleared the rebels from their position at the junction of the canal with the Goomtee, but this circumstance had not been noticed by Lugard's people. Thereupon Lieutenant Butler of the First Bengal Fusiliers swam the Goomtee from the left bank, mounted the parapet of the abandoned work, and under a heavy fire signalled to the Highlanders, who along with Wilde's Sikhs speedily relieved the daring Fusilier, occupied the position, and swept along the line of rebel defences till they reached the vicinity of Banks' house where they remained for the night. Butler, having done his gallant part, swam back to his own side, and in course of time worthily received the Victoria Cross. The outer line of the rebel defences having been occupied in force by his troops, the first instalment of Sir Colin's plan had been successfully accomplished; and this, too, with little loss, owing to the effect of Outram's enfilading fire from the left bank.

Sir Colin Campbell was unquestionably a deliberate man. This was not so in his original nature, which was quick and ardent; but in the course of his long military life he had seen much evil come of hurry. Fighting man as he was, there probably never was a greater economist of the lives of his soldiers. When absolute need was, he did not hesitate to avert failure at the cost of men's lives, as he showed in the long and bloody fight under the walls of the Shah Nujeef; but[162] whenever and wherever there was the possibility, his most earnest anxiety was to spare his men to the utmost of his endeavour. The chief object he had now in view was to attain the possession of Lucknow with no more loss to his force than the ordinary risk of such a service would justify. All his instructions, all his measures, conduced to this end. He was a man to whom a "big butcher's bill" was an utter abomination. And thus it was that he moved with a systematic deliberation which rash and callous men have sneered at as slowness. There were men about him, for instance, who would have stormed Banks' house on the evening of the 9th. Since no heavy guns were up, that enterprise would have cost dear in infantry-men. But the cool, shrewd, steadfast old Chief waited till next morning, when Lugard had his instructions to knock a breach with heavy guns in the high wall surrounding the house; which done, the infantry entered and at noon the building was captured and presently converted into a military post.

The preliminaries accomplished, there was no delay in the operations. Arrangements were at once made for prosecuting the advance on the Kaiserbagh. On the 10th Outram had placed his heavy guns in battery to play on that citadel and on the Mess House, on the former of which a battery of five mortars had already opened. Hope Grant with his cavalry scoured the ground between the Goomtee and the old cantonments. On the morning of the 11th some of the 68-pounders and heavy howitzers were brought up into position near Banks' house. A gradual approach was being made towards the Begum's palace, and the intervening gardens and suburbs were occupied by the troops[163] designed for the assault—the Ninety-Third, Fourth Punjaub Rifles, and some Ghoorkas, under the command of Adrian Hope. It was Sir Colin's design to advance successively through the courts and palaces on either side of the Huzrut Gunj street, and profiting by the cover thus afforded, take in reverse the enemy's second and third line of works instead of sapping up to their front. During this progress on his part the rebels' position would be simultaneously enfiladed from the left bank by Outram's heavy cannon. About 4 P.M. the breach was pronounced practicable and the assault was promptly delivered. Sir Colin well termed it "the sternest struggle of the siege." Captain M'Donald of the Ninety-Third was shot down just after he had led his company through the breach in the outer rampart. About twenty paces further the advance was arrested by a ditch nearly eighteen feet wide and from twelve to fourteen deep. The stormers dashed into the ditch but they could not scale its further face. Lieutenant Wood, hoisted on the shoulders of a Ninety-Third grenadier, scrambled up claymore in hand. He was the first to enter the inner works of the Begum's palace, and when the enemy saw him emerge from the ditch they fled to barricade the further accesses. Then Wood reached down and caught hold of the men's rifles by the bends of the bayonets, so that with assistance from below all his people finally cleared the ditch. Barrier after barrier was then forced, and independent detachments headed by officers pushed on into the great inner square, where the mutineers in great strength were prepared to stand and fight. The numbers were very unequal but the Highlanders did not care to count heads. "The[164] command," says Forbes-Mitchell, "was—'Keep together and use the bayonet!' The struggle raged for some two hours from court to court and from room to room; the pipe-major of the Ninety-Third, John MacLeod, playing the pipes amid the strife as calmly as if he had been walking round the officers' mess-tent at a regimental festival." Within two hours from the signal for the assault over eight hundred and sixty mutineers lay dead within the inner court. The assailants were by this time broken up into small parties in a series of separate fights. A room whose door had been partly broken in was found full of rebels armed to the teeth. The party of Highlanders watching the door stood prepared to shoot every man who attempted to escape, while two of their number went back for a few bags of gunpowder with slow matches fixed, to be lighted and heaved in among the mutineers. Forbes-Mitchell, himself a leading figure in the tragic scene, thus describes how the gallant Hodson met his fatal wound. "The men sent by me found Major Hodson, who did not wait for the powder but came running up himself sabre in hand. 'Where are the rebels?' he asked. I pointed to the door, and Hodson, shouting 'Come on!' was about to rush in. I implored him not to do so, saying 'It's certain death, sir! wait for the powder.' Hodson made a step forward, and I seized him by the shoulder to pull him out of the line of the doorway, when he fell back shot through the body. He gasped out a few words, but was immediately choked by blood." Placed in a dooly he was sent back to the surgeons, but his wound was mortal. Forbes-Mitchell adds: "It will thus be seen that the assertion that Major Hodson was looting when he was killed, is[165] untrue. No looting had been then commenced, not even by Jung Bahadoor's Ghoorkas. Major Hodson lost his life by his own rashness; but to say that he was looting is a cruel slander on one of the bravest of Englishmen."

The ignited bags of gunpowder drove the enemy out from their lair to be promptly bayoneted. One soldier, using butt and bayonet and shouting "Revenge for Hodson!", killed more than half of them single-handed. In another doorway Lieutenant MacBean, Adjutant of the Ninety-Third, a soldier who rose from the ranks to die a Major-General, encountered eleven sepoys and killed them all with his claymore, one after the other. With the advent of night opposition for the most part ceased, although numbers of rebels were still in hiding in the dark rooms. The troops bivouacked in the courts of the palace under cover of strong guards. Horrible spectacles were presented with the daylight of the 12th. Hundreds of bodies lay about smouldering in the cotton clothing which had caught fire from the exploding bags of gunpowder, and the stench of burning flesh was sickening. During the morning the camp-followers dragged the corpses into the deep ditch which had been found so difficult to cross on the previous day. The Begum's palace was recognised to be the key to the enemy's position, and our heavy guns were promptly advanced for the object of breaching the Imambara, which was the only building of magnitude intervening between the Begum's palace and the Kaiserbagh.

From the early morning of the 11th Sir Colin had been at the front superintending the preparations for the assault of the Begum Kotee. But before that enterprise was ripe he was reluctantly summoned from the[166] scene of action to receive a visit from Jung Bahadoor, who had just arrived at the Dilkoosha with the Nepaulese army after an interminable series of delays. In the midst of the formal durbar there occurred a striking scene. Captain Hope Johnstone, aide-de-camp to General Mansfield, covered with powder-smoke and the dust of battle, strode up to the Chief with the welcome tidings that the Begum Kotee had been taken. Thereupon Sir Colin, to whom ceremonial was detestable, seized the occasion to bring the durbar to a close, and after announcing the news to his guest hurried to the front. Next day the Nepaulese troops came up into position holding the line of the canal between Banks' house and the Charbagh bridge, thus covering the left of the main attack. On the right the Shah Nujeef had been occupied on the evening of the 11th, on a parallel front with the position in the Begum Kotee.

By the afternoon of the 13th the engineers had driven a practicable way through the buildings intervening between the Begum Kotee and the Imambara. Heavy guns were brought into action close to the massive containing wall of the latter structure, and on the morning of the 14th the breach was reported practicable. The storming force consisted of Brasyer's Sikhs and the Tenth Foot, with the Ninetieth in support. After a short but sharp struggle the garrison fled in disorder, the Imambara was in possession of the stormers, and the second line of the enemy's defence was thus turned. The assailants in the ardour of their success pursued the fugitives into the buildings intervening between the Imambara and the Kaiserbagh itself. Those occupied, the engineers proposed to[167] suspend active operations for the day and to resort to the process of sap. Sir Colin himself, who had ridden through the fire in the Huzrut Gunj and had entered the Imambara amidst the cheers of the troops, was understood to favour that course. But the men in the front were not to be restrained, and under a fierce fire they forced their way into a courtyard communicating with the Kaiserbagh, driving the enemy before them. Reinforcements were sent for and came hurrying up. After a brief consultation Napier and Franks resolved to push on. Franks sent his men through Saadat Ali's Mosque into the Kaiserbagh itself. Its courts, gardens and summer-houses were full of sepoys who from the roofs and battlements rained down a musketry-fire on the assailants. But the British troops fought their way into this chief citadel of the hostile position, and after a short interval of hard fighting the Kaiserbagh was in possession of Sir Colin's valiant soldiers. Its fall took in reverse the third and last line of the enemy's defence. By nightfall the palaces along the right side of the Goomtee, the Motee Mahal and the Chattee Munzil, were occupied; as also the nearer buildings of the Mess House and the Tara Kotee. With the capture of the Kaiserbagh and the other buildings within the third line of defence, Lucknow may be said to have fallen.

Mr. Russell in his Diary in India has given a vivid description of the scene in the Kaiserbagh immediately after the capture. "Imagine courts as large as the Temple Gardens, surrounded with ranges of palaces, with fresco paintings on the blind windows, and with green jalousies and venetians closing the apertures which pierce the walls in double rows. In the great courtyard[168] are statues, fountains, orange-groves, aqueducts, and kiosks with burnished domes of metal. Through these with loud shouts dart hither and thither European and native soldiers, firing at the windows, whence come occasionally dropping shots, or hisses a musket-ball. At every door there is an eager crowd, smashing the panels with the stocks of firelocks or bursting the locks by discharges of their weapons. Here and there the invaders have forced their way into the long corridors; and you hear the musketry rattling inside, the crash of glass, and the shouts and yells of the combatants, as little jets of smoke curl out of the closed lattices. Lying amid the orange-groves are dead and dying sepoys, and the white statues are reddened with blood. Leaning against a smiling Venus is a British soldier shot through the neck, gasping, and at every gasp bleeding to death. Officers are running to and fro after their men, persuading or threatening in vain. From the broken portals issue soldiers laden with loot—shawls, rich tapestry, gold and silver brocades, caskets of jewels, arms, splendid dresses. The men are wild with fury and lust of gold—literally drunk with plunder. Some come out with china vases or mirrors, dash them to pieces on the ground, and return to seek more valuable booty. Some are busy gouging out the precious stones from stems of pipes, from saddle-cloths, from hilts of swords, or from butts of pistols and firearms. Many swathe their bodies in stuffs crusted with precious metals and gems; others carry off useless lumber, brass pots, pictures, or vases of jade and of china."

The success attained was magnificent; but, in Colonel Malleson's words, it might, and ought to have been greater.[169] On the 11th Outram had pushed his advance on the left bank of the Goomtee up to the iron bridge, to sweep which he had established a battery. On the 12th and 13th he continued to occupy his positions commanding the bridge, but was restricted from crossing it by Sir Colin's orders. On the 14th, the day of the capture of the Kaiserbagh, he applied for permission to cross the bridge, which was in the vicinity of the Residency. The presence of his division on the line of the enemy's retreat could not but have produced important results in spreading panic and cutting off the fugitive rebels. Outram was informed in reply by the Chief of the Staff that he might cross the iron bridge, but with the proviso that "he was not to do so if he thought he would lose a single man." This of course was equivalent to an absolute prohibition. The stipulation was utterly incomprehensible, and no explanation in regard to the subject was ever made. Mr. Russell makes it clear that the order emanated from Sir Colin himself. It is significant that his biographer General Shadwell ignores the matter altogether, a course which seems to savour of disingenuousness.

Already on the 14th the rebels had begun to recognise that the game was up, and on the 15th they were streaming out of Lucknow in thousands. Detachments of horse and foot were sent to cut off their retreat by the Sundeela and Seetapore roads, but it appeared that the fugitives had taken neither. Their chief exodus was by the stone bridge, whence some twenty thousand followed the Fyzabad road. On the 16th Outram with a brigade crossed the river and drove the rebels out of the old Residency position. Pushing onward and taking in[170] reverse the iron bridge and the rebel batteries crossing it, he opened a heavy fire on the Muchee Bawun which was followed by its capture by the infantry, and the great Imambara later shared the same fate. Although by the 18th most of the mutineers had been expelled from Lucknow, it was found that a considerable body were threatening to make a stand in the Moosabagh, a vast building on the right bank of the Goomtee about four miles north-west of Lucknow. On the 19th Sir Colin ordered out a column under Outram composed of an infantry brigade and some artillery and cavalry, with instructions to make a direct attack on the Moosabagh while Hope Grant from the left bank of the Goomtee cannonaded it with his horse-artillery guns. A mixed force of all arms under the command of Brigadier Campbell was put in march with directions to intercept the retreat of the enemy when dislodged from the Moosabagh. The dislodgment occurred so soon as Outram's guns opened; but the expected interception of the fugitives failed, and great masses of the rebels were allowed to escape with comparative impunity in a northwesterly direction.

With the capture of the Moosabagh and the expulsion from the city of the Moulvie of Fyzabad and his band of fanatics, there terminated a series of operations which had extended over a period of twenty days. Sir Colin's plan of turning the enemy's defensive works, and thus promptly expelling many thousands of armed men from formidable positions prepared with great labour and no little skill, had been accomplished with a total loss of eight hundred of all ranks exclusive of the Nepaulese casualties, which were reckoned at about three hundred.[171] To have achieved a success so great at a cost so small, was a result of which the most exacting commander might well have been proud.

In the course of the early operations against Lucknow Sir Colin had the gratification of receiving a letter from the Duke of Cambridge intimating to Sir Colin that he had recommended Her Majesty to confer on him the colonelcy of the Ninety-Third Highlanders. "I thought," wrote His Royal Highness, "that this arrangement would be agreeable to yourself, and I know that it is the highest compliment that Her Majesty could pay to the Ninety-Third Highlanders to see their dear old Chief at their head." By the same mail there reached the Commander-in-Chief a letter from the Queen written by her own hand. This lofty and touching letter is printed in full in Sir Theodore Martin's Life of the Prince Consort, but it is impossible to refrain from quoting here one or two extracts. Her Majesty wrote:—"The Queen has had many proofs already of Sir Colin Campbell's devotion to his Sovereign and his country, and he has now greatly added to that debt of gratitude which both owe him. But Sir Colin must bear one reproof from his Queen, and that is, that he exposes himself too much; his life is most precious, and she entreats that he will neither put himself where his noble spirit would urge him to be—foremost in danger, nor fatigue himself so as to injure his health.... That so many gallant and distinguished men, beginning with one whose name will ever be remembered with pride, General Havelock, should have died and fallen, is a great grief to the Queen.... To all European as well as native troops who have fought so nobly and so gallantly, and among[172] whom the Queen is rejoiced to see the Ninety-Third Highlanders, the Queen wishes Sir Colin to convey the expression of her great admiration and gratitude."

Sir Colin thus tersely replied:—"Sir Colin Campbell has received the Queen's letter, which he will ever preserve as the greatest mark of honour it is in the power of Her Majesty to bestow. He will not fail to execute the most gracious commands of Her Majesty, and will convey to the army, and more particularly to the Ninety-Third regiment, the remembrance of the Queen."



It will be remembered that in the beginning of the year, when the Commander-in-Chief was desirous of effecting the settlement of Rohilcund before proceeding to the final reduction of Lucknow in the autumn, the Governor-General had evinced his preference for postponing operations in Rohilcund and for proceeding as early as possible to the conquest of the capital of Oude. That great task had now been accomplished, and it was the opinion of the sagacious veteran that, Oude having been entered and Lucknow in British possession, it was the wise and proper course to proceed to the subjugation and settlement of the great province of which Lucknow was the centre, before committing the British arms to a campaign beyond the boundaries of that province. But now again Lord Canning differed from his military subordinate. "I feel," he wrote to Sir Colin, "the full force of the reasons which you have urged in favour of limiting active operations in the field to Oude for the present, and of making clean work of that province while we are about it." But he argued that, unlike Oude the inhabitants of which had been and still were bitterly hostile, Rohilcund contained a "numerous[174] well-affected population." The argument had a real weight, but was somewhat belated. If Sir Colin had been permitted to settle Rohilcund in the beginning of the year, the numerous "well-affected population" of that province, on behalf of whom Lord Canning was now suddenly so solicitous, would have escaped several months of anarchy and disorder.

Sir Colin, disciplined soldier as he was, bowed to the superior authority and promptly set about the preparations for the Rohilcund campaign. Napier's engineers established a secure military position for the troops appointed to garrison Lucknow. To Hope Grant was given the command of the Lucknow field-force, inclusive of the troops available for the garrison of Lucknow and for operations in the districts; a formidable force the infantry alone of which comprised eleven regiments, with a siege-train, nine batteries, and adequate cavalry. Lugard led a column of all arms into the disturbed Azimghur district beyond south-eastern Oude, which with local reinforcements was to constitute the Azimghur division. On April 8th Walpole's column, in which marched one Punjaub and three Highland regiments with a strong artillery force and two cavalry regiments, started on its road for Rohilcund by way of Sandeela, Rhooyah, and the Ramgunga river. Sir Colin's plan for the invasion of Rohilcund was based on the projected advance of two columns from opposite points; Walpole's force marching up from Lucknow, and a fine body of troops collected at Roorkee by the exertions of Sir John Lawrence, consisting of four infantry regiments, the Mooltan Horse, a field-battery and two 18-pounders under the command of Brigadier-General[175] John Jones. Those columns, sweeping the country during their respective onward movements, were destined to converge on Bareilly the capital of the province, which thus became the objective point of this strategical combination.

Sir Colin Campbell had a high opinion of Walpole, which the latter had certainly justified at Cawnpore and throughout the recent operations against Lucknow. In the course of his march towards Rohilcund, some fifty miles from Lucknow there was reached the jungle-fort of Rhooyah. The Rajah in possession refused to surrender. Walpole then ordered an attack without having previously reconnoitred the position; and the attack was unfortunately delivered against the strongest face of the paltry place. The garrison took advantage of this folly to make an obstinate defence, with the result of heavy losses among the assailants and of their failure to carry the fort. Several officers of distinction fell; but the most grievous loss was the death of that noble soldier Adrian Hope, the heroic leader of the Highland Brigade. The feeling against Walpole throughout the column was so strong as almost to endanger discipline, and to this day his name is execrated by the survivors of that time. From Rhooyah Walpole advanced to Allehgunj after having defeated at Tirsa a large body of the enemy, whom he pursued with artillery and cavalry, capturing their guns and camp and saving from destruction the bridge of boats, whereby he was enabled to cross to the right bank of the Ramgunga. He encamped at Inigree two miles in advance of Allehgunj to await the arrival of the Commander-in-Chief. Brigadier-General Jones began his march from Roorkee[176] on the 17th of April. In the course of his advance after crossing the Ganges he had several sharp engagements with rebel bodies resulting in the capture of twenty-three guns. In the last week of April he reached Moradabad, where he halted in a position whence he should be able to time his arrival at Bareilly simultaneously with that of Walpole's column from Lucknow.

A siege-train of twenty-eight guns and mortars commanded by Lieutenant Tod Browne and escorted by two infantry regiments and a squadron of cavalry, had left Cawnpore on April 15th, and moved up by the usual stages to Futtehghur. Three days later, having assured himself that the arrangements for the efficient maintenance of the Lucknow garrison were complete, Sir Colin went to Cawnpore with Mansfield, headquarters having preceded them to that station. They started next day for Futtehghur and moving rapidly reached that place on the 24th. Next day the artillery-park and siege-train crossed the Ganges by the bridge of boats commanded by the guns of the fort, and on the 27th Sir Colin and his staff joined Walpole's column at Inigree. The advance on Bareilly began on the following morning. The route was across the Ramgunga at Bajpoorea Ghat through Jellalabad to Shahjehanpore, a large town which the enemy were known to hold in force, but which when entered on May 1st was found deserted and the cantonment destroyed. A detachment of all arms under Colonel Hale of the Eighty-Second was placed in the jail and its enclosure as the most defensible position, and the army resumed its march on the 2nd. A considerable detachment from the Meerut division joined at Meranpore Kuttra on the same day.[177] It had been commanded by General Penny, a gallant officer who had fallen in a night skirmish, and the command had now devolved upon Brigadier Richmond Jones. Thus reinforced Sir Colin's force continued its advance on Bareilly, from which place on the 4th it was distant one march. Next morning the column moved on Bareilly.

At the sixth milestone the troops halted for the baggage to close up. At 6 A.M. the force was formed in order of battle and advanced against the enemy who, full of confidence, had come out from the city and taken up a position on the hither bank of the Nerkuttea nullah with that stream in their rear. Sir Colin advanced in two lines, the Highland Brigade leading supported by the Fourth Punjaub Infantry and the Belooch battalion, with a heavy field-battery in the centre on the road,—the front and flanks covered by horse-artillery and cavalry. The second line had the duty of protecting the baggage and siege-train, a necessary precaution against the enemy's numerous and daring cavalry. The strength of the British column amounted to seven thousand six hundred and thirty-seven men, with nineteen guns apart from the siege-train.

About 7 A.M. the enemy opened fire from guns commanding the approach to the bridge. The British cavalry rode out on both flanks covering the horse-artillery, until the latter unlimbered and replied so sharply to the enemy that they fled across the stream abandoning such of their guns as were on the near side of the bridge. Meanwhile the infantry, along with the heavy field-battery, moved rapidly forward in line. As the nullah was approached the left wing halted on its right bank while[178] the right crossed the bridge and continued its advance for some distance in the direction of the town; but the progress was slow partly on account of the great heat, partly because the enemy's position was masked by dense groves. As the heavy guns crossed the bridges and were brought up, they opened fire on the hostile line holding the suburbs and ruined cantonments. About 11 A.M. a fierce onslaught, described by Sir Colin as "the most determined effort he had seen during the war," was delivered by a body of Ghazees or Mussulman fanatics. The Fourth Punjaub Rifles were in broken order in the irregular cavalry lines when the Ghazees, numbering about one hundred and thirty, caught the Sikhs at a disadvantage and rushed upon them. Brandishing their swords, with heads low covered by their shields, and uttering wild shouts of "Deen! Deen!" they fell on with furious impetuosity and hurled the Punjaubis back on the Forty-Second Highlanders. Sir Colin had formed up the latter regiment, with strong warnings on his part to the young soldiers to be steady and hold their ground against the impending assault, but it was barely ready to meet the whirlwind of the charge when the Ghazees were upon the bayonets. Giving ear to the injunctions of their veteran commander to trust to the bayonet and to keep cool, the Forty-Second never wavered; but some of the fanatics swept round its flank and fell upon its rear. A brief but bloody hand-to-hand struggle ensued, and in a few moments every Ghazee was killed right in the very ranks of the Highlanders. Colonel Cameron of the Forty-Second was dragged from his horse by three men and would certainly have been slain but for the timely and gallant interposition of Colour-Sergeant[179] Gardiner who bayoneted two of the fanatics. General Walpole was wounded and escaped with his life only by the promptitude with which the Black Watch used the bayonet. When the Ghazees had been exterminated the Highlanders and Punjaubis advanced into the cantonments.

Almost simultaneously with the onslaught of the Ghazees a large body of rebel cavalry swept in upon the flank of the baggage-column, cutting down camels, camel-drivers and camp-followers in all directions. The confusion for the moment amounted almost to a panic. Mr. Russell of The Times had an extremely narrow escape. He was very ill and was being carried in a dooly. In the alarm caused by the rush of the enemy's horsemen he had left his dooly and mounted his horse undressed and bareheaded as he was. "Several of the enemy's sowars," writes Forbes-Mitchell, "were dodging through the camels to get at him. We turned our rifles on them, and I shot down the one nearest to Mr. Russell just as he had cut down an intervening camel-driver and was making for The Times correspondent; in fact, his tulwar was actually raised to swoop down on Mr. Russell's bare head when my bullet put a stop to his proceedings. I saw Mr. Russell tumble from his saddle at the same instant as the sowar fell; and I got a rare fright, for I thought my bullet must have struck both. However, I rushed to where Mr. Russell had fallen, and I then saw from the position of the slain sowar that my bullet had found its proper billet, and that Mr. Russell had been struck down with sunstroke, the blood flowing freely from his nose."

The wild dash of rebel cavalry was sharply checked[180] by the fire of Tombs' guns, and their rout was soon completed by the Carabineers and the Mooltanee Horse. The cantonments and civil lines were occupied in force. The action had lasted for six hours; the sun's rays were oppressive, and a hot wind intensified the distress so greatly that several fatal cases of sunstroke occurred. The trophies of the day consisted of seven guns, and several more were found abandoned in the town when the column finally entered it. Owing to the prudence with which the troops were handled Sir Colin's casualties were remarkably few. His halt outside the city enabled Khan Bahadoor Khan, the rebel commander, quietly to withdraw his trained forces under cover of darkness, leaving only a rabble to maintain a show of resistance while he marched away to Pileebheet, thirty-three miles north-east of Bareilly. When on the morning of the 6th the British forces opened fire on the city, they met with no reply. But the sound of artillery was heard from the further side of Bareilly—the guns of the force which Brigadier John Jones had brought forward from Moradabad having encountered and defeated some opposition by the way. He took up positions in the city and opened communication with Sir Colin. On the 7th Bareilly was entirely occupied by the united force.

On the same day tidings reached Sir Colin that the detachment under Colonel Hale left to hold Shahjehanpore was surrounded in its position by a force several thousand strong, which had been brought up from Mohumdee by the Fyzabad Moulvie and the local Rajah within twenty-four hours after Sir Colin had quitted Shahjehanpore on the morning of the 2nd. Since the[181] 3rd the rebels had bombarded the position incessantly, Hale steadfastly maintaining a gallant resistance. Sir Colin promptly despatched to his support a column of all arms under Brigadier-General John Jones, which left Bareilly on the 8th and reached the vicinity of Shahjehanpore on the 11th. The enemy, consisting chiefly of great masses of horsemen, was encountered in fair fight and was defeated with the loss of a gun. Jones then pressed forward, passed through the town and crossing the parade-ground reached the jail where for eight days Hale had been stoutly holding his own against heavy odds. But now Jones in his turn found himself compelled to accept the defensive until reinforcements should arrive. To the standard of the Moulvie, meanwhile, there rallied contingents from far and near. In his camp were the Begum of Oude, the Prince Feroze Shah, and a body of warlike followers sent by the Nana Sahib; not to speak of budmashes and freebooters from the Nepaul frontier to the Doab. On the 15th the Moulvie attacked Jones with his whole force. The rebels fought with ardour and persistency, but they achieved no success. Jones, for his part, destitute as he was of cavalry, could do no more than maintain the defensive and abide in his position the arrival of reinforcements.

So far as the occupation of Bareilly and the dispersion of the main body of insurgents were concerned, Sir Colin had brought the Rohilcund campaign to a satisfactory conclusion. Having thereby secured the re-establishment of British authority vested in Mr. Alexander the Civil Commissioner, he considered himself in a position to break up the Rohilcund force.[182] The Second and Fourth Punjaub Infantry regiments, which had served with great distinction during the past year, were despatched on their return to the Punjaub. A force consisting of a troop and battery of artillery, the Second Punjaub Cavalry, the Forty-Second, Seventy-Eighth and Ninety-Third Highlanders, and the Seventeenth Punjaub Infantry, was chosen to constitute the garrison of Bareilly. General Walpole was nominated as divisional commander of the troops in Rohilcund. On the 15th Sir Colin, with Tombs' troop of horse-artillery, part of the siege-train, the Ninth Lancers, a Punjaub Cavalry regiment, the Sixty-Fourth Foot, the Belooch battalion, and the artillery-park, started from Bareilly and moved in the direction of Futtehghur, believing that he might now safely betake himself to some central point on the great line of communication, whence he might direct the general campaign. But at Faridpore on the 16th he received a message from Jones at Shahjehanpore asking for assistance. Sir Colin hastened towards Shahjehanpore, sheltering his men from the terrific heat under the groves by the wayside. As he approached the town on the 18th, he swept aside a hostile force threatening him with a demonstration, and traversing the city effected a junction with Jones. An engagement occurred in the afternoon in which the enemy displayed more than ordinary skill and courage, and although in the end they were repulsed no attempt was made to pursue them. Sir Colin waited until the arrival of Brigadier Coke's column, which, while it was on the march to Pileebheet he had recalled to Shahjehanpore. Coke arrived on the 22nd, and on the evening of the 23rd Sir[183] Colin, having given Jones orders to attack the enemy next morning, left Shahjehanpore with his staff and a small escort, and proceeding by double marches reached Futtehghur on the morning of the 25th, where he remained until June 5th, once more in direct communication with Lord Canning at Allahabad, and in a position to exercise a more active supervision over the columns operating in Oude, Behar, and Bundelcund.

Brigadier-General Jones in accordance with his instructions advanced upon the Moulvie's position at Mohumdee, which fell into his hands; but the rebels crossed the Goomtee too promptly to admit of his cavalry capturing their guns. A few weeks later the Moulvie, one of the most bitter and stubborn antagonists of the British rule, met his death by the treachery of one of his own countrymen, the Rajah of Powain. The Rajah's brother shot him dead; the Rajah himself cut off the Moulvie's head, and wrapping it in a cloth carried it to Shahjehanpore. He entered the magistrate's house, opened the bundle and rolled the bloody head at the feet of the official. On the day following it was exposed to view in a conspicuous part of the town, "for the information and encouragement of all concerned."

Sir Colin left Futtehghur on June 5th, having made the necessary arrangements regarding the troops he could spare to support Sir Hugh Rose's advance on Gwalior, and having satisfied himself that affairs in Rohilcund and the Doab were progressing favourably. Since the settlement of the early spring the latter territory had remained undisturbed save by a few casual irruptions. Sir Colin proceeded directly to Allahabad where he remained during the hot weather in the house[184] which Lord Canning had prepared for him. There awaited him in Allahabad a letter from Lord Derby, then Prime Minister, in which his lordship intimated that he "had been honoured with the Queen's commands to signify to you her Majesty's unqualified approval of the distinguished services you have rendered to her Majesty and to the country as Commander-in-Chief of the armies in India.... Her Majesty deems the present a fitting moment for marking her high sense of your eminent and brilliant services by raising you to the dignity of a peer of the United Kingdom by such title as you may think it proper to assume." Sir Colin, with his innate modesty of character, at first shrank from the proffered honour. He was, in the words of Sir William Mansfield, "much disposed to run restive at being put into such strange harness; but he is now reconciled, and, I think, very much pleased." His constant friend the Duke of Cambridge suggested that he should be called up by the title of "Lord Clyde of Lucknow." But he modestly wrote in reply, "I have thought it proper not to add the word 'Lucknow,' as the baronetcy of the late Sir Henry Havelock was distinguished in that manner. It would be unbecoming in me to trench, as it were, on the title of that very distinguished officer." Ultimately, at the suggestion of Lord Derby, he took the title of "Lord Clyde of Clydesdale." But he was curiously reluctant to make use of his new title. Not one of his letters to his intimate friends has the signature of "Clyde." They uniformly bear his initials "C. C." or "C. Campbell"—a retention of the simplicity which had been a marked feature of his character in the days of his comparative obscurity.[185] To accompany his peerage the grant of an annuity of £2000 was made to him by the East India Company—one of the last acts of that body before its extinction by Act of Parliament. On the 14th of May he had been gazetted to the rank of full General.

An old Ninety-Third man still to the fore, tells a genial little anecdote about Lord Clyde when he first met his favourites after having been raised to the peerage. He had a great regard for worthy old Pipe-Major John MacLeod of that regiment. When Sir Colin took what he believed to be his final farewell of the Ninety-Third when he left the Crimea in May, 1856, the last man he shook hands with was John MacLeod. When the Mauritius on the third anniversary of the Alma reached Calcutta with the Ninety-Third aboard, the first man to recognise Sir Colin as he came alongside in a dinghy was John MacLeod, who electrified his comrades with the shout, "Lord save us! wha could hae believed it? Here's Sir Colin himsel'!" "Aye, aye, John," replied Sir Colin, "it's just me, able to go through another campaign with you. Little did I think, when we last parted, that I should hear your pipes on the plains of India!" When he met the regiment for the first time after becoming Lord Clyde, he as usual called the pipe-major to the front. After the customary greetings John came to attention, saluted and said, "I beg your pardon, Sir Colin, but we dinna ken hoo tae address you noo that the Queen has made you a lord!" The old Chief replied, with just a touch of sadness in his voice,—"Just call me Sir Colin, John, the same as in the old times; I like the old name best. Except yourselves of the Ninety-Third there are but few now[186] alive in whom I take interest enough to care how they call me."

After a good deal of fighting in the Azimghur district with Koer Singh, Sir E. Lugard and Brigadier Douglas had followed that notable rebel across the Ganges. An attempt, however, to dislodge him from his native jungles of Jugdeespore, resulted in a serious discomfiture. In the hope of effecting a surprise a small force of one hundred and fifty British infantry, fifty men of the Naval Brigade, and one hundred and fifty Sikhs penetrated into the jungle, where they encountered the enemy at dawn of April 23rd. The rebels were on the alert; a panic ensued, the guns were abandoned, and most of the Europeans were killed or died of sunstroke. With the co-operation of the Dinapore Brigade Lugard now approached Jugdeespore through the open country on the western side instead of taking the direct route through the jungle. The rebel force covering Jugdeespore was taken by surprise and driven in; and on the 9th of May the Jugdeespore stronghold was captured. It was ascertained that Koer Singh had died of his wounds, and his followers were now discouraged. Lugard succeeded in defeating and dispersing the main rebel force, and the guns lost by the Arrah detachment were recovered. It was an unsatisfactory and harassing warfare, in which the rebels played the part of guerillas. No longer formidable as a military body, they kept the province in a state of anarchy and confusion; and they gave no rest to the troops, many of whom fell victims to the deadly effect of exposure in the unhealthy season.



The operations which, during the long campaign of the Mutiny, were carried on under Lord Clyde's direct supervision were confined to the region north of the Jumna; he himself never crossed that river. But in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief he was mainly responsible for the grand strategy of the campaign throughout the whole area of military operations, the outlines of which he had laid down in the scheme prepared during his voyage from England. Of this scheme an essential feature was, it may be remembered, a great concentrated advance upon the Central Indian States to be undertaken by the available military forces of the Madras and Bombay Presidencies. The fulfilment of this plan of campaign was retarded by various causes, but the wisdom of the Commander-in-Chief's conception was justified in the event.

Something had already been done in Central India before Colin Campbell set foot on Prinsep's Ghat on the strand of Calcutta. On the 12th of July, 1857, there left Aurungabad for Mhow a little column under the command of Brigadier C. S. Stuart, consisting of half of the Fourteenth Dragoons, the Third Hyderabad[188] Cavalry, Woolcombe's battery, the Twenty-Fifth Bombay Native Infantry, and detachments of Bombay and Madras sappers. On August 2nd this force relieved Mhow, but remained there doing nothing until after the middle of October. On the 21st of that month, accompanied by Colonel Durand, the acting Resident at Mhow, and strengthened by the Eighty-Sixth regiment, Hungerford's battery and sundry details including a small siege-train, the column, now bearing the title of the Malwa Field Force, marched on Dhar and on the 25th prepared to bombard that strong fort. Its garrison abandoned it during the night of the 31st. The main body marched northward on Mundasore on the 8th of November, while Major Orr's column of the Hyderabad Contingent moved on Mahidpore, where the fugitives from Dhar had been joined by the Mahidpore Contingent, which had killed the Europeans attached to it. Orr overtook the mutineers at Rawul, and inflicted on them a severe defeat with the loss of all their guns. On the morning of the 21st the Field Force took up a position between Mundasore and Neemuch, where it was attacked in force but routed its assailants with heavy loss, and the cavalry drove them into Mundasore sabring them as they fled. On the 23rd the column pushed on to Neemuch, where it was known that the British people of that station had been shut up in the fort for months surrounded by about ten thousand of the enemy. They had beaten off two desperate attacks, but provisions and ammunition were running short, and word had come from the fort that they could not hold out many days longer. While on the march the rear of the column was harassed by troops from Mundasore, and presently[189] there became visible in front a large mass of cavalry and two bodies of infantry which had come out from Neemuch to resist the British advance. Those Rohillas were exceedingly daring and stubborn, and fought to the last gasp. They held with extreme obstinacy the village of Ghorariah, from which they maintained a constant heavy fire. As the night closed in the village became one great blazing fire; death stared its occupants in the face; yet they clung to it throughout the night. In the morning the place was a mere shell into which was being poured a stream of heavy missiles, yet the garrison held out until after mid-day, when at length some two hundred and fifty survivors came out and surrendered. With the storm of Ghorariah and the relief of Neemuch, Durand, scanty as the force at his disposal was, had succeeded in crushing the rebellion in the Malwa country and in cutting off the disaffected troops of Holkar from the supports on which they had rested. Leaving the Hyderabad Contingent at Mundasore under Major Orr he returned by way of Mahidpore and Oojein to Indore, where he disarmed Holkar's troops. With this service ended the short Malwa campaign. On December 16th there arrived at Indore Major-General Sir Hugh Rose, the officer who had been nominated by Lord Canning to conduct the operations of the body of troops thenceforth known as the Central India Field Force. Rose had seen much war, and had displayed brilliant gallantry in the field as well as great capacity in the cabinet. He was a man who wore the silk glove over the iron hand, and while the suaveness of his manner seemed to the superficial observer to indicate a lack of force, it was apparent to the more clear-sighted that[190] he possessed the fortiter in re which marked him as a man of promptitude, determination, and vigour. His division, consisting of five and a half infantry battalions, five cavalry regiments, six batteries, detachments of Bombay and Madras sappers and a siege-train, was divided into two brigades, of which the second, which Rose himself accompanied, marched on Rhatghur and Saugur, while the first moved on a parallel line farther to the west heading for Goona and the Trunk Road from Bombay to Agra.

Rose began his advance on January 6th and arrived in front of the fortress of Rhatghur on the 24th. After two days' bombardment it was evacuated by the garrison during the night of the 28th, an attempt on the part of the forces of the Rajah of Baunpore to raise the siege having been easily frustrated. Rose then pushed forward to Saugur, which had been beleaguered for the last eight months. The place was relieved in the beginning of February, when the Europeans who had been so long cooped up in their fort came out to welcome their deliverers; by whom and by the Thirty-First Bengal Native Infantry, one of the few regiments of that army which had remained faithful, Rose was escorted past the fort into the cantonment. On February 11th with part of his force he was before the fort of Gurrah Kota, which was garrisoned by the revolted sepoys of the Fifty-First and Fifty-Second Bengal Native Infantry. One day's bombardment sufficed to reduce the place. The garrison escaped during the night of the 12th, but the fugitives were pursued by cavalry for twenty-five miles and suffered considerable loss. Rose was back in Saugur on the 17th, eager to prosecute his advance on Jhansi distant[191] one hundred and twenty-five miles farther north. He had been informed that General Whitlock with the Madras column had reached Jubbulpore, but he could not quit Saugur until he should be assured that the Madras general had begun his advance towards that place. The interval he utilised in gathering supplies, replenishing the ammunition of his siege-train, and strengthening it by the addition of heavy guns, howitzers, and mortars from the Saugur arsenal. At length tidings came that Whitlock had left Jubbulpore, and Rose moved from Saugur on the 27th. A few days later, by a flank movement through the pass of Madanpore, he turned the more formidable pass of Malthon by which the enemy had been expecting him, and after some extremely hard fighting entered the town of Madanpore. On March 19th he was within fourteen miles of Jhansi, whither he despatched the cavalry and field-artillery of his second brigade to reconnoitre and invest that place.

Jhansi was the chief stronghold of the rebel power in Central India; and it was a place, moreover, in which the slaughter of British men and women had been perpetrated in circumstances of peculiar atrocity. It was of great strength, both natural and artificial, its walls varying in thickness from sixteen to twenty feet. Town and fortress were garrisoned by eleven thousand men, rebel sepoys, mercenaries, and local levies under the command of the Ranee, a woman of fierce and dauntless character. The cavalry having invested the place on the 22nd, the siege operations began on the night of that day. The batteries opened fire on the morning of the 25th, on which day the first brigade came up into line, having on its march bombarded, breached,[192] and stormed the important fortress of Chandairee, situated about eighty miles south-west of Jhansi. For seventeen days the duel between the besieging batteries and the guns of the defence was incessant. By the 31st a breach had been effected, but it was barely practicable; and on the same evening tidings came to Rose that Tantia Topee with twenty-two thousand men and twenty-eight guns was on the march from the north to the relief of Jhansi. He realised that his position, placed as it was between two superior hostile forces, was critical in the extreme. But Rose was the man to pluck the flower of safety out of the nettle of danger. Maintaining his grip on the fortress, he resolved to take the offensive against Tantia Topee on the following morning.

As the rebel army advanced, he struck both its flanks simultaneously with cavalry and horse-artillery. As soon as that evolution had manifested itself, his infantry advanced, poured in a volley, and then charged. The first line of the rebels broke and fled in disaster hotly pursued. Brigadier Stuart struck in upon the right flank of the second line and hurled it into confused flight. Tantia fired the jungle, and under cover of the smoke made for the Betwa. But the British cavalry and horse-artillery pursued with ardour, and did not desist until every rebel gun had been taken. Fifteen hundred of the mutineers were killed or wounded. Tantia Topee and his discomfited host fled towards Calpee. Rose took prompt advantage of the discouragement which he realised that Tantia's defeat must have wrought on the garrison of Jhansi. He stormed the fortified city at dawn of April the 3rd. It was an arduous task. "The fire of the enemy waxed stronger, and amid the chaos of[193] sounds of volleys of musketry and roaring of cannon, of hissing and bursting of rockets, stink-pots, infernal machines, huge stones, blocks of wood and trees, all hurled on their devoted heads, the men wavered for a moment and sheltered themselves behind stones." Everywhere fierce and bloody, the conflict was most severe near and inside the palace, which had been prepared by the rebels for a centre of resistance in the last resort. Four hundred men who had taken up a position outside the fortress were surrounded by Rose's cavalry and slain almost to a man. Desultory fighting continued for thirty-six hours. The Ranee made her escape and galloped straight to Calpee. The fortress was finally occupied by Rose on the 5th. The loss sustained in its subjugation, including that in the action of the Betwa, amounted to three hundred and forty-three killed and wounded, of whom thirty-six were officers. The enemy's loss was reckoned to exceed five thousand.

It now only remained for Sir Hugh Rose to march on Calpee, and to exterminate from that important position the mutinous bodies which had so long threatened Sir Colin Campbell's main line of communications. He began his advance in the end of April and on May 7th reached Koonch, where the rebels were in an entrenched position covering the Calpee road. That position he turned, stormed the town, and pursued the rebels for eight miles along the road to Calpee, capturing eight guns and a quantity of ammunition and stores. He had now been joined by the Seventy-First Highlanders, and continuing his advance reached the Jumna at Gowlowlee six miles below Calpee. The Commander-in-Chief had sent to co-operate with him Colonel Maxwell with the Eighty-Eighth Foot,[194] some Sikhs and the Camel Corps, part of which crossed the river and joined Rose's force on the right bank. After four days of constant skirmishing Maxwell's batteries opened fire from the left bank on the fort and town, and Rose determined to strike the decisive blow on the 22nd. But the rebels anticipated him. On the morning of that day they came out in great masses to attack him. There was a critical moment when the thin British line momentarily yielded. But Sir Hugh brought up the Camel Corps, dismounted the men, and led them forward in person to the charge. The victory was won; Calpee was evacuated during the following night, and the rebel force, pursued by the horse-artillery and cavalry, lost formation and dispersed, losing all its guns and baggage. "This," writes Dr. Lowe,[9] "was a glorious success won over ten times our number under most trying circumstances. The position of Calpee; the numbers of the enemy, who came on with a resolution and display of tactics we had never before witnessed; the exhausted and weakened state of Sir Hugh Rose's force; the awful, suffocating hot wind and burning sun which the men had to endure all day without time to eat or drink; combined to render the achievement one of unsurpassed difficulty. Every soul engaged suffered more or less. Officers and men fainted away, or dropped down as if struck by lightning in the delirium of sunstroke. Yet all this was endured without a murmur, and in the cool of the evening we were speculating on the capture of Calpee on the morrow." The speculation was justified. Calpee was occupied, fifteen guns and several standards were taken; and Sir Hugh Rose, considering the campaign ended,[195] issued a complimentary order to his troops and prepared to proceed to Bombay on sick certificate.

But in the first week in June he had suddenly to alter his plans. The main body of the Calpee mutineers had reached Morar, the cantonment of the old Gwalior Contingent, situated close to Scindiah's capital. Remaining steadfast to the British cause the young Maharajah moved out from Gwalior on June 1st and engaged the enemy in the Morar position. It was obvious from the first that Tantia Topee had been successfully tampering with the Maharajah's troops, who went over in a body to the rebels and Scindiah had to seek safety in flight to Agra. The daring project of the Ranee had thus far succeeded, and she and her confederates were prompt to take advantage of the temporary good fortune which had come to them. They took possession of fortress, treasury, arsenal, and town, and proceeded to form a regular government. Nana Sahib was proclaimed as Peishwah and Rao Sahib as Governor of Gwalior. The royal property was declared confiscated. The command of the troops outside the city was vested in the Ranee; those inside were under the command of Tantia Topee.

On receiving intelligence of this extraordinary state of things, Sir Hugh Rose resumed his command and advanced on Gwalior by forced marches, gathering up reinforcements as he moved. Of his two brigades one was commanded by Brigadier C. S. Stuart of the Bombay Army; the other by Brigadier R. Napier of the Bombay Engineers. Approaching Gwalior on June 18th, the ninth day from Calpee, he attacked the insurgents on the following morning, drove them out of the cantonments and pursued them vigorously. Smith with the[196] Sipree column joined by Orr with his people of the Hyderabad Contingent, fought his way through the defile of Kotah-ke Serai after a stout defence on the part of the enemy, in which the Ranee of Jhansi lost her life while attempting to escape. Reinforced by Smith and Orr, Sir Hugh advanced on the 19th with the combined force against the heights in front of the city. In face of a heavy fire of artillery the assaulting columns carried the heights gallantly, capturing all the twenty-seven guns of the enemy. Then the rebels lost heart and fled pursued by the cavalry, while Rose advanced on the city. That same evening Scindiah, who had accompanied a force from Agra, found himself once more sovereign of the Gwalior State. The rock-fortress of Gwalior was daringly captured on the morning of the 20th by a couple of lieutenants at the head of a handful of men, after a hand-to-hand struggle with the garrison in which the gallant young Lieutenant Rose met his death. A flying column of cavalry organised by Sir Hugh was placed in command of Brigadier Napier, who on the morning of the 21st, after a ride of twenty-four miles, struck the enemy at Jowra Alipore. He had barely six hundred men all told, and only six guns; the enemy were reckoned twelve thousand strong—the remnants of the Calpee force with additions picked up at Gwalior. Lightfoot with his troop of horse-artillery galloped to the enemy's left flank, fired a couple of rounds, and then dashing forward at full speed with Abbott's cavalry rolled up the enemy's line and drove him from his guns. The mutineers, stricken and demoralised, dispersed, abandoning sixteen guns which Napier brought in. The Central India Field Force was now broken up,[197] and the troops composing it were distributed at Gwalior, Jhansi, Sipree, and Goona. Its gallant chief repaired to Bombay, there to recruit his health impaired by the triumphant march he had accomplished through Central India. The doings of Whitlock with his Madras column in the Banda and Kirwee territories were not brilliant and need not be summarised. With the pacification of Gwalior began what Sir Colin Campbell described as "that hunt of the rebel leaders which was finally brought to a conclusion by the capture and execution of Tantia Topee in April, 1859," after a chase which lasted nearly ten months.



Satisfied of the "military safety" of the troops engaged in Oude, Goruckpore, and Behar, the Doab and Rohilcund, Lord Clyde during his hot-weather residence at Allahabad was resolved not to endanger the health of his forces until he should be able "to move them on a general plan and with one common object." His design, therefore, was to remain quiescent until his preparations should be complete; and then, in his own words, "to break in upon the rebel bodies simultaneously in each province, to leave them no loophole for escape, and to prevent them from travelling from one district to another, and so prolonging a miserable guerilla warfare." One exception to this programme had to be made. Maun Singh, an influential chief of Eastern Oude, after a long hesitation had at length in June deserted the rebel cause and thrown in his lot with the conquering power. The local rebels, twenty thousand strong, irritated by his secession from their side, had besieged him in his fort of Shahgunj near Fyzabad. The Commander-in-Chief deputed Hope Grant to relieve Maun Singh, and also to take the opportunity of beginning the occupation of Oude[199] in accordance with the plan it was intended to carry out on a large scale during the ensuing cold season. Hope Grant, marching from Nawabgunj, reached Fyzabad on July 29th, where his presence caused the dispersion of the rebel hordes which had been besieging Maun Singh. After a satisfactory interview with that personage, Grant, by the Commander-in-Chief's instructions, marched further east to Sultanpore, following up the rebels who had abandoned the siege of Maun Singh's stronghold. They showed fight and actually advanced to the attack; but when Grant moved against them on the morning of August 29th he found that they had dispersed. From Sultanpore Grant visited Allahabad, where Lord Canning invested him and Mansfield with the Knight Commandership of the Bath.

The operations for the subjugation of Oude were to be directed from two points simultaneously: on the one hand, from the frontier of Rohilcund with the object of driving the rebels in a north-easterly direction towards the Gogra: on the other, from the south-east against the Baiswarra district lying between the Ganges and the Goomtee, in which territory the most powerful and stubborn rebels were Lal Mahdo of Amethee and Beni Mahdo of Roy Bareilly and Shunkerpore. Lord Clyde's first object was to sweep the Baiswarra region and drive the rebels from it beyond the Gogra; his second and final object to cross the Gogra, draw gradually tighter the cordon by which the rebels were hemmed in north of that river, and force them back across the Raptee upon the frontier of Nepaul. The task was onerous, for it was officially estimated that in Southern Oude alone there were sixty thousand men in arms exclusive of the disbanded[200] sepoys, and as many as three hundred guns scattered about in the numerous forts in the jungles. But the burden of the task was diminished by the progress made in the organisation of a body of native military police under the superintendence of Captain Bruce the former head of the intelligence department, who in July reported that he had already five thousand men ready for this employment. As the columns advanced defeating the enemy and expelling him from his strongholds, those auxiliaries were to occupy the positions won, and were to support the civil authority in the maintenance of order.

Lord Clyde remained in Allahabad to be present on November 1st when the proclamation announcing the direct government of British India by the Crown was promulgated by Lord Canning. On the 2nd he joined his headquarters at the Beylah cantonment near Perturbghur, thirty-five miles from Allahabad. He occupied a small tent, not only as an example to his staff but also to facilitate rapidity of movement from column to column. Three columns were immediately to his hand in the Baiswarra district. Pinckney's column, consisting of three and a half infantry regiments, two cavalry regiments, two batteries and details, was at Perturbghur with a post on the Sultanpore road. Hope Grant's, comprising four infantry and two cavalry regiments, two and a half batteries and a company of sappers, was two miles north-east of the fort of Amethee. The third was Wetherall's, who with one cavalry and two and a half infantry regiments and twelve guns, contrary to his orders and without the specified co-operation, had just captured the fort of Rampoor Kussia on the Sye, with its armament[201] of twenty-three guns. He had killed some three hundred of the enemy with a loss to himself of about eighty killed and wounded, but had allowed the garrison to escape, and Lord Clyde was much annoyed that he should have disregarded his instructions.

The first act of the Commander-in-Chief on reaching his headquarters in the field was to summon Lal Mahdo the Talukdar of Amethee to make his submission, and a copy of the Queen's proclamation was forwarded to him with the intimation that if he remained recalcitrant the Commander-in-Chief would invest his fort. Lal Mahdo had afforded protection to British fugitives at the outbreak of the rebellion, and as he had thereby established a claim to the clemency of the Government, he was allowed until the 6th to form his decision. He failed to present himself on that date, and his jungle fortress was then invested by the headquarter column and those of Hope Grant and Wetherall. Lal Mahdo surrendered himself on the 10th and gave up his fortress, which when entered was found to have been evacuated. The Rajah's conduct was so equivocal that he was made a prisoner. Mr. Russell thus describes the scene when the Commander-in-Chief rode into the place with the Rajah in attendance. "The latter was pale with affright, for his Excellency, more irritated than I have ever seen him, and conscious of the trick which had been played upon him, was denouncing the Rajah's conduct in terms which perhaps the latter would not have minded much had they not been accompanied by threats of unmistakable vigour."

Leaving a post at Amethee to destroy the fort Lord Clyde moved promptly on Shunkerpore, the stronghold[202] of Beni Mahdo who had been joined by the fugitive rebels from Rampoor Kussia and Amethee. Grant and Wetherall invested the fort on two faces, the headquarter column on the third. Eveleigh's column, which had recently stormed the fort of Simree, should have arrived to complete the investment; but he arrived too late and thus was afforded a means of escape to Beni Mahdo and his followers. Shunkerpore was a strong place of considerable importance; the circumference of its outer ditch measured nearly eight miles and the area of the fort exceeded five acres. Before resorting to hostile action the Talukdar was summoned; but he refused to lay down his arms, and on the night of the 15th the garrison, about ten thousand strong, evacuated the fort, carrying off ten guns and heading northward with the probable intention of reaching the trans-Gogra region. Leaving a detachment at Shunkerpore to destroy the fort and the surrounding jungle, the Commander-in-Chief on the night of the 18th moved with the headquarter column to Roy Bareilly. Wetherall's brigade, now commanded by Colonel Taylor, Seventy-Ninth Highlanders, had been despatched to Fyzabad with instructions to continue the operations beyond the Gogra as soon as the rebels had been cleared out of the Baiswarra district; and Sir Hope Grant proceeded to the same place to take command of the forces which were to operate in the trans-Gogra country. Horsford was acting on his instructions to reduce the country on the right bank of the Goomtee between Jugdespore and Lucknow. Lord Clyde on the 20th had advanced to Buchraon, twenty miles on the road to Lucknow, when information reached him that Beni Mahdo had been[203] headed by Hope Grant's movement and had turned towards the Ganges, on the way to which he had been defeated at Bera by Brigadier Eveleigh, who was following the rebel chief towards Simree. Lord Clyde determined to join the brigadier, who was weak in infantry, and to attack Beni Mahdo. He reached Simree on the 23rd, and on the morning of the 24th advanced to the village of Bidhoura, whence a summons was sent to the rebel chief giving him a last chance of surrender. No reply came and the advance was resumed.

Beni Mahdo's position was strong, but too extended to be properly defended. It lay on a branch of the Ganges between two villages, the village of Doundea-Khera on the west, the village of Buksar on the east. The advance of the British skirmishers and the artillery fire sufficed to break the rebel line. Part of the enemy were forced into the river; the occupants of both villages were summarily driven out. The rebels left between three hundred and four hundred dead on the ground and abandoned the seven guns they had possessed. But Beni Mahdo escaped, and having been joined by part of his followers hurried northward pursued by Colonel Carmichael's force, till on December 4th he was driven into the country beyond the Gogra. The clearance of the Baiswarra district having been effected, the Commander-in-Chief marched to Lucknow, where he arrived on November 28th to find that the wide region west of Lucknow between the Ganges and the Chouka had been swept clear of rebels by Brigadiers Barker and Troup. The former officer, having reduced the regions of Kuchowna and Benagunj, had reached Khyrabad and a few days later advanced to Biswah. Troup with the[204] Shahjehanpore force had crossed the Rohilcund frontier, stormed the fort of Mittowlee on November 8th, engaged in a sharp and victorious action at Mehndee, and moving to the south-west established himself at Jehangirabad near the right bank of the Chouka.

Thus one half of the task of subjugating Oude had been accomplished. An elaborate plan, which involved exceptional punctuality and precision, had been undeviatingly followed with successful results. Lord Clyde could truthfully report to Lord Canning that, "In the theatre of operations extending over a line of march of more than two hundred miles, each movement and each apparently isolated attack was made to defend and support what was being done on the right and left. The advance in line, stretching from the confines of Rohilcund to Allahabad and Azimghur, had put down everything like rebellion in a large sense of the word, in the region on the right bank of the Gogra." Some critics found occasion to charge his movements with tardiness; but the Commander-in-Chief had a far greater aim than the temporary dispersal of the rebel bands. Unless justified by some urgent military necessity, Lord Clyde was on principle averse from entering any district which could not be permanently occupied. He was determined to leave no territory, through which his columns moved, unfurnished with police posts under civil authority of sufficient strength to guarantee order for the future. In a word, he insisted on the permanent settlement of the country as he advanced.

There remained to him now only the prosecution of the campaign in the trans-Gogra country. Leaving Lucknow on December 5th with a column consisting of[205] fourteen guns, three cavalry and five and a half infantry regiments under the command of Brigadier Horsford, he picked up at Nawabgunj Purnell's column, consisting of four guns, a wing of the Twenty-Third, and the Ninetieth Light Infantry, and marched in the direction of Byram Ghat on the Gogra, at the confluence of the Chouka and the Surjoo. Hearing that a body of fugitives were crossing the river at that point, the ardent veteran with the cavalry and four guns, on the waggons of which were mounted a few marksmen of the Rifle Brigade, galloped forward in the hope of intercepting the rebels in the act of crossing. But he was just in time to be too late. There were no means of crossing the river at Byram Ghat, and Lord Clyde, anxious to prosecute the campaign with a minimum of delay, moved down to Fyzabad with the headquarter column and the siege-train, crossed the river at that point, and on the 14th reached Secrora, a couple of marches beyond the Gogra. Certain dispositions were made at this point, tending to assure the object in view of clearing the region of rebels and hindering them from recrossing into the settled territory. Purnell was sent to watch the fords on the Chouka as far up as Jehangirabad, whence Troup took up the duty to the confines of Rohilcund, while Pratt patrolled the Mullapoor Doab between the Chouka and the Surjoo. From Baraitch on the 17th Christie's column was detached to cover on the left the further advance of the headquarter column up to the edge of the Nepaul hill-territory. On the right in the Goruckpore country Rowcroft's column, advancing from Bustee and crossing the Raptee, was marching on Toolseepore, which place, was believed to be held in[206] strength by Bala Rao the brother of Nana Sahib. After some fighting Rowcroft occupied Toolseepore on December 23rd, where he was joined by Hope Grant, who had parted from the Commander-in-Chief at Secrora on the 14th and had marched to Bulrampore, at which point he covered on the right the advance of the headquarter column.

Lord Clyde marched due north on Baraitch, where he arrived on the 17th. As he approached, the Nana Sahib and the Begum of Oude, who had been holding Baraitch, fell back in the direction of the Nepaul frontier. The end was now near at hand, and symptoms of disruption among the insurgents were manifesting themselves, the vakeels of the Rajahs and Talukdars who were still "out" coming in to ask for terms. The Begum herself sent a representative to inquire what she might expect. An advance was made on the 23rd towards Nanparah, and on the 26th, hearing that the rebels were in force at Burgidiah, a march beyond Nanparah, the Commander-in-Chief moved on that place. Late in the afternoon the rebel pickets fell back, disclosing the main body drawn up in advance of a village opposite the left front of the British force. After a brief reconnaissance Lord Clyde disposed his troops for action, and himself galloped to the front with the guns and cavalry of the advance guard. Coming under the enemy's fire he rapidly took ground to his right, and when he had gained their extreme left he again advanced and brought his guns into action. The effect of the evolution was instantaneous; the enemy's flank was turned and they hurried in disorder towards Burgidiah and Churdah, losing all their guns in[207] the flight. Here Lord Clyde, while guiding the pursuit, met with a serious accident. His horse fell and he was thrown violently to the ground. Mackinnon, his surgeon, found him in great pain with blood flowing down his cheek. One of his shoulders was put out and a rib broken. Much shaken though he was, the gallant old Chief, as soon as the dislocation was reduced, promptly rose and walked towards the front as if he had been unhurt.

An incident, characteristic of Lord Clyde, occurred this evening. Mr. Russell, himself an eye-witness of it, has thus vividly portrayed the scene:—[10] "On returning to camp it was quite dark; not a tent was pitched; the baggage was coming up in darkness and in storms of angry voices. As the night was cold, the men made blazing fires of the straw and grass of the houses of the neighbouring hamlet in which Nana Sahib's followers had so long been quartered. At one of those fires, surrounded by Beloochees, Lord Clyde sat with his arm in a sling on a charpoy which had been brought out to feed the flames. Once, as he rose to give some order for the disposition of the troops, a tired Beloochee flung himself full length on the crazy bedstead, and was jerked off in a moment by one of his comrades with the exclamation—'Don't you see, you fool, that you are on the Lord Sahib's charpoy?' Lord Clyde interposed—'Let him lie there; don't interfere with his rest,' and himself took his seat on a billet of wood."

Next day the force marched onward to the fort of Mejiddiah, the Commander-in-Chief carried on an elephant at the head of the column. The place was[208] found to be very strong, full of guns and crowded with men. Some casualties occurred from the enemy's fire, which was obstinate; but shell after shell burst inside the fort and the round-shot tore great masses of earth off the parapets. Detachments of infantry closed in upon it and poured through the embrasures a constant rain of bullets, which, with the fire from the big guns, ultimately crushed down an exceptionally stubborn resistance. The 28th was spent in the demolition of the fort, and next day Lord Clyde marched back to Nanparah, in the belief that there he would be in a more central and advantageous position from which to watch the enemy's movements. On the afternoon of the 30th intelligence came in that Nana Sahib, Beni Mahdo, and other outlaw leaders had gathered in force near Bankee, about twenty miles north of Nanparah. The camp was left standing and orders issued for the troops to parade without bugle sound at 8 P.M. The infantry were carried on the elephants of the force, on one of which Lord Clyde accompanied the column. The expedition consisted of the Seventh Hussars, part of the Carabineers, First Punjaub Cavalry, a troop of Horse Artillery, a battalion of the Rifle Brigade, a detachment of the Twentieth and a wing of the Belooch battalion. After a march of fifteen miles in pitch darkness a halt was made until dawn of the 31st, when the column continued its advance and presently the enemy's outposts became visible with the main body in rear. The hostile line was in position on the edge of the forest between two roads, one leading toward the Raptee, the other to the pass entering the Soonar valley in Nepaul. At the first onslaught the rebels[209] turned and fled. Part of them hurried towards a ford on the Raptee. A squadron of the Seventh Hussars followed hard upon the flying troopers; the other three squadrons, ordered to support it, swept along the bank under the gauntlet of the artillery fire from the other side of the river. The panic-stricken rebel horsemen precipitated themselves into the waters of the Raptee. At the sight the pursuing hussars dashed after them, and cut them down as they struggled in the whirling stream. Major Horne and two hussars were drowned. Captain Stisted, who commanded the leading squadron, was carried away by the current, but was saved by his comrade Major Fraser,[11] who received the Victoria Cross for his opportune gallantry. The rebels thus driven and dispersed, the camp was pitched at Bankee. On information that the fugitives were gathered again in the Soonar valley within Nepaulese territory, Lord Clyde on the 5th of January, 1859, marched up from Bankee to Sidinhia Ghat, the scene of the action of December 31st, where an encampment was taken up on a site favourable for watching the pass leading into Nepaul, and there a column was left on duty under the command of Brigadier Horsford. Hope Grant, while at Bulrampore, had heard that the Nana's brother Bala Rao had taken possession of the fort of Toolseepore with a considerable body of followers, and was aiming at entering the Goruckpore district. Grant interfered materially with that project by hitting on Bala Rao's force at Kumdahkote about thirteen miles north-east of Toolseepore. He attacked them on January 4th, drove them into the neighbouring hills, and[210] captured fifteen guns. Like his brother the Nana, Bala Rao sought refuge in Nepaul.

Lord Clyde had now fairly accomplished the task which he had undertaken. By means of the wide-sweeping movement begun in October, the three great provinces of Oude, Behar, and Goruckpore, which "till that time had been in a state of insurrection, were now absolutely cleared of even the semblance of rebellion." Although from the nature of the work there had been no great battles, the number of small affairs had been very considerable. In Oude alone one hundred and eighty thousand armed men, of whom at least thirty-five thousand were sepoys of the old native army, had succumbed to the British power. About one hundred and fifty guns had been captured in fight; many more guns and three hundred and fifty thousand arms of various descriptions had been collected; and more than three hundred forts had been destroyed. The disarmament of the country could at length be taken systematically in hand, and on its completion by the civil authorities some months later, Lord Clyde was able to report that "seven hundred additional guns had been recovered from the various forts, more than eleven hundred of which had been razed to the ground." Owing to the free employment of heavy ordnance and vertical fire, the casualties which had occurred during the campaign since Lord Clyde took the field in the beginning of November, 1858, did not exceed eighteen killed and eighty-four wounded,—a loss infinitesimal in proportion to the importance of the results.

On January 8th Lord Clyde began his return march to Lucknow. At Baraitch on the way down he met[211] by appointment his trusted lieutenant Sir Hope Grant, whom he placed in command of all the forces in Oude and who for the present remained to watch matters on the frontier. Since his accident, until he left the front, the hardy old soldier had directed the military operations from the back of an elephant; but he now exchanged into a dooly in which more easy conveyance he was carried to Lucknow, where he arrived on January 17th.



The Mutiny had come to an end, although there was still a ground-swell of disturbance on the Oude frontier opposite Nepaul, in Bundelcund, and in some other districts of Central India. It was not until the end of May, 1859, that Lord Clyde could confidently state that the last embers of rebellion had been extinguished, and that the provinces of India which during the preceding two years had been the scene of so much lawlessness, bloodshed, and disorder, were now subsiding into a state of profound tranquillity.

The oldest soldier on active service of all the army in India, so strong was Lord Clyde's constitution that from the day he first took the field until the accident which befell him on the Nepaul frontier a few days before the termination of the final campaign, he had never suffered a day's illness. His vigour and energy had been extraordinary; the heat which prostrated so many of his followers was borne lightly by the tough and seasoned veteran, who despised all luxury, lived in a small tent, was content with the rations of the soldiers, and cheerfully bivouacked with them under the stars. But now that the stress of campaigning was over,[213] and when he had reached Lucknow from the Nepaul frontier, the irritation of the broken rib, which was among the injuries he received in the accident that befell him before Burgidiah, resulted in a sharp attack of inflammation of the lungs. For some days he was very ill, and his surgeon Mackinnon found him the reverse of a docile patient, for he hated medicine and could scarce be induced to remain quietly in bed. He gradually, however, recovered; and then, urged by Lord Canning to betake himself for rest to the hills, he left Lucknow with the headquarters on March 1st and proceeded by way of Agra and Delhi to Simla. At Delhi he spent several days investigating with the keenest interest the scenes of the memorable struggle there, and everything connected with the operations before that fortress. At Umbala he reviewed the troops quartered in that station, and reached Simla in the last week of April. His great work accomplished, he had a right to believe that there had now come an end to the cares which the rebellion entailed on him. In the bracing atmosphere of the hills he looked forward to a perfect restoration to health, and to the early realisation of his cherished hope of spending his last years with friends at home. But scarcely had he settled himself at Simla when tidings reached him of a grave danger confronting the Government of India. When in November, 1858, the assumption of the Government of India by the Crown was announced, some of the soldiers of the Company's European troops had set up an alternative claim for a free discharge or a bounty on re-enlistment into the service of the Crown. The law-officers of the Crown decided that the claim was inadmissible; and therefore a not unnatural discontent was[214] engendered which finally culminated in the regrettable disturbance familiarly known as the "White Mutiny." It was well for the Government that in Lord Clyde there was available to meet the crisis a man who understood and sympathised with the nature and prejudices of the soldier. An actual collision was imminent, and as Lord Clyde informed the Viceroy, "no one could tell what would be the effect of a collision on the remainder of the local army, and on the native mind throughout India." A proclamation of a temporising character issued to the local European troops at Meerut produced a good effect, as establishing what the Commander-in-Chief termed the "tranquillity of expectation" in place of open discontent. But it was manifest, from the reports received from the stations where troops of the late Company's European force were serving, that the feeling of dissatisfaction was general; and the Government, recognising how wide was the agitation, became convinced of the necessity of granting a discharge to every man who desired it. With a strange inconsistency the Indian Government, notwithstanding that the law-officers of the Crown had decided that the alternative claims of the soldiers were alike inadmissible, granted them their discharges, but obstinately refused to give a bounty on re-enlistment, a concession which nine out of ten men would have accepted contentedly. The outcome was a study in the art of "how not to do it." The Company's European troops took their discharges and came home almost in a body,—from the Bengal Presidency alone came seven thousand men—most of whom had been fairly acclimatised to the Indian climate. The recruiting sergeants in Charles Street re-enlisted them[215] for the Queen's service as they landed or even when the transports were coming up the Thames; and the great majority of the men who had been John Company's soldiers were back in India as soldiers of the Queen among the first reliefs. The operation, involving as it did the cost of the double voyage and the enlistment money at home, was not a brilliant sample of economy. The simpler method would have been to give the men the two guineas per head bounty, which was all they asked to transform them from Company's into Queen's soldiers. The disaffection of the local European troops made a great impression on Lord Clyde, and he expressed himself to the Viceroy on the subject in the following terms: "I am irresistibly led to the conclusion that henceforth it will be dangerous to the State to maintain in India a local European army. I believe, as a consequence of this recent experience, that it will be unsafe to have any European forces which do not undergo the regular process of relief, and that this consideration must be held paramount to all others. We cannot afford to attend to any other considerations than those of discipline and loyalty, which may be constantly renovated by the periodical return to England of all the regiments in every branch of the service."

Lord Clyde had been intending to tender his resignation and return to England about the end of February, 1860, when events occurred which were to detain him some months longer in India. In the spring of 1859 the English and French Ministers to China, finding that the Chinese Government were raising obstacles to their visit to the capital for the purpose of exchanging ratifications of the treaty of the previous year, put[216] themselves in the hands of the Admiral in command of the British Squadron. The attempt to force the passage of the Peiho and seize the Taku forts was repulsed so severely as to necessitate the return of the expedition to Shanghai. It was obvious that the enforcement of reparation would necessitate a joint expedition on a large scale to be undertaken by England and France. The troops and material of the former Power were to be supplied mainly from India, and Lord Canning was empowered to make the necessary arrangements acting in concert with the Commander-in-Chief. The latter made the wise suggestion which was acted on, that Sikh troops would be more useful in China than either Hindostanis or Madrassis. His recommendations in regard to the clothing and provisioning of the force proved most valuable; and his services were so essential that Lord Canning, who depended greatly on his counsel and recommendations, prevailed on him to delay his departure for some months longer. In the beginning of October Lord Clyde left Simla, and inspecting the military stations on the way joined at Cawnpore the camp of the Viceroy who was accompanied by Lady Canning. After a visit to Lucknow the Viceregal tour was extended through the military stations of the North-West Provinces and the Punjaub to the frontier at Peshawur. Lord Clyde, who had shared in most part of this expedition, then accompanied the Viceroy to Calcutta, where on the eve of his departure he issued the following soldierly and modest farewell order:

"On leaving this country I take the opportunity of thanking the officers and soldiers of the two services for their valour and endurance, so severely tried, especially[217] in the early part of the insurrection. History does not furnish a finer display of heroical resistance to many adverse conditions than was shown by the British troops during those mutinies. The memory of their constancy and daring will never die out in India; and the natives must feel that while Britain possesses such sons the rule of the British Sovereign must last undisputed. Soldiers, both British and native, I bid you farewell; and I record as my latest word, that the bravery and endurance of which I have spoken with admiration, could not alone have insured success. That success was owing in a great measure to your discipline, which is the foundation of all military virtues, and which, I trust, will never be relaxed."

India had relapsed into a state of profound peace and security: the Chinese expedition under the efficient command of Sir Hope Grant had embarked; and his work accomplished, Lord Clyde gave over the command to his successor Sir Hugh Rose and sailed from Calcutta on June 4th after taking a final and touching farewell of Lord Canning. Honours met him before he reached his native land. On his arrival in Paris the Emperor Napoleon summoned him to an audience; the Duke of Cambridge hastened to announce to him that her Majesty had graciously conferred on him the colonelcy of the Coldstream Guards. He reached London in time to take his seat in the House of Lords, and to speak and vote in favour of the Bill for the amalgamation of the armies of India. Nothing could be more flattering than his reception by all classes of his countrymen, but with the retiring modesty which characterised him, he shrank from all attempts to make[218] him an object of popularity. The freedom of the City of London had already been conferred upon him in his absence by a vote of the Court of Common Council; and soon after his return he and Sir James Outram were the recipients of Swords of Honour presented by the conscript fathers of the city, followed by a banquet at the Mansion-House. A few weeks later, when the thanks of the House of Lords were voted to the China force whose exertions had resulted in a satisfactory peace, Lord Clyde declined to receive the tribute paid him for his services in the preparation of the expedition, unless it was shared in by his coadjutor Lord Canning.

After a visit in Paris to his old Crimean comrade General Vinoy, he travelled on the Italian battlefields of 1859 and held some pleasant interviews with Della Marmora and Cialdini, old soldier-friends of the Sardinian Contingent in the Crimea. In the autumn of 1861 he was selected to represent the British military service at the manœuvres of the Prussian army, and on the termination of the manœuvres he had the honour of being received by the Royal Family at Brühl. In November of the same year he accompanied Sir John Lawrence to Windsor on the occasion of the first Chapter of the newly established order of the Star of India being held by Her Majesty, and was installed as a Knight of the Order.

But in the midst of these triumphs a twofold blow was to strike his heart. Ever since leaving India he had maintained an affectionate correspondence with Lady Canning. That cherished friend he was now deprived of to his great sorrow. Her constitution impaired by[219] the climate and by the anxiety which she had suffered during the strain of the Mutiny, Lady Canning fell a victim to an attack of fever. Lord Clyde's last letter to her arrived after her death, and was acknowledged by Lord Canning, who expressed in a few touching words, "how cordially she whom he had lost reciprocated the regard Lord Clyde entertained for her." A few months later Lord Canning himself, on whose constitution, enfeebled by climate, labour, and anxiety, disease had made rapid inroads, died on the day of his arrival in England. Of the many who followed to their grave in Westminster Abbey the remains of the first Viceroy of Queen Victoria's Indian Empire, none mourned him more deeply than did his former Commander-in-Chief, who had been his associate in the triumph of restoring British ascendancy in the East. By the grave of their dead master and friend Clyde and Outram stood arm in arm, both destined at no long interval to be laid in the earth now covering the coffin of their revered Chief.

His latest honour was the highest to which a British officer can attain. In an Extraordinary Gazette published on the 9th of November 1862,—the twenty-first anniversary of the birth of the Prince of Wales—it was intimated that the Duke of Cambridge, Sir E. Blakeney, and Lords Gough and Clyde were promoted to the rank of Field-Marshal. If Colin Campbell had served for over forty-six years before attaining the rank of major-general, his subsequent promotion had been exceptionally rapid, since in eight years he had run up through the list of general officers into the highest position of the military service.

With the exception of health, Lord Clyde had "all[220] which should accompany old age—honour, love, troops of friends." But he was visibly, if gradually, breaking up. He had never spared himself when duty called, but when the strain slackened with the extinction of the mutiny, his constitution began to fail. His illness in Lucknow after leaving the Nepaul frontier was the first premonition of decay. During his stay in Simla he had begun to relax his custom of early rising and to manifest an indisposition to take his morning walk; while a casual cold, of which a year earlier he would have thought nothing, resulted in a sharp attack of influenza accompanied by fever and inflammation of the eyes. When on his subsequent tour up-country with the Viceroy, he began to evince a disinclination for the saddle, and preferred, contrary to his old predilection, to be driven in a wheeled vehicle. Later, after returning to Europe, he suffered much at times from fever and ague which he traced back to the old Walcheren days; and in the end of 1861 he had a serious illness which left him permanently enfeebled even after he had been pronounced convalescent. Yet he was still able to make long journeys, and he commanded the Volunteer Review on the Brighton Downs on the Easter Monday of 1862, when some twenty thousand men were in the field. He expressed his surprise at the steadiness and intelligence of the citizen soldiery. "It was not," he wrote, "a simple affair of marching past and saluting, but a readiness of movement and facility of change of position not always surpassed by the oldest and most practised troops." This was the last occasion of his appearing at the head of troops in the field.

The end of the old warrior came at last somewhat[221] suddenly. Derangement of the heart had been discovered, and in May, 1863, he had an attack of so alarming a character that his medical advisers recommended him to put his affairs in order. Near the end of June he went to Chatham to be with his dearest friends General and Mrs. Eyre. There he gradually grew worse. Almost to the last his memory would revert to the Highland soldiers who were always so eager to follow where he led, and he would express his gratitude for their staunch fidelity to the Chief who loved them so well. When the news of his illness reached the Queen, her Majesty directed Sir Charles Phipps "to say in her name everything to her old, loyal, faithful servant that could be said of sympathy and sincere regard." "He was," added Sir Charles, "a very great favourite of her Majesty; and if he still can listen to such expressions, it may soothe him to hear how deep is the Queen's feeling for him." After several rallies, it became evident about noon of the 14th of August that Lord Clyde was sinking fast; and half an hour later, while his sister, General and Mrs. Eyre, and his faithful soldier-servant White knelt around him, the veteran of many battles calmly passed to his rest.

In accordance with Lord Clyde's desire that his funeral should be devoid of all ostentation, preparations were made for his interment in Kensal Green Cemetery. But the Government, rightly interpreting the public feeling and in unison with the ecclesiastical authorities, held it fitting that a national tribute should be paid to his memory by according to his remains a grave in Westminster Abbey. Thither accordingly without ostentation all that was mortal of him who had died the[222] foremost soldier of England was borne on August 22nd; and with every demonstration of respect from the highest and noblest of the land and in the presence of a great company of his friends and followers, Lord Clyde was laid to his rest among the brother-warriors, the statesmen, and the other illustrious men who sleep around him. On a plain stone marking his grave is inscribed the following epitaph:—

14TH AUGUST 1863,


Printed by R. & R. Clark, Edinburgh.


[1] Afterwards Sir Harry Jones.

[2] Four battalions; i.e. the two forming the right Kazan column, and the two forming the right Vladimir column.

[3] Now General Sir Archibald Alison, Bart., G.C.B.

[4] Life of Sir J. Hope Grant, edited by Colonel H. Knollys, 1894.

[5] Reminiscences of the Great Mutiny, by W. Forbes-Mitchell, 1894.

[6] Now Lieutenant-General Traill-Burroughs.

[7] Now Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley, K.P., G.C.B., K.C.M.G.

[8] Now General Lord Roberts, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E.

[9] Dr. Lowe's Central India in the Rebellion of 1857–58.

[10] My Diary in India, by William Howard Russell.

[11] Now Lieut.-Gen. Sir C. C. Fraser, V.C., K.C.B.

English Men of Action.

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Twelve English Statesmen.

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Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

Except for those changes noted below, misspelling in the text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example: midday, mid-day; round-shot, round shot; up country, up-country; disaccord; troublous; persistency.

Pg 163. 'Goorkhas' replaced by 'Ghoorkas'.
Pg 184. 'proferred' replaced by 'proffered'.
Pg 189. 'Goorariah' replaced by 'Ghorariah'.
Pg 201. 'Madho' replaced by 'Mahdo'.
Pg 203. 'clearance of of' replaced by 'clearance of'.
Pg 219. 'ascendency' replaced by 'ascendancy'.