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Title: A Narrative of the Siege of Delhi - With an Account of the Mutiny at Ferozepore in 1857
Author: Griffiths, Charles John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Narrative of the Siege of Delhi - With an Account of the Mutiny at Ferozepore in 1857" ***








The ever memorable period in the history of our Eastern Empire known as
the Great Indian Rebellion or Mutiny of the Bengal army was an epoch
fraught with the most momentous consequences, and one which resulted in
covering with undying fame those who bore part in its suppression. The
passions aroused during the struggle, the fierce hate animating the
breasts of the combatants, the deadly incidents of the strife, which
without intermission lasted for nearly two years, and deluged with blood
the plains and cities of Hindostan, have scarcely a parallel in history.
On the one side religious fanaticism, when Hindoo and Mohammedan,
restraining the bitter animosity of their rival creeds, united together
in the attempt to drive out of their common country that race which for
one hundred years had dominated and held the overlordship of the greater
portion of India. On the other side, a small band of Englishmen, a
few thousand white men among millions of Asiatics, stood shoulder to
shoulder, calm, fearless, determined, ready to brave the onslaught of
their enemies, to maintain with undiminished lustre the proud deeds of
their ancestors, and to a man resolved to conquer or to die.

Who can recount the numberless acts of heroism, the hairbreadth escapes,
the anxious days and nights passed by our gallant countrymen, who, few
in number, and isolated from their comrades, stood at bay in different
parts of the land surrounded by hundreds of pitiless miscreants, tigers
in human shape thirsting for their blood? And can pen describe the
nameless horrors of the time--gently nurtured ladies outraged and
slain before the eyes of their husbands, children and helpless infants
slaughtered--a very Golgotha of butchery, as all know who have read of
the Well of Cawnpore?

The first months of the rebellion were a fight for dear life, a constant
struggle to avert entire annihilation, for to all who were there it
seemed as though no power on earth could save them. But Providence
willed it otherwise, and after the full extent of the danger was
realized, gloomy forebodings gave way to stern endeavours. Men arose,
great in council and in the field, statesmen and warriors--Lawrence,
Montgomery, Nicholson, Hodson, and many others. The crisis brought to
the front numbers of daring spirits, full of energy and resource, of
indomitable resolution and courage, men who from the beginning saw the
magnitude of the task set before them, and with calm judgment faced the
inevitable. These were they who saved our Indian Empire, and who, by the
direction of their great organized armies, brought those who but a few
years before had been our mortal enemies to fight cheerfully on our
side, and, carrying to a successful termination the leaguer of Delhi,
stemmed the tide of the rebellion, and broke the backbone of the Mutiny.

The interest excited amongst all classes of our countrymen by the events
which happened during the momentous crisis of 1857 in India can scarcely
be appreciated by the present generation. So many years have elapsed
that all those who held high commands or directed the councils of the
Government have long since died, and the young participants in the
contest who survived its toils and dangers are all now past middle age.
But the oft-told tale will still bear repetition, and the recital of the
achievements of Englishmen during the great Indian rebellion will fill
the hearts of their descendants for all time with pride, and incite them
to emulate their actions. In the hour of danger the heart of the nation
is stirred to its profoundest depths, the national honour is at stake,
and that heritage bequeathed to us by our ancestors must at all hazards
be preserved. Thus it happened in 1857, and the result is well known. So
it may again occur, and with confidence it may be predicted that, as of
yore, Britain's sons will not be found wanting in the hour of trial,
that, keeping well in mind the glorious traditions of their race, they
will maintain unsullied the reputation of their forefathers, and add to
the renown of that Empire on which the sun never sets.

It is unnecessary, in this place, to enter into the causes which led
to the mutiny of the Bengal army. These can be read and studied in the
graphic pages of Kaye and Malleson. My intention is to give, as far as
in me lies, a truthful account of the events in which I personally bore
part, and which came under my own immediate observation.




_May 10 to June 13_

Outbreak at Meerut--Neglect of arsenals--H.M.'s 61st
Regiment--Characteristics of the British troops in India--Outbreak
unexpected--First indication of disaffection--News of the Mutiny at
Meerut--Steps taken at Ferozepore--Wives and families moved to the
barracks--A party of the 61st Regiment sent into the fort--Proceedings
within the fort--45th Regiment of Native Infantry tries to take the
fort--It is repulsed--Criticism of the Brigadier's conduct--His want of
initiative--The cantonment fired--The damage done--Bells of arms blown
up--The 61st dismissed to barracks--A patrol ordered--State of the
cantonment--Action of the mutineers--Officers quartered in the
barracks--Grenadiers again on special duty--Indifference displayed by
the Brigadier--Measures adopted for the safety of the cantonment--Search
for mess property--Parsimony of the Government--Anxiety in the
Punjab--Loyalty of the Sikhs--Sir John Lawrence's appeal to
them--Their characteristics--Spread of the Mutiny--Reaction
at Ferozepore--Night-attacks--One in particular--Trial of



_June 13 to July 1_

A wing of the 61st ordered to Delhi--The five companies
selected--Readiness displayed by the regiment--On the march--Cholera
appears--I visit an old friend--Badli-ki-Serai--News from Delhi--Entry
into camp



_July 1 to September 7_

A view of Delhi--Vicissitudes of the city--Its defences--defences--The
ridge--Position of our camp--Our position--The Goorkhas--Cholera
raging--Heat and flies--Executions--The Metcalfe pickets--A sortie
expected--expected--Hodson--Bombardment of Metcalfe picket--Enemy
reported moving on Alipore--A force sent after them--The action
described--Forces complimented by Sir Henry Barnard--His death--His
services--Our meagre armament--Scarcity of ammunition--Amusing
incident--The Metcalfe house--Our bugle-calls in use by the enemy--A
sortie--Ruse by the enemy's cavalry--Gallant conduct of Lieutenant
Hills and Major Tombs, Bengal Artillery--Expedition under Brigadier
Chamberlain--Chamberlain--Gallant conduct of Brigadier Wm. Jones--Fight
at Kishenganj--Meeting with an old friend--A sad story--story--Story of
C---- d--A victim of the Meerut massacre--massacre--Strong feeling of
revenge in all ranks--A sortie--Attack on Sabzi Mandi pickets and right
ridge--An awkward position--Heavy loss of enemy--Cholera and other
sickness prevalent--Fishing--Provisions, etc., much appreciated--General
Reed resigns and is succeeded by General Wilson--Attack on Sabzi Mandi
and Hindoo Rao's repulsed--Bodies of slain sepoys rifled--Difficulty of
preventing it--General's approval of Colonel Jones's conduct--The number
of attacks by the enemy--Sortie on our left--Repulsed by Brigadier
Showers--Expedition under Major Coke--Attack on right pickets at
sunset--Combat continues all night--Enemy retires--Loss of enemy--Result
of General Wilson's appointment--We attempt to destroy the bridge
of boats--Demonstration by the enemy--Pickets on the right
harassed--Metcalfe pickets shelled--Brigadier Showers takes four
guns--Our reinforcements arrive under Nicholson--His character--Mrs.
Seeson comes in from the city--The enemy fires rockets--He establishes a
battery on the left bank of the river--river--Sortie--Expedition under
Nicholson--Battle of Najafgarh--Elkington mortally wounded--Gabbett
killed--killed--Death of Elkington--Right pickets harassed--An amusing
incident--The Afghans--Alarm in the Punjab--Bands play in camp--Fatal
shell from across the river--An uncomfortable bath--The siege-train
arrives--Our allies--Zeal of the engineers--New batteries established



_September 7 to 14_

Strength of our force--General Wilson's order--Volunteers for artillery
called for--All our batteries open fire--Number of casualties during
bombardment--Frequent sorties--Death of Captain Fagan, Bengal
Artillery--Breaches examined--Orders for the assault--Details of
columns--The assault--Blowing in of Kashmir Gate--Details of the
operations--Cowardly tactics of the enemy--Gallant conduct of Private
Moylan, 61st Regiment--Gallant conduct of Surgeon Reade, 61st
Regiment--Doing of Nos. 1 and 2 columns--Nicholson mortally wounded--No.
4 column attacks Kishenganj--Conduct of the Kashmir troops--They
lose their guns--Their search for them--Failure of the attack on
Kishenganj--Intention of the enemy--Work of the Cavalry Brigade--Support
by the Guides infantry--Casualties on September 14--Bravery of the
native troops--Temptations to drink--All liquor destroyed--We construct
more batteries--Reported intentions of the General--These overruled--The
enemy attacks our advanced posts--We storm the magazine--Further
advance of Nos. 1 and 2 Columns--The 61st move to the church--Colonel
Skinner--State of the church--Unsuccessful attack on the Burn
bastion--Eclipse of the sun--The Burn bastion captured--The enemy begin
to retire--Capture of the Lahore Gate and Garstin bastion--The Palace
and Selimgarh taken--The Jama Masjid taken--The 61st move to Ali Khan's



_September 20 to May, 1858_

Lack of appreciation by Government--A contrast--Delay in issue of prize
money and medals--Unceremonious presentation of the latter--Complete
desertion of the city by the enemy--A stroll through the
city--Looting--Discovery of hiding inhabitants--They are ordered
to leave the city--Disgraceful desertion of pets--State of the
streets--Hodson captures the King of Delhi--The King's appearance
described--His trial and sentence--Hodson captures the King's sons and
grandson--Their deaths--Diminished strength of the 61st Regiment--It
moves to the Ajmir Gate--The Jama Masjid and view from it--Its
garrison--A movable column dispatched towards Cawnpore--Soldiers
and others forbidden to enter or leave the city--The Mooltani
horse--Indulgence to Goorkhas--Their appreciation--An exodus--Strict
regulations--State of feeling of the army--Work of the Provost
Marshal--Two reputed sons of the King executed--The suburbs--An amusing
incident--Visiting the old positions--Cholera still rife--2,000 sick and
wounded in the Selimgarh--We move to the magazine--I am recommended for
sick leave--I leave Delhi for Umballah--I am robbed _en route_--Report
matters to Commissioner and receive compensation--Leave for Ferozepore
and home



Delhi famed for its treasures--General Wilson's order--Army anxious
about prize-money--Batta to be granted instead--Indignation of
army generally--Humorous placard--Interest on unpaid prize-money
promised--Opinion of the Times--Prize-agents appointed--Early looting--A
white elephant--Evidence of looting--The practice excused--A lucky
haul--Scruples cast aside--Personal experiences--A tempting display--No
proper account rendered--Method of search--A mine of wealth--A neglected
opportunity--A happy thought--A wrinkle--A favourite hiding-place--An
exceptional house--A mishap--Art treasures--"'Tis an ill wind,"
etc.--Pleasant memories











[Illustration: PLAN OF DELHI 1857

 N _Here Nicholson fell on Sept 14th_]




The actual Mutiny of the Bengal army broke out at Meerut on May 10,
1857. Events had happened in the Lower Provinces which foreshadowed the
coming storm, and one regiment of native infantry had been disbanded;
but no one, not even those in high authority, had the faintest suspicion
that our rule in India was imperilled. So strong, indeed, was the
sense of security from present danger that the Government, with almost
culpable neglect, still confided to the care of the native army the
large arsenals of Delhi, Ferozepore, and Phillour, in all of which
immense quantities of ammunition and munitions of war were stored.

There was not a single white regiment stationed at Delhi, not even a
European guard, the charge of the arsenal, the largest in Upper India,
being entrusted to a few officers and sergeants of artillery. The same
may be said of Phillour, in the Punjab--a small station, where only
native troops were quartered. The fort of Ferozepore, near the left bank
of the Sutlej River, was guarded by 100 men detailed from the sepoy
regiments at that cantonment, and, with Phillour, constituted the
only places from which ammunition could be drawn for the large force,
European and native, guarding the newly-acquired province of the Punjab.

Her Majesty's 61st Regiment of Foot was stationed at Ferozepore in May,
1857. In that corps I held a commission as Lieutenant, and, during the
absence of my Captain on leave in Kashmir, was in temporary command of
the Grenadier Company.

The regiment at this time mustered nearly 1,000 men, half that number
old and gallant veterans of from ten to twenty years' service. These
had fought in many Indian campaigns, and on the terrible day of
Chillianwalla, in January, 1849, when the Khalsa army rolled back in
utter defeat a portion of Lord Gough's force, had, under the leadership
of Sir Colin Campbell, altered the fortunes of the battle. Advancing
in line under a tremendous cannonade, and without firing a shot, they
marched as if on parade and in stern silence till within fifty yards
of the Sikh batteries, when, with a shout which struck terror into the
breasts of their enemies, they charged irresistibly and took the guns.

It was to men such as these that, fortunately for the maintenance of our
Empire in the East, England trusted in the perilous days of 1857. As
of my own regiment, so it may be said of all then quartered in
India--sturdy, fine fellows, of good physique, of rare discipline, and
inured to the climate, who, in the words of the Iron Duke, could march
anywhere and fight anything. The army then had not been improved out
of existence; reforms, if such they can be called, were received with
considerable disfavour; for what amelioration could be effected in the
discipline and steady courage of those who had stormed the heights of
the Alma, had stood the shock of the Muscovite at Inkerman, and had not
despaired on the bloody fields of Ferozeshah and Chillianwalla?

I may be excused if I thus energetically offer my tribute of praise to
that army, and more especially to that regiment in which I passed my
young days. I recall the numberless acts of devotion and courage, the
tender solicitude with which the veterans of the Grenadier Company
looked after the safety of their youthful commander, during the
campaigns of 1857; and my pen falters and my eyes grow dim with tears as
memory brings before me my gallant comrades in the ranks who fell before
Delhi, or lost their lives through disease and exposure.

I had been absent from my regiment during the whole of 1856, doing duty
at the Murree Convalescent Depot, and rejoined in March of the following
year. Nothing occurred for the next two months to break the monotony of
life in an Indian cantonment. Parade in the early morning, rackets and
billiards during the day, a drive or ride along the Mall in the cool of
the evening, and the usual mess dinner--these constituted the routine of
our uneventful existence.

Many of the officers lamented the hard fate which had doomed them to
service in the East, while the more fortunate regiments had been earning
fame and quick promotion in the Crimea and in the recent Persian
campaign. We little thought of what was in store for us, or of the
volcano which was smouldering under our feet.

The signs of incipient mutiny in the native army had been confined, up
to this time, to the Presidency of Bengal and to the regiments quartered
there. With us at Ferozepore there was little, if any, indication of the
coming outbreak. True it was that some of us noticed sullen looks and
strange demeanour among the sepoys of the two battalions. They, on
occasions, passed our officers without the customary salute, and, if
my memory serves, a complaint of this want of respect was forwarded to
their Colonels. Our billiard-marker, too, a high-caste Brahmin who had
served on our side in the Afghan campaigns of 1839-42 in the capacity
of a spy, a man of cunning and intelligence, warned us in unmistakable
terms of the increasing disaffection among the sepoys of Ferozepore, and
stated his opinion that the spirit of mutiny was rife among them. We
laughed at his fears, and dismissed from our minds all alarm, vaunting
our superiority in arms to the dusky soldiery of Hindostan, and in our
hearts foolishly regarding them with lordly contempt.

Thus passed in the usual quiet the first twelve days of the month of
May, 1857. The morning of May 13 saw us, as usual, on parade; then,
adjourning to the mess-house, we spent a few hours over breakfast and
billiards, and before midday separated to pass the heat of the day
reading, lounging, and sleeping at our respective bungalows.

I occupied a large house some distance from the mess in company with a
field-officer and the Adjutant of my regiment. The former, about
1 p. m., was summoned by an orderly to attend a meeting at the quarters
of the Brigadier[1] commanding the troops at Ferozepore. We paid no heed
to this incident, as it occurred to us that the Major's advice and
opinion were required on some matter of regimental or other routine.

Vicars and I were in the habit, since the hot weather began, of making
ices every afternoon, and had become, from long practice, quite
proficient at the work. At three o'clock we were in the midst of our
occupation, our whole thoughts and energies bent on the accomplishment
of our task. Clad in loose déshabillé, seated on the floor of the
sitting-room, we worked and watched the process of congelation.

Presently a quick step was heard in the hall, the door was thrown open,
and the Major, rushing in, sank breathless into a chair. The Adjutant
and I jumped up, and in our haste upset the utensils, spilling on the
floor the contents we had taken so much trouble to prepare. A minute or
two passed, and still no word from our friend, who, portly in shape, and
of a plethoric temperament, seemed overcome by some terrible excitement,
and fairly gasped for breath.

"What on earth is the matter?" we asked.

Slowly, and as though uttered with considerable difficulty, the answer

"All the Europeans in India have been murdered!"

Now this was rather a startling announcement, and somewhat premature,
considering that we three, at any rate, were in the land of the living,
with no immediate prospect of coming dissolution. We looked at each
other, at first serious and alarmed, as became the gravity of the
situation, and utterly unable to comprehend what it all meant. This
phase of the affair, however, did not last long, and soon changed from
grave to gay. A merry twinkle appeared in Vicars' eyes, to which my own
responded, and at last, fully alive to the absurdity of the gallant
officer's remark, our pent-up sense of the ridiculous was fairly
awakened, and we roared with laughter again and again.

This unlooked-for result of his dismal communication roused the Major,
who first rebuked us for our levity, and, after an interval occupied in
the recovery of his scattered senses, proceeded to acquaint us with the
true facts of what had happened at the Brigadier's quarters.

A despatch by telegraph had arrived that morning from Meerut, the
largest cantonment in Upper India, stating that the regiment of native
light cavalry at that place had mutinied in a body on the 10th instant,
and marched for Delhi. This had been followed by a revolt of all the
sepoy infantry and artillery, a rising of the natives in the city, the
bazaars and the surrounding country, who, almost unchecked, had murdered
the European men and women on whom they could lay their hands, and
besides, had set fire to and "looted" many houses in the station.
Fortunately for the safety of the English in India, the miscreants
failed to cut the telegraph-wires at Meerut till too late, and the news
of the mutiny and outrage was as quickly as possible flashed to every
cantonment in the country.

The Brigadier had therefore ordered the commanding and field officers
of the different regiments stationed at Ferozepore to meet him in
consultation at his quarters. Intelligence so startling as that just
received required no small amount of judgment and deliberation in
dealing with the native soldiers at this cantonment, and some time
elapsed before the council decided as to what was best to be done under
the circumstances.

Finally it was resolved that a general parade of Her Majesty's 61st Foot
and the battery of European artillery should be held at four o'clock
on the lines in front of the barracks of the former corps. The two
regiments of native infantry were to assemble at the same time, and,
with their English Officers, were ordered to march from their quarters,
taking separate directions: the 45th to proceed into the country,
leaving the fort of Ferozepore on their right, while the 57th were to
march out of cantonments to the left rear of the lines of the European
infantry. The commanding officers of these regiments were also
instructed to keep their men, if possible, well in hand, to allow no
straggling, and to halt in the country until further orders after they
had proceeded three or four miles. The remaining regiment, the 10th
Native Light Cavalry, for some reason or other was considered staunch
(and as events proved, it remained so for a time), and it was therefore
ordained that the troopers should parade mounted and under arms in their
own lines ready for any emergency.

Thus far we learnt from the Major, and Vicars, whose duties as Adjutant
required his presence at the barracks at once, donned his uniform, and,
mounting his horse, rode in all haste to give directions for the general

Shortly before four o'clock the Major and I also left the house and
joined the regiment, which was drawn up in open column of companies in
front of the lines.

Notice had previously been sent to the married officers in the station
directing them to make immediate arrangements for the transport of their
wives and families to the barracks. This order was obeyed without loss
of time, and before half-past four all the ladies and children in the
cantonment were safe under the protection of our soldiers at the main

The barracks of the European infantry at Ferozepore were distant half
a mile from the station, and consisted of ten or twelve large detached
buildings, one for each company, arranged in echelon, with some thirty
paces between each. In front of these was the parade-ground where
we were drawn up, and before us an open plain, 300 yards in width,
extending to the entrenched camp, or, as it was generally called, the
fort and arsenal of Ferozepore. The space around the fort was quite
clear, its position being directly opposite the centre of the
cantonment, from which it was separated by some 200 yards.

From our situation on parade we had a direct and unbroken view of
the localities I have endeavoured to describe, and holding this
vantage-ground, we should be enabled to act as circumstances might

The regiment wheeled into line more than 900 strong. One hundred men
under command of a field-officer were then detached, with orders to
disarm the sepoy guard in the fort, and to remain there on duty pending
any attempt which might probably be made by the two native regiments to
gain forcible possession of the arsenal.

The detachment marched off, and we watched our comrades cross the plain,
and enter without molestation the gates of the fort.

In anxious expectation we waited for the result, when, after a short
interval, shots were heard, and we knew that our men had engaged the
sepoy guard. The firing was continuous while it lasted, but soon died
away. A mounted officer then rode out at the gate, and, galloping to
where the Colonel was standing, reported that the sepoys, when ordered
to lay down their arms, refused, and that one of them, taking direct aim
at the Major,[2] shot him in the thigh, leaving a dangerous wound. Our
men then poured a volley into the mutineers, who fired in return, but
fortunately without causing any casualty on our side. Two sepoys had
been killed and several wounded, while the remainder, offering no
further resistance, were disarmed and made prisoners.

Meantime the regiment stood under arms in line, and another company was
sent to reinforce the men in the fort.

Amid great excitement, more especially among the young soldiers, we
waited to see what would follow when the sepoy battalions marching from
cantonments into the country appeared in sight. Eagerly it was whispered
amongst us, "Will the rascals fight, or remain loyal and obedient to the
orders of their officers?"

The evening was drawing on apace, but at last, about six o'clock, the
heads of the columns emerged from the houses and gardens of the station,
the 45th Native Infantry advancing in almost a direct line to the
fort, while the 57th Native Infantry were inclined to their right, and
followed the road leading to the rear of our lines. All eyes were turned
on the former regiment, and its movements were ardently scanned.

Closer and closer they came to the fort, till, when only about fifty
paces distant, the column wavered. We could see the officers rushing
about among their men, and in another instant the whole mass broke
into disorder and ran pell-mell in hundreds towards the ditch which
surrounded the entrenchment.

This was of no depth, with sloping sides, and easy to escalade, and in
less time than I take to write it the sepoys, with a shout, jumped into
the trench, scrambled up the parapet, and disappeared from our sight
into the enclosure.

It was not long before we heard the sound of firing, and shots came in
quick succession, maddening us beyond control, for we thought of our
men, few in number and scattered over the fort, opposed to some five or
six hundred of these savages.

We had loaded with ball-cartridge soon after forming on parade, and the
men now grasped their muskets, and cries and murmurs were heard, "Why
do we not advance?" and all this couched in language more forcible than

The order at last was given to fix bayonets, and then came the welcome

"The line will advance."

Every heart thrilled with excitement. All longed to have a brush with
the mutineers, and help our comrades in the fort who were fighting
against such odds.

Twenty paces only we advanced, and then, by the Brigadier's command, our
Colonel[3] gave the order to halt.

The men were furious, and could hardly be restrained from marching
forward, when, looking towards the outer side of the fort, we saw some
sepoys on the ramparts, evidently in a state of panic, throw themselves
into the ditch, and mounting the other side, run helterhelterskelter
into the country. These were followed by numbers of others, who all made
off as fast as their legs would carry them, and then we heard a true
British cheer, our men appeared on the walls shooting at the fugitives,
bayonetting and driving them over the glacis.

The fight had continued some twenty minutes, and was pretty severe while
it lasted. A few of our men were more or less hurt, but of the sepoys
many had been killed and wounded. About 100 also had laid down their
arms, and, begging for mercy, were taken prisoners.

Nothing could have been more culpable than the conduct of the Brigadier
in not advancing a portion, at any rate, of my regiment to the fort at
the time the sepoys broke their ranks and entered the entrenchment. Had
he done so, it is probable that not one of the mutineers of the 45th
Native Infantry would have escaped, nor would the havoc which afterwards
occurred in the cantonment have taken place. But he was an old East
India Company's officer, and had served upwards of forty years in the
native army, having to the last, like many others at that eventful time,
implicit confidence in the loyalty of the sepoys. He feared, also, the
responsibility of letting loose the English soldiery to wreak their
vengeance on the mutineers, knowing too well that, with passions roused
and hearts steeled to pity by the murders and outrages committed at
Meerut, and the late wounding of their field-officer, our men would have
given no quarter. The Brigadier was one of the very few officers in high
command at the outbreak of the Mutiny who were found wanting in the time
of trial. His, no doubt, was a hard task; but, had he shown the smallest
aptitude to meet the crisis, there would have been no difficulty, with
the ample means at his disposal, in disarming without bloodshed the
whole native force at Ferozepore, and so crushing the rebellion at that

Night came, and we still remained in line under arms without having
moved a foot from where we were halted. Conjectures were rife as to what
would next happen. Officers and men were grieved, no less than annoyed,
at the state of inaction in which we had been kept, and an uneasy
feeling prevailed that during the night the mutinous sepoys, aided by
the _badmashes_, or bad characters, who swarmed in the bazaars and city
of Ferozepore, would, under cover of the darkness, run riot over the
cantonment, without our being called on to interfere.

And so, unhappily, it came to pass. The native cavalry at about eight
o'clock marched down to our lines, and drew up on the right of the
regiment, the European artillery being on our left flank.

Soon after their arrival the arms were piled and the men fell out of
the ranks, some to lie down on the ground, others forming in groups and
discussing the strange events of the day.

Suddenly a light was seen in the direction of the cantonment, which
quickly turned into a blaze of fire. What new horror was this? Were our
houses to be gutted and burnt before our eyes without any attempt to
prevent such outrage?

The men, at the first appearance of fire, had sprung to their feet and
almost involuntarily seized their arms. Surely a detachment would be
sent to clear the cantonment of the incendiaries? Even this was not
done: the Brigadier was absent, or could not be found, and our Colonel
intimated to some officers who spoke to him on the subject that he could
give no orders without the chief's consent.

So, incredible though it may appear, we stood and watched the fires,
which followed each other in quick succession till the whole cantonment
seemed in a blaze, and the flames, darting up in every direction,
lighted up the surrounding country.

We could hear distinctly the shouts of the scoundrels, and pictured to
ourselves the black wretches holding high carnival among the burning
buildings and laughing at the white soldiers, who, with arms in their
hands, remained motionless in their own lines.

That night more than twenty houses were burnt to the ground. The English
church, we afterwards heard, was first fired, then the Roman Catholic
chapel, our mess-house, and nineteen other bungalows. The sepoys, mostly
of the 45th Native Infantry, attended by dozens of _badmashes_, marched
unchallenged through the station with lighted torches fixed on long
bamboo poles, with which they set fire to the thatched roofs of the
various houses.

All night long we lay by our arms, watching the destruction of our
property, and thankful only that the wives and children of our officers
and men were safe under our care, and not exposed to the fury of the
wretches engaged in their fiendish work.

Even after this long lapse of years, I cannot think of that night
without a feeling of shame. Here were 700 men, mostly veterans, of one
of Her Majesty's regiments, doomed to inaction through the blundering
and stupid perverseness of an old sepoy Brigadier. The same unhappy
events as those I have narrated occurred at the outbreak of the Mutiny
in three other stations in the Bengal Presidency.

The commanders would not act against their trusted sepoys, who, as in
our case, plundered, outraged, and destroyed all and everything that
came in their way.

_May 14_.--The morning of May 14 dawned, close and hot, not a breath of
wind stirring. The sun rose like a ball of fire, and shortly afterwards
we were startled by an explosion which shook the earth under our feet,
and sounded like a heavy peal of thunder in the still morning air.
Looking in the direction of the report, we saw on the far right side
of the cantonment a thick black column of smoke shoot up high into the
atmosphere. A quarter of an hour passed, and then another detonation
similar to the first sounded in our ears on the left rear flank,
followed, as before, by a dense cloud of smoke.

We said to ourselves: "Will the arsenal next be blown up?" In the fort
was stored an immense quantity of powder and munitions of war, and,
fearing that perhaps some rebel might have found his way in for the
purpose of devoting his life to the destruction of the entrenchment and
the annihilation of the European guard, we remained anxiously expectant
for some time.

No cause could be assigned for the explosions we had heard, but we
were informed subsequently that, by the orders of our commander, the
magazines or bells of arms belonging to the two native regiments had
been blown up by a party of sappers in the fear that they might fall
into the hands of the rebellious sepoys. It was a futile precaution, and
a mere waste of ammunition; for nothing could have been easier than to
send the contents of the magazines under our escort to the arsenal.

At eight o'clock we were dismissed to barracks, and left the spot where
we had stood in line inert and inactive since four o'clock the previous

Shortly after breakfast I was sent for by the Colonel to the
orderly-room, and informed that it was the wish of the Brigadier that I
should proceed with my company into the cantonments. I was ordered
to make strict search for, and to take prisoner, any sepoys or bad
characters that might be lurking about; and to this end I was to
patrol the station from one side to the other. I was also to visit
the commissariat quarters, disarm the native guard, using force if
necessary, and secure the treasure chest, which contained some 20,000

It struck me that this duty might very well have been performed many
hours before. Why had not a company been detailed to patrol the
cantonment the previous evening, or, at any rate, at the first sign of

However, I started without delay with ninety Grenadiers, and marched
over a great part of the station, extending the company in skirmishing
order whenever we passed through the numerous large gardens, orchards,
and enclosures.

Not a soul was to be seen, and the place seemed entirely deserted. The
sepoys, after their work of destruction, must have left during the
night, and were now probably well on their way to Delhi, while the
_badmashes_ who had assisted them had returned quietly to their
occupations in the bazaars of the city.

The cantonment presented a complete scene of desolation. The church and
chapel were a heap of burnt-up and smouldering ruins, our mess-house the
same, and numerous bungalows--former residences of the officers--were
still on fire. The heat from the burning embers was intense, and as we
passed slowly by we viewed, with anger in our hearts, the lamentable
results of the timidity and vacillation, the irresolution and culpable
neglect, of one man.

Lastly, we visited the commissariat quarters at the far side of the
station. Here there was no guard, not even a native in charge. Strange
inconsistency! It turned out that, some hours before our arrival, the
sepoy guard, true in this respect to their trust, had procured a cart,
taken the treasure to the fort, there handed it over to the officer at
the gate, and then started for Delhi.

My duty was accomplished, and I marched the Grenadiers back to barracks,
then reported the unsatisfactory result of my mission to the Colonel;
and, thoroughly tired and worn out from want of rest, I threw myself on
a bed and slept soundly for some hours.

We were told that afternoon that the 57th Native Infantry, who had
marched to the rear of our barracks the evening before, had remained
quietly in the country during the night without one sepoy showing any
mutinous disposition. In the early morning, without molesting their
English officers, about half the regiment signified their intention of
marching down-country; while of the rest, some 300 men returned to their
lines at Ferozepore, and on being called upon to do so by the Colonel,
laid down their arms.

It must be recorded to the credit of these regiments that no officer was
hurt by them, or even insulted. The sepoys quietly but firmly announced
that they released themselves from the service of the East India
Company, and were about to become enrolled as subjects of the King of
Delhi. Then, in several instances even saluting their officers and
showing them every mark of respect, they turned their faces to the great
focus of rebellion, to swell the number of those who were about to fight
against us in the Mohammedan capital of Hindostan.

The officers of these two corps were more fortunate than their comrades
of other regiments throughout the land, many of whom were shot down by
their own sepoys in cold blood under circumstances of signal barbarity.
They saw their wives and children murdered before their faces, while
those who escaped the fury of the sepoys wandered in helpless flight
through jungles and plains, suffering incredible privations. Some few
there were who reached a friendly station, or were succoured and hidden
by loyal natives. But the greater number fell by the hands of the
wretches who in these times of outrage and anarchy swarmed out of the
low quarters of the cities, and swept unchecked over the whole country
in hundreds and thousands.

The officers had taken up their quarters in the barracks in one or the
centre buildings, which was reserved entirely for their use. Here we
endeavoured to make ourselves as comfortable as possible under the
circumstances, the large apartment serving at once as mess-house
sitting-room and bedroom for us all. The Colonel alone lived apart,
while the married ladies and their families for the present occupied the
main guard bungalow pending arrangements for more suitable quarters.

The poor ladies, as was natural, were in a state of great agitation, and
would not be comforted. We did our best to quiet their fears, telling
them there was not the slightest danger as regarded their safety; that,
even were we attacked by the rebels, they need have no dread of the
result, for we were more than a match for double our number of sepoys.
Still, it pained us much to see their distress, and we could only be
thankful that, come what might, they were under the protection of
British soldiers.

On the evening of May 14, at sunset, I was sitting smoking and chatting
in the barrack-room with some of our officers when, quite unexpectedly,
I was again called to the orderly-room, and directed to march with the
Grenadier company on outlying picket to the left rear of the cantonment,
and close to the lines of the disarmed sepoys. Two guns of the Light
Field Battery, under a subaltern, were also placed under my orders, and
I took with me a young ensign to assist me in my duties.

The Brigadier said he had received intelligence that an attack by the
mutineers was expected from the direction of Lahore; and I was told to
keep a sharp lookout, in case the enemy made during the night a flank
movement on the station. I was also constantly to patrol the lines of
the native regiments, to confine the sepoys to their huts, and to take
prisoner any who ventured outside.

The short Indian twilight was drawing to a close when I arrived on the
ground, and, without losing time, I drew up the Grenadiers in line, with
the two guns a little in advance and on my left flank.

Two sentries were posted in front of the guns, two on the right and left
of my small detachment, and two in the rear.

The plain extended before us for miles to the horizon, bare and
treeless, without one intervening obstacle.

Evening closed and night came on--a night dark as Erebus, though the
stars shone bright and luminous in the heavens. All nature was silent
as the grave, and, save for the tramp of the sentinels and the marching
away and return of the patrolling parties, for hours we heard no sound.

Before leaving barracks the picket had loaded the guns with grape and
the old Brown Bess (there were no rifles in most of the Indian regiments
in those far-off days) with ball-cartridge. I had also ordered the
men to fix bayonets, and we were thus fully prepared to give a warm
reception to any sepoys who might attack us. The arms were piled, and in
silence we lay on the ground.

Presently, about midnight, one of the sentinels in front of the guns

"Who comes there?"

There was no answer, and the cry was repeated, the sentry at the same
moment firing off his musket.

The company sprang to their arms, and I called on the sentries in front
to retreat under cover of the guns. Almost simultaneously, and before
the men could retire, flashes of fire appeared on the plain, and
numerous shots came whistling over our heads, while, clear and distinct,
a cry rang out, and we knew that one of the sentries had been hit. Close
following the first came several straggling shots, but the rascals fired
too high, and we had no casualty. I then ordered the men to fire a
volley, and the artillery officer at the same time swept his front with
grape from the two guns.

After these discharges all was still, and we strained our eyes in the
darkness, but could see nothing. Then, taking with me a sergeant and
four men, I proceeded to where the sentry had made the first challenge.

We found the poor fellow lying face downwards on the ground, and raising
him up, saw that he was quite dead. Slowly and tenderly the body was
borne to the picket, and on examination by the light of a lantern, we
discovered that he had received a bullet over the region of the heart,
and that death, therefore, must have been instantaneous. My heart
sickened at the sight; this was my first contact with the horrors of
war, and the remembrance will remain with me to my dying day.

The other sentinel was then questioned, and from him we learnt that,
peering through the darkness when the challenge was first given, he had
seen figures passing in his front across the plain. Soon they halted and
fired, and then disappeared, probably having lain down to escape being
hit by our men. Hearing this, I sent out a small reconnoitring party,
which patrolled the plain for some distance. They returned with the
news that all was quiet, and no human being was to be seen. Two fresh
sentries were placed in front of the guns, and the men lay down as
before, fully expecting another attack.

_May 15_.--All, however, passed off without further incident, and at
sunrise I marched the picket to barracks and reported myself to the
Brigadier. He made no comment on the events of the night, nor did he
even ask for particulars as to the manner of the soldier's death. The
mutineers, he said, were in scattered detachments still, no doubt
prowling about the outskirts of the cantonment and in the neighbouring
villages, taking advantage of every opportunity to harass and inflict
loss on our soldiers.

From this time forward for nearly a month, with the single exception of
one encounter with a body of mutineers, which I shall relate hereafter,
no event of importance occurred at Ferozepore.

The chief danger had passed from our midst in the flight towards Delhi
of more than half of the two battalions of sepoys, the disarmament of
300 of the 57th, and the imprisonment of those who had been captured
fighting when attempting to take the arsenal.

Everything being thus comparatively peaceful, with no enemy in the
vicinity, the Brigadier at last woke up to a sense of his duty; and
extraordinary measures were taken by his command for the safety of the
cantonments and lines of Ferozepore.

It was ordered that one company should be placed each night on advanced
outlying picket, another on rear picket, and a third to be stationed at
the main guard to furnish sentries as a cordon round the whole extent
of the barracks. Two companies were to remain constantly in the fort in
charge of a senior Captain, so that, out of the ten companies, six were
always on duty.

Under the excitement which first prevailed, and the necessity of being
prepared in case of a night attack from the roving bands of rebellious
soldiery who from all directions were making for the imperial city,
plundering and ravaging on the route, this duty was cheerfully
undertaken. But as time went by, and week succeeded week, without a
shot being fired to relieve the monotony of our lives, the work became
irksome in the extreme.

The regiment therefore fell into a regular groove of guard and picket
duty. We longed to have a fight with the enemy, and still were doomed to
remain in a state of masterly inactivity. At the fort the work was most
trying, and resolved itself into a course of manual labour. There it was
ordered that under the ammunition sheds deep pits were to be dug in the
ground. This duty was performed entirely by the English soldiers, and
continued for a fortnight in the hottest season of the year. In the
receptacles thus formed all the barrels of powder, as well as the small
arms, ammunition, etc., were packed and stowed away, the whole being
covered with earth to the depth of several feet. This was a very needful
expedient, for a stray spark might have blown up the vast stores of
munitions of war, without which it would have been impossible to carry
on future operations against the enemy. No fires for any purpose were
permitted in the fort, and, greatest deprivation of all, the men were
not allowed to smoke during the twenty-four hours they were on guard.

Three or four days after the outbreak, and when everything seemed quiet
in and around the cantonment, two officers and myself, taking with us
some native labourers carrying spades and shovels, proceeded, under
orders from our Colonel, to search for the silver plate buried under
the ruins of our mess-house. We found the brick walls standing; but all
inside the building was one mass of ashes and still-smouldering embers.

We knew the locality of the plate chest, and, setting the coolies to
work, after infinite labour, which lasted some hours, we succeeded in
removing a vast heap of cinders, and found portions of the silver. A
little lower down we came on more; and here were seen spoons melted
almost out of shape by fire. The large silver dishes, plates and
cups--many of the latter of priceless value, for they had been acquired
by the regiment during the Peninsular War--were lying one on top of the
other just as they had been placed in the chest, but all ruined and
disfigured, half melted and blackened from the intense heat.

Close by, where they had fallen off a table, were the four massive
silver candelabra, the gift of distinguished officers who had formerly
served in the corps. These were twisted out of all shape, and beyond
hope of repair, of no value but for the bullion. Other articles there
were, such as snuff-boxes, drinking-horns, and table ornaments; not one
single piece of silver had escaped the action of the fire.

It was a sorry sight to look on the total destruction of our beautiful
mess furniture. Costly goods had been sacrificed which no money could
replace; not one single article belonging to the officers had been

Gathering together all the silver we could find, and lamenting the
incompetence by which we had lost property amounting in value to £2,000,
we placed everything in a cart and conveyed it to the barracks.

Many months afterwards the Government directed a committee of officers
to value the effects destroyed by the mutineers, to the end that
remuneration might be granted to the regiment for loss sustained. This
committee, after due consideration, placed the estimate at a very low
figure--viz., £1,500. The parsimony of those in power refused us
full payment of this just debt, intimated also that the demand was
exorbitant, and closed all further action in the matter by sending us a
draft on the Treasury for half the amount claimed.

For the first week or ten days after the outbreak at Ferozepore we knew
very little of what was occurring down-country, as well as throughout
the Punjab, the province of the "Five Rivers" to our north. In that
newly-acquired territory there were twenty-six regiments of the native
army, while the Sikhs, the warlike people who inhabited the land, had
met us in deadly conflict only nine years before. From the latter, then,
as well as from the sepoys, there was cause for great anxiety. Every
precaution, therefore, was necessary to guard the Ferozepore Arsenal,
the largest, next to Delhi, in Upper India. The temper of the Sikhs
was uncertain; no one could foretell which side they would take in the
coming struggle. Our Empire in Hindostan--during the month of May more
especially--trembled in the balance. There was infinite cause for alarm
for months afterwards even to the Fall of Delhi; but at no time were we
in such a strait as at that period when the loyalty or defection of the
Sikh regiments and people was an open question.

The genius of Sir John Lawrence, the Chief Commissioner of the Punjab,
warded off the danger. That eminent man, the saviour of India, issued a
proclamation calling on the Sikhs to aid us in our trouble. They came
at once in hundreds--nay, thousands--to enlist on our side. Veterans of
Runjeet Singh's Khalsa army, the men who had withstood us on equal terms
in many sanguinary battles, animated by intense hatred of the Poorbeah
sepoy, enrolled themselves in the ranks of the British army, and fought
faithfully for us to the end of the war. Their help was our safety;
without these soldiers, and the assistance rendered by their chieftains,
Delhi could never have been taken; while, on the other hand, had they
risen and cast in their lot with the mutinous sepoys, no power on earth
could have saved us from total annihilation.

The Sikhs are the beau-ideal of soldiers. Tall and erect in bearing,
wiry and well-knit, and of great muscular development, their whole
appearance stamps them as men who look upon themselves as "lords of the
soil," whom it would be difficult to conquer. And without doubt the
campaigns of 1845-46 and 1848-49 were the hardest in which we had been
engaged in India.

For 100 years they had dominated the land of the Five Rivers. Ever eager
for war, their turbulent spirits gave them no rest. It had been a belief
that they would in the future acquire the sovereignty of Hindostan, and
I know for certain that among the soldiers for many years there had been
a tradition that one day they would sack the imperial city of Delhi.

The latter expectation was in a manner fulfilled; but not as an
independent nation or under their own leaders did they capture and
plunder the Mohammedan capital: they accomplished that feat as loyal
subjects of the British Crown.

Every now and then news reached us of the spread of the Mutiny, till
from Calcutta to Peshawar there were few stations where the native
troops had not joined in the rebellion. Cavalry, infantry, and
artillery, all had risen in revolt. The wave of mutiny was surging to
and fro throughout the land, and as yet little had been done to stem the
tide. True, a small force was being assembled at Umballah, which, under
the Commander-in-Chief, was about to march to Delhi, but of the doings
of that army we could learn no satisfactory tidings.

The closing days of the month of May passed wearily by, and time hung
heavily on our hands. We felt the inevitable reaction from the first few
days of excitement, and also missed the comforts and ease to which we
had been accustomed in former hot seasons. The barracks were close and
stuffy, and the officers, in place of the luxury of their bungalows and
their pleasant mess, had to endure privations of every kind.

Hot winds, parching up the already arid ground, blew fiercely every
day. At sunset the breeze usually died away; and though the temperature
lessened somewhat in degree, we felt a choking sensation from the
effects of the dry, still atmosphere. No officer slept in the
barrack-room; our servants carried the beds outside, and there, lying
down and gasping for breath, we vainly courted the sleep that would not

There was, however, a humorous side to this desolate picture, which
I must now relate, as it shows that, notwithstanding the state of
dejection to which we had been reduced, there still lurked a spirit of
fun and mischief among the officers.

For some time after the revolt we had "night-attacks" on the brain.
Nothing was spoken of but the chance of our lines being assaulted by
wandering bodies of mutinous sepoys. The order-book each evening,
reminding us of the danger, inculcated strict vigilance on picket and
on guard. So long did this last without any attack being made that the
shadowy expectation of what never occurred became our bugbear, a chimera
which haunted us night and day.

At last, in a happy hour, it entered into the mind of one of our young
Lieutenants, an Irishman, imbued with the spirit of fun, and the
jolliest fellow in the regiment, that this illusion under which we were
all labouring might be made the subject for a frolic.

He communicated his ideas to myself and some others of the junior
officers, and it was then and there decided that, as the sepoys would
not attack us, we would create a little excitement and diversion by
playing for the nonce the role of mutineers.

The council of war then agreed unanimously that an assault was to be
made on the remaining officers when asleep outside the barracks, and
that the weapons to be used should be bolsters and pillows.

A certain night was fixed on for the accomplishment of our purpose, and
the signal for the attack was to be given by the originator of the plot,
who would take upon himself to make sure that the enemy were off their
guard, wrapped in the arms of Morpheus.

Everything had been arranged to our satisfaction, and the eventful night
came. At ten o'clock lights were put out, and the assaulting party,
consisting of six stalwart young subalterns, lay down on their beds
outside the barracks, ranged here and there among those who were to play
the part of the enemy, and waited for the signal from our commander.

Our opponents seemed to take an unconscionable long time in going to
sleep, but at length, in the small hours of the morning, when all was
quiet, the "alarm" was sounded in a low whistle.

Jumping up from our beds, each man armed himself with a bolster. In
stern and solemn silence our force was marshalled for the attack, and
then, without any word of warning, each one began belabouring with all
his might the recumbent figures of the foe.

Startled out of their sleep, and in a half-dreamy state of
unconsciousness, it may be imagined with what strange feelings they
received this assault. Some, more especially the older officers (for
in our zeal we spared no one), seemed perfectly bewildered, and in the
midst of the shower of blows which rained on them without intermission
vowed vengeance and threatened to put us under arrest. We answered them
that this was a "night-attack," and they must prepare for defence, as no
quarter would be given.

Even the fat and portly Major, notwithstanding his rank, felt the
strength of our arms, and, almost bereft of breath between each blow,
commanded us to desist. He might as well have spoken to the winds: our
blood was up, and the spirit of fun had taken possession, so that I
verily believe, had the Colonel or Brigadier been lying there, neither
of them would have escaped our onslaught.

The enemy were now fully aroused, and, not relishing the fun of being
buffeted unmercifully in their beds without resistance, they one and all
turned out and, seizing their pillows, joined in the fight. The attack,
begun with tactical judgment, turned now into a confused mêlée. Friend
and foe were mixed up in one grand shindy, and for many minutes the
battle continued without intermission. Blows fell fast and thick; there
was a rushing about of half-clad figures swaying bolsters, and each one
intent on the same object--namely, that of overcoming his antagonist for
the time being. So weird, and yet so utterly ludicrous a sight, surely
never has been seen before or since in India.

At length, from sheer exhaustion, the combat came to an end, and,
sitting on our beds panting from fatigue, and overcome by the heat of
the night, we discussed the incidents of the fight. Some of the senior
officers seemed at first inclined to treat the attack as something more
than a joke, and threatened to report us to the Colonel. We pointed out
to them that such a proceeding would be absurd, for had they not also
compromised themselves by joining in the fray? It was not long, however,
before they were struck with the grand ridiculousness of this very
strange episode; and the question at issue, as may naturally be
supposed, ended in laughter. Peace being restored, we wished each other
good-night, and, thoroughly worn out by our exertions, all slept soundly
till break of day.

The affair was kept quiet as far as possible, but gradually got noised
abroad among other regiments of Her Majesty's infantry. Great amusement
was caused by the recital, nor for a long period afterwards was the
comical "night-attack" at Ferozepore forgotten.

The trial of the sepoys who had been taken prisoners when resisting
the detachment sent to disarm them in the fort, and of those also who
attacked the arsenal on May 13, had been proceeding for some time. It
was a general court-martial composed of thirteen officers, presided over
by a Lieutenant-Colonel. Of the prisoners taken, some 100 were singled
out as the ringleaders, the rest being put back for trial till a future

The evidence was most clear as to the heinous offences of mutiny and
rebellion with regard to all these men, and they were accordingly found
guilty. Sentence was at once pronounced on fourteen of the sepoys, and
the punishment was death.

Two men of low caste were to be hanged, while the remaining twelve,
comprising Mohammedans and high-caste Hindoos, were to expiate their
crime by that most awful and ghastly penalty, execution by being blown
to pieces from the mouths of cannons.

This terrible punishment had been but seldom inflicted during British
rule in India, the last instance occurring in 1825, when a native
regiment mutinied and refused to cross the sea to take part in the first
Burmese War.

Neither was it from the English that this special death penalty
originated. It had been for hundreds of years the recognized punishment
for mutiny and rebellion throughout Hindostan, and in numberless cases
was carried out by the Mogul Emperors.

With us at this period it was found necessary to strike terror into the
hearts of the rebels, to prove to them that we were resolved at all
hazards to crush the revolt, and to give warning that to those who were
taken fighting against us no mercy would be shown.

On religious grounds also the infliction of the death penalty by blowing
away mutineers at the mouths of cannons was dreaded both by the Hindoos
and Mohammedans.

The Hindoo, unless the corpse after death is burnt to ashes with all
ceremony, or else consigned to the sacred stream of the Ganges,
cannot partake of the glories of the future state, nor dwell in bliss
everlasting with the gods of his mythology.

So with the Mohammedan, the Koran enjoins that all true believers
must be buried with the body in the natural state, and only those are
exempted who have lost limbs in fighting against the infidel. The joys
of Paradise, where ever-young and beautiful houris minister to the wants
and pleasures of the faithful, were therefore not for those who met
a shameful death and were denied or unable to obtain burial in the
orthodox manner.

Thus, it will be seen, the terrors of future shame and dishonour
resulted to both Hindoo and Mohammedan by the death we were about to
inflict on them; and it was for the awe inspired by the punishment that
the military authorities at this time thought proper to carry it out in
this unaccustomed manner.

_June 13_.--The morning of June 13 was fixed upon for the execution. A
gallows was erected on the plain to the north side of the fort, facing
the native bazaars, and at a distance of some 300 yards. On this two
sepoys were to be hanged, and at the same time their comrades in mutiny
were to be blown away from guns.

We paraded at daylight every man off duty, and, with the band playing,
marched to the place of execution, and drew up in line near the gallows
and opposite the native quarter.

Shortly after our arrival the European Light Field Battery, of six guns,
appeared on the scene, forming up on our left flank, and about twenty
yards in front of the Light Company.

The morning was close and sultry, not a cloud in the sky, and not a
breath of wind stirring; and I confess I felt sick with a suffocating
sense of horror when I reflected on the terrible sight I was about to

Soon the fourteen mutineers, under a strong escort of our men with fixed
bayonets, were seen moving from the fort. They advanced over the plain
at our rear, and drew up to the left front of, and at right angles to,
the battery of artillery.

I was standing at the extreme right of the line with the Grenadier
Company, and some distance from the guns; but I had provided myself with
a pair of strong glasses, and therefore saw all that followed clearly
and distinctly.

There was no unnecessary delay in the accomplishment of the tragedy. Two
of the wretched creatures were marched off to the gallows, and placed
with ropes round their necks on a raised platform under the beam.

The order was given for the guns to be loaded, and quick as thought the
European artillerymen placed a quarter charge of powder in each piece.
The guns were 9-pounders, the muzzles standing about 3 feet from the

During these awful preparations, I watched at intervals the faces of the
condemned men, but could detect no traces of fear or agitation in their
demeanour. The twelve stood two deep, six in front and six in the rear,
calm and undismayed, without uttering a word.

An officer came forward, and, by the Brigadier's order, read the
sentence of the court-martial, and at its conclusion the six men in
front, under escort, walked towards the battery.

There was a death-like silence over the scene at this time, and,
overcome with horror, my heart seemed almost to cease beating.

Arrived at the guns, the culprits were handed over to the artillerymen,
who, ready prepared with strong ropes in their hands, seized their
victims. Each of these, standing erect, was bound to a cannon and
tightly secured, with the small of the back covering the muzzle. And
then all at once the silence which reigned around was broken by the
oaths and yells of those about to die. These sounds were not uttered by
men afraid of death, for they showed the most stoical indifference,
but were the long-suppressed utterances of dying souls, who, in the
bitterness of their hearts, cursed those who had been instrumental
in condemning them to this shameful end. They one and all poured out
maledictions on our heads; and in their language, one most rich in
expletives, they exhausted the whole vocabulary.

Meanwhile the gunners stood with lighted port-fires, waiting for the
word of command to fire the guns and launch the sepoys into eternity.

These were still yelling and raining abuse, some even looking over their
shoulders and watching without emotion the port-fires, about to be
applied to the touch-holes, when the word "Fire!" sounded from the
officer in command, and part of the tragedy was at an end.

A thick cloud of smoke issued from the muzzles of the cannons, through
which were distinctly seen by several of us the black heads of the
victims, thrown many feet into the air.

While this tragic drama was enacting, the two sepoys to be hanged were
turned off the platform.

The artillerymen again loaded the guns, the six remaining prisoners,
cursing like their comrades, were bound to them, another discharge, and
then an execution, the like of which I hope never to see again, was

All this time a sickening, offensive smell pervaded the air, a stench
which only those who have been present at scenes such as these can
realize--the pungent odour of burnt human flesh.

The artillerymen had neglected putting up back-boards to their guns, so
that, horrible to relate, at each discharge the recoil threw back pieces
of burning flesh, bespattering the men and covering them with blood and
calcined remains.

A large concourse of natives from the bazaars and city had assembled in
front of the houses, facing the guns at a distance, as I said before, of
some 300 yards, to watch the execution. At the second discharge of the
cannon, and on looking before me, I noticed the ground torn up and earth
thrown a slight distance into the air more than 200 paces away. Almost
at the same time there was a commotion among the throng in front, some
running to and fro, while others ran off in the direction of the houses.
I called the attention of an officer who was standing by my side to this
strange and unaccountable phenomenon, and said, half joking: "Surely the
scattered limbs of the sepoys have not been carried so far?"

He agreed with me that such was impossible; but how to account for the
sight we had seen was quite beyond our comprehension.

The drama came to an end about six o'clock, and as is usual, even after
a funeral or a military execution, the band struck up an air, and we
marched back to barracks, hoping soon to drive from our minds the
recollection of the awful scenes we had witnessed.

Two or three hours after our return news arrived that one native had
been killed and two wounded among the crowd which had stood in our
front, spectators of the recent execution. How this happened has
never been explained. At this time a "cantonment guard" was mounted,
consisting of a company of European infantry, half a troop of the 10th
Light Cavalry, and four guns, and two of these guns loaded with grape
were kept ready during the night, the horses being harnessed, etc.
Half the cavalry also was held in readiness, saddled; in fact, every
precaution was taken to meet an attack.

As far as I can recollect, there were but two executions by blowing away
from guns on any large scale by us during the Mutiny; one of them that
at Ferozepore.

[Illustration: Plan of the Military Station at FEROZEPORE]

[Footnote 1: Brigadier-General Innes.]

[Footnote 2: Major Redmond.]

[Footnote 3: Colonel William Jones, C.B.]



After the excitement of the late executions we were prepared to relapse
into our usual state of inaction and monotony, when, on the morning
of June 13, a courier arrived from Lahore, the headquarters of the
Executive Government of the Punjab. He brought instructions and orders
from Sir John Lawrence to the Brigadier commanding at Ferozepore to the
effect that a wing of Her Majesty's 61st Regiment was to proceed at once
to reinforce the army under Sir Henry Barnard, now besieging the city of

That force, on June 8, had fought an action with the mutineers at
Badli-ki-Serai, four miles from Delhi, driving them from their
entrenched position and capturing thirteen guns. The siege of the
Mohammedan stronghold had begun on the next day, but the small band
of English, Sikhs, and Goorkhas which composed the force was quite
inadequate to the task entrusted to it, and, in truth, could do nothing
but act on the defensive against the horde of rebellious sepoys, who
outnumbered them by four to one.

It may be conceived with what joy the order to advance was received by
the officers and men of my regiment. We had at length a prospect of
entering upon a regular campaign, and the hearts of all of us beat high
at the chance of seeing active service against the enemy.

To the Colonel commanding it was left to select the five companies
composing a wing of the corps to march to Delhi. All, of course, were
eager to go, and we knew there would be heart-burnings and regrets
amongst those left behind.

The following companies were chosen out of the ten: Grenadiers, Nos. 2,
3, 7, and the Light Company. They were the strongest in point of numbers
in the regiment, and with the fewest men in hospital, so that it could
not be said that any favouritism in selection was shown by the Colonel.
The wing numbered, all told, including officers and the band, 450 men--a
timely reinforcement, which, together with the same number of Her
Majesty's 8th Foot from Jullundur, would increase materially the army
before Delhi.

No time was lost in making preparations for the march. Our camp equipage
was ready at hand, a sufficient number of elephants, camels, and oxen
were easily procured from the commissariat authorities, and by eight
o'clock that evening we were on our way.

In those days a European regiment on the line of march in India
presented a striking scene. Each corps had its own quota of
camp-followers, numbering in every instance more than the regiment
itself, so that transport was required for fully 2,000 souls, and often
when moving along the road the baggage-train extended a mile in length.
The camp, when pitched, covered a large area of ground. Everything was
regulated with the utmost order, and the positions of the motley group
were defined to a nicety.

We had been directed to take as small a kit as possible, each officer
being limited to two camels to carry his tent and personal effects. Our
native servants accompanied us on the line of march, and I must here
mention that during the long campaign on which we were about to enter
there was not one single instance of desertion among these faithful and
devoted followers.

Everything being ready, we paraded a little before sunset on the evening
of June 13. The terrible heat which prevailed at this time of the
year prevented us from marching during the day-time. Moreover, it was
necessary to preserve the health of the soldiers at this critical
period, when every European in India was required to make head against
the rebels. So on every occasion when practicable the English regiments
moving over the country marched at night, resting under cover of their
tents during the day.[1]

Shortly after sunset, we bade adieu (an eternal one, alas! for many of
the gallant souls assembled) to the comrades we were leaving behind; the
band struck up, and we set off in high spirits on our long and arduous
march of more than 350 miles.

The night, as usual, was close and sultry, with a slight hot wind
blowing; but the men stepped out briskly, the soldiers of the leading
company presently striking up a well-known song, the chorus of which
was joined in by the men in the rear. We marched slowly, for it was
necessary every now and then to halt so as to allow the long train of
baggage to come up; and it was nearly sunrise before we reached the
first halting-ground. The camp was pitched, and we remained under cover
all day, starting, as before, soon after sunset.

And thus passed the sixteen days which were occupied in reaching Delhi.
Every precaution was taken to prevent surprise, as we were marching,
to all intents and purposes, through an enemy's country, and expected
attacks on our baggage from straggling bodies of mutineers.

_June 18_.--At Loodianah, five marches from Ferozepore, and which we
reached on June 18, we were fortunate enough to find more comfortable
quarters, the men moving into some of the buildings which had formerly
been occupied by Her Majesty's 50th Regiment, the officers living in the

Here, behind tatties and under punkas, and with iced drinks, we were
able to keep pretty cool; but, sad to say, soon after our arrival in the
station that terrible scourge cholera broke out in our ranks, and in
a few hours six men succumbed to this frightful malady. On every
succeeding day men were attacked and died, so that, unhappily, up to
July 1 we lost in all thirty gallant fellows.

This disease never left us during the entire campaign; upwards of 250
soldiers of my regiment fell victims to the destroyer; nor were we
entirely free from it till the end of the year. Many more were attacked,
who recovered, but were debarred through excessive weakness from serving
in the ranks, and were invalided home.

_June 23_.--On reaching Umballah, we found the station all but deserted,
nearly all the European troops having been sent on to join the Delhi
force. The church had been placed in a state of defence, all its walls
loopholed, and around it had been constructed a work consisting of a
wall and parapet, with towers of brickwork armed with field-pieces _en
barbette_ at the angles.

In it were quartered some of the 1st Bengal Fusiliers, lately brought
down from Dagshai. About ninety of these marched with us to Delhi. Here
also we were joined by four officers of the (late) 57th Native Infantry,
who had received orders to join our wing, eventually to fill up
vacancies in the native corps on reaching the scene of operations. With
these we were in all twenty-four officers--rather a strong complement
even for a whole regiment.

The concluding days of the march were trying in the extreme. Weary and
footsore, and often parched with thirst, we tramped along the hot and
dusty roads, often for miles up to our ankles in deep sand. We were so
tired and overcome with want of rest that many of us actually fell fast
asleep along the road, and would be rudely awakened by falling against
others who were in the same plight as ourselves. At midnight we rested,
when coffee and refreshment were served out to the officers and men. The
halt sounded every hour, and for five minutes we threw ourselves down on
the hard ground or on the hot sand and at once fell asleep, waking up
somewhat restored to continue our toilsome journey.

From Jugraon onward we had rather long marches, and it was considered
advisable to convey the men part of the way in hackeries; the
arrangement being that they should march halfway, then halt for coffee
and refreshment, and afterwards ride the remainder of the distance.

By this means they were kept fresh for the work before them, which, we
had every reason to believe, would be anything but light. At Umballah
I took the opportunity of calling on my friend Mr. George Barnes,
the Commissioner of the Cis-Sutlej States. He had shown me boundless
hospitality, and was like a father to me when I joined my regiment as
a lad at Kussowlie. A man of great intellectual attainments and sound
judgment, he was an honour to the Bengal Civil Service. There was no
officer at that momentous period in whom Sir John Lawrence placed
more confidence. His familiarity with the native character, and the
friendship borne towards him by the Sikh chieftains, enabled him
throughout the Siege of Delhi to keep open communication with the
Punjab, and supply the force with stores, provisions, and ammunition.
He would, without doubt, have risen to the highest honours in his
profession had he not been stricken with a fatal illness in 1859, when
holding the responsible post of Foreign Secretary to the Government of

A few marches from Delhi we passed over the historic field of Paniput,
where three sanguinary battles had been fought in different ages, each
deciding the fate of Hindostan for the time being. More than 100,000
men had been slain in these actions, and we felt we were marching over
ground the dust of which was thickly permeated with the ashes of human

Here first we heard the sound of distant cannonades, borne thus far to
our ears by the stillness of the night--a sound which told us that our
comrades before Delhi were still holding their position against the

At length, on July 1, just as the sun was rising, we emerged from a
forest of trees on to the plain over which the army under Sir Henry
Barnard had moved on June 8 to attack the entrenchments of the mutineers
at Badli-ki-Serai.

_July_ 1.--Eagerly we cast our eyes over the ground to our front, and
with pride in our hearts thought of that gallant little force which had
advanced across this plain on that eventful morn under a terrific fire
from the enemy's guns.

Soon we reached the entrenchments which had been thrown up by the rebels
to bar the progress of our soldiers, and, lying in all directions, we
saw numerous skeletons of men and horses, the bones already bleached to
whiteness from the effects of the burning sun. Dead bodies of camels and
oxen were also strewn about, and the stench was sickening. We were now
about four miles from Delhi, and were met by a squadron of the 6th
Carabineers, sent to escort us into camp. They received us with a shout
of welcome, and, while we halted for a short time, inquiries were made
as to the incidents of the siege.

We learnt that our small army, with the tenacity of a bulldog, was
holding its own on the ridge overlooking the city, that sorties by the
rebels were of almost daily and nightly occurrence, and that the losses
on our side were increasing.

With the Carabineers in our front, the march was continued, the white
tents of the besieging force appearing in sight about eight o'clock.
Then the band struck up "Cheer, boys, cheer!" and, crossing the canal by
a bridge, we entered the camp.

Crowds of soldiers, European as well as native, stalwart Sikhs and
Punjabees, came down to welcome us on our arrival, the road on each side
being lined with swarthy, sun-burnt, and already war-worn men. They
cheered us to the echo, and in their joy rushed amongst our ranks,
shaking hands with both officers and men.


[Footnote 1: The heat even under such cover was intense, averaging 115°



A situation had already been marked out for our encampment, and,
directed by an officer, we passed through the main portion of our
lines, and halted at the bottom of the ridge on the extreme left of our
position. Some time was occupied after the arrival of the baggage in
pitching our camp; but when all was concluded, Vicars and I started on
foot to take our first view of the imperial city.

We walked a short distance to the right, and along the foot of the
ridge, and then ascended, making our way to the celebrated Flagstaff
Tower. We mounted to the top: and shall I ever forget the sight which
met our gaze?

About a mile to our front, and stretching to right and left as far as
the eye could reach, appeared the high walls and the bastions of Delhi.
The intervening space below was covered with a thick forest of trees and
gardens, forming a dense mass of verdure, in the midst of which, and
peeping out here and there in picturesque confusion, were the white
walls and roofs of numerous buildings. Tall and graceful minarets,
Hindoo temples and Mohammedan mosques, symmetrical in shape and gorgeous
in colouring, appeared interspersed in endless numbers among the
densely-packed houses inside the city, their domes and spires shining
with a brilliant radiance, clear-cut against the sky. Above all, in the
far distance towered the Jama Masjid, or Great Mosque, its three huge
domes of pure white marble, with two high minarets, dwarfing into
insignificance the buildings by which it was surrounded--surely, the
noblest work of art ever built by man for the service of the Creator.

To the left could be seen the lofty castellated walls of the Palace of
the Emperors, the former seat of the Great Mogul--that palace in
which at that moment the degenerate descendant of Timour, and last
representative of his race, held his court, and in his pride of heart
fondly hoped that British rule was at an end.

Beyond rose the ancient fortress of Selimgarh, its walls, as well as
those of the palace on the north side, washed by the waters of the
Jumna. A long bridge of boats connected the fort with the opposite bank
of the river, here many hundred yards in width: and over this we could
see, with the aid of glasses, bodies of armed men moving.

It was by this bridge that most of the reinforcements and all the
supplies for the mutineers crossed over to the city. On the very day of
our arrival the mutinous Bareilly Brigade of infantry and artillery,
numbering over 3,000 men, marched across this bridge. Our advanced
picket at the Metcalfe House stables, close to the Jumna, heard
distinctly their bands playing "Cheer, boys, cheer!" the very same tune
with which we had celebrated our entrance into camp that morning.

Few cities in the world have passed through such vicissitudes as Delhi.
Tradition says it was the capital of an empire ages before the great
Macedonian invaded India, and its origin is lost in the mists of
antiquity. Traces there were in every direction, amid the interminable
cluster of ruins and mounds outside the present city, of cities still
more vast, the builders and inhabitants of which lived before the dawn
of history.

Delhi had been taken and sacked times out of number. Its riches were
beyond compare; and for hundreds of years it had been the prey, not only
of every conqueror who invaded India from the north-west, but also of
every race which, during the perpetual wars in Hindostan, happened for
the time to be predominant. Tartars, Turks, Afghans, Persians, Mahrattas
and Rajpoots, each in turn in succeeding ages had been masters of the
city. There had been indiscriminate massacres of the populace, the last
by Nadir Shah, the King of Persia in 1747, when 100,000 souls were put
to death by his order, and booty to a fabulous amount was carried away.
Still, notwithstanding the vicissitudes of fortune through which it had
passed, Delhi was, in 1857, one of the largest, most beautiful, and
certainly the richest city in Hindostan. We knew well that there was
wealth untold within the walls, and our hearts were cheered even at this
time when we thought of the prize-money which would fall to our share at
the capture of the rebellious city.

The walls surrounding Delhi were seven miles in circumference, flanked
at intervals by strong bastions, on which the enemy had mounted the
largest guns and mortars, procured from the arsenal. Munitions of war
they had in abundance--enough to last them, at the present rate of
firing, for nearly three years. Long we gazed, fascinated at the scene
before us. A dead silence had reigned for some time, when we were
awakened from our dreams by the whiz and hissing of a shell fired by the
enemy. It fell close below the tower and burst without doing any harm;
but some jets of smoke appeared on the bastions of the city, and shells
and round-shot fired at the ridge along the crest of which a small body
of our men was moving. The cannonade lasted for some time, our own guns
replying at intervals. We could plainly see the dark forms of the rebel
artillerymen, stripped to the waist, sponging and firing with great
rapidity, their shot being chiefly directed at the three other
buildings on the ridge--namely, the Observatory--the Mosque, as it was
called--and, on the extreme right, Hindoo Rao's house.

From the Flagstaff Tower the ridge trended in a southerly direction
towards those buildings, approaching gradually nearer and nearer to the
city, till at Hindoo Rao's house it was distant about 1,200 yards from
the walls.

To the rear of this ridge, and some distance below, so that all view of
Delhi was quite shut out from it, was the camp of the besieging army,
numbering at this period about 6,000 men. The tents were pitched at
regular intervals behind the ruined houses of the old cantonment, which,
at the outbreak on May 11, had been burnt and destroyed by the sepoys.
A canal which supplied us with water from the Jumna ran round the ridge
past the suburb of Kishenganj into the city, and was crossed by two
bridges, over which communication with the country to the north-west,
and leading to the Punjab, was kept open by the loyal Sikh chieftains
and their retainers.

Our position on the ridge extended about a mile and a half, the right
and left front flanks defended by outlying advanced pickets, which I
shall hereafter describe.

The city walls, as before recorded, were seven miles in circumference,
so that at this time, and, in fact, almost to the end of the siege, we,
with our small force, in a manner only commanded a small part of the
city. The bridge of boats remained to the last in the possession of the
enemy, and was quite out of range even from our advanced approaches,
while to the right and rear of the city the gates gave full ingress to
reinforcing bodies of insurgents from the south, whose entrance we were
unable to prevent.

Our investment, if such it could be called, was therefore only partial,
being confined to that portion of the city extending from the water
battery near Selimgarh Fort to the Ajmir Gate, which was just visible
from the extreme right of the ridge. This part was defended by, I think,
four bastions, named, respectively, the Water, Kashmir, Mori, and Burn.
Three gates besides the Lahore gave egress to the mutineers when making
sorties, the afterwards celebrated Kashmir Gate, the Kabul and the Ajmir

The Hindoo Rao's house, on the right of the ridge where it sloped down
into the plain, was the key of our position, and was defended with great
bravery and unflinching tenacity throughout the whole siege by the
Sirmoor battalion of Goorkhas, and portions of the 60th Royal Rifles and
the Guide Corps. Incessant day and night attacks were here made by the
enemy, who knew that, were that position turned, our camp--in fact, our
very existence as a besieging force--would be imperilled.

But no assault, however strong and determined, made any impression on
the men of these gallant regiments, led by Major Reid, the officer
commanding the Sirmoor battalion. They lost in killed and wounded a
number far out of all proportion to that of any other corps before
Delhi, and must in truth be reckoned the heroes of the siege.

The Goorkhas are recruited in the mountain districts of the Himalayas,
in the kingdom of Nepal. They are short and squat in figure, never more
than five feet three inches in height, of dark complexion, with deep-set
eyes and high cheek-bones denoting their affinity to the Turanian race.
Good-humoured and of a cheerful disposition, they have always been great
favourites with the European soldiers, whose ways and peculiarities they
endeavour to imitate to a ludicrous extent. In battle, as I have often
seen them, they seem in their proper element, fierce and courageous,
shrinking from no danger. They carried, besides the musket, a short,
heavy, curved knife called a _kukri_, a formidable weapon of which the
sepoys were in deadly terror. As soldiers they are second to none,
amenable to discipline and docile, but very tigers when roused; they
fought with unflinching spirit during the Mutiny, freely giving up their
lives in the service of their European masters.

And now that I have endeavoured, for the purposes of this narrative, to
explain our position and that of the enemy, I shall proceed to recount,
as far as my recollection serves, the main incidents of the siege, and
more particularly those in which I personally took part.

The camp of my regiment was pitched, as I have said, on the extreme
left of the besieging force, on the rear slope of the ridge. We were
completely hidden from any view of the city, and but for the sound
of the firing close by, which seldom ceased day or night, might have
fancied ourselves far away from Delhi.

Cholera still carried off its victims from our midst, and the very night
of our arrival I performed the melancholy duty of reading the Burial
Service over five gallant fellows of the Grenadier Company who had died
that day from the fell disease.

The heat was insupportable, the thermometer under the shade of my tent
marking 112°F.; and to add to our misery there came upon us a plague
of flies, the like of which I verily believe had not been on the
earth since Moses in that manner brought down the wrath of God on the
Egyptians. They literally darkened the air, descending in myriads and
covering everything in our midst. Foul and loathsome they were, and we
knew that they owed their existence to, and fattened on, the putrid
corpses of dead men and animals which lay rotting and unburied in
every direction. The air was tainted with corruption, and the heat was
intense. Can it, then, be wondered that pestilence increased daily in
the camp, claiming its victims from every regiment, native as well as

About this time many spies were captured and executed; in fact, so many
prisoners were taken by the pickets that it was ordered that for the
future, instead of being sent under escort to the camp for trial, they
should be summarily dealt with by the officers commanding pickets.

On the evening of July 2 I was sent, in command of fifty men, to relieve
the picket at a place called the "Cow House"; this was an outshed
belonging to Sir Theophilus Metcalfe's mansion, burnt by the rebels on
May 11, and midway between that building and the stables, at each of
which were stationed 150 men. At the beginning of the siege our left
advanced flank, on the side of the River Jumna, was exposed to constant
attacks by the enemy, and the three pickets mentioned above had been
since that time stationed at those places. Each communicated with the
other, the one to the right being on a mound near the ruins of the
house, and some 1,200 yards from the city, the cowshed situated midway
between this mound and the river, and, lastly, the stables close to the
banks, all partially hidden from view of the batteries on the walls by
gardens and thick clusters of trees.

I stationed my men at the sheds, and placed double rows of sentries to
my front along the edge of a deep _nallah_, or ravine.

Soon after this that gallant officer, Lieutenant Hodson (on whose memory
lately aspersions have been cast by an author who knows nothing of the
subject on which he has written), rode up to the picket and told me that
a sortie in force was expected that night, and that I was to keep a
sharp lookout to prevent surprise.

Hodson, besides commanding a regiment of native Sikh cavalry of his own
raising, was head of the Intelligence Department. He covered himself
with glory during the siege, was untiring in his exertions and well-nigh
ubiquitous, riding incessantly round the pickets at night, and being
present at most of the engagements. He was a perfect Hindustani scholar,
and it was reported in camp, though with what truth I cannot say, that
he on several occasions entered Delhi in disguise during the siege
to gain information of the enemy's intentions. This may have been
exaggeration, but it is nevertheless certain that, through some source
or other, he made himself well acquainted with the doings and movements
of the mutineers.

Shortly after he left, the field-officer on duty appeared, who ordered
me, in case I should be attacked, to defend my post to the last
extremity, and in no case to fall back, adding that to my picket, and to
those on my right and left, the safety of the camp during the expected
sortie, together with the security of our left flank, was entrusted.

After darkness set in the enemy commenced a furious cannonade in the
direction of the three pickets, round shot whistling through the trees
and shells bursting around us. The din and roar were deafening, but
firing, as they did, at random, little damage was done. Nothing can be
grander than the sight of live shells cleaving the air on a dark night.
They seemed like so many brilliant meteors rushing through the heavens,
or like lightning-flashes during a storm, and this being my first
experience of the sort, no words can paint my awe and admiration.

We naturally expected an attack in force from the insurgents under cover
of the cannonade; but hours passed by in suspense and anxiety, and
none was attempted. The firing was continued all night--sleep being
impossible--and ceased only at daybreak, when the relief arrived, and I
marched the picket back to our camp.

_July 3_.--That day the monsoon--the Indian wet season--set in, and rain
descended in sheets of water for many hours.

In the afternoon it was reported that a large force of mutineers was
moving out of the city by the Kabul and Ajmir Gates into the suburbs
to the right front of our position, and the alarm sounded, most of the
troops in camp turning out and assembling on the road to the rear of
the canal. Here we were halted for some time, it being uncertain what
direction had been taken by the enemy.

At sunset two doolies, escorted by men of the 5th Punjab Cavalry, were
seen on the road coming towards us. They contained the bodies of a
European sergeant and a man of the Road Department, who had been
surprised and cut to pieces by some of the rebel cavalry. The escort
also reported that a body of insurgents numbering many thousand men had
been seen moving towards Alipore, one march in our rear, their object,
it was supposed, being to cut off supplies and intercept treasure.

It being too late to start in pursuit of the enemy, we were dismissed to
our quarters, being warned to hold ourselves in readiness to turn out at
a moment's notice.

_July 4_.--That night the sound of the enemy's guns to our rear was
heard in the camp, and soon after 2 a. m. we paraded, and joined a force
destined to overtake or cut off the mutineers on their return to Delhi.
The little army, consisting of 1,500 men, cavalry, artillery, and
infantry, marched at once towards Alipore. After we had proceeded three
miles, and just at daybreak, news was brought that the enemy, after
plundering the town, were retreating to the city laden with booty.

Major Coke, who was in command, then changed our direction to the left,
and we advanced for about two miles over swampy ground to a canal,
the cavalry being in front, then the infantry, the battery of Horse
Artillery bringing up the rear.

When near the canal, which was shaded on each side by trees, the Major
advanced to reconnoitre, and on his return, the order was given, "Guns
to the front!" The Horse Artillery galloped past us, and we then heard
that the enemy were in sight on the other side of the canal.

Crossing a bridge, and passing through trees and jungle, the whole force
debouched on an open plain, and formed in order of battle. The first
line consisted of the artillery, in the centre, flanked on each side by
the cavalry--cavalry--portions of the 9th Lancers, the Carabineers, and
that fine regiment, the Guide Corps. Coke's Corps of Punjabees and my
regiment formed the second line.

It was a pretty sight to see this miniature army advancing in perfect
order towards the enemy. The plain extended for a mile quite open and
without trees, bounded at that distance by a village, in which the
insurgent guns were posted. Clouds of horsemen, apparently without any
formation, hovered on each side of the village, and a large force of
infantry was standing in line somewhat in advance.

Our guns came into action at a distance of about 1,000 yards from the
village, and were soon answered by those of the enemy, their shot
striking unpleasantly close to our line, and ricochetting over our
heads. Still we advanced, hoping that the rebels would stand till we
came to close quarters. At 500 yards the fire from our artillery seemed
to prove too hot for them; and presently, to our infinite disgust, we
saw their infantry moving off to the left, followed shortly after by the
cavalry. Then their guns ceased firing, and were also quickly withdrawn.

The Carabineers and Guides were sent in pursuit, and cut up some
stragglers; but the insurgents stampeded at a great pace, and succeeded
in carrying off all their guns.

A few sepoys were found hiding in the village huts, and were killed by
our men, the Alipore plunder was recovered, besides some ammunition and
camp equipment, and, rather dissatisfied with the result of the action,
we moved slowly back across the plain.

The regiment was commanded on this occasion by our senior Captain, an
officer of some thirty-five years' service. He was, without exception,
the greatest oddity for a soldier that our army has ever seen. Five feet
two inches in height, with an enormous head, short, hunchback body, long
arms, and thin, shrivelled legs, his whole appearance reminded one
of Dickens' celebrated character Quilp, in the "Old Curiosity Shop."
Entering the service in the "good" old times, when there was no
examination by a medical man, he had, through some back-door influence,
obtained a commission in the army. All his service had been passed
abroad, exchanging from one regiment to another, for it would have been
utterly impossible for him to have retained his commission in England.
Marching, he was unable to keep step with the men, and on horseback he
presented the most ludicrous appearance, being quite unable to ride,
and looking more like a monkey than a human being. On our first advance
across the plain the little Captain was riding in our front, vainly
endeavouring to make his horse move faster, and striking him every now
and then on the flanks with his sword. I was on the right of the line,
and, together with the men, could not keep from laughing, when a friend
of mine--a tall officer of one of the native infantry regiments--rode to
my side and asked me who that was leading the regiment. I answered, "He
is our commanding officer."

The sun shone with intense heat on our march back across the plain, and
the European soldiers began to feel its effects, many being struck down
with apoplexy. About midday the infantry halted at the canal, the guns
and most of the cavalry returning to camp, as it was supposed there
would be no more work for them to do. We lay down in the welcome shade
of the trees on the bank, enjoying our breakfast, which had been brought
to us by our native servants, and, in company with an officer of the 9th
Lancers, I was discussing a bottle of ale, the sweetest draught I think
I have ever tasted. The arms were piled in our front, and at intervals
we watched, as they crossed the canal, a troop of elephants which had
been sent out to bring the sick and wounded into camp.

All at once, from our left front, and without any warning, shots came
whistling through the trees and jungle, and some men lying on the ground
were hit. The regiment at once fell in and changed front to the left,
moving in the direction from which the shots were coming.

Frightened at the sound of the firing, the elephants were seized with a
panic and made off across the canal. Trumpeting, with their trunks high
above their heads, they floundered through the water to the opposite
side, their drivers vainly attempting to stop their flight. We saw them
disappearing through the trees, and learnt afterwards that they never
stopped till close to their own quarters at the camp.

Meanwhile the shots came thick and fast, and we advanced in line till we
came to a comparatively open space, and in sight of the enemy--a large
body of infantry outnumbering us by four to one. They were at no great
distance from us, and a sharp musketry fire was kept up from both sides,
causing heavy losses.

Seeing that no object was to be gained with our small force by
encountering one so vastly superior, Major Coke deemed it prudent to
retire, and retreating firing, we crossed the bridge and lined the bank
on each side.

The enemy followed, their men forming opposite to us and keeping up a
steady fire at a distance of from 100 to 150 yards. I was on the right
of the line with the Grenadiers, when, half an hour later, I was
directed by the Adjutant to march my men to the left of the bridge
to reinforce the Light Company, who were being hard pressed by the
insurgents, some of whom were wading through the canal, with the evident
intention of turning our left flank. We crept along under the bank, and
were received with joy by our comrades, one of them, I well remember,
welcoming us in most forcible language, and intimating that they would
soon have been sent to--if we had not come.

The file-firing here was continuous, a perfect hail of bullets, and it
was dangerous to show one's head over the bank. Shouting and taunting
us, the rebels came up close to the opposite side, and were struck down
in numbers by our men, who rested their muskets on the bank and took
sure aim. Still, the contest was most unequal; the enemy were wading in
force through the water on our left, and the day would have gone hard
with us from their overwhelming numerical superiority, when, just at
this critical moment, the galloping of horses and the noise of wheels
was heard in our rear.

Six Horse Artillery guns, led by Major Tombs--one of the most gallant
officers in camp--came thundering along the road. They passed with
a cheer, crossed the bridge at full speed, wheeled to their left,
unlimbered as quick as lightning, and opened fire on the rebels. Taken
completely by surprise, these made no stand, and fled pell-mell towards
Delhi, leaving altogether 200 dead on the ground.

It was now nearly five o'clock, and we were distant four miles from
camp. Many of our men had died from apoplexy and sunstroke, their faces
turning quite black in a few minutes--a horrible sight. These, with the
killed and the sick and wounded, were placed on the backs of a fresh lot
of elephants, which had just arrived; and, scarcely able to drag one leg
after the other, we turned our faces towards the camp, reaching our own
quarters soon after sunset.

This was a terrible and trying day for all engaged, and more especially
for the European infantry. We had been under arms for seventeen hours,
most of the time exposed to the pitiless rays of an Indian sun, under
fire for a considerable period, and, with the exception of the slight
halt for breakfast, on our feet all the time.

When nearing camp we were met by the General, Sir Henry Barnard, who
addressed us with some kindly words, and little did we think that
that was the last occasion we should see the gallant old soldier. The
following morning he was attacked with cholera, and expired in the
afternoon, deeply regretted by the whole army.

No man could possibly have been placed in a more trying situation than
he who had just given up his life in the service of his country. Called
on to command an army to which was entrusted the safety of British
rule in India, the cares and anxiety of the task, together with his
unremitting attention to his duties and constant exposure to the sun,
made him peculiarly susceptible to the disease from which he died. He
had served with distinction in the Crimean campaign, and had only landed
in India to take command of a division in the April of this year.

_July 5_.--From July 5 to 8 nothing of note occurred. The enemy kept up,
as usual, a constant fire upon the ridge and outlying pickets; but no
attempt at a sortie was made.

I visited the Flagstaff Tower each day when off duty, seemingly never
tired of gazing at the glorious panorama spread out before me, and
watching the batteries delivering their unceasing fire.

With the exception of two 24-pound cannon taken from the enemy, for
which we had no shot, the heaviest guns on the ridge were 18-pounders
and a few small mortars. Having possession of the great arsenal, the
insurgents mounted on the bastions of Delhi 32-and 24-pounder guns and
13-inch mortars, their trained artillerymen acquitting themselves right
valiantly, and making excellent practice. They were almost to a
man killed at their guns during the siege, and towards the end the
difference in firing was fully perceptible, when the infantry filled
their places and worked the guns.

Having no round-shot for the two 24-pounders, we were reduced to firing
back on the city the shot of the same calibre hurled against us, and
a reward of half a rupee per shot was paid by the commissariat to any
camp-follower bringing in the missiles.

On one occasion I saw a party of native servants, carrying on their
heads cooked provisions for the men on picket, wend their way up the
slope from the camp. Two round-shot fired by the enemy struck the top
of the ridge and rolled down the declivity. Here was a prize worth
contending for, and the cooks, depositing the dishes on the ground, ran
in all haste to seize the treasures. I watched the race with interest,
and anticipated some fun, knowing that in their eagerness they would
forget that the shots had not had time to cool. Two men in advance of
the rest picked up the balls, and, uttering a cry, dropped them quickly,
rubbing and blowing their hands. The remainder stood patiently waiting,
and then, after a time, spent evidently in deliberation, two men placed
the shot on their heads, and all in a body moved off towards the
commissariat quarters to receive and divide the reward.

_July 7_.--On the morning of July 7, I accompanied a detachment of 150
men under command of a Captain to relieve the picket at the mound close
to the ruins of Sir Theophilus Metcalfe's house. This mansion, built by
the present baronet's father, was situated about 1,200 yards from the
walls of the city, and surrounded by trees and gardens. At the outbreak
of May 11, it had been plundered and burnt by the mutinous sepoys and
_badmashes_, who also in like manner had destroyed every house belonging
to the Europeans in the suburbs of Delhi and the adjoining cantonment.
Of the murders that then took place I shall have something to say
hereafter, when writing the history of a young school-fellow whose
sister was killed by the insurgents.

From our position on picket we could see a short distance in front, the
ground having been partially cleared of trees and undergrowth. A chain
of double sentries was posted, and the utmost vigilance observed. We
could hear the batteries opening on the ridge, while occasionally, as if
to harass the picket, a 13-inch shell would burst either in our front or
in our rear. The night passed quickly, and at daybreak, when visiting
the sentries, I heard distinctly the bugles of the rebels sounding the
reveille, succeeded by other familiar calls. It seemed strange to hear
our own bugle-calls sounded by men who were now our enemies; and not
only was this the case, but also the insurgents for some time wore the
scarlet uniform of the British soldiers, and invariably to the end of
the war gave the English words of command they had been taught in our

We were relieved from picket on the morning of the 8th, and returned to
our camp, remaining quiet during the day. Executions by hanging took
place every day, but after the first horrible experience nothing would
induce me to be a spectator. The rain, which had begun on the 3rd,
continued almost without intermission, our camp becoming a quagmire, and
the muggy, moist atmosphere increasing the ravages of cholera amongst
our unfortunate soldiers.

_July 9_.--At sunrise on the 9th, a terrific cannonade woke us out of
our sleep; but, the main camp being some distance from the right of the
ridge, we for a long time heard no tidings of what was going on. At 8 a.
m. the bugles of the regiments on the right sounded the alarm, followed
at once by the "assembly."

Some 200 men of my regiment, all that remained off duty, paraded in
front of the tents, and received orders to march to the centre rear of
the camp, in rear of the quarters of the General in command. Here we
were joined by some companies of the 8th Regiment and a battalion of
Sikhs, and, continuing our march, we halted near the tents of Tombs'
battery of Horse Artillery.

Lying around and even among the tent-ropes were dead bodies of the
enemy's cavalry, and a little way beyond, close to the graveyard,
some men of the 75th were firing into the branches of the trees which
surrounded the enclosure. Every now and then the body of a rebel would
fall on the ground at their feet, the soldiers laughing and chatting
together, and making as much sport out of the novel business as though
they were shooting at birds in the branches of a tree.

How the native cavalry came there was at first inexplicable to us; but
we were informed afterwards that a body of irregular horsemen, dressed
in white, the same uniform as that worn by the 9th Irregulars on our
side, had, with the greatest daring, an hour before dashed across the
canal bridge and charged the picket of the Carabineers, making also for
the two guns of Tombs' battery. The former, mostly young soldiers, had
turned and fled, all save their officer and one sergeant, who nobly
stood their ground. Lieutenant Hills, who commanded the two guns on
picket, also alone charged the horsemen, cutting down one or two of the

Meantime the guns were unlimbered, but before they had time to fire, the
enemy were upon them. Hills was struck down badly wounded, and was on
the point of being despatched by a sowar, when Major Tombs, hearing the
noise, rushed out of his tent, and seeing the plight his subaltern was
in, fired his revolver at thirty yards and killed the sowar.

The camp was now fairly alarmed; the guns of Olpherts' battery opened on
the enemy, and, some men of the 75th appearing on the scene, the rebels
were shot down in every direction, thirty-five being killed, and the
rest escaping by the bridge. A few climbed into the trees and were shot
down as I have said before.

This attack by the enemy's cavalry was a fitting prelude to the events
of the memorable sortie of that day.

At early morn, under cover of an unceasing cannonade from the city
batteries on to the right of our position, the insurgents in great force
and of all arms streamed out from the gates, making in the direction
of the suburb of Kishenganj, their evident intention being to turn our
right flank and make for our camp.

Seeing that the enemy were increasing in numbers, and coming on with
great determination, the alarm had sounded; and detachments from most of
the regiments, with Horse Artillery and a few cavalry under the command
of Brigadier-General Chamberlain, marched towards the right rear of the
camp, taking the road to the suburb of Kishenganj.

We crossed the canal at about 10 a. m., and, moving in column for some
little distance, came in sight of advanced bodies of the enemy, chiefly
infantry with cavalry and field artillery on each flank. We formed in
line, sending out skirmishers, the guns opened fire--the country here
being pretty open--and the action began.

Soon we drove back the rebels, who continued retreating in excellent
order, turning at intervals and discharging their muskets, while every
now and then their guns were faced about and unlimbered, and round-shot
and grape sent among our ranks. As we advanced, the vegetation became
thicker, and we were confronted at times by high hedges of prickly-pear
and cactus, growing so close together that it was impossible to make
our way through. This occasioned several détours, the sepoys lining the
hedges and firing at us through loopholes and openings, cursing the
_gore log_[1] and daring us to come on.

The rain, which had kept off during the morning, now descended in a
steady downpour, soaking through our thin cotton clothing, and in a few
minutes drenching us to the skin.

Passing the obstacles on each flank, the force again formed in as good
order as the inequalities of the ground would permit, and continued its
advance, all the time under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry. We
caught glimpses of the enemy retreating towards the Kishenganj Serai,
but the vegetation was so dense in the numerous gardens, and the view so
obstructed by stone walls and ruined buildings, that it was with great
difficulty that we made any progress, nor, having the advantage of so
much cover, did the enemy suffer much loss from our musketry fire.

Many of our men fell at this period of the fight; despising the enemy
and refusing to take cover, our soldiers would stand out exposed and
deliver their fire, offering a sure aim to the enemy's marksmen. It
was a continual rush from one point to another, halting and firing
at intervals, the rebels all the time slowly retreating. Our Horse
Artillery at this juncture could only act on occasions, the ground being
so broken that the guns were often brought to a standstill.

All this time the batteries on the ridge, which from their high position
could see what was going on, sent shells and round-shot at every
opportunity over our heads, dispersing the mutineers when grouped
together in any large number, and dealing death amongst them.

We saw them lying in heaps of twenty and thirty as we advanced, and the
fire was so hot and the practice so excellent that the enemy evacuated
the gardens and fled towards the suburb of Kishenganj.

Here the country was more open, so, re-forming our scattered line,
with skirmishers in advance, we drove the rebels before us, the Horse
Artillery playing on them in the open and bringing down scores.

Crossing the canal (which here barred our progress) by a bridge, we
entered into a wide lane to the left, the high bank of the canal being
on one side and the walls of a large caravanserai on the other.

The insurgents were posted at the far end of the lane, where it opened
out at the gate of the serai, and received us, as we advanced at the
double, with a rattling fire of musketry. Some climbed to the top of the
bank, while others fired down at us from the walls. It was a perfect
_feu d'enfer_, and the loss on our side became so heavy that a temporary
check was the result, and it was only with great trouble that the men
could be urged on.

Seeing a disposition to waver, Colonel W. Jones, the Brigadier under
Chamberlain, with great bravery placed himself in front on foot, and
called on the soldiers, now a confused mass of Sikhs, Goorkhas, and
Europeans, to charge and dislodge the enemy from the end of the lane.
He was answered with a ringing cheer, the men broke into a run, and,
without firing a shot, charged the sepoys, who waited till we were
within fifty yards, and then, as usual, turned and fled.

Some entered the caravanserai by the large gate, which they attempted
to shut; but we were too quick for them, and following close on their
heels, a hard fight began in the enclosure.

Others of the enemy ran onwards in the direction of the city, chased by
portions of our force, who pursued them a long distance, and after a
desperate resistance killed many who in their flight had taken refuge in
the serais and buildings.

The party I was with in the great caravanserai ranged the place like
demons, the English soldiers putting to death every sepoy they could
find. Their aspect was certainly inhuman--eyes flashing with passion and
revenge, faces wet and blackened from powder through biting cartridges;
it would have been useless to attempt to check them in their work of

Twenty or more of the insurgents, flying for life from their pitiless
foe, made for a small building standing in the centre of the serai. They
were followed by our men, who entered after them at the door. The house
had four windows, one on each side, about three feet from the ground,
and I ran to one and looked in.

The wretched fugitives had thrown down their arms and, crouching on the
floor with their backs to the wall, begged with out-stretched hands for
mercy, calling out in their language, "_Dohai! dohai!_" words I
well knew the meaning of, and which I had often heard under similar
circumstances. I knew, however, that no quarter would be given, and in a
short time every rebel lay in the agonies of death.

Most of the force, as I have related, had continued chasing the enemy,
so that for some time we were alone and few in number in the serai.
It was nearly five o'clock, and we thought that, as far as we were
concerned, the action was over.

It was not so, however. Shouts and yells were heard outside, and,
running to see, we found a fresh force of the mutineers assembled
outside the gates. There was nothing for it but to make a rush and fight
our way through; so with fixed bayonets we charged through them, meeting
soon afterwards the remainder of the force on its way back. Joining with
these, we drove the enemy again before us till we came within 700 yards
of the city walls, there losing sight of our foes. Their guns fired
into us, but the insurgent infantry seemed now to have had sufficient
fighting for one day, and not one man was to be seen.

Our work was accomplished, and the order was given to retire. Slowly we
wended our way back to camp, arriving there about sunset, having been
continuously under fire for nearly seven hours.

The losses on this day exceeded that of any since the siege began. Out
of our small force engaged, 221 men were killed and wounded. It was
computed that of the enemy more than 500 were killed, and probably twice
that number wounded, the dead bodies lying thick together at every
stage of our advance, but the wounded men in almost every instance were
carried off by their comrades.

The camp of our regiment on the extreme left of the line having become a
mere swamp and mud hole from the long-continued rain, and also being at
too great a distance from the main body of the army, we were directed to
change to a position close to the banks of the canal, near the General's
headquarters, and on the left of the 8th Regiment. The move was made, I
think, on July 11; and here we remained till the end of the siege.

At about this period, too, I was most agreeably surprised by a visit
from an old school-fellow named C---- d. He had entered the Bengal
Civil Service a few years before, and, at the breaking out of the
disturbances, was Assistant Collector at Goorgaon, seventeen miles from
Delhi. On the death of their mother in Ireland, an only sister, a
young girl of eighteen years of age, came out to India to take up her
residence with him. C---- d escorted his sister to Delhi on May 10, she
having received an invitation to stay with the chaplain and his wife,
who had quarters in the Palace. He returned to Goorgaon, little thinking
he would never see her again.

The next morning, on the arrival of the insurgent cavalry from Meerut,
and the subsequent mutiny of the native infantry regiments and artillery
in the cantonments, the massacre of the Europeans in Delhi began.

I forbear entering into all the details of this dreadful butchery;
suffice it to say that the chaplain, Mr. Jennings, his wife, Miss
C---- d, and nearly all the white people, both in the Palace and the
city, were murdered. The editor of the _Delhi Gazette_ and his family
were tortured to death by having their throats cut with pieces of broken
bottles, but there were conflicting accounts as to how the Jenningses
and Miss C---- d met their end. From what I gathered after the siege from
some Delhi natives, it was reported that the ladies were stripped naked
at the Palace, tied in that condition to the wheels of gun-carriages,
dragged up the "Chandni Chauk," or silver street of Delhi, and there, in
the presence of the King's sons, cut to pieces.

It was not till the following evening, May 12, that C---- d heard of the
Mutiny, and, fearing death from the populace of Goorgaon, who had also
risen in revolt, he disguised himself as best he could and rode off into
the country. After enduring great privations, and the danger of being
taken by predatory bands, he at last reached Meerut, and thence
accompanied the force to Delhi.

From what he hinted, I feel sure he had it on his mind that his sister,
before being murdered, was outraged by the rebels. However this may be,
my old school-fellow had become a changed being. All his passions were
aroused to their fullest extent, and he thought of nothing but revenge.
Armed with sword, revolver, and rifle, he had been present at almost
every engagement with the mutineers since leaving Meerut. He was known
to most of the regiments in camp, and would attach himself to one or
the other on the occasion of a fight, dealing death with his rifle
and giving no quarter. Caring nothing for his own life, so long as he
succeeded in glutting his vengeance on the murderers of his sister, he
exposed himself most recklessly throughout the siege, and never received
a wound.

On the day of the final assault I met him in one of the streets after we
had gained entrance into the city. He shook my hands, saying that he had
put to death all he had come across, not excepting women and children,
and from his excited manner and the appearance of his dress--which was
covered with blood-stains--I quite believe he told me the truth. One
would imagine he must have tired of slaughter during those six days'
fighting in the city, but it was not so. I dined with him at the Palace
the night Delhi was taken, when he told me he intended accompanying
a small force the next morning to attack a village close by. All my
remonstrances at this were of no avail; he vowed to me he would never
stay his hand while he had an opportunity of wreaking his vengeance.
Poor fellow! that was his last fight; advancing in front of the
soldiers, he met his death from a bullet in the heart when assaulting
the village.

There were other officers of the army in camp who had lost wives and
relations at Delhi and Meerut, and who behaved in the same manner as
C---- d. One in particular, whose wife I had known well, was an object of
pity to the whole camp. She was the first woman who was murdered during
the outrage at Meerut, and her death took place under circumstances of
such shocking barbarity that they cannot be recorded in these pages.

Truly these were fearful times, when Christian men and gallant soldiers,
maddened by the foul murder of those nearest and dearest to them,
steeled their hearts to pity and swore vengeance against the murderers.
And much the same feelings, though not to such an extent, pervaded the
breasts of all who were engaged in the suppression of the Mutiny. Every
soldier fighting in our ranks knew that a day of reckoning would come
for the atrocities which had been committed, and with unrelenting spirit
dedicated himself to the accomplishment of that purpose. Moreover, it
was on our part a fight for existence, a war of extermination, in which
no prisoners were taken and no mercy shown--in short, one of the most
cruel and vindictive wars that the world has seen.

From July 10 to 14 there was comparative quiet in the camp; the
cannonade continued on each side, but no sorties were made by the enemy.

_July 12_.--On the morning of the 12th I was detailed for picket duty at
the Sabzi Mandi Gardens, to the right front of Hindoo Rao's house, the
picket consisting of 100 men under the command of a Captain. Since
the opening of the siege this had been the scene of many sanguinary
encounters with the enemy, who put forth all their strength in
endeavours to drive in the picket, and so turn our right flank at Hindoo
Rao's house.

The view at first was almost completely closed in; but by the end of
July the unremitting labours of the Engineers had cleared away the
trees, walls, and buildings in front of the picket for some distance,
and the earth-works connecting it with the ridge at Hindoo Rao's house
were also completed.

I can remember no event of interest as occurring on July 12. Few shots
were fired at us, and on being relieved the next morning we returned to
camp, wondering at the unusual inactivity of the enemy.

_July 14_.--They were, however, only preparing for another sortie on a
grand scale, and on the morning of the 14th the bugles again sounded the
"alarm" and the "assembly." The insurgents poured out of the Kabul and
Lahore Gates in great numbers, making, as usual, for the Sabzi Mandi
Gardens and the right of the ridge. They kept up a constant fire of
musketry and field-artillery; and though our batteries swept their
masses with shell and round-shot, they still continued the attack,
pressing close to the pickets and Hindoo Rao's house.


Shortly after midday a column of some 1,500 men was assembled to
dislodge and drive them back to the city. We took the road as on the
9th, and soon became engaged with the enemy in the Sabzi Mandi Gardens.
The struggle was long and fierce, a perpetual interchange of musketry
and artillery, our losses, especially in officers, being very severe.
The city batteries also sent grape and canister amongst us from their
large guns and howitzers, inflicting mortal wounds, even at the great
distance of 1,100 yards.

When driving the rebels before us past the suburb of Kishenganj,
Lieutenant Gabbett and I, in the confusion of the rush, became separated
from the few men of our regiment who were engaged on that day, and found
ourselves--we being the only officers present--with about fifty soldiers
of different corps. For more than half an hour we were completely
isolated from the main body, and were occupied in several little fights
on our own account. Advancing, we scarcely knew where, and in our
excitement fully engaged in chasing the foe, we all at once came most
unexpectedly on to a broad road, with open ground on each side. There,
to our front, and scarcely 500 yards distant, we saw a gate with
embattled towers, the high walls of the city, and a bastion. We were
soon descried by the enemy, who depressed their guns and fired at us
with grape, fortunately without hitting any of our party. We were in a
complete dilemma, under fire of the batteries, cut off from our force,
and liable at any moment to be surrounded; so, deeming discretion the
better part of valour, we turned about and ran with all speed to the
rear, coming upon a troop of Horse Artillery, which was halted amongst
some gardens.

Soon the main body of our force returned from the pursuit of the rebels,
whom they had driven to within 600 yards of the city wall; and joining
our own detachment, who had given us up as lost, we returned to camp
about sundown.

Again we had to lament the loss of many fine officers and soldiers.
Nearly 200 men had been killed and wounded--a sad diminution of our
little army, which, had it long continued, would have entirely decimated
the Delhi Field Force. The enemy, however, had suffered most severely,
their loss amounting to quite 1,000 men; and the next morning they were
seen for hours carting the dead bodies into the city. Unusual bravery
was shown by the rebels on this day: they stood fairly in the open, and
also attacked the pickets with great pertinacity, assaulting one called
the "Sammy House" for hours, and leaving eighty dead bodies in its
front, all killed by the infantry of the Guides, who most gallantly held
the picket against overwhelming numbers.

Cholera all this time raged in the force, and carried off its victims
daily, my own regiment and the 8th being the principal sufferers. It was
melancholy to enter the hospital, to see the agony and hear the groans
of the men, many of them with their dying breath lamenting the hard fate
which had stretched them on a sick-bed and prevented them from doing
their duty in the ranks against the enemy. Fever and ague, too, were
very prevalent, and hospital gangrene broke out, which attained such
virulence that many wounded died from its effects; while of amputations,
I believe not one recovered during the whole siege.

We were also in the midst of the Indian monsoon, the most unhealthy
season of the year, when rain descended in torrents almost every day, a
hot, muggy atmosphere increasing the sickness and adding to the eternal
plague of flies, a plague the most nauseating it has ever been my lot to
experience. When off duty, it was the custom of some of the officers
to pass the time fishing in the canal at our rear. Here, seated on
camp-stools brought out by our servants, we amused ourselves for hours,
holding lotteries as to who would catch the first fish, the prize being
a bottle of beer. To see us on these occasions, full of merriment, one
would scarcely have realized the fact that the men employed in this
peaceful occupation were part of an army engaged in almost continual
warfare, and fighting for very existence. Laughter and jokes filled
the air, and chaff reigned supreme; while ever and anon we were rudely
recalled to a sense of the dangers around us by the report of a shell
bursting over the ridge, or the presence of an orderly, who summoned one
of the party to proceed on picket or on some perilous duty at the front.

With regard to provisions, we were plentifully supplied with regular
meals, a sufficiency of good food and drinkables; our lot in this
respect was far more enjoyable than that of the usual run of
campaigners. A large flock of fat sheep accompanied us on the march down
from Ferozepore; and I shall never forget the agony of mind of one of
our gourmands when one day it was reported that the sheep had all been
carried off by the enemy when grazing in the rear of the canal. I had
also purchased 100 dozen of ale at Umballah for the use of the mess, and
this being noised abroad in the camp, we were visited by several thirsty
souls from other regiments, who, less fortunate than ourselves, had
neglected furnishing themselves with this tempting beverage. It was a
pleasure to us to minister to their wants, though I need hardly say that
the stock lasted but a short time, from the numerous calls made on it.

_July 17_.--General Reed, who had taken command of the army on the death
of Sir Henry Barnard, resigned his position on July 17 in consequence
of sickness and the infirmities of old age. He was succeeded by
General Wilson, of the Artillery, an officer who had already greatly
distinguished himself, and under whom the siege was eventually brought
to a successful conclusion.

_July 18_.--For three days after the last sortie the enemy were
singularly quiet, quarrelling amongst themselves, as it was reported,
and disputing as to what portion of their army was to lead the next
sortie. However, on July 18, they again made another attempt upon the
Sabzi Mandi and the ridge at Hindoo Rao's.

The force sent to dislodge them was under command of Colonel Jones, of
the 60th Rifles, who made his arrangements with singular judgment and
tact, and insisted on a regular formation being kept by the troops,
instead of the desultory style of action in vogue during previous
sorties. There was, however, some very hard fighting in the gardens and
serais, where we were received by a storm of bullets; but the men being
persuaded to keep well under cover, the losses were not very serious,
the casualties amounting in all to about ninety officers and men.[2] The
enemy, as usual, suffered severely, more especially from the fire of our
field-guns, which mowed them down when collected in groups of two and
three hundred together.


I was amused on this day, as well as on previous sorties, by seeing the
eagerness with which the soldiers, European, Sikh, and Goorkha, rifled
the bodies of the slain sepoys. These last had plundered the city
inhabitants of all they could find in money and jewels, and having no
place of safety (from the anarchy which prevailed in Delhi) in which to
deposit their loot, they one and all invariably carried their treasure
about with them, concealed in the kammerbund folds of muslin or linen
rolled round the waist. On the fall of a mutineer, a rush would be made
by the men to secure the coveted loot, a race taking place sometimes
between a European and one of our native soldiers as to who should
first reach the body. The kammerbund was quickly torn off and the money
snatched up, a wrangle often ensuing among the men as to the division of
the booty. In this manner many soldiers succeeded, to my knowledge,
in securing large sums of money; one in particular, a Grenadier of my
regiment, after killing a sepoy, rifled the body, and, returning in
great glee to where I was standing, showed me twenty gold mohurs,
worth £32 sterling. It was a most reprehensible practice, but almost
impossible entirely to prevent, for in the loose order of fighting
which generally prevailed, the men did not break from their ranks to
accomplish their purpose, but often, in isolated groups of two and
three, were separated at times a short distance from the rest of the

The General, we heard, was loud in his praise of the manner in which
Colonel Jones conducted the operations on this day; after the action
also, he withdrew his men in perfect order, allowing no straggling--a
great contrast to our former usual style when returning to camp after
the repulse of a sortie.

This was the last action of any consequence fought in the open at the
Sabzi Mandi Gardens. The ground in front of the picket was soon
after cleared, and during future attacks our men remained behind the
breastworks and entrenchments which had been thrown up, and by a steady
fire soon drove back any rebels who were foolhardy enough to come within

It speaks well for the prowess of the mutineers, and proves that we had
no contemptible foe to deal with, that so many sorties and attacks were
made by them during the siege. They amounted in all to thirty-six--all
of these being regularly organized actions and assaults--besides
innumerable others on isolated pickets and advanced posts. They seldom
came to close quarters with our men, and then only when surprised; but
nothing could exceed their persistent courage in fighting almost every
day, and, though beaten on every occasion with frightful loss, returning
over and over again to renew the combat.

_July 19_.--The succeeding days from July 19 to 23 were days of quiet,
with the exception of the usual artillery duel. We took our turn at
picket duty with the other regiments, one day at the Metcalfe house and
stables, and on another at the Sabzi Mandi.

_July 23_.--On the morning of the 23rd the insurgents, for the first
time since the previous month, made a sortie on our left, emerging from
the Kashmir Gate with infantry and field-guns. With the latter they
occupied Ludlow Castle, a ruined house midway between the Flagstaff
Tower and the Kashmir Gate. Then they opened fire on the left of the
ridge, and moving about continually amongst the trees and buildings,
were well sheltered from our batteries, which were unable to make good
practice. The rebels also showed at the Metcalfe picket, attacking at
the same time with their infantry; and becoming emboldened by receiving
no opposition from us, the greater part of their force advanced nearer
and nearer to the ridge, till they were seen distinctly from the Mosque

To punish their temerity, a force of all arms was sent out from camp
under Brigadier Showers, with the intention of attacking their right
flank. We moved up a deep gorge, and coming on them by surprise, forced
them to remove their guns, which quickly limbered up and made for the
city. There was a great deal of skirmishing in the gardens and ruined
houses before the infantry followed the example of their comrades; but
the fight was not nearly so severe as during the sorties on the right,
nor did the enemy suffer any very great loss. On our side, we had in all
fifty officers and men killed and wounded.[3]

Again for some days the enemy made no movement, and the weather also
holding up for a time, some sport was inaugurated in the camp. The men
might be seen amusing themselves at various games, while the officers
actually got up an impromptu horse-race.

This, however, was not to last long, and on July 31 we were again on the
alert from the report that several thousands of rebels, with thirteen
guns and mortars, were making for the open country to the right rear of
our camp.

A force under Major Coke was sent out to watch their movements, and also
to convoy a large store of treasure and ammunition coming down to us
from the Punjab. The convoy arrived safe on the morning of August 1, and
the rain falling heavily on that day, making the ground impassable for
guns, the insurgent force, which had moved to our rear, broke up their
camp and retired towards Delhi.

The 1st of August was the anniversary of a great Mohammedan festival
called the "Bakra Id," and for some time there had been rumours of a
grand sortie in honour of the event.

Morning and afternoon passed, and we began to think the enemy had given
up their purpose, when about sunset firing began at the right pickets.
The mutineers returning from our rear had met an equal number, which
had sallied from the city, at the suburb of Kishenganj, and the forces,
joining together, moved forward and attacked the whole right of the
ridge and the pickets in that quarter.

Loudly the bugles sounded the alarm all over the camp, and in a very
short time every available man was mustered, and the troops were hurried
forward to reinforce the breastworks at Hindoo Rao's house and on each

There had been only one actual night-attack since the beginning of the
siege, and that took place to the rear; it therefore naturally occurred
to the officers in command that this assault by the enemy with such vast
numbers would require all our efforts to prevent being turned, thus
imperilling the safety of the camp.

The action had commenced in earnest when we arrived on the ridge, and
the brave defenders of Hindoo Rao's house were holding their own against
enormous odds. Masses of infantry with field-guns swarmed in our front,
yelling and shouting like demons while keeping up a steady fire.

Darkness came on--a lovely night, calm and clear without a cloud in the
sky. The batteries on both sides kept up a terrific cannonade; and our
men, effectually concealed behind the earth-works, poured incessant
volleys of musketry into the enemy. The roar and din exceeded anything I
had ever heard before, and formed one continuous roll, while all around
the air was illumined by a thousand bright flashes of fire, exposing
to our view the movements of the rebels. They had also thrown up
breastworks at no great distance to our front, from behind which they
sallied at intervals, returning, however, quickly under cover when our
fire became too hot for them. And in this manner, without a moment's
intermission, the combat continued all night long, with no advantage to
the assailants, and with few casualties on our side.[4]

_August 2_.--Morning broke without any cessation in the firing; and it
was not till ten o'clock that the rebels, seeing how futile were all
efforts, began to retire. Some few still kept up the firing; but at
2 p. m. all was quiet, and our sadly harassed soldiers were enabled to
obtain some rest after seventeen hours' fighting. Nothing could have
surpassed the steadiness of the men and the cool manner in which they
met the attacks of the enemy, remaining well under cover, and only
showing themselves when the rebels came close up. Our casualties during
those long hours only amounted to fifty killed and wounded, thus proving
the judgment of the General in ordering the men to remain behind the
earthworks, and not to advance in pursuit unless absolutely necessary.
Two hundred dead bodies were counted in front of the entrenchments, and
doubtless during the darkness many more were carried off by the enemy.

After the severe lesson they had received the rebels remained inactive
for some days, very few shots even being fired from the walls. We learnt
that the late grand attack had been made by the Neemuch and part of the
Gwalior and Kotah insurgents who had mutinied at those places not long
before. This accounted for the stubbornness of the assault, it being the
custom, when reinforcements arrived, to send them out at once to try
their mettle with the besiegers.

The fruits of General Wilson's accession to the command of the army,
and the stringent orders issued by him for the maintenance of order and
discipline both in camp and on picket became more and more apparent
every day. All duties were now regulated and carried out with the utmost
precision; each regiment knew its allotted place in case of a sortie,
and the officers on picket had to furnish reports during their term of
duty, thereby making them more attentive to the discipline and care of
their men. In the matter of uniform, also, a great and desirable change
was made. Many corps had become quite regardless of appearance, entirely
discarding all pretensions to uniformity, and adopting the most
nondescript dress. One in particular, a most gallant regiment of
Europeans which had served almost from the beginning of the siege,
was known by the sobriquet of the "Dirty Shirts," from their habit of
fighting in their shirts with sleeves turned up, without jacket or coat,
and their nether extremities clad in soiled blue dungaree trousers.

The army in general wore a cotton dress, dyed with _khaki rang_, or dust
colour, which at a distance could with difficulty be seen, and was far
preferable to white or to the scarlet of the British uniform. The enemy,
on the contrary, appeared entirely in white, having soon discarded the
dress of their former masters; and it was a pretty sight to see them
turning out of the gates on the occasion of a sortie, their arms
glittering, pennons flying, and their whole appearance presenting a gay
contrast to the dull, dingy dress of their foes.

_August 5_.--On August 5 an attempt was made by our Engineers to blow up
the bridge of boats across the Jumna, and some of us went to the top of
the Flagstaff Tower to see the result.

Two rafts filled with barrels of powder and with a slow match in each
were sent down the river, starting from a point nearly a mile up the
stream. We saw them descending, carried down slowly by the flood, one
blowing up half a mile from the bridge. The other continued its course,
and was descried by some mutineers on the opposite bank, who sent off
men to the raft on _massaks_ (inflated sheep-skins). It was a perilous
deed for the men, but without any delay they made their way to the raft,
put out the fuse, and towed the engine of destruction to shore. A most
ignominious failure, and the attempt was never repeated, the bridge
remaining intact to the last.

_August 6_.--At 7 a. m. on August 6 the alarm again sounded, and we
remained accoutred in camp for some hours, but were not called to the
front on that day. A large party of the enemy's cavalry--more, it must
be supposed, in a spirit of bravado than anything else--charged up the
road towards the Flagstaff Tower, waving their swords and shouting,
"Din! din!" A battery was brought to bear on them, and this, with a
volley or two of musketry, soon sent them to the right about, galloping
off and disappearing amongst the trees, after leaving some dead on the

The enemy's infantry also harassed the pickets on the right flank,
causing some casualties, and their artillery fire was kept up all day,
the guns in the new Kishenganj battery almost enfilading the right of
our position. No efforts on our part could silence the fire from this
place, and it remained intact, a constant source of annoyance, to the
end of the siege.

The numerous cavalry of the enemy might have caused us a vast amount
of trouble had they been properly led, or behaved even as well as the
infantry and artillery. But there seemed to be little dash or spirit
amongst them, and though they made a brave show, emerging from the gates
in company with the rest of their forces, waving swords and brandishing
spears, they took care to keep at a respectful distance from our fire,
their only exploit, as far as I can remember, being that on July 9, when
100 horsemen charged into the rear of our camp.

From the 8th to the 11th there were constant attacks on all the pickets,
and the artillery fire on both sides was almost unceasing. The enemy
brought out some guns by the Kashmir Gate and shelled the Metcalfe
pickets, their skirmishers advancing close to our defences with shouts,
and harassing the men day and night, though with small loss on our side.
They also made the approach to the pickets for relief so perilous that
at early morn of the 12th a large force, under Brigadier Showers, was
detailed to drive the rebels into the city. My regiment furnished twenty
men, under an officer,[5] on this occasion.

_August 12_.--We attacked them at dawn, taking them completely by
surprise, and capturing all their guns, four in number. The 1st
Fusiliers and Coke's Rifles behaved most gallantly, and bore the
brunt of the fight, losing half the number of those killed and
wounded--namely, 110. The enemy's casualties amounted to upwards of 300,
and they left many wounded on the ground, who were shot and bayoneted
without mercy. This signal chastisement had the effect of cowing them
for a time, and the pickets on the left were unmolested for the future,
save by occasional shots from the city batteries.

_August 14_.--August 14 was quiet, the enemy giving us a respite and
scarcely firing a gun, though they must have known of the welcome
reinforcements we had received that morning. These consisted of nearly
3,000 men, of which number more than 1,100 were Europeans.

This force, under command of General Nicholson, comprised the 52nd
Regiment, our left wing from Ferozepore, some Mooltani Horse, 1,200
Sikhs and Punjabees, and a battery of European artillery. The
reinforcements brought up the Delhi Field Force to more than 8,000
effectives, while of sick and wounded we had the frightful number of
nearly 2,000 in camp, many more having been sent away to Umballah.

But what added most to our strength was the presence amongst us of the
hero John Nicholson, he who has been since designated as the "foremost
man in India." Young in years, he had already done good service in the
Punjab wars, and was noted not only for his striking military talent,
but also for the aptitude he displayed in bringing into subjection and
ruling with a firm hand the lawless tribes on our North-West Frontier.
Many stories are told of his prowess and skill, and he ingratiated
himself so strongly amongst a certain race that he received his
apotheosis at their hands, and years afterwards was, and perhaps to this
day is, worshipped by these rude mountaineers under the title of "Nikul
Seyn." Spare in form, but of great stature, his whole appearance and
mien stamped him as a "king of men." Calm and self-confident, full of
resource and daring, no difficulties could daunt him; he was a born
soldier, the idol of the men, the pride of the whole army. His
indomitable spirit seemed at once to infuse fresh vigour into the force,
and from the time of his arrival to the day of the assault Nicholson's
name was in everyone's mouth, and each soldier knew that vigorous
measures would be taken to insure ultimate success.

We were freed from attack for some days, and the only event of
importance was a raid made by the enemy's horsemen in the direction of
Rohtak. They were followed by that great irregular leader Hodson, who
succeeded, with small loss, in cutting up some thirty of their number,
his own newly-raised regiment and the Guide Cavalry behaving admirably.

_August 19_.--On August 19 a noteworthy incident occurred at the Sabzi
Mandi picket. A woman dressed in the native costume, and attended by an
Afghan, walked up to the sentries at that post, and on approaching the
men, threw herself on her knees, thanking God in English that she was
under the protection of British soldiers. The honest fellows were
greatly taken aback, and wondered who this could be dressed in native
costume, speaking to them in their own language. She was brought before
the officer commanding the picket, when it transpired that she was a
Eurasian named Seeson, the wife of a European road sergeant. During the
outbreak on May 11 at Delhi her children had been slain before her eyes
and she herself badly wounded, escaping, however, from the murderers
in a most providential manner, and finding shelter in the house of a
friendly native, who had succoured her ever since. By the aid of the
Afghan, and disguised as an _ayah_, or nurse, she had passed through
the gates of the city that morning, eventually finding her way to the
picket. We had one lady in camp, the wife of an officer of native
infantry, and to her kindly charge the poor creature was consigned,
living to the end of the siege in Mrs. Tytler's tent, and being an
object of curiosity as well as of pity to the whole force.

The enemy, lately, had caused great annoyance by firing at the ridge
32-pound rockets, a large store of which they had found in the magazine,
and as they were unused to discharging these dangerous missiles, the
rockets at first, by their rebound, inflicted more damage on the rebels
than on us; but, gaining experience through long practice, they every
evening and during part of the night fired them at the ridge, one or two
falling right amongst the tents in camp.[6]

A battery also was erected about this time on the opposite bank of the
Jumna, at a distance of some 2,000 yards from the Metcalfe pickets, and
this was served so well that not only were the outposts in considerable
danger from the fire, but the camp of one of our native regiments on the
extreme left, and below the Flagstaff Tower, was shifted in consequence
of the enemy's shells falling in their midst.

It will thus be seen that the rebels put forth their whole strength and
used every means at their disposal to harass and annoy us. Like a swarm
of hornets, they attacked us in every direction, first in one quarter
and then in another; but no effort of theirs affected in the smallest
degree the bulldog grip of the British army on the rebellious city.
Reports were rife that the King had sent to propose terms to the
General, and that the answer was a cannonade directed on the walls by
all our batteries; also that their ammunition was falling short; but
these, with other silly rumours, were merely the gossip of the camp, and
were not credited by the bulk of the army.

_August_ 24.--Again, a very large body of mutineers, numbering, it was
said, 9,000 men, with thirteen guns, left the city on August 24. They
were seen from the ridge for hours trooping out of the Lahore and Ajmir
Gates, and proceeding far to our right rear. Their intention, no doubt,
was to cut off the large siege-train and munitions of war on their way
down to us from the arsenal at Ferozepore.

_August_ 25.--A force was at once detailed, under command of the gallant
Nicholson, to intercept the enemy and, if possible, to bring them to
battle. Long before daylight on the morning of August 25 we paraded,
cavalry, infantry, and three batteries of Horse Artillery, or eighteen
guns, numbering in all nearly 2,500 men.

At six o'clock the march began, and leaving the Grand Trunk road a short
distance from the rear of our camp, we made across country to a town
named Nanglooi, distant six miles. The men were in high spirits
notwithstanding the difficulties we had to encounter in traversing a
route wellnigh impassable from the recent rains, and ankle-deep in mud.
Two broad swamps also had to be crossed, the soldiers wading waist-high
in the water, and carrying their ammunition-pouches on their heads.
Three hours and more were passed before we arrived at the village, and
here information reached the General that the enemy were posted twelve
miles distant, at a place named Najafgarh.

The march was at once resumed, and, floundering in the mud, the
artillery horses especially with great labour dragging the guns through
the morass which extended nearly all the way, we arrived at about four
o'clock on the banks of a canal in full view of the enemy's position.

This had been chosen with great judgment, and presented a formidable
appearance, stretching about a mile and a half from the canal bridge on
the extreme right to a large serai on the left in the town of Najafgarh.
Nine guns were posted between the bridge and the serai, with four more
in the latter building, all protected by entrenchments with parapets and

The troops crossed the canal by a ford, and formed up in line of battle
on the opposite side, facing the town of Najafgarh, and about 900 yards
from the serai, the infantry in two lines, ourselves and the 1st Bengal
Fusiliers in front, with artillery and cavalry on each flank.

When we were halted, Nicholson came to the front and, addressing the
regiments of European infantry, spoke a few soul-stirring words, calling
on us to reserve our fire till close to the enemy's batteries, and then
to charge with fixed bayonets. He was answered with a cheer, and the
lines advanced across the plain steady and unbroken, as though on

The enemy had opened fire, and were answered by our guns, the infantry
marching with sloped arms at the quick step till within 100 yards, when
we delivered a volley. Then the war-cry of the British soldiers was
heard, and the two regiments came to the charge, and ran at the double
towards the serai.

Lieutenant Gabbett of my regiment was the first man to reach the
entrenchment, and, passing through an embrasure, received a bayonet
thrust in the left breast, which stretched him on the ground. The men
followed, clearing everything before them, capturing the four guns in
the serai, bayoneting the rebels and firing at those who had taken to
flight at our approach. Then, changing front, the whole force swept
along the entrenchment to the bridge, making a clean sweep of the enemy,
who turned and fled, leaving the remaining nine guns in our hands.

Our Horse Artillery, under Major Tombs--never better served than in this
action--mowed down the fugitives in hundreds, and continued following
and firing on them till darkness set in. The cavalry also--a squadron of
the gallant 9th Lancers, with the Guides and Punjabees--did their share
of work, while the European infantry were nobly supported by the corps
of Punjab Rifles, who cleared the town of the sepoys.

The battle had lasted a very short time, and after dark we bivouacked on
the wet ground in the pouring rain, completely exhausted from our long
march and subsequent fighting, and faint from want of food, none of
which passed our lips for more than sixteen hours.


[From Lord Roberts' "Forty-one Years in India." By kind permission.]

Still, the day's work was not over. A village to the rear was found to
be occupied by the enemy, and the Punjab Rifles were ordered to take
it. They met with a most obstinate resistance, their young commander,
Lumsden, being killed. The General then sent part of my regiment to
dislodge the rebels, but we met with only partial success, and had one
officer, named Elkington, mortally wounded, the enemy evacuating the
place during the night.

We passed the night of the 25th in the greatest discomfort. Hungry and
wet through, we lay on the ground, snatching sleep at intervals. Poor
Gabbett died of internal haemorrhage soon after he received his wound,
and his death deprived the regiment of one of its best and bravest
officers, and me of a true friend. He had shared my tent on the march
down and during the whole campaign, a cheery, good-hearted fellow, and
one who had earned the respect of officers and the love of his men. The
General was particularly struck with his bravery, and with feeling heart
wrote a letter to Gabbett's mother, saying he would have recommended her
son for the Victoria Cross had he survived the action.

Young Elkington also received his death-wound at the night-attack on the
village. He was quite a stripling, being only eighteen years old, and
had joined the regiment but a few months before. His was one of those
strange cases of a presentiment of death, many of which have been well
authenticated in our army. On looking over his effects, it was found
that he had written letters to his nearest relations on the night before
marching to Najafgarh; and he had also carefully made up small parcels
of his valuables and trinkets, with directions on them to whom they were
to be delivered in case of his being killed next day. It was noticed,
too, that he was unusually quiet and reserved, never speaking a word
to anyone on the march, though when the action began he behaved like a
gallant soldier, giving up his young life in the service of his country.

_August_ 26.--On the morning of August 26 we marched back to camp,
arriving there before sundown, and were played in by the bands of the
two regiments, while many soldiers, native as well as European, lined
the road and gave us a hearty cheer.

Our casualties at the action of Najafgarh amounted to twenty-five
officers and men killed and seventy wounded. The enemy left great
numbers of dead in the entrenchments and on the plain, their loss being
computed at 500 killed and wounded; but this, I fancy, is much below
the mark, for our artillery fire was very destructive, and the cavalry
committed great havoc amongst the host of fugitives. The battle of the
25th was the most brilliant and decisive since that of Badli-ki-Serai on
June 8. All the guns, thirteen in number, were captured, and the enemy's
camp, ammunition, stores, camels and bullocks were taken. Would that
we had met the insurgents oftener in the open in this manner! But the
rascals were too wary, and had too great a dread of our troops to face
them in a pitched encounter.

During the absence of Nicholson's small force the enemy had attacked all
the pickets, and kept up a heavy cannonade from the walls, causing us a
loss of thirty-five men. It was their impression that the camp had been
left almost bare and defenceless by the withdrawal of so large a force;
but they were quickly undeceived, and were met at each point of assault
by a galling fire from our men.

For many nights after August 26 our right pickets were constantly
harassed by the rebels, who also shelled Hindoo Rao's house from the
city and Kishenganj batteries. Our sappers, too, found it not only
difficult, but dangerous, to work in the advanced trenches below the
ridge, being always met by a murderous musketry from the enemy's
sharpshooters, who fired down behind breastworks. It was resolved,
therefore, on August 30, to drive them out from their cover, and on
two or more occasions this was performed by the Goorkhas and the 60th
Rifles, who, as usual, fighting together and supporting each other, took
the breastworks in gallant style. Our Engineers were then enabled
to continue their operations in the trenches preparatory to making
approaches towards the city walls, and constructing the batteries for
the siege-train, now daily expected.

The Flagstaff Tower, as I have already mentioned in a former part of my
narrative, was the chief rendezvous of officers when not on duty. About
this time I went to the top of the tower in company with one of my
regiment, when an amusing incident occurred.

We were watching the batteries playing on each side, when a tall Afghan,
armed to the teeth, appeared at the top of the steps, and was about to
set foot on the enclosed space under the flagstaff. A sentry was always
stationed there, and on this occasion it happened to be a sturdy little
Goorkha, one of the Kumaon battalion. On the approach of the Afghan he
immediately came to the charge, and warned him that none but European
officers were allowed on the top of the tower. The Afghan laughed,
and then, looking with contempt at the diminutive sentry, a dwarf in
comparison with himself, he attempted to push aside the bayonet. Losing
all patience, the Goorkha at this threw down his musket, and drawing his
_kukri_, the favourite weapon of his race, he rushed at the Afghan with
up-lifted blade. This was too much for our valiant hero, who quickly
turned tail, and disappeared down the circular staircase, the Goorkha
following him at a short distance. On his return he picked up the
musket, and seeing us laughing, the frown on his face turned into the
most ludicrous expression of good-humour I had ever seen, and he burst
out into a fit of laughter which lasted some minutes. He told us that he
and the other Goorkhas of his regiment thought nothing of the bravery of
the Afghan soldiers, some 100 of whom were on our side at Delhi; and he
spoke truly.

These men, all cavalry, superbly mounted, dressed in chain armour, and
carrying arms of every description, had been sent down ostensibly as a
reinforcement to us by their Ameer, Dost Mohammed Khan of Kabul, but
really as spies to watch our movements, and report the state of affairs
to their chief. They made a great display about the camp, but I never
heard of their meeting the enemy in action during their stay before

The last two days of August we had several men killed and wounded in the
force, and one of our officers, who shared my tent after poor Gabbett's
death, received a severe contusion from the bursting of a shell.

Nearly three months had now elapsed since the Siege of Delhi began. We
were, to all appearance, no nearer to the desired end, and had scarcely
gained one foot of ground nearer to the walls of the city. Moreover,
there was alarm in the Punjab owing to a reported disaffection among the
Sikh population, who, it is said, were beginning openly to assert that
the British army was unable to take Delhi. To check this feeling, the
Chief Commissioner had urged General Wilson to lose no time in making
preparations for the assault of the city; and thus our expectations beat
high at the near approach of the powerful siege-train on its way down
from Ferozepore, though we knew there were still before us trials and
dangers to which our former experiences would be as nothing.

The weather had now somewhat cleared, but the heat was overpowering,
averaging 98° in the shade of my tent every day. Cholera, too, raged as
before, the principal sufferers being ourselves, and the 8th and 52nd
Regiments. To cheer the soldiers, the bands played in camp of an
evening, while some officers and men engaged in sport of various kinds;
but the angel of Death was hovering over my poor regiment, and few of
us had the heart to join in pastime while our comrades lay stricken and
dying of disease in hospital.

_September 1_.--A portion of my corps was on duty at the Metcalfe
stable picket on September 1, when a lamentable loss was experienced,
unparalleled in the annals of the siege. The enemy's battery across the
river had never ceased shelling these pickets, though up to this day it
had not caused much damage to the defenders.

Shortly after sunrise the men were assembled outside, receiving their
grog, which was served out to them every morning at an early hour. Some
100 men and officers, beside Sikhs and native attendants, were grouped
around, when a loud hissing sound was heard, and a shrapnel shell, fired
from the enemy's battery at the long range of 2,000 yards, exploded a
few feet in front.

The bullets scattered around, and the scene which followed it is almost
impossible for me to depict. Many threw themselves flat on the ground,
falling one on top of the other, while groans and cries were heard. One
soldier fell mortally wounded by my side, and on looking around to
count up our losses, we found that two of my regiment had been killed
outright, besides six others severely wounded. Two Sikhs and a _bhisti_,
or water-carrier, also met their death, and two doolie-bearers were
wounded--thirteen men in all.

One very stout old officer was in the act of having his morning bath
when the shell exploded, the _bhisti_ standing at his side and pouring
over him, when squatted on a tent-mallet, his _massuck_ of water.
He rolled over and over on the ground, presenting such a ludicrous
appearance in his wet, nude state, and covered with earth, that,
notwithstanding the awful surroundings of the scene, I and others could
not forbear laughing. The shot had been quite a chance one, but it
proved how deadly was the effect of a shrapnel shell exploding, as this
had done, only a few feet in front of a large body of men.

_September 2 and 3_.--The batteries continued exchanging shots during
September 2 and 3, but there were no attacks of any consequence on the
pickets, and we had on those days only three men wounded on the right of
our position.

On the morning of the 4th the long-looked-for siege-train reached camp.
It consisted of twenty-four heavy guns and mortars, and a plentiful
supply of ammunition and stores. Reinforcements also reached us,
amounting to about 400 European infantry and the Belooch battalion, the
last a most savage-looking lot of men, who, however, did good service,
and fought well. Besides these, a party of Sikh horsemen, in the service
of the Rajah of Jhind--a noble-looking man, who, with his retainers,
had kept open our communications with the Punjab during the whole
siege--joined the army, begging as a favour that they might join in the
dangers of the coming assault on the city.

_September 7_.--September 7 also saw the arrival of Wilde's regiment of
Punjabis, 700 strong, followed the same day by the Kashmir contingent
of 2,200 men and four guns, sent to our assistance by the ruler of that

I was sitting in my tent with the bandmaster of my regiment, a German
named Sauer, when we were saluted with the sound of distant music, the
most discordant I have ever heard. The bandmaster jumped up from his
seat, exclaiming: "Mein Gott! vat is dat? No regiment in camp can play
such vile music," and closing his ears immediately, rushed out of the

The Kashmir troops were marching into camp, accompanied by General
Wilson and his staff, who had gone out to meet them, their bands playing
some English air, drums beating, and colours flying. There was no fault
to be found in the appearance of the soldiers, who were mostly Sikhs and
hill men of good physique; but their ludicrous style of marching, the
strange outlandish uniform of the men, and the shrill discord of their
bands, created great amusement among the assembled Europeans, who had
never seen such a travesty on soldiers before. They encamped on our
right flank; but were not employed on active service till the day of
assault, on September 14.

On the arrival of the siege-train, no time was lost in making approaches
and parallels, and erecting batteries for the bombardment of Delhi. The
trench-work had already been begun, and what with covering and working
parties, both of European and native soldiers, and the usual picket
duties, the greater part of the army was continually employed in this
arduous work every night and a portion of each day. Nothing could
surpass the zeal and willing aptitude of the men, who laboured
unceasingly digging trenches and filling sand-bags, all the time, and
more especially at night, exposed to a galling fire of musketry and

The Engineers, under their able leaders, were unremitting in their
duties; and the young officers of that corps covered themselves with
glory both in these preliminary operations and at the actual assault.

No. 1 Battery, to our right front, consisting of ten heavy guns and
mortars, was traced, on the evening of September 7, about 700 yards from
the Mori bastion. No. 2, to the left front, near Ludlow Castle, and
only 600 yards from the walls, was completed on the 10th, and contained
nineteen pieces of artillery.

No. 4, for ten heavy mortars, and near No. 2, at the Koodsia Bagh, was
completed in front of the Kashmir bastion also on that day. And, lastly,
No. 3, on the extreme left, with six guns at the short distance of 180
yards from the Water bastion, was unmasked behind the Custom-House,
which was blown up after the completion of the battery.

Thus, in four days and nights, after incredible exertions on the part of
the working parties, forty-five heavy guns and mortars were in position,
strongly entrenched, and ready to silence the fire from the enemy's
bastions and to make breaches in the walls for the assaulting columns.

The rebels during all this time plied the covering and working parties
with shot and shell, bringing out field-guns, which enfiladed the Ludlow
Castle and Koodsia Bagh batteries, and keeping up a sharp musketry fire
from an advanced trench they had dug in front of the walls. At the two
latter places, where the men of my regiment were employed, the fire was
very galling at times, the guns from the distant Selimgarh Fort, Water,
and Kashmir bastions all concentrating their shots at those batteries
whilst in process of erection.

The nights, fortunately, were clear, and we had plenty of light to
assist us in our work; the men were cheerful and active, never resting
for a moment in their labours, and receiving in the Field Force orders
the praise of the General in command.

We wondered how it was that the enemy allowed us to occupy the advanced
positions at Ludlow Castle and the Koodsia Bagh without even so much
as a struggle; but it was accounted for by the supposition that they
imagined our attack would be made from the right of our position, where
all the great conflicts had taken place. There they were in strength,
and it was our weakest point; whereas, on the side near the Jumna, we
were protected from being turned by having the river on our flank,
better cover for operations, and, moreover, batteries to silence which
were less powerful and more difficult of concentration than those
which faced us on our right from the city walls and from the suburb of

[Footnote 1: White people.]

[Footnote 2: Lieutenant Pattoun was wounded in the ankle on this
occasion, and a sergeant of the 61st was shot through the head.]

[Footnote 3: Colonel Seton, 35th Native Infantry, was wounded in the
stomach in this affair.]

[Footnote 4: One man of the 61st Regiment was killed by a round-shot,
which in its course also knocked over some sandbags which sent
Lieutenant Hutton flying about seven feet.]

[Footnote 5: Lieutenant Yonge.]

[Footnote 6: On August 7 they blew up one of their own powder factories,
and with it a number of workmen.]



The actual Siege of Delhi may be said to have commenced on September 7,
1857. All reinforcements that could possibly arrive had reached us with
the siege-train, and the effective force now available for operations
before Delhi consisted of the following troops:

  European artillery     580
  "  cavalry             514
  "  infantry          2,672

  Native artillery       770
  " cavalry            1,313
  " infantry           3,417
  Engineers, sappers, miners, etc.  722

  Grand total          9,988

To the above must be added the Kashmir contingent of 2,200 men, with
four guns, and the cavalry of the Jhind Rajah, perhaps 400 more, making
the full amount of troops employed at the siege 12,588.

The seven regiments of European infantry were sadly reduced in numbers,
being mere skeletons, the strongest mustering 409 effective rank and
file, and the weakest only 242. There were also nearly 3,000 men in
hospital, Europeans and natives.

From the most reliable sources the enemy at this period numbered
40,000 men, all trained soldiers of the former regular army, besides
undisciplined armed hordes of fanatics and rabble of the city and
surrounding country--a formidable disproportion to our scanty force when
it is recollected that they were protected by strong fortifications
mounting upwards of fifty guns, with an unlimited supply of artillery
and munitions of war, and that with their vast numbers they had ample
opportunities of harassing our right flank and rear and cutting off
communications up-country.

Nevertheless, political considerations demanded that we should take the
offensive and deal such a blow as would convince the rebels, as well
as those whose loyalty was wavering, that the British arms were
irresistible. Moreover, there was no likelihood of our force being
increased. So on September 7 General Wilson issued the following address
to his troops:

"The force assembled before Delhi has had much hardship to undergo since
its arrival in this camp, all of which has been most cheerfully borne by
officers and men. The time is now drawing near when the Major-General
commanding the force trusts that its labours will be over, and it will
be rewarded by the capture of the city for all its past exertions, and
for a cheerful endurance of still greater fatigue and exposure. The
troops will be required to aid and assist the Engineers in the erection
of the batteries and trenches, and in daily exposure to the sun, as
covering parties.

"The artillery will have even harder work than they yet have had,
and which they have so well and cheerfully performed hitherto: this,
however, will be for a short period only, and when ordered to the
assault, the Major-General feels assured British pluck and determination
will carry everything before them, and that the bloodthirsty and
murderous mutineers against whom they are fighting will be driven
headlong out of their stronghold, or be exterminated. But to enable
them to do this, he warns the troops of the absolute necessity of their
keeping together, and not straggling from their columns. By this can
success only be secured.

"Major-General Wilson need hardly remind the troops of the cruel murders
committed on their officers and comrades, as well as their wives and
children, to move them in the deadly struggle. No quarter should be
given to the mutineers; at the same time, for the sake of humanity and
the honour of the country they belong to, he calls upon them to spare
all women and children that may come in their way.

"It is so imperative, not only for their safety, but for the success of
the assault, that men should not straggle from their column that the
Major-General feels it his duty to direct all commanding officers to
impress this strictly upon their men, and he is confident that after
this warning the men's good sense and discipline will induce them to
obey their officers and keep steady to their duty. It is to be explained
to every regiment that indiscriminate plunder will not be allowed; that
prize agents have been appointed, by whom all captured property will
be collected and sold, to be divided, according to the rules and
regulations on this head, fairly among all men engaged; and that any
man found guilty of having concealed captured property will be made to
restore it, and will forfeit all claims to the general prize; he will
also be likely to be made over to the Provost-Marshal to be summarily
dealt with.

"The Major-General calls upon the officers of the force to lend their
zealous and efficient co-operation in the erection of the works of the
siege now about to be commenced. He looks especially to the regimental
officers of all grades to impress upon their men that to work in the
trenches during a siege is as necessary and honourable as to fight in
the ranks during a battle.

"He will hold all officers responsible for their utmost being done to
carry out the directions of the Engineers, and he confidently trusts
that all will exhibit a healthy and hearty spirit of emulation and zeal,
from which he has no doubt that the happiest results will follow in the
brilliant termination of all their labours."

_September 7_.--From the night of September 7 to the day of assault
all the artillerymen in the force, European as well as native, were
constantly employed in the batteries and trenches. Day and night
officers and men worked with unflagging energy in the advanced
batteries, with no relief and no cessation from their toil. Few in
number, worn out by the excessive fatigues of a three months' campaign,
and enervated by continuous work in the deadliest season of the year,
these gallant European artillerymen earned during those last days of the
siege, by their zeal and devotion, the heartfelt thanks of the whole
army. The old Bengal Artillery have a splendid roll of services,
extending for upwards of 100 years; still, in the annals of that
distinguished regiment there is no brighter record than their
achievements before Delhi in 1857. The corps has been merged into the
Royal Artillery, but the ancient name still lives in the memory of those
who were witnesses of their deeds, and their imperishable renown adds
greater lustre to the proud motto, _Ubique_, borne by the regiment to
which they are affiliated.

Many officers and men of the cavalry and infantry volunteered for
service in the batteries when called on by the General. They acquitted
themselves well, were of great use to the gunners in lightening the
arduous duties, and were complimented in orders for the valuable aid
they had afforded to their companions in arms.[1]

_September 11_.--The advanced batteries were all completed by the
evening of September 11, when the actual bombardment of the city began.
For three days and nights previous No. 1 Battery, on the extreme right,
was severely pounded from the Mori bastion and Kishenganj, but when the
guns got into full play the fire from the former grew gradually weaker
and weaker, till it was completely overpowered. Nos. 2 and 4 Batteries,
being nearer to the walls, suffered much from the enemy, and the losses
were very severe both among the artillery and the covering and working
bodies of infantry.

_September 11_.--At length, on September 11, the whole of our batteries
opened fire simultaneously on the city bastions and walls. The Kashmir
bastion was soon silenced, the ramparts and adjacent curtains knocked to
fragments, and a large breach opened in the walls. On the extreme left,
at the Custom-House, our battery, as before related, was only 180 yards
from the city, and the crushing fire from this, when in full play,
smashed to pieces the Water bastion, overturned the guns, and made a
breach in the curtain so wide and practicable that it could be ascended
with ease.

Fifty guns and mortars were now pouring shot and shell without a
moment's interval on the doomed city. The din and roar were deafening;
day and night salvos of artillery were heard, roll following roll in
endless succession, and striking terror in the hearts of those who knew
and felt that the day of retribution was at hand.

Still, though their batteries on the bastions had been wellnigh
silenced, the rebels stuck well to their field-guns in the open space
before the walls; they sent a storm of rockets from one of the martello
towers, and fired a stream of musketry from the ramparts and advanced
trenches. Kishenganj, too, made its voice heard, harassing our right and
sweeping the Sabzi Mandi and Hindoo Rao's with its incessant fire.

During the bombardment our casualties amounted to nearly 350 men,
the enemy causing great loss at No. 2 Battery through the fire of a
3-pounder served from a hole broken in the curtain-wall. This gun was
admirably directed, and could not be silenced notwithstanding all our
efforts. One officer, looking over the parapet to see the effect of his
fire, was struck by a shot from the "hole in the wall," his head being
taken completely off, the mutilated trunk falling back amongst the men
at the guns--a ghastly and terrible sight, which filled us who were
present with horror.

During the whole of the bombardment portions of my regiment were on duty
in the batteries and trenches, working at the repair of the parapets and
embrasures occasionally damaged by the enemy's shot, and also taking
their share of duty with the advanced and covering parties. These were
harassing and dangerous services, involving great vigilance. We
were almost always under fire from the enemy; but with the utmost
cheerfulness, and even, I may say, good-humour, the whole of the
infantry did all in their power to lighten the work of the overtasked
artillerymen: comrades we were, all striving for the accomplishment of
one purpose--that of bringing swift and sure destruction on the rebels
who had for so long a period successfully resisted our arms. So cool and
collected had the men become that even in the midst of fire from the
advanced trenches, and while keeping up on our side a brisk fusillade,
the soldiers smoked their pipes, rude jokes were bandied from one to the
other, and laughter was heard.

When off duty I and others took our station for hours on the ridge, and
sometimes on the top of the Flagstaff Tower. Thence with eager eyes we
watched the batteries cannonading the walls, and marked the effects of
the round-shot on the ramparts and bastions. Few of the enemy could be
seen; but every now and then some would show themselves, disappearing
when a well-directed shot struck in too close proximity. Cavalry
and infantry at times issued from the gates; but from their hurried
movements it seemed evident that they were ill at ease, and after a
short time they returned into the city.

At night the scene was, as may be supposed, grand in the extreme. The
space below was lighted up by continuous flashes and bursts of flame,
throwing a flood of light among the thick forest of trees and gardens,
while shells would burst high over the city, illuminating the spires and
domes, and bringing into prominence every object around. There was not
only the roll of the heavy guns and mortars, but the sharp rattle of
musketry, and the hiss of the huge rocket, as it cut through the air
with its brilliant light, sounded in our ears.

_September 12_.--On the 12th the enemy made frequent sorties from the
Lahore and Ajmir Gates with bodies of cavalry and foot, while a party of
horsemen crossed the canal, and made for the right rear of the camp. The
latter were seen by the Guides and some Punjabi cavalry, who, led by
Probyn and Watson, advanced to meet the enemy. There was a short but
sharp encounter at close quarters, in which thirty rebels were killed,
the remainder flying at full speed towards the city. The sorties from
the gates turned out comparatively harmless, and seemed meant only as
demonstrations to draw out our troops from the cover of the advanced
trenches. Seeing that the attempt was futile, and resulted only in loss
to themselves, the enemy retreated in confusion, their flight being
accelerated by shell and round-shot from No. 1 Battery, and musketry
from our outlying posts.

A serious loss befell the army on this day in the death of Captain
Robert Fagan, of the Bengal Artillery. This officer, whose heroism made
his name conspicuous even among the many gallant spirits of the Delhi
Field Force, was killed in No. 3 Advanced Battery, a post he had
occupied since September 8, and which was more than any other exposed to
the enemy's fire. He had served throughout the siege, and was beloved by
his men, winning the hearts of all, not only by his undaunted behaviour
and cool courage, but also by his kind-hearted and amiable disposition.

The approaching day of assault was now the subject of conversation among
officers and men; for the end was at hand. On September 12 a council of
war met in General Wilson's tent, at which all the superior officers of
the army were present. All the arrangements for attack were perfected,
and the position of every brigade and corps was fixed and decided,
though the day and hour of assault was known to no one, not even to the
General in command.

_September 13_.--There was no rest for us on the 13th, the last Sunday
we were destined to pass before the walls of Delhi. The fire of our
heavy cannon increased in violence every hour, and the silence of the
enemy's batteries assured us of the efficacy of the bombardment, and the
speedy approach of the time when our columns would move to the assault
on the city.

That night, soon after darkness had set in, four officers of the
Engineers proceeded to examine the two large breaches in the walls made
by the batteries. It was a hazardous duty, exposing them to peril of
their lives; but these brave young fellows executed their task in
safety, and, unobserved by the enemy, few of whom seemed to be keeping
watch on the ramparts, returned to report the perfect practicability of
the breaches for escalade.

Then the General issued his orders for the final assault; and long
before midnight each regiment in camp knew its allotted place in the
coming attack on the city.

Five storming columns were formed, the position and details of each
being as under:

No. 1, under Brigadier General Nicholson, consisting of the 75th
Regiment, 1st Bengal Fusiliers, and Punjab Infantry, to storm the breach
at the Kashmir bastion--in all 1,000 men.

No. 2 Column, under Brigadier W. Jones (H.M. 61st Regiment), consisting
of H.M. 8th (the King's) Regiment, 2nd Europeans, 4th Sikhs--altogether
850 men to storm the breach near the Water bastion.

No. 3, under Colonel Campbell, consisting of the 52nd Regiment, the
Kumaon battalion of Goorkhas, and 1st Punjab Infantry--in all 950
men--to assault the Kashmir Gate after it should be blown in by the

No. 5, or the Reserve, under Brigadier Longfield (H.M. 8th Regiment), to
follow No. 3 by that gate into the city, was composed of the 61st, the
Belooch battalion, 4th Punjab Infantry, and the Jhind troops--altogether
1,300 men, with 200 of H.M. 60th Rifles--to cover the advance of
Nicholson's column and to form a reserve.

The whole of the above-named columns were under the immediate command of
General Nicholson, on whom devolved all arrangements for carrying out
the assault on Delhi.

No. 4 Column, under Major Reid, the officer in command at Hindoo Rao's
house, was formed of part of the 60th Rifles, the Sirmoor battalion
of Goorkhas, detachments from European regiments, and the Kashmir
contingent. This column was to attack the fortified suburb of
Kishenganj, and enter the city by the Lahore Gate, meeting Nos. 1 and 2
Columns at that place.

The cavalry brigade, under Colonel Grant, composed of the 9th Lancers,
part of the 6th Carabineers, with Sikh and Punjab cavalry and some
Horse Artillery, took up their position on the right of No. 1 Advanced
Battery, facing the Mori Gate, and within range of Kishenganj. Their
object was to oppose any attempt to take the storming columns in
flank, to watch the movements of the enemy, and to guard the camp from

To the convalescents and a small force of cavalry and artillery the
protection of the camp was confided--a very insufficient guard when it
is considered that the enemy might well, out of their vast numbers, have
detached part of their horsemen and infantry to harass, if not imperil,
its safety, and that of the many, sick and wounded. As will hereafter be
seen, great danger resulted from the arrangements made in this respect;
and had the enemy, after our unsuccessful attack on Kishenganj on the
14th, but shown a spirit of pluck and daring, it is not too much to
affirm that the camp might have fallen into their hands, and our
successes in the city have thereby been rendered almost nugatory.

The night of the 13th was passed by us in a cheerful mood, everyone
hopeful and confident of what the morrow would bring forth. There was
a character of determination among the officers and men, a cool,
deliberate conviction that, under Providence, success would crown our
arms, and that vengeance would be done on those who had forfeited their
lives by the cruel massacre of our defenceless women and children.

Sleep visited the eyes of few in camp during the short hours of
preparation for the assault. Fully equipped to turn out at a moment's
notice, we lay down on our beds waiting for the signal to fall in.
This came at about three o'clock on the morning of September 14--an
auspicious day, it being the third anniversary of the Battle of the

_September_ 14.--The troops fell in on their respective lines, and,
assembling at the slope of the ridge, the four columns of attack marched
in silence to the Flagstaff Tower. Thence, picking up the men on picket,
who were all withdrawn from the outlying posts, the force moved by the
road to the neighbourhood of Ludlow Castle, and close to No. 2 Advanced
Battery. Our movements were entirely concealed from the enemy; the
darkness which prevailed, and the ample cover from trees, gardens, and
houses, masking the march of the columns, while the breaching batteries,
which had kept up their fire all night long, still continued the
bombardment; nor did they cease till the actual moment when the columns
were set in motion and took their way to the city.

Just before sunrise all the dispositions were completed, the gallant
Nicholson, under whose orders we were, moving from point to point to
perfect his arrangements. Our artillery fire ceased as if by magic; and
a stillness, which contrasted ominously with the former roar and din,
must have convinced the rebels that something unusual was about to take

The 60th Rifles with a cheer advanced to the front, and opened out as
skirmishers to the right and left of the Koodsia Bagh. Then followed
Nos. 1 and 2 Columns, which, in compact order, issued from their cover,
making for the two breaches to be assaulted.

I was with my regiment in No. 5 Column; and with breathless interest,
each heart aflame with excitement, we watched our comrades marching to
the attack. Presently the order for No. 3 Column to move forward was
given, and at a short interval our own followed.

Meanwhile the enemy had descried our movements, and the ramparts and
walls and also the top of the breaches were alive with men, who poured
in a galling fire on our troops Soon they reached the outer edge of the
moat, and amidst a perfect hailstorm of bullets, causing great havoc
among our men, the scaling-ladders were let down. The ditch here, 20
feet deep and 25 feet broad, offered a serious obstacle to the quick
advance of the assaulting columns; the men fell fast under the withering
fire, and some delay ensued before the ladders could be properly
adjusted. However, nothing daunted, the opposite side was scaled, and,
mounting the escarp, the assailants, with shouts and cheers that could
be heard above the din of battle, rushed up the two breaches.

Without waiting for the charge of the British bayonets, the greater part
of the rebels deserted the walls and bastions and ran pell-mell into the
city, followed by our men. Some few stood manfully and endeavoured to
check the flight of the rest; but they were soon shot or bayoneted, and
the two columns halted inside the walls.

Almost simultaneously with the entrance of our troops into the city, the
Kashmir Gate was blown in, and No. 3 Column, followed by No. 5, advanced
along the covered way and passed into the city. We had only been, met by
desultory fire from the enemy, which caused few casualties, during our
march to the gate; the men were in high spirits, and longed to come to
close quarters.

The episode of the blowing in of the Kashmir Gate of Delhi is too well
known to require description here;[2] suffice it to say that the deed
was an act of heroism almost without a parallel in the annals of the
British army. In broad daylight, a small band of heroes advanced to
almost certain death; but with a determination and valour seldom heard
of, after repeated attempts to lay the powder-bags and apply the match,
and losing nearly all their number, killed and wounded, the gate was
blown in, giving free passage to the assaulting columns.

All the troops were now assembled at the main guard, in an open space
close to the Kashmir Gate, and here, as well as the firing from the
enemy would permit, the force re-formed, under the orders of General
Nicholson. Nos. 1 and 2 Columns united, and under command of that
officer moved to their right, advancing along the walls in that
direction and clearing everything in their way.

No. 3 Column now marched into the heart of the city, being guided by Sir
Theophilus Metcalfe, and by a circuitous route made its way towards the
Jama Musjid. Soon we lost sight of this force, and then our own work

Advancing from our first place at the main guard, No. 5 Column pushed
forward to the College Gardens, marching through narrow streets and
lanes, with high houses on each side. But how can I describe that
terrible street-fighting, which lasted without intermission the whole
day? From every window and door, from loopholes in the buildings, and
from the tops of the houses, a storm of musketry saluted us on every
side, while every now and then, when passing the corner of a street,
field-guns, loaded with grape, discharged their contents into the
column. Officers and men fell fast, but this only served to exasperate
the remainder, who almost without a check reached the College, and,
after some severe skirmishing, cleared the gardens and houses of the
rebels, and bayoneted all who were found there.

Leaving a detachment to occupy this post, we passed through more streets
and lanes, ever exposed to the same terrific fire, and after great
trouble succeeded in taking possession of Colonel Skinner's house and a
large building known as the palace of Ahmed Ali Khan.

It was now midday, and at the latter place we were joined by No. 3
Column, which, making its way to the Jama Musjid, met with such a
strenuous resistance that, after losing many men, and being without
powder with which to blow up the gates of the mosque, it was forced to
retire. The streets, we heard, were alive with men on their line of
route, and the column had been exposed to incessant fire without any
good resulting from their undaunted efforts.

There was work enough and to spare to clear the streets and houses in
front and on each side of the Kashmir Gate; and from the time the
two columns joined forces till night set in a continuous fight was
maintained. The system of attack in which we were engaged allowed of no
formation being retained. Isolated groups of men, European and native,
led sometimes by officers, and often without any leaders, roamed through
the narrow streets, entering houses from which the fire was more than
usually severe, and putting to death without mercy all who were found

On one occasion a party of sepoys and armed rabble emerged from a house
in our front, and were seen by our men, who immediately opened fire.
Soon they were followed by a troop of women yelling and screaming.
Keeping these as a cover for their retreat, the rebels got clear away,
the soldiers having desisted from firing the moment the women appeared.
This was a ruse which, I heard from others, was often adopted by the
mutineers, who seemed to know intuitively that their women and children
were safe from the fire of our men.

The deeds of individual daring performed during September 14 were
numberless, and I was witness of many feats of arms and cool courage
by the rank and file and non-commissioned officers of the different
regiments. A private of my corps, a huge Grenadier Irishman named
Moylan, saved the life of an officer under circumstances which fully
entitled him to the coveted distinction of the Victoria Cross. In one of
the numerous encounters which took place this officer, leading on a few
men, turned sharply round the corner of a street, and was met by a force
of sepoys coming from the opposite direction. A shot struck him, and he
was felled to the ground from the blow of a sword, and would have been
quickly despatched had not Moylan rushed to his rescue. Discharging his
musket, he shot one of the assailants, and charged with the bayonet.
This was broken off; and then, with firelock clubbed, he stood over the
prostrate officer, dealing such fearful blows with the weapon--felling
his foes in every direction--that the sepoys took to their heels, and
Moylan, picking up the wounded officer, brought him to a place of
safety. He was made a sergeant on the spot by the Colonel, but all
efforts to obtain the Cross for this gallant fellow were unavailing. In
those days the distinction was but seldom given; probably so many names
were submitted for the General's consideration that only a few could be
approved, and the application for Moylan was passed by.

But though in the latter's case the Victoria Cross was not given, it was
awarded to a surgeon (named Reade) of my regiment on that day. He was
ever to be found in the thick of the fighting, ministering to the
wounded and cheering on the men. While engaged in his professional
duties, a number of sepoys poured a deadly fire from the far end of a
street into the group of wounded of which he was the central figure.
This was too much for the surgeon, who, drawing his sword, called on
some men of the regiment close by, and led them in gallant style against
the enemy, whom he dispersed with great loss, killing two sepoys with
his own hand. Not only on this occasion, but on several others, the
surgeon's bravery was most conspicuous, no one grudging him the
distinction he had so gallantly won.

There is nothing so destructive of the morale and discipline of soldiers
as street-fighting, nor can control be maintained except by men of
extraordinary resolution. The veterans of the European regiments
composing the Delhi army on the day of assault fully justified their
reputation. Cool and determined, they kept in check the impulsive valour
of the young soldiers, and assisted their officers on various occasions
when it became almost impossible to control their ardour. Till late
at night the fighting never ceased; the weary and famished soldiers,
exhausted and worn out from fatigue and exposure, and without a moment's
rest, carried out the work of clearing the streets and houses, exposed
all the time to a fire of musketry, coming chiefly from unseen foes.

Many lost their lives in the houses, where, entangled in the labyrinth
of roofs, courtyards, and passages, they were shot down by the inmates,
and were found, in several instances days after, with their throats cut
and otherwise mutilated. The hope of finding plunder in these places
also led many to their doom, and accounted for the large list of missing
soldiers whose names appeared in the day's casualties.

And now I must pass from our force to record the doings of No. 1 and
2 Columns, under General Nicholson. These, for a long distance, had
carried all before them, taking possession of the ramparts and bastions
as far as the Kabul Gate, and effectually clearing the streets leading
to the heart of the city. Exposed to a pitiless fire of grape and
musketry through their whole advance, their loss was very heavy, but,
still pressing forward, barrier after barrier was taken, the guns on
each bastion, after its capture, being at once turned on the city. Their
goal was the Burn bastion and the Lahore Gate, and all that men could do
with their diminished numbers was tried at those points without effect.
The rebels were in enormous force at these positions; field-guns and
howitzers poured grape and canister into the assaulting columns, and
musketry rained on them from the adjoining houses. Time after time
attacks were made, till the sadly harassed soldiers, completely worn
out, were forced to retire to the Kabul Gate and the bastions and
ramparts they had already gained.

It was in one of these unsuccessful attempts to carry the Lahore Gate
that Nicholson fell mortally wounded. Ever eager and impetuous, his
dauntless soul led him into the thick of the combat. Spurning danger,
and unmindful of his valuable life, he was in the front, in the act
of encouraging and leading on his men, when the fatal shot laid low a
spirit whose equal there was not to be found in India. He lingered
for some days in great torment, expiring on September 23, mourned by
everyone in the force, from the General in command to the private
soldier, all of whom knew his worth, and felt that in the then momentous
crisis his absence from amongst us could ill be borne. No eulogy can add
to his renown; through his efforts, more than those of any other, Delhi
fell, and he left his unconquered spirit as a heritage for the work
still to be accomplished in the pacification of India. His name itself
was a tower of strength in the army. Peerless amongst the brave men of
his time, to what brilliant destinies might he not have succeeded had
his young life (he was but thirty-four years old) been prolonged!

I must now revert to No. 4 Column, under Major Reid, and the attack on
the strong fortified suburb of Kishenganj. About 100 men of my regiment
were engaged in this affair; and from the lips of our officers I had a
full account of the fight and the subsequent retreat.[3]

The morning had dawned, and Major Reid waited to hear the signal to
commence operations--the blowing in of the Kashmir Gate. His force,
numbering about 1,000 men besides the Kashmir troops, were formed up on
the Grand Trunk Road, opposite the Sabzi Mandi picket and at the foot of
the ridge. Now the sun had risen, and still he watched for the signal,
when shots in quick succession were heard on the right of the column,
and it became known that the Kashmir contingent, without waiting for
orders, had become engaged with the enemy.

Some men of the 60th Rifles were thrown out as skirmishers, and Major
Reid moved with his force in the direction of Kishenganj. Soon they were
stopped by strong breastworks thrown up by the enemy and barring the
road to the suburb, the rebels being concealed behind these in great
force, and pouring a heavy fire on our troops when only fifty yards
distant. A rush was made for the earthworks, which were taken in gallant
style; but the want of field-guns was here felt, and the enemy retired a
short distance amongst the gardens, from which they continued to harass
our troops. The Kishenganj battery also opened fire, and our position
became critical in the extreme from the increasing number of the foe,
who were constantly reinforced, and defied all endeavours to drive them
from their cover.

While the struggle was thus raging on the left, the Kashmir troops on
the extreme right flank had become involved with a large force of the
enemy of all arms, who, no doubt despising the martial qualities of
these half-disciplined levies, attacked them on all sides with
great vigour. Our allies made no stand, and soon became completely
disorganized, flying at length in headlong rout, with the loss of all
their guns. No record was kept of their casualties, but they must have
been very severe. For the future they remained unemployed in their camp,
bewailing the loss of their four guns, and were never again engaged with
the enemy.

Two or three days after the capture of Delhi I was wandering, with some
others, through the streets of the city, when we came upon an officer
and four men of the contingent, who accosted us, asking if we had heard
or seen anything of their lost guns. They seemed in great grief, fearing
the wrath of the Maharajah of Kashmir when they should arrive home,
leaving the guns behind. With difficulty restraining a laugh, we assured
them that we could give no information on the subject, and counselled
them to search among the guns on the bastions near the Lahore and Ajmir
Gates. They succeeded eventually in finding two, the others probably
being borne off as trophies by the sepoys during the evacuation of
Delhi. The contingent soon afterwards left for Kashmir, but how they
were received by the Maharajah we never heard, though probably condign
punishment was meted out to those who had actual charge of the guns.

The defeat of the Kashmir troops had a most disastrous effect on the
issue of the attack on Kishenganj. Reinforced in great numbers, as I
have related, the enemy maintained their ground, and our men could make
no impression on them, chiefly from the want of field-guns. Major Reid,
moreover, was wounded at an early stage of the action, and was carried
off the field. His absence was soon felt in the altered dispositions of
the force, and the want of a leader to carry out the plans formed by

The breastworks which had been taken could not be held for want of
support, and some confusion resulted, the enemy's artillery from
Kishenganj and musketry from the gardens causing great destruction.
Many gallant attempts were made to drive off the rebels, but all were
unavailing; and at length, after losing one-third of its number, the
column fell back in good order to its original starting-point near the
Sabzi Mandi, and Kishenganj remained in the hands of the enemy. Had that
position been taken, and No. 4 Column, according to instructions, pushed
on to the Lahore Gate, no good, as it turned out, would have been
effected. Nicholson's columns, as related, had been forced to retire;
the gate would have remained closed, and possibly the undertaking would
have resulted in a more serious collapse than the ineffectual attempt on

The presence of a large unconquered force on our right flank also placed
the camp in imminent danger. It was known--from information received
from spies--that it was the enemy's intention, after our failure
to dislodge them from the suburb, to make an attack on the almost
unprotected camp. The danger fortunately passed off, the rebels probably
having little heart to join in operations to our rear when they heard
the news of the signal success of our columns in the city. Still, their
presence at Kishenganj was a standing menace; nor were we completely at
ease with regard to the safety of the camp till the 20th, when the city
was found to be evacuated by the enemy, and our troops immediately took

Lastly, I must narrate the doings of the Cavalry Brigade. This force,
with Horse Artillery, was stationed near No. 1 Advanced Battery, under
the command of Brigadier Hope-Grant, their duty being to guard our
right flank from being turned during the assault on the city. Here they
remained, keeping a watchful lookout for some hours, till orders came
for the brigade to move towards the walls of Delhi. They halted opposite
the Kabul Gate, at a distance of 400 yards, and were at once exposed to
the fire from the bastions, and to musketry from the gardens outside
the suburbs of Taliwarra and Kishenganj. Our Horse Artillery made good
practice, driving the enemy from their cover and spiking two guns; but
the exposed situation caused great losses in the cavalry, and they moved
still further to their front, halting amidst some trees.

The enemy now sallied from the gardens as though with the intention
of driving the cavalry in the direction of the Kashmir Gate. The
circumstances were most critical, when a body of Guide Infantry, coming
up at the time, threw themselves on the rebels, maintaining their place
with great resolution till help arrived, with a part of the Belooch
battalion, and the enemy were forced to retire.

Too much praise cannot be given to the 9th Lancers and Horse Artillery
for their conduct on this occasion. Exposed for hours to cannonade
and musketry, unable to act from the nature of the ground, they never
flinched from their post, forming a living target to the fire of the
rebels. The same may be said of the Sikh and Punjabi cavalry, who
displayed a coolness and intrepidity scarcely, if at all, less
meritorious than that of their European comrades. Our casualties were
very severe, the 9th Lancers alone losing upwards of twenty men killed
and wounded.

And now that I have described the operations of each column and portions
of the Delhi army during September 14, it will be necessary to record
the advantages we had gained. From the Water bastion to the Kabul Gate,
a distance of more than a mile, and constituting the northern face
of the fortifications of Delhi, was in our possession, with all the
intervening bastions, ramparts, and walls. Some progress had been made
into the city opposite, and to the right and left of the Kashmir Gate,
and along the line of walls. The College and its grounds, Colonel
Skinner's house, that of Ahmed Ali Khan, and many other smaller
buildings were held by the infantry. The enemy's guns on the bastions
had been turned on to the city, and a constant fire was kept up, the
streets and lanes being cleared in front, and advanced posts occupied by
our men.

These advantages had not been gained without a severe struggle, and a
terrible roll of killed and wounded was the consequence. Our casualties
on September 14 amounted to upwards of 1,200 officers and men killed,
wounded, and missing--a loss out of all proportion to the small number
of men engaged, and when the relative forces are considered, far
exceeding that which was suffered by the British army during the assault
on the Redan on September 8, 1855. The deadly and destructive nature
of street-fighting was here apparent, and the long-sustained contest,
lasting more than twelve hours, swelled the total loss to the excessive
amount recorded. In my regiment alone 100 men were placed _hors de
combat_, thirty-three being killed; but the other European regiments
suffered still more in proportion, and especially so those which took
part in the actual assault on the breaches.

The native troops fought with the most determined bravery; Sikhs,
Punjabis, and Goorkhas, side by side with their English comrades,
pressed into the forefront of the strife, helping in the most material
manner towards the day's success.

It was impossible to ascertain the loss sustained by the enemy. Dead
bodies lay thick in the streets and open spaces, and numbers were killed
in the houses; but the greater part of those who fell were no
doubt carried off by the rebels. In the ardour of the fight many
non-combatants also lost their lives, our men, mad and excited, making
no distinction.

There is no more terrible spectacle than a city taken by storm. All the
pent-up passions of men are here let loose without restraint. Roused
to a pitch of fury from long-continued resistance, and eager to take
vengeance on the murderers of women and children, the men in their
pitiless rage showed no mercy. The dark days of Badajoz and San
Sebastian were renewed on a small scale at Delhi; and during the
assault, seeing the impetuous fury of our men, I could not help
recalling to my mind the harrowing details of the old Peninsular Wars
here reproduced before my eyes.

With the exception of a small amount of looting, the men were too much
occupied with fighting and vengeance to take note of the means of
temptation which lay within their reach in the untold quantities of
spirits in the stores of the city. Strong drink is now, and has in all
ages been, the bane of the British soldier--a propensity he cannot
resist in times of peace, and which is tenfold aggravated when excited
by fighting, and when the wherewithal to indulge it lies spread before
him, as was the case at Delhi. When and by whom begun I cannot say, but
early in the morning of the 15th the stores had been broken into, and
the men revelled in unlimited supplies of drink of every kind. It is a
sad circumstance to chronicle, and the drunkenness which ensued might
have resulted in serious consequences to the army had the enemy taken
advantage of the sorry position we were in. Vain were the attempts made
at first to put a stop to the dissipations, and not till orders went
forth from the General to destroy all the liquor that could be found did
the orgy cease, and the men return crestfallen and ashamed to a sense
of their duties. The work of destruction was carried out chiefly by the
Sikhs and Punjabis, and the wasted drink ran in streams through the
conduits of the city.

_September 15_.--This untoward event considerably hampered the
operations on September 15, and but small progress was made that day
towards driving the rebels out of Delhi. The artillery and engineers
worked hard at the completion of the batteries on the captured bastions,
on which were mounted our own and the enemy's heavy guns; and one for
mortars was erected in the College grounds, which shelled the Palace
and the Fort of Selimgarh. A few houses were taken in advance of our
positions, but no further movement on any large scale was attempted,
owing to the demoralized state of a great portion of the European
infantry, and, further, to a desire that the troops should obtain some
rest after the unparalleled fatigues and exposure of the previous day.

Reports also spread through the force that the General, feeling his
strength and means inadequate to hold even the portions of the city in
our possession, meditated an evacuation of the place, and a retirement
to the old camp to await reinforcements. Every consideration must be
made for one placed in his critical position; and he, no doubt, in his
own mind, felt justified in proposing the step, which, had it been
carried out, would, in all probability, have ended in the fall of
British rule in India. "In an extraordinary situation extraordinary
resolution is needed," was the saying of the Great Napoleon, and to no
crisis in our history was this dictum more applicable than that at Delhi
in September, 1857. Mutiny and rebellion spread their hydra heads over
the land, disaffection was rife in the Punjab, our only source of supply
for operations in the field; and nought could stay the alarming symptoms
save the complete capture and retention of the great stronghold of
rebellion. It had also been a well-known maxim laid down and carried out
by Clive, Wellesley, Lake, and all the great commanders who had made
our name famous in Hindostan, never to retire before an Eastern foe, no
matter how great the disparity of numbers; and history tells us that our
successes were due mainly to this rule, while the few reverses we have
suffered resulted from a timid policy carried out by men whose heart
failed them in the hour of trial.

Happily for the Delhi army, and more especially for the English name,
the counsels of the General in command were overruled by the chief
officers in the force, and even the gallant Nicholson from his death-bed
denounced, in language which those who heard it will never forget, the
step contemplated by his superior officer.

Towards the evening of the 15th the enemy, becoming emboldened by our
inactivity, attacked the advanced posts along our whole line, and kept
up a sharp musketry fire, more especially on the College compound, while
the heavy guns at Selimgarh and some at the magazine shelled those
gardens and houses adjacent--even as far as the Kashmir Gate--occupied
by our troops. At 5 p. m. a battery of heavy guns played on the defences
of the magazine, soon crumbling the wall to pieces, and opening out a
large breach for assault.

_September 16_.--My regiment, the 4th Punjab Rifles, and a wing of the
Belooch battalion were detailed as a storming party, and mustering at an
early hour on the morning of the 16th, we marched to the attack on
the magazine.[4] This enclosure--a large walled area close to the
Palace--was surrounded by a high curtained wall with towers, the
interior space being occupied by buildings and containing a park of
artillery and munitions of war. We met with no resistance on our way,
and on approaching the breach saw only a few defenders on the ramparts,
who opened a fire, which, however, caused little damage. A rush was at
once made, the men gaining the top of the bridge without difficulty, and
bayoneting some sepoys and firing on the remainder, who fled through the
enclosure and were driven out at the gates on the opposite side. We had
only about a dozen men killed and wounded, but of the enemy more than
100 lost their lives, being dragged out of the buildings where they had
taken refuge and quickly put to death. Two hundred and thirty-two guns
fell into our hands, besides piles of shot and shell; in fact, so vast
was the amount that, although the enemy had been firing from their
batteries for more than three months, making a lavish use of the stores
at their command, scarcely any impression seemed to have been made on

That day and the following night our position in the captured magazine
was anything but pleasant. The rebels continually harassed us with
shells fired from the Chandni Chauk and near the Palace. Some, more
venturesome than the rest, climbed on ladders to the top of the walls,
plying us with musketry and hand-grenades, while others during the night
mounted the high trees overhanging the enclosure, and with long lighted
bamboos tried to set fire to the thatched buildings and blow up a small
magazine. These attempts kept us constantly on the alert; and it was
with great difficulty that we prevented damage being done.

Fighting continued during the day among the other portions of the force,
and Nos. 1 and 2 Columns made further advances among the streets, the
guns and mortars from the bastions throwing shot and shell far into the
crowded parts of the city. Houses in commanding situations were taken
and made secure from assault by defences of sand-bags. Great judgment
was shown in these operations, and the losses in consequence were
comparatively few; but the enemy as yet gave no signs of retreating
from Delhi, and our leaders felt that great exertions would still be
necessary before the city fell entirely into our hands.

_September 17_.--During the 17th and 18th a constant fire of shells from
upwards of twenty mortars was directed from the magazine and College
grounds on the Selimgarh Fort and the Palace, those from the bastions
still firing into a large portion of the city. Skirmishing went on at
the advanced posts, and a regular unbroken line of communication was
established from one end of our pickets to the other.

_September 18_.--On the 18th my regiment moved from the magazine and
took up its quarters in the Protestant Church, close to the main guard
and Kashmir Gate, and at no great distance from the northern walls of
the city. This church had been built by the gallant and philanthropic
Colonel Alexander Skinner, C.B., an Eurasian and an Irregular cavalry
commander of some eminence during the wars in the beginning of the
century. He also erected at his own expense a Hindoo temple and a
Mohammedan mosque, giving as his reason that all religions were alike,
and that, in his opinion, each one was entitled to as much consideration
as the other.

This church in which we were now quartered had been sadly desecrated by
the rebels and fanatics of the city. They had, in their religious zeal,
torn down the pulpit and reading-desk, defaced emblems, broken up the
pews and the benches, and shattered all the panes of glass, while here
and there inside the building were remains of their cooking-places, with
broken fragments of utensils. The walls, too, had suffered much from the
effects of our bombardment from September 11 to 14, the church being
in the line of fire directed on the bastions. Many, no doubt, would
consider it a sacrilege to quarter English troops in this sacred
edifice, but the exigencies of war required its use for this purpose,
and of all the buildings occupied by us during our stay in Delhi, the
church was found to be cleanest and best ventilated, free from the
noisome smells and close atmosphere of the native houses.

The close of the 18th saw our outposts extended hard by the Chandni
Chauk--the main street of the city--the bank, Major Abbott's and Khan
Mohammed's houses having first been seized by our men, who suffered
severely from the field-guns and musketry of the rebels. There was also
another unsuccessful attack made on the Burn bastion and Lahore Gate
by the right column, in which the 75th lost one officer and many
men killed. The arrangements for attack seemed to have been bad and
ill-advised; the soldiers felt the want of the guiding genius of
Nicholson, and, during an advance through a narrow lane were literally
mown down by grape from the enemy's field-guns.

The weather, which since the 14th had been fine, broke up on the night
of the 18th, and was succeeded by a terrific storm of rain, which fell
in torrents like a deluge. That night it was reported that the rebels in
great numbers were evacuating the city by the south side, the Bareilly
and Neemuch brigades making off in the direction of Gwalior. Certain it
is that from this period signs of waning strength appeared among the
enemy, and fewer attempts at assault were made on our outposts, those
on the left near the Palace, which were well protected by breastworks,
being only exposed to a very desultory fire of musketry.

During the forenoon of the 18th there was, I think, a partial eclipse of
the sun, which lasted three hours. The unusual darkness which prevailed
astonished us beyond measure (our minds being taken up with events more
startling than astronomical phenomena) till reference to an almanac
explained the mystery. The eclipse had, we were told, an alarming effect
on the mutineers, who attributed the phenomenon to some supernatural
agency. The darkness no doubt worked on their superstitious fears, and
hastened their flight from the city on which the wrath of the Almighty
had descended.

_September 19_.--On the 19th operations in front of the Palace Gate were
continued, a heavy fire being kept up against that place, while the 60th
Rifles and others, perched on the tops of houses, took unerring aim at
the rebels clustered in the open space. The same evening, also, the
exertions of the right column were rewarded by the capture of the Burn
bastion, with little loss on our side.

It was now quite evident that the baffled insurgents were retiring from
Delhi in great numbers, mostly by the south side, few crossing the
bridge of boats by day owing to it being commanded by our guns. But on
the night of the 19th, when sitting in the church compound watching the
shells exploding over the Palace and Selimgarh, we heard distinctly,
through the intervals of firing, a distant, confused hum of voices, like
the murmur of a great multitude. The sound came from the direction of
the river, and was caused by multitudes of human beings, who, escaping
by the bridge of boats to the opposite side, were deserting the city
which was so soon to fall into our hands.

_September 20_.--After some sharp fighting, and early on the morning of
September 20, the Lahore Gate and Garstin bastion, which during former
assaults had cost us the lives of so many men, were taken, the column
pushing on along the walls to the Ajmir Gate, which also fell into our
hands. There were few defenders at these places, the mass of sepoys
having evidently fled into the country; and the troops marched through
the streets almost without opposition.

There now remained but the Palace, Selimgarh, and the Jama Masjid, and
these were all occupied by our troops on that day. The former seemed
almost deserted, an occasional shot from the high walls directed on our
defences in the Chandni Chauk being the only signs of animation in that
quarter. Powder-bags were brought up and attached, to the great gate,
which was quickly blown in; and the 60th Rifles, with some Goorkhas,
rushed into the enclosure. A score or two of armed fanatics offered some
resistance, but they were soon shot down or bayoneted, and a few wounded
sepoys found in the buildings were put to death. Passing through the
Palace, Selimgarh was entered, and this, the last fortified position
belonging to the enemy, was taken possession of without a struggle.

Meanwhile, a force of cavalry under Hodson moved round outside the city
walls, and found a large camp of the enemy near the Delhi Gate. This
was deserted, save by some sick and wounded sepoys, who were put to the
sword; and the horsemen, riding through the gate, made their way into
the heart of the city and took possession of the Jama Masjid without
striking a blow.

Delhi had at length fallen into our hands, and the toils and dangers
of more than three months were at an end. The principal buildings were
occupied by our troops, and guards were placed at each gate with orders
to prevent the ingress or egress of any suspicious-looking characters,
while parties of armed men patrolled the streets of the city from end to

That night we moved back to our old quarters at Ahmed Ali Khan's house,
the 52nd taking our place at the church. The first-named building was a
vast structure, belonging to a rich native, and had been furnished in a
style of Oriental magnificence; but now nothing but the bare walls and
floors were to be seen, the place having been ransacked of its treasures
and completely gutted since our last occupancy.

From September 15 to 20, when Delhi fell, the force lost in killed and
wounded about 200 officers and men, making the total casualties 1,400,
including those of the day of assault.

From May 30 to September 13 inclusive 2,490 officers and men were killed
and wounded, the grand total being close on 4,000. Add to these fully
1,200 who perished by cholera and other diseases, and it will be seen at
what a fearful cost of life to the small force engaged the victory was

Truly the capture of Delhi was a feat of arms without a parallel in
our Indian annals. The bravery of the men, their indomitable pluck and
resolution, the siege carried on with dogged pertinacity and without a
murmur, proclaimed to the world that British soldiers, in those stormy
times when the fate of an Empire was at issue, had fully maintained the
reputation of their ancestors and earned the gratitude of their country.

To me, after the long interval of years, the incidents of the siege,
with its continual strife and ever-recurring dangers, come back to me as
in a dream. Often in fancy has my mind wandered back to those days
of turmoil and excitement, when men's hearts were agitated to their
profoundest depths, and our cause appeared wellnigh hopeless. Then it
was that a small body of men in a far-away part of North-West India,
entirely separated from the rest of the world, a few thousands amongst
millions of an alien race, rallied round their country's banners and
despaired not, though mutiny and rebellion ranged through the land. With
steadfast purpose and with hearts that knew no fear, the Delhi army
held its own for months against an overwhelming force of cruel and
remorseless rebels. Imperfectly equipped, and with little knowledge of
the dangers to be surmounted and the difficulties arising on every
side, each man of that force felt himself a host, and devoted his
energies--nay, his very life--to meet the crisis. None but those who
were there can for one moment realize through what suffering and
hardship the troops passed during the three months the Siege of Delhi
lasted. Day after day, under a burning sun or through the deadly time of
the rainy season, with pestilence in their midst, distressing accounts
from all parts of the country, and no hope of relief save through their
own unaided exertions, the soldiers of the army before Delhi fought with
a courage and constancy which no difficulties could daunt and no trials,
however severe, could overcome. In the end these men, worn out by
exposure and diminished in numbers, stormed a strong fortified city
defended by a vastly superior force, and for six days carried on a
constant fight in the streets, till the enemy were driven out of their
stronghold and Delhi was won. It must also be remembered that the
feat was accomplished without the help of a single soldier from home;
reinforcements had arrived in the country, but they were hundreds of
miles distant when the news reached them of the capture of Delhi: and it
is not too much to say that the success which followed the subsequent
operations down-country was due mainly to the fact that all danger from
the north-west had virtually ceased, and the mutiny had already received
a crushing blow from the capture of the great city of rebellion.

[Footnote 1: Lieutenant Boileau, 61st Regiment, served in the batteries
till the end of the siege.]

[Footnote 2: Are not the names of the Engineers Home and Salkeld and of
Bugler Hawthorne (H.M. 52nd Regiment) household words?]

[Footnote 3: Captain Deacon and Lieutenants Moore and Young were wounded
in this engagement.]

[Footnote 4: Colonel Deacon, Her Majesty's 61st Regiment, commanded on
this occasion.]



The renown won by our troops in 1857 is now wellnigh forgotten, and,
in fact, their deeds in that distant quarter of our Empire faded into
oblivion within a very short period subsequent to the capture of Delhi.
When the regiments engaged at that place came home to England after a
long course of service in India, scarcely any notice was taken of their
arrival. There were no marchings past before Her Majesty at Windsor or
elsewhere, no public distribution of medals and rewards, no banquets
given to the leading officers of the force, and no record published
of the arduous duties in which they had been engaged. Those times are
changed, and the country has now rushed into the opposite extreme of
fulsome adulation, making a laughing-stock of the army and covering
with glory the conquerors in a ten days' war waged against the wretched
fellaheen soldiers of Egypt.

Five years passed away after 1857 (and how many poor fellows had died in
the meantime!) before a mean and niggardly Government distributed to the
remnant of the Delhi army the first instalment of prize-money, and three
years more elapsed before the second was paid.

In September, 1861, exactly four years after the storm of Delhi, my
regiment paraded at the Plymouth citadel to receive medals for the
campaign of 1857. The distribution took place in the quietest manner
possible, none but the officers and men of the regiment being present.
Borne on a large tray into the midst of a square, the medals were handed
by a sergeant to each one entitled to the long-withheld decoration, the
Adjutant meanwhile reading out the names of the recipients. There was
no fuss or ceremony, but I recollect that those present could not help
contrasting the scene with the grand parade and the presence of the
Queen when some of the Crimean officers and men received the numerous
decorations so lavishly bestowed for that campaign.[1]

The city was entirely in our possession by noon of September 20, and
shortly after that hour I proceeded on horseback, with orders from
the Colonel, to withdraw all the advanced pickets of my regiment
to headquarters at Ahmed Ali Khan's house. These were stationed in
different parts of the city, and it was with no small difficulty that I
threaded my way through the streets and interminable narrow lanes, which
were all blocked up with heaps of broken furniture and rubbish that had
been thrown out of the houses by our troops, and formed in places an
almost impassable barrier. Not a soul was to be seen; all was still
as death, save now and then the sound of a musket-shot in the far-off
quarters of the town.

My duty accomplished, I started in the afternoon with two of our
officers to view a portion of the city. We made our way first in the
direction of the Palace, passing down the Chandni Chauk (Silver Street)
and entering the Great Gate of the former imperial residence of the
Mogul Emperors. Here a guard of the 60th Rifles kept watch and ward with
some of the jovial little Goorkhas of the Kumaon battalion. From the
first we learnt particulars of the easy capture of the Palace that
morning, and were shown the bodies of the fanatics who had disputed the
entrance and had been killed in the enclosure. None of them were sepoys,
but belonged to that class of men called "ghazi," or champions of the
faith, men generally intoxicated with bhang, who are to be found in
every Mohammedan army--fierce madmen, devotees to death in the cause of
religion. Passing on, we wandered through the courts, wondering at the
vast size of this castellated palace with its towering, embattled walls,
till we came to the Dewan-i-Khas, and further on to the Dewan-i-Aum, or
Hall of Audience. This last, a large building of white marble on the
battlements overhanging the River Jumna, was now the headquarters of the
General and his staff, and where formerly the descendants of the great
warrior Tamerlane held their court, British officers had taken up their
abode; and infidels desecrated those halls, where only "true believers"
had assembled for hundreds of years.

Passing thence through a gateway and over a swinging bridge, we entered
the old fort of Selimgarh, built, like the Palace, on the banks of the
river, its battlements, as well as those of the latter place on its
eastern side, being washed by the waters of the Jumna. Several heavy
guns and mortars were mounted on the walls of the fort, and we noticed
one old cannon of immense size for throwing stone balls, but which was
cracked at the muzzle, and evidently had not been used for centuries.
The fort was full of large and commodious buildings, used afterwards for
hospitals by our troops, the place itself, from its commanding situation
open and separate from the rest of the city, being the healthiest place
that could be found. There was a lovely view of the country on the left
bank of the Jumna, while to the north and south we followed the windings
of the broad river till lost to view in the far distance.

Descending from Selimgarh, we took our stand on the bridge of boats now
deserted in its whole length, but over which, during the days of the
siege, thousands of mutineers had marched to swell the rebel forces in
Delhi. Thence we skirted along the banks of the river outside the walls,
viewing on our way the houses of the European residents, built in
charming situations close to the water's edge. These had been all
entirely destroyed, gutted, and burnt; nothing but the bare walls were
left standing, and the interiors filled with heaps of ashes. We thought
of the wretched fate of the former inmates of these houses, most of
whom had been mercilessly killed by the city rabble, urged on in their
fiendish work by the native soldiers, of the regular army.

The mutineers of the 3rd Light Cavalry from Meerut had entered Delhi on
May 11, crossing the Jumna by the bridge of boats, and, being joined
by the city scoundrels, first wreaked their vengeance on the European
residents who lived close by, and who, without any previous warning of
the terrible fate in store for them, fell easy victims to the murderers.
It made our blood run cold, when visiting the ruins of these houses, to
think of the dastardly crimes which had been committed in and around the
spots on which we were standing. Defenceless and unarmed, helpless
in the hands of these human tigers, our unfortunate men, women, and
children were immolated without mercy. Turning back, we entered the city
by the Calcutta Gate, and walked along the ramparts by the riverside,
past the walls of the magazine, till we reached the Water bastion. Here
the destructive effect of our batteries during the bombardment was most
apparent. Fired at the distance of only 180 yards, the guns had smashed
the walls and ramparts to pieces, huge fragments had rolled down into
the ditch, and the cannon in the battery were completely dismounted from
the carriages, lying in confusion one on top of the other.

At the Kashmir Gate there was a heap of goods (consisting principally
of clothes and rubbish) many feet high, which had been looted from the
houses around. The guard at the gate had orders to allow no one to pass
out with a bundle of any kind; and the consequence was an accumulation
of material, chiefly worthless, which covered many square yards of
ground. I have omitted all record of the plundering which up to this
time, and for long afterwards, took place all over the city where
our troops had penetrated. This account I have reserved for the last
chapter, where full details of the loot of Delhi and the amount of
prize-money accruing to the force will be found. _September 21_.--During
the 21st I, in company with other officers, wandered over the heart of
the city, continuing our perambulations south of the Chandni Chauk and
penetrating into streets beyond, where the six days' fighting had taken
place. The night before we had heard occasional shots fired at no great
distance, and these were continued during the day and for some time

Looting was going on to a great extent, both European and native
soldiers engaging in the work; and though strict orders had been issued
to prevent such licence, it was found impossible to check the evil. The
shots emanated from these men, who, of course, went about well armed,
and brooked no interference when in the act of securing booty.
Altercations of a serious nature had taken place between the Europeans
and Sikh soldiers, ending sometimes in blows, and often in bloodshed,
when the two parties met in a house or were busy employed in dividing
the spoil. However, in time, when most of the native troops had left
Delhi, and the European regiments were quartered in walled enclosures
with a guard at the gates to prevent egress, the looting on the part of
the private soldiers ceased, and the prize agents were enabled to gather
in the enormous wealth of the city without any trouble.

The portions of the town we passed through on that day had been pillaged
to the fullest extent. Not content with ransacking the interior of each
house, the soldiers had broken up every article of furniture, and with
wanton destruction had thrown everything portable out of the windows.
Each street was filled with a mass of debris consisting of household
effects of every kind, all lying in inextricable confusion one on top of
the other, forming barricades--from end to end of a street--many feet
high. We entered several of the large houses belonging to the wealthier
class of natives, and found every one in the same condition, turned
inside out, their ornaments torn to pieces, costly articles, too heavy
to remove, battered into fragments, and a general air of desolation
pervading each building. Much of this wholesale destruction was, no
doubt, attributable to the action of the sepoys and rabble of the city,
who during the siege, and in the state of anarchy which prevailed during
that period, had looted to their hearts' content, levying blackmail on
the richer inhabitants and pursuing their evil course without let or
hindrance. Still, that which had escaped the plundering and devastating
hands of the sepoys was most effectually ruined by our men. Not a
single house or building remained intact, and the damage done must have
amounted to thousands of pounds.

We were quite alone in most streets; deserted and silent, they resembled
a city of the dead on which some awful catastrophe had fallen. It was
difficult to realize that we were passing through what had been, only a
few days before, the abode of thousands of people. What had become of
them, and by what magic influence had all disappeared? Not till days
afterwards was the mystery solved.

The _tai-khanas_, or underground rooms of houses, scattered all over the
city, were found to be filled with human beings--those who, by age or
infirmity, had been unable to join in the general exodus which had taken
place during the last days of the siege. Hundreds of old men, women and
children, were found huddled together, half starved, in these places,
the most wretched-looking objects I ever saw. There was no means of
feeding them in the city, where their presence also would have raised a
plague and many would have died; so, by the orders of the General, they
were turned out of the gates of Delhi and escorted into the country. It
was a melancholy sight, seeing them trooping out of the town, hundreds
passing through the Lahore Gate every day for a whole week. We were told
that provisions had been collected for their use at a place some miles
distant, and it is to be hoped the poor creatures were saved from
starvation; but we had our doubts on the subject, and, knowing how
callous with regard to human suffering the authorities had become, I
fear that many perished from want and exposure.

There were other objects also which raised feelings of pity in our
minds. During our walks through the streets we caught sight of dozens
of cats and tame monkeys on the roofs of the houses, looking at us with
most woe-begone countenances, the latter chattering with fear. These, as
well as birds of every description left behind in cages by their owners
on their flight, literally starved to death in the houses and streets of
the city. There was no food for such as these, and it is lamentable to
think of the torture and suffering the poor pet creatures endured till
death put an end to their misery.

Dead bodies of sepoys and city inhabitants lay scattered in every
direction, poisoning the air for many days, and raising a stench which
was unbearable. These in time were almost all cleared away by the native
scavengers, but in some distant streets corpses lay rotting in the sun
for weeks, and during my rides on duty, when stationed at the Ajmir
Gate, I often came across a dead body which had escaped search.

On the afternoon of the 21st a most important capture was effected by
Hodson. Shah Bahadoor Shah, the old King of Delhi, was taken by that
officer near the city while endeavouring to escape down-country.

Hodson, with his accustomed daring, and accompanied by 100 only of his
own troopers, seized the person of the King from amongst thousands of
armed dependents and rabble, who, awed by his stern demeanour, did not
raise a hand in resisting the capture. The King was brought to Delhi the
same day, and lodged as a prisoner in the house formerly the residence
of the notorious Begum Sumroo. He was guarded by fifty men of my
regiment, under command of a Lieutenant; and on the 22nd I went to see
him, accompanied by our Adjutant.

Sitting cross-legged on a cushion placed on a common native _charpoy_,
or bed, in the verandah of a courtyard, was the last representative of
the Great Mogul dynasty. There was nothing imposing in his appearance,
save a long white beard which reached to his girdle. About middle
height, and upwards of seventy years old, he was dressed in white, with
a conical-shaped turban of the same colour and material, while at his
back two attendants stood, waving over his head large fans of peacocks'
feathers, the emblem of sovereignty--a pitiable farce in the case of one
who was already shorn of his regal attributes, a prisoner in the hands
of his enemies. Not a word came from his lips; in silence he sat day and
night, with his eyes cast on the ground, and as though utterly oblivious
of the condition in which he was placed. On another bed, three feet
from the King, sat the officer on guard, while two stalwart European
sentries, with fixed bayonets, stood on either side. The orders given
were that on any attempt at a rescue the officer was immediately to
shoot the King with his own hand.

[Illustration: KING OF DELHI AS A PRISONER IN 1857.]

[From a photograph taken from a pencil sketch by Captain Robles, who was
placed on guard over him.]

The old King was brought to trial shortly afterwards at the palace, and
found guilty of complicity in the murders of our country men and women,
and was transported beyond the seas, dying in British Burmah before he
could be removed to the Andaman Islands, where, in accordance with his
sentence, he was to have remained in imprisonment for the term of
his natural life. The vicissitudes of fortune, numberless as are the
instances among men of royal birth, can scarcely show anything more
suggestive of the transitoriness of earthly pomp and grandeur than
the case of the last King of Delhi. Sprung from the line of the great
conqueror Tamerlane, the lineal descendant of the magnanimous Akbar and
of Shah Jehan the magnificent, he ended his days as a common felon, far
from the country of his ancestors, unwept for and unhonoured.

_September 22_.--Lieutenant Hodson, also on the 22nd, took prisoner, at
a place some miles from Delhi, the two eldest sons and the grandson
of the King. These men, more especially the eldest, who was
Commander-in-Chief of the rebel army, had been deeply implicated in the
murders of May 11, had urged on the sepoys and populace in their cruel
deeds, and were present at the terrible massacre of our people which
took place in the Chandni Chauk on that day.

Hodson's orders were precise as to the fate of these blood-thirsty
ruffians, and though his name has been vilified and his reputation
tarnished by so-called humanitarians for the course he adopted in
ridding the world of the miscreants, he was upheld in the deed by the
whole Delhi army, men in every respect better qualified to form a
judgment in this particular than the sentimental beings at home who
denounced with horror this perfectly justifiable act of speedy and
condign punishment.

The three Princes were placed in a _gharee_, or native carriage, and,
guarded by Hodson's native troopers, were conducted towards the city.
Before they entered, the carriage was stopped, and Hodson spoke to his
men of the crimes committed by the prisoners. Then, dismounting from his
horse and opening the door of the _gharee_, he fired two shots from a
Colt's revolver into each of their hearts. After being driven to the
Kotwali, or chief magistrate's house, in the centre of the Chandni
Chauk, on the very spot where our country men and women had suffered
death, the three bodies were stripped save a rag around the loins, and
laid naked on the stone slabs outside the building.

Here I saw them that same afternoon; nor can it be said that I or the
others who viewed the lifeless remains felt any pity in our hearts for
the wretches on whom had fallen a most righteous retribution for their
crimes. The eldest was a strong, well-knit man in the prime of life, the
next somewhat younger, while the third was quite a youth not more than
twenty years of age. Each of the Princes had two small bullet-holes over
the region of the heart, the flesh singed by gunpowder, as the shots
were fired close; a cloth covered part of the loins, but they were
otherwise quite naked. There was a guard, I think, of Coke's Rifles
stationed at the Kotwali, and there the bodies remained exposed for
three days, and were then buried in dishonoured graves.

On the 22nd the regiment, or what was left of it, comprising about 180
effective rank and file, moved from Ahmed Ali Khan's house to the Ajmir
Gate at the extreme south-western side of the city, a distance of a mile
and a half from our former residence. Here we put up in a large serai,
with open courtyards in the centre, shaded by high trees, the small
rooms on each side of the building being turned into quarters for the
men, the officers taking up their abode in a mosque at the far end. The
change was far from agreeable; flies and mosquitoes swarmed around us,
the ditch outside the walls was filled with pools of stagnant water, and
a horrible stench impregnated the air, increasing the sickness among
the already enfeebled soldiers, and still further reducing our scanty

_September 23_.--The next day I started with D----, of my regiment, to
view the Jama Masjid, or Great Mosque. Nothing can exceed the rich,
though chaste, beauty of this glorious structure. The building stands
in a large walled enclosure, high broad steps leading up to the mosque,
with its three domes of pure white marble and floor of the same
material, all inlaid with figures. We ascended one of the minarets,
about 120 feet high, obtaining a grand view of the imperial city and the
surrounding country. To the south extended the ruins of Ferozebad, or
ancient Delhi; to the east lay the River Jumna; and to the west and
north stretched a forest of trees and gardens, among which were seen the
suburbs of the city, the now historic ridge in the far distance hiding
the whole camp from our view. From our elevated position a just estimate
could be formed of the great size of Delhi: the city lay spread out
below with its vast area of streets, its palaces, mosques, and temples,
all silent and deserted, in striking contrast to the din and turmoil of
a few days back.

Major Coke's corps of Punjab Rifles were quartered in the Masjid--a
luxurious place of residence--but there were no worshippers to be found
in the sacred building, and only armed men of an infidel creed were to
be seen. A report spread at this time that it had been decided to blow
up the mosque. I cannot vouch for the truth of this statement, and can
only attribute the rumour to a belief that a large ransom would be paid
by the Mohammedan population of India for the preservation of their
temple had the authorities really intended to carry out the project. Its
destruction would have been an act of vandalism quite at variance with
the character of the British nation, and one which would have brought
down on us the wrath and contempt of the whole civilized world.

From the Jama Masjid we wandered through narrow lanes and
back-slums--the former resort of the worst characters in the city--to
the Delhi and Turkoman Gates, the streets, as in other parts, being
strewed with property from the wrecked houses, and wellnigh impassable.
We saw parties of Europeans and native soldiers, all eager in the
pursuit of plunder, going from house to house, or diving down courts and
alleys when they saw us approaching. Interference or remonstrance with
these men would have been useless, if not dangerous; in their excited
state they were no respecters of persons, and we deemed it the better
judgment to take no notice of their actions. Dead bodies lay in almost
every street, rotting in the burning sun, and the effluvium was
sickening, so that we were glad to make our way back to the Ajmir Gate
to a less poisonous atmosphere.

A movable column of 2,500 men of all arms started on the morning of the
23rd in pursuit of the rebels, taking the direction to Cawnpore. My
regiment had been detailed for this service; and, though numerically
weak, and suffering from sickness, the officers and men hailed with
pleasure the approaching departure from Delhi. But, unfortunately for
us, the Colonel in command reported us sick and unfit to march. We were
all to a man furious at this; everyone fit for duty was willing, heart
and soul, to be sent wherever the exigencies of the war required, and
more especially looked forward with delight to the prospect of serving
under Sir Colin Campbell, in whose brigade the regiment had fought in
the Punjab campaign of 1848-49. Still, the decision of the responsible
officer was not to be disputed, and so the regiment was kept at Delhi.

On the 25th I mounted guard with fifty men at the Lahore Gate. The
orders were "on no account to allow soldiers, either European or native,
nor camp-followers without passes, to enter or leave the city." My post
was constantly at the gate, where I examined passes; and while
thus occupied some thirty troopers of the Mooltani Horse--wild,
truculent-looking fellows, armed to the teeth--rode up demanding
entrance. I explained to them what my orders were, and refused
admission. Whereupon they commenced talking among themselves, and
presently had the audacity to move towards the sentries with the
intention of forcing their way. I was exasperated beyond measure, and
turned out the guard, at the same time telling the Mooltanis that, if
they did not at once retire, I would fire upon them without more
ado. They then at once changed their threatening attitude, contented
themselves with swearing at the _Gore log_,[2] and rode away, saying
that now Nicholson was dead no one cared for them, and they would return
to their homes. These men had been newly raised, were scarcely under
proper discipline, and were certainly horrible-looking bandits and
cut-throats--very different from the Sikh and Punjabi Horsemen, who were
in manner and discipline all that could be desired. I knew that the
Mooltanis only desired entrance into the city to participate in the
looting which was still going on; and had they been allowed to indulge
in a work for which by their evil countenances they seemed well adapted,
collisions would have taken place between them and the English soldiers
and others, and bloodshed would have been the result.

Shortly after the Mooltani Horsemen rode away I saw a party of Goorkhas
coming towards the gate. They were strolling along quite unconcernedly,
laughing and chatting together, with their hands in their pockets and
quite unarmed, not even carrying their favourite _kukri_. Coming to
where I was standing just outside the gate, they laughingly asked me to
allow them to take a stroll down the Chandni Chauk and through a part of
the city for a short time. My orders were imperative, and I told them
so; whereat they said they belonged to the Sirmoor battalion--the
gallant regiment which, in conjunction with the 60th Rifles, had
defended the right of our position throughout the siege. The corps was
still stationed at their old quarters at Hindoo Rao's house, and not one
of them up to this time had entered Delhi. Naturally, they said they
wished to see the city, promised most faithfully that they would refrain
from looting, and return to the Lahore Gate in an hour's time. I found I
could not resist the importunities of these brave little fellows, and,
trusting to their honour, at last consented, though contrary to orders,
to grant them admission. We watched them walking along the Chandni
Chauk, staring in wonder at all they saw, till lost in the distance.
Punctual to the time mentioned the Goorkhas returned, and, thanking me
for my courtesy, made their way to their old quarters on the ridge.

During my tour on duty on this occasion at the Lahore Gate upwards of
500 of the Delhi populace were turned out of the city. They extended
in a long string up the Chandni Chauk, decrepit old men and women
with groups of young children. It was a pitiable sight, drawing forth
exclamations of sympathy even from the rough soldiers on guard.

It had been brought to the notice of the General that some of the former
inhabitants of Delhi, including sepoys, were in the habit of entering
the city for the purpose of carrying away valuables, being drawn up by
ropes held by confederates on the walls, and that many had also escaped
in the darkness by the same means. Several captures had already been
made, a strict watch was ordered to be kept at the several gates, and
patrolling parties to march at intervals outside the walls. The day I
was on guard at the Lahore Gate Hodson rode up to me from the outside,
and said he had seen some natives on the walls close by, evidently
attempting to escape into the country. I immediately sent round a
corporal and four soldiers in the direction indicated, who presently
returned with six natives--carrying bundles--whom they had made
prisoners. All men thus captured were sent to the Governor of the city
at the Kotwalli, who disposed of them as he thought fit, having the
power of life and death in these matters. The Governor had the repute of
being over-indulgent with regard to the disposal of the captives, being
considered too merciful in his treatment of men who, for aught he knew,
had forfeited their lives in joining the armed rebellion against our

A striking instance of the feeling which animated officers and men in
the troublous times took place some time afterwards at Delhi. An officer
of my regiment was on guard at the Ajmir Gate, and on one occasion sent
to the Governor some men whom he had captured while they were in the
act of escaping from the city. These men were released; but on a second
occasion three men were taken, and the officer, deeming it useless to
forward them for punishment to the usual authority, called out a file of
his soldiers, placed the prisoners in the ditch outside the Ajmir
Gate, shot them, and then, digging a hole, buried them at the place of

For a long period after the capture of Delhi executions by hanging
were of common occurrence in the city, and the hands of the old
provost-sergeant were full. Disguised sepoys and inhabitants taken
with arms in their possession had short shrift, and were at once
consigned to the gallows, a batch of ten one day suffering death
opposite the Kotwali.

In the beginning of October two more reputed sons of the old King were
shot by sentence of court-martial. They had commanded regiments of
the rebel army, and were foremost in the revolt, even joining in the
massacre of our people. The 60th Rifles and some Goorkhas formed
the firing party, and took, strange to say, such bad aim that the
provost-sergeant had to finish the work by shooting each culprit with
a pistol. Nothing could have been more ill-favoured and dirty than the
wretched victims; but they met their fate in silence and with the most
dogged composure.

_September 28_.--Accompanied by our Adjutant and some other officers, I
rode out to Taliwarra and Kishenganj on September 28. These suburbs were
a mass of ruins, but enough was left intact to show the immense strength
of the enemy's position at the former place. Batteries had been erected
at every available spot, strongly fortified and entrenched, and one in
particular which had raked the right of our position was perfect in
every detail, and was guarded by a ditch, or rather _nallah_, forty feet

We passed through the large caravanserai, the scene of the conflict
during the memorable sortie of July 9, and when in the course of our
inspection in the enclosure a ludicrous event occurred. An officer who
had been shot through the leg on that day, recognizing the place where
he had received his wound, dismounted from his horse, and stood on the
very spot. He was in the act of explaining events, and describing his
sensations when shot, when suddenly he made a jump in the air, uttering
a cry of pain, and commenced rubbing his legs, first one and then the
other. We burst into laughter at the antics of our friend, who, we
imagined, had been seized with a fit of madness quite at variance with
his usual quiet demeanour, and jokingly asked him what was the matter.
Still writhing with pain, and engaged in his involuntary saltatory
exercise, he pointed to a swarm of wasps which, roused from their nest,
on which he had been standing, covered his lower extremities, and had
made their way inside his pantaloons, stinging him on both legs, and
crawling up his body. The pain must have been intense, and fully
accounted for his gymnastics and frantic efforts to crush the insects.
It was some days before he recovered from the wounds he had received,
far more painful--as he averred--than the enemy's bullet, I intimated
at the time to my friend that the wasps probably were the ghosts of
the sepoys who had been killed in the serai, their bodies, by the
transmigration of souls, having taken the shape of these malignant
insects in order to wreak vengeance on their destroyers. He, however,
did not seem to relish my interpretation of this very singular event,
and, in fact, was inclined to resent what he called my ill-timed
jesting; but the story spread, and our poor friend became for some time
afterwards the butt and laughing-stock of the regiment.

From Kishenganj we rode through the Sabzi Mandi Gardens, visiting our
old pickets there and at the Crow's Nest, and then proceeded up the
slope of the ridge to Hindoo Rao's house. This was still garrisoned by
the Sirmoor battalion of Goorkhas, some of whom escorted us round the
place, pointing out the different positions they had so gallantly
defended. The house was knocked to pieces, the walls showing evidence of
the enemy's fire, and revealing to us the truth of the saying in camp
that these hardy little fellows, with the 60th Rifles, during more than
three months, had been constantly exposed night and day to shot and
shell, there not being a single part of their quarters where complete
shelter could be found.

The Observatory, close to Hindoo Rao's house, had also felt the effect
of the enemy's shot, while midway between the Observatory and the
Flagstaff Tower, the Mosque--the only other building on the ridge--was
also in ruins. Our batteries, nine in number, lay in a comparatively
small compass, extending about three-quarters of a mile from the Crow's
Nest in the right rear to Wilson's battery opposite the Observatory. The
rest of the ridge was unprotected by guns in position, it being at so
great a distance from the city and also free from the enemy's attacks;
the only danger and annoyance arose from occasional shells, which
reached the camp and exploded amongst the tents, from round-shot and
from rocket fire.

Passing by the Flagstaff Tower, we rode through the old camp, now
desolate and silent, visiting the graves of our poor fellows at the
cemetery, and then, retracing our steps, entered Delhi by the Kashmir
Gate, and returned to our quarters.

Cholera still continued its ravages among the small number of troops
left in Delhi. The reaction from a life of strife and excitement to the
dull existence we were now leading had its effects on the men, and we
each day lamented more and more that we had not gone with the Movable
Column, leaving the noisome smells, the increasing sickness, and the
monotony of Delhi behind. Two thousand sick and wounded had been moved
into the Fort of Selimgarh, where the pure air and open situation of the
place soon made a marked change in the number of invalids: but disease
was rife among the regiments quartered in the city, and convalescents
from Selimgarh were soon replaced by men suffering from cholera and
fever ague.

In the beginning of October, to our intense delight, we moved from the
Ajmir Gate, that sink of corruption, and took up our quarters in the
magazine. The officers here occupied a fine roomy building of two
stories, while the men were housed in comfortable sheds round the
enclosure. We still furnished guards at the Ajmir and Lahore Gates, the
term of duty, through paucity of men for relief, extending over three
days. The officer on guard at the former gate visited detachments and
sentries at the "Delhi" and "Turkoman" Gates, a distance of a mile and
a half through streets in which dead bodies in the last stage of
decomposition were still lying. While one day engaged on this duty, I
passed a carcass on which some pariah dogs were making a meal. Disgusted
at the sight, and weak in stomach from the putrid air, I returned to
my tent at the Ajmir Gate at the time when my servant arrived with my
dinner from the magazine. I asked him what he had brought me, and was
answered, "Liver and bacon." The nauseating sight I had just witnessed
recurred to my memory, visions of diseased and putrid livers rose before
my view, and, unable to control myself, I was seized with a fit of
sickness which prostrated me for some time after.

Nothing of importance occurred during the month of October. We settled
into a very quiet life at the magazine, varied by eternal guard-mounting
at the different gates of the city and regimental drill. My health had
been failing for some time, and, now that there seemed no immediate
prospect of employment on active service, I gladly acquiesced in the
doctor's advice that I should proceed to Umballah on sick leave.

_November 8_.--Accordingly I left Delhi on November 8, my destination
being Umballah, a station in the Cis-Sutlej provinces. A _palki ghari_,
or Indian carriage, drawn by two horses, awaited me that evening at
Selimgarh, and, bidding adieu to our good doctor, who had nursed me with
unremitting attention during my sickness, I entered the carriage.
Just before starting, an officer of my regiment handed me two
double-barrelled pistols--revolvers were at a premium in those
days--saying they might possibly come in useful during my journey, and
I little thought at the time that their services would be brought into

The country around Delhi swarmed with _goojars_, the generic name for
professional thieves, who inhabited the numerous villages and levied
blackmail on travellers, though seldom interfering with Europeans. My
baggage, consisting of two _petarahs_ (native leather trunks) containing
uniform and clothing, was deposited on the roof of the vehicle under
charge of my bearer, but the loot I had acquired, I had safely stowed in
a despatch-box, which was placed under my pillow in the interior of the
carriage. A bed, comfortably arranged, occupied the seats, and on this I
lay down, closing the doors of the _ghari_ when night came on.

Some two stages from Delhi, after changing horses and proceeding on the
journey along the pucka road, I fell into a doze, and at last into a
sound sleep. From this I was rudely awakened by shouts of "Chor! chor!"
(Thief! thief!) from my bearer and the native coachman. Starting up,
I seized the pistols, and opening the doors of the _ghari_, saw, as I
fancied, some forms disappearing in the darkness at the side of the
road. I fired two barrels in the direction and pursued for some
distance, but finding that my shots had not taken effect, and fearful of
losing my way--for the night was pitch-dark--I returned to the carriage.
My bearer then told me that some robbers had climbed up the back of the
_ghari_, taken the two _petarahs_ between which he was lying, and made
off into the country. We had been driving at the usual pace, about six
miles an hour, and it proves the practised skill and agility of the
_goojars_, who, with such ease, had abstracted the boxes from under the
very nose of my servant. There was nothing for it but to continue my
journey regretting the loss of my personal effects, but still fortunate
in one respect--that the loot was safe under my pillow.

_November 9_.--At the next stage I questioned the horse-keeper,
acquainting him with the robbery, and learned that a village inhabited
by _goojars_ lay off the road not far from the place where the robbery
had been perpetrated. In the morning I arrived at the civil station
of Karnal, and drove to the residence of the Commissioner, to whom I
reported my loss, giving the name of the village where it had occurred.
He told me to make out a valuation of the things stolen and to send it
to him on the first opportunity. This I did on reaching Umballah, fixing
the value of the different articles in the boxes at 250 rupees. A month
afterwards, when the affair had almost faded from my memory, I received
a letter from the Commissioner stating that he had visited the village
near the spot where the robbery had taken place. The headman had been
summoned to his presence, and warned that, unless the thieves were
given up and the boxes returned with their contents intact, he would
confiscate a certain number of cattle, and sell the same to indemnify
me for the losses I had sustained. These orders being unfulfilled, the
cattle were sold, and an order for 250 rupees was enclosed to me in the
letter. The boxes, quite empty, with the exception of my journals, were
found afterwards at the bottom of a well and were forwarded to Umballah.
The ink had run in the journals from immersion in the water, but the
writing was little defaced, and these papers--to me the most precious
part of my luggage--I was glad to recover.

The change to Umballah was at first beneficial, but later on I suffered
a relapse; and after appearing before a medical board, was granted a
year's leave to England.

From Umballah I journeyed to Ferozepore, where I met several of my
brother-officers and others who, like myself, had been invalided home.

_January 10, 1858_.--After a short stay there--the time being
principally taken up with chartering boats and providing necessaries
for the passage down the river--we all, to the number of about fifty
persons, occupying twenty-two boats, which had to be specially fitted up
with straw-built houses with sloping roofs, set off on January 10, 1858,
under the protection of a guard of Sikhs, and, after what may on the
whole be regarded as a pleasant trip, reached Tattah on February 11.
Thence I went on to Karachi and Bombay and Marseilles, and, after a
pleasant tour on the Continent of Europe, arrived in the Old Country in
May, 1858, after an absence of rather more than six years.


[Footnote 1: Since the above was written, especial honour has been shown
to those who participated in the hardships and glories of the campaign
by His Majesty King Edward VII., who received the surviving officers at
a levee at St. James's Palace on June 3, 1907.

A public dinner was also given by the proprietors of the _Daily
Telegraph_ in the Albert Hall on December 23 of the same year to all the
surviving veterans who had taken part in the suppression of the Mutiny
in 1857.]

[Footnote 2: White people.]



The riches of the city of Delhi and the opulence of its Princes and
merchants had been celebrated in Hindostan from time immemorial. For
ages it had been the capital of an empire extending from the snows of
the Himalayas to Cape Comorin; and to Delhi, as to a centre, gravitated
the wealth of the richest country in the world. Fabulous reports had
reached us of the booty carried away to distant regions by the numerous
warriors who burst like a torrent over Hindostan, making that city the
goal of their conquests and the scene of their predatory forays. During
the nineteenth century Delhi, since its capture by Lord Lake in 1803,
had remained in the hands of the British, the city owing a nominal
allegiance to the King, who, to all intents and purposes a State
prisoner, was a pensioner of our Government up to 1857, holding a Court
(consisting for the most part of wretched dependents and ragamuffins) in
the Palace of the Great Mogul.

The quiet which reigned during that period had a salutary effect on the
prosperity of Delhi; its merchants and storekeepers, trading with
the inhabitants of the richly-cultivated Dooab and with more distant
countries, became rich and prosperous, accumulating vast treasures,
while the people, with the instinct of a penurious race, converted their
ready-money into jewels and gold and silver ornaments, and safely stowed
them away in hidden receptacles within their houses.

The numerous races of India--and notably the Sikhs--burning for an
opportunity to plunder the imperial city, cast longing eyes towards
these hidden treasures, the fame of which had spread far and wide; and
to this desire may be attributed, as much as any other reason, the
willingness of that warlike people to help us during the Mutiny.

While the siege was progressing, even at a time when clouded with
anxiety as to the future, men's minds were full of the uncertain issue
of the fight; the thoughts of all in camp turned involuntarily to the
rich harvest awaiting the army should Delhi fall into our hands. To all
of us (putting aside the morality of the question), the loot of the
city was to be a fitting recompense for the toils and privations we had
undergone; nor did the questionable character of the transaction weigh
for one moment with us against the recognized military law--"that a city
taken by assault belonged as prize to the conquerors." During the actual
bombardment, when the end seemed at hand, this subject of prize was the
topic of conversation among both officers and men; and soon we learnt
with satisfaction that the General in command, after consulting with
others in authority, had settled on the course to be pursued.

On September 7 a notice appeared in "orders" in which General Wilson
thanked the army for the courage and devotion displayed during the long
months of the siege. He recapitulated the dangers through which the
force had passed, and looked forward hopefully to the future when,
Providence favouring us, a few short days would see the enemy's
stronghold pass into our hands. Instructions the most peremptory were
laid down as to the absolute necessity for the troops keeping well
together on the day of assault, and not dispersing in scattered bands
or alone through the streets of the city in pursuit of plunder. Great
danger and possible annihilation of the small army would result were
these precautions overlooked, rendering the force liable to be cut up
in detail by the large bodies of rebels then occupying the streets and
houses of Delhi. Lastly, as a reward and incentive to all engaged, the
General gave his word, promising that all property captured in the city
would be placed in one common fund, to be distributed as prize according
to the rules of war in such cases. The commanding officer, as well as
all in the army, knew that it would be impossible to prevent looting
altogether, but it was hoped that the above order would have a good
effect by urging on the soldiers, for their welfare and advantage, the
necessity of obeying the instructions therein laid down.

This order, as I have said, appeared on September 7; nor, from the
promises given, had any of us the slightest doubt but that its
provisions with regard to prize-money would be carried into effect in
due course. Delhi was taken, but as time passed by, and months elapsed
without any notification on the subject being received from the Supreme
Government, the army began to feel anxious, and murmurs arose as to the
non-fulfilment of the pledge given by General Wilson. At length, at the
end of the year, the Governor-General, with the advice of his Executive
Council, promulgated his decision that there was an objection to the
troops receiving the Delhi prize-money, and in lieu thereof granted as a
recompense for their arduous labours and patient endurance in the field
the "magnificent" sum of six months' batta.

Lord Canning, his Council and law advisers, all civilians sitting
quietly at Calcutta, living in ease and comfort far from the dangers of
war, thought, forsooth, that the Delhi army, struggling for existence
for months, fighting to uphold British rule in India--nay, for the very
lives and safety of these civilian judges--and at last victorious in the
contest, would rest content with their decision.

It is needless to say that this roused a storm of indignation not only
amongst the Delhi force, but throughout the British army in India--a
burst of resentment which, reaching the Governor-General, made him pause
and reconsider his ill-timed and unjust decision. Suffice it to say that
the order was rescinded, and that the prize-money, in addition to six
months' batta, was granted to all engaged.

The day that the news of the first decision of the Government arrived at
Delhi, when all at that place were full of the wrong done to the army, a
private soldier of the 60th Rifles, inspired by the most exquisite sense
of humour as well as of bitter satire, wrote upon the walls of the
palace where his regiment was quartered the following appropriate
sentence: "Delhi taken and India saved for 36 rupees 10 annas." It
is said that the Governor-General demanded the name of this waggish
soldier, with the intention that he might receive punishment for his
daring effrontery; but it is needless to say that the author of the joke
remained unknown save to a few of his comrades; and the great ruler of
Hindostan was forced to rest content and ponder over the hidden sarcasm
and bitter irony addressed to one in his exalted position.

The army was further promised by the Government 5 per cent, on the whole
amount of the prize-money till the amount should be paid. This, during
the many years which elapsed before the money was distributed,
would have reached a large sum; but faith was broken and the sum
repudiated--another instance of want of gratitude to soldiers who,
looked to maintain their country's honour in time of war, are in peace,
and when danger is at an end, soon forgotten. So prolonged, also, was
the delay in payment of the prize-money that, I recollect, the Times, in
reference to this subject about 1860 or 1861, had a leading article in
its columns recommending the Delhi army to bring an action against the
Government for the payment of the prize. Such action, of course, would
have been without precedent, but it showed the feeling of many in the
country when the leading journal thought right to draw attention to the
subject with a view to the adjustment of the army's rightful claim.

To return to General Wilson's order of September 7. Notices were
circulated throughout the camp in every brigade and regiment, calling on
the troops to elect prize agents for gathering and receiving prize after
the capture of the city. These prize agents, therefore, were selected
by the army, one for the general and field officers, the second for the
Queen's service of all ranks below that of Major, and the third for the
company's army. The officers appointed, including Captain Fagan, and
after his death Doctor Innes, Sir Edward Campbell, of the 60th Rifles,
and Captain Wriford, of the 1st Bengal Fusiliers, were all most popular
men, and considered in every way fit for the very important duties they
had to perform.

On September 14, the day of assault, till the 20th, when Delhi was
completely in our possession, much looting took place in the city. Our
troops, both European and native, and especially the Sikhs, entered
houses during those days and managed to secrete about their persons
articles of value. To my certain knowledge, also, many soldiers of the
English regiments got possession of jewellery and gold ornaments taken
from the bodies of the slain sepoys and city inhabitants, and I was
shown by men of my regiment strings of pearls and gold mohurs which had
fallen into their hands.

On the day of assault we were much amused, during a slight cessation of
the conflict, by one of our men rushing up to a group of officers in a
state of great excitement, with the news that there was a buggy with two
horses standing at the corner of a street close by. He offered the prize
to anyone who would give him a bottle of rum; but in the then state of
affairs no one felt inclined to burden himself with such a luxury, and
the poor fellow went away much disappointed. Whether he succeeded in
disposing of the prize I don't know; but when things quieted down, and
the regiment was stationed in comfortable quarters, one of our officers,
noted for his constant impecuniosity, appeared one day driving a buggy
and two horses, the acquisition of which always remained a secret; nor
would he, on being questioned, throw any light on the matter.

That many of the private soldiers of my regiment succeeded in acquiring
a great quantity of valuable plunder was fully demonstrated soon after
our arrival in England. An unusual number of non-commissioned officers
and men bought their discharge, having during three years kept
possession of the plunder acquired at Delhi awaiting a favourable
opportunity for the sale of the articles. Many jewellers' shops in
the town in which we were quartered exposed for sale in the windows
ornaments and trinkets of unmistakable Eastern workmanship, which, on
inquiry, we were told had been bought from the men.

It would have been contrary to human nature, and utterly at variance
with the predatory instinct, had the soldiers failed to take advantage
of the facilities for plunder which surrounded them on every side; nor
could it be expected that a man, after possessing himself of valuables,
would at once, or on the first favourable opportunity, deliver up
his booty to the properly-constituted authorities. This much may be
conceded, and it will therefore not be a subject of wonder that all
ranks of the Delhi Force, with but few exceptions, availed themselves
of the prize within their reach, and appropriated to their own use much
treasure which ought to have gone towards swelling the general fund.

One officer in command of a native regiment quartered his corps in a
house which formerly belonged to one of the richest Princes in the city
of Delhi. The place was full of riches of every kind, and it was the
popular belief at the time throughout the army that the officer in
question succeeded in obtaining two lakhs of rupees. Rumour also said
that a court of inquiry would be held to investigate the truth or
otherwise of this report, but, if such had been contemplated, it fell to
the ground; nor was any attempt made to induce the officer to disgorge
his plunder. I paid a visit to this mansion some time afterwards, and
can vouch for the thorough ransacking the place had received. Every room
in the house had been pillaged, excavations had been made in the floors,
and empty boxes lay in every direction.

Other cases similar to that just mentioned were known to us at the
time, in which sums of money were appropriated only a little smaller in
amount, while of those which reached the value of £100 their name is
legion. Many men also there were who, at first swayed by moral scruples,
as well as feeling reluctant to disobey the order which had been issued,
refrained from looting on their own account; but when they saw that
officers, even of the higher ranks, took possession of plunder, these
scruples were cast to the winds--it was "every man for himself, and the
d--- l take the hindmost," and a general desire was evinced for each to
enrich himself with the prize lying at his feet.

Often, when wandering through the city in pursuit of plunder, I, in
company with others, came across officers engaged in the same quest as
ourselves. These rencontres were most amusing, giving rise to mutual
interrogations and many jokes, each party affirming that looting was not
the object of their perambulations, but that they were only inspecting
the houses out of a feeling of curiosity. Up to this time I had not
succeeded in finding any articles of value, nor had I the remotest idea
that my acquaintance with a certain officer in the employ of the prize
agents would put me in the way of acquiring a fair amount of the loot of
Delhi. A few silver ornaments and a small bag of sicca rupees were all
that I had so far obtained, and I naturally felt desirous of increasing
my store, more especially when it was well known that many officers,
more fortunate and less scrupulous, had already made themselves masters
of large quantities of valuable plunder.

The accumulation of prize by the agents began shortly after Delhi was
taken. At first the articles obtained were of little worth, comprising
chiefly wearing apparel of every description and household goods. Soon,
however, more costly effects were found by the searchers, and in a very
short time the rooms of the prize agents were filled with treasures of
every kind--jewellery and precious stones, diamonds, rubies, emeralds
and pearls without number, from those as large as hen's eggs to the
small species used for necklaces; gold ornaments, chains of the most
beautiful workmanship, bracelets and bangles all of solid metal. There
were heaps, also, of the small, thick, native coin known as gold mohurs,
thousands of which were accumulated by the prize agents and helped most
materially to swell the amount. I visited one room, the long table
in which literally groaned with the riches of "Ormuz and of Ind"--a
dazzling sight to the eye, and one calculated to raise the spirit
of greed in my breast to possess myself of some of the treasures so
temptingly exposed to view. When quiet returned, and the inhabitants of
the city began to flock back to their former homes, whole streets, in
which no doubt treasure had been concealed and had escaped the search of
the prize agents, were sold to the people for sums ranging from 5,000 to
50,000 rupees. All this helped to increase the prize to a sum which
was variously estimated at from half to three-quarters of a million
sterling; and even then it was asserted that only a portion of the vast
wealth of Delhi had been found.

As far as I know, the Government, when distributing the prize-money in
two installments--in 1862 and again in 1865--gave no account of the
total amount which had been collected. The private soldier's share was
reckoned as the unit, value about £17, increasing according to the pay
of the different ranks--the Ensign five shares, Lieutenant six and a
half, Captain eleven and a half, and so in proportion among the higher
grade of officers, while that of the Commander-in-Chief amounted to
one-sixteenth of the whole--an immense sum. There were, of course, many
exaggerations as to how much each rank would receive as its share, and
there were many heart-burnings also when the true amount became known.
The sum had dwindled down to less than one-third of what we expected,
and not a few expressed openly their conviction that some tampering
had taken place with regard to the distribution. This can hardly be
believed, though it has always been a notorious fact that the Government
are inclined to treat the claims of those who fight their battles with
neglect, and in one particular at least, by repudiating the 5 per cent,
promised till the Delhi prize-money was paid, they acted up to their
usual unjust policy, and gave occasions for the complaints which were
raised at the time.

I will now proceed to give an account of my experience when acting as an
assistant to an officer who was accredited by the prize agents with a
permit to search for plunder. This officer, an old friend of mine, asked
me to accompany him on his expeditions, saying also that he had no
objection to my helping myself in moderation to part of the loot which
we might happen to find. Carrying with us the necessary tools, such as
hammers, spades, and pickaxes, we each day started--accompanied by
two coolies--on our plundering excursions. For some days we were very
unsuccessful, and for nearly a week only managed to gather together
and transmit to the agents articles of little value. But, soon gaining
experience from continued practice, and taking note of the different
houses in which there was a likelihood of finding prize, we settled
down to a systematic course of search, which in the end proved highly
remunerative. Scarcely anything of value was found lying about the
different rooms; these had been already gutted and the contents
destroyed by the soldiers, both European and native, who, since the day
of assault, had roamed about the city. At the time we began our search
all was comparatively quiet, and during our operations, such was the
vast extent of the city and so numerous the buildings, that only on two
or three occasions were we interrupted by parties engaged in the same
quest as ourselves.

My companion was a good Hindustani scholar, and taking advantage of his
proficiency in the language, he made a point of interviewing several
natives of the city, who, in the capacity of workmen in different
trades, were allowed in Delhi, and were employed in their several
occupations. From one of these, a mason and builder, N--received
information that a large quantity of treasure was concealed in the house
of a former rich resident. This man had helped to secrete the hoard, and
on the promise of a small reward was willing to help us in unearthing
the booty.

One morning in the beginning of October, attended by the mason, and
carrying the necessary implements, we were taken to the house in
question. This was a large building with a courtyard in the centre, the
rooms of which showed the remains of luxury and wealth, but, as usual,
had been despoiled by the plunderers of our army. Every article was
scattered about in dire confusion; there were piles of clothing and
bedding; rich and ornamental stuffs were torn to pieces, and the
household furniture, broken up, was strewn about the courtyard. Our
guide took us to a small room, about 80 feet square--in fact, it was the
closet of the establishment--the walls of which were whitewashed, the
floor being covered with a hard cement. Here, we were told, the treasure
was concealed under the flooring of the room, and we lost no time in
commencing operations, the mason assisting us. Picking through the
cement, we came on a large flagstone, which we lifted out of the cavity.
Then we dug a hole about 3 feet square, and the same depth in the loose
earth, disclosing the mouth of a large earthenware _gharra_, or jar.
Loosening the soil all around, we attempted to raise the jar out of the
ground, but all our efforts were unavailing--its great weight preventing
us from lifting it one inch out of the bed. Then, trembling with
excitement, for we felt sure that a rich display would greet our eyes,
we began slowly to remove each article from the _gharra_, and place it
on the floor of the room. A heavy bag lying at the mouth of the jar
was first taken out, and on opening it, and afterwards counting its
contents, we found that it contained 700 native gold mohurs, worth
nearly £1,200. Then came dozens of gold bangles, or anklets, of pure
metal, such as those worn by dancing-girls. We were fairly bewildered at
the sight, our hands trembling and our eyes ablaze with excitement, for
such an amount of pure gold as that already discovered we had never seen
before. But the treasure was not yet half exhausted. The jar seemed a
perfect mine of wealth--gold chains, plain and of filigree workmanship,
each worth from £10 to £30; ornaments of the same metal of every sort
of design, and executed in a style for which the Delhi jewellers are
celebrated all over India. Then came small silver caskets filled with
pearls, together to the number of more than 200, each worth from £3 to
£4, pierced for stringing. Others, containing small diamonds, rubies,
and emeralds, and the greatest prize of all--reclining in a casket by
itself--a large diamond, which was sold afterwards by the prize agents
for £1,000. There were many other articles of value besides those I have
mentioned--gold rings and tiaras inlaid with precious stones, nose-rings
of the kind worn by women through the nostrils, earrings, bracelets, and
necklaces of small pearls without number.

All these various articles we spread out on the floor of the room,
examining each again and again, and with avaricious thoughts intent,
lamenting that we were not allowed to appropriate what would have been
to us a fortune. Truly such a temptation to enrich themselves without
fear of detection was never till this occasion set before two
impecunious subalterns of the British Army. Here, spread out before us,
lay loot to the value of thousands of pounds, all our own were we to
follow the example of some who had already feathered their nests with
much larger amounts, defying those in authority to take the plunder from
them. However, such a course could not be entertained for one moment,
and, moreover, were we to possess ourselves of all the contents of
the jar, there was no secure place of concealment to be found, and
unpleasant inquiries and prying eyes would soon have revealed to the
world our abduction of the booty.

It is impossible to do more than guess at the value of the plunder
acquired on this day. My friend received a reward for the find; as for
myself, I will leave it to my readers whether it was possible for weak
human nature to resist the temptation of carrying away some few mementos
from this miscellaneous collection of treasure-trove. To tell the
truth, I must confess that in after times my only regret was that I had
foolishly let slip an opportunity of enriching myself which could never
recur. We agreed--and in this we were borne out by the prize agent--that
£7,000 was the lowest sum at which to compute the loot we had found.

It was my invariable custom to wear as a kammerband or girdle folds of
muslin round my waist for the protection of the liver and spleen, and in
this I placed the articles I carried away. My friend procured a small
cart, in which he deposited the loot and drove to the house of one of
the agents, while I, encumbered as I was, with difficulty mounted my
horse and rode towards the magazine. I could not but feel nervous and
abashed when thinking of the riches concealed about my person, at last
working myself up to such a pitch of excitement that I imagined all I
met were cognizant of my good fortune; and on entering the gates of the
magazine, I fancied I heard one of our men say to his comrade, "Well!
that fellow, at any rate, has plenty of loot about him."

Our next great find, though by no means so lucrative as the first,
brought a large accession to the prize fund. It occurred to me, through
calling to recollection the story of the treasures concealed in the
Hindoo idol at Somnath which was broken open by Sultan Mahmoud in the
eleventh century, that possibly the same kind of receptacle might
disclose a like prize, though on a smaller scale, among the numerous
temples scattered through the city of Delhi.

Acting on this idea, we one day entered a small Hindoo temple situated
not far from the Chandni Chauk. The shrine was gaudily decorated; but
after a prolonged search, we found nothing of any value. A hideous idol
stood on a raised structure in the centre of the building, and was soon
demolished in iconoclastic style with our hammers. The base of the idol
was formed of _chunam_ (a kind of cement), and into this we dug with
our small pickaxes. Soon a ringing sound from a blow disclosed a large
silver casket imbedded in the _chunam_, and this, after some little
trouble, we extricated from its position. Forcing the casket open, our
sight was regaled by a brilliant show of jewels and gold--diamonds,
rubies, and emeralds--two of the latter species being uncut, but of
great size, pearls larger than any we had yet seen, and gold ornaments
of every description, chains, bracelets, bangles, and a few gold mohurs.
We were quite alone in the temple, and after feasting our eyes on the
treasures and selecting a few objects for our own benefit, N---- took
the casket to the prize agent, telling him where we had found it, and
recommending a search in such localities, which recommendation, no
doubt, was carried into effect among other Hindoo temples in the city.

When first entering a house during our search, we at once made ourselves
acquainted with the creed of its former inhabitants. In this there was
no difficulty--Korans lying about the floor denoted that the occupants
had been Mussulmans, while many indications, such as idols, a different
arrangement of the furniture, and other signs with which we became
conversant, proved the influence of the rival Hindoo race. There was a
very cogent reason for this investigation on our part--the Mohammedans
invariably, in secreting their valuables, placed them in the ground
under the floors of their houses, the Hindoos, on the other hand, always
hid them in receptacles in the walls of the buildings. Armed with this
knowledge, we used to sound either the floors or the walls of each house
according as the place belonged to one or the other creed; nor in one
single instance, as far as I can remember, were we at fault in our

A favourite hiding-place for valuables was behind the staircase, the
treasure being concealed in a sort of vault built around with bricks and
cement. On one occasion, in the house of a money-changer, we demolished
a secret place of this kind and discovered four large bags filled
with some heavy metal. Feeling convinced we should find that the bags
contained at the least rupees, we opened one, and to our infinite
disgust saw that the contents consisted of copper pieces called pice, of
which there were many thousands; the bags, however, were taken to the
prize agents, but I need scarcely say our hands on that day at least
were not soiled by appropriating a portion of the plunder.

On several occasions we succeeded in finding large stores of money,
chiefly sicca or native rupees, while in the houses of Hindoos, in
portions of the walls which sounded hollow under the blow of the hammer,
we, after making a hole sufficiently large for the passage of a hand,
constantly brought to light large stores of silver ornaments, consisting
of chains, bracelets, etc., amounting in the aggregate to a barrowful.
Few houses there were that did not furnish, after a diligent search
either in the floors or walls, some articles of value; but on only one
occasion after the successful ventures in the two first cases was the
amount of loot in any way comparable to that which we obtained on those

In a very secluded part of the city, in a large house, surrounded by
wretched tenements inhabited by the lowest class, we opened a door, and
to our amazement entered a room furnished in the European fashion. This
also had not escaped the marauding and destructive hands of parties of
plunderers; the furniture was smashed, and the contents of the room
strewn about the floor. There were English chairs, curtains, ottomans
covered with antimacassars, sofas and broken mirrors, and in the corner
a small piano, ruined and destroyed. The house had evidently belonged
to some rich native, but who had been the occupant of this boudoir? for
such it was--a miniature drawing-room filled with European luxuries, not
excepting books and copies of music. Articles of a lady's apparel also
lay about, torn in shreds, vases were on the mantelpiece, as well as
a small box filled with English fancy needlework. We came to the
conclusion that the mistress of this abode must have been a Eurasian
lady, probably one of the zenana of the master of the house, who during
the exodus from the city had fled with, or been forcibly carried away
by, her protector.

A dismal mishap occurred to me in this room. Choosing a
comfortable-looking ottoman, I sat down, little dreaming that I had
fallen into a trap which would occasion much laughter among my friends
for days to come. Feeling a strange moist sensation in a certain portion
of my body, I jumped up from the seat, to find, to my horror, that I had
plumped down on a quantity of ghee, or clarified butter. A jar of ghee
was lying on the floor, and a portion of this horrible mess had been
spilt on the seat of the ottoman. I was dressed in white trousers and
jacket of the same material, and found, to my intense disgust, that the
ghee had left a large patch of colour which no amount of rubbing would
eradicate. We were far from our quarters, it was broad daylight, and,
to my mortification, I was compelled to walk thus branded through the
streets of the city, the laughing-stock of those who saw the plight I
was in.

Delhi was celebrated for miniature paintings done on talc, hundreds of
which were found at this time. Some were of rare workmanship, portraits
of beautiful women and drawings of celebrated buildings, all executed
in a style of art peculiar to the craftsmen of that place. We were
fortunate, during our search, in coming across the house of one of
these artists and disinterring from its concealment a box full of these
paintings. They afterwards sold at a good price, and I possessed myself
of some twenty of the most beautiful, comprising portraits of Zeenat
Mahal, the favourite wife of the King, other ladies of the zenana, and
pictures of the Taj and Jama Masjid, besides other mosques throughout
India. These oval-shaped miniatures mounted in gold formed most
acceptable souvenirs of the city of Delhi, and one in particular,
containing the portrait of a lovely Eastern face with head-dress and
tiara of diamonds, and strings of pearls round the neck, I was offered
£20 for after it had been set in gold by a jeweller at Plymouth. In
London, in 1858, there was a great demand for gold ornaments and
jewellery from Delhi, so much so that a noted goldsmith offered me
the highest price for articles of that description; nor would he at
first--till convinced--accept my assurance that I had parted with all my
Delhi loot before leaving India.

We were occupied for nearly three weeks in our quest for plunder,
engaged in the exciting work almost every day, and seldom failing to
find some articles of value. Our last adventure in that line deserves
a detailed description, for though the nature of the loot obtained was
such that it was useless to appropriate for our own use any of the goods
found, still, the value of the plunder increased to a large extent the
Delhi prize-money.

We had noticed in the room of the agents piles of kincob, or cloth of
gold, worth I fear to say how many rupees a yard. The manufacture of
this material was carried on to a great extent in Delhi, there being
much demand for the rich and costly fabric among the Princes and nobles
of Hindostan. Hitherto in our ramblings through the houses we had only
come across a few pieces of this gold brocade; but as luck would have
it, on the last day in which I joined N---- in his duties he had
received information from a native that a large store of kincob was
concealed in the house of a merchant who had dealt in that material.

The man guided us to the house in question; but after searching in every
imaginable place, no signs of the gold cloth could be found. From the
name of the merchant and certain other well-known indications we felt
convinced that his goods were concealed underground, and we commenced
tapping the floor of the largest room with our hammers. Presently, in
the very centre of the apartment, there came a hollow sound, and digging
down about a foot, we found a trap-door. This was lifted, disclosing
a wooden staircase leading down to what seemed to us an apartment
concealed in Cimmerian darkness. Lighting the wax candles we always
carried about with us, we for some distance descended the steps which
seemed to lead into the bowels of the earth. The room turned out to be
about twenty feet square and ten feet high, and ranged around, piled one
on top of the other, were scores of large boxes. One of these we opened,
and found it to contain kincob of the rarest kind; others that we
looked into were full of the same gorgeous material, and we came to the
conclusion that here, spread about, there was a treasure the value of
which amounted to a lakh of rupees. Four large carts were loaded with
the boxes and taken to the prize agents, the contents selling afterwards
for a very large sum.

And thus ended in a most successful find my connection with the loot of
Delhi. Though many years have elapsed, the events of those three weeks
seem as vivid in my memory as though they had happened yesterday--the
brightness of the jewels, the dazzling gold, the nerves wrought to the
highest pitch of tension while waiting in eager expectation for the
result of a search. These episodes of my life appear more like a
fairytale or a legend of the "Arabian Nights" than true history and
sober reality. What opportunities of accumulating a small fortune were
thrown in my way! The treasure lay at my feet, only wanting to be picked
up, and many will say that I was a fool not to take advantage of the
prize! I can, however, certainly aver that I showed great moderation in
possessing myself of only a small portion of the plunder--the amount I
appropriated was but an infinitesimal part of the Delhi prize money.
It is very unlikely that Delhi or any other rich city in India will
be given over to sack and pillage, during this generation, but the
remembrance of the days of 1857, and of the traditional wealth of
the country, still exists amongst the nations of the East, and only
recently, during the scare arising out of the Russian occupation of
Merv, it was stated that the Turkomans, now feudatories of that Empire,
cast longing eyes on Hindostan, "where gold and diamonds could be picked
up in the streets of the large cities."

During my stay at Umballah I made arrangements with an officer of the
Civil Service for the sale of the loot I had brought from Delhi. He
entrusted the commission to one of his native writers, who executed the
work in a satisfactory manner, though the price I received was hardly
equal to the amount I had anticipated. To my friend's wife I gave a
filigree gold chain of beautiful workmanship, and of such length that it
reached six times round the neck, also a tiara of precious stones, while
I also presented some pearls and gold mohurs. There is no doubt that,
had I brought the whole of my plunder home to England, the price
obtained for it would have been far in excess of what I received at
Umballah, but the risk of transportation was too great; I feared, also,
the chance of robbery and the anxiety attached to carrying about with me
so many articles of value.


AFGHANS: their want of bravery at the Siege of Delhi

Ahmed Ali Khan's house headquarters at

Ajmir Gate, captured quarters at

Alipore, advance on

Alma, anniversary of the Battle of

Ammunition, pits dug for scarcity of amount

Army, British: characteristics of the troops instructions on the
outbreak of the Mutiny stringent orders dress reception in England
delay in paying prize-money instructions against looting promise of
prize-money batta in lieu indignation against the decision rescinded
appointment of prize agents amount distributed

Army, native: signs of incipient mutiny outbreak at Meerut

Artillerymen, their zeal and devotion at the Siege of Delhi

Badli-ki-Serai, action at

_Badmashes_, or bad characters

"Bakra Id," anniversary of

Bareilly Brigade, the mutinous

Barnard, Sir Henry, at the Siege of Delhi his victory at Badli-ki-Serai
address to the troops death from cholera

Barnes, Mr. George, Commissioner of the Cis-Sutlej States

Belooch battalion, at Delhi

Bengal Army: outbreak of the Mutiny signs of incipient mutiny

Bengal Artillery Corps, record of their achievements before Delhi

Bengal Fusiliers, the 1st, quartered at Umballah

_Bhisti_, or water-carrier Boileau, Lieutenant


Bridge of boats over the Jumna attempt to blow up

Burn bastion, unsuccessful attack on captured

Calcutta Gate

Campbell, Colonel, column under

Campbell, Sir Colin, at the Battle of Chillianwalla

Campbell, Sir Edward, appointed prize agent

Canning, Lord, his decision in regard to the prize-money

Cannons, punishment of blowing away at the mouths of

Cavalry Brigade, stationed near No. 1 Battery their splendid behaviour

C---- d, Assistant Collector at Goorgaon murder of his sister joins the
force at Delhi his vengeance on the murderers killed

C---- d, Miss, joins her brother at Goorgaon murdered at Delhi

Chamberlain, Brigadier-General

"Chandni Chauk," or silver street of Delhi

_Charpoy_, or bed

Chillianwalla, Battle of

Cholera, at Delhi, number of deaths from at Loodianah deaths from

_Chunam_, or cement

Cis-Sutlej States

Coke, Major in command of the advance on Alipore his corps of Punjab
Rifles, quartered in the Jama Masjid

"Cow House," picket at


Daily Telegraph, proprietors of the their dinner to the surviving
veterans of the Mutiny

Deacon, Captain, wounded

Deacon, Colonel

Delhi arsenal in charge of natives arrival of reinforcements buildings
Palace of the Emperors vicissitudes riches massacres circumference of
the walls the gates number of killed and wounded deaths from cholera
arrival of the siege-train preparations for the bombardment trench-work
commencement of the siege total force bombardment arrangements for the
attack storming columns dispositions of the troops entrance into the
city destructive nature of street-fighting advantages gained troops
indulge in drink flight of insurgents Palace occupied by troops fall the
bridge of boats looting and pillaging discovery of human beings size of
the city punishment of natives insanitary condition capture by Lord Lake
in 1803 accumulation of vast treasures

Delhi Gazette, editor of the, tortured to death

Delhi, Shah Bahadoor Shah, King of: his capture appearance and dress
trial and sentence his sons taken prisoners and shot

Dewan-i-Aum, or Hall of Audience, Delhi

Dewan-i-Khas, Delhi

Dost Mohammed Khan, Ameer, his spies at Delhi

Drink, indulgence in, by the soldiers destruction of liquor

Eclipse, partial, of the sun effect on the mutineers

Edward VII., King, receives the surviving officers of the Indian Mutiny

Elkington, mortally wounded his premonition of death

Fagan, Captain Robert, killed at Delhi his characteristics

Fagan, Captain, appointed prize agent

Ferozepore, port of, in charge of natives 61st Regiment of Foot
stationed at signs of disaffection among the sepoys position of the fort
cantonment fired explosions destruction of the buildings night attack on
measures for the safety incident of the comical night attack trial and
punishment of rebels return to

Fishing, amusement of

Flagstaff Tower; view from the

Flies, plague of

Gabbett, Lieutenant, at the attack on the Sabzi Mandi Gardens wounded at
Najafgarh his death

Garstin bastion captured

_Gharee_, or native carriage

_Gharra_, or jar

"Ghazi," meaning of the term

Ghee, mishap from

_Goojars_, or professional thieves


Goorkha sentry, his treatment of an Afghan

Goorkhas, the Sirmoor battalions of their defence of Hindoo Rao's house
appearance and characteristics bravery their wish to enter Delhi

_Gore log_, or white people

Grant, Colonel, Cavalry Brigade under

Grenadier Company deaths from cholera

Guide Corps, at the Siege of Delhi their assistance to the Cavalry

Gwalior insurgents

Hanging, executions by

Hawthorne, Bugler

Hills, Lieutenant, wounded

Hindoo Rao's house defence of attacks on picket at result of the

Hindoo temple, discovery of treasure in a shrine

Hindoos, their mode of burial method of concealing valuables

Hodson, Lieutenant, in command of a Sikh regiment and head of the
Intelligence Department captures the King of Delhi takes prisoners his
sons and grandson shoots them

Home, Engineer

Hope-Grant, Brigadier, in command of the Cavalry Brigade

Hutton, Lieutenant, effect of a round-shot

Infantry, 45th Native, orders to attack the fort of Ferozepore defeated
set fire to the cantonment start for Delhi

Infantry, 57th Native, orders to lay down their arms their treatment of
the officers

Innes, Brigadier-General, in command of the troops at Ferozepore holds
a council on the outbreak of the Mutiny instructions to the troops
implicit confidence in the loyalty of the sepoys mismanagement of the
Mutiny his measures for the safety of Ferozepore

Innes, Dr., appointed prize agent

Jama Masjid, or Great Mosque of Delhi occupied by the troops

Jennings, Mr., murdered

Jhind, Rajah of, joins in the assault on Delhi

Jones, Colonel John, 60th Rifles, in command of the defence of Sabzi
Mandi Gardens mode of conducting operations

Jones, Colonel William at Ferozepore column under


Jumna River bridge of boats over the attempt to blow up a bridge
erection of a battery

Kabul Gate



Kashmir contingent, at Delhi style of marching defeat loss of their guns

Kashmir Gate blown in accumulation of material at

_Khaki rang_, or dust colour

Khalsa army

Kincob, manufacture of discovery of

Kishenganj, the suburb of ineffectual attempt on ruins of

Koodsia Bagh, No. 4 Battery

Kotah insurgents _Kukri_, or curved knife

Lahore Gate, attempts to carry unsuccessful attack on captured

Lake, Lord, his capture of Delhi in 1803

Lawrence, Sir John, Chief Commissioner of the Punjab his proclamation to
the Sikhs at Lahore

Light Cavalry, the 3rd, mutineers of the, their massacre of Europeans

Light Cavalry, the 10th Native

Longfield, Brigadier, column under

Loodianah, outbreak of cholera at number of deaths from

Loot, the sale of

Looting, the practice of instructions against military maxim for result
of systematic method of search discovery of treasure hiding-places

Ludlow Castle, occupied by the rebels No. 2 Battery

Lumsden, Punjab Rifles, killed at the Battle of Najafgarh

Magazine, Delhi, attack on the captured amount of shot and shell

Marseilles _Massaks_, or inflated sheepskins

Maxim, military

Medals, presentation of

Meerut, outbreak of the Mutiny at

Metcalfe, Sir Theophilus: his house plundered and burnt guides the
troops in Delhi

Miniature paintings on talc, style of

Mohammedans: their mode of burial method of concealing valuables

Monsoon, the

Mooltani Horse at the Lahore Gate their appearance and want of

Moore, Lieutenant, wounded

Mori bastion, No. 1 Battery

Moylan, Private, saves the life of an officer

Murree Convalescent Depot

Najafgarh, battle of casualties


Napoleon the Great, saying of

Neemuch insurgents

Nicholson, General, in command of the reinforcements his powers and
skill in ruling the lawless tribes his title of "Nikul Seyn" appearance
and characteristics expedition under at Najafgarh, address to the troops
column under wounded and death denounces the proposal to evacuate Delhi

_Palki ghari_, or Indian carriage Paniput, battles of

Pattoun, Lieutenant, wounded

Persia, Nadir Shah, King of, his massacre of Delhi in 1747 _Petarahs_,
or native leather trunks, theft of

Pets, desertion of

Phillour, arsenal in charge of natives

Prize agents, appointment of

Prize-money, distribution of delay in paying

Punjab Rifles, the 4th, attack the magazine

Punjab, the number of native regiments their coolness and intrepidity
under fire

Reade, Surgeon, awarded the Victoria Cross

Redmond, Major, wounded

Reed, General, resigns his command of the army

Regiment, the 52nd, at Delhi

Regiment, the 61st: stationed at Ferozepore parade routine of guard and
picket duty loss of the silver plate privations and sufferings their
comical "night attack" five companies to march to Delhi preparations
night marches at Loodianah outbreak of cholera number of deaths at
Umballah reach Delhi

Reid, Major, in command of the Sirmoor battalion at Delhi columns under
his attack on Kishenganj wounded

Rifles, the 60th Royal, at the Siege of Delhi

Rockets used by enemy

Rohtak, raid on

Sabzi Mandi Gardens picket duty at the attacks on

Salkeld, Engineer

"Sammy House," assault on

Sauer, the bandmaster

Seeson, Mrs., her escape from Delhi

Selimgarh Fort occupied by the troops

Sepoys: signs of disaffection at Ferozepore revolt of infantry and
artillery attack the fort of Ferozepore their work of destruction trial
and punishment cowardly tactics

Seton, Colonel, wounded

Shah Bahadoor Shah, King of Delhi: his capture appearance and dress
trial and sentence

Showers, Brigadier

Shrapnel shell, effect of a

Siege-train from Ferozepore, threatened approach of reaches camp

Sikhs, the their help and loyalty to the British army, characteristics
style of marching their coolness and intrepidity under fire

Silver plate of the 61st Regiment, search for its total destruction

Skinner, Colonel Alexander, troops take possession of his house his
erection of a church, temple, and mosque

Sumroo, Begum

Sun, partial eclipse of the effect on the mutineers

_Tai-khanas_, or underground rooms, discovery of human beings in

Talc, miniature paintings on, style of

Taliwarra, suburb of ruins of

Tattah _Times_, the, article on the delay in payment of the prize-money

Tombs, Major his rescue of Lieutenant Hills at the Battle of Najafgarh

Trench-work before Delhi

Tytler, Mrs.

Umballah force assembled at troops at

Vicars, Adjutant, at Ferozepore on the news of the outbreak of the

Wasps, stings from

Water bastion No. 3 Battery, smashed to pieces effect of the bombardment

Wilde's regiment of Punjabis

Wilson, General, in command of the army result of his stringent orders
address to his troops council of war instructions for the final assault
orders to prevent drunkenness proposal to evacuate Delhi instructions
against looting promise with regard to prize-money

Wriford, Captain, appointed prize agent

Yonge, Lieutenant

Young, Lieutenant, wounded

Zeenat Mahal, portrait of

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