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Title: Female Warriors, Vol. II (of 2) - Memorials of Female Valour and Heroism, from the - Mythological Ages to the Present Era.
Author: Clayton, Ellen C.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Captain Bodeaux, Female Officer in the French Army--Christian
  Davies, _alias_ Mother Ross--Female Soldier in the 20th
  Foot--Women of Barcelona--Hannah Snell, Private in the Line
  and Marines--Phœbe Hessel, Private in the 5th Regiment--"Paul"
  Daniel, a Female Recruit--Hannah Whitney, and Anne Chamberlayne,
  Female Sailors--Mary Ralphson--Miss Jenny Cameron--"Pretty Polly
  Oliver"--Anne Sophia Detzliffin, Prussian Female Soldier--Madame
  de Drucourt (Siege of Louisbourg)--Madame Ducharmy (Capture of
  Guadeloupe)--Chevalier d'Eon--Deborah Samson, Private, and Molly
  Macaulay, Sergeant in the American Revolutionary Army--Elizabeth
  Canning--Catherine the Second of Russia and the Princess
  Daschkova--Doña Rafaela Mora, Female Captain in the Spanish
  American Service (How Nelson Lost an Eye)--Female Sailor on Board
  Admiral Rodney's Ship                                                1


  THE FRENCH REVOLUTION--The Furies--Rose Lacombe--Théroigne de
  Méricourt--Madame Marie Adrian (Siege of Lyons)--Renée
  Langevin--Madlle. de la Rochefoucault--Madame Dufief (War in La
  Vendée)--Félicité and Théophile de Fernig, Officers on Dumouriez's
  Staff--Mary Schelienck--Thérèse Figueur, French Dragoon--"William
  Roberts," the Manchester Heroine, Sergeant in the 15th Light
  Dragoons and the 37th Foot--Mary Anne Talbot, Drummer in the 32nd,
  Cabin Boy on board the Brunswick, and Middy on board the
  Vesuvius--Highland Soldier's Wife at the Storming of New
  Vigie--Susan Frost--Peggy Monro (IRISH REBELLION)--Martha Glar
  and other Swiss Heroines--Queen of Prussia at Jena--Marie Anne
  Elise Bonaparte, Princess Bacciocchi--Maid of Saragossa--Manuella
  Sanchez, Benita, and other Heroines of Saragossa--Spanish Female
  Captain--Mrs. Dalbiac (Battle of Salamanca)--Ellonora Prochaska,
  Private in Lutzow's Rifle Corps--Augusta Frederica Krüger, Prussian
  Soldier--Louise Belletz, French Artillery Soldier--Mrs. Heald and
  Mrs. Helm (Chicago Massacre)                                        43


  Bobolina (GREEK REVOLUTION)--Doña Maria de Jesus, Private in the
  Brazilian Army (War of the Reconcave)--Russian Female
  Soldiers--Juana de Arieto (Civil Wars in Spain, 1834)--Anita
  Garibaldi--Appolonia Jagiello (Rebellions in Poland, 1846-48, and
  Vienna and Hungary in 1848)--Bravery of the Croatian Women--Countess
  Helene St. ----, a Hungarian Patriot--Garde Mobile--Louisa
  Battistati (Milanese Revolution, 1848)--Fatima, a Turkish Commander
  (Russian War)--Lady Paget (Attack on the Mamelon, 1855)--Miss
  Wheeler (Cawnpore Massacre)--Ex-Queen of Naples--Polish
  Insurrection--Mdlle. Pustowjtoff, Adjutant to Langievicz--Female
  Chasseurs--Female Lieut.-Colonel in the Mexican Army--Civil War in
  America--Female Privates in the Potomac Army--Female Lieutenant and
  Privates in the Army of the West--Mrs. Clayton, Private in the
  Federal Army--Emily ----, Private in the Drum Corps of a Michigan
  Regiment--Female Confederates at Ringgold, Chattanooga--Mrs.
  Florence Bodwin--Female Mulatto Sergeant--Native Contingent in New
  Zealand--Herminia Manelli, Corporal of Bersaglieri (Battle of
  Custozza, 1866)--Lopez's Amazons--Cretan Amazons--Women of
  Montenegro--Maria L----, French Sergeant--Female Brigands--German
  Order to reward Courage in Women--Minna Hänsel (Franco-Prussian
  War)--Miss Jessie C. Claffin (American Colonel)                     96


  Indian Amazons--Cleophes, Queen of Massaga--Moynawoti, Queen of
  Kamrup--Ranee of Scinde--Sultana Rizia--Gool Behist--Booboojee
  Khanum and Dilshad Agha, Mother and Aunt of a King of
  Bijapur--Durgautti, Queen of Gurrah--Khunza Sultana, Regent of
  Ahmednuggur--Chand Sultana, Regent of Ahmednuggur--Nour Mahal,
  Empress of Hindostan--Princess Janee Begum--Juliana--Madam
  Mequinez, Colonel in the Service of Hyder Ali Khan--Begum Somroo,
  General in the Service of the Emperor Shah Aulum and Grandmother
  of the eccentric Dyce Sombre--Begum Nujeef Cooli--Mrs. W., Native
  Wife of a British Sergeant in India--Lukshmi Baee, Ranee of Jhansi
  (Indian Mutiny)--Female Mutineer captured before Delhi,
  1857--Female Guards in the Zenanas of Indian Princes--Begum of
  Oude--Bantam Amazons                                               138



  Judith, Queen of Abyssinia--Workite and Mastrat, Gallas
  Queens--Shinga, Queen of Congo--Mussasa, Queen of
  Matamba--Tembandumba, Queen of the Jagas--Amazons in Dahomey       185




    Captain Bodeaux, Female Officer in the French
    Army.--Christian Davies, _alias_ Mother Ross.--Female
    Soldier in the 20th Foot.--Women of Barcelona.--Hannah
    Snell, Private in the Line and Marines.--Phœbe Hessel,
    Private in the 5th Regiment.--Paul Daniel, a Female
    Recruit.--Hannah Whitney and Anne Chamberlayne, Female
    Sailors.--Mary Ralphson.--"Pretty Polly Oliver."--Miss
    Jenny Cameron.--Anne Sophia Detzliffin, Prussian Female
    Soldier.--Madame de Drucourt (Siege of Louisburg).--Madame
    Ducharmy (Capture of Guadeloupe).--Chevalier d'Eon.--Deborah
    Samson, Private, and Molly Macaulay, Sergeant in the
    American Revolutionary Army.--Elizabeth Canning.--Catherine
    the Second of Russia and the Princess Daschkova.--Doña
    Rafaela Mora, Female Captain in the Spanish American Service
    (How Nelson Lost an Eye.)--Female Sailor on Board Admiral
    Rodney's Ship.

During the eighteenth century there were to be found in nearly
every European army, one or more female soldiers. They sometimes
held commissions as officers, but more frequently served as
non-commissioned officers or privates. Those women and girls who
enlisted in the British Army were generally wives or sweethearts of
soldiers whose regiments had been ordered abroad, and the women,
preferring to encounter the dangers and hardships of a foreign campaign
rather than the miseries of separation, disguised themselves in male
attire and enlisted in some battalion which was embarking for the seat
of war. Sometimes, indeed, women, deserted by their husbands, resolved
to follow their unfaithful spouses all over the world: and, unable to
afford travelling expenses, enlisted at the first recruiting depôt, and
trusted to chance for meeting with or hearing of the object of their
search. As no personal examination of recruits took place in those
days, either in Great Britain or elsewhere, there was no way of finding
out the imposture until afterwards, more especially as the female
soldiers behaved themselves quite as _manly_ as their comrades.

Of course in every country there have been local celebrities whose
names even are unknown beyond the frontiers, for a man or woman must
perform very great deeds to become famous in foreign lands. Thus it
happens, while we are familiar with the names of many an English
female soldier, we know of only two or three women who served during
the last century in the armies of France. Yet the world well knows
that Frenchwomen are second to none in warlike _esprit_. One of these
Gallic warriors was Captain Bodeaux, an officer holding a commission
as lieutenant in one of the regiments which went over to Ireland under
the command of St. Ruth, to assist James the Second. This gallant
officer distinguished herself at the battle of the Boyne, July 1st,
1690, where she met with Mr. Cavanaugh, father of Christian Davies. She
stopped at the house of that gentleman (who was also fighting for King
James) till about three in the morning, when, being alarmed, they fled
together precipitately. Christian Davies describes this officer as "a
very handsome young French gentleman," though the real sex of Bodeaux
was not unknown to her. At the siege of Limerick, June, 1691, she held
Thomond bridge, over the Shannon, with a small body of troops, against
the English, till at last she fell, covered with wounds. Such was the
bravery of this young French officer that her death was lamented even
by the foe. Great was their astonishment when they found their valiant
antagonist was a woman.

       *       *       *       *       *

The most famous woman who has ever served as a private in any modern
European army, was Christian (or Christiana) Davies, _alias_ Mother
Ross. She was born in 1667, in Dublin, "of parents whose probity
acquired them that respect from their acquaintance which they had no
claim to from their birth." Her father, Mr. Cavanaugh, was a brewer
and maltster, employing upwards of twenty servants, exclusive of those
engaged on his farm at Leslipp, where his wife and daughter resided.
Christiana never liked sedentary work, and in the matter of education
never made much progress. She had barely sufficient patience to learn
reading, and to become a good needle-woman. Open air exercises were her
delight; ploughing, hay-making, using the flail, and, above all, riding
on horseback. "I used," she says, "to get astride upon the horses and
ride them bare-backed about the fields and ditches, by which I once
got a terrible fall and spoiled a gray mare given to my brother by our
grandfather." Mr. Cavanaugh never discovered the offender; but, to
purchase the silence of a cowherd who saw her and the mare fall into a
dry ditch, she was obliged, for a long time, to give him a cup of ale
every night.

In 1685, when the Irish were arming for King James, Mr. Cavanaugh sold
his corn and equipped a troop of horse, with which he joined that
monarch. After enduring great hardships he was dangerously wounded at
the battle of Aughrim, June 12th, 1691, and died a few days after. His
property was confiscated by Government.

Previous to this, shortly after the departure of Mr. Cavanaugh from
home, the Roman Catholic inhabitants of Leslipp blocked up the door of
the parish church during divine service, with logs of wood, butchers'
blocks, and any other heavy articles which came to hand. Christiana
was at home when this occurred; but her mother being, with others,
blockaded in the sacred edifice, she seized up a spit and ran to the
rescue. Being resisted by a sergeant, she thrust the spit through
his leg; then removing the things which blocked up the door, set the
congregation free. Christiana was arrested for wounding the sergeant,
but was afterwards liberated.

After the death of her father, Christian went on a visit to her aunt,
the landlady of a public-house in Dublin, who, at her death, left
the establishment to her niece. The latter married Richard Welsh, a
good-looking young fellow who acted as barman and general assistant.
After two boys had been born, her happiness was suddenly blighted by
the mysterious disappearance of Richard, of whom nothing was heard for
several months. At last, when she had given him up for dead, a letter
arrived (the _twelfth_ he had written) telling her how, on the day of
his disappearance, he had been invited by an old friend on board a
transport with recruits on board; the vessel set sail, and they had
reached Helvoet Sluys before he could get ashore. Having no way of
getting back to Ireland, he enlisted in a foot-regiment.

Christian resolved to follow her husband to Flanders. Letting the
public-house, leaving her furniture with different friends, and placing
one child with her grandmother and the other with a nurse, she dressed
herself in a suit of her husband's clothes, cut her hair short, and
went to the "Golden Last," where Ensign Laurence told the new recruit
that she was "a clever, brisk young fellow," and enrolled her, under
the name of Christopher Welsh, in the Marquis de Pisare's regiment of

The recruits were disembarked at Williamstadt, in Holland. Thence they
marched to Gorkhum, where they received their uniforms; and the next
day they advanced to Landen, which they reached a day or two before the
great battle of July 19th, 1693. Here they were incorporated into their
respective battalions. Christian found the drill very easy, "having
been accustomed," as she says, "to soldiers, when a girl, and delighted
with seeing them exercise. I very soon was perfect," she adds, "and
applauded by my officers for my dexterity in going through it."

The same night that she arrived at Landen, being on night-guard at the
door of the Elector of Hanover (afterwards George I.), Christian was
wounded by a musket-ball which grazed her leg, barely missing the bone.
She was thus laid up for two months.

During the summer of 1694, Christian being out with a foraging party,
was made prisoner, and brought, together with three-score English and
Dutch, to St. Germain-en-Laye. When the ex-Queen of England heard
that Christian and her companions were English soldiers, she ordered
that each man should have a pound of bread, a pint of wine, and five
farthings each per diem, with clean straw every night. But the Dutch
prisoners were not allowed these luxuries. The Duke of Berwick, a
Marshal of France, visited the prison, and tried to persuade the
British to follow his example and enter the service of the Grand
Monarque. The chief annoyance which Christian suffered was the fear of
being recognised by her cousin, Captain Cavanaugh, a French officer,
who visited the prison nearly every day.

About nine days later, the English prisoners were exchanged, and
on being set free they waited upon the Queen to thank her for her
kindness. Her regiment passed the winter of 1694-5 in Gorkhum, where
Christian passed her time "very merrily" by making love to the young
and pretty daughter of a wealthy burgher. After a few weeks' courtship
"the poor girl grew absolutely fond" of her military wooer. This
_harmless frolic_ led to a duel between Private Welsh and a sergeant
of the regiment who wished to engage the girl's affections. Having
dangerously wounded the sergeant, Christian was ordered under arrest;
but the old father, who was in ignorance of the real state of the case,
exerted his influence with the authorities, and procured her discharge
from the regiment.

Bidding farewell to the girl, under pretence of going to purchase a
commission, Christian enlisted in the 6th Dragoons, commanded by Lord
John Hayes, and served all through the campaign of 1695, including the
siege of Namur. Nothing remarkable happened to her till the Peace of
Ryswick, Sept. 20th, 1697, when she was discharged, and went home to
Ireland. None of her friends recognised the stalwart dragoon as being
identical with Mrs Welsh; so, in place of claiming her property she
found other means of support, until the War of the Spanish Succession
broke out, in 1701. Returning to Holland, Christian re-enlisted in the
6th Dragoons.

She served through the campaigns of 1701-2, under the Duke of
Marlborough, without being wounded. She was one of the captors of
Venlo, Sept. 23rd, 1702, which proved a profitable investment for the
English, for they found more than thirty pieces of cannon, twenty
thousand florins, and a quantity of plate and jewellery. Christian
complains that, the Grenadiers having the start of the Dragoons, she
"got very little of the plunder." "I got, however," she confesses, "a
large silver chalice and some other pieces of plate," which prize was
sufficient to console her.

The Dragoons wintered at Venlo, and a night or two after their arrival
she was ordered, with others, to escort the Duke of Marlborough along
the banks of the Meuse. "During our march," says Christian, "by the
darkness of the night we mistook our way, and going up the country
fell in with a hogstye where was a sow with five pigs, one of which I
made bold with. I was possessed of it some time," she adds, "when one
Taylor, a corporal belonging to Brigadier Panton's Regiment of Horse,
attempted to spoil me of my booty, whereupon some words arising, he
drew, and made a stroke at my head, which I warding with my hand, had
the sinew of my little finger cut in two; at the same time, with the
butt-end of my pistol I struck out one of his eyes." Pretty discipline
for British soldiers!

After serving all through the campaign of 1703, including the battle
of Eckeren, and the sieges of Bonn and Lembourg, she was wounded in
the hip at the battle of Donawert, July 2nd, 1704. The musket-ball
lodged so firmly in the bone that the efforts of three surgeons in the
hospital near Schellenberg were insufficient to extract it. Christian
with difficulty warded off the discovery of her sex.

She left hospital just in time to assist in plundering the Bavarians.
"We spared nothing," says she; "burning or otherwise destroying
whatever we could not carry off. The bells of the churches we broke to
pieces that we might bring them away with us. I filled three bed-ticks,
after having emptied them of the feathers, with bell-metal, men's and
women's clothes, some velvets, and about one hundred Dutch caps which I
had plundered from a shop." Besides these things she got several pieces
of plate, as spoons, mugs, cups, etc.

After the battle of Blenheim, August 2nd, 1704, in which she was in
the midst of the fight, under the hottest of the fire, Christian
was appointed one of the guard despatched with the prisoners to
Breda. Having halted to refresh themselves with a pint of beer and
a pennyworth of bread each (the prisoners being allowed the same
indulgence), Christian saw the long-lost Richard Welsh, now a sergeant
in the Earl of Orkney's regiment of foot, making love to a Dutch woman.
She abused him heartily at first, but she soon forgave him. It was
agreed that she should remain in the army and pass as his brother. On
her return to her regiment she assisted in the siege of Landau. Nothing
of any consequence happened to her during the campaign of 1705.

On the 23rd of May, 1706, was fought the great battle of Ramilies.
When the French were retreating, Christian, who had fought valiantly
during the engagement, was struck in the head by "an unlucky shell"
fired from a mortar planted on the steeple of the church. Her skull
was fractured, and she was carried to the hospital of Meldré or
Meldret, where her head was trepanned. During a ten weeks' illness the
long-dreaded discovery of her sex was made. The surgeons sent word to
Brigadier Preston that his "pretty Dragoon" was a woman. The Brigadier,
who would at first scarcely believe the news, told Christian that he
had always looked upon her "as the prettiest fellow, and the best man
he had." The story soon spread through the regiment, and Christian was
visited by Lord John Hayes and all her officers and comrades. Lord
John gave strict orders that she should want for nothing, and promised
that her pay as a dragoon should be continued till she had quitted the

Of course she could no longer stop in the regiment. "Brigadier Preston"
she says "made me a present of a handsome silk gown; every one of the
officers contributed to furnishing me with whatever was requisite for
the dress of my sex, and dismissed me the service with a handsome
compliment." Her husband having been questioned relative to their
previous acquaintance, it was thought prudent to have them married
again; and this second wedding was celebrated with much solemnity, in
presence of all the officers, "who, everyone, at taking leave, would
kiss the bride, and left me," adds Christian, "a piece of gold, some
four or five, to put me in a way of life."

For a short time she carried on the business of cook to the 6th
Dragoons; but finding the work too heavy, she turned sutler, and was
permitted, as a special favour, to pitch her tent in the front of the
army, the other sutlers being driven to the rear. She spent much time
in marauding; and one day in 1708, being in male garb, she and her
mule were taken prisoner. However, she persuaded the French officer to
let her go. Shortly before this she hired herself as cook to the head
sutler of the British army, Mr. Dupper, who afterwards kept a tavern on
Fish Street Hill, London.

Richard Welsh was slain at the siege of Mons, in September, 1709. Her
grief, she tells us, was something terrible. It was on this occasion
that she first came to be styled Mother Ross. "Captain Ross came by,
who seeing my agony, could not forbear sympathizing with me and dropped
some tears, protesting that the poor woman's grief touched him nearer
than the loss of so many brave men. This confession from the Captain
gave me the nick-name of Mother Ross, by which I became better known
than by that of my husband."

Eleven weeks after the death of Welsh, his sorrowing widow was
persuaded to bestow her hand on Hugh Jones, Grenadier, who was killed
at the siege of St. Venant, 1710. During this and the following year
Christian held the post of under-cook in Lord Stair's kitchen.

On the close of the campaign of 1712 she returned to England, and
called on the Duke of Marlborough; but he, being in disgrace, advised
her to wait on the Duke of Argyle. The latter told Christian to
draw up a petition to the Queen. Her majesty received Mother Ross
very graciously, and gave her an order on the Earl of Oxford for
fifty pounds. But having waited on the Earl several times and seen
neither him nor the money, she petitioned the Queen again. Anne
granted a second order for the same sum, payable this time on Sir
William Windham, and Christian was also put on the pension list for
a shilling a day. Sir William at once paid the fifty pounds; but the
Earl of Oxford, without speaking to Queen Anne, cut down the pension
to five-pence. On the accession of George I., she succeeded in having
it raised again to a shilling; and this pension she retained till her

Immediately after receiving the money, Christian returned to Dublin;
but being unable to recover either her house or furniture, she set up
a beershop. She was keeping herself very comfortably, "till my evil
genius," she laments, "entangled me in a third marriage." This time
the bridegroom was named Davies, and belonged to the Welsh Fusileers.
His regiment was ordered, soon after the marriage, to England;
Christian therefore sold her effects, and returned to London, where she
established a shop in Willow Walk, Tothill Fields, Westminster, for
the sale of strong liquors and farthing pies. This was in 1715. She
prospered so well, that after the return of her husband from Preston
(where he had gone to fight the Pretender), she was able to purchase
his discharge; but "in two days after his arrival in London, being
drunk, he enlisted in the Guards." During the November of this year,
Mother Ross kept a sutler's tent in Hyde Park where the Life and Foot
Guards were encamped.

Her husband was a constant source of trouble and vexation. Some friends
having obtained his discharge, he spent her money so fast that she
was obliged to give up, successively, public-houses at Paddington
and in Charles-street, Westminster. She returned to Dublin, when the
Lord-Lieutenant granted her the exclusive privilege of selling beer in
the Phœnix Park on review-days. Tiring of this, in less than a year,
she returned to England; and after living three years in Chester, she
entered Chelsea College as a Pensioner. She also succeeded in obtaining
a sergeantcy in the College for her husband. Here she resided till her
death: being supported by the benevolence of several members of the
nobility--principally officers who had known her as Mother Ross. She
went to Court twice a-week to keep herself in the minds of her patrons;
"but," she laments, "the expense of coach-hire, as both my lameness and
age increases, for I cannot walk ten yards without help, is a terrible
tax upon their charity, and at the same time many of my old friends no
longer going to Court, my former subsistence is greatly diminished from
what it was."

For some months previous to her death Christian Davies's health was
undermined by dropsy, scurvy, and other disorders. But the chief
cause of her last illness was sitting up several nights by the
bed-side of her husband. This brought on a severe cold, which threw
her into a fever, of which she died, July 7th, 1739. She was interred
with military honours in the burial-ground of Chelsea College. Her
autobiography, edited by Daniel Defoe, was published in 1740. A second
edition came out in 1741, with a vignette frontispiece representing
Christian Davies first in her Dragoon's uniform, and then in the dress
of a sutler.

       *       *       *       *       *

According to the embarkation returns of the 20th Foot, dated 1st July,
1702, preserved among the Harleian MSS. at the British Museum, one of
the soldiers in Captain St. Clair's Company was found to be a woman.
The regiment was embarking to join the expedition against Cadiz.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the war of the Spanish Succession, Catalonia having declared
against Philip, the French claimant to the crown, was invaded and
ravaged by the forces of Louis Quatorze. Barcelona, the capital, was
invested for several months, and the formidable artillery of France
played, almost unceasingly, on the walls. But the people, nothing
daunted by the arrival of Marshal Berwick with twenty thousand men
to reinforce the besiegers, made a most resolute defence. All who
could bear arms flew to aid in the defence; the priests and the women
enrolled themselves in the ranks, and fought with the same desperate
valour as the rest. Their courage, however, was unavailing; for the
city was taken by assault, Sept. 11th, 1714.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hannah Snell, another British heroine, was born in Fryer-street,
Winchester, on the 23rd of April, 1723. Military predilections ran in
the family; her grandfather served under King William and the Duke of
Marlborough, and was slain in the battle of Malplaquet. Her father,
however, was a simple dyer and hosier. Hannah was the youngest but one
of a family of three sons and six daughters.

On the death of her father and mother in 1740, Hannah came to London,
and lived for some time in Ship-street, Wapping, in the house of one
of her sisters, Mrs. Gray, whose husband was a carpenter. She had
not resided in the house very long before she became acquainted with
James Summs, a Dutch sailor, whom she married, Jan. 6th, 1743, after a
courtship of about two years. Her marriage was not a happy one. After
squandering the little property belonging to his wife, spending it
in the lowest debauchery, James became heavily involved in debt, and
deserted her altogether. Hannah, left without the means of support, was
obliged to return to the house of her sister, where, two months after,
her child, a girl, was born.

Notwithstanding his vile conduct, Mrs. Summs still dearly loved her
husband; and on the death of her child, she resolved to set out in
search of the truant. Dressing herself in a suit of clothes belonging
to her brother-in-law, which, together with his name, she borrowed,
Hannah left London, Nov. 23rd, 1743, and reached Coventry without
hearing any news of her missing husband. On the 27th of the same month
she enlisted, under the name of James Gray, in General Guise's regiment
of Foot (the 6th, or Royal First Warwickshire). After remaining about
three weeks in the town, during which she made numberless inquiries
about James Summs, Hannah was sent with seventeen comrades to join her
regiment at Carlisle.

She was soon very proficient in the drill; but at the same time she had
the misfortune to incur the enmity of Davis, a sergeant in her company,
who wished to employ the new recruit in a somewhat dishonourable affair
with a girl who lived in Carlisle. Hannah, however, disclosed the real
intentions of the sergeant to the intended victim, and gained the love
of the girl, while she made a bitter enemy of Davis. The latter, from
seeing Hannah and the other very frequently together, grew terribly
jealous; he seized the first opportunity to charge his supposed rival
with neglect of duty. Hannah was sentenced to receive six hundred
lashes. After five hundred had been administered, the officers
interceded, and obtained for her the remission of the other hundred.

The tyranny of Davis soon became unbearable; and, to make matters
worse, a carpenter from Worcester, who had lodged in the house of
Hannah's brother-in-law, enlisted in the regiment, and she was in
constant terror lest he should recognise and betray her. To get away
without the discovery of her sex was now the great object of her
thoughts. She borrowed a small sum of money from the girl in Carlisle,
deserted, and set off on foot for Portsmouth. About a mile from
Carlisle she saw several men and women picking peas; their clothes
lay about, at a short distance, and Hannah very speedily exchanged her
soldier's coat for an old jacket.

At Liverpool she entered a small public-house; and, by affecting to
make love to the landlady, made the landlord so jealous that a match of
"fisticuffs" ensued. Boniface, however, got the worst of it, and was
compelled to keep his bed all next day. Hannah borrowed some money of
the landlady, and made the best of her way to Chester, where she took
genteel lodgings in a private house.

It chanced that a pretty young mantua-maker lodged in the same house.
Hannah contrived to make the acquaintance of the girl, and speedily
won her heart, together with five guineas. The handsome young suitor
levanted to Winchester, where, in an attempt on the heart of a widow,
she met her match. She speedily quitted the town, with only a few
shillings in her pocket.

In about a month from the day she left Carlisle, Hannah reached
Portsmouth, where she enlisted in Colonel Fraser's Regiment of Marines.
With others of her regiment, she embarked, three weeks later, for the
East Indies. The "Swallow" formed part of Admiral Boscawen's fleet.
Hannah soon earned the praises of the officers for her dexterity in
washing, mending, and cooking. Mr. Wyegate, Lieutenant of Marines, was
so greatly interested in the young private, that he invited her to
become one at the officers' mess.

The "Swallow" suffered from some terrible storms, which destroyed
almost all her rigging, and reduced the vessel almost to the condition
of a wreck. It was refitted at Gibraltar; proceeding thence by the Cape
of Good Hope to the Mauritius, which Admiral Boscawen unsuccessfully
attacked. Thence the fleet sailed to Fort St. David on the Coromandel
coast; where the marines being disbanded, joined the British force
encamped before Areacoping. The place surrendered after a siege of
ten days. During the siege Hannah displayed so much courage that she
received the commendations of all her officers.

The British next laid siege to Pondicherry; but after suffering
terrible hardships, they were forced by the rainy season to raise the
siege in eleven weeks. Hannah was one of the first body of British
soldiers who forded the river, breast high, under an incessant fire
from the French batteries. She was also for seven nights successively
on duty in the picket-ground, and worked exceedingly hard for upwards
of fourteen days in the trenches.

She was dangerously wounded in one of the attacks. During this action
she fired thirty-seven rounds, and received in return six shots in her
right leg, five in the left leg, and a dangerous wound in the abdomen;
the last-named being excessively painful. She was terrified lest these
wounds would lead to the discovery of her sex; so in place of letting
the army-surgeons dress all her wounds, she kept silence about the most
dangerous of them, though it was at the risk of her life. Entrusting
the secret to no one but a black woman who waited on her, Hannah
extracted the bullet with her finger and thumb; the negress obtained
lint, salve, and other necessaries for dressing, and the wound was soon
perfectly cured.

Hannah was removed for the cure of her other wounds to the hospital at
Cuddalore; and before her recovery, the greater part of the fleet had
sailed. She was sent on board the "Tartar Pink," and performed all the
regular duties of a sailor, till the return of the fleet from Madras,
when she was turned over to the "Eltham" man-of-war. On board this ship
she sailed to Bombay. The vessel sprang a leak, and they were obliged
to stop here five weeks to repair.

One night the Lieutenant of the "Eltham," who commanded in the absence
of Captain Lloyd, wishing to pass the time agreeably, asked Hannah for
a song. She declined, on the plea of being unwell; but the officer
would take no denial. Hannah became obstinate, but soon she had cause
to regret her folly. Shortly after, she was accused of stealing a
shirt belonging to one of her comrades. The Lieutenant, having a
grudge against Hannah, ordered her to be put in irons; and after five
days' confinement, ordered her to the gangway, where she received five
lashes. The shirt was afterwards found in the box of the very man who
had complained of losing it.

Returning to Fort St. David, the "Eltham" rejoined the squadron,
which departed soon after on its homeward voyage. Hannah was terribly
"chaffed" during the voyage because she had no beard; and she became
known among the sailors by the name of Miss Molly Gray. But in place of
resenting this, Hannah, to show she was as good a man as any of them,
plunged headlong into all the amusements and enjoyments of the others,
and they soon forgot the old nickname, for which they substituted that
of "Hearty Jemmy."

One night, in a house of entertainment at Lisbon, she learned, from an
English sailor who had been in a Dutch ship at Genoa, that James Summs,
her husband, was dead. He had murdered a gentleman of high position in
Genoa, and for this crime he was put into a bag full of stones, and
flung into the sea.

The British fleet arrived at Spithead in 1750. Hannah left the
"Eltham," and came to London, where she was cordially welcomed by her
sister. The strange story of Hannah Snell soon became generally known;
and as she had a good voice, the managers of the Royalty Theatre,
Wellclose Square, engaged her to appear before the footlights as
Bill Bobstay, Firelock, and other military and naval heroes, and to
go through the manual and platoon exercises with a musket. But she
did not long remain on the stage, as, in consideration of the wounds
she received during the siege of Pondicherry, she was put on the
out-pensioners' list at Chelsea Hospital. Her pension was increased
by a special grant to twenty pounds a year, and paid regularly to the
day of her death. With the assistance of some friends she set up a
public-house at Wapping, by which she realized a very good income. On
one side of the sign-board there was painted the figure of a jovial
British tar, on the other a portrait of herself in her marine's
uniform. Underneath the last was inscribed, "The Widow in Masquerade,
or the Female Warrior."

Hannah preferred masculine attire, and continued to wear men's clothes
for the rest of her life. She lived long to enjoy her prosperity; but
during the latter years of her life she became a lunatic, and died, at
the age of sixty-nine, in Bedlam.

       *       *       *       *       *

Phœbe Hessel (or Hassel) was for many years a private in the 5th
Regiment, and served under the Duke of Cumberland in many engagements,
amongst others the battle of Fontenoy. The fatigues and hardships of
war certainly did not tend to shorten her days. Born during the reign
of Queen Anne, she lived to see the accession of George IV. Indeed, it
was through the liberality of the last-named monarch that Phœbe was
enabled to live comfortably during the latter years of her life. When
the Prince Regent visited Brighton, he saw old Phœbe, who was living
there, maintained by some of the more benevolent inhabitants. Having
heard her strange story, the Prince told some one to ask her what sum
she required to make her comfortable.

"Half-a-guinea a week," replied Phœbe, "will make me as happy as a

This annuity was, by order of the Prince Regent, paid to her as long as
she lived.

Phœbe Hessel was a woman of good information, and very
communicative. Her stories were always worth hearing. She retained
all her faculties till within a few hours of her death, which took
place Dec. 12th, 1821. She was buried in Brighton Churchyard, and a
tombstone erected over her grave by public subscription. The following
inscription was carved thereon:--

"Sacred to the memory of Phœbe Hessel, born Sept. 1st, 1713. She
served for many years as a private soldier in the 5th regiment, in
different parts of Europe, and in 1745 fought under the Duke of
Cumberland in the battle of Fontenoy, where she received a bayonet
wound in the arm; her long life which commenced in the reign of queen
Anne, induced his present Majesty George IV. to grant her a pension.
She died at Brighton, where she had long resided, Dec. 12th, 1821, aged
108 years."

       *       *       *       *       *

In August, 1761, as a sergeant was exercising some recruits on board a
transport at Portsmouth, he noticed that one of them, who had enlisted
under the name of Paul Daniel, had a more prominent breast than the
others. When the firing was over, the sergeant sent for Daniel to
the cabin, and told him his suspicion that he was a woman. After
some evasions the recruit confessed her sex; and said that she had a
husband, to whom she was devotedly attached, who, after squandering a
plentiful fortune, had reduced himself and her to beggary, and had then
enlisted. His regiment had been ordered to Germany in 1759 to serve
against the French, and had remained abroad ever since. Not having
heard from him for two years, she had resolved to roam the world in
search of him. She heard that the British Government were sending more
troops to Germany, so she enlisted in one of the regiments ordered
thither, thinking to meet her husband. When the discovery of her sex
frustrated this design, she declared herself to be inconsolable.

       *       *       *       *       *

In October of the same year, a young woman aged about twenty, attired
in nautical garb, was seized at Plymouth by the Press-gang, and sent
to Captain Toby. On her capture she was placed for safety in the town
jail. Not relishing her imprisonment, she roundly abused Captain Toby,
told him she was a woman, that her name was Hannah Whitney, that she
was born in Ireland, and had served on board several British men-of-war
for upwards of five years. She concluded by informing the astounded
captain that she would never have discovered her sex if they had not
placed her in a common jail. Of course she was immediately released.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is (or was) a monument in Chelsea church, commemorative of
the masculine courage of Anne Chamberlayne, only daughter of Edward
Chamberlayne, Doctor of Laws. She appears to have been infected with an
ardour for naval glory by her two brothers, who were both distinguished
officers on board men-of-war. Putting on the dress of a sailor, she
joined the crew of a fine ship, commanded by one of her brothers; and
in an engagement with the French, she fought most gallantly for upwards
of six hours.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 27th of June, 1808, died at Liverpool Mary Ralphson, a Scottish
heroine. She was born in Lochaber, June 1st, 1698; and married Ralph
Ralphson, then a private in the British army. She followed her husband
in all his campaigns under the Duke of Cumberland, and was present with
him in several famous engagements. On the breaking out of the war in
French Flanders she embarked with the troops, and shared their toils
and vicissitudes. Being present on the field of Dettingen during the
heat of the conflict, surrounded with heaps of the slain, she saw a
wounded dragoon fall dead by her side. She disguised herself in his
clothes, and regained the British camp; then returned with her husband
to England. After this she accompanied him in his later campaigns
under the Duke of Cumberland. She lived to a fine old age, and was
supported during her declining years chiefly by some benevolent ladies
of Liverpool.

There is just a hint of a loyal Jacobite heroine in a curious old
Scotch ballad called "Polly Oliver's Ramble." The song commences:--

    "As pretty Polly Oliver lay musing in bed,
     A comical fancy came into her head;
     Nor father nor mother shall make me false prove,
     I'll list for a soldier and follow my love."

There is an old song on the Pretender which appears to be a parody on
this ballad. This begins:--

    "As Perkin one morning lay musing in bed,
     The thought of three kingdoms ran much in his head."

In June, 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, the young Pretender, landed in
Scotland to assert his father's right to the British crown. He was
joined by most of the Highland chieftains with their clans, and he
sent to all those lairds who had not yet paid their allegiance, to do
so without delay. Lochiel, his lieutenant, wrote to Cameron, the Laird
of Glendessary, commanding him to appear at head-quarters immediately,
with as many of his clan, armed, as he could muster in so short a

The laird was a minor, and, moreover, a youth of little capacity; so
his aunt, Miss Jenny Cameron, roused the clan to arms, and marched,
at the head of two hundred and fifty claymores, to the camp of Bonnie
Prince Charlie. She rode into camp on a bay gelding decked out in green
trappings, trimmed with gold. She wore a sea-green riding habit with
scarlet lappets edged with gold. Her hair was tied behind in loose
buckles, and covered by a velvet cap with scarlet feathers. In her
hand, in lieu of a whip, she carried a drawn sword.

A female soldier was a sight not to be seen every day. The Prince
immediately quitted the lines to receive her. Miss Jenny rode up to him
without the slightest embarrassment; and giving the military salute,
told him "as her nephew was not able to attend the royal standard,
she had raised men, and now brought them to his highness; that she
believed them ready to hazard their lives in his cause; and that,
although at present they were commanded by a woman, yet she hoped they
had nothing womanish about them; for she found that so glorious a cause
had raised in her own heart every manly thought and quite extinguished
the woman. What effect then must it have on those who have no feminine
fear to combat, and are free from the incumbrance of female dress.
These men," she added, "are yours; they have devoted themselves to your
service, they bring you hearts as well as hands. I can follow them no
farther," she said, "but I shall pray for your success."

The clansmen then passed in review before the prince. When this was
over, he conducted Miss Cameron to his tent, where she was entertained
with the utmost courtesy and hospitality. Prince Charlie gave her the
title of "Colonel Cameron," and by this epithet she was distinguished
for many years.

Miss Jenny remained with the Jacobite army until it invaded England,
and joined it again on its return, in Annandale. She was still in camp
in January, 1746, and fought in the battle of Falkirk on the 23rd;
when she was made prisoner, and lodged in Edinburgh Castle. She was
ultimately set at liberty, and returned to the guardianship of her
weak-minded nephew.

A Highland song was composed in her honour, relating how:

            "Miss Jenny Cameron,
    She put her belt and hanger on,
    And away to the Young Pretender."

Anne Sophia Detzliffin, who served four years in the Prussian army, was
born in 1738 at Treptow on the Rega. In 1757, during the Seven Years'
War, she was excited by a thirst for glory to quit her father's house
and go to Colberg, where she enlisted in Prince Frederic's regiment
of cuirassiers. She remained in this corps for two years, and fought
in several actions; in one of which, near Bamberg, she received a
sabre-wound in her left arm.

She next fought in the battle of Kunnersdorff. Her regiment returned
some days later to Saxony, where Anne fell dangerously ill, and was
sent to the hospital of Meissen. She soon recovered, but having no
opportunity for rejoining her regiment, she enlisted in a battalion
of Grenadiers, which was decimated shortly after in the actions of
Strechlin and Torgau, in 1760. In the latter, fought on Nov. 3rd,
Sophia Detzliffin received two severe wounds on the head, and was
captured by the Austrians, who took her to the hospital at Dresden.

When she had almost recovered, the heroine found means to escape from
the hospital. Passing through the Austrian outposts without being
discovered, she enlisted (in 1761) with Colonel Colignon, who sent her
to a regiment of Le Noble's Volunteers.

After serving in this corps for two months, she was accused on the
14th of July by one of her comrades of robbing him of fourteen-pence.
There was not the slightest foundation for the accusation; but a
subaltern immediately placed her under arrest. Anne was determined not
to submit to such an indignity. Sending for her lieutenant, she told
that she was a female, and declared that during four years' service in
various regiments she had never once been ordered under arrest, nor
even received a blow for neglect of duty. She concluded by telling
the officer that after this insult she would no longer remain in the
army--which was, however, a needless remark, as she would not have been
permitted to stop after her sex was known.

This heroine, when she quitted the army, was twenty-three years old,
with strongly-marked features, and a brown complexion.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 8th of June, 1758, General (afterwards Lord) Amherst, with
an army of twelve thousand men, in which General Wolfe served as
a brigadier, landed on the island of Cape-Breton, in Canada, and
commenced the siege of Louisbourg. This town was so strongly fortified
that the French, believing it to be impregnable, left only two
thousand eight hundred men for its defence. The military commander,
the Chevalier de Drucourt, was a brave and resolute soldier, and made
a gallant defence. The British, however, determined to make up for all
their recent disasters, commenced the siege with more than ordinary
vigour and energy. The Chevalier was ably assisted in the defence
by his wife; who, appearing on the walls among the common soldiers,
exhorted them to fight bravely in defence of the town. And not only did
she thus cheer them by encouraging words; she carried round food and
ammunition to the exhausted soldiers, and occasionally took her turn
at the guns, which she loaded and fired with skill and rapidity. But
the efforts of the Chevalier and his wife were of no avail against the
superior numbers of the English. Louisbourg surrendered on the 26th of
June; and the Chevalier and Madame de Drucourt were made prisoners.
However, General Amherst treated his brave captives with the greatest
respect and hospitality.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1759, when the British were besieging Guadaloupe, the native
planters were incited to resist the invaders by M. Dutril, the French
Governor. Amongst others, Madame Ducharmy, wife of a planter, armed her
servants and negroes, and led them to an attack on the British forces.

Amongst the celebrities of the eighteenth century, none was more
famous than the Chevalier d'Eon. Even before the strange question as
to his real sex had been raised, the Chevalier was well known in every
European court as a skilful diplomatist and a brave soldier. In 1761,
having attained the summit of his glory in the political world, he
sighed for military renown. As aide-de-camp to Marshal Broglio, he
distinguished himself most highly against the British and Prussians.
Being entrusted with the removal of the military stores from Hoxter,
which the French were evacuating, he passed the Weser with several
boats, under a heavy fire from the enemy, and saved all the baggage.
Shortly after this he was wounded in the head and thigh in a skirmish
at Ultrop.

On the 7th September, at the head of the Grenadiers de Champagne
and the Swiss Guards, the Chevalier attacked a Highland regiment
("Montagnards Ecossais," Broglio styles them in his despatch) near the
village of Meinsloff, and after a slight skirmish, drove them back to
the British camp. At Osterwick, with about fifty dragoons and hussars,
D'Eon charged a Prussian battalion six or seven hundred strong, which
was intercepting the communications of the French with Wolfembutel. The
Prussians, seized with a panic, threw down their arms, and surrendered.
The capture of Wolfembutel by Marshal Saxe was the result of this
brilliant action.

The preliminaries of peace in September, 1762, terminated the
Chevalier's military career, and he returned to the political world,
where he had already made himself so distinguished. He was sent to
London, as Secretary of Legation under the Duc de Nivernois, the
Ambassador-Extraordinary. On the return of the Duc to Paris, the
Chevalier remained in London first as resident, and afterwards as
minister plenipotentiary at the Court of St. James's. At this period
his star was at its zenith. Fortune lavished her favours upon him
with the most profuse liberality. Suddenly the wheel turned; and,
without any reason being assigned, D'Eon was dismissed from all his
appointments, and compelled to reside, disgraced, in London. The French
ministers who had negotiated the peace now effected his ruin. The
treaty had been considered disgraceful to France, both by the king and
the people; and the negotiators, afraid of the Chevalier, who knew too
much, found means to disgrace him. Louis XV., however, settled upon
D'Eon a pension of twelve hundred livres.

During the Chevalier's residence in London, suspicions arose in the
minds of several persons that D'Eon was a disguised woman. The notion
soon reached the Continent; and both in England and abroad, some very
extraordinary wagers were made on the subject. In July, 1777, a trial
took place before Lord Chief Justice Mansfield on an action brought
by a Mr. Hayes against a Mr. Jacques, the latter of whom had received
several premiums of fifteen guineas, to return one hundred whenever it
should be proved, beyond a doubt, that the Chevalier D'Eon was a woman.
MM. Louis Legoux and de Morande deposed to this as a fact so thoroughly
established, that the defendant's counsel actually pleaded that the
wager was unfair, because the plaintiff knew, before it was laid, that
the Court of France had treated with the Chevalier as a woman. The
plaintiff, however, obtained a verdict, which was afterwards set aside
on the ground of the bet being illegal.

Shortly after the conclusion of the trial, the Chevalier d'Eon, for
some unaccountable reason, put on female attire, which he contrived to
wear until his death.

Everybody now believed that D'Eon was a woman. Several portraits were
published representing him in various characters--as an officer of
dragoons, as a French minister, as a fashionable lady, etc. Mr. Hooper,
of Ludgate-hill, published a mezzotinto engraving of the Chevalier
as Pallas, a casque on her head, a lance in her right hand, and the
ægis on her left arm. Round the edge of the shield were the words _At
nunc dura dedit vobis discrimina Pallas_. On each side were drums,
muskets, pyramids of cannon-balls, heavy pieces of ordnance, and a
pair of colours on which were written, _Impavidam serient ruinæ_. In
the middle distance might be seen a citadel and a camp. The lower part
of the engraving contained representations of the principal events
of the Chevalier's life, with a eulogy, in English, on his talents
and virtues. After rapturously praising the genius, the courage, the
personal beauty of D'Eon, this eulogy concludes by saying that "her
military comrades offer this homage as an eternal monument of their

The breaking out of the French Revolution deprived D'Eon of his
pension. He returned to France in 1792 and offered his services to the
National Assembly. But they were declined; and on his return to England
his name was placed on the list of Emigrants. He was now plunged into
the depths of poverty, and supported himself as best he could by giving
lessons in fencing. But he depended chiefly on the kindness of Elisée,
first surgeon to Louis XVIII., and other friends. He died May the 21st,
1810, when Elisée assisted in the dissection of his body; and declared
that the Chevalier belonged to the male sex.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the American War of Independence several women donned masculine
attire and enlisted in the Revolutionary Army. One of these heroines
was named Deborah Samson. Born at Plymouth, U.S., of very poor parents,
she was received at an early age into a respectable family, where
the members treated her with great kindness. Her education was at
first totally neglected, though she remedied this, to the best of her
ability, by teaching herself to read and write; later in life she saved
enough to pay for her schooling. In 1778, having dressed herself in
male attire, she enlisted under the name of Robert Shirtliffe for the
whole term of the war.

Deborah was used to all kinds of hardships, so the fatigues incident
to her new life had as little effect on her as on her comrades. Her
courage and obedience to military discipline, soon gained for her
the esteem of the officers. She served as a volunteer in several
expeditions, where her regiment was not engaged, and received two
severe wounds--one in the head, the other in the shoulder. She managed,
however, to avoid the disclosure of her sex.

At last Deborah Samson was seized with a brain fever in Philadelphia.
The physician who attended her made the dreaded discovery, and sent
word to the colonel of her regiment. When her health was restored, the
colonel sent her with a letter to General Washington. Deborah saw that
the truth was known, and it was with great reluctance she obeyed.
Washington read the missive, without speaking a word. When he had
finished, he handed Deborah Samson a discharge in which was enclosed
some money and a letter containing good advice.

Some years after her discharge Deborah married Benjamin Garnett, of
Sharon, Massachusetts. For her services as a revolutionary soldier, she
was presented with a grant of land and a pension for life.

Another American heroine was Molly Macauley, a Pennsylvanian woman, who
rose to the rank of sergeant in the national army, and fought bravely
in several battles and skirmishes. Nobody suspected that she was other
than she seemed to be--a brave, enthusiastic young American patriot.
She was tall and stout, rough-looking, with all the manners of a
soldier. In the enthusiasm of the moment she would swing her sabre over
her head, and hurrah for "Mad Anthony," as General Wayne was styled.

She was wounded at Brandywine, and her sex discovered. She then
returned home.

Another woman, whose name was long remembered in American homes, was
Elizabeth Canning. She was at Fort Washington, her husband was slain,
she took his place at a gun, loading, priming, and firing with good
effect, till she was wounded in the breast by a grape shot.

Besides these examples, many women were frequently detected,
disguised, in the American armies; and as they endured the same
privations, with even less murmuring than the men, there was nothing,
save accident, to reveal their sex. The instances are numerous of women
and girls who aided in the defence of private houses. Their names,
however, have very seldom reached Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Catherine the Second of Russia was conspiring to dethrone her
husband, Peter III., she based her hopes of success almost entirely on
the belief that the Imperial Guard would declare in her favour. On the
26th of June, 1762, she was seated in her palace at St. Petersburg,
taking a slight repast in company with her early friend and confidant
Catherine Romanowna, Princess of Daschkow, or Daschkova. The latter
was born in 1744, a descendant of the noble family of Woronzoff, and
became a widow at the early age of eighteen. She applied all her
woman's wit to place Catherine on the throne. When their repast was
concluded, Catherine proposed that they should ride at the head of
their troops to Peterhoff; and to make themselves more popular with
the soldiers, the Empress borrowed the uniform of Talitzen, a captain
in the Preobraginsky Guards, while the Princess Daschkova donned the
regimentals of Lieutenant Pouschkin, in which, she says, she looked
"like a boy of fifteen." It chanced by good luck that these uniforms
were the same which had been worn from the time of Peter the Great
until superseded by the Prussian uniform introduced by Peter III.

On the 29th July the Empress and her friend, still in uniform, passed
in review twelve thousand soldiers, besides numberless volunteers. As
Catherine rode along the ranks, amidst the cheers of the soldiers, a
young ensign, observing that she had no tassel on her sword, untied
his own and presented it. Thirty years afterwards, this man died a
field-marshal and a Prince of the Russian Empire. His name was Potemkin.

It is said the Princess (though she makes no mention of it in her
memoirs) requested, as the reward of her services, to be given the
command of the Imperial Guard. The Empress refused; and the Princess,
finding her inflexible, gave up her military aspirations and devoted
herself to study. After her return from abroad in 1782, she was
appointed Director of the Academy of Sciences, and President of the
newly-established Russian Academy. She wrote much in her native tongue;
amongst other works, several comedies. She died at Moscow in 1810.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a curious fact that no one has been able to say precisely when
and where Nelson lost his left eye. Some say that the disaster occurred
during the siege of Bastia, in 1793, while others decide that it was
at the siege of Calvi. According to Signor D. Liberato Abarca, general
in the service of the Nicaraguan Republic, both these accounts are
false. He says that it was in the year 1780, when the future "god of
the seas," then a post-captain in the royal navy, was cruising along
the coast of Central America, that he received the wound which added
him to the list of one-eyed warriors. After inflicting every possible
injury on the Spanish colonies, Nelson resolved to take the Castle of
San Carlos de Nicaragua by assault. He rowed up the river of San Juan,
which flows into the Gulf of Mexico, with a flotilla of launches and
other flat-bottomed boats. The Spanish commander was laid up in bed
with a severe illness; and the garrison, terrified at the imposing
preparations of the English sailors, hastily evacuated the fort. Doña
Rafaela Mora, the wife or daughter of the commander, was left alone
in the castle; and with great--what would at first sight appear to be
reckless--daring resolved to drive the enemy from before the place. The
guns were pointed towards the river, and nearly all loaded. Snatching
up a burning match which the terrified soldiers had thrown down in
their hasty retreat, Rafaela fired all the cannons one after another.
One of the balls struck the boat in which Nelson stood; a splinter
from the bulwark hit him in the face, just below the left eye. Such
was the force of the blow, he was knocked down, and rendered perfectly
insensible. This disaster broke up the siege, and the flotilla
descended the stream with all speed.

The heroine received by royal decree the brevet of a captain on active
service, together with a full suit of regimentals, which she was
permitted to wear whenever she pleased. Besides this, a pension was
settled upon her for the rest of her life. General Thomas Martinez,
Director of the Republic of Nicaragua, is a descendant of Doña
Rafaela Mora. General Abarca says the truth of this story is proved
incontestably by documents which he has seen in the archives of the
city of Granada, in Nicaragua.

       *       *       *       *       *

During a sea-fight between the British and French fleets, Admiral
Rodney observed a woman helping at one of the guns on the main deck of
his ship. He asked her what brought her there?

"An't please your honour," said she, "my husband is sent down to the
cock-pit wounded, and I am here to supply his place. Do you think, your
honour," she added, "I am afraid of the _French_?"

After the battle was over, the Admiral sent for the woman, and told her
that she had been guilty of a breach of discipline in being on board at
all. However, he modified his rebuke by a gift of ten guineas.



    The Furies--Rose Lacombe--Théroigne de Méricourt--Madame
    Cochet--Marie Adrian (Siege of Lyons)--Renée
    Langevin--Madlle. de la Rochefoucault--Madame Dufief (War
    in La Vendée)--Félicité and Théophile de Fernig, Officers
    on Dumouriez's Staff--Mary Schelienck--Thérèse Figueur,
    French Dragoon--"William Roberts," the Manchester Heroine,
    Sergeant in the 15th Light Dragoons and the 37th Foot--Mary
    Anne Talbot, Drummer in the 82nd, Cabin Boy on board the
    Brunswick, and Middy on board the Vesuvius--Highland
    Soldier's Wife at the Storming of New Vigie--Susan
    Frost--Peggy Monro (Irish Rebellion)--Martha Glar and other
    Swiss Heroines--Queen of Prussia at Jena--Marie Anne Elise
    Bonaparte, Princess Bacciochi--Maid of Saragossa--Manuella
    Sanchez, Benita, and other Heroines of Saragossa--Spanish
    Female Captain--Mrs. Dalbiac (Battle of Salamanca)--Ellenora
    Prochaska, Private in Lutzow's Rifle Corps--Augusta
    Frederica Krüger, Prussian Soldier--Louise Belletz, French
    Artillery Soldier--Mrs. Heald and Mrs. Helm (Chicago

The Furies were the female warriors of the Reign of Terror. When we
think of their ferocious bravery, their barbarous, maniacal cruelty,
the ascendency which they held, even over the great Republican
leaders, their wild cries and still wilder deeds, they seem more like
the weird figures in some hideous German legend than real, living,
sentient women, with human hearts. Women, indeed, they could scarcely
be termed; Amazons they were, as brave and as cruel as those of the
Euxine. Yet, fiends though they appeared, they had often the pangs of
hunger to goad them on; and if cruelty such as theirs _can_ be excused,
starvation is the most reasonable plea that could be advanced.

Though many of the large towns possessed Furies in those days, Paris
was their proper home. There they lived on the sight, the smell,
the taste of human blood. To picture their history rightly, the pen
should be dipped in blood. Blood, since they were denied bread was
all they cared for; and when aristocratic heads grew scarce, these
fiends turned on one another, like famished wolves, to glut their
insatiable thirst. The Guillotine was a central rallying point for the
Furies. Round it they danced and sang by day; its steps formed their
pillow by night. There they crowded together--Tricoteuses, Fileuses,
Poissardes--shouting, gesticulating, screaming the "Marseillaise" or
the "Ça Ira" with their wild, demoniac voices, as they watched the red
cart deposit its living freight at the foot of the National Razor. When
hunger pressed them very sore, they would snatch up swords, pikes,
or scythes, and rush in crowds along the narrow, muddy, ill-paved
streets, beating drums, waving red flags, brandishing their weapons, to
demand bread from those who professed to guide the Republic.

There was always some female leader, brave and eloquent, round whom
the Furies would rally, and who was, if possible, more bloodthirsty,
more ruthless than the rest. The great leaders of the Parisian Women
were Rose Lacombe, the actress, and Théroigne (or Lambertine) de
Méricourt, the Amazon of Liége. These two women, equally beautiful,
equally brave, and equally popular, had wholly different reasons for
plunging into the seething whirlpool of blood. Rose Lacombe (who was
born in 1768, and was therefore past twenty when the Revolution broke
out), appears to have joined in the scenes of atrocity through a love
of excitement, a wish to be a leader, that feeling so natural in the
breast of an actress. She was a wild, excitable girl, and although
not great on the stage, had a certain fiery eloquence, which, though
bombastic, exaggerated, even grotesque, was suited to an audience
chiefly gathered from the Halles. Théroigne de Méricourt, however, had
quite another object in coming forward as a Republican leader; this was
an unquenchable thirst for revenge on the entire aristocracy, to one of
whom she owed the shame of her life.

Théroigne was the daughter of a wealthy farmer in the village of
Méricourt near Liége, and received a finished education. When scarcely
seventeen her excessive beauty attracted the notice of a young Belgian
noble, who owned a château close by her father's home. In those days
of the old _régime_ an aristocrat would never have recovered the
disgrace of marrying a farmer's daughter; so the consequences of their
mutual passion might easily have been foreseen. Deserted by her lover,
Théroigne fled to England, and remained here for some months, in an
agony of shame and grief. When Paris rose against the ill-starred Louis
Seize, she returned to France, and became acquainted with Mirabeau, and
through him she was introduced to to the Abbé Siéyes, Joseph Chénier,
Brissac, Danton, Marat, Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins, Ronsin, Romme,
and others of the Republican party.

Théroigne de Méricourt was barely eighteen in '89, when the first
rumblings of the storm were heard. Plunging headlong into the vortex
of Revolution, she soon acquired for her daring the names of "the
Amazon of Liége" and "the Jeanne d'Arc of the Revolution;" while her
surpassing beauty procured for her the title of "La Belle Liégoise."
Attired in a blood-coloured silk riding-habit, and a hat surmounted
by a magnificent plume of feathers, she made herself conspicuous in
all those deadly conflicts between the People and the Royalists. She
was first amongst the infuriate mob who burst open the gates of the
Invalides and seized the cannon. She was foremost in the storming of
the Bastille, June 14th, 1789; and such was her reckless valour on this
occasion, that the victors, assembling on the spot, voted her a _sabre
d'homme_. Another of the heroines who joined in the attack on the
Bastille, afterwards joined the army, and fought against the enemies of
the Republic, for which she was made Captain of Artillery. Her husband
was a soldier.

On the 5th of October, Théroigne and Rose led eight or ten thousand
starving Parisian Women against Versailles. Previous to this, Rose had
commanded a body of Furies in the attack on the Hôtel de Ville, August
7th. Théroigne rode to Versailles astride on a cannon. By her side came
Cut-Throat Jourdan, the "Man with the Long Beard." The expedition owed
its success almost entirely to the Amazon of Liége. The triumph of the
people was complete. _Le Boulanger, la Boulangère, et le petit Mitron_
were brought to Paris, escorted by a seething, howling mob, preceded
(as a hint to the aristocrats) by two pikes, on which were placed the
heads of two Gardes-du-Corps. Several Poissardes performed the return
journey on the backs of cannon.

For a time the popularity of Théroigne de Méricourt and Rose Lacombe
was unbounded; they were estimated by the Parisians as the first of
their sex. Rose founded a female club on the same plan as the Jacobins,
and became the chief speaker there. Théroigne held a club at her own
house, and frequently spoke at the "Old Cordeliers," of which Danton
and Camille Desmoulins were the leaders. Speaking of the enthusiasm
with which her orations were received, Camille says "Her similes were
drawn from the Bible and Pindar. It was the eloquence of a Judith."

One evening Théroigne proposed that the Temple of the Representatives
of the People should be erected on the site of the Bastille, the scene
of their first triumph.

"To found and embellish this edifice," said she, "let us strip
ourselves of our ornaments, our gold, our jewels. I will be the first
to set the example."

And with these words she tore off all her jewels and flung them on the

Her power increased every day. She was appointed commander of the 3rd
corps of the army of the Fauxbourgs; and so great was her ascendancy
over the mob, that she could by a single word acquit or condemn a
victim. She thus became both feared and hated by the Aristocrats.
One day when she was at the zenith of her power, she recognised her
faithless lover. He sought to avert his impending fate and humbly
implored her forgiveness; but Théroigne had not the generosity to save
him. He perished in the September massacres, 1792.

A fearful doom was reserved for the beautiful and unfortunate Théroigne
de Méricourt. Like Robespierre, she believed that her power was such
that she could at any moment arrest the progress of the Revolution.
Only a few months after the death of her seducer, the very Furies whom
she had commanded, by whom she had been almost worshipped, suspecting
her of being a Girondist, turned against their Amazon leader with
all the fury they had formerly displayed against Marie Antoinette.
They surrounded her on the terrace of the Tuileries, May 31st, 1793,
stripped her naked, and subjected her to a public flogging.

Abandoned and despised by all, the beautiful amazon became a raving
lunatic. Years crept on. The Directory superseded the Convention, the
Consulate the Directory, the Empire the Consulate, and the Restoration
the Empire, and still, in a cold grated cell of the Bicêtre, in Paris,
a gibbering, white-haired, wrinkled hag crawled on all fours to and
from the bars of the window, whence she shrieked forth warlike orations
to phantom meetings of Republicans; again and again calling for the
blood of Suleau, the Royalist author. From the day of her fall till her
death in 1817, she refused to wear clothes. Her only covering was her
long white hair.

Rose Lacombe terminated her career more happily than her
sister-in-arms. True, she also had her downfall, but it did not
terminate so horribly. She fell violently in love with a young nobleman
who was imprisoned in one of the dungeons of the Republic. With her
usual wild impetuosity she tried to save him; but so far from rescuing
him, she very nearly shared his fate. From this day Rose Lacombe's
power was gone. Her voice was no longer listened to as it had once
been. Jacobins and Cordeliers no longer strove to gain her support.
Taking a more sensible view of the matter than one would expect, she
retired from public life, and became a small shopkeeper. In this
capacity she ended her days, selling petty articles over a counter all
day long. The date of her death is unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *

The citizens of Lyons, unlike those of Paris, were devoted to the Royal
cause. At last the Convention resolved to tolerate this no longer;
and General Kellermann was despatched against the city in August,
1793. The people made a gallant defence; never did the female sex show
greater bravery. The city fell on Oct. 8th; and, furious at having been
resisted, Collot d'Herbois, Couthon, and the other emissaries of the
Convention tried to stamp out the very existence of Lyons. Wholesale
massacres were perpetrated daily; and the friends of liberty were if
possible more enraged against those brave women, who so nobly aided
in the defence, than they were against the male leaders. One of the
most intrepid female soldiers, named Madame Cochet, when she was on
her way to the guillotine, addressed her countrymen from the tumbril,
and upbraided them with their cruelty, and their cowardice in tamely
submitting to the Terrorists. The crowd at first followed in silence;
at last a cry of "Mercy," was heard: but the falling of the National
Razor cut short the appeal.

Another heroine of Lyons was Marie Adrian, a young girl of seventeen,
whose features bore a strange resemblance to Charlotte Corday. She
fought desperately by the side of her brother and her lover in one of
the batteries. After the city had fallen she was made prisoner.

"What is your name?" demanded the judges, struck by her youth and

"Marie," she replied. "The name of the mother of that God for whom I am
about to die."

"Your age?"

"Seventeen. The age of Charlotte Corday."

"How could you combat against your country?"

"I fought to defend it."

"Citoyenne," said one of the judges, "we admire your courage. What
would you do if we granted your life?"

"I would poignard you as the murderers of my country," was her daring

She was, of course, condemned to the guillotine. She ascended the
scaffold in silence, and refused the aid of the executioner. Twice she
cried with a loud, clear voice "Vive le Roi!" After her death a note
was found among her garments; it was the farewell letter of her lover,
who had been shot some days previously in the Plaine des Brotteaux.

This letter was written in blood!

       *       *       *       *       *

The same loyal, unselfish courage was displayed by the Royalist
insurgents in La Vendée. The rough, yet kind-hearted Chouans form a
striking contrast to the ferocious, bloodthirsty Republicans, far from
advantageous to the latter. There was not one Republican leader who
could bear comparison with the enthusiastic self-sacrificing young
Rochejacquelin, who risked everything for his King.

The most prominent Vendéan leaders, next to Rochejacquelin, were La
Rochefoucault de Beaulieu and the Marquis de Lescure. The former
was one of the first to raise the standard of Louis XVIII. Scarcely
had he called together a few hundred neighbours and their peasant
tenantry when he received a visit from Madlle. de la Rochefoucault, a
near relative, and at this time only eighteen. She was accoutred _en
Amazon_, with a sword by her side and a brace of pistols in her belt.
She presented the troops with embroidered standards, worked by her own
hands, and declared her resolution to fight personally for the royal

Mademoiselle de la Rochefoucault displayed the greatest possible daring
in the numerous encounters between the contending armies. She was
always the first to advance and the last to retreat. But though she was
so fierce while the battle raged, directly it was over she showed her
kind and humane disposition by the care which she took of the wounded.
She made no distinction between friends and foes; the unfortunate,
whether Royalists or Republicans, were always sure of her sympathy and

In the disastrous battle of Chollet, when the superior numbers of
the Republicans spread such confusion through the Chouan ranks,
Mademoiselle de la Rochefoucault rallied her troops three times
successively, and charged the foe. Repulsed a fourth time, she ascended
a slight eminence, and addressed seven hundred of her followers in a
speech well calculated to rouse their sinking energies. Once more she
led them against the foe. This time they returned without her!

But the most famous heroine of this war was Renée Bordereau, commonly
called Langevin, known as the "Military Heroine of La Vendée," who
afterwards wrote and published her autobiography. She was born in June,
1770, at the village of Soulaine, near Angers, of poor, but honest
parents. When the insurrection of 1793 broke out, the Republican troops
ravaged and massacred without mercy throughout La Vendée. It chanced
that forty-two of Renée's relatives fell victims, successively, to this
fury. At last the barbarous murder of her father before her eyes so
transported Renée with rage and a thirst for revenge that she devoted
herself thenceforth to the royal cause.

She bought a light musket with double sights, and learned privately to
load, fire, and aim at a mark. She also practised the military drill;
and when she considered herself sufficiently expert, she procured
a suit of masculine clothes, and joined a corps commanded by M.
Cœur-de-Roi--whose name, by the way, was only a _nom de guerre_.
She enrolled under the name of Hyacinthe, that of her brother, but her
comrades soon gave her the soubriquet of Langevin, a name she never

During a war of six years, the heroine was engaged in over two hundred
battles and skirmishes. She usually fought on horseback, but sometimes,
to be nearer the foe, she combated on foot. She always solicited to
be placed in the most dangerous posts, and never quitted the field
till compelled by her wounds, or the toils and fatigues of the battle.
Although no one at this time suspected her sex, she was conspicuous
all through the country for her bravery. All the Royalists strove to
emulate her deeds of valour, but none could ever equal her daring. She
had entered on the war with a firm determination to conquer or die, and
her resolution never flagged. Her only ambition, her sole passion, was
to drive the Republicans from France, and restore the legitimate Church
and King.

When Napoleon had subdued La Vendée, he was so afraid of the brave
Langevin that he excepted her from the general amnesty, and set the
price of forty million francs on her head. She was betrayed into the
hands of her enemies; and the Emperor threw her into a loathsome
dungeon, weighting her limbs with iron chains lest she should escape.
She remained in the prison of Angers for three years, and in that of
Mount St. Michael for two, and was fed on nothing save the coarsest
bread, and rainwater which she collected for herself in a basin. Her
piety and fortitude, however, never forsook her during these cruel
hardships. She was at last set free on the Restoration of that King for
whom she had fought so bravely and endured such privations.

The sex of Renée had become known by an accident before her
imprisonment; so it was no surprise, at least to her comrades, when her
autobiography appeared, to learn that she was a woman. In 1816, she was
presented to Louis XVIII.; but what recompense if any, was awarded, her
memoirs do not say. She was still living in 1818.

Madame Dufief, a native of Nantes, was another heroine of this war;
and, in reward she received at the Restoration the Ribbon of the Order
of St. Louis.

       *       *       *       *       *

The French Revolution, it must be confessed, aroused throughout the
land a feeling of earnest, self-sacrificing patriotism, which no
monarchical government, however popular, had ever called forth. A wild,
enthusiastic desire spread through France to drive the enemies of the
Republic from its sacred soil or perish in the attempt. Young and old
were alike infected with the eager longing to die for the Republic.
"Married men," says Lamartine, "dragged themselves from the arms of
their wives to rush to the altar of their country. Men already advanced
in life, old men, even, still green and robust, came to offer the
remainder of their life to the safety of the Republic. They were seen
tearing off their coats or jackets, before the representatives, and
exposing, naked, their breasts, their shoulders, their arms, their
joints still supple, to prove that they had strength enough to carry
the knapsack and the carbine, and to brave the fatigues of the camp.
Fathers, devoting themselves with their children, themselves offered
their sons to the country, and demanded to be allowed to march with
them. Women, in order to follow their husbands or their lovers, or
themselves seized with that delirium of the country, the most generous
and the most devoted of all passions, divested themselves of the
garments of their sex, put on the uniform of volunteers, and enrolled
themselves in the battalions of their departments."

The greater number of these brave women and girls left their bones
to bleach on the various battle-fields of the Republic without their
sex being ever discovered. Those who became known were but few.
Amongst these latter were the two sisters Félicité and Théophile de
Fernig, who held the nominal rank of orderly officers on the staff of
General Dumouriez, wearing the uniform, and performing all the duties
appertaining to their position. Their father, M. de Fernig, was Captain
of Dumouriez's Guides; while their brother was lieutenant in the
regiment d'Auxerrois. Thus the entire family were fighting in defence
of the Republic.

The De Fernigs were natives of French Flanders, whence they were
driven in August, 1792, by the invading Austrians, who amongst other
atrocities, burnt the house of this family. Having no longer a home,
they joined the army of Dumouriez which arrived shortly after in the
neighbourhood. The girls, whose sex was known to all, when on the march
rode near their father or brother; but during battle they acted as
aide-de-camp to one or other of the French generals.

They entered at once on active service, and marched to the woody
heights of Argonne in Champagne, which General Dumouriez was vainly
endeavouring to hold against the Austrians. On his retreat to St.
Ménéhould the De Fernigs distinguished themselves, September 20th,
during the famous cannonade of Valmy by the Duke of Brunswick; when the
superior skill of Kellermann forced the Allies to retreat.

The Convention, informed of the gallant conduct of the Desmoiselles
de Fernig, sent them horses and arms of honour in the name of the
Republic. Dumouriez, in the camp of Maulde, made a striking example of
these two young girls to inspire his soldiers with courage.

In October, Dumouriez returned to Paris, and formed a plan with the
Executive Council for the winter campaign. On his return to the army
he issued a proclamation calling on the Belgians to rise against their
sovereign; and on the 6th of November, he attacked the Austrian camp
at Jemappes. In this battle, which was perhaps the most hotly contested
of all those fought during the entire war, Félicité, the eldest
girl, acted as aide-de-camp to the Duc de Chartres, afterwards Louis
Philippe, King of the French, while her sister performed the same duty
for the brave veteran, General Ferrand, who stormed the redoubts on the
heights. Both girls were young and exceedingly pretty--Félicité was
scarcely sixteen; and "their modesty, their blushes, and their grace,"
observed Lamartine, "under the uniform of officers of the staff, formed
a contrast to the masculine figures of the warriors who surrounded

Before the battle, while reviewing his troops, Dumouriez pointed out
the heroines to his soldiers "as models of patriotism and auguries of
victory." Throughout the day they were conspicuous for their reckless
bravery, which rendered them of inestimable price in an army composed
of raw soldiers. When the regiments which formed the centre of the
French army gave way before the overwhelming masses of Clerfayt's
cavalry, the Duc de Chartres and his brother, the Duc de Montpensier,
followed by Félicité de Fernig and half-a-dozen aides-de-camp, rode,
sword in hand, through the Austrian hussars which separated him from
the infantry. The latter were restored to their former courage, partly
by the words of the Duc, but more especially by the reproaches of a
fragile girl of sixteen, who, a pistol in each hand and her bridle
between her teeth, accused them bitterly of cowardice in flying from
dangers which she fearlessly braved.

After the battle had raged for several hours the Austrians were driven
from the field. The capture of Mons followed shortly after; and the
French entered Brussels, November 14th, after a series of skirmishes
between their advance-guard and the rear-guard of the Austrians.
During one of these contests, Félicité de Fernig, while bearing the
orders of Dumouriez to the heads of the columns, was surrounded by a
troop of Uhlans, from whom she extricated herself with difficulty.
As she was turning her horse's head to rejoin the column, she saw a
young officer of Belgian Volunteers, who had just been flung from his
horse, by a shot, defending himself desperately against several Uhlans.
Riding hastily to the spot, Félicité with her pistols shot two of his
assailants, and the rest took to flight.

Dismounting from her horse, she confided the care of the wounded
officer to her hussars, and with their assistance conveyed him to the
military hospital of Brussels.

The spring of 1793 saw the popularity of Dumouriez wane rapidly. He was
suspected firstly of Girondism, and, worse again, of wishing to rescue
Louis Capet, the unfortunate ex-King, whose trial was in preparation,
or, some said, he meditated placing Philippe Egalité on the throne. In
addition to all these accusations, he had the misfortune to lose nearly
as many battles as he had previously gained; and, knowing well that
his head was very far from secure on his martial shoulders, he entered
into negotiations with Austria. But he mistook the patriotism of his
soldiers for personal attachment to himself. On the 7th April his army
was in a state of open mutiny; but hoping to set matters right, he set
out for Condé, followed by the Duc de Chartres, Colonel Thouvenet,
Adjutant-General Montjoie, eight hussars of ordnance, and his immediate
staff, including the sisters De Fernig. On the road he met three
battalions of Versailles Volunteers who were marching without orders to
Condé. Dumouriez commanded them to halt; but the Volunteers fired on
his escort. Dumouriez fled amidst a rain of bullets, sprang, on foot,
across a canal which interrupted his flight, and made his escape over
the Dutch marshes.

Théophile de Fernig was not wounded, though her horse was slain.
Félicité dismounted, and gave her steed to the Duc de Chartres. The
two young girls and nearly all their companions reached the opposite
shore of the canal safely; when they dispersed in all directions. The
girls, who were acquainted with the country, guided Dumouriez to the
ferry-boat, in which he, they, and the Duc de Chartres passed the
Scheldt. On landing they returned to the French camp at Maulde; but
very soon the fugitives had to take refuge in the camp of Clerfayt, the
Austrian general, at Tournay.

In those days one star eclipsed another so fast, that the soldiers were
only too ready to forget their former idols. Of course when the troops
could easily forget the general who had first led them to victory, they
could hardly be expected to trouble themselves about two friendless
girls. When Vanderwalen, the young Belgian officer, recovered from
his wounds, he could not banish from his mind the young Amazon who
had saved his life. But neither his brother officers nor the soldiers
could give him any information respecting the De Fernig family.
Vanderwalen left the army, and wandered all over Germany and northern
Europe seeking his preserver. For a long time his search was vain; but
at last, when he had almost given up the search, he found the family
buried in the heart of Denmark.

The sisters had resumed "the dress, the graces, and the modesty" of
their own sex. The love of Vanderwalen was very soon reciprocated; and
they returned, as man and wife, to Belgium. Théophile accompanied her
sister to Brussels; where, after spending a few years in the study
of music and poetry, she died, unmarried. She has left, it is said,
several exquisite poems.

"These two sisters," says Lamartine, "inseparable in life, in death, as
upon the field of battle, repose under the same cypress--in a foreign
land. Where are their names upon the marble monuments of our triumphal
arches? Where are their pictures at Versailles? Where are their statues
upon our frontiers bedewed with their blood?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Mary Schelienck, or Shellenck, was one of the most remarkable women
whose names occur in the roll-call of warriors. She was a native of
Ghent, but nothing is known of her early youth. In March, 1792, she
entered the Second Belgian Battalion, as a male Volunteer. At the
battle of Jemappes, in the succeeding November, she distinguished
herself by her bravery, and received six wounds. Afterwards she entered
the 30th Demi-Brigade (Batavian), and made the campaigns of Germany.
She was next removed to the 8th Light Infantry, and displayed great
bravery at the battle of Austerlitz. Unfortunately for her, she there
received a severe wound on the thigh, and was left for dead on the
field, which led to her real sex being discovered. In spite of this,
she continued to follow the regiment, and at last presented a petition
with her own hand to Napoleon. The Emperor received her with "marked
distinction:" he invested her with the cross of the Legion of Honour,
giving her the very decoration he had himself worn, and he placed her
tenth on the list of lieutenants. In 1807, Napoleon granted her a
pension of 673 francs (£20). On her return from Italy, Mary Schelienck,
in her military uniform, waited on the Empress Josephine. That imperial
lady, either in kindness or as an ironical compliment, presented her
with a velvet robe. Mary Schelienck's commission of lieutenant, the
decoration of the Legion of Honour, and the velvet robe were afterwards
(1841) in the possession of William Shellenck, cloth merchant of Ghent.
Mary Shelienck died in January, 1841, at Menin, where she was buried.
Her funeral was attended by every member of the Legion of Honour
belonging to the garrison, and an immense concourse of people.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thérèse Figueur, better known as "Le Dragon sans Gêne," was born,
January, 1774, at Talmay, a town six leagues from Dijon. She became a
dragoon in the 15th and 9th regiments, and, from 1793 to 1812, served
in all the campaigns of the Republic and of the Empire. At this time
she was known to her comrades by the soubriquet of "Sans Gêne."

One day the Comité du Salut Public issued a decree forbidding any woman
to remain in the regiments. The commissioned officers and generals of
the army of the Pyrenees, however, begged that an exception might
be made in favour of the Citoyenne Thérèse Figueur; and special
authorization was granted, permitting her to remain in the service.

At the siege of Toulon, 1793, Thérèse received an English bullet in
her left shoulder. She had the misfortune to be placed under arrest
during the same siege by General Bonaparte, for being guilty of a
delay of twenty-five minutes in the execution of an order. Some years
subsequently, when the former Commandant d'Artillerie had become First
Consul, he wished to see once more the Dragon sans Gêne, who came
willingly enough to St. Cloud under the escort of M. Denon. The First
Consul made some complimentary remarks to the "Dragon," and added that
"Mademoiselle Figueur est un brave:" then gaily pledged her in "a glass
of something stronger than wine."

Thérèse Figueur served in the "Armée d'Italie" in 1792, and in the army
of the Eastern Pyrenees during the 2nd and 3rd year, and in the Army of
Italy during the years 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Among her exploits were
several campaigns in Germany, and she took part in the war in Spain. In
July, 1812, she was made prisoner by the Guerillas of the Curé Marino,
and sent off to England, where she remained until the Peace in 1814.

She was frequently wounded, and had horses killed under her. At the
battle of Savigliano, she was wounded four times.

A modest pension hardly sufficed for her simple wants, yet being
very generous, she constantly helped others poorer than herself. In
disposition she was remarkable for piety, delicate tact, singleness of
heart, and self-forgetfulness.

About 1840, Thérèse Figueur, then _veuve_ Sutter, was admitted into
the Hospice des Ménages. In that retreat her last years glided calmly
away, enlivened by the frequent visits of her many faithful friends,
who delighted in hearing her military reminiscences. In June, 1861, her
simple funeral passed from the gates of the Hospice.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the long wars between England and the French Republic, women
continued to enlist in the British Army. One of the best known
female soldiers of this period was a woman named Roberts, afterwards
styled the "Manchester Heroine" from the place of her death. On the
15th November, 1814, a middle-aged woman applied for relief at the
Church-Warden's offices in Manchester; and on being questioned, it
appeared that she had in days gone by served her King as a soldier. Her
romantic story afterwards appeared, in great detail, in the _Manchester

The father of this heroine, William Roberts, was a bricklayer,
and used to employ his little girl, dressed in boy's clothes, as a
labourer. When she was about fourteen years old, being tall of her
age, Miss Roberts enlisted in the 15th Light Dragoons. In the course
of two months she learned the drill sufficiently for all purposes of
parade; and the rough-riding master told her she was the best rider in
the squad he was teaching. Private William Roberts was promoted in the
course of a few years, first to be a corporal, and then a sergeant;
and at the expiration of her twenty-one years' service, the colonel
tendered her discharge. She demurred accepting it; but being under
size, was, with her own consent, transferred to the 37th foot; which
she joined at the island of St. Vincent, in the West Indies.

At St. Vincent the heroine was attacked by the yellow fever; and this
being the first time in her life that she was ever laid prostrate by an
illness, her sex was soon made known. On her recovery she was obliged
to resume (or rather put on) female habilaments. But being still
enamoured of a soldier's life, she married, in May, 1801, a private
in the 37th, named Taylor. She followed her husband through various
climates; and in time became the mother of three children. She was
imprisoned for two years with her husband in France, and they were only
set free at the general peace of July, 1815. Her husband died the same
day they landed in England; leaving his widow in great distress.

During the course of her military career, Mrs. Taylor visited the East
and West Indies, and fought in Flanders, Spain, Italy, and Egypt.
She received many wounds, none of which, however, were serious,
though they left their scars all over her body. Her head was graced
by a sabre-wound, while her leg showed where a musket-ball had been
extracted. Yet despite the dangers and hardships of war, this woman
sighed after the life of a soldier to the very last. She said that the
only really miserable part of her life was the two years' imprisonment
in France; which, she said, did her constitution more harm than even
the terrible march, under a blazing African sun, from the Red Sea
to Egypt. Like a brave old veteran, she kept up her spirits even in
adversity, "fought her battles o'er again," and loved to "shoulder her
crutch and show how fields were won." Like most old soldiers, she was
very fond of relating anecdotes about her past career--the battles she
had fought in, the wounds she had received, and the various noble or
distinguished officers she had seen.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another of these British heroines was Mary Anne Talbot, who served
as drummer-boy in the 82nd regiment when it was despatched to the
Netherlands in 1793. The career of this young woman was so romantic,
so very much out of the ordinary routine of every-day life, it is
strange that her story has not become more generally known--especially
as a long and detailed memoir was published, which she was supposed to
have written herself.

Mary Anne Talbot was born in a house in Lincoln's Inn Fields on the 2nd
February, 1778, and was the youngest of sixteen natural children, whom
her mother, whose name has not transpired, had by the Earl of Talbot.
Until she had reached the age of five, Mary Anne was kept at nurse at
a little village about twelve miles from Shrewsbury. Her mother died
when she was an infant; and at the death of Lord Talbot, Mary Anne was
removed to a boarding-school in Foregate-street, Chester. Here she
remained for nine years under the care of her only surviving sister,
Mrs. Wilson. On the death of Mrs. Wilson, Mr. Sucker, of Newport,
Shropshire, came forward as guardian of Mary Anne Talbot. He was a
harsh man, and treated her so cruelly that she trembled at the sound
of his voice. She had not been in her new home very long when Essex
Bowen, a captain in the 82nd, appeared at the house; and the girl was
commanded by Sucker to consider him as her future guardian, under whose
protection she was to finish her education on the continent.

Early in the year 1792 they proceeded to London and stopped at the
Salopian coffee-house, Charing Cross; where, taking advantage of
the poor girl's friendless situation, Captain Bowen acted the part
of a villain. Immediately after this the 82nd was ordered to the
West Indies; and the captain forced his victim to dress herself as a
foot-boy and follow him. By his directions, too, she assumed the name
of John Taylor. They sailed on the 20th March, from Falmouth, in the
Crown Transport; and during the voyage her tyrant used her like a
slave, and forced her to eat and drink with the common sailors.

Early in the following year the regiment was remanded to Europe, to
join the army of the Duke of York at Tournay. Bowen again intimidating
the forlorn girl by the threat of sending her up the country to be sold
for a slave, compelled her to enlist under him as a drummer, though he
plainly told her that this would not release her from her duties as his

When they arrived in Flanders, Mary Anne was obliged to endure all the
horrors of war. During the frequent skirmishes which took place between
the English and French, she was compelled to keep up a continuous
roll of the drum to drown the groans and cries of wounded and dying
comrades. On the 2nd of June, the Duke of York besieged Valenciennes;
within a few days of its surrender, the female drummer received two
wounds--one from a musket-ball which glanced between her collar-bone
and breast-bone, and struck one of her ribs, the other in the small of
her back from the sabre of an Austrian trooper, who mistook her for a
Frenchman. Being in dread and fear lest her sex should be discovered,
she had the fortitude to conceal her wounds, and cure them herself by
the use of some lint, Dutch drops and basilicon.

Captain Bowen had the reward of his villainy and tyranny, by being
slain during the attack on Valenciennes, July 25th, 1793. Having no
longer the wrath of a tyrant to fear, Mary Anne disguised herself as
a sailor boy, deserted from the regiment, and started for the coast.
Carefully avoiding all towns or large villages, she reached Luxembourg,
which being in the hands of the French, hindered her further progress.
She was compelled, through sheer want, to hire herself to the captain
of a French lugger. The vessel turned out to be a privateer, and
cruised about the Channel for four months. Mary Anne was compelled to
do all the rough work. At last the vessel was captured by the British
fleet, and the crew were taken prisoners on board the "Queen Charlotte"
to be examined by the admiral, Lord Howe. Previous to their capture,
Mary Anne was severely beaten because she refused to fight against her

Lord Howe questioned Mary Anne as to who and what she was, and how she
had got on board a French ship. She stated, in explanation, that she
had been foot-boy to an English gentleman travelling on the continent,
that on his death she had been obliged to seek employment, and had
taken Le Sage the French captain, for an honest trader. The Admiral was
satisfied; and the girl was sent on board the "Brunswick" man-of-war,
where she was appointed powder-monkey on the quarter-deck. Her cleanly
habits, and her quiet respectful demeanour, attracted the notice of
Captain Harvey, who raised her to the post of principal cabin boy.

The "Brunswick" having fallen in with a French ship, in June, 1794, a
sharp action ensued, in which Captain Harvey was slain, and Mary Anne
received a grape-shot in the ankle of her left leg. So severe was the
wound that, though she tried three several times to rise, the broken
bone protruding through the skin gave her such agony she fell back
almost fainting. A few minutes after this a musket-ball pierced her
thigh, just above the knee of the same leg. After the engagement she
was carried to the cock-pit, and after numberless attempts had been
made to extract the grape-shot (inflicting excruciating agony all the
while on the sufferer), the surgeons were obliged to leave it where it
was, fearful of cutting the tendons of the leg.

When the "Brunswick" arrived at Spithead, Mary Anne Talbot was placed
in Haslar Hospital, where she was attended as an out-door patient
during four months. She lived meanwhile on the money which Captain
Harvey had given her. When she was at last discharged from the
Hospital, she went as a midshipman on board the "Vesuvius," which
formed part of Sir Sydney Smith's squadron. After cruising some time on
the coast of France the "Vesuvius" sailed to Gibraltar and back again
without meeting the enemy until near Dunkirk, where she was boarded and
captured by two privateers, after keeping up a running fight for seven

Mary Anne and another middy named William Richards were taken on board
one of the privateers, and imprisoned for eighteen months in Dunkirk,
where they were treated very harshly--being allowed nothing but bread
and water, and a bed of straw which was never changed. An exchange of
prisoners took place at last; and Mary Anne Talbot was engaged almost
immediately after by a Captain Field to go as ship's steward on a
voyage to America.

She sailed from Dunkirk on board the "Ariel," August, 1796, and arrived
in due time at New York. During her stay there she resided in the
family of Captain Field at Rhode Island; and the pretty niece of the
captain was so absurd as to fall in love with her uncle's steward.
Before Mary Anne's departure she was obliged to pay eighteen dollars
for a portrait of herself in the uniform of an American officer to give
to her affianced as a memento.

The "Ariel" dropped anchor in the Thames in November, 1796; and some
days after their arrival, Mary Anne and the mate went on shore, where
they were seized by the press-gang. To obtain her freedom she was
obliged to reveal her sex.

Mary Anne applied several times at the Navy-Pay Office for moneys due
to her for service on board the "Brunswick" and "Vesuvius." One day
she became abusive, and was taken to Bow Street Police Court; whence
of course she was very soon discharged. Several gentlemen who were in
court made up a subscription, the amount of which was twelve shillings
a week, to last until she received her pension from Somerset House.

Mary Anne Talbot wasted her money shamefully at the theatres and at
certain public-houses near Covent Garden, where her real sex was not
even suspected; all her friends giving her the name of _bon compagnon_.
In February, 1797, owing to her fondness for grog, the grape-shot
worked itself out of her ankle, and left her leg in so bad a state that
she was taken into St. Bartholomew's Hospital. After her discharge she
was attended in different hospitals by several medical men, none of
whom were able to effect a permanent cure. She became at last so famous
that a beggar was sent to the House of Correction charged with passing
himself off as John Taylor, the midshipman. In 1799, she became, for
the second time, an inmate of Middlesex Hospital.

For some years her principal support was a pension of twenty pounds
a year from the Crown; besides this she received frequent presents
from the Duke of York, the Duke of Norfolk, and other members of the
nobility. She was advised by Justice Bond, the magistrate of Bow
Street, to endeavour to find out something about her early life. She
went to Shrewsbury and called on Mr. Sucker, in Newport. Being unable
to procure an interview while in "coloured" clothes, she returned to
Shrewsbury, dressed herself in an ensign's uniform, hired a horse, and
rode back to Mr. Sucker's. She sent in word that an officer, a friend
of the late Captain Bowen, had an important message to deliver. This
_ruse_ succeeded; she declared who she was, and, drawing her sword,
demanded an explanation of Mr. Sucker's conduct towards her. He stared
as though an apparition had risen from the grave, and, trembling
violently, repeated that he was a ruined man. Three days after this he
was found dead in his bed.

Mary Anne Talbot lived for many years after this, maintaining herself
in various ways. At one time she thought of going on the stage,
and joined the Thespian Society in Tottenham Court Road; where she
performed the parts of Irene, Lady Helen, Juliet, Floranthe, and
Adeline, and sometimes appeared in low comedy as Mrs. Scout, or Jack
Hawser. However, she gave up the stage, which was to her more amusing
than profitable.

Once she was summoned before the Commissioners of the Stamp Office
for wearing hair-powder without a licence. But she was honourably
discharged; whereupon she made the observation that "although she had
never worn powder as an article of dress, she had frequently used it in
defence of her King and country." The clerks were so tickled with her
wit that they immediately made up a subscription.

       *       *       *       *       *

In June, 1796, the British attacked the New Vigie, in the Island of
St. Vincent. The Royal Highlanders were conspicuous for their valour,
as Highlanders have ever been. Major-General Stewart, at that time a
captain in the regiment, relates how one of the men of his company
was followed to the scene of action by his wife. He (Captain Stewart)
ordered the man to remain behind and guard the knapsacks, which the
soldiers threw down preparatory to charging up the hill. The woman,
however, perhaps thinking that the family honour was at stake, rushed
up the hill, and made herself conspicuous, cheering and exciting the
troops. When the British had captured the third redoubt, Captain
Stewart was standing at a short distance, giving some directions
relative to the storming of the last entrenchments, when he was tapped
on the shoulder by the female Highlander, who seized his arm, and

"Well done, my Highland lads! See how the brigands scamper like so many
deer! Come, lads, let us drive them from yonder hill."

And she charged off again, much to the delight of her Gaelic
brothers-in-arms. When the storm was over, she helped the surgeons in
looking after the wounded.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the Irish Rebellion of '98, women very often risked their lives
both on the battle-field and in the defence of houses. Amongst the
latter was Susan Frost, a Suffolk woman, nurse to General Sir Charles
James Napier. During the temporary absence of the Napier family in
England, this woman remained at Celbridge House, in Ireland, with a
few of the younger children. The "Defenders" having ascertained that
this mansion contained a great number of arms, surrounded it one night.
The only persons in the house, besides Susan and the children, were
a few maids and Lauchlin Moore, an old serving-man. The rebels, who
numbered several hundreds, anticipated an easy capture; but the house
was strongly built, and, besides, was defended by Susan Frost, of
whose obstinate courage they were as yet ignorant. Collecting all the
children together in one room, she stationed herself with a brace of
pistols outside the door. The "Defenders" called on the little garrison
to surrender; but Lauchlin Moore, acting under the orders of Susan,
shouted out defiant refusals. Every time he passed a window, volleys of
shot whizzed around his head.

When the assailants began to batter the door with a beam of wood,
Moore's courage failed him, and he wished to give up the arms. But
Susan invariably answered "No! No! Never! Never!" At last the arrival
of some men-servants, from a neighbouring mansion, put the rebels to

Another heroine of the Irish Rebellion was Peggy Monro, who fought
bravely in the battle of Ballinahinch, where the rebels were commanded
by her brother.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the latter end of 1797 the French invaded Switzerland, with the
ostensible view of spreading liberty, equality, and fraternity.
However, in place of being welcomed by the republican Swiss, they were
met on all sides by armed peasants who defended every foot of ground
before giving way. The women acted with the same courage as the men.
The most conspicuous was Martha Glar, a peasant-woman. When the war
broke out she was far from young; being then in her sixty-fourth year,
and having both children and grandchildren.

In February, 1798, her husband marched with the rest of the farmers and
peasants to check the advance of the French. On the last Sunday in the
month, Martha collected all the women and girls of the parish in the
church-yard, half an hour before divine service, and addressed them
in an impressive oration, inciting them to take up arms in defence of
their native land.

Two hundred and sixty women, urged by her patriotism, armed themselves,
and marched to meet the invaders. In this little regiment were two of
Martha Glar's daughters, and three of her grand-daughters, the youngest
of whom was only ten years old. After exciting the admiration of both
friends and foes by their extraordinary bravery, this female corps was
decimated in the battle of Frauenbrun, March 3rd, 1798. One hundred
and eighty of them were killed, and the rest carried, more or less
wounded, from the field. Martha Glar, together with her husband, her
father, her two sons, both her daughters, her brother, and her three
grand-daughters were amongst the slain.

In 1806, when Prussia was arming against the "Colossus of Europe," the
Queen, who was young, beautiful, and fascinating, appeared several
times at the head of the troops attired in a military uniform, which,
it is said, became her exceedingly well; and in this costume she made
fiery speeches inciting the people to rise against the "Modern Attila."

Besides this display of martial ardour, the Queen, mounted on a superb
charger, accompanied the Prussian army to the field of Jena, Oct. 14th,
1806, and remained in the midst of the fight till her troops were
routed. On her head she wore a helmet of burnished steel, overshadowed
by a magnificent plume. She wore a tunic of silver brocade, reaching
to her feet, which were encased in scarlet boots with gold spurs.
Her breast was protected by a cuirass glittering in gold and silver.
Accompanied by the _élite_ of the young Berlin nobility, she rode along
in front of the most advanced ranks, whence, the day being clear,
she was easily seen by the French. As she approached each regiment,
the flags, embroidered by her own fair hands, besides the blackened
rags--all that remained of the time-honoured banners of Frederick the
Great--were lowered respectfully.

When the battle was over and the Prussians in full rout, the Queen
remained on the field, attended by three or four equerries, who, for
some time, contrived to defend her against the French troops, who
had strict orders to capture the Queen at all risks. A squadron of
hussars riding up at full speed soon dispersed the little escort of
her Majesty. The horse ridden by the Queen fortunately took fright,
and galloped off at full speed. Had it not been for his swiftness, the
royal heroine would inevitably have been captured.

Pursued by the detachment of hussars, who were several times within
a few yards of the royal fugitive, she arrived at last within sight
of Weimar, and was congratulating herself upon having escaped so
imminent a danger, when, to her dismay, she observed a strong body of
French dragoons endeavouring to cut off her retreat. However, before
they could come near, she was inside Weimar, the gates of which were
immediately closed upon the discomfited troopers.

The Queen found her costume exceedingly inconvenient during her flight;
and it was principally owing to this that she was so very near being
made prisoner.

       *       *       *       *       *

Marie-Anne-Elise Bonaparte, sister of the first Napoleon, was a
woman of superior intellect, and shared to a considerable extent her
brother's military predilections. When she married Bacciochi, Prince
of Lucca and Piombino, it was she who conducted the government, while
the Prince was kept in a subordinate position. From her fondness for
military shows she acquired the title of the "Semiramis of Lucca."
Whenever she reviewed the troops, Prince Bacciochi discharged the
duties of aide-de-camp.

       *       *       *       *       *

Next to Joan of Arc, the Maid of Saragossa is the most famous female
warrior that ever lived. Pictures and statues without number have
been exhibited commemorative of this Spanish girl's heroism; and what
renders her resemblance even greater to Jeanne is the fact that the
Maid of Saragossa was young, handsome, and interesting.

The siege of Saragossa (or Zaragoza), was one of the most extraordinary
recorded in modern history. The town was not even properly fortified,
but merely enclosed by a badly-constructed wall twelve feet high and
three feet in breadth. This was, moreover, intersected by houses,
which, with the neighbouring churches and monasteries, were in a most
dilapidated condition. The inhabitants numbered only sixty thousand,
and amongst these there was barely two hundred and twenty soldiers. The
artillery consisted of ten dilapidated old guns.

When the rest of Spain was at the feet of Napoleon, Marshal Lefebvre
was despatched in June 1808, with a strong division of the French
army to besiege Saragossa. Never, in our days at least, have the
inhabitants of a beleaguered town displayed such courage. Women of all
ranks assisted in the defence; they formed themselves into companies
of two or three hundred each, and materially aided the men. They were
always the most forward in danger, and the great difficulty was to
teach them prudence and a proper sense of their own danger.

The French Marshal, astounded at this unexpected resistance, bribed
the keeper of a large powder-magazine to blow it up on the night of
June 28th. The French immediately pressed forward to the gates, and
commenced a vigorous cannonade. The confusion within the walls was
fearful. The people, terrified by the explosion, stupefied by the noise
of the cannon thundering in their ears, were paralysed with terror.
It was at this critical moment, when the French were pouring into the
town, already considered it as their own, that Agostina (or Angostina)
the Maid of Saragossa performed that heroic action which has made her
name famous throughout the world.

According to the popular version of the story current at the time, the
deed was unpremeditated, and simply the result of a sudden impulse.
She was carrying round wine and water to the parched and fainting
soldiers; entering the Battery of El Portillo, she found that all its
defenders had been slain. She tore a match from the hand of a dying
artilleryman (whom Southey incorrectly supposes to have been her lover)
and fired off a twenty-six pounder gun which was loaded. But in Mrs.
Hale's "Woman's Record," and some other biographical dictionaries,
Agostina is represented as having gone to the battery with the previous
determination of performing great deeds.

"At this dreadful moment," says Mrs. Hale, "an unknown maiden issued
from the church of Nostra Donna del Pillas, habited in white raiment,
a cross suspended from her neck, her dark hair dishevelled and her
eyes sparkling with supernatural lustre! She traversed the city with a
bold and firm step; she passed to the ramparts, to the very spot where
the enemy was pouring in to the assault; she mounted to the breach,
seized a lighted match from the hand of a dying engineer, and fired the
piece of artillery he had failed to manage; then kissing her cross,
she cried with the accent of inspiration--'Death or victory!' and
re-loaded her cannon. Such a cry, such a vision, could not fail to call
up enthusiasm; it seemed that heaven had brought aid to the just cause;
her cry was answered--'Long live Agostina.'"

The people, inspired with new courage, rushed into the battery, and
blazed away at the French. Agostina swore not to quit her post while
the assault continued. The enthusiasm soon spread through the town.
Shouts of "Forward! Forward! We will conquer!" resounded from all
sides, and the besiegers were driven back at every point.

Marshal Lefebvre saw it would cost too many soldiers to take the
town by storm; so he endeavoured to reduce it by famine, aided by a
heavy bombardment. The horrors of war--people dying of hunger, shells
bursting in the streets, the destruction of houses--reigned paramount
in Saragossa. Agostina risked her life daily to assist the wounded.
But she was seen daily working a heavy gun in the battery at the
north-western gate.

The French, from their superior numbers and their determined
perseverance, soon became masters of nearly half the town. Lefebvre
sent to General Palafox, the Spanish Commandant, requesting him,
once more, to surrender. Palafox read this message in the public
street. Turning to Agostina, who, completely armed, stood near him, he
asked:--"What answer shall I send?"

"War to the knife!" said she.

And this answer, echoed by all, was sent back to the Duke of Dantzic.

The latter gave immediate orders for his troops to press the siege by
every possible means. For eleven days and eleven nights the town was
like the crater of a volcano. The Spaniards disputed the possession
of every street, every house, sometimes every room in a house.
Agostina was seen at all points, wherever there was most danger to be
encountered. Running from post to post, she fought almost incessantly.
At last the French, thoroughly exhausted, retired from before Saragossa
early on the morning of the 17th August, and the brave townspeople
had their reward when they saw the legions of France retiring towards

When General Palafox was rewarding the surviving warriors, he told
Agostina to select whatever reward she pleased; for, said he, anything
she asked for would be granted. The only favour she asked was
permission to retain the rank of an artillery-soldier, and to have the
privilege of taking the surname, and wearing the arms of Saragossa.
This was at once granted, with the double-pay of an artilleryman and a
pension; while she was decorated with medals and crosses by the Spanish
Junta, and given the additional surname of La Artillera.

During the second siege of Saragossa, Agostina distinguished herself
again as a warrior. When the French sat down before the gates, she took
up her former station at the Portillo battery, beside the same gun
which she had served so well.

"See," said she to Palafox, pointing to the gun, "I am again with my
old friend."

Her husband was severely wounded, but Agostina took his duties, while
he lay bleeding at her side. Besides loading and firing this famous
gun, Agostina frequently headed sallying parties; when, knife or sword
in hand, her cloak wrapped round her, she cheered and encouraged the
soldiers by her example and her words. Although constantly under fire,
she escaped without a wound. Once, however, she was flung into a ditch,
and nearly suffocated by the bodies of dead and dying which fell upon

When the town capitulated in February, 1809, Agostina became a
prisoner. She was too much feared for Marshal Lannes to let her escape.
Fortunately for herself, she was seized with a contagious fever then
raging in the town, and was removed to the hospital; where, as it was
supposed she lay dying, so little care was taken in watching her that
she contrived to escape in a few days.

When Lord Byron visited Spain in 1809, the maid of Saragossa used to
walk every day on the Prado at Seville, attired in the Spanish military
uniform--retaining, however, the petticoat and skirt, of her sex. Byron
devoted half-a-dozen verses of "Childe Harold" to her praises. Sir John
Carr, who was introduced to her about the same time, describes the
heroine as "about twenty-three," with a light olive complexion. "Her
countenance soft and pleasing, and her manners, which were perfectly
feminine, were easy and engaging." When he saw Agostina she wore the
national black mantilla; but on the sleeve of one arm she had three
embroidered badges of honour, commemorative of three different acts of

"The day before I was introduced to this extraordinary female," says
Sir John, "she had been entertained at dinner by Admiral Purvis on
board his flag-ship.... As she received a pension from Government,
and also the pay of an artilleryman, the admiral considered her as a
military character, and, much to his credit, received her with the
honours of that profession. Upon her reaching the deck, the marines
were drawn up and manœuvred before her. She appeared quite at home,
regarding them with a steady eye, and speaking in terms of admiration
of their neatness, and soldier-like appearance. Upon examining the
guns, she observed of one of them, as other women would speak of a cap,
'My gun,' alluding to one with which she had effected a considerable
havoc among the French at Saragossa, 'was not so nice and clean as

Agostina lived to the age of sixty-nine, and died at Cuesta in July,
1857; when her remains were interred with all the honours due to her
public position as a Spanish patriot.

Although the women of Saragossa had been ordered to leave the town in
November, 1808, previous to the commencement of the second siege, most
of them remained, and assisted bravely in raising fortifications.
During the siege they exceeded even their past valour. In the short
space of two months no fewer than six hundred women and children
perished by the bayonets and musket-balls of the French; without
reckoning the thousands who owed their deaths to the frequent
explosions of powder-magazines and the constant bursting of shells in
the streets. A girl named Manuella Sanchez was shot through the heart.
A noble lady named Benita, who commanded one of the female corps raised
to carry round provisions, to bear away the wounded, and to fight in
the streets, narrowly escaped death again and again; and at the last
she only survived the dangers of war to die of grief on hearing that
her daughter had been slain.

       *       *       *       *       *

All through the Peninsula women displayed the same Amazonian prowess.
Those towns which ventured to resist the Imperial Eagles were as much
influenced in their stubborn patriotism by the courage of the women as
by the exciting speeches of the priests or the promise of assistance
from England. And all those places which were besieged by the French
were defended by women as well as by men. In 1810 there was, it is
said, a woman holding the commission of Captain in a Spanish regiment.

In 1811, Mrs. Dalbiac, wife of a British colonel, "an English lady of
gentle disposition and possessing a very delicate frame," accompanied,
or perhaps followed, her husband to the Peninsula, and shared in all
the hardships of more than one campaign. At the battle of Salamanca,
July 22nd, 1812, she rode into the midst of the fight, and was several
times under fire.

       *       *       *       *       *

The King of Prussia, unable to shake off the yoke of Napoleon in 1806,
when the star of the "Modern Attila" was at its zenith, took advantage
of the Emperor's misfortunes in 1813 to call upon the Germans to rise
against the tyranny of France. His call was warmly responded to from
all parts of the realm; and, like France in the early days of the
Republic, almost all who could bear arms hastened to enrol themselves
as volunteers, and march away to fight the Gaul. Perhaps the best
known rifle-corps was that commanded by Major Lutzow. Young men of the
best families, men of genius (amongst others, Körner the poet, who has
celebrated it in verse) joined this battalion. In this corps there was
a female soldier, who enrolled under the name of Renz. A monument was
erected to the memory of this heroine at Dannenberg, in September,
1865. It is in the form of a pyramid, one foot high. Nothing further is
known concerning her history, beyond what is told by the inscription
on this memorial.

"Ellonora Prochaska, known as one of the Lutzow Rifle Volunteers,
by the name of Augustus Renz, born at Potzdam on the 11th March,
1785, received a fatal wound in the battle of Göhrde on the 15th
September, 1813, died at Dannenberg on the 5th October, 1813. She fell
exclaiming:--'Herr Lieutenant, I am a woman!'"

In 1869 a young man was received, by the express order of the King of
Prussia, as a candidate for an ensign's commission into the second
company of the first battalion of the 9th regiment, in Stargard, the
same company in which his grandmother had served as a subaltern officer
during the war of liberation against the French, and bravely won the
Iron Cross and the Russian order of St. George. This lady--Augusta
Frederica Krüger--was a native of Friedland, in Mecklenberg. Not
content with offering, like many of her countrywomen, her trinkets and
her flowing hair on the altar of patriotism, she entered the ranks
as a volunteer, under the name of Lübeck, and distinguished herself
by her intrepidity on many a hard-fought field. On October 23, 1815,
she received her discharge, and her services were mentioned in this
document in the most flattering terms. In January, 1816, being present,
dressed in the garments of her own sex, at the festival of the Iron
Cross, held at Berlin, she attracted the attention of a sub-officer of
Lancers, named Karl Köhler, to whom she was married, in the garrison
church of Berlin, on March 5, of the same year. The church was densely
packed with spectators on the occasion, every one anxious to witness
the marriage of two Prussian subaltern officers. The heroic bride
appeared in a handsome silk gown, and wore on her breast the orders she
had honourably won, which, with her short hair, were the only signs or
symbols of her former military career.

       *       *       *       *       *

Marshal Massena once related how, during an action between the French
and Russians at Buezenghen, he observed a young soldier, apparently
scarcely more than a child, who belonged to the French Light Artillery,
defending himself bravely against several herculean Cossacks and
Bavarians. This young artilleryman, whose horse had been slain by the
thrust of a Cossack lance, displayed the most determined courage. "I
immediately despatched an officer and some men to his assistance, but
they arrived too late. Although the action had taken place on the
borders of the wood and in front of the bridge, the artilleryman had
alone withstood the attack of the small body of Cossacks and Bavarians
whom the officers and men I had despatched put to flight. His body was
covered with wounds inflicted by shots, lances, and swords. There were
at least thirty. And do you know, Madame," asked the Marshal, "what the
_young man_ was?"

"A woman!"

"Yes, a woman, and a handsome woman too! Although she was so covered
with blood that it was difficult to judge of her beauty. She had
followed her lover to the army. The latter was a Captain of Artillery;
she never left him, and when he was killed, defended like a lioness
the remains of him she loved. She was a native of Paris, her name was
Louise Belletz, and she was the daughter of a fringe-maker."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was in 1812 that the Chicago Massacre took place. For more than a
year before, the Indian tribes residing near the remote lakes and the
sources of the Mississippi had displayed great hostility towards the
pale-faces; though for a long time they did not venture to proceed to
extremities. But after the declaration of war between the United States
and Great Britain, on the 18th May, 1812, the savages came forward
in great numbers as the allies of the British, and acted with their
customary barbarity. One of their worst deeds was the Massacre of
Chicago, August 15th, 1812.

The Fort of Chicago was commanded by Captain Heald. On the 7th August,
he received despatches announcing that the Pottawatomie Indians had
declared war against the United States, and commanding him to evacuate
the place. He marched out on the 15th, accompanied by all the women and
children, and had not proceeded very far before they were surrounded
by overwhelming numbers of redskins. The Americans defended themselves
with their usual bravery; and though hardly more than one to twenty,
they sold their lives dearly.

Mrs. Heald, who was in the thick of the fight, received seven wounds.
Her horse, a splendid animal, was prized by the Indians, who valued it
far higher than its rider, and tried their best to avoid hurting it.
A savage was in the act of tearing off Mrs. Heald's bonnet to scalp
her, when one of the St. Joseph's tribe ransomed her for ten bottles of
whiskey and a mule.

Mrs. Helm, wife of the officer second in command, fought bravely for
her life. She was wounded slightly in the ankle, and had her horse shot
under her. Being attacked by a young savage who aimed a blow at her
head with his tomahawk, she sprang on one side, and the stroke fell on
her shoulder, inflicting a severe wound. She seized him round the neck,
and endeavoured to snatch his scalping-knife; but another Indian came
up and dragged her away. The new-comer proved to be a friend. Plunging
Mrs. Helm into the lake, he held her there, despite her struggles, till
the firing was over.

After fighting with desperate valour, until only twenty-seven of them
were left, the Americans were compelled to surrender. The wife of one
of the soldiers, hearing of the tortures which the savages inflicted on
their prisoners, resolved to die sooner than let herself be taken. When
her companions had given up their arms, the Indians wished to capture
this woman; but rejecting all their promises of kind treatment, she
fought so desperately that she was literally cut to pieces.

Captain Helm, twice wounded, was sent with his wife and children to
Mackinaw on the eastern coast of Michigan, and delivered as prisoners
of war to the British general, who received them kindly, and sent them
to Detroit. Lieutenant Helm, also wounded, was taken to St. Louis;
where he was liberated through the entreaties of Mr. Forsyth, an Indian
trader. Mrs. Helm was taken to Detroit, where she was exchanged,
together with Captain and Mrs. Heald, some time after.




    Doña Maria de Jesus, Private in the Brazilian Army (War of
    the Reconcave)--Russian Female Soldiers--Juana de Areito
    (Civil Wars in Spain, 1834)--Anita Garibaldi--Appolonia
    Jagiello (Rebellions in Poland, 1846 and '48, and Vienna
    and Hungary, '48)--Bravery of the Croatian Women--Countess
    Helena St. ----, a Hungarian Patriot--Garde Mobile--Louisa
    Battistati (Milanese Revolution, 1848)--Fatima, a Turkish
    Commander (Russo-Turkish War)--Lady Paget (Attack
    on the Mamelon, June, 1855)--Miss Wheeler (Cawnpore
    Massacre)--Queen of Naples--Polish Insurrection--Mdlle.
    Pustowjtoff, Adjutant to Langievicz--Female Polish
    Chasseurs--Female Lieut.-Colonel in the Mexican Army--Civil
    War in America--Female Privates in the Potomac Army--Female
    Lieutenant and Privates in the Army of the West--Mrs.
    Clayton, Private in the Federal Army--Emily ----, Private in
    the Drum Corps of a Michigan Regiment--Female Confederates
    at Ringgold, Chattanooga--Mrs. Florence Bodwin--Female
    Mulatto Sergeant--Native Contingent in New Zealand--Herminia
    Manelli, Corporal of Bersaglieri (Battle of Custozza,
    1866)--Lopez's Amazons--Cretan Amazons--Women of
    Montenegro--Female Brigands--German Order to Reward Courage
    in Women--Franco-Prussian War--Minna Hänsel's Amazon Corps.

Since the first French Revolution, monarchs have not always sat easily
upon their thrones. They fancied they had cut down the Tree of Liberty
after the downfall of Napoleon, and that it would never grow up again;
but in a very short time it brought forth new branches, and has since
borne fruit in a way which the most sanguine Republican of olden times
would scarcely have ventured to predict. Since the battle of Waterloo,
Europe and America--even parts of Asia and Africa--have been convulsed
by rebellions, civil wars, and revolutions, which have often shaken
the world to its centre. The peoples learnt to hate their rulers; and
one nation after another, catching the revolutionary fire from the
smouldering brand half stamped out in France, rose in rebellion against
the monarch who refused them immediate enfranchisement. Again and
again have the nations been compelled by force of arms to submit; but
they rise again whenever they fancy they see a favourable opportunity.
Thus it happened that almost every war, fought in Europe or America
since Waterloo up to some ten years since, had its origin in the same
cause--the struggles of nations to cast off their rulers.

Amongst those states which took the initiative in raising the standard
of revolt, the South American colonies of Spain and Portugal were
foremost. Brazil declared its independence in 1821, and elected Don
Pedro, the Crown Prince of Portugal, to be Emperor. The latter had a
hard struggle to maintain his throne against not only the Portuguese
troops, but against the Republicans, who composed a large party in
Brazil. His emissaries were despatched all over the country, to the
most distant plantations, to raise recruits for the Imperial Army. One
of these messengers arrived one day at the farmhouse of Gonzalez de
Almeida, a Portuguese settler in the parish of San José, on the Rio de
Pax. The patriot was invited to dinner; and, mindful of his object, he
endeavoured to enlist the sympathies of his host for Don Pedro. Almeida
listened very attentively; but it awakened no feelings of patriotism in
his breast. He was old, and could not join the army himself, nor had he
a son to give.

"As to giving a slave," added he, "what interest would a slave have in
fighting for the independence of Brazil?"

But though Almeida had no sons, he had two daughters. One of them, Doña
Maria de Jesus, was desirous, for many reasons, to leave home and seek
employment elsewhere. Her father had married again, and the step-mother
and her young children made home exceedingly uncomfortable for Maria.
She was much excited by the patriot's words; "So that at last," she
said, "I felt my heart burning in my breast!"

She stole from the house, and went to that of her married sister. After
recapitulating the stranger's discourse, she expressed a wish that she
were a man and could join the Imperial standard.

"Nay," said her sister. "If I had not a husband and child, for one half
of what you say, I would join the ranks of the emperor."

This decided the wavering resolution of Doña Maria. Her sister supplied
her with a suit of clothes belonging to the husband, so Maria took the
opportunity, as her father was going to Cachoeira, about forty leagues
distant, to dispose of some cotton, to ride after him; not close enough
to be seen, but sufficiently near for protection. When in sight of
Cachoeira, she halted; and going a little way from the road, dressed
herself in male attire.

She entered the town on a Friday, and by the following Sunday she had
enlisted in an artillery regiment, and had already mounted guard. She
was, however, too slight for the heavy duties of an artilleryman; so
she exchanged into an infantry corps, in which she remained till the
close of the war.

Her real sex was not even suspected till Almeida applied to the
commanding officer of her regiment. In the summer of 1823 she was sent
with despatches to Rio Janeiro, and there presented to Don Pedro, who
gave her an ensign's commission and the Order of the Cross--the latter
of which he himself placed upon her jacket.

Maria Graham in her "Journal of a Voyage to Brazil," gives, as one
of the illustrations, Maria de Jesus in her uniform. "Her dress,"
says this traveller, "is that of a soldier of one of the emperor's
battalions, with the addition of a tartan kilt, which she told me she
had adopted from a picture representing a Highlander, as the most
feminine military dress. What would the Gordons and Macdonalds say to
this? The 'garb of old Gaul' chosen as a womanish attire!" This lady
further says that Maria, though clever, was almost totally uneducated;
"she might have been a remarkable person. She is not particularly
masculine in her appearance, and her manners are gentle and cheerful."

       *       *       *       *       *

In a census of the population of St. Petersburg, published about 1829,
there appears the following curious item:--


    Men.        Women.       Total.
    46,076      9,975        56,051."

When the civil war broke out in Spain, in 1834, the town of Eybar,
in the province of Guipuzcoa, being attacked by Zabala, the Carlist
general, several women and girls assisted the Christino troops in its
defence. One of these brave girls, Juana de Anito, at this time barely
fifteen, was married six years later to Don Eulogio Barbero Quintero,
a young officer in the Spanish Army. In 1840 he became mixed up in a
conspiracy against the Government; and on the failure of the plot,
attempted to escape into France. He was intercepted on his road, and
imprisoned in the citadel of San Sebastian. Directly Juana heard of
his capture she resolved to effect his escape; which she accomplished
in Nov. 1841, by exchanging clothes with him. Don Eulogio succeeded in
reaching the French frontier; but the courage and devotion of his young
wife did not avert the wrath of the Spanish Regent, by whose orders she
was condemned to imprisonment for life.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was whilst fighting in Brazil as a rebel against the Imperial
Government that Garibaldi first met his beloved wife, Anita. She was a
Brazilian by birth, and possessed all the beauty of her countrywomen.
Her complexion was a clear olive, set off by piercing black eyes, her
figure tall and commanding. She was a fit companion for the brave
Garibaldi; being to the full as courageous as he. The general himself
said that his wife took part in battle as "an amusement" and "a simple
variation to the monotony of camp-life."

Anita accompanied her husband in all his expeditions both on shore and
at sea. Ably did she second him in the struggle for Brazilian freedom.
Shortly after marriage they were one day at sea, when the Imperial
fleet hove in sight, and bore down upon them. Garibaldi entreated his
bride to land, and remain on shore whilst the engagement lasted; but
she firmly refused, and not only remained during the action, but took a
very leading share in it. One of the sailors fell dead at her feet; she
snatched up his carbine, and kept up a constant fire on the Brazilians
for several hours.

When the battle was at its height, Anita was standing on deck, waving
a sword over her head, encouraging the men to resist bravely. Suddenly
she was struck down by the wind of a cannon-ball, which killed two men
close by. Garibaldi rushed forward, expecting to find that life was
extinct; but to his astonishment and delight she rose up unhurt. Again
he entreated her to go below, and remain there till the fighting was

"Yes," said Anita. "I will go below; but only to drive out the cowards
who are skulking there."

And running down the hatchway, she speedily reappeared, driving before
her three men who had gone below to escape the storm.

Anita was also present, on horseback, in a battle fought at a place
called Coritibani, where the Garibaldians, numbering scarcely eighty
men, half of whom were infantry, were attacked by a large body of
Brazilian cavalry. She was not satisfied with being a mere spectator;
knowing that the rebels, as they kept up a constant fire, would soon
exhaust their ammunition, she went to the baggage-waggons to see
that the men were properly supplied with cartridges. She had not been
there very long before the baggage-train was attacked by twenty or
thirty Brazilian horsemen. Anita was a good rider, and could have saved
herself; but she preferred to remain on the spot, encouraging the

The Brazilians were victorious in this battle; Anita surrounded on
every side, received orders to yield. Clapping spurs to her horse, she
dashed through the midst of her foes. Several shots were fired after
her; one, a pistol shot, went through her hat, cutting off a lock of
hair, while another pierced her horse's head. The animal fell heavily
to the ground, flinging her with violence from the saddle. Before she
could recover her feet, the Brazilian troopers had made her prisoner.

Anita believed that her husband had been killed; so the Brazilian
colonel gave her permission to search the battle-field for his body.
She looked through the corpses again and again for several hours, and
at last came to the conclusion that Garibaldi still lived, and she
determined to rejoin him. That night, when the Brazilians had retired
to rest, and when even the sentry began to nod, she succeeded in
escaping to a farmhouse a quarter of a mile distant; where she seized a
horse, and plunged into the forest, in the direction which she believed
the Garibaldians to have taken.

For more than a week, Anita Garibaldi wandered alone amidst the almost
impenetrable wilds of the dense Brazilian forests, without food, and
exposed to the hourly chances of capture. More than once she was
pursued by the enemy placed in ambush at various points. One stormy
night, four horsemen, who were stationed at a ford of the river Canoas,
believing her to be a phantom, fled in terror. Anita plunged boldly
into the stream; and, although it was five hundred yards broad, and
swollen by the mountain rivulets till it had assumed the aspect of
a roaring cataract, she succeeded, holding on by her horse's mane,
in reaching the opposite shore, amidst a shower of bullets from the
Brazilians, who had found out their mistake.

After enduring for eight days every kind of danger and privation, she
overtook the Garibaldians, and rejoined her husband.

"Yes, yes, gentlemen," added Garibaldi, when he related this anecdote,
"my wife is valiant."

There are many more of these anecdotes related concerning the
extraordinary bravery of Anita. She afterwards accompanied her
husband on his return to Italy, in 1848, and was with him during the
insurrection of Lombardy against Austria. In the following year she
attended him throughout the siege of Rome. After the fall of the
Eternal City in 1849, when Garibaldi was escaping to Venice, Anita,
worn out by long suffering, died at Mandriole, a small village in the
marshes of Ravenna.

       *       *       *       *       *

Apollonia Jagiello, a Polish heroine, who acquired no little celebrity
for her bravery during the insurrections of '46 and '48, was born in
Lithuania, in 1825. She was educated at Cracow, in which city she
passed her early life; sometimes changing for a few weeks to Warsaw
or Vienna. In 1846 the insurrection broke out in the former city.
Apollonia was, at this time, rather more than twenty, of medium height,
with a graceful and slender figure. She was a brunette, with big black
eyes, and a profusion of dark hair. Her arms and hands, which were more
than once admired by those who saw her, were beautiful, and delicately
formed. Although her lips were usually compressed, with a resolute
expression of one who was not easily daunted, yet she could also
smile most sweetly. "In that," says the _National Era_ (an American
journal), "the woman comes out; it is arch, soft and winning--a rare
and indescribable smile. Her manner," adds this paper, "is simple
and engaging. Her voice is now gentle or mirthful, now earnest and
passionate--sometimes it sounds like the utterance of some quiet home
lyre, and sometimes startles you with a decided ring of the steel."

Apollonia, inspired by that enthusiastic love for her country, which
we so often find amongst Polish girls, joined the national army; and,
throughout the struggle, which lasted only two or three months, was
always found wherever danger was greatest. Mounted on horseback, she
was one of those patriots who planted the White Eagle and the flag of
freedom on the Castle and Palace of Cracow. She also formed one of that
gallant little band which fought the battle near Podgorze against an
army ten times their strength.

When the insurrection was suppressed, Madlle. Jagiello, resuming her
own attire, remained in Cracow for several weeks without detection. She
then removed to Warsaw, where she stayed until the year 1848, the Year
of Revolutions. Directly the Cracovians took up arms, she joined their
ranks, and displayed the same courage which she had shown two years

The insurrection of '48 proved, if possible, a greater failure than
the first. Apollonia fled from Cracow, and reached Vienna just in time
to take share in the skirmish of the Faubourg Widen. She remained here
only a few days, her object being to join the Hungarian insurgents
under Kossuth. With the assistance of some friends she succeeded in
reaching Presburg; whence, disguised as a peasant, she was conveyed
to the village of St. Paul by those unfortunate country-folks who
were compelled to carry provisions for the Austrian army. Crossing
that part of the country occupied by the German troops, she reached
the Hungarian camp, near the village of Ezneszey, on the 15th August,
1848. This was immediately before the battle fought here, in which the
Austrians were defeated, and General Wist slain. Apollonia took part in
this battle as a volunteer; but such was her courage that the Hungarian
general presented her with a lieutenant's commission.

Apollonia, on the urgent solicitation of all, undertook the
superintendence of the hospital at Comorn. This post she resigned for a
while to join as a volunteer in the expedition of twelve thousand men,
commanded by General Klapka, who captured Raab. Returning to Comorn,
the heroine resumed her hospital duties, and remained there until the
fortress surrendered.

In December, 1849, in company with Governor Ladislaus Ujhazy and his
family, Apollonia Jagiello sailed to the United States, where they
received an enthusiastic welcome. Here she continued to show that
hatred of tyrants for which she had ever been distinguished. One day,
when she was at Washington, an album was handed to her, with the
request that she would add her autograph to those it already contained.
She took it with a smile, but it chanced that on the very page at
which she opened, the signature of M. Bodisco, the Russian ambassador,
figured prominently. Flinging the album from her, with flashing eyes,
she declared that her name should never appear in the same book with
"the tool of a tyrant."

While the hatred of Austria was felt by all throughout Hungary,
Croatia and Sclavonia were actuated, on the contrary, by feelings of
the deepest loyalty to the house of Hapsburg. Baron W., who published
his adventures under the title of "Scenes of the Civil War in Hungary
in 1848-9, with the personal adventures of an Austrian officer,
etc.," declares that the Croatians joined the Imperial standard by
thousands; even the women, moved by an ardent and loyal courage,
aided in defending the frontiers against the Bosnians, who, excited
by the emissaries of Kossuth, took every opportunity for raids and
invasions over the border. While the men were flocking to the banners
of Jellachich, the ban of Croatia, their wives and daughters took up
arms and repaired to the chain of posts on the Turkish boundary, "that
all the men might be able to take the field; and such an eight days'
duty as these frontier posts," he adds, "is no trifle, and requires
not a little firmness." Old, half-invalided frontier subalterns,
incapacitated for taking the field, were the commandants; young,
many of them handsome, females composed their troops. "By my faith!"
exclaims the Baron, "I should have no objection to be the commander of
such a corps of Ottochan females myself!"

Numbers of Croatian and Sclavonian women accompanied the Austrian army
into Germany and Italy. "We had," says the same author, "wives and
daughters of frontier soldiers with us in Peschiera and on the march
through Hungary, who equalled the men in the endurance of fatigue,
and displayed undaunted courage in battle. In Hungary we had with us
a young Croatian, the daughter of an old Seressan, who was as daring
a rider as the best hussar, and more than once fearlessly joined the
men in the charge. A Hungarian _jurat_ gave her in an action a cut
on the left cheek, which she returned with a severe blow on the arm,
seized the bridle of his horse, and took him prisoner. This horse, a
grey stallion, she ever afterwards rode, and refused to sell, though I
offered her forty ducats for him."

The Countess Helene St. ----, a Hungarian patriot, was the sister of an
old comrade of Baron W. The brother, who owned a magnificent estate,
was a Magyar to the very core; and directly the insurrection broke out,
he took up arms, and fell bravely fighting for his country in February,
1849. His dying agonies were soothed by an unexpected meeting with his
early friend; the Baron.

Helene joined the insurgents soon after her brother left home,
and served as aide-de-camp to his maternal uncle, who commanded a
considerable Magyar corps. One cold, moonlight night, a few days after
the death of the count, the author of the "Adventures" discovered the
corpse of this beautiful girl, dressed in the military uniform of a
Hungarian soldier, stretched out at the foot of a tree, her life's
blood crimsoning the white snow.

"Forcibly mustering my spirits," says he, "I ordered my men to carry
the body to the fire. There we examined it more closely, and with
extreme anxiety I sought to ascertain whether there was any hope left
of reviving her. Vain hope! It was several hours since her spirit had
departed; the ball of one of our riflemen had gone through her heart.
From the small red wound blood was still oozing in a single drop, which
I carefully caught in my handkerchief to be preserved as a relic.

"My only consolation was that the deceased could not have suffered
long; that she must have expired the very moment she was struck. Those
pure, noble, still wondrous beautiful features; on her brow dwelt peace
and composure, and the lips almost smiled. There she lay, as if in
tranquil slumber, and yet those eyes were never more to open--those
lips never more to utter noble sentiments or words of kindness.

"My hussars were visibly affected, and thought it a pity that one so
young and so beautiful should die so early. Many of them who had been
with me on our first march through Hungary for two days together at St.
----'s mansion, instantly recognised Helene, and doubly lamented her
death, because she had shown such kindness to them."

They dug a deep grave beneath the frozen snow. "The corpse, in full
uniform; the _holpack_, with plume of glistening heron's feathers on
her head, the light Turkish sabre by her side, was then carefully
wrapped in a clean large blanket which we had with us, and so deposited
in the grave, which we filled up again with earth. Then regardless of
caution, I had a full salute fired with pistols over the grave. I have
preserved a small gold ring and a lock of her hair for a memorial."

The Baron, it should be added, plainly tells the reader that he
was very nearly, if not quite, over head and ears in love with the
beautiful Helene.

One of the hussars, who could do carpenter's work, made a cross of two
young, white maple trees, which was placed over the heroine's grave.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Garde Mobile (which, as an extra battalion to the National Guard,
did good service to the people in '48,) when it was disbanded, proved
to be half composed of Parisian women and girls.

Louisa Battistati, a heroine of the Lombardian Revolution, was a
native of Stradella, in Sardinia, and a mantua-maker by trade. She
was dwelling in Milan, following this business, when the five days'
Revolution broke out. On Sunday, the 10th March, 1848, Louisa attacked
and disarmed an Austrian cavalry soldier, although he carried a
carbine. At the head of a valiant band of young women, she now took up
her station at the Poppietti bridge, and defended it all through the
20th, the 21st and the 22nd. At every shot from her musket a Croat fell

       *       *       *       *       *

In June, 1853, the war between Russia and Turkey broke out. The Turkish
government, to swell the ranks of the army, were obliged to beat up for
recruits among the semi-barbarous tribes of Asia Minor. The chief of
one of the wild tribes in the Cilician mountains having been imprisoned
by order of the Sultan, his wife, Fatima, a little old woman, about
sixty years of age, with a dark complexion, who governed during his
absence, exercising the double duty of Queen and Prophetess, raised
three hundred of her best horsemen and led them to the Allied Camp
at Scutari, in the summer of 1854. Her appearance created no little
sensation amongst English and French. There was very little of the
Amazon in her personal appearance, though she bestrode her steed like
a trooper, and wore a costume intended to represent the military dress
of a chieftain. She was attended by two handmaids, also in male attire.

Fatima, apprehensive that her entreaties for the release of her husband
would prove insufficient to move the Sultan, thought the best means of
propitiating the Turkish Government was to lead a few hundreds of her
bravest warriors to fight the frozen Russ. The pay for her troops was
to be eighty piastres a month, besides tooth and stirrup money in every
village through which they should pass.

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Allies were storming the Mamelon in June, 1855, Lady Paget
(wife of Lord George, and daughter of General Sir Arthur Paget, brother
of the famous Marquis of Anglesey) was present on the field, at a
short distance from the scene of action. General Pennefather went up
to the dead body of a Russian officer, and cut a medal off his coat.
He then pinned the medal on Lady Paget's shawl, paying her a handsome
compliment to the effect that she deserved a medal as much as any one

       *       *       *       *       *

Most people can remember the fortitude and courage displayed by the
British ladies at Cawnpore, Lucknow, and other Indian cities during
the terrible Mutiny. Ladies, some of them mere girls, delicately
nurtured, unused to hardships of any kind, endured without a murmur,
the most heartrending privations; and so far from giving way to useless
repinings or sinking into apathy, they tried in every way to cheer
up their brave defenders. They bore provisions and ammunition to the
soldiers, loaded the rifles, and more than once took their turn in
mounting guard and firing on the rebels.

The heroine of Cawnpore, Miss Wheeler, was one of the prisoners
captured by the notorious Nana Sahib on the 26th June, 1857, and all
who survived the terrible Massacre bore witness to her unflinching
courage. She is said to have shot five Sepoys with a revolver; that she
was then taken away by a sowar (trooper) to his hut, when she snatched
his sabre, cut off his head, and flung herself down a well. An ayah,
belonging to an English family, stated that it was in the hut, after
killing the sowar, that she shot the five Sepoys.

       *       *       *       *       *

The romantic conquest of Naples and Sicily, by General Garibaldi in
1860, has already melted into the past and become an almost distant
event in European history. It was said at the time that if Francis II.
had possessed a particle of the military courage of his Queen, it would
have been easy for him with his trained battalions to have captured
or dispersed the handful of Garibaldian volunteers. When Bombino had
taken refuge in Gaeta, the great stronghold of Southern Italy, he
fancied himself secure from the attacks of the foe; but the Sardinian
troops were soon battering the walls with long-range guns, and all the
appliances necessary for a modern siege.

Amongst the besieged, Queen Marie Sophie Amelie was the only leader
who encouraged the soldiers to make a brave defence. Standing on the
ramparts of Gaeta, she incited the Neapolitan troops to shed the last
drop of their blood for the Bourbon cause. Doubtless there was much
exaggeration in those marvellous anecdotes published in the newspapers
of the time relating deeds of Amazonian valour performed by the Queen;
but it is certain that she acted the part of King, while her cowardly
husband hid away in the darkness and security of bomb-proof galleries.
In December, 1860, and January, 1861, it was remarked by the troops
of Cialdini that every morning, at a particular hour, the fire of
the Neapolitan batteries slackened for a short time; re-commencing,
however, with renewed vigour. They soon learned that the Queen, dressed
in Calabrian costume, visited a particular battery (named after herself
the "Queen's Battery") every morning, sometimes on horseback, but
generally in a coach; and would assist in the firing of the heavy guns.
The artillerymen were ready to sacrifice their lives in the service of
their beautiful and courageous Queen, while they heartily despised the
contemptible Francis.

       *       *       *       *       *

The chief heroine of the last Polish insurrection (1862-3-4) was
Madlle. Pustowjtoff, or, as some have written it, Pustovoydova,
aide-de-camp and Adjutant to General Langievicz, the Dictator. When
the ill-starred rebellion was at its height, cartes-de-visite of the
heroine, in the costume of a Polish officer, were displayed in the
shop-windows of the great European and American cities, side by side
with all the public celebrities of the day. She was decidedly pretty,
though rather childish looking: her features were good, and she had a
profusion of fair hair.

Though her family and her proclivities were essentially Polish, Madlle
Pustowjtoff was not a native of the country, but was born in Russia
of a Polish mother. When the insurrection broke out, she escaped from
a convent where she had been placed (probably by her parents) and
joined Langievicz, who almost immediately appointed her to be one
of his aides. She was present in numberless battles and skirmishes
between the Russians and Poles; and finally accompanied Langievicz in
his precipitate--some say cowardly--flight into Galicia, where, being
arrested by the Austrian authorities, the fugitives were imprisoned.
Madlle. Pustowjtoff was afterwards released on parole, though she
was requested not to quit Galicia. In November, 1863, she exchanged
the profession of arms for the occupation of companion to a lady in
that country; but after the release of Langievicz and his followers
by the Austrian Government in the summer of 1865, she resigned this
employment, and travelled westwards.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was many another Polish heroine as brave though not so famous
as the female Adjutant. When national liberty is at stake, there will
always be found women as well as men ready to arm in its defence; and
the women of Poland have ever been remarked for more than ordinary
patriotism. A writer in _Fraser's Magazine_ for December, 1863,
speaking of the part taken by the Polish women in the struggles with
Russia, relates the following anecdotes of female courage:--

"The following incident of the active heroism of the Polish women, was
told me by an officer who had commanded a detachment of cavalry in
Lithuania in the early days of the insurrection:--

"One day about twenty of his Cossacks surrounded the house of a
lady, living in a retired part of the country, whose daughter was
the betrothed of one of the chiefs of bands known to be in the
neighbourhood. At that very moment he and several other leaders were
in the house, consulting with the two ladies over their plans. Alarmed
by the arrival of the Cossacks, the men hastened to escape from the
back windows, and fled to the woods; the two women actually protecting
their retreat by keeping up a fire from their pistols from the front.
When the Cossacks at last forced their way into the house, they found
only the two women, whom they do not seem to have molested, but
contented themselves, after their manner, with filling their pockets
with all the portable valuables within reach. On retiring, they pitched
their horses a short distance off, yet in sight of the house. Presently
the young girl was seen to come out, and proceed to the stables, from
which she soon again came forth, mounted, when she set off in the
direction her lover had taken. One of the Cossacks, having a sorry
beast of his own, and admiring that which the girl rode, galloped after
her, took hold of her bridle, and, as good-humouredly as his rough
nature allowed, proposed an exchange, observing that as she was going
to join the band, she had no need of such a good horse. The reply was
a bullet from her revolver which sent the Cossack reeling from his
saddle. Meanwhile his companions, who had followed him, had come up,
and seeing the fate of their comrade, surrounded her. The intrepid
girl then snapped her pistol at one after the other, and when all the
chambers of this one were discharged, flung the empty weapon at the
head of the nearest, knocking him from his horse, and immediately drew
forth a second. This was too much for the politeness of the Cossacks,
of whom three or four were already on the ground; they lifted the poor
girl completely off her horse on the points of their lances, and so she

"As a further example," continues this writer, "I will translate an
extract from a private letter lately received from an officer serving
in the kingdom of Poland:--'Yesterday,' says the officer who wrote
it, 'we defeated a band and took nineteen prisoners, one of whom was
a woman. There were altogether seven of them belonging to that band,
but we do not as yet know if the others were killed or escaped. All
the women, our prisoner tells us, were dressed as _chasseurs_, wearing
the same uniform of coarse cloth as the men, only without the red
epaulette. Their caps, such as are worn by all the Confederates, were
coquettishly made, and decorated with a white ostrich feather. We
captured her by the merest chance. She was a girl from Cracow, finely
built, with broad shoulders, and muscular hand and arm, which showed
she had been used to gymnastic exercises, while her weather-beaten
complexion proved she must have belonged to the band for some length of
time. Her features, without being pretty, were regular and agreeable.
On our asking her reasons for serving with the band, she confessed she
had followed her lover to the woods, adding that, when he was killed,
she would have gone back home, but was prevented by her comrades.
Somebody asking if she had not served as aide-de-camp to C--(the chief
of another band), she blushed deeply, and indignantly denied the
imputation. After this reply, she was very haughty and retired for a
time; but, seeing that we were all respectful to her, she gradually
became more at home with us and confiding in her conversation. As she
had lost her boots, and was bare-footed, we furnished her with a pair
of our long boots and some stockings, for which the poor girl was
very thankful. The next day she was released and sent home, her male
companions being forwarded on to Warsaw.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

During the war between France and Mexico, several women and girls
were discovered fighting in the ranks of Juarez. One of them, a young
Indian, aged twenty-two, enlisted with her husband, in the regiment of
Zacatécas. She fought so bravely as to speedily gain her epaulettes.
Her husband was slain; but the widow remained in the regiment, where
her daring courage soon not only procured the esteem of her superior
officers, but caused the Mexican generals to promote her to the rank of
lieutenant-colonel, May 5th, 1862. When the French captured Puebla,
in the summer of 1863, she was made prisoner, and sent to Vera Cruz;
whence she embarked in the "Rhône" steam transport for France. During
the voyage, though a prisoner, she was treated with all the respect
due to a superior officer. She arrived in France in August, 1863, and
was seen by many persons, who described the female colonel as rather
good-looking, but somewhat unfeminine in outward carriage and bearing.

       *       *       *       *       *

If we may believe Transatlantic newspapers, the Civil War in America
was more productive of female warriors than almost any conflict since
the days of the Amazons. The ranks of both Federals and Confederates,
from the very commencement of the great struggle, were swelled by
numbers of women, who, for various reasons, chose to risk their lives
under the Stars and Stripes, or the Stars and Bars. In the summer of
1864, it was said that upwards of one hundred and fifty women were
known to be serving in the Army of the Potomac. It was generally
supposed that these women had been in collusion with an equal number of
men who had been examined by the surgeons; after which the fair ones
substituted themselves, and went to the seat of war. More than seventy
of the valiant _demoiselles_ were, when their sex became known, acting
as officers' servants.

Early in May, 1863, a Pennsylvania girl was discovered serving in one
of the regiments in the Federal Army of the West, to which she had
belonged for ten months. She said that there were many females in the
ranks of this army, and one female lieutenant. She had herself, she
declared, assisted in burying three female soldiers whose sex was
unknown to any but her.

Mrs. Francis L. Clayton, another female Federal, enlisted in 1861, in
company with her husband at St. Paul, Minnesota. The husband and wife
fought together, side by side, in eighteen battles, till the former
was slain in the engagement of Stone River. After his death, the wife
did not care to remain any longer in the service, so she went to the
general, and told him she was a woman, and was at once discharged. She
then returned to Maine. During her military career, Mrs. Clayton was
wounded three times, and once was made prisoner.

The following story, "strange if true," appeared in the _Brooklyn_ (New
York) _Times_, in October, 1863, just after the battle of Chattanooga:--

"About a twelvemonth since, when disaster everywhere overtook the Union
arms, and our gallant sons were falling fast under the marvellous
sword of rebellion, a young lady, scarce nineteen, from an academy in
a sister State, conceived the idea that she was destined by Providence
to lead our armies to victory, and our nation through successful war.
It was at first thought by her parents--a highly respectable family
in Willoughby-street--that her mind was weakened simply by reading
continual accounts of reverses to our arms, and they treated her as a
sick child. This only had the effect of making her more demonstrative,
and her enthusiastic declaration and apparent sincerity gave the family
great anxiety. Dr. B. was consulted, the minister was spoken to,
friends advised, family meetings held, interviews with the young lady
and her former companions in the academy were frequent, but nothing
could shake the feeling which possessed her. It was finally resolved
to take her to Michigan. An old maiden aunt accompanied the fair
enthusiast, and for weeks Anne Arbour became their home. But travel had
no effect upon the girl. The stern command of her aunt alone prevented
her from making her way to Washington to solicit an interview with
the President for the purpose of getting command of the United States
Army. Finally it was found necessary to restrain her from seeing any
one but her own family, and her private parlour became her prison.
To a high-spirited girl that would be unendurable at any time, but
to a young lady filled with such an hallucination it was worse than
death. She resolved to elude her friends, and succeeded,--leaving them
clandestinely,--and, although the most distinguished detectives of the
east and west were employed to find her whereabouts, it was unavailing.
None could conjecture her hiding-place. This was last April. She was
mourned as lost, the habiliments of mourning were assumed by her
grief-stricken parents, and a suicide's grave was assumed to be hers.
But it was not so. The infatuated girl, finding no sympathy among
her friends, resolved to enter the army, disguised as a drummer boy,
dreaming, poor girl, that her destiny would be worked out by such a
mode. She joined the drum-corps of a Michigan regiment at Detroit, her
sex known only to herself, and succeeded in getting with her regiment
to the Army of the Cumberland. How the poor girl survived the hardships
of the Kentucky campaign, when strong men fell in numbers, must for
ever remain a mystery. The regiment to which she was attached had a
place in the division of the gallant Van Cleve, and, during the bloody
battle of last Sunday, the fair girl fell, pierced in the left side
with a Minié ball, and, when borne to the surgeon's tent, her sex was
discovered. She was told by the surgeon that her wound was mortal, and
advised to give her name, that her family might be informed of her
fate. This she finally, though reluctantly, consented to do, and the
colonel of the regiment, suffering himself from a painful wound, became
interested in her behalf, and prevailed upon her to let him send a
despatch to her father. Here, then, is a short incident of the war,
which might read like romance, but to the unhappy family which are
now bowed down by grief, romance loses its attraction, and the actual
sad, eventful history of poor Emily ---- will be a family record for
generations to come."

In December, 1863, the correspondent of the _Cincinnati Times_,
describing a skirmish between the Federals and a detachment of General
Bragg's army at Ringgold, near Chattanooga, says "Several of the fair
sex were in the Confederate ranks, and certainly conducted themselves
with a great deal of courage. We make no reflection on their taste in
entering the ranks with negroes and greasy grey-backs. Rebellion now
needs every aid on the earth above or in the caverns under it."

At Timonsville, S.C., is the grave of Mrs. Florence Bodwin, of
Philadelphia, Pa. She was a member of a Federal regiment, and as such,
being dressed as a soldier, her sex was not discovered until after her

The following anecdote went the round of the papers in October, 1865,
though the event chronicled must have taken place some time previously,
doubtless before the close of the war:--

"At Theresina, a mulatto girl, nineteen years old, cut her hair,
bandaged her bosom, and dressed as a man, went to the President to
offer herself as a volunteer. The President detected her sex, and
supposed at first that she was mad, or had taken this plan to accompany
a lover; but finding that she was really actuated by patriotism, he
accepted her, and appointed her second sergeant, and she does all the
duties of her post, dressed in the proper uniform."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Maori War in New Zealand, like the conflicts between the Red Skins
and the Pale Faces in North America, gave many opportunities for the
wives and daughters of settlers to play the heroine. Some of the native
women, too, displayed great prowess, both for and against the English.
A correspondent of the _Irish Times_, writing from Wanganui, under date
of the 7th January, 1866, in describing the native contingent (a force
recruited from the Wanganui River Tribes) to which he was Assistant
Surgeon, says "Numbers of women accompany us, who generally carry the
baggage of the men. This is not their only use in campaigning. They
fight, and fight well, carrying their gun and tomahawk."

       *       *       *       *       *

During the Austro-Italian war of 1866, a Florence journal related that,
after the battle of Custozza (June 27th), a surgeon of the Italian army
discovered among the wounded a young corporal of Bersaglieri still
alive, notwithstanding three severe injuries in the neck, left arm,
and right leg. When about to dress those wounds the surgeon perceived
that the sufferer was a young woman, who then declared her name to be
Herminia Manelli, and her age twenty. Just before the opening of the
campaign her brother, who was a corporal of Bersaglieri, had fallen
ill, and returned home to his family until his recovery. The sister,
whose parents had previously had some difficulty in preventing from
joining the Garibaldians, took advantage of that circumstance, and,
cutting short her hair, dressed herself in her brother's uniform,
and joined his regiment, her resemblance to him enabling her to pass
unnoticed. Four hours later her regiment was engaged, and she was
wounded on the field of battle. After the discovery of her sex by the
surgeon she was taken to Florence, where she died a few days later.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the summer of 1868, there was a great deal of talk about an army
of women which had just been raised by the savage Lopez, Dictator of
Paraguay. A correspondent writing from Buenos Ayres under date May
14th, says:--

"An army of women confronts the allies! Lopez has enrolled the Amazons
of Paraguay, and we have entered upon what may be called for the sake
of distinction--the petticoat campaign? Brigadier-General Eliza
Lynch commands the main body of the female army, which is encamped
midway between the pass of the river and a small inland town. On the
road to Villa Rica her right wing, under Mrs. Captain Herrero, has
deployed to the left a little, to hang on the allies should they assail
the position of Tebiquary, held by Mrs. Lieutenant Colonel Margaret
Fereira and her fair brigade of womankind. Can 'stern-visaged Mars'
prove unpropitious?... According to authentic accounts, relays of
women and girls are constantly at the head-quarters of the feminine
commander-in-chief to whom has been entrusted the guerilla portion of
the campaign."

The Brazilian journals were of course indignant at what they termed an
outrage on civilization, and alternately sneered and railed at Lopez's
petticoat _corps d'armée_. Very little was afterwards heard of these
Amazons. Since their first formation, with the exception of a few
stray anecdotes related by travellers and adventurers returning to the
States or to this country, absolutely nothing transpired concerning the
movements of this female army.

       *       *       *       *       *

Again we meet with female warriors in the struggle between Crete and
Turkey. "Whether they have been effectual defenders of their country,"
says a writer in a newspaper eleven years ago, "or whether their
enthusiasm decreased before the stern necessity of a camp, is hardly
known, for very little intelligence comes from the mountains of Crete."
However, in January, 1869, a body of about fifty Cretan Amazons, in
uniform, was seen at Michali, practising shooting with carbines at a
mark. They were, it is said, very good shots, and had been organised
into a regular corps, with a regimental flag, which was carried by a
_religieuse_ who had turned Amazon.

The Philo-Cretan Committee recognised the patriotism of these Lakkoite
damsels, by providing them with arms (consisting of a rifle of the
English pattern with a sword-bayonet) and handsome uniforms similar to
those worn by the Palikares. This costume included the fez, a corset
embroidered in gold and silver, a short, piquant half-sleeved jacket,
a white petticoat and "continuations," and the most charmingly neat
buckskin gaiters. A cartridge-box hung to the belt, while a havresack
depended from the shoulders. Picturesque sketches of these heroines, in
uniform, appeared in the French and English journals of January, '69.

       *       *       *       *       *

But while a few of the Cretan women have proved themselves heroines,
bravery has been the character of those of Montenegro for more than
half a century. War against the Mussulman is the object, the engrossing
passion of nearly every Montenegrin--men, women, and children,
cripples even, rush to the fight with enthusiasm. In truth, the
Turkish Government has never been able thoroughly to subdue the Black
Mountain. Women accompany their male relatives in all their expeditions
against the infidels, wives are ever ready to seize up the yataghan
and pistols of a slain husband, and avenge his death. Various heroic
ballads have been sung or recited from time to time in the fastnesses
of the Tsernogora relating the martial deeds of some valiant widow who
has slain Turkish Agas, captured or dispersed, single-handed, whole
companies of the foe, or in other ways distinguished their military
courage and their hatred of the Moslem.

A singular incident is alleged to have taken place some nine years
since on the occasion of a marriage before the chief authorities in
Algeria. The official required the consent of the bride's mother, and
asked if she was present. A sonorous bass voice answered "Yes." The
Mayor looked up and saw a tall soldier before him. "That is well,"
said he. "Let the mother come here. Her consent and signature are
necessary." To the astonishment of all present, the soldier approached
the Mayor with long strides, saluted military fashion, and said--"You
ask for the mother of the bride. She stands before you." "Very well,
sir," replied the Mayor. "Then stand back. I can take no proxy. I must
see the mother--the mother, I tell you." "And I repeat that she stands
before you," rejoined the soldier. "My name is Maria L----. I have been
thirty-six years in the service. I have been through several campaigns,
and obtained the rank of sergeant. Here are my papers--the permission
to wear uniform, and my nomination as sergeant-major." The mayor
carefully examined the documents, and found them perfectly correct.
There was nothing to be done but to complete the marriage of the young
couple. The mother bestowed her blessing fervently with her deep bass
voice in a manner which impressed all present, but the company were
"more startled than touched."

The Brigand chiefs of Southern Italy are the last representatives of
the Condottieri who ravaged the land in olden times. But so far from
improving with the march of intellect and growing more civilized, the
bandits of our days would seem to have very decidedly retrograded as
regards the more polite arts of life; indeed, they are nothing but
savage beasts, who can handle the carbine or the dagger, and have the
passions of avarice and the thirst for gold added to the reckless
cruelty of the tiger. These ferocious brigands are almost invariably
accompanied in their adventurous journey through life by some beautiful
fiend, either the wife or the mistress of the redoubtable chief. These
women are often the most abandoned and worthless of their sex, without
even the virtue of mercy--the tigress is not uncommonly worse than the

Amongst those brigand captains who, though almost unknown in Western
Europe, have earned a terrible renown in the South of Italy, none
was more feared and respected some seventeen or eighteen years ago
than Monaco. His deeds of violence and daring audacity rendered him
famous throughout the Neapolitan provinces. His wife, Maria Oliveiro,
a remarkably handsome woman (about twenty years old in 1864), was
his constant companion in all his marauding expeditions. She was
unmistakably brave, but her nature was so ruthless that the sight of
blood rendered her half mad. Monaco was at last slain in a desperate
encounter with the Italian troops near Rossano. Maria was severely
wounded; but without losing her courage or presence of mind, she
planted one knee firmly on her husband's corpse, and continued to
load and fire with extreme rapidity, exciting the admiration even of
her opponents. At last she received a severe wound in the leg, and
was made prisoner. She was tried by court-martial at Cattanzaro, and
condemned to be shot; but this sentence was commuted to thirty years'
penal servitude, and she had not been very long in gaol before the
gaoler fell desperately in love with her, and they fled together. At
a short distance from Cattanzaro they were met by her brothers, also
brigands. They immediately slew the gaoler, who was of no further use,
and Maria formed a new band of brigands, of which she was made captain,
and commenced ravaging the tract of mountainous country lying between
Cattanzaro and the river Crati. The reckless, useless acts of cruelty
excited the indignation of the people for miles round. She sacked the
villages of Spinelli, Cotzenei, and Belvedere; and in spite of the
exertions made by the Italian Government of the province, who, in the
autumn of 1864, despatched two battalions of the line in pursuit of
the band, the rural population were in such dread of Maria that the
soldiers could do nothing.

Another locally famous brigand, Crouo Donatello, was accompanied in his
campaigns by his _inamorata_, who was as brave as he. In an encounter
with the royal troops in August or September, 1863, Donatello,
compelled to fly, left behind him this woman, who fought desperately
before letting herself be taken.

In 1866, in a skirmish between the Papal troops and the brigands in the
neighbourhood of the Eternal City, two of the latter were slain. One of
the corpses proved to be that of a large, good-looking peasant woman,
about thirty years of age, armed and dressed like her comrades. She
was subsequently recognised as the wife of the bandit chief Cedrone;
and the latter was inconsolable for the loss of his brave spouse,
being seen for days and days to weep bitterly, though his followers
surrounded him, proffering empty consolations.

The famous Brigand Pietro Bianchi, some eighteen or nineteen years
since the terror of the district of Nicastro, in the Calabrian
mountains, was accompanied in nearly every expedition by a girl named
Generosa Cardamone (aged about seventeen in 1861, the chief himself
being then twenty), who might frequently be seen on horseback at
the head of the band, encouraging them in the fight. In point of
ferocity and ruthless courage she was worthy of her lover--nay, she
far surpassed him, and is said to have repeatedly cooked human flesh,
and served it up to him and his followers. Bianchi loved the young and
beautiful demon most passionately, and was madly jealous of her. One
day a bandit kissed her, but his audacity was instantly punished by a
score of dagger-stabs dealt by the unerring hand of his chief. Generosa
was deeply religious after a fashion, and marvellously superstitious;
when she was arrested, in 1867, a religious book and a Madonna were
found upon her, which she carried, through a blind idea that they
rendered her invulnerable.

In March, 1867, a lieutenant of gendarmes discovered the cave of
Bianchi at Soveria, and with his own men, aided by a detachment of the
line, forced the brigand and his mistress to surrender, after they had
been the terror of the country for seven years.

De Martino, for some time the worst and most ferocious bandit in
the Abruzzi, was likewise accompanied by his paramour, who had the
character of being more cruel than he was himself. For months the Royal
troops were engaged constantly hunting them up and down the woods. At
last, in August, 1869, they discovered and surrounded the lurking place
of De Martino. The brigand, firing upon the carabineers, by mishap set
the dry twigs of the hut in a blaze, and was burnt alive, together with
the partner of his crimes.

Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, on the occasion of the 25th
anniversary of his accession, February, 1869, founded an Order of
Decoration to recompense courage in women.

The Franco-Prussian War, and the subsequent Communist Insurrection,
proved that the military spirit was not extinct in the hearts of
women, and that modern female warriors were as ready and as eager for
the fray as any of their ancestresses. But the numerous newspaper
anecdotes and reports were in many instances more or less creations of
fancy, often false, frequently written in haste, as a rule full of
gross exaggerations, whether emanating from French or German quarters,
consequently always unreliable. One of the most remarkable and best
authenticated female warriors of the period was Minna Hänsel, of
Berlin, who, in the early days of the war, before the Germans had swept
all before them, raised an Amazon corps, all ready equipped and full
of military ardour. These warlike women were much ridiculed by the
Berlinese, but the Fräulein Hänsel, disregarding the adverse criticism
which, she said, was "of course only to be expected in these frivolous
days of ours," addressed a letter to the Governor of the city, General
Von Falkenstein, asking him in what place the services of the corps
would prove most effective. The General--purposely, perhaps--delayed
returning an answer till the closing days of August, 1870, when Miss
Hänsel, although her offers of service had by no means been rejected,
considered that the "rapid and victorious progress of the war" put an
end to any necessity for her corps being employed, and accordingly
disbanded her troop.

A wounded soldier in November, 1870, passed through Berlin, and was
the object of general attention. This soldier was a young woman only
twenty-four, carefully educated, but imbued with a strong bias in
favour of masculine dress and an active life. She passed the ensign's
examinations, and, with good recommendations, entered the army under
the name of Weiss. She distinguished herself by the recovery of a
Prussian standard, which had been taken by the enemy, and was presented
with the Iron Cross. Having received four shot wounds, she was sent for
recovery to her native place, Tilsit.

But the hurried, fragmentary mention of either French or German
"heroines" is hardly worth serious record or investigation. To
ascertain the truth or the falsity of any one anecdote would be now
clearly impossible. That noble spirit and patriotic ardour glowed
on both sides throughout the desperate struggle is without a doubt;
and in the universal enthusiasm women shared as freely as their
fellow-countrymen, and were ready to spend life and treasure in the
service of their native land and national honour.




    INDIA.--Indian Amazons--Cleophes, Queen of
    Massaga--Moynawoti, Queen of Kamrup--Ranee of
    Scinde--Sultana Rizia--Gool Behisht--Booboojee Khanum
    and Dilshad Agha, Mother and Aunt of a King of
    Bijapur--Durgautti, Queen of Gurrah--Khunza Sultana,
    Regent of Ahmednuggur--Chand Sultana, Regent of
    Ahmednuggur--Nour Mahal, Empress of Hindostan--Princess
    Janee Begum--Juliana--Madam Mequinez, Colonel in the Service
    of Hyder Ali Khan--Begum Somroo, General in the Service of
    the Emperor Shah Aulum--Begum Nujuf Cooli--Mrs. W., Wife of
    a British Sergeant--Lukshmi Baee, Ranee of Jhansi--Female
    Mutineer captured before Delhi, 1857--Female Guards in the
    Zenanas of Indian Princes--Begum of Oude--Female Soldiers in

The early history of India is involved in such deep obscurity that
we have no reliable information before the invasion of Alexander the
great. True, we read of a nation of Indian Amazons, mentioned by
Nonnus, but we have no details on the subject. Amongst the sovereigns
who opposed the invincible Macedonian, was Cleophes, Queen of
Massaga, whose capital city was said to have been impregnable. While
reconnoitring the fortress, Alexander was wounded in the leg. But
without waiting for the wound to heal, he commenced battering the walls
with various military engines of the most redoubtable aspect; which
so terrified the Queen, who had never even heard of anything like
them, that she speedily tendered her submission. Alexander, who merely
conquered cities for the sake of glory, permitted her to retain all her
dominions in peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Martin's "History of Eastern India" we read of a warrior-queen
named Moynawoti. She was married to Manikechandro, brother of Dhormo
Pal, a King of Kamrup, and on the death of her husband, she made war
on the king, who was defeated and slain on the banks of the Tista.
Gopichondro, son of Moynawoti, succeeded his uncle on the throne,
but he left the management of state affairs to his mother, and gave
himself up to a life of pleasure. When he grew up, however, the young
king wished to take an active share in the government, but his mother
persuaded him to dedicate his life to religion, and he ever after
practised the utmost humility and self-denial.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was during the caliphate of Walid that the Mahommedans made their
first conquests beyond the Indus. About the year 711 A.D., an Arab ship
having been seized at Dival, or Dewal, a port connected with Scinde,
Hejaj, the Moslem governor of Bosra, demanded its restitution. Daher,
Rajah of Scinde, refused; and this led to the invasion of India by
six thousand followers of Islam. Daher marched at the head of fifty
thousand men to oppose the invaders, but in the battle which ensued he
was slain, and his troops routed with terrible slaughter.

Daher's widow, with a courage worthy her deceased lord, raised fifteen
thousand men, and offered battle to the conquerors. They declined the
challenge, and she retired within the walls of Adjur. The Moslems
closely invested the city; and the garrison, reduced to the last
extremities, sacrificed their wives and children on the burning pile
formed by their gold and treasures, and, headed by the royal widow,
attacked the besiegers in their own camp. They all fell, fighting
gallantly to the last.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the death of Altumsh, Emperor of Hindostan, in 1235, he was
succeeded by his son, Prince Feroze. The latter was an effeminate,
luxurious monarch, who thought of nothing but spending on
dancing-women, comedians, and musicians, the treasures accumulated
by his father, and he left the affairs of state to be ruled by his
mother. Her cruelty, and the indifference of Feroze, caused several
of the omrahs to revolt. The emperor marched against them with a vast
army; but he was deserted by his vizier, a great portion of his army,
and seven of his principal nobles. The latter returned to Delhi, and
placed Sultana Rizia, the eldest daughter of Altumsh, on the throne.
When this news reached Feroze, he hastened back to Delhi; but the new
Empress marched out to meet him, and he was delivered into her hands.
He died in confinement some time after.

The Sultana possessed every quality proper for a ruler; even detractors
could find no fault, save that she was a woman. During her father's
lifetime she had entered heartily into state affairs and was Regent for
a short time during the absence of Altumsh on an expedition against

Rizia was not long left in undisturbed possession of the throne. The
omrahs who had conspired against her brother now marched from Lahore,
and encamped before Delhi; but she contrived to sow dissensions
amongst them, and each was compelled to retreat to his own province.
Some of them, pursued by the Empress, were captured and put to death.
The omrahs finally tendered their submission and the empire enjoyed
peace for a time. But the promotion of Jammal, who had once been an
Abyssinian slave, to the post of Captain-general of Hindostan, gave
such umbrage to the nobles as to ruin the cause of Rizia. The viceroy
of Lahore threw off his allegiance in 1239; but the empress, collecting
her forces, marched against him, and the viceroy was compelled to
accept peace on the most humiliating terms.

Scarcely was this revolt quelled, when Altunia, governor of Tiberhind,
raised the standard of rebellion. Rizia immediately marched against
him; but when she had gone about halfway, all the Turkish chiefs
mutinied. A tumultuous scene ensued, the Abyssinian general was slain,
and the Empress sent prisoner to Tiberhind. The imperial troops then
returned to Delhi; and set Byram, the Empress's younger brother, upon
the throne.

Rizia married the Governor of Tiberhind, and by their joint influence
they raised a great army, and marched to Delhi. They were defeated
near the city, by the troops of Byram, and the empress with difficulty
escaped to Tiberhind. Soon, however, she rallied her scattered
forces, and marched once more towards the capital. But she was again
defeated at Keitel, and, together with her husband, made prisoner, and
barbarously put to death. Thus died Sultana Rizia, after a brief reign
of three years six months and six days. Indian historians agree that
she was worthy of a better fate.

       *       *       *       *       *

One day the Emperor Alla-a-Deen Khiljy was boasting that no rajah
throughout Hindustan would dare to oppose his power. Nehr Dew, Rajah
of Jalwur, "in the plenitude of his folly," exclaimed, "I will suffer
death if I do not raise an army that shall defeat any attempt of the
king's troop to take the fort of Jalwur."

The Emperor, in a rage, commanded the rajah to quit Delhi. Hearing,
shortly after, that Nehr Dew was raising forces, he ordered a division
of his army to besiege Jalwur. This was in 1309. To signalize his
contempt for the rajah, he placed the troops under the command of a
slave girl of the palace, named Gool Behisht, or, "the Rose of Heaven."
She displayed great courage during the siege, and had almost effected
the capture of Jalwur, when she was seized with a mortal illness. On
her death the command was given to her son, Shaheen. Nehr Dew made a
sortie, defeated the imperial forces, and slew Shaheen with his own
hand. The Emperor, enraged at this defeat, sent reinforcements to renew
the siege; Jalwur was taken, and Nehr Dew, with his family, and the
whole of the garrison, put to the sword.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1510 Ismail Adil Shah ascended the throne of Bijapur. Being too
young to rule the state, the administration was entrusted to Kumal Khan
Deccany, the most powerful noble in the land. The latter soon made
up his mind to usurp the throne; and in the following year he found
himself in a position to make the attempt.

He was warned by the astrologers that certain days in the present month
were unfavourable to his designs; and recommended to avoid approaching
any one of whom he had suspicions. The regent, acting on their advice,
committed the charge of the citadel to his own adherents, and shut
himself up with his family in a house close by the royal palace.

Booboojee Khanum, the queen-mother, now resolved by a bold stroke to
get rid of the regent. Affecting uneasiness about his health, she
despatched one of her adherents with secret instructions for the
assassination of Kumal Khan. The plot succeeded, though the murderer
was immediately cut to pieces. The regent's mother, with great presence
of mind, commanded the attendants to keep silent, and sent orders to
Sufdur Khan, the son of Kumal Khan, to seize the king at once. Sufdur
closed the gates of the citadel and advanced with a strong force to the
palace. The queen-mother would have submitted, but for Dilshad Agha,
the king's foster-aunt, who declared that in such a crisis valour was
better than submission. She ordered the palace gates to be closed, and
sent out to the Persians, on duty in the outer court of the seraglio,
entreating them to assist their king against his enemies. The foreign
generals declared their readiness to defend the young prince. Dilshad
Agha and the queen-mother came out on the battlements, clad in armour,
with bows and arrows in their hands. They were accompanied by Ismail
Adil Shah, who had the yellow umbrella of his father held over his head
by a Turkish girl named Murtufa.

Sufdur Khan tried to force open the gates, but was met with volleys of
arrows; the king, his mother and aunt, and Murtufa using the bow with
considerable effect. The brave little band were reinforced presently
by fifty Deccany matchlock-men; and several score of foreigners from
the city; but though the besiegers were thus kept in check, their force
was so considerably superior in numbers that they continued the assault
with the utmost fury, fully confident of ultimate victory.

Dilshad Agha, with a veil thrown over her face, fought with bow and
arrow in the ranks of the soldiers, encouraging them by exciting
speeches and promises. Sufdur Khan at last made a desperate attack
with five hundred men, bringing cannon to batter the walls; and the
royal adherents fell in great numbers. Some fled ignominiously, while
the rest, concealing themselves behind the parapet, remained perfectly
still. The enemy, believing that all the garrison had taken to flight,
burst open the outer gate; but while he was endeavouring to force the
inner door, Dilshad Agha gave orders for her troops to discharge a
volley of shot and arrows, which committed fearful havoc in the enemy's
ranks, and pierced the eye of Sufdur Khan. The latter ran under the
terrace on which the royalists stood; and the king, rolling down a
heavy stone, crushed his enemy to death.

The death of Sufdur put an end to the rebellion. The insurgents, giving
themselves up for lost, opened the gates of the citadel, and fled. By
the advice of Dilshad Agha, the heads of the regent and his son were
displayed through the streets of the city.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the reign of Akbar the Great, Emperor of Hindostan, that part of
the Deccan which now comprises Orissa and Bundelcund, was known by the
name of Gurrah, and was governed by a warlike queen, named Durgautti,
equally distinguished for her beauty, her accomplishments, and the
talented manner in which she conducted the affairs of her kingdom.
She succeeded to the throne on the death of her husband. The country
was about one hundred and fifty crores in length and about fifty in
breadth; yet so prosperous, that it contained upwards of seventy
thousand towns and villages, closely populated.

About the year 1564, Asaf Khan Hirvys, an Indian noble, was raised by
the emperor to the rank of an Omrah of five thousand, and appointed
governor of Kurrah and Mannichpoor. The new Omrah at once began a
series of predatory incursions into Gurrah; and very soon he invaded
the country with an army of about twelve thousand foot and five or
six hundred horse. Durgautti assembled eight thousand horse, fifteen
hundred elephants, and a few hundred foot, and advanced to meet the
invaders. Clad in armour, a helmet on her head, a lance grasped in her
right hand, a bow and a quiver lying by her side, she led her troops
to battle, riding in a howdah on the back of an elephant. Though the
men were totally unaccustomed to war, the love of liberty and the
example of the Queen raised their courage to such a pitch that, in
their eagerness to fight, they marched too rapidly, and would speedily
have become an undisciplined mob. But Durgautti, perceiving the cause
of their disorder, commanded a halt; and after re-forming their broken
ranks, she gave them strict orders to march slowly, as compactly
as they could, and not to engage the foe until they saw the signal
displayed from the elephant of the royal standard.

A sanguinary battle then ensued, in which Durgautti displayed the
greatest courage. After a long and obstinate conflict, the Mahommedans
were routed, with a loss of eight hundred slain. The queen pursued the
flying enemy till night put an end to the contest. She then halted,
and gave orders for the soldiers to wash and refresh themselves,
preparatory to a night attack on the camp of Asaf Khan; but her vizier
and the remainder of her generals refused to aid in a night assault,
and seditiously demanded permission to inter their fallen comrades.
She unwillingly consented; and when the bodies of the slain had been
burned, she entreated the chiefs, one by one, to assist her in an
assault on the Mogul camp. But all in vain. Not one would second her in
this daring enterprise.

Asaf Khan, seeing what kind of enemy he had to do with, advanced next
morning with the heavy guns, which, on account of the bad state of the
roads, he had not been able to use in the previous action. Durgautti
posted her men at a narrow pass, and prepared to meet the enemy once
more. Asaf, with his cannon, soon opened a lane into the open ground
beyond, where the forces of Gurrah were drawn up. The Rajah Beir Shaw,
Durgautti's son, a young man of great promise, displayed great bravery
in a charge. Twice he repulsed the Moguls; in the third attack he was
severely wounded. He was falling from his horse when the queen, who was
in the front of the battle, mounted on her elephant, perceived that her
son was expiring, and called to some of her attendants to carry him to
the rear. Several crowded round him, glad of some excuse to quit the
field. The death of this young man and the retreat of so many of her
soldiers struck terror into the queen's army. Durgautti was soon left
with only three hundred men on the field; yet she held her ground,
determined to conquer or die. At last her eye was pierced by an arrow.
She tried to extricate it, but it broke off near the end, leaving a
piece of the steel barb sticking in the wound. At this moment another
arrow pierced her neck. This she pulled out; but a mist swam before
her eyes, and for a few moments she was seen to rock to and fro in her

Adhar, a brave officer of her household, who drove her elephant,
repulsed numbers of the enemy. Perceiving that the day was
irretrievably lost, he entreated the queen to let him take her from
the field, but Durgautti would not hear of it. She begged of him to
stab her to the heart. He refused, and Durgautti, suddenly leaning
forward, snatched a dagger from his belt, plunged it into her heart,
and immediately expired.

With her death the triumph of Asaf Khan was complete. The queen's
youngest son, a mere infant, was trodden to death soon after, at the
capture of Chouraghus, and the whole country submitted to the Moguls.

       *       *       *       *       *

About this time, another warlike queen, Khunza Sultana, was Regent of
Ahmednuggur. During the minority of her son, Murtuza Nizam Shah, she
transacted the affairs of the state, while he was engaged in amusements
suitable to his age. In 1566, Ally Adil Shah, King of Bijapur, having
invaded the neighbouring state of Bijanuggur, Venkatradry, the Hindoo
chief of that country, applied for assistance to Khunza Sultana. She
marched at the head of a large force against Bijapur, and obliged the
king to return and defend his own dominions. However, peace was soon
re-established between the two Mohammedan states, and a league formed
against the Peishwah of Berar. The united forces of Ahmednuggur and
Bijapur entered that country, plundered it, and marched home again,
laden with booty. On the homeward march, Ally Adil Shah treacherously
endeavoured to seize the young King of Ahmednuggur. But Khunza Sultana,
learning his designs, decamped during the night, and a river, which
intervened, having swelled, the two armies were effectually separated
before morning.

The sultana, however, gave great umbrage to the nobles by providing
for her own relations at the expense of more deserving men. In 1567,
several rajahs formed a conspiracy against her, and induced the young
king to join them. But the latter, afraid of his mother's ire, betrayed
the plot to her, and the ringleaders were all seized.

In 1569, the dowager queen, with her son, marched against Kishwur
Khan, the Bijapur general, who had invaded the state of Ahmednuggur.
When they reached D'hamungam, Murtuza Nizam Shah resolved to free
himself from his mother's trammels, gained over the principal nobles,
and sent one of them to inform her that it was his royal will she
should no longer meddle in public affairs. Furious at this unlooked-for
audacity, Khunza assembled her attendants, threw a veil over her
face, and rode out of the palace on horseback, armed with a sword and
dagger. She was seized after a short struggle, and her people took to
flight. Thenceforth, Khunza Sultana lived in retirement, never again
interfering in public matters.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1594 died Burhan Nizam Shah, King of Ahmednuggur. His son, Ibrahim
Nizam Shah, who succeeded him, was slain in battle, and the vizier,
Meean Munjoo, raised to the throne a boy named Ahmed, said to belong
to the royal family. The nobles refused to acknowledge the new king,
and besieged the vizier in the capital. Unable to contend with them,
the vizier solicited aid from the Moguls, promising to put the fort of
Ahmednuggur into their hands.

The Moguls had long sought an excuse to interfere in the affairs of
Ahmednuggur; so Murad Mirza, son of the Emperor Akbar, marched thither
with great expedition, being joined on his road by several rajahs and
generals with their troops. But Meean Munjoo, having suppressed the
rebellion, in place of surrendering the fort, resolved to defend it
in case he was called upon by the Moguls to fulfil his promise. After
laying in a store of provisions, he gave the command to the Princess
Chand Beeby, daughter of a former King of Ahmednuggur, and departed
with the young Prince Ahmed towards the Bijapur frontier.

Chand Beeby was one of the ablest Indian politicians of her time. She
had been for some years queen and dowager-regent of Bijapur. She now
took the entire direction of affairs into her own hands; in a few days
she had raised her own nephew, Bahadur Nizam Shah, to the throne,
though he was at this time a prisoner in a distant fortress, and seemed
likely to stay there.

The Moguls, seeing that it was useless to conceal their hostile
intentions, prepared openly to besiege Ahmednuggur. On the 14th
December, 1595, the first shots were exchanged. The siege was pressed
with the utmost vigour. Mounds were raised, trenches opened, battery
after battery erected, mines sunk; and on the morning of February
17th, 1596, eighty feet of wall were blown down by the explosion of a
mine. Chand Beeby, though many of her principal officers had taken to
flight, was not dismayed. She put on armour, covered her face with
a veil, and, grasping a drawn sword in her hand, rushed to defend
the breach. This intrepidity shamed the fugitives, and re-animated
the panic-stricken soldiers. Recovering from their first terror, the
soldiers calmly awaited the approach of the Mogul storming-party. An
obstinate conflict ensued at the foot of the breach. Again and again
did the Moguls press onward--again and again they were driven back by
a galling fire of shot and rockets. The ditch was soon more than half
filled with dead and dying warriors. Although fresh storming parties
succeeded one another from four o'clock in the afternoon till dark,
they were all repulsed with fearful slaughter. At last the Moguls
withdrew, discomfited, to their camp.

Deccan traditions say that, during the storm, the shot of the garrison
having become exhausted, Chand Beeby ordered the guns to be loaded,
first with copper coins, then with silver, and at length with gold; and
all the coins being likewise used up, she fired away her jewels.

The valour of Chand Beeby formed the chief subject of conversation
round the camp-fires and in the tents of the Moguls; and, after this
memorable day, her title of Chand Beeby, "the Lady Chand," was changed
by common consent to the grander one of Chand Sultana.

The want of provisions, and the approach of seventy thousand men from
Bijapur, compelled the Moguls to retreat a few days after the storm.
Bahadur Shah was now brought from the fort of Chawund, where he had
been held prisoner, and was placed on the throne. But the ambition and
duplicity of the Ahmednuggur nobles brought about a second siege in
1599. Chand Sultana, afraid to trust any of them, applied to Humeed
Khan, an officer of high rank, who recommended her to defend the place
to the last extremity; but Chand declared that so many chiefs had acted
treacherously, it was plain no reliance could be placed on them, and
she proposed that they should negotiate with the besiegers. Humeed Khan
rushed into the streets, crying out that Chand Sultana was treating
with the Moguls to surrender the fort. The ungrateful and short-sighted
mob, believing him, and forgetting the former services of the heroine,
rushed to the private apartments of Chand Sultana, and murdered her in
their fury.

It is satisfactory to know that the ungrateful people got the reward
they so richly merited. For, a few days after the death of Chand, the
Moguls captured the fort, giving little or no quarter.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mher-Ul-Nissa, or Nour Mahal, the "Light of the Harem," sometimes
styled Nour Jehan, the "Light of the World," was the favourite Sultana
of Jehanghire, the "World-subduing Emperor" of Hindostan. A romantic
story is told of her strange birth, her desertion by her parents, and
how, like Moses, she was entrusted to the care of her own mother by her
kind preserver, and how, by the benevolence of the latter, the family
rose from poverty and obscurity to the government of the greatest
empire in Asia. The beauty of Nour Mahal was famous throughout the
East; Moore, in his "Feast of Roses," has painted her portrait most
exquisitely. Her personal charms were rivalled by her mental powers;
and her political talents were speedily seen by the numerous reforms
and improvements effected throughout the empire.

Nour Mahal was a widow when, in 1611, she became the bride of
Jehanghire, and it is said that she took for her second husband the
murderer of her first. Her influence over the Emperor soon became
paramount. They had many tastes in common, amongst others the passion
for hunting; Nour Mahal was as fond of the chase as Zenobia. In company
with Jehanghire she would slay tigers and other savage beasts of the
jungle, charming her lord by the adroitness with which she handled the
bow or the more unwieldy matchlock.

It was strange that a haughty, overbearing, courageous woman like Nour
Mahal should never have taken command of an army. We read of only one
battle in which she was personally engaged. Her policy was to choose
able generals to conduct all her wars. However, one of these chieftains
was near causing her ruin. This was Mohabat Khan, the most talented
Indian warrior of his time. She had the folly to quarrel with this man,
and he, seeing that his ruin was determined upon, took the initiative,
and seized the emperor in his own camp. He soon saw that it would have
been wiser to arrest the empress; but on returning to remedy this
fault, he found she had fled to the camp of her brother, on the other
bank of the river--the Chenab.

Next morning the empress led a party across the river to rescue
Jehanghire. She was armed with a bow and two quivers of arrows, and sat
in a howdah on the back of an elephant. In fording the stream, hundreds
were swept away by the force of the current. Those who escaped drowning
were weighed down by their armour and their wet clothes, and had their
powder spoilt. In this disastrous condition they were obliged to fight
hand to hand with the rebels before a landing could be effected. Nour
Mahal, with her brother and a handful of the bravest chiefs, was
amongst the first who reached the shore; but this little band could
make no impression on the ranks of Mohabat Khan, whose soldiers poured
volley after volley, shot, arrows, and rockets, upon the men struggling
in the water. The ford was soon choked up with men, horses, and
elephants, dead or dying.

The contest raged fiercest round the elephant of Nour Mahal, who never
quailed before the infuriated rebels who sought her life. Her gallant
defenders fell one after another, fighting manfully to the last; but
she herself appeared to bear a charmed life amidst the perfect hail of
bullets and winged shafts, though her infant granddaughter, who sat
close beside her, was wounded, the driver of her elephant was shot,
and the beast himself received a cut across the trunk. Half-maddened
with pain, the animal plunged into the river, and was carried away by
the stream. When at length the elephant struggled up the bank, Nour
Mahal was discovered calmly extracting an arrow from the wound of her
grandchild, as cool and collected as though she had been a spectator
at a review in place of the leading actor in a fierce encounter. The
howdah was saturated with blood.

The failure of this rash, though gallant attempt, proved that Mohabat
was too strong to be subdued by open force; Nour Mahal therefore
resolved to lull his suspicions, and trust to chance for some expedient
to crush him. Next day she went to his camp and surrendered herself
a prisoner. For a time Mohabat Khan ruled paramount throughout the
empire; but in a few months Nour Mahal, partly by cunning, partly by
appealing to the loyalty of the omrahs, rescued her husband from the
clutches of this man, whose power thenceforth ceased for ever.

Jehanghire died on the 28th of October, 1627.

Although Nour Mahal survived him for twenty-four years, she held aloof
from politics. She was buried in a splendid tomb at Lahore, close by
the monument of Jehanghire.

Spontini has chosen the story of Nour Mahal as the subject for one of
his best operas.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1688 the Mogul army, commanded by Azim Shah (son of Aurengzebe) was
engaged in the siege of Bijapur. The troops were much distressed for
want of provisions, as their supplies had been cut off by the enemy.
Aurengzebe, hearing of this, ordered one of his generals to take twenty
thousand bullock-loads of grain to the camp of Azim Shah. The enemy
made a desperate attempt to seize this convoy on its road; but after
a fierce encounter with the Moguls, they were driven off. During the
action, the Princess Janee Begum, who was proceeding with the convoy to
join her husband, Azim Shah, rode on the back of an elephant into the
midst of the fight, and encouraged the soldiers by her presence.

       *       *       *       *       *

Juliana is perhaps the only European woman who ever took a leading part
in the politics of the court of Delhi. She was born in Bengal in 1658,
and her father was a Portuguese gentleman named Augustin Dias D'Acosta.
Early in life she gained the favour of Aurengzebe, who made her
superintendent of his Zenana, and governess of his son, Bahadur Shah.

In 1707 Aurengzebe died, and Bahadur Shah ascended the throne. His
right was disputed by his brothers, and he was compelled to defend
his throne by force of arms. A battle was fought near Agra; Juliana,
mounted on an elephant, by the side of Bahadur Shah, aided him by her
advice, and cheered him with inspiring words; when his troops began to
give way, she exhorted him not to despair. To her presence indeed was
he indebted for the ultimate victory gained by his army.

Juliana was created a princess, and given the rank of wife of an omrah,
together with innumerable honours and riches showered upon her. The
Great Mogul held her in such estimation that he used to say:--"If
Juliana were a man, I would make her my vizier."

Jehandur Shah, who ascended the throne in 1712, entertained the same
respect for Juliana. She experienced some persecutions when this
emperor was deposed in 1713 by his nephew Ferokshere; but the death
of this tyrant, in 1719, restored to her all her influence, which she
retained till her death, in 1733.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the latter half of the eighteenth century, the native princes of
India finding, by dearly bought experience, that Indian discipline was
ludicrously inferior to the European system, determined to introduce
the latter into their own battalions. With this view they offered high
rewards to European officers who would accept the command of their
troops and teach them how to fight. Hundreds of adventurers--British,
French, German, Swiss, Portuguese--soldiers of fortune, in short,
from every part of Europe, took service under the various rajahs and
princes, and many of them attained to high rank and honours. It was not
uncommon for the widows of these officers to be given the post left
vacant by their deceased husbands; and these female commanders led
their troops to battle, or stopped at home, as they pleased.

One of these soldiers of fortune was Colonel Mequinez, a Portuguese,
who commanded a regiment of Topasses in the service of Hyder Ali Khan,
Sultan of Mysore. At his death, Hyder Ali gave the widow (also a
Portuguese) the command of her husband's regiment, to hold it till the
adopted son of her husband had attained his majority. Madam Mequinez
never went into action; she left the duty of leading the Topasses in
the field to the officer next in command. But in every other respect
she fulfilled the duties of colonel; the colours were carried to her
house, at the door of which a sentry paced up and down: she received
the pay for the entire corps, and caused the deductions for each
company to be made in her presence, and she always inspected the
regiment herself.

Madam Mequinez was excessively avaricious, besides having a character
for immorality. Having been detected in a plot to cheat the Provincial
Father of the Mysore Jesuits out of a large sum in rupees and jewels,
she was excommunicated, and sentenced to undergo public penance. Some
months latter she finally disgraced herself by marrying a "mongrel
Portuguese sergeant" belonging to her regiment. But she was very much
surprised when the bacsi informed her that the Sultan had reduced her
pay to that of a sergeant, because she had brought shame on the memory
of her first husband, who had been a great favourite with the Sultan,
Hyder Ali.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the most thoroughly unprincipled European adventurers of these
days was Somroo, a German soldier, who, after serving as private in
the French and English armies, and in those of various native chiefs,
became general in the army of the Great Mogul. His name was Gualtier
Reignard, or Reinehard, but when he enlisted in the French army (in
Europe) he assumed the _nom de guerre_ of Summer, which his comrades,
on account of his saturnine complexion, altered to Sombre; this,
the Hindoos changed to Somroo, and he was afterwards best known by
this last name. He will ever remain infamous as the murderer of two
hundred English prisoners at Patna, in 1763. While in the service of
Shah Aulum, the Emperor, he commanded a body of cavalry and several
disciplined battalions of sepoys officered by Europeans. To maintain
this army, the emperor assigned him, as a jaghire, the fertile district
of Serdhauna, in the Dooab.

Somroo married twice; his second wife was, some say, the daughter of
a Mogul noble who had fallen into great distress, though others aver
she was a Cashmerian dancing-girl. He persuaded the Begum to renounce
Mohammedanism and become a Roman Catholic. At Somroo's death, in 1778,
the Vizier Nujeef Khan gave the widow the jaghire and the military
post. She was a great favourite with the Emperor, who had the highest
respect for her talents. He bestowed upon her the name of Zul Al
Nissa, which means "Ornament of her sex." Under the government of this
talented woman the "small but fertile" town of Serdhauna improved
rapidly. A fort standing a short distance from the town served as a
kind of citadel, and contained a barrack, an arsenal, and a foundry
for cannon. Her five battalions of sepoys were officered from nearly
every country in Europe, and she had a body of five hundred European
artillerymen, armed with forty guns of various calibre.

George Thomas, afterwards the most famous of all these European
soldiers of fortune, accepted a commission in the Begum's service;
and her keen eyes quickly discerned his superior military talent. He
soon rose to high favour with the Begum, whose esteem he merited by
courage, zeal, and untiring activity. So greatly was her revenue and
authority increased by his talents, that he was for many years her
chief counsellor and adviser.

Begum Somroo enjoyed the respect of the leading ministers at the court
of Delhi; the Viziers Nujeef Khan, Mirza Shuffee, and Afrasiab Khan
placed the most implicit trust in her judgment on military matters.
When Scindiah, the Mahratta chief, attained to the rank of vizier,
he not only confirmed her in the jaghire of Serdhauna, but added a
grant of territory south-west of the Jumna. Her generalship was not
confined to occasional reviews; she took an active part in the wars
and insurrections which disturbed the reign of Shah Aulem. During the
war with Pertaub Sing, the Begum was stationed with her troops at
Panniput; which being an important post, proves Scindiah's belief in
her military capacities.

In 1787, during the insurrection of Gholaum Cadir Khan, Prince
of Sehraurunpore, Begum Somroo displayed the utmost coolness and
determination. Previous to his open declaration of hostility, Gholaum,
by the most artful speeches, endeavoured to gain the Begum's alliance;
well aware of her influence at court, he offered her an equal share
in the administration if she would assist him in seizing the reins of
government. The proposal was tempting, but the Begum, well acquainted
with the perfidious nature of the wily Rohilla chief, rejected all his
offers, and repaired to the palace, where she announced her resolve to
sacrifice life itself, if necessary, in defence of her sovereign.

Her arrival infused new courage into the Imperial party; and some
of the generals having assembled their forces, Gholaum Cadir opened
a heavy cannonade on the palace. This was answered from the fort of
Delhi; and after the bombardment had lasted for several hours, the
rebel chief receiving intelligence that a large force was marching to
relieve the Emperor, judged it most prudent to tender an apology, which
Shah Aulem thought fit to accept.

In the following year, 1788, Shah Aulem left Delhi with a large army,
partly made up by three battalions of sepoys, commanded by the Begum,
and commenced a tour through the provinces. Although most of the rajahs
and nabobs were secretly disaffected, they were, with few exceptions,
easily prevailed upon to tender their submission. One of those who
openly declared themselves rebels was Nujuff Cooli Khan, a powerful
chief, who, having possession of the almost impregnable fort of Gocul
Ghur, peremptorily refused to submit. His head-quarters were situated
at a village about a mile from the fort, and only a portion of his army
had been stationed in Gocul Ghur.

The Emperor himself, with the main body of the army, invested Gocul
Ghur, while two of his principal generals erected batteries against the
rebel head-quarters, which they bombarded most vigorously. The village
would have speedily been taken, but for the disgraceful conduct of
the besieging force, both officers and men, who gave themselves up to
riot and excess. Nujuff Cooli Khan, taking advantage of this, attacked
the Mogul entrenchments one night, when nearly all the soldiers
were fast asleep. Carrying all before them, the rebels perpetrated
an indiscriminate slaughter before the others had time to arouse
themselves. This news rapidly spread to the main body and threw the
whole camp into dire confusion. To increase the consternation, Munsoor
Khan sallied out from Gocul Ghur, and opened a tremendous cannonade on
the rear of the camp.

The entire Imperial army, together with Shah Aulem and his family,
would probably have fallen into the hands of the rebels, but for the
courage and presence of mind of Begum Somroo. She was encamped with
her sepoys to the right of the camp, and her troops not having been
infected by the panic, waited, drawn up ready for action. Perceiving
the disorder which prevailed, the Begum sent a respectful message to
Shah Aulem, entreating him to repair for safety to her quarters. Then,
stepping into her palanquin, she proceeded at the head of one hundred
sepoys and a six-pounder (the latter commanded by a European) to the
ground occupied by Munsoor Khan. She ordered her palanquin to be set
down, and ere long drove the rebels from the field by a well-directed
fire of grape, supported by volleys of musketry from the sepoys.

This gallant exploit gave time for the Imperial troops to rally. In
their turn they now attacked the rebels, and after a short sharply
contested engagement, the latter were defeated. Nujuff Cooli Khan,
disheartened by this reverse, entreated the Begum to intercede for his
pardon; which was granted at last, after he had paid a large sum of
money into the Imperial treasury.

In 1791, Nujuff Cooli Khan again broke into rebellion. Ismail Beg was
despatched to arrest him; but when the latter reached Rewari, where
the rebel chief had set up his head-quarters, he learned that Nujuff
was dead. However, the widow of Nujuff Cooli, a woman akin to Begum
Somroo, of a masculine spirit, possessing, moreover, considerable
military abilities, took command of deceased's forces. Knowing that
Ismaeel Beg was courageous, talented, and ambitious, she proposed an
alliance, which he accepted; and throwing himself into the town of
Canoor, defended it against the Mahrattas. The Begum displayed the
utmost courage throughout the siege, and invariably joined in all the
sorties made by the garrison. Unfortunately, this brave woman was
slain in a skirmish by a cannon-ball, and her death broke up the rebel
camp. It was resolved by the garrison to deliver up Ismaeel Beg to the
Mahrattas; but he was beforehand with them, and surrendered the town.

General Thomas, in his zeal for the Begum Somroo's interests, raised
up enemies for himself in the principal French and German officers.
They took occasion to poison the Begum's mind against him by foul
accusations; and in 1792 he was compelled to withdraw to Anopsheer,
one of the frontier stations of the British army. Early in 1793, he
took service under Appakandarow, a Mahratta chieftain. Le Vaissaux,
or Levasso, a German adventurer, commanding the Begum's artillery, had
always been Thomas's deadly foe, and was the leading man in driving
him away. He possessed great military talents, and had rendered
considerable services to his mistress; but he was a man of haughty,
overbearing mien, and hated by all his brother-officers. Great was
their indignation, though they were scarcely surprised, when the
Begum, disregarding their remonstrances, and the advice, the all but
commands, of the Emperor, surrendered her hand and heart to the German
artilleryman, in 1793.

Begum Somroo, instigated by her husband, now determined to crush poor
Thomas; and at the head of four battalions of foot, four hundred horse,
and twenty pieces of cannon, she marched towards Jyjur, where he was
stationed. But the Mahratta chiefs, who had long been jealous of her
influence over Shah Aulem, stirred up a mutiny amongst the troops left
in Serdhauna, and compelled her to return thither with all speed. The
officers, to give a sanction to their proceedings, offered the jaghire
to Zuffer Yab Khan, son of Somroo by a former wife. He was a young man
of worthless and turbulent character; since his father's death he had
lived in Delhi, receiving a handsome allowance from his step-mother.

It was only a few days after the marriage that this mutiny broke out.
Zuffer, with a body of troops, rushed into Serdhauna, seized the town,
and was proclaimed Jaghire Dar. The Begum vainly endeavoured to pacify
her soldiers. She was arrested, together with her husband, and thrown
into prison; and Le Vaissaux, too proud to sue for mercy, put an end to
his own life.

In the course of the following year, the Begum, who had been ever since
kept in durance vile, besought the assistance of George Thomas, for,
said she, the hourly dread of assassination was driving her mad. Thomas
was not deaf to her entreaties; he persuaded Bappoo, a Mahratta chief,
to aid him with his forces, and together they marched upon Serdhauna.
The Mahrattas were won over, partly by the prayers of Shah Aulem, and
partly by liberal promises; and Zuffer having been expelled, the Begum
was restored to power.

Begum Sumroo was a good friend to the English, with whom she was always
exceedingly popular on account of the great hospitality with which she
entertained those who visited her neighbourhood. However, she fought
against them, as an auxiliary of Scindiah, in 1803. She took part in
the battle of Assaye; and at the defeat of the Mahrattas, she fled to
Northern Hindostan, and hastily made peace with the Marquis Wellesley,
on condition that her principality should revert to the British
Government of India after her demise, while her personal property
remained at her own disposal.

When the British became masters of Delhi, the Begum frequently visited
their camp, dressed in European costume, with a hat and veil, sometimes
in a palanquin, sometimes on horseback, sometimes on an elephant. At
this time she appeared to be about fifty-five, was of middle height,
with a beautiful complexion. Her ancient friendship for the Mahrattas,
and an intercepted letter which she was believed to have written to
Jeswunt Rao Holkar, caused her to be suspected by the British when they
were at war with that chief in 1805. However, she succeeded in clearing
herself of the accusation. The exact year of her death is not known.

Although Begum Somroo left no children of her own, she had adopted
the daughter of Somroo by his first wife, a Mahratta woman. This girl
wedded Mr. Dyce, a half-caste, son of Captain Dyce of the East India
Company's service. The Begum had intended to make him her heir; but
in her old age she detected him in a conspiracy, and so she left her
property to his son, instead. This latter was the notorious David
Ochterlony Dyce-Sombre. About the year 1838, this eccentric gentleman
came to England, whither he had been preceded by the renown of his
fabulous wealth. His arrival caused considerable excitement in London;
he was fêted and invited everywhere as the lion of the day. In 1840,
he married the Hon. Mary Ann Jervis, daughter of Viscount St. Vincent;
but the husband and wife did not agree--a separation was speedily
followed by legal proceedings against Mr. Dyce-Sombre, by which the
wife's relations sought to prove the Anglo-Indian to be a lunatic. For
months and months this great trial was a matter for public gossip;
and the unfortunate nabob was compelled to live on the Continent for
several years to escape the decision of the Court of Chancery. He
returned to London in 1851, to petition against their decree; but was
seized with a painful illness, of which he died on the 1st July of that

       *       *       *       *       *

When Lord Lake was in India, fighting the Mahrattas, there was a
Sergeant W----, of the artillery, who served in nearly all the battles
of his illustrious chief. This sergeant owned a Hindoo slave, belonging
to the lowest dregs of the pariahs; but through the earnest labours
of a Baptist missionary, she was converted to Christianity, and the
sergeant made her his wife. She accompanied him in all his campaigns,
and followed him into battle. When he was tired, she would lend a hand
at the guns. In one action the sergeant was struck down by a bullet
which passed through his shako and struck his forehead just above
the temple carrying in its course the brass hoop from the shako and
forcing it into his skull. He fell, to all appearance, dead; but his
wife, determined not to leave his body to the tender mercies of the
foe, seized it up, and bore it from the field, amidst a rain of bullets.

       *       *       *       *       *

The principal leaders in the terrible Indian Mutiny were Nana Sahib,
Tantia Topee, and the Ranee of Jhansi. They were equally ferocious:
they detested the British, and the motives which induced them to rebel
were almost precisely similar. According to the laws and usages of
Hindostan, a native prince, in default of sons, could adopt a strange
boy and make him his heir; seldom was a dissentient voice raised
against the succession of the adopted child till within the last
thirty-five or forty years, when the East India Company constituted
itself heir-apparent to all the thrones in the country.

The city of Jhansi is situated in Bundelcund, to the south of the river
Jumna. Previous to 1857, it was the strongest and most important place
in the entire of Central India. The people were nearly all Brahmins, a
religion held in common with their rajahs. In the days when the Peishwa
was still a person of importance in Hindostan, the ruler of Jhansi was
merely a wealthy zemindar, or land-owner, and he rendered such good
service to the British that Lord William Bentinck (Governor-General
from 1828 to 1835), raised him to the position of Rajah. On the death
of this man, he was succeeded by his brother, Gungadhur Rao. The
latter, having no children, made a will some weeks before his death,
publicly adopting a little boy nearly related to himself, and at this
time six years old. Lukshmi Baee, the Rajah's wife, was to be the
guardian of this boy and Regent of Jhansi till he had attained his
eighteenth year. Gungadhur gave due notice of this to the British
Governor-General; and in presence of the British Resident and his
assembled subjects, took the child in his lap, as a public declaration
of adoption.

Gungadhur Rao died in 1854. Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General,
refused to acknowledge his right to adopt an heir, and the little
province of Jhansi was annexed to British India. The young Rajah and
the Ranee, his mother by adoption, were pensioned off; the latter
receiving six thousand a year, paid monthly. Her troops were disbanded,
and replaced by a few regiments of Sepoys and Sowars.

The Ranee was powerless to resist; she could only bide her time. She
had not long to wait. Three years later, India was in a blaze. The
Bundelcund Sepoys were amongst the first to mutiny. On the 14th of
June, the native troops at Jhansi broke into rebellion, murdered
several of their officers in the cantonments, and seized the "Star
Fort." Some few English escaped to Nagoda, but the rest, numbering
fifty-five men, women, and children, barricaded themselves in the "Town
Fort." But after a brave resistance of four days, the mutineers burst
open the gates on the 8th; and the English, having been promised life
and liberty, laid down their arms. Thereupon a massacre commenced,
which for barbarity, almost equalled that which took place shortly
after at Cawnpore. Nineteen ladies, twenty-three children, twenty-four
civil service employés, two non-commissioned officers, and eight
officers were butchered in a manner familiar to all who can remember
the Indian Mutiny.

It was generally believed at the time that this massacre took place by
order of the Ranee, who is said to have stood by while the heads of
ladies were chopped off, and the brains of babies were dashed out upon
the flags. Nay, some have declared she laughed aloud when some deed of
atrocity worse than the rest came under her notice.

Shortly after this massacre, the Ranee took the field at the head of
some hundreds of Sepoys, and marched towards Gwalior, where Scindiah,
the descendant of our old enemy whom we routed at Assaye, remained
faithful to the British. But little was known of her movements during
the rest of 1857; in August of that year, a female, dressed in a green
uniform, was captured at Delhi, while leading on a party of Sepoys.
This woman was at first supposed to be the terrible Ranee, and a rumour
sped through the British Camp that she was leading the Gwalior rebels;
but it was afterwards found that Lukshmi Baee still remained in the
territories of the Maharajah. The prisoner was described as "an ugly
old woman, short and fat." She was a species of prophetess, held in
high estimation by the rebels around Delhi.

In January, 1858, Sir Hugh Rose (Lord Strathnairn), commanding the
second brigade of the Central India Field Force, set out against the
rebels south of Delhi; his chief object being the capture of Jhansi.
Having been joined by Brigadier Stuart, they invested the fortress on
the 21st of March following.

The city of Jhansi measured about four miles and a half in
circumference. It stood on a level plain, surrounding the east, north,
and part of the south sides of an elevated rock on which the fort
stood. Altogether it was a fine specimen of modern fortification;
and since the first outbreak of the Mutiny, its strength had been
considerably added to by the Ranee, who took care to arm the batteries
with heavy ordnance of long range. On the 25th a tremendous cannonade
was opened from the British lines. Throughout the siege the intrepid
Ranee tried every means to defend the town; all through the day she
remained in the fort directing the fire of the artillerymen, save when
she visited the different points of defence, watching and planning to
strengthen the weak parts of her entrenchments.

Tantia Topee marched to the relief of Jhansi with twenty or twenty-five
thousand men, and an obstinately contested battle was fought on the 1st
of April.

But Tantia Topee, after proving himself to be a brave man and an able
general, was totally routed with the loss of all his ordnance.

Next day a general assault was made on the city; under a murderous
fire the British forced their way through the streets. When they had
more than half conquered it, the news of the Ranee's flight put an
end to all further resistance on the part of the rebels. It was then
found that the brave old tigress, utterly disheartened by the defeat of
Tantia Topee, had fled during the previous night, under cover of the
darkness. Followed by about three hundred rebels, she joined Tantia
Topee at Koonch. Sir Hugh Rose, as soon as he had settled matters in
Jhansi, directed his march towards Calpee. He was intercepted at Koonch
by the Ranee and her ally; when a spirited action took place on the 9th
of May. The mutineers were driven from their entrenched camp, with
great loss, and the town fell into the hands of the victors. Tantia
Topee and the Ranee fled to Calpee, where they were besieged on the
16th by Sir Hugh; Calpee fell on the 23rd, the Ranee and Tantia having
previously retired towards Gwalior. The Maharajah, refusing to join the
rebels, was driven to take refuge in the British cantonments at Agra.

On the approach of Sir Hugh Rose, Tantia Topee fled, leaving the Ranee
to defend the city. But she was not a woman easily dispirited. She
disposed her forces (chiefly composed of the Gwalior Contingent) most
skilfully, so as to command all the roads leading to Gwalior. She was
scarcely ever out of the saddle; dressed in a sowar's uniform, and
attended by a picked, well-armed escort, she rode from post to post,
superintending all the operations.

Sir Hugh Rose reached the Moorar cantonments on the 16th of June, and
carried them with but slight loss. To intercept his reinforcements,
the Ranee marched to the banks of the little river Oomrar. Brigadiers
Smith and Orr, who were marching from Antree to join in the attack on
Gwalior, reached Kota-ki-Serai, on the banks of this stream, on the
morning of the 17th. Between this village and Gwalior, from which it is
distant about three or four miles, the road winds through a succession
of hilly ranges. Some rebel pickets were observed in front of and
below the first range; a squadron of the 8th Hussars immediately
crossed the stream to reconnoitre, when they were fired upon from a
masked battery. Two troops of the same regiment were ordered to charge;
and riding at full speed through a narrow ravine, they captured a
battery armed with three guns. Thence they pressed on to the rebel
camp, where the enemy was driven to bay. The Ranee of Jhansi and her
sister, both in the dress of sowars, fought desperately, and lost their
lives in a gallant charge made to check the British troopers.

The Ranee's death was caused either by the bullet of a British
rifleman, or by the fragment of a shell which pierced her breast. Her
body was never found; it was said to have been burned by her followers
immediately after the battle.

Upon her death the rebel hosts melted like snow before a sunbeam. The
British infantry speedily carried the first range of heights; and the
enemy, after losing about four hundred men, and seeing their camp in
flames, were compelled to fly. The British, after losing about fifteen
men (ten of whom died from sunstroke and fatigue), and spiking three
rebel guns, resumed their march; and the same evening rejoined Sir Hugh
Rose. The combined forces now advanced on Gwalior, routed the sepoys in
the battle of Gurrowlee, June 19th, and recaptured the city, June 20th,
when Scindiah was restored to his throne.

The death of the Ranee excited very little interest in this country.
The newspapers of the time, with but one or two exceptions, barely
chronicled the event, without making any comments; but it was
universally felt by every British soldier serving in India that, with
the death of Lukshmi Baee, we had lost the foe who was able to do us
most injury. For courage and military skill she was acknowledged to
be far superior to any of the other rebel chiefs. The message flashed
along the wires announcing that the Ranee had fallen, added that "the
deaths of Moulvie and the Ranee were more gain to us than half-a-dozen

The exact age of the "Indian Boadicea" was never accurately determined.
While one journal styles her "this girl, barely twenty years of age,"
another assumes her age to have been at least thirty. An employé of the
East India Company who visited Jhansi in 1854, and accidentally caught
a glimpse of this oriental heroine, describes her as "a woman of about
the middle size--rather stout, but not _too_ stout. Her face" he says,
"must have been very handsome when she was younger, and even now it had
many charms--though, according to my idea of beauty, it was too round.
The expression, also, was very good and very intellectual. The eyes
were particularly fine, and the nose very delicately shaped. She was
not very fair, though she was far from black. What spoilt her was her
voice, which was something between a whine and a croak."

All agreed as to the extreme licentiousness and immorality of her
habits; and the rooms in her palace are said to have been hung with
pictures "such as pleased Tiberius at Capri."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was formerly the custom with many of the native princes to maintain
female warriors to guard their zenanas. The tyrant Ferokshere, who
was murdered in 1719, kept up an Amazon corps at Delhi, composed
of Abyssinians, Cashmerians, Persians--in short, drawn from every
nation whence slaves could be easily procured. They were armed with
matchlocks, bows and arrows, spears and targets, and other weapons,
according to their nationality. When the Emperor took refuge from his
assailants in the zenana, the female guards held the entrance bravely
for some time, and exchanged shots with the rebels; but they received
more wounds than they gave, and were so easily driven away.

In the harem of the Nizam, at Hyderabad, there was, so lately as the
time of the Mutiny, a regiment of Amazons who wore scarlet tunics,
green trousers, and red cloth hats, trimmed with gold lace and mounted
with a green plume. Their arms were the customary musket and bayonet.
Whenever a distinguished foreigner visited the Palace, the female guard
received him with military honours. "The extreme youth, and delicate
appearance of these interesting warriors," says Prince Soltykoff, "at
once attracted attention." Though, despite these feminine attractions,
he says their aspect was so decidedly military, he would never have
known they were females but for their long hair and the fulness of
their bosoms. Their hair was tied in a knot, though in place of
concealing it under their caps, they let it fall over the collar of
their tunics.

An interesting sketch of the female sepoys at Lucknow is given in the
"Private Life of an Eastern King."

"Of the living curiosities of the Palace, there were none the account
of which will appear more strange to European ears than the female
sepoys. I had seen these men-like women pacing up and down before
the various entrances to the female apartments for many days before
I was informed of their real character. I regarded them simply as a
diminutive race of soldiers with well wadded coats. There was nothing
but that fulness of the chest to distinguish many of them from other
sepoys; and one is so accustomed to see soldiers in England with coats
stuffed so as to make their wearers resemble pouter-pigeons, that I
took little heed of the circumstance.

"These women retained their long hair, which they tied up in a knot on
the top of the head, and there it was concealed by the usual shako.
They bore the ordinary accoutrements of sepoys in India--the musket
and bayonet, cross-belts and cartridge-boxes, jackets and white duck
continuations, which might be seen anywhere in Bengal. Intended solely
for duty in the Palace as guardians of the harem, they were paraded
only in the court-yards, where I have seen them going through their
exercise just like other sepoys. They were drilled by one of the
native officers of the king's army, and appeared quite familiar with
marching and wheeling, with presenting, loading, and firing muskets,
with the fixing and unfixing of bayonets; in fact, with all the detail
of the ordinary barrack-yard. Whether they could have gone through the
same marches in the field with thousands of mustachioed sepoys around
them, I cannot tell--probably not. They had their own corporals and
sergeants; none of them, I believe, attained a higher rank than that of

"Many of them were married women, obliged to quit the ranks for a month
or two at a time, occasionally. They retained their places, however,
as long as possible.... Of these female sepoys there were in all two
companies of the usual strength, or weakness, if the reader will have
it so. Once, during my residence at Lucknow, they were employed by the
king against his own mother."

This act of Nussir was rendered all the worse, because many years
before, when Ghazi-u-deen, the late King of Oude, wished to disinherit
his son and put him to death, the Begum armed her retainers, and fought
for Nussir with the courage of a lion. After many had fallen on each
side, the British resident interfered, and put an end to the contest.
Nussir, after he became king, wished to act towards his son as Ghazi
would have done towards him; but the old Begum now fought as stoutly
for her grandson as she did previously for her son. The King sent
his female sepoys to turn her out of her palace, but she armed her
servants, fought the sepoys, and put them to flight. Fifteen or sixteen
of the Begum's adherents were left dead on the field. The resident
again interfered, and guaranteed the life and succession of the child.

But Nussir succeeded in cheating his mother after all, by declaring the
boy illegitimate. In vain the old Begum, after the death of Nussir,
surrounded the British Residency with her troops; the Englishman was
not to be intimidated. Troops were ordered up from the cantonments, and
a few discharges of grape quickly dispersed the Begum's adherents. One
of Nussir's uncles was then placed on the throne, and the brave old
Begum was compelled to submit.

There is a similar guard of female warriors in the Palace of the King
of Siam, at Bangkok; and the Paris papers of September, 1866, speak of
a regiment of female Zouaves, armed with rifles, which was then being
raised in the first-named city.

As lately as 1873, we read of Amazonian soldiers in Bantam. Says a
newspaper of that date, describing the condition of the sexes in
that kingdom:--"Although tributary to Holland, it is an independent
state, politically without importance, yet happy, rich, and since
time immemorial governed and defended by women. The sovereign is
indeed a man, but all the rest of the government belongs to the
fair sex. The king is entirely dependent upon his state council,
composed of three women. The highest authorities, all state officers,
court functionaries, military commanders, and soldiers are, without
exception, of the female sex. The men are agriculturists and merchants.
The body-guard of the king is formed of the female _élite_. These
amazons ride in the masculine style, wearing sharp steel points instead
of spurs. They carry a pointed lance, which they swing very gracefully,
and also a musket, which is discharged at full gallop. The throne is
inheritable by the eldest son, and in case the king dies without issue
a hundred elected amazons assemble, in order to choose a successor from
among their own sons. The chosen one is then proclaimed lawful king."



    SAVAGE AFRICA.--Judith, Queen of Abyssinia--Workite and
    Mastrat, Gallas Queens--Shinga, Queen of Congo--Mussasa,
    Queen of Matamba--Tembandumba, Queen of the Jagas--Amazons
    in Dahomey.

The great African continent has contributed but little to the pages
of history. Centuries before America was discovered, northern Africa
was one of the centres of commerce, its people were amongst the
most civilized in the known world; yet America has been explored in
almost every part, from north to south, and its history is as well
known and almost as full of interest as that of Europe or Asia, while
Africa, until within the last three-quarters of a century, remained,
geographically and historically, almost as much a mystery as it was in
ancient times. Rightly has it been styled the Dark Continent.

Ethiopia, renowned in distant eras for its stately cities adorned with
lofty temples and spacious palaces, and inhabited by learned men, is a
sad picture of fallen greatness. Its haughty palaces have crumbled to
decay long since, and their sites are occupied by the mud cabins of a
savage race, who, only for being Christians, differ very little from
their fellow-men who dwell on other parts of this great continent.
People took but small interest in Abyssinia till the war with King
Theodore, and even then we learned very little more about that strange
land than our grandfathers told us.

Scarcely more than a bare outline of Abyssinian history has been
preserved; yet we find that, since the days of the Queen of Sheba,
women have more than once taken an active part in the politics of this
kingdom. Bruce has given us the story of a beautiful Jewish women named
Judith, who, with the aid of her co-religionists, usurped the throne
in the 10th or 11th century. She was the wife of Gideon, the governor,
or, as he might be called, the feudal sovereign, of a small district
called Bugna. He was also a Jew, as were all his subjects. Judith at
last grew so powerful that she resolved to overthrow the Christians.
She accordingly surprised the almost impregnable rock Damo, where the
royal princes were kept for safety, and slew them to the number of four
hundred. Del Naad, the King, at this time a mere child, was saved by
some of the nobles, who carried him into the loyal province of Shoa.
Judith then mounted the throne, and not only reigned over Abyssinia for
upwards of forty years, but transmitted the throne to five successive
descendants. After that, the line of King Solomon and the Queen of
Sheba, as represented by the descendants of Del Naad, was restored.

Even in these degenerate days, women sometimes come forward as leaders
in Abyssinia. After the fall of Magdala, Lord Napier was visited by the
two Gallas queens, Workite (gold), and Mastrat (looking-glass), who
had a race as to which should first congratulate the British general
on his victory. These rival queens, who have been fighting one another
for years past, professed great delight at the reception which they
met with, and both gave and received presents in token of friendship.
The _Times_ Correspondent in Abyssinia gave a lively and amusing
description of them:--

"I am told on good authority," he wrote, "that they go into battle, and
handle spear, sword, and gun right manfully; there is even a story,
probably mythical, that Mastrat with her own hand wounded the mighty
Theodore. But usually they go about so muffled up, and looking so like
a bundle of shawls moved by mechanism, that, except in their method
of riding, their appearance is anything but amazonic. Workite kept
herself closely wrapped up, and hidden during her stay in camp, but
Mastrat boldly threw aside her rich royal robe of crimson, speckled
with gold, and came out of her tent, and before the soldiers--if her
majesty will pardon the expression--like a man, to have her photograph
taken. Her complexion was a very pale olive--fairer than that of many
Europeans--and her expression, though the features were large, and
scarcely, like those of Theodore's widow-in-chief, of the thoroughbred
type, were essentially queen-like and commanding. She looked quite
capable of leading an army anywhere."

The natives of Congo, in Lower Guinea, have ever been notorious for
their ferocity and love of shedding human blood; and such very savages
are they, that what slight improvements have been made in their beloved
pastime--war,--are due entirely to those Europeans who have visited the
coast. The women are as ferocious as the men; and as the Salic law is
either unknown, or neglected, there have from time to time been female
sovereigns renowned for their military prowess.

One of these royal Amazons was Shinga, or Zingha, Queen of Matamba, in
Congo, who ascended the throne on the death of her brother about 1640.
She determined to be Queen in her own dominions, and set herself up as
a stern opponent of Christianity. She thereby offended the Portuguese
priests (who had been established in the country since 1487), and they
stirred up her nephew to rebellion. After losing three battles, Shinga
was obliged to seek safety in flight.

After proceeding one hundred and fifty miles up the country, Shinga
established a new kingdom; and by making war on the Jagas, or Giagas,
the Arabs of Western Africa, she became sufficiently powerful once more
to take the field against Portugal. But she was again routed, and her
two sisters remained in the hands of the victors. At last, in 1646,
she recovered her throne, and concluded an honourable treaty with the

Her long struggle with Portugal had so accustomed Shinga to a military
life that she cared for nothing but war. She was almost constantly
engaged in a campaign against the neighbouring kingdoms. Before
starting on an expedition, she used to sacrifice the handsomest man she
could find as a war offering to some African deity who required to be
appeased. On such occasions she appeared in military costume, her bow
and arrows in her hand, a sword hanging from a collar round her neck,
an axe by her side. After going through a warlike dance, singing a
martial song, accompanying it on two iron bells, she would cut off the
victim's head as a declaration of war, and drink a deep draught of his

The Jagas, at all times feared on account of their ruthless ferocity
and cruelty, rose to the height of their glory under King Zimbo,
who has been styled the "Napoleon of Africa." Donji, one of Zimbo's
captains, was governor of Matamba; his wife, Mussusa, was a warrior
like himself, and they trained their daughter, Tembandumba, to the
same mode of life. After the death of Zimbo, his vast empire, like
that of Alexander, was divided amongst his captains; and Donji, more
skilful than the rest, conquered many of the surrounding states.
After his death, Mussasa, who possessed military talent equal to her
husband,--tarnished though it was by gross cruelty--continued to fight
and to conquer the neighbouring chiefs.

Tembandumba received the education of a soldier. Trained, while yet a
child, to the use of arms, she took naturally the trade of war. As a
girl she accompanied her mother on all her campaigns; fighting side by
side at the head of their troops, Mussasa and her daughter were always
foremost in battle and last in a retreat. The valour and prudence of
Tembandumba soon became so well known that her mother gave her the
command of half the army. But when she had gained a few victories, the
Amazon was not disposed to remain longer in a subordinate position.
Throwing aside the authority of her mother, she assumed the title of
Queen of the Jagas; and drew up a code of laws so extravagantly savage
and bloodthirsty that only for the high respect, or rather terror, in
which the young girl was held,--even her subjects would have rebelled.

It was the ambition of Tembandumba to revive the Amazonian empire which
had once existed on the African continent. In pursuance of this object,
she declared war on the whole race of man; all the male children were
to be slain by their mothers, and made into ointment called "Magiga
Samba," which when smeared over the human body would render the latter
invulnerable. The adult males throughout her dominions were to be
converted into food for the women; and to prevent the tender hearts of
the women causing them to evade these laws, she commanded that every
other food, animal or vegetable, should be destroyed. Had her statutes
been obeyed to the letter, Western Africa would soon have been a
hideous wilderness, devoid of human habitations, birds, beasts, trees,
plants, or even grass.

Having promulgated these laws, together with many others of minor
importance, in a speech delivered before a select committee of her
female subjects, she concluded by seizing her own child, who was
feeding at her breast, and hurling it into a large mortar, where she
beat it to a jelly. Throwing this into a large pot, she compounded an
oleaginous preparation with leaves, roots and oils, which she rubbed
all over her body, telling her subjects to follow the example. Such
quantities of "Magiga Samba" were manufactured that travellers declare
there are still some pots of it to be found among the Jagas. But after
the first burst of enthusiasm was over, maternal love prevailed,
and Tembandumba, after vainly endeavouring, by the appointment of
inspectors, to enforce obedience, was obliged to repeal the law, and
permit children taken in war to be substituted to make the precious

For many years this female devil reigned triumphantly; she kept the
Jagas so constantly engrossed by martial glory, they had no time to
sigh for liberty. Kingdom after kingdom fell before her legions;
wherever she turned her footsteps, a track of desolation remained to
mark her progress.

But Tembandumba, after all, was not above the weaknesses common to her
sex; all her passions were exaggerated, and, like many another heroine,
she owed her final overthrow to the God of Love. As a rule she caused
her husbands to be treated as Schahriar, in the Arabian Nights, used
his wives; but at last she fell really in love with Culemba, a private
in the army. Culemba was young, strong, and decidedly good-looking--for
a negro. He possessed insinuating manners, and succeeded for a time
in gaining some influence over the Queen. But in time she wearied of
him, as she had grown tired of her former lovers. Culemba, knowing by
experience that she had an unpleasant fancy for dining off her lovers,
was determined to be beforehand with her. He was a cruel, ambitious
man,--equally crafty as Tembandumba. He invited the Queen to a
sumptuous banquet; such an invitation being the highest compliment one
Jaga could pay to another. The entertainment was magnificent, the wine
delicious; but while drinking a bumper of Lisbon wine from the skull of
an old enemy, the Queen of the Jagas fell down dead.

Culemba was--of course--inconsolable. With difficulty could he be
prevented from slaying himself on the corpse. The funeral was conducted
with all the splendour customary at the interment of a native African
sovereign; the dead queen was buried in a large vault excavated on the
top of a high hill. The corpse was placed in a commanding attitude on
a throne, surrounded by skins, stuffs, mats, ostrich feathers, and all
her favourite dishes and liquors.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dahomey--or, as it is now fashionable to style it, Dahomé--may with
truth be called one of the greatest curiosities of the Nineteenth
Century. It seems so strange that a large, closely populated country,
the monarch of which is anxious to cultivate the friendship of Europe,
should be sunk in such gross barbarity. The chief features of its
government are the Slave-Trade, the "Customs," or religious festivals,
at which the notorious human sacrifices are offered, and the Amazons;
and the last are by far the greatest curiosity. Very few rulers, in
ancient or modern times, have authorised the keeping up a standing army
of women; and none of the native tribes along the coast seem at all
inclined to follow the example of Dahomey.

But the female sex in Dahomey is, they say, vastly superior to the
male; the women are tall--upwards of six feet high, and powerfully
built--the men, on the contrary, are, as a general rule, round-limbed
and sickly-looking. Captain Burton suggests that it was this physical
superiority which originated the custom of employing women-soldiers.

The Amazonian division of the army numbers twelve thousand women, ready
at an hour's notice for active service. They are officered by females,
and have a female commander-in-chief, who is entirely independent
of the "Gau" or male commander-in-chief. To denote her rank, this
female general wears a silver horn, hammer-shaped, projecting from
her forehead, similar to a unicorn. The officers are distinguished by
a white head-cloth, and by the superior make and material of their
clothes; and when on the march, they are attended by what Captain
Burton styles an "esquiress" or slave-girl, who carries the musket of
her mistress.

The honorary captaincy of each corps is presented by the King to one of
his sons, after whom it is sometimes named; though the companies are as
frequently styled by the name of the district to which they specially
belong. Sometimes the King presents some distinguished European
traveller whom he wishes to compliment, with a honorary command.

The Amazons are not remarkable for any superfluity of muscle, but as
a rule they are lithe and active. As they grow older, many become
extremely stout. "Some of them" remarks Captain Burton "are prodigies
of obesity." The commander-in-chief, he says, was "vast in breadth."
Beauty is scarce in Dahomey, and what little there is, has not fallen
to the lot of the Amazons. Captain Burton, who "expected to see
Penthesileas, Thalestrises, Dianas," was sadly disappointed when he
beheld "old, ugly, and square-built frows, trudging 'grumpily' along,
with the face of 'cook' after being much 'nagged' by the 'missus'."
They do not, however, as was once supposed, condemn themselves to
single-blessedness; on the contrary, many have husbands and children.

They are very careful of their weapons--an English "Tower-marked"
firelock, a short falchion, or dirk, and a large razor for cutting off
heads. The musket is guarded by numerous charms, and when not in use
is protected from the damp by a black, monkey-skin case; the barrel
is polished bright, and sometimes adorned with a long tassel. Their
skill in the use of these weapons is such as to render them exceedingly
formidable adversaries.

Their uniforms are very showy. That of the Royal Guard--which,
numbering rather more than a thousand women, is always stationed
about the King's person--consists of a sleeveless tunic, surtout, or
waistcoat of different colours, buttoning down the front, a pink,
blue, or yellow loin-wrapper, or kilt, reaching to the ancles, a sash,
generally white, tied round the waist, and folding down in two long
ends on the left side, and a fillet of blue or white cotton round the
head. The arms are left bare. A black leather belt, with cartridge
box--or "agluadya"--forms a girdle, with holds the surtout tight to the
figure. This belt is sometimes ornamented with cowrie shells; on it
are hung bandoleers, which contain, in separate compartments, twelve,
sixteen, or even twenty wooden powder-boxes. Each cartridge contains
about four times the quantity of powder used in English cartridges, and
the bullet is not placed in it as in Europe; a small leather ball-bag
hangs from the shoulder by a strap which passes through the belt. When
the Amazons are loading, they pour the powder into the barrel without
any wadding, and then drop in a bullet, or a few slugs.

Shaving the head is a general, though not a universal fashion. Those
who do so, leave only a small tuft of hair like a cockade; others,
however, who do not follow this custom, shave a narrow strip, two
inches in breadth, from the forehead to the crown of the head.

When the Amazons are on the march, the privates are obliged to carry
an immense number of articles absolutely necessary for a campaign
under the scorching sun of Africa. Packs, containing their bed-mats,
a change of clothes, and food for a fortnight--said food consisting
of toasted grains or bean cakes spiced with pepper--small stools with
three or four legs, two cartridge-boxes, water-gourds, fetish-sacks,
powder-calabashes, bullet-wallets, fans, wooden pipe-cases, leather
tobacco-bags, hats made of felt or straw, and palm-leaf umbrellas, are
just a few of the things carried by them on the march.

The King of Dahomey is very proud of his female soldiers, whom he
frequently passes in review. He regards these Amazonian field-days
with a pride akin to that of Frederick the Great at one of the Potzdam
Reviews, or Napoleon at a review of his Old Guard.

These grand reviews are very showy, effective sights. Although the
discipline is not very exact, yet the evolutions performed are executed
with a vigour and heartiness which almost atone for the lack of that
neatness observed in more civilized armies. The King seats himself
under a canopy in some public place, generally the market-place of
the town, and the various corps of Amazons march on to the open
ground in front; each regiment being preceded by its band, playing
the most discordant music on fantastically shaped instruments made of
elephant's-trunks, bullock's-horns, and triangular iron tubes (which,
when struck, emit a sound similar to a sheep-bell), and beating a large
war-drum in a truly deafening manner. This drum, ornamented with twelve
human skulls, is carried on the head of one Amazon, while another walks
after, beating it. Each corps possesses a similar drum, adorned with
a like number of skulls. Every company has, likewise, six or seven
standards, the top of each being surmounted by a human skull. In the
more disciplined regiments, there is always an advance-guard of nine
women, followed, at a short interval, by fifty supports.

The ceremony of passing them in review is so elaborate that one corps
has occupied as much as two or three hours before being disposed of.
According as each corps arrives within a short distance of the Royal
canopy, a halt is ordered, and the women lie down, or squat down,
to await their turn to appear before his majesty. The captain then
introduces the officers by name, and all kneel down, throwing up the
light red dust in showers over themselves. Their deeds of valour are
recounted, and when any warrior has especially distinguished herself,
the King graciously bestows his royal praises. After all have been
noticed, the officers fall into their proper places, and, together
with the privates, burst into a complimentary song in honour of their
ruler. It is usual for various Amazons, on the conclusion of this song,
to step one after another to the front, and declare their loyalty.
Then the entire corps kneels down, with the butt ends of their muskets
resting on the ground, and the barrel slanting back over the shoulder.
After covering themselves once more with dust, they poise their muskets
horizontally in both hands, and, still on their knees, pour forth a
lusty cheer. Then springing to their feet with another hearty cheer,
they slope arms, and set off at the double-quick march, each trying to
outstrip the rest.

This part of the review having at last concluded, the Amazons march on
to an open space where sham entrenchments have been constructed. These
mock fortifications usually consist of two or three great piles of
green briar, armed with the most dangerous kind of prickly thorns. This
thorny briar is much used in Africa, and formerly was employed in Asia,
to entrench villages or towns. The clumps are about seventy feet wide
and eight feet high, standing perhaps three hundred yards in advance
of several pens, or yards, the latter surrounded by a strong wall about
seven feet high, defended by dense masses of thorns, thickly matted
with reeds. To defend this mock entrenchment, a few dozen royal slaves
are placed within the enclosure.

Each corps, as it marches on to the ground, headed by the officer
appointed to lead the attack--who wears a sword of a different shape,
from the others--halts about two hundred yards from the nearest pile,
and shoulders arms. Directly the signal is given, they charge over
the thorns, regardless of their bare feet, and in less than a minute
the mimic fortress is captured. At intervals of twenty minutes, the
other corps have captured the remaining piles, and they all return in
triumph, each leading a slave by a rope. On reaching the royal canopy,
each Amazon presents a scalp supposed to have been taken during the
sham fight.

Sometimes the Amazons are rehearsed in volley-firing and
target-practice. They load and fire quickly, singing all the time.
Their target-practice is moderately good. Several thousand goats are
tied to stakes in a large field surrounded by a mud wall about ten feet
high. Most of the goats are killed before the day is over; which, when
we take into account the indifferent quality of their powder, and the
careless manner in which they load, speaks very well for the Amazons
as markswomen.

The King of Dahomey is almost always engaged in some war, whether
foreign or domestic; therefore a few hundred Amazons are constantly
on active service. Like the Old Guard, the services of these female
warriors are never brought into use save in cases of dire necessity, or
when considerable opposition is expected. As the Amazons always strive
not only to behead, but to scalp their enemies, they are pretty sure of
having one or more of these ghastly trophies to show the King on their
return from a campaign. Scalps, however, do not accumulate so fast as
one might suppose; six or seven in a year is considered rather a large
number, for the Amazons are frequently obliged, after slaying a foe, to
pass on without securing his topknot.

The Slave-trade provides very constant exercise for the Amazons;
because, whenever the King requires slaves, it is necessary to go to
war with some neighbour--though of course, his Majesty easily finds a
_casus belli_. But the great thorn of vexation in the royal side for
the past thirty years and more has been the republic of Abbeokuta.
The influence of this free state, in destroying the slave-trade, very
naturally brought down the hatred of the King of Dahomey, who is the
largest dealer in human flesh on the African coast. More than once
he has tried to conquer this sturdy little city. On the 3rd of March,
1851, he appeared before the walls of Abbeokuta at the head of a great
army--male and female. A furious attack was made to gain the ramparts,
but the rapid, murderous fire of the Egbas drove back the Dahomans with
fearful slaughter, and put them to rout. The Amazons led the attack;
many were slain--nearly all the slain Dahomans were women--and one or
two made prisoners.

The King undertook a second expedition against Abbeokuta in March,
1864. At the head of ten thousand picked warriors, and three brass
six-pounders, he arrived before the walls on the 16th. The Amazons
formed the column of attack, and displayed their accustomed bravery.
Directly the signal was given for the assault, they scaled the wall
like furies, and for a time threatened to carry everything before them.
One Amazon having her right hand cut off, clung to the parapet and
killed her adversary with her left, before being hurled back into the

The Egbas received the Amazons with a murderous fire, which thinned
their ranks terribly. They were obliged to seek safety in flight, and
their example was speedily followed by the whole Dahoman army. The
Egbas, sallying forth, pursued the retreating foe, massacring the
stragglers without mercy. In this congenial task they were joined by
the neighbouring tribes, who turned out in great numbers and joined
heartily in the carnage.

The King of Dahomey experienced a most disastrous rout, with the loss
of three thousand of of his best soldiers, one thousand being slain,
and two thousand taken prisoners.

    THE END.


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page ii, "Hänsell" changed to "Hänsel" (in Women--Minna Hänsel)

Page viii, "South" changed to "Savage" to match chapter text
(Savage Africa)

Page 7, "betwen" changed to "between" (to a duel between)

Page 36, "ruinœ" changed to "ruinæ" (Impavidam serient ruinæ)

Page 36, "Elisèe" changed to "Elisée" (when Elisée assisted)

Page 42, "left the" changed to "the left" (below the left eye)

Page 43, "Langerin" changed to "Langevin" (Renée Langerin--Madlle)

Page 43, "Felicité" changed to "Félicité" (Félicité and Théophile de)

Page 46, repeated word "to" deleted. Original read (introduced to to
the Abbé)

Page 68, "ben" changed to "been" (ball had been)

Page 71, "villany" changed to "villainy" (reward of his villainy)

Page 100, "1634" changed to "1834" (in Spain, in 1834)

Page 102, "amunition" changed to "ammunition" (their ammunition, she

Page 142, repeated word "of" deleted. Original read (worthy of a better)

Page 165, "atacked" changed to "attacked" (attacked the Mogul)

Page 169, "entertianed" changed to "entertained" (which she entertained)

Page 185, "VI" changed to "V" in chapter title

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