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Title: Recollections of Thirty-nine Years in the Army
Author: Gordon, Charles Alexander
Language: English
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(_From a Photograph by_ MR. A. BASSANO, _Old Bond Street_)]

  Recollections of Thirty-nine
  Years in the Army

    THE INDIAN MUTINY, 1857-58
    THE SIEGE OF PARIS, 1870-71


                  “The story of my life,
  From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes
  That I have passed.”

                    --_Othello_, Act I, Sc. 3






            CHAPTER I
  1841-1842. GAZETTED TO THE BUFFS--ARRIVE IN INDIA               1

            CHAPTER II
  1842-1843. IN PROGRESS TO JOIN                                 12

            CHAPTER III
  1843. AT ALLAHABAD                                             18

            CHAPTER IV
  1843-1844. CAMPAIGN IN GWALIOR                                 24

            CHAPTER V
  1844-1845. ALLAHABAD TO ENGLAND                                36

            CHAPTER VI
  1845-1846. HOME SERVICE                                        46

            CHAPTER VII
  1847-1848. COAST OF GUINEA--BARBADOS--ENGLAND                  55

            CHAPTER VIII
  1848-1851. IRELAND                                             74

            CHAPTER IX
  1851-1852. DUBLIN TO WUZZEERABAD                               80

            CHAPTER X
  1852-1853. WUZZEERABAD                                         86

            CHAPTER XI
  1854-1856. MEEAN-MEER--ABERDEEN                                96

            CHAPTER XII

            CHAPTER XIII
  1857. EARLY MONTHS OF THE MUTINY                              111

            CHAPTER XIV
  1857-1858. THE JOUNPORE FIELD FORCE                           124

            CHAPTER XV
  1858. CAPTURE OF LUCKNOW                                      130

            CHAPTER XVI
  1858. THE AZIMGHUR FIELD FORCE                                135

            CHAPTER XVII
  1858-1859. DINAPORE--PLYMOUTH                                 147

            CHAPTER XVIII
  1859-1860. PLYMOUTH--DEVONPORT                                154

            CHAPTER XIX
  1860. DEVONPORT--HONG-KONG                                    160

            CHAPTER XX
  1860. HONG-KONG--TIENTSIN                                     166

            CHAPTER XXI
  1860-1861. TIENTSIN                                           177

            CHAPTER XXII
  1861. TIENTSIN--CHEFOO--NAGASAKI--DEVONPORT                   188

            CHAPTER XXIII
  1862-1864. DEVONPORT--CALCUTTA                                201

            CHAPTER XXIV
  1865-1868. CALCUTTA--PORTSMOUTH                               213

            CHAPTER XXV
  1868-1870. PORTSMOUTH                                         227

            CHAPTER XXVI

            CHAPTER XXVII
  1870. SEPTEMBER. SIEGE OF PARIS                               242

            CHAPTER XXVIII
  1870. OCTOBER. SIEGE OF PARIS                                 248

            CHAPTER XXIX
  1870. NOVEMBER. SIEGE OF PARIS                                259

            CHAPTER XXX
  1870. DECEMBER. SIEGE CONTINUED                               265

            CHAPTER XXXI

            CHAPTER XXXII
  1871. FEBRUARY. PARIS AFTER CAPITULATION                      282

            CHAPTER XXXIII
  1871. MARCH. ENEMIES WITHIN PARIS                             289

            CHAPTER XXXIV
  1871-1874. DOVER--ALDERSHOT                                   293

            CHAPTER XXXV
  1874-1875. BURMAH                                             297

            CHAPTER XXXVI
  1875-1880. MADRAS PRESIDENCY--FINALE                          306

  INDEX                                                         315




  First Affghan War--Chatham--Fort Pitt--Supernumeraries--How
    appointed--Gazetted--Breaking in--Orders of readiness--Ship
    inspected--Embark--First days on board--Typical characters--
    Warmth--Our “tub”--Reduced allowances--Conditions on board--
    Amusements for men--For officers--“Speaking” ships--A dismasted
    vessel--First sense of responsibility--Indiscipline--Neptune--On
    board--Table Bay--Shore boats--Cape Town--Vicinity--Official
    duties--The ship _Lloyds_--An “old friend”--The 25th Regiment--
    The contractor--Botanic Garden--Eastward--Mutinous crew--Land
    ahoy--Terrible news--The Hooghly.

In 1841 British and Indian troops occupied Cabul; but throughout
Affghanistan the aspect of things political was alarming. In Scinde the
Ameers were defiant and hostile. The Punjab in a state of disturbance
and convulsion; law and order had ceased; isolated murders and
massacres instigated by opposing claimants to the throne left vacant
in 1839, and since that time occupied by a prince against whom the
insurrectionary movement was now directed by chiefs, some of whom were
inimical to British interests.

Military reinforcements on a large scale were dispatched from England.
Great, accordingly, the activity at Chatham, then the only depot whence
recruits and young officers were sent to regiments serving in India.
The depot then at Warley was for soldiers of the Honourable Company’s

Into the General Hospital at Fort Pitt were received military invalids
from India as from all other foreign stations. There they were treated
for their several ailments; thence discharged to join their respective
depots, or from the service on such pensions as they were deemed
entitled to by length of service and regimental character. Then the
period of engagement was for life, otherwise twenty-one years in the
infantry, twenty-four in the mounted branches.

There young medical men nominated for appointment to the army underwent
a course of training, more or less long, according to individual
circumstances, for the special duties before them; meanwhile they
received no pay, wore no uniform; they dined at mess, paid mess
subscriptions, and were subject to martial law.

Professional education included requirements for diplomas, and in
addition, special subjects relating to military medicine, surgery, and
management of troops. Nominations for appointments were given by old
officers or other men whose social position was a guarantee in regard
to character and fitness of their nominees for the position sought by
them; certificates by professors and teachers under whom they studied
were submitted to the responsible authority[1] at the War Office,
with whom rested their selection. Thus in effect a combined system of
patronage and competition was in force.

With anxious interest a small group of expectants awaited the arrival
of the coach by which in those days afternoon letters and evening
papers from the metropolis were conveyed. Eagerly was _The Gazette_
scanned when, close upon the hour of midnight, the papers were
delivered. Great was the pride and rejoicing with which some of our
number read the announcement relating to them; great the disappointment
of those who were not so included. The regiment to which I had the
honour of being appointed was the 3rd, or “Buffs,” the depot of
which formed part of the Provisional Battalion then occupying Forton

The duties assigned to young medical officers were
unimportant--initiatory rather than definite in kind. Careful watch and
superintendence on the part of official seniors gave us an opportunity
of learning various points relative to practice, as well as to routine
and discipline, to be turned to account--or otherwise--in the career
upon which we were entering. But the process of “breaking in” was not
without its disagreeables. Courtesy towards young officers on the part
of their seniors, military or medical, was a quality rare at Chatham,
but where met with in isolated instances was the more appreciated,
and remembered in subsequent years. The “system” of training in force
tended rather to break than bend the sapling.

Thus did three months pass away. Then came an order of readiness to
embark with the detachment of recruits next to sail. Although about
to proceed with those pertaining to what was now “my own regiment,”
official regulations required that my appointment to charge of them
should have the authority of “The Honourable Court of Directors,”
and that to obtain it, personal application must be made at their
old historical house in Leadenhall Street--a formality which was
gone through with ease and success. This is what the appointment in
question implied:--Not only did I receive the free passage to which I
was entitled, my daily rate of pay[3] running on the while, minus £5
deducted “for messing,” but was privileged to occupy the second best
cabin on board, and at the end of the voyage to receive in rupees a
sum equivalent to fifteen shillings per head for officers and soldiers
landed, and half a guinea for each woman and child. In those “golden
days” the sterling value of the rupee was at par.

The ordeal of “inspection” was duly performed, the requirements on
board declared “satisfactory,” the formal report to that effect
transmitted to the authorities. My personal knowledge of those
requirements was absolutely _nil_. How much more definite that of other
members of the Inspecting Committee, was soon to be judged of. For
example: side or stern ports there were none, deck ventilators being
considered sufficient. Food stores comprised casks of salted beef and
pork; tins of soup and bouillé, potatoes and other vegetables, some
dried, some tinned; pickles and lime juice, bread, otherwise hard
biscuit, destined ere many weeks had elapsed to become mouldy and
honeycombed by weevils. There were bags of flour, peas, and raisins; an
ample supply of tobacco; also of rum and porter, to be issued to the
troops as a daily ration. The water tanks and a series of casks on deck
had been filled--so it was said--from the Thames below London Bridge,
when the tide was at its lowest.

The day of departure arrived. The detachment of which I was an unit
marched away from Chatham Barracks, through Rochester, Strood, and so
by road to Gravesend. There it was conveyed on board the _Indian_;
twenty-four hours allowed us to settle down on board; the ship then
taken in tow by steamer; we are on our voyage.

A fortnight elapsed; we were no farther on our way than off the
coast of Spain. The novelties of first experience afforded subject
of observation and thought: those which most impressed us, the clear
moonlight, the starry galaxy of the heavens, the Milky Way, the
cloudless sky, the phosphorescence of the undulating sea through which
our ship slowly glided; the masses of living things, chiefly medusæ,
that floated fathoms deep in ocean. During daylight many land birds
flew over us or rested on the rigging.

Small though our party was, it comprised its proportion of men typical
in their several ways. The commander of the vessel, soured with life,
disappointed in career, tired of sea life, but unable to quit his
profession. One of the ship’s officers, a young man of deeply religious
convictions. An ancient subaltern, inured to the chagrin of having been
several times purchased over by men of less service but more fortunate
than himself in worldly means. The lady’s man, pretentious and vapid,
given to solos on a guitar; the instrument adorned with many coloured
ribbons, to each of which he attached a legend; his cabin decorated
with little bits of “work,” cards, and trinkets, for as yet photographs
had not been invented. The irascible person, ready to take offence at
trifles, and in other ways uncertain.

A month on board; the Canary Islands faintly seen in the distance.
Already heat and stuffiness ’tween decks so unpleasant that carpenters
were set to work to cut out stern ports for ventilation. Our progress
so slow that with all sails set a ship’s boat was launched, in which
some of our numbers amused themselves by rowing round the vessel.

Two months, and we still north of the Equator. Various reasons given
for tedious progress, among others light airs, contrary winds, adverse
currents. But none of these explained the fact of our being passed by
vessels, some of which, on the horizon astern of us in the morning,
were hull down on that ahead ere daylight vanished. That our ship was
alluded to as “a worthless old tub” need now be no matter of surprise.

Not more than one-third of our distance to be run as yet got over;
prospects as regarded the remainder by no means happy. The unwelcome
announcement made that all hands, including crew and troops, must
submit to reduced allowance of food and water. Of the latter, the full
allowance per head per day for cooking and all other purposes was seven
pints, now to be reduced to six. No wonder that the announcement was
not received with tokens of approval.

Looking back to conditions as described in notes taken at the time, the
contrast so presented between those which were then deemed sufficient
for troops on board ship, and those which now exist may not be without
some historical interest. Space ’tween decks so limited,[4] that with
men’s hammocks slung, those who on duty had to make their way along
at night were forced to stoop almost to the attitude of the ordinary
quadruped. The “sick bay” on the port side, close to the main hatch,
directly exposed to rain from starboard; except a canvas screen, no
separation between the quarters of unmarried and those of married; no
separate accommodation for sick women or children; no prison set apart
for the refractory. All over the ship myriads of cockroaches; these
insects, especially lively at night, supplied to men and officers
excitement and exercise, as, slipper in hand, they hunted them whenever
the pale light given by the ship’s lamps enabled them to do so.
Cleanliness of decks and fittings was to some extent effected by means
of dry scrubbing. The use of Burnett’s Solution[5] substituted the
odour of the compound so named for that of humanity. By means of iron
fumigators in which was burning tar, the atmosphere of ’tween decks was
purified, due precautions taken to minimise the risks of fire attending
the process. Tubs and hose on deck supplied ample means for the morning

A carefully chosen library provided for the use of our men was placed
on board by the Indian authorities; it was highly appreciated and
generally made use of. Among the troops, games of all sorts were
encouraged, their selection left to men’s own choice. In working the
ship ready hands were at all times available. Gymnastics and feats
of strength were in high favour, and so, with the routine of guards,
parades, inspections, and so forth, daytime was filled up. In the
evenings, songs, recitations, theatrical performances, and instrumental
music were indulged till the bugle sounded “lights out.”

Officers had their ways of passing the time. They included games,
gymnastics, bets, practical jokes (of all degrees of silliness), cock
fighting, wild and dangerous adventures in the rigging, and on Saturday
evenings, toasts, then usual on such occasions, enthusiastically
“honoured.” A weekly newspaper was set on foot; the works of Scott,
Shakespeare, and Pope, among other authors, carefully studied, and
discussions, more or less profitable, held on their contents.

Sighting, signalling, and hailing ships was a favourite amusement as
opportunity occurred. By some of those homeward bound we dispatched
letters, with passengers on board others we exchanged visits, strange
as such ceremonies may seem to those now acquainted only with modern
twenty-knot floating steam palaces. While paying such a visit to a ship
five months out from China, we learned the “news” that Canton had been
captured (on May 25-27, 1841) by the forces under command of Sir Hugh

In near proximity to the Equator we came upon a ship, the _Cambridge_,
disabled, her topmasts carried away in a sudden squall two nights
previous. The resolve to stand by and give assistance was quickly
taken. Boats were lowered, parties of sailors and recruits, accompanied
by some officers, were soon on board. Within a few hours defects were
made good as far as that was practicable; meantime night had closed in,
a somewhat fresh breeze sprung up, clouds obscured the sky, and so the
return to our ship was by no means accomplished without danger.

The distance to be got over was still great before the ship could reach
Table Bay and renewed supplies obtained. The health of all on board had
so far remained good, notwithstanding all the drawbacks experienced.
The likelihood, however, that this happy state of things might suddenly
come to an end became to me a source of what was the first sense of
official anxiety with which I had been acquainted.

Excepting two somewhat elderly non-commissioned officers, specially put
on board the better to ensure discipline among our recruits, all others
were as yet but partly tutored in military duties and order. Unwilling
obedience had from the first been shown by several of their number;
then came irregularities, quarrels, and fights among themselves. Nor
were the few married women on board ideal patterns of gentleness,
either in speech or behaviour.

Among the crew were men whose antecedents, so far as they could be
ascertained, were of the most questionable kind, and whose conduct on
board had, from the first, been suspicious. Between them and kindred
spirits among the recruits, it appeared that an understanding had
been come to to have what they called “a disturbance” on board. Those
intentions having come to the ears of the officers, with the further
information that fully ninety men were implicated, preparations were
made for emergencies: arm-racks fitted up in the saloon; fire-arms
burnished; ammunition seen to; non-commissioned officers instructed
as to their duties. But an occurrence which now happened distracted
attention from the so-called plot, whether real or imaginary did not

Our entrance into tropical latitudes, some three weeks previous, had
been duly announced by “Neptune,” who, selecting the period of first
night watch for the ceremony, welcomed us from amidst a flare of blue
lights on the forecastle, on our coming to his dominions. Having done
so, he returned to his element; his car a burning tar-barrel, which
we continued to watch as it seemed to float astern, until all was
darkness again. On board, “offerings” had to be made to the sea-god,
half-sovereigns and bottles of rum, sent to the fo’c’s’le, being those
most appreciated.

While yet in the first degree of south latitude, the sea-god,
accompanied by his court officials, announced their arrival on board,
the whole personified by members of the ship’s crew, appropriately
attired in accordance with their respective official positions. The
ceremony of “initiating” the “children” was quickly in progress, the
chief ceremonies connected therewith including shaving, “bathing,”
besides some others by no means pleasant to their subjects. One of
our young recruits strongly resisted the ordeal through which several
of his comrades had passed. He succeeded in making his escape from his
captors, and quickly mounting the ship’s railing, thence plunged into
the sea, to the consternation and horror of us all. The vessel was
instantly “put about,” a boat lowered, but search for him was in vain.
The occurrence was, indeed, a melancholy outcome of what was intended
to be a scene of amusement. But the spirits of young men were light,
and ere many hours had elapsed, the song and dance were in progress, as
if the event had not occurred. A Court of Inquiry followed in due time,
and then the incident was forgotten.

We were now approaching Table Bay. Great was the interest and
admiration with which we looked upon Table Mountain, as its grandeur
became more and more distinctly revealed. Hardly less was our estimate
of the Blue Berg range, by which the distant view was bounded. Soon we
were among the shipping, and at anchor.

Our ship was soon surrounded by boats, that seemed to come in shoals
from shore; some conveying fruit and curiosities for sale, others
suspected of carrying commodities less innocuous in kind. But sentries,
already placed at gangways and other points on deck, prevented traffic
between our men and the small craft. The aspect of boats and their
crews was alike new and strange to most of us: the former, striped with
gaudy colours, red, black, and white; the latter, representing several
nationalities, including English, Dutch, Malay, East Indian, and
typical African, their several styles of costume no less various than

Some of our number, proceeding ashore, stood for the first time on
foreign ground. Cape Town presented a series of wide, regularly
arranged streets, intersecting each other, their sides sheltered by
foliage trees. Flat-roofed houses, coated with white plaster, were
nearly invariable in their uniformity. Great wagons, drawn by teams of
oxen, from six to twelve in number--and even more--were being driven
along by Malays, armed with whips of alarming proportions; though,
fortunately for the beasts of burthen, they were little used. Crowds of
pedestrians were on the thoroughfares, interspersed with guardians of
the peace, the latter dressed after the manner of their kind in London.
It was the month of December; but the temperature was that of summer;
the heat oppressive, as we continued our excursion.

Part of that excursion was to Constantia. On the right, the great
mountain, rising to a height of three thousand feet; the space
between its base and the road along which we drove thickly covered
by forest and undergrowth, the whole comprising oaks, silver and
other pines, geraniums, pomegranates, and heaths, interspersed with
herbaceous plants bearing gorgeously coloured flowers. At intervals
there were richly cultivated fields and valleys; on or near them
attractive-looking houses, many having attached to the latter no
less handsome gardens. The road was thickly occupied by vehicles
and pedestrians; among the whites, a considerable proportion of
well-looking individuals of the fair sex. There was, in fact, a general
aspect of activity and of prosperity.

The ordeal of “reporting ourselves” to the authorities was gone
through: our reception by one, whose surname indicated Dutch origin,
ungracious and supercilious; by the departmental chief so kindly, as
by contrast to make an impression upon us, but partially inured to
official ways as we then were. Meanwhile, the necessary steps were in
progress for placing on board our ship the much-needed supplies of food
materials and of water.

Among vessels that anchored in the bay during our detention, there
was the ship _Lloyds_, having on board emigrants from England to New
Zealand. When first they began their voyage, they numbered eighty
women and 117 children; but so appalling had been the mortality among
them that, of the children, fifty-seven had died. In all parts of the
space occupied by passengers, sickness and distress in various shapes
prevailed. Children, apparently near to death, lay in cots by the side
of their prostrate mothers, whose feebleness rendered them unable to
give the necessary aid to their infants. A state of indescribable filth
existed everywhere; ventilation there was none in the proper sense.
Women and children affected with measles in very severe form, that
disease having been brought on board in the persons of some of those
embarking; others suffered from low fever, and some from scurvy, which
had recently appeared among them. The family of the medical man on
board had suffered like the others, one of his children having died.
On the deck of the ship lay two coffins, containing bodies of the
dead, preparatory to being taken on shore for burial. The entire scene
presented by the ship, the saddest with which, so far, I had become

In Table Bay we again met the _Cambridge_ already mentioned, that
vessel arriving shortly after our own had anchored. In a sense we, the
passengers of both, greeted each other as old friends; visits were
interchanged, then leave was taken of each other with expressions of
good wishes. By-and-by there came to anchor the ship _Nanking_, having
on board recruits belonging to the service of the Honourable Company.
Greetings and cheers were interchanged; for were we not all alike
proceeding on a career, hopeful indeed, but as yet uncertain?

In the Castle, a short distance from Cape Town, the 25th Regiment, or
Borderers, was stationed, and in accordance with the hospitable custom
of the time, an invitation to dinner with the officers was received
on board. The party on that festive occasion numbered seventy, the
majority guests like ourselves, and now the circumstance is mentioned
as showing the scale upon which such entertainments were given.

Invited to the house of an Afrikander Dutchman[6], we found ourselves
in large airy rooms, destitute of carpets, with polished floors; wall
space reduced to a series of intervals between doors and windows; the
arrangements new to us, but suited to climatic conditions of the place.
Little attentions shown by, added to personal attractions of, lady
members of the family naturally enough left their impression on young

Very interesting also, though in a different way, was our visit to the
house of Baron von Ludovigberg. Elegantly furnished, rooms so arranged
as to be readily transformed into one large hall, everything in and
around marking a life of ease and comfort. His garden, situated in Kolf
Street, extensive, elegantly laid out, with large collection of plants
indigenous and foreign; at intervals fountains and ornamental lakes. In
the latter were thousands of gold fish, so tame as to approach and feed
from the hand of an attendant; to the sound of a handbell rung by him
they crowded, though on seeing us they kept at a distance. To the sound
of the same bell when rung by us they would approach, but not come near
the strangers.

Our voyage resumed, away eastward we sailed. Sixteen days without
noteworthy incident; then sighted the island of Amsterdam, from which
point, as the captain expressed it, he began to make his northing.

Another interval of monotonous sea life. At daybreak we found that
in close proximity to us was a barque, the _Vanguard_, on board of
which there was disturbance amounting to mutiny among the crew. The
captain[7] signalled for assistance. A party of our young soldiers,
under command of an officer, proceeded on board, removed the
recalcitrant men to our ship, some of our sailors taking their place,
and so both vessels continued their way to Calcutta.

Again was the unwelcome announcement made that short allowance of
food and water was imminent, to be averted by progress of our vessel
becoming more rapid than it had hitherto been. The tedium of the
voyage had told upon us; idleness had produced its usual effect.
Chafing against authority and slow decay of active good fellowship
became too apparent; all were tired of each other.

Another interval. From the mast-head comes the welcome sound, “Land on
the starboard bow.” Soon we come in view of low-lying shore, over which
hangs a haze in which outlines of objects are indistinct. What is seen,
however, indicates that our ship is out of reckoning; that, as for some
time past suspected, something has gone wrong with the chronometers.
Wisely, the captain determines to proceed no farther for the present,
until able to determine our precise position. A day and night pass,
then is descried a ship in the distance westward. We proceed in that
direction, and ere many hours are over exchange signals with a pilot

Twenty-four weeks had elapsed since the pilot left us in the Downs;
now the corresponding functionary boards our ship off the Sandheads.
We are eager for news. He has much to tell, but of a nature sad as
unexpected. The envoy at Cabul, Sir William Macnaughten, murdered
by the hand of Akbar Khan; the 44th Regiment annihilated, part of a
force comprising 4,500 fighting men and 12,000 camp-followers who had
started on their disastrous retreat from Cabul towards the Khyber Pass;
one only survivor, Dr. Bryden, who carried tidings of the disaster
to Jellalabad. Another item was that several officers, ladies, and
children were in the hands of the Affghan chief.

Progress against the current of Hooghly River was slow, steam employed
only while crossing the dreaded “James and Mary” shoal; for then tugs
were scarce, their use expensive. Three days so passed; the first
experience of tropical scenery pleasant to the eye, furnishing at the
same time ample subject for remark and talk. On either side jungle,
cultivated plots of ground, palms, bamboos, buffaloes and cattle of
other kinds. In slimy ooze gigantic gavials; in the river dead bodies
of animals and human beings, vultures and crows perched upon and
tearing their decomposing flesh. Native boats come alongside; their
swarthy, semi-naked crews scream and gesticulate wildly as they offer
for sale fruit and other commodities. Our rigging is crowded with
brahminee kites and other birds; gulls and terns swarm around. The
prevailing damp heat is oppressive. Now the beautiful suburb of Garden
Reach is on our right; on our left the Botanic Garden; the City of
Palaces is ahead of us; we are at anchor off Princep’s Ghat.

The “details,” as in official language our troops collectively are
called, were transferred to country boats of uncouth look, and so
conveyed to Chinsurah, then a depot for newly arrived recruits. Our
actual numbers so transferred equalled those originally embarked, two
lives lost during our voyage being made up for by two births on board.
Sanitation, in modern significance of the term, had as substitute
the arrangements--or want of them--already mentioned; yet no special
illness occurred; my first charge ended satisfactorily.


_1842-1843. IN PROGRESS TO JOIN_

  Chinsurah--Cholera--Start--Omissions--Relics of mortality--
    Collision--Fire--Panic--Berhampore--The “garrison”--Crime and
    punishment--Civilities--Progress resumed--A hurricane--Cawnpore--
    Attached to 50th Regiment--The troops--Agra--Sind--Gwalior--39th

First impressions of this our first station in India, recorded at
the time, were:--Houses of mud, roofs consisting of reeds, fronts
open from end to end; members of families within squatting, infants
sprawling, in a state of nudity, upon earthen floors made smooth and
polished by means of cowdung applied in a liquid state; while to
outside walls cakes of the same material are in process of drying, to
be thereafter used as fuel by Hindoos. Gardens and cultivated fields
abound; flowering trees and shrubs, cocoa palms, banana bushes, clumps
of bamboo, rise above dense undergrowth of succulent plants. A heavy,
oppressive atmosphere, pervaded by odours, sweet and otherwise, has
a depressing effect, as if conditions were not altogether wholesome.
European houses according to Holland model, terraces and gardens giving
to them an attractive and elegant appearance, indicating the importance
of the place while in the hands of the Dutch, prior to date[8] of the
treaty in accordance with which it was by them exchanged for Java. An
extensive range of spacious barracks and supplementary buildings added
much to the beauty of the station.

Before many days were over several of our young lads had fallen victims
to cholera. In this our first experience of that disease we had access
to no one capable of giving aid and advice; we were left to individual
judgment, and it altogether astray as to the appropriate method in our
emergency. For a time, out of our small party death claimed several
daily victims; young wives were thus left widows, young children

Glad to receive orders of readiness to resume progress by river to next
stage of our journey. Then arrived two senior officers,--one to take
military command;[9] the other, departmental charge of our detachment.
Country boats provided as before, others of better kind for officers.
Our unwieldy fleet started at the appointed time;[10] the boats
comprising it straggled irregularly across the river, and having gained
the opposite bank, there made fast for the night.

Early next morning it was in movement. Mid-day heat became oppressive.
One of the soldiers was prostrated by cholera, another by sun fever.
Inquiry revealed the unpleasant fact that the “experienced” officer
recently appointed for the purpose had made no arrangements whatever
for sick. Those fallen ill were now sent in small boats back towards
Chinsurah; and so we continued our river progress, steps being taken to
have deficient requirements sent on without delay.

Next evening was far advanced ere they arrived. The numbers of our sick
had increased, several deaths taken place, some with appalling rapidity
in the absence of means of help. The great heat prevailing made early
interment necessary. Graves had to be hastily made in groves of trees
near the river bank; to them the dead were committed, our fleet
continuing its progress, sailing or tracking[11] according to wind and
current. After night had fallen, the blaze of funeral pyres on the
river banks told their tale of pestilence.

For several days mortality was great in our small party, and among the
native boatmen. As deaths occurred among the latter, the bodies were
simply left on the bank to be devoured by jackals, dogs, and vultures,
numbers of which were in wait for prey. Some of our boats sprung leaks,
and so became useless; nor was it an easy matter to get them replaced.
Men and stores had to be got out as best they could and disposed
of among others--proceedings by no means easy under then present

At last there came an interval in which the malign influence of our
invisible enemy seemed as if withheld. While gliding upwards against
the silent river current, suddenly from one of the men’s boats there
burst a mass of thick smoke, speedily followed by flame, and within
the space of a few minutes nothing except the charred framework
remained. How, or by what means, the occupants of the boat escaped
did not transpire; that they did so was fortunate for themselves and
satisfactory to all, though the accident, subsequently ascertained to
have resulted from their own carelessness, destroyed their entire kits
and other belongings.

Short was our respite. Suddenly and fatally was our detachment again
struck, several deaths by cholera occurring in quick succession. Our
somewhat eventful “voyage” was near its end, when in mid-stream two of
our boats came violently in collision with each other, considerable
mutual damage being the result. An unfortunate panic occurred among the
recruits on board, one of whom leapt overboard and so disappeared. Soon
afterwards our journey was at an end, it having occupied eleven days;
we arrived at Berhampore.

Near to the spacious range of barracks in which our young soldiers
were accommodated were lines occupied by a native regiment,[12]--at
that time reputed to be of distinguished loyalty to Jân Kompanee, with
whose liberal dealings towards its own proper servants all were so
well pleased. In others were invalids, soldiers’ wives and children
pertaining to regiments[13] employed in the war proceeding against
China; many as yet unaware that they had been made widows and orphans
by the climate of Chusan and coast generally.

Here the conduct of our lads--for they had scarcely become men--became
so reckless that military discipline had to be rigidly enforced, while
in many instances severe or fatal illness seemed to be the direct
result of their own misconduct. As a ready, and as thought at the
time effectual, means of coercion, corporal punishment was awarded
by courts-martial. The ordeal of being present during its infliction
was nauseating; but constituted as the detachment was, the punishment
seemed to have been in all cases well deserved.

General Raper was the officer in political charge of the Nawab of
Moorshedabad, then a boy of some ten years old. Several civilians high
in rank, and a few non-official residents, for the most part connected
with the manufacture of tussar[14] silk, resided at Berhampore. From
several of them we young officers received much attention and kindness,
not only in their own houses but on excursions organized by them for
our special benefit. Prominent among those who thus befriended us,
young “griffs” as we were, General Raper and Charles Du Pré Russell are
remembered gratefully--even while these notes are penned, many years
after the date and incidents referred to.

In due time the order arrived for us to resume our river journey,
our destination Cawnpore; again country-made boats our means of
transport. In the early days of August we started on what was to be
in many respects a monotonous voyage, though not altogether without
its excitement and stirring incidents. The general manner of our
progress was that with which we were now acquainted. We were doomed,
as before, to be at intervals stricken by cholera, which seemed to
have its favourite lurking-places, generally at the foot of a somewhat
precipitous alluvial bank. Night after night rest was disturbed or
altogether banished by the sound of tom-toms, songs, barking of dogs,
cries of jackals; sight and smell offended by funeral fires as they
blazed in near proximity to us.

More than half our journey was got over without special mishap. Our
boatmen observe that signs of coming storm appear in the sky; they
prepare as best they can, but soon the hurricane is upon us. Boats are
dashed against each other, and against the river bank; waves break over
them, tearing away their flimsy gear, battering some to pieces, their
inmates obliged to escape and save themselves as best they could. After
a time there came a downpour of rain; then gradually the storm ceased,
leaving several of our number boatless, and destitute of greater or
smaller portions of our respective kits. Among others, I suffered
considerably. A friend in need, more fortunate than myself, gave me
hospitality on his boat until sometime thereafter, when, with others
similarly situated, I chartered a budgerow. A few days after our mishap
news reached us that a similar fleet to our own, with troops,[15]
some thirty miles ahead of us, suffered very severely from the same
hurricane that had struck us, a considerable number of the men in it
having perished in the river.

Without further incident of importance we arrived at Cawnpore in the
early days of November, our journey by river having occupied more than
two months and a half, the date fourteen years before the terrible
year 1857, when that station was to acquire the sad memory ever since
associated with it. Anticipating the return to India of the force
commanded by General Pollock from Jellalabad, the march to which
place had restored British prestige from the temporary eclipse at
Jugdulluck, orders were issued to honour that army by an appropriate
military display on the left bank of the Sutlej. Among the regiments
assembled for that purpose, at Ferozepore, the then frontier station,
were the Buffs. Orders had also directed that on completion of that
duty they should march towards Allahabad and there occupy the fort, the
detachment with which I was connected joining headquarters _en route_.
For the time being we were attached to the 50th Regiment, and so
continued during the remaining four months of the cold season.

Here took place the first initiation into their several duties
connected with regimental life of the young men belonging to our
detachment, myself among them. Among the officers in the “Dirty
Half-Hundred” who had served with it during the Peninsular War, when,
on account of the continuous severe work performed by it, the corps
obtained its honourable soubriquet, three[16] remained, looked up to
with the respect due to, and then accorded to, distinguished veterans.
Alternate with duties assigned to us, amusements filled up our time
pleasantly. Gaiety was in full flow. Many were the joyous gatherings
by which were filled the Assembly rooms--some years thereafter to be
the scene of very terrible doings. Outdoor games and sports were the
order of the day, the tract of jungle in Oude that stretched along
the opposite river bank proving our most happy hunting ground. So it
was that time passed pleasantly, if in an intellectual sense not very
profitably. At the time alluded to traffic and communication with Oude
was by means of a long bridge of boats, that bridge from their attack
on which in subsequent days the Gwalior mutineers were to be driven by
the forces under Sir Colin Campbell.[17]

A large force, comprising all arms, then occupied that important
station. The impression made upon us, as for the first time we beheld
the magnificent spectacle presented by general field-day parades and
exercises, was never to be forgotten. The swarthy visages of the
sepoys; their quaint uniforms attracted our notice. The solidarity
of the 50th gave the impression of irresistible force. The rush of
cavalry, as, like a whirlwind, they went at full charge, to a great
extent concealed in a cloud of dust raised by their horses’ hoofs;
the magnificent and unsurpassed Bengal Horse Artillery, in performing
the evolutions pertaining to them,--these incidents struck us with
amazement and admiration. Little did we think that not many months
thereafter we were to be even more struck with admiration at the
brilliant performance of some of those very troops in actual fight.

A trip to Agra[18] introduced me to the experiences of _palkee dâk_.
Travelling by night, the distance got over was about fifty miles;
alongside trotted torch-carriers, the odours from those “pillars of
flame” foul and offensive. During the day a halt was made at bungalows
provided by Government for the use of travellers. Thus were four
days occupied in making a journey of two hundred miles. In and near
Agra various excursions were made and places of interest visited.
In the fort had recently been deposited the gates of Somnath,[19]
in connection with the removal of which from Ghuznee the bombastic
proclamation by Lord Ellenborough was still subject of comment. The
tomb of Akbar[20] and the exquisite Taj Mahal[21] were visited on
several occasions. The scene presented by the latter, more especially
as seen by moonlight, was extremely beautiful. The minarets and domes
of the mausoleum, consisting of pure white marble; the long avenue
of cypress trees by which it is approached; the fountains in full
play; the ornamental flower pots,--made upon us an impression never
afterwards to be forgotten.

With the regiments returned recently from Kandahar, aided by troops
from Bombay and Bengal, Sir Charles Napier undertook an expedition
against the disaffected Ameers of Scinde. In February, 1843, the
battles of Meeanee and Hyderabad ended in defeat of their forces,
Hyderabad occupied, the country being conquered during the succeeding
month of March. Of that war it was said: “The Muhamadan rulers of
Sind, known as the Ameers, whose chief fault was that they would not
surrender their independence, were crushed.”

In the neighbouring State of Gwalior events were in progress, the issue
of which was destined to affect the 39th, the 50th, and the Buffs in a
way not at the moment anticipated by either of those regiments. Early
in February, the distant boom of heavy guns intimated to us at Agra
that the Maharajah of Gwalior was dead, and had been succeeded on his
throne by his adopted son[22] in the absence of a lineal heir. In such
events there did not appear anything to interfere with the routine of
pleasure in which so many young officers indulged; that routine went on
uninterruptedly, for as yet with them the serious business of life was
in the future.

Those were indeed the days of India’s hospitality, alike in respect
to individuals and regiments. For example: Three weeks had I been an
honorary member of the “Dorsets’” mess, when the time of my departure
arrived; yet to my request for my mess bill I received the reply,
“There is none.” Among the officers whose hospitality I had so long
unconsciously enjoyed were two, father and son, both of whom I was
shortly to meet under circumstances very different from those in which
I had made their acquaintance.



  I join the Buffs--An execution parade--Remnants of 44th Regiment--
    Allahabad--Sickness--Papamow--Cobra bite--Accident--Natural
    history--Agriculture--Locusts--Hindoo girl’s song--Society--Lord
    Sahibs--Their staffs--Rumours of war--Preparations--The start--
    Affairs in Gwalior--The Punjab.

Eighteen months had elapsed since the day when we left Chatham to that
on which we joined the distinguished regiment[23] of which I was a
member, the manner of my reception kind and friendly. As the regiment
passed through Cawnpore, a short halt was ordered to take place; the
camp to be pitched on that part of the parade ground, afterwards to be
occupied by the defences in connection with which the story of General
Wheeler and his party has left so many sad associations. The object of
that halt appeared in Division Orders--the carrying into execution of
sentence of death passed by General Court-Martial on a soldier of the
regiment convicted of murdering a comrade. This was to be the first
regimental parade on which I was to appear. By sunrise the troops were
in their places, so as to form three sides of a square, the fourth
being partly occupied by the construction above which the fatal beam
and its supports stood prominent. The procession of death began its
march, the regimental band wailing forth the Dead March; then came the
coffin, carried by low-caste natives; then the condemned man, ghastly
pale, strongly guarded. Thus did they proceed until they arrived at
the place of execution. The eyes of most of us were averted, and so we
saw not the further details of the sad drama. Regiment after regiment
marched past the structure, from which dangled the body of a man;
thence to their respective barracks or tents, their bands playing
“rollicking” tunes.

Pleasant as novel were the incidents of our march eastward along
that most excellent highway, the Grand Trunk Road. The early rouse,
“striking” tents, the “fall in,” the start while as yet stars glistened
in the sky and dawn had not appeared; then came the wild note of the
coel[24] as herald of coming day; the gleam of blazing fire far ahead,
indicating where the midway halt was to take place, and morning coffee
with biscuits was in readiness for all. Resuming the day’s journey, we
reached the appointed camp ground by 8 a.m. Tents were quickly pitched
on lines previously drawn by the Quarter-master and his staff. Bath,
a hearty breakfast, duty, shooting, and other excursions occupied the
day, then early dinner, early to bed, and so ready to undergo similar
routine on the morrow. In our progress we passed through Futtehpore, a
place to be subsequently the scene of stubborn fight against mutineers
in 1857.

Attached to the Buffs were the remnants of what had been the 44th
Regiment, now consisting of a few men of whom the majority were
mutilated or suffering from bodily illness; the party under command of
Captain Souter, by whose gallant devotion to duty the regimental colour
was saved two years previous when our force was annihilated near the
Khyber by Affghans, directed by Akbar Khan.

Pârâg, as the locality of Allahabad was anciently called, is closely
connected with Hindoo tradition, and still retains a sacred character.
At the date referred to in the Ramayana it was a residence of a
Rajah of “the powerful Kosalas,” whose capital was Ajudyia, their
country the modern Oude. Here it was that Rama and Seeta crossed the
Ganges in their progress to the jungles of Dandaka, where shortly
afterwards she was captured by Ravana and carried away by him to Lunka,
otherwise Ceylon. Within the fort, now occupied by our regiment, is an
underground temple dedicated to Siva, its position believed to indicate
the point where the mythical Suruswatee joins the still sacred Ganges.
On an enclosed piece of ground stands one of six pillars assigned to
Asoka, B.C. 240, bearing an inscription of the period of Samudra Gupta,
2nd century A.D. That pillar, having fallen, was restored by Jehangir,
A.D. 1605; the fort itself captured by the English from Shah Alum, A.D.

As the hot season advanced, severe and fatal disease prevailed
alarmingly among our men, cholera and heat fever claiming victims
after a few hours’ illness. Treatment applied by the younger medical
officers in accordance with theoretical school teaching was useless,
nor was it till the regimental surgeon (Dr. Macqueen) directed us to
more practical methods that anything approaching favourable results
were attained. In these notes, however, the intention is to omit
professional matters.

A full company of our men was sent to Papamow, situated on the right
bank of the Ganges, six miles distant, the object being to afford
additional space to those within the fort. Captain Airey, in command
of the detachment, had been one of the hostages in Affghanistan to
Akbar Khan, and utilised on that occasion his culinary talents by
acting as cook to the party. For a time the men enjoyed, and benefited
by their change to country quarters. Towards the end of the rainy
season, however, malarial diseases attacked them to a degree larger in
proportion than their comrades in the fort; consequently our detachment
was ordered to rejoin Headquarters.

A good deal of freedom was allowed to the soldiers when first sent to
the country place above mentioned, one result being that crime was
next to absent from among them. A favourite amusement was shooting in
the adjoining woods and fields, and, unhappily for some of them, of
bathing, notwithstanding strict orders to the contrary, in the Ganges,
then in full flood. On one of those shooting excursions a soldier got
bitten in the hand by a cobra, the reptile being immediately killed,
and brought in with him. That the teeth penetrated was manifest by
the wounds; yet, strange to say, no serious results followed--a
circumstance accounted for only by supposing that the poison sacs must
by some means have been emptied immediately previous. Of those who
insisted on entering the river, some fell victims to their temerity.

The pursuit and study of subjects relative to natural history furnished
those of us whose leanings were in those directions with continuous
enjoyment and profitable occupation. Visits by friends and small
attempts at hospitality came in as so many pleasant interludes. When
neither of these was practicable, a good supply of books and papers
gave us variety in the way of reading.

So time passed until the month of September, when the cultivated fields
were covered by heavy crops special to this part of India. A sudden
outburst of discordant noises induces us to quit our quarters in search
of the wherefore. A dense cloud is seen in rapid advance from the
south-east; myriads of locusts, for of those insects it is composed,
alight upon and by their accumulated weight bear down the stems to
which they cling. Next day a similar flight is upon us, devouring every
green thing; eight days thereafter, a third, but it passed over the
locality, obscuring the sky as it did so.

The regimental mess house occupied an elevated position adjoining and
overlooking the Jumna, a short distance above the confluence of that
river with the Ganges, a terrace pertaining to the building being a
favourite resort whereon, in the cool of the evening, it was usual for
the officers to enjoy the refreshing breeze, when there was any, and
contemplate the unrippled surface of the deep stream as it glided past.
On one such evening, while a number of us were so enjoying the scene,
watching the lights of native boats secured for the night to either
bank, and listening to that strange mixture of sounds to which natives
give the name of music, a series of what appeared to be floating lamps
emerged from where the boats lay thickest and glided along the stream.
Here we witnessed the scene alluded to, and so graphically described by
L.E.L.[25] in her version of “The Hindoo Girl’s Song.”[26] It was, in
fact, the Dewalee Festival.[27]

Allahabad was the chief civil station in the provinces; the principal
courts were situated there, the higher officials connected with
criminal and with revenue administration having their residences
scattered over what was an extensive and ornamental settlement. Some
of their houses were noted for hospitality, and for more homely
entertainments given for the special benefit of the younger officers.
Of the latter, that of Mrs. Tayler[28] has left most pleasant
recollections, the good influence exerted by that lady making its mark
on some of us who might otherwise have had remembrances very different
in kind. Among the most esteemed of the residents was Dr. Angus, “The
Good Samaritan,” as he was called. Hospitable to all; considerate to
juniors; his good advice, and help in other ways, readily given to all
who in difficulties applied to him.

Early in October, the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Hugh Gough, arrived _en
route_ north-westward. New colours were presented by His Excellency to
a native regiment[29] of distinguished service in Affghanistan, the
event celebrated by festive gatherings, in accordance with customary
usage. On the staff of His Excellency were two officers, both of whom
subsequently attained high military distinction; the one Sir Harry
Smith, the other Sir Patrick Grant.

Reports were “in the air” that a Camp of Exercise was about to
assemble at Agra, as an experiment then tried in India for the first
time. Bazaar report had it that the Buffs were about to be ordered on
service, the scene and nature of which did not just then transpire.
Meanwhile, responsible officers “saw to” the state of “brown Bess,”
with which weapon our men were then armed; to that of ammunition,
and other necessary items of equipment. The arrival of part of the
29th Regiment, to take our place, next followed, and, simultaneously,
came an order directing the Buffs to proceed to Kalpee, on the Jumna,
thirteen days’ march distant. A few days thereafter, published orders
directed the organization of “the Army of Exercise” into divisions and
brigades; still, there was no inkling of what was about to happen.

For some time previous evidences were manifest that all was not right
in Gwalior; latterly report said that things in that State had settled
down, terms having been come to between the young Maharajah and leaders
of the disaffected. A few days thereafter, our preparations were
renewed; our weakly men, together with soldiers’ wives and children,
arranged for to be left behind, and with a fighting strength of 739
powerful and seasoned soldiers, the regiment started fit and ready for
whatever service might be required of it.

The actual state of affairs, above referred to, was briefly this:--The
young Maharajah, known as “Ali Jah Jyajee Scindia,” owed his selection
to the widow of the deceased monarch of the same name, who died
childless, she a girl aged thirteen, named Tara Bye. To the post of
Regent, Mama Sahib, an uncle of the deceased monarch, was acknowledged
by Lord Ellenborough through the Resident, against the wishes of the
Maharanee; Dada Khasjee, steward of the Household, by the Maharanee.
Thereupon, the Resident was ordered by His Excellency to quit Gwalior,
and the Dada prepared his troops to oppose forces of the Company, if
sent against him; hence the campaign now about to take place.

In the Punjab, conditions were at the same time most serious, giving
rise to expectations of armed intervention there. For example:--On
the 15th of September, 1843, was perpetrated the double murder of the
Maharajah Shere Singh[30] and his son Pertab, at the northern gate of
Lahore, the conspiracy which led up to that deed having been formed
by Dyhan Singh.[31] Next day Ajeet Singh, by whose hand the crime was
committed, together with his followers, were attacked and put to death
by Heera Singh, son of the deceased vizier, and his party. For a time
a state of anarchy, with its attendant slaughter and rapine, prevailed
within the capital. These having run their course, Dhuleep Singh, only
surviving son of Runjeet, was placed upon the throne of his father,
Heera Singh making himself vizier. Meanwhile, the Sikh or Khalasa army
had become formidable under Lal Singh, a favourite of the Ranee;[32]
as an outcome of a conspiracy among them, Heera was murdered, his
place taken by Lal.[33] Nothing could then restrain their ardour but
an expedition into British territory, for which it was well understood
that preparations were in progress. The proceedings thus alluded to
supplied ample subject for comment in the papers, and talk at social



  16th Lancers--Delhi--The city--Kutub--Feroze’s Lath--Divers--
    Muttra--Affairs in Gwalior--Army of Exercise--Halt--City of
    Krishna--River Chumbul--Across--Sehoree--Before the battle--
    Battle of Maharajpore--The 16th--“The Brigadier”--Search for
    wounded--General Churchill--Lieutenant Cavanagh--The muster-roll--
    Next night--The killed and wounded--Resume the advance--News of
    Punniar--Queen Regent--Around our camp--Gwalior--The fort--
    Disarming the conquered--Breaking up--Repassing the field of
    battle--Meerut--The welcome--Writing to the papers--Native troops--
    Hurdwar--Religious festival--The Dhoon--Return--Batta--A native
    regiment disbanded--Unrest in Punjab--Rejoin the Buffs.

On the day the Buffs began their march, I proceeded to join the 16th
Lancers, to which distinguished regiment I had been, by General Orders,
attached for duty. Ten nights were passed in travelling by palkee dâk.
In early morning of the eleventh day the Kutub was seen in bold relief
against the indistinct horizon, for the atmosphere was laden with dust.
After a little time, the Jumna was crossed by a bridge of boats; then
another interval, and I was hospitably received by Dr. Ross, to whom I
had an introduction.

Various places of interest in the imperial city were visited in turn.
The Jumna Musjid, or chief mosque, its domes and minarets imposing in
their grandeur; the balcony in the Chandee Chouk, whereon, in 1739,
Nadir Shah sat witnessing the massacre of the inhabitants; the palace
of the once “Great Mogul”; the smaller building in its garden, within
which had stood “the Peacock Throne”; the remnants of the crystal seat
upon which, in ancient times, monarchs were crowned; those of numerous
fountains; the Persian inscription, to the effect that “If there is an
Elysium upon earth, it is this.” But from the ruins around, frogs and
lizards stared at us; the once gorgeous palaces, and all that pertained
to them, were smeared over with filth.

At a distance of twelve miles from the city stands the Kutub,
surrounded by numerous remains of buildings, the road through all that
way being along a space covered by ruins of various kinds. The Cashmere
gate of Delhi by which we emerged was then noted as the place where
Mr. Fraser, Resident at the Court of the Emperor, was murdered, and
where Shumshoodeen, the instigator of that crime, was executed; it
was to become famous as the scene of severe but victorious struggle
against the mutineers in 1857. About two miles onwards stood the ruins
of an astronomical observatory, one of two of their kind in India, the
other being at Benares. A little farther on was the tomb of Sufter
Jung, minister to the princes of Delhi; then continuous ranges of ruins
until we arrive at Feroze’s Lath, a metal pillar, the history of which
is somewhat obscure, but on which marks of shot indicate attempts by
Nadir Shah to destroy it. Now we reach the Kutub, a pillar sixty-five
yards in circumference at the base, the ascent within it comprising
three hundred and twenty-nine steps, the exterior interrupted by four
terraces. Legend relates that it is Hindoo in origin; history that
its exterior ornamentation was seriously damaged by the Mahomedan
conquerors. Not far from it are the ruins of what would seem to have
been a tower of still larger dimensions. In the vicinity of the latter
a deep well, into which from a height of sixty feet natives dived,
performing strange evolutions in mid-air as they did so.

From Delhi to Muttra the journey was made along by-paths across
country. In camp near the latter-named city were the 16th, commanded by
Colonel Cureton, and there I joined them. The fact had meantime been
promulgated that the destination of “the Army of Exercise” was to be
Gwalior. The force so named, 30,000 strong, was to be divided into two
wings or corps, to enter that State simultaneously from two directions.
That from the south and eastward comprised the Buffs, 50th Regiment,
9th Lancers, Artillery, Native Cavalry, and Native Infantry; that from
the west, the 16th Lancers, 39th and 40th Regiments, a strong force of
Artillery, 1st and 10th Regiments of Native Cavalry, 4th Irregulars,
and several regiments of Native Infantry.

While arrangements for active movements were being matured, those of
us on whom as yet cares of office had not descended, passed our time
in visiting places of interest in and near the cities of Muttra and
Bindrabund, both held sacred by Hindoos in relation to the life of
Krishna. In the last-named city we were only permitted to approach the
principal temple that stood close to its entrance gate, but from the
distance we could see, stretching far away as it seemed to us, the
vista of its interior, dimly lighted by hanging lamps; at its extreme
end the emblem of the deity to whom it was dedicated, resplendent with
gems and precious stones. Everywhere along the narrow streets and from
the flat roofs of their houses armies of “sacred” baboons grinned and
chattered at us. A picnic to some characteristically Indian gardens[34]
adjoining the banks of the Jumna furnished us with another pleasant

The division of the force of which the 16th were part resumed its
march; in three days arrived at its assigned position not far from Agra
and there encamped, pending the result of an ultimatum dispatched by
the Governor-General to the disaffected Gwalior leaders. Meanwhile,
arrivals of the high civil and military officials, additions to the
force, salutes and festivities afforded all of us pleasant occupation
and variety.

The answer of the chiefs arrives; its terms are defiant. War against
the State immediately proclaimed[35] by Lord Ellenborough; portions of
the force put in motion towards the river Chumbul, among them the 16th.
The appointed rendezvous near Dholpore is speedily reached, and there
we encamp.

A vakeel arrives in camp, bearer of a dispatch by which the leaders of
Gwalior rebels submit proposals for peace, on their own terms. They are
at once refused. By daybreak next morning the force is in motion. Three
hours suffice for crossing the Chumbul, an operation effected without
important incident; establishments follow without delay; camp is
pitched on hostile territory. The aspect of our position and immediate
vicinity presents uneven ground, intersected by deep ravines, destitute
of roadways. Our halt is of short duration. Early next morning the
force emerged on open country; in due time arrived in near proximity to
the village of Sehoree, and there encamped.

Meanwhile, information was received that Gwalior forces were
rapidly concentrating in our front. Officers on the staff of our
Quartermaster-General reconnoitred the country to a radius of ten miles
and more around our camp. Soon the “Chief”[36] issued orders that the
march should be resumed next day, and the Mahrattas attacked if met

Conversation at mess turned upon the probable events so soon to
transpire; extemporised plans by individual officers indicated the
several views they entertained of what was to happen. The very
young expressed hopes that the enemy would show good fight; some of
their number speculated on the chances of promotion before them.
Then broke in one of the seniors, who had gained experience of war
in Affghanistan: “I have just been employed in making a few little
arrangements in case of accidents.” “Highly proper,” remarked another
“for no one knows what to-morrow may bring forth.”

At daylight on December 29 our force began its advance, its manner of
distribution to make an attack simultaneously on front and flank of the
position known to have been occupied by the Mahrattas the previous
evening. But during the night they had taken up a new position,
considerably in advance, and from it unexpectedly opened fire on our
leading columns. The general force was at once directed upon the new
position. Horse Artillery commanded by Captain Grant[37] at full gallop
rode directly at the Gwalior battery; opened fire upon it with crushing
effect, and within the space of a few minutes reduced it to silence.
Having done so, away again at full gallop Captain Grant led his battery
against one on the left of the former, that had meanwhile opened upon
us, our infantry columns plodding their way, slowly but steadily,
against its line of fire. Very soon that battery also was silenced.
The infantry were at work with the bayonet with terrible effect upon
the enemy, with very heavy loss to our own forces, in men, horses, and
ammunition. A third battery began its deadly work upon other bodies of
infantry, in motion onwards. Again Captain Grant led his troop against
it with the same result; then arrived the infantry, including the 39th
and 40th British regiments; then hand-to-hand conflict, and then--the
positions were in the grasp of our forces.

While thus the conflict raged fiercely, the 16th, led by Colonel
Rowland Smyth,[38] together with the two cavalry regiments[39] brigaded
with them, were ordered to sweep round the rebel camp, cut off,
destroy, or disperse those who, driven from their guns, might take to
flight. The Lancers dashed onwards at the charge, the bright steel and
showy pennants of their weapons seeming to skim the ground, while at
intervals stray rebels fell lifeless. The Gwalior men, anticipating
such a manœuvre, had taken precautions against its complete success;
the position for heaviest guns selected by them had along its front a
ravine of great breadth and depth. Upon its edge the cavalry suddenly
came, nor is it clear by what means they escaped being precipitated
into it. There was for a moment some confusion as the halt was sounded;
eighteen guns directly in front, six others in flank sent their
missiles through our ranks or high above them. To remain exposed to
risks of more perfect practice would serve no good purpose; there
was no alternative but to retire. The infantry were seen advancing;
down one side of the ravine, lost to sight; up the further side, then
onwards, into the batteries, and then--the fight was won.

When at first the 16th took the position assigned to them on the
field, it may have been that my endeavours to discover what was
subsequently called “the first line of assistance” were unsuccessful;
it may have been that they were not very keenly made, at any rate
“the Brigadier”--for so was named the troop horse I rode--knew his
right place in the ranks, and so enabled me to witness the events now

Returning to my proper duties, I joined the parties who traversed the
field of battle in search of wounded. Great, alas! was the number who
lay prostrate,--many dead, many more suffering from wounds. Among the
latter was General Churchill, his injuries of a nature to make him
aware that speedy death was inevitable. While being attended to with
all possible care, he requested me to take charge of the valuable watch
he wore, and after his demise to send it to his son-in-law, Captain
Mitchell[40] of the 6th Foot, at that time serving in South Africa.
During the night he died, and his request was carried out by me.

At a short distance lay, in the growing crop that covered the field of
battle, Lieutenant Cavanagh of the 4th Irregulars, loudly calling to
attract attention, supporting by his hands a limb from which dangled
the foot and part of the leg, his other limb grazed by a round shot
which inflicted both wounds, and passed through his horse, now lying
dead beside him. He was taken to the hospital tents, where meanwhile
wounded soldiers and officers in considerable numbers had accumulated.
The surgeons’ work begun, three[41] of us mutually assisted each other.
The turn of Lieutenant Cavanagh to be attended to having come, he
made a request that we should “just wait a bit while he wrote to his
wife,” for he had recently been married. This done, he submitted to
amputation, and during that process uttered no cry or groan, though
nothing in the shape of anæsthetic was given, nor had chloroform as
such been discovered; then, during the interval purposely permitted
to elapse between the operation and final dressing, he continued his
letter to his young wife, these circumstances illustrating the courage
and endurance so characteristic among men (and women) at the time
referred to. His case was one of many men who had to be succoured that

Meanwhile the force was in process of encamping on the field so
gallantly won; the 16th paraded for roll call, the band of the regiment
playing “The Convent Bells,” the notes of which long years thereafter
recalled the day and occasion. Casualties[42] among the men were
only nine; but among the horses more numerous than they had been at
Waterloo, where as Light Dragoons the 16th so highly distinguished

The arduous and responsible work of the day over, those of us who
could do so withdrew to our tents, our hearts full of gratitude to
the Almighty for individual safety, there to obtain such measure of
rest and quiet as under the circumstances was procurable; for all
through the evening and early hours of night the bright glare from
burning villages, the dense smoke from others, the dull heavy sound
of exploding mines made the hours hideous. Such was the battle of

During the evening the mangled remains of what in the morning had been
a band of brave men were committed to earth. With returning daylight
the same sad task was continued, all possible honour being shown to the
dead according to the rank they had held, from that of General Officer
in the person of General Churchill, who had succumbed in the course
of the night, to that of the private soldier. Meantime, in tents the
work of attending to the wounded went steadily on. There, officers and
men whom we personally knew, lay helpless; among them Major Bray, of
the 39th, and his son in adjoining cots, the former terribly burnt by
the explosion of a mine, the life-blood of the latter ebbing through a
bullet-wound in his chest.[44] And there were many other very painful
instances, to the aid of whom our best endeavours had to be directed.

It was for the time being impossible to carry on with the army, in its
further advance, the large number of wounded with which it was now
encumbered. A guard sufficiently strong to protect the extemporised
field hospital having been detailed, the general force resumed its
march, the intention being to press on as rapidly as possible to the
capital. Along a tract of soft sandy country, oppressed by heat,
exhausted by the fatigue of the previous day, the troops plodded their
weary way, in their progress passing many relics of the recent fight,
including shot, arms, shreds of clothing, dead bodies of animals and of
men, etc.

At last the halt resounded from trumpet and bugle; for a time we rested
as best we could, and then the tents having arrived we encamped. Some
further delay was rendered necessary by circumstances. During that and
the succeeding day information was received in camp that while the
battle was proceeding in the vicinity of Maharajpore, an engagement
equally formidable took place between the Mahrattas and the force under
General Grey at Punniar, on the eastern border of the Gwalior State;
that in it the Buffs had sustained a loss in killed of one officer
and thirteen men, in wounded of three officers and sixty men,--the
casualties in the 50th being equally numerous.

The arrival in camp of the Queen Regent, together with her Sirdars,
and the young Maharajah, the salute on the accession of whom some
ten months previous has been already mentioned, caused no little
excitement, and at the same time much speculation among us. Later on,
however, the report spread that the result of their interview with the
Governor-General was by both parties deemed satisfactory.

As some among us took rides in different directions around our camp,
not an armed man was met with. In some of the villages visited
individuals who had escaped the carnage of the previous day were found
lying more or less completely stripped of clothing, and wounded, some
of them dead. The villagers had fallen upon the fugitives, robbed them
of all they possessed, then turned them adrift. They had failed, and
they paid the penalty of failure.

The march resumed, the force in due time reached the immediate vicinity
of Gwalior, and there encamped. The huge fortress seemed to tower
above us, while the neighbouring hills looked as if from their summits
a well-directed fire could have swept the country to a considerable
distance around. Within a couple of days arrived the force under
General Grey and the Seepree contingent under Brigadier Stubbs.
Negotiations had so far advanced that the latter took possession of the
fort, the camp of the former adding very considerably to the dimensions
of the great canvas city already existing. Rapidly and completely did
the routine of life to which for some time past we had been accustomed
undergo a change: complimentary visits and entertainments, each
regiment entertaining every one else and being in turn entertained by
them. By the high officials durbars and receptions were held, to which
ceremonials Representatives of Gwalior having given their presence,
the fact that they did so indicated that the end of our expedition was

Connected with the strong fortress by which the city of Gwalior is
dominated were many points of interest; among them the general aspect
of decay as seen from without, the tortuous narrow lane that leads to
it, the steep and difficult flight of stone steps by which the ascent
must be made, and powerful gates that seemed to lead but to a mass
of ruins. Within the defences we were face to face with remains of
temples, pillars, and arches pertaining to edifices of the Jains;[45]
there were remains of what had been reservoirs of large dimensions and
beautiful workmanship, in some portions of which clear water glistened
in the sunlight. Only one piece of ordnance was met with; it was an
ancient gun, seventeen feet in length, and apparently capable of
discharging a fifty-eight pound shot.

The process of disarming the Gwalior troops was next
performed--somewhat slowly at first, and not without some risk of
difficulty, but more rapidly as information circulated among them that
they were to receive all arrears of pay due, and a certain number of
them taken into the service of “the Company.”[46] Then did they march
to the places assigned to them in battalions, their bands playing what
was intended to be “God Save the Queen”; finally laying down their arms
and surrendering their colours, all of which, packed on elephants, were
taken to the fort. The artillery and cavalry gave theirs up elsewhere.

The wounded from different regiments were collected in camp,
those among them fit to undergo the journey towards Allahabad
being dispatched thither by means of doolies and native carts
(hackeries),--the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, as expressed by
himself, being that their progress thither should be by “easy stages
and intermediate halts.” From Allahabad they were to be conveyed by
means of native boats to Calcutta, and there embarked on board one
or more of the most comfortably and well-equipped ships proceeding
viâ the Cape to England. For those whose condition was more serious,
accommodation was provided in camp, and in public buildings outside
the city of Gwalior. Among those so left were three respected
officers of the Buffs. Of these, Captain Chatterton and Dr. Macqueen
shortly afterwards succumbed to the disease--induced by the trials of
active service. The death of the third--namely, Captain Magrath--was
attended by a little circumstance which showed that the spirit of
romance persisted to the last in him. During the battle at Punniar,
he, together with thirteen men of his company, were blown up by the
explosion of a tumbril that they were in the act of capturing. Captain
Magrath and twelve of the soldiers with him speedily succumbed, or
were instantly killed. When his body was being prepared for burial,
there, over the region of the heart, was found a lady’s glove; nor was
it difficult, bearing in mind some of the most pleasant incidents at
Allahabad already recorded, to indicate the hand to which the memento
originally pertained.

A general parade of the combined forces now took place. On that
occasion the young Maharajah accompanied the Governor-General, by whom,
in the course of his address, sufficient was expressed to raise hopes
that further service on the Punjab frontier was to be immediately
undertaken. But this was not to be.

Disintegration of “the Army of Exercise” forthwith began, in obedience
to orders issued. Starting on their return march, the 16th traversed
the field on which, twenty-nine days previous, the battle already
mentioned had taken place. At short distances over its extent lay
bodies of men and horses far advanced in decomposition; fragments of
natives and equipments everywhere. The village of Maharajpore reduced
to charred ruins; in their midst numbers of dead bodies of those who
had so manfully stood their ground and perished as they did so. In
what had been a room or enclosure a confused heap of what had been
men further testified to the obstinacy of the defence. In some places
miserable-looking inhabitants were searching among the ruins for
property and houses. Such was the wreck of battle.

Thence to Meerut the march of the Lancers was uneventful. Halts for a
day were made respectively at Hattras and Alighur, associated as those
places are with early campaigns of the century. At the latter fortress
we visited the gate and approach thereto through which was made the
historic charge by the 76th Regiment;[47] then the monument to officers
and men who fell on that occasion, and at Laswaree soon thereafter.
Twenty days _en route_; the 16th re-enter Meerut, whence they had
started on service now happily performed. Very touching were meetings
between wives and their husbands; though to younger and less thoughtful
men the full significance of husband and father restored to those
dependent on him had yet to be realized.

A series of entertainments, including regimental dinners and a station
ball, welcomed the return to cantonments of the 16th and troop of Horse
Artillery, now under Captain Alexander, that had so much distinguished
itself at Maharajpore. Preparations rapidly pushed on for the annual
race for “the Lancer Cup,” and all seemed to settle down for the hot
season of 1844, then fast approaching.

A young (Artillery) officer had the indiscretion to write to the
papers a severe criticism--from his point of view--on the tactics
to which, according to himself, was due the heavy cost in killed
and wounded at which the recent victory had been gained. A second
officer made open boast of the help he had given in preparing that
letter, and both of them boasted pretentiously of what they had done.
But soon the attention of the “authorities,” including the venerable
Commander-in-Chief, was drawn to the comments in question, with the
result to the subalterns concerned that, as expressed at the time, they
were “come down upon like a sledge-hammer.” Popular verdict declared
that the example set by them, if followed, would destroy all discipline.

The date on which, according to ancient custom, the great Hindoo
religious festival of the year was to be held at Hurdwar was near at
hand. As on similar occasions, arrangements were made to send to that
place a small body of native troops, those detailed for the purpose
being men of the 53rd N.I. and 10th Cavalry, I placed in departmental
charge. Our march thither began in the middle of March. As we
proceeded, we went along through a highly cultivated country, many of
the fields covered with “golden grain,” for it was the season of barley
harvest. More and more distinct became the snowy peaks and precipices
of the Himalayahs; denser and more dense the masses of pilgrims toiling
their weary way to the sacred shrine, for the occasion was that of the
greater fair known as Kumbh Mela, held every twelfth year.[48]

Situated directly on the right bank of the Ganges, where that river
emerges from the Himalayahs, the surroundings of Hurdwar are extremely
beautiful, comprising hill, valley, forest, and stream. At short
intervals temples stand; ghats or steps that lead downward to the
sacred stream are crowded with devotees. In the clear, rapid stream,
men, women, children, and fish commingle--for, like the river, the fish
are sacred. The hills immediately behind the town are of the Sewalik
range. Along their face occur a series of what were roads, though now
scarcely deserving the name; on either side of them are veritable rock
dwellings, now occupied by Fakeers. To the geologist the same range
has interest connected with the remains of extinct animals contained
therein; among them, of Ganesa’s elephant, that lived, died, and became
imbedded in marshes subsequently to be upheaved and so form the range
referred to.

On this occasion[49] an estimated number of two hundred thousand
persons were assembled on and in the immediate neighbourhood of the
ghats to take part in what was called “the great celebration.” At a
given signal by the Brahmin priests, the masses precipitated themselves
into the river, there to perform their religious ceremonies. Of the
number who did so, about fifteen thousand were women; but it was said
that during some previous years female devotees had been fewer than
heretofore. After nightfall the river was illuminated by floating lamps
as already described in reference to the Jumna at Allahabad, the scene
presented being, as on that occasion, very beautiful.

An excursion to a distance of twenty miles or so up the valley of the
Dhoon, undertaken for the combined purposes of shooting small game and
relaxation, introduced us to surroundings very beautiful in themselves,
full also of living things, animal and vegetable, most interesting to
lovers of Nature. From the point reached by us a striking view was
obtained of the ranges on which stand respectively the sanatoria of
Landour and Mussoorie, and in the further distance snow-covered peaks
of the Himalayahs.

The _mela_ or festival, over, without mishap or outbreak of special
sickness, our return march took place. The mid-day heat had become
great; we were therefore glad to be again within comfortable houses
at Meerut, provided with thermantadotes and tatties;[50] and so the
temperature reduced from 105° F. in the open to 76° F. indoors.

Not long thereafter the greater number, if indeed not all of us,
were gratified on reading, in Government Orders, the announcement
that officers and men who had been present at the battles of Meeanee
or Hyderabad, recently fought in Scinde, Punniar, or Maharajpore in
Gwalior, were granted as a donation one years’ batta, amounting in my
instance, with relative rank of lieutenant, to Rs.700--a very welcome

Certain native regiments were at this time ordered to the first-named
country. Rumour spread that peace having been established therein, the
extra allowances granted to troops while war was in progress was to be
discontinued. In the regiments alluded to insubordination immediately
showed itself, in at least one of them to a degree bordering on mutiny.
A general parade was ordered; the disaffected corps so placed as to be
in face of artillery, on either side cavalry and infantry; thereupon
the sepoys belonging to it laid down their arms, after which they were
paid up to date and escorted out of the station. The officer commanding
another corps took upon himself to get rid of the ringleaders without
waiting for official authority for so doing. Thus was suppressed what
for the moment threatened to become a somewhat difficult state of
matters. This was in 1844. The terrible events of 1857 at the same
station were in the future.

The state of unrest with reference to affairs in the Punjab continued
to increase, the likelihood of war next cold season appearing the
greater from the facts that military stores were ordered to be
collected at Umballah and Ferozepore, means of transport arranged for,
and troops of various arms warned to proceed towards the frontier.
Meanwhile, Lord Ellenborough was recalled, and Lord Hardinge reigned as
Governor-General in his stead.

At the end of April, in obedience to orders, I started away to rejoin
the Buffs, who had returned to Allahabad. The first part of the journey
thither was performed by horse transit, then recently introduced--the
palanquin placed upon a four-wheeled truck or cart, drawn by a single
horse at the rate of seven miles per hour; for as yet railways had
not been introduced into India. The latter part of the journey was by
ordinary “palkee dâk”; and so, in due course, I was again with the
happy regiment to which properly I belonged.



  In charge--Routine--Orders for England--Volunteering--Getting
    reckless soldier--Corporal punishment--Berhampore--A Gwalior
    hostage--Plassee--Transport--Party of 10th Regiment--“Rejected”--
    Chandernagore--Calcutta--Preparations--The bronze star--The
    “Monarch”--St. Helena--Garrison--Slave ships--Longwood--Napoleon’s
    grave--Courage at sea--England.

Routine of duty, and responsibilities connected with what was called
“full charge” of the regiment, now devolved upon me. Much had to be
learnt in respect to official matters relating to my new position,
nor could it be so except from so-called “subordinates” attached in
those days to hospitals pertaining to British troops; to them I had,
therefore, to refer, and from them gain needed information.

The aspect of cantonments during the next few months much resembled
that of the previous hot season: pleasure and gaiety at suitable times,
but not to interfere with duty. Among the soldiers unhappily there
occurred, as before, great sickness and mortality, the line of new-made
graves in the cemetery filled the previous year, and then numbering
sixty, being duplicated and exceeded by one on this occasion.

Late in September, orders of readiness to proceed to Calcutta, there to
embark for England, were appreciated in different senses by the younger
officers and by the older, the latter contrasting in their minds their
relative rates of pay in India, where the rupee had its standard value,
and at home. With few exceptions the juniors expressed themselves as
delighted at the prospect.

Then came the customary order that, prior to its departure, men
who so desired should be given the opportunity to _volunteer_ from
the regiment to certain specified corps whose period of service in
India had yet some years to run. A special officer was appointed to
superintend the proceeding. Applicants for the privilege were subjected
to physical examination; their defaulter sheets and “small books”
looked at, after which, if deemed eligible, and under forty years of
age, they were accepted, and received a bounty equivalent in amount
to £3 sterling. To those whose age exceeded that limit no bounty was
officially given, but a corresponding sum was granted from regimental
funds as they existed at the time. As an unfortunate part of the
system the canteen was kept open throughout; there the bounty money
was quickly spent, with the result that throughout the week devoted
to “volunteering” scenes of irregularity became numerous; parades and
discipline were in abeyance, drunkenness and riot took their places.

As the arrival of our regiment, and its return from active service, had
been made the occasion for a round of entertainments, so was now its
prospective departure; civil officials and officers of native regiments
joined in turn to show attention to the Buffs, and thus testify good
fellowship and friendly sentiments towards the corps. Then came the
final official ordeal; namely, inspection by the venerable officer
commanding the Division. General Watson, then said to be of the old
school, had seen much war service; personally amiable, but so full of
years that, on the occasion of the parade in question, he was unable
to mount a horse, and so perforce witnessed the formality of the march
past while he remained on foot.

Boats of the kinds already described now lay ready moored to the
bank of the Jumna for our reception. The General gave as a last
entertainment a sumptuous _déjeûner_, to which were invited the
principal officers, civil and military, of the station. Healths
proposed and drunk to in champagne; good wishes expressed;
leave-takings gone through; then all take their respective places;
bands play “Auld lang syne,” “The girls we left behind us,” “Home,
sweet home,” etc.; we are speedily on board; the moorings untied; the
“fleet” in movement with the placid stream; from the ramparts of the
fort heavy guns fire a “Royal salute” in honour of our regiment. Thus
begins the journey homewards.[51]

We are speedily at the fort of Chunar, built by the Mahomedan
conquerors of India, from Hindoo temples destroyed for that purpose;
captured by Major--afterwards Sir Hector Monro in 1764,[52] but still
held semi-sacred by the descendants of those whose shrines were so
desecrated. On an open tract of ground in its near vicinity, a series
of barracks and small houses were occupied by pensioners of the East
India Company.

Benares, viewed from the Ganges, is picturesque, and in some respects
beautiful. Houses of red sandstone, their fanciful windows, projecting
balconies, and flat roofs, giving to them a character all their own.
The city extends from the very edge of the river; its numerous temples
and ghats--the latter crowded with devotees and others, wearing
garments of many colours, giving the scene a picturesque aspect. Some
of the temples and ghats present a dilapidated appearance; but others,
especially that of Visheswar--dedicated to Siva--is resplendent with
gold gilding. Another striking object is the Mosque of Arungzebe,
erected in the reign of that monarch from Hindoo temples destroyed for
that purpose. Near the golden temple, in the heart of the city, is the
no less famous well, named after Manic Karnik, believed by votaries
to be filled with “the sudor of Vishnu,” and at its bottom to contain
Truth. At a short distance is the Astronomical Observatory, erected by
Jai Singh, A.D. 1693.

History records that this ancient city continued during many
generations to be the metropolis of Aryan civilization in India. It
was at Sarnath, a suburb of Kasi, as Benares was then called, that in
the sixth century B.C. Gautama preached the doctrines of Karma[53]
and Nirvana.[54] There Buddhism assumed its sway, which it retained
till the fourth century A.D., when it gave way before a revival of
Hindooism, in regard to which religion Benares has ever since been
considered its most sacred city.

Here we first witnessed the celebration of the Ramdeela festival. It
consists in a representation of the more important incidents connected
with the abduction of Sita; the chase, the siege, and capture of
Ravanu’s stronghold; her rescue, the ordeal of fire, to test her
purity, and reception by Rama. As noted at the time, the performances,
interpreted by the light of legend, gave to them considerable interest.

Resuming our river journey, we met a fleet of boats similar to our own,
having on board a party of the 29th Regiment, in progress towards the
north-west. The effective portion of the regiment was marching to its
destination from Ghazepore, at which place it had been stationed during
the two years it had been in India. From a strength of close upon
1,200, it had been in that short time reduced, by fever and cholera, to
little over 400 effectives. Alas! out of those remaining, great were to
be the losses at Ferozeshah, and other frontier battles, then in the
near future.

There was nothing in the aspect of Ghazepore, or the buildings
connected with it, to account for the havoc in life and health
sustained by the 29th Regiment. A large extent of grass-covered plain
separates the station proper from the river. On it stands a monument,
erected in memory of Lord Cornwallis,[55] who died near this place,
while in progress up the Ganges. That monument, surrounded by tamarisk
bushes, above which its summit rises, bears upon it a memorial figure
by Flaxman. The range of barracks and the church are the only other
buildings that are immediately seen. A visit to the native town brought
us to the ruins of what had been the palace of Mir Cossim Ali Khan,
whose forces were defeated, and power destroyed, at Buxar, in 1764,
by Major Munro. The graceful proportion of its pillars, arches, and
general aspect struck us forcibly, though the building itself is in a
state of decay, as are also the numerous smaller ranges by which, in
former days, it was surrounded; nor is it more than eighty years since
that decay began. Other points of interest connected with Ghazepore
include the growth and manufacture of poppy and opium, roses and
their otto. A breeding stud for cavalry and artillery horses is here
maintained by Government.

Buxar, our next halting place, was one of three places at which
breeding studs were maintained by “the Company,” the other two being
Ghazepore, already mentioned, and Haupur. It would appear, however,
that all these are insufficient to meet the requirements of the army,
and that consequently importation of horses from the Cape and Australia
has had to be resorted to.

Dinapore, then occupied by European[56] artillery, one British and
three native regiments of infantry, for the assigned purpose of
guarding against possible incursion by the Nepaulese, whose relations
towards the Government of India were somewhat strained. It was said
that for a number of years the terms of the Treaty of 1816 between Sir
David Ochterlony and the chief of the Ghoorkas were faithfully adhered
to by the latter; but that in recent times signs of disaffection had
begun to show themselves. As an outcome of the Treaty in question, some
of the Nepaulese took military service under the Company, they being
enrolled in what became known as Ghoorka regiments. For some reason,
the nature of which did not transpire, several days elapsed before our
journey was resumed.

Impressions of the place were not particularly favourable; that it
has attractions of a kind, however, seems evident, as families and
various retired officers were said to make it their residence. A few
miles distant is the city of Patna--Pataliputra of the Hindoos, and
Palibothra of the Greeks--famous in relation to British history as the
scene of murder by Kossim Khan, in 1763, of 200 Englishmen, besides
2,000 sepoys; to become again noted in connection with events of 1857.
On our way to and from that city we noticed by the roadside the now
disused grain store, erected in 1769-70, to receive grain against
the great famine then prevailing in Behar, in respect to which it is
related that “the tanks were dried up, the springs ceased to reach the
surface, and within the first nine months of 1770 one-third of the
population of Lower Bengal were carried off by want of food.”

The 62nd, occupying barracks at Dinapore, entertained the officers of
the Buffs on a scale of hospitality and in a manner to be compared only
with regimental festivities pictured in the works of Charles Lever.
“The Springers,” as in those days they loved to be called, were under
orders for Umballah, much delighted at prospects of service therein
implied; for the state of affairs in the Punjab, already mentioned,
had from day to day continued to increase in gravity. The feeling of
gallant hilarity was expressed in a somewhat demonstrative manner in
extemporary song by one of their officers in early morning hours, while
mess had not yet broken up.[57] Of our festive hosts on that occasion
scarcely one was alive fourteen months thereafter.

Resuming our journey, our fleet was moored about sunset under a
somewhat high alluvial bank, such as in this part of the river course
are of frequent occurrence. To several of our soldiers the result was
fatal; during the night cholera attacked with violence, and claimed
them as victims. As we continued on our way next day the malady seemed
to be left behind us.

Monghyr, at which we speedily arrived, is interesting in several
respects. To the cession of its rather imposing fort was immediately
ascribed the massacre of our countrymen at Patna, as already mentioned.
Near this place, in the year of that occurrence, 1763, a mutiny
occurred, in which not only native but also European troops were
concerned, nor was it until several of their number had been blown from
guns by order of Major Munro, already mentioned, that the outbreak was

At this place more hospitality was shown us. While yet at some
distance from our halting ground, an invitation reached the regiment
from Mr. Hodson, then occupying the position of Joint Magistrate and
Collector, that officers should dine with him; while to the soldiers,
“refreshments” would be served on tables arranged for the purpose as
near as possible to the boats. Thus did our host express the compliment
he desired to show the regiment, and very highly were his successful
endeavours appreciated.

Our next halting place was Bhaugulpore. There, in 1827, the Buffs were
stationed, while as yet our frontier line was comparatively little
advanced,--Bhurtpore only the previous year captured. In the range of
hills that thence extend in a south-westerly direction are various
wild Santhal tribes, very low in civilization, devil-worshippers by
custom;[58] their weapons were chiefly bows and arrows; their own
ethnic alliance believed to be Dravidian.

At the time referred to the number of steamers on the Ganges was small;
the length of inland voyage from three to four weeks. Officers and
others availing themselves of that mode of transit considered that they
were travelling “by express.” It was customary with some to spend the
period of sick leave, extending in certain instances to six months,
on board comfortably fitted up “budgerows” on the river; tradesmen
also arranged the kind of boat so called as travelling shops, and
these different classes of persons and craft gave certain variety to
our river voyage. Arrived at Rajmahal, the former capital of Northern
Bengal, but now a ruined mass out of which stood a few broken shafts
of what had been pillars of black marble. The ruined palace dates
back only to A.D. 1630. Sultan Shujah, by whom it was founded, elder
brother of Arungzebe, was at the time Governor of Bengal. He was soon
thereafter deposed by the latter-named monarch; fled to Arracan, and
there perished miserably. When visited by Bishop Heber, the ruins of
the palace were in comparatively good preservation; subsequently,
however, their materials were utilised in the construction of the
magnificent palace of Moorshedabad.

Two incidents now occurred, each characteristic in its way. A soldier
having clandestinely obtained bazaar spirit, was thereby rendered drunk
and desperate; boasting of his courageous deeds, he was challenged
to “take a header” into the Ganges. He did so, and appeared no more.
The other was the infliction of one hundred lashes on the back of a
hardened old offender, simply as punishment, for none of those who knew
the man expected that it would have any deterrent effect in the future.

Entering the Bhauguruttee branch of the Ganges, our fleet was soon
at Berhampore,[59] whence I had started up the river little more than
two years previous. Again, but now as one of a body of officers, I
partook of hospitality shown to the whole regiment by General Raper.
A breakfast given at the palace of the Nawab;[60] excursions by land
and river, presentation to His Highness, permission to visit different
parts of his palace, including jewel-room and its contents, were so
many items connected with ovation given to us as representatives of a
distinguished regiment. All this was wound up by dinner at the house of
the General, followed by a “Reception,” during which I had the pleasure
of again meeting some “old” friends.

Among the guests at that Reception was “the Khasjeewalla of Gwalior,”
implicated, as we have seen, in the disturbances that led to the
recent campaign in that State. For a time he was interned at Agra,
but latterly had been “at large,” under surveillance of our host; his
demeanour towards those by whom the victory at Punniar was gained, by
no means agreeable; but under the circumstances anything else could
hardly have been looked for.

Resuming our journey, we soon arrived at and glided past the village of
Plassee,[61] but the actual field so named had long since been swept
away by the river by which we were being carried along. At Kulnah,[62]
indications of flow and reflux of the tide were evident. There we met
the fleet of boats, similar to our own, by which the 10th Regiment was
being conveyed inland. Mutual salutations passed between us, but little
at the time thought I of close association subsequently in store for me
in relation to it. A short distance more, and we passed the village of
Balaghurree, its inhabitants, those and their descendants, who, having
been left by their relatives to die by the side of the river, were
rescued through the good offices of missionaries.

We were nearing the end of this river journey. In quick succession
our fleet glided past the important native towns of Bandel, noted
on account of its Roman Catholic convent; Hooghly, for its college;
and Chinsurah, already mentioned. Now we were off Chandernagore, on
the battlements of which waved the tricolour. In 1757 that little
settlement was captured from the French by Clive, aided by Admiral
Watson, who, for the attack, brought thither his frigate carrying
seventy-four guns--a feat not now possible because of the silting up of
the river. The place was shortly afterwards restored to the French, to
again fall to the British during the Revolutionary War, and finally to
be ceded to them in accordance with the Peace Treaty of 1816.

We are well within the influence of the tide. As it recedes we are
borne towards Calcutta. A forest of masts becomes more and more dense;
tall chimneys on either bank tell of factories; the clang of hammers,
of ship-building yards; the odour of tar, that we are nearing our port;
and great is the surprise with which our north-country servants and
followers look upon the unwonted sight. We pass the Armenian Ghat.
It is an open space, on which various funeral pyres blaze and smoke;
vultures and adjutant-birds are waiting for such human remains as may
be left: the scene most unpleasant to look at. For many years past
that which has just been alluded to has ceased to exist, a crematorium
having taken its place. We arrive at Calcutta; the regiment lands, and
marches into Fort William.

Preparations for departure proceeded rapidly, and with a will.
Hospitality to the regiment and attentions in other ways were shown by
some of the higher officials. At Government House some of us had an
opportunity of being present at the dinners and balls, for which it was
then, as since, well and favourably known; also at parties given by the
Chief Justice Sir Lawrence Peel, in the spacious house occupied by him
at Garden Reach.

The issue to men and officers of the Bronze Star respectively for
Punniar and Maharajpore took place, but without pomp and circumstance
such as most properly at the present time are observed on similar
occasions. Being informed that the stars in question, composed of metal
of Mahratta cannon that had wrought heavy injury to our regiments,
were in readiness, in company with my friend Maude,[63] I drove to the
Mint, and there, from two heaps on the floor, of those decorations,
selected one each, leaving both for the purpose of our respective
names being engraved on them. A few days thereafter we returned, and
having received from an employé of that establishment the much-prized
decorations, we placed them in our pockets, and drove back to Fort

Soon thereafter,[64] the Headquarter portion of the regiment was on
board the _Monarch_, and away from India homeward bound. Our ship,
one of a class by which troops were wont in favoured instances to be
conveyed between England and her great Eastern dependency: graceful
to look at, roomy, well fitted up, sumptuously provided--veritable
floating palaces. The comfort of the soldier, his wife and children,
secured to an extent that under subsequent regulations became
impossible. With regard to officers, “stoppages” for messing was on the
scale already mentioned. I became entitled to “head money,” as on the
outward voyage, notwithstanding that I was in the performance of my
ordinary duties with my own regiment.

Nine weeks of uneventful life passed, and our ship was at St.
Helena. Very shortly thereafter, parties of us, arranged for the
purpose, landed at James’s Town, the population of which seemed to
consist almost entirely of mulattoes of low type, physically and
intellectually; the balance were of pure negro type. We learned,
moreover, that slave ships with their human cargo on board were from
time to time brought to the island by British ships of war, very
harrowing details being given of the sufferings of the unfortunate
captives on board. At the time of our visit the garrison of the island
comprised the St. Helena regiment and a battery of artillery.

An excursion to Longwood proved to be a somewhat arduous
undertaking--carriages ricketty, horses like living skeletons, lame,
and weak, the ascent steep, rugged. The six or seven miles to be
traversed required several hours for completion of the task. At last we
were at and within the barn-like, dilapidated building in which took
place the closing life scenes of Napoleon; its surroundings a tangled
mass of brambles and other shrubs. In the building itself his library
room, then partly filled with hay; near it the stable, having stalls
for six horses. In a pretty valley close by, under the shade of the
then famous willow, was the open tomb whence the remains of the great
Frenchman were removed in 1840 for transport to the banks of the Seine.

Continuing our voyage, an incident which happened during its further
progress deserves record. While sailing under the influence of the
trade winds, a sailor fell from aloft into the sea. Quickly were
life-buoys slipped, the ship brought round, a boat lowered, while from
top-gallant cross-trees an officer directed the crew towards the man
struggling in mid ocean. Soon, from the bows of the boat one of its
crew dived, for the drowning man had already begun to sink; a brief
interval, and both rescuer and rescued were hauled on board. With no
loss of time the boat was alongside and on board ship, the man restored
to animation and life by means used to that end. Many years thereafter,
meeting Mr. Cloete, who performed the gallant act, we talked over the
incident and its surrounding circumstances.

Another month at sea, and the _Monarch_ swings at anchor off Gravesend;
the Buffs, absent from England since 1821, disembark;[65] the ordeal
of the Custom House gone through; the march on foot begun, for as
yet a railway had not been opened. Evening was far advanced when the
regiment arrived at Chatham, where it was to be temporarily quartered.
In accordance with the routine of that day, nothing whatever had been
prepared in barracks for our men, save that doors were open, displaying
bare walls, bed cots devoid of mattress or bedding; while for the
officers, not even quarters had been assigned; they were expected to
look after themselves. Night had far advanced before duty rendered
necessary by such a state of things was so far complete as to allow
of our going in search of hotels in which to spend the few hours that
remained till daylight. It was not till two o’clock in the morning that
we had “dinner,” in course of which various allusions were made to the
“hospitality” accorded to us as a body on the occasion of our return,
as contrasted with what we had experienced in India. Two days had to
elapse before the regimental baggage arrived, though the distance over
which it had to be conveyed was no more than ten miles; nor was it till
then that straw for the men’s cots was issued by the barrack stores,
and they initiated into the art of stuffing their allotted quantities
into their palliasses. This was the beginning of our Home Service.


_1845-1846. HOME SERVICE_

  Leave Chatham--First railway experience--March continued--A
    comparison--Chichester--Soldiers’ tea--Winchester--Forton
    and Haslar--Naval Hospital--Sikh invasion--Regiments to India--
    Experimental Squadron--Russians--Ibrahim Pasha--Regiments--
    Volunteer for West Coast of Africa--Leave the Buffs--Hounslow
    flogging case--Clarkson and slavery--Abolition.

Time-expired and some other classes of men not conducive to regimental
efficiency being discharged, soldiers and officers “set up” in respect
to kits and equipments, the order to proceed to Chichester was
received with acclamation, for in those days the reputation accorded
to Chatham as a station was by no means flattering. At the end of May
the Buffs marched merrily away; that is, marched on foot, for railway
communication had not yet connected Chatham with the outside world. A
few miles got over, and we were at Blue Bell Hill, the ascent of which
revealed to us in great variety and luxuriance forest, flowers, and
grass-covered patches; the summit reached, an extensive view of the
lovely vale of Kent stretched away beneath us, and in our near vicinity
the cromlech called “Kittscotty House”[66] attracted the notice of
those among us who were of antiquarian tastes.

At Maidstone the regiment had its first experience of transit by
rail. The art of “training” and detraining troops had not yet been
learnt; hence delay such as would now be culpable was unavoidable
before soldiers and their baggage were in their places, and a start
made. The line being open only to Redhill, all had there to alight,
the short journey to Reigate being performed on foot. Arrived at that
pretty town, we had our initiation into the system of billeting, the
officers being “told off” to the principal hotel, the comforts of
which made us speedily forget whatever disagreeables had attended
the proceedings of the day. Continuing our journey, we arrived in
succession at Petworth and Horsham, at each of which towns we similarly
enjoyed our billets; thence to Chichester. The approach of a country
gentleman to our Commanding Officer attracted our attention; the “halt”
was sounded; the word passed on that, on hospitality intent, he had
provided “refreshments” for all of us. His kind attention was highly
appreciated, acknowledgments expressed, he himself invited to dinner
with the officers at our new destination; then the march resumed, the
Buffs marching into quarters at Chichester on the fourth day of their
very pleasant journey.

Compared and contrasted with a march in India, that now over presented
some striking points of difference, not the least of which were
the absence of hackeries, bullocks, camels, elephants, and that
heterogeneous collection of “followers” comprised under the name of
“the bazaar.” Instead of tents and camp fare we had comfortable if
expensive entertainment at hotels, while our daily line of route lay
through rich, varied, and beautiful English scenery. But some of our
party looked back with fond remembrances to the freedom and feeling of
exhilaration attending the early morning march in India, dusty roads
and sundry other drawbacks notwithstanding.

The huts, literally “baraques,” assigned to us were old, dating from
the Peninsular War. From the restoration of peace they had been left
unoccupied until quite recently, when they were utilised in the first
instance for the temporary reception of men enlisted to form a new
44th Regiment, and subsequently by the 55th on its return from China.
The officer[67] who held the position of Barrack-master boasted of a
very honourable military “record,” he having been, if not the very
first, among the first to mount the breach at Badajos; yet, like many
others of his day, he had been thrown on half-pay at the conclusion
of the war, and so deprived of the chance of rising in the service.
From the residents of the cathedral city and its neighbourhood our
officers received much civility and hospitality. The cathedral, used as
a stable in the days of Cromwell, but long since “restored,” was often
visited, the circumstance that it had been transported from Selsey to
its present site adding to it many points of historical interest. But
to some among us Chichester had the great disadvantage of not yet being
in direct communication by railway with London, the journey to and from
the metropolis having to be performed by coach. A Bill had then only
recently been passed authorizing such a railway.

An event occurred while we occupied those huts which marked in its
way a stage in the advance of comfort and well-being of the soldier.
Hitherto his “regulation” daily meals were only two; namely, breakfast
at 8 a.m., dinner at 1 p.m.--an interval of nineteen hours being thus
left during which he had to be without food, unless he happened to have
spare money wherewith to supply himself at the regimental canteen or
public-house in town. The obvious drawbacks of such a state of things
had long been subject of representation, but hitherto unsuccessfully.
Now, however, in 1845, authority was issued granting the issue to the
men of a tea meal at 4 p.m. For a time the order was resented; that a
soldier should condescend to _tea_ was held to be against the natural
order of things, and to mark effeminacy. Soon, however, the measure
was appreciated by all, and drunkenness, at that time the bane of the
soldier, underwent a remarkable decrease.

Winchester, to which we next proceeded, had “for ages” been looked upon
as a favourite station by regiments. To some of us the many historical
associations connected with that ancient city became so many sources
of interest and objects of study. The commodious barracks, occupied
by the Buffs and Scots Fusilier Guards stood upon the site of what
had been a royal palace, and still earlier a castle. The city itself
dates back to B.C. 800. The cathedral--to which our visits became very
frequent--occupies a site whereon stood, during the years of Roman
occupation, an altar to Apollo, and, in times still more ancient, one
devoted to sun worship. Among other places of interest in and around
the city were the buildings to which more particularly are referred
the legendary stories of Saint Swithin of rainy fame; the ancient
hospital of St. Cross, at which travellers might claim a dole of bread
and beer; the world-famous school and college, both founded by William
of Wykeham, A.D. 1324-1404. Among favourite walks was that to “the
Labyrinth,” on the summit of St. Catherine’s Hill; several alongside
the banks of the Itchin, sacred to the memory of Izaak Walton, and that
to Twyford. In the churchyard of that place stood a remarkably fine
specimen of a yew tree, such as, in times long gone by, were preserved
in burial places, and so held in a manner sacred--for the purpose of
supplying yeomen with long-bows, in the use of which weapon those of
England so much excelled. The hill from which, in Cromwell’s time, the
city was bombarded was a favourite walk among us. So was the village of
Horsely, some few miles distant; its church associated with the author
of _The Christian Year_, the choir, consisting of various very ordinary
musical instruments, including a violin and clarionet.

On a day late in January, 1846, the Buffs proceeded by rail to
Portsmouth. Bitterly cold, wet and windy, was the weather; the streets
of that great naval port in some places inundated by the tide, so
that progress along them was by no means pleasant. By the floating
steam bridge the harbour was crossed, our regiment divided so as to
occupy barracks at Forton and Haslar respectively. With the companies
proceeding to the latter place I was detailed for duty. The quarters
consisted of huts, the one assigned to me so situated as to afford from
its window a near view of Spithead, and of the magnificent and graceful
sailing men-of-war vessels anchored there or manœuvring in the Solent.

An early opportunity was taken to visit the great Naval Hospital, near
to which my temporary residence was situated; and although in these
notes professional recollections are for the most part avoided, one
of the results of that visit was sufficiently interesting to be made
an exception to that rule. On a portion of the adjoining grounds, and
set apart for the purpose, a considerable number of mentally afflicted
patients, together with their attendants or keepers--their costumes in
every respect similar to those worn by the patients--were engaged with
apparent heartiness in what was a “rollicking” dance, to the notes of
several violins, the performers on which were presumably patients and
attendants. In the treatment of the patients all coercive measures were
absent; free association among them was permitted from time to time,
as we had seen; such of them as desired to work or labour were given
every opportunity of doing so, and for the special benefit of those
who desired to follow--in imagination--their seafaring life, a lake
with its fleet of boats was provided. Such were some of the measures
adopted in respect to this class of patients in 1846. The _Victory_ and
other “sights” connected with the great naval port were visited; but in
respect to these it appears unnecessary to enter into details, except
that all associations on board relating to England’s naval hero were
duly venerated.

Without previous warning news circulated that the Sikhs, in great
force, had crossed the Sutlej, and thus invaded British territory.
Then quickly followed intelligence that four severely contested
battles against them had been fought, their forces defeated, Lahore
occupied; Dhuleep Singh, a child, brought by his mother, the Maharanee,
to the camp of Lord Hardinge, the Governor-General, by whom his
“submission” was accepted. In those battles many officers fell, with
whom, collectively or individually, we had but recently, as already
mentioned, been most pleasantly associated, and whose fate we now
mourned. As fuller details became known, it appeared that on December
12, 1845, the Sikh armies, under the command of Lal Singh, crossed the
Sutlej, and by the 16th had strongly fortified a position taken up
by them on the left bank of that river. On the 13th the forces under
Sir Hugh Gough attacked and drove them from their position at Moodkee.
Following them to Ferozeshuhur, at which place they had meanwhile
entrenched themselves, he renewed his attack upon them on the 21st,
the terrible battle which was to ensue continuing during that and two
following days,--the issue, for some time uncertain, ultimately being
in favour of our troops. There it was that the 62nd, with whom but
lately we had been happy at Dinapore, having begun its advance against
those entrenchments with 23 officers, lost 17 of that number--8 killed
on the field and 9 wounded. But still another position, and it at
Aliwal, was taken up by the retreating Sikhs, where, on January 28,
1846, they were attacked by the forces under Sir Harry Smith. There the
16th Lancers performed the gallant deed of charging through a ghola
(or mass) of Sikhs, their substitute for a square; then repeated the
charge, destroying the enemy thus rode down. In the performance of
that heroic feat the regiment lost upwards of one hundred men killed
and wounded--that is, nearly one-third of their effective strength.
On February 10 the Sikhs were defeated, their forces destroyed up
at Sobraon, though at very heavy cost in killed and wounded to the
British. On that occasion the 50th lost in killed and wounded 12
officers, nearly all of whom were personal acquaintances, more or less
intimate of my own, and in addition 227 men. The 10th Foot, with which
I was destined to be subsequently associated, had in killed and wounded
3 officers, 3 non-commissioned officers, and 127 rank and file. Other
regiments engaged suffered heavily, for the Sikhs contended for their
nationality and class interests. The facts related give significance
to the intentions of Lord Ellenborough expressed in Gwalior, to lead
the troops thither direct upon the Punjab frontier. That plan was
disallowed, and so two years were given to the Sikh leaders wherein to
complete their arrangements for taking the offensive.

Orders from the Horse Guards directed that three infantry
regiments--namely, the 8th, 24th, and 32nd--should proceed to India
without delay. No less than six weeks elapsed, however, before they
sailed, the circumstance itself illustrating the state of unreadiness
for emergencies which then existed. The three regiments named were
destined to take their parts in arduous service in India, the first at
Mooltan, the second at Chilianwalla, the third at Lucknow.

The establishment of what was to be called our “Experimental Squadron”
at this time was justly looked upon as an event of great importance.
The fleet so designated consisted for the most part of sailing ships
of war, but comprised also several steam vessels, propelled by paddles,
the whole providing for spectators an unusual and magnificent sight as
they lay anchored at Spithead.[68] Between the lines passed the Royal
yacht, having on board Her Majesty the Queen. From the sides of each
successive ship thundered salutes; from their decks rose strains of the
National Anthem; from their yards, manned for the occasion, came hearty
cheers of loyalty. A brief interval succeeded; then simultaneously, as
if by combined movement, dropped the huge white sails; these gradually
filled to the breeze; away glided the fleet, followed by hundreds of
yachts, boats, and craft of all sorts. About this time also the then
strange sight was for the first time witnessed of a war ship, the
_Rattler_, sliding, as it were, out of Portsmouth Harbour, destitute
of sail or paddle, the first of her kind propelled by the Archimedean

The arrival at Spithead of the Russian war-ship _Prince of Warsaw_,
having on board the Grand Duke Constantine, escorted by two other
vessels, was to Portsmouth an event of interest and political
importance. The officers of the Imperial frigate were entertained at
dinner by those of the Buffs: an attention much appreciated by them.
Next day a party of us were most civilly received on board their ship;
in the course of that visit the circumstance made clear that our hosts
were well acquainted with the English language, as also with insular
manners and customs. But great was the contrast between conditions on
board and those of the “Experimental Squadron.” The Russian sailors
untidy and slovenly in appearance, the terms of their service severe,
inasmuch as after a period of twenty years in the Navy or Army the
reward to which they had to look forward was--emancipation; for as
yet they were serfs. According to their own accounts, the period of
obligatory service by officers was twenty-one years. Leave of absence,
if exceeding a total of one year during that period, had to be made up
by them; and if on any occasion absent from their ships or regiments
for more than four days, their pay for that time is withheld from them.
We congratulated ourselves that our position was in those respects more
fortunate than theirs.

About the same time Ibrahim Pasha came among us. The circumstance that
the comfort or otherwise of travellers across the desert between Cairo
and Suez depended much on measures directed by the Viceroy of Egypt,
added to other considerations, no doubt moved Admiralty and Horse
Guards to order that every attention should be shown to His Highness.
Among other displays for his gratification the troops in garrison were
paraded on Southsea Common. As he rode along the line, the impression
produced by his appearance and style was by no means favourable;
about fifty years of age, bloated in aspect, cruel and relentless
in expression, he looked in these respects a true descendant of his
father, Mehemet Ali.

In quarters at Portsmouth were the 13th Light Infantry, then recently
returned from India, their honours thick upon them, as “The Illustrious
Garrison.” The 74th, re-converted into Highlanders, paraded for the
first time in their newly-acquired uniform. In those regiments and
in the Buffs there was a large leaven of old soldiers who had not
risen beyond the ranks; the majority of the non-commissioned officers
were men whose locks were grey, some with sons serving as soldiers;
recruits were relatively few in number; barrack-room courts-martial
in full operation; crime, at least that _officially_ brought forward,
comparatively rare, though what in reality is quite another thing. That
the regiments so constituted were capable of the most arduous service
was proved by that of the Buffs in Gwalior, the 13th in Affghanistan.

The receipt from the War Office of a letter containing an offer of
promotion conditional on proceeding to the West Coast of Africa, though
a surprise, was not altogether an agreeable one, for hitherto the usual
designation of that part of the world had been “The White Man’s Grave.”
Official reports[69] regarding it referred to no later date than 1825;
but this is the result of reference to them:--In February of that year
a party of white soldiers, 105 strong, arrived at the Isles de Loss,
near Sierra Leone; at the end of eighteen months 54 of their number
were dead by fever, 8 by other diseases, 21 invalided back to England,
20 remained on those islands, scarcely any of them fit for duty. Then
followed a table by which, at the Gambia, the annual mortality of white
men was shown to have been at the rate of 1,500 per 1,000 average
strength. On the other hand, the proffered promotion would advance
me over one hundred and forty of my seniors; increased pay[70] would
be an immediate advantage, and, in the event of survival, increased
departmental position. The upshot of thought given to the subject was
that, in the expression common to the time, I volunteered for the West

With regret and sorrow I ceased[71] to be a member of the distinguished
old[72] regiment, with the traditions and history of which, like all
its other members, I had become familiar. I had, moreover, formed
friendships[73] such as subsequent experience taught me existed only
between regimental officers during early life. The kindly expressions
addressed to me by the Commanding Officer on the occasion of the
farewell dinner, to which I was invited, impressed me in a manner not
to be forgotten, and are here alluded to as indicating the relations
then existing between medical and battalion officers.

No regular line of communication existed between England and the West
Coast of Africa; consequently, when orders to embark were received,
passage had to be negotiated for through the medium of a ship’s
broker, and so advantage taken of trading brigs or other small craft
proceeding, at irregular times, on voyages thither, either from the
Thames or Mersey. Several months elapsed before transport was obtained,
and, meanwhile, time was spent in visiting places interesting in
themselves or by reason of past associations.

At this time public attention became aroused to a state of ferment,
ostensibly because of the death of a soldier of the 7th Hussars at
Hounslow, after having been flogged to the extent of 150 lashes, in
pursuance of a sentence to that effect by court-martial, for having
violently and dangerously assaulted a non-commissioned officer of his
regiment. Medical opinion differed _in toto_ as to whether the death
was, or was not, the effect of the corporal punishment. But the case
was taken up and energetically debated, not only at public meetings
convened for the purpose, but also in both Houses of Parliament.
Whatever may have been its intrinsic merits, the case in question
undoubtedly led to the introduction of a Bill, the outcome of which was
that the maximum number of lashes to be inflicted was thenceforward
reduced to fifty. Instead of “unlimited” service as heretofore, the
period of a soldier’s engagement was reduced to ten years; and so,
it was hoped, encouragement held out for a better class of recruits
to join the ranks; desertion would be diminished, and the general
efficiency of the service increased.

In September, 1846, the death of Thomas Clarkson, at the age of
eighty-six, recalled attention to the subjects of slavery and the
slave trade, against both of which, for many years, his energies had
been directed. It was in 1720 that English opinion was first drawn to
the horrors incidental to that traffic. In 1787, by the efforts of
Clarkson and Granville Sharp, a Society for total abolition of the
system was formed. In the following year a Committee of the House of
Commons was appointed to inquire into the entire system; but not for a
considerable time could the objects of that Society be carried out, or
members of influence be induced to take interest in the Anti-Slavery
Association and its work. Suddenly, and as if through an accidental
occurrence, public opinion was aroused; that accident, the seizure in
the streets of London of an escaped slave, named Somerset--his late
master, the captor. In 1792, Wilberforce carried a Bill for the gradual
abolition of the slave trade. In 1805 the importation of slaves into
British Colonies, recently taken from Holland, was prohibited; a Bill
carried, by which such traffic after 1808 was declared illegal. In 1811
it was declared to be felony; in 1824 it was made piracy. In 1837, made
punishable by transportation for life. In 1838, complete emancipation
of slaves throughout all British possessions took place. We were soon
to see the results of those measures in what had once been one of
slavery’s most active spheres.



  Sail for Guinea--Arrive--Cape Coast Castle--Fantees--Some
    characteristics--Domestic “slaves”--Obsequies--First impressions--
    Tornado season--Sickness and mortality--Personal--Husband of
    L.E.L.--“Healthy” season--Amusements--Natural history pursuits--
    Snakes--King Aggary--Chiefs--Accra--Apollonia--Burying the
    peace-drum--Axim--River Encobra--The “royal” capital--Savage
    displays--Prisoners released--Scarcity of fresh water--The king
    surrendered--Brought in manacled--His atrocities--Retribution--
    Return march--Cape Coast--Fantee women--Force disbanded--“Reliefs”--
    Departure--Incident on board--Barbados--The island and its people--
    Compared with tropical India--Homeward bound--Arrive in England--
    Comments--Chartists--Leave of absence.

Cold, misty, and raw was the day in the first week of January, 1847,
when, at Gravesend, a small party, of which I was one, embarked on the
brig _Emily_, bound to Cape Coast Castle. Still more miserable the four
following days and nights, during which the little vessel remained at
anchor, a thick dark fog enveloping us; horns and gongs sounding at
intervals, to avert a collision, if possible. At last the pall lifted,
and we were on our way. My fellow-passengers, four in number, were
three junior officers of the 1st West India Regiment, and the wife
of one of them. The ship had a burthen of only 130 tons; no separate
cabins, no accommodation suitable for officers, and none whatever for a
lady. Around the cuddy, as the “saloon” was called, a series of bunks
were arranged; one of these was told off to each of us, ingress being
attained either feet or head foremost, according to individual fancy
and agility. Every possible consideration was shown by all on board to
the lady, whose sorry plight we all commiserated; hers was indeed a sad
example of the discomforts to which a subaltern’s wife was exposed. Our
prospects so far were by no means happy, for the circumstance became
increasingly plain that only “black sheep” were considered to be sent
to “the Coast”; many years had to elapse before Africa was to spring
into fashion.

Fifty-two days at sea--for steam communication with the West Coast
was a thing of the future--and then the headland of Grand Drewin came
in sight. That point sighted, our little ship glided along the coast,
carried southward by the oceanic current at the rate of three knots
an hour or thereabouts. Arrived in the roads of Elmina, at the time
a Dutch settlement, we disembarked by means of small canoes, made by
hollowing out a branch of the bombax or silk cotton tree, each canoe
“manned” by three black boys, the eldest of whom did not apparently
exceed twelve years of age. We made direct for the house of Mr.
Bartels, not that we had an introduction to that well-known gentleman,
but for the double reason that “everybody” did so, and that Elmina
boasted neither of hotel nor other public place to which new arrivals
could resort. The hospitable gentleman on whom we had thus thrown
ourselves showed us every kindness. Next day means of conveyance to
our destination were provided for us. Mine consisted of a long narrow
basket, carried on the heads of two strong Africans, one at either
end. In that way we travelled over some miles of roadless ground; in
others along the sea beach left dry by the receded tide, and so arrived
at Cape Coast Castle, the capital of our settlements on the Coast of

The fortress had in its day been used for many purposes, from the time
when in 1610 it was erected by the Portuguese, and by them made use
of as a slave hold, down to the present (1847). Captured by the Dutch
from its original possessors in 1643, it was taken from the latter by
Admiral Holmes in 1661; recaptured by the Dutch fleet under De Ruyter
in 1665, but the same year ceded to England. In 1757 it was attacked
unsuccessfully by the French, since which it has remained free from the
din of war, although from time to time conflicts have occurred between
the native tribes occupying the neighbouring districts. In 1672 the
first African Company received a charter from Charles II. From that
date till 1844 the fort continued in the possession of that Company
and its successors; in the year named it came directly under the
administration of the Colonial Office, as a dependency of Sierra Leone.
At the time of our sojourn there, Cape Coast Castle was occupied by a
portion of a West India regiment by officers belonging thereto, and to
military departments; by the Governor, also by the “mixed court,” by
which law or justice, or both, were administered. A school for African
children, the apartment being used for Divine service on Sundays, was
in close proximity to the billiard-room. An annexe of the fort was
utilised as a prison for the worst class of malefactors, and the native
police in charge of them, the prisoners being engaged in chain gangs
by day, working on roads and public works within the settlement. Since
the days of slavery, what had been “barracoons” for captives have been
transformed into water tanks for the supply abundantly provided by the
rainy season.

The inhabitants of the territory around Cape Coast Castle and of the
Gold Coast generally are in the mass known as Fantees. Originally
dwellers in the regions beyond the river Prah, they were forced to
cross it, and driven to the coast line by the people now called
Ashantees, who took possession of and gave their name to the country
so conquered. Although under protection of the British Government, the
Fantee chiefs (in 1847) pay tribute to the Ashantee king, who still
assumes suzerainty over them. That suzerainty, since 1826, has been
maintained without right on their part, the Ashantees having in that
year been defeated at Doodwa, near Accra, by a Fantee force, led by
British officers. In the same year, however, though earlier in it, a
small force,[75] under Sir Charles Macarthy, was disastrously beaten by
the Ashantees. That officer, rather than fall alive into the hands of
his enemies, is said to have shot himself; they to have devoured his
heart, in the belief that by that act of cannibalism they might become
endowed with the high attributes which they admired in him.

A noticeable characteristic of the people was the total absence among
them of ceremony, rite, or other observance pertaining to religious
worship. That certain phases of superstitious impressions existed among
them was evident by their belief in “lucky” and “unlucky” days. Neither
a fisherman nor bushman would proceed on their avocations on a Friday,
as it was by them devoted to their “Fetish.”[76] Although caste as
understood in India is unknown among Fantees, the existence of septs or
families approaches in some respects the social and religious divisions
of the Hindoos. Each Fantee sept is distinguished by its special badge
or armorial bearing, taken usually from some wild animal of the forest,
as among Scottish Highlanders and other civilized nations, ancient and

Ten years had nearly elapsed since slavery on the Gold Coast, as in
all other British dominions, was abolished. In all but name conditions
remained unchanged; former domestic slaves, now called servants,
remained with their former owners, by whom they were housed, clothed,
and fed as heretofore. It was related that when, in 1838,[77]
emancipation was proclaimed, the negroes here appealed against being
“sent away,” on the plea that they and their children had ever been
cared for; that as freed men and women they were without country to
return to, or means of earning their living, save with their old
masters and mistresses. Their appeal was listened to, and now (1847),
when asked jokingly, rather than in earnest, to whom do they belong,
they answer proudly that they are “slave” of, say Mrs. Jackson, Mr.
Barnes, Mr. Hutton, and so on, all highly respected residents of Cape

A “slave” girl of the class alluded to having died, ceremonies,
elaborate in kind, took place over her body. Placed in a sitting
posture, and so supported in a corner of a room, it was enveloped in
a shroud of costly damask; the feet rested upon a cushion similarly
covered; neck and arms decorated with heavy ornaments of solid gold;
the body embellished by more or less artistic designs composed of gold
dust applied to some adhesive material. In the mouth was a twig of
shrub; on an adjoining table a goodly supply of rum and tobacco. On
the floor of the room sat a crowd of female mourners, whose dirge was
loud if not melodious. These ceremonies over, the dead, still covered
with ornaments, was deposited in the grave prepared for it in the
floor of the dwelling-house of the survivors; but, as stated to us, at
the end of a year, the body would be “turned on its side to make it
comfortable,” and then the golden ornaments removed.

Two months had elapsed since our arrival, and impressions of the place
were noted after this manner:--At the end of February, temperature
in the shade between the moderate extremes of 84° F. and 86° F.; sky
clear and cloudless, sea breeze recurring each morning, and continuing
during the hours of daylight. Behind, and from close proximity to the
town, the “bush” or dense forest begins; two inconsiderable hills, each
surmounted by a “fort,” dominate us. Some few roads or pathways extend
in various directions inland and along the beach side to the Salt
Pond, their borders lined with cacti and with flowering shrubs,[78]
the occurrence of reptiles of various kinds, and creeping things
innumerable, adding to our walks of interest and excitement in giving
the former chase. Among the forest trees a species of bombax was a
striking object, its branches so thickly covered with nests of the
tailor-bird (_Ploceus_) that they touched each other, and looked not
unlike a series of gigantic honeycombs. The absence of the bamboo was
noted with surprise, considering the latitude of the locality. Nor was
any cultivated field to be seen, the explanation being that each year
small patches of the bush are cut down, the ground cleared, crops sown
or planted, and once gathered in the “field” is quickly restored to
its original wild state till again required for agricultural purposes.
Birds and butterflies, some of both highly coloured, dashed through or
fluttered among the herbage, but no voice of song properly so called as
yet came from the former.

With the advent of the tornado season, the face of nature underwent a
sudden change. From the south-east came rapidly a mass of dense black
cloud. As it seemed arrested overhead, it assumed the form of an arch;
from its concavity forked lightning flashed, then heavy thunder rolled.
The previous stillness gave place to a rush of wind at hurricane speed,
followed by such a downfall of rain as we had never previously seen,
even in India. A few repetitions of these, and the rainy season was
upon us. Then suddenly cultivation was begun in places previously
covered by bush; crops of Indian corn, yams (_Convolvulus Batatas_),
ground-nuts (_Arachis hypogea_), and the castor-oil plant sprang up
with a rapidity truly astonishing.

With the first regular downpour of rain came a serious change in health
of our small party within the fort, also of the few settlers whose
places of business were in the town immediately outside; and for a few
succeeding months we were destined to realize the true significance of
a sickly season on the Coast of Guinea. Fever in one or other of its
local forms made its appearance, affecting the older residents in that
of ague, while the newly arrived were attacked by the more violent
form, called at the time their “seasoning,” from which the chances
of recovery were considerably less than those of death. Of the three
officers and the wife of one who had been my fellow-passengers, one of
the former speedily succumbed. The other two, together with the lady,
suffered severely, and made imperfect recoveries, while outside the
fort conditions were no less serious. The blanks so made in our numbers
were sadly apparent, and yet the survivors from attacks, and those who
had not been struck down, found in each successive death this rather
ghastly consolation, that, as the ratio of mortality was “being made
up,” so did their chances of escape increase. All this while the few of
us who were capable of the exertion took our walk morning and evening
when the weather permitted, our one promenade that towards “the Salt
Pond.” As we did so, the melancholy sight presented itself, of a small
number of newly arrived missionaries[79] gloomily pursuing the same
route, “waiting,” as we were informed, “for their seasoning,” before
being sent inland to their respective stations. One after another was
missed; it was announced that “he was down with his seasoning”; and
then--the receipt of a black-edged envelope told the rest.

Meantime I retained my health to a degree that under the circumstances
was remarkable. As a result of this happy exemption from sickness,
various duties devolved upon me in addition to those within my proper
sphere, among those extra responsibilities being professional work
in the Colonial Hospital, and charge of the Commissariat Department
for the troops--the latter altogether alien to my training or tastes.
So conditions went on till July, a month which proved to be the most
unhealthy and deadly of any throughout the year. It was then that,
night after night, I was the solitary member of “our mess” who took
his place at table. I made the acquaintance of, and speedily became
on friendly terms with, some mice, whose place of residence was under
the floor, but which freely communicated with the messroom by numerous
apertures, and was in other respects dilapidated; nor did it take
long before some of the little animals acquired sufficient confidence
to scramble up my leg and so on to the table, partake of dinner with
myself, thus calling to my mind the story of the Prisoner of Chillon.
With the month of August came improved health conditions, and for the
four or five succeeding months all was cheerful in that particular and
important respect.

Among those who succumbed during the sickly months was Captain Maclean,
husband of the poetess, L. E. L.--Letitia Elizabeth Landon, who died
at Cape Coast Castle in 1838, under circumstances of great mystery. It
was hoped that among his papers would be found some containing his own
account of the sad occurrence, but that hope was not realized. From
careful inquiries, however, I was led to the belief that her death was
due to natural causes, and to them alone. Now the body of the deceased
husband was laid in the grave close to that of the wife,[80] and both
rest under the pavement of the castle quadrangle. The story of the
gifted lady interested some of our number, as incidents connected with
her short life on the Coast were related by Mr. Hutton and others who
had enjoyed her acquaintance.

The occurrence of the “healthy season” was hailed as such event could
only be in a locality where every man had to run the gauntlet for
life during four to five out of the twelve months which make up the
year. Amusements of different kinds were instituted, short excursions
taken in various directions along such roads or pathways as existed
for purposes of communication along the coast and to places inland. In
the absence of horses--for these most useful animals when brought to
the coast rapidly pine away and die--our means of transport consisted,
for the most part, of a chair so placed between two poles as to be
thus carried by two or four Africans, according to the weight of the
individual. There were a few small light carriages, in some respects
like a Bath chair, in others like a victoria, drawn by Africans, who,
to judge by their antics and shouts as they raced against each other,
must have enjoyed the work immensely. Picnics became “the order of the
day”; Saints’ days, birthdays, and holidays were most “religiously”
kept, and for the most part very enthusiastically celebrated. On one
of these occasions we visited what at one time had been a coffee
plantation in the near vicinity, but then deserted; the buildings
reduced to ruin, the coffee bushes choked by the ordinary bush, the
natural impression being that the owner had fallen a victim to his
“seasoning,” that he had no successors on his estate;[81] or, if he
had, that they had also succumbed.

Pursuits relating to natural history became so many sources of pleasant
and intellectual occupation. Ornithology was especially interesting,
combining as it did observation of birds in their natural haunts
and conditions. A large number of specimens were shot, one portion
being subsequently given to the Natural History Museum of Edinburgh,
another to Sir William Jardine, by whom notes taken at the time were
published.[82] A song bird (_Drymoica mentalis_) that fell to my gun
was for the first time, I believe, given as an illustration in that
brochure; another illustration being that of a large and handsome
swallow named after me, _Hirundo Gordoni_.

On one occasion, while combining ornithological study and “sport,” I
had an unpleasant experience with one of several kinds of poisonous
snakes that here abound, frequenting chiefly prickly herbage in
immediate proximity to such roads and pathways as then existed, as
also the sedgy tract of open ground near the Salt Pond, a little way
westward of the settlement. While traversing that tract I came suddenly
face to face with a large black cobra. One barrel of my fowling-piece
had been already discharged. The remaining shot--a mixture of Nos. 6
and 9--was fired, more as a result of instinctive action than steady
aim, by me, but with good effect. The charge traversed the body of
the reptile as if it were a bullet, so close was it to me; then its
writhings were such that I came within them, not a little to my own
horror. In the emergency my Fantee “boy” speedily dispatched it by
means of the heavy stick he carried for the purpose of beating the
bush. The skin--considerably over six feet long--ornamented the wall
of my barrack-room while I remained on the coast. Puff-adders are
numerous, and from their sluggish movements are easily killed. On one
occasion I killed six partially-grown individuals during a morning’s
walk on the Salt Pond road.

When, as already stated, administration of British settlements on
the Gold Coast was taken over by the Colonial Office, it was made
immediately subordinate to that of Sierra Leone. The inconvenience
of that arrangement was soon made manifest. The force with which the
oceanic current runs southward along the coast is sufficient during
some months of the year to prevent sailing brigs from beating up
against it; and as at the time alluded to a regular line of steamers
had not been introduced, the outcome of that state of things was the
inconvenient necessity of letters and dispatches for the headquarters
of the Government and Command being sent _viâ_ England, several months
becoming thus necessary before answers could be received. Cape Coast
Castle and its dependencies had a Governor and Colonial Secretary, both
of whom were resident. Justice was administered by a court presided
over by a British official designated Judicial Assessor, assisted by
selected native chiefs. Of them, “King Aggary,” then upwards of eighty
years of age, was the most prominent and distinguished. As a young man
he had served on board a British man-of-war, in accordance with the
custom of the time, and so, according to his own manner of expression,
he “had learned sense.”

For a long time past native rulers whose “kingdoms” adjoined British
settlements along the Gold Coast had voluntarily placed themselves
under protection of our flag, and thus in a manner become British
subjects. Their several laws and customs were retained, with the
exception of human sacrifice, a practice abandoned many years ago.
Succession to rank and property descended through the female line; that
is, the eldest son of the eldest daughter became heir-apparent. In the
kingdom of Akim the sovereign is a female, the succession being also in
the female line.

A visit to Accra occupied two days, and a similar time to return.
The path along which I travelled--for no road existed--led for the
most part through the bush close to the beach; at times it was by the
beach itself, so that only when the tide was low was it practicable
to proceed at all. At intervals the occurrence of rugged promontories
and heaps of boulders rendered it by no means an easy undertaking to
get over them. Arriving at the river Sekoom, its borders were lined by
mangrove trees (_Rhizophora_), the long tendril-like roots of which
interlaced above the soft mud alternately covered and left exposed as
the tide flows and ebbs. In some places the trunks of those trees were
covered within tide mark by a small species of oyster, and presented
the additional peculiarity of a few small fish--the climbing perch
(_Anabas scandens_) laboriously ascending to the height of a couple of
feet or so from the water level, there “holding on” for a little, then
dropping into the muddy river after basking in the sun. At Accra, three
forts, belonging respectively to England, Holland, and Denmark, were in
close proximity to each other: the first occupied by some twenty black
soldiers and half a dozen native militiamen, the guns old and useless,
the fortress itself dilapidated; the second nothing more than a trading
store of the Governor; the third, the strongest of the three, but noted
for its extreme unhealthiness. Subsequently we learned that it was
completely destroyed by an earthquake.

Several of the forts that had belonged to the former African Company
were abandoned some years previous to the present date (1848);
among others that of Amelycha, or Apollonia, about seventy miles to
windward of Cape Coast Castle. For a time matters in the district so
called progressed very well under the rule of a humane and otherwise
good native chief named Yansu Acko; but having died in 1830, he was
succeeded by Quako Acko, a man of cruel and tyrannical disposition,
who, although he continued to fly the British flag, gradually became
less and less loyal, and finally withdrew allegiance altogether.
Meanwhile he was in a continual state of warfare with the States
adjoining his own, extending his depredations to Asinee and Axim,
respectively belonging to France and Holland. In 1835 his conduct had
become so outrageous that a force from Cape Coast Castle was sent
against him, and for his misconduct he was subjected to a fine of 300
ounces of gold dust. So little effect had this upon him, however, that
in 1838 a second expedition was sent against him, and a further fine
of 800 ounces inflicted upon him. From that time to the present he has
persisted in annoying the adjoining States. Within his own “kingdom”
his word was absolute, his great ambition apparently to surround his
palace with festoons composed of skulls of enemies slain in battle or
of captives butchered. With increasing boldness as time went on, he
destroyed several villages within Dutch territory, and carried away
some of their inhabitants. He maltreated officers and men belonging
to French and British ships, who landed at his capital for purposes
of trade. Finally, when remonstrated with by the Governor of Cape
Coast,[83] he insulted and otherwise maltreated the members of the
embassy sent to him, certain of whom he retained as captives. The
Governor took action against the recalcitrant chief. Orders were issued
directing the formation of a contingent force, some thousands strong,
to consist of men pertaining to vassal tribes. A brig was chartered for
the occasion; ammunition and stores of various kinds, including casks
of fresh water, placed on board; for it was known that the scene of
coming operations was destitute of that necessary element. Ammunition
was issued to the “volunteer” contingent, to whom pay in advance was
distributed. At this point the officer[84] named to command fell ill
and speedily died of coast fever, and his place had to be taken by
a lieutenant[85] of the 1st West India Regiment; the Commissariat
officer[86] being non-effective from sickness, the duties pertaining to
his office fell upon me in addition to my own.

The resources of the colony in respect to white men limited the
number of those available for the present expedition to six only, the
“regular” troops to no more than about half a company of the 1st West
India Regiment. Four of us by ship;[87] two accompanied the levies
proceeding by land, their forces increasing as they advanced. Arrived
off Dixcove, we landed at that place, to witness the native ceremony,
and excitement attending thereon, of “burying the peace-drum.” The
unusual noise and tumult connected with the ordeal seem to have
attracted the notice of wild denizens of the adjoining forest, one
of which, a baboon of large size, “assisted” with his presence on
the occasion; he was declared to be “the great Fetish”; his advent
to be a happy augury for the undertaking before us. Our next point
was Axim, at that time Dutch, but now British. There we landed; there
the entire force at our disposal assembled, and arrangements were
completed to enter hostile territory. The small party of whites was
accommodated within the fort, the native forces bivouacking in and
around the town,--the town consisting chiefly of sheds or huts composed
of palm branches inartistically tied together. In the open space or
market place in its centre stood a pole to which were fixed portions
of human skeletons, remains of freebooters from Apollonia, who having
been caught were “disposed of” according to African fashion. In the
vicinity roads were non-existent; some rugged pathways were all the
thoroughfares with which the place was provided.

Between Axim and the river Encobra stretched a sea beach two miles
in extent, broken at intervals by irregular masses and boulders of
primitive rocks; beyond it to a similar distance a belt of impenetrable
forest, pathways through which, formerly existing, had for some years
past become obliterated. Through that tract of bush we had to make a
way, not only for ourselves, but also for our “forces.” Armed with an
axe and long knife such as bush men in this part of Africa use, we cut
a path for ourselves to the summit of a promontory from which it was
practicable to take bearings for further progress. Meanwhile, and all
through the following night, large numbers of men were busy clearing a
road by which the mass of our contingent could advance. At daybreak our
strange body of irregulars was mustered, and what a sight it presented!
War dresses, wild in character, grotesque in aspect; umbrellas of many
colours, carried over particular chiefs; uncouth gesticulations in the
performance of war dances; strange sounds from drums, horns, trumpets,
and other “musical” instruments, the chief ornaments on which were
jawbones and other fragments of human mortality, combined to impress
us with the aspect of savagery so presented. At the head of one of
the “companies,” and in command, was a lady, who thus asserted her
hereditary position as chief of her tribe.

In the early hours of a day in the first week of April (1848), our
“army” began its march towards the left bank of the Encobra. By
previous arrangement a number of canoes, sufficient to take the force
across that river, were already outside the bar at its mouth, and these
were quickly utilised for our purpose. A dense mass of natives crowded
the opposite side of the river, its dimensions quickly increasing
as others emerged from the bush. Our “artillery” consisted of two
twelve-pounder rocket tubes, and two others of smaller calibre. In
the absence of a “combatant” officer, I had been put in “command” of
these, and having previously indulged in the necessary practice, was
in a position to open fire upon the “enemy” as soon as the necessary
order was given by the Governor, who was in supreme command. A few
missiles were discharged; a few lanes ploughed among them, and then
pell-mell the mass vanished in the forest. Having got across the river,
we speedily reached an Apollonian village, deserted by its ordinary
occupants, who in their haste had left behind their flocks and herds,
both of which were quickly annexed by our “contingent.” Continuing what
proved to be an extremely fatiguing march along the sea beach,--often
having to wade more than knee-deep in the rippling tide,--we passed
on the border of the forest a succession of villages, from all of
which their occupants had fled. Towards evening we reached a town of
considerable size. Our day’s march had been extremely exhausting, so
that rest for the night was most welcome, especially to us white men.

In the course of the succeeding night, such snatches of sleep as we
obtained were several times interrupted by the beating of tom-toms,
braying of trumpets, the rushing hither and thither of considerable
portions of our army. Now it was an alarm of night attack by “the
enemy”; then the noisy return of a foraging party, bearing with them
as trophies the heads of two Apollonians, which they cast before the
Governor as tokens of their prowess. Resuming our march early the
following morning, we arrived at the river Abimoosoo, across which
we were floated by means of canoes that had so far followed by sea,
keeping just outside the line of breakers. Shortly thereafter we were
met by a messenger from “the king” against whom we were in progress;
his office to express the desire of his Majesty to know with what
object the Governor had brought an army into his country. The reply was
a ball cartridge (according to the custom of the coast), together with
a reply that if the king surrendered, then “a palaver” would be held,
but not till then. Meantime we pressed on, and in the early part of
the afternoon entered the capital of the king, to find it completely
abandoned. Never before had I felt so “done up” and exhausted as now. I
was, moreover, ill, and had every reason to believe that an attack of
the much-dreaded fever of the coast was upon me.

As if to celebrate the entry of our “army” into the royal city,
arrangements were speedily made by the native leaders to have a grand
procession. When it did take place, no more wild and “savage” display
could well be imagined than that presented by it. All around us were
ghastly relics of death and murder. The palace garnished with festoons
of human skulls, of which I counted one hundred and eighty after the
greater part of such ornaments had been torn from their places and
kicked about as playthings by our “soldiers.” The avenue leading to
the palace was formed by palm-trees growing at short distances from
each other along either side of the roadway. From time to time the king
had disposed of a certain number of his enemies by living sepulture
in a standing position; a cocoa nut placed on the head of each, the
earth thrown in, and as in the progress of time the plume of palm grew
higher and higher, each tree received the name of the particular enemy
represented by it. At different points around, the larger trees were
ornamented with various relics of humanity, skeleton hands and other
fragments being nailed or otherwise attached to stems and branches.

During the few following days different portions of our contingent
were variously employed. An expedition, led by two of our white
associates,[88] started inland, with a view, if possible, to capture
the fugitive king; another, consisting entirely of blacks, having
started independently into the bush, returned in triumph, with “music,”
war dances, and much discordant noise, bearing with them gory heads of
three Apollonians who had fallen into their power. A third party of our
people, having proceeded on an independent expedition, came upon two
men who had been made prisoners by order of that chief, each of them
laden with three sets of heavy irons, which they had worn continuously
during the two previous years. The manacles were removed after much
labour; but their unhappy bearers, when relieved of them, were unable
to stand erect. So long had they been kept in a sitting posture by
sheer weight of their fetters, that the joints had become accommodated
to it. Shortly afterwards eighty-eight other prisoners were discovered,
their fetters similarly removed, but they themselves fixed in the
sitting posture to which they had for longer or shorter periods been
borne down by iron manacles.

Everywhere around the town the bush was impenetrable, for all
communication with neighbouring tribes had been cut off for some years
past, the pathways thus become obliterated by the forest. Attempts
to cut new ones were but partially successful. Meanwhile serious
difficulties beset us in respect to water, for the lagoons and rivers
within available distance being brackish, they quickly ceased to be
resorted to. A few casks of fresh water from our chartered ship thrown
overboard were washed ashore, their contents carefully distributed
among ourselves; but the fact became very evident that this supply
being extremely limited, our “occupation” of the town must be short
indeed, whether the object of our expedition was obtained or not.

Most fortunate for us there was treason in the king’s camp. By reason
of his cruelty and tyranny, he had rendered himself hated by and
hateful to his subjects. Now their opportunity had arrived. Three
of their chiefs having tendered their submission, so far imitated
certain civilized nations as to negotiate for the surrender of their
king--their terms by no means exorbitant, namely one hundred ounces
of gold dust, and a flag to them respectively. And so the bargain was

A few more days passed, during which “palavers” of all sorts took
place, and parties dispatched in various directions, though seemingly
without result. Evening approaches; there is unusual tumult among
our contingent. Discordant noises, emitted from drums, horns, and
human mouths, announce the approach of large bodies of men; they are
the former subjects of the king,[89] whom they carry manacled and
give over to the British leader. We feel relieved by the prospect of
speedy ending of our privations and fatigues; for of our number, four
are prostrate by sickness. So long as our prisoner, savage as he is,
continued out of sight, we did our best to follow him up relentlessly.
Now that he is in our presence, bound hand and foot, an object of
abject misery, big tears rolling down his coarse black face, some of
us were unable to smother a shade of sympathy for the man, monster of
cruelty as he was.

Of atrocities committed by him the record of two will here suffice.
He caused his mother to be secured to a stake at low-water mark when
the tide was out, her eyelids to be cut off, her face turned towards
the sun,--so left until overwhelmed by the returning flood, and her
sufferings put an end to. His pregnant sister he caused to be cut open
while alive, that he might see the position in her womb of the unborn
infant, then directed that according to native custom her body should
be buried within the palace.

In the room under the floor of which the remains were interred, bearing
upon them her golden ornaments, the captive king was placed under
guard, and so remained during the following night. With the return of
daylight it was seen that the floor had been opened by the guard, the
remains exhumed, all ornaments wrenched therefrom; the body itself,
considerably advanced in decay, offensive to sight and smell, thrown
back into the still open grave. Thus the king had spent the night side
by side as it were with the remains of his murdered sister, witness to
the acts of savagery to which they were subjected.

Our object attained, the return march began at midnight; our prisoner,
several of his wives, together with other members of his family, being
under the charge of a strong guard. The four sick white men, unable to
take their proper places in the ranks, were carried, country fashion,
in the long baskets already described, our bearers being subjects of
the king whom we were carrying away prisoner. Again the beach, left
dry by the receded tide, was our highway, and along it our “brave” men
proceeded. How the sick fared is illustrated in my own experience. As
the fierce tropical sun ascended in the heavens, the fever from which
I suffered increased, headache was severe; fresh water there was none
wherewith to moisten the parched mouth. In this plight, having by signs
indicated my desire that my basket should be placed on the ground, I
endeavoured to make my way to the ripples left by the recurring waves;
but in so doing strength gave way, and I fell prostrate on the sand.
Immediately I found myself being gently lifted back to the basket by
my carriers. One of them climbing a cocoa-nut tree that grew in our
immediate vicinity, cut off a large specimen of its fruit, which was
speedily opened by a companion beside me, its “milk” emptied over my
face and given me to drink. At the time and often since I have thought
gratefully of that act by the wild African, and have contrasted it with
its counterpart met with among “civilized” peoples.

Arrived at Axim, and the necessary arrangements completed, we
re-embarked on the little brig that had already done good service in
connection with our expedition. The captive chief, or “king” as he was
called, was speedily on board, under the care of a guard, the anchor
raised. Wind and current favoured us, and so we quickly arrived off
Cape Coast. In the early hours of morning we landed. Our prisoner
was securely placed in a cell of that fortress. The populace of the
native town, on hearing the news, were in great commotion; our friends,
merchants and others, from whom we had parted a month before, were full
of congratulations. Then followed invitations to dinner, picnics, and
so forth, until the rainy season, already threatening, fairly broke
upon us and put a stop to all.

Among other characteristic incidents related to us was that, as soon
as our expedition had marched away, the women of Cape Coast, omitting
the slight costume usually worn by them, went about their ordinary
occupations in a state of nudity. One of the oldest of the foreign
residents, astonished at the circumstance, inquired as to the reason
for such an extraordinary proceeding; he received as answer from the
perambulating statue so addressed the Fantee equivalent of “What does
it matter? All the _men_ have started for the war,” much emphasis being
given to the word “men.”

The work of paying up and disbanding the contingent portion of the
force was quickly carried out. In the former, gold dust was the
currency employed, of which the equivalent value of three-halfpence
was the daily rate given, no allowance being required for food. Years
passed away, and then I learned that the wretched king, having lost
his reason in his confinement, pined away, and died a drivelling idiot
in his prison. One by one our party of white men engaged in this small
but extremely trying piece of service dropped away, and for many years
before the time when the present notes are transferred to these pages I
have been the sole survivor. The expedition was mentioned approvingly
in the _Times_ some months after it had become a thing of the past.
Medals and decorations for similar services in West Africa were then in
the future.

Fifteen months on the Gold Coast; then came the welcome news that a
ship with “reliefs” on board was sighted. Great was the excitement
as we watched her gradual approach; great the zest with which their
arrival was welcomed; hospitable the reception accorded to them; great
the marks of kindness in various ways shown to us by residents. It
was long since news had reached us from England, for regular mail
communication did not exist. Papers now received were eagerly read, for
they were filled with details illustrative of a threatening political
aspect in various kingdoms of Europe.

Taught by experience how treacherous and dangerous was the climate
of Cape Coast, I determined to proceed by the first ship to sail,
irrespective of immediate destination, the chief object being “to get
away.” The arrival of the transport _Baretto Junior_, with reliefs
of West Indian soldiers and African recruits for regiments in the
West Indies, afforded me the desired opportunity. On 24th of May we
embarked, the ship dropped with the current to Accra, and then sailed
for Barbados.

Glad and thankful to have successfully run the gauntlet as it were
against the climate of Guinea, the clear sea air, notwithstanding
its temperature of 83° F., had its usual beneficial effect on health
impaired on the Coast. The transport in which we sailed had on board
three hundred Africans, of whom about one-half were soldiers, the
remainder recruits, that is, captured slaves, selected from among those
in the Adjudication Yard[90] at Sierra Leone, and duly “enlisted” into
West India regiments. A good many of the soldiers were accompanied
by their wives and children. Among the “recruits” was a very strong
athletic African named Kakungee, one of a cargo of slaves, the vessel
conveying whom had recently been captured by a British man-of-war.
A fellow-slave, but now “recruit,” gave information of the violent
and uncontrollable temper of Kakungee while on board the slave ship;
that on two occasions he had suddenly attacked fellow-slaves, killing
his victims before a rescue could be effected. With a view to guard
against similar occurrences on board the _Baretto Junior_, he having
speedily shown the violence of his disposition, he was secured to the
deck by means of a cask--in one end of which was a hole sufficiently
large to let through his head, but not his shoulders--being put over
him and cleated down. In that manner he was kept during the early part
of our voyage, food and liquids given to him, but his hands prevented
from being made use of for either purpose. His imploring requests to
be relieved, and promises of good behaviour, led to his release, and
being allowed to mix with his fellow-countrymen. Suddenly and without
provocation he attacked a comrade. A Yorruba man of great physical
strength came to the rescue; dealt the assailant such a blow that he
reeled to leeward, and striking his head against a stanchion, lay
insensible in the scupper. For nine days he remained in that condition,
notwithstanding means used for his restoration; at the end of that time
he died--a victim to his own incorrigible violence.

Twenty-nine days from Accra, our ship lay at anchor in Carlisle Bay,
Barbados.[91] Proceeding on shore to make the usual official reports
to the military authorities, we gained particulars in regard to the
widespread revolutionary spirit through the nations of Europe; that
in London serious demonstrations were threatened. Unhappily we also
learned that an outbreak of yellow fever had occurred among the troops
occupying barracks on the Savannah; that among victims of the disease
were some medical officers. The upshot was that I was ordered on shore
for duty. That afternoon I “took over” the barrack-room assigned to me,
vacated very shortly before through death of its occupant. Disinfection
and other means of modern sanitation were little if at all thought of
in those days; nor, up to the present, close upon half a century since
the event, has the malady extended to me.

The general aspect of Barbados is at first sight very beautiful.
Approaching the island from the northward, it appears as a mass of
rich green vegetation, the border of sea grape trees,[92] like so many
bearded men,--whence its name was taken,--becoming more distinct as we
approach. Towards its interior a succession of hills rise to a height
of eight hundred or a thousand feet, their sides mostly covered with
turf, with here and there clumps of trees, the intervening valleys
divided by different estates and lots upon which are grown sugar-cane
and guinea-corn.[93] The houses have such a home-like look that the
name of “Little Scotland,” long since given to the island, seems
appropriate, more especially when the landscape is viewed from the
summit of one of those hills inland, to which in one of our excursions
we proceeded. Unhappily a check--temporarily, it is hoped--has been
brought upon the once flourishing sugar industry of the island. Since
the emancipation of slaves took place, properties have altogether
fallen in value, proprietors have been ruined, the universal complaint
being that the freed slaves cannot be got to work. Geologically the
chief component rocks of Barbados consist of coral limestone and coral.
In respect to its fauna, it has the peculiarity of possessing but a
small proportion of venomous snakes as compared with the other islands
of the West India group. The people who have been born on the island
are known as “Bims.” Their colour is a mixture of red and albinoid
white; their special characteristic said to be pride.

Comparing the climate of Barbados with that of tropical India, the
former has various advantages. To a certain extent it is bracing and
exhilarating; the prevailing breeze, as it comes across the Savannah,
pleasant to the sensations, so that officers and other persons ride
out at all hours of the day, their faces ruddy, themselves to all
appearance in robust health. At intervals of seven to eight years,
epidemics of yellow fever occur, such as that which recently attacked
the 66th and 72nd Regiments, and after a temporary decrease in its
severity, recurred with more than usual intensity and mortality. With
regard to physical conditions, geological and otherwise, there is to
all appearance nothing of a kind to supply explanation, whether of the
advent, increase, temporary cessation, sudden return with increased
intensity, and final cessation; neither can explanation be drawn from
those conditions for the lengthened duration of non-epidemic intervals,
or of the cyclical return of the disease in pestilential form.

Embarked on board the _Prince Royal_ transport, I sailed for England.
During the homeward voyage only one incident deserving notice occurred.
In a clear moonlit night we became aware that we were in collision with
a vessel of no great size. As we rushed on deck, we were shocked to
observe that the craft suddenly disappeared a short distance astern of
us. No less to his own surprise than ours, a sailor belonging to her
was found on our deck, cast upon us in a portion of her rigging that
lay across it. He was carefully seen to by us, taken to Portsmouth, and
there handed over to the Spanish Consul, for we had ascertained that
the ship run down had sailed from Corunna.

Gravesend reached, we disembarked; in due time reported our arrival
at Headquarters. The authorities granted the usual period of leave of
absence in accordance with Regulations at the time in force. From them
also I received a letter conveying the thanks of Earl Grey for services
performed in Africa. A few days thereafter I learned that of our
“reliefs,” three in number, two had died within a month after landing
at Cape Coast, one of them my own successor. Fortunate, therefore, was
my resolve not to delay departure.

Often is the statement made, but nearly always by persons who live
at home at ease, that deaths of British officers in Africa and other
tropical countries are due to their irregularities and vices, not to
combined conditions collectively constituting climate. The officers
with whom I was associated on the Gold Coast were in their habits and
general manner of life as nearly as possible like their contemporaries
in England; nor did the few who at times exceeded somewhat appear to
suffer in any respect more than did those of more temperate habits. It
is the climate of Guinea, and it alone, that kills the white man, and
in yet greater proportion the white woman.

An incident which occurred shortly after I had arrived in London was in
its way illustrative of the state of public feeling at the time. It was
while spending an evening in Portman Street Barracks,[94] then occupied
by the Scots Fusilier Guards, that orders from the Horse Guards
directed that the battalion should be kept within barracks and under
arms; information at the same time circulated that on the previous day
there had been a “rising” of the Chartists at Ashton, near Birmingham,
and that a similar outbreak in London was intended. Subsequently we
learned that the Duke of Wellington, then Commander-in-Chief, had made
ample arrangements for such a contingency, though with so much secrecy
and discretion that not a soldier was to be seen on the street. But the
anticipated outbreak did not take place.

A portion of leave granted was devoted by me to the combined objects of
restoring health and gaining knowledge. At the beginning of the winter
session I re-entered at Edinburgh University to benefit by the lectures
of Sir George Ballingall. Meanwhile, a friend[95] was interesting
himself in appropriate quarters in view to my being released from
further service on “the Coast.”


_1848-1851. IRELAND_

  57th Regiment--Enniskillen--War in Punjab--Weeding out--Routine--
    “Albuhera day”--Ballyshannon--Sligo--Monro of the Blues--Orange
    festival--General conditions--An execution--Surprise inspections--
    Married--March to Dublin--Clones--Kells--Trim--Dangan--Maynooth--
    Dublin--Duties, etc.--Civilities--Donnybrook--Medical staff and
    Order of the Bath--Kaffir War--Adieu to 57th.

Gazetted[96] to the 57th, I joined that distinguished regiment at
Enniskillen, receiving from members of the “Die-hards” much civility
and courtesy as a new-comer among them. A few months passed,
and newspapers contained details of victory over the Sikhs at
Chilianwallah,[97] though at a British cost in killed and wounded of
89 officers and 2,268 soldiers. With a sense of relief, intelligence
by the following mail was read that crushing defeat had been inflicted
upon the enemy at Goojerat,[98] though with a loss to our forces of 29
officers and 778 men; the dispersion of the beaten army, the flight of
their Affghan allies towards the Khyber Pass--for disaffection on the
part of Dost Mahomed had not yet been completely appeased.

During winter the weekly route march, with its attendant little
incidents, furnished about the only events of regimental life that need
be alluded to. As an outcome of what was looked upon as a scheme of
“economical” administration proposed for political reasons, a reduction
in regimental strength was ordered, several soldiers weeded out of the
ranks in accordance with orders received. Not long thereafter public
attention was drawn to “The Defenceless State of Great Britain” by Sir
Francis Head, to whose book, so named, credit was given for measures
speedily taken to reverse the schemes of reductions in _personnel_ and
_matériel_ alluded to.

With the return of summer the routine of regimental life became again
pleasant as compared with the monotony incidental to the dreary months
of winter. The leave season over, the process of preparing for
inspection seemed the only object for which the regiment existed, men
and officers lived; for no sooner was the dreaded ordeal past and over,
than the process was resumed for that which was to come six months
later on. As so many interludes, entertainments given and received,
games, and “matches” of various kinds became so frequent as to be
looked upon as somewhat monotonous.

Exceptional in these respects was the anniversary, on May 16, of the
battle of Albuhera in 1811, on which occasion the 57th Regiment earned
the soubriquet of “The Die-hards,”[99] of which it is so justly proud,
the _esprit de corps_ maintained thereby as well as through anniversary
celebration being among its most valuable heritages. Then came the
birthday of Her Majesty; after it, the celebration of Waterloo, “the
credit of the regiment” being fully maintained on these occasions.

Trips in various directions by water and land proved to be most
enjoyable. Boating on the beautiful Loch Erne became a favourite
pastime, picnics on some of the many islands with which it is dotted
acquiring an interest of their own. Of those islands one has[100] a
semi-sacred character; upon it stand ruins of an ancient church,[101]
and, as believed, a still more ancient round tower. By road to
Beleek[102] and Ballyshannon was no less pleasant and interesting.
Around the promontory on which the first-named stands, the river Erne
rushes as a magnificent torrent; the second noted on account of its
“salmon leap,” and legendary story connected with the islet[103] at a
little distance seaward from the cataract. Extending our trip to Sligo,
we visited the ecclesiastical ruins and buildings pertaining to that
city. In proximity to one of them, several small heaps of human bones
lay among the grass, exposed to wind and weather. Inquiry elicited that
they were exhumed remains of dead prior to 1832, the great mortality
by cholera in that year rendering it necessary thus to “make room”
for interment of the numerous victims. But the necessity for leaving
exposed the vestiges of mortality was not apparent to us at the time.

At Bundoran I made the acquaintance of Lieutenant Monro, late of the
Blues, living in retirement, his prospects ruined as a result of the
duel into which he was forced with his brother-in-law, Lieut.-Colonel
Fawcett, 55th Regiment, whom he killed on that occasion. Coming as
that duel did not long after the “meeting” between Hawkey and Seton,
in which the latter received a wound that resulted in his death,
public opinion became aroused against the practice. Within two years
thereafter the Articles of War were so modified as to declare it to be
a military offence on the part of an officer to fight a duel or fail
to take measures to prevent one from taking place. For a considerable
time past there had been a growing feeling in the army and in civil
life against a system by which it was possible for the bully and the
aggressor to have an advantage as a “professed duellist” over the less
experienced adversary whom he might see fit to “call out.”

The celebration of the victory of the Boyne, July 1, 1690, and that
of Auchrim on 12th of the same month, 1691, was enthusiastically
observed. Processions of men, bedecked with the distinctive colour of
their party, led by bands of music and bearing with them a profusion
of flags, paraded the streets of Enniskillen. From many windows orange
flags and other party emblems were displayed; from the church steeple
festoons of orange-coloured ribbons waved in the breeze. In other
respects much of what was “demonstrative” in character took place,
but the general impression produced upon strangers and uninterested
spectators was not unlike that experienced as we looked in India upon
“religious” festivals.

The visit of Her Majesty to Ireland, and the prospect of a Levée to
take place in Dublin, attracted to that capital every officer whose
duties and position admitted of his being temporarily absent from his
regiment. The question of expediency of the Royal visit had for some
time previous been subject of conversation, nor was there an absence
of curiosity and anxiety in regard to the reception the Queen might
meet with on the occasion of her traversing the streets. Everywhere it
was enthusiastic, so much so that Her Majesty was much impressed. The
following day the Levée was held; some two thousand presentations were
made, and in the list of those who had that honour my name was included.

At this time the general state of things in our immediate neighbourhood
was this:--The intensity of famine by reason of the potato blight of
1847-8 had to some degree become lessened; favourable summer weather
had brought about an abundant crop of grain, relief works were in
progress, the expenses of administration out of proportion to the
meagre sums which actually reached the workers. All the while political
and religious antipathies manifested themselves in violent forms;
murders perpetrated in the close vicinity of our county town.

Some of the alleged perpetrators of those crimes underwent their trial
at the County Assizes. Two were convicted and condemned to death. On
the day of their execution a guard provided by the 57th was drawn up
at a little distance from the main entrance of the prison, where the
apparatus for carrying out the extreme sentence of the law was kept
in readiness. Behind the soldiers the large open space then existing
was crowded with interested spectators, the proportion of women being
estimated as four to one of men. The dread ordeal over, one of our men
was brought to the regimental hospital in a condition of delirious
terror, his delusion that one of the men executed was dangling over
his head. All means used to soothe or relieve him failed; his horrible
delirium continued with little or no interruption through some few days
and nights, only ceasing with his own existence, for the same terrible
impression haunted him to the very last.

The system of “surprise inspections,” at the time in force, applied
to regiments and departments; inspecting officers were wont to
appear without warning, such ordeals being over and above those
held in ordinary course of routine. That the higher authorities saw
good reasons for their action in this respect is not to be doubted.
Those reasons, however, did not transpire; but among our soldiers
the irritation caused by unusual proceeding went far to overbalance
whatever good might have accrued from it.

On the 14th of March, 1850, the most sacred event of a man’s life
occurred in mine--that event, my marriage[104] to Annie, daughter of
John Mackintosh, Esq., of Torrich. Time was pressing, for rumours
were in the air that the regiment was well up the roster for foreign
service. Leave of absence had accordingly to be curtailed; but, on
rejoining the 57th with my young bride, she was received with the same
kindness that had been shown to myself. Not many days thereafter,
she proceeded to Dublin, where, pending the arrival of the regiment,
including myself, she was most hospitably received by the family of a
brother officer.[105]

Our progress to the Irish capital included several days’ march; for,
although railway communication could have been made use of for part of
the distance, the authorities had decided that it should not be so. In
our march, we passed through or were billeted for a night at places in
relation to which history records a good deal of what is interesting.
For example, Clones has an ecclesiastical history dating back to
the sixth century; Kells, otherwise _Kenlis_, boasts of ruins of a
monastery, said to have owed its foundation to St. Columba; in near
proximity to Trim stands the rectory of Larour, the former residence
of Dean Swift, and near it a fragment of what had been the house of
Stella. The ruins of Dangan Castle in the near neighbourhood were
interesting, in that in them was shown to us an apartment said to have
been the actual birthplace of the Duke of Wellington--with what degree
of truth it was not deemed necessary to inquire.[106]

The village of Maynooth, at the time of our march through it, was in
appearance wretched and decayed, even as compared to others along our
line of route. At its eastern end is the avenue that leads to Carton,
seat of Ireland’s only duke.[107] But the name of the village has
become associated with its Roman Catholic College, which dates from
1795, and was endowed by Sir Robert Peel[108] with an income yearly of
£30,000--a measure much discussed at the time of our visit, as indeed
it has continued since to be.

Arrived in Dublin, the barracks assigned to the 57th were the Linen
Hall--old, and long before then condemned as unfit for occupation;
accommodation for all ranks insufficient. Thus my experience in
searching for lodgings began. Some months elapsed; then the regiment
was “broken up,” small parties distributed among various barracks, to
be, after another interval, collected in the Royal Barracks--large,
spacious, and, at the time, looked upon as well adapted for their

Duty, relaxation, pleasure, as represented in Ireland’s capital,
succeeded each other among our officers. In accordance with rules
then in force, much of my own time was taken up in connection with
the more military functions of parades, drills, field days, and
ceremonial “trooping the colours.” Regimental entertainments, levées,
and “receptions” at the Castle were so many interludes in our general

In accordance also with the custom of the time, civility and attention
in various ways by learned societies and institutions were extended to
medical officers of the garrison, myself included. Access to lectures
in the Colleges was placed at our disposal; so was admission to the
Botanical and Zoological Gardens. Invitations to picnics and to boating
excursions in the beautiful bay further helped to render pleasant our
stay in Dublin.

The once famous Donnybrook Fair[109] had not then become a thing of the
past, although its extinction was approaching. The assemblage of people
on the occasion comprised the wild in aspect, dirty in person, squalid,
imperfectly clothed, all more or less strongly smelling of whisky, some
dancing to music of their pipes; but so far as we saw, without the
mirth, laughter, and other signs of Irish life of which we had heard so

Through the advocacy of Sir De Lacy Evans, and almost by it alone,
officers of the Medical and Commissariat Departments were admitted
to the second and third grades of the Most Honourable Order of the
Bath.[110] In battles connected with recent campaigns, surgeons of
British regiments were exposed to fire of the enemy in a degree only
second to that of combatants, the casualties in killed and wounded
among them testifying to the risks ran by them in the performance of
their duties on those occasions. Other circumstances of military life
tell more against medical officers of regiments than those whose duties
are merely “combatant.” The combat over, the latter, if unscathed,
takes his rest, such as it may be under the circumstances, but the
most arduous duties of the former then begin. On marches incidental to
campaigns, the halting ground reached, requirements of the sick and
wounded must be attended to, often under great difficulties. In times
of epidemics, the combatant runs risks common to all; the surgeon, in
addition to them, is exposed to those incidental to close association
with subjects of those epidemics, together with mental and physical
wear and tear in the performance of professional duties. Hence arises
the proportionately high rates of mortality that prevail among junior
departmental ranks.

Some time thereafter, war was undertaken against the Kaffirs under
Sandilli, their chief. Eight infantry regiments were hastily dispatched
to take part in the coming campaign, and so the 57th was placed
among the first to proceed to the same destination in the event of
reinforcements becoming necessary. Married officers, therefore, lost no
time in forecasting arrangements to be made by them respectively in the
event of the anticipated contingency becoming a reality.

My personal arrangements in that respect became hastened by the birth
to me of a son.[111] Anticipating such an event, I had already opened
negotiations for exchange to a regiment serving in India, conscious
that colonial rates of pay and allowances were inadequate to meet the
needs of double establishments during war time. By-and-by the time
arrived when connection had to be severed with a regiment to which I
had become much attached, and of its traditions proud as any other of
its members. A farewell dinner, by invitation of Colonel Goldie[112]
and officers, and then adieu.



  10th Foot--International Exhibition--Sail for India--Incidents--
    Battened down--Chinsurah again--Sunderbunds--Purbootpore--
    Kurumnassa--Incidents of the river trip--By Grand Trunk Road--
    Hospitable Brahmins--Louis Napoleon--Deobund--Saharunpore--
    Lahore--Googeranwallah--Arrive at regimental headquarters.

Among regiments stationed throughout the Punjab, then but recently
annexed, was the 10th Foot, to which, by exchange,[113] I was now
appointed. Towards that province I accordingly started without delay.
Arrived in London, we visited the great novelty of that day, the palace
of glass situated in Hyde Park, in which was held the International
Exhibition, progenitor of a long series as it was destined to be. No
time was lost in completing arrangements for the coming sea voyage
in so far as restricted pecuniary means permitted. Early in June we
embarked on board the _Lord George Bentinck_, I in charge of troops;
some hours thereafter the ship was under sail and away.

Among the incidents of our voyage these were recorded at the time of
their occurrence; namely, some of our crew drunk and insubordinate,
others impertinent; recruits undisciplined; junior officers
unacquainted with duties required of them. In a quarrel between soldier
and sailor the knife was used, fortunately without fatal result. The
death-roll included one child, a soldier who in _delirium tremens_
jumped overboard, another who accidentally fell into the sea during a
squall at night,--his death-scream, as he fell, most painful to hear.

Far away in southern latitudes[114] we experienced a hurricane such
as occur from time to time in those regions. Ten days and nights it
continued to rage; hatchways battened down; men, women, and children
confined ’tween decks, deprived to a great degree of light and air,
their food and drink handed to and passed from each to other as best
could be under the circumstances; decks washed from stem to stern
by heavy seas, the ship running before the wind; sky so thick that
“sights” were impracticable, and so our exact position left conjectural
for the time being. This, added to experiences already mentioned, was
the kind of initiation into the rougher side of military life to which
my wife was subjected; she herself in delicate health, our infant
son severely ill, his “nurse” a young untrained woman, the wife of a

The sea voyage ended, our detachment was conveyed by steam-boat and
flats to Chinsurah, as on a former occasion when transit was by means
of country boats. Within a few days after arrival there, cholera
attacked our young recruits, many of whom, as also the wives of some
among them, fell victims. The sudden death of our child’s nurse was the
first shock and trying experience his mother had to face in India.

Starting on November 1, again by steamer and flats, our route was by
the Sunderbunds to reach the main stream of the Ganges. A week previous
that region was swept over by storm wave and hurricane, by which
several ships, among them the steamer _Powerful_, were wrecked. Two
days were occupied in passing along the narrow creeks that intersect
the partially submerged forest tract, a thousand miles in superficial
extent, to which the name of Sunderbunds is given. At the end of that
time we are in the Ganges.

Time passed without special incident. Arrived at Purbootpore, a village
on the left bank of the river,[115] the place was interesting only as
being the locality where, on August 11, 1851, the Moolraj of Mooltan
died, and was burned in accordance with Hindoo rites. He it was who
instigated, in April, 1848, the murder of Vans Agnew and Anderson, and
headed the revolt which led to the siege and capture of that fortress
by British forces, and proved to be the first act in the second Sikh
war of that year. The Moolraj was for upwards of two years detained
as a political prisoner at Calcutta; his health having given way,
Government sanctioned his transfer to Allahabad, and while on his way
thither death overtook him.

Not far from Buxar we passed the point of junction between the river
Kurumnassa and the Ganges. The former stream is by good Hindoos held
accursed, so that to touch its water is to them pollution. This
reputation, however, would seem to be of modern date,--namely, October
23, 1764, when the forces of Mir Cossim were defeated by those under
Major Munro;[116] pursued by them to that river, in which many of
them perished. It was a similar occurrence in 1826 on the part of the
Ashantees at Acromanté that gave to that place in Guinea the name of
“accursed,” by which it was known during my period of service there.

In some respects our river voyage was pleasant; the cool dry air, the
incidents of each day including walks on shore, the peculiarities of
village life along the banks, the “fleets” and single craft we met,
became, in turn, sources of interest to us. As this the dry season
advanced, the size of the once mighty stream diminished, shoals
became numerous, boats ran aground, delay and other inconvenience the
consequences. On one such occasion several recruits from the particular
boat concerned, started away clandestinely in the shallow water to
indulge in the luxury of a river bath. Suddenly a scream was heard;
two of their number disappeared; whether engulphed in a quicksand, or
carried away by a crocodile, no one could tell.

Our river journey ended at Allahabad. Thence our progress was to be by
march along the Grand Trunk Road. A short halt was permitted to enable
officers to purchase such camp equipment and stores as pecuniary means
were equal to. Early in December we marched out of the--to me--familiar
place. Nine days thereafter, arrived at Cawnpore, the terrible story
in connection with which was in the not distant future. Here my wife
had her first experience of one of those violent whirlwind storms
whose distinctive name is taken from the locality;[117] her surprise
great on seeing some tents, articles of clothing, etc., drawn up and
disappearing in the meteor.

At Kullianpore I found my way into the enclosure of a Hindoo temple.
Great was my surprise at the offer of hospitality by the priests
connected with it, they being in the act of partaking of a meal as I
entered, the particular dish called “phillouree.” Of it accordingly
I partook; but the incident seemed to indicate that then at least my
hosts entertained no religious horror against the European.

Arrived at Meerut, the _Overland Express_ brought news that “Louis
Napoleon having the army on his side has carried all before him,
dissolved the ministry and courts of law; has thrown himself on the
people, and intimated his readiness to be designated by any title they
may decide upon giving him.” The next act in the drama so announced was
soon to come.

Deobund was soon reached. There took place, in 1827, the last suttee
permitted under public sanction. Since that date the practice has
been officially suppressed, though it has been stated that isolated
instances have clandestinely occurred. On the former suttee ground
stood in its centre a temple; a series of small minarets of peculiar
device indicate spots on which immolation of widows had taken place.
The priests readily admitted us to the threshold of the shrine, but,
unlike their brethren already mentioned, offered no food. In the
neighbouring grove, numerous baboons--representatives of Humayon, the
monkey god--chattered and made grimaces at us.

At Saharunpore a visit was paid to the Botanic Gardens. The excellence
of their arrangement and management seemed to merit the eulogies
bestowed upon them, a centre as they are from which plants are
distributed throughout India, and to various European countries. The
process of acclimatization was particularly interesting; so also was
the care with which plants of temperate climates were being arranged
and packed for dispatch to hill sanatoria in the Himalayas, there to
remain throughout the coming hot season. It was a somewhat strange
thing to see a daisy being thus nursed.

At Jugadree the detachment, its stores and equipment, crossed the
Jumna, there so divided by shoals and islands as in effect to be
four different rivers. Across the first the men waded at an hour so
early that dawn had not appeared; the second and third were passed by
means of bridges of boats such as are common on Indian rivers; over
the fourth a bridge had been erected, so elegant in construction as
to claim general admiration. Through its arches rushed currents of
sparkling water, in the eddies and shallower parts of which were seen
fish rising to flies; along the banks grew willow, acacia, and wild fig
trees, the adjoining fields rich with well-irrigated crops of wheat.
In the far distance rose above the haze of morning the snowy peaks of

Arrived at Umballah, headquarters of the Sirhind Division, a short halt
was made, according to the custom of the time, for the double purpose
of repairing equipage and exchanging draught animals where necessary.
According also to the custom of the time, some of our number were
invited to partake of friendly hospitality by officers stationed there.

Continuing, northward from Umballah were seen ruined remains of pillars
raised by order of Jehangir[118] to mark the halting places of Noor
Jehan, otherwise Noor Mahal, on her journey from Delhi to Lahore.
Those remains seemed to occur at intervals of six to eight miles,
representing the length of each daily journey of that _Chère Reine_.

Loodianah had an interest in that, during a severe cyclone some years
previous, portions of barracks occupied by the 50th Regiment were
blown down, several men being killed in the catastrophe, besides
many injured. In the first Punjab war the Sikhs made a rush upon
the station, set fire to and destroyed various bungalows and other
buildings within it. Further depredations by them were checked by their
defeat at Aliwal[119] by Sir Harry Smith.

Arrived at Kool, the position occupied by the army of Tej Singh
preparatory to the battle at Ferozeshah, we mounted elephants and so
rode to the field of that disastrous victory of December 21 and 22,
1845. Our ride for five miles was across open flat country, covered
here and there by acacia bushes, occasional patches of cultivation
occurring as we proceeded, the crops consisting of wheat and grain
(dolichos). The village of Ferozeshah, half concealed by groves,
had yet some remains of entrenchments and batteries, behind and on
which the Sikh guns were placed. Along the ground for a considerable
distance in front of that position lay scattered and bleached by six
years’ exposure bones of gallant men, chiefly of the 62nd Regiment,
for here it was that so many of them were swept away on the first of
those eventful days. Of our small party there was one who had shared
the risks and “glory” of that battle, and now pointed out the several
positions occupied by the opposing forces.

Ferozepore, for many years the frontier station, ceased to be so when,
after the battle of Sobraon,[120] British occupation of the Punjab
took place. At one time a sandy plain, it had become beautified by
ornamental trees and shrubs, and in other respects somewhat attractive
in appearance.

Crossing in its near proximity the Sutlej--Hesudrus of the time of
Alexander--we were within the territory of the Punjab--Panch-ab, or
“Five Rivers.” Five more marches and we encamped close to Lahore,
capital city of that province; our camp pitched on ground where in
former times had stood cantonments of troops in pay of Runjeet Singh.
In near vicinity stood houses of British officials, some tombs and
mosques, one of the latter transformed into an English church.

Arrived on the right bank of the Ravee (Hydraotis), our camp occupied
ground close to the tomb of Jehangir, and not far from that of his
empress Noor Jehan, “Light of the World,” whose romantic history
interested some of our number, if not all. Thence to Goojeranwallah,
birthplace of Runjeet, “Lion of the Punjab,” and anciently the
Buddhistic capital of the province. In recent times the camp ground
has obtained unpleasant notoriety, it being so infected with poisonous
snakes that a new site for that purpose has been selected.

Ten months’ travel by sea and land, I joined the regiment into which,
hoping thereby to advance my own prospects and position, it had cost
me so much in means and personal trouble to exchange. Having done
so, the occasion seemed opportune to take stock, as it were, of that
position. At the date in question regimental appointments in India had
their market value, according to their several kinds, and the period
still unrun of service in that country. That of my own position was
reckoned at £100 for each year so before us; thus my exchange cost six
and a half times that amount, in addition to which the cost of passage,
added to other unavoidable expenses, placed me on the debit side to
the extent of £1,180, all of which, having had to be “raised” as best
I could, was an incubus to be got rid of with the least practicable
delay. [Although anticipating the order of this narrative, the fact
may be stated in this place that, by the aid of my dear wife and her
patient submission to curtailment of luxuries and even necessities,
pecuniary obligations were cleared off within eighteen months. As we
shall see, troubles of other kinds arrived against which it became most
difficult to bear up.]


_1852-1853. WUZZEERABAD_

  Wuzzeerabad cantonments--City--Flying column--Public conditions--
    The hot season--Rainy season--Sickness and death--Birth of a
    daughter--Australian gold fever--Struck by soldier--Assault and
    confession--The “Iron Duke”--Items of news--Snake-bite--Prowling
    animals--Routine life of a soldier--Attempt at improvement--Book
    club--The sick soldier--Illness of wife--Incident of travel--
    Traite--Murree--Murder of Mackeson--Its outcome--Hazarees
    attack Murree--Wife’s adventure--Charitable hospital.

Immediately after the decisive battle of Goojerat,[121] by which the
Sikh army was completely overthrown, a position for troops was selected
on an extensive plain stretching for many miles along and from the left
bank of the Chenab.[122] That portion of the plain chosen as a site for
what were to be cantonments was at the time under indigo cultivation;
on it tents were pitched and “lines” drawn out in accordance with
regulations bearing on the subject. With the approach of hot weather
the tents were walled and covered in by mud, straw, and such other
materials as under the circumstances were obtainable; then the tents
were struck, partitions of mud “run up,” and so houses or bungalows
formed. By similar means “barracks” for the soldiers and their
establishments were erected; the whole declared to be the station of

Six miles away stood the city of that name; in its centre the palace
occupied by General Avitabile, in the service of Runjeet Singh, and
under him Governor of Peshawur at the time of the first war against
Affghanistan. Extending from the main entrance to the city, what in
former days must have been an imposing avenue of trees is represented
by dilapidated willow trunks; at intervals smaller towns and villages
occur, all surrounded by richly cultivated fields. Across the river,
said to attain a breadth of fourteen miles during the rainy season,
is seen the town of Goojerat; towards our left the position of
Chilianwallah; in the far distance the Pir-Punjal and other peaks
pertaining to the Cashmere range of the Himalayahs.

Our force, equipped as a “Flying Column,” was so held prepared and
ready, if need arose, for emergent service. Rumour had it that among
the people the state of things incidental to recent annexation did
not meet with universal acceptance; that the system of Thuggee had
extended to their country from Bengal, where for some years previous it
had been relentlessly hunted down by Colonels Sleeman and Graham. At
the new station of Sealkote an English church was in course of being
erected. In reference thereto the strange report circulated among the
natives that their children were being kidnapped, to be there offered
as sacrifices. Meanwhile two expeditions were in progress of formation:
the one to Swat, under command of Sir Colin Campbell; the other to
Burmah, under that of General Godwin.

The hot season was soon upon us. As it advanced we became
painfully aware how unsuitable, under the circumstances, were the
extemporised “houses” already mentioned. By the aid of tatties and
thermantadotes,[123] it was possible to reduce temperature within
doors to something like 112° F.; but such contrivances were themselves
expensive, and in some instances beyond the means of individuals. The
sense of oppression from the prevailing heat was greater during the
night than in daytime; the stillness of the air, laden with impalpable
dust, affected not alone people, but quadrupeds and birds, while over
everything a yellow haze lay thick and heavy. Then would come a thunder
burst; forked lightning threatened, and in some instances struck our
houses; a downpour of rain would follow, and for a few days thereafter
all would be comparatively agreeable. Later on hurricanes of dust burst
upon us, their violence sufficient to unroof some houses and barracks,
to be followed by storms of rain, and ultimately by the season so
called. Early in September the hot season was at an end; the moist
atmosphere became even more oppressive than it had been while dry heat
prevailed, so that all of us looked forward anxiously to the advent of
cold weather properly so called.

All belonging to the regiment suffered considerably in health; deaths
of soldiers were numerous, the physical powers of all much depressed,
a large proportion thus unfit to take the field in case of emergency.
It was felt, however, that hospital _régime_ was likely rather to
increase their disability than benefit their condition; hence they
were permitted to remain in barracks, though exempt from duty--a
circumstance here noted as indicating the insufficiency of mere
statistics to represent conditions of physical fitness of troops.

Among the deaths was that of a young surgeon,[124] only a few months
in India when attacked by climatic illness, to which he succumbed.
For some time before life passed away, incapable of expression by
voice, his look of terror told plainly his state of mind as he faced
approaching death. The scene was most painful to witness.

On September 5, ’52, a daughter was born to me. The event took place
in early morning. Shortly after mid-day information reached my beloved
wife, through tittle-tattle of servants, that a guest,[125] who
occupied a tent in our compound, was dead by heat apoplexy. Several of
our men were struck down by the same disease, so that absence from my
own domestic sphere was unavoidable under the trying circumstances of
the day.

Within a week from her date of birth, an attempt was made by her ayah
to poison the infant, the reason for the intended crime neither then
nor subsequently ascertained. The prostrate mother from her bed saw
the native woman put “something” in the mouth of the babe, who was
immediately thereafter seized with tetanic spasms; nor was it without
much difficulty that her young life was saved.

The recent discovery of gold-fields in Australia led to a somewhat
unpleasant state of unrest on the part of a few soldiers serving in
India. Letters from friends and relatives in the colonies instigated
them to endeavour by means, whether foul or fair, to get sent thither,
where fortunes could very quickly be made. The result was the outbreak,
as if epidemic, of crimes of assault on officers and non-commissioned
officers, the idea being to get tried before a General Court-Martial
and sentenced to transportation; after which, once in Australia, it
would be an easy matter to find one’s way to the gold-fields. This
“gold fever” resulted in a Resolution by the Commander-in-Chief to put
a stop to the assaults in question; in one instance--and it sufficed
for the purpose in view--the death penalty awarded was carried out.[126]

On a morning in June, while examining a soldier who was about to
appear before a Garrison Court-Martial on the charge of striking a
sergeant, I received from the prisoner a somewhat severe blow on the
forehead. Astonished at the occurrence, some little time was needed
to collect my thoughts and decide upon the line of official action
most suitable under the circumstances. In the interval I learned that
the Garrison Court-Martial had been intentionally ordered to assemble
for the express purpose of defeating the object the man was known to
have in view, and this being the case it was natural to assume that in
assaulting me he had in view trial and sentence by the more important
tribunal. Aware as I was that a sentence of death might be the possible
award, and desiring to avert such a penalty, in making the official
report of the assault I suggested that an inquiry should take place as
to his mental condition at the time. Three months elapsed, and then the
man appeared before that ordeal; he was found “not guilty” on the plea
of “insanity.” In due course he was sent to Calcutta, to be taken there
into the Lunatic Asylum. At the end of a year he was discharged “cured”
from that establishment, and while _en route_ to rejoin the 10th he
died of cholera. So ended that episode.

About the time I was struck a similar assault was committed upon the
surgeon[127] of the 3rd Light Dragoons, occupying barracks also at
Wuzzeerabad. He took steps to have an inquiry made into the mental
condition of his assailant. On that inquiry I sat as president, and
this is the substance of the story told me by the man. From the time
when he first enlisted he had been haunted by visions of a murder
committed by himself and his “pal” on Wandsworth Common in 1845; he
made every endeavour to get killed while charging the Sikhs in battle;
he had committed offences so that he might be taken to the guard room,
and thence made pretended attempts to escape in the hope of being cut
down by the sentry; but failing in all these he had struck the officer,
in order that for so doing he might be tried, condemned, and shot.
These particulars were duly entered in the report submitted to the
authorities; meanwhile, the regiment to which he belonged received its
orders for home, and left the station, taking with it as prisoner this
unhappy man. It was not till long thereafter that the sequel of his
story was heard of.

The death of the “Iron Duke” of Wellington, news of which was received
early in November, was made the text of remark and discussion, the
official acts and demeanour of His Grace towards officers and the army
generally being looked at from different and at times directly opposite
points of view,--the impression which seemed most generally to prevail
being that although no one denied him the credit of great services
performed in the first fifteen years of the century, yet for many
years thereafter he had been “past his work”--a commentary which bears
interpretation in more ways than one. It cannot be said that many signs
of mourning for his loss were apparent.

Early in 1853 English papers brought news among other matters that
Louis Napoleon had been recognised as Emperor by the Powers of
Europe, though not with good grace, that a suspicion existed of a
possible attempt at invasion was under consideration, an order for the
concentration of troops of the regular army and militia at particular
points being the outcome of that suspicion. Another item in those
papers reads strangely while these notes are being transcribed, and
conditions alluded to have developed in significance; namely, “The
influence of the lower orders is fast on the increase, and altogether
we seem to be on the eve of a crisis, the ultimate issue of which
it is impossible to predict.” Shortly thereafter came news of the
Emperor’s marriage to a Spanish lady,[128] his personal popularity in
the army not enhanced thereby. According to Indian journals, overtures
had been made to the British Resident at Moorshedabad, by Sirdars of
Affghanistan with a view to approach Government on the subject of
taking over that kingdom. The truth or otherwise of the report did not
transpire; but that the rumour was current was itself a suggestive

As the hot season advanced, snakes, poisonous and otherwise, became
numerous in cantonments. A sepoy while asleep was bitten by one of
those reptiles. He soon became unconscious; blood oozed from two small
punctures on the instep where he had been bitten, from his mouth,
nostrils, and from under his finger-nails.[129] He was treated by means
of large doses of ammonia and turpentine, and ultimately recovered.

Prowling beasts of prey made night hideous. On one occasion much alarm
was occasioned by one of them becoming “rabid,” rushing violently at
and biting animals and people. Considerable numbers of both were so
injured by the pariah dog; some of those bitten were treated, some not,
but no specific results followed the injuries. In the bazaars within
cantonments prowling jackals and wolves were so many dangers to infants
asleep on charpoys at night; some instances occurred in which they were
carried away and devoured by the larger animals mentioned.

The conditions of a soldier’s life in India at the time alluded to were
calculated rather to weary than enliven him. The climate ill suited for
out-of-door exercise; many of the men unable to read, and disinclined
to learn; their two resources the bazaar and the canteen; their tastes
and pursuits animal; mind a blank; the body a ready prey to disease.
Absolutely no good result was to be gained from official reports on
these points, and suggestions for improvements. I addressed letters to
the journals in the hope of enlisting attention in favour of station
reading rooms, lecture rooms, etc., but with the result that little
notice was taken of my representations.

In the 10th Regiment itself, through the action of two or three
officers, some of the soldiers enrolled their names as members of
a “Mutual Improvement Society.” Meetings were held; tea and other
light refreshments served in view to attracting men; lectures and
demonstrations given on such subjects as Forts and Battles mentioned in
the Bible,[130] Strata of the Earth’s Surface, Uses of the Human Body;
classes for reading and writing also set on foot. Not long thereafter,
a General Officer,[131] by order of the Commander-in-Chief,[132]
arrived at Wuzzeerabad “to put a stop to so dangerous an association.”
Military opinion was not then ripened for the innovation.

After some delay, and with considerable difficulty, a Book Club
for the soldiers was launched in the regiment; the officers were
already well provided in that respect. As with the one class, so
with the other, works on “service” subjects were mostly read, but
intellectual occupation was thus available whereby to pass the weary
and exhausting days of the hot season. [Recollecting these endeavours
made by a small number of us in 1853 to advance the intellectual
condition of the British soldier in India, the few of us who still
live attach suggestive significance to the extract now given from
the most interesting work by Lord Roberts, entitled _Forty-one Years
in India_.[133] Under the date 1887 he wrote: “My name appeared in
the _Jubilee Gazette_ as having been given the Grand Cross of the
Indian Empire, but what I valued still more was the acceptance by the
Government of India of my strong recommendation for the establishment
of a Club or Institute in every British regiment and battery in India.
Lord Dufferin’s Government met my views in the most liberal spirit,
and, with the sanction of Lord Cross, ‘The Regimental Institute’ became
a recognised establishment.”]

The second hot season of our residence at Wuzzeerabad proved even more
severe than the first upon the health of our soldiers, large numbers
of whom suffered from illness special to the climate and locality.
Unfortunately for those so prostrated, the apathy and indifference of
the native servants connected with the hospital were such that many
lives were thus sacrificed which under more favourable circumstances
would in all probability have been saved. For example:--A soldier in
barracks, during the hottest hours of the day, is discovered by his
comrades to be seized with heat apoplexy, or to be suffering from
the scarcely less alarming symptoms of ardent fever. He is by them
placed in a dooly and so dispatched to hospital. The bearers who carry
him are indifferent to life and suffering among themselves, but if
possible more so in respect to the white man, and so their pace is by
no means rapid. They reach the “surgery”; but there, if they find no
one present, they put their dooly down, while they themselves sit in
the verandah to smoke, perhaps to sleep. After an interval more or
less long, the presence of the sick--it may be unconscious--soldier
is discovered; the circumstance, after another interval, comes, or is
brought to the knowledge of the subordinate, who, just roused from his
siesta, and considerably narcotised by his “hookah,” takes time to
collect his energies, and so be able to visit him. Even then the actual
nature and severity of the attack is not always recognised and dealt
with; so when the surgeon pays his evening visit, the patient is dead.

Among those struck down by severe illness was my dear wife, vitality
brought to so low an ebb that only by holding a hand mirror to her
lips and observing the slight moisture left thereon could the fact be
realized that she still breathed. In this our time of trial, sympathy
and aid came unexpectedly, but not from sources whence they were
looked for as an outcome of services rendered. When her removal became
practicable, she proceeded by dooly dâk towards Murree, then newly
established as a hill station and sanatorium. Our cavalcade--for I
was of the party--crossed the Chenab, partly by boat, partly by being
carried through shallow water and marshy tracts. Arrived at Goojerat,
the field of battle, at a little distance from the city, was found to
be so overrun by vegetation as to be recognisable only by monuments to
individual officers erected on spots where they had fallen. The day
wore on; a messenger arrived, bringing, with “salaam from the Collector
Sahib,”[134] soup and other delicacies suitable for an invalid and
infants. He had heard casually that a lady, severely ill, was in
the dâk bungalow; hence this outcome of kind thoughtfulness towards
complete strangers to him, as we were.

Jhelum, on the river so named,[135] was the next stage of our anxious
journey. Thence, next night to Pucka Serai. Arrived at the dâk
bungalow, it was found that the building intended for travellers
consisted of one room; in it a single bedstead, on which lay an elderly
field officer, who, in transit to the hills, had arrived shortly
before us. Attendants were absent; supplies unobtainable; there was
no alternative but to carry my sick wife from her dooly and place her
alongside the sick officer. How the child and infant fared all day is
not recorded. Resuming our weary way as the cool breezes of evening set
in, early morning found us at Rawul Pindee, then as still a favoured
military station. Thence, in evening, towards the foot of the hilly
range towards which our journey was directed. Night had closed in
before the actual ascent began. As yet there existed no road properly
so called. Progress was slow: rocks and boulders in the way caused many
difficulties; but these surmounted, the light of our torches showed
that in our progress we had attained a region of precipices, rugged
valleys, and rapidly running streams.

As morning dawned we were set down at Trait, a place the loveliness of
which--surrounded by pine-covered hills; its rich green vegetation, the
purling rivulets that traversed the valley, the coolness of the breeze
that wafted over us--all these, delightful in themselves, exerted upon
my wife an effect to be described as magical. Then it was that from her
dooly the pale, emaciated form emerged. Enthusiastically she clutched a
twig of pine tree I had just cut; its grateful resin scent brought to
recollection associations of bygone days. From that moment her recovery

The further journey to Murree was continued, the cool air at the
elevation of six to eight thousand feet, to which we had attained,
enabling us to travel by day, instead of only by night as in the
plains. A road was in course of being made, but as yet that by which we
continued was little else than a rugged mountain path, leading upwards
through forest composed of sycamore, pine, chestnut, and other trees
familiar in our English woods; the altered conditions of temperature,
scenery, and general surroundings were health-giving in their effect.
Before many hours had passed we were welcomed and hospitably received
by our friends, Dr. and Mrs. Banon.[136]

A few days elapsed, and through the station bazaar rumour circulated
that on the 11th “a great earthquake would take place at Peshawur,”
“a native prophecy” having so declared. On the 13th information was
received that on the 11th[137]--namely, the date indicated--Major
Mackeson, Chief Political Officer at Peshawur, had been assassinated by
an Affghan from Jallahabad; the murderer having delivered his thrust
raised his hand to repeat the blow, when--so it was stated--a native
rushed between them and received it. Subsequent information led to the
belief that the murder of political officers at various other seats of
local government had been intended, the existence of a conspiracy with
that object well known among the native population.

Rejoining the 10th without delay, like every other officer who observed
the signs of the times, I could not help seeing that as an immediate
outcome of the Peshawur murder, the aspect of public affairs, not only
on the North-Western frontier, but throughout India, rapidly became
such as to cause anxiety to administrators, while it led officers and
soldiers to speculate on the chances of active service. The prime mover
in the murder of Major Mackeson was believed to be Sadhut Khan, chief
of the Lalpoora State. Immediately on the occurrence of the murder
British troops were moved onwards from Rawul Pindee, orders issued
for others to march from other stations to take their place. These
proceedings occupied several days, as all such movements had to be
performed on foot. In the meantime the troops arriving at Peshawur were
received with signs of disaffection by the Mahomedans of that city;
while Rawul Pindee, left for the time being with a diminished garrison,
was threatened with attack by a band of Hazara men under an impostor
named Peshora Singh,[138] who pretended to be a son of Runjeet Singh.
That attack did not take place, but a movement somewhat threatening
in character was made towards Murree, at the time occupied by invalid
soldiers and their families, wives of officers (mine included), and the
small number of officials required for the inconsiderable dimensions it
had then attained.

On the night of September 28, some hours after darkness had closed in,
messengers sent round for that purpose spread the alarm throughout that
station that the Hazarees were rapidly advancing up the hill towards
it; orders at the same time issued by which all should forthwith
repair to the residence of the Commissioner, leaving their houses
“standing.” A heavy thunderstorm prevailed at the time; lightning
flashes at intervals lit up the miry pathways along which the ladies
and children had perforce to walk, in some instances a distance of a
couple of miles. My own dear wife, as yet unrecovered, and unequal to
such an exertion, was carried, together with her two children, and so
reached the general rendezvous, where earlier arrivals had barricaded
themselves as best they could by means of tables, chairs, and other
articles of furniture. Meanwhile the Commissioner[139] collected such
officers, soldiers, and police as could be brought together in the
emergency. Marching as best they could in the darkness, they came
in contact with the rebels at daylight, and after a smart skirmish
dispersed them, the Commissioner being wounded in the _rencontre_.

By the middle of October my wife, though far from restored to health,
was sufficiently well to return with her two children to the plains.
Starting from Murree in the evening, her palanquin-bearers speedily
showed themselves to be ill-disposed; while she, unprovided with a
guard, as some other ladies had been, was rendered helpless in what
proved to be a most painful position. Frequent halts, unnecessary
delays, repeated demands for buxees (presents), and general disregard
of her requests to keep the palanquins together, continued throughout
the long dreary hours of darkness, and well on in the following day.
It was afternoon before she was deposited at the dâk bungalow of Rawul
Pindee; but the party conveying her infant was nowhere in sight, nor
could tidings of it be obtained. Thus did several hours pass. Then it
was that the arrival of an officer[140] enabled my wife to communicate
to him her state of anxiety and alarm. Without delay he proceeded to
the residence of General Breton, in command, with the result that a
cavalry escort was dispatched in search of the missing ones. Another
period of delay, fear, and anxiety, and the palanquin with the infant
arrived. It appeared that her carriers had simply deposited her on the
roadside in the jungle, and dispersed. What might have happened is
painful to contemplate.

For some time past a charitable hospital for the benefit of the
native population in and around cantonments had been maintained by
subscriptions and other contributions from officers of our regiments,
the professional duties connected therewith being performed by myself.
Gratitude on the part of those who benefitted by that institution was
never expressed verbally, and in many instances not at all; indeed,
claims were in some made for pecuniary reward, on the plea that
individuals had submitted themselves to be operated upon. In a few
instances, however, active gratitude was expressed, even in a somewhat
demonstrative manner. The use of chloroform was then in its very early
stages. In the instance of a child, that anæsthetic was administered
while it lay placidly in its mother’s arms. When under the influence
of the drug, the little patient was gently lifted, placed upon a
table, operated upon,[141] then replaced in the position from which
it had been taken, still apparently asleep, and placid. The surprise
of the mother was very great; the whole thing declared by her to be
_jadoo_--that is, witchcraft!


_1854-1856. MEEAN MEER_

  Meean Meer--Death of Brigadier--Unpleasant recollections--First
    telegraphic dispatch--A son--Simla--Canal--Uniform--Shalimar
    Gardens--Lahore--Sebastopol--Dost Mahomed--Troops to Crimea--Aspect
    of affairs--Santhal outbreak--Another survey--Journey to Simla--
    Severe illness--A weary journey--Death of infant--Sick leave--Oude
    annexed--A sad case--Sail for England--Our voyage--Arrive in

After a succession of orders and counter-orders, the 10th marched
away[142] from Wuzzeerabad; on the eighth day thereafter entered the
recently erected and spacious barracks of Meean Meer. On the extensive
plain where they stand, the Khalsa army assembled in 1845, prior to
the “invasion of India” by them, and prior to that date quarters there
existed for the troops of Runjeet Singh. On the same plain in 1846, the
victorious army under Lord Gough encamped, and so commanded Lahore,
situated some six miles distant. The name of the locality is that of
a saint, a native of Bukkur in Scinde, who flourished in the time of
Jehangir,[143] and whose tomb still remains in tolerable repair.

Among those who died in the early part of 1854 was the Brigadier
commanding,[144] an old officer whose service in India had extended
over about fifty years. He represented a class, then somewhat numerous,
of men who had proceeded to that country while as yet in their teens,
and thenceforward spent the whole or greater part of their lives in it.
The funeral was performed with full military honours; but what struck
us as incongruous and out of place was the suddenness with which, after
it had been completed, the strains of “The Dead March” were succeeded
by those of what were described as “rollicking” airs. Surely, under
such circumstances, it would be more appropriate were the troops
marched back in silence to their barracks.

Unhappily a painful state of “tension” had for some time previous
existed in relations between the officer in command and those
immediately under him; confidence was seriously impaired among all
grades; actions and “system” of the superior looked upon as capricious,
influenced by personal feelings, and, in some instances, tyrannical.
The outcome of all this was, in respect to those affected, a condition
very difficult to be borne, an existence approaching the miserable in
place of one of friendly communication after the manner of regiments in
general. Among the ranks there was reason to believe that attempts had
been made, and others contemplated, against the objectional life. The
following incident was suggestive under the circumstances of the time.
A soldier came to hospital; a man of good character, long service, and
known never to shirk duty. To the usual question, “What is the matter
with you?” he answered, “Nothing, sir.” Then, “What brings you here?”
“Because I am harassed and worried to death, and have come to ask if
you can give me a day or two’s rest.” His request was acceded to, and
so, in all probability, a serious crime averted.

In the middle of March a Lahore newspaper published what was the first
telegraphic[145] intelligence ever received in this part of India.
According to that intelligence, the Russian Ambassador to England had
taken his departure from London; France and England were dispatching
troops in view to joint action in support of Turkey, those from our
own country comprising twenty-two battalions, and so leaving only
eleven, exclusive of Household troops, in home garrisons. A month later
came the further news that all the forces in the United Kingdom were
under orders of readiness for service; that a powerful fleet had been
mobilised; the army materially augmented, several regiments recalled
from the West Indies, and the fleet dispatched to the Baltic.

On 30th of March a son[146] was born to me by my beloved wife, as
I wrote at the time--another hostage to Fortune, and very material
inducement for exertion on my part to earn, if possible, means
whereby to maintain and educate my children in such a manner as is
incumbent upon me. The state of her health required that with the least
practicable delay she should proceed to the hills. A house was engaged
at Simla for the season, and there she passed the greater part of the
hot months.

My health having given way, I proceeded to that sanatorium somewhat
later in the hot season. Forty miles from the plains, and 7,600 feet
above sea level, the climate of Simla is agreeably cool, but rain
so heavy that during the three months of summer the fall amounts to
100 inches. In the faces of declivities from rocks and mountain spurs
grew deodars and rhododendrons, intermingled with wild apple, cherry,
holly, walnut, etc.; orchids, ferns, ivy, and woodbine. Small but
rapid streams pursue their tortuous course over their rocky beds in
each narrow valley, and at a distance of some two or three miles are
two cascades of some 70 and 120 feet in height. Away in the distance
the magnificence of the snowy range, consisting of what seems like an
interminable succession of white glistening peaks, fixes the mind in
wonder and admiration; while in a clear day it is possible to see the
plains, together with the windings of the river Sutlej.

The “inauguration”--otherwise commencement--of what was to be the great
canal uniting the Ganges and the Jumna was duly celebrated. The subject
of that canal was discussed in the public papers from different points
of view; the channel, while intended to irrigate many tracts that stand
in need of being so fertilised, would be used in places where such aid
to agriculture was not required, and in certain localities “malaria”
would appear where none now exists. It may be curious to compare those
predictions with the results of experience.

Somewhat later in the year a Cheap Postage Act came into operation in
India, according to the system adopted in England since 1841. Another
matter noted at the time had reference solely to the army; namely, that
an entire change took place in the uniform of soldiers and officers,
one item relating to which was that thenceforward the infantry were
directed to leave the upper lip unshaven,--in other words, to grow

In the middle of October my wife and children arrived from the hills.
With health restored she was able to enjoy rides and other excursions
around our station, the crisp morning air of the Punjab restoring to
her cheeks, as to those of others that had become pallid, the rosy
tinge natural to them. The frequency with which field-days and other
great military displays took place--for our force numbered 13,000
fighting men--gave her, with other ladies, opportunities of being
present on such occasions, and entertainments of sorts furnished us
with an object or excuse to visit what were then the well-kept and
ornamental gardens of Shalimar, the original planning of which is
credited to Sultan Beg, an “Admiral of the Fleet” to Shah Jehan.

Occasional visits had to be made to Lahore, the history of which city
presenting many points of interest, a few particulars relating thereto
may be interpolated in this place. Surrounded by a line of ramparts
now dismantled and rapidly going to decay, sufficient remains to
indicate the great strength of the original fortifications. At regular
intervals there are gateways, at each of which a strong guard was
formerly posted for defence. Through one such gate we entered, and were
immediately in a labyrinth of narrow and crowded streets. The houses,
built partly of brick, partly of sandstone, are three and four stories
in height, their fronts more or less elaborately ornamented by carvings
of different kinds, but all such devices presenting evidence of decay.
What formerly was the palace of Dyhan Singh is now a pay office for
British troops. The Shish Mahal, or Glass Palace, is much defaced;
the precious stones of its mosaic work taken away, the spaces at one
time occupied by them giving to the whole an aspect of dilapidation
even beyond what has actually taken place. What was the audience hall,
however, remains in good repair, the walls and roof ornamented by
mirrors of various sizes, some set in silver frames, others in those of
gold, the whole interspersed with paintings done in the most gorgeous
colours. But how changed the style of occupants now from that which in
days gone by harmonized with such surroundings! As we entered, there
sat upon the marble floor a motley crowd of Sikhs, men and women, old
and young, their costumes betokening that they were of the labouring
classes; the mission that brought them hither to receive, at the hands
of representatives of the great Company Bahadur, pensions for sons,
husbands, or fathers who fell in battle against that wonderful and
mysterious abstraction known to “the masses” of India only by that
designation. In close vicinity to the Shish Mahal was a large mosque,
very similar in style and appearance to the Jumna Musjid at Delhi; it
was now occupied as a magazine. Thence we proceeded to the gateway
where a few years ago Rajah Nao Nehal Singh lost his life,--whether by
accident or design is still by some few persons considered doubtful.
Adjoining that gate stands the tomb of Runjeet Singh, on entering which
we found two priests ready to give whatever aid the Feringhee might
stand in need of. Under a coverlet of green cloth the Grunth, or Holy
Book of the Sikhs, was carefully preserved; but the cloth was raised
for us, so that we might look upon the sacred volume. In a shrine under
an unfinished dome within the temple or tomb, the ashes of Runjeet were
preserved, the shrine itself concealed under a green cloth; the walls
of the mausoleum covered with paintings and other representations of
Sikh mythology. In another building, though of less artistic appearance
than that mentioned, were preserved the ashes of Nao Nehal Singh and of
Soochet Singh; between the two shrines containing them lay covered as
before the Grunth.

In the last week of October came news that the Russian camp before
Sebastopol had been forced, but with a loss to the allied forces of
2,500 in killed and wounded. Many of us, besides the interest natural
to the important events then taking place in the Crimea, had personal
acquaintances among the actors in the drama of war there in progress,
and were moreover conscious of an existing possibility that we also
might be transferred to that sphere of action--a possibility looked at
from various points of view, according to circumstances, pecuniary and
matrimonial, of individual officers.

The Indian papers of the day gave currency to a report that our quondam
ally and prisoner Dost Mahomed had been making endeavours, by means
of vakeels, to sound the Indian Government in regard to an alliance,
offensive and defensive; intimating at the same time the possibility
of his coming to terms with Russia, should his proposal be rejected.
But according to the views expressed at the time, little danger was
apprehended in the North-West,--that is, from Russia,--on account of
the natural mountain barrier that serves as a defence in that direction.

Early in 1855 news reached us that Inkerman had been won[148] by our
troops, though at a cost to those engaged of 2,600 in killed and
wounded out of 6,000, the 57th being among the heaviest sufferers.
Several regiments[149] had already been sent direct from India to
the Crimea; the 10th expecting to follow to the same destination,
officers and soldiers composing it held themselves prepared for such an
emergency, which however did not occur. Among ourselves the chances of
service nearer at hand were freely discussed, as were possible risks
that might attend the further withdrawal of troops from India. That a
state of unrest existed was declared from day to day in the columns of
the local papers, and was evident to all who chose to pay attention to
palpable indications. Few, if any, of us at the time gave a thought to
the conditions to which that unrest was due, nor to the outbreak in
which it was so soon to culminate.

All ranks and grades pertaining to regiments were interested in the
varying phases of public affairs, their personal comfort, convenience,
and possible prospects being likely to be affected thereby. For some
time past Persia had treated British representatives with growing
marks of disrespect, and now the circumstance led to the withdrawal
from Teheran of the Commissioner of Her Majesty at that capital.
There were, moreover, suspicions of an intended movement on Herat,
in accordance, as believed, with Russian instigation; consequently,
the early dispatch of an expedition was looked upon as a probable
contingency,--the object, according to one set of views, to “assist”
the Shah; according to another, to coerce him. Speculation was indulged
in as to the regiments most likely to be so employed, “ours” being
considered one of the most likely to be so. Our arrangements were made
accordingly; but a year had to elapse before war was actually declared.

In the month of July (1855) came the unexpected news that the Santhals
had broken out in rebellion. We asked each other, Who are the Santhals?
They were a half-savage tribe inhabiting the Rajmahal Hills; nor was
it possible at the time to ascertain the ostensible cause of their
outbreak. The troops sent against them consisted of a local corps,[150]
composed of their own tribesmen, the natural result being that they
fraternised with the rebels. The next “force” dispatched to quell the
outbreak was a body of sepoys of the 7th N.I.,[151] and they, it was
reported, fired over the heads of the rebels, their officers using
their fists upon the men who did so.[152] Meanwhile the rebellion
spread; depredations and murders were committed wholesale. Martial law
was proclaimed in the disturbed districts; troops were employed during
seven months against men armed to a great extent with bows and arrows;
at last the guerilla warfare was brought to a close. The inaction of
the sepoys on the occasion alluded to became significant some time
thereafter when the great mutiny occurred.

The death of the Czar and accession to the Russian throne of Alexander
were the most important items of intelligence brought by the mail
arriving early in April; another, his expressed determination to
continue the war with vigour. Other items of intelligence noted at the
time as having more or less important bearings upon affairs in India,
included the withdrawal of Lord Aberdeen from the Ministry and the
appointment of Lord Palmerston as his successor; the death of Joseph
Hume, who, it was remembered, had begun his career in the Burmese war
of 1824-26; and lastly, the cross-fire between Admiral Sir Charles
Napier, on his return from Cronstadt, and Sir James Graham, the First
Lord of the Admiralty. Then came details of the attacks on the Mamelon
and Malakoff Towers, and of the losses incurred by our troops, more
especially by the 57th. Following thereon, intelligence arrived of the
outbreak of cholera among the allies in the Crimea, and of the death
thereby of Lord Raglan.

In the early days of September, the serious illness of my wife at
Simla rendered it necessary that I should proceed thither without
delay. On the journey all went well, till on arriving at the river
Beas--the Hyphasis of the ancients--the palkee in which I was being
conveyed across, by means of a boat, was by some mischance permitted
to fall into the stream, after which accident, time so pressed that
without interruption I continued my journey. Arrived at the foot of
the hills, I mounted a horse, and, lantern in hand,--for night had now
closed in,--I proceeded along the rough footpath which then was the
only representative of a road. Soon the darkness was absolute; the
roughness of the pathway had increased; the thick jungle was close
to me on either side. Then it was that my steed stumbled and fell;
myself and lantern were on the ground; my light extinguished. In this
condition of things I perforce remained a considerable time, until a
party of pedestrians, having at their head a torch-bearer, came upon
me. I was glad to return with them to the nearest staging bungalow, and
there remain till morning. Next day I resumed my journey. I reached my
destination tired and feeling much indisposed.

Five days thereafter I was seized with what proved to be a most serious
illness. One day of intense headache, another of shivering, then
prostration, then delirium, after which a blank of more than a couple
of weeks. Such were the results of this untoward journey. During those
days and nights of delirium, a succession of very horrible dreams,
hallucinations or mental wanderings haunted me, one of the most painful
being that everything in my room--bed, tables, chairs, etc.--was alive,
and that I myself was double; at the same time I was haunted with an
intensely strong desire to die. In the third week of my illness my
state was so far improved that I was able to sit up in bed, but only
for a few minutes in the day. During this trying and anxious time to
my dear wife, she had to tend me, not only by day, but also at night;
her servant, the wife of a soldier, assisting her. It was in these
circumstances that she gave birth to a son on October 7.

Weak in body, and ill as I was, my wife far from recovered, with the
additional charge of a baby to that of a sick husband, we left Simla on
October 26; in due time arrived at Umballah, and on November 4 joined
my regiment there, it being _en route_ to Dinapore. The following day
I underwent the ordeal of having the uvula cut off, that organ having
become so elongated during the severity of my illness as by constantly
irritating the throat to add to the severe cough and lung complication
which formed part of my illness. Much of our march was by road already
traversed. Our usual hour of starting ranged from three to four in the
morning; we had to rise at least an hour before that time, and I well
remember how on such occasions my dear wife, herself very ill-fitted
by reason of the weak state of her health, prepared for me a cup of
egg-flip, and so enabled me to bear removal from my camp bed to the
dooly in which I travelled. But as we marched from day to day, health
so far recovered that I became able to walk some little distance at a
time by means of a stick. My left lower limb was much the weaker of
the two, but at first I failed to perceive that it was to some degree

On Christmas Day our young infant was observed to be somewhat ill.
With great rapidity his symptoms increased in severity, and on the
last day of the year death came as a relief to his sufferings. As soon
as practicable after the severity of his illness declared itself, we
hurried on from camp to the dâk bungalow at Barode, and there the dear
innocent babe passed away to his rest. The thought of leaving the
remains of our loved one in the jungle was horrible; we accordingly
procured such a coffin as could be roughly put together by the bazaar
carpenter, and with our melancholy burthen pushed on to Benares,
where we arrived at 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. It was not, however,
until sunset of the same day that arrangements for the interment
were completed, and the remains reverently committed to earth in the
Military Cemetery.

Four months elapsed, illness still prostrated me. Recovery was little
likely to occur while I remained in India; consequently there was
no alternative but to proceed on sick leave to England. On arriving
at Calcutta, much difficulty was experienced on obtaining temporary
accommodation, the hotels and other establishments being full. After
some delay quarters in Fort William were assigned to me; furniture and
equipment obtained on hire, and so I waited until official routine had
been gone through, and authority granted for my departure.

For some time past the contemplated annexation of Oude was known
throughout the military stations of India. The carrying out of that
intention was naturally looked forward to as likely to result in
a force being assembled, and perhaps engaged on active service.
My own incapacity to take part in any such service was a severe
disappointment. When, added to my physical condition, the fact that
pecuniary affairs had not yet emerged from a state of difficulty, and
that prospects were far from bright as to health being ever restored
sufficiently to enable me to meet responsibilities attached to me as
“bread-winner,” the general survey of the position in which I stood was
decidedly depressing. In one respect it was a relief to me to learn
that all chances of service had been averted; that Oude had been
annexed without the necessity for sacrificing life--at that time at

In the suite of rooms adjoining ours in Fort William an officer was
suddenly seized with cholera, the attack rapidly progressing to his
death. After that event his young wife, who had been constant in her
attentions to him, observed his fingers move spasmodically, as often
happens in such cases; thereupon she rushed to the medical officer in
attendance, exclaiming frantically, “He lives, he lives; why say you
that he is dead?” Nor was it easy to convince her that her hopes were
vain,--that he had gone to his rest. The scene was altogether a very
painful one to witness, though one by no means uncommon in India.

Suffering as I was from physical weakness, and conscious of the
possibilities that might happen to those dependent upon me, in the
probable contingency which now presented itself vividly to my mind,
the fact that for some days I became prostrated under the influences
then prevailing was no surprise to myself. On the 5th of March the
_Marlborough_, in which we had embarked the previous afternoon, started
in tow of a steamer; but what between breakdowns and other mishaps, it
was not until the 17th--St. Patrick’s Day--that our homeward voyage
really began.

The voyage was by no means propitious, for, as noted at the time
various causes of discomfort and inconvenience were at work. Scarcely
had we got to sea before the woman engaged to attend our children
became ill, and so gave up her work; mumps and whooping-cough affected
nearly every child on board; my eldest had a tedious attack of fever;
my wife became ill, partly from arduous attendance on the children,
partly from the unwholesome conditions on board. Gradually there
had become perceptible a stench, which in its intensity affected
seriously the health of the people on board, and rendered discoloured
the white-lead paint throughout the vessel, the plated dishes, and
articles in personal wear. Pumps were set to work and kept continually
in use; myriads of maggots were thus taken up with the bilge-water,
proving the existence in the depths of the vessel of animal matter in
a state of decomposition. A formal representation by the officer[153]
commanding the invalids on board and myself to the captain was made on
the subject, with a request that he would put in at Delagoa Bay. That
representation was ignored; and so the remaining portion of the voyage
had to be got over, the conditions just mentioned having, as expressed,
“to wear themselves out.”

On the 1st of July we passed the Azores at so short a distance from
them that we were able to enjoy the view of those beautiful islands.
Nearing Plymouth, our ship was boarded by a venerable pilot, who,
though seventy years of age, was actively employed in his responsible
and arduous vocation. On the 14th of that month we reached Gravesend,
and there disembarked; my wife infirm in health, two of our children
unrecovered from their attacks of illness while on board, myself with
one limb disabled, my physical condition to a great extent wrecked. In
due course the ordeal of a Medical Board was gone through; the members
of that body were able to appraise the significance of that condition,
but in accordance with “the system” of the day were unable to recommend
leave of absence for any longer period than three months--a period
obviously insufficient for restoration to health and activity.

A few weeks were spent in travelling in search of health. The fact
being evident that further leave must be applied for in due time, the
climate of Aberdeen was selected as one suited to my then condition;
in that city, accordingly, we remained for several successive months,
with result as anticipated, that the bracing winter air proved to be
health-restoring and invigorating, though the period during which I
was permitted to enjoy it was insufficient for its full benefit being
obtained. In various ways civility was shown to us by residents. On the
winter “session” at Marischal College being opened, a kind invitation
was sent to me by Dr. Pirie to attend his lectures. Little thought I at
the time how soon some of the valuable teaching communicated in those
lectures was to be practically applied.



  An unpropitious New Year--Depart for India--A quotation--Distilling
    water--First news of Sepoy mutiny--Madras--Conditions at Calcutta--
    The _Soorma_--Terrible tales--Berhampore--Rajmahal--Bhaugulpore--
    Monghyr--Delhi and Agra cut off--Rejoin the 10th.

The year 1857 began with me inauspiciously. Unrecovered from illness,
it was necessary that I should proceed to the metropolis, there to
appear before a Medical Board. A short extension of leave being granted
by that tribunal, the fact was communicated in a manner personally
offensive, with the intimation superadded that if at the expiration of
the period I was still unfit to join my regiment, I must make way for a
more efficient officer.

The aspect of affairs, so far as I was concerned, was gloomy. On the
one hand I had the prospect of half-pay for an indefinite time, on
a rate[154] quite insufficient to meet the ordinary needs of myself
and family; on the other, to return to India in the state of physical
illness in which I then was. Taking an estimate of my worldly means,
the circumstance came out that from insurance, and small amount of
investments as they then stood, comparing the result with income on
half-pay, the receipts of my wife as a widow would exceed by a trifling
amount that to which I should be entitled in the alternative first
named. Thereupon decision was quickly made; a solicitor prepared
my “last will and testament.” I placed the document in the writing
portfolio of my wife; took leave of her as she lay weak and ill in
bed;[155] started away to rejoin my regiment, the children clapping
their little hands as I did so, and shouting, “Papa’s gone away for

Embarking[156] at Gravesend, the earlier part of our voyage was without
special incident. The excellent selection of books sent on board for
the use of the troops--for a considerable number were being conveyed
to India--enabled those who so desired to get through a good deal of
reading. A passage in one of those works seemed so appropriate at the
time to personal conditions that it was duly noted; namely, “The evil
we suffer is often a counter-check which restrains us from greater
evil, or a spur to stimulate us to good. We should therefore consider
everything, not according to present sensation of pain, or the present
loss or injury it occasions, but according to its more general, remote,
and permanent effects and bearings--whether our higher faculties are
not brought more into play, and our mental powers more invigorated by
the meditation and experiments necessary to secure ourselves.”[157]

A considerable part of the voyage passed without special incident.
Some “heavy” weather was experienced, but in that respect nothing
unusual or of a kind likely to do harm to ship or stores. Great,
therefore, was the consternation with which we learnt that water casks
and tanks had so suffered that the sea water had got into and rendered
their contents unusable. At the time we were in the latitude of the
Mauritius, and about twelve hundred miles east of that island. What
was to be done? The chief officer and myself devised a distilling
apparatus, constructed with kettles, boilers, gun-barrels, and leaden
pipes of _sorts_. Our success was considerable; some twenty gallons of
“fresh” water were thus obtained throughout the day, and so on during
twenty-two that had to pass before land was reached, though from some
of our lady passengers comments were not wanting as to the “nasty”
taste of the product. Meanwhile fuel ran short; bulkheads and spars had
to be utilised; our ship reduced to skeleton state. In that condition
we arrived off Madras and anchored.

The news we there received was at the moment astounding, as it was
unexpected. The greater part of the Bengal army in open mutiny; sepoys
murdering their officers, together with their wives and children;
widespread disaffection among the native troops of both the other
Presidencies. As written at the time, and when the intelligence was
fresh: “It appears that the ostensible cause of the outbreak was the
issue of cartridges greased with animal fat. But for a long time past
a deep-rooted determination has existed among the natives to throw off
a foreign yoke, and to raise for themselves a king of the Delhi line
of succession. Large numbers of mutineers are said to have fled to the
imperial city; many officers and their families have been massacred.”

At Madras the state of things indicated that something very serious and
unusual was in progress. European residents enrolled as volunteers;
Fort St. George in process of being manned and provisioned; ammunition
got ready for immediate use; at each post where stood a native sentry
there was also placed a British soldier, or pensioner, the latter
“embodied” and armed for the occasion. The regiment[158] in the fort
was held ready for emergencies; so were the artillery at St. Thomas’
Mount. The Mahomedan inhabitants of Triplicane, a suburb of Madras,
were declared to be in open revolt.

At the mouth of the Hooghly the arrival of the pilot on board was
eagerly looked for, his recital of news listened to with painful
interest. In that recital particulars were given of murder and
atrocities[159] committed by mutineers on women and children, the names
of the victims at the same time given. Disembarking at Calcutta early
in August, unusual military turmoil was in progress. At short intervals
throughout the city parties of extemporised volunteers were posted;
Fort William was in course of reinforcement; the streets were patrolled
by armed parties of Europeans, while everywhere an air of unrest
seemed to prevail. At Government House sentries of the Body Guard
were on duty, their arms the ramrods of their carbines. An impression
existed that as the date was that of the Mahomedan festival, the
Buckra-eed,[160] the occasion was likely to be celebrated by an attack
on the capital--a belief which derived support from the fact that a
spy from the King of Oude, then at Garden Reach, had been captured
while conveying a traitorous letter, his trial and execution following
thereupon without much delay. Other preparations in progress indicated
the conditions of the time; accommodation, stores of food and clothing,
as well as other requirements, were being got ready in anticipation
of women and children, survivors from deeds of blood at up-country
stations, who were known to be on their way hither. Comments were very
freely made on the energy displayed by commanders in some instances, in
contrast with pusillanimity in others.

A passage order obtained, I embarked as deck passenger--for there was
no spare cabin--on board the river flat _Soorma_, proceeding with a
body of Sikh troops and their officers, Sir James Outram and staff
being in the steamer to which the _Soorma_ was connected. On the day
of our departure we met in the Hooghly a steamer and its flat, both
crowded with ladies and children who had succeeded in effecting their
escape, but whose husbands, fathers, or other relations had for the
most part fallen victims at their respective stations.

Very terrible were the tales some of the “refugees,” as they were
called, told of atrocities committed within their own knowledge, or
of which they had received what in their estimate was authentic
information. A few examples must suffice:--Two young ladies[161]
stripped naked, tied to hackeries, and so driven through the streets,
then dishonoured by sweepers and barbarously murdered. A lady tied up
in her own house, and so forced to witness the murder of her husband.
An officer, to save his wife and child from dishonour and abuse, shot
them both, before being himself cut down. The massacre at Cawnpore
perpetrated by bazaar butchers employed for the purpose. A young lady
with her own hand killing five of her assailants, then throwing herself
upon her sword rather than fall into the hands of their fellows. A
lady, with her husband and child, while endeavouring to escape on
horseback; her husband dying in the jungle as a result of exposure; she
forced to abandon his corpse, and with her child continue their flight.
And so on.

At Berhampore, the 11th Irregular Cavalry and 63rd N.I. had recently
been disarmed; their horses and arms collected around the military
hospital; that building put into a state of defence; houses in its
vicinity in process of destruction; guns and other arms being sent into
the station by the Nawab of Moorshedabad.

At Rajmahal news received that mutineers besieging Arrah had been
dispersed; that “something” had happened to a party of the 10th.
Havelock’s force, in its advance on Lucknow, severely seized by
cholera; losses by death,[162] and inefficiency by sickness so great
that he was under the necessity of returning to Cawnpore, there to
dispose of sick, and obtain reinforcements preparatory to resuming his
advance. Sorties by the rebels in Delhi repulsed with heavy loss to
them; Lord Elgin arrived at Calcutta, accompanied by some marines and
artillery; other reinforcements expected to arrive in a few days.

At Bhaugulpore the display of the Union Jack from a Mahomedan
mosque indicated the fact that the edifice was occupied by British
troops.[163] We learned also that a portion of the 5th Irregular
Cavalry, suspected of mutinous intentions, were about to be disbanded
by the 90th Regiment in progress up country; that a few days previous
men of the former corps, occupying a station in near vicinity of this
place, murdered Sir Norman Leslie, one of their officers, and wounded
several others; that, notwithstanding these circumstances, the officer
in command urged his confidence in the loyalty of his men, as a reason
that they should be spared from the disgrace of being disarmed. His
prayer was acceded to. That night the men deserted their officers, rode
off with their horses to join the 32nd N.I., at Deoghur.

Monghyr was in a state of panic; a small body of the Northumberland
Fusiliers, aided by residents, doing their best to put the dilapidated
fort in a state of defence, and making other preparations against
possible emergency.

Communication with Agra and Delhi only practicable _viâ_ Bombay;
all direct telegraph wires destroyed; military and residents at the
first-named place, secure within the fort, declaring themselves able
“to hold out” for a long time, notwithstanding that in a _sortie_
against the rebels they had suffered severely; at Delhi offensive
measures against mutineers languishing by reason of heavy sickness and
mortality among our troops besieging that city.

Rejoining the 10th[164] at Dinapore, that station was seen to be
without sepoy troops; the barracks formerly occupied by them deserted;
the barrack square filled with refugees from neighbouring places.
Next day the 90th Regiment, in progress up country, was temporarily
detained, as attack by mutineers was anticipated and had to be guarded
against; a considerable number of the men fallen sick, had on that
account to be landed, for they also were being conveyed by river. A
few days thereafter a detachment of the 10th arrived from Jugdispore,
at which place they inflicted considerable loss upon the mutineers,
who had taken part in the disaster to be presently noticed as having
befallen a portion of the regiment at Arrah. But continuity demands
some particulars relating to events which led up to the disaster and
expedition so alluded to.



  Mutiny and disaster--Major Eyre at Arrah--Outbreak at Patna--A
    dastardly proceeding--Progress of events--Further reports--The
    regimental hospital--Soldiers’ wives to be armed--Madras
    regiments--English reinforcements--Meean Meer--Shannon
    Brigade--Victims of mutiny--Women and children--Details
    of Cawnpore--A lady refugee--Mortality in 5th--Extension
    of mutiny--Current events--Action and contrast--Delhi and
    Lucknow--Successes--Bankers--Reinforcements--English opinion--
    Active proceedings--Ghastly evidences--Sir Colin Campbell--
    “Clemency”--Active work--Blown from a gun--More active work.

The force stationed at Dinapore consisted of two troops of European
Artillery, 10th Foot, a portion of the 37th British, the 7th, 8th, and
40th Native Regiments. Among the three last named signs of disaffection
had for some time past been apparent to their officers, though
unhappily ignored by the general,[165] an old, infirm, and irresolute
man. On the 25th of July he was so far moved to action as to direct
that percussion caps should be taken away from their magazines of
arms, and from the men themselves. A parade for the latter purpose was
ordered; thereupon the sepoys became openly mutinous, fired upon and
otherwise threatened their officers; they finally broke away, taking
their arms with them. Meanwhile, the white troops were not permitted
by the general to open fire upon or pursue the mutineers, who, taking
the direction of Arrah, soon placed themselves under the leadership of
the powerful chief Koer Singh. Arrived at that place, they laid siege
to the house of Mr. Boyle, in which the few residents of the small
station had collected, and, to some extent, fortified the building.
On the 27th a party consisting of men of the 10th and 37th proceeded
by steamer, in view to relief of those besieged; but the vessel ran
aground, and so their object was frustrated. On the 29th a second
steamer having been procured, the combined party proceeded in her;
in due time arrived at Beharee Ghat on the river Sone; there landed,
and began their march towards Arrah. Unhappily, a night advance was
determined upon. After much toil, not acquainted with the ground, not
knowing their way, having to cross a deep ravine or nullah, and to
surmount other difficulties, they entered the town about midnight, and
after the moon had set. A heavy fire was thereupon opened on them.
Men and officers were unable to see each other. Captain Dunbar, the
officer in command, fell dead; confusion was the immediate result. A
certain number found their way back to the open country; but so heavy
were the losses, so great the disorganization of the whole, that the
expedition not only failed in its intended object, but met with serious
disaster. The remnants were brought back to Dinapore, where they
arrived on 30th of July; it was then found that out of 415 officers and
men who had started on that service, 170 were killed and 120 wounded,
making a total of 290.[166] The wounded who were rescued were more in
number than could be accommodated in hospital; supplementary buildings
had accordingly to be utilised for them. Throughout the regiment
chagrin and disappointment were general; stories circulated that acts
of atrocity had been perpetrated on some of the wounded. Soldiers
were loud in their imprecations against the rebels, declaring their
determination “to pay them off for it.”

Major Eyre, hearing of the disaster that had befallen the troops under
Captain Dunbar, advanced by forced marches from Buxar; on August 2 he
attacked and dispersed the besieging rebels at Arrah, who thereupon
fled towards Jugdispore. On the 8th a party of the 10th under Captain
Patterson, together with some other troops, arrived at Arrah from
Dinapore. On the 11th, in conjunction with those of Major Eyre, it
started in pursuit of the sepoys; they had taken up a position at a
village named Jota Narainpore. There they were attacked by the men
of the 10th, who rushed upon them with a shout, killing numbers and
dispersing those who escaped their bayonets.

At Dinapore, Sir James Outram inspected the 10th, and having issued
orders with regard to further proceedings continued his journey
southwards, taking with him some officers belonging to the mutinous
native corps. The arrival of Sir Colin Campbell at Calcutta to assume
supreme command was followed by the departure of Sir Patrick Grant to
resume his own proper command at Madras. At Patna a partial outbreak by
the Mahomedans had recently taken place, Dr. Lyell being killed during
it. A recurrence of that disturbance being threatened, a detachment of
the 10th was sent to Bankipore as a personal guard to the Commissioner
of Behar, whose residence was at that place.

When the great body of the sepoys at Dinapore mutinied and fled,
certain of their number were employed on various duties within the
barrack ranges occupied by the British troops. Unable like their
brethren to effect their escape, they laid down their arms, declaring
themselves to be loyal, or “staunch,” according to the phrase of the
day; tents were issued for their use, and a neat little encampment
established on a space of open ground between the barracks and
adjoining river bank. In the course of the following night screams
issued from that encampment; in due time some soldiers, with their
officers, proceeded with lights to the tents, to find several of the
sepoys dead, others more or less severely wounded by bayonet thrusts,
but without any clue to their assailants. Whether or not, as asserted
at the time, the men of the 10th were implicated in this dastardly
outrage, remained uncleared up by the official inquiry which followed
in due course.

In rapid succession news reached us of events at different places
within the sphere of mutiny. The investment of Delhi more closely
pressed by the combined British and Sikh besieging forces. From Agra
that the rebels had withdrawn therefrom. From Oude that Havelock had
resumed his advance towards Lucknow, inflicting _en route_ severe
defeat upon the opposing rebels. From Calcutta that reinforcements were
being daily dispatched inland by bullock trains; but as the rate of
progress of those animals did not exceed two and a half miles per hour,
considerable time must elapse before the troops so sent can be brought
into actual use. Other items of intelligence were, that a body of
Ghoorkas sent by Jung Bahadur as an auxiliary force had been attacked
by the rebels, upon whom they inflicted defeat with heavy loss. The
river steamer _Jumna_ in its progress upwards beyond Allahabad was so
heavily fired upon by the mutineers, at the same time the water of the
Ganges becoming so shallow, that it had to abandon further attempts to
proceed; there was therefore no alternative but to withdraw.

In the city of Patna the condition of things, already unsatisfactory,
became still more so, the intention of the Mahomedans therein declared
to be an attack on the “Kaffirs” on their great festival day of the
Mohurrum,[167] falling this year on 31st of August. As a precautionary
measure, therefore, a line of defences was rapidly thrown up between
the city and cantonments. Next came a report that the 9th Irregular
Cavalry, after doing good service at Delhi, had fraternised with the
rebels; with them made a dash at a besieging battery protected by
Sikhs, their attempt defeated by the 75th Regiment. Then sad accounts
of sickness and mortality by disease in addition to casualties in
battle among the besiegers; for example, the 1st Battalion 60th Rifles,
400 strong when it first took up its position, had not in its ranks
now 200 effectives. From Allahabad the statement came that some of the
“staunch” gun lascars were detected in an attempt to load their guns
with bricks and mortar.

The state of things in our regimental hospital, characteristic of the
time, was this:--In the months of July and August deaths included two
officers and seventy men. The long corridor-like wards of the building,
together with its verandah, were filled partly with wounded men,
remnants of the unfortunate Arrah expedition, partly by those affected
with diseases special to the season of the year. The requirements of
the wounded demanded much manual attention. What, therefore, between
handling wounded tissues and their dressings, finger-tips became
sodden like those of a washerwoman, and tender to the touch; the
stooping attitude necessary while performing dressings and operations
so fatigued the muscles of the back as to make it painful to be in,
or again to change that attitude; at the same time the moist heat
prevailing made such exertions particularly exhausting. The hospital
had already been fortified, arms issued, and so arranged that in
case of necessity they could be made use of by some of the patients;
sandbags were arranged for purposes of defence on the roof, the walls
loopholed; indeed, the only shots at the escaping sepoys of the 40th
N.I. were from it.

Rumours circulated that a combined line of action by the disaffected
in Patna and mutinous sepoys under Koer Singh, one of the Nana’s
lieutenants, was contemplated against Dinapore, garrisoned as the
station by only a portion of the 10th Foot. To meet such a contingency,
it was proposed to arm the women belonging to the regiment; nor had
those of us who had some knowledge of their general style and prowess
any doubt as to the result, should they come in conflict with such
adversaries. Indeed, there was every reason to believe that already a
mutineer had lost his life by the hand of one of our Amazons armed with
a bayonet.

The arrival of a Madras infantry regiment, in the ranks of which were
some Hindostanees, gave rise to some little speculation as to possible
events, should they be brought against their rebel countrymen. At the
same time news circulated that a mutinous spirit had been shown in one
of the cavalry regiments[168] of that presidency, and in at least two
of infantry[169] in that of Bombay.

Under the circumstances of the time, welcome was intelligence by
English mail that a powerful force was in progress of dispatch to
India; its numerical strength 25,000 men, including Royal Artillery,
then to be employed in Hindostan for the first time. Now also came the
first faint rumour that the transfer of Indian administration directly
to the Government of Her Majesty was intended.

From Meean Meer came news of successful action against intended
“rising” on the part of native troops at that station, the attending
circumstances of that action being in some respects like those of the
historical ball[170] at Brussels on the eve of Quatre Bras. Among the
regiments disarmed, as an outcome of that action, was the 26th N.I.
For some time thereafter the sepoys belonging to it remained “loyal”
and “contrite.” Suddenly, under the shelter of night,[171] they fled,
having first murdered one of their officers. At break of day troops
were sent in pursuit; the fugitives overtaken on the left bank of the
Ravee. Of their number fully 100 were shot down, 150 or so drowned in
their endeavour to swim across that river, the remaining 200 ultimately
captured, brought back to their station, and executed. It was of the
concluding act of the drama that news now reached us.

In the afternoon of September 4, the _River Bird_ arrived from
Calcutta, having on board the “Shannon Naval Brigade,” under
Captain--soon to become Sir William Peel. No sooner were they
disembarked than all paraded for drill. Lookers-on rapidly collected to
witness the novel proceedings, the wild rollicking manner in which the
bluejackets pulled about and worked their ship’s guns of large calibre.
That evening the officers were our guests at the regimental mess. Our
next meeting was to be under circumstances even more stirring than
those now taking place.

From time to time the papers of the day gave what statistics were
available in regard to lives sacrificed, directly and indirectly, by
the present outbreak of the sepoys. According to one paper,[172] those
numbers were as follows, soldiers, officers, women, and children being
included in the totals; namely, Meerut, 29; Loodianah, 3; Sealkote, 8;
Fyzabad, 7; Gwalior, 15; Rohnee, 1; Jounpore, 1; Jhelum, 1; Allahabad,
15; Mehidpore, 7; Mosuffernuggar, 1; Bareilly, 70; Delhi--on the
outbreak of the mutiny, 82,--killed or died by exposure subsequently,
40; Hissar, 9; Shahjehanpore, 1; Cawnpore, 19 (exclusive of those to
be subsequently enumerated); Meean Meer, 2; Mhow, 34; Sooltanpore, 3;
Saugur, 1; Neemuch, 4; Indore, 2; Patna, 1; Moradabad, 4; Darjeeling,
1; Futtehpore, 1; Lucknow, 22; Benares, 5; Agra, 16; Jhansi, 43;
Jullundhur, 4; Ferozepore, 3; Raneegunge, 3; Indore, 15; making in all
a total of 494. These numbers do not include the many instances in
which lives were sacrificed by exposure and hardship, nor the numerous
young soldiers who succumbed while being conveyed along the Grand Trunk

With regard to the most terrible of all episodes,--namely, that of
June 27, at Cawnpore,--an account by one of the very few survivors was
published in the _Friend of India_;[173] namely, “Those who in the
boats survived from the artillery fire directed upon them were taken
back to Cawnpore; the men secured by cords, and with the ladies brought
before the Nana, who thereupon gave orders for their destruction. The
ladies were placed on one side, the men, bound as they were, drawn
up in line, and his troops ordered to fire upon them. Some of the
ladies broke away, and rushing to their husbands, clasped them in
despair, determined to die with them. A chaplain who was of the doomed
number begged that a few minutes might be granted them to prepare to
meet their God--a favour which was granted; others called upon their
executioners to finish their bloody work. A volley of musketry; the
victims reeled and fell, some dead, others still alive, though wounded;
their murderers rush upon them with tulwars;[174] they deal death
around, nor do they cease their work when life is extinct, but continue
to mutilate the bodies of the dead. The women and children, numbering
one hundred and fifty-nine persons, were retained till July 15, and
then destroyed by butchers employed for that diabolical purpose. Two
days thereafter, but too late to avert the catastrophe the forces
led by Havelock entered Cawnpore.” At a somewhat later date further
particulars appeared[175] with reference to the same sad episode.
According to them the list of persons whose lives were sacrificed
there, whether in the entrenchments between June 5 to 27, in the boats
on the latter date, or on July 15, when the last remnant was butchered,
as just related, was as follows; namely, Honourable Company’s
Artillery, 61; H.M.’s 32nd Regiment, 84; 1st European Fusiliers,
15; H.M.’s 84th Regiment, 50; officers of regiments and staff, 100;
merchants, writers, and others, 100; drummers, etc., 40; women and
children of soldiers, about 160; of writers merchants, and drummers,
120; ladies and children of officers, 50; servants (after many had
absconded early in the outbreak), 100; sepoys and native officers sick
in hospital, 20; total, 900. But there is every reason to believe that
these figures are approximate rather than actually exact.

Orders were received and quickly carried into effect, whereby the wives
and children of men and officers of the 10th were dispatched by steamer
to Berhampore, at the time considered a place of safety. A company of
our regiment marched towards Gya, then threatened by the mutinous 5th
Irregulars, and defended only by a small body of Rattray’s Sikhs. The
withdrawal of the Treasury from that station resulted in the official
ruin of the civilian concerned; but under the circumstances of the time
the verdict of opinion among those on the spot was that his action was

Among the refugees proceeding by steamer down country was Mrs. Mills,
whose husband, Major Mills, of the Bengal Artillery, had been shot
by his mutinous men while endeavouring to escape from Fyzabad, by
swimming the Gogra. This unfortunate lady had been wandering in the
jungle for nearly three months. She now was ill from hardships and
starvation; one child, an infant, had died, the remaining two were ill
with cholera; she herself nearly devoid of clothing, without servant
or other help, almost completely broken down; nor was it until a few
days ago that she learned the fate of her husband. A brother officer of
Major Mills, Captain Alexander, placed a suite of rooms in his house at
her disposal. In due time she and her children were so far restored in
health, and provided with clothing, that they continued their journey
towards Calcutta.

For some time past a detachment of the 5th Fusiliers occupied a
building connected with the Opium Stores in Patna, the rate of sickness
and mortality among the men composing it being so great as to equal 90
per cent. of deaths per 100 strength per annum. A visit to the place by
Colonel Fenwick and myself revealed the fact that the quarters assigned
to them were in all respects unsuited; while, therefore, the remaining
portion of the men were withdrawn, their place taken by men of the
10th, steps were taken, and successfully, to avert similar casualties
among the latter.

Still there came news of mutiny from stations far apart: from Assam
on the one hand, to Ferozepore on the other; while of regiments of
the Bombay Presidency, a similar spirit had extended to at least four
of their number. Indeed, so general had mutiny become that scarcely
a remark was made as the news of some fresh outbreak circulated; but
among officers and men of our regiment the desire was loudly expressed
to “get fairly at them in the field,” little if any account being taken
of relative numbers.

At this time my own physical state gave way under the weight of
arduous duties; several brother officers also were rendered temporarily
incapable of work; but at the earliest possible date we returned to our
respective spheres, determined to “put the shoulder to the wheel.” The
good news reached us that a further defeat had been inflicted upon the
Arrah mutineers by Major Eyre. The arrival of reinforcements by ship
from England had begun to cause wonder and some consternation among
the rebels. For reasons the nature of which did not transpire, certain
newspapers were temporarily suppressed. The immediate result of that
measure was that private letters took the place of the journals so
dealt with; groups of men assembled at the post office on the occasion
of morning delivery, news was interchanged, and thus a tolerable
knowledge maintained of events in progress at different stations.

From Azimghur came information that there the rebels had been attacked
and defeated by the Ghoorka troops of Jung Bahadur.[176] It was said
that a force consisting of 3,000 Cashmere troops, sent by Goolab
Singh, was approaching Delhi, in aid of the British, by whom the siege
of that city was being vigorously pressed on. Then came news that on
September 16 an entrance had been effected by the Cashmere Gate; 125
guns captured, though with a loss to our troops engaged of between
forty and fifty officers and 650 men killed and wounded. From Nagpore,
that the mutinous 50th N.I. had been attacked, and to a great extent
destroyed by the column advancing from Madras. From the Punjab, that
some fifty men of the 10th Cavalry and a number of mutineers of the
55th N.I. had been executed by order of Sir John Lawrence. In contrast
with these energetic measures were Proclamations by Government, full
of sympathetic expressions with regard to “the poor misguided men,” as
applied to the perpetrators of deeds already alluded to.

A few days passed, and then came information that very stirring events
were in progress; that Delhi was completely in the hands of our troops,
the king a prisoner, two royal princes shot by the hand of Hodson.[177]
The forces under Havelock and Outram had effected[178] an entrance
into the Residency of Lucknow, and so “relieved” the besieged garrison
of that city. The story of that “relief” was everywhere related with
pride. But the fact was deplored that the “relieving” force, as a
result of the losses sustained, had itself to add its numbers to the
besieged. Among the latter, casualties by shot and disease had, up to
the date of “relief,” included fifty-seven women and children. On the
following Sunday, collections were made in cantonment churches, for
the purposes of a fund being raised wherewith to aid sufferers by the
present rebellion.

Thereafter news of successes at different points against the rebels
came in rapidly. Thus from Delhi a force had gone in pursuit of one
party of them; in Central India the 52nd N.I. was broken up by the
Madras column; near Sherghotty the Ramghur Battalion annihilated; in
the vicinity of Mirzapore a body of mutineers defeated by a small force
comprising the 5th Fusiliers and 17th Madras N.I. At this time the
“Pearl” Brigade, under command of Captain Sotheby, arrived at Dinapore;
two companies of the 10th, under Major Longden, started towards
Benares, there to be ready for emergencies. At intervals disaffection
occurred in portions of the 32nd N.I., occupying various positions in
neighbouring districts. Now came news that the last fragment of that
corps had broken into mutiny and fled; their object to unite with the
rebel force beyond the Soane, commanded by Koer Singh.

Information was received that a body of mutineers 4,000 strong,
with twelve guns, was in progress from Oude to make an attack on
the Treasury at Chupra, and afterwards to threaten our small body
of effectives at Dinapore. Then we learned that Rajah Maun Singh,
of Gorruckpore, hitherto believed to be “loyal,”--he having given
protection to some ladies whose husbands had been murdered by the
sepoys,--had joined the rebels with a force of 9,000 men. As a
counterpoise to such items, the troops under Colonel Greathead,
descending by the Grand Trunk Road, had defeated the sepoys, inflicting
heavy loss upon them, subsequently possessing himself of Alighur,
together with its guns and stores. A significant indication of the
tendency now being assumed by bazaar opinion was that native bankers,
who in the first outbreak of the mutiny sent their treasure to
Calcutta, are having it brought back to their places of business.

We were at this time in a position to estimate the strength of
reinforcements already sent, and in process of being dispatched from
England, to re-establish authority in India. These comprised eleven
regiments of Light Cavalry; fifty-five battalions of Infantry; four
troops of Horse Artillery; eleven companies of Foot Artillery; seven
Field Batteries; four companies of Engineers, equal to a total of
87,000 men. With these there were fourteen medical officers, over and
above those pertaining to regiments and other bodies.

As each successive body of troops arrived, officers belonging to them
were invited to our mess; thus we gathered something in regard to the
tenor of opinion in England in reference to events in progress around
us. Very different was the impression so conveyed, of views entertained
at home, from what under the actual circumstances of the time was to be
expected. From the long distance, the sepoy was looked upon as mild and
harmless in disposition, but driven to revolt by acts of oppression to
which he had been long subjected,--those acts, however, not definitely
stated; Sir John Lawrence and General Neil were said to be cruel and
otherwise objectionable persons; the policy of “clemency” all that
was estimable, and to be desired. The contrast between the views so
expressed, and actual occurrences such as have been already mentioned,
taking place almost before our very eyes, gave rise to comments, some
of them more expressive than sympathetic.

Meanwhile the progress of events went on. A body of mutinous sepoys
had found their way from Delhi to Bithoor, the residence of the Nana.
There they were attacked by a force sent for the purpose from Cawnpore,
under the command of Colonel Wilson, their stronghold destroyed, guns,
ammunition, and other stores contained in it captured. At Raneegunge
the Headquarter portion of the 32nd N.I.[179] was disarmed by Colonel
Burney, their commanding officer, to whom was given up also the
treasonable correspondence being carried on by the sepoys belonging
to it. At Agra the camp was attacked by a body of rebel cavalry,
estimated at 1,500 strong. The picquet of the 9th Lancers, comprising
not more than twenty-four troopers, under command of Captain French and
Lieutenant Jones, charged and cut its way through them; but in so doing
the first-named officer was killed, the second wounded. The station
of Chupra in our near vicinity being threatened, the “Pearl” Brigade,
under Captain Sotheby, R.N., was ordered by the Civil Commissioner
of Patna to proceed for its protection--a new experience for a naval
officer to be ordered by a civilian. At our own station reinforcements,
comprising a portion of the 82nd Regiment, were a welcome addition to
our weak garrison. Particulars were published of the cost in casualties
at which the troops under Havelock attained the relief of the Lucknow
garrison; namely, sixteen officers killed and forty-five wounded; of
soldiers, 400 killed and 700 wounded, equal to nearly one-third of the
force engaged. No wonder that in their turn the remnants became part of
the besieged garrison.

The party of the 10th already at Benares was held in readiness to enter
Oude, and there act as occasion might require against assemblages of
mutineers. At Jounpore, a body of rebels were attacked by the Ghoorkas,
who severely defeated them, killing or disabling some 250 out of 1,200
of their strength. Some ghastly indications of events in progress were
furnished by floating bodies in the Ganges, these being seen during
several successive days, as with vultures or other foul birds perched
upon and tearing their flesh they were carried past our station. Among
them were six white bodies, lashed together by ropes, suggesting the
means by which the victims had been destroyed.

By the end of October, Sir Colin Campbell started from Calcutta to
assume direct command of the troops actively engaged against the enemy.
Travelling by “dâk,” and having with him an escort of inconsiderable
strength, he narrowly escaped capture by the mutineers of the 32nd
N.I., who lay in wait in the vicinity of the Soane, his escape being
due to the fleetness of his “gharry” horses. After that incident the
same party of mutineers doubled back and endeavoured to enter Oude by
crossing the Ganges near Patna, but were defeated in their attempt by
the armed river steamer _Koladyne_.[180]

In bitterly sarcastic terms the policy of “clemency” towards and
sympathy expressed for the “misguided” sepoy found utterance after this
manner in the _Friend of India_:[181]--

  “Pity the sorrows of a mild Hindoo, whose tottering steps have brought
      him to your door,
  To murder you he did what man could do, and can you blame him that he
      did no more?
  Ripped from the body of your outraged wife, he tossed your unborn babe
      upon his pike!
  Yearns not your heart to save and sooth the life of one who thirsts
      again to do the like?
  You do not kill the serpent in your path, you do not crush the bug
      when you have caught him;
  And why bear malice ’gainst one who hath but turned on you the arms
      whose use you’ve taught him.
  Those arms at present I have flung away, finding that somehow we
  And that we should have picked a luckier day to glut us with the blood
      we hated.
  And now I stand expectant at your gate, trusting for pardon and
      fraternal love:
  Of serpent wisdom you have shown of late not much; show me the
      softness of the dove.
  And then I promise you, as time shall suit, the rich reward you’ll
      have deserved to share,
  The untiring hate of a remorseless brute, the poison of the reptile
      that you spare.”

While Peel’s “Shannon” Brigade, so recently with us, was in progress
from Allahabad to Cawnpore, it became united to the 53rd and a party
of the 93rd Regiments. The combined force was seriously engaged at
Futtehpore with a strong body of mutineers, and although successful
in defeating them severely, after a conflict of two hours’ duration,
the victory was at the cost of many lives, among them Colonel Powell,
formerly a brother officer in the 57th. The mutineers of the 32nd N.I.,
unable to cross into Oude, had again taken up a position on the Soane;
there they were attacked and defeated by Rattray’s Sikhs, though not
without severe proportional loss among the latter. The party of the
10th from Benares came in contact with and routed a body of the Oude
rebels at Atrowlea. Meanwhile the forces under Sir Colin Campbell were
fighting their way from Cawnpore towards Lucknow.

Martial law had for some time past existed at Dinapore. In accordance
with that effective code a Court-Martial was ordered to assemble for
the trial of a sepoy of 14th N.I., on the charge of taking part in
the massacre of our men at Arrah, as already mentioned. Before that
tribunal the man was duly tried; by it convicted and sentenced to
suffer death by being blown from a gun. Early in the day following a
strong guard of the 10th took charge of the doomed man, to whom, in
the usual way, the sentence of the court was read. He was immediately
marched to the rear of the barracks, where preparations were complete
for carrying into effect the dreadful penalty. His step was firm,
though his countenance expressed despair and terror; his hands
quivered, lips moved as if in prayer. While being secured in the fatal
position, he seemed dazed; the heart-beat reduced to a mere flutter; a
bandage tied over his eyes, he faintly said, “_Hummara kussoor nahin
hye_”--it is not my fault. The officiating assistant stood aside, the
hand of the Provost Marshal was raised, there was a loud report, and
shreds of humanity flew in various directions. A scene to be witnessed
only under compunction of circumstances. Mutineer prisoners brought to
the station for that purpose had in all cases fair and open trial.

Welcome was the news that during the night between November 22 and
23 the besieged garrison of Lucknow had been withdrawn therefrom by
the force under Sir Colin Campbell, and was being escorted towards
Cawnpore. At the same time accounts reached us of the attack by the
Gwalior contingent on the last-named station; of their temporary
success by reason of numbers, and of their defeat with heavy loss in
men and guns by the Commander-in-Chief. Worn out by fatigue,--for
he was physically a delicate man,--General Havelock fell a victim
to cholera shortly after reaching the outskirts of Lucknow. In the
vicinity of Jounpore a small British force came in contact with the
Oude rebels. On that occasion our Ghoorka allies were said to have
expressed a wish not to fight any more, and to have shown their
reluctance accordingly. Then came information that a large number of
ladies and children from those besieged, together with a considerable
body of sick and wounded soldiers, had arrived safely at Allahabad from
Cawnpore, _en route_ to Calcutta.



  The 10th ordered on service--The start--More defeats of
    rebels--The Jounpore field force--Preparing for work--Action
    at Chanda--Hummeerpore--Forced marches--Sooltanpore--Captured
    relics--Reinforcements--Rebel messengers--An attack--A wounded
    officer--Arrive at Lucknow.

Orders to take the field had been expected, and preparations made
accordingly in the 10th, so that when they did arrive all was in
readiness to carry them out immediately. Uncertainty for some time
prevailed with respect to the 73rd N.I., professedly and somewhat
demonstratively “loyal,” but known to be in a dangerous state of
disaffection, ready to sweep over the indigo-yielding places in
Tirhoot, some of the planters from which, abandoning houses and
factories, had betaken themselves to Dinapore for safety. A report
spread that a body of rebels had crossed the river Gogra and threatened
the “Pearl” Brigade at Sewan; a steamer accordingly started to Benares,
conveying detachments of the 10th and 37th Regiments, to be in
readiness to act from that base as circumstances might require. Reports
at the same time told that the 11th Irregulars had broken away from
Berhampore; that they had been severely handled by the 5th Fusiliers,
but that they were making their way towards Tirhoot.

By daylight on December 23, a detachment of our men and officers was
in progress of embarking on board a steamer for conveyance towards
Chuprah, at and from which place they were intended to act in concert
with bodies of Ghoorka troops for the assistance of threatened stations
in Tirhoot. Equally early on the 24th our headquarters marched away
from barracks. Arriving in due time at the point where the Ganges
was to be crossed, much delay resulted from the incompleteness of
arrangements made for the purpose. Evening had far advanced when we
arrived on our camping-ground; tents were far behind; so were the
messing arrangements. From such “reserves” as our haversacks supplied
our first meal was taken, after which we bivouacked “on the cold
ground,” under shelter of a mango grove. Next day being Christmas
Day, equipment and arrangements were got into working order and ready
for eventualities. On the 26th the sound of firing, as if at Sewan,
indicated that the arrival of the 10th was none too soon, and shortly
thereafter news came in that an attack, not determined in character,
by the mutineers had been repulsed. In the course of the next few days
the Nepaulese contingent captured a considerable number of mutineers
belonging to the 11th Irregulars, but those of the 5th Irregulars
succeeded in joining the body of rebels assembled under Koer Singh.

New Year’s Day brought the welcome news that the rebels had been
severely beaten at Alumbagh by Sir James Outram, great loss inflicted
upon them, and four of their guns captured; also that Colonel Seton
had defeated a body of mutineers at Futtyghur. Having moved our camp
to a position north-westward of the town, we discovered a saltpetre
manufactory for the use of the rebels. Firing was again heard in our
near vicinity, indicative, as we soon learned, that our Nepaulese
allies had attacked a rebel village, which they captured and destroyed.

The 10th were ordered to advance towards Azimghur, to be joined _en
route_ by other regiments, the combined force to be named the Jounpore
Field Force, commanded by Brigadier-General Franks. On the second
day of our progress, at a place called Muttyala, the first active
signs of disaffection were shown by some of the villagers; it was
quickly suppressed, however, by the simple method of handing over to
the Provost Marshal those who had so acted, and having them flogged.
No further trouble with natives was experienced; and so, without
adventure, on the fourth day of our march we crossed the river Gogra,
and entered the district of Azimghur. Thence to the provincial city our
progress was cautious and wary; villages through which our route lay
were seen to be deserted by their ordinary inhabitants, except the old
and very young, by women and the infirm.

At Azimghur--once a pretty and otherwise favoured station--the public
buildings, including the church, had been reduced to charred and
roofless walls, gardens wasted and disfigured; a series of huts in
course of being erected for the faithless sepoys at the time, when on
June 3 the 17th N.I. broke into mutiny, left standing as they then
were; the gaol strongly fortified, everything destructible bearing
an aspect of ruin. Within the intrenched position at the gaol a
small force of Ghoorkas kept at defiance the rebel sepoys who had
already made two unsuccessful attacks, with considerable loss in life
and of two of their guns. Resuming our progress, the 10th reached
Aroul on January 26. There the various portions[182] of the force
of which we were to form a part united, and was organized for its
prospective duties. A halt of three days sufficed. On the 29th a march
of twenty-three miles was performed by our little army, the minimum
quantity of equipment and transport accompanying it. Several houses in
ruins, belonging to planters, were passed in our progress to the river
Goomtee; that river was crossed, and about midnight we bivouacked on
Oude territory. By break of day our force was again in motion towards
its objective point, now known to be Lucknow. That day’s march was
uneventful, except that the water in the roadside wells was rendered
unpalatable by branches of neem tree (_Melia Azadirachta_) thrown into
them by the rebels.

A short halt was made at Singramow, during which preparation was made
for eventualities. Intimation was there received that the rebels were
collecting their forces at Chanda, about a dozen miles in front of
us, and that their pickets had advanced to within four or five miles
of our camp. On February 19 our force was under arms at daylight, and
then began its advance towards the enemy. About nine o’clock a halt
was ordered; men and officers partook of such “breakfast” as under the
circumstances they could get, while staff officers rode to the front
to reconnoitre. A long line of rebels was seen to occupy a somewhat
elevated position at a little distance from us. Our guns immediately
advanced, opened fire upon them, their fire being for a short time
returned. The 10th--Colonel Fenwick at their head--threw out their
skirmishers, and thus covered, advanced at steady pace towards the
point where the rebels seemed thickest. They, however, did not long
stand their ground; before our men came within striking distance the
sepoys gave way and took to flight. Pursuit was impossible, by reason
of want of cavalry; but the small band of mounted infantry, recently
extemporised from the 10th, managed to come up, with some of the enemy,
of whom, in the language of the day, they “gave a good account.” We
subsequently learned that the forces against whom we had been engaged
comprised 8,000 men, commanded by Bunda Hussun, a lieutenant of Mendhee

It was intended that our force should encamp on the field whence the
rebels had fled. While halting for that purpose, it was found that a
second engagement was to take place; that the enemy had taken up a
position at Hummeerpore, a little distance from their former, and
under shelter of a wood. From there their guns soon opened fire upon
us. Ours quickly replied; a few casualties in our ranks were the
result, when darkness having put an end to the duel we bivouacked on
our ground. When morning dawned, it was seen that the position they had
occupied was abandoned; our camp was accordingly pitched, and so we
remained, prepared for the next move.

Resuming our advance towards Lucknow, two successive marches of great
length, and consequently fatiguing, were performed, considerable
numbers of our transport animals completely breaking down, and so being
the cause of much inconvenience to our force.

On the 23rd, about 10 a.m., our skirmishers drew upon them fire from
a position taken up by the rebels at Sooltanpore. That position was
attacked, and from a direction unexpected by them; thus disconcerted,
their fire was comparatively little destructive in our ranks, nor was
it long before--having discharged upon us a volley of grape--they
abandoned their artillery and fled, leaving fourteen guns, besides
stores and a large quantity of equipment, in our possession, also much
ammunition and loot. Again the mounted men of the 10th[183] did good
service in pursuit of the fugitives; some of our artillery followed,
and it was said destroyed large numbers of them, the loss to our
troops engaged being again comparatively small. Thus were the forces
of Mendhee Hussun defeated, though numbering 6,000 regular sepoys and
6,000 matchlock men; the station of Sooltanpore recovered after being
held by the rebels since the previous month of June.

After some delay our camp was pitched on the ground our men had won,
and we halted for a day. A party dispatched to destroy a manufactory
of gun carriages deserted by the rebels came upon various relics, with
which doubtless were connected sad and painful associations; these
included what had been an elegant barouche, a palkee garree, and a
metal toy--the whole pertaining to victims of the first outburst of
mutiny among the troops there stationed. Near our camp the artillery
were occupied in bursting the guns deserted by the enemy.

On the 25th our force resumed its march at daylight, and so continued
till late in the afternoon, making one short halt to allow the troops
to draw water from some village wells, a second to cook and distribute
food. Shortly after we had started a very hideous object presented
itself to view; it was the body of a native suspended by the feet from
a branch of a tree, his arms dangling in mid-air, and so doubtless
indicating the cruel manner of his death. Arrived at Mosufferkhan,
where it was arranged that our camp should be pitched we found awaiting
to join us a reinforcement of Sikh and Pathan Horse, together with some
mounted men comprising half-castes and Christians who had belonged to
mutinied or disbanded regiments all of whom had been sent by forced
marches to our aid. Some stray mutineers were discovered in near
proximity to camp by our scouts and by them duly “disposed of.”

A long and arduous march through difficult country; the villages along
our route deserted by their inhabitants, the fields destitute of
labourers. On arrival at our camping ground near Jugdispore, it was
ascertained that our advance guard had fallen in with and captured two
messengers conveying a purwana, or order, from the Ranee of Lucknow
to the zemindars of the district just traversed by us, intimating to
them the advance of a small body of English, and calling upon them
to destroy the intruders at Sooltanpore; also to send without delay
provisions for the rebel troops holding Lucknow. A day’s halt and
much-needed rest for man and animal. On 28th a long march, in the
course of which we passed through some villages strongly fortified and
loopholed, but deserted by inhabitants. Reinforced as we now were by
cavalry, they scoured the vicinity of our route, in the course of their
proceedings coming upon seventeen rebels, some wearing the uniform of
their former regiments, all of whom they killed.

With rain and boisterous weather the month of March began; it was
therefore somewhat late in the morning of the 1st when our advance was
resumed. As we proceeded, the discovery was made by our scouts that a
considerable body of rebels occupied a point at some little distance
on our flank. The main body of our force was accordingly halted, while
a portion was sent against the mutineers, the result being that in
the attack upon them the latter had sixty of their numbers killed or
wounded, and lost two of their guns. Resuming progress, we traversed
a number of towns and villages, all strongly fortified, but sparsely
occupied. Night had closed in when we reached our halting-place.
While tents were being pitched, lurid flames at intervals in our near
vicinity told the fate of villages and isolated houses.

During the attack just mentioned several hand-to-hand conflicts took
place between the Sikh troopers and the rebels. In one of these an
officer received a tulwar cut which severed an artery. By-and-by I came
upon him, prostrate on the ground, alone, and bleeding to death. A
ligature was applied to the divided vessel; he was placed in a dooly,
and so carried to my tent, where he remained during the following
night. While there he was visited by some of his men, who laid
before him various articles of loot--some valuable--of which they had
possessed themselves, and now presented to him. In contrast with an
incident shortly to be related, and also in its way characteristic of
a class, the fact made an impression upon me that under the particular
circumstances of time and place, the officer alluded to[184] offered to
me--who in all likelihood had been the means of saving his life--not
one thing of the many laid out for display on the floor rug of my tent.

Early on March 3 the sound of heavy guns from the direction of
Lucknow told that active work was in progress there. Later in the day
a staff officer, escorted by a squadron of the 9th Lancers and two
Horse Artillery guns, arrived in camp as bearer of dispatches. These
contained orders that on the morrow our force should advance and
take up the position assigned to it in relation to the contemplated
attack on that capital. They informed us that already the Dilkhosha
had been captured. On the following day our force was accordingly in
motion towards Lucknow. It had not proceeded far when information
was received that a small body of rebels occupied the inconsiderable
fort of Dowraha, situated at the distance of a mile or so from our
line of route. A body, unfortunately, as events proved, too small for
its intended purpose, was detached with the object of effecting its
capture; but with the loss of one officer killed and several casualties
among the rank and file, the position had to be left untaken, while our
force continued its march. In the afternoon we took up the position
assigned to us on an extensive plain between Dilkhosha and Bebeepore,
and so merged into the general force under the Commander-in-Chief.



  Rifles against cannon--The sailors’ battery--The circle narrows--
    The 10th in Lucknow--The Moulvie’s house--Ladies rescued--Surgeon’s
    place in battle--Soldiers’ gratitude--Martinière--Wrecks of
    victory--The city--The Residency--Isolated casualties--Flight of
    sepoys--Columns in pursuit.

Throughout March 5 heavy bombardment continued, the batteries of rebels
within Lucknow replying actively to those outside the city. On the 6th,
Captain Graham’s company of the 10th occupied an intrenched position
at an angle of the Mohamed Bagh, where during the night temporary
defences had been thrown up, the task assigned to, and successfully
performed, being by their rifle fire to keep down that from rebel guns
of a battery close to Begum Serai. It became an exciting sight to watch
the enemy as they moved their guns into the several embrasures of their
battery preparatory to discharging them upon our position, and then
the effect of the volley poured into those embrasures by our men; then
the burst of flame--our soldiers instantly throwing themselves prone
on the ground; the thud of round shot upon our protecting rampart; our
soldiers starting to their feet, pouring volley after volley as before
into the embrasures, while the guns were being lowered therefrom to be
reloaded. Thus the seemingly unequal duel went on. After a time the
rebel fire from that particular point began to slacken, then ceased.
The men of the 10th had done their work right well. Other portions of
our general force were engaged elsewhere, preparatory to the grand
attack about to be delivered.

Steadily during the next two days the circle of fire narrowed around
the city. On the 9th a more than usual heavy artillery fire took place
between our forces and the enemy. The sailors’ battery of 68-pounders
was engaged against large bodies of the rebels assembled among a
range of ruined buildings at the western end of the Martinière, the
men who worked the guns taking affairs with such coolness that, in
the intervals between firing, cleaning, and loading their respective
pieces, they squatted in parties of four on the ground, and proceeded
with games of cards, in which they seemed to take as much interest as
in the effect produced by their fire. About 2 p.m., to an increased
rapidity of fire from sailors and artillery guns was added more active
_pings_ of rifles, and somewhat later on the position of the Martinière
was in the possession of our force.

Two more days of arduous work by all ranks, the rebels gradually but
steadily being pressed in from their advanced positions; the siege guns
opening heavily upon the city; bodies of rebels in their endeavours at
flight falling into the hands of our troops, many of their own numbers
being killed. Our force increased by the arrival of reinforcements from
Cawnpore, and by that of 10,000 Ghoorkas under Jung Bahadur, the advent
of the latter causing some interest, and not a little amusement, dirty
and untidy, flat-faced, small-sized as they were, their guns drawn
by men instead of horses, their whole aspect more suited to dramatic
effect than for such work as was then in progress.

On March 11 the Begum Kotee was stormed and captured by a combined
force of 93rd Highlanders, 4th Sikhs, and Ghoorkas, the losses
sustained by the assailants being on the occasion very heavy in
both men and officers. In the afternoon of next day, the 10th, led
by Colonel Fenwick, occupied the position thus so gallantly won.
Everywhere around signs indicated the deadly nature of the struggle
that had taken place during its assault. Bodies of defenders, bleeding
and mangled, lay in heaps; some were being thrown pell-mell into a
V-shaped ditch, down, then up the sides of which our troops had in
the first instance to scramble, while exposed to terrific fire by
the defenders. As we entered, our artillery hastened to prepare for
its further work of bombarding at close quarters. During the night
we bivouacked within the city. On the 13th, the 10th forced its way
against severe opposition directly through the city towards the Kaiser
Bagh, while other portions of the troops were similarly at work from
other directions. Again, as night closed in after a day of most
arduous work and heavy list of casualties among our numbers, the 10th
bivouacked in streets and gardens wrested from their sepoy occupants.
On the 14th the regiment went on with its work of conquest, heavy fire
from roofs and loopholes bringing to earth, now one, then another, and
another of our men as we continued to advance. At last the Kaiser Bagh
was reached; it was quickly entered by Captain Annesly at the head of
his company, by means of a gateway first detected by Havelock, then
adjutant of the 10th; thus the central point within the city, held by
the rebels, was now in the hands of our troops.

At a short distance from that position, and partly hidden by other
buildings, were the ruins of what had until the previous day been
the residence of the notorious Moulvie,[185] by whose orders, in the
earlier days of the mutiny, several of our countrymen and countrywomen
who had fallen into the hands of the rebels were put to death. As our
troops now entered the enclosure within which those ruins stood, they
came upon two gory heads of British soldiers, who had during recent
operations been captured by the rebels. The Moulvie had, however,
escaped, but was known to be in the still unsubdued part of the city,
whence he exerted command over the rebels yet actively engaged against
our forces.

A communication of romantic and pathetic interest now reached the
more advanced portion of our force. It detailed the fact that two
ladies[186] were in the hands of the rebels, their lives threatened,
their position in other respects one of serious danger; it urged those
into whose hands it might fall to press onwards to their rescue. As
subsequently transpired, those ladies were held prisoners by Wajid
Ali, and by him treated with some degree of consideration, so much
so that suspicion was brought upon him in respect to his fidelity to
the rebel cause. He it was also who sent, by the hand of his brother,
to the nearest British officer, the letter alluded to. Instantly on
receipt of it, Captain McNeil and Lieutenant Bogle, at the head of a
rescue party of Ghoorkas, started under the guidance of the bearer of
the letter. The house in which the ladies were was quickly reached; the
two captives were placed in doolies, and together with their protector
escorted, not without much difficulty and risk, to the camp of General

While these operations were in progress, one or other regimental
surgeon was constantly with the fighting line, rendering what aid was
practicable to those struck down; and here it is well to mention that
whenever officer or soldier felt himself wounded, his first call was
“for the doctor.” Nor is it to be questioned that the moral effect of
our presence was very considerable; the presence of a hand to succour
imparted confidence.

As soon as practicable, the wounded were withdrawn to our hospital
tents, and there their injuries more particularly attended to. While
work in front was in progress, and as a consequence that in hospital
was most active, I was on an occasion occupied during twilight in so
affording aid to a wounded soldier just brought in, myself on my knees
on the ground and leaning over him. A touch on my shoulder, and then in
a soldier’s voice, “Here, sir, put that in your haversack,” the action
accompanying the word, and the man passed on his way, my attention
too much occupied to observe his appearance. When work was done and I
returned to my tent, I examined my haversack; I found therein a brick
of silver, of sufficient size to make, as subsequently it did, a tea
and coffee service, the donor remaining unknown. The circumstance is
noted, as in contrast to that already mentioned, in which an officer
was concerned.

A visit to the Martinière revealed the effects of recent operations
against that building; statues and other works of art dilapidated,
broken, and in ruins; doors and other woodwork torn and split, walls,
ceilings, corridors injured in every possible way, large masses of
_débris_ at particular places indicating those upon which shot and
shell had been most heavily directed. From the summit of the building
we traced the route by which, in the previous October, the relieving
force had effected its advance, together with some of the buildings
historically associated with that gallant feat, including the Yellow
House, Secundra Bagh, Mess House, and Motee Mahal.

In our field hospital the wreck of our “glorious victory” was to be
seen in plenty; officers and soldiers, wounded, maimed, or in various
instances terribly burnt and disfigured by explosions; many groaning
in their agony, others placidly bearing their sufferings, a few
unconscious to pain, the death-rattle in their throats--all arranged
on pallets, and far less comfortably seen to than were their comrades
fortunate enough to be taken into their own regimental hospitals.

The streets along which the 10th had so recently forced its way
to the Kaiser Bagh presented a scene of utter devastation: walls
blackened, loopholed, shattered with shot-holes of various sizes,
the buildings roofless and tenantless except by dead bodies gashed
or torn by bullets, their cotton-wadded clothing burning, sickening
odours therefrom contaminating the air; heaps of _débris_ everywhere,
furniture, utensils and dead bodies, all mixed up together; breaches
made by heavy guns to make way for advancing infantry, round shot by
which they had been effected; domes, at one time gilded and otherwise
ornamental, but now dilapidated and charred; costly furniture, oil
paintings once of great value, ornamental glass and china strewed
about, and everywhere to be seen; ornamental garden lakes black from
gunpowder cast into them; the gardens trodden down, mosaic work of
cisterns broken into fragments. At Secundra Bagh, where on November 16
some two thousand sepoys perished at the hands of the 53rd and 93rd
Regiments, the bones of the slain, now, four months after the event,
lay in heaps, a heavy odour of decomposition pervading the enclosure.

At the Residency a deep irregular-shaped pit immediately outside the
Bailee Guard marked the spot where, in the latter days of the memorable
siege, the rebels had prepared their mine against the defenders of
that position; inside and close to the same entrance were the remains
of the countermine by which the operations connected with the former
were detected, and itself sprung upon the besiegers. The door of
that gateway, penetrated and torn by bullets; buildings roofless and
bespattered with shot-marks, including that where ladies and children
spent the eighty-five days to which the siege extended, and that
in which Sir Henry Lawrence received his death-wound,--the whole
presenting an epitome of what war implies, not to be forgotten.

For some time after Lucknow was virtually in the power of our force
desultory fights continued to occur at places in and around the city.
In the portions actually held by our troops, isolated men occasionally
fell by a rebel bullet. Among other casualties, two officers had the
misfortune to fall into the hands of the sepoys, by whom they were put
to death, and their heads, so report said, borne away as trophies.

No sooner had the principal positions held by the rebels been captured
from them than their flight from the city began, at first in small
bodies, but rapidly increasing in numbers as channels of egress
became known among them. Although without artillery, considerable
numbers carried their small arms, while others were content to
abandon everything, and seek only their own safety. One armed body
of the fugitives, while endeavouring to get away in the direction
of the Alumbagh, was fallen upon by our troops and severely dealt
with; in other directions, however, the fact became known that large
bodies effected their escape without being attacked, in places where
no special difficulties intervened,--nor did explanation of the
circumstance transpire.

Several field columns were immediately organized and dispatched along
different routes known or believed to have been taken by the escaped
rebels. Years afterwards the gallant services performed by one of those
columns[187] were detailed in a published Biography. Other bodies found
their way to the neighbourhood of Azimghur and there united with a
considerable force of their brethren, which had on March 21 defeated a
small body of British troops at Atrowlea, obliging it to retire within
entrenchments at the first-named city.



  The force extemporised--Jounpore--Tigra--Azimghur--Prestige--
    Casualties--Pursuing column--Mr. Venables--Night march--Painful
    news--Ghazepore--Recross the Ganges--Arrah--Preparations--Beheea--
    Jugdispore--Resting--Jungle fight--Chitowrah--Heat and exhaustion--
    Work under difficulties--Our commissariat lost--Peroo--Bivouac--
    Return to camp--Threatened attack--Village destroyed--Our physical
    condition--Dhuleeppore--Preparing for attack--Guns recaptured--A sad
    duty performed--Sick and wounded--Messenger mutilated--Keishwa--
    Slaughter--Force to Buxar--Non-effectives--The force ceases to
    exist--General orders, thanks, and batta.

The task of the 10th was looked upon as finished; the regiment had
been sixteen years in India, the entire period continuously in the
plains. With an expression of glee on the part of the men was the
order received to commence our homeward march,--that is, to proceed
towards Calcutta, there to embark for England. On the 28th of March
the regiment turned its back on Lucknow; after several hours of weary
progress it reached its camping ground. About midnight we were roused
from slumber by the arrival of a cavalry escort and Staff Officer, with
orders that the regiment should march forthwith towards Goorsagunge,
there to form part of a field force under command of Brigadier-General
Lugard, its object to raise what had become the siege of Azimghur by
the combined rebel forces just mentioned. Before ten o’clock on the
29th our soldiers, to use their own expression, had “done twenty-eight
miles of road, heel and toe,” disappointed at the unexpected change in
destination, but also, in their own phrase, “ready for the new work
cut out for them.” Other portions of what was to be the Azimghur Field
Force[188] quickly reached the appointed rendezvous, and the process
of organization was complete. Then we learned that the combined rebel
force under Koer Singh surrounded Azimghur; that a body of British,
while _en route_ thither from Benares, had suffered severely while
in conflict with them; that therefore the rapid advance of that under
General Lugard was urgently called for.

Continuing our march from day to day, we traversed much of the route by
which our advance upon Lucknow had recently lain, it being marked by
whitened bones of men slain, ruins of villages, and huts destroyed by
fire; otherwise no event worth notice occurred until the 9th of April,
by which date we had reached Budlapore. On the morning of that day our
force marched from its camp at 2 a.m., proceeding thence direct to
Jounpore, a distance of twenty miles. There information was received
that the rebel troops around Azimghur were commanded by Mendhee Hussun,
Koer Singh being present with them.

Men and animals, tired out by fatiguing marches, were equally
constrained to make one day’s halt. On the morning of the 11th
information led General Lugard to deviate from the regular route and
proceed towards Tigra, situated on our left, adjoining the left side
of the river Goomtee, the rebels under Gholam Hussun being reported
to have there taken up a position. A reconnoitring party speedily
discovered the point taken up by about 500 rebels with two guns; they
were at once attacked by our irregular cavalry, eighty of their number
killed, the remainder dispersed, though this small affair lost the life
of Lieutenant Havelock, cousin of our Adjutant.

Another day’s halt to rest our men and animals; the heat already
severe, 102° F. in our tents. Resuming our progress, our force arrived
within striking distance of Azimghur after darkness of the night had
closed in, and bivouacked on the position assigned to us, the rebels
for some time disturbing our rest by their bullets that kept dropping
among our ranks. With dawn on the 15th the several members of our body
militant were at their posts, prepared for the work before them. As the
10th moved forward past a strip of dense jungle that skirts the river
Tonse, a smart fire was opened upon us from the thicket, as also from a
grove at some distance across that stream. The first of these positions
was at once attacked by our artillery, the infantry rapidly following;
by means of a dilapidated bridge hastily repaired, some cavalry and
artillery got across and so attacked the second. Other portions of our
force were engaged with similar activity at the points assigned to
them respectively, the result being, that after losing considerably in
their numbers, the rebels fled pell-mell, and as we entered the city
only some of their killed and wounded were anywhere met with. It was
subsequently found that they had lost some guns, much equipage and
stores, and that, under command of Koer Singh, they were in full flight
towards the Ganges.

When, as already mentioned, the rebels from their position in the
jungle opened fire upon the 10th, the demeanour of our men, hardened
as they were by long service in India, and accustomed to the work of
war, was such as vividly to illustrate the advantages of having old
soldiers under such circumstances. Although taken by surprise, our men
wavered not; with equanimity our Colonel,[189] as he turned towards
them, said, “Steady, men, steady.” There was a sharp fire of musketry
into the brushwood, instantly followed by a charge with the bayonet;
native voices were heard as the sepoys recognised the soldiers they
had to deal with, calling to their comrades, “_Bhago, bhago bhai, dus
pultan aya_” (Run, brothers, run; the 10th have come). A minute more,
and those who escaped bayonet thrusts by our men were in rapid flight.

Resulting from the day’s encounter a considerable number of dead had
to be interred, and wounded attended to. For the latter accommodation
had to be procured, as well as for our sick, whose numbers had been
rendered considerable by the great fatigue and exposure undergone
during our recent long and arduous marches. As a guard to those so
provided for, as well as to hold the city now in our power against
further attack, and leave our force unencumbered for further action,
the 34th was detailed to fulfil both duties.

A column under command of Brigadier Douglas started in pursuit of the
body of rebels directly under Koer Singh. They having made a stand
against Douglas as soon as the first panic of defeat had somewhat
subsided, the pursuing column was on 17th reinforced by additional
artillery, cavalry, and part of the 84th. Within a few hours thereafter
the sound of active firing told us what was taking place; then the
arrival of wounded men declared that serious work was being done. In
due time we learned that the rebels had been defeated, a hundred of
their number killed, and one of their guns captured.

Among the wounded so brought in was Mr. Venables, an indigo planter,
a typical representative of the rough, ready, and energetic men who
collectively become the makers of Greater Britain. Mr. Venables had,
by his own force of character, prevented open revolt in the district
of Azimghur after the 17th N.I. had mutinied, and, by means of levies
raised and commanded by himself, repelled an attack by the latter;
subsequently on various occasions he was in actual conflict against
the rebels. Gangrene of the wounded shoulder took place, and within a
very short time his death occurred, much to the sorrow and regret of
those of us with whom he had been associated. After his death it was
discovered that he wore upon his bosom the wedding ring of his deceased
wife. She had died at Azimghur, and now his body was laid in a grave
close to the remains of her for whom his affection was manifest in
tangible form.

On the 23rd General Lugard learned that notwithstanding their recent
defeat the rebels under Koer Singh were advancing, as if to threaten
Ghazepore. At 9 p.m. our force was in motion towards them. The night
march was long and trying; for some hours our way was enlivened by
the clear moonlight, but the air was hot and sultry. Occasional halts
were necessary to enable the men to rest for a little, and refresh
themselves with draughts of water. Arrived at Mohumdee next morning,
several hours elapsed before camp equipage arrived and tents were
pitched, for as on various previous occasions our men outmarched their
transport train. There news reached camp that Koer Singh had so far
succeeded that nearly all the men commanded by him had got across the
Ganges; but that Douglas, having arrived and opened fire upon them
from the left bank, their chief had been severely wounded,[190] and of
themselves many put _hors de combat_.

Later in the day the painful news circulated in camp that a small
force, composed of men of 35th, the Naval Brigade, and some Sikhs, sent
from Arrah to intercept the rebels then in rapid flight from the Ganges
to Jugdispore, had met with disaster at their hands. The force referred
to was that under the command of Captain Le Grand, 35th Regiment.

Two successive marches during the hottest period of each day, and we
were at Ghazepore. Officers and men, forced by reason of seasonal
temperature to dispense with outer uniform, wore only _khakee_ trousers
and woollen shirts, the sleeves turned up for sake of comfort. Thus
equipped, dusty, and grimy, our aspect presented a sorry contrast to
the neat and in some instances elegant turn-out of men and women who
rode out from cantonments to see our force march into camp.

Resuming the march next morning, the occurrence of a rain storm
drenched us, but even that was an agreeable relief in the great heat
and dust heretofore prevailing. No halt took place, but throughout that
day and following night our wearied men continued what was indeed their
forced march. By daylight on May 2 we arrived at Synhee Ghat. There,
by means of steamers ready for the purpose, the work of crossing the
Ganges rapidly proceeded, and by 9 a.m. we were in the Arrah district.
We were now reunited to the column which under Douglas had been
recently sent on from Azimghur, it having succeeded in preventing Koer
Singh’s men from falling upon Arrah after inflicting on a small body of
our troops the disaster already mentioned.

Not until the 4th were all our stores and equipment transferred to the
right side of the river, and our force in readiness for further work.
The following morning our camp was pitched at Arrah,[191] and thus an
opportunity afforded us to visit places in and around that station with
which some recent painful events were associated. A building occupied
a few months past by a civil servant now presented the appearance of
a star-shaped fort from the embrasures of which the muzzles of guns
projected; masses of ruins told where other bungalows had been. There
stood the small fortified house, its walls loopholed and battered by
rebel bullets, a memorial of the gallant defence made by Herwald Wake
and his few comrades until relieved by Major Eyre. At a little distance
eastward from the city is the scene of the great disaster of July
30, already alluded to more than once; the road by which our men had
marched, bordered on either side by isolated houses, at one spot by
a clump of “toddy” palms, at another by a tope of mango trees; there
the Hindoo temples at which, it was said, certain of our men on that
occasion were offered as sacrifices to Kali; there the trees on which
others were hung, though, as expressed by those on the spot, the events
referred to are as far as possible “hushed up.”

Information reached General Lugard that the rebels in considerable
force had taken up a position at Jugdispore. He resolved to march upon
and attack them without unnecessary delay. All extra establishment and
equipment was left to be retained in store; sick and men otherwise
non-effective eliminated; commissariat and transport suited for service
on which we were about to enter, alone set apart for the purpose;
mobility and efficiency the two qualities held in view.

In the lightest possible marching order our advance began on May 27.
While it was yet dark, thirteen miles of road were got over; two
more after daybreak, we then arrived at our intended camping ground;
our only incident the capture of a spy,[192] in the act of counting
the numbers and noting the composition of our column. The rebels had
determined to oppose us _en route_. For that purpose they took up a
position in a tract of jungle through which the road extended near
Beheea; there our artillery opened fire upon them, and thence they were
quickly expelled. The aspect of the sky portended a dust storm; it was
now upon us with all the usual violence of such meteors, the air so
laden with dust that for a time all was dark. Then came a deluge of
rain, soaking us completely, converting the hitherto parched ground
into a swamp, but reducing the temperature from 100° to 85°. As the sky
became clear, a strong body of rebels were observed advancing towards
us. At once a party was dispatched against them; brisk fire by the
artillery, then our cavalry dashed in among them; they broke up and
soon disappeared in the jungle. All through next night the camp was on
the alert; pickets patrolled in all directions. In early morning of the
9th our advance was resumed.

During the march parties of rebels hovered on either flank, but at a
safe distance from our column. As we neared the town of Jugdispore the
enemy advanced upon us from front and flanks. When they came within
striking distance, our column, already prepared for such an emergency,
took the initiative; our men, to use their own expression, “went at
them with a will.” Before sunset that town, together with the palace of
Koer Singh, were in our possession.

The 10th was a day of comparative quiet; men had to rest after their
arduous work; those prostrated by heat and fatigue be attended to,
information obtained regarding movements of the fugitive enemy, and
arrangements made for further action against them. While our force was
thus enjoying comparative quiet, news reached our commander that the
rebels had taken up a position at Chitowrah, situated deep in a dense
jungle, some seven miles distant from our present camp; that a column
comprising the 6th Regiment was in a position near Peroo to co-operate
with us; that the column under Sir Hugh Rose was steadily closing
around Jhansi; and that in Rohilcund our troops had obtained several
important successes.

In the forenoon of the 11th a sufficient guard for its protection
being left in camp, a strong body[193] of our force marched to attack
the rebel position at Chitowrah. It had not proceeded more than three
miles when an earthwork across the road for a short time interrupted
progress; that obstacle overcome, a heavy fire from the dense jungle on
our flanks and front opened upon us. As a reply our artillery opened
with grape, after which skirmishers dashed into the thick forest,
with the result that they carried all before them; but pursuit was
impossible by reason of its density.

The heat of the day, great as it was in the open ground, was
overpowering while we traversed the forest already mentioned. It
was fortunate for all of us that this contingency had been foreseen
and provided for by General Lugard; skins full of water, carried by
elephants, camels, and bullocks, forming part of our equipment on
the occasion. At short intervals of time and distance, soldiers and
officers indiscriminately placed themselves under the open mouths of
those skins, had their heads and clothing drenched; then continuing
their march until the hot wind effected complete evaporation, they
again and again underwent a similar ordeal. Nevertheless, many
staggered, some fell from heat and exhaustion, others gasped for
breath. Considerable numbers had to be brought along in doolies; among
those so prostrated was Colonel Fenwick.[194] Exhausted as we were, it
was fortunate for us that our enemies were wanting in resolution to
take advantage of our condition.

Wearied and fatigued as were men and officers, little in the way
of food was needed. Tea--that ever-agreeable beverage under such
circumstances--was about the only thing obtainable at the time. Rest
was out of the question during the night. Impressions of the day’s
work, repeated _pings_ of musketry from the adjoining jungle, the thud
of bullets on the ruined walls among which we lay, the occasional
arrival of wounded men,--all combined to banish sleep; while to those
engaged in looking after sick and wounded, whose numbers had become
considerable, their work left them worn out and exhausted.

Daylight of the 12th revealed to us the scene of action. In jungle
recesses mangled corpses; in the ruins, now utilised as “barracks” for
effectives, and hospital for those struck down, whether by wounds or
sickness, heavy moans of the suffering were intermingled with coarse
jests of their more fortunate comrades. The unpleasant fact transpired
that our commissariat supplies had fallen into the hands of the rebels,
while the force was engaged against them in the jungle as already
mentioned. Breakfast for men and officers became a meal more nominal
than real; orders were issued for the march to be resumed southward,
so that our force might the more effectively co-operate with another
making its way from that direction.

Early in the afternoon our force was on its march towards Peroo, with
a view to effect that junction. As we advanced, the forest became less
and less dense; emerging therefrom into open country, the burnt remains
of huts and villages were passed. Some stray shots reached us from
small concealed bodies of the enemy, but these were quickly silenced
by parties of our men detached for that purpose. Without opposition in
more serious form we arrived, while it was still daylight, at a mango
tope, in which we bivouacked for the night, all necessary precautions
being first taken against surprise. During that night a thunderstorm
burst over us; this was followed by heavy downpour of rain, which
soaked us to a degree that made sorry objects of us, situated as we
then were, and at the same time reduced the ground that formed our beds
to the condition of a marsh.

A raid was made upon cattle and rice, both of which were found among
some ruined huts; the former were shot, and with the latter cooked,
the meal thus provided being savoury or otherwise according to whether
individuals had or had not in their haversacks a small reserve of salt.
At dawn next morning a strong party was detached to bring in supplies
sent on to us from camp. It was not long before that escort was engaged
with the rebels by whom it was attacked _en route_, and having defeated
them, proceeded to obtain the needed supplies, with which in due time
it returned to us. As a part of that escort were some young soldiers
of the 6th Foot, recently arrived from the Cape of Good Hope. On their
arrival back from that duty they were in so exhausted a condition
that when time arrived to break up our bivouac they had to be removed
by means of bullock-carts, elephants, and gun-carriages; the older
soldiers of the same party, though much exhausted, were able to resume
the march with their respective companies.

In the great heat now prevailing, the distance of nineteen miles that
separated us from our standing camp was got over by ten o’clock that
day; many so exhausted that, unable to keep up with the column, they
followed as best they could, arriving as so many stragglers, but
fortunately for them, unmolested and undiscovered by the rebels. During
the absence of our column, our camp, left under protection of the 84th,
was threatened by the rebels, who, however, were easily beaten off.

An attempt, made by men engaged for the purpose, to burn down the
jungle--work in which had already cost us the lives of many men--was
but partially successful. While at one point this was in progress, from
another came indications of attack by a considerable body of well-armed
rebels. The 10th were quickly in movement towards them, a few of their
bullets telling among our ranks. Soon, however, the enemy disappeared
in the dense forest, our men returning to the comparative quiet and
“comfort” of their tents.

Short was the rest enjoyed by them. On the third day an attack from
our side was directed upon two villages occupied by the rebels in our
near vicinity. Similar attacks on other villages succeeded each other;
a convoy with supplies from our base at Arrah arrived; attempts on a
larger scale than heretofore to burn down the forest were made, but
unsuccessfully; and so, with the hot season upon us, did all concerned
try their best to carry out the general work we had to do.

Some idea of the physical condition of our troops may best be gathered
from the particulars now to be given. Soon after the middle of May
fevers and bowel disorders had become very prevalent among them; in
other ways they suffered severely from the prevailing heat and fatigue.
As to myself, according to my diary, “from the time I became attacked
at Azimghur, I have found it impossible to throw off my illness, and
now am exhausted and debilitated to a great degree by the continued
heat. Were it not my duty to hold out for the benefit of my wife and
children, I would certainly apply for sick leave.” By that time,
although our force had been only ten days in the field and jungle near
Jugdispore, the number of non-effectives was so great as to seriously
impair its efficiency and mobility; as many of these as could be so
disposed of were accordingly sent under strong cavalry escort to Arrah.
Cases of sunstroke were of occasional occurrence, though far less so
than we had expected. Our transport suffered scarcely, if at all, in
a less degree than our men, thus still further adding to the daily
increasing difficulties under which we were expected to act as an
efficient force. Another phase of our difficulties arose from the want
of vegetables as part of our food. From the day when we first took the
field supplies in this respect have been absent, the result being that
men and officers are more or less suffering from land scurvy.

On the 20th our force made an attack on the village of Dhuleeppore,
recently destroyed, but in the ruins of which a body of rebels had
assembled. The result of that attack was discomfiture to them, though,
unhappily, unusually heavy loss to the assailants.

Then followed a few days of comparative rest to our men; but meanwhile
the rebels re-occupied the position from which so recently they had
been driven. Arrangements were accordingly made for a renewed attack on
that place.

At daylight on the 20th our force was in motion: one portion by a road
just within the skirt of jungle, a second along the plain on which the
affair of a few days before took place. As they drew close upon the
rebel position, fire was opened from two howitzers captured on the
occasion of the disaster to the party under Captain Le Grand already
mentioned. Three rounds were fired before the 10th and 84th were
able “to get at” the rebels. Once among them, the guns were quickly
recaptured, many of the gunners killed, the rebels in flight. Our men
returned to their tents.

Our camp ground had become so offensive, and otherwise objectionable,
that, leaving for a time a body of our force sufficiently strong to
hold its own in case of emergency, the larger portion, under orders
by General Lugard, proceeded to take up a fresh position. The move
involved a march of four miles and upwards. While _en route_ we
traversed the scene of Le Grand’s disaster. Isolated bones, some partly
gnawed, lay scattered about; fragments of utensils of sorts strewed the
surface,--sad relics, in their several ways, of the episode referred
to. A halt was made; the fragments of what had been gallant men
carefully collected and most reverently interred. We then resumed our

The numbers of sick and wounded had now exceeded the capacity of our
transport; it became a matter of necessity to get rid of them, so
that the force might be left ready prepared for further action. Being
provided with a strong cavalry escort, I started with a full convoy
of such non-effectives. We traversed a piece of country directly in
front of the rebels, halting under the shelter of a mango tope during
the hottest hours of daylight; resumed the journey at nightfall, and
reached Arrah before daybreak. There the sick and wounded were disposed
of in hospital; our return journey quickly resumed, and without
adventure we were again with our force in time for further work.

A few days prior to the date now reached, a messenger had been sent
with dispatches from General Lugard to the officer in command of a
column co-operating with his own. The man presented a sorry plight as
he returned to camp; his nose cut off, his right hand severed at the
wrist, his face and other parts of his person besmeared with blood,
himself faint, bewildered, and dazed. After a time he related the
story of his capture. He had reached his destination without mishap,
had delivered the dispatches of which he was bearer, received those
in reply, and started on his return journey with them. While passing
through a rebel village on his way he was arrested, his papers taken
from him, he himself ordered for execution, as traitor and spy. On the
plea that in the state of mutilation inflicted upon him his appearance
would be more deterrent among possible waverers in the rebel cause than
would be the fact of his being put to death, the extreme penalty was

A body of rebels having destroyed an indigo factory and taken up a
position at Kishwa, our force started at 3 a.m. on the 2nd of June
towards that point. As we approached it, a heavy though happily
ineffectual fire was opened against our ranks. The 10th marched
steadily onwards. The rebels did not long remain to permit our men to
close with them; pell-mell they fled, the Madras guns sending several
charges of grape-shot after them, the cavalry then taking up the
pursuit. We afterwards bivouacked in the open.

Driven thence, the rebels returned to their former position at
Chitowrah. By daylight on the 4th of June our force advanced upon them
in two separate columns: the one along the narrow jungle road already
mentioned; the other, under the command of Brigadier Douglas, by the
southern border of the same jungle. As we neared the densest part of
forest, in the heart of which lay that hunting seat of Koer Singh, we
suddenly found ourselves exposed in a semi-circle of fire in front
and both our flanks; fortunately without much damage to our numbers.
There was a momentary halt, then a cheer, and into the forest dashed
the 10th, trusting to their bayonets rather than their rifle fire. The
rebels fled, at first through and from the thicket whence their attack
had been made, our men following close upon them; next, through ruins
of houses and enclosures; through a cactus hedge, across an open plain,
our soldiers gaining upon them in the race, the result being a loss to
our enemies of ninety-four, fallen by bayonet thrust of our regiment
alone. Wearied and exhausted, a short rest had to be allowed to men
and officers. In our return journey towards camp we again traversed
the ground over which the running fight described had taken place; the
rebels killed in the early part of the day were represented by so many
masses of skeletons, blood covered, some few shreds of flesh still
adhering, thus telling what had been the work done in the interval by
jackals, dogs, and vultures.

The immediate result of the rebel defeat at Chitowrah was that their
force divided itself into small parties, each of which seemed to
proceed on its own initiative, some as marauders, others with the
apparent object of making for Buxar, and thence across the Ganges.
With a view to act against the latter, a portion of our force, reduced
as it now was by casualties and sickness, was placed under command of
Brigadier Douglas, and proceeded on the duty assigned to it.

To the regret of all associated with him, General Lugard completely
broke down in health; several of the officers were ill or had been
invalided; the numbers of our soldiers who had become non-effective
was very large. Under the circumstances in which we were thus placed,
the fact became evident that unless it was intended by the responsible
authorities that our force should be permitted to melt away and so
cease to exist, a speedy return to cantonments was necessary to
preserve that portion which still existed of its component elements.

Great, therefore, was the relief with which, in obedience to orders
to return to cantonments, we marched away from Jugdispore on June
15. Our first day’s march was no more than six miles long. Our men,
however, had no longer the stimulus of expected fight to brace them
up; many fell out _en route_, to come in as stragglers during the
day. Continuing our journey, we once again passed through Arrah, then
crossed the Soane, marching into quarters at Dinapore on the 19th of
that month. The Azimghur Field Force had done the work assigned to it,
and now ceased to exist as such.

The arrival of General Orders,[195] in which were contained the
official dispatches relating to work performed by the force of which
we had so recently formed a part, became naturally enough an event of
importance to most of us, gratification to some, disappointment to
others. Much praise was accorded to the 10th Regiment, as a whole, for
arduous work efficiently done, and special reference made to individual
officers whose services were “mentioned” in those dispatches. Paragraph
19 of the Orders in question gave the report by Sir Edward Lugard
thus: “I beg most especially to recommend to His Excellency’s notice
---- [myself], Surgeon of the 10th Foot and Senior Medical Officer
in charge of this force; his exertions have been untiring; though at
times suffering from sickness, he never quitted his post, but continued
his valuable superintendence. I feel more indebted to him than I can
express.” With reference to which the entry made in my diary at the
time was: “I am thankful to God for having enabled me to fulfil my
duties satisfactorily, and, for the sake of my dear wife and children,
hope advancement may speedily follow so handsome an acknowledgment
of services performed.” A few days afterwards we had the further
gratification of reading “Orders” awarding to each of us six months’



  Record of events--Various--Proclamation--Parliamentary debates--
    Sikhs--Ghoorka “allies”--Rainy season--Last of H.E.I.C.--Rebel
    forces--Native comments--Warrant for A.M.D.--Subjects of talk--
    The drama ended--Personal chagrin--Farewell service--March
    away--Parisnath--Raneegunge--Embark and sail--Order by
    Government--On board ship--England.

A period of rest in cantonments had become a matter of necessity to
restore physical efficiency to our regiment, worn out as men and
officers were by service in the field. The ordinary duties incidental
to barrack existence in India were performed by all, our spare time
devoted to current records of events announced from day to day by the
newspapers. A few examples now follow.

No sooner had our force departed from Jugdispore than the rebels
returned to their former positions in the extensive jungle by
which that place is surrounded. Among the proceedings taking place
elsewhere was the defeat, by Sir Hope Grant, of a strong rebel force
at Nawabgunge. In the vicinity of Shahjehanpore, the Moulvie already
mentioned was killed by the troops of a Rajah[196] who had risen
against his authority. Gwalior had been recaptured; the Ranee of Jhansi
killed while leading her troops at that place against the Central India
Force. Reports of disaffection in certain Bombay regiments. In our own
near neighbourhood, a threatened outbreak by the prisoners in Patna
gaol led to the dispatch thither of two companies of the 10th. The
rebels had collected in a body of considerable strength at Chuprah,
from which position they were committing depredations on trading boats
on the Ganges; a portion of the 35th was accordingly dispatched against
them. Another party of rebels threatening Bulliah, a detachment of
the 10th proceeded by steamer towards that place. Various lines of
communication were kept open by parties of troops placed at suitable
points along them. The position at Arrah was so strengthened as to
be secure against attack. The arrival of a small kind of gunboat
intended for use on rivers was in its way important, as indicating the
introduction of a new means of attack.

At this time the issue of certain Proclamations by Government seemed to
attract much attention among the rebels still in the field; the tenor
of the one an invitation to them to lay down their arms, the other in
effect confiscating the property of landowners in Oude, with a few
exceptions. “It is all very well,” said they, “to invite us to come in,
lay down our arms, and accept forgiveness; but why make the offer if
you have the power to subdue us?” “Hitherto, if we committed murder,
robbery, or burnt houses, we were hanged, imprisoned, or put on the
roads for life; now we have done all these things, and we are invited
to accept forgiveness. Truly this is a great raj; may it live for
ever!...” Adverting to the first of those Proclamations, Lord Canning
had expressed himself: “It is impossible that the justice, charity, and
kindliness, as well as the true wisdom which mark these words, should
not be appreciated.” That is the way they were so. The second was at
once called “the Confiscation Proclamation”; its almost immediate
effect, an outbreak of hostility among chiefs who were otherwise more
or less ready to remain passive if not actually favourable to existing
law. At a subsequent date it was cancelled.

The debates in Parliament on these dispatches and many other comments
on them were daily perused with great interest, not only by ourselves,
but, as we learnt, by the rebels still in arms, the several views
expressed by them somehow reaching cantonments.

The publication of orders, in which it was considered that services
performed by the Sikhs were referred to in exaggerated terms as
compared with the purely British, produced for the time being one
effect to which allusion may here be made. “Why,” said a very
intelligent officer of that nationality, who was well known to most
of us in cantonments, “you admit yourselves that we saved India for
you; if we can do that for you foreigners, why should we not take
the country for ourselves?” At the very time he spoke there were
82,000 Sikh troops in British employ. It was therefore not altogether
subject of surprise to learn, as we did, that a mutinous plot had been
discovered in the 10th Sikh Infantry at the distant station of Dhera
Ishmail Khan.

Nor were matters satisfactory on the part of the Ghoorkhas, recently
our “allies.” The circumstance transpired that correspondence had
been discovered between some of the higher authorities of Nepaul and
the Royal family of Oude; that Jung Bahadur had expressed himself
dissatisfied with degree of acknowledgment awarded by the Indian
Government for services rendered by himself and by his troops.

With the advance of the rainy season sickness and death made sad
havoc among our ranks. Meanwhile a state of unrest among the general
population became more and more apparent, fanned as it was by reports
circulated among them that large reinforcements from England would
speedily arrive. Nor was that unrest confined to the non-military
sections; some of the remaining sepoys believed to be “staunch” were
said to have been detected in treasonable correspondence with their
brethren in open rebellion; that representatives of mutineers had taken
service in the ranks of the police force.

The 1st of November, 1858, began an era memorable in the history of
India. On that day was read at every military station throughout the
country the Proclamation by the Queen, declaring the transference to
Her Majesty of the governing power hitherto exercised by the Honourable
East India Company, the 10th Regiment and other troops occupying our
present station being paraded at the civil station of Bankipore to
impart additional splendour to an otherwise imposing ceremony. The
Proclamation was read by the Commissioner of the district, an immense
concourse of natives being present on the occasion.

With reference to the portions of that Proclamation in which, under
certain specified conditions, pardon and amnesty are offered to rebels,
the _Punjabee_ newspaper of October 30 publishes a return of the army
still opposed to us in Oude alone, comprising, according to figures
there given, 79 chiefs, with an aggregate of 271 guns, 11,660 cavalry,
242,100 infantry, or 253,760 men in all; an imposing force indeed,
considering that the suppression of the outbreak is declared to have
been accomplished.

From the rebels still in the field, various comments on the terms
so offered reached our cantonments. They considered that for crimes
committed the sepoys deserved punishment by death, nor could they
understand the exemption to that penalty now expressed. “As an
earthquake”--according to their “prophets”--“has three waves, so will
there be three shocks to British power in India: one we have just
had; a second will occur a few years hence; the last after a longer
interval, when the British position in India will vanish.”

The arrival of papers with a new warrant[197] for the Medical
Department of the Army naturally enough was of considerable interest
to those of us who belonged to that branch of the military service.
As expressed in my diary at the time: “Most liberal it is, wiping away
at one swoop the grievances under which the Department has laboured,
and making it, as it ought to be, one of the best, if not the very
best, in the Army.” The great importance of the duties pertaining to
that department in relation to individual needs and general military
efficiency of a force was then prominently in my view from actual

Shortly after the Proclamation by Her Majesty was read, a counter
document of similar nature was issued by the Begum of Lucknow; but
the latter produced little if any effect upon the rebels or their
chiefs, numbers of both “coming in” one after another to make their
submission. An attempt was made by a leading journal[198] to ascertain
the number of persons who, being convicted of crimes against the
State, had suffered the penalty of death. They were, according to
that paper, as follows, from the outbreak of the Mutiny, namely:--By
military tribunal, executed by hanging, 86; by civil tribunal, 300; the
number shot by musketry, 628; blown from guns, 1,370; making a total
of 2,384. The deposed King of Delhi recently passed our station by
steamer, _en route_ to Calcutta, and finally to Rangoon, there to spend
the remaining portion of his life. The event gave rise to comment in
respect to the action of the old king against the Indian Government,
including his correspondence with the Shah of Persia in 1856; his
reputed sanction of atrocities at Delhi in May, ’57; his correspondence
with Lucknow, etc. Another subject of talk was the reported escape of
the Nana, the truth of which was soon thereafter confirmed. Lastly,
the publication of correspondence between Colonel Edwards, Sir John
Lawrence, and the Viceroy,[199] in respect to that portion of the
Proclamation which related to native customs, religious and otherwise,
afforded ample subject to discuss in our social coteries.

In the early days of 3859 came the welcome orders that all detached
parties of the 10th should rejoin Headquarters, for the purpose of
volunteering preparatory to the departure of the regiment for England.
Other orders directed various reductions to be made in military
establishments now in India; among them the withdrawal of several
time-expired regiments, and the return to their respective ships of the
Naval Brigades temporarily employed; that regiments still in the field
should proceed to quarters; brigadiers commanding columns cease to
hold appointments as such--thus declaring in effect that the campaign
connected with the great Mutiny was ended. But the facts were well
known that bodies of rebels and mutineers were in the field, special
forces actually employed against them; that bodies of disaffected had
taken refuge in Nepaul. These and various other incidents were looked
upon as so many supplements to the great drama at the end of which
official orders declared that we had arrived.

Now there occurred an event the outcome of which to several men who,
like myself, had held distinct charges of troops on active service, was
much chagrin and disappointment; namely, our supersession in promotion
by four officers, personally good, but who, though in the Crimea, had
neither there nor elsewhere held equivalent positions. Some little time
thereafter there appeared in a service journal[200] a leading article
“On the partiality and injustice to the Department exhibited in the
late promotions.” This was the first outcome of a warrant regarding
which first impressions were as already recorded.

At last came orders for the 10th to prepare for an early march towards
the port of embarkation for England, and that meantime volunteering
should be open to soldiers desiring to prolong their service in India.
All such orders were obeyed with the greatest possible alacrity. The
usual formalities on similar occasions being attended to, 141 of our
men availed themselves of the option thus given them, and so ceased to
belong to the corps in which they had performed much excellent work
under very trying circumstances. On an intervening Sunday a farewell
sermon[201] was preached to the regiment in our garrison church, and as
I noted at the time, “strange as it seems, some of the soldiers were
visibly affected thereby”; but as I have had numerous opportunities of
seeing, soldiers of the period now referred to, notwithstanding the
undoubted roughness of the great majority, had in their numbers many
men keenly sensitive to the finer impulses of our common human nature.

Before daylight on February 10, our regiment began its march, “played
out” of Dinapore by the band of the 19th Foot. Eight days thereafter
we encamped in near vicinity of Gyah, a place sacred to Buddhists, and
interesting in other ways. Two days more and we were on the Grand Trunk
Road. Soon at the hot wells of Burkutta, the water of which, clear
and having a slight odour of sulphur, is said to have many medicinal

In observing the necessary custom on a march, of halting on the
seventh day, an opportunity was afforded those of us interested in
such matters, to ascend the hill of Parisnath. Occupying the eastern
tableland of the Vindyha range, itself 4,449 feet in height, like Mount
Aboo on the west of the same range, its summit is covered with small
Jain temples. Its sides are clothed with dense forests of sal (_Vateria

In the course of our march, several trains of camels or kafilats, with
their Cabulee drivers, were met, as they were on their return journey
from Calcutta to Affghanistan. In accordance with the custom of the
time, they had begun their journey from Cabul eight months previous,
and hoped to return at the end of four more, thus completing it in one
year. These kafilats brought with them for sale in India, and Calcutta
more especially, fruit of different kinds, spices, skins, asafœtida,
and salep;[202] with the proceeds of the sale of which they purchased
and carried back with them bales of cotton goods, and others of
European manufacture. These caravans, including camels, drivers, and
“followers,” presented a picturesque and patriarchal scene, as in long
lines they seemed to glide along the road. Arrived at Raneegunge, our
camp was pitched for the last time. There a delay of several days took
place, while arrangements were in progress for embarkation; hurried
journeys by rail to and from Calcutta being made by those of us whose
duty it was to carry those arrangements into effect. A series of
coal-mines situated not far from our camp were being worked; but the
industry was, comparatively speaking, in its infancy.

In the early morning of St. Patrick’s Day, the regiment, stepping out
cheerfully to the familiar music appropriate to the occasion, and dear
to Irish soldiers, marched away from camp to railway station; thence
proceeded by train to Howrah, then by river steamer to the ship _King
Philip_, and so embarked. On the second day thereafter our ship, taken
in tow by a river tug, began her homeward voyage. As we glided past
Fort William, a Royal salute, fired from its ramparts, was a gratifying
compliment paid by order of Government to the departing regiment for
services performed by it during a most eventful episode in India’s
history. Wearied and worn out as our men were as a result of those
services, no cheer was raised in response to the unusual compliment
being paid to them.

The order by Government so alluded to was in these terms:--“_The
Calcutta Gazette Extraordinary_, Friday, March 18, 1859. No. 360
of 1859. Notification. Fort William, Military Department. The 18th
March, 1859.--Her Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot is about to embark
for England. His Excellency the Governor-General cannot allow this
regiment to pass through Calcutta without thanking the officers and
men for all the good service which they have rendered in the last two
eventful years: first, in the outbreaks at Benares and Dinapore; next,
as a part of the Column under their former Commander, Brigadier-General
Franks; and more lately in the harassing operations conducted by
Brigadier-General Sir E. Lugard and Brigadier Douglas on either bank of
the Ganges. The Governor-General in Council desires, in taking leave of
the 10th Regiment, to place on record his cordial appreciation of their
valuable services. The regiment will be saluted by the guns of Fort
William on leaving Calcutta. By order of his Excellency the Viceroy and
Governor-General of India in Council.--R. J. H. Birch, Major-General,
Secretary to the Government of India.”

[Subsequently the officers of the 10th, including myself, received
among us nine promotions and honorary distinctions for the services
above alluded to.]

During the homeward voyage several deaths occurred among our men,
exhausted as so many of them were by fatigue and exposure on service.
Perhaps it was that the incidents of that service had to some extent
affected the feelings heretofore so often manifested by soldiers in
presence of death among their comrades; at any rate, it became a source
of regret to some of our numbers to observe now the indifference shown
on such occasions; indeed, scarcely was the solemnity of committing a
body to the deep finished than games, songs, music, or dancing were
resumed by parties of the men. The long rest afforded by the voyage
did much to restore health to men and officers, and in other ways was
beneficial to us all.

As we neared England a pilot boarded our ship. He had with him a
bundle of papers, from which we learned, among other matters, of the
occurrence of war in the Quadrilateral, full details being given of the
great battles of Magenta and Solferino. In the accounts contained in
the same papers of the state of public affairs preceding that campaign,
a probable explanation was afforded of the suddenness with which
active measures against the mutineers had ceased, and considerable
forces withdrawn from India. At Gravesend, on July 13, the regiment
transhipped to the _Himalayah_, and so was conveyed to Plymouth, there
to be quartered in the Citadel. A few days thereafter,[203] I had the
happiness of being with my beloved wife and children, grateful in
spirit to Providence that life was preserved through the arduous ordeal
now relegated to the past.



  First incident--Our men--Disaster at Taku--Wrecks--A launch--
    Phrenology--Aspect of affairs--Warships to China--Militia and
    Volunteers--Improved conditions--Regimental schools--Female
    hospital--Windsor--Most Honourable Order of the Bath--
    Preparations--Mines--Cheesewring--Affairs--Decade--Mutiny medals.

Soon after our arrival I became the possessor of a horse and carriage,
both purchased from “a friend.” With pleasant anticipations I started
on our first drive, accompanied by my wife and her lady friend. We
had not proceeded far along the country road before the animal bolted
clean away; after wildly rushing for some considerable distance, the
carriage came in contact with the embankment, was upset and broken to
pieces, the two ladies severely injured. The accident happened at the
entrance to a country house; the ladies were admitted thereto for a
little, a glass of wine given to each; they were driven home, after
which no inquiry was made regarding them. This first experience of
“hospitality” impressed us at the time, and now is noted as in its way
characteristic. We had not been “introduced” to the family.

Unfortunately it so happened that among the men of the 10th there were
some who used not wisely the balance of “batta” still remaining unspent
by them. The result was that they brought obloquy upon themselves, and
to some extent upon their more steady and well-behaved comrades who
were altogether undeserving of it. So it happens on other occasions;
the actual number of men in a regiment who commit crimes may be small,
though their offences may be statistically considerable.[204]

In September attention was painfully drawn to the unfortunate failure
at Taku of the war vessels conveying the British and French ambassadors
to the Peiho _en route_ to Pekin, that failure involving the loss
of three gunboats and 464 men belonging to them. From that moment
it became evident that troops and ships must prepare for service in
the Far East, and although, as the 10th had so recently landed, it
was unlikely that the regiment would as a whole be concerned, it was
probable that some individual officers might be so; several of us
accordingly took an opportunity of making ourselves acquainted with
the current of events in China from the date of the _Arrow_ affair in
October, 1856, to that of the Taku incident alluded to.

Following close upon the news of that disaster came the wreck of the
_Royal Charter_, involving the loss of 470 lives, near Bangor, during
one of those autumn storms so frequent on English coasts. Public
sympathy was much aroused by these events, quickly following each other
as they did. Unhappily the last named was not at the time isolated of
its kind, though in its details not exceeded in painful accompaniments
by any.

A new war vessel--the _Narcissus_ frigate of fifty guns--being to be
launched, the ceremony proved not only interesting but impressive, in
respect to sentiments it evolved. An immense assembly met by invitation
in Devonport Dockyard to witness the event; as the hour of four
struck, the beautiful ship glided amidst a round of cheers into what
thenceforward was to be her proper element; her career in the future in
that respect like the career of the new-born infant--uncertain, beset
by risks.

Very different in character was another “function” at which I
“assisted”; namely, a lecture with demonstrations on phrenology, the
“correctness” of that “science” being illustrated by the lecturer by
references to the characteristics of the Hindoo in respect to mildness,
gentleness, and tractability. To those of us recently returned from
scenes already described, his remarks and demonstrations seemed
outcomes of misapplied knowledge. Yet, such as they were, they “went
down” with the enlightened British public, as represented by that
particular audience.

Various circumstances, domestic and foreign, combined to render
regimental life one of uncertainty, at the particular time now referred
to. In India more than one column of our forces were actively engaged
against the rebels who declined the terms of the gracious Proclamation
already mentioned. The recently enlisted men for so-called “European”
regiments of the late East India Company had combined in what was
called “The White Mutiny”; they were shipped to England, there to be
discharged the service.[205] Disaffection had appeared in two native
cavalry regiments stationed at Hyderabad.[206] With regard to Europe,
the condition of affairs in and relating to Italy was disturbed and
uncertain. In France, the effusions of certain Colonels, added to
other indications hostile to England, seemed to have an unpleasant
significance, more especially that in which an appeal was made to the
Emperor “to give the word, and the infamous haunt in which machinations
so infernal are planned”--namely, London--“should be destroyed for

A strong fleet of combined English and French warships proceeded to
China. Extensive stores and supplies of all kinds were shipped for
that destination, magazines were replenished; appearances indicated
that important operations were in the near future. Uncertainty and
speculation regarding probable events pervaded all ranks pertaining
to regiments now available for emergent service; all held themselves
prepared accordingly.

Various Militia regiments, embodied during the Crimean War, still
occupied barracks throughout England; at Devonport and Plymouth the
Warwickshire and Dublin Regiments, together with the Forfar Militia
Artillery, being quartered. Second battalions were in progress of
being added to the twenty-five first of the line. Now also, for the
first time since the Revolutionary War, regiments of Volunteers were
being rapidly formed. So important was the occasion considered to be
that special invitations were issued to witness in the Town Hall the
first parade of the Volunteers belonging to what were called “The Three
Towns,” and to inaugurate the formation of the regiment so constituted.
The building was well filled by officials and others; great was
the enthusiasm with which the ceremony passed off, the numbers of
Volunteers in the ranks of the new regiment being ninety-three.

Some changes, having for their object the improved condition of the
soldier, were now in course of introduction. Thus orders were issued on
the subject of corporal punishment, the infliction of which was reduced
to a minimum. In other respects the stringent methods heretofore
considered necessary for the maintenance of discipline were so relaxed
that old officers were wont to predict a number of evil consequences as
sooner or later sure to follow.

With the introduction of the national system of education into
regimental schools, the reading of the Holy Bible in them was
looked upon as seriously menaced in the present and threatened with
prohibition in the near future. According to orders issued on the
subject, “the Bible is only to be read, and religious instruction of
any kind given, during one hour per week, and then in the presence
of the Roman Catholic priest.” Many among us looked with dread and
apprehension to the probable outcome of the changes so begun.

That in the large garrison of Plymouth and Devonport there existed no
regular hospital for the wives and children of soldiers seemed to most
of us a very anomalous circumstance. Correspondence on the subject
between myself and the Divisional authorities was without practical
result. Taking advantage of the popularity and influence of Miss
Nightingale at the War Office, I addressed myself to that lady. In a
marvellously short space of time orders were received to set on foot
such an establishment; they were quickly carried out, very much to the
benefit of the classes for whom it was intended.

On January 15, 1860, I received a letter from the Registrar of the
Bath, directing me to hold myself in readiness to proceed to Windsor,
there to receive the Insignia of that Order, to which I had some months
previously been gazetted.[207] Two days thereafter--namely, on the
17th--a further letter ordering my attendance at Windsor Castle, at
quarter before 3 p.m. precisely, on the 19th. On the 18th I proceeded,
taking my dear wife with me, to that Royal burgh. The early part of the
forenoon of the 19th was occupied in visiting some of the points of
interest connected with the Castle, more especially the Round Tower and
St. George’s Chapel, the latter containing that most beautiful work of
art, the cenotaph to the Princess Charlotte.

Punctually at the hour appointed, those of us who were to be similarly
honoured drove to the Castle. We were shown into the Oak Room, and
there, taking count of each other, discovered that our party numbered
fourteen. Luncheon over, a messenger announced that Her Majesty was
ready to begin the ceremony of investiture. The Lancaster Herald,[208]
who had meantime very courteously initiated some of us in the
formalities to be observed, then mustered us in our order. He led the
way, we following, into the great corridor, at a door opening into
which we were halted, to be called in our turn to the Royal presence.
The first to enter was an officer upon whom the honour of knighthood
was to be conferred. Each Companion was summoned in his order of
seniority as such. The cross with which we were severally to be
invested was by the Lancashire Herald carried upon a cushion of crimson
velvet. The door being opened, we separately entered a small apartment,
at the further end of which stood the Queen; at her right side the
Prince Consort. Our names announced, we advanced, making obeisance as
we did so, knelt upon the right knee; the cross was attached over to
the left breast by Her Majesty; we kissed hands, retired backwards,
profoundly bowing the while. Thus we emerged, and the ceremony was

Preparations on a large scale for the expedition to China were in
rapid progress, the military forces to be sent thither comprising
regiments direct from England, others, British and native, from India.
Public attention and a good deal of adverse criticism were directed
to what was looked upon as excessive naval and military estimates in
a so-called time of profound peace. At important military and naval
stations, fortifications were much extended, and newly armed with
Armstrong guns; for, although there was much of what was ludicrous in
the “boastings of the French Colonels,” the fact was apparent that
their expressions were not altogether unnoticed by our authorities.

Excursions in various directions were taken; some with the object of
seeing places of historical interest, some to take note of the early
spring flora, others to examine geological features of the neighbouring
country. One such visit was to copper mines near Liskeard, there to see
for the first time the beautiful “peacock” ore brought from the depths
of earth and displayed to our gaze by means of a hammer wielded by the
sturdy arms of “Captain Jane,”--for the superintendent of the mine was
a woman so named.

At a little distance from the Canadian and Phœnix mines rises the
Cheesewring, a granite hill some 1,200 feet in height, the rocks
on its summit so piled upon each other as to thus give rise to its
particular name. On some of those rocks were marks of boulder action,
also tracings that bore distinct resemblance of vessels in ordinary
use by Hindoos at their worship on the banks of the Hooghly, and now
attributed to the Druids, one of whose places of sacrifice this _tor_
may perhaps have been.

More and more did the state of uncertainty and unrest in which
regimental officers had to perform their duties increase during the
early months of the year, by the condition of affairs in Continental
Europe. With regard to items of the general complication then noted,
the following extract from my diary, written at the time, reads
somewhat strangely to-day, namely: “France resolved upon the annexation
of Savoy, notwithstanding the strongly expressed opposition of England
against that measure; the threatened occupation of Tetuan by Spain,
opposed by England, as being against the terms on which England
remained neutral between that country and Morocco.”

The first decade of wedded life completed,[210] the following reference
to the occasion was written at the time: “Notwithstanding all that
I have undergone since that event, sufficient of my early romance
remains to enter in this place the motto which on that occasion
surrounded the bon-bon broken by my bride and myself at our wedding
luncheon--‘My hopes are in the bud; bid them bloom.’” As the paragraph
is being transcribed, the fifth decade is not far from completion. With
affection chastened and sanctified by trial and affliction, I express
to the Almighty humble gratitude that from bud my hopes have indeed
advanced to bloom--holy and refined.

Towards the end of April, soldiers and officers of the 10th received
their medals awarded for the campaign connected with the Indian Mutiny.
No pomp and circumstance of military display took place on the occasion
of their doing so. On the contrary, from the manner in which the
distribution took place, all such accompaniments were intentionally
avoided. It was while walking on the public thoroughfare in Devonport,
that by accident, as it were, I met a sergeant in whose hand was a
packet of little card-case boxes; one of these he presented to me--it
contained my medal. I then continued on my way!



  Ordered to China--Embark--“Overland” route--Alexandria--Cairo--
    Desert--Suez--Red Sea--Aden--Galle--Across the Bay--Penang--Baron
    Gros and Lord Elgin--Hong-Kong.

On April 26 I had the unlooked-for surprise to receive a demi-official
letter from the Departmental Office, warning me for service in China
on promotion. The note of the circumstance recorded in my diary at the
time was this: “Bitter has been my disappointment on being superseded.
In my turn I am now to supersede others; but the system is not the less
cruel to those who suffer by it.” The promotion so indicated implied
that I was about to pass over an entire grade,[211] including its
members, all of whom are my seniors in the service.

Short was the time allowed to make arrangements for my dear wife and
children, from all of whom I took leave on May 2. On the following day
I received further orders in London, and proceeded to Southampton; on
4th embarked on board the P. and O. steamer _Ripon_; by 2 p.m. we were
on our voyage.

The “Overland” route was now before us, its attractions and incidents
new to me. The bold coast scenery of Portugal, towns, forts, and
convents succeeded each other at short intervals; Mondego Bay; Mafra,
near to which the “lines” of Torres Vedras were begun, by England’s
great commander. Then the Spanish coast with its vineyards and olive
groves, villages and hamlets; Tarifa, at the siege of which by the
French, in 1811-12, the 87th Regiment gained distinction by repelling
the assailants under General Laval,[212] the old Moorish walls of
that town being clearly seen by us. Now came into view, on our right,
Ceuta, far away behind which rose peaks of the Atlas range; the great
rock and fortress of Gibraltar, between it and Africa the “gut” some
twelve miles broad; then we are in the comparatively wide expanse of
the “blue Mediterranean.” Rising to a height of 11,000 feet, the Sierra
Nevada, white with snow and magnificent in outline on our left, the
chilly breezes from which now swept across our track. Next, passing
close by the Cane rocks, where since the previous January a lighthouse
was established; then the sight of the Gulf of Tunis carried historical
associations back to Carthage and its wars. The island of Pantellaria,
pretty to view from the distance, but as a penal settlement for
Sicilian convicts, it is in all probability less agreeable as a place
of residence. Then, on our right, Gozo, the cultivated terraces on
which could be distinctly seen through our binoculars; otherwise the
island looked treeless and bare, the most prominent objects upon it a
succession of fortifications, for it is garrisoned by British troops.
Yet, bare as it seems, Gozo is said to be a “garden” whence fruit
and vegetables are chiefly supplied to Malta. Now we approach that
island, the densely crowded town of Valetta comes in sight; we enter
the harbour, ramparts and bastions on either side of us, the monotony
of the town buildings interrupted by spires and pinnacles; every
building dazzling white. As the anchor drops, we know that our stay
is to be brief; a hasty run ashore, a visit to St. John’s Cathedral,
the Armoury, one or two other places of interest, then we resume our
journey eastward.

Alexandria was our next point of interest. As in the early hours of
morning we approached that historical port and city, the lighthouse,
the numerous windmills along the shore line, were the distinctive
objects first seen; as we entered the harbour, the Lazaretto, seraglio
and palace of the Sultan were on our left. Ships of all nations,
but the majority British, swing at anchor in our near proximity. A
steamer conveyed us to the railway station, whence by train to Cairo,
passing on our way an extensive line of ruins of the ancient aqueduct
of Alexandria, destroyed by Diocletian, A.D. 296; the station of
Meyrout, the name indicating Mæotis, the lake or reservoir so named
being indicated by a succession of shallow pools, on some of which
“sportsmen” were engaged in shooting water-birds of sorts; then the
windings of the Mahmoodieh Canal to our left; fields of bearded wheat
and barley ready for the sickle, while in some few places “thrashing
floors” were extemporised, oxen unmuzzled engaged on them, as in the
days of the patriarchs. Crossing the Nile at Kafr ez Zajyat, the first
glimpse of that sacred stream was obtained; then the Pyramids of Ghizeh
came in view, recalling to our minds many associations connected with
their wonderful history; then early in the afternoon we were at Cairo.

El Kahira, “the Beautiful”! Under the guidance of a dragoman from the
hotel where a brief stay was made, we started to explore the city.
Winding our way through narrow streets, named respectively the Turkish,
French, and Greek Bazaars, opportunity was given to observe the manners
and strange variety of persons and costumes in those places. Having
visited various smaller mosques, we ascended to the Citadel, the
work of Saladin, A.D. 1176, but interesting not so much in itself as
for the famous mosque of alabaster contained within it, that edifice
erected by Mahomed Ali, and now forming his tomb. The portion of the
citadel wall whence, on the occasion of the massacre of the Mamelukes
by order of that monarch in March, 1811, Emir Bey leaped his horse to
a depth of 60 to 80 feet, then succeeded in effecting his escape, was
carefully scanned. At a little distance from it we stood in the palace
yard in which 700 doomed Beys, having been treacherously invited to a
pretended marriage, were shot down from loopholes around, while in a
window pointed out to us the Pasha sat looking on, and quietly enjoying
his chebouk. From the walls we readily followed by the eye the Nile,
winding and flowing smoothly on as in the days of the Pharaohs. Green
with vegetation was the island of Rhodda, upon which, B.C. 1517, the
infant Moses was found by Thermuthis, the king’s daughter;[213] in the
distance the plain of Bussateen, upon which tradition records that the
Israelites encamped in the first day of their flight. Further away were
the Pyramids of Sakarah and Dahshur. Beyond them the haze seemed to
blend with the desert.

Next day the passengers _via_ Marseilles arrived, and the whole party
of us resumed our journey. It was not long until our train had entered
the desert, extending far as the eye could reach; in some places
varied by sandhills of different sizes, in others flat, but everywhere
destitute of vegetation save a few stunted bushes. In the bright
sunshine the mirage glittered deceptively, presenting the appearance of
sea and islands, to vanish in their turn as we approached them. A few
short halts at stations, and we detrain at Suez, to resume our journey
by sea; we have completed the “overland” portion of it.

Suez, supposed to be the ancient Arsinoe, was interesting for the
reason that in our approach thereto we had an opportunity of observing
the line of retreat assigned by tradition to the Israelites in their
flight from their oppressors. But now our movements were hurried; we
were quickly on board the _Colombo_, ready waiting for us in the gulf,
and so away we steamed towards the Red Sea.

Our progress was uneventful during the five days occupied in traversing
that much-dreaded track. The temperature of air and sea rose to a
higher point than we had yet experienced; the numerous islands, the
greater number destitute of lighthouses, were material proofs of
dangers to navigation by night--a danger rendered the more significant
as we steamed close past a rock on which a P. and O. vessel[214] had
shortly before been wrecked. As we passed the position of Mocha,
binoculars revealed to us the white houses, minarets, pillars, and
balconies of that Arabian town.

The rock of Aden, bare, rugged and unattractive in appearance, rose
before us; in due time we were at anchor in the bay. The usual rush
ashore was not indulged in, because of the great heat prevailing, nor
did we look with envy upon the few residents who took their afternoon
drive along the strand, our own amusement consisting in throwing small
coins into the sea, and seeing the great agility of young Arabs as they
dived after and caught them.

In the early morning of June 4, our ship arrived in Galle harbour, the
view as we entered rich and beautiful, the hills on either side and in
front thickly covered with palms and under vegetation, but the heavy
hot atmosphere causing a sense of great oppression. The south-west
monsoon was at full strength, the sea beating in heavy breakers over
some rocks at the harbour. As we entered we came close to the wreck of
the _Malabar_; that vessel, while starting from her anchorage a few
days previous, having on board the English and French Plenipotentiaries
to China, was driven upon a rock, and wrecked by the heavy weather
prevailing. Here we had to tranship to the _Pekin_, to continue by that
vessel our voyage eastward. While so delayed, we indulged in the usual
drives to places in the neighbourhood, everywhere through dense forests
of palms, alternated with those of other tropical forms, the atmosphere
hot, damp, and oppressive. The Cinnamon Gardens, so named from what was
formerly a principal product of the island, were in a state of neglect
and decay; the cinnamon industry a thing of the past, like that of the
nutmeg, at one time prosperous while as yet Ceylon was Dutch property;
nor was the cultivation of coffee a success by British planters, the
shrub which yields that berry being attacked by insect and vegetable
blights, the general result being ruin to nearly all interested in its

The accident referred to led to the rescued passengers from the
_Malabar_ being sent on board the _Pekin_, and our ship was crowded
to a degree that speedily became unpleasant. As we steamed across the
Bay of Bengal in heavy monsoon weather, the ports had to be closed.
Then it was that, in addition to the sweltering atmosphere “below,”
emanations from opium, that drug being the chief portion of the ship’s
cargo, affected us unpleasantly, first by the sense of taste, then by
exerting to some extent its narcotising influence; it was therefore a
most welcome relief to us, as we approached Sumatra, to get into clear
weather, to have everything thrown open, and so enjoy the delightful
change that had taken place in our condition.

Our next point was the high and thickly wooded island of Penang. Our
ship having dropped anchor, several of our party started to “explore”
that very lovely island. We drove along well-made roads, on either side
bordered with bamboo hedges, through which flowering creepers stretched
or hung in festoons. Bungalows, each in its well-kept garden, in which
grew palms, tropical fruit trees, and flowers, were thickly dotted
about; an extensive field of “pawn” pepper, then groves of nutmeg
trees were passed, and we arrived at the object of our excursion, the
cascade, 140 to 160 feet high. Here, for the first time, we indulged in
that delicious fruit the mangosteen.

Arrived at Singapore,[215] the busy aspect of the town, with its
population of 70,000, chiefly Chinese, impressed us. We noted with
interest the numerous temples connected with the sects into which
that population is divided. In the course of a ramble taken for
purposes of discovery we were accosted by a Chinaman. He addressed
us rudely; laughing and gesticulating as he spoke, he said, “Plenty
English going to China; they will soon be all shot;” thus expressing
his own views and probably also his desire in regard to the issue of
the war. Among a great variety of articles publicly exposed for sale
were two small pieces of ordnance; nor could the sale of such weapons
be interfered with, as no Declaration of War had so far been made.
While our ship, the _Pekin_, remained in harbour, some of our number
paid their respects to His Excellency the Governor--namely, to Colonel
Cavanagh--whose story at Maharajpore has already been recorded.

On various occasions during this part of our voyage, opportunity
brought us in contact with the representatives of France and England,
our fellow-passengers. Baron Gros was generally reserved in manner;
Lord Elgin, on the contrary, frank and open. The latter expressed his
views that an advance on Pekin had become a matter of necessity; in
his negotiations with the Chinese, he meant to ask only for what is
reasonable and just, and having done so to obtain it; but not to take
advantage of one concession to base upon it a demand for another.
He was of opinion that the season was too far advanced to permit of
further proceedings than the capture of the Tientsin forts, as a base
of operations for the ensuing spring; some of the islands in the Gulf
of Pehchili being taken possession of to serve as sanatoria. He
observed, with reference to the existence of the Taiping rebellion,
that if on the one hand the influence of the Court at Pekin were to be
seriously weakened, the schemes of the rebel party would be thereby
assisted; while on the other hand severe chastisement was necessary as
retribution for treacherous action against our ambassadors and their
ships at Taku. Therefore, the difficulty to be overcome was to punish
and yet not seriously injure the Imperial power. But events were to
outrun the anticipations so expressed.

Hong-Kong was reached on Midsummer Day. As the town of Victoria came
in sight, the general aspect presented by it produced a favourable
impression upon us; the light and airy style of houses rising in
tiers above each other upwards along the precipitous mountain face,
that mountain culminating in a peak some 1,500 feet above sea level,
presented a panorama different altogether in character from anything we
had hitherto seen. The circumstance that the town and the roads where
the shipping lay were completely sheltered from the south-west monsoon
then prevailing furnished full explanation for the oppressive damp heat
to which we were at once introduced.[216] It became my painful duty to
announce myself to the officer, who, by the fact of my arrival, was
superseded in his position, with whom in his disappointment and chagrin
I much sympathised.[217] Indeed, so greatly did he feel what he looked
upon as the disgrace into which he had departmentally fallen, that his
subsequent career was unfortunate; nor did he ever return to England.



  Expeditionary force--An incident--The island--Different bodies
    of troops--Certain difficulties--Red tape--Canton--“Sing-song”
    boats---Honan--Beggars--The city shops--Temple of Five Hundred
    Worthies--Buddhist temple--News from the north--Pekin occupied--
    Hong-Kong to Shanghai--Taiping rebels--Treaty--The city--
    Vicinity--H.M.S. _Roebuck_--Taku--Tientsin.

The expeditionary force had already sailed northward, its equipment
and appliances on a scale of completeness unknown prior to the recent
Royal Commission. Before that expedition started, all non-effectives,
whether by sickness or other causes, were eliminated; what was called a
Provisional Battalion was organized for their reception, as well as for
that of newly arrived reinforcements from home to fill expected “waste”
among those actively engaged. The ordinary barrack accommodation at
Hong-Kong being insufficient, huts were erected at various points,
among others on the peak called Victoria; a large vessel in harbour
fitted up for hospital purposes, and vessels engaged, as necessity
arose, for the transport of invalids to the Cape of Good Hope and

Among the non-effectives left by the --st Regiment was an officer
now indicated by the initial M----. At his request I visited him, in
company with his medical attendant. It was evident at a glance that he
was extremely ill, his life rapidly ebbing away. He addressed me after
this manner: “I have asked you to see me that you might tell me what
you think of my state.” To my inquiry, “Are you prepared to receive my
answer?” he replied, in impatient tones: “If I were not, I would not
have asked the question.” “I am sorry, then, to believe that you have
but a very short time to live,” was my remark. “I thought as much. Do
you see that packet on my chest of drawers? I want you to take it away
with you; as soon as I am dead, to burn it unopened in your own room.”
Such was his request, and so far I acceded to it. The following morning
M---- was dead; his packet burnt as he had desired. A sequel to this
incident will be mentioned hereafter.

In the words of a newspaper correspondent,[218] the island of Hong-Kong
may be compared to a beautiful woman with a notoriously bad temper,--to
be admired from a distance, but not become intimately acquainted
with. At the date of our arrival the midday heat, as gauged by our
sensations, was great; the sky cloudless, exercise or duty out of doors
very trying, a sensation of sickness experienced in a way altogether
different from what was felt in India. Early in July the rainy season
began. Quickly a series of waterfalls poured over rocky promontories;
Victoria Peak was enveloped in mist; temperature moderated, the general
conditions became bearable. So they continued till September; intervals
of rain and sunshine alternated with each other. Unhappily endemic
forms of disease went on steadily increasing in prevalence and rates
of mortality. A favourable change took place in all these conditions
as the last-named month advanced, and progressed till the cold season
fairly set in.

The portion of the force with which I was immediately concerned
included British and native Indian troops, the latter belonging to the
three several presidencies of that Dependency. Each of these bodies
had its own code of Regulations, in accordance with which routine
duties were conducted, while all of them seemed unwilling to accept
those of the Imperial service, under which alone administration of the
expeditionary force had of necessity to be conducted.

Another difficulty in which I was personally affected seemed to arise
from the circumstance that some of the instructions under which my
duties in relation to shipping had to be conducted were special,
while those under which the naval authority on the spot conducted
his department were general. Unhappily a good deal of friction was
the outcome of this state of things, all of which might have been
possibly avoided had mutual explanation been given in respect to the
particular orders under which we were severally acting. It seems to
me, also, while I refer to what was very unpleasant at the time of its
occurrence, that in many circumstances connected with public duties
where misunderstandings arise, they would be most readily prevented by
means of elucidation of the points of view from which divergent action
is taken, or the interpretation of orders from which it is adopted.

As an example of the system of “red tape” under which duties of very
ordinary description had to be carried on, the following may be
mentioned:--A water-pipe connected with the military hospital went
wrong; the supply through it had to be cut off, to the very great
inconvenience of the sick. I at once reported the circumstance to the
Officer in command of the garrison, such being the routine directed by
Regulations, requesting at the same time that immediate steps should
be taken to make the required repairs. My letter was by the Commanding
Officer transmitted to the Engineer Officer, who forwarded it to the
Clerk of the Works, who came and inspected the defect in the pipe, then
wrote a report about it to the Engineer Officer, who sent the report
to the Commanding Officer, who sent to the Town Major, who sent it to
me. Meanwhile, the hot season being at its height, and nothing actually
done to remedy the defect complained of, I was constrained to again
start the correspondence by observing that what was urgently required
was, not reports, but that the damaged pipe should be repaired.
Doubtless my letter to that effect had, like its predecessor, to be
transmitted through the series of “channels” so enumerated. I quite
forget at this distance of time whether the pipe was ever repaired or

The circumstance that a portion of our force occupied quarters at
Canton led me to visit that important city. The steamer by which the
trip thither along the Pearl River was performed bore the romantic name
_The White Cloud_. We passed the Bocca Tigris or Bogue forts,[219]
continued our journey through a district thickly interspersed with
villages and hamlets, but destitute of pasture land, though otherwise
richly cultivated, the rice fields profusely irrigated. Whampoa was
mean-looking, the greater number of its houses erected on piles so as
to overhang the river; the stream crowded with ships and vessels of
sorts belonging to various nations. The foreign population lived in
“chops” or hulks of Chinese junks; others were utilised as offices and
merchants’ stores. Docks were being established, and other improvements
effected which, in later years, have made that place the actual port of
the southern capital.

Arrived at Canton, landing was effected by means of one of the
thousands of sampans or passenger boats that lay along either bank
and crowded the river,--these boats “manned” by women, who kept up
a chorus of laughing and talking, their cheery and, for the most
part, well-looking faces indicating that cares, as understood in
the West, pressed upon them but lightly, if at all. “Sing-song,” or
Flower-boats,[220] gorgeously painted and otherwise ornamented, lay in
tiers, and towered high above the humble sampan. The particular race
of natives by whom, through many generations, they have been occupied,
are looked upon as descendants of the _kin_ who held Northern China,
A.D. 1100, supplemented by those of traitors who aided the Japanese
in their descent upon Cheh-kiang, A.D. 1555-1563. Having landed, the
“carriage” by which our further trip was taken consisted of “chairs”
made of bamboo work, carried on the shoulders of three brawny Chinamen,
namely, two in front and one behind, their strong muscles thrown in
bold relief on their uncovered chests and limbs as they carried us at
rapid pace along. Such were the conditions in 1860.

The island of Honan was occupied by various important _hongs_, or
places of business belonging to native Chinese merchants. One of
them, the property of Houqua, whose name at that time was familiar in
England, was devoted to the cleaning and preparation of teas for the
market. The large and well-aired hall within was occupied by a series
of tables placed at convenient distances from each other. At each sat
a man or woman--for the sexes worked together--who from a basket at
hand picked the coarser fragments, and so left the finer description
of the tea to be dealt with again. In another hall stood a couple of
fanners;[221] through them the tea was passed, the finer portions
being separated in the process from the coarser. This apartment was
ornamented with flowers and shrubs in pots; a delicious flavour of “the
fragrant leaf” pervaded the air. All around was scrupulously clean and
tidy, the _employés_ neat in person, well-clothed, apparently well fed,
and, to judge by their smiles and good humour, very happy.

Everywhere in the streets blind beggars abounded, each armed with two
flat discs of bamboo; the sound produced by constantly beating them
against each other became decidedly unpleasant by their very numbers,
rendering conversation impossible. Whether a great part of their
blindness was due to disease or to artificial means, we had no means of

The Tartar suburb or quarter of Canton comprised narrow streets
paved with flag stones, intersected by narrow canals, spanned at
intervals by bridges after the style of the “willow pattern plate”;
the houses of no more than one storey high, for the reason that in
China it is considered pretentious for a man to raise himself above
his fellows. The odours that everywhere prevailed exceeded, in variety
and intensity, all that had heretofore been experienced. The people,
old and young, male and female, poor in circumstances as many of
them appeared to be, looked physically hale, strong, and healthy.
Traversing the breadth of the city, we arrived at “The Heights,” on
the slope of which stood the Yamen of the notorious Yeh; near thereto,
“The Five-Storied Pagoda,” now occupied by French troops, and above
it waved the Tricolour; while in a series of bell tents were the men
of the 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers--the conjunction not altogether a
happy one, seeing that the 87th wear on their shakos a French eagle, in
commemoration of that captured by them at Barossa. Various temples and
other public buildings were visited in the course of our interesting
excursion; one of the latter a native prison, ricketty, tottering, and
foul, its unhappy inmates lying upon the damp floor, chained, or with
_cangs_ on their necks, their existence dependent upon food supplied
from without, their naked bodies besmeared with filth and presenting
many ulcers. Many of them were not accused of crimes committed by
themselves, but were undergoing punishment for the reason that their
relatives had joined the ranks of the Taiping rebels. We intentionally
refrained from a visit to “the Potter’s field,” or execution ground,
immediately adjacent to the prison.

Everywhere along the streets were signs of activity and industry;
shops containing all sorts of clothing materials, strangely ornamented
umbrellas and lanterns; others devoted to old curiosities, jewelry,
or watch-making, a good many to lacquer ware; nor could we withhold
admiration of the elegant patterns and workmanship of such articles as
cabinets, tables, screens, fans, etc., exposed for sale. But here, as
in countries more advanced in certain phases of civilization, signs
of superstition are apparent. Above the door of such establishments a
horse’s hoof is nailed, and so Satanic influences guarded against. In
the enlightened West, a horse’s shoe fulfils the same purpose.

The Temple of the Five Hundred Gods or worthies, then deemed one of
the most characteristic sights of Canton, well repaid our visit to
it. Among objects within that edifice is a miniature pagoda of eight
stages, the whole consisting of beautifully cut marble, its total
height twenty-five feet. The figures of the gods or heroes are all
life-size. They represent various nationalities, one of their number in
feature and dress like an Englishman. According to legend, the person
so commemorated was a sailor, cast ashore wrecked on the coast of
China. His life being spared, he ultimately rose to high position, and
finally was, in effigy, honoured with a place in this Walhalla.

Another portion of the building was devoted to the purposes of a
Buddhist temple, in which, at the time of our visit, “service” was
being performed, or “celebrated.” The scene within comprised an altar,
plain, without idols or other decoration; situated in an open space,
bare-headed and shaven priests, some wearing robes of blue, others of
grey cloth, all with a yellow-coloured surplice thrown over the left
shoulder and brought loosely under the right arm. As they knelt at
various distances from the altar, in seeming accordance with their
rank, their hands in attitude of supplication, they joined in chanting
what, in its intonation, resembled the Litany of our Western Churches;
at intervals a small bell being gently struck, as in the Roman Catholic
service. A congregation of men was present, but manifestly destitute
of reverence or devotion. A few days were thus pleasantly spent; I
then returned to duty at Hong-Kong. At the time referred to, that
island was noted for the hospitality of residents, and the scale of
magnificence upon which it was carried on. It was my good fortune to
enjoy much of it, and of friendliness in other ways; among others, from
representatives of the great houses of Jardine, Dent, and others, and
from Mr. Campbell, then of the Oriental Bank.

Towards the end of August, a French Express boat brought intelligence
that the English and French combined forces had landed at Pehtang;
that, while advancing thence to Taku, our cavalry had been charged by
the Tartar horse, with results disastrous to the latter. A few days
more, news reached us that a somewhat sharp action had taken place,
with somewhat severe loss to the allies, but leaving in their hands
Taku and neighbouring forts; that the whole disposable force was in
rapid motion towards Tientsin, in view to carrying out the intention
of Lord Elgin to push on to the capital. A short interval passed, when
attempts at negotiation at Tientsin having failed, the army continued
its onward march. At Tungchow, a very sad occurrence befell it. By
treachery, a body of Chinese, headed by the Prince Tsai, captured
several officials, officers, and others; namely, Mr. Parkes, Mr. Bowlby
(of the _Times_), Mr. Loch, Mr. De Normann, Lieutenant Anderson,
Captain Brabazon, and several troopers belonging to Fane’s Horse. The
Chinese army, under San ko Lin Sin, was, however, completely beaten;
the road to Pekin left clear. Lord Elgin at once sent a communication
to the Emperor, that, in the event of a hair of the head of one of the
prisoners being touched, the combined forces would burn the Imperial
palace to the ground.

A few days more, and on October 13 the allied army was in possession
of the Chinese quarter of Pekin; the palace outside and north of the
city given up to loot; the Emperor fled; the Summer Palace in ruins;
the Chinese army vanished! Unhappily, news at the same time reached
us that, although Mr. Parkes and Mr. Loch had been given up by the
Chinese, they had been subject to various indignities before being so;
but that others of the prisoners had succumbed under the barbarities to
which they were subjected, among them Mr. Bowlby.[222]

Early in November, information reached us that a treaty of peace had
been signed in the Imperial capital by Prince Kung and Lord Elgin. In
accordance with its conditions, in addition to a war indemnity to be
paid by the Chinese, a special sum was to be given for the families of
the captives who had been killed or died in captivity. Thus, the object
of the expedition had been obtained more speedily than Lord Elgin
expected. The forces began their return march from Pekin towards Taku,
there to embark, a brigade being detailed to occupy Tientsin until the
indemnity should be paid.

In obedience to orders to join “the Army of Occupation”[223] at
Tientsin, as the brigade left at that place was now officially called,
I left Hong-Kong by the steamer _Formosa_, on November 28. Next day, we
passed the mouth of the river Han, on the western bank of which stands
Shah-tew, or, as pronounced in English, Swatow; the day following,
traversed the channel that separates the island of Formosa from the
city of Amoy on the mainland. Already the temperature was pleasantly
cool, sky clear, wind and sea rather high, the effect of these
conditions bracing and exhilarating, as compared with that produced by
the trying and unpleasant climate we had left behind us. The general
aspect of the coast wherever visible, as we advanced on our voyage,
was bare and inhospitable. In our course, islands were numerous, the
majority apparently uninhabited even by birds, and otherwise uninviting
to look upon. As we approached the Yangtse, vegetation covered more
and more thickly the islands passed by us; sea-birds were increasingly
numerous, the water thick with mud. We arrived at Shanghai on December

In the latter days of August, Shanghai had been seriously attacked by
the Taiping rebels. On both occasions, the Imperialists fled before
the enemy; but a foreign contingent of British, Indian, and French
troops, with a body of volunteers composed of the foreign residents,
repulsed the rebels, on whom they inflicted severe loss. During the
attacks in question, several buildings had been destroyed or seriously
damaged, the ruins being prominent objects in our view. So also were
the remains of barricades and other extemporised defences. On the
day of our arrival, the Indian Navy vessel, the _Feroze_, having on
board Lord Elgin and suite, steamed up the Woosung River and anchored
alongside us. The following day the _Grenada_ arrived, with Sir Hope
Grant, his staff, and various senior officers of the expedition, whose
allotted task was completed in that the object of the expedition had
been attained. But a new phase was about to be assumed by public
affairs; arrangements had to be made for events, the shadow, as well
as substance, of which affected the immediate vicinity of Shanghai,
and extended over a great part of China. Whereas, diplomatic and
military action had been directed heretofore against the Imperial
power, both were now to be devoted to the support of that power, and
against insurrectionary movements,[224] the real object of which was
the overthrow of the ruling dynasty. Various bands of marauders, taking
advantage of existing disturbances, were devastating the neighbourhood.
Piratical bands, in which were enrolled escaped sailors and vagabonds
of sorts, were giving so much trouble on the Yangtse, that it was
necessary at once to dispatch a small river force for their suppression.

Copies of the Treaty[225] signed at Pekin on October 24 were
immediately affixed to the walls throughout the native city of
Shanghai. Crowds of Chinese assembled at various places to read the
unwonted documents, printed as they were in their own language. An
English version was at the same time published, for the benefit of
foreigners, the nine articles comprised in it being to the effect
that--(1) The Emperor expresses his deep regret for the affair at
Taku; (2) Her Majesty’s representative shall reside permanently, or
occasionally, as she may wish, at Pekin; (3) Eight millions of taels
(£2,000,000) to be paid in instalments (as indemnity); (4) Tientsin
to be opened for trade; (5) Emigration of Chinese to British colonies
to be permitted; (6) Kowloon to be ceded; (7) The Treaty of 1858
shall come at once into operation; (8) That Treaty shall be published
in Pekin and in the provinces; (9) On the Convention being signed,
Chusan to be restored to Chinese (from occupation by the British),
the British forces to commence their march from Pekin to Tientsin;
that, if necessary, Taku, the north coast of Shantung, and Canton
shall be occupied until the indemnity is paid. The morning after that
Proclamation had been affixed to the walls, it was found in tatters and

A visit to the native city and its immediate surroundings introduced
us to scenes characteristic of Chinese habits and of the particular
circumstances of the time. Within the city and fosse a succession of
narrow dirty streets, low-built houses, canals spanned by “willow
pattern” bridges, cook shops, vegetable stalls, fur and “curio” shops.
Adjoining one such street, a wretched shed, the damp earthen floor
partly covered with straw, partly with refuse of very filthy kind.
On the floor three human dead bodies, emaciated from starvation; a
woman almost devoid of clothing, wasted to an extreme degree, wailing
piteously over one of the three; another, still alive, but to all
appearance in the last extreme from long-continued want of food.
This we were informed is _the_ place to which the miserably poor,
and those who give up the battle of life, resort to die. Among the
establishments visited were numerous fur shops, an extensive store of
china or porcelain ware, a factory in which is woven the beautiful
gold embroidery for which Shanghai is famous,--the embroidery being
for the most part on blue cloth, its own most characteristic pattern
the Imperial dragon, distinguished by having five toes, whereas the
more plebeian emblems of the same survival of the pterodactyl has but
four. What had been until recently ornamental “Tea” gardens were now
occupied by French troops; once highly ornamented buildings within such
enclosures converted into barracks for our allies. Uprooted shrubs and
valuable plants lay about decayed and withered; rockwork, including
fanciful-shaped miniature bridges, cast like so much rubbish into what
had been artificial lakes and streams peopled by fish and water-plants.
The glory of the place was indeed gone--desecrated, as the Chinese
could not inappropriately say, by Western “barbarians.”

To a distance of several miles inland from the city the aspect of
the country is more or less that of a continuous burial ground,
interspersed with coffins left as they were placed, upon rather than
under the surface of the ground, many of them broken and so exposing
to view their ghastly contents. Here and there patches of ground were
devoted to the cultivation of vegetables, in the midst of graves and
coffins; while continuing our walk we met isolated coolies carrying
at each end of an elastic piece of bamboo, supported on the shoulder
at its middle, a jar containing the bones of their “ancestors,” being
so borne away, doubtless, to be reverently disposed of elsewhere.
Everywhere the district was intersected by canals and water-courses,
raised and narrow pathways across the intervening fields; we seemed to
be wandering in the “city of the silent.” Alongside the several canals
and pathways were avenues of trees and ornamental shrubs.[226] The
presence of the magpie, jackdaw, wagtail, and sandpiper carried our
associations away to the “insignificant island in the Western sea.”
Game birds were abundant, as we had an opportunity of witnessing in the
city market; but since that date we learn that villas, gardens, and
ornamental grounds have grown up, and so completely transformed the
landscape as seen by us. Almost at every turn we met French soldiers
off duty, or in considerable bodies marching from Woosung, at which
place reinforcements were being landed from transports; in fact, there
was little in the aspect of Shanghai to indicate that it was an English
settlement. These and some other excursions were taken in company of
Mr. Lamond, to whom I was much indebted for hospitality.

H.M.S. _Roebuck_, by which I was ordered to proceed northward, left
Shanghai on December 11. Three days afterwards we were off the
promontory of Shantung; the weather propitious, sky clear, breeze
moderate, temperature on deck 48° F. to 44° F., sea smooth. But a rapid
change took place. During the night of the 14th, darkness became so
intense that Captain Martin, deeming it unsafe to proceed in a region
little known and imperfectly surveyed, determined to cast anchor.
By midnight we were in a heavy wind storm; it having cleared off by
daylight, the ship resumed progress and was speedily among the Meatao
Islands; a few hours more and we were in Hope Sound, otherwise a
sheltered position in the concavity of the larger island of that group,
called Chang Shang, where we found the British fleet collected, that of
the French being off Chefoo, not far from our own. The _Roebuck_ was
ordered to await dispatches. While so doing, a number of rough-looking
natives, brown in hue, Tartar in feature, their clothing partly
consisting of wadded cotton, but in addition abundance of furs, came
alongside in their boats, bringing with them rolls of bread, vegetables
and fruits, similar to those we are accustomed to see at home. The
presence of numbers of the common gull, the colder weather, the rougher
sea, combined still further to recall the shores of England.

Arrived off Taku,[227] so thick was the haze and mist by which that
place and the sea to some distance from it were concealed, that for
several hours neither the forts nor coast were visible, nor was it
till the following day that we were able to land. The little gunboat
the _Clown_ having taken us on board, we were quickly in sight of the
forts, some of them very formidable in appearance; in the shallow
discoloured water stakes still stood in lines where they had opposed
the approach of Admiral Hope’s gunboats, and we were able to estimate
the further difficulties on that occasion presented by the long stretch
of mud which at low tide separated us from the forts. As evening was
closing in, we entered the mouth of the Peiho; in due time were within
the southern fort, above which floated the Union Jack, the northern
being similarly distinguished by the Tricolour. The great extent of its
mud ramparts was seen as we passed the inner gateway; huts in rows
that had been occupied by its defenders were now used as barracks by
officers and men of the detachment temporarily stationed here, or by
military stores. In all directions old gun carriages, broken wheels,
furniture, and _débris_ of sorts lay about in a state of confusion.
I was under the very unpleasant necessity of _begging_ a night’s
accommodation from an officer, a charity which he kindly accorded me.

Mounted on a borrowed horse, without guard or guide, I started next day
_en route_ to my destination, the distance to be travelled not less
than thirty miles. A midday halt to rest my steed; a solitary ride
along an ill-made road, through a flat, uninteresting tract of country,
and final arrival without misadventure at Tientsin, completed the day’s
proceedings. Already the cold had become severe; the wind, strong from
east, swept over the plain; patches of water and canals were covered
by ice; thus the journey has left on memory not a very agreeable
impression. On arrival, however, I was kindly received by a brother


_1860-1861 TIENTSIN_

  Arrangements for troops--The city--Absence of Tartar soldiers--
    Rides--Dogs and birds--Agriculture--Grain-stores--Winter--Great
    cold--Moderating--Spring--Temples--Chinese “sport”--New Year’s
    Day--Public baths--Ice-house--Foundling hospital--Story of Roman
    Catholic bishop--Hospital for Chinese--The “golden lily”--
    Gratitude--Wounded Tartars--Chinese Christian--Tortured Sikhs--
    French hospitals--Death of General Collineau--Sickness among
    the troops.

Arrangements rapidly advanced in regard to accommodation, food
supplies, and medical care of the troops. _Yamens_--_i.e._, residences
of wealthy inhabitants--were hired for temporary conversion into
barracks. Markets and shops presented ample supplies of food, clothing,
and articles of convenience, their owners showing much eagerness to
do business with us. A tendency to pilfer, and other petty crimes,
manifested itself on the part of some Asiatic followers and others,
but was quickly suppressed by the Provost Marshal and his staff, after
which discipline and order reigned among all classes pertaining to our
force. Our French allies occupied quarters provided for them in the
part of the city on the left side of the Peiho, the British and Indian
being on the right of that river.

The city was of great commercial importance, its population some
800,000; streets narrow and filthy, houses low and dilapidated; in
extent stretching away to and embracing the point of junction between
the Imperial Canal and Peiho, thus covering a space of at least four
miles by three. Merchandise from Corea and the south of China arrived
abundantly as at a general depôt. Around the city proper a high wall
extends, the crowded portion outside being called “suburbs,” but in no
other respect different from the intra-mural city. In the Peiho was
a Russian gunboat; in the city a small colony of Russian merchants,
peacefully carrying on their business, and apparently on the most
friendly terms with the people. A few Tartar traders, some leading
their strong shaggy ponies, others Bactrian camels, all laden with
merchandise, were met with. As we pursued our way through the mazes
of the city, the people simply ignored our presence, taking not the
slightest notice of us, although by the caricatures of Europeans we
frequently came across in shops and elsewhere it was evident that
we were by no means welcome guests. In an open space a modeller was
occupied in making, with great ease and rapidity, a series of figures
in clay, representing, though with droll exaggeration, the Sikh and
British soldiers. Women were conspicuous by their absence; virtue in
the sex was honoured and commemorated by memorial arches at certain
points throughout the city. Everywhere in the crowded, narrow, and
extremely dirty streets, foot-passengers jostled each other; the
diseased, of whom many suffering from loathsome affections, coming
in contact with those better-to-do, and to all appearance healthy.
At intervals a puppet show, the prototype of Punch and Judy, or more
pretentious “show” attracted crowds; itinerant “doctors,” their carts
decorated with exaggerated illustrations of diseases and accidents,
remedies for which were vociferously lauded and offered for sale. On
either side pawnshops and restaurants; at the doors of the latter
customers gambling whether they should pay double or quits for
refreshments or foods served to them.

In vain we looked for representatives of Tartar troops, who were said
to form the ordinary garrison force of Tientsin. We learned that, for
the period of occupation by the foreigners, steps had been taken “to
keep them out of sight.”

A series of rides into the country in the vicinity of the city
presented a great variety of interesting objects and incidents. On the
left bank of the Peiho, a short distance down the course of that river,
numerous large stacks of table salt attracted attention, as similar
stacks on the same spot did that of Lord Macartney’s mission nearly
seventy years before. The arrival of the first trading ship under
the recent treaty was an event not without interest; it was a small
schooner, the property of a very eminent firm[229] at Hong-Kong, and
as it immediately became ice-bound, it was to be a familiar object to
us throughout the succeeding winter. Although so recently at war with
the Chinese, we from the first walked or rode into the country without
molestation, receiving invitations by signs to enter houses and huts
that lay in our way; tea and cakes of various kinds being invariably
pressed upon us on such occasions. In certain directions it seemed as
if there was one continuous burial ground; coffins in all stages of
decay strewed the surface; at intervals bodies of children sewn up in
mats were seen, while on one occasion we saw the revolting spectacle
of a dog in the act of carrying away the dead body of an infant.

In every village there were great numbers of dogs, fierce towards us
foreigners; some by no means unlike “collies,” others terriers, of
which a very handsome variety obtains its special title from Shantung,
to which district it more especially pertains. There were also the
mandarin or “sleeve dogs,” so named from the fact that as pets the
smaller varieties are carried in the wide sleeves of the outer garments
worn by the wealthy classes. There was the Canton or “chow-chow” dog, a
large animal with a very thick coating of hair, the tail curling from
its root; the head triangular, broad at the base, rapidly tapering to
the muzzle; the eyes far forward, as if looking upward, something like
those of the lemur. Pet birds were kept by many people, songsters being
the greatest favourites. Of those observed were a large species of
skylark, canaries, thrushes, linnets, a species here called the wamee,
like the Shamah[230] of India.

It became an object of interest to note the progress of agriculture,
and the phenomena of nature generally, from the first opening of mild
weather, onwards till autumn. On the 1st of March wheat sowing began,
the fields having been prepared during the previous few days for
that operation; five days thereafter--namely, on the 6th--the first
indication was evident that buds were about to open, a species of
poplar being the tree to take the lead in this respect. The operation
of ploughing the fields then began; the implement used was of light
construction, drawn by one man, while another guided it. Fields then
began to be cleaned, manure to be spread, seed of various kinds for
grain and vegetables sown, preparations for irrigation carried out;
and as the surface ground thawed, and so became the more easily dealt
with, ploughs of heavier kinds were used, mules, bullocks, and men
promiscuously used and yoked together in draught. In other places women
and girls were employed in field work. By the 15th signs of verdure
began to show themselves near the irrigation canals, partly in the
first leaf of autumn-sown wheat, partly of some culinary vegetable. On
the 20th, wheat sown on the 1st had “shot,” and was in tolerable leaf;
after this its progress was rapid, for by the 9th of June the fact was
noted that “some fields of wheat were turning yellow the crop nearly
ready to be cut”; pease, full in the pod.

At the distance of about four miles from Tientsin, on the left bank of
the Peiho, we came upon a series of buildings, the purpose of which the
storage of grain against famine. Sixteen such buildings, arranged in
two rows of eight, constitute the group devoted to that purpose; each
building some 300 feet in length, 45 to 50 in breadth, its walls 30
in height, the whole raised on a plinth from the ground. By Imperial
edict cultivators are obliged to deposit in these and kindred stores
elsewhere a certain proportion of grain every year: an arrangement
which has come down from ancient times, and on that account is now

Very rapid was the increase of winter cold to its point of culmination.
Situated in the latitude of Lisbon, the temperature of 5·5° F. during
the night preceding the shortest day was to us a new and unlooked-for
experience, yet next day active outdoor exercise was indulged in;
the sensations soon ceased to indicate the actual degree of cold
prevailing. Already the Peiho was closed in by ice, boats had given
place to sledges, and they, pushed on by means of poles, were used in
great numbers for transport of merchandise. A detachment of troops
had just arrived by _White Star_ at Taku. The officer in command
landed with his men, his intention being to make arrangements for
their march from that place, and then return to the ship for his
wife. But meanwhile ice had formed so rapidly on the shallow bay
that communication between the vessel and shore was impossible, the
result that the _White Star_ had to return to Hong-Kong, nor did the
officer[231] alluded to see his wife or kit until next spring had well
advanced. According to the Royal Chinese Almanack, published at Pekin,
the winter season is divided into nine periods of nine days each. The
first begins on December 20, the third on January 8, it ends on 17th of
that month, and is considered to be that of the greatest cold; the last
of the series is considered to end on March 2.

Communication with ships in the northern part of the Gulf of Pe chili
being cut off, letters had to be dispatched by land to Chefoo, two
hundred miles to the southward, there to be put on board. Now a cold
north wind set in; the temperature in our rooms sank at night to 3°
F. As we awoke in the morning small icicles clung to moustaches,
and during the day the sensation of cold became unpleasant. In the
provision shops, fish and game frozen; some of the latter, especially
deer, in artistic or picturesque attitudes, were exposed for sale.
Men were engaged in cutting blocks of ice from that which covered the
river, to be kept in pits and ice-houses for use during the heat of
next summer. Through the openings so made small nets were let down for
the capture of fish that happened to resort to those air-holes. Within
our quarters water for cooking purposes and for the morning bath had
to be obtained by breaking blocks of ice and placing the fragments to
be liquefied in a vessel on the fire. Out of doors the unusual sight
might be witnessed of soldiers carrying in sacks on their backs the
blocks of ice into which the daily allowance of beer or porter had
been congealed. As winter advanced sensation of cold naturally enough
increased; northerly winds came over the long tract of flat country,
several degrees in extent, that lay between us and Mongolia. Now it
was that in our quarters we utilised the Chinese heated platform as
a bed, to which is given the name of _kang_, not only for sleeping
thereon, but for sitting or reclining during the day. Fireplaces
according to advanced Western principles had been constructed, under
the superintendence of the Royal Engineers; in them was burnt a liberal
allowance of fuel, consisting of Manchurian coal and Pe chili mud in
about equal proportions; but, as expressed by our Chinese servants, the
arrangement was more calculated to carry the warmth clean away up the
chimney than to diffuse it in our apartments.

On February 19 there were signs that the intensity of winter was about
to cease; the mid-day sunshine had in it some genial warmth; intensely
cold winds that had for some time prevailed now did so no longer; the
haze in which city and district had been concealed was to some extent
gone, and yet the reading of the thermometer was a minimum at night
of 8° F., at nine a.m. 19·8° F. Snow that had shortly before fallen
began to melt as day advanced, and the thick coating of ice on the
Peiho became wet and sloppy. The few succeeding days, increasingly mild
and genial, well illustrated the regularity and rapidity with which
seasonal changes here take place. On March 3 winter was considered
to be ended, spring to have began according to the Chinese estimate
already mentioned, though at night the thermometer indicated 30° F.,
and at nine a.m. 33° F., snow meanwhile falling gently.

On 5th of that month a state of great electric tension in air was
indicated by our registers. As in India, that condition heralded change
in weather, its seasonal recurrence so regular that it is reckoned on
to a day. The crews of a Russian gunboat and of an English schooner,
frozen up through the winter, at once began the work of preparation for
sea. On the 11th the ice suddenly broke up; in massive blocks grating
against and rolling over each other, it floated along the stream.
Next day, bridges of boats were re-established, ordinary traffic by
boat resumed; within a few hours all traces of ice had disappeared.
On the 14th the gunboat _Drake_ arrived from Taku, bringing for us
thirteen weeks’ letters from home, none having been received while
cut off from the world as we had been for so long. Orders were at the
same time received directing Mr. Bruce to proceed to Pekin, and our
force to remain at Tientsin, pending the manner of reception given
to His Excellency at the Imperial capital. By April 6 the temperature
rendered the exercise of walking unpleasant. By the middle of June, in
the absence of tatties and other Indian appliances, resource was had
to large blocks of ice supported over a tub in our apartments; close
to and half embracing these we sat, in the airiest of costume, in our
endeavours to keep ourselves cool under the circumstances.

Everywhere in and around the city, steps were taken to maintain due
observance of respect towards buildings dedicated to purposes of
“religion” or philosophy. In the early days of occupation, some of the
Asiatics with us treated a few of those buildings in a manner that
they would have violently resented if directed against their own in
India; but the employment of stringent measures put an end to such
demonstrations. In one of those temples, namely that dedicated to
“Oceanic Influences,” at a short distance beyond the city walls, the
Treaty of Tientsin of 1859 was signed, the ratification of that deed
being the actual cause of the present war.

Invited to a Chinese hunting and hawking party, the “meet” to take
place at a distance of a few miles from the city, we proceeded to the
appointed rendezvous under guidance of men sent for the purpose by our
hosts. In early morning of a bitterly cold day in January we started,
our steeds, shaggy, unkempt-looking Tartar ponies. Arrived at the
appointed ground, several falconers, all on foot, each bearing on his
wrist a peregrine, hooded, awaited us; the hounds of the kind known in
India as the rampore, all under charge of a mounted whipper-in. All
around us a dead flat plain extended, to all appearance interminably,
all crops removed, the surface frozen hard, but without snow. Soon the
pack was scouring the plain in full chase of an unfortunate hare, the
hounds being slipped as the quarry started; the falcons, unhooded,
take wing. Away went our ponies at full speed, their pace a run, not a
gallop. First one falcon and then another swooped down upon and rolled
over the hunted animal; the dogs fast gain upon her; she disappears,
for in this forestless region holes in the earth and burrows are so
taken advantage of by ground game. A huntsman bares his arm; he reaches
into one such opening; the hare is drawn out, crying in its terror like
a child; it is dispatched by a blow on the nape. This we are told is
“sport.” To some of us it would be more appropriately called barbarous
and unmanly cruelty. Further details of what proved to be “a successful
day” need not be related.

New Year’s Eve,[232] according to the Chinese Calendar, was
celebrated by the discharge of thousands of crackers and other
fireworks, that being their manner of announcing to the world that
the ceremony of propitiating their household gods had begun; the
object in view, absolution for equivocal acts committed during the
past twelve months. For several previous days the city was _en fête_;
establishments closed; caricatures distributed as so many valentines;
visits of friendship and of ceremony exchanged; family and other
misunderstandings arranged; much feasting and carousing indulged
in; houses swept and garnished in token that all things unpleasant,
whether physical or ethical, had been cast out. The fronts of houses
were decorated with strips of vermilion-coloured paper containing
expressions of good-will and congratulation; ornamental lanterns were
everywhere on sale, for purposes of illuminations, their shapes various
and often grotesque, as fishes, frogs, dragons, and monsters of various
forms. Buddhist temples had on their altars a series of gigantic
candles, all “dyed red,” bearing designs of dragons and other mythical
creatures, before which people knelt with every appearance of devotion.

It became a source of interest to a few of us to visit places and
institutions of purely Chinese origin or character. Of such places,
a public bathing establishment was one, the interior well lighted,
spacious, pervaded by steam from water heated by a furnace, the fuel
of which consisted of reeds and straw. A series of troughs, and at
one end a plunge bath, were being used by considerable numbers of men
at a time, the charge for each being about a farthing. Here then were
public baths existing as a Chinese institution, though even yet their
introduction generally into England remains rather in the initiative
than accomplished stage.

Very different in kind was an ice pit, otherwise a large underground
room, one part of which was devoted to the preservation of that
substance, another having a series of shelves crowded with vegetables
and fruit of different kinds. As we descend into that pit, the
sensation we experienced was that of comparative _warmth_, so bitterly
cold had the wind outside become.

The Chinese Foundling Hospital, situated in the suburbs of the city,
was a large and substantial building; its chief ornament a tablet,
the characters on which intimated that the door over which it was
placed was the entrance to “The Hall for Cherishing Children.” At the
time of our visit the institution contained eighty foundlings; to
each of those still in infancy was assigned a wet nurse. One portion
of the establishment was occupied by children, and some grown-up
persons affected with various infirmities, as the blind, the deaf,
and the idiotic, together with their respective attendants. Being
invited by the superintendent to visit his own quarters, a tablet
over the entrance door thereto displayed the characters, “We beseech
thee to rescue the naked”; on the walls of the reception hall a
series of tablets with names of patrons and donors of considerable
sums; others with items of regulations relating to the administration
of the institution. The children, if in good health, are disposed
of at fourteen years of age--some adopted, some become servants,
others apprenticed to trades. To the girls who marry, a dowry of the
equivalent value of £5 is given.

At the end of March a visit by the Roman Catholic bishop of Pekin
gave us the opportunity of hearing from himself his strange story. In
1834 the cathedral erected in Pekin by the Jesuits in the seventeenth
century was closed during an outbreak of the populace against that
mission, several of its members put to death, others “disappearing,” to
be no more heard of. Among the latter was for many years the bishop.
Taken from the power of the rioters by some of the Catholic converts,
he was concealed by them in the capital, and protected for the long
period of twenty-seven years, he meanwhile carrying on his special
work among them. The arrival at Pekin of the allied army was quickly
followed by the re-opening of the cathedral and celebration of Grand
Mass therein. On that occasion, as the procession of priests attached
to the forces, and their acolytes, advanced toward the altar, the
bishop, wearing ordinary Chinese costume, emerged from the throng,
and took his place at its head. The Emperor of the French being made
acquainted with the story, desired to see the bishop at the Tuileries
to hear it from himself. While on his way through Tientsin the bishop
remained with us several days. To inquiries on the subject, he remarked
that his _first_ endeavour with the Chinese was to teach them the
practical results of Christianity, rather than inculcate doctrines, the
significance of which were beyond their train of thought.

As early as practicable, measures were taken to establish a charitable
hospital for the sick poor of Tientsin. For that purpose £100 was
given by Admiral Sir James Hope, and subscriptions established among
the officers of the force; applications to the rich natives being
unproductive. At last, a building capable of accommodating twenty
patients was engaged and fitted up for its purpose; professional
work being undertaken by Dr. Lamprey, 67th Regiment. Under him its
reputation rapidly spread, so much so that applications for admission
exceeded our means of reception. In those days the use of chloroform
was still in its infancy; very wonderful in the idea of the patients
did its effect appear, exceeding, as they expressed themselves,
“the power of the Dragon.” The majority, however, looked upon the
drug with suspicion, preferring to undergo operations--even of
great severity--without it or any other anæsthetic. Their apparent
indifference to pain under such circumstance was to us subject of

Duties connected with this hospital gave me an opportunity of seeing
the contracted foot, otherwise “golden lily,” of a Chinese woman. The
foot had been deformed by the method of cramping usually followed
for that purpose; the four smaller toes pressed under the sole, the
natural arch raised to an altogether abnormal degree, the points of
support limited to the heel and tip of the great-toe. The process of
contraction takes place in early youth; it is conducted by means of
bandages “artistically” applied, and is said to be painless. The aspect
of the foot is thus made hideous, while the natural contour of the
calf being destroyed, the appearance of the limb below the knee is--to
Western eyes--ungraceful.

Neither by word or manner was the slightest gratitude expressed for
benefits thus conferred upon them. But in one respect their demeanour
drew from us a measure of appreciation; namely, in the care and
assistance shown to each other by male patients. Contrasted therewith,
however, their want of thoughtful care for sick women was no less
remarkable; the more suitable of the two wards having been given up to
the latter, the arrangement was protested against in no “gallant” terms
by the men.

For a short time an idea seemed to prevail that an object with which
the hospital was set on foot was, that in it attempts would be made
upon sick inmates to press upon them what they called “the Western
philosophy.” Their minds were set at rest on this point; but among the
patients there was a Christian convert, around whom other inmates in
increasing numbers came to listen, while he read and expounded from a
Chinese version of the Scriptures of which he was the possessor.

In our regular military hospital were several Tartar soldiers, some of
them severely wounded, who had been picked up on the field of battle
by our establishments, and now treated like our own men. In due time
they recovered from their injuries as far as art could effect their
restoration; they came to appreciate the _comforts_ of their position
so much that among their numbers no anxiety was expressed to be
discharged. Application was made to the Chinese local authorities to
receive them. The reply by them was to the effect that “the men having
fallen in battle, they were officially dead; there being no precedent
of dead men coming to life again, they could in no way recognise or
acknowledge them.” A liberal sum of money was subscribed by us for
them; it was distributed among them; they were then, with military
formalities, handed over to the local authorities, to be by them sent
on to the care of the British Representative at Pekin. Before being so
disposed of, they were seen by the bishop already mentioned. To his
question, “What do you now think of the Barbarian doctors?” the answer
given by one was that he could no longer fight as an infantry soldier,
but he might do so as a cavalry man; by a second, that “he had been
left upon the field dead, his wife a widow, his children orphans. By
the care shown to him, he had been lifted up from death, fitted to
return to and work for those dependent upon him; nor had he breath in
his chest sufficient to express his gratitude for it all.”

Among the inmates of the hospitals pertaining to our force were
some of the Sikhs who, during the advance of the army on Pekin, had
the misfortune to be taken prisoners, and subsequently subjected to
cruelties as already mentioned. Their wrists bore large cicatrices,
marking the position of the cords with which they had been so tightly
bound that ulcers in which maggots crawled were results, the agony so
great that several of their companions in misery had become delirious,
and died under it. On September 18, a party of eighteen, including an
officer, all of Fane’s Horse, were taken prisoners; of them the officer
and eight sowars succumbed under the atrocious cruelties to which they
were subjected, the remaining nine being now in hospital.[233] But it
would serve no good purpose to give particulars in regard to these sad

Our French allies suffered in health during the period of greatest cold
to an extent even greater than did our own men, the circumstance being
readily accounted for by the fact that the former were insufficiently
provided with warm clothing; indeed, many of them were dressed as when
on board the transport ship in which several months previous they had
been brought, _via_ the Red Sea, to China. Whereas with us, every
honour was shown at the burial of such soldiers as succumbed to the
circumstances of our position, no such formality was seen by any of
us in the quarter occupied by the French; but as day by day the black
wooden crosses increased in number in their cemetery, these silent
tokens told that they too had the hand of death among them. A temple
had been converted by the French into a military hospital; the sick
accommodated therein well cared for, its administration altogether
under the Intendance, the duties of medical officers limited to
professional attendance on the patients. Among the latter was a soldier
who bore marks precisely like those of our own men already alluded to
as having been made prisoners and tortured, he having been of their

While the winter cold was most intense an epidemic of small-pox raged
among the native Chinese, and to a less degree among both the British
and French portions of our combined force. In the latter, General
Collineau, its commanding officer, was an early victim. As he expressed
himself before he lost consciousness, it was hard that after having
escaped the dangers of various campaigns, including thirty battles, he
should come to Tientsin to die of such a disease. He entered the army
as a private soldier, obtained each succeeding step for services in the
field, culminating in that of general officer for the Italian campaign.

Our British soldiers suffered severely in health, and, what was
remarkable, to a greater extent than did the Sikhs, although the latter
paid less attention to warm clothing and care of their persons in
other respects than the British soldier. Our officers were affected
variously; the younger, and those who had not undergone tropical
service, enjoyed the cold weather immensely; but with those of us who
had but recently undergone the wear and tear incidental to the Mutiny
campaign, things were very different, the severity of the winter cold
inducing among us serious illness.



  Fraternity of beggars--Relief fund--A Buddhist nunnery--A
    Buddhist temple--Ancestral worship--A pantheistic mosque--A
    Chinese dinner--An opium den--A missionary plan--Postal
    arrangements--Remittances--Vegetation--Birds--Mr. Bruce proceeds
    to Pekin--Camp formed--The Spirit of Fire--French “ideas”--“Sheep
    grows its own wool”--Taipings--Sir John Mitchell--Sickness among
    troops--Emperor dies--Trip to Chefoo--Town and vicinity--Taoist
    temple--Resume duty--The force breaking up--Nagasaki--Places
    visited--Embark--Homeward bound--Aden--Cairo and Alexandria--Death
    of Prince Consort--Devonport.

The Fraternity of Beggars constitutes one of the institutions peculiar
to Tientsin, the numbers of mendicants to be met with being very
great indeed, comprising old and young, fat and lean, the healthy,
the deformed, and the diseased. One particular class are to be seen
almost devoid of clothing on the upper part of their persons, even
in the coldest weather, when the thermometer ranges from zero to a
few degrees above, the use of thick clothing and furs by most people
considered indispensable; yet that their health in no way suffered
from such exposure was evident by their appearance. Another notable
class represent to some degree the order Flagellants, their appeals for
charity emphasized by a series of self-inflicted blows on their bodies
by means of a piece of wood or a brick-bat. These several classes live
in communities, one of which I visited. In a wretched hut, in coldest
winter, destitute of fire, thirty-five men, all in a state of nudity,
were huddled together, having a cubic space per head of 57 feet. The
atmosphere was foul and offensive, the inmates for the most part
strong, and to all appearance healthy. Here, as in China generally, the
rule that “once a beggar, always a beggar,” has few, if indeed any,

An attempt was made to relieve some of the poverty and distress which
were so prominently before our eyes. For this purpose a fund was
established, a sum of eight hundred dollars being collected among the
officers of the force; the subject was brought to the notice of the
Chinese officials and wealthier classes in the city, the result being
that they not only refused to aid the work, but opposed it in various
ways. Finally, notices were issued that the sum collected would be
distributed at the house used as a “church” by our troops; a guard
of soldiers was mounted to preserve order, and at the hour appointed
seven thousand applicants for relief had collected. Unhappily the crush
speedily became greater than the guard was capable of resisting; in the
pressure of the crowd a number of persons, chiefly women and children,
were trodden under foot, several crushed to death, and of those less
severely injured fifteen were carried into hospital.

As winter advanced, sickness among our troops increased to such a
degree that various _yamens_ or other buildings had in succession to be
hired for that purpose. On such occasions, in addition to the officers
specially concerned in making the selection, some representative city
(Chinese) officials, the whole party under the protection of our own
military police, made an inspection of the buildings most suitable
for our purpose, after which an application was duly made for the
particular one fixed upon. On an occasion of this kind, Captain C.
E. Gordon, R.E., who shortly afterwards was to become so prominent
a character in Chinese, and subsequently in Egyptian, war-history,
formed, as usual, one of the party alluded to. In the course of our
excursion we came to what from the outside appeared to be an eligible
enclosure for our purpose. A series of loud knocks at the outer door
brought to it a neatly attired and rather good-looking _boy_, as we
at first supposed, whose manner of receiving us was the very reverse
of polite. _He_ was quickly brushed aside; our party was in act of
entering, when our Chinese escort intimated the fact--up till that
moment unexpressed--that we were forcing our way into a Buddhist
nunnery, against the expressed objection of a nun. Our regret was real;
explanations were exchanged; we were informed that the community within
adopted male costume as an indication that they not only renounced the
world, but with it the emblems of their sex. We were “received” by the
Lady Superior, tea and cakes offered to and partaken of by us; we were
then permitted to visit the “private chapel,” and finally we parted
from the _religieuses_ on the best of terms. Needless to say, their
establishment from that time forward was by us held sacred.

A visit was made to “The Temple of Future Punishments.” That temple
comprises a series of buildings, the entrance to the general enclosure
in which they are situated having on either side a stone figure of
a dog, probably the Buddhistic ideal Cerberus. Within the several
buildings well-executed clay _figures_ represented the subjects of
departed spirits, undergoing all the forms and degrees of punishment
to which evil Buddhists were condemned, the whole reminding us, on
the one hand, of those described in “The Vision of Meerza,” and, on
the other, of illustrations contained in at least one publication by
the Roman Catholic Church. Among the various forms of punishment so
illustrated was that of crucifixion; another illustration included the
humpless bullock, as if relating to the worship of Isis and Osiris; a
third presented the rites of the Indian Chukkur Poojah, and so on.

On visiting an old Buddhist temple on the left bank of the Peiho,
our reception by the priests belonging to it was most friendly and
hospitable. On the principal shrine were the orthodox representations
of “the three Buddhas,”--namely, past, present, and to come. In other
portions of the same sacred edifice were figures, doubtless of saints;
before each a joss stick smouldered, while our venerable entertainers
talked and smiled, even in presence of their gods. This portion of our
visit over, we were invited by the priest to enter the house of one of
the brethren. Having done so, tea in small cups, and cakes, steamed
instead of baked, were served to us.

Arrived at a dwelling-house, in which various members of the family
were engaged in the ceremonies connected with ancestral worship, we
were permitted to be spectators of that ritual. A small shrine, erected
for the occasion, had upon it two figures, probably Confucian, for
they were without any characteristics of Buddhism. It was further
decorated with flags and other ornaments. Offerings of apples were
arranged upon the shrine; a vessel containing joss sticks, otherwise
incense rods, one of which was taken by each worshipper in his turn
and lighted; there were also piles of tinsel paper, from which pieces
were successively taken and set on fire, the belief of the worshippers,
all of whom were grave and orderly in demeanour, that messages were
by that means conveyed to their departed relatives. But there were no
women present at the ceremony. On either side of an enclosed passage,
communicating with the ancestral hall, a series of tablets, roughly
estimated at two hundred, were arranged, the impression conveyed to us
being that each ancestor has his particular day on which his worship is

We were at first unprepared, on visiting a principal mosque, to learn
that several others of less magnitude existed for the considerable
Mahomedan population in the city. The mosque alluded to was to a
great extent Chinese in external style, but within had all the usual
characteristics of such edifices; superadded to these, however, there
was, on the middle of the floor, a tablet of Confucius, around which
was entwined in bold relief the Taoist dragon! The moolahs were
Chinese in feature and costume, and wore the Mongolian _queue_ or
pigtail. As we entered we found them deeply engaged in the study of the
Koran, written in Arabic, which language they spoke fluently.

Having had the honour of being invited to dinner by a Chinese
gentleman, the occasion was taken advantage of to observe the phase of
native life so presented. As guest of the evening, I was received with
much ceremony by Chang, for such was the name of the host; there was
much bowing, “chin-chin”-ing, and hand-shaking, each person for himself
shaking his own hands as he held them clasped upon his breast. Then
followed a respectful inquiry as to my honourable years,--otherwise,
how old I was,--and it by a desire to be informed as to how many
children had the honour to call me father, a bow and expressive gesture
indicating that sons only were to be counted in the enumeration. All
this took place in an outer apartment; the party was then invited
to proceed to the dining-hall, separated from that in which we at
first stood by a series of apartments, all handsomely furnished and
ornamented. In each corner of these rooms stood an ornamental lantern,
having in it a red-coloured taper, in token of rejoicing; on the wall
directly facing the door, a tablet upon which, in Chinese characters,
was the moral maxim, “Not to covet is a virtue,” otherwise a compressed
epitome of the tenth commandment. In the dining-room we took the chairs
assigned to us. On the table, arranged with much taste, were dishes
containing fruit, fresh and preserved; a dish on which were some neatly
cut slices of what looked like ham; on another a pyramid of eggs that
had been first boiled hard, then permitted to remain buried in the
ground for a year. These delicacies partaken of (and the eggs referred
to were by no means nasty), our host filled the tiny cup at the side
of each guest with hot sham-shu,--_i.e._, a spirit distilled from
millet,--bowed to each of us in succession, and returned to his seat.
The course which followed was mainly composed of the root of water lily
(_Nelumbum_); it again by one of sharks’ fins; then olives preserved
in syrup, or perhaps rather jujubes;[234] more fruits of sorts,
variously preserved; seaweed, sea-slugs[235], and other delicacies.
Although chop-sticks were arranged for each of us, knives, forks, and
spoons--all of silver, but the last-named of Chinese pattern--were
also placed for our use. Several courses of this kind having succeeded
each other, the more _material_ part of the banquet was introduced,
in the shape of portions of fowl and duck, served à la Russe; then
a repetition of preserves as before; winding up with a portion of
rice--the sign that dinner was over. Dessert was laid in another
room; thither we repaired, and with toasts, talk, and a good deal of
festivity the evening passed away.

A visit to an “opium den,” and inquiries to which that visit led,
induced me to make, at the time, an entry in my diary thus: “I have
witnessed much wretchedness and want among the victims of this vice
(namely, opium-smoking); but neither in a greater degree nor among
so large a proportion of the people as are debased in the United
Kingdom through the evil consequences of indulgence in spirits.” The
institution of such establishments was at the time looked upon as among
the first fruits arising from the treaty, in accordance with which
Tientsin, as a port, has been opened to foreign shipping.

The visit alluded to was made in company with an American
missionary.[236] His plan for obtaining influence over the frequenters
of such places was to point out to them the evils present and
prospective of the vice in which they were indulging, and so endeavour
to wean them from it. By seeking for, and assisting in various ways,
outcasts and the neglected,--by reconciling, when possible, those
between whom misunderstandings had arisen, and in other kindred methods
of proceeding, rather than in direct attempts at religious conversion,
he had succeeded in making for himself a sphere of great usefulness and

The postal arrangements in connection with our portion of the force
were so imperfect that only by means of Chinese messengers employed
at high rates of pay, which had to be made up at our individual cost,
our letters were conveyed to Chefoo, to be put on board a steamer.
The French, on the other hand, had with them two officers from the
Post Office in Paris, under them a party of sailors, for the purpose,
without expense to individuals, of keeping up postal communication
between Tientsin and the same port.

With regard also to the transmission of family remittances, a similar
contrast existed; it was impossible for us to send such remittances
otherwise than through a bank or mercantile house in Hong-Kong, at the
same time that the greatest difficulty and inconvenience existed in
sending money to that island. The French, on the contrary, have with
them special officers sent from the Paris Treasury for the purpose of
transacting business of this kind. If, therefore, our arrangements are
in most respects superior to those of our allies, these are examples of
the few in reference to which we are comparatively at a disadvantage.

In the early days of April a great advance was apparent in the aspect
of vegetation; long red catkins of poplar trees hung pendulous to a
length of several inches; plants, numerous in their variety, rapidly
came into blossom, many being species familiar to us in England, the
progress made by all of them astonishing. Vines that had been buried
deep in long trenches, and so protected against the cold of winter,
were disinterred, laid along the surface of the ground as if to dry,
then secured upon trellis-work erected for the purpose, after which the
succession of bud, leaf, flower, and fruit was very rapid. In the near
vicinity of irrigation canals, peach trees presented lovely displays
of pink blossom; at intervals the “white cloud” of cherry flowers gave
contrast to the whole.

From this point onwards interest increased in observing the successive
aspects of Nature. On March 17 temperature was sufficiently mild to
bring into activity a few winged insects; a perceptible change in the
aspect of the fields was apparent; tender shoots of green cereal leaves
were rising from the ground, and tree buds began to manifest coming
activity. Migratory birds were now in flight northward in their course,
wild swans being the first to start on such a journey, and to suffer
at the hands of the snarer. Early in April the swallow,[237] so well
known in England, made its appearance; and thenceforward, with White’s
“Selborne” in hand, note was taken of the order in which various
species made their appearance--an order which coincided to a remarkable
degree with what happens at home.

The departure of Mr. Bruce[238] to take up his position as British
Representative at Pekin marked the opening of a new era in the
relations between our own and the Imperial Governments. The
Emperor[239] was still at Jehol, whither he had fled on the approach to
his capital of the allied army; it was known that his chief adviser,
the Prince Tsai, was inimical to foreigners; that the details of
government were conducted by Prince Kung in conjunction with the Manchu
Prince Wan siang; moreover, that the Taiping rebels were carrying their
conquest rapidly northward, and so threatening the existence of the
reigning dynasty; hence it was that our force was held ready prepared
for eventualities. Happily the reception accorded to the British
Minister, if not all that could be desired, was not of a kind to call
for actual protest.

By way of occupation to our soldiers a camp was pitched and temporarily
occupied by them at a little distance from the city; parades and drills
became frequent, the general routine of duty much like that in an
English garrison. Men who had suffered in health during the winter,
and those time expired, were got ready for dispatch homewards, being
conveyed by military train waggons to Taku, and thence by steamer to
Hong-Kong _en route_. Of time-expired men the greater number were in
the best of health and vigour, inured to military life, and in all
respects desirable as soldiers, so that their departure was a serious
loss to the efficiency of our force.

With a view to facilitate access to the recently established camp, the
somewhat forcible measure was taken of cutting through the city wall.
That an objection should be raised by the citizens was a matter of
course; a deputation accordingly waited upon our Brigadier to protest
against the dilapidation, the reason assigned by them being that “the
Spirit of Fire” enters from the south, and danger to the city was thus
to be apprehended.

Intercommunication between the French and British officers was
friendly, if not exactly intimate, the former being invited to
entertainments of different kinds given by the latter. On one such
occasion conversation turned upon the nature of the influence being
exerted upon the Chinese mind by our presence respectively: “Yes,”
observed our neighbour, “we have a great mission to perform: you to
benefit them by your commerce; we (the French) by our ideas!” One
morning news reached us that a considerable portion of the French
contingent had been dispatched for service in Saigon.

On the subject of commerce the Chinese had already their own views in
relation to the indemnity to be paid to “the Barbarian.” Double import
duty was imposed on all foreign goods landed at the port; one moiety to
be paid before leaving the ship, the other prior to actual landing. By
this simple method, according to the expression used, “the sheep would
grow its own wool.” Not that the price to the Chinese receiver would
increase; the dues must fall upon the exporter.

Meanwhile the Taipings were steadily advancing in their progress of
devastation and murder; the atrocities reported as committed by them
horrible in their details. Towards the end of April, Admiral Hope
and Brigadier Staveley proceeded to Pekin, at the request of Prince
Kung, who desired to consult with them relative to a plan initiated by
himself, of dispatching a body of British troops to aid the Imperial
forces against the rebels in question. The circumstance sufficed to put
all concerned on the _qui vive_; our field arrangements were overhauled
and seen to; all preparations made for contingencies. Shortly
afterwards news spread that a considerable body of Tartar cavalry had
been sent from Tientsin against them; that the British were to be
withdrawn from Canton, and thus a force 2,000 strong left available for
service against the rebels.

Our Ambassador, finding it well to consult personally the general
officer commanding the troops in China respecting the somewhat
important question at this juncture, of retaining our force intact or
diminishing it, that officer was summoned to the capital. It was while
he was _en route_ towards Pekin that I had the pleasure of making his
acquaintance, and of adverting to an incident already mentioned with
reference to the battle of Maharajpore. In the interval of seventeen
years which has meanwhile elapsed, Captain Mitchell, of the 6th Foot,
had become Major-General Sir John Mitchell, K.C.B. I asked him whether
he had ever received the watch sent to him from the field by request
of General Churchill. He seemed surprised to learn that I had been the
sender; and taking it from his watch-pocket exclaimed, as he showed it
to me: “There it is, and it goes as well as ever.” The expletives which
accompanied the action are here omitted.

As in the severity of winter the health of the troops suffered greatly,
so it did, though in a different way, when late in July and early in
August summer heat was at its highest. During the latter period heat
apoplexy, cholera, and a very virulent form of small-pox prevailed to
such an extent and with such mortality that a veritable panic spread
among them. Fortunately these terrible maladies continued but for
a short time, a change to temperate in the state of the atmosphere
seeming to put a sudden and complete check to them. While they
continued they affected only the foreigner; the Chinese enjoyed their
ordinary health; but they deviated altogether from the method, so
general in India, of protecting their heads from the heat of the sun by
means of thick turbans; on the contrary, they freely exposed themselves
to the fiercest sun with no covering whatever on their shaven heads.
According to them, the cause of this sudden outbreak of illness was
_the_ comet. An immense and brilliant comet had shortly previous
appeared in the heavens--a strikingly grand object to gaze at, and
wonder; but in the eyes of many a portent of evil.

Various rumours circulated with reference to the state of health of the
Emperor: that he was ill; that he was in perfect health; that he was
dead; that he had been murdered; that he was neither, and so on. After
a time authentic news of his death was received; that, as expressed by
the Chinese, “he had ascended upon the dragon to be a guest on high”;
that his son Chesiang had been named as his successor, under the name
or title of Tung-che, or “Felicitous omen,” otherwise “Union of law and
order”; that a Board of Regency had been appointed for the conduct of
government; that its chief members, including the Empress-Dowager, were
persons of anti-foreign proclivities, the Prince Kung retaining his
position as a kind of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. At the
date of his accession the young Emperor was no more than eight years
of age; but a truly Chinese method of adding to them was adopted: his
Council _bestowed_ upon him three years--namely, one from heaven, one
from earth, and one from themselves; his age, moreover, was calculated
as having been nine months at the date of his birth.

A trip to Chefoo having been arranged, in company with our
Brigadier-General, Sir Charles Staveley, I proceeded by H.M. gunboat
_Woodcock_ to Taku; thence by H.M.S. _Simoom_. Like many others at
Tientsin we had suffered considerably in health, first from the great
cold of winter, then from the no less trying heat of summer, with the
outbreak of epidemic disease already mentioned. Soon, however, the
open sea, with its clear air, added to complete relief from official
responsibilities and duties, had an effect for good upon us. But we
were not a little surprised to observe that while those actually
ill among the ship’s company amounted to the large proportion of
15 per cent., those who remained “efficient” were pale and sickly,
a circumstance attributed by their officers to their exposure to
land-winds, while cruising or at anchor in the Gulf of Pe chili.

Arrived at Chefoo, we landed by a roughly-built jetty, on which in
large letters was painted the word _Odins_, thus indicating the crew by
whom the work had recently been effected. We were hospitably received
by Mr. Morrison, the Consul, son of the eminent Chinese scholar. He
having provided us with horses, we were speedily away, enjoying a ride
through a tract of country remarkable for its loveliness; the open
spaces covered with brilliant flowers, while along each side of narrow
thoroughfares fruit trees at short intervals afforded us the treat of
being able to stand up in our stirrups and pluck ripening pears as we
proceeded. A second ride took us to the highest point of a range of
low hills that separates the town from the inland districts. Thence we
looked down upon a richly cultivated valley, along which ran a stream
of considerable size, itself dotted with clumps of wood, in which were
seen villages and isolated houses of agriculturists; the sides of the
valley formed for the most part of gneiss-like hills, torn at intervals
into deep and rugged ravines. In the distance inland the view was
bounded by a serrated line of mountain peaks.

A visit to a Taoist temple was an interesting episode in an otherwise
enjoyable excursion. The priest, apparently over seventy years of age,
received us graciously; he “chin-chinned,” shook hands--with himself,
after the national custom; felt our arms, our legs, our feet; examined
our saddles, girths, and bridles; inquired our several ages, proffered
us glasses of water, patted the necks of our steeds; as we rode away,
chin-chinned and shook hands with himself as on our arrival. His
temple, situated on the summit of a small hill, was erected in honour
of the North star. Near it stood two marble monuments in memory of
ladies who, though left widows while yet young, refused to re-marry; at
a little distance was a graveyard, the headstones in which were by no
means very different in style from what may be seen at home. The faces
of adjoining hills present a succession of terraces bearing abundant
crops, and watered by _levadas_, as may be seen on the island of

A few days most pleasantly spent, and with health considerably
improved, we proceeded on our return journey; first by the French
steamer _Feilung_, or Flying Dragon, to the mouth of the Peiho, thence
by the French gunboat _l’Etoile_ to Tientsin to resume official duties.

Great was the pleasure with which, early in August, we received
intimation that our “army of occupation” was to be gradually broken
up, the regiments and batteries composing it to be disposed of between
England, India, and the south of China; great the satisfaction
personally with which I received the welcome information that my
connection therewith would cease. Towards the end of September
embarkation began, detachments taken on board flats, and these towed
down the river by gunboats, each party while marching from barracks
being escorted by a band, to the strains of which--“Auld Lang Syne” and
“The Old Folks at Home”--they went cheerily on board, and away from
what to most of us had been a station devoid of attraction. In this way
did the second 60th embark for England, having during its ten years of
foreign service buried 300 of its members, 94 of whom in China during
the past eighteen months. This is but an example of what “service”
meant in the days referred to.

Next came my own turn to embark. Gladly did I proceed by H.M. gunboat
_Slaney_ to the _Vulcan_ at anchor off Taku, embarking Indian troops.
Captain Strode, in command, having received orders to proceed in the
first instance to Nagasaki, an unexpected opportunity thus offered
of seeing that port and city in Japan. The arm of the sea by which
the harbour is approached extends inland to a distance of six miles,
with a breadth of nearly two. On either side rises a range of hills
interrupted by valleys, the whole covered with rich forest, or with
cultivated fields, a succession of batteries being so placed as to
command the channel. To the south of us rose the island of Pappenberg;
the cliffs, 800 to 900 feet in height, are those over which, A.D. 1622,
the Roman Catholic “Christians” were hurled. We next arrived at Desima,
now grown into a large town, but to which locality in former times
the Dutch traders were confined by gates and narrow ways, though now
containing various houses built and in course of erection according to
European models.

Among the places visited was the steam factory. There, under the
direction of Dutch engineers, Japanese workmen were actively employed
in the manufacture of machinery. In an adjoining dock a small steamer
was having placed in her engines, that had been thus made and turned
out; while in the harbour lay moored a steamer, the _Scotland_, manned
entirely by Japanese officers and sailors. The town of Nagasaki was
clean and tidy; very different in these respects from that whence we
had arrived. There appeared to be at least some agreeable aspects of
domestic life, inasmuch as men and women were seen partaking of their
meals together; the people were polite and civil to us foreigners, and
to myself, personally, the proprietors of a shop which I entered to
purchase various articles were so civil as to take me through several
parts of their dwelling-house, then into a neatly arranged garden
attached thereto, and in parting to beg my acceptance of a packet of
their tea, I having presented to some of the younger members a few new
silver coins, to be made by them into studs. All the while we were
being carefully watched by officials, though we were ignorant of the
fact. [How little at that time did we anticipate the amazing strides
Japan was to take during the succeeding five-and-thirty years!]

Arrived at Hong-Kong, my stay of a few days there was made the more
pleasant by the receipt of orders to proceed to England by the first
available opportunity, added to hospitable civility by friends whose
acquaintance I had made while stationed there the previous year.
Preparations for continuing my journey were speedily made; on November
15 I was on board the P. and O. steamer _Emeu_, from over the stern of
which, without a tinge of regret, I waved what I hoped, and proved to
be a final adieu to China.

Our journey was thence along the same track, but in a reverse direction
to that over which I had passed twenty months previous. Arrived at
Galle, we had, as before, to tranship, this time to the _Simla_, by
which we traversed the Indian Ocean. The season of the year permitting
us to “explore” some of the sights of Aden, we took advantage of the
opportunity afforded by the brief delay of our ship at the anchorage.
Driving through the narrow cut in the hard lava rock,--that had in
distant time formed the wall of an active volcano,--we were at the
cantonments, situated in the ancient crater; thence to the reservoirs,
originally erected _in_ the face of perpendicular rock, their design
and construction due to Persian engineers, dating from A.D. 600. Our
drive was next through a narrow gorge, opening towards the south,
admitting the only breeze that can directly reach cantonments. From
its outer limit a view was obtained of the open sea, and of the small
island upon which, according to Arab tradition, Cain was forced to
reside after his murder of Abel. Continuing our excursion, we arrived
at the fortification known as “The Turkish Wall,” that protects and
defends the isthmus connecting “the rock” with the mainland. The shops
on the beach were visited, and purchases made at some of them; among
such purchases, ostrich feathers, here so common as to be used to
decorate the heads of donkeys driven by Arab boys.

The people met with comprised Parsees, Somalis, Jews, and Egyptians.
The Jews and Egyptians said to be descendants of those who fled to
Egypt on the invasion of Palestine and Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar;[240]
the Somalis supposed to be descended from former Abyssinian possessors
of “Yemen,” or that part of Arabia to which Aden belongs, or rather
did belong. Other historical items relating to Aden include its early
importance as an _entrepôt_ of commerce between the Roman Empire and
the East; in recent times the capture of the position by the British
in January, 1839, it being the first military conquest effected in the
reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

To most of us the news we received on arriving at Suez was a surprise;
namely, that which speedily became known as the _Trent_ affair. Some
particulars reached us also regarding the action present and intended
of the English Government and War Office, the immediate effect being
to lead us to anticipate active service within a very short time.
Here we were quickly landed, distributed in railway carriages, and
so sent on to Cairo, at which place another brief detention awaited
us. I accordingly reverted under the guidance of my former dragoman,
Hadji Selim, to the excursions previously interrupted by my departure
eastward; visiting, among other places of interest, the ancient Coptic
Church, erected, according to tradition, upon the cave in which, during
their flight into Egypt, Mary and the infant Saviour took shelter one
night. Thence, continuing our railway journey, we reached Alexandria,
arriving there in a storm of such violence that to embark was
impossible; consequently another halt was unavoidable. I took advantage
of the occasion, in defiance of wind and rain, to visit some of the
places of historical interest pertaining to this very interesting
city, including the site of the ancient Pharos, Pompey’s Pillar, and
“Cleopatra’s” Needle,[241] the latter prostrate in and almost covered
by the sand; also, what was indicated as “St. Mark’s pulpit.” Time did
not admit of a visit to the ruined aqueduct, of which, however, we
obtained a glance while nearing the city.

Here the unexpected news reached us that the Prince Consort had
succumbed to fever; that national sympathy was felt for the Queen
under her bereavement, as well as sorrow and regret at the event, more
particularly at a time when political matters throughout Europe, and in
reference to America, were in a very disturbed condition.

From Alexandria the journey was performed by the _Ceylon_, comfortably,
and without adventure. At Malta we learned that the American Congress
had expressed approval of the Southern minister being captured on board
a British steamer;[242] that troops were being prepared in England
for immediate embarkation; that war appeared imminent and inevitable.
On reaching Gibraltar we found in the bay the Mediterranean fleet, in
which it was said all necessary preparations were being made for active
service. Our entrance to the Bay of Biscay was duly announced by the
ship’s band with the well-known air so called. Warlike news greeted
us on arrival at Southampton. Then followed, in quick succession,
disembarkation, personal report at Headquarters, London, appointment to
Devonport, and happy reunion to wife and children there.



  Paris--Versailles--Champ de Mars--An incident--Rouen--Proceed to
    India--Calcutta--A _mélange_ of subjects--Continued--A painful
    incident--State trial--Sea transport--General events--43rd
    Regiment--More “news”--Scenes revisited--A rough journey--Hill
    A happy event--Death of Lord Elgin--Agricultural Exhibition--
    Sittana--Spring sickness--Sanitary Commission formed--General
    news--Indigo--Cyclone--History of “Masterly inactivity.”

Administrative duties in the Western Military District of England, of
which Devonport was, and still is, the Headquarters, were peaceful,
and so contrasted with events during the past few years, as already
recorded. In due time--the first for several years--I applied for and
obtained the usual two months’ leave accorded annually to officers
serving at home. With my wife I proceeded to Paris, where time passed
agreeably and profitably in visiting places of historical, artistic,
and scientific interest, and in exploring public buildings and
monuments with which that very beautiful city abounds.

On that occasion the French capital was _en fête_, the King of Holland
being on a visit to Napoleon the Third; military displays on a grand
scale the order of the day. One such display being arranged to take
place at Versailles, we joined the crowds proceeding thither from St.
Lazare. Having visited the château and its surroundings, we had the
opportunity, while in the latter, of meeting the young Prince Imperial,
then little more than seven years old, as he rode a small pony,
accompanied and guarded by a group of attendants. Within the château we
visited the various salons open to the public, among them the Salon de
la Guerre and Grande Galerie des Glaces, little thinking as we did so
that they were to be revisited under very different circumstances.

An important “function,” at which we “assisted,” was a grand review
at the Champ de Mars, where 40,000 troops paraded for the purpose,
accompanied by an imposing military train, and an efficient-looking
pontoon train. The precision with which the various battalions and
other bodies of troops took up their assigned positions was striking,
giving to a looker-on the impression of a high state of efficiency.
With the Champ de Mars I was to become unpleasantly acquainted eight
years subsequently.

During our visit an incident took place which may be mentioned in
these notes. While at the _table d’hôte_[243] one morning I got into
conversation with a lady whose seat adjoined my own. In the course of
talk the subject of the late expedition to China being alluded to, she
mentioned the name of the officer whose death at Hong-Kong has been
already recorded. I related to her some of the particulars already
given, among others his request that I should destroy the mysterious
parcel, and the fulfilment by me of that his dying request. As I did
so, the lady seemed surprised; she informed me that her daughter, then
seated at her left side, had been engaged to Captain M----, and she
doubted not that the parcel in question contained the letters of the
fair _fiancée_, whose health had given way, and on whose account both
were now travelling.

A short but very pleasant visit over, I took leave of the fascinating
capital, little thinking of the conditions under which my acquaintance
with it was to become more intimate a few years thereafter. On our
homeward journey a short stay was made at Rouen. To us that city had
several points of interest, including its traditional association
with the closing scene in the life of Joan of Arc, with its attendant
barbarities; and as the capital whence William started on his conquest
of England, the Caserne de Bonnes Nouvelles now occupying the site of
the palace where Matilda received “the good news” of that conquest.
Interesting also in that its cathedral contains the heart of Richard
Cœur de Lion, together with a monument to that monarch. But the edifice
which seemed to us the architectural gem was the church of St. Ouen,
dating, it was said, from A.D. 533, and in its present form from 1318;
with its numerous windows of stained glass, its western portal and
arcade, its sculptured vase, from the surface of the “holy” water
contained in which a reflected view is seen of the roof through its
entire extent, including the exquisite workmanship of its ornamentation.

Returned to duty at Devonport, an intimation soon reached me that I
was again to proceed on foreign service. A few days sufficed to make
the necessary arrangements for my dear wife, who, with the children,
must be left behind. Then came in quick succession orders to embark
for Calcutta; then the very painful ordeal of leave-taking; then
embarkation at Southampton on board the P. and O. ss. _Ripon_,
September 4, 1862, and away from England for a sixth tour abroad.

Arrived at Calcutta, I was appointed to administrative charge of the
Presidency and Benares divisions, the duties connected with the former
including charge of the office of Inspector-General, and inspections
of all ships arriving or departing with troops, all those combined
functions being of a much more arduous nature than at the time I was
able to appreciate.

The cold season had set in, and with its advent the usual influx of
higher officials to the Indian capital. Lord Elgin, recently appointed
Governor-General, carried with him sympathetic feeling towards those
who had lately served in China, and in this spirit extended his
civility to myself, as to some others who had but lately arrived.
It was while partaking of Viceregal hospitality that I met Admiral
Sir James Hope, who had given such material help to the hospital for
Chinese we had established at Tientsin. With him I discussed the
question mooted in China of establishing at Nagasaki a sanatorium for
invalid soldiers and sailors employed at various places on, and in
vessels off, the coast; but, as I think unfortunately for both those
classes, the proposal never came to anything.

The unusual _mélange_ of subjects which gave rise to comment in
Calcutta at the same time was in its way remarkable. The ex-King
of Delhi had very recently died at Rangoon. The King of Greece was
reported to have abdicated, and together with his queen fled from his
kingdom. A crisis had occurred in Prussia. The Emperor of Austria was
about to be crowned as King of Hungary. In America, a Proclamation
had declared the emancipation of the slaves, various reports reaching
us of threatened risings and other complications as outcomes of that
measure. In the columns of some English journals, strong comments with
regard to British policy in China in taking military action against
the Taiping rebels. In Japan, a revolution, the city of Yedo destroyed
by the insurgents. In the Straits of Corea, the Russians induced to
abandon the island, of which they had quietly taken possession during
the earlier stages of the Anglo-French expedition against China.
Garibaldi wounded; a consultation of surgeons as to whether the bullet
was in the wound or not--one would think, not a very difficult enigma
to solve by men of experience in the field. The coming of age of the
Prince of Wales, together with the honours and promotions announced on
that auspicious occasion. The nomination of Prince Alfred to the throne
of Greece. The proposed mediation by France between the Northern and
Southern States of America, and failure of that attempt. The endeavours
made to diminish as far as possible difficulties into which Lancashire
weavers had fallen. Such are a few of the outside matters to which
conversation in Calcutta was directed.

Among those more nearly connected with India was the report contained
in the home papers of the Court-Martial--at the time notorious--having
reference to the circumstances under which the death took place of the
Sergeant-Major of the 6th Dragoons at Mhow. A very unpleasant incident
at a Service Club was the subject of comment; the action taken with
regard to it by the officer in chief command being discussed in terms
more energetic than flattering. Towards the end of the cold season the
ceremony took place of consecrating the well at Cawnpore into which
were thrown the victims of the saddest of all sad episodes connected
with the Mutiny of 1857.

There seemed to be a lull in the current of events in India; but not
in those relating to various European nations, and to America. The
insurrection which for some time past has been in progress in Poland
was said to have assumed increased proportions. In England, the
approaching marriage of the Prince of Wales was the subject of loyal
excitement throughout the country. In America renewed endeavours to
bring about cessation of the Civil War had so far proved futile.

With the advance of the hot season came the usual influx of sick
officers from the interior, on their way home if possible, or to
be treated in the hospital provided for their care by the Indian
Government. Among them the story of one was very sad, and at the
same time illustrative of that of many others. Brought to a hotel,
together with his wife, a girl in age, he was found, when first seen
by a medical officer, to be dying, consciousness all but gone; his
wife unaware of his actual condition; both without friend or even
acquaintance in Calcutta. There was no time for delay or ceremony. I
accordingly informed her at once how desperate was his state, asking at
the same time if she knew what was the position of his worldly affairs.
Her reply: “Not more than the child unborn.” I led her to the couch of
the expiring man, and asked directly, “Where is your will?” He muttered
rather than intelligibly expressed a reply, which seemed, however, to
give his young wife the requisite indication. Within an hour thereafter
he was dead. The widow and her infant had to be left for the time being
in the apartment immediately adjoining that in which lay the corpse of
her husband, until, with the Indian hospitality of that day, a resident
family were communicated with, and sent their carriage for her and her
infant; both of whom were cared for until arrangements were completed,
and the bereaved ones some weeks thereafter sailed for England.

A good deal of talk was current in reference to two noted State trials
of chiefs who had taken an active part in murders and other atrocities
committed in connection with the Mutiny, but who had only recently come
within the clutches of the law, notably at Lucknow and Bombay. At this
time emissaries of the Nana were believed to be actively at work, the
general impression being that he was alive and in Nepaul, whence he
continued to issue instructions to sympathisers.

The near prospect of the canal across the Isthmus of Suez being
completed, as well as some other considerations, led to a
reconsideration by the authorities of the general question relating
to the transport of troops between England and India, and _vice
versâ_. Experience had recently shown the inconvenience and military
objections against the long sea route _via_ the Cape, including the
long period during which to all intents and purposes troops in transit
are non-effective. Statistics had so far been unfavourable in regard to
the results obtained by sending to hill “sanatoria” soldiers suffering
from organic illness. These circumstances were deemed of sufficient
importance to justify inquiry into the whole matter, the outcome of the
investigation being a scheme in accordance with which a line of Indian
troopships was some time thereafter established.

Several circumstances combined to occupy public as well as official
attention. The death of Dost Mahomed was followed by fratricidal wars
between his sons; these conflicts were to continue during the next
few years, and become historically interesting because of the policy
of “masterly inactivity” observed towards the contending parties.
Relations between England and Russia were in a strained condition; with
Japan so unsatisfactory that the dispatch thither of a military force
was contemplated. A certain amount of excitement was kept alive by
rumours, more or less plausible, that the Nana was alive and active;
first one suspect and then another was captured, but only to be set at
liberty by judicial authority.

The dispatch of the 43rd Light Infantry for service in New Zealand
was in Calcutta looked upon as quite an important event; arrangements
for transport presented no difficulty whatever, but it was impossible
to provide the regiment with equipment of a kind suitable for the
service on which they were proceeding, for however well adapted for
the circumstances of India is that authorized by regulations of the
country, it is ill adapted for others in which camels and elephants as
beasts of burthen are unobtainable.

From different parts of India came reports of disaffection,
while from some, including Sittana, came accounts of actual
outbreaks--_fanatical_, they were called. Early in October information
reached us that under Admiral Kuper the British fleet had opened fire
upon and destroyed the forts at Kagosima, though not without heavy loss
to his own officers and men. Orders had been issued in England for the
dispatch of reinforcements thither, and instructions to the same effect
have been received by the Government of India.

In course of duty I visited the several stations within the divisions
already named at which British troops were quartered, renewing
acquaintance with places formerly well known, and connected with which
were various associations, pleasant and otherwise. Of such places
were the jungle road leading from Arrah to Jugdispore, so familiar in
connection with service there; Beehea, where our force was suddenly
attacked by Koer Singh’s rebel sepoys; Jounpore, through the streets of
which city in dead of night our field force marched towards what proved
to be a somewhat severe action at Teegra, listening as we proceeded
to the sound of “grinders” at their “mills,” by which alone silence
was broken; Azimghur, with the compound in which under fire from sepoy
rifles we bivouacked, the line of march, and scene of action by our
force against the besieging mutineers.

On that tour of inspection duty the journey from Dinapore to Darjeeling
was attended by incidents of which the following are examples:--A
hitch and consequent delay in regard to transit arrangements; several
hours by railway train; a night spent in a wattle-and-daub hut called
a dâk bungalow; twenty odd miles by steamer on the Ganges; starting by
palanqueen; a break-down; return on foot several miles to the place
whence I had so proceeded; delay and trouble in obtaining another
conveyance of the same kind; another start; a short rest in the house
of a hospitable civil servant; then on by raised causeway through a
long tract of swampy ground; rowed across a broad nullah, and then
the land journey resumed. After a little the discovery was made that
the carrier of the luggage had dropped out of sight, nor could his
whereabouts be discovered. On arriving at the “stage” where a relay of
bearers was expected, there were none in waiting; the old ones heavily
bribed continued, but at a slow pace, with many intervals to rest and
indulge in smoking. Two more stages had to be got over in much the same
manner, and then on reaching the rest house at the foot of the ascent
towards Darjeeling, no provision whatever had been made for progress
onward. Starting on foot, some four or five miles were got over, when
meeting a native leading a small horse, or tat, bare backed, without
halter or other substitute than a rope around its neck, I mounted
the animal, but unable to guide it, had to resume walking, and so in
time got over twenty out of the thirty miles that separate Punkabaree
from the popular hill station. Railway transit between Calcutta and
Darjeeling was in the far future.

In the near vicinity of Darjeeling numerous hillmen were employed
improving and remodelling the road along which my walk lay. The
general aspect presented by them was miserable and unpleasant. Tartar
in feature and costume, the majority distinguished by _queue_ or
“pigtail”; many affected with goitre, others with large foul ulcers on
legs or feet, unprotected by dressing of any kind,--the ulcers said to
result from wounds inflicted by a poisonous fly abundantly met with
here and hereabout.

In the early hours of the following morning a magnificent view of the
snowy range, including the peaks of Mount Everest and Kinchinjunga was
obtained, all reflecting brilliantly the first rays of sunlight, but
later on becoming obscured by mist.

An experimental station for troops had some few years previously been
established at Sinchal, situated on a mountain spur about a thousand
feet higher than Darjeeling itself. Thither I went in course of duty,
but only to learn how hateful the place was to officers and men
quartered there, isolated, and for the most part concealed in cloud
or mist as it was, the atmosphere damp, cold, and chilly. That the
experiment was a failure was evident, but some time had yet to elapse
before it was so acknowledged officially, and abandoned.

Situated in a deep valley, ten or twelve miles from Darjeeling, and at
a level of four thousand feet below that station, are the mineral wells
of Nunsook; the intervening spurs and ranges for the most part under
cultivation with tea, coffee, or cinchona. Between us and the wells the
Rungnoo River rushed in curling foam along its rocky bed, leaping as
it went, as a cascade of considerable height and volume. Crossing that
stream by a wooden bridge, then ascending among the rocks to a little
distance, we reached the object of our journey. So deep and narrow is
the mountain rent in which the chalybeate spring issues from the rock,
that sunlight reaches it during no more than two hours daily. In its
immediate neighbourhood was a hut in which a few British soldiers were
accommodated, also “experimentally” to test the beneficial qualities of
the spring. No wonder that they wished themselves with their regiment,
or anywhere except at the well of Nunsook.

Another excursion was to the valley of the Rungeet River, some fourteen
miles distant from Darjeeling, and forming the boundary between
British India and Sikkim. The descent is steep; as we proceeded we met
numbers of hillmen toiling upwards, bearing heavy loads in _kalbas_
or baskets upon their backs--women were similarly engaged--the goods
so carried consisting in a great part of borax, spices, and other
“fragrant” substances, including asafœtida,--some of the people so fair
that a rosy tint was on their faces. As we descended into the deep
and narrow valley the snowy range, at first so prominent an object,
became lost to view, precipices shut us in on either side, trees of
great size rising from ledges or projecting from crevices. The Rungeet
rushed as a large green-coloured stream along its rugged bed, at short
intervals curling in white foam as it eddied around rocks or leaped
in cascades over ledges; at a short distance from where we now were
it joins the Rungnoo, the united stream so formed being the Teesta,
which finally discharges itself into the Brahmapootra. Crossing the
Rungeet by what seemed a very frail and unsteady bridge of cane,[244]
we arrived in Sikkim, the span of the construction by which we did so
being two hundred feet, the roaring torrent rushing beneath us. Such
was the character of one part of the sphere in which in 1861 military
operations had to be conducted against that region, including the
transport of guns and supplies.

The return journey from Darjeeling was in some respects little less
unpleasant than that to it had been. Arrived at Raneegunge, it became
necessary to proceed towards the station of Hazarabagh, and for that
purpose to take “garry” along some part of the Grand Trunk Road,
by which in 1859 I had marched with the 10th Foot when _en route_
for England. In the course of that journey crowds of pilgrims were
encountered, each bearing upon his forehead the distinctive mark of
the Hindoo sect to which he belonged, and carrying the pilgrim’s gourd
so familiar to us in mediæval pictures; all were devout in aspect and
manner; some performing penance by crawling on hands and knees--a mode
of progression by which the distance daily got over by them was said to
be about one mile. And yet the majority of them had come from Ajudiah
(Fyzabad), and were on their way to Juggurnath.

Two days thereafter I traversed a flight of locusts. Seen from a
distance the mass looked somewhat like a snow shower in a clear
sunshiny day, the apparent breadth of the flight over a mile, its
length six or eight; the road and bare soil on either side completely
covered by those that had fallen or alighted; the sound made by those
still on the wing distinct and rustling. The conditions alluded to in
this and the preceding paragraph illustrate those which existed while
railways were in their early stages.

The arrival of my beloved wife on December 13 was an event to be
chronicled, though for the time being a boarding-house was the
substitute for the _home_ to which I could take her. Like so many other
ladies similarly situated, she had to place her children at school
as best she could, and then take leave of them to join her husband
in India. The necessity of so parting with one’s children is one of
the greatest drawbacks of service in India, or indeed anywhere in the
tropics; it is lamented by all who are affected by it, and by none
more than by ourselves. And yet it is unavoidable. Various instances
illustrative of unsatisfactory results arising out of this necessity
occur to the mind of most men of experience, not the least being that
sons and daughters are thrown more or less at haphazard upon those
whose method and manner of training is destined to determine the style
of their own lives and the relations in which they are to stand with
their parents.

The somewhat sudden death of Lord Elgin, while on tour, was followed
by very general expression of sympathy; among those who had been
associated with him in China, and so had opportunities of estimating
his amiable and upright character, the sentiment was one of regret and
esteem. But in India, as elsewhere--_le Roi est mort; Vive le Roi_.
Sir John Lawrence arrived from England ere many weeks were over; was
received by a guard of honor; duly sworn in, and matters official
proceeded in their ordinary course.

For the first time, and as an experiment, an Agricultural Exhibition
was organized and took place. The variety of animals brought from all
parts of British India was great; so was that of native contributors
and visitors; but there was reason to believe that lively interest on
the part of the latter was sadly lacking; they thought of the entire
proceeding in the light of a mere _tomashah_, or “hubbub,” and nothing

In the further north,--namely, on the Sittana frontier,--the “rising”
among some tribes of that region had just been suppressed; that
favourable end attained in part by means of a military expedition, in
part by persuasion, otherwise diplomacy.

Experience had long taught residents in Lower Bengal that the period
of early spring is that when cholera is most to be dreaded, alike in
respect to the suddenness of its attack and its fatality. The 55th
Regiment, recently arrived and temporarily encamped at Raneegunge,
became somewhat severely attacked by that scourge. Various instances of
sudden death occurred from the same cause among old Calcutta residents,
and the health of others began to droop; among them my wife.

Soon after the direct government of India had been assumed by the
Crown, a Royal Commission was appointed to inquire into sanitary
questions relating chiefly to the British troops in that dependency,
and also to the native population, whether in cities, villages, or
rural districts; their deliberations were necessarily protracted.
In due course their report was published, and now the new
Governor-General issued the necessary orders for the appointment, in
Calcutta, of a Commission to give effect to their recommendations,
familiarly referred to as the Thirty-nine Articles, that being their
number. On that Commission I was appointed to serve.[245] It began
its labours with enthusiasm, in the belief that by measures to be
recommended by it the havoc by sickness and death to which our troops
had been subject during the long period of our hold on India were to
be materially lessened, their condition generally improved. At this
date the number of soldiers required to fill the vacancies so caused
amounted to 240 per week, and this we hoped to reduce considerably.

Among the Wahabees[246] of India there existed widespread spirit of
disaffection, Patna and Dacca being two important centres of its
propagation. From Europe came news of war between Denmark on the one
hand, Austria and Prussia on the other; the combined armies being
in occupation of Schleswig. That America had claimed from England
indemnity for losses inflicted by the _Alabama_[247] on the plea that
as “290” she was built in a British dockyard. The request of the Pekin
Government for British officers to act against the Taipings being
acceded to, the list of those so “lent” included the name of Major C.
G. Gordon, R.E., whose remarkable career had thus its starting point.
From New Zealand came, unhappily, news of misfortune to the regiment
recently dispatched from Calcutta to take part against the Maoris.

On the invitation of a friend[248] we proceeded to his indigo factory,
and so had an opportunity of obtaining some interesting particulars
with regard to that industry, the actual origin of which in India,
seems to have been due to civil servants of the East India Company.
South America is the region to which the growth and manufacture of
the plant and dye originally pertained. When introduced into India,
the cultivators grew it simply at the request of the civilian in
his particular district, and for the profit of the latter; after a
time overseers were employed, but as in those days the presence of
“interlopers” was discouraged by the local government, the class of
persons employed was not such as to exert upon the natives that moral
influence which would have been beneficial as it was desirable. This
state of things after a time gave place to a better; the presence
of adventurers, as all who belonged not to the Indian service were
called, had to be recognised, and so the indigo industry fell into
the hands of men belonging to the middle class of British society.
Then came what has ever since been looked upon as class legislation,
the effect of which is considered to have been friction and disaccord
between cultivators and planters.

One of the most severe hurricanes recorded in this part of India
occurred on the night of October 7; the devastation caused by it on
land, at sea, and in the river Hooghly, being great and extensive. Off
Calcutta ships were driven from their moorings and wrecked; in some
instances in tiers. So high did the storm-wave rise that the river
overflowed the high embankment, carrying with it one or two vessels,
one of which was left stranded near the Botanic Gardens; many houses
were damaged, some completely destroyed; trees in all directions were
prostrated, among them the once famous “duelling tree,” under the shade
of which in early morning “meetings” took place in days not long past,
and “honour” was satisfied--at the distance of twelve paces.

Regarding hurricanes, the first of which definite record is available
swept over Calcutta in 1737. An extremely violent one happened in 1821,
on which occasion the storm-wave covered Saugor Island, destroying
immense numbers of people, cattle, and wild animals. Another took place
in 1842, then in 1851, and now in 1864, indicating something like a
cycle, varying from eleven to thirteen years between their occurrence.

The significance of some among the public events alluded to in the
preceding notes transpired in years subsequent to their actual
occurrence; the following brief summary relating to the chief
performers in that drama is accordingly given here. From the death
of Dost Mahomed,[249] in June, 1863, till September, 1868, his third
son, Sheer Ali Khan, who, with the sanction of the Government of
India, succeeded him on the throne of Affghanistan, passed through
a very stormy time. His two elder brothers, Afzul and Azim, and his
nephew, Abdur Rahman (the present ruler), were in revolt against
him. His favourite son and heir-apparent, Ali Khan, was killed in
action in 1865. In 1866 he was defeated near Ghazni by Abdar Rahman,
who released his father, Afzul, from prison, into which he had been
cast by Sheer Ali, led him in triumph to Cabul, and proclaimed him
Amir of Affghanistan. Afzul at once wrote to the Government of India,
expressing a hope that as such the friendship of the British would be
extended to him. He was informed in reply that the Government of Sir
John Lawrence recognised him only as Ruler of Cabul; that as Sheer
Ali held Kandahar and Herat, existing engagements with the latter
could not be broken off. Afzul and Azim thereupon directed the Waziri
chiefs in attendance at Court, together with the envoy, who had come
from Swat to pay respects to the new Amir, to set on foot a holy war
against the English, while an emissary was sent on a secret mission to
Russia. In 1867 Sheer Ali was again defeated near Khelat-i-Ghilsie,
and lost Kandahar. On this fact being communicated to the Government
of India, Afzul Khan was in his turn recognised as Amir of Cabul and
Kandahar, Sir John Lawrence at the same time informing him that the
British Government intended to maintain a strict neutrality between
the contending parties in Affghanistan. This policy on the part of the
Governor-General was at the time called, often in sarcastic terms,
“masterly inactivity.”[250] Under the circumstances of the time,
such public opinion as found expression in Calcutta approved of the
policy in question. But neither to Afzul nor Azim was that policy
satisfactory. They sent a copy of the letter conveying the decision
of Sir John Lawrence to the Russian Governor of Tashkend, who was
informed by Afzul that he had no confidence in the “Lord Sahib’s” fine
professions of friendship; that he was disgusted with the British
Government for the ingratitude and ill-treatment shown towards his
brother Azim, who, it was asserted, had encouraged his father, Dost
Mahomed Khan, not to disturb the Peshawur frontier during the Mutiny.



  Ahmed oola Khan--Seeta Khoond--Experimental sanatorium--Parisnath--
    India in Greece--Bhootan--Electric telegraph--Sickly season--My
    illness--Ootacamund--Todas--Climatic notes--Bangalore--Fort--Health
    unrestored--Benares--Temples--Sitala--Sarnath--Infants’ grave--
    Sanitary Commission ceased--Again on sick leave--Cinchona Inquiry--
    A railway journey--Bank failure--Events--The Buffs arrive--Sanitary
    works--Expedition to Abyssinia--The struggle for existence--The
    _Jumna_--The _Euphrates_--Hurricane--Departure--Trincomalee--Aden--
    Suez--Docks “created”--Egyptian troops--Grand Shaloof--Gardens--
    Freshwater Canal--Ancient baths--Moses’ Wells--Pyramids of
    Ghizeh--Sphynx--Temple--Desert cold--Portsmouth.

Visiting Patna in the course of duty, I was present in the court of
the magistrate while Ahmed oola Khan, the suspected originator of the
Sittana rebellion, was undergoing preliminary examination on a charge
of sedition. For thirty years he had been suspected; yet he held a
high position under the Indian Government, at one time as a member of
the Board of Instruction, then a member of the Municipal Commission,
and lastly a Commissioner of the Income Tax. During the Mutiny the
Local Commissioner had reason to doubt his fidelity, and reported to
Government the grounds upon which his suspicions were founded, the only
result as stated at the time being censure for having given expression
to them.

An official visit to Monghyr gave me the opportunity of driving to
Seeta Khoond, in the near vicinity of that place. The spring so named
has a temperature of 180° F., and is one of several in this part of
India; but chiefly interesting in that the high priest of the temple
connected therewith repeated to us its legendary association with the
story of Rama and Seeta,[251] in terms very similar to what a few days
before I had read in a compressed edition of the _Ramayana_. Here then
is the record transmitted traditionally through many generations of a
more or less mythical event, the date of which considerably preceded
that of Homer.

As an experiment, barracks for a small number of British soldiers were
erected on the summit of Parisnath, in the hope that its elevation of
4,530 feet above sea level might exert a favourable influence on their
health. A narrow pathway had recently been cut through the forest[252]
by which the hill is covered. Ascending by it we traverse several
precipitous ridges, between which deep and thickly wooded valleys
intervene. Voices of many birds are heard as we proceed; among them the
crow of jungle cock and scream of the coel;[253] black squirrels and
lungoors dash rapidly from branch to branch, downwards into the forest
beneath us.

Parisnath is the Sinai of the Jains.[254] On its summit are twenty-two
temples pertaining to that sect, the largest consecrated to their chief
deity, Parisnath, whence the name of the hill. Numerous pilgrims visit
the shrines, more especially in the month of _Poos_, or November.

There are those who believe--with what measure of authority I know
not--that an immigrant tribe from the vicinity of the hill in question
having settled in ancient Greece, transferred the name of their sacred
mountain to “Parnassus.”[255] The legend may be on a par with that in
accordance with which the name of Sevastopol is made to signify “The
Place of Siva.”

For some time past unpleasantness had been breeding with regard to
Bhootan; endeavours were made to come to a peaceful understanding
with the chiefs concerned, but these having ended in failure, the
dispatch thither of a military expedition was resolved on.[256] In the
early part of the cold season a combined force of British and native
troops was equipped, and proceeded on service to that territory, a
chief reason for sending white troops being a report that considerable
misconduct on the part of sepoys at Dewangiri had reached the
authorities, the circumstance furnishing a suggestive commentary on
action recently taken to materially increase the native army.

On March 4 an event occurred which, in its importance to India, should
be mentioned: the first direct telegraphic message from London
was delivered in Calcutta, it having taken three days to reach its
destination. As a painful coincidence, Colonel Stewart, to whom the
public are indebted for the completion of that undertaking, died just
as the work had been finished. Hitherto the telegrams received came
through several lines.

The hot season this year set in unusually early; it was severe and
protracted, sickness and death making havoc among all classes of
foreigners, more especially our soldiers. Medical officers, like
others, were prostrated in great numbers, the result being that those
who remained fit for duty had much extra work thrown upon them. The
establishment in India being so closely kept down so as to meet only
ordinary requirements, it is inadequate when the demands become
considerable, whether on account of epidemic or field service.

In July duty took me to Hazarabagh. The rains were on, the roads soft,
and in many places submerged. On my return journey, detention for
several hours at night in dense jungle was occasioned by the Siranee
River being in flood, and impassable. The result of that exposure was
a severe attack of illness, by which for two months I was prostrated
and altogether incapacitated for work. Having hitherto avoided making
an application for privilege leave, I now submitted such a request, but
with the unlooked-for result that it met with a refusal--the fact that
it did so illustrating the attitude of departmental seniors towards
their juniors in those days. With reluctance I felt under the necessity
of applying for a medical certificate, on which, as a matter of course,
I obtained leave of absence.

At the time referred to, the Neilgherry hills were more get-at-able
from Calcutta than were the Himalayahs; our[257] means of transit,
by steamer to Madras, train thence to Coimbatore, bullock bandy or
cart to Metapollium, hammock or pony to Ootacamund. The ascent of the
ghat presents a succession of strikingly beautiful views, precipitous
cliffs, mountain ascents clothed by dense forest, deep valley and shola
thickly wooded, rushing streams and small cascades. Arrived at Coonoor,
6,000 feet above sea level, the temperature becomes mild; hedges
chiefly composed of geraniums and roses; fruit trees, orchards, and
gardens, all in full bearing, meet the eye. In front of us a succession
of grass-covered “downs” appear, their general aspect completely
different from that presented by Himalayan sanatoria. In due time
“Ooty” is reached, but a severe attack of ague while riding up the ghat
rendered the latter part of the journey the reverse of pleasant.

In the immediate vicinity of this place, and scattered about among the
higher points of the hills, the aboriginal tribe of Todas have their
settlements, consisting of their peculiar-shaped huts, crowded together
as if for mutual defence. Of their original history, not a trace, not
even tradition remains; but other native hill races look upon them as
the original owners of the soil, and pay them in its produce, for the
Todas neither cultivate nor perform manual labour of any other kind,
except that certain members of each village community have the duties
assigned to them of milking their kine, and preparing their ghee,
or clarified butter. They practice polyandry.[258] Infanticide was
frequent among them until suppressed under the action of Government.

Very charming as a health resort was “the Southern Sanatorium” found
to be. Temperature moderate in degree and range, relatively cooler
than that of England in summer, warmer in winter, it possesses greater
advantages in these respects than corresponding places in the Himalayan
range. Thus, the mean shade temperature is--in January, 53° F.;
February, 56°; March, 62°; April, 63°; May, 62°; June, 60°; July, 58°;
August, 58°; September, 56°; October, 58°; November, 56°; December,
53°. Annual rainfall, 48 inches; rainy days, 19; with occasional
showers, 81; cloudy, 28; clear and fine, 238 = 365. In the month of
January, with a shade temperature of 53° F., that in the sun was 118° F.

A visit to Bangalore presented several items of interest. One was the
peculiar method by which native workmen split off flakes of the sienite
rock that there abounds; the process comprising the application of
long-continued heat to the surface, after which the use of chisel,
hammer, and percussion so applied as to produce the effect desired. A
good deal of comment was the outcome of a visit paid to a “condemned”
barrack building, in which was accommodated the band of an infantry
regiment--the walls of the edifice in so tumble-down a condition that
practice was prohibited lest the vibration caused by the musical
instruments should shake the remainder to pieces.

The old fort well repaid a visit to it. In 1791 it was captured by the
forces under Lord Cornwallis, the breaches then effected being still
traceable by the soft material with which they were filled up, while
the broad deep ditch around the fortress remains to a great extent in
its original condition. Among the dungeons in which Tippoo Sultan was
wont to imprison his captives that of Sir David Baird was indicated to
us; as also the wheel to which the captives were put for the double
purpose of raising water for palace use, and amusing thereby the ladies
of the zenana.

With health unrestored, but rather deteriorated, duty had to be
resumed. An important item connected therewith was the inspection of
ships arriving with troops, or engaged for the conveyance of others
homewards, considerable exposure and fatigue necessarily undergone in
its performance. That risk to life was run in persisting to remain at
my post, instead of leaving India, was sufficiently clear to myself;
but circumstances determined me to run that risk.

Early in 1866 duty[259] took me to Benares. An excursion through
the narrow streets and to the shrines within that ancient city was
interesting, as a similar visit had been on a previous occasion. The
aspect of those streets, the style of dress of the people, their modes
of buying and selling, their religious observances, at the present day
unchanged since a date six centuries B.C., when, as history records,
Kasi was a flourishing city. The temple of Bisheshwar, “the poison
god”--a personification of Siva, the special deity of Benares, the
object of pilgrimage to thousands of Hindoos--has within it the shrine
in the shape of a black stone, ever kept wet by Ganges water, before
which their special acts of devotion are performed. The minarets and
tapering summit of the temple still resplendent with gold gilding, with
which they were last decorated at the expense of Runjeet Singh, of the
Punjab. In close vicinity is the Gyan Kup, or “Well of Knowledge,” in
which Siva is believed by her worshippers to dwell, but from which
arises offensive odours from decomposing floral offerings. In the
“golden temple” itself is a figure representing the Kutwal, or judicial
officer of Bisheshwar, in his hand a club, at his feet two dogs of
stone--Orion and Canes venatici.

Numerous other temples stand in the near vicinity of this the largest
and most important of all. Of these, one of small dimensions is sacred
to Sanichar, otherwise Saturn, the face of the deity being of a blue
or leaden hue. A second is dedicated to the goddess Anpoorna, of whom
it is related that when Benares was first established as a city, a
famine having occurred she supplied grain, Gunga, or the river Ganges,
giving water, and so the people were fed; the custom then established
of giving a daily allowance of grain and water being still continued,
as witnesssed by ourselves. A third temple visited was dedicated
to the Sun. Within it is a painting in which the great luminary is
represented in a chariot drawn by seven horses, clearly the prototype
of Phœbus and his car. A fourth, dedicated to Sukreshwar, or Venus, is
much frequented by women ambitious to become mothers of handsome sons.
To the courtesy and kindness of Dr. J. A. Dunbar, whose historical
knowledge of these and other places visited was great, I was indebted
for a most pleasant and interesting excursion.

Close to the river edge stood a temple to Sitala, goddess of small-pox,
the deity being a stone much worn; before it three female devotees
made poojah in hopes of thereby obtaining immunity against or cure of
the disease for themselves and relations--a practice adopted also and
in like manner by the Chinese. Nangrah, or the temple of the seven
planets, after which are named the days of the week, was old and
dilapidated, not having been “restored” from the time of the Mahomedan
conquest, A.D. 1017, when, like many others, it was much injured. A
small, square-shaped tank, the Nand Kunka, is said to be the point
of junction between the Ganges, Jumna, and “sacred” Suruswattee; but
inasmuch as a similar union is assigned to Prague, _i.e._ Allahabad,
tradition seems to be at fault somewhere. Hindoos believe that those
who bathe in that Pool of Siloam at Benares attain immortality. An
object of different kind visited by us was the Man Mundee, or old
observatory erected by Rajah Jey Singh, A.D. 1693, at the same time
as that at Delhi, and, like it, now ruined. On the way to cantonments
is the house in which dwelt Warren Hastings, 1773-1781; at a little
distance that in which, in 1799, Mr. Davis repelled single-handed
the attack by followers of Wazir Ali,[260] after the latter had been
deposed from the throne of Oude by Sir John Shore, at that time

At a distance of a few miles, on a plain anciently known as the Deer
Park, are the ruins of Sarnath, a city said to date from the fourth
century B.C., to have been the place where Sakya Muni first publicly
preached the doctrines of Buddhism, and to have been destroyed by fire
in the seventh century A.D. On a mound formed by ruins stood a pillar
like that of the Birs Nimroud. A second pillar had on it carvings and
scrolls peculiar to the Buddhists, whose style of architecture was
subsequently adopted by the Hindoos, to be reproduced in their temples.

A sad and to me affecting visit was to the grave of my dear infant.
As I wrote at the time of his deplored death, so now, many years
thereafter, the impression of the loved child comes vividly upon

The Sanitary Commission already mentioned ceased to exist, and a
Commissioner appointed to take over the duties it had performed. Great
were the expectation of benefits to come, in respect to public health
and decrease of mortality which were to result from the labours of
our Commission; great also the individual confidence of members in the
realization of such hopes. In the literary inquiries connected with my
position on that Commission material was gathered for a work on Army
Hygiene, then published by me.

As the hot season advanced, my health, already much impaired, suffered
more severely than it had done while the heat of climate remained
somewhat moderate. Privilege leave was therefore applied, and, after
some delay, obtained. I accordingly made my way, for the second time,
to Madras and Ootacamund, accompanied by my dear wife. Almost from the
day of arrival my health improved; a series of excursions, rides, and
walks adding to beneficial influence of the climate of that favourite

I had lately been appointed member of a Committee to examine and report
upon the relative medicinal values of the various alkaloids obtained
from cinchona. My attention thus drawn to the cultivation of the plant
or tree, I visited the extensive plantation which then existed in the
neighbouring hills, taking advantage to observe the various methods of
cultivation adopted with a view to increasing to the utmost the deposit
of quinine. But impressions were by no means enthusiastic in regard
to the probable pecuniary success of this industry, or the permanent
reliance of medical men upon its special alkaloid, the use of which had
already become considerably less than it was a few years ago.

As the period of my leave drew to its close, and I began my return
journey, some of the experiences attending upon Indian travelling in
the hot season befell me. In the midst of storm and heavy rain, at 2
a.m., I arrived at Coimbatore, then the railway terminus, got into one
of the carriages drawn up at the platform and there made myself at home
till 4.45 a.m., at which hour the train started. As the day advanced,
so did the strength of hot wind; the sky was lurid with dust, while
I, suffering severe pain, could neither recline nor sit with anything
approaching comfort. It was close upon midnight when I reached the
hotel at Madras, at which I had arranged to alight.

With next morning came the newspapers of the day, containing the very
unwelcome intelligence that the Agra Bank had suspended payment. Like
many others in India, such small savings as I had been able to effect
were deposited in that concern; so now, my health impaired, the rainy
season before me, my wife left behind, my money store for the time
being in a precarious position, circumstances wore an aspect by no
means bright.

Returning to duty at Calcutta, the attention of public authorities was
found to be occupied by the condition of matters in India, and that
existing elsewhere, the latter having indirect relation to the country
itself. From several places on the coast line, more especially Orissa,
came sad reports of famine and of destructive pestilence, all of which
in due time extended to inland districts, even to the upper provinces
of Hindostan. To mitigate and relieve the suffering thus occasioned,
Sir John Lawrence initiated a variety of measures which were destined
in subsequent years to be systematized, and so meet the occurrence
of similar occurrences throughout the country. Beyond our frontier,
Sheer Ali, whose accession at Cabul had but lately been recognised,
was strengthening his position. Russia engaged in subjugating Bokhara.
In America there was talk about a Fenian invasion of Canada, almost
immediately followed by the collapse of such a plan, if indeed it ever
assumed shape. In Europe the unparalleled successes of “the seven days’
war”; the surrender by Austria of Venetia to Italy. Another event of
importance was the laying of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable, a scientific
triumph in some respects more important than the military occurrences
just alluded to.

Early in the cold season, the arrival of the _Nile_, having on board
the Headquarters of the Buffs, gave me an opportunity of seeing once
again my first regiment with which, twenty-one years ago, I sailed from
the place where we now are for England. In the interval one or more
generations, in a regimental sense, had come and gone; so that to “my
first love” I was a stranger; officers and men unknown to me, I unknown
to them.

In pursuance of suggestions by the late Sanitary Commission, a series
of camp grounds were selected, to which in times of cholera troops
might conditionally be sent. At military stations, barracks were to be
erected in accordance with plans drawn out by the same body. In these
respects, impaired as health was, inspection of stations, added to
ordinary official routine, became an arduous duty.

Arrangements had to be made with reference to an expedition about to be
dispatched against the King of Abyssinia. In calculating the probable
requirements for which preparations had to be made, casualties by
climate were looked upon as likely to exceed those in battle; supplies
on a large scale were accordingly provided.

From bed to duty, from duty to bed: such in brief was the manner in
which were passed the three last months in Calcutta. In one respect
Fortune “smiled,”--namely, that hospitality of a friend[262] supplied
all that need, or even luxury, required. The presence, moreover, of my
wife was a solace to me, though the condition of illness to which I was
reduced must have been the cause of much anxiety to her.

The first of the new transport ships to arrive was the _Jumna_. Being
sighted from Saugor at the end of September, a party of officials, of
which I was one, was speedily on board the river steamer _Koladyne_,
and away towards Diamond Harbour. The “trooper” soon loomed high on
the horizon, her general shape unusual, and being painted white, her
aspect differed from that of ships familiar to us. Coming to anchor at
the last-named place, the 7th Dragoon Guards and 2nd Battalion Rifle
Brigade were within a few days thereafter conveyed on board, and away
the ship steamed towards Suez.

At the end of October the second of the Indian transports, the
_Euphrates_, arrived at Calcutta, having on board the 2nd Battalion
60th Rifles, with which, six years ago, I had come down the Peiho from
Tientsin to Taku, when that battalion and myself were homeward bound
from China.

November was ushered in by the occurrence of a hurricane of extreme
violence, an example of the most severe of those meteors to which this
part of India is at intervals liable, the damage to shipping and on
shore being a counterpart of what has already been related regarding
another cyclone. On this occasion the _Euphrates_ was forced ashore
at Diamond Harbour, where, during several hours, she remained in a
perilous position, but fortunately without damage, so that as the
storm abated she was restored to her anchorage. In due course the ship
arrived off Prinsep’s Ghat, the first of her kind to come up the river
so far. There the troops on board were landed, the hull carefully
examined by divers, and being declared to be uninjured, preparations
were made for the embarkation of the troops proceeding by her to

The 27th, or Enniskillen Regiment, having embarked, I went on board,
together with my wife, on November 13. On the following day enjoyed the
often-talked-of, long-hoped-for gratification of viewing Calcutta from
over the stern of a homeward-bound vessel, at the same time conscious
of a protecting Providence to whom, under a series of trying and
otherwise unpleasant circumstances, my life had been so far prolonged,
and I enabled to meet the necessities of those dependent upon me.

In due time we entered the remarkably beautiful harbour of Trincomalee.
Dotted with numerous islands, all thickly covered with rich vegetation,
the background filled up with a series of low forest-clad hills, the
general scene--tropical in character--could scarcely be exceeded in
loveliness. But the hot, damp atmosphere, as we landed and drove
through the town of the same name, was such that we experienced no
desire to prolong our stay.

Arrived at Aden, orders awaited the Commander to proceed at once to
Suez, which he accordingly did; but the circumstance caused a good deal
of excitement in the gallant Enniskillings, among whom the wish was
father to the belief that they were _sure_ to be landed and sent to

Several vessels connected with the Abyssinian expedition were anchored
in the Gulf of Suez as the _Euphrates_ entered it. The canal across
the isthmus had recently been begun, the troops arriving at either
end having still to be conveyed by rail and then re-embarked. Here we
speedily learned by telegraph that our corresponding transport from
Alexandria had met with a mishap so serious in kind that delay of not
less than three weeks was inevitable before we could proceed.

Extensive docks were then in progress near to our anchorage. They were
formed from material raised from the sea-bed by dredgers and other
mechanical means; the masonry supplied from the neighbouring Akaba
range of hills. It was an unpleasant sight, as it was suggestive,
to see in the ooze so raised, considerable numbers of human bones,
confirming to some degree the evil repute assigned to Suez boatmen,
chiefly Greeks and Italians.

A considerable number of Egyptian troops were encamped on the heights
behind the city. The men, strong and active in appearance, had, it was
said, been slaves, captured by the Bedouins in the Soudan and sold to
agents of the Viceroy; they were dressed _à la Zouaves_, and armed with
swords and matchlocks.

A trip being organized for the purpose, we proceeded by boat drawn by
a couple of mules along the Freshwater canal; at the end of about five
miles arriving at Little Shaloof, where arrangements were in progress
so that by means of locks a junction between the two waterways should
take place. From there we proceeded as before, some six miles more,
to Grand Shaloof, where it was said the works in progress could be
best examined. At that place the depth of the channel in course of
excavation was 30 feet, the breadth 150. Crowds of workmen, including
French, Italian, Maltese, and Greeks, were employed as navvies, the
soil being carried up the sides by small rails, and deposited on either
side to form embankments. In the successive layers of gravel, sand,
and clay in which the workmen were engaged, organic remains existed in
considerable abundance; among them oyster shells, encrinites, bones
assigned to mastodon, and gigantic teeth of the carcharodon. The canal
is in working order from Port Said to Ismaliah, where, in Lake Timsah,
it is joined by the ancient canal from Bulak.

At Shaloof a considerable village has sprung up in the midst of the
desert; the houses consist of wooden huts, the population being
employés on the canal. Around some of those huts little gardens had
been made, peas, beans, greens, asparagus, artichokes, jerusalem
artichokes, and spinach being among the vegetables grown in them; the
plants of larger growth within and surrounding them in the form of
incipient hedges included palma Christi, Eschynomene (or jait), thuja,
and willow.

The Freshwater Canal, by which we returned to Suez, had an average
depth of 5 to 6 feet, a breadth of 40 to 50. Its water, though
originally no doubt _sweet_ and fresh, was now brackish, but on that
account not unsuited to the nourishment of particular kinds of plants,
as along its sides grew in abundance tamarisk, reed grass, rushes,
and bulrushes. A good deal of traffic was in progress along it; but
otherwise the region on either side was desert, destitute of man,
house, or tree, the only living things to be seen being a vulture in
the distance, and in close vicinity a drymoica or reed warbler of some
kind. According to history the portion of this canal which extends from
Lake Timsah to Bulak was made under Sesostris;[263] a continuation of
it extended to Suez,--namely, that by which we travelled. The original
channel has several times fallen into decay, and been again repaired,
the last occasion on which it was so being under Mehemet Ali.

The population of Suez was said to comprise the scourings of all
nations. The place itself is not without points of historical interest.
It is considered to occupy the site, or very near the site, of
Pihahiroth, or simply Hira, Kolsim, and Arsinoe, the latter founded
by Ptolemy Philadelphus.[264] At a short distance from its north-east
gate is a mound on which stands a villa for the use of the Viceroy;
at the base of that mound is a thick layer of asphalte,[265] believed
to indicate the site of ancient baths. The modern town contains the
house, now a telegraph office, in which Napoleon the First once had his
headquarters. Discretion induced us, when visiting the town of evil
repute, to go in sufficiently large party to hold our own if necessary.

An excursion to Ayûn Musa, or Moses’ Wells, occupied pleasantly an
entire day. Proceeding by steam launch to Quarantine Harbour, we there
found mules and ponies, sent on the previous day. So mounted, we
scampered over the five or six miles of desert that separated that
place from the objects of our trip. As we neared the wells, groves
of date and other palms became more and more distinct; the groves
were seen to surround each of the twelve wells that form the group,
each moreover to be surrounded by walls, the garden so enclosed well
irrigated from its particular well, and yielding produce abundantly.
The largest well of the series is that to which tradition assigns the
halting-place of the Israelites on the third day of their wandering
in the wilderness of Etham after crossing “the Sea of Reeds,” in the
near vicinity of what is now Lake Timsah.[266] As then, so at the
present time, the water of Marah is “bitter,” otherwise brackish and
undrinkable, though used for purposes of irrigation; that of the well
in question gushed from the earth abundantly, bubbling as it did so
from several apertures. From it we went on to examine the other springs
that make up the group, on our way noting the style of tree and under
vegetation, and searching, as we did unsuccessfully, for the “quails”
(_Pterocles_, or sand-grouse) mentioned with reference to the temporary
halt at this place made by the Israelites; three hours were so spent.
On returning to the spring whence we had started, we found it partly
empty; it thus told its own story--that it was tidal in character.
The surrounding gardens, amply irrigated as they were from this well,
yielded abundant crops of vegetables, including spinach, radishes,
chives, onions, and tomatoes. Among the trees within the same enclosure
were date, tamarisk, pomegranate, rose, fig, parkinsonia, cirrus,
lawsonia (the mendhee or hennah of India), myrtle, and mulberry. Along
the sides of the watercourses or irrigation channels a rich green
carpet of digitaria (or dhoop grass of India) grew. We saw no such tree
as had the property of rendering brackish water palatable to the taste;
not even the moringa aptera, the pods of which, when masticated, are
credited with that of rendering such water “sweet to the palate.” On
our return on board, we referred to Josephus,[267] and from his account
have no doubt that Moses recognised the wells which now bear his name
as in their nature tidal.

A very delightful excursion was that to Cairo, performed by rail across
the desert. From that most oriental city we drove to the Nile, near to
the island of Rodda; crossed the river by boat, passing close to the
Nilometer while we were in transit; landed at Ghizeh; mounted donkeys;
thence continued our journey over seven miles of road, consisting of a
dilapidated raised pathway through alluvial fields and swamps dotted
thickly with aquatic birds. Thus did we reach the famous and very
remarkable Pyramids of Ghizeh. The largest of these, namely, that of
Cheops--B.C. 2400 about--was the special object of our excursion. In
ascending one of its sides we had the aid of powerful Arabs, whose
demonstrative methods of assistance were by no means appreciated by
the ladies of our party. The massive stones that formed the stair-like
ascent of this most ancient monument in the world had a thickness
ranging from two to three feet; they consisted of two kinds, the one
set of nummulite, the other of chalky clay, but the coating and outer
layer that in ancient times completely covered them has long ceased
to exist. The summit is flat; the view from it extensive: it includes
Cairo, the Libyan hills, pyramids of Sakkara and of Dashur, the
position of “the Battle of the Pyramids,” the two smaller pyramids of
Cephrenes and Mycerenes respectively, the Sphynx, and numerous tombs.
On our left were the pits in which it is believed the mortar for the
larger pyramid was mixed; the small mud pyramid, supposed to be that
of Cheops’ daughter; then in the distance heaps composed of materials
raised from pillaged tombs.

The descent proved more difficult than the ascent. After a short
rest we proceeded to explore the interior of the huge pile. From the
entrance we descended, by a narrow passage not more than four feet in
height, a distance of 106 feet, then ascended by another passage, at
an angle of 27°, to “the Queen’s Chamber.” Returning to the point from
which branches upward the great gallery, we ascended by it to “the
King’s Chamber,” passing in our progress through the supposed position
of four ancient portcullises. Returning to, and glad to be in, the open
air, we passed on to Campbell’s Tomb,[268] in which, at a depth of
sixty feet from the surface, lies exposed the sarcophagus of porphyry
described in books of travel. Thence to the Sphynx, now mutilated, yet
whose intensely grave, placid expression struck us with awe, as it has
affected other travellers who have visited it during the thousands of
years included in its history.

Near the Sphynx is a temple excavated in the solid rock. Huge blocks,
some seventeen feet long, of red granite are in it so arranged as to
form passages and doorways; others of alabaster, of scarcely smaller
dimensions, being interspersed among them. So far, information is
wanting with regard to the history of this temple; but to us it is no
less wonderful in its way than any of the other objects and buildings
we visited.

At last the time came for the troops on board the _Euphrates_ to resume
their homeward voyage. It was with regret that we took leave of Captain
Dunn and officers, and proceeded to the train by which the transit
across the desert was to be made. It was now late in December; the
_sensation_ of cold experienced by us during the night of our journey
very severe, far beyond what readings of the thermometer indicated.

By afternoon of 28th we were on board the _Crocodile_, and away from
Alexandria. On New Year’s Day anchored in the Grand Harbour of Malta,
in which as companions our transport had British ironclads, and
vessels of all sorts belonging to various nationalities. Resuming our
voyage on the 3rd, we passed Gibraltar on the 6th; thence homeward the
passage was short but boisterous. On the 12th we landed at Portsmouth,
our leave-taking very different in kind from that on quitting the


_1868-1870. PORTSMOUTH_

  Duties--Geology--Societies formed--Portland prison--Parkhurst--
    Garrison prisons--Gymnastics--Arrival of 33rd and 101st Regiments--
    Man of 3rd Light Dragoons--Sale of decorations--Illness--Discharging

Appointed to the Southern District,[269] the duties connected with
departmental administration were entered upon without delay. Within the
garrison of Portsmouth, headquarters of the district, they included
work relating to embarking and disembarking troops, in addition to
ordinary routine; through the district, inspections of military
establishments and places with which I was already familiar.

In visiting establishments on the Isle of Wight some pleasant
excursions were taken in company with a kindred spirit[270] in regard
to natural things. With geological map in hand,[271] we walked from
point to point comparing the strata as we proceeded with the several
illustrative sketches there presented. So also official visits to the
Isle of Portland gave opportunity of studying the history presented
by its rocks and strata, with regard to its alternating elevations
and submergences in geological periods. The operations in progress at
Spithead in connection with forts intended to be built there supplied
with ample material in different shapes those among us whose tastes led
us to take interest in them.

Among our numbers were several men devoted to different branches of
natural history; others whose tastes and pursuits were in more purely
professional subjects. By means of a happy combination between the two
a society[272] was set on foot, a room with fuel and light assigned to
its use by the War Office, and an excellent library collected. Papers
were read at its meetings, abstracts being published in the London
professional journals. So great was the success which attended our
efforts that a society of allied kind was established by scientific and
professional residents of Portsmouth and its vicinity.

The then governor of Portland convict prison had previously held a
similar position at Norfolk Island, to which at that time the worst and
most desperate criminals were sent from New South Wales. The men he
had there to deal with were the most desperate and reckless of their
class; but some of the accounts Mr. Clifton gave regarding his method
towards them were most interesting, some even pathetic, the keynote of
his system having been, on suitable occasions, to appeal to their human
nature. With evident gusto we were invited to enter what he called his
museum of implements with which from time to time attempts on his life
had been made by convicts under his charge; and very miscellaneous
were they as they lay upon their shelves, duly labelled and arranged.
Among the convicts were some who had in their day occupied high social
position, one of them in particular. Passing them as we did, our gaze
was averted as we did so, but it was not in us to withhold from them a
thought of pity.

At Parkhurst the “governor” of the convict prison was a lady, the
convicts being women. It was the boast of Mrs. Gibson that, in
maintaining discipline and administering justice for offences, no
barrier of any kind separated her from the offender brought before her,
and yet, unlike the experience already mentioned, with the exception of
one occasion, violence had never been offered her. “Unless,” said she,
“I have sufficient moral power to maintain order, my influence would be
gone.” Her daughter had been carefully tended from infancy to womanhood
by a life convict. But among her prisoners were some whose disposition
was most desperate; there were others who, when they “felt a fit of
passion coming on,” made request to their “governor” that, as a favour,
she would allow them to “go to the pump,” so that by the violent
exertion there required of them they might “work it off.” A short time
previous there had been under her charge as life convict a young lady,
the story of whose “crime” and conviction occupied public attention
to a more than usual degree, the question of her guilt being no less
discussed than were the circumstances under which her confession had
been obtained, the reality of that confession, and the relation of
“confessors” to the individual on the one hand, and to law on the other.

The periodical inspection of Garrison prisoners came within the
ordinary routine of duty. As a matter of information, inquiries on such
occasions were directed to the effect, if any, of punishments undergone
by soldiers in deterring them from subsequent crime, the usual reply
received being that “the same men come here over and over again.”
Past experience in regiments had been to the same effect in regard to
offences, and to a considerable extent also to men coming “on the sick
report” to hospital, the numbers of the latter depending greatly upon
the kind of duty, parades, drills, and so on, that was about to take
place. Regimental surgeons understood all such moves on the part of the
men, and for the most part were able to estimate at its approximate
value the statements made by individuals.

While visiting a military gymnasium, attention was drawn to
performances by the non-commissioned officer in charge, a noted
gymnast, some of whose feats on the trapeze and otherwise were
remarkable as showing high proficiency in his art. At the time of their
performance his appearance indicated advanced phthisis, and within a
month thereafter he succumbed to that condition. Other instances more
or less similar to his have come under notice, indicating that the
ability to perform feats of “strength” and agility is not a constant
indication of robust health, although it may be of “knack” acquired by

Duty brought me in contact from time to time with regiments with which
on previous occasions I had been associated; for example, the 34th at
Azimghur, 35th at Dinapore, 97th at Sooltanpore, and 67th at Tientsin.
The arrival of the 33rd from Abyssinia was made an occasion to do
honour to the gallant “West Ridings” for its services in that campaign.
That of the 101st on its first tour of home service was attended by
various incidents, some amusing in their way, showing how new to the
men were the conditions in which they found themselves. Fortunately for
them “comrades” in garrison gave them willing help in landing baggage,
carrying coals, filling straw beds, and so on.

Visiting the barracks at Chichester, I learned some particulars with
reference to the sequel of the incident connected with a soldier of the
3rd Light Dragoons at Wuzzeerabad in 1853. That regiment now occupied
those barracks preparatory to going on foreign service, but so numerous
had been the changes during the interval that with difficulty was one
man found who remembered it. According to his account the particulars
given by the man then alluded to, in regard to his part in the murder
on Wandsworth Common, the disposal of watch and chain of his victim,
were confirmed by subsequent inquiries. The man himself was condemned
to a lunatic asylum, and there he died.

While walking along High Street on one occasion, attention was
attracted to two medals exposed for sale in the window of a well-known
silversmith of that day. To them was attached a short printed notice
relating that they were the identical decorations presented to the
two men most distinguished for gallantry in the battle of Waterloo.
In default of heirs they had come to be among the contents of an old
curiosity shop. They had respectively been bestowed upon Colonel
Macdonell and Sergeant Graham, both of the Coldstream Guards, for
their defence of Hougomont against the combined forces under Jerome
Bonaparte, Foy, and Bachelu. On subsequent occasions, orders and
decorations for the Mutiny campaign were, for lack of heirs, sold by
public auction; a commentary on the passing value of such things,
highly prized though they are by those on whom, for services rendered,
they were conferred in the first instance.

In the spring of 1870 I experienced in person what in many other
instances is a sequence of continued attacks of malarious illness, in
that they seemed to culminate in one of great severity, even after
nearly a year and a half of English climate. To the great care and
skill of two army surgeons[273] I owe my recovery--indeed, my life.

Restoration to full activity was slow. Meantime, a duty devolved upon
me the nature of which was unpleasant, as it seemed to me invidious. A
scheme of Army retrenchment was to be enforced. In accordance therewith
reductions in the numbers of men borne on their rolls were ordered to
be carried out in regiments in our particular district as in others;
the instructions under which officers concerned were obliged to act
leaving to them little, if any, discretionary power.

The classes of men to be selected for discharge, and so make room for
recruits to be enlisted under the short service system, comprised--(1)
the sickly and weak; (2) those of bad character; (3) those who for
reasons of their own were desirous of obtaining discharge. It was
felt that, of the first, the greater number would be cast adrift,
incapable of earning a livelihood, and so be thrown upon parish relief;
that by the second, a number of incorrigible characters would be let
loose on the public, to prey upon it either by begging or by crime,
to be further a burthen to the taxpayer in respect to expenses of
prosecution, and of maintenance in prison while undergoing punishment
for crimes committed. The third class was composed of those who, having
become trained soldiers, inured to discipline, were lost to the service
when their individual value was at its greatest. Some of us felt
strongly then that such numerical reductions as were deemed necessary,
on account of public reasons, might have been carried out by the more
gradual and less objectionable method of ceasing to recruit for a few
weeks or months.



  Franco-Prussian War--Appointed to the French--German successes--
    Arrive in Paris--Rumours--Aspect--Ministry of War--Champ de Mars--
    Captured as a Prussian spy--Rumours and facts--A disturbed night--
    Revolution of September 4--Escape of the Empress--Vinoy arrives from
    Mezières--After the Revolution--The outlook--Arming the masses--
    Approach of the enemy--_Levée en masse_--Aspect of the city--
    Versailles “honourably” capitulated--Provisioning--Present and
    prospective evils--City gates closed--Preparations for the defence--
    Police in abeyance--Paris encircled--Some ambassadors quit--
    Conditions within--Arrangements for wounded.

In the middle of July (1870) the morning papers recorded the incident
at Ems, soon to become famous, between Benedetti and the King of
Prussia, its effect in Paris a demand for war, and by the populace
shouts of “_À Berlin!_” Events rapidly developed; the Powers concerned
prepared for war; proffered mediation by England rejected by France.
On the 21st of that month war was declared by the King of Prussia; on
the 23rd by the Emperor of the French; on August 2 the young Prince
Imperial received his _baptême de feu_;[274] war had begun.

A few days thereafter I was warned for service with the French in
the capacity of Medical Commissioner, to report to the War Office on
certain specified points relating to military organization in the
field. Aware of the importance of duties before me, preparations were
quickly made for entering upon them, including the payment of heavy
extra premium to an insurance office.

From that time onwards my attention was directed to the remarkable
development of military events by which those declarations were
followed. In the first instance there was the small success of the
French at Saarbruck on August 2, followed on the 4th by their severe
defeat at Weissenburg, after which one defeat after another followed in
quick succession; namely, Woerth and Spicheren on the 6th; Forbachen
on the 7th; St. Avold on the 9th, when the partial investment of
Metz began; Strasburg invested on the 10th; the battle of Courcelles
or Longville, near Penge, on the 14th; the battles of Mars la Tour,
Gravelotte, and St. Privat, 16th to 18th, both inclusive, leading to
the complete investment of Metz. The aspect of affairs had been so
affected by those events that preparations for the defence of Paris
began on the 23rd. The Germans following up their victories by that of
Beaumont, near the Belgian frontier, on the 30th, forced MacMahon to
fall back upon Sedan, after sustaining very severe losses in men, guns,
and stores. In other directions, during the same period, one success
after another continued to attend the advance of the invaders.

The 1st of September was with me a busy day; among its incidents,
receiving instructions from the War Office, special passport from the
Foreign Office, letter of credit and necessary cash from agents, and
lastly, taking leave of my beloved wife. Leaving Charing Cross by
the 8.45 p.m. train, I arrived in Paris early the following morning.
Later in the day, in obedience to orders, I reported my arrival to the
British Embassy, presenting at the same time my official credentials. I
was informed that an application would be made to the Ministry of War
for a _sauf conduit_, to enable me to proceed and join the “Army of the
Rhine” under Marshal MacMahon, at that time “somewhere between Verdun
and Mezières, on the left side of the Meuse.”

An impression was “in the air” that all was not well with that army,
but beyond rumours more or less vague nothing seemed to indicate
knowledge of actual events of the previous day, still in progress
at, and in the vicinity of Sedan. Afternoon and evening brought more
definite particulars; telegrams from Mezières announced that MacMahon
was wounded, fugitives inundating that town, all communication with
Sedan “interrupted”; but to inquiries made in official quarters there
was silence.

We had observed that near the Gare du Nord large numbers of workmen
were engaged on the fortifications in that direction. Within the
walls bodies of armed men, some in uniform, many not, marched along
the thoroughfares or were undergoing drill. As day advanced crowds
assembled at corners; pedestrians increased in number; kiosks and
windows presented caricatures, in execrable taste, of Prussians from
king to peasant. The Champs Elysées was comparatively deserted; already
it had an unkept appearance. Here and there a small group gazed at the
performances of Punchinello; a few equipages drove along its centre
way. Agencies of various Sociétés des Secours aux Blessés had taken up
positions in large buildings or open spaces; from many windows and over
entrances floated Red Cross flags.

At an early hour on the 3rd, Colonel Claremont, Military Secretary
to the British Embassy, conducted me to the several offices, from
one or other of which he expected that the necessary orders would be
issued to enable me to carry out the mission assigned to me. Failing
to obtain those orders at one and all so visited, he made direct
application to the Minister for War, but with no other result than an
intimation that “the correspondence on the subject must pass through
the ordinary routine, and in the meantime I must wait.” It was evident
that something very unusual had taken place or was in progress; the
demeanour of the officials with whom we came in contact indicated
the fact with sufficient clearness. Colonel Claremont was in all
probability made acquainted with the nature of the events in question,
for as we separated, each to proceed his own way, his parting remark
was, “I don’t expect now that you will go much beyond Paris.”

The Champ de Mars forms a huge camp ground; _tentes abri_, guns,
waggons, tumbrils, horses, and men crowd the space so named. Infantry
of the line there are in battalions, many of them undergoing the
earlier stages of military drill, their style and general aspect
far from realizing the British idea of what is soldier-like. The
arrangement of the camp itself, including tents, _matériel_,
conveniences and necessities, slovenly and untidy.

In its immediate vicinity the Seine was a washtub for the troops, many
of whom were occupied in beating, scrubbing, and otherwise cleansing
articles of their clothing in the edge of the stream. I lean over
the parapet and observe the process. I am grasped by a soldier;[275]
others hurry to his aid; I am captured, a prisoner. The spy mania
is rampant. I am marched off as such, first to one “post,” then to
another; passport and other official documents taken from me; my
escort increasing as we proceeded. It comprises cavalry, infantry, and
gamins, the latter becoming more and more “demonstrative” in their
behaviour as we went, now shouting, “_À bas le Prussien!_” “_À bas
Bismarck!_” now laying hands roughly upon me, until it looks as if in
their excitement things might fare badly with me. Arrived at a police
station in the Rue Grenelle, I found myself deposited in the company
of a very miscellaneous assortment of prisonniers, and there spent
some two or three hours as best I could. At the end of that time my
credentials were flung at, rather than given back to me; the official
of the place pointed to the door, and without deigning a look at me
said, “_Voilà! Allez_,” and so we parted. Naturally enough I was
indignant, and on reaching my hotel declared my intention to report to
our Representative the episode through which I had passed; but was
quietly informed by others better acquainted than I then was with the
state of affairs, that I need not trouble myself; he would do nothing
in the matter.

As evening wore on, rumours of the morning assumed the aspect of facts,
terrible in their nature as they were unlooked for and unexpected:
the French had been hopelessly defeated at Sedan; MacMahon wounded
and a prisoner; the Emperor a prisoner; 40,000 men[276] of his army
prisoners; no obstacle to delay, far less prevent, the advance of
the Prussians upon Paris. All was excitement along the streets
and boulevards; shouts were heard of “_Déchéance!_” and “_Vive la
République!_” Doubts and fears were expressed as to what on the morrow
the fate of the Empress, who was still in the Tuileries, might possibly

All through the following night there were sounds of movement in the
streets: the tread of troops on the march, the heavy roll of guns,
tumbrils, and waggons. In the Chamber of Deputies transactions were in
progress the nature of which did not transpire till long afterwards,
though the results were to be seen within the space of a few hours.
Men, who till then had been ministers and other officials of the
Emperor, declared shortly after midnight the Imperial regime had
ceased;[277] they elected from among themselves what was intended to be
a “Governing Commission,” and so discounted the events of the morrow.
No wonder that such a self-chosen body failed to receive general
acceptance, as indeed was scarcely to be looked for considering the
many discordant political elements existing within the capital.

From early morning of Sunday, the 4th, a dense and tumultuous crowd
filled the Place de la Concorde; in the Rue Royale and Faubourg St.
Honoré workmen were hauling down Imperial eagles and “N’s,” by which
various public buildings were distinguished and ornamented, the mob
cheering them as they proceeded with their self-imposed work. The
gates of the Tuileries gardens were open, the gardens of the palace
filled with people; down the Rue de Rivoli, and upwards towards the
Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysées, streams of people were in motion.
Across the entrance to the bridge leading to the palace of the Corps
Législatif, a body of regular troops was drawn up with bayonets
fixed. Down along the Champs Elysées marched in cadence to beat of
drum and note of bugle an imposing force of National Guards. Nearer
and nearer they came; greater and greater was the excitement in the
crowd, including the small body of foreigners who, like myself, were
irresistibly drawn to, and by curiosity held in the scene. A moment
more and the two sets of forces must have been in actual collision
with each other--with what consequences who could predict? Then
were raised upon bayonet points the képis of the regulars, as from
their ranks the shout burst forth, “_Vive la Garde Nationale!_” The
latter instantly followed suit; the shout of “_Vive la Ligne!_” told
us that fraternization was complete. The hall of the Legislature
was immediately occupied by the bourgeois; half an hour later the
Government of the Defence was proclaimed in the Hôtel de Ville.
Armed men in blouses took the place of sentries of the Guard at the
Tuileries; the tricolour still waved above the central dome of the
palace. The sympathy of us foreigners who mingled in the crowd was
with the Empress, as we expressed to each other in subdued tones,
our wonder as to the means by which her escape would be effected, or
whether she was to fall into the hands of the masses, now wild with
excitement as they yelled out “_Déchéance!_” “_Vive la Nation!_”
“_Vive la République!_” interspersed with still more threatening
ejaculations. That a Revolution had taken place, the Empire given
place to the Republic, was evident; the apparent ease with which that
great change had been effected was matter of surprise to onlookers,
and to the people by whom it was effected. In the Place de la Concorde
the sergeants de ville were roughly handled, old scores paid off, in
some few instances their lives taken; the statues of Strasbourg and
other cities were draped in crimson cloth; then came along the quays
bodies of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, not to open fire upon the
revolutionary crowds, but in progress to the outskirts of the city.

Long after the occurrence of the events just related, the circumstance
transpired that arrangements had in anticipation been made to ensure
the safety of the Empress. The passages of the palace and inner gates
were occupied and otherwise protected by a considerable force of the
Imperial Guard, so that as in their haste the crowd rushed in from the
direction of the Place de la Concorde, they were moved on and on until
they emerged from the palace into the Cour de Carrousel, where, finding
themselves so far outmanœuvred, they stood irresolute. It was then
that, taking advantage of their confusion, the escape of the Empress
was effected by the aid of Prince Metternich and Madame La Breton
Bourbaki; whether with that of M. F. de Lesseps or not seems to be

Vinoy at the head of the 13th Army Corps arrives from Mezières, his
retreat therefrom, in face of the Germans flushed by victory at Sedan,
looked upon as the most masterly performance yet achieved. His forces
occupy camp in the Avenue de la Grande Armée, and thither crowds
resort to see the men who had performed so successful a feat; the order
and regularity in all that concerns them indicating their training
and discipline in strong contrast to what was so recently experienced
in the Champ de Mars. But chiefly was attention directed to certain
mysterious objects carefully concealed by canvas coverings, but with an
outline like that of artillery guns. These were _mitrailleuses_, from
which great results were anticipated.

To walls of houses and enclosures were affixed announcements that
the Republic had been declared, and giving the names of those who
now constituted the Provisional Government. Other notices similarly
displayed contained appeals to patriotism on the part of the National
Guards, and manhood of the capital, that they should rally to the
rescue of _La Patrie en Danger_. Troops of the line marched in various
directions, the object of the movements not apparent. Groups of men
stood at intervals along the streets, the _képi_ as yet the only item
of uniform worn by them.

The tone of the press moderated from what had lately been; it was
evident that grave events threatened, the possible nature of which
caused thinking people some anxiety. Cafés usually brilliantly lighted
and crowded with customers became less so; uniforms took the place of
civilian costume at the small tables within and without. Outside the
ramparts, houses and other buildings were in course of demolition. On
the defences the work of repair and strengthening was in progress.
Railway stations were crowded by people,--some endeavouring to get
away, together with their removable belongings; others to get all such
property inside for comparative safety.

Preparations for defence went on apace. Private carriages disappeared,
except such as were retained by special permission; public conveyances
decreased in number, the horses belonging to them being requisitioned
for public purposes. Women pedestrians were few; scarcely a man to be
seen on the streets, in shops, offices, and other establishments, but
those who wore more or less complete uniform; those on the streets
carrying rifles, side arms, or both. At night, and throughout the day,
the sound of drum and bugle was incessant; here and there varied by
the Marseillaise sung in stentorian voice. In the Place de la Concorde
successive bodies of armed men paid homage before the statue of
Strasbourg, gesticulating and vociferating as they did so, that emblem
becoming concealed under the wreaths deposited upon it. Meanwhile,
to prevent the Prussians from obtaining the game hitherto preserved
for Imperial purposes, a public battue to take place at Compiêgne was

Men, to whom in the emergency arms were issued, increased numerically
faster than did the means of providing them with uniform. Already did
the circumstance suggest itself to many that by placing in the hands
of the masses such means of offence, a source of possible danger to
public safety was thereby created. That idea was speedily fostered by
the occurrence of scenes of disorder in some localities by the men so
armed; by others no less suggestive, in which men “fraternized” with
troops of the line over absinthe in cabarets.

By the 10th of the month the Prussian forces, 300,000 strong, were at
Ligny, not more than twenty-five miles from the capital. The terms
in which by certain journals appeals were made to the invaders were
questionable in respect to dignity: on the one hand, if as “friends,”
offering friendship; on the other, if as enemies, barricades and
sewers transformed into mines to be exploded under them. M. Balbi
proposed that _portable_ fortresses, each of a strength equal to one
hundred thousand men, should be sent against them; other proposals for
annihilation of the advancing armies were submitted to the authorities,
and declared impracticable.

During next few days information as to transactions was received with
increasing vagueness, such items as seemed reliable only through
English papers, and that not for long. Some of the classes, who in more
peaceful times had willingly served in the ranks when “drawn,” now
expressed a desire to serve by substitute, if they could. Mobiles in
great number arrived in Paris from the provinces. Public announcements
declared that so great was the devotion of the people to the Defence
that the _Levée en Masse_ would leave the proportion of men at their
homes as one to twenty-eight women. According to some published
statements, the men already enrolled were more formidable in numbers
than in quality; the withdrawals from the city of those liable to
service so numerous that special measures against them were proposed
in respect to their civil rights and property. A report circulated to
the effect that cartridges and other ammunition contained in ordnance
stores had been seriously tampered with.

It is Sunday. Fashionable resorts, including the Champs Elysées
and Gardens of the Tuileries, are crowded with men and women.
Cafés partially deserted a few days ago are now crowded. Booths of
Punchinello are surrounded by knot of amused spectators, the style
and demeanour of the people generally by no means such as might be
looked for under the circumstances present and prospective. Mobiles
recently collected from the provinces rush about irregularly wherever
the crowds are thickest; their rifles at the “trail”; their bayonets
fixed,--sources of danger to everybody. Streets and roadways show signs
of neglect. News circulates that the Canal de l’Ourque and some other
conduits have been “cut” by the Germans, the fact being the first to
indicate the near approach of the enemy.

“Versailles has honourably capitulated.” Such was the next intelligence
to reach us. Confusion thereupon became general. A grand review
of forces of the Defence of Paris forthwith ordered; information
circulated by authority that the several forts beyond the line of
ramparts were fully armed and manned by sailors under command of
their own proper officers. As extemporised battalions marched towards
the general rendezvous they presented in their ranks two types of
manhood--the Parisian and the provincial: the former poor in physique,
and undisciplined; the latter, strong and active, but unacquainted with
anything beyond elementary stages of military drill. A captive balloon
established on Montmartre from which to observe the movements of the
enemy. A furore of destruction suddenly set in, resulting in that of
bridges, houses, and everything destructible on the immediate outskirts
of the city, including a considerable strip of the Bois de Boulogne.

Stores and provisions were collected to enable Paris to withstand a
siege of two months’ duration, that being thought the limit to which
such an emergency could extend, should it happen at all. Cattle and
stock of all kinds were brought within the walls; fodder and grain for
them collected, and food of all kinds, available for human consumption,
stored; a census of “mouths” taken at the same time.

Already had evils shown themselves as a result of billeting armed men
on the people; huts were therefore prepared in the boulevards and
other open spaces for the former. Disinclination was soon apparent in
a suggestively large number of the men to occupy their proper places
on parade. From the city there was reported exodus of men whose names
were enrolled for military service. On the walls were posted codes of
instructions as to the correct manner of loading rifles. Authority
was given to the system now introduced whereby improvised battalions
of National Guards elected their own officers--a system from which
deplorable results were soon to arise.

Gates along the line of fortifications were now closed against
traffic, except to persons bearing special permits. Musters taken of
so-called “effective” combatants, prepared, according to declarations
by themselves, to defend the capital to the death, gave their number,
including all classes[278] of troops, approximately at 400,000.
Among us foreigners hints circulated that neither by Trochu nor
other superior officer were hopes of ultimate success entertained,
taking into account the kind of material so extemporised. M. Thiers
had proceeded on his mission to the Governments of Europe; hopes
accordingly entertained that intervention by England, Russia, and
Austria, singly or united, might be brought about. It was an open
secret that sympathy of the principal leaders, civil and military,
within the capital were more in favour of the past regime than of that
now entered upon, their hopes that by some means or other restoration
might be effected, a siege and probable bombardment averted. Those
hopes were soon destroyed; information circulated that the terms on
which further proceedings on the part of the Germans could be arrested,
included such items as a heavy money indemnity,[279] the retrocession
of Alsace and Lorraine, as also of half the French fleet.

In the streets and everywhere else within the city filth and otherwise
objectionable matters had accumulated to a very unpleasant degree;
means of conservancy and cleansing were deficient; the atmosphere
polluted by odours of decomposition. A separate police force to take
the place of the Gens d’Armes extinguished on the day of Revolution had
not yet been established; crimes of violence were the more remarkable
in their infrequency when that circumstance is taken into account,
together with the heterogeneous elements of which the defensive forces
were now composed.

The plot thickens; information reaches us which leaves no doubt but
that Paris is encircled by the enemy. Within the city there is general
commotion; in battalions and smaller bodies newly raised levies march
towards Vincennes; trains of ambulance carriages wend their way in the
same direction. Official notices affixed to walls direct that all men
liable to military service should report themselves within twenty-four
hours at the rendezvous of their respective corps, under penalty of
being proceeded against as deserters. In striking contrast to all this
turmoil was the sight of several elderly men and others calmly and
peacefully fishing in the Seine; their prize an occasional gudgeon two
inches long or thereabout!

At this point some representatives of Great Powers quitted the
beleaguered city with the intention of proceeding to Tours, where it
was stated another Government than that of the capital was in process
of formation. Among those who did so was the British Ambassador. The
Consul of Paris had already proceeded on leave of absence, the outcome
of the state of affairs so created being that upwards of two thousand
persons claiming the rights and privileges of British subjects were
left without official representative. Colonel Claremont, Military
Secretary, to his great credit, speedily returned within the ramparts,
and remained with the besieged until the defeat at Champigny left the
question of capitulation a matter of only a few weeks to be decided.
By no means did all the Foreign Representatives quit the capital.
Among those who remained were the Minister and Consul-General of the
United States; the Ministers of Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland,
Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Neither did the Persian Ambassador
withdraw from his official position in Paris.

The corps of Sergeants de Ville is re-introduced; itinerant musicians
parade the streets, their favourite instruments the barrel-organ,
harp, and violin; beggars become numerous and demonstrative. Parties
of Mobiles march excitedly, and in an irregular manner, in various
directions, no one knowing the why or wherefore of their movements;
some to the sound of drum and bugle, others without such instruments. A
report circulates that outside the ramparts the members of that force
fired upon each other instead of _at_ the enemy; they were said to
have arrested their commander on the plea that he held communication
with the Prussians. A tax was put upon meat and bread sold in shops;
supplies from without had all but ceased; Rentes were down to 54.15.
The general demeanour of the masses in ill accord with the conditions
in which their capital now was.

From the day on which intelligence of the great defeat at Sedan reached
Paris, a degree of enthusiasm became manifest among official classes
and private individuals, in regard to arrangements for possible sick
and wounded, which contrasted very favourably with the confusion and
indecision in military affairs already recorded. The ordinary military
hospitals under administration of the Intendance were equipped to their
utmost extent; various large buildings fitted up as _annexes_ thereto;
societies of various kinds, and pertaining to different nationalities,
established hospitals, or _ambulances sedentaires_ as such places came
to be called, at different points throughout the city; several clubs
were similarly transformed, and numerous private families made what
arrangements they could for the reception of sick or wounded men in
case of emergency. The medical faculty of the capital volunteered their
services in a body; ladies devoted themselves to “ambulance” work in
a manner and on a scale never before witnessed, while volunteers as
_brancardiers_ gave their names in numbers beyond requirements even
according to the most liberal estimates of probable casualties. Thus it
came about that provision was complete for 37,000 patients.

At a later period so numerous became the “nurses” that “to carry a
_brassard_[280] turned into a fashion; young women _played_ the nurse
with wounded soldiers as little girls play the mother with their
dolls.” Many earnest women devoted themselves to the work, but that
the remark just made was not without grounds was no less true. In some
instances the declared object with which they undertook such work was
to release men therefrom, so that they might join the active ranks in
combat, or become _ambulanciers_. In other instances it was said of
the ladies so employed that they restricted their _performances_ to
mere show, leaving all real work in the wards to men, but ready to
accept credit really due to the latter. Instances occurred of wounded
Frenchmen submitting a formal request to be moved to wards in which
their attendants should be men only. Up to a certain time a halo of
romance attached itself to the movement as a whole; latterly the
brightness of that “glory” became less dazzling.

Unfortunately some of the larger ambulance establishments drew upon
themselves suspicion; a report circulated that while above them, as
also some huts or barraques erected for similar purpose, waved the Red
Cross flag, side by side with or in close proximity to them were stores
for combatant purposes,--in at least one instance artillery ready
equipped for battle. There were cynics who said that the profusion of
Geneva flags on private houses was indicative of a desire on the part
of the inmates to claim protection under that emblem, as much as the
wish to share their rapidly diminishing quantity of food and “comforts”
with sick and wounded men. The fact that brancardiers were “neutral”
by virtue of the brassard worn by them was considered by pessimists to
account for the great popularity attached to the Corps of Ambulanciers
as compared to the fighting battalions. Nor were there wanting persons
who expressed views that the entire system of “Sociétés des Secours”
had in it the objection that by their means responsibility in respect
to the care of sick and wounded soldiers was withdrawn from Governments
concerned, and so war protracted beyond what would otherwise be



  An Alsacienne--Action at Chatillon--The dangerous classes--“_Mourir
    pour la patrie_”--Contrasted conditions--Batteries open--Theatres
    and Louvre--Food and prices--More contrasts--Action at Villejuif--
    Again the Alsacienne--Historical sieges.

Among the “ambulances” visited by me while being prepared for their
intended purpose was one in the near vicinity of the Luxembourg Palace.
A particular club was in process of transition accordingly; its
members, socially distinguished in Parisian society, had arranged among
themselves to undertake the entire management and work, professional
and otherwise, in connection therewith, the female members of their
respective families devoting themselves to the performance of such
functions as pertained more properly to them. In a spacious apartment
of that club-ambulance, a number of ladies were variously occupied in
arranging articles of bedding, night-dresses, bandages, etc. Among them
was one, an Alsacienne, young, fair, and so gentle in manner, that
as she accompanied me through the several apartments about to become
wards, I took leave to ask whether she had formed any idea as to the
nature of the duties that might fall upon her in relation to wounded
men, and, if so, whether she felt that she was physically capable of
them. “Of course,” so she said in reply, “she could not tell what those
duties might be, or if she would be able to fulfil them; but in such
circumstances as now threatened, it was the duty of every one, man and
woman alike, to do their best, and she hoped to do hers.”

In the early hours of the 19th, the French forces, some 60,000 strong,
occupying the heights of Meudon and Chatillon, were attacked, and
driven away by the Germans. It subsequently transpired that although
considerable numbers of the regular soldiers of the line stood
their ground as became them, others, including some Zouaves, fled
panic-stricken; their example was quickly followed by the Mobiles,
and so, as day advanced, great numbers of those classes were seen
in flight along the great thoroughfares of the city, a few of them
carrying their arms, but the great majority without weapons of any
kind, shouting as they fled, “_Nous sommes trahi!_” themselves
saluted by the populace with cries of “_Lâches_.”[281] The sight was
a melancholy one, its tendency to impair whatever belief existed in
regard to the successful issue of the defence now entered upon. Still
later, ambulance carriages passed along the streets, bearing their
loads of men wounded in this the first serious engagement in the near
vicinity of the capital, the siege of which begins as a result of that
action. As subsequently expressed by newspaper correspondents, there is
little doubt that had the Prussians followed up the fugitives on this
occasion they might with them have entered Paris.

In the evening of that day the sound of shots fired in the streets was
heard; report spread that two thousand of “the dangerous classes” were
abroad, a report so far confirmed that they were being marched under
escort to the gates, and so expelled, to take their chances between the
lines of besieged and besiegers. It was deemed unsafe for foreigners to
appear, lest, being taken for Prussians, they might vicariously suffer
for the success of the morning. Cafés and such places were ordered to
close early; a declaration published that persons convicted of pillage
should be held liable to death penalty. The discovery was made that
telegraphic communication with the outer world was cut off. Under all
these circumstances there existed an impression that the risks to life
had been lessened to those within the city by the repulse sustained by
our “defenders” in the morning.

On September 21 was celebrated in Paris the outbreak in 1792 of the
Republic, and massacre of French nobles. Placards declared that the
successors of men of that day will prove themselves worthy of their
ancestors; other _affiches_ expressed determination to resist to the
death, to accept no armistice, to yield neither a stone of a fortress
nor an inch of territory. In the Place de la Concorde a battalion of
the Garde Nationale presented arms to the statue of Strasbourg, sang
in chorus the Marseillaise, decorated the emblem itself with floral
wreaths; having done so, they marched away! Soon there came a body of
“patriots”; their task to drape the figures of Marseilles and Lyons in
red, in token of the Republic declared at both those places. Along the
Rue Rivoli came a battalion of newly-enrolled citizen soldiers, their
destination said to be the front. At the head of the column marched
in gorgeous and picturesque costume a cantinière. The men’s rifles
were decorated with evergreens; accompanying them were their wives and
children, all in tears; the brave men loudly singing, “_Mourir pour la
patrie_.” As they reached the Rue Royale an affecting and sad parting
was witnessed; the column resumed its march, but now in silence; but,
as subsequently transpired, not to come in conflict with the enemy.

A strange contrast between conditions was now observable. Considerable
numbers of the fugitives from Chatillon were marched along some
thoroughfares, their coats turned outside in, their hands tied behind
them, the word “_Lâche_” placarded on their backs. Masses of men,
including old and young, the strong, decrepid and malformed, gathered
in front of the Hôtel de Ville, and along the boulevards extending
thence to the Place de la Bastille. After a time the crowds dispersed,
but the reason alike of their gathering and of their dispersion did
not then transpire.[282] Meanwhile, the aspect of the boulevards was
bright and gay with women fashionably dressed, and men in uniform; the
cafés crowded, their inmates laughing and joyous. At the kiosks people
eagerly purchased papers of the day, and laughed at the caricatures
of Germans, executed in even worse style, if that were possible,
than anything previously seen. In the Champs Elysées goat carriages
and merry-go-rounds, Mobiles playing games of sorts, nursery maids
neglecting their charges, men squabbling, songs, patriotic and ribald,
half-drunken men everywhere.

Events developed rapidly. The sound of heavy guns at different points
around the outskirts told its own tale. The heaviest firing came from
the direction of Meudon. Crowds of people gathered at the Trocadero,
and there watched for explosions of Prussian shells as they burst
in mid air or crashed through the leafy woods adjoining the Seine,
though at some distance from the city. A balloon dispatched from
within glided westward at an elevation beyond the reach of Prussian
fire; the balloon, as we subsequently learned, being guided by M.
Nadar, who, while passing over their camp, dropped showers of his own
advertisements among them.

Now the theatres were in some instances turned to another purpose than
that of mere amusement; they were transformed into ambulances, the male
portion of the usual performers taking their places in the fighting
ranks, the ladies adopting the brassard as nurses. Another significant
incident was the barricading of doors and windows of the Louvre Museum,
a number of water reservoirs being prepared near it, in case of fire,
and with evident regard to possible bombardment.

The inhabitants of villages within the line of investment were
admitted inside the ramparts; there they became established as so many
communities, each under its own administration. Conditions, present
and prospective, pointed to the necessity of systematising the issue
of food stores; meat was unobtainable at butchers’ establishments and
restaurants. A register was established on which was inscribed the
names and residence of persons authorized to remain within the walls,
these numbering two millions, exclusive of _bouches inutiles_ already

From academies and medical schools students enrolled themselves as
artillerymen and ambulanciers. So popular was the last-named corps
that many fictitious “members” were soon arrested for bearing its
brassard. In some instances it was said of citizen “soldiers” that they
showed small desire to take post in advanced positions; in a few, that
Gardes Nationaux and Mobiles objected to proceed beyond the barriers.
While on the one hand certain enthusiasts endeavoured to set on foot a
League of Peace, others proposed schemes of mutual assurance against
casualties incidental to a state of siege. Still went on the work of
destroying emblems and changing the names of streets associated with
that of Napoleon. A proposal was made to strip from the column in the
Place Vendome the historical scenes on its metal casing, and utilise
the bronze for purposes of defence. Wives of workmen on barricades
and other defences might be seen carrying the implements of their
husbands, while the latter lounged about unencumbered, and in all
respects unlike earnest _ouvriers_. In the long hours of inactivity
that intervened between short periods of indifferent work, tongues
and idle hands became in their respective ways so demonstrative that,
as a counterpoise, a series of cheap performances “for the benefit of
the masses” was organized. In the pages of _Le Combat_ was a proposal
that a subscription list should be opened, with a view to present a
_fusil d’honneur_ to the man who should shoot the King of Prussia, the
subscriptions to be limited to five sous per person. Prussian helmets
were offered for sale in such numbers that people asked each other how
far off was their place of manufacture.

Ten days elapsed since the Prussians gained their position on the
heights of Chatillon. Meanwhile it would seem that beyond slight
combats nothing of importance occurred between besieged and besiegers.
Rumour ran that “the people”--within Paris--demanded to be led against
the enemy by whom their city was surrounded, while the daily journals
advocated such a demonstration, if for no other object than to quiet
such of the disaffected as declaimed against the past inaction. On
September 30 a combined force of the line, artillery, cavalry,
National Guards and Mobiles, said to number in all 10,000 men, attacked
the Prussians at Villejuif, where at first they were successful.
At another point, however,--namely, Choisy-le-Roi,--the result of
the incautious rush made by them was unfortunate to themselves;
they sustained heavy loss in killed and wounded,--General Guilhém
being among the former,--and were constrained to withdraw behind the
adjoining forts.

During the interval between those actions I visited several ambulances,
containing considerable numbers of wounded, and now much added to by
those from the sortie just mentioned. Among those visited was the one
near the Luxembourg Palace already noticed. But the Alsacienne was
no longer there. On the fatal day of Chatillon, among the wounded
carried thither from the field was an officer whose injury was of the
gravest nature. To him was assigned an apartment; he was placed under
sole charge of the young nurse, whose first patient he thus became.
Night closed in; the surgeons attended to his injuries; then patient
and “nurse” were left together. With return of daylight came the
morning visit. On the bed lay stiff and cold what had been the wounded
man; kneeling beside the bed, her face buried in the sheets, herself
in a state of catalepsy, was the nurse, her condition so sad and
extreme that she was straightway taken to her friends, with whom, as
subsequently transpired, she long remained an invalid.

All of us recognised the fact that the attendant conditions of a siege
were upon us, that with regard to their future course everything was
uncertain. Under such circumstances we read with interest a resumé
of the history of past sieges of Paris, published apparently for our
encouragement in one of the morning journals.[283] It appears that
Paris has undergone seven different sieges; namely, in A.D. 856-7, by
the Normans, for thirteen months, at which date its population numbered
60,000 persons; on that occasion, though the besiegers committed great
destruction in its immediate environs, they were ultimately obliged to
withdraw. In 970, the Emperor Otho II., with 60,000 troops, appeared
before its walls; but he was routed by King Lothaire, and pursued as
far as Soissons. In 1359 Charles of Navarre blockaded the city, and
tried to reduce it by famine; the population suffered intensely, but in
the end, Charles, learning of the approach of relieving armies, raised
the siege, and with his forces withdrew. In November of the same year,
Edward III. of England invaded France with 100,000 men, and marched
on Paris the following spring. At that time Paris contained 200,000
inhabitants. During the siege, which lasted three months, they suffered
the horrors of famine, but the troops of Edward, having devastated all
the surrounding country, became themselves short of provisions, and
were consequently compelled to withdraw. A century later, the English,
under Edward IV., who became possessed of the city, were attacked by
Charles VII., whom they had before driven to Bourges, and Joan of
Arc was wounded at the head of a storming party. Finally the French
were repulsed. For seven years Paris was “between the hammer and the
anvil,” till at last the citizens revolted against the exactions of
the English, and let the French into the place. In 1589, at which time
Henry IV. laid claim to the throne of France, the king’s army attacked
the Faubourg St. Germain; after which the siege was raised for a few
months, to be renewed in 1590. On that occasion the siege lasted
eighty-five days; namely, from May 30 to August 23. The populace were
reduced to such straits that animals of all kinds, clean and unclean,
were slaughtered; soldiers chased children, and put them to death as
food; bones were dug up and prepared as _patés_; an instance related
of a woman who devoured some of the flesh of her own offspring, and
shortly afterwards died mad--and no wonder. At the end of that time the
approach of the Duke of Parma forced Henry to raise the siege. In 1814
and in 1815 the city capitulated without a battle. The seventh siege is
now in progress. It is for us to fulfil our destiny to the best of our



  Ceinture Railway--Advanced post--First Prussian--St. Cloud
    Palace--Historical associations--Signs of the times--Balloon
    and pigeon post--_Le don Anglais_--British Charitable Fund--Two
    emergencies--Defences and workmen--Superior officers--Other
    officers--Rank and file--Federals--Extemporized “troops”--_Francs
    Tireurs_--_Amazones de la Seine_--Council of Hygiene--Sortie on
    Malmaison--The days following--Excursion to Boulogne--Stirring
    events--Minor measures--Numerous sick and wounded.

Early in October two[284] of us proceeded some way by Ceinture Railway,
the more conveniently to see conditions beyond the walls. The Bois de
Boulogne was sadly transformed in aspect; trees recklessly cut down,
flower beds destroyed, troops already established in camps, others
preparing for themselves bowers of branches, while from Mont Valérien
the frequent recurring boom of heavy guns told of missiles directed
therefrom upon strong positions of the enemy on the heights of Meudon.

Descending at Porte Montrouge, it was with some difficulty we
obtained permission from the Etat Major to go outside that part of
the fortifications. Proceeding along what once had been the road to
Bicètre, we came upon and passed a succession of barricades. On either
side of our route were gardens and fields now laid waste, hamlets and
villages deserted, houses dilapidated, and in many instances destroyed,
the better to clear the way for artillery fire upon our besiegers;
at short intervals a thin layer of earth concealed a torpedo. Still
further towards the front, outlying sentries of the contending forces
exchanged stray shots with each other.

At Arcueil the Dominican College, transformed to an ambulance, was
filled with wounded men. Among them was a German soldier, he belonging
to the 23rd Infantry, the first of the enemy with whom, so far, we had
become acquainted. He was not only well cared for, but petted by those
around him, and, to judge by expression, was well contented with his
surroundings. In course of our trip we came upon various parties of
troops of the line marching to their front, for already we were within
range of the Prussian needle gun. In one of those parties was a man
upon whose knapsack was perched a cat, which clung to its position as
best it could. It was probably the creature the man loved best.

On another occasion of an excursion by the Ceinture we witnessed the
conflagration by which the palace of St. Cloud utterly perished. From
various positions artillery fire was continuous. As we watched, first a
mass of dense smoke, then of lurid flame, burst from the edifice, and
speedily the whole was in a state of ruin. Subsequently it was said
that to the French themselves was due this great mishap; whether by
intention or accident did not transpire.

Among the historical associations connected with that palace the
following may be noticed: In it on July 29, 1589, Henry III. was
murdered by the monk Jacques Clément; Henrietta of Orleans died;
Peter the Great was received by the Regency in the time of Louis XIV.
There was signed the capitulation of Paris in 1815; Queen Victoria
was received by Napoleon III. in 1855; and in 1870 the Declaration
of War against Prussia was signed. Strangely enough, the table used
on the last-named occasion was among the few articles saved from the
conflagration just witnessed.

Signs of the times multiplied apace. Sounds of firing by heavy guns
became more and more distinct and continuous, conversation turning upon
the circumstance as if it were an ordinary though interesting subject.
Precautions against _incendie_ were pressed on. Demonstrations of
various kinds took place in the different parts of the city, the people
composing them comprising numbers of those from Belleville and Mobiles
bearing arms. At most of them the Marseillaise with other _patriotic_
music mingled with denunciations against the besiegers, against whom,
however, those who most loudly denounced seemed to consider further
personal action unnecessary. Nor did the Provisional Government escape
their declamations, the expressions against it being in some instances
no less strong than those against the Prussians.

A post by balloon and the employment of carrier pigeons had been
already introduced, the first for the dispatch of communications, the
second for their conveyance to the authorities within the city. The
first so brought in was a Proclamation by Gambetta, who had by means of
aerial transit proceeded to Tours. By photography it was reduced to a
minimum size, and so attached to a pigeon; by a reverse method it was
enlarged, and so made legible. Throughout the remaining period of the
siege letters were regularly dispatched by balloon to those dear to
me; but weeks had to elapse before intimation from the outside world
was received.[285]

The arrival of Colonel Lloyd Lindsay in the middle of October as bearer
of £20,000, a donation from England to the sick and wounded in Paris,
was an important event. He entered the city in the uniform of his rank.
The spy mania was still strong; he was captured as such, and underwent
various unpleasant experiences notwithstanding the philanthropic
character of his mission. By order of General Le Flo, Minister of
War, I became a member of the Committee appointed to distribute “le
don Anglais,” and fulfilled the duty as best I could. Looking back
through the vista of many years doubts occur as to the actual amount of
good effected by that _don_. While it was in process of distribution,
jealousies were expressed among institutions[286] to which portions of
it were given, while among various classes of persons the remark was
heard, “It is all very well to send us money, but France expected aid
of another and more active kind.” Nor were the French singular in the
views expressed, if information subsequently gained is correct.

Those who, as already alluded to, claimed rights and privileges as
British subjects had to be seen to by countrymen able to afford partial
help in the circumstances of the time. Previous to the departure of
their Representative, intimation was sent to them that they also were
at liberty to quit the threatened city; but if they preferred to
remain, they did so on their individual responsibility. So stringent
were orders left with regard to the “British Charitable Fund” that help
therefrom could only be given under authority of that Representative,
and it impossible to obtain after his departure. As expressed by some
of the persons alluded to, “What could they do by quitting Paris?
All their possessions were in the city; so were their homes; if they
were to die of starvation, better do so there than away, shelterless
and wanderers among strangers and possibly enemies. Their means of
obtaining or earning income had for the time being ceased; unless
aided by compatriots, they must perish.” An extemporized Board of
Assistance[287] obtained for and distributed among them help, and to
those suffering from illness professional aid. But in all this the
official element had no part.

The current of events had made two points clear: the first that in
the annihilation of her army at Sedan, France was subjected to an
emergency not calculated upon or provided against; the second, equally
unforeseen, that a powerful army was rapidly strengthening an investing
circle around her capital. Such measures as were adopted under the
combined circumstances must needs be taken on the spur of the moment,
and from materials ready at hand, these facts to be borne in mind by
those of us who were mere lookers-on.[288]

Works of defence included the strengthening of forts and ramparts
already existing; the erection of barricades, and other operations
incidental to conditions at the time existing. Workmen unused to such
requirements had to be employed, the results being disproportion
between labourers numerically and in their performances, alike in
quantity and in quality. Much of their time was spent in trifling, in
“demonstrations,” in drinking, singing, and fighting with comrades who
had joined the ranks as “soldiers”; others of them were loud in demands
for arms, though, as subsequently shown, those given to them were
misused. The general result of these conditions was that when October
had came to an end defensive works were still incomplete.

The line of action, and of what was looked upon as inaction by some
of the higher military officers, was subject of talk and comment.
Of the Governor[289] it was said that in these respects his policy
was enigmatical; his sympathies were more with the deposed Emperor
than towards the Republic, holding communication with the Empress and
her enemies, but abandoning her in her time of greatest difficulty.
Little fitted to conduct the duties of a leader; more able to detect
administrative faults than to remedy them; vacillating in opinion;
liable to adopt the views of the latest speaker in an interview; making
promises which he left unfulfilled; substituting phrases for action;
circulars and proclamations for force of arms; his demeanour between
opposing factions so equivocal that he was doubted and mistrusted by
all. Having little confidence in the “armed men” under his command,
and in ultimate success of the defence, his object in continuing it
was that he might so “maintain the honour of France.” Disbelieving in
the continuance of the Republic, his hopes were in restoration of the
deposed Emperor: an event towards which the policy of Bazaine at Metz
was deemed likely to conduce. Towards his officers, personal feelings
rather than public considerations dictated his demeanour; thus his
supersession of Vinoy by Ducrot at Chatillon was considered to have led
to misfortune on that occasion, as ill-feeling towards Bellemere did
subsequently at Le Bourget. It was said of another general officer that
on September 4 he was in command of the line at the Corps Legislatif,
who fraternized with the National Guards, and on the 19th abandoned his
position at Chatillon, re-entering Paris with other fugitives.

That among staff and other officers were men whose reputation stood
high was acknowledged. But an impression was abroad that the former
class were so numerous that individual efficiency was thereby impaired,
while battalions suffered in consequence of their withdrawal. That
there were some who scarcely gave the impression of efficiency was
no less apparent. These were to be seen lounging about cafés and
boulevards, usually in exaggerated uniform and trappings, their hands
encased in _manchons_.[290] On the line of march towards advanced
positions, the frequency with which a few of the latter resorted to
the artistes who _acted_ as _vivandières_ was subject of not admiring
wonder to foreigners who looked on. While in actual movement the
process of electing their officers was gone through by some battalions
of “Federals.” On such occasions, political considerations seemed to
outweigh those of military efficiency. Men have been seen soliciting
votes with bottle in hand; in some instances men “elected” refused to
accept the distinction; in others, altercations were to be seen between

The rank and file of the “defenders” were more formidable in numbers
than efficiency. It was felt that in creating such a force arms of
precision were placed in the hands of men belonging to recognised
“dangerous classes,” nor was the difficulty that might possibly arise
in getting from them again those arms unperceived by responsible
authorities. Subsequent events sufficiently proved it would have been
better for Paris and for France had such a force not been organized,
had terms of peace been arranged prior to the calling together of
“Federal” elements. With the exception of relatively small numbers of
the old army and marines, the defence was to be carried out by levies,
of whom it was said that “they comprised the old and the young; the
hale and the lame, gamblers, and the disturbers of the peace.” These
elements thrown together promiscuously were formed into battalions, but
otherwise they were without cohesion or affinity.

Of the regular cavalry, the numbers available for service were small,
not exceeding some 5,000 men, and not all these were employed in
the face of the enemy. The artillery was made up in part of regular
soldiers of that branch, partly of marines, and partly of Mobiles; thus
it presented the two extremes of excellence and non-efficiency--the old
soldiers presenting the former of these characteristics, those newly
drafted into the ranks the latter. The Zouaves, of whose achievements
we were already accustomed to hear so much, and from whom so much was
expected, failed altogether to fulfil those anticipations; in some
instances showing defection and panic in the face of the enemy, in
others such feeble resistance that they came to be looked upon as
useless against trained soldiers inured to battle.

The National Guard[291] was distinct from the army proper; it had its
own laws and code of regulations. The Mobile Guard was assimilated to
the active army for purposes of pay and discipline--like the line,
organized in distinct battalions. While the German forces were at a
considerable distance from the capital, several corps of Mobiles were
brought thither from the provinces. No sooner had the Republic been
declared than several of their members were among the first of the
insurgents to force their way into the Tuileries, from which the escape
of the Empress had not yet been effected. When, immediately thereafter,
orders were issued within Paris for the enrolment of such troops, those
orders were obeyed to a partial extent only; evasions were frequent,
desertions numerous. If in their ranks there were some trustworthy
men, report stated that there was also a dangerously large proportion
of fugitives from justice, and of the criminal classes. Subsequent
experience proved that such elements were more ready to declare for
the Commune than to face the besiegers; that when led to the front
they speedily withdrew therefrom, although on such occasions their
casualties were _nil_.

To many of the extemporized troops the declaration of the Republic
was looked upon as giving them the right to trangress law and order,
to claim whatever they chose at the moment to desire, but to give
nothing in return. Fraternizing with the worst elements of Belleville
and Vilette, they early joined them in demonstrations against existing
government: and being billeted upon the civil population, evil
influences were spread from class to class, to the serious danger of
public administration.

Various corps of Francs Tireurs were extemporised. With regard to them
as a body, it has been said that for the most part the men were bad
soldiers, acting according to their individual pleasure; marauders
not only with regard to the enemy, but to the French, whom they were
supposed to assist. By the Germans they were looked upon as assassins,
and dealt with accordingly, whenever they fell into the hands of our
besiegers. It is true that among them there were good men, but so
relatively small their numbers that their influence upon the general
_morale_ was imperceptible. There was at least one corps among them
whose bearing and efficiency was unquestionable, namely, Franchetti’s
_Eclaireurs à Cheval de la Seine_; but, unfortunately for them, their
gallant commander fell in battle before the operations were nearly
over. As a body, the reputation accorded to the Francs Tireurs was that
they fled before small bodies of the Germans, by whom in consequence
they were looked upon with contempt.

A movement of very unusual kind was suggested, and although never
carried out deserves to be noticed in these reminiscences. The intended
movement was none other than a demand on the part of a number of women
that in the first place they should be granted “social solidarity,”
whatever that may mean; and in the second, should be drafted into a
series of battalions, armed and clothed suitably to their sex; that
those battalions should have the designation from one to ten of the
“Amazones de la Seine”; that they should “man” the ramparts, and so
take the places of battalions proceeding more to the front.[292]

A Council of Hygiene was early organized to take upon itself the
various duties relating to public health, that is so far as it could
be protected under the circumstances in which the city was placed. The
gradually diminishing food supplies, including milk, produced evil
effects in the aged, the very young, and the sick; ordinary diseases
incidental to the season of the year increased in prevalence, while
small-pox did so to an extent which ultimately merited the name of
a pestilence. Vaccination became compulsory, and it was a somewhat
amusing sight, even under the conditions of the time, to see whole
battalions of citizen soldiers being marched to the École de Médecine,
there to undergo that operation.

An important sortie[293] against Prussian positions on the west of
Paris took place on October 21, the first on a large scale that had
as yet been made. The several ambulances established within the city
dispatched to the field no fewer than two hundred carriages of sorts in
anticipation of a severely contested battle. Among them were eight from
the American, situated in the Avenue de l’Impératrice, the carriages
well and elegantly built, each horsed by four high-bred animals from
the stables of wealthy Americans, the _personnel_ in smart uniform,
the _matériel_ provided on a most liberal scale, the whole in a state
of completeness for its expected work. As the cavalcade stood, drawn
up in regular order, all eyes were turned towards Mont Valérien, from
which three guns fired in quick succession were to be the signal
for the general advance. About noon the appointed signal was given.
Away started, in their assigned order, the line of carriages; down
by the Avenue de la Grande Armée towards Port Maillot, they went
at rapid pace, attracting the admiration of pedestrians, many of
whom waved their hats in token thereof. Arrived at Courbevoie, the
appointed rendezvous of the ambulance services, we[294] were directed
by an Intendant to take up position on a vine-clad ridge behind Mont
Valérien, midway between Reuil and Bougeval, towards both of which
places the active forces were advancing. Two French batteries in our
immediate front opened fire upon the enemy; one of the two, consisting
of mitrailleuses--being so directed as to sweep the valley that
intervened between the ridges on which were respectively posted the
guns of besiegers and besieged. Across that valley, but partly hidden
by vine bushes, a strong infantry force of Germans was in progress
towards us, while stretching away on our right battalions were making
progress towards the enemy. The fight quickly became developed,
artillery and infantry fire from contending sides becoming increasingly
rapid and destructive. That from the batteries close to our position,
though less regular than what in actions in the Mutiny campaign we had
opportunities of observing as directed against the rebels, was so to a
degree beyond what we had been led to expect, considering the materials
of which the defending and extemporized forces were composed. The
mitrailleuses were new to us, hence their performances were observed
with all the greater interest; the general impression left upon us that
their destructiveness in the open fell short of anticipations. In our
immediate vicinity and along the line of combat, casualties became so
numerous that the best energies of our ambulanciers were fully taxed.
The approach of evening told that hostilities must soon cease. Our
carriages now filled with wounded, sixty-four in all were collected,
and so began their journey back towards Paris. It was dark when we
re-entered the gate by which a few hours earlier we had emerged; the
great thoroughfare towards the Arc de Triomphe was dimly lighted by
oil lamps, for the manufacture of gas had ceased with the expenditure
of reserve coal. From the crowds at Port Maillot came loudly expressed
inquiries for friends who perchance might be among our wounded. As we
continued our progress, people formed dense lines on either side of
the broad avenue; hats were respectfully raised; our further progress
was between rows of uncovered heads--a touching and spontaneous mark
of appreciation and deference to the Red Cross establishments of
which we were members. The results to the French of this great sortie
were unfortunate, the casualties on their side very heavy. Among the
subjects of those casualties were an ex-consul at Stettin, two popular
landscape painters, and a sculptor, all of whom fought in the ranks as
private soldiers.

The events during the next few days were in their several ways
characteristic of the time and circumstances. The press boasted that
seventy German soldiers had been captured at, and brought into the
city from, the late battle, while rumour ran that the captives were
cast into the ordinary prisons, there to associate with the criminal
population of such places. Seasonal cold was rapidly increasing in
severity; the supply of fuel giving way, the issues of food, already
under strict supervision, were still more rigidly superintended;
the quantities allowed per ration curtailed, not only in respect to
persons in health, but for the sick and wounded. The explosion of an
establishment devoted to the manufacture of Orsini bombs caused a
good deal of injury to life and property, at the same time that the
attention of the authorities was thereby drawn to the circumstance
that those implements were being prepared on an extensive scale, but
for use within the walls, rather than against the enemy still beyond
the lines of fortification. The diminishing supply of materials for
the manufacture of gunpowder directed attention to the catacombs
as a possible source whence in greater emergency saltpetre might be
obtained. Between National and Mobile Guards quarrels occurred from the
circumstance that the former were employed only on the fortifications,
while the latter were sent to the front, there to engage against the
enemy. As the readiest way of solving the difficulty it was ordered
that “the citizen soldiers should in their turn be taken beyond those
lines, in order that they might be gradually accustomed to the sight of
the enemy.”

An excursion to the village of Boulogne brought me face to face with an
incident new to me in “civilized” warfare. That small town, once the
favourite resort of visitors, was now reduced to utter dilapidation;
its ordinary occupants fled; its ruins giving shelter more or less
complete to defending troops; its streets barricaded; garden and other
walls loopholed. Through some of those loopholes sentries took aim
at isolated Germans, as the latter came into view among the woods in
which they were posted; at others, a sentry for a small “tip” handed
his rifle to a stray visitor to have a shot at _le Prusse_. It was not
long, however, before a rattle of rifle bullets on the wall put a stop
to this kind of “sport.” From Valérien and other forts heavy continuous
firing went on, their missiles directed upon particular points of the
German position, where siege batteries were in course of erection for
possible bombardment of our city; from those positions an equally
active shellfire upon French outposts went steadily on.

Among the minor events of the time, one was the addition of several
battalions of Federals to those already existing. Another, an attempt
made to suppress the extent to which cantinières had come to march at
the head of battalions. The grounds of that attempt included the fact
that in all instances such followers were young girls, many of them
little more than children, who were thus exposed to temptation while
beyond the observation and care of their parents or other guardians.

For once in a way our besiegers appear to have been taken unawares.
At Le Bourget, towards the end of October,[295] a small body was
successfully attacked by Francs Tireurs and Mobiles. But their success
was of brief duration. Report circulated that reinforcements applied
for by Bellemere were refused by Trochu, that refusal the outcome of
personal feeling. Be that as it may, an attack in force was speedily
delivered by the Germans; the position carried,[296] with great
slaughter of the occupants. There was consternation in Paris. All
through the 31st the streets were in a state of turmoil. Masses of
people, the great majority armed, marched towards the Hôtel de Ville;
that building surrounded by them; the members of the Defence made
prisoners; cries of “Vive la Commune!” interspersed with yells, and
clarion blasts everywhere; the Commune was in fact declared. But not
for long. The 106th Battalion of National Guards forced their way
through the insurgents, rescued the Government, and so saved the
capital from scenes which were to disgrace it four months later on, in
which scenes the same battalion was to play so iniquitous a part.

The extent to which sickness prevailed within the city had become
alarming. Accommodation and other necessities for the suffering were
severely taxed; for although regular combats between the opposing
forces were not frequent, the results from collisions of daily
occurrence, and of almost continuous fire from the batteries of
the enemy, were a large influx of wounded men. Funeral processions
along the cold sloppy streets were of constant occurrence. Certain
maladies, among them small-pox, prevailed to a great and fatal extent.
As if to emphasize these conditions, news circulated that Metz had
capitulated;[297] a large portion of the investing force thus set free
on its way to increase that of the besiegers around Paris. So ended the



  Le Jour des Morts--Requiem--Political excitement--Conditions
    within the city--Progress of affairs--Porte St. Denis--Intended
    sortie--Battle of Champigny--Night on the field.

Le Jour des Morts was devoted to visiting the cemetery of Père la
Chaise. That vast city of the silent was more than usually crowded with
mourners and other visitors. Recently covered graves were numerous;
around many such stood sorrowing relatives and friends, some of whom
placed thereon wreaths or other tokens of affection; around others
stood similar groups, some of whom redecorated tombs of those longer
numbered among the dead. The assembled crowds were grave and demure,
as befitted the occasion. At intervals the sound of heavy guns came
as if floating on the air. On reaching the higher ground within the
cemetery, the sharp _ping_ of German rifle shots came sharply and
often, as the missiles passed overhead or fell among us; for it seemed
as if they were directed upon the mourners by the more advanced posts
of the besiegers out of a spirit of wantonness--not unlike, it must
be confessed, that already shown by French sentries _and others_ at
Boulogne. But “it was not war” in either instance.

A requiem mass in the Madeleine for victims of the war up to that date
was a most impressive service. That beautiful church, draped in black
for the occasion, was filled to crowding by men and women, belonging to
all social grades, those of the higher classes wearing deep mourning,
all having lost members of their families on the field of battle, or
by disease which had already assumed the character of pestilence; in
near proximity to the altar sat some few mutilated men, who had so far
escaped with their lives. While the service was in progress, the rich
music of the recently erected organ, then used for the first time, was
broken in upon from time to time by the sound of heavy artillery from
the outer forts. During the address delivered by the Abbé Deguerry
the same accompaniment continued. In less than four months thereafter
the venerable and respected Abbé was numbered among the victims of the

Political excitement was rampant within the city; serious outbreak
by the inhabitants of Belleville and Vilette was dreaded; but on
the result being declared of elections rendered necessary by recent
events at the Hôtel de Ville, the disturbing elements accepted for a
time the defeat thereby given to their cause, and gradually became
less demonstrative in behaviour. But not for long. The publication
of orders for reorganization of the National Guard was immediately
followed by renewed disturbances in those localities, from neither
of which did men volunteer for the ranks in obedience to the call do
so; some battalions, already including members from those quarters,
refused to take their turn of duty on the ramparts, declaring their
intention to plunder the city if such orders were persisted in. The
difficulties of the existing Government had become very great. Public
loans for purposes of the defence were called for and subscribed.
Negotiations were carried on for an armistice, whether with or without
_ravitaillement_. These proved unsuccessful;[299] but, as events were
subsequently to show, acceptance of the terms of Bismarck, hard as they
were, would have saved much suffering and loss of human life.

Winter weather rapidly advanced; strong winds, rain, and sleet gave way
to snow and bitter frost. Clothing had to be supplemented in various
ways; skins of animals slaughtered were utilised, and articles of
various kinds “converted” in a manner heretofore unknown. Fuel had
become scarce. The public markets were bare of all things eatable;
horses and other draught animals belonging to private individuals
were requisitioned; licences issued by the municipality to official
classes and others permitted to retain and draw rations for particular
specified numbers; an embargo was placed upon the small fish already
mentioned as furnishing sport for anglers on the Seine. All persons
were placed on the universal ration scale,[300] but “the poor” had the
additional advantage of gratuitous meals provided at certain places by
mairies. The more respectable classes refused to so declare themselves;
the consequence was that little, if any, advantage in the way of free
meals reached them, whereas the disturbing elements of Belleville and
Vilette reaped the full advantages of the scheme, while the classes
alluded to became gradually reduced to direst poverty and privation.
The wounded increased rapidly in numbers; disease in ordinary forms
and as epidemics acquired alarming prevalence, various hotels and other
large buildings being taken up as additional hospitals. Some schools
and colleges still remained open; the Théâtre Française and a few
similar establishments presented the ordinary scenes of performances in
one portion of the buildings; while in others lay wounded men, sick,
dying, and dead.

From outside came evidences that our besiegers were actively at work.
Intervals between rounds of fire from Prussian guns became shorter as
time wore on. From French outposts came reports that siege batteries
were being erected, and armed with Krupp guns of large calibre, with
the evident object of bombarding the city. Additional measures were
taken to interfere with communication, such as it was, between Paris
and the provinces, even to the extent of keeping a more than usual
sharp look-out upon messenger pigeons, many of these birds having
failed to arrive. Two, if not more, of our balloons, while floating
across positions occupied by our enemies, were brought to earth by
their bullets, or otherwise fallen into their hands, their occupants
threatened with trial by Court-Martial on charges of unauthorizedly
attempting to traverse the circle of investment.

In the year 1814, and again in 1815, the allied army entered Paris
by the Porte St. Denis. The impression arose that an entrance by our
besiegers was possibly intended on the present occasion to take place
from the same direction; the defences on that side were accordingly
strengthened to so great an extent that those of us able to do so
took an opportunity of visiting them. One entire cold foggy day was
so spent by me, the Red Cross card procuring for me ready admittance,
and “circulation” everywhere. Rumour said that on some of the advanced
posts in this direction, men of the opposing forces were wont, during
the long weary hours of night, to meet in friendly intercourse and
partake of such small hospitality as they could, leaving for the morrow
their respective transition from “friends” to “enemies.” Records of
the Peninsular War relate similar stories in reference thereto.

As the end of November drew near, rumour spread that the outer gates
of the city had been closed; that a sortie on a greater scale than
any of those preceding was about to take place; that the investing
circle was to be broken, and the victorious army from Paris to march
triumphantly into the provinces. Along the thoroughfares of the city
leading eastward marched battery after battery of artillery and
battalion after battalion of infantry; the crowds cheered, general
excitement prevailed; high-sounding promises were expressed that our
isolation from the outside world was about to cease. Towards evening
orders reached those concerned that early on the morrow the attack was
to be delivered; at the same time the publication of a subsequently
much jeered at “Proclamation” by a general officer became the subject
of comment. At the early hour of one o’clock the following morning
a heavy cannonade was opened upon the positions held by the enemy
from the whole line of forts on the west and south of the city, and
continued during the succeeding hours, so heavy indeed that according
to calculation some two hundred missiles per minute were discharged
upon them, while a no less furious bombardment was opened upon our
outposts, the continuous bursting of shells in mid air of a grey foggy
morning having a most weird effect. Throughout those weary hours
equipages of all kinds to be used in the removal of wounded were being
collected and arranged by the Intendance; while on the river, rows of
_bateaux mouches_, ready prepared for similar work, were moored to
the embankment. At length morning broke, and such a morning! bitterly
cold, a dense fog hanging over us; we, several hours without shelter or
refreshment, our innate powers of maintaining animal warmth materially
reduced by privation of food. Hour after hour passed, and we were still
in our assigned positions; some few conveyances and boats took their
departure for the front, but that was all. Noon passed; afternoon
advanced. Rumour spread that the intended attack on the position at
Champigny had miscarried; that during the previous night the Marne
had come down in flood, available pontoons proved insufficient in
the emergency, the passage of the forces across the stream had to be
postponed. We knew that on the morrow the attempt would be renewed, but
all perceived that meantime preparations against that attack would be
made by those upon whom it was to be directed.

As daylight broke on November 30 heavy cannonading as on the previous
day began. Now the long line of conveyances was set in motion eastward,
along the road between Charenton and the Seine. As we neared Joinville
we met an escort party conveying to the city a considerable number
of German soldiers who had fallen into their hands. At the same time
we learned, what subsequent information confirmed, that the first
onslaught by our besieged troops was so far successful, the village
of Champigny being attacked by them; the mitrailleuse sweeping its
streets, the Wurtembergers and Saxons by whom it was occupied were
driven from it with extremely heavy loss to their numbers. During the
past night the bridge across the Marne that had suffered from the mania
of destruction already mentioned was temporarily repaired, a bridge
of boats completed, so that the troops, together with thirty-three
batteries of artillery, had crossed in the darkness and begun their
attack at an unexpectedly early hour. There was no great difficulty
connected with the transit of Red Cross conveyances. As we advanced
towards Champigny, appearances betokened continued success on the part
of the French; and although wounded men were being carried to the
rear in great numbers, the general impression was that the endeavours
of our citizen forces against their enemies were on this occasion
attended by success. Thus matters continued during the next two
hours; our establishments moving little by little onwards, following
as we then considered the victorious progress of those with whom our
sympathies naturally were. The fight now raged with great fury, its
scene covering a vast extent of ground, the ridges that stretch from
Brie to Champigny, and beyond the latter place still further to our
right, presenting an almost uninterrupted line of batteries from which
the deadly missiles fell thickly upon the troops engaged, and upon
the ground occupied by us, while from the forts in rear of us similar
showers of projectiles directed against those positions whizzed over
our heads. Now there came a pause; brancardiers carrying wounded,
and conveyances of sorts similarly laden, came from the front, and
continued their journey rearward. There is confusion. The range of some
of the enemy’s guns has changed; so has the line of fire. Shells fall
more and more near to us; Spahis gallop in an irregular way among us.
There is confusion among the ambulance conveyances; brancardiers are
unable to discover those to which they respectively belong. For the
time being means are unavailable for the removal from the field of men
who had fallen wounded. After a short time there was a rally. Again
it was evident that the French were attacking the German positions;
but ere night closed in they were everywhere repulsed. It was during
the state of confusion just described that the commander of the 4th
Zouaves, having received what proved to be his death-wound, was dropped
and so left by the men who had brought him so far from the front. A
shell had burst in their close vicinity. They abandoned the unfortunate
officer, helpless as he was, and themselves disappeared in the general
confusion. Some few of us expressed indignation in no doubtful terms.
We rallied to the aid of the dying man, to whom we gave such aid as
we were able to render.[301] A gentleman connected with one of the
Embassies who was present succeeded in finding his brougham; in it was
placed our patient, and so we started back to Paris for further help.
Having recrossed the Marne, we were driven by the road traversing the
Parc de Vincennes, and so entered the city by the Place du Trone.
Denser and more dense became the crowd as we neared the city; people
in uniform and in bourgeois dress, waggons, and troops in disorder,
all served to impede our progress. When near enough to the bulwarks
to observe what was taking place upon the slopes connected with them,
a scene of the most astounding character presented itself. Crowds of
people, male and female, were there, indulging in games as if the
occasion were a holiday; and yet within a very short distance from them
their brothers and other relations were engaged in deadly combat, torn
and mangled, in many instances, into shapeless masses of humanity.
Having entered the city, we were driven quickly to the American
ambulance, and there within a few short hours the sufferings of the
poor _Chéf de Battalion_ had ceased. He entered his rest.

Before we could regain the field of battle, darkness had set in. Firing
had much diminished, though still proceeding heavily, the flames from
guns and burning buildings around us lighting up from time to time
portions of the plain on which the events of the day had taken place.
A considerable number of Red Cross men had returned in the hope of
succouring such of the wounded as were left on the ground. Bitterly
cold was the night, as hour after hour, till well past midnight, all of
us, with lamp in hand, and in small separate bodies pursued our search,
our own frames benumbed, unsupported by sufficient food, and without
the possibility of obtaining such comfort as hot coffee or tea could
afford. While so engaged, to our surprise, there flashed over us from
the Faisanderie a beam of bright white light. For a moment it illumined
the Prussian position upon the heights of Villiers, then suddenly
ceased. A shell flew through the air. There was a loud explosion,
preceded by a blaze of flame. We were made aware that for the first
time the electric light was made use of in this way. At last, wearied,
tired, exhausted by cold, we were able in the early hours of morning to
reach our respective hotels.



  The day after battle--Disaster--Next day--Paris “dead”--Benevolence
    and clamour--Citizen soldiers--A possible significance--Spy
    mania--A duel--Sortie on Le Bourget--A lady on the field--After
    the battle--An Irishman in French Navy--Christmas--Public
    opinion--First shell in Paris.

From early morning, and all next day,[302] ambulance equipages
and men patrolled the field of battle in the performance of their
merciful work, their search for wounded made difficult by the dense
fog prevailing. Hostilities had ceased for the time, to permit of
interment of the dead, and succour to the wounded. But unhappily the
truce was taken advantage of by stragglers of many kinds, some of
whom were bent on plunder. Everywhere on and near the scene of recent
combat there was devastation; houses burnt and otherwise dilapidated;
boundary walls reduced to fragments; trees broken and torn by shot; the
ground furrowed by shells. Bivouacking in the open, or in small groups
taking advantage of such shelter as remained against the bitterly cold
wind, were soldiers, who, after the fight of yesterday, so spent the
night where they had fought; more than half benumbed by cold, they
kept up camp fires by means of fragments of furniture, some of great
value, taken from neighbouring ruins. Their cooking utensils were
supplied for the occasion by _viande_ freshly cut from horses killed
by Prussian shells. The carriages were soon filled with wounded. They
were driven back to Paris, their loads appropriately disposed of;
after which a second trip was made to the field, the carriages again
filled, the wounded in them similarly distributed, the horses getting
over more than thirty-six miles in the double journey. Rumours spread
that in some few instances the rôle of the Red Cross had been departed
from; intrenching tools conveyed in carriages bearing that emblem;
information interchanged between contending forces, communication of
which was beyond its proper sphere. The rumours applied to the one side
as to the other.

Throughout the dreary night that followed, the French troops had to
remain in bivouac among the scenes and wreck of battle, their physical
strength, already lowered by privation, still further reduced by
fatigue and cold, for the weather was now bitterly cold; their _morale_
impaired by the scenes around them, added to the experiences of the
previous day. As subsequently learned, conditions of the German troops
were very different. All who had survived on the 30th were withdrawn
from the field of battle and positions near it, their places taken by
others who had not seen the carnage of that day, well fed, comfortably
sheltered, and thus, in physical condition as in _morale_, better
fitted than their opponents to renew the combat. At break of day on
December 2 a furious onslaught was made by them upon the French,
hundreds of whom were so benumbed by cold as to be unable to stand to
their arms. No wonder, therefore, that to them the day became one of
disaster. During all that day wounded in great numbers arrived from the
field in Paris, all available accommodation for them became crowded.
Eminent surgeons were busy in the performance of needful operations
among the five thousand six hundred so brought to them. As to the
dead, their probable numbers did not transpire; but at one point of
the extensive range over which the fight extended, eight hundred were
interred in one long trench. During the succeeding night the troops
recrossed the Marne and bivouacked in the Bois de Vincennes.

The most determined effort yet made to break the besieging circle
having failed, the fact was now apparent that unless aid came from the
provinces, all within the beleaguered city were about to enter upon
a condition of things more desperate than we had as yet experienced.
On the day immediately following what undoubtedly was a withdrawal
from the field of combat, the aspect of Paris and of its people was
that of sadness, mourning, and uncertainty. The day was cold, a thick
fog overhung the city, with occasional falls of snow. Along the great
thoroughfares the usual traffic was replaced to a great extent by
conveyances engaged in the transport of wounded; funeral processions,
more or less imposing in their surroundings, met with in different
parts of the city. The absence of sound of heavy guns in the early part
of the day seemed to add to the sombreness of our conditions. It was
in a manner a “relief,” as afternoon advanced, to hear the familiar
boom from outlying forts, as their guns opened fire upon the German
positions in front of them.

A week of sadness passed; Paris “dead”; its shroud a thick covering of
snow; not a wheeled carriage in the streets; scarcely a foot-passenger
to be seen. Winter more than usually severe was upon us; even the
more unsettled classes of the populace seemed to give a thought to
the seriousness of conditions present, and more particularly to those
of the near future. As time advanced, so did the prevailing miseries
among the besieged increase and assume different forms; in some
disease and death, in others starvation in respect to food and fuel,
insufficient clothing, want of necessary care and attendants among the
poorer classes, and so on. As a result of exhausted fuel supplies, the
streets were dimly lighted by oil or petroleum lamps; shops closed at
nightfall; in streets and boulevards pedestrians had to grope their
way along the distance that intervened between the flickering lamps.
Meanwhile, by day and night, with hardly an interruption, the sound of
heavy cannonading was heard with suggestive distinctness. An occasional
hope expressed that help from the provinces would soon arrive, only
to be destroyed by the receipt by pigeon post of news of defeat near
Orleans.[303] Riot and a spirit of upheaval became manifest; the places
where “demonstrations” by the dangerous classes were most pronounced,
the Halles Centrales, and others where food was issued. Within the
churches scenes of a different kind were enacted: some were nearly
filled with men, women, and youths engaged in private devotion; in
others were groups in the midst of which the Service for the Dead was
being performed over a more or less richly draped coffin, according to
the social position of him or her whose body it enclosed.

Now it was that noble efforts were made by individuals, municipalities,
and by the Assistance Publique to lessen, as far as that was possible,
some of the greatest straits prevailing among particular classes.
Large sums of money were presented to the Paris Administration for
that purpose by some wealthy residents, of whom Sir Richard Wallace
gave 80,000 francs. Places of distribution of such fuel as could be
procured, and of food to the poor, were arranged; nor was it long
before the discovery was made that the persons who obtained the lion’s
share in these respects were the most clamorous and dangerous, rather
than the most necessitous for whom those measures of philanthropy were
intended. But among all classes, notwithstanding everything possible
in the way of help, the difficulties and privations incidental to our
position increased apace.

In the ranks of the citizen “soldiers,” more especially those of
Belleville, disaffection and insubordination took various new
developments. They established among themselves a so-called Committee
of Administration, by which all orders were thenceforward to be
issued, and promotions made. They once more clamoured to be sent
to the front against the enemy; their demand was acceded to; their
conduct when face to face with their opponents so objectionable in more
respects than one that they were hastily recalled. The particular corps
most implicated were disbanded; a general reorganization, as far as
practicable, applied to the whole body of the Garde Nationale.

A possible significance in respect to other forces than those of
Paris under similar complications of circumstances attached to the
occurrences just mentioned; it was emphasized by conditions pertaining
to other classes of citizen soldiers whose reputation stood higher than
that alluded to. It was said of those enrolled under such titles as
_Amis de France_, _Francs Tireurs_, and so on, that so far from being
recognised by the Germans as soldiers, properly so called, when they
fell into the hands of the latter they were looked upon as brigands and
assassins; dealt with accordingly, that is, taken to the rear and shot.
It was said of them that “if the franc tireurs will indulge in Red
Indian warfare, they must take the consequences.”

The spy mania acquired renewed activity, experiences among us
foreigners becoming again unpleasant, though never to the extent
already mentioned. Such was the degree to which the new development
prevailed that certain aristocratic ladies who had taken upon
themselves the part of _vivandières_, in place of those to whom
allusion has already been made, were subjected to unpleasantness as a
result of suspicion that fell upon them. Houses in the windows of which
lights were detected in the course of the long nights of midwinter were
disagreeably overhauled by order of “the authorities”; those occupied
by Germans, or by French suspected of German proclivities, were in
some instances invaded by roughs, and that without interference by
the police, who were passive spectators of violence done to person or
property, or both. It was necessary for all who desired some measure of
individual safety to obtain at the office of the Governor a “_Laissez
passer_,” and to have the card so named viséd from time to time at the
same bureau.

Arising out of what seemed to us outsiders a very silly quarrel in
connection with the tittle-tattle and can-cans of a club a duel took
place, while the circumstances around us were as have just been
described. The principals and their “friends,” all French, every
endeavour made by the latter to prevent the encounter having failed,
the meeting took place in a garden within the city. The adversaries,
each with foil in hand, took their places as arranged by their
“friends,” the foils of the latter held so as to be under those of
their respective opponents, and so, ready to strike up the weapon
in case of “accident,” undue advantage, or other sufficient cause.
Stripped to the shirt, the combatants lunge, parry, and thrust at each
other in the grey mist of morning, while the sound of heavy firing
from outlying forts was borne through the air. From their persons
perspiration issues, to be converted by the cold of a December morning
into visible vapour; the shirt of one is pierced, his side grazed; the
fight lasts forty-five minutes; the bared arm of the other principal
is suddenly raised quivering in the air, blood trickles. “_Je suis
touché!_” he exclaims; the weapon falls; “honour” has been satisfied.

From forts and other positions around the city firing increases in
degree; it is continuous by day and throughout the night. Within,
there are large bodies of troops in motion to the sounds of drum and
bugle; orders issued that all gates of the fortifications shall be
closed alike to egress and ingress, these incidents being precursors of
another attempt against the enemy. Long before daybreak on December 21
the Rue Lafayette was crowded by troops and ambulance establishments
making their way to the Porte de Pantin. Soon thereafter a combined
force,[304] comprising this and other portions, took up position on
the open field, triangular in form, at the angles of which stand
respectively Aubervilliers, Le Bourget, and Drancy. On the left of
the French position the combat immediately became terrific in its
violence, the interchange of fire from guns and rifles on each side
amounting to a continuous roar and shower of missiles. Heaviest of all
was the bombardment of Bourget, then in possession of the Germans, from
the fort of Aubervilliers. After a time the marine battalion, led by
Admiral de la Roncière, made a rush, hatchets in hand, cheering as they
went, upon the village, with the result that out of six hundred men,
of whom their force consisted when their charge began, two hundred and
seventy-nine lay dead or wounded within a few minutes, the position
still retained by the enemy. At other places also the French attack
failed; a third defeat had been sustained. The intensity of cold was
the greatest hitherto experienced.

While the fight was at its hottest a lady bearing the Red Cross
brassard came upon the scene, her precise object and purpose not
apparent. Wounded men were being brought to and attended by members of
ambulance societies under circumstances to which most of us had become
accustomed. Not so the lady, to whom the scene around and its general
accompaniments proved altogether “too much”; her demeanour and style of
action showed how unsuited she was to the position into which, no one
knew how or why, she had come. She was taken in charge by a courteous
surgeon, and guided with gentle firmness to the rear, after which
ambulance work proceeded with regularity and system, as usual.

On the day following the scene presented by the battlefield was one
that fancy could have hardly pictured. The village of Drancy a mass of
ruin; fire and smoke everywhere rising therefrom; the church destroyed,
but in the midst of ruin the figure of the Madonna and Child erect upon
its pedestal and untouched. Parties of troops who had bivouacked during
the night sheltered themselves as best they could, some by pieces of
_tentes abri_, others by pieces of doors and furniture; camp fires kept
up by means of fragments of cabinets, costly furniture, and pianos.
Among the men some had possessed themselves with sheep-skins, blankets,
rugs, or carpets, with pieces of which their heads and bodies were
protected, giving to them a strange and wild appearance. Everywhere the
deeply frozen ground was torn by shells, or had in it pits formed by
the explosion of those missiles.

Accompanied by a Staff officer I visited two of the largest barracks
within the city, meeting in both of them from the soldiers through
whose rooms I passed such a display of civility and hospitality as I
had heretofore been unaccustomed to. In the Caserne de Papinière, in
accepting the cup of wine proffered by a soldier, I drank “Success
to the French army,” feeling as I did so how little likely was that
sentiment to be realized. From the further end of the room came the
inquiry, expressed in the English tongue, “How do you like our wine,
sir?” A brief talk with the speaker followed. In the course of it he
said he was by birth an Irishman; had left his wife in Dublin; had
served twenty years in the French navy; was well satisfied with that
service, in which there were a good many of his countrymen; that his
period for pension was very nearly complete; but in all that time he
had never been so near “losing his number” as “there at Bourget.”

Christmas is upon us. Weather bitterly cold; many of the troops in
bivouac suffer from frost-bite; the Seine thickly covered with ice;
fuel expended; pumping machinery, like other kinds, at a standstill,
hence water supply materially interfered with, personal ablution and
laundry work all but impossible. Marauding parties break down and rob
wood wherever they can; trees newly cut down are placed on the hearth;
they refuse to burn, but yield smoke in abundance, which irritates
and inflames the eyes. Food difficulties have increased in urgency;
the daily ration insufficient in quantity to maintain strength and
animal warmth. In the hospitals upwards of 20,000 sick and wounded;
mortality in those establishments greater than on the field of battle;
_pourriture_ among the wounded prevailing to an alarming extent.[305]
The health of besieged had become impaired by semi-starvation;
hands, feet, and ears were chapped and painful. These were among the
conditions in which our great festival was celebrated; affectionate
thoughts wafted towards those from whom no communication had reached us
since the unhappy day of Chatillon.

Public opinion manifested itself in ways opposed to religion, law,
and order. Classes of people belonging to, or of similar type to
those of Belleville and Vilette, broke into ribaldry of expression
that seemed to approach in profanity that of 1792; in that also they
were joined by some of the daily papers, the position assumed by the
Communists so violent as to menace the existence of the Provisional
Government. Meantime there was increased activity in the batteries of
the besiegers, indicating that the circle of “fire and steel” beyond
the city had narrowed; yet, with all this, the dangers, present and
prospective, were looked upon as at least equal in gravity from enemies
within as from those beyond the walls.

On the 27th of December newly unmasked batteries opened heavy fire on
Avron and other places in its vicinity; shells began to fall within the
_enceinte_ of the city, and so the long-expected bombardment began. So
heavy was the volume of fire on that position that during three days
of its continuance it was estimated that 7,000 missiles--all of large
size--fell upon it. Manfully for a time did the defenders stand their
ground; very great their losses in killed and wounded when at last they
were forced to abandon their forts on the north-eastern side, their
wounded serving to still further crowd the overcrowded ambulances. The
ultimate issue of the siege, never very doubtful to us foreigners,
had now become less so than before. Men asked each other, “How is it
that 600,000 Frenchmen permitted themselves to be blockaded by 200,000
Germans?” The mystery seemed to be solved by a writer[306] of that day,
somewhat according to this manner: “It is confessed that the Governor
(Trochu) has shown unfortunate hesitations; but to do good work the
tools must be good, and in these respects he is deficient. To fight
the Prussians we should have old soldiers, well disciplined and inured
to war, reliable and instructed officers; not young soldiers of three
months, poorly fed and sickly, and officers who have been too recently
promoted to properly understand their duties.” In gloom and sadness to
us the year 1870 ended.



  Bombardment begun--Its progress and effects--“The terrible battery
    of Meudon”--Sundry particulars--Conditions of the besieged--A
    telegram--Increasing privations--Disaffection and corruption--
    Routine of everyday life--Our food supplies--Photographic messages--
    Personal circumstances--Night march--A Proclamation--Sortie on
    Montretout and Bugeval--Defeat--The killed and wounded--Armistice
    declared--_Vive la Commune!_--General events--At our worst--
    Ambulances--Ward scenes and statistics--Unexpected recognition.

Incessant firing between the enemy’s positions and outlying forts
during the last night of 1870 and first day of 1871, increasing in
violence as the day advanced; additional batteries unmasked on the
German side, thus giving visible signs of what was to come. At 3 a.m.
on the 5th, the first shell of actual bombardment fell within the city;
then followed similar missiles in quick succession, chiefly falling
and exploding near the Panthéon, Luxembourg, and market of Montrouge.
In the course of that day a Government Proclamation was issued, the
terms of which as they are transcribed seem almost childish in their
simplicity: “The bombardment of Paris has commenced. The enemy, not
content with firing upon our forts, hurls his projectiles upon our
houses; threatens our hearths and our families. His violence will
redouble the resolution of the city, which will fight and conquer.
The defenders of the forts, exposed to incessant firing, lose nought
of their calmness, and know well how to inflict terrible reprisals
upon the assailants. The population of Paris valiantly accept this
new token. The enemy hopes to intimidate it; he will only render its
bound the more vigorous. It will show itself worthy of the Army of
the Loire, which has caused the enemy to retire; of the Army of the
North, which is marching to our relief.[307] _Vive la France!_ _Vive la

Bombardment increased in violence and rapidity during the nights and
days immediately following, the shells falling nearer and nearer to
the centre of the city. With reports of casualties among men, women,
and children, came accounts of buildings struck and penetrated by
shells, including private dwellings, hospitals, ambulances, churches,
and convents, all situated on the left side of the Seine. An exodus of
people from the places struck was a natural result. They flocked to
parts of the city situated on the right side of the river, and there,
in the face of great difficulties, were provided with accommodation;
food being obtained for them with even greater difficulty than
accommodation. Sick and wounded had similarly to be provided for;
so had the inmates of maternity establishments. Hotels, business
establishments, churches, and public buildings of all sorts were
rapidly transformed for the reception of the several classes alluded
to; private houses belonging to persons who had quitted the beleaguered
city were “requisitioned” for the same purpose, while in many instances
private families gave shelter and aid to refugees from the bombarded

Then opened upon the city what speedily became known among us as
“the terrible battery of Meudon,” on account of the great violence
of bombardment by it; the missiles therefrom committed greater havoc
than anything previously experienced, and fell nearer and nearer to
the centre of Paris as “practice” went on. Day and night continuously,
with varying intensity, but always greatest during the night, did the
bombardment continue. Answering fire from the forts around was scarcely
less actively directed upon the German positions, the incessant rolling
sound of heavy guns varied by that of exploding shells, the tremor of
houses so caused rendered the hours of darkness somewhat “hideous.”

So passed twelve days and nights. On the 17th of January there was
a slackening of fire from the forts. Rumour in different shapes
spread in regard to the cause: that to which most ready belief was
given being that ammunition had begun to fail; the meaning of such a
report significant. At this time certain published records appeared
in which statistics of casualties purported to be given; those during
the first eight days of bombardment 51 killed and 138 wounded, the
damage to buildings unexpectedly small. Some of us set to work to
calculate arithmetically our individual chances of being struck, and
so made them out to be relatively little. Those chances would no
doubt have been materially increased had the intentions assigned to
the German artillery been carried out of discharging incendiary bombs
upon Paris--an intention frustrated by order of the Emperor--for that
dignity had recently been assumed by him.[308] Fortunately for us not
more than three out of every five _obuses_ discharged upon us exploded;
whether as a result of defects in themselves or other cause did not
matter to us upon whom they were directed.

It was now that the terms of a telegram said to have been sent by
“King William to Queen Augusta” was everywhere exhibited in the great
thoroughfares. That message intimated that “the bombardment of Paris
proceeds satisfactorily, thank God.” The comments passed with reference
to it were at the time distinctly expressive, and no wonder. But now,
long years after the event, the question arises--Was such a telegram
ever sent?

Meanwhile the conditions of the besieged, as already noticed, had
increased in severity. The season of mid-winter was of unusual
inclemency; sickness and mortality by disease had acquired alarming
rates, irrespective of casualties in battle; fuel was unobtainable,
the want of it a cause of increased suffering and illness. The
best energies of arrondissements, public institutions, and private
individuals were directed to the mitigation of these and other evils
incidental to a people besieged and under bombardment; but, alas! while
the cause remained, the ordinary effects could only be averted in a
very small degree, if in any.

It was under these circumstances that a renewed spirit of disaffection
towards the existing Government broke out violently among the classes
who were the chief recipients of help in various ways specially granted
to them by that Government, even to the relative neglect of those who,
equally needy, were less clamorous. There arose dissensions among the
sectional Representatives; distrust of, and ill-feeling towards, the
foreign residents on imaginary grounds that the latter carried on a
system of communication with the besiegers. Signs of disaffection
and corruption were manifest among the citizen soldiers, those signs
giving peculiar significance to the extravagant terms in which official
orders made mention of the services performed by them; for the facts
were popularly known that an attempted sortie on the 10th miscarried
because information regarding it had reached the enemy; that a second,
planned for the 14th, had to be abandoned on account of some of those
citizen “soldiers” having failed to be in their assigned positions at
the appointed time. So far as indications pointed, revolution and civil
war were imminent, while heavy bombardment by the enemy was still in

Meanwhile the ordinary routine of everyday life went on much as if
besiegers outside and various dangerous elements within our gates were
non-existent, with the difference that to more common subjects of
talk was added _obuses_, including probable size, distance at which
from the speaker, and places of their explosion, damage to property
and life caused thereby, and so on. As time went on the bombardment
became, to some degree, a substitute for the weather as subject of
first remark between acquaintances when meeting each other for the
day; for example: “The bombardment is rather lively to-day,” or “it is
rather slow.” People met at dinner, if that term can be applied to the
fare procurable. Walking became a necessity, for the reason that the
horses of omnibuses and other public conveyances had been requisitioned
for purposes of food; hence, those of us who had duties to perform,
experienced increasing difficulties in carrying them out. But these
conditions were not altogether unrelieved by an incident having in it
much of the ludicrous. An order was published declaring that widows of
“soldiers” of the Mobile and National Guards should thenceforward be
deemed entitled to pension, the immediate result being a great outcrop
of marriage ceremonies among the classes concerned.

All ordinary supplies of _viande_ had now become expended, the small
reserve store being retained for the sick and wounded. Animals
of all kinds, excluding the carnivora,[309] were requisitioned,
their carcases exposed for sale in boucheries, but only issued to
persons provided with the required _billet de rationnement_ from the
mairie of his arrondissement. Supplies of grain were in like manner
“requisitioned” and issued under authority; armed sentries guarded
retail establishments, their services on various occasions required
against rioters, as already alluded to, from Belleville and Vilette. In
the southern parts of the city long queues of women were to be seen,
each individual waiting her turn to receive her “ration”; not a few of
the elderly and weak among them falling where they had stood, exhausted
as their physical powers were from cold and insufficient food. In some
localities, more especially near the Luxembourg, casualties among them
occurred by the explosion of Prussian shells. The daily “ration” for
which they scrambled consisted latterly of about ten ounces of bread,
one ounce of horseflesh, and a quarter litre of _vin ordinare_. The
bread contained 1/8 flour, 4/8 _fecula_ of potatoes, rice, peas and
lentils, 1/8 of ground straw, the remaining fraction made up of water
and “sundry” materials. Women of all social classes aided the _real_
poor in every possible way, and in other respects maintained the
reputation of their sex in times of danger and difficulty.

An improved and ingenious method by which news from the outer world
could be brought within access to the ordinary people within the
city was now introduced, through the instrumentality, it was said,
of the _Times_. A series of advertisements addressed to individuals
appeared in that journal; these having been reduced at Tours to
minimum dimensions by photography, the sheet containing them was
thence transmitted by pigeon-post. On arrival within Paris the whole
was enlarged by means of the camera, after which the messages were
copied and dispatched to their several addresses. In this way a message
reached me from my beloved wife--the first I had received for upwards
of four months--it was, “Your family are well; most anxious about you.”
I fully appreciated the significance of these few words.

In respect to privations and risks, my individual experiences were
neither more nor less than those to which many others within the
bombarded city had perforce to submit. My stock of cash had become
exhausted; to all intents and purposes I was a pauper, only able to
obtain the requirements of life by giving to the _maitre d’hôtel_
in which I resided written authority to my London agents, that in
the event of my death they should pay all his claims upon me. I
subsequently learned that, in response to my urgent requests sent
_par ballon monté_, my wife had vainly endeavoured to have money
transmitted to me, until, having applied to the American Embassy in
London, a remittance was at once sent through that channel; in due time
received by me from Mr. Washbourne, and so my pecuniary obligations
discharged. As pressure in respect to food increased, I fear that on
some few occasions I partook of _bifteck de cheval_, and once,--only
once,--of _paté de chien_; but against both of these appetite rebelled,
and latterly I had to put up with the one salt herring with which I
was supplied as “meat rations” for three days. Prior to the complete
investment of the city, I had procured and hidden away such small
supplies as I could lay hands on, of anchovies, mushrooms, sailors’
biscuits, and oatmeal; the quantities of each were small, but such as
they were, they served their purpose.

All through the night of the 18th, large bodies of troops marched
silently towards positions previously assigned to them with reference
to coming events. The night was unusually dark; the streets presented
only glimering lamp-lights at distant intervals; the city enshrouded in
dense mist; beyond the gates the ground saturated with rain, the roads
by which the forces had to proceed encumbered with guns, waggons, and
other obstructive objects.

Daylight revealed to “all concerned” the Proclamation as follows, not
only published in the journals, but affixed to walls in various places,
namely: “Citizens, the enemy kills our wives and children, bombards us
night and day, covers with shells our hospitals. One cry, ‘To Arms!’
has burst from every breast. Those who can shed their life’s blood on
the field of battle will march against the enemy; those who remain,
jealous of the honour of their brothers, will, if required, suffer
with calm endurance every sacrifice, as their proof of their devotion
to their country. Suffer and die if necessary, but conquer! _Vive la

Three _Corps d’Armée_, comprising more than one hundred thousand men,
under the commands of Ducrot, Vinoy, and Bellemere, had taken, or were
in progress of taking up positions under cover of Mont Valérien against
the Prussian lines between Montretout and Bugeval, the prevailing fog
so dense that assigned routes could not be maintained; several hours
were thus lost. The French troops were consequently worn out with
fatigue; portions of them had not arrived in position, among others
considerable bodies of artillery, so that when about 9 a.m. the fight
began, they had not been consolidated. On the other hand, the larger
forces against whom they were led were unfatigued by night march and
other difficulties; they had passed the night in relative quiet, had
good and ample rations, and were in full physical strength. With all
these disadvantages the first onslaught against the enemy’s positions
at Montretout and Fouilleuse was successful. Thence, toward the French
right, the combat quickly developed in fury; no fewer than five hundred
cannon, including both sides, were estimated as engaged in their deadly
work, excluding those of Mont Valérien, missiles from which whizzed
above our heads in their flight towards the German lines. On our side,
shells from the latter fell as it were from the zenith among the masses
of advancing infantry, making great gaps, as each successive cloud of
débris from their explosions cleared away. From Fouilleuse we were able
to see the terrible violence with which the fight now raged. There the
Société Internationale des Secours aux Blessés established a field
ambulance; many wounded received first aid, and thence were dispatched
to “fixed” establishments within the city. To reinforce the troops
engaged, whose losses were already very great, large bodies of men from
those in reserve marched laboriously towards the front. The ground was
soaked by rain, their progress slow and difficult, themselves weary,
fatigued, and physically weak. In their advance they came upon many
carcases of horses killed by German shells, some of the men falling
out of their ranks to cut from them slices of bleeding flesh; having
secured them on their backs, they resumed their places, and so onward
towards the enemy. Meanwhile, a horrible scene was taking place in
close proximity to the place where, mounted, I stood with a group of
Staff officers. A private of the 119th regiment of the line shot the
captain of his company while their battalion was advancing, and torn by
vertical fire as already mentioned. Ducrot ordered the man to be put
to death on the spot. A party of his own regiment was at once detailed
for the purpose; by it he was taken aside--not more than a few feet
from the left of the advancing column; he was seen to fall. A party of
brancardiers approached; they were warned off; one of the execution
party levelled his rifle and fired at him as he lay struggling on the
ground; then another; then a third, and now the unhappy man lies still
in death. We speculated among ourselves as to the circumstances that
may have led him to commit the crime so expiated.

As day advanced the thick mist of morning cleared away, revealing the
progress of battle and extent of field on which it raged. That the
French were more exposed than were the enemy was at once apparent;
yet, though suffering greatly by shot and shell from unseen batteries,
they stood their ground with obstinacy, inured as they had now become
to combat by their four months of experience. Later on, however,
hesitation is shown in their ranks; stragglers drop away; needlessly
large numbers[310] accompany to the rear their wounded comrades;
unsteadiness affects battalions; and now the sad spectacle is seen
Of one such body in flight down the declivity adjoining Montretout.
Officers make frantic efforts to rally their men; daylight fades in
gloom; soon night closes in, mist again covers the scene; firing from
both sides have ceased; all around is dark and silent.

In the darkness for hours did the ambulance men of various societies
traverse the field in pursuance of their work. As conveyances were in
progress towards the general rendezvous, confusion and crush increased,
as a combined result of darkness and an absence of regular roadways;
progress consequently so retarded that night was far advanced when we
reached the rampart gates, our conveyances _complet_ with wounded men.
As on the first occasion, roadsides and avenues within Port Maillot
were crowded with people. Loud and anxious inquiries for relatives
and friends who had taken part in the recent battle were frequent;
frivolity in abeyance, as if experience had impressed upon them the
significance of combat against our besiegers. That the result of the
day had been disastrous to the French was speedily realized. Next day
the casualties among the forces engaged were estimated at 1000 killed,
the greater number by artillery fire; the wounded as “very many.”

Meanwhile the work of bombarding Paris, scarcely if at all interfered
with by the incident of severe conflict just narrated, was increased
rather than diminished in its intensity; new batteries opened upon
the city, with _acharnement_, shells falling upon places hitherto
untouched. St. Denis was assailed, and underwent greater destruction
in respect to property and life than had been sustained by the
capital itself. A rush of people from that suburb took place, causing
serious inconvenience to those whose duty it was to provide them
with accommodation and food. All hopes of deliverance had become
extinguished; negotiations were accordingly opened with the German
Chancellor in view to an armistice being arranged. While they were
in progress, bombardment continued with its usual violence. Early in
the night of the 26th there was a sudden lull; a few minutes before
midnight there was discharged upon us a volley from all points of the
circle, such as we had never previously experienced; then followed
stillness. Bombardment had ceased; we knew that the Convention had
been signed. For 130 days Paris had been besieged; during thirty, the
advanced forts had been bombarded; during twenty-one, the city.[311]

Demonstrations by “the dangerous classes” of Belleville and Vilette
took place; their plea, the terms on which the armistice had been
concluded. The Hôtel de Ville was menaced by crowds of excited men,
gesticulating wildly as they shouted, “_Vive la Commune_!” They
are dispersed by force of arms; several of their numbers killed,
many more wounded. There is a flight towards the Mazas prison; an
entrance thereto is effected, some of the more noted of its inmates
released. A rush is made upon the small remaining food stores of their
arrondissements; they are broken into, their contents distributed among
the assailants. After a time these disturbances are suppressed. Trochu
has resigned his command; Vinoy is his successor.

When on January 27, 1871, the morning papers published the terms of
amnesty, the fact was one of common knowledge that the stock of food
remaining was not equal to more than six or seven days’ “rations,” even
according to the reduced scale to which the besieged were at the time
brought down; in fact, all were now at starvation point as a result
of gradually diminishing allowances of food. Next day the Germans
occupied Mont Valérien as the French troops marched out of it. Some
hours later appeared a proclamation by the Government of the Defence
announcing that “the Convention which terminates the resistance of
Paris will be signed in a few hours”; that “we could not have prolonged
the resistance without condemning to certain death two millions of
men, women, and children. Mortality has increased threefold.” “We come
out with all our honour,” the same document said, “and with all our
hopes, in spite of our present grief.” In accordance with the terms
agreed upon, the process began of disarming the citizen soldiers, of
whom groups along the thoroughfares showed by their gloomy style and
demeanour those pent-up feelings of disaffection which were soon to
break out in the horrors of the Commune.

The conditions to which Paris and its people had been reduced were
urgent. Severe cold, absolute want of fuel, the insufficient scale of
food to which all were officially limited, prevailing sickness and
mortality by disease, added to the recurring influx of wounded as
a result of desultory conflicts beyond the line of fortifications,
combined to render further resistance impossible.

All establishments set apart for the reception of wounded were
overcrowded. Not alone food, but appliances were insufficient in
quantity and kind. In many instances private families had received
wounded into their houses, and so crippled their own resources. The
result of the recent sortie and action at Montretout was an accession
to the numbers requiring care and accommodation of three to five
thousand, for actual statistics were unobtainable; professional and
other attendants were insufficient to meet the demands on their
services; while, as if still further to complicate matters, the Germans
sent several hundred wounded French into the city, and so lightened the
work of their own establishments.

In some ambulances such scenes were to be seen as French and German
wounded occupying adjoining beds; no longer “enemies,” but helpless;
unable to communicate with each other; many destined to quit the place
in death, for hospital diseases setting at defiance disinfection
and all other supposed preventive measures proved fatal to a large
proportion of patients within those establishments. A heavy offensive
odour, that of _pourriture_, pervades wards and corridors of the
buildings, extending to the streets or boulevards immediately
adjoining. In the mortuary of a large hospital the scene presented was
too horrible for detailed description.

The defence now ended had been carried on at a cost in human life in
respect to which reliable statistics were unobtainable. According to
one account, deaths on the field of battle and in ambulances amounted
among troops of the line and Mobiles to 50,000; to another to 63,000;
to a third to 73,000; neither estimate taking into account mortality
by disease and privation among the non-military inhabitants. On the
capitulation of Paris the troops who became prisoners of war numbered
about 180,000; the fortress guns “captured” by the enemy 1,500 field
pieces and 400 mitrailleuses; in addition the gunboats on the Seine,
locomotives, and rolling stock.

While making my round among the ambulances, I was somewhat surprised to
hear myself accosted by name by a wounded man who occupied one of the
beds past which I was moving. At once I entered into conversation with
him, naturally enough expressing sympathy for him. He briefly informed
me that he was in the 101st (British) Regiment, and landed with that
corps at Gosport on the occasion of its first arrival in England from
India; that he remembered me on duty there; that having left the
regiment he joined the Francs Tireurs of Paris at the beginning of
the siege; that fifty per cent. of his comrades had perished by shot,
disease, or at the hands of the Germans, into which they may have
fallen as prisoners; that he himself had not slept in a bed for three
months until brought to the ambulance wounded. He was but one example
of the material of which such volunteers were composed, and a similar
story to his could doubtless be told by many others.

Under the circumstances to which we were now reduced, welcome was
the news that supplies of food sent to the besieged from England and
elsewhere had arrived in proximity of the outskirts; credit must
be accorded to the supreme officers of the investing force for the
rapidity with which those supplies were forwarded to the now starving
people within, so that on the last day of January many waggon loads
were received, and forthwith distributed. On that day also postal
communication with the outer world was re-established, though with the
proviso that letters dispatched should be unsealed.



  Food in abundance--Theatrical parody--Contrasted conditions--
    Preparations for German entry--Causes assigned for defeat--
    Citizen and regular soldiers--Distributing food.

Renewed disturbances inaugurated the month of February. The central
market, in which were the food stores arriving from without, was again
attacked and pillaged; nor were the rioters dispersed until a strong
military force arrived on the spot. Further supplies came pouring into
the city, until within a few days there was abundance everywhere; all
restrictions on sale removed; restaurants recovered much of their
ordinary aspect. From London came large quantities of food, and of
appliances for wounded; a donation from the city to the Municipality
of Paris. The whole of those supplies, in accordance with such terms,
were divided among the twenty arrondissements of Paris, with the result
that a large share fell to the dangerous classes so often alluded to;
comparatively little to the professional and other respectable classes
who all through the times of greatest trial had borne their privations
in silence. Within a few days thereafter, so profuse had been the
supplies issued that large quantities, exposed for sale in shops,
could be purchased at less than their ordinary retail price. But money
wherewith to make purchases had not yet come into the hands of those
most in want.

The urgency of conditions among the “better” classes alluded to was
known to those of us who had passed through the difficulties of the
siege now at an end; proffered suggestions in regard to issuing food
and other requirement to them were ignored by those in charge. Thus
came about the undesirable state of things that the disaffected and
dangerous among the population had more than they could make use of;
the orderly and reputable obtained little, if anything, to relieve
their necessities. An Englishman applied at the mairie of the 9th
Arrondissement for help in food from the _don anglais_ received. He
was asked, “Are you really much in want to-day?” “Very much,” was his
reply, “or else I should not have wasted the day by coming here.” So
they gave him a halfpenny biscuit, a square inch of cheese, and three
lumps of sugar, but not until he had been kept waiting several hours!
That is but one illustration.

While on the one side the scenes just mentioned were in progress as an
outcome of well-meant liberality on the part of our own country, others
were to be seen, the style of which presented to us foreigners a phase
of Parisian characteristics altogether new. In a theatre close to the
Porte St. Martin, the privations and various other painful incidents of
the siege were parodied much to the apparent amusement of the crowded
house. Comment on the “performances” in question is best omitted.

Fugitives who had abandoned their houses while investment of the city
was incomplete returned in daily increasing numbers, to find for the
most part that stores of food and wine they had left behind were
non-existent, they having been taken possession of meanwhile. Railway
passenger traffic was resumed; on the Seine the _bateaux mouches_
conveyed crowds of sightseers to the various river stations, near which
the most interesting relics of the siege might be seen, including
dismantled forts, dilapidated houses, devastated grounds, and burial
places of victims of the war. For the payment of the indemnity to the
Germans in accordance with terms of Convention it became necessary to
raise a special loan. No sooner were the terms[312] of that Convention
published than the people took it up with enthusiasm; from morning till
night queues of intending subscribers,[313] from sums of a few francs
to thousands, occupied the pavements in the vicinity of the offices
where their contributions were to be received. Nothing could better
indicate the frugality of the Parisian masses in respect to available
money than the fact that a sufficient sum was thus quickly and readily
obtained to enable the municipality to pay to the German authorities at
Versailles the first moiety--namely, one hundred millions of francs--of
that indemnity. Return to the ordinary conditions of the capital went
on; shops were re-opened; the windows made gay with merchandise;
gas re-lighted in the thoroughfares at night. Supplies of provisions
and of money in large sums, sent from various sources, continued to
arrive, one noteworthy contribution of the latter kind being 112,000
francs from Mexico. The process of disarming the troops was still in
progress, until the numbers should be reached in accordance with the
preliminaries already determined. The Government of the Defence gave
place to the National Assembly. The armistice was extended, first from
the 19th to 24th of February, then from the latter date to March 12,
the Treaty of Peace being signed on 26th of that first named. Part
of that Convention was that German troops should enter Paris, and
occupy part of the capital until the ratification of the Treaty by the
Assembly. Great excitement and threatened outbreak among the lower
orders was the immediate result, while the papers of the day fanned
rather than moderated popular ill-feeling by rhodomontade and calumnies
in their columns.

Preparatory to the entrance of the German forces, it was determined
that those of Paris should occupy quarters for the time being on the
left side of the Seine; that the duty of maintaining order should be
confided to the Garde Nationale. The citizen soldiers “magnanimously”
offered to take charge of the artillery guns, for the removal of which
horses were non-existent; the whole were collected and “parked” in the
Parc de Monceau, though at the time questions arose as to the means
by which they were again to be got from the hands of those to whom
they had so fallen. Signs of probable disturbance multiplied apace;
barricades were erected in some of the principal thoroughfares; fights
occurred between the most violent elements of the populace and the
Garde Nationale, with the result that some of the guns were taken
possession of by the former.

Brought in contact with representatives of various classes of society,
political and religious opinion, opportunity was afforded me to note
the views expressed by them respectively as to the causes to which the
present humiliation of Paris and of France was considered to be due. It
was my custom to record the several opinions expressed in conversation
as soon as I had an opportunity of doing so. I reproduce them as
follows, rather than in a classified order, namely:--

1. The empire was looked upon as “expended.”

2. The manhood of Paris and of France had become degenerated in
physique; the sick and the relatively weak having been alone left after
the wars of the 1st Napoleon to propagate their kind.

3. The study of the military sciences had been neglected; officers
underwent examination rather for the purpose of obtaining appointments
than to attain proficiency in knowledge of their profession.

4. Defects in administration by the Intendance, and general
obstructiveness in that branch of the service.

5. Over-centralization, so that when emergency of war occurred, no
corps was complete in itself; _materiel_ had to be obtained from Paris,
means of transport and roads being at once blocked in consequence.

6. The soldiers being allowed to give their votes at elections, their
sympathies were diverted to their political parties rather than with
their military commanders.

7. Want of mutual confidence between officers from the highest to
the lowest rank; between officers and their men, and between the men
themselves.[314] In fact, general mistrust prevails where confidence
should exist.

8. The officers to a great extent being members of the same class of
society to which the rank and file belong, there is an absence of that
deference towards them by the latter, such as is considered essential
to the maintenance of the highest order of discipline. From this and
other circumstances there was said to exist a deplorable state of
indiscipline, of which indeed some striking illustrations occurred
during the siege.

9. Laxity of discipline among the higher officers, due to the
(assigned) circumstance that the deposed Emperor manifested hesitancy
and uncertainty with regard to punishments for shortcomings and
offences on their part.

10. A spirit of impatience of control and of opposition against
authority, fostered by the conditions of social life in France,
including the absence of domesticity, and, as a consequence, of lively
affection between parents and children, and among children themselves,
many of whom spend their early years among strangers.

11. The expenses connected with the unfortunate expedition to Mexico
had so far exceeded the estimate, that the Emperor “feared” to make
public the whole of the circumstances connected therewith; hence it
was considered necessary to divert to their liquidation money obtained
nominally for current military purposes. Thus it was asserted the
actual condition of military establishments differed from that
represented on paper.

12. A general lowering of the moral sense, of which the religious
sentiment is the first great principle.

To this somewhat imposing list I append the subjoined, which was
subsequently collated while perusing various works relative to the
Franco-Prussian war, namely:--

(_a_) Absolute unpreparedness of a war, which was begun “with frivolity
without parallel.”

(_b_) General maladministration.

(_c_) Antagonism between the Paris and Provincial Governments.

(_d_) Misrepresentations of actual conditions contained in official
Proclamations and in organs of the Press.

(_e_) Political divisions and sub-divisions among the people, whether
official or non-official.

(_f_) Antagonism of interests and personal considerations among the
higher administrators and commanders.

(_g_) Disturbances fomented and brought about by agitators.

(_h_) The inferior military qualities of a large portion of the

(_i_) Social immorality. For a long time past piety and moral
earnestness have been much shaken in French society; the cancer of
frivolity and immorality has eaten into the heart of the people.

That several of the defects above enumerated are real is beyond all
question, even when allowance is made for those which are perhaps more
theoretical than actual. Some had special reference to the episode of
the war from which France was about to emerge heavily crippled; others
have a prospective significance; nor is it easy to conceive of success,
so long as they are permitted to continue.

Adverting to the non-military qualities already mentioned, and to
the conduct in face of the enemy displayed by the extemporised
citizen-soldiers, to whom per force of circumstances the defence
of Paris had to a considerable extent to be confided, the fact is
noteworthy and suggestive that, having become to some extent acquainted
with the use of arms and with war, they became transformed into very
dangerous elements when the Commune was declared. It was then that they
fought resolutely against the Versailles forces, and committed many
of the atrocities by which that occasion was to be disgraced.[315]
Of the troops belonging to the regular army, however, it is their
due to observe that in actual combat the gallantry displayed by them
could not be exceeded; no more could their patient endurance under
the difficulties, privations, and general hardships incidental to the
siege. But individual qualities were overbalanced by the disadvantages
and evils just enumerated.

No sooner had the gates of Paris been opened, under provision of the
armistice, than my coadjutor[316] with the Germans performed to me the
good and brotherly act of bringing for myself, and for distribution
among my friends and other persons whom I knew to be in necessitous
circumstances, not only liberal supplies of food, but also considerable
sums of money, contributed by charitable persons to me unknown. It was
a source of lively satisfaction to be able thus to aid individuals and
some institutions; and in the performance of that most pleasant task
several incidents occurred the recollection of which is still fresh. A
few examples must suffice. One lady, to whom I carried a fowl, among
other articles, was prostrate in bed, her physical powers reduced
by starvation to an extremely low ebb. When I told her that she was
simply dying from want of food, her reply was that she really had no
appetite; she did not think she could eat anything if she had it; yet
when I supplied her with some savoury morsels to be used at once, and
then the fowl to be cooked later on, her face brightened, she half
raised herself in bed, and clutched the little articles I had brought
to her. Another lady, to whom I presented some balls of butter, rolled
up separately in bits of newspaper, did not delay to unfold the packet,
but took a mouthful of the whole, including butter and paper. Being
informed that I had a few red herrings for distribution, she next day
drove to my hotel in her well-equipped carriage to receive _one_[317]
of those savoury fish. The “Little Sisters of the Poor” were astounded
and delighted to be presented with a small cartload of mutton, bread,
eggs, butter, and various other articles; for the aged paupers, to
whose care till death they devoted themselves, had been reduced to
extreme want, not a few having succumbed under their privations. In
accordance with invitation from the Lady Superior, I visited their
establishment to receive expressions of gratitude from its inmates, and
in the course of my visit was shown through a ward in the uppermost
storey into which a Prussian shell had penetrated, and where some of
the old, decrepid inmates had there and then died of fright. A Roman
Catholic Seminary sent a representative to express the thanks of its
inmates for supplies given to them. As I subsequently was informed,
the nurses in an ambulance that I similarly aided danced round the
table on which the supplies were displayed, while they invoked
blessings on my head. Some British subjects to whom I was able to give
assistance in food and money were most grateful. As regards myself,
what I most craved for, and indulged in when opportunity offered, was
fried fat bacon and fruit, more especially apples.



  German troops enter--“Occupation” ended--Troubles within--Officier
    de la Légion d’Honneur--Destruction by war--Visit to Versailles--
    Review by German Emperor--Railway ambulance--Communists on
    Montmartre--Mission ended.

The representative statues in the Place de la Concorde were enshrouded;
guards placed on either side of positions to be occupied by the
Germans. On the morning of March 1, the head of a dense column of
troops was seen approaching the Arc de Triomphe; that monument
passed, the “Army of Occupation” steadily made its way downwards
along the Champs Elysées. In front of all rode a young officer, fair
in complexion, his face pale, lips compressed, expression grave and
resolute; his name, as we subsequently learned, Bershardy, lieutenant
in the 14th Prussian Hussars. Some signs of disturbance were shown
among French onlookers; they were quickly suppressed; all knew that
the guns of Mont Valérien pointed towards the city; that by them stood
German gunners. All through the morning troops _poured_ in, until
30,000 men--the number agreed upon--were within their assigned places;
among them the Leib Regiment of Bavaria, the losses of which in the war
exceeded numerically its strength when leaving Germany. It was now that
the striking contrast in physique, _tenue_, and discipline presented by
the newly-arrived forces, as compared with those to whom we had been so
long accustomed, was strikingly apparent to all spectators; doubtless
to Parisians themselves.

Forty-eight hours, including one entire day, was the period mutually
agreed upon as that during which the German forces were to remain
within Paris. Precautions against collision between them and the
populace were so successfully taken that crowds looked on and quietly
listened to the foreign bands within their precincts. In other parts of
the city, however, signs of restiveness were visible. Among the German
troops, on the contrary, all was orderly and soldierlike. Early on the
morning of the 3rd, “evacuation” of the city began, and within a few
hours was completed. Not until the rear column had passed the Arc de
Triomphe did the mob, that meantime hung upon their flanks, begin to
“demonstrate”; a section of the withdrawing troops faced round; the
demonstrators fled helter-skelter. The work of sweeping and burning
refuse in the great thoroughfares was soon begun; it continued during
the day; by evening Paris looked as if it had not been entered by a
victorious army.

During the following night, internal troubles assumed the first
definite shape of that in which they were soon to culminate. The
National Guards withdrew from the Pare de Monceau some of the guns
entrusted to them, together with their equipment and ammunition,
to arrange them in order on Montmartre; others were taken to the
disaffected quarters, as Belleville and Vilette; while a definite plan
of further action was come to by the Communists. In the emergency so
presented, no apparent action was taken by the responsible authorities;
citizen “soldiers” were permitted to retain arms, the use of which
they had recently learned; with what result was speedily to be seen.
During the next few days scenes of pillage were enacted, wherever
stores, of whatever kind, existed; barricades were thrown up; other
preparations, in various ways, made alike for defence and offence. As
events developed, the commandant appointed to the National Guards was
repudiated by the men; they demanded that they should have the right
to elect their own commander and other officers. Battalions displayed
the red flag; marched to the Place de la Concorde; placed the emblem of
Revolution upon the statues there, and upon public monuments elsewhere.
On the 10th, as the Germans marched from Versailles, the Communists
placed on Montmartre the remaining guns, making a total of 417. Seven
days thereafter the horrors of the Commune began.

While the German army was entering Paris, I had the honour of being
entertained at a _déjeûner_ by the members of the Ambulance de la
Presse, on the occasion of the distinction of Officier de la Légion
d’Honneur[318] being conferred upon me by the Provisional Government.
The venerable Professor Ricord was pleased to make me the subject of a
toast, alluding in kind terms to my association with the French army
and ambulances; then, taking from his own button-hole the rosette of
the Order so highly prized, he placed it in mine.

An excursion to a little distance beyond Montrouge revealed a sad
example of destruction: houses reduced to heaps of rubbish, with here
and there a fragment of cracked wall left standing among them; masses
of charred timbers; furniture and what had been ornamental pieces
strewn about in fragments among débris of various kinds, including dead
animals. From among ruined walls of gardens and conservatories green
young shoots of plants, revived by sunshine of early spring, served, by
contrast with the scene of destruction around, to impress us the more.
Were it possible for crowned heads of Europe to make a similar round,
it might ensure peace for one generation. So thought we as we continued
our walk through miles of devastation.

Making a journey to Versailles, the party of which I was one passed
by the heights beyond Meudon, on which were ranged the guns until
recently employed in bombarding Paris, but now parked preparatory to
being sent back to Germany. Several of them were seriously damaged;
others presented traces of work done by them in “the terrible battery,”
also visited by us; its condition, abandoned to ruin. Thence we looked
towards Vaugirard and vicinity, where greatest destruction by its
shells took place. At Versailles, while dining in the _grande salle_
of the Hôtel des Reservoirs, then filled with Prussian officers, we
saw among them Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, the nomination of whom
to the Spanish throne was the ostensible cause of the needless war now
ended. Visiting in the Chateau the Galerie of Louis XIV., it was seen
converted into an ambulance ward, its paintings damaged and torn as
a result of wind and weather admitted through windows kept open for
purposes of ventilation. The less severely wounded had been dispatched
to Fatherland; those remaining were too seriously injured to admit
of being removed; in cots, above the heads of which stood canvas
representations of the “glories of France,” shattered frames of recent
conquerors lay in agony.

Under the wing of a _Times_ correspondent, I witnessed on the heights
of Villiers a review by the German Emperor of three _corps d’armée_,
consisting respectively of Bavarians, Saxons, and Wurtembergers, all
under command of the Crown Prince of Prussia, As the troops took
positions assigned to them, it was observed by our friend, who had
accompanied them from Rhine to Seine, that their numbers scarcely
equalled half of those who entered France. An impression was said
to exist among the Bavarians that more frequently than other corps
they were so placed as to bear the first brunt of battle, and thus
exposed to more than was fair of risks in action. It was further said
that considerations of creed and politics had much to do with such an
arrangement; hence some fears were expressed lest unpleasantness might
now occur. All present, therefore, felt a sense of relief when, as the
Emperor, surrounded by his brilliant staff, rode on to the ground, a
cheer burst from all ranks assembled. The inspection over, the troops
marched off, the Crown Prince at their head. Next day the return to
Berlin began, the pride of victory no doubt saddened by memories of
thousands from among them, to be left buried in alien soil.

Being given an opportunity of testing railway arrangements for
transport homewards of German wounded, I embarked at Pantin station
in a train of that description. It was fully occupied by wounded men,
for whose requirements and comfort every arrangement was complete,
including staff and attendants. While in the train I was most
courteously and hospitably received by the staff. The journey taken was
somewhat long, nor did I get back to disturbed Paris till late at night.

A visit to Montmartre enabled me to see the manner of disposal and
position of guns from the Parc de Monceau, now in hands of the Garde
Nationale, who have openly declared for the Commune. My companion[319]
and myself, recognised as foreigners, were courteously escorted, first
to one battery, then to another, comments meanwhile freely made by
those accompanying us in regard to their plan of action. Still, as far
as we were able to understand, no counter-measures were taken by the
authorities; and so the rising flood of revolution increased in volume
and power, to burst disastrously three days thereafter.

In obedience to orders I quitted Paris for England by evening train
on March 14. Early next morning I was with my beloved wife, whose
anxieties and fears during my absence had told upon her health. So
ended the important episode in which I had taken part.


_1871-1874. DOVER. ALDERSHOT_

  Ordered to Dover--Garrisons--Short service--“Golden Rules”--
    Administrative duties--Lady de Ros--Alas! Alas!--M. Henry

The official Report of the mission performed had to be sent in, that
done, orders directed me to take over duty in the South-eastern
District, of which Dover is Headquarters. A few weeks elapsed, when
I received an order of readiness for India. For the first and only
time in my career I had to plead inability to proceed; long-continued
semi-starvation in Paris had so lowered physical strength that
reluctantly I was forced to plead the circumstance. The authorities
were pleased thereon to consider that episode equivalent to a tour of
foreign service; my name was placed at the bottom of the roster, and so
the next three years were spent at the favourite station of England.

All that time the quiet routine of duty was more of an agreeable
occupation than arduous or unpleasant work. Among some of the
resident families acts of civility towards myself and family were
numerous; intercourse with staff and regiments most pleasant, so that
recollections of place and people remain agreeable.

Military positions and Departmental establishments connected with
the ancient town itself had to be visited from time to time; so also
had several throughout the “district,” including Shorncliffe camp,
whence had proceeded in the early years of the century the force
destined for Spain, under command of Sir John Moore; Canterbury, with
its associations connected with St. Augustine; Maidstone, provincial
capital of England’s garden; Brighton, etc.

Gradually was the system of short service in the ranks of the Army
taking the place of that to which most officers of considerable
standing had been accustomed. Complications and friction occurred
in such a stage of transition among departments concerned in giving
the change effect. In the ranks themselves all was not propitious;
the old class of non-commissioned officers gave place to young and
inexperienced, whose authority, even when rightly exerted, was not
always tacitly accepted by the youthful and unbroken elements
concerned. Moral influence such as emanated in many instances from old
and experienced sergeants had all but died out; trivial shortcomings on
the part of young lads were magnified into “crimes”; more than ordinary
difficulty experienced by officers in keeping things smooth, yet

In matters of administrative routine difference of views between
officers concerned seemed inevitable; a satisfactory phase of official
life, however, was that in the few instances in which such divergence
occurred it was limited to official relations. Previous experience
induced me to formulate certain principles in accordance with which
correspondence submitted for decision should be dealt with; to them
I endeavoured to adhere.[320] Another point taught by experience was
that, in directing particular administrative ends to be attained, to
leave to officers concerned the details of means by which instructions
were to be carried into effect; in that way responsibility attached to
the executive, while at the same time it left to them freedom of action.

As a matter of history relating to an important episode, and some
personages connected therewith, it is worth while to refer to the
account of the famous ball in Brussels on June 15, 1815, related to me
by Lady de Ros, daughter of the Duke of Richmond, and who was present
on the occasion in question. How, while dancing and conviviality
proceeded, sounds of waggons and other heavy conveyances, guns and
tumbrils among them, broke upon the ears of the gay throng; how small
groups of the higher officers entered into grave and subdued talk; how,
without exciting notice, singly they slipped away; how in the early
hours of morning of the 16th, “the Duke” himself took his departure;
how, as the remaining guests left the room, the turmoil in the streets
of the Belgian capital resounded with the bray of bugles, trumpets, and
military movements;[321] and how, before the day was over, several of
those who had so left were brought back wounded, some dead, from Quatre

[Subsequently, taking advantage of the sixty-one days’ leave to which
officers are entitled, I visited the house, now a convent, which
stands on the site of the ball-room just mentioned--40-42, Rue de la

It was while at Dover that one of those sad bereavements befel my
dear wife and myself which leave their after-impress upon memory and
affection. The taste for sea life had been early developed in my second
son. As far as possible it was discouraged, but that having failed, he
was permitted to carry his wishes into effect. Alas! alas! the result
was very grievous. The ship in which he was proceeding was ultimately
“declared missing” at Lloyd’s; the dear, affectionate boy was never
heard of. It is too painful to write even this brief notice.

A short visit by M. Henry Dunant gave me the opportunity of hearing
from his own lips the story of the Red Cross convention, of which he
has the distinction of being Founder. To his experiences gained among
the thousands of wounded left on the field in and near Solferino
without necessary help from the Austrians or Allies between whom that
most sanguinary battle was fought,[322] and afterwards in extemporized
ambulances for reception of those for whom provision could be made, M.
Dunant assigned his resolve to institute, if possible, an Association
whereby to mitigate in some measure at least the horrors of war such
as he then witnessed. Of medical officers and their work as seen by
him on that occasion he expressed himself in this way: “Certes, si
tuer les hommes est un titre de gloire, les guerir, et cela, souvent
au peril de sa vie, mérite bien l’estime et la reconnaissance.” But
in numbers they were altogether insufficient for the task required of
them, supplemented as they soon were by volunteers, not only from the
countries immediately concerned, but from others, including Belgium,
Switzerland, and even Canada. Bearing these matters in mind, he asked
himself the question, “Is it not possible to found through all the
nations of Europe societies the object of which shall be aid to the
wounded in times of war; that care the most prompt possible, not by
mere mercenaries, but by persons devoted by high principles to so high
a vocation.” His appeal, formulated in a most touching narrative[323]
of what he had seen in Lombardy, produced the effect desired by him;
the subject he had at heart was earnestly taken up by all classes of
persons, from crowned heads to peasants, and soon he had the reward of
seeing organizations according to his own model in active operation.
It was while he was occupied in observing the working of volunteer
ambulances in Paris that I had the pleasure of being introduced to M.

At long last came the “gazette” of my promotion, and almost
simultaneously an order to take up at Aldershot the duties pertaining
to my new rank.[324] The chief event during my short stay at that
important military camp was the annual review and exercise of the
troops composing it. For some time previous the old system of
regimental hospitals and medical officers was in gradual process of
abolition, and now that destructive policy had been so far matured as
to be experimentally acted upon in the present manœuvres. My own duty
was limited to carrying into execution orders received. But sympathies
were altogether on the side of soldiers and their officers, who
raised their voices against it. By what was now called the system of
unification the fact became unpleasantly apparent that thenceforward
the sick soldier, together with his wife and child, must depend in
times of illness upon the aid of strangers, instead of, as heretofore,
obtaining the help of those who personally knew them, and whose
self-interest, even in the absence of higher motive, enhanced the care
and attention shown towards them.


_1874-1875. BURMAH_

  Ordered to India--Bombay--Malabar coast--Madras--Intended
    expeditions--Rangoon--Shoay Dagon--Delhi Royal family--A coming
    race--Up the Irawaddy--Donabew--Hansadah--Akouk-tong--Prome--Thyet
    Myo--History--Petroleum wells--Great forest--Our progress--Mengee
    Sekan--Night shelters--Wandering Karens--Tonghoo--“Complication”
    with the King--The Sitang River--Boats and crews--Shoay Gheen--
    Sitang town--Its associations--Kadouk-Kyatsoo creek--Back to

Suddenly, and without note of warning, the contents of one of those
long blue War Office envelopes informed me that in consequence of a
death vacancy in India, I was to proceed without delay to Madras.
The immediate result was a good deal of inconvenience and expense,
arrangements having been made for a somewhat longer stay in camp than
under the circumstances was now possible.

Leaving Portsmouth by the Indian troopship _Euphrates_ early in
September, in due time, and without adventure, we[325] landed at
Bombay. Arrived at the capital city of the Western Presidency, the
hospitality of one of India’s merchant princes[326] was extended to us,
a letter of introduction[327] having preceded us. It so happened that
an unusually heavy rainstorm had passed over that part of India a few
days previous, causing complete destruction of railways, besides much
damage in other respects. Our departure was accordingly delayed several
days, it being necessary that we should proceed by steamer towards our
destination. Meanwhile, however, the kind civility of our host was
unrelaxed; short trips were organized by him for our pleasure--one
to the famous Caves of Elephanta on the island of Gharipuri, the
sculptures in which represent nearly, if not all, the mythology of

The first month of the “cold” season was well advanced, the cold being
rather in name than reality. Otherwise our sea trip along the coast of
Malabar was pleasant enough; the bold scenery of the western ghats in
some places striking, in others grand; the cities, towns, and natural
harbours, at several of which our ship made a brief stay to land and
take on board goods and passengers, became so many objects of interest
to us and a few others, who, like ourselves, had been also forced to
adopt this mode of travelling.

Arrived off Beypore, we disembarked; thence took train, and so in
due time reached Madras. The formality of reporting arrival to the
authorities concerned once got over, duty was entered upon, our
residence temporarily taken up in one of the large but otherwise
comfortless hotels with which the place was provided, all such
establishments being the property of, and managed by, natives.

Rumours circulated that a military expedition was likely to proceed
_via_ Burmah towards Yunnan, to co-operate with a corresponding force
to be dispatched thither by the Yangtse kiang, with a view to inflict
punishment on those by whom Mr. Margery had recently been murdered
in that province. As a preliminary measure, the Commander-in-Chief,
Sir Frederick Haines, determined to make a tour through what was then
British Burmah, to satisfy himself in regard to the capabilities of the
country to meet requirements of an army, including food, transport,
supplies, and accommodation.

Together with other members of the staff with whom special details
relating to the expected expedition would rest, His Excellency and
party embarked; the pier on the occasion being crowded with his
numerous friends, a guard of honour, in accordance with his rank and
position, also drawn up. The _Oriental_ quickly steamed away; in due
time touched at Coconada and Vizagapatam respectively, then away across
the Bay of Bengal, landing us safely at Rangoon on the seventh day from
that on which we had gone on board. Hospitable friends awaited our
landing, and by the kindness of Surgeon-General and Mrs. Kendall I was
made comfortable as their guest.

Various objects and places of interest in and around this modern but
prosperous city were visited and examined, so soon as relaxation from
official duties permitted us to do so; but it is not intended in these
notes to give more than a very brief record of experiences in these
respects.[328] The first to claim attention was the famous Golden
Temple, the Shoay Dagon, the most important Buddhistic memorial in
Burmah, originally erected, according to legend, as a monument over
eight hairs from the head of the Sage. In the course of our wanderings
among the many smaller temples by which the dagon proper is surrounded,
we met at intervals female devotees,--nuns, in fact, who had given
themselves up to the service of the temple, their object in doing so,
according to our informant, that in the next transmigration they might
be born men!

In the course of the day’s excursion we came upon a very
unroyal-looking “palace,” now the residence of the Delhi Begum, and
then upon an equally unroyal-looking personage, described as the
remaining prince, his brothers having been shot by Hodson in 1857.
The residence of other political prisoners were pointed out to us,
including the house in which the deposed “Grand Mogul” of Delhi

The extent to which the Chinese element monopolized various kinds of
business and industry was remarkable; it was no less evident that the
best portion of the town was theirs. In course of our rounds we met
with several examples of what may in a sense be looked upon as a new
race; namely, fruits of unions between Chinese men and Burmese women.
Those with whom we met were young women, comely in appearance; their
costumes a happy mixture of styles of the nationalities personified
in themselves. It is probable that the males adopted the costume
pertaining to one or other nationality, and so were undistinguishable
from these.

Our journey upwards by steamer on the Irawaddy was pleasant, and in
some respects interesting. The early portion was through a succession
of narrow creeks before getting into the main stream, somewhat after
the manner of the Soonderbunds, but on a small scale as compared to
them. As we advanced, a rich, well-cultivated country opened up on
either side of us. The fresh cool air on deck made thick clothing
desirable. On either side well-to-do villages rose at short intervals
as if out of the river, while on it were thickly dotted boats of
various sizes transporting goods of many kinds. Rafts of timber,
consisting of several portions ingeniously united, and well steered,
were met with winding, as it were in folds, along the current. Fields
of rice and gardens of banana gave place to patches of forest,
separated by tracts covered by tall reed grass; then dense bamboo
jungle, while from some of the riverside villages odours wafted off
which told that in them various delicacies from fish, such as Burmans
love, but other people abominate, were in course of preparation. Such a
place was Pantanau, at which we spent a night.

Resuming our journey, the somewhat large towns of Yandoon and Donabew
were passed in quick succession, the latter associated with the
history of the first Burmese War, 1824-26. There, one of the most
severely contested battles of that war took place; the Burmese leader,
Bundoola, was killed. At the same place in the war of 1852 severe
fighting took place, heavy losses being inflicted upon our forces by
the native troops under command of Myot Zoon.

In due time we are off Hansadah, also associated with the wars of 1825
and 1852; the name of the place itself--namely, _Hansa_--_anser_,
goose--being derived from Turanian mythology. At a little distance from
that place a halt was made to replenish the stock of firewood; the time
so spent enabling us to take a short excursion in the near vicinity.
Animal life in great profusion existed everywhere; cattle in excellent
keeping, for the Burmese are extremely kind to them; poultry of all
sorts in abundance; sparrows in myriads, and if possible more bold than
are their kind in our own country; water birds in great numbers; land
birds equally so are everywhere, nor are they as yet slaughtered in the
name of “sport,” as doubtless they will be when British guns become
more numerous here than, luckily for the wild creatures, they are at

On either side the country changes gradually in appearance; at first
an uninterrupted level, then undulating, the inequalities greater and
greater as we proceed. Now the dim outline of the Arracan Yoma range
looms in the distance; we reach the high bold promontory of Akouk-tong,
round the base of which the Irawaddy rushes violently. On its
river-face several rude carvings represent Buddha; on its summit and
landward declivity stand pagodas of various sizes, the whole connected
with each other by winding pathways. During the war of 1852 the Burmese
erected a powerful battery upon the summit of that promontory, for
the capture of which a party, under command of Captain Gardener, was
landed from the _Enterprise_. Unhappily it fell into an ambuscade, its
commander beheaded, his head carried away as a trophy of victory. More
and more distinctly the hills of Prome came into view; forests of teak,
interspersed with patches of custard-apple trees, were seen clothing
their sides, tracts of underwood everywhere. Now we obtain glimpses of
a well-made military road, to be used if need be by troops from Akayab
to this place.

Prome is a city or town of considerable importance; its chief products,
lac, petroleum, silk, and lacquer. Occupying an elevated site is “The
Holy Hair Pagoda,” smaller in dimensions than its counterpart the Shoay
Dagon at Rangoon; like it, approached by an extensive flight of steps,
on either side of which is a long series of mythological figures.
A variety of bells, large and small, swung from stands, at short
intervals among the buildings connected with the temple proper. These
bells, when struck by a mallet of deer’s horn, suspended from their
stands for the purpose, emit a sound of surprising sweetness. In the
second Burmese War, namely that of 1852, Prome was taken possession of
by our troops on October 11.

Thyet Myo is reached after a few such mishaps as are incidental to
travel on the Irawaddy; among them breaks-down of machinery, leaking of
steam boilers, running “fast” upon sand-banks, getting doubled up in
the coils of rafts, and so on. As on the occasion of our departure from
Madras, so on disembarking here, a guard of honour, with regimental
band and colour, salutes the chief; hospitable friends[330] invite us
to their houses; our party is comfortably and well provided for.

Thyet Myo, otherwise “Mango city,” has a history which dates back to
A.D. 250. In 1854 cantonments for British troops were erected near to
it, on a site so situated as to command the passage of the Irawaddy.
In 1857 the river deserted its old bed, making for itself a new one at
least a mile and a half distant, thus destroying the purpose originally
in view.

A tedious ride through thorny jungle, then along what was intended
to become a main line of road to Mendoon, took us to a series of
petroleum wells at Pendouk-ben. Regarding them great expectations were
entertained, and energetic endeavours were in progress accordingly; but
so far, their produce was limited to the oozing in small quantities of
“oil” from the sides of wells in course of formation in the schistoze
rock. Subsequently, that industry, there and elsewhere in the country,
has attained great importance.

Official duties over at Thyet Myo, our journey was resumed, all
arrangements made beforehand for an expected interesting if somewhat
arduous progress through the extensive forest that occupies the tract
of territory between the rivers Irawaddy and Sitang, including what is
called “the great Yoma range” of mountains, or more properly speaking,
hills. Our first move was to cross the first-named river and encamp
on its further bank. Next morning, we four[331] began our real trip,
all mounted, the large body of “followers” of all sorts composing our
escort making their way on foot.

Our progress during the next four days was along “roads” the roughness
and other difficulties of which rapidly increased as we went on;
villages and patches of cultivation became smaller and less frequent;
the people showed themselves curious to see the _kalas_, or white
foreigners, their own state of raggedness and dirt offensive to look

We had reached the densest part of the forest, at a point whence our
further progress was to be by elephants, a track being made in the
jungle by a number of men sent before us for that purpose. We reached
a stockaded village, such a defence in this secluded spot being very
necessary against marauders. The forest resounds with the voices of
birds, from the resplendent plumage of some of which the sunlight is
reflected in flashes. Later on all becomes silence, save from the
voices of our own party, and so we reach, as afternoon advances, the
halting place of Mengee Sekan.

Hitherto we have taken advantage for accommodation overnight of such
buildings as we found, in the shape chiefly of deserted Buddhist
monasteries, in various stages of decay. It became necessary to
extemporize a hut or bower in which to pass the night. Such a place
was quickly prepared for us by natives attached to our party, who, by
means of their _dahs_--half-knife, half-sword--cut down branches of
bamboos and trees; these they arranged and secured by ropes made of
bark and creepers: thus they made quarters in which we were by no means

Our elephant steeds carry us onwards, along the half-dried bed of
what in the rainy season is a mountain torrent, confined on either
side by precipitous cliffs, our progress at times interrupted by deep
pools, at others by boulders singly or in masses in the river bed;
these obstacles having to be circumvented as best was practicable, but
always causing much delay and inconvenience. Coming upon a pathway,
evidently used by wandering Karens, and made passable for us by our
dah-men already mentioned, our elephants have to scramble as best they
can upwards along the steep face of a mountain spur of the Yoma range.
We gain the summit, and from it obtain a wide and extensive view of
rich dense forest stretching far away, around, below the level of the
point from which we took our survey. We pass the watershed that divides
the tributaries to the Irawaddy and Sitang. Our descent is rough and
precipitous; we arrive at the Kyat-Moung creek, and for some miles
travel eastward along its bed; the forest on either side dense as
before, the brushwood and lower vegetation consisting chiefly of ferns
and stemless palms. After a day of somewhat arduous toil we reach an
open space, and there a bower being quickly prepared for us we rest for
the night.

Our journey resumed, the roadway we take is once again the bed of a
mountain stream, the banks high and steep; vegetation still dense,
huge creepers stretching from branch to branch, masses of parasitical
plants hanging from the highest arms. Soon the forest becomes less
dense; isolated houses, then villages, surrounded by patches of
cultivated ground, are reached. Such a village is Pyagone. It is under
the jurisdiction of Tonghoo, from which place letters have been sent
for us, and so we hear of those we care for. Here we part with our
elephants and other establishments belonging to Thyet Myo, exchanging
the former for small Burmese ponies, on which the remaining part
of our journey is performed. Several more marches were performed,
differing in no particular characteristic from those already alluded
to. Then, glittering in the sun, but still a long way in front of us,
the pinnacle of a gilded pagoda indicates the position of Tonghoo. As
we plod along the dusty way, we overtake a caravan of Shans, their
bullocks laden with merchandise to market. We reach the remains of what
was once the fortified wall by which the city was surrounded, but is
now a series of dilapidated fragments. Friends[332] come out to receive
and offer us hospitality; baths and good cheer soon set us up; we look
back amused at such small discomforts as we had recently undergone.

Tonghoo marks the eastern limit of what was, three centuries B.C.,
the empire of Asoka. The modern town, however, dates _only_ from
the tenth century of our era; its position, upon a peninsula round
which winds the river Sitang. At a distance eastward, the Karenee
range of mountains some four thousand feet in height, their sides
thickly covered by forest; the general aspect of the locality and its
surroundings forlorn and unattractive.

At the time of our visit a political “complication” with the king
of Burmah was considered likely to be the outcome of a different
interpretation as to the boundary line between Native and British
Burmah entertained by the Indian and Burmese officials; while the
Karens lay claim, in opposition to both, to a tract of territory
said to have been occupied by them from time immemorial. Some months
subsequently this matter was amicably arranged.

Our duties performed, our homeward journey began; we start away to
Tantabin, where long, narrow boats lie moored to the bank, awaiting to
take us on board, and so down the Sitang River. But the hospitality of
friends at Tonghoo[333] has yet another demonstration to the Chief and
his party ere we finally take leave. A sumptuous and costly _déjeûner_
awaits us in the _zyat_, or travellers’ rest-house at the ghat. When
the meal is over and we get on board each his particular boat, many
expressions of mutual good-will exchanged, much waving of hands and
handkerchiefs, and then--our river trip begins.

The kind of craft in which the next few days and nights must be spent
is peculiar. Mine consists of the scooped-out trunk of a tree, its
inner arrangements fitted up according to Burmese ideas of comfort,
or it may be, luxury. The measurement of the boat, or rather canoe,
is three tons, itself so narrow and crank that practice is needed to
move without tilting it over to a dangerous degree; yet on further
experience this became sufficiently easy. The crew comprised six
Burmese, active in body, cheery in disposition, well acquainted with
their particular work; ready to joke and chaff with brother boatmen, as
we glided pleasantly down the stream.

A short halt is made at Shoay Gheen, an important town, at which in
due time we arrive. Here we find the remains of a stockade, held in
considerable strength against our troops by the Burmese in 1825, though
surrendered by them without a struggle in December of that year. There
are two respects in which Shoay Gheen is famous: the one, that from
here direct to Yunnan a trade route extends; the other, that in the
district to which the town gives its name is the chief habitat of that
most dreaded of poisonous snakes, the hamadryad (_Ophiophagus elaps_).

Another day and night and we are at the town of Sitang; its streets
and houses are arranged in regular order, the streets wide, sheltered,
boulevard like, by a row of spreading trees on either side; everywhere
flocks of poultry, large and small, especially of the particular breeds
for which Burmah is famous. On the more prominent points are pagodas,
several undergoing repair and being regilded. Near each is a group of
hideous stucco figures of _nats_;[334] among these, people in attitudes
of devotion, presenting to the images offerings, sprigs of sacred
flowers, jasmine and jonesia (the asoka tree), and other plants.

In the first Burmese War a strong position was taken up by them at
this place. On January 7, 1826, it was unsuccessfully attacked by our
forces, who sustained severe loss, including their commander; on the
11th, however, the attack was renewed, the position captured, with
a loss to the enemy of six hundred in a strength of four thousand
defenders. In 1852, after peace had been declared, a British detachment
was stationed here, and so remained for some time.

Time presses; tide waits for no man. Our boatmen, aware of the latter
fact, press on by means of sail and paddle throughout the night; we
arrive at Kadouk soon after daylight. Considerably to our surprise, our
boats are quickly turned from the main stream into a narrow creek, and
there made fast. But the detention is only for a little; our boatmen
resume their work; our boats re-enter the stream, and for a time keep
close to the right bank. A rushing sound comes upon us from the
distance; it increases; the tidal wave of the Sitang is upon us; not in
its full volume, however, for from a point just ahead of us it breaks
with a roar, and then, curling with foam as it advances, it rushes
irresistibly to the opposite bank. It was to avoid this “bore,” for so
the wave is named, and being probably swamped by its force, that our
boatmen had pushed on.

Communication between the Sitang and Pegu rivers was by means of
the Kyatsoo creek, and that only during the three days of spring
tides at the present season of the year. A canal was in progress of
construction, and railways were being extended in various directions;
yet neither was usable for our purpose. One suggestive circumstance,
however, we learn: that, anticipating enhanced value of land as a
result of such works, a precocious native agriculturist is making
extensive purchases along the line of the new waterway. Our passage
along the Kyatsoo creek was marked by nothing more stirring than a
succession of groundings, bumps against other craft, and such trifles.
On either side of us cultivated fields extend away to the distance; on
some of them the blue flower of the flax plant is bright and fresh.
Isolated huts and small villages occur at small distances from each
other, and high up in the azure firmament a lark pours forth its volume
of song, as in our own island.

As we proceed, the tapering summits of pagodas are seen reflecting the
sunlight ahead; they indicate the site of the once important city of
Pegu, capital of the Talain kingdom. A little further and we experience
the tide as it comes from the river so named, to meet that from the
Sitang, by which so far we have been conveyed. A little more and we are
back in Rangoon, the members of our small party hospitably received by
newly-made friends, Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson kindly taking me to their

The next few days were passed mostly in the performance of official
duties, spare intervals being taken up in visiting places of interest
previously passed over from want of time. Our journey and observations
made during it supplied subject alike for official and for ordinary
talk, giving zest to forecasts variously expressed in regard to the
probable issue of events which may follow upon the death or deposition
of the king. The prevailing view was that Government will place
upon the throne the legitimate heir, and having done so will carry
on administration by means of a Commission. In such an event, it is
anticipated that Burmah will be one of the best fields for British
energy and capital, that communication will be opened up, and resources
of the country developed.



  Return to Madras--Death of Lord Hobart--Lord Pigot’s tomb and
    story--Interregnum--Duke of Buckingham--H.R.H. the Prince of Wales--
    Commanders-in-Chief--Famine--A relief camp--Ootacamund--Fever among
    British troops--Thebaw--Affghanistan--Sir N. Chamberlain as Envoy--
    Young soldiers _versus_ old--Suggested scheme--Medical system--
    Inspection tours--New barracks--Calicut--Cannanore--Maliaporam--
    Bangalore--Bellary--Secunderabad--“Confidential” reports--Indication
    of illness--“New brooms”--Official demeanour--In the hills--Pleasant
     recollections--Back at Portsmouth--Finale.

We embark on the _Mecca_. A week passes; we land at Madras, bearing
with us pleasant recollections of friendly hospitality received during
our now bygone “Trip to Burmah.”[335]

The death of Lord Hobart,[336] Governor of the Presidency, was an
event regretted by those of us who had come to know his amiable though
retiring character, and much sympathy was expressed towards the widowed
Lady Hobart on her bereavement. The remains of the deceased were
carried to the tomb with all the pomp and ceremony due to the high
office he had occupied, and estimation in which he was generally held,
the coffin committed to the tomb in St. Mary’s Church, Fort St. George.

While clearing out a place for the purpose, the workmen came upon the
coffin of Lord Pigot, whose death took place in 1776, and whose place
of burial, if not intentionally concealed, had long since ceased to be
remembered. The story of his death was thus resuscitated, and reference
made to history relating how the Council deposed him, how he was
arrested by the Commander-in-Chief, placed in confinement, and there
forcibly kept during eight months, at the end of which he died. No
wonder that this audacious proceeding on the part of the chief actors
in the drama produced astonishment and indignation at home.

An interregnum followed, during which the senior member of
Council[337] became head of the Government, the headquarters of which,
together with those of the Commander-in-Chief, were shortly thereafter
transferred to Ootacamund, where they remained until the following
“cold” season, as it is called in Madras.

In the latter part of the year arrived His Grace the Duke of Buckingham
and Chandos, appointed Governor. On the occasion of his landing,
together with his daughters, the three Ladies Grenville, there was an
immense gathering at the pier to receive the distinguished party. The
assemblage comprised His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, staff,
high military officers, and heads of departments, a guard of honour,
Government and municipal officers, representatives of the native
princes and nobility, and, in addition, a large concourse of the

The arrival of the Prince of Wales was an important event in the
history of Madras. During the stay of His Royal Highness at the
provincial capital, the best endeavours of all classes, official and
non-official, natives and British, were directed to manifest duty and
loyalty to the Heir Apparent. In addition to official entertainments
and receptions given by Governor and Commander-in-Chief, the civil
society, native princes and community, did all they could to do honour
to him and to themselves on the occasion.

The next events of importance in reference to official affairs in
Madras comprised a change in the head of the Army, Sir Frederick Haines
being moved to Simla, and succeeded by Sir Neville Chamberlain. The
departure of the former was much regretted by all classes, military,
civil, and non-official; all honour and welcome were given to the
latter, whose great military reputation and high character were known
to and acknowledged by all.

In 1877 the Madras Presidency, as well as other parts of India,
was visited by famine, large numbers of natives falling victims,
notwithstanding the exertions by the Governor and officers acting under
the orders of His Grace to combat the misfortune. Private associations
and individuals added their endeavours to those by Government;
missionary bodies provided for large numbers of orphans and other
victims, with the result that many “converts” were added to their
lists. The necessity for extended and improved systems of irrigation
being shown, steps were taken in both directions. While not a few of
the ancient methods had been abandoned, the modern substitutes were,
in some instances, far from effectual for their purpose. Now also an
important financial measure was adopted: a special fund against famine
was established, the equivalent of eight million pounds sterling set
aside for that purpose, and if some time thereafter that fund was
otherwise absorbed, its original devisers and founders had passed from
office before the change in question took place.

In obedience to orders, I visited a camp situated a few miles from the
city of Madras for the reception and care of sufferers from the famine,
the object being the somewhat technical one of making a report on the
phenomena of starvation. In tents provided for their accommodation
lay prostrated men, women, and children in all stages of absolute
starvation. Carts were bringing in from the surrounding districts
persons who, while proceeding along the highways in search of food
and other aid, had fallen exhausted, and so lay on the roadsides.
Altogether, the sights presented were very sad.

There being a prospect that Ootacamund would shortly become the
permanent seat of the Presidency Government, His Grace the Governor
appointed a Committee,[339] of which I was senior member, to inquire
into and report upon the general condition of that place. The subject
was carefully gone into, the respects pointed out in which improvements
were suggested, the nature of those improvements given in detail.
In due time our report (written by me) was officially submitted; it
passed through the usual official channels, and, having done so, was
_not_ acted upon. Years have passed away since then; the public prints
record that evils have occurred at this beautiful locality which, it is
safe to believe, would have been averted had our recommendations been
carried out; those evils, moreover, definitely predicted in that report.

Another subject on which it fell to my lot to submit a report, related
to the prevalence of fevers among our troops: a duty which caused
myself much unpleasantness, inasmuch that practical experience was
brought into somewhat violent collision with pure theory. All that
need be noticed in this place is that, according to what is called the
“scientific” school, the actual cause of those affections is _dirt_,
and apparently _dirt_ alone. According to the practical school, the
_causes_ are various, including the youth of the men, translation to
an alien climate and alien conditions, exposure, indiscretions, etc.
In accordance with the views first-named, numerous works to which the
term “sanitary” was applied were undertaken at a cost to the Indian
Government of many thousands, nay millions, of rupees. According to
the second, many of those expensive improvements have been without
their intended result, nor have they in any degree touched the root and
origin of the evil, comprised in the general conditions just named.

The king of Burmah having died, the legal heir Thebaw was duly
acknowledged his successor. No sooner had he attained to power than
acts of maladministration and of atrocity drew upon him extreme
displeasure of the Indian Government. Milder measures having proved
ineffectual, a military force was sent to his capital, with the
result that in due time it was captured, he himself deposed, and
brought to India as prisoner of State. For a considerable time before
that expedition was dispatched, preparatory arrangements for such
a contingency had been as far as practicable matured--those of the
department under my own supervision included.

Relations between the Government of India and the Ameer of Affghanistan
had been in a more or less strained condition since 1873, when “after
the return of Noor Mahomed Shah from Simla, the Ameer’s language was
very unsatisfactory” to Lord Northbrook. “A sum of £100,000 placed to
the Ameer’s credit at Peshawur by the British Government was allowed to
remain there, and never drawn.”[340] During the early months of 1878
the general state of those relations was much discussed in military
society and in civil, two different views being expressed regarding it:
the one by officers and others of long Indian experience and practical
acquaintance with frontier matters; the other, chiefly by those of
shorter Indian experience, and less practical acquaintance on the

Later in that year, our much-esteemed Commander-in-Chief, Sir Neville
Chamberlain, was ordered by Lord Lytton to proceed as Envoy to Sheer
Ali, the Ameer. He did so, and now the Madras command fell during his
absence to General Elmhirst, formerly of the 9th Foot, a good officer
and amiable man. After much ineffectual negotiation by Sir Neville
Chamberlain, in the hope of averting armed intervention, Lord Lytton
declared war against the Ameer. Forces were meanwhile being gathered
for the purpose of the campaign, the 67th Regiment with some other
troops being sent from the Madras Presidency. Their equipment and the
general arrangements for active service had to be provided under orders
of the responsible officers concerned, of whom I was one. In due time,
Sir Neville was received with welcome back from the important, but
unhappily futile, mission upon which he had been sent.

While the general subject of young soldiers _versus_ old was
occupying the War Office authorities, the opinions held regarding
it from personal experience of certain senior officers were called
for, mine among them. To a number of definite questions, definite
answers were submitted by us individually; but the tone of all was
identical,--namely, that for the purpose of field service in India men
of mature growth, and who had already been some years in the country,
were most capable of withstanding the wear and tear incidental to war.
Sufficient grounds for that opinion are casually stated in reference to
incidents relating to the Mutiny campaign, and to the Siege of Paris.

In connection with the same subject, the question arose whether or not
advantage might accrue from the introduction of a double system of
recruiting; namely, short service for home, long service for India.
Some of us elaborated a series of calculations, the outcome of which
was that on the score of expense, including pensions, the latter scheme
would be more economical than the system, then as still in operation,
involving as it does the constant influx and efflux of men to and from
India, the maintenance of expensive systems of transport, hill stations
and sanatoria. This, however, is but one among several points relating
to the important question now touched upon.

The process of “divorcing” medical officers from regiments had
become general, notwithstanding representations and protests from
men of long experience. In the early part of the nineteenth century,
the defects incidental to “general” hospitals and methods relating
thereto having declared themselves in the Peninsular campaign, what
was called the regimental system was introduced in addition to, and
partial supersession of that method, the better to meet the requirement
professionally of the several classes pertaining to regiments. With the
abolition of that system a retrograde step is taken, to the serious
disadvantage of the soldier and all other persons concerned. No
sufficient reason exists why the double system, staff and regimental,
should not continue as before, and so fulfil alike the purposes of war
and of peace.

Inspection duty to military stations within the command occupied the
greater part of each “cold” season. In the performance of this somewhat
invidious function, the agreeable far outbalanced the unpleasant,
hospitality and every consideration by the officers with whom I came in
contact going far to make each such tour a pleasure trip.

Barracks, hospitals, and other buildings for accommodation or other
use by soldiers had recently been erected in accordance with plans
and instructions formulated by the Sanitary Commission in Calcutta,
of which I was a member, as already mentioned. In the majority of
instances they had been in use by the troops during six to eight years;
but so far, liability to endemic illness of their occupants showed no
decrease statistically from what had occurred among occupants of “the
old style” of barracks. With regard to several other matters connected
with them, evidence was apparent that anticipations by that Commission
had yet to be realized.

Beyond the objects of routine duty there was much of interest connected
with the majority of places visited. On the west coast the history of
what are now civil or military stations carries us back to a period
when Tadmor in the wilderness, the ancient Palmyra, was a depôt for
merchandise and goods imported in the days of Solomon from this
part of India. It was off Calicut, at which there is now stationed
a small force of British troops, that in May, 1498, Vasco da Gama
came to anchor after a voyage of eleven months from Lisbon. In 1509,
Albuquerque having failed in one attack upon that place proceeded
to Goa, which he captured, and has ever since that time remained in
Portuguese possession.

Cannanore, situated further up along the Malabar coast, is also a place
of great antiquity, though now of small importance. From the days of
Pliny, and long before then, the inhabitants of the whole district so
named were known to be sea robbers and wreckers. At the present day,
however, the descendants of those early pirates may be seen quietly at
study, and learning useful handicrafts in the establishments belonging
to the Basel Mission, which are in a very flourishing condition, if we
can form an opinion on the subject from a cursory visit to them.

An isolated military post is Maliapuram, situated in a district mostly
covered with dense jungle, at the distance of a night’s journey from
Calicut. The result to me of the trip there and back through malarious
forests was an attack of illness, recovery from which was due to the
hospitable attentions received from Mr. and Mrs. Wigram. The object of
the little garrison alluded to is to preserve peace among the Moplas, a
manly, lawless race, whose descent is believed to be from Arab sailors
who, in ancient times, formed connections with native (Tier) women.
They are noted for their zeal as Mahomedans, for the rapidity with
which “risings” take place among them, and the bloodshed incidental to
those occasions.

Bangalore has been already mentioned in these notes. The large
cantonment for British troops, in respect to completeness of
arrangements, is unsurpassed in India. In near proximity to it is the
residence of the representative of Government at the Court of Mysore.

From this place the routine usually is to proceed to Bellary, situated
in the centre of the Indian Peninsula. Smaller than Bangalore, yet
of considerable importance, it is the military centre of the Berar
district, assigned in 1853 to the Government of India represented by
Lord Dalhousie on account of certain subsidies then in arrear on the
part of the Nizam.

Secunderabad, perhaps the largest military station in India, is
situated at a distance of nine to twelve miles from Hyderabad. That
important native city was visited after duty had been gone through,
the visit performed on elephants, a guard of sowars furnished for our
safe conduct; nor was the precaution unnecessary, if an opinion could
be gathered from the expression of men’s countenances as we proceeded
along the narrow winding streets. Our excursion was varied by a short
trip by steam launch on the Meer Alum tank, and afterwards by a short
visit to the mosques at Golconda.

An unpleasant duty connected with my position, but one which
fortunately had only at rare intervals to be performed, was that of
reporting otherwise than favourably on officers within my sphere
of superintendence. Such occasions only arose at the periodical
inspections, and then the method I adopted was to read to the officer
concerned the portion of the usual official report relating to the
particular point commented upon, requesting him at the same time to
furnish his explanation regarding it, so that the explanatory document
should be transmitted together with the adverse comment. Otherwise,
as it seemed to me, an injury would be inflicted without the officer
concerned being aware of the grounds or extent of it, and without an
opportunity being afforded him to defend himself. In fact, the whole
system of “confidential” reports is open to very grave objection, as by
their very nature they more or less “strike a man in the dark.”

In some instances, fortunately of rare occurrence, it was found that
an officer, previously known to be zealous, painstaking, and otherwise
efficient, suddenly displayed impatience of administrative control, and
in other respects brought himself unpleasantly before the authorities.
In the course of experience I came to know various instances in
which the sudden change alluded to was in reality the premonitor of
illness; others in which it was the first indication of actual disease;
consequently I was at the outset prepared to look upon such a change
in one or other of these lights. This remark may apply to all classes
of officers, more especially in the tropics, and I believe that much
unnecessary disciplinary severity towards individuals under such
circumstances could be with advantage exchanged for more considerate

In my own branch of the general service, and in others, I had various
opportunities of seeing the results of so-called “sweeping” reforms by
“new brooms” and particular officers whose moving principle seemed to
be that whatever is, is wrong, and therefore must be abolished. Happily
for the personal comfort of all concerned, and for the benefit of the
service as a whole, the great majority of administrative officers have
learnt that reasons are forthcoming, if sought for, to account for
whatever may not be at first sight evident in reference to particular
modes of routine; therefore the officer of experience, as opposed to
the mere “reformer,” endeavours, in the first place, to ascertain the
nature of those conditions, and having done so, to introduce slowly and
gradually such changes as altered conditions may suggest.

There are certain other points relating to administration which I
may note. I had long ago become aware that in conducting duties,
the making of promises other than such as could there and then be
performed is a bad one; circumstances are apt to arise which render
it quite impossible to carry out those made in anticipation. In such
cases great disappointment and often chagrin to the officer concerned
was the result. Very bitterly as a young man had I felt rough and
cavalier action towards me by senior and official superiors. It was
accordingly my endeavour to avoid similar demeanour towards my juniors.
In communicating expressions of official dissatisfaction, it was an
object of my endeavour to avoid giving such an expression the tone of

During the greater part of the five years comprising my tour of service
in the Madras Presidency, my family occupied a house in Ooty, for by
that almost loving abbreviation was Ootacamund known. There my wife
and daughter remained continuously, their occupation and enjoyment
comprising horses, dogs, a farmyard, and garden. Thither in the hot
season I repaired, as one of the officials entitled to that great
privilege; and there, while carrying on departmental duties, I was able
to participate in the various occupations and enjoyments special to the
place. Among those were rides, drives, excursions, and picnics, visits
to various Government and other gardens and plantations, including tea
gardens; while to a lover of nature there was a never-failing source of
interest in the phases of plant and animal life as we rode or walked
along the various mountain faces by which the station was encircled.

Society was pervaded by a spirit of sociability and friendliness;
that tone given to it by its leaders, the Ladies Grenville and
Lady Chamberlain. Official duty was conducted in a spirit of kind
consideration between officials, at the same time that it was well and
honestly performed. It was, then, with great regret that my period drew
to a close; that having ended, my “relief” arrived. My five years in
the Madras Presidency were indeed “the green spot” in my somewhat long
period of service. In December, 1879, I embarked for England.

In the early days of January, 1880, we landed at Southampton, whence
we proceeded to Portsmouth, to which district I found myself again
appointed. It was now the dead of winter. The rapid change from the
heat of Madras to the bitter cold of this part of England caused severe
illness in the person of my dear wife--a circumstance which gave rise
to a fellow-feeling for the many soldiers’ wives and children who
undergo the same transition between extremes, but without sufficient
provision in clothing and other requisites to enable them to withstand
its effects. The routine of duty was much the same as it had been
some ten years previous; the one respect in which a change was
visible referred to my own special department, into which alterations
introduced seemed to tend neither to the well-being of the soldier nor
comfort of the officer.

My period of service drew to a close under the terms of a recently
issued Royal warrant. Arrangements were made accordingly for handing
over to a successor duties the performance of which had become in a
manner second nature to me, so much so that their cessation was looked
forward to as a blank in prospect. In the early days of April the Army
Estimates for the current year were published. In accordance with them
I was one of six to whom was authorized the reward for “Distinguished
Military Services.” On May 25, as the clock struck the hour of noon,
I resigned my seat to the officer ordered to relieve me. In the
succeeding _Gazette_ the notification appeared that I was placed on
retired pay. My active career was ended.

[P.S.--In the Jubilee _Gazette_, 1897, the distinction of K.C.B.
was conferred upon me. On August 11 following, at Osborne, Her Most
Gracious Majesty was pleased to invest me with the Insignia of the
Order. On December 2 I had the additional honour of receiving the
Jubilee medal, transmitted by command of the Queen, to be worn in
commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty’s Reign.]



[1] Sir James McGrigor, Bart., Director-General.

[2] The date of appointment as Assistant Surgeon, June 8, 1841. My
diplomas--L.R.C.S.E.; M.D. St. Andrews; both April, 1840.

[3] 7_s._ 6_d._

[4] The hammock space per man was 9 feet × 1½.

[5] Solution of chloride of zinc.

[6] Mr. Mechi.

[7] Captain Gurwood.

[8] 1815.

[9] Captain Astier, 62nd Regiment.

[10] March 28, 1842.

[11] _i.e._, drawn by means of ropes attached to their masts.

[12] 21st.

[13] Namely, 26th, 49th, and 55th.

[14] _i.e._, silk produced by the _Antherea paphia_, and allied species.

[15] Of the 50th and 62nd Regiments; more than 100 men were lost at
Seckreegullee, that being the place where the typhoon occurred.

[16] Colonel Wodehouse, Major Ryan, and Captain Tew.

[17] December 28 and 29, 1857.

[18] On the invitation of my friend, L. C. Stewart, 39th Regiment.

[19] Gates of Somnath--carried thence, A.D. 1024, by the conqueror,
Mahmood of Guznee.

[20] Akbar the Great, A.D. 1556-1605.

[21] Taj Mahal-Bibi ke Roza, or Crown Lady’s tomb, erected over the
remains of Mumtaz Mahal, the Pride of the Palace, wife of Shah Jehan.
She died in childbed of her eighth child, A.D. 1629, at Berhampore in
the Deccan, whence her body was carried and buried where the Taj now

[22] The story of these events is concisely given in Sewell’s
_Analytical History of India_, page 244.

[23] At the time commanded by Colonel Clunie.

[24] _Eudynemus Orientalis_.

[25] Poor L.E.L.! Further memories of her will recur hereafter.

[26] The words are so beautiful and pathetic that I transcribe them.

  Float on, float on, my haunted bark,
    Above the midnight tide;
  Bear softly o’er the waters dark
    The hopes that with thee glide.

  Float on, float on, thy freight is flowers,
    And every flower reveals
  The dreaming of my lonely hours,
    The hope my spirit feels.

  Float on, float on, thy shining lamp,
    The light of love is there;
  If lost beneath the waters damp,
    That love must then despair.

  Float on, beneath the moonlight float,
    The sacred billows o’er;
  Ah! some kind spirit guards my boat,
    For it has gained the shore.

[27] _Dewalee_--Festival to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and fortune.

[28] Mrs. Tayler, mother of Lady Hope Grant, then a young girl in
England at school.

[29] 37th.

[30] Shere Singh, an unacknowledged son of Runjeet, “the Lion of the

[31] Dyhan Singh, vizier of the above.

[32] The Ranee Jinda, mother of Dhuleep. She was now Regent.

[33] Subsequently Sikh commander at the battle of Ferozeshah, December
21, 1845.

[34] Belonging to Luckimchund, at one time a Government contractor.

[35] December 20, 1843.

[36] Sir Hugh Gough.

[37] Charley Grant Sahib, as he continued to be called many years
afterwards when as a General Officer he commanded a Division.

[38] Colonel Cureton now acted as Brigadier in command of the cavalry.

[39] 10th Bengal and 4th Irregular Cavalry.

[40] Afterwards General Sir John Mitchell, G.C.B.

[41] Namely, Dr. Walker of the Body Guard, Currie of 16th Lancers, and

[42] The strength of the opposing forces at the commencement of battle
was: _British_, 14,000, with 40 guns; _Mahrattas_, 18,000, including
3,000 cavalry and 100 guns. The _losses_ were: _British_, 106 killed,
648 wounded, 7 missing; total, 797. Seven officers were killed on the
field or died of wounds. The _Mahrattas_ sustained losses estimated at
3,000 to 4,000.

[43] In repulsing a body of French Lancers in pursuit of a party of
Scots Greys, for which, as marks of appreciation by the king, they were
made Lancers and granted scarlet uniform.

[44] Many years thereafter I became acquainted with Colonel Bray,
who obtained his commission “without purchase” in acknowledgment of
services rendered by his father and brother.

[45] _Jains._ The origin of the sect of Buddhists so called dates from
sixth or seventh century A.D., its decay in the twelfth or thirteenth.

[46] The “Gwalior Contingent” so established joined the mutineers in
1857, and took prominent part in the investment of Cawnpore.

[47] Under Lord Lake, September 3, 1803.

[48] The festival takes place on the first day of the (Hindoo) month
Baishakh, that is, commencement of the Solar year (March-April) and
anniversary of the day on which the river Ganges first appeared on
earth. Every twelfth year the planet Jupiter being in Aquarius, a feast
of peculiar sanctity occurs; the great bathing day, or Maha Mela,
coinciding with the new moon.

[49] April 11.

[50] Prepared from the roots of _Andropogon_.

[51] October 16, 1844.

[52] Or rather, fell into his hands as a result of his victory at Buxar.

[53] That each act in this life bears its fruit in the next.

[54] The attainment of a sinless state of existence.

[55] Died 1805.

[56] During the early wars by the East India Company the troops
employed by it comprised men of various European nationalities, besides
natives of the United Kingdom.

[57] The officer alluded to, familiarly known as “Paddy” Graves,
parodied a well-known soldiers’ song of Peninsular days after this

  “The Sixty-second Springers all--are
  Going to march unto Umballah--r;
  And the Buffs, that gallant band--are
  Going to their native land--are.
            Love, farewell.”

[58] In subsequent years large numbers of them were converted to
Christianity; colonies established by them in Cachar and Assam.

[59] In 1757 a stately range of two-storied barracks for “European”
troops were erected at a cost of £302,278, the rupee then worth 2_s._
In 1834 they were abandoned on account of high rates of sickness and
mortality among their occupants; average admission rate of 13 years
per 1,000 strength, admissions 2,196, deaths 82. Of certain endemic
diseases treated the rates of deaths to admissions were:--fever, 1 in
21; dysentery, 1 in 10; hepatitis, 1 in 9.

[60] Then sixteen years of age. His grandfather, Jaffer Ali, Wuzzeer
of Suraj ood Dowlah, Nawab of Bengal, a member of the Imperial family
of Delhi, whom Lord Clive defeated at Plassee in 1757. It is related
that on that occasion Jaffer Ali bribed a number of Suraj ood Dowlah’s
troops; with them he deserted his chief and went over to the English
side. Subsequently the Nawab was assassinated, and Jaffer Ali raised
to a position he had no right to claim. Thenceforward the Nawab of
Moorshedabad was an “ally” of the British Government.

[61] Plassee. From Palasa, “dâk tree,” or _Butea frondosa_.

[62] Kulnah is 164 miles from the Sandheads.

[63] Now, after an interval of fifty-two years, I still am proud to
call him friend. Alas! since the above was written he has passed away.

[64] January 19, 1845.

[65] On April 29, 1845.

[66] It is related that in A.D. 455 a battle took place near this spot
between the Saxons under Hengist and Horsa, and the Britons under
Vertimer, the latter being victorious; that among the killed were
Horsa, the Saxon, and Catigern, the brother of Vertimer. One account
relates that the cromlech alluded to is that of Catigern, Horsa having
been killed at Horsted near Rochester.

[67] Lieutenant Graham.

[68] July 15--under command of Sir Hyde Parker.

[69] Statistical Reports by Major Tulloch.

[70] Regimental pay, 7_s._ 6_d._ per day; mess and band subscriptions
deducted from it.

[71] July 10, 1846, Staff-Surgeon, 2nd class.

[72] Dating back to A.D. 1572, when, under Elizabeth, the regiment
was formed out of the Trained Bands of London, its uniforms of Buff
leather, whence its name, now a proud title.

[73] Now, alas! while these notes are being transcribed, only one
remains; namely, General Sir Frederick Francis Maude, G.C.B. Only
lately did my other great friend, Deputy Surgeon-General Bostock, C.B.,
Q.H.S., die. While the notes are under revision, Maude has passed away.

[74] When the first Europeans trading between Benin and Palmas asked
where the gold and produce offered them for sale came from, the natives
answered, “From Jenné” (on the Niger, near Timbuctoo). Her name was
thus given to the Gulf of Guinea, and, indirectly, to the English coin,
the guinea. (_Timbuctoo the Mysterious_, by Felix Dubois, p. 172.)

[75] Mr. Barnes, with whom I was acquainted in 1847, had been with that
force in 1826.

[76] From the Portuguese _Fetisso_, a spell, or charm.

[77] From August 1, 1838, slaves became free.

[78] Thespesia, acacias, including the sensitive plant, abrus,
convolvuli, palms, wild figs, tamarind, etc.

[79] Of the Wesleyans.

[80] Some account of L. E. L. is given in my separate book, _Life on
the Gold Coast_. I consider that the cause of her death was disease of
the heart, with which she was known to have been affected several years.

[81] Still called “Napoleon.”

[82] Under the title of _Contributions to Ornithology_.

[83] Commander, afterwards Sir W. Winniett, R.N. He died on the Coast.

[84] Captain Losack.

[85] Lieutenant Bingham. He lost his health during the expedition, and
shortly thereafter died in England.

[86] C. Swaine.

[87] The brig _Governor Maclean_.

[88] Messrs. Brodie Cruickshank and Frank Swanzy.

[89] Quako Acko by name.

[90] Slave-ships captured by British men-of-war were taken to Sierra
Leone, their cargoes there transferred to the establishment so-named.

[91] On June 22, 1848.

[92] _Coccoloba uvifera_.

[93] _Sorghum vulgare_.

[94] With my friend J. A. Bostock.

[95] General Sir Henry King, K.C.B.

[96] December 22, 1848.

[97] January 13, 1849.

[98] February 21.

[99] Out of 570 officers and men who went into action at Albuhera,
the commanding officer, 22 other officers, and more than 200 men were
placed _hors de combat_. The “dead were found lying as they fought in
ranks; every wound was in front.”

[100] Davenish.

[101] Dedicated to St. Molash, who died A.D. 563.

[102] The manufacture of Beleek ware was then a thing of the future.

[103] See _Illustrated London News_, October 12, 1849.

[104] The ceremony solemnized by the Rev. J. A. Grant, of Nairn.

[105] Major and Mrs. Shadforth.

[106] Another statement is that his birth took place in Upper Merrion
Street, Dublin; his baptism in St. Peter’s Church.

[107] That was in 1850.

[108] Parliament, June, 1845.

[109] August 31, 1850.

[110] _London Gazette_, August 12, 1850.

[111] Born on April 12, 1851.

[112] Killed at Inkerman.

[113] _London Gazette_, May 23, 1851.

[114] 41° S.

[115] On the twenty-second day of our river journey.

[116] Afterwards Sir Hector.

[117] “Cawnpore devils.”

[118] Jehangir, A.D. 1605-1627.

[119] January 28, 1846.

[120] February 10, 1846. Punjab annexed, by Proclamation, March 29,

[121] February 20, 1849.

[122] Chenab-Acesines.

[123] Composed of roots of the scented grass _Andropogon muricatum_.

[124] Jacob.

[125] The young man may be indicated by his initials, J. C. G.

[126] In a soldier of the 14th Hussars at Meerut.

[127] Dr. Henderson.

[128] Eugenie de Montijo, Comtess de Téba.

[129] Indicating bite by Bungarus (Krite).

[130] These lectures were given respectively by the Chaplain (Rev. Cave
Browne), Engineer Officer (Captain Davidson), and myself.

[131] The Honourable Thomas Ashburnham.

[132] Sir Charles Napier.

[133] Published in 1897. Vol. ii., p. 418.

[134] Mr. Sapte, long since passed away to the majority.

[135] The Hydaspes of the ancients.

[136] On September 1, 1853.

[137] Telegraphic communication did not then exist.

[138] Peshora Singh was drowned in the Indus.

[139] Mr. Thornton.

[140] Captain, afterwards General Sir William Payne, K.C.B.

[141] Lithotomy.

[142] On November 15, 1853; arrived on 23rd.

[143] A.D. 1605-1627.

[144] Sir James Tennant, K.C.B.

[145] Called by the natives “Bijlee ke dâk,” or “Lightning Mail.”

[146] Baptized on April 24, 1854.

[147] By orders dated Horse Guards, October 7, 1854.

[148] November 5, 1854.

[149] Namely, 22nd, 96th, and 98th Regiments, 10th Hussars, and 12th

[150] Bhaugulpore Hill Rangers.

[151] Together with 8th and 40th N.I., mutinied at Dinapore in 1857.

[152] _Delhi Gazette._

[153] Colonel Blachford, 24th Regiment.

[154] Of 8_s._ per day.

[155] A son born on March 14, 1857.

[156] The _Palmyra_.

[157] _Entomology_, Kirby and Spence.

[158] The 43rd Light Infantry.

[159] Hosea xiii. 16.

[160] Buckra-eed. In commemoration of the sacrifice by Abraham,
according to the Koran, of Ishmael, child of his bondswoman.

[161] Names of these and other victims to be mentioned are in my

[162] Five officers died in one day.

[163] A detachment of 5th Fusiliers.

[164] August 18.

[165] Lloyd.

[166] Out of fifteen officers, twelve were killed or wounded.

[167] Mohurrum. The first ten days of the Mahomedan New Year are
dedicated to the festival so called.

[168] 8th.

[169] 21st and 27th.

[170] At Meean Meer the ball by the 81st Regiment took place on May 12.

[171] July 30.

[172] _Phœnix_, September 28, 1857.

[173] Of September 3, 1857.

[174] Native swords.

[175] _Calcutta Englishman_, October 15, 1857.

[176] At Manduri, ten miles from that station.

[177] On September 21, 1857.

[178] On September 25, 1857.

[179] From Deoghur.

[180] Forty years thereafter,--namely, in 1897,--Lord Roberts, bearing
in mind the events of 1857, writes:--In reply to the question, “Is
there any chance of a mutiny occurring again?” With reference to that
question he, remarks after this manner: “I would say that the best way
of guarding against such a calamity is--By never allowing the present
proportion of British to native soldiers to be diminished or the
discipline and efficiency of the native army to become slack.

“By taking care that men are selected for the higher civil and military
posts whose self-reliance, activity, and resolution are not impaired by
age, and who possess a knowledge of the country and the habits of the

“By recognising and guarding against the dogmatism of theorists and the
dangers of centralization.

“By rendering our administration on the one hand firm and strong, on
the other hand tolerant and sympathetic; and last, but not least, by
doing all in our power to gain the confidence of the various races, and
by convincing them that we have not only the determination, but the
ability to maintain our supremacy in India against all assailants.

“If these cardinal points are never lost sight of, there is, I believe,
little chance of any fresh outbreak disturbing the stability of our
rule in India, or neutralizing our efforts to render that country
prosperous, contented, and thoroughly loyal to the British Crown.”
(Vol. I., p. 449.)

[181] Of November 5, 1857.

[182] Our force consisted of the 10th, 20th, and 97th British
regiments; six battalions of Nepaulese troops, under the command of
General Pulwan Singh; two Field Batteries, and some thirty to forty
mounted men of the 10th. By virtue of seniority I assumed medical

[183] Under Captain Bartholomew.

[184] For his gallantry in the attack mentioned he was awarded the
Victoria Cross.

[185] The Moulvie of Fyzabad, known by the name of Ahmed Alee Shah
(also called Ahmed Oola Shah), was a native of Arcot, in the Madras
Presidency. He was said to understand English and to have been a man of
acumen and boldness. He was ultimately killed at Powayne.

[186] Mrs. Orr and Miss Jackson.

[187] Sir Hope Grant, K.C.B.

[188] It comprised 10th, 34th, and 84th Regiments, 1,700 Sikh cavalry,
a portion of military train as cavalry, and three batteries of
artillery. I was principal medical officer, also in charge of the
Staff, in addition to my regimental duties.

[189] William Fenwick, than whom a more upright man could not be named.

[190] Of that wound Koer Singh soon thereafter died. The command of his
forces then fell to Umeer Singh.

[191] Here we received Government General Orders relating to the late
Jounpore Field Force, my name in the list of those “mentioned.”

[192] Captured by myself and duly handed over.

[193] Comprising 10th Foot, Military Train Madras Artillery, Madras

[194] An honourable man, considerate and straightforward in official
as in private relations, he had effected much during the time he held
command to restore to their normal state things already alluded to.

[195] Government General Orders, dated Allahabad, June 16, 1858.

[196] Namely, Juggernath Singh, Rajah of Powayne, a man who, in the
early days of the mutiny, had acted in a very unfeeling manner towards
such fugitives as fell into his hands.

[197] Of October 1, 1858.

[198] _Friend of India_, December 2, 1858.

[199] Afterwards noticed in Chambers’ _History of the Revolt_, page 607.

[200] _Naval and Military Gazette_, January 8, 1859.

[201] Colossians iii. 15: “And let the peace of God rule in your
hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye

[202] Root of _Orchis mascula_.

[203] July 24.

[204] The 10th Regiment was composed of the following, according to
religious denomination; namely, Episcopalians, 29 officers and 236 men;
Presbyterians, 8 and 28; Roman Catholics, 5 and 301. It may be taken as
an example of an “English” regiment.

[205] Of their number a few enlisted into the 10th, and soon
attempted to disseminate their particular doctrines. But Barrack-room
Courts-Martial and sharp punishments--by means of belts--quickly
convinced them that they were--so much matter in the wrong place.

[206] 5th and 6th Madras.

[207] _London Gazette_, May 14, 1859.

[208] Mr. (afterwards Sir Albert) Woods.

[209] I was the first regimental surgeon invested by Her Majesty with
the Cross of the Bath.

[210] March 14.

[211] Namely, that of Surgeon-Major.

[212] January 4, 1812.

[213] Exodus ii. 5, 6; see also Josephus.

[214] The _Alma_.

[215] Lat. 1° N.

[216] In 1841 the island of Hong-Kong, considered by the Chinese as
“only a barren rock,” was ceded to the British. Within the short period
of nineteen years, the surprising transformation above indicated took

[217] The date of my rank as Deputy Inspector-General, May 11, 1860.

[218] Wingrove Cook.

[219] Captured by the British, February 25, 1842.

[220] In the early part of 1894 hundreds of these boats were destroyed
by fire.

[221] _Phoong quei_, or wind-box.

[222] In 1841, a brother of Mr. Bowlby was appointed to the Army
Medical Department, and ordered to the West Indies. From the first,
he expressed a foreboding of death by yellow fever, an event which
happened shortly after his arrival there. Nor is his a singular
instance of the same kind; several have been met with in India.

[223] In the official position of P.M.O.

[224] Chiefly the Taipings.

[225] That is, the Treaty of Tientsin, dated 1858, was ratified, and,
together with a Convention of Peace, signed by Lord Elgin and Prince

[226] Chiefly privet (_Ligusticum_) and lycium. Among the
representatives of British plants were the dock, dandelion, and
ivy-leaved veronica.

[227] On December 16.

[228] Dr. Galbraith.

[229] Messrs. Dent.

[230] _Copychus saularis._

[231] Colonel Muter.

[232] On February 9.

[233] Details are given in my book _China from a Medical Point of
View_, p. 437.

[234] _Zysiphus jujuba._

[235] _Holothuria._

[236] Mr. Blodgett.

[237] 9th. _Cypsilis affinis_.

[238] On March 22, 1861.

[239] Hienfung.

[240] Ezekiel xxvii. 23; xxix. 19.

[241] The same that now stands on the Thames Embankment.

[242] The _Trent_.

[243] At the former Hôtel de Lille et d’Albion, now Hôtel St. James.

[244] Something like its counterpart exists at Carrick-a-reed, near the
Giant’s Causeway, Ireland.

[245] Receiving a monthly allowance of 300 Rs.

[246] Named after Mahomed ibn Abd-el Wahab, born 1691; a puritanical
sect of Mahomedans.

[247] Subsequently destroyed by the _Kerseage_, off Cherbourg.

[248] Mr. Eddis, of Hazalabut.

[249] At the time of his death sixteen sons of Dost Mahomed (Mahomed
Akbar and Ghulam Hyder, the two heirs-designate in succession, died
before their father) were alive, of whom the following are named in
relation to the events above alluded to, namely: (1) Mahomed Afzul
Khan; (2) Mahomed Azim Khan: these by a wife not of Royal blood. (3)
Sheer Ali Khan; (4) Mahomed Amir Khan; (5) Mahomed Sharif Khan: these
by a favourite Popalzai wife. (6) Wali Mahomed Khan; (7) Faiz Mahomed
Khan: these by a third wife. Afzul Khan had a son Abdur Raman Khan, the
present Amir of Affghanistan, and Sheer Ali had five sons--Ali Khan,
Yakub Khan, Ibrahim Khan, Ayub Khan, and Abdul Jan.

[250] See _Forty-one Years in India_, by Lord Roberts, vol. ii., pp.

[251] Referred to B.C. 1400--about.

[252] Chiefly of Sâl. _Vateria_, interspersed with Bauhinia.

[253] _Eudynemus._

[254] The Jain sect deny the divine origin and infallibility of the
Vedas. It dates from the sixth or seventh century A.D.; culminated in
the eleventh, and declined in the twelfth.

[255] See _India in Greece_, by Pocock.

[256] Under command of Sir Henry Tombs.

[257] My wife and Miss Dickson with me.

[258] So do some of the tribes in the Himalayahs. So did the ancient

[259] A severe epidemic of cholera among the British troops.

[260] The son of Mr. Davis became Governor of Hong-Kong, and author of
an extremely interesting history of China.

[261] St. Luke xviii. 16.

[262] George Dickson.

[263] B.C. 1400-1200.

[264] B.C. 286-247.

[265] Believed to have been brought from Babylon.

[266] Numbers xxxiii. 8; Exodus xv. 25. See also _The Bible and Modern
Discovery_, p. 89.

[267] _Antiquities of the Jews_, Book III. chap. i. sec. 2.

[268] Referred to the period of the XXVIth Dynasty, B.C. 666-528.

[269] Of England.

[270] Dr. Maunsell.

[271] _Journal of the Geological Society_, vol. x.

[272] The Army Medical Society.

[273] Leach, 46th Regiment; O’Leary, Royal Artillery.

[274] At Saarbruck.

[275] Of the 10th Infantry, corresponding to my old regiment.

[276] In reality 80,000 men prisoners, and 200 guns lost.

[277] The Resolution on the subject was proposed in the Corps
Legislatif by M. Jules Favre.

[278] According to Regulations at that time in force, conscripts and
volunteers for the line, having served therein seven years, or on
attaining the age of twenty-nine years, passed thence to the Garde
Mobile; over that age they pass into the Garde Nationale. A soldier of
the line engages in the first instance for the term of seven years; he
may at its expiration re-engage for other seven or fourteen years. At
the end of twenty-five years in the service he becomes entitled to a
pension equal in amount to _ninepence_ per day.

[279] Five milliards of Francs; equal to two hundred millions of pounds

[280] Red Cross badge worn on the arm.

[281] Of the Mobiles billeted in the hotel where I resided, some
re-entered quietly smoking their pipes or cheroots. One of them
remarked that he had fired three shots against the enemy; but as his
companions bolted, he did not see the fun, as he expressed it, of
remaining to be killed.

[282] The object of the demonstration was to demand that municipal
elections should be immediately proceeded with.

[283] _La Cloche._

[284] Mr. Whitehurst, of the _Daily Telegraph_, and myself.

[285] The following form is that of letters permitted to be so


                                         _Paris le..............187_

                              | _Placer ici_         |
  PAR BALLON MONTÉ            | _le timbre-poste._   |
                              |                      |
                              | _Affranchissem^t._   |
                              | _France et Algerie:_ |
                              | _20 centimes._       |
                              | _Etranger:_          |
                              | _taxe ordinaire._    |





[286] The fact transpired that certain ambulances were established
rather for the advantage of their _fondateurs_ than the good of sick
and wounded. Others acted altogether independently, but had neither
_personnel_ nor _matériel_ to fit them for their professed purpose.
With such as were allied to military hospitals it was sufficiently easy
to deal and adjust; not so with the others alluded to.

[287] Composed of Sir Richard Wallace, Honourable Allan Herbert, Dr.
Shrimpton, Sir John Rose Cormack, and the Rev. S. Smyth.

[288] How strangely similar the circumstances alluded to to those of
Prussia in the early years of the 19th century! Then “Prussia had
made no provision for defeat. Her fortresses, though garrisoned, were
ill commanded and unprepared for serious resistance. Passion and
sentiment had dictated her war, in which prudence and foresight had
no part. Her territory was reduced to a fragment, her army to a mere
residue.”--_Quarterly Review_, October, 1893, page 425.

[289] See _Guerre de 1870-1871_, Paris. _Par_ Alfred Duquet.

[290] Muffs.

[291] The militia force so-called comprised the Garde Nationale
Sedentaire, and Mobiles, the first named having its own “organization,”
if such a term is applicable, the last being affiliated to the regular

[292] It will be remembered that on the outbreak of mutiny among the
sepoys at Dinapore, it was contemplated to arm the “Amazones” of the
10th Regiment of Foot, and that men had every confidence in their
fighting qualities.

[293] Under the command of General Ducrot.

[294] I was with the Americans on this occasion.

[295] On 28th.

[296] On 30th.

[297] Namely, on the 27th.

[298] According to a tablet erected in the Madeleine: “Mort pour la Foi
et la Justice, en la Prison de la Roquette le XXIV Mai MDCCCLXXI.”

[299] _Le Journal Officiel_, November 5, 1870.

[300] The following is a transcript of the “ticket of authority” to
receive their daily allowance of meat granted by mairies to persons
authorized to remain within the walls, namely:--


  Nombre de personnes..................
  Nom de boucher..................
  Quantité de viande { Bœuf
                     { Mouton
  Jours de distribution..................
  Heure de la distribution..................

                  TIMBRE DE LA MAIRIE.

[301] This episode was subsequently illustrated in one of the pictorial
scenes relating to the siege exhibited in London.

[302] December 1.

[303] On November 28 General d’Aurelle de Paladine, at the head of the
army of the Loire, while endeavouring to force his way from Orleans
to Fontainebleau, whence he hoped to advance to the rescue of Paris,
was attacked near Beaune la Rolande by the army under Prince Frederick
Charles, and defeated, with a reported loss to the French of 1,000
killed, 4,000 wounded, and 1,600 prisoners.

[304] The chief officers in command were Vinoy, Ducrot and De la

[305] Notwithstanding the free use of antiseptics and disinfectants of
many kinds.

[306] _Journal du Siége par un Bourgeois de Paris_, p. 573.

[307] Referring to confusedly expressed news received by pigeon, which
was interpreted to the effect that Faidherbe had repulsed the enemy
in the Pas de Calais; Chansy and Bourbaki were at Nevers “watching”
on either flank of the army of Prince Frederick Charles; at Nuits, “a
French general” had with 10,000 French beaten 25,000 Prussians.

[308] On January 18, 1871, at Versailles.

[309] The remark refers to those in the Jardin des Plantes and Jardin
d’Acclimation. The flesh of these animals was sold at exorbitant prices.

[310] On one occasion thirteen were so counted, bringing to the rear a
wounded comrade.

[311] The following places were those that chiefly suffered within
Paris, viz., The Luxembourg quarter, Boulevard St. Michel, Rues St.
Jacques, d’Enfer, Vaugirard, Hôpital Val de Grace, Théâtre Odéon,
Church of St. Sulpice, the Jardin des Plantes, Panthéon, Ministère de
Commerce, Invalides, Church of St. Germain, Rue Boissy d’Anglais.

[312] “The city of Paris is to pay a contribution of 200,000,000 francs
(equal to £8,000,000 sterling) within a fortnight. Public property is
not to be removed during the armistice. All German prisoners of war
shall immediately be exchanged against a proportionate number of French
prisoners; also captains of vessels and others, as well as civilian
prisoners on both sides.”

[313] At this very time the ordinary 3 per cent. Rentes stood at 51·20;
while the new loan for the indemnity stood at 52·40.

[314] Among other circumstances to which this want of confidence was
assigned, on various occasions I heard enumerated “The Confessional”
of the Romish Church, to which the great majority of the people
belong. The direct effect of that observance is said to be the
breaking of confidence between members of the same family, and so on
upwards throughout public, as in private life. In connection with
this allegations made by so many with whom I had communication, the
circumstance is significant that whenever and for whatever political
end a “Revolution” takes place in Paris, the class of persons who
are first and invariably attacked are the clergy of that particular

[315] One of the first measures of the Government of M. Thiers, after
crushing the insurrection by the Communists, including the National
Guard, was to suppress the militia “force,” so called.

[316] Surgeon-General Sir J. H. Innes, C.B.

[317] The only one that remained.

[318] Date of gazette, February 21, 1871.

[319] The late Mr. Laurence Oliphant.

[320] The following rules were those alluded to: 1. Never write in a
hurry. 2. Be unswayed by personal feeling. 3. Judge charitably. 4.
Never act upon a one-sided statement; _audi alteram partem_. 5. Avoid
irritating expressions. 6. Obtain, if possible, “the last word.” 7. In
giving decision, take nothing for granted; have clear grounds for that
decision. 8. Confine remarks and recommendations to their proper sphere.

[321] The 5th Division, or that of Picton, as also the Duke of
Brunswick’s contingent, both left Brussels at 5 a.m. of the 16th.
Doubtless, therefore, the noises referred to were caused by the various
arms belonging to it. (Horsford’s _Waterloo_.)

[322] June 24, 1859.

[323] _Convention de Genève: Un Souvenir de Solferino._ Paris: Hachette
& Cie.

[324] Surgeon-General, April 1, 1874.

[325] My wife, daughter, and self.

[326] Mr. Oliphant.

[327] From Mr. John Ogilvie.

[328] These are given in detail in _Our Trip to Burmah_.

[329] There was a rumour that his head had been disinterred and carried
away, perhaps to be made use of after the manner of the Scythians.

[330] I by Dr. Lamprey of the 67th.

[331] General Sir F. Haines, Brigadier-Generals Howlett and Stewart,
and myself.

[332] Major Kingsley, 67th Regiment, kindly extended his hospitality to

[333] By the hospitality of Major and Mrs. Lloyd.

[334] Demons.

[335] Under that title an account of it was published by Baillière,
Tindall & Cox, London.

[336] On April 27, 1875.

[337] Mr., afterwards Sir William Robinson, K.C.S.I.

[338] By the _London Gazette_ was announced my appointment as Honorary
Physician to the Queen, March 22, 1876.

[339] The other members were Mr. Macallum Webster, I.C.S., and
Surgeon-General Cornish, C.I.E.

[340] _Affghanistan_, by P. F. Walker, p. 62.



  Aberdeen, 105

  Abimoosoo, 66

  Abyssinia, 220, 222

  Accra, 62

  Aden, 163, 198, 222

  Affghanistan, 90, 309

  Africa, West Coast, 52, 53

  Aggery, King, 62

  Agra, 16, 22, 26, 113

  Albuhera day, 75

  Aldershot, 296

  Alexandria, 161, 199

  Alighur, 32

  Aliwal, 50

  Allahabad, 19, 35, 36, 37, 122

  Ambulances, 241, 242

  Ambulanciers, 241, 245

  Ancestral worship, 190

  Annesley, Captain, 131

  Apollonia, 63, 64, 66

  Arrah, 111, 114, 118, 138, 139, 143, 145, 148

  _Arrow_ affair, 55

  Assault, Case of, 89

  Atrowlea, 134

  Axim, 64, 65, 69

  Azimghur, 118, 125, 136

  ---- Field Force, 135, 146


  Balaghurree, 42

  Bangalore, 216, 311

  Bankers, Native, 119

  Barbados, 71

  _Baretto Junior_, 70

  Bath, Order of the, 79, 157

  Batta, 34

  Beas, The, 102

  Beggars, Chinese, 188

  Beheea, 139

  Benares, 37, 216

  _Bentinck, Lord George_, 80

  Berhampore, 14, 41, 109, 117

  Beypore, 298

  Bhaugulpore, 41, 109

  Bhootan, 214

  Bindrabund, 25

  Bishop, R.C., of Pekin, 184

  Bombay, 297

  Boyne celebration, 76

  Bray, father and son, 17, 29

  “Brooms,” New, 312

  Bronze Star, 43

  Brown Bess, 22

  Bruce, Hon. F., 181, 193

  Buckingham, Duke of, 302, 308

  Bulliah, 147

  Buxar, 39, 81, 145


  Cabul, 1, 10

  Cairo, 161, 199, 224

  Calcutta, 10, 43, 103, 108, 113, 152, 203, 219

  Calicut, 311

  _Cambridge_, Ship, 58

  Camp of Exercise, 22, 32

  Campbell, Sir C., 16, 87, 112, 121, 123

  Canal, Ganges, 98

  ---- Suez, 205

  Cannanore, 311

  Canton, 168, 169

  Cape Coast Castle, 53-69

  ---- Town, 7

  Captives by Chinese, 171

  Cavanagh, Lieut., 28, 164

  Cawnpore, 15, 18, 82, 109, 116, 122, 123, 204

  Chamberlain, Sir N., 307, 309

  Chanda, 126

  Chandernagore, 43

  Chartists, 73

  Chatham, 1, 2, 45, 46

  Cheesewring, 158

  Chefoo, 180, 192, 196

  Chenab, 86

  Chichester, 46, 47, 229

  Children, Separation from, 208

  Chilianwallah, 74

  China, Emperor of, 195

  ---- expedition, 158, 160

  ---- indemnity, 194

  Chinsurah, 10, 12, 13, 43, 81

  Chitowrah, 140, 146

  Chloroform, 28, 95, 184

  Christmas, 1870, 270

  Chumbul, 26

  Chunar, 37

  Chuprah, 119, 120, 124

  Churchill, General, 28

  Clarkson, Thomas, 53

  “Clemency,” 120

  Clifton, Mr., 228

  Cobra bite, 20

  Colonels, The French, 156, 158

  Commission, Sanitary, 209, 218

  Confidential Reports, 312

  Coonoor, 215

  Cornwallis, Lord, 39

  Courage at sea, 45

  Crimea, The, 97, 100, 101

  _Crocodile_, H.M.S., 226

  Czar, The, 101


  Darjeeling, 206

  Decorations, Sale of, 229

  Delhi, 24, 112-118

  ---- King of, 150

  Deobund, 82

  Devonport, 153, 157, 200, 202

  Dewalee Festival, 21

  Deyrah Dhoon, 34

  Dinapore, 39, 102, 110-114, 145, 151, 206

  Disaffection, 205

  Disaster, Arrah, 111

  ---- Cabul, 10

  ---- Jugdispore, 138, 143

  Distilling water, 107

  Donnybrook Fair, 18

  Dost Mahomed, 100, 205

  Douglas, Brigadier, 137, 138, 145

  Dover, 293, 295

  Dowraha, 129

  Duelling, 75

  Dublin, 78

  Dunant, M. Henry, 293

  Dunbar, Capt., 112

  ---- Dr., 217


  Elgin, Lord, 164, 171, 172, 203, 209

  Ellenborough, Lord, 17, 35, 50

  Elmina, 56

  _Emily_, Brig, 55

  Encobra, River, 65

  Enniskillen, 74, 77

  _Euphrates_, H.M.S., 221, 226, 297

  Evans, Sir de Lacy, 79

  Execution parades, 18, 77, 122

  Exercise, Camp of, 22

  Exhibition, International, 80

  Eyre, Major, 112, 118, 139


  Famine, 307, 313

  Fantees, The, 57

  Fenwick, Col., 126, 131, 137, 141

  Ferozeshah, 84

  Fevers, Report on, 308

  Flogging case, 53

  “Flying column,” 185

  Foot, Chinese, 185

  Franco-Prussian War, 231

  French troops in Tientsin, 86, 192, 194

  Futtehpore, 122

  Futtyghur, 125


  Galle, 163, 198

  Ganges, 14, 81, 108, 121

  _Gazette Extraordinary_, 152

  Ghazepore, 38, 138

  Ghizeh, 224

  Gibson, Mrs., 228

  Gold Coast, 57-62

  ---- fever, 88

  Goojerat, 86, 92

  Goorkahs, 39, 148

  Gordon, Capt. C. E., 189, 210

  Gough, Sir Hugh, 5, 21

  Graham, Capt., 130

  Grant, Capt. C., 27

  Grant, Sir Hope, 147, 172

  ---- Sir Patrick, 112

  Gravesend, 3, 45, 72, 105

  Grey, General, 30

  Gros, Baron, 164

  Guinea--_See_ Gold Coast

  Gwalior, 17, 22, 25, 26, 30, 31

  Gyah, 117

  Gymnasium, 229


  Haines, Sir F., 298, 307

  Hardinge, Lord, 35, 49

  Haslar, 49

  Havelock, Lieut., 131

  ---- Sir Henry, 113, 116, 118, 123

  Hazarabagh, 208, 215

  Head, Sir Francis, 74

  Himalayahs, 33

  Hobart, Lord, 306

  Honan, 169

  Hong-Kong, 165-171, 198

  Hope, Sir James, 175, 202

  Hospital, Charitable, Tientsin, 184

  ---- Foundling, 182

  ---- Women’s, Devonport, 157

  ---- at Wuzzeerabad, 95

  Hospitality, Regimental, 17

  Hot season in Punjab, 87

  Hummeerpore, 126

  Hunting in China, 182

  Hurdwar, 33

  Hurricane, 80, 211, 221


  Ibrahim Pasha, 51

  Illness, My, 97, 102, 230

  Indemnity, Chinese, 194

  _Indian_, Ship, 2, 5

  Indigo, 210

  Inspection duties, 310

  Inspections, Surprise, 77

  Institute, Soldiers’, 91

  Irawaddy, River, 299


  Jagadree, 83

  Jains, 31, 214

  Jounpore Field Force, 120, 124

  Jugdispore, 138-147

  Jumna, The, 83

  Jung Bahadur, 113, 118, 149


  Kafilats, 152

  Karens, 302, 303

  Koer Singh, 111, 114, 125, 135-140, 145

  Kullianpore, 82

  Kurrunnassa, River, 81

  Kyatzoo creek, 305


  Ladies rescued, 132

  Lahore, 99

  Lamprey, Dr., 184

  Lawrence, Sir Henry, 134

  ---- Sir John, 118, 120, 209, 220

  L.E.L., 21, 60

  Lives sacrificed, 115

  _Lloyds_, Ship, 8

  Locusts, 20, 208

  Loodianah, 83

  Lucknow, 113, 118, 120, 122, 127, 129, 130, 134

  Lugard, Sir Edward, 143, 144, 145, 146


  M----, Capt., Story of, 166, 202

  Macarthy, Sir C., 57

  Mackeson, Major, 93

  Madras, 107, 215, 219, 297-313

  Magrath, Capt., 31

  Maharajpore, 26, 27, 42

  _Malabar_, Wreck of the, 163

  Maliaporam, 310

  Malta, 161

  March, The, in Africa, 65-69

  ---- England, 47

  ---- India, 18, 82, 103

  ---- Ireland, 74, 77, 78

  _Marlborough_, Ship, 104

  Marriage, My, 77

  Masterly inactivity, 205, 211

  Maun Singh, 119

  Maynooth, 78

  Medical officers, Army, 79, 132, 215, 296, 310

  Meean Meer, 96, 98, 115

  Meerut, 32, 82

  Mendhee Hussun, 136

  Mess hospitality, 9, 17, 40

  Mills, Mrs., Story of, 117

  Mitchell, Capt. (Sir John), 28, 195

  Mohurrum, The, 113

  _Monarch_, Ship, 44

  Monghyr, 40, 110, 213

  Monro of “The Blues,” 75

  ---- Sir Hector, 37, 39, 40

  Moodkee, 50

  Moolraj, 81

  Moses’ Wells, 223

  Mosque in Tientsin, 190

  Moulvie, The, 132

  Murder, Story of, 89

  Murree, 93

  Mutilation, 144

  Mutiny of native regiment, 34

  ---- at sea, 9

  ---- Sepoy, 107-119

  ---- “White,” 155

  Muttra, 25


  Nagasaki, 197, 198

  Nana, The, 120

  Napier, Sir C., 17, 27

  Napoleon III., 82, 89, 201

  ---- deposed, 234

  Neil, General, 120

  Nepaulese, The, 39

  “Neptune,” 6

  New Year, Chinese, 182

  Nunnery, Buddhist, 189


  Officer, Story of an, 204

  Ootacamund, 215, 219, 308, 313

  Opinion, English, 119

  Opium dens, 102

  _Oriental_, Ship, 298

  Ornithology in Africa, 61

  Oude, 16, 103, 113, 119, 120, 126

  ---- Family of, 149

  ---- King of, 108

  Outram, Sir J., 112, 118, 125


  Palkee dâk, 16

  Papamow, 19

  Paris, 206

  ---- Siege of, 232-288

  ---- Sieges of, 246
    Alsacienne, Story of the, 242, 246
    Ambulanciers, 243
    Avron, Plateau d’, 271
    Balloon post, 244, 246, 261
    Bellemere, Gen., 252, 277
    Belleville, 254, 267, 277, 279
    Besieged, Conditions of, 274, 280
    Bombardment, 272-278
    Bougeval, 256
    Boulogne, 257
    Bourget, Le, 257, 269
    Cantinières, 243, 257--_See_ Vivandières
    Caserne Papinière, 270
    Casualties, 273, 280
    Champigny, 262-266
    Charitable Fund (British), 250
    Chatillon, 242-245
    Claremont, Col., 233, 240
    Commune, The, 258, 280, 283, 286, 290
    Dangerous classes, 243--_See_ Commune
    Defenders, 238, 252, 253
    Disaffection, 274
    Disturbances, 260, 267, 282
    Drancy and Bourget, 269, 270
    Ducrot, Gen., 278
    Duel, 268
    Emperor, German, Review by, 291
    Eugénie, Empress, 235, 253
    Federals, 252, 257
    Francs Tireurs, 254, 257
    Garde Mobile, 237, 239, 240, 245, 257
    ---- Nationale, 236, 238, 243, 253, 257, 258, 260, 284, 290, 292
    Humiliation, Causes of, 284
    Irishman in French Navy, 271
    Légion d’Honneur, 290
    Lindsay, Col. Lloyd, 250
    Madeleine, Requiem in, 259
    Meudon, 242, 244, 273, 291
    Montretout and Bougeval, 277
    Montmartre, 238, 290, 291
    Mont Valérien, 279
    Nurses, 241, 242, 244
    “Occupation” by German army, 289
    Père la Chaise, 259
    Pigeon post, 249
    Rationing, 260, 267, 275
    Republic, 243, 252, 254, 255
    Riots--_See_ Disturbances
    Sedan, 240
    Soldiers, Citizen, 274
    Sorties, 255, 262, 269, 277
    Spy, Captured as a, 233
    ---- mania, 268
    St. Cloud Palace, 249
    St. Denis, 279
    Supplies arrive, 281, 282, 287
    Théâtre Française, 261
    Thiers, M., 239
    _Times_ messages, 276
    Trochu, Gen., 239, 257, 271, 279
    Versailles, 238, 290, 291
    Vilette, 254, 257, 260, 267, 279
    Vinoy, Gen., 235, 277, 279
    Vivandières, 252
    Washburne, 276
    Wounded Germans, 292
    Zouaves, 253

  Parkhurst, 228

  Patna, 39, 112, 117, 147, 213

  _Pearl_ Brigade, 119, 120, 124

  Peel, Sir W., 115, 122

  Peeroo, 141

  Pekin, 171

  Penang, 164

  Persia, 100

  Petroleum, 301

  Pigott, Lord, 306

  Plassee, 42

  Plymouth, 153, 157

  Pollock, Gen., 15

  Portsmouth, 48, 72, 227-230, 313

  Portland, 228

  Postage cheap in India, 98

  Prestige, 137

  _Princess Royal_, Ship, 72

  Proclamation, Royal, 149

  Proclamations, 148-150

  Prome, 300

  Pucka Serai, 92

  Punishments, Army, 229

  Punjab, The, 22, 23, 35, 40, 118

  Punniar, 30

  Purbootpore, 81

  Pyramids of Ghizeh, 225


  Quacko Ako, 63, 68

  Queen, H.M. the, in Ireland, 76


  Rajmahal, 46, 109

  Ramdeela, 38

  Raneegunge, 120, 152, 209

  Rangoon, 298, 305

  Raper, Gen., 14

  _Rattler_, H.M.S., 51

  Ravee, The, 84

  Rawul Pindee, 93, 95

  Refugees, 108

    16th Lancers, 24-29, 50
    3rd Foot (The Buffs), 2, 18, 52, 220
    10th Foot, 42, 80, 85, 94, 97, 110
    57th Foot, 74-100

  Reinforcements, 115, 119

  Roberts, Lord, 91

  Robinson, Sir W., 307

  Ros de, Lady, 294

  Rose, Sir Hugh, 140

  Rouen, 202

  Russian warship, 51


  Saharunpore, 83

  Sarnath, 38, 218

  Schools, Regimental, 156

  Secunderabad, 311

  Sedan, 234, 251

  Sepoy mutiny, 107-115

  Service, Short, 293

  Sewan, 124

  Shaloof, 222

  Shanghai, 172, 173

  _Shannon_ Brigade, 115

  Shoay Gheen, 304

  Sickly season, 59, 60

  Sikhs, 148

  ---- at Tientsin, 186

  ---- invade India, 49

  Sikkim, 207

  Silver, Brick of, 133

  Simla, 97, 102

  Sinchal, 207

  Sind, 1, 17

  Singapore, 164

  Sitang, River, 303, 305

  Sittana, 209

  Slavery, 54, 57

  Smith, Sir Harry, 22, 50

  Snake-bite, 20, 90

  Sobraon, 50

  Society, Army Medical, 227

  Soldiers, Discharging, 230

  ---- Old, 52, 271, 310

  ---- Young, 309

  ---- Institute, 91

  ---- Life in India, 90, 91

  Somnath, Gates of, 17

  Sonthals, 101

  Sooltanpore, 127, 128

  _Soorma_, The “flat,” 108

  Sotheby, Captain, 119, 120

  Squadron, Experimental, 49, 50

  St. Helena, 44

  Staveley, Sir C., 196

  Struck, Am, by soldier, 88

  Succession in Guinea, 62

  Suez, 162, 198, 223

  ---- Canal, 205

  Sunderbunds, 81

  Sutlej, River, 15, 84

  Suttee suppression, 82


  Table Bay, 7

  Taipings, 165, 172, 193, 194, 210

  Taku, 154, 175

  Taoists, 196

  Tarifa, 160

  Tartar soldiers, 185

  Tea, Factory of, 169

  ---- Soldiers’, 48

  Telegraph, 97, 214, 220

  Temple, Buddhist, 189

  ---- of Punishments, 180

  ---- Taoist, 196

  Thebaw, King, 309

  Thuggee, 87

  Thyet Myo, 301, 303

  Tientsin, 171-177

  Tirhoot, 124

  Todas, 216

  Tonghoo, 303

  Trait, 93

  Transports, Indian, 205

  Treaty, Chinese, 173

  _Trent_ affair, 199

  Trincomalee, 221

  Troopships, 4, 31, 44


  Umballah, 83, 102


  Versailles, 201


  Wales, H.R.H. Prince of, 203

  War, First Sikh, 50

  Warrant, Royal, 149, 314

  Watson, General, 37

  Wellington, Duke of, 89

  “White Man’s Grave,” 52

  _White Star_, Ship, 180

  Wife, Illness of, 92, 95

  Wight, Isle of, 227

  Winchester, 48

  Women to be armed, 114

  Wuzzeerabad, 86-95


  Yoma range, 301

Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London.

Transcribers’ Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

Index not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page references.

Text uses both “via” and “viâ”, and other word-variants with and
without accents.

Page 147: “the Moulvie already mentioned” was printed as “mention”;
changed here.

Page 241: “probable casualties. Thus” was printed with a comma; changed

Page 251: “and it was impossible” was printed without the “was”;
changed here.

Page 276: “glimering” was printed that way.

Page 303: The reference to Footnote 333 (originally “2”) was missing,
and has been added in a plausible place by the Transcriber.

In the Index, the sub-entries under Paris all belong under “Paris”
itself; they are not sub-entries of “Sieges of”.

The footnotes, originally at the bottoms of pages, have been collected
and moved to follow the last chapter, just before the Index.

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