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THE AVENGING SWORD-HAVELOCK.
noise gradually lessened, and at nightfall the cxecutioners could lock the doors and retire from the building, with the feeble moans of a few half-slaughtered women ringing in their ears. Three at least survived till the morning (the 16th), when the doors of the slaughter-house were once more opened, and the naked bodies and dismembered limbs dragged ignominiously across the compound to a dry well situated behind some trees which grew near by. The three (says the writer here quoted) prayed for the sake of God that an end might be put to their suffering Their prayer was heard. Their bodies were cast with the others into the well, and the bloody work fitly finished by the slaughter of two fair-haired children, who in some unknown manner had escaped the sword the night before, and were moving in childish terror about the well. One person was of opinion that the man who threw them in, first took the trouble to kill the children-others thought not."
"I have seen the fearful slaughter-house," writes the Times' correspondent, "and also one of the First Native Infantry men, according to order, wash up part of the blood which stains the floor, before burying the quantities of dresses, clogged thickly with blood; childrens' frocks, frills, and ladies' underclothing of all kinds; also boys' trousers, leaves of Bibles, and of one book in particular, which seemed to be strewed over the whole place, called Preparation for Death; also broken daguerreotype cases only, lots of them, and hair, some nearly a yard long; bonnets all bloody, and one or two shoes. I picked up a bit of paper with on it 'Ned's hair, with love,' and, opened, I found a little bit tied up with a ribbon."
blood of these poor wretched creatures. Portions of their dresses, collars, children's socks, and ladies' round hats lay about, saturated with blood; and in the sword-cuts on the wooden pillars of the room, long dark hair was carried by the edge of the weapon, and there hung their tresses-a most painful sight. I have often wished since that I had never been there, but sometimes wish that every soldier was taken there, that he might witness the barbarities our poor country women suffered. Their bodies were afterwards dragged out and thrown down a well outside the building, where their limbs were to be seen sticking out in a mass of gory confusion."
A thrill of horror at these fiendish outrages, a moan of lamentation that they had occurred before help could reach the victims, a lightning flash of fury against the wretches who had committed such crimes, went through England, and had been already experienced by the Europeans and the army in India. The avenging sword was already impending over the assassins, and the footsteps of the general who directed it was on the track which they had marked with blood. Sir Colin Campbell, that stout veteran of the Crimea, had been appointed by the government in London, commander-in-chief of the Indian forces, and he it was who was sent out, to hasten, with fresh troops, to the relief of the forces already engaged. He lost no time about it. A few hours after he had received orders he embarked, and he reached Calcutta on the 14th of August, where he at once issued an address to the army-an army which, after it had been considerably reinforced, amounted to fewer than 5000 men. But another general was sternly treading on the heels of the enemy before Sir Colin arrived at the scene of action. The name of Henry Havelock was already known in India; but in a few weeks it was to sound like a stirring trumpet blast not only over the East, but throughout England, so swift and brilliant was the heroic march of the small force that he led to victory and to the execution of the sentence for which the world was waiting. There was in General Havelock something of the staid, grave Puritan type of soldier, but with much underlying
sweetness. He was more than sixty years old, | walls, and houses of solid masonry, approached and had for thirty-four years been serving in the East. He was in the Burmese war of 1824, and the Sikh war of 1845. Always of a serious temperament, Havelock had been known, even when he was a Charterhouse school-boy, by the half-endearing sobriquet of "old phlos," meaning old philosopher; and his religious training as a member of the Baptist communion had tended to deepen and intensify his earnest character by the sanctions and influences of religion. It may be said that Havelock's was a very rare, if not a unique character, among officers in the army in modern times. Not because there are not good and religiously disposed gentlemen holding her majesty's commission, but because his earnestness and example were exerted for the purpose of influencing the men under his command, and did influence them, so that at all events drunkenness and profane language were not tolerated in their ranks, and the observances of religion held a definite, and, as it appeared, an honoured and sacred place among their daily engagements. Perhaps never since the old Puritan or the Huguenot times had there been an entire regiment with the characteristics which distinguished "Havelock's Saints," as they were called; and they carried the resemblance still further when fighting had to be done by doing it with all their might. They seemed to go to their terrible work as Cromwell's Ironsides went to theirs, or in the manner of the French refugees at the Battle of the Boyne.
by swamps, fronted by hillocks, villages, and large groves, which were occupied by the enemy, who began to cannonade the advanc ing fronts of the British, and to threaten their flanks with cavalry and infantry. But Havelock, by a rapid disposition of his men, and the quickness and range of the fire from the Enfield rifles, was able to push his artillery forward, and commence a tremendous volley, under cover of which the British line advanced, and the enemy, abandoning three of their guns, fell back on the town, from which, however, they were subsequently driven and pursued when they endeavoured to make a stand, so that at length they broke in disorder and fled, leaving twelve cannon and numbers of dead upon the field. The victorious column then marched on to Cawnpore, driving out the rebels at the various places on which they encountered them, in a series of sharp engagements which lasted till they were within eight miles of the city. It was on hearing of the advance of the British column that Nana Sahib ordered the massacre of the women and children. He then took up a position at a village where the Grand Trunk road united with the road leading to the military cantonment of Cawnpore. His intrenchments rendered both roads impassable, and his guns had been drawn up all along his position, which consisted of a series of villages. It was evident that he expected the British to attack in front, but Havelock was too able a soldier to fall into such an error. He halted his troops for two or three hours in the mango groves, that they might rest from the burning heat and cook their rations. Then moving them off so that they could defile round the left, so ranged them, that the guns were at intervals ready for attack or defence. It was a difficult manoeuvre, for the enemy, perceiving it, began to play shot and shell from the whole of his guns; but our men advanced in the face of the heavy fire, took the guns, drove out the mutineers, and afterwards entirely routed them. At daybreak, before our column had recommenced its march, a tremendous explosion was heard. It was the magazine at Cawnpore, which the miscreant Nana Sahib
Unhappily General Havelock had not reached Calcutta in time to make an effort to avert the horrible tragedy at Cawnpore; but immediately on his arrival he went to Allahabad to organize the troops which had arrived there in small detachments from various places as quickly as the imperfect means of transport would allow. With 1200 men he pushed forward at once, half way to Cawnpore, and on the road was joined by Major Renard, who, with 800 men, had been suppressing the revolt in that neighbourhood. The whole force was about 1400 British bayonets, eight guns, and about 500 of the native troops. A force of the mutineers 3500 strong occupied Futtehpore, a place full of garden inclosures, strong
SIR JAMES OUTRAM--RELIEF OF LUCKNOW.
had blown up as he quitted the place, where, it is said, he stayed long enough to order the murder of one woman, who had escaped or survived the massacre; he then fell back upon his fortress at Bithoor; but he feared to stay there, for he knew that his life was not worth a moment's purchase if the British should force it and capture him.
We have already indicated the horrible spectacle that awaited Havelock's column when the men entered Cawnpore. Among the stories current afterwards was a report that the soldiers had picked up and divided among themselves a tress severed from the head of one of the murdered girls, and had sworn that for every hair a Sepoy should die. If that vow was ever made, it was kept to the full.
General Neill, who was afterwards killed on the entry of the troops into Lucknow, soon arrived from Benares, and was left in charge at Cawnpore while General Havelock continued his march. That march was marked by a series of tremendous conflicts, which commenced immediately after crossing the Ganges and through the part of the Oudh territory towards Lucknow. The troops of Nana Sahib, that is to say, the army of the mutinous Sepoys, had occupied strong positions on the route, and had planted their artillery so that, with their vastly superior numbers, they had a tremendous advantage. But the spectacle at Cawnpore would, if anything had been needed, have fired our men to even more daring than that of attacking with the impetuosity of anger what might have seemed to be overwhelming forces. They rushed at the foe, broke through intrenchments, sprang upon the earthworks, and, with ringing cheers and unbroken spirit, drove the flying Sepoys into full retreat, capturing their guns and giving no quarter.
The column was worn out with fatigue, and had to recross the river to Cawnpore, where they joined General Neill's troops, who were being menaced from Bithoor by a strong body of rebels-a body of Nana Sahib's troops -who had occupied a plain densely covered with thickets, flanked by villages, and intersected by streams; while behind were the nar
row streets and brick houses of Bithoor. other battle had therefore to be fought by the weary column, and it was fought and won, the enemy being driven out and the guns captured, though the want of cavalry prevented pursuit.
These were the kind of battles fought in that horrible mutiny, and nine of them had been Havelock's share. His column was reduced to 700 men, and he fell back on Cawnpore for breathing time and to wait for reinforcements, which Sir James Outram was bringing from Calcutta. Sir James Outram, who was returning from the Persian war, which had been brought to a conclusion, was sent to Oudh as chief-commissioner with full civil and military power, and had he marched to Cawnpore in that capacity he would have superseded Havelock and snatched from him his well-earned laurels; but with a noble sense of justice which the general must have deeply appreciated, he wrote to tell of his coming, and concluded the letter by saying: "To you shall be left the glory of relieving Lucknow, for which you have already struggled so much. I shall accompany you only in my civil capacity as commissioner, placing my military service at your disposal, should you please, and serving under you as a volunteer."
On the 19th and 20th of September the relieving force had crossed the Ganges-infantry, artillery, and a few cavalry, in all about 2500 men and with 17 guns. They had to fight their way by another series of engagements, and the troops, tired, ill-fed, and after marching in a deluge of rain, had to rest under their tents before advancing on the town.
It was not till the 25th of September that the welcome clamour of the relieving force aroused the sufferers at Lucknow, who had been besieged by the rebel Sepoys for eightyseven days. The fighting during the day was so severe that at nightfall Sir James Outram proposed to halt till morning within the courts of the Mehal. "But," writes General Havelock, "I esteemed it to be of such importance to let the beleaguered garrison know that succour was at hand, that with his ulti
mate sanction I directed the main body of the | Agra, and the exploits which were followed by
the continuation of the march of the column under Brigadier Hope Grant to Cawnpore, and thence to the Alumbagh on the 8th of November, contributed largely to the rapid success of the operations which stamped out the mutiny.
By the end of September eighty ships had successively reached Calcutta from England, carrying 30,000 troops. As the regiments. arrived they were sent up the country to Cawnpore as quickly as possible, but it was not till the 9th of November that Sir Colin Campbell was able to march from Cawnpore for the final relief of Lucknow, then hemmed in by overwhelming numbers of the rebels.
78th Highlanders, and the regiment of Ferozepore, to advance. This column rushed on with a desperate gallantry, led by Sir James Outram and myself, and Lieutenants Hudson and Hargood of my staff, through streets of flat-roofed loopholed houses, from which a perpetual fire was kept up; and, overcoming every obstacle, established itself within the inclosure of the Residency. The joy of the garrison may be more easily conceived than described; but it was not till the next evening that the whole of my troops, guns, tumbrils, and sick and wounded, continually exposed to the attacks of the enemy, could be brought step by step within the enceinte and the adjacent palace of the Fureed Buksh. To form an adequate idea of the obstacles overcome reference must be made to the events that are known to have occurred at Buenos Ayres and Saragossa. Our advance was through streets of houses such as I have described, and thus each forming a separate fortress. I am filled with surprise at the success of the operation, which demanded the efforts of 10,000 good troops. The advantage gained has cost us dear. The killed, wounded, and missing the latter being wounded soldiers, who, I much fear, some or all, have fallen into the hands of a merciless foeamounted, up to the evening of the 26th, to 535 officers and men."
On the 15th of November, the march of Sir Colin Campbell to the Residency was telegraphed from the Alumbagh, and, not heeding the danger, many gallant fellows mounted the tower of the fortress to watch the onward career of that cloud of fire and smoke which marked the position of the veteran's army.
Most of us have heard the story of the Scotch nurse who was in the fortification when hope had almost left the beleaguered garrison, and who suddenly started up, declaring that she heard the sound of the pibroch of the Highland regiments, and that the British were on the march to deliver them.
Amongst those who were killed was General Neill, shot dead by a bullet, and surely no better or braver soldier fell in India that year. Although the beleaguered garrison at the Residency was thus nominally relieved, it was impossible to extricate the helpless mass of women and children, and non-combatants, from their perilous position by attempting to march back upon Cawnpore. The generals, therefore, determined to remain at Lucknow, strengthening the garrison by the troops they had brought, and to wait until Sir Colin Campbell, the new commander-in-chief, should come up and secure their safety. During this time the column known as Greathed's Column had been performing prodigies of valour against the rebels in various places, and it may be said that the brilliant victory at
The troops under Sir Colin Campbell must have been miles distant at that time; but, if the story be true, the prophecy was fulfilled, for the army of relief came in almost without stopping, and the Highland regiments swept down on the cowardly foe with irresistible force whenever they were ordered to the charge, their bagpipes sounding the notes of war, and the men answering with wild cheers.
Early on that morning the British troops advanced to attack the Secunderbagh north of the canal. By a running fight which lasted two hours, they gained a position at the Dilkhoosa and Martiniere, the former, which means "Heart's delight," being a palace of brick, in a kind of park, the latter a school, both strong positions near the canal, and on the road to the very heart of the Residency. So important were these points, that at three o'clock in the afternoon the enemy attempted to dislodge the
ARRIVAL OF SIR COLIN CAMPBELL-FALL OF LUCKNOW.
British forces, but after a severe struggle were repulsed heavily, and on the 16th, the commander-in-chief advanced straight across the canal, after a fierce fight, in which the rebels suffered enormous loss. On the head of the column marching up a lane to the left, fire was opened by the rebels, and a sharp fight commenced on both sides, lasting for about an hour and a half. It was then determined to carry the place by storm through a small breach which had been made. "This," wrote the commander-in-chief, "was done in the most brilliant manner by the remainder of the Highlanders, with the 53d and the 4th Punjaub Infantry, supported by a battalion of detachments under Major Barnston. There never was a bolder feat of arms, and the loss inflicted on the enemy, after the entrance of the Secunderbagh was effected, was immense. More than 2000 of the enemy were afterwards carried out. Captain Peel's royal naval siegetrain then went to the front, and advanced towards the Shah Nujjeef, together with the field battalion and some mortars, the village to the left having been cleared by Brigadier Hope and Lieutenant-colonel Gordon. The Shah Nujjeef is a domed mosque with a garden, of which the most had been made by the enemy. The wall of the inclosure of the mosque was loopholed with great care. The entrance to it had been covered by a regular work in masonry, and the top of the building was crowned with a parapet. From this, and from the defences in the garden, an unceasing fire of musketry was kept up from the commencement of the attack. This position was defended with great resolution against a heavy cannonade for three hours. It was then stormed in the boldest manner by the 93d Highlanders, under Brigadier Hope, supported by a battalion of detachments under Major Barnston, who was, I regret to say, severely wounded; Captain Peel leading up his heavy guns with extraordinary gallantry within a few yards of the building to batter the massive stone walls. The withering fire of the Highlanders effectually covered the naval brigade from great loss. But it was an action almost unexampled in war. Captain Peel behaved very much as if he had been laying the
Shannon alongside an enemy's frigate. This brought the day's operations to a close."
Next day a building, called the mess-house, which was of considerable size and defended by a ditch and loopholed mud wall, was taken by storm; "and then," says the commanderin-chief, "the troops pressed forward with great vigour, and lined the wall separating the mess-house from the Motee Mahal, which consists of a wide inclosure and many buildings. The enemy here made a last stand, which was overcome after an hour, openings having been broken in the wall, through which the troops poured, with a body of sappers, and accomplished our communications with the Residency. I had the inexpressible satisfaction, shortly afterwards, of greeting Sir James Outram and Sir Henry Havelock, who came out to meet me before the action was at an end. The relief of the besieged garrison had been accomplished." While the commander-in-chief was thus winning his way to the Residency, by his own admirable strategy and the resistless gallantry of his troops, General Havelock and the garrison pent up within its walls were not idle. Mines were driven under the outer wall of the garden in advance of the palace, which had been already breached in several places by the rebels; and also under some buildings in the vicinity; and as soon as it became known that Sir Colin Campbell was attacking the Secunderbagh these mines were exploded. Two powerful batteries, which had been erected in the inclosure, masked by the outer wall, were then brought into play, and poured shot and shell into the palace. At last the advance sounded. "It was impossible," wrote General Havelock, "to describe the enthusiasm with which the signal was received by the troops. Pent up in inaction for upwards of six weeks, and subjected to constant attacks, they felt that the hour of retribution and glorious exertion had returned. Their cheers echoed through the courts of the palace responsive to the bugle sound, and on they rushed to assured victory. The enemy could nowhere withstand them. In a few minutes the whole of the buildings were in our possession, and have since been armed with cannon and steadily held against all