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DEATH OF SIR H. LAWRENCE.
itself. Sir Henry was then suffering from British position. It was declared that 8000 severe illness, but he succeeded in disarming men sometimes fired at once upon the desome of the mutineers, and fortified and pro- fenders; but the British held their own, made visioned the Residency at Lucknow. Directly sorties and spiked the enemies' guns,
worked he could place himself at the head of his troops countermines, and so harassed their assailants he marched out against a body of rebels at a by repeated sallies, that at last it was a conflict place called Chinhut, but they were already between a comparative handful of brave and in such numbers that he was compelled to determined men, who would fight against any retire. On his return he found that the native odds, and a horde of bloodthirsty wretches who, troops at Lucknow, who had previously held like wolves, prowled round the place but aloof from the revolt, were in mutiny, and it feared to approach too near, as the terrible required an immediate attack upon them by Sahibs would rush out upon them, and in a part of the 32nd Regiment and the artillery spite of numbers, drive them back with reto drive them to Moodripore, where, however, peated loss. they were received by another body of mutin- But meantime a still more fearful struggle ous Sepoys. The rebels were in such force had been going on at another city about fifty that Sir Henry Lawrence found he could do miles (as the crow flies) from Lucknow. The nothing except prepare Lucknow for a siege very name of Cawnpore is still remembered and wait for help from without. The brave as a word of horror, even though it may be commander himself was to be one of the first hoped that it has long ceased to be associated victims. On the 2nd of July, he was up at day- with feelings of vengeance; but in the last break at work, and, suffering from fatigue and months of 1857, it could not be mentioned the weakness of recent illness, was lying on a either here or in India without exciting a passofa that he might, by the rest which itafforded, sion of indignation which it was painful to continue to give directions. His nephew and witness. The atrocities perpetrated at Cawnanother officer were with him. Suddenly the pore roused the British troops, officers and crash of a shell was heard, the room was filled men, to a pitch of fury that impelled them to with dust and smoke, one of the officers was attack almost single-handed whole companies flung to the ground, and, in fear for his chief, of the mutinous Sepoys, and without a mocalled out directly he could make his voice ment's hesitation to fight against numbers so heard, “Sir Henry, are you hurt?” “I am overwhelming, that apparently only the frenzy killed," was the faint but calm reply, and it of hate and a fierce determined purpose of rewas found that a splinter of the shell had given venge could have sustained the physical power the general a mortal wound in the thigh. which enabled them to break and scatter the On the morning of the 4th he died, still calm opposing hosts, and to slay without pause, and and uncomplaining. He had made all the ar- with no more thought of fear than of mercy. rangements possible for the work which his Cawnpore was one of the first-class military successor would have to perform, and before stations in India, for on the annexation of he died, desired that the epitaph on his tomb Oudh it had become necessary to maintain a should be—“Here lies Henry Lawrence, who strong military force there. It commanded tried to do his duty.” The task of relieving the bridge over which passed the highroad to Lucknow was to fall to another great and the town of Lucknow, the capital of the profaithful general, Henry Havelock, but it could vince. When the mutiny broke out in Meerut, not be immediately accomplished.
there were in Cawnpore about 3000 native For three months, night and day, the gar- soldiers, consisting of two infantry and one rison were employed in beating back their cavalry regiment and a company of artilleryassailants, who were able to take up positions There were only about 300 English in the mosques and other buildings outside officers and soldiers, and the population of the town, where at a short distance they could Europeans and the mixed race numbered fire tremendous volleys of musketry into the about 1000, including the women and chil
dren, officials, railway stati, merchants, shop- | about five feet high. Before the 1st of June the keepers, and their families. The native popu- European non-military residents at Cawnpore lation was about 60,000. The garrison was had moved into the church and other buildunder the command of Sir Hugh Wheeler, an ings near the intrenchment, within which the old Bengal officer who had nearly reached his records and the commissariat treasure chests 75th year at the time of the breaking out of were placed; a quantity of ammunition had the mutiny. The whole territory represented been buried under ground, though from some by the surrounding stations was now in in- extraordinary oversight the magazine which surrection, and at all these places the rebels, had been deserted had not been blown up. many of whom at first pretended to be faith- Sir Hugh Wheeler's position was a desperate ful that they might disarm suspicion, begun one, and he had sent a secret messenger more to murder indiscriminately all the Europeans, than once to Sir Henry Lawrence at Lucknow not sparing the ladies and children. In some to ask for aid if he could possibly send it; but cases the most solemn oaths were taken by Sir Henry was obliged to reply that he could the rebels that, if the English officers would not spare a single man, for he was himself in give up their arms and cease further resist- a sore strait waiting for relief from without. ance, the lives of all in the place should be It was at this juncture that Sir Hughi spared; but the oaths were not kept, the officers Wheeler, after some hesitation, came to the being killed, the children cut to pieces in pre- fatal conclusion to ask aid of the Chief of sence of their mothers, and the women sabred Bithoor. He was the son of a Brahmin of the one after the other with fiendish cruelty. At Deccan, and had been adopted by Bajee Rao, Allahabad the officers were shot down, and the ex-Peishwah of Poonah, whose large coma Mohammedan moolvie having set himself pensatory pension of 800 lacs of rupees he had up as the officer of the King of Delhi, all the expected to inherit. Lord Dalhousie had in Europeans who could be secured were bar- his settlement of Oudh either neglected or had barously murdered and many of them tor- refused to entertain this claim, and so Doontured. The place was taken less than a week dhoo Punth, or, as he was more frequently after by Lieutenant-colonel O'Neill, who drove called, Nana Sahib, had become a doubtful out the enemy and burnt the village to the friend if not a concealed foe to the British ground. Where the Europeans contrived to government. It is not easy to say whether, escape to a fortified station, they were scarcely when Sir Hugh Wheeler sent to him at able to hold their own until the arrival of the his house at Bithoor, a small town about English troops. In several cases they failed twelve miles up the river from Cawnpore, he to do so and were murdered. Cawnpore was was already decidedly hostile or whether he an important, but at the same time a poorly was still treacherously uncertain--waiting to fortified place, standing on a peninsula be- see what turn affairs might take—but it soon tween the Ganges and the Jumna, and built became evident that he had no good intenon the south bank of the Ganges, there nearly tions. That Nana Sahib was a crafty, cruel, a quarter of a mile broad in the dry season,
and treacherous villain there can be no and more than a mile across when swelled by doubt; but he had mixed much with Eurorains. Seeing the dangerous temper of the peans, and though he was unacquainted with Sepoys, Sir Hugh Wheeler had begun to form the English language, had acquired manners an intrenched camp round the hospital bar- of refinement which distinguished him as a racks, between the soldiers' church and some native gentleman, while at the same time he unfinished lines for European troops. It was was regarded as a friend to the British resian ineffectual defensive position, and so far as dents, among whom he had been so often well could afterwards be judged it would have received. He lived in a semi-princely state, been better if he had concentrated his force at his house was fortified, and he was allowed a the treasury and the magazine, for his in- retinue of 200 soldiers and three field-pieces. trenchment was formed only by a mud wall | To him Sir Hugh Wheeler applied, and he
DEFENCE OF CAWNPORE-TREACHERY OF NANA SAHIB.
promptly-perhaps with suspicious alacrity- | crept forth like wolves or vultures to share in came with his guns and his men to Cawnpore. the carnage. But though they kept up an This pleasant gentleman, who had so often incessant fusillade, they never attempted an been the host and the guest of the English mili- assault on the position without being driven tary and civil officials, and whose fat unwieldy back in a fright, or falling dead in numbers person and slow easy-natured manner were as before the desperate valour of the now diminwell known in the district as his luxurious ishing defenders, who were not only in conmode of living, was either a deep dissimulator stant danger from the bullets of their enemies, waiting for an opportunity to wreak venge- but were suffering the pangs of thirst. No ance for the refusal of his claim to a pension, water could be obtained except from one well, or his supposed wrongs flamed up when they which was constantly covered by the Sepoy met the spark of opportunity, and all the wild guns, until an expedition to replenish the beast nature in him, long subdued by custom, water-bottles became a “forlorn hope” never grew into sudden ferocity. What happened accomplished except at the expense of wounds, when he reached Cawnpore seems to have if not of the death of one or other adventurer. been this: the mutineers demanded that he In all these long weeks not a bucket, not a should become one of their leaders, if not their spongeful of water could be spared for the chief, and lead them on to Delhi, the centre of purpose of personal cleanliness, and that in the revolt. The smooth Azimoolah Khan, his such a climate and among a community largely
a confidential adviser, opposed this. Why should consisting of English ladies and children ache, who had his own cause to make good as customed to habits of refinement. The magaan hereditary ruler with a grudge against the zine and the treasury had been taken by the hated English, be absorbed in the pretensions Sepoys. The 3d Oudh battery which was in of the family of Tippoo Sahib? Let him act the trench with the Europeans began to mutiny, there and then, by taking possession of the and were disarmed and sent out of the place, country round Cawnpore. He yielded so soon, leaving about 300 fighting men including the that it must be doubted whether he had not officers of the native regiment, and eight all along reserved the notion of turning mounted guns. Nana Sahib was joined by a against the English, and he at once called on large body of Oudh natives, who had the repuSir Hugh Wheeler to surrender the intrench- tation of being the best fighting men in India, ments. The surrender was not made, and the and he then ordered a grand assault, but with mutineers were ordered to make a general the usual result. The indomitable garrison, assault on the mud walls behind the open daily diminishing in numbers, with only such space. That assault was repulsed with heroic rations of water as could be drawn at great bravery by about 400 men who could fight, out risk at night when the fire slackened a little, of 465 who were there within the frail de- and with a diminishing supply of meat, befences, with about 280 married women and cause there were no sheltered places in which girls and as many children. It was then that to preserve the cattle, yet drove back the the answer was brought back from Lucknow enemy with such effect that the rest of the that Sir Henry Lawrence bad not a man to Sepoys began to think it was useless to atspare. The beleaguered garrison at Cawnpore tempt to scale those puny ramparts while would have to resist to the bitter end unless there were any Englishmen left behind them. assistance arrived from afar to release them. Unless Nana Sahib could take Cawn pore his It seemed as though the intrenchments would influence would melt away rapidly, and thereinclose only the dead or the dying before that fore Hindoo craft and treachery took the place succour could arrive. The fire of the mutineers of courage. He conferred with his lieutenant continued night and day, and the rebel army Tantia Topee, and with his agent Azimoolah, was reinforced by swarms of the vilest mis- and the result was a message to the intrenchcreants of Oudh, the slinking ruffians who had ments that all those who were in no way conescaped from jail, or being in hiding had nected with the acts of Lord Dalhousie, and
who were willing to lay down their arms, from all directions and kept up a fire. The should receive a safe passage to Allahabad. men jumped out of the boats, and, instead
The mutiny broke out at Cawnpore on the of trying to get the boats loose from their forenoon of the 7th of June, and from that moorings, swam to the first boat they saw day to the 24th an almost incessant fire had loose. Only three boats got safely over to been kept up on the intrenched camp. It was the opposite side of the river, but were met on the last-mentioned day that this message there by two field-pieces, guarded by a numwas sent by Nana Sahib, offering in effect to ber of cavalry and infantry. Before these allow all in the camp to go to Allahabad in boats had got a mile down the stream, half safety, if they would abandon the intrench- our small party were either killed or wounded, ment and give up the treasures and stores. and two of our boats had been swamped. What else was to be done? Allahabad was We had now only one boat, crowded with in the hands of the English. To the offer was wounded, and having on board more than added a promise of food and boats to carry the she could carry. The two guns followed us garrison, the women and children. There were the whole of the day, the infantry firing on many sick, and several dying. Some of the us the whole of that night.” Those in the women and children who had died had been
boats who were not killed by the fire of the thrown at night into a well outside the in- Sepoys were seized and carried back to Cawntrenchments. There was no possibility of giving pore, where the men were all shot, and the them burial. Scarcely a corner of the build- women carried to a building which had been ings had escaped the shot and shell of the formerly used as an assembly-room, and kept enemy, who at last had thrown live-hot shells
close prisoners. They were not kept long in and had thus set fire to the barracks, which suspense as to their fate. The Nana having burned so fiercely that it was difficult to re- learned on the 15th that the British troops had move any of the women and children, and carried the bridge over the Pandoo Nuddee, about forty of the sick and helpless perished. and that nothing could stop the irresistible All the medicines were destroyed. Tents march of Havelock's column, issued, through had been struck to preserve them from the the Begum, a frightful order to slay the bombardment. Who would have neglected a entire company. His instructions were but chance of release? The proposal was assented too faithfully obeyed. The Begum apto by General Wheeler, and for the two days proached the building in which the Eurofollowing, the frightened residents in the in- peans were confined, accompanied by five trenchment enjoyed comparative quiet to pre- men, each armed with a sabre; two of them pare for the journey.
appeared to be Hindoo peasants, two were “On the 26th," wrote Lieutenant Delafosse known to be butchers, Mohammedans, and (one of only four survivors of this treacherous one was dressed in the red uniform of the scheme), " a committee of officers went to the Maharajah’s body-guard. “The horrible work river to see that the boats were ready and commenced by half-a-dozen Sepoys dischargserviceable; and everything being reported ing their muskets at random through the ready, and carriages for the wounded having windows upon the defenceless victims. The arrived, we gave over our guns, &c., and five men armed with sabres were then obmarched on the morning of the 27th of June, served to enter the building quietly, and close about seven o'clock. We got down to the river the doors. What next took place no one was and into the boats without being molested in spared to relate. Shrieks and scuffling were the least, but no sooner were we in the boats, | heard at significant intervals, acquainting and had laid down our muskets and taken those outside that the hired executioners off our coats to work easier at the boats, than were earning their pay. The one in the red the cavalry gave the order to fire. Two guns uniform was observed to come to the door that had been hidden were run out and twice, and obtain a new sabre in exchange opened on us immediately, while Sepoys came for one handed out hacked and broken.
THE AVENGING SWORD-HAVELOCK.
noise gradually lessened, and at nightfall the blood of these poor wretched creatures. Porcxecutioners could lock the doors and retire tions of their dresses, collars, children's socks, from the building, with the feeble moans of and ladies' round hats lay about, saturated a few half-slaughtered women ringing in with blood; and in the sword-cuts on the their ears.
Three at least survived till the wooden pillars of the room, long dark hair morning (the 16th), when the doors of the was carried by the edge of the weapon, and slaughter-house were once more opened, and there hung their tresses-a most painful sight. the naked bodies and dismembered limbs I have often wished since that I had never dragged ignominiously across the compound been there, but sometimes wish that every to a dry well situated behind some trees which soldier was taken there, that he might witgrew near by. The three (says the writer ness the barbarities our poor countrywomen here quoted) prayed for the sake of God that suffered. Their bodies were afterwards an end might be put to their suffering. dragged out and thrown down a well outside Their prayer was heard. Their bodies were the building, where their limbs were to be cast with the others into the well, and the seen sticking out in a mass of gory confusion.” bloody work fitly finished by the slaughter of A thrill of horror at these fiendish outrages, two fair-haired children, who in some un- a moan of lamentation that they had occurred known manner had escaped the sword the before help could reach the victims, a lightning night before, and were moving in childish flash of fury against the wretches who had terror about the well. One person was of committed such crimes, went through England, opinion that the man who threw them in, first and had been already experienced by the took the trouble to kill the children-others Europeans and the army in India. The thought not."
avenging sword was already impending over “I have seen the fearful slaughter-house." the assassins, and the footsteps of the general writes the Times' correspondent, “and also who directed it was on the track which they one of the First Native Infantry men, ac- had marked with blood. Sir Colin Campbell, cording to order, wash up part of the blood that stout veteran of the Crimea, had been which stains the floor, before burying the appointed by the government in London, quantities of dresses, clogged thickly with commander-in-chief of the Indian forces, and blood; childrens' frocks, frills, and ladies' was who was sent out, to hasten, with underclothing of all kinds; also boys' trousers, fresh troops, to the relief of the forces already leares of Bibles, and of one book in particular, engaged. He lost no time about it. A few which seemed to be strewed over the whole hours after he had received orders he emplace, called Preparation for Death; also barked, and he reached Calcutta on the 14th broken daguerreotype cases only, lots of them, of August, where he at once issued an address and hair, some nearly a yard long; bonnets to the army—an army which, after it had been all bloody, and one or two shoes. I picked considerably reinforced, amounted to fewer up a bit of paper with on it ‘Ned's hair, than 5000 men. But another general was with love,' and, opened, I found a little bit sternly treading on the heels of the enemy tied up with a ribbon.”
before Sir Colin arrived at the scene of action. An officer in Havelock's corps thus describes The name of Henry Havelock was already the appearance of the place when the aveng- known in India; but in a few weeks it was to ing army entered the town on the 17th:-“I sound like a stirring trumpet blast not only was directed to the house where all the poor over the East, but throughout England, so miserable ladies had been murdered. It was swift and brilliant was the heroic march of alongside the Cawnpore Hotel, where the the small force that he led to victory and to Nana lived. I never was more horrified. The the execution of the sentence for which the place was one mass of blood. I am not ex- world was waiting. There was in General aggerating when I tell you that the soles of Havelock something of the staid, grave Purimy boots were more than covered with the tan type of soldier, but with much underlying