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province. There was to be a festival at La- buildings, and fired into the mess-room of the hore on the night when the intelligence of the officers. One or two officers were afterwards mutiny reached the commissioner-a grand shot dead; and it was not until a part of the ball and supper—and the entertainment was 32nd had charged the rebels, and the artillery not postponed. It was in full swing while opened upon them, under the personal directhe leading civil and military officials held tion of Sir Henry Lawrence, that they gave brief but earnest council. It was decided at way and quitted the cantonments. They reonce to disarm the native troops. A parade tired to Moodripore, where they were joined was ordered to be held at daybreak at Meean by the 7th Light Cavalry, who murdered one Meer, and when the four columns of Sepoys of their officers on the spot. came on the ground, so well had the military The state of Lucknow now became threatendisposition been made, that the head of the ing in the extreme; but Sir Henry Lawrence columns came in front of twelve guns charged hoped by vigorous measures of repression to with grape, the artillerymen standing ready strike terror into the minds of the inhabitants to fire, and the European soldiers behind with and prevent a general rising. Numbers of loaded muskets. The word of command was men convicted of tampering with the troops given to the Sepoys to pile arms.
were hanged on a gallows erected in front of nothing for it but to obey, or to be swept by the Mutchee Bhawn, and two members of the fire from the cannon, and shot down by a the royal family at Delhi, and a brother of volley from the British infantry. The arms the ex-king of Oudh, were arrested and imwere piled and borne away in carts under the prisoned there. The Residency itself was guard of European soldiers. Similar precau- crowded with women and children, and every tions were taken at Mooltan, in the lower prov
house and outhouse was occupied. Preparaince, and the Punjaub was saved. The great tions for defence were continued, and thousands point, then, was to attack Delhi, and Lord Can- of Coolies employed at the batteries, stockades, ning, knowing that there was not a moment to and trenches, which were everywhere being lose, boldly determined on an expedient which, constructed. The treasure and ammunition, though it required indemnification from the of which, fortunately, there was a large supply, government, was the act of a man eminently were buried, and as many guns as could be capable of grasping even such a desperate collected brought together. The Residency situation as that in which he found himself. and Mutchee Bhawn presented most aniThe termination of hostilities with Persia had
mated scenes. There were soldiers, Sepoys, fortunately released the forces from Herat, prisoners in irons, men, women, and children, under Sir James Outram, Colonel Jacob, and hundreds of servants, respectable natives in Colonel Havelock, and they were hastening their carriages, Coolies carrying weights, onward to the seat of the mutiny, but further heavy cannons, field-pieces, carts, elephants, reinforcements were needed in less time than camels, bullocks, horses, all moving about that in which troops could arrive from Eng- hither and thither, and continual bustle and land. Lord Canning knew that a force had noise was kept up from morning to night. been despatched to China to put an end to the There was scarcely a corner which was not in war there: but the Chinese war could wait, some way occupied and turned to account. while delay in India might be fatal: he Sir Henry Lawrence was, as we have seen, therefore intercepted the troops which were governor of Oudh, to which he had removed on their way to Canton, and pressed them from taking part in the government of the into the more imminent service of the sup- Punjaub in consequence of some difference of pression of the Indian mutiny.
opinion between him and his brother John. At the end of May the mutiny broke out in Like the rest of the mutineers the irregular the cantonments at Lucknow, amongst the cavalry stationed near Lucknow had refused lines of the 71st N. I., and soon became gen- to bite their cartridges, and their discontent eral. The Sepoys burned down some of the was communicated to the troops in the city
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
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 it afforded, 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 flong 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.