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at Bittoor. The Nana, as is generally tic hordes of the latter, our troops known, was the adopted son of Bajee had always left images and temples Rao, the last Peishwa of the Mahrat- untouched. Often had the longtas. Bajee Rao's brother, Imrut Rao, descended Rajpoot chieftains shed had a son, Bimruk Rao, who adopted oceans of blood ere they consented to the Rao Sahib. Owing to this con- send a daughter to Delhi as bride to nection, he exercised the delegated an imperial but Mohammedan brideauthority of the Nana, in whose
From such tyranny they name he carried on his intrigues. were now free. But the great supeTantia, who was considerably older riority of the British was a restraint than the Rao, and had, moreover, and incubus to which they unwillacquired a not very well deserved ingly submitted. The political agents military reputation, acted as com- tendered advice regarding the conmander-in-chief, while the Rao's 'duct of their affairs more frequently Dame, as a relation of the Nana's, than was necessary, certainly more appeared in all political documents. frequently than was wished. In for
The operations against them took mer days the states used constantly place in Rajpootana and Malwa, ad- to be fighting among themselves, and jacent districts which cover an im- the lands were divided by feudal mense extent of country in Central tenure among nobles who boasted a India. In no other part of India long descent from warlike ancestors, has so much remained of the old and delighted in these petty wars. dynasties. The red line which marks A quarter of a century was not suffion the map the British boundary, cient to eradicate old habits and tragenerally runs parallel to the coast ditions, and to teach these men to and to the principal rivers; for the appreciate the advantages of civilisadominant race require easy commu
The political agent's advice nication with the sea. A person to grow cotton and open up the counsailing down the Ganges from its try, was listened to in much the source to Calcutta, and continuing same mood that William of Deloraine by the Bay of Bengal and Indian would have received an assurance of Ocean to the mouth of the Indus, and safety for life and property, with the again up the Indus to Peshawur, offer of a government loan to drain would
but a few leagues of coast the lands of Deloraine. belonging to native princes; but the The Rajpoots could no longer make inland province of Rajpootana con- war on one another as formerly, for tains twenty-two independent states, all disputes were settled by a power while Malwa is almost entirely held whose little finger was thicker than by the Mahratta chieftains Holkar the loins of Akbar or Arungzebe, and and Sindiah. The former reigns at to whom all, when it chose, must Indore, the latter at Gwalior.
bend. But they understood our The British only possess a few strength too well, and too fully apsquare miles in this immense district, preciated the solid portion of wealth which stretches from the Nerbuddá and power which they actually ento the Jumna, and from near the joyed, to think of prematurely stakIndus to the Betwa.
ing it on the chance of being entirely. Government is represented by an their own free masters by our overofficer called the Governor-General's throw. agent, in both Malwa and Rajpoot- Most of the Rajpootana and Malwa ana ; subordinate to him, a political chieftains from the first made loud agent resides at the capital of each of professions of loyalty and attachment the principal rajahs.
to the British. To the rebels they The mutinies found most of these sent secret promises and intelligence, princes discontented with the height and having thus secured themselves to which British power had risen, for whichever turn events might take, and well-wishers to the revolted they passively awaited the result of sepoys. In some respects the pre- the arduous struggle going on around sent holders of paramount power them. In the month of June the contrasted favourably with the Mo- forces in Rajpootana were stationed gul emperors. Unlike the iconoclas- at the two cantonments of Nusseerabad and Neemuch, under the com- phet, but their practical tenets are mand of Major-General Roberts. The to murder and rob mankind in geneforces in Malwa consisted of a brigade ral; that Hindoos especially are sent at Mhow, under Brigadier Honner, into the world for Beloochees to and were shortly after reinforced plunder, and Indian Mussulmans are from Bombay, and formed into a little different from Hindoos. Macdivision under Major-General Michel. aulay had power of life and death
The rebels, as we have already over his followers, and certainly kept mentioned, after their defeat at them in tolerable order ; but they Gwalior by Sir Hugh Rose on the came to Rajpootana with such a 19th June, and by General Napier at frightfully bad name, that it was Jowra Alipore on the 21st, crossed scarcely possible to avoid hanging the river Chumbul into Rajpootana. them. The presence of such conveSir Hugh Rose's troops were too nient scapegoats was an incentive much worn out by their long hot to crime. Every rascal among the weather campaign to continue the camp.followers, when accused of pilpursuit. The Rao Sahib and Tantia, lage, threw it on the Beloochees. If finding themselves free for the pre- a peasant missed his sheep or grain, sent, cast around for the best direc- he came straight to camp and contion in which to proceed, and sent fidently said, " A Belooch has done secret emissaries to several of the this thing.” They were mounted on capitals in Rajpootana, especially to small ponies (chiefly mares), and their Jyepore, where a considerable party intelligence made them very useful was ready to join them. Indeed, as light cavalry. they could scarcely be wrong in By a rapid advance General Roberts marching on the capital of any native was close to Jyepore before the rebels state. All the rajahs had as large had matured their plans. Foiled in a body of troops in their service as this quarter, they marched in a they could afford to pay; these troops southerly direction toward the small were entirely in favour of the muti- state of Tonk, which alone, of all the neers, and ready to play the same Rajpootana states, is governed by a part as had been taken by Sindiah's Mussulman. Towards this point troops at Gwalior,
General Roberts now turned, as he It was on the 28th of June that would thus always be covering JyeGeneral Roberts set out from Nus- pore, and the large British town of seerabad, having reliable intelligence Ajmeer, which, with a small adjoinof the rebels' advance on Jyepore ing district, is the only ground we from the political agent, Captain hold in Rajpootana. Eden, an officer who through the The heat, which had been great whole of the mutinies had remained from the commencement of the camat his post, which the proximity of paign, became intolerable about the the disturbed districts rendered an 4th, and twenty-two Europeans died extremely dangerous one. The force of sunstroke in three days; on the consisted of 900 H.M. 72d and 83d, 8th, therefore, the General resolved 900 12th and 13th Bombay N.I., 3d to send a light column forward under company Sappers and Miners, 150 Colonel Holmes, consisting of the 8th Hussars, and 120 Ist Bombay cavalry, horse-artillery, some nativo Cavalry ; 2d troop Bombay Horse- infantry, and 200 721 HighlandersArtillery and 3 guns, No. 8 Light the latter were to receive an occaField-Battery, afterwards joined by sional lift on artillery waggons. 300 Belooch Horse under Lieutenant This same evening the Rao and Macaulay. The want of cavalry Tantia entered the town of Tonk. was severely felt from first to last The Nawaub had no idea of joining through these operations.
a party of rebels with an English The Belooch Horse require a spe- army close at their heels, and shut cial notice. Macaulay had raised himself up in his citadel with such them among the Beloochee tribes on men as he could depend upon. The the frontiers of Affghanistan and remainder of his troops and four guns Scinde. These turbulent hordes pro- were drawn up outside, with orders fess themselves followers of the pro- to face the rebels, but fraternised with them as soon as the green flag attributed partly to the extraordiwas waved before their eyes, and the nary want of energy and capacity to shout of “deen deen!" (religion), with seize on the advantages of their powhich the rebels always entered a sition generally shown by the rebel town, reached their ears.
leaders in India, and also to the disShots were interchanged between inclination of the sepoys from the the enemy and the citadel during north-west provinces to leave their the night, and General Roberts, in own districts. hopes they would give battle, pushed Tantia's plans were for the present on in spite of the heat, and rejoined foiled by the rains, which, long deHolmes ; but the cessation of firing layed, now fell plentifully, and the in the Tonk direction soon warned Chumbul became an impassable torhim that the enemy had decamped, rent, barring all passage to the eastand Holmes made a fresh start with ward. He therefore marched to the his light column.
walled town of Boondee, the capital The rebels do not appear to have of a Rajpoot state of that name. received much encouragement from Whatever coquetting may have gone the emissaries they had despatched on between the authorities and the into Rajpootana, for on leaving Tonk, rebels, the gates remained closed, Tantia intended to recross the Chum- and Tantia passed on a few miles bul by a ford at Indergurh, and push south, and then crossed the Bondee on to the Mahratta country south of hills to the westward by the Keena the Nerbudda.
Pass. The object of this probably The Mahratta country was a mine was that the course due south led of discontent hitherto unworked through a very wild uninhabited by any rebel leader,--and no one country, where his large force would could work it with such profit as a have found great difficulty in prodelegate of the Nana Sahib. To the curing supplies, and his present route English reader it seems incredible did not occasion any great detour. that, after the deed of atrocity at It would, moreover, lead near the Cawnpore, the Nana should find any important towns of Oodeypore and class influenced in his favour, even Saloombur, containing large garriby the ties of compatriotism, or in- sons, not unlikely to declare in his dignation at his supposed wrongs. favour. But those Hindoos who wished to Holmes kept up a close pursuit shake off our yoke viewed matters from Tonk to Bondee, but did not do through a different medium. They more than capture a few stragglers. felt no more horror at the worst He was misled (no doubt intention. scenes of the mutinies, than the ally) at Boondee, by information that Spaniards of the sixteenth century his guns would not get through the when they heard of the massacres Keena Pass, and crossed the hills by of St Quentin, of Naardem, or of another route from Boondee to JeMaestricht.
hajpore. The Deccan, especially Poona and During this operation the rain Sattara, was full of intriguing Brah- fell in torrents all over Rajpootana. mins, lamenting the loss of their in- Such foods had not been known for fluence, which had departed with many years, and all movements were Bajee Rao. The peasantry, however, suspended for twelve days, till the were by no means so decided in their raging streams, which intersected desire of a revolution ; indeed, when the country in every direction, had Tantia Topee actually crossed the somewhat subsided. Nerbudda above Hoshungabad, he When General Roberts heard that had more difficulty in procuring sup- the rebels had crossed the Boondee plies than he ever experienced in hills, he moved westward to cover Malwa, and disputes ensued between Ajmeer, and passed a week encamped his soldiers and the villagers, which about thirty miles from that place, did not always end without blood- on an elevated piece of ground near shed. The reason why no demon- the village of Surwar. Some of the stration had hitherto been made in troops had marched through Surwar the direction of the Deccan, is to be on their way to the siege of Kotah
in the month of March, and crossed harvest, and discovered £7 in his the dry bed of a river which now sleeve. The Beloochee's horror at rolled past their camp with a stream this oversight was most ludicrous ; nearly a quarter of a mile wide. not so much from loss of the money,
It was extremely difficult at this as fear of the shame which in Belooch time to obtain information : foot- society attaches to a convicted bungmessengers alone were able some- ler at looting times to cross the swollen waters The town of Sanganeer is on the with gourds fastened to their waists left bank of the small river Kotaria. to buoy them up. It was ascertained On the other side, and more than a that the rebels showed a disposition mile up the stream, is the town of to continue westward, influenced to Bheelwara, in front of which the some extent by a small party, which rebels were encamped. They sent Brigadier Parke, of H.M. 720 Regi- their elephants and baggage to the ment, had sent out from Neemuch rear, and the infantry and guns took in anticipation of the General's orders up a position obliquely to the stream; to take the field with such troops as the cavalry was thrown forward on he could, and keep the rebels from their left flank across the Kotaria getting south, especially covering up to Sanganeer, and on the right Oodeypore.
to nearly opposite the town— the On the 5th August the roads were whole forming a horse-shoe figure reported again passable, and the of about a mile and a half, connected General marched towards Neemuch. by skirmishers. On the 7th, at Dabla, intelligence General Roberts kept his small came that the rebels were at Sanga- body of infantry compact in presence neer and Bheelwara, on the Neemuch of such a number of cavalry, skirand Nusseerabad road. A march mishers being merely thrown out a was ordered for half-past one o'clock short way in front. After seeing the following morning. The force that the town was cleared of the reached Bunaira, through bad and enemy, he passed it on his right, winding roads, by half-past nine, and sent the guns to the bank of the and halted to breakfast. The scouts river, whence they opened fire on reported the enemy as still encamped the enemy's right. Under cover of to the front; so, leaving sick and this fire the remainder crossed the baggage in a secure position, the stream ; the rebels did not let their march was resumed at a little before own guns remain silent, but played one by 500 of H.M. 83d, 200 of 13th on our column as it crossed. Our Native Infantry, three 6-pounders, infantry ascended a rising ground, one howitzer, and 60 Irregular and took up a position with their Horse. The General had stript him- right on a village and left on a self of his cavalry and horse-artillery small tank. The guns, including the to render Holmes's column efficient; howitzer, also crossed the Kotaria but while the enemy, with Holmes and reopened on the rebels, who were behind them, had gone round the already making preparations to rearc of a circle, the General with his tire, by withdrawing their guns and infantry had cut across by the chord. infantry, and massing the cavalry He now resolved on an engagement, on the intervening plain to cover because the moral effect of it would their retreat. There was only time be good, although not much actual to fire a few shells before they were loss could be inflicted on a body out of range. The sun had been composed chiefly of cavalry and the some time down, so no pursuit could lightest of infantry.
be attempted ; indeed, infantry who Just before the action, a Belooch had marched thirty miles into action scout brought in a prisoner, whose would have made but a poor figure person of course he had well rifled. pursuing a force which had five The rebel was shot by a firing party times its number in cavalry alone. of the 83d. As he lay dead, a pri- They bivouacked in the field. Holmes vate went to examine the body, more joined next day with his cavalry, from curiosity than the hope of find- after a thirty-mile march. The horses ing any gleanings after a Beloochee's had suffered much from wet and want of forage. For the next three and when they heard how near the days the troops marched upwards of pursuers were, ordered the reveillé twenty miles a-day; their spirits to be sounded, and the troops to prewere kept up by seeing the recent pare for marching at once. But the marks of gun-wheels and elephants. infantry positively refused to stir.
The rebels had heard of Brigadier They sent their officers to say that Parke being in the field to the south, it was all very well for the cavalry and intended crossing to westward and artillery to go on at this rate, of the Aravelli range of hills; but but they were done up. To lighten on finding this would involve the their burden on the march they had abandonment of their guns, they thrown away their cooking-pots, and adhered to their original intention of everything but their muskets and going to Oodeypore or Saloombur. ammunition, and never got a proper This indecision occasioned their meal or a proper sleep. They demaking a detour of several miles, clared they would march in the mornregarding which the General had ing, and the guns should march with information in time to permit his them; the cavalry might do as they adopting the direct line instead of liked. Tantia Topee would not profollowing their tracks.
bably have cared much about the inThe method which General Roberts fantry, whom he inust have regarded adopted for obtaining information as sheep destined for slaughter ere was to have about twenty cavalry they could reach the Mahratta counin advance, close to the rebels. They try. But all natives attach an extraleft connecting-links of two or three vagant importance to the possession men at every few miles, so as to of cannon. That Tantia himself diskeep up the chain of communication. covered, by dire experience, that all The advanced party was composed he could hope from his guns was to half of Belooch horse, who had no discharge them two or three times in sympathy with the rebels, but could action before they fell a prey to the not communicate very well with the British, is likely enough. Still there villagers, and half of horsemen be- was good policy in the pertinacity longing to the Rajah of Jyepore, with which, to the last, he laid his attached to the suite of Captain hands on everything he could find in Eden, the political agent, who were the shape of a cannon, and dragged supposed, as Rajpoots, to be on good them up hill and down dale, through terms and able easily to communi- swamps and jungles. Nothing could cate with the villagers, but not to be shake the faith of his followers in very warm partisans of the British. these mysterious engines. It matBy this mixed party correct and im- tered little whether the guns were mediate intelligence was constantly only honeycombed tubes, with octosupplied.
hedral balls and damaged powder in On the afternoon of the 13th, after the limbers-or specimens of Arm. a march of twenty-four miles, Gene- strong's rifled ordnance, warranted ral Roberts reached Kunkrowlee, a to pick off an elephant at five miles town situated on a fine lake not far - so long as they were guns, from the Aravelli hills--an advanced General Roberts marched at five post of the enemy was driven in, and o'clock in the morning, and at seven information received that the main the enemy were discovered drawn up body was seven miles distant on the on the farther or right bank of the Bunnas river.
river Bunnas. Their right flank The General was resolved not to
was protected by a deep bend of the attack late in the day, and allow river, their left by some steep hills. the enemy to escape with little loss The ground they actually stood upon under cover of darkness, so he en- was a low, steep ridge, forming the camped at Kunkrowlee. Tantia right bank of the river; in front of Topee and his followers were piously them, on the left bank, was an open devoting the day to a visit to Nath- plain, 800 yards wide. The General dwarra, a shrine in the vicinity, formed up his troops behind some reckoned one of the most sacred in hillocks which bounded this plain, India. They returned at midnight, and then advanced across it.