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The enemy first opened a brisk fire feature of the Oriental character how from their four guns. The horse- calmly they take death, yet how selartillery galloped forward and replied dom they sell their lives. An Englishwithout much effect, for their oppo- man, if he must die, prefers to keep nents had skilfully placed their guns up his courage by struggling against behind a natural parapet.
fate to the last. It isonly when phyBut it was of little consequence. sical exertion can no longer either The infantry, not without loss, march- save or avenge him, that his heart ed in line across the plain, forded the begins to sink; an Oriental finds it river, and scaled the heights on the easier to lapse at once into a state of enemy's left and centre. The right, listless apathy. His power to face where the guns were, being thus un- death (courage it cannot be called) supported, abandoned their pieces begins where that of the other ends; under a volley from the 13th Native it is of no use to his fellows, it may Infantry. The cavalry under Colonel soften the last agonies to himself. Naylor, which had been keeping near The Englishman's spirit can, howour guns as a support, now dashed ever, be inspired into the Orientals forward across the stream. Colonel by an Englishman. There could Naylor's Arab charger had been des- easily have been selected a hundred perately wounded by a round shot in men from the rebel army, burning the breast, but lifted its head and with religious fanaticism, and as inneighed as the advancing squadron different to life as the individual we left it lying at the mercy of the vul- have here described, but not one tures and jackals.
could have been found able to utilise The cavalry found the rebels scat- this quality; whereas, in the British tered over a level plain behind their camp, you might have selected a first position. The order was given hundred officers or soldiers, any one to disperse and pursue. The horse- of whom, had he been engaged on the men were seen riding furiously among opposite side, could have inspired the fugitives, the 8th Hussars deal- his own spirit into every man of such ing death with their sabres, and the a band, and made them fight or die 1st Bombay Lancers with their lances. when and where he liked. After two miles' chase, Colonel When the General saw that the Naylor collected his men, a good infantry and artillery would have no many of whom had fallen, including further chance, he ordered a steady the sergeant-major of the 8th, killed pursuit to be kept up with the cavalry by some rebels who had taken shelter alone. Colonel Naylor and his small among a clusterof rocks in the middle force continued doggedly on the rebel of the plain, and fired on the cavalry, tracks for fifteen miles, killing numtill the British infantry came up and bers of stragglers, and capturing three bayoneted them.
elephants and quantities of baggage. The horse-artillery had crossed At four o'clock the rebels began to the Bunnas river after the cavalry. make a stand in a village surrounded While they were ascending a steep by jungle, through which Colonel road, leading up to the position just Naylor had followed them for two abandoned by the rebels, a Mussul- miles : on counting his men, he found man sepoy stepped from behind a he had only one hundred regulars and rock into the centre of the path. He fifty Beloochees left; the country, had a single-barrelled rifle in his left moreover, being, totally unfit for hand, and a drawn sword in his right. cavalry, he abandoned the pursuit. When summoned to lay down his The rebels fed east by prodigious arms, he declined, and requested to be marches. On the fourth day after the killed at once. Lieutenant Malcolm- action General Roberts and Brigason and an artillery sergeant cut him dier Parke met in pursuit at Poonah: down. He had plenty of powder and the General gave Parke the 8th bullets upon him, and might, had he Hussars and Beloochees, intrusting chosen to pick off
' some menor horses, the further operations to him. Tanhave caused considerable confusion tia fled in a direction nearly due east, among the troop while struggling up apparently trusting to his luck to find the ascent. But it is a remarkable the river Chumbul less flooded than
when it hemmed him in before. be guarded and overawed; but BriBrigadier Parke, who was ordered gadier Smith had just commenced above all things to prevent Tantia the siege of a small fort near Goonah, from getting south, did not follow and reinained where he was. exactly in his track, but marched The only other place from which to Neemuch, a British cantonment, troops could move was Mhow. This where he was able to get about fifty is a British cantonment about fourfresh horses for Captain Clowe's teen miles from the large town of troop of the 8th Hussars: the re- Indore, the capital of the Mahratta mainder of the hussars and Beloo- chieftain Holkar. The main road chees were knocked up.
and telegraph from Bombay to Agra a good deal puzzled how to act: pass through these places. About on the one hand, he was informed eighty miles to the north-west of Inby a district officer that the rebels dore is a large and wealthy town could never cross the Chumbul at called Oojein, which it was supposed that season, and meant to shoot past the rebels would have no objection to him to the southward; on the other plunder. hand, Captain Showers, the political On the 22d of August, a force conagent at Oodeypore, had intimation sisting of 350 92d Highlanders, 450 sent him by a correspondent near the 19th Native Infantry, one squadron rebels, that they were resolved to get Bombay 3d Light Cavalry, and two over the river somehow. The former guns, Le Marchand's battery Bengal appeared the most probable, but un- Artillery, was despatched from Mhow, fortunately was not correct
. It de- under Colonel Lockhart, to cover layed Parke for a few hours at a Pojein, followed shortly afterwards place called Moorassa, fifteen miles by another column under Lieutenantfrom Neemuch, and thirty miles from Colonel Hope. When Tantia crossed the Chumbul; and he only reached the the Chumbul he found the coast clear, river (after a hard march) to find it and, looking around for the next passable, but rising rapidly. A few move, Jalra Patun, distant about disabled ponies were standing on the thirty miles, naturally presented itself left bank, and the rebels disappearing as a convenient place from which to among some mango-trees in the replenish his army with men, money, west horizon. He returned to Nee- and materials. The Rajah of Jalra much to refit a column, which will Patun, an active and intelligent man, again shortly appear on the scene. was well inclined to the British for
In the month of April preceding, political reasons, which we need not General Roberts had been ordered to here detail. His troops were drawn detach a brigade consisting of H.M. out on the hopeless chance of their 95th, 10th N.I., one wing of 8th Hus- being induced to fire on the rebels, sars, one wing 1st Bombay Lancers, with whom they fraternised at once. and Blake's troop Bombay Horse-Ar- The Rajah escaped to Mhow after tillery, under Brigadier lith, to placing some barrels of powder handy co-operate with Sir Hugh Rose. This for his wife and family to blow thembrigade played an important part in selves up if threatened with insult : the capture of Gwalior, after which fortunately they were not compelled it was moved to Goonah, a town be- to avail themselves of their fugitive tween Mhow and Gwalior, on the lord's last proof of affection. Tantia grand trunk-road which runs through had taken no mean prize. Jalra these places from Bombay to Agra. Patun is not a first-class Rajpoot General Roberts had early seen the state, but the town is wealthy, and importance of watching the east bank the Rajah had been at considerabie of the Chumbul, and sent to Brigadier pains in collecting warlike materials Smith, who still nominally belonged and drilling his troops. to his division, to move to Jalra A war-contribution of £60,000 was Patun (the capital of a Rajpoot state levied on the town, while £10,000 of that name), not far from the Chum- more was collected from the Governbul, where there were considerable ment property. The rebel army was munitions of war, and some three or paid up, and a large number of addifour thousand troops requiring to tional troops enlisted, completing the force to 8000 or 10,000 men. But At Nalkerry, Major-General Michel what raised the hopes of the rebel arrived to assume the command in partisans far and wide was the outfit person. Shortly after this, General of artillery which Tantia got from the Roberts was appointed to the miliRajah’s arsenal. Above thirty guns, tary and political control of the with abundance of ammunition, gun- Gujerat division, and Malwa and Rajbullocks, and a few artillery horses, pootana formed into one division, were selected. The draught animals under General Michel. The General he cared less about, because there are had no exact information regarding plenty of bullocks in every Indian the rebels' position, except that they village, and the rebels could only were in a north-easterly direction. keep their guns with them in their He made a march to Chapeira, but long marches by getting fresh teams was much impeded by a continuous every eight or ten iniles. In the be- downfall of rain. In Malwa the ginning of September, Tantia Topee soil is of the description, peculiar, left Jalra Patun with his whole force. we believe, to India, called black or His intention was to march on In- cotton soil. Immense tracts of Cendore, about 150 miles distant. He was tral India are covered with this rich assured of a similar and far more im- earth, the detritus of igneous rocks, portant success than he had achieved well suited for every kind of crop. at Jalra Patun, could he but appear In the hot weather it is intersected by before Indore without being pre- fissures like those on the bottom of viously discomfited by a British force. an empty pond. After a heavy fall The cause of the Rao Sahib, a repre- of rain it swells into a sticky paste. sentative of the Nana, who was in Except on the main lines, the roads in their eyes the real Peishwa, had many India are mere cross-country tracks, warm sympathies and scarcely a without any metal thrown on the single enemy at the court of a Mah- surface, and where black soil prevails, ratta chieftain like Holkar. Had very difficult to traverse during the Tantia Topee even marched with a rains, especially for an army with light column, which could have elud- its guns, and long train of carts and ed the British field-forces, and pre- baggage-animals, the latter almost sented himself at Indore one hour entirely camels, whose long legs and before the weak column which Mhow flat spongy feet are well suited for a cantonment could have spared ar- solemn march across the sandy derived at the capital, the troops at sert, but place their owners at a great In lore would have openly joined him, disadvantage when sprawling in slipand the revolt spread to all Holkar's pery mud. It is a common belief in districts. But the rebels had not a India that the camel's hind-legs somesingle man of sufficient influence and times slip out laterally, and the anidetermination in their ranks to pro- mal fairly splits up. This, however, pose such a scheme, nor the confi- is a mistake. Indeed it is wonderful, dence in each other to carry it out. when one watches their gait, to see
The rebels, as we have said, first how few do actually tumble. The directed their course in the southerly great mortality which always occurs direction towards Indore. Colonel among camels during the rains, as Lockhart thought it was best to wait those who have campaigned in India for the reinforcements under Colonel know to their cost, arises partly from Hope before he attacked them, and the effects of damp on their skins, intrenched himself in a good position and not a little from the length of time at Soosnair. Tantia, who had no ob- occupied by a march over a flooded ject in forcing an action, and was not country. Men and animals come in very likely to try it if he had, inclined late and fatigued, and the camels do to the westward. Colonels Lockhart not have sufficient time to browse, or and Hope conformed to this move their tired drivers neglect to take ment, and united their force at Nal- them to a proper feeding- ground. kerry, their first object being to pre- The camel's load is much increased vent the rebels from outflanking by the weight of soaking tents, and them, and leaving an open route to it rapidly sinks beneath the combined the south.
effects of damp, bad roads, heavy burdens, and insufficient food. Ge- and made their line of retreat incline neral Michel continued his march the toward the north. following day, which was dry, but so General Michel was too weak in intensely hot that some of the horses cavalry to keep up a vigorous purdropt down dead at the guns. During suit, and not many of the rebels were the afternoon the troops were halted, killed, but twenty-seven guns were while the General reconnoitred in ad- brought into camp, and more were vance, to ascertain the truth of a actually abandoned. We believe report that he was near the rebels, there is not another instance on rewho were accordingly descried three cord of so large a force sustaining miles ahead, encamped near the such an utter defeat without a single
a walled town of Rajgurh. An attack casualty on the side of the victors; with tired troops at that time of day and the fugitives were not mere barcould not have had great results, so barians, but one half, at any rate, had the British remained where they were been disciplined after the European for the night. On their advance next fashion. Their infantry had muskets morning the enemy had disappeared. with the Tower mark; their cavalry The cavalry were pushed on in the had swords a good deal sharper than direction which the tracks of the gun- an English dragoon has often the wheels and elephants indicated, and fortune to wield; and their guns were followed for about four miles. They perfectly effective pieces, of larger found three guns abandoned by the calibre than the British nine-pounder rebels on the road, and a few loiterers battery, and worked by trained gunwere killed near them. The main ners. The exact position which the body of the rebels, drawn up in posi- rebel infantry had occupied could tion, checked their further advance, easily be recognised by a line of and they waited for the infantry and shoes. An Englishman, when he guns. Tantia Topee formed up his enters a room, and sometimes when army in two lines, the second being on he is going to run a race, takes off his the highest ground, so that their guns hat. An Oriental, on similar occacould fire over the front line. The sions, takes off his shoes ; and Tantia action commenced by a cannonade Topee's soldiers seldom came out of on both sides at long range, during action without leaving several hunwhich the British infantry deployed, dred pairs of Oriental slippers on and the whole force then advanced, the ground, as a proof they had
a the artillery in the centre and cavalry taken to flight in real earnest. The on the right.
moral effects of the victory of RajThe rebels behaved in a most das- gnrh were decisive : even after Gwatardly manner. It seems scarcely lior, some few of the natives believed credible that an army of eight thou- that the Peishwa's name might yet sand men, at the lowest estimate, become great, but they could not with thirty guns and abundance of shut their eyes to what had here ammunition, should retreat without happened. Tantia Topee, with plenty an attempt at resistance-without of money, plenty of soldiers, and, drawing one drop of blood-from above all, a field-artillery from one of an enemy not one-sixth of their the best native arsenals in India, had number in men or guns! Yet such again been weighed in the balances was the strange spectacle now pre- and found so lamentably wanting, sented.
that those who had not already The British advanced in a steady risked their necks or their property line. The rebels saw, and were con- in the struggle, resolved to be conquered. They commenced retiring, tent with such things as they had, and, gradually converging on the road and pray for another avatar to perto Beora, which intersected their form the good work which was too position, got into inextricable confu- much for human hands. sion. The British artillery moved The rebels, after the action at Rajforward at a gallop by alternate gurh, wandered about the jungly divisions of two guns, and kept up a country on both sides of the
Betwa fire on the dense masses, while the without any apparent plan. General cavalry threatened their left flank, Michel was a good deal hampered
in his endeavours to bring them to orders to watch the left or western action, by the necessity of covering bank of the Betwa, while he crossed Indore and the Bhopal state; but over in pursuit, and, after much Brigadier Parke, who had taken the embarrassment in the dense Jaclone field a second time on the 5th Sep- jungle, came up with the rebels (who tember, now arrived from Neemuch, had been moving most leisurely) at and to him was intrusted the duty Sindwaho, about thirty miles east of of keeping up a position to cover the Betwa. A surprise would have those places, leaving the General free. been effected had not a bugle sounded Brigadier Smith's brigade was now in contrary to orders, and warned the the field to the north of Seronge, and enemy to prepare for action. The Colonel Liddell, from the station of usual programme ensued; rebels Jhansi, had a light force to the north- drawn up on an eminence; parties east.
pretend to threaten British flank; The rains fell very heavily, which British advance in a steady line, capalso impeded operations; and it was ture rebel guns; exeunt rebels. They not till three weeks after Rajghur did not escape so easily on this occathat another action ensued, at a place sion, however. Crowded masses got called Mungrowlee, about fifty miles entangled in the rugged ravines to from Rajgurh. The rebels in the in- their rear, and were pursued with terval had plundered a town called great slaughter for twelve miles. Our Essagurh, and taken ten guns. They loss was five officers and twenty endeavoured to seize the fort of men killed and wounded. Chendaree, but were repulsed by a The rebels in their flight adopted a garrison of Sindiah’s troops. After north-westerly route, which brought this a portion of them, with four them back to a ford of the Betwa guns, went in a northerly direction river, somewhat lower down than towards Jhansi, while the main body they had crossed before. The ford marched south, and were met by was guarded by Colonel Lidell with General Michel near Mungrowlee, a small party from Jhansi. On this at 9 A.M. on the 9th October.
Tantia, who had now for five weeks The action at Mungrowlee presents been hanging about these wild disthe usual sameness of all the engage- tricts, made a final resolve to push ments between the British and rebels, south for the Nerbudda at all habut the latter showed more spirit zards. than they had done at Rajgurh. General Michel also moved northThey were drawn up on a piece of west from Siniwaho, but kept more commanding ground, with six guns to the westward than Tantia, on the in front, which maintained a heavy principle which he always had in view fire. Parties were detached to out- of covering the country to the south. flank the British, and some of them on the 22d October, or three days got between the main body and the after the action, he was at Lullutpore, rearguard. The latter cut them up fifteen miles from the Betwa, when a before they could throw our line into courier who had been despatched confusion. The British advanced with a letter to Brigadier Smith steadily : when the infantry skir- brought back information that bemishers came near the guns, they fore reaching the Betwa he had come carried them with a rush, and the across the rebels in full march for rebels retired. The greater part of the south. They were thus nearly our cavalry was detached a few miles due west of our camp. distant on this occasion, and the ac- General Michel commenced a rapid tion less decisive than it would other pursuit, and sent off an express to wise have been.
warn Parke, whose brigade had alThe rebels crossed the river Betwa ways been held in reserve to cover (a confluent of the Ganges) a few Bhopal and Indore. By daylight on miles east of Mongrowlee. At Lul- the morning of the 25th, General lutpore they were joined by the de- Michel had fairly outmarched the tachment with four guns which had rebels, and came suddenly upon them, gone north from Chandaree. Gen- obliquely crossing his front near the eral Michel sent Brigadier Smith village of Khoraie. The cavalry and