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We shall glance very briefly at the gun-carriage manufactory, and colevents which preceded the capture of lected warlike stores of all kinds. Gwalior. In the beginning of 1858, Many mutineers from other broken a force composed of troops from the forces joined them, and Tantia Topee Bombay presidency was collected at led ten thousand men, with twenty Mhow, and placed under the orders guns, to relieve Jhansi. of Major-General Sir Hugh Rose. On their approach, Sir Hugh Rose Marching eastward, he captured the left one brigade in the trenches, and fort of Ratgurh, and relieved the gar- led the other against Tantia Topee. rison of Saugor. He then turned The rebels were defeated on the 1st north, took several forts, including April near the river Betwa, with the Garrakota and Chendaree, forced the loss of all their guns. Jhansi was Mudenpore pass against seven thou- taken with fearful slaughter on the sand men, and on March 25th laid 3d, but the Ranee escaped to Calpee. siege to Jhansi, where, in the month In May, Sir Hugh Rose advanced on of June preceding, sixty Europeans Calpee, and expelled the rebels after who had surrendered to the Ranee several days’fighting,capturing fifteen (or chieftainess) on promise of their guns and large stores of ammunition. lives being spared, were tied in two They escaped in a westerly direction, rows, males and females separate, and and made for Gwalior, whither Tandeliberately massacred. After four tia Topee preceded them in disguise, days of open trenches, matters were and so effectually tampered with nearly ready for the assault, when in- Sindiah’s troops, that when the Ranee telligence arrived that an army was of Jhansi and the Rao Sahib appeared marching from Calpee under Tantia with the fugitive Calpee garrison on Topee, to raise the siege.
the 1st June, Sindiah’s body-guard This is the first occasion on which alone made any resistance, and he Tantia Topee's name comes promi- fled to Agra, leaving his capital in nently forward. A Mahratta Brah- the hands of the mutineers. Sir min by birth, he commanded a com- Hugh Rose arrived before Gwalior pany of the Nana's body-guard at on the 17th, and after three days' Bittoor before the rebellion, and was fighting (during which the Ranee an active instigator of the outbreak. of Jhansi was killed), expelled the He became the Nana's agent with the usurpers and replaced Sindiah on bis Gwalior Contingent, by far the most throne. Tantia Topee fled westward, important rebel force south of the followed by Brigadier Napier of the Jumna. This body was, agreeably to Bengal Engineers, with a troop of treaty, paid by Sindiah, and stationed Bombay Horse-Artillery, one troop in his district, but commanded by 14th Dragoons, and four hundred British officers. It was quite distinct native cavalry.
The rebels were from Sindiah's own army, over which overtaken on the 21st June at Jowra we had no control. The Contingent Alipore, and all their guns, twentymutinied in June 1857, and collected five in number, captured by this at Gwalior, where Sindiah rendered small force in a brilliant engagement. immense service to the British Gov. But Brigadier Napier could do little ernment (which Lord Canning has execution on the mutineers themsince munificently rewarded) by keep- selves; an army of four thousand ing them in play with threats and cavalry and three thousand infantry, promises till Delhi had fallen. In well armed and accoutred, with abOctober they marched with six regi- undance of money and jewels from ments, four batteries, a siege-train, Sindiah's treasury, escaped unhurt and many irregular followers, towards across the Chumbul, and had to be Cawnpore. The well-known disas- pursued by column after column for trous action with General Wyndham, eight months, till they were finally subsequently retrieved by Lord Clyde, dispersed or exterminated. followed; and the Gwalior Contin The leaders of this army were gent retired with diminished ranks, Tantia Topee, the Rao Sahib, and the but still very formidable both in num- Nawab of Banda. The Rao as well bers and organisation, to Calpee. as Tantia had belonged to the band Here they established a foundry and of ruffians in the Nana's household