precaution did not seem to Mr. Yule to be suffi-
cient. "With the concurrence of the Government,
then, he moved, on the 27th November, the small
detachment of the 5th Fusiliers, then at Manghir,
to Purnia, accompanying them himself. He
arrived there on the 1st December, and finding
all quiet, marched on the next day towards
The detach- Kishanganj, thirty-one miles distant.
Madariganj He was not a moment too soon. On the nights of
and jaipaigorf t h e 4^ an( j 5^ December the detachments of the
THE CIVIL OFFICERS IN THAT DIVISION. 427
11th Irregular Cavalrv at Madario-ani and Jalpai- BookXH.
. . J & J ,. / Chapter I.
gori mutinied, and went off, spreading alarm
throughout the district. December.
The conduct of the civil officers in the district The civil
at this crisis was worthy of all praise. At many district.
of the stations they had nought to depend upon
but their own brave hearts. Not for a moment
did their courage falter or their presence of mind
fail them. Macdonald, the Collector of Rangpiir, Maodonaid.
placed all the moneys in the Government Trea-
sury upon elephants, and moved with it into the
jungle, hoping that the rebels, finding Rangpiii-
evacuated, would be too hardly pressed to search
him out. The rebels, however, never went near
Rangpiir, but made straight for Dinajpur. The
Collector of this place was Mr. Francis Anstru- ^Jther
ther Elphinstone-Dalrymple, one of the ablest men Eiphinstone-
in the Civil Service, but whose prospects had been
ruined by long years of persecution on purely
private grounds by those wielding authority in
Bengal. But if Dalrymple's worldly fortunes
stood low, his courage was as high, and his de-
termination was as unshaken, as they were when,
a young civilian, he volunteered for and served in
the first China war.* He had upwards of one
* Mr. F. A. Elphinstone- tery, thus taking the lead of
Dalrymple accompanied a the whole force. He himself
party of soldiers sent during was the first man in the bat-
that war from the Buetomjee tery. At Chusan be accom-
transport to attack a battery, panied the 55th Regimenl in
As there appeared some chance the storm of the steep hill
thai the partj would arrive and the intrenched camp,
late, Dalrymple persuaded the At Shanghai be was on the
mate to beach the boal a1 deck of II. .M.S. tfemeau
once in the centre of the bat- with Captain Hall, now an
P. A. ELPHINSTONE-DALRYMPLE.
move off to
hundred thousand pounds in his treasury, and he
determined to fight for it. He packed off, then, by
water, to Calcutta, the solitary missionary of the
station and his wife. Then summoning Grant the
judge, Drummond the magistrate, Brown the as-
sistant, Harold Holm, a Dane, connected with
indigo and well known and much liked in those
parts, and a few other Europeans and Eurasians,
he posted them, with their rifles and ammunition,
in his official court, and, at their head, awaited
there the coming of the rebels. Their arrival
within twelve miles of the station was an-
nounced. Any moment, then, they might appear.
But amongst Dalrymple and his companions
there was but one thought — to defend the sta-
tion to the very last, to die rather than abandon
the trust confided to them. Fortunately for
them, the rebels, when within a short distance
of the place, received intelligence of the move-
ments of the British seamen previously referred
to. Instead, then, of marching on Dinajpiir,
they hurried off to Purnia, there to fall into
the clutches of Yule. Dalrymple and his com-
panions were not attacked. Not the less, how-
ever, did they deserve for their splendid resolution
the praise and the credit which were never
officially awarded to them !
Yule, meanwhile, inarching northwards, had
reached Kishanganj. There he heard of the
admiral, better known as carried Sir Henry Pottinger's
Nemesis Hall, fighting the despatches to Lord Auck-
batteries, and subsequently land,
at the taking of Ningpo. He
JfULE SAVES PURNIA. 429
revolt, and that the revolters had taken the road bookxii.
leading to Piirnia. No time was to be lost. He '^-L 1
set out at once to return to Piirnia, and, march- December
ing all da)', accomplished the distance, with the
aid of his elephants, by sunset. He arrived in
good time. The mutineers, ignorant of Yule's
rapid march, were entering the town early the
following morning with a view to plunder it, encounters
i ji e -i ,n i - m • ■, the rebels,
when they found themselves face to face with
the Europeans. After an exchange of shots, they
fell back a few miles, halted, and encamped. It
was difficult for Yule, who had only infantry, to
bring mounted men to action, but he resolved to
try. That night he marched out his men, and at
daylight came up with the enemy, just as they
were preparing to set out. The rebels, putting on
a bold face, charged, but were beaten back with
the loss of thirteen of their number. They then
fled to the north. Yule had saved Piirnia by his
prompt action. He did more. Pushing on rapidly, saves Piirnia,
the morning of the 12th, with his party, he suc-
ceeded, notwithstanding the obstructions offered
by the numerous and extensive quicksands of the
Kiisi, in crossing that river, and reaching Nath-
piir before the rebels. Finding their onward pro- and drives
gress thus checked ; and cut off, by movements of intV£i'i'.:ii.
which I shall speak immediately, from a retro-
grade movement ; the mutineers took refuge for
the moment in Nipal, only, however, to meet their
fate at a later period.
Meanwhile, on the firsl news of the mutiny of Jalpiigorf.
the irregular cavalry, all the available troops,
European and Ghirkah, amounting to one hun-
430 THE DHAKA REBELS MENACE JALPAIGORI.
The rebels in
clred of the former and three hundred of the
latter, had been sent down from Darjiling to
Pankib«4ri, and thence on to Jalpaigori. They
served to strengthen the hands of Skerer. Acting
on the principle that boldness is prudence, this
firm and resolute officer had blown from the guns,
in the presence of his armed native regiment, two
troopers caught in the act of revolt.
Four days later the seamen of whom I have
spoken as having been detached from Calcutta,
on the news of the Dhaka mutiny, to protect the
districts of Rangpiir and Dinajpur, arrived at
Bagwah, thirty miles east of the former, and,
pushing on quickly, reached their destination on
the 15th December.
Yule, I have said, had, by his prompt and
vigorous movements, saved the British districts
on the right bank of the Kusi from invasion, and
forced the rebels to seek refuge in Nipal terri-
tory. There, at a place thirty-six miles from the
British frontier, they were detained by the Nipa-
lese authorities, pending instructions from Jang
Bahadur. It was useless for Yule to wait any
longer on the frontier, or to disquiet himself re-
garding the fate of men no longer able to plunder
and destroy. And it happened that just at the
moment his energies were required in another part
of his division. In a previous page I have re-
corded how the Dhaka mutineers, resisting the
attempt made to disarm them, had set off from
that station for Jalpaigori, but finding it impos-
sible to traverse the intervening country, had
been forced to take refuge in Bhutan. Yule, as
YULE TRIES TO INTERCEPT THEM. 431
he lay with his small force at Nathpiir, received bookxii.
an express informing him that the Dhaka rebels
were threatening Jalpaigori from the north-east, December.
and urging him to march to that place.
Yule at once set out, and, marching sixty-four Yul e marches
miles in thirty-six hours, reached Kishanganj, them;
thirty-one miles north-east of Piirnia. Another
long march of thirty miles brought him, on the
22nd, to Titalia. Here he received a despatch
from Jalpaigori recommending him to take up a
position between Siligori and Pankabari, on the
road to Darjiling, there to await further intelli-
gence. Yule complied, waited patiently till the
26th, but as the promised intelligence was still
withheld, he determined to act on his own re-
sponsibility. The ideas he had formed on the forms correct
subject were singularly clear and correct. Granted their move-
that the rebels intended to move on Darjiling or ment8,
on Jalpaigori, they must of necessity cross the
river Tista. The Tista is a river gradually in-
creasing on the plains to a width of from seven
to eight hundred yards, deep, rapid, and difficult.
To the rebels scarcely any other option was
offered than to cross at the Clniwa Ghat, where
facilities existed. Now, Chawa Ghat had not He moves on
been occupied, and Yule, tired of waiting, re-
solved to act upon his own instincts, and occupy
it. But the delay caused by waiting for intelli-
gence which did not come had been fatal. As
he approached the ghat through the jungle, his
advanced parties discovered the enemy on the
left bank of the river, occupying a position so
strong and so favourable for d< -fence, that it
THE REBELS ESCAPE.
would have been madness for him, with his small
force, to attack it. But there was still one way
open to him to bar their progress. That was to
occupy the only practicable road by which they
could advance, and give them battle when they
should attempt to move forward.
Yule accordingly occupied that road. But the
rebels, more wily than he believed them to be,
broke up their camp that night, and marching by
an unfrequented by-path, turned his position,
crossed the Mahananda river, and made for the
Darjiling road. Yule discovered, early on the
morning of the 28th, that he had been thus out-
manoeuvred. Promptly did he repair his error.
Leaving his camp standing, he took up a position
on the Darjiling road, and awaited the approach
of the enemy. He waited in vain all that day.
As evening approached, there being no signs of
the rebels, he determined to move back to the
camp to allow his men to break their fast. But
they had scarcely left the road when the enemy
were seen emerging from the jungle by a path
some little distance from the position he had held
during the day. Yule at once sent his advanced
party in pursuit. But so rapidly did the rebels
rush across the road and the open country be-
tween the place of their issue and the next thick
jungle that the British had only time to fire one
volley, and although Captain Burbank and his
sailors continued the pursuit for two or three
hours, they failed to come up with the enemy.
The Jalpaigori party, consisting of Europeans
and Giirkahs, commanded by Captain Curzon,
YULE DRIVES THE REBELS INTO JNIPAL. 433
52nd Light Infantry, had been equally unsuc- bookXil
cessful. False information had sent them to ___
one ford of the Tista whilst the rebels crossed j^'ry.
But the failure he had encountered made Yule But Yule
-Tki 'i ' follows them
only the more resolved to follow the Dhaka mu- n Pl
tineers to the bitter end. Occupying as he did
the inner line of communication, whereas the
rebels, by their flight, ^ad gained the outer line,
it was still possible for him, by marching along
the edge of the forests which skirt the Nipal
frontier, to guard the British territories from in-
cursion. This course he adopted. Marching
westward, in parallel lines with the rebels, he and marches
,. , « , , parallel with
having the inner line, he forced them to cross the them.
Nipal frontier. Continuing within the British
territory this parallel march, he again, on the
3rd January, crossed the Kiisi at Nathpiir. On
that day the rebels were distant from him be-
tween forty and fifty miles, at a place called
Chattra, at the foot of the hills at the point
where the Kiisi issues from them, thirty-six miles
within the Nipal frontier — the whole intervening
space being jungle.
On the 11th Yule's party was strengthened by Major j. f.
_ _, . t» • -i n ■.! .1 T» l Richardson,
the arrival of Major Richardson, with the .bengal
Yeomanry Cavalry. it was a great accession.
Major Richardson was one of the most gallant
men living. He had distinguished himself at the
storming of Malta n in a manner which would
have procured for him the Victoria Cross had
that symbol of distinction then existed. As it
was, his conduct in leading the stormers elicited
LOYALTY OF JANG BAHADUR.
an expression of marked admiration from the then
Commander-in-Chief, Lord Gough, and proved
the stepping-stone to advancement in his profes-
sion. The Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry was com-
posed of men, many of them Eurasians, some
Europeans and well born, who had enlisted for
that special service, on special terms, to aid in
suppressing the mutiny in June and July 1857.
When the corps was first raised Lord Canning
was specially anxious to select as its commandant
an officer who should possess alike the power of
attraction and the power of command, who could
rule as well as dominate, and inspire affection as
well as fear. At the moment Richardson landed
from furlough to Europe in Calcutta. He was at
once recognised as the man for the situation.
The choice was in all respects pre-eminently
Richardson joined Yule on the 11th January.
The rebels were still at Chattra. Just about the
same time the practical reply of Jang Bahadur
to Yule's representations regarding the mutineers
of the 11th Irregulars was received. That reply
took the shape of an order to his lieutenant on
the spot, Rattan Man Singh, to attack the muti-
neers, in co-operation with the English. It un-
fortunately happened that the force at the disposal
of Rattan Man Singh consisted mostly of un-
trained infantry militia, and only a few trained
artillerymen with their guns. The Nipalese
commander was therefore unwilling to assent to
any manoeuvre which would necessitate division
of his own force. After some discussion, then,
DELAY TO ATTACK SAVES THE REBELS. 435
it was agreed between himself on the one side, Book xii.
and Mr. Yule and Major Richardson on the Ch !£l rL
other, that whilst the Nipal troops should guard Ja ^f'
the roads leading eastward, and Richardson with
his cavalry should watch the right bank of the
Kusi, Yule's infantry should attack Chattra. Yule
and Richardson were aware that it would have
been far better that the Nipal commander should
watch the left as well as the right bank of the
river, for the upper part of the left bank could
not, from the nature of the country, be effectually
guarded by cavalry. But, under the circum- Plan of the
stances, it was the best thing to be done, and, t0 hem Them
after all, they both believed that the rebels would in -
fight. To give time to the Nipal commander to Delay in its
make his arrangements, the 21st was fixed upon
as the day for the attack.
This delay proved fatal to the success of the proves fatal
plan. Yule crossed the Nipal frontier on the
14th, and on the 19th reached Pirara, about ten
miles from Chattra. Richardson meanwhile had
advanced to Chaoria, a place which commanded
the only path by which he believed the mutineers
could possibly proceed westward, should they
cross the river above it. But whether the mu-
tineers had been warned, or whether they gained
information from their scouts, it is certain that
as soon as they heard that Yule had reached
Pirara, they crossed the river, and marched west- and the
ward. Yule and Richardson pushed after them,
but as it was seen that the rebels were following
a line of country totally impracticable for cavalry,
Richanl-on proceeded by rapid marches to Dar-
it is unneceS'
bangah to cover Tirhut, whilst Yule * returned
to his division — which was not subsequently dis-
turbed. The mutineers succeeded in making their
way into north-eastern Oudh, only eventually to
fall by the bullet and the sword.
Before proceeding to western Bihar, I propose
to say a few words regarding the extensive dis-
trict known as Chutia Nagpur. In a preceding
page of this volume f I have briefly recorded
how Major English had, on the 2nd October, in-
flicted a severe defeat upon the rebels at Chattra. $
But this victory, important as it was in effecting
the security of the grand trunk road, was far
from restoring order to the country. From that
period, and for several months following, the
energies of Captain Dalton, Major Simpson, Lieu-
tenant Graham, Lieutenant Stanton, R.E., of
Colonel Forster and the Shekawati battalion, and
other excellent officers, were devoted to the ar-
duous task of repelling attack, of checking petty
risings, of suppressing pretenders to power, of
hunting down armed freebooters, of recovering
places which had been surprised, and of avenging
the injuries, in some cases amounting to death,
inflicted upon the unarmed and unoffending.
To enter into full detail of the various marches
* In the month of May
following, when the return of
Kunwar Singh had again
thrown the affairs of Western
Bihar into confusion, Mr. Yule
offered to the Government the
services of himself and twenty
well-mounted gentlemen to
act against the rebels in that
province. The offer was de-
t Page 141.
X Not to he confounded
with the Chattra within the
and counter-marches of the companies and small book xii.
detachments engaged for months in this desultory J '^ll 1
warfare, would require far more space than could No 18 ^; r
be fairly allotted to a subject which, however im- sarytoenter
portant in itself, forms only an adjunct to the ™nJ" u
main story. No officers deserved better of their
country than those who served in Chiitia Nag-
pur : none exhibited greater zeal, greater energy,
greater self-reliance, greater devotion ; but after
the defeat of the rebels by English at Chattra,
their action affected the course of events, not
generally throughout Hindustan, but in Chiitia
Nagpur alone. For this reason I shall be justified,
I believe, if I recount in less detail than I have
given to the actions of Sir Colin Campbell and
his lieutenants, and to occurrences bearing directly
on the main story, the principal events which
marked the period of disturbance in the country
forming the south-west frontier of Bengal.
In the district called Palamao, affairs seemed, Paiamao in
so late as November 1857, to be very critical.
There Lieutenant Graham, with a handful of
men, occupied a large house containing from
three hundred to four hundred native women and
children. The house belonged to a loyal Thakur,
and was encircled by a strong wall. In this
Graham \\;i- besieged by a body of rebels, whose
numbers, amounting at first to two thousand,
gradually rose to six thousand. WTiilst a portion
of these blockaded Graham, without daring to
assault him, the remainder plundered the country
all about. _ . ...
To relieve Graham two companies of the Loth in Patfmao
book xii. Light Infantry, under Major Colter, were de-
u laper . gp^g^g^ f rom Sahasram on the 27th November.
Nov 8 -Dec Thither also was directed the Shakawati bat-
talion under Major Forster. Colter relieved
Graham on the 8th December, but, though the
presence of two companies of English troops in
the rebellious district would have been invaluable,
the necessity of guarding the grand trunk road
was paramount, and Colter was ordered to lead
back his men to Sahasram. But though he was
forced to leave, the good he had effected re-
mained behind him. Graham had employed the
first hours after his relief in seizing the person
of Debi Bakkas Rai, a man suspected of being the
real prompter of the rebellion. Graham's bold
action proved the suspicion to be well founded,
for the rebellion in Palamao at once collapsed.
Then, too, did well-disposed chiefs, previously
held in check by fear of the rebels, declare them-
selves in favour of the British; and Graham,
though not strong enough without reinforcements
to assume the offensive, was confident, notwith-
standing the departure of Colter, to be able to
hold his own.
Sambaipur in But by this time the spirit of insurrection had
travelled to the southerly region of Sambaipur.
In this district large bodies of men assembled
in the month of December and over-ran the
country, committing excesses of every kind.
Captain Leigh, who represented the civil autho-
rity of the Government in this district, had at
his disposal a small party of the 40th Madras
Native Infantry — too small even for proper de-
fensive purposes, and such was the demand for book xii.
troops elsewhere, that Captain Dalton, the Com- i apter '
missioner, had been unable to comply with his ~ 1857 -
r J December.
request for reinforcements. But another officer,
Mr. Cockburn, of the Civil Service, Commissioner Mr. Cock-
of the neighbouring district of Katak, taking a ing conduct,
clear view of the situation, saw the absolute neces-
sity of supporting, at all risks, British authority
in Sambalpiir. This able and zealous officer not
only wrote to the Madras Government to transfer
a body of its local troops for special service in
that district, but nobly took upon himself the re-
sponsibility of ordering thither from Katak the
remainder of the 40th Regiment Madras Native He sends
Infantry, with the guns and artillerymen posted troops S to
at that station. Measures were likewise taken Sainbal i u ' 11 -
for the enlistment at Katak of two companies
of sepoys known as Sibandis for the same service.
These measures greatly tended to the ultimate
success. Major Bates advanced with the 40th
Madras Native Infantry into Sambalpiir, whilst,
with a view to ensure prompt action, that district
was temporarily transferred to the zealous and
watchful superintendence of the Commissioner of
Katak. Some time, however, elapsed before the
disorder yielded even to his energetic action.
The wave of insurrection passed then into the Singhbhtlm.
district of Singhbhum. A large party, composed
of the representatives of no less than three
tribes, assembled at a place called Ayiidhya,
and proclaimed tin' brother of one of the local
rajas, fcHe Etdja* of Porahat, to be their ruler.
Fortunately ;> party of Rattray's Sikhs, com-
440 DANGER OF BRITISH OFFICERS IN MANBHUM.
ton and his
manded by Captain Hale, was in the neighbour-
hood. Hale, supported by the followers of one
of the local chieftains, attacked and dispersed
the followers of the pretender. But for some
time the insurrection remained unsubdued.
The unsatisfactory state of affairs in the three
districts of which I have spoken, Palamao, Sam-
balpiir, and Singhbum, continued without any
important change until the 30th December. On
the day immediately preceding that date, Captain
Wood arrived in the Sambalpiir district with a
squadron of the Nagpiir Irregular Cavalry, and
drawing to him one hundred and fifty men of the
Madras Native Infantry and fifty of the Ramgarh
Infantry, he attacked the main body of the rebels
the following morning, and completely defeated
them, killing three of their chiefs.
This victory was succeeded by a multitude of
small affairs in the several districts, in most
of which the advantage inclined to the side of
authority. It was not, however, always so. On one
occasion the Commissioner of the Manbhiim and
Singhbhum divisions, Mr. Lushington, attended
by Dr. Hayes and accompanied by Captain Hale,
Lieutenant Birch, and fifty Sikhs, who had been
engaged in seizing men convicted of murder,
found themselves suddenly surrounded by not
less than three thousand to four thousand infu-
riated Kdls, armed with arrows, who had stolen
up unperceived. Nothing but the steady gal-
lantry of the Sikhs extricated the party from
their perilous position. They had to fight their