way through their numerous opponents, and it
TRANQUILLITY 18 GRADUALLY RESTORED. 441
was only by great perseverance, and at the ex- book xii.
pense of a large casualty roll that they ulti- Chapter L
Twenty-five Sikhs were T 1858 -
u J January.
wounded, one mortally; one was killed. Cap- Heisextn-
tain Hale was wounded in four places ; Lieu- ca * ed by * be
± ' valour of the
tenant Birch had his arm pinned to his side by Sikhs -
an arrow : Mr. Lushington and Dr. Hayes were
also wounded. Of the enemy one hundred and
fifty are said to have fallen. The British party
was, however, forced to abandon their camp
equipage in order to effect a secure retreat.
After this affairs soon began to mend. On the Tranquillity
7th January Major Bates forced the Shergati pass ; restored! 1 7
two days later Captain Shakespear stormed the
Singhora pass and over-ran the country with his
cavalry ; on the 21st January Captain Dalton and
Lieutenant Graham completely defeated the rebels
near the Palamao fort ; and about the same time
Major Forster, with the Shakawati battalion,
restored order in Singhbhum. These successes
were followed by others of a similar character.
Captain Dalton pursued the rebels from place to
place. Ably seconded by Mr. Cockburn, and as-
sisted by Major Forster, by Ensign Wardlaw, by
Captain Moncrieff, and by other officers placed at
his disposal, he re-established everywhere British
authority. The embers of disaffection continued,
however, to smoulder long after every enemy
had disappeared from the field, and it was not
before the close of 1858 that perfect tranquillity
could be said to reign in every corner of Clnitia
Retrospect of Taking the reader with me north-westward, I
Bihar. propose to narrate now the state of affairs in
western Bihar; to explain how the communica-
tions between Kanhpiir and Allahabad had been
preserved; then, proceeding to the Azamgarh
districts, to show how insurrection triumphed
there for a moment, only to be driven back to
seek a refuge, destined to be of long duration, in
the districts and jungles which owned the authority
of the remarkable landowner, Kiinwar Singh.
I have told in the first volume how the im-
portant division of Western Bihar, saved by Mr.
"William Tayler during the dark and terrible days
of June and July 1857, then exposed, by the
wilful blindness of the Government, to dangers
more acute, more vivid, more active, had been
preserved from immediate destruction by the gal-
lantry of Vicars Boyle, of Wake, of Colvin, and
their companions, and finally, completely rescued
by the splendid daring of Vincent Eyre. I have
recorded the ingratitude with which one of
BIHAR UNDER MR. TAYLER's SUCCESSOR. 443
these gentlemen, Mr. William Tayler, had been Bookxii.
treated by the G-overnment he had served with ' a L!!
an energy all-absorbing and a success most signal, j a f 8 fXu
and how the other principal actor in the drama,
Vincent Eyre, after storming the stronghold of
Kiin war Singh, had been ordered to join the
avenging army of Outram. From the hour of
their departure a new era was inaugurated in
western Bihar — an era in which truckling took
the place of independence, and a desire to dis-
cover mistakes in Mr. Tayler's administration
the determination to suppress, before all, the
dangers threatening the State.
For some weeks after his departure the effect Patna under
of Eyre's victories continued to be felt in western successor" S
Bihar. The Government, alive at last, after one
revolt had been quelled, to the advisability of
preventing another, had placed under the orders
of Mr. Samuells, the successor of Mr. Tayler, two
hundred Europeans, for the safeguard of Patna,
and had despatched a gun-boat, under the orders
of the Magistrate of Ohapra, to patrol the banks
of the Ghaghra. But as time went on, the mis-
guided spirits in the province began to be sensible
that Eyre had left them, and that the spirit of
William Tayler no longer inspired the adminis-
tration. Though Patna, thanks to the presence
of British troops, was reported to be quiet, strong
precautionary measures were not the less taken.
The opium godown was fortified, six guns were
placed in position bearing on the town, and fehe most
stringent measures were taken to avert a collision
between the townspeople and the Europeans.
ties in west-
The aspect in the district was even less assur-
ing. Kunwar Singh, with one thousand men,
had taken up a position on the Son river, and it
became known that dangerous and discontented
characters, such men as his brother Ammar Singh,
Nisban Singh, and Jiiban Singh, were nocking to
his standard. At the same time, the 5th Irregular
Cavalry, whose disarming Mr. Tayler had before
ineffectually recommended, and whose mutiny in
eastern Bihar I have already recorded,* were
allowed to spread over the districts in the western
province, and to plunder with impunity.
The difficulties of the position in western Bihar
were greatly aggravated by the evacuation of
Gorakhpiir by the British civil authorities, one
alone excepted,! on the 13th August, and sub-
sequently by all ; by the consequent pressure of
rebels into British districts from Oudh; and by
the exposure of the districts of Chapra, Cham-
paran, and Mozaffarpiir to the incursions of the
leader of the Oudh rebels, Mehndi Husen.
These difficulties soon came to a head. The
mutinous 5th Irregulars, finding no one to oppose
their course, destroyed the public buildings at
Noada, and marched in the direction of Graya.
Rattray, with a small force of Sikhs and Euro-
peans, numbering about two hundred, had been
posted to protect Gaya. But, learning that the
rebels were approaching that place, he, acting on
the strongly pressed advice of Mr. Alonzo Money,
inarched out on the 8th September to attack
* Vide page 133.
t The exception was Mr. F. M. Bird, the joint magistrate.
UNCHECKED PROGRESS OF THE REBELS. 445
them. But the rebels, almost all mounted,* took book xn.
advantage of Rattray's advance from his base to go " !L!!
round his position — inflicting upon him in his vain ge J t 8 ^ ' ct
attempts to hinder them, a loss of twenty wounded and isde-
— and to reach Gaya some hours before he could feated -
fall back. Arrived at Gaya, they liberated four
hundred prisoners from the jail, and attacked the
fortified house which the residents had prepared
as a place of refuge. But in this attempt they
were repulsed, owing mainly to the spirited con-
duct of Mr. Skipwith Tayler, son of the late
Commissioner of Patna.
The disorder was subsequently further aggra- Two compa-
vated by the mutiny, on the 9th October, of two ^nVmutiny.
companies of the 32nd Native Infantry at Deogarh
and by threatened movements on the part of
Kiinwar Singh. The Commissioner had at his Forces at the
disposal Rattray's Sikhs, a portion of the Naval thTcommi
Brigade, under Captain Sotheby. Colonel Fis-
cher's brigade of Madras troops entered the western
Bihar districts early in October. Besides which,
Lieutenant Stanton of the Engineers was at
Sahasram and its vicinity, and the energy, the zeal,
and the activity of this officer compensated to a
very great extent for the paucity of fighting men.
Rattray was the first to come in contact with
the rebellious sepoys. This officer had avenged
his disaster of the 8th September by defeating a
body of rebels on the 7th of the following mouth
* They consisted of the . r >th A < • « • « > 1 1 1 j . ; i r i \ i j i «_r them \v;is a
[rregularfl ami other horse- large party of marauders,
men who had mutinied, some mounted on ponies,
amounting to six hundred, someonfn-.i.
THE DEFENCE OF THE LINE
at Akbarpiir, and he now went in pursuit of the
mutinous 32nd. On the 6th November he caught
them at the village of Dhanchiia. The numbers
on both sides were equal, and the contest was
severe. Night fell whilst the combat was raging ;
then, covered by darkness, the rebels effected a
The events which followed each other in
western Bihar until the formation of Colonel
Rowcroft's force in November, present a constant
succession of skirmishes, of movements against
petty forts, and similar occurrences of a purely
local character. To Rowcroft I shall return shortly.
But before doing so it seems incumbent upon me,
for the clearness of the subsequent narrative,
to describe, as concisely as may be, the occur-
rences in the districts and on the grand trunk
road between Allahabad and Kanhpur during the
period intervening between Sir Colin Campbell's
battle of Kanhpur and the final fall of Lakhnao.
After the battle of Kanhpur Brigadier Carthew
was detached, with the Madras brigade, to com-
mand at Fathpur. The command was an impor-
tant one, as it was exposed to attacks from the
districts south-west of Kanhpur — from Kalpi,
from Jhansi, from Bandalkhand. Fathpur, more-
over faced — a narrow strip of land on the right
bank of the Ganges alone intervening — the south-
western frontier of Oudh, and was at any mo-
ment liable to incursions from flying parties of
rebels. It devolved, therefore, upon Carthew,
not only to thrust back attacks from these oppo-
site quarters, but to guard intact the trunk road
BETWEEN KANBTUK AND ALLAHABAD. 447
— the line of communication between Kan lip ur BookXH.
and Allahabad. The fact that troops and well- ' a iL^
guarded convoys were constantly marching up December
the road doubtless facilitated his task, and en- The task
abled him to employ advantageously such passing ^voh-ed
troops to aid him in clearing the districts lining u P on him -
The duties devolving upon the officer com- Campbeiiat
manding at the south-eastern end of the line of
which I am writing — the station of Allahabad —
were of not less importance. Situated at the
confluence of the great rivers the Jamna and
the Ganges, abutting alike on Bandalkhand, on
Oudh, and on the disturbed districts of A'zaru-
garh and Janpur, Allahabad was a place always
threatened, and yet to be preserved at all risks.
Allahabad was, in fact, at once the outlying fron-
tier fortress of the province of Bihar, and its key.
At the time of which I am writing, December
1857 and January 1858, the officer commanding
at Allahabad was Brigadier Campbell.
Carthew took up his command at Fathpur on Fathpur.
the 19th December. Just before he arrived (11th
December) a small party under Colonel Barker,
R.A., had made a raid amongst the disaffected
villages in the district, had burned some, and had
expelled the turbulent villagers from others. In
this way the district had been purged of its dis-
loyal citizens. The revenue returns and the
supply of provisions to the headquarters proved,
almost at once, how very beneficial had been these
The expelled villagers had fled across the n»»W"
i o iiHMmiblu on
448 THE LINE BETWEEN KANHPUR AND ALLAHABAD.
bank of the
the left bank.
Jamna, and it was on the right bank of this
river, from Kalpi down to Banda, that mutineers
from Grwaliar, Jhansi, and Bandalkhand, even
fugitives from Fathgarh, now began to assemble.
Amongst them were the Raja of Chikani and a
brother and nephew of Nana Sahib ; some ac-
counts even spoke of Nana Sahib himself. Cer-
tain it is that the rebel leaders who had their
headquarters at Julapur on the Betwa, near
Kalpi, exercised the right of sovereignty by call-
ing upon the landowners west of the Jamna to
furnish money and recruits for the service of the
representative of the Peshwa.
Across the Jamna it was not possible to act.
The Commander-in-Chief, however, deemed it
especially advisable that the districts to the east
of that river should be kept clear of the muti-
neers. In accordance, then, with instructions
which he issued, Carthew marched on the 10th
January with a small force (two horse artillery
guns, four companies Rifle Brigade, two hundred
17th Madras Native Infantry) along the Kanhpiir
road. On reaching Jahanabad, he turned west-
ward towards Kalpi, communicated with the 34th
Regiment, sent from Kanhpur to co-operate with
him, and then moved on Bhognipiir. The occu-
pation of this place, the locality of which has
already been indicated,* forced the several rebel
parties who had come over from Kalpi to recross the
river. Carthew then, in compliance with an order
received from Brigadier Inglis, pushed on to Sikan-
Vide page 228.
PATEOLLED BY MOVEABLE COLUMNS. 449
dra, and then returned leisurely, via Kanhpur, to book xii.
Fathpur. He had thoroughly purged the district Cha !L r IL
of rebels. 1858.
, , " . January.
About the same time (5th January) Brigadier Brigadier
Campbell, with a brigade composed of the 79th Se^thl
Highlanders, a regiment of the Rifle Brigade, c °*ntry
some foot and horse artillery, and a newly-raised Ganges. °
cavalry levy, the Banaras Horse, effectually cleared
the districts near Allahabad, on the left bank of
the Ganges. His operations were in every respect
successful, and in three encounters which he had
with the rebels the latter admitted a considerable
But the efforts of these columns occasionally Moveable
despatched into the districts could not prevent pa^oTthe
a fresh appearance of the enemy after their de- districfc -
parture. It was natural that so long as the
Lakhnao question remained unsolved the delta
west of Kanhpur, that is the narrow strip lying
between the two great arteries the Ganges and
the Jamna, should be constantly threatened, and
almost as constantly invaded. It was necessary,
therefore, to patrol the entire district. In March
a moveable column,* commanded by Lieutenant-
Colonel Christie, engaged in this work, moved
down to the village of Dhana, near the left bank
of the Jamna, to prevent a threatened passage of
the river at that point. Christie found the enemy
occupying Siraoli, a town in the Hamirpiir district,
* I in.- 1 2-poondei howitzer, men, 80th Foot ; two hundred
one 6-poundji -r gun; seventy an<l fifty-seven, 17th Madras
men, 8th Irregular Cavalry; Native Infantry,
two hundred and forty-four
450 EFFECT OF THE FALL OF LAKHNAO.
book xii. on the right bank opposite Dhana, and engaged
chapter ii. .^ g^g on t ^ a t village. By a judicious advance
mS °^ ms artillery, he drove the enemy from Siraoli,
and set fire to the town, but the want of boats
prevented him from crossing in pursuit.
Effect on the Occasional raids still continued. On the 26th
the £1 of March a corps of rebels crossed the Jamna near
Lakhnao. Haurirpiir, plundered and burned the village of
G-hatampur, and then returned. But this was
an expiring effort. The fall of Lakhnao placed
an overwhelming force at the disposal of the
Commander-in-Chief, whilst, on the western
side of the Jamna, another active leader, whose
name will occupy a most prominent part in the
succeeding volume, was pressing, with all the
decision and enterprise of a great commander,
the chiefs and leaders whose troops had so long
been attempting to harass the British line of
communications. It was just after the fall of
Lakhnao that the action of Sir Hugh Rose and
General Whitlock began to make itself felt. Just
then, too, Sir Colin Campbell despatched a small
force, under Colonel Maxwell, to Kalpi. The
proceedings of these several forces will be nar-
rated in their due course. Meanwhile it may be
stated that the work of supervision and control
exercised by Brigadier Carthew had been emi-
nently useful to the Commander-in-Chief.
Rowcroft and What Rowcroft and Sotheby had effected with
Sotheby. tlieir Dr ig ac [ es up to the time of their occu-
pation of Grorakhpur, I have already narrated.*
* Pages 321 to 324.
SOTHEBY CAPTURES CHANDIPUR. 451
I propose now to take up the story of their action Book xn.
from the point where I left them, and to show Ch T!f IL
how it was that the Azamgarh and Janpur districts r, , 18 ??- .
. . ° r Feb.-March.
tell again into extraordinary confusion.
Rowcroft, arriving at Gorakhpiir on the 19th Sotheby
February, had defeated the rebels on the 20th, rebeia at
and on the 25th had been left, by the departure Chandi P dr -
towards Lakknao of the Nipalese, in command at
Gorakhpiir. Two days prior to his arrival, Cap-
tain Sotheby, R.N., of the Naval Brigade, who
was escorting boats up the river Gaghra with a
force of one hundred and thirty men of that bri-
gade, thirty-five Sikhs, and sixty Nipalese, had
attacked and captured the fort of Chandipiir,
garrisoned by three hundred men. This fort was
situated on the left bank of the river, in the
midst of a dense bamboo jungle. Yet so well
planned was Captain Sotheby's attack, that the
capture of the fort and the guns and the pro-
perty it contained cost his force a loss of only
four wounded ! Amongst these was Captain
Charles Weston, of the 36th Native Infantry, a
very gallant officer. It is due to add that the
attack was most efficiently aided by the guns of
a river steamer — the Jamnd.
Within the British district of Gorakhpiir, sixty- Tho in-
eight miles to the west of it, and nine miles east oamprf the
of Faizabad in Oudh, is the town of A'morha. , ;; , !; ,,1 v n
Thither Rowcroft now marched, and on the l-th
March took up a position not far from the in-
trenchcd camp of Bclwa,then occupied by a large
rebel force. The rebel force alluded fco was oom-
COMBAT OF AMOEHA.
posed of upwards of fourteen thousand men, led
by the pseudo-Nazim Mehndi Hiisen, the Rajas of
Grondah and Chardah, and other disaffected chiefs.
Included in their ranks were two thousand five
hundred trained sepoys, composed of the 1st, 10th,
and 53rd Native Infantry, recently completed to
five hundred men each, seven hundred men of the
2nd Oudh Police, and about three hundred of
the 5th Regiment Gwaliar contingent.
The approach of Rowcroft disconcerted the
hopes which these rebel chieftains had entertained
of taking advantage of the concentration of the
main British army before Lakhnao to make a raid
down into A'zamgarh and Janpur districts, and if
possible to reach Banaras. But there was, it
seemed to them, one mode — and a very certain
mode — whereby to rid themselves of Rowcroft
and his following, and then to prosecute their
intentions. This was to attack him, with the
vastly superior force at their disposal, as he lay
Thus thinking, they acted. Early on the morn-
ing of the 5th March they marched towards
the British camp, distant from them some seven
miles. They had approached at half-past 8
within a mile of it when they were met by Row-
croft and Sotheby and Richardson. A severe
contest ensued. The trained sepoys of the rebel
force fought with great courage and determina-
tion, but they lacked the cool leading of the
European officer, which, under other circum-
stances, had so often led them to victory. So-
theby's Naval Brigade greatly distinguished itself.
KUNWAR SINGH. 453
The enemy were already shaken when Richardson book xii.
ordered the Yeomanry Cavalry to charge. The Cha E!!!' IL
first charge caused the enemy to waver, another M . u .^-A\rii
compelled them to give ground, a third drove The charge of
them in headlong flight from the field. They were ^ e Teo "
then pursued to their intrenchments at Belwa, Cavaby.
losing between four and five hundred killed and
wounded, and abandoning eight guns on the
field. The intrenchments at Belwa gave them a
safe refuge, for the cavalry could not penetrate
Rowcroft remained at A'mdrha waiting for re- Boworoft
inforcements to enable him to attack the strong A'mdrha.
position of the rebels. Subsequently, on the
17th April, and again on the 25th, he met and
defeated them in the plain between the two
positions ; but before this had happened, events
had occurred in the districts to his left rear — the
districts of A'zamgarh and Janpiir — which compel
me to return thither.
I have already related how Kiinwar Singh, Kunwar
after his expulsion by Vincent Eyre from Jag- weetern
dispiir, had hung about the districts of western Bll,!l1 '
Bihar to the terror of the successor of Mr. William
Tayler and of the Government of Bengal. One
of the three natives of India thrown up to the sur-
face by the mutiny, who showed any pretensions
to the character of a strategist — the ottiers being
Tantia Topi and the Oudh Moulvi — Kunwar
Singh bad carefully forborne to risk the fortunes
of his diminished party by engaging in a conflict
u Inch, however favourable might be its commence-
454 HE RESOLVES TO MAKE A DIVERSION.
to make a
ment, must certainly end in his complete defeat.
Shahabad, though tke region of his birth, the
district in wkick lay kis confiscated estates,
was too carefully watched, ke felt, to present tke
ckances wkick would alone justify in kis eyes a
departure from kis system of reserve. His actual
force was small. He kad witk kim about twelve
kundred sepoys, trained in tke Indian army, and
a few kundreds of untrained adherents, dependents
of kimself, kis brotker, and other discontented
land-owners of tke province. Witk suck a
force ke could not kope to make a serious im-
pression. But when he saw how British troops
were being hurried up from every quarter to
take part in the attack on Lakhnao, when he
heard that the Nipalese and Franks had pushed on
for that city, leaving the western frontier of the
British provinces bordering Oudh comparatively
denuded of troops, then he saw his opportunity,
then he resolved to make a push for eastern Oudh,
and combining with the numberless rebels still at
large in that part, to make a dash on A'zamgarh,
and, successful there, to avenge the storming of
Jagdispiir by a dash on Allahabad or Banaras.
Fortune greatly favoured him. At the moment
when he crossed into Oudh, Rowcroft at A'morha
was confronting the intrenched camp of the rebels
at Belwa. ^ His inability to storm that position had
singularly encouraged the enemy. They, too, like
Kiinwar Singh, had designs on A'zamgarh, and
though their main plan had been for the moment
baffled by the defeat inflicted upon their attacking
columns on the 5th March, yet Rowcroft' s inability
AND ENTERS THE AZAMGARH DISTRICT. 455
to follow up his victory had incited them to bookXii.
• • • • -i a -n Chapter II.
pursue their original desigu by other means, fetill
holding the camp at Belwa, they detached then a Maroh [ 7
considerable force to the south-east, and this force,
during its march, attracted to itself many detach-
ments which had escaped the bayonets and horse-
men of the victorious Franks. With these troops,
Kiinwar Singh succeeded in effecting a junction
at Atraolia on the 17th or 18th March.
The Azamgarh district was then guarded by a
small British force consisting of two hundred and
six men of the 37th Regiment, sixty Madras
cavalry, the 4th, and two light guns, under the
command of Colonel Milman of the 37th. At the
time when Kiinwar Singh and his rebel allies took
up their position at Atraolia, Milman was en-
camped in the district at Koelsa, not far from
Azamgarh. The distance between Azamgarh and Atrfoiia.
Atraolia is twenty-five miles. The reader will
recollect that Atraolia is the fortress which, on the
9th November preceding, had been captured by
Colonel Longden, and by him partially burnt and
destroyed. Dependent upon it was a small fort,
comparatively insignificant. The fortress itself
covered a number of strong buildings, all loop-
holed. The outer wall was fifteen feel high.
On the afternoon of the 21st March, Milman Kflmani
I lie nii'lil V
received from Mr. Davies, magistrate of Azani- nearAtr&oiia,
garh, tin' intelligence of the vicinity of the rebels.
He at once broke up liis camp, marched all night,
and at daybreak on the 22nd, came upon the ad-
vanced guard of the enemy's Eorce, nut occupying