Warned by the experience of Brind's battery,
* These and the other de-
tails describing the plans of
the engineers have been
taken chiefly from a work
entitled A Year's Campaign-
ing in India. This book
â€” written by Captain, now
George Medley, R.E., him-
self a distinguished actor in
the scenes he describes â€” gives
an account of the proceedings
at this memorable epoch of
the siege, which may be
almost styled authoritative,
confirmed as it has been by
the testimony of distin-
guished officers who took
part in the preliminaries to
NO. 3 BATTERY TRACED. 10
no attempt was made to complete battery No. 2 BookX.
in one night, On the 8th the tracing alone was ChapterL
completed. The wisdom of this cautious mode c 18 ? 7 ;
, n . Sept. 8.
ot proceeding was made clear the following day, The euemy
when a sharp fire of shot, of shell, and of mus- Tolt*
ketry was opened from the Kashmir and Water
bastions and the Selimgarh, on the positions
newly occupied. Little damage, however, was ef-
fected, and the work was pushed forward during
the nights of the 9th and 10th. Before dawn of Se Pt- 9 ~ u -
the 11th the battery had been completed and
armed, and it was then unmasked. Major Camp-
bell commanded the left section of it, and Major
Kaye â€” transferred from the ignited left section
of Battery No. 1 â€” the right, but the former
officer having been wounded on the evening 1 of
the 11th, Captain Edwin Johnson,* Assistant
Adjutant-General of Artillery, then serving in
the battery, succeeded to the command, and held
it to the moment of assault, when he resumed
his place on General Wilson's staff.
The third battery was not completed before Battery No. 3.
that night. This battery was traced by Captain
Medley the evening of the 9th. With a boldness
which was not rare, but the display of which, in
this instance, testified to remarkable negligence
on the part of the enemy, the engineers traced
this battery within one hundred and sixty yards
of the Water bastion. Seeking for a fit site for
the battery, the director of the attack, Captain
Medley, discovered a small ruined building, an
* Now Lieutenant-General Sir Edwin Jolmsou, K.C.J'.
NO. 4 BATTERY.
Battery No. 4,
which the at^
tack is to be
out-office of the Custom House â€” a large edifice
within one hundred and sixty yards of the Water
bastion, and totally unoccupied by the enemy.
Captain Medley took possession of the Custom
House, and determined to trace the battery in-
side the small ruined building referred to, the
outer wall of which would conceal the work and
give cover to the workmen. This daring mea-
sure completely succeeded. Though the enemy,
suspecting something though not the actual truth,
peppered our workmen incessantly, these never
flinched. When one man fell another would take
his place.* Working in this way the battery was
finished and armed by the night of the 11th.
Another battery, No. 4, for four heavy mortars,
commanded by Major Tombs, was traced and armed
on the night of the 10th, in a safe spot in the Kiid-
siabagh itself, ready to open fire when required.
The mutineers had by this time become alive
to the fact that it was not from the right but
from the left that the real attack Avas to issue.
With an alacrity worthy of the highest praise,
they at once decided upon measures which, if
* " Pandy did not know
what we were at, but at any
rate he knew the people were
working in that direction, and
he served out such a liberal
supply of musketry and shell
that night that the working
partv lost thirty-nine men
killed and wounded. It was
wonderful indeed to see with
what courage the men
" They were merely the un-
armed Pioneers I have de-
scribed above, and not meant
to be fighting men. With
the passive courage so com-
mon to natives, as man after
man was knocked over, they
would stop a moment, weep a
little over their fallen friend,
pop his body in a row along
with the rest, and then work
on as before." â€” Medley.
THE ENEMY'S REPLY. 21
commenced but forty-eight hours earlier, would book x.
have effectually baffled the attack. Seeing the
effect which the fire from the still masked bat- Sept 18 ioln.
teries must produce, they set to work to mount
heavy guns along the long curtain. In other
convenient nooks, out of reach of the fire of the
attack, they mounted light guns. Taking ad- and take
vantage, too, of the broken ground before them, ^pent 63
they made in one night an advanced trench
parallel to the left attack, and three hundred and
fifty yards from it, covering the whole of their
front. This trench they lined with infantry.
The heavy guns could not be mounted behind
the long curtain in time to anticipate the attack ;
but at daybreak, on the morning of the 11th, the They open
.., " 1 n , ,. fire on the
light guns above alluded to opened an enfilading new batteries.
attack from the right, whilst the muskets from
the infantry in the new trench began a hot and
unceasing fire. For a time there was no answer.
But at 8 o'clock the two sections of No. 2 bat-
tery, unmasked, replied. They began with a Effective
salvo from the nine 24-pounders â€” a salvo greeted No. 2 battery.
by cheers from the men in the battery. The
effect was marked and decisive. As the site of
the breach was struck, huge fragments of stone
fell, and the curtain wall disappeared in the ditch.
The defenders on the Kashmir bastion attempted
to reply, but in ten minutes their fire was silenced.
For the rest of the day the guns of No. 2 bat-
tery continued to pound away at the walls. It
was an exhilarating sight to watch the stone-work
crumbling under the storm of shot and shell, the
breach getting larger and larger, and the 8-inch
22 WITH EFFECT ON BATTERIES 1 AND 2.
book x. shells, made to burst just as they touched the
*JLHH ' parapet, bringing down whole yards of it at a
During the night the mortars from No. 3 bat-
tery kept the enemy on the alert with incessant
The enemy's fire. But the rebels were by no means idle. The
destruction in light guns already alluded to, reinforced by a
htt 1 ^ 2 heavy one, playing from martello towers and from
holes in curtain walls, maintained a constant and
most effective front and enfilading fire on Nos. 1
and 2 batteries. The batteries were constantly
raked from end to end. So terrible and so effec-
tive was this fire, that, at last, one of the guns of
No. 1 battery was withdrawn from playing on the
breach and placed in the epaulment to keep down,
if possible, the enfilading fire. But even this did
not prove very effectual. At one time General
Wilson was inclined to make a rush at these
guns from the right t and spike or capture them.
But their position, within grape-shot of the
curtain wall, rendered an attack on them difficult,
and certain to be attended with loss. On the
other hand, No. 3 battery would be completed on
the morrow, and it was hoped that the effect of
the full power of the artillery would be decisive.
Sept. 12. At 11 o'clock on the morning of the 12th,
* Medley. the battery near the Sammy
f In fact, Major Eeid ac- House received orders from
tuallv was instructed to make Major Reid to cover the
a nigiit attack on the position, attack and draw off the ene-
and four companies of Guides my's fire. Just then orders
and Gurkahs were told off arrived from General "Wilson
supplied with spikes for the countermanding the attack,
purpose. At the same time
SPLENDID CONDUCT OF THE ARTILLERY. 23
Greathed, of the Engineers, aided by some native book x.
sappers, unmasked the embrasures. The battery u
was commanded by Major Scott, with the gallant sept 57 L2.
Fagan as his second in command. In another No. 3 battery
minute the six guns of the battery opened fire. opens re '
The effect was tremendous. The enemy's guns
were dismounted or smashed ; the Water bastion
was beaten into a shapeless mass, and in a few with tremen-
. ill S i l -rÂ» dÂ° us effect.
hours the breach seemed almost practicable. But
the rebels showed no faint heart. Though their
guns were silenced, they continued to pour in so
heavy and continuous a musketry fire that the air
seemed alive with bullets. The loss of life was
consequently severe. Fagan, who, in his over-
anxiety to see the effect of the first salvo, had
raised his head above the parapet, was shot
dead. Still further to embarrass the attack,
the enemy opened from the other side of the
river an enfilading fire, which, though not so
effective or so destructive as that carried on from
niartello towers, was still sufficiently annoying.
But our gallant artillerymen never flinched.
Throughout the day all the batteries poured in Splendid
a fire from fifty guns and mortars on the devoted theVengai
city. The heat was intense, the labour was Arfcllloi T-
severe, the danger was enormous. But during:
the long hours of the day, and of the night which
slowly followed, those unflinching officers and
men, sustained by the conviction that to their un-
flagging energies was entrusted a task necessary
for the triumph of the British cause, stood firmly
to their guns, resisting every weakness of the
flesh, their hearts joined in one firm resolve, re-
THE ENGINEEKS EXAMINE THE BREACHES.
neers sent to
joicing in the sight of the destruction made by
their guns, their mortars, and their howitzers on
the walls which had so long bade them defiance.*
The fire continued that day, that night, and the
day following, the enemy still responding, and
with considerable effect. On the afternoon of
the 13th, General Wilson, in consultation with
Baird Smith, thought that two sufficient breaches
had been made. He accordingly directed that
they should be examined.
For this dangerous duty four young engineer
officers were selected, Medley and Lang for the
Kashmir bastion, Greathed and Home for the
Water. The two first-named officers made one
attempt as soon as it was dusk, but they were
discovered and fired at. They determined, there-
fore, to postpone the examination till 10 o'clock.
To facilitate the accomplishment of his task,
Medley requested the officers commanding the
batteries to fire heavily on the breach till 10
o'clock, then to cease firing. He then arranged
that six picked riflemen of the 60th Rifles should
accompany himself and his companion, and that
an officer and twenty men of the same regiment
should follow in support, halting at the edge of
* " At different times be-
tween the 7th and 11th,"
wrote Major Baird Smith in
his despatch, " these bat-
teries opened fire with an
efficiency and a vigour which
excited the unqualified ad-
miration of all who had the
good fortune to witness it.
Every object contemplated in
the attack was accomplished
with a success even beyond
my expectations ; and I trust
I may be permitted to say,
that while there are many
noble passages in the history
of the Bengal Artillery, none
will be nobler than that
which will tell of its work on
MEDLEY AND LANG. 25
the iunsfle while they went on to the breach. book x.
J Â° " . . ~, Chapter I.
Should the officer see that the two engineer oin-
cers and party were being cut off, he was to bring p^J is.
his men to their support, sounding his whistle for
them to fall back. Should, on the other hand,
one of the examining party be wounded, or should
the party require support, they were to whistle
The night was a bright starlight, and there set out for
was no moon. Just before the two officers and bastion,
their party started, an 8-inch shell from the
enemy buried itself deep in ground close to them,
burst, and covered them with earth. A minute
later and the gongs sounded 10. The firing
suddenly ceased. The explorers were at once
on their feet, and, drawing swords, and feeling
that their revolvers were ready to hand, began to
advance stealthily into the enemy's country.
Safely, and without discovery, the two officers They reach
and their six followers reached the edge of the the ditch;
ditch. Not a soul was to be seen. The counter-
scarp was sixteen feet deep, and steep. Lang slid
down it ; Medley then passed down by the ladder,
and with two of the men descended after Lang, descend into
leaving the other four to cover the retreat. In
two minutes more they would have reached the
top of the breach. But careful and stealthy as
had been their movements, they had not been
<iiiiic noiseless. Just at that moment they heard find the
1 .. , enemy on the
several men running from the left towards the alert;
breach. They, therefore, reascended, though
with some difficulty, and throwing themselves on
the grass, waited for events. Prom,- m the deep J^J?
THE BREACHES REPORTED PRACTICABLE.
and run back
the breach at
the Water f
shade, they could see, without being seen, against
the clear sky, not twenty yards distant, a number
of dusky forms. They watched them as they
loaded their muskets. The moments were ex-
citing, but the excitement did not prevent
Medley and his comrade from carefully examin-
ing, from the ground where they lay, the
longed-for breach. They saw that it was large,
that the slope was easy of ascent, and that
there were no guns in the flanks. They had had
experience that the descent was an easy one. It
would be desirable, they felt, to reach the top,
but the dusky figures would not move, and any
attempt to surprise them would be uncertain, and
would involve possibly the loss of some of their
party. Besides, they had really gained the know-
ledge they had come to acquire. Medley, there-
fore, determined to be satisfied and to fall back.
But how to fall back ? There was but one way.
Medley suddenly gave a preconcerted signal. At
once they all started up and ran back. A volley
followed them, but ineffectively. Untouched they
gained their own batteries in safety.
Greathed and Home had not been less success-
ful in their expedition. They had examined the
Water bastion ; and although they had found that
the musketry parapets had not been so sufficiently
destroyed as they would be were the cannonade
to be prolonged, they reported the breach prac-
With these two reports before him, Baird Smith
did not hesitate. The dangers of delay, the
worn-out state of the men in the batteries, far
THE COLUMNS OF ASSAULT. 27
outweighed any consideration which, the condition Book x.
of the musketry parapets in the Water bastion J
might suggest. He at once, then, advised General Sept. 8 i3-i4.
Wilson to deliver the assault at daybreak the assault at
P -n â€¢ â€¢ once.
In such a matter the General commanding
could not but act on the advice thus tendered
him. General Wilson immediately issued the Wilson ac -
.. . _. d cepts the ad-
necessary orders, lo Brigadier-b-eneral JNicnol- vice and
son, of the Bengal Army, whose triumphant commands 9 of
march through the Pauiab and subsequent victory the se y eral
Â° J L " assaulting
at Xajafgarh had made him the hero of the cam- columns,
paign, was assigned the command of the first First column,
column, destined to storm the breach near the
Kashmir bastion, and escalade the face of the
bastion. This column was composed of three
hundred men of H.M.'s 75th Regiment under
Lieutenant- Colonel Herbert ; of two hundred and
fifty men of the 1st Fusiliers * under Major
Jacob ; and of four hundred and fifty men of
the 2nd Panjab Infantry, under Captain Green ;
in all, one thousand men. The engineer officers
attached to this column were Lieutenants Medley,
Lang, and Bingham.
The second column was commanded by Briga- Second
dier William Jones, C.B., of H.M.'s 61st Regi- Briber
ment. It was formed of two hundred and fifty YoneT^
men of H.M.'s 8th Regiment, under Lieutenant-
Oolonel Greathed; of two hundred and fifty men
of the 2nd Fusiliers,t under Captain Boyd; of
three hundred and fifty men of the 4th Sikh
â€¢ Now B.M.'s 101st Boyal Bengal Fusiliers,
t Now H.M.'s 104th Bengal Fusiliers.
THE COLUMNS OF ASSAULT.
Infantry, under Captain Rothery; in all, eight
hundred and fifty men. This column was to
storm the breach in the Water bastion. The
engineer officers attached to it were Lieutenants
Greathed, Hovenden, and Pemberton.
The command of the third column was con-
fided to Colonel Campbell, H.M.'s 52nd Foot. It
was composed of two hundred men of the 52nd,
under Major Vigors ; of two hundred and fifty
men of the Kamaon Battalion, under Captain
Ramsay ; of five hundred men of the 1st Panjab
Infantry, under Lieutenant Nicholson; in all, nine
hundred and fifty men. The duty assigned to it
was to assault by the Kashmir gate after it should
have been blown open. The engineer officers
attached to it were Lieutenants Home, Salkeld,
The fourth column was commanded by Major
Reid of the Bengal Army. It consisted of the
Sirmur Battalion,* the Guide Corps, and such of
the pickets, European and native, as could be
spared from Hindu Rao's house ; in all (of these)
eight hundred and sixty men. But, in addition,
there was a portion of the contingent of the Ma-
haraja of Kashmir, commanded by Captain Ri-
chard Lawrence, and consisting of twelve hundred
men. The task assigned to this column was to
attack the suburb Kishanganj, and to enter the
Lahor gate.f The engineer officers attached to
* Now the Prince of Had Eeid attempted to follow
Wales's Own Gurkahs. it literally, that is, to enter
f This was the plan laid by the Lahor gate, his troops
down by General Wilson, would have been exposed to
THE COLUMNS OF ASSAULT. 29
this column were Lieutenants Maunsell and Ten- book x.
The fifth, or reserve, column was commanded s e p t 18 i3li4
by Brigadier Longfield of H.M.'s 8th Regiment. It Fifth column,
was composed as follows : two hundred and fifty Longfield.
men, H.M.'s 61st Regiment, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Deacon ; four hundred and fifty men,
4th Pan jab Infantry, under Captain Wilde ; three
hundred men, Biluch Battalion, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Farquhar; three hundred men of the
Raja of Jhind's auxiliary force, under Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Dunsford; in all, one thousand
three hundred men. To these were subse-
quently added two hundred men of the 60th
Rifles, under Lieutenant-Colonel John Jones
of that regiment, detailed in the first instance
to cover the advance. This column, acting as
a reserve, was to follow the first column. The
engineer officers attached to it were Lieutenants
Ward and Thackeray.
The officers appointed to the command of the The com-
five assaulting columns were, then, Nicholson, the^ssauit-
Jones, Campbell, Reid, and Longfield. They ing column3 -
were all picked men, fitted alike by nature and
tin' fire of the left face of the sort, and proposed that, after
L;ihor bastion, of the right taking Kishanganj and the
face of the Burn bastion, and suburbs, he should leave the
to the musketry fire from the Jammu contingent in the for-
loop-holed curtain connecting titled serai, and follow the.dry
both bastions, which had bed of the canal, where his
been untouched by our ar- troops would be under cover
tillery. Reid wrote to Gene- the whole way to the Kabul
ral Wilson to say that his gate, which, he had arranged
column would be destroyed if with Nicholson, should he
he attempted anything of the opened for him from the inside.
THE COLUMN COMMANDERS.
by training for the task devolving upon them.
Of Nicholson it is unnecessary to say much. His
exploits in the Panjab, and but a few days before
at Najafgarh, had made him the paladin of the
army. The commander of the second column,
Brigadier William Jones, had served at Chilian-
wala and at Griijrat; had co-operated in the
destruction of the enemy after that crowning
victory by pursuing them, at the head of his
regiment and a troop of artillery, to the Khaibar
pass ; and, during the siege of Dehli, had dis-
tinguished himself as brigadier of the 3rd In-
fantry Brigade. Colonel Campbell, commanding
the third column, was the colonel of the 52nd.
He had commanded his regiment with distin-
guished gallantry at Sialkot, where it formed part
of Nicholson's force.
Major Reid, of the fourth column, belonged to
the Bengal Army. Major Charles Reid had
served in Sind under Sir Charles Napier, through-
out the Satlaj and Barmese wars, and had ever
distinguished himself not less by energy and
daring, than by readiness of resource and presence
of mind. During the siege, whilst the remainder
of the attacking force had occupied the old parade
ground, covered by the ridge, Reid>lone had held
the ridge. All the pickets detached from the main
force to various points on the ridge had been
under his orders, and his only. The posts thus
under his command had included the main picket
at Hindu Rao's house, the Observatory, the
Sammy House, the Crow's Nest, and the Sabzi-
mandi. On the positions so indicated he had,
THE STAKE IN THE BALANCE. 31
between the 8th June* and the 14th September, book x.
repulsed no less than twenty-six attacks, dis- Chapter L
playing a daring, a coolness, and a presence of . if 8 ?*'
i -i y-v Sept. 13-14.
mind not to be surpassed. On the 17th June,
with a small force of four companies of the 60th
Rifles, his own regiment, the Sirmiir Battalion,
and twenty-five sappers, he had stormed the
strong position of Kishanganj, destroying the
enemy's batteries stationed there, and returning
the same evening to his position on the ridge.
Brigadier Longfield, commanding the reserve Longfieia.
column, was brigadier of the second brigade
during the siege. His conspicuous services fully
entitled him to the post which was assigned him
on this memorable occasion.
It was 3 o'clock in the morning. The columns Sept. u.
of assault were in the leash. In a few moments The enor -
thev would be slipped. What would be the re- dependent on
suit? Would the skill and daring of the soldiers Â£SS^
of England triumph against superior numbers
defending and defended by stone walls ; or would
rebellion, triumphing over the assailants, turn
that triumph to a still greater account by incit-
ing by its means to its aid the Pan jab and the
other parts of India still quivering in the balance ?
That, indeed, was the question. The fate of
* Major Reid's services in tions with Mi'rath and A'li-
the mutiny commence from garh, and with the seat of
â€¢ v.-ii ;i i-ri'.j-'late. He marched Government in Calcutta, a
with his regimenl from Dehra service of vital importance,
on the 14th May 1857, and for which he received the
by his vigorous action in the thanks of the Governor-Gen-
disturbed district of Baland- era] in Council.
shahr, opened comtnunica-
32 THE ORDER OF ASSAULT.
Book x. Dehli was in itself the smallest of the results to
ap ei ' be gained by a successful assault. The fate of
Se\ 8 t 57 i4 India was in the balance. The repulse of the
British would entail the rising of the Panjab !
The order of It had been decided that whilst the first and
second columns should direct their attack against
the breaches near the Kashmir and Water bas-
tions, an explosion party should steal ahead and
blow up the Kashmir gate, through which the
third column should then effect an entrance into
the city. The explosion party consisted of Lieu-
tenants Home and Salkeld of the Engineers ; of
Sergeants Smith, Carmichael, and Corporal Bur-
gess, alias Grierson, of the Sappers and Miners ;
of Bugler Hawthorne, H.M.'s 52nd Light In-
fantry; and of eight native sappers. It was
covered by two hundred men of the 60th Rifles,
nnder Lieutenant- Colonel Jones of that regi-
ment. The duty devolving on the Sappers and
Miners and their officers, was, it is almost need-
less to state, to blow up the Kashmir gate ; that
of Bugler Hawthorne was to announce, by means
of his bugle, to the storming party, that the ex-