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THE FIRST BENGAL EUROPEAN FUSILIERS AT LUCKNOW.
(Continued from our June Number.) " Soldiers, wake! the day is peeping;
Honour ne'er was won in sleeping."-SCOTT. TAE route came on the afternoon wasté;" literally, “to blow them of the 26th January 1858 to march away. next morning. We started about 8 We encamped close to the two A.M., but the day was so cloudy barracks in which Sir Hugh Wheeler and foggy that it was almost impos- had made his stand, and nothing sible to see to strike our tents, and could be more wretched than the for obscurity, quite resembled one in aspect these presented. You are of favoured England. Moving on the course aware in England what the high-road, we passed over the scene place is like, both by verbal descripof the action fought on the 5th tion and photography; yet everyJanuary by the troops under the thing must fall short of the truth. command of his Excellency the Com- Standing amidst the ruins, we no mander-in-Chief, and saw many me- longer wondered that our brave men mentoes of the cavalry pursuit still had been at last obliged to come to remaining on the roadside.
terms; the real wonder was, how We halted at Khodagunge, and, men could possibly have made a following the high-road, reached stand in such a place. The question Cawnpore by the regular marches on must have occurred to every mind, the 3d February. From the last “ where are the defences ?” and as march to this station I rode to see nothing had been altered when we Bhithoor, the abode of the wretch were there, the reply was, “there Nana Sahib. The place was occu- were really none !" The shallow pied by some of our troops and a ditch, perhaps two feet deep, had company of Sappers. The residence not been completed round the two of the Nana is“ not,"--a heap of barracks, which, completely riddled ruins marks the place where it once by round-shot, alone afforded any stood.
protection ; and nothing could more The town looked miserable enough, distinctly prove the want of real and but for the filth of the place I courage on the part of the mutineers should have thought it deserted; than their having been effectually all the country round, however, was resisted for even one day. cultivated with the usual care, and While here, we were joined by covered by the most luxuriant crops. Captain Sallusbury, Lieuts. Maxwell, But nearer Cawnpore this state of Magniac, and Hall
, who had returned things altered considerably; and for from England; the latter had, howsome miles from the city the fields ever, formed part of the garrison of were either left without culture, or Lucknow, and returned with the the crop had been entirely destroyed. Commander-in-Chief's army from
Just as we were entering the can- that place. The former of these tonment we were surprised to see a officers brought up a large draft number of natives, evidently recruits, of recruits for the regiment-an inundergoing instruction quite in the crease much required to fill the vaold style, under their havildars and cancies in our ranks. native officers. The sight itself The regiment left Cawnpore on seemed so strange to us in such a the morning of the 6th, crossing the place, that one of our officers rode Ganges by the bridge of boats into up and asked one of the drill instruc- Oude, moving towards Oonao. On tors for what purpose these men this march, though the land seemed were being drilled.
as fully cultivated as usual, there coming as it did from a man of one was no longer that degree of attenof those regiments who had fought tion to agriculture so remarkable on for us to the death at Lucknow, the right bank of the river, and was most ominous — “Oorāné ké which has been long under British rule. The villages, too, more re- wiry grass, forming the landscape ; sembled peopled forts than an while the mirage, this day frequently assemblage of houses occupied by seen, only tended to delude the imacultivators, and are quite strong gination with false ideas of extended enough to resist the attacks of troops lakes and fruitful groves; where unprovided with artillery.
crops existed, they were, with the We reached Oonao about 1 P.M. exception of a few favoured localion the 6th, and remained there until ties, markedly inferior to those on the 11tb. At this place the Rifles the Cawnpore side of the Ganges. bad formed quite a strong intrenched Having marched some miles through camp, simple in detail, yet most effi- thisuninteresting country, we reached cient. There was a ditch some four a deserted village ; on passing a little feet deep, the earth from which beyond which we came in sight of the formed the curtain of the work, camp of the army under Sir James while small bastions, armed with Outram. There, within those tents, light field-guns at the corners, well were the gallant few who had held loopholed, enabled the defenders to the thousands of Oude and rebel pour in a flanking fire on any Sepoys in check so long ; yet, who assailants. Altogether the work could fancy it was an army in front of was most creditable, and showed a large city occupied by a numerous how strongly, and with how little enemy? Now and then a shot was trouble, a small camp might be fired from heavy guns, but these fortified. On the 11th we marched were such exceptional events that to Nuwabgunge, halting until the nothing could have seemed more 21st. It must not, however, be quiet than when we marched in. thought that these were days of The camp was formed to the right rest. The men were constantly en- of the high-road, and our tents ployed in escorting trains of carts pitched next to the Engineers, about or camels, the materials intended for a mile distant, and in rear of the the siege of Lucknow passing con- main body. The fort of Jellallabad tinually on the road for that place. was to our left; and as that post, in
On the 21st of February orders which all supplies for the siege were were issued for us to be prepared to being collected, had been attacked a march to Bunnee when relieved by day or two before our arrival, it was the Rifles ; but, early on the 22d, we probably with the intention that we were directed to make no stay at that might protect that post, should it be place, but march on to Alumbagh. necessary, that we were encamped in The regiment moved out of camp at our present situation. 9 A.m., and reached Bunnee at 12 On the 24th the enemy came out o'clock'; here the band of the 79th. in considerable force ; but being Highlanders came out to meet us,' obliged to make a detour to the right, playing in advance as we marched so as to avoid the batteries along our past their camp. We also received front, they exposed themselves to a most cordial invitations from the cavalry charge, and although they officers to partake of their hospi- could not be pursued to any distance, tality ; however, though much grati- yet two guns were captured by our fied, we were unable to accept of horse. On the 1st, the Chief rode their kindness. We had heard pre- into camp, and we heard that the viously to this that we formed part whole of the artillery and siege-train of the Fifth Brigade, composed of was in park a few miles to our rear; H.M.'s 23d and 79th regiments, and early on the morning of the 2d, commanded by Brigadier Douglas, H. M.'s 42d, 38th, 530, 93d, a Sikh and glad were we to find ourselves regiment with cavalry, and a large in such good company.
train of artillery, moving across our The country appeared to be still front, told us the final move was being less cultivated as we advanced into made. In about two hours the reOude ; but on leaving Bunnee the ports of cannon made us aware that term barren could hardly be mis- they had come in contact with the applied, extensive plains of sandy enemy; the firing soon ceased, and Boil, sparsely covered with thorns or the glad news was brought in, that
the enemy had been driven back, and Cunliffe's surprise, began spinning the Dilkhoosha occupied. We were with the utmost rapidity; and then, warned to march at 2 A.M. the next instead of bounding off at an angle, morning ; we moved from camp there- as he momentarily expected and fore at half-past one, and proceeded it was most unpleasantly close), it very slowly, as we protected a large again moved in a straight line, and, and important train of guns, am- striking the tree it had first hit, there munition, and stores. The march, remained. In this grove we could which occupied ten hours, was exces- distinctly hear the bugle-calls of the sively tedious, and our tents came up enemy, and they seemed to have an very late to the ground, which was extra number of drummers; on the perhaps a mile in rear of the Dilk- left, indeed, our sentries at night hoosha, a post occupied by our troops, were relieved by the time kept in the and an occasional shot told us that enemy's lines. The duty was very it was not distant from the enemy's heavy for our weak corps, from the lines. A brisk fire drew us away great extent of wall to be guarded; from breakfast, to see what was going only one hundred men were off duty, on, but we were unable to distin- and these remained fully accoutred, guish who were engaged in this little so that after forty hours we were not affair. At 3 P.M. we were direct- sorry to return to camp on the morned to move to the front, leaving ing of the 5th. our tents standing : marching to the left of the Dilkhoosha, we entered
" And we ran, and they ran ; a large mango-grove — Mabommed
And they ran, and we ran; Bagh-surrounded by a wall, which
And we ran, and they ran
Awa, man."-Battle of Sherifmuir. extended to within 700 yards of the enemy's batteries. In the centre of “ The Dilkhoosha" (Heart's Dethe grove, or I might rather call it a light) is a large building in the style park, were two tanks, nearly dry, of a French chateau, standing in an the depth from the top of the bank extensive enclosure, formerly a deerbeing about 15 feet, in one of which park; and about twelve hundred yards the men off duty were desired to to the north stands the “Martinière,” make themselves comfortable ; at any built somewhat in the same stylerate, we were here well sheltered from both erected by General Martin, a the shot of the enemy, and fortu- Swiss, formerly in the service of the nately they seemed to have no shell King of Oude. The general made to spare, as three only fell in the en- a large fortune in all kinds of curious closure during the time we were there, ways-polishing diamonds_forming and of these one did not explode. Í part of his military duties. It is said found that it was made of brass, that the Martinière was built by him very badly cast, and about the size in the hopes of the king becoming a of a 9-pound shot. Round-shot was purchaser : the king, however, seeing fired pretty constantly at us, and that the general was very infirm, rendered a promenade under the considered that he might get the pleasant shade of the trees rather ex- building at a cheaper rate. The old citing, the sound of 18 or 9 pound soldier was not thus to be outshot crashing through the branches mancuvred, for he directed his being not quite so agreeable as listen- body to be buried within the building to a regimental band. However, ing; and as natives dislike living by attending to the direction the balls among tombs, the expectations of the took, it was by no means a matter of king were not realised. The rest of danger to move about under such his property he applied to a noble deep cover. The course taken by purpose being bequeathed to a round-shot, after striking live timber, charity for the support of orphans. is sometimes very peculiar. Captain The enemy held possession of the Cunliffe, who commanded us, while Martinière, which was, however, so visiting the pickets, saw an 18-pound immediately under the guns in the shot strike full against a mango-tree; defences they had erected on the city the projectile rebounded about thirty side of the canal, that it would have yards, and then, much to Captain been of little use in taking this ad
vanced position, till prepared to act work, the old ist in their blue caps
glorious 9th; who so glad to see the
, train of light artillery. It was a scription of the place as can be given magnificent sight, the Rifles in green, in a few words : “It is the greenest the gallant 23d Fusiliers in their ad- city in the world ; “and very bemirable dress, looking so ready for coming, too, considering that it is a
Mohammedan city, and green their say, seemed to have more pride in holy colour," put in Cunliffe. As I this odd digit than many in their said before, we came upon the open whole five, and on this day nothing plain, and moved down to the bed of would please him but he must go the stream, where we halted ; and out; and as he could not carry a we could not have been very far musket, he took a sword: and this from the enemy, since while here is the stuff the old ist was made of three round shot passed over the in 1858. column, fortunately without injury to During the 7th and 8th the enemy any one in the rear. One or two continued to annoy our pickets by a guns of our light artillery now fire from guns, to which we were opened on the enemy from our left, unable to reply effectually with our seemingly with the intention of as- field - artillery.; but it was quite certaining the weight and number astonishing to see how beautifully of their cannon, as very shortly after the Rifles, taking advantage of every we moved off to the right, and about particle of cover, kept them in check, 15 P.M. took up a position in an en- and, by preventing their observing closure shaded by large mango-trees. our arrangements, rendered their Here we rested, strong pickets being fire almost useless. On the 8th sent out in advance for we were nothing was done, but all were only about one and a half mile aware that the final contest would from the enemy's works. Our tents not long be deferred, and few were and baggage came up so late at without that restless sort of excitenight that all sound ment usually felt, though perhaps
, asleep before they arrived, and pre- not acknowledged, before engaging ferred sleeping on the ground to in mortal strife. By the evening pitching the tents in the dark. On it was known throughout camp the morning of the 7th we moved that operations would commence on out of our resting-place, the camp the right, and that Outram's divimarked out, and tents pitched ; men sion would advance to the attack and officers were then sitting down after the batteries of the enemy were to breakfast, when the report of silenced by our heavy guns, which several cannon-seven shot from had now come up. The particular which fell into our men's tents, duty assigned to the 1st European wounding two of the Fusiliers and Bengal Fusiliers was to protect the one camp - follower - told us the heavy pieces, which were to be enemy were close, and must have moved into battery at 2 A.M. advanced very rapidly. The regi- Shortly, then, before that hour, on ment fell in at once, and was ordered the 9th of March, we were drawn with other corps to the front; the up before our tents, and as the enemy retired as quickly as they elephants slowly drew their load came out, pounded by our artillery. along the sandy road, we left our
, The 1st never fired a shot. The vil- parade-ground and advanced with lages in front were then strongly them. Thus we marched about a occupied, the main body returning mile, when we reached the advanced into camp.
picket; here the main body halted, Here I must mention the conduct two companies only going on with of Lance-corporal Maclean, No. 4 the guns to the battery. It was a Company, as illustrative of the spirit moonlight morning, so
we could pervading the 1st Fusiliers. This make out the line of trees in which man had lost four of his fingers the enemy were sheltered, and the by a musket-ball at Puttialee, our noise in their camp could be disDoctor, who used to make a great tinctly heard ;, we were therefore fuss about having kept the thumb, surprised that the trumpeting of one talking no end about conservative of the elephants, and the clanking of surgery, or some such stuff, as if the chains attached to the artilleryMaclean would not have been much waggons, did not draw down on us better with a whole wooden hand the kind attentions of their gunners, than with one flesh thumb; how- for that we were well within range ever, the man himself, strange to was proved by the state of the trees