Hide Articles List

6 articles on this Page

lurÛgrr unit Cafatrfnl Ileitis.I…

. INDIA AND CHINA.

OPERATIONS -IN OUDE.

News
Cite
Share

OPERATIONS IN OUDE. EVACUATION" uF SHUNIvEItPORE. (FROM "THE TDlES" SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.) HEAD-QUARTERS, CAMP, NEAR SHUNKERPORE, Nov. 17.—By the Bombay mail of the 21th of No- vember, I forwarded a narrative of operations up to the 14th of the month, to which I now send a supplement up to this date by the mail from Calcutta. It must be understood that I do not pretend to speak of events in other pa; ts of India, and that Ideal with matters of which generally I have some personal cognizance. Of affairs which take place in other parts of India, and even of Oude, fuller details are furnished by eyewitnesses than I can possibly procure, and to my colleagues must be left the task of collecting them. On the morning of the 14t,h of November, Lord Clyde marched from his camp at KUhwuoore, beyond Amethee, towards Snunkerpore, the strong- hold of Bainic Madhoo— the correct orthography, at last, of this chieftain's name. Of the posiiiou aud strength of the enemy we had heard the most lormi- damo accounts. There was, however, no certain, nor, as it appeared, trustworthy information regarding the forts they occupied, or their means of resistance. It was a matter of speculation whether Bainic Madhoo would fight or submit but his character gave the combatants reason to believe that its would stand his ground. On the evening of the 13th, Major Barrow, the political agent at head-quarters, or, more properly speaking, the Financial Commissioner, sent the fol- lowing letter from our camp at Ojdepors to the rebel chief:— "The Commander-in-Chief having received the fullest powers from the Governor-General to deal with all insur. gents, either by force of arms or treaty, as may se m to his Excellency to be right according to the offences or claims to consideration of each individual, sends the pro- clamation of the Queen of Great Britain to Ranah Bainie Madhoo. The R tnah is informed that under the terms of that Proclamation his life is secured on due submission being made. The Governor-General is not disposed to deal harshly but Bainie .Madhoo must r. e >l!ect that lie has Ion. been a r' b-1 in arms. and hut very recently attacked Ilur Majesty's troops. lie must therefore make the fullest submissive surrender of his forts and cannon, and come out at the head of his Sepoys and armed fol- lowers, and with them lay down his arms in the presence of Her Majesty's troops. The Sepoys and aruaed followers will then be allowed to go to their homes without moles- tation, each of the former reee-ivrig a certificate fro:n the Coinnuastoner. When complete surrender and submis- sion has been made, Bainic Madhoo will not h ive causr to dlstrust the generosity and clemency of the Governor- General, and even his claims on account of estates lie may consider himself wrongly deprived of may be heard uut, m toe meantime, before submission is made, and the arms of the Ranah, his Sepoys, and followers publicly aid down,no treating U allowed by the Governor-General. The Uommanuer-m-LIiicf warns Baiuit* Mart'ioo lose no time. Ilis columns are el.aing round the Ranah, and any delay on Bainie Madhou'i part will deprive him of the benefit of the Qieen's mercy, and reader it impossible for the Governor-General to exuviae generosity in his behalf. The fate of himself, of his family, and of Iii, followers is in his own hands." Early on the 15 th our troops marched to their present callp at Kaishwapore or Kishwapore, about three miles from the outer ditch of the jungle of Shuiikerpore. The Commander-in-Chief, however, was precluded from an immediate advance on the place, because lie had not received any reply to his letter. There was a probability that it had not been received, and the instructions of his Excellency were most positive that no attack should be made on any of the forts till it had been ascertained that the chief who owned it had received a copy of the Queen's proclamation. The place was reconnoitred, and found to be less formidable than report had made it, so far as could be judged from the position of the works discernible through the woods and jungle. Our camp was pitched at a line nearly parallel to the side of the jungle, at a distance of two and a half or two and three quarter miles from the outer ditch. Sir Hope Grant's column, encamped three or four I miles distant, lay at an angle to our right flank, so as to invest the north-easteru face. The south was covered by a jungle, and ou the welt it was hoped that Brigadier Evelegh's force moving from Simree would have arrived within such a distance of the works as would have enabled them to co-operate with us; but, as communications were very difficult, and no report had been received from that officer, the Com- mander-in-Chief was ignorant of his position. It was long after midday ere our tents were all pitched our baggage continued to block up the road long after nightfall. Strong pickets of cavalry and guns were thrown out from both camps, which at night were strength- ened by infantry. Lord Clyde, who is most watchful that the important duty of placing pickets and sen- tries is properly performed, rode ont and visited the front of our position, a3 he always does when we are in front of an enemy. At Amethee he was obliged to alter the disposition of the men and of the sentries by his own word of mouth, and here too he met with an officer who professed himself ignorant of the meaning of the word vedette." At night a messen- ger came in from Shuiikerpore with the following letter from Bainie Madhoo:—- "I have received your Excellency's purwannah, and with it the proclamation. I beg to say that I was for- merly Caboolintdar of this eilaga, and am still in pos- session of the 3am", and if the Government will continue the* settlement with me I will turn out my father, Bainie Madhoo. lie is on the part of Birjies Kuddr, but I am loyal to the British Government, and I do not wish to be ruined for my father's sake." This was an ingenious composition, reminding one of the old times in Scotland, when each family had a representative in the ranks of the claimants to the Crown. It, was generally believed to be the compo- sition of Bainic Madhoo in person. At the same time the latter sent a letter to the Rajah of Tiloi, who had come into our camp in answer to a recom- mendation that he should submit, iu which he took high ground, and told the Rajah that one King was all he could serve, and that he had given his fealty to Birjies Ivuddr. We heard that a large number of Sepoys, varying, according to different accounts, from 600 to 1,500, had gone off from the enemy, and were making their way to Maniekpore, on the Ganges, between Delamow and the bridge across from Allahabad. S'ill there were some of our spies who insisted that Bainie Madhoo had 40.000 men and 40 guns inside the work. Precautions were taken to prevent the enemy breaking through our lines. The pickets were warned to be on the alert. The enemy weresaid to have 2,000 horse. Every- thing looked like fighting. Night came; and all, except those who were in advance of the line in tents, u h-ctiredtorest. It was bright moonlight, but the I moon set early. About two o'clock in the morning I was awakened by the noise of horses in the street of our canvas city. I turned out and found Captain F!ood waiting for orders to carry across country from the Chief of the Staff to Sir Hope Grant. In"- tclligencc had been received that the enemy after the moon had disappeared, issued from the forts and | were evacuating the pLce in all haste. The country in our front was intersected with water cuts, covered with crops, wood, and jungle. So information as to the exact route of the enemy could be had, and in fact, it was possible the whole story might be' untrue. Lord Clyde, light in hand, flitted across the street, carrying his orders with his own hand to his Aide-de-Camp, Captain Dormer. It was past three o'clock ere the Aide-de-Camp of the Chief of the Statf started with an escort of a few Sowars to carry orders to Sir Hope Grant to proceed at once.in pur- suit of the enemy. It was pitch dark, and the direction was only to he had from the stars. So difficult was the ground that oue of the horses of the escort broke its neck. So it was that it was past four o'clock ere the column of Sir Hope Grant was reached, and the order given to that gallant and in- defatigable otTIcer. All the troops were turned out. and the column was in readiness to march by daylight,, directing its advance upon Roy Bareilly. During the night the pickets had heard men moving, the the night the pickets had heard men moving, the groaning of camels, and the noise of voices close to the fot; but they had no orders to act, and, indeed, it is difficult to say what they could have done if they na'J* At daybreak it was evident that Bainie Madhoo had fled, and that his boasted stronghold had been descried without a shot. The tracks of wheels along toe outside of the work showed that he had succeeded in carrying off some at, least of his guns, ana that he had taken a long sweep to the west of Sir Hope Grant's extreme right picket, and then marched oft towards Roy Bareilly. An advance was ordered on the brts. The BeeJoehcs entered, and found it quite empty, the bastions unarmed, the jungles desolate. They were at once relieved by a wing of her Majesty's 5th Fusileers, under Lieutenant Colonel Milman. Colonel Harness and the engineer I '1] ill andarttiicryofEcei-s rode across to fhe place, and Lord Clyde, after a hasty visit, rode off to overtake Sir Hope Grant's column, in order that he might give him directions as to the pursuit. Some of the rebels, we heard, had gone southwards through the jungles towards the Ganges, but the main body, under Bainie, had obviously fled towards the Goomtee northwards. Early in the morning, about half an hour after daybreak, I approached the outer works of the fort, which consisted of a very deep, but narrow ditch, and a low parapet of irregular trace, inside which nothing could be seen but dense jungle. There was no entrance visible till we had ridden southwards about two miles. The country was like that already described. Several hamlets and villages quite de- serted lay outside the ditch; only cats and dogs inhabited the streets. In one there was a small and very handsome Hindoo temple, covered outside with hideous idols. All these villages offered the greatest facilities for resistance in the hands of a determined enemy, and could only have been cleared in such a case by very hard fighting or severe vertical fire. Through one of those villages.lay the road to the outer fort. AJiastiou of earth towered above it" but the flanking fire was iiidiiferently directed. The gateway was of bambo, and opened upon a ramp across the ditch to a. strong mud wall, winding over a tortuous street, acecss through which into the interior was obtained by a wooden gate, of no strength. Inside, the place was somewhat like Amethee, only that the central residence was not so fine. An old Brahmin, very sick, was the sole human being to be found, but a must" elephant—a male suffering from a temporary derangement, owing to a disappointment in some love n riffair—was tied by chains in the courtyard, guu bul- locks wandered about, and doolies, tents, a spring van, litters, and various stores, lumbered the enclo- sures, which were full also of bedsteads, and a few articles of furniture. Only a few old matchlocks could he found after the minutest search, and, as if in moekerv, four very small brass guns, mere children's playthings, were laid out in a row in front of one of the verandahs. In the women's apartments some miserable daubs left upon the walls showed that those who lived there must have been vile and depraved indeed. Idols abounded in the rooms: some bad engravings, an Oriental dream of the Duke of Wel- lington, and embossed drawings of wild beasts hung up in (he divan, in wiiicli were also glass chandeliers, covered with linen bags, as it the season was oyer." In the rooms around the courts immense quantities of ghee, nuts, wheat, and corn were found also a labo- ratory for making powder, and about 9,0001b. of that article of native manufacture. I am beginning to believe that most of the good guns of the forts in Oude were sent into Lucknow, or were captured by Havelock and olhers in the earlier fights. It is eer- tain Bainie Madhoo has got only nine with him, aud they are all probably less than six-pounders. We have heard of one hrge gun which has not yet been discovered, and the carriages of two, in tolerable con- dition, we-e fouud this afternoon. There are three other forts much more complete inside the work which must be described hereafter. All are to be destroyed, with the exception of one which is to be turned into a native police thanuah. Towards midday Lord Clyde returned after a hot ride of ten miles, in I addition to his early march from Sir Hope Grant, whose column reached Rey Bareilly in the afternoon. Bainie Madhoo had a long start of him, and it seems now established that we never can overtake natives fairly on t he run. A part of the Jugdespore force marched 200 miles in five days, and yet did little good. General Michell's infantry marched 32 miles in one day after lantia Topee, and fialed to overtake him. I fear that General Grunt and Brigadier Eveleigh will not be more successful. According to the latest accounts, Bainie Madhoo was at Poorye, and if he crossed the Goomtee would, in all likelihood, cros the Gogra at Byrainghaut and join the insurgents in Burnech. Colonel Taylor, Iler Majesty's 79t.h, now second-class Brigadier, marched yesterday morning towards Fyzabad with a troop of Royal Horse Artillery, Middletous Battery Royal Artillery, one company Royal Engineers, Delhi Pio- neers, 1st Punjab Cavalry, Her Majesty s 79th Regiment, 1st Sikh Infantry. The bulk of the heavy material remains with Head-quarters Canap, which is now left here with only a wing of Her Majesty's 5th, about 300 of Her Majesty's 32nd, and about 200 of the 6th Dragoon Guards or Carbineers. Thus I have given yon, without comment, a dry narrative of the actual events which have occurred here since the despatch of my last letter reserving some matter for my next letter, which will probably be more interesting. As the talookdars were slow in coming in, the Com- missioner issued a circular to them, in which he stated that if they did not make submission within a short period, he would send for the Rajah of Rupporthullah, and his Sikhs, and would make over their estates to his use. This little stroke of diplo- macy has been attended with the best results, but as yet the Sepoys hold aloof. They do not believe the proclamation or the amnesty. The talookdars are, however, coming in. Some of Bainic Madhoo's estates have been already awarded to men who have served the Government. Tliannahs and collcctorates have been established all along our line of march, and zemi-.idars have been placed there, with their match- lockmen, till we can spare police to take their place As soon as that is the case the zemindary levies will be deprived of their matchlocks, and the country will be disarmed.

OUR NATIONAL DEFENCES.

Advertising

[No title]