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Chapter XLVI, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 8 page 5


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The chiefs of the relieved garrison, ignorant of the state of affairs on the Jumna and in the Doab, thought that Sir Colin would immediately complete the conquest of the city. Sir Colin knew better. Nothing but imperative necessity led him to advance on Lucknow before he had defeated the Gwalior Contingent. He did not know but that, at the very moment when he entered the Chutter Munzil, the enemy might not have fallen upon Windham, and driven him from Cawnpore. To withdraw the garrison and treasure was therefore his first care and his first duty. He had no secure base of operations. His army was, indeed, scattered about in groups, and every man for a week had been constantly on duty. He therefore set himself to devise a plan of taking all away with him as soon as possible. This was no easy task. At first he hoped to take such buildings in his way as commanded the best road, but he found that this would cost too many men; and, moreover, by dint of careful surveying, it was found that the sandy lanes, less under fire, might be made to answer his purpose.

His plan was very simple, yet very ingenious. He directed his heavy guns to breach the Kaiserbagh, in order that the enemy might suppose he meant to storm it. Then he ordered the whole force, the women and children, and the trains, to file through his pickets on the night of the 22nd of November. The guns that could not be brought off were burst. The women made their little packages; transport was scarce, and many had to walk; and all going out during daylight, were more or less under fire. Before the troops moved, the sick and wounded, the women and children, the stores of grain, and the large mass of treasure, were safely got through to the Delkoosha. The greatest care and pains were taken to prevent loss, and loss was prevented. Then the troops moved off. " Each exterior line came gradually retiring through its supports, until at length nothing remained," writes Sir Colin, " but the last line of infantry and the guns, with which I was myself to crush the enemy if he had dared to follow up the pickets." So silently and regularly did all this come to pass, that at dawn, when the army was at Delkoosha, the enemy began firing at the old positions, now happily empty. Only one officer had remained behind. The poor man, worn out with fatigue, had gone to sleep. No one had awakened him. Roused by the daylight, he found himself alone. Terrified at his isolation, he hurried through the houses and the lanes, and had the good fortune to arrive with a whole skin, but a shaken nervous system, at Delkoosha; a singular proof of the perfection of Sir Colin's measures for the withdrawal of everything and everybody from the old lines.

Halting one night in the Delkoosha Park, the army, with its enormous train, marched off and halted at the Alumbagh, without having been molested at any point by the enemy, who had a wholesome dread of the splendid cavalry which covered the operation. All arrived safely at the Alumbagh, and Sir Colin, on the 27 th of November, leaving a strong force there under Sir James Outram - 3,000 men and 18 guns - started off with the rest of the troops to escort a train, ten miles long, to Cawnpore.

But before the Commander-in-Chief marched away, the army had suffered a heavy loss: General Have- lock had passed away. He died at the climax of an arduous military career, winning endless fame at the time when most men look for repose. Just as he had become the pride of England, he died. The reader has seen how he brought back victory to our standards in the country watered by the Ganges and the Jumna. The reader may be old enough to remember how the nation exulted when there came news of Havelock's glorious campaign in the Doab, and his determined efforts to reach Lucknow. The Queen at once conferred on him the order of Knight Commander of the Bath; and Sir Colin, when he entered Lucknow, astonished his old comrade by calling him Sir Henry. But Havelock only heard five days before he died that this honour bad been bestowed on him. The labour, the anxiety, perhaps the foul atmosphere of Lucknow, proved too much for his strength. On the 20th of September signs of cholera appeared. He was instantly moved out of the city to the Delkoosha Park. From day to day he grew worse, and himself felt assured, though his friends did not, that his end was near. Here in the park Mr. Gubbins went to see him, and found him in a soldier's tent. "Entering it," he writes, " I found the general's aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Hargood, and his medical attendant, Dr. Collinson, lying down. They whispered to me, in mournful accents, the grievous news that Sir Henry's case was worse, and pointed to where he lay. It was in a dooly, which had been brought inside the tent and served as a bed. The curtain was down on my side. I approached and found young Havelock seated on the farther side by his dying father. His wounded arm still hung in a sling; but with his other he supplied all his father's wants. They told me that the general would allow no one to render him any attendance but his son. I saw that to speak was impossible, and sorrowfully withdrew." Lying on this bed, tended by his son, surrounded by the affection of the army, Havelock declared he should die happy and contented. "I have for forty years so ruled my life," he said to Outram, " that when death came I might face it without fear." He passed a less restless night, but at nine on the morning of the 24th he quietly passed away, dying as became a noble Christian soldier. He was in his sixty-third year. The troops went on that day to Alumbagh, bearing the body of their beloved captain with them. " On the low plain by the Alumbagh," says one writer, " they made his humble grave; and Campbell and Outram, and Inglis, and many a stout soldier who had followed him in all his headlong marches, and through the long fatal street, were gathered there to perform the last rites to one of England's noblest dead." No man has been more thoroughly appreciated in England, and few have deserved more folly the love and esteem of their countrymen.

We have said that the Commander-in-Chief, with half his force, marched off for Cawnpore on the 27th. That day he moved to Bunnee, seventeen miles, and there at eventide he heard the sound of heavy guns towards the Ganges. What was it? The evil apprehended had occurred. Windham was beset by the Gwalior Contingent, and the bridge of boats was in danger. Sir Colin, indeed every practised soldier, knew there was menace of peril in that muffled roar, and at sunrise the whole camp was in motion, intent on marching to the Ganges, without a halt. And they marched to the muttered accompaniment of this distant cannonade.

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Pictures for Chapter XLVI, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 8 page 5

General Wilson
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Brigadier Inglis
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Pursuit of Mutineers by colonel Greathed
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The Duke of Cambridge
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