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rebels. Nearly 1,200 of them had been cut to pieces, no quarter being asked or granted. Their bodies had just been covered over with earth, and it sickened me to feel they were so near us. I met several old friends, Dr. Browne, Major Rudman, 32nd, Dighton Probyn of the irregulars, whom I had known as a boy in England. All were most kind, and feasted us with tea and bread and-butter, which were great luxuries. As it was getting late, I begged Captain Birch to return, fancying John might be anxious at his prolonged absence. Sir Cohn Campbell came and talked to me for some time; he was very kind in his manner, and talked about us as dear creatures, meaning the ladies; at the same time, I knew he was wishing us very far away, and no wonder! At 10 p.m., an escort having arrived to take us to Dil Khoosha Park, we again started. Major Ouvry, 9th Lancers, lent us a bullock cart, into which Mrs. Case and sister, a Mrs. Pitt and child, myself and the three children squeezed ourselves. I never was so tightly packed before, and as I was the furthest from the door, I did not feel very comfortable in case of any danger threatening us. I had at first put the two boys
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into a dhoolie with their ayah, but they got separated from us, and it was fully a quarter of an hour before I found them, so I would not let them go from me again. As we were starting, Major Ouvry brought us some beer to drink, and poor baby, who was very thirsty, cried louder for it than I had ever heard him before. With difficulty I pacified him, and succeeded in getting him to sleep. Just then the word ‘Halt!’ was heard, and silence was ordered, all lights to be put out. It was evident some danger was apprehended, and I shall never forget my anxiety lest baby should commence crying again, and perhaps betray our whereabouts; I hardly dared breathe. About a quarter of an hour passed in this way, and then the order was given to proceed, more troops having, I believe, been sent from Secundra Bagh. We reached Dil Khoosha Park about midnight found a number of tents pitched in a row, with beds in them for our reception. After partaking of some refreshments, which had been kindly prepared for us by Colonel Little and the officers of the 9th Lancers, we all lay down and slept pretty soundly.
26th.----As soon as it was daylight, we were up
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and pitched a large tent which John had procured for us. It had two partitions, and I was glad to be able to offer one side to Mrs. Birch and her sister. The former’s husband had been killed during the siege, and she was very unwell. Mrs. Case and her sister were quite ready with their usual kindness to share the other side with myself and the children. The officers of the 9th Lancers asked us to breakfast, and though not, I trust, very greedy, I certainly appreciated the good things with which their table was loaded. I went afterwards to see the 32nd women, who had a tent to themselves, and looked so happy and comfortable. Miss Dickson and I strolled about the camp in the evening. It was a strange scene of confusion, but everything’ had been done to make us as comfortable as possible.
21st.—Quite bewildered to-day by receiving home letters which had been accumulating for five months, and thankful did I feel to hear all our loved ones were well. The letters of a late date were very sad ones to read, especially from my mother; she evidently wrote doubting whether the words would ever reach us. I can safely say much of my unhappiness during the siege was
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caused by the reflection of what those at home must be suffering, and now it was sad to think how long it would be before they could hear of our safety. I wrote home to-day. Went to see Mrs. Cowper, and was sorry to hear from her that Mr. Dashwood was dead; he had been going on well, but the move was too much for him. Dr. Darby was also dead; he had been wounded in the head some time previously.
Sunday, 22nd.—The enemy cut up some grass-cutters near the camp this morning. The 9th Lancers were ordered out in pursuit. They did not stay out long, as, of course, the enemy ran away, all except a few stragglers, who were killed. I was very anxious to-day. having heard that the remaining portion of the garrison were to evacuate the Residency. We could learn nothing of what was going on, and at 11 p.m. I went outside the tent, and was alarmed by hearing heavy musketryfiring. I imagined the enemy were attacking the garrison on their march out, but heard afterwards this firing took place before the withdrawal commenced. I lay down without undressing, hoping every moment to hear John’s footstep, but he did not come that night.
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23rd.—John arrived this morning; he had been out all night, having commanded the rear. Nothing could have been better planned than the evacuation, and it was done in the manner he suggested. He had recommended that the garrison should be withdrawn at midnight, and that not a shot was to be fired. Some time before the hour, the garrison were silently withdrawn from their different posts, each man’s name was called out, and at twelve precisely they marched out, John and Sir James Outram remaining till all had passed, and then they took off their hats to the Baillie Guard, the scene of as noble a defence as I think history will ever have to relate. Captain Birch thus describes the departure of the garrison from the Residency:
‘And now commenced a movement of the most perfect arrangement and successful generalship — the withdrawal of the whole of the various forces under orders of the commander-in-chief, a combined movement requiring the greatest care and skill. First, the garrison in immediate contact with the enemy at the furthest extremity of the Residency position was marched out. Every other garrison in turn fell in behind
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it, and so passed out through the Baillie Guard gate, till the whole of our position was evacuated. Then came the turn of Havelock’s force, which was similarly withdrawn, post by post, marching in rear of our garrison. After them again came the forces of the commander-in-chief, which joined on in the rear of Havelock’s force. Regiment by regiment was withdrawn with the utmost order and regularity. The whole operation resembled the movement of a telescope. Stern silence was kept, and the enemy took no alarm. Never shall I forget that eventful night. The withdrawal of the fourteen garrisons which occupied our defensive positions was entrusted to three staff officers : Captain Wilson, assistant-adjutant-general, the brigade major, and myself, as aide-de-camp. Brigadier Inglis stood at the Baillie Guard gate as his gallant garrison defiled past him; with him was Sir James Outram, commanding the division. The night was dark, but on our side, near the Residency house, the hot gunmetal from some guns which we burst before leaving set fire to the heap of wood used as a rampart, which I have before described, and lighted up the place. The noise of the bursting
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of the guns, and the blazing of the rampart, should have set the enemy on the qui vive, but they took no notice. Somehow a doubt arose whether the full tale of garrisons had passed the gate. Some counted thirteen, and some fourteen, probably two had got mixed; but, to make certain, I was sent back to Innis’ post, the furthest garrison, to see if all had been withdrawn. The utter stillness and solitude of the deserted position, with which I was so familiar, struck coldly on my nerves; I had to go, and go I did. Had the enemy known of our departure, they would ere this have occupied our places, and there was also a chance of individuals or single parties having got in for the sake of plunder; but I did not meet a living soul. I think I may fairly claim to have seen the last of the Residency of Lucknow before its abandonment to the enemy. Captain Waterman, r3th Native Infantry, however, was the last involuntarily to leave; he fell asleep after his name had been called, and woke up to find himself alone; he escaped in safety, but the fright sent him off his, head for a time. As I made my report to the commanders at the gate, Sir James Outram waved his hand to Brigadier Inglis to
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precede him in departure, but the brigadier stood firm, and claimed to be the last to leave the ground which he and his gallant regiment had so stoutly defended. Sir James Outram smiled, then, extending his hand, said, “Let us go out together;’ so, shaking hands, these two heroic spirits, side by side, descended the declivity outside our battered gate. Immediately behind them came the staff, and the place of honour again became the subject of dispute between Captain Wilson and myself; but the former was weak from all the hardships and privations he had undergone, and could not stand the trick of shoulder to shoulder, learned in the Harrow football fields. Prone on the earth he lay, till he rolled down the bill, and I was the last of the staff to leave the Baillie Guard gate. From the nature of the movement, the old garrison headed the retreat— namely, the 32nd, the remnants of the native regiments and volunteers, etc.; but these last dispersed when they were outside the walls, and the brigade was formed by adding two other infantry regiments to Brigadier Inglis’ command. To him was given the honour of commanding the advance. The next day our advance brigade, in due course,
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became the rear-guard of the army, and so it remained until we reached Cawnpore. The enemy did not molest us on this our first march.’
24th.—We were ordered to march this morning at eleven o’clock. By some mistake no carriage had been prepared for my party, and it was with some difficulty I managed to procure a bullock hackery (native cart), in which Mrs. Case, Miss Dickson, baby and I traveled; Johnny, Charlie, and the ayah had a dhoolie. Our conveyance was not so uncomfortable as I expected, but the dust baffles description. John commanded the advance-guard to-day, and expected to have some fighting to clear the way for us; but the enemy only showed themselves at a respectful distance, and a few cavalry soon sent them flying. We went at a foot’s pace, and were now and then obliged to stop owing to the carriage, carts, etc., being hemmed in together. We had accomplished four miles at 6 p.m., when we arrived at Alum Bagh; we pitched our small tent, and then, being rather hungry, began to look out for our baggage-cart; but that was far behind, and in the state of confusion in which everything was, there seemed
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little hopes of our finding it that night. I managed to waylay a flock of goats and get some milk for baby, but that was all we had. At last John arrived, and, seeing our destitute condition, started off for the 9th Lancers camp, and in a short time returned with good, kind Colonel Grant, laden with bread, cold beef, and a bottle of beer, to which we did ample justice; and before we went to bed he actually took the trouble to bring us some tea, ready made, though his camp was certainly three-quarters of a mile off; we thoroughly appreciated his kindness. Having no light, it was useless sitting up so, spreading a large resai (quilt) on. the floor of our tent, we all lay down on it, and I will not say passed a very comfortable night. Just as we were leaving Dil Khoosha Park this morning, the news was brought us that General Havelock was dead; he had been sinking from the time he entered the Residency. Poor man! the greatest honours were in store for him had he lived to return to England; but God willed it otherwise. He was a gallant soldier and a most excellent man. His body was brought on to Alum Bagh, and buried under a group of three trees.
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we heard we were to remain a day or two at Alum Bagh, we had our large tent pitched ; and as there was no one who wanted accommodation, we had it to ourselves—a great luxury. John breakfasted and dined with us. Captain Barrow paid us a visit. Had another letter from my mother to-day, written very happily, as they had heard at home that General Havelock, though he had not been able to relieve us, had saved Lucknow, as most of the enemy had withdrawn and the garrison had been able to sally out and obtain some provisions. This showed how little idea they had had of our position; still, it was a comfort to think that any good news had reached them, though untrue.
26th.—Poor Mrs. Case was very weak and unwell to-day, and I was also on the sick-list, which was unfortunate, as we had some hard work before us. Dighton Probyn came to see us this morning, and offered us the use of a Bombay bullock-cart, which we thankfully accepted; and Mr. Coverley Jackson lent us a mule-carriage, so we were luxuriously prepared for our future journeyings.
27th.—-Orders were given that we were to
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march at 7 a.m., and we were all ready at that hour, when Captain Edgell, who had the management of the women and children—no easy task—came and told us we were not to start till eleven. At eleven we got into our carriage; but, owing to the long line that had to be set in motion, we did not move for an hour and a half; and after a tedious seven hours, having accomplished a distance of nine miles, we reached our encamping ground and pitched our small tent. Captain Rudman, 32nd, whom we met, most kindly assisted us, and we asked him to share our dinner, after which we were all glad to lie down.
28th.—We started again at 7 a.m., and were told we were to make a double march. Mr. Harris, chaplain, who drew the rations for us, managed to get some bread just as we were leaving, which was fortunate, as we had no other provisions. We moved along at a foot’s pace and had several stoppages. As the day wore on we heard the sound of distant guns, evidently in the direction of Cawnpore; this excited much conjecture and anxiety, and the officers who passed us on the road seemed as much in the dark as we were. About 3 p.m. a halt was ordered for an hour,
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and I took advantage of it to cook some arrowroot for baby, and, as the goats were near, managed to get some milk for the other two boys. We were all very tired, but had to continue our journey, and at about 10 p.m. reached our encamping ground. I had been feeling ill all day, and was thoroughly done up. The Harrises were near us, and had nothing to eat; so, having two tins of soup, I gave them one, for which they were duly thankful. Undressing was out of the question, but we were becoming old campaigners, and ceased to care about these trifles.
Sunday, 29th.—This morning we heard the cause of yesterday’s firing, and also of our forced march. It appeared that the Gwalior force had been attacking the force at Cawnpore, and had apparently beaten them, forcing us to take refuge in the entrenchments. Meanwhile, they were engaged in burning and plundering; from a small hill near us we could see the houses in flames. It was sad, when we had been looking forward to a little peace and tranquility, to find that fightings were still in store for us. John, whom I had not seen for two days, came in for a cup of tea; he said he had not had a moment’s
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rest since leaving Alum Bagh, and even now could not find time to tell us what was going on. At 10 a.m. we were ordered to change camp, and moved about half a mile farther. We pitched our small tent, as the sun was powerful, but were told we were to go into Cawnpore that evening. Being Sunday, we read the service together, and at four o’clock John and Major Wilson came and had some dinner with us. Soon after dark we started again. We were only about half a mile from the bridge of boats crossing the Ganges ; but from the immense crowd of vehicles, and the heaviness of the road, we took at least two hours getting there. As our carriage touched the bridge, sharp musketry-firing commenced on the other side, and we could see the flashes of the muskets. We were much frightened, as we thought it was an attack on our advance-guard. It soon ceased, and we continued our route. Half-way across the bridge, Colonel Grant came to speak to us, and to ask if we had been much alarmed. He told us the firing proceeded from our own pickets. This reassured us. Another stoppage took place after we had crossed the bridge; and an artilleryman,
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who was not very sober, offered us most pressing invitations to enter the entrenched post, which we were close to. My feelings on entering Cawnpore were indeed most painful. The moon was bright, and revealed to us the sad spectacle of ruined houses, trees cut down, or branches stripped off, everything reminding us of the horrors that had been enacted in the place, and making us feel thoroughly miserable. We reached the dragoon barracks about midnight, and found the women and children located in a small space between two buildings. Our servants having arrived, our tent was soon pitched, and we lay down to rest.
3oth.—We were up early, and the sight that greeted our eyes was certainly a strange one— tents, carts, carriages, dhoolies, all pushed together as closely as possible. I went to see Mrs. Cowper and Mrs. Banks, who had remained in their carriage all night, and now were performing their toilette in it. Some of the women and children had gone into the barracks; but a visit I paid them did not make me feel much inclined to join them. We had been told we were to change ground in the evening, but an after-order
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told us to remain where we were. I did not see John all day, and did not even know if he were in Cawnpore. Desultory firing continued, and once or twice a shell fell near enough to our quarters to make us feel rather uncomfortable.
Deceniber 1st.—Ordered to move ground at 7 a.m.; and fortunate it was we did so, for the enemy had discovered our whereabouts, and during the day fired shrapnel into the place we had left, wounding one officer and killing one or two animals. Had we remained there, crowded as we were, the casualties would in all probability have been very heavy. The change of quarters was decidedly an improvement. We moved to the infantry barracks, where there was plenty of spare ground ; and as we were told we should remain in Cawnpore some days, we pitched our large tent. John soon after came to see me ; he said he did not know when we should get away
—half Cawnpore was in the hands of the enemy, the Gwalior insurgents. It appears that General Wyndham, hearing this force was in the neighbourhood, and failing to get instructions from the commander-in-chief, who had not answered his letters, determined on going out to attack it. He
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was much misled by the account of their numbers, and discovered his mistake when too late. They quite outflanked his small force; it was composed of very young regiments, and the men got frightened. Confusion succeeded; a retreat was ordered. The camp equipage and baggage fell into the hands of the enemy, who followed up our retreating force with great vigour almost to the entrenchments, and our casualties were very numerous. General Wyndham’s conduct was severely censured, and all the blame fell on him; but it was very hard for him to know how to act, and perhaps, had he allowed the Gwalior force to advance without opposition, he would have been accused of supineness and want of energy. It certainly was a very unfortunate affair, and cost lives we could ill spare.
2nd.—After all, we were told we were to leave Cawnpore to-day, and I passed it in a great state of uncertainty and anxious suspense. I knew that John was to remain in Cawnpore. The commander - in - chief, in a very flattering letter, had offered him the command of the station in place of General Wyndham, who had been removed in consequence of the mistake he had
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committed, and, of course, he could not refuse the appointment. Mrs. Case and Miss Dickson went in the evening to see Sir Hugh Wheeler’s entrenchment; but I did not like to leave our tent, as I feared John might come in our absence, and every minute with him was precious. I was rewarded by having a quiet walk and talk with him. We had received rations for eight days, and were all ready to start. John dined with us; but, being very tired, went to his tent afterwards, telling us to send for him when the order came for us to move. Major Rudman came to say ‘Good-bye,’ and I was grieved to see him looking very ill and worn. We sat up till a late hour, expecting the order to arrive, but at last lay down dressed, and slept till morning undisturbed.
3rd.—Spent the day in the same unsettled manner. At four o’clock I went to see the entrenchments, or rather the ruined barracks, in which our poor countrymen and women maintained so noble a struggle. I could not have believed that any human beings could have stood out for one day in such a place. The walls inside and out were riddled with shot: you could hardly
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put your hand on a clear spot. The ditch and wall—it is absurd to call it a fortification—any child could have jumped. over; and yet behind these for three weeks the little force held their own against overwhelming numbers of the enemy, who had not the courage to approach them. As I looked, I thought how small were the troubles and trials of Lucknow in comparison. The agony and miseries these poor creatures must have suffered defies even imagination to conceive; they must have, as it were, died daily. Doubtless, if the truth could be recorded, many a noble deed of heroism and self-denial was enacted here, and many a weak one waxed strong through faith; and it was consoling to remember that not a tear was shed nor a groan uttered but it was heard by One who chastens in love, and we may trust that the agony those poor creatures endured may work for them a far more exceeding weight of glory. The reflection would arise, Why were we spared whilst others suffered ? what had we done to deserve such great mercies? Truly God’s ways are past finding out. As we were returning we met John, who told us we should not start that evening; but on reaching the tent, we found
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an order for us to be ready to start at 10 p.m. The blow, though expected, was a heavy one to me. I sent to tell John, but he was not able to come to me till we had finished dinner and were on the eve of departing. I felt truly wretched; he walked some little way with us, and then put us into the carriage, and the last sad farewell was spoken. We had shared so much anxiety and peril together that it was hard to leave him as I did, weak and worn with constant mental anxiety and hard bodily labour; but I knew when we were once safe he would be far happier, and this was my comfort. I put the two children in bed in the bullock-cart, and Mrs. Case, her sister, and I with baby filled the mule-carriage. Our escort consisted of a wing of the 34th Regiment, four guns, and a few native cavalry. We had not gone very far when I discovered the bullock-cart, which I had ordered the driver to keep close to us, was not near. We waited some time, and at last I ran back and found it had broken down. There was nothing for it but to take all out and put them into our own carriage. This, of course, crowded us very much, and made us most uncomfortable. Miss Dickson took
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Charlie on her knee, and I laid Johnny down on the seat behind us, and they slept all night.
4th.—We reached our encamping ground, cramped, cold, and tired, about 11 a.m. I had met an officer of the 4th Regiment going up to Cawnpore with detachments, and had given him a short pencil note for John. A sad accident occurred just as we reached our encamping ground. A young woman, a clerk’s wife, accidentally shot herself with her brother’s rifle. He had left it in the carriage where she was sitting. The horse moved, and she caught hold of the rifle to keep it from falling. It went off, and the ball went right through her hand. She was brought close to us, and when Dr. Fayrer saw her, he pronounced amputation of the thumb necessary. The operation was performed at once; she was suffering fearfully, poor thing! We passed a pleasant day sitting under the trees, dined early, and started again about to p.m. We came about twenty-seven miles to-day.
5th.—Reached our encamping ground about 7 a.m., having accomplished twelve miles. Mrs. Giddings’ waggon, which constituted her home, was drawn up near us, so we asked her to break-
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fast and dine with us during the remainder of our march. Colonel Kelly, commanding our escort, came to see me to-day, and told us that in case of any alarm we were all to repair to a serai (native inn) close by; this made us fancy we were in some danger, but the number of troops constantly passing up country made the road pretty safe, otherwise we had an absurdly small escort. Started again at night.
Sunday, 6th.—Marched sixteen miles, and reached our encamping ground about 7 a.m. Our servants, for the first time, were behindhand, and did not arrive for two hours, their excuse being that they had fallen asleep on the road; and really I could not be in the least angry with them, for they had had no rest since we left Cawnpore, and had never made a complaint. Being Sunday, we read the evening service, and spent a quiet day. The early mornings and nights were very cold, but in the day-time the climate was perfect, and, as we had generally some trees to encamp under, we lived in the open air. Started at 8 p.m.
7th.—Arrived at daylight at the place where we were to take the rail, and were ordered to get
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into the train at once. The greatest confusion prevailed, and there seemed no one to take the management of affairs; we were tired and hungry, but did not dare to wait to get anything to eat— only managed to get some cold chappatties and milk for the children, which prevented their suffering. We sat in the carriage for nearly two hours, expecting to start every minute. We eventually reached Allahabad, a distance of forty miles, at 3 p.m. The station was crowded, and we were received with enthusiastic cheering, which was very overpowering.
All sorts of conveyances were waiting for us, and we were all taken to the fort, where we found a large grassy space walled round, and inside this all the governor-general’s tents pitched for our reception. We had a very large one for the Cases, Mrs. Giddings, and myself, and hardly knew what to do with so much room. The residents of Allahabad were indeed most kind in the way they received us, and thankful did we feel once more to be in a place of security and rest. Poor Mrs. Case was thoroughly done up, and suffering much from an inflamed ankle, which had commenced in the Residency. We had had
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a most trying and fatiguing journey; but if we felt it, what must the poor sick and wounded have done? They did not come in the train with us, but continued their march in carts, and did not arrive for some days. The shaking must have added terribly to their sufferings, and there were so few surgeons that they could not be properly attended to.
We remained at Allahabad some time waiting for steamers to take us down to Calcutta; the delay was rather pleasing to me, as I was near John, and heard daily from him. He was evidently very hardly worked, but wrote in good spirits, and seemed well. I begged him to let me remain where I was, instead of going home, but to this he would not consent. Shortly before Christmas the first steamer arrived ; it had been decided that all the widows and sick ladies were to go first, and poor Mrs. Case had been so very unwell since she had been at Allahabad that we decided she had much better leave at once. She never seemed thoroughly to realize her great sorrow until she came out of Lucknow, and then it was as if the blow had just struck her; she became thoroughly prostrate, and had no energy
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or wish to move. I was very thankful when I saw her on board the steamer, though she and Miss Dickson were sad losses to me. On Christmas Day I had Mrs. Giddings, Dr. Scott, a Mr. Sims, a friend of the former, and Mrs. Orr, to dinner; I also gave the women and children who were left of the 32nd a dinner. It was anything but a festive sight to me. There were now only, seventeen women, and nearly all were widows, and every child present had lost one or both parents. Mrs. Polehampton and Mrs. Harris had established a school for the children in the barracks, as they were all running wild, and I asked to have the 32nd children on Sundays. The first time was very trying, as the remembrance of all that had happened since I last saw them, and the thoughts of their companions who had died so terrible a death, quite overcame all the children, and it was some time before I could continue speaking to them. After remaining six weeks at Allahabad, I began to contemplate a journey down by land. Brigadier Campbell offered me an escort, and I tried to get some other ladies to join me, but they seemed disinclined to venture; and just as I was trying
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to make the arrangements three steamers were announced to be within seven miles of the station, so of course I gave up all idea of the land journey. We were obliged to go some distance down the river in flat bottomed boats, there not being enough water for our steamer, the Benares, to come up as far as Allahabad. We had a very tedious three weeks’ journey to Calcutta; the water was so low that we were constantly running aground, and in general did not get off for hours. We were much crowded, and badly fed, the captain not having had warning of the number of passengers he was to provide for. They were nearly all from Lucknow. I made acquaintance with Mrs. Bartrum and Mrs. Kendall; the former’s history was very sad. She and three other ladies had fled from one of the out-stations in Oude, and taken refuge in the Residency; but their husbands had remained behind, not thinking it right to leave their regiments. The day before General Havelock’s force arrived, Mrs. Bartrum heard that her husband, a doctor, was with the force safe and well. She dressed herself and child as nicely as possible under existing circumstances, and sat waiting in trembling
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joy and anxiety for his approach; but in vain— he never came; and at last the sad news reached her that he had been killed outside the Residency gates. She had one little child with her, dreadfully weak and thin, but she hoped it would live to get home, as it was her only comfort; but even this was taken from her, for the little fellow died in Calcutta. Mrs. Bartrum, Mrs. Kendall, and a Mrs. Hale, who died during the siege, came into the Residency without any servants, and consequently had to do everything for themselves. All they ate was cooked by their own hands, and they had even to collect and chop wood to make their fires, and each had a young baby to attend to. These poor women must indeed have endured great hardships; at the same time, I cannot understand how, surrounded as they were by others who were certainly better off, a little help was not given them. I fancy they could never have made known their destitute condition, for, with few exceptions, I believe a very kind spirit pervaded the garrison, and many noble and self-denying acts of charity were performed. We reached Calcutta on February 6. The first steamer, conveying members of the
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Lucknow garrison that had arrived, had been received with great honours; no doubt this was kindly meant, but, as nearly all the passengers had lost those who were dearest to them on earth, this public demonstration must have been most painful. We were suffered to land quietly. Sir Charles Jackson, chief justice, came on board to meet me, and he and his wife gave me a most kind welcome. Finding myself once again in a comfortable house, with all the appurtenances of civilization around me, made me feel quite strange. I went off at once to see Mrs. Case and her sister, who were staying with Sir Robert Garratt, and was delighted to find the former much better; but it was sad to see her in her widows cap. It had been a great trial to her ever since her husband’s death that she had been unable to wear suitable mourning for him; a black dress was all that any of the widows could procure. I made up my mind to go home in the same steamer with Mrs. Case and Miss Dickson, which left me only a few days to prepare. Captain Birch came down from Cawnpore for a little holiday. I was so glad to see him, and to hear all he could tell me about John; he gave a very
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good account of his health and spirits. He told me that, before John took over the Cawnpore command, he ordered the 32nd Regiment to parade before him, according to their old companies; this showed the fearful gaps that had been made in their ranks. He then made them a speech, thanking them for their noble and heroic conduct during the siege, and at the same time reminding them that, but for the help of a higher Power, no defence of theirs could have been successful; it was, Captain Birch and Major Wilson both told me, a beautiful speech, and one to go to all hearts. He published the following order in giving up the command some time after this:
‘Cawnpore, March, 1858.
‘Major-General Sir John Ingiis, having appeared in general orders as a major-general on the staff in India, and being thereby removed from the command of the 32nd Regiment, requests Major Lowe, now commanding, will kindly publish the following order’
‘The major-general, though highly grateful for the manner in which her gracious Majesty has been pleased to recognise his services, cannot help deeply feeling the separation which his pro-
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motion entails from those with whom he has passed the last twenty - five years of his life, having joined the regiment at Quebec, North America, in 1832, and remained with it almost uninterruptedly until the present time.
‘This regret is heightened from the intimate knowledge which late events have enabled the major-general to obtain of every officer, noncommissioned officer, and soldier in the regiment, during the harassing times which all hands underwent in the defence of Lucknow.
‘The major-general cannot conclude his farewell order to the regiment, in which the best and happiest years of his life have been passed, without expressing his sincere conviction that it is owing to the admirable conduct, discipline, and steadiness of the officers and men under the most trying circumstances that the rank and honours conferred on him are mainly due.
‘The major-general in taking leave of his old corps wishes them every success and prosperity, and assures them that the hand of friendship will always be extended by him to every officer, noncommissioned officer, and private.
‘J. INGLIS, Major-General.’
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The 32nd cheered him on every occasion— indeed, he was afraid to go near them. On Christmas Day he gave them and the native soldiers, who had remained faithful to us during the siege, a dinner. These last were incorporated with our regiment, and called the ‘Regiment of Lucknow.’ Lord Canning had wished to call them the Inglis Regiment, but the word ‘Inglees’ is always applied in India to the pensioners and therefore, the two words being so much alike, the meaning of the former might not have been understood. Before leaving Calcutta, I went with Mrs. Cowper to Dum Dum ‘to see the
32nd women and children, and to wish them good-bye.
We left on the morning of February 10. Captain Birch came to see us off, and brought us a beautiful deck-chair and toys for the children. Numbers of our passengers were from Lucknow, sick and wounded, ladies and children. Three days brought us to Madras. Miss Dickson, Johnny, and I landed there on Monday morning, and went to the house of Mrs. Arbuthnot, mother-law to Mrs. Banks, who had been our fellow-passenger so far, but intended remaining for the
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next steamer. We spent a few very pleasant hours on shore, and before leaving I telegraphed to John that we had arrived thus far safely. On going on board again I was greeted with the pleasing intelligence that he had been made a major - general. We weighed anchor about 4 p.m. We were told that we were to run into Trincomalee, Ceylon, to land treasure; but the captain said he would go in and out as quickly as possible, and allow no one an opportunity of landing. We expected to reach there the next evening. We made good progress all that day (Tuesday). It was eight o’clock, a beautiful night, and we were running along at a great pace. Mrs. Case and I, finding it very hot in the saloon after tea, had come on deck, and were sitting on the bulwarks behind the wheel. Suddenly we were startled by a loud grating sound something like the letting down of an anchor, and just then saw a large rock close to us. I said, ‘We must have touched that.’ Several men rushed to the wheel, and then again we heard the same sound, only louder, and a quivering of the whole ship. She then remained stationary, only heaving backwards and forwards.
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We ran below and found the saloon filled with ladies and children, evidently just out of bed. Meeting Captain Lawrence, of the 32nd, he seized my hand and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Mrs. Inglis.’ This decided me that there was some cause for fear, but I thought we had run ashore. I begged him to ascertain what was to be done, and, going into my cabin, roused up my nurse, Mrs. Campbell, and told her to be prepared to leave the steamer. My cabin was forward; I was getting something for the children to put on, when Captain Lawrence rushed in and said, ‘Don’t wait a minute! Come on deck at once!’ Mrs. Case, Miss Dickson, and self, communicated our determination to keep together under all circumstances. On going on deck we found the boats were being lowered. The captain, Kirton by name, a young man of twenty-eight, was giving his orders in a quiet, calm manner; the greatest order prevailed, no one appeared to have lost his presence of mind, and not even a child cried. The first boat was launched in about twenty minutes, and Captain Lawrence and Captain Foster came and said that I was to go in it. I objected at first, not liking to be the first to leave the scene of danger; but they pressed me and said
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all would follow immediately, so I made no further remonstrance. As I left the steamer, the captain said, ‘This is only a precautionary measure. Captain Lawrence had run down into my cabin, and brought me up my cash-box, containing £50, and my writing-desk. The party in our boat consisted of Mrs. Bruere, four children, and nurse; Mrs. Cowie and one child; Mrs. Case; Miss Dickson; Mrs. Campbell, my nurse, and her daughter; myself and three children. Mr. Stallard, one of the officers, commanded the boat and steered. There were seven boats, and all the passengers were put into them. The captain and crew remained on board. The steamer had struck nearly in the centre; her fore part was sunk very deep, and we watched her with the greatest anxiety to see if the water gained on her, fearing for the safety of those still on board, and also dreading that if she sank our boats would all be swamped. We rowed backwards and forwards between the rocks and the steamer all night, and a weary time it was. Guns were fired, and rockets sent up; but our signals of distress were not answered, though a light we saw at some distance on the shore made us hopeful that
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assistance was at hand. The masts were cut down to lighten the ship, and the crash as they fell into the water sounded very fearful. Mrs. Case had Johnny on her knee; Miss Dickson, Charlie; and baby was with me. In the midst of the danger, I often found myself laughing at the absurd remarks of Mrs. Bruere’s Irish nurse, who was quite a character in her way. Day at last broke, and threw light on a curious scene— our seven little boats, crowded with passengers, tossing up and down; for the sea, which had been calm, was now rather rough, rocks and breakers on all sides; and the steamer, with her masts and rigging cut away, lying a black, shapeless mass on the water, with the waves dashing over her, and apparently not likely to remain together many hours longer. The captain ordered us all to make for Trincomalee, which was about ten miles off; and accordingly we started. He told us to send him back assistance as soon as possible; for when we were gone he had only a raft to depend on. Several of the gentlemen passengers remained with him; and afterwards they, with the captain and crew, managed with some difficulty to effect a landing on the rocky
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coast near them. On getting clear of the reef, we found the sea very rough, and the wind against us; our boatmen, who were wet through, were tired, and our boat, a very bad one, leaking fast. It was as much as two men could do to bale her. Under these circumstances, I must confess I did not see a chance of making land in safety. We had some wine, which we mixed with water, and gave to the men; but they were very desponding, and seemed to have lost all heart. I myself baled for a little while just to encourage them; and this, giving me something to do, cheered me up. The waves were very high, and each one looked as if it would swamp us. Johnny was delighted when they broke over the boat, and his merry laugh sounded sadly in my ears, for I quite thought that a watery grave awaited each one of us. The next boat to us was commanded by Captain Haswell, the captain of the Himalaya, a very good sailor. His quiet self-possession and power of commanding had made him of great use since our disaster occurred. He had a good boat, and was getting on well; but when he saw how we were labouring, he would not leave us. At this time a distant sail
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was espied a long way off. Signals were made; but at first she seemed to be going in the opposite direction. At last, however, to our great joy, she turned, and was evidently approaching us; and before long Captain Haswell’s boat was up to her. He put Mr. Cowie on board as a protection for us, and then told us, if we had any ornaments or money with us, to conceal them. This was anything but agreeable, as it was evident he thought the boat might be a pirate one. With great difficulty we were hoisted on board. The nurse, an immense woman, hung for some time midway, and I really thought the men would drop her. As soon as we were on board, the crew told us we must go below. We refused, thinking it was a trap for us; but they said they could not navigate the ship if we remained where we were. We consented, therefore, to be lowered down the hatchway, another difficult operation. We certainly judged the poor men wrongly; for they were most kind to us, spread sails for us to sit on, made curry for us to eat, and gave us hard-boiled eggs. The children eat ravenously, having had nothing but a few crumbs of biscuit since the evening before. For my part, I was
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too done up to eat. Another boat’s crew was added to our party. The others continued their way to Trincomalee, and arrived before us. At three p.m. our dangers were over, and we found ourselves alongside the wharf. An officer of the 5oth came on board our little ship, and introduced himself to me as Colonel Weare; he told me he had been John’s subaltern in the 32nd. I certainly felt most thankful to see him; he took me, Mrs. Case, Miss Dickson, and some other ladies, to his house, where we were most kindly received by his wife. Every house in Trincomalee opened for the reception of the passengers, and nothing could exceed the generosity and hospitality shown towards us during the time we remained there. The soldiers gave up their tea the first night so that we might have bread enough, as, being a small town, there was no superfluity of provisions. Before leaving Trincomalee, I drove with Colonel Weare to the scene of the wreck. The steamer was still where we left her, but broke in two soon afterwards. The beach was strewn with portions of the wreck and cargo. One of my boxes had been washed on shore, but everything in it was spoiled. Captain Kirton and tile officers were on
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the beach in tents, and I spoke to the former. Poor man! he seemed sadly cast down. No wonder, for he had but himself to blame for what had occurred; still, he was very young, and had behaved nobly after the disaster occurred. His first exclamation, when the ship struck, was, ‘Oh, my poor father!’ I felt much for him.
This is the history of another most merciful interposition of Providence on our behalf; we were, as I have since heard, in the most imminent danger. Had the steamer, after striking, gone on a few fathoms,, she must have filled and sunk. The mails and treasure were afterwards recovered by divers, but an immense deal of personal property was lost.
On Sunday, 21st, a small steamer was sent from Galle to carry us to Alexandria. We were dreadfully crowded and uncomfortable in her, but Captain Tregeare did all in his power to add to our comfort. We were all busily employed in making up articles of wearing apparel, having lost everything in the wreck. I had to make one day what the children wore the next; fortunately, it was hot weather, and the less clothing they had the better pleased they were. We had two alarms
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of fire before reaching our destination, but no harm ensued. At Suez I heard that the Derby Ministry were in, and my father Lord Chancellor. I had previously heard that John was made a K.C.B., so good news seemed to be pouring in upon me. We crossed the desert in sixteen hours, partly by rail. At Alexandria I parted with Mrs. Case and her sister; they were a great loss to me. We had lived together, since our trouble commenced, upon the most intimate terms of friendship, cemented, as I may truly say, by mutual kindness; for if, as they say—and I am too pleased to hear it to deny it—I was enabled during that sad time of bereavement to be of some comfort to them, I myself owe them much gratitude for their unvarying kindness to me and my children; the cheerfulness with which they submitted to innumerable inconveniences and annoyances; and, above all, the noble example they set me of unselfishness, Christian fortitude, and resignation. They are, and ever will be, two of my best and truest friends.
Ten days brought us to Southampton, from which place I had started for India in 1851 ; and in a few hours’ time I was welcomed home by all
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dear to me. The past seemed forgotten; and had John only been with me, my cup of joy would indeed have been filled to the brim. He remained in command at Cawnpore for some months, and then, his health breaking down, was obliged to apply for leave, and came home by the steamer of April 23, reaching London on May 20, 1858.