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them exclaimed, “ Keep up your heart, Sir, we will take you in safety to Agra.'* When in square, and sustaining charges from the enemy's horse, it more than once happened, when a musket was fired by a young soldier, that a veteran struck him with the buttend of his firelock, exclaiming, 'Are you mad, to destroy our discipline and make us like the rabble that are attacking us ?'
The only serious impatience that the sepoys of this detachment shewed, was to be led against the enemy; and the manner in which they behaved on all occasions given them of signalizing their valour, shewed that this feeling had its rise in no vain confidence. The flank companies, under Captain O'Donnell, were very successful in beating up the quarters of a considerable corps of the enemy on the 21st July. On the 24th of August, when all the detachment, which consisted of five battalions and six compavies of sepoys, had been sent across the Bannas river, except the 2d battalion of the 2d regiment and some piquets, Holkar brought up bis infantry and guns to attack this corps, which not only defended its positiou, but advanced with the utmost gallantry, and obtained possession of several pieces of the enemy's artillery. It could not, however, be supported by the other parts of the force, who were divided from it by the river, and it was almost annihilated. Those who witnessed the attack which it made upon Holkar’sline from the opposite bank of the Bannas, speak with admiration of the heroism of the European officers, and of the gallant men whom they led to a momentary but fatal victory. At the close of this affair they saw a jemadar (native lieutenant) retiring towards the river, pursued by five or six
He held the standard of his battalion in one hand, and a sword, with which he defended himself, in the other. When arrived at the river he seemed to have attained his object of saving the colours of his corps, and, springing with them into the current, sunk to rise no more.
There have been few officers who better understood the character of soldiers than the late Lord Lake. He had early discovered that of the Bengal Sepoys. He attended to their prejudices, flattered their pride, and praised their valour. They repaid his consideration of them with gratitude and affection, and during the whole of the late Mahratta war, their zeal and devotion to the public service was increased by the regard and attachment which they entertained for the commander in chief. Sufficient instances of this occur in the work now before us. There is none, however, more remarkable than the conduct he pursued towards the shattered corps of Colonel Monson's detachment. He formed them into a reserve, and promised them every opportunity of signalizing themselves. No con
* We have been informed of this fact by officers to whom these expressions were ased.
fidence We know few instances where more has been required from the zeal and valour of the native troops, than in the late campaign against the Goorkhas. The great successes of Major-General Sir D. Ochterlony could only have been gained by the patience and courage of the troops being equal to the skill and decision of their commander, and in the spirited and able operations of Colonel Nicolls, quarter-master-general of his Majesty's troops in India, against Almorah, where eight hundred sepoys, aided by a few irregulars, were led against three thousand gallant mountaineers, who occupied that mountain fortress and the heights by which it was surrounded. Victory could only have been obtained by every Sepoy partaking of the ardour and resolution of his gallant leader. Of their conduct on this occasion we may, indeed, judge by the admiration with which it inspired Colonel Nicolls, who gave vent to his feelings in an order that does honour to his character. Speaking of an attack made by a party of Sepoy grenadiers, he observes, ' This was an exploit of which the best troops of any age might justly have been proud.'
fidence was ever better repaid, and throughout the service that ensued these corps were uniformly distinguished.
The conduct of the 2d battalion of the 12th regiment may be taken as an example of the spirit that animated the whole. This corps,
which has been before noticed under its first name of · Gilliez, or the Lal Pultan, had behaved with uncommon valour at the battle of Laswarree, where it had one hundred men and three officers killed and wounded. It was associated on that occasion with his Majesty's 76th regiment, and shared in the praise which Lord Lake bestowed on the handful of heroes,' as he emphatically termed those whose great exertions decided that battle. It was with Colonel Monson's detachment, and maintained its high character in the disastrous retreat we have alluded to. But all its former deeds were outdone at the siege of Burtpore. It appears by a printed memorial which we have before us of its European commanding officer, that on the first storm of that fortress this corps lost one hundred and fifty officers and men killed and wounded, and did not retire till the last. On the third attack, when joined writh the 1st battalion of the same regiment, (amounting together to eight hundred men,) it became the admiration of the whole army. The 2d battalion of the 12th regiment on this occasion not only drove back the enemy who had made a sally to attack the trenches, but effected a lodgment, and planted its colours on one of the bastions of the fort. Unfortunately this work was cut off by a deep ditch from the body of the place; and after the attack had failed, the 12th regiment was ordered to retire, which they did reluctantly, with the loss of seven officers and three hundred and fifty men killed and wounded, being nearly half the number they had carried into action.
Examples of equal valour might be given from many other corps . during the war, and instances of individual valour might be noticed in any number, but more is not necessary to satisfy the reader of the just title of the Bengal Sepoys to the high name which they have acquired; and from late accounts* we perceive that their conduct
throughout the arduous service in Nepaul, where they had at once to contend with the natural obstacles of an almost impracticable country, and the desperate valour of a race of hardy mountaineers, has been worthy of their former fame: since the conclusion of this war a small body of these troops has had an opportunity of exhibiting, in a most distinguished manner, that firmness, courage, and attachment to their officers and the service, which have always characterized this army:—We allude to a recent occurrence of a most serious sedition at Bareilly, the capital of Rohilcund. The introduction of a police tax, intended to provide means for the security of life and property, had spread alarm and discontent among an iguorant population, whose prejudices in favour of their ancient usages are so strong as to lead them to regard any innovation (whatever be its character) with jealousy and indignation. Acting under these feelings, the Rohillas of Bareilly, who are alike remarkable for their strength of body and individual courage, rose in a body to oppose the orders of the civil magistrate. They were led by a priest upwards of ninety years of age, who dug his grave to indicate his resolution to conquer or die, and at whose orders the green flag, or standard of Mahomet, was hoisted, that religious feelings might be excited to aid the efforts which they now proclaimed themselves determined to make to effect the dowofall of their European tyrants. What rendered this revolt more alarming was the knowledge that the cause of the insurgents was popular over the whole country, and a belief that their success would be the signal for a general rise in the neighbouring provinces. All the force that could be collected to suppress this revolt was a detachment of between three and four hundred sepoys of the 27th regiment of native infantry, and part of a provincial battalion under Captain Boscawen, with two guns and a party of about four hundred Robilla horse belonging to a corps lately embodied under Captain Cunningham. The former received, with undismayed courage, the charge of an undisciplined, but furious and desperate rabble, who encouraged by their numbers, which exceeded twelve thousand armed men, persevered in the attack till more than two thousand of them were slaiņ; and the latter, though of the same class, and religion as the insurgents, and probably related to many of them by the ties of kindred, proved equally firm as the sepoys to their duty. When their priest advanced and invoked them to join their natural friends, and to range themselves under the standard of their faith, only one man was found wanting in fidelity; he deserted and was soon afterwards slain by his former comrades, who continued throughout to display prompt obedience, exemplary courage, and unshaken attachment to the officer by whom they were led.
However slight this affair may seem, we do not recollect any ocVOL. XVIII. NO. XXXVI.
currence in the history of British India more calculated to shew the dependence of our power on the fidelity of our native troops, and the absolute necessity of adopting every measure by which their attachment can be confirmed and approved. We are as jealous a Englishmen ought to be, of the encroachment of military power, whenever we meet the pretensions or privileges of soldiers marshalled in opposition to the rights of the civil part of the community. The whole bias of our minds is to support the latter; but it is not the part of wisdom to transplant the feelings, the principles, and the maxims, that are essential to the maintenance of the constitution of our native country to India. The soil is not yet prepared for their reception, and it probably never will be. It is, no doubt, our duty to make our government as mild, as just, and as equal in its benefits to every class of our subjects, as it is possible, consistent with attention to the general security; but we must not make ourselves the slaves of our own rules. If we are told, which it is not improbable we may be, that this doctrine has a tendency to infringe some of the most essential of our civil regulations, we must answer that we know of no principle or institution in a government which ought not to yield to another that can be proved necessary for the preservation of the state; and that we must have stronger instances than the history of India yet affords, of the power of our civil regulations and establishments to save us from danger, before we can be convinced that they should not be altered and remodelled, in any points, when alteration would decidedly furnish us with additional means of permanently rewarding and preserving the courage and attachment of that class of the natives of India, to whom we are, by our condition, compelled to confide the sword for the defence and protection of our empire in that quarter of the globe.
We have in the work before us several accounts of mutinies among the Bengal sepoys, but these appear, in almost all cases, to have proceeded from one of two causes: the nefarious or unjustifiable conduct of the commander of the corps, or an attempt to make them proceed by sea on foreign service. The former cause of discontent is not so likely to occur under the present regulation as it was at a period when the command of a battalion could be converted into a source of indirect emolument; and the latter will be avoided as long as the present system continues of forming voJunteer* battalions for expeditions that require embarkation.
* 'It has been found by experience, that though, from causes before mentioned, corps, collectively, are usually unwilling to embark, volunteers for this species of service can be obtained to any amount. The young men who enter these temporary corps with the hopes of distinction and promotion are perhaps the best suited to the service. The number and quality of the native troops who volunteered from Bengal for the wars 1791-2 and 1799, in Mysore; in 1801, for Egypt; and in 1810 and 1811, for the Isles
We shall conclude our observations upon the Bengal Sepoys with two quotations from the Supplement of Captain Williams's Memoir, which we give, first, as a fair specimen of the style and feeling in which this part of the work is written, and secondly, as memorable examples of what the European officers, who understand this class, can effect; and how possible it is to bring them to the highest state of discipline and yet preserve to the fullest degree their
and attachment. Proceeding from Culpee,' the author observes, when speaking of the force under Colonel Goddard, the detachment lost on the second day's march one of its most valuable officers, Captain Jaines Crawford, commanding the fourth battalion, who died from a stroke of the sun. Connected with this unfortunate event, the following facts will doubtless be read with unfeigned sympathy and admiration. Captain Crawford had acquired the character of an excellent Sepoy officer, and the battalion which he commanded was considered as one of the finest in the service. The appellation of “ Crawford,” by which the fourth battalion was called by the men of the corps and the natives in general, was an exception to the practice that generally prevailed in former times, of calling corps by the name of the officer by whom they were formed, or that of the place at which they were raised.
• Captain Crawford was considered by the men as a rigid and, perhaps, severe disciplinarian; yet that excellent officer so happily blended with the strictest principles of military discipline and arrangement the practice of the most inflexible integrity and impartial justice, in the general exercise of the influence and powers of authority, combined with considerate and manly indulgence in regard to the religious habits, the customs and prejudices of the men under his command, that of Captain Crawford it may with truth be affirmed, he had the peculiar good fortune of verifying what ought to be the object and emulation of every military man, with regard to those under his command, the enviable distinction of commanding their lives through the medium of their affections. It is a fact no less creditable to Captain Crawford's memory than it is honourable to the character of the men whom he commanded, that during the halt of the detachment at the encampment where he was interred, (which continued for several days, owing to the severity of the weather,) all the corps, native officers and men, went from time to time to render their tribute of grateful attachment and affection, by making their obeisance, after the manner of their country, at the grave of their lamented commander; and on the day that the detachment moved forward from that encampment, the grateful and sorrowing
Crawford,” after the battalion had been told off preparatory to the march, requested leave to pile their arms and be permitted, collectively, to go and express their last benedictory farewell over the renains of France and Batavia; may be adduced as complete proofs of the truth of this assertion. It formed a part of the able administration of the Marquis Wellesley to çonci. liate and attach the native troops by every possible means, and his attentiou was particularly and successfully directed to encourage them to volunteer for the foreign service. Lord Minto adopted similar measures with equal success,