Across India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 323 pages of information about Across India.

“But with all that could be mustered they were only a handful of men compared with the hosts that surrounded them, and in turn they were at once besieged by the rebels.  They were not the men to yield to any odds; and they held their own till November, when Sir Colin Campbell, with 4,700 regulars, forced his way through the enemy, and relieved the place.  He was one of the bravest and most distinguished generals of modern times.  He fought in the United States in 1814, and in many other parts of the world.  He was in the Crimea, and Alma and Balaklava are called his battles; for he did the most to win them.

“In India he completed the work which Havelock had begun, and the following year announced to the viceroy that the rebellion was ended.  Just before he had been created Lord Clyde.  On his return to England he was made a field-marshal, and received a pension of L2,000.

“To return to Havelock, great honors were bestowed upon him.  He was made a baronet, created a Knight Commander of the Bath, and a pension of L1,000 was awarded to him.  But he did not live to enjoy his rewards and honors, or even to see the end of the mutiny at which he struck the first heavy blows.  In that very month of November when Sir Colin came to the rescue, Havelock was taken with dysentery, died on the twenty-second, and was buried in the Alum-Bagh, the fort containing a palace and a fortress, which he had carried in his last battle.

“Havelock was very strict in his religious principles, and a rigid disciplinarian in the army.  He was like the grave and fearless Puritan soldier, somewhat after the type of ‘Stonewall Jackson’ of your Civil War, though not as fanatical.  In his last moments he said:  ’For more than forty years I have so ruled my life that when death came I might face it without fear.’  This he did; and England will never cease to remember the Christian hero, Sir Henry Havelock.  In Trafalgar Square, in London, you may see the statue erected to him by the people of his native country.

“Aside from the mischief done by Nana Sahib, which seems to have had only a limited effect, what were the causes of this mutiny, Lord Tremlyn?” asked Dr. Hawkes.

“There were many causes that produced independent rebellions, such as the greased cartridges served out to the Sepoys, though this was only insignificant.  There were too many Bramins in the ranks, and they were fanatics; and biting off the cartridge brought their lips in contact with the grease, which was religious pollution to them.  A score of provocatives might be mentioned, but all of them would not explain it.  The natives had been transformed into trained soldiers, and they felt the power that was in them.

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Across India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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