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"Pennyeuiek was killed; his gallant son, a nnere lad. sprang forward 
15 and bestrode his fathers body" (A 131). 



Battles 



OF THE 



Nineteenth Century 



DESCRIBED BY 



ARCHIBALD FORBES, G. A. HENTY 
MAJOR ARTHUR GRIFFITHS 

And other Well-known Writers 



Vol. III. 



SPECIAL EDITION 



WITH COLOURED PLATES AND NUMEROUS OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS 



CASSELL and company, Limited 

london, paris, new york &- melbourne 



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



^^ 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Sherman's March to the Sea, and his Campaign of the Carolinas. 1864—5. By 

Archibald Forbes ................ i 

The Battles Round Leipzig. October, 1813. By D. H. Parry 12 

The Indian Mutiny: Lucknow. Part I. May— September, 1857. By G. A. Henty . . 27 
The Eureka Stockade: Australia's Only Battle. December 3, 1854. By Justin Charles 

MacCarlie 38 

The Italians in the Soudan: Agordat. December 21, 1893. By A. HiUiard Atteridge . . 48 

Trafalgar. October 21, 1805. By C. J. CutcUffe Hyne 57 

The Battle of Brody : The Polish Insurrection of 1863. By H. Sutherland Edwards . . 69 

The Battle of the Yalu River. September 17, 1894. By A. Hilliard Atteridge ... 79 

Sedan. September i, 1870. By Charles Lowe 90 

Spanish Battles in Morocco, 1859 — 60 : Castillejos, Tetuan, Guad el Ras. By Major 

Arthur Griffiths 105 

Buenos Ayres. July 5, 1807. By C. Stein 116 

The Second Sikh War. 1848 — 9. By Archibald Forbes 126 

MOLTKE's First Battle: Nisib. June 23, 1839. By A. Hilliard Atteridge . .' . . .137 

Fight between the Chesapeake and the Shannon. June i, 1813. By Herbert Russell . 146 

Salamanca. July 22, 1812. By Major Arthur Griffiths 151 

Garibaldi's Defeat at Mentana. November 3, 1867. By Donat Sampson . , . . . 160 

The Chitral Campaign of 1S95. By Major-General T. Bland Strange 169 

LUTZEN. May 2, 1813. By C. Stein 185 

The Turks Before Alexinatz. August — October, 1876. By G. A. Henty 194 

The Gurkha War. 1814— 16. By Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis 202 

Baylen. July 20, 1808. By Major Arthur Griffiths 214 

Villersexel. January 9—10, 1871. By A. Hilliard Atteridge 222 

Canadians in the Field. Three Features of the War of 1812. By Angus Evan Abbott . 232 

The Fight for Valparaiso. 1891. By A. Hilliard Atteridge 244 

Inkerman. November 5, 1854. By Major Arthur Griffiths 252 

Te Kooti's Raids : New Zealand. 1868. By Justin Charles MacCartie 263 

Albuera. M.\y 16, 181 1. By Colonel W. W. Knollys 277 

The Fight of the Arickaree Fork. September 16 — 26, 1S68. By Angus Evan Abbott . . 290 

The Tragedy of Khartoum. January 19— February 6, 1885. By Charles Lowe ... 300 

Dresden. August 26—27, 1813. By C. Stein 313 

The Collapse of the Confederacy. April, 1865. By Archibald Forbes 322 



iv CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Bhurtpore. January iS, 1S26. By C. Stein 332 

The Defeat of Abd-el-Kadr by the Frenxh : Islv. August 14, 1844. By Major Arthur 

Griffiths 344 

Lundy's Lane. July 25, 1814. By Angus Evan Abbott 352 

The Siege OF Sebastopol. Part I. October, 1854— March, 1S55. By Major Arthur Griffiths . 361 
The Servo-Bulgarian War of 1885: Slivnitza. November 17—19; Pirot. November 27. 

By William V. Herbert 37° 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGft 

Plan of Sherman's March to the Sea : Sketch Maps . . 3 

Federal troops on the march ..■■•• 4 

Savannah from the river 5 

Federal troops destroying telegraph wires .... 8 
"They wrought hard, but the conflagrations contintied to 

increase " 9 

Mouth of the Savannah 1° 

The Confederate flag " 

Dresden '3 

The Battle of Leipzig : Plan .15 

Napoleon I. . . . . i6 

The allied staff at Leiprig ■ I7 

Leipzig : the Market Place 20 

' ' Napoleon rode away with a small suite through St. 

Peter's Gate " 21 

" But still the French maintained an heroic resistance" . 25 

Marshal Bernadotte 26 

The Marliniire 28 

Officers of native cavalry at the time of the Mutiny . . 29 

The First Siege of Lucknow : Plan 32 

"The volunteer cavalry charged them and cleared the 

way" 33 

"A force of Highlanders turned into the main street lead- 
ing to the Residency" 36 

Ruins of the Residency 37 

At the diggings 4° 

Ballarat 4' 

The Country round Ballarat : Plan 43 

"With a loud cheer the military swarmed over the stock- 
ade " 45 

The Hon. Peter Lalor 46 

Monument marking the site of the Eureka stockade . . 47 
" A handful of Bersaglieri holding an advanced post were 

cut to pieces " 49 

" They beat off an attack of the Dervish cavalry " . . S^ 

Massowah S3 

Italian operations in the Soudan : Plan .... 55 

"The chief dropped dead amongst his standard bearers " s^ 

Battle of Trafalgar : Plan 59 

Lord CoUingwood , 60 

" The ' Royal Sovereigns ' stuck to their guns and fought 

them like fiends " 61 

Cape Trafalgar 64 

Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy 65 

Nelson in the cockpit of the Victory 68 

The Castle, Cracow 72 

" Among the insurgents was a young lady " • • • 73 

The Polish Insurrection of 1863 : Sketch Map ... 75 

Polish peasants 76 

"As the rear-guard left the wood it was fired upon by a 

party of Cossacks "... ... 77 

Admiral Ito ...... . . 80 

The Battle of the Yalu St 

The Battle of the Yalu : Sketch Map of the seat of war . 84 



PACK 

"The shell burst among her bow guns" .... 85 
" When he recovered from the shock he found himself in 

a terrible position " 89 

The Crown Prince of Saxony 92 

Strategic movements prior to Sedan : Plan . . • ' 92 

German uniforms 93 

Battle of Sedan : Plan 05 

General de Wimpffen ....... 96 

• ' Thundering down the slope, the squadrons broke through 

the line of skirmishers " 97 

Sedan 100 

Meeting of William and Napoleon loi 

" King William started on a ride through all the positions 

occupied by the German armies " .... 104 

Spain and Morocco : Sketch Map ..... 106 

Ceuta and its Sea-Gate io3 

General Prim 109 

Moorish horsemen . . , no, in 

A Moorish soldier . . . . . . . .112 

" Moors and Spaniards mixed inextricably " . . -113 

Tetuan 114 

Moorish types 115 

Marshal Beresford 117 

Buenos Ayres : Sketch Maps 119 

" Hand-grenades, stink-balls, brickbats, and other missiles 

w ere hurled from above " ...... 120 

Buenos Ayres 121 

" General Whitelocke was tried by coufl-martial ' . . 125 
The Surrender of Moolraj . . . . ■ . .128 

The second Sikh War : Plans 132 

Charge of the 3rd (King's Own) Light Dragoons, Chillian- 

wallah 133 

The Tomb of Runjeet Singh, Lahore .... 136 

Campaign of Nisib : Sketch Map 139 

A Turkish Bey 140 

*' Hurrying to the side of Hafiz, he urged him to at once 

make a sharp attack " 141 

"The mass of cavalry wheeled round and fled wildly to 

the rear " 144 

Biradjek 145 

' ' .^bout thirty of the crew made a small show of resist- 
ance ".......... 149 

Salamanca ......... 152 

"Wellington galloped out of the yard, calling upon the 

rest to follow him at once "...... 153 

Battle of Salamanca : Plan 15S 

Marshal Marmont 156 

"The dragoons rode onwards, smiting with their long, 

glittering swords "....... 157 

The Royal Palace of Madrid 159 

" The Zouaves took one of the barricades by a dashing 

bayonet charge" ....... 161 

Battlefield of Mentana : Plan 163 

Pope Pius IX 164 



VI 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



" They made some prisoners " 165 

Bagnorea K'S 

The Chitral Campaign : Plan 171 

" The guns came into action against the enemy on the high 

ridge" J72 

Views in the Chitral Country 173 

General Low 176 

The Passage of the Swat . 177 

Colonel Batlye and Colonel Kelly 180 

•• Lieut. Harley, at the head of forty Sikhs and sixty Kash- 
miris, rushed the house over the mouth of the mine " 181 

Surgeon-Major Robertson 184 

Battle of Lutzen : Plan 188 

" He then formed a column of attack " . . . - 189 

Cossack outpost 192 

Marshal Macdonald i93 

A Circassian 196 

A Bashi-Bazouk ' • 197 

The country near Alexinatz : Sketch Map . . -199 

" Russian officers could be seen thrashing the men with 

the flats of their swords " 200 

View in Widdin 201 

Lord Hastings 203 

"The great peak of Kinchinjunga towering in mid-air " . 204 

"They slid back down the slippery hillside to shelter " . 205 

The Battle of Malaun : Plan 208 

" The frightened elephants rushed back crashing through 

the forest " 2°9 

Sir David Ochterlony 212 

The Palace of the King of Nepaul 213 

Battle of Baylen : Plan zi6 

Cordova ^'7 

" Kept their cowardly assailants at bay sword in hand " . 220 

A Spanish caricature on the capitulation of Dupont . . 221 

General von Werder and General Bourbaki . . . 224 
" The Germans took the defenders of the barricade in 

reverse "... 225 

Villersexel : Sketch Map 227 

Belfort 228 

An incident in the Battle of Villersexel .... 229 

Gambetta 231 

" A band of Indians pounced upon her " .... 233 
" Musket balls began to drop in the ranks, and men leaped 

into the air to fall flat upon the glittering ice " . . 237 

Where Tecumseh stood at bay 240 

" Sprang out of the morass and flew at the throats of the 

renowned riflemen " 241 

A Council of War 243 

Valparaiso ......••■ 245 

Battles of Concon and La Placilla ; Plan . . . .247 

President Jos^ Balmaceda 248 

" They dashed with a wild cheer in amongst the guns and 

captured the whole battery " 249 

The VaUey of Inkerman 253 

Battle of Inkerman : Plan 256 

Marshal Canrobert 260 

" Once more the Guards returned, and with irresistible 

energy drove them out ".....- 261 

Group of Maoris 264 

' • Te Kooti fell on their camp and captured all their horses " 265 

Te Kooti's Raids : Sketch Maps 267 

The Hauhaus shot or bayoneted them— men, women, and 

children— as they attempted to escape "... 269 

Te Kooti 272 

The Crow's Nest, Taupo 272 

In the Taupo Country ....... 273 



A Maori War Canoe 276 

Battle of Albuera : Plan 280 

" Sabring many drivers, they captured both guns and 

baggage" 281 

" A fierce hand-to-hand fight ensued " 285 

" Captain Fawceit, although mortally wounded, continued 

to command his company ' 289 

Forsyth's campaign against the Sioux : Sketch Map . . 291 

Sioux Indian and Squaw 292 

" Astride his shaggy pony, the Red Man galloped across 

undulating plains" 293 

Cheyenne Indian 295 

Indian wigwams 296 

" At the fifth volley, ' Roman Nose ' flings his arms into 

the air and falls dead " 297 

Indian tomahawk pipe 299 

" Five minutes' desperate and hand-to-hand fighting " . 301 

Metamneh : Sketch Map 302 

Arab horsemen outside Metamneh 304 

Khartoum 305 

Major-General Gordon 3°S 

Sir Charies Wilson 308 

Wilson's Voyage to Khartoum : Sketch Map . . . 308 
" Beresford anchored his wing-clipt little vessel and lay 

stem on fo the enemy " ...... 3*^9 

Bringing the news of Gordon's death to Metamneh . . 312 

Dresden 3^^ 

Both French and allies bivouacked in mud and water . 317 

Battle of Dresden 320 

Marshal Gouvion St. Cyr 321 

The Collapse of the Confederacy : Plan .... 324 

Richmond, from Hollywood 325 

Lieut. -General P. H. Sheridan and General Lee . . 328 

General Grant reading the terms of surrender . . . 329 

A group of Jats 333 

Bhurtpore : Plan 336 

' ' Carmichael's followers fired into the dense cluster of 

men in front of them " 337 

Viscount Combermere 340 

"The Jats, making a frantic leap for safety, were buried 

in its depths " 34' 

Algiers 34S 

The Battle of Isly : Plan 348 

" Captured by a bold stroke Abd-el-Kadr's smalah " . 349 

Marshal Bugeaud 351 

The Niagara Falls 353 

Operations on the Niagara River : Sketch Map . . 356 
" Riall's escort closed around him and hurried him to the 

rear" 357 

Old Fort Erie 360 

" Numbers of transports with precious cargoes were 

wrecked" 3^2 

The Cemetery at Scutari 363 

The Siege of Sebastopol ; Sketch Map .... 364 

In the Hospital at Scutari 365 

Sebastopol from the " Right " attack .... 368 

Colonel Todleben 369 

Prince Alexander of Bulgaria 372 

Sofia . . ■ 373 

SUvnitza and Pirot : Plan 376 

" The Prince and his companions rode to the back of the 

SlivniUa position " 377 

Bulgarian types 380 

"The gross of the Bulgarian column made a dashing 

assault upon the town " . . . . . 381 

Bulgarian beggars 38a 



i 



LIST OF PLATES. 



" PENNVCUICK was killed ; HIS GALLANT SON, A MERE LAD, SPRANG FORWARD 

AND BESTRODE HIS FATHER'S BODY" Frontispiece 

The Second Relief of Lucknow To face p. 34 

The Death of Nelson Tofacep. 64 

Napoleon Rallying the Conscripts at Lvtzen Tofacep. 192 

"This small dody of heroes tore through the mass" To face p. 360 

''The Cuir\SSIERS reaped most of the day's honours" To face p. 2,\<) 



iw: 




r 



M^ 




BATTLES OF THE 
NINETEENTH CENTURY 




SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA AND HIS 
CAMPAIGN OF THE CAROLINAS 1804-5 

BY ARCHIBALD FORBES 



" As we go marching through Georgia." — Refniin oj Marching Seng. 



THE famous march from Atlanta to the 
sea began on the morning of November 
15th, 1854. Sherman left Atlanta in 
flames. His engineers had levelled to 
he ground the great terminus and machine- 
shops of the railroad, and had fired the wreck. 
The rebel arsenal was blown up, fi'om which 
great quantities of live shells showered on the 
city, the hetirt of which was one great blaze. 

His marching-out strength was close on 60,000 
men all told, of whom 52.800 were infantry. 
K.\traordinary measures had been taken to purge 
the army of non-combatants and men of defective 
physique, with the result that the whole force 
consisted of able-bodied, experienced soldiers, 
well armed, inured to long marching, and, in 
Sherman's own words, " well equipped and pro- 
vided, as far as human foresight could, with all 
the essentials of life, strength, and vigorous 
action.'' Ambulances accompanied it, for the 
universal haleness at the start could scarcely be 
expected to last during a march of some 300 
miles ; but few sick were expected, and the 
ambulances were intended chiefly for the needs 
of wounded men. The casualties, however, 
turned out singularly few. From Atlanta to 
Savannah they were but 567, inclusive of 245 
wounded and I5q missing. 

For the march Sherman divided his army into 
two wings, the right and the left, commanded 
respectively by Major-Generals Howard and 
Slocum, both comparativel\- young men, but 
educated and experienced officers fully com- 
petent for their important positions. Howard's 
— the right — wing was composed of the 15th and 

49 



1 7th Corps, the former of which had four and 
the latter three divisions ; the left wing, Slocum's, 
consisted of the 14th and 20th Corps, each con- 
taining three divisions. Sherman had cut down 
his artillery to 65 guns, little more than a gun 
per thousand men, the usual proportion being 
thiee guns per thousand. He had no general 
train of supplies ; each corps had its own am- 
munition and provision train. In case of danger 
the commander was to have his advanced and 
rear brigades unencumbered by vehicles. The 
orders provided that the army should "forage 
liberally on the country '' during the march, 
each brigade commander to organise a sufficient 
foraging party under discreet officers to gather in 
supplies, so that the waggons should always con- 
tain at least ten days' provisions. Soldiers were 
forbidden to trespass, but, when halted, might 
supply themselves with vegetables and drive in 
live stock found in their vicinity. Where the 
army was unmolested, no destruction was to be 
permitted ; against guerillas, " bushwhackers," or 
actively hostile inhabitants, relentless reprisals 
would be put in force. The army started with 
about twenty days' supplies, and there was on 
hand a good supply of beef-cattle to be driven 
along on the hoof 

Sherman and his staff, riding out from Atlanta 
in rear of the army, crossed the ground on which 
was fought the bloody battle of July 22nd, and 
could discern the copse of wood where McPher- 
son had fallen. " Behind us," he wrote, " lay 
Atlanta, smouldering and in ruins, the black 
smoke rising high in air and hanging like a 
pall over the wrecked city. Awa}- off in the 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



distance was the rear of Howard's column, the 
gun-barrels glistening in the sun ; right before us 
the 14th Corps, marching steadily and rapidly 
with a cheery aspect, and a swinging pace that 
made light of the thousand miles between us 
and Richmond. A band struck up the anthem 
of ' John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the 
ground, but his soul goes marching on.' The 
men caught up the strain, and never before or 
since have I heard the chorus of ' Glory, glory, 
hallelujah ! ' chanted with more spirit, or in 
better harmony of time and place. Then we 
turned our horses' heads to the east, Atlanta 
was soon lost behind the screen of trees, and 
became for us a thing of the past. An unusual 
feeling of exhilaration seemed to pervade all 
hearts, even the common soldiers caught the 
inspiration, and many a group called out as I 
rode past, ' Uncle Bill}-, I guess Grant is waiting 
for us at Richmond ! ' '' Sherman, however, 
kept his own counsel as to his objective : he had 
no purpose to march direct for Richmond, but 
always designed to reach the Atlantic coast first 
— at Savannah or Port Royal. 

The troops of both wings made most of their 
advance along the railroad lines, which they 
utterly destroyed by bending the heated rails 
round the trunks of the nearest trees. All 
bridges and culverts were burned and wrecked. 
The negroes crowding round the general as he 
rode, begged for permission to follow the army 
to their freedom ; but they obeyed him when he 
told them that, although he could accept as 
pioneers a few of the young, active men, if they 
followed in swarms of young and old, feeble and 
helpless, the result would be to load the army 
down and cripple it in its great task. The 
message he gave spread, and Sherman believed 
its acceptance " saved us from the danger we 
would otherwise have incurred of swelling our 
numbers so that famine would have attended 
our progress.'' A quaint familiarity existed 
between Sherman and his soldiers. During a 
halt a soldier passed the general with a ham on 
his musket, a jug of molasses under his arm, and 
a big piece of honeycomb into which he was 
succulently biting, when, catching Sherman's 
eye, he remarked in a careless imdertone to his 
comrade, " Forage liberallv on the country '' — 
an apt quotation from the general orders. Sher- 
man had to smile grimly before he could assume 
the frown with which he reproved the soldier for 
foraging irregularlv. 

The success of the foragers was a leading 
feature of this march. Each brigade sent out 



daily a foraging party with an officer or two. 
The party would strike out right or left for 
some six miles, and then visit every plantation 
or farm within range. They would seize a 
waggon or a family carriage, and, having loaded 
it with bacon, corn-meal, turkeys, pigs, ducks, 
etc., would regain the route of march, usuallv in 
advance of their train ; when this came up. they 
would deliver to the brigade commissary the 
miscellaneous supplies they had collected. Those 
foragers were known during and long after the 
war as " Sherman's bummers." He himself owned 
that the " bummers " were unscrupulous rascals, 
and that they committed many acts of pillage 
and violence ; but his answer was that the old- 
world system of regular requisitioning was inap- 
plicable to a region destitute of civil authorities, 
and that the methods of his " bummers " were 
simply indispensable to his success. The " bum- 
mers " had a grim humour of their own. In one 
foray a few chickens were captured. The lady 
of the house entreated that they should be 
spared her, asserting that the previous foraging 
party had consented to leave to her those few, 
the last of her stock. The " bummers " seemed 
moved by her piteous appeal, but looking at the 
chickens again were tempted, and with the 
stern observation, " The rebellion must be sup- 
pressed if it takes the last chicken in the Con- 
federacy ! " bagged the remnant. Another story 
may be worth quotation. In the days before 
the war, planters kept bloodhounds for the pur- 
suit of fugitive slaves. Sherman's orders were 
that all those bloodhounds should be killed. A 
"bummer " picked up a poodle and was carrying 
it off, when its mistress besought him to spare 
the animal. " Madam," answered the " bum- 
mer," " our orders are stringent to kill every 
bloodhound found.'' " But this is not a blood- 
hound, it is a poodle puppy,'' pleaded the lady. 
" Well, madam, we cannot tell what it may grow 
into if we leave it behind," sagely remarked the 
" bummer " as he carried off the dog. 

One evening on the march, Lieutenant Snell- 
ing, who was a Southerner by birth although on 
the staff of a Northern commander, recognised 
in an old negro a favourite slave of his uncle, 
who lived about six miles away. A brother 
officer asked the old man what had become of 
his young master. Sambo only knew that he 
had gone off to the wars, and supposed him 
killed, as a matter of course. Presently the old 
man gradually recognised " Massa George," 
whereupon he fell on his knees and thanked 
God his 3-oung master was alive and witli the 



SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA. 



Yankees. Snelling obtained the general's per- 
mission tc pay his uncle a visit. It appeared 
that the uncle was not by any means cordial 
when he found his nephew serving with the 
hated Northerners. Young Snelling endured his 
uncle's reproaches with great philosophy, and he 
came back, having without permission exchanged 
his own worn-out horse for a fresh one from his 
uncle's stable, explaining that had he not made 
free in this wav a "bummer" wjuld have been 
sure to get the 
horse. 

On the 23rd 
of November the 
whole of the left 
wing, with which 
was Sherm ui, be- 
came uniteel in 
Milledgeville, the 
State capital. In- 
telligence came 
in that the right 
wing was about 
twelve miles due 
south at Gordon. 
The first stage of 
the journey was, 
therefore, com- 
plete, and abso- 
lutely successful. 

There had been 
some fighting 
about Macon. 
Kilpatrick with 
his cavalry had 
been scouting to 
the front, east- 
ward of Macon, 
when some hos- 
tile cavalry came 

out against him. Kilpatrick drove that body 
back into the bridgehead on the Ocmugee, 
which was held by Confederate infantry. Kil- 
patrick charged the defences and got inside 
the work but could not hold it, and retired 
on his supports at Griswold, when Walcutt's 
infantry brigade took position across the road 
eastward of Macon. A rebel division sallied 
out on this force, but was driven back into 
Macon by Spencer repeating-rifles, with which 
Walcutt's brigade was armed. 

The people of Milledgeville had remained at 
home, with the exception of the governor, state 
officers, and legislature, who had fled in the 
utmost disorder — some by rail, some in carriages, 



and many on foot. Sherman took possession of 
the governor's mansion, which the previous 
occupant had stripped of everj'thing except the 
public archives. Some of the officers of the 
Northern army gathered in the vacant Hall 01 
Representatives, elected a Speaker, and consti- 
tuted themselves the legislature of the State of 
Georgia. A proposition was made to repeal the 
ordinance of secession, which was carried ncm. 
con. after a sprightly debate. Orders were given 



SHERMAN'S MARCti 
TO THE SEA. 


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jPFaydUrTillo 


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10 CO 4-^ t'-j So 100 


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■^7 UN MAkCir ^ 

i.ar{>u'nas 

',■• :.niM. . 




\ \ \ V ^'''<^k^C ^\^ ^^NsRiver's Bridge 
V \ \ \ WayneswJ^ \ '^'^eaurort Bridge 
V^ \Milledgeville\ \,^ \ \. \ '^'VV 
^"*"^"*V \ / Sanders viUe_J^*'^oui3viUe \ ^"^^n. \ Q A R 0\L 1 N A 

Macony "MswoW \\ »\ PocotatigoHr\i' 

gVe R G 1 a/^X%>y /Afl y 

\ \ ^- . „ . \ SAVANNAH 
\ \ King's Bridge^ ( 



by Sherman for the total destruction of the 
arsenal and its contents, and of such public 
buildings as were capable of being utilised for 
hostile purposes. The right wing was on march 
toward Millen and Savannah by roads southward 
of the railroad, the track of which was con- 
tinuously torn up and its iron destroyed. The 
left wing renewed the advance on the 24th, 
moving north of the railroad by Sandersville, 
Danesboro', and Louisville. Kilpatrick's cavalry 
had been brought to Milledgeville, and its com- 
mander had orders to press rapidly eastward to 
Millen, to rescue the Northern prisoners under- 
stood to be still confined there. 

At Sandersville a brigade of rebel cavalry was 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



deployed before the town, only to be driven in 
and through it by the skirmishers of the 20th 
Corps. Sherman saw the rebel troopers firing 
stacks of fodder in the fields, and he told the 
leading citizens that if the enemy attempted to 
carry out the threat to burn the food, corn, and 
fodder along his route, he would execute re- 
lentless reprisals on the inhabitants. There was 
no more wanton destruction on the part of the 



left wing was heading for Louisville, north of 
the railroad, Kilpatrick had hurried north-east 
towards Waynesboro', where he had some sharp 
fighting with the rebel cavalry division com- 
manded by General Wheeler. After some skir- 
mishing, the latter was driven through Waynes- 
boro', and beyond Brier Creek in the direction 
of Augusta, Kilpatrick thus doing good service 
in keeping up the delusion that Sherman's 



-',i V;' V 




fKLiEKAL TROOPS O.N THE MARCH. 



rebels, for the people saw clearly that an}- such main arm}- was moving toward that important 

conduct would result in ruin to themselves. town. 

From Sandersville the T 7th Corps took up the On December 3rd, Sherman entered Millen 

work of destroying the railroad, the 15th moving with the 17th Corps. The Federal prisoners 

eastward by roads further south. When the of war had been removed from the place. The 



SHERMANS MARCH TO THE SEA. 



several corps were now all within a short radius 
of Milieu, in good positions and in good condi- 
tion. Two-thirds of the whole distance had been 
accomplished with trivial loss. The waggons 
were full, but towards the coast the country 



rebel prisoners from the provost guard, supplied 
them with picks and spades, and made them 
march in close order along the road, to explode 
their own torpedoes or discover and dig them 
up. They begged hard for exemption, but 




SAVAX.NAH FROM THE RIVER. 



becomes sandy and barren, and supplies would 
become more scarce ; so Sherman determined 
to push on to Savannah. He was aware that 
the Confederate general Hardee was between 
him and that city with some 10,000 men, a force 
incapable of being very mischievous. The fine 
railwa\- station and other public buildings of 
Millen were destroyed, and on the 4th the 
march was resumed by the whole armv direct 
on Savannah, by the four main roads. So 
seasoned was the force that the soldiers marched 
their fifteen miles day after day, as if the 
distance was nothing. 

On the Sth, Sherman found the column turned 
off from the main road, and went forward to 
ascertain the cause. He found a group of men 
round a young officer whose foot had been blown 
to pieces by a torpedo planted in the road. 
This, as Sherman well said, was murder, not war. 
The rebels had deliberately planted a succes- 
sion of 8-inch shells in the road, with friction 
matches to e.xplode them when trodden on. 
Sherman immediately ordered up a squad of 



Sherman, although not a cruel man, reiterated 
his order, and could hardly help laughing at 
the gingerly stepping of the rebel prisoners as 
they went forward in front of the Northern 
column. 

On the Qth and loth, the several corps 
reached the defences of Savannah, the 14th 
Corps touching with its left the Savannah river. 
To the right was first the 20th, then the 17th, 
and the 15th on the extreme right, thus almost 
completely investing the city, involving the un- 
pleasantness, apparently, of another siege. On 
one of those days Sherman had a very narrow 
escape. He was in a cutting through which the 
' railroad passed straight into Savannah. He 
could ?ee about eight hundred yards away a 
rebel parapet and battery. The gunners were 
loading, and he warned his officers to scatter. 
Watching closel\- he saw the ball rise, and 
thought it wise to step aside ; at the moment a 
negro was crossing the track very close to him. 
The ball, a 321b. -shot, struck the ground, rose in 
its first ricochet, and caught the negro under 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



the right jaw, lilcrall^' smashing his head into 
pulp. The cut was promptly deserted. 

It was manifest that Savannah was well forti- 
fied and garrisoned, under the command of a 
competent officer, General W. J. Hardee ; and 
Sherman resolved, in the first instance, to open 
communication with the Federal fleet, supposed 
to be waiting in Ossabaw Sound with mails, 
supplies, and clothing. Leaving orders with 
General Slocum to press the siege, he sent 
General Howard, with Hazen's division of the 
15th Corps and a force of engineers, to King's 
Bridge, fourteen-and-a-half miles south-west of 
Savannah, with instructions to rebuild the 
bridge. That work was finished on the night 
of the 1 2th, and at sunrise of the 13th Hazen 
passed over, having orders from Sherman to 
march rapidly down the right bank of the 
Ogeechee, and without hesitation to carry Fort 
McAllister by storm. Sherman then rode ten 
miles down the left bank of the Ogeechee to a 
spot where there was a signal station, whence 
could be watched the lower river for any vessel 
of the blockading squadron, which daily sent a 
steamer up the Ogeechee as near to Fort 
McAllister as was safe. 

Assurances by signal came from Hazen that 
he was making his preparations, and would soon 
assault. As the sun was going down, Sherman's 
impatience increased. There was still an hour 
till dusk, when a faint cloud of smoke betokened 
the approach of a steamboat. Soon the L^nion 
flag was visible, and attention was divided 
between the approaching steamer and the 
imminent assault of the fort. " Who are you ? " 
was the question asked bj- signal from the 
steamer. '' General Sherman," was the repl}'. 
The next question from the steamer was, " Is 
Fort McAllister taken ? " " Not yet, but very 
soon," was the answer. At the very moment, 
Hazen's troops emerged from the encompassing 
woods, the lines dres'sed as on parade with the 
colours flying, the gallant force marching at a 
quick, steadv pace. The fort was belching volleys 
from its big guns, the smoke of which soon en- 
veloped Hazen's assaulting lines. There was a 
momentary cessation of fire ; then the smoke 
drew away like a curtain, and the parapets were 
blue with the Northern soldiers, who fired their 
muskets in the air and shouted till the echoes 
rang. Fort McAllister was taken, and the news 
was telegraphed to the approaching gun-boat, 
which had been shut out bj- a point of timber 
from the thrilling spectacle. 

An oyster skiff was chartered, a volunteer 



crew undertook to pull the boat down tcj the 
fort, and Hazen was found at supper in the 
planter's house. After a hurried inspection of 
the fort, a yawl was found and manned ; Sher- 
man and Howard went aboard, and the craft was 
pulled down stream regardless of warnings as 
to torpedoes, for Sherman was determined to 
board the gunboat that night at whatever risk 
or cost, hungry as he was tor news from the 
outer world. At length they were aboard of 
the Dandi-lion tender, and surrounded by half-a- 
dozen naval officers. The general learned that 
Admiral Dahlgren was on his flagship on Wassau 
Sound, that General Foster, commanding the 
department, was near by at Hilton Head, that 
several ships with stores for the army were lying 
in T3-bee Roads and Port Royal Sound, and 
that Grant was still besieging Petersburg, things 
being little altered since the depatture from 
Atlanta. 

Sherman and Howard returned to the McAl- 
lister House, and lay down on the crowded floor 
to snatch some sleep. Sherman was summoned 
presently from slumber to take boat for the ship 
in which was General Foster, who was lame from 
an old Mexican wound. By-and-b}- Admiral 
Dahlgren was found, mails arrived and were dis- 
tributed as soon as possible, rations were sent 
to the army, and Sherman, after having made 
his preparations, summoned General Hardee to 
surrender Savannah. Sherman's letter to him 
was not in accordance with the amenities of 
civilised warfare, and he must have repented 
such expressions as the following : — " Should I 
be forced to resort to assault, or to the slower 
and surer process of starvation, I will then feel 
justified in resorting to the harshest measures, 
and shall make little effort to restrain mj- army.'' 
Hardee replied like a gentleman. In a sentence 
he declined to surrender, and added — " I have 
hitherto conducted m}- military operations in 
strict accordance with the rules of civilised war- 
fare, and I should deeply regret the adoption of 
any course on your part that might force me to 
deviate from them in future." Hardee's refusal 
reached Sherman on December iSth. Savannah 
was found evacuated on the morning of the 21st, 
and was immediatel}- taken possession of. Hardee 
had carried away his field-artillery and blown 
up his ironclads and nav)- yard, but had left 
everything else, inclusive of an immense quantity 
of public and private property. With his entrj- 
to Savannah on ziwA December Sherman held 
to have terminated the " March to the Sea.'' 
He regarded that march simply as a " shift of 



SHERMAN'S iMAKCH TO THE SEA. 



base " — as the transfer of an army from its work 
in the interior to a point on the coast whence it 
could achieve other important results. In other 
words, he considered the march to the sea as a 
means to an end, and not as an essential act of 
war. He himself expressed his measure of the 
relative importance of the march to the sea, and 
of that from Savannah northward, by placing the 
former at one and the latter at ten. 

The Campaig.n ok the Carolixas. 

General Grant, who was Sherman's superior 
officer, had suggested that the latter, having 
established a strong base of all arms on the coast 
about Savannah, should bring northward bv sea 
the mass of his seasoned and triumphant army 
to join the Army of the Potomac before Peters- 
burg ; but to Sherman's satisfaction, Grant 
subsequently, with good judgment, modified 
his views in favour of the strategy put forward 
by his great subordinate. Sherman's plan of 
campaign was that of a commander who was a 
master of the art of war. Leaving an adequate 
garrison in Savannah, his project was to move 
northward with his arm\- resupplied, cross the 
Savannah river, feign against Charleston and 
Augusta, striking between the two and heading 
straight for Columbia, the capital city of South 
Carolina, thence advancing through North Caro- 
lina to Raleigh or Weldon. His appearance at 
one or other of those points would, he antici- 
pated, force Lee to evacuate Petersburg and 
Richmond ; and to take to the open field, 
throwing himself rapidly between Grant's and 
Sherman's armies. 

During the latter half of Januaiy, 1865 
Sherman's troops, about bo,ooo strong, organised 
precisely as during the march to the sea, had 
been gradually taking up advanced positions 
northward of Savannah. The whole vicinity 
was more or less amphibious, the low alluvial 
land cut up b}- an infinite number of salt-water 
sloughs and fresh-water creeks. The Savannah 
river had risen in flood, which swept awaj- 
Sherman's pontoon-bridge at Savannah and 
came near drowning one of his divisions while 
on the march to Pocotatigo. On February ist 
Sherman's army was at that place, near the head 
of Port Royal inlet ; his left wing, with Kil- 
patrick's cavalr}-, was still at Sister's Ferry on the 
Savannah river, twenty-five miles north of the 
city. In spite of obstructions, the general march 
began prompth' on the day named. The right 
wing moved up the Salkiehatchie on its right 
bank, the river brimming full, and presenting 



a most formidable obstacle. Through the 
swamps bounding the ri\er proper the heads of 
columns marched in water up to their shoulders, 
until at River's Bridge and Beaufort Bridge 
respectively the 15th and 17th Corps forced 
their wav across the river in face of the rebel 
brigade attempting to defend the passage. The 
Union loss was not severe, and the enemy at 
once abandoned the whole line of the Salkie- 
hatchie. 

On the 5th, Sherman was with the 15th Corps 
at Beaufort's Bridge, his left wing abreast, the 
cavalry ahead of him. The army was approach- 
ing the line of the Charlestoix and Augusta rail- 
road about Midway station, and the general 
e.xpected to encounter severe resistance, since 
the disruption of that line would sever the com- 
munications of the enemy between the sea-coast 
and interior points. On the 7th, in the midst 
of a rain storm, the railroad was gained at several 
points with scarce^ any opposition, contrar}- to 
Sherman's expectation. A droll episode is re- 
corded in regard to this seizure of the railroad. 
General Howard, with the 17th Corps march- 
ing straight on Midway, when about five miles 
distant began to deploy the leading division so 
as to be read}- for battle. Sitting on his horse 
by the roadside while the deplovment was in 
progress, he saw a man coming do«n the road 
as hard as he could gallop, whom as he 
approached the gejieral recognised as one of 
his own " bummers," mounted on a white horse 
with a rope bridle and blanket for a saddle. 
As he came nearer he shouted, " Hurr\' up, 
general ! come along, we have gotten the rail- 
road ! " " So," remarked General Howard, 
" while we generals were proceeding deliberately 
to get ready for a serious battle, a parcel of our 
foragers in search of plunder, had got ahead 
and actually captured the South Carolina Rail- 
road, a line of vital importance to the rebel 
Government." 

The L^nion army remained strung along this 
railroad till the qth, working parties being 
detailed to tear up the rails, burn the ties, and 
twist the bars. Sherman was resolved on utterly 
wrecking fifty miles of a line of so great conse- 
quence, partly to prevent the possibilit)- of its 
restoration, partly to utilise the time until 
General Slocum, who had been delaj-ed at the 
Savannah river, should come up. Having suffi- 
ciently damaged the railroad and eflfected the 
junction of the entire army, the general march 
was resumed with Columbia as its objective, the 
rijrht winsT following the cross railroad from 



BATTLES OF THE XIXETEEXTH CEXTrRY. 



Branchville to the Santee river by way of 
Orangeville. Kilpiltrick was sent with liis 
cavalry to the westward, to demonstrate strongly 
against Aiken and thus to maintain the idea 
that Augusta was being threatened. But Sher- 
man was resolute not to deviate either to the 
right or to the left. He would not even allow 
himself to be tempted to turn aside to inflict 
punishment on Charleston, the bitter and stub- 
born hotbed of rebellion. His aspiration was to 




.FEDERAL TROOPS DESTROVING TELEGRAPH WIRES. 

reach Columbia before any part of Wood's Con- 
federate force — the advance of which, commanded 
by General Dick Taylor, was reported to be 
already in Augusta — should precede him in the 
occupation of the former cit}-. 

On the nth the army crossed the South 
Edisto, and the next day the 17th Corps reached 
Orangeville, where the Charleston - Columbia 
railroad was cut and destroyed up to the 
Santee river. The Xorth Edisto was crossed by 
pontoon bridges, and all the columns were then 
headed for Columbia, where it was believed 
that there was a great concentration of rebel 
forces. Later on the march, it was ascertained 



that the only troops in the capital were Wade 
Hamilton's cavalry along with General Beau- 
regard, in a state of considerable confusion. 
During the night between the i6lh and 17th a 
detachment had crossed the Saluda river close 
to Columbia, and ne.xt morning, while the bridge 
was being repaired, the Ma\or of Columbia came 
out to surrender the city. X brigade was sent 
forward to occupy it, and General Sherman, 
with his staff and the general officers of the 15th 
Corps, entered Columbia just as Wade Hamp- 
ton and General Beauregard rode awa\' from 
it. The high wind was whirling about flakes 
of cotton from the burning cotton bales which 
were said to have been fired bj' the rebel 
cavalry before leaving the city that same 
morning. The railroad depot and a large 
adjacent warehouse had been burnt to the 
ground, and piles of corn and meal in sacks 
were on fire. Sherman was quartered in the 
house of a fugitive citizen, where he was 
visited by a number of Northern people 
whom he had known in earlier days. 

During the night great fires blazed in Co- 
lumbia. Sherman ordered his troops to at- 
tempt to extinguish the flames, and they 
wrought hard; but the conflagrations never- 
theless continued to increase. The high wind 
was spreading the flames bej'ond control, and 
the whole heavens became lurid. The air 
was full of sparks and of flying masses ol 
cotton, shingles, etc., which the wind carried 
and started fresh fires. In the early morning 
the wind moderated and the fire was got 
under control ; but the whole heart of the 
citv, including several churches, the old State- 
house, and manv other public and private 
buildings, was destroyed. One half at least 
of Columbia had been laid in ashes. Through- 
out the Confederacy it was believed, and the 
belief has not yet died out, that the burning 
of Columbia was deliberately planned and exe- 
cuted by Sherman. He steadfastly denied this, and 
the finding of the subsequent mixed commission 
on American and British claims was to the effect 
that the destruction of Columbia did not result 
from the action of Sherman's army. He himself 
directly charged* the arson on Wade Hampton. 
During the two following days the railroads 
around Columbia were ruined, and the State 
arsenal with its contents was destroyed. 

Columbia utterly ruined, Sherman's right 
wins marched northward to Winnsboro', where 
the left wing joined, and the advance was then 
to the north-east on Cheraw and onwards 



SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA. 



towards Fayetteville, in Xortli Carolina, cun- 
sidcrable delay being encountered in bridging 
the Catawba and other rivers. When halted in 
Cheraw, newspaper intelligence gave Sherman 
the information that his feint to the left on 
Charlotte had in no wav misled his antagonists ; 



Wade Hampton's cavalry, had barely escaped 
across Cape Fear river, burning the bridge 
which Sherman had hoped to preserve. Kil- 
patrick had experienced some curious vicissi- 
tudes a few daj's previously, when holding his 
cavalry strung out in line for the protection of 




"THEY WROUGHT HARD, liUT THE CONFL.\GRATIONS NEVERTHELESS CONTINUED TO INCREASE" (A 8). 



and he realised that he must prepare for the 
concentration in his front of a considerable force 
under General Jos. Johnston, who had been 
appointed ti? the supreme command of the Con- 
federate forces in the Carolinas. Reaching 
Fayetteville on the nth he found General 
Slocum in possession of that town, and all 
the rest of the army close at hand. He 
learned also that General Hardee, followed by 



the left flank of the armv. Wade Hampton 
had broken through this line, capturing Kil- 
patrick and Spencer, his brigade commander, in 
a house which they were occupying for a few 
hours, and he held possession for a while of the 
camp and artillery of the brigade. Kilpatrick, 
however, and most of his people, had escaped into 
a swamp, and having re-formed' and returned, 
put Hampton and his men to flight in their turn ; 



lO 



RATTLES OF THP: MXinTlEXTH CEXTUKV 



but the Confederate aminiander had carried off 
Kilpatrick's pri\ate horses and two hundred ot 
his men as prisoners, whom he had displayed 
with great triumph in Fayetteville. 

From Favetteville Sherman was able to send 
to General Grant despatches reporting his pro- 
gress and intentions ; and he sent orders to 
General Schofield at Newbern and to General 
Terry at Wilmington, both places named being 
on the coast, to move with their effective forces 
straight for Goldsboro', where he expected to 
meet them by the 20th. On the i;th the 



towards Goldsboro'. On the 1 8th, Sherman had 
joined the right wing, to be near Generals 
Schofield and Terr}- coming up from the coast 
towards Goldsboro". He had heard some casual 
cannonading about Skicum's head of column, 
but did not regard it as serious until a messenger 
came in hot haste with the news that Slocuni 
near Bentonsville had run up against Johnston's 
army, some 3b,cxx) strong, considerably more 
than the whole of Slocum's command. Sherman 
sent orders to Slocum to fight on the defensive, 
pending his own arrival with reinforcements. 




.MOUTH OK THE SAVANNAH. 



whole army was across Cape Fear river on its 
march for Goldsboro'. On Sherman's e.xtreme 
left were the 14th and 20th Corps with the 
cavalr}' acting in concert. Certain of being at- 
tacked on this flank, he ordered both wings to 
send their trains by interior roads, and each to 
hold four divisions ready for immediate action. 
Stubborn resistance was encountered from 
Hardee's troops of all arms, and on the i6th the 
Confederate commander was found in a strong 
position near Averysboro'. The divisions of 
Jackson and Ward deployed and pressed on, 
while a brigade made a wide circuit by the left ; 
and the first line of the enemj- was swept away, 
two hundred prisoners were taken, with three 
guns, and one hundred and eight dead Con- 
federates were buried. Hardee withdrew and 
entrenched himself anew ; but ne.\t morning he 
was gone, in full retreat towards Smithfield. In 
this Avervsboro' combat the Federals lost twelve 
officers and sixty-five men killed, and four 
hundred and seventv-seven men wounded. The 
rebel wounded, numbering sixty-eight, were at- 
tended to by Sherman's surgeons, and then 
left in charge of a rebel officer and a few men. 
From Averysboro' the lett wing bent eastward 



A division was hurried to Slocum's flank, and 
the whole of the right wing was directed en 
Bentonsville, whence came loud and strong the 
roar of battle. Johnston was not pugnacious ; he 
stood on the defensive entrenched in the V for- 
mation. Sherman explains in his memoirs that he 
"did not feel disposed to invite a general battle, 
in ignorance of Johnston's strength " ; and he 
simply held his troops close up to the Con- 
federate trenches for two days. At length, on 
the afternoon of the 21st, General Mower could 
stand inaction no longer, and with his division 
he broke through the enemy's left flank and 
pushed on towards Bentonsville. Sherman 
arrested the gallant Mower's ciffcnsive, and re- 
called him ; repenting later of his having done 
so instead of supporting Mower, with the result 
of bringing on a battle the issue of which must 
have been in his favour by reason of his vastly 
superior numbers. The truth probaj;)!}- was that 
now Sherman was so near the successful ending 
of his undertaking, he was not willing to run 
any risks. Be this as it may, on the morning of 
the 22nd, Johnston was in full retreat on Smith- 
field, and Sherman marchsd into Goldsboro". 
His loss at Bentonsville was 2^ officers and 



SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA. 



ir 



i,';8i men killed, wounded, and missing. He 
had captured 1,287 prisoners. Johnston esti- 
mated his loss at 2,343 officers and men. 

At Goldsboro' on the 22nd, Sherman found 
Terry with two divisions and Schofield with a 
whole corps, and the complete.junction was then 
and there effected of all the army as originally 
designed. 

'.' Thus," wrote Sherman, with pardonable 
pride, " was concluded one of the longest and 
most important marches ever made by an or- 
ganised ami}- in a civilised country. The route 
traversed crossed five great navigable rivers. 
Three important cities, Columbia, Chcraw, and 
Fayetteville, had been captured and occupied ; 
the evacuation of Charleston had been com- 
pelled, all the railroads of South Carolina had 
been utterly broken up, and a vast amount of 
supplies belonging to the enemy had been seized 
and used. The country traversed was for the 
most part in a state of nature, with innumerable 
swamps, the roads mere mud, nearly every mile 
of which had to be corderoved. Yet we had, 
in midwinter, accomplished the whole journey 
of 425 miles in fifty days, averaging ten miles 
per day ; and had reached Goldsboro' with the 



army in superb order, and the trains almost as 
fresh as when we had started from Atlanta." 

Sherman was still at Goldsboro' with his army 
about him when the tidings reached him of the 
fall of Petersburg and Richmond on 6th April. 
On the 1 2th he was officially informed of Lee's 
surrender at Appomatox Court House, and the 
war was regarded as over. Events came 
quickly. On the 14th, General Johnston made 
proposals to Sherman for the suspension of 
active operations, pending the termination of 
the war. Sherman was on his way to meet 
Johnston when a cipher telegram was handed 
him announcing the assassination of President 
Lincoln. The terms arranged between the two 
commanders were not approved of b)- the autho- 
rities in Washington, and Grant was sent to 
Sherman's headquarters .to intimate to that 
commander that he was to demand the surrender 
of Johnston's army on the terms accorded to 
General Lee. Johnston accepted those terms. 
The great Civil War was now at an end ; the 
gallant struggle of the Confederacy was over 
and done with, and thenceforth there was no 
longer rebellion within the wide boundaries of 
the great American Republic. 




THE CONFEDERATE FLAG. 



--^ni 



12 




I 



THE well-worn old simile of the Phoenix 
rising from her ashes may be applied 
with truth to the French army on 
its return from Moscow ; for, before 
its wounds were healed, almost before its actual 
losses could be counted, another mighty force 
was called into existence, and Napoleon, once 
more humming '' Malbrook s"en va-t-en guerre," 
set forth from Paris to lead it to fresh glories 
and terrible defeat. 

Liitzen, Wurschen, Bautzen. Dresden, were 
victories dearly won at the expense of enor- 
mous slaughter ; but Culm, Katzbach, and 
Gros Beeren came as heavy blows, and Napo- 
leon's projects seemed threatened with tragic 
failure. 

Whilst Ill's men dwindled, and the German 
roads were thronged with his wounded Cuiras- 
siers in wheelbarrows, or his troopers riding on 
lean cows, the allied armies, on the contrary, 
seemed to increase. Disaffection followed. The 
Saxons were deserting him en masse. Austria 
and Bavaria declared against him. As the 
enemy drew closer round him from all points, 
he hazarded everything on one cast of the 
die, chose a bad position, suffered a crushing 
reverse, and fled under circumstances of almost 
unparalleled horror. 

Leipzig was at that time a small cit}' girdled 
ty a crumbling wall with four large and three 
smaller gates, a wet ditch where mulberry 
trees grew plentifullv, and was separated from 
the extensive suburbs by a fine walk or boule- 
vard planted with lindens which had grown to 
giant size. 

It was a great centre of learning and com- 
merce : Fichte, Goethe, and a host of famous 
men had studied or taught at its university ; 
its three annual fairs were attended by book- 
sellers from all parts of Europe ; and before 



Napoleon's Continental system crippled trade 
it had lucrative industries in gold and silver, 
leather, silk, wool, yarn, and Prussian blue. 

Had you mounted to the summit of one of 
its many towers, as hundreds did during the 
events I am about to describe, 3'ou would have 
seen beneath you the narrow streets of the 
quaint city, and farther out the gardens, public 
and private, for which Leipzig was justly famed, 
with the villas of the wealthy merchants peeping 
out of groves and orchards. 

Far as the eye could reach stretched a gently 
rolling plain, wooded here and there, in other- 
places barren where the harvest had been 
gathered and the stubble fields were brown ; 
the whole expanse dotted with villages in- 
nvmrerable, each with its pointed spire ; the 
plain intersected by great highroads and winding 
byways. 

West of the city lay a marshy tract, where 
the rivers Pleiss and Elster flowed sluggishly 
in narrow channels, and joined the Partha, which 
came round the northern side. This tract was 
a mass of tiny streams and dykes, crossed b}- a 
narrow causeway leading to Lindenau, and so 
to the road by Weissenfels, Erfurt, and Frank- 
fort to the Rhine. 

From the Rhine Napoleon had allowed himself 
to be cut off, by staying at Dresden when every 
hour was of the utmost consequence. There 
seem to have come to him towards the close 
of his marvellous career strange attacks of in- 
decision which no one has satisfactorily explained, 
and the lingering at Dresden while the allies had 
drawn nearer and nearer until they had him in a 
net, from which he escaped but with difficulty 
and at great sacrifices, was one of these. 

At last his various corps were ordered on 
Magdeburg, and on the 7th October, at seven 
in the morning, the emperor himself left Dresden, 
and quitting the Leipzig road beyond Wurzen, 



THE BATTLES ROUND LEIPZIG. 



13 



eventually reached the little moated castle of 
Diibu'i on the lolh, where he stayed three days 
in turt'ier indecision, until he suddenly com- 
manded a countermarch ol his troops upon 
Leipzig, stopping himself to breakfast in a 
field by th^ roadside, at a point sonie fifteen 
miles from the city. 

While there, the distant booming of cannon 
told him that Murat was engaged to the south 
of Leipzig, and at the same moment the King 
of Saxony came up with his Oueen and a strong 
escort. 

Napoleon had desired them to accompany 
him, and advancing to the carriage door, he 
reassured the frightened lady, who went on 
after a short halt with her unfortunate husband, 
destined to pay so dearly for his loyalty to the 
French cause. 



The day was grey and lowering, and Murat 
had had several smart cavalry affairs near Borna. 
in one of which he narrowl}' escaped with his 
life. Returning with a single trooper, he had 
been hotlj- pursued by Lieutenant De Lippe 
of the 1st Neumark Dragoons, who repeatedly 
shouted " Stop, King ! " " Stop, King ! " After 
a galloping fight the pursuer was killed by Murat's 
attendant, to whom Napoleon gave the Legion 
of Honour, and who rode the dead man's horse 
ne.xt day in his capacity of equerry to the King 
of Naples. 

Meanwhile, the columns were tramping in 
and taking up their positions ; outside the 
house of Herr Vetter at Reudnitz, a pictur- 
esque village two miles from Leipzig, a chasseur 
of the Guard with loaded carbine showed where 
Napoleon had fi.xed his quarters. Waggons, 








..• ^ >_ j.-J ;'t 







m/ A* 



\ 



u~ ''■s,: ..'.51 .'' 'I 



r 



^i 




\ -^^^^ 



DRESDEN. 



It was the anniversary of lena, and by a 
strange coincidence Napoleon was using the 
identical copy of Petri's atlas which he had 
consulted for the campaign that had laid 
Prussia at his feet in two short weeks. Now 
the tables were turned, and Prussia was about 
to have a terrible revenge. 



carriages, escort, and orderly officers thronged 
the streets ; every hour witnessed the arrival 
of a grenadier regiment, a corps of tirailleurs, or 
a rumbling batter}- of guns, whose grey-coated 
drivers forced a passage through the crowd 
with almost as little ceremon}- as the emperor's 
suite itself. The citizens had experienced 



14 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



a foretaste of French usage since Marmont's 
corps came among them at the beginning of the 
month, but that was going to prove as nothing 
to the misery of the next six daj-s. 

Early on the morning of the 15th, Murat clat- 
tered up to the door of the Ouartier General, 
and swinging off his horse went in to hold long 
counsel with his brother-in-law ; after which, 
about noon, they both rode away into the 
stubble and the sheep pastures to reconnoitre 
around Lieberwolkwitz on a hill to the French 
left, and Wachau village with its orchard in a 
hollow, which formed the French centre five 
miles or so from the city, pajdng Poniatowski's 
corps a visit among the gardens of Dolitz, and 
finally returning to Liebenvolkwitz, where one 
of those dramatic Napoleonic ceremonies took 
place usual upon the presentation of the 
cherished Eagle to corps that had not previously 
possessed it. 

Three regiments of light infantry clustered 
round their emperor, and, turning to one 
with the standard brandished in his hand, he 
exclaimed in a piercing voice : " Soldiers of 
the 26th Leger, I intrust you with the French 
Eagle : it will be your rallying point. You 
swear never to abandon it but with life ; you 
swear never to suffer an insult to France ; 
you swear to prefer death to dishonour : j'ou 
swear ! " 

" We swear ! " came the answer ; " Vive 
I'Empereur ! "' And each regiment took the 
oath, and meant it. 

The columns had filed down to their posts in 
the position chosen by Murat and sanctioned 
by Napoleon, and the line of battle stretched 
in a huge semicircle south of Leipzig, three 
miles and a half from end to end ; Victor in 
the centre behind Wachau with the 2nd Corps ; 
Prince Poniatowski on the right with the 8th, 
on the banks of the narrow Pleiss at Mark- 
Kleberg and Doetlitz ; Lauriston on the left, on 
the hill of Lieberwolkwitz with the 5th Corps ; 
while farther away still, beyond Lauriston, was 
gallant Macdonald, on the Dresden road, keep- 
ing a sharp look-out for Beningsen or the 
Hetman Platof 

In rear of Poniatowski were Marshal Aucre- 

o 

reau's men ; between Poniatowski and Victor, 
the cavalry of Kellerman and Milhaud ; be- 
tween Victor and Lauriston the cavalry of 
Latour - Maubourg ; and, finall}-, when they 
arrived, the Imperial Guard was stationed near 
the village of Probsteyda, behind Victor, and 
in front of the ruined windmill and tobacco 



factiiry where Napoleon took his stand when 
the fighting had once begun. 

To the west, across the causeway previously 
mentioned, General Bertrand held Lindenau 
with the 4th Corps, and covered the road to 
Erfurt destined to form the French line of 
retreat ; Marshal Marniont, with the 6th Corps, 
lay round Lindenthal, and protected Leipzig 
to northward ; while Ney and Reynier, with 
the 3rd and 7th Corps, were in full march 
from Eilenburg, either to support Marmont or 
operate to eastward of the city — in all, 182,000 
men to sustain the advance and attack of more 
than 300,000 — namely, the Allied Grand Army, 
or Army of Bohemia, qo,000 ; the Army of 
Silesia, under Bliicher, 70,000 ; the Army of the 
North, commanded by Bernadotte, 72,000; and 
about 15,000 partisans, Cossacks, and light 
horse. 

There 'had been heavy rains for several days 
preceding the 14th, the night of which was 
miserable; but the weather cleared on the 15th, 
and everything was quiet, except the continued 
march of troops and the loopholing of the 
Leipzig walls. 

Suddenly, about eight in the evening, three 
brilliant white rockets rose into the starlit sky 
from the allies' headquarters at Pegau on the 
Elster, and these were answered a minute later 
by four red ones that trailed up bej-ond Halle — 
a signal which put the French on the qui vivc. 

That night Colonel Marbot, of the 23rd Chas- 
seurs-a-cheval, lost an opportunit}- of changing 
the whole face of the campaign through no fault 
of his own, for, being in observation at the foot 
of a hill called the Kolmberg, or Swedish Re- 
doubt, he saw several figures on the summit, 
outlined against the sky, and heard a conver- 
sation in French that made the blood tingle in 
his veins. 

Stealthily drawing his regiment forward in 
the darkness, while the 24th crept round the 
other flank of the hill, a few- minutes more 
would have sufficed to enclose the Kolmberg 
and capture the speakers, but one of his 
men accidentally fired his carbine. There was 
"mounting in hot haste." . The figures vanished 
at full speed towards the allied position, and 
Marbot had a sharp brush with an escort of 
cavalry, learning afterwards, to his intense 
chagrin, that the Emperor of Russia and the 
King of Prussia were in the group that had 
escaped him ! 

Early in the fogg)' dawn of the ibth October 
Napoleon left his quarters, attended by his 



THE BATTLES ROUND LEIPZIG. 



orderly officers and the escort of the Guard, 
and riding on to the hill of Liebcrwolkwitz 
again, he was joined by Murat, the pair gazing 
Jong tlirough their glasses towards the enemy's 
lines, where, when the fog melted into the 
drizzle of a cold and gloomy day, they saw 
several columns forming for the attack. 

Huge riding-cloaks were then the fashion, 
.uid as the cavalcade left the hill muffled to 
the ears three signal-guns crashed out 
about q o'clock, sending their balls over 
the heads of the staff into the Guard and 
the Cuirassiers beyond, doing some dam- 
age, and commencing what is known as 
the battle of Wachau. 

Kleist, with a mixed force of Russians 
and Prussians, advanced on the French 
right wing in the marshes of the Pleiss 
and took the village of Mark-Kleberg ; 
Wittgenstein, commanding two columns, 
also of Russians and Prussians, was 
partially successful in the Wachau hollow ; 
and the Austrian general Klenau flung 
his men at the hill of Liebcrwolkwitz, 
which Napoleon regarded as the key of 
his position. 

Ordering forward half the young Guard 
under Marshal Mortier, and sending for 
a part of Macdonald's corps, the emperor 
repulsed the Austrians with great loss, 
captured a portion of the wood of the 
university, and having separated Klenau 
from the rest of the allied army, turned 
his attention on his centre at Wachau, 
bringing up two divisions of the Guard 
under Oudinot to support Victor, placing 
his reserve artillery on the heights behind 
the village, and moving Milhaud's and 
Kellerman's cavalry to attack the Russian 
left. 

All this while the most furious cannon- 
ade was in progress along the whole line, until, 
as one who was present has declared, " the earth 
literally trembled." 

As the French horsemen gained the plain, 
affairs became serious for the allied centre, 
which was bayoneted out of Wachau by a 
superior force, and retired slowly, fighting all 
the way, leaving a thousand men dead in 
the stubble fields before it reached its reserves 
at the farm of Auenhayn ; but, fortunately for 
Prince Eugene of Wilrtemberg, who commanded 
the retreating column, Nostitz arrived with a 
host of white-coated Austrian cavalry, which, 
after some dashing charges, drove Milhaud's 



and Kellerman's back, and sa^•ed the allied 
centre from a similar separation on the left 
wing to that which had already happened on 
the right. 

Still, the allies had gained nothing but the 
village of Mark-Kleberg. Six desperate attacks 
had been repulsed by the French ; and at Napo- 
leon's command the bells of Leipzig were rung 
during the afteriKJon to celebrate a victory and 



LEIPZIG. 

The First Day's Battle. 

Positions at g.a.m. 

Oct. 161 1813. 




a band played gaily in the market square, where 
the Saxon Grenadiers stood under arms for the 
protection of their king. 

Away beyond the rivers at Lindenau, Bertrand 
had stood his ground against General Giulai 
while the great fight waged to the south ; but 
north of Leipzig Marshal Marmont had been 
less fortunate at the battle of Mockern, where 
BliJcher took 2,000 prisoners, three guns, and 
forty ship's-cannon, which Marmont could not 
remove for want of horses. 

The marshal fought hard though, in spite of 
the odds of three to one against him ; and 
although he had to retire at nightfall on to the 



i6 



BATTLES OF THE XIXETEEXTH CENTURY. 



Halle suburb, he retained Gohlitz and Alockern 
as advanced posts, and kept possession of 
Euterich. 

Ney had drawn up in Marmont's rear earl\- 
in the morning ; but hearing the cannonade at 
Lieberwolkwitz before ^larmont was attacked, 
the Due d'Elchingen marched off towards the 
firing until Bliicher's guns recalled him, and he 
is said to have lost both combats in consequence. 

Returning once more to the south, one little 
incident deserves to be recounted, which had 
happened when the Kolmberg was stormed. 

Napoleon, seeing the 
necessity of a strong 
charge, turned to a regi- 
ment drawn up motion- 
less spectators, and asked 
which it was. 

" The 22nd Light, sire." 

" Impossible ! " he cried. 
" The 22nd Light would 
never stand with its arms 
folded in presence of the 
enemy I " 

Instantly the drums 
rolled the " pas de charge," 
the colours were waved, 
and, supported by Mar- 
bot's Chasseurs, they 
rushed forward. The sides 
of the Swedish redoubt 
became alive with blue 
figures and white cross 
belts, and the hill was 
taken under the eye of 
that leader who knew so 
well how to flatter the 

vanitv of his followers, and who probably got 
more out of flesh and blood b\- a few artful sen- 
tences than any commander who ever existed, 
" charmed he never so wisely." 

Between three o'clock and four, when the 
allied centre had been driven back, leaving 
its right exposed, IMurat detected that weak- 
ness and prepared to swoop down with Latour- 
Maubourg's cavalry into the plain. 

Ale.xander, whose station was behind the 
village of Gossa, tried to get his reserves up in 
time, but b}- some mischance they were jumbled 
together in some broken ground, leaving two 
regiments, the Lancers and Dragoons of the 
Guard, to face the rush of fift}- squadrons, 
thundering down from the heights, the sun full 
on them as they came. 

They were the 5th Cavalr}- Corps, with Murat, 




NAPOLEON I 



Latour-Maubourg, and Pajol leading — five 
thousand horsemen, mostly dragoons, green 
coated, grey breeched, high booted ; white cloaks 
rolled en banderole across the square rciers. 
which showed scarlet and crimson and rose, and 
bright yellow and dull orange ; brass helmet^ 
with the whisk of horsehair about them ; bear- 
skins of the Compagnies d'eltte bedraggled with 
the rain : one of those furious waves that in 
the earlj- days of the Empire were wont to 
annihilate ever3-thing in their course, and which 
now tore, heedless of a storm of cannon shot, 
capturing twentj'-six gun> 
in the twinkling of an e3e, 
and hustling the Russian 
dragoons over a brook in 
their rear. 

A few causewa\-s crossed 
the rivulet and the ground 
was swamp3' ; the cavalr\- 
were splashed with mud 
from crest to spur, and 
the horses hock-deep in 
many cases. 

The Russian lancers 
fell back and formed ti- 
the left, without crossing 
the brook ; and checked 
in the moment of victory 
by the marsh into which 
the}- had floundered, the 
French squadrons became 
confused and unmanage- 
able. 

Guns were brought to 
bear upon them ; the 
hussars of the Russian 
Guard charged in on their right rear, and the\- 
scrambled out in great disorder which degenerated 
into a panic and a hasty retreat, seeing which, 
the Emperor Alexander sent his personal escort 
of Cossacks under Count Orloff Denissof to take 
the mass on the other flank. 

Back streamed the broken dragoons, nor did 
thev halt until thev reached their infantrj-, for 
they had been sent at the enemy without an\- 
supports into ground where a voltigeur would 
have hesitated. 

Latour-Maubourg had his leg taken off at the 
thigh by a ball, and brave Pajol met with a 
terrible experience. 

A shell entered the breast of his horse, burst 
inside, and flung the general manj- feet in the 
air, breaking his left arm and several ribs as he 
fell, to be rescued with great difficult}- by his 



THE BATTLES ROUND LEIPZIG. 



17 



aide-de-camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Biot, and some 
staff officers. 

Murat had a narrow escape ; twenty-four of the 
guns were retaken by the Russians, and a grand 
opportunity was lost, while Gossa later in the 
day became the scene of a fierce encounter 
with the light troops of the Russian Guard, 
who forced the French to retire, and held that 
place as the allied right ; their centre being 
then at Auenhayn, their left at Mark-Kleberg. 



fallen on both sides, but the allies could afford 
to lose them, and the French could not. 

He was hard pressed by Bliicher on the north ; 
to southward the enemy were being strongly- 
reinforced, and a hideous stream of wounded 
crawled back to the city to show how severely 
the Grand Army had suffered. 

The corn magazine, capable of holding 2,500 
men, was crammed full to overflowing, the rest 
lay about the streets untended, and reflected the 



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THE ALLIED STAFF AT LEIPZIG. 



■^.ir^i^^Zi 



At Connenitz, between Doetlitz and Leipzig. 
Count Meerfeldt had crossed the Pleiss unex- 
pectedly, but Curial, with the Chasseurs-a-pied 
of the Guard, came upon him, routed his 
battalion, and being unhorsed and wounded, the 
Austrian general gave up his sword to Captain 
Pleineselve. 

Darkness fell, and as the clocks chimed six 
the guns ceased firing, the rattle of small-arms 
died away, and the French remained practically 
in the same position, while the front of the allies 
had been considerably narrowed. 

Nevertheless, Napoleon had gained no real 
advantage : it was of little consequence that he 
had maintained his ground. Many men had 

50 



greatest discredit on the ambulance arrange- 
ments, never adequate to the needs of any of 
those gory campaigns ; while out beyond the 
cit\' a circle of fires and blazing villages showed 
where the armies bivouacked among the dead. 

Sunday came, the 17th October, dark and 
stormy with gusts of rain ; and the allies, hearing 
that Beningsen and Collorado would not be up 
before evening, postponed the attack until the 
following day. But Napoleon, finding that 
Wintzingerode, with the advance - guard of 
Bernadotte's armv, had worked round to the 
east of Leipzig and appeared at Taucha on the 
Partha's banks, and that the net was closing 
tighter, spent the hours in an.xious meditation, 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



and made frcsli plans to concentrate his forces 
closer round the city. 

He pitched his five blue and v.hite-striped 
tents in a dry fish-pond near Probsteyda that 
night, with the Old Guard encamped about him, 
and waited in vain for a reply to his negotiations, 
having sent General Meerfeldt, on his parole, to 
the allied sovereigns with certain proposals. 

" They are deceived in respect to me,"' he had 
said to that officer. " I demand nothing better 
than to repose myself in the shade of peace, and 
ensure the happiness of France, as I have ensured 
her glory " ; but the sovereigns were no longer 
to be hoodwinked by specious words : with time 
had come experience. 

Down a long vista of eighty years we can now 
look back calmly, if with wonder, at this stirring 
period ; feeling almost a reverence for the little 
figure on the white horse, as we marvel at his 
mighty genius, and gaze with admiration at the 
faded flag he kissed at Fontainebleau, or the moth- 
eaten chapcati he wore at Eylau ; but set the 
clock back, and picture how he looked in 1813. 

Napoleon had become a public nuisance in 
Europe : no king was safe on his throne, no 
people within his reach knew at what hour the 
tap of the drum might not sound on the high- 
road and a locust scourge spread over their fields 

and homesteads. 

# * * * » 

Durmg the night Napoleon knew no sleep ; 
Nansouty and various generals were called up to 
be questioned, and at 3 o'clock in the morning 
the four lamps of the emperor's carriage flashed 
outside Ney's quarters at Reudnitz — the same 
that Napoleon had occupied on his arrival. 

After an hour of close consultation the 
emperor left in the rain, and walking with 
Murat along the swollen dykes for half an hour, 
again sought his tent, much absorbed. 

It is also said they rode along the causeway as 
far as the Kuhthurm, or Cow Tower, towards 
Lindenau, to give Bertrand instructions to 
• occupy Weissenfels and keep the road clear. 

An alteration in the French position had been 
effected in the night and early morning, and 
now Connenitz formed the right wing under 
Prince Poniatowski, raised to the dignity of 
marshal for his gallantry the day before. 

Victor had fallen back to Probsteyda ; Lauris- 
ton, between that village and Stotteritz, upon 
which latter place Macdonald had retired ; 
General Keynier with a brigade of Saxons 
occupied Mockou, and also Paunsdorf, on the 



\V urtzen-Dresden road ; Ney was in force near 
Setterhausen, not far from Reudnitz, and at 
Schoenfeld on the Partha ; while the northern 
suburbs of Leipzig were defended by MarmonL 
as before. Thus, with Bertrand on the west, 
the city was completely surrounded, the position 
having one great fault, as Napoleon well knev.r 
— namely, in case of defeat all these scattered 
corps, miniature armies in themselves, would be 
forced to get away by the narrow causeway 
across the Pleiss and Elster. 

South of Leipzig Murat was in command ; 
east and north. Marshal Ney ; the emperor 
himself remaining the greater part of the time 
on a hill behind Probsteyda, near the ruined 
windmill and tobacco factory, that gave him a 
panoramic view of the field, and round about 
which his guard was waiting. 

By eight o'clock on the 1 8th, Napoleon was 
on the windmill hill, and a little later the allied 
troops were again descried on the march to 
attack him. 

The weather had cleared and the sun was 
shining ; the Prussians began to sing " Hail to 
thee in victory crowned," their bands joining in ; 
and, from their quarters at the dismantled 
chateau of Rotha, some ten miles away, the 
Emperor Alexander and his suite rode into the 
plains at Glossa, joined by Frederick William of 
Prussia, who had slept at Borna, to witness the 
commencement of a conflict so fierce that it 
has been called the "Battle of the Giants" by 
some, and by others the '' Battle of the Nations." 
Three columns were in motion : ist, Bening- 
sen, with Bubna, Klenau, and the Prussian.'^ 
under Zeithen — 35,000 in all, or thereabouts — 
was to advance by Holzhausen on Plural's 
left — helped, it was expected, by Bernadotte's 
army ; 2nd, Barclay de Tolly, with Kleist's 
Prussians, Wittgenstein's men, and the Russian 
reserves — estimated at 45,060 in all — who 
was to aim for Wachau and the centre ; and, 
3rd, the Prince of Hesse-Homburg was to lead 
2;, 000 Austrians down the marshy Pleiss against 
Dosen and Doetlitz, Vv-hile Meerfeld's Corps, 
under General Lederer, went down the left ban'K 
of the same stream to renew the attempts against 
Connenitz which the Old Guard had baffled the 
day before. 

At first the columns found little to oppose 
them : Beningsen cleared the French advanced 
posts out of Engelsdorf and stayed there, as 
Bernadotte was not yet in evidence ; Zeithen 
carried Zurkelhausen with much spirit and took 
some guns, while Klenau drove Macdonald's 



THE BATTLES ROUND LEIPZIG. 



19 



rearguard from Holzhausen village ; but the 
near presence of Ney and the non-arrival of 
the Army of the North crippled the action of 
the 1st column for a time. 

The 3rd column flung iis whittf battalions on 
Dosen and Doetlitz, and had a hard fight among 
the bushes and garden walls. 

Napoleon stayed for an hour on his right 
flank to watch the opening struggle ; Hesse- 
Honiburg was wounded, and Bianchi took com- 
mand ; Kellerman's Horse and old Augereau's 
men supported Poniatowski with some success, 
but the Austrians eventually took Connenitz, 
and there they stayed, unable to do more, 
and held in check by the firm front of brave 
Poniatowski, backed by Oudinot with some 
of the Guard. 

All day they kept up an incessant skirmishing, 
and the brown batteries of Austrian artillery on 
the one side, and the blue batteries of the 
French on the other, continued to thunder and 
hoom almost without intermission until dark- 
ness fell. 

Somewhere about ten o'clock, or an hour 
after the battle began. Napoleon left the right 
flank and galloped away to Probsteyda, a cir- 
cular village surrounded by villas and gardens, 
strongly occupied by Victor ; and there he 
found the 2nd column of the enemy, which had 
passed through Wachau unmolested, preparing 
for the attack. 

Probsteyda, and Stotteritz a mile oflf to the 
lefc, were the keys of the French centre, and 
massing Lauriston's men between the two, rather 
ill the rear, with the bulk of the Imperial Guard 
.)n the windmill hill behind Probsteyda, 
Napoleon turned all his attention to that portion 
of the field, viewing the conflict from the ruined 
windmill itself. 

A furious artillerv duel began on both sides — 
a duel which was, perhaps, the most prominent 
feature of the Leipzig battles, for, from morn till 
eve the whole plain resounded with the roar of 
cannon, and the smoke of 1,600 pieces hung 
round the citv, through which the watchers on 
the ramparts and steeples could catch hasty 
glimp.ses of surging cavalry or the progress of 
infantry columns rushing to engage. 

Lender cover of the guns three Prussian 
brigades flung themselves on Probsteyda, met 
by the fire of Victor's troops, who lined the 
wails and fired from the attics and windows. 

Many forgotten scrimmages took place in 
alleys and pretty gardens ; the hedges hid long 
lines of dead and dying who had fought with 



desperation in attack and defence ; the people 
in Leipzig questioned the wounded who stag- 
gered in through the gates, "How is it going?" 
and it was always the same reply, " Badly 
enough ; the enemy is very strong ! " 

By two o'clock Prince Augustus and General 
Pirch had taken half the village, but reprisal 
was at hand, and the emperor descended at the 
head of his Guard and led it with loud shouts 
of victory down the hill, where the bear- 
skins thronged into the streets and hurled the 
Prussians out again. 

French horsemen in a dense body rode round 
the end of the village soon after, but Grand Duke 
Constantine — he of the lowering brow — moved 
his troopers forward with a strong support of 
foot and held them in check, while smoke and 
flames rolled over Probsteyda, and the horsemen 
did not charge. Shot and shell tore backwards 
and forwards, until it seemed little short of 
miraculous that men could live ; battery after 
battery swept the plain : the oflicer riding with 
a vital order, the drummer beating to advance 
or retire, the surgeon dressing a limb in the 
shelter of a burning farmhouse — all were hit, 
death was in the very air itself; yet Murat, in 
sable-trimmed pelisse, galloped hither and thither 
unhurt, and the emperor himself tore heedlessly 
through his troops after his usual manner ; his 
suite sometimes riding down an unlucky fantassin 
or two who did not get out of the way fast 
enough. 

All daj' they fought at Connenitz, at Prob- 
steyda, and round about Stotteritz, without 
making any headway on either side ; but to 
north and east clouds were rolling up in spite of 
every effort of the heroic Ney to ward* them ofv 

After hot skirmishing all morning on the 
banks of the Partha, Langeron's Russian corps 
crossed that river at Mockou ; and about two 
o'clock Wintzingerode's cavalry passed it higher 
up and came into touch with Beningsen, whom 
we left waiting at Engelsdorf. 

Ney accordingly concentrated his forces be- 
tween Schoenfeld and Setterhausen to oppose 
the approach of the Army of the North, which 
began to appear at Taucha. 

Reynier, who was under Ney, had been 
fighting hard for several hours with Bubna, and 
his difficulties were increased by the presence of 
the Hetman Platoff", with 6,000 roving Cossacks. 

Poor Re^-nier was destined to meet with 
severe reverses on that day, and also to experi- 
ence a novelty in warfare, for there trotted up 
about the same time a little body of ho-semen 



20 



BAITLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



clad in smart blue jackets braided with yellow, over from Mockou in the heat of action, and 
with large semicircular crests of black bear- deliberately joined Bubna, leaving Reynier to 
skin on their leather helmets. English horse his fate. 




THE M.1RKF.r PLACE. 



artillery thej- might have seemed from a dis- 
tance but for the long bundles of what appeared 
to be lance-shafts which they carried in buckets 
by their sides. 

English they were — Captain Bogue's troop of 
the E.xperimental Rocket Brigade attached to 
the Swedish army ; and soon there came fiery 
serpents into Reynier's ranks, whizzing and 
burning and causing great disorder. 

Bogue was killed by a ball in the head, and 
Lieutenant Strangways took command — the 
same man who, as General Strangsvays, said 
gently, " Will someone kindly lift me from my 
horse ? " when a cannon shot tore off his leg 
at Inkerman in 1854. 

Often enough those rockets went the wrong 
way, and caused consternation among the troop- 
itself ; but it is certain that they astonished 
the French tremendously, and not long after 
eleven Sa.\on battalions, three squadrons of 
cavalrj-, and three batteries of guns stalked 



The French Cuirassiers understanding too late 
what was happening, charged after them, but 
the traitorous artillery slewed round and fired 
on their late comrades, the rest of the Sa.xon 
brigade marching into bivouac a league behind 
the allies. 

This serious defection caused Napoleon to 
send a strong force to Reynier's assistance ; but 
all it could do was to rescue the remnant of 
that general's corps, and the desertion remains 
a standing disgrace to Saxon honour for all 
time. 

Twice during the morning had Nev sent to 
Reudnitz for a fresh horse, and again for a third 
in the afternoon. Several times did Langeron 
assault Schoenfeld without success, but at last he 
took it ; and Biilow carrying Paunsdorf later in 
the evening, Ney fell back on his quarters at 
Reudnitz, wounded by a ball in the shoulder, 
Sacken having pressed Marshal Marmont hotlv 
in the suburbs of Leipzig itself, and Bliicher 



THE BATTLES ROUND LEIPZIG. 



21 



having been driven out of Reudnitz by Napoleon 
in person. 

Darkness was approaehing, and witli it came 
the rain. 

The guns continued after that, and, as on the 
previous night, a circle of conflagation once 
more surrounded the citv, thirteen villages and 
farms being in a blaze, and a multitude of 
bivouacs glowing wherever the eye rested. 

A fire was kindled by the ruined mill, and 
Napoleon dismounted beside it with a heav}^ 
heart. 

It was 6 o'clock, and the result of the battle 
was practically against him, for, though his 
position had been retained, the carnage had 
been frightful, and the allies were in perfect 
touch with each other alonsj his whole front 



the night, for which he gave orders to Berthier, 
and then threw himself on a bench they had 
brought from a neighbouring cottage, and slept 
in the open air by the fire for a cjuarter of an 
hour with his arms folded, the staff standing 
round him silent and sorrowing. 

Waking, he received a report from Generals 
Sorbier and Dulauloy, of the artillarj', to the 
effect that since the actions began the French 
had expended no less than 250,000 cannon balls, 
and, including the reserve, there only remained 
16,000 more, or enough for two hours' firing. 

The Austrian return for the i6th and iSth 
is 5b, 000 from 320 guns alone. That of the 
whole allied armv must have been something 
stupendous ! 

Order upon order did the baffled emperor 




'N.\POLE0!C RODE AWAY WITH A SMALL SUITE THROUGH ST. I'ETEr's T.ATE" (f. 22), 



from Connenitz to Schoenfeld. He was not in give, directing his troops to retreat by the 
a condition to renew the combat next day, and causewav on Lindenau, which was still held by 
there only remained a retreat under cover of Bertrand ; and somewhere about 8 o'clock 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Napoleon rode awa}' to Leipzig, where, finding 
the Thunherg crowded with wounded, he put 
up at the " Prussian Arms," or, as some have it, 
the " Hotel de Prusse," in the horse-market, 
leaving his windmill at the same time that 
Excelmann's division startled for Lindenau, 
which they did not reach until 4 a.m. 

The night was intensely and unusually dark. 
The plain was thronged with the retreating 
army, and so great was the confusion inside the 
city that whole corps had passed through before 
the inhabitants realised that the P'rench were 
leaving them. 

The baggage entered bv four gates, and tried 
to get out through one, and that so narrow that 
a single carriage alone could pass it at a time. 
Farther on, again, the Cow Tower was only the 
same width, and nowhere was the road more 
than thirty feet from side to side, crossing three 
English miles of marshy meadows and five un- 
fordable streams by small bridges until it reached 
Lindenau, where a larger bridge finally convej-ed 
it to firm ground. 

No sleep had Napoleon that night, nor indeed 
had anyone in Leipzig save those utterly worn 
out by the protracted struggle, for the city rang 
with tumult as the troops struggled through the 
narrow streets, often in single file where the way 
was blocked with waggons and guns. Mounted 
Grenadiers of the Old Guard, Cuirassiers muffled 
against the rain in white cloaks, conscripts cr\-- 
ing from very weariness — all streaming onward, 
many under the windows of the hostelry- itsell 
where Napoleon, in his dressing gown and with 
head tied in a handkerchief, sometimes looked 
out on the defeated mob, which had no "Vive 
I'Empereur ! " then. 

For once the Grand Army — or, rather, its rem- 
nants—showed a provident spirit, making great 
efforts to guide large herds of lowing cattle 
through the press, in which they were not 
altogether successful, and onlj- added to the con- 
fusion thereby, as we read that numbers of oxen 
were browsing quietlv in the town ditch when 
the allies stormed the suburbs next day. 

Officers had pleaded for the construction of 
other bridges over the Pleiss and the marshes, 
and one had been made, though by whom is not 
■ clear ; but it broke down as the first battalion 
crossed it, and was not replaced, Berthier after- 
wards making his usual excuse, " The emperor 
had given no orders." 

Napoleon's horse was waiting at 2 o'clock in 
the morning, but it was q ere he got into 
the saddle, and for half an hour before that the 



enemy's cannf>n had been heard bevond tht- 
Grimma suburb. 

To the house where the King of Saxony was 
staying the emperor rode at a quick pace, and 
for twenty minutes he was alone with his faithful 
ally and the distressed queen, the king ulti- 
matelv attending him to the head of the staircase 
when he took his departure. 

Apparently irresolute wine course to pursue, 
he threaded the crowd with some diflicult}-, and 
finally dashed by St. Thomas's Church to the 
gate of St. Peter, where he paused in obvious 
indecision. 

His proposal to the allies that he should 
evacuate the city, and declare all the Saxon 
troops neutral, on condition that he should be 
allowed to convey his artiller}- and baggage to a 
specified point, was insulting to the intelligence 
of those to whom he had addressed it, and the 
guns he heard thundering on several sides made 
fitting reply. Still, he seemed loth to go, and 
finally rode as far as the Civic School in the 
direction of his quarters. 

There he came under fire, and is said to have 
had an interview with Prince Joseph Ponia- 
towski, nephew of the last king of Poland, 
and as brave a man as any in that brSve age. 
So hotlv had the prince been engaged in the 
various battles about Leipzig, that fifteen officers 
of his personal staff had been killed or wounded; 
he himself had been hit on the 14th and again 
on the ibth, and he was destined to receive two 
further wounds before the wafers of the Elster 
closed over him for ever. 

To him Napoleon entrusted the defence of 
the Borna suburb with a handful of 2,000 
Polish troops, and Poniatowski's last words to 
the man who had made him a Marshal of 
France two days before were : " We are all 
ready to die for your Majesty ! " 

Lauriston, Macdonald, and Reynier likewise 
remained in Leipzig, and abandoning an idc.i 
he had entertained of firing the suburbs t. 
check the enemy. Napoleon gave orders u- 
protract the resistance from house to house, 
and rode away with a small suite through St. 
Peter's Gate, calm and inscrutable of face, but 
as eve-witnesses tell us, in a profuse perspiration 

" Place pour Sa Majeste I " secured no passage ; 
the chaos of the Beresina was in progress, with- 
out the snow, though the Cossacks were close 
at hand ; and compelled to leave the highwa\-. 
the fugitive emperor plunged into a labyrinth ot 
lanes, and had proceeded some distance toivards 
the ciicinv before the mistake was discovered, 



THE BATTLES ROUND LEIPZIG. 



23 



when, after questioning some natives closely 
as to whetlier any byway to Borna and Alten- 
burg existed, and being answered in the 
negative, he at last rode through Richtcr's 
garden, and so gained the cro-.vded causeway 
by the outer Ranstadt Gate. 

After he had gone, the King of Sa.xony sent 
a flag of truce to the allied sovereigns, who 
occupied the same hill from which Napoleon 
had directed the battle of the i8th, entreating 
them to spare the city, the answer being "as 
far as possible," on the condition that no French 
should be harboured or concealed ; General 
Toll, one of Alexander's aides-de-camp, riding 
back with the messenger to see the King 
himself. 

Against the city on the south the three great 
divisions of the allied army began the attack in 
pretty much the same order as on the preceding 
days, the Austrians marching along the road 
from Connenitz, Barclay de Tolly on their right, 
* Beningsen still farther to the right again ; at 
last the Army of the North came into absolute 
action, and stormed the eastern suburbs, while 
Sacken's corps bombarded the city from the 
north across the Partha. 

Poor Bernadotte has been abundantly reviled 
for taking part against the French ; but it must 
be remembered that it was forced upon him, in 
the first instance, by Napoleon's arbitrary con- 
duct, and that he gave strong proof of his re- 
luctance to shed the blood of his own country- 
men in arriving so late ; for had he wished 
otherwise, the Army of the North could well 
"have joined the rest of the allies several days 
before. 

As a Marshal of France Bernadotte had won 
his spurs worthily, in spite of the jealousies of 
some of his comrades-in-arms and the dislike of 
Napoleon himself ; when he had it in his power 
to be revenged against his old enemv, he re- 
frained as long as honour allowed it to be 
possible, which cannot be said of some who 
owed more to the emperor than ever Bernadotte 
had done : that his character has stood the test 
of time Swedish annals show. 

A nominal rear-guard of 6,000 men had been 
left in the city, but it is asserted by many 
present that there were quite 30,000 about the 
walls and suburbs, to say nothing of sick and 
wounded ; for the remains of Reynier's corps 
were still in the place, with a host of others 
more or less disorganised, and under such 
leaders as Macdonald, Poniatowski, and Laur- 
iston. the fiercest resistance was made, every 



house being loopholed in some quarters, and 
barricades constructed of furniture and felled 
trees. 

The attack was in full swing at eleven, and 
the fighting desperate ; shot crashed in from 
the north and east, and a few shells dropped 
into the streets from the direction of Halle. 
The Pfaffendorf farm hospital was burnt, with 
most of the wounded, when the Jagers got there ; 
but in spite of their overwhelming numbers, 
the allies only took the city inch by inch, and 
the final catastrophe was even then hastened by 
a terrible and unforeseen accident. 

When Napoleon had traversed the causeway 
and crossed the Elster, he ordered General 
Dulauloy to have the bridge undermined, and 
then galloping on to Lindenau mounted to the 
first storey of a windmill, while his officers 
attempted to infuse some order into the fugi- 
tives by directing them to certain paints where 
they would find their regiments. 

Dulauloy entrusted Colonel Montfort of the 
Engineers to form fotifftisses beneath the bridge, 
which were to be fired instantly on the approach 
of the enemy ; Montfort handed over the charge 
of the mines to a corporal and four sappers, and 
everything being ready, they listened to the 
uproar growing louder and louder in Leipzig, 
and watched the stream of retreating humanity 
which still poured towards them over the 
marshes. 

The bulk of the Guard and the best part of 
the baggage had already passed through Lin- 
denau ; regiments, squadrons, batteries, and 
stragglers had been going by for many hours, 
and but for the crash of musketry in the dis- 
tance, it seemed as though the crowd then on 
the causeway must be the last of the Grand 
Army to leave the city. 

Sacken, Biilow, and Bernadotte's Swedes 
gained a foothold about the same time ; the 
Young Guard stood at bay in the cemetery cf 
Grimma, sallied out, were repulsed, and died 
almost to a man among the graves, fighting to 
the bitter end — neither the first time, nor the 
last, that French valour has showed itself at its 
best in " God's acre." 

The Russians carried the outer Peter's Gate, 
and fell with tremendous violence on the rear- 
guard in Reichel's garden ; the Baden Jagers 
bolted from the inner gate without firing a 
shot, and afterwards turned their weapons on 
the defeated French. 

The wild burden of the " Stiirm " march rang 
through the streets with loud huzzas and shouts 



24 BATTLES OF 

of " Long live Frederick William ! " as the 
Prussians entered the Grimma Gate ; the Halle 
suburb and the northern side of the city were in 
the enemy's hands, in spite of Reynier and his 
men ; but still the French maintained an heroic 
resistance. 

The houses of Leipzig were tall, with many 
landings, and some of those landings have their 
legends even now ! 

But while they were fighting with a fierceness 
that increased as they felt the superior weight 
of numbers was surely if slowly overpowering 
them, a loud explosion boomed in their rear 
towards the marshes and the causeway, and a 
whisper followed it : " We are cut off ; the 
bridge has been destroyed ! " 

The whisper became a cry — a wave of panic 
followed it ; the gallant bands left the streets 
and yards and gateways, and rushing to the 
head of the causeway, found the rumour true ! 

Under the walls of the city the Elster ap- 
proached very close to the Fleiss, and ran 
roughly parallel with it until the two rivers 
joined ; across the Pleiss and the first narrow 
strip of swamp the horrified rear-guard could 
pass, but no farther : a gulf yawned between 
them and the continuation of the causeway, 
isolating every soul in Leipzig from their more 
fortunate comrades at Lindenau. 

Alarmed by the low shackoes of Sacken's light 
infantry, who had got into the Rosenthal island 
close to the bridge, the corporal had fired his 
train and shattered the only means of escape. 
A panic followed, and the enemy were not slow 
to take advantage of the circumstance, which in 
a moment had transformed a resolute foe into 
a mob of frantic fugitives. 

Napoleon sent the 23rd and C4th Chasseurs 
full trot towards Leipzig, where they rescued 
about 2,000 men, who managed to scramble 
through the Elster, among them Marshal Mac- 
donald, who arrived stark-naked, and who was 
hastily rigged out and mounted by Colonel 
Marbot on his own led horse. 

Lauriston, returned drowned in the bulletin 
was taken prisoner in full uniform, over which 
he had thrown an old drab great-coat ; and, 
including those captured in the battles, 30,000 
men, .':2,ooo sick and wounded, 250 guns, and 
upwards of i ,000 waggons fell into the hands 01 
the allies. 

Poniatowski's heroic end is well known. 
When everything was lost he drew his sabre, 
and with his left arm in a sling, for he had been 
wounded again during the morning, he exclaimed 



THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



to the little band of officers and mounted men 
that still surrounded him : " Gentlemen, it is 
better to fall with honour than to surrender ! " 
and straightway dashed into a column that in- 
terposed between him and the river. 

A bullet struck him, strangely enough^ 
through the Cross of the Legion of Honour on 
the breast of his gala uniform of the Polish 
Lancers, but he cleared the column, and leaped 
down the steep boarded banks into the Pleiss, 
where he lost his charger, and was helped out 
on the other side thoroughly exhausted. 

Somebody gave him a trooper's horse, and on 
it he managed to cross the intervening marsh 
and plunge into the Elster, but the animal had 
no strength to mount the farther bank ; the 
mud was deep, its hind legs became entangled^ 
and falling backwards on to the weary man, 
steed and rider disappeared ! 

Five days after, a fisherman recovered the body, 
still wearing the diamond-studded epaulettes, 
and rings on many fingers, and it was embalmed 
and ultimately buried in the cathedral of 
Warsaw, a monument being erected on the 
banks of the Elster by M. Reichembach, the 
banker, from whose garden the unfortunate prince- 
sprang into the river, the actual spot being now^ 
covered by a handsome quay. 

Colonel Montfort and the corporal were tried 
by court-martial, the result of which has never 
been made public ; but the report afterwards 
circulated that Napoleon had ordered the pre- 
mature explosion to cover his ovv^n retreat is 
without foundation. Charles Lever has woven 
a pathetic romance round it, but all the evi- 
dence goes to prove that the corporal was 
alone answerable, and that no blame in reality 
attached to him, as his orders were explicit, 
and the enemy had appeared a few yards off 

when he fired the mines. 

***** 

The exact moment when the allies came into 
possession of the cit}' is difficult to discover : the 
bridge was blown up shortly after eleven. 
Cathcart says he rode in with the sovereigns 
about twelve, but other accounts from e3-e- 
witnesses say the entry was at half-past one. If 
the time is uncertain, however, the attendant 
circumstances are clear : Alexander and the 
King of Prussia marched into Leipzig at the 
head of a brilliant column of Guard cavairs , 
passed the Saxon monarch on the steps of his 
house without notice, and eventually took up 
their station in the great square, where they 
were joined by Bernadotte, Bliicher, Beningsen, 




■bUl bllLL THE KKKNCH .MAINTAINED AN HEROIC RESISTANCE" (A ::). 



26 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Platoff, and later by Napoleon's fathcr-in-Iaw, 
the Emperor of Austria. 

Every effort was made to prevent excesses: if 
the allies afterwards made loyal allegiance to 
Napoleon an excuse for robbing Frederick 
Augustus of an immense portion of his terri- 
tory, they certainly took steps to ensure the 
safety of the citizens, and that is to their credit, 
whatever may be thought of their subsequent 
treatment of an unfortunate king whose memory- 
is still revered in the land where he once 
held sway. 

Leipzig had suffered terriblv, and its in- 
habitants were starving. 

At the Ranstadt Gate piles of corpses met the 
gaze, and the mill-dam was full of them ; in 
Lohr's garden on the Gohlitz side, where dark 
groves once sheltered the nightingale, and 
Grecian statues stood among the greenery, the 
French gunners and artillery horses lay scattered 
about in death. In Richter"s garden, through 
whose iron railings Napoleon had escaped, the 



Cuirassiers had been engaged : their steel breast- 
plates littered the walks, and arms and feet 
protruded above the water. 

Seventeen generals are said to have been 
taken, and among those slain on the i8th was 
General Frederichs, the handsomest man in 
the French army. 

Pursuit abated a league from the cit}-. The 
French retired to Markranstadt, nine miles 
off, and thence continued their way. towards the 
Rhine, severely handling the Bavarians who 
tried to oppose them at Hanau. 

A solemn Te Deum was sung in the great square 
at Leipzig, all the sovereigns and their officers 
attending. Alexander reviewed the Swedish 
force and the English rocket troop, and prepara- 
tions were made to follow on the track of the 
Grand Army ; a march which, in spite of the 
campaign of 1814, greatest of all Napoleon's 
efforts, may be said to have never stopped until 
the allies entered Paris and drove the emperor 
to Elba. 



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MARSHAL EERNADOTTE. 
iFr^m ike painting by F. OerariO 



27 




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''OtJOQ Q « O^ 



THOUGH the siege of Delhi was of far 
greater importance, both political and 
military, yet most people, if asked to 
mention the most striking event in 
the Indian Mutiny, would undoubtedly name 
the defence of Lucknow. The incidents appeal 
more forcibly to the imagination, and the fact 
that the lives of numbers of women and children 
were at stake, as well as those of the male 
defenders of the position, excites a degree of 
sympathy far greater than that which can be 
aroused by purely military operations. 

The outbreak of the mutiny in the Indian 
army found Lucknow ill prepared for such an 
event. The British force there consisted of 
three regiments of regular native infantry,, two 
of Oudh irregular infantry, a regiment of native 
military police, a regiment of native regular 
cavalry, two or three of irregular cavalry, and 
three batteries of native artillery. To repress 
trouble should it arise, there was but the 32nd 
Regiment and a battery of European artillery. 

At that time Lucknow was one of the largest 
towns in India, and the population was an ex- 
ceedingly turbulent one. Before the annexation 
of Oudh, the state of that kingdom closely 
resembled that of England under the Planta- 
_ genets. The great landowners, like our own 
barons, dwelt in castles, defended by numerous 
guns, and maintained a strong force of armed 
retainers, by whose aid they waged war upon 
each other. Every village was surrounded by a 
stone wall for defence, not only against the 
neighbouring lords, but against other village 
communities. Thus, then, when a new state of 
things was introduced, and the zemindars were 
called upon to hand over their cannon and to 
tjisband their troops, a general feeling of dis- 
content was caused. A large proportion of the 
guns were buried, and the disbanded soldiers, 
now without means of earning a livelihood. 



resorted to the great towns, where they were 
ripe for mischief should a chance present itself. 

With a large population of this kind, with 
the fidelity of the native troops doubtful, and 
the certainty that the regiments which had 
mutinied in other parts of Oudh would make 
for the capital, the feeling was naturally one 
of great anxiety. Fortunately, in Sir Henry 
Lawrence, the Chief Commissioner of Oudh, the 
troops at Lucknow had a leader of tried ability, 
personallv much respected bv the natives, inti- 
mately acquainted with their customs and modes 
of thought, and possessed of firmness and deter- 
mination. His first step at the commencement 
of the trouble was to concentrate the forces 
which were scattered about over a large area, so 
that the natives could, in case of a rising, do the 
least possible damage, while the white troops 
would be available for the defence of the resi- 
dents, whose numbers were swollen by an influx 
from outlying stations, by many civilians, and 
by military officers whose troops had already 
broken out into mutiny. 

In the beginning of May, the 7th Oudh 
Irregular Infantry refused the cartridges, and 
mutinied ; but, upon the 32nd Europeans and 
the artillerv marching on to their parade- 
ground, the greater portion of them fled, and 
the rest were disarmed. On the 13th, news 
was received of the mutiny and massacre at 
Meerut. L'p to that time the Treasury and the 
Residency were under the guard of native troops ; 
but on the i6th a hundred and twenty men of 
the 32nd, with the women and sick, and four 
guns of the European battery, were marched 
into the Residency enclosure, and next morning 
the rest of the regiment was also called in. 
The movement was at once followed by the 
residents in the bungalows near their former 
encampment also coming into the Residency. 
This was a large and handsome mansion of 



2S 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



modern construction, standing on rising ground, 
and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Near 
these were several buildings occupied by civil and 
military officials. The whole stood irpon a sort 
of irregular plateau, elevated some ten or twelve 
feet above the surrounding ground, and when, 
later on, it became evident that there was a 
distinct danger that the place might be beseiged, 



by the fire from the financial buildings. At tht 
north angle was a projecting work known as 
Innes's garrison. At the north-west angle stood 
the house of Mr. Gubbins, a Commissioner. 
His duties had taken him much among the 
natives, and several well-aflTected men came in 
and were . received into his house, which was 
very large and strongly built, and they did good 









gfF^-^f'f^'^.iL 




(Photo: Frith if Co.. Reigate.) 



THE MARTINIERE. 



the engineers began to fortify the position, and 
a low earth-bank was thrown up round the edge 
of the high ground, the earth being dug out 
from the inside so that men standing in the 
ditch so made could fire over. 

Two batteries, one on the north, the other on 
the south side, were thrown up, and guns placed 
at various points on the bank. On the north- 
east the ground sloped down to the river 
Goomtee, and as the Residency grounds e.\- 
tended nearly to the water, this side was free 
from houses, and the guns of one of the batteries 
covered this face of the enclosure. On the other 
three sides, however, the native houses reached 
up to the defences, some of them closel}- abutting 
on the buildings within it. The main gateway 
into the enclosure was on the eastern side. It 
was flanked on one side by the Baily guard, 
while on the other stood the house of Dr. 
Fayrer, aiid the face of the wall here was covered 



service during the siege. On the western side 
stood a small square, where the Sikhs who re- 
mained faithful were quartered ; ne.xt to this was 
the brigade mess, and adjoining it a house which 
throughout the siege was known as the Mar- 
tiniere. Here the boys, some si.xty-fivein number, 
of the Martiniere College, with their masters, were . 
quartered, the position of the college being too 
far away from the Residency to be defended. 
Ne.xt to them were the barracks of the 32nd. 
The largest of the buildings inside the enclosure 
was the Begum Kothie. 

Things went on quietlv imtil the jotli ot 
May, when, without any previous notice, the 
48th, the 13th, and the 71st Native Infantry 
rose. -A few discharges of the guns soon sent 
them in headlong flight ; Brigadier-General 
Handscomb, however, was killed. Lieutenant 
Grant, of the 71st, murdered by his men, and 
several other officers were badiv wounded. 



THE INDIAN MUTINY- LUCKNOW. 



29 



The mutineers were joined at once by a 
portion of the population of the town, and 
the bungalows outside the lines were all plun- 
dered and burned. The artillery followed the 
mutineers for some distance, and then returned, 
as the infantry were unable to keep up with 
them. When the three native regiments 
mutinied some 400 of the men had remained 
with their colours. These were in the course of 
the next few days joined by 700 or 800 others, 
who came back one by one. 

Unfortunately, at this time Sir Henry Law- 
rence's health was giving way under the exertion 
and the great strain of responsibility, and he 
could not bring himself to carry out the advice 
of the leading military and civil officers, all of 
whom were in favour of the disarmament of these 
men, who constituted a constant source of 



So long as the troops at Lucknow had re- 
mained faithful many of those in other parts 
of Oudh had kept quiet. Risings now took 
place at a number of points, notably at Seeta- 
poor, where, as at other spots, many whites 
were massacred. Some, however, succeeded 
in escaping, and made their way to Luck- 
now, after going through almost miraculous 
adventures. 

For some time the efforts of the authorities 
at Lucknow were directed not only to the 
fortification of the Residency enclosure, but to 
that of the Muchee Bawn, an old fortress 
standing on rising ground nearly a mile from 
the Residency. It was much dilapidated, and 
although it might have been defended for a 
considerable time, would have crumbled under 
an artillerv fire. It had been used as a great 




OFFICERS OF NATIVE CAVALRY AT THE TIME OF THE MUTINY. 



' danger and anxiety, as at any moment they 
might break into mutiny again, and they had, 
therefore, to be incessantly watched by the 
Europeans. He considered that such a step 
would be to break finally with the natives, and 
that it would be better to run a certain risk 
than to show that all confidence in the sepoys 
was at an end. 



storehouse, and there was at first some idea of 
moving the women and children there, and of 
making it the principal point of resistance. As, 
however, the mutiny extended all over Oudh, 
the news that most of the rebels were 
marching towards Lucknow, and the fact that 
there was no probability of aid from without 
for a long period, showed that the situation was 



.w 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



much more serious than it had at first been 
deemed, and that it would be wiser to con- 
centrate the whole force at one point. Some 
of the stores were therefore moved from the 
outlying fort to the Residency, but Sir 
Henry Lawrence could not for the present 
bring himself to decide finally upon its evacua- 
tion. 

On the Qth of June Sir Henry's health entirely 
gave way, the medical adviser stating that 
further application to business would endanger 
his life. A council was formed by his authority- : 
of this Mr. Gubbins was the president ; the 
other members were the judicial commissioner, 
Mr. Ommanney, Colonel Inglis, of the 32nd 
Regiment, Major Banks, and Major Anderson, 
chief Engineer officer. The first business to be 
considered by this Council was a letter brought 
from Sir Hugh Wheeler at Cawnpore, saying 
that the mutineers there had been joined bv 
Nana Sahib with his troops and guns, and 
urgently asking for aid. Fifty men of the 32nd 
Regiment had been sent off to Cawnpore in 
vehicles a fortnight before, and, painful as it 
Vr-as, it was felt that it was impossible to send 
further aid, as the whole of the whites were 
already on duty and were engaged in carrj-ing 
out the works of defence and in watching the 
native troops. The same evening it was deter- 
mined to get rid of the sepoys by offering to 
give them leave to return to their homes until 
November. 

All with the exception of 350 at once accepted 
the offer, the greater portion of those who 
remained being Sikhs. Three days" rest en- 
abled Sir Henry Lawrence to take up his work 
again. A corps of thirty men, belonging to a 
daring and adventurous tribe some thirty miles 
from Lucknow, was organised by Mr. Gubbins 
to act as messengers. These men rendered 
great service, passing backwards and forwards 
tiirough the mutineers, carrying news and bring- 
ing back replies. On the 1 2th the militar}' 
police, which furnished the jail guard and kept 
order in Lucknow, mutinied and marched off. 
They were pursued by seventy Sikh Horse 
and about fifty English volunteer cavalry, over- 
taken, and cut up. It was now that the greatest 
efforts were made to complete the fortifications. 
This was done partly with hired labour, but 
principally by the military and civilian officers 
who had been divided among the various houses 
in the enclosure, and by the natives who re- 
mained faithful. Some inner defences were now 
undertaken, behind which the garrison of the 



outer line of houses could retreat should their 
position be carried. 

Near the redan batter}' on the north and on '{, 
the western face a number of native buildings 
were demolished, but many were left from want 
of time and means to level them ; and during 
the siege the greatest loss of the defenders was 
inflicted by the musketry fire from the windows 
and roofs of these houses, to which rlmost 
every point within the enclosure was exposed. 
The wives of the soldiers were quartered in 
underground rooms beneath the Residency^ 
and the rest of the buildings were completely 
filled with ladies and children. The Resi- 
dency banqueting-hall was used as a hospital. 
At the post-office were the headquarters of the 
engineers and artillery ; the large building 
known as the Begum Kotee was also filled with 
women and children. 

During the month of June the whole of the 
irregular cavalry, except the Sikhs, deserted, 
and there was a general feeling of relief in 
the garrison at their departure. Their places 
were well supplied by some eighty pensioned 
sepoys, who came in at Sir Henrv Lawrence's 
order from the outlying district, and who with- 
out exception behaved well throughout the 
siege. The civilian clerks, many of whom had 
never handled a gun, were trained in musketry, 
and fifty men of the 32nd were converted into 
artillerymen. Fortunately, two hundred native 
cannon were discovered in an old magazine and 
brought in. 

On the 28th of June news came of the sur- 
render of Cawnpore and the massacre of all the 
male prisoners, and on the following day word 
was brought in that a strong force of mutineers 
was advancing towards Lucknow, and that their 
advance-guard of 500 infantry and 100 cavalry 
were at Chinhut, within eight miles of the town. 
Sir Henry Lawrence started early next morning 
with 1 1 guns, 3b European volunteer cavalrv and 
So Sikhs, 300 men of the 32nd, and 220 native 
infantry, the remains of the regiments that had 
mutinied. They started too late, and the heat of the 
sun soon became excessive. When within i ,400 
yards of Chinhut the enemj-'s guns opened fire, 
and those of the little column replied. After half 
an hour's artillery duel two heavy masses of the 
enemy appeared on each flank ; the field-pieces 
opened on them when within a distance of 400 
yards, but without checking them. The cavalry 
were ordered to charge, and the little body of 
volunteers dashed boldly at the enemy and 
drove back a portion of their infantry ; but only 



THP: INDIAN MUTINY: LUCKNOW. 



31 



two of the Sikhs went with them — the rest 
fled at once. From a village on an eminence 
the enemy's infantry opened so heav}- a fire on 
the ;2nd that Colonel Case fell badly wounded 
and two of his lieutenants mortally so, and the 
men retired to the road. 

There was now great confusion. An elephant 
that drew one of the guns became frightened 
and ran off, the spare bullocks that had been 
brought out .stampeded, and the gun was 
.ibandtmed. Tlie water-carriers had run away : 
the men, suffering from intense thirst, were so 
exhausted that they could scarce drag themselves 
along. The enemy pressed upon their retreat, 
and a body of mutineer cavalry took post on the 
ground in front of them. The volunteer carvalry 
charged them and cleared the way, and then 
returning, covered the retreat, frequently mak- 
ing charges on the pursuing enemy. At last 
the Residency was reached, but the loss had 
been severe indeed. Captain Stevens and 
Captain Maclean were killed, in addition to the 
three officers before named, and several others 
were wounded; three field-guns, an 8 -inch 
howitzer, and almost all the ammunition-waggons 
were lost, and 122 European soldiers were killed 
and 44 wounded. The enemv's force was 
reckoned at about 5,500 infantry, ■''00 cavalry, 
and 12 guns. 

This disaster shook the faith of the native 
regiments still in the cantonment, and all three 
of them at once mutinied. 

The pursuit of the enemy was stopped at the 
bridges across the Goomtee by the guns of the 
redan battery and Muchee Bawn, but thev at once 
began to shell both these positions. Numbers 
of mutineers forded the river, got guns across, 
and occupying the houses round the Residency 
enclosure, opened fire that evening upon it. 

The panic in the Residency when the news 
uf the disaster reached it, and the remains of 
the column returned, was great. The work- 
people at the batteries at once took flight, most 
of the native servants, clerks, and orderlies also 
deserted, and there was a general depression 
even among the garrison. It was at once seen 
that the heavy loss that had been sustained 
rendered it impossible to hold the Muchee Bawn 
as well as the Residency, and the garrison there 
were ordered by signal to evacuate the place, to 
blow up the magazines, and to return to the 
Residency. Fortunately, this was accomplished 
without loss, the troops making their wa\- by 
a circuitous route through quiet .streets, and 
reaching the Residency unobserved by the enemy, 



to whom the first intimation of the movement 
was conveyed by the tremendous explosion of 
the magazines. The sudden abandonment of 
the unfinished works on the west and south 
faces of the position left these almost undefended, 
but Mr. Gubbins collected a number of natives, 
and b}' the promise of a cash payment seven or 
eight times higher than they were accustomed 
to receive, induced them to work at night at 
the bastion at the angle where his house stood. 

For some five hours seventy or eighty men 
laboured incessantl}' under the guidance of some 
officers, and at last completed the work, which, 
as its fire swept the approaches to the north and 
west sides, vi'as of vital importance to the success 
of the defence. The arrival of the garrison of the 
Muchee Bawn restored the spirits of the troops. 
The new arrivals were divided in parties of 
fifteen and twenty among the houses most 
exposed to the attacks of the enemy. 

On the :-nd of June Sir Henry Lawrence was 
mortally wounded. On the previous • day a 
shell had burst in the room he occupied on the 
first floor of the Residency, which, from its 
exposed position, was the favourite mark of the 
mutineer artillery. He refused, however, to 
move from it, and the next morning he received 
his death wound there. On his death-bed he 
urged on the officers to be careful of their 
ammunition, the stock of which was by no 
means large, 250 barrels of powder and as many 
boxes of rifle ammunition having been lost at 
the Muchee Bawn. Of provisions there was a 
large store, for during the preceding months Sir 
Henry Lawrence had caused large quantities to 
be brought in from the surrounding country ; 
and as no relief could for a long time be looked 
for, it was certain that the siege must be of 
many weeks' — if not months' — duration. 

It was some little time after the siege began 
before matters "settled down in the Residency, 
for the desertion of the servants, and still more 
that of the men who had been hired to attend 
upon the bullocks and horses, disarranged everv- 
thing. The principal commissariat officer had 
been seriously injured at Chinhut, and almost all 
the clerks and subordinates had fled. The able- 
bodied men of the garrison were all employed in 
strengthening the defences. Thus there was 
no one to water or feed the animals, and they 
wandered all round the enclosure. Numbers 
were killed by the enemy's fire, and the labour 
of burying the dead animals increased the work 
of the garrison. Almost greater trouble was 
caused bj- the plague of flies. These, attracted 



32 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



by the smell of blood, swarmed in countk-ss 
hosts, blackening the ground, filling the houses, 
and preventing the men who had been working 
at night from obtaining sleep ; rising in immense 
swarms whenever any one came near them, 
tainting the meat, and falling in numbers into 
every plate and cup. 

As soon as the commissariat reorganised their 
arrangements, rations were issued of beef or 
mutton, with flour, rice, or soup. The house- 
work was performed by the ladies, the bakers 
had all deserted, and chupatties were the only 
food that such servants as remained were able 



VV* *g+ 



.£- GUCS! 



'% 







Defence of the Residency. 

First Siege op Lucknow 

b;.-i!e cf Yards. 
rj t^o loo 30O yto 

I ^J 1 1 II 

s- — 4rtiUefy cf Altack. 



to produce. Ever\-one recognised now how 
great a mistake had been made in postponing 
preparations for defence, and especially the 
most necessary one of destroying all houses 
within gunshot range. Had this been done, 
the casualties would have been compara- 
tively small, and all could have moved 
freely about the enclosure. As it was, the 
whole area within the walls was open to the 
view of the mutineers on the roofs or at the 
upper windows, and an^-one who ventured 
out during the hours of daylight was made a 
target of. Nor was there at first much greater 
safety inside the houses. Every window was 
used as a mark by one or more of the muti- 
neers, and their shot penetrated everj-where, 
until the windows were all protected by thick 
planks nailed across them, and by sandbags 



inside. This added to the safet}' of the inmates, 
but rendered the houses almost uninhabitable 
from the stifling heat. 

At the banqueting-hall, which had been 
converted into a hospital, several casualties 
took place : patients were killed in the beds, 
ladies struck down while attending upon 
them, and the clergyman, Mr. Polehampton, 
was killed while carrying out his ministrations. 

Early in the siege many other officers re- 
ceived their death wounds. Among those were 
Mr. Ommanney, the Judicial Commissioner, 
and Major Francis. On the yth of July a 
sortie was made against a large 
building known as Johannes" 
house ; from the roof of this 
the enclosure was overlooked, 
and a very fatal fire kept up. 
It was known to be full of 
mutineers, and the sortie was 
made to ascertain whether the 
enemy were driving mines 
under the works. The sally 
was completely successful : the 
mutineers fled without anv 
attempt at resistance, but some 
twentj- of them were killed. 

Before the end of a week 
the enemy had planted batteries 
ail round, and instructed as 
the gunners had been bj- Euro- 
pean officers, their fire was 
very accurate, and thev adopted 
every precaution to protect 
themselves. Earthworks were 
thrown up across all the 
thoroughfares exposed to our 
fire. In some places the guns were mounted 
on inclined planks, up which the}- were pushed 
to be fired, the recoil at once running them 
back out of view. Sometim.es they were con- 
cealed behind the corners of houses, from which 
they were run out to fire, being pulled back 
into shelter by a drag-rope. 

The garrison obtained some news of what was 
passing without through the Sikhs. Their 
comrades, who had deserted, were in the habit 
of making their way up the barricade in front 
of the Sikh square after dark, and exhorting 
them to follow their example and to aid in the 
general destruction of the whites. In some 
cases the appeals were successful ; the occasional 
loss of a soldier was, however, counterbalanced 
by the information gained in these conversations 
of what was going on elsewhere, what fresh 




trpnjf^ UVwoAs '^^a 



'J»0^~" '^;arf^as8!£aA-,..»UMSwi<g,.agSaK ...^ 



I HI \OLLMht.K LA\.\LK\ eUAKUtD IHh.M AM) CLEARED THL WAV' (/..")• 



51 



34 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 



regiments of mutineers liad entered the ti>\vn, 
and what Talootidars had made common tausc 
with them. 

The work of the garrison was still excessive, 
although bv this time the commissariat arrange- 
ments had been greatly improved ; it was ne- 
cessary to grind the wheat for food, to bury 
the cattle that had died, to carry the sick and 
wounded to the hospitals, to repair the damages 
inflicted by the enemy's guns, and to move 
cannon and mortars to new positions. The 
greater part of the horses had been turned out 
to shift for themselves bevond the line.s, and 
these were all appropriated bv the enemv. The 
privation most felt by the men was the absence 
of tobacco. While plentv of provisions had 
been collected, the store of tobacco had been 
neglected, and in a fortnight after the siege had 
begun it was no longer to be had, and the men 
greatly felt the loss of what, under the circum- 
stances of almost continual work in a tainted 
atmosphere, was almost a necessitv. 

Day by day the enemy closed in. All the 
houses near were crowded with men, who kept 
up a galling musketry fire, while our artillery- 
was for the most part silent, for the enemy 
were known to be short of shot for their cannon, 
and every round shot fired was picked up and 
returned. After a time they succeeded in manu- 
facturing hammered shot, of which as many as 
five hundred were at various times collected 
bv the besieged. The best rifle-shots of the 
garrison were constantly engaged in the en- 
deavour to keep down the musketry fire of the 
enemy, aiming at the loopholes that they had 
made in the houses. 

On the 14th of July the enemv made a rush 
forward, and occupied a building close to the 
lines, known as the Younger Johannes' house. 
This necessitated the erection of a strong pali- 
sade along a part of the defences on the west 
side. 

On the 20th of July the mutineers made 
their first serious attack. At nine o'clock in 
the morning the look-out on the top of the 
Residency reported that large bodies of men 
•^ could be seen moving in different directions, 
and the defenders at once mustered to repel an 
attack. It commenced bv the explosion of a 
mine near to the redan battery : fortunately, 
the rebel engineers had not driven it in the 
right direction, and it failed to do any damage. 
Directly afterwards the enemy assaulted the 
position on all sides, covered by a tremendous 
fire of artillery' and musketry. The principal 



attacks were against the redan battery and 
Innes' post at the extreme northern angle. 
Both assaults were repulsed with very heavv 
loss. Large forces pushed forward to the attack 
within twent)--five paces of the redan, but were 
unable to face the heavy fire from the guns and 
musketrj' of the defenders. 

At Innes' post, which was unprovided with 
artillery, they came close up to the wall, and 
endeavoured to plant the scaling-ladders they 
had brought with them ; but so hot a musketry 
fire was kept up, that after repeated efforts they 
were forced to retire. At all other points the 
attack was equally repulsed. The engagement 
lasted until four in the afternoon, but onlj- five 
of the defenders were killed, while the enemy's 
loss amounted to hundreds. 

The result greatly cheered the garrison, and 
thej^ now felt confident of their power to repulse 
any attack that might be made. The enemy, ■ 
however, were not discouraged, for on the fol- 
lowing day they poured out from the Younger 
Johannes' house and adjacent buildings into 
the narrow lane that separated Gubbins' enclo- 
sure from the Sikh squares. Fortunatelj', there 
was a loophole commanding this lane, and here 
Mr. Gubbins posted himself with two double- 
barrelled rifles, which were loaded for him b}- a 
native servant as fast as discharged ; and for 
two hours his fire prevented the natives from 
forcing their way through the weak defences by 
the side of the lane. At length a mortar was 
brought up and shells thrown into the crowd in 
the lane and beyond it, and as they fled a heavv 
fire was poured upon them from every roof which 
commanded the ground. Major Banks in aiding 
to repel this attack lost his life. 

On the following night news reached the 
garrison, a native scout bringing in tidings of 
the capture of Cawnpore and the defeat of Nana 
Sahib. This was satisfactory- in a double sense, 
as not only did it prove that the British were 
taking the offensive, but it relieved the garrison 
from the fear the}' had entertained that Nana 
Sahib would bring up his whole force and his guns 
to aid the besiegers. After the death of Major 
Banks the civil authoritv ceased to exist in the 
garrison ; Brigadier Inglis, who was in niilitarv^ 
command, now exercising supreme authority, as 
martial law prevailed in the garrison. The 
native messenger started on his return as s(X)n 
as he had delivered the message, and succeeded 
in re-entering the lines on the night of the 
25th Julv with a letter from the quartermaster- 
general of General Havelock's force, saving that 




13 



THE INDIAN MUTINY : LUCKNOW 



the troops were cros>-ing the river and hoped to 
reUeve the place in five or six dajs. 

The news was most opportune : it raised the 
spirits of the garrison to the highest point, and 
was especially useful in cheering the natives, 
among whom desertions had become very 
frequent. After a day's rest the scout again 
went out. bearing despatches and plans of the 
■defences and of the roads leading to them. 

As the casualties caused by the fire from the 
houses close to the line on the west side were 
very heavy, a sortie was made by Brigadier Inglis 
through a hole dug in the wall, and some of the 
buildings burnt down. It was soon found that 
the enemy were driving a number of mines : the 
redan and Cawnpore batteries were threatened 
by these, but the gallery against the latter was 
driven so close to the surface that heavy rain 
caused it to fall in, and a shell thrown into the 
opening blew up the gallery. Three other 
mines threatened the brigade mess, the outer 
Sikh square, and the building known as Sago's 
house. Counter-shafts were sunk and mines 
<lriven to meet those of the enemy. A party 
broke into the gallery against the Sikh square, 
pursued the enemy along it, and blew up the 
house from which it had been driven. The 
mutineers now harassed the garrison greatly 
by throwing in shells, which had been brought 
them by a regiment of the Cawnpore mutineers. 

Wet weather continued, but although the 
rain caused much discomfort to the defenders, it 
was beneficial to them, as it not only cooled the 
air, but washed away the accumulated dirt, while 
it filled the enemy's trenches on the lower 
ground and hindered their mining operations. 
Cholera, however, occasioned many heavy losses 
among the defenders, especially among the 
children, who, pent up in underground chambers 
without fresh air or suitable food, died in great 
numbers. 

An anxious watch was kept up at the end of 
July, when the approach pf Havelock's force was 
expected ; but it was not until the night of the 
■bth of August a messenger arrived with the 
news that Havelock had fought two engage- 
ments with the enemy and had defeated them, 
but was halting until some reinforcements 
reached him. The monotony of the defence was 
varied by a few small sorties, by which some of 
the enemy's guns were spiked ; but there were 
good mechanics among the mutineers, and the 
guns were soon rendered fit for service again. 

The boys of the Martiniere college rendered 
great service, the older lads aiding in the 



defence, while the rest were made useful in 
domestic duties and as attendants in the hos- 
pital. The Residency was now in so bad a state 
that most of the troops who occupied it were 
divided among the various houses. 

On the loth of August the enemy made 
another general attack, exploding a mine from 
Johannes' house, destroyin'' leet of the 

defences in front of the V ,.e, and bringing 

down part of the w' oi the house. They 
lost, however, so much time before following up 
the advantage that reinforcements from the 
other buildings came up in time to receive them, 
and speedily drove them back. 

Similar attacks were made at four other 
points, but were everywhere defeated. On the 
15th the news came that Havelock had been 
obliged to fall back to Cawnpore, and on the 
24th a letter from Havelock himself, saying that 
reinforcements might reach him in the course of 
twenty-five days, and that as soon as they did 
so he would push on without any delay. 

The siege now became an underground battle. 
The operations were incessant : one day the 
enemy would fire a mine and make a breach in 
the defences ; the next, one of the houses from 
which they annoyed us would be blown into the 
air ; frequently our counter-mines were run into 
the enemy's galleries, when the sepoys always 
fled, and a barrel of powder speedily destroyed 
their work. 

Day by day the buildings in the enclosure 
gradually crumbled, eaten away by the rain of 
fire. The Residency was pierced with round 
shot in every direction, and became so unsafe 
that it was necessary to remove all the stores 
placed here. Other houses were in no better 
plight, and the women and children had to be 
transferred from some of them to the under- 
ground rooms of the Begum Kotee. 

In the second week of September the enemy's 
mining work was carried on more incessantly 
than ever. It was evident that they recognised 
that, weak as the garrison must be, it was able 
to resi.st all open assaults, and that the only 
hope of capturing the place that had for months 
defied so large a force, was by blowing up some 
important position. Scarce a day passed without 
a mine being detected by our watchers, but several 
were exploded, doing a good deal of damage. 
Fortunately, in each case the gallery had not 
been carried quite far enough, and though very 
heavy charges were used, they failed in their 
object. On the 14th, Captain Fulton, one of the 
most able and energetic officers of the garrison. 



36 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTl'RY. 



who had borne the principal share in the 
mining operations, was killed. On the 22nd 
'of September the trusty native who had so fre- 
quentlj- managed to make his way through the 



matchlock men, crossed the river — some b}- the 
bridges and some by swimming, showing that a 
panic had spread through the town. The enemy 
besieging the Residency opened fire with every 




'a force of HIGULAM'E1;S turned INl'i-' THE MAIN STREET LEADING TO THE RESIDENCY. 



enemy's lines, brought in a letter from General 
Outram, saying that the army had crossed the 
Ganges on the 19th, and would speedily relieve 
the place ; and the next morning the sound of 
artillery was distinctly heard, and by the after- 
noon had approached to within five or six miles. 
On the 25th the guns were heard early, and 
the sound became louder and louder. At half- 
past eleven numbers of the city people, carrying 
bundles of property, with many sepoj-s and 



gun in their batteries, as if they would leave 
nothing for the relieving force to find standing. 
At 2 o'clock the smoke of the guns could be 
seen rising in the suburbs, and the rattle of 
musketry heard ; while, from the look-out, 
European troops and officers could be made out 
crossing open spaces. At 5 heavy firing broke 
out in the street hard by, and two minutes later 
a force of Highlanders and Sikhs turned into the 
main street leading to the Residency. Headed 



THK IXniAX MUTINY: LUCKNOW. 



37 



by General Outram, they ran forward at a rapid 
pace to the Bailey-Guard gate, and amid the wild 
<;heers of the defenders made their way into 
the long-beleagured enclosure, and the first siege 
of Lucknow was at an end. 

The garrison had indeed reason to be proud 
of their defence. They had had every difficulty, 
every trial save hunger and thirst, to encounter. 
The odds against them were enormous. Their 
defences were slight : it was the brave hearts 
rather than the earthworks that were the 
bulwarks impassable by the enemy. 'Jliey had 
•opposed to them men who had been drilled in 
our service, led by their native officers, well 
supplied with powder and ammunition, and able 
from the housetops to keep up an incessant fire 
that searched every niche and corner of the 
defences. The heat was terrible. Sickness 
raged in the crowded and underground rooms. 
The rains were heavy and incessant. The 



garrison were deprived of all the comforts that 
are almost a necessity to Europeans, and espe- 
cially to European children. They were deserted 
by their servants, and the few native troops 
who remained were a source of constant 
anxiety. Happily, however, though all luxuries 
disappeared very' shortly after the siege began, 
there was no anxiety whatever as to food, for the 
supply of grain in the magazines would have 
been sufficient had the siege been prolonged for 
another six months. In addition to this, there 
were a nmnber of wells in the enclosure which 
furnished an abundant supply of excellent water. 
Hunger and thirst were not among the foes 
with whom the garrison had to contend ; but 
in point of endurance, of dauntless courage, and 
in the prolonged resistance of a weak position 
against enormous odds, the defence of Luck- 
now was one of the most gallant recorded in 
history. 




KUl.NS uF THE KcS^lJE^CV. 



[PAolo, Frith &= Co., Rttgatc 





THE EUREKA STOCKADE 

3 AUSTRALIA'S ONLY BATTLE 



y 3. DECEMBER 
BY JUSTIN CHARLES 



1854 



U.< 



M^S CART IE 




THE history of Australia begins properly 
with the entrance of the "first fleet " 
into Botany Bay in January, 1788; 
and during the hundred and odd 
years which have passed since then it has 
been a record of peace, interrupted only by the 
brief outbreak which culminated in the fight 
at the Eureka Stockade in the Golden City of 
Ballarat. While, on the other side of the world, 
" events were thundering on events," while 
the scenes of the French Revolution were being 
enacted, while Jena, Austerlitz, Trafalgar, and 
Waterloo were being fought, the few inhabi- 
tants of the southern continent were occupied 
only with struggles to subdue the wilderness, 
and occasional skirmishes with black fellows and 
bushrangers. 

So it was on land ; and even by " all the long 
wash of Australasian seas," the boom of cannon 
fired in anger has only once been heard, and 
that so long ago as 1804, when the British ship 
Policy, a whaler sailing under letters of niarque, 
fought and captured the Dutch ship Swift off 
Sydney Heads, with 20,000 Spanish dollars 
which the Dutchman had on board, and towed 
her prize into Port Jackson, where she was con- 
demned and sold. When, after nearly forty years 
of peace, Britain again took up arms, and in 
rapid succession engaged in the wars of the 
Crimea and Indian Mutiny, not a ripple caused 
by these struggles disturbed the even flow of 
Australian life, and the great American Civil 
War also passed away with only one incident to 
connect it with Australia — namely, the visit of 
the ubiquitous Southern cruiser Shcnadoah to 
Melbourne towards the end of the war. The 
Soudan War of 1885 brought forth the incident 
of the despatch of the " Soudan contingent " 
froin New South Wales to the seat of war in 
Africa, but that was an r.v^rt-Australian affair 
purely'. So matters have gone peacefully on to 



the present day, and as the century is drawing 
to a close, it may reasonably be e.xpected that 
the Eureka Stockade will remain Australia's only 
battle of the nineteenth century. 

Some persons may think that it scarcely merits 
such a formidable title, and may regard the whole 
series of events of which it was the culmination, 
as mere diggers' disturbances ; but a perusal 
of what follows will show that a tolerably serious 
condition of affairs was averted by the fight of 
Sundaj-, December 3rd, 1854. 

In order to understand the events which 
led up to the conflict, it is necessary to know 
something of the history of the time. The 
colon}- of Victoria (then known as the Port 
Phillip District) was separated from New South 
Wales, and created a self-governing colon}-, 
by Imperial enactment on the 5th of August 
1850. At this period the people of the colony, 
numbering some 75,000, were engaged almost 
entirely in pastoral pursuits, and the "squatters," 
or runholders, who were mainly drawn from the 
wealthy classes of England, had a preponderating 
influence in the affairs of the i^oung country. 
When the colony was made self-governing, legis- 
lation was placed in the hands of a Governor and 
council, the latter consisting of thirty members, 
ten nominated b}- the Governor and twenty 
elected by the people ; and had matters con- 
tinued on the old pastoral lines, this s)-stem 
of government might possibly have answered 
for some j-ears, though it would undoubtedly 
have had to be popularised as population in- 
creased. As it happened, however, a completely 
new and jarring condition of things arose very 
soon when, early in 1851, gold was discovered 
in the interior, and a tremendous influx of 
people, animated by totally different aims and 
ideas from those of the pastoral settlers, followed. 
The settlers looked askance at the gold-diggers, 
and it is well known that the squatters and 



THE EL'KKKA STOCKADE. 



39 



governing ofTicials would willingly have kept 
secret the fact that the country was auriferous, 
and actually did so for several years. They 
feared that the people would be diverted from 
their regular emplo3-nient, dreaded the influx of 
large numbers of adventurous men, hated to be 
disturbed in the occupation of the large areas 
of land they had acquired by the simple process 
of "squatting" on them, and generally disliked 
the idea of the existing state of things being 
interfered with. 

In those days it was held that all minerals 
contained in the soil were the property of the 
Crown, and acting on this assumption the 
Government of New South Wales first, and 
that of Victoria subsequently, maintained that 
it had a right to take a toll of the earnings, 
t>r findings, of the gold-diggers, and a license 
fee of thirty shillings a month was imposed on 
each person who wished to seek for gold. 

From the very first this license (or " Miner's 
Right," as it was called) was received with an ill 
grace by the diggers, and its imposition and the 
harsh manner in which it was enforced were 
the causes that led up to the Eureka conflict. 

The license was in this form :— 



No. 



GOLD LICENSE. 



1S5 



The bearer 
having paid the Sum of One Pound Ten Shillings on 
account of the General Revenue of the Colony, I hereby 
License him to mine or dig for Gold, or exercise and carry 
on any other trade or calling on such Crown Lands within 
the Colony of Victoria as shall be assigned to him for 
these purposes by any one duly authorised in that behalf. 
This License to be in force until or during the 
month of , and no longer. 



[Signature : 



Commissioner. 



and then followed the regulations to be ob- 
served by the person digging for gold or other- 
wise employed at the goldfields. 

The license was " not transferable," and was 
" to be produced whenever demanded by any 
Commissioner, Peace Officer, or any authorised 
person." 

Further, it was issued from the nearest police 
camp or station, and could only be used un'thiii 
half (J mile (if tlw police station from ivlncli it 
was issued — a most senseless and irritating 
provision. 

As the license had to be produced whenever 
demanded, the digger, who was perhaps working 
up to mid-leg in mud and water, had to keep 
the document in his pocket, and, of course, was 



likeh' to lose it or have it destroyed by water, 
in which case he was liable to fine or imprison- 
ment. 

The agitation against the impost commenced 
very early. 

Gold was discovered in Ballarat in August, 
1 85 1, and on the loth of September a gt>ldtields 
Commissioner named Doveton, accompanied by 
some troopers, arrived on the field, and a week or 
so later the issue of licenses commenced. The 
diggers immediately held a meeting, and sent a 
deputation to the Commissioner, asking that the 
impost be withdrawn. He received the men 
impatiently, and replied that he had nothing to 
do with the making of the law, but meant to 
administer it ; for, said this polite officer, " if 
you don't pay the fee I'll soon make you ! " 

In this spirit were all the remonstrances and 
excuses in connection with the license fee met 
by the early officials, and from the first it was 
collected with an unnecessary harshness and dis- 
play of power, which gradually caused even the 
most peaceable and law-abiding diggers to be- 
come e.xasperated. "Digger-hunting" became a 
favourite amusement of the officials and police 
cadets, who were mostly " younger sons " of 
English and Irish wealthy families, or ex-officers 
of the Imperial arms-, and did not possess the 
slightest sympathy with the independent and 
democratic diggers. Scarceh' a day passed that 
numbers of men were not arrested and conveyed 
to the " logs " (as the camp lock-up was called), 
and there fined because they had mislaid, or lost, 
or neglected to renew, their licenses. Letters 
which appeared in the Gcelong Advertiser and 
other papers at that time bear testimony to the 
vexations the diggers were subjected to, and the 
harsh manner in which they were treated. One 
writer declared that men were chained to trees 
for a whole night because they had not paid 
the license fee. Very frequently men who were 
not diggers at all were arrested because they 
could not produce a license, and " Hullo, yo\x 
sir," " I saj-, you fellow," were the common 
preliminary addresses of the officials to the 
hunted, who, however much they might disap- 
prove of the impost, would, without doubt, have 
paid it with only a little natural grumbling had 
its collection been conducted in a gentler spirit. 

In 1853 "digger-hunting" became more 
general, and the troopers constantly set out 
from their camp in pursuit of unlicensed diggers, 
who, from a spirit of opposition to the impost, 
were now becoming more numerous. On their 
side the diggers kept a sharp look-out, and at 



40 



BATTLF.S OF THK XIXETF.ENTH CENTURY. 



the cry of " Traps ! " or " Joe, Joe ! " a stampede 
would take place to the deep shafts, dou-n which 
the unlicensed ones were lowered by their com- 
rades, and lay secure in the bowels of the earth 
until the troopers had retired. 

The latter did not, of course, yenture down 
the holes when in uniform ; but after a time they 
became skilful in the art of trapping diggers, and, 
disguising themselyes, it is said, used to work up 
rows by "jumping claims," and then, when a 
crowd had gathered, a body of troops would 
swoop down on it and, effecting fifty or sixty 
arrests, would handcuff the men together like 
felons and march them off to the camp, w^iere 
they would be fined or imprisoned at the 
pleasure of the Commissioner in charge. 

An overwhelming mass of evidence goes, in 
fact, to show that digger-hunting was pushed to 
a point of exasperation that was bound to result 
in an outbreak of popular feeling sooner or 
later, especially when the fact is taken into 



But the most cursory glance at the history of 
early Australia is sufficient to satisfy one that 
the military and official element greatly pre- 
dominated, and there is abundant evidence to 
show that the British Government repeatedly 
ignored, or set aside, the acts of its officials and 
acceded to the wishes of the colonists. The 
British Government was, in fact, more liberal 
and progressive than its own officials, and 
to this fact may be attributed the peaceful 
settlement of many disputes. Had the two 
Governors of Victoria who were identified with 
the gold license disputes acted in a constitu- 
tional spirit, in accordance with later British 
ideas, the Eureka collision would never have 
taken place. They did not do so, however, but, 
being servants of the Crown, acted more arbi- 
trarily than the Crown itself, and in a mannci 
more in accord with militarv' than civil methods 

Mr. Latrobe, the first Governor of Victoria, 
finding it difficult to carry on the government o" 




account that the diggers were mostly men of 
exceptionally independent character, and num- 
bered in their ranks many who were drawn 
from the highly-educated classes of Europe and 
America. 



the country owing to gaol warders, policemen, 
and civil servants generally, giving up their posts 
and going to the diggings, took a step which 
further exasperated the diggers — that of raising 
the gold license lee to _^"3 per month. This he 



THK EUREKA STOCKADE. 



41 



did in the hope of deter- 
ring the people of the 
colony from taking to 
gold- digging en witssi', 
and preventing his officials 
from deserting their posts. 
The measure did not, of 
course, have the desired 
effect, and the fee was 
again reduced to 30s. per 
month ; but during the 
period that the increase 
was in force the payment 
of the impost was eluded 
more than ever, and in 
consequence fining and 
imprisonment became 
more frequent, and popu- 
lar indignation waxed 
warmer. 

A strong agitation 
against the gold license 
commenced in Bendigo 
in 1853, and soon spread 
to the other goldfields, 
and reform leagues were 
formed in various town- 
ships ; but no other spirit 
was evoked in the Govern- 
ment by these proceed- 
ings than one of resist- 
ance. 

iVIr. Latrobe was suc- 
ceeded as Governor by 
Sir Charles Hotham, who 

arrived in the colon}- on June 21st, 1854, and 
found himself at once in a position of extreme 
difficulty. All who knew him agree in stating 
that he was a man of the highest principle, and 
exhibited a rigid devotion to duty which led 
him to attempt tasks bevond his strength, and 
is thought to have brought on the illness which 
terminated his life on December 31st, 1855. 

He was, however, unfortunately something of 
a despot, a rigid disciplinarian, a stickler for 
" subordination,'' and he totally misunderstood 
the character of the people in the goldfields, 
whom he imagined to be of a similar class to 
the sailors he had commanded in the Imperial 
uavy, or to the hinds in his native county. 

No sooner had he arrived than petitions 
poured in, asking for a repeal of the gold 
license, and for representation of the goldfields' 
population in the legislative council (it must 
nut be forgotten that not a single member of 




BAL L A RAT. 



the council was returned by the diggers); and 
to these reasonable demands the Government 
replied in October, 1 8 54, dr sciiding^ up orders 
that the searching for unlicensed diggers was to 
be prosecuted with more vigotir than before, and 
that the police were to devote at least two days 
a week to the business. 

In consequence of these injudicious orders 
popular feeling began to run very high indeed 
in Ballarat. Armed resistance was freely talked 
of, and the more violent spirits began to collect 
arms. To-day there are persons living in Bal- 
larat who remember the passionate fervour with 
which the Hibernian orator Timothy Hayes 
used to demand of his audiences : " Will ye 
fight for the cause, boys ? Will ye die for 
the cause?" Here it may be remarked that 
when the time for fighting actually came, Mr. 
Hayes, forgetting to "die for the cause," tamely 
surrendered (though many or his countrymen 



42 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



fought bravely), and was reproached for cowardice 
by his wife, who was, says the chronicler, "a 
much better soldier than Hayes." 

At this juncture an accident hastened the 
crisis. A Scotch digger named Scobie was 
killed one night when knocking at the door 
of an hotel where he wanted " more drink," 
though he had already had more than was good 
for him. The landlord of the hotel — a ticket- 
of-leave man named Bentley — -was said to 
have killed Scobie, whose persistent knocking 
annoyed him. The man was arrested, brought 
before a police magistrate named Dewes, and 
acquitted. The diggers — in particular those of 
Scottish extraction — demanded vengeance on 
Scobie's murderer, and asserted that the police 
magistrate was in Bentley 's paj-. Mass meetings 
were held, and the prosecution of Bentley was 
demanded. Tired of " the law's delays," the 
diggers at length, to the number of 8,000, 
marched to the hotel with the intention, it is 
said, of lynching Bentley ; but he escaped on 
horseback, and galloped coatless and terrified 
to the police camp. E.xasperated by his escape, 
the diggers smashed the windows of the hotel, 
and then set fire to it. In a very short time it 
was reduced to ashes. The police marched out, 
the Riot Act was read, and three men — Mclntyre, 
Fletcher, and Westerbey — were arrested and 
charged with incendiarism. 

These men were said to be absolutely innocent 
of any connection with the fire, and their arrest 
caused great indignation. Fearing an outburst 
of popular feeling, the authorities removed them 
to Melbourne for trial, and they were sentenced 
to a few months' imprisonment. On learning 
this, the Ballarat Reform League sent two of 
its members — Kennedy and Black — to Mel- 
bourne to dt-mand the release of the prisoners. 
The delegates reached Melbourne on November 
25th, and were received b}- the Governor, Sir 
Charles Hotham, who was attended by the 
Colonial Secretar}-, Mr. Foster, and the Attorney- 
General, Mr. Stawell. 

The Governor refused to consider any " de- 
mand " (but promised future reforms), and the 
delegates returned fuming to Ballarat, deriding 
" moral force." Alarms of insurrection were 
now in the air, and troops were hastily de- 
spatched to Ballarat from Melbourne, while 
reinforcements of police, horse and foot, were 
marched in from other mining camps which had 
adopted a more pacific tone than the Golden 
City. On the evening of November 28th detach- 
ments of the 1 2th and 40th Regiments of British 



infantry reached Ballarat from Melbourne, and 
as they passed through Warrenheip Gully, within 
a few hundred yards of the spot where the 
famous stockade was erected a few days later, 
they were attacked by an excited mob of 
diggers. Several soldiers were wounded, and 
a drummer-boy was shot in the leg while the 
baggage waggons were rifled in search of arms. 
This was an unprovoked attack, and was de- 
precated by the leaders rf the popular party, 
who knew nothing of it. All that night the 
committee of the League sat in council, while 
their followers made night hideous by the dis- 
charge of firearms and the beating of extem- 
porised drums, etc. ; and the next day, November 
2qth, a monster meeting was held on Bakery 
Hill, at which 12,000 men assembled. A plat- 
form was erected, and on a pole was hoisted 
the insurgent flag — " The Southern Cross " — 
which was blue, with the four principal stars 
of the great Southern constellation worked on 
it in silver. 

The tone of this meeting was violent in the 
extreme. "Moral force" was denounced as 
" humbug " ; revolutionar}- resolutions were 
passed ; it was decided that no more license fees 
should be paid. Fires were lighted and existing 
licenses were burned, amidst loud cheers and 
the discharge of pistols and guns by the excited 
diggers. 

Spies in plentj- attended the meeting ; and,, 
being quickly informed of what had taken place 
there, the officials despatched messengers to 
Melbourne praying for reinforcements, and the 
police camp was strongly fortified. As if to force 
on a conflict, next day — November 30th — the 
authorities ordered a " digger-hunt " in force, and 
at an early hour all the police and military,- in 
the camp issued out under the direction of two 
Commissioners, and, forming near the camp, ad- 
vanced upon the diggings as if upon a strong 
hostile force, with skirmishers in front and 
cavalry guarding the wings. The diggers retired 
as the troops advanced, but, collecting at various 
points, they pelted the soldiers with stones and 
also fired a few shots at them. A few diggers 
were arrested, and the troops then withdrew 
to their camp. Instantly the Southern Cross 
flag flew out to the breeze on Bakery Hill, and 
thousands of diggers rushed forth, many of them 
armed and ripe for violent action. Peter Lalor 
— one of the leaders — called for volunteers, and 
over five hundred men swore fealty to " the 
cause," stretching out their right hands and saj-- 
ing : " We swear by the Southern Cross to stand 



THE EUREKA STOCKADE. 



43 



truly by each other, and fight to defend our 
rights and liberties." Names were then taken 
down and the men formed into squads for drill, 
which was continued to a late hour. The men 
then fell in two abreast and marched to the 
Eureka plateau, '• Captain " Ross, of Toronto, 
heading the march with the Southern Cross 
Hag, which he had taken down from the pole. 
The men were armed wuth guns, pistols, pikes, 
and all sorts of weapons, down to a pick and 
shovel. 

The position on the Eureka was taken up be- 
cause it commanded the Melbourne road, 
along which reinforcements of military for 
the camp were known to be advancing ; 
and there was some idea of attacking these, 
though this would have been a formidable 
undertaking, as they consisted of 800 men 
of regular line regiments, a large party of 
sai-lors from H.M.S. Electra, with four 
field-pieces ; the whole supported by a 
strong force of cavalry. 

The erection of the stockade appears to 
have been commenced on December ist. 
A square plot of ground about an acre 
in e.Ktent was hastily fenced with wooden 
slabs, which seem to have been supple- 
mented by overturned carts and ropes. 
It was a place of little defensive strength, 
and is believed to have been formed more 
as a place for the insurgents to drill in than 
as a fortification. Inside the stockade were 
a few mining claims, and the place was 
dotted all over with the shallow holes of 
fossickers, and in these afterwards many 
men, who were using them as rifle pits, 
were killed. 

Tents were erected within the barrier, and 
there was also a blacksmith's shop, in which the 
forging of pikes or rough lances was vigorously 
carried on. 

The authorities at this time, and subse- 
quently, believed that Frederick Yern was the 
commander-in-chief of the diggers, but the man 
chosen to fill that position was Peter Lalor. 
Lalor, who was a civil engineer by profession, 
was a native of Queen's County, Ireland, an 
electorate in which county his father at one 
time represented in the English House of 
Commons. Young Lalor arrived in Melbourne 
in 1852, and went first to the Ovens goldfield, 
but was soon attracted by the richer fields in 
Ballarat, and moved to the place in which he 
was to play so prominent a part. He was at 
this time about twenty-five years of age and 



was a good-looking, strongly-built man of about 
six feet in height. 

He was seconded by a "Minister of War'" 
named Alfred Black, and the proceedings of the 
insurgents (as they must now be called) from 
this time on shows that they (the leaders at all 
events) had no intention of fomenting a mere 
riot, but held ideas that went as far as revolution 
and a republican form of government. 

This is the opinion of W. B. Withers and 
others most competent to judge, and the leading 
articles of the Ballavat Times, which supported 




the diggers at that period, openly avow repub- 
lican intentions, and rave in inflated language 
of an " Australian Congress." A manifesto, or 
declaration of independence, was prepared, but 
was probably never issued, as the fight at the 
stockade a few days later scattered all revolu- 
tionary ideas to the winds. 

In order to make the rising general, messengers 
and letters were sent to the other mining towns, 
praying for assistance ; but, as the event proved, 
none was forthcoming save in one case — that 
of Creswick, which sent a contingent of some 
hundreds of men, but even they bore no part in 
the subsequent fight. 

During December 1st and 2nd, drilling \\-ent 
on vigorously, and parties were sent out in all 
directions to search for arms and annnuni- 
tion, with which the diggers were very badly 



44 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



supplied. Lalor issued " orders oi war " for the 
seizing of arms, and though payment was 
promised in all cases, no refusal was taken, and 
storekeepers and others were forced to give up 
any gunpowder or weapons they happened to 
possess. 

By the evening of Saturday', December ;:nd, a 
fair supply of weapons had been brought into 
the stockade, and others (pikes) forged ; and as 
hundred of men lav around the fires preparing 
arms, and cooking the meat, with which they 
were w'ell supplied, the place presented some- 
thing of the appearance of a military camp. 
While these events were progressing, the author- 
ities in Melbourne were despatching reinforce- 
ments to the field, issuing proclamations warning 
all persons against breaking the peace, and 
offering rewards for the apprehension of the 
ringleaders of the diggers. 

Here is a reproduction of one of the Govern- 
ment notices : — 



V. 



R. 



ColrniaJ ^ccretaT's Office, 
iMelb.Jurne, . ::Ji December, 1854, 



£400 

REWARD. 

Whereas Two Persons of the Names of 

LA'WLOR AND BLACK, 

LATE OF BALLAARAT, 

l)id on or about the 13th day of November last, at that 
place, use certain 

TREASONABLE AND SEDITIOUS LANGUAGS, 

And incite Men to take up Arms, with a view to make 
war against Our Sovereign Lady the Queen : 

IN'OTIt'E IS HEREBY CilVElV 

That a Reward of /200 will be paid to any person or 
* persons giving such information as may lead to the 
Apprehension of either of the abovenamed parties. 

DESCKIPTIOXS. 

T,AWLOR.— Height =; ft. it in., ape ^5 hair dark liromi, whiskers tiark brown and 
shaved under tlie side, no moustache, long face, rather good Inking, and 
is a well-made man. 

Black —Height over 6 feet, straigh* figure, slight build, bright red hair wore in 
general rather long and brushed backwards, red and large whiskers, meeting 
under the chin, blue eyes, large thin nose, ruddy cotupiexion, and rather smaU 
mouth. 

By His ExceUtKCys Command. 

WILLIAM C. HAINES. 

At Ballarat sentinels were placed at all points 
of the police camp, the women and children sent 
into the storehouse for safety, and all was got 
ready for an attack. But none was made, so the 
officer in command. Captain Thomas, learning of 



the unprepared state of the diggers, determined to 
take the initiative and crush the rebellion in the 
bud, and to this end gave orders that the troops 
and police were to be in readiness to attack the 
Eureka Stockade at dawn on Sunday morning, 
December 3rd. The militarv leaders have been 
blamed for acting thus rapidly, but their duty 
was perfectly clear. With the imposition of the 
license fee which had so exasperated the diggers, 
or its collection, they had had nothing to do ; 
but finding men in arms to oppose the consti- 
tuted Government of the country,', they had to 
treat these men as rebels, and suppress what 
was undoubtedly an insurrection. 

In the stockade during Saturday and Satur- 
day night, the diggers, though they had a pass- 
word — " Vinegar Hill " — kept up but the loosest 
possible discipline, not dreaming of an attack ; 
and all day and half the night outsiders passed 
in and out of the stockade, while large numbers 
of the '' sworn in " men — including the Cres- 
wick contingent before -mentioned — went into 
the town in search of food and drink, and did 
not return before the fight. It is said that 
some, hearing a rumour of an attack b}' the 
military, deserted, and that others again, seeing 
the la.x manner in which things were conducted, 
despaired of the enterprise and withdrew to 
their own tents and huts. Certain it is that 
when the bias: of a military trumpet roused the 
sleepy defenders before daylight on the fateful 
morning, there were not 200 men in the 
stockade; but most of these, as the warning shot 
of a sentinel rang out and was followed by a 
scattered vollev from those on guard, rushed to 
the breastwork and poured in a pretty regular fire 
on the line of red-coated men that could be seen 
approaching at a distance of 100 or 150 3ards. 

The attacking force, consisting of 276 military 
and police, replied to this fire with a volley by 
which five or six men were killed or wounded, 
and soon bullets were flving about in all direc- 
tions. Orders were given to the insurgents to 
fire at the officers, and very soon Captain Wise, 
of the 40th Regiment, fell mortally wounded, 
and Lieuttjnant Paul, of the i::th, was seriouslj' 
wounded. 

Lalor, standing on top of a 16gged-up hole 
within the stockade, encouraged his men by 
word and gesture, but was presently shot in the 
left shoulder, and fell bleeding to the earth wiih 
a shattered arm. Almost at the same moment 
Ross was shot in the groin — a mortal wound ; 
and Thonen, another insurgent leader, receiving 
a bullet in the mouth, fell choking with his own 



THE EUREKA STOCKADE. 



45 



blood and soon expired. An American officer of 
the insurgents, who had been shot in the thigh 
at the very outset, remained, hopping about and 
encouraging his men to resistance, as long as 
there was a chance of resisting. Vern made no 
stand, however, but fled from the eastward end 
of the stockade, and was followed by many others; 
but a number of pikemen still stood resolutely. 
With a loud cheer tlie military swarmed over, or 



was made up of thirty men of the mounted 40th, 
under Lieutenants Hall and Jardyne ; sixty-five 
men of the 12th Infantry Regiment, under Cap- 
tain Oueade and Lieutenant Paul ; eighty-seven 
men of the 40th Regiment (infantry), under 
Captain Wise and Lieutenants Bowdler and 
Richards ; seventy mounted police, under Li- 
spectors Furnell and Langley and Lieutenant 
Cossack; and forty foot-police, under Sub-In- 




" Wnil A LOUD CUIililv IHE .\Ul.IiAUV SWARMED OVER IHE STuCKADE. 



k 



tore down, the stockade, and though pike met 
bayonet for a few minutes, the end was near. 
The insurgents were driven into the shallow, 
holes, and into the tents and blacksmith's 
shop, and were quickly surrounded and 
made prisoners. The military and police are 
accused of bayoneting and shooting wounded 
and unarmed men, and of repeatedly thrusting 
their bayonets or swords into the bodies of 
those already slain ; but this is, of course, denied 
by writers on the military side. Immediately 
after the assaulting force burst into the stockade 
a policeman named King climbed up the flagstaff 
and tore down the Southern Cross flag amidst 
the cheers of his comrades. The attacking force 



spector Carter — or 176 foot and 100 mounted 
men in all. This force, when extended, was able 
to completely surround the stockade, which was 
too large for the diggers to defend eflfectively 
with their inadequate supply of arms. Just 
before the charge took place the fire of the 
defenders slackened from want of ammunition, 
and some of their weapons afterwards picked 
up were found to be loaded with quartz pebbles 
instead of bullets. The police and military bore 
testimony to the courage with which the de- 
fenders fought ; and had all the enrolled men 
been present, the attack would in all probabilitv 
have been repulsed, in which case other diggers 
would have joined the insurgents, the movement 



46 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



•extended to other towns, and a very serious state 
of things indeed might have arisen, as the execu- 
tive could scarcely have placed even 2,000 men 
in the field at that time. 

Having secured 125 prisoners, the military and 
police fired the tents within the stockade — 
wounded men are said to have been burnt to 
•death therein — and then returned to the camp 
with their prisoners. 

Of this melancholy march a correspondent of 
the Geclong Advertiser writes : — "I saw a 
number of diggers enclosed in a sort of hollow 
square ; many of them were wounded, the blood 
•dripping from them as they walked. Some were 
walking lame, pricked on by the bayonets of the 
soldiers bringing up the 
rear. The soldiers were 
much e.xcited — the 
troopers (police) madly 
so, flourishing their swords 
and shouting out, ' We 
have waked up Joe ! ' and 
others replied, " And sent 
Joe to sleep again ! ' The 
diggers' standard was 
carried in triumph to the 
camp, waved about in the 
air, then pitched from one 
to another, thrown down, 
and trampled on." This 
writer describes what he 
saw within the stockade : 
" I counted fifteen dead — 
■one G , a fine, well- 




THE }ION. PETER LALOR 



educated man, and a great 

favourite. . . . They all lay in a small space, their 
faces upwards, looking like lead. Several of 
them were still heaving, and at every rise of 
their breasts the blood spouted out of their 
wounds or . . . just trickled away. . . . Some 
were bringing handkerchiefs, others bed furni- 
ture and matting, to cover up the faces. . . . 
A sight for a Sabbath morning I implore Heaven 
may never be seen again ! Poor women crying 
for absent husbands, and children frightened into 
silence." 

How many were actually killed in the fight it 
is difficult to determine, as accounts vary con- 
siderably. One military writer states that thirty- 
five were killed and many wounded on the side 
of the diggers, but most other accounts give a 
li-sser number. Probably thirty killed and 
mortally wounded would be about correct, 
while probably another fifty or sixty received 
serious wounds. On the military side one captain 



and four privates were killed, and one lieutenant 
and manv privates wounded. 

When they had secured their prisoners, the 
military returned with carts for the dead; and 
that afternoon those of the diggers whose friends 
did not claim them were thrust into rough 
coffins of half-inch weather-board and buried in 
one large grave in the public cemetery. The 
soldiers who fell in the fight were buried close 
by, and subsequently handsome monuments 
were erected over both graves. The site of the 
Eureka Stockade is now marked by a bluestone 
stage or platform surmounted by a stone monolith, 
and having a cannon at each angle. The monu- 
ment is not (or was not when the writer in- 
spected it a few years ago) 
either very beautiful or 
very suitable, and might 
easily be improved. 

Peter Lalor, the leader 
of the insurgents, es- 
caped. Three of his men 
managed to carry him out 
of the stockade and down 
the Eureka lead, where 
they concealed him in a 
pile of slabs, whence, when 
the military had retreated, 
he was extricated by some 
onlookers and his arm 
bound up with his own 
handkerchief, after which 
he was placed on Father 
Smy the's horse and carried 
away to a hut on the 
ranges, where he was attended to by friends 
till the night of the 4th December, when he was 
taken to Father Smythe's house, and his injured 
arm was amputated by Dr. Doyle. The story 
that his betrothed (whom he afterwards married) 
saw him standing, wounded and bleeding, before 
her in Geelong on the morning of the 3rd, is 
one that the Psychical Research Society might 
investigate. 

With a reward of _^"200 offered for his appre- 
hension, Lalor hid in various places, and al 
length was removed to Geelong, where he under- 
went several surgical operations. The Govern- 
ment now well kneW' where he was, but times 
had changed and he was not apprehended ; 
and on the acquittal of the other Eureka pri- 
soners on April ist, 1^55, he boldly appeared in 
public again. How he was chosen to represent 
Ballarat in the Legislative Council, and how he 
continued in political life to the day of his 



THE EUREKA STOCKADE. 



47 



•death, is well known. He held the position of 
Postmaster-General in one Government and of 
Minister of Trade and Customs in another, and 
was for many years Speaker of the Legislative 
Assembly. On resigning the last-named position 
owing to ill-health, he was voted ^4,000 by the 
Assembly for " distinguished services to the 
State." He died at the house of his son, Dr. 
Lalor, at Richmond, Melbourne, on February 
Qth, i88q, and his funeral was attended by- 
vast numbers of people, including most of the 
members of both Houses of Legislature. 

Though martial law was proclaimed on the 
day following the Eureka fight, public opinion 
was not with the Government. Large meetings 
■were held in which their policy was condemned, 



and the Eureka prisoners were to a man acquitted 
on April ist, 1855. A commission of inquiry held 
to determine the causes of the outbreak declared 
that the diggers were forced into rebellion by 
bad laws, harshly enforced ; the old Legislative 
Council was abolished by Imperial enactment, 
and a new Constitution providing for two Houses 
of Legislature, both elective, was created for 
Victoria; and ever since then the affairs of the 
colony have progressed peaceably. 

Thus, though the Eureka Stockade was only a 
very little " battle," it had consequences more 
important than those which have followed many 
a furious struggle in which blood has flowed 
in rivers, and the red earth has borne testimony 
to the appalling ferocity of man. 







MONUMENT MARKING THE SITE OF THE FUREKA STOCKADE. 



48 



OQQQQQQQQaQaaQQQQQQQQQQQQQQaQaQQQQQQ 




g©SgOS3gSSG(5ggGggO(!)Cl(3530gS©5SQSSQ(5DS3S3C/S<!J(3'35!5\3'3Qg<i 



WE are all familiar with the spectacle 
of the self-made man who takes 
upon himself the role of landed 
proprietor, not because he has 
any special leaning towards country- life, but be- 
cause " it's the thing " — because it is expected 
of him. 

In somewhat similar fashion, Italy had not 
been many years reckoned as one of the Great 
Powers when she began to look round for some 
foreign territory to annex. It would not be of 
any particular use to her, but it was " the thing " 
for Great Powers to have colonies and foreign 
possessions beyond the seas. It was hardly re- 
spectable to be without such luxuries. So, being 
forestalled by France in a plan for taking pos- 
session of Tunis, she cast about for something 
further afield ; and while we were fighting 
Osman Digma and the Mahdists, and there was 
talk of an advance from Suakim to Berber and 
Dongola for the re-conquest of Khartoum, an 
Italian expeditionary force passed through the 
canal and occupied Massowah, a little further 
south than our post at Suakim. At the same 
time the Italian Government informed us that 
if we made a move into the interior they would 
be glad to help. 

The move into the interior has not come yet, 
though this was ten years ago. But, once having 
got a foothold at Massowah, the Italians have 
gone on building up their province on the Red 
Sea shore, adding to it a disputed protectorate 
over Abyssinia and a tract of half-desert land on 
the Indian Ocean. Altogether, they have secured 
in the scramble for Africa a " sphere of influ- 
ence " which makes a very good show on the 
map, though, like most other nations that 
possess spheres of influence in the Dark Con- 
tinent, they have not eflectively occupied the 
greater part of it, and they have found their 
landholding a costly luxury, paid for with blood- 



shed and much expenditure of hard cash, for 
which so far there is a scanty return. 

Massowah stands on an island about a mile 
and a half in circumference, connected with the 
mainland by a narrow causeway- nearly a mile 
long, another island halfway facilitating its con- 
struction. The place had, to begin with, the 
great advantage that, even if all the wild men of 
the Soudan attacked it, it was safe so long as 
there was a warship ready to sweep this causewaj- 
with her cannon and machine-guns. It was a 
good starting-point for conquests in north-eastern 
Africa. Southward, close at hand, rose the outer 
bulwarks of the Abyssinian table-land, to which 
narrow passes opening on the shore from Mas- 
sowah to Zulla gave access. Westward, across 
the coast-hills and the desert, lay the old route 
to^Kassala and the Upper Nile, busy with the 
passage of caravans in the days before the 
Mahdist revolt, but now closed by the armed 
raiders of the false prophet. In both directions 
the Italians have made steady progress during 
these ten j-ears. Their vanguard now perma- 
nently hold Adigrat, well up the passes that lead 
into the heart of Abvssinia, and they, have a 
garrison at Kassala. But this progress has not 
been made without hard fighting on both lines. 
Better able than a more northern race to bear 
the torrid heat of the Soudan summer, the 
Italians have shown that they are peculiarlj- 
well fitted for campaigning in these regions. 
They have, it is true, had their defeats — as at 
Dogali, where a handful of Bersaglieri holding an 
advanced post were cut to pieces by the over- 
whelming forces flung against them, but not till 
the}' had made a desperate defence and sold their 
lives dearly. But they have also had their vic- 
tories over both the Soudanese and the Ab\-s- 
sinians, and they are especiall\- proud of their 
victory at Agordat, on the waj- to Kassala, in 
1803, because the}' claim that while the British 




"A HANDFUL OF BERSAGUERl HOLDING AN ADVANCED POST WERE CUT TO PIECES" (A 48) 

52 



=;o 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



nerer ventured to fight the Mahdists except in 
square, they were able to meet and shatter the 
wild onset of the Soudanese in line. Without 
admitting that this is at all a fair statement of 
the case, we may grant that the fight at Agordat 
was a very gallant piece of work, and the story of 
it is well worth the telling ; so I shall put it to- 
gether mainly from the official despatches, sup- 
plementing them with details from other sources. 
Keren, a town on the western slope of the 
coast range, had for some time been the ad- 
vanced post of the Italians towards Kassala. 
when, in i8qo. General Baratieri occupied Agor- 
dat, two days' journey further west towards 
Kassala, and at the point where the two chief 
routes from that city to Keren join. A fort was 
built at Agordat, overlooking the ravine of Khor 
Baka and commanding the junction of the roads. 
It thus became the chief outpost of the Italians 
towards the region held by the Mahdists, and 
would be the point against which any wave of 
invasion coming from the desert must break. 

In the summer of 1893 the Mahdists had been 
very active. They kept on foot four armies — one 
at Dongola, the object of which was to threaten 
the frontier post held by the English and Egypt- 
ians on the Upper Nile ; two other armies were 
operating southwards in Kordofan, towards the 
great lakes; while a fourth, with its headquarters 
at Gedaref, watched the Abyssinian and Italian 
frontiers. The army of Gedaref had been xtry 
quiet all the summer, and there had even been 
some trading along the road between Kassala ' 
and Keren. Sanguine colonists on the Italian 
side flattered themselves that things were settling 
down, and that there would soon be scope for 
some profitable business enterprise at Massowah. 
But it was only the lull before the storm. 

The Emir Alusaid Gaidum, who was one of 
the Mahdi's best fighting-men, commanded at 
Kassala. In all our battles in the Soudan we had 
found that the one great danger that had to be 
faced was the wild rush of Soudanese swordsmen 
and spearmen. The Mahdists made very little 
tise of firearms beyond worrying our men in their 
bivouacs with a dropping fire through the night. 
But some of the chiefs had been so impressed bv 
the fearful execution done b}^ the rapid fire from 
the English infantry squares, that they were full 
of the idea of teaching their warriors new tactics, 
and getting them to rely more upon the rifle than 
upon cold steel. The Emir of Kassala was one 
of those who were most anxious to make this 
experiment. In his garrison he had 1,200 rifle- 
men armed with Remington breechloaders taken 



from the Egyptians, and about 300 more men 
armed with muzzle-loaders of various patterns. 
The army at Gedaref possessed about 8,000 
Remingtons, and there were several battalions 
armed with them and partly drilled after the 
European fashion. Besides these riflemen there 
were large levies of horsemen and footmen 
armed with sword and spear, many of the 
mounted men wearing complete suits of armour, 
plate- and chain-mail. In artillery the Mahdists 
were hopelessly weak. There were onh- two old 
cannon on the ruinous mud walls of Kassala, and 
at Gedaref there were a couple of light field- 
pieces. There is no doubt that if they had kept 
to their traditional tactics they would have been 
a much more formidable fighting force. But 
their leaders flattered themselves that they were 
now quite equal to European troops, and they 
took an earl\- opportunity of testing their 
efficiency by making a raid on the borders of 
the Italian colony. 

Earlv in December rumours reached the 
Italians that the Mahdists were preparing to move. 
Ahmed Ali, one of the Khalifa's most trusted 
chiefs, had come down from Khartoum to take 
command of the troops at Gedaref, and was 
calling all the tribesmen of the district to his 
standard. At first they did not pay much 
attention to these reports. Twelve months be- 
fore, there had been a similar gathering ; but the 
.Mahdists had not ventured then to attack the 
frontiers, and it was conjectured that the\- might 
be reallv thinking of some enterprise against the 
Abvssinians. But the reports of coming trouble 
were so persistent that at last it was resolved 
to take some precautions. The garrison at 
the fort of Agordat was reinforced, and scouting 
parties were pushed forward towards Kassala and 
Gedaref. Spies were despatched to the ^lahdist 
country. It was calculated that by these means 
the Italian commanders would have several 
days' notice of any serious advance of the 
Soudanese, and arrangements were made by 
which a considerable force could be rapidly 
assembled to meet them. General Arimondi, 
who had taken charge of the defence of the 
colony on this side, hoped that his plans would 
so work out that by the time the Mahdists had 
gathered in force at Kassala, which was five daysi' 
journey from Agordat, he would have camped 
near the fort two squadrons of cavalry, two 
batteries of mountain-guns, seven companies of 
infantr}-, and three of native irregulars — in all 
about ;,ooo men. This was the force with which 
he hoped to stop and drive back upon the desert 



THE ITALIANS IN THE SOUDAN ; AGORDAT. 



51 



3 0,000, or, it might be, 20,000 t'analic Soudanese 
and Arabs. Moreover, all the force assembled at 
Agordat would consist of native troops, led by 
Italian officers and sergeants. It was to be a 
triumph of European discipline and leadership 
over the half-savage fury of the men of the 
desert, the rank-and-file on both sides consisting 
of men of the same race, and the presence of 
some seventy European officers and non-com- 
missioned officers sufficing to turn the scale 
against what otherwise would have been over- 
whelming numbers. 

On Wednesday, the 13th of December, a spy 
came in from Kassala with the news that the 
Mahdist advance had been fixed for the pre- 
vious day. The telegraph conveyed the warning 
to Massowah, and the orders already prepared 
for the defence of Agordat were issued. At 
the same time General Arimondi started from 
the coast to take personal command of the little 
army that was assembling at the fort. On the 
Friday news came over the wires from Agordat 
that the advanced scouts were in contact with 
the Mahdist vanguard. The invaders were said 
to be at least 12,000 strong. They were moving 
in two columns, each taking one of the two 
roads that met near the fort, and they had 
already covered half the distance between Kas- 
sala and Agordat. 

Bvit the march of the invaders was slow. In 
the early morning of Monday, the 18th, the 
scouts saw the watch-fires of the Soudanese van- 
guard burning dimly about Daura, some forty 
miles from Agordat. The scouts, native cavalry 
led by Italian officers, had orders to keep in 
touch with the Mahdists, but to avoid fighting. 
They were to fall back before them, harassing 
and delaying their advance when possible, and 
filling up the wells, so that the enemy would 
have to dig for water at every halting-place. 
Campaigning in the Soudan means, to a great 
extent, manoeuvring and fighting for water ; so 
this was the best means of retarding the march 
of the Soudanese and affording the garrison at 
Agordat time to make full preparations for 
giving them a warm reception. 

On the Tuesday the onward niairch of Ahmed 
All's advanced guard had reached Kufit, a village 
at the junction of several valleys, twenty-three 
miles from the fort. The scouts had assembled 
at Shaglet village and wells, five miles from the 
enemy. Captain Carchidio, an enterprising 
officer who was in command, watched the Sou- 
danese closelv, waiting for an opportunity to cut 
in and make some prisoners, from whom he 



hoped to gather precise information about the 
force in his front. The result was some smart 
skirmishing late in the afternoon, the dismounted 
troopers on the Italian side e.xchanging fire with 
the Mahdist outposts. Carchidio noticed thai 
the enemy showed no disposition to charge, and 
also had the satisfaction of reporting that their 
riflemen were abominably bad shots. 

Next morning the vanguard of the emir 
formed in battle array, and moved slowly for- 
ward against Shaglet. A few shots were fired, 
and a handful of the Italian troops, who would 
have been cut oft' and overwhelmed if they had 
ventured to dispute the possession of the place 
with the invaders, retired on the wild valley 
where the ravine of K.hor Akbermanna joins 
the Khor Barka, the deep rock channel, dry in 
summer, traversed by a stream in winter, which 
marks the approach to Agordat. At the wells of 
Ashai another squadron came to their aid from 
the fort, for they had sent back word that they 
were being forced back rapidly by the enemy's 
advance. Near the wells the Italian officers 
made a stand. With carbine fire they beat off. an 
attack of the Dervish cavalry, and it was only 
when masses of infantr}', led by mounted chiefs, 
came pouring down the wild road along the 
ravine that they again fell back towards Agordat. 

The way in which this small body of native 
troops trusted their European leaders, and under 
their guidance kept touch with the huge mass 
opposed to them, retiring slowly before it day 
after day, was proof enough that the troops at 
Agordat could be relied upon to behave witb 
steadiness in the coming conflict. Arimondi 
considered that his small force of cavalry had 
done its part, and after the skirmish of El Ashai 
he ordered them to join him at Agordat, and 
sent forward in their place a couple of hundred 
infantry, under Captain Catalano, to form an 
outpost line across the vallev and keep touch 
with the enemy. 

Catalano had orders to try to make an attack 
on the Mahdists' camp after sunset, breaking in 
upon their lines suddenlv with a view to securing 
a few prisoners. As yet none had been cai)tured, 
and Arimondi wanted them in order to get more 
precise information than he possessed as to the 
numbers and plans of his opponents. Catalano 
went forward and reconnoitred the enemy's 
position, but he had to report that it was im- 
possible to do an\-thing. Ahmed Ali had camped 
all, his force in one huge zeriba — that is, a teni- 
porarv enclosure made bv cutting down masses 
of thorny plants and making them into a kind 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



of hedge all round the camp. Behind this 
barrier the Mahdist sentries were ever on the 
alert. To surprise an\' prisoners was out of the 
question. The most Catalano could do was to 
keep the Dervish camp continually under obser- 
vation, and towards midnight he saw and heard 
enough to make him feel fairly certain that 
Ahmed Ali was preparing to break up his bivouac 
and venture on a night march. 

The zeriba was about five miles west of the 
fort, close to the edge of the Barka ravine, in 



a hurried messags to Agordat to say that the 
attack was coming before dawn. At the fort a 
heavy convoy of ammunition that was coming 
up from Keren was an.viously e.xpected, and the 
question was whether the Mahdists or the 
camels would be the first to come in sight. At 
dawn there were no signs of the enemy, though 
the garrison was on the alert. Soon after the 
bright morning sunshine showed the convoy 
toiling along the caravan track on the north 
side of Khor Barka. At seven it was safe under 
the guns of the fort. At the same hour, 
though still out of sight, the Mahdist 




IIEAT OFF AN ATTACK OF THE DERVISH CAVALRY " (/. 5I) 



which the horses had been watered before sunset. 
At 1.30 a.m. on Thursday, the 21st, the Mah- 
dists, leaving their camels under a guard in the 
camp, poured out in a solid column, with the 
cavahy in front, and Catalano fell back, sending 



vanguard was coming down the nortTi side of tho 
Khor in the opposite direction. If it had moved 
a little more rapidly during the night it would 
have cut off the convoy. 

It was not till nine o'clock that the Mahdists 



THE ITALIANS IN THE SOUDAN: AGORDAT. 



■53 




M A S S O W A H . 



came in sight of the fort. Then their cavalry 
were seen riding out of some clumps of trees 
about 2,000 yards north of Agordat and near the 
village of Ad Omar. They came on slowly, the 
Italian cavalry retiring before them. When they 
caught sight of the fort, with the Italian tri- 
colour flying over it, they came to a standstill, 
evidently waiting for their main body. It was 
afterwards ascertained that there was riding 
among them an old comrade of Gordon's, the 
Emir Faragalla, who commanded the fort of 
Omdurman for him during the first part of the 
siege of Khartoum, and had only surrendered to 
the Mahdi wiien he had no longer any provisions 
for his garrison. Faragalla had often travelled 
on the Kassala and Keren road, and he acted as 
the guide of the advance against Agordat. 

The pause puzzled the garrison not a little. 
Towards eleven o'clock they got a hint of what 
was happening. Till then they had been sending 
and receiving messages by the telegraph line 
which ran by Keren to Massowah. But sud- 
denly communication stopped. The Mahdists 
had pushed forward imder the screen of their 
cavalry, occupied the junction of the two vallej's 
of Khor Barka and Khor Kar Obel to the east of 
the fort, thus cutting it off from the direct road 
to Keren. At the junction of the two guUevs 
they came on the telegraph line, and promptly 
destroyed a considerable length of it. Having 
thus isolated the fort they proceeded to attack 
it. A long and broad column of infantry, some 
thousands strong and chiefly armed with rifles, 
came out from behind the village of Ad Omar, 
and, moving with a slow but steady pace, ad- 
vanced towards the Barka ravine, east of the 



fort. Till this moment there had only been a 
few rifie and carbine shots exchanged between 
the cavalry, but the fight was now to begin in 
earnest. A battery of four mountain-guns- at 
the fort opened suddenly on the advancing 
column. The Italian officers had got the range 
correctly, the native gunners worked their guns 
smartly, and shell after shell burst fairly over the 
heads of the Soudanese. Yet on they came, 
their emirs and standard-bearers riding in the 
front of each battalion, many of them in glit- 
tering armour. As they neared the steep bank 
of the Khor they broke into a run ; but it was 
a run forward.^ The long column slipped like a 
huge snake down one bank of the ravine and 
glided up the other, pushed through a belt of 
trees that lined its southern bank, and reap- 
peared in a long line of battle behind the villages 
of Algeden and Saberdat, about a mile and a 
half from the fort. 

So far not only had the Mahdists shown 
splendid pluck, but Ahmed Ali had displayed 
some tactical skill. He had boldly cut the 
Italians off from their base, and he was in a posi- 
tion from which a successful attack would be 
most disastrous to them. But he had made the 
mistake in crossing, the Khor a little too near 
the fort. As his troops appeared behind the 
villages the shells began to drop faster among 
them. They fell back a little, and then halted 
again, sending parties of horsemen into the two 
villages to clear them of any supplies that might 
have been left there. But Ahmed Ali had no 
intention of tr^-ing to rush the fort. He knew 
better : his plan was to make the Italians come 
out and attack him in the open, in order to try 



RATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



to drix'c him from their communication with 
Keren. If ihcy failed, he would be able to 
surround and starve them out. 

Arimondi had drawn up his troops along the 
ridge on which the fort stands, looking to the 
westward, the direction from which he expected 
the attack, and that also in which the position 
he held was easiest to defend. On the appear- 
ance of the Mahdists in his rear he changed his 
front, and now looked eastward. One company 
of about 200 men held» the fort, together with 
one of the mountain-batteries. Another com- 
pany held the ground between it and the Khor, 
ground covered with a thick growth of date 
palms. Two more companies were in reserve 
behind, the fort. The irregulars and the cavalry 
were ju.st south of it, where there is a drop in 
the line of the summit of the ridge. Where it 
rose again, the right of his line was formed by 
a battalion of infantry and another battery — 
2,i8i men, with eight mountain-guns, formed 
his entire force. The Mahdists mustered S,ogo 
riflemen, 3,000 spearmen, and between 500 and 
600 cavalry. But they had brought no cannon 
with them, and so had no means of replying to 
the long-ranging fire of the Italian mountain- 
batteries. 

Noon came, and still the Mahdists quietly 
held their ground. Arimondi felt that he must 
act against them. \Vhat he feared most was 
that thej- would maintain themselves behind the 
villages till after sunset, and then rush his posi- 
tion in the dark. He therefore resolved to risk 
an attack upon them. 

If 'he had followed the tactics adopted in our 
own battles in the Soudan he would have 
formed his men in a square, moved steadily 
against the Mahdist position, tempted them 
thus to tiy a headlong charge, and destroyed 
them with a rapid rifle-fire as they tried to 
close, following up the retreat of what was left 
of them with a cavalry charge. The chief in- 
terest of this fight at Agordat arises from the 
fact that Arimondi ventured to attack in line. 
The right wing, under Colonel Cortese, a batta- 
lion and a mountain-battery, moved upon the 
village of Algeden. Half a battalion from the left 
wing, under Major Fadda, advanced between 
Cortese's force and the Khor, prolonging his 
line and conforming to its movements. The 
rest of the force guarded the fort and acted as 
a reserve. At first the companies moved in 
little columns. At eight hundred yards from 
the enemy they deployed into line, but the 
front on which they moved was .so extended 



that, even when they had formed a single-rank 
firing-line, they had long intervals between the 
companies. The battery came into action on a 
swell of ground behind the right of the attack. 

The first shots from the niountain-guns were 
fired at half-past twelve, the object aimed at being 
the village. At the same time rifle-fire began 
all along the Italian line. As soon as the Italian 
advance began there had been a loud booming 
of war-drums and a rattle of kettledrums all 
along the Mahdist line. It was the signal for 
them to form for battle ; and instead of waiting 
for the attack they came forward to meet it. 
They had broken from line into four strong 
columns, each with a broad front. Their leaders 
rode before them, and in front of each column 
was a cluster of green banners. The beating of 
the drums, the shouts of the warriors, seemed to 
indicate that a wild rush like that of the Arabs 
in our own desert war was coming. But instead 
they marched forward with a long, swinging 
step, keeping their ranks, and as the chiefs 
fell back with the banners on the flanks of the 
columns the leading ranks opened a quick fire 
with their Remingtons, never stopping either to 
load or to fire. One column moved partlj' 
hidden among the date palms near the Khor, 
the three others marched straight for the Italian 
right. On they came wreathed in the smoke of 
their rifles, closing their ranks as their forenrost 
warriors fell under the Italian fire, but never 
pausing for a moment. The long, thin line 
opposed to them could not have stood for a 
moment if hey had once closed with it ; and 
failing to siop them with their fire, the Italian 
infantry began to retire. On the right, Cortese 
tried to check the onset of the Soudanese by a 
counter-attack, but the respite thus gained was 
of the briefest. The infantrv were driven back 
past the battery, and the Soudanese rushed upon 
the guns. The gunners fired to the last moment, 
finishing up with four rounds of case shot, the 
last round being fired at a range of something 
like fifty yards. Then they tried to get the 
guns on to the backs of the battery mules, in 
order to earn,- them off". But bullet, bayonet, 
and spear finished every mule in the battery, 
several of the gunners were killed, and finally 
the four guns had to be abandoned. This was 
at teu minutes to one-^-the battle having so far 
lasted a bare twenty minutes. 

But be it said to the credit of the Italian 
officers and their native soldiers, there was 
nothing like a rout. Overweighted and forced 
back, the line never broke. In a watercourse to 



THE ITALIANS IN THE SOUDAN : AGOKDAT. 



55 



the rear of their first position thcv halted, and 
their heavy vollej'-firing brought the iMahdists 
to a standstill for a while. Then the attack was 
renewed, and the line of the watercourse was 
abandoned ; but as they crossed it the Mahdists 
came under the fire of the fort, and the reserve 
was pushed forward to help the first line of the 
defence. The cavalry rode down the slope 
towards the date-palms on the left, waiting for 
an opportunity to charge if no other means 
could be found to check the Dervish advance. 

But they had suffered heavily in getting so 
far as the watercourse, and all the spirit of their 
first advance seemed to be gone. The massive 
columns had broken into a long, confused line of 
riHes and spears, and 
twice thev tried in 
vain to make good 
tlieir footing on the 
west side of the gull}'. 
If they had been sup- 
ported by artillerj-, 
and if they had known 
better how to use 
their rifles, nothing 
could have stopped 
them. But they had 
no guns to reply to 
the shell-fire of the 
tort, and their own 
shooting was of the 
wildest. Musaid Gai- 
dun, the Emir of Kas- 
sala, was struck down 
by a bullet; Faragalla, 

the e.x-Governor of Omduman, fell dangerously 
wounded. Ahmed AH, mounted on a splendid 
horse and clad from head to foot in an ancient 
suit of chain-mail, was riding in the front of the 
attack, a group of standard-bearers around hinj, 
encouraging by word and example his Soudanese 
to push on against the infidel stronghold. A 
group like this was certain to draw fire. One 
of the guns of the fort loaded with case-shot 
was laid for it, and the chief dropped dead 
amongst his standard-bearers. He had been 
hit full in the face with the iron base of the 
case-shot, several of the bullets wounding those 
who rode beside him. Discouraged by the fall 
of their leaders and their own heavv losses the 
Soudanese began to fall back. 

Now was the time for a counter-attack, and 
Arimondi seized it. Every available man was 
pushed forward against the retiring enemy. The 
cavalry charged the Dervish horsemen on the 



left of the enemy's line, and then threatened 
to cut in upon their retreat to the villages. 
Behind them the rolling fire of the Italian in- 
fantry scattered death in their confused ranks. 
The guns of the outlying battery were re- 
captured and turned on the villages. By two 
o'clock the Soudanese had given up the fight 
and were in full retreat. They had left more 
than three hundred killed and wounded and 
some seventy banners on the battlefield. The 
thin line of the Italians had indeed given way 
before them, but it had held together, and it 
had resumed its advance the moment the onset 
of the Soudanese army was checked. What 
would have happened if the fort had not been 




there to support Arimondi's retiring line is 
another question ; and it is also by no means 
clear that the Italians would have held their 
ground if the Soudanese had not had so many 
rifles. There seems not to be the least doubt 
that the attack was made with much less speed 
and impetus than the usual Dervish charge, 
because the men were trying to keep up an 
effective fire while they marched. That fire did 
very little damage to the Italians, but it cost the 
Soudanese hundreds of their foremost warriors, 
because it delayed their advance and kept them 
the longer under the deadly fire of the well- 
trained infantry opposed to them. 

The Soudanese had an abundance of ammu- 
nition. More than a hundred cartridges were 
found in the pouches of some of the killed on 
the battlefield ; but their idea of fighting with 
the rifle was only to fire as rapidly as possible. 
They had not been taught the good rule to 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



" F'irc low and fire slow ; " so that even at 
point-blank ranges most of their bullets flew 
harmlessly over the heads of the line opposed 
to them. Considering how hotly they had 
been engaged the Italians lost very few men. 
Three officers and seven non-commissioned 
officers were killed, a non-commissioned officer 
and two officers being wounded. Of the rank- 
and-file (all of them natives), 104 were killed and 
121 were wounded. Thus about one-tenth of 
the force actually engaged was Inrs clc combat. 
But the Soudanese loss was more than one- 
fourth of their total force. 

The cavalry horses were tired with the heavy 
work they had done in scouting during the days 
before the battle. The soldiers generally were 
exhausted with their efforts and with the great 
heat ot the day. So although Arimondi tried 
to pursue in the hope of cutting the Dervish 
army off from its retreat on Kassala and inflicting 
further loss upon it, he was unable to prevent 



the Soudanese from regaining the caravan track 
north of the Khor by which they had advanced. 
After the first five miles he lost touch of them. 
Some hundreds of stragglers were taken prison- 
ers, and the cavalrv picked up some more ne.xt 
dav. But the defeated invaders were so de- 
moralised that they never halted till they had 
reached Kassala. The attempt to fight the 
white man with his own weapons had proved 
an utter failure. And once more in this fight 
on the borderland of the Soudan the ascendancy 
of the European had been illustrated by the 
confidence with which a couple of thousand 
African troops had stood by their Italian officers, 
faced at their command an army outnumbering 
them si.xfold, and under their guidance helped to 
hurl back the men of the desert in hopeless rout, 
although many of the warriors who thus suffered 
defeat had been victorious in two campaigns 
against native armies on the frontier of Abyssinia 
and in Kordofan. 




"THE CHIEF DROPI'ED DE.\D AMO.NGST HIS STANDARD BEARERS " (/. 55). 



57 








/ /BY aJ.tutciiF^E 'i^yNe \ \ 







IF the electric telegraph had existed in 
1805, or railways, or if there had even 
been roads in the great European Pen- 
insula along which a mounted courier 
could make decent pace, the battle off the * 
shoals of Cape Trafalgar might verj' well never 
have been fought, or at least have been 
considerably modified in its details and re- 
sults. It is an historical fact that when on 
the iqth of October M. de Villeneuve put 
out from Cadiz in command of the Franco- 
Spanish fleet, which was fated to be so crush- 
ingly beaten, a recall from his great master. 
Napoleon, was hastening down the Peninsula 
as fast as horsemen could carry it. Admiral 
Rosily was to be promoted to the chief com- 
mand, and the man he superseded was to return 
forthwith to Paris and answer a catalogue of 
grave charges. * 

De Villeneuve's chief sin was want of success, 
and under the first Napoleon no graver charge 
could have been framed against him. On the 
2;rd July of the same vear he had fought an 
action with Sir Robert Calder, the commander 
of the blockading squadron off Ferrol, in which 
neither side, according to the sentiment of the 
time, covered itself with credit. The British 
with the smaller force captured two ships, and 
inflicted more loss than they received ; but 
the indignant howls of his country forced the 
admiral to demand a court-martial, which, as it 
turned out, heavily censured him. They said he 
ought to have done far more. 

The incident shows how the British prestige, 
bought at St. Vincent, Aboukir Bay, and count- 
less other actions, was appreciated both in these 
Islands and by our then enemies on the Con- 
tinent ; and, in fact. Napoleon himself, though 
the last man to admit such a thing until it was 
forced upon him, forbade his sea commanders to 
accept action unless they had a strong surplus of 
force following their flag. But presuming that 
the allied fleet could annihilate any squadron 






which the British could put on the seas to meet 
them, he sent De Villeneuve definite instructions 
as to what he wanted to be done. They were 
to force the Straits of Gibraltar, land troops on 
the Neapolitan coast, sweep the Mediterranean 
of all British cruisers and commerce, and enter 
the port of Toulon to re-victual and re-fit. And 
it was on this errand that — anticipating his re- 
call — Admiral de Villeneuve led out of the har- 
bour of Cadiz the fleet of French and Spanish 
battleships under his supreme command. 

That day was the iqth of October, 1805 ; but 
the wind drew light, and it was not till the 20th 
that the entire combined fleet got into the 
long Atlantic swell, and showed to a pair of 
British reconnoitring frigates no Iqss than thirty- 
three sail of the line — battleships of two, three, 
and in one case fourgundecks — besides attendant 
smaller craft. 

The two frigates, the Eiirvaliis and the Sirins. 
had a shot or so pitched at them occasionally 
when they pried too close ; but they contrived 
to hang on the skirts of the allies, and to glean 
news which kept the bunting on a constant dance 
up and down from their trucks. De Villeneuve 
took the frigates for scouts, and scouts they 
were ; but he did not know that they were tele- 
graphing detailed news of his movements to 
the British Mediterranean fleet under the most 
skilful seaman of all time — Horatio, Viscount 
Nelson. 

The Island warships lay hove-to out of sight 
beyond the curve of ocean, riding laboriously 
over the swells, with copper glancing green and 
gold in the sunlight. They had waited for this 
moment for many a weary windy month. 

Looked at from the light of our after-know- 
ledge, they were clumsy, leewardly, ungainly 
hulks, with square, ponderous, wake-drawing 
sterns, and bows like the breasts of an apple ; 
with narrow yards which had to be reinforced 
by studding-sail booms before a decent spread of 
cloth could be shown ; with massive hempen 



58 



BATTLES OF THE XIXETEEXTH CENTURY. 



rigging, and nianv a piece of uncouth gear and 
titling whereof the very name is lost to us in 
this year of grace. They had single topsails and 
single topgallant sails, and each carried under 
her rearing bowsprit a spritsail with round 
holes in the leaches, set on a swaying spritsail 
yard. 

Their bell3'Lng sides towered above the sea like 
great black walls, as though to make the largest 
possible mark for hostile shot ; and in these walls 
were doors, as many as a hundred to a ship, 
which could lift and show a grinning cannon- 
mouth framed in its proper porthole. 

Their manning was typical of the time. 
There was the marine, a pipe-clayed, pig-tailed 
soldier, with garmei'its about as suited to ship- , 
board as an archbishop's would be. The 'fore- 
mast hand, though nine times out of ten the 
scouring of a press-gang from a crimp's house 
in ^some unlucky seaport town, was usuallv a 
seaman by education and a iighting-man by 
instinct ; and at his best the primest exponent 
of his two trades which the world has ever seen. 
He was a tough handful, the Jack of 1805, and 
he required an iron discipline to keep him 
under full command — and he got it. It was a 
rare daywhen some six or eight of him did not 
appear spreadeagled on the gratings which were 
rigged in the gangways, to receive three or four 
dozen caresses of the "cat," laid with zeal upon 
the bare back. 

His officers, too, were not what we should call 
refined and educated men nowadays. But they 
were skilful in both branches of their profession ; 
because, without consummate seamanship, the 
leewardl}^ slow-sailing craft of that day would 
not keep afloat ; and in an era when the ocean 
breeze always smacked of battle, whoso was not 
an excellent fighting-man was quickl}- weeded 
from the ranks by captivity or death. 

It is as well to understand these matters 
clearly, and then one can better appreciate that 
supreme outcome of the time, the British Vice- 
Admiral in command, who put the capstone on 
his glory b)^ the sea-fight which averted the 
invasion of England and made the fate of the 
v>-orld what it is. 

The fleet lay pitching clumsily over the dull 
green Atlantic swells, the wooden routine going 
on unchangeably as it had run for years before — 
watches, quarters, drill, meals, hammock ; and 
then the same might be expected to follow over 
again. But of a sudden a change began to take 
place. The scene was brightened with patches 
of gaudy bunting. From every mast-truck in 



succe.ssion there broke out strings of flags, 
which the signalmen, book in hand, translated 
into words. Phrase by phrase they read out the 
signals, and the officers tingled with expectancy. 

" The French and Spaniards are out at last ; 
they outnumber us in ships and guns and men : 
we are on the eve of the greatest sea-fight in 
history." 

The news huimued round the fleet, forward 
and aft ; but there was neither hustle nor scene. 
Lord Nelson's instruction to his captains had ■; 
gone round daj-s before, and thej- were such a 
masterpiece of tactics that there was nothing ta 
add to them Thc\' mapped out the plan of 
battle with all distinctness, but they did not 
cramp the enterprise of the inferiors. Know-ing 
from his infinite experience that in the thick of 
action circumstances might well occur which 
called for individual judgment, the leader ended 
his charge thus ; "' In case signals cannot be 
seen or clearly understood, no captain can do 
very wrong if he place his ship alongside of an 
enem}'." 

The men, too, after the custom of the day, did 
not indulge in any morbid thought of possible 
death or maiming. 

" Thev were as merry at the thought of this 
sanguinary- fight as a mob of schoolboys set loose 
for an unexpected holiday, and their conversation 
was concerning the , prize-money they would 
take, and the jinks and jaunts they would have 
ashore when they put in to port to refit." 

But there was more waiting yet before the. 
battle began to burn in grim red life. The 
breezes were fitful, and the allies full of clumsy 
caution. It was not till the 21st that the fleets 
came together, and the British were able to 
force an action. 

At 8.30 of that historical morning, De Ville- 
neu\e made the signal for his ships to form 
in close order on the port tack, thereby to 
bring Cadiz on his lee bow, and facilitate, if 
necessary, his escape into that port. The order 
was obeyed clumsily, and what with unskilful 
seamanship, light breeze, and heavy ground- 
swell, the resulting formation was crudely 
crescent-shaped, the ships clustering in knots 
and bunches, with great green gaps of tenant- 
less water between them. And to this thirty- 
three sail of the line bore down on them in 
two columns from the windward twenty-seven 
British war-ships under everj- stitch of canvas 
that they could show, yet making a bare three 
knots with the catspaws that played over the 
swells. 



TRAFALGAR. 



59 



The English commander-in-chief haa hoisted 
his Hag on his old lOO-gun ship I'lcfory, and in 
her led the van ot the weather column. He vva.s 
a little, slight, one-armed man, blind of one eye, 
and most shabbil\' dressed. The seams of his 
uniform frock coat were threadbare, the fabric 
white with sea salt, the gold lace tarnished to 
black, flattened rags. Amongst the folds of the 
left breast were four frayed, lack-lustre stars, 
dull caricatures of what had once been brilliant 
decorations. He was a most slatternly admiral. 



ours. But what he said went home to the 
hearts of that rough, fighting crew, and a bubble 
of cheers rippled against his heels throughout 
all his progress along those narrow 'tween 
decks. They knew what a fight was, and they 
knew what a fight that little, shabby man would 
give them. The joy of battle was as meat and 
drink to them, and thej' licked their lips and 
made their noises of glee, like dogs held back 
on a chain. Their one wish was for close action. 
Amongst the officers on the quarter-deck a 





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^ A. , . 1 1 :,,„, TrafalSif ' ( 




BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR. ^'iffur. 




21 " Oct; isno. ^ #>' " 








British ljt> #- it 




French ^ J— 

wl'riuce de Aiituriii 




.^p,nUS ^ ^^ <^^^ 




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There might be little of Lord Nelson remain- 
ing, but of what there was, the quality was 
e.xcellent. His solitary eye was as bright as a 
bird's. His brain was the most perfect sea- 
brain that ever schemed a tactic. In a ship's 
company where all were active, none were more 
active than he. As his vessel lunged over the 
Atlantic swells, nearing the enemy, he visited 
all the different decks, overseeing everything 
himself, and addressing the men at their quarters, 
and cautioning them not to fire a single shot 
without being certain that it would find a suit- 
able resting-place. 

He spoke in the rough sea-argot of his day, 
which differs from the more refined sneech of 



different topic was being discussed. They were 
men without a single thought for their own 
lives, but their reverence for Lord Nelson was 
idolatrous, and their fears for him heavy. It 
seemed to them that on his safety alone de- 
pended the success of the day ; and as things 
were going, they knew that it must soon be 
desperately imperilled. 

The T'n'forv, both as van-ship of a column, 
and as bearing at her fore the flag of the com- 
mander-in-chief, would inevitably draw down 
upon herself all the concentrated force of the 
enemy's first fire, and the slaughter on her decks 
would be murderously heavj-. 

It was an awkward task to put this to the 



00 



RATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTUKY. 



admiral, a man notoriously careless of his own 
personal safety ; but when he returned from his 
tour of inspection, his anxious officers clustered 
round him, and one of them spoke the wishes of all. 
Would he not allow the Tc.iiiniire, then 
close astern, to slip past him, and as van-ship 
take oflf the brunt of the first fire ? 



" There, Hardy," he said, as he came back t" 
the quarterdeck, " let the 'Temeraires' open the 
ball if they can — which they most assuredly 
can't. I think there's nothing more to be done 
now, is there, till we open fire ? Oh, yes ; 
stay a minute, though. I suppose I must give 
the fleet something as a final fillip. Let me 




LORD COLLINGVVOOD. 
{FroDt an Engraving by Charles Turner.) 



Nelson laughed, and turned to Hardy, his flag- 
captain. 

" Oh, yes," he said; "'let her go ahead if she 
can." 

Captain Hardy faced the taiTrail, and hailed the 
Temcrairc. His chief, still laughing, ran forward 
along the decks to the officers in command of 
the sail-trimmers, giving eager orders — a pull at 
a brace here, at a sheet there. The Tcineratve 
might race him into action, but he would take 
care that the Victory should be first engaged. 



.■^ee. How would this do—' Nelson expects tliat 
ever\r man will do his duty ' ? " 

Captain Hardy suggested that " England 
expects " would be better, and on Nelson rap- 
turously consenting, the message went up flag 
by flag, and broke out in a dazzle of colour at 
the Victory's niizzen topgallant masthead. A 
hundred telescopes read the bunting, and when 
the message was translated to the British crews, 
their wild, exultant cheers spread out over the 
ocean's swell like the rattle of musketr}-. 



TRAFAr.GAR. 



(31 



Only one other signal was made, and that 
was belayed fast to the T'lciory's main truck 
and stayed there till it was shot away. It read : 
" Engage the enemv more closely." But it 
did not incite any special enthusiasm. It was 
Nelson's customary order on going into action, 



It was just before noon that the French /'o«- 
,§•«(■?«• opened tire upon \'ice-Admiral Collingwood 
in the Royal Sovereign, and, as though it had 
been a signal, the two admirals' flags broke out 
at their fore-mastheads, and the ships of both fleets 
hoisted their ensigns. The wind was very light, 




THE ' KUY^L SOVEREIG.NS' STUCK. TO THEIR GUNS, AN1> FOUGHl THEM LIKE FIENDS" (/. 62). 



I 



I 



and was taken entirely as a matter of course. 
The Island seamen of that day were never chary 
of coming to hand-grips when thej- got the 
chance. They had entire confidence in pike 
and cutlass and club-butted- pistol when wielded 
by their own Uisty selves, and a superb con- 
tempt for the physical powers of Don and 
Frenchman, both of which matters were veiy 
serviceable to their success. 



the sea oil-smoth, with a great ground-swell set- 
ting in from the westward. A glaring sun from 
out a cobalt sky blazed dou-n on the freshly- 
painted flanks of the French and Spanish ships, 
and for a moment the fluttering national flags 
lit the scene with brilliant splashes of red and 
blue and white and gold 
powder-smoke filled the air 
and the flags and the 



Then the grey 

in thicker volumes, 

ships themselves 



62 



BATTLES OF THE XIXETEEXTH CENTUHV 



disappeared in its mist, and only the lurid crim- 
son flashes of the guns shone out to tell that 
the fight hail hegun from ever}- battery that had 
drawn into range. 

To the first salute of iron and lead the Roynl 
So7crctgii made no response in kind. She held 
grimly on in silence, with her sail-trimmers work- 
ing as though thev were at a peace review ; but 
when she drew astern of the great three-decker 
Sciiita Anna, the gun-captains of the port batteries 
drew the lan3'ards as their pieces bore. The 
guns were double-shotted, and so great was the 
precision of their murderous, raking fire that no 
less than fourteen of the Spaniard's guns were 
disabled and four hundred of her crew either 
killed or wounded. 

At the same time, in passing, she let fly 
her starboard broadside into the Fouguciix in 
the endeavour to pay her the somewhat similar 
compliment of raking her from forward aft ; 
but, owing to the distance and the smoke, 
that discharge did but comparatively little 
damage. 

"Ah ! " said CoUingwood to his flag-captain ; 
" they've got off this time, but we'll give them 
gruel later on. Bv Jove, Rotheram, this is a 
sweet place, is«i't it ? What would Nelson give 
to be here just now ? " 

" And," says James in his historv, " by a 
singular coincidence Lord Nelson, the moment he 
saw his friend in his enviable position, exclaimed, 
' See how that noble fellow CoUingwood carries 
his ship into action ! ' " 

Having in this wav plaved the overture to the 
great opera which was to follow, Admiral Col- 
lingwood put his helm a-starboard, and ranged 
so close alongside the Santa Anna that their 
guns were nearly muzzle to muzzle. The can- 
nonade between the two three-deckers was 
something terrific, but the Royal Sovereign soon 
had more than one opponent battering at her. 
The Fougnciix bore up and raked her astern ; 
ahead the San Lcandro wore and raked her in 
the other direction ; whilst upon the Island ship's 
starboard bow and quarter were the San Juste 
and Indomptable, completing the ring of fire. 

L'nder such a murderous attack, any other 
crew might well have been driven below ; but 
the "Royal Sovereigns'' stuck'to their guns, and, 
stripped to the waist, fought them like fiends. 
So incessant was the fire that they frequently 
saw the cannon-shot clash against one another 
in mid-air ; and, moreover, they could congratu- 
late themselves that the ships which ringed 
them in quite as often hit friend as foe. 



Aware at length of tin? nijury which they 
were receiving from their own hre, and observing 
that four more British ships were already looming 
through the battle mist as they bore down to 
the support of their leader, the four two-deckers, 
one by one, drew off to attend to other affairs, 
and the Royal Sovereign took up position upon 
her big opponent's lee bow. The British Bcllcislc 
threw in a broadside as she passed to the thick 
of the fight beyond, and then Admiral CoUing- 
wood had the Spanish admiral all to him.self. 
Though mounting 112 guns to her opponent's 
100, the Santa Anna's crew were beginning to 
learn that in the practical fighting of these guns 
there were other men who could beat them. 
Splinters flew, men were cut in half by the rain- 
ing shot, and spars fell clattering down from 
aloft, and still the fire kept up. At the end of 
seventy minutes the Santa Anna's masts were all 
over the side, and still her officers would not 
surrender ; and it was not till 2.15 p.m. that she 
finally struck and was taken in possession. 

The Roxal Sovereign herself was in little 
better plight. Her mizzenmast she had ahead)- 
lost, and no sooner did she drive down a little 
ahead of the prize, to put herself somewhat to 
rights, than her mainmast went over the star- 
board side, tearing oflF two of the lower deck . 
ports in its crashing fall. With foremast shot 
through in ten places, and rigging in bights and 
streamers, the victor was almost in as unmanage- 
able a plight as the Spanish three-decker which 
she had so gallantl}- fought and captured. 

But meanwhile, the hottest centre of the action 
was elsewhere. Lord Nelson had, time past, in a 
two-decker, shown with point how little he feared 
coming in contact with a Spanish first-rater, and 
the Santissima Trinidad — the towering four- 
decker towards which he first steered — had 
already known what it was to dread and flee 
from him. But though on Trafalgar day he 
directed his course first towards this old oppo- 
nent, it was not with the intention of attacking 
her. A Spanish rear-admiral was but poor game 
when a French vice-admiral commanded the 
allied fleet, and it was Pierre Charles Jean Bap- 
tiste Sylvestre de Villeneuvc whom he had 
marked out for his first quarry in that world- 
famous sea-fight. 

The powder-mist was thickening down, and 
human eyes could not peer far through it. 
Although everv glass on board the Victory was 
quartering the grev haze, not one could discover 
a ship with the French admiral's flag, and Nelson 
fumed with disappointment. The four-decker's 



TRAFALGAR. 



6.3 



flag at the mizzen could be made out, and some 
>ignal.s were occasionally seen at the main of two 
or three othtr vessels ; but no French ensign 
flew at the fore to denote an admiral's flagship. 
Often did the little chieftain himself, with his 
remaining eye, cast a puckered glance towards 
the Franco-Spanish line in search of that^ ship 
which he so lusted to fight and capture ; and so 
lightly did he value personal risk that, though 
urged more than once on the subject, he would 
not suffer the hammocks to be stowed one inch 
higher than usual, preferring rather to risk the 
pelting of grape and musketry than have his 
view in any way obstructed. 

At last the Buccntaurr tired a shot at the 
Victory, which then, with studding-sails set on 
both sides, was making scarcely a knot-and-a-half 
through the water. The shot fell short, but 
others followed, and others, until at last one 
plunged through the belly of a sail. 

A minute or so of awful silence followed, and 
then, as if by signal from the French admiral, 
the eight weathermost vessels opened upon the 
Victory such a tornado of fire as had never be- 
fore been borne by one single ship, and perhaps 
never will be again. The wind had died away 
to a mere breath, and she lifted over the swells 
with scarcel}' steerage-way on her. Not a gun 
could be brought to bear. Her mizzen-topmast 
was shot away, the wheel was smashed, and the 
ship had to be steered by the tiller in the gun- 
room. A double-headed shot killed outright 
eight marines on the poop and wounded some 
others. And meanwhile the admiral and his flag- 
captain continued their quarter-deck promenade 
as though dinner required digestion and a sea- 
battle was the last thing in the world to trouble 
their thoughts. 

Presently a shot smashed through the launch 
as she lay on the booms, and, passing between 
Lord Nelson and Captain Hardy, bruised the left 
foot of the latter, tearing the buckle from his 
shoe. They both instantly stopped and looked 
inquiringly, each supposing the other to be 
wounded. 

" Neither touched ? Luckv ! " said Nelson. 
''We're getting it now, aren't we? But this 
work is too warm to last long. Hardy. We'll 
give it 'em back directly, and then they'll see 
■►^r lads know how to hand back punishment 
as well as take it. By Jove, aren't the crew 
behaving beautifully ? I've been in one or two 
fights in my time, but I never saw such pluck 
as this ship's company is showing to-daj-." 

" They're behaving splendidly," replied Hardy. 



" And they'll be using themselves ilirectly, please 
the Lord. But the enemy are closing up their 
line. Look ! we can't get through without 
running one of them aboard." 

" I can't help that," replied Nelson ; "and 1 
don't see it much matters which we tackle first. 
Take your choice. Go on board which you please.'' 

By this time the Victory had a loss of fifty 
men in killed and wounded, her studding-sail 
booms were shot off like carrots at the iron, and 
her canvas was like fishing-nets ; but now she 
began to pay back in kind what she had received. 
A forecastle 68-pounder carronade, loaded with 
a round shot and 500 musket balls was delivered 
through the Bnccutaurc's cabin-windows as an 
envoy of what was coming — to wit, a treble 
shotted broadside at fathom range. The effect 
of this terrible salute was to disable 400 men and 
20 guns, and reduce the Bncciitaurc to a com- 
paratively defenceless state. Then the British 
ship went on and engaged the Ncfitunc and the 
Rcdoutablc. 

The Neptune, not liking the look of things, 
kept her distance ; so Hardy ported his helm 
and laid the Victory alongside the Rcdoutablc, 
where she was soon pinned by the interfouling 
of their gear. The French, when they saw 
collision inevitable, shut their lower-deck ports 
and fired from them no more ; but whilst the 
ships' black flanks ground against one another 
to the liftings of the swell, the British fought 
their guns like men possessed, and dashed water 
after the shots lest their hoped-for prize should 
catch fire before she was taken. 

But the Rcdoutablc had by no means sur- 
rendered yet. The fire from her upper decks 
continued, and a still more destructive fire 
poured down from the brass swivels mounted in 
her tops. It was a ball from one of these last 
which has rendered the battle oft' Trafalgar shoals 
doubly memorable down through history. 

As they had been doing all through the en- 
gagement. Lord Nelson and his flag-captain were 
continuing their parade up and down the centre 
of the poop-deck. With his usual disregard for 
personal comfort when the claims of the service 
came in. Nelson had caused his cabin skylight 
to be removed when he hoisted his flag 011 
the Victory, and the gap filled in with planking. 
This gave an uninterrupted passage-way be- 
tween the two lines of guns. They had arrived 
within one paCe of the regular turning spot at 
the cabin ladder-way, when the admiral sud- 
denly faced about. Hardy turned also, and saw 
his chief in the act of falling. 



64 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



" You're never hit ? " he cried. 

" The}- have done for me at last, Hardy." 

" Oh !" I hope not." 

" Yes," replied the admiral quietly, " my back- 
bone is shot through." 

And that, indeed, was verj' near. the truth. 

But admiral or powder-boy, in action the 
treatment is much the same. A marine and 
two seamen took the wounded man below, and 
the fight went on without a check. The fire 
from the Rcd'jutables tops as well as from 
her second-deck guns, which were pointed up- 
wards, proved terribly destructive, and nearly 



outside the combat by repelling that gallant 
assault. 

It vras the Redoutablc s final eftbrt. For 
some time before she had been engaging the 
Tcmcrairc on her port side, and now the British 
ship, getting athwart her bows, lashed her bow- 
sprit to his gangway and raked her till she 
surrendered. She had onlj- her foremast left 
standing, and out of a crew of 645 had 300 
killed and 222 wounded, including nearly everj' 
one of her officers. But of the ships on the 
losing side that dav, the Rcdou table fought the 
best fight of all. 





.■^■^ *- 



CAPE TRAFALGAR. 



the whole C'f the men and officers on the Victory's 
upper deck fell killed or wounded. 

The French were not slow to perceive their 
chance. The bellying curve of the two ships 
prevented their stepping from bulwark to bul- 
wark, but they lowered their mainyard for a 
bridge, and across that streamed over to the • 
assault. 

" Boarders repel boarders ! " 

The cry was yelled through the 'tween decks 
by furious panting officers, and the half-naked 
men, filthv with gunpowder and blood, streamed 
up the hatchways in answer. With axe and 
pike, pistol and cutlass, rammer and tearing 
fingers, thev made their onset ; and though the 
French fought like wolves to retain a footing, 
the Islanders ravened at them* like bulldogs 
so long as one remained alive upon their sacred 
deck planks. 

Another thirty of the Victwys crew were put 



The Temirairc herself had meanwhile been 
getting badly mauled in the rigging, and as her 
gaff had been shot away, her ensign had fluttered 
to the deck. Oberving this, the French Foit- 
giicti^i, then for the moment disengaged, and 
with 680 men still unhurt, fancied she saw a 
good opportunitv for taking a prize, and bore 
down upon her. The Tanerairc was quite pre- 
pared. Whilst Herve}-, her captain, devoted his 
attention to the Redoiitablc to port. Kenned}-, 
his first lieutenant, assembled a portion of the 
crew to starboard, and manned the* starboard 
batteries. Thev delivered their fire at 100 vards. 
Crippled and confused, the Fougitcux ran foul 
of the British ship and was lashed there, and 
then Kenned}-, accompanied by two midship- 
men and a couple of dozen of seamen and 
marines, boarded her in the port main rigging. 

A madder, more reckless piece of work was, 
perhaps, not done in all that desperate day. The 




o 

■^ 






J 



X 5 

a § 



=5 



2ii x^ 



u 



TRAFALGAR. 



65 



Frenchman had quite 500 men left sound and 
scatheless ; and yet that handful of " Temeraires," 
b)- sheer dash and insane valour, drove these 
before them with the bare steel, slaying many, 
and forcing the rest overboard or down the 
hatchways ; so that in ten minutes the great 
French two-decker was entirely their own. 

To look back now at the Bclleislc. After 
throwing in, whilst passing, a broadside to the 
Roval Sovereign s antagonist, the Santa Anna, 
this British 74 sustained for the next twenty 
minutes a tremendous fire from half a dozen 
different ships. Her 
rigging was terriblv 
cut up, and she lost 
si.xty men. Then, 
whilst the wreck of 
her ni i z z e n mast 
masked her after 
guns, the French 
Achillc engaged her 
with comparative im- 
punity, whilst the 
Ai'gle gave it her on 
the starboard side, 
and other ships fired 
into her as they 
passed. Later, the 
French iXeptuneczme 
up, and shooting 
away her remaining 
masts by the board 
reduced her to a 
helpless hulk. It 
seemed as though 
she had to choose 
between strike or 
sink. 

Her hull was almost knocked to pieces ; guna 
were unshipped, and lay on a pulp of torn 
carriages and men ; ports, port-timbers, chan- 
nels, chain-plates, anchors, boats, spars, were all 
reduced to splintered wood and twisted iron ; 
but she fired with the few guns she could use, 
and when the Swiftsnre came up to her rescue 
she hoisted a LTnion Jack on a pike, and sent up 
a thm cheer from amongst the tangled wreckage. 
Her loss in men was fearfullj- severe ; but though 
she was totally- unmanageable, her gun-crews 
stood by their weapons and fired at any enemy 
that came within range to the very end of the 
action. 

In the meanwhile other ships which had been 
left behind by failure of the wind came up into 
the hot vic/i-r, and began by finishing off what 
53 



and five men 
possession, and 
guessed right : 
the ship of the 




SIR THOMAS KAr.T 
i^Front the Pictttrc 



Others had begun. The English Neptune poured 
a broadside into the Bttccntaiire, Nelson's first 
antagonist, and knocked away the main and 
mizzen masts. The Leviathan gave her another 
dose at thirty yards, smashing her stern into 
matchwood, and the Conqueror soon afterwards 
did the same, bringing down her one remaining 
stick, and with it her flag. A marine oflficer 
went off in a boat to take 
he found that Nelson had 
the Bucentaure was indeed 
allies' commander-in-chief 

De X'illeneuve and 
his two captains 
offered their swords 
to the marine, but 
he, thinking it more 
properly belonged to 
his captain to disarm 
officers of their rank, 
declined the honour 
of receiving them. 
Having secured the 
magazine and put 
the key in his pocket, 
and placed one of his 
men as sentry at 
each cabin door, the 
marine clapped the 
admiral and captains 
in his boat, and with 
his three remaining 
hands pulled awa}-. 
The Conqueror, how- 
ever, had proceeded 
elsewhere in chase, 
but at length the boat- 
load was picked up 
ship. Lieutenant Hen- 
commander of the 



RMAN HARD",' 
fiy R, Evans.) 



by the Mars, her sister 

nah, however, the acting 

Mars, had no nice scruples about illustrious 

prisoners. He curtly ordered De Villeneuve 

and his friends below, and went on fighting. 

The Leviathan meanwhile, meeting with the 
Spanish 74 San Augustiuo, had another set-to 
at a hundred-yards range. The Spaniard at- 
tempted a raking fire, but by sheer seamanship 
the British two-decker avoided this and poured 
one in herself at pistol range. Down went like 
a falling tree the San Aiigustino's mizzenmast, 
and with it her colours ; and then to make 
certain that she should strike in fiict, as she had 
done in accident, the Leviathan laid her on 
board. A smart and well-directed fire cleared 
the upper decks, and then the British third 



66 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEExNTH CENTURY. 



lieutenant and a party of seamen and marines 
t'ullowed it up and took her without further 
opposition. 

Scarcelv ha<l the Lcvitithan lashed this prize 
to herself than the Iiitrcpidc, a fresh ship from 
the allied fleet, came surging up ; and after 
raking the Leviathan ahead, ranged up along 
her starboard side and prepared for close action. 
Here, however, she got more than she wanted, 
for the Africa^ another late-comer of the Island 
fleet, dropped in to share her fire and return it 
with compound interest. The Africa^ which 
was only a 64-gun ship, got a tremendous 
mauling, but she half knocked her big anta- 
gonist into her primitive staves, put two 
hundred of her crew hors dc combat, and in 
the end forced her to strike. 

Thus, one after another, of the nineteen ships 
composing the rear of the allies, eleven had been 
captured and one burnt, while seven quitted 
the line and ran to leeward. The burnt ship 
was the French 74 Aclitllc, which, in pass- 
ing encounters with other craft, had lost her 
mizzenmast, main-topmast, and foreyard, and was 
also on fire in her foretop. Her fire-engine had 
been wrecked by a gunshot, and as the flames 
could not be extinguished, the only alternative 
was to cut away the mast in its entirety, so that 
it might fall clear of the ship. The crew were 
about to do this when a furious broadside from 
the Prince cut the mast in two about its centre, 
and the wreck with its spouting flames fell 
directly upon the boats in the waist. These 
soon caught fire also, and the blaze bit into the 
wooden fabric of the ship itself and crept hungrily 
down to the decks below. 

The Prince, seeing what had befallen her 
antagonist, ceased fire and hove-to, and then, 
with the Swiftsurc, hoisted out all the boats 
left that would float, to save the Achillc's crew. 
It was a dangerous service, because the guns of 
the blazing ship fired of their own accord when 
the fire reached them, and the Swiftsnre's boats 
had three men killed by the shot. That the 
Achille had already suffered heavy loss may be 
judged from the fact that her senior surviving 
officer was a midshipman. He, however — poor 
fellow 1 — perished with most of his crew when 
the ship exploded. But to his credit be it said 
that the Achillc went down with her colours 
fl\ung, an untaken ship. 

And now let us return for a minute and look 
at the British commander-in-chief. Though 
conscious of having been smitten by his death- 
wound, and being in the most e.x.cruciating agony 



of body, his thoughts were still for the fleet's 
success rather than for himself As the three 
bearers were carrying him down the stee'p ladders 
to the lower deck, he observed that at least a 
dozen men were trying to control the jumpings 
of the tiller, bj- which the Victory had been 
steered since her wheel was shot away. He 
sharply bade one of those with him to get 
relieving tackles rigged without delav ; and 
then another thought struck him. At any 
moment any of the men who were fighting the 
guns might recognise him ; might pass the word 
along ; and the crew, on hearing that the chief 
whom they so worshipped had fallen, would be 
damped and disheartened. In another man this 
might have been egotism — in Nelson it was a 
just recognition of the facts ; and when with 
his one remaining hand he spread a handker- 
chief over his face, so that the features might 
not be recognised, he proved how truly he had 
at heart the interests of the day. 

The scene in the cockpit to which the dying 
man was carried was a thing which we can, 
happily, never reproduce again in real life nowa 
daj's. Picture a small wooden den, alive with the 
writhings of the wounded, and cumbered with 
dismembered limbs ; the warm, sour air thick 
with dust and powder-smoke ; foul cockroaches 
shambling along the beams, and frightened rats 
scuttling behind the ceiling. And in the thick of 
it all, by the light of three miserable '' purser's 
dips " in dull horn -windowed lanterns, which 
barely made darkness visible with their smokj^ 
yellow gleam, were the surgeon and his mates 
sweating, swearing, slashing, all splashed with 
horrid red, " turning out Greenwich pensioners" 
(as the phrase ran then) of everv poor wretch who 
came alive into their hands. There was little 
conservative surgery in 1805. If a limb was 
wounded, off it came. There was no reducing a 
fracture; and — there were no anaesthetics. The 
surgeon was like the times, rough-and-ready ; 
and whilst he plied saw and amputating-knife, 
his lusty mates pinned down the shrieking 
victim like an ox in the shambles. 

The admiral received all the attention this 
poor place could give. He was laid on a spread- 
out hammock bed, which rested on the deck 
planks, stripped of his clothes, and examined by 
Beatty, the surgeon. The diagnosis was only 
too certain : there was not a vestige of hope ; 
and his life would be hours of anguish and 
torment till death gave him lasting ease. 

The deck beams above him buckled and 
creaked to the working of the guns ; the deck 



TRAFALGAR. 



67 



planks on which he rested swung to the kick of 
furious broadsides ; and the din of the fight 
drowned the moanings of the maimed around 
him. Between the maddening spasms of tor- 
ture, the battle's outcome was his sole thought 
during that terrible lingering in the gateway 
of Death. Again and again he sent anxious 
messages to his flag-captain, but it was not till 
more than an hour after the admiral had re- 
ceived his wound that Captain Hardy could find 
a moment's respite from his duties in order to 
visit the cockpit. 

They shook hands aflfectionatelv, and Nelson 
said — 

" Well, Hardy, how goes the battle ? How 
goes the day with us ? " 

" Very well, my lord. We have got twelve or 
fourteen of the enemies' ships in our possession. 
But five of their van have tacked, and show an 
intention of bearing down on the Victory. I 
have therefore called two or three of our fresh 
ships round us, and have no doubt of giving 
them a drubbing." 

"I hope none of our ships have struck. 
Hardy ? " 

" No, my lord. There is small fear of that." 

" Well, I am a dead man. Hardy, but I am 
glad of what you say. Oh, whip them now 
you've got 'em ; whip them as they've never 
been whipped before." 

Another fifty minutes passed before the flag- 
captain could come below again, but this time 
he was able to report that the number of captures 
was fourteen or fifteen. 

" That's better," replied the dying man, 
'■ though I bargained for twenty. And now, 
anchor, Hardy— anchor." 

" I suppose, my lord, that Admiral Colling- 
wood will now take upon himself the direction 
of affairs ? " 

" Not while I live," said Nelson, raising him- 
self on his elbow and then falling back. " No ; 
I command here — yet. No. Do yoit anchor, 
Hardy.'' 

" Then shall wc make the signal, my lord ? " 

" Yes," said Nelson, " for, if I live, I'll anchor." 
There was a silence for a minute, broken only 
by the dull booming of guns, and then, in a 
faint voice, " I say. Hardy," whispered .-the 
admiral. 

"Yes." 

" Don't have my poor carcase hove overboard. 
Get what's left of me sent to England, if you 
can manage it. Good-bye, Hardy. I've done 
my duty, and I thank God for it." 



The flag-captain could not speak. He squeezed 
his chieftain's hand, and left the cockpit ; and 
ten minutes later Horatio, Viscount Nelson, 
stepped in rank with the world's greatest war- 
riors who are dead. 

The news was taken to the Royal Sovereign^ 
and Vice-Admiral Collingwood assumed the 
command. Hardy carried it himself, and at the 
same time delivered Lord Nelson's djHng request 
that both the fleet and prizes should come to an 
anchor as soon as practicable. An on-shore 
gale was imminent, the shoals of Cape Trafalgar 
were under their lee, and scarcely a ship was 
left fully rigged. IManv, indeed, were entirely 
dismasted, and in tow either of the frigates or of 
their less-mauled fellows. But, bosom friends 
though they had always been, Nelson and Col- 
lingwood were diametrically opposed in their 
plans of proceeding. " What ! '' the new admiral 
exclaimed when he heard the message, " anchor 
the fleet ? Why, it is the last thing I should 
have thought of.'' 

The fleet was not anchored, and the British 
ships and their prizes were ordered to stand out 
to sea. But the rising gale moaned round them 
as though singing a dirge for the dead, and the 
power of the elements was more than a match 
for the most superb seamanship on all the 
oceans. Out of eighteen prizes captured, four 
were retaken by the allied ships, which swooped 
down on their worn-out prize crews ; some were 
driven ashore and wrecked ; some foundered at 
sea with all hands ; one was scuttled ; and of the 
total only four were brought safely to the British 
naval station in Gibraltar Bay. 

There have been other actions between 
French and British ships since 1805, but never 
one of any magnitude. The sea power of France 
and her ally was broken for good, and with it 
was made the first real move towards the over- 
throw of Napoleon. The victory was due to the 
prestige and genius of one man, and he died 
in the moment of his triumph. His death has 
been regretted, but who shall say that he could 
have gained any worldly advantage by remaining^ 
on ? He died at the zenith of his fame, and he 
could not have added to it, because no great 
battle had afterwards to be fought. Had he sur- \ 
vived, he would have had a triumphal entry ' 
into London, with honours and riches showered 
on him. And after that ? Would his old age 
have been without reproach ? It is open to 
doubt. 

As it befell, he was accorded a magnificent 
national funeral, a niche in Westminster Abbey, 



68 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



and statues all over the Islands whose safety he 
so gallantly preserved. His failings are forgotten ; 
his name is a household word — sans icitr, sans 
rcproche. 

How different a fate was that of the man 
who fought against him ! De Villeneuve lay a 



prisoner in England till 1806, and then obtained 
his freedom. On his journey to Paris he stopped 
at Rennes to learn how the Emperor would re- 
ceive him. On the morning of April 22nd he 
was found dead in bed, with si.K knife- wounds in 
his heart. 




NELSON IN THE COCKPIT OF THE ftCTORV. 
(From tlu Pkturl by A. W. Divis.) 



\ 



69 




IN England, where fortunately we have known 
nothing of rebellion for the last 200 j-ears, 
popular risings are always attributed to 
tvrannical government on the part of the 
rulers. The Polish insurrection, however, of 1863 
was due in the first instance to laxity on the part 
of the rulers. During the Crimean War, when 
the Russians had Turkey, France, England, Sar- 
dinia, and virtually Austria to contend with, 
the Poles did "WOt move a hand against the 
Government, severe as it had always been, of 
the Emperor Nicholas. Alexander II., on the 
other hand, who ruled over Russia and over 
Poland when the insurrection of 1S63 broke out, 
was a particularly mild sovereign, and though he 
had introduced no organic reforms into Poland, 
nevertheless ruled the country with modera- 
tion. The use of the Polish language in the 
Government offices and in the schools, with- 
out being formally permitted, was openly toler- 
ated. Several useful institutions — some of 
them, such as the Agricultural Society, of a 
national and patriotic character — had been 
founded without the least opposition on the part 
of the Government. No recruits had been taken 
for the army since the peace of 1856; and mean- 
while the country, without being rendered happy, 
was growing prosperous and rich. The number 
of troops maintained in Poland was exceptionally 
small, and under the new reign there had been 
no examples of political persecution. 

Things were far less c]uiet in Russia proper, 
where the emancipation of the serfs had sug- 
gested to the landed proprietors that they also 
ought to be liberated ; that they ought to be 
allowed some voice in the government of the 
country instead of being treated as the subjects 
of a pure despotism. Numbers of intelligent but 
scarcely well-informed men among the Poles 
looked upon the emancipation of the serfs in 
Russia as the removal of the keystone on which 
the whole political edifice rested. They saw at 



the same time that Italy had been set free by the 
Emperor of the French, and conceived a hope — 
not unsupported at the Tuileries — that what 
Napoleon III. had done for the Italians he 
would next do for the Poles. Russia in her 
disorganised condition would not (they said to 
themselves) be able to make any formidable re- 
sistance to the legions sent against her by the 
conqueror of Magenta and of Solferino. France, 
moreover, could without difficulty secure the 
support of Austria ; and the makers of political 
programmes had already arranged that Austria 
should give up Galicia towards the formation ot 
a new and enlarged kingdoni of Poland, receiving 
in return for her lost territory the so-called 
Danubian provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia, 
now known collectively as Roumania. This 
audacious proposition fills one at the present 
moment with astonishment ; but the prosperous 
future of the two great Hospodarates, soon to be 
united in one principality and ultimately to be 
raised to the position of an independent king- 
dom, could not then be foreseen. France and 
Austria, in anv intervention they might un- 
dertake on behalf of Poland, could, it was. 
thought, count on some measure of support 
from England — what is called moral support, 
if nothing more. 

Several Polish anniversaries were celebrated 
by patriotic demonstrations ; and these mani^ 
festations of national spirit and the spirit of 
independence assumed at last so serious a cha- 
racter that the Russians forbade them, but with- 
out bringing them to an end. At last there was 
a collision between unresisting, unarmed Polish 
patriots and Russian troops. There were several 
victims, and the dead bodies of those who had 
fallen were exhibited and their photographs cir- 
culated among the indignant population of 
Warsaw. These tragic scenes were repeated. 
Meanwhile numerous arrests had been made, and 
soon the prisons of Warsaw were full. Troops^ 



70 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



moreover, had been telegraphed for, and the 
leeble garrison was quickly reinforced. 

While repressing public manifestations the 
(lovernment — on the recommendation cf the 
Marquis Wielopolski, a genuine patriot but a 
hard, un.sympathetic man, who was most unpopu- 
lar with his fellow-countrymen — introduced 
reforms of considerable importance, which, how- 
ever, were received not only without gratitude 
but with ridicule by the Poles, who regarded 
these concessions as the outcome merely of fear. 
The Emperor sent his brother, the Grand Duke 
Constantine, to Warsaw in the character of 
viceroy. But the extreme party— the party of 
action — were opposed to all attempts at recon- 
ciliation. The Grand Duke and his Minister, 
the before - mentioned Marquis, were both 
attacked by assassins, and all possibility of 
quelling the agitation, which had now become 
formidable, seemed at an end. Wielopolski's 
reforms were, however, persisted in. They con- 
sisted, briefly, in the exclusion from Poland of 
all but Polish officials ; of the institution of 
municipal councils and of a university at which 
richly-salaried chairs were offered to professors 
from Poland and other Slavonic countries ; and, 
finally, of a regular si'stem of recruitment in lieu 
of the arbit'-jry conscription or proscription 
which had been practised under the Emperor 
Nicholas. 

But before introducing the new system cif 
recruitment, Wielopolski thought it absolutely 
necessary to get rid of the most irreconcilable 
enemies of Russia by means of the old one. He 
knew from the reports of his agents that arms 
had been secretly introduced into Warsaw, and 
that a rising was to take place on the night of 
the 15th of February. He resolved to anticipate 
this movement, which would be fatal to all his 
plans for the good of his country, by seizing as 
recruits, and carrying off to the army, some 2,000 
of the most determined of the would-be insur- 
gents. The attempt made on the night of the 
14th to execute the conscription in the old pro- 
scription style was itself the signal for the rising. 
The Russians, the Poles of the moderate and 
so-called aristocratic party, and generally those 
who knew nothing of the insurrectionary 
project, thought the next morning that the 
danger had passed. 

But in the evening the Central National 
Committee — soon to become a government in 
itself — held a secret meeting, at which it was 
decided to order a general rising for the 22nd. 
Couriers were sent out in every direction ; and 



in spite of the great number of persons engaged 
in preparing the outbreak, the secret was .so well 
kept that on the night of the 22nd it took place 
smiultaneously in all parts of the country. At 
Warsaw the soldiers were to have been surprised 
in the guard-houses and the barracks, and with 
the arms taken from them the citadel was to 
have been attacked. This plan of action was 
attended with success when tried on a small 
scale in some of the little country towns. But 
it was impossible in Warsaw, where in and 
about the city were some 50,000 troops. The 
party of action thought with regret of the time, 
nearly two years before, when they had first 
proposed to commence the insurrection, and 
when the Warsaw garrison numbered only 
5,000. 

The insurrection of 1863 was once described 
by a Pole as a " patriotic eruption." It broke 
out over the face of the whole country, and it 
was difficult to allay ; otherwise its symptoms 
were not very terrible. The Russians alwaj's 
maintained that the movemenT^was not spon- 
taneous, but that it was started and maintained 
by the " cosmopolitan revolution," with its 
Polish, Hungarian, and Italian adherents. Revo- 
lutionists of all nations did, in fact, join the 
insurgent bands, but it was the Poles themselves 
who formed them. Bands of insurgents from 
300 or 400 to 3,000 or 4,000 strong soon showed 
themselves in all parts of Russian Poland, in the 
so-called kingdom of Poland as formed in 181 5, 
in Lithuania, and in the Polono-Ruthenian pro- 
vinces of Volhynia, Podolia, and Kiev. In esti- 
mating the forces at the disposal of the Polish 
National Government it would be a mistake to 
count those insurgents only who at any time 
were actually in the field. Everyone who joined 
a detachment organised by the National Junta 
became a soldier of the Polish National Army, 
and had to obey orders, not only as long as his 
detachment remained in the field (generally 
only a few hours after its first collision with the 
enemy), but as long as the insurrection lasted. 
If the band to which he belonged was driven in, 
he had to report himself to headquarters, and so 
hold himself in readiness to start again for the 
frontier at the shortest notice. I say " for 
the frontier," because it was usually within easy 
reach of the Austrian or Prussian frontier that 
the engagements betw-een the Polish insurgents 
and the Russian troops took place. When a 
detachment of insurgents' sought refuge in the 
Polish province of Posen, its members were 
usually arrested by the Prussian authorities. The 



THE BATTLE OF BRODY. 



71 



officials, however, in Galicia were better dis- 
posed towards the insurgent Poles ; or perhaps 
they wished to give a strong hint to Russia as 
to what they could do against her. should they 
ever feel called upon to furnish aid to a Polish 
insurrection. 

The Polish Junta had organised a service of 
spies and executioners called National Gendarmes. 
It was their duty to terrify the spies on the 
Russan side, and to teach patriotism to Polish 
peasants by hanging them if they declined to 
join the insurrection. The Junta also employed 
a body of commissioners for collecting ta.\es and 
giving and receiving information of various 
kinds. The war-tax amounted to lo per cent, 
on clear income, and was, or ought to have been, 
paid by everyone except the peasants, who were 
not allowed to pay anything to anybody, and who 
were so petted by both Governments that they 
would have been quite spoilt had they not already 
been beyond the possibility of spoiling. The Rus- 
sians tried to make the Polish peasant tight against 
his ancestral master, while the Poles tried to 
make him fight against the Russian Government. 
After taking what he could get from both sides, 
the Polish peasant remained quietly at home, 
as a rule, doing no work, paying no rent, and 
enjo3-ing himself after his own fashion. In no 
instance, however, could the Polish peasant be 
persuaded to do battle for the Russians ; whereas 
in certain districts and on particular estates he 
really fought well for his own people. 

As an example of the way in which Polish 
hisurgent expeditions were organised in 1863, 
I mav give an account of the rise and fall of 
one of the most important sent from Galicia 
across the frontier into Russian territory. It 
was necessary from time to time to send forth 
an expedition against the Russians, if only to 
convince the foreign Powers that the Polish 
insurrection was not dead ; in which case all 
idea of intervening on behalf of the Poles would 
have fallen to the ground. 

The preparations made for the seven or eight 
hours' fighting which took place before the town 
of Brodv and the village of Radzievilov, had occu- 
pied the Polish National Junta about four months. 
Some of the insurgents who were to take part 
in the expedition had experienced considerable 
trouble in getting to Cracow, and they found it 
still more difficult to continue their journey to 
Lemberg, while the general advance from Lem- 
berg to Brody on the Russo-Volhynian frontier 
was made on a system of zigzag approaches, 
almost after the model of siege operations. 



Lemberg was so full of insurgents that a circus 
was opened for their special benefit, when scenes 
from Mazeppa were performed for the instruction 
and amusement of men who were themselves 
bound for the Ln<.raine, but who never, I may 
add, had the smallest chance of getting there. 
Every country house between Lemberg and 
Brody, for many miles on each side of the main 
road, served as a halting-place ; and many pro- 
prietors had from twenty to a hundred insur- 
gents staying in and about their houses and 
grounds for periods varying from three days to 
two months. It was not from any want of kind- 
ness on the part of their entertainers that soldiers 
of the National Army in concealment were some- 
times put to sleep in trees. If the words " domi- 
ciliary visit " were whispered in the morning or 
afternoon, everyone was on the look-out for the 
police in the evening ; and as soon as they made 
their appearance on the one side, the object of 
their search disappeared on the other. If, when 
the household retired to rest, the " domiciliary 
visit " or '' revision '' had not j'et taken place, 
there was nothing left for the insurgents but to 
take to the wood by which every manor-house 
in Eastern Galicia is surrounded. 

The scheme for invading Volh^-nia from Galicia 
was, in some respects, well conceived. Wj-socki, 
with 1,200 men, was to have marched upon Rad- 
zievilov in front, while Horodvcjki and Min- 
niewski, each with 6;o, attacked it on the riorht 
and left. A day or two afterwards Wisznieswski 
was to have entered Volhynia farther north than 
Minniewski, and close to the right bank of the 
river Bug, while Rozy^ki, one of the best leaders 
who had yet appeared, was to have penetrated 
into the same province farther south than 
Horodycki, and near the frontier of Podolia. 
Finally, another officer was to have taken a 
detachment of cavalry into Podolia itself ; and 
thus from Podolia to Lublin, and along the 
whole line of the Galician-Volhynian frontier, the 
Russians would have been attacked ; and though 
some of the detachments were sure to be de- 
stroyed, it was thought certain that others would 
succeed in advancing far into the interior of 
Volhynia, and that once there, they would either 
gain the active support of the peasants, or at 
least show themselves strong enough to ensure 
their respect and, to- a certain extent, their 
assistance. The chief appointed to direct the 
combined movement was General Wvsocki, 
formerly commander of the Polish Legion in 
Hungary, and the title given to him bv the 
National Junta was General Commanding in 



72 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



the Province of Lublin and the Ruthenian received and entertained strangers on the under. 

Provinces. standing that they belonged to the Volhynian 

On the day fixed for the commencement of expedition, but without having any positive 

this important movement, in which, had all proof of the fact. Even Austrian officials were 




THE CASTLE, CR.^COW. 



gone well, some 4,000 men would have been 
engaged, it was found that only two detach- 
ments — those of General Wysocki and Colonel 
Horodycki, his immediate supporter on the 
right — were ready to start. This unreadiness 
could be attributed to no want of foresight on 
the part of the commissaries of the expedition. 
Arms had been purchased and confiscated, pur- 
chased and confiscated again, for three times the 
number of men composing the expedition ; and 
although many of these m_.en were arrested and 
imprisoned, it turned out at the last moment 
that there were more insurgents than there 
were arms for them to carry. Fresh seizures of 
rifles, bavonets, and revolvers were made on the 
Sunday night and early Mondav morning ; and 
on Mondav afternoon, when the Wvsocki and 
Horodycki detachments were summoned to the 
wood, it was found impossible to equip for 
the field more than 1,500 of the former and 
450 ot the latter. Insurgents were sta3-ing in 
the houses of the rich as well as of the poor, and 
were treated with a sort of paternal affection 
everywhere. Indeed, the kindness and hospi- 
tality shown to all classes and conditions of men 
who called themselves insurgents was, if anv- 
thing, carried to e.xcess ; for many persons 



in some places touched bv this general con- 
fidence, and when ordered to institute a 
" revision," would give a hint beforehand that 
at such an hour their arrival might be expected. 
Then the men would go into the woods, the 
horses would be taken out of the stables and 
sent into the fields, while the saddles and bridles, 
were buried in the garden. I have seen packets 
of saddles and boxes of arms left at a house 
without any notification as to where they came 
from or whither they were to be sent. In such 
cases the man who took them in put them in a 
place of safetv, and a day or two afterwards 
would receive a line of writing, or more gene- 
rally a message by word of mouth, telling him 
to forward them to some house a few miles- 
nearer the frontier. If the whole country, with 
the exception of the ignorant peasantry, had not 
formed one general association for promoting: 
the interests of Poland, this unbounded trust 
from Pole to Pole would soon have led to the 
speedy exposure and frustration of all the national 
schemes. As it was, they were carried out to 
a certain point, and never once broke down- 
from any bad faith, or from want of faith, on the 
part of those called upon to assist in executing 
them. 



THE BATTLE OF BRODY. 



73 



The insurgents were from many different 
lands, but cliiefly from the liingdoni of Poland 
and from Galicia. There were a few Hungarians, 
a few Poles, a Frenchman who had taken part in 
every kind of insurrection, except an insurrection 
of Poles, and who told me that he had joined the 
expedition simply because "this page was want- 
ing to his life." There was a Polish doctor too, 
himself a revolutionary dilettante whom I had 
met in previous Polish expeditions, and who inte- 
rested me from the fact of his carrying not only a 
rifle but also a case of surgical instruments. First 
he shot his foe, and then, if life was not extinct, 
extracted the bullet from the wound, and did his 
best to cure him. There were two young ladies, 
moreover — one of them attired in a tunic and 
knickerbockers, the other in a grey military 
uniform. The latter of the two got wounded in 
the battle. She was shot in the ankle, and when 



who had emigrated, that is to say, into Poland 
at the close of the insurrection of 1830, and who 
since then had been living in Paris or in London. 
"The young men here are admirable," they said ; 
" sacrificing themselves for a cause which is a very 
desperate one if they are never to be assisted 
from abroad. As for us, it does not matter. We 
are old fellows, and would rather die in Poland 
than anywhere else ; and then we have not led 
the sort of life which attaches men to this world." 
One, an old soldier of the Polish army of 1830, 
told me that he had been for thirteen years 
working at a desk in an insurance office, and 
tliat he was not sorry to get a little fresh air 
and an opportunity of riding on horseback. 
Another, an officer of the same armv, had been 
keeping a shop, and was making humorous 
speculations as to how in his absence the busi- 
ness would be carried on. A third saw his native 




"AMU.Nli THt I.NSURGE.NTS WAS A YOUNG LADY. 



I visited her in hospital, she showed me the 
bullet that had lamed her, and assured me that 
she would at the earliest opportunity send it 
back to its rightful possessors. A certain number 
of the insurgents were middle-aged men who 
belonged to what was called the "emigration" — 



land for the first time, and was sa3'ing what 
nice people the Poles were. 

Among the insurgents belonging to Wys09ki's 
corps was a young lady, described by an eye- 
witness as "so timid, and so afraid of being 
looked upon as a wonder, that she kept herself 



74 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



almost in perpetual seclusion," but so brave that 
on the day of battle she insisted upon being 
placed in the first line, and greatl)' distinguished 
herself in the action fought in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Brody. 

Brody is the last town in Eastern Galicia as 
one approaches the Russo-Polish province of 
Volhvnia, and the object of the expedition sent 
from Eastern Galicia into Volhynia was to raise 
the Volhynian peasantry. They are not of the 
same religion as the Poles, and they do not seem 
to have preserved anv grateful recollections of 
the days when Poland was free but the peasantry 
m Poland enslaved. An endeavour to conciliate 
them had, however, been made by presenting 
them with so-called " golden charters," which 
conveyed to them in fee-simple the ownership of 
the land which thev held, on certain conditions, 
as of rent-paying or payments in redemption, 
'rom the manorial proprietor. 

A day or two before the entrj- into Volhynia 
I received a message at a country house where 
I was staying, warning me not to be unpre- 
pared if the ne.xt morning someone called for me 
in a carriage in order to drive me into the 
iniddle of a neighbouring wood, where I should 
meet some friends who would enable me to 
accompany Wvsocki's so-called army on its 
march towards Radzievilov, the first village in 
the Russo-Polish province of Volhynia. The 
person expected came at the appointed time, men- 
tioned my name, and then, instead of taking 
me to the heart of the forest, drove me through 
XI beautiful woodland country to the house of a 
neighbouring proprietor, where, besides the host, 
I found one of the chief promoters of the expe- 
dition, and two of the principal officers of the 
corps commanded by Horodycki, one of W}-- 
socki's lieutenants. One of the officers took out 
a map of the countrv about to be entered (it was 
a photographic print from the private map of the 
Russian staff), and pointed out to me the place of 
assembly in the forest, the spot at which the 
frontier had to be crossed, and the road by which 
it was intended to advance upon Radzievilov.' 
Discussions on the interminable Polish question, 
together with pistol-shooting, fencing, and other 
warlike amusements, filled up the time until 
dinner, after which the officers went singly to 
visit our first place of encampment, and came 
back with the alarming news that an Austrian 
patrol had been seen hovering about the spot 
where most of the arms lay buried. In the 
evening a '" revision " or "domiciliary visit " was 
announced. The house was cleared of insurgents, 



and two ver\' suspicious-looking cases were 
placed where the police were likely to find them. 
One was empty ; the other was labelled " Vin de 
Bordeaux," and contained wine. All through 
the night messengers were continually arriving, 
and the first news in the morning was that the 
arms had been seized, that the labour of three 
months had been lost, and that the expedition 
could not start. Ultimatel}' it was discovered 
that about a hundred rifles had been taken, but 
that there were still nearly three hundred in a 
place of comparative safety. The question arose 
as to whether it would be advisable to postpone 
the departure of the expedition until more arms 
could be procured, but it was soon decided not to 
risk, b}- further delay, the seizure of the whole 
stock. 

At last, early on Monday afternoon, we got 
into a cart, built without springs for the same 
sort of reason for which Highlanders are said not 
to wear trousers, and went into the wood. Turn- 
ing from the high- into a cross-road, from the 
cross-road into a lane, and from the lane into a 
private path, we came, after manv windings, to 
a little glade, where the long grass had been 
crushed and flattened as if by a roller. The 
former presence of human beings in this seques- 
tered spot was indicated by an old boot, which 
Hoby would have disavowed, and a cask contain- 
ing gin — from which, as it was not }-et empty, it 
was presumed that the. insurgents could not be 
far distant. They were so well concealed, how- 
ever, that although we had good guides (includ- 
ing one of the forest-keepers of the estate), it was 
not easy to find them. At last we burst upon a 
band of brothers, who were engaged in the diffi- 
cult and, to them, evidentlv novel occupation of 
tr\-ing on boots. The boot so contemptuously 
abandoned in the first halting-place had appar- 
ently been the only one among some thirty men. 
The major was answering questions on all sorts 
of subjects from boots upwards, and was at the 
same time superintending a distribution of pistols, 
which, being larger than any pistols ever seen 
before or afterwards out of a pantomime, looked 
very terrible, and produced (as the\' were in- 
tended to do) a fine and healthy effect on the 
Ruthenian village population. 

The peasants looked a good deal scared as the 
insurgents marched through the fields, but were 
soon reassured, or pretended to be, when a few 
words were spoken to them in kindness. Of 
attacking or molesting the insurgents in any 
way there was, of course, no thought, -more par- 
ticularl}'^ as the half-detachment, consisting of 



THE BATTLE OF BRODY. 



75 



200 men, looked in the moonlight, as it straggled 
along in double file, like a much larger force, 
and was pronounced by impartial spectators to 
be at least i,ooo strong. Two peasants, how- 
ever, were overheard whispering that they had 
a great mind to go off and tell the Austrians. 
They were arrested, asked if they wanted to be 
hanged, and replying in the negative, were told 
how to avoid that fate so far as it was likely to 
be inflicted upon theni by their Polish com- 
patriots. 

They were then put into a cart and driven 
along after the detachment, and were not 
liberated until everything had besn made ready 
for crossing the frontier. 

We marched during nearly all 
the first night, passing from the 
moonlight into the darkness of 
the dense woods, where nothing 
but glow-worm.s, and here and 
there in the insurgent column the 
light of a cigar, could be seen, and 
then again into the moonlight ; 
until at last we came to a river or 
mountain stream (running down 
from the Carpathians), and sat-down 
by the side of the waters and 
supped. It was generally believed 
to be one of the best suppers they 
had ever had (of many poor fellows 
it was the last); and the breakfast, 
to which a select number were 
invited, was also much admired, 
especially some tea-soup made 
in a saucepan and served out in 
saucepan-lids, wine-glasses, and wooden ladles. 
During the halt, of which advantage was taken 
to eat our hurried breakfast, Horodycki, the com- 
mander of the detachment, joined us, bringing 
with him 200 infantry, and from forty to fiftv 
cavalry. The rifles, bayonets, and scythes were 
now disinterred, or pulled out of their hiding- 
places in the brushwood ; and I found that this 
particular batch had all been concealed at about 
twenty paces distance from the public road 
running through the middle of the wood. The 
Austrians had not found them, because they had 
been hidden where the Austrians would be sure 
not to look for them. 

As the insurgents moved away from the 
cottage where they had halted for tea, a plain 
and shrill-voiced woman came out and com- 
plained that her husband had deserted her in 
order to go and fight the Russians. It was 
impossible not to understand that he had chosen 



the lesser of two evils. The poor man who pre- 
ferred his country to his wife and death to his 
home was in the cavalry, and now galloped to 
the front and was soon out of sight and, it may 
be hoped, out of hearing. The great majority 
of the insurgents, however — especially those in 
the infantry — could have had nothing to leave : 
they were men of the vagabond type, the dregs 
of the Polish towns, who had taken service 
in the Polish National Army because they were 
ready to turn their hands to any odd job, espe- 
cially an exciting one, that might present 
itself. 

The cavalry, on the other hand, was chiefly 




composed of sons of landed proprietors, large and 
small ; though, with very few exceptions, the 
sons of the great Polish landowners did not find 
their way to the insurrection at all. When the 
familv of some great Polish aristocrat was repre- 
sented among the insurgents, it was usually in 
the person of some scapegrace scion of the 
house ; so that if by some strange accident the 
national movement were attended by success (as 
through foreign intervention), the members of 
the great family might be able to say : "We also 
were there, or at least one of us." 

The cavalry, with its well-born riders and 
well-bred steeds, was of very little use, e.xcept for 
the service of the camp and now and then for 
distant reconnoitring ; and it was scarcely ever 
employed in action. Some of the new-comers, 
especially among the cavalry, were quite dis- 
heartened at the idea of having for comrades 
such riff-raff as the infantry for the most part 



/o 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



consisted of. An officer, noticing this, said to 
some of the well-to-do insurgents who had just 
arrived : " You have come to the camp under 
the impression that you would find evervone 
here as good as yourselves ; I wish such were 
the case. But we must do our best, and we 



meanwhile it was for the Poles to hasten it. He 
had never expected any intervention before the 
spring, and meanwhile the Poles must make 
such efforts and prove themselves so strong that 
neither France nor England would refuse them 
a helping hand. More than this would not be 




rOLIill PEASANTS. 



shall make soldiers of them all when we get on 
the other side of the frontier." 

As for the officers, they were all men who had 
seen plenty of service in foreign armies, and who 
had in many cases taken part in expeditions 
during the insurrection actually going on. Horo- 
dvcki, already mentioned as commanding one 
of W\-socki's detachments, dignified bv the 
name of '' brigade," had distinguished himself 
in the Hungarian War of 1848-49 by defend- 
ing at the head of a battalion of the Polish 
Legion the bridge and passage of the canal 
at Temesvar against an overpowering force 
while the Hungarian army was effecting its 
retreat. Major Horodycki lost half his battalion, 
but he succeeded in keeping the enemv at 
bay. He was a simple, straightforward man, a 
good deal sterner than the majority of Poles, 
and apparentlv not much given to seeing visions. 
He did not believe in any immediate inter- 
vention on the behalf of Poland, but felt sure 
that sooner or later it would come, and that 



necessary. Horodycki did not seem to share the 
opinion of some of his countrvmen as to the 
goodwill of the peasants towards the insurrec- 
tion ; at least, he turned some of the Ruthenian 
peasants out of the camp who had come there 
with the gifts of fresh butter, sheep's milk, cheese, 
and potted cream. He feared them ct doiia 
fercntcSy and said, when he was asked whether 
their offering was not a good sign, " They are 
with us now we are here ; they will be with our 
enemies when we are gone. I know them, and 
have sent them away." A Ruthenian priest 
and his wife brought something more valuable 
than butter and cheese. They brought their 
nephew. This was a proof of sympathy which 
could not be misunderstood, and the voung man 
was accepted with thanks, and at the proper 
moment sent across the frontier. Several ladies, 
too, visited the camp, and so inundated the 
place with strawberries-and-cream that Horo- 
dycki, fearing, no doubt, that discipline would be 
relaxed, and the forest of Nakwasha converted 



THE BATTLE OF BRODY. 



77 



into a Capua, gave orders that no more women 
should be suffered to approach. 

The second officer of Horodycki's detach- 
ment — the major commanding the infantrv — 
was Synkiewicz, son of the historian and novelist 
of that name, and captain in the Italian army. 
Synkiewicz, without knowing his country from 
personal observation, had formed a romantic 
picture of it in his imagination, and he said that 
he found the Poles what he had always imagined 
them to be. Some of them do indeed come 
up to any ideal which their warmest admirers 
may have formed of them ; and these were the 
men with whom Svnkiew-icz habitually associated. 
It might in other circumstances have been in- 
spiriting, but to those who knew the truth was 
saddening, to see the delight with which this 
officer looked forward to the hour fi.xed for 
entering Volhynia ; for it was certain that he 



the men, they were not preposseesing in ap- 
pearance, but wt)uld know how to fight. As to 
numbers, if 500 men (of which his battalion 
consisted) were really determined to cut their 
way through an opposing force, they could do 
it, however large that force might be. This 
officer wore a Garibaldian costume, fearing that 
if he appeared in the uniform of the Italian 
regular army, and got taken prisoner, repre- 
sentations might be made to the Italian War 
Ministry, and his promotion stopped or his 
commission cancelled. He was told that the 
Russians would be sure to pick him off; but 
he replied that he wished to be conspicuous 
for the sake of his men, and that the Russians, 
if they aimed directly at him, would be sure 
not to hit him. He did them an injustice ; for 
half an hour afterwards they sent a bullet through 
liis long chestnut-coloured beard, just as he was 




"AS THE 1;E,\R-C.CARD left the wood it was riRED UrON LV A PARTY OF COSSACKS " (/. 78). 



must die there or come back disheartened. 
He would not allow that anything was wrong 
with his detachment. If anyone said that the 
arms were a little clumsy, he replied that 
the greatest battles of modern times had been 
gained with arms not nearly so good. As to 



endeavouring at the head of his battalion to 
dislodge them from Radzievilov. 

The first half of Synkiewicz's detachment, 
consisting of an advance-guard of cavalrj' 
and two companies of infantry, had already 
been taken across the frontier by Captain 



78 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 



Tchorszewski, an officer who Iiad served with 
Horody9ki in Hungary, and who was at- 
tached to the British headquarters during the 
Crimean War. Captain Jagninski, another of 
Horodvijki's companions in Hungary, took 
charge of the second half, and was accom- 
panied by Synkiewicz and Horodycki, chief of 
the miniature " brigade." The rear-guard of 
cavalry w-as under the direction of a Polish 
officer late of the Russian arm}'. The night, 
which had been beautiful, like the first night 
of the march, until about ten o'clock, suddenly 
darkened just as the detachment began to cross 
the frontier ; and the rear-guard passed into 
Volhynia in the midst of thunder, lightning, 
and such torrents of rain that, after the lapse 
of a minute, the dense wood afforded no pro- 
tection whatever against it. The last man to 
leave was a Hungarian servant, who had brought 
nothing into the camp but an old horse with a 
piece of rope tied round his nose, and who 
galloped out on a magnificent charger, splendidly 
equipped, and brandishing a long sabre. 

As the rear-guard left the wood it was fired 
upon by a party of Cossacks, and at the same 
time a messenger reached us from the Galician 
side with the news that the Austrians at Pod- 
kamin (a town about six miles distant) had 
found out the position of the camp. General 
Wysocki, marching from the other side of Brody, 
was to have joined Horodycki and taken the 
chief command of the combined detachments in 
front of Radzievilov at daybreak. But Horo- 
dycki arrived at the place of meeting before his 
time, and attacked the Russians without waiting 
for Wyso(jki, who, as a matter of fact, did not 
arrive until long after his time. 

On entering the town of Radzievilov, Horo- 
dygki at once engaged some 800 Russians who 
were drawn up in the market-place. Horodygki 
had now but 300 men under his command. Of the 
450 or 500 infantrymen in the wood, some forty 
or fifty of the most ill-conditioned had bolted on 
finding themselves in the presence of the Cos- 
sacks, who, as before mentioned, fired into the 
detachment as it was crossing the frontier. Syn- 
kiewicz sent away about an equal number as 
unfit for the desperate work before them. The 
rear-guard had been dispersed on crossing the 
frontier, and the rest of Horodyijki's cavalry 
could not be employed. Nearly all the officers 



of Horodygki's detachment were killed or 
wounded. Horodycki, who throughout the two 
days' campaign had suffered terribly from acute 
headache, and wore around his head a bandage 
constantly moistened, was cured of his complaint 
by a Russian bullet before he had been many 
minutes inside Radzievilov. Jagninski and 
Tchorszewski were also killed. Synkiewicz had 
to take refuge in a large pond or lake, where he 
remained for eight hours, while the peasants 
who had been pursuing him stood on the banks 
armed with scythes ready to murder him if he 
ventured to return to dry land. He swam un- 
noticed to a little island of mud, and there re- 
mained concealed amongst rushes and weeds, 
until he at last thought of taking off his Italian 
hat and sending it floating along the water. 
Then the peasants thought their intended victim 
was drowned, and went home to dinner. 

When, after the dispersion and partial destruc- 
tion of Horodycki's detachment, Wvsocki's 
larger corps entered upon the scene, it took up its 
position in a wood near Radzievilov and sent out 
companies which fired tranquilly at their assail- 
ants from a cornfield not far distant. Of these 
companies some showed but little fight, while 
others behaved with much heroism. The officers 
in either case got killed. Glisczinski, one of the 
bravest of the brave, employed on Wysocki's staff, 
was actively employed in bringing up and placing 
the companies until, after having had two horses 
shot under him, he was struck down by almost 
the last bullet that was fired. Domogalski, chief 
of Wysocki's .staff, was mortally wounded, and 
carried back to Brody to die. 

The Battle of Brody, then, was for the 
Polish insurgents a total and lamentable failure. 
Instead of making the attack with the combina- 
tion of several detachments, numbering alto- 
gether 4,500 men, they began their brief campaign 
with only two detachments, which attacked 
separately and were separately routed. This was 
the last militarv operation on anything like an 
important scale that the directors of the Polish 
insurrection of i8b3 tried to carry out. It was 
more a political demonstration than a serious 
military undertaking, and even in the former 
character it was ineffective. There was never the 
least chance of the Poles being helped from 
abroad, unless they first showed that they were 
really capable of helping themselves. 



4 



-^i# — 



79 




k 



WHEN on August ist, 1804, the 
Mikado's Government formally 
declared war against the Chinese 
Empire, the first impression in 
Europe undoubtedly was that Japan might win 
some successes at the outset, but would sooner 
or later be crushed by the mere numbers of the 
Chinese. But there were a few longer-sighted 
critics of the coming war, who pointed out 
that its result would depend not on the mere 
numbers that might ultimately be brought 
into the field on both sides, but on the question 
of the command of the sea in the first few 
months of the struggle. But on this point, 
also, the opinion of experts was more favour- 
able to China than Japan ; for the Chinese 
possessed at least two ironclads which were 
superior to anything in the Japanese navy, 
the heaviest ships of which were indeed only 
partly armoured cruisers. Both navies had 
had the advantage of European teaching in 
drill, tactics, and seamanship. It was supposed 
that, everything else being equal, the possession 
of even a few powerful ironclads would turn the 
scale in favour of China. 

At the outset the Chinese had been unfor- 
tunate upon the sea. Fighting had begun before 
the actual declaration of war, the Japanese 
squadron of cruisers on the Corean coast having, 
on the 25th of July, without any warning, 
attacked and roughly handled the Chinese 
cruiser Kivaiig Yt'li, which escaped capture only 
by a precipitate flight. Later in the same day 
the Nauhva Kau^ one of the Japanese cruisers, 
sank the Chinese transport Kowsfiitig, though 
she was flying the British flag, and commanded 
by British officers. Admiral Ting, an ex-cavalry 
officer, who commanded the northern Chinese 
fleet, declared that he would take the first 
opportunity to avenge what was regarded in 
China as the treacherous attack on the two 
Chinese vesseis. He proposed to his Govern- 



ment that he should at once take his fleet 
to Chemulpo, the port of Seoul, where the 
Japanese were known to be disembarking 
troops ; and he promised that if he once got 
there he would destroy both the covering 
fleet and the transports. Such a success would 
have decided the war against Japan, for the 
invasion of Corea and Manchuria depended o« 
the Japanese fleet being able to convoy the 
transports, and secure the safe landing of the 
troops in the first instance, and of the supplies 
and reinforcements they might subsequently 
need. But the Tsung-li-yamen at Pekin was 
not so confident as the admiral in the power 
of the fleet ; and, forgetting that if it was not 
strong enough to attack it would hardly be 
strong enough to keep the Japanese at bay, 
it ordered Ting to act on the defensive, and 
not to cruise beyond the narrow seas between 
Port Arthur and Wei-hai-wei. This was adopt- 
ing a weak plan of campaign to begin with, for 
all naval history goes to prove that the best 
defence is in a vigorous offensive. 

The Chinese admiral had at his disposal the fol- 
lowing ships, making in all a formidable force : — 





Tons. 


Curs. 




Ships. 


^ = 


^i 


B^ 


Notes. 


















B<J 


'£ 


^0 




Yang Wei 


I '350 


6 




7 




Ping Yuen 


2,850 


3 




8 


8-inch armour belt ; 5 
inches on barbette. 


Chao Yung 


1.350 


6 




7 




Chin^ Yuen 


2.300 


=; 




16 


18 knots speed. 


Kwang Ping 


1,030 




^ 


8 




Kine Yuen 


2,850 


4 




8 


\ 9J-Jnch armour bell ; 


Lai Vuen 


2,850 


4 




8 


J 8 inches on barbette. 


Chen Yuen 


7>430 


6 


... 


12 


\ 14-inch armour belt. 
1 12-inch ditto on turret. 


Ting Yuen 


7.430 


6 




12 


(Each carrying four 12- 
^ inch guns. 
18 knots speed. 


Chi Yuen 


2,300 


■i 


■•• 


16 


Kwang Cbia 


1,300 


7 




« 




TsiYuen 


2.355 


3 




XO 


6-inch armour on barbette, 
[No armour carried by 


The <^hip^ are placed 




55 


i 


120 


ships unless noted in 


in the order in 










this column, which aUo 


which they fought 










notes heaviest guns 


at the Yalu, Itecin- 










and highest speeds in 


niag on the right. 










fleets 



8o 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



On board the flagship he had with him the 
German artillery officer Von Hanneken, whose 
official position was that of inspector of the 
Chinese coast defences. On board the Clicii- 
Yucii, the other big ironclad, was Commander 
McGiffen, formerly of the United States navy. 
He was nominally the second in command of 
the ship, a Chinese officer being the titular 
captain of the vessel, but McGiffen was practi- 
cally in charge. Some of the engineers and 
gunnery officers were Europeans or Americans, 
and all the native Chinese officers had received 
at least some training 
from European officers. 
The men were well 
drilled, and the ships 
■were in good condi- 
tion. The weak points 
of the fleet were the 
comparatively slow 
speed of all the ships 
and the deficiency of 
ammunition for the 
heavy guns — a defect 
only revealed by the 
liattle. 

The most careful 
preparations had been 
made in every other 
department. On the 
two ironclads coal bags 
w-ere piled in a bulwark 
eight to ten feet thick 
round the barbettes to 
furnish additional de- 
fence, but the steel 
shields which had been 
fitted round some of 

the big guns were removed. The experience of 
the Kwaiig Ytlis brief action with the Japanese 
cruisers had shown that these thin shields did 
more harm than good. They were just strong 
enough to burst shells that otherwise would have 
flown harmlessly over the heads of the gunners. 
The boats were also removed, with the exception 
of one in each ship. It was felt that they would 
be knocked to pieces early in the battle, and 
in any case no quarter was expected in case of 
disaster, so that the boats were not likely to 
be of much use. Orders were given that the 
decks were to be thoroughly drenched with 
the fire-hose before going into action, and 
they were also strewn with sand to prevent 
slipping. It would have been well if at the 
same time the Chinese commanders had got 




AL)Mii;.-\L no. 



rid of the lacquered woodwork that ornamented 
the bows of several of their ships. It proved 
to be highly inflammable, and was the source of 
much trouble during the battle. 

The Chinese guns were mostly heavy Krupps 
and Armstrongs. They had a few machine- 
guns, but only three of the new quick-firers. It 
was known that the Japanese fleet consisted 
chiefly of swift modern cruisers, protected chiefly 
by the armoured and curved deck just below 
the water-line, and armed with a few hea\-y 
armour-piercing guns and a large number of 

quick-firers, each ca- 
pable of sending out a 
stream of heavj' shells 
at the rate of four or 
five to the minute. 
But Admiral Ting and 
his European and 
American colleagues 
were neverthelessconfi- 
dent that if they could 
once come to close 
quarters with the Ja- 
panese, the steady fire 
of the Chinese guns 
would destro}' and sink 
their more lightlv-pro- 
tected enemies. 

OnThursday , August 
2nd, the very daj- after 
the declaration of war, 
Admiral Ting sailed 
with his fleet from Port 
Arthur. His orders re- 
stricted him to the 
neighbouring waters, 
but he believed that 
the Japanese fleet was not far off, and that 
he would fall in with it, and have an oppor- 
tunit}' of seeing what his big guns could do to 
make good the promises he had made to his 
Government. He was not only confident of 
success, but in a savagely truculent mood, as 
witness the following order which he signalled 
to the fleet as soon as it was w-ell out to sea : — 

'' If the enemy shows the white flag, or hoists 
the Chinese ensign, give no quarter, but continue 
firing till he is sunk." 

Later in the day he signalled : 
'■ Let each officer and man do his best for his 
country to-morrow. I expect to congratulate 
j-ou on a victory- over the enemy to-morrow 
afternoon." 

But to-morrow afternoon came, and brought 



1 







54 



I 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



no sight of the enemy. Before the end of the 
week Tiiig was back at Port Arthur, having 
gained nothing by his cruise but some exer- 
cise for his officers and men. Meanwhile, the 
Japanese fleet was protecting the disembarkation 
of the invading army in Corea ; but it found 
time in the interval between two of these 
descents to reconnoitre Wei-hai-wei, exchang- 
ing a few shots at long range with the seaward 
forts. The orders sent to Admiral Ting by his 
Government had practically given Admiral Ito 
and the Japanese fleet the command of the sea 
at the most critical period of the war. 

August passed without the Chinese fleet doing 
anything but lie at anchor in its fortified har- 
bours, or cruise peacefully in waters into which 
the Japanese had as yet no reason to venture. 
Ting was indignant at the inglorious part 
assigned to him, and eager for an opportunity 
of showing how little foundation there was for 
the rumours which attributed the inaction oi 
his squadron to his own want of courage and 
enterprise. Meanwhile, the Japanese armies 
were steadily overrunning Corea. The second 
week of September brought news of the advance 
on Pin-j-ang, and then the chief anxiety of the 
Chinese Government was to rapidly reinforce 
the army that was being assembled to dis- 
pute the passage of the Yalu River, the stream 
which forms the boundary between Corea and 
Manchuria. Admiral Ting was directed to 
act as convoy to the transports engaged in this 
work. 

On Saturday, September the 15th, his fleet, 
consisting of 1 1 warships, 4 gunboats, and 6 
torpedo boats, assembled at Ta-lien-wan Bay, 
near Port Arthur, and was there joined by 
6 tran.sports, wliich had on board some 4,500 
troops, with 80 guns. The day was spent in 
completing the cargoes of the transports and 
coaling the fleet, and, shortly after midnight, 
the whole fleet of warships and transports put 
out to sea. On the Sunday afternoon the 
warships anchored just outside the mouth ot 
the Yalu River, while the transports, escorted 
by some of the lighter vessels, went up the 
river to disembark the troops and guns near 
the southern end of the Chinese entrenchments. 

On that same day, Sunday, September ibtli, 
Ito, the Japanese admiral, had been engaged 
in precisely the same task as his Chinese rival, 
the place where the Japanese disembarked under 
cover of his fleet being nearly a hundred miles 
to the southward down the coast, and the troops 
being destined to take part in the advance 



against the line of the Yalu River. On the- 
Sunday afternoon, the troops having all been 
landed, Ito put out to sea. The following was 
the force under his command : — 







Tons. 


Guns. 




Ships. 


>• ■ 


j,« 


Is 


Notes. 






W 3 


"5 .; 








. 


= U 


oa 


P 




§ fYoshino 


4.150 


... 


44 




23 knots. Swiftest ship 


i ' 










in either fleet. 


|-{ Taliachico ... 


3650 


8 




12 


1 Sister ships. Speed, iS 


■^ 1 Nariiwa Kan... 


3,650 


8 


•■• 


12 


/ knots. 


^ I .^kitsushjma ... 


3.'50 


1 


22 


10 


One long 13-inch gun. 




Malsnshinia*.. 
Itsukushima ... 


4277 
4.277 


12 

12 


16 
16 


6 
6 


•. i2-inch armour on bat- 
1 icry. One long 13- 
r inch gun i French) on 





Has date 


4.277 


12 


16 


15 


J each ship. 


■^ 


Chiyoda 


2,45° 




24 


13 


4i-inch armour belt. 


t 


Fuso 


3.718 


"e 


... 


8 


9-inch armour on bat:erj- ; 














7 on belt. 


Z 


Hiyei 

Saikio 


2,200 
600 


9 


f 




4i-inch armour belt. 




LAkagi 


61S 


I 
69 


4 


6 


[No armour on any ship- 
unless noted in this 






88 


column, which also 






132 


notes the heaviest guns 












and the highest speeds 












in the fleet. J 



* Flag ship. 



■t Quick-firers only. 



The ships were divided into two squadrons : the 
van squadron consisting of the cruisers Yoshino^ 
Naniwa Kan, Takachico, and Akitsushitna ; and 
the main squadron, formed of the flagship Mat- 
siis/iima, her sister ship the Ikitsushima, and the 
Hasidatc, Fuso, Chiyoda, Hiyci, and Akagi, and 
the armed transport Saikio. 

The swiftest ship in the fleet was the Yoshino., 
a splendid cruiser, launched in i8q2 at Elswick, 
with a speed of twenty-three knots, and an 
armament of 44 Armstrong quick-firers. Her 
four heaviest guns, 6-inch Armstrongs, were 
supposed to be capable of piercing ten inches of 
armour, and only two of the Chinese ships carried 
anything thicker than this. When all her guns 
were in action she could discharge nearly 4,000 
pounds weight of shells every minute. The quick- 
firing gun is a weapon that is so mounted as to- 
be swung about and levelled at the mark almost 
as easily as a rifle. The breech opens easily, 
and shell and cartridge are slipped in together, 
in a brass case. Then a single movement closes 
and locks the breech, and the marksman who 
does the aiming fires it by touching a trigger, all 
the recoil being taken up by the mountings, and 
the gun coming back smartly into position the 
moment after the discharge. The Japanese 
fleet bristled with these formidable weapons. 

The Akagi and the Saikio were the only ships 
in the Japanese fleet that were entirely without 
protection, either in the shape of belts and 
partial side armour, or the curved armoured 
deck below the water-line. They were all 



THE RATTLE OF THE YALU RIVER. 



83 



superior in speed to the Chinese ; though no 
other ship was so fast as the Yosln'iio. Finally, 
as the event proved, they had the great ad- 
vantaf;e of being abundantly supplied with 
ammunition for their guns. 

With this formidable fieet Ito steamed slowly 
to the north-westward during Sunday night. 
Early on Monday morning he was off the island 
of Hai-vun-tao. He had heard that Ting had 
been using the harbour inside the island as 
a rendezvous for the fleet, and his lookouts 
searched the channel and the bay with their 
telescopes ; but there were only a few fishing- 
boats in sight, and at seven a.m. the fleet 
began steaming north-eastward. It was a fine 
autumn morning. The sun shone brightly, and 
there was only just enough of a breeze to ripple 
the surface of the water. It must have been a 
grand sight to have seen the long line of warships 
cleaving their way through the blue waters, all 
bright with white paint, the" chrysanthemum of 
Japan shining like a golden shield on every bow, 
and the same emblem flving in red and ^ white 
from ever}- masthead. Some miles away to 
port rose the rock\' coast and the blue hills 
of Manchuria, with many an island, and here 
and there a little bay With its fishing villages. 
On the other side, the waters of the wide Corean 
Gulf stretched to an unbroken horizon. Towards 
eleven o'clock the hills at the head of the gulf 
were rising ahead.., Ito had in his leading ship, 
the Yoslmw, a cruiser that would have made 
a splendid scout. In any European navy she 
would have' been steaming some miles ahead 
of her. colleagues with, perhaps, another quick 
ship 'between her and the fleet to pass on her 
signals. But Ito seems to have done no scout- 
ing, but to have kept his ships in single line 
ahead, with a small interval between the van 
and the main squadron. At half-past eleven 
smoke w-as seen far away on the starboard bow, 
the bearing being east-north-east. It appeared 
to come from a number of steamers in line, on 
the horizon. The course was altered and the 
speed increased. Ito believed that he had the 
Chinese fleet in front of him. And he was 
right. The smoke was that of Ting's ironclads 
and cruisers anchored in line, with steam up, 
outside the mouth of the Yalu. 

On Monday morning the Chinese crews had 
been exercised at their guns, and a little before 
noon, while the cooks were busy getting dinner 
ready, the lookout men at several of the mast- 
heads began to call out that they saw the smoke 
of a large fleet away on the horizon to the 



south-west. Admiral Ting was as eager for the 
fight as his opponents. At once he signalled to 
his fleet to weigh anchor, and a few minutes 
later ran up the signal to clear for action. 

The same signal was made by Admiral Ito 
hali-an-hour later, as his ships came in sigh' 
of the Chinese line of battle. The actua 
moment was five minutes past noon, but it 
was not until three-quarters of an hour later 
that the fleets had closed sufficiently near for 
the actual fight to begin at long range. This 
three-quarters of an hour was a time of anxious, 
eager e.vpectation for both Chinese and Japanese. 
Commander McGiffen of the Chc7i Yuen has 
given a striking description of the scene when 
" the deadly space " between the two fleets was 
narrowing, and all were- watching for the flash 
and smoke of the first gun : — " The twenty-two 
ships," he says, " trim and fresh-looking in their 
paint and their bright new bunting, and gay 
with fluttering signal-flags, presented such a 
holiday aspect that one found diflSculty in 
realising that they were not there simply for 
a friendly meeting. But, looking closer on the 
Chen Yuen, one could see beneath this gaiety 
much that was sinister. Dark-skinned men, 
with queues tightly coiled round their heads, 
and with arms bared to the elbow, clustered 
along the decks in groups at the guns, waiting 
impatiently to kill or be killed. Sand was 
sprinkled along the decks, and more was kept 
handy against the time when they might be- 
come slippery. In the superstructures, and 
down out of sight in the bowels of the .ship, 
were men at the shell whips and ammunition 
hoists and in the torpedo room. Here and 
there a man lay flat on the deck, with a charge 
of powder — fifty pounds or more — in his arms, 
waiting to spring up and pass it on when it 
should be wanted. The nerves of the men 
below deck were in extreme tension. On deck 
one could see the approaching enemy, but below 
nothing was known, save that any moment 
might begin the action, and bring in a shell 
through the side. Once the battle had begun 
they were all right ; but at first the strain was 
intense. The fleets closed on each other rapidly. 
My crew was silent. The sub-lieutenant in the 
military foretop was taking sextant angles and 
announcing the range, and exhibiting an appro- 
priate small signal-flag. As each range was called, 
the men at the guns would lower the sight -bars, 
each gun captain, lanyard in hand, keeping his 
gun trained on the enemy. Through the venti- 
lators could be heard the beats of the steam 



■U 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEEN'TH CENTURY. 



pumps ; for all the lines of hose were joined up 
and spouting water, so that, in case of fire, no 
time need be lost. ' 6,cxx) metres ! ' — ' 5,800 ! ' — 

The crisis was 



' '600 ! 



'TOO ! 



' '— ' 5,400 ! ' 



rapidly approaching. Every man's nerves were 
in. a state of tension, which was greatly relieved 
as a huge cloud of white smoke, belching from 
the Tmff Yuen's starboard barbette, opened 
the ball." 

The shot fell a little ahead of the Vos/niio, 
throwing up a tall column of white water. 







,„,,».. — >- 



o 



— -jtH.'L':^^-- - _ 



CIII.VKSK FLEET. 



l.TingYut-n 7.<'h.io Yiing 

a.Chea .. H.Pin? Yuen 

».Lai >. d.Yans Wei 

(.King .. lU.thi Yiirn 

ri.Kwans rinc ll.KtTang Chia 

C.l'bin; Viien li.TsI Yurn 



Yostiiiiu^i- ^ "~'-^l!alsiisliiiu« 

Taknclilcu\?''-l^'-''''1, V. ICiiiliiuliima 

Alllt>usliiniaN> • ,j''o,_ Kciiiyoaa 

The Battle of salkio^ V"" 

THE YALU: ., .^^X^ 

/First Phase\ 
V^ I?. 30-1. p. m.^' 



Ilt^i 



Admiral Ito, in his official report, notes that 
this first shot was fired at ten minutes to one. 
The range, as noted on the Chen Yucn^ was 
5,200 yards, or a little over three and a half 
miles. The heavy barbette and bow guns of 
the Chen Yuen and other ships now joined in, but 
itill the Japanese van squadron came on without 
replying. For five minutes the firing was all on 
the side of the Chinese. The space between the 
Japanese van and the hostile line had diminished 
to 3,000 yards — a little under two miles. The 
Yoshtno, the leading ship, was heading for the 
centre of the Chinese line, but obliquely, so as 
to pass diagonally along the front of the Chinese 
right wing. At five minutes to one her power- 
ful forward battery of quick-firers opened on the 
Chinese, sending out a storm of shells, most of 
which fell in the water just ahead of the Ting 



and Chen Yuen. Their first effect was to deluge 
the decks, barbettes, and bridges of the two 
ironclads with the geysers of water flung up by 
their impact with the waves. In a few minutes 
every man on deck was soaked to the skin. One 
by one the other ships along the Japanese line 
opened fire, and then, as the range still diminished, 
the Chinese machine-guns, Hotchkisses and 
Nordenfelts, added their sharp, growling reports 
to the deeper chorus of the heavier guns. 

And now the fire began to tell on both sides. 
A 12-inch shell from one of the large Chinese 
ironclads had burst fairly on the deck of one of 
the cruisers in the Japanese van. The shells of 
the Japanese quick-firers were bursting over the 
decks of the Chinese ships, cutting awav fittings, 
killing and wounding men, and already kindling 
fires in the woodwork. The armoured barbettes 
and central citadels of the Ting Yuen and 
Chen Yuen were especially the mark of the 
Japanese fire. The din of the striking and 
bursting projectiles was like a continual thunder, 
but the armour held its own. Theoretically, the 
Japanese guns ought to have pierced it again 
and again, but the actual results were confined 
to a number of deep dents and grooves in the 
massive plates. But through the unarmoured 
structures the shells crashed like pebbles through 
glass, the only effect of the metal wall being 
to burst the shell as it went through, filling the 
space within with flying fragments of steel and 
volumes of poisonous smoke. 

For ever}' shot from the Chinese guns there 
were a dozen from the Japanese. Ito's vangoiard 
having reached the e.\treme right of the Chinese 
line, now turned to starboard, so as to come 
round on the other side of it. The Chinese 
ships were under easy steam, advancing in line 
at the rate of about si.\ knots an hour , but 
those on the flanks did not keep their stations 
well, and were a little astern of the centre, 
hence the report at first spread that Admiral 
Ting had fought with his ships in a crescent. 
As the vanguard squadron of the Japanese camt 
round the Chinese right and opened fire on the 
sterns of the ships, the main squadron wa? 
engaging their bow guns, the right wing, the 
weakest part of the Chinese line, being thus 
taken between two fires. Following the van, 
the main squadron, led by the JMatsushima, 
now swept round the right of Ting's line, and 
the position of the two fleets was reversed, the 
Japanese being between the Chinese and the 
river mouth for a few moments. 

It was now that a gallant act n-as performed ■ 



THE BATTLE OF THE YALU RIVER. 



8_^ 



by the captain oi the Hiyct, the weakest and 
smallest of the Japanese ships. She was the last 
ship in the long line, and had fallen so far astern 
that her captain felt that to attempc to get 
round the Chinese right would be to run the 
risk of being cut off from his colleagues and 
rammed. He took a bold course to rejoin. 
Turning full on to the centre of the Chinese 
line, his little ship rushed down the narrow 
lane of water between 
the two ironclads7»;^ 
and Chcii Yuen, re- 
ceiving fire from both, 
and losing several 
men. But he came 
safely out through the 
storm of fire, and re- 
sumed his place with 
the main squadron. 

But now came the 
first signs of disaster 
for the Chinese. The 
first shots had hardly 
been fired when the 
ship on the e.xtreme 
left of Ting's line — the 
Tsi Yuen — dropped 
out of her station, 
and was seen to be 
making off in the 
direction o{ Port 
Arthur. One of the 
Japanese main squad- 
ron sent a shot from 
her long bow -gun after 
the fugitive. It struck 
and dismounted her 
stern chaser. This was 
the only shot that 
struck the Tsi Yuen, 
although her captain 

tried to make out that he had been for a long 
time in the thick of the action. He was brought 
before a court-martial, and paid for his cowardice 
with his life. 

The Kicang Chia. the next .ship in the line, 
followed the evil example of the Tsi Yuen. 
Untouched bv the Japanese fire, she steamed 
away for Ta-lien-wan Bay, and was wrecked the 
same evening on a reef at its entrance. The 
two .ships on the extreme right of the Chinese 
— the Cliarj Yung and Yang Wei — had a more 
honourable fate, but were almost as quickly put 
hors de cinnbat. Both were built on the same 
principle. They had a lo-inch gun mounted in 



a barbette ahead and astern, the barbettes being 
connected by passages running along each side 
of a central deck structure. On top of this were 
mounted machine-guns, and outside passages 
were wooden cabins, oil-painted and varnished. 
The Japanese shells set the cabins and side 
pa-ssages on fire. It became impossible either 
to bring up ammunition for the heavy guns in 
the barbettes, or to work the machine -gims 




"THE SHELL BURST AMONG HER BOW GUNS " (/. 87). 



overhead. The two hapless cruisers, each a mass 
of flame and black smoke, were headed for the 
shore. The Saikio pursued them, but was 
scared off by two gunboats and the Chinese 
torpedo boats coming to the rescue from the 
mouth of the Yalu River. But the result oi 
all this was that of the ten ships that had 
formed the Chinese line at the beginning of 
the battle only six remained — the Ting Yuen 
and Chen Yuen lying close together, the Chi 
Yuen a little to their left, and the Lai Yuen, 
KingYucn, and Kwang Ping on their right. 

But the Japanese were not unscathed. The 
Hiyei was so badly damaged that she drew our 



86 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



of the fight. The Akagi had her mast shot 
away, its fall killing her captain, Commander . 
Sakamoto ; and her two officers next in rank, 
Lieutenants Sasaki and Sato, were severely 
wounded. She had to haul out of action for 
a while to clear her decks. The armed trans- 
port Sazkt'o had soon after to drop out of line 
with her funnel riddled and her steam pipes 
damaged. 

Had the Chinese been as well provided with 
ammunition as the Japanese, they might have 
done still better ; but soon after the battle began 
it was found that they were short of shell for the 
big guns. Most of the projectiles used by the 
Chinese were only what are known as armour- 
piercing projectiles, or long solid shot. These 
could not either set the fittings of the Japanese 
ships on fire, or scatter death and confusion 
among the crews, like the heavy shells. Before 
long in most of the Chinese ships the gunners 
were all but fighting among themselves for the 
few shells that were available, but all the while 
the fiery storm from the Japanese quick-firers 
did not slacken for a moment. For the most 
part, the Chinese faced it like heroes. There 
were cowards here and there. They are to be 
found in most battles. Thus early in the fight 
Commander McGifiFen, going below to see what 
was wrong with the revolving gear of one of the 
barbette guns, felt himself pushed back from 
the recess under the barbette, and heard 
the voice of his navigating lieutenant saying 
to him, •' You can't hide here. There are too 
many of us here already '" ; and he saw a group 
of frightened men cowering in the recess. But 
above, in the barbette, the men were standing 
to their guns under a deadh' fire. The gunner\- 
lieutenant, Tsao Kai, was wounded, and passed 
down ; but his younger brother— a mere boy — 
who had come on board for a holiday, stayed 
above in the barbette helping the men, and, 
wonderful to say, was the only one in the place 
who escaped without a wound. The captain 
of one of the guns had his head swept off by 
a shell as he took the lanyard to fire. One 
of his men caught the headless corpse, swung 
it out of the way, took the lanyard, glanced 
along the sights, and fired with hardly a 
moment's delay. Grander still was the courage 
of the engineers ol the ill-fated Lat Ytini. 
The deck of the ship took fire. When it was 
extinguished, hours after the battle, the iron 
girder's on which it was laid were all bent 
and twisted. But down below, in the engine- 
room, the engineers stuck to their posts. With 



hardly any light, with most of the ventilators 
blocked or cut off, and with the heat up to 
two hundred degrees, they obeyed the orders 
sent down by the tube from the conning-tower, 
which remained intact. They were fearfully 
scorched and burned ; some were blinded ; all 
were in the doctor's hands, and some died. 
But, nevertheless, down in the depths of the 
burning ship they did their duty just as if all 
were going on well. 

Fire had so far been the chief enemy of the 
Chinese ships. But one of the few ships left 
on the right of the line met with a more 
terrible fate. The Chi Yuen was a handy 
little cruiser, and her captain, Tang, a plucky 
Chinese officer, daringly but imprudently tried 
to measure her strength with that of the far 
more powerful ships of the Japanese van 
squadron. She had received several shells as 
she closed with them, when, suddenly hit in 
the water-line by a heavy projectile, she heeled 
over, and then plunged, bow foremost, in the 
sea, both her screws whizzing in the air as 
she went down. Seven only of her crew were 
picked up clinging to wreckage. Her English 
chief engineer, Mr. Purvis, went down with her. 
Captain Tang tried to float on an oar, but was 
drowned by a big dog of his swimming after 
him and putting its forefeet on his shoulders. 

The battle had now lasted far into the after- 
noon. Five only of Ting's original line of 
battle were left — the two heavy ironclads and 
three smaller ships. The van squadron came 
up on one side of the two ironclads, and the 
main squadron on the.other, and poured in a con- 
centrated fire, some of the Japanese ships firing 
their broadsides simultaneously by electricity, 
after training the guns, so that all bore upon a 
single point. Exposed to this storm of fire, the 
two Chinese ships lost heavily in killed and 
wounded ; but their armour, and with it the 
vital parts of each ship, remained intact. Signals 
and signal halyards had been long since shot 
away, and all the signalmen killed or wounded ; 
but the two ships conformed to each other's 
movements, and made a splendid fight of it. 
Admiral Ting had been insensible for some 
hours at the outset of the battle. He had stood 
too close to one of his own big guns on a plat- 
form above its muzzle, and had been stunned by 
the upward and backward concussion of the air ; 
but he had recovered consciousness, and, though 
wounded by a burst shell, was bravel}' command- 
ing his ship. Von Hanneken was also wounded 
in one of the barbettes. The ship was on firj 



THE BATTLE OF THE YALU RIVER. 



87 



fiTward, but the hose kept the flames under. 
TliL- Chen Yuen was ahnost in the same pHglit. 
Her commander, McGifFen, had had several 
narrow escapes. When at last the lacquered 
woodwork on her forecastle caught fire, and the 
men declined to go Forward and put it out un- 
less an officer went with them, he led the party. 
He was stooping down to move something on 
the forecastle, when a shot passed between his 
arms and legs, wounding both his wrists. At 
the same time he was struck down by an 
explosion near him. When he recovered from 
the shock he found himself in a terrible position. 
He was lying wounded on the forecastle, and 
full in front of him he saw- the muzzle of one 
of the heavy barbette guns come sweeping 
round, rise, and then sink a little, as the 
gunners trained it on a Japanese ship, never 
noticing that he lay just below the line of fire. 
It was in vain to try to attract their attention. 
In another minute he would have been caught 
in the fiery blast. With a great effort he rolled 
himself over the edge of the forecastle, dropping 
on to some rubbish on the main deck, and 
hearing the roar of the gun as he fell. 

A few shells were found in the Chen Yuen's 
magazine about this time, and one of these was 
used with deadly effect, showing what the 
Chinese might have done if they had been 
better supplied with such missiles. Admiral 
Ito, in his report, fixes the time at 3.26, and says 
that the shell which did such damage came from 
the Ting Yuen ; but it seems certain that he 
is mistaken, and that it was her sister ship that 
fired it. Aimed at the MutsKshima, Ito's flag- 
ship, it burst among her bow guns. The long 
!2-incK gun, mounted in the bow, was put out 
of gear ; a smaller gun was blown from its 
mountings and thrown overboard ; between 
forty and fifty men and officers strewed the 
deck killed and wounded ; and the ship was 
set on fire. She drew out of the line, Ito trans- 
ferring his flag to the Hasidatc. It was with the 
utmost difficulty that the fire was first kept from 
the magazines and then put out. And all this 
damage was done by a single 12-inch shell. 
It seems, however, that there were a number 
of cartridges piled behind the big bow gun, and 
the destruction was partly due to these being 
fired by the exploding Chinese shell. Com- 
mander McGiffen asserts that the shell killed 
and wounded nearly a hundred Japanese ; but 
this is an exaggeration. The total loss on 
board the Matsusliiinciy from first to last, was 
107 oflficers and men, and it is more likely that 



the Japanese account is true, which makes forty 
the butcher's bill for this successful shot. It 
says something for Ito's courage that his ship 
lost more men than any other in his fleet. But 
the strange chances of war are illustrated by the 
fact that the Chivoda^ which was close to the 
Matsushiimi throughout the battle, had not 
a single officer or man killed or wounded. 

The battle now resolved itself into a close 
cannonade of the two ironclads by the main 
body of the Japanese fleet, whilst the rest of 
the ships kept up a desultory fight with the 
three other Chinese ships and the gunboats. 
The torpedo boats seem to have done nothing. 
Commander McGiffen says that their engines had 
been worn out, and their fittings shaken to pieces, 
by their being recklessly used as ordinary steam 
launches in the weeks before the battle. The 
torpedoes fired from the tubes of the battleships 
were few in number, and all missed their mark, 
one, at least, going harmlessly under a ship at 
which it was fired at a range of only fifty yards. 
The Japanese used no torpedoes. It is even said 
that, by a mistake, they sailed without a supply 
of these weapons. Nor was the ram used any- 
where. Once or twice a Chinese ship tried to 
run down a Japanese, but the swifter and 
handier vessels of Ito's squadron easily avoided 
all such attacks. The Yalu fight was from first 
to last an artillery battle. 

And the end of it came somewhat unex- 
pectedly. The Clicn Yuen and the Ting Yuen 
were both running short of ammunition. The 
latter had been hit more than four hundred 
times without her armour being pierced, and 
the former, at least as often. One of the Chen 
Yuen's heavy guns had its mountings damaged, 
but otherwi.se she was yet serviceable. Still, 
she had been severely battered, had lost a great 
part of her crew, and her slow fire must have 
told the Japanese that she was economising her 
ammunition, which was now all solid shot. But 
about half-past five Ito signalled to his fleet to 
retire. The two Chinese ironclads followed 
them for a couple of miles, sending an occasional 
shot after them ; then the Japanese main 
squadron suddenly circled round as if to renew 
the action, and, towards six o'clock, there was 
a brisk exchange of fire at long range. When 
Ito again ceased fire, the Chen Yuen had just 
three projectiles left for her heavy guns. If he 
had kept on for a few minutes longer the two 
Chinese ships would have been at his mercy. 

The van squadron, which had sunk with its 
fire the burning Ting Yuen, followed the main 



88 



BATTLES OF THE* NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



squadron at a long interval. The ironclads 
could not have prevented it from sinking every 
one of the disabled Chinese ships if it had 
remained on thii scene of the battle. 

As the sun went down over the land to the 
westward, the remains of the Chinese fleet had 
assembled, and was slowly steaming for Port 
Arthur. The two ironclads led the way. Then 
came the Lai Yuen, with her deck still on fire in 
places, and the Clung Yuen, FingYiicn^Mvl Kwnng- 
Ping, all with decks strewed with dead, and 
magazines empty. Far astern the flames from the 
abandoned Chao Yung marked the scene of the 
battle. Even after darkness set in the Japanese 
cruisers were seen for some time moving on a 
parallel course to the eastward, their white sides 
reflecting the moonlight. Towards midnight 
they disappeared. In the morning, when the 
Chinese fleet approached Port Arthur, no hostile 
flag was in sight. 

Ito's retirement has never yet been fully 
explained. In his report to the Mikado he 
wrote: — "About 5.30 p.m., seeing that the 
Ting Yuen and the Chen Yuen had been joined 
by other ships, and that my van squadron was 
separated by a great distance from my main 
force, and considering that sunset was approach- 
ing, I discontinued the action, and recalled my 
main squadron by signal. As the enemy's 
vessels proceeded on a southerly course, I 
assumed that they were making for Wei-hai- 
wei ; and having reassembled the fleet, I 
steamed upon what I supposed to be a parallel 
course to that of the foe, with the intention 
of renewing the engagement in the morning, 
for I deemed that a night action might be 
disadvantageous, owing to the possibility of the 
ships becoming separated in the darkness, and 
to the fact that the enemy had torpedo boats 
in company. I lost sight, however, of the 
Chinese, and at daylight saw no signs of the foe." 

The explanation is but a lame one. The 
"other ships" that joined the Chinese iron- 
clads can only have been the gunboats from 
the river mouth. If Ito had held on doggedly 
for what was left of daylight, and used his 
electric search-lights to supplement the moon- 
light when darkness came on, he might have 
completed the destruction of the Chinese fleet. 
It looks very much as if the real reason was 
that both he and his officers and men were 
tired out with the exertion of a five-hours' battle, 
and unfavourably impressed by the desperate 
resistance that had been made by the two 
ironclads. 



It is easy to understand how it was that at 
first both sides claimed the victor\-. As sub- 
sequent events amply proved, it was a clear 
gain for the Japanese, who, without losing a. 
single ship, destroyed half the enemy's force 
and so demoralised what was left of it, that 
no further effort was made by the Chinese to- 
keep the seas, their ships being thenceforth only 
used for harbour defence. The Japanese appear 
to have understated the damage done to their 
ships, at first refusing to admit that any of them 
were seriously injured. If the official list of 
the killed and wounded issued by the Japanese 
Government some two months later is correctv 
a naval action is far from being as sanguinar\- ai> 
affair for the victors as it was in Nelson's days. 

According to this narrative statement, while 
the MatsusliinKj had the heavy loss of 2 officers^ 
killed and 3 wounded, and 33 men killed and 71 
wounded, and the Hiyci lost 56 officers and 
men, no other ship had any serious losses. Thus. 
the Itsukushima is said to have had an officer 
wounded, and 30 men killed and wounded ; the 
Hasidate, 2 killed and 10 wounded; the Fuso, 
14; the Yfishino, which led the van division^ 
onlv 1 1 ; the Saikio, the same number ; the 
Akagi, 28 ; the Akitsushima, 15 ; the Takachicu^ 
an officer and 2 men wounded ; the Xaniwa Kan^ 
I man v,'ounded ; and the Chiyoda, not a single 
man or officer touched. This is a surprising; 
result. The total loss is stated at — 



Ofiicers 
Men 



Killed. Wounded. Totals. 
10 16 26 

So 188 26S 



yo 



204 



294 



There is no precise record of the Chinese loss, 
but it must have far exceeded these moderate 
figures. 

As for the lesson to be learned from the 
battle, before the details were known in Eng- 
land it was supposed that it went to prove 
that lightly-armoured cruisers with quick-firing 
guns were more than a match for battleships. 
But the Yalu fight had no such moral. The 
Ting Yuen and the Chen Yuen cannot be com- 
pared in either defensive power or gun power 
with modern European battleships, such as 
those which form the chief feature in the 
English and French Mediterranean fleets ; yet 
even these inferior battleships were able to 
defy the attempts of the Japanese cruisers to 
crush them. There was a moment when the 
two Chinese ironclads successfully stood against 
eight Japanese cruisers. Had the Chinese had 



THE BATTLE OF THE YALU RIVER. 



89 



plenty of heavy shells, they would no doubt 
have dealt their opponents not one, but many 
such blows as that which nearly wrecked the 
Matsuslumii, and put her out of action for 
a while. It was the peculation and corruption 
in the Chinese admiralty, so far as supplies were 
concerned, which enabled the Japanese cruisers 



other inflammable material in the deck fittings 
and superstructures of battleships. This has 
led to a good deal of minor changes in the 
designs of European ships. Rut the fact re- 
mains that the battle of the Yalu hardly 
represents what a fight between two Europearn 
navies would be like. Probably in such a battle. 




'WHEN nv. RKi.-iiVEKtIi I ROM THE SHOCK HE FOUND HIMSELF I.N A 1 EKRIBLE FOSITION " (^. 87). 



to make such a good fight against the Chinese 
battleships. If a couple of our ships of the 
admiral class had been in the place of the two 
Yiiens, the result of the experiment would have 
been very different. The Yalu fight showed 
what the cruiser could do, but, if anything, it 
proved more clearly than ever the value of the 
battleship. 

On a point of detail, it afforded a valuable 
lesson — namely, the danger of woodwork and 



though the gun would be the chief weapon, 
the torpedo and even the ram would count for 
something. 

Of the tales told of strange injuries received 
during the fight one is worth noting. An officer 
of the Chen Yuen put his hand on an iron plate 
where a shot had just scored it, in order to see 
the result. Half the skin came off, and his hand 
was horribly burned ; for, as the result of the 
blow, the plate was in a glowing heat. 



90 




WAR between France and Germany 
had been declared on 19th July, 
1870 ; and as early as August 2nd 
— so swiftly had been accom- 
plished the work of mobilising the hosts of the 
Fatherland as the "Watch on the Rhine " 
— King William of Prussia, now in his seven- 
tieth year, took command of the united German 
armies at Mavence. 

These armies were three in number — the First, 
on the right, consisting of 60,000 men, com- 
manded by General Steinmetz ; the Second, in 
the centre, 104,000 strong, under the "Red 
Prince " (Frederick Charles) ; and the Third, on 
the left, 130,000, led by the Crown Prince of 
Prussia. An additional 100,000 men, still at the 
■disposal of anv of these three hosts, brought up 
the German field-armv to a figure of 484,000. 

Altogether, Germany now had under arms 
mo fewer than 1,183,389 men, with 250,373 
horses ! Many of these, however, had to remain 
"behind in the Fatherland itself to man the 
fortresses and maintain communication with the 
front ; while others belonged to the category of 
supplementary troops, or reserves, held ready 
to supplv the gaps made in the fighting field- 
army of nearly half a million men, as above. 

The corresponding field array of the French 
was considerably inferior in point of numbers 
(336,500), equipment, organisation, and discipline 
— in all respects, in fact, save that of the chassepot 
rifle, which was decidedly superior to the German 
iieedle-gun. The French, too, had a large 
jiumber of mitrailleuses, or machine-guns, which 
ground out the bullets at what they deemed 
would be a terribly murderous rate. But these 
instruments of wholesale massacre did not, in 
the end, come up to the French e.xpe-ctation of 
them ; while, on the other hand, the Prussian 
field-artillery proved itself to be far superior in 
all resnects to that of the French. 



Finally, the Germans had a plan ; the French 
had none. Profound forethought was stamped 
on everything the Germans did ; but, on the 
other hand, it was stamped on scarcely one 
single act of their enemies. The Germans had 
at their head a man of design, while the corre- 
sponding director of the French was only a 
"Man of Destiny." 

The first serious battle was fought on the 4th 
August at Wissemburg, when the Crown Prince 
fell upon the French and smote them hip and 
thigh, following up this victor}-, on the 6th, at 
Worth, when he again assaulted and tumbled 
back the overweening hosts of MacMahon in 
hideous ruin, partly on Strasburg, partly on 
Chalons. On this same dav Steinmetz, on the 
right, carried the Spicheren Heights with terrific 
carnage, and all but annihilated Frossard's Corps. 
It was now the turn of the " Red Prince," in the 
centre, to strike in ; and this he did on the i6th, 
with glorious success, at Mars-la-Tour, when, 
against fivefold odds, he hung on to ^larshal 
Bazaine's army and thwarted it in its attempt 
to escape from Metz. Two days later, the i8th, 
on very nearly the same ground, there was 
fought the bloodiest battle of all the war, that of 
Gravelotte-St. Privat — which resulted in the 
hurling back of Bazaine into Metz, there to be 
cooped up and beleaguered by Prince Frederick 
Charles and forced to capitulate within a couple 
of months. 

Moltke's immediate object was now to dispose 
of MacMahon, who had retired on Chalons — 
thence either to fall back on Paris, or march 
by a circuitous route to the relief of Bazaine. 
Which course he meant to adopt the German 
leaders did not as yet know, though it was of 
life-and-death importance that they should find 
out with the least possible delay. Meanwhile 
the Csown Prince of Prussia with the Third 
Arm}- continued his pursuit of MacMahon, as if 



SEDAN. 



91 



towards Chalons ; and with him co-operated the 
Crown Prince of Saxony at the head of a P'ourth 
Army (of the Meuse), which had now been 
created out of such of the " Red Prince's " forces 
(First and Second Armies) as were not required 
for the investment of Metz. 

For several days the pursuing Germans con- 
tinued their rapid march to the west, but on the 
25th, word reached Moltke, the real directing 
head of the campaign, that MacMahon in liut 
haste had evacuated the camp at Chalons, and 
marched to the north-west on Rheims, with the 
apparent intention of doubling back on Metz. 
Meanwhile, until his intention should become 
unmistakably plain, the German leaders did 
no more than give a right half-front direction 
to the enormous host of about 200,000 men 
which, on an irregular frontage of nearlv fifty 
miles, was sweeping forward to the west, Paris- 
wards. 

For three more days this altered movement was 
continued, and then " Right-half-wheel ! " again 
resounded all along the enormous line, there 
being now executed by the German armies one 
of the grandest feats of strategical combination 
that had ever been performed. The German 
cavalry had already done wonders of scouting, 
but it was believed that Moltke's knowledge of 
the altered movements of MacMahon was now 
mainly derived from Paris telegrams to a London 
tiewspaper, which were promptly re-communi- 
cated, by way of Berlin, to the German head- 
quarters — a proof of how the revelations of the 
war-correspondent — whom Lord Wolselev once 
denounced as the '"curse of modern armies" — 
may sometimes affect the whole course of a 
campaign. 

Not long was it now before the heads of the 
German columns were within striking distance 
of MacMahon, who was hastening eastward to 
cross the Meuse in the direction of Metz ; but 
his movement became ever more flurried in 
proportion to the swiftness wherewith the 
Germans deployed their armies on a frontage 
parallel to his flank line of march. Alternately 
obeying his own militarv instincts and the 
•political orders fFom Paris, MacMahon dodged 
and doubled in the basin of the Meuse like a 
breathless and bewildered hare. On the 30th 
.\ugust an action at Beaumont proved to the 
F'rench the utter hopelessness of their attempting 
to pursue their Metz-ward march. As the 
battle of Mars-la-Tour had compelled Bazaine to 
relinquish his plan of reaching Verdun and to 
fight for his life with his back to Metz, so the 



victor}' of Beaumont proved to MacMahon that 
his only resource left was to abandon the 
attempt to reach the virgin fortress on the 
Moselle, and concentrate his demoralised and 
rabble army around the frontier stronghold 01 
■ Sedan. 

As Sedan had been the birthplace of one of 
the greatest of French marshals, Turenne, who 
had unrighteously seized Strasburg and the left 
bank of the Rhine for France, and been the 
scourge of Germany, it was peculiarly fitting 
that it should now become the scene of the 
battle which was to restore Alsace-Lorraine to 
the Fatherland, and destroy the Continental 
supremacy of the Gauls. 

Standing on the right bank of the Meuse, in 
a projecting angle between Luxemburg and 
Belgian territory, the fortressed old town of 
Sedan is surrounded by meadows, gardens, 
cultivated fields, ravines, and wet-ditches ; while 
the citadel, or castle, rises on a clifif-like eminence 
to the south-west of the place. Away in the 
distance towards the Belgian frontier stretch 
the Ardennes — that verdant forest of Arden in 
which Touchstone jested and Orlando loved, 
but which was now to become the scene of a 
great tragedy — of one of the most crushing 
disasters that ever befell a mighty nation. 

In retiring on Sedan, MacMahon had not 
intended to offer battle there, but simpl}- to give 
his troops a short rest, of which they stood so 
much in need, and provide them with food and 
ammunition. These troops were worn out with 
their efforts by day and night and by continuous 
rain ; while their apparently aimless marching 
to and fro had undermined their confidence in 
their leaders, and a series of defeats had shaken 
their own self-trust. Thousands of fugitives, 
crying for bread, crowded round the waggons as 
they made their way to the little fortress which 
had thus so suddenly become the goal of a vast 
army. 

On the 31st of August, after making all his 
strategic preparations, and taking a general 
survey of the situation, Moltke quietly remarked 
with a chuckle : '' The trap is now closed, and 
the mouse is in it." That night headquarters 
were at Vendresse, a townlet about fourteen 
miles to the south of Sedan ; and early on the 
morning of the ist of September, King William 
and his brilliant suite of generals, princes, and 
foreign officers were up and away to the hill- 
slope of Fresnois, which commands a view of the 
town and valley of Sedan as a box on the grand 



q2 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



tiers of an opera does that of the stage. Bis- 
marck, Moltke, and Roon — the king's mighty 
men of wisdom and of valour — were also in his 




THE CKCWN PRINCE OI" SAXONY. 

Maje?t_y's suite. " Why," remarked a Prussian 
soldier on seeing this brilliant assemblage take 
up its position on the brow of the hill and pro- 
duce its field-glasses, " why, all this is just the 
same as at our autumn manoeuvres ! " 

The morning had broken in a thick fog, under 
cover of which the Germans had marched up to 
their various positions, 
some of the columns 
having moved off at mid- 
night ; and by the time 
King William had taken 
his stand on the Fresnois 
height, a little to the 
east of where his son, 
the Crown Prince, had 
similarly posted himself 
in order to direct the 
movements of the Third 
Army, the hot September 
sun had raised the cur- 
tain of the mist and dis- 
closed the progress which 
had already been made 
by the stupendous battle 
drama. 

This had been opened by the Bavarians, 
under Von der Tann, who, crossing the Meuse 



on pontoons, advanced to attack the village ot 
Bazeilles, a suburb of Sedan outside the fortifi- 
cations on the south-east. The Bavarians had 
already shelled this suburb on the previous 
evening so severely that pillars of flame and 
smoke shot up into the aiF during the night. 
In no other battle of the war was such fighting 
ferocity shown as in this hand-to-hand struggle 
for Bazeilles. For the Bavarians were met with 
such a stubborn resistance on the part of the 
French marine infantry posted there, that they 
were twice compelled to abandon their hold on 
that place by vehement counter-assaults. 

The inhabitants of the village, too — women as 
well as men — joined in its defence by firing out 
of the houses and cellars on the Bavarians as 
they pressed onward, and by perpetrating most 
revolting barbarities on the wounded Germans. 
left behind when their comrades had repeatedly 
to retreat. The Bavarians, on their part, were 
so dreadfully embittered and enraged by these 
things that they gave no quarter, acting with 
relentless rigour towards all the inhabitants 
found with arms in their hands or caught in the 
act of inflicting cruelties on the wounded. 

The struggle for the village became one of 
mutual annihilation. House by house and street 
by street had to be stormed and taken by the 
Bavarians, and the only way of ejecting the 
enemy from some of these massively built and 
strongly garrisoned buildings was by employing 
pioneers to breach the walls in the rear or from 
the side streets and throw in lighted torches. 
Notwithstanding all the desperate braverj- of 




LUXOir.URG 



ORheims 

cha2p 





MAYENCE 



Montmedyv.^,/ 



Thionville 






•'> 






-.JUqjANCY STRASBURG 




STRATEGIC MOVEMENTS PRIOR TO SEDAN. 



the Bavarians, the battle fluctuated for nearly 
six hours in the streets of Bazeilles, fresh troops, 



SEDAN. 



93 



or freshly rallied ones, being constantly thrown 
by both sides into the seething fight. It was 
not till about lo a.m. that the Bavarians had 
acquired hill possession of the village itself — 
now reduced to mere heaps of smoking ruins ; 
but as the combat died away in the streets it 



the infuriated Highlanders of Sir Colin Camp- 
bell. But it must be remembered that in all 
three cases the blood of the assailants had been 
roused to almost tiger-heat by barbarous provo- 
cation from the other side. 

Simultaneoush- with the sanguinar\- struggle 



I 




GEU.M.W UNUORMa 



ib;o. 



was continued with equal desperation in the 
adjacent gardens on the north, where the French 
made a fresh stand, defending their ground with 
the most admirable valour. 

Bazeilles was certainly the scene of some of 
the most shocking atrocities which had been 
perpetrated by European soldiers since the siege 
and sack of Badajoz by the victorious troops of 
Wellington, and the storming of Lucknow by 



for Bazeilles, the battle had also been developing 
at other points. Advancing on the right of the 
Bavarians the Crown Prince of Sa.xony — after- 
wards King Albert — pushed forward towards 
Givonne with intent to complete the environ- 
ment of the French on this side. In order to 
facilitate their marching, the Saxon soldiers had 
been ordered to lay aside their knapsacks, and 
by great efforts they succeeded in reaching their 



94 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



] 



appointed section of the ring of investment early 
in the day, taking the enemy completely by 
surprise, and hurling them back in confusion 
both at La Moncelle and Daigny. At the latter 
place the French, soon after 7 a.m., made two 
ofTensive sallies with their renowned Zouaves 
and dreaded Turcos belonging to the ist Corps, 
but were beaten back by a crushing artillery- and 
needle-gun fire. 

For some time the scales of battle hung un- 
certain on this portion of the field, but reinforce- 
ments coming up to the Sa.xons, the latter made 
an impetuous push across the valley, capturing 
three guns and three mitrailleuses from the 
French after half an hour's street-fighting in the 
village (Daigny), which was now finally wrested 
from the enemy. Soon after this the Saxon 
right was rendered secure bv the advance of 
the Prussian Guards, under Prince August of 
WUrtemberg, who had made a wide detour to 
reach their objective, Givonne. A considerable 
body of French cavalry and numerous trains 
were seen by the Guards on the opposite side of 
the valle\-. These offered the corps artillery of 
the Guards an immediate target for its fire ; and 
scarcely had the first shells fallen among the 
French columns when the entire mass scattered 
in all directions in the greatest confusion, leaving 
everywhere traci:s of a complete panic. The 
cavalry of the Guard was sent by a detour to 
the right, to bar the road to Belgium, and also 
establish touch with the Crown Prince's (Third) 
army, which had been pushed round on the 
German left. 

At Givonne the Guards, at a great loss, 
stormed and captured seven guns and three 
mitrailleuses, whose gunners were all killed or 
made prisoners. Beaten out of Daigny and 
Givonne, the French hereabouts fled in a dis- 
orderly crowd into the woods, or fell back upon 
the centre, which they incommoded and dis- 
couraged by their precipitate appearance on a 
part of the field where they were not wanted. 
Shortly after, the junction between the Prussian 
Guards and the Crown Prince was accomplished, 
and the ring was now complete. Successes 
equal to those at Daigny and Givonne were 
obtained by the Germans in other directions, 
and the French centre began to recede, though 
the contest was still prolonged with desperate 
tenacity, the French fiercely disputing every 
hill-slope and point of vantage, and inflicting 
as well as sustaining tremendous losses. 

Meanwhile the French right had been hotly 
engaged. A railway bridge which crosses the 



Meuse near Le Dancourt had been broken down 
by MacMahon, but in the early morning the 
Crown Prince had thrown some of his troops 
across the river on pontoons, and was thus 
enabled to plant his batteries on the crest of 
a hill which overlooks Floing and the surround- 
ing countn,-. The French, suddenly attacked 
in the rear, were more than astonished at the 
position in which they now found themselves ; 
but fronting up towards their assailants with all 
their available strength, they maintained a pro- 
longed resistance. Their musketry fire was 
poured in with such deadliness and determina- 
tion that it was heard even above the deeper 
notes of the mitrailleuse, now playing with 
terrible effect on the Germans. General Sheri- 
dan said he had never heard so well-sustained 
and long-continued a small-arm fire. 

By noon, however, the Prussian battery on 
the slope above the broken bridge over the 
Meuse, above La Vilette, had silenced two 
French batteries near Floing, and now the 
enemy were compelled to retire from the posi- 
tion. About half-past twelve large numbers of 
retreating French were seen on the hill between 
Floing and Sedan, their ranks shelled by a 
Prussian battery in front of St. Menges. The 
(iermans now advanced and seized Floing in 
the valley, holding it against all attempts to 
dislodge them ; but it still remained for them 
to scale the heights beyond, from the entrenched 
slopes and vineyards of which they were exposed 
to a murderous fire. Here the French had all 
the advantages of position, and the Germans 
could make but little headway in spite of their 
repeated efforts, so that at this point the battle 
came to something like a standstill for nearly an 
hour and a half, the time being consumed in 
assaults and counter-assaults. 

At last, on receiving reinforcements, which 
brought up their strength in this portion of the 
field to seventeen battalions, the Germans once 
more advanced to the attack, and the French 
saw that something desperate must be done if 
their position was to be saved. Hitherto the 
French cavalry had done little or nothing, but 
now was their chance. Emerging from the Bois 
de la Garenne at the head of the 4th Reserve 
Cavalry Division, consisting of four Scots-Grey- 
luoking regiments of Chasseurs d'Afrique and 
two regiments of Lancers, General Marguerite 
prepared to charge down upon the Germans. 
But he himself was severely wounded before his 
imposing mass of picturesque horsemen had 
fairly got in motion, and then the command 



SEDAN. 



95 



devolved on General Gallifet, one of the bravest 
and most brilliant cavalry officers in all France — 
in all Europe. 

Placing himself at the head of his magnificent 
array of horsemen, Gallifet now launched them 
against the seventeen battalions of the Ger- 
mans. Thundering down the slope, the shining 
squadrons broke through the line of skirmishers, 



Supported by Bonnemain's division of four 
Cuirassier regimenf, " these attacks," wrote 
Moltke, "were repeated, by the French again 
and again, and the murderous turmoil lasted 
for half an hour, with steadily diminishing 
success for the French. The infantry volleys 
fired at short range strewed the whole field 
with dead and wounded. Many fell into the 






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Battle of SEDAN. 
Positions about 10 a.m. Sept. 1.1870. ry,*^.,^,.. 



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scattering them like chaff. But then, in the 
further pursuit of their stormful career, they 
were received by the deployed battalions in 
front and flank with such a murderous fire of 
musketry, supplemented by hurricanes of grape- 
shot from the batteries, as made them reel and 
roll to the ground — man and horse — in strug- 
gling, convulsive heaps. Nowhere throughout 
the war was the terrible pageantrv of battle 
so picturesquely displayed as now on these sacri- 
ficial slopes of Sedan, when the finest and fairest 
chivalry of France was broken and shivered by 
bullet and bavonet as a furious wave is shattered 
into spray by an opposing rock. 



quarries or over the steep precipices, a few 
may have escaped by swimming the Meuse, 
and scared}' more than half of these brave 
troops were left to return to the protection 
of the fortress." 

The scene was well described by an eye- 
witness, Mr. Archibald Forbes : — "At a gallop 
through the ragged intervals in the confused 
masses of the infantry came dashing the Chas- 
seurs d'Afrique. The squadrons halted, fronted, 
and then wheeled into line, at a pace and with 
a regularity which would have done them credit 
in the Champ de Mars, and did them double 
credit executed as was the evolution under a 



96 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, 



warm fire. That fire, as one could tell by the 
dying away of the smoke-jets, ceased all of a 
sudden, as if the trumpets which rang out the 
•Charge!' for the Chasseurs had sounded also 
the ' Cease firing ! ' for the German artillery 
and infantry. Not a needle-gun gave fire as 
the splendid horsemen crashed down the gentle 
slope with the velocity of an avalanche. 

" I have seen not a few cavalry charges, but I 
never saw a finer one, whether from a spectator's 
or an adjutant's point of view, than this one 
of the Chasseurs d'Afrique. It was destined to 
a sudden arrestment, and that without the 
ceremony of the trum- 
pets sounding the 
' Halt.' The horsemen 
and the footmen might 
have seen the colour 
of each others' mous- 
taches (to use Have- 
lock's favourite phrase), 
when along the line o>- 
the latter there flashed 
out a sudden, simul- 
taneous streak of fire. 
Like thunder-claps 
sounding over the din 
of a hurricane, rose the 
measured crash of the 
batterj' guns, and the 
cloud of white smoke 
drifted away towards 
the Chasseurs, envelop- 
ing them for the mo- 
ment from one's sight. 
When it blew awa}-, 

there was visible a line of bright uniforms and 
grev horses struggling prostrate among the potato 
drills, or lying still in death. Onl\' a handful 
of all the gallant show of five minutes before 
•were galloping backward up the slope, leaving 
tokens at intervals of their progress as they 
retreated. So thorough a destruction by what 
may be called a single volley probablv the oldest 
soldier now alive never witnessed." 

The French had played their last card. Thev 
had endeavoured to give the tide of battle a 
favourable turn by sacrificing their cavalry, but 
in vain. The Germans now stormed and cap- 
tured the heights of Floing and Cazal, and from 
this time the battle became little more than 
a mere battue. The French were thoroughly 
disheartened, and rapidly becoming an undis- 
ciplined rabble. Hundreds and thousands of 
them allowed themselves to be taken prisoners ; 




GENERAL UE WIMPFFEN. 



ammunition -waggons were exploding in their 
midst, while the German artillery were ever 
contracting their murderous fire, and walls of 
bayonets closed every issue. The fugitive 
troopers, rushing about in search of cover, in- 
creased the frightful confusion which began to 
prevail throughout the circumscribed space in 
which the French army had been cooped up. 

Still, from the German point of view, a decisive 
blow was imperative, so that the results of the 
mighty battle might be secured without a doubt. 
With this in view, the Prussian Guards and the 
Saxons from the Givonne quarter were launched 
against the Bois de la 
Garenne, which had 
become the last refuge 
of the battered and 
broken French ; and 
these were soon driven 
baciv from every point, 
with the loss of many 
guns and prisoners — 
back on the fortress of 
Sedan in wild turmoil 
and disorganised flight. 
It is to the iftside of 
this fortress that the 
scene must now change, 
in order that we may 
pick up and follow 
what may be called the 
personal thread of the 
great battle-drama, of 
which we have but 
given the leading epi- 
sodes. For it is only at 
this point that the battle-drama began to enter its 
most interesting, because most surprising phase. 
Marshal MacMahon, the French commander- 
in-chief, had been in the saddle as earl\- as 
5 a.m. When riding along the high ground 
above La Moncelle he was severel)- wounded in 
the thigh b\- the fragment of a shell, and then 
he nominated Ducrot his successor in command. 
By 8 o'clock the latter was exercising this 
command, in virtue of which he had ordered a 
retreat westward to Mezieres ; but presently he 
was superseded by General de Wimpffen, who 
had but just arrived from Algeria, and who 
hastened to countermand the retreat on Mezieres 
in favour of an attempt to break out in the 
opposite direction towards Carignan. This chaos 
of commanders and confusion of plans proved 
fatal to the distracted French, who now began 
to see that there was no hope for them. 




2; 



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3 
O' 



X 






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a 

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55 



o8 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



When riding out in the direction of the 
hardest fighting, Napoleon had met the wounded 
Marshal being brought in on a stretcher. The 
unfortunate Emperor mooned about the field for 
hours under fire, but he had no influence what- 
ever on the conduct of the battle. He had already 
ahnost ceased to be Emperor in the eyes of his 
generals, and even of his soldiers. De Wimpffen 
sent a letter begging his imperial master " to 
place himself in the midst of his troops, who 
could be relied on to force a passage through 
the German lines ; " but to this exhortation 
his Majesty vouchsafed no reply. 

Eventually he returned into the town and, 
already showing the white feather, gave orders 
for the hoisting of the Avhite flag. Up flew this 
white flag as a request to the Germans to suspend 
their infernal fire ; but this signal of distress had 
not long fluttered aloft when it was indignantly 
cut down by General Faure, chief-of-staff to the 
wounded MacMahon, acting on his own responsi- 
bility alone. For some time longer the useless 
slaughter went on, and then Napoleon, who had 
meanwhile taken refuge in the sous-prefecture^ 
made another attempt to sue for mercy. 

" Whj- does this useless struggle go on ? " he 
said to Lebrun, who entered the presence of his 
Majesty shortly before 3 p.m. " An hour ago 
and more I bade the white flag be displayed 
in order to sue for an armistice." 

Lebrun explained that, in addition to the 
flj'ing of the white flag, there were other 
formalities to be observed in such a case — 
the signing of a letter by the commander- 
in-chief, and the sending of it by an officer 
accompanied by a trumpeter and a flag of 
truce. 

These things being seen to, Lebrun now 
repaired to where Wimpffen was rallying some 
troops for an assault on the Germans in Balan, 
near Bazeilles ; and on seeing Lebrun approach 
with all his paraphernalia for a parley, the angry 
commander-in-chief shouted : '' No capitulation ! 
Drop that rag ! I mean to fight on ! " and forth- 
with he started for Balan, carrying Lebrun with 
him into the fray. 

Meanwhile Ducrot, who had been fighting 
hard about the Bois de la Garenne, in the des- 
perate attempt to retard the contraction of the 
German circle of fire and steel, resolved about 
this time to pa.ss through Sedan and join in 
Wimpffen's proposed attempt to cut a way out 
towards Carignan. What he saw in the interior 
of the town may be described almost in his own 
words. 



The streets, the open places, the gates, were 
blocked up by waggons, guns, and the impedi- 
menta and debris of a routed army. Bands of sol- 
diers without arms, without packs, were rushing 
about, throwing themselves into the churches 
or breaking into private houses. Many unfortun- 
ate men were trampled under foot. The few 
soldiers who still preserved a remnant of energ\- 
seemed to be expending it in accusations and 
curses. " We have been betrayed," they cried ; 
" we have been sold by traitors and cowards." 

Nothing could be done with such men, and 
Ducrot, desisting from his intention to join 
De Wimpffen, hastened to seek out the 
Emperor. 

The air was all on fire ; shells fell on roofs, 
and struck masses of masonry, which crashed 
down on the pavements. " I cannot under- 
stand," said the Emperor, " why the enemy 
continues his fire. 1 have ordered the white 
flag to be hoisted. I hope to obtain an in- 
terview with the King of Prussia, and maj' 
succeed in getting advantageous terms for the 
army." 

While the Emperor and Ducrot were thus 
conversing, the German cannonade increased 
in deadly violence. Fires burst out ; women, 
children, and wounded were destroyed, and 
the air was filled with shrieks, curses, and 
groans. The sous-prefecture itself was struck ; 
shells were exploding every minute in the 
garden and courtyard. 

" It is absolutely necessary to stop this 
firing," at last exclaimed the Emperor, in a 
state of pallid perturbation. " Here, WTite 
this : ' The flag of truce having been dis- 
played, negotiations are about to be opened 
with the enemy. The firing must cease all 
along the line.' Now sign it ! " 

" Oh, no, sire," replied Ducrot ; " I cannot 
sign. By what right could I do so ? General 
Wimpffen is in chief command." 

" Yes," rejoined the Emperor ; " but I know 
not where General Wimpffen is to be found. 
Someone must sign ! " 

'■ Let his chief-of-staff do so," suggested Ducrot ; 
"or General Douav." 

" Yes," said the Emperor ; " let the chief-ol- 
staff sign the order." 

But what became of this order is not exacth 
known. All that is known is, that the brave 
Wimpffen scorned even to open the Emperor's 
letter, calling upon his Majesty instead to come 
and help in cutting a way out ; that the Em- 
peror did not respond to this appeal ; thai 



SEDAN. 



uu 



WimpfFen, failing in his gallant attempt on 
Balan for want of proper support, then re- 
tired on Sedan, and indignantly sent in his 
resignation to the Emperor ; that then, in 
the presence of his Majesty, there was a scene 
of violent altercation between WimplTen and 
i Ducrot, in the course of which it was believed 
that blows were actually exchanged ; and that 
finally Napoleon brought Wimpffen to under- 
stand that, having commanded during the 
battle, it was his dutj- not to desert his post 
in circumstances so critical. 

Let the scene now again shift to the hill-top 
of Fresnois, where King William and his suite 
were viewing, as from the dress-circle of a 
theatre, the course of the awful battle-drama in 
* the town and valley below. The first white flag 
run up by order of Napoleon had not been 
noticed by the Germans, and thinking thus that 
^ the French meant to fight it out to the bitter 
lip end, the King, between 4 and 5 p.m., ordered 
the whole available artillery to concentrate a 
crushing fire on Sedan, crowded as it was with 
fugitives and troops, so as to bring the enemy 
lO their senses as soon as possible, no matter by 
what amount of carnage, while at the same 
time, under cover of this cannonade, a Bavarian 
force prepared to storm the Torcy Gate. 

The batteries opened fire with fearful effect, 
and in a short time Sedan seemed to be in 
I'huncs. This was the cannonade which had burst 
out daring the Emperor's conversation with 
Ducrot, making his Majesty once more give 
orders for the hoisting of the white flag ; and 
no sooner was it at length seen flying from the 
citadel than the German fire at once ceased, 
when the King despatched Colonel Bronsart 
von SchellendorfF, of his staff, to ride down into 
Sedan under a flag of truce and summon the 
garrison to surrender. 

Penetrating into the town, and asking for the 
commander-in-chief, this officer, to his utter 
astonishment, was led into the presence of 
Napoleon ! 

For the Germans had not yet the faintest 
idea that the Emperor was in Sedan. Just as 
Colonel Bronsart was starting off. General 
Sheridan, of the United States Armv, who was 
attached to the royal headquarters, remarked to 
Bismarck that Napoleon himself would likely be 
one of the prizes. " Oh, no,'' replied the Iron 
Chancellor, " the old fo.\ is too cunning to be 
caught in such a trap ; he" has doubtless slipped 
off to Paris." 

What, then, wa; the surprise of all when 



Colonel Bronsart galloped back to the hill-slope 
of Fresnois with the astounding news that the 
Emperor himself was in the fortress, and would 
him,self at once communicate direct with the 
King! 

This Colonel Bronsart was a man of French 
extraction, being descended (like so many in 
Prussia) from one of those Huguenot families wh- > 
had been driven into exile by the cruel despotism 
of Louis XIV. And now — strange Nemesis of 
history — to the lineal representative of a victim 
of this tyranny was given the satisfaction of 
demanding, on behalf of his royal Prussian 
master, the sword of the historical successor in 
French despotism to Louis XIV^. 

The effect on the field of battle, as the fact of 
a surrender became obvious to the troops, was 
most extraordinary. The opening of one of the 
gates of Sedan to permit the exit of the officer 
bearing the flag of truce gave the first impression 
of an approaching capitulation. This gradually 
gained strength until it acquired all the force of 
actual knowledge, and ringing cheers ran along 
the whole German line of battle. Shakoes, 
helmets, bayonets, and sabres were raised high 
in the air, and the vast army swayed to and fro 
in the excitement of an unequalled triumph. 
Even the dying shared in the general enthusiasm. 
One huge Prussian, who had been lying with 
his hand to his side in mortal agony, suddenly 
rose to his feet as he comprehended the meaning 
of the cries, uttered a loud " Hurrah ! " waved 
his hands on high, and then, as the blood 
rushed from his wound, fell dead across a 
Frenchman. 

On Bronsart returning to the King with his 
momentous message, murmured cries of '^ Dcr 
Kaiser ist da ! " ran through the brilliant 
gathering, and then there was a moment of 
dumfoundered silence. 

" This is, indeed, a great success," then said 
the King to his retinue. " And I thank thee '' 
(turning to the Crown Prince) " that thou hast 
helped t«i achieve it." 

With that the King gave his hand to his son, 
who kissed it ; then to Moltke, who kissed it 
also. Lastlv, he gave his hand to the Chan- 
cellor, and talked with him for some time alone. 

Presently several other horsemen — some 
escorting-troopers — were seen ascending the 
hill. The chief of them was General Reille, 
the bearer of Napoleon's flag of truce. 

Dismounting about ten paces from the King, 
Reille, who wore no sword and carried a cane in 
his hand, approached his Majesty with most 



100 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



humble reverence, and presented him with a 
scaled letter. 

All stepped back from the King, who, after 
saying, " But I demand, as the first condition, 
that the army lay down their arms," broke the 
seal and read ■ — 

" Monsieur, my Brother, — Not having been able to 
die in the midst of my troops, it only remains for me to 
place my sword in the hands of your Majesty. I am 
your Majesty's good brother, " Napoleon. 

" Sedan, ist Septembn." 



In a few minutes it was ready, and his Majesty 
\vrote it out sittingona rush-bottomed chair, while 
another was held ii]i to him bv way of desk : — 

" Monsieur, my Brother, — Whilst regretting the cir- 
cumstances in which we meet, I accept your Majesty's 
sword, and beg you to appoint one of your officers, pro- 
vided with full powers, to treat for the capitulation of the 
army which has fought so bravely under your command. 
On my part I have nominated General Von Moltke for this 
purpose. I am your Majesty's good brother, William. 
"Before Sedan, is/ Septimbsr, 1870." 




Certainly it seemed that the Emperor might 
have tried \'ery much harder than he had done 
to die in the midst of his troops, but his own 
heart was his best judge in this respect.' 

On reading this imperial letter, the King, as 
well he might, was deeply moved. His first 
impulse, as was his pious wont, was to offer 
thanks to God ; and then, turning to the silent 
and gazing group behind him, he told them the 
contents of the imperial captive's letter. 

The Crown Prince with Moltke and others 
talked a little with General Reille, whilst the 
King conferred with his Chancellor, who then 
commissioned Count Hatzfeldt to draft an answer 
to the Emperor's missive. 



A N . \Plwto, D. Stct'eniUy Sedan, 

While the King was writing this answer, 
Bismarck held a conversation with General 
Reille, who represented to the Chancellor that 
hard conditions ought not to be imposed on an 
army which had fought so well. 

" I shrugged my shoulders," said Bismarck. 

Reille rejoined that, before accepting such 
conditions, the}" would blow themselves up skv- 
high with the fortress. 

" Do it, if j-ou like ; faitcs saiitcr" replied 
Bismarck ; and the King's reply was now handed 
to the envoy of the captured Emperor. 

The twilight was beginning to deepen when 
General Reille rode back to Sedan, but his 
way was lighted by the lurid gleam of the 



SEDAN. 



101 



conflagrations in and around the fortress which 
crimsoned the evening sk\'. And swift as the 
npshooting flames of shell-struck magazine, fliew 
all around the circling German lines the great 
and glorious tidings that the Emperor with his 
army were prisoners of war ! 



loud and clear througii the ethereal summer 
night, the deeply pious strains of " Now thank 
we all our God ; " and then the curtain of 
darkness fell on one of the most tragic and 
momentous spectacles ever witnessed bv this 
age of dramatic change and wonders. 




MEETING OF WU.LIAM AND NAI'OLEON. 



In marching and in fighting, the troops had 
performed prodigies of exertion and of valour, 
but their fatigues were for the time forgotten in 
the fierce intoxication of victory ; and when the 
stars began to twinkle overhead, and the hill- 
tops around Sedan to glow with flickering 
watch-fires, up then arose from more than a 
hundred thousand grateful German throats, 



" Before going to sleep," wrote Mr. Archi- 
bald Forbes — the prince, if not the father, of 
war-correspondents — " I took a walk round the 
half-obliterated ramparts which surround the 
once fortified town of Donchery. The scene 
was very fine. The whole horizon was lurid 
with the reflection of fire. All along the 
valley of the Meuse, on either side, were the 



102 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



bivouacs of the German liost. Two hundred 
thousand men kiv here around their King. 
On the horizon glowed the flames of the 
burning villages, the flicker occasionally re- 
flecting itself on a link of the placid Meuse. 
Over all the quiet moon waded through a sky 
cumbered with wind-clouds. What were the 
Germans doing on this their night of triumph ? 
Celebrating their victor\' by wassail and riot ? 
No. There arose from everj- camp one unani- 
mous chorus of song, but not the song of 
ribaldry. Verih' they are a great race these 
Germans — a masterful, fighting, praying people ; 
surely in many respects not unlike the men 
whom Cromwell led. The chant that filled 
the night air was Luther's hymn, the glorious — 

■ Nun danket alle Gott,' 

the ' Old Hundredth ' of Germany. To hear 
this great martial orchestra singing this noble 
hymn under such circumstances was alone worth 
a journe}' to Sedan, with all its vicissitudes and 
difficulties." 

Of the 200,000 men whom the Germans had 
marched up towards Sedan, only about 120,000 
had taken actual part in the battle ; and of 
these their glorious victory had entailed a loss 
of 460 officers and 8,500 men in killed and 
v.ounded. The French, on the other nand, 
had to lament the terrible loss of 17,000 killed 
and wounded, and 24,000 prisoners taken on 
the field (including 3,000 who had flea ove;" 
into Belgium and been disarmed). On the part 
of the Germans, the Bavarians and the men of 
Posen had been the heaviest suflferers. 

On the night of the battle King William 
returned to Vendresse, " being greeted," as 
he himself wrote, " on the road by the loud 
hurrahs of the advancing troops, who were 
singing the national hymn," and extemporising 
illuminations in honour of their stupendous 
victory ; while Bismarck, with Moltke, Blu- 
menthal, and several other staff-officers, re- 
mained behind at the village of Doncher\- — a 
mile or two from Sedan — to treat for the 
capitulation of the French army. 

For this purpose an armistice had been con- 
cluded till four o'clock next morning. The 
chief French negotiators were Generals de 
Wimpffen and Castelnau — the former for the 
army, the latter for the Emperor. 

Both pleaded very hard for a mitigation of 
Moltke's brief but comprehensive condition — 
unconditional surrender of Sedan and all within 
ic. But the German strategist was as hard and 



unbending as adamant ; and when De Wimpffer., 
with the burning shame of a patriot and the griet 
of a brave soldier convulsing his heart, talked of 
resuming the conflict rather than submit to such 
humiliating terms, Moltke merely pointed to the 
500 guns that were now encircling Sedan on its 
ring of heights, and at the same time invited 
WimpfTen to send one of his officers to make a 
thorough inspection of the German position, so 
as to convince himself of the utter hopelessness 
of renewed resistance. 

The negotiations lasted for several hours, and 
it was past midnight when the broken-hearted 
De WimpflFen and his colleagues returned to 
Sedan, having meanwhile achieved no other 
result than the prolongation of the armistice 
from 4 to 9 a.m. on the 2nd September, at which 
hour to the minute, said Moltke, the fortress 
would become the target of half a thousand guns 
unless his terms were accepted. 

On returning to Sedan about i a.m., De 
WimpfFen at once went to the Emperor to make 
a report on the sad state of affairs, and beg his 
Majesty to e.xert his personal influence to obtain 
more favourable terms for the arnij-. For this 
purpose Napoleon readily undertook to go to 
the German headquarters at 5 a.m. 

Soon after he had driven out of the fortress, 
Wimpffen called a council of war, consisting ot 
all the commanding generals, and put the ques- 
tion whether further resistance was possible. 
It was answered in the despairing negative 
by all the thirty-two generals present, save 
only two, Pelle and Carre de Bellemare ; while 
even these two in the end acquiesced in the 
absolute necessity of accepting Moltke's terms 
on its being shown them that another attempt 
to break through the investing lines w-ould only 
lead to useless slaughter. For in the course of the 
night the Germans had further tightened their 
iron grip on the fortress, and thickened the 
girdle of their guns. No ; there was clearl}' 
nothing left for the poor, demoralised French but 
to yield to the inevitable, and their only chance 
lay in the hope that the Emperor himself would 
be able to procure some mollification of their 
terrible fate. 

But the hope proved a vain one. Driving 
forth with several high officers from the fortress 
about 5 a.m., the Emperor, who was wearing 
white kid gloves and smoking his everlasting 
cigarette, sent on General Reille to Donchery in 
search of Bismarck; and the latter, "unwashed 
and unbreakfasted," was soon galloping towards 
Sedan to learn the wishes of his fallen Majestj?. 



SEDAN. 



103 



He had not ridden far when he encountered 
the Emperor, sitting in an open carriage, 
apparently a hired one, in which were also three 
ollicers of high rank, and as many on horseback. 
Bismarck had his revolver in his belt, and on the 
Emperor catching sight of this he gave a start ; 
hut the Chancellor, saluting and dismounting, 
approached the Emperor with as much c6urtesy 
as if he had been at the Tuilcries, and begged 
to know his Majesty's conmiands. 

Napoleon replied that he wanted to see the 
King, but Bismarck explained that this was im- 
possible, his Majesty being quartered fourteen 
miles away. Had not the King, then, appointed 
any place for him, the Emperor, to go to ? 

Bismarck knew not, but meanwhile his own 
quarters were at his Majesty's disposal. The 
Emperor accepted the offer, and began to drive 
slowly towards Donchery, but, hesitating on 
account of the possible crowd, stopped at a 
■' solitary cottage, that of a poor weaver, a few 
hundred paces from the Meuse bridge, and asked 
if he could remain there. 

■' I requested m^' cousin," said Bismarck, " to 
inspect the house, and he reported that, though 
free from wounded, it was mean and dirty. 
' N' imported said Napoleon, and with him I 
ascended a rickety, narrow staircase. In a 
small, one-windowed room, with a deal table 
and two rush-bottomed chairs, we sat alone for 
about an hour — a great contrast to our last 
meeting in the Tuileries in 1867," the year of 
the Paris E.\.hibition. " Our conversation was 
a diflicult thing, wanting, as I did, to avoid 
touching on topics which could not but painfully 
affect the man whom God's mighty hand had 
cast down." 

Whenever Napoleon led this conversation, as 
he was for ever doing, to the terribly hard terms 
of the capitulation, Bismarck met him with the 
assurance that this was a purely military ques- 
tion, and quite bevond his province. Moltke 
was the man to speak to about such things. 

In the meantime efforts had been made to 
lind better accommodation for the Emperor, 
and this was at last discovered in the Chateau 
Bellevue, a little further up the Meuse. Leaving 
Napoleon in the weaver's cottage, Bismarck 
hurried back to his quarters on the market-piace 
at Donchery to array himself in his full uniform, 
and then, as he said, " I conducted his Majesty to 
Bellevue, with a squadron of Cuirassiers as escort.'' 
At the conference which now began, the Em- 
peror wished to have the King present, from 
whom he expected softness and magnanimity ; 



but his Majesty was told that his wish in thii 
respect could not possibly be gratified until after 
the capitulation had been signed. 

Oh ! if he could but see and plead with the 
King — was the anguished Emperor's constant 
thought ; but the King took very good care, or 
his counsellors for him, that he should not ex- 
pose himself to any personal appeal for pity 
until the German army had safely garnered all 
its splendid harvest of victor^-. 

Meanwhile De Wimpffen had come out of 
Sedan with the despairing decision of the 
council of war, and the determination to accept 
Moltke's inexorable terms. But even Moltke, 
the least sentimental and emotional of men, 
could not help feeling a genuine throb of pity 
for the very hard fate of De Wimpffen— a man 
of German origin, as his name implied — on 
whom it thus fell to sign away the existence of 
an army, of which he had not been four-ana- 
twenty hours in supreme command. Napoleon, 
the crowned cutthroat of the cr,uf> d'efiit, the 
sawdust " Man of Destiny," the intriguer, the 
selfish adventurer, the author of the meddling 
policy which had involved his country in thii 
unparalleled calamity — this "Napoleon the 
Little " had richly deserved his fate. But as 
for De Wimpffen — no wonder that fits mis- 
fortune even touched the adamantine heart of 
his German co-signatory to the capitulation. 

After his interview with Napoleon, Bismarck 
rode to Chehery (on the road to Vendresse), in 
the hope of meeting the King and informing 
him how things stood. On the way he was met 
by Moltke, who had the text of the capitulation 
as approved bv his Majesty ; and on their return 
to Bellevue it was signed without opposition. 

Bv this unparalleled capitulation 83,000 men 
were surrendered as prisoners of war in addition 
to the fortress of Sedan with its 138 pieces of 
artillery, 420 field-guns, including 70 mitrailleuses, 
6,000 horses fit for service, 66,000 stand of arms, 
1 ,000 baggage and other waggons, an enormous 
quantity of military stores, and 'three standards. 
Among the prisoners yielded up were the 
Emperor and one of his field-marshals (Mac- 
Mahon), 40 generals, and 2,825 various other 
officers, all of whom, by the special mercy of 
King William, were offered release on parole, 
though only 500 of them took advantage of this 
condition, the others being sent to Germany. 
By the catastrophe of Sedan, the French had 
lost — in killed, wounded, and prisoners — no 
fewer than 1 24,000 men at one fell swoop ! 

With the capitulation sealed and signed, 



I04 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Bismarck and Moltke now hastened back to the 
King, whom they found on the heights above 
Donchery about noon. His Majesty ordered 
the important document to be read aloud to his 
numerous and brilhant suite, which included 
several German princes. 

Now that an appeal ad misen'cordiam had 
been put out of the Emperor's power, the 
King, accoinpanic-d by the Crown Prince, rode 



Cassel (once, strange to say, the residence of 
his uncle. King Jerome of Westphalia), King 
William, accompanied by Moltke, Roon, Bis- 
marck, and the rest of his paladins, started on a 
ride through all the positions occupied b}- the 
German armies round Sedan. For five long 
hours, over hill and dale, from batterj- to 
battalion, and from corps to corps, through all 
the various tribes of the Fatherland in arms. 




'•KING WILLIAM SLAKTED ON A RIDE TUROL-GH ALL THE rOSITIONS OCCUriFD liV THE GEK.MA.N AK.MIES.' 



down to the chateau of Bellevue to meet the 
fallen monarch. " At one o'clock," wrote his 
Majesty to Queen Augusta, " I and Fritz set out, 
accompanied by an escort of cavalry belonging 
to the staff. I dismounted at the chateau, and 
the Emperor came out to meet me. The visit 
lasted for a quarter of an hour. We were both 
deeply moved. I cannot describe what I felt at 
the interview, having seen Napoleon only three 
years ago at the height of his power." 

And now, while the crushed and broken- 
hearted Emperor was left to spend his last day 
on the soil of France prior to his departure for 
the place of his detention at Wilhelmshohe, near 



rode the brilliant cavalcade, greeted with trium- 
phant music and frantic cheering wherever it 
went. " I cannot describe," wrote the King, 
" the reception given me b\^ the troops, nor my 
meeting with the Guards, who have been deci- 
mated. I was deeply affected by so many proofs 
of love and devotion." 

No wonder the Germans very nearly went 
mad with joy. For no victor}- had ever been 
like this crowning masterpiece of Moltke's genius 
— so colossal, so complete, so momentous in its 
political results— which converted the French 
Empire into a Republic and the Germanic Con- 
federation into an Empire. 



lo; 



O 



O 



o 



O 



o 



o^ SPANISH BATTLES IN MOROCCO : 1559-00? 



(CASTILLEJOS, TETUAN, QUAD EL RASS 

BY MAJOR ARTHUR GRIFFIT-HS 



c 



o 



o n 
O o '-"^ o 



o. 



THE hero of the Spanish war with Morocco 
in 1859-60 was General Prim, the 
celebrated marshal who was afterwards 
known through Europe as a king- 
maker and politician. But he was before all a 
soldier, and a gallant one, ever ready to seek 
the foremost place in danger and venture his 
life upon occasion. The most marked trait 
in his character was his cool, calm courage : for 
although he could take the lead and head an 
attack like any subaltern, with all the fire and 
intrepidity of youth, it was done on profound 
calculation, as the best means of inspiring 
an enterprising, determined spirit. In one of 
the many sharply-contested combats in this 
African war he found himself with infantrj- 
alone, exposed to the attack of a considerable 
force of Moorish cavalry. The Spaniards in this 
war were weak in cavalry, the Moors, on the 
other hand, strong. In the present instance 
their horsemen were quick to discover a weak 
spot in the enemy's line. This was where 
Prim was posted, with only infantry to with- 
stand the charge. He was nothing daunted. 
" Men ! " he shouted, with that brief, stirring 
oratory for which he was famous in the field — 
" Alen ! here are cavalry coming down on us, 
and we have none to send against them. We 
will meet them and charge them with the 
bayonets. Form squares and let the music 
play ! '' So in solid masses, with bands and 
colours in their midst, the Spanish infantry 
marched to attack the attackers, and with such 
a resolute mien that the Moorish cavalry turned 
tail and would not wait to receive them. 

Prim's had been an adventurous career. He 
began life as a private soldier, a volunteer in a 
Catalonian regimtnt at the time of the first Car- 
list war. Gaining almost immediatelv an officer's 
commission, he won rank after rank so rapidly 
that he was a colonel at twenty-five. The ver) 



ne.Kt year (1840) he threw himself into the 
troubled sea of Spanish politics, was concerned 
in a military rising, took the losing side, and was 
compelled to fly to France. Three years later 
he returned and headed a small revolution of his 
own, which succeeded in overthrowing Espartero 
and gave Prim a title as count and the rank of 
major-general. Once more he joined the wrong 
side and suffered for his mistake ; he was 
charged with participation in an attempt to 
assassinate the Spanish Prime Minister, and 
sentenced to imprisonment in a fortress for si.\ 
years. When pardoned he travelled much in 
England and Italy ; he went to the Crimean war 
as the representative of Spain, then settled in 
Paris, and was there leading a life of inglorious 
ease when the war broke out between Spain and 
Morocco. A born soldier, he could not bear to 
be left out of such stirring business ; he at once 
sought active employment, and was appointed 
to the command of the Spanish reserve. 

This war was the result of_perpetual disagree- 
ments between the two countries. Spain 'was a 
little stimulated to it, perhaps, b\- her desire to 
e.xtend her African possessions. She held, and 
still holds, a number of fortified posts on the 
Mediterranean shores of Morocco— Ceuta, Me- 
lilla, Alhucemas, and others. These settlements 
were so often harassed and attacked by the tur- 
bulent mountain-tribes that Spain indignantly 
demanded reparation. The Mooi :> gave way at 
first ; then Spain claimed more territory', which 
was also granted ; but as one side yielded the 
other grew more exacting, and finally the two 
nations quarrelled over the lands that were to be 
ceded outside Ceuta. Spain at once declared 
war, and prepared to advance into Morocco. 

It was the late autumn — a season not quite 
propitious to military operations. Although the 
summers are hot in North Africa, the winters are 
very inclement; heavy storms of wind and much 



106 



BATTLES OF THE NL\E:TEENTH CENTURY. 



rain might be expected. Tlien the country was 
ruo-fred and inliosnitable — a network of hills 
sloping down from the Atlas mountams and 
intersected by rushing streams, " without roads, 
without population, without resources of any 
kind." All supplies would have to be landed on 
the coast and carried up with the columns, or 
follow as convoys under strong escort. The 
enemy to be encountered might be semi-barbaric, 
with no great knowledge of modern warfare, but 
they had their own peculiar and often effective 
tactics —clinging close to cover and using their 




Fii'^lisli Milcs.-- 



long - ba r- 
relled flint 
musketswith 
deadly effect 
at long 
ranges, kill- 
ing often at 
400 yards, 
and whc-n at- 
tacking using 
them as clubs. These Moors were mostly fine 
stalwart men some six feet in height, very 
dirty, wretchedly clad in a white naik — a sort 
of loose, long tunic with a white hood. They 
were lightly equipped, active and swift ot 
foot, knowing their mountainous country by 
heart, and being above all fanatics by religion 
— Mohammedans, the direct descendants 01 
warlike ancestors, firmly believing, as they 
did, that the joys of Paradise awaited all who 
were slain in conflict with the infidel, they were 
likel}- to prove formidable foes. " Their stature, 
their wild and ferocious yells," says a writer who 
made this campaign, " might have been expected 
to have an intimidating effect upon troops the 
majority of whom are mere recruits." How 
bravely the Spanish troops faced and encoun- 
tered them will presently be told. 



At that time the Spaniards were but little 
practised in war, had had but little experience 
of real campaigning. Although ve.xed continually 
with civil and fratricidal contests, Spain had not 
met a foreign foe since the old days of the Penin- 
sular War. But she had a well-organised, compact 
army, made up of good materials. The Spanish 
soldier is willing, hardy, patient under trials and 
discomfort. He can march admirably— farther and 
faster, it is said, than the troops of any other Euro- 
pean nation. In their light rope-soled sandals 
the Spanish infantry move always at a great 
pace, very much like the Bersaglieri or riflemen 
of Italy. But in the early days of this IMoorish 
war they failed rather in field manoeuvres ; they 
did not encounter the Moors on the best plan ; 
they were prone to rush out and engage in small 
skirmishes instead of awaiting attack, when their 
sturdy valour would have told most effectually. 
Again, they were bad marksmen; good shooting 
was not taught or encouraged in those daj's, and 
in the coming fights the Moors suffered more 
from artillery than infantry fire. It was, indeed, 
the artillery arm that did the greatest execution 
in the war ; the Spanish cavalry was never very 
fortunate, and the infantry depended mainly on 
their ba^'onets, which, however, they used with 
excellent effect whenever they crossed weapons 
with the enemy, and that was often, as we shall see. 

The sudden declaration of war found Spain 
unprepared to take the field ; and as the Moors 
were at home on their own ground the first 
honours of the campaign fell to them. They 
quickly assembled in great numbers, and threat- 
ened Ceuta, the Spanish prison fortress, which was 
to be the base of operations. A line of redoubts 
was hastily thrown up across the isthmus — the 
neck of the narrow and rocky peninsula on 
which Ceuta stands. This brought- out at 
once one of the many high qualities of the 
Spanish soldiers — their skill in manual labour. 
An immense amount of work fell upon them 
from first to last in clearing ground, road- ■ 
making, felling trees, throwing up earthworks ; 
and their readiness, industry, and goodwill in 
these irksome but deeply important duties 
gained them high praise. In the earliest phases 
of the conflict it was hardly possible at first 
to move across the. many obstacles presented 
by the ground immediately around Ceuta. 
Within a fortnight the whole surface was trans- 
formed ; the brushwood was cut down, good 
communication established between the re- 
doubts, and it was no longer possible for the 
enemy to creep up to them unperceived. 



SPANISH BATTLES IN MOROCCO. 



107 



Meanwhile, in the teeth of {rieat ditTiculties, of 
hasty and, therefore, ineoniplete organisation, of 
the inevitable use of sea transport to ferry every- 
thing — men, horses, guns, food, material of every 
description — across from Spain, within a month a 
couple of army corps, each some 10,000 strong, 
and the resen'e, another 5,000, had been dis- 
embarked at Ceuta, and had fallen into the 
defensive line. A third army corps was waiting 
conveyance at Malaga, but its movement was 
greatly impeded by tempestuous weather. These 
three corps were commanded as follows : — the 
first by General Echague, the second by General 
Zabala, the third (still at Malaga) by General 
Ros de Olano, and the reserve by General Prim. 
The whole expeditionary army was under Marshal 
O'Donnell, another of the great soldier-politicians 
who in turn took such a prominent part in the 
government of Spain. O'Donnell, at this parti- 
cular juncture, occupied the curious but authori- 
tative position of Prime Minister, War Minister, 
and Conmiander-in-Chief of the army in the 
field. Thj possession of this supreme power no 
doubt helped him in the conduct of the cam- 
paign. It urged him, too, to the highest efforts; 
he knew he must achieve victory, for the first 
reverse would undoubtedly have been followed 
by his political disgrace and downfall. 

November passed in desultory warfare along 
the line of entrenchments, during which the 
Spaniards held their own — no more. Decem- 
ber, in its early days, saw no change ; indeed, 
the situation grew somewhat worse, for the 
weather was always atrocious, and the rain fell 
incessantlv, converting the ground into a quag- 
mire, and putting the troops to the utmost dis- 
comfort. They had no protection but the small 
tcntcs d'abri, of the French pattern — each for 
three men, and each only a few feet high — and 
through them the wind whistled and the water 
poured most uncomfortably. Such shelter was 
no better than lying in the open ; the men 
sickened bv hundreds, while cholera, that fell 
scourge, descended upon the camp and committed 
terrible havoc. All this time, too, there were 
constant skirmishes and combats of a more or less 
sanguinarv character outside the fortifications. 
The Moors came on continuallv with great 
demonstrations, drawing the Spaniards beyond 
their entrenchments to fight at a disadvantage, 
and with no other result than a useless waste 
of life. 

At last, as the year ended. Marshal O'Donnell 
felt himself strong enough to assume the offensive. 
The whole expeditionary force had now landed 



at Ceuta ; there were troops enough to hold the 
redoubts covering the fortress-base, and yet to 
leave the main body free to march inland. 
Tetuan, the nearest Moorish citj- — if it deserved 
so grand a title — was the first point at which 
O'Donnell aimed ; it was thought to be fortified 
and strongly held, and, although not hy any 
means the capital of Morocco — it must be re- 
membered that the principal object of an in- 
vader was to seize the enemy's capital — still, 
the fall of Tetuan would be a ver}' substantial 
gain and an undoubted proof of Spanish prowess. 
The road to Tetuan was fairly open, moreover, 
due account being taken of the enemy that 
interjiosed ; it followed the line of the eastern 
coast, and the Spanish ships of war and transports 
could accompany the march, giving aid if needs 
were to the land forces by disembarking seamen 
and supplies. 

The order to march was issued on the eve of 
New Year's Day, and was hailed with delight by 
the Spanish troops. They were sick of Ceuta 
and its monotonous trench duty ; they hoped 
to leave its narrow limits and breathe a fresher, 
higher air. 

The advance was entrusted to General Prim, 
with the reserve division ; an unusual proceeding, 
as the reserve generally follows in the rear. But 
Prim's fearless spirit, his indomitable energ}' and 
pluck, were so well known that he was naturally 
selected to lead the van. Zabala, with the second 
corps, supported Prim. The immediate head of 
the advance consisted of engineers, covered by 
cavalry and artillery, whose duty was to bridge 
the streams that came in the way. 

Prim's command was on the move at daylight, 
their tents having been struck in. the dark. By 
eight a.m. they were in collision with the enemy. 
The Moors, having seen the direction of the 
Spanish march, pointing as it was towards Tetuan, 
lost no time in assembling in strength to oppose 
it. They were soon seen in great numbers on a 
ridge in front, menacing an attack on Prim ; 
but they gave way before his firm and resolute 
advance, and fell back, yielding position after 
position, until the hills seemed cleared of them. 
Prim now found himself in an open vallev, 
hemmed in with heights, and studded with the 
ruins of two small white houses or '' castles " — 
castillc/os, as the Spaniards call them, which gave 
the name to the action now close at hand. 

Here the enemy turned to make a fresh stand. 
.\ mountain-battery had galloped up to the 
front boldly, and might be supposed to have 
pushed on too far. The Moors were disposed 



m 



io8 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 



to attack it, and came on brandishing their long 
guns, and shouting, " Dogs ! Christian dogs ! '' till 
a burst of grape shot dispersed them. Then 
two .Spanish squadrons charged. This charge, 




would not face them. The epithet was un- 
happily misconstrued and taken to apply to the 
Spanish horsemen. The cavalry commander, 
stung to the quick, immediately strove to dis- 
prove the calumn\-,and gave the word to charge. 
Away galloped the hussars into the very thick 
of the enemy, and tumbled in upon them in con- 
siderable strength on a plateau where their camp 
was pitched. But here, in this narrow- and enclosed 
space, so unfavourable to the movement of horse- 
men, the Moors opened a fierce fire, and took 
them at a disadvantage. The hussars fought 
bravely against misfortune, but were presently 
compelled to retreat, after performing many acts 
of individual heroism. One of the most notable 
was that of the corporal, Pedro ]Mur, who, in the 
last stage of the struggle, when his comrades 
were already retreating, resolved to capture a 
standard he saw waving in the centre of a small 
group of Moors. With this rash idea he turned, 
left the ranks, rode back alone and at full speed, 
charging sword in hand at the standard-bearer. 
He bore down everv one opposed to him, smote 



CEUTA AND ITS SEA-GATE. 



like that much more famous and more disastrous 
charge at Balaclava, seems to have originated 
also in a mistake. A French officer, who was 
acting as aide-de-camp to General Prim, brought 
them instructions to move out freely w-henever 
they got the chance, adding, as he afterwards 
declared, that the Moors were " cowards " and 



the Moor with the colour, killed him, seized the 
colour, and galloped away, unhurt, but splashed 
from head to foot with his enemies"' blood. 

Prim, it was said, should have been contented 
with the ground gained. But this unsuccessful 
charge led him to wish to renew the attack, and 
make a further advance. He was prudent enough 



SPANISH BATTLES IX MOROCCO. 



100 



to first seek further support, which O'Donnell 
refused, saying he would come hiniself to judge 
ol the necessit}-, adding that Prim had gone too 
far already. It would be wiser, he added, to 
stand fast and entrench on the ground held. 
All duubts as to the proper course to pursue 



the latter being to cut off the Spanish retreat. 
The fight which followed was as fierce as it was 
momentous. The fire raged furiously; the smoke 
was so thick that the general's aides galloping to 
and fro were in touch of the enemy's line, yet 
unseen; the noise so deafening that it drowned 




GENERAL PRIM. 
{Fforn the picture by Henri Regnault.) 



were solved by the enemv. The Moors had 
been receiving reinforcements, both horse and 
foot, and, about one p.m., were in such strength 
that they were emboldened to try a fresh on- 
slaught. Prim's force, a mere handful of four 
weak battalions, further reduced b}- the day's 
casualties, had been on the move since davlight, 
without tasting food. The men had lain down to 
rest and were in some danger. The Moors attacked 
both in front and on the flank, the direction of 



the bugle calls. Prim was as usual cool, self- 
reliant, and quite undismayed ; he gave his 
orders quietly, although always in the thickest 
part of the fight, often on foot, wearing two 
brilliant stars on his breast, and waving his gold- 
headed general's cane. His example was splendid ; 
his excellent dispositions were well calculated 
to make the best use of his scanty forces, for 
the ground he occupied was too extensive for 
his numbers. 



I 



!IO 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 




MOOKISII HORSEMAN'. 



At the most critical moment help came in the 
shape of two fresh battalions, sent by O'Donnell, 
from the second corps, and that general himself, 
followed by all his staff", came galloping up like a 
.small troop of cavalr_v, as though to take part in 
the fight. Prim had already utilised his new 
troops. He directed the men to lay aside their 
knapsacks, then, placing himself at the head of a 
battalion, and holding the other in support, he 
resolved to make a counter-attack. But first he 
seized one of the regimental colours, and, waving 
it on high, cried : — 

" Soldiers ! The time has come to die for the 
honour of our country. There is no honour in 
the man who will not give up his life when it 
is required of him." 

With these words he rushed on impetuously, 
caring little, it seemed, whether he was followed 
or not. Now his horse was badly wounded 
and staggered, but it recovered, and, as if imitating 
the noble impulse of its rider, galloped on. The 
Spaniards, fired by Prim's example, followed un- 
hesitatingly, and with such energy that the 
enemy was at length forced to give wa)-. 

Prim afterwards gave his account of the 
episode in a letter to a friend : — 

" At this supreme moment I snatched up a 
colour ; I spoke a few words with heartfelt em- 
phasis. I called upon the remnant of my braves, 
and we rushed at the enemy. Thej' were so 
close to us that the bayonet was the only weapon 
we could use. It is impossible to describe what 
followed. Moors and Spaniards mixed inextric- 
ably — ba\'onets crossing scimitars ! But my 
men pressed on with loud cries of ' JYzij In 
Rci'ia ! viva Espaha ' ' And for the last time 



that day we conquered again. The Moors fled, 
and our flag waved over a position we had 
carried three separate times." O'Donnell officially 
reported that " the eneni)-, liaving been rcin- 
forcjd, incessantly attacked General Prim's 
position about three p.m. with great desperation. 
But Prim, with his usual serene courage, went 
out to meet them. A hand-to-h.ind, body-to- 
body combat ensued, from which our battalions 
emerged eventually triumphant." 

Tne immediate result of the battle of Castillejos 
w-as the opening up of the valley and of the road to 
Tetuan, still some five-and-twenty miles distant. 
The enemy had withdrawn almost entirely, and 
a reconnaissance was pushed on to within a few 
miles of the city without being disturbed by them. 
But O'Donnell wiseh' sought to make good his 
position, and he halted while the necessary work 
of levelling ground was carried on to facilitate 
the bringing up supplies, much hampered hitherto 
and impeded by the return of tempestuous 
weather. A more enterprising enemy might 
have done much damage during this delay, 
and afterwards when the advance was resumed, 
for the Spanish troops had to cross much 
rough country and thread many dangerous 
defiles. But the movement forward was steadily 
continued, with occasional combats — that across 
the heights of Cape Negro alone being of a serious 
character — until, upon the 17th January, the 
army reached and encamped upon the banks 
of the River Guad el Jelu, in full view of 
Tetuan, which glistened "snow-white on the 
rising ground at the extremity of the valley." 

O'Donnell was now well placed for the attack of 
that city. His forces were well concentrated ; the 
rear had come up with his main body, the guns 
also, notwithstanding the difficulties of the road 
and his baggage. The ships lay off the mouth 
of the river above-mentioned, and carried 
reinforcements, a fresh division ready to be 
disembarked when required. Still, he was 
circumspect ; and feeling that he might be 
obliged to undertake a long siege, he set to 
wtirk to strengthen himself by building re- 
doubts, and collect his battering-train. The 
transport of the guns was hard work. As an 
artillery officer described it, " When we leave 
the sand, we ascend the mountain ; when we 
quit the mountain, we sink into the marsh." 

A fortnight or more had elapsed before these 
preparations were completed, and in the interval 
the Moors had gathered fresh strength for 
the defence of Tetuan. Their numbers rose 
to 35,000 or 40,000 men. A brother of the 



i 



SPANISH BATTLES IN MOROCCO. 



Ill 



Emperor was in command, and around him was 
a portion of the famous black Moorish mounted 
guard. Tiie whole of these troops occupied 
an entrenched camp covering the town — a camp 
carefully fortified with high substantial earth- 
works, along the front of which lay a swampv 
marsh. There was water or muddy ground 
protecting one flank (the right), and on the 
other (the left) the defences rested on rising 
ground, with brushwood, which gave good cover 
to the Moorish marksmen. This position was 
strongly held by a garrison of nearly 30,000 men. 
It was armed with many batteries of guns, but 
the Moorish artillerymen were unskilled, and 
made but poor practice. E.xperts who saw this 
camp after the fight declared that, if manned 
by European troops, it would have proved 
almost impregnable. 

The Spanish general soon realised that he 
must first crack this nut before he could get at 
the kernel — Tetuan. The 4th February was the 
dav fixed for the attack. 

There were two main lines of advance, right 
and left, and be3-ond the right an extension or 
flanking movement. The left attack was en- 
trusted to General Prim, who was now in com- 
mand of the 2nd Corps. He formed his troops 
in two lines, the first consisting of two brigades 
in echelon of battalions — one battalion behind 
the other, but stretching out bevond, so that the 
whole made a long line — with two brigades in 
column supporting. Between the two lines 
were the artillery. 

The left attack consisted of the 3rd Corps, 
under General Ros de Olano, and it was formed 
in the same order as the right. 

On the extreme right General 
Rios, with the division that had 
lately landed, was to circle round 
the left of the encampment con- 
tinually threatening that flank. 

The morning of the 4th dawned 
thick with fog ; the night had 
been cold with severe frost. 
When, about 8 a.m., the mists 
lifted, the surrounding mountains 
were seen covered to their base 
with snow. The advance of the 
two attacks was made simultane- 
ously, and both corps fell quickly 
into the dispositions alreadv de- 
scribed. They moved steadilv for- 
ward, notwithstanding the diffi- 
culties of the marshy ground 
undeterred by the enemy's guns, 



which opened fire as soon as the Spaniards 
came in sight. The Spanish batteries did not 
attempt to reply until well within range, and 
then did great execution. One shell set fire to 
the principal Moorish magazine, which exploded, 
scattering death and confusion within the lines. 

The worst ground the assailants found was 
close up under the entrenchments. Here, too, 
the Moorish artillery, firing grape at very short 
range, did great execution. Prim's men were 
now a good deal harassed, too, by the sharp- 
shooters in the wood. But as they neared the 
works the signal was given to charge, and all 
went forward gallantlv with loud shouts and 
" Vivas ! " Of course. Prim led. On the eve 
of the fight he had said to some friends, "Happv 
the man who first enters the breach to-morroiv." 
Xow he showed that he meant what he said ; 
for he rode straight into a battery through an 
embrasure (gun opening), followed by four of 
his staff, and cut down with his sword the two 
first Moors who attempted to bar his passage. 
When Prim's men saw their general disappear 
inside the works, thej- dashed after him, cheer- 
ing ; and the enemj-, astounded at the daring 
of the five mounted assailants, gave way entirely 
at the charge of the rest of the column. 

Prim had made good his entrance about the 
centre of the line of works ; next him, on the 
right, a brother of General O'Donnell's got in 
with his division. On the left the 3rd Corps 
made good progress, but were much impeded by 
a morass, and, while caught there, suffered much 
from the enemy's fire. The left division of this 
left attack, however, penetrated, and the men 




MOORISH HOKSE.\I.\.N. 



I 12 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



liaving thrown ofi' their knapsacks, which greatly 
encumbered their movements, raced forward, 
bayoneting the Moors wherever they found 
them. On the far right, meanwhile, one of 
Prim's divisio.ns, lending a hand to General Rios, 
had driven the Moors up into the hills. 

The strugjle was ended. It had been costly 
and gallantly fought on both sides. The Span- 
iards had borne a 
heavy fire with cool 

endurance, and had \ 

shown great dash j 

when the time came 
to charge. Th^ 
Moors, for their 
part, had made a 
tenacious resistance. 
The artillerj'men 
especially had stuck 
to their guns to the 
very last, although 
altogether over- 
mastered. The ca- 
valry on neither side 
did much. 

Three da3-s after- 
wards Tetuan — at 
the urgent request 
of many of the inha- 
bitants — was occu- 
pied by the Spanish 
troops. The Moors 
had gone ; there 
was not a sign of 
their soldiers in or 
near the place. On 
the 9th February 
General Prim made 
a reconnaissance 
forward in the di- 
rection of Tangier, but met no enemy. Hos- 
tilities were suspended. The only gossip was of 
overtures for peace. Spain had been entirel}- 
and rapidly successful ; the Moors, dispersed and 
disheartened, were hardly expected to show 
fight again in the field. This impression was 
full}' supported by the appearance of envoys in 
the Spanish camp, asking conditions, and negotia- 
tions began. These, as it afterwards appeared, 
were intended only to gain time. The Moors 
had not as yet abandoned hope. The resources 
of the empire could hardly be exhausted, even 
though they had lost one important town, and 
had been twice defeated in the field. They had 
still a vast territor}' behind and crowds of wild 



1 




A MOOKISH SOLDIEK 



warriors to rally round their flag. Moreover, the 
terms demanded by the Spaniards were so intol- 
erable that a proud people might well try anothei- 
battle or two before yielding. 

These peace negotiations dragged on for more 
than a month. Through the rest of the month 
of February, and all through the early days of 
March, the envoys came and went, and there 

were many refer- 

^ ences to Madrid and 

■^' . Fez. This delav was 

all to the advantage 
of the Aloors, who 
employed it to bring 
up fresh and un- 
beaten troops, and 
in the collection of 
forage and supplies, 
which operations 
were greatly aided 
by the now fine dry 
weather. Presently 
it was borne in on 
Marshal O'Donnell, 
who had just been 
created Duke of 
Tetuan in reward 
for his victories, that 
he might have to do 
his work over again, 
and undertake an- 
other campaign, for 
the news came that 
the enemy had 
collected in great 
strength upon the 
road to Tangier. 
This seaport town 
was to have been 
the ne.xt goal of the 
invaders, should the war continue, and now the 
road which was hilly and easily held would be 
probably barred. Accordingly, on the 23rd March 
O'Donnell abruptly broke off negotiations, and 
decided to appeal once more to the sword. On 
that day, leaving a small garrison in Tetuan, 
he marched out with the rest of the army, 
meaning to attack the enemy wherever he 
might find them. The troops carried six days' 
rations, and were in number about 25,000 men. 

The order of march was as follows : — At the 
head were two brigades of the ist Corps, that 
which had first landed at Ceuta, and had borne 
the brunt of the earliest fighting. The head- 
quarter staff immediately followed ; then came 




•MOORS AND SPANIARDS MIXED INEXTRICABLY" (/.no). 



56 



114 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



the 2nd Corps, under Prim ; the 3rd Corps was 
in support. All these moved in the compara- 
tively low ground, the valley formed by a river 
which constantly changed its name, and which 
at Tetuan is known as the Guad el Jelu or 
Martin, and yet four miles higher up is called 
the Guad el Ras. It is a long, rather narrow- 
valley stretching east and west, and bordered 
on either side by commanding heights, espe- 
cially on the northern. O'Donnell saw the 
necessity of occupving the latter, and for this 



r~ 



off the advancing Spaniards from Tetuan. It 
was, however, met and checked by Rios, although 
the latter, finding the country very difficult, had 
had to make a wider detour, circling round to 
his right ; and it was feared for a moment that 
the Moors might get in between him and the 
main bod3\ 

By 3 p.m., however. General Rios was reaching 
down and in touch with the nearest Spanish 
troops — those of the ist Corps. By this time, 
too, the Moors had drawn off, retreating across 



I 



j^-. 



-rf?'*^'^ 



-<E.^j*^^*i»*w' 



"<- :::- t^ ■'as j 



TETUAN. 
{From a Fhoto^raJ'h by Mr. Consul White, Tangier.) 




purpose directed General Rios, with a division 
of the reserve, to crown them with a move- 
ment continually outflanking and protecting the 
right of the main advance along the valley. 

The fighting began within two or three miles 
of Tetuan. A series of low hills cros.sed the 
valley, partly covered with brushwood, dotted 
with villages, and offering good defensive posi- 
tions. These the Moors occupied one after the 
other, held stubbornly for a time, then yielded 
up lo the determined attack of the Spaniards. 
The Moors were counting much on the movement 
of their left wing — 12,000 strong — which had 
been sent along the heights on their left, those 
by which Rios was marching, and this left 
wing was intended to first outflank, then cut 



the river Guad el Ras, and had re-formed there in 
a very strong position opposite the Spanish left. 
Prim was in command here. Dashing and in- 
domitable as ever, he at once resolved to attack. 
The Moors held a village on the lower slopes 
beyond the river, and resisted obstinatelv. Thev 
contested the ground, inch by inch, losing it, 
regaining it, losing it again. Prim had, how- 
ever, occupied a wood on one flank, and under 
cover of the trees made fresh dispositions, before 
which -the Moors yielded, and the village was 
taken. The Moors fell back, however, upon a 
second village higher up, and much more, 
difficult of access. Here thev again turned, 
again issued forth, charging Prim's people on 
both fianks, but without success. Thev were 



SPANISH RATTLES IN MOROCCO. 



IJ! 



compcllctl to retire sullcnlv, reluctantly. On no 
previous occasion had the Moors fought with 
.such unhesitating courage. They were mostly 
new men, drawn from the wildest, most remote 
part of Morocco, and they had not as yet e.x- 
])srienced the Spanish artillery fire or faced the 
Spanish bayonet. In the course of this fierce 
contest there were several instances in which 
bodies of Moorish infantry had boldly charged 
whole Spanish battalions. In one case " a mere 
handful of men rushed fearlessly upon the 
Spanish line, dying upon the bayonets, but not 
until some of them had actually penetrated 
the battalion." Wherever there was a position 
favourable to their irregular method of fighting 
the Moors stubbornly defended it, and were 
only driven out at the point of the bayonet. 
We are reminded of the reckless, indomitable 
courage of the Ghazis of our own Afghan wars. 

Prim, having captured the two villages, moved 
steadily and irresistibly forward, and the move- 
ment was taken up by the whole line, until at 
last they were in sight of the Moorish encamp- 
ment. In a twinkling the tents were struck, 
and the enemy, without baggage or impedimenta, 
had cleared off the ground. It was now about 
half-past four. The last shots had been fired, 



and the Spaniards were in occupation of the last 
stronghold of the Moors. This was at a point 
some si.x miles from Fondak, a great semi-barbaric 
caravanserai — the half-way house — betwec:i 
Tetuan and Tangier, and situated at the far 
end of a long defile which the Spanish would 
have to force the following day. 

But there was to be no more fighting. Ne.xt 
day the Moors again tried negotiation. Envois 
from Muley Abbas, the Emperor's brother, came 
in to the Spanish headquarters, and asked for an 
interview with Marshal O'Donnell. The Spanish 
commander-in-chief was not disposed to .see 
them. He would have no more beating about 
the bush, he said. Either the enemy must make 
full submission at once, or he would press on to 
Tangier. " I halt here to-day "—this was his 
ultimatum — " to send my wounded into Tetuan, 
and bring up more ammunition. The day after, 
I march forward. At 4.30 a.m. my men will 
breakfast, and all will be ready. But I will wait 
here till 6 a.m., if your prince chooses to come 
in by that time." It so fell out, and the follow- 
ing morning Muley Abbas appeared. The con- 
ditions, which included an indemnity of four mil- 
lions sterling and the surrender of a large slice 
of territory was settled, and the w^ar was ovcr. 




MOORISH IVPES. 



Il6 




V T FTER the battle of Trafalgar England 
r^ had complete command of the seas, 
1 JL. and, rightly or wrongly, her Govern- 
ment had adopted the policy of 
striking at the European Powers which were 
actually in arms as her enemies, or whose in- 
terests were opposed to her own, by expeditions 
against their distant colonies and dependencies. 
The power of her navy could thus be thoroughly 
•utilised, and her army, though used in compara- 
tively small fractions, v,-as generally, bj' its quality 
and discipline, able to act with success against 
an\' forces which it was likely to meet. Com- 
munication with different parts of the globe 
then demanded such long periods of time, and 
was at best so very uncertain, that naval 
and military commanders acted frequently on 
a general policy which had been imparted to 
them rather than on specific instructions which 
had to be exactly carried out. 

When, therefore, in June, 1806, Buenos Ayres 
was seized by a small force of 1,700 men under 
Brigadier-General Beresford and Commodore Sir 
Home Popham, it is ver}' doubtful how far that 
enterprise was directly authorised bv the king's 
ministers, though from documents published at 
Sir Home Popham's subsequent trial it may be 
understood that it was countenanced both by 
Mr. Pitt and Lord Melville. Be that as it mav, 
Brigadier-General Beresford found himself hold- 
ing this new conquest with a whollv insufficient 
iorce in the midst of a numerous hostile popula- 
tion, and without any strong place of arms to 
which he could retire if menaced by an organised 
attack. Aware of his precarious position, General 
Beresford sent an urgent appeal to the Cape for 
reinforcements, pending the arrival of a sufficient 
army from England to make good the possession 
of one of the greatest and most valuable Spanish 
provinces in South America. Even from the 
Cape, however, no assistance could be expected 



for nearly four months, and a force from England 
could not land before double that time had 
elapsed. 

The American-Spaniards were not long in dis- 
covering how feasible it was for a well-conducted 
insurrection to overpower the invaders, and, 
under the command of General Liniers, a 
Frenchman by birth, they attacked General 
Beresford so vigorously that after severe fight- 
ing, in which the English losses amounted to 
250 men,, killed and wounded, his little arm\' 
was obliged to surrender as prisoners of war. 
The captives included the whole of the 71st 
Regiment of infantry, 150 of the St. Helena 
corpe, besides a few dragoons and artillery. The 
navy had been able to render little or no assist- 
ance, and Sir Home Popham was under the 
necessity of falling back to his cruising ground 
at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. The 
expected reinforcements from the Cape arrived 
about the middle of October, consisting of two 
squadrons of the 20th Light Dragoons, a com- 
pany of artillery, the 38th and 47th Regiments 
of infantry, and a company' of the 54th. This 
armament sailed up to Monte \'ideo, hoping, 
by a combined attack of the land and sea forces, 
to get possession of that town ; but this was 
found impracticable, and it was deemed advis- 
able to await the additional reinforcements from 
England before any great operation should be 
undertaken. As an immediate base of opera- 
tions, however, the town of Maldonado at the 
mouth of the Rio de la Plata was seized and 
occupied, and here supplies could be easily pro- 
cured, and a convenient harbour for shipping 
was available. 

The news of the capture of Buenos Ayres had 
excited much triumph in England, and rein- 
forcements for General Beresford had been at 
once prepared. It was not till October, 1806, 
however, that these could be despatched, and 



BUENOS AYRES. 



117 



the}' did not arrive at the Rio de hi Phita till 
January, 1807. They were placed under the 
command of Sir Samuel Auchmuty, and com- 
prised the 17th Light Dragoons, the 40th and 
.S7th Regiments of infantry, three companies 
of the newly-raised Rifle Corps, and some 
artillery. As we have seen, they were too late 
to save General Beresford from crushing defeat 
and captivity, but they found the Cape troops 
at Maldonado in the best condition, and fit for 
immediate sersice. These Sir Samuel Auchmutv 
at once embarked, and, at the head of a now 
r irmidable armament, sailed to the attack of 
Monte Video. Rear-Admiral Stirling, who had 
superseded Sir Home Popham in the naval 
connnand, protected the movement of the trans- 
ports with his ships of war. A landing was 
effected about eight miles from Monte Video, 
and a brilliant action was fought with 
ihe Spaniards outside the town, in 
which the English were completely 
victorious. This action was remark- 
able as being the first occasion on 
which the Rifle Corps — afterwards 
the q5th, and now the Rifle Brigade 
— were actively employed. Their 
markedly gallant conduct then was 
an earnest of the long roll of disthi- 
guished services which the famous 
corps has since performed in all 
quarters of the world, wherever the 
honour of England has had to be 
maintained. After defeating the 
Spaniards in the open field Sir Samuel 
Aachmuty established batteries 
against the citadel and defences of 
the town, and landed heavy ship 
ordnance from the fleet wherewith 
to arm them, for no siege-train 
formed part of the equipment sent 
from England. From these bat- 
teries fire was opened, and continued 
for thirteen da3-s, when a practicable 
breach was made. The town was 
summoned, and, as no reply was 
returned, the orders were given to 
storm. The defence of the Spaniards 
u-as tenacious, and their fire de- 
■■tructive and well-maintained ; but, 
though they lost heavily, the columns 
I if assault were everywhere successful 
in driving the enemy before them with the 
bayonet, and the place was taken. 

After Sir Samuel Auchmuty had sailed from 
England, but before intelligence was received 



that Buenos Ayres had been retaken by the 
Spaniards, it was hoped by the Ministry that 
an expedition to the west of South America 
might meet with the same success as it was 
yet believed had attended British arms on the 
east coast. With a view to this object a force 
of 4,200 men was sent out in October, 1806, 
under command of Brigadier-General Robert 
Craufurd (afterwards the renowned leader of 
the Light Division in the Peninsula), accom- 
panied by a naval squadron under Admiral 
Murray. The expedition was to be directed 
to the capture of the seaports, and the reduc- 
tion of the province of Chili ; and the course 
to be sailed, whether to the eastward by New 
South Wales, or to the westward by Cape Horn, 
was left to the discretion of Admiral Murrav- 
It was hoped that, if Chili could be reduced, 




MARSHAL LERESFORIl. 
{Froin the Fntiife by Sir 11'. Bcechey, R.A.) 



General Craufurd might communicate with 
Buenos Ayres, and that a complete chain of 
posts might be established across South 
America, which would then be opened up to 



RATTLKS OF THE NIXKTEEXTH CENTURY. 



Englisli trade. ^\'hcn tlie news of General 
Beresford's disaster arrived, liowever, a swift 
sloop of war was sent after General Craufurd, 
with orders that he was to give up the attack 
on Chili, and to proceed to the Rio de la 
Plata, there to join the army of Sir Samuel 
Auchnuity. Craufurd was overtaken at the 
Cape, and, sailing at once, he arrived off Monte 
\'ideo on the 14th June. The various corps 
under his command were two squadrons of 
bth Dragoon Guards, the 5th, 36th, 45th, and 
88th Regiments of infantry, five companies of 
the Rifle Corps, and two companies of artillery. 

In view of the concentration of troops at the 
Rio de la Plata, it was determined to send out 
from England an officer of high rank to take 
command ; and in an evil hour Lieutenant- 
General John Whitelocke was selected, who 
arrived at Monte Video on the loth May with 
Major-General Gower as second in command, 
and bringing with him the qth Light Dragoons, 
the 8qth Regiment of Infantry, a detachment 
of artillery, and a number of recruits for the 
regiments already on the station. The total of 
the British force which in the middle of June 
was available for offensive operations amounted 
to more than 11,000 men, but the greater part 
of the cavalry and artillery were unprovided 
with horses. Most of the dragoons had to act 
as inlantry, and the requirements of the guns 
were very insufficiently met. 

Monte Video, on the north side of the great 
estuary of the Rio de la Plata, is nearly 150 
miles from Buenos Ayres, which lies higher 
up the river on the ."jouth side ; and in order 
to move the troops which were to undertake 
the attack of the latter town no vessels drawing 
above thirteen feet of water could be employed ; 
but, as a strong garrison had to be left to secure 
the base of operations, it was possible, by doubling 
the number of men which each ship could pro- 
perly carry, to find accommodation on board for 
all the rest of General Whitelocke's army. The 
embarkation was proceeded with rapidly, and the 
troops were brigaded in the following order : — 
The Light Brigade, under General Crauford, 
included the Rifle Corps and a battalion formed of 
nine light companies from the various regiments ; 
.Sir Samuel Auchmuty commanded the 5th, 
38th, and 87th ; General Lumlfy commanded 
the 36th, 88th, and four dismounted squadrons 
of the 1 7th Light Dragoons ; and Colonel 
Mahon commanded the 40th, 45th, two dis- 
mounted squadrons of the Carabiniers, and 
four dismounted squadrons of the Qth Light 



Dragoons. There were also two companies of 
Royal Artillery. Twentv-eight guns of various 
calibres were embarked with an ammunition 
column for the conveyance of artillery and 
small-arm ammunition. Cavalry, acting as such, 
was hardly represented, only about a hundred 
of the 1 7th Light Dragoons being supplied with 
horses. 

The first division of transports was able to 
get under weigh on the 17th Jiuie, but it was 
not till the 25th that a suitable place could be 
found for disembarkation. Below Buenos Ayres 
there e.xtended for many miles along the bank 
of the estuary a broad morass, and it was nece; - 
sary to select a landing-place from which a 
passage through this morass existed. Such a 
place was found at Ensenada, about thirty-two 
miles from Buenos A^res, and here the land- 
ing was commenced at daylight on the 28th. 
General Craufurd's brigade was the first to gain 
the shore, followed by Sir Samuel Auchmut\'s 
brigade, and the fiery Craufurd at once pushed 
forward through the morass to secure a position 
on firm ground. The Spaniards offered no 
opposition to the English troops, and under a 
capable commander the army might with ease 
have been formed and prepared for further 
operations. But from the outset neglect and 
incompetence were apparent, and neutralised 
at every turn the high qualities of the trcops 
and the ability and courage of the subordinate 
generals. In regard to the supply of food to 
the army, the gravest errors were made. Rations 
for immediate use should, of course, have been 
carried by th; brigades as thev landed; and it 
had been intended that each man should have 
thre:- days' fcod in his havresack, but no definite 
order had been given on the subject. Few had 
any provision made for them, and in default of 
instructions it was expected that the commis- 
saries would meet all wants on shore. Reliance 
was placed also for the subsequent supply of 
meat on the herds of cattle which the countr\- 
nourished, but it was forgotten that these half- 
wild animals could not easily be caught, and 
that thev could only be brought to the butcher 
by men skilled in the use of the American lasso. 
No such men were attached to the various 
columns, which, with ample supply of meat con- 
stantly in view, were thus for the most part 
condemned to want. 

The disembarkation was completed on the 
28th, but none of the troops left the shore on 
that day, except the brigades of Craufurd and 
Auchmuty. The general forward movement 



BUENOS AYKES. 



ii9 



began on the 2qlh, and tl\eK- was considerable 
trouble in passing the morass, some of the 
troops having to march for three miles up to 
their knees in mud and water. The artillery 
also were much delayed, only four field-pieces 
being dragged through the morass by the 
strenuous exertions t)f seamen and soldiers. 
Of the remaining guns only eighc were sub- 
sequently brought to the front ; the others were 
either destroyed,, or left at Ensenada for want of 
means of movement. 

The 30th June and 1st Jul)' vs'tre c'ay^ of 
unrelieved toil and effort. The 
country was cut up by streams 
and swampy spots, and if oppo- 
sition had been offered, it would 
have been much aided by thesj 
features ; but no enemy was 
seen, e.xcept some detached 
bands of horsemen which 
liovered round, ready to cut 
off any fatigued straggler from 
the English columns. Craufurd 
still led the wav, followed by 
Lumlev's brigade, while the 
main body, with General White- 
iocke, brought up the rear. 
Some of the men suffered 
terribly under the broiling 
sun, as, having been cooped 
up on board ship for months, 
the\' were in no condition 
for marching, and, ill-supplied 
with food from the uncertain 
sources which chance threw in 
their way, their strength was 
still further reduced by hun- 
ger. So general was the fatigue that on the 
afternoon of the 1st the men were ordered 
to throw away their blankets, as it was 
intended to push on that day to the vil- 
lage of Reducion. It was considered likely 
that there the enemy would hold the strong 
position, and would have to be driven from 
it by force. This village — about seven miles 
from Buenos Ayres — was, however, occupied 
easily, and the advanced brigades pushed 
through it U> some high grc)und two miles 
tiuther. Here their eyes were gladdened by 
the view of the city which they had come so 
tar to attack, and which they hoped would ere 
long reward them amply for all their toils and 
privations. General Whitelocke, with the re- 
mainder of the army, occupied Reducion, and 
the night was passed without serious annoyance 



from the enemy, though the troops suffered 
greatly from exposure to a prolonged thunder- 
storm with heavy rain. 

Between Reducion and Buenos Ayres, and 
about two miles from the former place, flows 
the Chuelo, a river which is fordable at few 
spots, and in the month of July, after the usual 
rains of the season, a very formidable military 
obstacle. Across it there was, in 1807, only 
one bridge, and from the English outposts could 
be seen the bivouac fires of a strong force evi- 
dently guarding this passage. Information was 




BUENOS AYRES. 1S07. 

Scale of One Mile. 
H V3 ii 




Daaaaa ,', 
DaaaEiD U;.: 

□ □□□□□ { \\ 

□ aaaijLlL 
... '^nna 




f lii irrlip j. 
I.Tnllii-dral. 
:r.Siml.i ('nl.-illn.i. 
».Snn Ilnmin^d. 



also received that the Sp;r.iarJs hai there 
constructed strong and well-armed batteries, 
and had concentrated a large number of men, 
in the expectation that the invaders would 
have no choice but to attack them. General 
Whitelocke appears to have had no very definite 
plan of action in his mind, and we maj- gather 
that, rather from a reluctance to engage in the 
assault of a strong po.-ition than from a weli- 
studied strategical scheme, he resolved to seek 
for a ford said to exist farther up the river, 
instead of forcing his way by the direct route 
across the bridge. 

At sunrise on the 2nd July the English force 
was under arms. Craufurd's and Lumley's bri- 
gades took the advance, as before, under tne 
command of General Gower, to be followed by 
the main body of the army under General 



I20 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Whitelocke. Ascending the course vi the Luniley's brigade followed. As the men were 

Chuelo in search of a ford concerning which now formed in close proximity to the yet un- 

vague information had been received, reliance seen enemy, with a formidable obstacle in theii 

had to be placed in guides of doubtful tru.st- rear making retreat difficult, if not impossible, 




" HAND-CRENADES, STINK-BALLS, BRICKBATS, AND OTHER MISSILES WERE HURLED FROM ABOVE"' (/. I23). 



worthiness, and there was uncertainty as to 
the objects of the march and the time it 
might be expected to require. Early in the 
day about 500 of the enemy's cavalry appeared, 
barring the road to the head of the column ; 
but threatened in flank by the Rifles, and having 
received two or three rounds from the field- 
pieces, these quickly gave way, and were no 
more seen. It was not till half-past three in 
the afternoon that, following a scarcely distin- 
guishable track which led to the river's bank, 
General Craufurd arrived at the sought-for ford, 
which even when found seemed to demand no 
ordinary hardihood to attempt its passage. At 
this place — the Passa Chico — the Chuelo ran 
thirty yards wide and four feet deep. Fortu- 
nately, the current was not rapid, and the 
bottom was a firm gravel. Craufurd's men, led 
by their impetuous general, plunged in, and, 
carrying the ammunition-waggon of the field- 
pieces shoulder high, safely effected the crossing. 



an.xious eyes were directed over the extensive 
plain that had been passed, in the expectation 
of seeing the main body of the army following 
in support under General Whitelocke. Great 
was the wonder, bitter the disappointment, 
when no distant cloud of dust, no flash of 
steel, showed the appearance of the troops 
which should have been now closing on the 
advanced brigades. General Whitelocke had 
failed to preserve the communication with 
Lumley and Craufurd, and when the first serious 
encounter with the enemv was impending, either 
through incompetence or a more disgraceful 
motive, held himself aloof from the clash of 
arms. 

About three-quarters of a mile from the ford 
which had just been crossed rose a long ridge 
of rising ground, and towards that ridge a strong 
column of the enemy could be seen moving as 
if with the intention of taking up a position of 
defence. The soldier's eye of Craufurd detected 



BUENOS AYRES. 



121 



the clanger which would result to the English 
from this movement if it was carried out, and he 
resolved to forestall it. General Gower gave him 
permission to act as he thought best, and pro- 
mised to support him with Lumley's brigade. 
The light troops sprang forward, and the heights 
were quickly occupied without opposition. The 
enemy, confused and staggered by Craufurd's 
rapidity and dash, w^ere obliged to forego their 
intention, and to seek another position still 
nearer to Buenos Ayres. The ground now 
became e.\tremely intricate, covered with peach 
orchards and high fences ; and the advanced 
parties of Rifles, threading their way through 
these obstacles, exchanged shots with the enemy's 
picquets, who were quickly driven in. 

General Gower sent an order to Craufurd to 
halt ; but, having his foe at last within striking 
distance, and confident in his judgment of the 
situation, that daring chief was not to be stopped 
on the threshold of success. Still he urged 
on the Light Brigade till the enclosures were 
passed, and the great open space of the Coral 
was reached, the slaughtering-place or abattoir 



movement of the English had fallen back, 
the column was halted for a breathing-space, 
and the generals with the staff-olficers pushed 
along the broad road leading towards the city. 
Suddenly from cover on the other side of the 
Coral burst forth a discharge of grape and 
round shot. The Spanish position was de- 
veloped, and it was evident that tbe foe were 
here in strength, though their numbers were 
still hidden. There was a moment of sur- 
prise, almost of recoil, among the English, and 
General Gower made a suggestion to Craufurd 
about turning the enemy's flank. But this was 
no moment for a fine display of tactics, no occa- 
sion for well-regulated manoeuvre. Craufurd in- 
terpreted General Gower's words by the light 
of his own bold spirit, and he ordered a general 
direct charge. Uiideterred by their ignorance of 
the strength before them, shaking off the fatigue 
of a long and toilsome march, the gallant Rifles- 
and ligh: battalion responded gladly to the call, 
and, cheering as they advanced, swept forward 
in irresistible assault. The South American 
Spaniards were not the men to meet the stern 




BUENOS .-WRES. 



of the town. Lumley's brigade had now been 
far outstripped, but General Gower himself joined 
Craufurd. Not a Spaniard was to be seen. The 
advanced parties which had covered the forward 



line ot levelled bayonets, and everywhere gavc- 
way in panic-struck flight, leaving in the hands 
of the victors twelve pieces of artillery, with 
which their position had been armed. The Light 



IP.': 



BATTLES OK 'IHE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



4 



Brigade followed hard in pursuit, and, tiring no 
shot, smote the rearmost with the annc blanche 
alone. No halt was made till the outskirts of 
Buenos Ayres were reached, and at the very 
entrance to the streets Craufurd re-formed his 
men, who, flushed and e.xcited with their prompt 
success, had fallen into some natural disorder. 

Then was the time when Buenos Ayres should 
have fallen. A resolute advance at the heels of 
its disheartened and flying defenders would, it is 
verj- certain, have crushed ever}- attempt at 
opposition, and the morning of the 3rd Jul\- 
ought to have seen the English flag again float- 
ing proudly over the town. If General White- 
locke, with the main body of his arm}-, had 
followed closely the advanced brigades, and had 
now been at hand, no other blow need have 
been struck, no other shot fired.' If even General 
Gower had shared in a small degree the military 
insight and boiling courage of General Craufurd, 
and had boldly entered the streets with Lum- 
ley's brigade and Craufurd's light troops, the 
result would have been almost equally certain- 
But Whitelocke was still far distant, and, despite 
Craufurd's strongly-expressed opinion and readi- 
ness to crown the work so well commenced, 
General Gower resolved to do no more for the 
time. The advanced brigades were withdrawn 
to the Coral, and only picquets were left to 
mark the points where the tide of pursuit had 
been stayed, and whence the Rifles and light 
battalion, much against their will, had been 
ordered to fall back. 

As the English soldiers la\- upon their arms, 
the bivouac that night was wretched in the 
extreme. Overpowered with fatigue and hunger 
— for the\- had had no food for more than t\velve 
hours — without fire or shelter, and drenched 
with tropical rains, believing, moreover, that if 
it had not been for the shortcomings of their 
generals the\- would even then be in Buenos 
Ayres, their cheerfulness was sustained b^■ the 
hope that the entry into the town was only 
delayed till it could be effected by davlight on 
the following morning. But alread\- the only 
gleam of success that was to shine upon the 
army in South America had died awav, and 
nothing but disaster was left for the future. 

Hopes were still entertained that General 
Whitelocke, with the main body of the army, 
must be near at hand, and would soon join the 
advanced brigades, and reconnoitring parties 
were sent out to try to establish communication 
with him. It was not, however, till the after- 
noon (if the ;rd that — too late to profit by 



the discouragement which existed among the 
Spaniards on the evening of the 2nd— he made 
his appearance. He had not followed where 
the brigades of Craufurd and Lumle}- had led 
across the Chuelo b\- the Passa Chico ; but, 
making a long detour of thirty miles, he had 
passed the river much higher up its course, 
and now brought in his men w-earied with 
unnecessary toil, and, still worse, showing signs 
of discontent and loss of confidence. 

In the morning of the 3rd General Gower 
sent a staff-officer into the town under a flag 
of truce, summoning General Liniers, command- 
ing the Spanish forces, to surrender the place. 
But the panic of the previous evening had 
passed away and the answer returned was, 
" We possess sufficient strength and courage 
to defend our town." Closely following this 
answer came an attack in force upon the 
English picquets, who were obliged to give 
way until they were supported ; and after a 
desultory action lasting nearly two hours, in 
which both sides suffered some loss, the 
Spaniards again retired into the town. 

Though General Whitelocke had now his 
army concentrated, though every hour added to 
the confidence of the enemy, and though delay- 
seriously impaired the power of his own troops, 
both by the material losses which it involved 
and by the discouragement which it inevitably 
brought, the English general appears to have 
been in a painful state of indecision or irresolu- 
tion. No plan of action was undertaken, and 
the Spaniards were able at will to insult and 
press upon the picquets, acting under cover of 
outlying houses, and to inflict losses for which 
adequate retaliation was difficult, if not impos- 
sible. Like the 3rd of July, the 4th was also 
allowed to pass in inaction, and it was not till 
the 5th that any forward movement was made. 

The town of Buenos Ayres was, in 1807, about 
two miles in length by one in breadth. Its 
streets were rectangular, and the greater part 
of the houses were lofty, well-built, with roofs 
surrounded b\- parapets about four feet high. 
In the centre of the town was the castle, a small 
and feeble work, and near it was the great 
square. La Plaza. . The principal buildings were, 
at the west end, El Retiro, the amphitheatre for 
bull-fights, and, at the east end of the town, an 
extensive building called Residentia, originally 
intended to be a royal hospital, and the church 
and monastery of St. Domingo. As has been 
told, the Spaniards on the night of the 2nd July 
were in a state of the utmost terror and confusion, 



EUENOS AYRES. 



1^3 



prepared, if the English troops marched in, to 
receive them ;is conquerors. But the delays of 
Generals Whitelocke and Gower gave them 
time to re-collect themselves, (jeneral I.iniers 
e.xerted himself energetically to re>tiire ihcir 
courage, and, well seconded by his officers and 
by the clergy, whose aid he had invoked, he 
changed the spirit of the population from a weak 
and pusillanimous despair to a stern and patriotic 
determinatio;i to. defend their town to the last. 
Active mca-jures for defence were taken. 
. Trenches were cut in the principal streets, 
cannon were placed in position, the slaves were 
armed, and even the women were inspired to 
assist in the coming struggle by throwing 
grenades from the housetops on hostile troops 
which might march below. The total number 
of defenders consisted of about 9,000 regulars, 
militia, and volunteer corps, all in some state 
of discipline, and about 5,ooo men, formed in 
irregular companies, who had taken up arms 
for the occasion. 

It has been told that the 3rd and 4th of 
July were allowed to slip away without any 
forward action being taken by General White- 
locke. On the afternoon of the 4th, however, 
orders were issued for a general assault upon 
Buenos Ayres on the following morning. The 
available force was now, owing to losses and to 
the number of troops on various detachments, 
under 8,ooo strong. No definite tactical plan 

» appears to have been formed. Objective points 
were indeed indicated to the commanders of 
columns, but the mutual relation which these 
points, if gained, were to bear to each other 
for assistance an;l support was entirely over- 
looked. No arrangements were made for com- 
munication between the various portions of the 
force employed, or for receiving or asking for 
ord-ers from the commander-in-chief. Above all, 
no lines of retreat were decided on in case 
resistance should be met too powerful to be 
overcome, and no reserve was kept con\eniently 
at hand to support a success or neutralise a re- 
pulse. For the assault of a large town, held bv 
a force of fair troops in addition to a numerous 
armed and fanatical population, the small armv 
of attackers was divided into eight feeble columns, 
which were to enter the .streets at different 
widely-separated points, without reasonably full 
instructions as to the general plan of the com- 
mander-in-chief, without cohesion as parts of 
one military body, and, except for a few en- 
trenching tools, without any means of forcing 
the obstacles which might ha\e been expected to 



be met with. On the morning of Sunday, the 
5th July, the troops were under arms at four 
o'clock, and they hoped, at least, that they 
should have been let loose upon their task while 
tlarkness in some degree veiled their advance ; 
but the sun was rising ere the signal was given 
to commence the attack, and the columns were 
put in motion. 

Space does not permit that a detailed account 
should be given of the operations of each column. 
All did not encounter an equal amount of resist- 
ance, but everywhere the resistance was of the 
same character. Heavy fire was maintained from 
the roofs of the houses. Hand-grenades, stink- 
balls, brickbats, and other missiles were hurled 
from above on the English soldiers as they ad- 
vanced. Breastworks, made of hide bags filled 
with earth, and deep ditches cut across the 
streets gave cover to the defence, while artillery 
opened a deadly discharge of grape at close 
range. Ever as the points were reached on 
which they had been directed the columns found 
themselves surrounded. The men through whom 
they had forced their way had again closed in, 
and they were circled by a ring of fire. On the 
left of the attack Sir Samuel Auchmut}-, with 
the 87th and 38th, had bored his wa}-, though 
with heavy loss, to El Retiro, and there esta- 
blished himself, taking a number of prisoners 
and three field-pieces, nor was the enemy able 
again to dislodge him. The 5th Infantry also 
penetrated to the convent of St. Catalina. The 
36th made their way in the face of determined 
opposition as far as the beach of the Rio de la 
Plata, and their movement was signalised by the 
gallant conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Byrne, 
who, with fifty men, charged and took two guns, 
driving their defenders, 300 strong, before him. 
Part of the regiment then managed to join 
Auchmuty, and the remainder, finding no ten- 
able position in which to establish themselves, 
were obliged to retire. The 88th, acting in two 
wings under Lieutenant-Colonel Duff and Major 
\'andeleur, suffered almost more heavil}- than 
any other portion of the armv. They fought 
with the brilliant courage which has ahva3's 
marked the " Connaught Rangers " ; but ex- 
posed, outnumbered, with no hope of assistance, 
and having lost 17 officers and 220 rank-and-file, 
they were obliged to surrender at discretion. 

The greatest di.saster, the most overwhelming 
loss, was, however, suffered at the right centre. 
Here was the fiery Craufurd with the Light 
Brigade, which had already shown such un- 
daunted determination, such a formidable warrior 



124 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



spirit. It was formed in two columns, of which 
the right was commanded by Craufurd himself 
and the left bv Lieutenant-Colonel Pack, after- 
wards Sir Dennis Pack, the famous hero of the 
Peninsula. Craufurd had been ordered to make 
his way through the town to the Rio de la 
Plata, and to occupy any high buildings as near 
as possible to La Plaza. Two three-pounder 
field-pieces accompanied his brigade, and, though 
the victims of continuous musketry fire from liie 
housetops, and the fianking discharge of artillery 
from their left front, they reached the great 
church of St. Domingo. By this time, besides 
the many losses in the main body of Craufurd's 
column, the officer commanding and the greater 
portion of the advanced guard had been laid 
low. It was essential to secure some cover from 
the withering storm of bullets, some post of 
vantage which might possibly be made good 
against the enemy, and serve as a base from which 
further operations might be undertaken, if the 
rest of the army had closed upon the citv with 
the success which was hoped for. The door of 
the St. Domingo church was battered in and the 
building occupied. Unfortunately, its roof was 
sloping, and afforded no secure military position, 
as did the flat roofs of the surrounding houses, 
from which the Spaniards were still able to pour 
in a destructive and unceasing fire. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Guard, with the Grenadier company of 
the 45th, now joined Craufurd, and till twelve 
o'clock in the day there was no reason to believe 
that the rest of the army had not been also suc- 
cessful in establishing themselves close to the 
enemj-'s main position. At that hour, however, 
1 Spanish officer with a flag of truce approached. 
Craufurd thought that he had come from General 
Liniers with an offer to capitulate. Bitter was 
his disappointment when the Spaniard informed 
him that the 88th had been taken prisoners, 
and summoned him to surrender. Craufurd 
could not believe that he had been abandoned 
by General Whitelocke, and still thought that 
if he could not be supported, at least some 
attempt would be made to communicate with 
him. He feared to compromise the whole 
situation of the army, and returned a per- 
emptory refusal to General Linier's summons. 
As time wore on, however, it became more 
and more apparent that no succour was to 
be hoped for, and he resolved to take the first 
opportunit}- of withdrawing from the town. If 
a large number of the enemy could be engaged 
in the stieets, Craufurd thought that the fire 
from the houses would be neutralised, as the 



Spaniards would be afraid of hitting their own 
friends. A considerable colunm of the enemy 
was now entering the street on the west side of 
the church, apparently intending to seize one 
of the English field-pieces which had been left 
outside the building. The Rifles were ordered 
to form up ready for a salJy, and while they 
were doing so the enemy's column was gallantl}- 
attacked by Lieutenant-Colonel Guard with the 
Grenadiers of the 45th, and by a small party 
of light infantry under Major Trotter. The 
column ^ave wa}-, but the fire from the sur- 
rounding houses was so severe that Major 
Trotter and about forty of the attackers were 
killed or wounded in two or three minutes. 
It was evidently impossible to retire, and there 
was nothing for it but to continue the defence 
of the church, hoping against hope for some 
favourable turn of events. 

At half-past three there could be no longer 
any doubt that the attack on Buenos Ayres had 
failed. His men were falling fast, the enemy 
were bringing heav}- guns into position to batter 
the church, and Craufurd felt that further sacri- 
fice of life could not be of any advantage. Re- 
pugnant to his brave spirit as was the dut\-, he 
surrendered himself, with the shattered remnants 
of his brigade, as prisoners of war at four o'clock. 

It only remains to tell how it fared with the 
right of the English attack on Buenos A3-res. 
The 45th Regiment, on the extreme right, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Guard, obtained possession 
of Residencia, after meeting with some opposition 
from a body of Spaniards stationed with some 
artillery in an open space. The guns were soon 
abandoned, however, and, there being no resist- 
ance from the neighbouring houses, the e.xtensive 
building was crowned with the colours of the 
regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Guard then, as 
has been seen, joined General Craufurd with his 
Grenadiers, and shared the fate of the Light Bri- 
gade. Major Nicholls was left in command at 
Residencia, and, though the Spaniards made re- 
peated attempts to recover the building, he 
maintained his post by skilful defence and occa- 
sional sallies, in one of which he took four 
pieces of cannon. Between the 45th and the 
Light Brigade, the Carabiniers entered the town 
and penetrated some distance, but they were 
unable to overcome the resistance which they 
encountered and were forced to retire after 
severe loss, Captain Burrell being among the 
killed and Colonel Kington severely wounded. 

The result of the disastrous 'th July was that 
the English army lost above 70 officers and 1,000 



BUENOS AYRES. 



men, killed or badly wounded, and 120 officers 
and 1 ,500 men were taken prisoners. Aban- 
doned by their chief — who took no active part in 
the day's operations, who gave no command, 
who had shown no forethought, and who failed 
to afford either counsel or example — the subordin- 
;ite leaders and the men of the various columns 
had fought with a bravery and discipline worthy 
of the best traditions of the English army. If 
disgrace and shame there was, at least their 



in such terms, that he did not think they were 
to be relied upon for further effort under his 
command. 

General Whitelocke put the seal to the story 
of his ineptitude and disgrace by making a treaty 
with the Spanish leaders, giving up all the advan- 
tages whicli had previously been gained on the 
Rio de la Plata, and engaging to withdraw from 
and deliver up the town and fortress of Monte 
Video. He only stipulated for an unimpeded 




' GUNl-.K.M, WIUTELOCKE WAS TRIED BY COURT-MARTIAL. 



honour was untainted, their valour had shown 
itself to be unquestionable. But, though General 
\V hitelocke's army failed not in doing its best to 
accomplish a task given to them in a manner 
which rendered it impossible of fulfilment, they 
would nut have been men if thev had not felt 
acutely and expressed emphatically their mortifica- 
tion and disgust at the way in which they had been 
commanded. Craufurd himself publicly called 
Whitelocke a traitor, and even told his men to 
shoot him dead if he was seen in the battle ; 
and Sir Samuel Auchmuty afterwards said that 
the soldiers of his column had so greath- lost 
confidence, and were speaking of their general 



retreat and embarkation, and that all the prisoners 
of war should be restored. In January, 1808, 
General Whitelocke was tried by court-martial 
at Chelsea Hospital, and was sentenced " to be 
cashiered, and declared totally unfit and un 
worthy to serve his Majesty in any military 
capacity whatever." 

So keen and widespread was the national and 
military feeling of indignation at the way in 
which the South American campaign had been 
conducted that, for long after that period, the 
common toast in canteens and public-houses was, 
" Success to grey hairs, but bad luck to xchfte 
locks ! " 



126 




THE issue of the first Sikh war (1845-46) 
had placed the vast territory of the 
Punjaub at the mercy of the British 
Government, and Lord Hardinge, 
the Governor - General of the period, might 
have incorporated it in the dominions of 
the East India Company. But he decided to 
avoid the last resource of annexation, and the 
Treaty of Lahore accorded a nominally inde- 
pendent sovereignty to the boy Prince Dhulip 
Singh. Henry Lawrence was in residence at 
Lahore as the British representative in the Pun- 
jaub, and the Sikh army was being reorganised 
and limited to a certain specific strength. Within 
a few months the Prime Minister, Lall Singh, was 
deposed, and by an arrangement settled in De- 
cember, 1846, a council of regency composed of 
eight leading Sikh chiefs was appointed to act 
under the control and guidance of the British 
Resident, who was to exercise unlimited influ- 
ence in all matters of internal administration and 
external policy. This arrangement was to con- 
tinue for eight years, until the 3-oung Maharajah 
Dhulip Singh should reach his majority. The 
treaty conferred on the Resident unprecedented 
powers, and Major Henr\- Lawrence, an officer of 
the Company's artillery, became in effect the 
successor of Runjeet Singh. 

This settlement had a specious aspect of some 
measure of permanency. It might have lasted 
longer if the state of his health had permitted 
Henrj- Lawrence to remain at his post, but it 
was unsound at the core ; for a valiant and tur- 
bulent race does not bow the knee submissively 
alter a single disastrous campaign on its fron- 
tier. When in January, 1848, Henry Lawrence 
sailed on sick furlough from Calcutta to Eng- 
land in company with the retiring Governor- 
General, he left the Punjaub, to all appearance, 
in a state of unruffled peacefulness. At Lahore, 
Peshawur, Attock, Bunnoo, Hazara, British 



officers vvere quietly drilling Sikh and Pathan 
regiments, giving lessons in good government to 
great Sikh officials and sirdars, enforcing a rough- 
and-ready justice among rude tribes accustomed 
to obey no master whom they could not person- 
ally revere. Henry Lawrence's successor was 
Sir Frederick Currie, an able official, but scarcely 
the man to rule the Punjaub, for he was a 
civilian, and the position required the experience 
and military knowledge of a soldier. 

The deceptive quietude of the Punjaub was 
soon to be broken. When Currie arrived at 
Lahore, he found INIoolraj, the governor of 
Mooltan, who had come to offer the resignation 
of his position for reasons which were chiefly 
personal. His resignation was accepted, a new 
governor being appointed in his place, who set 
out for Mooltan accompanied by Mr. Vans 
Agnew, of the Bengal Civil Service, and his 
assistant, Lieutenant Anderson, of the Bombay 
army. ]\Ioolraj travelled with the escort of the 
new governor, to whom, on arrival at Mooltan, 
he formally surrendered the fort. After the 
ceremony Agnew and Anderson started for their 
camp, Moolraj riding with the two English 
gentlemen. At the gate of the fortress Agnew 
was suddenly attacked, speared through the side, 
and slashed by sword-cuts. At the same mo- 
ment Anderson was cut down and desperately 
wounded. Moolraj galloped off, leaving the 
Englishmen to their fate. Two days later 
they were brutally slaughtered, their bodies cut 
to pieces, and their heads contumeliously thrown 
at the feet of Moolraj. On the morning after the 
assassination Moolraj placed himself at the head 
of the insurrection, by issuing a proclamation 
calling on the Sikh nation to rise and make 
common cause against the " Feringhees." 

Tidings of the outrage and rising at Mooltan 
reached Lahore on April 24th. It was emphati- 
cally a time for prompt action, if an outbreak 



J 



THE SFXOND SIKH WAR. 



127 



r 



was to be crustiea which else miylit become a 
general revult throughout the Punjaub. Sir 
Henry Lawrence woukl have marched the La- 
hore brigade on Mooltan without a moment's 
hesitation. Lord Hardinge would have ordered 
up troops and siege-train from Ferozepore and 
Bukkur, and would have invested Mooltan be- 
fore Moolraj could have prepared for a long 
defence. True, marches could not have been 
made in the hot season without casualties ; but, 
in the masterful words of Marshman, " our em- 
pire in Lidia had been acquired and maintained, 
not by fair-weather campaigns, but by taking the 
field on every emergency and at any season." 
.Currie, to do him justice, did order a brigade to 

larch on Mooltan, in the belief that the place 
would not maintain a defence when a British 
r, force should approach it ; but eventually, in great 

leasure because of the arguments advanced by 
(Sir Colin Campbell, who was not always enter- 

irising, the movement from Lahore to Mooltan 

•as countermanded ; and the commander-in- 
-chief, Lord Gough, with the concurrence of Lord 

•alhousie, the new Governor-General, intimated 

lis resolve to postpone military operations until 
:he cold weather, when he would take the field 
tin person. 

Meanwhile a casual subaltern, for whom swift 
marches and hard fighting in hot weather had no 
:errors, struck in valiantly on his own responsi- 

lility. Gathering in the wild trans-Indus dis- 
:rict of Bunnoo some 1 ,500 men with a couple 

if guns. Lieutenant Herbert Edwardes marched 
iowards Mooltan. Colonel Cortlandt, with 2,000 
[Pathans and si.\ guns, hastened to join him ; and 
ion May 20th the united force defeated Moolraj's 

.rmy, 6,000 strong. The loyal Nawab of Bhawal- 
'pore sent a strong force of his warlike Daud- 

lutras across the Sutlej to join hands with 

■Edwardes and Cortlandt ; and the junction had 

just been accomplished on the field of Kinairi, 

some twenty miles from Mooltan, when the 

allies were attacked by Moolraj with a force 

of about equal magnitude. After half a day's 

hard fighting the enemy fled in confusion. Ed- 

[■wardes and Cortlandt moved up nearer Mooltan, 

their force now amounting to about 15,000, and 

■there was a moment when Moolraj seemed will- 

ling to surrender if his life were spared. But he 

rallied his nerves, and on July ist he had some 

12,000 men, with eleven guns, drawn out for 

battle on the plain of Sudusain, not far from 

Mooltan, face to face with Edwardes, Cortlandt, 

['the Sheikh Imamuddin, and the brave young 

Lake. After a mutual cannonade of several 



hours, the dashing charge made by one of 
Cortlandt's regiments led by a gallant young 
Irish volunteer named Quin, settled the question 
against Moolraj, who rode hard at the head of 
his fugitive troops to find shelter in his fortress. 
'• Now," wrote Edwardes to the Resident, " is 
the time to strike. I have got to the end of my 
tether. If vou will only send a few regular regi- 
ments, with a few siege-guns and a mortar 
battery, we could close Moolraj's account in a 
fortnight, and obviate the necessity of assembling 
50,000 men in October." 

In tardy answer to this appeal, in the end of 
July a force of 7,000 men with a siege-train was 
ordered to converge on Mooltan from Lahore 
and Ferozepore, under the divisional command 
of General Whish. But, meanwhile, Currie had 
empowered the Lahore Durbar to despatch to 
Mooltan a Sikh force under Shere Singh. It 
was notorious that commander and troops were 
alike thoroughly disaflTected ; and Shere Singh 
actually had orders to halt fifty miles short of 
ISIooltan, and was only allowed to join Edwardes 
after the victory of July I St. By the end of 
August, Whish's field-force was before Mooltan, 
but the siege-guns were not in position until a 
fortnight later. Moolraj held out resolutely ; 
and active and bloody approaches were carried 
on for a week, when Shere Singh and his con- 
tingent suddenly passed over to the enemy. 
After this defection Whish held it impracticable 
to continue the siege, and he retired to a 
position in the vicinity pending the arrival of 
reinforcements from the Bombay side. The 
siege was re-opened late in December ; the city 
was stormed after a hard fight ; and, finally, on 
January 22nd, 184Q, iMoolraj surrendered at 
discretion. It must be said of him that he had 
made a stubborn and gallant defence. 

By the end of September, 1848, the local out- 
break v.-as fast swelling into a national revolt. 
The flame of rebellion was spreading over the 
Land of the Five Rivers ; and bv the end of 
October only a few brave English officers were 
still holding together the last shreds of British 
influence in the Punjaub outside of Lahore and 
the camp of General Whish. Moolraj and 
Shere Singh had quarrelled ; and in the begin- 
ning of October the latter sirdar left Mooltan and 
marched northward in the direction of Lahore, 
his original force of 5,000 men strengthened at 
every step by the warriors of the old Khalsa 
army, who flocked eagerly to his standard. 
After threatening Lahore he moved westward 
to effect a iunction with the Bunnoo insurgents, 



128 



BATTLES OK FHE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



wlio hud mutinied and murdered their officers ; 
and he finally tuok up a position on both sides 
of tlie river at Kammiggur, his main body can- 
toned on the right bank of the river. 

Lord Dalhousie had realised from the collapse 
of the siege of Mooltan that he had before him a 
serious campaign in the Punjaub. He promptly 
ordered the assemblage of a large force at 
Ferozepore, and the movement from Bombay of 
a smaller body to act against Mooltan. He 



infantry regiments, taking command of the 
advanced force with the temporary rank oi 
brigadier-general. At length Lord Gough him- 
self took the field, crossing the Ravee on the 
iqth at the head of his main body. His strength 
was respectable. Apart from the division before 
Mooltan and the garrison of Lahore, he had 
available for field-service four British and eleven 
native infantry regiments. He was exceptionally " 
strong in cavalry, with three fine European 




THE jL'RRENDER OK MOOLRAI. 



accepted without reserve the cnallenge flung at 
him from the collective Punjaub. '' Unwarned 
by precedent, uninfluenced by example, the 
Sikh nation lias called for war ; and on my 
word, sirs, war they shall have, and with a 
vengeance ! " were his stirring words at the 
farewell dinner given him by the officers of 
Barrackpore. By the end of September regi- 
ments were advancing from Meerut, Umballa, 
Sabatoo, and JuUunder towards the Sutlej or 
the Ravee. Before October was done the 
leading brigades of the army of the Punjaub 
had marched past Lahore across the Ravee 
towards the rendezvous at Shahdara. Cureton's 
cavalry brigade and Godby's infantry brigade 
were already there, and on November I2th 
Colin Campbell jodned Cureton with tw* native 



regiments, five ot native light cavalry, and five 
corps of irregular horse : and his powerful 
artiller}- consisted of sixt}- horse- and field-guns, 
eight howitzers, and ten i8-pounders. 

Lord Gough was by no means a strategical 
genius, but he was a fighting soldier. He had 
served under Wellington in the Peninsula and 
at Waterloo with great distinction, but reckless- 
ness was one of his leading attributes. He was 
alwavs eager for the fray, and the sort of fighting 
he most delighted in was what, in his Irish 
accent, he called the " could steel." The enemy, 
he was informed, were still about Ramnuggur, 
their outpost on the left bank of the Chenab ; 
and Gough became at once in a blaze of eager- 
ness to drive them across the river. Before 
davbreak of the 22nd he was on the march with 



THK SECOND SIKH WAR. 



I2q 



the whole of Cureton's fine cavah'v, Campbell's 
infantry division, two field-batteries and as 
many troops of horse artillery ; the fiery old 
chief riding at the head of the force. Some 
skirmishing occurred about the village and fort 
of Ramnuggur ; but the Sikh detachments were 
already retreating across the river when the 
British guns opened on them a rapid and telling 
tfire. Bent on pressing the fugitives, Lane and 
IWarner galloped their si.x-pounders over the 
Ideep sand which formed a wide border to the 
"now attenuated stream. As they fired at the 
runaways crowding across the ford, answering 
shots began to reach them from the heavier 
"Sikh ordnance placed in battery on the further 
bank. By-and-by the Sikh fire became so hot 
that the withdrawal of the British pieces became 
imperative ; but when the order to limber up 
was given, one of Lane's guns and two ammuni- 
tion waggons were found to be stuck fast in the 
deep sand. 

The order to spike and abandon the gun 
was unwillingly obeyed, since there seemed no 
alternative ; and Gough disapproved of Colin 
Campbell's sensible suggestion that the piece 
should be protected until it could be withdrawn 
under nightfall, by placing infantry to cover it 
in a ravine immediately in its rear. As the 
gunners of the lost piece and the rest of the 
guns retired, Ouvr3-'s squadron of the famous 
3rd Light Dragoons drew off the enemy's 
attention by a daring charge into a mass of 
Sikhs posted near an island, within easy cover 
of their own guns. The enemy lost no time in 
sending the whole of his cavalry across the river 
to take possession of the stranded gun, under 
cover of his overwhelming artillery fire. Our 
cavalry was recklessly sent forward to cope with 
the superior hostile Horse — a folly committed, 
according to Campbell, under the personal 
superintendence of the fiery commander-in- 
chief Willianr Havelock, the gallant colonel 
of the 14th Light Dragoons and the brother 
of the more famous Henry, sought and obtained 
permission to cross swords with the insolent 
Sikh horsemen. His ardent troopers thundered 
behind their leader, nobly seconded by their 
swarthy comrades of the 3rd Bengal Cavalry. 
Li a few minutes the Sikh Horse were broken 
and scattered by the headlong onset of an 
officer famed for his daring in the wars of 
the Peninsula. Had Havelock halted after this 
achievement all would have been well ; but 
the approach of another body of Sikh horse- 
men tempted him to his destruction, and that 

57 



of man)- of his gallant troopers. Waving his 
sword and shouting to his men to follow him, 
Havelock dashed on through the heavy sands, 
further yet into the mud and water, where 
horses floundered and men were helpless under 
a cruel grape and matchlock fire, supported by 
the keen tulwars of the Sikh light horsemen. 
They, indeed, w-ere finally borne back to the 
river, and under cover of their own batteries ; 
but this much of gain was dearly purchased by 
the loss of QO men and 140 horses killed or 
wounded. Havelock himself, after a hand-to- 
hand combat, fell covered with wounds by the 
water's edge. Several other officers were killed 
or wounded. But the heaviest loss of that sad 
da}- was the death of the gallant Cureton, the 
adjutant-general of the army, who fell dead 
when riding forward to stay Havelock's eflbrt 
to charge yet again. Renowned for brave deeds 
in many an action against French, Afghans, 
l\L\hrattas, and Sikhs ; beloved alike by officers 
and men, Cureton fell close to that very 
regiment in which, a wild youth fleeing from 
his creditors, he had begun his soldiering by 
enlisting in it as a private trooper. His body, 
which Holmes, of the Irregulars, was badh- 
wounded in trying to rescue, was buried at 
Ramnuggur with all the honours, in the same 
grave to which the corpse of Havelock was later 
consigned. 

Lord Gough withdrew his troops beyond the 
reach of the Sikh batteries, and awaited the 
arrival of his guns and the remainder of his 
forces. He was well placed on the left bank of 
the Chenab, covering Lahore and the siege of 
Mooltan, and leaving Shere Singh undisturbed ; 
while, had he preferred the offensive, a rapid 
stroke might have ended the business, for the 
Sikhs were eager enough for fighting. To 
gratify their desire he would have had to cross 
the river — to accomplish which b\- direct assault 
on the Sikh position on the opposite bank was 
impracticable. So Gough resolved to compel the 
enemy's withdrawal by a wide-turning move- 
ment with part of his force under Sir Joseph 
Thackwell. That officer's command consisted 
of Campbell's division, a cavalrj- brigade, and a 
powerful artillery — about 8,000 men. The force 
started on the early morning of December ist, 
- and after marching twenty-four miles up the left 
bank of the Chenab, crossed that river at noon of 
the 2nd. The following morning, after march- 
ing about fifteen miles down the right bank, 
Thackwell's command was close to the enemy in 
front of the village of Sadoolapore. Thackwell. 



no 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



hearing of the approach of a reinforcement, 
rode away in search of it, refusing Campbell's 
request to deploy and take up a position. 
Campbell's reconnaissance convinced him that 
the enemy was near and in force ; but in his 
own words. " My command was not in formation 
for troops liable to be attacked at any moment ; 
but my orders were imperative not to deploy.'' 
As a measure of protection he occupied with an 
infantry company each of three villages in his 
front ; but Thackwell on his return ordered 
their withdrawal, and the columns were deployed. 
Between the British line and the twenty pieces 
of cannon from which the Sikhs were heavily 
firing from the villages while the}' were threaten- 
ing the British flanks with cavalrj', was a smooth 
open space over which Thackwell desired to 
attack. Campbell suggested that, "as they were 
coming on so cockily, we should allow them to 
come out into the plain before we moved." The 
cannonade proceeded, and it seemed presently 
the moment for an advance ; but Thackwell 
preferred caution, hoping, most likely, for a 
decisive victory on the morrow. But he was 
baulked, since during the night the enemy 
withdrew toward the Jhelum, probably without 
having sustained serious loss ; that of the British 
amounted to seventy men. Thackwell's turning 
operation had not been brilliant, and Sadoolapore 
was not an affair to be very proud of; but it 
brought about the relinquishment by the Sikhs of 
their position on the right bank of the Chenab, 
and this enabled the main British force to cross 
the river. By the 5 th the mass of the army was 
at Hej-lah, about midway between Ramnuggur 
and Chillianwallah, but the commander-in-chief 
and headquarters did not cross the Chenab until 
December i8th. 

If until then Lord Gough had been tram- 
melled by superior authority, a few days later 
he was set free to act on his own judgment, 
the result of which permission was simply 
absolute inaction until January, i84q. On the 
nth of that month he reviewed his troops 
at Lassourie, and ne.xt day he was encamped 
at Dinghee, whence the Sikh army had fallen 
back into the sheltering jungle, its right rest- 
ing on Mung, its left and centre on the broken 
ground and strong entrenchments about the 
village and heights of Rassoul. That was a very 
strong defensive position, held by more than 
30,000 brave men, with a battery of si.xty guns 
^a position which only a daring commander 
would have ventured to assail with an army 
under 14,000 strong. Among the wiser officers 



of Gough's staff were men who were anxious 
that the ground over which the enemy's posi- 
tion was to be approached should first be 
properly reconnoitred. Here is a significant pas- 
sage in the memoirs of Sir Henrj' Durand : — 
" Whilst in the commander-in-chief's camp on 
the iith the projected attack on the enemj-'s 
position was described to me by General Camp- 
bell. He had just been with the chief, who 
had spoken of attacking the Sikh position on 
the 13th. Campbell, seeing that his lordship 
had no intention of properly reconnoitring the 
position, was anxious on the subject, and we 
went into the tent of Tremenheere, the chief 
engineer, to discuss the matter. Campbell 
opened on the subject, announcing the inten- 
tion to attack without any other reconnaissance 
than such as the moment might offer in de- 
bouching from the jungle. He advocated a 
second march from Dinghee, the force prepared 
to bivouac for the night, and that the 13th 
should be passed by the engineers in recon- 
noitring. Campbell wished Tremenheere to 
suggest this measure in a quiet waj- to Lord 
Gough ; but he said that since the passage of 
the Chenab the chief was determined to take 
no advice, or brook any volunteered opinion, 
and he proposed that I should speak to John 
Gough (the commander-in-chief's nephew) to 
tr}' to engage him to put it into Lord Gough's 
mind to adopt such a course." It is not certain 
that anything came of this improvised council 
of war, but there is no suggestion that up to the 
afternoon of the 13th, Lord Gough intended to 
defer the attack until the morning of the 14th. 

As it was, early on the 13th the army was at 
length on march towards the enemy. The heavy 
guns moved along the road leading over the Ras- 
soul ridge to the fords of the Jhelum beyond. Gil- 
bert's division marched on their right, Campbell's 
on their left, with the cavalry and light artillery 
on their respective flanks. The original inten- 
tion was that Gilbert's (the right) division, with 
the greater part of the field-guns, was to advance 
direct on Rassoul, while Campbell's division and 
the heavy guns should stand fast on the left, 
overthrow the left of the Sikhs, and cut them 
off from retiring along the high road towards 
the Jhelum. Their left thus turned, Gilbert and 
Campbell were to operate conjointly against the 
Sikh line, which it was hoped would he rolled 
back on Mung and driven to the southward. 
But when deserters brought in the intelligence 
that the enemy was forming behind the village 
of Chillianwallah, on the left front of the British 



THE SECOND SIKH WAR. 



131 



line of march, Gough quitted the Rassoul road, 
inchiied to his left, and marched straight on 
Chillianwallah. An outpost on the mound of 
Chillianwallah was driven off, and from this 
elevated position was clearly visible the Sikh 
army drawn out in battle array. Its right centre, 
directly in front of Chillianwallah, was about two 
miles distant from that village, but less from the 
British line, which was being deployed about five 
^hundred yards in its front. There was a gap 
learly three-fourths of a mile wide between the 
right wing of the Sikh detachment under Utar 
singh and the right flank of the main body under 
shere Singh. The British line, when deployed, 
could do little more than oppose a front to 
Shere Singh's centre and right, which latter, 
however, it overlapped a little, so that part of 
Campbell's left brigade was opposite to a section 
of the gap between Shere Singh's right and 
Utar Singh's left. Between the hostile lines 
there intervened a belt of rather dense, low 
jungle — not forest, but a mixture of thorny 
mimosa, bushes, and wild caper. 

It was near two o'clock in the afternoon of a 
short winter day, and the troops had been under 
arms since daybreak. Lord Gough, therefore, 
had wisely determined to defer the action until 
the morrow, and the camping-ground was being 
marked out. But the Sikh leaders knew well 
how prone to kindle was the temperament of 
the gallant old British chief. They themselves 
were keen for fighting, and the British com- 
mander needed little provocation to reciprocate 
their mood when they gave him a challenge of 
a few cannon-shots. Late in the day though it 
was, he determined on immediate attack. The 
heavy guns were ordered up and opened fire ; 
but the advance of the infantry soon obliged the 
fire of the guns to cease. The line pressed on 
eagerly, its formation somewhat impaired by the 
density of the jungle, and met in the teeth, as 
it pushed forward, by the artillery fire which the 
enemy poured on the advancing ranks. For a 
while nothing was to be heard but the roar of 
the Sikh cannonade ; but presently the sharp 
rattle of the musketry fire told that the conflict 
had begun in earnest, and that the British 
infantry was closing on the hostile guns. Of 
.he two British divisions Gilbert's had the right, 
Campbell's the left ; the latter had been the first 
to receive the order to advance, and was the 
first to become engaged. Pennycuick com- 
manded Campbell's right brigade, consisting of 
the 24th Queen's and the 25th and 45th Native 
Infantry regiments ; Hoggan's, his left brigade. 



was formed of the 6 1st Queen's and the 36th 
and 46th Sepoy regiments. In the interval 
between the two brigades moved a field-battery, 
and on the left of the division three guns of 
another. At some distance on Campbell's left 
were a cavalry brigade and three troops of horse 
artillery under Thackwell, charged to engage 
Utar Singh's detachment, and hinder that force 
from striking at Campbell in flank and in reverse. 
The nature of the ground prevented the divi- 
sional commander from superintending more 
than one brigade, and Campbell had arranged 
with Pennycuick that he himself should remain 
with the left brigade. Pennycuick's brigade 
experienced an adverse fate. During the 
advance its regiments suffered cruelly from the 
fire of eighteen guns directly in their front. 
The 24th, a fine and exceptionally strong regi- 
ment, carried the hostile batteries by storm, 
but encountered a deadly fire from the infantry 
masses on either flank of the Sikh guns. The 
regiment sustained dreadful losses. Pennycuick 
was killed ; his gallant son, a mere lad, sprang 
forward sword in hand, and bestrode his father's 
body until he himself fell across it a corpse. 
Thirteen officers of the regiment were killed 
at the guns, nine were wounded ; 203 men were 
killed and 266 wounded. The native regiments 
of the brigade failed to support the 24th, and 
musketry volleys from the Sikh infantr}-, fol- 
lowed by a rush of cavalrj-, completed the dis- 
order and defeat of the ill-fated body. Already 
broken, it now fled, pursued with great havoc 
by the Sikh Horse almost to its original position 
at the beginning of the action. 

Hoggan's brigade, the left of Campbell's 
division, had better fortune, thanks to Camp- 
bell's steady leading. The brigade approached 
the enemy posted on an open space on a slight 
rise. Four Sikh guns played upon it during the 
advance ; a large body of cavalry stood directly 
in front of the 6ist, and on the cavalry's left a 
large infantry mass in face of the 36th Native 
Infantry. Both the native regiments of the 
brigade gave way, but the 6 1st advanced in line 
firing steadily, a manoeuvre constantly practised 
by Campbell, which put to flight the Sikh 
cavalry. The enemy pushed two guns to 
within twenty-five paces of the right flank of 
the 6 1 St, and opened with grape. Campbell 
promptly wheeled to the right the two right 
companies of the 61st, and headed their charge 
on the two Sikh guns. Those were captured, 
and while the 6 1st was completing its new 
alignment to the right — an evolution b\- which 



13^ 



?,ATTLES OF THE XIXETF.EXTH CEXTURY. 



Shure Singh's right flank was effectually turned — 
the enemy advanced with two more guns 
slEongl}- supported by infantry. Neither of the 
two native regiments of the brigade was up ; 
but, wrote Campbell, " the confident bearing of 
the enemy and the close, steady fire of grape 
from their two guns made it necessary to ad- 
vance, and to charge when we got within proper 
distance. I gave the successive commands to 
advance and to charge ; heading the 6ist im- 
mediately against the guns, and the successful 



rounds in a hot duel with Utar Singh's canntn, 
which else would have been playing on C impbells 
flank ; and Unett's gallant troopers of the famcii 
'■ 3rd Light " crashed through Sikii infantry 
edging away to theii' left with intent to take 
Campbell in reverse. Thackwell did his valiant 
utmost until he and his command were called 
awav to the endangered right, although he could 
not entirely hinder Utar Singh's people from 
molesting Campbell, for that commander had 
to endure a brief period when he found himself 




121/>v,v/j/,. THE SECOND SIKH WAR. 



result gave the greatest confidence to the gallant 
6 1 St." After the capture of the second two 
guns and the dispersal of the enemy, Campbell 
proceeded rolling up the enemv's line, and con- 
tinued along the hostile position until he had 
taken thirteen guns, all of them won by the 
6 1 St at the point of the bavonet ; finally 
meeting Mountain's brigade coming from the 
opposite direction. 

Campbell had to fight hard for his success ; 
which, indeed, he might not have obtained, if 
away on his left Thackwell had not been holding 
Utar Singh in check and impeding his efforts to 
harass Campbell's flank and rear. Brind's three 
troops of horse-artillery e.xpended some 1,200 



engaged simultaneousl_v in front, flank, and rear ; 
and the brigade was extricated from its en- 
tanglement onl}- b}- his own alert skill, and by 
the indomitable staunchness of the noble oist. 

Meanwhile there had been on the right a grear 
deal of hard fighting, accompanied with grave 
vicissitudes. Gilbert's right attack of infantry 
was opened by his left brigade — Mountain's. 
The 2Qth Queen's, advancing under « cmshing fire, 
showed its native comrades the way into the Sikii 
entrenchments, routing the eneniy and storming 
his batteries. But one of the native regiments 
of the brigade— the 36th Native Infantrj- — ^I'as 
shivered into fragments b\ icpeated onsets of 
the Sikh cavalrv. Its lead^s mo'-tally wounded. 



THE SECOXn SIKH WAR. 



133 



six officers killed, 31(3 men slain or wounded, 
botl'. colours lost or captured, the wreck of the 
unfortunate regiment gradually rallied in rear of 
Gilbert's right brigade. The 30th Sepoys lost a 
colour, but maintained its ground alongside the 
2Qth Queen's, two hundred of whom had gone 
down under the Sikh fire. Godby's brigade on 
the extreme right had been fighting under heavy 
odds. The 2nd Europeans swept forward through 
the jungle, with the 31st and 70th native 



The cavalry brigade of the right came to sad 
grief. Its four fine regiments, led by an efllete 
colonel who could scarcely mount his horse, got 
entangled in the brushwood and masked their 
ow-n guns. While halted to restore cohesion, 
the old brigadier was wounded by a Sikh trooper. 
On a sudden some caitiff gave the word : 
" Three's about ! " — from whose lips came the 
dastard cry was never ascertained. As the line 
went about, the pace quickened into a panic 




CHARGE OF THE 3RD (KING'S OWN) LIGHT DRAGOONS, CH1LLIANWALI..\II. 
(/^/v;// the Pkinrc by Henry Martens. By />er mission 0/ Mr. A. Aekemianu, Ke^ent Street, W.) 



regiments on their left. Before the levelled 
bayonets the Sikhs recoiled ; but, suddenly 
surrounded on all sides by overwhelming num- 
bers, the brigade was in imminent danger. The 
Sepoys formed squares, but the 2nd Europeans 
marched rear rank in front to grapple with their 
new assailants. After three hours' steady fighting 
Godby's soldiers had recovered their lost ground, 
had driven their opponents everywhere off the 
field, and had taken every hostile gun within 
their reach. And their losses were comparatively 
small ; but for their steady front and the well- 
timed efforts of Dawes' gunners, it must have 
been much heavier. 



gallop, the British troopers followed closely by 
a few hundred derisive Sikh hor.semen. Crowded 
together in their headlong flight, the fugitive 
dragoons rode right through and over Christie's 
and Huish's batteries, disabling gunners, up- 
setting tumbrils, and carrying ruin and dismay far 
to the rear among the wounded and medical 
staff. Four guns fell into the hands of the 
enemy ; Christie was cut down, with many of 
his gunners ; young Cureton was borne to death 
in the hostile ranks ; Ekins, of the staff, perished 
in a fruitless effort to rally the fugitives ; and not 
till Lane's gunners had poured some rounds of 
grape into the pursuers, while a wing of the 



134 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



qth Lancers once more confronted the enemj, 
were the Sikh horsemen daunted into a leisurely 
retreat. 

In spite of the disasters which chequered it, 
the hattle of Chillianwallah may be regarded as 
a technical victory for the British arms, since 
the enemy were compelled to quit the field, 
although they only retired into the strong posi- 
tion on the Rassoul heights, from which in the 
morning they had descended into the plain to 
fight. Some forty of their guns had fallen into 
our hands. Pursuit in the dark would have been 
useless and dangerous over such ground, even 
if Gough's soldiers had been less weary and 
famished than they were. The moral results of 
the action were dismal, and the cost of the 
barren struggle was a loss of 2,400 killed and 
wounded. At home the intelligence of this 
waste of blood excited feelings of alarm and 
indignation, and Sir Charles Napier was de- 
spatched at a few hours' notice to supersede 
Lord Gough in the position of commander-in- 
chief. Gough was proud of his costly victor}-. 
At first he would not hear of falling back ever 
so little for the sake of getting water and pro- 
tecting his rear. " What, leave my wounded 
to be cut up ? Never ! " was his angry reply 
to Campbell's counsel in favour of a short 
retirement. But Campbell's arguments finally 
prevailed, and the troops fell back in the deepen- 
ing darkness on Chillianwallah, carrying with 
them the greater proportion of their wounded. 

Meanwhile, Gough's army lay passive in its 
encampment at Chillianwallah, within sight of 
the Sikh position at Rassoul, licking its wounds, 
and awaiting the surrender of Mooltan and the 
accession of strength it would receive in con- 
sequence of that event, and of the reinforce- 
ments which soon would be coming to it from 
Lahore and Ramnuggur. Lord Gough had 
succeeded in fighting the battle of Chillianwallah 
before old Chater Singh could join hands on 
the Jhelum with his son, Shere Singh ; but a 
few days after the battle the old sirdar followed 
the bulk of his own troops into his son's camp. 
Shere Singh renewed the overtures which, two 
days after the action of Ramnuggur, he had 
made in vain. Now, as then. Lord Dalhousie 
declined to treat with "rebels" on belligerent 
terms. Chater Singh's British prisoners — George 
Laurence, Herbert, and Bowie, who had been 
sent on parole into Gough's camp — were bidden 
to answer the Sikh leaders that nothing short 
of unconditional surrender would be accepted 
by the governor-general. If any harm befell 



their English captives, on their heads would the 
retribution lie. 

The Sikh commander more than once gave m 
the chief of the British army an opportunity 
to join issue in battle ; but Gough, with tardy 
wisdom, resisted the offered temptation, and re- 
solved to refrain from active hostilities until his _. 
reinforcements from Mooltan should reach him. 1 
On January 26th a grand salute from the 
heavy guns announced the welcome tidings of 
the fall of Mooltan. As soon as this event be- J 
came known to Shere Singh, he began a series ] 
of movements towards his left, which Gough 
replied to by throwing up a redoubt armed with 
field-pieces beyond the right of his position. 
On Februarj- iith the Sikh arm,y formed order 
of battle before its lines, in direct challenge to 
the English force, but Gough restrained himself 
while he chafed. Next morning the Sikhs had 
departed "bag and baggage" from their position 
on the ridge of Rassoul. After a digression 
towards the Puran Pass on the 13th, the whole 
Sikh army marched unmolested round the 
British flank and rear towards the Chenab at 
Wazirabad, its chief, with sudden boldness, 
seeking to cross the river and sweep down on 
Lahore, while as yet the English should be 
wondering whither he had betaken himself. But 
on the 14th it became apparent that his actual 
objective was Goojerat. Gough, slowly following 
to within a march of that place, effected a 
junction at Koonjah with the Mooltan force 
on the 1 8th and iqth, and on the 20th advanced 
to Shadawal, where the Sikh encampment 
around the town of Goojerat was within sight 
from the British camp. The battlefield of 
February 21st was the wide plain to the south 
of Goojerat. Shere Singh's camp lav crescent- 
wise in front of the town, the right flank and 
part of its front extending from Morarea Tibba, 
where the Sikh cavalrj' was in force, along an 
easterly bend of the Bimber (the western) 
channel, a deep but dry nullah which wound 
down towards Shadawal, thence across the plain 
behind the three villages of Kulra, which were 
occupied by infantry, to its extreme left at the 
village of Malka Wallah, on the left bank of 
the eastern channel — a deep, narrow stream 
flowing into the Chenab. 

It was a cool, bright winter morning when 
the British army advanced against this extended 
front in columns of brigade at deplo3ing dis- 
tance over a fair expanse of level countrj' green 
with young corn. Gough was now in com- 
mand of 2 j,ooo men with ninety guns, of which 



THE SFXOND SIKH WAR. 



135 



eighteen were heavy siege-pieces. The old 
chief, radiant with the assurance of battle and 
the prospect of victory, led his right and right 
centre against the centre of his enemy. The 
neavy guns, followed by two and a half brigades, 
moved over the plain in the immediate right f f 
the Bimber channel. Ne.\t on the right marched 
Gilbert's two brigades — Mountain's and Penny's 
— flanked by the guns of Dawes and Fordyce. 
rurther to the right moved Whish's division, 
with tield-batteries on either flank. The extreme 
right was held by the cavalry brigades of Hear- 
say and Lockwood supported by Warner's troop 
of horse-artillery, Lane's and Kindleside's bat- 
teries under Colonel Brind following in second 
line. Apart on the left, beyond the western 
channel, were Campbell's division and Dundas's 
brigade of two fine British regiments, and still 
further on the extreme left was Thackwell's 
cavalry. 

The Sikhs, ever ready with their artillery, 
opened the battle with that arm. After marching 
about two miles, " with the precision " — in the 
words of Gough — " of a parade movement," the 
British infantry halted and deployed into line, 
the skirmishers and light batteries went to the 
front, and the heavy pieces returned the fire 
from the Sikh batteries. Gough had at last 
been taught by hard experience that an artillery 
preparation should precede his favourite " could 
steel." While his infantry lay down in ordered 
line, the batteries went out to the front and 
began a magnificent and effective cannonade, 
which lasted for two hours, and utterly crushed 
the fire of the Sikh guns. The advantage in 
numbers and weight of metal lay with Lord 
Gough, and that advantage he would not be 
tempted to forego with most of the day still before 
him. The infantry line began its advance, but 
had more than once to lie down to avoid the hail 
of grape and round shot which fell thick among 
the batteries in front. The gunners suffered 
heavily ; Fordyce's troop had to fall back twice 
for men, horses, and ammunition. The inevit- 
able end drew nearer and nearer as the men 
and horses of the enemy went down amid 
shattered tumbrils and disabled guns under the 
crushing fire of Gough's siege-guns. 

But the Sikhs fought on with the high 
courage of their race. The gunners were mostly 
expended, but the grand old Khalsa infantry 
and the staunch Bunnoo regiments showed still 
a gallant front. The Sikh cavalry hovered on 
either flank, eager to pass round into the British 
rear ; but their efforts were thwarted by the fire 



of Warner's guns and the counterstrokes of 
Hearsey's and Lockwood's Horse. One band of 
desperadoes did accomplish the turning move- 
ment, and made a bold and desperate dash on 
the .spot where stood Gough alongside of the 
heavy guns ; but a charge by the chiefs escort 
cut the daring band to pieces. 

During the cannonade the infantry, excepting 
the skirmishers, had not fired a shot. But at 
length the three Khalsa villages were stormed, 
after a desperate and prolonged resistance ; and 
then the long majestic line swept on up the 
plain towards Goojerat. There was little blood- 
shed on the right of the Bimber channel, where 
marched Campbell and Dundas ; but there was 
plenty of that skill which conserves human life. 
Campbell advanced with a strong line of skir- 
mishers, the artillery in line with them. Having 
deployed, the division advanced as if at a review, 
the guns firing into the masses behind the 
nullah, who gradually sought shelter in its chan- 
nel. Those he dislodged by artillery fire which 
enfiladed the nullah, which he had been ordered 
to storm ; but he recognised that to do so must 
cause a needless sacrifice of life, and he passed 
his division across this formidable defence of 
the enemy's right wing without firing a shot 
or losing a man. " We had," wrote Campbell, 
'• too much slaughter at Chillianwallah because 
due precaution had not been taken to prevent 
it by the employment of our magnificent 
artiller}'." 

The discomfiture of the enemy was thorough 
— cavalry, infantry, and artillery fled from the 
field in utter confusion. The rout was too 
complete to allow of the reunion of formed 
bodies in any order. A body of Sikh Horse with 
a brigade of Afghan cavalry adventured a rash 
advance on Thackwell's flank. He hurled 
against them the Scinde Horse and the 9th 
Lancers, and a wild stampede resulted. The rest 
of the British cavalry struck in and rushed on, 
dispersing, riding over, and trampling down the 
Sikh infantry, capturing guns and waggons, and 
converting the discomfited enemy into a shape- 
less mass of fugitives. The pursuing troopers 
did not draw rein until they had ridden fifteen 
miles beyond Goojerat, by which time the army 
of Shere Singh was an utter wreck, deprived of 
its camp, its standards, and fifty-three of its 
cherished guns. 

On the morning after the battle Sir Walter 
Gilbert, the '' Flying General," started in pur- 
suit of the broken Khalsa host, followed later 
by Brigadier-General Campbell. On the march 



i?6 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



to Rawulpinclee the latter passed the greater 
part of the Sikh army with its chiefs, who were 
laying down their arms. Campbell was moved 
by the fine attitude of the men of the Khalsa 
army. " There was," he wrote, " nothing 
cringing in the manner of these men in laying 
down their arms. They acknowledged them- 
selves beaten, and they were starving — destitute 
alike of food and money. Each man as he laid 
down his arms received a rupee to enable him 
to support himself on his way to his home. 
The greater number of the old men especially, 



when laying down their arms, made a deep 
reverence as they placed their swords on the 
heap, with the muttered words ' Runjeet Singh 
is dead to-dav ! ' " " This," continues Campbell, 
" was said with deep feeling : they were un- 
doubtedly a fine and brave people." The last 
Punjaub campaign ended with the battle of 
Goojerat ; and now for mai^y j'ears past the 
Sikhs have been the most lo\'al, high-spirited, 
and valorous of the native soldiers who in India 
march and fighr under the banner of the 
Empress-Queen. 




THE TOME CF RU-VJEET SINGl!, 1AH0.1E. 



137 



ilill"i"ii"iliM 




^^^ |INISIB:'W23j539'§^|(/kia( n 

^" BY fl.HILLmRD^TTERIDOE " 



A 



^A 



i 



aiiiHMi) 



NISIB is one of the half-forgotten battles 
of the nineteenth century. Most 
readers will wonder where and when 
it was fought. Yet it was an event 
which had far reaching consequences, and 
might easil}' have changed the face of the East 
and the after-current of the century's history. 
And it is further notable as Von Moltke's first 
battle, for it was on the borderlands of Syria 
and Kurdistan and under the Ottoman crescent 
that the great strategist had his first experience 
of actual warfare. 

Up to the end of the first quarter of the 
present century the curious military organisation 
of the Janissaries had been practically master of 
the Ottoman empire. In 1826 Mahmoud II. 
destroyed these too formidable guardsmen, who 
till then had formed the main force of the 
Turkish armies, and substituted for them 
regular troops organised on European prin- 
ciples. To quote a lively French account of the 
new force, " it was organised on a European 
model, with Russian tunics, French drill-books, 
Belgian muskets, Turkish caps, Hungarian sad- 
dles, and English cavalry sabres, and instructors 
of all nations." One of these instructors was 
young Hellmuth Von Moltke, the future field- 
marshal of the new German empire. 

Born at Liibeck in the first year of the cen- 
tury, the son of a German officer in the Danish 
service, \'on Moltke was educated at the militarv 
school of Copenhagen, and received a commission 
in the Danish army. But in 1S22 he transferred 
his allegiance to Prussia, and obtained a second 
lieutenant's commission in an infantry regiment 
then stationed at Frankfort-on-the-Oder. Next 
year he applied for and obtained admission to 
the staff college, and after three years of study 
returned to his regiment for a few months, and 
then for several years was employed only on 
staft' duties, chiefly on military surveys in various 



parts of Prussia. In 1834, when he had risen 
to the rank of captain on the general staff, he 
obtained leave to travel, and after spending a 
short time in Italy, made his way to Constanti- 
nople, where, with the consent of his own 
Government, he was officiallv attached to the 
staff of the newly-organised Turkish army. His 
first important work in these new surroundings 
was to make a survey of the Bosphorus and the 
Dardanelles, and to improve the defences of 
these two approaches to the capital of the Otto- 
man empire. 

But he had come to the East in the hope ot 
seeing active service, and though he had to wait 
awhile, he was not disappointed. The Sultan and 
his advisers recognised the thorough grasp of his 
profession possessed by the Prussian captain, and 
kept him employed at the headquarters of the 
army in the capital, when personall}' he would 
have preferred to be in the field. But at last the 
situation on the borders of the empire became 
so serious that Von Aloltke was sent to the front 
to assist with his advice the Pashas who com- 
manded in Asia. 

For fate had declared against the Turkish 
armies. Since the destruction of the terrible 
Janissaries, the empire had lost province after 
province. Greece had been made into a king- 
dom ; Servia, and what is now Roumania, were 
all but independent. The French were at 
Algiers. And finallv an Albanian soldier named 
Mehemet Ali, who had gone to Eg}-pt in lyqq 
as one of the serv'ants of Khosref Pasha, had 
made himself master of the country, and had 
overrun with his armies Arabia, Syria, and 
Crete. The Ottoman Government had been 
glad to avert further conquests by recognising 
him as the tributary ruler of this widely ex- 
tended dominion ; but Mehemet persisted in 
maintaining in S3'ria an army which was a 
constant threat to Asia Minor, and even to 



1 38 



BATTLES OF THE NIXETEEXTH CENTURY. 



Constantinople. It was commanded by his son 
Ibrahim, a skilful and daring soldier ; and iu>t 
only was Mehemet encouraged by the French 
(jovernment to dream of a march to the shores 
of the Bosphorns, but French officers had been 
sent to assist and advise Ibrahim, in case he 
ventured on this enterprise. The' Sultan knew 
that it was only a question of time when Ibra- 
him's well-trained army would march across the 
Syrian border, and he had little confidence in 
the military skill of the pashas who commanded 
the armies he had gathered for the defence of 
his Asiatic provinces. It was under these circum- 
stances that in March, 1838, Captain Von Moltke 
was ordered to proceed to the headquarters of 
the Turkish armj' of Anatolia, taking with him 
two other Prussian officers, his juniors in the 
service, who were to act under his directions. 

Crossing the Black Sea, and making a rapid 
survey of several of the ports on its southern 
coast. Von Moltke and his companions finally 
disembarked at Samsun, and journeyed south- 
wards bv Amasia, Tokat, and Sivas, the point 
they were making for being the camp of Hafiz 
Pasha in the south of Kurdistan, on the upper 
course of the Euphrates. It was a long ride 
through a wild mountain country, with very 
primitive accommodation at the various halting- 
places. The crossing of the Anti-Taurus range 
was not the least difficult part of the journey. 
The lofty plateau was a desert of snow, the 
track across which was just marked by the 
traces left b)- a small caravan which had pre- 
ceded the party. The descent on the southern 
side was through a series of precipitous gorges. 
At last the adventurous travellers reached the 
banks of the Euphrates at Kieban Maidan, only 
a few miles below the point where the two 
streams that form its head-waters, the Murad 
and the Phrat, coming down from the moun- 
tains of Kurdistan, unite in a rapid river about 
120 feet across. Another day's journey brought 
them to the camp of Hafiz Pasha at Kharput. 

Hafiz was a Circassian soldier of fortune, who 
had distinguished himself greatly by his dashing 
conduct in several campaigns against the rebels 
in Albania. He was fairly well educated, and 
sharp-witted enough to recognise that the three 
Prussians could be of the greatest use to him, in 
case the threatened war began upon the frontier. 
He gave them a hearty welcome, made \'on 
Moltke a present of a splendid Arab charger, 
and asked his advice as to what \vas to be done 
to improve the motley force which he com- 
manded. His army was made up of a few regular 



battalions, an auxiliary force of local levies, some 
lumbering artillery served by hall-trained gun- 
ners, and a mass of irregular cavalry. The task 
assigned to him was to reduce to submission and 
keep in order the Kurdish tribes of the neigh- 
bourhood, many of whose chiefs were either in 
open rebellion or notoriously disaffected, and he 
was at the same time to be ready to meet an 
invasion of the Syro-Egyptian army which Ibra- 
him Pasha had got together at Aleppo. Nearer 
to Constantinople there were two other Turkish 
armies in Asia Minor — one at Kesarieh, under 
Isset Pasha, and another at Koniah, the ancient 
Iconium, commanded by Hadji Ali. These were 
to stop the Egyptians, in case the}- got past 
Hafiz Pasha. Von Moltke, of course, knew that 
divided from each other by 400 miles of difficult 
country these three corps d'annec were e.xposed 
to the danger of being destroyed in detail, in 
case Ibrahim crossed the border. But he was 
only a captain on the staff, sent to assist Hafiz. 
The time was not yet come when he had autho- 
rity to combine the movements of armies. Had 
it been otherwise, Von Moltke might have 
changed the fate of the Ottoman empire. 

There were no trustworthy maps of the dis- 
trict, and as it seemed likely that, after all, the 
}-ear would end without war being declared, Von 
Moltke proceeded to a survey of the Syrian 
frontier and the country round the head-waters 
of the Euphrates. Beyond the river he pushed 
on as far as Orfa, the ancient Edessa, spending 
more than one night in old castles of the 
Norman type, the work of the Crusaders. He 
nearly reached the source of the Tigris, and 
then voyaged down it to Mosul, and regained 
the Upper Euphrates by crossing the desert 
with a caravan. But before he reached the 
pasha's camp he met a column of troops on 
the march. There were six battalions, eight 
guns, and a hundred horse, and they were 
moving northwards under the command of 
Mehemet Pasha, one of Hafiz's officers, the 
object of the expedition being to bring to 
terms a Kurd chief who had hoisted the flag 
of rebellion on a castle in the hills. IMoltke, 
hearing that all was quiet at headquarters, 
attached himself to .the column. 

The Kurd refused to surrender, and his castle 
was besieged. Von Moltke reconnoitred the 
place, planned the siege works, and superin- 
tended the batteries. The place soon capitulated, 
and the castle was blown up, for fear it should 
cost another expedition ne.xt year if it was left in 
a state of defence. It was Moltke's first siege. 



MOLTKE'S FIRST BATTLE : NISIB. 



139 



The capture of Paris, thirty-two years later, 
was to be the close of his active career of arms, 
as this was the beginning. 

When he rejoined the headquarters of Hafiz 
Pasha, the Turkish general had just received 
news from Aleppo that Ibrahim had been largely 
reinforced with Syrian, Arab, and Egyptian 
levies, and was evidently preparing for an 
attack on the Turkish positions in Asia Minor. 
Separated, as he was, from the armies of Isset 
and Hadji Ali by hundreds of miles, Hafiz knew 
that the protection of the frontier 
depended on himself alone, and 
resolved to move closer to the border 
of Syria in order to make it im- 
possible for Ibrahim to slip past 
him and gain the road to Constan- 
tinople without a battle. Accord- 
ingly on April ist, 1830, the camp 
at Malatia was broken up, and the 
Turks marched to the foot of the 
Taurus chain, encamping again near 
Samsat. Here there was a delay 
while Moltke and a coupleof Turkish 
staff-officers went forward to re- 
connoitre the country in front and 
select a defensive position barring 
the advance of the army of Syria. 
On April 2<Hh, after their return, 
the march was resumed and the 
Taurus range was passed, 2,000 men 
having been employed for a fort- 
night before in clearing the snow 
from the passes. The army marched 
in several columns, each moving 
by a different pas5. Karakaik had 
been named as the point where they 
were to concentrate ; but at the last 
moment Hafiz sent word that they were to unite 
much nearer the frontier, at Biradjek. It would 
have been a bad thing for him if Ibrahim had 
come across the border-line while his columns 
were thus separated, but the Egyptian Pasha 
either was not ready to move, or, what is more 
likely, had no idea of the chance his Turkish 
opponent was giving him. 

Moltke had selected the position at Biradjek. 
Close to the village of that name a low ridge ran 
across a bend of the Euphrates. The river covered 
both flanks, and the front between them was 
about two miles long. There was a gentle slope 
from the ridge of about 600 yards, with no shelter 
of any kind to protect an attacking force from the 
lire of the defenders. Behind the ridge, and be- 
tween it and the river, there was a good camping 



ground, and shelter for the reserves from artil- 
lery fire. The ridge was further strengthened 
by four earthwork redoubts, thrown up just 
below its crest. The position was thus a natural 
fortress, improved by field-works. Its chief de- 
fect was that it would not have been at all an 
easy matter to get much of the army away from 
it across the river once the ridge was stormed. 
But then Moltke, in choosing it, had made up 
his mind that the army of Hafiz Pasha could not 
be depended on to fight in the open against the 




Tyfo.Hti/iiii^. Cj.SCt 



superior forces of tlie Egyptians, and if defeated 
in a pitched battle he did not expect that in any 
case much of it would hold together in the re- 
treat. He therefore advised that it should hold 
the entrenched camp at Biradjek until it was 
reinforced. Ibrahim would not dare to march 
into Asia Minor, leaving the army of Hafiz in 
his rear with Syria at its mercy ; and if he 
attempted to storm the long ridge and its re- 
doubts by a frontal attack, all the chances were 
that he would be defeated with serious loss, and 
that he would be unable to attempt anvthing 
more that year. 

The cavalry had been sent forward to Nisib, a 
village close to the Syrian frontier. One of their 
horses escaped, and a few troopers rode across the 
border-line to look for it. The}- were attacked 



-40 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



by the Egvptian cavalry, one of tlK-ni killed, 
and the rest chased back to Nisib. This 
little incident upset all Von Moltke's plans, 
and changed the whole course of events in 
Syria ; for Hafiz, when he heard of it, was in- 
dignant at what he described as an unpardonable 
outrage, and made up his mind to attack the 
Syrians and have his revenge, instead of remain- 
ing quietlv camped behind his redoubts. Anxious 
to have the opinions of 
others to support his 
own, he called a coun- 
cil of war, and urged 
stronglv that after what 
had happened nothing 
was left for them to do 
but to march against 
the Syrians. He had, 
he said, submitted the 
case to the mollahs, the 
Mohammedan doctors 
of the law, and they 
had replied that the 
act of the Egyptians 
fullv justified an im- 
mediate declaration of 
war. 

He asked Von Moltke 
what he thought, and 
the Prussian captain 
replied that the mollahs 
were no doubt excellent 
authorities on the ques- 
tion whether the war 
was just or not ; but 
there was another ques- 
tion to be considered : 
Was it wise ? And 
to answer this one had 
to know a great many 

things. What were the intentiojis of the Sultan's 
Government ? What were the rival Great 
Powers of Europe going to do ? What was 
exactly the enemy's strength, and on what re- 
sources of men and supplies could they depend 
to meet him ? On several of these points he him- 
self knew nothing, and the mollahs knew no 
more than he did. The responsibility of a choice 
rested on the pasha himself, and he ought to 
kno-wr whether or not his sovereign, the Sultan, 
wished him to precipitate hostilities. '' But," 
concluded Von Moltke, " not having all the 
necessary information, I must decline to give 
an opinion.'' 

Hafiz was disappointed. He had hoped for a 




A TURKISH BEY, 



unanimous vote for war, and he was especiany 
anxious to escape responsibilitj' by having on his 
side the opinion of his Prussian military adviser. 
But Von Moltke wisely persisted in refusing to 
advise on an}- 'out strictly military questions. He 
would have nothing to do with politics. But the 
Circassian pasha was eager to avenge what he 
felt as a personal insult put upon him by the 
Egyptians, and at the same time he had per- 
suaded himself that, 
whatever he might say 
openly, the Sultan 
wished for a war which 
might end in the re- 
conquest of Syria, if 
not of Egypt. So he 
decided to fight. 

Marching out of the 
Biradjek position, he 
massed his forces about 
the village of Nisib, 
sending his Kurdish 
irregular cavalry to raid 
across the frontier, and 
detaching a column of 
infantry and artillery 
to summon the Egvp- 
tian garrison that held 
the frontier town of 
Aintab to surrender. 
The Egyptians refused 
his first summons, but 
no sooner had a few- 
shots been fired against 
the place than thev not 
only surrendered, but 
offered to take service 
under the Turkish stan- 
dards. Thev were not 
the first troops that 
Hafiz had recruited in the same way. Many of 
his Kurdish regiments were composed of moun- 
taineers who had taken his pay the day after 
they had surrendered to his fiving columns. But 
soldiers who transferred their allegiance so 
readily from one banner to another were not 
very reliable elements in an arm}-. 

Ibrahim and the Syro-Egy-ptian army had all 
this time been camped quietly near Aleppo. 
There were only a few detached posts and some 
irregular cavalry watching the frontier, which 
was thus open to the raids of Turks and Kurds. 
But Ibrahim was preparing to move, and by a 
curious coincidence, while the Prussian Von 
Moltke was advising his enemy, he himself had 



MOLTKE'S FIRST BATTLE : XISIB. 



141 



for his chief military adviser an officer of tlie 
French army, Captain Beaufort d'Hautpoul, a 
son of one of the Great Napoleon's generals. In 
the first week of June he broke up his camp at 
Aleppo. Ten days later his Arabs were driving 
tile Kurdish horsemen back upon Nisib. On the 



mation, moved towards the Turkish left. Behind 
them came some guns and a brigade of infantry. 
The gunners, directed by Beaufort d'Hautpoul in 
person, unlimbered and opened fire at long range 
against the Turkish centre and left. The Turkish 
batteries replied. All the guns on both sides 




'HURRYING 10 IHE SIDE OF UAIIZ. HE URGED III.M 10 AT O.N'CE MAKE A SHARF AIIACK" (/. I425. 



I 



19th his vanguard cleared the passofMisar, a 
defile in the hills to the south of Nisib, and ne.\t 
day his army bivouacked five miles in front of 
the Turkish position. 

All that da}- and during a great part of the 
night the army of Hafiz was drawn up in battle 
array, expecting to be attacked. At nine o'clock 
on the 2 1st the Egyptians were at last seen to be 
advancing. Nine regiments of cavalry, Arab 
and Syrian horsemen in white burnooses, armed 
mostly with the lance and riding in a loose for- 



were smooth-bores, most of the shot fell short, 
and there were very few casualties. The firing 
might have gone on all day without muchefl'ect. 
But suddenly, at a signal from the artillery posi- 
tion, the Eg}-ptian cavalry fell back, the guns 
limbered up and retired, and the infantry fol- 
lowed them. The Turks flattered themselves 
that they had the best of the da}-, and that the 
Egyptians were afraid to come to close quarters. 
The fact was that it was only a reconnaissance 
carried out by the French officer, who wanted to 



142 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



have a dose look at the position of the Turks 
and to draw the fire of their artillery, in order to 
find out where their batteries were and what 
their guns could do. 

All day Hafiz expected the attack to be 
renewed, and his troops were under arms. 
When night came they lay down where they 
had stood all day, with their weapons ready to 
their hands. At dawn on the 22nd it was seen 
that the Egyptian army was breaking up its 
camp and retiring towards Misar. Great was 
the joy at the Turkish headquarters, but it did 
not last long. The scouts who hung on the rear 
of the retiring Egyptians were suddenly driven 
back by a cavalry charge, and then it was seen 
that the columns of Ibrahim's army were no 
longer moving on Misar, but, after edging away 
somewhat to the eastward of their first direction, 
were advancing on a line that would carry them 
past the Turkish left, and if they were not 
checked would place them in position between 
Nisib and Biradjek, so as to cut off Hafiz from 
what was at once his line of supply if he re- 
mained at Nisib, and his line of retreat if he 
abandoned the place. Ibrahim, with his army 
formed in three columns, was making a bold 
manoeuvre the success of which meant, not 
merely the defeat, but the destruction of the 
Turkish " army of Kurdistan." 

Moltke saw the full gravity of the situation. 
Hurrying to the side of Hafiz, he pointed out to 
him that an army which tries to outflank another 
necessarily exposes its own flank during the 
manoeuvre, and he urged him to at once make a 
sharp and well-sustained attack on the nearest of 
the three hostile columns. This would moment- 
arily arrest the turning movement, and it might 
reasonably be hoped that the first column of 
the Egyptians would be seriously shaken, if 
not broken up, before the two others could 
come up to its assistance. But Hafiz did not 
like the idea of moving down with his whole 
army from the rising ground which he had held 
so long, and all that he did was to launch against 
the column a few squadrons of his irregular 
cavalry, who were driven back by a few volleys 
and a charge of the Arab Horse. Then, seeing 
that it was hopeless to tPy- to induce Hafiz to 
take the offensive, and that the opportunity for 
it would soon be gone, Moltke proposed another 
plan. The enemy had not yet interposed between 
Nisib and Biradjek ; the best thing to do would 
be to retreat at once to that strong position, await 
an attack there, and resume the offensive after 
the expected reinforcements had arrived. 



But Hafiz, with his staff grouped round him, 
met tiie suggestion with an unexpected objec- 
tion. To go back to Biradjek would be to run 
away in the presence of the Syrians and Arabs 
and their Egyptian pasha. He was not afraid 
of them. He would not disgrace himself by 
flight. 

Then Von Moltke, appealing to his two 
Prussian colleagues in support of his opinion, 
replied "that what he proposed was not a flight, 
but a strategic retreat, an operation of war that 
the greatest conquerors had £t times made use 
of as a prelude to their victories. There was 
nothing disgraceful in it, or he would not have 
suggested it. It was now a simple question of 
gaining time, and keeping up their communica- 
tions with Asia Minor. If they remained where 
they were, the chances were all against them ; if 
they once regained the lines of Biradjek, every- 
thing was in their favour. There was a long 
discussion, on the one side Moltke and his 
colleagues urging instant retreat ; on the other 
Hafiz, backed up b}- the mollahs, who declared 
that all the omens were in favour of fighting 
at Nisib, and also supported by many of his 
Turkish officers, who thought it more to their 
interest to side with the pasha than with the 
three " Franks " who had come to advise him. 
It ended in Hafiz Pasha declaring that nothing 
should induce him to abandon the position of 
Nisib ; on which Moltke, worn out with fatigue, 
ill with a touch of fever, and discouraged at the 
stupid obstinacy of the Circassian pasha, went 
away to his tent, and tried to sleep through the 
day, declining all responsibility for what was 
being done. 

What a contrast there is between Captain Von 
Moltke, stretched on his camp bed at Nisib in 
utter disgust at being unable to persuade a 
stupid pasha and his officers to extricate some 
30,000 men from a false position in this cam- 
paign on the borders of Syria, and the same 
Moltke a few years later at the palace of Ver- 
sailles, directing with all but absolute command 
the movements of nearly a million soldiers, with 
kings and princes waiting for his orders, and all 
Europe looking on in wonder at the brilliant 
strategy by which he was sealing the fate of 
France ! But in the one instance he had to do 
with a pasha who would not listen to him, in 
the other with a soldier-king who had the 
insight to recognise and give free play to his 
marvellous genius for war. 

All through that hot midsummer day the 
white cloaks and glittering lances of Ibrahim's 



MOI.TKE'S FIRST RATTLE: NISIB. 



143 



cavalry spread like the foam of an advancing 
tide wave along the plain between Nisib and 
the FCuphrates. Behind them came the three 
columns of Syrian and Elgvptian inf;intry, with 
their lumbering artillery dragged along partly 
bj- horses, partly by long teams of bullocks. 
Towards evening the. columns closed upon each 
other, and upon the left rear of the Xisib 
position. Then they camped in battle array, 
and the long line of their watch fires told 
Hati/ that they had taken up a position from 
which thev were ready to attack him in the 
morning. 

Late that evening the pasha sent for Von 
Moltke. Seated on a carpet in his tent, Hafiz 
asked the captain to sit beside him, gave him 
coffee and a pipe, and then entreated him to do 
what he could to help him in the defence of 
the Nisib position. Von Moltke replied that he 
still thought that a huge mistake had been made 
in accepting battle in such a place ; but, while 
declining all responsibilit}- for the choice of the 
position, he would do what he could to make 
the best of it. For the ne.\t few hours he was 
busy by the light of torches and watch-fires 
drawing up the Turkish army, so as to meet 
the coming attack. All the troops, except a 
few ca .airy scouts, were withdrawn from the 
plain. He chose a position on the high ground 
where the centre would be partly covered b\^ 
a ravine. The right, which was nearest the 
Egyptians, was rapidly entrenched, and a batterv 
of heavy guns were sent to strengthen the left. 
By 3 a.m. all were in position. 

The long-e.\pected battle began early on June 
23rd. Ibrahim — or, rather, his French adviser, 
Beaufort d'Hautpoul — adopted a system of tactics 
which secured him an advantage from the very 
outset. He was strong in artillerj-, his guns 
being partly long field-pieces of Eastern design 
throwing solid round shot, partly French howit- 
zers, short guns of comparatively large calibre, 
throwing shells. Keeping his infantry columns 
well out of range, he pushed forward all his 
artillery, escorted by his Arab and Syrian 
cavalrv. The masses of horsemen to right and 
left and out of range, but within a short gallop 
in rear of the guns, made it a risky matter to 
try to rush them, even if Hafiz had had any 
other idea than doggedly clinging to the de- 
fensive. Thus protected, the Egvptian artillery 
began to throw shot and shell into the position 
on which the Turks were crowded together. 
The Turkish artillery, provided only with solid 
shot for long range, and grape for close quarters, 



could do comparatively little damngt- to the 
enemy's batteries, and the Egyjitian infantry 
was quite out of its reach. The artillery duel 
with which the battle began was thus a most 
unequal conflict. 

Soon the bursting shells began to tell upon 
the Turks, many of the regiments that held the 
plateau of Nisib being composed of doubtful 
materials — such as the troops who had .sur- 
rendered at Aintab and the Kurdish levies. 
Whole companies broke up as the shells burst 
over them, and at last a whole brigade on the 
left retired from the ground it was ordered 
to hold, in order to shelter on the reverse 
slope of the plateau. Some regiments of the 
reserve, seeing this movement in retreat, con- 
formed to it, and it looked as if the whole line 
was beginning "-o give way. Moltke galloped 
to the left, and tried in vain to induce the 
brigade to resume its place in the front. No- 
thing he could say had the least influence on 
officers or men. They were in comparative 
safety, and they did not mean to march back 
again into the thick of the artillery fire. He 
gave up the hopeless task, and turning his horse, 
rode towards the centre. 

As he approached it he saw a sight w-hich 
might well dishearten him. Guns were strag- 
gling back one by one from the front, and, worse 
still, artillery drivers, who had cut the traces of 
their limbers, came galloping to the rear in 
flight, abandoning their guns. Several regiments 
had fallen on their knees in prayer — the prayer 
not of brave men asking help for coming battle, 
like the Scots who knelt at Bannockburn, but 
the frightened petition of men who had lost 
heart and head, and afraid to do anything for 
themselves, were begging for a miracle from 
Heaven. The Syro-Egyptian infantry massed in 
heavy columns, with their green banners waving 
in a long line in their front, were advancing, a 
forest of bayonets flashing in the sunlight, while 
their cavalry streamed out towards the flanks. 

The crisis of the battle had come. On the left 
a brigade of Turkish regular cavalry, without 
having received any orders, rode forward to 
charge ; but it had only reached the crest of the 
slope that led downwards towards the Egyptian 
right when a few shells, almost the last fired that 
day by Ibrahim's artillery, burst in their front 
ranks. Horses and men alike seemed to be 
panic-stricken. The mass of cavalry wheeled 
round and fled wildly to the rear, riding down 
and dispersing part of the Turkish reserves in 
their mad flight. Moltke was trying to keep the 



144 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



centre steadv. Hafiz rushed to the right, where 
the Turks were tiring their muskets at the 
advancing Egyptians at a range which meant 
a mere waste of powder and ball. Seizing a stan- 
dard, he put himself at the head of a battalion 



it was headlong flight or abject surrender. En- 
tire companies threw down their arms. Guns 
abandoned by their teams were captured in 
whole batteries. The mass of fugitives that 
streamed away over the back of the plateau 




"THE MASS OF CAV.iLKV WHEELED ROU.ND AND FLED WILDLY TO THE REAR" (/>. I431, 



and called on them to charge the approachhig 
Egj-ptians. It looked as if he was seeking 
for death in the midst of what he now recog- 
nised as a hopeless disaster. The men refused to 
advance. On came the Eg\-ptians. But hardlj- 
anywhere were they met by anything more than 
an irresolute, ill-aimed fire from men who were 
calculating how long they could safely stay with- 
out risking having to cross bayonets with the 
enemy. As the line of green standards with the 
bright steel behind them came Lip the siope, 
most of the Turks and Kurds ceased firing 
and ran. Here and there a handful, with 
levelled bayonets, stood back to back and sold 
their lives dearly. Some of the gunners stuck 
to their pieces to the last, and fired grape into 
the faces of the Egyptians ; but for the most part 



fared the worst, for with a fierce yell the Arab 
horsemen rode after them, and for miles the 
plain was strewed with the corpses of the 
wretches who died at the points of their long 
spears. 

As the line broke. Von Moltke had the good 
fortune to be near his two Prussian comrades. 
Thanks to their horses, the three Europeans ex- 
tricated themselves from the mass of fugitives, 
avoided the pursuit, and after a ride of nine hours 
under the blazing Syrian sun reached Aintab in 
the evening. Von Moltke had lost everything 
but the horse he rode and the clothes and arms 
he wore. He regretted most the loss of his 
journals and his surveys of Asia Minor and the 
Upper Euphrates, the result of many months of 
travel and exploration. But he was fortunate in 



MOLTKE'S FIRST BATTLE : MSIB. 



'45 



I 



having escaped with life. Tlie course of Euro- 
pean history might have been changed if 
the good horse that carried him so well had 
stumbled in the wild rush to escape the Arab 
spears. 

Ibrahim seemed astounded at the complete- 
ness of his own success. There was a panic 
throughout Asia Minor, many of the new 
Turkish levies disbanding on the news of Nisib. 
The EgN'ptians might have marched at once to 
the shores of the Bosphorus, but they hesitated 
to reap the fruits of their victory, and the in- 
tervention of England and Austria soon after 
forced them to give up all pretensions to rule in 
Western Asia. 

Travelling across Asia Minor, Moltke and his 
companions saw everywhere signs that nothing 
could be done to help the Turks to hold their 
own. He was therefore eager to get back to 
Europe, and on August 3rd, when he saw the 
sea from the hills above Samsun, he felt the 



same joy with which the Greeks had greeted the 
same sight in their famous retreat from the 
Euphrates. Embarking at Samsun, he returned 
to Constantinople. His next experience of 
warfare was in the Prussian army. 

By a curious turn of fate, he had among his 
opponents in his last campaign the same French 
officer who had so ably directed the Egyptian 
attack at Nisib. When the French Imperial 
army collapsed in 1870, and the new levies were 
being raised to meet the Prussian invasion, 
Beaufort d'Hautpoul, then living in retirement, 
offered his services to Gambetta, and was given 
the command of a division in Vinoy's army in 
the defence of Paris. The general took part in 
the great sortie that immediately preceded the 
surrender ; and it so happened that as at Nisib, 
in far-off Syria, Von Moltke's first battle, so at 
Buzenval, under the walls of Paris, the last battle 
of the great Prussian strategist, Beaufort d'Haut- 
poul was among those who fought against him. 




66 



T46 



^■■U 



fT1"J/, 



" Fi^ht between the Chesapeake'V^^^ ^ 

^^^ ..^5 (^ and the "Shapron^ _Si 

15^ June J813;.^ ^^"^^"^-^'^^^^^^^<^ -:^^:^_ 





B.v Herbert Russell 



THE whole volume of British naval his- 
tory has no more glorious and inspirit- 
ing page to offer than that which 
bears the record of the memor- 
able conflict between the Chesapeake and the 
Shannon. It maj- lack the lurid splendour 
that throws Trafalgar out bright and strong 
in the story of nations ; but one would hesitate 
to declare that it was not as proud an achieve- 
ment in its way as Nelson's dying victory. One 
needs, indeed, to understand the philosophy of 
the maritime annals of that period to appre- 
ciate how much deeper than the actual defeat of 
the Yankee frigate went the moral effect of that 
ocean triumph. Our war with the Americans 
was an unpopular one from the very beginning. 
We had taken up arms against them, not in that 
spirit of heart^' animosity which characterised 
the Napoleonic struggle, but in a half-reluctant 
manner, as though influenced by the feeling 
that no honour was to be gained by fighting the 
young colonies across the Atlantic. The lesson 
which our soldiers and sailors received very early 
in the conflict was a staggering revelation. John 
Bull soon realised that if he meant to cope with 
his antagonist, he must cease to treat him as a 
mere sparring infant ; but gird his loins, tighten 
his belt, and go at him as a man to be reckoned 
with. 

If the British Army chafed under the reverses 
it met with upon American soil, the British 
Navy was tenfold more chagrined by the humi- 
Uations put upon its flag on the high seas. Our 
sailors were flushed bj- the triumphs of long 
ocean campaigns. They had learnt to think of 
themselves as irresistible. Their domination of 
the deep had come at length to a habit of 
thought not for one moment to be questioned. 
When, therefore, news began to come in of the 
discomfiture of our ships by Yankee vessels, the 
effect was likely to prove correspondingly 



demoralising. The higher the see-saw of pride 
soars, the greater the depression when the 
descent begins. Time has taught us to look 
back dispassionately upon that period of our 
naval history. We were not fighting the 
Spaniard, or the Frenchman, but ouV own flesh 
and blood. Now that the dwarf Prejudice has 
long been crushed under the heel of the giant 
Time, what true-born Englishman but must 
honour and admire the pluck of the unfledged 
Yankee bantam sparring up at its old mother 
with such effect that the little creature's vic- 
torious crowing resounded from the Land's End 
to Massachusetts ? 

The British sailor was burning with a desire 
to prove whether, man to man, he was not a 
match for the American. Unequal contests were 
no test. If a ten-gun brig were captured by a 
Yankee corvette of treble her size and weight of 
metal, the achievement could scarcely be held 
to prove Brother Jonathan the better man. 
Captain Broke, of the British frigate Shannon, 
sailed from Halifa.\, bound upon a cruise in 
Boston Bay, on the 21st of March, 181 3, and he 
had but one end in mind : that of engaging an 
American frigate of his own calibre. So resolute 
was he in this desire that, according to James's 
" Naval Histor}'," he sacrificed no fewer than 
twenty-five prizes on his voj-age down, in order 
not to weaken his complement by putting prize- 
crews on board. 

On the 1st of June, the Shannon having been 
for some weeks hovering off the port of Boston, 
inside the shelter of which the eager British tars 
could descry the lofty spars of the famous Ameri- 
can frigate Chesapeake^ Captain Broke sent a 
direct challenge to Captain Lawrence to bring 
his vessel out and tr}- the fortune of war. The 
letter in which this challenge was conveyed is 
one of the most manly, chivalrous, and gallant 
pieces of literature ever addressed by a British 



FIGHT BETWEEN THE CHESAPEAKE AND THE SHANNO.\. 



147 



officer to a foe. " As the Chesapeake appears 
now ready for sea,'" it begins, " I request you 
will do me the favour to meet the Sliaiiiinii with 
iier, ship to ship, to try the fortune of our 
respective flags. The Shannon mounts twenty- 
four guns upon her broadside, and one light 
boat-gun, i8-pounders upon her main-deck, and 
32-pound carronades upon lier quarter-deck and 
forecastle, and is manned with a complement of 
300 men and boys (a large proportion of the 
latter), besides thirty seamen, boys, and passen- 
gers who were taken out of recaptured vessels 

lately I entreat you, sir, not to imagine 

that I am urged by mere personal vanity to the 
wish of meeting the Chesapeake; or that I 
ilepend only upon your personal ambition for 
your acceding to this invitation. We have both 
nobler motives. You will feel it as a compliment 
if I say that the result of our meeting may be 
the most grateful service I can render to my 
country ; and I doubt not that you, equally 
confident of success, will feel convinced that it 
is only by repeated triumphs in even combats 
that your little navy can now hope to console 
your country for the loss of that trade it can no 
longer protect. Favour me with a speedy reply. 
We are short of provisions and water, and cannot 
stay long here." 

The armament and crew of the Shannon is 
stated in this letter. The Chesapeake was sixty 
tons larger, carried heavier guns, and seventy 
more men. Although Captain Lawrence landed 
four 32-pound carronades and one long 18- 
pounder at Boston, so as to reduce his broadside 
to the same numerical strength as that of the 
British frigate, the weight of his vessel's metal 
exceeded by one-tenth that of the Shannon. 
Therefore the advantage of superiority was con- 
siderably on the side of the American. 

Captain Broke sent his memorable challenge 
by a Yankee prisoner, one Captain Slocum, 
whom he released along with his own boat on 
the condition that he should deliver the missive. 
The British frigate, with colours flying, then 
stood in close to Boston lighthouse, and there 
lay-to until it was seen whether Captain Law- 
rence would accept his opponent's invitation. 
The Chesapeake was plain to their view, moored 
in President Roads, with royal-yards crossed, 
and apparently in readiness to come out. It 
was a fine morning, with a light breeze blowing 
from the west and north, and the blue waters of 
Boston Bay were flashtul with the high sun- 
shine. The British officers had little doubt 
that the Yankee intended going to sea, for her 



three topsails were hoisted : but would she come 
up to the scratch, or try and give them the slip ? 
No, no ; the thing was not to be thought of, 
after such illustrations of Yankee pluck as had 
already made the Stripes and Stars a flag to be 
honoured and dreaded. If the Chesapeake got 
under weigh, there was pretty sure to be a fight, 
and hearts beat high on board the Shannon, 
whilst speculation ran into wild desire. 

At about half-past twelve, whilst the British 
men-of-warsmen were below at dinner. Captain 
Broke, with a telescope slung over his shoulder, 
himself went to the masthead, and there beheld 
the Chesapeake fire a gun and almost simul- 
taneously break into a cloud of canvas. He 
likewise perceived that Captain Slocum's boat 
had not yet reached the shore. Therefore 
Captain Lawrence had not received the chal- 
lenge, but was coming out in response to the 
verbal invitations that the English commander 
had frequeiitly sent to him. It was a brave 
sight to watch the stately American ship slipping 
nimbly through the smooth water of the Roads, 
heeling gently over to the breeze which filled 
her swelling sails, and surrounded by a great 
concourse of small boats coming out to watch 
the famous ocean duel from a safe distance. A 
few minutes later Captain Broke was again ou 
deck, and the yards of the Shannon were swung, 
whilst the roll of the drum rattled fore and aft 
the vessel, summoning the hands to quarters. 

If needs no very powerful effort of imagination 
to conjure up before the mind's eye the spectacle 
of Boston Bay as it appeared on the 1st of June, 
1 813. At one o'clock, the naval historian tells 
us, the Chesapeake^ under all sail, rounded the 
Boston lighthouse. A right gallant show she 
must have made, with her long black hull slightly 
leaning to the impulse of her wide gleaming 
wings, her three ensigns streaming from various 
parts of the rigging, and a great white flag top- 
ping the fore-royal yard, and bearing a motto 
which must now sound strange to the Protec- 
tionist Yankee — " Free Trade and Sailors' 
Rights." For above a couple of leagues the two 
frigates held on in grim silence, standing directly 
out towards the open sea. The Shannon wis 
repeatedly brought to the wind, in order to 
shiver her canvas, that the American might over- 
haul her. Meanwhile the Chesapeake was busy 
in reefing topsails, hauling up courses, taking in 
the lighter sails, and getting into war trim — like 
some veteran stripping ere he steps forth into 
the ring to try his prowess. 

The Chesapeake, firing another gun, whose 



I+S 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



sullen boom was intended as a note of defiance, 
came bearing down upon her enemy, watched 
with a thrill of pride from the land and the 
numerous boats hovering about out of cannon- 
shot. There could be no possible doubt in the 
minds of the spectators as to the issue of the 
contest. Flushed by a brief but marvellously 
triumphant record, the Yankees stood waiting 
with impatience to cheer their pet frigate — com- 
manded by one of their most gallant officers — as 
she towed her prize in. On board of her, it is 
said, the Union Jack had been spread upon the 
table in the cabin for the English officers to 
dine off when the\' should be prisoners below. 

At half-past five in the afternoon of that event- 
ful day the action began, and before half-past si.x 
the pall-like clouds of smoke had settled away to 
leeward ; the crimson dye gushing from the 
scuppers of both vessels had become diffused, 
and vanished upon the clear waves ; the groans 
of the wounded were muffled down in the depths 
of the cockpit ; and all was over. Never before, 
in all maritime annals, was such a sharp and 
decisive engagement ; never, in the history of 
nations, was a more staggering issue than the 
result of the fight to the confident spectators 
who watched it from their native shore. 

At the hour named — half past five — the two 
ships were close together, so close that the crews 
could distinguish one another quite plainly. 
Among those v.-aiting and resolute crews — all 
speaking one tongue, and sharing, at heart, in 
the same sympathies — were doubtless many who 
had relations in common. It was blood fighting 
kindred blood, and the struggle was likely to 
prove the deadlier for this. Captain Broke, 
watching the Yankee frigate as a cat watches a 
mouse, perceived her intention to pass under the 
stern of his ship. Anticipating a soul-subduing 
raking as the Chesapeake brought her broadside 
to bear, the English commander gave the word 
for his men to lie fiat down upon the deck. But 
the gallant Captain Lawrence held his fire, 
waiving the deadly opportunitv that presented 
itself, and luffed his vessel up sharp within 
pistol-shot of the Shannrjii' s starboard quarter. 
And then the tremendous fight began. 

In reading the accounts of the conflict, one can- 
not fail to be struck with the rapid and complete 
demoralisation of the Yankees. That they could 
not have been wanting in courage, one may 
safely affirm ; but they seem to have been 
" struck all of a heap." The battle speedily 
furnished the British sailor with his pet chance 
—the boarding-pike ; and when once it came to 



///(//, with anything like equality of numbers to 
contend against, there could never be anv ques- 
tion as to what the issue must prove. 

" The enem}-," wrote Captain Broke, in his 
account of the engagement, " made a desperate 
but disorderly resistance. The firing continued 
at all the gangways and between the tops, but 
in two minutes' time the enemy was driven, 
sword in hand, from ever\- post, the American 
flag was hauled down, and the proud old British 
Union floated triumphant over it. In another 
minute they ceased firing from below, and called 
for quarter. The whole of this service was 
achieved in fifteen minutes from the commence- 
ment of the action." 

A lurid and life-long memory must the sight of 
that brief, but incredibly fierce, struggle between 
the two frigates have been to those who stood 
gazing at it from the land, or crouched, pale 
and startled, in their boats nearer at hand. 
The belligerents would be scarcely visible for 
the white, wool-like clouds which hovered 
over them, full of darting crimson tongues 
of flame. The very ocean must have been 
stagnated for a league around bv the rever- 
berating thunder booming over its surface. 
How was the fight going ? None could tell for 
the first seven minutes. Then the pealing 
of the artillery ceased, the smoke rolled slowlj^ 
away in great bodies of vapour, and the two 
vessels were seen locked abreast. E.xpectation 
and an.xiety were at fever pitch. It was a 
hand-to-hand struggle now ; the watching crowds 
knew that the cry of " Boarders, away I " 
had gone, and that upon the decks of one or the 
other of those vessels, dwarfed by distance to the 
dimensions of mere toys, a frightfully bloody 
conflict must be waging. 

In very truth so it was. The Chesapeake had 
missed stays while endeavouring to fore-reach 
upon the British frigate, and before any further 
manoeuvre could be executed on board of her she 
drove down stern first alongside the Shannon, 
her quarter grinding the latter vessel's side just 
forward of her starboard main chains. Captain 
Broke had intended delaying boarding until he 
reckoned that the guns of his ship had done 
more execution amongst a crew supposed to be 
at least one-fourth superior to his own in 
number ; but when the Yankee collided with his 
ship he ran forward, and perceiving that the 
Chesapeake's quarter-deck gunners were desert- 
ing their posts, he ordered the two frigates to 
be lashed side to side, the great guns to cease 
fire, and the main-deck and quarter-deck boarders 




•ABOUT 



r THIRTY OF THE CREW MADE A SMALL SHOW OF RESISTANCE" (/. iso). 



IC.0 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTUHY 



to make a rush for it. The veteran boats- 
wain of the Sliitiiitoii, who was a survivor from 
Rodney's famous action, had his arm hacked off, 
and was mortally wounded by musketry, whilst 
securing the two ships together. The wild con- 
fusion, the clashing of steel, the savage cries and 
curses of men, the groaning and shrieking of the 
wounded, the whole uproar of that deadly con- 
flict, must have formed a hideous nightmare- 
.ike memory to those who lived to look back 
upon it. 

Captain Broke, followed by about twenty men, 
sprang from the Shannon^s gangway-rail and 
gained the Chesapeake's quarter-deck. Here 
not an officer or man was to be seen. In the 
fpngways about thirty of the crtw made a small 
tiiow of resistance, but were driven helter-skelter 
towards the forecastle, through the hatch of 
which they endeavoured to escape below, but 
in their eagerness prevented one another, and 
several actually jumped overboard into the sea. 
The Americans seemed to be completely be- 
wildered by the turn the battle had taken. The 
Shamioit's crew came pouring in, but they found 
almost a clear deck, fore and aft. Aloft the 
lopmen were keeping up a destructive fire of 
musketry. But this was presently stopped by a 
midshipman named William Smith and his top- 
"T=n, five in number. The exploit of this little 
D.tnJ is one of the most gallant incidents of that 
truly gallant action. Smith, followed by his 
handful of sailors, deliberately crawled along the 
Sliimions fore-yard and gained the main-yard 
of the Yankee, with which the former spar was 
interlocked. Thence he reached the main-top, 
stormed it, and silenced the fire that was harass- 
ing our men. 

Captain Broke had been wounded in the head 
by a blow from the butt-end of a musket, and 
whilst a sailor named Mindham was binding a 
handkerchief round his brow, he paused and cried 
out : " There, sir ! — there goes up the old en- 
sign over the Yankee colours ! " A melancholy 



incident marked the hoisting of these flags. 
Lieutenant Watt, the first lieutenant of the 
Shannon, who had been wounded in boarding, 
raised himself upon his legs, and, calling for a 
British ensign, hauled down the Stripes and Stars 
and bent the flag on above it. But the signal- 
halliards being foul, the officer hoisted the colours 
so that the American flag was uppermost. Per- 
ceiving this, the Shannon's gunners immediately 
reopened fire, and killed their own first lieutenant 
and five of their comrades before they discovered 
their blunder. A straggling fire w-as kept up 
through the hatchways by the seamen who had 
been driven below. But it would not do. The 
Chesapeake had been captured in an incredibly 
brief struggle, and the resistance of a handful of 
men here and there was not likely to check the 
tide of victory. In a few moments the Americans 
surrendered, and the triumph was complete. 

The old sea-story^ has been often told, and 
who would think of again repeating it were it 
not that any record of the battles of the century 
would be signall}- incomplete without it ? The 
moral influence of that victory was prodigious 
in its invigorating effect upon our sailors. It 
seemed at once to restore to them all that pres 
tige which they had been slowly losing since the 
first gun of the war was fired. Yet, for the 
Yankees, it was a duel which they can well afford 
to look back upon with pride. The fact of the 
death or disablement of one hundred and seventy 
of the Chesapeake's crew is sternly significant of 
the fierce, resolute manner in which they main- 
tained the short, desperate struggle ; whilst the 
memory of the manner in which the vessel came 
out to boldly meet the enemy cannot but be a 
proud recollection. Britain made much of her 
triumph ; and if the Americans desire atone- 
ment that the laurels did not happen to fall 
to their lot, they should find it in remembering 
the words of Captain Broke's letter, which is the 
highest admission of splendid qualities that one 
foe ever made to another. 



-^ 



ISI 





ijor^^Cthur Griffiths 





IN after j-ears the Duke of Wellington told 
a friend that he loolved upon Salamanca, 
Vitioria, and Waterloo as his three best 
battles. " Salamanca," he went on to 
say, " relieved the whole South of Spain, 
changed all the prospects of the war, and was 
felt even in Russia" — where Napoleon was 
just then meeting his first great failure. Sala- 
manca also showed Wellington at his best — 
it displayed the finest qualities of his general- 
ship, his quick unerring eye, his prompt detec- 
tion of his enemv's mistakes, his consummate 
skill in turning them to his own advantage. 
For it was the serious and unmistakable error 
made by Marshal Marmont, the French leader, 
that led to Wellington's victory. " He wished 
to cut me off," said the duke ; " I saw that in 
attempting this he was spreading himself over 
more ground than he could defend ; I resolved 
to attack him, and succeeded in my object very 
quickly. One of the French generals said I had 
beaten forty thousand men in forty minutes." 

" Mon chcr Alava, ^larmoiit est pcrdii^^ was 
his remark to the Spanish general of that name 
as he shut his telescope with stern contentment, 
and gave the orders that paved the way to 
victor}'. 

Up to that moment, however, Wellington had 
been much disquieted. Matters had not gone 
well with him ; he had been really out- 
manceuvred, out-generalled. Just when Mar- 
mont gave himself into his hands, he had been 
on the point of retreating, of escaping, indeed, 
while there was yet time. How Wellington felt 
that morning may be gathered from a story told 
at Strathficldsaye years afterwards in the duke's 
presence by that very General Alava mentioned 
above. The duke had been too busy, so the 
story ran, probably too anxious, to think of 
breakfast on the morning of the battle. At 
length, about two o'clock in the afternoon, his 



famishing staff seized the opportunity of laying 
out a sort of picnic lunch in the courtyard of the 
farmhouse. Wellington rode into the enclosure, ' 
but refused to dismount like the rest, declined 
to eat anything, .and desired the others to make 
haste. At last someone persuaded him to take 
a bite of bread and the leg of a roast fowl, 
when, suddenly, on the arrival of an aide-de- 
camp with certain news, he threw awav the 
leg over his shoulder and galloped out of the 
yard, calling upon the rest to follow him at once. 

The news brought him was no doubt that of 
the French flank movement which so jeopardised 
them, and was the prelude to the battle. " I 
knew something -crious was going to happen," 
was Alava's comment on this episode, "when 
anything so precious as the leg of a fowl was 
thrown away." Food was scarce in those cam- 
paigning days. The duke, it may be added, 
sat b}- wiiile the story was being told with a 
quiet smile on his face, but saying nothing. 
He was thinking, no doubt, that the narration 
was pleasanter than the reality had been. 

But a true appreciation of the actual battle 
can only be had by considering first the long and 
intricate operations which preceded it. 

The position of the English and French 
forces in the Peninsula during the early summer 
of 1812 was briefly as follows : — 

Wellington was still in Portugal, although he 
had captured the two strongholds of Ciudad 
Rodrigo and Badajoz in Spain. These were to 
serve as advanced posts for his invasion of that 
country and the expulsion of the French, which, 
it must be remembered, was the main object of 
the Peninsular War. But there were 300,000 
Frenchmen in Spain distributed nearly all over 
it, in five different armies. That immediately 
opposed to Wellington was under Marshal Mar- 
mont ; it was said to be nominally 70,000 strong, 
and further reinforcements were e.vpected from 



i;2 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



France. Moreover, MarnioiU was in touch with 
three other armies, one to the north of him, one 
behind him at Madrid, a third to the South in 
Andalusia. Wellington had never ipore than 
;o,ooo, so it is obvious that while Marmont alone 
was quite equal to cope with him, he might be 



Marmont, taking him promptly, and before ]ii> 
supports could join him. There was at this 
time much friction between the French generals, 
and this was likely still further to delay concen- 
tration. Everything depended, therefore, upon 
immediate action. 




SALAMANCA. 



courting overwhelmingly superior concentration. 
Again, Marmont's army was a fine fighting force 
in excellent condition, stronger in artillery, 
although inferior in cavalrv ; an arm}-, more- 
over, composed entirelv of Frenchmen, of men 
animated with one spirit, obej'ing one supreme 
leader, the great emperor himself 

Wellington, on the other hand, commanded a 
mixed force : it was made up of four different 
nationalities — British, German, and Portuguese. 
His cavalry- was superior, the very flower of 
British horsemen, but he had fewer guns ; his 
men were ill-found, pay was in arrears, for readv- 
money was desperately scarce through the 
niggardliness of the British Government, and 
the want of it, the real sinews of war, was 
severely felt in his matter of supplies — which 
had to be paid for, cash down. Still, Wellington 
was nothing daunted. He hoped to achieve 
some signal success if onlv he moved against 



Wellington advanced- upon the 13th June. 
On that day he crossed the Agueda, and moving 
on towards the Tormes, laid siege to Salamanca. 
This city was defended by several forts and held 
by a French garrison. Marmont retired before 
Wellington, then returned to relieve Salamanca; 
Wellington took it, and Marmont again retired 
It was a sort of see-saw between the opposing 
generals. Wellington now pursued Marmont 
as far as the river Douro ; Marmont crossed and 
stood firm on the farther bank. Then reinforce- 
ments joined the French, and Marmont once 
more advanced, determined to drive Wellington 
before him. He also was anxious to win a 
victory soon, because King Joseph was on his 
way from Madrid to supersede him. ^loreover, 
he was a littk disdainful of the English general's 
military capacitv, which he had not yet tried in 
actual conflict. 

It was now the month of July, and for the 



SALAMANCA. 



153 



first fortnight the t\vo generals were Uke skilful 
chess players engaged in a closely contested 
game. P^ach tried to take advantage of the 
other and bring on a checkmate. Marmont had, 
if anything, the best of it. The very direction 
of his advance jeopardised the safety of the 
English army, and Wellington's only hope was 
in rapid retreat. The French now all but fore- 
stalled them at Salamanca, and it was a race 
between them for the river Tormes, behind 
which lay the English line of communications 
with Portugal and the rear. As the two armies 
hurried forward, the spectacle is described by 
eye-witnesses as almost unparalleled in war. 
" For there was seen," says Napier, the historian 
of the war, " the hostile columns of infantry at 



between in a compact body as if to prevent a 
collision. At times the loud word of command 
to hasten the march was heard passing from the 
front to the rear, and now and then the rushing 
sound of bullets came sweeping over the column, 
whose violent pace was continuously accelerated." 
This neck-and-neck contest went on for ten 
miles, and in the- most perfect order. The same 
strange manoeuvre was repeated a couple of days 
later, and on a larger scale. In the end, Wel- 
lington reached Salamanca safely, but none too 
soon. The French had the command of the 
Tormes river, and still threatening the road to 
Ciudad Rodrigo, could still force the English to 
retire. 

Fortune at this time seemed to frown on the 




'WELLINGIO.N GALLOPED OUT OF THE Y.\RD, CALLING UPON THE REST TO FOLLOW HIM AT ONCE " {p. I51). 



lonly half musket-shot from each other (not a 
[hundred yards!) marching impetuously towards 
common goal, the officers on each side pointing 
Jforwards with their swords touching their hats 
fend waving their hands in courtesy, w-hile the 
iGerman cavalry, huge men on huge horses, rode 



English commander. He had had one chance 
of attacking Marmont, and had missed it. Now 
Marmont had the best of it, and could take him 
at a disadvantage if he persevered. Wellington 
realised that he must soon withdraw into Por- 
tugal, and he wrote to the Spanish general 



154 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CFXTURY. 



Castanos to this effect : a letter which fell into 
Mariiiont's hands. It was said after the victory 
that this letter was a lure to draw Marmont on ; 
but it was a bona fide despatch conveying Wel- 
lington's real intention : the retreat was all but 
ordered, and it was to have commenced on the 
very night that the battle of Salamanca was 
fought and won. In the meantime, Marmont, 
too eager to snatch a victory, had committed 
his fatal mistake. 

At daybreak, on the 22nd July, the day of 
the battle, the positions of the two opposing 
armies were as follows : — 

The English were on both sides of the river 
Tormes ; the bulk certainly on the left or 
southern shore, but one division, the third, was 
still on the right bank, as Wellington did not 
feel certain by which side ^larmont would move. 
The left flank of the army rested about Santa 
Marta in the low ground ; the right extended 
eastwards towards the village of Arapiles and 
the hills of that name. 

The French at daylight were advancing into 
position ; they had crossed the river by the fords 
at Huerta, some had occupied the heights 
opposite the English from Calvariza Aniba to 
Nuestra Senora de la Pena, and others aimed at 
Seiziz, two isolated hills close to the English 
right, thus clearly indicating Marmont's design 
of forcing on the battle. 

The possession of these two last-named hills 
now became of vital consequence to both armies. 
They were called the Arapiles hills — sometimes 
los Dos Hermanitos, the " two little brothers " — 
and they stood steep and rugged, rising like two 
small fortresses straight out of the plain. Had 
the French gained them both, Wellington would 
have been obliged to throw back his right, and 
fight with his back against the river — always 
a hazardous proceeding. But once more there 
was a race between the opponents, and the 
result may be called a dead-heat. Both sent off 
light troops living past to capture the hills, and 
each got the one nearest it. The twins were 
divided, and for the rest of the day one was 
known as the English Arapiles, or Hermanito, 
the other as the French. 

This first small contest had an important 
bearing on coming events. It confirmed Wel- 
lington in his intention of retreating, but it 
obliged him to postpone his movement till after 
dark. For the French, in occupation of their 
Hermanito, could use it as a pivot around which 
to gather strongly and then swing a determined 
attack on Wellington's retrograding columns. 



So menacing was their prpsscssion r)r this hill 
that Wellington was half disposed to attack and 
try to capture it. But he forebore, preferring 
to wait on events, and knowing something of 
Marmont's impetuous character, hoping still 
that the Frenchman might commit himself to a 
general attack on the English position. 

This was precisely what happened. Marmont 
was seized with a sudden fear that the English 
were about to escape him. He saw great columns 
of dust rising from the Ciudad Rodrigo road, 
and rashly concluded that the enemy was already 
in full retreat. He was altogether wrong, as we 
shall see. The English were no doubt on the 
move, but not as yet to the rear. They were 
only taking up the new positions which Wel- 
lington found necessary since the French general 
had so unmistakably shown his wish to fight, 
and to fight upon the left bank of the river. 
These new dispositions amounted to a complete 
change of front. Till now the English line had 
faced north from the river at Santa Marta to the 
Arapiles hill ; hereafter it faced south and east 
from Aldea Tejada on the right to the Arapiles 
village and hill, which became the left. This 
left was held by the fourth division ; the si.xth 
and seventh divisions were in a hollow compact 
behind and below the Arapiles hill ; the third 
division was now definitely brought across the 
river, and being posted at Aldea Tejada, became 
the right of the line. It was the march of this 
last-named division, with its trains and commis- 
sariat waggons all pointing towards Ciudad 
Rodrigo, that betrayed Marmont and precipitated 
the battle to his own immediate defeat. 

Inspired by this quite groundless fear, he 
suddenly directed General Maucune, with two 
divisions of infantry and fifty guns, supported b}' 
the light cavalry, to reach out and intercept the 
English in their supposed retreat. They were to 
menace the Ciudad Rodrigo road, while he him- 
self, if the English showed fight, would fall upon 
them with all his remaining force at about the 
Arapiles village and hills. Maucune's movement 
was the fatal mistake. It w^as an error, a tactical 
error of the very worst kind. Bv this hasty and 
too adventurous march the French advance — 
their left — was entirely separated from their 
centre and their right ; both the latter were still 
in the woods to the rear or crossing the river, 
and altogether disconnected with — entirel)- un- 
able to support or act with — Maucune. Marmont 
had, in fact, as the duke put it, spread himself 
out too far. He was like a man who has lunged 
out in striking, and, unable to recover himself, is 



SALAMANCA. 



15=; 



exposed to a counterstroke from an opponent 
who has held himself compact and collected, 
ready to return a imich more vigorous blow. 

It must Iiave been the report of Maucune's 
movement that was brought Wellington in the 
tarmyard, and led to the sacrifice of the drum- 
stick of a fowl. Napier says that the duke was 
resting when the news reached him ; but 
whether he was throwing away an untasted 
lunch or sleeping, he certainly rode straight to 
the English Arapiles hill, and from that high 
vantage ground full_v realised what Marmont had 
done. It was then, no doubt, he told Alava 
that it was all over with Marmont For 
Wellington no sooner saw the 
situation than he grasped it with 
the full and complete apprecia- 
tion that marks true genius in 
war. His orders were few and 
precise ; their object was to fall 
upon Marmont's advance, and 
crush it before it could be re- 
inforced. He formed his troops 
in three lines : the first consisted 
(if his 4th and 5th divisions, 
with some Portuguese on their 
right, and beyond them the 
heavy cavalry ; in the second 
line were the bth and 7th 
divisions, with the light cavalry 
on their right ; and in reserve 
the third line, made up of the 
1st and 8th divisions, the rest 
of the Portuguese and more 
cavalry. The right of the second 
line was closed by the 3rd divi- 
sion, under General Pakenham, and to him was 
entrusted the honour of opening the ball. For 
as soon as the above-mentioned changes of 
position were completed, Pakenham was ordered 
to come up in four columns with twelve guns 
on his left or inner flank and cross the enemy's 
line of march. This meant " taking them in 
flank," as it is called, or at their weakest point. 
As soon as Pakenham attacked, the first line 
was also to advance and second his endeavour. 
Then, on the English left, which would thus 
become uncovered, an assault was to be made 
oa the French Hermanito hill. - 

And here, at this the most critical juncture, 
on the very eve of joining issue with a deter- 
mined enemy in a great and momentous struggle, 
Wellington gave a fresh proof of his iron nerve 
and strong character. Troops march slowlv : 
three miles an hour is the average rate of in- 



fantry. There must therefore be a considerable 
interval of time before the orders first issued 
could take effect ; the French divisions on the 
march under Maucune had a couple of miles or 
more to cover, and would hardly get within 
vulnerable distance under an hour. Wellington 
was tired ; he had been at full stretch, mentally 
and physically, since daybreak, and it was now 
past three in the afternoon. " I am going to 
take a little sleep," he said to Lord Fitzroy 
Somerset, his military' secretary, and the most 
favoured and confidential member of his staff. 
"Watch with your glass. Do you see that 
copse where there is a gap in the hills ? When 




the French reach it call me: do you understand?" 
Then wrapping himself in his cloak, he lay down 
behind a bush and was soon sound asleep. 
Wellington had the faculty, like Napoleon and 
other great leaders, of sleeping at will, and he 
rose refreshed when Lord Fitzroy roused him 
presently with the information he needed. The 
time for action had arrived. Aides-de-camp 
and gallopers were despatched with last orders, 
while Wellington himself rode to the third 
division, where Pakenham was waiting im- 
patiently for the signal to commence the fight. 

What passed between the two generals (the)' 
were brothers-in-law) is historical. " Do you 
see those fellows on the hill, Pakenham ? " said 
the duke, pointing to the French columns as 
they straggled along unconscious of the im- 
pending attack. " Throw your division into 
columns ; at them directly and drive them to the 



l^b 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



devil." Pakenham saluted, and then, as he 
passed on to the attack, stopped short to say, 
" Give me a hold of that conquering hand." 
His admiration lor his chief was repaid by 
Wellington's warm approval, for as the 3rd 
division went forward in grand order, a perfectly 
arraved militar\- body, the duke, turning to his 
staff, observed : " Did you ever see a man who 
understands so clearly what he has to do ? '' 
" Lord Welling- 
ton was right,'' 
says one who 
was present. 
''The attack of 
the 3rd division 
was not only the 
most spirited, 
but the most 
perfect thing of 
its kind that 
modern times 
have wit- 
nessed." 

Mean wh ile, 
Marmont had 
fully realised his 
terrible error. 
The rapid move- 
ments of the 
English told 
him, too, that 
the mistake was 
patent to his 
enemy. He saw 
the country 
beneath him 
alive with their 
troops moving 
in combined and 
well - concerted 
strength, while 

his own army was scattered, and in the midst of 
a difficult and half-completed manoeuvre. But 
still he had no knowledge of Pakenham's in- 
tended attack, for the third division was invisible, 
and he did not yet despair. He hoped he might 
yet reunite his army before the moment of 
collision ; and with this object he despatched 
messengers in hot haste in all directions, one 
way to hurry up the centre and rear columns, 
the other to check Maucune in his overreaching 
advance. At the same time some of the troops in 
hand opened a fierce fire upon the central part of 
the battlefield, and others made a bold attack upon 
the Arapiles village and English hill of that name. 




MARSHAL MARMO.NT. 
{From a Painting by Muneyet.) 



It was now, when hoping almost against hope, 
that Marmont caught sight of Pakenham and 
his division " shooting like a meteor across 
Maucune's path." Marmont, in utter dismay, 
was hastening to the spot most threatened, when 
he was severely wounded by a bursting shell, and 
had to be carried off the field. General Bonnet, 
who succeeded him, was also disabled before he 
could take any steps to restore the fight, and the 

command de- 
volved upon 
General Clause!, 
an excellent 
soldier, who, in 
Napier's words, 
was "of a ca- 
pacity equal to 
the crisis." But 
much delay en- 
sued, many con- 
flicting orders 
were issued be- 
fore the French 
troops again 
benefited by 
their comman- 
der-general's 
controlling 
hand. 

It had fared 
badly with Gene- 
ral Thomieres, 
who led the first 
of M a u c u n e's 
two divisions. 
Pakenham had 
come on, sup- 
ported by ca- 
valry and guns, 
and, while the 
artillery took the 
French in flank, the infantry formed line and 
charged furiously. The French guns at first es- 
sayed to answer, but were silenced and driven off 
the field ; then the French formed a poor, dis- 
connected line of battle upon two fronts, one 
to face Pakenham, the other opposed to the 5th 
division and the Portuguese. At this time, too, 
the 4th division had come into action, and 
had beaten back the attack made upon the 
Arapiles village and hill. Already within one 
short half-hour serious discomfiture had over- • 
taken the French. It is true that General 
Clausel's own division, part of the centre, had 
come up through the wood, and had regained 



SAL A MANX A. 



157 



touch witli ^[;ulcuIle. The latter now raUied a 
little, and made a gallant stand along the 
•outhern and eastern hills, hut his line was 
loose and broken, without much coherence 
i)r formation, while the westering sun shone 
full in the eyes of the soldiers, joining with 
the dense dust to half choke and blind and 
deprive them of the lull power of defence. 



sound of a charging multitude " ; how the horse- 
men rode down the French infantry " with a 
terrible clamour and disturbance. Bewildered 
and blinded, they cast away their arms, and 
crowded through the intervals of the squadrons, 
stooping and crying out for quarter, while the 
dragoons, big men on big horses, rode onwards, 
smiting with their long, glittering swords in 




"THE DRAGOO.NS RODE ON\V.\KUS, bMlllM. UIIH THEIR LONC, GUTl ti>l.\u sUukUS.' 



Their complete overthrow was now near at 
hand, and it was accomplished by the masterly 
tactics of Wellington, who appeared as usual at 
the critical point at the critical time. Under his 
orders a great cavalry charge put the finishing 
touch to Maucune's discomfiture. This charge, 
made by Le Marchant's heavy and Anson's 
light cavalr\- brigades, was one of the most 
brilliant feats performed by British cavalry. 
Napier gives the story in Homeric language, 
telling how " a whirling cloud of dust moved 
swiftly forward, carrying within it the trampling 



uncontrollable power." Le Marchant was killed, 
but others were there to lead his cavalrj^ on. 
Pakenham, with his infantry, followed close, and, 
after a bitter struggle, which laid many lov.', the 
French were completely defeated. Guns and 
standards were captured and 2,000 prisoners : 
" the divisions under Maucune no longer e.xisted 
as a military body." These were the memorable 
forty minutes which suflSced to conquer the 
French left. At the end of this short space 
of time, the 3rd and 4th divisions, with 
D'Urban's fresh cavalry, formed an unbroken 



i?8 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTrRY, 



line across the basin or plain, a mile in advance 
of where Pakenham had so nobly begun the 
fight. 

But the victory had been gained in only one 
part of the field. The French in the centre still 
maintained the contest with stubborn courage. 
Clausel had rallied his forces with surprising 
energy, and, for this purpose, skilfully used those 
that were still fresh and unbroken. His whole 
line of defence was now connected and stretched 
Irom where Maucune had been so severely 
handled to the western side of the Arapiles, 
where General Foy was firing on the reserves. 
He held the divisions of Bonnet, Ferey, drawn 
nearer to him, those of Sarrut and Brennier and 
ihe whole of his cavalry together covering his 
line of retreat to Alba de Tormes, and they were 
all firm and full of fight. Upon these the 
shattered remnant of Maucune's corps re-formed, 
and the hopes of the French were now revived 
by two serious failures on the English side — • 
Pack with his Portuguese had assaulted the 
French Hermanito, and gallantly ascended to a 
few feet from the summit, when he came un- 
expectedly upon the French reserves strongly 
posted among the rocks. Their attitude was 
so determined, their fire so fierce, that the Portu- 
guese recoiled, and were driven down the hill 
defeated and with great slaughter. Another 
disaster at this moment overtook the 4th 
division, which, just when it had won with much 
toil the higher slopes of the southern heights, 
encountered a large body of French on the 
far side. The latter being fresh, charged the 
breathless and somewhat disordered assailants, 
and forced them to give way. The French here 
were quite victorious, and would have pursued 
but for the stout resistance of two English 
regiments drawn up in line below. 

Clausel was not slow to follow up these 
successes. He now pressed the left flank and 
rear of the discomfited 4th division, his cavalry 
came up at a trot and charged, the English 
were outflanked, overmatched, and lost ground ; 
so that the fight rolled back into the basin, 
where several of the English generals were 
s'ruck down — Cole, Leith, and Beresford — and 
^e French Horse, having free scope, did great 
.<ecution. For a moment the issue seemed 
.ioubtful. This was the final crisis in the battle ; 
victory was to be secured by the general who 
had the strongest reserves at hand. 

Wellington was in this position, and his 
opportune presence, as usual when most wanted, 
decided the day. He had fortunatel}' still dis- 



engaged and untouched his ist and 6th divi- 
sions, and part of his 5th. The\' were close to 
the centre, at the point most menaced, and 
ready to second their leader's prompt initiative. 
The 6th division now came up charging with 
great vehemence, but meeting a sturdy resist- 
ance and a murderous fire. But, undeterred by 
severe losses, they held bravely on, and presently 
regained the southern heights. The tide of 
battle again turned, and, although the French 
still showed a bold front, it was all to no 
purpose. Pakenham and the 3rd division con- 
stantly outflanked and hammered their left ; 
the other divisions continued the frontal attack. 
Then the ist division was employed to cut off 
the French right, under Foy, from the main 
body. But Clausel, who although wounded 
had not left the field, employed these unbroken 
troops, flanked by cavalry-, to show a front while 
he drew off his shattered forces. General F03) 
bravely and skilfully withstood the last charges 
of the now conqviering English. He had to face 
the light division and a part of the 4th, with 
the 6th and the Spaniards in reserve. Maucune 
also, to whom fresh troops had been entrusted, 
" maintained a noble battle," holding his own for 
a time against the ever-impetuous Pakenham. 
Behind the shelter thus unhesitatingly afforded, 
and greatly aided by the darkness, for night had 
now fallen, the beaten French retreated across 
the Tormes by the ford at Alba de Tormes, and 
by a happy accident escaped utter disaster. 

Wellington to the last thought the Castle of 
Alba was held by the Spaniards. But he had 
been decei\ed wilfully ; the Spanish general, 
Carlos d'Espana, had not only withdrawn the 
garrison, but he had made no mention of the 
fact. Accordingly Wellington was in complete 
ignorance of the fact that Alarmont had re- 
occupied it the previous da}-. So the Engli.=h 
general, thinking retreat by Alba barred, had 
turned all his attention to the onl}- remaining 
ford, that of Huerta, where he counted upon 
finding the entire French army huddled together 
in dire confusion. But, while he strengthened 
his lefc wing to intercept their retreat by Huerta, 
the French drew off unmolested by Alba, and 
when the fact was discovered it was too late and 
too dark to continue the pursuit. 

But for this bitter disappointment the whole 
French army would have been compelled to lay 
down its arms. As it was, Wellington captured 
II guns, 2 eagles, and 7,000 prisoners. Other re- 
sults, direct and indirect, followed from this great 
victory. One of the first was the occupation 



SALAMANCA. 



i59 



of the capital of Madrid, which King Joseph 
iinmediatcly left to join and strengthen the 
defeated and retreating Clausal. Of the indirect 
results the greatest was the clearance of South- 
ern Spain, for Soult was now obliged to abandon 
Andalusia, and, moving round by a circuitous 
route through the south-east, to regain touch 
with the road from France. 

Wellington's reputation, already high, was 
greatly eniianced by this brilliant feat of arms. 
It was his magnificent generalship that secured 
the victory. Not a fault was to be found with 
his conduct ; from first to last, from the moment 
he causrhi liis enemy tripping through all the 



changing fortunes of the hard-fought day, until 
he smote him hip and thigh, true genius was 
displayed. " I saw him late ip the evening of 
that great day," says Napier, " when the advanc- 
ing flashes of cannon and musketry, stretching 
as far as the eye could command, showed in the 
darkness how well the field was worn ; he was 
alone, the flush of victory was on his brow, and 
his eyes were eager and watchful, but his voice 
was calm and even gentle. More than the 
rival of Marlborough, since he defeated greater 
generals than Marlborough ever encountered, 
with a prescient pride he seemed only to accept 
this glory as an earnest of greater things." 




THE ROYAL PALACE, MADRID. 
(Photo, Frith &!• Co., Reigate.') 



l6o 




H SOVEREIGN of the House of Savoy 
is reported to have said that Italy was 
like an artichoke, which must be 
devoured leaf by leaf ; and the saying 
became a fact in iSfq and i860, when Lom- 
bardy, Tuscany, the Duchies of Parma and 
Modena, the greater part of the Papal States, 
and the kingdom of the Two Sicilies (a very 
tough leaf this last, which took some time to 
digest), were one by one absorbed bv the little 
kingdom of Piedmont. After a short interval 
of rest, the province of Venetia was added to 
the others in 1866, and to carry out the com- 
parison and devour the last leaf of the artichoke, 
there remained but to annex Rome. This was 
not an easj' task, for that city and the provinces 
■which had been left to the Pope after the 
■campaign of Castelfidardo were garrisoned by 
the soldiers of Napoleon III., who seemed re- 
solved to maintain the independence of the 
Holy See ; but a Convention was signed on 
September 15th, 1864, by which the emperor 
agreed to withdraw his troops within two years, 
while the Italian Government undertook not to 
invade the Papal territory, and to hinder, even 
by force, any attack upon that territon,' coming 
from without. Some diplomatic correspondence, 
bowever, ensued between the two Governments, 
which left no doubt that if an insurrection were 
to take place in Rome, Italy would be free to 
act, and that an attempt might probably be 
made to bring about that insurrection. 

The last French soldiers embarked at Civita 
Vecchia on December nth, 1866, and to replace 
them every Catholic nation in Europe, but more 
■especially France, Belgium, and Holland, fur- 
nished its contingent of volunteers representing all 
classes of society, from the noble whose ancestors 
had fought in the Crusades to the workman 
and the peasant ; and on October ist, 1867, the 
Papal army reckoned nearly 13,000 men. Of 



these, 2,083 were gendarmes ; S78 artillerymen ; 
075 chasseurs ; 1,595 infantry of the line ; 442 
dragoons, and 625 sqiiadn'glicn', or armed moun- 
taineers. All these were Papal subjects. The 
foreigners were 2,237 Zouaves, about two-thirds 
Dutch and Belgians, the rest French or other 
nationalities, 1,233 Swiss Carabiniers, and i,oq6 
French soldiers, who formed the Legion d'Aiittbes. 
(Ireland did not send a contingent as in the 
previous campaign, but was represented in the 
Zouaves by Captain d'Arcy and Captain Dela- 
hoyd, who had served in the battalion of St. 
Patrick in i860 ; by Surgeon-Major O'Flynn, 
who, in the same year, had taken part in the 
defence of Spoleto under Major O'Reilly ; and 
by several recruits who hastened to enlist under 
the Papal standard when the Garibaldian in- 
vasion began.) The effective force, however, 
available for fighting did not amount to more 
than 8,000 men ; but their excellent discipline 
and organisation and, still more, the spirit which 
animated them, compensated for their deticiencj^ 
in numbers. 

Garibaldi spent the summer of iSby enrolling 
volunteers in all parts of Italy for an expedition 
against Rome, without meeting with much op- 
position from the Italian Government. They 
amounted to 30,000 men, and the general's plan 
was to invade the Papal territory in three divi- 
sions. The right wing, under Colonel Acerbi, was 
to advance from Orvieto towards Viterbo ; the 
centre, under Menotti Garibaldi, from Terni to- 
wards Monte Rotondo and Tivoli ; the left wing, 
under Nicotera, from the south towards \'elletri. 
If the Papal troops were dispersed over the 
country to oppose these bands, Rome would be 
free to rebel, and if they remained on the de- 
fensive in Rome, the three divisions would 
unite and attack the Eternal Citv. The Prime 
Minister, Ratazzi, feigned to be unaware of these 
warlike preparations ; but at last, fearing an 




THE ZOUAVES TOOK. ONE OF THE BARRICADES BV A DASHING BAYONET CHARGE" (A le-). 



59 



]6: 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTL'RY. 



armed intervention on the part of France, he 
ordered Garibaldi to be arrested at Sinakmga, 
near Arezzo, on September 23rd, and taken to the 
fortress of Alessandria, whence a few days later 
he was brought back to Caprera and set free, 
though several cruisers apparently maintained a 
blockade round the island. The enlistment of 
volunteers still went on ; and, before the chiefs 
were ready to begin the campaign, several small 
bands crossed the frontier at various points, 
without orders, on September 28th and thefollow- 
ing days, but they were everywhere broken up 
and repulsed by patrols of Papal troops, though 
one band of 300 men had a shortlived success 
at Acquapendente, where it overcame the little 
garrison of twenty-seven gendarmes. 

The first serious encounter was at Bagnorea, 
a village to the north of Viterbo, strongly 
situated on a hill surrounded by deep ravines 
and accessible only at one point by a bridge. 
It was occupied on October ist by a bodj- of 
Garibaldians, who seized the funds of the muni- 
cipality and plundered the churches. The 
remnants of the bands defeated elsewhere rallied 
round them, bringing their numbers up to 500, 
and, to strengthen their position, they fortified 
the convent of San Francesco situated outside 
the walls, raised barricades on the roads leading 
to the gate, and loopholed the adjacent houses. 
Colonel Azzanesi, who commanded the garrison 
of Viterbo, sent a detachment of 45 soldiers of 
the line, 20 Zouaves, and 4 gendarmes to make a 
reconnaissance ; they made instead an attack, 
and, though the Zouaves took one of the barri- 
cades by a dashing bayonet charge, the detach- 
ment was repulsed with loss when it came under 
the hail of bullets from the houses. Two days 
later, however. Colonel Azzanesi marched against 
the town with two companies of Zouaves under 
Captain le Gonidec, four companies of the line 
under Captain Zanetti, ^. few dragoons, and two 
guns — in all 460 men. The Garibaldian ad- 
vanced posts situated on the rocky heights in 
front of the town were obstinatel\- defended, but 
were stormed one after another ; the doors of 
the convent were smashed in and its defenders 
bayoneted or disarmed, the two barricades were 
taken, and the Garibaldians driven back into the 
town. A few cannon-shots soon overcame their 
resistance, and they fled in disorder through the 
ravines where the cavalry could not follow them, 
while the citizens fiung open their gates and 
welcomed their liberators. This victory cost 
the Papal troops only six men wounded ; the 
loss of the enemy was 96 killed and wounded. 



In spite uf this defeat the incursions of volun- 
teers did not cease, for the Italian GovernmenL 
granted them free tickets over the railways, 
allowed them to take the arms of the National 
Guards, and the troops placed along the frontier 
to arrest them let them pass. Fighting took 
place, therefore, ever\- day in many localities, 
and the most brilliant of these combats is 
that which occurred on October 13th at Monte 
Libretti. 

This is a walled village, about ten miles to the 
north of Monte Rotondo, built round an old 
feudal castle on the summit of a steep and 
isolated hill, at the foot r)f which is a street 
commanded by the castle and leading up to the 
gate. It was known that Menotti Garibaldi was 
advancing towards it with a numerous band, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel de Charette ordered three 
detachments to march from diflTerent points to 
intercept him. One of these columns coming 
from Palombara had already- been sent in another 
direction, and did not receive the counter-order 
in time ; another, from Monte Maggiore, came 
to the point of junction too soon, and, after 
waiting for a long while, withdrew. The third 
column from ]\Ionte Rotondo, composed of qo 
Zouaves under Lieutenant Guillemin, on arriving 
near Monte Libretti at si.x in the evening, met 
the Garibaldian advanced posts, attacked them 
at once, and drove them back. The lieutenant 
then sent one section of his men, under Sub- 
Lieutenant de Ouelen, to turn the enem^-'s posi- 
tion, and at the head of the other dashed 
through the narrow street, under a heavy fire 
from the castle and the houses, till he reached 
the open space before the gate, which was filled 
with Garibaldians. Here he fell with a bullet 
through the brain ; Sergeant-Major Bach, a 
Bavarian, took the command, and a furious hand- 
to-hand fight ensued, in spite of the inequality in 
numbers. Major Fazzari, a Garibaldian leader, 
was wounded and made prisoner ; Corporal 
Alfred Collingridge, of London, surrounded by 
six Garibaldians, fought desperately till he was 
mortally wounded ; and Peter Yong, a tall and 
athletic Dutchman, killed sixteen Garibaldians 
with the butt-end of his rifle, then dropped 
breathless with fatigue and was immediately 
bayoneted. The fight had lasted for a quarter 
of an hour, when the second column came up 
and drove the Garibaldians into the town, the 
gate of which they could not completely close. 
It w-as now nearly dark ; the Zouaves made three 
attempts to storm the gate, but as tViey passed 
through the narrow opening they were met 



GARIBALDI'S DEFEAT AT MENTANA. 



iC'3 



with a hail of bullets from all sides ; de Queleii 
fell pierced with nine wounds, and his men were 
at last driven back, but the Garibaldians, who, 
as it has since been ascertained, were nearly 
1,200, did not pursue them. The Zouaves had 
lost 17 dead and :S wounded ; Sergeant de la 
Be'gassiere took the command of the survivors 
and retreated to Monte Maggiore, but Sergeant- 
Major Bach, who with a few Zouaves had be- 
come separated from the rest in the darkness, 
took refuge in a house near the gate, and ex- 
changed shots with the Gari- 
baldians as long as there was 
moonlight. At four next 
morning he, too, retreated to 
Monte Maggiore, and Menotti 
Garibaldi, believing that this 
handful of Zouaves were the 
vanguard of a large body of 
troops, withdrew in the oppo- 
site direction to Nerola. 

Lieutenant-Colonel de Char- 
ette was ordered to dislodge 
him from this strong position — 
a village situated on a high hill 
with a strongly-built castle on 
which only artillerj' could have 
any eflfect ; and he left Monte 
Rotondo on the 17th with 
one gun and about qoo men 
belonging to the Zouaves, the 
Legion d'Antibes and the Swiss 
Rifles. On their approach the 
next day, Menotti Garibaldi 
withdrew to Montorio Ro- 
mano, leaving a detachment 
to defend the castle, which 
capitulated after little more 
than an hour's firing. 

In the meantime Garibaldian emissaries were 
actively engaged in preparing an insurrection in 
Rome, and the Government was no less energetic 
in taking precautions against it. The city was 
declared to be in a state of siege ; most of the 
gates were closed and barricaded, outside the 
others earthworks armed with guns were thrown 
up, artillery was placed in position on the 
Aventine, the ditches of the Castle of St. Angelo 
were filled with water, and the guards were 
strengthened. The writer was then in the di-pot 
of the Zouaves in the Monastery of St. Callisto, 
where a few hundred recruits of all nations were 
being initiated into the mysteries of drill, and as 
almost all the troops were in campaign, a large 
share of guard-mounting and patrolling fell to 



our lot. It was a service which entailed but 
iittle of the fatigue or danger, and none of the 
excitement, of actual warfare ; but we were in 
constant expectation of an attack, and to be 
ready for any emergency the two companies 
which formed the di:p''jt remained under arms in 
front of the barracks every night from sun.set till 
past midnight, while advanced posts and sentinels 
were placed in the neighbouring streets to guard 
against a surprise. 

The insurrection, in which not many Romans 




Battlefield 

of 

MENTANA. 

Nov. 3. 1867. 



Scale of Yards. 

500 750 



Typa. limiting Co.Sc. 



took part, began on the evening of October 22nd. 
The Serristori barracks, not far from St. Peter's, 
were blown up : the greater part of the men 
quartered there were luckily absent at the time, 
but thirty-sev-en Zouaves, eighteen of whom 
were Italians, were buried beneath the ruins. At 
the same time an attack was made on the 
Capitol and repulsed by the Swiss Carabiniers ; 
and the guard-house at the gate of St. Paul's was 
surprised and taken by a band of Garibaldians in 
order to facilitate the entry of a convoy of arms, 
which had been hidden in a neighbouring vine- 
yard ; but the arms had already been seized 
bv the police, and the Garibaldians were soon 
dispersed. Other attacks were made on the gas- 
works and the military hospital, but without 



164 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



success, and before mitinight all was again quiet 
in Rome. The iie.Kt day a body of seventy-si.x 
Garibaldians. all picked men, led by the two 
brothers Cairoli, who had hoped to enter Rome 
with another convoy of arms and take the com- 
mand of the insurgents, but had failed to arrive 
in time, was discovered by a patrol, lurking in 
the grounds of a villa outside the walls, and after 
a short skirmish in which the Garibaldians 
fought desperately, the survivors of the band 
fled back to the 
frontier. 

Just before 
these events took 
place. Garibaldi 
escaped from Cap- 
rera, passed over 
to the mainland, 
and arrived in 
Florence on Oc- 
tober 20th ; Ra- 
tazzi tookno steps 
to arrest him till 
be was out of his 
reach, and he 
crossed the fron- 
tier at Correse. 
He immediately 
ordered all the 
bands in the 
neighbourhood to 
join him, and on 
the 23rd he was 
at the head of at 
least 10,000 men. 
A large propor- 
tion of these 
were drawn from 
the populace of 
the great cities 
of Italy, and were 

attracted mainly by the hope of plunder ; but 
there were also many soldiers and officers of 
the regular army, and many veterans who had 
fought under Garibaldi in former campaigns : 
their arms, drill, and organisation were, as a rule, 
good ; but they were, for the most part, shabbily 
dressed, and very few of them wore the 
traditional red shirt. 

The road to Rome lay through Monte 
Rotondo, a small town situated on a height. 
About one-third of its circuit is defended by a 
wall in which are three gates, the rest is closed 
by the walls of the houses which stand on the 
brow of the steep hill. Near the centre is the 



ropE I 
(PMo, Pierre 



palace of the Prince of Piombino — a massive 
building of three storevs with a tall tower. The 
garrison, commanded by Captain Costes, of the 
Antibes Legion, was composed of two companies 
of the legion, one of Swiss Carabiniers, a few 
gendarmes, dragoons, and artillerymen — in all, 
323 men with two guns. 

Early on the morning of the 25th, three 
Garibaldian columns were seen marching towards 
the town and taking up their positions round 

it ; they were 
under the com- 
mand of Mehotti 
Garibaldi, his 

father with the 
reserves being in 
the rear. At six, 
two strong de- 
tachments ad- 
vanced to assault 
the gates, but 
they were re- 
ceived with such 
a heav)- fire that 
after three hours' 
fighting they fell 
back discouraged. 
Garibaldi then 
took the com- 
mand : he rallied 
his men and again 
surrounded the 
town, which was 
assailed at every 
point ; attack 
followed attack 
throughout the 
day, but without 
•lus IX. success; the Gari- 

FMt, Paris.) baldians were 

everywhere re- 
pulsed, and after eight hours' fighting, their fire 
gradually slackened and at last ceased. 

Garibaldi had not expected this obstinate re- 
sistance, and he was furious at having lost a da\- 
during which he might, by a forced march, have 
surprised Rome ; the arrival of reinforcements 
determined him to renew the assault that night, 
and a waggon laden with faggots and petroleum 
was pushed up against one of the gates, under 
a heavy fire, and lighted. The gate was soon a 
sheet of flame, but while it was burning, the 
besieged raised barricades in the streets leadini; 
from it, and when the Garibaldians entered the 
town, it was cnlv after two hours of desperate 




GARIBALDI'S DEFEAT AT MENTANA. 



165 



fighting that the Papal troops, wearied and out- 
numbered, were driven back, into the castle. 
There they held out for some time till the 
Garibaldians began to undermine the walls, 
when thej' capitulated, after a defence of twenty- 
seven hours, which, as Garibaldi confessed, had 
cost him over 500 killed and wounded. 

The outlying detachments of the Papal army 
in garrison in the provinces were inmiediately 
recalled to guard Rome against a sudden attack, 



necessity of distributing clothes and shoes to his 
men delayed his departure till eleven, and his 
vanguard had got only a short distance beyond 
Mentana when it met the Papal troops. 

A large number of Garibaldians had deserted 
during the retreat from Rome, and the losses 
at Monte Rotondo had been heavy ; but re- 
inforcements had come up during the attack 
on that town, and, according to the most 
trustworthy estimates. Garibaldi had still, at 




rKJw|e)nHTr:P , 



'\ir.<;'-. 



'■THliY MADE SOME rRISONERS " {/. 167). 



and hold it until the arrival of the French 
troops, which the emperor, after much hesitation 
and many counter orders, had at last despatched. 
They landed at Civita Vecchia on the 2qth, 
marched into Rome on the 30th, and Garibaldi, 
whose troops had advanced as far as the bridges 
over the Teverone, about three miles from Rome, 
and exchanged shots with the Papal outposts, 
retreated to Monte Rotondo. He intended at 
first to make a stand there, but considering that 
Tivoli, equally distant from Rome, was a much 
stronger position — with a river in front, and a 
mountainous country, suitable for guerilla war- 
fare, in the rear — he gave orders to march upon 
that town at daybreak on November 3rd. The 



least, 10,000 soldiers when he accepted battle at 
Mentana. 

The column which left Rome that morning 
under the command of General Kanzler, was 
composed of 2,913 men of the Papal army, 
under General de Courten, 1,500 of whom were 
Zouaves, and a little more than 2,000 of the 
French soldiers just arrived, under General 
de Polhes — making in all about 5,000 men with 
ten guns. 

The troops were under arms at one on the 
morning of the 3rd, but it was four o'clock when 
they marched out of the Porta Pia, the Papal 
forces leading and the French following at some 
distance. It was a dark and rainy morning, 



i66 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



and the soldiers in heavy marching order 
and carrying two days' rations in addition to 
tiicir usual burdens, advanced slowly over the 
muddy road. After crossing the Ponte Nomen- 
tano, about four miles from Rome, Major de 
Troussures was sent with three companies of 
Zouaves by a road to the left, to gain the valley 
of the Tiber and march on a line parallel to that 
followed by the main body, to threaten the right 
flank, of the Garibaldians. The remainder of 
the column went on till it reached the farm of 
Capobianco, half-way to Mentana, where it 
halted to let the men get some food and dry 
their clothes. By this time the rain had ceased, 
and, as after an hour's rest they again formed 
their ranks to continue their march, the sun 
shone brightly in a cloudless sky. 

On leaving Capobianco, the road ascends for 
some distance, crosses a broad tableland, and 
then winds rising and falling as it passes over 
the lower slopes of several hills covered with 
brushwood. It was half-past twelve when the 
dragoons who preceded the column came upon 
the Garibaldian outposts commanded by Colonel 
Missori, occupying a strong position in the 
woods on each side of the road. They fired 
their carbines and returned at full gallop to 
give the alarm. The first company of Zouaves, 
under Captain d' Albiousse, and the second, under 
Captain Thomale, were immediately extended in 
skirmishing order to the left and right, the third 
compan)', under Captain Alain de Charette, and 
the fourth, under Captain le Gonidec, following 
as supports. The woods were soon cleared of 
Garibaldians, and the heights scaled ; but a 
Genoese battalion, commanded by Captain Stallo, 
and another from Leghorn, led by Captain 
Meyer, held the tableland to the right of the 
road, and their heavy fire checked the advance 
of the Zouaves till their line was strengthened 
by the companies of Captain de Moncuit and 
Captain de \'eau.'C ; and Lieutenant-Colonel de 
Charette, hastening up with the company of 
Captain Lefebvre, led a furious bayonet-charge, 
which swept the Garibaldians before it. It was 
in vain that they tried to rally and re-form 
behind trees or farmhouses ; they were driven 
from one place of refuge after another, and a 
long line of killed and wounded marked the 
track of the Zouaves as they drove the 
shattered battalions back upon the Santucci 
vineyard. 

This strong position — a walled enclosure which 
had been loopholed, as well as the large farm- 
house standing on a height within it — was held 



by the battalion of Major Ciotti : it commands 
the approach to Mentana from the east across 
the tableland above that village, while the 
approaches from the front and from the west 
can be swept by a plunging fire from the Castle 
of Mentana. The approach to the vineyard was 
protected by a cross-fire from Monte Guarnieri, 
a wooded height on the opposite side of the 
road ; this had to be carried first, and it was 
taken by Captain Alain de Charette, whose 
company climbed the steep slopes and drove the 
Garibaldian sharpshooters from their shelter 
among the trees. 

A piece of artillery, commanded bj- Count 
Bernardini, then opened fire on the Santucci 
vineyard, while Lieutenant-Colonel de Charette 
attacked it in front with some companies of 
Zouaves, supported on their right by five com- 
panies of Swiss Carabiniers. The walls of the 
enclosure were soon scaled, and the Garibaldians 
driven back into the farmhouse, where they 
made a stubborn resistance till the doors were 
broken in, when they laid down their arms. In 
this attack Lieutenant-Colonel de Charette'^ 
horse was killed under him. and Captain de 
Veau.x fell, struck by a bullet which drove down 
into his heart the cross he had won at Castel- 
fidardo. 

The Papal troops had been equally successful 
on the left of the high road, where they had 
driven the Garibaldians from the woods and 
come out on the open slopes which descend 
towards Mentana, from which they could pour a 
heavy fire on the crowd of fugitives hastening 
from all directions towards the village. It was then 
two o'clock ; there was a cessation of the fight 
for a icw minutes to pick up and carry away 
the wounded, and General Kanzler, who had 
established his headquarters at the Santucci 
vineyard, prepared to attack Mentana. 

The Castle of Mentana, a feudal fortress of the 
Borghese familv, stands upon a rock with pre- 
cipitous sides advancing from the high road into 
a deep valley ; it was held, along with the ad- 
jacent Borghese palace, the village, and the 
barricade erected at its entrance, by four batta- 
lions of Garibaldians, under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Frig)-esi, a Hungarian ; the height above the 
village, where there was a large farm with stacks 
of hay and corn, was occupied b\' si.x battalions, 
commanded by Colonel Elia and Major \"alzania ; 
Major Cantoni, with three battalions, was sta- 
tioned to the left of the village on the road 
leading to Monte Rotondo, and the two guns 
which had been taken at the siege of that town 



GARIBALDI'S DEFEAT AT MEN'TANA. 



167 



were drawn up on Monte San Lorenzo, a little 
to the rear. 

General Kanzler placed three guns, two of 
•ivhich belonged to the French, on Monte Guar- 
nieri, another on the high road, and two more 
in the Santucci vineyard, to counteract the fire 
of the Castle and of the Garibaldian artillery ; 
the Zouaves advanced from the vineyard in 
skirmishing order and drove the Garibaldians 
from a building called the Conventino, beyond 
which the ground gradually rises towards the 
height which commands Mentana, where Elia's 
battalions were posted having their flanks pro- 
tected by the fire from the Castle and the 
adjacent houses. Five companies of Swiss Cara- 
ibiniers advanced in line with the Zouaves. On 
arriving in sight of the position held by the 
Garibaldians, the Zouaves, instead of waiting till 
the lire of the artillery had thrown the ranks 
■of the enemy into disorder, broke away madly 
Crom their officers. and charged. Heedless of the 
voice of their colonel or of the sound of the 
bugles, they pressed on, driving the Garibaldians 
from every hedge or clump of trees which they 
■sought to defend, and flung them back into the 
liouses. There the charge was stopped by a 
hail of bullets from the loopholed walls, but the 
Zouaves held their ground, sheltered by the hay- 
stacks, from behind which they returned the tire 
of the Garibaldians. A desperate sortie of the 
■enemy dislodged them, but three companies, led 
by Major de Lambilly, came to their relief ; they 
regained their positions, and at this spot, which 
was alternately lost and retaken, the greatest 
.amount of slaughter took place ; and the struggle 
lasted till nightfall. 

The front attack having been thus stopped, 
Garibaldi sent two strong columns to turn the 
flanks of the Papal army. One of these, of three 
battalions, marched from the northern end of 
the village, and nearly succeeded in surrounding 
and cutting off two companies of Swiss Cara- 
biniers on our right. They retired slowly in 
good order, tiring as they went, until being re- 
inforced by two more Swiss companies, and two 
of the Legior. d'Antibes, they dashed forward, 
broke up the Garibaldian column and pursued it 
as far as the road to Monte Rotondo. 

The other column, which marched from the 
south of the village, was not more successful — it 
was repulsed by three companies of the Legion 
•d'Antibes, who followed it as far as the entrance 
of the village, where they took a house and 
made some prisoners, but had to retire in 
presence of superior numbers. 



Just then the detachment under Major de 
Troussures was seen advancing in the direction 
of the road to Monte Rotondo. Garibaldi at 
once perceived that the day w^as lost, and his 
line of retreat nearly intercepted, he hastened to 
provide for his safety and left Mentana, while 
his staff-officers still continued to defend the 
village. 

They immediately collected all the men still 
able to fight, to make a last desperate effort to 
envelope the wings of the Papal army ; and when 
General Kanzler, who had sent forward all his 
reserves, saw two strong columns of companies 
issuing in good order from Mentana, he requested 
General de Polhes. whose infantr}- had hitherto 
taken no part in the combat, to bring forward his 
troops. A French battalion and three com- 
panies of Chasseurs, under Colonel Fremont, 
marched at once on the Garibaldian left, de- 
ployed into line, and for the first time the 
" Chassepot " was brought into action. The fight 
ceased for a moment over all the field of battle, 
as the soldiers on both sides paused to listen^o 
that deadly fire, rapid and ceaseless as the roll- 
ing of a drum, before which the hostile battalions 
disbanded and fled back into Mentana or Monte 
Rotundo, in spite of all the efforts of Menotti 
Garibaldi and his officers to rally them. The 
column on the right wing met with the same 
fate : attacked by Lieutenant-Colonel Saussier 
with a French battalion and the Zouaves of Major 
de Troussures, it broke and dispersed in various 
directions. 

Mentana was now completely surrounded, and 
it was decided to take it by assault. General 
de Polhes led a French regiment and a battalion 
of Chasseurs to storm the barricade at the en- 
trance of the village, while the Zouaves attacked 
a neighbouring house. 

It was just then, at the end of the fight, that 
Julian Watts-Russell, an English Zouave, and 
one of the youngest soldiers in the Papal army, 
fell, close to the village ; his comrades succeeded 
in taking the house, but the French column, 
crushed by the heavy fire from the barricade, 
the houses and the Castle, retreated after losuitr 
heavilv. 

Night had fallen, and it would have been 
impossible to continue the struggle ; the troops 
lit their watch-fires round the village, throwing 
out strong advanced posts and sentinels, and 
held themselves in readiness against a surprise. 
The ne.xt morning at dawn. Major Fauchon, 
with a French battalion, entered Mentana, when 
some hundreds of Garibaldians laid down their 



IDS 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



arms. Seven hundred others in the Castle 
capitulated, and were allowed to cross the 
frontier without arms. They had left boo dead 
and 500 wounded on the field ; while the loss of the 
Pontifical troops was 30 killed and 1 14 wounded, 
and of the P'rench, z killed and 36 wounded. 
Garibaldi continued his retreat as far as Correse 
on the evening of the battle, and crossed the 



frontier the next day with 5,000 men ; while 
Qoo others, under Colonel Salomone, escaped 
into the Abruzzi. The other Garibaldian bands, 
under Acerbi and Nicotera, which had occupied 
the provinces of Velletfi and Viterbo, and the 
Italian troops which had followed them, gradu- 
ally withdrew without offering any resistance, 
and thus ended the campaign. 














n A G N O K E A . 



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tHITRAL CAMPAIGN OF 139^ 

BY MAJOR GENERAL T BLAND 5TRANGt 



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V 



'■ The sea-wolf's litter stand savagely at bay." 



PROM the day the keels of the Norse 
rovers grated on the shores of Britain, 
her destiny was maritime power. 

The long galleys changed to trading 
ships, and with trade came military occupation, 
until commercial empire became a necessity to 
the crowded millions on the little islands of a 
northern sea. 

We strove for an outlet in a new world. 
Wolfe's battle on the plains of Abraham above 
Qaebec gave us Canada, which a French king's 
mistress consoled her royal lover, Louis XIV., 
by calling " Ouelques arpents de neige en 
Amcrique " ; and then we lost the fairest half 
of the western continent — our thirteen colonies, 
now the United States of America — by attempt- 
ing to tax them without their consent. 

Having lost the West we turned to the East, 
and again ousting France by the victories of 
Clive, the India merchant company began a 
new chapter in the history of the East, from 
whose earliest pages we know that the hordes of 
Central Asia have time and again descended from 
the roof of the world to the conquest of Hindu- 
stan, until Akbar fixed the house of Timour 
upon the throne of Delhi, and stopped the tide 
of invasion from ths North. 

The battle of Plassy, by raising a rival pov/er 
that became paramount, shook the throne of the 
Emperor of India, who subsequently became our 
puppet-king of Delhi. A century after Plassy 
the last scion of that Mongol dynasty met his 
well-deserved fate at the hands of an English 
leader of irregular horse at the fall of Delhi in 
1857, the year of the great Mutiny. Hodson, 
by capturing the King of Delhi and slaying his 
murderous sons, who had caused the massacre 
of English women and children, became the 
;;mpress-maker of Queen Victoria, the outposts 



of whose legions now face those of the great 
white Czar — the crest of the wave of Central 
Asian invasion, which our occupation of India 
has dammed back for more than a century. 

It is no light task that we have set ourselves, 
thus to stem the natural overflow of the Tartar 
hordes that have ever surged over the ancient 
civilisations of Hindostan. 

Unwittinglv, nigh half a century ago, while 
yet the Aluscovite was a thousand leagues 
awa}-, we had planted our standards at Chitral, 
what time we shattered the Sikh (Kalsa) army, 
which threatened the invasion of India, and 
assumed the administration of the Punjab and 
the whole territory of Runjeet Singh (1848). 

Kashmir was part of the Sikh kingdom under 
a viceroy, Golab Singh. To him we left the 
beautiful vallev, or rather sold it for a trifling 
sum (which was never paid), guaranteeing pro- 
tection and assuming suzeraintv- The Valley 
of Chitral is a dependency of Kashmir, and 
one of the gateway's of India, behind which 
the Muscovite alread}- stands. 

Nizam-ul-mulk, Methar of Chitral, was mur- 
dered by his brother, Amir-ul-mulk, in January, 
iSq;, in the usual mountain fashion, with pro- 
bably the usual outside instigation, as he was 
favourable to our influence. 

Dr. Robertson, the representative of the 
Indian Government, accepted the de facto 
ruler as best he could. 

Umra Khan, the bold and intriguing ruler of 
Bajour, invaded Chitral, not without pledge of 
outside support if he were successful. He offered 
the Metharship to Sher Afzul, apparently 
meaning to keep it himself. The Government 
of India gave him notice to quit by April ist, 
1805. The answer was an attack by his ally, 
Sher Afzul, on Captain Ross, and sixty Sikhs, 



tyo 



BATTLES OF THE xMXETEEXTH CENTURY. 



escorting aiT.munitioii to Dr. Robertson at 
Chitral.' 

Ross and his men died fighting ; fourteen only, 
under the wounded subaltern. Lieutenant Jones, 
fought their way back to Puni ; later, Lieutenants 
Edwards and Fowler, with a still smaller force, 
attempting the same task of conveying ammuni- 
tion to Chitral, were attacked bv overwhelming 
numbers. 

Fighting desperately and with some loss, they 
gained the shelter of the village of Reshun, 
bringing in all their wounded, ammunition, and 
rations. 

From the 7th to the 13th they doggedlv 
defended the place, loopholing the walls and 
piling the ammunition boxes into breastworks 
on the flat roofs. 

The men had short rations and but little 
water, which they drew from a stream hard by, 
making sorties, in one of which, on the night of 
the loth, Lieutenant Fowler and twenty men 
surprised about fifty of the enemy who had 
incautiously lit fires behind their sungars : the 
glare exposed them, while the attack got within 
ten yards without discovery and bayoneted 
about twenty ; the rest fled. 

During the sortie, a counter attack was made 
on Lieutenant Edwards and his men in the 
village ; it was repulsed. 

After this taste of sepoy steel, the enemy 
were not quite so intrusive, and the little garri- 
son were able to get water, repair their defences, 
and attend to the wounded (among whom was 
Lieutenant Fowler). 

Edwards, improvising splints and bandages, 
utilised his carbolic tooth-powder to pjit on 
open wounds. 

Not a murmur escaped the lips of the patient 
sepoys, who burnt the bodies of their six slain 
comrades, and grimly went on doing their 
duty, engaged in watching and desultor)- fight- 
ing day and night. 

On the 13th a white flag was shown by the 
enemy, who ceased firing and asked parley. 

Mahommed Isa Khan* said he had come from 
Dr. Robertson at Chitral with orders to stop all 
fighting pending the recognition of Sher Afzul 
as Methar. 

An armistice was concluded — the besieged 
to be unmolested, the Bhisties allowed to get 
water, and supplies of food sent in to the 
garrison. 

Alahommed Isa proposed a game of polo, and 

* Isa is the Mohammedan form of Jesus. 



invited the British officers, who, with British 
hardihood, accepted. They were treacherously 
seized, and the surprised garrison killed, except 
Jemidar Lai Khan and eleven sepo\-s, who, with 
their officers, were carried as prisoners to Sher 
Afzul, and subsequently delivered to fmra Khan, 
who wanted the English officers as a trump card 
in the game he was playing with General Low. 
He treated the officers well, and released the 
Mohammedan soldiers and the Hindus who 
accepted Islam ; those of our Hindu or Sikh 
sepoN's who refused conversion perished by the 
sword. By this capture sixty-eight boxes of 
ammunition fell into the hands of the enemy, 
who were already fairly well supplied with rifles 
and ammunition from Afghanistan. 

That inadequateh'-protected supplies of ammu- 
nition were ordered up to Chitral by Dr. Robert- 
son was not the act of the military authorities. 

Their mobilisation of 15,000 men was perfectly 
planned, and carried out with a swiftness and 
secrecy possible only to a Government unharassed 
by the questions of party politicians. 

The despatch of the expedition was decided on 
earl}- in March ; the plan of campaign prepared 
in the Intelligence Office by the middle of that 
month ; none of the officers chosen to com- 
mand were warned until well on in March : 
General Low himself had been granted leave 
for a trip to Kashmir — his baggage' and camp 
equipage, which had already started, had to be 
recalled. The commissariat and transport 
officers only got orders for the front fourteen 
da3-s before the force crossed the frontier. 

The press got the news on the i8th of 
March. On the ist of April 15,000 men of all 
arms crossed the frontier. In Europe soldiers 
with their supplies can be carried by rail to 
within a few miles of the fighting line. The 
march of a European army in India must be 1 
seen to be understood. Perhaps no Indian * 
arm}' ever marched with less impedimenta : 
Low's arpiy marched almost as it stood, with- 
out tents or baggage, which followed after the 
first fights had opened the route ; j-et vast 
supplies of food and forage had to be pushed 
through pathless mountains producing little 
but brave and hard\- foes, and there were as 
many camp-followers as fighting-men. 

The transport required was — camels, 9,6b8 ; 
bullocks, 7,32Q ; mules, 5,148 ; donkeys, 4.676 ; 
ponies, 3,536. The camel transport is always 
a source of difficulty in mountain countries, but 
has often to be used fi/nh- dc micux ; fortunateh', 
General Low, himself an Indian cavalr}- officer, 



THE CHITRAL CAMPAIGN OF iSq?. 



171 



ifth Punjabis, 4th 



had cxjK-ri^-iiLj in organising transport for 
General Roberts in Afghanistan. 

The details of the force were — Command'ng- 
in-Chief, Lieiitenant-General Sir Robert Low. 

1st Brigade: General Kinloch — Royal Rifles, 
Bedfordshire Regiment, 15th Sikhs, 37th Dogras, 
Field Hospital. 

2nd Brigade : General Watertield — Gordon 
Highlanders, Scottish Borderers, 4th Sikhs, 
Guides' Infantry, Field Hospital. 

3rd Brigade : General Gatacre — Seaforth 
Highlanders, The Buffs, 
Gurkhas, Field Hospital. 

Divisional Troops — 
Guide Cavalry, nth Ben- 
gal Lancers, 13th Bengal 
Infantry, 23rd Pioneers, 
Royal Artillery mountain- 
batteries, Nos. 3, S, 2 
[Dera-jhat), Bengal Sap- 
pers, Nos. I, 4, (> com- 
panies Engineer Field 
Park, Field and Veteri- 
nary Hospital. Lines of 
communication : General 
Hammond — East Lanca- 
shire Regiment, 20th and 
30th Punjabis, Hospital. 

In the press appeared 
forebodings. The bones 
of this expedition, like 
those of the first ill- 
starred one to Cabul, 
were also to whiten the 
passes. The desperate 
Talour of the hillmen, 
starvation, Afghan guile, 

and Russian intrigue were to smite us. But 
the good organisation and reticent generalship 
of Low, the dash of Kell\-, the dogged defence 
by Robertson, and the steady courage of our 
troops, falsified pessimist prophecy. 

Ascertaining that both the Malakand and 
Shahkot passes were occupied by the enemy — 
the latter most numerously — General Low issued 
false orders for a simultaneous attack on both 
passes, his intention being to concentrate the 
three brigades at Dargai, before the Malakand, 
on April 2nd. General Kinloch was left in the 
belief that his brigade was to force the Shahkot 
Pass, and the cavalry under Colonel Scott were 
sent with sealed orders, to be opened at the foot 
of the pass. These orders were to countermarch 
the same night. 

The feint was successful, and the defenders of 



the Shahkot remained at their posts, while the 
Malakand was forced, and did not oppose Gene- 
ral Low till the 4th of April, when they were 
checked bv Kinloch's brigade at Khar-kotal. 

A deluge of rain delayed the transport 
animals, and w?.s trying to men en bivouac. 
Nevertheless, the leading brigade marched briskly 
to the attack on the morning of the 3rd. The 
Guide cavalry felt the way, and the mountain- 
guns shelled the sungars along the higher crests. 

The enemy's position was mostly on the left 
of the pass. Their banners betrayed the sungars 
(breastworks of loose stone), piled along the faces 



THE CHITRAL CAMPAIGN. 




Passes 

of tM 
f.FROSriKS- 



and on the crests of the hills — the lowest on a 
precipitous hill, 3,000 feet above the valley. 

After a brief artillery fire, the 4th Sikhs and 
Guides were ordered to climb the hills on the 
left, carry the sungars, work along the crests, 
and turn the flank. As soon as they came within 
range, the hillmen opened fire, to which the 
attack could not adequately answer, as it took 
the men all they knew to climb. Those de- 
fenders who had not firearms rolled an avalanche 
of rocks on the assailants ; they, being in open 
order, could avoid them, though not the rifle 
fire. 

The defenders seem to have marked the 
ranges and picked out the officers, distinguished 
from their men by wearing helmets instead of 
turbans. 

Major Tonnochy, Captain Buchanan, Lieu- 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 



tenant Harman, and three native officers were 
wounded before two-thirds of the ascent had 
been got over. Lieutenant Ommane}-, of the 
Guides, was also wounded. 

The tribesmen stuck to their defences until 
rushed by the bayonet. 

It took nearly four hours to carry the crest of 
the position. The Sikhs and Guides had been 
nineteen hours under arms. In addition to the 
British and native officers mentioned, four sepoys 
Were killed and eleven wounded. 



before the crest was reached a small party of the 
Gordons, under a non-commissioned officer, 
crept up a watercourse and dropped into a 
sungar, from which a party of Swatis were enfil- 
ading the Borderers. The tribesmen could 
hardly handle their tulwars before the bayonet 
silently did its work — not always with impunity, 
for a gallant Gordon and a huge Pathan were 
found locked in a last embrace. 

If Britons take their pleasures sadly, they do 
their fighting with a dash of comedy. 



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5)- 



In the meantime the Scottish Borderers and 
the Gordon Highlanders worked up the centre 
of the pass. The mountain-guns, having been 
brought up a hill directly under the Malakand 
peak, shelled the main defences and the village 
on the summit. After half-an-hour of artillery 
fire. General Low gave the order for the main 
assault by infantry. The Borderers took the 
centre, the Gordons the right, the Mxxims going 
up as far as practicable with the fighting line. 

The ascent was steep and tortuous. It was 
afternoon before the assailants were up to the 
defences. The Borderers and Gordons bore the 
brunt of the fighting, and suffered most. 

Though the hillmen defended step by step, 
they rarely waited for the Scottish bayonet ; but 



Half-wav up the steep of Malakand panted a 
ponderous sergeant, breathless and drenched with 
sweat. A bullet splashed the mud in his face. 
Looking up, he shook his fist at the sungar and 
shouted, " Ye blank brutes, if ye was on the flat 
I'd eat yer I '' Iij the strife of battle men 
laughed. 

The last climb was precipitous ; the men 
hauled each other up. Lieutenant Watt, of the , 
Gordons, was the first to top the ridge. The 
enemy rushed at him. He shot two with his 
revolver, and shouted to his men below. As 
they could not at once reach him, he was fortun- 
ately able to get down, until a fuller rush could 
be made. 

This officer had his shoulder-strap carried 



BuOOHIST f?IOC 

Camps on the Kojal [^alaK. a.nd ftss 



LowAF^i Pass 

SmOVVINO the Tf^^CK^ IN 1"HE SNOW 




VIEWS IN THE CHITRAL COUNTRY. 



174 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



away bv a bullet, which first passed through the 
brain of his corporal. 

General Low, seeing the difficulties of the 
main attack, sent Kinloch's infantry up the 
hill in support — King's Royal Rifles on the left, 
Bedford? and Dogras on the light. 

The 15th Sikhs only were held in reserve. By 
2 p.m. the pass was carried and the village in 
flames. The fighting was severe on the summit, 
and from the wooded plateau the defenders had 
to be dislodged by the bayonet. 

The Gordons and Borderers, now mixed, col- 
lected outside the village to rest and get breath, 
while the Bedfords, who were in good order, 
passed through the fighting line, and, with the 
Dogras in hot pursuit, drove the enemy across 
the ridge behind Malakand into the Swat valley 
beyond Khara, where Colonel Patterson allowed 
his wearied Bedfords to bivouac. 

The commissariat was far on the other side of 
the pass, but in the deserted village men found 
native food — rice, flour, sugar, calves, and goats 
— so the force fared sumptuously and slept peace- 
fully, for no mountaineers were near save the 
dying and the dead. 

The Sikhs and Guides occupied the corre- 
sponding crest on the left, the Dogras on the 
right. 

Meanwhile, the mountain gunners and their 
mules began to scramble up the pass, followed 
by the mule transport of the ist Brigade. The 
baggage of the 2nd Brigade being on camels, 
could not be got up until a pathway had been 
made for the unwieldy brutes. Late in the 
evening an order was flagged to the summit of 
the pass for the 2nd Brigade to come down to 
their rations. The descending stream of soldiers 
and the baggage of the ist Brigade struggling 
up made a block in the pass. 

Night fell, the unencumbered soldiers got 
down, but the transport mules had to be un- 
packed, and some doolies with their suffering 
load of wounded waited for the day. Officers 
who carried tins of Bovril in their haversacks 
gave them up for the wounded men, smoked a 
pipe for supper, and lay down under the universal 
sky blanket. 

Our casualties were eight officers and sixty- 
one men. The strength of the enemy v.-as esti- 
mated at 12,000, their killed at 500. Their 
wounded must have been many. 

The little pathways down to the Swat valley 
were streaked with blood, showing where the 
wounded had been carried or dragged them- 
selves along. 



The pencil diameter of the Lee-Metford 
bullet will drill a hole even through a bone 
without bringing down or always stopping the 
rush of a man of a fighting religion.* 

What the hillmen said they feared was " not 
the child-rifle, but the devil guns, which killed 
half-a-dozen men with one shot (shell), which 
burst and threw up splinters, as deadly as the 
shots themselves." 

An ancient, unused road, said to have been 
of Buddhist construction, was discovered, and 
soon made passable for the clumsy camel. 

The indefatigable sapper had already made i' 
fit for wheel traffic. 

Lionel James, war correspondent with the 
force, thinks the original engineers were 
soldiers rather than priests. Alexander of 
Macedon entered India via the Malakand, we 
are told ; and if the army of Alexander the 
Greek, why not a Russian Ale.xander ? 

Unlike the Greek, the Russian consolidates 
his conquests slowly, but surely. 

The Greek soldier has left more than hi.s 
impress on roads, for many of the tribes about 
the mountain gates of India are of a Greek 
type, especially the women : they are fair and 
tall, absolutely diff'erent from the squat Tartar 
figures and hideous featureless faces of the 
Ladakis on our north-eastern frontier. 

Modern Buddhist roads with their long lines 
of prayer-graven stones lead straight across the 
hills, and are unfit for load-carrying animals ; the 
Buddhist pilgrim carries nothing but personal 
filth and his hand praying-machine.t 

But we must pass from Buddhist priests and 
the soldiers of either Alexander to those of 
Victoria. 

On the morning of the 4th the Bedfords and 
Dogras returned from their swoop into the 
valley of the Swat, and rejoined their brigade 
on the summit of the Malakand. The whole 
brigade was ordered to march on Khar. The 
Bedfords gave the advanced guard going down 
the ancient pathwav, followed by the mountain- 
guns, the K.O. Rifles, and the baggage. The 

* The Maxim must stop man or horse if it has the- 
range, for the rapidity of fire is so great that four or five 
bullets will strike a man before he can fall. The Martini- 
Henri calibre Maxim has a large bullet, but the smoke of 
black powder draws fire. Smokeless Maxims would be 
invaluable for the defence of frontier posts where the 
ranges can be marked and ammunition stored, 

t A little revolving copper cylinder in which are 
written prayers ; each revolution counts for a whole 
book of prayer, and the pilg'^m twirls out his prayers 
as he walks leisurely along. 



THE CHITRAI, CAMPAIGN OF 189: 



175 



Dogras and 15th Sikhs, taking another path, 
Jebouchfd upon the plain about the same linic, 
passing a village they had burnt the evening 
before. 

The party of sappers, road-making in the 
advance, reported the enemy in force on a low 
ridge to the right front, and ascending in great 
strength a high rocky ridge which ran parallel 
to the road. 

The Bedfords seized the mouth of the defile 
through which the road ran, two companies on 
each flank ; another of Bedfords and one of 
K.O. Rifles ascended a spur on the right. 

The guns came into action against the enemy 
on the high ridge. The Dogras advanced 
across the plain, supported by the Sikhs, and 
attacked the low ridge to the right front, 
driving the enemy over it, and beyond. They 
got under the fire of the heights, and were 
repeatedly assailed by rushes of the hillmen, 
but they stood their ground. Major Cunning- 
ham advanced his guns, and the ring shell 
began to find the enemy. 

Captain Cambridge's two companies of Bed- 
fords met the sudden onset of a large body of 
tribesmen with magazine fire at short range, 
which they could not stand. Most of the brave 
fellows succeeded in regaining cover, though 
few could have escaped unwounded. 

Here is the account given to a war correspond- 
ent by a wounded Swati : — 

" We fought hard, because the mullahs urged 
us to defeat the Kaffirs before the devil-guns 
could be brought over the pass, and they told us, 
to give us heart, that the guns could not be 
brought over the pass for days ; but it was false, 
for presently we heard the deep boom of these 
guns, and from them there was no safety and no 
cover. But the mullahs urged us on, and so 
about 300 of us determined to rush the guns, 
for they alone made us cowards. 

" But we met many Kaffirs (infidels) on the 
side of the hill, whom we had not seen, for they 
fired without making smoke and we were so 
close to them that we could not escape being 
wounded. 

" But their fire killed few, though it was very 
rapid, and many of us, who had escaped into 
the nullah, believed we were unwounded until 
we found blood on our clothes. 

" We were all more or less wounded. I got 
this (pointing to his thigh), but only a few were 
badly hurt. 

" This did not stop us fighting. 

" But the Kafifirs stood still, and we could not 



make it out. Thev made no attempt to drive 
us from our position. 

" Then our mullahs said, ' They are afraid ; 
the day is ours.' 

" So a great party came down from the hill 
into the plain, for we were full of the belief that 
the Kaffirs were afraid. 

" Suddenly there was a shout, and the Kaffir 
horsemen were upon us. 

"Now we know nothing of horsemen, and we 
never believed they could come up the Malakand 
with big horses. 

'' With one accord we fled — some to the hills, 
others to Badkhel, and others into the nullahs. 

" The horsemen killed a few ; but for the 
softness of the ground they would have killed 
man}'. 

" It was night, and the mullahs said, ' The 
river is rising ; let us go to the other side ; then 
they will never pass.' 

" Some said, ' Let us attack them to-night,' but 
we were beaten ; we had about 200 dead on that 
ridge. 

" We feared the horses and the guns, and we 
went to Tanna that night. . . . 

" We of Swat lost heart when we saw the 
smoke of Khar ascending to the sky. 

" Most men had lied ! My wound was sore, 
but I was able to walk ; it was only a little stiff, 
as it had not bled much." 

The Kaffir horsemen of the narrator were a 
tired party of the Guides' cavalry under Adams 
and Baldwin : they had marched right through 
from Dargai, over the Malakand, that morning 
without even watering or feeding. Adams 
formed them behind a khotal held by the Dogras,, 
and charged home through soft cornfields almost 
knee-deep. 

The hillmen, who had faced magazine-rifle 
fire, would not face horsemen with that queen 
of anncs blanches the lance ! They mostly 
took it in the back ; some faced about, squatted 
and sliced at the legs of horse or rider ; Lieu- 
tenant Baldwin, four sowars, and si.x horses were 
wounded. 

Major Cunningham's guns gave the sungars a 
last benefit : the shooting was good, and the last 
fire of the day had a demoralising eiTect. 

The brigade bivouacked where it stood. 

The force opposed to us was a fanatic gather- 
ing, probablv d.goo, composed of the remnant 
of the Malakand defenders, those of the Shahkot 
pass left out of the first engagement, and men 
from the Bonar and Bijour countries. 

Their losses were more than at Malakand, the 



1/6 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



guns doing most of the damage, getting shell 
into the masses on several occasions. 

Our loss was slight — men killed, two ; officers 
wounded, three ; and men wounded, fifteen ; 
horses killed and wounded, eight. 

General Low's headquarters with 2nd Brigade 
(excepting Gordons and Gurkhas, holding the 
Malakand) reached Khara on the fth. No 
.serious resistance was met until the Swat river 
was reached. 

On the 6th the brigades again changed places, 
the second being ordered to the front. The 
mules were being used for supplies only ; when 
available for general transport, they were sent on 
to 2nd Brigade instead 
of back to 1st Brigade. 

The bare and pre- 
cipitous hills of Swat 
contrast with the fer- 
tile valleys, long green 
stretches of waving 
corn in spring, due to 
the moisture from the 
watershed above, and 
alluvial soil ■ washed 
down by floods. 

Trees are scarce — 
mostl}' mulberry, wal- 
nut, apricot. The cli- 
mate in spring is de- 
lightful, but summer 
is hot in the val- 
leys. Our troops will 
doubtless be can- 
toned on the heights, 
where they will be far 
healthier than being poisoned in Peshaw ar. 

The valleys of Swat, Bijour, and Chitral re- 
semble each other : the people handsome and 
intelligent — the men brave but volatile, the 
women gracious and full of charm. 

The Hunza-Nagar valleys, at the foot of the 
eastern passes, are barren, the people more Tar- 
taresque and less intelligent. 

On the 6th of April the 2nd Brigade en- 
camped opposite the crossing of the Swat river, 
north of the village of Alladand. 

Reconnaissance showed that the gatherings 
we had fought on the 3rd and 4th had retired up 
the Swat valley, without entirely dispersing. 

Where the Swat river has five beds — reported 
fordable, but swift — were two villages, Chakdara 
and Adamderai, on wooded knolls. 

They were occupied bv the enemv, swarming 
in from the north-east, making a strong position 




GE.NER.^L LOU'. 



to defend the ford. On the right, about 2,000 
yards, rises a knoll, and beyond a ridge of hills 
parallel with the river, completely commanding 
the passage. There were no corresponding 
positions on our bank. 

Two companies of sappers under Major Alymer 
were sent down to conmience bridging at day- 
break ; they v.-ere fired upon from the opposite 
bank, and unable to work. 

The Maxim of the K.O.S.B. and No. 8 Moun- 
tain Battery, R.A., were brought down ; the 
ground the latter had to cross was bogg)-. By 
the time they got into action it was found 
the enemy were in greater force than was 

thought probable at 
this point. As the 
strength of the enemy 
developed, regiment 
after regiment was sent 
into action — 4th, 15th, 
Sikhs, and Borderers. 
The firing became 
general all down the 
river, and the guns, 
having got the range, 
were doing good work 
against the sungars on 
the ridge. 

The nth Bengal 
Lancers and Guides, 
under Colonel Scott, 
were ordered to find 
a ford. Among the 
enemy were noticed 
some of Umra Khan's 
cavalr)-. It was a 
difficult task to ford the Swat, through fire 
and water, for the torrent swept over the 
holsters. Lieutenant Sarel's horse shied at 
the splash of a bullet, lost its footing, and was 
swept away ; the rider saved himself by 
gripping the lance held out by a sowar. Shual 
Singh, of Captain Wright's squadron, was 
the first man across. The ground on the other 
side was broken and marshy ; the enem}-, already 
flying, had a long start, but before thev got into 
the high ground the lancers were among them, 
inflicting severe loss, until stony ground and 
heavy going made further pursuit impossible. 
Of the tribesmen, but few stood to bay, knelt 
down, and shot their man before the lance could 
reach them. Five sought shelter in some bushes 
over a dry well, and pulled the first sowar, horse 
and all, into the well with them. His comrades 
dismounted and prodded that well. The sowars 



THE CHITRAL CAMPAIGN OF 1S95. 



177 



were merciless — not that the tribesmen were 
less so ; tor a wounded Swati, finding a worse 
wounded lancer, chopped him up. One must 
have seen a charge of native lancers, and heard 
the exultant shout of the trooper as he transfixes 
his foe as accurately as he would a tent-peg, to 
realise the innate ferocity of man. 

Shortly after the cavalry had crossed, the 



wounded ; the Sikhs two sepoys drowned, two 
lancers were killed, and several wounded. The 
sappers had a few casualties. The enemy had 
assembled 4,500 to oppose the passage, and their 
losses were considerable. If the tribes had stood 
to their defences, the cavalry must have suffered 
severely, but positions impossible to cavalry 
attack were abandoned. The 3rd Brigade passed 




THE PASSAGE OF TUE SWAT. 



Scottish Borderers, linked arm-in-arm like their 
ante-types of the " Island of the Scots," had also 
forded the Swat higher up, opposite the small 
Fort Ramorah, which they carried undercover of 
theDera Jhul mountain-guns. The Sikhs crossed 
in like fashion lower down, and occupied the 
villages of Chakdara and Adam Dhara. 

Such feats of infantry-fording are onlj- possible 
with the modern brass cartridge and breech- 
loaders ; in the old days of paper cartridges, 
musket and pouch had to be held above water. 

Our casualties at the passage of the Swat were 
few. The Borderers had one man killed and two 

60 



the Malakand on the 8th. To feed the troops 
on the north side of the pass, General Low had 
been obliged to utilise, during the 4th, 5th, and 
6th, all the mules of the force, as these were the 
only animals that could cross the pass ; and it 
was not till the 8th, when camels had been 
streaming across for two days with supplies, that 
it was possible to equip the 2nd and 3rd Brigades 
with transport, tents, baggage, and twenty days' 
supplies. The 2nd Brigade were entirelv across 
the Swat by the evening of the 8th, and head- 
quarters next day, the 3rd Brigade encamping 
on the opposite bank at ^Vlladand. On the 



78 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



loth the 2nd Brigade marched to Ganibat, cross- 
ing Katgola pass, over which Umra Khan's 
horsemen had disappeared Irom the pursuit of 
Wright's tired squadron. 

The 3rd Brigade passed the Swat, now bridged. 
' General Kinlock's Brigade was left to guard the 
Swat valley and communications. On the nth 
General Low and 2nd Brigade reached the 
Panjkora river at Sado ferry. Owing to the 
difficulty of the " Shago Kas" defile, the baggage 
did not get into camp till very late that night, 
being fired into en route by the hillmen who 
still hung on our flanks and rear. The advanced 
guard of cavalry. Guide infantry, and 4th Sikhs 
had arrived at Sado on the 10th. Cavalry 
forded the river, and reconnoitred up the Bijour 
valle}' ; they found L^mra Khan's forts still held, 
and that evening, owing to the river rising, the 
cavalrj- had considerable difficulty in recrossing. 
The Panjkora bridge was commenced by Major 
Alymer and sappers. It was built on raft piers 
from logs lying on the banks. 

On the evening of the 12th, foot-men could 
cross. There being every hope that the re- 
mainder of the brigade and their baggage could 
cross the following day, Colonel Battye and his 
Guides passed over to cover the bridge and form 
a tetc-de-pont at the apex of a re-entering angle 
of the right bank. The post had a level space 
of some hundred yards in its front, and was 
commanded by high ground on the left bank. 
Before daybreak on the 13th the river rose 
suddenly, swollen with melted snow. 

The tribesmen had set adrift huge logs, which 
bore dowji upon the bridge and swept it away. 
A suspension bridge was then commenced at a 
suitable site about two miles lower down. The 
cables were twisted strands of telegraph-wire, 
but this was work requiring three or four days. 
A new road also had to be cut on the opposite 
bank to the mouth of the Bijour valley. This 
could only be done by holding the right bank. 
On the 13th the Guides were ordered to march 
down the right bank and punish certain villages, 
from which men had been persistently firing on 
the transport. The route intended for the 
Guides to follow was in view of the left bank, 
and could be covered by fire from our side. By 
some misunderstanding, never now to be ex- 
plained. Colonel Battye led his Guides up the 
Ushiri river into Bijour. 

When the helio flashed the news that over- 
powering masses of the enemy were bearing 
down on the separated parties of the Guides 
engaged in burning the walled villages, the 



2nd Brigade was ordered out to cover the 
retirement. The Sikhs hearing that their 
sister corps, the Guides, were in a tight place, 
broke into a shout, got under arms, and 
five minutes after the long-drawn notes of the 
assembly had died away were marched off, 
followed by Captain Peebles and his Maxim, the 
Borderers, and the Gordons. The range south- 
west of the camp was climbed, and the brigade 
lined its western face. On the summit of the 
corresponding ridge, across the river, the Guides 
were engaged out of range of support. They 
were hard pressed, for the enemy saw the bridge 
was carried awa}'. A delayed helio message was 
even now received by Colonel Battye to carrj- 
out the order of the previous evening. It was 
immediatelv countermanded by an order to 
retire on the camp. Then Colonel Battye 
obeyed, and retired deliberate!)- as a good soldier 
should. His party was divided into three ; the 
right retired last, covering the others, and 
Colonel Batt\-e remained with it. The left party 
found an easy descent, and were not pressed by 
the enenn, who threw themselves fiercely on 
the two remaining columns, in spite of the 
artillery fire which had now begun to touch. 
The right and centre retired slowly, covering 
each other with flank fire, until the centre party 
had to climb round a precipitous spur, losing 
sight of Colonel Battye, who held on until 
assured of their safety by seeing them below. 
Meanwhile Lieutenant Codrington with the left, 
seeing the right had ceased to retire, again began 
to ascend in support of his chief, while Lieu- 
tenant Lockhart with the centre took up a 
position to cover the retirement of both when , 
they would have to cross the open. The tribes- 1 
men, swarming above Colonel Battye, poured a ; 
heavy and continuous fire upon his little party, 
which must have been annihilated but that the 
hillmen fired high, under the e.xcitement of close 
quarters, as all soldiers will, in spite of the lessons 
of all campaigns since the introduction of fire- 
arms.* That the Guides behaved splendidly 
goes without saying — always. Their severest trial 
was just when they reached the open plain, and 
the fire across the river could not support them 
on account of the nearness of friend and foe. 

At this critical moment Colonel Battye fell. 
The Afridi Company, without orders, fi.\ed 
bayonets and turned savagely upon the foe to 
avenge the man they loved like a father — Alera 
Bap ! (as the sepoy calls his colonel). They 

* The Germans keep their bayonets fi.xed, which has a 
tendency to keep down fire. 



THE CHITRAL CAMPAIGN OF i8q; 



179 



rolled back the enemy to the very foot of the 
liill, which they began to re-uscend to their 
inevitable destruction. The officers could be 
seen here and there to seize an infuriated sepoy 
by the coat collar and hurl hiui back into tiie 
ranks. Sullenly the Guides obeyed, carrying 
their dying colonel, the last of four brothers who 
have died on fields of honour. 

The dogged resistance of the Guides and the 
covering fire of the 2nd Brigade had hardly 
stayed the enemy. At nightfall 2,000 men lay 
in wait in the cornfields for the signal to rush 
the camp of the isolated— but still stout-hearted 
— Guides, who had not tasted food for forty-eight 
hours, and marched and fought the long day 
through. But, said a Pathan prisoner, " Sud- 
denly the night was turned into day, and then 
again and again our courage forsook us. The 
devil guni were firing the stars at us."* 

That same evening a company of the 4th Sikhs 
and Peebles with his Ma.xim managed to cross on 
mussack rafts to the support of the Guides. t 

During the night the enemy fired stray shots, 
but only wounded a couple of sepoys. At day- 
break their fire was more accurate and killed 
the gallant Captain Peebles and wounded a 
Devon man with the Maxim. 

The enemy retired, and the Guides and Sikhs 
took up a forward position. The party that 
attacked the Guides was about 4,000 strong ; by 
their own account they lost 500. Our loss was 
only two officers and three men killed, and 
twenty-two wounded. 

On the 13th, Umra Khan sued for terms, 
sendmg in his prisoner. Lieutenant Edwards, 
and Fowler, three days later. 

The rains were incessant, and the rivers con- 
tinued to rise; it seemed likely that the bridge 
over the Swat, in General Low's rear, and the 
suspension bridge over the Panjkora, would 
both be swept away. 

The two remaining mussack rafts (one had 
been overturned, and two unserviceable from 
bullet holes) were not sufficient to cross supplies. 

The Guides and Sikhs were ordered to pack 
ammunition and baggage in their entrenchment 

* Star shell were fired across the river by the artillery. 
But star shell are to be discontinued in our service, and 
parachute light balls are seen only in our military 
museums. 

t Mussacks are skins of animals used as water-bags. 
When inflated with air they support a raft, being very 
buoyant and suitable for crossing mountain torrents, 
impact with a rock does not injure them as it would a 
more solid support or pontoon, but crossing under fire is 
risKv as a single bullet-hole lets out the air. 



and hold thcmsches in readiness to re-cross by 
the suspension bridge before what there was of it 
was swept awav, for the flood threatened the 
piers, and was rapidly rising to the roadway, 
but the river falling on the ]6th, they were 
ordered to stand fast. 

On the 17th, General Low crossed with the 
3rd and 2iul Brigades. They Iiad been pre- 
ceded by a squadron of the Guides under 
Colonel Blood, who found the enemy advancing 
from the village of Miankalai. The enemy 
occupied the hills on the south and two villages 
to the west. The 4th Gurkhas were directed 
up the southern hills, to move along them to 
the west ; the Seaforth Highlanders on the 
slopes below, and the 25th Punjabees in support. 
The Buffs occupied the hills to the north with 
the Dera-jhat battery in action on a knoll in the 
centre. While the infantry cleared the hills, 
the lancers advanced up the centre of the 
valley, but they got no chance to charge, the 
ground being broken. 

The enemy did not show the bold front of 
previous days, but retired as the infantry 
advanced, and though the guns were pushed 
forward about 1 ,000 yards, the loss of the enemy 
was trifling. Our casualties were four Gurkhas 
and a Highlander, four troopers and twelve 
horses wounded. 

On the 1 8th, General Low, with the 2nd and 
3rd Brigades, marched on Mundia, Umra Khan's 
home, a stone fort with four flanking towers, 
the interior a village intersected by lanes, the 
principal buildings being the mosque and Umra 
Khan's harem. The place was abandoned and 
empty save for a couple of ancient cannon, 
the toilet articles of native ladies, some rag- 
dolls, and a letter from an enterprising Bombay 
firm offering to supply Umra Khan with the 
newest weapons and ammunition at the lowest 
rates. 

But L'mra Khan had been fairly supplied 
from several sour/:es, and had gone to his Afghan 
friends at Asmar, at the date of General Lovv's 
visit. 

On the same evening General Gatacre, with 
the Buffs, Gurkhas, half a mountain-battery, 
two Maxims, a half-comjiany of sappers, and 
twenty days' supplies, was pushed on to Barwa, 
en route for Dir and Chitral. 

On the 20th, the remainder uf the brigade, 
Seaforths and Punjabees, were brought on 
by General Low to the foot of the Janbatai. 
Having news that the Chitral garrison were 
reduced to great straits, Gatacre was ordered to 



i8o 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



push on with 500 men, supported by the Sea- 
fort hs. 

The following daj- news came that Sheer Afzul 




COLONEL EATTYE. 
(Fhatit, J. Biitke ir- Co., Kinitick Mara.) 

had abandoned the siege, and was a prisoner in 
the hands of our ally the Khan of Dir. 

When the relief of Chitral by Colonel Kelly's 
column was known, orders were sent to Gatacre 
not to press his men. His advanced troops 
were at Dir. The Lowari pass, 10,400 feet, was 
knee-deep in softening snow, and could only 
be crossed by a battalion at a time. Umra 
Khan had crossed with several tiiousand men 
in January when the snow was hard. Though 
our men suffered, they endured cheerily. 

There is a good deal of " bogey " talk about 
our men funking the mountain-passes and the 
snows: they do not in the least, but enjoy the 
change from the sultry plains. 

A man of the Buffs (the old London City 
Regiment) smacking his arms after the fashion 
of a cabby, said to his pal, " Well, I likes this — 
it reminds me more of the Old Country than 
anything I saw since I left." 

They rivalled the mountain Gurkhas, tobog- 
ganing on nothing, down the steep snow slopes 
of the abrupt descent ; and a sporting Madras 
Drabie unpacked his mule and tobogganed down 
astride on a rum cask, disappearing in a whirl 
of snow rather faster than he liked. 

General Low's steady advance, securing his 
communications as he marched, and his five 
decisive defeats of the enemy, drove LTmra Khan 
■across the border, and Sheer Afzul to despair, 
thus rendering possible the relief of Chitral by 
Kelly's gallant little column. 



Adjectives only weaken the bald chronicle o^ 
Chitral defence as told by Dr. Robertson. 

The fort of Chitral on the river (to which 
there is a covered water-way) is about eighty feet 
square, with towers at the angles ; the walls, eight 
feet thick, are stone filled into square wooden 
crates. It is naturally commanded from every 
side, and the indefatigable enemy built sungars, 
giving them a protected command. Abcmt fifty 
yards from the fort was a stone wall enclosing 
the mosque and stables, solid stone buildings, 
which had to be destroyed by the garrison, as 
they were not numerous enough to hold them, 
March ist, the garrison consisted of 370 fighting- 
men, 90 Sikhs, the remainder Kashmir Imperial 
Service Rifles ; Captain Campbell commanded 
the whole. When he was wounded the com- 
mand devolved upon Captain Townshend. The 
other European officers were Captain Baird and 
Lieutenant Harley, Dr. Robertson, British Agent, 
Lieutenant Gurdon, his assistant, and Surgeon- 
Captain Whitchurch. On 3rd March came news 
of the approach of Sheer Afzul and a large force. 
A reconnaissance was made toward Drosh, Captain 
Baird led the advance, the British Agent and 
Captain Gurdon accompanied the force ; thev 
were repulsed from a fortified village, and in re- 
tiring, their flanks were overlapped. Campbell 
was shot through the knee, but mounted his 
horse and remained. The two Imperial Service 
Kashmir officers. General Baj Singh and Major 
Bhikran Singh, were shot dead, one on each side 
of Captain Townshend, who drew off the party 




and reached the fort, covered by the Sikhs. 
Dr. Robertson's native writer, carrying orders, 
received eighteen tulwar wounds, and is pt'.ve 







^^, ;. ^{[fSt^ 






" LIEUTENANT HARLEY, AT THE HEAD OF FORTY SIKHS AND SIXTY KASHMIRIS, RUSHED THE HOUSE 

OVER THE MOUTH OF THE MINE " (A 182). 



l82 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



to write still. Captain Baird, mortally wounded, 
was brought in by Surgeon-Captain Whitchurch 
and thirteen Gurkhas, who had been cut off; 
they were nearly all wounded, but fought their 
way back through enclosures, with the body of 
the dying ofiicer, who was carried by White- 
church. Our loss was 22 killed and 36 wounded 
out of 150 engaged. In the fort were stored 
seventy days' half-rations, 350 rounds of Martini, 
and 240 Snider per man. 

The enemy tried every means, beginning with 
Afghan wilti, offering Dr. Robertson and party a 
safe conduct to Mastuj, while arrangements were 
made for their destruction en rotttc. They made 
the fiercest assaults and carried on incessant fire. 
Day and night the garrison watched, fought, 
and toiled, building traverses and prados with 
any available material, and screens of tents and 
carpets. Boots were utilised as fire buckets. On 
the 25th the enemy set fire to the water-tower; 
they were repulsed and the fire extinguished. 
On the 14th they again assailed the waterway, 
and failed ; Dr. Robertson was wounded in the 
shoulder, and other casualties occurred. On 
the i6th a letter was sent in from Edwards, and 
a truce granted with the hope of obtaining his 
release ; it was futile, for, on the 17th, it was dis- 
covered that the enemy had run a mine to 
u-ithin a few feet of the walls ; the playing of 
native bagpipes and tom-toms had prevented the 
sound of mining from being heard. Lieutenant 
Harley, at the head of 40 Sikhs and 60 Kashmiris, 
rushed the house over the mouth of the mine. 
The order was, " No firing; ba\-onet only." Three 
powder-bags were carried, the garden gate was 
quietly thrown open at four p.m., and the party 
rushed out and bayoneted 35 of the enemy; the 
powder-bags were placed, the fuses lit, the 
assailants barely escaped being blown vip with 
the defenders, the turban of the last retiring 
sepoy caught fire from the explosion, which laid 
open the whole mine like a ditch to the foot of 
the tower. We lost 8 killed, 13 wounded; the 
enemy about 60. Their wounded went up with 
the fiery blast ; their souls to the Paradise of 
fighting-men ; their charred remnants fell back 
into the crater of the exploded mine. 

The garrison now sunk counter-mines to con- 
tinue the fight under the earth, as well as upon it. 

The siege lasted forty-six days ; one fifth of 
the garrison were killed or wounded. On the 
night of 1 8th, Sher Afzul and his retainers fled. 

Our ally the Khan of Dir was advancing in 
one direction, Colonel Kelly in another, and 
Low's force getting near. 



On the 20lh April Colonel Kelly's column 
marched into Chitral. They left Gilgit in two 
parties on'23rd and 24th March. First party, 200 
Pioneers, with addition of two mountain-guns, 
under Lieutenant Stewart, K.A., who joined 
eti route, also Lieutenant Oldham, R.E., with 
40 Kashmir sappers and 100 Hunzanagur levies: 
Lieutenant Gough with 60 Kashmir troops. It 
had snowed for five days, and Kelly waited at 
Ghize for the second party. On April 1st the 
whole attempted the Shundar Pass, 1 1 ,000 feet. 

Eight miles from Ghize the mules sank above 
the girths in snow, and Colonel Kelly returned 
to Ghize with half the Pioneers, leaving Captain 
Borradaile at Taru with the rest, ten days' sup- 
plies, and all the coolies. 

On the 3rd, Borradaile pushed on with his 
command, guns and carriages in pieces, partly 
on sleighs, partly on the backs of coolies, to 
the foot of the pass, where they slept in the 
snow, having no tents. Next morning the}- 
made a track through the pass to Langar, reach- 
ing it in the evening ; there they entrenched 
themselves. The following day they brought 
the guns through — killing work for men at that 
altitude, where the rarefied air makes breathing 
diflScult, and brings a taste of blood into the 
mouth. Thirty men were struck with snow- 
blindness, 26 frostbitten in the first party alone. 
They carried 15 lb. kit, eighty rounds a man, 
and wore poshteens (sheepskin coats).* On April 
5th Colonel Kelly, with 50 levies, started after 
Borradaile, who had advanced towards Gasht. 
The people of Langar had been taken by sur- 
prise, and made salaam. On the 7th there was 
a halt to collect transport. Rig-Ackbar arrived 

* We are slow to apply the military experience to be 
gained in various parts of our empire. Lieutenant de 
LotLiniere, RE., an officer from the Canadian Military 
College, for some years roadmaking in the passes about 
Gilgit, asked the Government to import snow-shoes 
sufficient to instruct his men, and invaluable to keep 
open the passes when the snow is soft. Englishmen 
acquire the use of snow-shoes in a few days, and why not 
sepoys ? The requisition for snow-shoes probably 
puzzled and never got beyond the Baboos of the Indian 
Finance Department The rigid doolie, with its curtains 
(an incomparable litter in the plains), is unsuitable for 
mountain warfare A dandy or net hammock, as recom- 
mended by Major Carter in his paper on mountain war- 
fare, is more suitable. But during the long peace from 
Waterloo to the Crimea we forgot more than we seem 
to have learned since, for many a brave fellow was car- 
ried from a Peninsular battlefield in his silk net sash But 
the military tailor has long since swept away the rational 
adornments of the British army to substitute expensive 
futilities. 



THE CHITRAL CAMPAIGN OF l8q^. 



183 



with 50 levies. The Yasin people were frieiully, 
and gave assistanee. April Sth, Colonel Kelly's 
advance was led by Huinayan, the Prime 
Minister of Hunza, whose levies skirmished to 
perfection. These are the people we conquered 
about two years ago. The old story : conquer 
the Asiatic and take him into your service, or 
accept the alternative of fighting him for ever. 

April Qth, the levies under Lieutenant Beynon 
turned the enemy's right. The main body 
advanced down the valley of the river. The 
guns opened on the sungars ; a few shells drove 
out the defenders, who suffered in their flight 
from the rifles of the Pioneers. But they only- 
retired to a second line of sungars. 

Again the guns opened with a like result ; we 
had only five casualties. Same day the force 
marched to within two miles of Mastuj, which 
Lieutenant Moberly had held for eighteen days 
witli 46 Sikhs and 250 Kashmir troops against 
Mahomed Isa with 1,500 men. Moberly had 
previously rescued Lieutenant Jones and his 
14 sepoys from Puni, after the destruction of 
Captain Ross and his party. The enemy were 
strongly posted about a mile north of Langar. 
On the 13th, Colonel Kellv, with all available 
men, the guns now carried on country- ponies, 
attacked Nisagol. Similar turning tactics (in 
some instances, lowering ladders with ropes 
down cliffs) compelled the astonished enemy 
to abandon apparently impregnable positions. 
On the !4lli, Drasun was occupied after a 
difficult march of twenty miles. On the 15th, 
snow storms had turned to pelting rain. 

On the 17th, at Barnas, the river, 4 feet deep 
with snow-w-ater, had to be forded. On the 
18th the food supply was reduced to two and a 
half days. Foraging parties secured another day's 
supply. On the lOth the force reached Kogasi 
without opposition, and found the enemy had 
abandoned the siege of Chitral. 

Bv his flank march Colonel Kelly baffled the 
•enemy, who had expected him by the same 
route on which Captain Ross had been destroyed. 
Sher Afzul, with 700 Chitralis, hemmed into the 
snows by the Khan of Dir, surrendered. He 
was sent prisoner to General Low's camp on the 
27th, protesting that he had always been our 
friend. He wore a Russian military great-coat, 
with the buttons of the Czar's army. His coat, 
like his policy, was reversible. 

General Low humanely released the 700 
Chitralis, and sent them to their villages. Sher 
Afzul he sent to India, probably to be pensioned. 

Ten thousand rounds of rifle ammunition were 



found buried in the Fort of Dir. The natives 
say it was sent from the north (about a month 
before the campaign opened) by the Ameer of 
Kabul. It was thought that a further amount 
was sold out of our own magazines, but contra- 
dicted on official inquiry. 

With the flight of Umra Khan and the sur- 
render of Sher Afzul active operation ceased, 
excepting the occasional stalking of an incautious 
British sentry, and the curiously treacherous 
attack on Lieutenant Robertson while surveying, 
by the man given him as a guide by the Khan 
of Dir. 

Lieutenant Robertson, with the usual British 
confidence, had given his sword to the guide to 
carry. The man had been a follower of Umra 
Khan, and carried a double-barrelled sporting 
rifle of his own. Suddenly he fired both barrels 
at the lieutenant, who was riding in front ; one 
bullet grazed the pony's ear. Robertson jumped 
off, drew his revolver, and fired at the man, who 
was coming at him with his own sword — 
wounded, but did not drop him. The revolver 
jammed, and the Englishman was cut over the 
head, but he closed with his assailant and got 
him down. Seeing two more men making for 
him with drawn tulwars, he made a dash for his 
Gurkha escort, only a few hundred yards be- 
hind. His assailant fled, but was subsequently 
captured by the Khan of Dir, tried, and shot. The 
incident, like a hundred others, is typical of the 
ineradicable treachery of the Afghan character. 

The Imperial Government, in accordance with 
that of India, have decided to occupy Chitral 
with a few native troops and a native mountain- 
battery. 

A glance at the accompanying map shows the 
situation, and that the last swoop of the Russian 
eagle brings the frontier within fifty miles of 
Chitral. 

Lake Victoria, named after the Empress of 
India, is henceforth in the territory of the Czar, 
whose conquests, so fiir as England is concerned, 
are always those of peace. 

The Russians will not knock their heads 
against our fortified lines of Ouetta, to reach 
which they must have gained the Afghan, and 
after taking or masking which they would have 
a desert march of some 200 miles before reach- 
ing populous India. 

They can turn our defences through the fer- 
tile vallej-s of Kashmir and its dependencies, 
which afford pleasant resting-places, assembly 
grounds, and bases for further operations. 

The passes of the Hindoo Koosh, as marked 



i84 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



on Captain Younghusband's map, may be divided 
into two groups — an eastern group which leads 
down into the Hunza-Nagar assembly grounds, 
and a western group which leads down to the 
Chitral assembly grounds, thence direct to 
Peshawar, without entering Afghanistan proper. 

The eastern group — Kilick, Mintaka, Khun- 
jerab — are very difficult passes, down which 
only small detachments could come ; moreover, 
a wedge of Chinese territory is supposed to con- 
trol (whatever that may be worth) their northern 
inlets. The western group — Baroghil, Darkot, 
and Khara-Bhart — are much more practicable, 
and a fairly large force could march by them 
and be concentrated in Chitral. 

It is true we have ceded the intervening 
territory of Wakhan to the Ameer of Kabul. 
Hitherto a buifer State has only afforded a pre- 
te.xt to the strong and unscrupulous to punish 
a foray or the theft of a flock of goats, by the 
annexation of territory. We must have a 
definite boundary, the crossing of which by 
either party is a casus belli- 



To consolidate our frontier is a mere question 
of mule roads, which the hillmen would gladly 
make under our supervision. 

One great cause of dislike to our occupation is 
the compulsory coolie transport enforced by the 
Kashmir Government to carry supplies to our 
posts. Even the sahib's beer has to be carried on 
men's shoulders. It is true the forced labour is 
paid, but the more warlike tribesmen would 
rather fight us than carry our burdens. 

That we should not improve our communica- 
tions for fear our enemies might use them is 
not the argument of a sane person, else Europe 
would be destitute of railways. The Roman 
made his road and entrenched his castra as he 
advanced : we let a political agent reside in the 
heart of a native village, without escort, whereas 
a strategically-selected post, a Ma.\im gun, with 
a large supply of ammunition and a small 
garrison, and a good road to it, would prevent 
the perpetual e.xpense of punitive expeditions, 
whose only result is hatred of us and our 
wobbly ways. 




SURGEON-MAJOR ROBERTSON. 




THE disastrous Russian campaign of 
1 812 had shown that the great Na- 
poleon was not invincible, that his 
combinations were not ahvays superior 
to the influences which sway human affairs, 
and that he could no longer calculate on 
the assistance in arms of conquered countries 
which had been forced to give him unwil- 
ling allegiance. The '' Grand Army '" had 
ceased to exist. Famine, the slaughter of 
many battlefields, and, above all, the horrors 
of the winter retreat had destroyed it. A 
few scattered remnants, principally gathered 
from those corps (Tannrc which had been the 
last to enter upon the fatal campaign and 
had not vmdergone all its trials, were re- 
treating through Prussia, under the command of 
the devoted and chivalrous P^ugene de Beau- 
harnais, who had taken up the burden after it 
had been suddenly relinquished hy Murat in his 
anxiety to return to his kingdom of Naples, and 
his selfish desire to be relieved from a task in 
which there was much difficulty and little glory. 
The spirit of the superior officers in the army 
of France was now no longer what it had been 
in previous years. In spite of the adventurous 
career which they led, many of them had 
married and established homes, and, though 
they still were on occasions capable of the most 
brilliant actions and the noblest self-devotion, 
they were no longer the hard and fiery warriors 
who thought little of the past and recked not of 
the future, who entered lightly on the most 
arduous enterprises, who carried all their 
property with them into the field, having no 
interests beyond the fires of their bivouacs. But 
the great emperor was himself still indomitable, 
his energy unabated, his capacity as stupendous 
as ever. Undismayed by the terrible blows 
dealt by fortune, he had set himself to work to 
repair the losses of the past, to provide for the 



necessities of the future, and astonished Europe 
saw fresh armies spring into existence at his 
bidding, and the power of France in his hands 
still loom great and unconquered. He arrived 
in Paris from Russia on the 1 8th , December, 
1S12, and the moment he was again at the 
centre of the vast system which he had created, 
he had made it vibrate to his war cry from end 
to end. From Rome to Brest, from Perpignan 
to Hamburg, the whole empire rose in arms at 
once ; while he, master of the wide extent, with 
consummate knowledge of every detail in its 
organism, was able to direct all its resources w^ith 
a judgment so clear, with a hand so firm, and 
vi'ith calculation so unerring, that in three 
months the materiel and peno/iiic/ of an army of 
300,000 men had been created, enrolled, and 
organised ; and this enormous mass of soldiers, 
clothed, armed and equipped, was set in motion, 
and was about to find itself concentrated within 
reach of the enemy, ready for battle. Of all 
the administrative feats performed by Napoleon 
during his reign this was one of the most 
marvellous. Infantry, artillery, a proportion of 
cavalry, supplies, ammunition, transport, all were 
provided, and, both in forming these masses and 
in the smallest details of their equipment and 
organisation, nothing was neglected, nothing 
forgotten. It is said that at any moment of the 
day or night, whatever had been his pre- 
occupation, the emperor was able to tell the 
numbers, composition, and actual value of each 
of the numberless detachments of all arms which 
he had put in motion in every part of his. 
empire, the quality of their clothing and arma- 
ment, the number of stages in the line of march 
of each, and the day, even the hour, when each 
should arrive at its destination. 

It has been said that Prince Eugene was 
retreating slowly through Prussia. He was 
pressed upon, but not hurried, in his still defiant 



i86 



RATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Tiiarcli, by the overwhelming numbers of the 
following Russian army. For three months he 
had been able to dispute the possession of 
Poland, Saxony, and Prussia. At last his re- 
treat, bringing his feeble force within reach of 
t^upport, came to an end at Magdeburg. On his 
right and left, however, his enemy still poured 
forward their legions. They crossed the Elbe — 
Hamburg was passed bv them. They occupied 
Dresden and Leipsic, and the empire of France 
itself was threatened. Prussia, so long cowed 
by Napoleon and forced to furnish a contingent 
to his armies, had roused herself in national 
revolt against his iron domination, and had 
declared war against him, putting into the field 
95,000 men, and with them the veteran Bliicher, 
who within the ne.xt three years was destined to 
reap so great a harvest of glorj-. But the 
onward movement of the enemies of France was 
now no longer to have before it only the debris 
of the hosts which had retreated from Russia, 
but its way was barred bv the newlv-raised army 
vmder the immediate command of the greatest 
warrior of the time. Napoleon had left Paris on 
the 15th April, and, rushing to the centre of the 
long line now held by his lieutenants, -he was 
prepared to carry out his strategic scheme of 
surprising and turning the Russo-Prussian right, 
and thus rolling up and hurling back the forces 
of the allies who had dared to think that his 
power had been irretrievably shattered. 

On the west of Leipsic lies the great plain in 
the centre of which is Lutzen. Here was the 
scene of the last and most famous of the victories 
gained by Gustavus Adolphus. Here the great 
Swedish monarch fell, and here his tomb marked 
the spot of his glorious death, the limit set by 
fate to his Protestant championship. To this 
plain as a gathering place had been directed the 
masses of troops with which Napoleon intended 
to operate as his field army. Hither came, under 
the command of the renowned generals of 
France, the numerous columns which had been 
formed in so many different countries — from the 
east of Europe, from the centre of Spain, from 
Italy, from the north, west and south of the 
threatened empire, all concentrated and fell into 
line with the utmost precision, with the most 
perfect unity of purpose. 

On the night oi the ist of May, Napoleon was 
at Lutzen. Alreadv, at Weissenfels, the young 
conscripts who filled the ranks had had their 
first encounter with the enemy, and, led by the 
heroic Marshal Ney, had borne themselves with 
the steadiness and valour of old soldiers. So 



brilliant had been their conduct, so decisive the 
success which they had obtained, that they filled 
their leaders with pride and confidence. The 
army of France seemed about to enter upon a 
fresh career of triumph. But there fell one dark 
cloud upon the success which had so far been 
achieved. Marshal Bessieres, Duke of Istria, 
one of the emperor's oldest and most devoted 
adherents, who commanded the cavalry of the 
guard, was suddenly struck down by a stray 
cannon shot while reconnoitring not far from 
his master's side. As his body was borne from 
the field wrapped in a cloak, the fate of his old 
comrade painfully impressed Napoleon, who 
said, " Death is coming very close to us all." 

On the 2nd May the emperor rose at three 
o'clock in the morning to give his orders and 
dictate his correspondence. The reports of 
spies, more e.xplicit than any which he had yet 
received, led him to believe that the united 
Russo-Prussian army was moving from Leipsic, 
sheltered by the Elster, towards Zwenkau and 
Pegau. It seemed that they had not realised 
that the French were directly in their front, 
and that their commander, Wittgenstein, was 
looking for his enemy nearer to the southward 
mountains. Cavalry was the one arm which 
Napoleon had been unable to extemporise in 
sufficient numbers, and, in default of the more 
perfect knowledge to be gained by widely 
scouting squadrons, he made his arrangements 
for a forward movement with a prudence and 
caution which would enable him to retrieve an 
error if unhappily he should make one. He was 
only four leagues from Leipsic, and he resolved 
to push boldly on and to secure the passage of 
the Elster at that town. If he could carry out 
his plan, he believed that he would be on the 
flank of the enemy and cut their line of com- 
munications, after which he could give battle 
with every advantage in his favour. Prince 
Eugene was ordered to lead the advance with 
the corps of Lauriston and Marshal Macdonald, 
supported by the cavalr\- division of Latour- 
Maubourg and a strong reserve of artillery. 
Lauriston was to seize Leipsic, and Macdonald 
was to move on Zwenkau, at which point it was 
probable that the advanced troops of the enemy 
would be encountered. The emperor himself, 
with his guard, would follow in support of Prince 
Eugene. Meantime, in case, as was possible, the 
enemy should throw themselves against the 
French right. Marshal Ney was to establish him- 
self with his corps d' fir mcc in the neighbourhood 
of Lutzen ; and a group of five villages was 



LUTZEN. 



I '57 



pointed out to liim as a strong defensive position 
which would form a pivot for all the operations 
of the French army. There remained the corps 
of iMarmont, Bertrand,and Oudinot, wliich were 
still more distant from Leipsic. Thev were 
ordered to move forward and to form on the 
rigiit of Ney if the enemy made an attack on 
that marshal's position. If no such attack was 
attempted, tlie whole was to press on to the 
passages of the Klster between Zwenkau and 
Pegau. 

The whole French army was in motion. 
Prince Eugene's columns were on the march 
towards I-eipsic and the Elster. The Old and 
Young Guard were following in the same direc- 
tion. Ney's corps was taking up a defensive 
position in the villages south of Lutzen. Mar- 
mont, Be.'trand, and Oudinot were all pressing 
forward to tal^e part in the great struggle which 
was evidently imminent, though its e.xact locality 
was still uncertain. At ten o'clock the emperor 
liimself mounted, and, followed by the crowd of 
war-worn leaders of men who formed his staff, 
galloped towards Leipsic. As he passed along- 
side the masses of his soldiers that were toiling 
over the plain, repeated cries of " I'ne C Ein- 
percnr .''' greeted his appearance. Nothing in 
the histor}' of the time is more striking than the 
manner in which military ardour and veneration 
for the person of their emperor mastered the 
conscripts as soon as they found themselves in 
the ranks of the army ; with what enthusiasm 
they followed the man, who had been the author 
of so many wars in which the blood of French- 
men had been poured out like water, the man 
who had come to be detested by their country- 
men for the sacrifices which he demanded, and 
who had only lately torn themselves from their 
peaceful homes to figlit his battles. 

As the Imperial cavalcade approached Leipsic 
the attack on the town by Maison's division of 
Lauriston's corps was being vigorously carried 
out. Great were the natural obstacles and stern 
the defence which the French had to encounter. 
The town was covered b}" a wide belt of marshy 
and wooded land, traversed by several arms of 
the Elster, and the only passage across this belt 
was by a road following a long series of bridges. 
General Kleist, who commanded the garrison, 
had filled the clumps of wood with light infantr}-, 
and had covered the entrance to the bridges by 
a strong battery of artillery, supported by heavy 
Prussian columns. The gallant Maison, having 
driven in the enemy's light troops and brought 
up some artillery and infantry to reply to the 



Prussian fire, detached a battalion, which, fording 
one of the branches of the Elster, threatened 
Kleist's flank. He then formed a column of 
attack, and, [)lacing himself at its head, carried 
the first bridge with a bayonet charge. The 
Prussians stood their ground siubbornly, but 
were swept away by the fierce rush, and Napoleon 
saw his soldiers entering Leipsic pell-mell with 
their flying foe. The town was at his mercy, 
and the first portion of his plan of operations 
was apparently carried out with complete success. 

It was eleven o'clock. Napoleon no longer 
thought there was any fighting to be done, 
except in his immediate front. There he be- 
lieved that he had found the main force of the 
enemy which he wished to crush, and there he 
had struck a first successful blow. Suddenly the 
roar of many piece* of artillery struck his ear, 
resounding from his right rear apparently in the 
direction of the villages which he had left to 
the guardianship of Ney's corps. As we have 
seen, the chance of an attack on his flank had 
been foreseen and provided for, and he was 
neither surprised nor disconcerted. After listen- 
ing for a few moments to the cannonade, which, 
increasing in volume, became more and more 
terrible, he said calmly, " While we have been 
trying to outflank them, they have been turning 
us. However, there is no harm done, and they 
will find us everywhere prepared to meet them." 

Marshal Ney had accompanied him to Leipsic. 
Him he sent back at once, at a gallop, to rejoin 
his corps, impressing upon him that he must 
hold his position like a rock, which he should be 
well able to do, as he had 48,000 men at his 
disposal, and he would after a time receive the 
support of other troops on his right, on his left, and 
in rear. Then, with the composure of a mind 
prepared for any emergency, he issued orders 
for all his advanced troops to reverse their order 
of march, the most delicate of operations to 
execute with precision, especially in the case 
W'here enormous masses have to be handled. 
Lauriston was ordered to maintain his hold on 
Leipsic with one division, while the other two 
divisions of his corps were to move towards 
the left of Ney's position. Macdonald's corps 
was to fall back from Zwenkau also towards the 
leit of Ney. Prince Eugene, with his reserve 
artillery and the cavalry of Latour-Maubourg, 
was to support Macdonald. So much for the 
strengthening of Ney's left. On his right, 
Marmont, who was now on the march north of 
Lutzen, was ordered to hurry into position ; 
while Bertrand, still distant, was to connect 



i88 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



■with Marmont and make every effort to appear 
on the enemy's left and rear. Finally, as a 
support to the centre of the new battle-line, the 
whole of the Guard was to retrace its steps and 
form behind the group of villages held by Ney. 
No conscripts were these, but a mass of 18,000 
war-hardened old soldiers who could be relied 
upon to maintain the prestige of French arms 
luider any circumstances. His orders given, and 
having seen the wide and complicated manoeuvre 
well commenced, the emperor betook himself to 
the point where Ney's corps was sustaining the 



Battle of LUTZEN. 
May 2nd. 1813. 

English Miles 




first onset of the allied army, and where long 
hours must be passed in strenuous resistance 
before the much-needed succours could make 
themselves felt. 

The Emperor of Russia and the King of 
Prussia were present with the allied armies, 
which had entered on the campaign under the 
command of the veteran Kutusof. Kutusof Avas 
dead, however, though this was not publicly 
made known for fear of the influence the fact 
might have on the superstitious minds of the 
Russian soldiery. It was given out that he was 
absent, and the supreme command was placed in 
the hands of Count Wittgenstein, who had as 
chief of the staff General Diebitch, afterwards so 
well known in the Turkish war of 1828. The 
allied generals, well served in reconnaissance by 
their numerous cavalry, were aware of all the 



movements of the French army, and had 
detected Napoleon's scheme of attacking Leipsic. 
They had conceived the apparently very feasible 
plan of falling on the flank of the long-drawn- 
out French columns as they passed over the 
great Lutzen plain. Knowing their inmiense 
superiority in cavalry, they considered that they 
would easily break up a newly-raised infantr,- 
which had with it hardly enough squadrons to 
perform ordinary scouting duties. If they could 
succeed in penetrating the French line of march, 
they considered that Napoleon must inevitably 
suffer a shattering disaster. It was 
therefore arranged that, on the night 
of the 1st May, the Russo-Prussian 
forces should cross the Elster at Zwen- 
kau and Pegau, and should be directed 
on the group of villages south of 
Lutzen, the very villages near which 
the French emperor had placed Ney's 
corps. E.xcellent as their plan was, 
however, it failed in one of the data 
on which it was founded. It was sup- 
posed that no great force would oppose 
them in the villages, as only a few 
bivouac fires, such as those of ordinary 
outposts, had been seen in their neigh- 
bourhood, and, till the crash of battle 
came, it was unknown that five strong 
divisions were lying hidden behind 
them, formed and ready for action. 

Let us examine the position held by 
Marshal Ney, on the maintenance of 
which in French hands depended the 
chance of victory for the French army. 
Flowing northward through the plain 
towards Lutzen are two streams — the 
Flossgraben and the Rippach. Between them, 
south of Lutzen, are the five villages — Gross- 
Gorschen, the most southerly ; Rahna and 
Klein-Gorschen, a little farther to the north ; 
Starsiedel, towards the west ; and Kaya, towards 
the north-east near the course of the Flossgraben. 
The three first named lie in a slight depression 
of ground, cut up by streamlets bordered with 
trees, which form here and there pools for water- 
ing cattle and eventually discharge their waters 
into the Flossgraben. Starsiedel and Kaya both 
stand on rising ground. 

The allied forces which were about to pour 
themselves on this position were ;:4,ooo men, 
under Count Wittgenstein in person and General 
d'York, who had commanded the Prussian con- 
tingent of Napoleon's army in the advance 
against Russia, and had been the first to 



LUTZEN. 



189 



desert tlie emperor when misfortune overtook 
him. After crossing the Elster, these leaders 
joined Rliicher, wlio had with him 25,000 men. 
In support were 18,000 of reserves, and the 
Russian Imperial Guard. Some 12,000 or 13,000 



The Russo-Prussian army rested its right 
flank on the Flossgraben and its left on thu 
ravine through which the Rippach flows, and, as 
it deployed its long, dense columns, the Emperor 
Alexander and the King Frederick William rode 







HE THEN FORMED A COLUMN OF ATTACK " (A iS?) 



cavalrv, under Wintzingerode, had covered the 
movement of the infantry and artillery, and 
were now prepared to complete the success 
which seemed to await the decisive action of 
the combined armv. Resides these, another 
corps of 12,000 men, under Miloradovich, was 
operating farther to the south, and might 
be expected to come into line in time for the 
coming battle. 



through its ranks, encouraging their soldiers and 
receiving their enthusiastic acclamations. The 
two monarchs then placed themselves on an 
eminence commanding the battle-field, from 
which they could watch the fortunes of the day. 
Of Ney's corps the most advanced division 
was that of General Souham, a man who had 
grown grey in war, imposing in appearance 
by his great stature, cool, determined, and of 



I go 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



undaunted courage. The division was formed 
near Gross-Gorschen. Not till about ten o'clock 
was there any sign of the approaching storm, but 
at that hour the advanced sentries could see the 
long blue lines near the Flossgraben, which the 
old soldiers in the ranks recognised as regiments 
of the enemy, deploying from column of march. 
On the other side, near the Rippach, the glint 
of the sun on brass and steel showed the pre- 
sence of the dragoons and cuiras.siers of the 
Russian Imperial Guard, while the black clouds 
that wheeled and hovered near and far were the 
pulks of Cossacks, whose name even then was 
one of dread to Western Europe. To the 
j-oung soldiers of France who had not been 
three months under arms, it seemed that all 
was lost, and that it W'ould be impossible for 
them to hold their ground against such odds till 
help came. 

The fiery Bliicher, though bearing the weight 
of seventy years, commanded the first line of 
the attack on the French with all the vigour 
and impetuosity of youth, with all the patriotic 
enthusiasm which animated the soldiers of Ger- 
many. Covered by the fire of twenty-four guns 
and supported on the left near Starsiedel by the 
Russian cavalry, his leading division advanced ; 
but Souham stood fast with his men formed in 
squares, for, young as they were, they could not 
have been trusted in a looser formation. The 
French artillerj-, inferior in numbers, replied to 
the Prussian fire, but was unable to subdue the 
torrents of grape that tore through the French 
ranks, and whose every discharge was followed 
by the ominous order from Souham and his 
officers, " Close vour ranks," as gaps were made 
in the serried masses. The conscripts fought 
like veterans, and, when the Prussian infantry 
charged with loud cries of " Vatcrlaud ! Vatcr- 
laiid !" repulsed them once and again, but, de- 
cimated bv the ruthless artillerj' fire, threatened 
on their right bv powerful squadrons, they 
gave way and fell back from Gross-Gorschen 
to Rahna and Klein-Gorschen. The cavalry, 
which had menaced them, thought to convert 
the retreat into a rout and swept down from 
Starsiedel ; but General Girard's division, su]> 
ported b)- the divisions of Generals Marchand, 
Ricard, and Brenier, received the hostile squad- 
rons with so steady and deadly a fire that they 
drew rein and retired. The divisions of Souham 
and Girard then occupied Klein-Gorschen and 
Rahna, and for the time checked the further 
advance of the Prussian infantry. 

Rallied in their new position, the brigades of 



Souham regained all their original steadiness, 
and, with Girard's division formed on their right, 
were, again prepared for vigorous resistance. 
The watercourses, enclosures, and ponds, which 
were the main features of the villages, became 
important means of defence, and the long- 
e.xpcrienced generals of the French army knew 
well how to make the most of the advantages 
they offered. The general situation was changed,- 
moreover, and fresh confidence put into the 
young soldiers by the arrival of Marshal Mar- 
mont, who, with his arm in a sling from a recent 
wound, debouched near Starsiedel with the divi- 
sions of Generals Campans and Bonnet. These 
two divisions were at once formed in a series of 
squares, and occupied all the ground between 
Girard's right and Starsiedel. Campans's divi- 
sion was composed entirely of marines, who had 
been drafted from their service afloat and the 
seaport garrisons to swell the ranks of the field- 
arni}- ; and nobly did these men maintain the 
maritime honour of France in one of her 
mightiest conflicts ashore. As they came under 
the terrible fire of the Prussian batteries, they 
bore themselves proudly and unflinchingl}-^ 
giving back no step of ground and securing the 
right of the army with soldierly persistence. 
When the allied sovereigns and Bliicher saw the 
new and firm attitude of their enemy, it became 
evident to them that the French had not been 
so much surprised as they had hoped would be 
the case, and that it would be no easy task to 
carrj- the villages now so strongly held. But 
Bliicher, undaunted by any obstacles and re- 
cognising that victory could alone be gained by 
forcing the French centre, left their flanks to be 
neutralised by the allied cavalry, and hurled 
himself at the head of fresh troops — Ziethen's 
division, supported on right and left by two of 
d'York's divisions — against Klein-Gorschen and 
Rahna. 

Furious was this second assault, and the battle 
became a series of independent struggles be- 
tween detached bodies, in the defence and 
attack of each incident of the scene which 
offered a post of vantage. In houses, gardens, 
enclosures, across watercourses, from tree to 
tree in the groves, the stalwart Germans and 
the French recruits fought it out hand to hand. 
There was no time to load, and the issue was to 
be decided with the bayonet. Backwards and 
forwards the conibatants swayed, but, bravely as 
they struggled, boys could not stand against 
men. Klein-Gorschen and Rahna were carried 
by Bliicher and his sturdy followers, and the 



LUTZEN. 



rgi 



debris of the two divisions which had defended 
the villages fell back towards Kaya and Star- 
siedel. Debris they were indeed. When the 
roll was called, scarce a third of each company 
replied " Present." The centre of the French 
line was rudely shaken, but still Souham and 
(iirard were able again to re-form under cover of 
Kaya, held by Brenier and Ricard, and Strr- 
siedel, where Campans's marines and Bonnet's 
division still stood immovable and defiant. 

It seemed as though the impassioned vehem- 
ence of Bliicher, the patriotic ardour and courage 
of the soldiers who followed him, were destined 
to success in driving the great wedge of attack 
into the heart of the French army ; but at this 
moment a new and tremendous force, though it 
was only the magnetic personality of one man, 
appeared in the field against them. Marshal 
Ney, whom we have seen with Napoleon near 
Leipsic, now arrived at a gallop to assume the 
command of the army corps, which had hitherto 
been battling without him. The presence of 
the hero of countless battlefields, the victor of 
F^lchingen, the great Prince de la Moskowa, the 
noblest of the rear-guard in the dread retreat over 
the frozen steppes of Russia, was like a draught 
of strong wine to the men who were staggering 
under their enemy's fierce attack. The very 
aspect of the marshal's face, whose every feature 
told of uncompromising energy, the vivid light- 
ning of his eye, the rudely-cut upturned nose, 
the massive dominant jaw, inspired confidence, 
and the athletic, powerful frame seemed a tower 
of strength which no force could overthrow. 

Nev at once grasped his corps d^arntec in his 
strong hand. Marchand's division he detached 
across the Flossgraben towards the hamlet of 
Eisdorf to threaten the enemy's right and to 
effect a junction with Macdonald, whose arrival 
on the field could not now be long delayed. He 
himself, at the head of the divisions of Brenier 
and Ricard, pressed forward to retake the 
villages which had been abandoned. But the 
Prussians had already left the villages behind 
them, and the line of French bayonets crashed 
into Blucher's men at the foot of the eminence 
on which Kaya stands. If the Prussians fought 
to restore the dignity of their country, so long 
ground beneath the heel of Napoleon, the 
French generals, officers, and men fought with 
equal desperation to maintain the glory of their 
loved France and reassert her predominance in 
Europe. But nothing could resist the leader- 
ship of Nev. Death passed him by on every 
hand, and, while others fell on his right and left. 



he seemed invulnerable. Forward he pressed and 
ever forward till at last the bloodstained ruins of 
Klein-Gorschen and Rahna were again in the 
possession of Brenier and Ricard, the relics of 
Souham's and Girard's divisions following hard 
on their forward track ; and, despite every effort 
of Bliicher, the Prussians were hurled back upon 
Gross-Gorschen. 

The French supports began to close at last on 
the scene of conflict. Macdonald and Prince 
Eugene were following the east bank of the 
Flossgraben and approaching Eisdorf, the Guard 
was hurrying towards the north of Kaya, and 
though the head of Bertrand's columns was not 
yet in sight, his early arrival might be counted 
upon. Napoleon himself rode on to the field of 
one of the bloodiest engagements in modern 
war. The personal presence of the greatest 
general of the time was allowed by his adver- 
saries to be worth at least ten thousand men ; 
and his soldiers, believing that where he was 
defeat could not be, hailed his appearance as a 
presage of victory. Still the determination of 
Bliicher and his resources were not exhausted, 
though division after division had crumbled to 
pieces in his hands, while they sacrificed them- 
selves in following where he led. The Prussian 
Royal Guard and reserves had not yet been 
engaged, and Bliicher called upon them in turn 
to conquer or die. On his right he sent two 
battalions across the Flossgraben to check the 
head of Macdonald's advancing columns. On 
his left he launched the cavalry of the Royal 
Guard against Marmont's squares, and in the 
centre he placed himself at the head of the tall 
Pomeranian Grenadiers to attempt a last attack 
on the position which had so long defied him. 
Again Frenchman and German closed in the 
shock of deadly strife. Against the furious 
charges of Prussian cavalry, supported by Wint- 
zingerode's squadrons, Marmont's squares re- 
mained unbroken, like iron citadels, vomiting 
fire from their living walls. No check could be 
given on the right to Macdonald and Prince 
Eugene, but in the centre the four divisions of 
Ney's corps, already rudely handled and battle- 
weary, gave way before Bliicher. Klein-Gorschen 
and Rahna were carried for the second time. 
The German leader was severely wounded in 
the assault, but, refusing to quit the field, the 
old warrior gave his men no breathing-space 
and pressed up the slope towards Kaya. Even 
there the French could not again rally in time, 
and the last village, the key of the position, was 
at last wrested from them. 



103 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



The French centre was pierced, and, if the 
Russian army had at once followed in support of 
the conquering Prussians, the day would have 
been lost to Napoleon. But the movements of 
allies always lack unison, and the opportunity 
which had been gained by the determined 
gallantry of Bliicher was lost by the inactivity 
<if the Russian commanders. Napoleon's cool 
glance marked that the Prussian Guard, though 
for the time successful, was shaken by its ad- 
vance, and that no fresh troops were behind 
them. Riding into the midst of the shattered 
bands of conscripts and exclaiming, '' Young 



fell upon the Prussians, who had so lately driven 
them back. The divisions of Souham and 
Grenier also rallied in their attenuated ranks 
under the mastery of Ney's adamantine energy-, 
and again plunged into the fight. Welcome 
sound to French ears, the roar of guns was 
heard on their left flank. It was Macdonald, 
who at last was making his presence felt on the 
other side of the Flossgraben. Far away on 
their right deep columns were deploying into 
fighting formation, relieving the pressure on Mar- 
mont's corps. Bertrand had arrived, and from 
both flanks the allies were exposed to a cross 




COSS.\CK OUTPOST. 



men, I have counted on you to save the empire, 
and are you flying ? " he succeeded in restoring 
some order. Ricard's division had suffered less 
than the others, and was still in battle formation.' 
To its head he sent Count Lobau, one of his 
most trusted generals, bidding him lead it again 
into the fight. It was a last despairing effort. 
The emperor had no longer under his hand the 
eighty squadrons, led by the brilliant Murat, 
which, in similar circumstances, he had been able 
to launch at his foe at Eylau and Borodino. These 
had perished in the Russian snows. He was ob- 
liged to trust his fate to battalions of half-drilled, 
weakly, inexperienced boys, already shaken b)' 
heavy loss and worn out b)' fatigue. And the 
boys failed him not. Inflamed by the warrior 
spirit of their countrv, they responded gallantly 
to the appeals of their emperor and the leader- 
ship of Count Lobau. With the baj-onet they 



fire. Over a front of two leagues the carnage 
raged. Even the oldest of the warriors present 
had never seen an issue so bitterly contested, 
none that had demanded such a tribute of death. 
The last charge of Ney's corps carried all 
before it. The Prussian Guard reeled back, and 
Kaya, the key of the position, was lost to 
Bliicher. A vast crescent of fire was now 
in front of the allied armv, but still, if the 
centre of that crescent could be cut through, its 
horns could be held of comparatively little con- 
sequence. They must fall back if their connec- 
tion was destroyed. Although 40,000 men had 
been expended bv Bliicher, there still remained 
the corps of Wittgenstein untouched, the corps 
of d'York, which had suffered little, and the 
infantry of the Russian Imperial Guard. It was 
six o'clock in the evening, and the effort must 
be made at once or not at all. Wittgenstein 




\ 16 



Napoleon rallying the Conscripts at Lutzen. 



LUTZEN. 



193 



decided to make it, and led the fresh 
troops over the ground where hiy the piles of 
French and German dead and wounded which 
marked where the tide of success had ebbed and 
Howcd. Masses of cavalry supported the move- 
ment, and, under Wintzingerode, neutralised 
the French right. Macdonald's infantry had 
not yet been able to come into action, and the 
allied advance was, for a time, imchecked. But 
what is that long line of bearskins crowning the 
height stretching from Starsiedel to Kaya ? what 
are those six steady masses in the rear ? what is 
that huge battery whirling into action ? It is 
the infantry and artillery of Napoleon's Imperial 
(juard, which has at last arrived. Si.xteen bat- 
talions of the Young Guard are in columns of 
attack, under Dumoutier, supported by six batta- 
lions of the Old Guard. Druot is putting eighty 
guns into action. No one can conceive the para- 
lysing effect upon a foe of the appearance of the 
invincible French Guard. Trained by twenty 
years of war — survivors of all the campaigns 
Irom the revolutionary times till the great suc- 
cesses of the empire — their eagles have always 
looked on victory, and, in fair field, they have 
never yet met their superiors. They have 
just arrived from Leipsic, and have been mar- 
shalled under Napoleon's own eve. Now their 
stately advance pauses to give Druot time to 
pour a shower of grape and cannon-balls on 
Wittgenstein and d'York, and now again they 
move forward with levelled ba\onets and set, 



determined faces. Vain is now the bravery 
of Wittgenstein and d'York, vain the hopes of 
Alexander and Frederick William. Shattered 
by the combined artillery and infantry fire, their 
troops stand still, waver, recoil. 

The steady squares on the French right throw 
back the cavalry of Wintzingerode, the serried 
columns in the centre, flanked by Druot's 
artillery and Macdonald's infantry which is now 
in line, press against the Russian battalions, and 
now the whole allied army must retreat, having 
permanently gained no foot of ground, no single 
military advantage during the long day of un- 
daunted effort and patriotic devotion. 

But though victor}-, after hovering doubt- 
ful over the combatants, at last rested with 
Napoleon, though his young army had proved 
its spirit equal to that of its predecessors which 
had marched resistless over Europe, no trophies of 
success could be gathered, no crowds of prisoners 
swelled the triumph as in the days of bygone 
conquests. The grand cavalry of the past had 
disappeared never to be replaced. The pursuit, 
which alone could have so much demoralised 
the allies as to render them incapable of future 
action, was impossible. The Russo-Prussian 
army retired unmolested, slowl}-, sullenly, de- 
feated but not finally overmastered, again to gather 
strength and cohesion. Great and undoubted 
as was his victory at Lutzen, it was but the 
prelude to the succession of shocks, which left the 
edifice of Napoleon's Empire in crumbling ruins. 




MARSHAL MACDONALD. 



61 



194 




IN the year 1876 there had been some serious 
troubles in Bulgaria. Opinions diflfered, 
and always will differ, as to their origin ; 
it may be taken as certain, however, 
that a partial insurrection broke out on the part 
of the Christian population of a small district, 
the movement having been got up and fo- 
mented by outside agitators. Many of the 
Moslem inhabitants were murdered, and in 
revenge the Turkish Bashi-Bazouks, or ir- 
regulars, perpetrated massacres on a much 
larger scale. These, greatly magnified and 
exaggerated, created much excitement through- 
out Europe and aroused a widespread feel- 
ing of indignation against Turkey. For a 
time it seemed that Russia was about to take 
the opportunity of striking a final blow at her 
old enemy, but not being fully prepared, her 
agents incited Servia to declare war against 
Turkey, although she had no grievance what- 
ever against her neighbour. Large numbers of 
Russian officers and soldiers, for the most part in 
civilian dress, made their way to Servia and 
were throughout the war the backbone of the 
Servian force. 

The Turks, expecting that the first step on 
the part of the enemy would be the invasion 
of the district of Widdin, lying upon the 
Danube, which was completely open to such an 
attack, collected a force under Osman Pasha for 
the defence of that district, while another and 
larger force was assembled at Nisch, near the 
southern frontier of Servia. After one or two 
minor skirmishes, in which the Servians were 
worsted, Osman Pasha took up his position near 
the river Timok. The country around Widdin, 
a town of some fifteen thousand inhabitants, was 
for the most part fertile, and showed every sign 
of prosperity and comfort. In spite of the fact 
that large numbers of Turkish irregulars had 
joined Osman Pasha's force, women and girls 
were workinw fearlessly in the fields. Herds of 



cattle grazed peacefully, and the whole aspect 
of the population showed how utterly unfounded 
were the reports so industriously spread by the 
Servian and Russian agents of rapine and 
murder. 

At Adlieh, a large and busy Bulgarian 
village, some four-and-twenty miles from Wid- 
din, life went on as usual, although the Turkish 
army was encamped a few miles distant, and 
parties of men frequently came over to make 
purchases. No amount of inquiry- could elicit a 
single fact in support of the tales of Turkish 
atrocity, and indeed the inhabitants scouted the 
idea that they had any cause of complaint what- 
ever. The consuls and vice-consuls of the 
various Christian Powers, they said, were so 
vigilant that no Turkish pasha, however power- 
ful, would venture to extort money, still less to 
allow violence to be offered to the Christians. 
They might perhaps grind down their co- 
religionists, who had no one to take their part ; 
but as for the Christians they had no complaint 
whatever to make, and the writer can state 
positively that during the whole of the time he 
was in Turkey, the story he heard at Adlieh was 
everywhere repeated, and that he never heard a 
single tale of ill-treatment from the Christians, or 
any expressions of discontent with Turkish rule. 
Indeed, the appearance of the country- spoke foi 
itself, and in point of material comfort the con 
dition of the peasantry was at least equal to thar 
of any English agricultural population. 

In July the harvest was going on, men and 
women, and sometimes women without men, 
were at work reaping the corn with small sickles, 
while women and girls were busy in the to- 
bacco and maize fields hoeing and tarthing-up 
the plants — and this within sound of the guns of 
the combatants. Masses of yellow and white 
camomile, blue and j-ellow cornflowers, white 
convolvulus, and madder, rose campion, yellow 
rockets, blue larkspurs, yellow moss dragons, and 



THE TURKS BEFORE ALEXIXATZ. 



I<15 



borage and bluish-white hollyhocks, covered the 
tracks of uncultivated ground. Herds of cattle, 
sheep and goats, and a great many horses, fed un- 
tended, and a prettier and more peaceful scene 
could scarcely be imagined. Near Adlieh the un- 
dulated ground rose into hills, and thence on to 
the Timok low ranges of undulations succeeded 
each other. In the neighbourhood of the village 
was a brigade of Turkish regulars, under Fazli 
I'asha, and a still larger number of irregulars, all 
under canvas, not one of them being cjuartered 
in the village. 

Hostilities began in earnest on July 20th ; the 
Servians crossed the river in two columns and 
moved in the direction of Adlieh, passing the 
flank of Osman Pasha's forces at Izvor. Osman 
faced his troops round and engaged the Servians, 
while Fazli moved out with his brigade and fell 
upon their flank. For some time the Servian 
infantry fought fairly, but when two squadrons 
of Circassian horsemen charged down upon 
them they were seized with a panic ; two 
battalions threw away their arms and fled 
wildlv, and the rest at once gave way before 
the advance of the Turks and retreated to 
the village of Zaichar, where they had alread}- 
thrown up some earthworks. Zaichar stood on 
steeply-rising ground with the Timok w'inding 
round its foot ; and as so far Osman had received 
no orders to cross the Timok, there was for 
a time a pause in hostilities, broken only by a 
musketry fire across the river by the skir- 
mishers. The fortnight that followed, however, 
greatlv strengthened the Turks. At the out- 
break of hostilities the Servians had already 
placed under arms about i::o,ooo men. Against 
these the Turks were for a time able to oppose 
only from 15,000 to 18,000 men at Nisch, 
while Osman had but some 5,000 troops at 
Widden. 

Had the Servians possessed the slightest 
amount of energy or military skill they could 
have placed 30,000 men to hold the Turks 
at Nisch in check, have poured 80,000 across 
the Timok into Bulgaria, and have marched 
almost unopposed across the country to 
Varna, capturing Widdin and Rustchuk on 
their wa}-. It is probable, however, that the 
fact that this success would have disclosed to all 
Europe the utter falsity of the pretext Servia 
had made for declaring war against Turkey — 
namely, that the latter had collected a great 
army with the intention of invading her — had 
something to do with the inactivity displayed. 
The complete defeat of the division that had 



encountered the Turks at Izvor had also, no 
doubt, a cooling effect upon .Servian enthusiasm. 
They had lost in that battle some 2,000 men 
and five cannons, and the fugitives reported 
that Osman Pasha had at least 25,000 men ; 
whereas, in fact, including Fazli's brigade, he 
had only some 8,000 men engaged. In another 
direction the Servians had attempted an ad- 
vance : 6,000 men crossed the frontier and took 
up their post at Palanka, thereby interposing 
between Sofia and Nisch, but were attacked 
and defeated with a loss, as acknowledged by 
themselves, of considerably over 2,000. Other 
raids had been made, but these partook rather 
of the character of brigandage than of regular 
warfare. 

On the 1st of August the Turkish army at 
Nisch advanced up the valley towards Ale.xinatz ; 
but Osman 's force, which was now considerably 
increased in strength, remained inactive, to their 
great disgust. Their contempt for the Servians 
was now supreme, for si,\ battalions of the latter 
that had crossed the river had been utterly 
routed by a single Turkish battalion, and there 
was a confident feeling among officers and men 
that if Osman received orders to do so they 
were perfectly capable of marching unaided to 
Belgrade, even if the whole Servian army barred 
the way. On the 7th of August some two 
hundred Circassians, four battalions of infantry, 
and three guns, marched some four miles up the 
Timok and there crossed, the Circassians gallop- 
ing on ahead. Presently they came to a village 
occupied by a considerable number of Servian 
troops ; these fired their muskets and fled, but 
numbers were cut down by the wild horsemen, 
who pushed on until close to Zaichar itself. The 
Servian batteries, some eight or ten in number, 
opened fire. Osman's guns replied, and a 
vigorous cannonade was kept up for half an 
hour. A larger force of Circassians now crossed 
the river, and being strengthened by two 
squadrons of regular Turkish cavalry, crossing 
this time by a ford in front of Zaichar, enter 
the place without opposition, the entire Servian 
force having retired as soon as the first Circas- 
sians had shown themselves. 

The Circassians at once scattered over the 
country round to plunder, and soon returned 
with great numbers of cattle, sheep, and goats, 
the greater proportion of which were at once 
sent off under small escorts to their distant 
villages. The Turkish officers and the men 
of the regular army were full of indignation 
at this wholesale plunder. The Circassians, 



196 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



indeed, were, throughout the campaign, respon- 
sible for the greater portion of the deeds 
charged to the discredit of the Turks. They 
had been brought over and settled in Bulgaria 
at the time of the conquest of Circassia by the 
Russians. They retained all their primitive 
savagery, were wholly undisciplined, and fought 
solely for plunder. As irregular cavalry the}' 
were extremely useful ; absolutely fearless of 
danger, they would start in little parties of 
twenty or so and traverse 
the enemy's country, ut- 
terly disregarding the 
stringent orders of the 
Turkish generals against 
plundering, ill-treatment 
of the natives, or firing 
houses. Smoke from burn- 
ing villages marked their 
path, and thev would re- 
turn loaded with plunder. 
Nothing could escape 
their keen vision, and as 
the eyes of the army thcv 
were invaluable. 

The Turkish soldier, 
on the other hand, is 
obedient to orders, wholly 
adverse to violence, patient 
in hardship, easy and 
good-tempered to an ex- 
tent unequalled by the 
soldier of any other army 
in Europe ; and through- 
out the war the writer 
never witnessed a single 
Turkish soldier engaged in 
plundering. Surprise was 
freely expressed among 
the Turkish officers that 

Osman Pasha, who was a strict and strong com- 
mander, did not punish the Circassians for their 
disobedience of orders, but had he done so it is 
certain that the whole of these troops would at 
once have ridden away to their villages, and the 
influence of their compatriots at Constantinople 
would have been amply sufficient to have caused 
the Turkish general to be recalled in disgrace. 

The next morning Zaichar was occupied. 
It was a pretty place covering a considerable 
extent of ground, for the houses, with the 
exception of those in two or three of the 
principal streets, stood in orchards. On the 
13th of August, Fazli Pasha received an order 
to take twelve battalions of infantry, a squadron 




A CIRCASSIAN 



of cavalry and two batteries, and to march 
through Servia and join the army of Aj-oub 
Pasha before Alexinatz, towards \vliich place it 
was crawling along by slow stages. 

The march led through a remarkably pretty 
country, and was wholly unopposed : the villages 
were deserted, the whole population having 
apparently fled as soon as the news came that 
the Turks were advancing from Zaichar. The 
transport was miserably insufficient, and the 
only food taken forward 
was hard baked bread, 
and the supply of this 
was very insufficient for 
the needs of the force. 
The Turks eked out their 
scantv rations bv gather- 
ing heads of maize and 
roasting them in the ashes 
of the fires. Occasionally 
they obtained a supply 
of grapes from the vine- 
3'ards, but these were but 
exceptional feasts, and for 
the most part they sub- 
sisted entirely upon this 
stone-like bread and 
water. Only one place 
larger than a village was 
passed. When the troops 
entered it, it was already 
in flames, the work of the 
plundering Circassians, 
who had attached them- 
selves to the column, and 
who were raiding the 
whole country around. 
The last two days' march 
led across very hea\y 
country, where a few hun- 
dred resolute men could have made a long stand, 
but resolute men were scarce in Servia and the 
force marched on in high spirits, notwithstand- 
ing scanty rations and long marches. At last 
the division encamped — or rather bivouacked, for 
they had no tents — on a sort of plateau a few 
hundred yards across, rising from a plain and 
dominated b}' several eminences within easy shot. 
In front was a valle}-, beyond which rose a steep 
wooded hill, and from the camp one of the forts 
erected to protect Alexinatz from attacks by a 
force advancing east could be seen. Ayoub 
Pasha had not yet arrived in the valley on the 
other side of Alexinatz, but was still two days' 
march away. The position, had the Servians 



THE TURKS BEFORE ALEXINATZ. 



197 



possessed any vigour, ucuild liave been a peril- 
ous one, as the great bulk of the Servian army 
lay within four miles of us, and there was 
plenty of time for them to have thrown them- 
selves upon Fazli's force before Ayoub could 



prevent any attack upon the main body. He 
had skirmishes with the enemy, whom he found 
holding several positions on the face of the hill. 

After their flank was secured, the main divi- 
sion marched forward. All went well until they 



"if^U J' V''" 





A BASHI-B.^ZOUK. 



have arrived to his assistance. Fazli had no 
idea of awaiting an attack ; and, leaving his bag- 
gage carts at the spot he had decided to occupy, 
he started at once to reconnoitre the forts on the 
hill behind Alexinatz, and, if he saw an oppor- 
tunity, to make a dash at them. Emin Bev, 
with a regiment of foot, went on in advance, 
passing through a large and very thick bush, 
his mission being to clear the heights and to 



reached an almost impenetrable forest which 
covered the last two miles to be traversed. 
Here progress was made verj- slowly, and the 
leading battalion arrived alone at the edge of 
a clear space, some five hundred yards across, 
which served as a glacis to the fort. They at 
once attacked and drove off a body of Servians 
posted there. An order was sent to them to 
prepare a place for the artillery to throw up a 



ig8 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



parapet and clear the approaches. The battalion, 
which was known as that of Silistria, had a 
friendly rivalrv with another battalion as to 
Avhich would be first engaged, and seized the 
first chance offering itself. The men thought 
then that this was the opportunit}' — there was 
the fort and there was their enemy ; the natural 
conclusion was, let us go and take it. The 
men at once requested leave of their major to 
go on and attack the fort. The major entered 
into the spirit of the thing, and, placing himself 
at the head of the battalion, advanced alone and 
unsupported with the reckless feeling of an 
Irishman entering a scrimmage of whose merits 
he neither knows nor cares anything. 

Advancing in open order, they found them- 
selves under a very heavy cross-fire from the 
fort and from batteries supporting it, while a 
rolling fire of musketry broke out from trenches 
round the work. The Turks were to some extent 
sheltered from the musketry fire by the fact 
that the ground rose in steps, but the shell 
burst among and around them thick and fast. 
They kept on, however, until they reached a 
depression within fifty 3-ards of the fort, and 
here they took shelter, being so close under its 
guns that these could not be depressed suffi- 
ciently to play upon them ; and from here they 
kept up a continuous fire against the Servians 
in the trenches. The battalion was but half- 
way across the glacis when Ahmet Pasha, who 
commanded the brigade, arrived at the edge of 
the wood with two more battalions ; he pushed 
forward one on each side of the ridge so as 
to support as much as possible the Silistria 
battalion b}- keeping up a heavy musketr}- fire 
upon the fort, while that battalion was ordered 
by bugle to retreat. 

Presently a man made his way back to say 
that they could not retreat without being al- 
together destroj-ed, but that if they had 
another tv/o battalions with them, they could 
take the fort. Fazli Pasha himself had now 
come up, and with immense difficult}- brouglit 
a battery of artiller\- to the edge of the wood 
and opened fire on the fort. But all the Servian 
guns that could be brought to bear opened up 
upon the battery, with such effect that it suffered 
very heavily and could not have maintained its 
position had not night been at hand. Two more 
battalions were now pushed forward, and their 
fire enabled the Silistria battalion to hold its 
position until nightfall, when it made its way 
back, having lost in killed and wounded nearly 
tvvo hundred men. The supporting battalions 



and the artillery also suffered heavily. The 
position of the diyi-ioii that night was a painful 
one : the forest was so thick that even in the da}- 
time it was difficult to make one's way through 
the trees, and at night the darkness was absolute. 

The force was therefore obliged to remain 
where they were when darkness fell until morn- 
ing ; then seeing a large force advancing from 
Ale.xinatz, Fazli marched back to the spot where 
he had left his waggons. This position pro- 
tected the flank of Ahmet Pasha's army, which 
the next day came up the valley of the Morava. 
On the following day a very strong force of 
Servians, who had come out by a circuitous 
route from Alexinatz, advanced in four or five 
columns to attack Fazli in his isolated position. 
A breastwork had been thrown up round the 
knoll, and in a short time six batteries opened 
fire upon it from different points, while the 
Servian infantry advanced in skirmishing order 
supported by a strong column. Fazli did not wait 
for attack, but launched his infantry to meet 
them, while his artillery engaged the Servian 
batter\-. The fight, however, was never very 
serious : the Servians would not stand the 
Turkish advance, though willing to maintain 
themselves on broken ground and to keep up 
their fire until the Turks got into movement ; 
and the day closed without an}- decisive result. 
The next day the Servians were reinforced by- 
five or six battalions and some more artillery, 
and the shell fell thick and fast into the camp. 
The loss, however, of the Turks was much less 
than might have been expected, for the soil was 
deep and the shell sunk so far into it before 
exploding that but few men were killed. Several 
times the Servians crept up close, under shelter 
of the brushwood, but each time the Turks 
dashed out and drove them back. Reinforced 
by fresh battalions, the Servians again and again 
attempted to storm the position, but never 
succeeded in reaching the breastwork. The fight- 
ing lasted from eleven in the morning until 
seven at night, when the Turks took the offen- 
sive in earnest and drove the Servians in dis- 
order far away into the hills. On the same 
day the Servians attacked the division of Assiz 
Pasha, which formed the connecting link be- 
tween Fazli and the division of Hassan Pasha 
down in the valley : but in each case they were 
repulsed with heavy loss. 

Two days later Fazli Pasha descended into 
the valley of the Morava, crossed the river on 
two trestle bridges, and then ascended the hill 
facing Alexinatz — the Servians, disheartened 



THE TURKS BEFORE ALEXINATZ. 



199 



bv their defeats, making no attempt to inter- 
fere with the movement. Alexinatz stood on 
ihe slopes of the opposite hill : it was a place of 
110 importance, and was simply a large village 
round which fortifications were erected for the 
defence of the valley of the Morava. The capture 
of the hills facing the place opened that valley to 
the Turks, but at the same time they could 
scarcely move forward and leave the Servian 
army gathered round Alexinatz in their rear. 
Ten miles 
further up the 
valley the moun- 
tains closed in 




"'Bsi''' 



N\ 






^"-pp \l 


\ "^ 


..r^ 


\ '^''^?'*'^^ 


[(Alexinatz ^ > 








-o?i!"°VJw*. ^ 


vvi> 




^4 


i\ 


lfli«''""'»'7t' 


1 


Xr , 


X«»''%iif">ffla;rj.. -.jfrJ'"^ 


iHr 


<:i€C' 



e 



THE CorNTRV NEAR 

ALEXINATZ. (1876) »\ 



'■""i\,.... 



"""">„ 



Ciifilibh Miles. 
, . 5 , , 



on either side of the river, and here a number 
of very formidable redoubts had been erected 
by the Servians under the direction of their 
Russian ofhcers. 

Two da3-s later the Turks attacked the Servians, 
who in strong force occupied the hill higher 
up the valley. Their position was covered by the 
fire of seven redoubts, and for some time the 
fight was simpK' an artillerv duel. 

At two o'clock in the afternoon the infantiy 
advanced. The Servians held their positions 
with some obstinacy, but gradually fell back at 
the Turkish advance. At last, however, the 
Turks went forward in earnest, and the Servians 
very speedily broke into flight ; their redoubts 



were all captured, and they were driven across 
the river. The Turkish loss was 400, that of 
the Servians three times that amount. For a 
week nothing was done, and the position of the 
Turks deteriorated, as the Servians, now threat- 
ened in no other direction, were able to con- 
centrate their whole force to oppose them ; and 
fully a hundred thousand were gathered within 
a short distance of Alexinatz. The Turkish 
general was an utterly incapable man and wholly 
unable to come to any decision whatever ; in- 
deed, a more perverse, feeble, and obstinate old 
man was never in command of an army. A 
sudden rush would have certainly resulted in 
the capture of Alexinatz, although the position 
was an exceedingly strong one. The fortifications 
were at first formidable, and had been immensely 
strengthened during the last fortnight. 

The Turks had consequently become rather 
the besieged than the besiegers. Bands of 
Servians frequently moved along the hills on 
their side of the river, coming down into the 
valley and cutting the Turkish communications 
with Nisch ; and several times considerable forces 
advanced from Alexinatz as if to attack in 
earnest. They never pushed these home, how- 
ever. The most serious one was made on the 
Turkish rear by some 20,000 men, who, covered 
by a heavy fire from twenty-eight guns, pushed 
up nearly to the Turkish trenches. The mus- 
ketrj', however, brought them to a standstill, 
and, in spite of the efforts of their officers, they 
began to fall back. As soon as they did so 
six battalions of Turks advanced against them. 
The Servians retreated rapidly until they reached 
a wood, where they made a stand. After wast- 
ing a good deal of powder the Turks again 
advanced, drove the enemy through the wood 
down into a valley and up into another wood, 
where they were largely reinforced and made a 
fresh -stand. The Turks, however, were not to 
be denied, and pushed the enemy far up the hill- 
side fully two miles beyond the farthest point 
to which their advance had previously extended. 
The Servian loss was over 1,500 men; indeed, 
some estimated it at fully double that amount. 

There had now been some fourteen engage- 
ments, more or less serious, and in every one 
the Servians had been defeated with ridiculous 
ease ; and the Turks were of opinion that they 
were fully a match for them at the odds of one 
to three. They gained nothing, however, by 
their successes, being altogether paralysed by the 
incapacity of their general, and the delay was 
the more provoking inasmuch as it was known 



200 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



that the European Powers were exerting great 
pressure upon Turke}" and endeavouring to put 
a stop to hostilities, which, if continued, were 
certain to attain much more serious dimensions. 
The Turkish soldier knew nothing of this. His 
view of the matter was that he had an army of 
men whom he absolutely despised in front of 
him. He had been called out by a most wanton 
attack by these men. He had been taken from 



the matter been left to the generals of divisions, 
there would not have been a delay of more than 
twenty-four hours before Alexinatz ; and before 
the European Powers had had time to think of 
remonstrating, the Turks would have been in 
possession of the Servian capital. The bitterness 
of feeling on their part was not directed against 
the Servians, but against the Russians, who were 
the real authors of the war and who used 




"RUSSIAN OFFICERS COULD BE SEEN THRASHING THE MEN WITH IHE FLATS OF THEIR SWORDS." 



his family and his home, and as he considered 
himself in a position to thrash the enemy to 
his heart's content, to march to their capital, 
and to dictate any terms the Porte might 
choose, he failed to comprehend what seemed 
to him the mysterious delay in operations. The 
feelings of the soldiers were more than shared 
by the officers, and the commander-in-chief, 
Kerim Pasha, and Ahmet, the general of the 
army, shared between them the blame of the 
delay. 

Both were indeed utterly unfit for their 
position — Kerim was not only old, but so fat as 
to be almost incapable of walking a dozen yards. 
Ahmet was incapable, intensely lazy and ir- 
resolute, but at the same time obstinate. Had 



Servia as a catspaw. As later on in Bulgaria 
the Russians came to be hated by the Bulgarians 
with a passion that had never been excited by the 
Turks, so in Servia the overbearing behaviour of 
the Russian officers was already rendering them 
intensely unpopular. Their principal offence, 
however, was that they endeavoured to force 
the Servians to do what they most objected to — 
namely, to fight. 

In many of the encounters the Russian officers 
could be seen thrashing the men with the 
flats of their swords and driving them before 
them like sheep. They themselves showed 
extraordinary gallantry, exposing themselves 
with absolute recklessness under the heaviest 
fire, in the hope of animating their men. To 



THE TURKS BEFORE ALEXINATZ. 



201 



them the disappointment had been bitter, 
thousands of Russian soldiers had gone down 
to Servia in the full belief that the braggadocio 
of the Servians meant something, and that the 
whole of Bulgaria was ready to rise against what 
they had been told was the horrible t3Tanny 
of the Turks, and their disappointment was 
naturally extreme. 

Day by day skirmishing and occasionally 
severe fighting went on, but beyond the loss 
of life caused, nothing came of it. In spite of 
their hardy nature and excellent constitution, 
the ranks of the Turks had been thinned by 
maladies brought on by the insanitary state 
of their camps, by tainted water, and bad and 
insufficient food ; and undoubtedly a serious out- 
break would have taken place had the army 
been kept much longer on the same ground. 
But, unknown to the Turks before Alexinatz, 
the efforts of the Powers to put a stop to a 
state of things that was certain ere long to 
bring Russia into the field, were approaching 
success. Russia was arming, and would, it was 
certain, ere long be ready to take the field in 
support of the situation she had created and 
which had so disappointed her expectations. 

In every town Slavonic committees had been 
formed for sending volunteers to Servia. The 
feeling of hatred to the Turks had been in- 
dustriou-ly fanned, and in view of the absolute 
failure of the attempt to overthrow the Ttirkish 



power in Bulgaria, i\te feeling had grown to a 
point when even the Russian Government could 
scarcely have submitted to a failure of the hopes 
it had excited. Thus, then, palpable as was 
the hardship that Turkey should abstain from 
punishing the insolent little State that had so 
wantonly attacked her, and had put her to so 
great an expense, it was evident that a con- 
tinuance of the war would involve her in a life- 
and-death struggle with Russia, and she there- 
fore acceded to the urgent advice of the other 
Powers and consented to an armistice, the news 
of which came like a thunderbolt upon the army 
before Alexinatz. 

Never was there a case in which a country was 
so defrauded of the fruits of victor3\ Turkey lost 
all the advantages obtained by her troops ; time 
was given for Russia to prepare for the war 
upon which she was bent, and the moderation of 
Turkey was rewarded by an invasion as costly 
and wanton as that of Servia had been. Servia 
herself, regardless of the fact that she had 
been spared by Turkey, had time to reor- 
ganise her forces and join Russia against the 
Power that had spared her ; while Europe, which 
had arrested the arms of Turkey, raised no voice 
on her behalf when she suffered for having 
listened to its advice. The treaty that followed 
the armistice may be considered as a monu- 
ment of unfairness and of the success attending 
calumny and misrepresentation. 




*^^^^^*c^5t1J'>- 



VIEW IjN wiudin. 



202 




THE thunders of the cannon of Waterloo 
were in the ears of Enghshmen when 
Ochterlony beat to their knees the 
pluckiest soldiers in Asia. In the 
supreme excitements of Napoleon's struggle and 
overthrow and the great game of " grab " 
that followed afterwards at Paris, men had 
scarcely time or patience to follow the for- 
tunes of the armies which on the north-eastern 
frontier of India, in one of the most difficult 
countries in the world, faced by the bravest 
hill-warriors who ever crossed steel with us, and 
dogged by the deadly Terai fever, won a great 
stretch of country for India and changed the 
fiercest of enemies into the staunchest of friends. 
Whenever and wherever in our Asiatic wars 
the stress has been greatest, whenever the bugles 
have shrilled for some desperate charge, side by 
side and shoulder to shoulder with the British 
soldiers rejoicing in the joy of battle, the little 
Gurkhas have charged with our men. 

On the eastern shoulder of India the long 
line of the Himalayan snows — those peaks that 
are giants amongst the mountains of the world 
— thrust up their white towers and pinnacles to 
the sky ; and from this great barrier ridge after 
ridge of smaller mountains dip to the dhuns — 
fertile valleys that lie between the Himalayan 
foot-hills and an outer barrier of hill, known as 
the Sandstone range to the south and the 
Suwaliks further north. Between this outer 
barrier, through the ravines of which come 
tearing down the mountain-rivers, and the broad 
sun-kissed plains of India lies the slope of the 
Terai, a great grass jungle where it touches the 
plains — the finest tiger-preserve in the world — and, 
towards the line of hills, a forest of great trees, 
where the trunks are so close to each other that 
the foliage closes overhead and the glades are as 
dim as the aisle of a great cathedral ; where the 
foot of the traveller sinks deep into the cushion 



of decaying leaves ; where the song of a bird is 
never heard. It is a silent forest, a dread place 
where in the hot months a fever almost as deadly 
as a cobra's bite claims as a victim any one who 
sleeps in its shade. 

From where the Sarda foams round its rocks, 
rushing from the snows to join the mighty 
Gogra, to Darjeeling, the British hill-station that 
looks across the deep valley to the great peak of 
Kinchinjunga, towering in mid-air, is now the 
kingdom of Nipal — terai and dhun and moun- 
tain ; but when the British bayonets clashed 
with the Gurkha kukris the conquering Nipalese 
generals had won a broader stretch and held 
the mountain land as far north as the Sutlej. 

Nipal is the hermit kingdom of the world. 
The great ones of the European world who 
travel in India in the cold weather are asked as 
the guests of the king of Nipal to shoot tigers 
in the terai, and at Khatmandu, the capital, a 
British Resident, like a caged bird, is held in his 
walks and rides to the limits of the valley ; but, 
excepting the Resident and his suite and occa- 
sional visitors to the capital, who are allowed to 
journey by one path only, no white man passes 
that first barrier of sandstone hills. 

But every year in the spring the little Gurkhas, 
the Nipalese hillmen — jovial little fellows, broad- 
chested, and big-limbed, short in stature, with 
Tartar ej-es, noses like pug-dogs, and great good- 
natured gashes forYnouths — flock down to enlist 
in our regiments. Brave as lions, vain as pea- 
cocks, faithful as dogs, with few prejudices in 
peace and none in war, the Gurkhas are the 
special friends and companions of our men. 
The stately Sikh throws awaA- his food if a white 
man's shadow falls on it, and between Moham- 
medan and Christian is always the bar of religion ; 
but on a campaign the Gurkha eats his food 
with as few formalities as Tommj- Atkins, drinks 
his rum, and is good company at the camp fire. 



THE GURKHA WAR. 



203 



When Captain Younghusband, travelling on 
the Pamirs with an escort of Gurkhas, met the 
giant Russian explorer, Gromchefski, the native 
officer of the little men asked leave to speak to 
Younghusband. " Tell him," he said, pointing 
to the big Ku->ian, " that though we are small 
men, all the rest of the regiment are taller than 
he is." When, after the assault of Bhurtpore, 
where the Gurkhas raced with the grenadiers of 
the 5qtli for the breach, the British soldiers 
praised them fur their bravery, they returned 
the compliment by the following characteristic 
remark : — " The Eng- 
lish are as brave as 
lions; they are splendid 
sepoys and vcrv nearly 
equal to us." 

Those are examples 
of the vanity of the 
little men. The mutiny, 
the Ambeyla cam- 
paign, every frontier 
expedition, have proved 
their loyalty and gal- 
lantry, and when Lord 
Roberts, the hero of 
Cabul, had to choose 
" supporters " for his 
arms, he placed on 
one side a private of 
the Highlanders, on 
the other a Gurkha 
sepoy. 

But if we are brothers 
and friends now with 
the Nipalese, it was not 
until after a tremendous 
bout of fisticuffs that 

we became so, and so well did the Gurkhas hold 
their own that they ver\- nearly brought down 
on us all the great disaffected princes of India. 

The Nipalese highlanders, the men of the 
Gurkha kingdom, a nation of conquerors, looked 
down from their hills on to the Indian plains, 
and, conscious of their own strength, longed to 
try their mettle against the army of India. The 
cause for a war was soon found. There were 
some lowlands in dispute. We established police 
posts to protect our rights, and the Gurkhas 
came down and murdered our officials and police- 
men. Lord Hastings, the Governor-General, 
declared war in the autumn of 18 14, the begin- 
ning of the cold season. 

Both sides knew exactl}- what was coming, 
and both were prepared. 




LORD H.'\STIN-GS, 



In the sea of razor-backed hills and single 
peaks, west of what is now the summer capital 
of India — Simla — Umar Sing, the best general of 
Nipal, had his troops. It was the northernmost 
portion of the Nipalese kingdom, a country of 
great grassy slopes of a marvellous steepness 
with rocks breaking through the grass and here 
and there broad patches of treacherous shale, 
with on the sheltered slopes stretches of forest, 
and, where the streams race down the hill-side 
and tumble in cascades over the rocks, strips 
of undergrowth like an English copse. 

A strangely mi.xed 
array Umar Sing had 
under him, long-nosed 
Brahmins as well as 
the pug-nosed little 
Gurungs and Magars, 
men in scarlet coats of 
the cut of those of our 
infantry and turbans, 
men in their loose na- 
tive garb with the little 
lop-sided cap that is 
characteristic of Nipal, 
but all armed with fire- 
locks which put them 
nearly on an equality 
with our troops, and 
with that deadliest of 
weapons the kukri, the 
blade of which looks 
like a crooked laurel- 
leaf, all fighting on 
familiar ground, all in- 
tensely patriotic. 

Opposite to him, 
with six thousand men 
— all natives, except the artillery — was General 
Ochterlony, the man of the campaign. 

" Ould Maloney," as the Irish soldiers used" to 
call him — " Loniata," as the natives jumbled his 
name — had behind him in his career the bad 
dream of Carnatic prisons, had been most des- 
perately wounded, had in a memorable siege 
thrust back Holkar from the walls of Delhi, and, 
now seeing further with his one eye, so the 
men said, than any other general in India, 
cautious when generalship and not the mettle 
of his troops had to win the day, splendidh' 
audacious when rashness was necessary and he 
had tried troops under him, " Ould Maloney," 
v/ith his sepoys of the plains, was going to try 
conclusions with the best fighting hillmen ot 
the East. 



204 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Further south, facing the hills where the 
lighlest-hearted of the Anglo-Indian world now 
dance and flirt at Missouri, was Gillespie, as daring 
a man as ever wore the British scarlet, with her 
Majesty's 53rd, some dismounted dragoons, some 
artillery, and 2,500 native infantry. Bulbudhur 
Sing, Umar's best lieutenant, was in the hills 
with 600 men waiting for the hot-headed soldier 
who, single-handed, had galloped a few years 
before to help the besieged residents of Vellore. 

Further south again, facing the passes which 
lead to the richest towns and most productive 
country of Central Nipal, was Major-General 



range, the Suwaliks, pushed through the valley 
beyond, the Dehra Dun, and occupied the little 
town of Dehra at the foot of the first slopes of 
the Himalayas. 

On a hill thrown out from the higher slope, 
some five miles from Dehra, was a stone fort. It 
was of the simplest type, four stout stone walls, 
loopholed, with here and there towers to give 
flanking fire. It stood some 600 feet above 
the ground that sloped up to the first rise of 
the hills and commanded the path up which 
Gillespie intended to take his men into the 
higher mountains. 




"THE GREAT PEAK Ol- KINCHINJUNciA TOWEKING IN .MID-AIR " (/. 202). 



11 



John Sullivan Wood with her Majesty's 17th 
and 3,000 natives ; and further south still, threat- 
ening the passes which lead to the capital — 
Khatmandu — was Major-General Marley with a 
force of 8,000 sepoys, stiffened bj- her Majesty's 
24th. 

Ochterlony and Gillespie were to open the 
ball, and Wood and Marley were to thrust their 
forces through the passes later on. 

Gillespie, with characteristic hot-headedness, 
was going to be first in the race. Lord Hastings 
had warned the handsome devil-may-care soldier 
against knocking his head against fortifications 
when there were Gurkhas behind them ; but 
Gillespie believed in dash, and the Indian army 
was used to victory, so he disregarded the 
Governor-General's little lecture, and made his 
rush forward. He seized a pass in the first 



Bulbudhur Sing with his 600 men waited 
here for Gillespie's advance, strengthening the 
primitive fort by outside stockades. 

Gillespie was only too anxious to try con- 
clusions with the Gurkhas and their leader ; 
so, after reconnoitring the position, he made his 
scheme for an attack on the last day of October. 
Four columns were to make the attack on the 
little fort, which was first to be battered by field- 
pieces to prepare for the assault. 

The field-pieces were carried up in the dark- 
ness bv elephants to a little table-land which 
commanded the fort and was within range, the 
four attacking columns, each with a company of 
the 53rd to lead, were in position, and as soon 
after 10 o'clock as the guns had done their work, 
a signal given by gun-fire was to stt all four 
columns racing up the hill at once. 



THE GURKHA WAR. 



20; 



Gillespie, impatient and hot-headed, stood by 
tlie guns, and watched the shot striking the 
tliick stone walls and making no impression. 
The little brown faces of the enemy looked 
through the embrasures and laughed at him ; 
some of them danced on the tops of the walls. 
The general grew angry, angry at the futile 
cainionade and the mocking enemy. His men 



into the shelters of drj- grass under which the 
Gurkha garrison slept. The grass took light, 
and the pioneers to save themselves dropped the 
ladders. A flaming hillside, a hail of lead, no 
ladders, the assailants had no chance, and the 
first column and the second, which had begun its 
advance, slid back down the slippery hillside to 
shelter leaving many red-coats lying on the slope. 




-^- 



■THEV SLID BACK DOWN THE SLIPPERY HILLSIDE TO SHELTER." 



lying all round, close against the lower slopes, 
had scaling-ladders, then let them use them ! 
And so, an hour before the time fixed, the gun- 
signal for an attack was given. Only one of the 
waiting columns heard the signal and acted on 
it, though another followed later. Up the steep 
grass slope went the company of the 53rd that 
led, slipping and scrambling, the pioneers who 
carried the scaling-ladders tugging desperately 
at the heavy weights. A hail of lead came from 
the loopholes that had framed the little grinning 
faces, and by mischance the pioneers stumbled 



The general's blood 
companies of the 53rd 



w-as up. Three more 
had come up, and a 
Horse Artillery. He 
and determined to lead 



battery of the Bengal 
ordered a second assault 
it in person. 

In the rear face of the fort there was a little 
door, and Gillespie intended to be the first man 
in through that. The 53rd out their backs to 
the work and hauled up two of the galloper- 
guns by drag-ropes on to the ridge at the back 
of the fort, a light stockade that barred the way 
was hacked at and kicked and shaken till it gave 



206 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



way, and ll;f two guns were brought close to 
the door. J'he general, with some dismounted 
dragoons about him and the 53rd crowding 
behind, went with the guns, while the other 
columns again started up the slopes. 

The light guns fired a couple of rounds at the 
stoutly-barred door and did not shake it, and 
from the walls and loopholes came a blaze of fire 
in response. The general fell shot dead, the 
bullets ploughed into the closely-packed mass, 
and when the attack had definitely failed, as it 
did, the British carried out of action 4 officers 
and 29 men killed, and 15 officers and 213 men 
wounded. 

First blood to the Gurkhas. 

Meanwhile, Ochterlony was making his way 
into the hills, but with all requisite caution. 

Passing without difficulty the outer range of 
hills, which here are small and have many gaps 
in the chain, he encamped at Plassea, facing the 
Himalayan foot-hills. The mountain country 
into which he had to win his way is a series of 
broken ridges running north-north-west, and 
each ridge forms a strong position. 

On the outermost ridge was the fort of 
Nalagur — a stout stone fort with towers for 
flanking fire, and its outpost, the little square 
fort of Taraghur. The slope of this outside 
ridge was covered with bamboos and thorny 
shrubs, and the only paths up were along the 
stony beds of dried-up torrents. 

Behind the first ridge was the Ramghur ridge, 
crowned with stone forts, and behind that again 
towered the Malaun heights. 

A corps of reserve of the light companies of 
the different battalions, and the 3rd Native 
Infantry, under Colonel Thompson, cut off the 
communication between the fort and the out- 
post, and Ochterlony occupying all the surround- 
ing heights got his guns with infinite difficulty 
into position, and battered away at the stone 
walls of the fort. The Gurkhas had only jingals 
. — throwing balls of three or four ounces — to 
reply with ; and Chumra Rana, who was in com- 
mand, came to the conclusion that resistance 
was hopeless, and surrendered with a hundred of 
his men, the rest of the garrison having slipped 
away by night to join Umar Sing. 

A night march anticipated any resistance that 
might have been offered on the way, and on the 
8th of November Ochterlony faced the centre of 
the Ramghur position. 

The fort of Ramghur was the right of the 
Gurkha position, their left rested on a fortified 
peak called Rotka Tiba. 



Ochterlony moved on to the Gurkha left flank, 
but sent his battering-train, with one battalion, 
to keep the Gurkhas employed at Ramghur. 

Then came the second reverse that Ochterlony 's 
troops sustained during the campaign. 

The battery before Ramghur shelled a 
stockade, which defended the road, without 
effect, and Lawtie, the field-engineer, took a 
hundred sepoys under a British officer to recon- 
noitre the ground before he brought his guns 
nearer. The sepoys dislodged the Gurkhas from 
a small breastwork they found in their advance. 
" Thus far," to quote an eye-witness of the 
affair, " had the spirit of the officers actuated 
their men. But when the enemy, getting re- 
inforced, came back with superior numbers to 
retake their post, the sepoys could not be pre- 
vented from wasting their ammunition by keep- 
ing up a useless fire as their opponents were 
approaching. The upper layer of their cartridges 
being at last expended, some voices called out 
for a retreat, alleging as a reason that they 
would not have time to turn the boxes. The 
place appeared tenable with the bayonet ; the 
Gurkhas, however, were now at hand, and 
arguments, threats, entreaties, proved equally 
vain to avert the disaster which ensued. Our 
men broke in confusion and turned their backs : 
the enemy, plunging among the fugitives, cut to 
pieces all whom their swords could reach." 

But worse news still was to reach Ochterlony 
from the column which Colonel Mawbey, of the 
53rd, now commanded in the place of the dead 
Gillespie. Bulbudhur and his Gurkhas still held 
to the fort and heavy guns had been sent for 
from Delhi. When they arrived the fort was 
bombarded. On the 27th of November a prac- 
ticable breach was made, and on the 28th the 
two flank companies and one battalion company 
of the 53rd and the grenadiers of the native 
corps, under Major Ingleby, tried to storm it. 
Lieutenant Harrison and some men of the 
53rd got into the breach, but penetrated no 
further, and the storming column withdrew with 
4 officers, 15 Europeans, and 18 natives killed, 
and 7 officers, 215 Europeans, and 221 natives 
wounded. 

It was said that the men of the 53rd were dis- 
contented, and that, though they mounted the 
breach, they would go no further; and later on, 
as a sequel to this most misfortunate day, some 
duels were fought between the officers of the 
two battalions of the 53rd. 

The fort was afterwards beleaguered and its 
water supply was cut off, when Bulbudhur Sing, 



THE GURKHA WAR. 



207 



refusing to surrender, cut his way through the 
cordon surrounding him, and left the fort, with a 
ghastly garrison of dead and desperately wounded, 
to IMawbev and his men. 

Ochterlonv knew the mettle of his enemy and 
how skilful a strategist he had to meet in Umar 
Sing, and he played the game of war with the 
greatest caution, drew away Umar Sing's allies 
from him, made roads, reduced outlying forts, 
cut the Gurkha lines of communication, and in- 
tercepted their supplies. Umar Sing, as each 
position became untenable, retreated to another, 
and at last took his stand on the Malaun ridge. 

It was April now, and if the campaign was to 
close successfully, Ochterlonv had to gain a de- 
cisive victors', for the other three columns had 
fared badlv. 

Major-General Martindell had been appointed 
to the command of the force which had received 
such a check from Bulbudhur Sing and his 
gallant six hundred. Runjoor Sing, the Gurkha 
general, a son of Umar Sing, opposed to him 
had, following Umar Sing's tactics, fallen back 
upon a strong position at Jytuk, striking hard 
at our forces whenever he got a chance ; and 
Martindell was irresolutely investing him there. 
Further south and east .again Major-General 
John Sullivan Wood had advanced through the 
forest towards Butwal, where, on the jungle- 
covered sandstone range, a fort and some shelter- 
trenches guarded the first pass on the road to 
the towns of Central Nipal. 

Through the dense silent forest the advance- 
guard of men of the light compan)- of the 17th, 
on elephants, made their way, and the column 
followed as best it could. When the men of the 
advance-guard were close upon the far edge of 
the forest, fire was opened upon them from a 
breastwork, the mahouts could not control the 
frightened elephants, and they rushed back 
crashing through the forest. It was difficult in 
the dense dark forest to tell friends from foes, 
for the Nipalese were wearing red coats like 
our men, and for a little all was confusion ; but 
Captain William Croker with his company drove 
the enemy up a rocky, wooded spur which ran 
down from the hills on the right of the breast- 
work, killing Sooraj Thappa, one of their leaders, 
and the enemy were streaming away from the 
breastwork, when the 17th, pushing on eagerly, 
were intensely disappointed to hear the "retire" 
sound. 

General John Sullivan Wood judged the hill 
behind Rutwal too strong a position to attack, 
and with the light company covering their 



retirement, the disappointed troops with- 
drew. . 

Later in the cold weather General J. S. Wood 
made another reconnaissance to Butwal, but 
without penetrating the hills. 

Further south and east again, where the 
passes lead from the plains to the capital, Khat- 
mandu, Major-General Marley had two advanced 
detachments at Summunpur and Persa sur- 
rounded and overpowered, and Major-General 
George Wood, who succeeded him in command, 
judged the season too late to attempt any im- 
portant operations. 

A gleam of encouragement came from Kumaon, 
where Colonel Gardner with some Rohilla levies 
and Colonel Jasper NicoUs, who was afterwards 
to be commander-in-chief in India, won success 
after success, and finally captured Almora, the 
chief fort in those parts. 

The success or non-success of the campaign 
lay then with Ochterlony, who was now at close 
quarters with Umar Sing, the best of all the 
Gurkha generals, who had under him as his 
chief lieutenant Bucti Thappa, whose deeds are 
sung to this day throughout Nipal as the bravest 
of the brave. 

The Malaun position, where Umar Sing waited 
for Ochterlony, is a range of bare hills with 
peaks at intervals. The citadel of Malaun 
guarded the Gurkha left, the fort of Soorujghur 
their right, and the peaks between were held as 
stockaded posts — all but two, the peak of Ryla 
towards the enemy's left and the peak of Deothul 
almost under the guns of Malaun. 

Ochterlony, who throughout the campaign 
had been consistently cautious, knew now that 
the time had come to risk everything. 

During the night of the 14th April, Lawtree, 
the field-engineer, stole up to the Ryla peak, 
and, seizing it without difficulty, set about 
stockading it with the few men he had with him. 

At daybreak on the 15th five columns were 
sent out. Three moved on Ryla, two under 
Colonel Thompson marched on Deothul and 
seized those positions without difficulty, for the 
attention of the Gurkhas was distracted bv 
an attack on their stockades below the citadel 
of Malaun, an attack which cost us many lives 
— amongst them that of a gallant officer, Captain 
Showers, who in single combat, in view of the 
two forces, killed his opponent, a Gurkha leader, 
before he was himself shot — but answered its 
purpose well. 

There was desultory fighting about Deothul 
all through the day, but our men held their own 



2o8 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



and busied themselves erecting stockades. Two 
littld-picces were sent up to Colonel Thompson, 
and through the night shots were exchanged 
with the Gurkhas, while the men finished their 
work at the stockade, which became a strong 
work with embrasures for the guns. 

During the night Bucti Thappa slipped away 
from the fortified position he held between the 
peaks in possession of the British, and joined 
Umar Sing at Malaun. Both the Gurkha leaders 
knew that, unless Deothul was recaptured, the 
game was up. An attack was planned for next 
morning, and Bucti, who was to lead it, swore 
a solemn oath in the durbar-hall, before all the 
higher officers of the Gurkha force, to conquer 



Though it was a forlorn hope, Bucti Thappa 
gathered some men together, and for a fourth 
time tried to charge up that desperate hill on 
the slopes of which lay dead the flower of the 
Gurkha army, and Thompson, knowing that the 
victor}' was gained, led out his men to meet him. 

The battle was decisive. They counted 500 
of the Gurkha dead, and our men had some 300 
killed and wounded. Our two guns suffered 
terribly, and at the end of the day Lieutenant 
Cartwright, with the only unwounded man ot 
the gun detachments, served one gun, while 
Lieutenant Armstrong, of the Pioneers, and 
Lieutenant Hutchinson, of the Engineers, worked 
the other. 



f X - f ^wf 



,., ..■■.....»«,^.^.,..,.„ ^- The Battle of MALAUN. 

^j^ ^^»^ gS|^,, ,.,iacH,«r% 

"ToV 




I Stoclcaded posts licl 

1-y Gurfch.is. 0\'illaffes 
»Litics if a(lv.iiicc '">f Pritisl 



THE GURKHA h> 
WAR. 1814-16. 



''''•^^^!i>llil/^lgf0^-~ 




or remain dead on the field. He warned his 
wives to prepare for the funeral pile, gave his 
son over to the protection of Umar Sing, and 
then went down to take command of the 2,000 
Gurkhas, who in the darkness were forming in a 
semicircle at the base of the Deothul hill. 

Colonel Thompson had inside his stockade 
two native battalions and two guns. 

With daylight the great trumpets of the 
Gurkhas sounded, and the attack began. The 
hill blazed like a sheet of flame with the Gurkha 
musketr)-. The hillmen strove to get to close 
quarters, reserving their fire till they were within 
pistol shot ; but grape and canister and musketry 
fire struck away the Gurkhas charging kukris 
in hand. No man turned, but the attacking 
force was swept out of existence. The trumpets 
sounded again, and a second body charged and 
went down like corn before the wind, and then 
a third. 



When the last remnants of the attacking force 
were hurled down the hill, our men found the 
body of Bucti Thappa amongst the slain ; and 
Thompson, honouring a noble enemy, had it 
wrapped in a shawl of honour and sent it to 
L'mar Sing. 

Next day a funeral pile was built in the valley 
between Deothul, where the victorious British 
stood to their arms, and Malaun, where what 
was left of the Gurkha army crowded round the 
grey walls of the fortress. 

From the gate of the citadel a sad little part)-, 
headed by Brahmins, wound down the hillside. 
The smoke rose from the p\Te, and, to accom- 
pany the Gurkha hero to paradise, two of his 
wives dared the fire with him and died on the 
funeral pile. 

L^mar Sing sulked. His men and his allies 
were deserting him day by day, but it was not 
until the walls of Malaun began to crumble 




■THE FRIGHTENED ELEPHANTS RUSHED BACK CRASHING THROUGH THE FOREST" (> 207). 

62 



210 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



under the fire from the British guns that 
he would consent to sign a convention, which 
gave to the Britisli all the land between the 
Sutlej and the Sarda. Those of the Gurkhas 
in that part of the country who did not come 
over to us retreated across the latter river, and 
Umar Sing himself, with his son Runjoor, 
retired to Khatmandu. 

The fierce old warrior, beaten and broken- 
hearted, gave to the Nipalese durbar his advice 
never to make peace with the Christians, and 
then retired to a temple he had built, and died 
soon after the Gurkha defeats of the next year 

ended the war. 

* # » * * 

Malaun, though three-quarters of the English- 
men who read of battles have never even heard its 
name, was second only to Plassy in asserting the 
dominancv of the European in India, for all the 
wolves were afoot thinking that the lion was 
very sick indeed ; and, if Ochterlony had failed 
before that Himalayan ridge, vve might have 
found ourselves in worse straits than even the 

mutiny brought us to. 

***** 

Diplomacy failed where the sword had been 
successful. The Nipalese durbar haggled, chaf- 
fered, and temporised ; but old Umar Sing's 
advice was very much to the liking of the 
council presided over by the Prime Minister, 
and though the great nobles hoped to spin out 
the cold weather in negotiating, on one point 
they had thoroughly made up their minds — they 
would have no British Resident in Khatmandu. 

Ochterlony had struck, in 1814-15, where the 
capital scarcely felt the blow ; Lord Hastings 
determined that this time, in 1816, the blow 
should reach the heart of Nipal. 

Without waiting for a formal declaration of 
war, Sir David Ochterlony was ordered to make 
his advance against the capital, and as he led his 
brigades through the terai he was met by the 
Gurkha emissary bringing down the declaration 
of war from Khatmandu. 

It was now February, i8ib. In a month 
the fever that haunts the terai would make a 
campaign impossible. 

Sir David Ochterlony was a K.C.B.— a reward 
for his services in the last campaign. He had 
under him nearly 20,000 fighting-men ; he had 
a reputation that he could not fall short of. 

Beyond the deserted jungle and the dense, 
deadly forest, where he was assembling his force, 
there lay the labyrinth of hills of the sand- 
stone range, jungle-covered, with long walls of 



precipices facing towards the plains. The few 
passes that led through to the dhuns were all as 
difficult as Nature could make them, and all were 
stockaded. And towering above the lower 
range were the Himalayan foot-hills, which 
would give an armv as much trouble and more 
than the first range. 

He divided his force into four brigades. 
Colonel Kelly, with the first brigade of 4,000 
men, all native infantry except his own regiment, 
her Majesty's 24th, was despatched to Ochter- 
lony's right to force a passage by the gorge of 
the Bagmatti or some neighbouring pass ; 
Colonel Nicholl was sent off to Ochterlony's left, 
with her Majesty's 66th and some 3,800 natives, 
to find his way up the valley of the Rapti — a 
small river that flows into the majestic Gandak ; 
Sir David Ochterlony with the 3rd and 4th 
brigade, her Majesty's 87th, and seven-and-a- 
half native regiments, 8,00c men in all, appeared 
before the Bichiakoh pass, the direct road to the 
capital. 

Other columns from Gorakpur and the newly- 
captured Almora were to keep the Gurkhas 
employed further north-west ; but as they had 
no effect upon the war we need not trouble- 
about their doings. 

On the loth of February, 1816, Sir David 
had his men safely through the dreaded forest 
of the terai and camped within sight of the 
first Gurkha stockade in the pass. On the nth, 
Nicholl and Kelly began their marches ; but for 
four days Ochterlony left his men in camp and 
did nothing. The hot-heads amongst the 
officers began to grumble and to ask to be 
allowed to tr}* their luck against the stockades^ 
before them. But Sir David knew that the 
stockaded defences of the Bichiakoh were im- 
pregnable, and had called on his Intelligence 
Department to find him some path by which 
he could turn the position. Captain Pickersgilf 
found him one. This very active officer in his 
search along the range met some smugglers of 
salt, and they, being heavily bribed, agreed to 
show him the path they used into Nipal — a path 
unknown to any Nipalese officials. 

On the night of the 14th, as the men were 
preparing to turn in, a whisper went through 
the camp of the third brigade to fall in ; and 
leaving all tents standing, and all provisions and 
baggage, at nine o'clock, just as the moon rcse 
in a cloudless sky, the column — a long, dark 
snake — wound out of the camp northwards and 
into a dark gap in the hillside, the gorge of the 
Balu stream. First went the light company of 



THE GURKHA WAR. 



211 



the 87th, and next Sir David, on foot like the 
rest, led the long column on its desperate en- 
terprise. 

It was a ilaring venture for so cautious a 
player of the game of war, for if the column had 
been discovered in the gorge by the Gurkhas 
not a man would have escaped. 

The men moved in single file, scrambling as 
best they could over the rocks, sometimes high 
in the air, sometimes deep down in what seemed 
to be a pit. " Through five miles of this 
passage," says an historian of the war, " three 
thousand men moved with the silence of a 
funeral procession. The lofty banks being 
clothed with trees, their branches from opposite 
sides in some places intermingled above, in 
others the clear moonlight showed tremendous 
rocks at a great height, rising over the column 
in cliffs and precipices. The only sounds which 
interrupted the stillness were caused by the 
a.xes in removing some trees which had grown 
or fallen across the way." 

When the grey of dawn came, those behind 
in the narrow watercourse could distinguish the 
" Light Bobs " scrambling up a final three hundred 
yards of hillside almost as steep as the side of 
a house, holding on to the shrubs and grass, being 
pulled up by the officers' sashes, which were 
iniwound for the purpose. 

The rest followed, and by seven in the morn- 
ing the third brigade was on the ridge of the 
sandstone range, and the Bichiakoh pass was 
turned. 

They marched five miles further to bivouac 
by a stream, and then came two bad days, while 
the pioneers made the path practicable for 
elephants, during which there was no food for 
the troops : for there had been a muddle, and 
the three days' provisions ordered had not been 
served out to them before starting. 

The Irish boys of the 87th took it all right 
cheerfully : they cut down boughs of the trees 
and made shelters for the general and staff as 
well as themselves. Barefooted, cold, foodless, 
on constant harassing outpost work, these 
gallant fellows knew that they had won the first 
move in the game ; and as the stern " Auld 
Maloney " came striding round the pickets the 
men, setting discipline for the moment at de- 
fiance, greeted him with an Irish yell of triumph. 



The fourth brigade ioined Sir David, marching 
up through the Bichiakoh pass, which the 
Gurkhas had deserted when they found that 



Sir David was in rear of them, and as the hot- 
headed young officers who were so keen to 
attack passed the stockades, they were forced to 
admit that to assault them would have meant 
certain defeat. Colonel Kelly had crossed the 
first range without opposition, and was facing 
the fort of Huriharpur, where Kunjoor Sing, 
General Martindell's old opponent, was in com- 
mand. Colonel Nicholl, also unopposed, was 
marching up the valley of the Rapti. On the 
27th February the third and fourth brigades 
marched through the tree-covered dhun to 
where the brick fort of Mukwanpur towered on 
a hill to the east — our right — and from this a 
long broken ridge, jungle-covered on the upper 
slopes but naked on the lower, led down to a 
fortified village on our left. 

The slopes of the hill were strongly stockaded, 
and there was a force of Gurkhas in the village. 

At breakfast time on the 28th two of the men 
of the 87th were brought up before the colonel 
of that corps for straying beyond the pickets. 
They had been for a walk, and, seeing none of 
the enemy about, had gone into the fortified 
village, where they found only an old woman. 

" Fall in, the light company ! " shouted the 
colonel, and the men ran to their arms. " Ould 
Maloney " was on the spot at once, and the 
gallant " Light Bobs " — the two culprits of the 
morning with them — went off for the village at 
the double, and the light company of the 25th 
Native Infantry were sent after them in support. 

The village was deserted, as the men had said ; 
and Pickersgill, taking Lieutenants Lee of the 
S7th and Turrell of the 20th Native Infantry, a 
volunteer, and some twenty men, began to re- 
connoitre the Mukwanpur hill. He posted two 
parties on the wooded ridge to cover his retreat, 
and went on with one or two men higher up 
the jungle-covered slope towards the fort. 

Meanwhile the Gurkhas in Mukwanpur had 
seen what had happened, and the original gar- 
rison of the fortified village was sent down to 
retake it. They swept away Pickersgill's two 
parties, driving them down the narrow footpath, 
killed Lee, and were only prevented from hack- 
ing to pieces the other officers by the splendid 
gallantry of Corporal Orr and Private Boyle, 
who, fighting coolly with the bayonet, held the 
rocky path as a rear-guard. 

Sir David had thrown reinforcements into the 
village, and the 87th came up the hill to help 
their retiring comrades, and checked the ad- 
vancing Gurkhas where a glen cut through the 
ridge. 



212 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Ill the stockades the great trumpets were 
blown, and down the hill, bringing some guns 
with them, streamed a shouting torrent of some 
two thousand (iurkhas. From the camp Sir 
David sent more men across to the village, till 
on our side we had one European and two 



camp, was directing the fight, was killed by a 
ball. A lucky shot blew up the enemy's reserve 
ammunition, and the Gurkhas began to charo-e 
less resolutely. 

The action had lasted since ten in the morn- 
ing, and it was now near five. Sir David sent 




SIR DAVU5 nCHTF.RLON'Y. 
{From the Piihttiiif; by A. lt\ Dev/s.) 



native battalions before the village commanding 
the glen. From the camp the artillery pounded 
at the Gurkhas swarming down the ridge. 
■ It was bayonet against kukri. Again and 
again the Gurkhas charged over the open slope 
up from the glen, and again and again those not 
swept away by bullets and shells perished on the 
bayonets of the 87th, who yelled, in answer to 
ihe Gurkha shouts, as they charged to meet the 
rush of the little, brown demons. 

The Gurkha gunners, finding that they could 
not make any effect on our men before the 
village, turned their guns on the camp. The 
shot came hurtling through the tents, and Sir 
David's old servant, who stood inkstand in hand 
by his master, where the general, in front of the 



the Sth Native Infantrv to finish the fight 
before sunset. The}- deployed and with a shout 
swept up the hill, capturing the Nipalese guns 
and sending the beaten Gurkhas flying through 
the thickets, leaving their wounded and dead 
uf)on the ground. 

It was a horrible sight that the setting sun 
went down upon. Ensign Shipp, of the 87th 
AVrote of it :^" The dying and wounded lay in 
masses in the dells and the ravines below. In 
our own company we had, I think, eleven killed 
and twenty w-ounded, pur total number being 
eighty only. As long as it was light, we could 
plainly see the last ■ struggles of the dying. 
Some poor fellows could be seen raising their 
Jciiees up to their chins and then flinging them 



THE GURKHA WAR. 



down wilh all their inij^ht. Some altcnipted to 
rise, but failed in the attempt. One poor fellow 
1 saw get on his legs, put his hands to his bleed- 
ing head, then fall and roll down the hill to rise 
no more." 



The fight at Aliikwanpur broke the Gurkha 
power, and hard on the heels of the messenger 
who brought the news to Khatmandu came 
others telling that Kelly had routed Runjoor 
Sing, who had fled, leaving his picked guard, the 
Band of the Moon — the men with silver crescents 
on their turbans — defeated and disheartened, 
behind the walls of Huriharpur, and that Nicholl, 



come safely through the Rapti valley, had joined 
Ochterlony. 

On the 4th of Alarch, 181 6, in kill durbar, at 
the general's camp in the valley of Mukvvanpur, 
with the vakeels of all the great princes of India 
to witness, Chunda Seka, the Nipalese envoy, 
on his knees presented to Sir David Ochterlony 
a treaty which gave to the British everything 
that they claimed. 

Here let us leave the s^out eld veteran at the 
moment of his supreme triumph. It is better 
to think of him as the brilliant commander of 
1S16 than as the politician of 1824, rebuked and 
superseded, and dying like his great antagonist, 
Umar Sing, of a broken heart. 




THE P..\LACE OK THE KING OF NEPAUL. 



214 




~V3(J» 



ONE morning in Spain, in the ancient 
capital of Valladolid, Napoleon was 
holding a grand review. A Grenadier 
regiment of the Imperial Guard had 
paraded for his inspection in front of the grand 
old palace of Charles V. Napoleon passed 
slowly down the ranks, followed by a glittering 
staff; then, returning to the saluting point, he 
came upon a group of superior officers anxious 
to make their bow before their Imperial master. 
Suddenly he halted before one of them, whom 
he addressed in a voice of thunder : 

" Can it be possible that you dare to come 
into my presence ? — that you can show your- 
self in public branded with infamy, with disgrace 
which affects every brave man in the army ? 
And your right arm there — why does it not 
hang withered by j'our side ? It was with 
that hand that you affi.xed the seals to the 
capitulation of Baylen ! " 

The wretched man who stood there speechless 
and abashed while he was thus cruelly apostro- 
phised was General Legendre, who had been 
General Dupont's chief of the staff when that 
general surrendered to the Spaniards at Baylen 
on the 20th July, 1 808. 

Napoleon never forgot or forgave this capitula- 
tion. It is said that in after years he could never 
think of Baylen without a shudder — never speak 
of it without an outburst of the fiercest indigna- 
tion. No one ventured to talk of it, even to 
mention the name, in his presence. Long after 
the occurrence it was kept a profound secret. 
When King Joseph, Napoleon's brother, was 
forced by it to retire from Madrid, the Mijiiitciir 
explained the retrograde move by a far-fetched 
storv : it was publicly announced that the French 
headouarters in Spain had moved " to a place 
where it would have the benefit of milder air 
and better water." This was Bayonne, within 
the French frontier. 



That Napoleon should be shocked and humili- 
ated by Baylen was not strange. It was the first 
contretemps — the first real misfortune — that had 
befallen the French arms since the star of the 
great Corsican had risen over France. The 
shame of it eclipsed in Napoleon's mind his most 
brilliant victories. The glory of Marengo, 
Wagram, Austerlitz, and Jena faded before the 
dishonour of Baylen. Nor was it the actual fact 
alone that a large force of French soldiers laid 
down their arms in a battle which was not yet 
full}- decided; it was the consequences of the capi- 
tulation that give it such immense importance. 
'' In its moral effects," says Napier, '' the battle 
of Baylen was one of those events which, insig- 
nificant in themselves, cause great changes in 
the affairs of nations." Not in itself, for the 
fight was small, the forces engaged on either side 
comparatively few, the generalship indifferent ; 
but Baylen was a new point of departure in the 
Napoleonic struggle. Till then the emperor had 
triumphed all along the line. His hold of Spain, 
although shaken by the tardy but fierce revolt of 
the Spaniards, was tightening. He had crushed 
the insurrection, north, east, and west ; his 
brother's Court was established at Madrid. The 
English expeditionary force, which was to change 
the whole current of events, had not yet landed 
in the Peninsula ; and it is more than probable 
that but for Baylen, Arthur Wellesley would 
never have become the Duke of Wellington. 

To understand and fully appreciate the mo- 
mentous issues that hung around this battle it 
is necessary to hark back to the beginning, when 
Napoleon's restless ambition led him to interfere 
in Spanish politics. The dissensions at the 
Court of Madrid gave him his opportunity ; his 
troops poured across the Pyrenees, and, on the 
plea of replacing one detested king b}- another 
of the people's choice, he took possession of the 
country. The principal Spanish fortresses were 



BAYLEN. 



2i: 



secured by treachery. One army corps occupied 
Cataldiiia, another old Castile ; Junot crossed the 
entire Peninsula and entered Lisbon ; Bessieres, 
with movable columns, ranged the northern 
provinces and was ready to attack. Galicia. A 
part — and not the least part — in the general 
plan was the invasion of Andalusia in the 
south, the conquest of which was of paramount 
importance. It was a rich province, amply en- 
dowed by Nature ; in one of its principal cities — 
Seville — was a cannon foundry, and in another — 
Cadiz — a large arsenal, from which a great artil- 
lery train could be equipped. It was full of 
troops, mostly well-disciplined, veteran troops, 
probabl}' the only serious opponents left to be 
encountered in Spain. 

The movement against Andalusia was en- 
trusted to General Dupont ; and, as this officer 
was soon to become notorious through his mis- 
fortunes, some account of him should appear 
here. Dupont's failure and collapse are not 
easily explained. Napoleon, in his rage, con- 
demned him as having shown " inconceivable 
incapacity. He seemed to do very well at the 
liead of a division ; he has done horribly as a 
chief" But, up to Baylen, Dupont was one of 
tlie coming men : it was confidently said of him 
when he startetl from Madrid that he would find 
liis baton as a Marshal of France at Cadiz. He 
had already done good service, had earned many 
laurels in early years, and he was still in the 
prime of life. He had fought at Valmy and in 
the Argonne, when Dumouriez made such suc- 
cessful resistance to the Prussian invasion of 
France ; he contributed largely to the victory of 
Marengo, which was one of the first foundations 
of Napoleon's fame. At that battle it was Du- 
pont who, as chief staff-officer of the reserve, had 
rallied and sent forward a number of beaten 
troops. Again, in commanding the right wing 
of the army of Italy, he had seized Florence, 
had defeated 45,000 Austrians with 14,000 men, 
and had earned for himself the sobriquet oi 
'■ the bold general" {Ic general (iiidacicux). At 
Jena he had given further proof of his right to 
the epithet by holding a bridge with five bat- 
talions against 22,000 of the enemy, supported 
by powerful artillery — a feat characterised as 
one of tremendous daring. " I would not have 
attempted it," said the great leader, " with less 
than bo, 000 men." Once more, at Friedland, 
he showed great courage and determination, 
and was decorated with the grand cordon of 
the Legion of Honour on the field. 

Yet this was the man who later surrendered 



at Baylen, who "stained the French flag," who 
was '"guilty of cowardice" in this "horrible 
affair." Such are the vicissitudes of fortune 
that wait on all who follow the profession of 
war. It has been urged in Dupont's defence that 
at the time of the catastrophe he was suffering 
from illness, as indeed were many under his 
orders ; and that he had been badly wounded 
was reason sufficient to account for a temporary 
loss of head. Napoleon himself long after- 
wards, at St. Helena, admitted that Dupont had 
been more unfortunate than guilty, yet previous 
to the great final catastrophe it was plain that 
his fortitude was breaking down and that in his 
conduct he had lost all his old enterprise and 
audacit}'. A more serious complaint against 
him was that he thought more to preserve the 
plunder he had recently amassed than to fight 
through his foes. Dupont was no doubt largely 
tainted with the brigandage and love of "loot" 
which disgraced so many of Napoleon's greatest 
subordinates in the field, especially in Spain. 

To return to the operations in Andalusia. 
Dupont left Madrid in the latter end of Ma}-, 
crossed the rugged mountains of the Sierra 
Morena by the great pass of Despeiiaperros, and 
reached Andujar on the 2nd of June, 1808. He 
had with him an infantry division — Barbou's 
— Fresia's cavalry, some Swiss regiments, and 
a marine battalion of the Imperial Guard — 
in all about 24,000 combatants. On arrival 
at Andujar he first learnt that all Spain had 
risen, that war to the knife had been pro- 
claimed against the French, and that all Anda- 
lusia was in arms. He knew that to reach 
Cadiz he must fight his way there ; and, accord- 
ing to the best critics, he should now, in the face 
of this entirely new situation, have demanded 
fresh orders from Madrid, and meanwhile waited 
in a strong position of observation backed up by 
the hills. But he decided to push on at once 
to Cordova, which he summoned to surrender, 
stormed, carried at the point of the bayonet, and 
then proceeded to pillage. It was at Cordova 
that the treasure and valuables which were 
afterwards to prove such a fatal encumbrance 
were chiefly secured. 

The loss of Cordova spread consternation in 
the neighbouring city of Seville, where a sort of 
provisional government for the south of Spain 
was established, and a general stampede verv 
nearly followed. No serious resistance would 
have been offered Dupont if he had boidlv 
continued his advance, and all Andalusia would 
probablj have been easily won. But here his 



2l6 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



weakness and vacillation first showed them- 
selves. He sat still where he was and hurried 
back courier after courier to Madrid with des- 
patches full of despondency and fear, earnestly 
imploring reinforcements. Many of these 
letters fell into the hands of the Spaniards 
and gave them heart of grace. All could 
not be quite lost if such was the situation 



BATTLE OF BAYIEI. 

English .Miles 
o 3 6 Q 12 




of the French. Castanos, the captain-general 
of whom Napier writes as " the first Spaniard 
who united prudence with patriotism," was in 
command of the Spanish forces. Even he had 
despaired at first. Although he had gathered 
men together, including those of his own camp, 
at St. Roque, originally intended for the siege 
of Gibraltar, he had been so little sanguine that 
he had already embarked all his heavy artillery 
and stores. But as troops joined him, he began 
to hope that he might yet get the better of 
Dupont. His strength was first doubled, then 
quadrupled — all classes had taken up arms, high 
and low, rich and poor. In a few weeks an 
arm}' of 39 battalions and 21 squadrons, with 
a well-formed and well-organised artillery, was 
collected about Seville. Castaiios was supported 
by two capable officers : one a French l:migri\ 
Coupigny, the other a Swiss soldier of fortune 
named Reding. An Irish general called Feli.x 
Jones was also under the orders of Castanos, so 



that he and his lieutenants were representatives 
of four different nationalities. 

The Spaniards now prepared to take the 
offensive against Dupont, both by front attack 
on Cordova and by menacing his communica- 
tions through the passes of the Sierra Morena. 
Their impatience to attack was forestalled by 
Dupont's frantic anxiety to retreat. Finding he 
could not regain the' 
golden opportunity lost 
by his ten days' inactivity 
of Cordova, he exchanged 
the forward for a retro- 
grade movement, and from 
that moment his troubles 
and embarrassments began. 
On the 17th of June 
he evacuated Cordova and 
fell back on the Guadal- 
quivir at Andujar, the 
.Spaniards pressing him 
with their advanced guard. 
It is possible that Dupont's 
fears were aggravated by 
the horrible nature of the 
contest, and the ferocitv 
displayed b}' his Spanish 
enemy. All along his line 
of retreat he came upon 
ghastly proofs of their 
bloodthirsty and implac- 
able character : they cut 
off and butchered his 
stragglers, seized and slew 
his sick in hospital, his doctors, couriers, and all 
non-combatants. One French officer. Colonel 
Rene, returning from a peaceful mission in 
Portugal, was taken prisoner, mutilated, placed 
alive between two planks, then his body was 
sawn in two. A timorous general (yet this was 
Dupont rmidticicux .'), not strangely, was greatly 
affected by these terrors. His despatches, while 
magnifying his dangers, were filled with the 
most painful misgivings and the most piteous 
appeals. 

So desperate did he conceive his situation 
that he wrote as follows to Madrid from Andujar 
— a letter which was intercepted, and which, no 
doubt, greatly increased the confidence of his 
enemy : — 

" We have not a moment tp lose. We must 
immediately fall back from a position where we 
are unable to subsist. M\' men being always 
under arms have no time now as heretofore to 
reap the corn and bake their own bread. . . . 



BAYLEN. 



:i7 



" For Heaven's sake hurry up reinforcements 
with all haste ! What we imperatively require 
is the assistance of a firm and compact body of 
men, able to support me and to support each 
other. . . . Send me medicines with all 
speed, and linen for my wounded. The enemy 
for a whole month has intercepted all supplies 
both of food and ammunition." 

Yielding to Dupont's repeated applications, 
Cleneral Savary, who was Joseph's military right 
hand at Madrid, had ordered Vedel's division to 
push through the pass of Despenaperros ; and 
that general; although harassed in his march 
b}- Spanish irregulars, got past safely and 
reached Baylen (soon to become historical) with 
some 14,000 men. Another general, Gobert, 
had also been sent in support by Savary, an- 
ticipating Napoleon's permission. Dupont was 



This opinion was dictated at Bayonne on 
the 2 1st of July — the verj^ day of Dupont's 
capitulation. 

There was no vigorous initiative left in 
Dupont : a bold stroke might have got him out 
of his mess, but he remained inactive, clinging 
tenaciously to a vicious position. He had en- 
trenched himself at Andujar on the far side of 
the river, fortifying the bridge against attack. 
He thought to cover the pass and his communi- 
cations, but he was too far forward, and his defen- 
sive line was weak, easily to be turned on either 
flank. The river Guadalquivir was nearly dry, 
and fordable at many points ; below him on the 
right was the bridge of Marmolejo ; higher up, 
his left, his weakest flank, was assailable by the 
fords of Mengibar, and pressure along this line 
would make his whole position untenable. In 




c o R D o V .\ . 



now strong enough to have resumed the offen- 
sive — Napoleon fully e.\pected him to do so. 
The emperor could not believe him to be reallv 
in danger. Commenting upon the situation 
from a distance, he wrote : " Dupont, with 2.5,000 
men, ought to accomplish great things. As a 
matter of fact, with only 21,000 the chances 
would be eightj- per cent, in his favour.'' 



fact, he was altogether in the wrong place. His 
excuse is that he held on to Andujar because 
Napoleon had approved of his halt there ; but 
the emperor was not then in possession of the 
latest news, and he always hoped that Dupont 
would not remain idle. His safest course would 
be to fall back, concentrate at Baylen, strike the 
Spanish columns as the}' showed; and then, even 



2lS 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



ii defeated, his retreat through tlic mountain 
passes would have been secure. 

At that time, no doubt, Dupont's army was 
weak and in wretched case ; and this added 
greatly to his anxieties. The soldiers were 
mostly conscripts, young unfledged recruits, 
barely formed as soldiers, having hardly learnt 
discipline, ignorant even of their drill. They 
were half-starved, too, and suffered greatly in 
heakh. It was the height of the " dog days," 
the heat almost tropical ; the supplies were very 
short ; there was no wine, vinegar, or brandy ; 
only half-rations were issued, often only quarter- 
rations of bread. The banks of the river were 
dangeroush" unhealthy, the " eternal home of 
malarious fever." Si.x hundred men went to 
hospital in less than a fortnight, and the rest 
lost all heart and strength. Dupont occupied 
a position too wide for his numbers. He himself 
was at Andujar, V'edel at Baylen, Gobert away 
back at Carolina, just as he had come through. 
Being besides continually harassed by guerillas 
threatening his communications, he was obliged 
to break up his force into fragments, and keep 
them constantly moving to and fro in large 
patrols along his whole front. This greatly 
increased the sufferings and hardships of the 
French troops, who, always marching to and 
fro, badly nourished and under intense heat, 
became greatly exhausted and fatigued. 

The Spaniards so far had failed to realise the 
faulty dispositions of their opponent. Castaiios, 
of his own accord, would not advance to attack; 
he did not even prepare to do so until he re- 
ceived positive orders to that effect from Seville. 
Then he slowly approached the Guadal- 
quivir : even now, notwithstanding the strength 
of his very mixed force of regulars and ir- 
regulars, which numbered some 50,000, he was 
so little in earnest that he still talked of retreat. 
He could not see that Dupont, bv holding to 
Andujar, was giving himself into his hands. 
No doubt what Castanos presently did was just 
as a skilful general would have acted ; but it 
was more by luck than good management, the 
mere chance of the lie of the land than wise 
action following profound military forethought 
and science. 

At last, in accordance with the definite de- 
cision of a council of war, the Spaniards began 
active operations on the i8th Juh'. The plan 
arrived at was, as it happened, the best possible. 
Dupont's false position was his enemy's oppor- 
tunity. The true system of attack was to en- 
courage Inr.i to remain at Andujar by strong 



feints in his front, while the real stress was laid 
on his left — his extreme left, far away where his 
line of retreat lay exposed. This, in effect, was 
what happened. On the 13th, General Reding 
advanced from Mengibar towards the ford of that 
name, and drove the French outposts across the 
Guadalquivir ; next to him, on his left, came 
Coupigny, then Felix Jones. This movement 
was threatening enough, but, as it was not per- 
sisted in, Dupont seems to have neglected it, 
mistaking its dangerous intention. Moreover, 
Castanos now strengthened him in his unwise 
resolves to hold to the right, for the Spanish 
general began serious demonstrations against 
Andujar ; he covered the heights opposite with 
a great multitude, and apparently " meant busi- 
ness." Dupont, terrified, stood fast, and only 
sent frantic appeals to Vedel for help. Then 
Castaiios opened with his artillery against the 
Andujar bridge, and despatched a body of ir- 
regulars across the river at Marmolejo lower 
down with orders to manceuvre around Dupont's 
right rear. 

Now Reding, pressing forward, forced a passage 
at the Mengibar ford. Dupont, hearing this, 
countermarched Vedel, who was approaching 
him, and directed him to protect Bavlen, which 
was now exposed and within easy reach of Men- 
gibar. Vedel, having made one useless march, 
was again to be of no service ; for. Reding 
having crossed the direction of his march, in- 
dicated an intention to strike at Linares and 
the pass bevond. Accordinglv Dufour, who 
commanded after Gobert 's death, hurried off to 
Carolina, hoping to forestall Reding ; and Vedel, 
equally anxious, quickly followed Dufour. Thus, 
these two French generals with their divisions 
were separated on the 17th July by five-and- 
twent}' miles from their chief and comrade, 
Dupont, at Andujar. All this was enormously 
to Reding's advantage. He was joined on the 
17th by Coupignj-, and now the two together, 
20,000 strong, seized Baylen. Here Reding, 
after throwing out a detachment towards 
Carolina, took up a position facing Andujar 
and the west. 

In order to fully appreciate this most compli- 
cated state of affairs, it vi'ill be necessary to recapi- 
tulate the positions of the opponents. Dupont, 
with one-half of the French f >rces,was at Andujar, 
the extreme end of a front of forty-five miles ; 
Vedel and Dufour were at the other end, quite 
cut off from him, about Carolina. Reding 
was in between the two ends, holding Eavlen, 
the key of the position. Castaiios was in strength 



BAYLEN. 



219 



opposite Diipont, having thrown troops across 
the river to tlneaten Dupont's exposed right 
flank. Whether intentionally or not, it was 
dear that the Spaniards had quite outmanneuvred 
the French, and, if not absolutely masters of the 
situation, they had undoubtedly the best of it. 

Dupont only learnt in the course of the 18th, 
and with the deepest dismay, that an enemy's 
force was established at Baylen, thus severing 
his communications and cutting him off from 
the rest of his army. He knew nothing of 
Reding's strength, but he saw that he must at 
all costs regain touch with Vedel and reopen his 
line of retreat. Possibly he now awoke to the 
grave military error he had committed in hold- 
ing on to Andujar for so long. At any rate his 
preparations were made with great secrecy and 
in all haste : the move was an escape rather than 
a retreat, carried on in the depth of the night 
and with extreme precaution. The force, some 
11,000 strong, was divided into two portions — 
half for the advanced-guard, half for the rear- 
guard — both protecting the precious train of 800 
waggons, laden with plunder and sick, which, 
thus guarded, dragged along in the centre of 
the column. Dupont feared most for his rear, 
believing Castanos more formidable' than Reding, 
and therefore the head was weaker than the tail 
of his force. 

Ca-.tafios — negligent, dilatorv, slow to move — 
had no inkling of Dupont's withdrawal for many 
hours after the Frenchman had started, and too 
late to interfere with his march. By daybreak, 
about 3 a.m., Dupont's advance reached a 
mountain torrent called the Tiedras, and got 
touch of Reding's outposts. By 4 a.m. the 
French, leaving a force at the bridge of Rumblar 
to watch for Castanos behind, were engaged 
M'ith the enemy in front. It was of the utmost 
importance to drive back Reding and get 
through before Castanos could come up ; and to 
secure this Dupont should have attacked imme- 
diately with all his strength, eager onlv to get 
on. But he paused to make elaborate disposi- 
tions, thus wasting the precious hours, and only 
charged Reding with the puny efforts of small 
successive columns. Nevertheless, the French, 
fighting with their customarv gallantrv, gained 
ground at first and drove in the first line of 
defence ; but in the second the Spaniards stood 
firm, and their artillerv fire being heavier, over- 
mastered the French guns. At 10 a.m., Reding 
made a counter attack, advancing with great 
energy, to be checked in turn bv the brilliant 
charges of the French cavalrv. Yet now tb.e 



Spanish reserves restored the fight, which, as 
the day grew on towards noon, manifestly 
slackened on the French side. 

Dupont's men were horribly exhausted. They 
had been marching all night, fighting all the 
forenoon ; they were covered with dust and ex- 
posed to a tropical sun ; they were mad with 
thirst and there was no water to be had. Already 
1,500 men had been struck down, the Swiss 
regiments in the French service had gone over 
to the Spaniards, large numbers of officers were 
wounded, Dupont himself included. At this 
time the French general declared he could not 
dispose of more than a couple of thousand men, 
although it was never properl}- explained why 
his forces had dwindled to so few. Thousands 
could never have fired a shot, and it w-as openly 
said afterwards that the care of the general's 
personal baggage, swollen with church plate and 
plunder, so fully occupied a great part of his 
whole force that it was never brought into action. 

Now at this critical moment the guns of the 
pursuit were heard in the rear about the Rum- 
blar bridge. Castaiios had come up at last, and 
the French were taken between two fires. Poor 
Dupont had no news of Vedel, and was in 
despair. He proposed a suspension of arms, 
which Reding willingly granted, because, as a 
matter of fact, he himself could hardly hold his 
own ground. Nevertheless, Vedel was really 
near at hand. He had been aroused by the 
distant sounds of battle, and had left Carolina 
that morning at 5 a.m., working, as a good 
soldier should, towards the noise of guns. Yet 
now, although time was of the utmost conse- 
quence, he tarried by the way and halted for 
several hours six miles short of Baylen to let his 
men breakfast and rest. He only resumed his 
march when the firing had ceased, to arrive on 
the ground after Dupont had asked for an ar- 
mistice. Being ignorant of this, Vedel attacked 
Reding to good purpose, and captured 1,500 
prisoners. Then an aide-de-camp from Dupont 
came and told him to desist, informing him 
that negotiations with the enemy were in 
progress. 

Thus the battle was lost when on the point of 
being won. It would have been easy enough to 
reopen the strife, and with every prospect of 
success. Vedel clamoured for a joint attack on 
Reding, and was supported by his subordinates. 
Dupont would not consent, ordered Vedel to give 
up the prisoners he had taken and withdraw to 
Carolina. This did not please Castanos, who 
insisted that Vedel should also surrender, and 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



threatened in default to massacre all Dupom's 
force. Here was an opportunity of quashing the 
negotiations and resuming hostilities. Dupont 
and Vedel together, 18,000 French soldiers, were 
strong enough to give a good account of a raw- 
Spanish armv ; and if Dupont was caught between 
Castanos and Reding, Reding was in equally 



Negotiations recommenced, and now Castanos 
imposed harder terms. At first he would have 
permitted the French troops to return to Madrid, 
but at this moment a letter from General Savary, 
recalling Dupont to .Madrid, fell into the Spanish 
general's hands. Castafios not .strangely declined 
to carry out Savary 's views, and insisted that the 




KEPT THEIR COWARDLV AiSAlLAMS AT 1:AY >\Viil;l) IN HAND "(.'•. 22lV 



critical condition between Vedel and Dupont. 
It was an occasion when a bold stroke for free- 
dom would probably have resulted in triumphant 
victory. Had Dupont been the man of Marengo, 
Jena, and Friedland he would have cut his way 
through his difficulties swofd in hand. But he 
was completely broken down, and could only 
assemble a council of war, upon whom he 
threw the responsibility of decision. Heroic 
resolutions such as alone could have saved the 
French were not to be expected from a number 
of different opinions, and the council came to the 
conclusion that further resistance was hopeless. 



whole French force — Dupont's, Vedel's, and 
Dufour's — should lay down their arms and sur- 
render at discretion. Meanwhile, Vedel had 
again drawn off, but Castafios demanded his 
return, and that he should be included in the 
capitulation. E.xtraordinary as it will appear, 
Dupont sent Vedel peremptory orders to come 
back ; and Vedel, although well out of danger, 
and at the head of a force armed and intact, 
actually returned. Nor was this all. A French 
officer with a Spanish escort scoured the country 
to pick up small parties and outlving French 
garrisons, and include them in the surrender. 



RAYLEN. 



22 1 



'' And,'' as Napier says, " these unheard-of pro- 
ceedings were quietly submitted to by men be- 
Icnginj;' to that army which for fifteen years had 
been the terror of Iturope.'' Twenty thousand 
French soldiers gave themselves up at one stroke 
of the pen to an enemv for whom they had had 
the greatest contempt. There is no more preg- 
nant truth in military art than that the conduct 
of soldiers depends greatly upon the character 
of their immediate chief. 

General Dupont undoubtedly failed when put 
to a supreme test. It was the first occasion on 
which he had been in independent command, 
and he was unequal to it and its peculiar diffi- 
culties. According to all accounts he was a man 
of livel}' imagination, apt to vary between the 
two extremes of enthusiasm and despondency. 
He is described as an affable, agreeable person, a 
good talker, with strong literary tastes, and, even 
when a general, he had competed for poetical 
prizes. His writings are full of fine rhetoric, 
but his military despatches were wanting in 
force and decision. Whatever his faults were, 
he e.xpiated them to the full. On his return to 
France he, with the other generals concerned in 
the capitulation, were arraigned before a special 
commission and treated with the utmost rigour. 
Dupont himself was sentenced to be degraded 
from his rank ; he was to give up all his medals 
and decorations, to forfeit the rank of count and 



all money grants made him, and to be imprisoned 
indefinitely. He lingered on in a state prison 
until the fall of Napcileon in 1814, when the 
Bdurbons, on return to power, released him, and 
he was at once made Minister of War. A special 
royal ordinance restored him to his rank and 
honours, and he occupied a (irominent military 
position until his death in 1838. 

It only remains to be said that this capitulation, 
" shameful in itself, was shamefully broken.'' 
The French prisoners, on their march down to 
Cadiz, where, according to the treaty, thej- were 
to be embarked and sent home to France, were 
treated barbarously by their Spani-sh captors. 
Many were murdered in cold blood : eighty officers 
were massacred at Lebrija, but not before they 
had kept their cowardly assailants at bay sword 
in hand, to be shot down treacherously from 
houses around. All who survived to reach Cadiz 
were there cast into the convict hulks and sub- 
jected to horrible ill-treatment. The wretched 
remnant were afterwards transported to the 
desert island of Cabrera, where " they perished 
by lingering torments in such numbers that few 
remained alive at the termination of the war." 

Baylen is a dark spot in history, disgraceful 
to both sides engaged. Yet from it started the 
career of one of England's greatest generals, and 
it was the first serious blow that assailed the 
fabric of Napoleonic power. 



i»"i-'«r "1 •?"?-»., 




. , Dufon t iRj>rt(ojiiir unAndslui. . 

A SPANISH CARICATURE ON 1 HE CAI'Il UUATION OK DUPONT. 




SlD 



THE New Year's day of 1871 was a dark 
one for France. Two whole armies 
were captives in Germany. The Prussian 
flag flew over Metz and Strasburg. 
Paris was besieged — held fast in a ring of iron 
through which it had proved impossible, so 
far, to break a way. The armies of the pro- 
vinces, Faidherbe's in the north and Chanzy's 
on the Loire, for all their gallant efforts 
had suffered repeated defeats. Faidherhe 
had lost Amiens ; Chanzy had been forced to 
abandon Orleans. And yet amid all this dark- 
ness there was just one gleam of hope ; and, 
while most of the defenders of France fought 
only with the courage of despair, there were 
among her chiefs some who thought that even 
at the eleventh hour the tide of conquest might 
be turned back. Fired with this hope, they 
played a bold game, and nearly won. For a 
brief moment in the midst of defeat they had 
the joy of victory. 

After the surrender of Strasburg the 14th 
German corps, under the command of General 
von Werder, which had captured the place, was 
ordered to complete the conquest of Alsace — on 
the one hand keeping in check the corps of 
frauc-tircitrs and volunteers, which, if they were 
allowed to make any progress in the Vosges, 
might endanger the communications of the 
main army with Germany ; and, on the other, 
reducing one by one the minor fortresses of the 
east of France. A division of Baden troops, 
provided with a siege-train, was brought across 
the Rhine ; and Werder, having secured Stras- 
burg by the end of September, pushed forward 
by Epinal towards Dijon, while, protected by 
this movement, the Badeners had by the end of 
October reduced the little fortresses of Neuf- 
Brisach on the Rhine and Schlestadt on the 111. 
During November Werder held Dijon, fighting 
a number of minor actions with the new French 



levies under Garibaldi and Cremer ; whilst the 
Badeners, reinforced from his army, began the 
siege of Belfort, the one place in Alsace over 
which the tricolour still flew. 

Between the southern end of the main range 
of the Vosges and the first outlying ridges of 
the Jura there is a gap some miles wide, where 
the mountains sink down into low hills. Through 
the central valley of these hills the canal that 
joins the Rhine and Rhone makes its way. The 
gap is known to French geographers as the 
troitcc dc Belfort, taking its name ft-om the 
fortress on its northern side, which closes it 
against an invader coming from the direction of 
the Rhine. Belfort has been a place of strength 
ever since it was acquired by France under 
Louis XIV. and fortified by Vauban. Perched 
on a spur of the Vosges, with its citadel sur- 
rounded by a triple girdle of works, it was prac-- 
tically impregnable in the days of the old short- 
range artiller}'. If attacked with modern guns, 
it could be brought under fire from several 
of the adjacent hilltops. Under the Second 
Empire some of these were crowned with out- 
lying forts, but the system of defence was still 
very incomplete when the war of 1870 began. 
Colonel Denfert-Rochereau, a man of great re- 
source and determination and a skilful engineer, 
was put in command of the place after the 4th 
of September by Gambetta, and he at once pro- 
ceeded to fortify with earthwork redoubts a 
circle of positions round the town ; working with 
such a will that, while on September 4th the 
circuit of the outworks was five miles, on Novem- 
ber 3rd, when the Germans closed in upon the 
northern works, they had to occupy a line of 
investment nearly twelve miles long. With a 
garrison of 17,000 men, chiefly mobiles, national 
guards, and volunteers, Denfert-Rochereau dog- 
gedly defended every inch of ground ; and it was 
not till November 2;th that the Germans w-ere 



villp:rsexel. 



able to complete even the investment of the 
place. Till the end of the year they were still 
battering at his outworks, and the citadel and 
the town were untouched. 

After the second battle of Orleans, on Decem- 
ber 4th, the left of the Loire army under Chanzy 
had retired towards Vendome along the right 
bank of the river, pursued by the Germans 
under Prince Frederick Charles. The right, 
composed of the 15th, i8th, and 20th cnrps- 
d\irmci\ had retreated by the left bank, then 
to the southward and eastward by Gien to-^the 
neighbourhood of Bourges, where General Bour- 
baki rallied and reorganised it. Ill-fed, incom- 
pletely equipped and badly uniformed, the 
troops had suffered terribly in the retreat to 
Bourges, but a few days' rest did wonders for 
them, and by the middle of December the army 
was again ready to take the field. Gambetta 
himself had come to Bourges to encourage the 
troops and co-operate with Bourbaki ; and on 
the 19th the army began to move northward 
towards Paris, its object being to threaten the 
communications of Prince Frederick Charles 
with Versailles and so force him to slacken his 
pursuit of Chanzy. 

On this same day M. de Serres, a young en- 
gineer, who had often acted as Gambetta's 
adviser, arrived at Bourges with a new plan 
which the Government at Bordeaux had already 
approved — a plan for sending Bourbaki's army 
to the east of France, where it was to raise the 
siege of Belfort, and, uniting with Garibaldi and 
Cremer's troops and the corps which was being 
formed by General de BressoUes at Lyons, it was 
to strike northwards at the German communica- 
tions or make a raid across the Rhine into 
southern Germany. It was hoped that Bour- 
baki's forces could be rapidly conveyed by 
railway to the east ; that Werder could be over- 
whelmed before he even realised that he had 
any serious force in his front ; and that Belfort 
and Langres and the south of France could be 
made the basis for a new campaign, the first 
effect of which would be to force the Germans 
to stop their advance on the Loire and think 
more of guarding the communications by which 
they were supplied from Germany than of hunt- 
ing down Chanzy or reducing Paris. 

At first sight the plan looked a wild one, but 
it was sound, and it very nearly succeeded. It 
is difficult for most people to realise what are 
the ciinditions under which an army of some 
Soo,ooo men maintains itself in a hostile country 
in the depth of winter, carrying on at the same 



time the siege of a great capital like Paris. It 
is true that some supplies could be obtained in 
France itself by purchase and requisition, but 
by December the resources of the districts oc- 
cupied were nearly exhausted. The army before 
Paris, the armies that faced Faidherbe in the 
north and Chanzy in the west, had to be sup- 
plied in great part with the ordinary necessaries 
of life from Germany itself. Ammunition for 
the Paris siege-guns, renewed supplies for the 
armies in the field, all this came by the lines of 
railway that stretched across eastern France 
through Champagne and Lorraine, guarded 
partly by detachments on the lines themselves 
and in the towns through which they passed, 
but chiefly protected by Werder's army prevent- 
ing any stroke from the southward and Man- 
teuffel holding back the levies of the north. 
Werder had at most 43,000 men at his disposal. 
He had had some difficulty in holding on at 
Dijon and at the same time maintaining before 
Belfort a sufficient force to press the siege. If 
80,000 or 100,000 men, even of inferior quality to 
his own, could be suddenly thrown against him, 
he must go, and then the main German army- 
would have to take swift and effectual means to 
stay the French advance in the east. Otherwise 
it would be cut off from Germany and starved. 
But the crisis in the east would coincide with 
renewed sorties from Paris, a renewed advance 
on the Loire and in the north ; and it might 
well be that, under such pressure, the siege of 
Paris would be raised if only for the brief period 
necessary to refill its magazine, bring out a large 
number of the civil inhabitants, reinforce the 
provincial armies with some of Trochu's best 
troops, and so change the whole face of the 
situation. 

As in the earlier project for raising the siege 
of Metz by the march of MacMahon's army to 
Montmedy, everything depended on rapid move- 
ment. Otherwise this bold stroke for the de- 
liverance of Belfort and of France would end in 
another disaster like that of the previous enter- 
prise. But in the first few hours there was 
certainly no loss of time. When de Serres 
submitted his plan to Gambetta, the dictator 
hesitated to approve it. The movement north- 
wards towards Paris had begun that morning ; 
he based great hopes on it, and this stroke at 
the German communications seemed too daring. 
He told de Serres he would leave the decision 
to Bourbaki himself, and the engineer hurried 
off to Baugy, north of Bourges, where he tound 
Bourbaki had established his b-'adquarters in 



224 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



one of the houses of the village. By candle- 
light in the little room the engineer and the 
general bent over the map of the east of France, 
and discussed the plan. The conference was a 
brief one. Bourbaki thought the bold game 
could be successfully played, and gave de Serres 
a note in which he informed Gambetta that, as 
soon as he received an authorisation cancelling 
previous orders, he would put his army in move- 
ment for the east of France. The order came 
back by telegraph, and next morning the troops 
were being moved to the points where the}- 
were to entrain, and the 
were collecting engines and 



mission to Chislehurst, and, when he was refused 
permission to re-enter the fortress, he at once 
offered his sword to Gambetta, not that he was 



southern railways 
rollincr stock about 



Bourges. 

Gambetta expected great things of Bourbaki. 
He was one of the most popular soldiers of the 
Second Empire. He had a record of service ex- 
tending over thirty-four years. He had fought in 
Africa, the Crimea, and Italy — everywhere with 
distinction. Englishmen should remember his 
name as that of the brigadier who brought up 
the two first French battalions to the help of 
our hard-pressed soldiers on the terrible morning 
of Inkerman. At the outbreak of the war 




GENERAL VOX WERDER. 




with Germany he was in command of the Im- 
perial Guard. He had been brought out of 
Metz before the end of the siege on a mysterious 



GENERAL BOURBAKL 

a Republican, but because all dynastic and part}' 
feelings disappeared in the general interest of 
the defence of France against the invader. But 
unfortunately, Bourbaki during this his last 
campaign seems to have been a different man 
from the fiery soldier of Algeria and the Crimea. 
On the battlefield, when he heard the cannon 
again, he showed something of his old vigour ; 
but on the march and at the council-board he 
hesitated, changed his plans, and seemed to 
labour under a depressing feeling that as an old 
general of the Empire he could not rely upon 
those who now followed him to stand by him 
after a single check. " If it rains or snows too 
much," he wrote to a friend, " they will say it is 
my fault, and that I have betrayed them." 

Though everything depended on speed, the 
railwa}- transport of the troops to the eastern 
departments was terribly slow. All was con- 
fusion. Trains were blocked for hours on the 
line, while the men, huddled together in the 
carriages, shivered with cold, for the ground was 
deep with snow and all the streams were frozen. 
Only a single line was available for the greater 
part of the way from Bourges to Chalons-sur- 
Saone. The 24th corps from Lyons reached 
the same point by another line. It had ori- 
ginally been intended to move only two corps — 
the 1 8th (General Billot) and the 20th (General 



VILLERSEXEL. 



225 



ClinchaiU) irom Bourgcs, leaving ihe 15th to 
hold ill check the Prussian corps of observation 
under Zastrow, which had moved southwards 
from Versailles. But Bourbaki, though the re- 
sources of transport were already taxed to the 
utmost, insisted on the 15th being also placed 
at his disposal, and after some hesitation the 
Government granted his request. At last, in 
the first week of January, the four corps were 
concentrated between Besangon and Chalons-sur- 



result was some skirmishing between the German 
scouting parties and Bourbaki's advanced troops. 
Three days later the German headquarters staff 
at Versailles telegraphed to Werder irders anil 
information which showed that Moltke con- 
sidered that a very serious danger was threaten 
ing the Germans in Eastern France. Werder 
was informed that he would be largely reinforced 
from the north, and that Manteuffel would pre- 
sently take over the eastern command. Mean- 



i 







" THE GERMANS TOOK THE DEFENDERS OF THE B.\RR1CADE ].N REVERSE " (/>. 22^). 



Saone — a movement which ought to have been 
completed before New Year's Dav. 

Werder had already found out that a con- 
siderable force was being accumulated in his 
front, and on December 26th he abandoned his 
advanced position at Dijon. One of the German 
regiments marched out of the town carrying its 
gaily-decorated Christmas tree on a cart, and as 
they passed along the street the soldiers threw 
some of the bonbons to the children. In order 
to be ready to oppose any attempt to relieve 
Beifort, Werder concentrated his forces between 
Vesoul and Villersexel in the valley of the 
Ognon. On January 4th he received orders to 
push reconnaissances to the southward, and the 

63 



while he was at any cost to keep Beifort 
blockaded ; use the most severe measures of 
repression in case the population of the oc- 
cupied departments attempted an insurrection ; 
fall back before Bourbaki if he could not hold 
his ground, but even so take care not to lose 
touch of him. At the same time he was directed 
to be ready to block the southern passes of the 
Vosges, and to prepare to destroy the Basle and 
Mulhouse railway-, so as to make a French cotip- 
dc-main on the upper Rhine more difficult. 
A hundred thousand Frenchmen were gathering 
round Besan^on, and Werder was outnumbered 
nearly three to one. 

Bourbaki had been hesitating as to whether 



226 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, 



he should march direct on Vesoul in order to 
strike at the tield-army under Werder, or move 
immediately to the relief of Belforl. On this 
same 7th of January he decided on the latter 
course. On the 8th he concentrated three of 
his corps about Montbozon in the Ognon valley 
— Billot on the left, Clinchant in the centre. 
Bressolles on the right. Two battalions and a 
squadron of cavalry were pushed forward to the 
little town of Villersexel, where there was a 
bridge across the river and an important junc- 
tion of roads. The main body of the French 
was about eight miles south-west of the town. 
Eight miles north-west of the same point 
Werder had concentrated his armv about Noroy- 
le-Bourg, intending next day to fall on the flank 
of the French, trusting to the superior quality 
of his troops to more than compensate for 
inferior numbers. 

Early on the morning o*" the qth the two 
armies were thus converging on Villersexel, 
which was held b}- the French advanced guard. 
The first division of Billot's corps (nine battalions 
and fourteen guns) was moving up the right bank 
of the Ognon, and had reached the village of 
Esprels at nine in the morning, when the cavalrj' 
scouts brought in news that the Germans were 
about a mile in front near the village of Marast. 
This was Von der Goltz's infantry division, 
forming Werder's right. Within half an hour 
the two divisions were in contact, and all day 
long the fight continued among the snowy 
woods between Marast and Esprels. The 
French, mostly young troops, stood their ground 
well, and resisted every effort of the Germans 
to break through or turn them. Once only, 
towards one o'clock, there was a temporar\' 
panic in the Bois des Brosses, which was held 
by chasseurs and franc-tirciirs. The 34th 
Pomeranian infantry- fought their way into the 
wood, and had captured half of it when they 
were driven out by a counter attack made b\- 
fresh troops, a brigade of linesmen and mobiles 
which was gallantly led to the charge b}- its 
brigadier. General Robert. On this part of the 
field the fighting ended with the short winter 
dav, soon after four o'clock. 

But in Villersexel itself and on the other side 
of the river the fight was a much more serious 
affair. In iS-q the town numbered about 1,500 
inhabitants. It is built on the slope of a hill on 
the left bank of the Ognon. The main street 
runs from the Place Neuve (at the point where 
the Belfort road enters the town) to the stone 
bridge which crosses the river. Close to the 



bridge several side streets run into the main 
street. On the west side of the town stood the 
splendid chateau of Grammont — a three-storied 
building, with two wings, ending in high-roofed 
pavilions. Beyond the chateau extended a 
wooded park, and at the western end of the 
park a large island divided the Ognon, and bcth 
branches were crossed by foot-bridges, that 
nearest the park being a small suspension bridge 
On the evening of the 8th the town had been 
occupied by two battalions of the 20th corps 
(Clinchant), one being a battalion of Corsican 
mobiles and the other a battalion of mobiles of 
the Vosges. General Se'gard commanded this 
advanced guard. He barricaded the stone bridge, 
loopholed the houses along the river, and put a 
company of the Corsicans into the chateau ; but 
by a strange oversight he took no precautions to 
guard the foot-bridge at the end of the park. 

At nine on the morning of the qth the 
sound of cannon was heard away to the left on 
the north bank of the river. It was the begin- 
ning of Von der Goltz's attack on Billot's first 
division. This put the little garrison of Viller- 
sexel on the alert, and soon they saw the head 
of a column issuing from the wood of Le Grand 
Fougeret, opposite the town. They opened fire 
from the houses and the barricade, and the 
Germans threw forward a line of skirmishers, 
while two batteries took up a position on the 
high ground beyond the wood, and began to 
throw shells into the streets and the park. 
Higher up the German engineers had bridged 
the river near Aillevans, and a division wa: 
crossing there, with orders to move down to the 
eastward of the town and stop the advance of 
the main body of the 20th corps, which wac 
coming up in that direction. The Germans re- 
peatedly advanced towards the long bridge as if 
they meant to rush it, but each time they fell 
back under the heavy fire from the houses. 
Along the banks of the river the rival firing 
lines exchanged volley's at close range. Twelve 
o'clock came, and the Germans had made no 
progress. But about this time a heutenant, with 
half a compan)- of the 25th Fusilier regiment 
working along the river bank, reached the 
hamlet of La Forge, and, to his surprise and 
delight, found an unguarded foot-bridge leading 
across to the big island in the Ognon. Cau- 
tiously reconnoitring the island, he came on the 
suspension bridge, giving free access to the park. 
He could hardlv believe his good luck. Sending 
back word to his captain of what he had dis 
covered, he hastened to secure a footing among 



VILLERSEXEL. 



227 



ihe trees of the park. The rest of the company, 
and after it the greater part of the battahon, 
stole across the bridge into the trees, and then 
ihe word was given to advance. The chateau 
was taken with a rush. Surprised by an attack 
from a quarter which they thought quite secure, 
some of tile Corsicans were bayoneted, about a 
hundred were taken prisoners, the rest fled into 
the town. Pressing down through the streets, 
the Germans took the defenders of the barricade 
in reverse, and the bridge was 
captured. By one o'clock the 
(lermans held the town. To 
the eastward the heads of their 
columns hud reached \'illers-la- 
Ville and the woods towards 
iMagny. 

Between one and two o'clock 
there was a lull in the fight 
on the south side of the 
Ognon. Then Bourbaki and 
Clinchant, the commander of 
the 20th corps, rode up by 
]\lagnv and directed a general 
attack upon the positions held 
by the Germans. Two divi- 
sions moved against their left, 
while a third pushed forward 
to attempt the recapture of 
Villersexel. Further down the 
river, at Pont-sur-Ognon, a 
division of the i8th corps 
crossed to the south side of 
the stream to support its com- 
rades of the 20th in their 
attack on Villerse.\el. It was 
commanded by Admiral Pen- 
hoat, a brave Breton sailor, 
who that day showed himself 
a good general. Between 
three and four o'clock \'illers- 
la-\'ille was captured. It was a strong position : 
the village, with a wood close beside it, stands 
at the crest of a long, gentle slope — a natural 
glacis, like that which made the attack of St. 
Privat so terrible for the Prussian Guard on 
August 18th. Now, covered as it was with deep 
snow, this long slope gave the garrison of the 
village a splendid field of fire. Nevertheless, 
Logerot's brigade of two battalions of the 
mobiles of the Jura moved steadily to the at- 
tack, a battalion deployed on each side of the 
road, the general on horseback between them, 
quietly signalling, now to one, now to the other, 
with his kept, escaping the balls that whistled 



round him as it by a miracle. But, bravely as it 
was made, this front attack would probably have 
failed if it had not been combined with a turn- 
ing movement against the left of the village by 
Polignac's brigade. Under this double attack 
the Germans gave way. 

But they had a further reason for not making 
a prolonged or desperate defence of this part of 
the position. Werder was now aware that he 
had in his front on the south side of the river 




iFrtne\ htadqK 
Ihe day iftfor* 

Uontbozo; 



COUNTHT ROinSTD 

' V ILLERSEXEL . 

Enpiish Mik-s 
_i 5 t- 



the three divisions of Clinchant's corps and one 
of Billot's. True, all these troops were not 
actually engaged, but they could come into 
action very soon. Further east, the 24th corps, 
under de Bressolles, was marching by the villages 
of Grammont, Georfans, and Villechevreu.x^a 
movement which outflanked the whole German 
position. Bressolles, with a woeful lack of in- 
itiative, was marching quietly to the points 
assigned to him in the general order for the 
advance of the armv on the qth. He could hear 
the cannon thundering away to his left, but only 
four companies of one of his battalions marched 
towards the fight and took some part in it. Had 



228 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



de Bressolles pushed boldly in behind Werder's 
left, the battle might have been, not a defeat, 
but a disaster for the Germans. Werder, used 
as he was to the German habit of each corps 
commander moving at once to the help of a 
comrade who was actually engaged in a battle, 
evidently expected some such movement on his 
left ; and, seeing that the French were making 
a good fight of it, and that there were nowhere 
signs of that collapse of the new levies on which 



in Africa and in Italy, was well up to the front. 
When the mobiles of the Pyrenees and the 
\'osges began to fall back under the heavy fire 
that met them as they advanced against the 
park, Bourbaki pushed through them, and, sword 
in hand, placed himself at their head. " A mot, 
Vinfaiitcric !'^ he called out. "Stand by me. 
Have French soldiers forgotten how to charge?" 
And they rallied and dashed forward with the 
shout of " Vive la France I Vive la Republiqtic ! " 







BE LFORT. 



he had counted, he sent an order between three 
and four o'clock to withdraw all the troops to 
the north bank of the river, e.xcept those actually 
holding Villerse-xel. His guns retired partly by 
the stone bridge in the town, but mostly by 
the temporarv bridges at Aillevans. 

Then the French attack came rolling on to 
the boundary walls of the park and the outlying 
houses of the town. A little after four the sun 
had set, and the attack on Villerse.xel began 
amid the gathering twilight of the winter even- 
ing. But the sky was clear, the stars began to 
come out, and the moon, near the full, shining 
on the snow gave light enough to continue the 
struggle. Bourbaki, flushed with something of 
the old eagerness which had made him famous 



One of Clinchant's divisions was attacking 
the town. Admiral Penhoat's battalions won 
on their way with the bayonet into the park 
and attacked the chateau. The Germans set it 
on fire as the}- gave way. But the victors 
arrived in time to e.xtinguish the flames and 
to rescue the French prisoners made earlier in 
the day. 

It was after si.x o'clock, but the fight w.is not 
over yet. On the north bank the cannon were' 
silent, but in the town, at the end of ever}- _ 
street. Frenchmen and Germans were firing into • 
each other at close quarters, or fighting hand-to- 
hand with the bayonet. Several houses were 
on fire, and the struggle was becoming a fierce 
one, in which there was very little thought of - 



2^0 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



quarter. At one point, as the French pushed 
into the courtyard of a house held by the 
Germans, an olTicer appeared at one of the 
windows, and, raising his hand, said something. 
All that the French heard was the word '' pri- 
sonnicr " ; but they concluded, perhaps incor- 
rectly, that he was asking to be allowed to 
surrender with his garrison. The French captain 
ordered the " Cease fire," and entered the court- 
yard. The ne.xt moment he and several of his 
men fell under a volley from the windows. The 
whole may have been one of those unfortunate 
mistakes which occur in all wars. But the 
Frenchmen thought it was a piece of murderous 
treachery. Faggots soaked with tar were brought 
up, under a heavy fire ; they were piled up 
against the door and walls of the house and 
ignited, and not a man of the German garrison 
came out of the house alive. It was Bazeilles 
on a smaller scale. 

Nine German battalions held the town — 
Landwehr men from the eastern provinces, 
Poles, and Pomeranians — determined men, 
mostly about thirty years of age, coming of good 
fighting races, and veterans of the war of 1866. 
Outnumbered as they were, they made a dogged 
resistance. Towards seven o'clock four Land- 
wehr battalions tried to retake the chateau. 
Thev actually got possession of the lower floor, 
but the French held out in the basement cellars 
and in the upper stories. There was a hard 
fight in corridors and on staircases — here with 
crossed bayonets, there with the rifle, firing 
through holes cut in floors and ceilings. The 
chateau at last took fire, and both parties had to 
abandon it. Colonel von Krane, who led the 
attack, narrowly escaped being cut off and 
burned to death. By the light of the blazing 
building the Germans were driven back into the 
streets of the town. At ten they broke into the 
park again, only to be once more repulsed. 
Gradually the fight became confined to the 
streets near the bridge, where both sides fought 
behind barricades rapidly improvised, by the 
French to secure the ground they had won, by 
the Germans to maintain themselves in the 
streets and the little square near the bridge end. 

For three hours, from ten till after one, this 
(i.'sperate street-fight went on by the light of 
blazing houses. In narrow lanes, in courtyards, 
inside the houses, men fought hand-to-hand. 
It was one of the hottest fights in the whole 
war. Strangely enough, both sides seemed to 
think only of pushing new forces directly into 
the narrow space where the battle was raging — 



the Germans by the stone bridge from the 
north bank, the French by the streets leading 
to the park. Neither party tried to push rounci 
beyond the town and enter it from other points ; 
and outside the streets the troops not actually 
engaged listened to the din that rose from the 
little town, and watched the flames that shot 
up from the blazing chateau and the burninr; 
houses — flames in which many of the woundetl 
were destroyed. One of the horrors of the fight 
was the smell of burning flesh in the crowded 
lanes. 

It was between one and two in the mornin;; 
of the loth when the Germans at last let g" 
their hold of the town and retired across th ■ 
stone bridge. General Billot watched the fight 
from the ground he had held all day on the 
north side. The Marquis de Grammont stood 
beside him, in the light of the flames that still 
rose from the ruins of his home on the other 
side of the river. He offered the general to 
guide through the darkness a column which 
could fall on the rear of the Germans and cut 
off their retreat, but his proposal was rejected. 
It was felt at the moment that enough had been 
done. A victory had been won, and there was 
no disposition to run further risks in the hope 
of still greater results. 

When the chateau was recaptured by tht 
French about seven o'clock, M. de Serres, Gam- 
betta's delegate, rode back to the point near 
Rougemont (more than five miles from \'iller- 
sexel), to which the field-telegraph had been 
brought up, and thence, a little before 8 p.m., 
he telegraphed to the Government at Bordeau.x : 

•' The battle ended at seven p.m. The night 
prevents us from estimating the importance of 
our victory. The general commanding-in-chief 
bivouacs in the centre of the battlefield, and 
the army has occupied all the positions assigned 
to it in the general orders for the march issued 
yesterday. Vill«rse.xel, the key of the position, 
was stormed to the cry of ' Vive la Fitince .' 
Vive la Repiibliquc .' ' " 

The Government telegraphed its congratu- 
lations to Bourbaki. He received them whilt» 
the night battle was still going on. De Serres, 
in his eagerness to send the good news, had said 
that the battle ended at seven. It continued 
for something more than si.x hours after that. 

The Prussian staff made a more serious mis- 
take in its report. It declared that Werder had 
held his own "against the 18th and 20th corps 
and part of the C4th." But neither the J 8th 
nor the 20th brought all its troops into action 



VILLERSEXEL. 



231 



(though doubtless their being near the field 
influtiKcd the result) ; and as for the " part of 
Uie 24th," it amounted to only four companies. 
It is not easy to say how many troops were 
actually engaged in the fight from first to last. 
Probably Werder had about 20,000 men in 
and near Villersexel, on both sides of the river, 
of which about 12,000 were seriously engaged. 
Bourbaki had about 50,000 in the i8th and 
20th corps, and 20,000 more in the 2.^th on his 
extreme right. But of these 20,000 not 300 
were engaged, and of the 50,000 about half must 
have been in action at one time or another. In 
the fighting in the town and the park after 
sundown there were about 7,000 or 8,000 
Germans against 9,000 French. Everywhere — 
except, perhaps, in Billot's fight against Von der 
Golz, where the opposing forces were about 
even — the advantage of numbers was on the side 
of the French ; but they were mostly new levies, 
and they had to expel a veteran enemy from a 
very strong position. The mobiles and volun- 
;:eers who fought their way through the streets 
of Villersexel were brave soldiers, and Bourbaki 
might well build high hopes upon this first 
battle in his campaign for the relief of Belfort. 

Considering how much street-fighting there 
was in the evening and night, the losses were 
not heavy. The Germans admitted a loss of 



over six hundred men, the Frencn about seven 
hundred. The Germans carried away some 
hundreds of French prisoners with them. Of 
the townspeople of Villersexel only one is known 
to have taken part in the fight, and he was a 
Polish refugee, Felix Romanowski, who had set- 
tled at Villersexel after fighting in the Polish 
insurrection of 1863. He shouldered a rifle on 
the morning of the 9th, and was unwounded at 
the end of the day. It is not unlikely that part 
of the time he was firing at his own fellow- 
countrymen of the Polish provinces of Prussia. 

To win a battle is one thing ; to reap the 
full fruits of victory is another. Time was 
all-im|fortant to Bourbaki if his enterprise was 
to have any chance of success. Yet, instead of 
pressing Werder with all his available forces 
next day, and driving him northwards away 
from the roads leading to Belfort, he lost 
precious hours and days in hesitation, only to 
find, when at last he resumed his advance, that 
the Germans, largely reinforced, were ready once 
more to throw themselves across his path. The 
victory of Villersexel was almost the last flicker 
of hope for France. Hericourt, Montbeliard, and 
Pontarlier witnessed the collapse of the daring 
plan, the e.xecution of which had been so wel' 
begun in the hard fighting through the short 
winter day and the long night at Villersexel. 





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G A .\l li E T T A . 
{PluW, Carjat, Paris.) 



232 



MM 




^ 



^F CANADIANS INf^THE FIELD 



THREE FEATURES OF,ji:THE WR 




BY "ANOUS 

^ 



MANY deeds of daring done duri;ig the 
War of 1812 are remembered in the 
history of North America. Indeed, 
the bitter struggle between the 
Americans and Canadians was rich in brilHant 
exploits, either side having to its credit a 
number of memorable events. The needless 
conflict, which began about nothing and ended 
in nothing, caused a great deal of bitterness to 
be harboured at the time in the hearts of both 
parties to the quarrel. But, fortunately, that 
bitterness has quite died away ; and, although 
the two halves of the great continent occa- 
sionally do look a little black the one at the 
other, the difference is merely a familj^ one, with 
small chance, indeed, of growing into anything 
more serious than a scowl. 

The War of 1812 furnishes a rich field for the 
student of independent and disconnected fight- 
ing. It was more or less a guerilla war from 
start to finish. Small bands of soldiers did 
wonders. Battles were fought with such de- 
termination and bitterness that the killed and 
wounded were desperately out of proportion to 
the number of soldiers engaged. The troops of 
both sides were born riflemen, never wasting a 
shot and always shooting to kill. Many engage- 
ments took place in the woods, and the Indians, 
who served on the Canadian side, were as ever 
ruthless and cruel. There can be no gainsaying 
that America had good ground to complain of 
the red man's doings. On the other hand, the 
Canadians found themselves obliged to defend 
their homes against powerful armies of invasion. 
No help could be looked for from across the 
Atlantic, for the United Kingdom had to grapple 
with the greatest danger she ever encountered 
in all her history. During the years the War of 
1812 was dragging its course, Britain got ready 
to meet Napoleon, met him, and fought the 
battle of Waterloo. Canada, meagrely popu- 



lated, was thrown on her own resources. Against 
her she had a great Union, practically unlimited 
as to territorj', money, and men. She therefore 
had to use every card in her hand, and one of 
the strongest cards was the Indian. Under 
Tecumseh and the younger Brant the red man 
fought with all his wonted cunning. 

This article deals with the exploits of Laura 
Secord, the Glengarries, and the great Shawnee 
chief Tecumseh. That these feats were all per- 
formed for the Canadians is in no way implying 
that the records of the United States army 
are barren in daring deeds successfulh' carried 
through. On most occasions the Americans 
fought with dash, and their greatest successes 
were made when matters looked blackest for 
them. 

Laura Secord's name is revered by the Cana- 
dians in much the same way as is that of Grace 
Darling in England, or, still better illustration, 
for each was concerned in war, Jeanne d'Arc in 
the land of " dame and dance.'' Of her deed 
the verse-writers of Canada, and they are man}^ 
have, one may say without exception, spun their 
rhymes ; and no historv of the wonderful north- 
land would be acceptable to the Canadians did 
it fail to mention her name and chronicle her 
heroism. Tales have been told, dramas woven, 
songs sung to her honour ; and as time goes on, 
her memorv is surelv destined to be kept green by 
the warm-hearted people of the great Dominion. 
For with heroic determination she pressed 
stoutly on through dark woods and across 
swollen streams to save the little army of 
Canadians from surprise and annihilation. 

Mrs. Laura Secord was a daughter of Thomas 
Ingersoll, a L"'^nited Empire Loyalist who re- 
moved from the United States to Canada after 
the war for independence and founded Ingersoll, 
now a flourishing town of some five thousand 
inhabitants. Laura married Mr. James Secord, 



CANADIANS IN THE FIELD. 



233 



and at the outbreak of the War of 1812 the two 
were Hving in Oueenslon on l!ie banks of the 
Niaj^ara river. When news came to the Cana- 
dians that an arnij- for invasion was being 
formed on the opposite bank, James Secord, like 
most Canadians able to bear arms, vohniteered 
for the defence of his country. He ranked as 
captain when the first decisive battle, Oueenslon 
Heights, was fought. That he bore himself 
gallajith- and fouglit with all his might there 
can be no disputing, for towards the end of the 
awful day his wife Laura, as she picked her way 
among the wounded and dead — while the war- 
whoQps of the frenzied red men still rang from 
the cliffs where the invaders were clinging to 



came into her possession, her husband was still a 
cripple, and she herself determined to risk all 
and make the long journey alone. 

The battle of Oueenston Heights — a decisive 
Canadian victory — cleared the Americans out of 
Canada, but in the spring of 18 13 they obtained 
possession of a strip of territory along the 
Niagara river. Oueenston and, of course, the 
Secord's home lay inside the territory occupied 
by the Americans, and James Secord and his 
faithful wife were cut off from all conniiunicalion 
with the Canadian army. General Dearborn, 
leader of the American army, had secured a 
firm footing on Canadian soil. Once safely 
across the frontier, he attempted to drive his 







5. 



"a band of INDIANS POUNCED UPON HER" (/. 235). 



.the face of the rock, with above the savages and 
below the swirling river— she came upon her 
husband lying among the dead as one deaij. 
The wife gathered the wounded volunteer into 
her arms, and made her way with as great speed 
as the burden would allow to their house. 
There she found that, although he had received 
two desperate wounds, he still breathed. All 
that winter she nursed and tended him, and 
when in June the secret of the invading army 



army like a wedge into the interior of the 
country, but the Canadians fought fiercely. For 
them everything was at stake. Indeed, this war 
was carried on more like a war of extermination 
than a fair fight such as one would expect be- 
tween two peoples speaking the same tongue. 
Devastation and rapine ever3-where, neither side 
having a monopoly of the blame ; villages, home- 
steads, crops were all g ven over to the flames, 
and the capital of each country was in turn 



■^34 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



burnt. It was a cruel, heartless, revengeful 
war. 

In his attempt to penetrate the countn,-, Dear- 
born met for a time with success ; but at length 
the Canadians managed to check him at two or 
three points, and forced him to retire to the 
Niagara again. This caused much dissatisfaction 
in the United States, for Dearborn's army was 
considered quite large enough for the enterprise, 
and the general found himself likely to be 
superseded in command should he not without 
loss of time pick up the evacuated territory and 
continue to advance instead of to retreat. Not 
only the people of the United States, but the 
soldiers themselves considered that there had 
been no cause for such a right -about-face, and 
were eager to get away from the river, on whose 
banks the}- seemed destined to linger. Retreat- 
ing, the Americans were, to be sure, pressed 
closel}- bv the Canadians, who, although scarcely 
strong enough to attack, hastened to take pos- 
session of all the strategical points in the countr)- 
evacuated by General Dearborn. In doing this 
a body of the Canadians, commanded by Fitz- 
Gibbon, a light-hearted Irishman who played an 
energetic and not altogether unhumorous part 
in the war, entrenched themselves at De Cou's 
house, a spot commanding a number of high- 
ways leading into the interior of Canada. Until 
FitzGibbon and his men were driven from their 
stronghold. Dearborn could not move. Once 
De Cou's house was stormed and burnt, a high- 
way into the heart of Canada would be thrown 
open before the invaders. Dearborn planned to 
surprise FitzGibbon. For this purpose Colonel 
Boerstler was given command of 600 men, in- 
cluding fifty cavalry and two field-guns, and with 
the utmost secrecy, as he thought at the time, 
marched off through the bush for De Cou's. 

As a reward for the valiant part he had plaj'ed 
at the battle of Oueenston Heights, James Secord 
had been granted bv the Canadian Government 
a small tract of land, which lay some distance 
outside of the village of Oueenston. On the 
farm he and his wife lived, himself crippled and 
sorely distressed ; and to their house, on the 
evening of the 22nd of June, 1813, came two 
American officers, who demanded food. While 
awaiting for or partaking of this, they fell to 
discussing the situation and Dearborn's plans, 
and, most imprudently as it turned out, carried 
on their conversation in a tone of voice loud 
enough for Mrs. Secord, who was waiting on 
them at table, to overhear everything thcv said. 
Soldier's wife that she was, and patriotic Canadian 



as well, she quickly guessed that some de- 
cisive move against her country's troops was 
meditated, and she paid careful but cautious 
attention to everxthing that passed between her 
two unbidden guests. When they had fini.shed 
their meal and departed, Laura Secord repeated 
to her husband all that she had heard, and he 
agreed with her that an attempt to surprise the 
Canadians would certainly be made. If the 
surprise succeeded, the whole of western Canada 
must fall. That night the husband and wife 
discussed the pros and cons of the situation, and, 
the husband being unable to leave the house, 
the wife decided to make an attempt to steal 
through the American lines, and thread, by a 
circuitous route, twenty miles of bush to warn 
FitzGibbon of his great danger. 

Laura Secord arose at dawn. She had planned 
every step of her journey and arranged the 
strateg}' by which she hoped to pass the vigilant 
pickets, whom the American general had thrown 
out at the skirt of the wooas to prevent the 
accomplishment of just such enterprises as she 
had undertaken. Dressing herself onh" in a 
jacket and short flannel skirt and without shoes 
or stockings, she took her milking pail in one 
hand, her three-legged milking stool in the 
other, and set out to where her cow was lying, 
not yet having arisen from her night's sleep. As 
soon as she quitted the house, she beheld the 
pickets at their stations all alert with the vigil- 
ance of a coming crisis. She had not gone a 
rod from her house before the soldiers detected 
her. and. although they would know that, on a 
farm, woman's first duty is to milk the cow 
(it takes precedence over ever3-thing, the object 
being to allow the beast to eat her fill before 
the scorching heat of da}- and the swarms 
of flies drive her to take shelter under a tree), 
they still kept strict watch over her actions. 

But to all outward appearances the good 
woman's only ambition was to get the milking 
over as soon as possible, for she walked straight 
to the cow and, causing her to arise, set down 
pail and stool, and commenced to milk. The 
beast had always been a quiet one, but this 
morning something was wrong. The soldiers, 
as they looked on, saw the animal kick over the 
pail and run a short distance towards the woods 
before being brought to a standstill by the en- 
treaties of the farmer's wife. Again Mrs. Secord 
settled down to milk, and again the cow kicked 
over the pail and ran still nearer to the dark 
forest. One of the Americans, no doubt himself 
born and bred on a rich New England farm 



CANADIANS IN THE FIELD. 



^?'5 



where cows had often kicked and run, sauntered 
over and oflered his assistance ; but Mrs. Secord 
expressed a determination to master the brute 
if she had to follow her about all day. Then 
she sat down and once more slily pinched the 
astonished animal. In this way, by short and 
easy flights, and all under the observation of the 
unsuspecting and completely befooled pickets, 
the cow and the woman reached the edge of the 
wood, passed into the wood, far into the wood, 
and finally deep enough into the wood for the 
woman's purpose. 

iMrs. Secord leaped to her feet. Flinging pail 
and stool aside, she darted into the deepest 
gloom, and as fast as her bare feet would cany 
her, and with nothing but a vague knowledge 
of the lay of the land and the way, made off to 
warn the Canadians and their faithful allies the 
Indians of approach of a foe. 

Those who have never traversed a Canadian 
wood can have but a poor conception of the 
difficulties that are encountered even in a short 
w.ilk. Laura Secord's journey was both a long 
and an an.vious one. For half her distance she 
was in danger of coming upon American scout- 
ing parties and pickets (the Americans held the 
country for that distance around Oueenston) ; 
and, besides this, many creeping animals lay in 
her path, animals that a woman with bare feet 
does not like to encounter. On her journey 
that da\' Laura Secord met with a thousand 
harassing impediments. 

Underfoot the beech roots raised their gnarled 
and knotted backs through the soil ; fallen trees, 
their dead branches held up as if, like a drowning 
man, in appeal for help, lay at every angle to be 
scrambled over as best she could; tangled clumps 
of briars and scrubby thorn, interwoven under- 
brush and rank grasses, and limbs of standing 
trees so low that she found it impossible to pro- 
ceed upright. Again and again she was under 
the necessity of driving the rattlesnakes from 
her path by slashing at them with a goad which 
she carried for the purpose. (Those venomous 
reptiles were once to be found in great numbers 
in the peninsula formed by Lakes Ontario and 
Erie and the Niagara River, the scene of the 
brave Canadian's exploit, and in the month of 
lune are very active.) But without pausing or 
paying more than momentary heed to the 
promptings to return to her home which must 
have on occasions surged upon her, she pressed 
on ; the soil, loosened by the long winter's frost, 
treacherous under lier feet, the gloomy closeness 
of the woods causing the perspiration to run 



from her brow ; down into deep gullies she 
passed and up their steep sides again, over rocks, 
through morasses and cold spring swamps, across 
rapid streams on the trunks of fallen trees, keep- 
ing an anxious look-out in front of her for sign;, 
of friend or foe. 

Night falls early in the woods. Dimness in 
the clearing is blackness under the interlocked 
branches of the forest. Owls began to hoot 
from the tree-tops and to flit past her with tlu. 
soft rustle of ghosts ; strange sounds awakenet. 
on the air : warm, sweet, enervating smells oozed 
from the ground where lay the leaves of ages ; 
the whip-poor-will cried sharply and clear. The 
passage through the woods had been terribly 
trying to her, and during the last part of the 
journey she made but little progress. Her cloth- 
ing was torn, her feet blistered and bleeding, 
and her strength all but left her. So it was that 
when, with whoop and spring, a band of Indians 
pounced upon her, she could not have been 
entirely unthankful that at length her long 
journey was ended for weal or woe. It hap- 
pened that the Indians were allies of the Cana- 
dians ; and Laura Secord, woefully bedraggled, 
was carried before the commander, FitzGibbon. 
He heard her story, and had her carefully at- 
tended to, for she was in sore straits. 

FitzGibbon and his Indian allies acted with 
promptitude and decision, and the result of 
Laura Secord's remarkable journey through the 
woods was the complete discomfort of the 
American army. FitzGibbon captured every 
man and officer. 

When the Prince of Wales was in Canada he 
visited Mrs. Secord, then an old, old ladv ; and a 
few days later she received a handsome present 
from the "neir to the Throne of England. 

THE GLENG.^RRIES AT OGDEXSBURGH. 

The storming of the old French fort Presen- 
tation at Ogdensburgh must be looked upon as 
one of the most curious and daring exploits 
of the War of 1812. The business was coolly 
planned, and carried out with irresistible dash. 
But then, what but valour and dash could be 
expected from men who had inherited the very 
spirit of self-reliant bravery from the same 
sources as they had inherited their sturdy 
frames and determined, if fiery, tempers ? High- 
landers of the real fighting stock, heirs to the 
deeds of a long line of valiant warriors, nianv of 
them the direct descendants of those hot-headed 
mountain men who poured down from the hills to 
be scattered at Culloden, and who, for their failure 



236 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



to win or to fall, were transported to the shore 
of the then savage continent, North America. 
The sons of those who had fought at Cullodeii 
again fought a hapless fight against Washington 
in. his struggle for freedom, and when the war 
for independence ended they left their all in the 
United States and journeyed to Canada rather 
than live under any flag but the Union }ack. 
It was these men and their sons that stormed 
Ogdensburgh. 

Anticipating the arrival of many United 
Empire Loyalists — as those were called who 
quitted the United States after the struggle 
for independence — the Government of Canada 
set aside a large tract of land along the northern 
bank of the St. Lawrence. In the county of 
Glengarry these Highlanders made their houses, 
taking up farms, and by their industry soon 
turned that part into the garden spot of Canada. 
They beat their swords into ploughshares, and 
were as successful civilians as they had been 
brave soldiers. 

To the settlement thus formed, about 1803 
came a very welcome addition. When peace 
with France was patched up in the first years 
of this century, the authorities in England, 
believing that war had run its course for a 
time, disbanded a number of splendid regiments. 
Among these was a Highland regiment, Roman 
Catholics all ; a regiment that had been raised 
for Continental service by the individual exer- 
tions of a priest, Alexander Macdonnell, of Glen 
Urquhart. He was a fighting clergyman, one 
of the old sort, who could with equal faith lead 
his flock in prayer or into battle. In the 
regimental marchings to and fro, Father Mac- 
donnell went with his men as chaplain of the 
corps with true paternal love in his heart and 
true fighting fire there as well. The Treaty of 
Amiens signed and orders issued for the dis- 
bandment of this regiment. Father Macdonnell 
applied to the British Government to be allowed 
to take his men to Canada. Not only did he 
obtain the desired permission, but he was also 
given the means for transportation ; and the 
men with their priest at the head marched in 
to the highland settlement of Glengarry, no 
doubt one and all welcomed to the land of the 
maple and beaver. Probably when they settled 
down upon the banks of the St. Lawrence to 
clear their farms for the plough, they dreamed 
that their fighting days were past for ever. If 
so, they were unfortunately mistaken. 

The war broke out, Oueenston Heights had 
been carried and retaken, and the harsh winter 



of the northern zone of America came down and 
effectively put an end for a time to active 
hostilities. But long before this took place— in 
fact, at the first serious news from Washington- 
Father Macdonnell's fighting blood had stirred 
in him and the fiery cross was sent through the 
land. The Highlanders lay by their axes, 
doimed their tartans, took down their broad- 
swords from their places on the ceiling beams, 
and repaired to the rendezvous where Colonel 
George Macdonnell — " George the Red,"' as he 
was called, after the Highland manner of dis- 
tinguishing one of a name from another by 
some personal peculiarity — was read}- to drill 
the men and lead them afterwards. '' George 
the Red " was a near relative of the priest's, and 
a fighting Highlander through and through. 
The men he gathered around him were called 
the Glengarry Fencibles, and during the war 
proved themselves sore stumbling-blocks to the 
ingenious and valiant Americans. 

The Glengarries were given a great stretch of 
the St. Lawrence to guard, their headquarters 
being at Prescott, in Grenville County, Ontario. 
After their long schooling against the highly 
trained troops of France, it must have been a 
curious experience for these men to engage in the 
semi-guerilla fighting that took place in the War 
of 18 1 2. On the American side of the river and 
directly opposite to Prescott is Ogdensburgh, a 
thriving place to this da}'. Between the Canadian 
and the American towns the St. Lawrence flows, 
at this point quite a mile and a quarter in width, 
a strait of beautiful waves in summer, but a 
mass of grinding ice-floes in early winter 
and early spring. In the depth of winter 
it presents a curious spectacle : a wind- 
swept plain, glittering in the sunlight and 
eeriely white under the moon, broken into 
rugged furrows and dotted here and there by 
air-holes — breathing-places an acre or more in 
extent, from which ascend, when the tempera- 
ture is very low, clouds of vapour as if from 
huge caldrons. The freezing over of the great 
rivers of America is a gradual process, the ice 
growing out from either bank until one clear 
night the ice-floes are jammed, their ragged 
edges are joined, their giddy whirlings cease, 
and the grinding roar is hushed. As the days 
pass the ice becomes so thick that it can bear 
any burden that man ever places upon it. Such 
was the river in the month of February, 1813. 

At Ogdensburgh stood an old French fort, 
and in this fort a Captain Forsyth held command 
with five hundred American soldiers and a 




'MUSKET BALLS BEGAN TO DROP IN THE RANKS, AND MEN LEAPED INTO THE AIR TO FALL FLAT 

UPON THE GLITTERING ICE" (/>. 238). 



238 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURA. 



proportionate number of artiller)-. Early in 
February, Forsyth, with a small company at 
his back, had crossed the river late one night on 
a foraging expedition. This audacious proceed- 
ing enraged the " Glengarries." Father Mac- 
donnell and " George the Red '' laid their heads 
together. The outcome was the order that 
Ogdensburgh must be stormed, and stormed 
without delay. The leader at once set about 
preparing for the action. 

His plans were as simple as bold. A stretch 
of ice more than a mile wide, offering no shelter 
from shot or shell, lay between the Highlanders 
and their foe. From the walls of the fort eleven 
cannon looked over this ice-plain. But Mac- 
donnell cared nothing for the strange footing, and 
hoped to reach the cannon before the cannon 
would have time to reach him. Morning after 
morning the red leader marched his men out 
upon the frozen surface of the river, and for 
hours at a time used the ice as a drill ground. 
To the Americans at Ogdensburgh, who at first 
watched ever)' movement of their dangerous 
I'leighbours, it appeared as though Macdonnell 
was determined to keep his men in thorough 
training for the spring campaign. Not only did 
the Highlandmen march and countermarch, 
but thev hauled with them a couple of ugly- 
looking field-guns. Day by day they ventured 
farther out upon the ice in their practice, until 
the centre of the river was reached if not passed. 

On the morning ofthe2.:nd February the High- 
landers as usual turned out upon the ice. Four 
hundred and eighty of them there were all told, 
and the everlasting two old field-pieces dragging 
behind them like the tail of a beaver. From 
the walls of the fort at Ogdensburgh the usual 
number of soldiers took their places to watch 
the drill. Captain Forsyth himself watched the 
spectacle for a time, but having seen enough of 
it, hastened to his breakfast. As he sat over his 
meal an officer came to him and said that he 
thought there was something suspicious about 
the looks of the Highlanders this morning. 
Forsvth thought otherwise, and went on with 
his breakfast. The junior officer, unfortunately 
for the Glengarry men, felt uneasj- and sceptical, 
and resolved to keep a suspicious watch over the 
goings-on on the ice. Not many minutes passed 
before his shout from the walls of the fort caused 
the soldiers to spring to their arms. The High- 
land hosts had suddenly rent asunder, and two 
columns dashed straight for opposite sides of the 
fort. 

" George the Red " himself headed the left 



wing. His men held the ropes of the two field- 
guns. ForemosL in the right wing ran Captain 
Jenkins, a Canadian born and bred. On they 
dashed for the fort, running as fast as legs would 
carry across a frozen river. But half a mile of 
ice is a long, long road to travel, and before the 
columns had progressed many hundreds of yards 
the first cannon-load of grape shot came sweeping 
across the field of ice to meet the oncoming 
columns. Another hundred yards forward and 
the musket balls began to drop in the ranks, 
and men leaped into the air to fall fiat upon the 
glittering ice. 

Macdonnell's men carried the guns. It was 
the leader's plan to plunge into Ogdensburgh, 
brush out of his way any opposition that might 
there be offered, and plant the artillery in a 
position to fire into the fort from the rear, in 
this way preparing a breach for Jenkins, who 
was to storm the fort at the opposite side. But 
Macdonnell had not counted on his movements 
being so quickly discovered, nor that he would 
encounter such obstacles when he approached 
the bank. His men reached the American 
shore, swept through the village with irresist- 
ible fury ; but when they reached the chosen 
spot for planting the guns, the guns were not 
forthcoming. They had, it turned out, become 
buried in a great bank of snow and ice that 
skirted the marge of the river. It took a weary 
time to hoist them out of their helpless position, 
tumble them up the river bank, and plant them 
in a commanding position. Meanwhile the 
Americans, rare marksmen and cool fellows, did 
not let the minutes slip unprofitably by. 

While Macdonnell's men were floundering in 
the snowdrift, poor Jenkins and his band were 
having a very bad time of it. No sooner had 
he started forward than seven cannon were 
pointed at him, and the grape played havoc with 
his men, momentarily throwing them into con- 
fusion. He himself had his left arm shattered 
by the very first shot from the fort, but calling 
bravely to his men they all sprang forward. 
However, they had not gone many yards before 
a second shot struck the leader, this time on the 
right arm, completely disabling that also. Not- 
withstanding his terrible wounds — his left arm 
had to be amputated and his right was never 
afterwards of any use to him, although it hung 
by his side — the gallant Canadian pressed stoutly 
forward to inspire his men, but at length fell e.\- 
hausted on the ice from loss of blood. His men, 
however, never lost heart. Leaving their com- 
mander where he lay, they breasted the fire from 



CANADIANS IN THE FIELD. 



239 



the fort, scrambled up tlie bank, formed in 
proper ortier, and charged over the breastworks, 
depending on their bayonets to carry the day. 
In the nick of time " George the Red" got his 
guns into position, and with a " Hurrah ! " both 
wings made for the old French fort. Forsyth, 
seeing all lost, retired with those men who were 
able to follow him, escaping into the woods that 
surrounded the place. The Highlanders secured 
the fort, burnt four armed vessels that lay in the 
bay, carted a vast quantity of stores across the 
ice to Prescott, and having destroyed the fortifi- 
cation, retired to Canadian soil. 

The Canadian loss in the gallant aftair 
. unounted to eight killed and fifty-two wounded, 
most of them struck down on the ice by the 
raking grape-shot. 

TECIIMSI'.H, \V.\K-CHIHF OF THH SHAWNKES. 

A few tame buffaloes where once roamed count- 
less thousands ; a few patches of ragged forests 
where once waved a continent of forests ; a few 
red men, tamed but not civilised, where once 
the smoke from many villages of wigwams and 
tepee curled through green branches and drifted 
into the blue sky. The triumph of the white 
man in North America has been won by the 
extermination of well-nigh everything indigenous 
to the continent. The very climate has changed. 
Europeans from Spain, France, Holland, and our 
own island kingdom set foot on American soil 
only to fly at the throat of all things un- 
European. Beasts, wild-flowers, forests — all 
have been dislodged ; streams diverted, rivers 
bridged, railways set to crawl over the face 
of nature, land laid bare to the glaring sun, 
and a unique continent turned into a second 
Europe. But the most deplorable sacrifice to 
white man's convenience was the sacrifice of 
the forests and the Children of the Forests. 

Some of the grandest figures in American 
history are Indians. Among these Pontiac and 
Tecumseh stand out in commanding proportions, 
and it is a strange coincidence that both of these 
mighty warriors, during the years in which their 
greatest deeds were done, had their wigwams 
pitched on the banks of the Detroit river. 
Pontiac, than whom no greater war-chief ever 
swung the tomahawk, personally directed the 
operations against Fort Detroit, then garrisoned 
by British soldiers, and conducted the greatest 
siege that is recorded in the historj- of the red 
man. Tecumseh^ the next striking figure in 
Indian history, fought on the banks of the same 
stream side b)' side with the British, whom his 



great forerunner had attempted to expel from 
American soil. As a striking figure of the War 
of 1812, this Tecumseh may be placed shoulder 
to shoulder with Sir Isaac Brock, hero of Queens- 
ton Heights, whom he knew and loved. Tecum- 
seh was a born leader, eloquent in speech, lofty 
in principle, and brilliant in war. His death in 
the battle of the Thames caused a thrill of 
sorrow to pass through Canada, sorrow only less 
intense than that which moved the Canadians 
when they heard of the death of Brock on 
Oueenston Heights. 

Tecumseh, war-chief of the Shawnees, was 
born about 1 770. His earliest recollections were 
of war, for his people, turbulent and fierce, 
found themselves in unending trouble with the 
Americans. He was twenty years old when 
General Harmer, commanding a large body of 
American troops, was sent to punish his tribe. 
The Shawnees met the Americans, and the cruel 
fight that resulted was altogether disastrous to 
the white men. They were forced to fight at 
great disadvantage, and finally had to take to 
heels to escape a general massacre. Next year 
General St. Clair undertook to avenge Harmer's 
defeat, and the end of this expedition was that 
the Americans were again almost annihilated. 
This, of course, could not last. The United 
States Government, two years later, fitted out 3 
column, giving the command to General Wayne. 
Ample troops for the war were placed under the 
general's care, and Wayne most effectively ad- 
ministered the punishment which in the pre- 
vious attempts had failed to be given. The 
Shawnees lost a greater part of their territory 
and a large number of their best warriors. 

The disaster to his people had a curious effect 
on the mind of Tecumseh. At that time a 
young and no doubt unimportant buck, the 
defeat rankled in his heart without in any way 
cowing his independent nature. A great hatred 
for the Americans grew in his breast, and he 
formed a determination to overwhelm them in 
the west and drive them east of the Alleghanies. 
To do this he saw clearly that he must not 
begin by leading one tribe to war against the 
soldiers, but that all Indians on the continent 
must be formed into a confederacy and made to 
act in concert. It was a dream cherished by 
most of the great Indian chiefs, but none set 
about its accomplishment with clearer intel- 
ligence and sterner determination to surmount 
all obstacles than Tecumseh. 

His resolve once formed, he without loss of 
time set out to preach the crusade among the 



240 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 



neighbouring tribes. His oratory, rich in the 
metaphor which the Indian loves and thrilHng 
with martial fire, touched the hearts of the rest- 
less warriors; and when in 1804 Tecumseh's 
brother, the then chief of the tribe, proclaimed 
himself a prophet sent by the Great Spirit to 
lead the Children of the Forest back to their 
original ways of life and ancient heritage, and 
at the same time renounced the chieftainship 
in favour of Tecumseh, the young warrior found 
himself at the head of a splendid band of 
warriors, which his own and his brother's fame, 



General Harrison's officers offered a chair to the 
chief, saying — 

"Warrior, your father, General Harrison, 
offers you a seat." 

Tecumseh gazed into the sky before an- 
swering : 

" My father ! The sun is my father, and the 
earth is my mother. She gives me nourishment, 
and I will rest on her bosom." 

Having spoken, he flung himself on the turf. 

The interview was short and unsatisfactory. 
Tecumseh refused to relinquish his idea of form- 




WHERE TECUMSEH STOOD AT BAY. 



ringing through the land, was causing to be 
increased every day by ambitious spirits from 
friendly tribes. So threatening did the move- 
ment among the Indians appear to the United 
States that the President instructed General 
Harrison, himself President in after years, to see 
Tecumseh and learn his intentions. 

This was the first meeting between Harrison 
and Tecumseh. They last came face to face 
in the swamp-lands of the valle}- of the Thames 
in Canada, and Tecumseh, fighting like a moun- 
tain-cat, fell riddled with buckshot. 

This first meeting threw into relief the cha- 
racter of the Indian war-chief. Both Americans 
and red men arranged to meet unarmed. 
Tecumseh at the head of his warriors appeared 
at the appointed place punctually. One ot 



ing a confederacy, unless the President, on be- 
half of the United States, undertook to keep 
the white man within the boundaries already 
occupied by him. 

Immediately after the interview the Shawnee 
chief set out to preach his favourite scheme to 
the Indians of the south. During his absence 
his tribe got into further trouble with the troops, 
and were again sorely cut up and defeated. 
Tecumseh returned home, gathered around him 
the warriors who had escaped destruction, and, 
the War of 1S12 breaking out, he hastened with 
his band to Detroit, there to place himself at the 
disposal of the Canadians. From that daj' to 
the day of his death he led his braves with a 
judgment and brilliancy scarcely equalled in the 
annals of Indian warfare. 



CANADIANS IN THE FIELD. 



241 



To Tccumsch and his vvairicirs lull the dis- 
tinction of striking the first tcUing blow in the 
War of 18 12. An American army commanded 
bv Hull had crossed to Canadian soil, expecting 
1(1 easily subdue the western part of Canada. 
Hull's army depended on the west for sup- 
plies, and Tecumseh, knowing this, beset the 
road leading from Ohio, and ambushed a large 



army behind the stockades of Detroit, leaving 
Tecumseh to return triumphantly to Amherst- 
burgh. This was a characteristic beginning to 
a war for the most part fought in the bush. 

Fresh from his victory over V'an Home, 
Tecumseh, war-chief of the Shawnees, met for 
the first and last time Brock, commander of the 
forces in British North America. It is recorded 










'SPRANG OUT OF THE MORASS AND FLEW AT THE THROATS OF THE RENOWNED RIFLEMEN" (p. 243). 



convoy under Van Home. The Americans 
were taken Jby surprise, but held their ground 
bravely against Tecumseh and his warriors. A 
fierce fight followed, but the Indian chief had 
the advantage of position, and moreover his 
braves were used to fighting in the woods. 
Under green trees and among tangled under- 
brush, as in the marsh-lands, none could war so 
well as the Indian. After fighting the fight of 
despair. Van Home's little army was scattered ; 
most of the troops were killed and important 
despatches captured. At the news of this 
disaster Hull retired from Canada, and shut his 

64 



that the two took a great liking to one another. 
Brock certainly looked upon Tecumseh as a 
remarkable man, in whom all trust could be 
placed. Un-Indianlike, the Shawnee chief scorned 
liquor. He had been a heavy drinker in his 
youth, but seeing how liquor was carrying off 
his people he renounced its use. In victory he 
refused to plunder, and his valour was above 
suspicion. Brock and Tecumseh planned the 
storming of Fort Detroit, although the force 
they had for the purpose was far weaker than 
that under Hull, who held the fort. Tecumseh 
undertook the cutting-off of the fort from all 



242 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



communication with the outside world, and 
with his thousand warriors completely sur- 
rounded Detroit, besetting every highway and 
path ; and when Brock summoned Hull to sur- 
render, Tecumseh drew in his circle of ferocious 
followers, and their war-whoops, ringing from 
the woods and re-echoing from the old stock- 
ade, hastened the American general's resolve to 
open the gates. From that day to the day of 
his death Tecumseh was looked upon by friend 
and foe alike as one of the great leaders in the 
war. The Canadians found him an invaluable 
ally, and the Americans a leader to be reckoned 
with. Few Indian chiefs ever had such responsi- 
bilities placed on their shoulders b}'^ the white 
man as had Tecumseh. It is scarcely too much 
to say that Brock looked to the Shawnee to 
hold the territory of Michigan and defend 
Western Canada from attack. Proctor, who 
commanded the few troops Brock could spare 
from his hard task at Niagara, no doubt held 
actual command, but Tecumseh was the fighting 
force. And right well he did his duty. 

In January of 1813, Proctor and Tecumseh 
led out their small force and surprised a brigade 
of Harrison's army, killing close upon 400 men, 
and capturing Brigadier Winchester, three field- 
officers, nine captains, twenty subalterns, and 
more than 500 men. Considering the small 
armies in the field at this time, the number of 
killed w-as appalling. Unfortunately some Indians, 
losing control of themselves, commenced to 
massacre the wounded, and a number of un- 
fortunate American soldiers were in this way 
done to death before the red men could be 
brought under control. 

News of this action spread among the tribes 
of the forest and plain, and Tecumseh's band 
was swelled by volunteers from near and from 
afar — bucks anxious to see fighting or to avenge 
the blood of killed tribesmen. Proctor, elated 
with the success of his offensive operation, 
determined to pursue the forward policy, and 
with 1,000 regulars and militia, and 1,200 
Indians, he in April laid siege to Fort Meigs. 
At this siege Tecumseh again distinguished 
himself by cleverly leading Colonel Dudley and 
400 American troops into an ambush, with the 
result that half were slain and the remainder 
captured. Although Proctor found it impractic- 
able to continue the siege, he managed during 
the operation to take 550 prisoners, and the 
slain of the American forces were estimated at 
about 500 men. After this General Harrison's 
army was strengthened to such proportions that 



the small army of Canadians and Indians found 
it imptjssible to act on the offensive with any 
success, and when Commodore Perrv in a gallant 
action swept the upper lakes of the British fleet. 
Proctor found himself compelled to evacuate 
Fort Detroit and retreat towards Niagara. 
Against this movement Tecumseh protested in 
one of the finest e.xamples of Indian oratorj- tha ' 
has been handed down to us from a time not so 
long passed, but passed for ever, when the Indian 
was still a great orator and a sturdy warrior. In 
the course of his speech he protested strongly 
against any retreat not preceded by a defeat. To 
quote a few sentences from his oratory : — 

" Father, listen ! our fleet has gone out ; we 
know they have fought ; we have heard the 
great guns ; but we know nothing of what has 
happened to our father with that arm. Our 
ships have gone one way, and we are much 
astonished to see our father tying up everything 
and preparing to run the other. 

" Father, listen ! the Americans have not yet 
defeated us bj- land ; neither are we sure that 
they have done so by water ; we therefore wish 
to remain and fight our eneni}- should the\ 
make their appearance. 

" Father ! you have got the arms which our 
Great Father sent for his red children. If you 
intend to retreat give them to us and vou mav 
go. Our lives are in the hands of the Great 
Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, 
and if it be his will, we wish to leave our bones 
upon them." 

The Great Spirit willed, and Tecumseh left 
his bones on Canadian soil. 

Proctor began his disastrous retreat on Sep- 
tember 2Sth. The countn,- through which his 
route lay is as peculiar in its way as anj- on the 
North American continent. Once upon a time 
this tract of land was covered by Lake St. Clair, 
but through the ages the water receded from 
the face of the earth, leaving a great alluvial 
plain of waving reeds and coarse grasses, the 
paradise of the wild duck. Through this the 
Canadians and Indians made their way, and, 
coming to the River Thames, set out along its 
northern bank through an open forest. 

Closely following on their footsteps cpme 
General Harrison with 3,500 men, 1,500 of these 
Kentucky riflemen mounted on horses that 
understood the woods as well as any woodsman. 
Proctor found it impossible to make much 
progress owing to the terrible state of the 
ground ; and Harrison, with his mounted men, 
soon caught him up. 



CANADIANS IN THP: FIELD. 



243 



On October the 5th the hitle band of regulars 
and Indians was forced to halt and prepare for 
battle. The position he secured was a favourable 
one. On his left the River Thames flowed, deep 
and treacherous. On his right, in the security 
of a swamp, lay Tecumseh and his warriors, 
delighted at the prospect of another meeting 
with their foe. The small force of regulars were 
deployed from river to swamp, and all was ready 
for the appearance of Harrison. 

Tecumseh held a position that appealed to 
the Indian heart. A tangled mass of under- 
brush, long grass, and gnarled swamp-oak hid 
him from view ; underfoot the soil shook like 
jelly and scarcely would bear the weight of a 
moccasin foot, being quite impossible to horse- 
men. In such a place the mighty warrior 
awaited in all confidence the time when he 
might spring whooping from his cover to fall 
upon the flank of the Americans. The last 
words he spoke to Proctor as he was about to 
retire to the fastness of the marsh-lands were, 
" Father, have a big heart ! " 

Notwithstanding the telling position he had 
secured, Proctor neither took ordinary precau- 
tions to escape surprise nor did he or his men 
ilisplay valour in the fight. At the first charge 
of tile American horsemen, and before the 
Indians had an opportunity to begin the battle 



according to the arrangements come to between 
Proctor and Tecumseh, the regulars broke and 
ran. In fact, many did not go to the trouble of 
attempting to escape, but threw their weapons 
on the ground and surrendered. 

Tecumseh saw what happened, and his rage 
was great. He and his warriors might very well 
have withdrawn and saved themselves, for no 
army could hope to catch the red man in the 
woods ; but instead of doing this he resolved to 
give battle, and at the head of his bucks sprang 
out of the morass and flew at the throats of the 
renowned riflemen. The Kentucky men, hunters 
and trappers every one of them, were familiar 
with Indian tactics, and used to fighting under 
trees. They met the Indian charge with great 
coolness, and although badly cut up, held their 
ground. 

In the savage struggle that followed, the 
great Shawnee Tecumseh met instantaneous 
death, being riddled with buckshot. His death 
put a stop to all fighting. The Indians quickly 
melted away among the trees, leaving their chief 
dead on the banks of the muddy Thames. 

Tecumseh's end was one after his own heart. 
Pontiac died from a tomahawk-blow delivered, 
It is said, in a drunken squabble ; but Tecumseh 
died with tomahawk in hand, the heat of battle 
in his brain, and his face to the foe. 




A COUNCIL OF WAR. 



244 




THE history of most of the South 
American repubhcs, since their suc- 
cessful revolt against Spain in the 
first quarter of the century-, has been 
diversified with frequent civil wars. Here the 
party that has been beaten at the elections 
tries to reverse the verdict of the polls by an 
appeal to arms ; there a president develops 
into a dictator, and answers the protests of the 
local congress with rifle bullets. A playful ex- 
aggeration described the condition of a Spanish 
republic by saying that there was a revolution 
in the capital whenever it was too hot to work. 
But there is one South American State which is 
a notable exception to this condition of affairs. 
In Chili there was an abortive attempt at in- 
surrection in 1 85 1, but for nearly forty years 
from the day of its failure the country enjoyed 
internal tranquillity. It supported Peru in its 
resistance to Spain in the sixties. It carried on 
a successful war with the same sister republic at 
the end of the seventies, gaining thereby ex- 
tension of territory and some reputation for 
hard fighting by sea and land. But this long 
period of internal peace and growing prosperity 
closed when in 1800 an ambitious president 
tried to usurp something like dictatorial power. 
Balmaceda was by all accounts an able man, and 
many of his ideas as to the lines on which the 
wealth of the country could be developed were 
excellent. But unfortunatelv he tried to make 
himself the arbitrary master of the State instead 
of its constitutional head, and towards the end 
of the year he brought matters to a crisis by 
throwing into prison some of the leading men of 
the majority in the Congress, which opposed his 
views. 

On January 1st, i8gi, the Congress, with the 
exception of his few personal adherents, formallv 
declared that Balmaceda had violated the Con- 
stitution. Those leaders of the majority who 



were still at liberty and many of their followers 
then went on board the fleet, which had through 
its oflScers promised to support the Constitution 
against the would-be dictator. The army, how- 
ever, for the most part stood by Balmaceda, and 
the fleet steamed away to the northwards, and 
took possession of Iquique, which became the 
temporary capital of the provisional govern- 
ment, while Balmaceda was for the time supreme 
at Valparaiso and Santiago and throughout the 
south and centre of the Republic. Coquimbo 
marked the northern limit of his power, and for 
a time the rival claimants to the dominion of 
Chili were indeed at war, but unable to strike 
any effective blows at each other. The difficult 
nature of the countrv between Coquimbo and 
Iquique, the fact that the Congressists com- 
manded the sea, and the fear that a large with- 
drawal of his forces from the south would lead 
to a rising against him, all combined to prevent 
Balmaceda from attempting to do more than 
stand on the defensive. The Congressists, on 
the other hand, though they bombarded Coronel 
and other points on the coast held bv their 
rivals, had only a small untrained and badly 
armed land force at their disposal, and could 
therefore make no serious attempt to drive 
Balmaceda from the capital and the great port 
of Valparaiso. The dictator, through his agents 
in Europe and the United States, set to work to 
obtain a fleet, and the Congressists imported 
arms and rapidly levied an army in the north. 
It was a race between them to see which would 
first be ready for effective action. The dictator 
had nearly all the organised machinery of the 
regular government at his disposal, maintaining 
himself by something like a reign of terror in 
Valparaiso. The Congressists, though nominally 
rebels, were reallv preparing to defend law, 
order, and the constitution against their worst 
enemy. 



THE FIGHT FOR VALPARAISO. 



245 



Fuitimalcly for Chili, the Congressists secured 
the help of a remarkable man to form, train, 
■xiul direct their new levies. Emil Korner had 
learned the soldier's business in that e.xccllent 
school the general staff of the Prussian army. 
He had seen war on a grand scale in France in 
1X70-71, and he had come out to Chili to act as 
a professor in the '' Academy of War " or Staff 
College of the Republican army. Refusing to 
give his adherence to Balmaceda, he made his 
way to the headquarters of the insurgents at 
Iquique, and was at once appointed chief of the 
staff to General Del Canto, who commanded 
their land forces. For three months Colonel 
Korner worked night and day. He super- 
intended the training of the recruits. He gave 
lectures and practical instruction to the officers. 
He drew up and had printed a little bot)k 



experiment. By the beginning of August the 
Congressist leaders decided that the time for 
action had come. Korner would perhaps have 
wished for a little longer time for preparation, 
but Balmaceda had purchased a powerful iron- 
clad and some other warships in Europe, and 
their arrival would deprive the Congressists of 
the great advantage of an unchallenged com- 
mand of the sea, which indeed was the first 
element of success in their plan of campaign. 

The Congressist or Constitutional army was 
less than 10,000 strong. There were three in- 
fantry brigades, varying in strength from 2,500 
to 3,000 men, a couple of batteries of mountain- 
guns and a few field-pieces, six squadrons of 
cavalry, mustering in all less than 700 sabres, 
three companies of engineers, and a detachment 
of sailors from the fleet with si.\ Hotchkiss 





VALPARAISO. 



with elaborate diagrams on the modern infantry 
attack. He imported some thousands of Mann- 
licher repeating-rifles, and armed his best regi- 
ments with this terribly effective weapon. 
Finally he compiled and issued a series of maps 
of the country in which the army was to operate, 
and drew up a plan for the coming campaign. 
The Mannlicher had never yet been used upon 
the battlefield, and the struggle for the posses- 
sion of Valparaiso would therefore be, from the 
scientific soldier's point of view, an interesting 



machine-guns. None of the infantry had had 
the Mannlicher rifle in their hands for more 
than six weeks ; some of them had onl}- eiilisted 
a fortnight ago. It was a daring enterprise to 
throw such a force as this on a hostile coast 
within a few miles of a great city held by a 
regular army at least 25,000 strong. Korner, in 
advising the attempt to be made, trusted partly 
to the effect that would be produced by the new 
rifles, parti}- to the notorious fact that the Bal- 
macedist army was in part composed of recruits 



246 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



enlisted by force, and old soldiers whose sym- 
pathies were not with the dictator, but who 
were terrorised into following his generals by 
the frequent military executions of those who 
showed tlie least hesitation in obeying orders, 
the least leaning towards the Constitutional 
cause. 

The troops embarked at Iquique, Caldera, and 
Huasco in the second week of August. They 
were crowded on board of seven large steamers 
and three war-ships, these last being the ironclad 
Almiraiitc Cochrane (named after the British 
admiral who did so much for South American 
freedom) and the cruisers Esmeralda and 
O'Higgtns. The members of the provisional 
government were on board of the ironclad, 
together with General Canto, Colonel Korner, 
md the staff. All went well, and at noon on 
Vugust iqth the fleet assembled at the ap- 
pointed rendezvous at sea, si.xty miles west of the 
port of Ouintero, the destined landing-place. 
The orders were that the fleet was to approach 
Ouintero under cover of the darkness of the 
next night. The steam launches of the war- 
ships were to go into the bay and drag it, to 
make sure that there were no torpedoes laid 
down. At dawn the vanguard battalion was to 
surprise the little town ; the rest of the army 
was to disembark under the cover of the guns 
of the fleet ; and, as soon as it was complete, it 
was to march southwards for Valparaiso, distant 
about fifteen miles. The men were to land carry- 
ing three days' provisions, and the infantry were 
to have 1 50 cartridges in their pouches, the small 
bore of the new rifle making it possible to carry 
this large supply of ammunition without over- 
loading the men. 

When the sun rose on Thursday, August 20th, 
it was found that instead of being off Ouintero 
the fleet had, through miscalculating the drift of 
a current, been carried ten miles to the north- 
ward of the port, the mistake resulting in some 
loss of valuable time. The harbour was found 
to be clear of torpedoes, and the only garrison 
in the town was a few dragoons, who retreated 
southwards as soon as the boats of the vanguard 
put off from the side of the steamer. The 
dragoons tried to drive away with them a large 
flock of 3,000 sheep, but, on being pursued, the3' 
abandoned this valuable prize to the Congressists. 
The telegraph office was occupied, and the wires 
cut, but before their flight the Balmacedists had 
got off some long messages to Santiago and 
Valparaiso. It was a bad piece of negligence on 
the part of the invaders that they had not 



landed small parlies above and below the town 
to cut the wires in the dark. 

The disembarkation at Ouintero had been 
timed for 5.30 a.m., but the fleet did not reach 
the bay till seven, and it was not till half-past 
nine that the first boatload of troops were towed 
to the shore. At ten the vanguard began its 
march southwards towards the Aconcagua river, 
but it was not till twelve hours later that the 
last of the troops were ashore, and the march of 
the third brigade did not begin till midnight. 
The Aconcagua, which is fordable at several 
points, runs into the sea through a valley about 
half a mile wide, the parallel lines of heights on 
either side being from 450 to 600 feet high. 
Rumour said that the dictator's troops were 
concentrating on the southern heights to dispute 
the passage, and the scouts pushed on in advance 
by the Congressists confirmed this report. They 
found the enemj' holding a position on the 
southern hills, with his left near the sea on the 
heights above the village of Concon Bajo, and 
his right about two and a half miles further 
inland. His force was estimated to be about 
11,000 strong, with several batteries of cannon 
and machine-guns. It was certainly pushing 
daring to the verge of rashness to attack such a 
force in such a position, w-ith inferior numbers 
and hardly any artillery. But General Canto 
and Colonel Korner decided that the risk of in- 
action would be still greater. It would dispirit 
the volunteers, it would add to the strength of 
the enemy's forces, and finally there was the 
danger of a break in the weather. Levied in 
the rainless districts of the north, the Congress- 
ist army was formed of men who could not be 
expected to carry on a campaign in wet weather 
without suffering serious losses by sickness, and 
being reduced to a state of depression that would 
not leave much inclination for fighting in the 
survivors. The}' were good soldiers, these 
volunteers of the Constitution ; but, like the 
French duellist with the umbrella, though they 
did not mind being shot they had not bargained 
for catching cold. 

Soon after sunrise on Friday, the 21st, the 
Congressists began to throw shells from their 
mountain-guns across the valley into the Balma- 
cedist lines. Their object was to make the 
dictator's batteries reveal their positions bj- 
opening in reply, and soon Korner's staff-officers 
were able to note, not only the points where the 
enemy's guns were, but also the positions into 
which he was moving his infantry battalions. 
While this desultor}' cannonade was echoing 



THE FIGHT FOR VALP.-VRAISO. 



24'/ 



along the valley, the fords of the Aconcagua 
were reconnoitred, and it was finally decided 
that Korner was to send across the first brigade 
by a ford, partly sheltered from the enemy's view 
and fire, near the village of Concon Bajo, and 
attack the Balmacedist left, while Canto, with 
the two other brigades, crossed higher up at 
Colmo and attacked their front. The fleet was 
to steam close in to the shore near Concon Cove 
and support the right attack with its long-rang- 
ing guns. It was the battle of the Alma all over 
again on a small scale. Like Gortschakofif, the 
Balmacedist generals, Barbosa and Alcdrreca, did 
not oppose the actual landing, but disputed a 
river crossing lying between the invaders and 
their objective ; and in the actual, fight Korner's 
advance from Concon Bajo was exactly parallel 
to Bosquet's attack on the Russian left near the 
sea, while Canto's advance with the two other 
brigades represented the main frontal attack. of 
the English and French armies. 

The attack from Concon Bajo had the great 
advantage of the support of the fleet. Alcerreca 
saw that this would be so, and strongly urged 
Barbosa, who was his senior, to give battle at a 
point further from the coast ; but his colleague 
had an utter contempt for the new levies of the 
Congressists. As he saw them advancing on the 
morning of the battle of Concon, he said, using 
a Chilian e.xpression of contempt — " They are 
four cats. I shall sweep them back to their ships 
this very morning ! " 

A little after eleven the battle began in earnest. 
Signals from the shore told the fleet where to 
direct its fire, and the Cochrane, the Esmeralda^ 
and the O' Higgiiis working their guns as safely 
as if they were at target practice, searched with 
their shell-fire every hollow in the hills near the 
coast where the dictator's reserves might be 
concentrated. At the same time a battery of 
mountain-guns opened from Concon Bajo on the 
small bodies of the enemy who were watching 
the ford, and a company of rifles advanced 
against them, and for the first time the rapid fire 
of the repeating-rifle was heard on a battlefield. 
Under this shower of bullets and shells the 
Balmacedists fell back, and the ist brigade, 
in a long column of fpurs, plunged into the river 
at the ford. Before they advanced the men 
threw down their packs and cloaks, going into 
action with only their haversacks, water-bottles, 
rifles, and ammunition. The ford was nowhere 
more than waist deep, and as the column reached 
the opposite bank regiment after regiment ex- 
tended into fighting formation. As the first line 



reached the crest of the height a large flag was 
displayed, a signal to the ships to cease firing, 
for after this their shells would have been as 
dangerous to friends as to foes. All the high 
ground near the sea was clear of the enemy, but 
supported by a battery of artillery, the Balma- 
cedists held the further edge of a ravine which 
ran across the hill, nearer to Concon Medio, and 
against this the attack of the first brigade was 
directed, while the cavalry crossed by the ford 
and, riding up the heights, protected its right, 




which was threatened by a mass of Balmacedist 
lancers. 

Meanwhile Canto had heard the firing towards 
the sea, and took this as a signal to begin his 
own attack at the ford of Colmo. Covered by 
the fire of a mountain-battery and the machine- 
guns landed from the fleet, the first battalions of 
the 2nd brigade forded the Aconcagua. The 
3rd brigade was still far from the field, but 
messengers were despatched to hasten its march, 
and especially to urge the artillery to push on as 
rapidly as possible. The Colmo ford was not at 
all as good a place for crossing as the ford of 
Concon Bajo. The bottom was irregular, the 
current was strong, and the place was under fire 
from the Balmacedist position. Several men were 



=48 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



shot down in the water, and still more were 
swept away bv the current, or missed the ford 
and were drowned. But nevertheless the Con- 
gressists pushed on ; and once across, the very 
steepness of the river bank sheltered them as 
thev formed for attack- 
There was now a sharp infantry fight in pro- 
gress at two points — on the Congressist right, 
where the 1st brigade was steadily forcing back 
the Balmacedists along the ridge, and between 
Colmo and Concon 
Medio, where Canto 
with the 2nd brigade 
was struggling for 
the possession of the 
long green hillside 
above the river. At 
both points the ra- 
pid fire of the new 
rifle told strongly in 
favour of the attack ; 
but it had also its 
dangers and draw- 
backs, for the regi- 
ments first engaged, 
partly trained as 
they were, did not 
husband their car- 
tridges, and though 
they had 150 to 
begin with, thev 
were soon beginning 
to run short of am- 
munition. This was 
especiallv the case 
on the right. The 
Iquique regiment 
had got to within 
two hundred vards 
of the Balmacedist 

battery, and the gunners were firing case-shot. 
The guns were in imminent danger, when 
the fire of the attack all but ceased. Their 
ammunition was gone, and they would have had 
to fall back if at that moment the cavalry had 
not come to the rescue. The two squadrons 
that charged had not quite three hundred sabres, 
but thev decided the fight on this part of the 
field. Sweeping round the flank of the infantry 
they dashed with a wild cheer in amongst the 
guns and captured the whole battery, the Iquique 
men coming on with their bayonets fi.Ked the 
moment the rush of horsemen stopped the tire 
of the guns. 

In the attack of the 2nd brigade cartridges 




PRESIDENT TOS6 BALM.'^CEDA. 



had run so short that the men searched the 
bodies of the dead and wounded for further 
supplies. Here it would have gone badly with 
the attack had not part of the 3rd brigade ar- 
rived, tired after their night march, but with 
their pouches well filled with cartridges. The 
Balmacedists had been gathering round Concon 
Medio for a counter attack, when in their front 
the sudden outburst of heavy volley firing from 
the newly-arrived battalions, and on the left the 

sight of their own 
troops retiring in 
confusion followed 
by Korner's ist 
brigade, told them 
that the battle was 
lost. While the mass 
of the Balmacedist 
army retired towards 
Valparaiso, some 
1,500 threw down 
their arms and were 
made prisoners. 
Others dispersed in 
various directions) 
and altogether Bar- 
bosa did not muster 
more than 3,000 
men h\ evening out 
of the 1 1 ,000 that 
he had put in line 
of battle in the 
morning. 

In the battle of 
Concon the victors 
lost 86q men, of 
whom 2 1 6 were 
killed, 531 wounded, 
and 122 returned as 
'' missing." Of these 
most were drowned, or shot and swept away by 
the river during the difficult passage of the 
Colmo ford. Of the Balmacedists 1,648 fell in the 
battle, of whom S^^^ w-ere killed and 815 wounded. 
It will be noticed that the number of killed and 
wounded was nearly equal, those killed on the 
spot being slightly in the majority. No previous 
battle since firearms were invented showed any 
such result. This was largely the result of some 
of the Balmacedists having fought behind breast- 
works, where if a man was hit it was by a bullet 
through the head. On the other hand, com- 
paratively few of the wounds inflicted by the 
Mannlicher had fatal results after the battle. 
There were not man}- bullets to extract — most 



thp: fight for Valparaiso. 



249 



of tliL-m had gone through, niakuig a small clean 
woiHul with very little bleeding, and if no vital 
part was penetrated there was generally a rapid 
recovery. Most of the wounded were out of 
hospital by the end of September. 

After the fight many of the prisoners took 
service with the Congressist army, and the guns 
captured by the cavalry proved a very welcome 



and it was with the utmost ditliculty that a 
moderate supply of shell and cartridges was 
put on the road for the captured positions. The 
troops bivouacked for the night on the ground 
they had won, and here there was another diffi- 
culty. Many of the men had eaten all their 
reserve rations on the march, others had thrown 
them away. Supplies had to be hunted up in 




^c-" 



THEY DASHED WrrH A WILD CHEER IN AMONGST THE GUNS AND CAI'TURED THE WHOLE BATTERY" [p. 248). 



reinforcement to its artillery. If Canto and 
Korner could have followed up their victory by 
an immediate march on Valparaiso the war 
might have been ended next day ; but this was 
out of the question, because most of the regi- 
ments had fired away so much ammunition that 
there were not ten cartridges per man left. The 
machine-guns and the mountain-batteries had 
also nearly exhausted their supplies. And it 
was not so easy to refill the empty pouches and 
limbers. The disembarkation of the baggage 
animals and the transport of the ammunition 
columns had been going on slowly at Ouintero, 



the neighbourhood during the evening after the 
battle. Then, too, nearly all the infantry were 
without their cloaks and packs. They had 
thrown them down before they entered the 
fords. They shivered through the night for the 
want of them, and those who recovered them 
next day were fortunate. Some had to wait for 
them till the end of the campaign. 

After the battle, the 1st brigade had pushed 
on to a point about ten miles from Valparaiso. 
It was not till noon on the 22nd that the ammu- 
nition supplies of the army were brought up to 
120 cartridges per man. Bj' this time it had 



2-0 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



been ascertained that the strong position of 
Vina del Mar, north of Valparaiso, was en- 
trenched and held in force by the Balmacedists. 
All night trains had been moving along the 
railway between Ouilpue and Vina del Mar, 
bringing up troops from the direction of Santi- 
ago. In the afternoon firing broke out in the 
Balmacedist lines, and later on came the sound 
of regular volleys. The Congressist staff rightly 
guessed that there had been an unsuccessful 
attempt at mutiny in the enemy's camp, promptly 
followed b}' militarj- executions. During these 
last days there was a reign of terror in the camp 
and in Valparaiso, and counting on the notorious 
disaffection of many of the dictator's troops, the 
Congressist leaders resolved to try the effect of 
a surprise attack on the Vina del Mar position 
at dawn on the 23rd. 

But the Sunday morning saw the first failure 
of the Congressists. The troops destined for 
the attack did not reach their positions till the 
sun was already risen, and then surprise was out 
of the question. There were no signs of a revolt 
among the garrison of the lines, which had been 
further reinforced by rail during the night. 
When the artillery of the attack opened, it was 
answered by a still more powerful artillery in 
the lines, and on the left of the defence the 
heavy guns of Fort Callao co-operated in this 
cannonade. The fleet stood in towards the bay, 
and engaged the northern forts, but was unable 
to produce any effect upon them. B\' nine 
o'clock it was decided that a successfiU assault 
on the lines was out of the question ; the fleet 
steamed out to sea, the infantry withdrew to 
their bivouacs of the night before, and the 
artillery retired with them. But Colonel Korner 
had already suggested, and Del Canto had ac- 
cepted, a new plan for the capture of Valparaiso. 
The army was ne.xt day to march to Ouilpue, 
cut the railway there, and then moving round 
to the south of Valparaiso, attack the city on 
the side where Balmaceda had no entrenched 
position ready for his army, and where the forts 
could not co-operate in the defence. 

" The only road practicable," writes Colonel 
Korner in his official report, " was through 
Ouilpue and the farms of Las Palmas and Las 
Cadenas. The practicability of this road depends 
entirely on the state of the weather : very good 
when it is dr}', it becomes boggy after a little 
rain. A much more serious inconvenience was 
the distance which had to be traversed — rather 
more than twent3'-eight miles. An army well 
trained in marching could do the distance with- 



out difficulty in twelve hours ; but the Consti- 
tutional army had not had time to become 
trained to this work. Besides, volunteers, always 
ready to fight, submit without difficulty to in- 
struction in fighting, but by no means so readily 
to the more arduous training in forced march- 
ing, which is the only means by which one can, 
in time, form a ' marching arm}-.' Accord- 
ingh', it was necessar}- to allow two days for this 
relatively short distance." 

The actual time taken was even longer. 
Korner was anxious to mislead the enemy as to 
his intentions, and accordingl\- on the Monday 
the 1st brigade pretended to be preparing for 
an attack on Vina del Mar, while the other 
two marched on Ouilpue. When they had 
seized the town, the ist followed them. The 
railway was torn up and the tunnel of Limache 
blocked by sending a locomotive into it, blow- 
ing the engine up on the line, and wrecking a 
quantit}' of rolling stock on top of it. At 
Oujlpue a committee of gentlemen had arranged 
to watch the station for the three previous 
days and nights, counting the carriages that 
passed through and estimating the number of 
soldiers they contained. They told the Con- 
gressist staff that Balmaceda must have con- 
centrated about 14,000 troops, including some 
Indians. The Congressist force numbered now 
about 10,000 men. 

Tuesday was a day of rest, and endeavours 
were made to lead the dictator to e.xpect 
an attack along the railway line. At dawn 
on the Wednesday the march was resumed, 
Soon after it began a regiment of 300 hussars 
deserted from the dictator and joined the 
popular forces. The hot hours of the middle 
of the day were given to rest, and in the evening 
the march from Las Palmas to Las Cadenas was 
resumed, but little progress was made in the 
darkness : the ground to be traversed was cut 
up with stream.s, marshes, and woods ; and at 
last the troops bivouacked without reaching the 
ground where the generals had hoped to attack 
the enemj- soon after daybreak. The battle was 
therefore adjourned till the next da}- — Friday, 
the 28th. 

The troops were concentrated on Thursday 
morning. In the afternoon a council of war 
was held in a farm-house, where Korner, a piece 
of chalk in his hand, explained, with the help of 
a rough diagram drawn upon the floor, what 
each was to do in the next day's fight. The enemy 
held a succession of ridges, steep-sided, and with 
narrow summits, which run out into the plain 



thp: fight for Valparaiso. 



2^1 



near the village of La Placilla. Korner knew 
the ground well. As professor at the StafT 
School he had directed tactical e.\ercises u|ion 
it, and he judged that if one extremity of the 
line were briskly attacked the enemy would 
tind it difficult to move up supports from the 
rest of his position on account of the deep 
ravines that traversed it. The hill on the 
enemy's right approached by the La Placilla 
road was chosen for the point of attack. 

The battle of La Placilla was short, sharp, and 
decisive. The artillery began to exchange fire 
about 7.30 a.m. on Fritlay. An hour later the 1st 
Congressist brigade, always to the front, moved 
up from La Placilla, with the 2nd to support it 
on the right, while the 3rd kept the rest of the 
Balmacedist line in play. The troops had been 
warned to husband their ammunition this time, 
and not to open fire till they were within 400 
yards of the enemy, which is pQint-blank distance 
for the long-ranging Miinnlicher. So, silently 
and steadily, with a few skirmishers in front, the 
1st brigade went up the hill, finding some diffi- 
culty in passing lines of deep pits and entangle- 
ments of barbed wire prepared for its reception 
by the enemy. At last it got within the pre- 
scribed range, and the volleys of the repeating- 
rifle rang out. 

To its left, the 2nd brigade had made a bad 
mistake. Seeking for cover from the storm of 
fire that came down from the heights, its 
leaders had diverged from the true direction, 
and had got too far towards the sea, with the 
result that there fell upon the 1st the full 
weight tif all the strength that Barbosa had 
massed on the height above Placilla. The gal- 
lant regiments of the brigade were giving way 
under this pressure, when again the Chilian 
horsemen turned the day in favour of the 
popular cause. Six squadrons, which had gained 
the heights in rear of the advancing infantry, 
charged the Balmacedist right. The enemy 
broke before the storm of horsemen, and this 
respite enabled the ist brigade again to advance, 



while the 2nd came up on its left, and the 3rd 
pressed forward on its right. The enemy gave 
way in all directions. The collapse of the right 
decided the fate of the whole line. Barbosa and 
Alcerreca fell while they tried to stem the rout 
— perhaps shot by their own men. A little after 
ten the fight was all over. Thousands sur- 
rendered where they stood ; the rest were 
driven back into the streets of Valparaiso, where 
no further resistance was attempted, and where 
the Congressist troops, as the)- marched in with 
the stains of battle upon them, were hailed by 
cheering crowds as a rescuing army. 

For all night long disbanded soldiers, released 
criminals, all the scum of the great city, had 
been burning, looting, and killing, Balmaceda 
having given the cit}' up to pillage when he 
saw the impending collapse of his ill-gotten 
power. The foreign warships had landed 
armed parties to protect the European quarter 
on the high ground above the town. In the 
city below whole blocks of houses had been 
burned. No wonder that Canto's sturdy volun- 
teers marched in to the sound of ever-repeated 
" Tlras ! " for the Constitution and for the 
victors. Canto was the hero of the moment. 
Beside him rode, all unrecognised by the crowd, 
the studious German staff-ofTicer who had or- 
ganised the army of the Congress, and showed 
it the way to victory. 

The fight had cost the victors much more 
loss than the battle of Concon. They had 485 
killed and 1,124 wounded. Of the Balmacedists 
q4i had been killed and 2,422 wounded ; the 
killed showing nothing like the same proportion 
to the wounded that had been the feature of 
the losses at Concon. Balmaceda had not 
shared the dangers of either fight. When the 
victors marched into Valparaiso most of his 
colleagues had taken refuge in the consulates 
and on board the foreign warships. He himself 
was crouching in the hiding-place in which 
some days later he was found dead, slain by his 
own hand. 



-^ 




INKERMAN has been rightly called the 
" Soldiers' Victory," but it might be still 
more justly styled " The British Soldiers' 
Battle." It was from first to last — from 
its unexpected opening at early dawn, through 
all its changing episodes in the hours before 
noon and until mid-day brought the crisis, 
through attack and counter-attack, offence 
and defence, onslaught and recoil — one of the 
finest feats of arms accomplished by British 
troops, one of the chiefest glories of our long 
and eventful military annals. It takes rank 
with Agincourt, Rorke's Drift, the defence oi 
Lucknow ; with Plass}', Meanee, Waterloo : equal 
to the best of these, overshadowing some, sur- 
passing others ; in its way unique — a bright and 
shining tribute to the warlike courage of a 
nation already laurel-crowned. 

Many British battles have been won against 
great odds, under tremendous disadvantages ; 
but none have better shown our inflexible, un- 
conquerable tenacity than Inkerman. It was 
fighting for safety, too : our backs were to the 
wall ; had we been defeated at Inkerman our 
army would have been swept into the sea : but 
these great issues were not fully realised by the 
rank-and-file. They knew they must win the 
day : that was their business, as it always is. But 
the fact that they were so near losing it made 
no great difference to them — all they thought 
of was to come to blows, to try conclusions with 
the enemy, to charge him, bavonet him, shoot 
him : always supremely indiflFerent to his vast 
numerical superiority, and quite undismayed 
by his courage. 

So it was that the strange spectacle was seen 
of a handful resisting thousands, of a weak 
company charging through battalion columns, 
of stalwart soldiers engaging a crowd of the 
enemv single-handed and putting them to rout. 
When ammunition ran short, as it often did in 



the deadliest episodes, our men tore up great 
stones and hurled them at the foe ; a few scores 
of gunners, when hard pressed, fought on with 
swords and rammers and sponges and sticks, 
even with fists — for the story of the Clitheroe 
bruiser who felled Russian after Russian with 
knock-down blows is perfectly true. Men so 
eager for the conflict found officers as willing to 
lead them ; there was no hesitation, no waiting 
to re-form, to rejoin regiments ; any broken 
body gathered round any commander, all were 
read}- to stand fast and die, go forward and die, 
do anything but retire. '' What shall I do ? " 
asked Colonel Egerton, at the head of his bare 
200, when pitted against unknown numbers. 
" Fire a volley and charge ! " at once answered 
the brigadier ; and his aide-de-camp, young Hugh 
Clifford, sprang to the front to be in with the 
first flight. General Pennefather, at the end of 
five hours' fighting, when he had lost more than 
half his small force, did not abate his confidence 
one jot : if Lord Raglan now would only give 
him a few more men, he said, he would finish 
the battle out of hand and " lick the enemy to 
the devil." Waterloo was '' hard pounding," as 
Wellington quietly remarked afterwards, but it 
was nothing to Inkerman. 

The battle of Inkerman was brought about 
by the restored confidence that great and over- 
whelming reinforcements gave the Russian 
generals inside Sebastopol. After the successful 
landing, the victory of the Alma, the unimpeded 
flank march to the south side of the still incom- 
plete fortress, the allied English and French 
had achieved no fresh triumphs. Prudence 
had overruled the daring but not quite un- 
warranted counsels to go straight in against 
Sebastopol ; an immediate attack was deemed 
too dangerous, the golden opportunity passed, 
and it became necessary to sit down before the 
stronghold and reduce it by the slow processes 



INKERMAN. 



253 



of a siege. Tlic allies were thus planted in a 
corner of the Crimea, committed to the high- 
land or upland of the Chersonese, as it was 
called, the unlv ground they could possibly 
occupy when attacking Sebastopol from the 
south side — ground that no one would have 
selected had choice been unfettered, for it was 
rugged, inlnospitable, very extensive, and above 
all exposed on one flank right round, almost to 
the verj' rear. Balaclava, the British base of 
supply, at a distance of six miles from the front, 
lay open to attack by an enterprising enemv, 
and almost the whole length of road which con- 
nected it with the British camp. How fully the 
Russians realised this, how nearly they overbore 
the weak resistance offered by the Turks who 
defended this vulnerable point, how nobly a 



Prince Mentschikoff, who commanded the 
Russian forces in and about Sebastopol, exult- 
antly foresaw the complete annihilation of the 
allies. He believed that thej' were at the end 
of their tether. In his reports to St. Peters- 
burg he declared that the enemy never dared 
now to venture out of his lines, his guns were 
silent, his infantry paralysed, his cavalry did not 
exist. The Russians, on the other hand, were 
once more enormously in the ascendant : troops 
had been pouring into Sebastopol continuously 
all through the month of October ; a whole 
army corps had arrived from Odessa ; two other 
divisions were close at hand on the 2nd Novem- 
ber, and by the 4th, the eve of the battle of 
Inkerman, the total of the land forces assembled 
in and around the fortress must have been quite 




THE VALLEY OF INKERMAN. 



handful of British cavalry spent itself in beating 
back disaster, has been told in the story of 
Balaclava. That glorious battle, gained at such 
terrible cost, was only the prelude, however, 
to another more tremendous effort ; for the 
Russians, although foiled in this first attempt, 
felt strong enough and bold enough for a 
second. They were encouraged to fresh en- 
deavours by their own gathered numbers and 
the knowledge that their enemies were growing 
daily more and more unequal to the transcendent 
task before them. 



120,000 men. This total was just double tliat 
of the allies, including the Turks, available for 
all purposes, including the siege of a great fort- 
ress, which alone might claim the whole efforts of 
the army. No wonder, then, that Mentschikoff 
was full of confidence, that he counted upon an 
easj^ triumph, nothing less than sweeping the 
allies off the upland into the sea. '' The enemy," 
he wrote, " cannot effect his retreat without ex- 
posing himself to immense losses. Nothing can 
save him from a complete disaster. Future times, 
I am confident, will preserve the remembrance 



2 54 



BATTLES OF THE NIXETEEN'TH CENTURY. 



of the exemplary chastisement inflicted upon 
the presumption ot the allies." Two of the 
Czar's sons were hurried post-haste to the 
Crimea to stimulate the enthusiasm of the troops 
and witness their splendid triumph. 

Some inkling of the impending disaster — pre- 
maturely so called, as was soon to be proved — 
crept out and gave general uneasiness even at a 
distance from the theatre of war. Friends in 
Russia warned friends in England to anticipate 
terrible news. The great effort approaching 
was prepared under the direction of the Czar 
himself, and was of a nature and extent to 
deal an overwhelming blow. In the Crimea 
itself vague intelligence reached the allied 
commanders that a terrible struggle was near 
at hand. Reports of the reinforcements arriv- 
ing, of the stir and activity within the fortress, 
the repair of roads, the mending of bridges, 
all the indications that are plain as print to the 
experienced military intelligence, warned Lord 
Raglan and General Caurobert to be on the 
look-out for another momentous battle, for 
which, in truth, thev were but badly prepared. 

Some idea of the disproportion between the 
armies about to come into collision will rightly 
be given here, so that we realise at once how 
overmatched were the allies, how marvellous 
therefore was their prolonged resistance and 
eventual triumph on that now historic 5th 
November, the Inkerman Sunday which in 
British annals has eclipsed that other anniver- 
sary of the Gunpowder Plot. It has been said 
above that the Russian forces totalled 1 20,000 
in all. Of these rather more than half, or 70,000 
men, were actually present in the field. All 
took part in the action, but some onl\- as cover- 
ing forces or engaged in feints : these numbered 
some 30,000 ; the remainder, just 40,000, com- 
posed the attacking columns, and fought the 
battle of Inkerman. The whole allied strength 
that day upon the upland of the Chersonese was 
65,000, but barely a quarter of these numbers 
could be or, as a matter of fact, were used in the 
coming action. From first to last the total 
French and English forces on the ground were 
just 15,685 — half of each, but more exactly 7,464 
English and 8,219 French — and of the latter 
3,570 were actually engaged. There is no mis- 
take or exaggeration in these figures, which are 
based on official returns on both sides. It must, 
moreover, be carefully borne in mind that only 
a proportion, and a small proportion, of these 
15,000 were on hand in the early stages of the 
I'Sfht. For hours the brunt of the battle fell 



upon the 2nd division, which was barely 3,000, 
although opposed to 40,000, and the reinforce- 
ments came to them in driblets slowl}^ and afford- 
ing but meagre assistance and relief. It is from 
the extraordinarv tenacity shown by our soldiers 
in their prolonged and indomitable resistance 
against such tremendous odds that such great 
glory was achieved at Inkerman. 

The allied weakness, of which Lord Raglan 
was fully aware, was caused by the stress laid 
upon their forces by the siege operations and 
the need for protecting their communications. 
The troops, taking them from west to east and 
so to the south and rear, covered a front which 
was twentv miles long. Before Sebastopol the 
French were on the left, the English on the right ; 
but General Canrobert, always anxious for the 
rear of his position, kept a large force on the 
heights above the Tchernaya valley, and the 
English perforce garrisoned and defended Bala- 
clava. Hence on the right flank of the British 
front, round about Inkerman as it came to be 
called (although the real site of old Inkerman is 
on the opposite side of the Tchernava river), the 
defence was greatly impoverished, being limited 
in the first instance to a few weak battalions ot 
the 2nd division. Its immediate support — none 
too close — was a brigade of the Light Division 
under General Codrington on the Victoria Ridge 
adjoining, but on the other side of a wide rough 
ravine ; behind, and three-quarters of a mile off, 
was the brigade of Guards, twice that distance the 
2nd brigade (Buller's) of the Light Division ; the 
4th and 3rd divisions, fronting Sebastopol and 
more or less appropriated to the siege works, 
were two or three miles removed from the ex- 
treme right flank. A French army corps under 
Bosquet was, how'ever, within the lesser distance, 
holding the eastern heights which gave General 
Canrobert so much concern. But the forces 
thus described made up the sum total of the 
allied armed strength, and every portion had its 
particular place and specified duties. None 
could well be withdrawn from any part without 
denuding it of troops or dangerously weakening 
the long defensive line. There were, in fact, no 
reserves, no second line to call up in extreme 
emergency to stiffen and reinforce the first. 
The allies were fighting with their backs to the 
wall. Retreat was impossible because there were 
no fresh troops to interpose and cover it. 

The weakness of this 2nd division in such an 
isolated and exposed position had long been a 
source of serious misgiving. Its commander, 
Sir De Lacy Evans, deemed his force — weakened, 



INKERMAN. 



i^3 



moreover, by constant outpost dutj- — to be peril- 
ously small. He called it " most serious." Sir 
George Brown, who commanded the I-ight 
nivision, was equally solicitous. Lord Raglan, 
the general-in-chief, knew the danger too : he 
reported home that his men of the and division 
were well posted, " but there were not enough 
of them." But he was ever buoyant and hope- 
ful, anticipating no great trouble, yet alive to 
his perils and fully prepared to meet them. 
" We have plentv to think of," he wrote to the 
English War Minister, '• and all I can say is that 
we will do our best." Strange to say, that best 
did not include any artificial strengthening of the 
position by entrenchments. The ground was 
admirably suited for defence, and might have 
been made all but impregnable — or, at least, 
capable of withstanding even determined attacks. 
Earthworks would have gone far to redress the 
balance of numbers telling so heavily against 
the allies ; but only one meagre barrier was 
erected, and even this was destined to prove of 
inestimable value in the battle. The prompt 
use of the spade was not then deemed an essen- 
tial part of a soldier's field training, and, as the 
opening of the trenches before Sebastopol had 
entailed much labour of that kind, the troops 
were spared more of it, even although indis- 
pensably necessary as everyone now knows. 

The Russian general had not failed to detect 
the inherent defects in the British line or to note 
carefully its weakest point. Upon this he based 
iiis plan of operations. He meant to envelope 
and crush the exposed right flank by vastly 
superior numbers, while well-timed demonstra- 
tions that might be expanded into attacks should 
occupy the allied forces at other parts of the 
field. This simple and perfectly plausible scheme 
was to be worked out as follows : — 

I. Two great columns, making up a combined 
strength of 40,000 men, with 135 guns, were 
to constitute the main, the most \veighty, and 
as it came to pass, the only real attack. Both 
were drawn from the newly-arrived 4th or 
Dannenberg's Army Corps. One, called the 
loth Russian Division, commanded by General 
Soimonoff, which had entered and was actually 
quartered within Sebastopol, was to take one 
tlank,the left of the English position ; the other, 
under General Pauloff, the nth division, still 
outside the fortress and lying north of the 
Tchernaya river, was to attack the English 
right. 

(1. Soimonoff's force was strengthened by other 
regiments in ganison, and its infantr}' strength 



was iq,ooo, his guns ,-^8 in number. He was to 
issue from Sebastopol at a point between the 
MalakofFHill and the Little Redan, then follow 
the course of the Carenage ravine, and to come 
out on the northern slopes of Mount Inkerman, 
where he was to join hands with — 

h. Pauloflf, who, marching from the heights of 
Inkerman on the far side of the Tchernaya, was 
to cross that river and the low swampy ground 
that margined its course by the bridge near its 
mouth. This general commanded 16,000 in- 
fantry and had with him g6 guns. His orders 
were to ascend the northern slopes of Mount 
Inkerman and push on vigorously till he met 
with Soimonoff. 

When thus combined, the whole force of 
40,000 (including artillerymen) was to come 
under the direction of the Army Corps com- 
mander, General Dannenberg, and his orders 
were to press forward and carry all before him. 
It was confidently e.xpected that nothing could 
withstand him — that he would "roll up" the 
weak opposition of the English right, beat all 
that he encountered, and sweep victoriously on- 
ward right past the Windmill Hill tn the eastern 
heights in the rear, and within easy distance of 
Balaclava. 

2. Meanwhile, Prince GortschakofT, who now 
commanded the army hitherto known as 
Liprandi's, in the valley of the Tchernaya, and 
had under him a force of 22,000, with 88 guns, 
was to " contain " Bosquet — occupy his attention, 
that is to say, by feints and false attacks upon his 
position, so that he should be held to these 
heights and unable to reinforce the English right. 
Later, when the main attack had prospered and 
Dannenberg's victorious troops were seen well 
to the south of Windmill Hill, Gortschakoff's 
demonstrations were to be converted into a real 
attack. He was to go up against the heights 
with all his force, drive back Bosquet, join hands 
with Dannenberg, and the Russians would then 
be in triumphant possession of the greater part 
of the Chersonese upland. After that the siege 
must be raised, the allies must be swept off the 
plateau, destroyed, taken prisoner, or hurried 
into disastrous flight upon their ships. 

3. A third conditional operation was entrusted 
to the troops remaining in garrison, under the 
command of General Moller. He was to closely 
" watch the progress of the battle," cover the 
right of the attacking troops with his artillery 
without attempting to reply to the fire of the 
allied siege-guns. Whenever confusion showed 
itself in the trenches, due to the great wave of 



2^6 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



victory setting from the eastward, he was to 
move out in force, attack and seize the siege- 
batteries. 

Capable militar_v critics have not failed to con- 
demn the foregoing plan of operations. It erred, 
in the main attack, by trusting too entirely to 
numbers, crowding great masses of men on 
ground not spacious enough to hold them. 
There was not sufficient room, indeed, upon the 
Russian battlefield for half the forces engaged. 



play a waiting game, and give no effective Aelp 
until that help was no longer urgently required. 
He was to do nothing, in fact, until the main 
attack had actually succeeded. The longer the 
enemy resisted, the longer he remained inactive. 
Had he exerted a stronger pressure, had his 
feints been pushed with more insistence, he 
would have paralysed the movement of the 
French with Bosquet, and by the very direction 
of his attack weakened the English defence at 







'^/. 




^XanciieteT 






Battle of INKERMAN. 

November 5. 1854. 

T/tc sketch sfio7i's approxijiiaiely the 

J't'sitioii a little after S.a.7n. after the 

repulse of the first great attack. 

Scale of One Mile. 



..Pritish. 
..Russians, 







o 



jWoreover, this ground, imperfectly known to 
the men who held it and might have carefully 
studied it, was cut in two by a great ridge, which 
divided the two columns intended to join forces, 
and prevented their combined action. General 
Dannenberg appears to have realised this diffi- 
culty and wished his two generals, Soimonoff and 
Pauloff, to act independently, the former direct- 
ing his efforts against the Victoria Ridge, alto- 
gether to the westward of Mount Inkerman, and 
leaving the latter ample space to manoeuvre. 
But Dannenberg's wishes were not distinct 
orders, and Soimonoff, obeying Mentschikoff, the 
general-in-chief, held on to the original plan. 
Again, Gortschakoff's ro/e condemned him to 



Tyfc. Etching Cp.Sc- 

Inkerman. '' His advance was, however, left to 
depend upon a contingency that never occurred " 
— and while he waited for it his 22,000 men 
were of absolutely no use in the fight. 

A brief description of the theatre whereon 
this great performance was played should precede 
any account of the varying fortunes of the day, 
and details will be best understood by referring 
to the plan. 

The battle of Inkerman was mainh' fought on 
a long ridge of ground running from south to 
north and a little west of north, with many 
spurs jutting out on each side of it, the intervals 
between them dropping into long hollows or 
ravines. This ridge has come to have the 



INKERMAN'. 



257 



'general title of Mount InkcTnian. A second 
ritlgc iicarh' parallel to it but separated from it- 
by the Careiiage ravine, and which is known as 
the Victoria Ridge, played a secondary part in 
the engagement, but the brunt of the business 
was transacted on the first-named, and at about 
'ts central point, where another smaller crest 
crosses it, christened by Mr. Kinglake the Home 
Ridge. This lesser ridge trended forward at its 
eastern end, forming a right angle, and the salient 
was called the Fore Ridge. A road — the post- 
road from Balaclava — intersected the Home 
Ridge, and just above where it dropped into the 
Ouarry Ravine the advanced pickets had thrown 
up a small breastwork — a mere stone wall or 
•shelter-trench, which was known as the Barrier. 
This was some 400 vards in advance of the Home 
Ridge. At nearly double that distance, and 
much lower down the eastern slope, there was 
another shelter, once a more ambitious work, 
constructed of sandbags to hold two i8-pounder 
,guns, and hence known as the Sandbag Battery. 
It was useful neither for defensive purposes, as 
the wall was ten feet high and there was no 
means of looking over it, nor, for the same 
reason, as a lodgment to favour assailants. But 
its possession was nobly contested by the soldiery 
of all the nations engaged, and it gained the 
•dread name of the " Slaughter-house " from the 
French in consequence of the losses incurred 
there. This sandbag battery stood on a salient 
^pur known as the Kitspur, to the north-east or 
right spur of the Home Ridge ; to the left or 
:north-\vest was another — the Miriakoff spur, 
which also was the scene of a determined 
>truggle. The w"hole surface of the field of 
battle was thickly covered with brushwood and 
.low coppice, amidst which crags and rocky 
boulders reared their heads. In some places the 
•.voods gathered into dense forest glades, and in 
•others the ravines were steeplj^-scarped quarries 
ilifficult of access. 

Soimonoff started at 5 a.m. amid darkness 
and mist, which so favoured his march that he 
leached Mount Inkernian unobserved, and then 
and there seizing its highest point. Shell Hill, 
he placed his guns in battery on the crest quite 
unknown to our outposts. The night had been 
reported unusualh" quiet, although some of our 
people fancied they heard the rumbling of distant 
wheels — the wheels, in fact, of Pauloff 's artillerv. 
Just before dawn, too — it was Sunday morning — 
all the bells ot Sebastopol rang out a joyous peal, 
not for worship, but to stimulate the courage of 
the pious Russian soldiery. But our outpost 

65 



duty in those days was imperfectly performed, 
and the enemy was on top of our pickets before 
the alarm was raised. They were pressed back 
fighting, while the guns on Shell Hill opened a 
destructive fire. General Pennefather, who was 
in temporary command of the 2nd division, 
realised at once that serious events were at hand. 
It was not in his nature to retreat before the 
coming storm. He was a "fine fighter''; in 
another rank of life he would have been in his 
element with a " bit of a twig " at Donnybrook 
Fair. " Wherever you see a head, hit it " was 
his favourite maxim in war ; and now, where a 
more cautious leader would have drawn off and 
lined the Home Ridge in defensive battle, he 
thrust forward with all his meagre forces to meet 
the Russian attack. This daring system was 
greatly aided by the state of the atmosphere ; in 
the fog and mist no notion of the pitiful number 
of their opponents reached the Russians, and 
the handful of English forgot that they were 
unsupported and so few. Pennefather's plan, 
born of his fighting propensities and indomitable 
pluck, found favour with his superiors, for when 
presently Lord Raglan, the English commander- 
in-chief, came upon the ground, he did not 
attempt to interfere, but left the audacious Irish- 
man the uninterrupted control of the fight. 

They were meagre indeed — these first English 
defenders of Mount Inkerman. Pennefather 
had of his own barely 3,000 men all told, and 
only 500 men came up in the first instance to 
reinforce him. But he sent all he had down 
into the brushwood out in front till it was filled 
with a slender line. Meanwhile Soimonoff, 
waxing impatient and having all ready, was de- 
termined to begin without waiting for Pauloff's 
co-ofieration. His guns on Shell Hill had " pre- 
pared '' his advance, and soon after 7 a.m. he 
sent three separate columns against the left of 
our position on Home Ridge. The first of these, 
on the extreme right, under road column, as it 
was called, got a long way round, when it met a 
wing of the 47th under Fordyce and a Guards 
picket under Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, 
before whom it turned tail ; the second column 
had no better fortune on the Miriakoff spur ; 
the third, following up the course of the Miria- 
koff glen, encountered a wing of the 4qth under 
Grant, who at once gave the order to " fire a 
volley and charge."' His counter-attack was 
delivered with such determination that it carried 
all before it ; the Russian column was fairly 
broken up and driven helter-skelter under the 
guns on Shell Hill. 



2:8 



BATTLES OF TllK NIXETEENTH CENTrRV 



Now Soimonoff came on in person al the 
head of twelve battalions, nearly q,ooo men. 
His aim was the centre and left centre of our 
Hue, and for a time he made good progress. 
But the first supports, those from tile Light 
Division, arriving, Pennefather at once used 
them against Soimonoff. He sent on the 88th 
Connaught Rangers, 400 of them who, feeling 
the whole weight of the attack, recoiled, and 
retreating left the three guns of Townshend's 
battery in the enemy's hands. Then the 77th 
under Egerton, but led also by the brigadier 
Buller, came up and caught Soimonoff's outside 
column — caught it and smote it so fiercely that 
it fled and was no more seen on the field. These 
Russians were 1,500 strong. Egerton had no 
more than 2 ;o, but he never faltered, and his 
men, answering like hounds to his cry, tore 
straight on at the run and smashed in with irre- 
sistible furv. There was an interval of raging 
turmoil in which the bayonet made fearful liavoc; 
then the Russians ran, Egerton pursuing at the 
charge to the foot of Shell Hill. About this 
time General Soimonoff was killed. Egerton's 
action had wide-reaching consequences. Through 
it the abandoned three guns were recovered, the 
88th rallied, the 77th themselves or their rem- 
nant held fast for hours the ground it had se- 
cured. These combats disposed of about half 
the forces Soimonoff had put forward in this 
attack. The remainder had advanced courage- 
ously against our centre by both sides of the 
post-road ; but they also were beaten back, 
partly by the fire of our tield-guns, partly by the 
spirited charge of a couple of hundred men of 
the 4Qth under Bellairs. 

Thus in less than an hour Soimonoff's great 
effort was repulsed ; he himself was slain, and 
his men driven off the field. For this portion 
of the loth Russian division never regained 
cohesion as a formed military force. It was no 
mere defeat but an absolute overthrow, in which 
regiments melted away and the whole force was 
ruined. Many e-xcuses have been offered for 
their want of success : the dense mist giving 
exaggerated value to the handful that faced 
them, they perhaps thought the enterprise too 
difficult. It is also certain that the English fire 
was murderously effective upon these dense 
compact columns of attack ; some were ab- 
solutely decimated, others lost nearly all their 
officers, and all were so shattered and disor- 
ganised that no part of them returned to the 
fight. They ought, nevertheless, to have done 
better ; with such greatly superior forces, backed 



up by the incessant fire of a fornu'dable artillery, 
success would probably have awaited bolder and 
braver men. 

Meanwhile a portion of Pauloft's division had 
arrived by a shorter and more direct road, whilc 
the rest had circled round after Soimonoff. 
Some of these people of Pauloft's were at once 
attracted by the Sandbag Battery, and, soon 
taking it from the sergeants' guard that held it> 
made this hollow vantage-ground their own. A 
mass of men, three great columns, suppf>rted 
this attack, and Pennefather sent General Adams 
against them with the 41st Regiment. He went 
forward in extended order with a wide front of 
fire, and the Russians soon fell away ; those in 
the battery evacuated it ; the columns support- 
ing broke and dropped piecemeal into the valley. 
In this splendid affair 500 men disposed of 4,000. 
Again, at the Barrier, which the rest of PaulofTs 
men approached with great determination, 
a small body, the wing of the 30th Regiment 
under Colonel Mauleverer, achieved an equal 
triumph — that of 200 over 2,000. Here it was 
the British bayonet that told, for the men's fire- 
locks were soaking wet and the caps would not 
explode. But Mauleverer trusted to the cold 
steel. Officers leapt down daringly in among the 
Russians; men followed at the charge : the head 
of the leading column was struck with such 
impetus that it turned in hasty retreat, causing 
hopeless confusion in the columns behind, and 
all fled, a broken throng of fugitives, hundreds 
upon hundreds, chased by seven or eight score. 

This ended the first Russian onslaught. Half 
Soimonoff's division was beaten out of sight ; 
b,ooo men were lost to Pauloff. At least 15,000 
out of 2;,ooo were " extirpated," as the Russians 
admit in their official accounts, and this by no 
superior generalship but by the dogged valour, 
the undismayed resistance, of just 3,500 English- 
men. It was a good omen for the issue of the 
day's fighting, but the end was not yet, and a 
further terrible stress was still to be imposed 
upon our overmatched troops. Supports, such 
as they were, had now begun to arrive. The 
alarm had spread across the upland rousing 
every soul, and in every camp near and far the 
assembly sounded, men rushed to arms, half- 
dressed, fasting, eager only to hurry into the 
fight. Some of the Light Division, as we have 
seen, had been already engaged, (jeneraf Cod- 
rington with the rest was in battle array, holding 
the Victoria Ridge with scanty forces. The 
Guards brigade, 1,200 men, under the Duke of 
Cambridge, was approaching, 700 already close 



INKERMAN. 



259 



JO the Home Ridge ; the 4th division under Sir 
George Cathcart, 2,000 strong, was also near at 
hand. These, with the tield-batteries, raised 
the reinforcements to a total of 4,700 men. 
Two Frencli battalions had been despatched to 
support Pennefather, although from some mis- 
understanding they were not utiHsed, and Bos- 
quet, who had come up with them, returned to 
the Eastern Heights, where he was still menaced 
by Gortschakoff. It was not until much later in 
the day that General Bosquet realised that the 
Russians in front of him were only pretending 
to attack, and then he hurried with substantial 
forces to Mount Inkerman. But until then he 
allowed himself to be tied, ineffectively, to the 
wrong place, giving no assistance in the main 
fight and certain to be " rolled up " in bis turn 
if that tight ended disastrously for the English. 

General Dannenberg had now assumed the 
chief command, and, undaiuited by the first 
failure, he set about organising a fresh attack. 
He had at his disposal 10,000 fresh and un- 
touched troops; Soimonoff's reserves and Pauloff's 
regiments which had come round by the lower 
road. The latter, 10,000 strong, were sent 
against the English centre and right, their first 
task being the re-capture of the Sandbag Battery. 
General Adams was still here with his 700 men 
of the 41st Regiment, and he made a firm stand : 
4,000 men attacked him again and again with far 
more courage and persistence than any Russian 
troops had yet shown; and at last, still fighting 
inch by inch Adams fell back, leaving the battery 
in the enemv's hands. Now the Guards came 
up under the Duke of Cambridge, and replacing 
Adams, went forward with a rush and recovered 
it, only to find it a useless possession. It was 
presently vacated by one lot, re-entered by the 
Russians, recaptured by another lot, and then 
again the Russians, imagining it to be an essen- 
tial feature in our defence, concentrated their 
forces to again attack it. Once more they took 
it, once more the Guards returned, and with 
irresistible energy drove them out. Thus the 
tide of battle ebbed and flowed around this 
emptv carcase, and to neither side did its posses- 
sion mean loss or gain. 

The 4th division, under Sir George Cathcart, 
had now arrived upon the ground. He had just 
2,000 men, and of these four-fifths were speedily 
distributed in fragments to stiffen and support 
Pennefather's fighting line just where he thought 
they were most required. With the small resi- 
due, not 400 men, Cathcart was readv for any 
adventure. There wae a gap in our line between 



Pemiefather's right and the Guards struggling 
about the Sandbag Battery, and this opening 
Cathcart was desired to fill. The order came 
direct from Lord Raglan, who was now in the 
field; but Cathcart thought fit to act otherwise, 
believing that there was an opening for a deci- 
sive flank attack. He meant to strike at the left 
of the Russians, and leaving his vantage ground 
above he descended the steep slopes with his 
400 men. The offensive movement was taken 
up by the troops nearest him — Guards, 20th, 
f)5th. All our men gathered about the Sandbag 
Battery rushed headlong like a torrent down the 
hillside, and following up this fancied advantage, 
jeopardised the battle. For the gap which Cath- 
cart had been ordered to occupy became filled 
by a heavy column of Russians, who took our 
people in reverse and cut them completely off. 
" I fear we are in a mess," said Cathcart, taking 
in the situation ; and almost directly afterwards 
he was shot through the heart. Only by a 
desperate effort, a series of personal hand-to-hand 
combats fought by small units courageously led 
by junior officers, even by non-combatant doctors, 
did our men regain touch with their own people. 
They were aided, too, bv the opportune advance 
of a French regiment, which took the interpos- 
ing Russians in flank and drove them off. But 
if this mad adventure of Cathcart's escaped the 
mo.st disastrous consequences, its effect, never- 
theless, was to still further break up and dis- 
seminate our already weakened and half-spent 
forces. 

All this time Dannenberg had been pressing 
hard upon our centre. Here his attacking 
column met first Mauleverer with his victorious 
army of the 30th, and forced them slowly and 
reluctantly back, but was itself repulsed by a 
fresh army of the Rifle Brigade and driven down 
into the Ouarrv. Thence it again emerged, re- 
inforced, and moved by the right again.st the 
Home Ridge. It was in these advances that 
they penetrated the gap just mentioned and got 
upon the rear of Cathcart and the Guards. But 
the westernmost columns were charged by a 
portion of the 4th division, the 21st and 63rd 
regiments, overthrown and pursued ; while the 
Russian attack on the right of the Home Ridge 
was met by General Goldie with the 20th and 
57th, also of the 4th division. Both these regi- 
ments were notable fighters, with very glorious 
traditions : the '' Minden yell" of the 20th had 
stricken fear into its enemies for more than a 
century, and the 57th " Die Hards " had gained 
that imperishable title of honour at Albuera. 



26o 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



"Fiftj'-seveiUl!, rciiicmbcr Albucra 1 "' was a 
battle-cry that .scut them with terrible fury itito 
theKussian rank.s, and these two gallant regiments 
hunted their game right down into the Quarry.. 

Once more the most strenuous efforts of the 
enemy had failed, with what a cost of heroic 
lives history still proudly tells. Dannenberg, 
however, if disheartened was not yet hopeless. 
He knew that the allies were hard pressed ; if 
he himself had suffered so had they, and more 
severely. He had still lo.ooo men in hand ; 
many of them, although once worsted, were still 
not disorganised or dis- 
heartened, and his re- 
serves — 9,000 more -- 
were -still intact, while 
guns a Jiundred in num- 
ber held the mastery 
from Shell Hill. Of the 
English forces, never 
more than 5,000 strong, 
half had been destroyed 
or aiuiiilled. True, the 
French had come upon 
the ground with two 
battalions, [,600 men ; 
but Bo.squet, with the 
main part of his com- 
mand, was still a long 
way behind. Dannen- 
berg resolved to make 
another and more deter- 
mined attack upon the 
centre of the English 
position, aiming for that 
Home Ridge, as it was 
called, which was the 
inner and last line of the 
allied defence. 

The Russians came on v.-ith a strength of 
6,000 assailants, formed, as before, in a dense 
column of attack. One led the van, the main 
trunk followed, flanked bv others, and all coming 
up out of the now memorable Ouarrv Ravine. 
Pennefather had some 500 or 600 to hold the 
ridge, remnants of the 55th, Q5th, and 77th regi- 
ment.s, and a French battalion of the 7th Leger, 
with a small detachment of Zouaves. These 
were very inadequate forces, and the Russians, 
pushing home with more heart than thev had 
hitherto shown, crowned the crest and broke 
over the inner slopes of the ridge. The 7th 
Leger' had not much stomach for the fight, but 
were salUed on by the Zouaves and the men of 
the 77th, still led by the intrepid Egerton. By 




-M,\RSI1.\L CANKOliEKl 



this time the main trunk column of the enemy 
had swept over the Barrier at the head of the 
Ouarrj-, and the small force of defenders retired 
suUenlj- behind the Home Ridge. 

Now the position seemed in imminent danger, 
and this was, perhaps, the most critical period in 
the battle. But the advance of the Russians, 
although in overwhelming strength, was checketi 
by another daring charge — that of a handful ot 
the 55th (thirty, no more) under Colonel Dan- 
berry, who went headlong into the thick of one 
of the rearmost Russian battalions. This small 
body of heroes tore 
through the mass by 
>heer strength, as if it 
were a football scrooge, 
using their bayonets and 
their butt-ends, even 
their fists, fighting des- 
perately till they " cleft 
a path through the bat- 
talion from flank to 
flank, and came out at 
last in open air on the 
east of the great trunk 
column." The noise of 
tumult in the rear and 
the vague sense of dis- 
comfiture and defeat 
shook the leading assail- 
ants, and the Russians 
first halted irresolute 
then turned and retired. 
At this time, too, one 
of the flanking columns, 
moving up on the Rus- 
sian right, encountered 
the 2ist and 63rd regi- 
ments, and was promptly 
charged and driven back by these regiments, 
which re-possessed themselves of the Barrier and 
held it. Then the Russian left column, worsted 
by our artiller\' and the French 7th Leger, also 
retired. 

It was now but a little past 9 a.m., and as yet 
the battle, although going against the Russians, 
was still neither lost' nor won. They still held 
the ascendant on Shell Hill, still had their re- 
serves. Lord Raglan, on the other hand, could 
not draw upon a single man, and Bosquet's main 
force was still a long way off. Now, too, the 
French got into some diflRculty upon our right 
above the Sandbag Battery, and were in im- 
minent danger of defeat. Moreover, the Russians 
made a fresh effort against the Barrier, coming 



/ 



I: 




f-^nietf lVAo!^«^6 



--- Tj^..-.>-r^ 



•THIS SMALL BODY OF HEROES TORE THROUGH THE MASS" (/. 260). 



17 



INKERMAN. 

The Barrier 



261 



up once again out of tlve Quarry, 
was held by the 21st and 03rd, but the stress 
put upon them was great, and Pennefather 
sent on such scanty support as he could spare 
-^fragments of the 4')th, 77th, and Rifle 
Brigade. Great slaughter ensued in this con- 
flict. General Goldie, who was now in com- 



So eager were our gunners thai these two 
famous eightecn-pounders were dragged up to 
the front with " man harness," by some hundred 
and fifty artillerymen and a crowd of eager 
officers. The guns were placed Jn a cpnimand- 
ing position and worked splendidly under the 
very eyes and with the warm approvaJ of Lord 




*' ONXE MORE THE GUARDS RETURNED, AND WITII IRRESISTIUI.K ENERGY DROVE THEM OUT " (/• 



m;.nd of the 4th division, was killed, and other 
valuable officers. 

The Russian artillcrv did deadly mischief, but 
row, by Lord Raglan's unerring foresight, it was 
to be met and overmatched by our guns. At 
an earlier hour of the morning he had sent back 
to the Siege Park for a couple of cighteen- 
pounders, guns that in the enormous develop- 
ment of artillery science we should think 
nothing of nowadays, but which at Inkerman 
were far superior to the Russian field-batteries. 



Raglan. They soon established a superiority of 
fire and spread such havoc and confusion among 
the Russian batteries on Shell Hill that the 
power of the latter began to wane. Victory, so 
long in the balance, was at last inclining to 
our side. 

Still the battle was not won. li tlic Russians 
did not renew their attacks, they .still held their 
ground ; and Bosquet, coming up presently with 
his whole strength, made a false move which 
nearly jeopardised the issi:e. The French 



20 : 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



general, having with him ;,ooo infantry and 24 
guns, " hankering alter a flank attack," reached 
forward on the far right beyond the Sandbag 
Battery and the spurs adjoining. Here he fell 
among the enemy, found himself threatened to 
right and to left and in front, and, realising his 
peril, hastily withdrew. Happil\-, the Russians 
did not seize the undoubted advantage that 
mere accident had brought them bv Bosquet's 
injudicious and hazardous advance. Had they 
gathered .strength for a fresh and vigorous on- 
slaught upon our right, they might perhaps have 
turned the .scale against us. The French were 
clearly discomfited and out of heart for a time. 
Then as the Russians made no forward move. 
Bosquet regained confidence ; he threw forward 
his Zouaves and Algerines, and these active 
troops came upon some Russians which were 
slowly climbing the slopes, and hurled them 
down again in great disorder. Our old friends 
the 6th and 7th French regiments, the earliest 
on the field, advanced along the post-road 
towards the Barrier, Avhere they were covered 
by us. This, briefly told, was the sum total of 
the French performances at the battle of 
Inkerman. 

It is well known to all who studv war that, 
when the crisis of a battle comes, victory is for 
him who has the best disposable reserve in hand. 
Of the forces now engaged the French alone 
were in this happy situation ; the English were 
all but exhausted. Lord Raglan, as has been said, 
had not a spare man. As for the Russians, 
GortschakofTs supineness had robbed hiscomrades 
of the assistance of 20,000 men, and the general- 
in-chief, Mentschikoff, although close at hand on 
the field, did not see fit to bring up the reinforce- 
ments from the garrison of the town. But now 
Marshal Canrobert, never a daring leader, was 
moved to desist from the fight. When he learnt 
that the English were all but spent, he would do 
nothing more, although he had a very large 
force of all arms now up and well in hand. No 
arguments, no appeals of Lord Raglan's would 
move him. ' " What can I — what can I do ? " 



he asked querulously ; " the Russians are every- 
where." Had it been left to the French, the 
field would have been abandoned to the Russians, 
who were .still in possession of the greater part 
of Mount Inkerman, and the battle would have 
been practically drawn. 

On the other hand, a vigorous onslaught by 
the still fresh and untouched French might have 
carried the Flagstaff bastion and led to the 
capture of Sebastopol itself. But Canrobert was 
not the man to take so great a risk or jeopardise 
so manj- lives. It was left to Haines, who still 
held the Barrier, to move up against Shell Hill. 
Lord West seconded him in this bold endeavour, 
a young lieutenant of the 77th, Acton by name, 
also went on with a mere handful, and Colonel 
Horsford came on in support with the remnant 
of the Rifle Brigade. All this time, too. Lord 
Raglan's i8-pounders were dealing death and 
destruction among the Russian batteries ; and 
at last Damienberg, under stress of this " mur- 
derous fire " — they are his own words — decided 
to limber up his guns and retire his whole force. 
This, in fact, was done, and about i p.m. the 
Russians threw up the sponge. 

If in this grand contest the allies were greatly 
outnumbered by the Russians, the latter suffered 
the most, their losses being four times as great 
as those of the victors. They had 12,000 killed 
and wounded, a large proportion of them left 
dead upon the field, among them 256 officers. 
The English lost 507 killed, 30 of them officers 
and 3 general officers ; i ,760 men and q i 
officers wounded. The French lost 13 officers 
and 130 men killed and 36 officers and 750 men 
wounded. These figures show plainly on whom 
the brunt of the fighting fell, and the enormous 
losses of the Russians was mainl}- due to the 
density of their columns of attack and the 
superiority of our musketry and artillery fire. 
A very large part of the English infantry at 
Inkerman were armed with the new-fangled 
Millie rifle, and what powerful aid was afforded 
by the two i8-pounder guns has been already 
shown in the course of the narrative. 



263 




BECAUSE of his ruthless massacres of 
unaniiLtl men and helpless women 
anil children, the name of Te Kooti 
has been held in detestation througli- 
out New Zealand since 1868 ; and in conse- 
quence it is not surprising to find but little 
disposition to dilate on his undoubted abilities 
amongst the Pakehas (white men) who have 
chronicled his doings, though the Maoris dwell 
fondly on his prowess. 

A great leader of men this celebrated Maori 
undoubtedly was, and, more than that, an 
organiser of no mean ability, a first-rate military 
leader, and finally a man of such hardihood, 
steady courage, and resource, that his exploits 
would seem well-nigh incredible did they not 
form part of the well-authenticated history of 
New Zealand. 

Himself langata tiitiiti (a common man) he yet 
acquired a mastery over the jealous and sus- 
picious Maoris, who preferred to be led by a 
jhieftain of undoubted birth, and managed to 
keep faithful to himself men of different tribes, 
whose hereditary disposition was to take opposite 
sides. Badly provided with arms and food, 
followed by only a few hundred men at most, 
and traversing a savage and inhospitable country, 
he yet managed to maintain a constant struggle 
ugainst the Government of New Zealand, and 
many Maori chiefs friendly to the whites, for 
over three years, duiing the greater part of 
which period hundreds of armed men were in 
the field against bin;, and rewards ranging from 
^'500 at first to _^'5,ooo in the end, were offered 
for his apprehension. 

Te Kooti '\\\ Ruld Te Riki-Rangi, to give 
him his full title, was of the Ngatikahungunu 
tribe of Maoris, which was settled on the East 
Coast of New Zealand, in the Hawke's Bay and 
Poverty Bay di>tricls, and therefore was one 
th.at came early into contact with the whites, 



who spread down the east coast from Kororareka 
in the north — the nearest port to Sydney. 

Europeans were first located in New Zealand 
in 1792, or four years after the establishment of 
New South Wales, from which colony New 
Zealand was first settled ; and as Te Kooti was 
not born till about the year 1833, it will be 
readily understood that he was in no sense a 
''wild" Maori, as were most of the Uriweras, 
Waikatos, and other tribes, but, on the contrary, 
a man well acquainted with the ways of Euro- 
peans from his youth up. For some years he 
served as a sailor on a schooner trading between 
Poverty Bay and Auckland, and earned the 
reputation amongst the whites of being a 
turbulent and troublesome man. During the 
Maori war of 1866 a number of Hauhaus* were 
besieged by a mixed force of Europeans and 
" friendlies " in a pah at Waerenga-a-hika, near 
Poverty Bay, and amongst the besiegers was Te 
Kooti, who was then a stalwart and vigorous 
man of about thirty-three years of age. When 
the final assault had been made and the pah 
captured, a large number of prisoners were taken, 
and at this time a friendly Maori chief named 
Paora Parau was .seen holding Te Kooti by the 
collar and presenting a pistol at his head. Asked 
his- reason for thus treating a man who was an 
ally, he declared that Te Kooti had supplied 
ammunition to his (Te Kooti's) brother, who 
was one of the besieged, and was, therefore, a 
traitor to the cause he pretended to serve. Te 
Kooti indignantly denied this accusation, but it 
was apparently believed by the whites, for it 
was repeated by a settler, and Te Kooti was then 
placed amongst the Hauhau prisoners and taken 
to Napier, where he made three distinct appeals, 

* Hauhaus were fanatical Maoris whose religion wa:i 
a strange jumble of native and Biblical creeds. The)- 
continually ejaculated the word " Hau " in battle, believ- 
ing that thereby they secured immunity from wounds. 



26a 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEEXTII CEN'ITRY, 



through Mr. ITaniHn, to the Govcrnnicin to be 
tried, or, at all events, told definitely of what 
crime he was accused ; but all in vain, and tinallv 
he was, with about 150 of the most dangerous 
of the Hauhaus, shipped away from Auckland to 
the Chatham Islands, which lie >ome 400 miles 




GROUP 01-' MAORIS. 

to the eastward of New Zealand, in latitude 
44° S. 

Thus Te Kooti, an ally of the Europeans, 
found himself treated as an enemv, and sent 
without trial away from his native land. He 
repeatedly asked to be released, and it is said 
that a promise to release all the prisoners at the 
end of two years was made ; but when that time 
came the Government steamer .SV. Kilda arrived 
at the Chatham Islands with seed potatoes, 
ploughs, and provisions for the prisoners, which 
looked to the latter very much as if their exile 



was to be continued fcjr ever. Te Kooti lost all 
faith in Pakeha promises, and hatched a plot 
with the other prisoners to escape after the 
steamer hati departed. A schooner, thj RiHc- 
iiiaii, belonging to, or chartered by, a Mr. Hood, 
was lying at anchor at the island, and it was- 
determined to seize her and sail to- 
New Zealand. The guard over the 
prisoners had been reduced from 35 
to men, under the command ot 
Captain Thomas, and these few men 
were easily overpowered and their 
arms taken from them. Captain 
Thomas was marched into the 
court-house between a double guard 
of .Maoris, armed with carbines, 
and made to open an iron safe 
containing about X5°° '" coin 
which mone\' was seized, and to- 
gether with 40 or 50 stands of arms, 
and some provisions taken on board 
the Rificmaii, the mate and crew of 
which were threatened with instant 
death if they attempted any resist- 
ance to the seizing of the ship. All 
the prisoners — 163 men, 64 women, 
and 7 1 children — embarked, and the 
European mate and crew of the 
schooner (the captain was on shore) 
were ordered to navigate her to 
New Zealand — or be shot. 

The alternative was not a pleasant 
one, and seeing that Te Kooti 
meant exactly what he said, thev 
hauled up the sails and steered out 
of the bav. The escape had been 
managed with the loss of only one 
life, as Te Kooti had made his men 
promise to respect the lives of the 
Europeans if thev made no re- 
sistance. The man killed was one of 
the guards, who was tcmiahawked 
by a Hauhau, named Tomoana 
Tiki-Tiki, through some jealousy on account 
of the hitter's wife, and therefore Te Kooti was 
in no way responsible for the deed. Another, 
more cruel, mnst be laid to his door, however, 
for on a dead calm prevailing just when they 
had passed out of the bay, Te Kooti declared 
that Tangaroa, the god of the ocean, was 
angry, and required a sacrifice, and this he' 
conveniently found in a relation of his own, an 
old man who had warned the Pakehas of the 
intended rising. Despite his cries, the old man's 
hands were tied together and he was thrown 



TE KOOTI'S RAIDS. 



26; 



overboard. Singularly enough, a breeze at once 
sprang up, and the Maoris sailed away, snapping 
their fingers at the outwitted Pakehas, who 
could not even pursue, as Te Kooti had, before 
embarking, cut the cable of the only other ship 
in port — the ketch Florence — and set her adrift, 
having previously forced her crew to land. 

These events took place on July 4th, 186S, 
and si.K days later — namely, on July loth — the 
Rijlcmun arrived at Whareongaonga, si.x miles 



their ship, departed to Wellington, some 250 
miles distant, instead of giving warning at the 
nearest settlements on the coast. 

Consequently it was only by chance thai 
Major Biggs, the resident magistrate at Poverty 
Bay, heard of the landing. He lost no time in 
taking action, however, and, on July 12th, set 
out with a force of eighty friendly Maoris and 
forty Europeans, and coming up with Te Kooti's 
band, found them strongly posted in a position 




TE KOOTI TELL ON THEIK CAMP AND CAriURED ALL THEIR HORSES " '/. 266). 



south of Gisborne, on the New Zealand coast. 
During the voyage Te Kooti, fully armed, re- 
mained on deck almost the whole time ; and a 
jealous watch was kept on the mate and crew, 
who were not even allowed to cook their own 
food, this office being performed for them bv 
one of the escapees, a half-caste named Baker. 
Directly the anchor dropped, all the Maoris, 
save those told off to guard the crew, landed, 
and at once set about discharging the cargo ot 
the schooner, which Te Kooti had no diffidence 
about annexing. Working all night, the cargo 
was landed by the next morning, and the 
crew were then released, and, setting sail on 



which enabled them to guard their stolen 
goods. 

To the demand to surrender Te Kooti gave a 
scornful replv, but stated his determination not 
to molest anyone if he were allowed to depart 
in peace. Major Biggs, on receiving this answer, 
gave the order to attack ; but the friendly Maoris, 
who composed the greater part of his force, 
refused to move, giving as their reason that the 
enemy were too strongly posted ; and the same 
evening Te Kooti avoided Major Biggs's force, 
and retreated inland over marvellously rough 
country, carrying all the loot taken from the 
schooner. When the escape was discovered. 



266 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 



Major Biggs despatched Mr. Skipwitli with a 
few friendly Maoris to dog the rear of the 
escapees and watch all their movements. 

Meanwhile the commander himself fell back 
and collected reinforcements, with which four 
days later he marched to Paparatu, where he 
hoped to intercept Te Kooti on his march in- 
land. A camp was formed, and for four days 
the force waited, but there was no sign of the 
enemy, and, supplies running short. Major Biggs 
departed to hurr\- up the reliefs who were bring- 
ing provisions. 

While he was awav Mr. Skipwith arrived, 
and declared that Te Kooti was advancing, but 
slowly, as his followers were very heavily laden. 

On the morning of the sixth day Captain 
Westrupp, who was commanding in the absence 
of Major Biggs, sent out three scouts, who were 
very soon seen returning at speed as if pursued. 
The force was now ordered to get under arms, 
and cheerfully obeyed, though the men had had 
nothing to eat for thirty-six hours except an old 
tooar, which they consumed, skin and all, to the 
last morsel. 

A picket had previously been posted in a 
strong position on a hill commanding the spur 
up which Te Kooti would have to advance, and 
to the support of this picket Captain Westrupp 
sent a strong force ; but before they could 
arrive Te Kooti had captured the hill and driven 
the defenders down the slope, and there was 
now nothing to be done but endeavour to re- 
take the position. Charging up the hill, the 
Europeans managed to secure possession of a 
small ridge, which was separated from the higher 
ridge occupied by the Hauhaus by a small gully, 
across which a continuous fire was exchanged. 

When this had continued for some time, a 
European volunteer, to whom the name " Billy 
the Goose " had been given by his comrades, was 
shot dead, and another was severely wounded. 

Te Kooti's men now managed to take their 
opponents in flank, and soon wounded two 
•others. Encouraged by these successes, they 
made a number of feints as if they were about 
to charge with fixed bayonets, but the Europeans 
stood firm and were not to be intimidated. 
Ammunition began to run short, and anxious 
glances were cast in the direction from which 
Major Biggs with the reliefs was expected, and 
with joy the exhausted men at length saw figures 
on the distant track. Alas ! for their hopes, 
however, the reliefs proved to be only nine 
friendly Maoris, " most of whom were exces- 
sively drunk," says the historian, they having 



broached a cask of rum which was amongst the 
provisions they carried. Te Ko<jti now executed 
a flank movement which utterly routed his foes, 
for, marching round the force that had been 
keeping him engaged, he fell on their camp and 
captured all their horses, saddles, baggage, and 
accoutrements to the value of £1,200, and forced 
them to hastily retreat, leaving two men dead 
on the field and carrying away ten more 
wounded out of a total force of fifty. Te Kooti 
lost only two men, and his first encounter with 
the Europeans was thus a marked success for 
him. He made himself comfortable with his 
followers in the camp of the Pakehas — whose 
swords, horses, provisions, etc., made their con- 
querors rich indeed — and when his men had 
rested sufficiently, he leisurely resumed his march. 
Meanwhile weak, famished, and embarrassed 
by their Avounded, two of whom had to be 
carried every step of the way, the Europeans 
retreated over a country of terrible roughness 
to Tepatoho, where they were joined bj- Colonel 
Whitmore with thirty Napier volunteers, and 
on the da\- following the meeting the pursuit of 
Te Kooti was taken up, but long before he was 
overtaken he had been intercepted by another 
force at Te Korraki, and had again defeated his 
enemies. This force was raised by Mr. Deighton, 
R.M., and Mr. Preece, Clerk to the Bench at 
Wairoa, and was composed of Europeans and 
friendly Alaoris. After scouring the country in 
various directions, this force, which had been 
joined by Captains Wilson and Richardson, at 
length (on July 24th) came in sight of the 
enemy, who were seen descending a distant spur 
of the Ahimanu range. 

Te Kooti's victory at Paparatu had brought 
him fame amongst the Maoris, and he had now 
fully 200 men under him ; and his force, as it 
descended the hill with its long train of women, 
children, and horses, looked formidable indeed 
to the few Europeans and their lukewarm ]\Iaori 
supporters. The latter, indeed, thought it foo 
formidable, and sixt\' of them under Paora Te 
Apatu incontinent!}' bolted, leaving a ven.- weak 
contingent indeed to oppose the confident Te 
Kooti, who assured his followers that he was 
" an instrument in the hands of Providence and 
appointed to carry out its instructions," and 
generally worked on their superstitions. 

When Paora Te Apatu fled, the Europeans 
were obliged to follow, but next day (July 25th) 
the whole force advanced against Te Kooti 
across the Hangaroa river, and a smart action 
followed ; but in a very short time Te Kooti 



TE KOOTI'S RAIDS. 



267 



threw forward liis left flank against the position 
held by Paora Te Apatii, whereupon that re- 
doubtable warrior offdin tied with fifty of his 
tribe, and this time kept on ruiniing till he 
\ anished in the dim distanee. Mr. Preeee and 
Captain Riehardson were then obliged to fall 
baek to the next hill, which they held until 
evening, when their ammunition gave out, and 
they were deserted by Rakiora and some of 
his men. Seeing the chief moving off in the 
direction of Te Kooti's force, Mr. Preeee asked 
him where he was going. " To get a drink of 
water," he replied; but, says Mr. Gudgeon, the 
historian, " he must have gone a long way, for 
he was absent four years ! " 

The Europeans and friendlies now retired to 
Te Wairoa, having lost two men (Maori allies) 
killed and several wounded, and Te Kooti re- 
sumed his march in triumph. 

His success now began to cause great alarm 
to the whites. Government took action : the 
militia were called out, and Colonel Whitmorc's 
force was strengthened. The Te Wairoa force 
under Captain Richardson and Mr. Preeee was 
reorganised and brought up to a strength of 200 
men by the accession of a body of friendly- 
Maoris under Ihaka Whanga. On the 2nd of 
August the advanced guard reconnoitred all the 
country about Te Reinga Falls, when it was dis- 
covered that Te Kooti had crossed the river and 
had made off in the direction of the Papuni. 
Captain Richardson had received orders not to 
follow the enemy in this direction ; so he re- 
turned to Te Wairoa, but had hardly reached 
there when an orderly arrived and instructed 
him to follow up Colonel Whitmore's march with 
twenty picked men and a store of ammunition. 

While the Te Wairoa force had been re- 
connoitring, marching, and counter-marching. 
Colonel Whitmore had been steadih- following 
Te Kooti's tracks, which pursuit he had taken 
up after the Paparatu light as already stated. 

He had with him the Napier and Poverty Bay 
volunteers and some friendly Maoris — in all 130 
men ; while Major Eraser, with fifty armed con- 
sfabulary, was following another line of pursuit 
along the Hangaroa track. The di\ision with 
the colonel had very rough work, as they were 
exposed to violent snowstorms on the Ahimanu 
range, and ran (Uit df provisions before they 
reached the Waihau Lakes, where Major Eraser 
joined \\ith his constabulary, and reported that 
Te Kooti's trail led in the direction of the 
Ruakituri gorge. The colonel determined to 
follow at once despite the lack of provisions. 



but the Poverty Bay volunteers, who had some- 
thing of a grudge against the commander, re- 
fused to go any further, and Colonel Whitmore 
was obliged to continue the pursuit with a 
greatly reduced force, consisting of fifty armed 
constabulary, a few volunteers, and about sixty 
friendly Maoris. Up the bed of the Ruakituri 
river the force marched, finding camp after 
camp of the Hauhaus ; and at length, on the 
evening of August 8th, when the men were 
thoroughly exhausted, the enemy, some .250 
strong, were found posted in the Ruakituri gorge. 




CHATHAM 
SLANDS 
) 



Led by Captain 
Carr and Ser- 
geant - Major 
Withers, the 
advanced guard 
of six men pro- 
ceeded in single 
file up the narrow gorge, and on rounding 
a bend were suddenly received with a volley 
from the Hauhaus, who were posted only fifty 
yards away. No damage was done, and thi 
advanced guard managed to get under cove; , 
but the main force, which stood in a long line in 
the river bed, was more exposed to a raking fire 
from Te Kooti's men, who lined the base of the 
hill and river bend. Several men were killed, 
and Captain Tuke was severely wounded in an 
attempt to scale the banks and get the force out 
of the trap in which it was caught. 

The advanced guard could not be supported, 
and being hotly pursued by the enem\-, was 
forced to leave its shelter in the thick scrub 
and fall back on the main body, its leader, 
Captain Carr, and Mr. Canning, a volunteer, 
being killed in this retreat. 

Having got rid of the advanced party, Te 



268 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



Kooti quicklv worked down on the main body 
through the scrub, and very nearly succeeded in 
cutting off its retreat. In this onslaught he was 
himself, however, shot in the foot, and this woinid 
affected his health for the remainder of his lite. 
The friendly natives under Henare Tomoana 
now beat a retreat, leaving the Pakehas to their 
fate ; and seeing that they were greatly out- 
numbered, the latter also fell back, and after 
awaiting further attack at an island a mile and 
a half in the rear of the gorge, finally retreated 
to their camp at Te Reinga. Only a few of the 
strongest men reached the camp that night, how- 
ever ; the rest, utterly exhausted and almost 
starving, lay down in their tracks and passed a 
miserable night in the desolate bush — rain falling 
in torrents on their unsheltered and emaciated 
bodies. 

The loss of the assailants was five killed and 
five wounded, while Te Kooti had eight men 
killed and three wounded — one of the latter 
being himself as stated above. 

The indomitable Maori had now won his third 
fight, and disdaining to retreat any further, he 
formed a camp at Puketapa, near the scene of 
the fight, and occupied it from August 8th to 
October 28th, during which time he proclaimed 
himself saviour of the Maori people, and sent 
messengers all over the North Island urging the 
tribes to rise and join him. 

Their defeat at the Ruakituri gorge was a 
fatal one for the Europeans, for it reduced their 
prestige amongst the Maoris, increased Te 
Kooti's mana (or fame), and caused that leader 
to give up his idea of retreating to some safe 
place where he could live in peace, and substitute 
for it a scheme of relentless war against the 
Pakehas, whom he evidentlv hoped to e.Ktermin- 
ate altogether. The dreadful massacres which 
followed, and which have made Te Kooti's name 
execrated in New Zealand, would probably 
never have taken place if the Ruakituri affair 
had inflicted a severe check on the daring 
JMaori. That Te Kooti was a cruel and heart- 
less man has already been shown by his treat- 
ment of his luckless old relative on the Ritic- 
?naii, and here a later atrocity of his may be 
mentioned. 

Shortlv after Paparatu, Colonel Whitmore 
despatched an orderly, named Brown, toWairoa ; 
but unfortunatel}^ for himself the man was inter- 
cepted by the Hauhaus, and brought before Te 
Kooti, who ordered his instant execution. He 
was shot, and his bodv, with that of his dog, 
was thrown into a ditch, where some days later 



Colonel Whitmore's pursuing column found the 
remains. 

Being left unmolested, Te Kooti occupied 
himself in constructing a pah at Puketapa, in 
extending his influence amongst his followers, 
and in securing recruits. In this last matter he 
was very successful. Te Waru and Reihana, 
chiefs of the upper Wairoa tribes, joined him 
secretlv while pretending friendship to the white 
man, and Nama, with forty men of the Temai- 
onarangi tribe, joined him openlv. Rigid dis- 
cipline was kept up in Puketapa by Te Kooti, 
who would not even allow his men to eat or 
smoke except at stated times. " There is a time 
for all things," he said. His punishment for 
disobedience was death, and such ascendancy 
had he acquired over his turbulent followers 
that they dared not dispute his orders openly, 
but being well-nigh starving, would often steal 
from the pah into the open, where thev would 
shoot their horses for food. No better proof of 
Te Kooti's wonderful force of character could be 
found than the fact that he kept together at 
Puketapa some hundreds of turbulent Maoris 
under conditions of discomfort, and such priva- 
tion, that when he finally broke camp and started 
on his great raid, some of his men dropped in 
their tracks and died from the sheer weakness of 
starvation, their skeletons being found long after- 
wards by the Europeans. Te Kooti would 
allow no interference with his authority in 
Puketapa, and a Uriwera chief who resented 
his dictation found himself in a position ot 
danger and fled from the pah, only to be pur- 
sued, brought back, and slain by the ruthless 
Te Kooti. After this none dared to question hie 
authoritv, and he stood the acknowledged leader. 
The position he held at Puketapa enabled him 
to descend with ease either on the settlements 
at Poverty Bay or those at Te Wairoa, and as it 
was known that he had vowed vengeance on the 
Pakehas, much anxietv was felt by the settlers. 
Men were set to watch the tracks by which the 
Hauhaus might come, but Major Biggs seemed 
lulled into a state of false security, and a move- 
ment at Poverty Bav to erect a fort, or place of 
strength, to which the settlers could retire in 
the event of attack, fell through, and Te Kooti 
met with no opposition when he arrived. 

By the end of October he had completed all 
his arrangements, and his terrible raid on 
Poverty- Baj- commenced. Setting out with his 
half-starved force from Puketapa, and having 
with him manv of the Uriwera tribe in whose 
countrj- he then was, he marched to Pahekeheke, 







THE HAUHAUS SHOT OK 



|;A\UNLTLU THEM—MEN, WO.MEX 
TO ESCAPE • (A 270). 



AXD CHILUREN'-AS THEV AITEMPTKO 



BATTLES OF THE XIN'ETEEXTH CENTURY. 



where tie was joined by the cliiefs Nania and 
Te Waru and their men, and thence tiie united 
force swept down on the plains. Many of Te 
Kooti's half-starved men were very weak, so 
he left his main body at Pukepuke with the 
women and children, continuing his march with 
about 200 of the strongest men. The ^illage of 
Patutahi was captured, and its people forced to 
ioin the Hauhaus, who next moved on to the 
white settlement at Matawhero. 

At midnight on the 8th of November, 1868 
(some say the 9th of November), the Hauhaus 
crossed the Patutahi ford and entered the settle- 
ment. The first house the}- reached was that ot 
Mr. Wylie, and the owner was seen seated by a 
table writing ; but Te Kooti felt so sure of this 
victim, v.hom he specially hated, that he de- 
termined to deal with the other settleis first and 
then return for Wylie. The Hauhaus now broke 
up into parties, and, going to house after house, 
roused the settlers, and then shot or bayoneted 
them — men, women, and children — as they at- 
tempted to escape. To give the details of the 
massacre would be impossible in the compass of 
a brief chapter, but w^hat happened in the case 
of Major Biggs — the unfortunate victim of over- 
confidence — may be related as showing the 
modus operandi of the Hauhaus. When the 
latter reached Biggs's house, they knocked at 
the door as if they were peaceful visitors, and 
the owner asked them what they wanted. " We 
want to see you," they replied ; and Biggs sus- 
pected that the long-dreaded raid had come. 
He opened the door, at the same time calling to 
his wife to escape by the back, but she refused 
to leave him. The Hauhaus fired, and the 
Major fell dead on his own verandah. They 
then rushed in, and tomahawked Mrs. Biggs, 
her babv, and the servant. 

Captain Wilson's case may be quoted, for, 
though similar to Major Biggs's in most respects, 
it yet exhibits the treachery of the Hauhaus in a 
stronger light. Wilson defended his house with 
a revolver, and the assailants thereupon adopted 
the easy plan of burning him out. They set 
fire to the house at either end, and then offered 
to spare the lives of Wilson and his family if 
he would surrender without further opposition. 
He did not set much value on their promises, 
but, as the alternative was being burned alive, 
he accepted the offer, and, with his servant, a 
man named Moran, was led towards the river 
bank. Suddenly a Hauhau rushed at Moran 
and killed him with a blow from a hatchet, and 
at the same moment Captain Wilson was shot 



in the back. Mrs. Wilson and the children were 
then ba3-oneted, but one little boy escaped, and, 
concealed in the scrub, was witness to the awful 
tragedy. Poor Mrs. Wilson was not killed, 
though she was repeatedly stabbed, and beaten 
with the butts of muskets; and, after the mur- 
derers had gone, she managed to crawl to the 
b.irn, where her little bov fed her with eggs as 
best he could, and kept her alive for seven days 
till relief came. But her wounds were too severe 
and the shock of the tragedy too great for re- 
covery to be possible, and she died shortly after- 
wards at Napier. 

The work of slaughtering and plundering 
went on during the night and early morning, 
and was continued throughout the district at 
intervals for two davs until twenty-nine Euro- 
peans and thirty-two friendly natives hid been 
slain, and the terrified survivors fled to Gisbornc, 
whence the women and children were shipped to 
Napier ; and the men fortified the place in daily 
expectation of attack, but none was made. Te 
Kooti, contenting himself with what he had done 
and with looting and burning the houses of the 
-settlers, finally retreated with great piles of 
plunder heaped up on the carts taken from the 
unhappy settlers. 

Here may be related what had happened in 
the case of Mr. Wylie, whom Te Kooti had 
fondly hoped to "make sure of on the first 
night of the massacre. Alarmed by the sounds 
of firing, Wylie and some other settlers had 
managed to make good their escape ; and, when 
the Hauhau leader returned for his cherished 
vengeance, he found the house empty and his 
hoped-for victim flown. Raging, he searched 
the house, and, finding some promissory notes 
signed with Wylie's name, he proceeded to cat 
them, under the delusion that they were mone\- 
belonging to Wylie, whom he determined to 
injure in some way if he could not kill him. He 
had hopes of a more satisfactory vengeance yet, 
however ; and, flinging himself on his horse and 
followed by twenty mounted men, he dashed ofl 
in the direction he believed the fugitives had 
taken. Galloping up to the native village by the 
ford on the river, he ordered the chief, Tutari, 
to point out the way the settlers had gone ; but 
the brave old man refused to do so, whereupon 
the infuriated Te Kooti ordered him to be killed 
with his two children, which bloody deed was 
performed before the eyes of the wife and 
mother, Avho in turn was threatened with death 
if she did not give the information required. 
She saved her life by pointing out the direction, 



TE KOOTI'S RAIDS. 



27r 



and, swcLiring tluit lie wiuikl cut little pieces off 
Wylic when he caught him, Te Kooti galloped 
ofl" with his savage followers, all drunk with 
liquor and slaughter, and ripe for even more 
horrible atrocities than they had yet committed. 
When they had gone several miles, however, 
they learned that the woman had outwitted 
them and set them on the wrong track, and, 
furit)us, they returned to the settlement, while 
Wylie and the other escapees made their way 
to a place of refuge. 

The savage Poverty Bay massacre naturally 
made Te Kooti the best-hated man in all New 
Zealand — by Europeans and friendly Maoris 
alike — and from that time on, for several years, 
a fierce and determined pursuit of him over 
mountains, rivers, and lakes, through bush, 
swamp-land and fern, was maintained by whites 
and natives ; but though always outnumbered, 
repeatedly surrounded, hungry, wounded, and 
ill-supplied with ammunition, he escaped again 
and again, and fighting ever, retreated from fast- 
ness to fastness, and eluding his pursuers, swooped 
down on distant settlements, bringing murder 
and ruin in his train, till his name became a 
veritable terror to the young colony, to whose 
financial burdens he was adding at the rate of 
five hundred pounds a day. " One thousand 
pounds a day " was the cost of the Maori wars 
at this date, and of this sum Te Kooti must have 
been responsible for fully one-half, if not more. 

Within a few days of the massacre, Lieutenant 
Gascoigne collected a force of Europeans at 
Turanganui (Gisborne), and was joined by 
Henare Potae and his friendly Maoris, and a 
week later by Major Westrupp and Captain 
Tuke, wlio came from Napier with 300 friendly 
Maoris. 

The force set out for ]\Iatawhero, where the 
melancholy duty of burying the bodies of those 
slain by the Hauhaus was performed, and then 
marched in hot pursuit of Te Kooti. On 
November 21st his rear-guard was overtaken at 
Patutahi, and two of them were .shot. Quan- 
tities of loot which the Hauhaus had been un- 
able to carry away were found here, and also the 
dead bodies of friendl}- Maoris shot b}- Te 
Kooti's orders. 

At Pukepuke more bodies were found, and 
the carts and sledges of the murdered settlers. 
The trail grew w-arm, and on the evening of 
November 23rd the pursuers came up with the 
main body of the Hauhaus on the Te Karetu 
Creek. A furious fire was at once opened, but 
the assailants were beaten back with a loss of 



five killed and twelve wounded, amongst the 
former being Hamuera Teiroa and Karauria, two 
chiefs of the friendlies. Twenty Hauhaus were 
killed, but the enemy held the position, and the 
assailants were obliged to retire to a ridge twelve 
hundred yards from the Hauhaus, who were 
strongly entrenched. 

Rifle-pits were pushed towards the entrench- 
ments, and for a whole week heavy and con- 
tinuous firing was kept up, and a number of men 
on both sides were killed and wounded. Te 
Kooti now executed one of his daring outflanking 
movements, and sixty of his men under Baker, 
the half-caste, captured the base of the attacking 
force's supplies at Patutahi, carried off eight kegs 
of ammunition and a quantity of provisions, and 
so alarmed the force at Te Karetu that the 
attack was on the point of being relinquished ; 
but on December ist powerful reinforcements 
arrived from Te Wairoa — namely, 370 friendly 
Maoris, under the renowned chief Ropata — and 
on the following morning a fierce attack was 
made on the Hauhau entrenchments. Forty 
Wairoa natives, under the command of Mr. 
Preece, commenced the assault, and being pre- 
sently aided by the Ngatiporu, under Ropata, 
drove the Hauhaus out of two lines of entrench- 
ments into their last line of rifle-pits on the 
creek. The toils had now closed about Te 
Kooti, and it seemed as if an early vengeance 
for the Poverty Bay massacre was to be taken. 
Three columns of attack were formed, the 
Wairoas on the left, Ngatiporu in the centre, 
and Napier tribes on the right, and a furious- 
rush was made for the Hauhaus' last position. 
They stood for a moment, but the fury of the 
attack was too much for them, and they broke 
and fled across the river, under a terrible flanking 
fire from the left column, which killed thirty- 
four and wounded many more. This flanking 
fire, however, saved Te Kooti, for the Ngatiporu 
were unable to cross it in pursuit, and Te Kooti. 
weak, worn, and lame from the wound in his 
foot received at Ruakituri, was carried up the 
river bed on a woman's back ! and got clear 
away, though hundreds thirsting for his blood 
were just behind. What would have happened 
to him had he been captured may be judged by 
what occurred in the case of Nama, his ally, 
who was wounded, but taken alive. His com- 
plicity in the Poverty Bay massacres and other 
atrocities had rendered him particularly objec- 
tionable to the Wairoa and Ngatiporu friendlies, 
and they settled all scores by roasting him over 
a slow fire, the Europeans " looking the other 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



way " apparentlv. Fourteen dead Hauliaus were 
tound in a single pool in the river, and one of 
these was floating with his face out of the water 
in such a singular manner that Hami Tapeka, 
a Ngatiporu, was much surprised, and gently 
prodded the "corpse" with his bayonet. "It" 




TE KOOTI. 

started up out of the water very much alive, 
and would have escaped but for the prompt 
action of Hami, who made certain of matters 
this time by an ounce ball from his musket. 

In this action two Europeans were wounded, 
in addition to the casualties amongst the friend- 
lies. After this severe defeat Te Kooti made 
.good his escape to a pah which seems to have 
been previously prepared, on the highest point 
of the bush-clad mountain of Ngatapa. 

This pah Ropata discovered on the morning 
after the fight, and on the 5th of December he 
proceeded to attack it with his tribe and some 
Wairoa natives under Mr. Preece. For two 
miles the force wound upwards through thick 
bush, and then suddenly found themsehes in 
front of the pah, which was defended by tM'o 
lines of strong earthworks extending across a 
small flat and resting on a cliff" at each end. 
The position was, in fact, impregnable against 
such a small force ; imd to make matters worse 
many of Ropata's men retreated, leaving Mr. 
Preece and a few men to make the 
attack, which they gallantly did, and 
actually stormed the outer earth- 
work, but were ultimately forced 
to retreat. Ropata was in such a 
towering rage with the men who 
had deserted him that he refused 
to have anything more to do with 
them, and was retreating in dudgeon 
to the coast when he met Colonel 



Whitmore with 300 constabulary- marching to 
his relief. 

Even then he would not turn back, but 
promised to return later with recruits, and 
Whitmore went on alone. His scouts brought 
in news that Te Kooti was burning his whares 
(huts) on Ngatapa, and rashly concluding that 
this was but a prelude to retreat, Colonel 
Whitmore drew off his forces to the coast, 
whereupon the ever-vigilant Te Kooti, well 
served by his spies, swooped down {toi\\ his 
mountain on the settlements, where he killed 
j-oung Mr. Wylie (son of his old enemy), Mr. 
Fergusson, and a friendly Maori, and plundered 
various homes. Hearing of this raid. Colonel 
Whitmore endeavoured to cut off Te Kooti's 
retreat ; but the skilful Maori easily eluded 
him, and retired again to his fortress on Ngatapa, 
which he strengthened, and then calml\- awaited 
attack. 

On December 24th Colonel Whitmore marched 
on Ngatapa, and on the 30th was joined by 
Ropata with 370 friendlies. Te Kooti had chosen 
his position well. Ngatapa was a conical hill 
rising to a height of 2,000 feet from a mass of 
bush-clad hills, and was crowned by the pah, 
which was defended in front by three lines i f 
earth and fern-tree parapets, with ditches in 
front in the European style. These parapets 
abutted on steep scarped slopes at either end ; 
the outer line was about 250 yards long and 
seven feet high ; the second line was shorter as 




THE CROWS-NEST, TAUI'C. 
{Ffv>ii a phot.-graf'ft by Burton Brothers^ Ditnctiin.) 



TE KOOTI'S RAIDS. 



273 



the peak contracted ; the third hue was a huge 
work fourteen feet high, and dotted all over 
with loopholes formed with sandbags, through 
which loopholes the enemy could tire with hut 
little risk of being injured themselves. Each 
line was joined to the next by protected pas- 
sages, through which the defenders could retire. 
The rear of the work was situated on an almost 
perpendicular cliff, and altogether Ngatapa would 
have been a formidable position for the best- 
disciplined troops to attack, especially when 



Ropata attacked the pah from the rear with 
fifty picked men, and in the teeth of the de- 
fenders this division commenced to scale th e cliff, 
a heavy fire being kept up by the Hauhaus and 
replied to by a large force of European and 
Maori coverers. Finally, with a loss of eight 
men, Ropata's stormers climbed the cliflF, broke 
into the trenches, and seized the first line of 
defence. Te Kooti was now apparently doomed, 
for he was surrounded on all sides save one — a 
nearly precipitous cliff— by a force greatly out- 




IN IHt TAll'O i-OUMRV. 
> Photo, Warrtn.) 



held by such a bold and skilful leader as Te 
Kooti. 

On January ist, 1869, the assault was com- 
menced with spirit, and in a very brief space 
the only supply of water available tor the de- 
fenders was captured. Ritie pits were carried 
within 100 yards of the outer line of defence, 
and the artillery having brought up a mortar 
opened a hot fire with shells which had to be 
carried on men's backs for a distance of three 
miles over a countiy of extreme roughness. 
The siege was pressed vigorously, and a very 
heavy fire was kept up on both sides. Captain 
Brown of No. 7 constabulary division being 
shot dead on the 2nd, and Captain Capel being 
seriously wounded on the 3rd. On the 4th 
66 



numbering his hungrv and weakened band. He 
had very little food, and no water at all, for 
several days, and would have been obliged to 
surrender but for rain opportunely setting in 
and enabling the defenders to catch sufficient 
water in blankets and shirts to keep themselves 
alive. 

A storming partv, 200 strong, formed in the 
trench taken by Ropata, and sat down to wait 
for morning, but at 2 a.m. a Maori woman 
within the pah called out that Te Kooti had 
gone ! And so he had, with all his men and 
women, except those wounded. In the morning 
it was found that the defenders had slipped away 
by means of the one unguarded and supposedly 
impassable side, and were now miles off in the 



274 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



bush. The enraged Ropata at once set out in 
pursuit, and, as the Hauhaus from want of food 
were obhged to break up into small parties, he 
captured 120, all of whom he summarily shot ; 
but Te Kooti and many of his men easily 
escaped and proceeded to visit the Uriwera 
tribe, with whom they remained unmolested for 
some time. 

A number of his men returned to tlieir homes, 
and the indignation of the settlers became ex- 
treme when they saw red-handed Poverty- Bay 
murderers walking about unmolested in their 
midst ; and a Mr. Benson, who had lost relatives 
in the massacre, openly shot a Maori whom he 
knew to have had a hand in the murders of his 
friends. Next day Benson was requested by a 
constable to sit as a juror in the inquest held on 
the Maori's body. " But I shot him," said 
Benson. " I have nothing to do with that," 
replied the guardian of the peace ; " all I have 
to do is to find jurymen, and if you don't attend, 
I'll summon you ! " Benson then proceeded 
with eleven other intelligent jurymen to try 
himself, and, having gone into the box and given 
evidence against himself, he, with the others, 
retired to consider the verdict, which was soon 
found, and ran as follows : — " SJiot by some 
person unknown^ and serve him right ! '^ 

The foregoing pages will give a fair idea of 
Te Kooti's fighting methods, wonderful skill, 
and great hardihood, and space will only permit 
of a hurried glance at the remainder of his 
stirring career. 

In April, 1869, operations were recommenced 
against him and his allies, the Uriweras. After 
some desultory fighting, he was brought to bay 
at Tauaroa by Major Mair and 400 men ; but 
again he escaped in the night with all his men, 
and earlv in May swooped down on Mohaka on 
the coast, and, taking the Huka pah by treacher\- 
and courage combined, killed there in cold blood 
seven Europeans and fiftj'-seven Maoris, and looted 
the whole settlement. He nearly lost his own 
life here, however, for Heta, one of the defenders 
of the pah, when he recognised the Hauhau's 
treachery, said, " If I die, you die too," and, 
raising his rifle, fired point-blank at Te Kooti, 
who was, however, saved by one of his men, 
who struck up the muzzle. Heta was at once 
shot, and a general massacre followed. 

Te Kooti next besieged the pah Hiruharama, 
but this held out gallantly, though it was largely 
garrisoned by little Maori boys and girls, who 
had to stand on boxes or mounds of earth 
in order to fire over the parapet. Trooper 



Hill and a few Maoris managed to charge 
through Te Kooti's men and supplement the 
garrison of the pah. All night Hill, curiously 
armed with a double-barrelled gun, a rifle, and a 
long spear, stood at a threatened angle of the 
pah, physically supported by two full-grown 
men, two little boys, and three girls, and morally 
supported by the Maori parson of the pah, who 
" came round every hour and prayed for his 
success,'' says the historian. Provisions were 
very short, and, having received in fortv-eight 
hours (as a great favour) from his Maori friends 
a pannikin of tea, one apple, and a biscuit. 
Sergeant Hill was not sorry when Te Kooti's 
bugles sounded the retreat, and the siege was 
raised. For his conduct in defending this pah 
Hill received the New Zealand Cross. 

Te Kooti's next murderous raid was on Opepe, 
where, by treacherv, he cut off from their arms 
and slew nine European troopers. 

He then withdrew to Taupo, and was joined 
by the chief Te Heu-heu, and it was feared that 
Tawhiao, the Maori king, would join him with 
the powerful Waikato tribes, so the Govern- 
ment put a price of five hundred pounds on Te 
Kooti's head, and offered five pounds for every 
rebel Maori captured and one pound for everj' 
Maori killed in fair fight, a policv politely depre- 
cated by the British Minister for the Colonies, 
Earl Granville, but defended by the New Zea- 
landers, who reproached Britain with deserting 
them in the hour of their greatest need, and 
hinted at a determination to throw off allegiance 
to that country and seek assistance from the 
United States of America. It must be recollected 
that Te Kooti was dealt with without British 
assistance, which had been freely accorded in 
the earlier Maori wars. 

Te Kooti w-as pursued with the most unre- 
lenting vigour, and to describe all his hairbreadth 
escapes would be impossible in a few pages. 

On October 3rd, i86q, he was defeated at 
Pourere by Colonel McDonnell, with a loss of 
seventy men, and was himself severely wounded 
by a ball which struck him as he was taking a 
cap for his rifle from his waistcoat pocket. The 
bullet wounded the thumb and forefinger, cut 
the third finger clean off, and then passed through 
the fleshy part of his side. He retreated into 
the King country, but was after a time forced to 
leave by the Waikatos, and was again surrounded; 
but just when his capture seemed certain, he 
eluded his pursuers and made one of his raids 
on a native settlement on the Wanganui River. 
Hotly pursued by boo men, he was next heard 



TE KOOTI'S RAIDS. 



275 



of iicrir the sctlluincnt of Cambridge in the 
Waikato, and from this place he wrote to the 
Government asking for peace ; but there was 
to be no peace for him — just yet, at all events 
—and Colonel McDonnell, with a force of 600 
Maoris and Europeans, was soon on the trail. 
On January 24th, 1870, McDonnell defeated 
Te Kooti, who was posted in a strong position 
at Tapapa, and shortly afterwards surrounded 
his supposed retreat with nearly 800 men, but 
in a few days word was brought that Te Kooti 
was at Kuruni, many miles away. 

All through February the pursuit was kept up, 
and short of provisions, worn and exhausted, Te 
Kooti seemed in desperate case, but he managed 
to reach the Uriwera country in safety, and in 
this wild country- the pursuit could not be con- 
tinued for lack of provisions, and once more the 
hunted Maori gained a respite. 

Not for long, however, for the Maori chiefs, 
Ropata, Te Kepa, and Topia, in the pay of the 
Government, with their men, were close to him 
early in April, but before they could come up 
with him he swooped down on the Opape settle- 
ments and carried off 170 friendly Maoris and 
also forty guns, some ammunition and provisions, 
of which he stood much in need. He then retired 
to a pah at Maraetahi, but on April 24th this 
was captured by the pursuers, and Te Kooti lost 
eighteen men killed, many who were taken 
prisoners, and a great reserve store of ammuni- 
tion which he had " planted " near the pah. 

He retreated to the wild bush country of Te 
Wera on the borders of Uriwera, and thence 
suddenly made a raid on Tolgo? Bay with forty 
or fifty men. Here he killed several friendly 
Maoris, and was instantlv pursued by a mixed 
force of Europeans from Poverty Bay and friendly 
natives. Traced to Mauganahau, his camp was 
completely surrounded, and some of the Euro- 
peans got within thirty yards of it and plainly 
saw Te Kooti — whom they well knew and hated. 
Trhey could easily have shot him, but it was 
thought better to wait till morning and capture 
all in the camp. 

In the end one of the friendly Maoris fired 
his musket as if accidentally, but undoubtedly 
with the intention of warning Te Kooti, for 
whom almost all the natives had a sneaking 
regard, and in a moment the much-sought-for 
chief had vanished in the bush, though his wife 
Huhaua was captured 

Te Kooti was now left in peace till January, 
1 87 1, when Ropata once more set out in search 
of him in his forest lair in Te Wera, and on the 



25th of that month the column reached the 
watershed between the two coasts. As an ex- 
ample of the difficulties encountered by those 
who pursued Te Kooti, the following extract 
from Mr. Gudgeon's work may be given : — 

" Te Rakiora, late Hauhau and personal friend 
of Te Kooti, acted as guide, and although he 
was travelling in his own country, so den.se was 
the (forest that he lost his way continually, 
rendering frequent halts necessary that he 
might climb trees so as to get the general direc- 
tion of their march. Nothing could be worse 
than the travelling through this country. Thick 
scrubby bush, interlaced with supplejacks, covered 
the hillsides, which were e.vcessively steep, so 
that for days the column had to follow the 
narrow beds of mountain torrents, over slippery 
rocks, where a false step might be fatal, for each 
man carried nearly forty pounds of biscuits, 
besides blankets, ammunition, etc. None of 
these things could be replaced in a black birch 
forest, where a rat can barely live, and where 
the traveller will hardly ever hear bird or insect." 

The truth of this description can be vouched 
for by those who, like the present writer, are 
familiar with the New Zealand bush. 

After following Te Kooti's traces through this 
terrible country till the 2nd of March, Ropata's 
men, who had been living on hinau berries for 
some days, knocked up, and he had to relinquish 
the pursuit, but took it up only a week or two 
later. This time he found a cave, in which Te 
Kooti had hidden six rifles, two watches, and 
some money, but the owner was not seen, though 
defiant letters from him were found in one or 
two of his lairs. In June, 187 1, four parties re- 
sumed the pursuit, the leader of one being a 
European — Captain Porter ; but they were down 
to hinau berries again by the middle of July, and 
had to return. 

In August the pursuit was resumed in two 
columns, and this time Captain Porter and 
Henare Potae surrounded at night Te Kooti's 
camp, in the wildest part of the Uriwera country, 
and lay on their arms waiting for light. A dog 
scented the ambush and barked; a woman, who 
was recognised as Te Kooti's wife Olivia, chased 
it with a stick, and at the same time Te Kooti's 
voice was heard asking what had alarmed the 
dog. " Nothing," said someone, and again all 
was quiet. Surelv they had him now ! 

No ; the inevitable warning musket was fired, 
Te Kooti shouted " Ko Ngatiporu, tenei kia whai 
morehu " (It is the Ngatiporu, save yourselves), 
and hurling himself bodily through the back 



2-6 



BATTLES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 



wall of his hut (he was far too warj- to escape by 
the door, which he knew would be watched), he 
disappeared in the bush, and never again did 
European or friendl}' Maori have a chance of 
securing vengeance for all Te Kooti's bloody 
deeds and outrages. He escaped across the 
Taupo plains to the King countn,-. His mana 
was now great, both as a fighting-man and a 
preacher, and the p