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On the 19th, I crossed first to the island on the Ganges, and then to its left bank, by a bridge of boats, which had been laboriously constructed by Captain Crommelin, Field Engineer. The enemy retired after a very feeble, in fact a nominal, resistance to his position at Mungarwara. The two brigades of my force occupied an alignment, with the right centre behind sand-hills, the centre and left on a plain extending to the road from Lucknow Ghaut to Mungarwara,
My heavy guns and baggage were passed over on the 20th. This morning I attacked the enemy, turned his right, and drove him from his position, with the loss of four guns, two of which, and the regimental colour of the 1st Bengal N. I., were captured by the volunteer cavalry in a charge headed by Sir James Outram. The loss on our side was trifling. The enemy suffered severely—about 120 were sabred by the cavalry.
Telegraphic Despatch from Sir J. Outram to the Governor- General.
Dated Baga Gunge, 22nd September, 1857. The rebels along the road are flying before our force, which marched twenty miles to-day, and yesterday fourteen miles. Their retreat was too precipitate to enable them to destroy the Bunnee Bridge. Only four guns were taken, but many have been cast into wells, and only four passed the Bunnee Bridge. Firing at Lucknow distinctly heard, and royal salutes by our 24-pounders have been fired by us to announce our approach to our friends.
Telegraphic Despatch from Sir J. Outram to the Governor- General.
Bated Lucknow Residency, 26th September, 1857. Yesterday General Havelock's force, numbering about 2,000 men of all arms, the remainder being left in charge of the sick, wounded, and baggage occupying the Alum Bagh, forced their way into the city under serious opposition. After crossing the Char Bagh bridge the troops skirted the city to the right, thereby avoiding the enemy's defensive works prepared through the entire length of the main street, leading directly to the Residency. Still much opposition had to be encountered ere we attained the Residency in the evening—just in time apparently; for now that we have examined the outside of the defences, we find that two mines had been run far under the garrison's chief works—ready for loading—which, if sprung, must have placed the garrison at their mercy. Our loss is severe, not yet correctly ascertained, but estimated at from four to five hundred killed and wounded. Among the former are General Neill, Lieutenant Well, 40th; Major Cooper, Artillery; Captain Pakenham, 84th; Lieutenant Webster, 78th; Lieutenant Bateman, 64th; and Lieutenant Warren, 12th Irregular Cavalry. . Among the latter, Lieutenant Havelock, Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General; Major Tytler, Deputy QuartermasterGeneral, and many others.
To-day the troops are occupied in taking the batteries bearing on the garrison, which have been held till now assaulted, and continued occasionally to fire on the Residency. Since our junction with the garrison last night many thousands of the enemy have deserted the city
I send lists of survivors in the garrison, . . . also list of the dead.
[The notifications and despatches that now follow do not require any elucidation on the part of the editor; for the correspondence following the despatches will fully tell the tale of the relief of Lucknow, when read in connection with the despatches.]
"2nd October, 1857.
The Governor-General in Council rejoices to announce that information has been this day received from Major-General Sir James Outram, G.C.B., showing that the Residency at Lucknow was in the possession of Major-General Havelock's Force on the 25th ultimo, and that the garrison is saved.
Rarely has a commander been so fortunate as to relieve, by his success, so many aching hearts, or to reap so rich a reward of gratitude as will deservedly be offered to Major-General Havelock and his gallant band, wherever their triumph shall become known.
The Governor-General in Council tenders to Sir James Outram and to Major-General Havelock his earnest thanks and congratulations upon the joyful result of which a merciful Providence has made them the chief instruments.
The Governor-General in Council forbears to observe further upon information which is necessarily imperfect; but he cannot refrain from expressing the deep regret with which he hears of the death of Brigadier-General Neill, of the 1st Madras European Fusiliers, of which it is to he feared that no doubt exists.
Brigadier-General Neill, during his short hut active career in Bengal, had won the respect and confidence of the Government of India; he had made himself conspicuous as an intelligent, prompt, self-reliant soldier, ready of resource and stout of heart; and the GovernorGeneral in Council offers to the Government and to the army of Madras, his sincere condolence upon the loss of one who was an honour to the service of their Presidency.
By order of the Governor-General of India in Council.
R. J. H. Birch, Colonel,
Secretary to the Government of India, in the Military Department.
With reference to the preceding General Order by the Bight Honourable the Governor-General in Council, No. 1,543, of this day's date, and in recognition of the heroism of the defenders of the Residency at Lucknow, the Right Honourable the Governor-General in Council hereby orders that—
1. Every officer and soldier, European and native, who has formed part of the garrison of the Residency, between the 29th of June and the 25th of September last, shall receive six months' batta.
2. Every civilian in the Covenanted Service of the East India Company, who has taken part in the defence of the Residency, within the above-named dates, shall receive six months' batta, at a rate calculated according to the military rank with which his standing corresponds.
3. Every uncovenanted civil officer or volunteer who has taken a like part, shall receive six months' batta, at a rate to be fixed according to the functions and position which may have been assigned to him.
4. Every native commissioned and non-commissioned officer and soldier who has formed part of the garrison, shall receive the Order of Merit, with the increase of pay attached thereto, and shall be permitted to count three years of additional service.
5. The soldiers of the 13th, 48th, and 71st Regiments N. L, who have been part of the garrison, shall be formed into a Regiment of the Line, to be called the Regiment of Lucknow, the further constitution of which, as regards officers and men, will be notified hereafter.
R. J. H. Birch, Colonel,
Secretary to the Govt, of India, Military Department.
By order of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, W. Mayhew, Major,
Deputy Adjutant-General of the Army.
Brigadier-General H. Havelock, to Captain H. W. Norman, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Residency, Lucknow, 80th Sept., 1857. Major-General Sir J. Outram having, with characteristic generosity of feeling, declared that the command of the force should remain in my hands, and that he would accompany it as Civil Commissioner only, until a junction could be effected with the gallant and enduring garrison of this place, I have to request that you will inform his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief that this purpose was effected on the evening of the 25th instant. But before detailing the circumstances I must refer to antecedent events. I crossed the Sye on the 22nd instant, the bridge at Bunnee not having been broken. On the 23rd, I found myself in presence of the enemy, who had taken a strong position, his left resting on the enclosure of the Alum Bagh, and his centre and right drawn up behind a chain of hillocks. The head of my column at first suffered from the fire of his guns, as it was compelled to pass along the Trunk Road between morasses, but as soon as my regiments could be deployed along his front, and his right enveloped by my left, victory declared for us, and we captured five guns. Sir J. Outram, with his accustomed gallantry, passed on in advance, close down to the canal. But as the enemy fed his artillery with guns from the city, it was not possible to maintain this, or a less advanced position for a time taken up; but it became necessary to throw our right on the Alum Bagh, and refuse our left, and even then we were incessantly cannonaded throughout the 24th; and the enemy's cavalry, 1,500 strong, crept round through lofty cultivation, and made a sudden irruption upon the baggage massed in our rear. The soldiers of the 90th, forming the baggage guard, received them with great gallantry, but lost some brave officers and men, shooting down, however, twenty-five of the troopers, and putting the whole body to flight. They were finally driven to a distance by two guns of Captain Olpherts' battery.
The troops had been marching for three days under a perfect deluge of rain, irregularly fed, and badly housed in villages. It was thought necessary to pitch tents, and permit them to halt on the 24th. The assault on the city was deferred until the 25th. That morning our baggage and tente were deposited in the Alum Bagh, under an escort, and we advanced. The 1st Brigade, under Sir James Outram's personal leading, drove the enemy from a succession of gardens and walled enclosures, supported by the 2nd Brigade, which I accompanied. Both brigades were established on the canal at the brigade of Char Bagh.
From this point the direct road to the Residency was something less than two miles; but it was known to have been cut by trenches, and crossed by palisades at short intervals, the houses also being all loopholed. Progress in this direction was impossible; so the united column pushed on, detouring along the narrow road which skirts the left bank of the canal. Its advance was not seriously interrupted until it had come opposite the King's Palace, or the Kaiser Bagh, where two guns and a body of mercenary troops were entrenched. From this entrenchment a fire of grape and musketry was opened, under which nothing could live. The artillery and troops had to pass a bridge partially under its influence; but were then shrouded by the buildings adjacent to the palace of Fureed Buksh. Darkness was coming on, and Sir James Outram at first proposed* to halt within the courts of the Mehal for the night; but I esteemed it to be of such'importance to let the beleaguered garrison know that succour was at hand, that, with his ultimate sanction, I directed the main body of the 78th Highlanders and Regiment of Ferozepore to advance. This column rushed on with a desperate gallantry, led by Sir James Outram and myself, and Lieutenants Hudson and Hargood, of my staff, through streets of flat-roofed, loop-holed houses, from which a perpetual fire was kept up, and overcoming every obstacle, established itself within the enclosure of the Residency. The joy of the garrison may be more easily conceived than described; but it was not till the next evening that the whole of my troops, guns, tumbrils, and sick and wounded, continually exposed to the attacks of the enemy, could be brought step by step within this enceinte and the adjacent palace of the Fureed Buksh. To form an adequate idea of the obstacles overcome reference must be made to the events that are known to have occurred at Buenos Ay res and Saragossa. Our advance was through streets of houses such as I have described, and thus each forming a separate fortress. I am filled with surprise at the success of the operation, which demanded the efforts of 10,000 good troops. The advantage gained has cost us dear. The killed, wounded, and missing, the latter being wounded soldiers, who I much fear, some
* This point will be found adverted to in the letter from Sir James Outram to the Commander-in-Chief which follows.