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them his Correspondence, both epistolary and telegraphic, which ho had maintained during the recent stirring events, and which was then scattered through voluminous blue-books, inaccessible newspaper files, and isolated pamphlets and memoirs.
Any publication of his despatches and correspondence, Sir James, however, promptly and peremptorily declined; and it was not till after much solicitation that he agreed to have them reprinted at his own expense, for distribution among his more immediate friends: and in making this qualified concession, he stipulated that, with his own Despatches, should be given those of his brother Generals.
But the pressure of his official duties utterly precluded Sir James preparing the promised volume for the press, and he forwarded the materials to his confidential agents, Messrs. Smith, Elder and Co., with a request that they should endeavour "to reduce the chaotic mass to order, ruthlessly commit the rubbish to the flames, print only what was likely to interest the friends to whom the volume was to be presented, and obtain the sanction of the India authorities in England for the distribution of the volume."
Messrs. Smith, Elder and Co. placed Sir James Outram's despatches and correspondence in the hands of a literary gentleman of military knowledge and experience, whom they authorized to exercise his own discretion as to what should be preserved and what rejected; and they requested him to furnish such introductory and connective remarks as he might deem indispensably necessary for the due elucidation of the text.
On the 6th February, 1856, the memorable Proclamation was issued by the Indian Government decreeing the annexation of Oude. The execution of the decree was entrusted to Sir James Outram, the British Resident at the Court of Lucknow, and it was carried into effect without resistance. The late Resident became Chief Commissioner of the newly-acquired territory; but he had scarcely succeeded in organizing its civil administration, when failing health compelled him to repair to England. While in this country, he was selected by her Majesty's Ministers for the united military and diplomatic command of the Persian expedition. His appointment as Chief Commissioner of Oude, which the new preferment necessarily vacated, was bestowed on the late Sir Henry Lawrence, and Sir James Outram and his friends believed that he had bidden a final adieu to Oude. But it was otherwise ordered. The Persian war was rapidly brought to a close, and Sir James Outram was, on his return to India, called upon to exercise his military talents in the province he had so recently ruled in peace.
The example set by the mutineers of Meerut and Delhi had been followed by their brethren in other parts of India. Within a month, the whole of Hindostan, from Calcutta to Peshawur, was in a flame, and the sepoy army of Bengal had ceased to exist as a regular and disciplined force. India had been, to a great extent, denuded of British troops; in the first place, owing to the exigencies of the Russian war, and subsequently by having been called upon to furnish the Persian expeditionary force. The o 'b
utmost energies of the Government were taxed to prevent the communication between Bengal Proper and the Upper Provinces from being effectually interrupted by the rebels, before the arrival of reinforcements; for which requisitions had been made to the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay, to the Governors of Ceylon, Mauritius, and the Cape, and to the officers in command of the expedition then en route for China. The territories under the Presidency of Bengal somewhat resemble in shape an hour-glass, of which Allahabad and Benares represent the narrow middle, being straitened by mountains in the west, and the turbulent province of Oude on the east. At these two important towns all the great roads between the upper and lower provinces meet. Benares, the focus of Hindoo fanaticism, was without a European soldier; whilst the Fort of Allahabad, which commands both the Grand Trunk Road and the Ganges and Jumna at their point of junction, was garrisoned by a few sepoys and a body of native artillerymen.
Under these critical circumstances, the Government, leaving the reduction of Delhi to the force which Sir John Lawrence had sent from the Punjaub, concentrated their efforts in hurrying up troops to the nearest points of immediate danger. The affair admitted no delay, for it was obvious that if the native troops in Oude,'with or without the support of the warlike chiefs of that country, had made themselves masters of Allahabad—which might have been accomplished, notwithstanding all the efforts of the small body of European pensioners whom Sir Henry Lawrence had, with his wonted promptitude and on his own responsibility, ordered to repair there—the upper and the lower provinces would have been effectually isolated from each other. Happily for us, the mutineers acted neither wisely nor in concert: the mutiny at Lucknow, which occurred on May 30th, was, through the prompt and wise measures of Sir Henry Lawrence, restricted to a portion of the troops; and its result was humiliating to the mutineers, who were driven to ignominious flight, and, instead of hastening to Allahabad, sought sympathy and refuge at the different military stations in Oude. The troops at Benares delayed their emeute, till the arrival of Colonel Neill on the 4th of June insured their utter defeat; and though the 6th Regiment at Allahabad, on the same day, murdered their European officers, and perpetrated other atrocities, the surviving English fell back on the fort; for which the wise foresight and promptitude of Sir Henry Lawrence had secured a small European garrison. Here, with the aid of Brasyer's gallant Sikhs, they held their own, till the arrival of Neill, who, on procuring adequate reinforcements from Benares, had started off at the head of a flying column for the release of Allahabad. On the 12th of June he entirely defeated the mutineers, who broke and fled, but his want of cavalry rendered pursuit impossible. Thus Benares and Allahabad were saved, and the communication secured between the latter place and Calcutta.
But Cawnpore was now in the hands of the mutineers, who, under the command of the infamous Nana, had been besieginc the gallant Wheeler and his heroic band from June 5 th; the British inhabitants of Lucknow, also, were preparing to resist the attack on their position which Sir Henry Lawrence had long seen to be inevitable. Ere Neill could advance to Wheeler's succour, that brave but too confiding officer and his garrison had fallen victims to a fiendish act of treachery; and within a few days of that event the Lucknow garrison had entered on their ever memorable " defence."
On the 30th June, Colonel Neill was superseded by BrigadierGeneral Havelock, who had recently returned from Persia, where Sir James Outram had obtained for him a divisional command. General Havelock left Allahabad on this occasion at the head of 2,000 Europeans, consisting of the 64th Regiment, the 78th Highlanders, the Madras Fusiliers, and a company of Royal Artillery; and on the 12th July, he attacked the insurgents, 15,000 strong, capturing eleven guns, and scattering their forces in utter confusion in the direction of Lucknow. In this battle, known by the name of Futtehpore, not a single European was wounded. But while this engagement was taking place, a terrible catastrophe occurred at Cawnpore: Nana Sahib had ordered the murder of all his prisoners. Thus, when Havelock, after having thrice beaten the enemy in the field and captured fifteen of his guns, re-took Cawnpore, cheered by the prospect of rescuing his captive countrymen and countrywomen, he found that he had arrived too late for aught but vengeance.
On the 20th July General Havelock was joined by General Neill at the head of 1,000 Europeans, and the combined force moved on Bithoor, the fort which the British Government had presented to Nana Sahib, and the usual residence of that miscreant. This was found to be evacuated. General Havelock then advanced in the hope of being able to relieve the garrison of Lucknow, who continued resolutely to hold their weak and straggling entrenchment amid dangers that may well have appalled the bravest, and difficulties that were.all but insurmountable. On the 29th, he gained a decisive victory over the rebels, 10,000 strong, at Oonao, and on the same day he pushed on to Busserut Gunge, where he gained another victory. But the want of reinforcements, and the influence of the weather, thwarted the efforts of this "hero of antique grandeur," and of his devoted troops. He was at last compelled to fall back and cut his way through the enemy to Cawnpore, where he arrived, with scarcely 900 men, on the 11th September. Here he entrenched himself, while awaiting the arrival of his friend and former chief. Sir James Outram, on his arrival at Calcutta, was at once placed in command of the Dinapore and Cawnpore divisions of the army, and at the same time was nominated to the Chief Commissionership of Oude; which office had then been vacant for some weeks, owing to the lamented deaths of Sir Henry Lawrence and his interim successor Major Banks.
The following Despatches illustrate the events in which Sir James Outram more or less participated subsequently to his nomination to the Dinapore and Cawnpore divisions on August 5th, 1857. But these are not the despatches of Sir James alone: they embrace those of Sir Colin Campbell, Sir Henry Have