Saturday, March 26, 2011












On 29 December 2008, Abdul Ghafoor Rekki Baloch smashed his vehicle (DoHazar Toyota Pickup) in the morning parade of Iranian soldiers and detonated 2000 kilogram of C4 explosives in the town of Sarawan Iranian-occupied Balochistan.

Confirm reports say 150 Iranian soldiers died in the attack. Many more Iranians have died but Iranians are not giving the true figure of casualties.


Friday, March 25, 2011



You again confirm my view by saying the US has right to retaliate whereas the US has no business being in Pakistan. You are not prepared to answer the question if the CIA and ISI are NOT in this game together, how come the US has supplied arms worth about 12 billion dollars to Pak Army. 

You also do not answer the question if ISI and the CIA are really in conflict, how come the drone flight take off from Pakistan? The trouble is your arguments sound like the mouth piece of US public stance and you refuse to see that both the ISI and CIA are in this together? Are they or they not? 

That is the question. I won't comment on your ignorance comment. Let the readers decide who is rational, logical, and coherent! I did not accuse you of USAID funded. Pls read my email again carefully. You don't do any service to your credibility by hurling insults! Come up with a clear answers to questions above if you really are serious about the discussion.

Farrukh Siddiqui

-----Original Message----- 

From: Farhat Taj <>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 07:24:12
To: <

Subject: Re: Drone attacks - a joint CIA-ISI double game

Your argument is straight out of your ignorance about Waziristan and myself.
You constantly refuse to admit it despite my encouragement to go to Waziristan
or at least meet the Waziristan people based in DIK, Tank etc and see the
ISI-imposed Nazi concentration camp like situation in which people of
Waziristan live. 

I have been speaking out of my love for my land. But now you have engaged
yourself in personal attacks on me. I am not into the business of any USAID
funded projects, have never been so. On his part the moderator is encouraged to
make some investigation about my any connections with USIAD. Because from now onwards I would request the moderator to check this attitude of making this
kind of baseless allegations against me out of figments of sick mentalities
or do not expect me to carry on discussions on this important issue.

Regarding the latest attack and media 'fanfare' around it- this is again- just
as in past a propaganda to mislead the world and Pakistani outside FATA about
the ground reality. You will never understand- because you seem to have no
capability for that- but let me repeat for reasonable/rational members of the
forum that the tribal society in Waziristan is hostage. 

The  military/intelligence authority order any people there they choose to say
whatever they dictate them in front of media and they simply do it. The current
media uproar is one of them. Those who would refuse to do so, have been target
killed long ago from the face of Waziristan. Fear of targeted killing constantly
hang on all, rich or poor, people of Waziristan whether in Waziristan or
elsewhere in Pakistan. 

This latest attack happened in a far flung area and it will take some time
before I could have some independent information about it. But let me say that
from what I know for now it was an attack targeted at Hafiz Gul Bahader men.
Assuming some civilians died in this attack (I repeat assuming), the tribesmen
will hold ISI responsible for that. Gul Bahadar is ISI's 'strategic asset'
attacking the US forces in Afghanistan. 

The US thus has a right to retaliate and kill them. It is the ISI, not the US, killing people. People in Waszristan want  (although they can't publicly say in media due to fear of targeted killing) that the ISI must remove its strategic assets to Rawalpind. 

Let Rawalpindi also taste some drone attacks. Rawalpinid is not far flung like Waziristan and in full  watch of media. Only then then people- like the sender of this email, would see how precise are the drone attacks. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The Lucknow Campaign-1857-58
Chapter Eight The Siege of Lucknow Residency

We have earlier discussed in brief the situation at Lucknow in a previous chapter. The Composition of European troops at Lucknow was One Infantry Regiment and One Artillery Company while there were Four Infantry, two Cavalry and five Native Artillery units On 3rd May 7th Oudh Irregular Infantry was dispersed/disarmed after its refusal to use greased cartridges380.

 Thereafter, Sir Henry Lawrence started making serious preparations against a likely siege by the rebel Sepoys. The Garrison was located in an old fort Machhi Bhawan, however, Lawrence selected the Residency and surrounding buildings to be defended and held in case a popular outbreak in Lucknow.

Sir Henry Lawrence

 He also dumped a large quantity of ammunition and rations in the residency area. Things, however, remained calm till news of outbreak at Cawnpore reached Lawrence on 23rd of May. By 25th Lawrence was ready to face a likely siege of the Residency by rebel Sepoys.

On the night of 30th May almost all native troops in Lucknow rebelled but were successfully defeated and dispersed by Lawrence on 31st May. About 800 troops however remained loyal to the Britishers. These included about 80 pensioners who had earlier been invited by Lawrence to re-enlist. Lawrence, however, succeeded in keeping Lucknow calm although the surrounding area encompassing the whole of Oudh went into complete rebellion. On 28th June, Lawrence received information about surrender of Cawnpore's tiny garrison which was surrounded by Sepoys led by Nana Sahib (adopted son of the Last Marhatta Peshwa).

On 29th Lawrence learnt that Sepoys were threatening Lucknow from northeast via the Faizabad Road. On 30th he mustered about 700 troops and marched northeast but was defeated with heavy losses381 at Chinhat 8 miles northeast of Lucknow following which Lawrence hastily retreated towards Lucknow.

On 1st of July feeling that he could not hold both Machhi Bhawan and the Residency keeping in view his limited strength, Lawrence withdrew the garrison to the Residency. The British also blew up the magazine in Machhi Bhawan which contained about 240 barrels of gun powder and 50 lakh rounds of Ball and Gun ammunition .The Siege of the Lucknow thus commenced from 2nd of July 1857382. The British strength of Combatants/Non Combatants in the Residency was as following383 :-

a. Fighting Men
(1) Europeans - 1008.
(2) Natives       - 712 (230 deserted during the siege).
b. Non Combatants
      1280 (including 600 European women and children).
Orientation with the City of Lucknow and the Residency Defences

Lucknow was the capital of Oudh state since 1775. It occupied an area of about twelve square miles and its population varied between 600,000 to 700,000384. River Gumti flowed north of the city from northwest to southeast. There were, however, some suburbs of the city north of the river also.

The city was full of Palaces and Gardens built on the western style by various rulers of Oudh. Most prominent of these was the Kaisar Bagh completed in 1850 by Wajid Ali Shah385. North of it was the old Palace Chattar Manzil on right bank of Gumti.
King Ghazi Ud Din Haidar

To the south and east of the city was the Ghazi-ud-Din Haider canal built during the reign of Ghazi-ud-Din Haider(1814-27) with the purpose of bringing water from Ganges river in the South to river Gumti which it hardly ever probably did386. East of the canal was the Dilkusha Bagh Palace a hunting lodge built during the reign of Saadat Ali Khan (1798-1814)387.

The Palace was surrounded by very thick vegetation and was located on an elevated piece of ground. In 1830 an Englishman made a balloon ascent here in presence of King Nasir-ud-Din Haider and large number of his courtiers 388.

 Other famous buildings of the city were the Bara Imambara built around 1784389, the Shah Najaf Masoulem, Sikandar Bagh, Farhat Baksh Palace and the Kaddam-i-Rasul Mosque.

The Gumti was spanned by two bridges i.e. Stone Bridge built in 1780 (Refers - Ibid.Page 192) and the Iron Bridge built in the reign of King Amjad Ali (1842-1847).

This Bridge had a very interesting history, its iron structure was imported from England in 1798 only 20 years after the first Iron Bridge of its kind was constructed in England. However, due to poor Engineering knowledge it could not be launched till finally Amjad Ali approached the East India Company's Bengal Army Engineers who finally constructed it 390.

Amjad Ali Shah

The Residency originally built in 1780 was located in the northern part of the city and its building and surrounding area occupied the highest elevation dominating the city.

The surrounding buildings were connected with earthworks of mud wood and iron to form a perimeter about a mile in total length. The southern and western perimeter had buildings of great strength serving as a protection against artillery fire.

 The ground between the Water Gate and the Hospital was protected by a ditch and a low embankment of earth whose height was increased till breast level with the help of sandbags. The ground towards the western side was rugged and sloped down towards a ravine which flowed south to north into the Gumti. Many buildings towards the east and south outside the Residency perimeter area were as close as 25 yard from the perimeter.

The three sides of the Residency Area Defences were surrounded by native houses which nullified the possibility of attacking in deployed formation but were excellent for snipers and sharpshooters. Only the northern side was open and afforded space for forming up to mount an assault on the Residency Defences. The Redan Battery on the northern side was primarily against a Sepoy assault from the north.

This battery jutted out from the alignment of main defences like a bastion to enable flanking fire against any force assaulting the Residency. This Battery had two eighteen pounder and one nine pounder guns supported by seven guns of smaller calibre on the surrounding walls.

About 150 yards south of the Redan Battery was the Residency building itself where 50 European Troops were located as a reserve. The Hospital to the east of Water Gate had three mortars. The Bailie Guard was again covered by three guns. Two guns were located in the Fayrer's House area and four to cover the post office area. The Cawnpore Battery had two nine pounders and one eighteen pounder.

The Gubbin's Battery had one nine pounder and subsequently an 18 pounder mounted on it. In all, the Britishers used about fifteen guns and seven mortars as their artillery support at one time though they also had about 200 guns of various calibres confiscated from the ex King of Oudh's Arsenal391. The guns were not used because of manpower constraints.

Siege of Residency from July to September 1857

A modern British author in the habit of forever magnifying Sepoy strength placed the strength of the Residency's besiegers at between eight to ten thousand392.

However, Fortescue393 places the Sepoy strength at 6,000 though still being reinforced; against British strength of about seventeen hundred. The Sepoy regiments retained their military formation and in addition were reinforced by soldiers from Oudh State's army.

What hampered the Sepoys and which proved to be the ultimate salvation of the British was lack of experienced leadership. Instead of concentrating artillery fire on vulnerable points of the Residency defences which could easily be breached they kept on firing haphazardly and also did not bother to coordinate their fire with the assaults. Instead the Sepoys resorted to driving underground mines to breach the Residency defences.

However, this method was more time consuming and less effective than direct artillery fire. An interesting part of the siege were the Sikhs inside the Residency who kept contact with the Sepoys and smuggled Opium inside the Residency which was used by the besieged troops in plenty394)! The first important event of the siege was the death of Sir Henry Lawrence.

He died due to wounds received from an 8 inch shell on 4th July. Major Banks succeeded him as Chief Commissioner and Colonel Inglis of 32nd Foot assumed the military command. However, Inglis became both civil as well as military commander after Major Banks was killed by a Musket shot on 21st July. Another interesting aspect of the siege were the Sepoy sharpshooters most famous of whom was one African from Oudh's kings disbanded Army named by the Britishers as Bob the Nailer (because he used to put nails in his musket shots).

A special mine was dug by British to destroy the House which this marksman used as his post as a result of which he was killed on 21st August, Dr. Brydon the only survivor of the Kabul Brigade of First Afghan war to reach Jalalabad was also one of the Residency Garrison members 396!

The Sepoys attempted to drive underground mine galleries to create a breach and the British led by Captain Fulton of Engineers did efficient countermining. On 20th July the Sepoys succeeded in blowing a mine but missed the Redan Battery by about hundred feet.

Thus their subsequent assault based on the mistaken premise that they had effected a breach in the Redan Battery area on 20th July was repulsed. On night of 23rd July Angad Tewari a Hindu pensioner whose fees per trip were 500 Pounds Sterling397 (Refers - Ibid. Page 176). brought the news to the Residency about Sir Havelock's relieving force's capture of Cawnpore.

 Meanwhile Colonel Inglis firmly curbed an attempt by a civil servant Gubbins to the claim that as senior civil servant he was the acting Chief commissioner of Oudh and held civil as well as military command! Inglis declared that the office of Chief Commissioner was vacant and the Residency was under Martial Law398!

On 10th August the Sepoys succeeded in exploding an underground mine below the Sikh Square 100 yards west of Cawnpore Battery and in creating a breach through which they made a determined assault. However, the Sepoys were again repulsed with heavy losses.

On 18th August another underground mine breach was created but the Sepoy assault was again repulsed. Further assaults were attempted till 5th September but with little success till news of Havelock's force turned the attention of the besiegers. An interesting part of the siege was the presence of State prisoners in the Residency.

These were the ex King Wajid Ali Shah's elder brother Mustafa Ali Khan, two Mughal Princes Mirza Mohammad Shikoh and Mohammad Humayun Khan, Nawab Rukn-ud-Daula and the Raja of Tulsipur. The Sepoys did not spare any nook or corner of the Residency area with their artillery and musket fire save the rooms north of the Hospital area where these prisoners were lodged399!

On 23rd September the besieged Garrison heard the sound of Havelock's relieving force's gun from the direction of Cawnpore. By the night of 25/26 September Havelock's relieving force entered the Residency through the Bailie Guard gate after being under tough siege for 87 days. The strength of the Garrison's fighting men during this period was reduced from 1,720 to 1,172400.

Chapter Nine
Havelock's First Relief of Lucknow-June-September 1857
Sir Henry Havelock (1795-1857) had forty one years of service and was a veteran of Burma, First Afghan War, Gwalior and Sikh wars. In addition he was a figure of considerable literary merit,having written a book on the First Afghan War. He was appointed to command the force assembled for relief of Cawnpore and Lucknow on 24th June superseding Colonel Neill who had already reached Allahabad on 9th of July from Calcutta. Colonel Neill from the Madras Army had marched from Calcutta around 25th May and had pacified Benares and Allahabad.

 On 30th June he despatched Major Renaud with a force of 800 men on towards Cawnpore as an advance guard401. The same day Havelock arrived at Allahabad and assumed command. On 3rd July news of fall of Cawnpore Garrison surrounded by Sepoys reached Allahabad. On 7th July Havelock moved from Allahabad with about 1,000 European Troops (64th Foot, 84th Foot, 78th Highlanders, 102nd Madras Fusiliers), 130 Sikhs and six guns402. Havelock overtook Major Renaud on 12th July four miles from Fatehpur.

Thereafter, Havelock marched towards Cawnpore routing the rebel Sepoys in various minor engagements with a major engagement at Maharajpur on 16th July where he turned the Left flank of Nana Sahib who had a force of 5,000 troops, and defeating him, finally entered Cawnpore on the next day.

On 19th July he sent a force to capture Bithur near Cawnpore. The Sepoys had destroyed the Bridge of Boats on the Ganges over which Havelock could move northwards to relieve Lucknow. Havelock therefore collected boats and ferried his force across the river which during this season was about a mile wide. Thus on 25th July Havelock marched towards Lucknow 40 miles north of Cawnpore leaving Colonel Neill to defense a fortified position near Ganges river with 300 men. Havelock had the following Force403 :-
a. 64 Foot, 78 High landers &
102 Fusiliers - 1,200 men
b. Sikhs - 300 men
c. Royal Horse Artillery - 10 Guns

On 26th July he reached Mangalwar about five and half miles north of Cawnpore. On 29th July he marched to Unao three miles ahead and routed a Sepoy Force of around 5,000 men, after which he moved to the town of Bashirat Ganj about seven miles ahead where he defeated another Sepoy Force. However by nightfall on 29th July Havelock's Force was reduced from 1,500 to 850 due to battle casualties and weather casualties in the shape of Heatstroke.

Havelock, therefore, now decided to retire to Mangalwar and wait for reinforcements which were now delayed due to the Sepoy outbreak at Dinapur. Havelock retreated south and reached Mangalwar on July 31st. Here he received an insolent letter from Neill who although Havelock's junior in rank as well as service admonished him for not being energetic enough!

  Havelock's answer was crisp and decisive....'You sent me back a letter of censure of my measures, reproof and advice for the future. I do not want and will not receive any of them from an officer under my command, be his experience what it may. Understand this distinctly, and that a consideration of the obstruction that would arise to the public service at this moment alone prevents me from taking the stronger step of placing you under arrest. You now stand warned. Attempt no further dictation. I have my own reasons, which I will not communicate to anyone, and I alone am responsible for the course which I have pursued404.'

On 4th August, Havelock after getting some reinforcements again started for Lucknow with about 1,400 men405. He again defeated the Sepoys at Bashirat Ganj on 5th August and subsequently in certain other minor actions but was forced to return to Cawnpore on 13th August, once news of a Sepoy force threatening Cawnpore from Bithur reached him. Havelock marched towards Bithur 8 miles from Cawnpore and defeated the Sepoy force on 16th August406.

In the meantime Sir James Outram had been appointed commander of both Cawnpore and Dinapur Divisions.

 However Outram was still travelling on route from Calcutta to Cawnpore. On 20th August Havelock sent a message to Commander-in-Chief, Bengal Army located at Calcutta that unless he was immediately reinforced, he would be forced to abandon Cawnpore and withdraw towards Allahabad407. Havelock's position at this moment indeed was very serious.

The Gwalior Contingent numbering 8,000 men had raised the standard of rebellion on 14th June. Since then it had remained at Morar 4 miles from Gwalior; but lately Havelock had received information that it could threaten Cawnpore via Kalpi which was 40 miles south of Cawnpore.

In addition another Sepoy Force was present at Farkhabad and was likely to threaten Cawnpore. And finally to make things more adverse there was a Sepoy Force at Dalmau Ghat threatening Fatehpur408 i.e. Havelock's communications with Allahabad. As a result of Havelock's frantic message reinforcements soon started pouring in and resultantly the British position at Cawnpore was stabilised.

Outram (1803-1863) who was younger in age from Havelock also known as 'Bayard of India' was basically a soldier but had been seconded to the political service. He had performed important political duties during the First Afghan War and subsequently as Resident at Sindh and in Oudh. Being a man of character he had opposed his seniors against the annexation of Sindh which he considered to be unjust409.

He also had led the successful expedition to Persia in 1856. Outram had been appointed Commander of Cawnpore and Dinapur Divisions as well as Chief Commissioner of Oudh. To take up these duties he arrived at Allahabad from Calcutta on 1st of September and reached Cawnpore on 15th of September. Outram was Havelock's Senior during the Persian expedition ,but on reaching Cawnpore he announced that Havelock would remain the commander of the force assembled for relief of Lucknow while he would just accompany Havelock as a volunteer and in his civil capacity as Chief Commissioner of Oudh410

 In actual practice, however, Outram continued interfering with Havelock's exercise of command which irritated Havelock and at times made the pace of conduct of British operations slow and conusing411. for the relief of Lucknow. On 18th and 19th September his Force again crossed the Ganges and on 21st defeated a Sepoy Force opposing their advance at Mangalwar412. The same night Havelock's Force reached Basharat Ganj and encamped there.

On 22nd Havelock's Force marched northwards towards Sai River which during this period of the year is a complete water obstacle. However, the retreating Sepoys had in haste left the bridge over it intact enabling Havelock's Forces safe passage. Thus by evening of 22nd Havelock's Force reached Bani a village north of Sai and camped there. On 23rd Havelock's Force reached Alam Bagh on the outskirts of Lucknow after routing another Sepoy Force a little north of Bani413.

Havelock had various options as far as selection of route for reaching the Residency was concerned; however the final choice was made by Outram who was the last British Resident at Lucknow in 1856 and knew the area well. The direct route i.e. the Cawnpore road was ruled out as it involved continuous fighting in built up area and was the most expected route of British advance by the Sepoys defending Lucknow. The second option of going right via Dilkusha Bagh or via Faizabad Road after crossing the Gumti near Dilkusha was impracticable due to bad cross country going as a result of heavy rains which made the passage of British guns difficult.

The route finally selected was via Char Bagh Bridge after crossing which a road was to be adopted which turned east towards the canal and went northwards along the canal till open country was reached near Sikandar Bagh and subsequently turning westwards to finally reach the Residency via the open space between Kaisar Bagh Palace and the Gumti River. The Sepoys devoid of even rudimentary tactical common sense or insight were on the other hand expecting Havelock to adopt the most direct route via the Cawnpore Road. Thus all Sepoy defences and artillery were only covering the Cawnpore Road from Char Bagh till the Residency414.

On the morning of 25th Havelock left 250 men and his heavy baggage at Alam Bagh under Colonel Mc Intyre of 78th Highlanders. The Char Bagh was stormed and captured after a tough fight in which Havelock's son almost got killed. Havelock's Force now crossed the canal and turned right and subsequently northwards along the canal.

 They encountered little opposition till they reached the Begum Kothi where they were again showered by a hail of musket and artillery fire. They were now about a mile from the Residency. Tough fighting continued as the British advance inched forward till they reached Farhat Baksh Palace about 500 yards from the Residency.

Here another segment of the British force which had lost their way in the streets joined them. At this juncture Outram proposed a halt but Havelock overruled 415 the proposal and ordered an immediate advance. Advance was again resumed and soon Colonel Neill was shot through the head and killed.
Lal Bagh where Neill was shot dead

By nightfall Havelock's Force entered the Residency via the Bailie Guard Gate. However, Havelock from the morning had suffered enormous casualties and his force proved to be a reinforcement and not a relieving Force as it was originally meant to be.

Havelock' relief force of roughly 2,000 men on the 25th of September suffered casualties amounting to 31 Officers and 504 men killed and wounded416. Havelock's Force was however able to extend the defended area of the Residency after capturing various palaces towards the east.
380Page-14-Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit.
381Pages-741 to 744-Henry Beveridge-Vol-III-Op Cit and Pages-73 & 74 -Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit.
382Page-64-Battles of the Indian Mutiny-Op Cit.
383Page-255-History of Indian Mutiny-Volume-One-G.W Forrest-Op Cit.
384Page-34- A Season in Hell- Michael Edwards-London-1977
385Page-186- The Mutiny Records-Oudh and Lucknow- 1857-58 Edward.H.Hilton- Lucknow-1911-Reprinted- Oriental Publishers Lahore-1975.
386 Page-181-Ibid.
387 Page-178-Ibid.
388 Ibid.
389 Page-194-Ibid.
390 Page-192-Ibid.
391 Page-73-A Season in Hell-Op Cit
392 Page-76-Ibid.
393 Page-281-J.W Fortescue-Vol- XIII-Op Cit.
394 Page-98-A Season in Hell-Op Cit.
395 Page-87-The Mutiny Records- Oudh and Lucknow-Op Cit.
396 Page-143-A Season in Hell-Op Cit.
397 Page-176-Ibid.
398 Page-116-Ibid.
399 Page-92-Mutiny Records-Oudh & Lucknow-Op Cit.
400 Page-76-Fitz Gerald and Lee- Op Cit.Gubbins who was inside gave a different figure.According to him the Garrison was original- ly 1, 692 strong; 927 Europeans and 765 Natives..350 Europeans and 133 Natives were killed. 230 Natives deserted. Thus a total of 713 men were lost in killed/deserted.When Havelock relieved the Garrison ,the total strength of the original Garrison was 979 (including sick and wounded) out of which 577 were Europeans and 4 0 2 were Natives (Quoted by-Henry Beveridge-Page-821- Henry Beveridge-Volume-III).
401 Pages-59 & 60-Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit . Pages-282,283 & 284- J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit.
402 Pages-60 & 61-Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit.
404 Pages-80 & 81-Battles of the Indian Mutiny-Op Cit.
405 Page-69-Fitz Gerald and Lee- Op Cit.
406 Page-69 & 70-Ibid.
407 Page-76-Ibid.
408Page-811-Henry Beveridge- Volume-III-Op Cit.
409 Page-609-Concise Oxford History of India-Op Cit.
410 Page-311-J.W Fortescue-Vol- XIII-Op Cit.
411 Page-90-Battles of the Indian Mutiny-Op Cit.
412 Pages-77 & 78 -Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit and Pages-311 to 314 - J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit.
413 Page-78-Fitz Gerald and Lee- Op Cit.
414 Pages-79,80 & 81-Ibid.
415 Page-314-J.W Fortescue-Vol- XIII-Op Cit.
416 Page-89-The Battles of the Indian Mutiny-Op Cit.

Chapter  Ten
Sir Colin Campbell’s Final Relief and Evacuation of Lucknow Residency Garrison-November 1857
Sir Colin Campbell (1792-1863) (subsequently Lord Clyde) was a soldier of considerable experience. Being a man of limited  means he had struggled upwards on his own steam which was no mean achievement in an age when Commissions of almost all ranks could be bought!

Aged 65 and with 49 years of service Campbell started with the Peninsular War against Napoleonic France, and subsequently took part in the Anglo-American War of 1814, Opium War against China, The Sikh Wars (Notably at Battle of Chillianwala where he was commanding the Left Division), Expeditions against Frontier Tribes, and most notably at the Crimean War where he was commanding the Highland Brigade during the victorious Battle of Alma417.

Campbell reached Calcutta on 13th August and on 17th assumed the charge of Commander-in-Chief. After settling pressing logistic problems at Calcutta Campbell reached Allahabad on 1st November and Cawnpore on 3rd November418.

 The strategic situation at this moment was complicated as well as critical. On one side was the Lucknow Residency Garrison which though even after being reinforced by Havelock was under heavy pressure as the Delhi Sepoys had reinforced the Lucknow Sepoys after the fall of Delhi along with the famous Bakht Khan. South of Jamna around Kalpi was the Gwalior Contingent and the Jhansi Sepoys under the leadership of Tantia Topi and Nana Sahib.

This Force was likely to threaten Cawnpore. Outram had sent a message to Campbell that the Residency Garrison could hold out till end of November, therefore, Campbell should first deal with the southern threat from Kalpi. However, Campbell decided to leave a Force of 1,050 men (500 Europeans and 550 Madras Infantry) and 9 Guns419 and advanced towards Lucknow on 9th November.

 On 10th November Kavangah a British Civilian Clerk from the Residency Garrison in native disguise with a native spy reached Campbell’s Camp at Bani with a letter from Outram about how Campbell should approach the Residency. Kavangah for this feat was awarded the first Civilian Victoria Cross, 2,000 Pounds Sterling and the coveted post of Deputy Commissioner in the Indian Civil Service420. Campbell arrived at Alam Bagh on 12th November.

Campbell now at Alam Bagh had a total Force of 4,500 men and 42 Guns. By 14th the strength with reinforcements rose to 5,000 men 421. Outram in his letter had advised Campbell to adopt the Axis Alam Bagh-Dilkusha-Martiniere-Sikandar Bagh-Residency since this route avoided most of the built up areas and specially the narrow streets. However, Campbell’s Chief Engineer suggested the route along Axis Alam Bagh-Dilkusha-Cross Gumti, hit Faizabad Road, turn west and reach Residency after crossing south over the Iron Bridge. Campbell, however, dismissed the Chief Engineers advice.

Campbell could communicate with the Residency with the help of a Semaphore erected at Alam Bagh. On 14th November Campbell started his advance towards Dilkusha which was unopposed for three miles till wall of Dilkusha Park was reached. However, by noon Dilkusha and Martiniere were occupied after brief engagements. On 15th Campbell consolidated his supplies at Dilkusha and on 16th he advanced towards the canal which he forded unopposed.

The Sepoys were deceived by British feint demonstrations made towards the Char Bagh on the previous day. Campbell’s Force now passed a village and entered a ravine which led to the eastern end of the Sikandar Bagh. Sikandar Bagh occupied an area of 130 square yards and had strong masonry walls which were loop holed. A tough battle was fought here which involved British Artillery Guns of 18 Pounder calibre firing from a range of just 80 yards422. After half an hour’s fire a three feet breach was made in the wall.

Sikandar Bagh

Gate of Sikandar Bagh

The breach was then stormed by 53rd Highlanders, 93rd Highlanders and 4th Punjab Infantry (A famous Battalion belonging to the Piffer Group). It was here that a man belonging to 4th Punjab Infantry thrust his hand into a gate about to be closed by the defending Sepoys. The gate due to this brave man could not be closed, and though his hand was badly injured facilitated the storming of this gate. 2,000 (Refers - Ibid) dead bodies of Sepoys were subsequently counted in the Sikandar Bagh.

The then 4th Punjab Battalion to this day probably for the above mentioned act wears a colourful piping signifying their loyalty to the British Raj and Pakistan Army Dress Regulations give them the legal sanction to wear this piping! However, it was afternoon by the time Sikandar Bagh was captured.

Now Campbell’s Force advanced westwards for about half a mile when they came in front of Shah Najaf an Imam Bargah with very thick walls which was held by the Sepoys in great strength. Campbell deployed Heavy Guns belonging to Peel naval brigade which pounded Shah Najaf for three hours after which it was stormed and captured after a tough fight with an assault personally led by Campbell.

 It was dark by the time Shah Najaf was captured, therefore, Campbell decided to halt. The next day advance was resumed and the Mess House and the Moti Mahal were  captured as a result of which contact was established with the extended Residency defences by evening of 17th of November423.
Outram felt that the British should not withdraw from Lucknow City and should continue to hold the Residency Defences expanding them further by capture of Kaisar Bagh.

 However, Campbell decided otherwise. Campbell knew that if the Sepoys discovered his intention of evacuating the Residency Garrison they would do all within their capabilities to obstruct him. Therefore, Campbell  made the following plan424:-

a. Occupy buildings south of Sikandar Bagh to secure his left flank before evacuation of Residency Garrison. (As done later on 18th November)
b. Evacuate the sick and non- combatants from the Residency to the Dilkusha.
c. Bombard Kaisar Bagh on 20th and 21st with Peel’s Heavy Guns to make the Sepoys think that an assault on Kaisar Bagh (Their main stronghold was inevitable).
d. Evacuate the Residency Garrison Non-Combatants to the Dilkusha Bagh on the night of 22nd November.

This plan was successfully carried out and by 23rd November the complete British Force had left the city and was in Dilkusha Bagh. (The deception bombardment against Kaisar Bagh actually resulted in its walls being breached at three different places further reinforcing the sepoy conviction that a British assault on 22nd or 23rd November was imminent.

By 24th the complete British Force was at Alam Bagh. The British lost another commander in the person of Havelock who died on 24th due to overwork and dysentery and was buried in the Alam Bagh area. Campbell during this entire operation from 14th to 23rd November lost 536 killed and wounded425. Sir John Fortescue ascribed this low figure to use of unexpected line of advance and Campbell’s successful deception plan for evacuation of the Garrison.


417 From -  The Life of Colin Campbell-Lord Clyde-Volumes One and Two- Lieutenant General L.Shadwell-Edinburgh-1881.
418 Pages-88 & 89-Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit.
419 Page-89-Ibid.
420 Page-304-Season in Hell-Op Cit. Interestingly Kavangah at this time was in heavy debt and his case had been previously referred to Lord Dalhousie the previous Viceroy for dismissal, but was turned down by Dalhousie (Page 249-Ibid).Kavangah again went into debt in 1876 and was compulsarily retired from the ICS with a pension of 500 Pounds Sterling an year!  (Page-304-Ibid)
421Pages-320 & 321-J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit.
422Pages-92,93 and 94-Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit  . Pages -321 to 326-J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit.
423 Ibid.
424Page-325 , 326 & 327-J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit.
Chapter  Eleven
The Final Capture of Lucknow-March-1858
The British had evacuated their besieged Troops at Lucknow but were not strong enough yet to recapture Lucknow. Although Troops were arriving from England, Burma, Ceylon and Persia for the recapture of Lucknow. Troops being on a sea journey to China for an expedition were also diverted to Calcutta. In the meantime Campbell decided to clear the Ganges-Jamna Doab. The crucial areas of the Doab were those around Fateh Garh West of Cawnpore and South of Rohailkhand.

A Force sent from Delhi under Brigadier Seaton and Campbell himself leading his Troops from Cawnpore pacified the complete area between Delhi Agra and Cawnpore culminating in the final capture of Fateh Garh as a result of which all rebel Sepoys were driven into Rohailkhand or Oudh. Now Campbell wanted to go into Rohailkhand. However Canning the Viceroy a firm believer in the dictum that  war is too serious a business to be left to Generals alone overruled him and ordered that political conditions demand priority for capture of   Lucknow427 .

Meanwhile Outram at Alam Bagh had been attacked by Sepoys six times between November 1857 and February 1858. Campbell had now firmly secured the river line between Fateh Garh and Delhi facilitating the passage of siege train from Agra to Cawnpore. Campbell also left a Force at Fateh Garh under Walpole to deceive the Rohailkhand Sepoys into thinking that an attack on Rohailkhand was imminent so that they should not reinforce the Sepoy position at Lucknow.

  Walpole successfully did so during the month of February. On 28th February Campbell left Cawnpore for Unao where his Force about to launch the final assault on Lucknow was being assembled. Campbell had a big Army for the final capture of Lucknow; larger than the British Forces at Chillianwala or Gujrat against Sikhs428 (or even those in First Afghan War. Again in all previous campaigns the native element had constituted the bulk of British Armies whereas here out of 17 Battalions of Infantry which formed the bulk of the Army all but two were of European origin429  . Detailed Composition of Campbell’s Force was as following430:—

(The Nepali Gurkha Contingent under Jang Bahadur had entered Oudh via Gorakhpur District and alongwith General Franks who had his own Gurkha Force was marching towards Lucknow to join Campbell’s Force431).

The Sepoys defending Lucknow meanwhile had made great improvements in the defences of Lucknow though again without tactical insight. They had constructed three strong lines of earthworks for defence of the city but left the area north of the river undefended thinking that the British would confine their operations to the south of the river.

The first line was along the canal starting from west of Char Bagh till the canal joined the river. The second line was half a mile to the rear was from the river till the Imambara in the south, whereas the third line was along the Northern and Eastern wall of Kaisar Bagh. Colonel Robert Napier Campbell’s Chief Engineer suggested that a British Force should operate north of the river to outflank the defences of Lucknow432. Campbell accepted the suggestion and gave Outram the command of the northern force. Campbell’s final plan for the capture of Lucknow was as following:-

a) Main attack under Campbell was to be launched from Dilkusha towards Kaisar Bagh South of the River via Hazrat Ganj the main street going towards Kaisar Bagh from the general direction of the canal.

b) Outram’s Force to cross the river Gumti by means of two pontoon Bridges move north till Faizabad Road and from there turn west coming towards the general direction of Iron Bridge to envelope the city from the North. This Force was also to establish Artillery Batteries along the Northern bank of the river to enfilade the Sepoy lines of defences and to provide general flanking Artillery firesupport to Campbell’s main attack.

c) The area between Char Bagh and the axis of the main attack was only to be blocked by a small force.
Campbell reached Alam Bagh on 1st of March and in the early hours of 2nd March captured Dilkusha Bagh from the Sepoys after a brief skirmish.

Campbell also established a cavalry screen of 1,600 strength between Alam Bagh and Bibipur to secure his rear logistic and artillery movements. Construction of two pontoon bridges for passage of Outram’s Force was commenced on 4th March on the Gumti north of Bibipur.

Through some planning blunder this site was within range of Sepoy Guns at La Martiniere433  though the Sepoys never exploited this great tactical advantage. Meanwhile on 4th March Brigadier Franks who had been operating in Eastern Oudh joined Campbell’s Force with his own Troops and 3,000 Nepali Gurkhas. By evening of 5th March the two pontoon bridges under construction were completed and Outram crossed the river before the dawn of 6th March so as to avoid direct artillery fire of Sepoy Guns at La Martiniere. Outram now moved north towards Faizabad Road and dispersed a Sepoy Cavalry Force which tried to obstruct his advance short of the Faizabad Road. Outram camped near Chinhat on the Faizabad Road and was again unsuccessfully attacked by a Sepoy Infantry Force on the morning of 7th March. On 8th March Outram selected sites for deployment of heavy guns which had now been brought north of the river. Outram also dispersed a Sepoy Force guarding the Northern Flank holding the Chakar Kothi north, of the First Sepoy line of defence,  on 9th of March facilitating establishment of Artillery batteries to enfilade the First Sepoy line of defence along the canal. Meanwhile Campbell under cover of Outram’s Batteries on the northern side established batteries to shell the Martiniere from the Dilkusha under whose covering fire La Martiniere was captured on 9th of March with negligible resistance due to the great volume of artillery fire on it from both sides of the river. On 10th March Campbell’s Force crossed the canal and captured the Bank’s House after a tough fight which facilitated forward movement of Campbell’s Artillery to establish Batteries to pound Begum Kothi another Sepoy strong point. Meanwhile Outram’s advance guard on the 9th of March had cleared area up to the Badshah Bagh establishing Batteries on the way. Outram’s Batteries also started shelling the Kaisar Bagh from 10th March. On 11th March Outram cleared the area up to the Iron Bridge and pushed forward till the Stone bridge but subsequently withdrew due to heavy

Sepoy Artillery fire to the Iron Bridge area. South of the river on 11th March the Begum Kothi was pounded throughout the day by heavy guns and was attacked around four in the evening by a Force comprising elements of 93rd Highlanders (Scots), 4th Punjab Infantry and about 1,000 Gurkhas.

 Subsequently Brasyer’s Sikhs were also sent in the second wave and the Begum Kothi was captured after about two hours after a tough fight and according to Sir John Fortescue about 800 bodies of Sepoys were counted inside the Begum Kothi.

It was here that Major William Hodson the murderer of Bahadur Shah’s son got his due share after being fatally wounded as a result of a musket ball in his chest. On 12th March the main body of the Nepali Gurkha Contingent arrived led by Jung Bahadur.

This Force was earmarked to clear the road leading to the Imam Bara which was another important Sepoy strong point east of Kaisar Bagh.

The Imam Bara was now pounded till the morning of 14th March by heavy guns till it was stormed and captured after a tough fight after which the Kaisar Bagh was attacked. Outram now requested Campbell for permission to cross the Iron Bridge and to move south to block the Sepoy retreat but Campbell forbade him from doing so saying that he (Outram) might do so provided that he would undertake not to lose a single man 434 .

This decision was a great blunder on Campbell’s part and greatly facilitated the withdrawal of the bulk of Sepoy force from Lucknow;  thus prolonging of the British campaign in Oudh against these Sepoys till almost 1859. The Kaisar Bagh was captured on 14th March and on 16th March at last Outram was given permission to cross the Iron Bridge and come south. Outram soon captured  the Great Imambara but was too late to stop some ten thousand Sepoys from escaping from the city.

The Sepoys cleverly left a diversionary force at Stone Bridge to attract the attention of Brigadier Walpole of Outram’s Force and crossed the river some miles upstream and after making a long detour northwards took the Faizabad Road and withdrew towards Faizabad.

By 21st March whole of the city was captured. Thus Campbell was able to achieve the political object of capturing a city which signified a deposed dynasty’s capital but failed in the military object of not allowing bulk of the Sepoy Force from escaping.

The casualties in the final capture of Lucknow were very low as compared with those sustained by the British at Delhi i.e. just 127 Officers and men killed and 595 wounded as against some 1,674 killed and wounded in the final assault on Delhi435.

However the casualties suffered in the subsequent campaign in chasing the Sepoys who had escaped from Lucknow nullified the advantage of low casualties suffered by Campbell in the final capture of Lucknow.

 Thus British casualties in the subsequent campaign to hunt the Lucknow Sepoys exceeded the figure of 1,000436.

Hazrat Mahal wife of Wajid Ali Shah last ruler of Oudh escaped to Nepal alongwith her ten year old son Birjis Kadr who had been proclaimed King of Oudh by the Lucknow Sepoys in July 1857.

This indomitable lady was granted political asylum by the Nepalese Government. Subsequently this lady turned down the British offer of a pardon and a handsome pension 437.    

She was certainly of a different mould from her husband who enjoyed a British pension at Calcutta till his death in the year 1887438

427 Page-336-Ibid.
428 Pages-216 & 292-The Sikhs and the Sikh Wars-Op Cit.
429Page-126-Battles of the Indian Mutiny-Op Cit.
430Pages-338 and 339-J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit.
431Page-836-Henry Beveridge-Vol-III-Op Cit.
432Page-339-J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit.
433 Ibid.
434 Page-342-Ibid.
435Page-136-Battles of the Indian Mutiny-Op Cit.
436 Ibid.
43 7  Page-204-Ibid
438Page-248-Mutiny Records-Oudh and Lucknow-Op Cit.