This is a chapter from Major Amin’s history of the Sepoy Rebellion (“The Sepoy Rebellion Reinterpreted“). The formatting needs work, but I wanted to post it anyway just to give readers an idea of the kind of campaigning that took place in that region. For a quick overview of the entire rebellion, see here.
CENTRAL INDIA CAMPAIGN ; A SMALL AFFAIR APART FROM MUCH RHETORIC
Chapter Seven: The Central India Campaign 1857-1859
Maj (Retd) AGHA HUMAYUN AMIN
The Central India Campaign was fought over the widest area in terms of length and breadth as compared to all the other campaigns of 1857. It took the British longer in terms of time to suppress the rebellion in Central India as compared to all other regions involved in the rebellion. Yet the Central India Campaign in terms of forces involved and casualties suffered was only a very minor campaign of the Sepoy Rebellion. The smallest number of units of Bengal Army were actively involved in this campaign, as far as the Sepoys were concerned. The conflict in Central India was a minor one because nothing strategic was at stake. The Bengal Army before the outbreak of the rebellion had a sizable strength in Central India in terms of number of units. However as soon as these units rebelled most of them marched towards Delhi because Delhi was the most popular point of concentration of the Bengal Army Rebels. Some units however did march to Cawnpore, Kalpi or to Banda. Banda was the hot choice because of the prospects of looting. The Nawab of Banda who had rebelled was active in looting and his leadership inspired many rebels to go to Banda. Three units of infantry entered Central India because of geographical compulsions. These were led by the indomitable Hindu Rajput Talukdar Kanwar Singh and came to Central India because they could not move to the north because of the Ganges River and because of proximity of European units who were marching on the main Grand Trunk Road from Calcutta to Benares.
The Central India Campaign however was significant because of presence of three charismatic figures who caused a lot of trouble to the British. There were the Rani of Jhansi a Hindu contemporary of Hazrat Mahal of Lucknow, Tantia Topi the only sepoy leader who executed an offensive plan of strategic level to sever the British Army’s communications with Calcutta and Feroz Shah a Mughal Prince who fought valiantly and also later on managed to escape and survive the rebellion by almost twenty years. The Rani we admire because although a woman by sex she was more of a man than most of our worthy feudals whose grandsons later on became our Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers! Tantia Topi we admire because without any formal military education or background he did at least effectively and physically threaten the British communications. Something in which our Generals Rajinder Prasad and Nasir Ahmed Khan years later failed miserably despite possessing much more in terms of education, manpower and material superiority ! Feroz Shah we admire because despite being a Muslim he inspired many Hindus to fight for a just cause at a time when Muslims in Muslim majority areas were soldiering for a foreign nation ! After the failure of the rebellion he also made many attempts to convince Muslim Kings of “martial races” like Afghanistan or Iran to resist the British. But all praise to General Nott and Pollock, the lesson taught by them to the Afghans in 1842 in the Grand Bazar of Kabul was too hard to forget. And that handsome subsidy of Rs. 12 lakh the Afghan King was getting was so hard to refuse !!
INITIAL DEVELOPMENT OF TROOPS
Various Bengal Army troops and princely state contingents were present in Central India and Western Rajputana in 1857. We have included the following areas in Central India for the purposes of analysis / discussion:– (1) Central India Agency comprising various princely states in the area between Narbadda River and Jumna River. (2) The Southern and Eastern Rajputana area of Ajmer Jodhpur Tonk etc. (3) The Bundelkhand, Saugor and Narbadda territories. Rough deployment of various units and contingents was as following356 : a. Bengal Army Infantry:- (1) 12 NI -Wing each at Jhansi and Nowgong. (2) 15 NI -Naseerabad (3) 30 NI -Naseerabad (4) 72 NI -Nimach (5) 23 NI -Mhow (6) 31 NI -Saugor (7) 42 NI -Jubbulpur (8) 52 NI -Jubbulpur (9) 50 NI -Nagode b. Bengal Army Cavalry (1) 1 LC -Wing each at Mhow and Nimach. (2) 14 Irregular Cavalry – Wing each at Jhansi and Nowgong. (3) 3rd Irregular Cavalry- Saugor. c. Gwalior Contingent (8318 men) (1) Infantry-Seven Regiments at Gwalior, Goonah, Sipri, Nimach etc. (2) Cavalry-Two Regiments. (3) Artillery-Four Field Batteries and a Light Siege Train. c. Jodhpur Contingent. A Composite Force of infantry, cavalry and artillery comprising approximately three Troops of Cavalry, eleven Companies of Infantry, and two Nine Pounder Camel Guns stationed at Erinpura in Jodhpur State. Cavalry entirely Hindustani Muslim/Ranghar/Kaimkhani Muslim and eight Infantry companies out of the total entirely consisting of Hindustanis. d. Malwa Contingent. Similar to Jodhpur Contingent. e. Other Contingents. There were similar other but smaller contingents of other states like Jaipur State Troops and Kotah Contingent.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE REBELLION IN CENTRAL INDIA AND RAJPUTANA
On 28 May 1857 the sepoys at Nasirabad comprising of 15 and 30 NI regiments rebelled, killed their British officers and after plundering the town marched towards Delhi. In Central India the initial development of the rebellion was slower than Eastern Rajputana. Here on 9 June the Malwa contingent rebelled and on 14 June the Gwalior contingent rebelled at Gwalior and Sipri. The wings of 12 NI and 14 Irregular cavalry stationed at Jhansi and Nowgong rebelled on 6th and 9th June respectively. On 1st of July the Indore contingent rebelled. The Indore contingent was soon joined by the Bhopal contingent comprising mostly Pathans and some Hindustanis. However most of its Sikh troops who constituted a minority stayed loyal. The Begum of Bhopal like the Rani of Jhansi was a woman, but was made of the same passive fibre as most of the Muslim Hindu and Sikh Feudals of that era. Thus she stayed loyal to the British. The 23 NI and the wing of 1st Light Cavalry stationed at Mhow rebelled on 1st July and marched towards Gwalior on the Grand Trunk Road. They reached Gwalior on 31st of July 1857 and from here marched to Delhi via Agra. The 23 NI and 1st Light Cavalry sepoys played an important role in reviving the spirits of the Gwalior contingent troops who after their initial rebellion on 14 June had subsequently become very demoralized because of clever propaganda by their ruler the Sindhia who was secretly in League with the British at Agra. Another factor in the earlier demoralization of the Gwalior contingent troops stationed at Gwalior was the arrival of remnants of the 6th Infantry Regiment of Gwalior contingent who had earlier rebelled at Lalitpur and had joined the Nana Sahib at Cawnpore. These troops withdrew from Cawnpore to Gwalior after having been routed by General Havelock in July 1857. Anyhow after 31 July the Gwalior Contingent troops gained greater resolution, thanks to successful exhortation by the 23 NI and 1st Light Cavalry who stopped at Gwalior on their way to Delhi for a few days.
Meanwhile following was the situation in eastern half of Central India: – a. The 42 NI and 3rd Irregular Cavalry stationed at Saugor rebelled on 1st July. The 31 NI stationed at Saugor however remained loyal. The 3rd Irregular Cavalry and the 42 NI for some time marched around Saugor looting and plundering but finally they marched towards Banda which they reached around September 1857. Here they joined the Nawab of Banda who had declared himself independent in the aftermath of a rebellion led by sepoys of the detachment of 1st NI stationed at Banda on 14 June 1857. (Subsequently they went to Kalpi)
Prince Ferozeshah who had gone to Mecca for Haj in 1857 meanwhile was in Central India after returning via the port of Surat. Ferozeshah was in area inhabited mostly by Hindus and had no army. It is an irony of history that the two finest Muslim military commanders Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan offered the toughest resistance to the British despite the fact that they were ruling a Hindu majority state. This clearly proves that it is not mere majority in population but superiority in terms of quality of leadership which is the deciding factor. On the other hand we see that many Muslim majority areas were rendered impotent merely because of absence of good leadership. Ferozeshah managed to reach Mandesar in Gwalior state territory with some followers. He was still wearing the ahram which pilgrims on Haj wear. He reached Mandesar on 26 August 1857. There was a detachment of Gwalior troops stationed here. These being mostly Hindus but from Northwest province immediately joined Ferozeshah and raised the standard of revolt in Mandesar !
Meanwhile the Rani of Jhansi had already raised the standard of rebellion once the Bengal Army troops stationed at Jhansi had rebelled on 6 June 1857. It must be noted that most of these troops however marched towards Cawnpore and the Rani raised a local force to defend her rule.
The Raja of Banpur had raised the standard of revolt in Chanderi area from May 1857. The Gwalior Contingent was a very large force of troops but till October 1857 it stayed idle. Two of its units marched to Delhi and Cawnpore but the remaining seven i.e. five infantry and two cavalry regiments remained in inertia till October 1858. This situation continued till October when Tantia Topi a retainer of the Nana Sahib arrived at Gwalior. Tantia Topi was a Hindu Mahratta and a civilian. He had joined the Cawnpore Sepoys after the rebellion at Cawnpore in June 1857. In July 1857 after having been defeated by Havelock he had withdrawn to Oudh. From here Nana Sahib sent him Gwalior in order to convince the Gwalior contingent Sepoys who were mostly Hindus from Oudh and Northwest provinces (UP) to attack Cawnpore which had been reoccupied by General Havelock in July 1857. Tantia thus reached Gwalior and by 15 October 1857 the Gwalior contingent started its march towards Kalpi under Tantia with a plan to attack and recapture Cawnpore. This meant severing the line of communication of the British army fighting at Lucknow under Sir Colin Campbell the British C in C.
Meanwhile during this period the following other developments took place in Central India: – 1) The 52 NI at Jabbalpur rebelled on 28 September, marched towards Banda to join the Nawab of Banda. 2) The 50 NI stationed at Nagode also rebelled and marched to Banda to join the forces of Nawab of Banda. 3) The 7 NI, 8 NI and 40 NI who had earlier rebelled at Dinapur on 25 July 1857 arrived at Banda under the leadership of the indomitable Hindu Rajput Talukdar Raja Kanwar Singh. Kanwar Singh was very big landlord of Shahabad district in Bihar. In July 1857 he led the rebellion of the 7, 8 and 40 NI regiments at Dinapur. In 1857 Kanwar Singh at 70 years of age was doing what many young men of that time feared to do. He attacked Arrah but after being repulsed from there retreated to Rewah and finally arrived at Banda on 29 September 1857. He was welcomed by the Nawab of Banda. Subsequently on 18 October 1857 Kanwar Singh marched towards Kalpi from where he crossed the Jamna into the Doab. From the Doab, Kanwar Singh crossed the Ganges and joined the rebels at Lucknow in November 1857) On 15th October the 5th Irregular Cavalry also reached Banda all the way from Rohnee in Bihar. In November the larger part of 32 NI also reached Banda having marched for more than 500 miles. From various places in Orissa Region, the larger part of this unit marched towards Kalpi in December 1857.
Situation in Central India from June 1857 to December 1857
The rebellion in Central India occupied a large area but was not a serious threat in strategic terms. The British had two complete armies i.e. the Bombay Army comprising some 31,601 men and the Madras Army comprising some 49,737 men. I have deliberately excluded the 5,109 and 10,194363 European troops of both Bombay and Madras Armies since these were special troops of European origin and had been sent to Bengal Army area. Thus keeping in view the strategic insignificance of Central India, while Delhi was captured by September 1857 and Lucknow effectively contained by November 1857 the pacification of Central India did not even commence till January 1858. Meanwhile during this time the rebels were fighting among each other over division of the spoils. The situation in Central India was highly complex because the region was divided into some one hundred and fifty princely states. There were scores of leaders and there was no unity even as outward as at Delhi or Lucknow. There were very few sepoy Regiments and most of these were either at Banda for the prospect of loot or at Kalpi which was the centre of operations of Tantia Topi. In June 1857 hostilities erupted between Raja of Banpur and the 6th Gwalior contingent Infantry over division of booty. The Gwalior contingent consisted mostly of Hindustanis (roughly 75% Hindu and 25% Muslim) while the Raja of Banpur was Hindu Bundela. In the ensuing conflict the Gwalior sepoys severely mauled the Raja’s local levies and then marched north towards Cawnpore via Jhansi and Kalpi. Conflict started between the Rani of Jhansi and the Tehri state. The state force of Tehri state actually besieged Jhansi from 3rd to 22 October. It is interesting to note that later on the Raja of Tehri claimed that he was acting against Jhansi on behalf of the British government. The Raja of Banpur also attacked territory of Jhansi. The Nawab of Banda who managed to attract the largest number of sepoy regiments in Central India also started waging private wars on other states. The first target of the Nawab was the Chief of Ajaigarh. Subsequently, he marched against Kirwi state and extorted from it Rs. two lakhs ! The only Muslim State of any worth in Central India was the Bhopal state but this state was ruled by a worthless woman who stayed loyal despite the fact that her state troops revolted. Many of her male relatives however, actively participated in the rebellion. Notable among these was Nawab Ali Khan of Bhopal. Dilan Singh of Madanpur was also active in the southern part of Central India. The Jodhpur Legion based at Erinpura rebelled on 23rd August. They operated in Jodhpur state for sometime and cooperated with Khushial Singh the Thakur of Awah who was in rebellion against the British. On 8 September the Legion defeated a force of Jodhpur’s loyal Raja’s local levies. Subsequently this Legion remained at Awah till 10 Oct. 1857. On 10 Oct 1857 they marched towards Delhi via Marwar and Rewari. Meanwhile, Brigadier Gerrard had been sent with a force to intercept the Jodhpur Legion from Delhi. A battle took place at Narnaul on 16 November with Gerard’s force and the Legion was defeated but Gerrard suffered mortal wounds during the pursuit and subsequently died.
March of Sir Hugh Rose from Mhow to Gwalior.
Sir Hugh Rose assumed the command of the Central India Field Force on 17 December 1857. He divided his force as following: – 1st Brigade (Brigadier Stuart) 1) One Squadron of HM 14 Light Dragoons. 2) One Troop of 3rd Light Cavalry of Bombay Army. 3) HM 86 Foot (Two companies, other companies joined at Chanderi on 16 March 1858). 4) 25 Bombay Native Infantry. 5) Two Batteries of European Artillery. 6) Sappers & Miners Detachment. 2nd Brigade 1) Headquarters HM 14 Light Dragoons. 2) Headquarters 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry. 3) 3rd Bombay European Regiment. 4) Bombay NI. 5) Battery Horse Artillery. 6) One Field Battery. 7) Madras Sappers and Miners. 8) Siege Train (Joined 15 January 1858). Contingent Hyderabad (Worthless ) State 1) 1st Hyderabad Cavalry. 2) 4th Hyderabad Cavalry. 3) Artillery : – 1st Company Hyderabad Artillery 2nd ‘ ‘ ‘ 4th ‘ ‘ ‘ 4) Two Howitzers. 5) Wing of 3rd Hyderabad Infantry. 6) Wing of 5th Hyderabad Infantry. Sir Hugh Rose’s march from Mhow to Gwalior has been projected out of proportion as an outstanding feat of arms. This tendency emerged when Hugh Rose became C in C India in 1858. Various post 1858 authors took special care to give it undue importance in order to please Hugh Rose. This sycophancy is however universal and found aplenty in all armies / government service.
The broad overall plan of the British was to conduct operations with two major forces i.e. the Central India Field Force under Hugh Rose which consisted largely of troops from the Bombay Army and from the Hyderabad contingent; the second major force was General Whitlock’s force constituted from Madras Army Troops. Hugh Rose was to march from Mhow to general direction Jhansi and then to Kalpi clearing the vast multitude of small rebel forces on the way. Whitlock was to march from Jabbalpur towards Banda. The aim was to clear Sir Colin Campbell’s rear from which the sepoys who were raiding his communications i.e. the Calcutta Cawnpore Road. But this actually had been effectively done when Tantia Topi was routed at Cawnpore on 06 Dec 1858. The author of this very broad plan of action was Sir Robert Hamilton, Agent to the Governor General in Central India.
Sir Hugh Rose left Mhow on 6 January 1858 and joined his 2nd Brigade which had assembled at Sehore. His plan was to proceed towards Saugor and northward to Jhansi and subsequently to Kalpi with the 2nd Brigade. The First Brigade was to march north on the Main Grand Trunk Road from Bombay to Agra starting from Indore. The first major aim of Hugh Rose was to relieve Saugor fort garrison who had been confined to this fort since 29 June 1857. They were, however, well defended by the 31 NI which remained loyal to the British. On 28 January 1857 the Raja of Banpur was defeated by the 2nd Brigade in a Skirmish type battle. At Barodia the Raja of Banpur again and Anant Singh were defeated in a battle whose intensity and magnitude may be gauged from the fact that the 2nd Brigade only suffered casualties of 2 men killed and 21 wounded! Saugor was relieved by the 2nd Brigade with whom Rose was marching on 3rd February 1858. The relief of Saugor made communication and cooperation with the 1st Brigade possible because of the direct road link of Saugor with Goonah where the advance guard of the 1st Brigade was located. From here i.e. Saugor Hugh Rose (2nd Brigade) advanced to Garhakota which was captured after a brief siege on 12 February 1858. The casualties suffered were none killed and four wounded! After this Hugh Rose went back to Saugor for rest / replenishment. Rose resumed his advance on 27 Feb 1858 and forced the passes leading into Bundelkhand by resorting to some feint attacks misleading the various local rulers about his direction of attack. Again these were insignificant operations since the fighting was nominal. At the battle of Madanpur Pass fought on 3rd March 1858 Hugh suffered casualties of none killed and 12 wounded . Chanderi was besieged and captured by the 1st Brigade on 17 March 1858 with a loss of just 3 killed and 23 wounded.
Meanwhile Rose had ordered the 1st Brigade to join him for the siege of Jhansi. Thus the 1st Brigade marched from Chanderi towards Jhansi and joined the Brigade on 25th March at Jhansi. The siege of Jhansi was again a minor operation. Its only worthwhile event was an attempt by Tantia Topi to relieve it which was defeated by Rose. This engagement was known as the Battle of Betwa River and was fought on 31 March 1858. The Cambridge History of India puts Tantia’s strength at 22,000 which is a big joke with history ! That Tantia managed to kill only 17 men of Hugh Rose’s force and wound 63 only proves that we should divide the figure of 22,000 by three or four ! The subsequent capture of Jhansi on 3rd April 1858 was again a minor show. The British losses were only 42 killed and 211 wounded.
The battle of Jhansi was followed by the battle of Kunch. This battle was more of a series of outflanking manoeuvres by Hugh Rose which threatened Tantia’s position at Kunch in such a way that Tantia had to withdraw without a fight. The British losses in this battle fought on 7th May 1858 were just 9 killed and 47 wounded. This was followed by another small battle at Kalpi fought on 22 May 1858. Here Rose again outflanked Tantia and made good use of Jumna River to protect his right flank. In addition, superior handling of artillery in this battle also played a decisive part in ensuring a decisive victory achieved with minimum casualties. In this battle Rose maneuvered in such a way that he changed his direction of advance from a previously southwest-northeast axis to a east-west axis. Thereby, he turned Tantia’s left at Kalpi forcing him to fight by facing eastwards whereas he was expecting the British to attack from the south west. Fortescue made an observation about the rebels of 1857 and I agree with him when he said ‘…they were disconcerted by Campbell’s line of advance, which was not what they expected; and the moral effect of anything like a surprise is very potent among Orientals. The rebels of 1857 were not from the officer class and had very rudimentary notions about handling of troops. Nevertheless, the battle of Kalpi was definitely a fine example of Hugh Rose’s handling of troops in which he resorted to a brilliant maneuver which greatly reduced his casualties which may have occurred had he followed the line of advance along the Jhansi-Kalpi Road. The British casualties in this battle were just 31 killed and 57 wounded. The total casualties of Hugh Rose’s Central India Field Force from Mhow to Kalpi were 560 out which 112 were killed. Their smallness can be gauged from the fact that in just one engagement in Oudh i.e. the battle of Chinhat fought on 30 June 1857 the British casualties were 112 Europeans killed and 44 Europeans wounded. Of Central India it may be noted that out of the 112 killed in actual battle just about around 30 were Europeans! Many more Europeans must have died due to heat stroke but that too is doubtful because by the time Kalpi was captured it was only 22 May and the hottest season was still many weeks away. The battle of Kalpi was the end of the campaign.
However, Tantia Topi managed to seize Gwalior by having boldly marched to Gwalior with what remained of his army at Kalpi. Tantia had withdrawn from Kalpi with around 5,000 to 6,000 sepoys. He reached Gwalior on 30 May 1857 along with the Rani of Jhansi and Rao Sahib. The Sindia Maharaja attempted to face him with his local levies but these men deserted him at the last moment and joined Tantia Topi. Thus Tanti succeeded in capturing Gwalior the strongest fortress of Central India. But the situation in May 1858 was not as it was in December 1857. Tantia hardly had any artillery and everyone by May 1858 when Lucknow and Delhi had already fallen, knew that the sepoy cause was a doomed cause. Rose immediately marched from Kalpi to Gwalior and after a short siege where he heavily outgunned Tantia captured Gwalior. The magnitude can be imagined from the fact that the total British casualties were just 22 killed and 62 wounded. These included just 9 Europeans killed including one from sunstroke. The campaign ended with another insignificant battle at Jaura Alipur in which Rose’s casualties were 4 killed and 8 wounded.
From 22 June 1858 till 7 April 1859 the British forces pursued Tantia Topi all over Central India, Rajputana and Berar. Tantia was betrayed to the British by a rebel turned loyal Raja Man Singh on 7th April 1859. He was taken to Sipri, court martialled and hanged on 18 April 1859. Rao Sahib was captured in 1862 and hanged on 20 August 1862 at Cawnpore. Firoz Shah disguised as a pilgrim escaped to Karbala and died in 1877 as a poor but very great and free man! We had earlier left Feroze Shah at Mandesor. Feroz Shah subsequently marched towards Dhar which he occupied on 31 August 1857. Feroze Shah was defeated at Dhar on 22 Oct 1857 by a British force known as the Malwa Field Force. Dhar fort was captured by the British on 31 Oct 1857. From Dhar Feroze Shah marched to Mehidpur which he attached on 8 Nov. 1857. Later on the Malwa Field Force defeated Feroze Shah at Mandisur on 23 November 1857. After this defeat Feroze Shah withdrew to Rahatgarh fort which he left a day before it was captured by Hugh Rose i.e. on 28 January 1858. From here Feroze Shah moved into Rohailkhand. He left Rohailkhand after its clearance by General Campbell in May 1858. In December 1858 he was operating in Etawah area in the Central Doab from where he was repulsed by Mr. Allan Octavian Hume (of All India Congress fame) who at that time was collector of Etawah. On 09 Dec 1858 Feroze Shah crossed the Jamna at Uriya Ghat and moved south into Central India. He was pursued in Gwalior area by General Napier and was forced to withdraw towards Chanderi. From here he kept on running till he joined our Maratha hero Tantia Topi in January 1859. In an action around 14 January Feroze Shah and Tantia were chased by the British for 25 hours during which they covered 57 miles ! Finally Feroze Shah took refuge in the jungles of Sironj and we hear of him last at Goonah on 15 April 1859 after which he disappeared from India! The last time he revisited India was in 1868 when he entered Swat / Bunner area via Afghanistan.
The pursuit of Tantia Topi though militarily insignificant was an inspiring part of the rebellion. The modern guerilla warfare’s foundation were laid in the Jungle of Central India by Tantia Topi. The magnitude of Tantia’s long marches and counter marches may be gauged from the fact that one of the British force ie the Nasirabad Brigade which was tasked to pursue had to march for some 984 miles and 5 1/2 Furlongs from 18 December 1858 to Ist March 1859. During this period the Nasirabad Brigade failed to capture Tantia. The very fact that an Indian betrayed him proves symbolically that it was not the British who actually won, but the Indians who made their victory possible.
Notes 356 Constructed from Lord Stanley’s Statement in British Parliament . Pages-31 to 36-Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit. Pages-4 to 58-The Revolt in Central India-Op Cit. 357 Page-32-Fitz Gerald and Lee-Op Cit. 358 Pages-33, 34 and 35-Ibid.Pages-4 to 98-The Revolt in Central India-Op Cit. 359 Ibid and Pages-371 & 386-C.Hibbert-Op Cit..Pages-157,158 & 159-Battles of the Indian Mutiny-Op Cit. 360 Pages-24 to 58-The Revolt in Central India-Op Cit. 361 Pages-34 to 79-Ibid 362 Appendix-One-Incidents in the Sepoy War-Op Cit. 363 Ibid. 364 Page-25-The Revolt in Central India-Op Cit. 365 Pages-160 to 230-Ibid 366 Page-260-Ibid. 367 Ibid. 368 Ibid. 369 Ibid. 370 Page-202-The Cambridge History of India-The Indian Empire-1858-1918-Op Cit. 371 Page-260 & 261-The Revolt in Central India-Op Cit. 372 Pages-260-261 & 262-Ibid. 373 Page-326-J.W Fortescue-Vol-XIII-Op Cit. 374 Pages-260 to 264-Return Of Casualties in the Central India Campaign-Revolt in Central India-Op Cit.Compare these with just one engagement of the British with 500 men of the 14th Native Infantry at Jhelum in which the British lost 44 killed and 109 wounded (See End Note Number 210). The much projected siege of Jhansi was in reality a minor engage- ment. 375 Page-743-Henry Beveridge-Volume-III-Op Cit. 376 Pages-261 and 262-Revolt in Central India-Op Cit. 377 Page-251-Malleson-Volume Five-Op Cit. 378 Page167-A History of the Freedom Movement-Volume Two- 1831-1905-Part Two -Pakistan Historical Society-30 New Karachi Housing Society-Karachi-1960. 379 Annexure-Revolt in Central India-Op Cit.
5 thoughts on “1857: The Central Indian Campaign”
I didn’t know that Nawab of Banda also rebelled. I wonder how he was able to keep his state after the rebellion was quelled.
I think at some places they put up a rival family on the throne, at least this is what they did in some places in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand
These posts on British India don’t garner many comments. Apparently Indians are no longer fascinated by the tales of the Raj.
I have read many books on Raj. Most tread same old heavily trodden path, like how Lord Sahib shot a bada tiger after gulping down a chhota peg. Doesn’t pique our interest any more.
No wonder Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindustan tanked so badly. He took this firangi-bashing bit too far. It worked till Lagaan and The Rising, but got tiring after that.
I dont think Firangi bashing(more like stereotyping) is even a thing, all the movies you refer are more in the gambit of David vs Goliath fights which is where the Brits just happened to be the Goliath. Its similar to lets say Chak de India. Thats why no one really gets animated for Tharror’s book on Britishers(i feel the Brits and woke NRIs get more animated than Indians). Brits are not part of Indian electorate(so no lasting animosity), and deep down we(middle class) sort of silently admire them for “Ruling India with a Iron fist” which kept all these “peasant” people in check.
Saurav nicely said. Indians like English people. Indians “LOVE” english royals.
Snake Charmer, many of us have read many books on the English time in India. They are interesting to read. We all have our favorite “white mughals”.
It is bittersweet and nostalgic to watch the ancient anglo Indian culture slowly die away. [Anglo Indians referred both to English people who spent considerable time in India and their mixed Indian progeny.]
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