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never known, but immediately on his departure the order was issued to strike the tents and advance on Agra. The mutineers marched all night, and arrived the next morning at a little village named Sasootiah, situated about three miles from the western limits of the station, and not very far from the town, or rather suburb, of Shahgunge, and here they put themselves into position.



WHEN the news reached the General of the arrival of the enemy, he determined to go out and attack them. The more experienced of his officers endeavoured to dissuade him; they thought it would be better to take a strong position and await their advance; they thought also that if left alone the mutineers would probably retire.


The younger officers were for the bolder coursethe General, who did not want for courage, decided to adopt it.

Finding him resolved to fight, the older officers advised him to make the battle an artillery one, to take out the heavy guns from the fort, and drive the enemy out of their position. But to get these guns would take time, and the General was too eager to be off to brook the delay. He decided to move out with his field battery alone, he was too impatient to wait even for the full supply of ammunition. He set off with what he had at hand, which was about half the proper amount-the rest he directed to be sent after him. .

The news of the arrival of the enemy had not reached Agra till late in the morning; the preparations, such as they were, had occupied time. It was nearly one in the afternoon before our troops commenced their march. They consisted of one regiment of English soldiers, the

Agra mounted militia, and a single battery of field artillery. The place where the enemy were encamped was nearly five miles from that part of the cantonments from whence the force set out; it was past three o'clock before they came in sight of the enemy.

The English soldiers arrived much exhausted-the heat was terrible; and, for some unaccountable reason, they had been clothed in their winter uniforms of thick cloth. They were, nevertheless, in good spirits, and eager to attack the enemy.

The village in which the mutineers were posted was slightly elevated above the plain-the elevation was so slight as to be hardly perceptible; but such as it was, it served to give the enemy an advantage in firing, and also to conceal their movements on the other side. To the left of the village was a grove of trees, and in this they had placed half their artillery. The other half was on the right. In attacking natives, it has often been found the best plan to go straight at them. They have a great fear of English soldiers, and seldom stand their charge. This plan the General was recommended to adopt. He preferred, however, to make the battle an artillery one, although by leaving behind the heavy guns he had deprived himself of the means of rendering such a mode of attack successful.

When about a quarter of a mile from the rebels, he halted and opened fire. The enemy returned it. After a round or two had been fired it was perceived that our balls fell short; the enemy were out of range, we had halted too soon.

On this the guns were limbered up and an advance made; when nearer the enemy a halt was again called, the artillery ordered to commence firing, and the English soldiers to lie flat on their faces. A more injudicious

proceeding could hardly have been devised. The regiment had been recently raised, the men were mostly young recruits not yet thoroughly disciplined, none of them had been in action, and to be exposed to a fire they were not permitted to return is trying even to the most experienced soldiers.

At the approach of our troops the rebel skirmishers had retired into the village. Seeing our men lying down in place of charging, they took courage, came out of the village, and commenced to fire. At the same time their cavalry appeared from behind the grove of trees, as if about to attack us in flank. Our militia horse rode boldly at them, and though far inferior in numbers, and as a rule much worse mounted, succeeded in driving them back after a short encounter. But not till a portion of them had charged through our guns on our left. Our artillery, like that of the mutineers, was posted on either flank. As we had only one battery it was divided. Two guns on the right, two on the left; through these last the rebels charged. Had they had pluck they might have captured them, and with the capture of these guns the rest of our force would have been almost at their mercy. But Captain Alfred Pearson, the officer commanding, kept his men together. And the rebels seeing this, and that their comrades had turned, hastened to join them. All fled together precipitately, and took shelter behind the village.

Seeing them fly, one of his officers rode up to the General and entreated him to let the English soldiers charge; he guaranteed that if allowed to do so they would take the village. The General so far yielded as to permit the men to stand up and return the enemy's fire, but to the request to allow them to charge he turned a deaf ear.

From the commencement of the engagement, it was apparent that the mutineer artillery was superior to our own. They had also the advantage of position. It was now perceived that they had got our range. When the range has once been found by the enemy, it is the practice to move the guns. The officer commanding the artillery was about to do so, when the fatal shots arrived. A discharge of grape poured into our right half battery. Captain Doyly fell mortally wounded.

At the same time, or I believe a little before, shots had struck the left half battery. The first dismounted one of our guns, smashing the carriage to pieces, another blew up one of the tumbrels. It was due then, and before, to Captain Pearson that the disaster of that day was not a worse one. His men, many of them wounded, some mortally-horses dropping around-he continued to fight his guns till the supply of ammunition gave out, and he was compelled to cease firing for want of the powder and ball that in his eagerness and over-confidence the General had left to follow him.

There was nothing now left but to storm the village or to retire. The General was entreated, almost implored, to let the soldiers charge. From all accounts, had he allowed them to do so he would probably have obtained a victory. The enemy appeared cowed by the sight of the English soldiers, they had begun to retire again into the village, and to shoot from the cover of the huts. Some of their cavalry were perceived to be moving off in the rear. But the General possessed the obstinacy as well as the incapacity of age; he would neither allow the soldiers to charge, nor would he permit them to retire out of range, and there await the arrival of his ammunition, which could not now be far distant. To the shame and indignation of his men and officers he gave the

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