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SOME ACCOUNT OF THE
THE REVOLT OF THE BENGAL ARMY.
HENRY GEORGE KEENE, C.I.E., M.R.A.S.,
AUTHOR OF “ THE FALL OF THE MUGHAL EMPIRE,”
TO MY COMRADES OF THE MUTINY-TIME ;
IN AFFECTIONATE REGARD FOR
AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF
THOSE WHO ARE NO MORE ; THESE IMPERFECT RECORDS OF THEIR SERVICES ARE
[The materials of the following pages will be chiefly found in the official “ Narratives,” furnished to the Government of the North-Western Provinces by Collectors and Commissioners at the time. I have not referred to the Dehli Division which then formed a part of those Provinces. The reason is that the Civil rule was entirely overthrown, for the moment, in that Division, where the events fell under the control of the Military authorities. Many of the Civil officers fell at their posts ; including Simon Fraser the Commissioner, killed at the gate of the Palace, and the gallant John Wedderburn, Magistrate of Hissar, who refused to leave his District, and was murdered on his way home from office. Some details are given from recollection. Names of well-known places have been written according to English usage. In regard to others, the modern system of transliteration adopted by the Indian Government has been observed.]
These pages are not offered as a history of the Sepoy Mutiny and consequent War, which have been exhaustively related by professional writers. But there were special services performed in many different parts of India, and most of all in the country between the Satlaj and the Karmnása, which were necessary, not only to the utilisation of the deeds of the soldier, but even to their very doing. An army could not take the field without due carriage, nor march without supplies and information. Leaders of troops could not tell in what direction to strike, or where to hold their hands, unless accompanied or inspired by just and resolute companions possessed of local knowledge and local influence. In many instances there were, at times, no military agents at all, either troops or leaders; and then the local officers had to raise and command their own levies. Last, and certainly not least, must be remembered the urgent necessity of collecting the revenue.