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throughout the arduous service in Nepaul, where they had at once to contend with the natural obstacles of an almost impracticable country, and the desperate valour of a race of hardy mountaineers, has been worthy of their former fame: since the conclusion of this war a small body of these troops has had an opportunity of exhibiting, in a most distinguished manner, that firmness, courage, and attachment to their officers and the service, which have always characterized this army.-We allude to a recent occurrence of a most serious sedition at Bareilly, the capital of Rohilcund. The introduction of a police tax, intended to provide means for the security of life and property, had spread alarm and discontent among an ignorant population, whose prejudices in favour of their ancient usages are so strong as to lead them to regard any innovation (whatever be its character) with jealousy and indignation. Acting under these feelings, the Rohillas of Bareilly, who are alike remarkable for their strength of body and individual courage, rose in a body to oppose the orders of the civil magistrate. They were led by a priest upwards of ninety years of age, who dug his grave to indicate his resolution to conquer or die, and at whose orders the green flag, or standard of Mahomet, was hoisted, that religious feelings might be excited to aid the efforts which they now proclaimed themselves determined to make to effect the downfall of their European tyrants. What rendered this revolt more alarming was the knowledge that the cause of the insurgents was popular over the whole country, and a belief that their success would be the signal for a general rise in the neighbouring provinces. All the force that could be collected to suppress this revolt was a detachment of between three and four hundred sepoys of the 27th regiment of native infantry, and part of a provincial battalion under Captain Boscawen, with two guns and a party of about four hundred Rohilla horse belonging to a corps lately embodied under Captain Cunningham. The former received, with undismayed courage, the charge of an undisciplined, but furious and desperate rabble, who encouraged by their numbers, which exceeded twelve thousand armed men, persevered in the attack till more than two thousand of them were slain; and the latter, though of the same class and religion as the insurgents, and probably related to many of them by the ties of kindred, proved equally firm as the sepoys to their duty. When their priest advanced and invoked them to join their natural friends, and to range themselves under the standard of their faith, only one man was found wanting in fidelity; he deserted and was soon afterwards slain by his former comrades, who continued throughout to display prompt obedience, exemplary courage, and unshaken attachment to the officer by whom they were led.
However slight this affair may seem, we do
VOL. XVIII. NO. XXXVI.
currence in the history of British India more calculated to shew the dependence of our power on the fidelity of our native troops, and the absolute necessity of adopting every measure by which their attachment can be confirmed and approved. We are as jealous as Englishmen ought to be, of the encroachment of military power, whenever we meet the pretensions or privileges of soldiers marshalled in opposition to the rights of the civil part of the community. The whole bias of our minds is to support the latter; but it is not the part of wisdom to transplant the feelings, the principles, and the maxims, that are essential to the maintenance of the constitution of our native country to India. The soil is not yet prepared for their reception, and it probably never will be. It is, no doubt, our duty to make our government as mild, as just, and as equal in its benefits to every class of our subjects, as it is possible, consistent with attention to the general security; but we must not make ourselves the slaves of our own rules. If we are told, which it is not improbable we may be, that this doctrine has a tendency to infringe some of the most essential of our civil regulations, we must answer that we know of no principle or institution in a government which ought not to yield to another that can be proved necessary for the preservation of the state; and that we must have stronger instances than the history of India yet affords, of the power of our civil regulations and establishments to save us from danger, before we can be convinced that they should not be altered and remodelled, in any points, when alteration would decidedly furnish us with additional means of permanently rewarding and preserving the courage and attachment of that class of the natives of India, to whom we are, by our condition, compelled to confide the sword for the defence and protection of our empire in that quarter of the globe.
We have in the work before us several accounts of mutinies among the Bengal sepoys, but these appear, in almost all cases, to have proceeded from one of two causes: the nefarious or unjustitiable conduct of the commander of the corps, or an attempt to make them proceed by sea on foreign service. The former cause of discontent is not so likely to occur under the present regulation as it was at a period when the command of a battalion could be converted into a source of indirect emolument; and the latter will be avoided as long as the present system continues of forming volunteer battalions for expeditions that require embarkation.
It has been found by experience, that though, from causes before mentioned, corps, collectively, are usually unwilling to embark, volunteers for this species of service cau be obtained to any amount. The young men who enter these temporary corps with. the hopes of distinction and promotion are perhaps the best suited to the service. The number and quality of the native troops who volunteered from Bengal for the wars of 4791-9 and 1799, in Mysore; in 1801, for Egypt; and in 1810 and 1811, for the Isles
We shall conclude our observations upon the Bengal Sepoys with two quotations from the Supplement of Captain Williams's Memoir, which we give, first, as a fair specimen of the style and feeling in which this part of the work is written, and secondly, as memorable examples of what the European officers, who understand this class, can effect; and how possible it is to bring them to the highest state of discipline and yet preserve to the fullest degree their temper and attachment.
'Proceeding from Culpee,' the author observes, when speaking of the force under Colonel Goddard, the detachment lost on the second day's march one of its most valuable officers, Captain James Crawford, commanding the fourth battalion, who died from a stroke of the sun. Connected with this unfortunate event, the following facts will doubtless be read with unfeigned sympathy and admiration. Captain Crawford had acquired the character of an excellent Sepoy officer, and the battalion which he commanded was considered as one of the finest in the service. The appellation of " Crawford," by which the fourth battalion was called by the men of the corps and the natives in general, was an exception to the practice that generally prevailed in former times, of calling corps by the name of the officer by whom they were formed, or that of the place at which they were raised.
Captain Crawford was considered by the men as a rigid and, perhaps, severe disciplinarian; yet that excellent officer so happily blended with the strictest principles of military discipline and arrangement the practice of the most inflexible integrity and impartial justice, in the general exercise of the influence and powers of authority, combined with considerate and manly indulgence in regard to the religious habits, the customs and prejudices of the men under his command, that of Captain Crawford it may with truth be affirmed, he had the peculiar good fortune of verifying what ought to be the object and emulation of every military man, with regard to those under his command, the enviable distinction of commanding their lives through the medium of their affections. It is a fact no less creditable to Captain Crawford's memory than it is honourable to the character of the men whom he commanded, that during the halt of the detachment at the encampment where he was interred, (which continued for several days, owing to the severity of the weather,) all the corps, native officers and men, went from time to time to render their tribute of grateful attachment and affection, by making their obeisance, after the manner of their country, at the grave of their lamented commander; and on the day that the detachment moved forward from that encampment, the grateful and sorrowing "Crawford," after the battalion had been told off preparatory to the march, requested leave to pile their arms and be permitted, collectively, to go and express their last benedictory farewell over the remains of France and Batavia; may be adduced as complete proofs of the truth of this assertion. It formed a part of the able administration of the Marquis Wellesley to conciliate and attach the native troops by every possible means, and his attention was particularly and successfully directed to encourage them to volunteer for the foreign service. Lord Minto adopted similar measures with equal success. DD 2
of their respected commander, protector, and friend. What soldier,' our author emphatically concludes, ' can read this without exclaiming, May my last end be like his!'
The second proof which our author gives of the attachment of the native troops of Bengal force to their commanding officer, when his character is worthy of it, refers to an event nearly forty years subsequent, and we rejoice to see that time has made no alteration in the character of feelings that are honourable not only to those by whom they are entertained, but to human nature.
'Meritorious and indefatigable as were the exertions of all the officers who were employed in raising and forming the new corps, (24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th,) it will be no disparagement to them to declare that the 2d battalion of the 25th, under Captain Christie, surpassed the others by its more early appearance of military efficiency and perfec
Captain Christie was blessed with that happy beneficence of disposition which made it his constant practice and delight to blend paternal kindness and conciliation with the requisite authority as an officer. To use the words of an eye-witness, Captain Christie had raised, clothed, and disciplined the corps with all the tenderness of a parent and the pride and solicitude of a soldier; the commander and the men were proud of each other. But he had barely accomplished this first wish of his heart, in bringing the corps to maturity, when he was seized with a violent illness which in a few days deprived the corps and the service of a valuable and exemplary officer.
'Captain Christie died on the 30th of April, 1805, and was buried at Saintree, on the left bank of the Jumna, between Agra and Muttra. The native officers of the corps, so contrary to their customs and religious prejudices, solicited permission to carry the corpse of their beloved commander to the grave. The whole corps followed the mournful procession with a general countenance of affliction and grief, presenting one of the most affecting scenes I ever beheld. After the funeral ceremony, each Sepoy stepped forward to look into the grave, threw a clod of earth on the coffin, and retired in melancholy silence, the whole corps sorrowing in tears.'*
The novelty and interest of this subject have seduced us far beyond those limits which we had prescribed to ourselves in treating it; and we must therefore pass over those observations which we
Further examples of this feeling are given in the work before us, and we could, from our own knowledge, adduce several proofs of similar attachment in the Sepoys of the other establishments; one will suffice. Major Thomas Little, of the Madras native infantry, whose great kindness and mildness of manners were only equalled by his firmness and thorough knowledge of his duties as an officer, died last year, when the army was encamped in the ceded districts. His corps, a battalion of light infantry, had been reviewed a few days before his death, and was pronounced by the commander in chief, Sir T. Hislop, to be in the highest state of discipline; yet so well had this admirable Sepoy officer (we chuse the term as denoting peculiar duties) preserved the temper of his men, that not satisfied with mourning him they requested leave to erect a tomb to his aremory.
purposed to make regarding the means best calculated to secure the continuance of the attachment of our native troops to their officers and to the service. This is however of less consequence, as the lesson is already conveyed through the facts which we have stated. It is by treating the Sepoys with kindness and consideration, by stimulating their pride, and by attending, in the most minute manner, to their feelings and prejudices, that we can command, as has been well observed, 'their lives through the medium of their affections:' and so long as we can, by these means, preserve the fidelity and attachment of that proportion of the population of our immense possessions in the East, which we arm to defend the remainder, our empire may be considered as secure.
ART. VII.—An Essay on the Principles and Construction of Military Bridges, and the Passage of Rivers in Military Óperations. By Colonel Sir Howard Douglas, Bt. F.R.S. Inspector General of the Royal Military College. 8vo. London.
то ensure a lasting peace it is well that the nation should be
prepared for a war-a preparation best made by scientific and timely investigations of the principles and character of those grand military movements which have, within the course of the last quarter of a century, so often agitated nations and subverted thrones. The common soldier, in time of need, is soon trained to his art. He needs but bring courage and strength, the heart and the hand, in which Britons are seldom deficient. But the military art itself depends upon abstruse principles of science, which, though mechanically acted upon with success by many who are not even sensible of their existence, can only be perfectly understood by those who have traced them to their source. It is the duty of every man whose habits and talents may have rendered these researches familiar to him, to place the result within the reach and at the disposal of his country, that in the day of need she may avail herself of them; in fact, great service is rendered to the world in general whenever the use of military art can be brought to supersede that of brute force and violence, since it leads to the decision of campaigns rather by the superiority of intellect than by the amount of human slaughter. A skilful and gallant officer has here given us the result of his experience in accomplishing the passage of rivers, a manœuvre which is frequently decisive of the campaign; and to make good the proposition with which we started, we have only to contrast his ingenious and scientific application of pontoons, rafts, boats, piles, or tressels, with the summary proceeding of a barbarian general encountering a similar obstacle. Mahomet, at the storm of Constantinople, found