free ebooks

Across India by Oliver Optic

Havelock was taken with dysentery


"As Havelock and his puny force approached Cawnpore, this miscreant incited the cold-blooded massacre of all the women and children the rebels had captured on the day before the place was taken. The intrepid general found the Sepoys strongly intrenched at a village; but he turned their left, and carried the works by a splendid charge of the 78th Highlanders. Entering Cawnpore, he saw the results of the atrocious massacre in the mutilated bodies of the women and children with his own eyes.

"The sight inspired the little band of heroes with renewed courage, and Havelock began his march upon Lucknow.

"After fighting eight victorious battles, his little force was so reduced by sickness and fatigue that he was forced to retire to Cawnpore. In September General Outram arrived there with additional troops, and operations against Lucknow were renewed. The general in command of this force outranked Havelock, and the command belonged to him; but with a noble generosity he waived his claim, and served in the expedition under his victorious subordinate as a volunteer.

"Havelock's army now numbered 2,500 men, with seventeen guns. He encountered the enemy, and scattered them several times. They reached the thickly settled town where each house was a fortress, and with valor equal to anything on record, fought their way to the Residency, where they were rapturously received by the beleaguered garrison.

"But with all that could be mustered they were only a handful of men compared with the hosts that surrounded them, and in turn they were at once besieged by the rebels. They were not the men to yield to any odds; and they held their own till November, when Sir Colin Campbell, with 4,700 regulars, forced his way through the enemy, and relieved the place. He was one of the bravest and most distinguished generals of modern times. He fought in the United States in 1814, and in many other parts of the world. He was in the Crimea, and Alma and Balaklava are called his battles; for he did the most to win them.

"In India he completed the work which Havelock had begun, and the following year announced to the viceroy that the rebellion was ended. Just before he had been created Lord Clyde. On his return to England he was made a field-marshal, and received a pension of L2,000.

"To return to Havelock, great honors were bestowed upon him. He was made a baronet, created a Knight Commander of the Bath, and a pension of L1,000 was awarded to him. But he did not live to enjoy his rewards and honors, or even to see the end of the mutiny at which he struck the first heavy blows. In that very month of November when Sir Colin came to the rescue, Havelock was taken with dysentery, died on the twenty-second, and was buried in the Alum-Bagh, the fort containing a palace and a fortress, which he had carried in his last battle.

"Havelock was very strict in his religious principles, and a rigid disciplinarian in the army. He was like the grave and fearless Puritan soldier, somewhat after the type of 'Stonewall Jackson' of your Civil War, though not as fanatical. In his last moments he said: 'For more than forty years I have so ruled my life that when death came I might face it without fear.' This he did; and England will never cease to remember the Christian hero, Sir Henry Havelock. In Trafalgar Square, in London, you may see the statue erected to him by the people of his native country.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us