Revolt of 1857
Three days passed quietly away, but about midnight on the 16th of May one of the patrolling parties arrested seven mutineers of the 3rd Cavalry. These resisted disarmament desperately, but four of them were killed on the spot and two were captured, the remaining one succeeding in effecting his escape. In the fight which took place Lieutenant Corfield of the 9th Native Infantry was wounded in the right shoulder. This band of mutineers consisted wholly of Pathan troopers from Garhakota who had been engaged in the mutiny at Meerut and were then making their way home. Early on the morning of the 19th May to large cart fall of armed mutineers belonging to the same regiment of cavalry entered Jaswantnagar and were stopped by the police. Their aims were demanded and one man proceeded to give them up; but while all eyes were turned upon him and every one was off his guard by their apparent submission the other troopers sprang up from the cart and poured in a volley on the bystanders, killing one and wounding three men. The mutineers then made off and occupied a Hindu temple close by.
Intelligence of this occurrence was at once conveyed to Etawah; and Mr. Hume and Mr. Clarmont Daniell, the joint magistrate, with some five troopers, proceeded to Jaswantnagar, where they found the mutineers in a very strong position. "The only way they could be got at, "writes Mr. Hume, "was through a narrow doorway leading to some steps which were completely commanded from within. The whole building, which stands on an elevated platform of pakka masonry, as well as the walls of the platform itself, are full of loop-holes, and the wall for many yards on each side of the doorway contained arches filled up with a brick-work screen made by leaving out every other brick. It is not possible to get in except through this door, and to get at this door we were exposed for thirty yards, come which way we should, to a point-blank fire from men we could not see. Inside the door there were steps, also surrounded by a trellis-work through which shots could be fired....Mr. Daniell and myself first got inside the grove and explored the whole of the back of the building the mutineers firing steadily at us all the while and we returning the fire from our double-barrels whenever we could see any portion of a man. We could not get the police well within fire, and though we went more than once within five yards of the building, the firing was so heavy that no one would make a rush." This went on till 3 o'clock, when Mr. Hume retired to a bungalow for food. At 5.30 p.m. he was again upon the ground; but during the interval the townspeople, who had shown unequivocal signs of sympathy with the mutineers, had succeeded, not withstanding the line of patrols and guards established all round the grove, in supplying them with food and ammunition." Meanwhile Mr. Hume had sent to Etawah for reinforcements and had received a note to say that six of the irregulars and ten sepoys would be sent. The former galloped on and reached Jaswantnagar about 5 p.m., but the latter did not make their appearance at all, having gone some two miles down the wrong road which leads to Kachchaura Ghat.
As time was now passing and the people of the town were very excited, and as it seemed very doubtful if it would be possible to retreat even if he wished it, unless he carried the place at once, Mr. Hume determined to attempt to storm the temple. The irregulars dismounted and agreed that Mr. Hume and a few of the sowars should suddenly run to and occupy the platform of a masonry well distant about 15 or 20 feet from the doorway of the building and exactly in front of it; that they should pour in a volley, and that Mr. Daniel, with the dafadar of sowars and anyone else who would go, should run swiftly along the face of the temple and brick-work screen and dash in Mr. Hume and his party following. The movement might have proved successful if it had been supported; but as it was the firing was so heavy that Mr. Hume, Mr. Daniel, the dafadar and one chaukidar were all that reached the doorway. The dafadar immediately fell-back the chaukidar was knocked over and while Mr. Daniel was poking about his revolver trying to shoot some one through the brick-work screen he was thrown down with as pistol wound in the face. Every one then at once fled; Mr. Daniel scrambled away a few yards and fell senseless, and Mr. Hume seeing that it was hopeless to try and rally the men, carried Mr. Daniel with the help of a barber out of range of the enemy's fire. A large mob of townspeople had collected and had been watching the proceedings and when they saw what had happened they at once became hostile and threatening. Mr. Hume ordered them to disperse to their homes, and some skulked off. The sowars were ordered to remount and to commence patrolling the grove, while Mr. Hume, having washed and dressed Mr. Daniel's wound, returned with that officer to Etawah. Immediately on reaching Etawah Mr. Hume sent out Muhammad Ikram Husain, a deputy collector, with instructions to maintain a vigilant guard over the temple till arrangements could bed made to take the place, but in the event of the Muhammadan population of the town making any unequivocal demonstration of being about to release the mutineers by force, rather than allow so formidable a body to commit themselves irretrievably against the Government, to afford the besieged an opportunity of escaping out of the temple, by relaxing the strictness of the watch. In this even, however, Muhammad Kiram Husain was directed to follow and attack them in the open as soon as they had got some distance out of Jaswantnagar. The plan, however, fell through. A violent storm came on during the night and the mutineers effected their escape under its cover, carrying off with them a comrade who had been wounded in addition to one who had been killed.
On the night of May 24th the fugitives were joined by the First or Grenadier Regiment of the Gwalior Contingent under the command of Major Hennessy, and on the following day Etawah was re-occupied. Energetic were at once adopted for the restoration of order; numbers of persons were arrested with property in their possession stolen from the lines and bungalows; much more was given up by persons who professed to have forcibly regained it from robbers or to have originally taken it under their protection; Rs. 40,000 of the plundered treasure were recovered; several gangs of dacoits were broken up or dispersed; and on May 27th martial law was proclaimed. Kunwar Lachhman Singh, deputy collector of Banda, who happened to be on leave at the time, now joined Mr. Hume, and in a few days the most perfect order was restored. one village fort, at Samthar, where the old zamindars who had ousted the new proprietor obstinately refused to surrender, though offered pardon, and fired upon the emissaries of peace, was carried by storm and burnt to the ground, the garrison being put to the sword. Very soon the whole country around was up in arms; the Kanpur, Farrukhabad, Mainpuri and Agra districts, where these bordered on Etawah, gradually fell into a state of anarchy, but within Etawah itself there was peace. The village zamindars at first altogether taken by surprise were beginning to come forward in support of the Government, and the Indian officials recovered their nerve. In order to relieve the anxiety which could not but to felt regarding the troops on the spot it was resolved to send the ladies and children to Agra; and these were safety escorted thither by a mixed detachment of the Gwalior regiment and of the local levies raised by Kunwar Zohar Singh of Partabner. Debi Pershad, Tahsildar of Bela, beat of a body of 300 horse who had come to attack his tahsil; but disturbances were rife in Phaphund and Auaraiya and demand for aid came from the Europeans in Orai. With a view to protecting the district and opening up the lines a communication Mr. Hume dispatched 200 Grenadiers towards Auraiya and sent all the best of his police officers with some trusty zamindars to take possession of the neighboring pargana of Sikandra, Rasulabad and Dera-Mangalpur in Kanpur. This brought the Etawah force within some twenty miles of Kanpur itself, and at the nearest point along the canal the tahsildar of Bela was directed to collect supplies, which it was hoped might be thrown into the entrenchment at Kanpur for the relief of General Wheeler's force. Rajput levies were also raised and people began almost to hope that the storm would blow over, when the mutiny of the Gwalior regiment took place and dashed their hopes to the ground. Mutiny of the Gwalior regiment and flight of the Europeans to Agra.
On the 16th of June news arrived of the mutiny and massacre at Gwalior. This was communicated by the senior native officer to Major Hennessy. The latter explained his intended course of action, that he would at once set off for Agra; but the former refused to obey and declared that he would not proceed to Agra. Major Hennessy and the other officers slept the same night as usual in front of the piequets, closely guarded by their men; and they heard several conversations during the night which unmistakably showed them that a considerable portion of the men were ready for treason and murder. Early in the morning of the 17th June, accordingly, the Europeans assembled at Mr. Hume's house, and after some consultation it was resolved to retire upon Agra. At this time Kunwar Lachhman Singh with the Partabner Raja and his men, as well as the pick of the local horse and police, were at Agra with the ladies and children; while Rao Jaswant Rao, Kunwar Chhatar Singh and the remainder of the police that could be trusted were in the Kanpur district. There was therefore no force in the district upon whom the Europeans could rely; and knowing as they did that, although the majority of the troops were averse to open violence, they would not resist any attempt on the part of the more ill-disposed, their resolution was a wise one. At down on the morning of the 17th all the Europeans made for, Kachhaura ghat on the road to Agra. Arrived there they found it impossible to halt, as the Jhansi mutineers were within a day or two's march of the district. They accordingly pushed on to Bah, where they were joined by a party of fugitives from Kalpi and Orai, including two ladies. At bah maters were, if possible, horse bodies of matchlockmen were parading the country, and, two or three nights before the arrival of the fugitives Bah itself and been compoletely plundered; while, even while they rested there, firing was incessant and some houses adjoining the building where they stayed were burned before their eyes. They were therefore compelled to proceed with the utmost dispatch to Agra which they reached in safety.
As soon as the Europeans had left Etawah the Grenadiers plundered the property of the residents which had been recovered and the little money that remained in the treasury. They next attacked and began to plunder the new city, of which they burned a few shops; but the townspeople turned out, killed twenty-six wounded several, and finally obliged the whole regiment to move across the river. As soon as Mr. Hume arrived at Agra he dispatched Kunwar Zohar Singh of Partabner to Etawah with instructions to protect the city, to make the best arrangements he could fur the neighborhood and to communicate regularly with Agra. In the district there was no disturbance; the people appeared to be well-affected and the tahsil and thana officials maintained their positions. But it was not long before trouble began. On June 21st the rebel brigade from Jhansi crossed the Jamuna at Shergarh ghat, and on the following day forcibly plundered the records, but he was himself carried away by the mutineers and when he returned shortly after, having been released, he died from the effects of the ill-treatment he had received. The rebels next proceeded to Lakhna; but the tahsildar, Ishri Pershad, removed his treasure and records to Rao Jaswant Rao's fort at Dalipnagar and so served them. From Lakhna the brigade came to Etawah, where on their arrival the Mewatis again broke out and burned the remainder of the bungalows in the station. The mutineers then passed out of the district to Mainpuri; and although, for a short time, the bad characters, reinforced by the prisoners escaped from the jails, prowled about in formidable bands, the district once more became tranquil. This shows as Mr. Hume says, that "there was latent disloyalty in the people; three times had bands of mutineers disturbed the peace of the district and let loose the lawless ruffians who, even in the most peaceful times, have ever infested its innumerable ravines; each time, the mutineers being once beyond the border the people rallied round the Government officers, all of whom they had protected to the utmost during the disturbances, and relapsed in a few days into quiet."
Events during July and August
Outbreak of the Raja Ruru
Mr. Hume returned to the district. During all this time Mr. Hume had been most anxious to resume his duties at Etawah, but the Government declined to allow him to do so until it could support him with a proper force. On December 330th Brigadier Walpole was directed to leave two guns and 200 European soldiers at Etawah, and Mr. Hume was authorized to proceed thither with Mr. G.B.Maconochie under an escort of 50 men of the 2nd Punjab Infantry, commanded by lieutenant Sharriff. En route it was learnt that no detachment had been left behind by Brigadier Walpole, but nothing daunted, Mr. Hume and his escort pushed on and reoccupied the station of January 6th, 1858. With the exception of Auraiya, of which Rup Singh had again taken possession, the district was tranquil. Mr. Hume at once raised a local levy comprising 200 foot, 150 horse, five guns and 50 gunners. Nor did Rup Singh and his rebels remain quiet. Twice they boldly marched forward to attack Mr. Hume; but, although they came within 15 miles and 13 miles of his force, they on each occasion hurriedly fell back owing to the determined attitude adopted by Mr. Hume and the rumour of an advance from Kanpur in the direction of Kalpi. Towards the end of January Mr. Hume's force was strengthened by a detachment of Alexander's Horse and it was resolved to take the offensive. A post was thrown out as far as Bakewar, and on February 7th Captain Alexander and Messrs. Hume and Maconochie, with detachments of horse, the local levies and a number of matchlock men supplied by the loyal zamindars, proceeded to the village of Anantram.
They found the enemy very strongly posted about a mile beyond the village. Their right, resting on the Kanpur road held a large mango grove with a wall six feet high all round and a small ditch in front; on their left was the village of Phulpur, and every field between these two positions was occupied by them. The right was the chief position and was the most formidable to attack, the enclosure swarming with rebels, who had one gun. As the effect of a retreat without doing anything would have been disastrous, it was resolved to attack the place. The cavalry was formed into three troops and posted in different places; and Mr. Hume, having with difficulty collects some two or three hundred of the matchlock men, gallantly advanced with them and a gun towards the enclosure. Taking advantage of a number of small ridges intervening between his force and the point chosen for attack he reached within twenty yards of the enclosure, the gun firing the while in answer to that of the enemy, when some three or four hundred rebels broke out to the rear. These were cut up by Alexander's Horse, though not without some casualties, for even single fugitives, almost without exception, turned and fought. Next, a final discharge having been made from the gun, the matchlock men rushed forward into the enclosure flinging aside their matchlocks and taking to their swords. A hand-to-hand fight now ensued within the enclosure and ended in the complete discomfiture of the enemy. who lost their gun and their baggage, as well as 150 men killed. On Mr. Hume's side twelve matchlock men were killed and a few of them and of the cavalry were wounded. While this action was taking place lalpuri Gosain, the purohit of the nana of Bithur, was lying with some regular mutineers only six miles away; but fortunately neither party knew at the time of the other's presence.
Inroad of Firoz Shah
Fight at Harchandpur