A History of Clan Campbell

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Formal Tulips Square

Lord Clyde,
page 6 of 9

recollection of dangers confronted and hardships endured. The pipes will never sound near me without carrying me back to those bright days when I was at your head, and wore the bonnet which you gained for me, and the honourable decorations on my breast, many of which I owe to your conduct. Brave soldiers! Kind comrades! Farewell!”

Soon after his return from the Crimea Sir Colin arranged for his promised visit to his native city, to receive in person the distinguished honours which it had been agreed to confer upon him. These were a burgess ticket, conferring upon him the freedom of the city, and a splendid sword of honour, subscribed for by six thousand of the leading citizens of Glasgow. When the grand veteran reached the city his reception was like a triumphal entry, tens of thousands turning out to gaze with enthusiasm on the brave old warrior who had done so much for his country, and to whose heart Scotland was so dear. A splendid banquet, at which the Lord Provost of Glasgow presided, was given in his honour in the City Hall, on which occasion, in exquisite fitness to the event, Sheriff Sir Archibald Alison, one of the leading historians of Europe, and who wrote so ably on the Peninsular Campaign, presented Sir Colin with the sword of honour. The old chieftain replied under deep emotion, recalling the fact that half a century had passed away since, a mere boy, he had left his native city, and merely touched with light and graceful finger on his memorable experiences since that day. He said that he would ever remember with pride that great meeting, and ever treasure as amongst the most precious of his honours that sword. Then, his brave generous nature asserting itself, he said that the vast assembly before him were not to forget his brave Highland Brigade, to whose unapproachable valour he was indebted for most of the honours which he wore.

When Sir Colin Campbell delivered, on that memorable day, in the camp at Balaclava, his stirring farewell address to his Highlanders, little did either he or they think that he would lead them again to victory, and that, too, under conditions and experiences far more tragic than those which they had together gone through formerly. Yet so it happened. On the 11th July, 1857, arrived the news of the Indian Mutiny. The tidings were alike ghastly and appalling, conveying as they did, the intelligence of the massacre of British officers and civilians alike, with their wives and families, and the spread of the insurrection from Meerut and Delhi over all the northern and central provinces of India. On the same day, in fact with the same mail, came the news of the death of General Anson, the Commander-in-Chief in India. Within a few hours after the arrival of the tidings, Lord Palmerston, who was Prime Minister, with characteristic promptness and masterly judgment, had sent for Sir Colin Campbell, and offered him the appointment of Commander-in-Chief of the Indian army, which appointment the veteran leader accepted on the spot. “When can you start?” asked the premier. “In an hour hence, my Lord,” answered Sir Colin, and before the sun had set he was on his way to India. When he arrived in Calcutta, he heard of the re-capture of Delhi by Major-General Ashdale Wilson, the capture of Cawnpore by Havelock, and the terrible retribution meted out to the rebels for their unparalleled atrocities in the awful massacre of the wives and children of our soldiers, and of that same General’s great preparations for the relief of Lucknow. Sir Colin burned with the patriotic desire to get to the front for the purpose of suppressing the rebellion and preventing further atrocities and carnage, but he saw clearly that for some weeks to come his place was the gathering together of


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