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The Castles of Scotland

Lord Clyde,
page 8 of 9

and their safe transfer to Cawnpore without a single accident or loss, was a feat far more difficult than the defeat of an enemy in the field. Sir Colin, too, showed great judgment in resisting the efforts which were made to induce him to assault the city itself. This, even if it had been successful, would have cost many valuable lives, and perhaps have imperilled the lives of the wounded, and of the wives and daughters of Britain whom he had come to save. The one sad background in connection with this picture of brilliant deeds was the lamented death of General Havelock, which took place at Alumbagh two days after the relief of Lucknow. He died as he had ever lived, a brave soldier, not only to his country, but to the Cross of Christ, and left the sweet memory of a life alike consecrated to his country and to that great Captain of Salvation who was his Life.

The winter months which followed the relief of Lucknow abounded in minor engagements, with a serious battle at frequent intervals, all of which ended in victory, and bore the traces of Sir Colin’s masterly strategic mind. He saw that nothing but a thorough suppression of the mutineers in Oudh would give an enduring peace, so, in March, 1858, he assembled 25,000 men for this purpose. Then began a campaign, second only to the terrible one of the former year in strategy, deeds of valour, and brilliant results, and ending only with what practically was the reconquest of that mighty empire. Rewards and honours were now showered upon Sir Colin. The East India Company gave him a pension of £2000 a year. In June, 1858, on the foundation of the new Order, he was made a Knight of the Star of India, and on the 3rd of July he was elected to the peerage as Lord Clyde of Clydesdale; whilst on the l0th November, 1862, on the occasion of the Prince of Wales attaining his majority, he was made a Field-Marshal, the highest honour his country could give to a man in his profession.

Up to the time of his departure for India as Commander-in-Chief there, he was Inspector-General of the troops, and in connection with his duties had to visit all parts of Great Britain and Ireland. A very pleasing incident in connection with one of these visits of inspection reveals the old chief in a touching and instructive light. “Whilst I was inspecting,” said Sir Colin, “the depot at Chichester, I noticed that an old man, evidently an old soldier, though in plain clothes, was constantly on the ground, evidently watching my movements. At the end of the inspection, as I was leaving the barrack-yard, he came towards me, drew himself up, made the military salute, and, with much respect, said, ‘Sir Colin, may I speak to you? Look at me, sir; do you recollect me?’ I looked at him, and replied, ‘Yes, I do.’ “What is my name?’ he asked. I told him. ‘Yes, sir; and where did you last see me?’ ‘In the breach at San Sebastian, badly wounded by my side,’ I replied. ‘Right, sir,’ he retorted. ‘I can tell you more,’ I continued; ‘you were No. 3 in the front rank of my company.’ ‘Right, sir,’ he replied with emotion. I then thought of making a small present to the old man on my going away, and was about to put my hand in my pocket when he guessed my intention, and, seizing my wrist with his hand, hurriedly said, ‘Not that, sir; I do not wish that, but you are going to inspect at Shorncliffe. I have a son in the Enniskillen Dragoons there. If you call him out and say to him that you knew his father, you shall make both him and me proud for the rest of our days!’ ”

Early in July, 1863, Lord Clyde was seized with his last illness. From its very beginning he realized what the result would be, and prepared himself for the final departure with


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