Captain Hodson wrote:I have only time to say that I am safe and well, though we have had a hard fight. The enemy’s cavalry, with three guns and some infantry, came on from Bilaram to meet us this morning after breakfast, about 800 horsemen and a mob of foot, but our guns soon stopped their progress, and then the Carabineers and Lancers charged straight down on them in the most magnificent style, capturing all three of their guns at a dash! I grieve to say, however, that they paid most dearly for their splendid courage. All their officers went down. Captain Wardlow, Mr Hudson and Mr Vyse, all killed, and Head, of the Lancers, badly wounded. The infantry were not engaged at all. We attacked their flying cavalry and footmen on the left, and made very short work of all we could catch. I lost a fine old Resaldar, our dear old friend Mohammed Reza Khan’s brother. None of my officers hurt; but my horse (Rufus this time) got a cut.
Lieutenant Macdowell (Mac) wrote:On the 12th we left Allygurh, and turning out of the Grand Trunk Road, marched into the heart of the disturbed districts. On the 14th, we heard the rebel army were in great force at a place called Khasgunge, but on arriving at Gungeree, about six miles from their encampment, they came out in force and boldly attacked us.
The fight is soon told. They advanced in line, and opened upon us with artillery, their infantry advancing in skirmishing order. Our artillery went to the front and opened fire upon them, but their advance was so steady that Colonel Seaton ordered the Carabineers to charge the guns, which they did in the most gallant style, taking them and cutting down the gunners, losing, however, three out of four officers, Wardlaw, Hudson, and Vyse. This was on the right. Our infantry in the centre advanced in line, but did not come into action, in consequence of the rapid movement of the cavalry and artillery.
On the left, our regiment was placed, to prevent their turning our flank, as they threatened to do. The dust was so tremendous that I could see nothing, so the regiment halted, and I rode forward, when I saw the Carabineers charging on the right, and the whole of the enemy’s infantry and cavalry retiring in front of me. Immediately, without waiting for orders, I sang out “Charge”, and charge we did, and upset them in every direction for miles. I was nearly wounded once or twice in the pursuit, by desperate men fighting for their lives, but escaped without a scratch. We had twenty-three men killed or wounded.
Well, the next day we marched to Khasgunge, which we, pushing on in advance, found evacuated...
Captain Hodson wrote:I have spoken about poor Wardlaw’s effects, and Mrs ---‘s kind offer was accepted gladly; but a reference to Meerut was necessary and I have not yet had a final answer. Poor fellow! never was a more gallant charge than the last he led, and I agree with his brother officers that “a kinder friend, a more gallant soldier, and a better comrade, never stepped than George Wardlaw.” Both his death and that of his comrade, Mr Hudson, were perhaps unnecessary, by which I mean that a better acquaintance with their enemy might have saved them both. The former, after the charge, dashed single-handed – with a cheer – into a knot of matchlock-men waiting to receive him, and was shot dead instantly. Had he gathered together only half a dozen dragoons, he might have ridden over them. The other (Hudson) was shot by a wretched fugitive lying prostrate in the field. Not understanding their tactics, he rode up to him and halted, thus offering a fair mark for the villain’s ready musket. He was the son of the ex-Railway King.
Liz wrote:Speaking of which, it would be great if you could post the other eye-witness accounts (or give us details of where to find them) so we have as complete as record of events as possible.
Meerut, Dec 16th 1857
My dear Mr Hudson,
I have just time before the English Mail leaves to send you a few lines. I shall wring your heart indeed, by the sad intelligence I have alas! to communicate. Your poor dear son was killed on Monday Dec. 14th while charging with a squadron of our regt. against some guns. He had a horse shot under him about 3 weeks ago in a battle against the “Joudpoor(?) Legion”. The squadron he was with accompanied a column which left Delhi about 10 days ago en route to Cawnpore. On arriving at Allyghur they heard that some rebels were distant from them about 30 miles at a place called Gungeree. On Sunday 13th the column made a double march & on Monday came up with the enemy who retreated. The horse Artillery & Cavalry were ordered to the front in pursuit(?) & it was in this affair that poor dear Jack was killed. He was hit in the heart by grape & died almost immediately with a cheer on his lips. Our squadron I regret to add lost most … three out of four officers killed – Capt. Wardlaw who commanded, Lt. Vyse (who you must remember travelled with us through France) & yr. dear son. Another officer of the 9th Lancers (Capt. Head) who was with our squadron was dangerously wounded, indeed no hope of his recovery. The charge made was noble indeed! But what a sacrifice, four officers out of five killed and one third of the men killed & wounded. The enemy lost 200 killed & 3 guns captured. The enemy were in force about 5000, our numbers must have been very small, as the infantry could not join in fighting the rebels. I need not add how deeply regretted(?) your dear son is by all & particularly those who were his old companions in the 10th to whom he was endeared by his generous manly disposition. Our loss since the Mutiny commenced has [been] 6 officers killed & 2 wounded & as all say, we can ill afford to lose Jack, a good soldier as poor dear Jack truly was. I am now the only one left untouched of our little party who dined with you at N___ before embarking for India. de Bourbel [Auguste Alfred de Bourbel, Lt. 23 Oct 1855] has left some little time [ago] for England having lost 3 fingers of his left hand.
A Committee of Adjustment(?) has not yet been appointed but when it is I will speak to the President & take(?) I may think(?) … to … in remembrance of one so dear, be kept & forwarded to England when the country becomes more settled. The three were buried the same evening & the account of one who was present is most affecting.
Begging you to accept my deep sympathy in the insupportable(?) loss you have sustained,
Believe me …
Lt [of] cavalry
The following are the particulars of the action at Gungaree :-
“On Monday morning Seaton's column arrived at that place, and encamped two miles in advance of Farquhar's; about two hours after his arrival, a large body of cavalry suddenly appeared on some rising ground in front of his camp. The Carabineers, Hodson's Horse, and some [of our?] Artillery, got ready sharp, and went at them ; and away they bolted, but a heavy fire was opened on our advancing troops from two six-pounders, and one nine -pounder, which the gallant Carabineers charged and took but not without heavy loss. Three charges of grape were poured into them at about 150 yards, which told fearfully. Wardlaw, Hudson, and Vyse of the Carabineers were shot by musket shots. Head, 9th Lancers, wounded by a shell, said to be mortally, is doing well; D’Oyly who charged with them had a very narrow escape of being cut down, but his English hunting cap saved him. Our total loss was about [twenty?] killed and fifty wounded.
On Captain Wardlaw's death, command of the squadron fell to Captain [sic] Hudson, who ordered the men to dismount and skirmish with their carbines, through the fields, covered with wheat and urrah crops. Before the charge Captain Sandford had been ordered with a division to skirmish to our right, and Lieut. Baker Russell with a similar party to our left. On Captain Hudson taking command, he requested me to go in search of Baker Russell and order him to join the squadron. I did so, but it was not a pleasant duty by any means, as some of the enemy were lying concealed in the crops, and fired at me as I galloped past. I accomplished my errand, however, without being touched, and on returning with Baker Russell and his men, we heard some shots being fired, and I saw a small party of troopers collected together. I rode up and saw Captain Hudson on the ground. I jumped off my horse and found him dying. There was froth on his lips. He gave one deep sigh and expired. I put my hand on his heart, but life was extinct. We placed his body on a gun wagon and carried him back into camp with the other dead bodies and the wounded.
MICKSTANLEY wrote:I am new to this forum! I am collecting information on the 6 DG during the Mutiny for a possible book and can point you in the direction of paintings of 6DG in action at Gungeree if you are still interested. I would very much like if possible a photo of Hudson's sword. Many thanks Mick Stanley
swordcollector1 wrote:MICKSTANLEY wrote:I am new to this forum! I am collecting information on the 6 DG during the Mutiny for a possible book and can point you in the direction of paintings of 6DG in action at Gungeree if you are still interested. I would very much like if possible a photo of Hudson's sword. Many thanks Mick Stanley
Good to hear from you, and welcome to the Forum - if you go to my Showcase you will see several pics of the sword. Let me know if you need any higher resolution ones. And I'd be very interested in any images of the action at Gungeree, no matter which particular eye-witness account they're based on!
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