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SUPPOSED OBIOUN OF THE KBVOLT . The Homeward Mail publishes a translation of an Urdu paper , found in the house of a Vakil of the Sttdder Court , and consisting of an extract from the Lahhnau , native newspaper , of the 28 th of March , 1457 . The upshot of . this document is to the effect that among the Mahomedans of Arabia , Turkistan , Persia , and Turkey , a great war for the defence and propagation of ' the faith' and the extirpation of * the infidel' was at that time being organized . This statement , is accompanied by an exhortation to the Muslims of India to prepare themselves for joining in the struggle .
SPECIAL LETTERS FROM INDIA . ( From a Military Correspondent . ') Nagpore , November , 1857 . To return to Nagpore and the Madras troops : it would be the most shortsighted and narrow-minded policy for our riders to endeavour to persuade themselves , or for them to endeavour to persuade the people of England , that the Madras Sepoys are really and truly loyal and devoted to their European masters . They are not . Their sympathies from the first rumour of the Meerut and Delhi outbreaks have been entirely with the mutineers : and in the bazaar , the mosque , and . even the guard-room , there was but little concealment in the expression of those sympathies . As usual the last persons to hear a hint of the sepoj-s' opinions , hopes , and plans , were the officers of the Madras regiments : indeed the
great majority of them now profess the greatest confidence in their men , and would indignantly repudiate the possibility of their ever having been disposed to join in the rebellion . We have seen the same blind and fatal confidence in the officers of many Bengal and Native regiments ; and we have seen by how much the bloody results of the mutiny have been swelled by persistance in that blind confidence , until the last moment of possible safety had passed . But still , although one cannot excuse that want of information and insight in the commandants and higher ranks of the arm }' , it is impossible to quarrel with the junior officers for feeling confidence in their men . We may deplore the cause of that confidence— -sheer ignorance—and urge the . inefficiency of such officers with such troops , but the feeling is a noble and a truly military feeling , and we cannot quarrel with it .
we consider that the men of the Irregular regiments are drawn from exactly the same districts and exactly the same classes as the men of the line . And yet the European officers of the Irregular corps are not selected with sufficient conscientiousness and care ; nor are they entrusted with sufficient independent authority ; while the native officers are taken from the ranks , and promoted for the most part on the same faulty principles that we have already alluded to when speaking of the regular infantry . There is much room for improvement in the Irregular system , but its superiority has been conspicuously proved . battalioof the have
Six or seven ns Bombay army been found tainted with mutiny ; two have exploded very much in the style to which we have now become accustomed , and in one officers have been murdered . Nor have the mutineers been entirely confined to the Poorbeea sepoys of the same caste and locality as the Bengal sepoys , as was at first stated . Many of the mutineers of the 27 th N . I ., who killed three young officers at Kolapore , were Mahrattas and Deccanee Mussulmans . The better organization and discipline of the Bombay and Madras armies , and their differences of race and language , have had much to do with their general good behaviour , but the great cause of their salvation has been their removal from the scenes of excitement and temptation by considerable distances . The tide of rebellion has never swept before their doors ; they have never been in actual communication with the actors in the mutiny ; the contagion never actually reached them . But they were all
much interested and excited by the rumours which they heard , in proportion to their vicinity to the disturbed districts , and I hesitate not to state , on information which appears to me to be quite unimpeachable , that all their sympathies and hopes were with the mutineers and rebels . . The Madras and Bombay sepoys have no more affection for our race , and no more devotion to our Government , than those of Bengal . It must be remembered that I am speaking of a time of general madness and confusion , when the ties of duty and custom are relaxed or broken , when superstition and vague dreams of glory and plunder rule the hour . "Where the Bombay troops , as at Necmuch and Nusseerabad , did come partially within the circle of contagion , they were found utterly untrustworthy , and the lives of their officers hung by a thread . At Bombay , Ahmedabad , Kurrar chee , Shikarpore , Kolapore , Belgaum , and Dharwar , there have been plots . among the sepoys , and severe examples have been made of many of them .
the Nizam could not have resisted the impulse , or would have been struck down and replaced by one of his brothers , the whole Deccan would have been in a blaze , Poona , Sattara , Kolapore , the Camatic , would h ave sent forth hordes of rebels and mutineers . We hava escaped from a terrible , incalculable aggravation and extension of the shock our empire has received , and in next letter I will give you a more particular account of the cause of our escape . Nagpore was for two months the most critical point in India . Remember that I have been speaking of the Madras army during a period of general excitement and madness . That time has passed by ; and the Madraseea are just as trustworthy now as they ever were . I don't
doubt that they will attack the Bengal mutineers with as much determination as they would any other enemy of the Government . They have no great love for the haughty Brahmins and Rajpoots of the north ; and now that the Delhi delusion has been dissipated , they have begun to regain their old faith in the overwhelming power of their British masters . But the Bengal sepoys served us faithfully for a hundred years , and I doubt not , were they organized on exactly the old footing , they would serve us faithfully for many years more . But it would be utter insanity to try them . The fact is that our sepoy army was on much too large a scale , and organized on a faulty and degrading plan . We want a large reduction and a sweeping reform .
I shall endeavour in my next letter to show that this was no mere pretorian rebellion ; and that it was only in a very confined sense the result of a deeply-laid conspiracy . It was very much of a national uprising , and could not , by any amount of precautions , have been postponed many years . Nothing but a course of reparation and restoration can prevent the recurrence of a similar attempt at a war of extermination against us . At present there is nothing to be done but the sigual and exemplary punishment of the mutineers and rebels ; should it be necessary for the next three years to hunt them down in every village and hill of the peninsula , it must be done ; not a single murderer must escape a disgraceful death , not a single mutineer must escape transportation . There are distinctions to be drawn in the guilt £ of regiments and individuals , but none should escape without feeling the consequences of its rebellion . E . V .
The Madras and Bombay armies have always been kept in a more strict state of discipline , and there has always existed a more soldier-like feeling , and a higher ^ . Sense of duty among their officers , than amon ^ the officers of the Bengal army . It will be seen that I only speak comparatively . In the two minor armies the sepoys were not quite so entirely left to take care of themselves , and allowed to have their own way . In the Madras Presidency especially , there was not such a profusion of staff and civil appointments open to military officers , and consequently not such a constant and universal anxiety to escape from regimental duty . The system and traditions of the Madras and Bombay armies were better ; and in both there was a greater mixture of castes and races , although the proportion of actual
lowcaste and out-caste sepoys was much less than has been generally supposed and represented . But one-half of the Bengal army was composed of Brahmins and Rajpoots , who by their superior numbers and social position gave the tone to the whole corps ; only two other respectable Hindoo castes , Aheers and Itayaths , were over admitted to the ranks ; and the small number of Mussulmans , drawn from the same localities with the Hindoo sepoys , had hardly any object or interest that was separate from their comrades , and no stronger inducement to remain faithful to the British Government . On the other hand , the attraction of Delhi , and their ancient monarchy , when once that became the word of action , was , of course , stronger with the Mussulmans than with the Hindoos .
But now you will ask mo why the contagion of mutiny did not spread to the Madras army , why it has so slightly affected the Bombay army , and why the Irregular corps , whose system I have praised and advocated , have in so many instances followed the lead of the regiments of the line . Before touching on the general and particular , the remote and exciting , caubos of the rebellion , I will endeavour to answer these questions . And first , as to the Irregular and Local regiments . Many of them mutinied cortainly , but a very largo minority at least of them are doing good and active service to this day , while , with the exception of two battalions , the 81 st at Saugor and the 72 nd at Julpigoreo , every
one ^ of-the-regular-corps . hoa , eith . or _ niw ? 3 fliodj ^ haflj ) 0 oii disarmed . And another observation must bo madb 7 " £ hn with the exception of one or two instances , the men of the mutinous Irregular corps have not attempted to murder their officers ; in many cases thoy have treated thorn with marked cure and consideration ; and , in almost every corps , there has been a not inconsiderable party that have remained true to' tholr allegiance . Every circumstance lias concurred " to show the superior temper and spirit of the inon of Irregular corps , and the stronger influonco and control of their throe selected European officers , when compared with tho blindness and helplcBunoaa of tho numerous regimental offlcoru of tho regular corps . Thlo is tho more remarkable when
At this place , Nagpore , which may be considered to have been throughout these dangerous times the advanced po 3 t of the Madras army , there were plots and conspiracies among all ranks . and classes , except the very highest—the Ranees of Nagpore and their nearest relations , who kept to their old traditional policy of fidelity to the British Government . But the most powerful and dangerous class of conspirators kept themselves carefully in reserve , and watched the course of events , ready to take advantage of any favourable opportunity * for action . The only plot that came to
anything like maturity was one got up by some fanatical Mussulmans in the city of Nagpore , in conjunction with some native officers in the Irregular cavalry ; and it was from the first a complete and dismal failure ; the sepoys of the Irregular regiments denounced themselves the emissaries who came to try and persuade them to join ; very few even of the Irregular cavalry were let into the secret ; and the whole affair exploded prematurely , or rather flushed in the pan ; the leaders were arrestod without an attempt at resistance or rescue ; nine of them were hanged after a fair trial , and not a shot has boon fired on either side up to the present duy .
But during these days of conspiracy , tho Madras sepoys at Kamptco were tampered with by influential and disaffected natives , and such answers wore returned to their overtures as clearly proved what I have been enforcing , that tho sympathies of tho Madras sepoys wore entirely with tho insurrectionary movement , and that if they had got a tempting opportunity thoy would have joined in it . They only wanted a beginning to bo made and a rallying-point of somo sort , a standard either of a Rajuh , or a pretender , of tho Mussulman faith , to be exhibited , for thorn to take their part against tho Feringhoos . But thoy never got tho steam up hero ; and a socond excitement is not easily to bo produced after a dismal and ignominious failure .
AH honour and credit to tho Madras troops who havo behaved so woll during a season of groat difficulty and danger 1 all honour to their officers , for tho excellent stato of discipline in which those troops havo boon kept for many years ! but do not lot us fall into dreams of fancied security regarding thorn . Thoy arc not to bo trusted ; thoy have not the contontod or loyal spirit that oughtto-bo ^ doiiirod-and-might boobtuiiiod . iu _ thonnatiYjp troopa . Hud one or two of their battalions mutinied in tho midst of tho Delhi excitement , had one brigade gone wrong , tho contagion would havo spread throughout tho army like wildfire , as it did through tho Bengal nrmy ; for tho Madras troops aro aa much attached and hold together by tholr ' bhyo bund , ' or brotherhood , as tho Bengal army is . And ono-third of tho Madras infantry and tho whole of the cavalry aro Mahomodan . Wo mu 8 t novor forgot tho mutiny at Vollorc , or suppose that tho Madras men aro of a different clay from thono of Bengal . Had tho brigado at Nagpore gone wrong , tho sapoya at Hydornbud ooulu not havo romulnod < juiat ,
DIRECT RAILROAD FROM LONDON TO CALCUTTA . We have received the following , addressed by Mr . William H . Villiers Sankey , C . E ., to the Earl of Clarendon , in January last . It shows that tVve Channel Viaduct forms a part of his original project for a ' through' Railway from London to Calcutta : — My Lord , —Now that there is so much said and written about the Suez Canal , and as the English Government has been repeatedly called upon to aid in the undertaking , 1 wish to lay before your Lordship some considerations of importance , which it would be well to take seriously into account before laying out eight millions of public money , especially as the Canal might be filled in again with sand swept across the deaert by the simoon .
" And , like the baseless fabric of a vision , Leave not a wreck behind . " In former times , when tbo rate of water transit greatly exceeded the speed of journeys by land , it was an advantage to connect tracts of water by cunuls ; now , however , things arc altogether changed by tho introduction of railways , and every mile of a route that can bo travelled by land may be got over in less tbun a quarter of the time that it would take to traverse a like distance by soa . From this it will be seen that a groat dutour may oven bo mado on lund , and still tho time required to perform a given journey bo leas than following the direct route by water ; how much more ud van tugoous , then , must it be to take tho direct course by uu uninterrupted railroad , in preference to going u long way round in vessels . And hero I would draw attention to the fact that all tho plans yet proposed for shortening the routo to India uro behind tho age .
In a fow years tho coasts of England and Franco v / ul bo united by ruil , either by a tunnel under thu bed of tho Channel , by a viaduct of new construction , spanning the Channel itself on moles , or , what would bo boiler , by a hollow iron paasago laid on tho surface of tho ground under water , liko tho submarine telegraph ; ami this latter plan could bo easily and economically curried into effect . In tho event of such n railroad being established , tho whole of tho East is capable of being connected with J ^ glund Jjyjand . Railway communication is nlroady mado b " otw 6 ori ~ Calala 1 Snd "" thc ( -VftHoy-ofthe-Dttnubor «» ii
what is now required is to continue that lino from neat Dounanworlh to Vienna , along tho banks of tho Danube , and following tho same valloy as much as possible , to prolong tho railroad by tho shortest and boat routv to Constantinople There < tho narrow channel which Boparatos tho capital of Turkey from tho malnlund of tho Asiatic continent , might bo crossed in the inannor I havo alluded to for oflbuting tho communication between tho neighbouring shores of tho BrltlBh Channel . Vro " thonco , tho hhortvst practicable route should bo taken to roach tho Poraiuu Gulf , after which tho lino should
4 THEX . EADE R . [ No . 406 , January 2 , 1858 .
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 2, 1858, page 4, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2224/page/4/