The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.
Chapter 5: The Reminiscences of William Forbes Mitchell
The Reminiscences of William Forbes Mitchell
UNLIKE many British accounts of 1857, which are the memoirs of officers and officials, Forbes Mitchell was an ordinary soldier serving in the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders in Awadh between November 1857 and November 1859. His account includes a vivid description of the fighting in the Sikandar Bagh, a villa and garden enclosed by a 40 ft wall, built as a summer residence by the last Nawab of Awadh, Wahid Ali Shah. It was made a stronghold by sepoy mutineers, 2,200 of whom lay dead after it was stormed by British forces on 16 November 1857, marking the final end of the siege of Lucknow. Forbes Mitchell's retelling reveals the extent to which British ...