Betraying The White Queen's Salt:
Introductory Notes For The Indian Mutiny, 1857-59
A Listing Of Actions, OB's, And Uniform Data For All Combattants
Compiled By John French
(Printed by permission of Bryan Ansell)
Much has already been written about the causes and the course of the Indian Mutiny. The idea here is to help the wargamer set up an army in one of the most colourful campaigns of the Victorian era.
Various troop types were involved on both sides. There were men from the regular British army as well as units of the Honourable East India Company (HEIC). Added to this were regiments of Sikhs, Gurkhas and Beloochis. Irregular units, including Punjabis, also fought alongside the British, the Royal Navy provided detachments, and cavalry could comprise both regular regiments as well as ad hoc units. Artillery ranged from HEIC Horse Artillery (from Bengal & Bombay Presidencies), to elephant-drawn siege guns.
Transport included camels and elephants, a wide variety of carts, and palanquins or dhoolies (portable screened beds). There were lumbering armies with masses of camp followers and highly mobile forces of cavalry and horse artillery.
On the mutineers side were units of Bengal Native infantry and cavalry, many of whom retained vestiges of uniform and equipment. Also present could be badmashes ("riff-raff") and civilians who attached themselves to the mutineers and who could arrive and disappear with equal rapidity. Frequently present were religious fanatics, Ghazis, who cared nothing for their own safety. Afghanis and various groups of tribesmen fought for
loot, and several princes provided troops. They looked upon this as an opportunity to regain lost prestige. Camel gunners and large numbers of wall-mounted guns on city walls, as at Delhi, also add interest.
Battles ranged from skirmishes to those involving many tens of thousands of combatants. There were sieges, storming parties and street clearances with house-to-house fighting (again as at Delhi). Terrain can include built-up areas, large plains, farmland and swamps.
Some of the actions fought are listed below, although this is by no means exhaustive. Skirmishes against guerilla bands took place until December 1858, and Tantia Topi was not captured until April of 1859. Numbers involved in the fighting are approximate. The figures in brackets in the "place" column refers to the state where the action occurred. These are detailed at the foot of the list.
240 plus 135 women and children
3,500 2 guns
30,000 30 guns
8 June-20 September
12,000 22 guns
40,000 40 guns - 100 wall guns
300 10 guns
6,300 16 guns
Fatehgarh (1) *
1,300 8 guns
3,500 12 guns
1,130 8 guns
3,000 2 guns
Pandi Nudi (1)
1,130 8 guns
1,130 8 guns
5,000 4 guns
25 July - 3 August
9 British /Europeans + 50 Sikhs
relief force 216 + 3 guns
*Sometimes written "Futtehpore." Many place names have several spellings.
(1) Uttar Pradesh, India. (2) 10 miles from Lucknow (modern Pakistan). (3) Bihar, India. (4) Haryana, India. (5) Madhya Pradesh, India. (6) Rajasthan, India.
The following lists show what happened to individual Bengal Native Army Regiments during the Indian Mutiny. (m) = Units that mutinied . (d) = Units that were disbanded or disarmed. "Place name" is where this occurred. Colour names for infantry relate to uniform facings. Lists are compiled from information in several secondary sources listed in the bibliography.
Regiments of Light Cavalry.
1st (m) Mhow
2nd (m) Cawnpore
3rd (m) Meerut
4th (d) Umballa
5th (d) Peshawar
6th (m) Jullundur
7th (m) Lucknow
8th (d) Mian Mir
9th (m) Sialkote
10th (m) Ferozepore
The 5th Regiment had black facings, the remainder orange. For other uniform information see below.
Regiments of Irregular Cavalry.
3rd (m) Saugor
4th (m) Hansi
5th (m) Rhoni
9th (m) Hoshiarpore
10th (d) Nowshera
11th (d) Berhampore
12th (m) Segowlie
13th (m) Benares
14th (m) Jhansi & Nowgong
15th (m) Sultanpore
16th (d) Rawalpindi
18th (d) Peshawar
Some irregular cavalry units survived, even when portions of some of them mutinied. The names were changed at various times but by 1914 they had following titles :
1st became 1st Duke of York's Own Lancers (Skinner's Horse); 2nd became 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse); 4th became 3rd Skinner's Horse; 6th became 4th Cavalry; 7th became 5th Cavalry; 8th became 6th King Edward's Own; 17th became 7th Hariana Lancers; 18th became 8th Cavalry.
Regiments of Bengal Native Infantry.
Facing colours in brackets.
1st (m) Cawnpore
2nd (d) Barrackpore
3rd (m) Phillour
4th (d) Nurpur/Hoshiarpore
5th (d) Umballa
6th (m) Allahbad
7th (m) Dinapore
8th (m) Dinapore
9th (m) Aligarh
10th (m) Fategarh
11th (m) Meerut
12th (m) Nowgong/Jhansi
13th (m) Lucknow
14th (m) Jhelum
15th (m) Nasirbad
16th (d) Mian Mir
17th (m) Azamgarh
18th (m) Bareilly
19th (d) Barrackpore
20th (m) Meerut
22nd (m) Fyzabad
23rd (m) Mhow
24th (d) Peshawar
25th (d) Calcutta (?)
26th (m) Mian Mir
27th (d) Peshawar
28th (m) Shahjehpore
29th (m) Moradabad
30th (m) Nasirabad
34th (m) Barrackpore
35th (d) Amritsar
36th (m) Jullundur
37th (m) Benares
38th (m) Delhi
39th (d) Dera Ismail Khan
40th (m) Dinapore
41st (m) Sitapore
44th (d) Agra
45th (d) Ferozepore
46th (m) Sialkote
48th (m) Lucknow
49th (d) Mian Mir
50th (m) Nagode
51st (m) Peshawar
52nd (m) Jubbulpore
53rd (m) Cawnpore
54th (m) Delhi
55th (m) Nowshera
56th (m) Cawnpore
57th (d) Ferozepore
58th (d) Rawalpindi
60th (m) Umballa
61st (m) Jullundur
62nd (d) Multan
63rd (d) Berhampore
64th (d) Peshawar
67th (m) Agra
68th (m) Bareilly
69th (d) Multan
71st (m) Lucknow
72nd (m) Neemuch
73rd (d) Jalpaigori / Dacca
74th (m) Delhi
As with the cavalry, some units only partially mutinied, or were disarmed, and later reconstituted. Some men were formed into irregular Punjabi infantry units, others became part of regular Indian Army regiments. Titles of regiments by 1914 were as follows:
21st were disarmed at Peshawar, became 1st Brahmans; 31st became Queen Victoria's Own Rajput Light Infantry; 32nd partially mutinied, became 3rd Brahmans; 33rd disarmed became 4th Prince Albert Victor's Rajputs; 42nd mutinied Saugor but reformed to become 5th Light Infantry; 43rd disarmed, reconstituted as 6th Jat Light Infantry; 47th disarmed at Mirzapore became 7th Duke of Connaught's Own Rajputs; 59th, disarmed
at Amritsar, reconstituted as 8th Rajputs; 63rd, disarmed at Berhampore, reconstituted as 9th Bengal Infantry (9th Gurkha Rifles); 65th became 10th Jats; 66th, originally disbanded for mutiny in 1850, were reconstituted in same year as 66th Gurkha Regt.(later 1st Gurkhas); 70th disarmed, became 11th Rajputs.
In June 1858 the loyal sepoys from the 21st and 27th Regiments were formed into the 30th and 31st Bombay N.I. At the same time a new Punjabi regiment was formed from the loyal sepoys of the 3rd, 36th and 61st Bengal N.I.
Most illustrations show sepoys, once they had mutinied, wearing skull caps or as having retained
their white linen-covered Kilmarnock-style caps. The covers were buttoned on the left side. Below the covers the caps were : Line companies dark blue with a white band; Rifle companies green with green bands; Light companies blue with green bands. The odd figure painted without cap cover could add variety to your army. Other mutineers are shown wearing a loose turban with one end hanging free down the back.
Red jackets with white turnbacks. Facing colours (collars, cuffs, shoulder straps) are as listed above.
Lace was white. Grenadiers and Light companies had large woollen-edged wings on the shoulder strapping. These can easily be added with "Milliput" or similar. Rifle companies wore green uniforms, black facings and black equipment. In many cases jackets were quickly replaced with native clothing.
Oxford-mixture (blue-black) were worn in the rainy season and white trousers during hot weather. Trousers were again often replaced by native items (dhotis).
White leather belts,brass plates. Black canvas knapsacks.
Some reports mention units, initially at least, as fighting under their old HEIC standards. The regimental standard of the 41st Bengal N.I. was captured at Delhi (now in the "Glosters" Museum). These regimental standards were white with the "Union Jack" in upper canton, nearest the hoist, as with British regiments. Regimental numbers, in Roman figures were surrounded with a wreath of leaves, flowers &c. Battle honours were also
shown. Two regiments for example may give some ideas. The 41st 's colours originally bore the honours "BHURTPORE" and "SUBRAON". The latter honour is actually not shown on the portion of the standard in the museum. The 22nd had the honours "CARNATIC", "DELHI 1803" and "PUNJAUB". A Union flag was also carried. Some accounts also tell of standards, uniforms and even regimental bands being flaunted in the face of
the British outside Delhi. The Ranee of Jhansi is reported to have flown a yellow "Mahratti" flag.
Notes on native dress items mentioned for infantry applies also to the cavalry and artillery also. The Light Cavalry in the early stages often fought in uniform.
Regimental dress for Bengal Light Cavalry usually comprised blue Kilmarnock-style cap with a white band and tourie (pom-pom).
These were French grey with facing colours, collars and cuffs, as listed above. The facing colours were edged in white. Shoulder straps and braiding were white. A simpler form of stable jacket was often worn, instead of the hussar jacket, particularly during the hot season They still bore facing colours and jacket was edged in white down front and around waist.
French grey with a white stripe down outside seam. White trousers could be worn during hot season or overalls of grey. Girdles were yellow with two red stripes.
White leather belt, sword knot, and slings for sabretache. Sabretache itself and saddle covers in black. Valise dark blue,white circular trim. Regimental numbers also in white e.g. "III LC" in two lines, for 3rd Light Cavalry.
Of the figures currently produced by Wargames Foundry, only one mutineer is modelled with a uniform jacket. This was dark blue with red edging and yellow frogging.
4.Civilians & Irregulars.
Most of the male civilians are dressed in simple white (off -white) garments. Pugris/turbans could be white although other colours were sometimes used. Some Hindus could have used saffron yellow on clothing, or a Moslem who had been to Mecca could have a green turban. If the civilian was more affluent then a variety of silks could be used, particularly if using those figures from the Moghul period to depict minor princes and their
followers. If using Afghan figures as irregulars then all kinds of colours could be used. Although many tribes had predominant colours in their clothing there were many traders and raiders that could provide all kinds of clothing from outside their own immediate area. Units raised by princes could be dressed with a uniform colour turban or cummerbund or piece of material draped across the shoulders, or matchlock men in uniform tunic.
BRITISH & INDIAN UNITS.
Unit title given is that in use at time of Indian Mutiny, although later, more familiar titles are often given in brackets. Battle Honours shown after title are those awarded to the regiment named. It is not a comprehensive list of all the actions the unit took part in, merely the major battles or areas of action which enabled the names to be included upon the regiment's standards.
Key to Battle Honours:-
A--Defence of Arah
Other abbreviations used:-
R of F--Regiment of Foot
HEIC--Honourable East India Company
Uniform details where known are listed below. Note that the term "khaki" can refer to all kinds of shades of buffs/browns/creams/greys, depending upon the dyestuffs used. It is similar to the term "butternut" used for the Confederate troops of the American Civil War. The fact that the men were on campaign and wore a variety of uniform is reflected in the way that eyewitness give accounts that appear at odds.
A. Units in Northern Provinces/States.
This area was mainly Oudh Province which included Delhi, the ancient Moghul capital, and Lucknow.
QUEEN'S REGIMENTS - BRITISH REGULAR ARMY.
The 2nd Queen's Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays)
Brass helmets, no plume. White covers were soon adopted, officers also wore loose pagris. Tunics red with black facings. Trousers blue with yellow stripe, gold for officers.
The 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers).
Khaki sun helmets with pagri, loose for officers, or covers and curtains. Tunics or stable jackets blue. Blue trousers with double white stripes, strapped black.
The 7th or Queen's Own Hussars
Officers forage caps with pagris, plain light-coloured, single-breasted frocks. All ranks blue overalls with two light stripes and leather strapping. White belts, black pouches. No sabretaches.
The 9th (Queen's) Royal Lancers.
D, Lr, Lc
White forage cap with cover and curtain, officers cap peaked. Forage cap covers were dyed khaki in September, to which a white turban was added. Tunic white with red trim on shoulder straps, collars and pointed cuffs. Trousers white, not dyed. From October onwards they reverted to Home Service uniforms of blue tunic with red collar and cuffs and piping. Yellow epaulettes. Trousers blue with yellow stripe. Lance pennons
discarded after Delhi.
5th R of F (Northumberland Fusiliers).
Ld ,Lr, Lc
White/grey or khaki. Chevrons for latter white. Being on campaign all kinds of combinations of these colours are possible. Many officers wore patrol jackets. All ranks used helmets and pagris or covered forage caps. Described as red tunics, white trousers at Lucknow.
8th R of F (The King's)
White undress trousers and jackets dyed "slate coloured". Covered forage caps with turbans,pagris and /or curtains. White leather belts. By time of Lucknow uniforms much tattered and patched.Patches are easily added with "Milliput" or "Greenstuff". The latter is easier to use but not so readily available.
10th R of F (North Lincolnshire)
All white, later all khaki. Woollen shirts often worn with rolled sleeves. One officer described as "drab frock (frock coat) with trousers to match." Helmet and pagris.
20th R of F (East Devonshire)
23rd R of F (Royal Welsh Fusiliers)
Red tunics (at least initially) with blue facings.
32nd R of F (Cornwall)
Red tunics, white facings including shoulder straps with red numbers. Trousers often rolled. White covered and curtained forage caps. Later described as wearing "once white" shell jackets. White belts, slings etc.
34th R of F (Cumberland)
38th R of F (1st Staffordshire)
Other ranks white covered and curtained peaked forage caps, grey-blue shirts, white trousers. White leather belts/straps, black pouch.Officers sun-helmet with white trailing pagri, red shell jacket with yellow facings, white trousers.
42nd R of F (Royal Highland)
Supposedly highland bonnet with sunshade, or glengarry but reports suggest many retained old Kilmarnocks. Tunics white, later khaki with red facings, kilts.
52nd R of F (Light Infantry) (Oxfordshire)
All khaki. Flannel shirts often worn outside linen trousers. White chevrons. Some wrapped muslin around waist as spine protectors from the sun. It was also common practice to wrap pagri around Kilmarnock caps or to use covers and quilted neck curtains.
53rd R of F (Shropshire)
Lr, Lc also at Cawnpore Dec.1857.
Red tunics, red facings piped/edged white. White trousers,belts. Covered forage caps.
1st Bn. 60th (The King's Royal Rifle Corps)
White sun helmet or forage cap. Shell jacket rifle green with red facings, red collar edged at top in black. Chevrons black outlined in red, worn on both arms. Orlando Norrie shows dark green pagris wrapped around wicker sun helmets. Capt. G.F.Atkinson shows without pagris. Leather equipment black.
61st R of F (South Gloucestershire)
White covered and curtained, peaked forage cap. Red tunic,buff facings. White trousers. Other sources state white shell jacket and trousers dyed "blueish-brown". Trousers could also be blue, without the normal red stripe.
64th R of F (2nd Staffordshires)
White, covered, forage caps. Red tunics, black facings. Trousers Oxford mixture or white.
75th R of F (Stirlingshire, later Gordon Highlanders)
Slate coloured undress jackets and trousers, dyed en route to Delhi. Kilmarnock caps, frequently wrapped in pagri or turban and/or covers and curtains. By Lucknow uniforms well worn and much patched.
78th (Highland) R of F (later became Seaforth Highlanders)
Forage cap,or "hummle" caps, can be covered or curtained, some retained old Kilmarnocks. Other ranks red coats or shirtsleeve order, kilts. Officers red coat,buff facings, trews or kilts. Later in the campaign they are shown dressed similar to English Regts. i.e. trousers, loose shirts and covered helmets. Like the 64th R of F this unit had been serving in Persia prior to arrival in India.Figures: There are no specific figures to cover this
regiment. Highland figures would need to replace bonnets with "hummle" caps (for these see painting by Desgnes of Highlanders outside Lucknow frequently used in books).
79th R of F (Cameron Highlanders)
This unit arrived late 1857 from Britain. Originally in red tunics, they swopped after Lucknow to ships smocks dyed light blue.Red chevrons. Feather bonnets and sunshades or Glengarries with light blue pagris. Cameron tartan for kilt. Hose red and green. Belts and slings white.
82nd R of F (Prince of Wales Volunteers)
84th R of F (York and Lancaster)
Ld, Lr, Lc
Said to be wearing white linen jackets (to the hip) on their march to Lucknow.
90th R of F (Perthshire Volunteers) (Light Infantry)
Covered forage caps. White covered helmets also mentioned. Brown jackets with red collar and cuffs. N.C.O. chevrons red. Trousers Oxford mixture. White belts,slings,cap pouch.
93rd (Highland) R of F
Highland bonnet with sunshade. Brown "Holland" tunics, red facings (plain rounded collars and cuffs). Red N.C.O. chevrons on both sleeves. Red shoulder straps for men or twisted cords for officers. Sporran usual black with white tassels. Kilts in Sutherland tartan. (Libraries usually have books on tartans). Hose red and white,red garters, white spats. Red sashes were worn over left shoulders of officers and right shoulders of N.C.O.
97th R of F (Earl of Ulster's)
Officers probably forage caps. Other ranks shakos with khaki covers and curtains, later covered forage caps. Some caps with makeshift peaks. Red tunics with sky blue facings,edged white. Trousers Oxford mixture, often worn rolled up. By close of Lucknow most officers reported in white or khaki. White leather equipment.
The Rifle Brigade
Lc also at Cawnpore. Rifle Brigade also present CI (see section b).
Dark green forage cap (peaked for officers) without badges. Tunic rifle green. Trousers rifle green or white. Later (1858) khaki tunic (black facings) and trousers, described as dust coloured. N.C.O. chevrons black on upper right sleeve. Equipment black. Some officers wicker helmets, with green pagri. After the capture of Lucknow they adopted slate-coloured clothing (an eyewitness described as lavender) ,with black facings.Some retained home service trousers. Sun-helmets with black pagri. Some 200 riflemen were included in the Camel Corps (April 1858).
Royal Artillery reinforcements came from Britain with Campbell in August 1857 and were then present at several actions. White or khaki , covered or curtained forage caps. Tunics white or khaki, or blue with red facings. Trousers again white, khaki or blue. Combinations of these could be used to represent vagaries of campaign wear.
Royal Horse Artillery
As with above, the Royal Horse Artillery were sent from Britain as part of Campbell's reinforcements. They had not served in India for many years. They wore basically the Home Service uniform. One concession to heat was a turban wrapped around the forage cap. Jacket, blue with yellow frogging and sleeve knots. Collar and shoulder straps red, edged yellow. Trousers blue with red stripe. Leg guards of riders black.
Examples of use:
1) Delhi siege train included 14 heavy guns (8 x 18-pdrs., 6 x 24-pdrs.) 14 mortars, and 6 howitzers.
2)Bombay Artillery used 9pdrs.
Large guns can be used for garrisons, but look impressive when drawn by elephants.
Engineers again were present at many actions particularly such as Delhi. They not only helped to plan defences and sieges etc., but were responsible for leading storming parties. Other ranks wore a sun helmet, usually without pagri, or white covered, curtained forage cap (some with peaks). Red tunic, dark blue trousers. Officers often had pagris on helmet, mostly white or khaki. Red shell jackets or tunics, blue facings. White or blue trousers.
Lc (The Naval Brigade were present at several actions.)
Headgear could be sennet straw hats, mainly ordinary seamen. Hats sometimes covered and with a neck-cloth. Although some shown with peaked forage cap manning a 24-pdr. gun on the advance towards Fatehgarh. Sun helmets with cover and curtain or peaked forage cap for officers. Sailors short blue jackets white trousers. Jean collars, blue with three white stripes. Badges (pre-1860) white on blue clothing and blue on white clothing. Officers single-breasted frock coats gilt buttons and gold lace on sleeves. White trousers.
HONORABLE EAST INDIA COMPANY REGIMENTS
1st Bengal (European) Regt. (Fusiliers)
D, Lc also engaged at Fategarh and Cawnpore.
White covered and curtained forage caps. Grey-blue shirts, often shown with black neckerchief. Trousers white or dark blue. Officers could have shell jackets and helmets with pagris. Red or blue jackets are also mentioned for officers.
2nd Bengal (European) Regt. (Fusiliers)
White clothing dyed brownish khaki (as opposed to more grey of 1st Regt.). Covered and curtained forage caps, usually shown with no peaks. White leather belts, musket slings with brass fittings.
1st Madras (European) Regt. (Fusiliers)
Ld, Lc, also fought at Allahabad and Cawnpore.
Nicknamed "Neill's Blue Caps" after the forage caps they wore, both with and without peaks. The blue cover they wore went over any peak also. White or khaki tunics.
(later formed into 3 Regts.- 1st & 2nd became 9th &10th Bengal Cav.)
Officers grey helmets (air pipe style) with red pagris, loose ends. Tunic khaki, single-breasted with skirts to mid-thigh, red pointed cuffs. Black leather belts, scabbard slings. Breeches white or buff, high black boots.Large red sash over right shoulder, knotted at hip. Leather horse furniture black, shabraques (rounded at front and pointed at rear) blue with wide yellow edging. Sowars were mostly Sikhs. The tunics were generally
supposed to be khaki but were often varied. The main uniform features were bright red turbans of varying styles and sizes, with the ends tucked in, and red cummerbunds. These made it easier to distinguish "friendlies". They carried carbines, tulwars, shields and some lances. "Fane's Horse" was raised from what was basically the 3rd Regt. of Hodson's Horse. Same uniform retained.
1st Regt. of Cav., Punjab Irregular Force
D, Lr, also at Agra.
Turban scarlet. Alkaluk dark blue, silver lace.
2nd Regt. of Cav., Punjab Irregular Force (Probyn's Horse)
Turban dark blue. Alkaluk scarlet, facings black, lace gold. Officers sometimes retained European-style dress, e.g. red tunic, black facings, with gold cord around collar and cuffs. Multi-coloured cummerbunds. White breeches, often dyed light yellow-khaki. Mail gauntlet (s) often worn. Poshteens ("Afghan coats") sometimes worn in cold weather. Normally high boots of black leather.
5th Regt. of Cav., Punjab Irregular Force
Alkaluk dark green, red facings, gold lace. Other lithographs show Punjabi cavalry uniforms in what appear to be either all white or pale khaki, with dark turbans and cummerbunds.
Guides and Dograhs
Served in area around Delhi and were part of 4th Column of assault. Both infantry (6 companies) and cavalry (3 troops) in march to Delhi.Quite a few casualties prior to assault.
Infantry khaki turbans, tunics (red facings) and trousers. Cavalry khaki or blue turbans, khaki tunics, red facings, pale khaki trousers, long black boots.
Punjab Sappers & Miners
D, Lr, Lc
Only 30 men took part in assault on Delhi.
4th Regt.Sikh Infantry, Punjab Irregular Forces
All khaki tunic and trousers, grey/khaki turban. Brown, or less frequently, black pouch and belts. Bayonet frog, rifle straps black.
1st Punjab Infantry, Punjab Irregular Forces
Loose drill tunics and trousers, dyed dark indigo. Capt.Fane illus. show some turbans as striped. This is the only Punjab Inf. unit mentioned as specifically wearing indigo as opposed to more usual khaki.
Dark green turbans, jackets, red trousers, black equipment
The Sirmoor Battalion (Gurkhas)
This unit held Hindoo Rao Ridge for more than 3 months, beat off 26 attacks, and took 335 casualties.
Officer dark green forage cap or white cover and curtain, dark green shell jacket, white trousers, sometimes gloves. Pouch belt and sword belt black, silver fittings. Riflemen all dark green, woollen edges to wings and edges of shoulder straps black. Black chevrons. Black leather equipment, brass fittings. Cap diced red and black in two rows.
7th (or Kumaon) Local Battalion (Gurkhas)
Adopted khaki rather than rifle green.
The Regiment of Ferozepore.(20th Punjab Inf.)
The Regiment of Lucknow
Raised from 13th 48th and 71st Bengal Native Inf. These two regiments may well have been dressed similar to Punjab Irreg. Forces.
N.B. Many levy regiments from various areas, and 15 Punjabi Regiments, were raised at the time of the Mutiny. In absence of other information uniform details as for 4th Sikh Inf. could probably be used.
1st Regt. Sikh Irregular Cavalry
Blue turbans, drab kurta, red cummerbund and pyjamas. Officers similar or wicker helmet with pugri, tunics or kurtas.
Corps of Bengal Sappers and Miners
Shell jackets, blue trousers with red stripe. Originally recruited from both Indians and Europeans.
27th Regt. Madras N.I.
Red coats, black facings, gold lace. Stiffened turbans with white covers or peakless forage caps. White leather equipment.
Cavalry (Gentlemen Volunteers) / Civilians.
Cavalry could have all sorts of civilian clothing and uniforms. Officers from disbanded units as well as civilian volunteer were brought together as ad hoc units, owing to the shortage of regular cavalry. Units could be composed almost entirely of officer type figures.
B. Central India.
QUEEN'S REGIMENTS - REGULAR BRITISH ARMY.
8th (The King's Royal Irish) Regt. of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)
White cotton covers on forage caps. Home Service stable dress, blue, yellow edging on collars, cuffs and shoulder straps. Yellow stripe on outside of leg , black strapping. White belts.
12th (The Prince of Wales's Royal) Regt. of Lancers
14th (The Kings) Regt. of (Light) Dragoons
Regt. had been serving in Persia. Central India operations from June 1857 to late summer 1858.
Forage caps with pagris or often turbans with loose ends. Shirt sleeve order or blouses dyed with curry powder. Black neckerchief sometimes worn. Trousers blue with double red stripes, black strapping. White leather belts and carbine sling, brass fittings.
17th Regt. of (Light) Dragoons (Lancers)
The Regt. was part of the hunt for Tantia Topi in the autumn of 1858. Peaked forage cap, covers and curtains. Home-service blue double-breasted tunic (buttoned across) and trousers.
71st (Highland ) R of F. (Light Infantry)
Had been in Malta and sent to India early 1858. Retained old Kilmarnock caps. Non-kilted regiment.
72nd (Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders) R of F
CI including. Kotah
Covered forage caps or feather bonnet, some officers turbans. Non-kilted regiment, trews (Prince Charles Edward Stuart tartan). Doublets, or some officers shell jackets, red with yellow facings and white piping/edging. Later replaced by ships smocks dyed "earthy-brown.".
80th R of F (Staffordshire Volunteers)
Officer white helmet and pagri, red shell jacket, yellow facings, white trousers. Other ranks covered and curtained peaked forage caps. Grey shirts and trousers.
83rd R of F (Royal Irish Rifles)
Most rifle regiments appear to have retained their rifle green uniforms.This unit may have done so as well.
86th (Royal County Down) R of F
CI, actions include minor part in storming of Jhansi & Gwalior.
Early operations men wore covered shakos. Later covered forage caps, neck curtains. Grey/khaki flannel shirts or red shell jackets. Trousers Oxford mixture, worn with white wide braces. Some officers wicker helmets with pagris. Scarlet shell jackets with blue collar and cuffs,piped white (include. front of jacket), gold shoulder cords and buttons.
88th R of F (Connaught Rangers)
In April 1858, two companies of this regiment were used to form part of the Camel Corps, along with men from the Rifle Brigade. Soldiers rode on camels behind a Sikh driver. The driver wore a band around his turban, probably of yellow, to match the 88th's facing colour.
(See also section "A") CI
As mentioned in section "A" they formed part of the Camel Corps (April 1858) along with men from the 88th R of F. The camels were used for transport, not as fighting platforms, so foot figures can be used. Uniform details are as in section "A". For those who wish to have camel drivers they wore a black band around their turban.
95th (Derbyshire) R of F
CI, Kotah, Gwalior, Koondrye
Initially forage caps, both covered and uncovered, red shell jackets, blue trousers. Officers sometimes white trousers. By June 1858 however jackets had been replaced by ships smocks in various shades of white/grey. For a while officers retained shell jackets, then grey-blue frocks. Clothes became very worn and patched. Patches again are easily added with filler or the paintbrush. Turbans and even curtains in various colours were adopted.
See notes in section "A."
HONORABLE EAST INDIA COMPANY REGIMENTS
3rd Madras (European) Regiment
3rd Bombay (European) Regiment
May 1858 described as wearing "lavender suits", yet only one month previously they were described as stone coloured. Forage cap and pugri.
1st Cav.Regt. Hyderabad Contingent
4th Cav.Regt. Hyderabad Contingent
1st Regt. Bombay Light Cav. (Lancers)
Hussar style tunic in light blue (powder blue), white facings, silver lace. Usually peaked forage caps, covers and curtains.
2nd Regt.Bombay Light Cav. (Lancers)
3rd Regt.Bombay Light Cav. (Lancers)
Both regiments uniforms as 1st Regt.
1st Regt. Scinde Irregular Horse
Bengal Horse Artillery
Helmets covered in linen and pagri, or peaked forage cap with covers/curtains. In 1858 they were wearing stable jackets and overalls, usually white, dyed khaki. Overalls usually strapped in leather. Brown sword belts. This uniform replaced the 1857 blue jackets as mentioned below for Bombay H.A.
Bombay Horse Artillery
Uniforms similar to Sikh Wars except plumes were removed, and helmet covered and curtained in white.Blue stable jacket with red collar and cuffs,brass buttons. Blue trousers with yellow stripe and brown leather strapping. White belts. Bombay Foot Artillery dressed similar, except red stripe on trousers and no strapping , and forage caps.
Corps of Madras Sappers and Miners. Corps of Bombay Sappers and Miners
Native officers black turban, red coat, black or dark blue patch on collar and cuffs, gold lace, black swordbelt. Trousers dark blue, red stripe. Native ranks similar with dark blue shoulder scales,edged yellow.
31st Regt. Bengal N.I
Officers, white peaked forage cap, undress jackets, white trousers. Sepoys Kilmarnock caps with white covers,red jackets (facings buff),or white undress jackets, white trousers.
4th Regt. Bombay N.I.
sky blue facings
10th Regt. Bombay N.I.
12th Regt. Bombay N.I.
13th Regt. Bombay N.I.
24th Regt. Bombay N.I.
dark green facings
25th Regt. Bombay N.I.
All six of above units had battle honours CI. All red tunics, facings as listed. White or blue trousers.
1st Regt. Madras Native Infantry. 19th Regt. Madras Native Infantry
Both these Regts. wore red tunics, 1st faced white, 19th faced sky blue. Both gold lace. Trousers white or blue.
Arrived 1858 ex-Cape as part of Azimgarh Field Force. Officers Albert shako with drab-grey cover/curtain. Green plume. Dust coloured, single breasted jacket (Hussar-style frogging), pointed cuffs with Austrian knots. Indigo trousers, long brown boots. Commanding officer noted as wearing red quilted calico jacket, blue trousers. Same officer, different day, pale buff frock, dark grey trousers. Men - covered shakos, light grey, green plume.
Pale grey frocks and trousers.
19th (1st Yorkshire,North Riding,Princess of Wales's Own) R of F.
Served 1858. Forage cap with cover and curtain. Red tunic, green facings. White trousers.
24th (2nd Warwickshire) R of F.
Actions include. Jhelum, where 300 of 1st Bn. drove off 1,000 enemy.
Home service kit, green facings, piped white. Gold lace on collar, cuffs.Officer's pompom white over red. Trousers Oxford mixture.
29th (Worcestershire) R of F.
Officers dark blue, peaked, forage caps. Men shakos with khaki covers. Tunics red, yellow facings,
35th (Royal Sussex) R of F.
Covered peaked forage caps. Red tunic, blue facings, blue trousers.
59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) R of F.
Detachment was sent from the Regiment which was on its en route for Hong Kong. Some wore naval sennet hats.
87th (The Royal Irish Fusiliers) R of F.
Present Peshawar, near Afghan border.
White covered forage caps. Officers red shell jacket, blue facings. Men grey or white shirts. All ranks Oxford mixture trousers.
91st (Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders) R of F.
Wicker helmet with pipe ventilator and pagri. Light drab cotton frock and trousers. White pouch belt and waist belt.Blue painted water bottle, brown strap.
Robart's Horse (later 17th Bengal Cavalry).
Red turbans, drab jackets and pyjamas, red cummerbands.
Jat Horse (later 14th Bengal Cavalry).
Red turbans, blue kurtas, white pyjamas, red cummerbund, black equipment.
4th Sikh Irreg. Cav. (later 13th Bengal Cavalry).
European officers dark tunic, cummerband, white breeches, boots. Native officers mixture of dark and light coloured alkaluks and blouses.
Central India Horse.
British officer drab helmet, purple pagri. Drab kurta with purple cummerband, drab breeches. Native ranks same with purple turbans. Leather equipment brown.
For various other irregular cavalry units raised in Bombay and Central India, they could be treated as 4th Sikh Irreg. Cav. above.
Rohilkund Horse (later 16th Bengal Cavalry).
Described in Major D. Jackson's book (see below) as spending 2 years putting down Sepoy Rebellion. Dressed in green kurtas, yellow pyjamas, red cummerband and black turbans.
NOTES ON SOME BATTTLES AND SKIRMISHES.
1) Large Scale Actions
Assault on Delhi, Sept. 1857
Made by 5 columns. Composition of columns plus approximate numbers of men involved.
1st Column & 2nd Column.
To storm breach near Kashmir Bastion. To storm breach at Water Bastion.
75th Regt. of Foot, 300; 8th Regt.of Foot, 250
1st Bengal Fusiliers, 250; 2nd Bengal Fusiliers, 250
2nd Punjab Infantry, 450; 4th Sikh Infantry, 350
To act as reserve.
61st Regt. of Foot, 250
4th Punjab (Sikh) Inf., 450
Wing Beloochi Bn., 300; 60th Rifles, 200
Jhind Auxiliaries, 300 (to cover advance of storming parties before joining reserve).
Accounts of the storming itself are available in most general histories.
Jhansi 21st March - 5th April, & Betwa 1st April 1858.
Lt.General Sir Hugh Rose was laying siege to the formidable fortress of Jhansi, although his force was only 4,500 strong (less than half the number of defenders). Plans to storm the city were postponed when a relief army under Tantia Topi appeared. Rose gave battle near the River Betwa. This river forms the boundary between neighbouring provinces of Uttar Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh. Splitting his forces ,Rose turned to face Tantia Topi's
20,000 whilst still maintaining a bombardment of the Jhansi fortress. Rose lined up his force of around 1,500, with his infantry in the centre, cavalry on one wing , horse artillery and the 14th Light Dragoons on the other. When Rose's cavalry charged, they received a volley from hundreds of matchlockmen but were in amongst them before they could reload. On the other wing it was a similar tale as the Dragoons charged home under covering fire from Lightfoot's artillery battery. As Tantia Topi's flanks retired ,the centre also broke as Rose's infanty advanced. Returning to Jhansi, Rose had the bombardment intensified. Breaches in the walls and supposed treachery from within led to the successful storming of the city.
2) Smaller actions/large scale skirmishes:
Fatehpur (Futtehpore) 12th July 1857.
Havelock's force marched towards Cawnpore in July 1857. It comprised 1,000 Europeans from 4 different regiments (include. Madras Fusiliers, 64th R of F, and Highlanders);130 of Brazier's Sikhs troop of 18 volunteer cavalry plus battery of 6 guns. Mutineer Regts. included: men from 2nd Cavalry, 6th and 56th Native Inf. Havelock's main casualties (12) were as a result of sunstroke.
Aong 15th July 1857.
By now Sikhs have been left behind at Fatehpur. Aong village had entrenchments in front on either flank were some walled gardens with many trees.
Pandi Nudi (Pando Nuddee) 15th July 1857.
The river a few miles beyond Aong was much swollen by the July rains. Crossed by one bridge, scouts told Havelock that it was about to be blown. It was a two hour march to this bridge, under a hot sun. Under the command of Bala Rao (brother of Nana Sahib) the mutineers occupied trenches on the far side of the river. Heavy guns played on the bridge. British guns, under Maude, made use of a loop in the river to pour shot into the mutineers
flank. The Fusiliers under Major Stephenson swept across the bridge. The rest followed routing the mutineers.
3) Skirmish Actions
Siege of Arrah. 25 July to 3 August.
A railway official (Vicars Boyle) and 14 other Europeans/Eurasians together with 50 Sikhs were besieged in a prepared guest house. Bricked-up windows and a supply of food helped the besieged. Under the house a shaft was sunk to a depth of 18 feet which provided water as well as earth for repairing defences. The mutineers and badmashes dug up 2 cannon from an arms cache, but had virtually no ammunition. The mutineers used casters from the piano and chairs from Boyle's own main house as cannister. Garden walls and trees gave cover to attackers. They even tried to smoke defenders out by using chillies on a fire. A relief force under Eyre finally arrived with 150 men of the 5th Fusiliers, 14 mounted volunteers, and 34 artillerymen with 3 guns, drawn by bullocks. Met by mutineers that tried to outflank them, the artillery and Enfield rifles out-ranged their old "Brown Bess" muskets.
(Interested readers may wish to click below to read John French's review of The Foundry's miniatures for recreating the specific units described in this article.)
A.) Listed here are books that are generally still available, even if only secondhand.
M.Barthorp, The British Troops in the Indian Mutiny 1857-59, (Osprey MAA.1994).
D.Bloomfield, ed., Lahore to Lucknow: The Indian Mutiny Journal of Arthur Moffat Lang, (Leo Cooper. 1992).
M.Chappell, The Gurkhas, (Osprey Elite Series.1993)
M.Edwardes, Red Year, (Hamish Hamilton.1973).
J.Harris, The Indian Mutiny, (Granada Publishing.1973).
C.Hibbert, The Great Mutiny 1857, (Allen Lane 1978) also Penguin paperback.
Maj.D.Jackson, India's Army, (Sampson Low, Marston & Co. London.1940). Since reprinted ?
A.Llewellyn, The Siege of Delhi, (Macdonald & James.London 1977).
J.C.Pollock, Way to Glory--Life of Havelock of Lucknow, (John Murray.London 1957).
Sita Ram, From Sepoy to Subedar, (Routledge & Keegan Paul.1970).
P.V.Tahmankar, The Ranee of Jhansi, (MacGibbon & Key. London 1958).
L.Trotter, Capt., The Life of John Nicholson, (Thomas Nelson. London 1897) An older volume but still to be found. Includes section on Afghanistan.
C.Wilkinson-Latham, The Indian Mutiny, (Osprey MAA. 1977).
The Editors would like to add the following worthy titles to Mr. French's list.
Ian Knight, Queen Victoria's Enemies (3): India, Osprey MAA 219, 1990
Michael Barthorp, The British Army On Campaign, 1816-1902 (3): 1856-1881, Osprey MAA 198,
Maj. Gen. Gurcharn Singh Sandhu, PVSM (Retd), The Indian Cavalry: History Of The Indian Armoured Corps Till 1940, Vision Books, Delhi, 1981.
T. A. Heathcote, The Indian Army: The Garrison Of British Imperial India, 1822-1922, Hippocrene Books, Inc., New York 1974.
Boris Mollo, The Indian Army, Blandford Press, Dorset, 1981.
B.) Volumes worth consulting - usually in reference libraries.
J.W.Kaye, History of the Sepoy War, (3 volume history, London. 1876).
G.B.Malleson's History of the Indian Mutiny, (3 volumes, 1878-80)
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