Below me, on the lawn of the Martiniere, is the big gun one of Claude Martine's casting which did the rebels so much service at the other angle of the Martiniere and which was spiked at last by two men of Peel's naval brigade, who swam the Goomtee for the purpose.
The river Goomtee, which flows by Lucknow, enters the Ganges a few miles from Benares. It was at that time in full flood, and a flotilla might be easily gathered by which, in a few days, a large body of armed men with the munitions of war could have reached us.
But the attempt is fruitless. The whole area has been cleared of buildings right up to the gate of the Residency, only that hard by the Goomtee there still stands the river wing of the Chutter Munzil Palace with its fantastic architecture, and that the palace of the King of Oude is now the station library and assembly rooms.
He will come down with the next consignment. "I myself am going to work my way up along the edge of the Tipperah forest; and shall pick up another thousand head, by the time that I get to the Goomtee, and shall send them by water up to Sylhet; and then go up by land, picking up more on the way.
To carry the information, Lieutenant Thomas Adair Butter, 1st Bengal Fusiliers, plunging into the Goomtee, swam across it under a heavy fire, and, climbing the parapet, remained for some time still exposed to the shots of the enemy. He, however, happily escaped without a wound, and, leaping down, delivered his message.
They found that while the main body had gathered there, 6,000 men under Sir James Outram had crossed the Goomtee from the Alum Bagh, and, after defeating two serious attacks by the enemy, had taken up a position at Chinhut. On the 9th, Sir Colin Campbell captured the Martiniere with trifling loss.
Moosabagh, the last position of the rebels on the Goomtee, was cannonaded and captured by Sir James Outram and Sir Hope Grant on the 19th; and, on the 21st, Sir Edward Lugard, after a fierce struggle, took the last stronghold in the possession of the rebels in the heart of the city.
"It is only on a few of the rivers we go up that there is any fear of trouble. On the river from Sylhet to the east and its branches in Kathee or, as it is sometimes called, Kasi, the country is comparatively settled. The Goomtee beyond Oudypore is well enough, until it gets into Kaayn, which is what they call independent.
The Residency and its surroundings formed an irregular, lozenge-shaped inclosure, having its acute angles nearly north and south, the southern extremity being contiguous to the Cawnpore Road, and the northern point approaching near to the iron bridge over the river Goomtee.
So sudden was their rush that they were knee-deep before the nearest sentry fired, his ball whizzing over their heads as they threw themselves face downward in the stream, and struck out under water. Even when full the Goomtee is not more than ninety yards wide, and from the point where they started to equally shallow water on the other side was now not more than forty.