By August 1857, the siege of Lucknow began under Outram, Niell and Havelock. Niell was killed in September and Havelock died in November. The situation in Lucknow is dire with lack of provisions. Begum Hazrat Mahal, Nana Saheb and Maulvi Ahmedullah were leading the Awadh forces. To break the siege, Kunwar Singh blocked the route between Fatehpur under Col Powell and Kanpur. The action happened at Khajuha. Parallel to this, Tatya Tope invaded Kanpur held by Maj Gen Windham. Two battles were fought on 26 and 27 Nov 1857. Kanpur fell shotly and Campbell hastened from Lucknow leaving it to Outram. The guns were destroyed. He left Lucknow on 26th and reached Kanpur on 28th. Kunwar Singh left for Shivrajpur to cross into Awadh. A battle was fought on 5 Nov between Tatya Tope and Campbell where Tatya retreated. The forces split into two, one going to Kalpi and the other in the opposite direction. This forced the British to split their forces as well, with Campbell chasing Tatya to Kalpi. Campbell finally understood this and asked Hope Grant to march on Shivrajpur from Kanpur. By that time, the forces left into Awadh but with loss of considerable ammunition. On 11 Dec, 7 infantry and 1 cavalry division reached Lucknow. Lucknow was saved for another few months. Campbell understood how well he was duped and waited for reinforcements to lay the final blow. In the meanwhile, he was busy mopping up the Doab.

Advertisements