Trace the course of the revolt of 1857?
The events that led to the revolt began on 29 March 1857 at Barrackpore. Mangal Pandey (a sepoy) refused to use the greased cartridges and single handedly attacked and killed his officer. Mangal Pandey was hanged. The regiment toAvhich his belonged was disbanded and sepoys guilty of rebellion punished.
The British instead of diffusing the explosive situation, paves the way for a mighty crisis by the above act. A chain reaction was set in motion. At Meerut in May 1857, 85 sepoys of the 3rd cavalry regiment were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for refusing to use the greased cartridges.
Therefore, on 10 May the sepoys broke out in open rebellion, shot their officers, released their fellow sepoys and headed towards Delhi. General Hewitt, the officer commanding at Meerut was helpless to prevent the army’s March.
Next morning the rebellions army reached Delhi. The city of Delhi fell into the hands of the rebellions soldiers on 12 May 1957. Lieutenant Willtashby, the officer in charge of. Delhi could not prevent the mutineers. Soon, the Mutineer’s proclaimed the aged nominal king, Bahadur Shah II of the Mughal dynasty as the Emperor of India. Very soon the rebellion spread throughout northern and central India at Luck now, Allahabad, Kanpur, Banares, in parts of Bihar, Hjansi and other places.
The leadership at Delhi was nominally in the hands of Bahadur Shah, but the real control was exercised by General Bakht Khan. On the side of the British the combined effort of Nicholson, Wilson, Baird Smith and Neville Chamberlain enabled the recapture Delhi by September 1857. In Delhi, Emperor Bahadur Shah II was arrested and deported to Rangoon, where he remained in exile’till he died in 1862.
At Kanpur.the revolt was led by Nana Sahib, the adopted son of Baji Rao, II the last Peshwa. Nana Sahib spelled the English from Kanpur with the help of the sepoys and proclaimed himself the Peshwa Nana Sahib in his efforts against the British was ably supported by two of his lieutenant’s one was Tantia Tope, the other was Azimullah, Sir Hugh Wheeler the commander of the British garrison at Kanpur surrendered on the 27 June 1857. But, soon Kanpur was recaptured by the British commander Sir Colin Campbell.
The principal person responsible for the revolt in Lucknow was the Begum of Oudh with the assistance of the sepoys, the Zamindars and peasants, the Begum organized at all- out attack the British. Henry, Lawrence, the chief commissioner tried to defend the British. Lawrence was killed in a bomb blast during the fight. The final relief for the British forces in Lucknow came in the form of Sir Colin Campbell, who suppressed the revolt.
Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, the widowed queen of Gangadhar Rao played a heroic role in this revolt. Rani Lakshmi Bai was affected by Dalhousie’s Doctrine of lapse, was joined by Tantia Tope. The combined efforts of Rani and Tantia Tope saw the capture of Gwalior. Meanwhile, Sir Hugh Rose defeated Tantia Tope and stormed Jhansi on 3 April 1858. He then captured Gwalior. The Rani of Jhansi died a soldier’s death on 17 June 1858.
Kunwar Singh, a ruined and discontented Zamindar of Jadishpur near Oudh, was the Chief organizer of the revolt in Bihar. He fought the British in Bihar. Kunwar Singh sustained a fatal wound in the battle and died on 27 April 1858 at Jagadishpur.
Ultimately the 1857 revolt came to an end with the victory of the British. Viceroy Canning proclaimed peace throughout India.