Our Bones Are Scattered
The Cawnpore Massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1857
"This is the first full account of one of the bloodiest dramas of British imperial history - the siege and massacre of the European garrison at Cawnpore and the horrific retribution that followed.
In the maelstrom of the Great Mutiny of 1857, the starved and sunstruck garrison huddled with its children through bombardment and sniper fire, only to be massacred on the eve of rescue. To avenge their deaths and reassert the imperial will, thousands of Indians were hanged along the British line of march or tied to guns and blown to pieces.
Courage, folly, rage, fanaticism, horror, fortitude - all are here. But this is not just a saga of bloodshed following upon bloodshed; it is a demonstration of an essential rite of imperial progress. Just as Khartoum was followed by Omdurman, Isandhlwana by Ulundi , the cycle of massacre and retribution at Cawnpore advanced the empire by drowning out its critics in the fire and brimstone of British vengeance.
Considering the horrors of Cawnpore and its aftermath, it is, as Andrew Ward writes, "almost incredible that ninety years later the British and Indian people should have taken leave of each other so amicably."
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