Siege of Cawnpore June 1857

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Siege of Cawnpore June 1857
Part of Indian Mutiny
Date: 5-27 June 1857
Location: Cawnpore Uttar Pradesh
Presidency: Bengal
Co-ordinates: 26.470876°N 80.371896°E
Result: Siege
East India Company Rebel Sepoys
Maj Gen Sir Hugh Wheeler Nana Sahib (Dhondu Pant)
Tatya Tope
950 incl. 225 women & 320 children


On 4 & 5 June the rank and file of the native regiments broke and fled towards Delhi leaving the native officers and 80 men who remained faithful. Nana Sahib induced the sepoys to return and attack the Europeans at Cawnpore. The siege began on 7 June. Wheeler moved his garrison outside the city to a small entrenchment consisting of a few barrack huts with a low earth rampart. They would have been better able to defend the magazine with its store of arms and ammunition. During the next 3 weeks one barrack hut was burned down and all the artillerymen killed. With food, water and ammunition nearly exhausted, capitulation was the only option for the defenders. They were offered safe conduct to Allahabad and on 27 June they were conducted to boats waiting at Satichaura Ghat on the Ganges. See Cawnpore (Satichaura Ghat) for subsequent events.

Wheeler's Garrison

  • One company of Artillery - 63 men, 16 women, 20 children
  • 84th Regiment - 60 men, 55 women, 40 children
  • 32nd Regiment - 84 men, 45 women, 60 children
  • 1st Madras Fusiliers - 15 men
  • Musicians and other occupations - 45 men, 29 women, 100 children
  • Non-military - 100 men, 80 women, 100 children

Native Troops

External Links

"Indian Mutiny 1857-58"
"Siege of Cawnpore" Wikipedia
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh Wikipedia
Kanpur Memorial Church Wikipedia
Maj Gen Sir Hugh Wheeler ODNB

Historical books on-line

List of inscriptions on Christian tombs and tablets of historical interest in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh by E A H Blunt ICS 1911 Description of the uprising and names on monuments of European victims

Recommended Reading

Saul David, Indian Mutiny: 1857 (London: Viking, 2002), ISBN 0670911372 ; (Penguin, 2002), ISBN 0141005548
W H Russell, My Indian Mutiny Diary (Periodicals Service Co, 1967), ISBN 0527781207
Andrew Ward, Our Bones are Scattered: the Cawnpore Massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1857 (McArthur & Co, 1996), ISBN 0719564107