[Illustrated with over one hundred maps, photos and portraits, of the battles, individuals and places involved in the Indian Mutiny]
Letters From an Officer of the “Delhi Spearmen” on Campaign in India, 1857-58
“The letters in this book were written by Brevet-Major Anson, of H. M 9th Lancers, to his wife who was residing at Kussowlee in the Himalayan foothills near Shimla. Anson was an experienced officer at the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, with some twenty years’ service in the sub-continent, having fought at Punniar in the Gwalior War of 1843, at Sobraon, 1846, during the First Sikh War and Gujerat and Chillianwallah, 1849 and during the Second Sikh War. At the outbreak of the mutiny he was in command of a squadron of the 9th. His regiment, the 9th Queens Royal Lancers, had received their first posting to India in time to take part in the Gwalior War and during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 they served at the storm of Delhi and the capture and relief of Lucknow. The popular view is that they were awarded their famous nickname, ‘the Delhi Spearmen’ by the mutineers themselves. It is certain that the regiment deservedly earned its fierce reputation. It was highly regarded by others in the campaign and members of the regiment were awarded an astonishing twelve Victoria Crosses for acts of outstanding courage-more than awarded to any other cavalry regiment. Anson’s intimate letters to his family were, of course, never originally intended to be published, but fortunately for posterity they have left us with a nonpareil record of the mutiny as a cavalry officer and mounted regiment experienced it, details of the every day life of a regiment of the Victorian era on campaign and a first-hand reaction to the events of the Mutiny from someone who related-not with the benefit of reflection, but with the immediacy of reportage-events as they occurred. The book is of course all but unique, a source work of the highest order and is recommended.”-Print ed.