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forces in the Persian Gulf, followed this fearful example. He was an excellent officer; and his melancholy end, following so soon after General Stalker's, cast a gloom over the whole expedition.
The garrison of Bushire was placed under the command of General Jacob of the Bombay Artillery, who arrived in Persia soon after the expedition to Borasjoon. This officer had already developed talents of the very highest order, both as a soldier and administrator, and might have risen to great distinction had he not been cut off prematurely soon after his return to India, in the following year.
Another officer joined the Persian field force about the middle of February. He was then unknown to fame, and not destined to see the beginning of another year. But a few months sufficed for Major - General Havelock to achieve a name, which will last while the English language is read or spoken.
Mohummerah lies on the north side of the river Karun, close to its junction with the Shat-ul-Arab, here from 600 to 800 yards wide. It is about thirty miles from the sea. There were no defences at the mouth of the river; but for a quarter of a mile, both above and below the junction of the Karun, some excellent earthworks had been thrown up, and were lined with artillery and musketry. To take Mohummerah it was necessary to sail up the Shat-ulArab past the embouchure of the Karun, and land the troops on the left bank, so that a very heavy fire would be encountered from these defences. The left or east bank of the Shat-ul-Arab, for sixty miles from its mouth, belongs to Persia, the right bank to Turkey, which further up possesses both sides. The delicate question arose whether it was not breaking the laws of neutrality to sail up such a river in hostile guise. We had no intention, certainly, of firing upon the Turkish side; but we intended to pound the Persian shores with all our might; and the Persians evidently could not be expected to
offer their cheek to the smiter: but if they returned our fire, every cannon-ball that passed over our heads would land on the Turkish side of the river; and it was reported that several Turks were actually killed in this manner, for they naturally crowded the banks to witness a spectacle such as they had never seen in their lives before, and we hope will never see again. Either with or without permission from the Turks, the English frigates steamed up the Shat-ul-Arab, and the well-laden transports followed.
Had the Persian gunners worked their guns properly, the vessels ought never to have passed the embouchure of the Karun.
No doubt the advantage, as regards weight of metal, was on our side; but the batteries which sheltered the Persian guns and gunners were admirably constructed of a clayey earth, and able to stand a far heavier battering than the wooden walls of our frigates. Nevertheless the latter, with little injury to themselves, but not altogether unscathed, had very sensibly reduced the enemy's fire after three hours' cannonade; and the transports with the troops on board were ordered to pass up the river to the spot selected for disembarkation above the batteries.
This they did without any accident; and the water being very deep close to the bank, they soon had discharged their living cargoes. The Persians offered no opposition, beyond a few musket-shots, to the landing.
The ground was a good deal intersected near the river by small irrigation canals for supplying the date groves, so the troops got clear of these and halted, while the general reconnoitred. The enemy had a large force, some five or six thousand men, but they had lost heart at finding their batteries were unable to cope with our ships. The tremendous size of our 68-pounder shot astonished and terrified them not a little; and more than one specimen of these iron messengers
were brought to the Shazadah commanding, that he might see what sort of work was going on in the batteries. They seem to have given him a disrelish for the combat altogether; and before Sir James had made his preparations for attack, the Persian army, which he at first descried drawn up as if for battle, had retreated up the right bank of the Karun, leaving all their campequipage and stores as booty to the conquerors. The loss on our side in this action was ten men killed, and Lieutenant Harris and thirty men wounded, all belonging to the Indian Navy. The enemy had upwards of three hundred killed-most of the wounded escaped. The few found by us," says Captain Hunt,
were taken care of, though so perfectly misunderstood was this kind ness at first, that, imagining they were only reserved for greater torture, they for some time resisted all kind of treatment, even water, from the hands of their conquerors." From this we may conclude that the modern Persians have not altered the treatment of prisoners which is represented in the old sculptures from Nineveh at the British Muscum-where successful generals are seen amusing themselves, after a victory, by cutting off the heads and limbs of their captives.
A strong moral effect was produced by the capture of a place like Mohummerah, which the Persians imagined they had rendered impregnable, by the massive batteries they had erected, the number of guns they had placed in them, and the strength of the garrison. But this was the only blow which we could have struck after the capture of Bushire without invading the country, where the wide plains and precipitous mountains would have proved more formidable obstacles than the opposition of their inhabitants. It is true that these obstacles are by no means insurmountable, or an invasion of Persia from Bushire, right up to Teheran, an impossibility, if necessity demanded it; but an expedition of the kind would
require to be conducted with great judgment, and cause a heavy drain on our resources. Fortunately for both countries, our English statesmen and the Persian plenipotentiary who had been sent to Europe to treat for peace, had discovered, even before the capture of Mohummerah, how unwise it was to continue the struggle; but the news of the preliminaries of peace having been signed did not reach Sir James Outram in time to prevent blood being spilt in vain at Mohummerah just as, in 1814, the news of the abdication of Napoleon reached the English and French armies too late to prevent the battle of Toulouse.
After the action at Mohummerah, the English army could not follow the Persians, for they had no means of providing the necessary land-carriage. But as the retiring army was certain to follow the course of the Karun, both for the sake of water and because they were known to have supplies at Ahwaz, a hundred miles higher up, the General ordered three flat-bottomed river steamers, under the command of Captain Rennie, of the Indian Navy, to ascend the Karun, and annoy the enemy if he could find opportunity. Three hundred of the 64th and 78th regiments, under the command of Captain Hunt, embarked in the steamers, and left Mohummerah on the morning of March 29. The river Karun, flowing from the high range of the Backliari Mountains, is subject to periodical inundations from the melting of the snows. For the last hundred miles of its course it flows through a rich level soil, like that of Egypt, and irrigation alone is required to make its banks rival those of the Nile in fertility. Yet the following is Captain Hunt's account of it a short way above Mohummerah :
The Karun is here about one hundred yards wide, and from twelve to twenty feet deep, with a powerful current, its banks fringed on both sides with dwarf poplar and willow jungle, which extends but a little distance from the bank. Beyond, nothing is seen but the wide desert,
here and there patched with tufts of coarse grass. Such is the prospect as far as the eye could reach, the datetrees even ceasing after leaving Mohummerah three or four miles, and no sign of cultivation or human abode appears to give animation to the dreary wilderness, seldom trodden by the foot of man. Game, however, of many kinds abounds, and immense flocks of duck and teal are always on the river. The lion, too, is said to be not unfrequently found in the jungle upon the banks."
Captain Rennie went up the river to Ahwaz, where there is a barrier of rocks, the only impediment in the navigation of the river for a hundred miles. Here the remains of an ancient bridge, which is said to have spanned the river in the time of Alexander the Great, are still to be seen. The party actually saw the Persian army there; but the latter retired at their approach, and, after destroying some magazines of powder and provisions, Captain Rennie returned to Mohummerah on the 4th March. The same day Sir James Outram received a despatch, informing him that peace had been concluded at Paris, and the Persian war was at an end. Sir James immediately commenced operations for evacuating Mohummerah, which was finally quitted in the beginning of May. The place is very unhealthy during summer, and we had no object in retaining a garrison there. The General himself proceeded up the Tigris to Bagdad to confer with Mr Murray, the British ambassador to Persia, who was to return to that court, and receive an apology for some insults offered to him before the interruption of diplomatic intercourse between Great Britain and Persia. A very curious incident occurred during the voyage of the Planet, a small river steamer which followed the one conveying Sir James. There were some horses on board belonging to Major Kemball, the consul-general at Bagdad, one of which got loose and leaped overboard just at dawn.
The steamer was then about halfway to Bagdad, and getting under weigh after anchoring as usual for the night. The horse was not missed for half an hour, but was then descried ashore in what seemed very unpleasant proximity to a splendid lion. The lion circled round and round him, always closing in. The horse remained motionless, beyond turning his head sufficiently to watch the lion's movements. Suddenly the latter gave a tremendous bound, but the horse was too quick for him, and escaped with a slight scratch; but instead of galloping away, he only went a hundred yards, and again stood still. The lion commenced his former tactics with a similar result, only his bound was less vigorous this time. The horse did not even yet take completely to his heels: he seemed either tied by some strange fascination, or inclined to tantalise an enemy, from whom a few minutes' canter would have entirely freed him. Again the lion commenced his circles; but ere they were narrowed to springing distance a party had landed from the steamer, and the instant the horse descried them he came galloping down as fast as he could, while the lion stalked breakfastless away towards the jungle.
The voyage from Koma (where the Tigris and Euphrates join, and form the Shat-ul-Arab) to Bagdad is about thirty miles. Not one single house is passed on either bank during the whole of this journey. We doubt if there is any other part of the world-the Great Desert not excepted-where so great a distance. could be traversed without seeing some permanent human habitation; yet this is not a desert, condemned by an unproductive soil, an absence of water, and a tropic sun, to hopeless sterility. It is a desert whose soil is rich and climate genial-a desert through which mighty rivers roll their fertilising treasures to the ocean. Perhaps when the West has been filled up, the overflowings of European population may turn to
wards the East, and quarry amid the ruins of Babylon for materials to build new cities in the Mesopotamian plains.
Bagdad is the capital of a Turkish pachalic, or district under the government of a pasha. The country nominally swayed by this functionary is enormous, comprising a great part of Arabia; but in reality he can scarcely make himself obeyed beyond the walls of Bagdad, and frequently trusts to the English consuls to transmit his despatches to Bussorah, the second town of the district; for messengers between the British officials are more civilly treated by the Arabs than those of the Turkish Government. Sir James Outram found Bagdad a more convenient place than Bushire at which to wind up his diplomatic functions, as the posts from England are a week sooner in arriving. He had nearly completed his business, which, as it only referred to the return of the embassy to Teheran, was of no great importance, when he received one morning a packet containing intelligence of fearful import. It was the first news of the Indian mutiny and massacre at Delhi. Sir James at once perceived that his experience and services might be required in a wider field than he was now engaged in, made his final arrangements regarding the treaty with Persia as rapidly as possible, and started with his Staff for Bushire the beginning of June. He there handed over the command of the forces in Persia to General Jacob, and proceeded to win fresh honours and rewards in India, which we trust he may be long spared to enjoy.
General Jacob had no enemy to contend with in the field. His principal attention was directed to providing effective shelter for the troops against the burning sun, which strikes so fiercely on the Persian Gulf for four months of the year. By the energy of Colonels Hill and North, and the officers of the Bombay Engineers, this was so well accomplished that the mor
tality among the troops was greater than if they had been in a temperate climate. The occupation of Bushire lasted till October, when it was made over to the Persians. A single native infantry regiment remained at the small island of Karrack till the beginning of 1858.
So ended the Persian war of 1856-57. Like the little child in Southey's "famous victory," our readers may ask, "And what good
came of it at last?" And we cannot tell, any more than the old man could, except that it certainly was not a famous" victory. It is not much to boast of, that, by an expenditure of two or three millions sterling, we equipped a force sufficient to harass the shores of a barbarous empire, which had not a single war-galley. We made the Persians give up Herat; but what benefit either her Majesty's Indian or English empire received we cannot comprehend. What little interest we have in Persia should be friendly, and make it an object to strengthen her; but by depriving her of Herat, we of course weakened her, and alienated her affections. Formerly English officers used to drill the Persian battalions; but lately a whole staff of Frenchmen have been summoned to Teheran. By making Herat independent we have added one more to the turbulent principalities of Central Asia, and therefore made one more chance of a disturbance. This would matter little to the English public or Indian ryot (who, as he has to pay the war charges, is a principal party interested), were it not for the unfortunate inclination our statesmen evince to meddle in these matters, which concern them not.
The British Embassy returned to Teheran in July, and a mission under Lieut.-Colonel Taylor was despatched to Herat to see the former dynasty re-established, and the Persian occupation properly terminated. This object was successfully accomplished, and we trust these are the last Englishmen who will visit that inland princedom in