[Sir Vincent Eyre: his reminiscences of his friend Sir James Outram, 'The Bayard of India'.] Long Autograph Letter Signed ('Vincent Eyre') to C. R. Low, giving 'reminiscences of Outram', a British hero of the Indian Mutiny.

Author: 
Sir Vincent Eyre (1811-1881), East India Company Major General, relieved the Siege of Arrah in the Indian Mutiny [Sir James Outram (1803-1863), 'The Bayard of India'; Charles Rathbone Low (1837-1918)]
Publication details: 
No date, but part quoted in Low's 1880 'Soldiers of the Victorian Age'. From 'Hotel Metropole. Geneva.'
£500.00
SKU: 22948

See the entries Eyre and Outram in the Oxford DNB. 10pp, 12mo. On two bifoliums and one loose leaf. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. A large part of this letter is quoted, as coming from 'Sir Vincent Eyre, the friend and companion in arms of Sir James Outram', on pp.168-170 of the second volume of Low's 1880 'Soldiers of the Victorian Age'. The opening of the actual letter, which is not quoted, reads: 'My dear Low. | You expressed a wish for any reminiscences of Outram I might be able to furnish. Unfortunately all my memoranda of those times are far away, so I have but little to offer offhand. Just as I was leaving India in April 1863 I wrote an obituary notice of him for the Friend of India, which was published as a leading article early in that month. You may be able to find it in the files of that paper at Guindlay's. My friend Mr. Low (a partner there) will let you search for it if you use my name. It might help you a little - as it was written fresh from the heart on hearing of his death.' Eyre deals with the following topics: Outram's 'protest' against 'the Amalgamation' ('it served at the time only to incense the Court & Horseguards party against him'); Eyre's work in establishing the 'Outram Institute' at Dum Dum; Outram's generosity to the men of Indian regiments; his character as 'Commander int he field', containing 'a rare and most valuable combination of Pluck and Caution'; 'his charge at Mungulwar' and 'prolonged occupation of the Alumbagh plain'; the relief of Lucknow; the thwarting of the desire of the Volunteer Cavalray to have him awarded the Victoria Cross, by which his 'generous & senstive spirit felt wounded in his tenderest point'; the resemblance between his head and that of Cromwell. There are a number of omissions in the published version. These include the following passage on the Lucknow campaign: 'Doubtless this their premier pas under the leading of the Indian Bayard gave a chivalrous impetus, not only to the young Volunteers immediately concerned, but to every officer and man in the force to which they belonged - It should be remembered, however, that on that memorable advance from Cawnpore to Lucknow Outram had, pro tem. voluntarily sunk his superior military rank in favour of Havelock, and was therefore at full liberty to win his spurs afresh as opportunity might offer as a leader of Volunteers.' Elsewhere Eyre refers to documents 'at Guindlay's or at the E. I. Club 14 St. James's Square', which 'might Eyre throw valuable light on his character as the Soldier's [sic] Friend - for such he was pre-eminently'. He also suggests that Lord Napier might help Lock 'materially' in locating 'plans of the Alambagh position'.