Iron Duke Miniatures

Iron Duke Miniatures

'Hard pounding, gentlemen!'


           ' They have done for me now; put a stone over my grave and say that I died fighting my guns.'             

                                                                                                Captain Edward D'Oyly, Bengal Artillery, 5 July 1857.

                                                                     Battle of Sassiah 
                                            (Also known as Shahganj)
                                                                                5 July 1857
Scenario: Brigadier Polwehele, commanding the Agra and Muttra Districts, advances to meet the Neemuch Brigade in the open field, but is defeated and driven back into Agra Fort. 

British and Company Forces

Comd: Brig. Thomas Polwhele

Deployed Force

  • 3rd Bengal (European) Light Infantry. Lt-Col. Wm. Riddell. 7 x coys (400).
  • D'Oyly's Battery, Bengal Artillery. Capt, Edward D'Oyly. Horse drawn. 5 x 9-pdrs, 1 x 24-pdr howitzer. (3 & 69 Europeans, 54 Indian drivers/golundauz).
  • Agra Militia. (55).
  • Agra Volunteer Cavalry. Capt. Prendergast. 

Left at Agra Fort

  • 3 x coys 3rd Bengal (European) Light Infantry. (168). 
    • Agra Militia and Volunteers. (100). 

    Note: the battery was fought as half batteries under Capts. D'Oyly and Pearson.

    Rebel Forces

    Comd: 'Brig.' Shaikh Riadut Ali

    (formerly one of the risaldars of 1st BLC


    • 1st Bengal Light Cavalry. Nos. 4 and 6 Troops.
    • Malwah Contingent Cavalry. 4 x troops.
    • Kotah Contingent Cavalry. 


    • 72nd Bengal Native Infantry including a rifle-armed company.
    • 7th Infantry, Gwalior Contingent.
    • Kotah Contingent Infantry. (500?). 


    • No. 4 (Native) Tp/1st Bde, Bengal Horse Artillery. 6 x guns.
    • Light Field Bty (horsed). 4-6 x guns. (Kotah Contingent?).

    Total Strength: estimated by Polwhele at 5,000 men. The Kotah contingent was an all arms grouping of only 700 or so. For Polwhele not to have overstated the strength of the rebels, there would need to have been a badmash/zemindari element of about 2,000 irregulars present. While the existence of a body of irregulars cannot be ruled out, such a thing does not specifically feature in reports of the action. Six troops of cavalry would come to 500 men at best.  Something around 2,300 formed infantry and 500 horse is probably close to the mark. There would almost certainly have been a badmash/zemindari contingent to tally on top of the mutinous soldiery, but whether it was quite as large as Polwhele's estimate would suggest is a moot point.

                                                  Battle of Agra, 
                                                    10 October 1857

    Scenario:  Brigadier Greathed's column is redeployed from Delhi to assist in Oudh. En route to Lucknow, Greathed marches via Agra where the garrison has shut itself up since the defeat at Sassiah, notwithstanding there is no siege to speak of. Greathed halts his men in the open countryside just outside Agra, where they set about pitching camp. Many of the officers go into Agra Fort. While they are away a large rebel army emerges as if from nowhere to pounce on the British encampment. Greathed's units hurriedly form up and, as the officers rejoin, mount a series of piecemeal counter attacks, which suffice, after some heavy fighting, to rout the rebel army with the loss of almost all of its guns. 

    British and Company Forces

    Comd: Brig. (Lt. Col.) Edward Greathed, HM 8th Regt., 

    and, some way into the fight, 

    Col. Cotton of the Agra garrison who was technically the senior man.

    Cavalry. Maj. Henry Ouvry, HM 9th Lancers.

    • HM 9th Lancers. Capt. Octavius Anson. (300).
    • 1st Punjaub Cavalry. Lt. John Watson. 1 x sqn.
    • 2nd Punjaub Cavalry. Lt. Dighton Probyn. 1 x sqn.
    • 5th Punjaub Cavalry. Lt. George Younghusband, 13th BNI. 1 x sqn.
    • Hodson's Horse. Lt. Hugh Gough, 3rd BLC. (200).


    • HM 8th Regiment. Capt. John Hinde. (225).
    • HM 75th Regiment. Maj. Charles Gordon. (225).
    • 2nd (Green's) Punjab Infantry. Capt. George Green. (600).
    • 4th (Wilde's) Punjab Infantry. A/Capt. Wm. Paul., 7th BNI. (600).

    Note: the strengths of the Queen's batalions are a division of their reported combined strength of 450.


    • 1st Tp/1st Bde., Bengal Horse Artillery. Capt. Frederick Remmington. 4 x 6-pdrs,      1 x 12-pdr howitzer.
    • 2nd Tp/3rd Bde., Bengal Horse Artillery. Capt. Charles Blunt. 4 x 9-pdrs, 1 x            24-pdr howitzer.
    •  No. 17 Light Field Battery, (No. 3 Coy/1st Bn., Bengal Artillery). Capt. George          Bourchier. 4 x 9 pdrs, 2 x 24-pdr howitzers.

    Sappers & Miners
    • 2 x coys Punjaub Sappers & Miners. Newly raised. (200).

    Joining the action midway from Agra Fort
    . Col. Cotton.
    • 3rd European Infantry. (500).
    • Pearson's Battery, Bengal Artillery. 5 x 9-pdrs, 1 x 24-pdr howitzer. (50).

    Rebel Forces

    Total Strength: said to be 5,000 troops, 12-15 light guns and an irregular contingent of some thousands. 

    Mutinous Troops. A composite grouping which had now become known as the 'Mhow and Indore Brigade'. It included: 

    • The remnants, (perhaps 600 men, under one Bheera Singh), of the Neemuch Brigade, (see Sassiah above), which after that action had marched on to Delhi, only to be routed by Nicholson at Najafgarh. 
    • 23rd Bengal Native Infantry and the 4 x troop wing of 1st Bengal Light Cavalry from the Mhow Brigade, neither of which had been at Sassiah or Delhi. The Neemuch Brigade included the remnants of Nos. 4 & 6 Troops 1st BLC, which would presumably have attached themselves to the other four troops. 
    • Some part of 2nd Cavalry Gwalior Contingent, possibly with other elements of the contingent. 
    • Many fugitive sepoys and sowars from the units which had fled Delhi. 
    • The Bhopal Contingent. (A regiment of infantry, with small cavalry and artillery attachments).
    Badmash Elements. Strength unknown but probably in the low thousands. 
    • The Mhow regiments had attracted a badmash rabble.
    • It can be presumed that many basmash fugitives from Delhi had attached themselves to the remnants of the Neemuch Brigade.


    • EIC guns: 1 x 18-pdr, 1 x 12-pdr howitzer, 3 x 9-pdrs, 2 x 6-         pdrs.
    • Non-EIC Pieces: 1 x 10 pdr,  2 x 8-pdrs, 2 x 7-pdrs. 

    Note: some part of the mutineer cavalry included sowars dressed in red alkaluks: Lt. Arthur Lang's account suggests that these were identified as members the 2nd Gwalior Contingent Cavalry.