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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/49

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springing of this mine opened a breach broad enough for a column of infantry to have dashed through ; and had they followed up the advantage thus gained", the enemy would have secured possession of the post without striking a single blow, and would, or might, have opened the way to the capture of the whole Garrison ; but, on the contrary, the rebels appeared astounded at the demolition effected by their own work, and fled from the spot with the utmost precipitation.

Separated from this by a high wall, stand the ruins of the Brigade Mess-house, which was used as the Head Quarters of Brigadier Inglis, Commandant of the Garrison : the post was a commanding one, from which the rifles of some of the officers kept the rebels in effectual check, and prevented them from making any serious attacks on the defences to the right and left. When the breach was opened by the explosion of the mine, described above, it appears that the Sikhs, who occupied part of the square, fled ; and except for the hot fixe kept up from the Brigade Mess-house, there was nothing to prevent the enemy from passing through the breach, but their own cowardice.

On the right stood what were known as the " ladies' quarters," and immediately fronting those buildings, are the ruins of Mr. Ommaney's house ; this was considered tolerably safe, notwithstanding the fact that, Mr. Ommaney was killed in it, during the early part of the seige, by a stray shot from one of the enemy's batteries, close to the entrenchment on the westward.

Almost adjoining this on the left, is Mr. Gubbins, the Financial Commissioner's, house. This was really a small fortress in itself, the redoubtable Gubbins acting as his own commandant, although Major Ashton, 41st Native Infantry, claimed and enjoyed the honor of the post. The building- was in a very exposed position, affording the enemy prominent marks for the exercise of their artillery and musketry. It was against this house, that the rebels exploded a mine