The Pearl’s Brigade in the Indian Mutiny
In 1857 the Pearl provided a Naval Brigade which was engaged in an “open warfare” campaign in North-West Bengal lasting fifteen months. The crew, with the guns, joined the existing Field Force near Faizabad, some 600 miles upriver, dealing with sepoy mutineers and safe-guarding the country between the Ganges and the Nepal frontier. The various actions are recounted using a midshipman’s diary, with extracts from the Chaplain’s and another midshipman’s subsequent books. After numerous battles, the Naval Brigade’s last duty before returning to Calcutta was to take charge of siege guns drawn by elephants.