83rd Regiment defend Mount Abu, the Indian Mutiny

Wed, 08/19/1857
A photograph of Mount Abu station taken from the Residency some 15 years later in 1872.

When the Indian Mutiny, originally known as the Sepoy Mutiny, broke out on 10 May 1857, the 83rd Regiment was stationed at Deesa in Rajputana in India. During May, June, July and early August, the Regiment was busy sending detachments to quell minor mutinies in Nusseerabad, Ajmere and Neermuch. By mid-August the mutineers in Rajputana had little success, largely due to the efforts of the 83rd Regiment; therefore some rebels, determined to achieve a successful blow against the British, decided to attack Mount Abu, a hill station wherein lived a small party of British including 35 sick and convalescent men from the 83rd Regiment.

On 19 August 1857, a company of the Jodhpur Legion, previously loyal, was positioned at the foot of the pass leading to Mount Abu where their duty was to guard the road to Deesa. Two days later under cover of the morning mist, the Jodhpur Legion mutinied and attacked the barracks. The small body of troops from the 83rd Regiment returned fire and closed with the rebels, who fled. Captain Hall and five soldiers followed up by charging the Sepoy's lines; the rebels then withdrew from Mount Abu. All the British in the hill station concentrated on the school house which they prepared for defence. The spirited defence by the small party of the 83rd Regiment daunted the rebels sufficiently, for they did not return.