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RAIT, Robert S.

The Life and Campaigns of Hugh First Viscount Gough Field-Marshal.

Published: Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd., 1903

Stock code: 115841

Price: £200

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First edition. “The only full-length biography” (Bruce) of the man “said to have commanded in more general actions than any other British officer of the nineteenth century except the Duke of Wellington” (ODNB). Gough (1779-1869) was gazetted lieutenant in 1795, and posted to the 78th Highlanders at the Cape of Good Hope, with subsequent service with the 87th in the West Indies and in the Peninsular War, Talavera, Barossa, Tarifa, Vitoria, and Nivelle, where he was badly wounded. In 1837 he was “appointed to command the Mysore division of the Madras army. In the First Opium War Gough was sent to command the troops at Canton (Guangzhou) … The forts defending Canton were captured on 26–7 May 1841, and Gough was made GCB. After the arrival of Admiral Sir William Parker in July, Gough commanded the troops in the combined operations which ended with the capture of the great fortified city of Chinkiang (Zhenjiang) and the signing of the treaty at Nanking (Nanjing) in 1842. For his part in these events Gough was created a baronet, and received the thanks of parliament and of the East India Company. He returned to Madras, having been made presidency commander-in-chief on 16 June 1841, and on 11 August 1843 was appointed commander-in-chief in India” (idem). He also led operations against the Sikhs in both the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, obtaining victories at Mudki, Ferozeshahr, Sobraon, Ramnagar, and Chilianwala. The terrible losses at this last provoked questions about the competence of his command, but Gough re-established his reputation with a crushing defeat of the Sikhs at Gujrat on 21 February 1849, followed by their unconditional surrender to the pursuing force under General Gilbert. He vacated the command on 7 May 1849.

2 volumes, octavo. Original green cloth, gilt-lettered spines, Gough arms gilt to front boards, top edges gilt, others untrimmed. Photogravure portrait frontispiece to each volume, 8 other plates, 5 of them photogravures, 21 folding maps and plans. With the errata slip tipped in to vol. 1 p. v. Ownership inscription of George Allgood, dated 1904, to front free endpapers. Spines skilfully relined and refurbished, tips very lightly rubbed, light spotting to prelims, pale damping to edges of a small number of plates, the images unaffected. A very good copy in fresh condition.

Bibliography: Bruce 1885; Riddick, Who Was Who, p. 146.

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