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(GOUGH, Hugh, first Viscount, Field-Marshal) RAIT, Robert S.

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

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

Stock code: 86196

Price: £325

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First edition. “The only full-length biography” (Bruce). Gough was first gazetted as a lieutenant in 1795, and posted to the 78th Highlanders at the Cape of Good Hope. 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” (ODNB). He led operations against the Sikhs in both the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, obtaining victories at Mudki, Ferozeshahr, Sobraon, Ramnagar, and Chilianwala, but the terrible losses at this last were such that questions were asked about the competence of his command. Sir Charles Napier was sent out to replace him, “but before the change could take place Gough had re-established his reputation by his crushing defeat of the Sikh armies 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.” Gough is said to have commanded in more general actions than any other British officer of the nineteenth century except the Duke of Wellington, who described him as “affording the brightest example of the highest qualities of the British soldier.”

2 volumes octavo. Original green cloth, title gilt to the spines. Gough arms gilt to the upper boards. Photogravure portrait frontispiece to each, 8 other plates in all, 5 of them photogravures, 21 folding maps and plans. A little rubbed and now lightly restored, spines relined and relettered, corners stiffened, hinges tightened, foxing front and back, as usual, and a light scatter in between, overall very good.

Bibliography: Bruce 1885.

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