Hugh Rose played a trick. He brought to
Gwalior, Maharaja Jayaji Rao Sindhia who had run away from Gwalior and was living in Agra
under the protection of the British. "The British are fighting to enable Maharaja
Jayaji Rao to get back the throne. Therefore, all soldiers who return will be
pardoned." Proclaimed Rose.
Now some wisdom dawned on the Peshwas. They were ashamed to face Rani Lakshmi Bai.
Finally they sent Tatia Tope. When they begged for pardon, the Rani place before them her
plan of war. Tatia Tope accepted it.
Although the Ranis forces were small in numbers, the extraordinary courage of the
Sirdars and the war strategy and courage of the Rani inflicted defeat on the British army.
The days victory was due to the Rani.
Next day (18th) before sunrise the British war bugle sounded. The pardon
proclaimed by Maharaja Jayaji Rao had tempted some soldiers and they had joined the
British. Information was also received that two brigades which were under the Rao Saheb
had again transferred their allegiance to the British.
Rani Lakhsmi Bai sent for Ramachandra Rao Deshmukh and said: "today appears to be
the last day of the war. If I die, consider my son Damodar more precious than my life and
take care of him. One word more: if I die, make sure that my body does not fall into the
hands of those who do not belong to my religion."
As expected, that day Rose had the upper hand. A large part of the army of
revolutionaries fell. Their guns fell into the hands of the British. The British army
entered the fort swift as a flood.
There was no other course for the Rani than to escape from that place. Holding the
horses reins in her teeth and flashing the sword with both the hands the Rani rode
away. A few Pathan Sirdars, Raghunatha Simha and Ramachandra Rao Deshmukh were with here.
The British army had encircled them.
Blood was flowing freely. The sun had the same hue in the western horizon. Darkness was
approaching. A British soldier who came very near threw a dagger at the Ranis chest.
It struck her a little below the chest. The Rani killed the solider. Blood was flowing
from her body. But there was no time to rest. The British army was pursuing her. When the
Rani was about to cross the Swarnarekha Canal a shot from the gun or a British soldier who
came there struck her right thing. Flashing the sword with her left hand, the Rani put an
end to him.