The Indian Mutiny in 1857 was the first sign of disaffection against British rule. It erupted at Meerut, near Delhi, and spread rapidly across North India. At Lucknow, the European and Christian population retired into the heavily fortified British residency, guarded by a small force of loyal sepoys. Finally, in mid-November, Colin Campbell, Commander-in-Chief, conducted the exhausted garrison out of the city. It was not finally re-occupied until March 1858. The defence and relief of the Lucknow Residency became, understandably, a famous episode in British military annals.