« EelmineJätka »
were driven away, having been countermined from the 1826.
Bhurtpore. interior before they had entered many feet; and the gallery was subsequently blown up, it being discovered that the enemy were keeping watch in it. On the 14th another mine under one of the bastions was exploded too precipitately, and failed of its effect. Two more mines were immediately driven into the same work, which were sprung on the 16th so successfully, that with the aid of a day's battering they effected an excellent breach, which was reported to be practicable. On the 17th the mine under the north-east angle was completed, and the following day was fixed for the storm.
Early in the morning of the 18th, the troops destined for the assault established themselves in the advanced trenches, unperceived by the enemy. The left breach was to be mounted by the brigade of General Nicolls, headed by the 59th regiment; that on the right by General Reynell's brigade, headed by the 14th regiment: the explosion of the mine under the north-east angle was to be the signal for the attack. At eight o'clock the mine was exploded with terrific effect; the whole of the salient angle, and part of the stone cavalier in the rear, were lifted into the air, which for some time was in total darkness; but from the mine having exploded in an unexpected direction, or from the troops having been stationed in consequence of miscalculation too near it, the ejected stones and masses of earth killed in their fall several men of the regiment at the head of the column of attack, and severely wounded three officers. They fell so thick about Lord Combermere himself, that Brigadier-General M.Combe, who was standing next to him, was knocked down, and two Sepoys, who were within a
1826. few feet of him, were killed on the spot. Bhurtpore.
immediately mounted to the assault with the greatest order and steadiness, and notwithstanding a determined opposition, carried the breaches. The left breach was the more difficult of the two; the ascent was very steep, but the troops pressed on, and quickly surmounted it, the grenadiers moving up it slowly and resolutely, without yet drawing a trigger in return for the vollies of round shot, grape, and musketry, which were fired upon them. Some of the foremost of the enemy defended the breach for a few minutes with great resolution, but as the explosion of the mine had blown up three hundred of their companions they were soon compelled to give way, and were pursued along the ramparts. Whenever they came to a gun which they could move, they turned it upon their pursuers, but they were immediately killed by the grenadiers and the gun upset. In two hours the whole rampart surrounding the town, although bravely defended at every gateway and bastion, along with the command of the gates of the citadel, were in possession of the besiegers, and early in the afternoon the citadel itself surrendered. Brigadier-General Sleigh, commanding the cavalry, having been intrusted with preventing the escape of the enemy's troops after the assault, made such a disposition of his forces, that he succeeded in securing Doorjun Sal, who with his wife, two sons, and a hundred and sixty chosen horse, attempted to force a passage through the 8th Light Cavalry.
The loss of the enemy could not be computed at less than four thousand killed ; and owing to the disposition of the cavalry, hardly, a man bearing arms escaped. Thus, as by the surrender of the town, all
the stores, arms, and ammunition fell into the possession 1826.
Bhurtpore. of the victor, the whole military power of the Bhurtpore state might be considered as annihilated. The fortifications were demolished; the principal bastions and parts of several curtains were blown up on the 6th of February; and it was left to the rains to complete the ruin. The futty bourg, or “ bastion of victory,” built, as the Bhurtporeans vaunted, with the bones and blood of British soldiers who fell in the assault under Lord Lake, was now laid low, and among its destroyers were some of those very men who twenty years before “ had been permitted,” in the boasting language of the natives, “ to fly from its eternal walls.” In fact, the fort, in a military point of view, is in a state of complete ruin, open in every direction, and would demand as much expense, or nearly so, to render it again formidable, as would raise another in a new position. All the other fortresses within the Rajah's dominions immediately surrendered; the inhabitants returned to their abodes, and the Rajah was reinstated in his authority. Lord Combermere broke up his camp to return to Calcutta on the 20th February, and arrived there early in April.
Thanks were voted by Parliament and by the EastIndia Company;* and the prize-money arising from the capture, granted to the Company by the King, was ordered by the Court of Directors to be distributed among the army. In the early part of 1827 the Bombay government 1827.
Colapore. was involved in a discussion with the Rajah of Colapore, a small independent Mahratta state in the province of Bejapoor. The British government, anxious to avoid à rupture, endeavoured, through the resident, to
adjust * Vide Appendix, page 196.
1827. adjust the difference which had arisen without having Colapore.
recourse to extreme measures. The Rajah, deaf to all remonstrance, and blind to the real interests of his state, continued to disregard the advice offered to him ; he raised additional levies of troops, and at once placed himself in a hostile attitude, which rendered it incumbent on the government to prepare against aggression. The remonstrance of the government remained unanswered, and the Rajah, at the head of large bodies, commenced plundering, not only the properties and territories of his own dependent chiefs, but also those under the special protection or guarantee of the British government, and at the same time ex. torting money from the inhabitants by means of excessive cruelties. Thus forced into active operations, Colonel Welsh marched from Belgaum with the whole of the disposable troops of that station and crossed the Gutpurba river on the 12th September, and subsequently took up a position in the vicinity of Katabughee, in the Colapore territories, the inhabitants of which flocked in numbers to Colonel Welsh's camp, soliciting protection. These measures had the desired effect; the questions pending with the state of Colapore were brought to a satisfactory conclusion without recourse to actual hostilities; and such arrangements were entered into as will secure the peace and tranquillity of the country, and prevent, on the part of the Rajah, the recurrence of any
violation of his
Accounts were received in this country in the month of November of the death of Sir Thomas Munro, governor of Fort St. George. The lamented event took place at Pattercoondah, near Gooty, in the July preceding, and at the moment when that distinguished
1827. Sir Thomas
servant of the Company was on the point of returning to his native land after a period of nearly forty years Munro. devoted to the interests of the Company and his country.
The Court of Directors, as a tribute of respect to their late valuable servant, passed a unanimous resolution expressive of the regard which they entertained for his memory.*
Sir Thomas Munro's desire to be relieved from the charge of the government reached this country in September 1826, and in January 1827 Mr. Lushington, formerly of the Madras Civil Service, was appointed his successor. On the same day
On the same day Major-General Sir John Malcolm was appointed to succeed the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone in the government of Bombay. Mr. Lushington sailed from Plymouth in Mr. Lush
*“ At a Court of Directors held on Wednesday the 28th
November 1827, “ Resolved unanimously, that this Court has learnt with feelings “ of the deepest concern the decease of Major-general Sir Thomas “ Munro, K.C.B., late governor of Fort St. George, and its regret is
peculiarly excited by the lamented event having occurred at a “ moment when that distinguished officer was on the point of return
ing to his native land, in the enjoyment of his well-earned honours, « after a long and valuable life, which had been devoted to the inte“ rests of the Company and his country.
" That this Court cannot fail to bear in mind the zeal and devotion “ manifested by Sir Thomas Munro in retaining charge of the govern“ ment of Madras after he had intimated his wish to retire therefrom, “ and at a period when the political state of India rendered the dis“ charge of the duties of that high and honourable station peculiarly “ arduous and important; and this Court desires to record this ex“ pression of its warmest regard for the memory of its late valuable “ servant, and to assure his surviving family that it deeply sympa“ thizes in the grief which so unexpected an event must have occa« sioned to them."