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ROVAL (late madras) ENGINEERS. 






(All rights reserved.) 




The portrait of General Sir James L. Caldwell, 
G-.C.B., will, it is hoped, be considered a suitable 
frontispiece for this volume. Previous to giving a 
record of his services, it will prove of interest to state 
that, before Major- General Patrick Ross (who was the 
first Chief Engineer after the Corps had been formed 
on a purely military footing in 1770) was placed on the 
retired list, Caldwell had attained the rank of captain ; 
and, further, that he lived for more than two years after 
the amalgamation of the Royal and Indian armies, 
having only died on the 28th June 1863, in his 9ith 
year. He thus not only served under the founder of the 
Military Corps of Madras Engineers, but was its senior 
Colonel Commandant when it became a portion of the 
Royal Engineers, and its extinction as a separate body 
became a certainty and a mere question of time. 

The picture has been reproduced by the Direct-Photo 
Engraving process from an excellent crayon likeness 
of the General in the possession of Major General Sir 
Thomas Pears, K.C.B., who very kindly consented to 
lend it for that purpose. The General is represented 


wearing his Ribbon and Star of the Grand Cross of the 
Bath when he was approaching his 80th year. 

The gallant and distinguished officer died in his 94th 
year at Beachlands, Ryde, Isle of Wight, on Sunday the 
28th June 1863. He entered the service of the Honour- 
able East India Company in 1788 ; was employed in the 
campaigns against Tippoo in 1791-92; was present 
when Tippoo's camp at Bangalore was attacked by 
General Floyd ; also in the assault of the Pettah of 
Bangalore, where Colonel Moorhouse of the Madras 
Artillery, and many officers and men were killed. He 
was at the siege of Bangalore, where he was wounded in 
the trenches. He entered the breach with the storming 
party, and was near the Killadar when that officer fell, 
desperately defending the top of the breach. Caldw^ell 
was engaged in the battle of Arrikera, where Tippoo's 
army was defeated by Lord Cornwallis. He served as 
engineer at the sieges Byacottah, Raymanghur, and 
five other forts. He was also at the surprise and cap- 
ture of the Pettah of Nundidroog, and at the siege of 
the fort of Nundidroog, which immediately followed. 
He mounted the breach with the storming party. At the 
capture of the strong hill-fort of Savandroog, he again 
mounted the breach. In 1792, he was engaged in the 
night attack on Tippoo's intrenched camp in front of 
Seringapatam, and was present at the siege by Lord 
Cornwallis, when he was wounded in the trenches. He 
w^as next engaged in the final campaign against Tippoo 
in 1799, and was present at the action of Malavelly 


under General Harris. At the second siege and capture 
of Seringapatam in 1799, he commanded the Brigade of 
Engineers, accompanying the storming party, and had 
charge of the scahng-ladders. He was twice wounded 
during the siege — once in the trenches and a second 
time at the top of the breach in rear of the forlorn 
hope, when he was shot, and rolled down into the ditch. 
He received the medal for Seringapatam, and a pension 
for the wound. He was appointed in 1810 Senior 
Engineer to the expedition against the Mauritius, under 
the command of General Abercrombie. He was thanked 
in the public despatch and favourably mentioned in 
General Orders : "To Major Caldwell of the Madras 
Engineers, who accompanied me from India, I am 
indebted for the most able and assiduous exertions. 
Since his arrival in these islands, he was indefatigable 
in procuring the necessary information in respect to the 
defence of this colony, and through his measures I was 
put in possession of an accurate plan of the town some 
time previous to the disembarkation of the army ; and I 
trust your Lordship will permit me to recommend to 
your Lordship's protection this valuable and experienced 

Caldwell was on board His Majesty's frigate Ceylon 
when attacked off and in sight of St. Denis, Bourbon, 
by the French frigate Venus, of very superior force. 
Both vessels were dismasted, and after a night's hard 
fighting the Ceylon struck to the Victor, a second French 
ship which came up at the close of the action. It was 
recaptured the next morning by Commodore Rowley. 


Caldwell was appointed to the charge of the Engineer 
Department in the Centre Division of the Madras Army 
in March 1811, and next year was entrusted with the 
repair of the fortress of Seringapatam. In 1813, he 
obtained the important post of Special Surveyor of 
Fortresses. In 1816 he was nominated a commissioner 
for the restoration of the French settlement on the Coro- 
mandel and Malabar coasts, and the same year became 
Acting Chief Engineer of Madras. He was appointed a 
Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1815 ; in 1837 
was made a K.C.B., and in 1848 a Grand Cross of that 

Besides his military services, he was engaged from 
time to time in important public works ; and in the 
interval between the two campaigns against Tippoo 
he served under the orders of Mr. Michael Topping in 
the Northern Circars, in investigating proposals for the 
improvement of that part of the country. 

He became a Field Officer on 1st January 1806, 
Major-General on 10th January 1837, and attained the 
full rank of General the 20th of June 1854. 



De Havilland's Services. — Report of De Havilland regarding the Engineers and 
Pioneers. — Repty of the Quartermaster-General. — De Harilland successful in 
his main object. — Pioneers converted into Sappers and Miners, 1831. — 
Opposition of the Commander-m-Chief. — His Eulogy of the Pioneers . p. 1 


First Bm-mese War. — Acts of Bvu-mese which led to it. — War declared by British 
Govei-nment. — Forces engaged. — Main force amves off Rangoon river. — 
Rangoon captured. — Capture of Cheduba. — Kemenduie occupied. — Captain 
Mackintosh dies. — Expedition to Tavoy and Mergui. — Failm-e at Kykloo. — 
Moncrieff and Campbell of Pioneers woimded. — Rangoon invested by Biu-- 
mese. — BiuTaese defeated. — Attack onKokien.—Bimdoola retreats to Donabew. 
— Expedition against Siriam. — Attack on Donabew. — Donabew captm-ed and 
Maha Bundoola killed. — Prome occupied. — Forced marches towards Tonghoo 
and to Meaday. — Captain Grant dies at Prome. — Aamistice granted till 2nd 
November. — Attack on Simbike. — Enemy defeated. — Our Head-quarters at 
Meaday. — Annistice agreed on till 18th January 1826. — Hostihties re- 
commenced. — Captm-e of Melloon. — Capture of Pagahm-Mew. — Advance to 
Yandaboo. — Treaty concluded 24th February 1826. — Kittoor. — Kolapore. — 
Fort of Bangalore. — Expedition against Malacca. — First Expedition retreats. 
— Reinforcement sent. — Ching occupied. — Advance to Roombiyah. — Attack 
on Soongyipatbye. — Malays attack om- camp. — Bookit-si-Boorsoo taken. — 
The Panghooloo meets the Government negociator. — Panghooloo refuses 
conditions. — Taboo captiu-ed.— Death of Edward Lake.— Operations in 
Ganjam and Goomsoor. — Establishment of Sappers revised. — Pioneers on 
Koondah Ghaut, Xeilgherries . . . . . ■ • . p. 36 



Expedition against Coorg. — East column. — North column. — Repulse at stockade 
of Buck. — West column. — West auxiliary column repulsed. — Raja 'sur- 
renders. — Expedition against Kurnool. — Action of Zorapoi'e. — Services of 
William Farquhar. — Services of Colin Mackenzie. — Services of William 
Monteitb p. 86 


First Chinese War. — Tinghae occupied. — Caiotain Anstruther kidnapped. — Mrs. 
Noble. — Hostihties recommenced, January 1841. — Preliminaries for peace. 
— Hong Kong occupied. — Hostihties resimied. — Capture of Bogue Forts. — 
Hostilities again suspended. — Arrival of Sir Hugh Gough. — Anstruther 
released. — Rimdall -woimded. — Terms of Peace. — British troops attacked. — 
Gallant conduct of Hadfield and 37th Madras Native Infantiy. — Amoy 
entered. — Attack on Chin-hae. — Ningpo occupied. — Attack of Chinese on 
Ningpo, and on Chin-hae. — We attack Tsekee. — Changki Pass. — Capture of 
Chapoo. — Repulse from a Joss house. — Fleet proceed to Woosung. — March 
on Shanghae. — Shanghae occupied. — And evacuated. — Ching Keangfoo. — Its 
capture. — Heroic conduct of General Hailing, the Tartar general. — Advance 
on Nanking. — -Treaty of Nanking signed p. 132 


C Company to Scinde, Kutchee, and Beloochistan. — Detachment to Cabul. — War 
in Scinde. — March across desert to Imaumghur. — Imaumghnr destroj'ed. — 
Outran! to Hydrabad. — Outram defends the Residency.— Battle of I\reannee 
— Six Ameers surrender. — Hydrabad occupied. — Battle of Hydrabad. — 
Meerpore taken. — Oomercote taken, — War at an end. — Napier's eulogy of 
Madras Sappers. — Madras Sappers at Aden. — EstabUshment of Engineers 
and Sappers . . . . • P- 185 


Second Bm-mese War. — Martaban taken. — Rangoon taken. — Expedition to Bas- 
sein. — The General retiu-ns to Rangoon. — First expedition to Pegu. — Prome 
occupied temporarily. — Lord Dalhousie at Rangoon. — British Army of Ava. 
— Great Pagoda fortified. — Advance on Prome. — Pegu captured. — Pegu 
besieged. — Reinforcements arrive. — Pegu relieved. — Action near Pegu. — 
Night attack on Prome by Burmese. — Annexation of Pegu proclaimed. — 
Expedition to Martaban. — Advance thence to Tonghoo. — Bui-mese Chiefs set 
out for Ava. — Tonghoo occupied. — Disaster near Donabew. — Expedition 


under Sir John Cheape to retrieve it. — Myat-toon entirely defeated — but 
escapes. — Cheape returns to Donabew. — British frontier fixed. — Second visit 
of Governor-General to Rangoon. — Assault of Nattom. — Captain Geils 
wounded. — Boundary fixed by Major Allan p. 211 


Defence of Kars, 1855. — General Williams reaches Kars, 7th June. — Kars com- 
pletely invested. — Russians attack, 29th September. — Russians repulsed 
with very severe loss. — Relief expected — but does not arrive. — Garrison in 
great straits for food and firewood. — Cause of inactivity of Turks at Erze- 
roiim. — Conditional surrender necessary. — Kars surrendered, 28th Xovember. 
— Despatch from Lord Clarendon regarding services of officers. — Honours 
granted to General Williams and Colonel Lake . . . . • P- 240 


Persian War, 1856-57. — Causes of it. — British Minister strikes his flag. — War 
declared. — Outram api^ointed to command. — Battle of Khoosh-ab. — Redoubts 
constructed at Bushire. — -Expedition to Mohumera. — Enemy defeated and 
flies. — Work of Sappers very heavy. — Enemy pursued three or four miles. 
— Army moves back to Mohumera. — Small expedition to Ahwaz. — Peace 
concluded at Paris on 4th March. — Services of the Sajopers. — Deaths of 
Strover, Boyd, Moore, and Roberts of Madras Engineers.— Corps of Engi- 
neers. — Abolition of Addiscombe College. — College, &c. sold. — Establishment 
at Addiscombe College. — Various head-quarters of Madras Sappers, 
&c p. 279 


Indian Mutiny, 1857-59. — Repoi-t of Lieutenant J. C. Anderson on defence of 
Residency, Lucknow. — Services of B Company. — Relief of Asseerghui" and 
Mhow. — Siege of Dhar. — Action at Mundisore. — Prendergast shot. — Goora- 
riah. — Neemuch relieved. — Force returns to Indore. — Sir Hugh Rose takes 
command. — Marches to Ratgurh. — Siege and capture of Ratgurh. — Xeville, 
Royal Engineers, killed. — Saugor relieved. — Sappers destroy forts. — 
Barodia put in state of defence. — Force marches towards Jhansi. — Crosses 
the Betwa. — Chandairee Fort captm-ed by 1st Brigade. — Siege of Jhansi. — 
Battle of the Betwa. — Gallant conduct of Lieutenant Fox, Madras Sappers. 
— Jhansi stomied. — Severe casualties among Engineers. — Dick and Meikle- 
john, Bombay Engineers, killed, and Bonus wounded. — Action at Koonch. — 
Sappers destroy Hurdooi. — Force marches towards Calpee. — Gains Go- 
lowlee on the Jamna, six miles from Calpee. — Enemy defeated and 


Calpee taken. — Flying: column under Robertson pm-sues. — Orders of Sir 
Hugh Rose to Central India Field Force. — Rebels march on Gwalbor. — Sir 
Hugh Rose follows them. — Defeats them at Morar and captures Gwallior. 
— B Company Sappers leaves Gwallior and returns to Madras. — Sir Hugh 
Rose highly praises B Company. — Saugor Field Force.— L Company Madras 
Sappers. — Column leaves trunk road at Jokehi. — Arrives at Dumoh. — 
Countermarcliing of Saugor Field Force. — Jheejhun shelled. — Battle of 
Banda. — Engineer ofEcers with advanced guards. — Fort on Cane river blown 
up. — Advance on Kirwee. — Foi-t at Kirwee put in state of defence. — Whit- 
lock marches west to Banda. — Action at Chittrakote — Punghatee Pass. — 
Punwarree Heights. — Relief of Kirwee. — Ludlow at Indore with Durand — 
Field Engineer with the Kamptee Moveable Column. — Lieutenant Sankey. 
— Entrenchments at Allahabad. — General Windham's force at Cawnpore. — 
Commander-in-Chief arrives from Lucknow. — Enemy defeated. — Rehef of 
Lucknow. — C Company Madras Sappers. — Garrison of Residency withdrawn. 
— C Company sent to Bunnee. — Then to Alumbagh to serve under Outram. 
— Outram's position. — Attacked by rebels. — Second attack. — Capture of 
Lucknow. — Franks defeats enemy in four actions. — Gallantry of Lieutenant 
Innes, Bengal Engineers. — Outram ci'osses to left bank of Goomtee. — Enemy's 
works. — Stoi-m of Begum Kotee. — Jimg Bahadoor an-ives. — Emaumbarra 
captured. — Jimg Bahadoor's force. — Captm-e complete. — C Company joins 
force under Hope Grant. — Action at Nawabguuge. — Hope Grant enters 
Fyzabad. — Sultanpore. — Rafts made by Sappers. — Force crosses River Sye. 
— Hope Grant goes to Allahabad. — Action at Daodi^ore. — Chiefs of Bys- 
warra coimtry submit. — C Company under Horsford. — Fort of Rehora. — Fort 
of Koelee. — Scott killed. — First half of Oude Camijaign finished. — Nicholson, 
Royal Engineers, bridges Gogra at Fyzabad. — Commander-in-Chief goes to 
Secrore. — Contest in Oude tenninates. — C Company retiu-ns to Madi-as. — 
Distinguished Sappers. — Jung Bahadoor's force previous to captiu-e of 
Lucknow. — Lieutenant Sankey — reconnoitres the Gogra. — Sankey and 
Garnault improvise pontoons. — Cross river opposite Nowi-anee. — Action near 
Phoolpore. — Bridge of boats constructed. — Sankey thanked. — Fort of 
Jumalpore. — Sankey recommended for V.C. — Sankey constructs bridge over 
Goomtee at Sultanpore. — Action at Kaudoo Niiddee . . . .p. 310 


War with China, 1860. — Cause of war. — Our squadron repulsed, 25th June 1859. 
— British and French Governments agree to enforce treaty. — French 
assemble at Shanghae — we at Hong Kong. — Madi'as Sappers reach 
Talien Whan Bay, Jraie 1860. — Lieutenant Gordon drowned. — We disembark 
at Pehtang. — Force leaves Pehtang. — Sinho occupied. — Engineer brigade 
fonned. — Tang-koo captui'ed. — Taku forts. — All the Taku forts taken. — 
Shaw Stewart with A Company ordered to Tientsin. — Battle of Chang-kia-wan. 
— Battle of Pa-li-chow. — Summer Palace taken by the French. — Breachinsr 


batteries at Pekin constructed. — An-ting Gate surrendered. — Convention 
signed and ratified. — Position of breaching batteries. — Army leaves Pekin. — 
Sappers sail for Hong Kong. — Weather very trying towards close of cam- 
paign. — Notices regarding Sappers. — Sir Hope Grant's despatch. — Shaw 
Stewart a brevet major. — Bhotan War. 1865. — Expedition to the Little 
Andamans ............ p. 420 


Expedition to Abyssinia, 1868. — Zulla selected as landing-place. — Pier com- 
menced. — Sir Robert Napier arrives. — Pass between Kumayli and Seuafe. — 
Napier leaves Zulla. — Construction of railway. — Difficulties at Zulla. — 
Napier at Senafe. — Reaches Adigerat. — Antalo occupied by Phayre. — Trans- 
port Corps. — Meeting between Napier and Prince Kassai. — Force begins 
march to Antalo. — Distribution of Sappers and Pioneers. — Trooi^s for final 
advance at Antalo. — Napier at Ashangi. — At Lat. — Passage of the Takkazzi 
secured. — Force reaches Dalanta Plain. — Napier demands surrender of 
prisoners. — British force moves to the Beshilo. — Action of Arogi. — Abys- 
sinian loss very severe ; om-s trifling. — Theodore orders release of prisoners. 
— Assault of Magdala. — Theodore shoots himself. — British force leaves 
Magdala. — Napier's addi-ess to his army. — Works in Suru Pass damaged by 
a storm. — Napier reaches Senafe. — Stonu of 19th May. — Napier passes Suru 
defile and reaches Zulla. — Embarks for England. — RejDort of Commanding 
Engineer. — Trophy obtained by Madras Sappers. — Kohat. — Ooblow disaster, 
1868.— Attack on Gara, 1869.— Doiu- Valley Expedition, 1872.- Duffla 
Expedition, 1873. — Campaign in Malay Peninsula, 1875-76. — Stockade at 
Campong Baia captured. — Kiuta taken. — AllPerak in our hands. — Excellent 
work of ^Madras Sappers ......... p. 442 


Expedition to Malta and Cyprus, 1878. — Sappers disembark at JIalta. 27th May. 
— Land at Larnaka 16th July. — Hard woi'k of Sappers. — Sail for Bombay, 
2nd November. — An-ive at Bangalore, 29th November. — Distiu'bances 
in Rumpa, near Rajahmimdry. — War in Northern Afghanistan. 1878-79. 
— B, E. and K Companies sent imder command of Major Sim. — Em- 
ployed in the Khyber Pass, Basawul. Jellalabad, and Gimdamuck. — Return 
to Bangalore, July 1879. — Accoimt of road, Pcshawvu- to Guudamuck. 
— Renewal of hostilities in September. — A, C, and I Cos. Madi-as Sappers 
sent on service. — Arrive in Afghanistan in November and December. — 
Major Ross Thompson in command. — A Company at Basawul, C at Limdi 
Kotal, and I at Jellalabad. — Whole of Sajopers sent to Daranta Gorge. — Attack 
on Momunds near Dakka. — Expedition in Lughman Valley. — Girdikas river 
road. — Thompson reconnoitres route thi'ough Adrak Badi-ak Pass, between 
Jellalabad and Kata Sang. — Expedition to Wazeeree country. — Expedition to 


Hissarak country. — Action of Maizena. — Besud affair. — Expedition against 
the Momunds. — I Company with Brigadier-General Arbuthnot, C.B., in 
Lughman Valley. — Preparations for return to India. — The three companies 
march to Hassan Abdul, via Kohat — ^Vnd thence to Bangalore. — Services of 
Lieut.-Colonel Lindsay and Major S. C. Clarke in Afghanistan. — Rail- 
way accident on Madras Railway to Madras Sappers, October 31st, 
1879 ' p. 487 


War in Southern Afghanistan, 1878-79. — Colonel Sankey appointed Commanding 
Royal Engineer. — Reconnoitres River Indus. — General Stewart arrives at 
Mooltan, 28th October. — Leaves Mooltan, 17th November. — Reaches Dadur, 
30th. — At Quetta, 8th December. — Our forces concentrated in the Peshin 
Valley. — Sankey reconnoitres the Gwaja Pass, 15th December. — Gwaja Pass 
made suitable for heavy artillery. — Stewart's force marches by the Gwaja 
to Shah Pusand. — Cavalry combat near Ghlo Kotul. — Stewart's force con- 
centrated near Deh Haggi, 6th January. — !\Iarch through Kandahar, 8th 
January. — 1st Division starts for Kelat-i-Ghilzai, loth January. — 2nd 
Division to Girishk. — Kelat-i-Ghilzai surrendered, 21st January. — Fort of 
Kelat-i-Ghilzai. — Subadar Major 12th Native Infantry decorated. — Recon- 
noitring party sent to Argandab Valley. — Another small force sent to Argeshan 
Valley. — Head-quarters left Kelat-i-Ghilzai, 2nd February. — Reached Kan- 
dahar, 11th. — Arrangements made for return to India. — some by Bolan. — 
General Biddulph by Tul-Chotiali route. — Sankey ordered to Madras. — 
Arrangements made for the garrison. — Sankey appointed C.B., and Le 
Messurier and Call obtain brevets. — Concluding remarks regarding Madras 
Engineers p. 533 

Appendix I. 608 

Appendix II 609 

Appendix HI 611 

Appendix IV. . 611 

Appendix V. 612 

Appendix VI 615 

Appendix VII 619 

Appendix VHI 621 

List of Maps and Plans occurring in Vol. II. of the " Military 
History of the Madras Engineers and Pioneers." 

Portrait of Sir J. L. Caldwell, G.C.B. 

Plan of Rangoon and its vicinity, 1826 

Map of Ava, 1826 . 

Map of Malacca 

Map of Coorg . 

Plan of Ningpo 

Theatre of War in China, 1842 

Plan of Szekee . 

Plan of Chapoo 

Plan of Ching-Keang-foo 

i'ort of Emaumghur 

Plan of Kan goon, 1852 

Plan of Bassein 

Plan of Prome 

Night attack of Burmese on Prome, December 

1852 . 
Plan of Myat- toon's position 
Fortress of Kars 
Sketch of Mohumra 
Plan of Addiscombe College 
Map showing route of Malwa, Central India 

and Sangor, and Nerbudda Field Forces, 


Plan of Outram's position at the Alumbagh 

Plan of siege of Lucknow 

Sketch of Pehtang and the Taku Forts 

Map of Abyssinia .... 

Map of Perak ..... 

Map of North Afghanistan 

Map of South Afghanistan 




page 48 




















































" Lieut. John Pennecuick served in the Abyssinian 
Expedition in 1868. He remained at Zulla during the 
Expedition, and was employed on the Engineering works 
connected with the landing of stores, &c." 






De Havilland's Services. — Report of De Havilland regarding the Engineers and 
Pioneers. — Reply of the Quartermaster-General. — De Havilland successful m 
his main object. — Pioneers converted into Sappers and Miners, 1831. — 
Opposition of the Commander-in-Chief. — His Eulogy of the Pioneers. 

In 1821, Major T. F. De Havilland was acting as Chief Engineer 
at Madras. He had seen a considerable amount of active 
military service, and had, moreover, distinguished himself as a 
civil engineer. 

He had been present at the siege of Pondicherry in 1793, 
the year after he entered the service ; served in the campaign 
against Columbo in 1795-96; and as Commanding Engineer, 
accompanied Lieutenant-Colonel Brown's force (over 4,000 men) 
which marched from Trichinopoly to assist in the subsidiary 
operations connected with the campaign against Tippoo in 1799. 
He accompanied the Indian expeditionary force to Egypt in 
1801 ; and was subsequently captured by the French in January 
1804, when returning to tndia. 

As a civil engineer and architect, he distinguished liimself in 
U. 1 


many ways. He constructed the sea-wall or bulwark at Madras, 
a work of no ordinary difficulty ; and he designed and built St. 
Andrew's church, which is remarkable for its beauty, both as to 
exterior and interior. While at Seringapatam, he proposed to 
bridge the Cauvery by five brick arches of J 10 feet span, with 
a rise of only eleven feet. 

When we consider that this proposal was made nearly eighty 
years ago, it cannot be denied that the man who conceived the 
idea must have possessed great originality and boldness. His pro- 
posal having been received with disapproval by the authorities, 
and, indeed, almost with derision, he determined to show that his 
proposal was quite feasible, and under his immediate supervision 
he built an arch in accordance with his design in his garden at 
Seringapatam, which is to be seen to this day, still standing 
near some of the officers' old houses inside the fort at Seringa- 

Sir Thomas Munro thus wrote of De Havilland : — 
"I have a high opinion of his talents and of his public ser- 
vices, and have expressed my sense of them on several occasions. 
In the case of the bulwark in particular, I recommended his claims 
to the Honourable Court, because I was convinced that he had 
shown great skill in the plan of tlie work, and that he had by 
his extraordinary exertions completed it at a much smaller 
expense than it could, perhaps, have been dune by any other 

To show further how active-minded this officer was, it may 
be added that he fixed the mean sea-level at Madras by obser- 
vations for six months (fully sixty years ago) ; and although 
more extended observations have lately shown that his level was 
not absolutely correct, still almost up to date all levels have been 
referred to what is known in Madras as " De Havilland's Bench- 
mark," a stone let into the wall of the enceinte of Fort St. George. 

As early as IR22, he wrote a report on limestones received 
from Coimbatore, Madura, Dindigul, Salem, North Arcot, Chin- 


gleput, Nellore, and Rajahmundry, and recommended that orders 
should be sent to Collectors of districts to forward specimens of 
limestones from their several districts, in order that they should 
he analysed and experimented on. 

The ability, experience, and versatility of talent of this officer 
has been dwelt on with the object of creating in the minds of 
readers an enhanced amount of interest in the report which 
forms the subject-matter of this chapter. 

The report was sent in by permission of the Governor, Sir 
Thomas Munro, on 23rd November 1821 ; De Havilland having 
succeeded to the acting appointment of Chief Engineer in the 
previous February. 

The paper is an able and interesting one, showing in a very 
clear manner the status of the Corps at that time, and the diffi- 
culties with which the officers had to contend ; as well as bringing 
out, by the criticism it evoked from the Quartermaster-General 
of the Army, the jealous feelings with which the Engineers were 
viewed at that period by the stalf of the army. The letter is a 
very lengthy one, covering as it does 172 pages of closely 
written manuscript, divided into over 200 paragraphs. 

In the first eight paragraphs, he confines himself to the 
original constitution of the Corps in 1770, and the arrangements 
previous to that date. 

"The duties of the Corps were two-fold: — 1st, Military; 
2nd, Civil. Before 1770, persons were selected indiscriminately 
from military and civil services, to be employed as engineers, 
and military rank was conferred on those who had not previously 
possessed it. Many of these men displayed talent, zeal, and 
valour, but it would appear as if that unsettled system was 
found defective, and application was made for an officer of Engi- 
neers as Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief Engineer to be assisted by 
one major, three captains, two lieutenants, and two ensigns. It 
was considered necessary at this time to have a Chief Engineer, 
on whose opinions with reference to the fortifications of Fort 

1 * 


St. George the Court could rely, and as a consequence the 
Engineers were placed immediately under the orders of the 
Governor, because they were intended to have their head- 
quarters in the Fort, of which the Governor was Captain and 
Commander-in-Chief. It is very evident now, however, that 
the Corps of Engineers is an essential branch of the army." 

It is now proposed to give, as concisely as is consistent with 
lucidity, the tenour of Major De Havilland's observations, com- 
mencing at paragraph 9. 

9. Major De H. proposed " that in its military capacity the 
Corps should look to the Commander-in-Chief for its move- 
ment and discipline, while the materiel would remain in charge 
of the Military Board, and appointment to civil and general 
staff duties would continue with the Governor." 

10. " Bv the system now in force, the Corps has been hin- 
dered in its gradual advance to perfection observable in the 
other branches of the services ; nor has it kept pace with the 
rest of the army as regards promotion." 

11. "The Commander-in-Chief cannot consult the Chief 
Engineer, and therefore applies elsewhere for information which 
the Chief Engineer is best able to give him." 

12. " For instance. The Quartermaster-General of the army 
prepared a memoir on pontoons and military bridges, when the 
army was about to take the field under Sir T. Hislop, and sug- 
gested experiments. This should have come within the province 
of the Chief Engineer. The Quartermaster-General would not 
have been taken up with matters foreign to his department, 
would not have been disappointed in his own means of execu- 
tion, nor would he have had to recur to the services of an 
Engineer officer contrary to his intention." 

13. *'The Chief Engineer may be, and has often been, senior 
officer in the Fort, but has not been allowed to command. 
This subjects the Chief Engineer to a mortification equally 
inconsistent with military principles and the tenour of a mili- 
tary commission " 


14. "The Commander in-Chief cannot select ofBcers from 
the Corps to perform any service." 

15. "The Corps of Engineers is a skeleton corps. When 
Pioneers were first formed, there was no Corps of Engineers; 
hence they (the Pioneers) were and are still officered hy infantry, 
partly because the Commander-in-Chief cannot appoint Engi- 
neer officers without concurrence of the Governor." 

l(i "Inconvenience of this arrangement is, that on service 
pioneers are often placed under officers entirely new to them." 

1 7. " The Engineers' department being in itself imperfect and 
dependent on others, an Engineer officer takes the field under 
every possible disadvantage. He not only goes soldierless, but 
he is scarcely allowed assistance of any kind. No preparation 
seems to be thought necessary for his department." 

l"^. " Component parts of the department should be duly 
organised and brought together." 

ly " Pioneers should at any rate be under Engineers." 

20. "They would then be instructed in management of 
boats and pontoons for military service." 

21. " The Quartermaster-General, in his memorandum on pon- 
toons, points out the necessity of a special establishment, states 
that the Pioneers under their present organisation are disquali- 
fied for its management, and that selected pioneers should be 
obtained from the two battalions for this work, and placed under 
a qualified officer." 

22. "The Quartermaster- General, however, relied for the 
success of the experiments regarding pontoons entirely on 
pioneers, to the exclusion of engineers. It ended in his being 
obliged to ask for the services of an Engineer officer. Lieutenant 
Grant succeeded in making the pontoons most satisfactorily, 
although he was thwarted at the very crisis of his labours by the 
memorable storm of October 1818." 

23. " The memoir of Lieutenant- Colonel Blacker, Quarter- 
master General, speaks volumes to the expediency of putting 
the Engineer establishment on an efficient and respectable 
footing with the rest of the army." 


24. " The Engineers thas constituted (even the officers) would 
become better qualified to carry out their work at all times." 

25. '•' This seems a proper time* to form a great road con- 
necting the three Presidencies, and the engineers of the three 
Presidencies might co-operate." 

26. "The system of education and instruction so well car- 
ried out at home would be introduced." 

27. " The expense of the alteration would be nil." 

28. " The Pioneer officer receives double the pay of his rank. 
This seems injustice to belong to the Engineers." 

29. " Many instances have occurred in which pioneers have 
been employed to the exclusion of engineers. The head of the 
Engineer department on service has usually been a young officer; 
thus, in the late campaign (Mahratta war) under the Com- 
mander-in-Chief (army 20,000 to 30,000), the Commanding 
Engineer was a subaltern, although there were then for duty 
two field officers and all the captains. It was found necessary 
to raise a small corps of sappers and miners, who had to be 
organised, trained, and brought into action at the same time by 
a young officer, aided by a few still younger." 

30. " Disparity of rank in heads of departments on service, 
not conducive to the interests of the army." 

31. " It may also occur that an artillery officer of high rank 
may be present with a Commanding Engineer much his junior ; 
the former will, perhaps, be considered the head of both depart- 

32. " During the siege of Asseerghur, under Lieutenant (now 
Captain) Coventry, it was reported that Major Anbury (Bengal 
Engineers) was on his way down to perform that service. This 
shows that even in young officers of Engineers there were found 
ability and zeal equal to the execution of a duty for which the 
Governor-General had thought it necessary to detach one^of the 
oldest officers." 

33. " If the system proposed was carried out, there would be 

* Immediately after the Mahratta war of 1817-19, 


no inadequacy of rank ; no supersession, no interference or 
external influence " 

34. " The Court of Directors have always done their utmost 
to uphold the Engineers and render the department eflBcient." 

35. " The Court have always done their hest to make their 
Artillery and Engineer officers undergo a scientific education ; 
first at Woolwich, then at Addiscombe, and afterwards at 

36. " The Court's disposition was evinced by the annulment 
of Mr. Goldingham's appointment as Civil Architect, and again 
in placing the Surveyor-General under the Chief Engineer. A 
stronger instance is to be found in the abolition of the Military 
Institution (formed 1806) for instruction of Officers of Infantry 
and Cavalry. Its apparent tendency had been to set aside 
engineers altogether." 

37. "The Engineers will be found worthy of the position 
intended for them, as soon as they have been placed on a 
permanent footing of efficiency." 

38. " The Court of Directors evidently wishes to have a 
regular Corps of Sappers and Miners at each Presidency." 

39. "The men to be given to the Engineers,} should form an 
integral part of the Corps, and not merely be attached to 

40. " Sappers and miners should bear arms, and be capable of 
defending themselves." 

41. "Best arms probably the fusil and bayonet, with a light 
pouch, and perhaps a lance and pistol for front-rank men ; 
they should also have a working dress, dark blue or green." 

42. As there does not appear any necessity for both sappers 
and pioneers, Major de H. says: — "T may be expected to 
show how the latter can be dispensed with in the Quartermaster- 
General's Department." 

43. "Duties of pioneers are clearing roads on line of march, 
and ground for encampments." 

44. " Gun and store lascars might be provided with light 
pioneer tools lor this purpose. They might have the additional 


aid of the tent establishment, and each company of infantry 
might have one pioneer to precede the Corps in a small body ; 
while the engineers would be available on urgent occasions." 

45. " In England there is a Staff Corps attached to the 
Quartermaster-General's Department." 

46. "Taking the pioneers away from the Quartermaster- 
General would not impede the service, and it would be better to 
have engineers with the men than merely extend the services of 
the pioneers as proposed by the Quartermaster General." 

47. Having now pointed out how the matter affects the 
interest of the Honourable Company, Major de H. proceeds to 
consider how it concerns the officers. 

48. "The Corps having no physical strength, their services 
are seldom required ; at least, those of the higher rank. When 
called for, they have to act under all the disadvantages noticed 
before, and they are deprived of those means which would enable 
them to compete in skill and prowess with their brother engi- 
neers in the British army, who have lately proved that they are 
inferior to none in the world." 

49. " When they have been employed, it is fair to say that 
they have bled for their country ; and from the recency of the 
event, I (Major de H.) may be allowed to revert again to the 
late campaign in the Deccan in their behalf. The engineers 
employed from the commencement until the surrender of Asseer- 
ghur, were four lieutenants and seven ensigns ; some of them 
were, in the course of the service, sent up to replace those who 
fell hors de combat. Of this little corps two were killed, having 
both been wounded on a former occasion ; two of them died of 
fever while on service ; three or four others were wounded, and 
one was obliged to quit from severe illness. I can, also, with 
truth aver that some of their operations were arduous in the 
extreme; that, notwithstanding their youth and inexperience, 
and the smallness of their numbers (often reduced to a single 
officer for duty), their services were all performed with cheerful- 
ness and alacrity, as the General Orders of the Commander-in- 
Chief have testified. But besides this order, highly valuable in 
itself, this little band thus honourably employed have no prefer- 


ment to boast of; no pledge of their services. The heads of 
Corps and Departments around, have shared in the Royal favours, 
but they have seen themselves left out in consequence of the 
senior officers' rank being too low ; it had not been contemplated 
that the Commanding Engineer with an army of this magnitude 
would ever be a subaltern." 

50. " General officers of Artillery and Engineers are pre- 
cluded from the General Staff, and they are moreover directed to 
be stationed in Fort St. George, so that their rank mav not 
interfere with officers commanding Divisions. This is an in- 
superable bar to any of them rising above the rank of C.B , in 
the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath." 

.51. " Engineers cannot avail themselves of the order lately 
issued, and wear on their banners " Seringapatam, 4th May 
1799," like other Corps, as they have no banners. This testi- 
mony of their services is, therefore, nugatory in regard to the 

52. " Their regimental pay is calculated on the lowest scale 
of any in the army." 

58. " When an officer of Engineers is called to the field from 
being Superintending Engineer, he loses his extra allowances ; 
obviously placing interests and duty in opposition. They find, 
also, that Pioneer officers get better pay than they do." 

54. " The Corps not receiving an augmentation with the 
other branches of the army, is a source of mortification ; as 
officers are thereby superseded by their juniors. This ultimately 
obliges them to petition, and thus they are placed in the light of 
a discontented body of men." 

55. " Their being left out of augmentation is chiefly due to 
Engineers being a skeleton corps." 

56. "In 1819, the Madras Engineers was the only corps 
omitted. The Bengal Engineers were increased, because they 
had a Corps of Sappers and Miners attached to them." 

57. "It is urged that the Engineers is the favoured corps, as 
regards comforts and allowances. Their duties are troublesome 
and responsible, and the allowances attached are not to be com- 
pared with the advantages enjoyed by the Artillery and Cavalry." 


68. Major de H. next discusses sufficient and appropriate 
establishment for the Corps of Engineers. " Officers and men 
of the Corps, when spoken of collectively, should be known 
by no other appellation than Engineers, and Engineer soldiers." 

59. " Four classes of Engineer soldiers are required, Pon- 
tooners, Artificers, Miners, and Pioneers. The whole of them 
to be enlisted, and to comprise Europeans, men of colour, and 
natives. The present Corps of Pioneers to be transferred to 

60. " Corps should be termed Regiment of Engineers, and be 
composed of two battalions." 

Each of the following strength : — 
One European Flank Company. 
6 Sergeants. 
6 Corporals. 
20 Pontooners. 
24 Sappers and Miners. 
50 Pioneers. 
2 Drummers. 
1 Bugler. 


Eight Native Companies : — 
8 Sergeants. 

8 Subadars of three classes. 
16 Jemadars ,, 

32 Naigues ,, 

32 Havildars ,, 

160 Pontooners. 
200 Sappers and Miners. 
408 Pioneers. 
8 Buglers. 
16 Drummers and Fifes. 
80 Recruit and Pension boys. 



One Men of Colour Flank Company : — 

6 Sergeants. 

6 Corporals. 
20 Artificers, ist Class. 
24 „ 2nd ,, 

50 „ 3rd „ 

2 Drums and Fifes. 
1 Bugler. 

20 Apprentices. 


Grand total, 1,206 ; or for two battalions, 2,412, 

61. "Regiment should be officered, and have the requisite 
staff, as follows : — 

1 Colonel. 

3 Lieutenant-Colonels. 
3 Majors. 

12 Captains. 

24 Lieutenants. 

24 Second Lieutenants." 

62. " This scale hardly exceeds the rule of the service even in 
case of Infantry; but as compared with the Royal Engineers the 
proposed number falls very short in officers of upper ranks ; the 
Royal Engineers having eight field officers, and sixteen captains." 

63 and 64. Major De H. compares the Artillery and Engi- 
neers as to the number of officers. " In the same letter in which 
the Court mentioned their intention of forming a I'egular Corps 
of Engineers in Madras, dated 25th March 1768, they also fixed 
the strength of the Coast Artillery. 

In 1768. 



Engineers, 9. 

„ 1784. 




fore 1796. 




„ 1796. 




„ 1819. 




Proposed strength of Engineers now, 67." 


65. " The considerable increase in subalterns proposed is 
consequent on the establishment of Engineer soldiers, with whom 
subalterns will be necessary to maintain discipline." 

66. " Relative strength of Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers 
in 1814-15 :— 

Artillery, f)80, besides Second Lieutenants. 
Engineers, 208. 

"Reduced in 1821 to— 

Artillery, 528. 
Engineers, 162." 

67. " Rank of Second Lieutenant should be substituted for 

68. " OfiBcers brought in by this increase will be seven Field 
OfiBcers of the Corps. 

The youngest Lieutenant-Colonel, season 1 791.30 years' service. 
Major, „ 1795,26 „ 

And if, in consequence of the late deaths of Colonel Mackenzie 
and Major Fotheringham, this arrangement should bring in 
Lieutenant Purton as Junior Captain of season 181 1 (10 years' 
service) — still, he is a distinguished officer, has seen service, and 
was wounded during the late campaign." 

69. "The proposal to employ men of colour is not new. Sir 
John Malcolm proposed this description of men for employment, 
and the principle has lately been adopted iu the Arsenal by the 
formation of a Corps of Artificers." 

70. "Not necessary now to enter into detail of pontoon train, 
and siege and field equipments. This will be matter for a 
subsequent report " 

7L " It is necessary to keep up Engineers to full establish- 
ment, during peace, especially the person?)el." 

72. " Necessary to have a depot for this establishment. Vellore, 
Arcot, or Chingleput suggested, as having rivers near them." 

78. " Ultimately horses should be attaclied to pontoon-trains, 
as well as to mount the pontooners." 

74. " If the establishment be sanctioned, there would be an 


insufficiency of officers at first ; but officers from other corps 
might do duty ad interim." 

75. *•' The officers would be available for courts-martial, but 
not for mounting guard. The Engineers should have drill and 
exercising days, as well as practice and working days." 

76 to 78. Relates to pay and allowances of non-commissioned 
and rank and file. 

79 to 83. Further remarks about pay of commissioned officers, 
&c. &c. 

84. " Trusts that, to whatever extent an increase of the Corps 
may be resolved on, such increase will have retrospective effect 
from 18th September 1818, the day from which the increase to 
all the other branches of the army has been made to take 

85. Major De H. " does not dwell on the utility derived from 
the sappers and miners raised in the last campaign, because, he 
is convinced, those members of the Aiilitary Board who were 
present with the army will readily attest it, and give their testi- 
mony to the services of that little corps, and of the Engineers 
on that occasion." 

86. Major De H. now proceeds to the second part of the 
subject — the employment of this Corps in time of peace. 

87. "The duties of the Engineers are the erection, repair, and 
demolition of works and buildings, civil, military, and irrigation, 
surveying and levelling connected with them, and the construc- 
tion of roads, bridges, &c. Although the principles on which 
these are carried on have varied from time to time, and have now 
arrived in many respects at a salutary result, they are in the 
main point still defective ; that is, in the executive duties not 
being separated from those of projection, superintendence, and 

88. " This principle has been adopted, to a limited extent, in 

89. "At present, the Superintending Engineer plans and esti- 
mates the work, which he is afterwards to execute, and committees 
are appointed to inspect it once or twice during its execution, and 


after completion. Inspection of these committees generally a 
matter of form." 

90. " The Chief Engineer individually would be a fit man to 
exercise the check at the Presidency ; but not as a member of 
the Board." 

91. Major De H. says, he is " aware of the difficulties there 
are to combat from the first view of the extent of territory for 
which inspection as well as execution must be provided." 

92. " The only objection to this principle is a supposed 
interference which might be apprehended from an officer acting 
under distinct authorities ; but it will only require that those 
officers should possess common zeal, and common method, to 
enable them to carry into effect the wishes of their superiors 
to the advantage of the service." 

93. "Executive officer at Presidency has long been subjected 
to various authorities, and no inconvenience has flowed from the 

94. "Another possible objection is confusion of accounts; 
but this will be no objection to the system proposed." 

95. Major De H. now proceeds to explain how the Inspect- 
ing and Executive Departments will be distinct from each other. 

96. He proposes that both Departments should be appointed 
to Divisions, and that Chief Engineer should be head of Inspect- 
ing branch, and called Inspector-General of Works. 

97. " Each principal Division to have an Inspector, and an 
Executive Officer. Inspectors should have Assistants where 
the service may require it.'^ 

98. " These officers selected from Engineers should be con- 
sidered Stafl" Officers." 

99. " The Inspecting Department would embrace many useful 
objects, all more or less connected together; while it would 
effectually meet the views of Government in the primary con- 
sideration of establishing a perfect check over the Executive 
branches of the building department." 

100. " The system will, as far as concerns the Tank Depart- 
ment, operate to effect the wishes of the Court to preserve and 
improve means of irrigation judiciously and economically." 


10 J. " The additional number of officers which the proposed 
system would afford for the Tank Department, would much 
improve that branch. The following moderate establishment 
was proposed: — 

Inspecting Depart m en t . 

1 Inspector- General. 

1 Deputy Inspector-General. 

4 Inspectors of Divisions. 

4 Assistauts-in-charge. 

4 Assistant Inspectors. 

4 Sub-Assistant-Inspectors. 


Executive Department. 

1 Principal Executive Officer. 
4 Executives. 

4 Deputy Executives. 

2 Assistant ,, 


102 to 105. " The Deputy Inspector- General may ultimately 
be required. The Inspector-General would have a seat at the 
Board. If called to the field would then assume the character 
and title of Commanding Engineer." 

106. "In time of peace the whole Corps would be distributed 
thus: — 

With the two battalions — 
1 Major. 
4 Captains. 
9 Lieutenants. 
12 Second Lieutenants. 



1 Lieutenant at the Depot ... 

.. 1 

Inspector's Department 

.. 18 

Executive ,, 

.. 11 

On foreign service ... 

.. 3 

Absentees, leave, &c. 

.. 8 

Total 67 

107. ** The regiment would not only be employed on making 
roads, and reducing passes, but also in repair or demolition of 

108. " Government have not yet determined which forts 
should be preserved, so some which should be kept in good 
order have been allowed to fall into a state of decay, while others 
not required still exist." 

109. "One of the first duties of the Inspector-General, with 
the assistance of the Inspectors, would be to make a military 
tour, and report upon the condition of, and desirability of retain- 
ing or otherwise, the forts in the country." 

1 ] 0. " Wherever there are European infantry soldiers in gar- 
rison, an officer of Engineers with a small party of the European 
companies might be stationed, so that the infantry soldiers 
might be employed on works, and thus obtain habits of labour 
in this country." 

Ill to ] 13. — Details connected with the above proposal. 

114 to 116. — Relate to allowances of officers. 

117 to l4i. — Several establishments of subordinate persons 
required for each department, such as surveyors, draughtsmen, 
writers, &c. 

145. " Proposes now to review the various systems which have 
been followed for a series of years past, up to the present day 
(1821) in executing works." 

146. "In 1754, a Committee of Works was formed, composed 
of Members of Council and the Chief Engineer, to whom the 


management and superintendence of buildings and repairs at 
Fort St. George were assigned. 

This Committee merged into the Military Board." 

147. "The first few years' proceedings were governed by no 
defined method. It was a sort of agency to disburse what 
might be called for without previous plans and estimates." 

148. "After a time they abandoned this desultory method, 
and came to the resolution of having the works executed by 
contract. In 17G9, Black Town wall was undertaken by Mr. 
Benfield at 2 fanams * 62^ cash per cubic foot of masonry. 
In 1773, when the great reform of Fort St. George was resolved 
on, a double contract was entered on — one for supplving bricks 
at 90 to 105 pagodas t per lac, and chunam | at 9 to 11 
parahs § per pagoda ; and the other for executing work with 
those materials at 2 fanams 271- cash on land face, and 2-65 on 
sea face. At these rates in ten or eleven years 14,00,0U0 to 
15,00,000 pagodas were expended. These contractors had the 
monopoly for workmen as well as material." 

14 9. "A third contract was entered into about the same time 
for buildings and repairs, in which charge for plain brick and 
chunam stood as high as -S fanams 40 cash.|| In 1777, rate was 
reduced to 3 fanams ; the term was for three years, but Mr. 
Garrow held it for ten. During tlie last five or six years he was 
not strictly bound to any condition, and some of his charges 
were very heavy. Among these may be quoted the burying- 
ground wall on the island, for which, in 1787-88, he was paid 
13,190 pagodas. H Besides this he laid claim to and received 
allowances for loss during the war." 

150. "In 1779, a civil architect was appointed from home. 
He sometimes planned and reported on works ; at others he 

* About 3J annas. 

t 80 cash 1 fanam. 

45 fanams = 1 star pagoda (3J rupees). 
J Burnt lime. 

§ A measure containing 4,000 cubic inches. 
II About 42 annas. 
IT More than 46,000 rupees. 

iz. 2 


also executed them. In J 781, Mr. Plumer contracted to level 
Hog Hill for 34,000 pagodas, which was at a rate of seven cubic 
yards per pagoda. This would now (1821) not be charged at 
less than thirty to forty yards per pagoda." 

151. " Individuals were sometimes allowed to repair their 
quarters themselves, but this was found inconvenient and pro- 
hibited in 1785." 

152. "In 1 785 regulations were framed on more expedient 
principles, and the Engineers were declared ' the proper officers 
to direct, superintend and execute all public works by contract 
or otherwise.* " 

153. "In 1787 the double contract was again advertised. 
Six competitors came forward for one, and seven for the other. 
Messrs. Garrow and Torin obtained that for bricks and chunam 
at 100 pagodas per lac, and 8| to 9^ parahs per pagoda. Messrs. 
Wolfe and Shaw that for buildings and repairs ; brick in 
chunam 2 fanams 40 cash per cubic foot. 

"In 1791, Messrs. Roebuck and Abbott obtained contract for 
buildings and repairs, finding their own materials, plain masonry 
2 fanams 20 cash." 

"This contract expired in 1795-96, and was the last." 

154. "By the regulations of 1796-97 the Engineers were 
directed to execute the works upon trust to a certain extent, on 
a moderate commission of 8 per cent, to field officers and 
captains, and 5 per cent, to subalterns." 

155. "In 1800 this system was superseded at the Presidency 
by an order of Government to the Military Board, passing a 
most severe censure on the Corps of Engineers at large, and 
appointing Mr. J. Goldingham temporary agent of Government 
at Presidency, Mount, and Poonamalee, allowing him 15 per 
cent, on all his bills on honour. The officer he relieved had 
only received 5 per cent. Mr. Goldingham was also to prepare 
a plan for the introduction of a better system. Ihe Chief 
Engineer having maae it clearly appear, in his appeal to the 
Court of Directors, that the failures alluded to in the letter from 
Government had occurred during the contract of Roebuck and 


Abbott, and that none had obtained since the Engineers had 
executed the works on (ritst, the reguhitions of 1797 were again 
put in force in l80?, and a Superintending Engineer was 
reappointed, although the sentiments of the Court of Directors 
were not communicated to the Military Board or to the Chief 

156. "In 1808, Sir George Barlow attempted to introduce 
contracts, but the attempt failed." 

157. " Salaries were substituted for the per-centage in 

158. '' It was suggested that the Commissariat should supply 
materials for buildings, &c. in order to put an end to competition 
for the provision of supply of timber required for the public 
service. The Chief Engineer dissented from this arrangement, 
but the Governor concurred in the opinion of the Board, and 
the system of Commissariat supplies was established in 1813. 
Major De H. will have the honour to show that the grounds of 
the Chief Engineer's dissent were by no means erroneous." 

159 and 160. "The Court of Directors desired that the 
appointment of Superintending Engineer at Presidency should 
be discontinued, and practice in use in Bengal established. It 
was, however, found too expensive, and the Government accord- 
ingly resolved that the general system then in force, should 

161. Major De H. here offers "his opinion, which a know- 
ledge of the previous circumstances had induced him to form, of 
the present state t)f things in Department of Works." 

162. " It occurs readily as a fact, without seeking the causes, 
that, in the remotest period referred to, the prices were highest, 
and the rates were gradually lowered in contrary ratio of prices 
of materials and labour, which have since that time been 
increasing. The present rates are (although the price of labour, 
&c. has since that date been enhanced) nearly the same as in 
Roebuck and Abbott's contract in 1795-96." 

" The present rates are established on fair and true data, and 
Major De H. has no hesitation in declaring that no public 

2 * 


works under any British Government are erected at a more 
moderate rate than by the Engineers of the Presidency under 
the existing regulations." 

He then quotes the following instances : — 

" 1st. St. Andrew's Bridge, built independently of Com- 

"2nd. The Company's astronomer's house, built with the 
agency of Commissariat." 

" In the first, the arches and casing of piers of cut stone 
brought eight or ten miles cost 13,000 pagodas, and the second 
less than 8,500, This, contrasted with 13,190 pagodas, besides 
contingencies, for burying-ground wall built on island thirty-five 
years ago (1786), will convince the Government that great im- 
provement has taken place since that time." 

163. "All that has been adduced serves to justify Major 
De H.'s opinion that general contracts are not desirable, and 
that if any prejudice still exists against the Engineers executing 
the works on trust, it must be the remaining impressions of 
former times when the Engineers, without any sufficient grounds 
for the same, were but too closely identified in the public mind 
with the contractors who made immense fortunes at the expense 
of the Company." 

164 and 165. "The conclusions Major De H. draws from 
the above, are that the Engineers would generally, if not alwnys, 
perform the whole below the ostensible prices ; the contractors 

166. "The Commissary-General frequently declared that the 
system by which his department supplied the Department of 
Works with materials was troublesome to his department, and 
wished that it might be relieved, but stated that he could not 
accede to the measure being adopted under any impression of 
inefficiency or want of despatch in his department^' 

167. " 'I'he Board have already reported that the system has 
not answered the expectation entertained, and IMajor De H. can 
corroborate this fact " 

168. " On the score of actual charge, it would be better for 



Engineers to get their own materials. Again, as to expedition 
and despatch, it is evident that the mode and form of the present 
system militate against this principle, but in point of means and 
resources I may venture to say that the Engineers, when reason- 
ably supported, have never failed. Witness St. Andrew's Bridge, 
whose arches were completed within five months of foundation- 
stone being laid. Major De H.'s report on the Bulwark, now 
nearly finished, will corroborate all that he urges on the expe- 
diency of having only one department concerned in the execution 
of public works.'' 

1G9. "The present system involves a great deal of delay." 
170. " The Commissariat servants stand thus much in the 
light of a contractor, that provided he obtains the Engineer's 
receipt for his superiors, be the material good or bad, his part is 
performed ; and though it may be readily admitted that the 
Commissariat officers have no direct interest in supplying what 
may not be of the best, the servants may." 

171 to 175. Contain other objections to the present system 
of the Commissariat supplying materials to Works Department. 

176. " There are only two ways likely to effect the desired 
reform, either to leave the supply of his own materials to the 
Executive Engineer, or to supply him in wholesale on general 
indents, as other departments are supplied." 

177. " If either of these expedients be adopted, the establish- 
ment proposed for Engineers will suflBce; otherwise not." 

178. " Major De H. will submit a draft of regulations when 
the Government have decided, but meantime wishes to suggest 
a few leading rules for the previous consideration of Government 
which appear of importance : — 

No ofiQcer of Engineers in charge of Corps allowed to employ 
persons in aid of the men under his command. 

No officer of Engineers to be employed on any staff duty 
till he has served two years with the regiment. 

f^xecutive Engineers should take an oath only on their appoint- 
ment, and not on every individual bill. 

Executive Engineers not to be kept in arrears. When a 


work has been previously sanctioned on estimate by Govern- 
ment, the oflficers' bills to be adjusted without further 
The Inspector-General not to he charged with the especial 

supervision of any contract." 
179 to 183. Major De H. makes certain suggestions regard- 
ing rules for the proposed department. 

184. " As in a former part Major De H. pointed out cases 
of interference with the duties of Engineers in their military 
character, so he now begs to show how the department has, in 
its civil capacity, been visited by intrusions of a similar nature. 
Engineers prejudiced, amongst other things, by what occurred 
on the part of the Pioneer officers in demolishing fortifications 
of Pondicherry in 1793-94; the filling up of the ditches in 
Seringapatam in 1801-2; the clearing of the ditch and the 
repairing fortification at Vellore in 1807-8." 

185. "Major De H. points out that he does not object to the 
labours of any body of men being employed for the good of the 
public, but he conceives that their services would be of greater 
utility if directed by professional men under established rules.'" 

186. " Other persons have also been employed contrary to 
established rules, to the exclusion of the Engineers. These 
measures have a tendency to lower the officers of Engineers 
in the opinion of their employers, and of the world." 

187. " Except in cases where the Company reap an ohvious 
and decided benefit from it, the practice does not appear con- 
sistent with the usage of the service at large." 

188. "If it be in order to employ old materials, or to adopt a 
more temporary or less expensive style, the Engineer can do it 
with as good effect, at least, if so ordered, although his judgment 
may have induced him, in the first instance, to recommend 
something of a more permanent nature. No man should be 
better qualified to vary the modes of execution." 

189. " If it be on the score of efficiency, and of a proper 
adaptation of the edifice to the object in view, 1 would propose 
that the professional officer should be put in communication 
with the department to which the building belongs." 


190. " Another advantage of employing a professional oflRcer 
is that he is subject to certain rules of check " 

191. "Finally, the public edifices are in less danger of 
suffering under the Engineers' hands than under those to which 
neither professional character nor personal responsibility attaches. 
The truth of this is evinced by the following instance : — 

" The Land Custom House is composed of a set of buildings 
valued at a lac of rupees. The collector, who had been making 
extensive alterations in them, apparently at discretion, had 
enlarged the lower story of the main edifice by building up the 
verandahs, and he had actually removed the lintels of the doors 
and windows in the principal walls of the main edifice in order 
to open large arcades in them, not adverting to their having to 
support an upper story and about 300 tons weight of stationery, 
boxes, racks, &c. ; when, on my calling in on other business, he 
had the opportunity of consulting me, and he was induced, at 
my representation, to desist from his scheme and to replace the 

192 to 198. Certain other objections to the present system. 

199. '* Before quitting the subject of officers not professional 
being employed in the construction of works. Major de H. brings 
to notice a small bridge at Buffalo, near Cannauore, lately 
erected by the Pioneers. It consists of four arches of masonry, 
two of them 11 feet, and the others 10 feet span, 4 feet thick at 
key, supported by two abutments of 12 feet, and three piers of 
16 feet. If the officer who conducted that work had possessed 
science and experience, he would have adopted very different 
dimensions. Here, then, is an aggregate thickness of masonry 
just equal to the aggregate breadth of water-way, a?id it is not 
possible to imagine circumstances under which a construction 
similar to this could be advisable. The masonry in this bridge, 
properly disposed, would have been sufficient for a bridge of 
same width over a river two and a half times the breadth of the 
nullah in question ; and that such a river would have passed 
more freely under such a bridge, and with less danger to the 
edifice than the stream now referred to, under the present 
erection, is certain." 


200. " The actual cost of this building is not known to the 
Military Board. The Quartermaster- General may probably be 
able to give the information ; but at any rate your Honour will 
observe that this is a desultory mode of executing public 

201. "The Government are at present ignorant of the extent 
of work which the Pioneers execute in the course of the year, 
either collectively or in detail." 

202. "None of these proceedings could take place under the 
system suggested by me." 

203. "Until the Corps of Engineers arrives at its proposed 
strength, assistants in the Inspecting Department could be 
furnished from other sources." 

205. "The result of this proposition reduces itself to these 
few heads : — 

Ist. Raising the Corps of Engineers to an efficient and 
honourable estate. 

2nd. Giving them equivalent rank with their contemporaries 
in the army. 

3rd. Increasing the physical strength of that army by 
400 Europeans and 1,600 natives, armed and well 
instructed men, in the place of 1,44U unarmed 

4th. Restoring sixteen officers for the duty of the line ; 
adding to the Corps a sufficient number to replace 
them and to complete the Regiment of Engineers. 

5tb. Obtaining means of having at all times, pontoon, 
siege, and field establishments duly organised; as 
well in the personnel as in the materiel. 

6th. Placing forts, which it is intended to retain, in a 
proper state of defence, and razing the rest, 

7th. Construction of high roads. / 

8th. Applying the labours of the Engineer men to the best 
advantage, and keeping Europeans of the Line in 
health and out of idleness. 

9th. Establishing a perfect system ol inspection and execu- 
tion for every kind of public works. 


10th. Establishing a Corps of Surveyors and Draughtsmen. 

11th. Eventually comprehending tlie charge of the Survey 
Department in the Inspector-General's Office. 

12th. Providing for the gradual improvement of the terri- 
torial revenue, and of the inland trade of the 
country, by judicious works of irrigation and inland 

206. "Major De H. asks, in conclusion, that the decision of 
the Court of Directors on the representation, which the Chief 
Engineer made on behalf of the Corps on the appointment of Mr. 
J. Goldinghara in 1800 to be Civil Engineer at the Presidency, 
may be communicated for record in the Chief Engineer's Office. 
As the Superintending Engineer was re -appointed to the Presi- 
dency in 1802, Major De H. assumes the decision to have been 

This letter is dated November 23rd, 1821, and on the 22nd of 
December the Quartermaster-General wrote a Minute in reply, 
which it will, I think, be interesting and amusing to give in some 

The Quartermaster-General was Colonel R. B. Otto. The 
Quartermaster-General, " without attempting systematically to 
follow the thread of this very elaborate performance," proposes 
to show " that the services of the Pioneers are essential to the 
Quartermaster-General, and that they consequently cannot be 
separated from his Department ; then to reply to certain remarks 
on the present constitution, and mode of conducting the above 
Corps ; and third, to advert to some other propositions, the 
adoption of which would materially interfere with the duties of 
the Quartermaster-General ; and finally, to make some cursory 
remarks on the remaining objects of the papers, it being strictly 
fair that where such a freedom of comment had been indulged 
in, regarding a branch of the department under my actual super- 
intendence, it should be returned by such observations as may 
occur to me on the projected reform of the Corps, of which Major 
De H. is merely in temporary charge." 


Major De H. replies to this Minute on 27th December 
1821, by explanatory notes opposite to each paragraph of the 

The Quartermaster-General says : "The very groundwork of the 
Acting Chief Engineer's proposals being to wrest from the Depart- 
ment to which I belong the services of a Corps the direction 
of whose labours has been consigned to it for more than fifteen 
years, it is necessary I should show, from the most approved 
military authority, that the Quartermaster-General cannot per- 
form his duties in the field without pioneers." 

He accordingly cites extracts " from the most celebrated 
book* on tactics of the last century." 

Major De H. in reply to this says • " He has no objection to 
the Quartermaster-General having a Corps of Pioneers at his 
disposal if Government authorise the expense ; but merely wishes 
to get men for the Corps of Engineers, to give them physical 
strength and the means of performing their duties." 

The Quartermaster-General then proceeds to give extracts 
from the " excellent Guibert in his admirable Essay of Tactics," 
in support of his view that pioneers are absolutely essential for 
the Quartermaster-General's department. 

The Chief Engineer remarks that " Guibert means not so 
much a ' Corps of Pioneers ' as a ' working party.' " He also 
says " the necessity of reconnoitring a route is not denied, and 
likewise that it is a part of the duty of the Quartermaster- 
General"; but that Guibert simply says " this work is to be 
done by workmen at the head of the column."' De Havilland 
stated that until the Quartermaster-General lent him his copy of 
Guibert's work, he was quite ignorant of the author ; " but if 
not, he would not have referred to him — first, because he con- 
siders a work written in 1770 quite obsolete in point of practice ; 
secondly, because it does not appear that the Engineers came 
within the scope of his work ; and, thirdly, because 1 should 

* M. Guibert's, 


have doubted his being a good authority. He was, it seems, a 
mere military stripliug, twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, 
and what he wrote was, therefore, scarcely the result of his own 
experience ; but he was modest and did not put his name on the 
title page." 

" He was not, at the same time, an officer of rank or renown; 
he rose to the rank of colonel in Corsica ; but as he left the 
profession to become a dramatic writer, it is possible that his 
work proceeded more from a sort of cacoethes scribendi than 
from his own knowledge of the military profession and practice." 

The Quartermaster- General points out that "if the authority 
of a celebrated military writer be considered a mere speculation 
on the practice of modern Europe, and inapplicable to this 
country, it will be in vain to urge such objections to the senti- 
ments of the present Governor-General in India, who prescribed 
the following regulations for the Quartermaster-General's 

The regulations are that the Pioneers are to be at the dis- 
posal of Quartermaster-General, &c. &c. 

The Chief Engioeer in reply " regrets to see the orders of 
the present Governor-General quoted only secondarily to this 
author in corroboration"; and adds " that there is a Corps of 
Pioneers in the Bengal Army, and they are, of course, the work- 
men to be employed as directed in the order." 

The Quartermaster-General urges that the Assistant Chief 
Engineer is fully aware of the necessity of the Quartermaster- 
General having workpeople at his disposal, by his "impractic- 
able expedient " of providing substitutes for the Pioneers in 
paragraphs 43 and 44. 

The Chief Engineer maintains that "what the Quartermaster- 
General considers ' impracticable,' can readily be carried out. 
The one pioneer from each company would, of course, be at the 
disposal of the Quartermaster- General for the march, to use in 
a body or otherwise as circumstances might require." 


The Quartermaster-General writes: "The Chief Engineer 
may still maintain that the Pioneer oflBcers are deficient in skill, 
or, to use his own expression, that ' they may neither have 
studied the profession of engineering, nor have any pretensions 
to it.' Both these cases are certainly very possihle, but even 
admitting both, it does not appear to me (the Quartermaster- 
General) to follow as a necessary consequence, that such un- 
scientific officers are at all unequal to the work of the Pioneers." 
He goes on to say that " it is almost farcical to talk of science, 
when speaking of the construction of roads or opening of passes. 
Every work of tliat description must necessarily be of the most 
simple kind ; and it is a fact that the best road-maker now in 
England is a ci-devant purser of a ship." 

Major De H. replies: "I cannot admit that road-making 
which comprehends bridge-building and the directing of waters, 
needs neither skill nor science. How far the operations of the 
Pioneers in that line may have proved farcical, the Quarter- 
master-General is better able to judge than I am. Nor can I 
admit that Mr. McAdam having been the purser of a ship, 
establishes that road-making is so simple an art. We have 
lately had a Governor at a sister Presidency, who, it is under- 
stood was also a purser, and before he came out to this country 
he had long been employed in a high situation under the 
British Government. We must often err if we judge of men by 
their out-set in life, and thereupon contemn their merits or sub- 
sequent acquirements. Lord Erskine was once an ensign in a 
marching regiment " 

The Quartermaster-General turns to that part of the Assistant 
Chief Engineer's letter where " his evident object is that the 
Corps to which he belongs should be employed in those duties 
which have of late years been considered as belonging to the 
department of the Quartermaster-General." 

Major De H. retorts that he "does not wish the Corps to be 
employed otherwise than as the Court of Directors have ordered 


from time to time, and on such grounds I may surely he per- 
mitted to set forth the pretensions of the Corps without offend- 
ing the Quartermaster-General." 

The Quartermaster-General cites certain passages from the 
report of the Assistant Chief Engineer, and then adds, "My ohject 
in citing the ahove passages was to show the extent of the Chief 
Engineer's proposal, which is, evidently, that the Corps to which 
he belongs should engross every duty and service, wliich can be 
construed to he of a scientific nature. These lofty pretensions 
of the Corps of Engineers are nothing new, nothing unpre- 
cedented ; and when they assumed in the French service 
the proud title of the Corps of Genius, they showed pretty 
evidently the extent to which they were inclined to push their 
exclusive claims to all scientific requirements. On the subject 
of this title, Guibert thus expresses himself: — * From the above 
it results that tacticians ought to be acquainted with the art of 
fortifications, and an engineer with that of tactics. The first of 
this truth is admitted by the military, the second does not seem 
to be acknowledged by the Engineers ; for in general they are 
ignorant of the manner in which troops manoeuvre, or how they 
should be conducted. They even object to that knowledge ; 
considering their own as the first of all arts, they look down 
with disdain on every other branch of the military service. If 
this prejudice is kept alive amongst them by the fine name of 
Genius, with which their corps and the science which it culti- 
vates have been honoured, I beg leave to inform them that 
this pompous designation is of a new creation ; that in the time 
of Vauban they were called simply the Corps of Engineers, and 
that the word Engineer is derived, both in conformity with the 
origin of the profession and the spirit of all the languages of 
Europe, not from Genius, but from the word Engine, because 
the Engineers were originally the constructors and directors of 
all warlike machines, particularly those used in sieges.' " 

Major De H. rejoins: "I must beg here again to set the 


Quartermaster-General right in regard to his favourite author 
M. Guibert. He does not say exactly that the French engineers 
'assumed' the proud title of ' Corps of Genius'; hut that they 
and the sciences they cultivate have been * honoured ' with the 

" The derivation of the term Ingenieur is well understood, 
but the new title of Corps du Genie is not so well rendered by 
Corps of Genius. M. Guibert seems to have been a little 
wrath when he wrote that chapter, and therefore he must not 
be taken ' a la lettre * when he says that the Engineers know 
nothing of tactics. The fact of their having armed men placed 
under their command, both in England and in France, and that 
those men are kept in good discipline, upsets this unfounded 
position ; and the standing orders by Colonel Pasley for the 
Eoyal Engineer Department show that no less attention is paid 
to tactics so called than to the other studies of that Corps." 

The Quartermaster-General then asserts : — "The fact is that 
the officers of the Engineers, although most useful and meri- 
torious in their own immediate line, are not particularly qualified 
by the habits of their service for the duties of the Staff. They 
are not accustomed to the troops ; they never, except by 
accident, exercise any military command; they have no pro- 
fessional acquaintance with military manoeuvres ; and although 
an Engineer officer may, like any other man of talents, acquire 
a theoretical knowledge of tactics, it is evident that such know- 
ledge is not a necessary part of his profession. Still, liovsxver, 
supposing, for the sake of argument, that an Engineer officer 
should be completely qualified for the Staff, it still remains to 
be proved why he should be selected for these duties, when he 
has already sufficient in his own department to engage his 
attention; or why, when officers of the Line can be fuund 
completely qualified to assist the Quartermaster-General in his 
duties, he should be obliged to have recourse to another dupart- 

1821-3.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 31 

Major De H. replies : — " The more general opinion, I believe, 
is that oflBcers of Engineers and Artillery should necessarily 
be the best qualified for commands and General Staff duties. 
Captain Young, in his considerations on the Indian Artillery 
and Engineer Corps, is very clear upon this point, and both he 
and General Trapaud, on a late occasion, have quoted numerous 
instances of command in the British and foreign services, and 
in the Indian service also, in evidence of the practice. To these 
lists may be added Colonel Johnson, Quartermaster-General; 
Colonel Couper, Commissary-General; Colonel Brooke, Adjutant- 
General, all three of the Bombay Engineers ; Colonel Mackenzie, 
Surveyor-General, Madras Engineers; Colonel Anbury, of Ben- 
gal Engineers, Commissary of Stores ; indeed, the very term 
implies that all the duties of the General and of the General 
Stafif extend over and to every branch of the armv.'^ 

Professor Vernon says : — " Among all the officers of the 
Etat Major who have written and directed Generals in that 
important part of the art of war, the military coup d'osil, 
General Bourcet, de I'Arme du Genie, must be distinguished as 
the person who has surpassed every other in military topo- 
graphy, and the science of position and marches." 

After this discussion, which was submitted to the Governor in 
Council, MajorDeHavilland expressed awish to proceed toEurope 
by an early opportunity. The Adjutant-General thought that "his 
absence at this moment, when so many important works are on 
hand and in contemplation, may be productive of inconvenience 
to the public service." 

The Quartermaster-General, however, differed from the 
Adjutant-General, and conceived that "Major Cleghorne has 
sufficient rank and experience to render him eligible for the 
performance of the duties which will then devolve on him." 

Major De Havilland does not appear, however, to have left 
for England till January 1824. 

These papers were forwarded to the Court of Directors, and 


the result was that, in 1823, they issued orders for the reduction 
of one of the battalions of Pioneers, and directed that the 
remaining battalion should be officered from the Corps of 

"The following extract from their letter shows clearly enough 
that Major De Havilland to a considerable degree succeeded in 
his main object, 

" It is obvious that ihe utmost advantage cannot be derived 
from the labours of the Pioneers unless it is scientifically 
directed, and consequently tliat it would be for the interest of 
the service that the whole of the Pioneers should be put under 
the command and direction of officers of Engineers, regularly 
instructed in the art of sapping and mining, making pontoons 
and bridges, roads and surveys, fortifications and other buildings. 
We have for many years, with equal care and success, and at a 
great expense, educated young men for these purposes at Addis- 
combe (since 1809-10), and it seems to be high time that we 
should reap the benefits derivable and expected from that insti- 
tution. We therefore direct that the Pioneers be transferred to 
the Engineers, and the officers of the Line at present attached 
to them returned to their respective corps." 

" One battalion of Pioneers will, in our opinion be sufficient 
under this arrangement, and we therefore direct that our foi'mer 
orders for disbanding the 2nd battalion be carried into effect." 

When these orders were received, the Corps of Engineers was 
too weak to spare officers for the Pioneers without deiiimciit to 
the public service ; so Sir Thomas Munro, wlio was then 
Governor, advocated the maintenance of both battalions on the 
existing footing for the time being ; but as he anticipated the 
most beneficial results from eventually converting one battalion 
into " Sappers and Miners " he recommended that a party of 
non-commissioned officers, duly instructed at Chatham, under 
Colonel Pasley, R.E. (afterwards Sir Charles Pasley), should 
be procured from England. 


The Court agreed to this, but their orders were not carried 
out till l!^31, in which year one sergeant, one second corporal, 
and eight privates arrived from Chatham. About this time the 
services of several officers of Engineers became available owing 
to the discontinuance of the forces in the Dooab and in Travan- 
core, and the subject of the reorganisation of the Pioneers was 
again taken into consideration by Government, 

It seems strange that so obvious an improvement should have 
been postponed because the Corps of Engineers was too weak. 
The way to remedy that would have been to add to the strength 
of the Engineer Corps. Even in 1831 the opposition to the 
change was very great. Sir George Walker, G.CB., then 
Commander-in-Chief, opposed the change in a Minute, 7th 
Februarv 1831, on the grounds that the Corps of Engineers 
could not supply officers in sufficient numbers to preserve interior 
economy and discipline, and because he assumed that the Corps, 
as newlv constituted, would cease to be under the immediate 
control of the Commander-in-Chief. 

The Government, however, did not agree with the Commander- 
in-Chief, and on 19th April 1831 it was resolved that the 1st 
battalion should be converted into a Corps of Sappers and 
Miners, and officered from the Corps of Engineers, and that 
the men should be regularly instructed in mining, sapping, 
pontooning, &c. 

The order was issued on 94th May 1831. 

The following establishment was fixed : — 
1 Captain commanding. 
8 Subalterns. 
1 Assistant Surgeon. 
1 Adjutant. 
1 Sergeant-Major. 
1 Quartermaster-Sergeant. 
8 Sergeants. 
8 Jemadars. 

u. 3 


1 Havildar Major. 
24 Havildars. 
24 Naigues. 
640 Privates 
48 Recruit Boys. 

8 Puckalies. 

8 Pay Havildars. 

I Assistant Apothecary. 

1 Second Dresser. 

2 Totees, 
1 Vakeel. 

Besides 5 Bazar servants and 17 artificers. 
Grand total, 809. 

Captain Lawe, of Engineers, was appointed to command the 
Corps, and Lieutenant Lawford adjutant. 

The following subalterns were posted to the Corps : — 
First Lieutenant Stafford Vardon, 

„ Jasper Higgenson Bell. 

„ Frederick Ditmas. 

Second Lieutenant, John Clark Shaw. 
„ Henry Watts. 

„ John Parry Power. 

„ Thomas Smythe. 

Sir George Walker, in objecting to the arrangement proposed, 
wrote in the very highest terms of the Pioneers: — 

" They have now been in existence as distinct and separate 
battalions for a great numbers of years ; and during that period 
they have shared in every active service that has gone forward. 
In the Ava War they may be said to have essentially contributed 
to the success of our arms. The constitution of the Corps, as 
it at present stands, I consider to be hardly capable of improve- 
ment " 

" The experience of the last twenty-five years will best 
vindicate the constitution and establishment of the Pioneer 


Corps. They have ever been mentioned in terms of the highest 
commendation, and in Ava particularly their conduct was beyond 

The Sappers and Miners were placed under the immediate 
control of the Chief Engineer, who was to communicate direct 
with Government on all subjects connected with its employment ; 
the discipline and economy of the Corps was to be directed by 
HE. the Commander-in-Chief. 

In June 1833 a despatch was received from the Court ordering 
the reduction of the establishment of Sappers and Miners or of 
Pioneers, whichever they might be called, to one battalion, and 
in conformity with this the remaining battalion of Pioneers was 
absorbed in the Corps of Sappers and Miners from 1st February 
1884, and on that date the eight companies of Sappers and 
Miners were thus distributed : — 

Head-quarters, Bangalore . . 3 companies. 

Detachment, Neilgherries . . 2 ,, 

,, Madras ... 1 „ 

,, Hydrabad Koad. 2 ,, 

Total 8 



First Burmese War. — Acts of Burmese -^vhich led to it. — War declared by British 
Qovermnent. — Forces engaged. — Main force arnTes off Rangoon river. — 
Rangoon captured. — Capture of Cheduba. — Kemendine occupied. — Captain 
Mackintosh dies. — Exiaedition to Tavoy and Mergui. — Failm-e at Kykloo. — 
Moncrieff and Campbell of Pioneers wounded. — Rangoon invested by Bur- 
mese Burmese defeated. — Attack onKokein.—Bundoola retreats to Donabew. 

—Expedition against Siriam. — Attack on Donabew. — Donabew captm-ed and 
Maha Bundoola killed. — Prome occupied. — Forced marches towards Tonghoo 
and to Meaday. — Captain Grant dies at Prome. — Annistice granted till 2nd 
November. — Attack on Simbike. — Enemy defeated. — Om- Head-quarters at 
Meaday. — Armistice agreed on till 18th January 1826. — Hostilities re- 
commenced. — Capture of Melloon. — Capture of Pagahm-Mew. — Advance to 
Tandaboo. — Treaty concluded 2-ith Febiiiary 1826. — Kittoor. — Kolapore. — 
Fort of Bangalore. — Expedition against Malacca — First ExiDedition retreats. 
— Reinforcement sent. — Ching occupied. — Advance to Roombiyah. — Attack 
on Soongyipatbye. — Malays attack our camp. — Bookit-si-Boorsoo taken. — 
The Panghooloo meets the Govei-ninent negociator. — Panghooloo refuses 
conditions. — Taboo captured. — Death of Edward Lake. — Operations in 
Ganjam and Goomsoor. — Establishment of Sappers revised. — Pioneers on 
Koondah Ghaut, Xeilgherries. 

Although the British Government had given the Burmese 
no cause for offence, it was treated with great haughtiness and 
injustice. In 1794, some rohbers from Arracan took refuge in 
Chittagong. The Burman Prince marched a body of 5,000 
men into the Company's territories, and had yO,000 on the 
border. He then sent a letter to the British judge, and said he 

1821-22.] MADIUS ENGINEERS. 37 

would not withdraw until the delinquents were given up. The 
result was the robbers were surrendered. This concession was 
neither dignified nor wise. A mission to Ava under Colonel 
Symes followed, but this in no way assisted the British. 

In Chittagong there were a number of refugees from Arracan, 
these made occasional sallies into the Burmese territory for the 
purpose of plunder, &c. In 1811 a more formidable movement 
was made by these men ; they were defeated and returned to 
British territory. Another mission was sent to Ava, under 
Captain Canning. He was unable to proceed beyond Rangoon, 
and after being exposed to much insult and danger, returned. 

The refusal to give up the parties who had been engaged in 
these attacks was regarded as an unpardonable offence. In 
May 1816 the depredations of these bands on the Burmese 
territory were finally suppressed by the surrender of the chief 
Kyngjang. Two years, however, after, the surrender of these 
persons was demanded by ihe Rajah of Ramree, in a letter to 
the Magistrate of Chittagong. This was again refused. The 
Burmese Government did not reply. A few months afterwards, 
towards the close of the Mahratta war, a second letter was 
received from the Rajah of Ramree, demanding the cession of 
Ramoo, Chittagong, Moorshedabad, and Dacca, on the ground 
of their being ancient dependencies of Arracan, and threatening 
hostilities in case of refusal. The Governor-General returned 
for answer that he supposed the Rajah of Ramree had for some 
unworthy purpose of his own assumed this tone of insolence 
and menace ; but if it was written by order of the King, he 
repeated that persons unable to form a just opinion of the 
British power in India had imposed on his judgment. No reply 
was sent to the Governor-General. Assam had been conquered 
by the Burmese for a chief of their own nation, and the Bur- 
mese frontier was thus advanced to that of the British. In 
IH21 and 1822 they seized and carried off elephant-hunters in 
the Company's employ, under the pretext that they were within 


Burmese territories. An outrage on a boat with rice entering a 
nullah on British side of the River Nauf, led to more vigorous 
measures of resistance. The military guard was increased, and 
a few men were placed on an island called Shapooree. An agent 
of the Viceroy of Arracan required that these should be with- 
drawn, as the island belonged to the Burmese. The requisition 
was accompanied by a threat of war. This took place in January 
1823, when the Marquis of Hastings left India. 

On 24th September, 1,000 Burmese landed on the island, 
killed three sepoys, wouuded four, and drove otf remaindei', six 
in number, the whole guard consisting of 13. 

The Rajah of Arracan was so proud of this, that he reported 
it himself to the British Government, and said if the island was 
resumed he would take Dacca and Moorshedabad. 

Shapooree is little more than a sand-bank. The records 
showed it belonged to the British, and it lay on the British side 
of the main channel of the river Nauf, the acknowledged 
boundary of the two states, and it is only separated from the 
mainland of Ohittagong by a narrow and shallow channel, ford- 
able at low water. The island was again occupied by us. 

Munipoor was another recent acquisition of the Burmese. 
The Rajah of Munipore fled to Cachar, where his brothers were. 
They received him well at first, but afterwards quarrelled, and 
the defeated one fled to the Company's territory. The disordered 
state of Cachar invited the aggression of the Burmese ; the 
brothers sought British assistance, which was not withheld. 

A force was advanced from Dacca to Sylhet, divisions of 
which were posted at various places in advance of Sylhet. 
In January 1824, 4,000 Burmese advanced from Assam 
into Cachar, and took up a fortified position. Another force 
entered from Munipore and defeated Gunber Singh, the youngest 
of the three brothers. A third force advanced by a different 

Major Newton commanding at Sylhet, marched on I7th 


January 1824, and attacked the party from Assam. One attack 
was made on the village, another on a stockade. The troops in 
the village fled; those in the stockade made a vigorous resistance, 
but at last yielded. Major Newton withdrew his troops from 
Cachar, and the Burmese advanced to Jatripore, where they 
effected a junction with the force from Munipoor, and erected 
stockades on both sides of the river Goorma, and pushed on to 
within 1,000 yards of the British at Budderpore, when, being 
attacked by Captain Johnston, they were driven from their 
unfinished works at the point of the bayonet. 

The Assam division fell back on Bhurteeba pass, and the other 
stockaded itself at Doodpaltoo. The enemy were dislodged, with 
some difficulty, from the Pass, by Lieutenant-Colonel Bowen, 
but the force at Doodpaltoo was attacked unsuccessfully. They 
afterwards withdrew into Munipore. 

Two officers were now deputed to meet agents of the Burmese 
Government. They met, when the right of the Burmese to 
the island was asserted, but they afterwards said they would be 
satisfied if it was considered neutral ground. The Governor- 
General replied to this, " that worthless as the place might be 
to either of them, the Governor- General might have been willing 
to listen to the proposal, if it had been brought forward at an 
earlier stage, but that the assault on the post and the slaughter 
of British sepoys precluded any compromise." 

When the British troops were withdrawn from Shapooree, a 
pilot schooner, the Sophia, was stationed oflF the north-east point 
of the island. 

On 2Uth January 1824, some armed Burmese pulled alongside 
and asked a number of questions of a very suspicious character. 
In the afternoon, a second boat approached, and invited the 
commander to go the following morning to Mungdoo to meet 
some officers of high rank who had arrived. The commander, 
Mr. Chew, was at the time absent, but on his return he accepted 
the invitation. He was accompanied by an officer and eight 


lascars, the whole of whom were seized and carried into the 
interior, where they were detained till 13th February. They 
were then released without apology or explanation. 

The deputies at Mungdoo proceeded to the island with four 
large boats of armed men, planted the Burmese flag and burnt 
a hut; having done this, they returned. 

The two Governments were now to become avowedly at war, 
a state in which they had actually been for some time past. The 
British Government explained its motives to the Government of 
Ava on the 24th February, and in a public Proclamation of 5th 
March. Soon after, the Government received from the Governor 
of Pegu an exposition of the views of the enemy, couched in 
terms of singular arrogance. 

In acting on the declaration of war, it was determined that on 
the frontier operations should in a great measure be defensive, 
but not so exclusively as to preclude the expulsion of the 
Burmese from Assam, &c. where they had recently established 
themselves by usurpation. A force was accordingly assembled 
at Goolpur, under the command of Brigadier-General McMornie. 
Seven companies of Native Infantry, some local corps, Irregular 
Horse, and Artillery, with a gun-boat flotilla, on the Brama- 
pooter. This force moved on 13th March along both banks of 
the river, through thick jungles and long grass, with vast 
labour. No enemy was seen till the 17th. Next day the force 
arrived at Gowhati. Here were some stockades, but found 

The main blow was intended for the maritime possessions of 
the Burmese. A part of the force was provided in Bengal, but 
the larger portion came from Madras. 

From Bengal, the 13th and 38th Kegiments, 2nd battalion 
20th Native Infantry, two companies European Artillery. Total, 
2,175 men. They had four 18-pounders, four 5^-inch howitzers, 
four 8-inch mortars, and four 6-pounders. Attached to the 
expedition were twenty gun-brigs and schooners, each manned 


by fifteen lascars and commanded by an European, armed with 
two 12-pounders, carronades, and four swivels; twenty row-boats 
carrying an 18-pounder each; two King's sloops, the fjoi-ne. 
Captain Marryat (author of Midshipman Easy), and the Sophia^ 
Captain Ryves ; several Companies' cruisers, and the Diana 
steamboat, the first ever employed in war. 

The force from Madras was in two Divisions, and consisted of 
Her Majesty's 41st and 89th, Madras European Regiment, seven 
Regiments of Native Infantry, and four companies of Artillery, 
1st battalion of Madras Pioneers, besides Golundauze and gun 
lascars ; altogether 9,300 fighting men. The total force engaged 
in the expedition was thus 11,475 men, of whom nearly 5,000 
were Europeans. 

Major-General Sir Archibald Campbell, K.C.B,, commanded 
the whole force; while Brigadier-General McBean had charge 
of the Madras troops, and Captain Canning accompanied the 
Expedition as Political Agent and joint Commissioner with the 

The Bengal expedition sailed from Saugor Island in the 
middle of April 1824, and reached the rendezvous. Port Corn- 
wallis in the Andamans, before the end of the month. The first 
division of the Madras troops sailed on the 16th April, and 
joined the Bengal force at Port Cornwallis. 

On the 5th May the armament commenced its progress 
towards Rangoon. The 2nd Madras Division left on 23rd 
May, and joined at Rangoon in June and July. Further addi- 
tions to the force were received from time to time, and by the 
end of the year the whole force engaged in the first campaign 
was nearly 13,000 men. From Port Cornwallis two detachments 
were sent against Cheduba and Negrais. The main force arrived 
ofl" the mouth of the Rangoon river on the 9tb, and stood in on 
the 10th moruing. Captain J. Mackintosh accompanied the 
Madras Division as Commanding Engineer, while Lieutenants 
G, A. Underwood, E. Lake, and A. T. Cotton (now General Sir 


Arthur Cotton, K.C.S.I.), were his subaltern officers; Lieutenant 
E. Lake being adjutant of Engineers. 

The 1st battalion of Madras Pioneers, 552 strongs accom- 
panied the force, commanded by Captain Milne. The meritorious 
conduct of the Pioneers was brought to the notice of the 
Governor- General by Sir Thomas Muuro, in a letter dated 22nd 
May 1824. " We have got the Pioneers, whom I did not expect 
so soon ; they have been able to join only by very extraordinary 
exertion. A detachment of them, from the neighbourhood of 
Hydrabad, has marched at the rate of twenty-five miles daily for 
fifteen days without a halt, at the hottest time of the year. Our 
sepoy battalions have embarked without a man being absent. 
Their conduct has been highly meritorious ; no European could 
have evinced more readiness to go on foreign service than they 
have done." 

Very little opposition was met with in taking possession of 

Rangoon was on the north bank of a main branch of 
the Irrawaddy ; twenty-eight miles from the sea, 900 yards 
along the river, and 600 or 700 yards wide in its broadest part. 

The town was an irregular parallelogram, having one gate in 
each of three faces, and two in that of the north. At the river- 
gate there was a landing-place, where the chief battery was 
placed. The whole place was defended by a palisade, ten or twelve 
feet high, strengthened with earth. 

A fire was opened on the fleet, which was soon silenced. 
Meantime three detachments were landed : one above the town, 
one below it, and the third was to attack the river-gate. The 
Burmese fled from the advance of the troops, and in less than 
twenty minutes the town was in our possession. 

Rangoon was found entirely deserted. The absence of the 
population was productive of serious inconvenience to the 
expedition, and disconcerted the expectations which had been 
formed of its immediate results. The capture of Rangoon 



resulted in the liberation of twelve prisoners, seven of whom 
were British, and two American missionaries. 

Immediately after the capture of Rangoon all the troops were 
landed and posted in the town, in the great pagoda of Shoe- 
da-gon, about two miles and a half from the town, or on the two 
roads which, leading from the two northern gates, gradually 
converge till they join near the pagoda. Parties of seamen were 
employed in scouring the river. 

In one of these excursions, a stockade having been observed 
under construction at Kemendine, four miles from the town, it was 
attacked by the grenadier company of H.M.'s 38th, and the boats 
of the Liffeij, stormed with great intrepidity, and carried with 
some loss. Lieutenant Kerr, of 38th, and one man were killed, 
nine men wounded ; Lieutenant Wilkinson and five seamen 

Detachments were also sent into the interior, to endeavour 
to bring back the population, but without success. On these 
occasions skirmishes ensued. Lieutenant Cotton, of the Engi- 
neers, was employed on these services in jungle fighting. 

Cover was now provided for the troops with as little delay as 
possible. They were cantoned along the two roads, in the 
pagodas and other buildings, while the staff and departments 
were placed in the town, and the terrace of the Great Pagoda 
was occupied by part of the 89th and the Madras Artillery. 
This pagoda formed the key of the position. The Shoe-da- 
gon Pagoda stands on a mound (ascended by 80 or 100 stone 
steps), the summit of which is 800 yards square. It very soon 
was seen that there was no chance of quitting this position before 
the end of the rainy season, as the disappearance of the in- 
habitants rendered it impossible to provide and equip a flotilla, 
and the force was entirely dependent on Madras and Bengal for 
supplies, &c. 

This had not been foreseen, and no preparations had been 
made to meet this difficulty. Negrais had been found uniu- 


habited, and Major Wahab, who commanded the detachment, 
having destroyed a stockade which he observed on the opposite 
mainland, re-embarked his men and sailed for Rangoon. 

The capture of Chedubaby the force under Brigadier McCreagh 
was more vigorously contested. 

On 14th May, boats containing 200 of H.M.'s I3th, and 100 
of the 20th Native Infantry, proceeded a mile up the river, 
where they discovered the enemy. The troops landed, and com- 
pelled them to retreat and retire to a strong stockade. The 
guns from the ships were landed, and a battery was opened on 
the gateway by the 18th ; this weakened the defences, and an 
entrance was forced into the stockade without much difficulty. 

On the 19th the Rajah of Cheduba was taken prisoner, and 
sent, shortly after, to Calcutta. Brigadier McCreagh, leaving 
Lieutenant-Colonel Hampton with a detachment of the 20th 
Native Infantry as garrison, together with the sloop Slaney, 
proceeded to Rangoon, where he arrived on the lith June. 
Between the attack of the Kemendiue stockade and this date, 
several engagements had taken place with the Burmans, who 
had been for some days closing on the British lines, and 
entrenching themselves. 

On 28th May Sir A. Campbell marched out. He passed and 
destroyed three unfinished stockades ; the artillerymen being 
exhausted, the guns were sent back, and Sir Archibald advanced 
with the Europeans. After a most fatiguing march of eight or 
ten miles through rice-fields, the enemy was discovered in gi'eat 
numbers at Joagong, defended in front by two stockades. These 
were carried at the point of the bayonet. The Burmese then 
fell back. Our loss was severe : Lieutenant Howard, of the 
13th, killed, and Lieutenants Mitchell and O^Halloran each 
lost a leg. 

The next day the enemy were driven from a stockade in the 
jungle, not far from the Great Pagoda, and on the same day a 
detachment under Colonel Godwin was sent against Siriam, which 


fort was found, on the opposite side of the Pegu river, ahandoned. 
Lieutenant Cotton accompanied this detachment. The strongest 
position occupied hy the Burmese at this time was at Kemendine 
on the river. They had one main stockade of unusual strength, 
and several other smaller ones in the vicinity. 

On the 3rd June two columns marched from the Great Pagoda 
by land, while Sir Archibald Campbell proceeded up the river. 
Troops were landed from the vessels, and burnt the village. The 
land columns had a very harassing march ; by some mistake 
they were fired on, being taken for Burmese. This occasioned 
some loss, and disconcerted the troops, so that they could not 
afterwards be led to the attack, and the object of the expedition 
had to be abandoned. 

On the loth June, a strong force was sent once more against 
Kemendine and the stockades inland between it and the pagoda. 
The force was nearly 3,000 strong, with four 18-pounders, and 
four mortars, and moved out under the Commander-in-Chief; 
whilst two divisions of vessels proceeded up the river. The land 
columns came upon a strong stockade, about two miles from the 
town. It was invested on three sides, and a breach being made 
by two 18-pounders, the troops made good their entrance. The 
enemy fled, but left 150 dead. Several of the British officers 
and soldiers distinguished themselves by their personal prowess 
on this and similar occasions, being repeatedly engaged in single 
combat. Before the Burmans learnt to appreciate the valour of 
their enemies, these conflicts were sanguinary, as they neither 
gave nor expected to receive quarter. After carrying the post, 
the force moved forward to the river, and invested the chief 
stockade. The left of the line communicated with the flotilla, 
but the right could not be sufficiently extended to do the same. 

Notwithstanding heavy rain, batteries were erected during the 
night, and opened at daylight on the 11th. After a cannonade 
of two hours, a party advanced to observe the breach, and found 
that the enemy had evacuated the stockade, carrying with them 



their dead and wounded. It was occupied by a small European 
force, and a battalion of Native Infantry. The Burmese, after 
this, retired for a time from near the British lines, and contiuued 
to concentrate at Donabew. Before any advance could be 
attempted, it was necessary to annihilate the force immediately 
opposing the British. This was far from easy. The Burmese 
were very dexterous in throwing up entrenchments. Moreover, 
the vicinity of Rangoon was covered with swamps or jungle, 
and sickness began to thin the ranks of the invaders. Fever 
and dysentery were the principal maladies, but scurvy and 
hospital gangrene were also prevalent. Although the force was 
considerably reduced from these causes, suflBcient troops still 
remained to effect offensive operations, and to repel the assaults 
of the Burmese. 

During June several minor affairs occurred, and on the 1st July 
the first general action took place. Thakia Woongyee had been 
despatched to collect as large a force as possible, and to surround 
and capture the British. 

On 1st July, the Burmese were observed in motion. The 
main bodv drew up in front of Kemendine stockade and Shoe- 
da-gon Pagoda. Three columns of about 1,000 each moved to 
the right of the line, and were met by the picquets of the 7th 
and 22nd Native Infantry. The enemy then penetrated between 
the picquets, and occupied a hill, but they were speedily dis- 
lodged. The sepoys were ordered to charge, and the enemy 
broke and fled to the jungle. The main body also fell back, 
owing to this failure. 

This check did not alter their plans. It became necessary to 
repel them to a greater distance, and on the 8th July a column 
1,200 strong, under Brigadier-General McBean, moved out to 
operate by land; while General Campbell, with 800 men, pro- 
ceeded by water. The boats advanced to Pagoda Point, where 
they found the enemy strongly posted. The land force proceeded 
about a mile, when the road narrowed so much that the artil- 


lery had to be sent back. Four miles further on, the enemy 
were discovered. At this point a bridge had been destroyed by 
the enemy ; but in a short time the Madras Pioneers made 
another. About 300 yards beyond the bridge, two stockades 
were seen on the right. The halt was sounded to wait till the 
pioneers with the ladders came up. Brigadier McCreagh 
ordered an Engineer officer, Lieutenant G. A. Underwood, to 
reconnoitre. He returned in a short time, and reported that 
there were two stockades on our right, and one on our left. The 
first stockade was stormed in the most gallant manner by 
H. M.'s 13th and 38th, and the Burmese fled with precipitation. 
The 13th and 38th were reinforced by the grenadier company 
of the 89th, and then proceeded to storm the second large 
stockade. The Madras Pioneers advanced most gallantly to 
place the ladders, without even waiting for a covering party. 
Very great resistance was made, but our men were soon masters 
of it. Another stockade was found inside it, and as there were 
no scaling-ladders, the men assisted one another over, on their 
shoulders. Here the slaughter was tremendous. Major Sale* 
of the 13th Light Infantry engaged the Burmese Commander- 
in-Chief, and cut him in two. Two other stockades were now 
taken right and left in the same gallant style, as well as two 
others which were abandoned. Seven stockades had now fallen 
into our hands, all being taken by escalading, without the help 
of artillery, in half-an-hour. 

The enemy lost 1,000 killed, besides their Commander-in- 
Chief. Our loss was trifling, only thirty men killed and wounded, 
owing to the suddenness of the attack. 

The river force was also successful ; the troops landed and 
stormed two stockades, and a third was abandoned by the 

The inundated state of the country now precluded the pos- 

* Afterwards Sir Robert Sale of Jellalabad. 



sibilifcy of undertaking any movements of importance, but the 
time was not allowed to pass unimproved. 

Sir A. Campbell having heard of the assemblage of a force at 
Kykloo, a column of 1,200 men was despatched by land on 19th 
July, while the Commander-in-Chief, with 600, went up the 
Puzendown creek. The land column was unable to make good 
its advance, so both detachments returned to head-quarters. 

The head-man of Siriam, near the junction of the Pegu and 
Rangoon rivers, having collected a considerable force, and being 
engaged in constructing works to command the entrance into 
the river, the Commander-in-Chief embarked on the 4th August 
with 600 men. As the troops advanced to storm they were 
received by a brisk fire, but the enemy had not resolution to 
await an escalade. They fled to a pagoda, but were pursued, 
when they abandoned the post. 

On the ftth August, a force of 400 men was despatched up the 
Dalla creek; about two miles from the mouth, they came on two 
stockades, one on each bank of the river. The troops had great 
difficulty in getting through the mud, but as soon as the escalade 
was attempted the entrenchments were carried, and the Burmese 
fled into the jungles. 

In the beginning of August, Major Canning, Political Agent, 
became ill, and returned to Bengal for his health. He died 
shortly after. Captain Mackintosh, Commanding Engineer, 
also suff'ered in health, and returned to Madras on the 11th 
August. On arrival there, he obtained six months sick I^ave, 
and went to Port Louis in the Isle of France ; he died. Low- 
ever, at that place on the 22nd October. 

From August to December, the senior Madras Engineer with 
the force was Lieutenant G. A. Underwood. 

On the 2 1st December 1824, Captain Grant was appointed 
Commanding Engineer with the Madras Division. 

As it was impossible in August to engage in any active opera- 
tions in the direction of Ava, it was deemed advisable to ruduce 




<0><iQHftibM>HUJHiS»6 ftiOl>|MiHP^X>iN_ 


Tenasserim. An expedition was accordingly detached against 
Tavoy and Mergui, consisting of the 89th, and 7th Native 
Infantry with several cruisers and gun-brigs, under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Miles. Lieutenant A. T. Cotton accompanied this 

They sailed from Rangoon on the 20th August, and reached 
the mouth of the Tavoy river on the 1st September. Owing to 
difficulties in the river, the vessels did not arrive off the town 
till the 8th. 

A conspiracy in the garrison facilitated the capture, and the 
town was occupied without opposition. 

The force then went on to Mergui, where it arrived on the 
6th October A heavy fire was opened from the batteries of the 
town, but it was silenced by the fleet in about an hour. The 
troops then landed, escaladed the stockade in the most gallant 
manner, and the enemy fled. 

After leaving a garrison of native troops, and part of the 
flotilla, Colonel Miles returned to Rangoon in November, in 
time to take part in the more important operations about to 
take place. 

In the end of August and throughout September, nothing of 
any importance took place near Rangoon. The Burmese con- 
tinued in force about Pagoda Point and Dalla. They engaged in 
perpetual night-attacks on the picquets, and on two occasions a 
large number of chosen men called the " Invulnerables " made 
attacks on the picquet of the Sho3-da-gon Pagoda, but were 
repulsed with heavy loss 

The beginning of October was marked by a failure of some 
magnitude at Kykloo, fourteen miles from Rangoon. 

Colonel Smith was detached against this place on the 5th 
October with 8U0 Madras Native Infantry, two howitzers, and 
forty pioneers under Captain Milne. 

They carried a stockade at Tadajee, but hearing Kykloo was 
verv strong. Colonel Smith applied for reiuforcements, especially 

n, 4 


for Europeans. Three hundred Madras Native Infantry were 
sent with two howitzers, but no Europeans. 

On the 8th October they arrived near the stockades, and 
carried a succession of breastworks thrown across the road, 
which dehiyed their approacli to the main position, an entrench- 
ment resting on an eminence on its right crowned by a fortified 

As the storming party advanced to escalade, a round of 
cannon was fired from the pagoda, and when the assailants were 
fifty or sixty yards from the stockade, volleys of grape and 
musketry were poured down. Major Wahab and the leading 
officers and men were knocked down, and the rest so panic- 
struck that they lay down. As the evening was far advanced, 
Colonel Smith ordered a retreat. 

The loss on this occasion was twenty-one killed and seventy- 
four wounded, amongst these two officers killed and five 
wounded. Among the latter were Captain MoncriefiF and 
Lieutenant Campbell of the Pioneers. 

The force retreated to Tadnjee, which it reached at 1 1 p.m. 

Colonel Smith, in his despatch, says ; — " The wounded were 
immediately collected, and through the indefatigable exertions of 
the medical officers of the 3rd, 34th, and Sfith Regiments, and 
the zealous aid of Captain Milne of the Madras Pioneers in 
procuring the means of carriage for such men as could not be 
provided with doolies, I was enabled to move again at 2 am." 

Again he says : — " I cannot too highly appreciate the services 
of Major Ogilvie and Captain Milne, whose judgment, bravery, 
and steadiness I had frequent opportunities of witnessing." 

Complete success attended an expedition directed at the same 
time (8th October) against Thantabain at the junction of Lyne 
river. Major Evans of H.M.'s 38th commanded this detach- 
ment. He reported : — " I cannot close my report without 
mentioning the very meritorious services of H revet Captain 
Wheeler, and the detachment of Pioneers that accompanied me, 


Their prompt and ready zeal in situations of difficulty and 
danger was not less conspicuous than their indefatigable exer- 
tions in performing other parts of their laborious duty, and 
the very gallant style in which they repeatedly dashed forward 
with scaling-ladders was as honourable to themselves as it 
was a gratifying mark of faith and confidence in the troops 

Nor were the Burmese allowed to imagine that the Kykloo 
stockades were impregnable, for the same day that Colonel 
Smith's detachment returned to head-quarters Brigadier 
McCreagh was sent with Europeans and natives to attack the 

He arrived on the 11th, but the enemy had deserted the 
stockades and fallen back on stronger entrenchments. The 
Brigadier followed, and came up with them ; but they again fled 
and dispersed, after setting the village and stockade on fire. 
The detachment further destroyed the works, and then returned 
to Kykloo and thence to Kangoon. 

The Brigadier reported that during his "march a consider- 
able portion of the road presented to us the horrid spectacle of 
the sepoys and pioneers (twenty- eight bodies were counted) who 
had been lost in the unsuccessful attack of the 7th, fastened to 
the trunks of trees on the roadside, mangled and mutilated in 
every manner that savage cruelty could devise." 

The Brigadier thus winds up his despatch : — " The manner in 
which the Bengal Artillery was forced over the most unfavour- 
able ground, and various difficult obstacles, reflects high credit 
on Lieutenant Lawrence and his detachment, and the effective 
exertions of the Madras Pioneers under Captain Milne attracted 
the notice of everyone." 

During the rest of October and November the troops enjoyed 
a state of comparative repose, and the force gathered vigour for 
the renewal of active operations. 

By the end of November, an intercepted despatch from the 

4 * 


Bundoola to the Governor of Martaban, annoimced the departure 
of the former from Prome at the head of a formidable army. 

The Burmese force was estimated at 60,000 men, of whom 
half were armed with muskets, the rest with swords and spears ; 
a considerable number of jingals carrying balls from six to twelve 
ounces, and 700 Cassay Horse, were with the army, while a nume- 
rous flotilla of war-boats and fire-rafts proceeded along the stream. 

This armv formed a regular investment of the British lines, 
extending in a semicircle from Dalla, opposite Rangoon, round 
by Kemendine and the Great Pagoda to Puzendown, on the 
creek communicating with ihe Pegu branch of the river, their 
extreme right being opposite to the town on one side, and their 
extreme left approaching it on the other. 

The enemy commenced on the 1st December by attacking the 
post at Kemendine. They were repulsed. In the afternoon a 
reconnoissance was made of the enemy's left ; the detachment 
broke through their entrenchments. 

Several other minor attacks were made, but beyond this, and 
the reply to the enemy's fire by the artillery, nothing was 
attempted for a few days, in order to encourage the Burmese 
generals to trust themselves completely within the reach of the 
British Army. 

On the 5th December, a division of the flotilla and gun-boats, 
under Captain Chads, was ordered up the Puzendown creek, 
to cannonade the enemy in flank. 

Two columns of attack were formed to advance from the 
Eangoon side ; one, 800 strong, under Major Sale, and the 
other, 500, under Major W'alker Lieutenant A. T- Clotton was 
with the latter force. 

The columns advanced at 7. That under Major Walker first 
came in contact with the enemy, and the entrenchment was 
carried at the point of the bayonet. The other column was 
equally successful, and the whole of the left of the Burmese 
army was driven from the field, leaving numbers dead on the 

1824.] MADEA3 E^'GINEEES. 53 

ground, and their guns and military and working stores in our 

Our loss was small, but Major Walker was shot while gallantly 
leading his men. 

The Bundoola made no attempt to recover the position, but 
carried on his approaches to the Great Pagoda. 

On the 7th, Sir A. Campbell ordered an attack to be made by 
four columns. The advance of the columns was preceded by 
a heavy cannonade. The left column, under Colonel Mallet, 
advanced against the right of the enemy, and that under Colonel 
Brodie on their left, whilst the other two marched directly from 
the pagoda on their centre. They were met by a heavy fire, but, 
in spite of it, they advanced to the entrenchments and quickly 
put the defenders to the rout. 

The Burmese main force was completely dispersed, and their 
loss is supposed to have been 5,000 men. 240 pieces of 
ordnance were taken, as well as a large number of muskets. 

The right division at Dalla was expelled from its entrench- 
ment on the 8th December, when we took ten guns. A party of 
pioneers accompanied this force. 

Our loss in these affairs was less than fifty killed, but more 
than 300 wounded. The Pioneers had one havildar and four 
men wounded. 

The Commander-in-Chief thus noticed the conduct of the 
Engineers and Pioneers : — " To Captain Cheape (the late 
General Sir John Cheape, Bengal Engineers), Commanding 
Engineer, and every individual uf the department, the greatest 
credit is due, and the conduct of Captain Wheeler and the 
Madras Pioneers is justly a theme of praise to every officer under 
whose command they are placed." 

Maha Bundoola speedily reorganised his troops at no great 
distance, relinquishing the command to an othcer of rank and 
celebrity, Maha Thilwa. 

The Burmese were soon stockaded at Kokien, a place about 


half-way between the Lyne and Pegu rivers — four miles north of 
Shoe-da-gon Pagoda. 

On the night of the l4th December a great part of Rangoon 
was in flames, and more than half the town was burnt. The 
troops were at their posts to repel any attack that might be 
made, while parties of seamen and soldiers subdued the flames. 
The fire was got under in about two hours. As this fire was the 
work of incendiaries, it was deemed essential to drive the enemy 
at once from Kokien, Accordingly, on the morning of the 15th, 
Brigadier- General Campbell moved out against them in two 
columns ; the right, of 540 men, with sixty of the Governor- 
General's Body-guard, under Brigadier-General Cotton — the left, 
of 800 men with 100 of the Body-guard, under General Camp- 
bell ; the former to take the work in the rear, while the latter 
attacked the enemy in front. 

The works were found to be of great strength, consisting of 
two large stockades on either flank, connected by a central 
entrenchment, the whole occupied by 20,000 men. 

The right column gained the rear and attacked the centre, 
while the left, dividing into two parts, stormed the flank 
stockades. In a quarter of an hour the whole of the works were 
in our possession. 

The loss of the enemy was severe. Our loss was eighteen killed 
and 114 wounded, of whom twelve killed and forty-nine wounded 
belonged to the 13th, commanded by Major Sale. Four oflicers 
were killed and six wounded ; amongst the latter was Major Sale. 

During these operations the boats of the flotilla, with the 
assistance of the steamer Diana succeeded in capturing thirty 
gunboats and destroying several rafts. 

The Commander-in-Chief made the following remarks in his 
despatch : — 

" When it is known that 1,300 British infantry stormed and 
carried by assault the most formidable entrenched and stockaded 
wor^s I ever saw, defended by upwards of 20,000 men, I trust 

1824.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. ' 55 

it is unnecessary for me to say more in praise of men performing 
sucli a prodigy. The exertions of Major Montgomerie, com- 
manding tlie artillery in the field, together with those of Captain 
Cheape and Lieutenant Underwood of the Engineers, were most 

The 1st battalion of the Madras Pioneers had three officers 
and one man wounded — Brevet Captain F. Wheeler (favourably 
noticed in Order issued to the army by Governor-General in 
Council on 24th December), Lieutenant J. Macartney, and 
Lieutenant J. A. Campbell. 

These actions changed entirely the character of the war. The 
Burmese after this restricted themselves to the defence of their 
positions along the river, and did not attempt offensive opera- 

As neither Madras Engineers nor Pioneers were engaged in 
the expedition against Assam, Cachar, or Arracan, these cam- 
paigns will not be referred to. 

The capture of the stockades at Kokien resulted in the com- 
plete dispersion of the Burmese army. Maha Bundoola retreated 
to Donabew, where he concentrated a respectable force, which he 
strongly entrenched. 

The Commander-in-Chief now determined on an advance 
upon Prome, and, in order to leave no obstruction in his rear, 
he sent Colonel Elrington against the old Portuguese fort and 
pagoda of Siriam. 

When the force came before the fort and bridge over the 
nullah leading to it, the landing-place was found broken down. 
Much labour and delay was occasioned in repairing it, and a 
smart and well-directed fire was kept up by the enemy on the 
head of the column, and some loss caused to us ; but as soon 
as the troops could cross, they rushed on and carried the place 
by storm. The force then went on to the pagoda, which was 
abandoned as soon as the enemy saw the troops advance to the 


Our loss was one officer killed and three wounded, and one 
man killed and thirty-one wounded. The Pioneers had Ensign 
McLeod and four men wounded. 

Before breaking up cantonments at Rangoon, the Commander- 
in-Chief considered it expedient to dislodge an advanced division 
of the Burmese at Thantabain on the Lyne river, and Colutiel 
Godwin was despatched for this purpose with detachments of 
H.M.'s 41st, 80th, and 43rd Native Infantry, with various 
vessels and gunboats under Captain Chads, R.N. 

The stockade was carried with little difficulty, but the enemy 
suifered severely. 

There were no Engineers or Pioneers with the force. 

The Commander-in-Chief formed his force for the advance 
into two columns. One, 2,400 strong, was to move by land 
under his own orders; while the second, 1,169 strong, under 
Brigadier- General Cotton, was to proceed by water to Tharawa 
(where the land column was to reach the banks of the Irra- 
waddyj, carr)ing the entrenched posts of Paulang and Donabew. 
The flotilla consisted of sixty- two boats, carrying each one or 
two guns, and the boats of all the ships of war off Rangoon, 
under the commander of Captain Alexander, R.N. 

A third division of 7«0 was sent to the district of Bassein, 
under Major ISale, who was to occupy Bassein ; thence to pro- 
ceed across country to Hengada on the Jrrawaddy, and form a 
junction with the main army. 

Eour thousand men were left in Rangoon, under Brigadier 
McCreagh, to form a reserve column, to follow the Commander- 
in-Chief as soon as transport could be collected. 

The Commander-in-Chief began his march on 13th February 
1825. The water column moved on the 16th, and the detach- 
ment for Bassein sailed on the l7th. 

Two hundred and fifty-seven Pioneers were attached to Sir 
Archibald Campbell's force. 

The land column proceeded along a narrow and difficult path 


on left bank of the Lyne river. On the 17 th it arrived at Mophi, 
where it halted till the 19th, when it moved on to Lyne, arriving 
on the 23rd. Next day the march was resumed, and on the 2fith 
the force halted for two days at Soomza. On the 1st March 
the column forded the Lyne river at Thabon, and on the 2nd 
came to Tharawa on the Irrawaddy. 

The water-column reached Teesit on the 17th, and destroyed 
three unoccupied stockades. On the 19lh they reached Paulang, 
where the Burmese were strongly stockaded. These stockades 
were taken, and General Cotton advanced to Yangen-chena, 
where the Rangoon river branches off from the Irrawaddy. He 
arrived on the 23rd February, and on the 27th the whole of the 
flotilla entered the main stream, and next day the advance 
came in sight of Donabevv, where Maha Bundoola was posted 
with 15,000 men. 

The post consisted of a series of formidable stockades, 
extending a mile along the bank, commencing at the Pagoda of 
Donabew, and continuing to increase in strength till completed 
by the main work, situated on a commanding height, and sur- 
rounded by a deep abbatis, with all the usual defences. 

On the 6th March, General Cotton sent a summons to sur- 
render, which was refused. The next day an attack was made. 
The first stockade was taken with the loss of twenty killed and 
wounded. The enemy fled to the next defence, leaving 280 
prisoners. An attack was then made on the second defence ; 
but this failed, and entailed a severe loss. In consequence of 
this. General Cotton deemed it advisable to abstain from any 
further attempt till joined by Sir A. Campbell, and he accord- 
ingly dropped down to Young-yoon, to await the result of his 
communication with the Commander-in-Chief. 

When the latter heard of the failure he was at Nangurh, 
twenty-six miles above Tharawa, and immediately determined to 
retrace his steps, and attack the post with all his strength. 

On the 25th the army came before Donabew, On the 27th 


communication was opened with the flotilla, and both divisions 
then co-operated in the reduction of the place. Batteries armed 
with heavy artillery were constructed without delay. 

Spirited sorties were frequently made by the Burmese to 
intercept their progress, and on one occasion the Buudoola 
ordered out his elephants, seventeen in number, each carrying a 
complement of men, and supported by infantry. They were 
gallantly charged by the Body-guard, Horse Artillery, and 
Rocket Troop. The elephant-drivers were killed, and the 
elephants made off for the jungle, while the troops rapidly 

The mortar and enfilading batteries opened on the 1st April, 
and the breaching batteries commenced their fire on the 2nd, 
shortly alter which the enemy were discovered in full retreat. 
The entrenchments were taken possession of, and large stores of 
grain and ammunition, as well as a great number of guns, were 

The sudden retreat was occasioned by the death of their 
General, Maha Buudoola, who was killed on the 1st by the 
bursting of a shell. 

In his despatch reporting the capture of Donabew, Sir Archi- 
bald Campbell says : — 

" The unremitting zeal and activity of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hopkiuson and Captain Grant, commanding officers of Artillery 
and Engineers, during a most trying period, merit my peculiar 
notice, and their skill and attention in carrying on the approaches 
before this place, reflect on them the highest ere, lit." 

After the capture of Donabew, Sir A. Cuiupbell at once 
resumed the forward march, and again reached i'harawa, on the 
lOtli April, v.'here he was joined by reinforcements. I'rom thence 
he pushed on to Prome, the Prince of Tharawidi, the King's 
brother, falling back as the British advanced. 

The force reached Prome on the 2oth April, and occupied the 
place without opposition. Immediately after, the Commander-in- 


Chief despatched Colonel Godwin with 800 infantry, a troop of 
the Body-guard, two tieJd-pieces, with Pioneers, to the east 
towards Tonghoo, to ascertain the strength of the enemy, &c. 
This force left od tiie 5th May and marched norih-east till the 
11th. They there came on a mountainous and difficult country 
beyond which were forests. They then moved west to Meaday, 
sixty miles above Prome, on the Irrawaddy. This place was 
found deserted, and they returned to Prome on the 24th. 

Captain Alexander Grant,* Commanding Engineer, who had 
particularly distinguished himself at Donabew, died at Prome on 
the 20th May. The exposure and privations he suffered during 
the advance of the army from Rangoon, brought on an attack of 
liver, which terminated fatally. 

He was succeeded as Commanding Engineer by Lieutenant 
G. A. Underwood, Madras Engineers. 

June, July, and August were necessarily spent in inactivity, 
owing to the setting in of the rains, and the prevalence of the 
inundations. The Pioneers suffered greatly from sickness at 
this time — out of 542, 133 were in hospital, 24.^ per cent. 

The Burmese made great exertions to collect a force, and as 
it was formed it was advanced to Pagahm, Melloon, Patangoh, 
and, finally, to Meaday, where the troops arrived at the begin- 
ning of August, to the amount of 20,000 men. The whole force 
was estimated at 40,000 in movement, besides 12,000 at 
Tonghoo. To oppose these, ISir Archibald Campbell had 3,000, 
and had ordered 2,000 more to join him. Negotiations were at 
this time entered on regarding peace. An armistice was proposed 
and accepted, and hostilities were suspended till the 1 7th 

On the 3rd October, Major-General iSir A. Campbell, Commo- 

* This officer greatly distinguished himself, under General Pritzlor, in the 
Southern Mahratta country. Received thauiis and high approbation of the 
Commander-in-Chief, the 8th May 1818, for his zealous and valuable services at 
the siege of Badami. 


dore Sir J. Brisbane, Brigadiei-Generals Cotton and McCreagh, 
and three other officers, met six or seven Burmese chiefs on the 
part of the Government of Ava, to discuss formally the terms of 
peace. From this discussion it did not appear that the Court 
of Ava was prepared to make any sacrifice, either territorial or 
pecuniary, for the restoration of peace. The Burmese Com- 
missioners, however, requested a prolongation of the armistice 
till the 2ud November, and this request was granted. It was 
soon seen that nothing remained but a further appeal to arms. 

On the 3Uth November, Sir A. Campbell took measures 
for making a general attack upon every accessible part of 
the Burmese line, extending, on the east bank, from a com- 
manding ridge of hills on the river to the villages of Simbike 
and Sembeh on the left, distant from Prome eleven miles north- 
east. The enemy's army was divided into three corps. The 
left was stockaded in jungles at Simbike and Hyalay, upon the 
Nawine river ; 15,000 men, of whom 700 were cavalry. The 
centre was entrenched on the hills of Napadee, inaccessible, 
except on one side by a narrow pathway commanded by seven 
pieces of artillery, and on the river side the navigation was 
commanded by several heavy batteries. This corps consisted 
of 30,000 men, and the space between left and centre (a thick 
forest) was merely occupied by a line of posts. The enemy's 
right, occupying the west bank of the Irrawaddy, was strongly 
stockaded and defended by artillery. 

On the 1st Oecember, the British marched upon Simbike. 
On reaching the Nawine river, at the village uf Ze-ouke, the 
force was divided into two columns; the righi, under General 
Cotton, advanced along the left bank of the rivur, while General 
Campbell crossed at the ford of Ze-ouke, and advanced upon 
Simbike and Lombek in a direction parallel to General Cotton's 
route. This brought him in front of the stockaded position at 
Simbike, which he at once assaulted, the other column being a 
mile and a half distant to bis left and rear. General Campbell 


detached a force to guard the ford at Ze-ouke, while he pushed 
on towards Sagee, in l)02)es of falling on the enemy retiring on 
Wattygoon. General Cotton and his gallant division did not 
allow him time. In less than ten minutes every stockade was 
carried, and the enemy routed. The attack on Simbike was led 
by Lieutenant-Colonel Godwin. The enemy left 300 dead upon 
the ground, including their old Commander, Maha-Nemiou, 
seventy-five years of age. The whole of the enemy's Commis- 
sariat and other stores, guns, 400 to 500 muskets, and more 
than a hundred Cassay horses, fell into our hands. The enemy's 
left corps was thus disposed of, and General Campbell resolved 
to march back to Ze-ouke, to attack the centre of the enemy 
next morning. Our loss at Simbike was two oflBcers and fifteen 
N.C.O. and men killed, and two officers and forty-one N.C.O. 
and men wounded. The Madras Pioneers had Lieutenant J. 
Smith dangerously wounded, as well as four rank and file. 

At 6 P.M. on the 1st, the whole force was again at Ze- 
ouke, where it bivouacked, after a harassing march of twenty 

At daylight on the 2nd they were again in motion. Early in 
the morning, Brigadier Cotton was detached, to push round to 
the right, and to gain the enemy's flank, but after great exer- 
tion the effort was abandoned. Our artillery opened with great 
effect, while Sir James Bnsbane cannonaded the heights from the 
river. Brigadier Elrington was ordered to follow through the 
jungle to the right, where he was opposed with great gallantry 
and resolution. On the Brigadier's left six companies of the 
87th drove in the enemy's posts to the bottom of the ridge. 
The enemy was driven from all his defences in the valley, re- 
treating to his principal works on the hills. These works were 
very formidable, the hills could only be ascended by a narrow 
road, commanded by artillery, and defended by numerous stock- 
ades and breastworks. As soon as the artillery and rockets had 
made an impression on the enemy's works, the troops were 


ordered to the assault. The Jst Bengal Brigade was ordered to 
advance bv the breach and storm the heights in front, and the 
six companies of the 87th to advance through the jungle to the 
right, and drive everything before them. H.M.'s 3Sth, which 
led first, entered the enemy's entrenchments on the heights, 
driving him from hill to hill, until the whole of the formidable 
position, nearly three miles in extent, was in our possession. 
The Commander-in-Chief, in his despatch, says: — "Lieutenants 
Underwood, Commanding Engineer, and Abbott, Bengal Engi- 
neers, who had closely reconnoitred the enemy's position, both 
volunteered to lead the columns, and were, I am sorry to say, 
both wounded on that service." Ijieutenaut Underwood was 
shot through the neck, severely. Our loss was one officer and 
nine men killed, and six officers and eighty-two men wouuded. 
The Madras Pioneers had two men wounded. The defeat of the 
enemy was most complete, with the loss of all his artillery, and 
great quantities of ammunition and stores. 

On the 4th, a detachment under Brigadier-General Cotton 
proceeded across the river to dislodge the enemy, situated in 
stockades on the right bank of the river. He had 780 men of 
the Koyal Regiment, the 41st and 89th, the liglit company of 
the 28th Madras Native Infantry, and 100 Pioneers. The 
operation was completely successful. 

The enemy retired from their stockades on the river, owing 
to the severe artillery-fire ; but another stockade being observed 
half a mile in the interior, fully manned, it was at once stormed. 
300 of the enemy were left dead, and the remaindei- dispersed 
in every direction. In this affair our loss was trifling, being 
only one killed and four wounded. 

As General Campbell knew that the enemy had fortified the 
positions along the river from Meaday to Paloh, he determined 
to move on them circuitously with one division, so as to turn 
them at Bollay, while another division proceeded along the river. 
General Campbell commanded the 1st Division, General Cotton 


the 2ncl, and Commodore Brisbane the flotilla, with which there 
was a military force under Brigadier Armstrong. 

The I St Division marched to Wallygoon on the 9th December. 
The column was detained on the 11th by a heavy fall of rain, 
which continued for thirty hours, and the troops did not reach 
Bollay till the 1 6th. 

The enemy abandoned Meaday, and General Campbell pushed 
on to Tabloo, whence he detached the Body-guard in pursuit. 
They came up with the Burmese five miles from Meaday, and 
made some prisoners. General Campbell fixed his head-quarters 
at Meaday on the 1 9th December. 

General Cotton's column arrived at Meiong, on the Irrawaddy, 
on the 14 th, and marched on the 16th to Bollay, but it was 
obliged to encamp three miles to the south, at Seimbow, in con- 
sequence of encountering an impassable nullah. The column 
halted at this place on the 17th, while the Pioneers and strong 
working- parties under the directions of the P]ngineer officer, 
were employed in constructing a bridge. The bridge was 
finished on the 18th, and the force then moved to the Ing-gown, 
a few miles south of Meaday. 

On the 26th December General Campbell was met by a flag 
of truce with a letter from the Burman commanders expressing 
a desire to conclude a peace. Officers were deputed to ascertain 
what arrangements were contemplated ; meantime the army 
advanced to Patanagoh, opposite the Burmese entrenchments at 
Melloon. It arrived at Mungeom on the 2Sth, when a letter was 
received postponing the meeting till the 24th January. This 
delay was declared inadmissible, and a definite reply was 
required before sunset of the 29th, when the army encamped at 

The result of this was that a first conference took place on 
the 30th December, in a boat fitted up by the Burmese, on the 
Irrawaddy between Patanagoh and Melloon — Sir Archibald 
Campbell, Mr. Robertson, and Commodore Brisbane on the side 


of the British, and two Wongyees on the part of the Burmese. 

At this meeting the terms were stated generally, and their further 
discussion postponed till next day. 

The following day the Burman Commissioners acceded to the 
terms, hut the pecuniary demand was reduced to one crore of 

A third meeting took place on the 2nd January, when the 
Burmese strove to evade the money payment. They were also 
reluctant to concede Arracan. Finding the British Commissioners 
could not be induced to deviate from the conditions stipulated, 
they finally yielded. 

The English copy of the treaty was signed on the 2nd, and 
the Burmese on the 3rd, and an armistice agreed on till the 
18th, by which date it was supposed the treaty would be ratified 
by the King. 

On the 17th January five Burmese chiefs came to the British 
camp to apologise for the non-ratification of the treaty. At the 
same time they offered to pay five lacs of rupees as instalment 
of the crore, and to deliver hostages for the safe return of the 
British prisoners at Ava. They solicited, in return, the retreat 
of the British army to Prome, or, at least, a further suspension 
of hostilities. This, of course, could not be complied with, and 
hostilities commenced again on the 1 9th. 

General Campbell ordered " the construction of batteries and 
the landing of heavy ordnance from the flotilla to commence 
immediately after midnight, and every requisite aiiangement 
made for an early attack on Melloon." 

"His Lordship in Council will be enabled to appreciate t]ie 
zeal and exertion with which my orders were carried into effect, 
under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Hodgkii;son, com- 
manding the Artillery, and Lieutenant Und(;rwood, the Chief 
Engineer (aided by that indefatigable Corps, the 1st battalion 
of the Madras Pioneers, under the command of Captain Crowe), 
when I state that by 10 the next morning I had twen!y eight 


pieces of ordnance in battery, on points presenting a front of 
more than one mile, on east bank of the Irrawaddy, which 
corresponded with the enemy's line of defence on the opposite 
shore. At 11 a.m. on the 1 9th the batteries and rockets opened 
fire on the enemy's position. It was warmly kept up with great 

While this was going on, the troops intended for the assault 
were embarking in the boats. About 1 p.m., everything being 
ready, the bi'igade under Lieutenant-Colonel Sale, consisting of 
H M.'s 18th and .S8th Regiments, was directed to drop down the 
river and assault the main face of the enemy's position, near its 
south-east angle ; while Brigadier-General Cotton with the 
flank companies of H.M.'s 47th, 87th, and 89th, the 4 1st, 28th, 
and 18th Madras Native Infantry, and flank company of the 
43rd Madras Native Infantry, was to cross above Melloon, and 
after carrying some earthworks, to attack the north face of the 
principal work. 

Although the whole of the boats pushed off together from 
the left bank, the current and a strong breeze from the north 
carried Lieutenant- Colonel Sale's brigade to the point of attack 
before the other columns could reach the opposite shore. The 
brigade landed (Lieutenant-Colonel Sale was wounded in the 
boats), rushed to the assault, and were in a short time complete 
masters of the work. 

When Brigadier-General Cotton saw that the works were 
carried, he ordered a brigade under Lieutenant- Colonel Hunter 
Blair to cut in on the enemy's line of retreat, which was accord- 
ingly done with much effect. 

The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was very severe, as 
also in captured ordnance, stores, arms, and ammunition. A 
large sum of money was also found in Melloon. Our loss was 
small, and consisted of three officers wounded, thirteen men 
killed, and forty-five wounded. Lieutenant W. Dixon, Bengal 
Engineers, was amongst the wounded. 

II. 5 


The original treaty was found in the lines of Melloon. At 
first sight it appeared that the Burman Commissioners had 
sought only to protract the war by their negotiations; but it 
was ascertained subsequently that a copy of the treaty had 
really been sent to Ava. The original treaty was returned to 
the Burmese with a letter stating that as they had left behind 
a valuable paper, it was forwarded to them. This was done to 
show that the Commander in-Chief was aware that the treaty 
had not been sent to Ava. The Burmese were in no way 
abashed, but replied, thanking the Chief for his courtesy, and 
mentioning that, as a large sura of money had also been left 
behind in their hurry, perhaps the Commander in-Chief would 
be good enough to forward that also.''^ 

The capture of Melloon created great consternation at Ava, 
and Mr. Price, a member of the American Mission to Ava, and 
Mr. Sandford, Surgeon of the Royals, both prisoners, were sent 
down to treat. They reached head-quarters on the 81st January, 
1826, and after conferring with the Commissioners, returned to 
Ava on the following day. The terms proposed at Melloon 
were still open to the acceptance of the Court, and the army 
would retire to Rangoon on payment of twenty-five lacs, and 
evacuate Burman territory on the discharge of a similar instal- 

The army still continued to advance towards Pagahm-mew. It 
left Patanagoh on the 2.5th January, and reached Yaysay on 
the 8th February, The enemy were discovered five miles in 
advance on the road to Pagahm-mew. 

On the morning of the 9th, the army proceeded to the 
encounter. The Burmese for the first time abandoned their 
system of combatting behind barriers, and pi'epared to dispute 
the day in the open field in front of their position at Logoh- 
nundah Pagoda, They numbered 16,000 men. 

* The reason the Burmese had for not forwarding the signed treaty was that 
they had exceeded their power in signing it. 


Our army advanced in two columns. The attacks were quite 
successful, and the Burmese soon broke and fled Part retreated 
to a field-work, from which they were soon dislodged by the 
bayonet with great slaughter. They then made an attempt to 
rally within the walls, and about the Pagoda of Pagahm-mew. 
They were followed with great activity, and in the course of five 
hours this last hope of the Kingdom of Ava was annihilated. 

Our loss was trifling — one officer wounded, two men killed, 
and fifteen wounded. 

While these operations were taking place on the Irrawaddy, 
the province of Pegu was the scene of some military transac- 
tions. Lieutenant-Colonel Conry made an attack on a stockade 
at Sittang on the 7th January. His force was inadequate, and 
he was repulsed with the loss of two officers, one native officer, 
and nine men killed, and two officers and eighteen men wounded. 
Among the latter was liieutenant-Colonel Conry. 

Colonel Pepper, on hearing of the repulse, moved with rein- 
foniements, and reached Sittang on the 11th. The force 
advanced to the attack in three columns. A simultaneous 
advance was ordered, on which the creek was forded, and the 
stockade carried in twenty minutes. 

The advance was made under a heavy fire, and our loss was 
severe. Two captains were killed, and a major and two lieu- 
tenants wounded ; fourteen men were killed, and fifty-three 

The Pioneers lost one man killed and four wounded. The 
enemy was computed at 3,000 or 4,000, and their loss was 500 or 

The whole of the defences were destroyed on the loth. The 
eff'orts of the enemy were not, however, relaxed. In the month 
of February they made a vigorous attack on the British post at 
Meckroo, between Pegu and Shoe-geen They were repulsed by 
EnsigQ Clark, who held the post with a small detachment of the 
3rd Madras Native Infantry. A reinforcement of 100 men of 

6 * 


the I3th, and twenty Pioneers, was sent, under Captain Leggett, 
as well as 100 men from Pegu, and the post was secured. 

The estahlishment of peace suspended further operations in 
Pegu. After halting two or three days at Pagahm-mew, General 
Campbell resumed his march. The King and his Ministers now 
had no hesitation in acceding to the terms of peace. General 
Campbell declined to suspend his march till the ratification of 
the treaty was received, and had advanced to Yaodaboo, within 
four days' march of Ava, before Mr. Price and the Burman Com- 
missioners made their appearance with the ratified treaty, and 
twenty-five lacs in gold and silver bullion. 

The treaty was concluded on the 24th February 1820. The 
Burmese Government engaged to abstain from all interference 
with the affairs of Assam, Cachar, and Jyntra, to receive a British 
Resident at Ava, and depute a Burman Resident to Calcutta; to 
concur in a commercial treaty, and to cede four provinces of 
Arracan, as well as Yeh, Tavoy, Mergui, and Tenasserim. 

The Pioneers in the campaign had three men killed, and seven 
ofiBcers, one havildar, and thirty-five men wounded. The Pioneer 
officers were Captain Moncrieffe, Brevet-Captain Wheeler, Lieu- 
tenant and Adjutant Campbell, Lieutenant J. Macartney, Lieu- 
tenant J. A. Campbell, Lieutenant J. Smith, and Ensign 

The following order was published by Government : — 

" To mark the high sense which the Government entertain of 
the indefatigable exertions of the Corps of Pioneers throughout 
the war in Ava, the Honourable the Governor-in- Council is 
pleased to resolve, as a special case, that Jemadar Andoo, of that 
Corps, whose gallant conduct has been particularly brought to 
notice, shall be promoted to the rank of Subadar, that he be pre- 
sented with a palankeen, and an allowance of seventy rupees 
monthly for the support of that equipage, and that a pension of 
half-pay be granted to his nearest heir after his decease." 

This was dated the 15th May 1827, No. 9i. 


Two Engineer officers died from disease brought on by 
exposure — Captain Mackintosh and Captain Grant, Madras 
Engineers ; and three were wounded, Lieutenant Underwood, 
Madras Engineers, and Lieutenants Abbott and Dixon, Bengal 

Total casualties, fifty-one, of which twelve were officers. 

The Pioneers sufi'ered much from sickness in the campaign, 
owing, doubtless, to their laborious duties and constant exposure 
— at one time nearly one-fourth were in hospital. 

On the 5th AJarch the troops commenced their return, the 
greater part proceeding by water to Rangoon. In the general 
orders by the Governor-General in Council, the Pioneers are 
spoken of in the highest terms : — 

" The Governor-General in Council acknowledges with peculiar 
approbation the gallant and indefatigable exertions of that 
valuable corps the Madras Pioneers, under Captain Crowe." 

Strange to say, in this general order no mention is made of 
the Engineers, although they were frequently mentioned with 
great approbation by the officers in command, and in spite of 
the fact that two officers died, and three were wounded. Lieu- 
tenant Underwood, finding that the services of the Engineers 
had been omitted, wrote an address to the Governor-General 
regarding the omissiou. He received the following reply : — 

" Adverting to the repeated mention by Major-General Sir 
Archibald Campbell of the zealous and gallant conduct displayed 
by the Engineer Department, under Captain Cheape, of the 
Bengal Establishment, and Lieutenant Underwood, of that of 
Fort St. George, and to the acknowledgment of those services in 
the general orders of the Governor-General in Council of the 
24th December 1824, there can be no doubt that the merits of 
the Engineer Department were duly appreciated by the Govern- 
ment of that period. The Governor-General in Council is 
satisfied, indeed, that the omission of the mention of the Engi- 
neer Department in the general orders of the 11th April ISSli, 
was purely accidental. Under these circumstances, and at this 


distant period of time, the Governor-General in Council feels 
himself precluded from making the services of the Engineer 
Department in Ava the suhject of a special general order; but 
he is happy to avail himself of this opportunity of declaring his 
sense of the zeal, gallantry, and professional talents of that arm 
of the service, as repeatedly brought to the notice of the Supreme 
Government in the despatches of Major-General Sir Archibald 
Campbell, and as warmly acknowledged by the Supreme Govern- 
ment in the general orders of the 24th December 1824. The 
Government of Fort St. George is accordingly requested to 
convey the above assurances to Lieutenant Underwood, in leply 
to his letter on the subject." 

Captain Cheape was mentioned three times in despatches, as 
also Tiieutenant Underwood. Captain Grant, Lieutenants Lake, 
Abbott, and Cotton were each mentioned once. The Pioneer 
officers mentioned were — Captain Milne, twice ; Brevet- Captain 
Wheeler, three times ; Captain Crowe and Lieutenant Macartney, 
both once. 

In the year 1824, the town of Kittoor, twenty-eight miles south 
of Belgaum, was the scene of an insurrection. Mr. Thackeray, 
the Civil Officer, seems to have treated the Chief of Kittoor in a 
somewhat harsh manner, and attempted to coerce him with very 
inadequate means. It ended in his repulse and death, as well as 
the loss of Captain Black and Lieutenants Sewell and Dighton, 
and several men. This act and a considerable show of resistance, 
brought a large force against Kittoor under (JoloneJ Deacon. 

The force consisted of 4th and 8th Aladras Light Cavalry, 
H.M.'s 4t)th, with the 6th and 14th Madras Native Infantry, 1st 
Bombay Europeans, 3rd and 6th Bombay Native Infantry, 28rd 
Light Infantry, Madras and Bombay Horse and Foot Artillery, 
Madras and Bombay Engineers (Captain Pouget of Bombay 
Engineers to command), detachment of 2nd battalion of Madras 
Pioneers, under Lieutenant Clendon ; Lieutenant Alexander 
Lawe (Madras Engineers) was also with the force. 


The troops arrived at Kittoor on the 2nd December 1844. 
Messrs. Stevenson and Elliot, who had previously been taken 
prisoners by the insurgents, were surrendered; but the enemy 
seemed determined not to deliver up the fort. Twenty-four 
hours were allowed to the insurgents to reconsider the matter ; 
but as they decidedly refused, some guns were advanced to a 
point fronting the enemy's fortified post, Kummuruntly, to 
attract their attention, while a party of infantry advanced to 
storm the enemy's position on their left. The guns directed by 
Major i'almer opened about half-past o with shell. The enemy's 
post was soon taken, and they fled to the upper fort, 1,000 yards 
distant. We sustained no loss, but Mr. Munro of the Commis- 
sioners' party, was wounded. The remainder of the night was 
occupied in strengthening the post, and by daylight next 
morning an excellent battery had been prepared for l8-pounders, 
which commenced about 9 a.m. to effect a breach in the wall of 
the upper fort. The fire was so effective that at half-past 3, a 
person came out to Mr. Chaplin, the Commissioner, to ask per- 
mission to send a vakeel. He was told to return, and say that 
if they were disposed to surrender, and deliver over certain 
persons as prisoners, they should hoist a white flag. The flag 
"was soon visible, and all hostilities ceased. Some delay occurred 
in rendering up the fort, and preparations were made for 
renewing the attack ; but at b a.m. on the 5th, the fort was 

Colonel Deacon reported that the spirit and determination of 
the troops was excellent throughout. " The useful and inde- 
fatigable Corps of Pioneers, under Lieutenant Clendon, were 
most actively employed throughout." "In the operations of 
reconnoitring," Colonel Deacon reported that he " was most ably 
assisted by the abilities of Captain Pouget of the Bombay Engi- 
neers, and his decided exertion and operation, as well as those of 
Lieutenants Lawe and Outram of the same branch, were of the 
greatest use to me, and 1 am convinced that Captain Pouget 


would have been entirely successful in filling up the ditch of the 
upper fort by the dispositions he was making for the same." 

Our loss was only three killed and twenty-five wounded. The 
Pioneers had only one wounded. Thirty-six guns were captured, 
as well as a large number of matchlocks, swords, and a quantity 
of powder and shot, &c. The upper fort was very strong, 
nowhere commanded, and the surrounding country being highly 
cultivated, was ill-adapted for carrying on approaches, so that a 
resolute body of men might have defended it for a long time. 

This insurrection led to an expedition against Kolapore. 

Bava Sahib,* the Kaja of Kolapore (60 miles north of 
Belgaum), was oppressive and profligate, and was very anxious 
to shake off the protectory influence of the English. The events 
at Kittoor, and the rumours regarding a great disaster which was 
supposed to have occurred in Burmah, announced to the Kaja 
that the time for action had arrived. He suddenly left his 
capital with 5,000 infantry, 1,000 cavalry, and seven guns. He 
attacked and captured the fort and Jaghire of Koongul, and then 
marched to the frontier of Sattara. 

Towards the close of 1825 a British forcef marched into 
Kolapore, and compelled the Raja to sign a treaty binding 
himself to attend to the advice of the British Government, to 
reduce his force, and never to grant an asylum to rebels. The 
Raja, however, paid no attention to the treaty, and behaved in a 
manner showing himself hardly to be of sane mind. 

A British force had again, in 1827, to be sent against 

On 5th March our troops, leaving Belgaum, Kaludghee, and 
Sholapore, formed a junction at Kotabangee on the Gutpurba, 
thirty-two miles north of Belgaum, on the loth. 

The Raja of Kolapore, though at the head of 12,000 men, 

* From Colonel Malleson's Native States of India. « 

■\ Lieutenant Lawe accompanied this force as Commanding Engineer. 


retreated immediately, by forced marches, to Kolapore, and our 
force marched back again to their original positions. 

On 7th September our whole force was again in motion, and 
marched again to Kotabangee,* the Raja being again trouble- 
some, and having collected an army of 20,000 men. Our force 
consisted of 250 Artillery with twenty field-pieces, 1,000 Native 
cavalry, 1,300 European infantry, and 2,500 Native infantry ; 
260 Pioneers, of whom 160 were of the Madras Establishment, 
under Lieutenant G. Buru.t Colonel Welsh commanded the 
troops, and Captain J.J. Underwood accompanied it as Com- 
manding Engineer. 

On 24th September, a party was ordered to proceed to 
Yenklemurradee, a post about twelve miles south-west. Although 
very strong, the enemy evacuated it, and we took possession of 
it without opposition. 

On the 10th October, a strong reinforcement joined us from 
Poona, and the whole force encamped within six miles of Kola- 
pore. It was formed into five brigades amounting to f),200 men, 
besides 500 Native horse, with a train of ten heavy guns, twenty 
6-pounders, seven mortars, and four howitzers. The Raja, 
however, declined to fight, and surrendered on 1 3th October. 
Again a treaty was forced on the Raja. He bound himself to 
reduce his army to 400 cavalry and 800 infantry. Kolapore 
and Panallagurh to be garrisoned by British troops at the 
expense of the Raja. He had, besides, to restore villages he had 
resumed, to pay Rs 150,000 for damage done by him, and to 
accept a minister appointed by the British Government and 
irremoveable by him. 

Ever since the Mutiny of 1857, the construction of a place 

* A ford on the Gutpurba. 

t This officer served with the 2nd battalion Pioneers from 1825 to 1833. He 
served at Kittoor in 1824, Kolapore in 1827, in Goomsoorin 1836, and in the first 
China War ; from 1859 to 1861 he commanded, as Brigadier, the troops at 


of refuge at Bangalore has been contemplated, and numerous 
reports have been sent in with various proposals. In the year 
1874, a committee sat to report. They agreed that the present 
old fort was quite useless, and even dangerous, and should be 
removed, an entirely new one being built north of the railway near 
Shevauhully. Nothing has since been done to remedy the evil 
complained of. and the arsenal and powder magazines are still 
in the old fort. In examining the Madras military records, I 
happened to light upon a report, which confirms in a very con- 
siderable degree the decided opinions of the committee of 1874 
above mentioned. In the year 182 7, Captain J. Purton,* 
Madras Engineers, was directed to report on the fort and the 
alteration which would be desirable. He completed his report 
in the following words : — 

" It will appear evident from what has been already said, that 
the first step towards any reform would be the removal of a great 
proportion, if not the entire demolition, of the existing work. 
Thus no advantages would accrue from the present building, but 
the accumulation of material and the excavation of the ditch, 
which last, indeed, is questionable, as no doubt many parts would 
require to be filled up. But objections of a still more important 
nature exist against a general reform. Independently of the 
artificial cover afi'orded by the pettah and other villages, the 
banks of tanks, and its outworks to the very edge of the ditch, 
the position of the fort may, with very little labour, be safely 
approached under cover of some small hills and nullahs in the 
south-west to within three or four hundred of the gUicis. Further, 
a considerable portion of the rampart on the ea-^i and west faces 
is exposed to a reverse and enfilading fire froui positions in or 
adjoining the pettah." 

" To conclude. I can recommend no further repairs to the 
fort than such as are absolutely necessary to stop the progress 
of decay into which it is rapidly falling, and not even to this 

* John Purton entered the service in 1812, and retired as Major and C.B. in 
1838, having highly distinguished himself in the Mahratta campaign of 

1828-31.] MADRAS ENGINEEES. 75 

extent unless measures are taken to clear away the numerous 
avenues bv which even the most contemptible enemy might he 
encouraged to make an attack, which he would never attempt 
over an open esplanade." 

The* ex-Panghooloo of Nanning, generally known as Dool 
Syed, was installed in 1802, by Colonel Taylor, the British 
Resident at Malacca, and it was agreed that he should remain 
in possession of the same rights and privileges as those which 
had been enjoyed by his predecessor under the Dutch, provided 
he substituted the English seal for that of the Netherlands 

In 1828, the Panghooloo of Nanning, who had latterly shown 
symptoms of turbulence and dissatisfaction, was summoned to 
Malacca, but positively refused to obey the requisition. In con- 
sequence of this refusal, the Government despatched a Commis- 
sioner. The mission was totally unsuccessful, as the Panghooloo 
rejected each stipulation. Mr. Fullarton, the Governor of the 
Straits, resolved to enforce by the sword the adoption of those 
measures which negotiation had failed to effect An expedition 
was equipped, but it was shortly afterwards countermanded by 
Mr. Fullarton. His reason for this was his desire to obtain the 
sanction of the Supreme Government. The Supreme Govern- 
ment referred the matter home, and it was not till June 1831 
that the decision of the Court of Directors was received. 

Early in August the expedition was ready to start. It con- 
sisted of 150 men of 29th Madras Native Infantry, and 2-L Artil- 
lery, the whole force being less than 200. The detachment 
was commanded by Captain Wyllie. This small force was con- 
sidered far too large, and the expedition was looked upon as a 
mere picnic. Some hinted at the sufficiency of a havildar's 
guard, while others more roundly asserted that a red jacket 
amongst the bushes would scare every Malay oat of the 

• Chiefly abbreviated from Begbie's Malayan Peninsula, 


country. The expedition met, however, with ranch more oppo- 
sition than was anticipated, and before the end of the month of 
August was compelled to retreat to Malacca with the loss of its 
guns. The retreat left the whole country at the mercy of Dool 
Syed, and he speedily began to make incursions into Malacca 

Meanwhile, the British Government was exerting itself to break 
the existing league, in the interim, between Dool Syed, and the 
chiefs of Rumbow ; and the latter agreed to meet the British 
authorities at Linggy. A treaty was made with the chief of 
Eumbow, and the British party returned to Malacca. A day or 
two after their return, the reinforcements from Madras began to 

The force now consisted of the 5th M.N.T., five companies 
of 29th M.N. I., two companies of Sappers, and some European 
and Native artillery. 

This was the first expedition undertaken by the Pioneers after 
they had been formed into a corps of Sappers and Miners, and 
placed under the direct command of officers of the Madras 

Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert commanded ; 
Captain Wyllie, Brigade Major ; 

Lieutenant J. H. Bell, M.E., Commanding Engineer, 
with Second Lieutenants Watts and Smyths as his 
Captain Bond, commanding Artillery; 
Lieutenant Milnes, commissariat ; and 
Major Farquharson, commanding 5th M N.I. 
By the end of January 1832, nearly the whole had arrived, 
and preparations were at once made for an advance into the 

On 7th February, the light companies of the 5th and 29th 
Native Infantry, with one company of Sappers under Lieutenant 
Bell, and 100 Malay Contingent, inarched for Roombiyah. 


On the 9th, the grenadier company of the oth moved on to 
occupy Ching, half-way between Malacca and Roombiyah, to 
support the party in advance. Lieutenant Watts at this time 
joined the advanced party. 

On the JOth, intelligence was received at Malacca that the 
chiefs who had been wavering had actually joined Dool Syed, 
and resistance was now a matter of certainty. 

On the 9th, the second company of Sappers arrived 

It may be necessary to premise that the whole of the second 
expedition was carried on by detachments ; that is, that parties 
of various strength went out daily as covering parties to the 
sappers, and consequently the operations of the day were carried 
on by the senior officer with such covering party. 

On the 25th, a brigade of 6-pounders, under Lieutenant 
Begbie, and another company of Sappers, under Second Lieu- 
tenant Smythe, M.E., marched for Eoombiyah. 

On 2ud March, Colonel Herbert joined the force in advance. 
At Roombiyah a stockade was found, and the Sappers were 
busily employed in cutting through the felled trees, and hewing 
down the lofty forests of Roombiyah, to a distance of eighty 
yards on each side of the road. 

On 7th March, three of the sappers were severely hurt by the 
falling trees, and on tlie 9th and 10th four more men were 

On the i 3th, Colonel Herbert with his staff and Lieutenant 
Bell, Commanding Engineer, started to reconnoitre Soongie- 

On the i 7th, a gallant and successful affair took place. 
Captain Burgess was commanding Reserve, and Captain Justice 
the supports and covei'ing party to the sappers who were 
employed in clearing the jungle under Lieutenant Smythe. 

The Malays occupied stockades in the vicinity of Soongie- 
pathye, and were attacked between 4 and 5 p.m.. Captain 
Justice taking bis right subdivison of the light company of 5th 


M.N.T. across rice-fields to attack the left flank of the stockade, 
whilst Lieutenant Poole with the left sub-division attacked 
the right. This party was somewhat amazed by the ranzows, 
which the enemy had planted in thousands. 

Captain Justice carried the left of the stockade at the charge 
witbQut firing, and Lieutenant Poole the right. 

The fire of jiugals and muskeiry became general, but the 
five defences fell one after another. All five were demolished 
and fired, and a party sent to destroy a sixth which flanked the 
road. This having been done by 7 p.m., the whole party 
returned to Roombiyah. 

The success was complete, and every oflQcer and man engaged 
behaved excellently. Only one man was wounded by the fire, 
and eight or ten by the ranzows. 

On the 25th, Colonel Herbert marched for Soongiepathye. 
At 7 A.M. a detachment from that post, under Captain Poulton, 
carried five stockades at Kalama ; another, under Captain 
Justice, carried two others in a diff'erent direction. The Engineer 
officers with these detachments were Lieutenants Bell and 

On the 27th, a small force, with which was Lieutenant Bell, 
crossed the Malacca river and burnt five stockades at Malacca 

On the 29th, another very strong stockade at Ayer Mangis 
(the Mangoe stream) was taken. Lieutenant Hrrding was 
killed on this occasion. The very last man that issued from the 
stockade unexpectedly confronted Lieutenant Harding. Before 
Harding could draw his pistol, the man fired from his hip The 
ball passed through Harding's throat and injured the spine, down 
which it passed. A.fter several ineff'ectual eff^orts, Harding was 
removed. He lingered till next day and then died. He was 
much liked by his brother officers, and universally regretted. In 
person he was remarkably fine, being six feet four inches, and 
stout in proportion. 


On the same day, the E. company 5th Native Infantry, under 
Ensign Wright, accompanied by Lieutenants Bell and Smythe 
of the Engineers, formed the covering party to the cutters. 
There was heavy "sniping" carried on all day, and the two 
engineers volunteered to head different sections. 

The Sappers and Miners were now employed in cutting down 
the jungle in advance towards Taboo, and constant skirmishing 
took place daily. 

On 3rd May, the Malays made a grand attack on the camp, 
but were repulsed with loss. After this, the usual dailv exchange 
of shots was carried on, while the enemy were busy building 
stockades, in the hope of hemming in the camp, and the duties 
became very harassing. 

By the evening of the 24th, the road to Priggito-Datus was 
sufficiently cleared, and the cut jungle burnt. Colonel Herbert 
now determined to take possession of Bookit-si-Boorsoo, and on 
the morning of the Srith he detached Captain Poulton and 
Ensign Stoddart with the grenadier company 5th Native Infantry, 
Captain Wallace and lieutenant Stevenson, F. company 46th, 
and Lieutenants Begbie and Lawford with a small detail of 
artillery; Lieutenant Bell and thirty sappers, with a large body 
of convicts. 

The first shot was fired at a little before 7 a.m., and the 
works were gained at half-past 9, two hours of which time were 
passed in active conflict. 

Our casualties were Captain Poulton wounded by a ranzow, 
eighteen rank and file wounded ; eight by musketry and ten by 
ranzows; three of Artillery in addition were wounded. The 
Sappers lost one man. 

On the 27th, three stockades which were one mile in advance 
at Bukit-pur I^ing, were ascertained to be unoccupied. A small 
force was sent forward, and they were taken possession of. 

By this success, there was everv prospect that the troops 
would soon be in possession of Taboo, 


On 4th June, the Panghooloo made his appearance to meet 
Mr. Westerhnut, who was to nep^otiate on the part of the 

An exchange of upper garments took place as a mutual 
assurance that no treachery was meditated ; and the metamor- 
phosis of either party was most grotesque. On the one side 
stood the athletic and portly Dutchman with his hody confined 
in the linen badjoo of the Malay; on the other was the half- 
starved and miserable Panghooloo sinking under the weight of 
the huge coat, which well-nigh concealed him altogether from 
view. He furnished Mr. Westerhout with the terms on which he 
would surrender, and an armistice was agreed on till a reply 
should he received to those terms. 

During the night, in defiance of the armistice, the enemy 
attacked Pur- Sing, but were driven back. 

On 6th June, the reply of our Government was received, 
which stated that the Panghooloo must appear at Malacca, and 
bring the guns with him, in which case his life would be 
spared, and he be permitted to live in Nanning as a private 

On the 8th, news was received that Dool Syed did not intend 
closing with the ofi'er, and next day the head-quarters of the 
force moved on from Bell's stockade to Tangong-pur-Ling 

On the 14th, oar troops arrived in front of the works at Taboo. 

The Engineers next day commenced throwing ^p a log 
battery for the artillery, the enemy meanwhile keeping np a 
constant five. 

At half-past 12 the battery was completed and opened fire, 
while a force under Captains Simcock and Justice moved off to 
the left to get to the rear of the stockades, and in a short time 
the defences of Taboo were in our hands. We had only five men 

The Taboo defences would not have fallen so easily had n^t the 
rapidity of the attack prevented the junction of the Sehang people. 

CJtefx>nruHlertnay (3wi 




The principal line of the work measured 284 yards, inclusive 
of its angles, while the straight line from flank to flank was 
180 yards. 

On the J 0th, the British standard was hoisted. 

Captain Lawe and Lieutenants Lawford, Ditmas, and Horsley, 
with 328 N.O.O. and men of Sappers and Miners, proceeded to 
Malacca in July 18-32, but were too late to take part in the 
operations, and returned at the end of August to Fort St. 

Lieutenant Bell, Commanding Engineer with the force, 
remained some time longer in the country, doubtless to give his 
advice to Colonel Herbert regarding points to be occupied and 

Colonel Herbert and Lieutenant Bell did not arrive at Cud- 
dalore till 3rd December 1832. 

Edward Lake was the eldest son of Admiral Sir Willoughby 
Lake, K.C.B. (younger brother of Sir James W. Lake, Bart., the 
father of Sir H. Atwell Lake, K.C.B.), and in 1829 was Military 
Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of Penang. He 
embarked towards the end of that year in the ship Guildford^ 
accompanied by his wife and three infant childrefi. The ship 
was, it is believed, at the time, rumoured to be unsound. It 
foundered at sea, and was never heard of again. 

Lake* highly distinguished himself in the Mahratta war. 
He was stated to " be distinguished for professional skill and 
gallantry on several occasions ; his conduct at Talneir was 
honourably recorded in G. 0. 28th February 1818, and General 
McDowell repeatedly published his high approbation of his 
conduct." He was Adjutant of Engineers in the First Burmese 

In the year 1834, a force was employed, under General Taylor, 
in a portion of the Ganjam district which had been disturbed 
* He -was the author of Sieges of the Madras Army. 

II. 6 


The force consisted^ of 41st Kegiment, detachnjeut of 8th, 
detachment Golundauze, three companies of 4yth, two com- 
panies of 21st with head-quarters, 3rd Punjab Light Infantry, 
and a detachment of Sappers and Miners under Lieutenant 
Power, M.E. 

" The Governor in Council observed with high approbation 
the exemplary conduct of all the troops employed in this arduous 
and harassing service, their patient endurance of extraordinary 
fatigue and privations, and the gallant and resolute spirit with 
which they were led by their officers, whose activity and energy 
have been conspicuous. " 

A gratuity of one month's pay and allowances was granted to 
European officers, and one month's pay to native officers and 
men of all ranks employed. 

Lieutenant John P. Power died at Kimedy on 5th April, and 
was succeeded in command of the detachment of Sappers and 
Miners by Lieutenant Macaulay, an infantry officer. 

As soon as the country was quieted most of the troops were 
withdrawn, but the 21st were retained, as well as the detachment 
of Sappers and Miners. 

In lb36-'37, a force under the command of General Taylor 
was again employed in the northern districts against Goomsoor. 

It appears that Dhuuagi Bunje had just succeeded his father 
as Eaja m Goomsoor. Eor a long time he and his father had 
been giving great trouble nnd causing great disorder in Goom- 
soor. Lirst the father had been removed, and his son placed in 
his stead. Matters continued just as bad, and the father was 
allowed to return. This failed to improve matters, and he was 
deposed, being again succeeded by his son. This change 
was again fruitful of the greatest disorder, and he finally revolted 
and defied our Government. It was then that the force under 
General Taylor * was sent against him. 

* This officer had served previously, and was wounded, in Goomsoor in 
1801-2 (having entered the service in 1799). He was present at the battles of 

1836-37.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 83 

On 7tli October 1836, Lieutenant Smythe, M.E., was ordered 
to take charge of the detachment ot iSappers and Miners pro- 
ceeding Irom Hydrabad to Goomsoor, and Second-Lieutenant 
Armstrong, ALL,, was directed to proceed to join the Lield 
force with the European tappers he had under him. 

The operations in this campaign did not come to an end till 
March lti'67, and " they would have lasted much longer had it 
not been for the treachery of some of the Rajah's adherents. 
The Khond leaders were surrendered by the tribes who, unable 
to continue the contest, sued for peace by delivering them up. 
The Kaja was hunted from place to place, and finally died in a 
small mountain fortress. Dora Bissye, the loremost supporter 

the Kaja, escaped to Ungool, but was subsec[uently given 
up, and became a state prisoner at Gooty." 

" The campaign was of unexampled severity. We had no know- 
ledge of the country, were frequently cut otf from supplies, and 
suflered fearfully from the pestilential nature ol the climate. 
Hardship, privation, and peril were the lot of all who took part 
in the campaign." 

" The casualties from the bows and arrows of the Khonds were 
not very great, but on oue or two occasions they came in forco 
on weak detachments, and hacked them to pieces. Two Luropean 

othcers (Lieutenant ii. B , Aiadras Artillery, and Lnsign 

Charles J. Gibbon, l^th ISative infantry), with thirty men, 
were on one occasion surrounded by the Khonds in the Lass of 
Oodiagherry, and slaughtered to a Hian." 

After the close of the campaign, the force received the thanks 
of the Government " for this trying and arduous service." 

Lieutenant JSmythe served in command of the detachment 

01 iSappers till JiiGth December ibbU, when he was ordered to 

Assaye and Argaum, and at the siege of Gavdlghm'. At Assaye he Tvas 
wounded twice. In li>07, he served with the Hydrabad Subsidiary Force, and 
up to ;May ItilT with the held forces under Doveton, Close, and Kumley. He 
was appointed a G.B., and eventually advanced to the Grand Gross of that 
Order. He died in 1675, having attained the great age of ninety-two. 

6 * 


return to bis duties at the Presidency, and the command devolved 
on Lieutenant Armstrong, M.E. 

On 13th March 1837, "His Majesty was graciously pleased 
to nominate Major-General J. L. Caldwell a Knight Commander 
of the Order of the Bath," and about the same time Major Purton 
was appointed a Companion. 

Purton entered the service in 1812, and served with distinction 
in the Muhratta campaign. He was with General Doveton in Berar 
in 1815; at Adoui with General Pritzler ; and in Kandeish 
under Colonels Macdowell and Huskinson. He was present at 
Dharwar, and the battle of Mehidpore, in 1817, and in 181S at 
Talneir, Ptajdeir, Trimbuck, Malligaum, and Amulnair. In 1819 
he was at the siege of Asseerghur. He was wounded at Malli- 
gaum, and frequently mentioned in despatches. 

On 3rd February 1837, the Establishment of Sappers and 
Miners was revised as follows: — 

1 Captain-Commandant. 24 Naiques. 

8 Subalterns. 640 Privates. 

I Assistant-Surgeon. 16 Artificers. 

8 Jemadars. 24 Recruit Boys. 

1 Conductor. 24 Pension Boys. 

I Sergeant-Major. 8 Puckallies. 

1 Quartermaster-Sergeant. I Assistant Apothecary. 

12 Sergeants. 1 Dresser. 

12 1st Corporals. 1 Chowdry. 

12 2nd „ 2 Peons. 

24 Havildars. 2 Toties. 

In the beginning of 1831, there were two battalions of 
Pioneers, but, as has been already stated, tbe 1st battalion was 
converted into a corps of Sappers and Miners in May of that 
year. The 2nd battalion was, however, retained as a Pioneer 
body, until it was also incorporated with the Saj^pers in 1837. 
Whilst the Sappers were employed in Malacca, the Pioneer Corps 
was employed on the Koondah Ghaut, in the Neilgherries. 


Captain William Murray at this time commanded them, and 
Lieutenant Le Hardy served with them. 

On 10th December 1831 (a half-century ago), Captain Murray 
wrote as follows : — 

" Lieutenant Le Hardy and I endeavoured to descend the pass 
on 21st November (never used except by smugglers), descended 
three miles, and then returned to avoid being benighted. I sent 
on a havildar, with pioneers and guides, with orders to reach 
Mungaree, not far fi'om Beypore river. They took three days 
doing it, having had to cut their way through many parts of the 

On 9th June 1^82, the final report of the Koondah Ghaut 
was sent in. It was stated by Captain Murray : — 

" This report will show the Governor what the Pioneers have 
done, and are capable of doing. It will be an appropriate sup- 
plement to his own (the Governor's) general order, and will 
manifest to all India what the Madras Pioneers have been able 
to execute. 

" Since the period of the Governor's visit to the Koondahs, 
six miles of mountain road have been completed and every 
impediment surmounted, being a progress, I imagine, rarely 
equalled by any body of men of equal strength. 

" This stupendous work, in which there were vast forest trees 
to be felled, deep chasms to be built up, causeways over every 
river and mountain-torrent to be constructed, and rocks to be re- 
moved, was begun on 10th January and finished 81st May 1882." 

Although the above can in no way be considered a military 
work, I think it is worthy of record as showing what an extremely 
valuable body the Madras Pioneers were in times of peace as in 
war. It is further noteworthy as being a very important work 
(of a similar character to those which the Pioneers might have 
had to carry out during hostile operations), and forms a fitting 
close to the record of this gallant and distinguished Corps, 
which merged shortly after in the Madras Sappers and Miners. 



Expedition against Coorg. — East column. — North column. — Repulse at stockade 
of Buck. — West column. — "West auxiliary column repulsed. — Raja sur- 
renders. — Expedition against Kumool. — Action of Zorapore. — Services of 
"William Farquhar. — Services of Colin Mackenzie. — Services of William 


The origin of the expedition against Coorg was the frightful 
tyranny of C. Vera Eaja, -n-ho reigned from 1^20 to 1834. He 
stopped at no enormity; he killed, matilated, starved to death, 
and imprisoned whom he pleased.* 

In January 1883, the Governor of IVfadras wrote to him, giving 
him a lecture on good government, and demanded in future 
compliance with the Government order of 1827; to report all 
capital punishments in Coorg. Mr. Casamajjor was sent, at the 
same time, to have a personal conference with the Raja. The 
Resident warned him to abstain in future from cruelties, and 
advised him to relax the rigour with which he had shut up his 
people in the country. The Raja said Coorg was an independent 
country, and that he would do as he pleased. 

The Resident replied that Coorg was now suhject to the 
Company, as it was in former years to Tippoo. The conference 
was fruitless, and the Resident returned to Mysore. 

The Raja continued to behave as bad aa ever. ^^r. Graeme, 
* Chiefly extracted from the Manual of Coorg, 


the Eesident at Nagpore, who happened to he at Bangalore, was 
then sent to the Raja ; but the latter was unwilling to meet an 
English Envoy, and seized and kept in confinement two of 
Mr. Graeme's native agents, Daraset and Kulputty Karmhara- 
Menoon. The former was allowed to return to Tellicherrv, but 
the latter he refused to give up until the Raja's relatives, Channa 
Basava, a Coorg, and his wife, Devammaji, sister to the Raja of 
Coorg (who had fled to the Residency of Mysore in September 
1832, to save their honour and lives, and implored the protec- 
tion of the British Government), were given up to him by the 

He addressed most insolent letters to the Governor of Madras, 
and to the Governor-General, and, having an extraordinary idea 
of his power, and strength of his country, resolved on war. 

A British force was accordingly organised, and marched 
towards Coorg to depose the Raja. Coorg itself, at this time, 
was covered with forest. Near Sommiarpett, in the north of 
Coorg, the hills are gently rounded, alternating with sloping 
glades interspersed with forest trees. 

Near Mercara the hills are more abrupt, and the ravines 
deeper and more wild. Towards Eraserpett the country is more 
like the Mysore plateau with scattered hills. South of Men^ara 
the country is open. The eastern frontier between the Cauvery 
and the Lakshmana Urthee river, had an impervious forest when 
the expedition was undertaken against Coorg. The roads were 
in a primitive state — quite impracticable for wheeled traffic, and 
scarcely less so for bullocks; it having been the policy of the 
Rajas to make their country as little accessible as possible, 

Eor this reason, it was considered necessary to break up the 
invading force into several columns, owing to tlie difficulty of 
conveying supplies and ammunition, &c., and it was arranged 
that the several forces, from different sides, should converge on 

The force was 6,000 strong, divided into four columns. 


Eastern column, under Colonel Lindsay : — 

1 company Foot Artillery ; 
3 Light Howitzers ; 

2 Heavy „ 
2 Mortars ; 

1 6-pounder ; 
400 men of H.M.'s 39tli ; 

and -4th, 35th, 36th, and 48th Regiments Madras Native 
Infantry, with the rifle company of 5th Native Infantry, and 
300 Sapp^Ts and Miners. 

This column marched on 2nd April from Bettadapura upon Sula- 
cotta, and reached the Cauvery opposite Hebhaul, where a barrier 
had been thrown up on the Coorg side, cousisti.ig of a wall of mud 
and stone, loop-holed Colonel Fraser, who was Political Agent, 
attempted to cross with a white handkerchief in his hand but 
was fired upon. Two howitzers then open^! with grape, and 
under cover of this the advanced-guard croLM-d nnd the enemy 
gave way, retiring towards Ramasammy Ko .uwe. The strong 
position at the fortified pagoda, near Ramasa.umy Kanawe, was 
carried in about a quarter of an hour. A brea^t-work and barrier 
near Haringe, six or seven miles west of Ramasammy Kanawe, 
was also taken, at the sacrifice of a few men wounded. 

On the 4th April the force only advanced five miles on 
account of the difficulty of the road, obstructed as it was by 
large felled trees. A flag of truce, sent by the Raja, now came 
into our camp at 4 p.m. 

On the 6th the troops entered the fort of Mercara, and the 

British colours were hoisted under a salute of tweuty-o-tie guns. 

The Engineers with the division were Captaiu G. Underwood, 

Commanding Engineer, Lieutenant Stafford, adjutant, and 

Second-Lieutenant Horsley. 

A sub-division of the eastern column under Colonel Stewart, 

advanced on 2nd April from Periapatam towards the Cauvery 

opposite Rungasamoodrum. The enemy, after being plied with 


a few cannon-shot, left their entrenched position. Colonel 
Stewart crossed the Cauvery at Koudagherry, and proceeded to 
Virarajendrapett, to co-operate with the western column. Captain 
C. J. Green was the engineer with this force. 

The northern column, under Colonel Waugh, composed of 1st 
brigade 6-pounder guns, 300 of H.M 's55th, 9th, and 31st Light 
Infantry, and the rifle company of the 24th Native Infantry, with 
200 tappers under Lieutenant Ditmas and Second-Lieutenant 
Orr, marched on 1st April from Hosacotta to Shauivarsante. 

On passing the Hemavutty, the enemy's advanced posts 
retreated Our force moved into Codlipet, where 200 men 
occupied an entrenched high ground. Their flanks were turned, 
and they fell back. The English advanced guard had another 
skirmish at Mudravalli. 

The next day they had hardly gone a few hundred yards 
when they found the road blocked with trees. As the column 
approached a village in a wood near the bottom of the pass, 
fire was opened on them. This stockade was known as the 
stockade of Buck, and was remarkably strong. Outside, it was 
protected by thick bamboos and trees, and surrounded by a deep 
ditch ; inside was a mud wall, faced with stone, and loop-holed. 
Colonel Waugh attempted to carry it by assault, and the troops 
under Major Bird, of 3 1st Light Infantry, attacked it for four 
hours and a half, during which they were exposed to a severe 
fire; but all was in vain After this a double flank movement 
was attempted by Colonel Mill, with the 55th ; but the two 
parties, instead of meeting in the rear of the obstruction, by 
some error, met in front of it. Colonel Mill was shot dead ; 
also Ensigns Robertson, 9th Native Infantry, and Babington, 
31st Light Infantry. Major Bird now withdrew the column, 
and with little additional loss brought it under cover, and 
retreated several miles. In this afi"air forty-eight were killed and 
118 wounded, includiug tliree officers killed. The Sappers lost 
seventeen men. 


The western column marched from Cannanore on 31st March, 
under Colonel Foulis. It consisted of half a company of 
Golundauze with four 6-pounders, 300 of H.M.'s 48th, and 200 
Sappers under Lieutenant Bell and Second-Lieutenant Enndall. 
It was ordered to force the Heggala Ghaut and occupy Virara- 

On the 2nd of April the light company of the 48th and the 
grenadier company of the 20th Native Infantry proceeded heyond 
Stony river into Coorg. Their progress was checked, and Lieu- 
tenant Erskine of the 48th was killed. At 6 the following 
morning the main body advanced, and had to fight its way up 
the pass. There were three regular stockades, as well as breast- 
works and felled trees at every 100 yards. The first stockade 
was taken with small loss ; but after that, till 4 p.m., a series of 
hard conflicts took place in carrying the successive barriers. 
The last stockade was taken by attacking it in reverse, as well as 
in flank. 

On the 4th of April a flag of truce appeared, with a proposal 
for a suspension of arms. Colonel Foulis replied that if the 
Coorgs did not fire, his troops would also abstain ; but that his 
orders were to go up the Ghaut, and up he intended to go. He 
effected his march without opposition, and at 2 p.m. passed 
through the guard-house at Heggala, where he halted, and was 
supplied with grain by the Coorgs. In these skirmishes we 
lost twelve killed and thirty-six wounded ; of these six were 

On the 13th of April, a detachment marched, without oppo- 
sition to Nalkanaad, and took possession of the nalace, which 
was about ten or twelve miles north-west of Heggala, and fifteen 
miles south by west of Mercara. A detachment was left at 
Virarajendrapett, five miles north-east of Heggala, under Colonel 
Brock, while the main body of Colonel Foulis' column marched 
towards Mercara, and encamped seven miles south of it near the 
Muddaramudy river. 



Colonel Stewart's force (part of the east column) had joined 
the west column at Virarajendrapett, and proceeded to open the 
Siddapur Pass into Mysore. 

The west auxiliary column, under Lieutenant- Colonel Jackson, 
consisted of 150 of H.M.'s 48th, and 400 men of the 40th 
Native Infantry, without guns or sappers. This small force 
was intended to occupy the lower talooks of the Coorg dominions. 
If possible it was to take up its position at the ruined fort of 
Sulya, at the foot of the Ghaut, but the force was to be kept 
together, Sulya is twenty-five miles west by north of Mercara. 
Colonel Jackson advanced from Kumbla, on the coast, about 
twenty miles south of Mangalore. 

On the 29th of March, at 8 p.m., nine miles to the east, his 
advanced-guard fell in with the enemy's picquets half a mile in 
advance of their stockade. The Coorgs would not quit the 
stockade, so it was assaulted and taken without difficulty. 

Next day the column marched to ITppanangulla, on the 
31st to a pagoda ni^ar Belhur, and the following dav to Ishvara- 
managala Pagoda. Here Colonel Jackson learnt that there 
was a strong stockade on a hill in the midst of a thick jungle 
near Mahur and Bollary. A reconnoitring partv, consisting of 
four officers, forty Europeans, and eighty natives was sent to 
ascertain its locality. This party was attacked on 8rd April 
when it had received orders to retire, and it reached camp 
with the loss of two officers and more than half of the men, the 
greater proportion beinsf killed. Colonel Jackson fell back upon 
Kumbla, but hearing his retreat would be cut off, turned across 
country to Kasergode, eight or ten miles south of Kumbla, and 
reached it on 6th April. His retreat was greatly harrassed by 
skirmishers, and the sick and wounded were massacred by the 
enemy with the most horrible barbarity. Part of the ammunition 
and stores fell into the hands of the Coorgs, and several of the 
officers' horses were shot. Our total casualties amounted to two 
officers and thirty men killed, and thirty-six wounded. 


The failure of this column was due to the inadequacy of the 
force for the task imposed on it, and not in any degree to the 
conduct of ihe commander or troops, who behaved well on all 

The success of the war had already been decided by the occu- 
pation of Mercara by the eastern column. 

On 10th April, the Raja, accompanied by his unarmed 
attendants and his women, gave himself up at Mercara. 

The object of the campaign having been attained, the Coorg 
Field Force was broken up, and only a small body of troops 
was kept in Mercara for an emergency. 

Brigadier Lindsay, C.B., received the entire approbation of 
the Governor-General, and the Commander-in-Chief, " for the 
manner in which the military operations against the Raja of 
Coorg had been brought to a speedy and successful termination." 

Brigadier Lindsay was nominated a Knight Commander of 
the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order. 

The total loss in the Corps of Madras Sappers was twenty- 
three killed and wounded. 

The whole loss sustained by the force was as follows : — 

Eastern Column — a few wounded. 

Northern Column — 3 oflBcers and 45 men killed, and 118 

Western Column — 1 officer and 12 men killed, and 36 

Auxiliary Western Column — 2 officers and 30 mon killer!, 

and 36 wounded. 
Total — 6 officers and 87 men killed, and about 2(0 


Havildar Chokolingum, of the Sappers and Miners, distin- 
guished himself for eminent bravery in the advance of the column 
under Colonel Foulis; and the Governor-General, as a mark of 
the high sense he entertained " of the distinguished conduct of 











that N.C.O., conferred upon him an honorary medal, and an 
increase for life of one-third of his present pay." 

At the close of the campaign, Captain C. Le Hardy (who had 
joined the Pioneers in lis^G, and had been Adjutant), was 
appointed the first Superintendent of Coorg, This officer dis- 
tinguished himself greatly in 1887, during the iusurrecdon in 
Canara. There was a panic atMangalorc — Captain Le Hardy, with 
a few hundred Coorg Volunteers, descended into the plains and 
quelled the disturbance by shooting a few score of the rebels. 
The Government, in recognition of this service, presented him 
with 5,000 rupees, and afterwards gave him the post of Super- 
intendent at Nuggur, in Mysore Province. He retired from the 
service in 1849, as a Brevet-Major, and died in April 1882, in 
his eighty-first year. 

In the year 1839, an expedition was resolved upon against 
the Nawab of Kurnool, who was accused of having collected 
large quantities of warlike stores, which was contrary to stipula- 
tion of treaties. 

At this time it would appear as if a fanatical spirit had been 
excited among the Mussalman chiefs and people of India. 
Emissaries were sent (apparently from Scinde) to induce the 
chiefs to engage in a holy war against the English. 

One of these had frequent interviews with the Nawab of 
Kurnool. The Nawab was called upon for an explanation, which 
he refused to give, and a British force was accordingly moved 
towards Kurnool, attended by two Government Commissioners. 

Captain Pears, Madras Engineers, was at this time engaged in 
road-making near Closepett, and was informed that he would 
have to proceed with his Sappers to Gooty. He at once marched 
into Bangalore, a distance of thirty two miles, in one day, and on 
the 18th August left Bangalore with the 34th Light Infantry. 

The movements ordered were as follows: — E. troop Native 
Horse Artillery, wing 13th Light Dragoons, Sappers and 


Miners, and 34th Light Infantry from Bangalore. H.M.'s 39th, 
one company Foot Artillery, 39th Native Infantry, and 7th 
Native Cavalry, with heavy guns, from Bellary ; one company 
European Artillery, 3rd and 5ist Native Infantry, with mortars 
from Hyderabad ; all to assemble at Adoui. The force amounted 
to some 6,0UU lighting men. 

Captain Pears was appointed Commanding Engineer of the 
force, and had command of the Sappers as well. Lieutenant 
Dobbie, 29th Native Infantry, and Lieutenant J. W. Kundall 
were attached to the Sappers, and four other Engineer officers 
were sent, Lawford, Ouchterlony, Tombs, and Fast. 

On the 25th August, the Sappers and 34th Light Inlantry 
reached Anantapur, on the 29th they were at Gooty, and on 
the 2nd September they arrived at Adoni ; the force from 
Bellary being still two marches off. 

The Sappers were now ordered to Madaneram on the banks of 
the Toumboodra, to assist in the crossing of this force ; and on 
the 4th they reached that place. 

The Sappers now had very severe work in making arrange- 
ments for the passage of the troops over the river, and it was not 
till the 21st that this was effected. 

On the 24th the force was at Kopatoal, thirty-five to forty 
miles from Kurnool. The Sappers were now left behind to pre- 
pare materials for the intended siege, assisted by a company of 
the 29th, and one of the 16th Native Infantry, the main force 
being encamped about six miles ahead. 

On the 29th September, Pears submitted a project for the 
attack on Kurnool, but this, as will be seen, was not rec^uired. 

After remaining at Kopatoal for about a fonuight, the Sappers 
were ordered to the front, a couple of miles in advance of the 
main camp. The main camp was on the right bank of the river, 
while the Artillery and Engineer parks, and Ordnance stores, 
were on the left. 

On the lUth the Sappers received orders to march to Kur- 

1839.]- , MADEAS ENGINEEES. 95 

riool, and next day they moved ofi". The detachment consisted 
of the a4th Light Infantry, two companies of the 39th, two 
6-pounders, with half a troop of Horse Artillery, and two 
howitzers, with European company of artillery, a squadron of 
the 13th Light Dragoons, one of iS alive cavalry, and the 
Sappers, under the command of Colonel Lyce. 

On the 12th they reached Kurnool, and camped two miles oil', 
while the Sappers marched into the fort, and were placed under 
the orders of Colonel James. 

Colonel James, with the 51st Native Infantry, two companies 
of the 39th, and a small party of Sappers, had taken possession of 
the fort some days before. All this time the main force had been 
left at Codamoor, about twenty miles south-west of Kurnool. 

" From the 12th to the Ibth they were employed in the fort, 
searching for the Mawab's concealed guns. This searching was 
attended at first with much amusement. Houses, courts, and 
storehouses were so completely built up, that we walked round 
and round them without being aware of their existence. The great 
number and height of the walls rendered it most bewildering, iiy 
degrees all the places and stores came to light, assisted as we 
were by some of the Nawab's own servants and spies, and even 
by his own brother. The latter, however, only made a fair 
show, and both he and Waunder Khan the Vizier, held up their 
bands in amazement at the various and enormous quantities of 
stores found. In carrying on the search, many were the tricks 
resorted to for the purpose of evading it. The most common 
was to vow that the zenana of the Nawab or some noble was 
within. The tirst time this was done was while the Commis- 
sioners, Colonel Steele and Air. Blane, were observing the pro- 
gress of some of the sappers knocking a hole through the wall. 
On a sudden, up jumped a couple of old women from within, 
and popping their heads over the wall, scolded and cried, and 
declared the world was turned upside down, when men dared to 
break into a zenana full of ladies. Colonel Steele's gallantry 


was immediately aroused, and he declared that ' British otficers 
were all the ladies could wish, gentle and polite,' Sec, and they 
retired. However, they returned next day to the work, re- 
assured, by some intelligence received in the meantime, and in 
they went, and found the zenana full of shot, shell, and guns 
of all sorts and sizes. The whole amount of stores discovered 
may be taken at COO guns nearly; shell, shot, and bullets almost 
unaccountable; swords, matchlocks, suits of chain armour, 
double-barrelled guns and pistols (both English), enormous 
quantities of saltpetre, sulphur, copper, lead, and five or six 
hundred thousand pounds of powder. In one place was found a 
room full of reams of paper for cartridges. Of the guns, forty 
or fifty light field-pieces, from 2-pounders to 0-pounders, were 
found, with carriages complete, ready for the field. The guns 
were nearly all his own casting, and very fairly made. The 
carriages were not so good, but sufficiently so to have done us 
mischief in the field if well handled; three or four hundred guns 
were found laid in regular order in a court-yard, and overgrown 
with grass ; these were mostly small. The large guns (except 
a few on the ramparts) were all buried, and very amusing work 
it was turning them out -guns, howitzers, mortars, laid as thick 
as they could be crammed in a court-yard and under the adjacent 
sheds. Behind a wall which acted as a screen, we found a 
"Malabar" gun, ten feet long, on a huge carriage, wheels ten 
feet high, and the trail extending about twenty-four feet. It 
had a calibre of about a foot, and would carry an iron shot of 
240 lbs. : although screened by a wall, it was s ) placed as to 
look right down the main street upon the great -ate. Fancy it 
loaded to the muzzle with grape ! Another monster was a 
howitzer cast by the Nawab, and found in a garden, nine feet 
long, twenty seven-inch bore, and nine inches of metal at the 
muzzle. A shell, it it could be propelled from such an article, 
would look like a balloon. His shot and shells were a most 
curious assortment, and of astonishing variety, very large and 


very small, mostly made of pewter. Shells of two feet in 
diameter, and things like shells, of half-inch har-shot, chain-shot, 
chain-bullets, and many fanciful absurdities. The treasure, which 
was pointed out by the ladies in the zenana (Oh, inconstant 
woman !), has not yet been counted; it will not be above eight 
or ten lacs. There can be no doubt that had we come six 
months or a year later we should have found, as the Nawab's 
brother said, plenty of men and grain ; and if those men had 
been Arabs and Rohillas, we should have had a most ' glorious ' 
siege. He had now only 800 or 1,000 men, and perhaps the 
state of his powder led him to reflect that one shell would blow 
them all into the river. He, therefore, tried to put off our 
' civilities ' by dissimulation, buried his guns, blocked up his 
stores, and said, ' Walk in, gentlemen, and see, I am only stuffed 
with straw ' Hence arose the report of the two first officers 
who went in, and who said he had but seven or eight old guns, 
and shot that would not fit them. 

" The Commissioners had so little left to their own judg- 
ment, that some delay took place after the discovery of these 
things, and meanwhile the Nawab with his troops remained in 
the enclosure (near his father's tomb) to which they had retired. 
The fort was still called his, and he had liberty to send things 
in and out as he pleased ; of this he took advantage, and got out 
some money and jewels, but, it is believed, not very much.'' 

All this time the Nawab with his followers had occupied a 
durgah and choultry with enclosure near the village of Zora- 

On the 17th October, Colonel Dyce received instructions as to 
how he was to deal with the Nawab. 

Two days before, some of our officers paid the Nawab an 
impromptu visit, which is thus described by Captain Pears, who 
was the senior : — 

" On the I5th, six or seven of us, unarmed and in white jackets, 
rode to the place, and seeing a small gap in the enclosure wall, 

u, 7 


turned our horses into it. I at first thought it wrong, not 
unsafe, for I phiced great reliance on the rude but soldier-like 
good faith of these fellows ; hut it certainly was imprudent and 
improper, considering the doubtful position in which he stood 
towards the Government. However, when we got in the midst 
of them, I jumped off my horse, and said, ' Is the Nawab 
here ? ' ' Yes,' was the reply; ' come and see him.' We pushed 
on, guided by one, among the old tombs and through the crowd 
of fine independent-looking fellows assembled, every one armed 
to the teeth. The Nawab came out from the Durgah a few yards 
to meet us. His followers pressed round us, but without rude- 
ness. With one exception (an officer of Dragoons) all our party 
were slight men, whereas the Nawab's people were mostly tall 
men, with broad and deep chests, and very ' able-looking' limbs ; 
we were very fair, shaved, and smooth-faced ; they, with large 
mustacbios and thick black beards. The Rohillas had an 
immense quantity of very black hair flowing over their shoulders. 
We were dressed in white open jackets, and nothing beyond a 
stick or a riding-whip in our hands Among them, every man 
was well-armed, with sword, dagger, and often pistols. The 
Nawab was a very tall dark man, very ill-dressed, with a pair 
of loose drawers, a short angribra or shirt, a small dirty skull- 
cap, from underneath which his black hair hung in great abun- 
dance and beauty nearly to his waist. He could not have been 
less than six feet two, with a high forehead, prominent well- 
marked nose, finely formed head and face, and commanding 
figure and gait; but his eye was as wild as Bedlam itself — it 
made him look like a demon It was quite ' glaring' as he 
offered his hand to each of us in succession He led us to an 
elevated platform in front of the Durgah, and I was requested to 
do speaker, and began talking to him about trifles, apologising 
for our intrusion, &c. Suddenly he began on his case, talked of 
our attack on him, and our accusations, declared he was a warm 
friend to the British, and that his views were greatly misunder- 


Stood. I gave him a soft answer, told him we were humble 
individuals, servants of the Sircar, who only had to do as we 
w^ere ordered, and, in accordance with Eastern etiquette, then 
begged his leave to retire. He called out for baskets of fruit as 
presents, which I firmly declined, but to no purpose, for our 
villainous horsekeepers, as we rode home, came trotting after 
us, every man with a basket full of fruit on his head. So ended 
our visit." 

On tlie IStli morning, arrangements were made for surround- 
ing the Nawab and his adherents, as it was intended to insist on 
the personal surrender of the Nawab. 

Captain Pears and Lieutenant Ouchterlony only heard of this 
early in the morning, and at once mounted their horses, and 
galloped over about a mile to the village of Zorapore, between 
which and the Nawab's enclosure our troops were alreadv in 

" On the right were at intervals small bodies of our dragoons 
and native cavalry ; on the high and open ground, at some 
little distance to the left, were the artillery, placed in afield some 
300 yards from the Nawab's palace, which it was clear would 
soon be rendered, by the two howitzers and two G-pounders, too 
hot to hold them. To the left of the artillery, and right in front 
of the burial-ground, was the 34th Light Infantry extended 
across a cholum-field to the road, while across the road stood a 
handful (eighty men) of H.M.'s 89tli — the real fellows. 

" When Captain Pears reached this point, he found Colonel 
Dyce parleying with some of the leaders, who had met him half- 
way. Most of them were disposed to come in to the terms, 
which were most reasonable — ' To give up the Xawab, and all 
to receive full arrears of pay, and a safe- guard to enable them 
to go with their arms in their hands to their own country.' Thev 
went backwards and forwards with idle excuses and requests. 

" A little ugly Persian Moonshee was employed when these 
fruitless personal conferences were given up. He said the 

7 * 


Nawab was evidently anxious to give himself up, but that some, 
especially Wullee Khan, would not allow him to do so. This 
latter had displayed something of his insolence to Dyce. When 
the Colonel first went down to see the chiefs, he said, ' Where 
is Wullee Khan ; will he not come and speak to me ? ' ' No,' 
they said, ' he says he will have nothing to say to it.' ' Well,' 
said Dyce, ' tell him that if he will not come to me, I will go 
to him. See, I have nothing but ray walking-stick ; but I will 
trust his honour.' Hearing this, Wullee Kliau came stalking 
down the road. A very tall man, covered (arms, legs, and breast) 
with superb armour, and an enormous broadsword which lie held 
over bis left shoulder He would not even make salaam to 
Dvce, much less shake hands with him as the others had done, 
but stood looking scorn, daggers, and pistols, stroking his long 
black beard. He said many most insolent things to Dyce, and 
when the paper contaiuing the terms was put into his hands, he 
oast it from him on the ground, saying, ' I believe none of you ; 
you, vour Government, and your papers, are all equally full of 
deceit.' Dyce, who (even alongside Wullee) was an imposing 
representative of the British, being a finely made man of six feet 
six, turned round calmly, and said, pointing to the men of the 
39th, 'You see those fellows, if I once let them go I cannot 
very easily stop them.' 'Hah!' said Wullee, 'you are 
afraid of us.' After this the little Moonshee went and came 
three or four times On one occasion Wullee said to him, ' If 
you come here any more I will cram your papers down your 
throat.' And when the last message was taken and received w4th 
defiance, it was matter for a month's laughter to see the little 
squinting Moonshee with liis awkward slippers come sliuffling 
back, as if in momentary expectation of a tickler a posteriori. 

" The Patans, &c., in the meantime, threw themselves out in 
front of our left, leaving the enclosure, which they foresaw would 
be touched up by the artillery from the other side. After having 
waited four hours (one more than he had been directed to do). 


Dyce got the 39th men across the road, and ordered the buglers 
to sound the ' Fire.' 

"The Nawab, with tliirty or forty of his followers, took shelter 
in the Durgah, but the rest moved out in our front, some to show 
fight, others to get away, if possible, to the river. 

" The Eohillas and Patans in our front kept up a heavy fire for 
ten minutes, and we lost a few men. Ouchterlony had a shot 
through his cap. 

" The conduct of the Europeans was admirable ; they evinced 
the most extraordinary and entertaining coolness and compo- 
sure. In a game of cricket they would have been more excited, 
at morning drill thev could not have been less so. I saw one 
man take a step to the rear, and, placing his musket on a branch 
of the milk hedge, take a very deliberate aim through, fire, and 
walk on as he reloaded, without making any sign or uttering one 
word of what he had accomplished. One man who was shot 
through the thigh, was attended to by a surgeon, who put him in 
a dooly, and said the bone was uninjured, upon which, the moment 
his back was turned, the man got out, coolly rejoined his com- 
rades, and got shot though the other thigh." 

" All this time the fellows were getting on our flank, and Captain 
Pears was sent to bring some dragoons. When he reached the 
river's bank, he found they had plenty of work, for hundreds of 
the enemy were trying to get round them, by getting into the 
river, while the dragoons were trotting about trying to get at 
them. Some of the 3ith Light Infantry were then sent down to 
the river, and shot a good many of the poor fellows in the 
river and on the various sand-banks. The artillery were now 
ordered to cease fire, and the 89th to advance up the road The 
moment the Europeans began to advance, the Slth moving on 
at the same time, five Rohillas (Wullee Khan, his brother, and 
three others), came out on the right flank, sword in hand ; 
they moved on with desperate daring to attack these British. 
Powerful, bold, and skilful as they were, they were immediately 


bayoneted, without iujuriug a man. ' Where they fought there 
they fell' 

"The Europeans now got into the Durgah, the verandah of 
which was still full of the enemy. Captain Pears arrived by this 
time, and went in to save the Nawab ; [Major Armstrong was, 
however, before him, and had that moment seized him, and 
Captain Pears met him, Nawab in hand, pushing his way out. 
Three of his own men were hanging on to him, when Captain 
Pears shook them off, and then helped to get rid of a European 
soldier, who had his hand twisted into the Nawab's long hair, swore 
he had killed his officer. Lieutenant White, who had just fallen, 
and was much disposed to take summary vengeance. Just then 
a man rushed out and killed young Yates of the 34th. Another, 
equally desperate, made a dash to the front and stabbed Colonel 
Wright. Both assailants were instantly killed. 

" The affair was now over, and a few dropping shots were alone 
to be heard. 

" Captain Pears was ordered by Colonel Dyce to report the 
capture of the Nawab to the Commissioners, which he at once 
did, and returned with orders regarding the disposal of tlie 

" Our party engaged consisted of 350 to 400 Native Infantry, 
eighty Europeans, 150 dragoons, loO Native cavalry, and our 
guns. The enemy had 900 men, but no artillery. 

" We had two oflBcers killed, two wounded; five or six Euro- 
peans killed, a few wounded; oue native killed, and twelve or 
fourteen wounded. 

" Lieutenant Ouchterlouy was among the wounded. He was 
with the Dragoons, and was proceeding to help a sepoy engaged 
in personal conflict with a Rohilla, when he was himself suddenly 
attacked by a man on foot, who repeated his blows in the most 
determined blacksmilh-like manner. He gave him three cuts, 
one of which was a very severe one, in the left elbow^ joint. 
Some sepoys coming up, delivered him from his troublesome 


acquaintance, and Ouchterlony (bad as bis wound was) swam bis 
horse half through the river afterwards. 

"Two hundred prisoners were taken, and fully 150 were 

" The most famous of the chiefs were killed, and the rest made 

" Shaikh Said, the brave Arab chief, was the man who killed 
Jjieutenant White of the -39th. 

" Wullee Kban (who was chiefly the cause of the figbt) had 
been in the service of the Nizam or his brother at Hyderabad, 
and had long been the terror of that city. Through our 
influence he had been turned out, and from thence came to 

" A guard of Europeans and Natives was left at the Durgah to 
secure the money found there (about 2o,000 rupees). 

" Some very young children were found placed high on the 
trees to be out of harm's way. It was pleasant and amusing to 
see the care and kindness which the European soldiers showed 
towards them. Most of these had lost their fathers in the affair, 
but they all found new ones Major Armstrong of the 34th got 
one poor little girl, a pretty child, shot through the thigh, 
but not severely hurt. Lawford returned to Bellary with two, 
carried by a Cowry cooly, a man who with a bamboo over his 
shoulder, carries a load swinging from each end thereof, before 
and behind." 

'* Captain Pears with the Sappers remained for some little time 
at Kurnool. 

"The Nawab was imprisoned in a tent within the enclosure 
that surrounds his father's tomb outside the. fort. He asked 
permission to have his family with him, so they said he might 
have three wives, but he demanded his whole houseful, about 
250 ladies, and as this was considered too great a blessing for 
a man in disgrace, it was denied, and he sulked and would see 
none of them, 


" On the 5th December the whole force still at Kurnool was 
paraded, when the gallant Subadar-Major of the Sappers 
(Coomarasawmy) was invested with the insignia of the first 
class of the Order of British India, with the title of Sirdar 

" It appears certain that at the time of the expedition to 
Kurnool an insurrection was in preparation throughout Southern 
India. The principal points to which our foes directed their 
attention were Hyderabad, Sattara, Kurnool, Cuddapah, Oodi- 
gherry, and Madras. The serious plots in Southern India which 
afterwards came to light were ripe and ready for execution ; but 
when about to explode, all was checked and postponed by the un- 
expected march of our force into Afghanistan — a march ordered, 
it is believed, without any knowledge of these intrigues in the 
south. They recovered from their alarm, and again fixed a 
day for the rise (1st of the Mohurrum), when the discoveries 
were made at Oodigherry, which led to their laying open the 
whole afi'air. The Rajah of Sattara, Nawab of Kurnool, and 
tributary Prince of Oodigherry, and a well-known cha- 
racter, Moobary-o-Dowlah, brother of the Nizam, were the 
most prominent characters, the last-named a bigoted 

" The correspondence lay principally between Moobary-o- 
Dowlah and him of Oodigherry, Oodigherry lies between 
Nellore and Cuddapah ; the latter is a rugged hilly country, 
and the town of Cuddapah, in the heart of this district, is full of 
Patans, descendants of the Afghan invaders of India. Nellore 
is a large town with a treasury, &c., eighty miles from Madras,- 
Cuddapah being about 160.'' 

" In the correspondence was found most minute instructions. 
The Kajah of Sattara would bring 30,000 men ; 13,000 good 
troops (Rohillas and Arabs) would come in small detachments 
(so as to be unobserved) out of Hyderabad and would assemble at 
Kurnool. This latter place was the depot of arms and military 


Stores. The Oodigberry Prince was to collect two years pro- 
visions in the fort." 

" Their first proceeding w%as to be, to occupy Oodigberry and 
Cuddapah, then Nellore was to be captured. An insurrection in 
Madras was arranged for, with the sacking of Black Town, and 
the murder of as ruany principal Europeans as possible. This 
being accomplished, and tlieir forces concentrated, Moohary-o- 
Dowlab was to be Subadar of the Deccan, and the others 
rewarded with extension of territory.'" 

" The first thing that checked the conspirators was the news 
that the Ameers of Scinde had yielded to us, and permitted 
our troops to pass through Scinde. Then came our successes 
against Dost Mahomed, who bad been looked to by tliese people 
for assistance. After this, our march to Kurnool and the death 
of Wullee Khan. Much interest attaches to our doings at Zora- 
pore, as Wullee Khan was constantly alluded to in the papers as 
the hero, the champion, the defender of the faith. The Oodigberry 
Eajah was now upset. The Bombay Government looked after 
the Rajah of Sattara, while General Fraser at Hyderabad caused 
Moobary-o-Dowlah to be arrested, and these three with the 
Nawab of Kurnool became State prisoners." 

" There appears to be no doubt that the Mahomedans were in 
earnest, and doubtless every native power wished them good 
luck. One thing is very gratifying : they failed, by their own 
confession, in tbeir attempts to corrupt the native army." 

Before proceeding any further with the records of the regular 
campaigns in which the Madras Engineers and Pioneers have 
been engaged, it may prove of interest to allude to the services of 
a certain officer of the Engineers who was enabled to serve the 
Government in a detached situation of a semi-military character. 

William Farquhar, having obtained a commission as ensign of 
the Madras Engineers on 22nd July 1791, served throughout 
the campaigns against Tippoo in 1791-92; was present at the 

106 MILITAEY HISTOKY OF THE [1791-1624. 

capture of Poudicberry iu 1793, aud at the taking of Malacca in 
1795. He was appointed to the expedition against Manilla in 
1797, but was recalled to Madras, owing to the abandonment of 
the expedition, and returned to Malacca on 25tb April 1798. 
On J2tli July 1803 he succeeded Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor as 
the Chief Civil and Military Authority at Malacca. In 1811 
he was appointed to the expedition against Java, and was placed 
by the Commander-in-Chief, !Sir Samuel Auchmuty, in charge of 
the Department of Intelligence and Guides.* He returned to 
Malacca towards the end of October 1811. In July 1818 he 
was employed in a political mission to the Eastern Malay States 
of Pontiana, Liugen Rehio, and Siak, for the purpose of forming 
commercial treaties. Subsequently he officiated as British 
Commissioner in restoring Malacca to the King of the Nether- 
lands, which was effected on 21st September 1818. On 23rd 
December 1818 he finally quitted Malacca for Penang, where he 
soon received an order from the Supreme Government, appoint- 
ing him to take charge of such new establishment as might be 
formed east of Malacca. On 19th January 1819 he sailed from 
Penang with a detachment of troops under his command. He 
visited the Carimou Islands and Singapore on the 29th January, 
and proceeded thence to Piehio, returning to Singapore on 4th 
February, immediately after which arrangements were made 
with Sir T. S. Raffles for founding the new establishment. 

The British Hag was hoisted at Singapore on 6th February 
1819, and from that date Lieutenant-Colonel Farquhar assumed 
the civil and military charge of the new factoiv. On 20th 
January 1824 he quitted Singapore for Calcutta. 

* He landed at Chillingcling, near Batavia on 4th August ; i^resent on the 
10th, under Gillespie, at the action of Welteryreden. He assisted in constructing 
the batteries against the enemy's woi'lis of Cornells, and was engaged in their 
storm and capture on the 26th. He commanded a division of British troops at 
surrender of Gressei, Sourabaya, Fort Ludowyck, on 22nd September. He was 
offered by Lord Minto (Governor-General) the situation of British Resident at 
the Court of Djoejocarta, which he decUned in order to return to his former 
command of Malacca. 

1823-39.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 107 

Iij an afl'ray with the Malays at Singapore on 11th March 
1823, he, at the head of part of his own guard — whilst 
endeavouring to apprehend a chief who had run "amokh" — 
received a dangerous wound from a cris, in his left breast, which 
penetrated his lungs. On this occasion His Excellency, the 
Commander-in-Chief in India, was pleased to mark his sense of 
the good conduct of the havildar and naique of the guard, who 
accompanied the Colonel, and were instrumental in preserving 
his life, by promoting the first to the rank of jemadar, and the 
latter to that of havildar. It is presumed that this wound was 
the cause of his leaving Singapore, for we find that early in 
1824 he went on furlough to Europe. Previous to his quitting 
Singapore he received the following addresses, from all classes of 
inhabitants ; and the European community requested his accept- 
ance of a piece of plate as a testimony of their high regard and 

One address was from the European merchants, to mark their 
sense of his private worth and uniform kindness and hospitality 
during his residence at Singapore, and to request his acceptance 
oi a piece of plate to the value of 3,000 Sicca rupees. 

A second was from the Kling merchants of Singapore, which 
was signed by 128 of the principal Hindoo and Mahomedan 

A third was from H. H. Areng Belaiva (the Captain of 
the Burgis), and tlie Burgis inhabitants of Singapore. While 
the fourth was from the Chinese merchants, which was signed 
by forty-nine seafaring men, fourteen Canton merchants, and 
forty-one Fokin merchants.* 

Major General Farquhar died at Early Bank, near Perth, on 
13th May 1839. 

Colin Mackenzie was another officer who, by his eminently 
scientific character, in addition to his excellent military service, 

* The addresses are entered as an Appendix. 


was enabled to benefit the Honnnrabie East India Company, 
and science in general, by the most active and indefatigable 
researches into the history and antiquities of India. He 
obtained his commission on l7th May 1783 ; served throughout 
the campaigns of 1790, 1791-92 against Tippoo ; at the siege 
of Pondicherry in 1793; at Columbo, as Commanding Engineer, 
in 1795-90; in campaign against Tippoo in 1799; as Chief 
Engineer of the expedition to Java in 1811, and he remained in 
thai island till March 1815 He was appointed Surveyor- 
General of Madras in October 1810,* and on the extension of 
the Order of the Bath, in June 1815, to the officers of the 
Company's service, he was appointed a Companion of the Order. 
The first thirteen years of his life in India, from 1783 to 1796, 
may be considered as of little moment to the objects pursued 
latterly in collecting observations and notices of Hindoo 
manners, geography, and history. After his return from the 
expedition to Ceylon in 179C, accident rather than design threw 
in his way means that he unceasingly pursued of penetrating 
beyond the common surface of the antiquities, the history, and 
the institutions of the South of India. 

After the close of the war in Mysore in 1792, he was engaged 
in the first attempts made to methodize and embody the geography 
of the Deccan. 

The voyage and campaign in Ceylon may be noticed as intro- 
ductory to part of what followed on his return to resume the 
geography of the Deccan in 1797. 

Mackenzie was present in the campaign of the ISizam against 
the Mahrattas in 1795, when the Nizam was utterly defeated by 
the Mahrattas at the battle of Kurdla The British officers pre- 
sent at this battle had removed from the camps of the Nizam 
and the Peishwa, and were mere spectators of the event. 

In 1796 a general map of the Nizam's dominions was sub- 

* On his return from Java in 1815 he was appointed Surveyor-General of 

1798-1815.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 100 

mitted to Government for the first time. In 1798 measures 
were proposed, and in part methodized, for describing the whole 
Deccan. This was interrupted, in J 799, by the campaign 
against Tippoo. After that campaign Mackenzie was appointed 
to survey Mysore.* This work was completed in 1809, and 
considerable materials were acquired illustrative of statistics 
and of the history of that country. 

In 1810 Mackenzie was appointed Surveyor-Geneial. In 
jNTarch 1811, however, his services were required in Java. After 
the capture of Java lie remained in that island till 31st March 
1815, and was employed in ccdlecting and arranging the topo- 
graphical and military reports and survey of the former Govern- 
ment, in investigating the history and antiquities of the island, 
and in ascertaining the state of the landed tenure and the 
general condition of the inhabitants. 

On his returning to the Presidency he found the office of 
Surveyor-General at Madras abolished ; but he was at once 
appointed Surveyor-General of India on a new system. 

The C(nirt of Directors had a high opinion of the scientific 
and literary labours of Colonel Mackenzie; and on the 9th 
February 1810 addressed a letter to the Government of Fort 
St. Geo]-ge, reviewing the services of Colonel Mackenzie in the 
survey of Mysore and certain provinces adjacent to it. In this 
they state : — 

" We feel it to be due to Lieutenant-Colonel Mackenzie, and 
it is gi-eat pleasure to us, to bestow our unqualified and warm 
commendation upon his long-continued, indefatigable, and zealous 
exertions in the arduous pursuits in which he was employed, and 
upon the works which those exertions have produced. He has 
not confined his labours to the leading object of his original 
appointment — in itself a very difficult one — the obtaining of an 

* This included all tbe dominions of the late sovereignty of Mysore, as it 
existed a few years before, in the plenitude of its power and territory, and 
amounted to some 70,000 square miles. 


accurate geosfraphical knowledge of the extensive territories 
which came under the dominion or protection of tlie Company 
in consequence of the fall of Tippoo Sultaun in 1799. hut has 
carried his researches into two otiier very important hranches — 
the statistics and the history of those countries — and in all 
of them he has succeeded to an extent which could not have 
been contemplated at the commencement of his undertaking. 
The actual survey, upon geometrical principles, of a region con- 
taining ahove 40,000 square miles (maps for 30,000 square miles 
more were sent home shortly after) , generally of an extremely 
difficult surface, full of hills and wildernesses, presenting few 
facilities or accommodations for such a work, and never before 
explored by European science, in a climate very insalubrious, is 
itself no common performance, and the minute divisions and 
details of places of every description given in the memoirs of 
the survev, with the masterly execution, upon a large scale, of 
the general map, and its striking discrimination of objects, rarely 
equalled by anything of the same nature that has come under 
our observation, form altogether an achievement of extraordinary 
merit, adding most materially to the stores of Indian geography, 
and of information useful for military, financial, and commercial 
purposes. . . . On a full review of these labours, and of others 
which were not so immediately within the scope of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Mackenzie's commission, we must admit that his merits 
have not been merely confined to the duties of a geographical 
surveyor . . . We direct that you present him with the sum of 
9,000 pagodas (30,000 rupees), as full remuneration for his past 
labours, and as a mark of our approbation of his work." 

" We next proceed to notice his statistical researches . . . 
though they were adverted to in the original instructions given 
to Lieutenant Colonel ^Mackenzie ; the ample and successful 
manner in which he has pursued them, in the midst of "other 
arduous labours, proves the zeal by wiiich he has been actuated 
and adds to the value of his services and his discoveries," 


" This observation applies with at least eqnal propriety to his 
superadded inquiries into the history, religion, and antiquities 
of the country; ohiects pointed out, indeed, in our general 
instructions to India, but to which, if be bad not been prompted 
by bis own public spirit, bis other fatiguing avocations might 
have been pleaded as an excuse for not attending. . . . Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Mackenzie has certainly taken the most effectual 
way, though one of excej-sive labour, to explore any evidence 
which may yet exist of remote eras and events by recurring to 
remaining monuments, inscriptions, and grants preserved either 
on metals or on paper; and his success in this way is far beyond 
what could have been expected." 

" The numerous collections of materials * he has made under 
the different heads above noted must be highly interesting and 
curious, and the specimens he has adduced in the manuscript 
volumes be has sent us abundantly answer this character. . . . 
It must be allowed that this effort promises the fairest way of 
any which has yet been made to bring from obscurity any. 
scattered fragments which exist of true history, and undoubtedly 
encourages the expectation of obtaining at length both consider- 
able insight into the state of the country and its governments 
in more modern periods, and some satisfactory indications of its 
original institutions and earlier revolutions. We are, therefore. 
Very desirous that f.iiiienant-Colonel Mackenzie should himself 
digest and improve the materials he has collected. After be 
has accomplished it, the original materials ai'e to be transmitted 
to us to be deposited in our Oriental Museum." 

The Asiatic JoudiuI for 1822 contains '' A Brief View of the 
Collection of Notes, Observations, and Journals of Thirty-four 
Years, and of Collections of MSS., Inscriptions, Drawings, &c. 
for the last Nineteen Years, made by Cohniel Mackenzie in 

* This collection was afterwards augmented in a quadruple proportion both 
in the Peninsula and Hindostan, and ultimately extended to a new field — the 
Oriental islands, seas, and coasts of Asia, 


India ; exclusive of a considerable Collection of Native MSS. 
in all langunges " To give some slight idea of tlie labours of 
Colonel Mackenzie in collecting tbese MSS., it may be stated 
that in a Catalogue Raisonnee of Oriental MSS., by the Rev. 
William Taylor, Mackenzie's collection takes up no less than 
570 pages. 

The great interest which Mackenzie always exhibited in con- 
nection with the history of the East appears to have been 
originally put in motion before he went to India, when he was 
quite a young man. It appears that Mackenzie was known to 
Francis Lord Napier as a youth of considerable mathematical 
attainments. Lord Napier was anxious to publish a memoir of 
his celebrated ancestor, the inventor of logarithms, and he 
employed Mackenzie to search different works in India to 
ascertain what amount of knowledge the Hindoos possessed of 

Lord Napier subsequently procured for him an appointment 
to the East India Company's Engineers, and he proceeded to 
Madras in 1782. 

In 1817 Mackenzie addressed a letter to Hon Sir Alexander 
Johnstone, Chief Justice of Ceylon, which contained an epitome 
of his life. This high official naturally took a deep interest in 
Mackenzie, as he was the grandson of Lord Napier, who had 
originally employed Mackenzie, and had known him personally 
as a young man. 

On Sir Alexander Johnstone returning to England he ex- 
plained to Mr. Grant (a former Chairman of the ( ourt of 
Directors) the great advantage it would secure for Oiiental 
history and literature were Colonel Mackenzie to be allowed to 
come to England, on leave, to arrange his valuable collection of 
materials. Mr. Grant accordingly determined to propose to the 
Court of Directors to give Colonel Mackenzie leave, with full 
pay and allowances, for three years. 

No steps were, however, taken in this matter because, in the 


meantime, accounts were received of Mackenzie's death at 
Calcutta in 1821. 

The Mackenzie collection was purchased by the Governor- 
General, Lord Hastings, from his widow, for £10,000. 

The services of William Monteith will prove interesting, as 
showing, further, how varied have been the positions in which 
officers of the Corps have been utilized. 

Whilst Sir John Malcolm was at Tabreez, in July 1 810, he per- 
mitted (at the request of Abbas Meerza*) Lieutenants McDonald 
and Monteith to reconnoitre the Russian posts on the banks of 
the Arras near Megeri. These officers, finding that no attention 
was paid to their advice, shortly after returned to Tabreez. 
Four days after their departure the Russians surprised the Per- 
sians, who fled across the Arras, and were only saved from 
entire destruction owing to the Russian commandant being 
severely wounded. 

McDonald (afterwards Sir J. McDonald Kinnear) returned 
with Malcolm's mission to India, but Monteith remained in Persia. 

At the end of August the Prince Royal's army assembled at 
Nackshiwan and that of the Turks at Kars. 

There was but little prospect of much co-operation between 
the two armies, but even this was destroyed by an accident. 
According to custom, on the arrival of a great personage there 
was a display of horsemanship, &c. ; and the Seraskier appears 
to have become excited as the play proceeded, and to have joined 
in the exhibition. By some accident his pistol, which had before 
missed fire, went ofi" as he was handing it to one of his guards, 
and the Turkish Pasha was wounded in the head. 

Abbas Meerza sent his English surgeon (Dr. Campbell) with 
condolences and offers of assistance, which were refused in no 
very courteous manner, and the Turkish army retired. Among 
the Persians the accident caused more merriment than regret. 

* The Prince Royal of Persia. 

II. 8 


Abbas Meerza now moved to Erivan, and prevented the 
Russians from taking advantage of the confusion in the Turkish 
camp ; and he then ordered Hussain Khan, the Sirdar of Erivan, 
to proceed to Akhiska, and co-operate with the Pasha of that 
province. Lieutenant Monteith accompanied Hussain Khan on 
this expedition into Georgia. 

The Persians were almost invariably unsuccessful in this 
campaign, and on one occasion they lost their tents and baggage. 
They were successful in an attack they made on Hummamaloo. 
A marriage was taking place in the village, so that a number of 
Russians were in church at the time of attack. Forty Russians 
and many of the peasants were killed, and the women, including 
the bride, were can-ied off. 

On the advice of Sir Harford Jones (British Envoy), Abbas 
Meerza now began to pay serious attention to the condition of 
his army. Lieuteuant Lindsay (afterwards Sir H. Bethune) 
brought the artillery to a condition of great efficiency, fourteen 
pieces being well horsed and equipped. The other troops 
received new arms, and their equipment was greatly improved. 
A battalion of the infantry of Agerdbyan was placed under 
Lieutenant Christie. An arsenal and gun-carriage factory was 
started under English supervision. The army was well clothed, 
and nothing was wanting but an efficient commander-in-chief. 

The fortifications of Khoi were rapidly progressing, and 
Abbasabad had been rendered capable of defence according to 
the plan traced out by Captain Lamie, a French officer. 

By this the Persians obtained a strong position for the support 
of Erivan. Several field-works were constructed close to the 
most exposed roads ; and when, in July 1811, the Persian army 
was assembled at Nakshivan, Persia was in a better state of 
defence than she had ever been since the commencement of the 

In September 1811 the Persian troops were at Nackshiwan, 
and a brigade under Captain Christie, with the horse artillery, 


was detached to Erivan, as it was supposed the Russians medi- 
tated an expedition. 

In October the Russians advanced with 2,500 men and twelve 
guns, and destroyed many villages ; but although the Persians 
had two favourable opportunities, they did not attack them, and 
shortly after the Persians, leaving a garrison at Erivan, returned 
to Tabreez, and dispersed as usual for the winter. 

Early in 1812 the troops were ordered to the plains of Mogan. 
They marched for five days over bigh mountains covered with 
deep snow, and, having crossed the river, advanced on the Rus- 
sian post of Sultanboot. The Russians were compelled to 
surrender, and the Persians destroyed the post, and brought 
away 2,000 families of Ibyects, nearly depopulating the region 
of the Karabaug. As a set-off to this, the Russians surprised 
the fortress of Akhalkalak, north of Gumri. 

In August 1812 the Persians again took the field, and a 
division was detached to drive the Russians out of Talisch, 
situated on the Caspian, which afforded (from the position of 
the Isle of Sari) the best station for the Russian fleet. 

The Russians fled from Lunkesan to Sari, and the chief of 
the district, Mustapha Khan, retired to the peninsula of Game- 

Ameer Khan (uncle of Abbas Meerza) refused to attack the 
works, although strongly urged to do so by the English officers. 

A strong field-work was constructed at Laberun, and a 
garrison of 3,000 or 4,000 men, with four 12-pounders, being 
left to defend it, the British officers returned to the Persian 
camp at Aslandoose. 

Meantime, owing to Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the policy 
of England was entirely changed, and our Ambassador was 
now as anxious for peace as he had before been to push on 
the war. 

The English officers were withdrawn from the Persian army, 
and it was only at the earnest entreaty of Abbas Meerza that 

8 ♦ 


Captains Christie and Lindsay were permitted to remain in the 
camp, and Lieutenant Monteith with the Erivan force. 

Orders were given to the English officers to quit the Persian 
camp if any forward movement took phice ; but Abbas Meerza 
assured the British Ambassador he had no intention of advancing, 
and it was ijuprobable that the Russians would attack' the 
Persian army, as it was five times as numerous, supported by a 
superior artillery, and defended in front by a deep and rapid 

The Persians were lulled into such perfect security that they 
dif] not plant picr[nets along the river, and even withdrew those 
posted by Major Christie. 

On 27th October I^!l2 the Russians marched to the banks of 
the Arras, over a perfectly open country. They experienced 
great difficulty in crossing the river, and lost one of their guns 
with the horses harnessed to it, but they finally succeeded, and 
at 9 AM. on 30th October, their troops were within a mile and a 
half of the Persians, the latter having no suspicion of their 
vicinity. The Persians were so totally unprepared, that Captain 
Lindsay had been ordered to employ his limber-boxes to receive 
treasure, and to proceed himself with all the mounted men to 
attend a hunting party beyond the Arras. He (Captain Lind- 
say) had just reached the point indicated, when he perceived a 
large body of men issuing from the brushwood in the bed of the 
river. He galloped back to camp, and arrived there just as the 
head of the Russian column entered it. The guns were with- 
drawn with great difficulty, but they were without ammunition ; 
nearly all the arsenal and baggage having fallen into the hands 
of the enemy. The brigade under Major Christie had already 
been withdrawn by him. Abbas Meerza was distracted, and 
lost his head. Captain Lindsay could not fire his guns, having 
no ammunition. He offered to try to save some if Abbas 
Meerza's Body-guard would volunteer for the service ; as only 
two volunteered, he turned to his own men, told oflF thirty of 


them, and provided each with a bag ; and then was performed 
a feat of daring not to be surpassed in any army, and attended 
with a success quite unparalleled. This small body actually 
contrived to reach the artillery park, fill their bags with ammu- 
nition, and quit the camp on their return before the suspicions 
of the Russians were aroused. Two companies of Russian Yayas 
were sent to intercept them, but Major Christie with some light 
infantry advanced to their succour, and they regained the 
Persian camp without the loss of a man, bringing with them 
some musket cartridges and 300 rounds of 6-pound shot. 

It was now proposed to attack the Russians. The Persians 
were at first very successful, and the Russians turned and fled 
towards their main body. Abbas Meerza, thinking that the 
Russians would retreat, resolved to remain on the ground near 
tlie hill of Timour. About midnight General Kutlerousky, the 
Russian commander, descended the Karsoo, marched round the 
Persian position, and attacked them from the side of Mogan. 
The Persians massed round the hill of Aslaudoose began to fire, 
in the darkness and confusion, at one another. The attack was 
so sudden that the English officers had no alternative but to 
fight on the side of the Persians. Major Christie was shot in the 
neck, and more than half the battalion he had raised and dis- 
ciplined fell in the attempt to bring him ofi". Their attempt 
was, however, unsuccessful, but aff'orded a noble proof of their 
attachment and devotion. Christie was discovered in the morn- 
ing by the Russians, who off'ered assistance, but he had deter- 
mined never to be taken alive. A report was sent to General 
Kutlerousky that there was a wounded English officer who 
refused to surrender. Orders were sent to disarm, and to secure 
him at all hazard. Christie, however, made a most desperate 
resistance, and is said to have killed six men before he was shot 
by a Cossack. His body was found by Dr. Cormick, and 
buried near the spot where he fell. Twelve out of fourteen 
English guns were taken, but Captain Lindsay rejoined the 


Prince Royal in the pass, where he had recommended the troops 
should reassemble after the surprise of the camp. 

The Russians' next object was to drive the Persians out of the 
post at Lunkesan, and reinstate Mustapha Khan in his Govern- 
ment of Talisch ; and they advanced through Mogan in 
December. On reaching Lunkesan, they cannonaded the 
entrenchments ; but finding their artillery inferior to that of the 
Persians, they resolved on an assault on the 12th January 1813. 
Their first attack was repulsed with heavy loss, but they made a 
second, Kutlerousky leading the assault himself. The place 
was carried, and many of the Persians killed. Kutlerousky 
was shot through the head, and though by a miracle he survived 
for many years, he never was fit for service again. Half of the 
Russian force was killed or disabled. 

The Persian loss amounted to 3,000 men. About half of the 
Persian army were either disabled or taken prisoners. The 
ranks were, however, quickly filled up, and by the spring the 
army was as numerous as ever, while arms arrived from India, 
and guns were provided by the foundry at Tabreez to double 
those that had been lost ; but the morale of the army was 
entirely changed. 

In March and April 1813 the Russians made an irruption 
into the Erivan territory to collect provisions. They laid waste 
sixty villages, and carried off 500 carts of grain and 30,000 

The Persian troops were commanded by Hussain Khan, 
brother of the Sirdar, a most incompetent chief, who allowed 
two favourable opportunities of attacking the enemy to pass, 
and harassed his troops until they were quite exhausted. 
Lieutenant Monteith was in command of a battery of six guns, 
and some cavalry, at the ford of the Arras. Hussain Khan sent 
him orders to retire, but he refused to obey, as while he remained 
the Russians could not cross without being under fire. Hussain 
Khan then directed the gunners to bring away the guns, but 



they replied they only received orders from their own officers. 
The other troops, however, fell back, and Monteith thought it 
advisable to retire sufficiently to feed and rest his horses. 
Orders to change ground were sent him twice in the night, but 
he disregarded the orders, and thereby saved the men a march 
of twenty miles, as Hussain Khan actually came with his own 
troops to the place where Monteith was. 

Hussain^ Khan's brother soon arrived, and determined to 
attack the heavily laden convoy. As the Russians were able to 
take up a covered position for their carts, the Persians were re- 
pulsed, after an action of three hours, and the Russians succeeded 
in carrying off the provisions, though with a loss of 250 men. 

During the winter and spring, negotiations were carried on 
through the British ambassador. An armistice was agreed 
upon, and the preliminary treaty of Gulistan was contracted in 
October 1813, by which both parties were to retain the positions 
they then occupied. 

During the years 1810 to 1813 there were four active cam- 
paigns, and during this time Lieutenant Monteith commanded a 
frontier force and the garrison of Erivan. He was engaged in 
many skirmishes, and was wounded in one at a place called 
Kulky Tippa. 

In 1814 Mr. H. Ellis, in conjunction with Mr. Morier, was 
deputed to negotiate a finally definitive treaty between Great 
Britain and Persia. Lieutenant Monteith was secretary to Mr. 
Ellis. The treaty known as the Treaty of Teheran was signed 
on November 25th 1814, and continued in force till the war 
between England and Persia in 185G-57. 

In 1819 it was found necessary to send an expedition against 
the El Jawasmi pirates of the Persian Gulf, who had become 
Wahabees, and were most desperate and audacious. 

In 1816 Ibrahim Pasha took the field against the Wahabees, 
andjn 1818, after a long siege, he captured Ed-Dir-'Iyyah, their 


capital, and sent their chief Abdalhih in chains to Constanti- 
nople, where he was barbarously put to death. 

The depredations of the Wahabee pirates did not cease with 
the fall of Ed-l)ir-'Iyyah, and at length it became necessary to 
send another (the first was sent in 1810 under Colonel, after- 
wards Sir Lionel, Smith) English expedition against them. A 
small squadron under Captain Collier, and a force of 8,000 men 
commanded by General Sir William Grant Keir sailed from 
India in November 1819. 

Captain William Monteith, who was at this time in Persia, 
accompanied the expedition as aide-de-camp to Sir William 
Grant Keir. 

The piratical stronghold of Kas El Khima was besieged. 
The Arabs displayed extraordinary bravery and military skill, 
both at sea and on shore, but the place was captured by the 
English ; 2,000 boats were burnt, and many Indians were 
released from slavery. A garrison of native troops was left 
there, which was afterwards removed to El Kishim. The hill- 
fort of Fyah, defended by a veteran Wahabee, was also captured 
after a gallant defence. 

After the treaty of peace between Kussia and Turkey, Lieu- 
tenant Monteith was appointed Commissioner to ascertain the 
limits of the respective countries, and Captains Lindsay and 
Hunt were allowed to remain in charge of the infantry and 
artillery, under condition that they should not be employed 
against any country at peace with England. 

In 1821 war broke out between Persia and Turkey, arising 
out of insults offered to Persian pilgrims going to Mecca. 

Muhammed Ali Meerza invaded the Baghdad Paslialik, and 
was on the point of taking Baghdad when he was carried off by 
cholera. His brother, Abbas Meerza, then invaded Turkish 
territory, and took Bayazid. The Turkish army advanced to 
Toprakala, but were severely defeated, and fled in confusion, 

1821-27.J MADEAS ENGINEEES. 121 

pursued by the Persian cavalry. Two thousand five hundred 
Turks were killed, and all their camp equipage and baggage fell 
into the hands of the victors. 

Cholera then appeared, and put an end to the war. The long 
threatened storm from the North was now about to burst over 
Persia. The unsettled boundary question afforded a pretext for 
constant disputes, and the Governor-Greneral of Georgia took 
every opportunity of exasperating the Persians. Believing that 
war was inevitable, Abbas Meerza took the initiative and com- 
menced hostilities in the summer of 1826. Abbas Meerza 
crossed the Arras, occupied Talisch, and at first met with 
success ; but on September l4th, 1826, he was defeated near the 
river Jain, about four miles from Elizabethpol, and in November 
was obliged to retreat across the Arras. 

In the spring of 1827 General Yermaloff was superseded by 
General Paskiewitch. In April the Russians captured Outch- 
kelisea. Abbas Meerza and the Sirdar of Erivan advanced 
to relieve Abbasabad which was invested by the Russians. 

Paskiewitch crossed the Arras (by hides forming air-bladders) 
and found the Persians posted in a very strong position. The 
Russians forced their centre, and the Persians broke and fled, 
leaving 5,000 men on the field. This was the battle of Jewan- 
bulak, fought on l8th July 1827, and Abbasabad surrendered on 
31st July. Abbas Meerza then tried to retake Outchkelisea. 
A very bloody battle was fought at Abbasan on 29th August. 
The Persians fought gallantly, and, though defeated, inflicted a 
very severe loss on their enemies. One thousand two hundred 
Russians were killed. Paskiewitch then advanced against the 
Persians, forced Abbas Meerza to retreat across the Arras, and 
laid siege to Erivan, which surrendered on J 3th October. Abbas 
Meerza retreated to Khoi, and on 10th October Tabreez was 
surrendered to the Russians without a show of resistance. On 
9th November the Persian Government submitted to the terms 
of the conqueror, and hard conditions were wrung from it. 


Negotiations were carried on at Tarkananchai ; the British 
Envoy, ^Sir John McDonald, acting as mediator. The treaty 
was signed on 2lst February 1828. Erivan and Nakshivan 
were ceded to Russia, including Outchkelisea. Persia was forced 
to pay an indemnity of £4,000,000 for the expenses of the 
war, and was not to be allowed to have any armed vessels on 
the Caspian. Captain Monteith was appointed Commissioner 
for paying the indemnity, and part of the treasure was actually 
conveyed to the Russian camp by Captain Monteith. He states 
that much of the gold was Indian coin, spoil brought from 
Delhi by Nadir Shah. During the payment of the contribution 
levied on Persia, Captain Monteith had a great deal ,of com- 
munication with Prince Paskiewitch, having access to him at all 
hours when any difficulty arose about the payment, an annoy- 
ance that was constantly taking place from the caprice or 
insolence of the inferior agents. It was thus Monteith's 
acquaintance with Prince Paskiewitch began, and he was after- 
wards on terms of considerable intimacy with him, which led to 
Monteith accompanying the Russian army to Tiflis, and being 
an eye-witness of part of the operations against the Turks. 

The whole Russian army assembled within thirty miles of 
Kars, and on 26th June 1828 it crossed the Arpachai, or 
Turkish frontier. The next day the Russian camp was at 
Tickniss, and on the 28th at Mecho, about twenty miles from 
Kars. The siege of Kars was undertaken, and it fell towards 
the end of July. Twenty-two mortars and 129 cannon with 
ammunition were found in the place, and 6,000 sacks of grain 
in the magazine. 

The Russians lost thirteen officers and 400 men killed and 
wounded, while the Turks had 2,000 killed and wounded, and 
1,36] prisoners. The whole garrison had amounted to 11,000 
men ; but 8,000 had either retired or been disarmed before the 
fortress surrendered. 

Kousa Mahomed Pasha, Seraskier of Erzeroum, had assembled 


50,000 men on the mountains of Soganlook. He made a forced 
march to relieve the place, but was just too late ; and he was 
obliged to retreat as quickly as he had advanced, in the direction 
of Ardahan and Akhiska. The plague now made its appearance 
in the Russian army. General Paskiewitch acted with decision 
and good sense The different divisions were separated into 
distinct camps, and quarantines and fumigating chambers 
established in each ; as soon as any decided case of plague 
showed itself, the patient was carried to the quarantine, and all 
articles capable of being washed were conveyed to the river, 
while others were fumigated and exposed to the air. Such 
articles as could not be subjected to either of these operations 
were burnt, but a recompense for their loss was made to the 
owners. The men by whom these duties were performed had 
wax- cloth coverings, and their hands and arms covered with oil 
and pitch. The whole army was obliged to bathe daily in the 
river ; all military movements were suspended ; and in twenty 
days the terrible pestilence was at an end in the army. Five 
hundred and thirty cases had been sent to the plague hospital, 
but only 267 died. The great secret in dealing with this 
fearful enemy appears to have been separating the men, especially 
the sick, as much as possible. 

The fortress of Kars was now strengthened, some of the 
useless works destroyed, and the great tower at the south-east 
angle united to the citadel by a stone wall. A hundred of the 
Turkish guns were placed on the ramparts, and a garrison, under 
General Berymann, with ten field-pieces, was left in the place. 
On I7th July General Paskiewitch made a demonstration on 
the Erzeroum road, when the Seraskier retreated with great 
precipitation to the pass of the Soganlook, and the Kussian 
army countermarched. It was now considered indispensable to 
call up the reserves, which could be most quickly accomplished 
by the Akhalkalak and Hertweis route, from whence the army 
could either advance on Akhiska, or place itself between that 


city and the Turldsh army. By this means the Russian army 
would be covered by the Tcliildar Lake. General Paskiewitch 
joined his park on the 18th July at Kembel. The passage of 
the baggage was here attended with great difficulty, for the 
descent to the Klaimchie was very rapid, and the great chain of 
the Tchildar on the opposite side offered still greater obstacles. 
The summit of Gouk Dang was gained on 2lst, and on the 23rd 
the army encamped on the Gen-derra-soo, from which the white 
towers of Akhalkalak were visible. 

General Paskiewitch sent a summons to surrender, but it was 
rejected with disdain. 

The castle is 300 yards long, 60 or 80 broad, and stands at 
the angle formed by two small streams. It was defended by 
fourteen guns, and 1,000 men. A battery of eight guns and two 
mortars was established on the opposite side of the Gen-derra- 
soo (one of the small streams), and on another point, nearer to 
the place, a battalion had two guns and six cohorns. 

The works were finished by dawn, flalf-an-hour after the 
batteries opened, the enemy's batteries were silenced, and the 
principal tower began to crumble. General Paskiewitch sent 
another summons, which was a second time rejected. Another 
battery of four guns was now added, at a distance of 300 yards. 
The situation of the defenders now became desperate, and they 
were falling fast. Some attempted to escape, but were inter- 
cepted, and the besiegers made use of the ropes the defenders 
had used to escape to ascend the walls. The Russian flag was 
soon hoisted on the principal tower, and the troops entered on 
all sides, 600 of the garrison perished. 

It was now necessary to take the fort of Hertweis, command- 
ing the road to Akhiska. This is built on the summit of a high 
rock near the junction of the Kar and Akhakyck rivers ; it was 
defended by fourteen guns and 200 men. Although apparently 
impregnable, it was taken by cavalry, who were dismounted for 
the purpose. Poto was also taken at this time by General 


Hesse, after a siege of seven days. Direct communication with 
Georgia by two routes was now secured, and General Paskie- 
witch was quickly joined by Prince BebutoflF with 2,500 men 
of the reserve, and operations were immediately commenced 
against Akhiska, though Kousa Mahomed Pasha still occupied 
the Soganlook, with the intention of recovering Kars. 

On the 30th July, General MouraviefF was ordered to advance 
from Hertweis in direction of Ispindza. General Paskiewitch 
now learnt that the Seraskier had at last moved from the Sogan- 
look, and was advancing with 35,000 men and fifteen guns to 
cover Akhiska. He determined to advance, attack the Seraskier 
before he reached Akhiska, and drive him back to Soganlook. 
The route lay over a continued succession of rapid ascents and 
descents. They advanced forty miles in three days, and on the 
3rd August the advanced guard took up a position on the right 
bank of the Kar. The whole of the Turkish army was en- 
camped at the junction of the Kar and Akhiska, four miles from 
the town General Paskiewitch had not received all his expected 
reinforcements, for those under General Popoff had been de- 
tained in the pass of Rordgain. 

However, on the 5th August the army forded the Kar, and 
formed in order of battle. The enemy made little opposition to 
the Russian advance Sixteen position guns of tlie Eussians 
advanced at a trot, opened a heavy fire on the Turks, and dis- 
persed them. The Russian cavalry was despatched in pursuit, 
and gained the height of Tanchan Pasha, which Prince Paskie- 
witch had been anxious to prevent the Seraskier from occupy- 
ing, the ground being naturally strong and commanding the 
west side of the town. The Seraskier and Mustapha Pasha had 
brought 10,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry, with some militia, 
amounting to 30,000, who formed four camps outside the town, 
the principal one being the Sookelisia (water cluirch). Tlic 
Russian army occupied a formidable position for attacking both 
the town and the Turks. Prince Paskiewitch felt the great 


difficulty there would be in capturing a town containing a gar- 
rison nearly equal to his own army, and protected by a covering 
army three times as large as the force he could bring against 

On 7th August he was reinforced by General Popoff with 1,800 
men. The Russians attempted to surprise the Turks in their 
principal camp. The rear-guard lost its way, and it was found 
necessary to halt two miles from the enemy. The day broke, 
and the Turks discovered them. A desperate contest took place, 
which was for some time uncertain ; but the Russians ultimately 
secured the victory^ and the Turks, pressed on every side, aban- 
doned their camp, and were pursued to the palisades of the town, 
leaving four guns, standards, and 1,000 men dead on the 

The capture of this important point decided the battle ; the 
remainder of the Turkish army, scattered over an extent of 
seven miles, were cut off" from the fortress, and the southern 
heights were strongly occupied by the Russians, who now 
threatened to take in flank the other positions of the Turks. 

The Russian cavalry fell upon them suddenly. The Turks 
fled in confusion to their remaining camps, and Kousa Mahomed 
Pasha, though wounded in the thigh, made a vain attempt to 
rallv this confused mass ; when, finding a Cossack regiment 
marching on his right to cut ofi" his retreat, he hastened to enter 
Akhiska with 5,000 infantry. The remainder of the Turkish 
army sought their other camps in detached bodies, pursued by 
the Cossacks and other irregular horse with much spirit. 

The Turks had 1,200 men killed, and fled towards the Algura 
mountains, the pursuit being continued all night. This battle 
had been obstinately contested on some points. The Russians 
took four entrenched camps, ten standards, and a quantity of 
carts, provisions, and ammunition ; they lost 1 general, 7 officers, 
and 73 men killed; and 2 generals, 22 officers, and 377 men 
wounded. Total casualties, 482. 


The wreck of the Seraskier's army retired by Ardahan, hoping 
to be able to unite with the troops of the Pasha of Moush, then 

General Berymann had been sent by Prince Paskiewitch to 
Ardahan to intercept the fugitives, and Prince Tcherkaskoi 
surprised the rear of the Pasha's army, dispersed his troops, 
and recovered a number of Christians he was carrying into 

The Turkish army being dispersed, the siege of Akhiska could 
be undertaken without interruption. 

The Turkish entrenchments which had been taken were turned 
against the enemy, and at daylight a large battery was finished 
in front of bastion No. 3 of outer line of defences of Akhiska, at 
a distance of 400 yards from the palisaded entrenchment, and 
1,000 yards from the citadel. This battery had four mortars, 
four 24-pounders, two howitzers, twelve 16-pounders. six field- 
pieces, eight light guns, and eight Turkish guns. Akhiska was 
now summoned, but the only answer returned was that the men 
of Akhiska were determined to bury themselves under the ruins 
of their town. The troops in the town were 15,000, and the 
entrenched line mounted seventy pieces of artillery. 

The Russian guns all opened fire at the same time ; the suburbs 
took fire in several jdaces, and the shot did great execution. 
Other batteries were made by the Russians, and the Turks made 
several sorties, which were repulsed. On the night of the l2th 
the place was completely invested. 

A second summons was sent by General Paskiewitch to the 
garrison, but it was rejected with contempt. 

On the 13th and llth breaching batteries were erected. 

The l;")th August was selected for the assault, the hour being 
4 P.M., at a time when the Turks generally retired to their 
quarters to sleep and refresh themselves ; and this being the 
hour when the Russians were accustomed to relieve their guards 
and working-parties, the assembly of the storming-parties occa- 


sioned no alarm. The principal attack was made on bastion 
No. 3, and two other false attacks were made on other points. 

The Turks being completely surprised the bastion was carried 
in a few minutes ; but, roused by the news, the garrison and 
inhabitants flocked to oppose' the Russians. Desperate fighting 
took place, and it was not till 7 p.m. that the attack was decided. 
At that hour the howitzer shells set fire to some of the buildings, 
and the General determined to try to burn down the town. The 
town was set on fire in several places, but the houses had still 
to be carried by storm, as those barricaded refused to surrender. 
The fire extended with great rapidity, so that the garrison was 
forced to retreat to tlie citadel. The tower of Kia Daiy was now 
attacked ; this was abandoned by the Turks, and five guns fell 
into the hands of the Russians, which were at once turned on 
the Turks. The garrison was now entirely witlidrawn from the 
north and west faces, but the besieged still occupied No. 1 
and No. 2 batteries of the old palisades. These were attacked 
in flank. The Turks in No. 2 battery surrendered, with two 
guns and five standards, while Commandant Simonwitch carried 
No. 1. The Russians were now masters of all the palisaded line, 
and five-sixths of the place, and the flames quickly forced the 
Turks to evacuate the remainder, so that at 3 a.m. the firing had 
entirely ceased. 

A deputation from the garrison now waited on the Genernl, 
and demanded a five days' truce. This was, of course, refused, 
and they were told that the Russian artillery would be directed 
against the citadel. The garrison must soon have been com- 
pelled to surrender at discretion, but it vras preferred to allow 
the few that remained to depart with their baggage and arms. 
At 8 p.M the Russian standard was hoisted on the citadel. In 
this obstinately-contested assault the garrison lost 5,000 men ; 
of 400 Artillery only fifty remained — of 100 Janissaries the chief 
alone, the rest died to a man ; of 1,800 Lazi, 1,300, and of the 
inhabitants 3,000, were killed. Several women in male attire 

1828-30.] MADE AS ENGINEEES. 129 

were found among the slain. The Russians lost 2 generals, 8 
other otficers, and 118 men killed ; and 1 general, 51 officers, 
find 437 men wounded. Total, 617. 

A force was now sent against Abskur, which surrendered at 
the first summons. Another force was sent against Ardagan, 
situated at the junction of the Kars and Erzeroum roads, a force 
being at the same time directed to advance from Kars. This 
place also surrendered. Many districts of Akhiska still refusing 
to submit, General Paskiewitch marched to Ardagan, and the 
report of this movement spread such terror to the gates of 
Erzeroum, that part of the Turkish forces which had begun to 
reassemble, retired or dispersed. All the chiefs of Akhiska sent 
in their submission, and the authority of the Russians was 
finally established The province of Bayazid was occupied by 
Prince Tcherfechlwadza, a Georgian nobleman, and Major- 
General in the Russian service. 

The campaign was now ended, and the troops took up their 
winter quartei's. 

In this campaign of 1828, which only lasted five months, the 
Pashaliks of Kars, Akhiska, and Bayazid had been conquered, 
three fortresses, three castles, 313 cannon, 195 standards, eleven 
howitzers, and 8,000 prisoners had been captured. 

The Russian army consisted of only 18,000, and their total 
loss had been 3,200. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Monteith was present with the Russian 
main army througliout this campaign, and at its close he was 
ordered by Colonel ^IcDonald, Envoy to the Court of Persia, to 
remain in Persia till the frontier between Russia and Persia had 
been settled. He was not able to leave Persia till Octoi)er 

He does not, however, appear to have hurried home, for we 
next find him as a volunteer at the French capture of Algiers in 
June 1830. 

The French eflfected a landing on the peninsula of Lidz-el- 

II. 9 


Ferruck, five leagues west of Algiers, on l4th June, and con- 
verted it into an entrenched camp. The enemy occupied Staweli 
and constructed some redoubts. 

The French force was 21,000, while that of the Algerians was 
estimated at 35,000 to 60,000. 

On the l7th the battle of Staweli commenced. It lasted 
from 4 A.M. to 7 p.m., when the enemy were driven back with 
great slaughter, and Staweli was occupied by the French, 

On the 24th the Algerians attacked the French, but were 

Next day there was a great deal of hard fighting, tlie enemy 
having planted some batteries on hills in front of Mount 

Before investing Algiers itself, the Emperor's fort had to be 
taken. On the 28th the French were within five miles of this 

At 2 A.M. on the 29th the French surprised the Algerians, 
and drove them out, and at 2 p.m. the French General found 
himself on the top of Bougareah. 

At daybreak on 4th July the French batteries opened fire 
on the Emperor's fort with tremendous effect. The General in 
command of the fort was ordered by the Dey to retire to Kas- 
sambah, and leave three negroes to blow up the fort. One of 
them was killed by a cannon ball ; the other two, in revenge, 
fired a cannon three times ; a shot took off" the leg of one of them, 
when the last retired to the tower with two flags. The breach was 
now almost practicable, when a terrible explosion took place, 
and the fort was blown to pieces. 

In half an hour the French sappers were repairing the ruins, 
and their engineers had broken ground within 700 yards of 

At 2 P.M. a flag of truce was announced, and at 12 noon on 
the 5th, the French General and staff" entered Kassambah, and 
all the other forts were taken possession of. 

1832-47.] MADBAS ENGINEERS. 131 

In a few days the Dey of Algiers embarked for Naples, and 
the French became possessors of Algiers. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Monteith, K.L.S., did not return to India 
till 6th July 1832, when he was appointed to act as Chief 
Engineer of Madras. 

In January 1834 Lieutenant-Colonel Garrard returned from 
England, and, being senior to Monteith by ten years, was 
appointed Chief Engineer, while Monteith took up the post of 
Superintending Engineer at the Presidency. 

On 2nd September 1836 Colonel Garrard died at Ootaca- 
mund, and on the 9th Lieutenant-Colonel Monteith became 
Chief Engineer, which post he retained till 18th July 1842. 
He became Major-General on 23rd November 1841, and retired 
from the service on 1 0th December 184 7. 

9 * 




First Chinese "War. — Tinghae occupied. — Captain Anstruther kidnapped. — Mrs 
Noble. — Hostilities recommenced, January 1841. — Preliminaries for peace. 
- — Hong Kong occupied. — Hostilities resumed. — Capture of Bogue Forts. — 
Hostilities again suspended. — Arrival of Sir Hugh Gough. — Anstruther 
released. — Rundall wounded. — Terms of Peace. — British troops attacked. — 
Gallant conduct of Hadfield and 37th Madras Native Infantry. — Amoy 
entered. — Attack on Chin-hae. — Ningpo occupied. — Attack of Chinese on 
Ningpo, and on Ching-hae. — We attack Tsckee. — Changki Pass. — Capture of 
Chapoo. — Repulse from a Joss house. — Fleet proceed to Woosung. — March 
on Shanghae. — Shanghae occupied. — And evacuated. — Ching Keangfoo. — Its 
captiire. — Heroic conduct of General Hailing, the Tartar general. — Advance 
on Nanking. — Treaty of Nanking signed. 

" This war was not very popular in England, as it was sup- 
posed by many that it was undertaken to enforce upon the 
Chinese the opium traffic, and it was considered a domineering 
and disgraceful attempt to compel the importation of an article 
strictly forbidden by their own laws." 

" The opium (question should be regarded merely as a spark 
blown into a mine, which during the past half century the vin- 
dictivenes and arrogance of the Chinese Government had been 
gradually charging; and it can be no more considered the 

* This account is chiefly abbreviated from Tlie Chinese War, by Lieutenant 
John Ouchterlony, F.G.S., Madras Engineers. Published by Saunders and 
Ottlev in 1844. 


primary cause of the wnr than can the match which ignites the 
train be styled the cause of the breach made by the explosion. 
The quarrel was on our part just and unavoidable, and that the 
demands of our Government were reasonable, and based upon 
the principle of reciprocity in commercial intercourse, must be 
allowed after a dispassionate consideration of all the circum- 
stances of the case." 

Singapore was the rendezvous of the force, forming what was 
called the "Eastern expedition." The ships of war assembled 
at Singapore in May 1840 were— -the Wellesley, 74 ; Comvay, 
28; Alliyator, 28; Cruiser, 18; Lame, 20; Algeritie, 10; 
Rattlesnake, 0, troop-ship ; Atalanta and Madagascar, Indian 
service steamers; and twenty-six transports. These had on 
board H.M.'s 18th, 26th, and 49th; a battalion of Bengal native 
troops, two companies of Koyal Artillery, with 9-pounder field- 
pieces and 12-pounder howitzers, and two companies* of Madras 
Sappers and Miners, with a large Engineer establishment from 
Madras, under the command of Captain Pears (now Major- 
General Sir T. T. Pears, K.C.B.). 

Colonel Burrell of the 18th Regiment commanded the force. 

After being detained three* weeks at Singapore, the expedition 
arrived off the Ladrones, near Macao, on the 21st June. The 
Commander, Sir Gordon Bremer, ran into Macao Roads with the 
Wellesley, to communicate with Captain Elliot, R.N,, who was 
the Chief Superintendent of British trade in China. 

The river and port of Canton were blockaded on the 28th 

On the 24th the fleet outside the Ladrones was ordered to 
sail for the most southern island of the Chusan Archipelago, 
The whole fleet anchored to leeward of Buffalo island. 

* A. and B. companies were at Kurnool. Being ordered to Madras for 
service, they left that jjUice and jDroceeded by forced marches to Madras. They 
marched I'lA Cuddapah and Circumbaddy, and reached this last place in sixteen 


The Commodore reconnoitered the Chusan northern harbour, 
and found the Chinese quite unprepared for a hostile visit. The 
Wellesley and several of the other ships entered the harbour 
of Ting-hae. 

A deputation from the capital, consisting of the two principal 
Chinese functionaries with retinue, came on board the Wellesley, 
and finally left with the understanding that, if before 2 p.m. 
next day no pacific overtures were made, the town would be 

On the morning of the 5th July all the transport succeeded in 
entering the harbour, and the troops were prepared for land- 
ing. At 2 P.M., no overtures for a peaceable occupation of the 
town having been received, a shotted gun was fired from the 
Wellesley at a round tower. It was immediately returned from 
the junk of the Chinese admiral, and the fire shortly became 
general. In a short time the fire of the enemy had generally 

The troops were now directed to land, and the grenadiers of 
the 18th and a detachment of Royal Marines were formed on 
the landing-place in a few minutes, and commenced the ascent of 
Joss-house Hill. These were the* first European troops who 
had ever landed on the shores of China as conquering invaders. 
A joss-house was taken possession of, and some guns of the 
Madras Artillery, with a detachment of Madras Sappers and the 
regiment of Cameronians, defiled through the narrow streets, 
and pushed forward till within 400 or 500 yards of the ram- 
parts, and placing four field-pieces and howitzers in position, 
threw shot and shells into the enemy's works, while the Sappers 
loop-holed and strengthened some farmhouses for occupation as 
an advanced post. 

Colonel Burrell did not think it prudent to precipitate his 
attack, and the troops were ordered to prepare for action early 
in the morning. 

During the night the approaches to the city gates were 


reconnoitered on two points by Captain Pears and a party of 
Engineers. The reooDnoitering party were fired on. 

When the morning dawned, Colonel Burrell advanced to 
reconnoitre the main gate. It was then discovered that the 
enemy had abandoned the place daring the night. Two or three 
officers got over the wall, and, removing the bags of grain with 
which the gates were blocked up, opened an entrance for the 
leading column. 

It was the 5th July that Ting-hae was occupied by our troops. 
Colonel Burrell was appointed Military Commandant and Civil 

A squadron, consisting of the Welleslei/, 74, the Blonde, 12, 
the Modeste, 20, the Pylades, 20, the Madafjascar steamer, and 
two or three transports, was now prepared to proceed to the 
Pei-ho ; but before starting, the Admiral sent a messenger in a 
steamer to Chin-hae, at the mouth of the Ning-po, with a letter 
from Lord Palmerston to the Emperor's chief advisers. The 
letter was received by a mandarin, detained long enough to 
admit of its contents bting transcribed, and then returned with 
an intimation that its style and subject were such as they could 
not venture to expose to the glance of the Imperial eye. 

A similar letter was sent to Amoy in the Blonde. The man- 
darins not only refused to receive the letter, but fired on an 
unarmed boat ; and the frigate thereupon opened her broadside 
on the fort and town walls, and continued to do so till all 
resistance had ceased. 

On the 30th July the Admiral and Captain Elliot set sail for 
the Bay of Petcheelee, having previously proclaimed the blockade 
of the Ning-po river, and of the line of coast north as far as the 

While our troops occupied Chusan they suffered very heavily 
from fever and dysentery. From the 13th July to the 31st 
December 1840 the total deaths in the European regiments 
alone was 448. 


Madras Artillery 16 

H.M.'s ISth Eegiment ... 52 

H.M.'s 26th Kegiment ... 238 

H.M.'s 49th Kegiment ... 142 

Total ... 448 

The expedition to Petcheelee proceeded north, and, passing 
Shang-ting on the 5th August, anchored off the mouth of the 
Pei-ho on the 9th. 

On the 10th Captain Elliot approached the shore, got safely 
over the bar, and anchored off one of the low forts which 
guarded the approach to Ta-koo. Immediately the steamer 
anchored she was boarded by a messenger, who informed Mr. 
Morrison (Captain Elliotts presence not being made known) that 
Keeshen, a member of the Imperial Cabinet, had arrived near 
Ta-koo to receive letters, &c. 

On the ] 3th a mandarin came out with supplies. 
On the 15th an aide-de-camp of the Governor, a mandarin 
named Showpei Pih came off. (He got the nickname of 
" Captain White," Pih signifying white.) He was charged to 
receive the letter from Lord Palmerston, and was instructed 
to state that it would be sent to Pekin, and a suitable answer 
returned in ten days. 

This was at once acceded to, and during that time the vessels 
of the squadron cruised about in various directions, picking up 
information both geographical and with reference to supplies. 

On the 27th the fleet again assembled, but there was no sign 
of an Imperial messenger, so it was determined to make a hostile 
demonstration; and on the 28th morning the light squadron 
was to run in as close as possible to the Ta-koo forts. 

A mandarin hastened out to meet them, and said that an 
answer had been received from Pekin earlier than usual, and a 
communication from Keeshen had been sent out to the anchorage 
of the flag-ship on the 24th and 25th, but finding the British 


vessels still absent, the despatch of Keeshen had been taken to 
Ta-koo. It was now produced, and contained a proposal from 
the Minister to Captain Elliot for a conference on shore. 

Captain Elliot at once consented, and it took place on the 
30th. The result of the interview was a further reference to 
Pekin, and additional delay. 

On the 8th September the final reply of the Imperial Cabinet 
was received, which was ,to the effect that tlie matter could be 
better discussed at Canton, where the difficulties had arisen, and 
that the Emperor had deputed Keeshen to proceed thither, and 
requested the British plenipotentiaries to meet him there. This 
was agreed to, and the fleet left tlie anchorage on the loth 

On the day after the arrival of the squadron at Chusau, the 
Admiral issued an othcial notification of the truce which had 
been agreed upon. 

Inquiry was now made into the cause of the great sickness, 
and active measures were taken to fortify and protect the British 
position in the island. The Chief Engineer, Captain Pears, 
proceeded to scarp the slopes of Joss-house Hill, and to excavate 
the foundations of a retaining wall to form enceinte of a small 
fort to crown its summit. The batteries were marked out and 
commenced, but it was soon found that, to give the work its 
proper strength, it would be necessary to remove a mass of 
earth which had at first been considered a part of the hill, but 
which proved to be a vast accumulation of coffins built upon 
tiers, with earth and stones, so as to form a mound. This had 
to be cut away at once, and in the course of a few days hundreds 
of coffins were to be seen tumbling over the cliffs, or rolled 
down into the fields at the foot of the hill. The sappers engaged 
in building the fort were directed to collect the remains and 
burn them to ashes with the fuel furnished by the coffins. 

During August and September the Chinese spies, and others 
in the pay of mandarins, commenced the practice of kidnapping, 


which was at a subsequent period carried to a serious extent. 
Amongst others they seized OajDtaiu Anstruther, of the Madras 

About this time, also, a transport brig, the Kite, was wrecked 
on a sand-bank between Chapoo and the mouth of the Yang- 
tse-kiang, and all on board were seized by the Chinese. 

Mrs. Noble, the wife of the commander of the brig, was on 
boai'd, and was subjected to much cruel treatment and indignity. 
She was confined in a cage three feet and a half in length for 
thirty-six consecutive hours, and exposed in the market-places 
of several towns to the gaze of the populace, and to the jeers 
and hooting of a canaille who consider any woman who quits 
her home to appear abroad, save in the seclusion of a sedan- 
chair, to have lost all claims to the consideration due to her 

During all this time surveys were made of the passages up 
the Yang-tse-kiang. The chart constructed showed that up to 
thirty miles west of Tsung-ming Island, there was a passage 
free from danger of any magnitude, and navigable for vessels of 
considerable tonnage. 

An elaborate survey was at the same time proceeding at 
Chusan of the archipelago and adjacent main line of coast. 

The plenipotentiaries quitted Chusan on the 15th November, 
and arrived at Macao on the 20th. 

I'he Admiral sent the Queen, on the 21st, to the Bogue to 
announce the arrival of the plenipotentiaries, and to deliver a 
despatch for the High Commissioner. The Queen carried a 
white flag at her mainmast head, and on approaching Chuenpee 
she sent a boat with a white flag towards the Chinese position, 
A gun was discharged at the boat from the batteries, the shot 
from which struck the water so near her bows as to throw a 
sheet of spray over her crew. The boat was at once recalled, 
and the Queen stood in towards the fort. The steamer threw 
several shells and shot into the Chinese lines, and then returned 

1840-41.] MADBAS ENGINEEKS. 139 

to Macao. Shortly after, an apology was sent by the Chinese 
authorities for the untoward mistake made by the Commandant 
of Chuenpee. 

On the 26th November, Keeshen made his public entry into 

On the 29th it was announced that Rear-Admiral the Hon. 
George Elliot had resigned the command of the fleet into tlie 
hands of Commodore Sir Gordon Bremer. 

Until the latter end of December negotiations proceeded 
between Captain Elliot and Keeshen in a satisfactory manner ; 
but, unfortunately, political intrigue was at that time too powerful 
in Pekin The state of the public mind in Canton, the tone adopted 
in edicts which began to make their appearance, the activity 
displayed by the Chinese military authorities at the Bogue, and 
Chuenpee, and the delay and procrastination which marked 
the conduct of Keeshen, all tended to create a belief that 
hostilities were about to recommence. 

Captain Elliot, in the Welledey, remained at Lintin, near 
the forts of Chuenpee and the Bogue, supported by a formidable 
fleet. Day after clay wore on, bringing no indication of peace. 
The patience of Captain Elliot began at last to give way, and he 
determined on active hostilities. 

On the 7th January 1841 the troops destined for the land 
attack on the fort of Chuenpee were landed about two miles 
south of the ponit of attack, while the steamers stood in, 
anchored abreast of the Chinese batteries, and commenced the 
action. The Chinese opened a smart fire as the heads of the 
columns came within range, but upon the ships of war ceasing 
their firing as the troops neared its line, the fort was carried 
at a rush. 

Many of the enemy were killed, while the British had only 
thirty eight men wounded. 

While this was going on, a squadron under Captain Scott, 
E.N., proceeded towards the fort of Tycocktow on the opposite 


side of the river, bombarded it for an hour, landed some 
marines, &c., and drove the enemy from the works. 

At the same time, the Nemesis, a small iron vessel of light 
draught, ran in among the junks in Anson's Bay, and burnt no 
less than eleven of them. In the meantime the 74-gun ships 
went higher up the river to prepare for the attack on the defences 
of the Bogue. 

The 7th and 8th January were employed in dismantling the 
captured works and disabling the guns, ninety-seven in number. 
The troops were then all re-embarked, and the signal made for 
the leading ships to weigh. As the fleet was gradually closing 
on the great Anunghoy battery, a mean-looking boat appeared, 
rowed by an old woman, and carrying a white flag. The envoy 
on board (a quack-doctor of low degree) bore a request from 
the Chinese Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Kwan, on the part 
of Keeshen, to suspend hostilities, pending a further discussion 
of terms for a treaty. The signal to annul action was at once 
hoisted on bcjard the Wellesley, much to the disappointment of 
the fleet. 

On the 20th Captain Elliot announced that he had concluded 
preliminary arrangements with the Imperial Commissioners, 
involving the following conditions : — 

1st. The cession of Hong Kong in perpetuity. 

2ud. Indemnity of six millions of dollars. 

3rd. Direct oflicial intercourse between the two countries on 
an equal footing. 

4th. Trade of Canton to be opened. 

Hong Kong was taken possession of on the 2Gth January 
1841, and the British flag, for the first time, hoisttd on it. 

On the 23rd the Columbine, one of the fastest sailers in the 
fleet, lei't with instructions to the authorities m Chusan to 
evacuate the island without delay, and proceed at once to Hong 

On the 27th January the plenipotentiary proceeded up the 


river in the Ne?nesis to near Whampoa, to hold a conference 
with Keeshen. 

On the 13th February Captain Elliot had another interview 
with Keeshen, but no direct result affecting the opening of the 
trade accrued therefrom, and it became manifest that another 
appeal to arms was inevitable. The Nemesis was despatched to 
demand a written ratification of the Chuenpee Treaty. The 
Nemesis returned with an unfavourable report. Captain Elliot 
once more reluctantly ordered the resumption of hostilities. 

On the 20th February Sir Gordon Bremer proceeded with the 
fleet to the vicinity of Anunghoy, and on the 25th the fleet 
intended for the reduction of the Bogue forts was assembled 
near the island of South Wangtung, and a close reconnoissance 
made of the defences of the enemy. The ordinary passage into 
the Canton river was between the islands of North and South 
Wangtung and the Peak of Anunghoy ; but there was also a safe 
channel to the west of the Wangtung Islands, and two batteries 
had been built to render the latter difficult, one on the west end 
of North Wangtung, of forty-five guns, and the other on the 
opposite, or right bank of the river, of fifty guns. From 
Anunghoy a strong chain had been carried right across the 
eastern passage to a rocky point near a formidable battery on 
North Wangtung. South of the North Wangtung island, about 
point-blank distance, is situated another island, aff'ording an 
admirable position for the establishment of a battery to enfilade 
those on the east and west points of North Wangtung. 

Accordingly, on the evening of the 2oth, Captain Birdwood,* 
with the Engineer officers, marked out and erected a sand-bag 
battery on a saddle in the middle of South Wangtung, and 
before daylight on the 26th three howitzers were in position. 
The working-party suflered no loss, although the enemy's 
batteries fired heavily during the night. The howitzers opened 

* Captain W. ,T. Birdwood was in command of the A Company ; he served 
throughout the whole campaign, and returned with the Sappers in January 


at daybreak, and threw shells into the two low batteries on 
North Wangtung with great effect. Owing to a calm, it was 
not till 1 1 A.M. that the leading ships were able to move into 
the positions assigned to them. 

The naval arrangements were now carried out in an admir- 
able manner. The Wellesley, 74, the Druid, 44, and the Modeste, 
18, entered the western channel, and anchored abreast of the 
battery at the south end of North Wangtung, which they 
engaged with their starboard batteries ; while shells and shot 
wei'e thrown from their larboard 08-pounders at the battery on 
the opposite bank. Meanwhile, the advance squadron. Calliope, 
Herald, Samarang, Alligator, &c., passed on to the north of 
the Chinese defences. The firing now became general on both 
sides. After the cannonade had lasted about an hour, Sir Le F. 
Senhouse landed under Anunghoy with 300 seamen and marines, 
and carried the works with but little resistance. North Wang- 
tung was carried in the same manner by the detachment of all 
arms under Major Pratt. 

The whole line of the defences of the Bogue having now 
been carried, except the fort on the west side of the river, the 
Nemesis was sent, with some boats of the Wellesley in tow, to 
expel the Chinese troops. Directly the marines landed, the fort 
and encampment were abandoned by the Chinese. The British 
loss was small, while of the Chinese fully 500 fell, including 
their brave chief. Admiral Kwan, whose body was found near 
the gate of Anunghoy. 

The day after the action a party of Chinese came with a coffin 
to remove it, and as the procession moved away minute-guns 
were fired from the Blenheim, and the Chinese ensign was 
hoisted half staff high. 

Large parties of seamen were employed, under Lieutenant 
Johnston, of the Madras Engineers,* in destroying the long 

* Lieutenant Rundall was also appointed to this work, but was subsequently- 
ordered to join a portion of the force higher up the river. 


line of batteries at Anunghoy, and in a very short time the im- 
posing granite fortifications wliich had so long been the pride 
and boast of the Southern provinces were crumbled into ruins. 
The three formidable batteries were blown up. Their revetments, 
with their parapets, were formed with large blocks of granite, 
varying from forty to eighty feet ; the intervening spaces were 
filled up with stones, brick, and clay, while the upper surface of 
the ramparts was covered with large slabs of granite. 

The north Anunghoy fort was 4G2 feet long, with a rampart 
twenty-four feet thick, mounting forty guns. The south Anun 
ghoy long fort was 771 feet in length, and its rampart nearly 
thirty feet thick ; it mounted sixty-four guns. The total 
length of the rampart of the south Anunghoy circular fort was 
742 feet, its width nearly thirty feet, and it mounted forty 

The majority of the guns were spiked, had their trunnions 
knocked off, and balls wrapped in wet canvas rammed tightly 
into them. Six of the largest were burst by loading them with 
a charge of thirty-two pounds of powder, and then tamping them 
well up to the muzzle with small bags of sand. A smaller 
charge than thirty-two pounds was found to be useless, as it 
merely blew out the sand tamping. A hundred and seventy-two 
guns were found in the forts. The forts were destroyed by 
Chinese powder, which was found in considerable quantities 
in the magazines of each fort. Between 9,000 and 10,000 
pounds of powder were required for the destruction of the 

A garrison was placed in North Wangtung. While the 
74-gun ships and transports remained at the Bogue for the 
demolition of the forts, the advanced squadron, under Captain 
Herbert, proceeded up the river to attack a strong position at 
Second Bar, where a strong raft had been constructed from bank 
to bank, flanked on one side by the guns of a large entrench- 
ment, and on the other by the battery of the Camhridye, the 



ship purchased by the Chinese for warlike purposes before the 
arrival of the expedition. 

The attack took place on the 27th, and was successful ; the 
enemv were driven from their entrenchments, the raft was cut 
through and destroyed, and the Cambridge was boarded, taken, 
and set on fire, when she blew up with a very loud report, 
"which must have been heard at Canton," to use the words of 
the despatch. 

Captain Herbert's squadron anchored at Wharnpoa Reach, 
and on the 2nd March the Sulphur, with boats, had an engage- 
ment with a masked battery on the north-east end of Whampoa 
Island, which was carried. 

Howqua's fort, or folly, was next occupied, and four vessels 
came to anchor in tlie stream between the fort and Napier's 

On the 3rd IMarch there was another suspension of hostili- 
ties. About this time Major-General Sir'Hugh Gough, K.C.B., 
arrived from Madras to assume command of the land forces. 

On the 7th March Captain Elliot announced that he had 
again been deceived, and that, the armistice having expired, 
Napier's Fort and some works in advance had been occupied. 
All the enemy's works on the banks of the river, as far as the 
factories of Canton, were seized, as well as those of the great 
branch called the Macao Passage. 

On tlie 20th His Excellency announced that another suspen- 
sion of hostilities had been agreed upon between the Imperial 
Commissioner Yang and himself. About this time Yihshan was 
appointed Generalissimo and " rebel-qiieller," and Yang lo be 
Assistant ^Minister in the room of Keeshen, who was degraded 
and recalled to Pekin. Before this suspension of hostilities, the 
Nemesis conducted a series of successful operations in the pas- 
sage of the Broadway. This Broadway forms a back, or western 
communication between Macao and ^Yhampoa. Through this, 
the Nemesis, with a small flotilla of boats, made its way on the 


I2th and 13th, iu spite of the shallowness of the channel. At 
every favourable point well-constructed batteries were found to 
dispute her passage, and in the many other gallant dashes made 
to carry them, no fewer than 105 pieces of cannon were taken 
between Macao and the posts of defence nearest to Whampoa^ and 
nine junks were seized and burnt. The Broadway had never 
before this been entered by a British vessel. It had, indeed, been 
considered inaccessible, except by vessels of the lightest draught. 

During the early part of this mouth the fleet and late garrison 
of Chusan arrived in two divisions, bringing the prisoners from 
Ningpo. These prisoners were only just released in good time, 
as a few days after their release, an edict arrived from Pekin 
directing Eleepso on no account to surrender them, but to take 
summary vengeance on several of them, especially marking 
Captain Anstruther (Madras Artillery) as an object of peculiar 
detestation to his Imperial Majesty. 

After the arrangement of tlie armistice at Canton, the fleet, 
with the exception of a few light craft left to watch the factories, 
dropped down the river and returned to Hong-Kong, where Sir 
Hugh Gough lost no time iu re-organising the small force. 
Early in April an edict was received from Pekin conveying the 
sentiments of the Emperor upon the capture and destruction of 
the Bogue forts, breathing the direst vengeance against the 
English, and declaring that both Powers could not stand under 
the same heaven, and that one of the two must forthwith perish. 
Keeshen, as we have seen, was degraded. He was commanded 
to repair, without delay, to Pekin, there to be handed over to 
tlie Board of Punishments to be tried for the traitorous offences 
he had committed against his enlightened employer ! 

At this time, a ruthless outrage was perpetrated on Captain 
Stead of the Pcstoiijee transport, wliich had come direct from 
London to China. Thinking that it was still in possession of 
the British, he landed on Kittow Point for supplies; he was 
murdered by villagers, instigated by soldiers. This cowardly 

u, 10 


murder caused a deep feeling of indignation and excitement 
among the British, and Captain Elliot despatched the Columbine 
to the Government of the Kiang province demanding instant 
redress. All intercourse with the hrig was refused at Chusan, 
and she returned to Hong-Kong, 

On 1 1th April Captain Elliot paid a visit to Canton, and had 
an interview with the Kwang-chnw-foo, and was satisfied that 
it had now become his duty to put forth the whole of his strength, 
in order to bring the quarrel to an early conclusion. The 
whole of the force accordingly passed the Bogue on the 20th. 

On the 21st Sir Le F. Senhouse took the Blenheim up the 
Macao passage, and on the 22nd the whole fleet had assembled 
there, and tlie next morning the two chiefs of the combined 
forces proceeded to Canton to reconnoitre. On the night of the 
21st a number of fire-rafts were sent adrift upon the cutter 
Louisa, and schooner Aurora. The Modeste, Pylades, and 
Ahjerine engaged the batteries with as good effect as the uncer- 
tain light would permit, while the boats towed the fire- rafts clear 
of danger to the ships. Meantime the Nemesis was carrying on 
a contest with the Shaming battery, and after a time succeeded 
in almost silencing it, in spite of the darkness. In the morning 
the funnel and paddle-boxes of the Nemesis were found to be 
riddled with balls, but the casualties among the crew were 
trifling. The Shaming battery being deserted, the Nemesis 
pushed up the river and destroyed a flotilla of thirty-nine war- 
junks and boats. The Chinese mob, meantime, finding the 
factories deserted, began a work of destruction and plunder. 
After the mob had been in possession fur two hours, tliey were 
dislodged by a detachment of Chinese troops, who completed the 
work of plunder. The mask being now fairly tlivown ofl', the 
general and the commodore lost no time in bringing the whole 
of their forces to bear upon the point Uiost favourable for a 
decisive blow at the city. 

On the 24th May the troops, having been put into boats, 


Started for the creek towed by the Nemesis. The force was 
divided into two columns ; the riglit, under Major Pratt of the 
26th Regiment, was to land and occupy the factories ; the left, 
landed at Tsinghae, under Major-General Burrell, and marched 
on the morning of the '-^oth in the direction of the heights 
selected as the first point of attack. There were four forts on 
these heights which formed, collectively, a formidable position. 
Some guns, &c. having, through most extraordinary exertions on 
the part of the artillery, been brought up and placed in position 
300 or 400 yards from the forts, a heavy fire was opened upon 
them at 8 a.m., which was returned with spirit for an hour, when 
the columns of attack having been formed, the advance was 
sounded, and the whole of the forts were carried at the point of 
tlie bavonet. As soon as the forts had fallen, the Ciiinese 
garrison opened upon them along the whole uorlhern face of the 
city, and the fire was so well directed and steadily sustained 
that the British forces suffered greater losses than they had in 
the operations by which the forts had been carried. The fire on 
both sides slackened towards evening, leaving the British in 
possession of the whole chain of heights which commanded the 
city on the norih-east face, and masters of a formidable 
entrenched camp a short distance to the eastward, which liad 
been carried in the morning by the I8lh and 49th Regiments, 
though not without considerable loss of men and officers, 
including a brave and zealous officer of tlie Madras Engineers 
(Lieutenant J. W. Rundall) who received a dangerous grape- 
shot wound in the right knee. 'J'he want of ammunition 
prevented Sir Hugh Gough from undertaking any serious 
operation against the place next day, which was employed in 
bringing up cariritlges and shot, as well as additional guns, and 
tlie artillery exerted themselves so greatly, that before night 
fifteen pieces were in position before the walls, with a plentil'ul 
supply of ammunition. The mode of attack was obvious, as 
opposite the fort on the left of our position was a hill (within 

10 * 


the city walls) of a commanding position, which, once possessed 
by the British, would place the city at their mercy. Arrange- 
ments were made to escalade near a high building close to the 
walls, while a second party was ordered to blow in the north 
gate, and the parties were to unite in a general advance upon 
the hill. When the attack was on the point of being made, a 
messenger arrived from the Plenipotentiary, acquainting the 
commanders that hostilities were again suspended, the Com- 
missioner and Governor of Canton having proposed terms which 
had been accepted. 

The terms were : — 

1st. The Imperial Commissioners and troops to quit the 
city within six days, and proceed to a distance of 
sixty miles. 
2nd. Six millions of dollars to be paid ; one million to be 
paid before sunset of the 27th. 

Mrd. The British troops to remain in position. If the sum 
agreed upon be not paid within seven days, to be 
increased to seven millions. If not within fourteen 
days, to eight millions, and if not within twenty 
days, to nine millions. When the whole was paid, 
the British forces were to return, without the Bocca 

4th. Losses sustained by destruction of factories, and of 
the Spanish brig Bilbaino, to be paid within a week. 

5th. The Kwang-chow-foo to produce full power t/. oou- 
clude these arrangements. 

The troops remained in position whilst the ransom-money 
was being delivered ; after four days. Captain Elliot having 
notified that five millions had been paid, and the remainder 
accounted for, the force was re-embarked and dropped down to 
the Bogue, where the garrison of North Wangtung was received 
on board and conveyed to the rendezvous at Hong-Kong. 
Pefore, however, the Britisli troops had evacuated the position 


on the heights, they were attacked by the inhabitants of the 
surrounding villages. These were soon dispersed, and the 
British troops having destroyed a village in which the enemy 
had taken post, were about to retire, when a body of 5,000 or 
6,000 strong was seen descending the opposite heights and 
advancing in a determined manner. 

The weather was fearfully oppressive, but it soon changed, 
and was followed by a heavy thunderstorm. Some rockets were 
thrown among the advancing masses, but as they were not 
checked by this, a general charge of the whole British line was 
ordered, and the enemy were soon put to flight. Torrents of 
rain now came down, and a retreat was ordered towards the 
heights occupied by the main body of the army. The muskets of 
the troops were furnished with flint locks, and by this time were 
utterly useless, ' and as the various detachments withdrew the 
Chinese harassed them in a most spirited manner, closing and 
engaging with the troops hand to hand. 

The rain still continued, and, owing to the dense mist, a com- 
pany of the 37th Madras Native Infantry, fifty or sixty strong, 
became separated from the main body, and found themselves in 
front of a formidable body of Chinese. The company was com- 
manded by Lieutenant fiadfield, supported by two subalterns, 
Devereux and Berkeley. The sepoys never wavered for a 
moment, and succeeded in making their way towards the heights 
as far as the village. Darkness having now set in, and Ensign 
Berkeley and many men having been cut down, Lieutenant 
Hadfield ordered his men to form square. Thus the Chinese 
were kept at bay for an hour. The enemy then brought forward 
a gun. A change of position now became unavoidable, and 
Lieutenant Hadfield was about to direct the movement, when 
well known shouts were heard in the distance, and in a few 
minutes two companies of Royal Marines were distinguished 

The Marines formed and soon swept away the Chinese, and 


the value of the then new percussion musket, with which the 
Marines were armed, was at once seen. 

Sir Hugh Gough sent a messenger into the city to say that 
if any more hostile movements were made on his position he 
would attack the town itself. The Kwang-chow-foo of Canton 
arrived on the field, and assured the Couimauder-in-Chief that 
the assemblage had not been sanctioned by the authorities, and 
he finally succeeded in dispersing the force. 

The total loss of the British was about 130, while that of the 
Chinese was very great. 

The conduct of the A and B Companies of the Madras 
Sappers employed at Canton, received the warm approval of the 
Commander-in-Chief, Sir Hugh Gough, in a letter dated the 0th 

Lieutenant F. Cotton was promised a brevet-majority for his 
services on this occasion, and Lieutenant Hadfield obtained 
a similar promise. 

At this time Sir Le F. Senhouse died of fever. His remains 
were taken to Macao, and interred there. 

Captain Elliot was now recalled by the British Ministry, and 
Sir Henry Pottinger was appointed in his place. 

On the 3rd August, Sir H. Pottinger and Sir William Parker 
(the Naval Commander in-Chief) arrived at Macao. 

By the 20th, the whole fleet, including twenty-one transports, 
was ready to put to sea. 

The military force consisted of the 18th Royal Irish, four 
companies of the 26th Cameroniaus, the 49th and o5th Pvegi- 
ments, detachments of Eoyal and Madras Artillery, two compa- 
nies of the Madras Sappers and Miners,"^ and a rifle company 
of the 37th Madras Native Infantry ; altogether about 2,700 

* On the 18th April 1841 the native sappers were allowed working pay — 
Subadars, five annas ; jemadars, four annas ; havildars, two annas ; naiks, one 
anna and a half ; private, first class, one anna ; private, second class, ten pies. 
An addition to the Corps was also made of one drill havildar, one drill naik, one 
bugle major, together with a reduction of fifteen men per company. 


fighting men, with light field artillery and a rocket hrigade. 
Amoy was their destination.* 

A small garrison was left at Hong-Kong, under the com- 
mand of General Burrell, consisting of the head-quarters and 
five companies of the 26th Regiment, a small number of the iHth, 
two companies of Bengal Volunteers, and the remains of the 
37th Madras Native Infantry, with small detachments of Madras 
Artillery and Sappers and Miners. 

A fort was constructed on Kellett's island, and two batteries 
for heavy pieces were erected at either end of its southern 

The fleet anchored outside Amoy on the 24th August. 

It was found that the batteries along the shore contiguous to 
the island, had been strengthened; and on Ko-long-soo, an island 
near the east opening of the bay, some strong works had been 
thrown up. A number of war -junks and gun-boats had been 
moored, so as to cover the entrance to the harbour, and the 
whole line of defence bristled with cannon. 

The two seventy-fours were laid alongside the great shore 
batteries, and the Druid, Blonde, and light-draught vessels 
engaged the batteries of Ko-long-soo, while the steamers were 
employed in landing the troops and destroying the war-junks. 

The Sappers assisted in disembarking the guns. 

The fire of the seventy-fours had very little efi'ect on the 

After the bombardment the troops were landed at various 
points, and the enemy driven out of their works. Our troops 
bivouacked on some heights near the city of Amoy. 

The next morning the city was entered without opposition, 
the enemy having abandoned it. 

* On the 10th July 18-il, Captain Pears was in orders to take charge of a 
detachment of artillery proceeding to China in H.M.'s troopship Jupiter. After 
the first capture of Chusan, Captain Pears retui'ned to Madras, Brevet-Captain 
Cotton being left in command ; Captain Pears was not, in consequence, present 
at the capture of Canton and Amoy, 


Amoy being too extensive to be occupied, a garrison was 
left in Ko-long-soo, consisting of four companies of the Camero- 
nians, and the left wing of the 18th Regiment, with a small 
detachment of artillery, and a few sappers. 

The Druid, Pylades, and Algerine were left to blockade the 

The fleet sailed for the Chusan Archipelago ; but owing to 
baffling winds and fogs, many of the vessels separated, and 
did not re-unite near Chusan till the close of the month 

The fort on Joss-house Hill, which flanked the opening of 
the valley of Ting-hae, had been strengthened. On the sea- 
front a battery of eighteen guns had been completed, and from 
the inner epaulement of this battery along the wharf of the 
suburbs, and across the entire mouth of the valley, an immense 
line of earthen battery had been thrown up, mounting 150 to 
200 guns, which commanded every spot in the inner harbour on 
which a vessel could float, and bring her fire to bear against 
the defences ; while on the right was encamped a strong body 
of troops partially covered by entrenchments. The Chinese had, 
however, overlooked the necessity of protecting the flanks from 
being turned. 

The hills on the right of the valley formed the key of the 
position. This point was accordingly selected for the attack, 
while the attention of the enemy in Joss-house Hill fort, and 
near the suburb, was to be distracted by the fire of a howitzer- 
battery, which Captain Birdwood constructed on a small island 
called Trumball, on the eastern side of the inner harbour. 

On the 1st October, the 55th, 49th, 2Gth, and 18th Regiments, 
with the Rifles, Artillery, and Sappers, were lauded under the 
brow of the hill, which the enemy had occupied in force to his 
right. Several men-of-war anchored so as to bring their guns 
to bear upon the right flank of the long battery, and shortly 
after dawn the firing became general. 


The 55th, as soon as they had formed, advanced in column to 
gain the heights in their front. This duty was gaUantly per- 
formed, and the enemy were soon in full Hight across the low 
ground which separated the position from the artillery, leaving 
a large number of dead and wounded, and the whole of their 
guns, stores, &c. 

Our force was now divided into two columns; one, under 
Colonel Tomlinson of the 18th Regiment, was directed to advance 
through the long battery, and drive the enemy before them till 
they reached the foot of Joss-house Hill, and then to carry by 
escalade the fort on its summit; while the other, with the 
General, moved forward towards the city walls in pursuit of the 
enemy. The latter column performed their duty without any 
check, the ladders having been planted against the southern 
face of the ramparts without any loss, and their summit gained 
by Captain Pears with an advanced party in a dashing manner. 

On the right there was more opposition, and the 18th Eegi- 
ment and Royal Marines suffered in sharp encounters with bodies 
of troops, who rallied from time to time in the long battery 
before the Joss-house Hill fort was gained. 

The total loss of the Chinese was very considerable, but ours 
was trifling. 

Sir Hugh Gough was struck by a spent ball. 

Preparations were now made for a movement against Chin-hae, 
at the mouth of the Ningpo river, distant about fifty miles 
from Chusan. 

A small garrison was left to occupy Ting-hae and the Joss- 
house forts, and the remainder of the force moved from Chusan 
to the anchorage of " Just-in-the-way," so called from a rock 
which rises above the water in mid-channel of the entrance to 
the Ningpo river. 

On the 9th October a close reconnoissance was made of the 
enemy s position. The heights on either side of the river were 
crowded with troops, and bristling with batteries and entrench- 


ments, while the entrance to the river was impeded by a double 
row of piles, and by a line of junks and gun-boats moored 
behind this barrier. The citadel, on the top of a sharp and 
craggy hill to the right of the I'iver's mouth, had been 
strengthened, and at every suitable point earthen batteries had 
been thrown up. 

Early on the morning of the 10th October a strong column 
of infantry and artillery was landed on a sandy beach, far to the 
east of the Chinese position, and made a circuit round the base 
of the hills on which the main body of the enemy were 
posted, so as to get in their rear, while another column 
was landed near the mouth of the river to divert their attention, 
and the men-of-war were anchored as close in as possible to 
demolish the defences of the citadel. A small detachment of 
Sappers and Miners, under Captain Cotton, of the Madras Engi- 
neers, having been attached to Sir William Parker's column, 
the naval portion of the force was assigned the duty of carrying 
all the enemy's works on the west bank of the river ; and accord- 
ingly, after a brisk and effective cannonade of the citadel, the 
boats of the squadron pushed in shore, the men scaled the rocky 
heights, entered by a gate partially ruined by the fire of the 
Wellesley, and speedily made themselves masters of the position, 
while the Chinese fled. The scaling-ladders were then planted 
against the ramparts of the city, and the naval column was soon 
in possession of the place. 

Sir Hugh Gough thus mentioned the Sappers in his despatch : 
" The scaling-ladders had been brought up on most difficult and 
rugged heights, by the great exertions of the Madras Sappers, 
and were now gallantly planted under the direction of Captain 
Pears, who was the first to ascend.'' 

Meanwhile, a dreadful scene of slaughter was enacting on the 
right bank of the river. The Chinese troops had been retiring 
before the advance of the centre column, under Sir Hugh Gough, 
in hopes of retreating by a bridge of boats. They came sud- 

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denly upon the bead of tlie left column, wliich, having overcome 
all opposition in its course, had completed the circuit of the 
hills, and was dehoncliing on the banks of the river so as to 
intercept the retreat towards the bridge. Hemmed in on all 
sides, and overwhelmed by the fire of a complete semi circle of 
musketry, the Chines;^ rushed by hundreds into the water. The 
loss of the Chinese was teirible, and " cease firing " had to be 
long and often sounded before the fury of our men could be 

The 55th Regiment and ^ladras Rifles, having observed a 
large body of the enemy escaping from the citadel and the bat- 
teries which the Naval Brigade had stormed, crossed the bridge 
of boats, cut the retreating column in two, and shot down a great 
number, while many were driven into the water and drowned. 
The loss of the Chinese was immense, and a vast number of 
prisoners were taken, besides many cannon, and a large quantity 
of camp-equipage, ammunition, arms, stores, &c. Many of the 
prisoners were deprived of their tails by the soldiers and sailors. 
Sir Hugh Gough, hearing of this, sent an officer to put a stop to 
it. The officer arrived when the last was about to be operated 
on by a tar. The officer hailed him to cease his proceedings, 
when he hastily drew his knife across the victimised tail, saying, 
*' It was a pity that tlie fellow should have the laugh against 
the others." 

The British loss was small. 

The citadel was converted into a strong post, and a garrison, 
consisting of the 55th Regiment, with detachments of Artillery 
and Sappers, was left to occupy it, under Colonel Schoedde. 

On the l'3th a light squadron advanced up the river to 
Ning po. The city was found to have been evacuated by the 
enemy, so the troops were landed on a floating bridge which 
connected the city witli the suburbs on the right bank; the walls 
were scaled, possession taken of the ramparts, and the city gates 
thrown open. Major Anstruther, who at this time marched in 


at the head of the Madras Artillery, found in the prison the cage 
in which he had been tortured, still standing in the yard, and 
the marks of his pencil still on the wall. 

Shortly after the occupation of the town, steamers were sent 
up the river to reconnoitre. The reports brought down were 
favourable, and it seemed as if the Chinese did not intend any 
aggressive operations against Ning-po. The chiefs of the expe- 
dition intended no further hostilities along the coast, and the 
troops employed themselves in making their quarters comfort- 

All this time the small force at Hong-Kong had not been 
inactive. Towards the end of September it was brought to the 
notice of Captain Nias, of H.M.S. Herald, that preparations 
were being made on the banks of the two principal channels of 
the Canton river (the Macao passage and Junk river) to lorm 
barriers. Captain Nias signified his intention to proceed up 
the river with the squadron to carry out the orders of the Pleni- 
potentiary — that was, to destroy defences, &c., and, if necessary, 
to occupy Wangtung. 

General Burrell, thinking 200 men would be required, declined 
to detach a garrison for its occupation. An Engineer officer, 
with a party of Sappers and Miners, was attached to the squadron. 
They were conveyed to the Bogue, and in the course of a few 
days utterly destroyed the formidable and well-built works which 
covered it. Captain Nias burnt and sunk a number of store 
junks, fired some houses, shot a few persons implicated in the 
treacherous proceedings of the Mandarins, and tlau withdrew 
his squadron. 

At the close of 1841 peace was still far distant.'' The com- 
mencement of 1842 found the British in quiet possession of 
Ning-po, and the inhabitants friendly. The winter had set in 
with great rigour, the snow lying thick on the ground. At this 

* In January 1842 Lieutenants Shaw and Hitchins went on service to China, 
with F Company of the Madras Sappers. 


period the only natives with the force at he ad -quarters were the 
Madras Sappers and the rifle company of the 36th Regiment. 
It is worthy of record that, although accustomed to such a 
climate as that of Southern and Central India, the men of these 
corps not only bore the severity of the winter of Ning-po without 
any constitutional injury, but appeared to improve in strength 
and condition under its unwonted influence. 

At Chinhae the force consisted of the 55th Regiment, and a 
strong detachment of Artillery and Sappers. At Chusan, detach- 
ments of the 55th and I'Sth Regiments, Artillery, and Sappers. 
At Amoy, two companies of the 18th Regiment, with some 
Sappers. On the island of Hong Kong, at the beginning of this 
year (1842), the force consisted of the 26th Cameronians, the 
37th Regiments Madras Native Infantry, two companies of the 
1st Regiment Bengal Volunteers, and detachments of the 18tli 
and 49th Regiments, Artillery, and Sappers. The 2r)th Came- 
ronians were withdrawn, and sent to Ning-po. The 37th Madras 
Native Infantry — which had suffered so severely through the 
shipwreck of the Golconda, in 1840, with their ill-fated head- 
quarters and flank companies on board, as well as through fever 
and dysentery — on their return to Hong Kong were sent back to 

At Ning-po, kidnapping was carried on by the Chinese. Our 
soldiers were enticed by offers of samshoo or other indulgence 
into houses frequented by the kidnappers, and, being dosed till 
their senses were overpowered, they were bound hand and foot 
and carried away on a pole by two coolies, disguised like a bale 
of goods, or were put into the hold of the small vegetable boats 
which plied on the canal, and carried through the water gates 
adjoining the south-western entrances. 

During January and February 1842 two small expeditions 
were despatched, the one to find out the practicability of tlie 
approacli uf the fleet to Hang-chow-foo ; and the other lo 
examine the navigation of a river which flows into the sea near 


Peikwan, forty or fifty miles from Ning-po. Both were un- 

Towards the end of February the Rev. Mr. Gutzlaff heard 
that an attack on the city might be expected on the 9th, but 
the Wiirning was disregarded, and considered merely as a cry of 

The night of the 8th March, and the whole of the following 
dav, brought no indication of the approach of an enemy. Mid- 
night passed away without the appearance of a foe ; but about 
4 A.M. the sentry on the ramparts over the west gate saw a 
Chinaman advancing along the road leading to the outer entrance 
into the square bastion in which the double gateways are situated. 
He called out to him to go. The man continued to approach, 
and said he would not go. The stntry fired, and the man 

This was the signal for a general onslaught. The troops 
turned out at once. The suburbs appeared alive witli enemies, 
who poured down upon ihe gates in enormous numbers. At the 
west gate (which had a guard-house well calculated for defence) 
all their efi'orts to eff"ect an entrance proved fruitless. The 
guard, commanded by Lieutenant !\.rmstrong, of the iHth Regi- 
ment, poured a steady fire into the dense mass of men below, 
while large heavy bricks and blocks of granite, of which the 
parapets are composed, were thrown over the ramparts on the 
heads of the assailants. 

In spite of all this, they persevered for a long time in their 
desperate attempt. One man (a powerful and courageous one) 
actually gained the summit of the walls by means of a rude sort 
of ladder, at a point clear of the fire of the guard. As he 
issued from an embrasure he was encountered by Michael 
Cushion, who had just been liberated from the solitary cell. 
Cushion wrested the Chinaman's matchlock from him, brought 
the butt down upon his head, and felled him to the ground. 
Cushion then lifted him up, and threw him through the embrasure 

1842.] MADliAS ENGINEEKS. 159 

upon the bodies of his comrades who lay crushed and mangled 

Success, however, attended the efforts of the enemy at the 
south gate, where the guard-house was situated below the ram- 
part ; and the Chinese having penetrated by the water-gate, the 
officer commanding the guard retreated along the rampart 
towards the bridge-gate, which post he reached without loss. 
From the south gate the enemy proceeded towards the market- 
place in the centre of the town, and thought that Ning-po was 
again their own. But their advance was suddenly arrested by a 
Company of the 4Uth Regiment, which had been sent to reinforce 
the guard at the south gate. The officer in command at once 
formed his men across the street, and opened fire at pistol-shot 
distance. It was returned for a short time, but the Chinese 
commenced a retrograde movement, which was soon converted 
into a flight, until they were driven out again through the south 
gate into the suburbs, when the victorious band took possession 
once more of the bastion, and closed the gales. 

When morning had fully dawned. Colonel ]\Iontgomerie, of 
the Madras Artillery, conceiving that the obstinacy of the attack 
on the west gate was favourable for a sortie, brought a couple 
of howitzers along the rampart, and running one of them through 
the gateway (while the other was sent round to the south gate), 
ordered the outer gates to be thrown open, and the sortie to be 

A short time before this the enemy had begun to draw off, 
and a few artillerymen under Lieutenant Molesworth pushed 
forward into the suburb, and opened a smart fire of musketry, 
which was returned by the Chinese. Captain Moore's howitzers 
now came up, and being run to the front, opened upon the living 
wall before them with case-shot at a distance of twenty or thirty 
yards. The effect was terrific, and soon a mound of dead and 
dying barncaded the street. The howitzer oidy discontinued its 
fire from the impossibility of directing its shot on a living foe. 


clear of the writhing and shrieking mass which it had already 
piled up. The infantry now resumed their platoon firing, and 
advanced over a closely-packed heap of dead and dying for fully 
fifteen yards. 

A company of the Iftth, and one of the 49th, now coming up, 
the pursuit was continued along the banks of the west canal 
for six miles. The repulse of this hold attack was now com- 

On our side not a single man was killed, and only a few 
wounded ; while of the enemy upwards of 400 had fallen, con- 
sisting of their bravest and best. 

Much credit was given by the Commander-in-Chief to Colonel 
Montgomerie, for his conduct during the assault. 

Simultaneously with the attack on Ning-po, an attempt was 
made to surprise the gates of Chin-hae. The enemy was 
received with a heavy and destructive fire, so they drew off at 
once, and were soon beyond the reach of pursuit. 

It was now ascertained that a force of 5,000 or fi,000, com- 
manded by a Tartar general, was near Tungwa, intending to 
move on Ning-po, in concert with the renowned chief Yang, 
who had for some time been forming a camp near Tse-kee. 

Sir Hugh Gough quitted Ning-po on the morning of the 13th, 
with a force of 900 men of all arms, and moved rapidly on 
Tung-wa. Information was, however, soon received that the 
enemy, who had two days before advanced within seven miles of 
Ning-po, had on the 1 2th retreated over a high range of hills in 
a south-westerly direction. The troops countermarched to 
Ning-po, and there awaited the steamers which were to take 
them to Tse-kee. 

On the morn of the 15th the troops were embarked, and pro- 
ceeded up the river in a north-easterly direction to a point four 
miles from Tse-kee, where they disembarked, and pushed on to 
a range of hills on which there was a large encampment. After 
an hour's march, the head of the column came within long range 


of the town, and the troops halted in the fields before the city, 
and awaited the order for attack. 

Sir Hugh Gough and Sir William Parker now reconnoitred 
the town and the extensive position taken up by the enemy. 
The troops were directed to enter the city at various points, pass 
through it to the gate opening on the plain enclosed between 
the ramparts and the heights of Segaon, on which the enemy 
■were posted, and there dividing into three columns, the ascent 
of the slopes to be made on the right, centre, and left, so timed 
that the right column should be able to crown the left of the 
enemy's position, and thence enfilade the centre and right 
encampments, and direct their march so as to intercept the 
retreat of the enemy. 

This judicious plan was not persevered in, for the 49th in the 
centre, and the seamen and marines on the left, soon gained the 
summit, and drove the enemy from their entrenchments at the 
point of the bayonet with great slaughter. The 49th were 
the first to gain the enemy's position. The regiment was 
directed to move down the heights on the opposite side, and 
throw two companies into the rear of a strong body of the enemy 
observed to be marching to the right of their position to support 
the entrenchment threatened by the Royal Marines and seamen. 

The manoeuvre was perfectly successful, as the defenders of 
the hill recoiled from the Marines on the crest of the ridge, 
the supporting body was thrown into confusion, halted, and 
opened a feeble fire, then broke and fled down the hill, at the 
bottom of which the 49th were awaiting them with loaded fire- 

The Naval Brigade now came pouring down the heights, 
while the 49th pressed on the rear and flanks of the enemy. 
Few out of the whole body escaped unhurt, and the field was 
strewn far and wide with their slain. 

On the right column completing their laborious march and 
ascent of the left extremity of the heights, thev found no enemy 

U. 11 


to oppose them, and perceived the plain below covered with 
fugitives. They accordingly descended, and moved in the 
direction of the Ohang-ki Pass. The 26th Regiment also 
pushed out and joined in the pursuit, which was kept up for a 
considerable distance along the road to Yu-yao, 

The 18th succeeded in turning a great part ot the enemy from 
the Chang-ki Pass, and inflicted severe loss upon them. 

The loss of the British was trifling, while that of the Chinese 
was large, 400 to 500 killed and wounded being left on the 
field, while many more were slain and drowned in the pursuit. 

On IGth March Sir Hugh Gough moved towards the. 
Chang-ki Pass, seven miles from Tse-kee ; but the position 
recently occupied by the enemy was found abandoned. The 
General accordingly retired again to Tse-kee. The British troops 
remained tliere during the night of the 16th, and fiext morning 
marched back to the steamers, with the exception of a small 
detachment sent, under the Chief Engineer, Captain Pears, upon 
the route to Chin-hae, to ascertain the nature of the communi- 
cations, and to break up any post of refuge which the enemy 
might have formed. 

The General reached Ning-po on the 1 7th, and the men 
returned to their quarters. 

It was now resolved that Chapoo, about thirty-five miles from 
Hang-chow, should be attacked. The troops were withdrawn 
from Ning-po, and dropped down the river to Chin-hae, where 
they were embarked on 6th May 1842. Although the distance 
was only sixty miles, the voyage took nine days. 

On the 1 6th the fleet arrived ofi" Chapoo ; the next day a 
reconnoissance was made, and on the 18th the whole of the 
troops, supported by seamen and marines, landed and formed in 
two columns. The right was to turn the left of the position 
taken up by the enemy, and to march by their rear in the 
direction of the town, so as to intercept the retreat of the main 
body posted on the hills, while the left column advanced up the 


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heights to take the Chinese entrenchments in flank, and drive 
them into the plain. Upon the extreme left of their line the 
enemy defended themselves with resolution for some time, hut 
finally broke and ran, descending the slopes of the heights in the 
direction of the city, scattering themselves over the fields, where 
their numbers were soon increased by the fugitives from the 
redoubts, and from the centre of the enemy's position, driven 
thence by the advance of the left column after a pretty stout 
resistance. The mass of the fugitives was encountered by the 
right column at the foot of the hill, and sufiered considerable 
loss. Meanwhile the left column, having cleared the heights of 
the enemy, pursued their march along the road leading towards 
the city, which was entered by escalade at the north-east angle 
without opposition, the troops parading the ramparts as victors, 
with all the pomp of unfurled colours and the music of their 

While this was going on, a desperate struggle was taking place 
in the very heart of the enemy's recent position. The extreme 
right of the Chinese line had been occupied by 300 or 400 
Tartar troops, who, on observing the rout of their left and 
centre, retreated in good order towards the town. After descend- 
ing the hill, they discovered that their retreat was cut off" by the 
advance of the right column, while the direction taken by the 
Naval Brigade, which had landed on the rocky point near the 
suburbs, showed them that escape towards the south was also 
impracticable. They threw themselves into a large joss-house, 
situated at the bottom of a valley formed by the slopes of the 
right extremity of the Chinese Heights, and of a small range of 
hills between it and the city. So secluded was the position, 
that the main body of the British left column, inclining to the 
right before they reached the head of the valley, had skirted the 
base of the lower range of hills, and passed on without being 
aware of the body they had left in their rear. This was the 
case also with the Naval Brigade. 

11 * 


It happened, however, that a small body of men who had 
detached themselves from the left column inclined to the left, 
came suddenly upon the joss-house, and received a volley from 
the matchlocks of a party drawn up in its front. The detach- 
ment, which consisted of no more than thirty men of the 18th, 
49th, and Sappers, with a few seamen and gunners, closed upon 
the building and opened a fire on its entrance, which was briskly 
returned by the Tartars. Meantime Captain Pears, the Chief 
Engineer, who happened to be present, sent messengers with 
intelligence of what was happening. A company of the 1 8th 
■was intercepted in its advance. It proceeded to the valley, and, 
uniting itself with the small force blockading the joss-house, 
formed a body considered strong enough to carry the building at 
the point of the bavonet. The Tartar soldiers silently awaited 
the attack of our detachment, and as soon as the leading files 
and officers had passed through the entrance, opened a heavy 
fire on them, killing and wounding most of those who had passed 
the barrier, amonq'st others, Lieu ten ant- Colonel Tomlinson, 
who was shot through the neck and expired at once. A retreat 
was unavoidable, and the detachment was withdrawn. Soon 
after this a party of artillery came up with some rockets, and a 
few were thrown into the building without any visible effect upon 
the resolution of the Tartars. 

After some further delay, it was resolved to make a breach in 
the outer wall near one of the angles, and after a few round shot 
had been thrown into it, a 50-lb. bag of powder was placed 
at the foot of the wall by Captain Pears, and its explosion 
opened a wide entrance for an assaulting party. But the 
Tartars still remained cool and undismayed ; received the storm- 
ing party with a heavy fire, and the assailants were once more 
compelled to retreat with loss. Upwards of three hours had 
now elapsed since the first shot had been fired, but the Tartars 
exhibited no token of submission, or disposition to surrender. 
Small parties of two or three now and then sallied out and 



attempted to escape down the valley towards the harbour, but 
few of these managed to get away, 

A second breach was now blown in the opposite side, and 
wood being collected, a fire was kindled, and in a short time the 
house was a ruin. Our troops, at last, were able to enter, and 
the action came to an end. Of the whole body of Tartars, only 
sixty were made prisoners, many of them wounded ; all the rest 
having been either shot, bayoneted, or burnt. 

This affair had the etfect of exalting the Tartar troops in no 
slight degree in the estimation of the British, who could not but 
think with respect of men who could maintain, to the last, such 
steady coolness and indomitable valour. 

In the capture of Chapoo two British officers were killed and 
six wounded; amongst the latter, Lieutenant J. G. Johnston of 
the Madras Engineers. Of N.C.O. and men, eight were killed 
and forty-four wounded. 

A body of troops, under command of Major-General Schoedde, 
was sent out to reconnoitre the road to Hang-chow-foo, the 
capital of the richest province of the Empire, about sixty miles 
west of Chapoo. The Commander-in-Chief decided that a move- 
ment on the city would interfere with our ultimate operations 
on the Yaug-tse-kiang ; accordingly the troops re-embarked on 
28th JMay, and all stores of gunpowder and arms, together with 
a few public buildings, were destroyed. The same day the fleet 
made sail for the mouth of the Yang-tse-kiang ; its destination 
being Woosung, about lOO miles from Chapoo. 

The fleet anchored ofi' "Bugged Islands" on the 29th; 
remained there till the 5th June, then moved on towards the 
river. Anchored again, on the 7th, at ''Dangerous Eocks " ; 
sailed again on the lith, and finally anchored off Woosung on 
i8th June. 

About twelve miles up the Woosung river is situated Shanghai. 
This place it was resolved to attack. Before entering the river 
it was necessary to get possession of the line of defences which 


on either side covered the approach to its mouth. The 1-ltli 
and loth were devoted to reconnoitring and taking soundings, 
as also buoying oif a line of anchorage for the 'ships. 

On the 1 6th the squadron anchored as near the works as 
possible, leaving the transports about four miles out in the 
stream. The cannonade was kept up for two hours, the Chinese 
batteries replying at intervals. The boats' crews and marines 
were landed, who, entering the enemy's works at various points, 
soon put to flight the troops left in them, except on the extreme 
left at Powsham, where the Chinese manned the parapet, and 
received them with so resolute a Are, that they were compelled to 
retreat. Shortly after the troops were landed, and all opposition 
soon ceased. 

On 16th June H.M.'s ship Dido anchored ofi" Woosung, 
convoying transports containing 2,500 reinlorcements from 
India. It was not thought necessary to employ the whole of 
the newly- arrived force, so only 2nd Madras Native Infantry, 
and detachments of Artillery and Sappers were disembarked. 

Sir Hugh Gough formed the force into two divisions ; one 
under Colonel Montgomerie, C.B. (Madras Artillery), to mai'ch 
on Shanghai by the left bank ; while the other, under Major- 
General Schoedde (o5th), proceeded by the river. 

Colonel Montgomerie's column advanced without encounter- 
ing any obstacles w-hich the Sappers and Miners were not able 
speedily to overcome. The inhabitants of the villages passed 
en route, were astonished at the field-pieces, drawn by horses, so 
much larger than their own, but did not show any fear of our 
troops, with whom they found the strictest discipline to prevail ; 
and before the column had advanced a couple of miles, the 
heavy scaling-ladders had been transferred by the Sappers to the 
shoulders of willing, or at least not dissentient natives, and 
the drag-ropes ol the guns, whenever it was necessary to 
unyoke the horses, were manned by Chinese labourers, mingled 
with our gunners. 



Meantime the left column proceeded up the river, and arrived 
within half a mile of the town, having passed, about midway, 
a battery pierced for twenty gims, which had opened fire the 
previous day on a reconnoitring steamer, but which was now 
found deserted and the guns withdrawn. Just below the town 
was another battery for eighteen guns; this was silenced and the 
gunners put to flight by a few broadsides and shells. The left 
column had forgotten that the right column might reasonably be 
expected to have reached the town, and Colonel Montgomerie's 
division heard on a sudden the report of guns close at hand, 
and found round-shot hurtling over their heads. As they moved 
on, they saw a body of 600 or 600 Chinese troops hurrying 
from the batteries with which the squadron was engaged, but 
they were too far off for pursuit. 

On the approach of the 18th to the north gate of Shanghai, 
a few matchlocks were discharged at them from the hills, but on 
pushing forward the place was found evacuated and the column 
marched in and took possession. 

On the 20th the Nemesis was sent up sixty miles, until 
finding the water regularly shoaling, and no indications of a 
town, it returned. It was afterwards ascertained that the smoke 
of the steamer had been seen from the walls of Soo-chow- 

The failure of this attempt to find a passage to Soo-chow-foo 
determined the abandonment of the project for an expedition in 
that direction, and arrangements were made for withdrawing the 
troops from Shanghai, and dropping down the river again after a 
few days had been spent in the town. 

Lieutenant Ouchterlony, the author of the Chinese War, from 
which this account is taken, was one of the Engineers with this 
expedition, and in his history he gives a ludicrous description 
of the sale of plunder at Shanghai. The sellers (our troops) 
being on the ramparts, while the buyers (the Chinese) were at 
the foot of the ramparts. 


The heat was found more oppressive than in any other town 
occupied by our troops in 1H42. 

A large store of ice was found in the city, and this was freely 
used by our troops for iced drinks. The Chinese only make 
use of ice for the sake of preserving fish in the summer 

On 23rd June Shanghai was evacuated, one division em- 
barking on board the steamers, while another proceeded by 
land with the guns to Woosung. 

The whole of the force destined for the campaign of the Yang- 
tse-kiang mustered 9,000 bayonets, exclusive of Marines and 

The whole land force was divided into three brigades : 

1st, under Major-General Lord Saltoun, K.C H. 
2nd, under Major-General Schoedde, C.B. 
3rd, under Major-General Bartley. 

The 1st Brigade consisted of — 

26th and 98th Kegiments. 

Battalion of Bengal Volunteers. 

Flank companies of 4lst Madras Native Infantry. 

The 2nd Brigade— 

55th Regiment. 

Madras Rifles. 

2nd and 6th Madras Native Infantry. 

The 3rd Brigade— 

18th and 49th Regiments. 
I4th Madras Native Infantry. 

The Royal Artillery and Madras Artillery formed a separate 
brigade, under Colonel Montgomerie, C.B. — 

I troop of Horse Artillery. 

4j companies of Fort Artillery. 

4 companies of gun lascars. 


The Engineer department and three companies of Madras 
Sappers (A B and F) formed also a distinct command under 
Captain Pears, Madras Engineers, the Chief Engineer. 

To each brigade a detachment of Artillery and one of Sappers, 
with an officer of Engineers, was attached when they moved 
against the enemy. 

On 29th June the Admiral despatched two surveying vessels 
up the river to ascertain soundings, &c., and on the 30th 
the Admiral's ship, the Cornwallis, was towed out into the 
stream, where she anchored till the 6th July. 

The fleet consisted of ten men-of-war, five armed troopships, 
two armed surveying vessels, five steam frigates, five iron 
steamers, and fully forty transports. 

On the 10th the fleet anchored safely abreast of the town of 
Chin-keang-foo. The place at that time appeared to be entirely 
deserted, not a creature was to be seen on the walls, and no flags 
were flying. 

After anchoring off Golden Island on the 20th, the first 
symptom of hostilities was the appearance of a large raft of 
wood in flames. This was towed clear of the anchorage. It 
was succeeded by another, and shortly after by two at once, but 
no accidents were caused by them. 

Meantime a reconnoissance was made by the General from 
some hills which overlooked the city. The city seemed deserted, 
but on a low range of hills to the south two large entrenched 
camps were observed. 

The 2nd Brigade was directed to land under cover of the 
town, and take post within gun-shot range of the walls, making 
a feint to attack them if any troops appeared on them. 

The 3rd Brigade was to land to the right of the town, and to 
act as circumstances might demand. 

The 1st Brigade, destined to attack the entrenched camps, 
was to land to the right, opposite Golden Island, and await 
orders at place of disembarkation. 


As soon as the 1st Brigade had lauded, Sir Hugh Gough 
ascended heights to the west of the city to reconnoitre. 

Orders were then sent to Lord Saltoun to advance on the 
Chinese position, while the 3rd Brigade was moved across the 
heights in the direction of the city walls, throwing its right 
forward to be iu readiness to co-operate witli the 1st Brigade, 
and to prevent the enemy, when driven from their camp, retreat- 
ing in direction of the town. 

The movements commenced at 8 a.m. The column com- 
manded by Lord Saltoun passed out, and after a march of three 
or four miles came in sight of the encampments. The whole 
of the enemy's tents had been struck, and the Chinese had 
united their forces and drawn them up behind an entrenchment 
on a gently sloping hill. 

The Chinese took no notice of our approach till the light 
company of the 98th and a party of Madras Sappers gained the 
top of a gently swelling ridge forming one boundary of the low 
valley which separated them from the Chinese position. They 
then opened fire with round shot and grape, while at the same 
time a large body of troops appeared upon the brow of a range 
of hills on our right, and descended a short distance to threaten 
an attack on our flank. 

Our force was formed into two columns ; one to move by the 
right to turn the left of the enemy's position, another to press 
on their right, so as to cut off their retreat. 

Major Anstruther was instructed to open fire on the entrench- 
ments with his field-pieces, while two companies Bengal Volun- 
teers were to take post in some gardens, &c., for the purpose of 
keeping in check the troops on the ridge to our right, while the 
attention of the enemy was diverted by the sharp fire kept up by 
our guns. 

The 98th, Sappers, and 41st Native Infantry on the right, 
and the Volunteers' Regiment on the left, were pressing forward 
to close. 


But long before our men could gain the crest of the hill on 
which they stood, the whole gave way and fled over the hill. 
The light company of the 9Sth and the Sappers were after 
them without loss of time, but few were overtaken. The 
entrenched camp was found almost stripped, and the only 
trophies of the day were some arms, ammunition, tents, and 
camp furniture. 

We threvv out some light troops to occupy a commanding hill 
in advance, w^hile the remainder was formed near the place 
recently evacuated by the enemy, and piled arms awaiting further 

The 2nd Brigade landed to the east of the city, and created 
as serious a diversion in favour of the attack of the 3rd Ik'igade 
as was practicable. 

This brigade had scaling ladders as also 18-pounder and 
32-pounder rockets, in addition to field-pieces. 

General iSciioedde* was sufiered to occupy a commanding 
slope within 300 yards of the walls without opposition ; but as 
soon as the artillery and rocket- tubes had been planted on 
the top of the eastern heights, the Chinese commenced a smart 
fire of round and grape shot. 

The Auckland opened a well-directed fire from her 68-pounder 
with 10-inch shells, while the Royal Artillery threw rockets 
over the ramparts. 

From the hill on which General Schoedde had taken his stand, 
he had a very extensive view of the country south and east of 
the city, and the whole of the movements of Lord Saltoun's 
Brigade were distinctly visible. 

About the time of Lord Saltoun's successful advance, the 
attack of the 8rd Brigade was commenced. Perceiving the 
importance of gaining the ramparts and gateways on the east, 
General Schoedde adopted the resolution of carrying the place 
by escalade. 

* Johnston with seventy Madras Sappers was with this brigade. 


The greaadiers of the 55th, under daptain McLean, were told 
off as a storming party to precede the main column, while the 
Madras Rides were to extend along the walls and pick off men 
who might show themselves while the ladders were being placed 
against the face of a square bastion. 

The Rifles did such excellent work that the party of Madras 
Sappers who carried the ladders, and had to cross an open space 
exposed to the full fire of a face and flank of the works, gained 
the foot of the walls without a single casualty. 

Captain Simpson was shot in the head, and a havildar who 
attempted to remove him had a shot sent through his cap. 

The ladders were fixed, and a considerable number of our 
troops had ascended the ramparts, and formed on the terreplein 
before scarcely a shot was fired at them, the attention of the 
enemy being completely engrossed by the covering party. The 
terreplein was bounded by a rear- wall of brick running parallel 
to the parapet twelve to sixteen feet distant, and having low 
walls at intervals intersecting it at right angles in the form of 

Lieutenants Cuddy, 55th, and Johnston, of the Engineers, 
were the first two on the walls, and could not at first see an 

The Tartars appear to have been utterly unprepared for the 
mode of attack adopted, and had suffered the ladders to be 
carried to the foot of the walls and planted without detaching a 
man to watch the movements of the Sappers, wlio, under the 
direction of Lieutenant Johnston, performed their duty in a 
skilful and resolute manner. 

Bodies of troops, however, soon came along the ramparts to 
the point of danger, and maintained a heavy fire on the assailants, 
who, now divided into two bodies, strove to win their way 
along either face of the work. Their advance received a check, 
especially on the leit, where Captain Reid,* 6th Madras Native 
* Afterwards Quartermaster-General of the Madras Army. 


Infantry, who commanded after the death of his Colonel 
(Drever), was not able to bring his column round the re- 
entering angle until after a desperate struggle, and had to fight 
his way almost inch by incli to the nearest gateway, which 
General Schoedde had opened to admit the 2nd Native 

The Tartar troops for a long time clung to the guard-house 
above the gateway, and defended the wickets which led into the 
work in the most resolute manner At length, a gate leading 
from a ramp in the inner gateway having been forced, Captain 
Eeid charged through it and bayoneted the defenders. The 
gates were then thrown open, and the 2nd Native Infantry 
entered, united themselves with the 6th, and the column went 
along the rampart to the west gate. 

Meantime the advance of the right column was made good, 
though obstinately contested. 

The Tartars retired slowly before their assailants, and made a 
determined stand at a small two-storied guard-house at a re- 
entering angle of the works. However, this house was finally 
carried at the point of the bayonet. 

As soon as the head of the column tried to push forward 
round the angle of the curtain, the enemy charged desperately 
down and bore the advanced files back. Several savage hand- 
to-hand conflicts took place. Major Warren maintained his 
reputation as a swordsman by vanquishing in single fight two 
powerful Tartars who assailed him, killing one and disabling 
the other. Shortly after, this gallant officer received a severe 
wound from a matchlock ball. 

The check was not of long duration, and Captain McLean's 
grenadiers once more charged into the guard-house, and the 
survivors of those defending it retreated along the curtain to the 
salient angle. 

Here anothnr determined stand was made by the Tartars, but 
they were at last driven with great slaughter from the ground 


they had so gallantly maintained, and they now sought refuge in 
the buildings and gardens of the town. 

The advance of the 55th was now continued as far as the 
west gate without opposition of any consequence. 

The 3rd Brigade was still kept at bay on the west. 

It was now near noon, and the determination of the Tartars 
may be estimated from the fact that, although the ladders were 
planted at 8 am on the east side, the west gate was not gained 
till fully three hours afterwards, although the distance was only 
a mile and a quarter. 

General Schoedde, seeing that the enemy were still in posses- 
sion of the large square bastion which covered the entrance to 
the inner gateway, and that the outer entrance had not yet been 
forced, directed a party to push into the bastion, clear it, and 
throw open the gates. 

The inner gates were seized by the 55th, and a barricade of 
grain and sand-bags having been removed, Lieutenants Heriott 
and Johnston (Engineers), with some men of the 55th and 
Sappers, ran across the bastion, through the fire of the enemy 
from the walls, gained the cover of the archway of the outer 
gate, and began dragging away the sand-bags piled against the 

Finding the task too laborious, and imagining from a cessation 
of firing that the 3rd Brigade had withdrawn and were effecting 
an entrance elsewhere, the two officers withdrew their men. It 
was as well they did so, for they had no sooner retired than an 
explosion took place which shook down the walls of the houses 
and guard-houses in the inner space of the bastion. The gates 
had been blown in, and the cessation of firing must have been 
caused by the advance of the party to fix the powder-bags. 

The 18th and 4 9th Regiments rushed in, and encountered, 
instead of the Tartars, the 55th drawn up along the main street. 

The 3rd Brigade, after the advance of Lord Saltoun, had 
moved forward towards the town, and halted outside the suburb 


which command eel a view of the ground over which the 1st 
Brigade had to advance, as well as that occupied hy the enemy 
in their front. 

As soon as Lord Saltoun routed the Chinese, and the firing 
of the 2nd Brigade commenced, Sir H. Gough moved the 18th 
and 49th through the subni'hs to the west gate, occupied the 
houses at the water's edge, and opened a heavy fire of musketrv 
on the parapets ; while Colonel Montgomerie threw shot and 
shell among the Tartar troops. 

At this time a detachment of Artillery, with four field-pieces 
and howitzers, in two boats of the Blonde, proceeded to the 
muuth of the Grand Canal and pulled along its course towards 
the walls, hoping to find a spot in the outer bank where they 
could conveniently land the guns. Suddenly, shooting past the 
cover of some high buildings, they found themselves unexpectedly 
close under the ramparts, with the bridge leading to the west gate 
directly in front. A heavy fire was at once opened on them, 
disabling the greater part of the detachment. They could not pull 
back, so the leading boat made for the stone bridge, in hopes of 
finding shelter under the arch, while the other was run ashore 
not a pistol-shot distance from the city, and the boat, with guns, 
ammunition and arms, left at the disposal of the garrison after 
the wounded were removed. 

The crew and detachment retreated through the suburb to the 
river, while the party under the bridge, finding their place of 
refuge too "Miot" to hold them, also abandoned their boat and 
retreated along the inner bank of the canal, the enemy keeping 
up a brisk fire on them till they got under cover of the houses; 
but they made no attempt to sally out. 

In fact, they had so effectually barricaded their gates, that 
they were unable to do so, except after considerable labour and 
loss of time. 

As soon as the Admiral heard of this, he sent a strong party 
of Marines to recover the boats. The boats were found un- 


injured, except by the enemy's bullets, and were again taken pos- 
session of, and a gunner whom it had been found impossible to 
remove, owing to a bad fracture of his leg, was found lying, in 
other respects unhurt, at the bottom of one of tl)e boats. 

IMeantime the attack of the 3rd Brigade was concentrating on 
the west gate. 

Captain Pears, the Chief Engineer, had closely reconnoitred 
the approaches to the bastion, and his report and recommenda- 
tion, and the appearance of the outer pair of gates, decided the 
Commander-in-Chief to effect an entrance by blowing the latter 
open and escalading the inner wall, should obstacles still be 

It was near noon when Captain Pears and Tiieutenant and 
Adjutant J. Rundall, with Conductor Almond, of the Sappers 
and Miners, heading the party of sappers, who carried three 
powder-bags (containing fifty-eight pounds each), pushed across 
the stone bridge under cover of a rapid discharge of musketry 
from the 18th and 49th, and, gaining the gateway without any 
casualty, planted the powder-bags against the great gates. 

The result of the explosion was most successful, and the 
storming-party, though advancing through a cloud of dust and 
smoke, found their footing sure and free from hindrance 

The outer gateway was a long arched passage seventy feet 
long, tvrelve feet wide, and twelve feet and a half high. The 
gate consisted of two massive folding-doors fixed six feet within 
the archway, thus affording perfect shelter to persons fixing the 
bags. The doors were ten feet seven inches by six feet eacb and 
five feet thick, well constructed and fitted, their outer surface 
being neatly and closely covered with iron plates. 

After the explosion the arch remained perfect, and did not 
appear shaken, while the two massive doors were blown com- 
pletely out of their places without being broken, and lay, one 
flat in the middle of the passage, and the other against the side 
wall at a distance of nineteen feet from its original position. 


Some beams placed as props were shattered and cast beyond 
the bas^s of earth behind the door, and some appear to have been 
tlirnst entirely away, and the rest pressed down so as to offer no 
impediment to the men even in the dark. 

About the time that the Srd Brigade rushed through the west 
gate, the party of Marines, Artillery, and seamen, who had come 
up in the boats of the CornnmUifi, having landed with one 
scaling-ladder close under the right flank of the bastion, esca- 
laded near a small postern, and although the first man was shot 
through the head, and others were wounded, they soon made 
good their lodgment on the ramparts; and the gallant remnant 
of the enemy, refusing to surrender or accept quarter, perished 
by ball or bayonet. 

The contest being now terminated, the 2nd and 3rd "Brigades 
were directed to take post at the various gates. 

The heat had now become intense, and many veteran soldiers 
could bear up no longer against its effects. Sir Hugh Gough, 
although equal to almost any degree of fatigue and exposure, 
after entering the town, was compelled to seek the shelter of a 
house and lie down. 

All now appeared at rest within the walls, when the attention 
of all was arrested by the report of a heavy volley, followed by 
sharp, steady, rolling fire, which seemed to proceed from a con- 
siderable body of men in conflict. It was the last rally of the 
devoted garrison of Ching-keang-foo. 

It appears that the Iftth and 49th were, in accordance with 
orders, making a partial circuit of the ramparts before occupving 
their quarters. On a sudden, a few shots were discharged at 
them from some houses, and immediately afterwards a strong 
column of soldiers, with two ^Mandarins, emerged from a neigh- 
bouring street, and poured in on the British regiments so fierce 
a fire that at the first volley two officers and many men fell 
killed and wounded. Our men halted, exchanged a few volleys 
and then charged down the slope of the rampart, and getting 

XI. 12 


among them in the open ground helow, a savage conflict ensued, 
but the issue was never for a moment doubtful. 

The grenadiers of the 18th, rendered furious by the loss of a 
favourite officer (Captain Collinson), pressed hotly on the Tar- 
tars, and made great havoc among them, but ignorance of the 
localities put an early stop to the pursuit. 

Evening was now closing in, and guards having been placed 
at most of the gates, the victorious troops got into quarters. 

The night proved one of incessant alarms, as attempts which 
were made from time to time by small partitas to escape from the 
city, caused a rattle of musketry. Several desperate rushes were 
made on sentries and guards by Tartar soldiers who had secreted 
themselves in houses, and a great many men were killed during 
the night by the Cameronians, who were frequently roused. 

Shortly after day-break, parties were sent out to patrol the 
Tartar quarter, and to destroy arsenals and depots of stores ; 
while fatigue detachments of Sappers and Miners were employed 
in collecting and burying the dead. 

General Hailing, who had so nobly conducted the defence of 
Ching-keang-foo, was one of the ]\randarins who had commanded 
the Tartar troops in their desperate attack on the 18th and 
49th Regiments. After the failure of this attack, it nppears he 
returned to his house, and calling for his secretary, desired him 
to bring his official papers into a small room. He then delibe- 
rately seated himself, and causing the papers and some wood to 
be piled up around him, he dismissed his secretary, set fire to 
the funeral pile, and perished in the flames. 

Hostilities had now entirely ceased witliin the citv walls, and 
their immediate vicinity ; but partial attacks were made on the 
outposts of Lord Saltoun's brigade, which was quartered some 
miles from the city. 

Preparations were shortly made for an advance upon Nanking, 
and the Plover was sent to reconnoitre. 

A force, consisting of the 55th Regiment, 2nd and 6th Native 


Infantry, with strong detachments of Artillery and Sappers, was 
left at Ching-keang-foo, under command of j\I a] or- General 

Before withdrawing tlie remainder of the troops, the Enofineers 
were ordered to form an extended and practicable breach in the 
rampart which faced General Schoedde's position, and four mines 
having been made in the revetment, they were charged, success- 
fully sprunjT. and a brpach thirtv "vards wide produced. The 
parapets for several hundred vards along the east face were also 
dismantled, to prevent the enemy from forming under their 
shelter to resist our entrance. 

The Cornwalliti, and several men-of-war. left Ching-keang-foo 
on the 1st and 2nd August, and arrived off the northern angle of 
the walls of Nanking on the 5th. 

The fleet of transports followed, hut were not able to reach the 
anchorage till the 8th, although the distance was only about 
forty miles. 

A large white flag waved from the walls of Nanking over a 
battery near which the CorntrnUis lav at anchor. Rome Man- 
darins came off to the flagship immediatelv on her arrival, to beg 
that no hostilities might commence, for Eleepoo was close at 
hand with full powers to treat. They were informed that opera- 
tions should be delaved for a short time, and meantime a recon- 
noissance of the defences was made. 

On 9th August the promised communication from Eleepoo 
was received, and found bv the Plenipotentiary to he altogether 
insufficient to warrant anv further delay. The envoys of Eleepoo 
were dismissed with the assurance that the next day Nanking 
would be attacked. 

The Corniralli.t moved into a position from which the northern 
angle of the walls could be battered, and the Blonde was 
towed down the creek till her guns bore on the point which the 
Admiral had selected for breaching and enfilading the battery 
which covered it, 

12 * 


Meantime, Lord Saltoun's brigade was placed on board 
steamers, and towed on tbe evening of the 10th to the lower 
extremity of the creek, where they were disembarked. 

To assist in making the breach proposed to be made by the 
Cornwallis, Colonel Montgomerie landed four howitzers, to be 
placed in a battery near the mouth of the creek, and General 
Bartley's brigade was detached to form the storming column, 
supported bv marines and seamen, to carrv the breach on the 
following morning, and then to proceed by the ramparts to the 
Tai-ping Gate (on which Lord Saltoun's brigade was to make a 
feint), throw it open for their admittance, and the forces being 
united, to proceed against the Tartar citadel. 

Captain Pears, however, having landed under the walls on the 
loth evenino-, to mark out the site of the proposed battery, made 
his way to the foot of the escarp. He there discovered that 
between the bank of the river and the ramparts there was a wide 
and deep ditch, which it would have been impossible to cross, 
except by boats or a flying bridge. The project was therefore 
abandoned, and on the 11th Sir Hugh Gough and Lord Sal- 
toun* landed with an escort to mature a new plan of attack. 

Meantime Lord Saltoun's brigade moved in a southerly 
direction bv the paved road from the village near the creek, and 
halted about three miles from the gate. 

During the 11th and 12th the artillery were engaged in get- 
ting some 9-pounders and howitzers on shore, and by the 13th 
evening a formidable park had been formed at Lord Saltoun's 

A Mandarin of high rank was now sent to intercede for delay, 
which was refused. The Mandarin seemed forcibly struck with 
the determination of the reply. 

On 18th August Sir Hugh Gough received a letter from the 
Plenipotentiary, Sir Henry Pottinger, to the effect that negotia- 

* Accompanied by Captain Pears, who reconnoitred the Tai-ping Gate 


tions had reached such a stage that hostilities must be con- 
sidered suspended. 

On 29th August the Treaty of Nanking was signed. 

China was to pay 2J, 000,000 dollars in four years. 

Canton, Amoy, Foo-chow-foo, Ningpo, and Shanghai were to 
be thrown open to British merchants. 

All prisoners (British subjects) to be unconditionally released. 

Island of Hong Kong to be ceded to the British. 

Correspondence to be conducted on terms of perfect equality 
among othcers of Governments. 

On the Emperor's assent being received, and the first payment 
of 6,000,000 dollars, British forces to retire from Nanking and 
Grand Canal, also from Chin-hae ; but Kolangsoo and Chusan 
to be held till money payments and arrangements for opening 
the ports were completed. 

This brought the war to a close. 

On 20th September almost all the transports started in divi- 
sions for Chusan, and on l2th and l4th October the fleet of 
transports got under weigh in two divisions, and proceeded with 
the Commander-in-Chief to Hong Kong, the Admiral remaining 
with the Cornualiis, and a squadron of men-of-war and steamers, 
after having despatched four vessels to England with the 
6,000,000 dollars, which had been paid in. 

Lord Saltoun was left in command of the forces in China 
(head-quarters Hong Kong), consisting of remains of the Oyth, 
left wing 5oth, right wing 4:1st Madras Native Infantry, com- 
pany of Koyal Artillery, one of Gun Lascars, and one of Madras 
Sappers aud Miners, altogether 1,250 men ; and, on 20th 
December 1842, the rest of the force took its final departure 
from China. 

Lieutenant Ouchterlony, Madras Engineers, remained at 
Hong Kong as garrison engineer, and Lieutenant Hitchins in 
command of the E Company, Madras Sappers. 

The following is the complimentary order of Sir Hugh 


Gough regarding the services of the Artillery and Sappers, dated 
Singapore, 1st January 1843 : — 

" The Artillery and Sappers and Miners deserve more par- 
ticular mention, as they joined me in the Canton river in March 
1841, and have borne a gallant part on every occasion when the 
enemy was in the field throughout the whole war. In mention- 
ing to the Governor-General of India the respective commanding 
officers, I have specially noticed Lieutenant-Colonel Montgomerie 
and Captain Pears, from whom, in their capacities as Brigadier 
of Artillery and Commanding Engineer, I uniformly received the 
most zealous and efficient assistance." 

The Governor-General in Council wrote : — " On that occasion 
(capture of Ching-keang-foo), as on all others, the Madras 
Artillery and Madras Sappers and Miners maintained the high 
reputation which has always been attached to their respective 
corps in the Madras army." 

Captain Pears for his services received a brevet-majority on 
23rd December 184"^, and was nominated a Companion of the 
Order of the Bath. 

Brevet-Captain F. Cotton was promised a majority as soon as 
he obtained his captaincy, for his services at Canton when 
Captain Pears was absent. He was promoted to captain on 10th 
December 1847, and got his brevet-majority next day. 

Lieutenant J. Rundall, who was severely and dangerously 
wounded at Canton, was, on the '-i7th August 1844, appointed to 
command the Madras Sappers and Miners. 

On 22nd September 1843 an order was issued by the Governor- 
General in Council granting honorary distinctions to certain 
corps of the Madras Army for service in China, and the A, B, 
and F companies of Madras Sappers then received permission to 
wear on their appointments a golden dragon bearing an imperial 
crown, and also the word " China." 

Subadar-Major Comarasammy, Madras Sappers, Native 
A.D.C. to Sir Hugh Gough, particularly distinguished himself, 


and was brought to the notice of the Governor-General. He 
had distinguished himself in campaigns previous to this. He 
served in the JNlahratta Campaign of 181 7— 19, was wounded in 
the leg atNagpore, and was recommended by General McDowell. 
In the i'lrst Burmese War he served at Rangoon, Kemendine, 
Pegu, Donabew, Prome, and Alaloun, and was wounded in the 
thigh at Donabew. He was again recommended by Sir Archi- 
bald Campbell in 1825. 

On the institution of the Order of British India on 25th May 
1838,* he was admitted into the Second Class of that Order as a 
Bahadoor, and for his services in China he was promoted to the 
i'irst Class as a Sirdar Bahadoor. 

Lieutenant Ouchterlony remained as Garrison Engineer at 
Hong Kong till September 1849, when he was relieved by Major 
Aldrick of the Koyal Engineers; but the E Company of Sappers, 
under Lieutenant Hitchins, did not leave the colony till October 

Before they left, the officer commanding the forces in China, 
Major-General the Hon. D'Aguilar, C.B., wrote the following : — 
" The Madras Sappers, under Lieutenant Hitchins, have ren- 
dered important services in carrying on the military works of 
this colony, and the cheerful and soldier-like manner in which 
they have invariably performed their arduous duties, especially 
merit the Major-General's commendation. The Major-General 
will not fail to make known the sentiments contained in this 
order to his Lordship the Commander-in-Chief at Madras."* 

Lieutenant Doria and Ensign Clerk, both of the Native 
Infantry, accompanied the V Company to China in 1842, and 
probably one of them remained at Hong Kong with the com- 

* On 25tli May 1838 thirty-four Native officers -were selected from various 
regiments for admission into the 1st Class Order of British India, one of whom 
was ISubadar Chokalingum of the Madras Sappers, who had highly distinguished 
himself in Coorg. At the same time thirty-three Native officers were admitted 
into the 2nd Class, and Subadar-Major Comarasammy was selecte(^ £i-om the 
Sappers for this distinction. 


pany. Assistant-Surgeon Jackson was in medical charge of the 

All officers and men who on 21st August 1841 formed part of 
the expeditionary force intended to act against the north coast of 
China, and served with that force from the date of its leaving 
Hong Kong until 29th August 1842, the date of the treaty of 
peace, received a donation of twelve months' batta, but it was 
not given to those who joined subsequent to 2lst August 1841. 
The A and B Companies must have received this batta, but as 
the r Company did not join until 1842 they could not have 
enjoyed it. 




C Company to Scinde, Kutchee, and Beloochistan. — Detachment to Cabul. — War 
in Scinde. — March across desert to Imaumghur. — Imaumghur destroyed. — 
Outram to Hydrabad. — Outram defends the Residency. — Battle of Meannee. 
— Six Ameers surrender. — Hydrabad occupied. — Battle of Hydrabad. — 
MeeriDore taken. — Oomercote taken. — War at an end. — Napier's eulogy of 
Madras Sappers. — Madras Sappers at Aden. — Establishment of Engineers 
and Sappers. 

While the A, B, and F Companies were employed in Oliina, the 
C Company was experiencing severe service in Kelat, Afghan- 
istan, and Scinde. 

The company quitted Belgaum on the 9th November 1840, 
arrived at Viugorla on the 13th, and embarked for Kurrachee on 
the 27th, which place they reached on the -Ith December, and 
having been employed in facilitating the landing operations for 
a couple of weeks, they proceeded to join Major-General Brook's 
force. They marched through Lower and Upper tScinde to Bagh 
in Kutchee. 

In February 1H41 they marched from Bagh, and thence 
proceeded to Kugguck, where they were employed in destroying 
the fort, after it had been evacuated by the enemy. 

Next month they returned to Dadur and proceeded thence 
through the Bolan Pass with only forty-six muskets, the smallest 
body of British troops that ever passed through this defile 



(sixty miles long) by deliberate inarches. Only one-third of the 
company was armed, the rest of the men carrying working tools. 

8hortly after its arrival at Quetta, the company was sent 
to Thobee, Moosbung, Turee, &c., to make the road in the 
direction of Kelat practicable for artillery. On this duty it was 
employed till June, and in July it returned to Quetta. 

At this time Lieutenant Outlaw, 26th Native Infantry, com- 
manded the company, and Lieutenants Orr and Boileau, of the 
Madras Engineers, were attached to it. 

In May and June 1841 a detachment under Lieutenant Orr 
accompanied a force to Nooshky. 

In October 1841 the company returned to the plaius by the 
Bolan Pass with the head- quarters of the force, with the excep- 
tion of a jemadar (Kamen) and twenty-two men, who accompa- 
nied a battery of European artillery and two companies of the 
4lst liegiment to explore the country in the direct line from 
Quetta to the seaport of Soameanee, and thence to that of 

It was at this time that Captain Henderson assumed command 
of the company. 

The head-quarters of the company continued with the field 
force at Sibi and Dadur, while its detachments extended all 
over the country from Sibi to Kurrachee, employed in various 
public works. 

Meanwhile the insurrection at Cabul broke out, and in April 
1842 the company proceeded above the Bolan Pass a second 
time, still leaving detachments in Kutchee and Scindt^. 

The head-quarters of the company remained at Quetta till 
September 1842, employed in repairing the fort of Quetta, and 
constructing other defences. 

On 2()th April a detachment consisting of one havildar 
(Amaraputty), one naique, and twenty-eight privates, left Quetta 
wiih General England's force, and was present at the second 
affair of Hykulzie on 29th April, when the enemy were driven 


from the heights which they had occupied. It then pioceeded 
on to the Kojuck mountains, where the force was again opposed, 
to Kandahar, and joined General Nott's army. 

From Kandahar the party accompanied the force that relieved 
Kelat-i-Ghilzai (a brigade under Colonel Wymer), and after 
destroying the fort and buildings erected by the British, returned 
to Kandahar. 

h\'um the l8th to the 29th June the detachment was 
employed in destroying several posts of the enemy in the sur- 
rounding country, and on the 10th August marched with the 
force towards CabuL* 

The party was present in the general action with Shum- 
shoodeen, near the source of the Turuuck,! on 3Uih August. 

On 1st kSeptember, General Nott resumed his march, and 
found himself before Ghuznee on 5th September. 

The day was spent in desultory fighting, and the detachment of 
Sappers having been engaged in the action, were employed 
during the night in preparing mines to breach the walls, which 
although got ready, were not required, as the post was found to 
be evacuated in the morning.| 

The engineer had proposed to establish a battery on ridge of 
hills north of the town, in advance of Bullal, and 350 yards from 
the walls. This battery was to open the flank wall connecting the 
citadel on the west with the town wall. The defences of the citadel 
could be swept from the same point by light artillery, and 
there was a thick dam of earth across the ditch opposite the 
point marked for the breach. 

Principal assault was to be supported by an attempt to blow 
in water-gate (both the others being built up and causeways 
cut through) ; another to escalade a weak point near Cabul gate. 

* Major Edward Sanders, Bengal Engineers, -with the force, 
t Thirty-eight miles south-west of Ghuznee. 

J Three hundred and twenty-seven sepoys of 17th Native Infantry were here 
released from slavery 


At dusk a working-party of Sappers and 160 men from regi- 
ments on tlie hill, commenced work; by 4 a.m. cover bad been 
secured, and so much progress had been made as to lead to 
reasonable expectation that four ly-pounders and two Si-pounder 
howitzers would be ready to open during the day. 

Towards morning it was believed that the fort had been 
evacuated, and this was ascertained to be the case at daylight by 
Lieutenant North of Engineers. 

The party was afterwards employed for two days in ruining 
the defences, and it then marched with the army, arriving at 
Cabul on the 17th September, having destroyed a lort on the 

On the i4th and 15th September, Shumshoodeen, Sultan Jan, 
and other chiefs, occupied with 02,000 men a succession of 
strong mountains, intercepting the march on Beenee, Badan, 
and Alydau. Uur troops gallantly dislodged them. 

At (Jabul the Sappers were variously employed, but chiefly in 
opening up a channel to supply the camp with water, which 
had been cut oil" by the enemy. 

On 12th October the whole army quitted Cabul, and was 
daily engaged with the enemy till its arrival at Jellaiabad on 
25th October. 

The party of Sappers reached Ferozepore on the Sutlej on 23rd 
December with Nott's force, and quitted that place for Sukkur 
on 5th January 1843, in order to open the road for Leslie's 
troop of Horse Artillery. 

Lrom Sukkur the detachment came down the Indus in boats 
to Hydrabad, rejoining head- quarters on 24th March 1843, just 
in time lor the battle of Hydrabad. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Leslie, C.B., wrote the following regarding 
the assistance he had received from the detachment : — 

" 1 do hereby certify that Jemadar Auiaraputty of the 3rd 
(0) Company Madras Sappers and Miners, in charge of a party 
of thirty men of the above company serving in Afghanistan, was 


for a long time attached to the troops under my command, and 
marched with his party at the head of the troops through the 
whole of that difficult country. I have considered it a point of 
duty to give the jemadar (who was only then a havildar) this 
certificate as a record of my high opinion of his services and 
zeal, r have never met a more willing or efficient man. He 
and his sturdy and hardworking comrades were ever ready and 
always successful in making a road for the guns over the most 
difficult c round ; and having their tools always in their hands, 
their work was never delayed. In short, I am anxious to bear 
testimony to the unwearied zeal of the whole party, and wish 
them success with all my heart." 

The head-quartei's of the C Company remained above the 
Rohm Pass till September 1M42, and then returned to the plains 
of Kutchee with General England's retiring force. 

This movement was effected in three columns, which followed 
each other after three or four days' intervals, and the company 
was accordingly divided into three detachments. 

The coinpany (with the exception of that part with General 
Nott's force) assembled at Sukkur and crossed the Indus to 
Roree with the force under Major-General Sir Charles Napier. 

The following officers served with the company in Scinde : — 

Brevet Captain Henderson, Madras Engineers. 
Lieutenant T. F. V. Outlaw, 26th Madras Native Infantry. 
First Lieutenant C. A. Orr, Madras Engineers. 
Second Lieutenant A. J. M. Boileau, Madras Engineers. 
Assistant Surgeon Carlow, Medical Department. 

As early as tlie 20th December, Sir Charles Napier had 
informed Lord Ellenborough, the Governor-General, that the 
desert was the place to strike at the strength of the Ameers of 

In tlie deserts to the east of the Indus, the Ameers had two 
forts, Imaumghur and Shahghur, about twenty miles apart, and 


distant in a south-easterly direction from Roree about eighty or 
ninety miles. 

Sir Charles Napier said that if he advanced south against the 
Ameers and defeated them, they would proceed to Tmaumghur 
and rallv in a place where it would he almost impossible to 
follow them. If he attempted it, the Ameers from Hydrabad 
would march acfainst his rear, while if he continued his march 
to Hvdrabad, the force which had rallied at Traaumsfhur would 
follow him and intercept his communications with Eoree and 
and Sukkur. He accordingly conceived an enterprise as hardy 
as anv of which militarv records tell. He resolved to attack 
Tmaumghur, which was accounted impregnable as a fortress, 
and inaccessible from its situation. 

Tt was in the very heart of the waste, eight long marches, 
while its exact position was unknown. 

The General pushed on to Digee-kaKote, which he reached 
about 4th January 1843, and where he was joined by Outram. 

The native agent sent to explore the route to Tmaumghur came 
back with a tale of arid sand and dried-up pits, so that Napier 
resigned all hope of effecting his march with his whole army. 
He accordingly selected 3-50 men of the 22nd, two 24-pounder 
howitzers, Captain Whitler's camel battery, 200 Scinde Irregular 
Horse, and thirty Madras Sappers ; officers and men being all 
mounted on camels. Besides these, there were ten camels with 
provisions and eighty with water. 

At 2 A.M. on 6th January the detachment started and marched 
twenty -two miles and a half. 

No forage could be obtained for the horses, so 150 of the 
Scinde Horse were sent back. 

On the 7th the reduced force marched ten miles to Doorab. 
On the 8th, eleven miles to Tuggul. On the 9th they went 
twelve miles to Luk. On the 10th to Muttree, eleven miles, 
crossing a succession of steep heavy sand-hills, over whicli the 
howitzers were dragged with great difficulty. 


On the 11th they marched eight miles and a half, being 
employed for two hours in making a road up one sand-hill. 

The next day, the road being of much the same character, 
they marched six miles and three-quarters, and arrived at 

The entrance to the fort was through a gate on the east side 
of an outer enclosure mud wall twelve feet high, which was in 
the form of a rectangle. In the enclosure was a good well, a 
few stable huts, and two small powder magazines. From this 
enclosure the entrance was through a strong well-flanked gate, 
in a redoubt attached to the fort, which served to cover another 
gate situated about midway on the eastern side. These gates 
were of good material, well bound with iron, and commanded by 
lines of fire from loop-holes in every direction. There was a 
tower at each angle of the fort, and one mid-way on the west side. 
Three guns and numerous wall-pieces, &c., were found mounted 
on the walls. The fort was built of brick masonrv. The walls 
and towers were forty feet high, and the large tower on the 
south-east corner fifty feet. 

Napier found that Mahomed Khan, although he had a strong 
fortress, weir provided, and garrisoned by a force six times as 
numerous as the band coming to assail him, had fled with his 
treasure two days before. Taking a southerlv direction, he 
regained the Indus, leaving all his grain and powder behind. 
The Engineers present on this expedition were — 

Major Waddington, Bombay Engineers, Commanding 

Brevet-Captain Henderson, Madras Engineers, Field Engi- 
First Lieutenant Brown, Bengal Engineers. 
Second Lieutenant Boileau, Madras Engineers. 

On 18th January the Sappers went down and formed seven 
mines under the exterior wall of the northern curtain Some 
shafts were also commenced in the galleries and towers by a 


working party of the 22nd. The powder was also removed from 
the fort. 

Tn the afternoon of the same day two 24-poimder howitzers 
plaved into the fort. 

On 14th January the shafts commenced the day hefore were 
carried down eight or nine feet, and chamhers made. The 
howitzers were again practised with good effect In the after- 
noon they commenced to charge and explode the mines. 

There were altogether twenty-fonr of these mines, and the 
destruction of the fort was effected on the 15th January by 
Major Waddington, all the other Engineer officers being present. 
Matches of all having been lighted, the Assistant Engineer took 
refuge behind some cover. He perceived his chief bending over 
the train of one mine, and called out, " The other mines are 
going to burst ! " Waddington replied, " That may be, but this 
mine must burst also," and then, having arranged the match, he 
walked away, holding up his hands to guard his head from the 
huge fragments which the bursting mines sent into the air to 
fall in showers. 

Orders were now given for the destruction of the rest of the 
powder which had been found in the fort ; accordingly 7,000 lbs. 
were placed in a room inside the fort and fired. 

The result was a magnificent explosion ; not a vestige of the 
house was to be seen ; the adjoining well was filled up, and bits 
of walls which had remained standing were shaken down. 

Four thousand pounds of powder were then collected just 
inside the gate of the outer enclosure. This was fired by Lieu- 
tenant Brown, and the explosion surpassed in appearance the 
last one. 

After the destruction of Imaumghur, Napier intended at first 
to go on to Shahghur, but hearing that the tribes were gathering 
head at Dingee, he resolved to move back as rapidly as pos- 
sible to the Indus to rejoin his army. 

The Duke of Wellington, on hearing of this expedition, said : 


J having ffie' jlOts-iiUTTi' nf' th^ Mine^ ^prme/^ /pr cAp 

cUmoUZoon, heZweerv Vielg'^gip\Arir 

1S4S . 

^ . I . 

I-I ' -^ 

JcaU.^ Plan^ •iOfre/ 'ran /ne/l 

Jcale,/»rrfecfyMn. 20f!i7rr,i,4 /n,/t 


" Sir Charles Napier's march on Imaumghur is one of the most 
curious military feats which I have ever known to be performed, 
or have ever perused an account of in my life. He moved his 
troops through the desert against hostile forces. He had his 
guns transported under circumstances of extreme difficulty, and 
in a manner the most extraordinary, and he cut off a retreat of 
the enemy which rendered it impossible for them ever to regain 
their positions." 

Napier chose a new route for his return, more to the south, 
leaving Imaumghur on the loth. 

On the second day he reached Tuggul, and then directed his 
main body of troops to descend the left bank of the Indus from 
Degee-ka-Kote, and meet him at Peer-Abu-Bekr. 

The first three days of his march were very trying. On the 
fourth he found water and forape. On the eighth day (23rd 
January) he reached Peer-Abu-Bekr. 

Eighteen days in the waste, he came back triumphant, with- 
out a check, without the loss of a man, without any sick, having 
dispersed the Ameers' army and baffled their plan of campaign. 

From Peer-Abu-Bekr, Napier marched south, and on the 31st 
reached Nowshera. 

Here he halted five days, while Outram proceeded to Hydra- 
bad as a negotiator, and the light company of the 22nd was sent 
with him as a guard. 

On 8th February Outram reached Hydrabad with thirty 
sepoys, under Captain Wells. The company of the 22nd arrived 
three days after. 

The Ameers, it is believed, now made up their minds to 
murder the Commissioner and his officers, destroy his escort, 
and then give battle with 00,000 against our force of 3,000, of 
whom only 500 were Europeans. 

On the 12th, Outram and his officers were invited to a durbar. 
General Napier had meantime reached Sukkerunda, sixty miles 
from Hydrabad, and halted. 

n. 13 


In hopes of entrapping the General, the Ameers suffered 
Outram and his oflBcers to leave unhurt, and countermanded the 
attack on the Residency. 

Our army was on the left hank of the Indus, and drew all its 
supplies from Roree and Sukkur, by the Indus. On its left 
was the desert, and on a line drawn east from Hydrabad, 
perpendicular to the Indus, were Meerpore and Oomercote, the 
fii'st at the edge of the desert forty miles from Hydrabad, the 
second sixty miles from Meerpore, right in the heart of it. 

The Beloochees of Lower Scinde, 30,000 strong, were then 
assembled on the plains of Meannee. The Princes of Upper 
Scinde had 7,000 men at Khonhera. The Chandians, 10,000 
strong, had crossed tlie Indus in rear of the British camp ; 
] 0,000 men were at Meerpore ; Oomercote was garrisoned, and 
thousands of the hill tribes were coming down to the Indus. 

On the 1 4th the Ameers commanded Outram to depart, but of 
this Outram took no notice. Outram had to resist the assault 
of 8,000 men and six guns, with two armed steamers, a stone 
house, and 100 men who had only forty rounds of ammunition 

He had with him Captain Conway, Lieutenant Hardinge, and 
Ensign Pennefather of the 22nd, and Captains Grant and Wells 
of the East India Company's service. 

Captain Brown, Bengal Engineers, went on board the steamer 
and directed the guns. 

The Residency was gallantly defended by its small garrison 
for three hours, when Outram retreated to the steamers, the 
Satellite and the Planet. 

The two steamers then proceeded up the river, assailed on both 
banks. At Muttaree, one march north of Meannee, they found 
the army, and joined it. 

Our army reached Muttaree on the 16th morning, the troops 
of the Ameers being at Meannee, ten miles off, in a position 
formed by the dry bed of the Fullailee. The English army was 

1843.] MADRAS ENGINi'.ERS. 195 

reduced to 2,000, of whom 200 were detached, under Outram, to 
drop down the river again and to burn the shikargahs on the 

On the night of the 1 6th the army marched, and at 8 a.m. on 
the ]7th the advanced guard discovered the Ameers' camp. The 
Ameers' forces consisted of 30,000 to 40,000 Beloochees, with 
fifteen guns. Five thousand of the force were cavalry. Their 
front extended 1,200 yards, and lined the dry bed of the 
Fullailee. In front of this, their guns were massed in two 
places, covering their flanks. Their wings rested on large, 
dense, shikargahs. That on the Beloochees right was intersected 
by minor nullahs, very deep, running at right angles to the 
Fullailee, and that great nullah took a sudden bend to the rear 
behind the shikargah, forming a deep loop, in which was the 
Ameers' camp and cavalry. All the nullahs were carefully 
scarped. The shikargah on the left was very extensive, enclosed 
towards the plains by a high wall, having one not very wide 
opening about midway between the two armies. Five or six 
thousand troops were in it. 

The pDsition of the Beloochees could not be turned, so it was 
necessary to make a direct attack. The British army was only 
2,400 strong ; the Pooua Horse and four companies of infantry 
were left as a guard to the baggage, so that order of battle was 
formed with less than 2,000, of which 1,780 were bayonets 
and sabres. 

On our right we had twelve guns, under Major Floyd, flanked 
by fifty Madras Sappers, under Captain Henderson, Madras 
Engineers. On the left of the artillery was the 22ud Regiment, 
500 strong, under Captain Pennefather. Further on was the 
2oth Native Infantry, under Major Teesdale; then the 12th, 
under Major Reid, and the 1st Grenadiers, under Major Clib- 
borne, while on the extreme left was the 9th Bengal Cavah'y, 
under Colonel Pattle. 

In front of the right were som infantry skirmishers, while 

13 * 


the Scinde Irregular Cavalry, under Captain Jacob, covered the 

A plain extended between the tTPO armies for about 1,000 
yards ; the first 700 yards of this was covered with low jungle, 
but the other 300 had been cleared by the Beloochees. The 
line now advanced. 

The right of the Ameers' was found to be much strengthened 
by the village of Kathree, but the general detected a flaw on 
their left in the shikargah. The wall had not been loop-holed, 
neither had any arrangements been made for firing over the top. 
The grenadiers of the 2<?nd, under Captain Tew, were placed in 
the opening before mentioned, to block up the entrance, and they 
received orders never to give way, but to die there if necessary. 

This opening was gallantly and successfully defended, but, 
unfortunately. Captain Tew was killed. 

The British right passed securely under the wall of the 
shikargah. When the 22ud had got within 100 yards of the 
Fullailee the column opened line to their left. This formation 
was still incomplete, when the General ordered a charge. The 
English guns were run forward into position, the infantry closed 
on the Fullailee at a run, and rushed up the sloping bank. 
When they reached the top of the bank they found crowds of 
Beloochees in their front, but the 22nd dashed on. During this 
time the small band of Madras Sappers on the right fought 
gallantly and protected that flank of the artillery, which from its 
position swept diagonally along the bed of the Fullailee, tearing 
the masses with a horrible carnage. The sepoys now came into 
action. The Beloochees fought with desperate courage, never 
more than three yards apart, and often intermixed. The Eng- 
lish were several times violently forced back. Pennefather fell 
wounded. Major Teesdale was killed. Major Jackson, of the 
12th, also killed, fighting splendidly. 

Many of the European oflBcers were either killed or 


The sepoys now began slowly to recede, but the General was 
there, and brought them up again. On one occasion Sir Charles 
Napier was assailed by a chief, but Lieutenant Marston of the 
23rd slew the sirdar. 

For three and a half hours this fierce fight continued. During 
all this time the grenadiers of the 22nd maintained their post at 
the opening from the shikargah. Major Clibborne should have 
stormed Kathree, but instead of doing so kept his sepoy grena- 
diers in a position where they were but slightly engaged. 

The General perceived this, and sent orders to Colonel Pattle, 
second in command, to charge with all the Bengal and Scinde 
cavalry on the right. This order was at once carried out. 
Major Storey led the Bengal troopers on the enemy's infantry to 
the left, while the Scinde Horse fell on the Ameer's camp and 
cavalry. Now the Beloochees began to waver. The 22nd leapt 
forward, pushed them into the ravine, and closed in combat 
again ; the Madras Sappers did the like, the Sepoys followed, 
and at the same time those in the shikargah abandoned that 
cover and joined the left, where the conflict was renewed. The 
battle was, however, lost, and the Beloochees began to retreat 
slowly, but with no marks of fear. The victors followed closely. 
Two or three thousand Beloochees kept their position on the 
extreme left, but the British guns were turned on them, and 
they at last went off also. 

The General now halted his army, recalled his cavalry, and 
formed a large square, placing baggage and camp-followers in 
the centre. During the battle it is recorded that in every 
quarter astonishing feats of personal bravery were performed. 

Twenty officers, including four field officers, went down in 
battle, six being killed ; 250 sergeants and privates, of whom 
sixty were killed. The loss of the Beloochees was enormous ; 
carefully computed to be 6,000. A thousand bodies were 
heaped in the Fullailee alone. In four hours 2,000 men struck 
down 6,000, three to each man. The General, at break of day, 


sent word to the Ameers that he would storm Hydrabad if they 
did not surrender. Soon after noon six Ameers entered his 
camp and offered themselves as prisoners. 

On the ] 9th the army took possession of the city of Hydr- 
abad, and next day the fortress was occupied. 

Fifty-five officers were mentioned in the General's despatches 
as having distinguished themselves at the battle of Meaunee. 
Amongst them were Major Waddington, Bombay Engineers; 
Captain Henderson, Madras Engineers ; Lieutenant Brown, 
Bengal Engineers ; Boileau, Madras Engineers ; and Lieutenant 
Outlaw, commanding the company of Madras Sappers and 

In a letter, Sir Charles Napier made honourable mention of 
Subadar Tondroyen, of the Sappers, as follows : — 

'•' At the battle of Meannee, Subadar Tondroyen led his com- 
pany most gallantly down into the bed of the Eullailee. He 
followed Major Henderson, his commanding officer, who for 
that gallant action received the Companionship of the Bath. 
At this time the part where these two brave men led was about 
the most dangerous part of the field. I saw with admiration 
the boldness of the behaviour of the company and its com- 
mander, and the Subadar was at his side on all occasions. This 
old warrior's courage, energy, and great bodily exertions excited 
my admiration, and Major Henderson can confirm my opinion 
of him. If I am entitled to the Bed Ribbon of the Bath, he is 
to the Order of Merit." 

Captain Henderson captured one of the enemy's standards, 
which he presented to the head-quarters of the Corps. 

In his despatch after the battle of Meannee, dated 18th 
February 1843, Sir Charles Napier thus notices the Engineers 
and Sappers : — 

" Captain Henderson, of the Madras Engineers, took a 
standard, and did good service with his excellent little band of 
Sappers and Miners, not only in this engagement, but through 


the campaign. His Lieutenants, Boileau and Outlaw, have also 
distinguished themselves." 

Captain Henderson received a brevet-majority and a C.B. 

Alter the battle of Meannee, the General sent to Kurrachee 
for reinforcements and supplies of ammunition. Colonel Roberts, 
who was at iSukkur, despatclied a supply of ammunition down 
the river, knowing how important this matter was. 

Lord Lilenborough caused three regiments from the Sutlej to 
be warned for service in IScinde, also 350 of Chamberlain's 
Horse and a camel battery, and sent the whole to Sukkur. 
{Shortly after. Captains Leslie's and Blood's batteries of Horse 
Artillery and 3rd Bombay Cavalry were despatched. 

The small band of Madras iSappers who had accompanied 
Wott's force to Cabul came down with Leslie's battery, and 
arrived in time to take part in the battle of Hydrabad. 

iSir Charles Napier now formed an entrenched camp on the 
left bank of the Indus, as well as a post on the opposite side 
of the river, and placed his hospital and stores in the camp. 

Ameer bhere Mahomed (or the " Lion," as he was called) was 
still at the head of ^o,UUO to 4U,UU0 men. 

He advanced his main body to within ten miles of Hydrabad, 
and the whole country became disturbed. 

ihe Ameers who had surrendered, and were impriaoiicd in a 
garden near Hydrabad, continued to intrigue, so Napier thought 
it advisable to put them on board the steamers. 

On Ibth March the "Lion" sent Vakeels to Napier, saying, 
" Quit this land, and your life will be spared, provided you 
restore all you have taken." As they delivered the message the 
evening-gun tired, and Napier replied, " You hear that sound ? 
It is my answer to your chief. Begone ! " 

The '• Lion " now advanced in force to Alika Tanda, ten miles 
from Hydrabad, and thence detached y,000 men to Dubba on 
his right, and 5,0U0 to Kooseree on his lelt, while he retained 
1^,UUU at Alika Tanda. 


His army thus occupied a triangle, his left wing to assail our 
camp, his right to attack Hydrabad, while his centre gave battle 
to our troops advancing from the camp. 

Before the 16th the British army had received six months' 
provisions, recruits, money, and ammunition. The camp was 
strongly entrenched, and Hydrabad Fort had been repaired and 

The 21st Native Infantry arrived from Sukkur, and on the 
19th 800 sepoys under Major Stack, 300 cavalry, and Leslie's 
battery of Horse Artillery, with a small party of Madras Sappers, 
moving down, were within two or three marches. 

On the 2lst Stack reached Muttaree, and received orders to 
push on, as information had been obtained that the Lion intended 
to attack him. 

Napier concluded he would do so at Loonar, two miles from 
Dubba ; so he sent McMurdo with 250 Poona Horse to push 
on to Muttaree and reinforce Stack. 

McMurdo found Stack on the 22nd morning, and on the same 
day the General ordered Jacob, with the Scinde Horse, along 
the same road, and moved himself afterwards with the Bengal 
Cavalry and some guns, followed by the whole infantry. 

Stack marched from Muttaree at 11 a.m. on the 22nd, and 
passed tfee Fullailee. He marched with his guns, infantry, and 
cavalry in advance, followed by his baggage, so that when the 
guns had passed the small nullah at Loonar, the rear of the 
baggage had only just crossed the Fullailee at Meaunee. 

As the baggage approached this nullah, the Belooch match- 
lock men crossed the Fullailee from a shikargah, and opened 
fire. Captain McMurdo charged with a few of the Poona Horse, 
and sent to Major Stack for a troop. 

McMurdo, meantime, was attacked. He sustained their fire 
for three-quarters of an hour, and saved the baggage. The 
troops at last came up, when he charged and drove tlie enemy 
across the Fullailee, McMurdo then, leaving Lieutenant Moore 


in charge, galloped after Stack, took back two guns, and, placing 
them in a flanking position, raked the enemy's troops. 

Stack, sensible of his error, now halted and formed up. 
Jacob's Cavalry came in sight, the baggage was closed up, and 
the movement conducted properly ; but the column did not 
reach our camp till midnight. 

Further reinforcements arrived from Sukkur and Kurrachee 
on the 23rd The recruits were thrown into Hydrabad, and the 
veteran troops which occupied it joined the army. 

At day-break on the 24th 5,000 tighting-men were underarms 
in front of our camp, 1,100 cavalry, and nineteen guns, five of 
them being horse artillery. 

Two pieces were left in the camp, and seventeen went with 
the army. 

The army marched m the direction of Kooseree. 

On the 22nd a part of the company of Madras Sappers was 
employed in forming an easy descent for the artillery into the 
Fullailee ; and on the evening of the 23rd they formed part of a 
force, consisting of two regiments of native infantry an.l a 
battery of two 8-inch howitzers, sent forward to take possession 
of the bank of the river where these preparations had been 

Early on the morning of the 24th they crossed the river, and 
formed on the opposite side, and Sir Charles Napier appeared 
at the head of the main body and the reserve which had marched 
from Hydrabad. 

The whole now advanced in order of battle, the company of 
Madras Sappers being at the head of the advanced guard. They 
had proceeded about three miles when the General discovered 
the enemy were in position, and moved towards them with the 
Scinde Horse. 

Shortly after this the enemy opened their artillery-fire. This 
continued during the advance, and the British line took up its 
first position 1,200 yards from the enemy. Here a bold recon- 


noissance was uudertaken by Major "VYaddington, Commanding 
Engineer, who rode along tlieir whole front at a distance of -^00 

During the advance Captain Henderson received orders to 
make a slight detour in order to make a nullah passable lor the 
heavy battery, and, finally, the Sappers remained attached to 
these guns. The company was formed into sub-divisions, one 
to each gun, and assisted also in limbering aud unlimbering in 

Our artillery opened hre at 1,200 yards, but as it was not 
sufficiently ett'ective, the line advanced a further distance of 500 
yards. I'rom the second line a heavy cannonade was opened 
from each of our batteries, which continued for about an hour. 

Several of the enemy's tumbrils exploded. 

Shortly after this there was an evident commotion amongst 
the enemy, and a movement towards their right. Our infantry 
was now ordered to advance. 

The 22nd was the first to close with the enemy, who were 
found to occupy a double canal running along their front, each 
being thirty to forty feet wide at top, and provided with an 
embankment on each side, forming a front of two ditches aud 
four parapets ; from ditch to top ol rampart twenty-five feet 
high, iiesides this there were other canals running in their 
rear aud on their ielt ; while their right rested on the village ol 
Dubba, the walls of which were pierced with loop-holes; and 
in the vicinity there were several breastworks. 

ihe 22nd advanced in the most steady and determined manner. 
The regiment sufiered a good deal, but reserved iheir fire till 
within forty paces, when they poured in a volley, ascended the 
first embankment, aud continued their fire till they were enabled 
to surmount the obstacles opposed to them, and then wheeling 
to the left, drove the enemy before them. 

Meanwhile the 21st and 25th Native Infantry advanced in a 
similar manner, formed on the right of the 22nd, and the three 


regiments working together, drove the enemy back into the vil- 
lage, where they were exposed to a heavy fire from the Horse Artil- 
lery, whose guns were now on the top of the first embankment. 

At last the enemy were obliged to cjuit the village, wdien they 
were pursued by the cavalry, which completed the rout of the 
right of the enemy's line. While this was going on on our left, 
the right of our line was also actively engaged. 

When the commotion and movement of the enemy, previously 
noticed, took place towards their right, it was discovered that 
some of the enemy had taken Bight towards their left. The 
Bombay Cavalry and Scinde Horse immediately charged, and 
slew many of the fugitives. 

The other three regiments of Native Infantry (1st, 8th and 
12th) continued their advance and crossed the canals ; but our 
cavalry being amongst the enemy in their front, they had to 
cease firing. Opposition now soon ceased. The field was ours, 
and the whole of our force formed line along the bank of the 
Fullailee, east of Dubba. 

With regard to the company of Sappers : after the infantry 
were ordered to advance the artillery could no longer use their 
guns, and the men were formed up and left under command of 
Lieutenant Outlaw, with the artillery. Captain Henderson 
proceeded on and crossed the canals ; Lieutenants Outlaw and 
Boileau soon followed with the company, as it was found that 
the artillery were not to advance over the canals. 

But by this time the enemy began to take to flight, and as the 
artillery were ordered to form line on the bank of the Fullailee, 
the iSappers returned to assist the heavy battery over difficult 
ground. Captain Henderson, in his report, mentions the great 
assistance he received from Lieutenants Outlaw and Boileau, 
and the excellent conduct of Jemadar Tondroyen and the whole 

Corporal McDonough, of the Sappers, received a matchlock- 
ball in his foot. 


The Bengal Cavalry and Poona Horse pursued the retreating 
masses on the right. The Scinde Horse followed further to the 
right, and actually got sight of the "Lion's" elephant and 
camel, and would have been able to secure him, when Colonel 
Pattle, second in command, put a stop to the pursuit, and the 
*' Lion" escaped. 

We lost 270 men and officers, of which number li7 belonged 
to the '^'^nd Regiment. The Beloochees lost 5,000 men ; 800 
bodies were lying in the nullahs and at Dubba, and all the 
villages and lanes beyond were filled with the dead and dying. 

Seventeen standards and fifteen guns were captured. Eleven 
of the guns were taken on the field, and four next day. There 
were thirteen wounded prisoners ; this was a slight improvement 
on the day of Meanee, when there were only three. 

The General ascertained that the retreat of the enemy was 
chiefly in the direction of Meerpore, and he again put his troops 
in motion. The thermometer on the day of battle had stood at 
110°; the troops had marched twelve miles, and fought for three 
or four hours, when they rested for eight hours. In spite of this 
fatigue thev marched twenty miles further, and passed through 
two entrenched positions which the "Lion" had prepared to 
fall back upon. 

Next day the Poona Horse reached Meerpore, forty miles 
distant from the field of battle. 

The " Lion " fled to Ooomercote, while Meerpore was taken 
possession of by our forces. It was found strongly fortified and 
full of stores. 

Napier sent on the Scinde Horse under Jacob, and a camel 
battery, with Captain Whitlie ; he supported them with the 25th 
Native Infantry, under Major Woodburne. The company of 
Madras Sappers also formed part of the force. To assist in the 
capture of Oomercote, where opposition was expected, the 
General ordered the troops in Cutch to march ou that place also. 
When Captain Whitlie was within twenty miles of Oomercote^ 


he received orders to retreat, "as the river was rising before its 
time, and with unusual rapidity." 

At this time Captain Whitlie heard that Oomercote had been 
abandoned, so he halted while Lieutenant Brown (Bengal Engi- 
neers) rode to Meerpore to get fresh instructions. Brown rode 
to Meerpore, forty miles, without stopping, and returned as 
rapidly as possible with instructions for Whitlie to push on. 

On the 4th April, Oomercote opened its gates, the garrison 
retiring into the small interior fort. Major Woodburne, with 
the 25th Native Infantry, arrived by forced marches, placed 
guns in position, when the garrison, after a short parley, came 
out and laid down down their arms. Nine guns were found in 
the fort. The British flag was now hoisted on the highest 
tower. A small garrison was left in the place, while the 
remainder returned to Hydrabad by the llthApril. Oomercote 
was thus taken only ten days after the battle, although 100 
miles distant, and situate in the heart of the desert. 

The " Lion " now fled northward, and our army was con- 
centrated at Meerpore. 

It should here be noted that, after the battle of Hydrabad, 
some men of the '22nd concealed their wounds, in order to get 
on with the force, expecting another fight. 

Their names were — 

John Durr 

John Muldowny 

Robert Young 

Henry Lines 

Patrick Gill 

James Andrews 

Sergeant Haney, wound rather severe. 

Thomas ^^liddleton ] Severely wounded in 

James Mulvey J the legs. 

Silvester Day ; a ball in the foot ! 

Wounds not severe. 


The march of troops from Cutch was now countermanded, 
and Niipier with his army marched back to Hydrabad.* 

On 8th April Sir Charles Napier was in the Palace of the 
Ameers, having in sixteen days, with 5,000 men, defeated more 
than 25,000, captured two great fortresses, and marched 200 

The " Lion " still had an army, and attempted to get 
reinforcements from the other side of the river, hut he was foiled 
by the General's vigilance. Steamers were sent up the river to 
destroy boats, and on one occasion 100 sepoys were sent up 
to drive away the Chief, which was effectually done. In the 
north-w^est Ali Moorad and Chamberlain were placed to inter- 
cept the "Lion." Kobertsf was ordered to march from Sukkur 
down to Sehwan, with 1,500 men and a battery. 

On the evening of the 7th Colonel Roberts heard that Shah 
Mahomed, the " Lion's " brother, was at Peer-arres near the 
Lukka Hills, fourteen "miles from Sehwan Pioberts marched in 
the night, surprised and defeated him, and took the Chief 
prisoner. Roberts then crossed the river. 

Jacob was now at Meerpore^ and troops were ordered from 

When this had all been arranged, the troops all marched on 
Koomhera. Roberts from Sehwan, south-east; Ali Moorad and 
Chamberlain from the north ; Napier from Hydrabad, and Jacob 
from Meerpore, up the margin of the desert. 

The' " Lion " tried to break through Jacob's force, but was 
defeated, and fled with ten followers across the Indus. These 
operations terminated without the loss of a single mnn in 
action, but more than sixty officers and men died from the 
effects of the extreme heat. 

Thus the war terminated in Upper Sciude ; and the General, 
turning his attention to the Delta, quickly tranquillized it by 

* A plan of Oomercote was taken by Captain Henderson, M.Yj, 
t Afterwards Sir H. Roberts, K.C.B. 


means of his native police. After the conclusion of the war the 
company of the Madras Sappers remained in Scinde for about a 
year. Detachments from the Company were sent to all the 
principal stations in Lower Scinde, and were employed in 
various public works, such as building forts, erecting barracks 
for European and native troops, constructing a stone pier in 
Kurrachee harbour, &c. ; with the exception of a short period 
when a naique's party of Sappers accompanied a force under 
Major General Simpson, second in command, in an expedition, 
on which the General, in a note to Lieutenant Outlaw, expressed 
his high appreciation of the uaique and his party. The 
company embarked at Kurrachee for Bombay, on board the 
steamer Neme-ns, on 2oth March 1^44, having been on foreign 
service for nearly three years and a half. 

On the company quitting Scinde, the following General Order 
was issued by His Excellency Sir Charles Napier, G.C.B., 
Governor of Scinde : — 

" Captain Henderson, and officers, N.C 0., and privates of 
the Madras Sappers and Miners, you have earned laurels in 
Scinde ; no troops have more honourably conducted themselves. 
Associated in all the glories of the Bombay Army, you leave 
this country regretted by your companions. You have served 
under my immediate command for a year and a half. Your 
labours during our march into the desert were greater than those 
of any other troops, and were undergone with spirit. You did 
your duty bravely in the battles of Meannee and Hydrabad. In 
the former of these two actions you were conspicuously placed 
and nobly acquitted yourselves. I regret to lose you. but 
justice to you after your hard service has made me send you 
to your own homes, where an honourable reception awaits 
you. Go where you will, you will be attended by my sincere 
regards, and my heartfelt respect. To my friend Captain Hen- 
derson, T have given a letter for the Commander-in-Chief of the 
Madras Army, that his lordship may be aware of your worth." 



Just as the C Company left Scinde, the Government ordered 
Madras Sappers to serve at Aden. This they continued to do 
till 1854. 

D Company from April 1844 to April 184 7. 

E „ November 1845 to November 1848. 

A „ February 1847 to February 1850. 

C „ September 1848 to December 1851. 

B „ January 1850 to April 1852. 

F „ September 1851 to December 1854. 

From November 1845 to April 1852, there were always two 
companies at Aden at the same time, and occasionally, for periods 
of two or three months, there were three companies, or one-third 
of the whole corps, which consisted at that time of nine com- 
panies. Up to the end of 1846 the F Company had been 
engaged in China, and it was only after the China War of 1842 
that the Corps had been increased from six to nine companies. 

All this, in addition to the brevity of those campaigns, will 
possibly account for the fact that the Corps was not called upon 
to furnish a detachment for service in the Sikh Wars of 1845- 
46, and 1848-49. 

Several Madras Engineers served at Aden. 

Lieutenant E. Hemery served as Assistant Field Engineer, 
from 17th March 1846 to 17th May 1847, 

Lieutenant J. C. Anderson was Assistant Field Engineer, as 
well as Second and First Assistant Executive Engineer and 
Assistant under the Commanding Engineer, from 17th ^March 
1846 to 29th October 1849. 

Lieutenant G. V. Winscom was at Aden as Assistant Execu- 
tive Engineer from August 1848 to the close of 1851. 

In August 1846, the Arabs made an attack on Aden. The 
D and E Companies of Madras Sappers were present, as also 
Lieutenants Hemery and J. C, Anderson of the Madras 


On the 3rd Aucfust information was ref^eivecl that the tribes 
were collecting beyond Lahig, thirty miles north-west of Aden 
(for a religious war against the British) under Syed Tsmael Ibn 
Hnssain-al Hussainee. 

On the 7th, the troops at the Turkish wall were reinforced. 

Between 1 and 2 a.m. on the 17th, the Arabs attempted a 
surprise. The defences consisted of a mere breastwork with a 
shallow ditch, and three small field-works covering the flanks; 
the centre was strengthened by a double redan with two fleches, 
right and left. Sentries were posted at every ten yards. 

A heavy fire of round shot, shrapnel and canister, speedily 
made them retreat. 

The heavy ordnance at Dhumal Hosh also fired on them. 

The Arabs lost twenty killed and wounded, including a chief. 

On the 25th they again appeared, as also on the 27th, but a 
few doses of shrapnel was too much for them. 

On the 19th May 1^29, the establishment of Engineers at 
Madras had been fixed at forty-six officers : — 

2 Colonels. 

2 Lieutenant-Colonels. 

2 Majors. 
16 Captains. 
1 6 First Lieutenants. 

8 Second Lieutenants. 

A memorial was sent in by certain officers of Engineers 
regarding their unprecedented supersession by the other branches 
of the army. This was sent home on 10th June 1844, and a 
reply to it was received, dated 27th November 1844. 

The concessions due to this were very meagre, for the only 
alterations granted were to increase the first lieutenants to 
twenty and the second lieutenants to ten. 

By this fincrease four second lieutenants were promoted to 

II. 14 


first lieutenants, but the addition of six officers to the junior 
ranks of the Corps, wiibout increasing the number of the higher 
ranks, tended to make promotion still slower, and in no way met 
the grievance of the petitioners. 

Previous to the First China War, the establishment of Madras 
Sappers and Miners consisted of six companies. On that service 
they were found of so much value that they were increased to 
nine companies. 

In November 1857 the establishment was still further 
augmented to twelve companies, and shortly afterwards the 
allowances of the Commandant were raised from 400 rupees to 
600 rupees per mensem to equalise the pay with that of an 
Executive Engineer First Grade in the Department of Public 

Early in 1862 the number of companies was fixed at ten in 
place of twelve, and the two junior companies (L and M) were 
accordingly reduced, and up to date the Corps has remained at 
that strength. 



Second Burmese War. — Martaban taken. — Rangoon taken. — Expedition to Bas- 
sein. — The General returns to Rangoon. — First expedition to Pegu. — Prome 
occupied temporarily. — Lord Dalhousie at Rangoon. — British Anny of Ava. 
— Great Pagoda foi-tified. — Advance on Prome. — Pegu captured. — Pegu 
besieged. — Reinforcements arrive. — Pegu relieved. — Action near Pegu. — 
Night attack on Prome by Burmese. — Annexation of Pegu proclaimed. — 
Expedition to Martaban. — Advance thence to Tonghoo. — Burmese Chiefs set 
out for Ava. — Tonghoo occupied. — Disaster near Donabew. — Expedition 
under Sir John Cheape to retrieve it. — Myat-toon entirely defeated — but 
escapes. — Cheape retui'ns to Donabew. — British frontier fixed. — Second visit 
of Governor-General to Rangoon. — Assault of Nattom. — Captain Geils 
wounded. — Boimdary fixed by Major Allan 

The Treaty of 1H2G with Barmah guaranteed the safety of our 
merchants and commerce. The King of Ava had also agreed to 
receive a Resident at Ava, but two or three of them were so 
badly treated that the British Government resolved to refrain 
from sending any more. Our merchants were subjected to great 
oppression and exaction. 

This oppression culminated in the Governor of Rangoon 
placing a British ship-captain in the stocks on the false com- 
plaint of a Burmese pilot, and fining him (the captain) 900 

The Governor-General demanded the removal of the Governor 
of Rangoon, the payment of £900, and the admission of an 
agent at Rangoon or Ava. 

14 * 


The Court of Ava at first seemed disposed to agree, and sent 
a new governor to Rangoon, but he turned out more arrogant 
than the former one ; and, finally, a deputation sent to wait on 
the Viceroy by our Commodore, consisting of a number of 
British naval officers, was grossly insulted, and, as a conse- 
quence, all British merchants and residents of Rangoon were 
requested to repair on board the flag-ship. 

All the British subjects embarked by 8 p.m. on 6th January 
1852, and by midnight the whole of the ships were removed by 
the steamers off the town. The men-of-war, also, moved; and 
the King of Ava's ship, then lying in the harbour, was seized, and 
taken some five miles down the river. 

Next day all ships were ordered to prepare for departure out of 
the Rangoon waters. 

On the 9th the Burmese ship was towed down by the 
Herme>i. As she passed the stockade, fire was opened on her, 
which fire was immediately returned. The cannonade was con- 
tinued for two hours, and did great damage to the works. About 
300 of the enemy were killed and 300 wounded. 

The action of the Commodore was entirely approved of by 
the Governor-General, and a written apology was demanded by 
the Governor-General from the Rangoon Governor. 

This, it was soon found, the Governor had no intention of 
giving, and on the 10th or 12th February it was decided to send 
an expedition to Burmah. 

On 2nd April the Bengal Division arrived off the mouth of 
the Rangoon river, in four steamers and four transports, under 
General Godwin. The next day it left for Moulmein, and on 
the oth the force appeared in front of Martaban, and opened fire 
against its defences. 

A storming-party was formed, which attacked the chief position 
under a heavy fire, and in a few minutes Martaban fell. 

Two companies of Madras Sappers were present under Lieu- 
tenant Ford. 


On the afternoon of the 8th the force was again at the mouth 
of the Rangoon river. 

On the 11th the force from Madras arrived. It consisted of 
H.M.'s 51st, the 5th, 9th, and 3oth Native Infantry, three com- 
panies of Artillery, and two more of Madras Sappers. 

The Sappers were under the command of Brevet-Captain 
J. W. Rundall, M.E. Lieutenants Dennison, Blagrave, and 
Mayne, M.E., and Conductor Almond, Sappers and Miners, were 
with these two companies. 

There were now four companies of Madras Sappers in Burmah, 
A, B, C, and E. 

The following officers served with the Sappers during the 
war : — 

Madras Engineers — 

Captain Eundall, commanding. 
Lieutenant Carpendale. 

„ Oakes. 

„ Rogers. 

„ Ryves. 

„ Dennison. 

„ Vaughan. 

„ Mullins. 

„ Mayne. 

,, Gahagan. 

Madras Infantry — 

Lieutenant Mackintosh. 
„ Carter. 

„ Wilson. 

„ Shortland. 

„ Farquhar. 

„ Harris. 

„ Allan. 

„ Furlong. 

,, Daniel, 


On the morning of the 1 2th April the troops landed under 
cover of a heavy fire from the steamers. 

The right column consisted of the 18th Royal Irish on the 
right, H.M.'s 5lst on the left, and the 40th Bengal Native 
Infantry in the centre. The Madras Sappers were drawn up 
with their ladders in rear of the left flank. The Artillery formed 
in rear of the brigade. 

The left column consisted of a wing of the 80th in the centre, 
9th Madras Native Infantry on the right, and 35th on the left. 

The Artillery opened with spherical case at 800 yards."^ Shortly 
after the artillery ceased firing, a storming-party was formed 
from H.M.'s 5 1st and Madras Sappers. The Engineers were 
Major Fraser, B.E., Chief Engineer, with the Madras Sappers 
under Captain Rundall. 

The third division of ladders was in rear under Lieutenant 

While passing on to join the leading division, the enemy 
opened a heavy fire on them, when the Sappers had to ground 
their ladders and open fire. They silenced the enemy and 
marched on to the front. At this time they passed Lieutenant 
Donaldson, B.E. (formerly Madras), mortally wounded. 

On reaching the White House stockade they found ladders 
reared against it. Four ladders were planted. Closely following 
the gallant Major Fraser came Captain Rundall. The storming- 
party immediately carried the stockade, hut with considerable 
loss on our side. 

The companies of Sappers sufi'ered severely, and their bravery 
was everywhere conspicuous. Three of them alone reared a 
ladder, four more having been shot down beside it. Lieutenant 
Trevor, B.E., was here wounded, and Lieutenant Williams, B.E., 
had a narrow escape for his life. 

The Burmese fled precipitately. The artillery were now 

* At this time Major Cakes, M.A., got a sunstroke, 



instructed not to advance till further orders, and after a good 
deal of sharp skirmishing a general cessation of operations took 

The 13th April was employed in disembarking and taking 
into camp four 8-inch howitzers, required for the advance on 
the Great Pagoda. 

Wednesday morning, the l4th, saw the force moving on. 
H.M.'s SOth, with four guns of Major Montgomerie's battery, 
formed the advance, covered by skirmishers. 

About 7 A.M. the sound of musketry was heard, and at 10 
the heavy howitzer battery was brought into position and opened 
fire. This continued for about an hour and a half At this 
time (11.30) Captain Latter, the interpreter, proposed an attack 
on the east entrance of the Great Pagoda. This was agreed to. 

The storming- party was formed of a wing of H.M.'s 80th, two 
companies 1 8th Eoyal Irish, and two companies of 40th Bengal 
Native Infantry. 

The troops crossed over to the Pagoda in the most steady 
manner under a heavy fire. At length they reached the gate, 
which was at once pushed open. A grand rush was made up 
the long flight of steps they had discovered. The storming- 
party suffered severely, but they gained the upper terrace, while 
the Burmese fled in all directions, and the Shoe-Dagon fell for 
a second time into our hands. 

The same morning, at about 11 a m., Conductor Almond came 
from the front, where he was with the clearing-party, to get some 
more tools. The A Company of Sappers were all, at the time, 
sitting down under cover. Lieutenant Ford, who commanded 
the company, called out for volunteers. Corporal Brooks and 
Bugler McNerny started up to go, but Lieutenant iord told 
them to let the natives go- Naique Moonien (who afterwards 
died at Prome) and Private Ramasammy stepped out, went for 
the tools, and brought back Bengal Lascars carrying them. They 
had to cross a large plain exposed to a heavy fire, and this, of 


course, they did twice. The Committee who were afterwards 
assembled to decide on their claims to the Order of Merit, stated 
that the naique and private " evinced conspicuous and un- 
doubted gallantry in voluntarily facing great danger in a matter 
of duty," and considered that they were worthy of the third class 
of the Order of Merit. 

On this day both Captain Kundall and Lieutenant Ford were 
wounded, and the former received the thanks of the Governor- 
General, under date the 28th April. 

The following account of the stockade at Rangoon is taken 
from Laurie's iSecond Burmese War : — 

" Conceive a row of upright timbers extending for miles, as 
they do round the entire place, except in parts of the north and 
east sides, each timber fit to be the mainmast of a ship ; these 
timbers three deep, and so close to each other that a walking- 
stick could not be passed between ; behind these upright timbers 
is a row of horizontal ones, laid one above another, and behind 
all is a bank of earth twenty-four feet broad on the top, and 
forty-five feet at the base. Ihe height ol the top of the uprights 
from the bottom of the ditch, in which they are deeply planted, 
is generally fourteen feet. The upper part of the ditch, and that 
nearest the stockade, is filled with a most formidable abattis, in 
the shape of the pointed branches of trees, stuck firmly into the 
earth, and pointing outwards. Beyond this is the deep part of 
the ditch, which in the rains is, of course, filled with water. The 
upright timbers are strengthened with connecting planks, the 
ends of which are inserted on their tops, and secured by strong- 
wooden pms in the bank inside. They are of such enormous, 
massive thickness, that firing at the face of a stockade would be 
throwing away powder." 

On 17th May General Godwin proceeded to take Bassein. 
The detachment consisted of 400 Europeans, 300 ^Native In- 
fantry, 07 Madras tappers, and a party of Marines. The vessels 
which carried the lorce were the Hesoalris, Moozujf'er, Tenas- 


^ y/A/d'^a&t^ e?/ i/t^ Operaiteri 


serim, and the Pluto, under the command of Commodore 
Lambert. They iiad to make for Negrais, and then proceed up 
the Bassein river. Bassein, about sixty miles above Negrais, 
was reached on the 19th. 

At lialf-past 4, a signal was made for the troops to land. The 
whole had not landed when the enemy opened fire. Our troops 
at once advanced, the stockade was surmounted, the pagoda 
gained, and the enemy driven in every direction within fifty 

A fortified position to the south of the town had still to be 
taken. A company of H.Al.'s 6lst, two of Madras Native In- 
fantry, a few seamen and marines, a party of Madras Sappers 
with ladders, under Lieutenant Ford, and a sub-division of 9th 
Native Infantry were selected for this work. 

A route was taken which brought us in rear of the stockade. 
A small party was detached to attack the north-east side. Our 
progress was impeded by water and thick jungle ; this obliged 
us to take another direction, which brought the party out on a 
brick-road leading straight to the north-east angle of the work. 
When within fiiteeu yards of the position a severe fire was opened 
upon us, and several ofiicers were here shot down. Lieutenant 
Anstey, of the 9tli Native Infantry, and Lieutenant Ford, mounted 
the parapet in the most gallant manner, the former being 
wounded in the hand. 

The enemy now gave way in every direction, and were followed 
by the troops. After we got inside this battery, and were pur- 
suing the enemy across it, Naic[ue Mootooveerapen, of the Sappers, 
was in advance. The Burmese, unable to retreat, faced us, and 
the naique charged, shot one, and bayoneted two others. Lieu- 
tenant Ford particularly noticed his gallantry, and he obtained 
the distinction of the third class of the Order of Merit. 

Our loss was two men killed, and five officers and eighteen 
men wounded. 

Lieutenant Craster, of the Bengal Engineers, and Lieutenant 


Ford received the thanks of the Governor- Gen era! in Council, 
and the Governor-General noticed with approbation " the gal- 
lantry and good conduct of officers, N.C.O., and men of H Al.'s 
51st, 9th Madras Native Infantry, and Madras Sappers and 

On 23rd May the General returned to Rangoon. 

Early in May the Peguese had risen against the Burmese, and 
turned them out of the town; but at the end of the month the 
case was reversed, and Pegu was again in the hands of the 

On 8rd June a small expedition left Rangoon for Pegu, con- 
sisting of one company H.M.'s 80th, rifle company of 67th 
Bengal Native Infantry, and a detachment of Madras Sappers, 
under Lieutenant Mackintosh, with Lieutenant Mayne as Field 
Engineer, the whole force being commanded by Brevet-Major 
Cotton, of 67th Native Infantry. 

On the 4th the troops stormed the pagoda at Pegu, after some 
heavy skirmishing, with the loss of one killed and six wounded, 
and after destroying the fortifications returned to Rangoon on 
the 5th. 

After our troops left Pegu, the Burmese came down, 3,000 or 
4,000 strong, and again drove out the Peguese. 

Prome was temporarily occupied on the 9th July by Commo- 
dore Tarleton. Twenty- two guns were taken from the enemy 
by the steam flotilla. The flotilla was attacked on tbe 7th by a 
strong force of the enemy at Konougee. The enemy's fire was 
silenced in an hour, and the steamers proceeded. 

On the 10th they fell in with the rear of General Hundoola^s 
army (he was son of Bundoola of first war), and after an exchange 
of shots the enemy fled in great confusion. 

On 27th July the Governor-General of India, Lord Dal- 
housie, arrived at Rangoon, and left again on 1st August, after 
publishing an order " off'eriug the combined force his most 
cordial acknowledgment of the valuable and distinguished ser- 


NAVAL *% Military 



1%- 9 ^J8SZ 

(TffB^&W mt/£ S- 



vices they have rendered here." Rangoon, Martaban, and Bassein 
were in our possession, giving us complete control over the 

Still the King of Ava seemed indisposed to give way; 
accordingly, after the departure of the Governor- General from 
Eangoon, measures were taken to forward reinforcements from 
Bengal and Madras, 

The army of Ava was composed of two divisions, each of 
three brigades. 

Brigadier-General Sir John Cheape, K.C.B. (Bengal Engi- 
neers), commanded the Bengal Division, while Brigadier- 
General S. W. Steel, C B., commanded the Madras one. 

The whole force consisted of six regiments European, and 
twelve of Native Infantry, with a full complement of Artillery, 
together with Sappers and Miners; in all some 18,000 or 20,000 

The Madras Sappers were attached to the Madras Division, 
and consisted of head-quarters, and A, B, C, and E com- 
panies, under the command of Captain Rundall, M.E , Field 

On the 6th September it was announced that active operations 
would begin on the 1 8th. 

During the mouth of August the Engineers and Sappers 
were engaged in fortifying the upper and second terraces of the 
Great Pagoda, preparatory to our advance on Prome. 

By the 27th September the whole of the 1st Division had left 
Bangoon, and Brigadier Steel remained in command at that 

On the 2Gth the Medusa had left for Prome, carrying Major 
Eraser, B.E., and his ofiBcers, together with Captain Rundall, 
M.E., and his Sappers. 

On the way up the river two steamers grounded, and detained 
all the other steamers for three days. 

Admiral Austin was taken ill on 5th October, and died on the 


7th, near the Island of Shouk-Shay-Khune, ten miles distant 
from Prome. 

On the 9th the expedition left the island at daybreak, and in 
two hours was under the fortifications of Prome. The enemy 
opened fire on the steamers, which was steadily returned. During 
the day the steamers were employed in bombarding the place, to 
cover the disembarkation of the troops. 

By 5 P.M. H.M. bUth, the Sappers and Miners* and Artillery, 
had landed with two guns, and rested during the night. 

The next morning (10th October), with H.M.'s 18th and 
35th Madras Native Infantry, they proceeded to the Pagoda, 
which was found deserted, and was at once taken possession of. 

General Godwin ascertained that ten miles east of Prome the 
Burmese had a large force, on which the garrison of Prome 
retired when we advanced. 

On i'Sth. October General Godwin returned to Rangoon, 
leaving Sir John Cheape in command at Prome, and Major 
Fraser, B.E., and Major Allan, Deputy Quartermaster-General, 
were entrusted with the arrangements for the housing of the 

During the month of October, Bundoola delivered himself up 
to Sir John Cheape, and was placed as a prisoner on board the 
Sesostris. He had been ordered to appear before the King in 
the dress of a woman, as a disgrace for losing his army in July, 
which order he very naturally refused to obey. 

Nothing of any great consequence occurred at Prome during 
the mouth uf November. There were a few trifling attacks made 
on our outposts, without much result, and the Sappers lost 
several of their men from cholera. In one of the small affairs 
near Prome, Carpendale of the Engineers got a blow in the back 
from a splinter of a jingal he was trying to burst; and on 29th 
November a party of Burmans fired at Mackintosh, of the 

* One hundred and nineteen men, under Lieutenant Allen, 

]' t^nfo/tf 




Sappers, while he was out road-making. The ball struck a dah 
close to him, and then grazed a coolie's leg. 

Captain Rundall,* of the Madras Engineers, died at Prome on 
the 1 2th November. He was an excellent officer, and served 
with distinction in the China War, as also at Rangoon. He 
was succeeded in the command of the Madras Sappers by 
Lieutenant John Carpendale, M.E. 

In the middle of November a force was sent, under Brigadier 
McNeill, to Pegu. Tt consisted of 300 Bengal Fusiliers, 300 
Madras Fusiliers, 400 of 5th Native Infantry, with Artillery, 
Sappers, and two guns. The Sappers were under Lieutenants 
Shortland and Harris. They embarked on 19th November, and 
anchored at sunset on the 20th a little below Pegu. The force 
landed on the morning of the 2lst, at 4 a.m. It was first 
intended to advance between the river and the wall, but the 
severity of the fire proved that the enemy were in a strong posi- 
tion there, and a flank movement was commenced parallel to the 
south wall, through high grass and dense jungle. Before the 
movement commenced, a working party was sent forward to 
clear a track. They did their work well, the whole force follow- 
ing as well as they could. The guns and Sappers were sent to 
the front. This took four and a half hours. The sun was very 
hot, and the fatigue great. By the time General Godwin arrived 
opposite the gateway which was to be stormed, it was found 
that most of the force were dead beat, and that some time must 
elapse before anything like proper columns could be formed. 
At last the best part of the Bengal Fusiliers were got together, as 
well as about half of the Madras Fusiliers, and allowed breathing 
time, the Rifles forming a line of skirmishers in their front. 

General Godwin harangued them, and they were then let loose 
on the gate. The storming parties drove the Burmese before 
them, and then, returning, made for the Pagoda, about a mile 

* " He was a zealous soldier of high talent and of the most exemplary 
character. He died in the prime of life, beloved and regretted by all." 


distant. A few volleys were exchanged, and Pegu was in our 

Our loss was three officers wounded — one, Lieutenant Cook, 
mortally — and thirty-five to forty men killed and wounded A 
few officers were disabled by the sun, amongst them the Briga- 
dier McNeill. He died on 8th December, never having re- 
covered from the fatigue and exposure attending the capture of 
Pegu. The fighting had lasted from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

By the 24th the General, with most of his troops, had returned 
to Rangoon. 

On 9th December news arrived that Pegu was besieged. The 
small garrison which had been left in Pegu, consisted of 215 
Madras Fusiliers, 220 5th M. N. I., and two guns, with 30 
Bengal Artillery, and 40 Madras Sappers, the last under Lieu- 
tenant Harris. Lieutenant J. D. Campbell, B.E., was the only 
'Engineer officer. 

On the 24th November the enemy made an attack upon our 
gunboats, and on the 27th they commenced a most daring attack 
on all sides of the Pagoda, but they were vigorously repelled. 

On the 4th December the enemy again attacked the garrison. 

On the morning of the 6th the enemy surrounded the Pagoda 
and attacked us in great force. 

From the 7th to the 13th the enemy were firing jingals and 
musketry day and night. 

On the 11th two gun-boats had arrived from Eangoon with 
stores and ammunition. In trying to relieve Pegu they were 
driven back with heavy loss.* Major Hill commr.ndcd the 
garrison, and was doing his utmost in hope of a speedy 
reinforcement, but his position was very critical. 

A termination to the affair was brought about by the arrival 
of reinforcements under General Godwin on the 14th. 

* The gun-boats were under the command of Commander Shadwell, of the 
Sphinx, and contained 133 officers and seamen, besides Captain Mallock, B.A., 
and twelve artillerymen. They lost four killed and twenty-eight wjauded. 

1852.] MADEAS ENGINEE1^S. 223 

From the 5th to the 14th the garrison of Pega lost forLy-five 
killed and wounded. Amongst these the Sappers had one 
N.C O. and one man wounded. Major Hill, in his report, wrote : 
" Little that T can say with respect to the practical knowledge 
of Lieutenant J. D. Campbell, B.E., which he has already gained 
on field service, could add to bis reputation as a good service 
officer, but bis unremitting zeal in planning and carrying out 
bis suggestions has mainly contributed to the small loss sus- 
tained by the troops. Lieutenant James, B.A., the only artillery 
officer, has performed his arduous duties much to my satisfac- 
tion. Lieutenant Harris, Madras Sappers, has proved himself 
to be a most efficient Sapper officer." 

On the night of 11th December 1,200 men embarked at Ran- 
goon in two steamers and a number of boats, and disembarked 
six miles below Pegu on the 14th, and the whole were ready to 
move off the ground by sunrise. The General resolved to enter 
the Pagoda by the east gate. Only a large body of skirmishers 
were met, who were gallantly repulsed by the Bengal and ^Madras 
Fusiliers and Sikhs, and Pegu was relieved after a most 
fatiguing day's work. 

It was now the intention of the General to advance into the 
country and free Pegu from the near position of the Burmese 
Army. It was understood that the Burmese were entrenched at 
Kaleebal, four miles north of the Pagoda. 

On 17th December at 7 a.m., a force, composed as follows, 
left the Pagoda. 

;")70 Bengal Fusiliers ; 

150 Madras Fusiliers ; 

182 10th Bengal Native Infantry ; 

330 Sikhs; 
30 Madras Sappers ; 

Total 1,262 men. 

They passed through a very dense jungle for about two miles, 


and then debouched into a large plain, where they found the 
enemy admirably posted behind an entrenchment with abattis, 
about a mile long, filled with masses of men. Our force 
advanced on the enemy, inclining to their own right, to threaten 
the enemy's left, which was open. The Burmese fired a gun 
occasionally as we advanced. When within 400 yards of 
their position 200 men of the Bengal Fusiliers were detached to 
drive in outposts on their right. The outposts retired on their 
main position. 

Columns of attack were now formed, and the General was 
confident that he would get in amongst them, but the Burmese 
considered flight their only safety. 

After the action the troops rested for an hour, and then pro- 
ceeded to Lephangoon, ten miles, which they reached at half- 
past 4 P.M., but again the enemy retired on our approach. 

On the 1 8th the force marched to Montsangoosoo, ten miles, 
arriving at noon. About 3 p.m. the General was informed that 
some of the enemy were about, and he accordingly advanced in 
two columns, but the enemy again retreated for two miles to a 
long range of barracks. 

Two advanced columns were now thrown out for attack, but 
the enemy once more retired, leaving the barracks in our posses- 
sion. The barracks were then burnt, and our troops returned to 
their bivouac three miles distant. 

On the 19th, the state of the commissariat being deficient, it 
was necessary to return to Pegu. 

The General now proposed to detach Brigadier-Oeneral Steel 
to Moulmein, to proceed to Belung, Shoe-Syen, an 1 Sitang, 
while he himself embarked on the 20th, and returned to Rangoon 
on the 22nd.* 

* " About a -week after the second defence of Pegu commenced, lasting till de- 
claration of peace, some ten days later. During this defence we were in no great 
anxiety, as ws had plenty of food and ammunition, and our defences were stronger 
than before. We had, besides, 100 more Europeans, and a fair supply of artillery 
and rockets. "We lost one officer and twelve men killed, and se.eral wounded." 



The General in his despatch says : — " To Majors Garrard and 
Seaton, of Bengal Fusiliers, Captain Renaurl, of Madras 
Fusiliers , . , and Lieutenant Harris, of the Sappers, who 
rendered important assistance, I am much indebted." 

On the night of the 8th December the Burmese made a most 
daring attack on Prome. About midnight three signal-guns 
were fired from the enemy's advanced post. This, of course, at 
once roused our troops. The fire of musketry and jinga^s soon 
announced that our picquets had been attacked. The attack was 
rapid, but our picquets were soon reinforced, and every point 
occupied. A detachment of the Both Native Infantry held Nar- 
wing, to the north of Prome, supported by picquets of H.M.'s 
18th and 51st. The Madras Sappers, with double picquets, 
supported the iOth Bengal Native Infantry and 18th Royal Irish 
on the heights on our right, south of the town. 

The enemy made repeated attacks, but they were as often 
driven back. These attacks were continued till dawn of day ; the 
enemy, finding all their efforts vain, drew off at daylight, but 
appeared again shortly after, on observing a body of Sappers 
going out to work, and they drew up in regular order across a 

A covering party of Europeans was then sent forward, and the 
Burmese retired on Gattray Mew. 

In the afternoon Sir John Cheape moved out with a small 
force close to the advanced post of the enemy, but finding it 
too late to attack, returned, having made a close reconnoissance 
of the position. 

Here may be introduced a few remarks, regarding the Madras 
Sappers, made by Lieutenant Laurie, M.A., in his narrative 
of the Burmese War, from wliich the above account is 

" We cannot omit in this chapter to bring to general notice 
the admirable conduct and untiring exertions of a small body 
of the native army — men who, although they had been broken 

II. 15 


down by disease, had rendered the most vahiable service previous 
to the above night attack, iu the construction of breastwork, 
battery, abattis, parapet, bridge, and road — the small body of 
Madras Sappers worked with the right spirit of soldiers." 

At Rangoon on the morning of the 20th December 1852, the 
annexation of Pegu was proclaimed on board H.M 's ship Fox, 
and next day it was published to the army, and a grand parade 
was ordered. 

On 29th December, a field force was ordered to embark for 
Martaban, &c., under the command of Brigadier-General Steel, 
C.B., consisting of one battery Madras Artillery, one company 
of Madras Sappers, 450 Bengal Fusiliers, loO Madras Fusiliers, 
wings of 10th Bengal Native Infantry and oth IMndras Native 
Infantry, and a detachment of Ramghur Irregular Cavalry. 
Fraser of the Bengal Engineers was to accompany the force. 

On 4th January 1853, General Steel embarked, and next 
day all the troops were anchored oflF their destination. 

It was not till the l4th January that the column marched 
out of Martaban by the Beling Gate to advance on Tonghoo. 

It consisted of about 2,100 men besides followers. The 
artillery, consisting of four 24-pounder howitzers and four 
.5j-inch mortars, was under Colonel Anstruther, C.B. The 
Madras Sappers, about seventy strong, were under Lieutenant 
Vincent Shortland. 

On the first day a small aflFair took place at Kyouk-ye-dwing, 
about four miles from Martaban. 

On the 1 8th the force left that place for Gongoh, where 
another skirmish took place. 

On the 21st, the column moved on to Ouchbada, and on the 
23rd to Yew-gyike A passage for the troops had to be cut 
through dense jungle, the work being performed by the Sappers. 

On the 24th they marched to Zenghyen, when it was neces- 
sary to cross a creek of considerable width. The Field Engi- 
neer (Lieutenant Fraser) and Lieutenants Shortland and 


Farquhar, with their Sappers, constructed a bridge of Burmese 

On the 25th the force arrived at Thaboung. 

On the 26th it reached Kyoke-ko, and next day encamped 
near Beling Creek. 

On the 28th they crossed over to Beling, the depth of the 
creek being only three feet at low water. 

From Beling the force marched by Kokado, Kyi-ketho, 
Kysek-ka-tha, to Sjttang, which place it reached on the 3rd 
of February. 

On the 2nd, ImungGoung, the Governor of Sittang, came 
into camp. 

The force had now marched over 100 miles, and was upon 
the banks of the Sittang river, 700 yards in width. 

On 5th February the column left Sittang and marched by 
Toung-Zayat to Nyoun-ky-dowk, which was three miles north 
from Meekyo and thirty-one miles from Pegu. 

At Meekyo were found 180 carts with provisions, sent from 
Pegu by Major Hill, escorted by some Fusiliers, 9th Native 
Infantry, and Sappers. 

A halt of two days was now made to land stores and to send 
away the sick, 130 in number. 

On the 10th the force marched again, and reached Shoe-Gyen 
the next day. 

The stockade had been evacuated by the enemy, so we 
encamped beyond the town to ilie riglit of the road leading up to 
the Hill Pagoda and stockade. 

Lieutenant Fraser at once commenced the alterations neces- 
sary to convert the stockade into a strong post. 

A light division was now selected for an advance on Tonghoo. 
It did not exceed 900 men, 400 being Europeans. 

200 Fusihers (Bengal). 
170 „ (Madras). 
60 European Madras Artillery. 

15 * 




50 Madras Sappers. 

Detachments of 1 0th Bengal Native Infantry and 5th 

Madras Native Infantry, and Eamghiir Cavalry. 
Two 24-pounder howitzers and two 5g-inch mortars. 

The artillery under Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel Ans- 
truther, and the Sappers under Lieutenant Shortland. 
The force left on the 15th, the route taken being — 

Yong-Danig, loth 

Bogatha, 16th 

Kyouk-ghee, 1 7th 

Kyoum-bea, 18th 

Moung-goa, 19th 

Langlangoh, 20th 

Thandobain, on left bank of the Sittang 
river, 21st 
















The heat was very great, and some of the marching was very 
difficult and tedious, over uneven ground and through rough 
dense jungle. Nine iron guns and eleven jingals were captured 
at and near Kyouk-ghee, 

On our first approach to the river-side near Thandobain, we 
saw a Burmese chief on the other side. The Assistant Quarter- 
master-General rode down to hear what he had to say. He 
wanted to know the cause of our appearance, and said he w^ould 
not fire on us if we would not fire on him. He was told he 
might come across and see the General, but he declined, and 
rode off to Tonghoo. 

It afterwards appeared that on his arrival the Governors of 
Tonghoo, Martaban, Shoe-gyen, and all the chiefs, set out with 
great haste towards Ava. 

On the 22nd our whole force crossed the Sittang river, mostly 
on elephants, and then marched on Tonghoo. The principal 
men of the city came out and surrendered the place. 


The complete expulsion of the Burmese troops from all the 
country, from Alartaban to thirty miles north of Tonghoo, was 
thus effected on 22nd February 1853. 

The Irregular Cavalry, with "a few volunteers, pursued the 
fugitive chiefs for more than twenty miles, and only iialted 
when their horses were exhausted, and they learnt that the chiefs 
were still many miles ahead. 

Although unsuccessful, this attempt to overtake the chiefs 
was a gallant one, as only thirty horsemen were employed to 
follow up the fugitives. 

This march from Alartaban to Tonghoo was a severe and 
difficult one, chiefly through forest. The actual distance was 
240 miles, and took thirty- nine days. 

The Brigadier in his despatch spoke highly of the services of 
the force employed, and with regard to the Engineers and 
Sappers, said : — 

" Lieutenant A. Fraser, B.E., Assistant Field Engineer, has 
been indefatigable in his exertions, both in the higher profes- 
sional duties of an Engineer and at the head of the company of 
Madras iSappers and Miners, who have maintained their well- 
earned name in overcoming the many difficulties of the route of 

At Tonghoo we captured eleven brass guns, thirteen iron ones, 
and 121 jingals. 

We now come to the disaster near Donabew. A robber chief- 
tain, JSya-Myat-toon, had captured our boats in their progress 
up and down the river, and he was so successful in his dacoities 
that it was resolved to send a force against him. 

This party left Rangoon early in February, under command 
of Captain Loch, E.N., C.B. 

It consisted of 185 seaman, sixty- two Marines, and 300 of 
67th Bengal JSative Infantry, with twenty-five officers and two 
3-pounder guns. 

They advanced from Donabew, and proceeded a long distance 


without observing auy signs of an enemy, when they arrived on 
the banks of a small nullah. The road was very narrow, and, 
owing to the thick brushwood and bamboo spikes in the ground, 
it was impossible to deploy. 

As soon as the leading files appeared, they were assailed by a 
heavy fire from a masked stockade. All men in front were at 
once struck down. Captain Loch himself was struck by a 
bullet, which smashed his watch and passed through his body. 
Lieutenant Kennedy, R.N., was killed, and Captain Price, 67th, 
mortally wounded. 

A retreat was resolved on ; and this was carried out in a cool, 
able, and gallant manner, under most trying circumstances. 

Out of 225 Europeans who advanced to the attack, six were 
killed and fifty-three wounded. The Bengal Regiment lost five 
killed and eighteen wounded. Altogether eleven killed and 
seventy-one wounded. The guns had to be abandoned and 
were spiked. 

Captain Loch died of his wounds on Cth February. 

Shortly after, a force of about i,oUO men with two guns was 
sent under tSir John Cheaj^e to retrieve this defeat. 

The Brigadier-General left Prome to proceed against Myat- 
toon. He had with him — 

200 of H.M.'s 18th Koyal L'ish. 

200 of H.M.'s 51st. 

Rifle company of 67th Bengal Native Infantry. 

200 4th Sikh Locals. 

Seventy Madras Sappers under Jjieutenants Mullins, M.E., 
and Trevor, B.E. 

Two guns — one 24-pounder howitzer and a 9-pounder field- 
gun — with some rocket tubes served by the Aladras 
Horse Artillery. 

Sir John Cheape landed and collected his forces at Henzadah, 
about thirty-five miles north of JJonabew.' 

1 tie force left Henzadah on the 22nd, expecting to reach 


Myat-toon's position iu three or four days, and only took seven 
or eight days provisions. 

On the 26th the General found himself still a long way from 
the stronghold ; so, fearing a failure of provisions, Sir John made 
a flank movement to Zooloom, where he arrived on the 28th, 
after a very harassing march. 

The General now waited at Donabew for reinforcements 
expected from Rangoon, as well as to make every preparation. 

On 7th March, every arrangement having been made for an 
advance on Myat-toon's position at Kyou kazeem, the force left 
at 2 P.M., the Sappers marching immediately in rear of the 
advanced guard. 

The party now consisted of 500 J^uropeans, 500 Natives, two 
light guns, three rocket tubes, two mortars, and seventy Sappers, 
with a detachment of Irregular Horse. 

" On reaching Akyoo at 5 p.m., they found a broad nullah 
130 yards wide. Rafts had been made at Donabew by the 
Sappers, and brought up in carts. These carts having arrived, 
and a favourable site having been selected, the Sappers, though 
under a considerable fire of musketry and jingals, formed a raft 
for the passage of the guns and troops in about two hours. By 
two hours after daybreak on the 8th, the second raft was com- 
pleted, and the Brigadier directed the passage to be commenced. 
The two rafts, filled with troops, were rowed across by the 
Sappers, a rope being carried across by each raft and fastened 
to trees on the opposite bank, in order to work the rafts back- 
wards and forwards. By midnight the whole of the troops had 
been carried across. 

" On the 9th the troops marched at 9 a.m. Up to that hour 
the fog had not cleared. The Sappers proceeded as before with 
the advanced guard, and felled a few trees en route. On reach- 
ing Kyon-tanau in the evening, they commenced constructing 
the raits for crossing the nullah at that place, but the Brigadier- 
General considering some cover requisite for the safety of the 


picqnets, which had been sent across in boats, they threw up a 
small breast work for this purpose. 

" On the 10th, at daybreak, the nullah was bridged by means 
of the two rafts, some planks, and old canvas, the nullah being 
some fifty yards wide. The troops and light baggage having 
crossed, the bridge was broken up, and the guns transported on 
tlie detaciied rafts, the whole being carried over by half-past 4." 

" On the 11th the force started at the usual hour. The Bur- 
mese had obstructed the track by cutting down trees ; conse- 
quently the Sappers were hard at work from 11 a.m. till dusk 
removing the trees and clearing jungle.'' 

" On the 12th the force retraced its steps to Kyon-tanau, as 
the way could not be found and provisions were failing again. 
Having returned, the Sappers were employed in putting together 
one of the rafts, after which thirty of them, under Lieutenant 
Trevor, B.E., started with the detachment proceeding to Dona- 
bew for provisions, and the rest were employed in bringing up 
materials for hutting the troops." 

Meanwhile the troops were put upon half rations. 

The force remained at Kyon-tanau till the 1 Gth, when Colonel 
Sturt, who commanded the force sent to Douabew for provisions, 
returned. Cholera had meantime attacked the force, and there 
were thirteen deaths in one day. 

"During the halt at Kyon-tanau the Sappers were employed 
in constructing a breastwork and stockade for the protection of the 
detachment which the Brigadier-General had ordered to remain 
for the purpose of forming a depot for the commissariat stores." 

"At 2 P.M. on the 17th the right wing under Major Wigston, 
18th Royal Irish, was sent on the old road, the Sappers accom- 
panying him for the purpose of clearing the road for the advance 
of the main column." 

" On the following morning the road was found to be entirely 
blocked up with felled trees. These, however, the Sappers, after 
great exertions, succeeded in clearing away as far as the lake 


stockade, which was stormed a few minutes before sunset, wiih 
the loss of one officer aud five men wounded," 

''On the l(Stb, at daybreak, the rest of the force started, leaving 
the sick and provisions in a small stockade at Kyon tanau. 
They joined the right wing at the breastwork, and the sick and 
wounded of Major Wigston's party were sent back to Kyon -tanau." 

" The columns continued their march, the left wing under 
Colonel yturt in front, till they came to the second stockade 
about 4 P.M." 

" The Sappers were again occupied from early morning till 
nearly sunset in cutting a road and removing obstacles (part of 
the time, at the second stockade, being under a heavy fire) to 
enable the guns to cume into action." 

This second stockade was gallantly carried by H.M.'s 5lst 
King s Own Light Infantry, and 67th Bengal Native Infantry. 
Our loss was Lieutenant Boileau and one sepoy of 67th killed, 
and one ensign 51st and six sepoys 67th wounded. 

At 5 P.M. the force was encamped a mile further on. 

Cholera was raging in camp. 

At 7 A.M. on the J 9th the General was advancing with his 
troops, the right wing in front. Having gone out a mile, the 
enemy were found in a breastwork or stockade on the opposite 
side of the nullah (third stockade). 

" During the whole of this day the Sappers were hard at work 
as before, and for three-quarters of an hour under very heavy 
fire in front of third stockade they were occupied in rendering 
the road practicable for the advance of the artillery." 

" The Sappers worked admirably, and the guns were shortly 
got into position and opened a well-directed fire, which 
gradually became heavy on both sides," 

" The third stockade was an extremely strong position. Its 
length was some 1,200 yards, its left flank was protected by a 
morass, and along the whole front there was a nullah with a 
good deal of water and soft mud at the bottom. 


The ground nefiv the right flank was nearly dry, and was 
covered by an abattis which was penetrable by individuals with 
extreme difficulty and some danger, even after the capture of 
the stockade, and was altogether impracticable to troops under 
fire. The only entrance to the stockade was a narrow path, 
across which, at intervals, pits had been dug, and this path was 
commanded by the two guns captured from the previous expedi- 
tion, and by several jingals." 

The fire of the enemy on the path leading up to the stockade 
was so heavy, that the advanced party did not succeed in carrying 
it. Our troops sustained a heavy loss in the attempt to make 
good their way. A '^4-pounder howitzer was at last brought up 
(the men of the 5 1st assisting to dreig it along), and opened an 
effectual fire on the enemy at a range of about twenty-five yards. 
Major Reid, B.A., who brought up the gun, was immediately 
wounded, but the fire was still kept up by Lieutenant Ashe. 

The right wing was now reinforced from the left, and the 
troops advanced in a manner that nothing could check, and the 
stockade was carried. Many of the enemy fled in confusion, 
but some stood to be shot or bayoneted. 
Myat-toon was now entirely defeated. 

Our loss was severe, eleven bodies were buried on the spot, 
and nine officers and seventy-five men were wounded in this we]l- 
fought action, which lasted about two hours. 

" Lieutenant Trevor^ was slightly wounded on this occasion, 
as also several Sappers. Trevor, with Corporal Livinj^stone and 
Private Preston, H.M.'s 5lst, were the first to enter tlie enemy's 
breastwork. The two guns lost by the former expedition were 
now recaptured. The enemy had used them with ofeat effect. 
In attempting to carry off one of them twelve of the enemy 
were killed by a discharge from our 9-pounders. The enemy 
sufiered heavily, but the chief Myat-toon, with a few followers, 
managed to escape." 

* Now Colonel Trevor V.C. 


Sir John Clieape says : " His wliole force and means were con- 
centrated in this position, and 1 imagine he must have had •4,000 
men in these breastworks, which extended l,2u0 yards." 

Lieutenant Mullins brought to the " notice of the Brigadier- 
General that Lieutenant Trevor, B.E., was tlie first to enter the 
stockade on the lUth, and that 1 received most valuable assist- 
ance from him during the whole of the advance on Kyou-kazeem. 
Sub-Gonductor Vernal likewise merits great praise for his zeal 
and intelligence, especially in the formation of the rafts at the 
various nullahs. The tappers, throughout the expedition^ worked 
in front of the column under the protection of the advanced 
guard, wliich practically consisted of skirmishers, there being no 
room lor any formation until the Sappers had cut a road through 
the jungle. Piling and unpiliug arms perpetually was found to 
be very troublesome, and carrying arms lu addition to tools a 
great fatigue ; consequently the arms of the Sappers were placed 
in a cart, and the men on more than one occasion entered 
stockades with the storming -party armed only with felling-axes 
and dhars (a Burmese weapon, a sort of sword with a handle 
about the same length as the blade, and very useful for felling 
small trees). 

" On the 19th March the men had to cut a road all along the 
front of the stockade, and at a distance of from thirty-five to 
fifty yards only from its face, under a fire of great severity, 
which did not cease for a moment till the stockade was stormed. 
Their work throughout was most laborious, for, in addition to 
clearing the way, which involved cutting through and removing 
large trees, levelling the ground, tkc, from morning until night, 
or constructing rafts and bridges for crossing tlie nullahs, they 
were called upon to provide for the safety of the picquets and 
outposts, and sometimes their work was not over until some 
hours after sunset. No men could have done better, or have 
been more cool and steady under tire, and tlie circumstances of 
the expedition made their services invaluable." 


Sir John Cheape, in liis despatcli, thus mentions the services 
of the Engineers and Madras Sappers: — 

" To Lieutenant Mullins and the detachment of the Madras 
Sappers and Miners the greatest praise is due ; the work executed 
by the men was most laborious, and the zeal and talent with 
which their energies were directed by Lieutenant Mullins are 
most creditable to him. He was ably seconded by Lieutenant 
Trevor, and I am mainly indebted to these officers and the men 
under them for enabling the troops to reach the enemy's 

Our losses in the expedition were heavy, considering the 
smallness of the force : 2 European officers killed. Lieutenant 
Taylor, 9th Madras Native Infantry, and Ensign Boileau, GTtli 
Bengal Native Infantry; also J Native officer and lb warrant 
officers, N.O.O.'s and men, and 1 lascar; total, 22. Twelve 
European officers wounded, Lieutenant Cockburn mortally, 7 
severely, and -L slightly ; also I Native officer, 93 warrant officers 
N.CO.s and men, and 2 lascars ; total, 108. Grand total, 
130 killed and wounded. 

After the action a party was sent out to Myat-toon's own 
village, but not a person was to be seen, either at Kyou-kazeem 
or in another village passed on the road to it. These villages, 
situated on the Pautanar Creek, were three-quarters of a mile apart. 
Colonel Sturt, with the Commissariat, remained in the lirst 
village, while the I'est of the force proceeded to Kyou-kazeem. 

On the 20th, Captain Tarleton, R.N., arrived with some gun- 
boats, having cut through obstructions in the creek for some 
fifteen miles. Some 900 boats, crowded with people who had 
been kept in subjection by Myat-toon, passed down the creek. 

On the 22nd the force was ordered to return ; 4 p.m. was the 
hour fixed for departure, but at 2 p.m. the village of Kyou- 
kazeem caught fire. Sir John Cheape was able to cross, but with 
difficulty, and even then not without being scorched. The fire 
spread with great rapidity. The sick, guns, and ammunition 

ON 19^" MARCH. 1853. 

mnirj^ if 


Trench 'v^trie^ ind^ih fronv JT'cSfie^ 

JTuAf belt? o/'tre^. &■ bU'Sh^ •Juti^U^ z.s- ahotit a- vnu 



BB. A fimall low Island. 
CC. Arm of the Creek. 
DD. Route of the Force on the lOth Ma 
EE. Road by which the brea; 
F. Pit. about three feet deep, dug acrosB the road by the E; 

. Sinull detached breastwoik coiuinaudiuti both roade. 
HH. Strong lofj breaatworkn and trenches masked in front by tree juncle 
aud strengthened by luassive abattis. Flanks .r ,/ similarly defende.l. 
II. Four gaps in the timber works, apace filled by felled trees and bushes 

ugly mterlaced. 
J. Road leading to Shue-bang-gun direct ; from v 

the Creek to Kun-ta-ni (right) and Kun-ka-zeen (left). 
KK. Position of the ■' Phlegethon's " three-poundera when recaptured 

lad for the (^ine, Ac. was formed by tilling the trench, 
N.B.— Til 

i)k abattis 


had luckily already been sent off. Great confusion reigned for 
some time, but eventually all were collected in Colonel Sturt's 
camp, and the force marched to Kyou-banao the same evening. 

On the 23rd a nullah was crossed to Akyoo, and next day 
Donabew was reached. 

Our total casualties amounted to nearly 250, as upwards of 
100 died of cholera. 

On 31st March the Burmese Commissioners arrived at Prome, 
and their formal meeting with the British Commissioners took 
place on the 4th April. 

Negotiations lasted for a month, but no treaty could be signed, 
as the new King would not cede any of his territory. The 
Governor-General refused to give up one place we had taken, 
and said that any attempt to disturb our new possessions would 
meet with severe retribution. 

The frontier of the British territories was finally fixed to the 
northward of ]\Ieeaday and Tonghoo. 

On 30th June 1853 the Governor-General notified that " the 
army of Ava will no longer be maintained on a war establish- 
ment, but at the same time a force will be permanently retained 
in Pegu, amply adequate for its defence, and fully prepared for 
the event of war.' A donation of six months' batta was granted 
to all naval and military forces that had been employed during 
the war. 

On 3rd August General Godwin left Rangoon for Calcutta, 
but did not long survive the campaign, as he died at Simla on 
26th October. A monument was erected, by the armv, to his 
memory, in Rangoon. 

Naique Mootoo Veerapen and Private Raraasammy, of the 
Sappers, were admitted to the Third Class of the Order of 
Merit, for conspicuous gallantry during the campaign. 

On 14th December the Governor-General made a second visit 
to Rangoon. He left Rangoon for Prome three days after, and 
on the 2r)th went to ^Sleeadav, six miles further to the north. 


A pillar of demarkation was built and saluted, when he returned 
to Meeaday. The Governor-General returned to Rangoon from 
Prome on 6tli January 1854, and left for Bassein on the 9th, 
whence he proceeded to Calcutta. 

On 2ist January 1854, Major Allan, D.Q.M.G., arrived at 
Tonglioo from Prome as a Special Commissoner, accompanied 
by a detachment of Sikhs and a small party of Madras Sappers. 
They accomplished the distance, 140 miles, in sixteen days ; the 
sappers vastly improving the road as they went along. 

A force was now organised to accompany Major Allan, to fix 
the boiindarv. One company Madras Fusiliers, a detachment of 
5th ^ladras Native Infantry, another of Madras Sappers, and a 
few Kampoor Irregular Horse ; all under the command of 
Captain Geils. The force left Tonghoo on 24th January. At 
Kaleen, seventeen miles distant, they had a skirmish, and a 
second one took place at Tewah, nine miles further on. 

On the 30th, as no further news arrived from Major Allan, it 
was resolved to send out reinforcements under Colonel Poole. 
A detachment of Madras Fusiliers, a strong force of Sikhs, and 
another party of Madras Sappers, under Lieutenant Shortland, 
together with a party of Madras Artillery, with two 24-pounder 
howitzers and a rocket-tube. This party reached Yagay, and 
were about to start for Kaleen, when a messenger arrived from 
Major Allan. The letter was dated Myeehau-Yoah, forty-two 
miles north of Tonghoo. The force had met with stong oppo- 
sition, and breastworks, &c. had been brought into play to 
oppose our progress. Captain Geils was severely wounded 
while leading on his men at the assault of Nat-toon, four miles 
from Myo Khla, and the affair became a somewhat serious one. 
The Burmese had to be repelled at the point of the bayonet, and 
we had eight or ten men wounded. 

The 5th Native Infantry and Madras Sappers highly dis- 
tinguished themselves. Lieutenant P. A. Brown succeeded 
Captain Geils in command, and accompanied Major Allan to the 

18.54.3 MADEAS ENGINEERS. 239 

boundary point opposite Mabaw, six miles beyond Myo-Kbla, 
baving crossed and re-crossed tbe Sittang river. 

Tbe boundary-line was marked forty-eigbt miles from Tongboo, 
in a line witb one six miles nortb of Meeaday. 

On 2nd February Colonel Poole's force arrived at Myo-Kbla, 
but could not find Major Allan. Tbe next day news arrived 
tbat be was returning to Tongboo, and on tbe 7tb the whole 
force arrived there. 

On the lOtb a small force of Engineers, Fusiliers, and Madras 
Native Infantry, witb two howitzers, under command of Captain 
Tullocli, left for Yagay to protect the surrounding country, and 
a temporary military post was formed there by Lieutenant A. S. 
Moberly, of tbe Madras Engineers. 




Defence of Kars, 1855. — General Williams reaches Kars, 7th June. — Kars com- 
pletely invested. — Russians attack, 29th September. — Russians repulsed 
•with very severe loss. — Relief expected — but does not arrive. — Gan-ison in 
great straits for food and firewood. — Cause of inactivity of Turks at Erze- 
roum. — Conditional surrender necessary. — Kars surrendered, 28th November. 
— Despatch from Lord Clarendon regarding services of officers. — Honoiu-s 
granted to General Williams and Colonel Lake. 

This memorable defence must form a part of the history of the 
Madras Engineers, as the Engineer who planned the works, and 
who was one of the principal men engaged in the defence 
belonged to that Corps — Henry Atwell Lake, at that time a 

In August 1854, Colonel Williams, C.B., had been appointed 
British Commissioner in Asia Minor. He found thp Turkish 
army in a most demoralised state, and every difficulty was 
thrown in his way when he strove to amend matters. 

Before the end of the year General Williams applied for three 
officers to assist him. One of Artillery, one of Engineers, and 
one a Rifle officer. The following were appointed — Captain 
William Olpherts, Bengal Artillery; Lieutenant Henry Lang- 
horne Thompson, 68th Bengal Native Infantry ; and Brevet- 
Major H. Atwell Lake, Madras Engineers. 

Towards the end of March 1855, Olpherts and Thompson 


arrived at Kars ; and Teesdale (General Williams' A.D.C.) then 
rejoined the General at Erzeroum. 

All the officers engaged in this work obtained a step of 
local rank. 

On 31st March, Lieutenant-Colonel Lake assumed charge of 
the post at Kars which had just been vacated by Teesdale. 

Kars is 7,000 feet above the sea, 40° 15' north latitude, 
43° 16' east longitude, with an extensive plain in front, and 
high mountains in rear. It is built in a kind of semicircle 
formed by the Kars Tchac, where the river enters the narrow 
gorge of the mountains. 

The fortress is an irregular polygon, built of stone, with a 
double enceinte of walls, and four towers. 

The citadel is at the north-west angle, very strong in itself, 
but commanded by the hills in the rear. 

The inner wall of the fortress is flanked by numerous small 
towers, and the outer wall forms a circuit of a mile and a half. 

The mountain of Karadagh, east of, and commanding the 
fortress, was, in 1828, fortified by a battery of earthwork, and 
well furnished with cannon. There was also a tower called the 
Castle of Temir Pasha, on the opposite bank of the river, west 
of the fortress. 

In 1828 Kars was captured by Prince Paskiewitch in a few 
days. General Monteith, Madras Engineers (then a Lieutenant- 
Colonel), was present at this capture, and accompanied the 
Prince during a considerable part of the campaign. The fortress 
in 1855 was in much the same state as it was in 1828. 

It was not till the middle of April 1855 that Lieutenant- 
Colonel Lake was enabled to make a pi'oper inspection of the 
fortifications, as, up to that time, the snow had not sufficiently 
disappeared. In order to prevent the enemy from coming too near 
the fortress, it had been deemed necessary to surround the place 
with an entrenched line, extending from the foot of the Karadagh 
to the river on the west. This line had to be carried to a con- 
n. 16 


siderable distance, owing to the ground rising from the town to 
the plain, and then falling immediately. The position was thus, 
unfortunately, too extensive for a limited garrison. This breast- 
work was in a very damaged state. In several places there was a 
great hiatus, and it afforded no cover for the men, while flanking 
fire seemed to be a thing unknown. At the east end of the south 
line, three sides of a large rectangular redoubt, called Hafiz 
Pasha Tabia (battery), had been built, but it was entirely open 
at the gorge, had insufficient parapets, and had no magazines. 
At the other end was a small battery, Ivauli Tabia, also a useless 
work as it then stood. Between these two batteries two small 
lunettes, Zeni and Feyzi Bey Tabias, had been thrown up. On 
the west line part of the breastwork had been strengthened, and 
salients thrown out to form an open battery for guns en 
barhette. Nearly at the foot of the Karadagh, on a badly 
chosen site, was a small battery, called Koltuk Tabia, to com- 
mand the Gumri road. These works, with dilapidated remains of 
a wall, which originally enclosed the principal suburb, and two 
round batteries at the angles, Chicbeck and Yusuf Pasha Tabias, 
constituted the whole of the lower defences. The Karadagh was 
fortified by long straggling open works, with one small redoubt 
on the highest point. To the north of Karadagh was a very 
large redoubt called Arab Tabia, on a hill very little lower than 
the Karadagh. It was, however, incomplete, and unprotected at 
the gorge. 

The defences on the north side of the river consisted of a few 
works quite unfitted for purposes of defence, with the exception 
of one small lunette on the edge of a precipice overhanging the 
river, planned and constructed by Major Teesdale in 1854. 

The most commanding spot of all was north-west of the 
fortress, and on it had been constructed an unmeaning work, 
called Veli Pasha Tabia. To the right of this battery, along a 
ridge running parallel to the river, were three small works, 
lunettes open at the gorge ; one noticed, as being constructed 


by Major Teesdale, the other two badly placed. There was one 
work called Tehim Tabia, favourably placed on rising ground 
commanding the river, west of the town. 

These were all the works in April 1855. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Lake had gone to Kars with full powers 
from General Williams, and the Mushir commanding the army, 
to remodel the fortifications and construct such new works as he 
might consider necessary. 

As a preliminary step, eighty men were told off under Captain 
Hadji Agha to form a band of Sappers, to be taught how to 
make gabions, fascines, &c., and to set up profiles. 

About the middle of April 500 men were at work on the 
entrenched line, under Major-General Hafiz Pasha. The engi- 
neer stores were very inadequate ; but in spite of this, an entirely 
new line of breastwork was marked out in some places, and the 
whole was put into a thorough state of repair. The necessary 
openings were adequately protected, and the batteries bearing on 
the several roads passing through the lines were strengthened, 
added to, and altered where necessary. All were closed at the 
gorgesj and provided with magazines. Chevaux de frise were 
put up in each battery, and at every opening. Many small 
works were constructed for the purpose of flanking fire, and 
shortly the lower works assumed a defensive appearance. 

Koltuk Tabia was demolished, and a new battery, larger and 
on a different plan, was built higher up the slope of the Kara- 
dagh. Where Tehim Tabia stood, a large enclosed redoubt, 
called Vassif Pasha Tabia, was made, with command not only of 
the river, but also of a great part of the town, and permanent 
stone bridges. Two large magazines were made under the 
traverses. In nearly all the batteries the body of the parapet 
was composed of loose stone, packed with great neatness and 
dexterity, thickly covered with earth, well beaten down and 
turfed, so that the strength of the work was enormous. 

On site of Veli Pasha a large and very formidable redoubt was 

16 * 


built, capable of containing a garrison of 5,000 to 3,000 men. 
Magazines were made, and a very large strong wooden block- 
house, loop-holed all round, revetted with earth, and turfed over, 
so as to render it completely shot-proof, was constructed at the 
goi'ge. Tiie block-house was large enough to hold 300 men, 
and "was fitted up with sleeping places. This redoubt received 
from the Turks the name of Fort Lake. The two lunettes on 
the heights were strengthened and closed at the gorges, and the 
same thing was done with the work on the edge of the river. 
They were named Zohrab, Thompson, and Teesdale Tabias, and 
the whole formed the ** Ingliz " batteries. 

The fortifications on the Karadagh were much strengthened. 
Arab Tabia was put in a state of defence ; and as it was con- 
sidered too large, and that there was no time to reduce its 
dimensions, a redoubt was built in the centre commanding the 
whole work. 

The bulk of the ammunition had hitherto been kept in the 
citadel in a most insecure place. One of the existing buildings 
was altered and converted into a secure magazine. Two 
temporary bjidges were thrown across the river, to afford easy 
communication between the lower works and those on the 
heights. They were constructed of wooden pontoons, which had 
been used for the same purpose the previous year, of a very 
clumsy description, and not even well adapted for stationary 
■work, still less for service should the army take the field. 

During all the time these works were being carried on, the 
officers had other various duties — procuring information regard- 
ing the plans of the enemy, examining deserters, and supervising 
the drill of the garrison; the infantry under Captain Thomp- 
son, and the artillery under Major Olpherts, Bengal Artillery, 
who was afterwards sent by General Williams to join Veli Pasha's 
army near Erzeroum. 

The garrison at this time consisted of 10,000 infantry, 1,500 
artillery, and 1,500 cavalry. The last were very badly equipped. 

1^*55.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 246 

had wretched old horses, and the men could neither ride nor 
manoeuvre. The artillery was good, as also some of the 

During the time Lieutenant- Colonel Lake was engaged at 
Kars, General Williams and his aides-de-camp were incessantly 
employed in fortifying Erzeroum. 

Towards the latter end of May it was ascertained that a large 
Russian force had crossed the Arpa, a boundary river. 

A new Mnshir, or Commander-in-Chief, was sent up from 
Constantinople to command the army in Asia Minor, and had 
arrived at Kars in April. 

Early in May the whole of the Kars garrison was paraded 
before the Mushir. By this time the garrison had been con- 
siderably increased. 

In May commences the great fast called the Ramazan, and it 
lasts forty days, during which time Mussalmans are enjoined to 
abstain wholly from water or food during the day. 

A few days before the beginning of the fast, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Lake waited on the Mushir, and pointed out the disas- 
trous consequences likely if this custom was observed. It 
necessarily followed that they must cook and eat at night, and, 
consequently, could get no proper rest; they would be prevented 
from working with energy on the fortifications^, and their strength 
would be reduced in an encounter with the Russians, Avho were 
likelv for that very reason to attack. 

The Mushir hesitated to issue any order, and Colonel Lake 
applied to General Williams to interfere. General Williams 
accordingly wu-ote to the Mushir; but meantime the Mushir 
relented, and issued an order to the garrison to consider the 
Ramazan for the present a dead letter. 

On 7th June, General Williams and his personal staff arrived 
at Kars. 

Two days afterwards the enemy advanced and encamped near 
Zami-Keni, eight miles from Kars on tlie Kars Tchac. 


The Turkish cavalry outposts had been thrown out on heights 
overlooking the village, 

Lieutenant-Colonel Lake and Dr. Sandwith visited the out- 
posts on the 14th. He found that the outposts had been thrown 
too far forward, and when day broke a regiment of Russian 
cavalry was observed approaching. 

The patrols were called in, and the whole outposts, 250 
badly mounted and worse armed cavalry, with fifty Bashi- 
Bazouks, were retired. 

At first the Turks retreated in good order, but the Bashi- 
Bazouks, finding the enemy coming on at a gallop, took fright 
and fled, when the rest of the detachment, headed by many of 
their own officers, put spurs to their horses, and the flight 
became general. They were closely pursued by the enemy, but 
they managed to get within reach of the guns of the fortress 
with trifling loss. 

By this affair it was fully proved that very little confidence 
could be placed in the cavalry of the Kars garrison. 

The 16th of June was the great day of the Beiram, Orders 
were issued that all ceremonies should be dispensed with, as the 
enemy was much too near. 

This precaution was most fortunate, as about 10 a.m. the 
Russian army was seen drawn up in line of battle on top of the 
first hill beyond the town. 

A trifling engagement took place between the cavalry, the 
Turks retreating to the protection of their guns, when the 
guns of the Karadagh opened fire, as also those of Hafiz 
Pasha Tabia. This checked the Russians and they finally 

The general opinion in camp was that the afiair was an 
attempt of the enemy to get into the lines by a coui) de main, 
hoping to find the garrison indulging in the pleasures of the 

The Russians now retired, and encamped at Zemi-Keni. 


Captain Thompson had charge of the Karadagh and adjacent 

Lieutenant-Colonel Lake patrolled the lower works from mid- 
night till 3 A.M., at which hour General Williams visited all the 
most important posts. 

Major Teesdale had supervision of all works near Fort 

The duty was now most severe. Torrents of rain fell inces- 
santly, and in some parts of the camp the water stood a foot 

Picquets were placed round the entire works, 200 paces in 
front, and in advance of them mounted sentries, under the 
superintendence of Colonel Baron Schwartzenburg, formerly of 
the Austrian service. 

General Williams with Lieutenant-Colonel Lake daily visited 
the works, and many additions were made to strengthen the 

The provisions and ammunition were now found to be very 
limited, and the men's rations were accordingly gradually reduced. 

On the 18th the Russian army advanced from Zemi-Keni 
towards Kars. The garrison stood to their arms. 

Towards the afternoon tlie enemy arrived in front of Kars, but 
far out of reach of the batteries. Before sunset they halted 
at Magharadjik, three miles and a half south of the town, and 
pitched their camp. 

The army appeared to be 35,000 or 40,000 men of all arms, 
with a large field-train, but no heavy siege guns. It was com- 
manded by General Mouravieff. 

The Russians were now able to cut oflF all communication 
between Kars and Erzeroum, by the direct route, and the only 
road which was now open was by Pennek. 

The defences having now been completed to a certain extent, 
it was deemed advisable to carry them still further, by fortifying 
the heights of Tachmash, which commanded Fort Lake on the 


west at a distance of 1,900 yards The first intention was to 
construct open works to protect the approaches to the hills with 
light field pieces, which at the same time would prove useless to 
the assailants should the Turks be compelled to retire. A 
similar work called Laz Tabia, was also built between Tach- 
mash and Fort Lake. The batteries of Karadagh and Arab 
Tabia were connected by a breastwork to protect the valley 
between these two hills from a sudden attack. A breastwork 
was also constructed to unite the English batteries with each 
other and with Fort Lake, and a semi-circular battery called 
Churchill battery was erected on a rising ground, capable of 
holding three light guns. 

The stafi* of the Turkish army was not efficient. An Hun- 
garian officer serving under the Turkish Government (General 
Collman), under the title of Fezzi Pasha, was at the head, but he 
laboured under many disadvantages, the chief of which was want 
of an able assistant. Twelve foreign officers served under him, 
but nearly the whole were utterly useless. Fezzi Pasha was a 
man of energy and talent, and nothing but his indefatigable 
attention could have kept matters straight. 

The Commissariat was under a council of Turkish officers 
directed by Mr. Churchill, General Williams' private secretary. 

Soon after the beginning of the blockade it was ascertained 
that the accounts of provisions in store were totally false. It 
was found that large blocks of stone had been mixed with the 
flour to make it appear a greater quantity. 

The storekeeper was confined in irons, and died before the 
surrender of the place. 

On 26th June the Kussians made a reconnoissance in force, 
advancing on Hafiz Pasha and Kanli Tabias. They halted 
within long range of the guns, and after remaining more than 
an hour, retired to their encampment. 

This reconnoissance apparently convinced General Mouravieft 
that the position could not be carried without great loss, 


and determiued hira to decide on blockade, so that he might 
have his army intact to oppose the force which might reasonably 
be expected to be sent to the relief of Kars. 

On the 28th the whole of the Russian army was discovered 
to be on the move, and they pitched their camp a league further 
south, where they took up a position on a ledge of rocks, 
which rendered all approach nearly impossible. 

There were left about 5,000 infantry with artillery and cavalry, 
while all the rest marched south to Chiplakli, and thence to 
Zemi-Keni, where they destroyed the magazines. 

On the Gth July the Russians returned and encamped near 
Komanroor, north of Azad Keni, leaving a garrison at the 
latter place. 

On 1 3th July they made another reconnoissance in front of 
Tachmash, and after remaining several hours retired. 

On 1st August a very large force of all arms left the Russian 
lines under General Mouravieff in person, and took the road 
towards the Soghanli Dagh. 

It was supposed he intended to attack Erzeroum, but after a 
fortnight the force returned to camp. 

Had the Russians attacked Veli Pasha at the Devi Boynon 
Pass, there is every reason to suppose that, in spite of the posi- 
tion having been well fortified by General Williams, owing to 
the pusillanimity of the Turkish military authorities, the result 
would have been fatal, and Erzeroum could then have offered 
only a feeble resistance. 

The Russian force was only 8,000 to 12,000 men, while the 
Turks had 25,000 in an entrenched position, so they ought to 
have felt secure. 

Luckily, however, after a halt of a few dajs, the Russians 
retired towards Kars. 

The British Consul, Mr. Brant, in his despatch of 7th August 
1855, dated Erzeroum, says with regard to the Pashas: — 

" I have not spoken with sufficient severity of the imbecile 


and cowardly conduct of the Pashas. They would undoubtedly 
have run away if they had been attacked, although, with the 
number of guns they had, their position could not have been 
forced by treble the number of Russians." 

Early on the morning of the 7th August a force of about 
8,000 men of all arms was seen advancing towards Kanli Tabia. 
The garrison was instantly under arms, and batteries, &c. 
manned as soon as the Russians came within range. The 
Turkish guns on the south line opened fire with great effect, and 
after two hours the whole Russian force retired to its encamp- 
ment. It was supposed that the intention of the Russian 
commander was to entice the Turks from the works. In this he 
failed, and paid very dearly for his temerity in coming so close 
to the batteries, as they lost a general and several superior 
officers, besides a total loss of killed and wounded very con- 
siderable. Not a single Turk was touched. 

A few days after another grand reconnoissance was made by 
nearly the whole of the Russian army in front of the Tachmash 
heights. On this occasion they did not approach within 
range of the Turkish guns, and after a few hours they again 

As it was now considered probable that the next serious 
attack would be on this side, the line of breastwork was extended 
to the south. At the point where the two lines formed an angle, 
an enclosed redoubt was built, and at the southern extremity a 
small return was made with two salient angles for guns, en 
barbette, to sweep the road running in front of the position. 
About 1,000 yards to the north of these works a small redoubt 
was constructed, which afterwards played a conspicuous part in 
the defence of Tachmash. To the south of this work a small 
open battery was built on a lower level, called Yarmi Ali Tabia, 
and to the north a long line, consisting of battery and breast- 
work, called Shishanagee Lines, was built on a range of hills 
commanding the valley, leading to the front of the English 


batteries, and intended to prevent the Taclimash works being 
taken in flank. 

A very important position opposite the village Telukmak, and 
commanding the road leading from the valley to Fort Lake, was 
also fortified by an open battery, called Tetch Tabia. All these 
works were engaged on the great day of assault, so the pre- 
cautionary measures taken were by no means thrown away. A 
rough stone bridge was thrown across the Kars river (with a 
wooden platform), where its width was fifty feet, and its depth 
considerable. This was to facilitate the communications between 
the Arab Tabia and the English batteries on the other side of 
the river, a zigzag road being formed on both sides down to the 
river. A battery, named Williams Tabia, was formed on dead 
ground lying in rear of the English batteries, close to precipice 
overhanging the river, and intended as a refuge in case the 
garrison was driven from the line in front. Six thousand men 
were encamped on the heights under Major- General Ismail 
Pasha (General Kmety), a Hungarian officer of great ability. 
His services were brought especially to the notice of Lord 
Stratford de Redcliffe by General Williams, who stated that he 
showed great personal bravery at the battle of Infe-Derah, and 
that since that battle he had been the eye of the army. 
General Williams requested that he might receive the pay of his 
rank (Ferik), and have a decoration for personal gallantry. He 
also stated, " He is one of those men who abstain from com- 
plaints or intrigue, and I make this appeal in his favour with- 
out a request on his part." Major Teesdale was directed to 
afford his assistance to this officer. 

Hussein Pasha, a Circassian, also held a command at Tacli- 

On the plain below it was thought desirable to form an 
inner line of defence, and a breastwork was built to connect 
the fortress wall with the burial ground, and carried on till it 
joined Chicheck Tabia. The fortifications uniting this battery 


with Yusuf Paslia Tabia were improved, and Telek Tabia was 
made to the right of Yusuf Pasha Tabia, a breastwork connect- 
ing the two batteries, as well as a second carried from the other 
flank to the steep precipice in the rear, above the river. 

Three rows of troiis de loups, three to four feet in diameter, 
were excavated in front of nearly all the batteries and breast- 
works. All these works were formed under great disadvantages : 
no Engineer establishment ; the ground to be fortified comprised 
a circle of nearly ten miles ; the difficulty, and in many places 
the impossibility, of digging a ditch, owing to the rocky nature 
of the soil ; and, lastly, want of time. A work was decided on, 
at once marked out, and profiles immediately set up; working 
parties were told off, and, as the Russians afterwards remarked, 
batteries appeared to rise by magic. 

The able supervision of Major Teesdale and Captain Thomp- 
son, the cheerfulness and dexterity of the men, and the quantity 
of loose stone in every direction, tended very considerably to 
counterbalance the disadvantages under which Lieutenant- 
Colonel Lake laboured, and enabled him to complete the fortifi- 
cations to such an extent as to render the place defensible. 

Towards the end of August the enemy formed a camp of 
cavalry, with eight guns^ at Borkali, four miles north-west of 
Tachmash ; and other camps at Chalgour and Ainalli, north of 
the position ; and Kars was thus completely invested. 

The men's rations were again reduced, and desertion began to 
take place, and gave signs of rapidly increasing. The Mushir, 
on General Williams' earnest remonstrances, issued an order that 
in future the punishment for desertion would be instant death. 
A case very shortly after occurred, and the man was tried, con- 
demned, and at once shot. This example had a good effect on 
the troops, but desertion, of course, was not completely 

A Turkish force, commanded by Veli Pasha, was stationed 
near the Bayazid line at Euch Kelisea, to keep in check the 


Ei'ivan Brigade of the Russian army, about 6,000 men. He had 
orders, in the event of the Russians advancing, to retire gradually 
on Erzeroum, and early in the month of August, in obedience to 
his orders, he retired on the Devi-Boynon Pass, lately fortified 
by Geueral Williams. 

It now was apparent that spying took place in Kars to a 
great extent, and it was found necessary to put this down with a 
very heavy hand. A short time after an inhabitant was con- 
victed of conveying intelligence to the enemy's camp. He was 
sentenced to death, and hanged the same afternoon in the middle 
of the town. 

On the 2lst August a convoy was seen approaching the 
Russian camp, and it was reported that two siege-guns and a 
large mortar accompanied it. It was, tlierefore, considered 
necessary to strengthen the Kanli Tabia, the south-west angle 
of the lower works. Three of the barbettes were at once raised 
four feet ; additional height was given to the parapet ; embra- 
sures were constructed ; and at midnight two heavy siege-guns 
were brought there and masked with gabions. 

Hitherto the garrison had been unusually healthy, but it was 
now attacked by cholera, In spite of the praiseworthy eflbrts of 
Dr. Sandwithj it committed great havoc, and carried off 1,500 
of the garrison, exclusive of some of the inhabitants. 

On the 23rd September, Arslan Agha, a Chief of Baslii 
Bazouks, forced his way through the enemy's outposts into Kars 
"with six followers, and brought in the welcome news that the 
south part of Sebastopol had fallen, and the Mushir received a 
letter from Omar Pasha. A salute was fired at noon and another 
at sunset, and the order of the day was read to the paraded 
troops. Omar Pasha said that in twenty days he would come to 
the assistance of Kars. 

Day after day and week after week had passed without signs 
of succour ; the weather was becoming every day colder, the 
soldiers on duty suffered most severely, and the hospitals were 


getting more crowded. The enemy remained perfectly quiet. 
The garrison was not lulled into a feeling of security, and no 
relaxation of discipline was permitted. 

At 4 A.M. on 29th September, it was reported to General 
Kmety by the officer in charge of outposts, that he fancied he 
heard a rumbling noise in the direction of the enemy's main 
camp. The troops were under arms, the guns manned, and every 
ofiBcer at his post a few minutes after the alarm had been given. 

Information was at once sent to General Williams. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Lake had, as usual, been patrolling round the 
lower works, and Major Teesdale round the English batteries; 
the latter had just reached his tent and was in the act of dis- 
mounting, when he was startled by a gun flashing through the 
darkness directly in front. He at once galloped off to the 
battery, and heard that the Kussians were advancing. It was 
now half-past 4. The guns continued to fire steadily from the 
Tachmash works. 

The Russians were now close to the works, the guns loaded 
entirely with case-shot, assisted by the rolling fire of musketry, 
swept the enemy completely from the front. The column thus 
split, swerving to each side of Yuksuk Tabia, overwhelmed the 
small open battery called Yarim-ai Tabia, and on the right 
forced its way round and got among the tents in rear. Teesdale 
was in Yuksuk Tabia; and the fire of two guns, besides musketry, 
was concentrated on the interior of the work, which soon 
cleared it, and the Russians took refuge on the reverse slope of 
the parapet, and kept up a galling fire on Yuksuk Tabia. 

While this was going on, a part of the Russian column which 
had re-formed rushed upon an almost undefended point in its 
rear, and so sudden was the assault, that the Russians swarmed 
up the parapet, and many of them actually got inside the work. 
The Turks wavered ; the moment was most critical for Yuksuk 
Tabia. Major Teesdale rushed up into the salient already 
occupied by the enemy. This probably saved the battery. The 



column of attack, although checked, still came rushing up, and 
another hody was seen approaching to their support. 

Teesdale left the Turks fighting well, and went to try to bring 
a gun from the front. He found one limbered up, and with the 
help of four gunners, ran the piece up into the salient, when the 
gun was brought into action. It was loaded only with grape. 
Six times the iron shower tore through the Russian ranks ; the 
column then broke, and fled past the redoubt down the hill. 

Day had now dawned. The force disposed of was the centre 
one of the three which attacked together. On the left Tachmash 
Tabia, with its flanking line of breastwork turned, seemed a 
mass of smoke and fire. On the left eight battalions had rushed 
on the Remison lines. Here General Kmety commanded. The 
Turks lined two faces of a re-entering angle, into which the 
Russians penetrated. 

Leaving the guns, which protected their flank, to do their 
work, until the enemy was close upon them, the Turks then 
opened a converging fire on the head of the column. Though 
many fell, the rest still moved up, but they could not stand the 
deadly fire. The Russians were at last brought to a standstill 
by a mound of dead bodies. The Turks, then led on by Kmety, 
leapt over the breastwork, and completed with the bayonet the 
utter rout of the enemy. This column left 850 corpses in a 
space of about an acre. 

While the heights of Tachmash were being attacked, a force of 
all arms appeared advancing against Kanli Tabia. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Lake at once went to this battery, and finding that 
although the enemy opened fire they remained stationary, it 
became evident that the attack was only a feint. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Lake leaving strict orders with the Turkish ofiicers in 
command not to fire at the enemy till he came "well within 
range, proceeded to Vasif Pasha Tabia. 

General Williams, with the Mushir, and Fezzi Pasha, the 
Chief of the Staff, were at Telek Tabia. 



From Yasif Paslia and Telek Tabias a continuous fire was 
opened with heavy guns against the enemy's artillery, drawn up 
on the left flank of the Tachmash line of works. The Russians 
suffered much from this fire, and attempted to return it, hut 
without much efl'ect. 

All this time the enemy persevered in their attempts to take 
Tachmash and Yuksuk Tabia. 

Day had now broken, and the Russians having turned the 
left of Tachmash, had got up sixteen guns and placed them in 
position, the fire from which fell heavily upon Yuksuk Tabia 
without that garrison being able, from the confusion at Tach- 
mash, to reply to it. This artillery-fire was reduced to silence 
by the Turkish artillery at Vasif Pasha and Telek Tabias. 

General Kmety now came up from the Remison lines with 
four companies of chasseurs, dashed into Yarmi-ai Tabia, drove 
the Russians out, re-formed, and went on in the highest spirits 
to Tachmash. 

Major Teesdale had remained in Yuksuk Tabia, and had 
directed the fire of the guns on the column opposed to his right, 
which was endeavouring to come up a second time. This column 
made several attempts, but was received with such a heavy and 
precise fire that it was compelled to retire, and was seen no 

While this was going on, another column was suddenly 
observed advancing against the line of works called English 
Tabias. This column consisted of eight battalions of infintry, 
two batteries of artillery, and a division of cavalry. The English 
Tabias, as has already been stated, were defective in site. In 
addition to this, they were unavoidably under-manned. Fort 
Lake was fairly well garrisoned, but the other batteries contained 
only 300 men each, while the intermediate breastworks were 
partially lined by the Lazi Irregular Riflemen and the Town 
Bashi Bazouks. 

The attack on these works commenced at a quarter to 7. The 


enemy fired three rounds at the work from their artillery when 
they reached the rising ground in front of the batteries, and 
then charged the breastwork. They immediately effected an 
entrance ; the Turks retiring to Williams Pasha Tabia. The 
Russians now made a breach in the entrenched line, and brought 
in their artillery and began to fire on the town ; but little damage 
was done. Several guns were directed at Fort Lake, 

The position taken up by the Russians was commanded by 
one spot in the Karadagh, and Captain Thompson, taking 
advantage of this, moved a heavy gun to this place, and opened 
fire on the enemy. 

At the same time two large guns were run up on the east 
side of Fort Lake, and commenced a well-directed cannonade. 

Teesdale Tabia had by this time fallen into the hands of the 
enemy, and the heaviest of its guns were turned on Arab Tabia, 
but they were soon silenced by the heavy artillery of that redoubt 
under Lieutenant Koch, a Prussian oflBcer. 

As soon as the capture of the English batteries was known, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Lake, who had been in Vasif Pasha Tabia, 
proceeded to Fort Lake, and assumed superintendence of the 
operations in that quarter. 

General Williams at once ordered reinforcements to be sent. 

Four companies of Chasseurs crossed the river by one of the 
permanent stone bridges, and, climbing up the hill, entered 
Williams Pasha Tabia by the rear, without the knowledge of the 

At the same time (8.30 a.m.) a battalion of infantry was sent 
from Fort Lake, and 1,100 men by Captain Thompson from 
Arab Tabia, across the bridge lately thrown over the river. 

The Russians were now trying to carry Williams Pasha Tabia 
and to engage the fire of Fort Lake, but the guns of this latter 
work swept the front of Williams Pasha Tabia ; and the three 
reinforcements, arriving simultaneously, gallantly charged the 
enemy, and drove them out at the point of the bayonet, the 

II. 17 


Russian artillery having been about a quarter of an hour pre- 
viously forced to retire from the position they had taken up, by 
the murderous cross-fire, which they had withstood for one hour 
and three quarters, in spite of their great loss of men and 

The enemy in their retreat took five Turkish guns with them, 
two of which were afterwards regained, having been left at a 
short distance from the works ; the other guns which were left 
behind were spiked by the Russians. 

During the retreat a regiment of Dragoons made a most 
gallant and unprecedented charge against the breastwork, but 
were received with a tremendous fire, and the confusion which 
ensued from the horses falling into the triple line of trous de 
hup, baffles description. 

The cavalry covered the retreating column, and the whole 
retired in excellent order. 

The loss of the Turks was considerable, but the slaughter 
among the enemy was fearful, and in Thompson and Zohrab 
Tabias the number of dead bodies (more than 200) showed how 
obstinately the Russians endeavoured to retain the advantage 
they had gained. 

Most unaccountably, not a shot was fired from the citadel 
when the enemy were in possession of the English batteries, 
although two large guns were available. 

The officer in command of the citadel failed to give any excuse, 
and was disgraced after the battle. 

The battle on Tachmash heights was meantime carried on 
with persevering courage. 

The expulsion of the Russians from the English batteries was 
of the greatest importance. Had the Russians succeeded in 
capturing Fort Lake, it would have been impossible for the 
Turks to hold Tachmash Tabia, as their rear would have been 
under the guns of Fort Lake, and the tow^n of Kars would have 
been entirely at the mercy of the Russians. 


At the moment the Russians were driven out of the English 
batteries, a battalion of the enemy debouched from the I'ight 
flank of the Tachmash breastwork, with intent to repeat the 
mancEuvre which had so nearly succeeded at Yuksek Tabia, but 
the Turks opened such a heavy firo of grapo on them from 
Yuksek Tabia, that the Russians again took refuge inside the 
line. Here they were met by some reserves, which cut off their 
retreat to the left. They, therefore, took the direction of the 
small work called Telek Tabia, which commanded the village of 
Taclimaih, and contained two guns. This work was a mile 
north-west of Fort Lake. A fearful cross-fire opened on them 
from Yuksek Tabia and Fort Lake, but they effected their retreat 
in good order, although with a loss, afterwards acknowledged, of 
250 men. 

Colonel KaufFman for this gallant act was decorated with the 
Cross of St. George. 

In spite of success on every other point, the fight still con° 
tinued to rage round Tachmash Tabia. 

General Kmety had taken up three companies and Major 
Teesdale had sent three more with a gun, but these reinforce- 
ments hardly made up their losses, and their ammunition was 

The hist hour of the battle was carried on with the ammuni- 
tion of the Russian dead. 

Sallies were made for the express -purpose of obtaining the 
needful supply, and at one time part of the garrison were 
engaged in stripping off the pouches of the fallen on one side 
of the redoubt and throwing them to their comrades, who were 
thus able to repulse the enemy on the other. 

At last, out of the whole Russian infantry, there remained 
but two battalions that had not been engaged. 

The Russian General gave the order to retire, but it was too 
late. General Williams had already sent a reinforcement from 
below, and Colonel Lake had sent a battalion from Fort Lake. 

17 * 


These met as they were ascending the hill to the scene of action, 
and immediately charged the enemy and drove him from the 
interior lines. 

Major Teesdale now led a charge against the enemy's chas- 
seurs and stragglers. On reaching the exterior of Tachraash 
Tabia they found themselves in the jDresence of a regiment of 
the enemy firing heavily along their front. The brave garrison 
of Tachmash Tabia, under Hussein Pasha, rushed furiously out 
to share in the combat, and the Russian regiment seemed to 
melt before them, and the ground was at once covered with 
the killed and wounded, a small remnant flying in utter 

The Turks could not be stopped till they got to the bottom 
of the hill, but the affair was then over. 

The Russian infantry straggled away from the scene of action, 
and only rallied in some sort of order when far out on the plain 
to the left of the hills which faced the Tachmash position. 

The Turks, having no cavalry worthy the name, were unable 
to pursue the repulsed enemy, and were compelled to remain in 
the lines whence they had so triumphantly driven the Russians. 

General Kmety, Hussein Pasha (a Circassian), and Major 
Teesdale, particularly distinguished themselves by their coolness 
and daring. 

Captain Thompson, who was in command of Karadagh and 
Arab Tabias, contributed largely to the happy termination of 
the attack on the English batteries. 

Colonel Yamib, Mustapha Bey, General Kerim Pasha, the 
Reis or second in command, and Colonel Kadri Bey, greatly dis- 
tinguished themselves. 

The Reis received a contusion, and had two horses shot under 

Mr. Churchill, General Williams' secretary, directed the fire 
of a battery throughout the action. 

Mr. Zohrab, Colonel Lake's interpreter, remained with him 


during the battle, and was constantly employed in conveying 
orders and instructions. 

Mr. Remison, Major Teesdale's interpreter, was in the whole 
of the action, during which his clothes were shot through ; he 
did also excellent service. 

Many Turkish officers performed most valuable services 
during the battle. Those mentioned by Colonel Lake were : — 

Colonel Zachariah Bey. 
„ Kurd Ali Bey. 
Lieutenant- Colonel Temoa Bey. 
Major Omar EflFendi. 

„ Mehemet Effendi. 

„ Hussain Agha. 
Captain Halil Bey. 

„ Aarif Agha. 

„ Ibrahim Agha. 

„ Mehemet Eflfendi. 

,, Bekir Agha. 

,, Hussain Agha. 
Lieutenant Koch (formerly in the Prussian army). 
Lieutenant Gratoffsky (a Pole who was wounded). 
Musa Agha. 

General Hussain Bey received a contusion, while Major 
Teesdale got a bruise on the leg from a case-shot. Major Selim 
Agha, Aide-de-Camp to General Kmety, received a ball in the 

Too much cannot be said in praise of the Turkish soldiers. 
The practice of the artillery was perfect, nor were the infantry 
at all behindhand in this respect. The number of Turkish 
troops employed did not exceed 10,000 fighting men, while the 
attacking force was between 30,000 and 35,000. 

It must, therefore, be allowed that the defence is worthy of 
record in the annals of military history, particularly when it is 
considered that the garrison had been living for several montlis 


on less than lialf rations. But while we praise the garrison, we 
must not forget the firmness of the enemy, who for more than 
seven hours fought exposed to such a heavy fire of musketry and 

The loss of the Turks in killed and wounded was 1,092, 
besides 101 townspeople, and a number of B:ishi Bazouks. 

The losses of the Russians were enormous, 10,000 to 12,000 
killed and wounded, 250 to 300 officers being among them. 

On 3rd October (four days after the battle) Captain Thompson 
wrote : '* Up to this morning we have buried 0,200 bodies, and 
more still remain." 

Four wounded Kussian officers and 150 soldiers were taken 

General Williams in his first letter to Lord Clarendon, wrote 
of the " gallant conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Lake, Major 
Teesdale, and Captain Thompson." He also named ^Ir. 
Churchill and Messrs. Zohrab and Remison, as well as Dr. 
Sand with. 

Cholera, which had for a short time ceased, now again broke 
out, and seventy or eighty men died daily. 

The supply of meat entirely ceased, and the men had to 
subsist on farinaceous food. 

The nights were piercingly cold. 

It- now seemed as if the great excitement of the battle had 
been too much after such protracted anxiety, and a gloom 
appeared to be spread over the place from the moment the last 
shot was fired. It was supposed that the victory, together 
with the arrival of Omar Pasha on the coast, would remove the 

Days passed by, but no succour appeared, neither did the 
Russians move from their position. 

Omar Pasha, though he lauded ostensibly to create a diver- 
sion in favour of the garrison, never gave them any intimation 
of what his movements bad been or were to be. He only wrote 


twice; bis first letter contained advice regarding fortifications 
and provisions, which was superfluous ; his second a mere formal 
acknowledgment of General Williams' letter, conveying intelli- 
gence of the victory of the 29th September. 

On the l7th October a large meeting of officers took place in 
the tent of the Mushir. This was held for the purpose of dis- 
tributing the Order of the Medjidie to the various officers for 
their distinguished services on the day of the battle. 

General Williams received the First Class of the Order, also 
Lieutenant-General Kerim Pasha, the second in command under 
the Mushir. Major-Generals Kmety and Hussain Pasha received 
the Second Class, and Colonels Fezzi (General Kollman) and 
Baron Schwartzenburg the Third Class. 

Lieutenant Colonel Lake of the Madras Engineers received 
the Second Class, while Major Teesdale, Captain Thompson, Mr. 
Churchill, and Dr. Sandwith, obtained the Third Class. 

On Messrs. Zohrab and Remison were bestowed the Fourth 
Class. Several Turkish officers of inferior rank were invested at 
the same time. 

Colonel Lake was named at the same time a General of 
Brigade in the Turkish army, Major Teesdale a Ijieutenant- 
Colonel, and Captain Thompson a Major in that army. 

In a despatch dated 2nd November 1855, Lord Clarendon 
wrote as follows : — 

" It is my agreeable duty to convey to you, and to the 
British officers under your command, the cordial approbation of 
the Queen, and of Her Majesty's Government, for the energy, the 
perseverance, and the valour with which for many months, and 
under circumstances of extraordinary difficulty, you have laboured 
with Lieutenant Colonel Lake, Major Teesdale, and Captain 
Thompson, together with Mr. Churchill and Dr. Sandwith, to 
sustain the spirit and discipline of the Turkish troops, and to 
place the defences of Kars in a state to resist successfully the 
attack of the Russian army. I shall not fail to recommend 


these officers to the Queen for the rewards due to their 

Provisions were now running so short that it was easy to 
calculate how many days or weeks the place could hold out if 
not succoured from without. 

Since the day of the battle there had been no animal food. 
A great change in the appearance of the Turks became daily 
more and more visible ; their step was less firm, and their eyes 
less bright, but scarcely a murmur of discontent was heard. 

It was difficult to imagine, even at this late period, that the 
garrison would be utterly forsaken, and the hope of relief still 
kept the devoted garrison from succumbing. 

It had become very difficult to send a post to Erzeroum 
through the enemy's picquets, as after the battle they had been 
doubled, but General Williams having arranged a cypher with 
the Consul at Erzeroum before he came to Kars, he made 
known the wretched plight of the garrison by sending triplicate 
copies on short despatches, rolled and inserted in quills. Usually 
one of the three reached its destination. 

Several attempts were made by the people to leave Kars, but 
they were nearly always captured and driven back by the 
Russians into the place. 

Cholera, which up to this time had committed fearful ravages, 
now began to disappear, but famine soon supplied its place. 
It was no rare thing to find soldiers dead on the roads, while 
others were scarce able to walk. 

Aftes the battle the men were again employed in adding to 
the fortifications, but they no longer worked with the same 
energy. Nevertheless, several new works were completed. 

A small star fort was thrown up on the left extremity of the 
Tachmash lines, the battle having sufficiently shown that a 
closed work was required to prevent this flank being turned. 

A similar star fort was built midway between and in rear of 
Thompson and Zohrab Tabias to strengthen the English bat- 


teries, and an open battery was thrown up for three heavy guns 
and a mortar to protect Arab Tabia and to sweep the ground 
between it and the Karadagh, behind the breastwork connecting 
these two batteties. It was constructed so that if it fell into 
the hands of the enemy it would be useless, being commanded 
in rear by the citadel and Teli Tabia, at the north-east angle of 
the fortress. 

As the garrison was much reduced, it was thought desirable 
to raise the heights of the parapet along the whole south line 
between Hafiz Pasha and Kanli Tabias. 

Deserters were now principally among the sentries in front 
of the works at night ; the sentries were therefore kept entirely 
behind the breastworks, having a numbers of officers patrolling 
along the lines from sunset to sunrise. 

On the heights of Tachmash it was found utterly impossible 
to keep the men on sentry within the lines from deserting, and 
a number of officers were induced, by promise of promotion, to 
shoulder the musket and do the duty of common soldiers at 

On 31st October letters were received by the Mushir from 
Selim Pasha, announcing his arrival at Erzeroum at the head of 
a fine army, cavalry, artillery, and infantry, all in the highest 

It was now supposed that the Kussians must raise the 
blockade. High time it was done. Men were now daily seen 
digging small roots from the ground, which they eagerly devoured, 
their hunger not even allowing them to wait while they washed 
off the earth which adhered. 

The quarters of the English officers were besieged by the 
inhabitants for food. As much as could be spai-ed was given to 
them every day, but this was, of course, quite insufficient. 

General Williams ordered horses to be killed near his quarters 
during the night, and the flesh was sent up to hospital to make 
soup for the sick. This soup had become a luxury. It was 


aclrainistered with great effect upon men who had dropped at 
their posts. 

Towards the middle of November snow began to fall, and 
General Mouravieff began to construct pyramids of stone to 
mark the road to Alexaudropol. 

At this time Lieutenant-Colonel Lake and Major Teesdale 
used to take it in turn to remain out all night, so as to be able 
to send a report to General Williams the moment anything 
occurred in camp. 

The stock of wood now came to an end, and the deserted 
houses had to be destroyed to get some, as it was absolutely 
necessary to have fire. It is to be remembered that the town is 
three miles from the extreme positions. 

The apathy induced by great exhaustion made many men 
neglect to provide themselves with firewood, and numbers were, 
as a result, found daily in the tents quite inanimate. 

All the sugar, coffee, and tobacco which could be found had 
been bought up by General Williams, and this was carefully 
distributed to the several regiments at stated periods. 

Every possible contrivance was resorted to to make the stores 
last till the expected succour should arrive. 

Day after day elapsed, no symptom of Selim Pasha's army 
appeared, and the garrison again began to get disheariened. 

The enemy seemed to be making preparations for remaining 
some time in their positions ; and it became evident that whatever 
Omar Pasha's or Selim Pasha's movements might be, they did 
not frighten General Mouravieff". 

Much of the duty had to be done on foot. Almost all the 
Turkish officers were dismounted, and the stud of General 
Williams and his staff had to be greatly reduced. 

Captain Thompson's health had been failing for a long time, 
but he had kept steadily at his post. The cold and exposure 
now quite unfitted him for exertion, so he at last came into the 
town, and was put under the care of Dr. Sandwith. 


In order to divert the men's minds, Lieutenant-Colonel Lake 
was directed by General Williams to construct a barrack in rear 
of the fortifications of the principal suburb. The work pro- 
gressed but slowly, as it was found very difficult to induce the 
half starved soldiers to work, and consequently the barrack was 
only just completed when the place was surrendered. 

It will now be necessary to explain how it was that, Selim 
Pasha being so close, Kars was not succoured. 

JMajor Stuart was the principal English officer at Erzeroum, 
under whom was Captain Cameron. 

Major Olpherts, B.A., had on the 9th September been trans- 
ferred, at his own request, to the Turkish Contingent. 

On 3rd October reports reached Erzeroum of a terrible 
struggle at Kars, ending in the defeat and almost total annihila- 
tion of the Russian army. 

Major Stuart waited on Veli Pasha, the Turkish Commander 
at Erzeroum. The consultation ended by Veli Pasha engaging 
to advance from Deve-Boynon with 4,000 infantry, 500 cavalry, 
500 Bashi-Bazouks, and thirty field-guns. 

Despatches were received from General Williams and the 
Mushir on the 4th October, and next morning Major Stuart 
again waited on Veli Pasha, accompanied by Major Peel and the 
other British officers, when, to their surprise, they found the 
Pasha's views had undergone a total change, and he made all 
sorts of excuses for inaction. 

However, on the matter being referred to General Williams, 
he stated that, in the present condition of Veli Pasha's army, it 
would be objectionable to advance further than Ku-pri-kui, and 
that as long as the Russian detachment of Byazid existed it 
would be dangerous for Veli Pasha to move on Kars. 

Selim Pasha arrived at Trebizonde on llth October with 
1,100 men, the first instalment of the promised succour, and on 
the 2 1st he set out for his command. Great things were expected 
from Selim Pasha, as he had a reputation for energy and courage. 


New life seemed to be suddenly infused into Yeli Pasha, and 
an immediate advance on Kars was resolved upon. 

On the 22nd the force commenced its forward movement. 

Majors Stuart and Peel accompanied Yeli Pasha, while 
Captain Cameron remained behind to look after the defences of 

The first day's march was across the plain of Passainwar to 
Korusjuk, a march of two hours. Here the force encamped for 
several days, Veli Pasha stating that he could not advance 
without orders from Selim Pasha, who was daily expected at 

On the 25th Selim Pasha arrived, and next day Veli Pasha 
pushed on to Hassan Kallah. Here occurred another tedious 

On the 29th October it was reported that the Kussians, who 
were said to have fallen back some days before from Deli-baba, 
had again advanced. 

On the 30th Veli Pasha moved to Aloara, south of Hassan 
Kallah, one hour's distance. 

The order for this retrograde movement came from Selim 
Pasha, and Major Stuart at once rode to Erzeroum to ascertain 
the cause. 

Selim Pasha said that with such inefficient troops he was 
afraid to push forward, but that as soon as his own reinforce- 
ments from Trebizonde came up he would take immediate steps. 

On 1st November, a report having been received that a party 
of Russians had made their appearance in the plain towards 
Ku-pri-kui, the Turkish army fell back to the foot of Devi- 
Boynon, near the village of Taber, where they remained till the 
approach of winter closed the campaign and obliged them to 
return to Erzeroum. 

Selim Pasha had been preceded by flattering reports of courage 
and energy. It was thought his delay at Trebizonde of ten 
days was unavoidable, also that his taking nine days from 


■J rebizonde to Erzeroum was because it was considered undigni- 
fied to travel in haste. Every allowance was made for him ; but 
the confidence of the people began to give way when it was 
found he allowed eleven days to elapse before he visited his 
troops, distant only a few hours' ride. When this was hinted 
to him, he said his time was fully occupied in correcting the 
vicious administration of his predecessors. 

There was some truth in this, and it soon became notorious 
that in carrying out beneficial measures Selim Pasha incurred 
the ill-will of some whose duty it was to give him every support. 
It was but too evident that there were two distinct parties in the 

On 5th November Selim Pasha for the first time proceeded to 
Taber, and inspected his troops. 

Major Stuart asked for a " parade state," but it was refused. 
The troops on the ground he estimated at 9,000. 

On 5th November despatches arrived from General Williams, 
dated 31st October. In this General Williams congratulated 
Selim Pasha on his arrival, and said that the Kars army was 
inspired by Selim Pasha's letter with increased courage. He 
trusted that not a moment would be lost in directing the 
succouring army on Kars. 

Selim Pasha's letter, to which General Williams alluded, was 
the one he wrote from Baiburt on 22nd October, giving a most 
exaggerated account of the means at his disposal for the relief of 

Major Stuart at once proceeded to the Serai, accompanied by 
Mr. Brant, H.B.M.'s Consul, and the English officers then in 

Selim Pasha had evidently been much disturbed by General 
Williams' letter. To all the questions put to him he rephed 
vaguely, dwelling on the difficulties he apprehended from the 
Eussians at Deli-baba. 

The Pasha was urged to advance to Ku-pri-kui to develop the 


real intentions of tbis Russian force. But all was in vain : all 
he would promise was that he would atlack the Russians at 
Deli-baba as soon as 2,000 Bashi Bazouks were collected in 
their rear to cut off their retreat. 

This was neither more nor less than a grave mockery, as the 
greater part would have to be collected in the surrounding coun- 
try, a work of some weeks at least, but more probably of months, 
if it could be accomplished at all. It was subsequently learnt 
that an order to this effect was given, which resulted in 250 
being assembled at Erzeroum in the iollowing January. 

Day alter day the English oflBcers waited on Selim Pasha, and 
on 9th November they extracted from him a promise to advance. 
The 14th was the day named, but the J 4th passed and nothing 
was done. 

On the 15th he stated he was expecting more reinforcements. 
A second instalment of 1,000 men had arrived at Erzeroum, and 
and a third of the same strength, coming at the rate of three 
hours' march a day. 

There were now at Taber and Erzeroum 11,000 men, to be 
increased in a few days by 1,000 more. In addition to these 
there were six field-batteries, well horsed. With such a force a 
general of ordinary skill and courage ought to have at least 
attempted something for the relief of Kars ; but it became more 
and more apparent every day that Selim Pasha had not come to 
Erzeroum with intent to fight. He constantly evaded Major 
Stuart's applications for a state of the army. 

On 21st November Major Stuart addressed the Pasha, demand- 
ing a return of the force, and saying he had already Rsked for it 
six times, now did so for a seventh. Major Stuart also asked 
him his intentions, and pointed out that on the 9th he had said 
he would advance on the 13th or 14th. 

The next day Major Stuart obtained the return. The total 
force was set down at C,900 men and 81 G horses. 

Selim Pusha gave as a reason for inaction the weakness of 


his force ; but it was well known to the P'nglish officers at 
Erzeroiim that in the returns furnished to the Porte the nurubers 
were set down at upwards of 14,000, and as regards horses the 
difference was still greater. 

Mr. Consul Brant, who was at Erzeroum, saw clearly that 
nothing was to be expected from Selira Pasha, Accordingly, on 
19th November 1855, he addressed a letter to H.iM.'s Ambassador 
at Constantinople, pointing out that " Selira Pasha was neither 
active, nor energetic, nor brave," and that " he has a new excuse 
for delay every day ; today it was that he must wait a change 
of weather. It is much finer than we had any reason to expect 
at this season — beautifully clear, though a little cold at night ; 
and I can only say that, as finer weather cannot be expected 
before next summer, it is evident His Excellency will not leave 
Erzeroum." He urged the Ambassador to see that a general of 
character was at once sent up, with positive orders to arrive at 
Erzeroum in twenty or twenty-five days. Omar Pasha was too 
slow in his movements to hope anything from him. 

Mr. Brant winds up his letter thus; " I ask your Excellency, 
Is the Kars army to be allowed to perish ? I now fear it must 
surrender, and to confer honours on its gallant defenders, while 
they be left to perish, is a cruel mockery, and an indelible dis- 
grace to the Turkish Government, as well as to those of the 
Allied Powers." 

Affairs at Kars were now as bad as they well could be. Unless 
some very unexpected good news arrived, it was evident that 
the garrison must abandon the position they had so long and 
gallantly defended. 

The possibility of a retreat was now discussed. The plan was 
confided only to the Mushir, Chief of the Staff, and General 
Kmety. General Williams still continued to send messengers 
from Kars every night. 

On 23rd November a despatch in cypher, dated the 19th, 
reached the British Consul at Erzeroum in the following terms : 


" Tell Lords Clarendon and Redcli£fe that the Russian army 
is hutted, and takes no notice of either Omar or Selim Pashas. 
They cannot have acted as they ought to have done. We divide 
our bread with the starving townspeople. No animal food for 
seven weeks. I kill horses in my stables secretly, and send the 
meat to the hospital, which is now very crowded. 

(Signed) '' W. F. Williams." 

On 24th November Mr. Brant wrote to Lord Clarendon: 

" That, after so gallant a defence, Kars should fall into the 
hands of a thrice-beaten enemy, on account of the apathy of 
the Porte, and the cowardice and imbecility of Selim Pasha, is 
intolerably distressing; but the consolatory feeling remains that 
the brave garrison, and the immutable director of its energies 
and operations, will to the last maintain a character for valour, 
skill, and foresight, and every soldierly virtue; and that while 
noble deeds are appreciated, the defence of Kars will stand pro- 
minent among the achievements of a war unsurpassed by any 
other in acts of daring and gallantry." 

" I fear there is nothing to be done to help this neglected 
army ; a retreat without cavalry or artillery, in face of an enemy 
who commands a large number of both, seems inevitable, and I 
tremble for the result." 

" The garrison has nothing to depend on but its own bravery, 
and the unflinching resolution, the consummate prudence and 
skill, of its gallant commander and his heroic band of European 

Retreat having been determined on. Major Teesdale and 
General Kmety were ordered to prepare a proposition for the 
best line of march. 

It was decided that the garrison should have marched to 
Tachmash by the road leading past Fort Lake, and have con- 
tinued on the road to Chalgour. They were then to have made 
straight for a small camp of Russian Irregulars that occupied 
the southern corner of the plateau. The retreating army having 




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gained the edge of the mountain, was to have struggled on 
to the road which passes over the summit to Guile and Pennek. 

Linen bags, or haversacks, were made up privately under the 
superintendence of Lieutenant-Colonel Lake, and they were 
issued to the men with three days' biscuit in each, under the 
pretence that the troops might be called on to take the field, to 
meet Omar Pasha or Selim Pasha, who were supposed to be 
coming to their relief. 

General Williams now heard from Mr. Brant, begging him not 
to expect any assistance from Selim Pasha. 

A Council of War was then held, attended by the Mushir, 
H.M 's Commissioner and his A.D.C., Lieutenant-Colonel Lake, 
all the General Officers in garrison, with the Colonels com- 
manding regiments. General Williams gave them a plain 
statement of facts. After a long discussion, it was determined 
that a retreat was now quite out of the question, as there were no 
horses left, and the troops had become too enfeebled by sickness 
and want of proper nourishment. 

No other course was open to the garrison but a conditional 

Major Teesdale was accordingly despatched with a flag of 
truce, bearing a letter from General Williams to General 
Mouravieff, requesting an interview next day. 

Next day General Williams went to the Russian camp ; a 
rough draft of the terms on which the Turkish Commander was 
willing to give up the fortress, was then and there made out, and 
agreed to. This was on the 25th November. 

The terms were carried into eifect on 28th November. 
General Williams and his officers, as well as the whole of the 
regular troops — amounting to 8, COO men — were prisoners of war, 
and the irregulars, numbering 6,000, were sent home. 

The following were the terms of surrender — 
1st. Kars to be delivered up intact. 
2nd. The garrison to march out with the honours of war, 

n. 18 


and become prisoners. The officers, in consideration 

of their gaHant defence, to retain their swords. 
3rd. Private property of the garrison to be respected. 
4th. The Militia and Irregulars to be allowed to return to 

their homes. 
5th. Non-combatants to return to their homes. 
6th. General Williams to be allowed to make a list of 

certain Hungarian and other European officers, to 

enable them to return home. 
7th. All these persons bound in honour not to serve against 

Eussia during the present war. 
8th. Inhabitants of Kars to be protected in their persons 

and property. 
9th. Public buildings and monuments of the town to be 


On 22nd Decembei', Lord Clarendon wrote to General 
Williams : 

" H.M.'s Government have observed with the utmost admira- 
tion, the zealous and indefatigable exertions which you made for 
the defence of that important position under circumstances of no 
ordinary difficulty, as well as the judgment and energy which 
you displayed in overcoming the obstacles of every sort with 
which you had to contend, and in inspiring the Turkish soldiery 
with that confidence which enabled them, under your influence, 
signally to defeat, on all occasions, the attempts made by an 
enemy superior in numbers and military resources, to make 
themselves masters, by force of arms, of the besieged town. 1 
have to express her Majesty's entire approval of the manner in 
which you acquitted yourself throughout the whole period of 
your recent services. I have at the same time to instruct you to 
signify to the officers and civilians serving under your orders at 
Kars — namely, to Colonel Lake, to Major Teesdale, and to 
Captain Thompson, to Mr. Churchill, and to Dr. Sandwith — Her 
Majesty's entire approval of their conduct." 

It was with the greatest difficulty the Turks could be per- 

1855-56.] MADRAS ENGINEEES. 275 

suaded to lay down their arms ; indeed, it required no little tact 
to prevent a serious disturbance. The troops were in such a 
state of physical prostration, that it occupied nearly four hours 
reaching the Kussian camp. They were compelled to halt 
every half hour to rest the men, and eighteen died on this short 
march. The prisoners were very well received by the Russians. 
The troops were regaled with bread and soup, which had been 
prepared for them. Some of the poor fellows ate so voraciously 
that even this simple fare was fatal to them, and they died of 
repletion in a few hours. 

The officers were entertained by General MouraviefF in the 
most sumptuous style. 

Mouravieff seemed much annoyed when Colonel Lake told 
him he had destroyed the plan he had made of the fortifications, 
under the impression that he would not be allowed to keep it. 
MouraviefiF replied, " One of my Engineer officers is going to 
make one, and you shall have a copy of it." Nothing could 
exceed his kindness and courtesy. He thanked Teesdale and 
Lake for their efforts in saving the wounded Russians on the 
field of battle from the ferocity of the Turks. 

On the night of surrender. Colonel Lake was billeted on 
Colonel Kauffmann, the Commandaitt of Sappers and Miners. 

On November 3()th, Colonel Lake and Captain Thompson 
commenced their journey to Russia, bound for Tiflis, via 

On 2nd December they stopped at Gumri for two days ; set 
out on the 4th for Tiflis, and drove into that town on 8th 
December. Every window was filled and every street crowded, 
so eager were the inhabitants to see the captives. 

On 1st January 1856, General Williams suffering from fever. 
Lake, Thompson, and Teesdale paid a visit of ceremony to 
General Mouravieff. The Commander-in-Chief took liake into 
his study, and read him a letter just received from St. Peters- 
burg, with instructions that General Williams, his A.D.C., and 

18 * 


secretary, were to be sent to Eiazan, 180 miles from ]\roscow, 
while Lake and Thompson were to go to Penza, 700 miles east 
of Moscow. 

On the 9th Januarj^ Lake, Thompson, and Polivanoff (Ensign 
of the Erivanski Regiment, who had been directed to accompany 
them), started on their Trans-Caucasian tour. They travelled 
via Dushet and Dariel to Vladi Kaukas, which they reached on 
the 16th, and on the 20th were at Ekaterinograd. 

On 21st night they reached Georgievsk, whence, passing 
through Alexandrofski, after a two days' journey, they arrived at 
Stavragsol at midnight. 

Bv the 1st February they had passed the Cis-Caucasian pro- 
vinces, and were in Russia itself, and in the country of the Don. 

On the 10th February they reached TambofF, and by the 20th 
arrived at Penza, at which place Colonel Lake and Captain 
Thompson were to remain while they were prisoners. At this 
place they were treated most hospitably ; indeed, generally 
throughout their enforced stay in Russia, they never had the 
slightest cause to complain in any way of their treatment. At 
Penza Captain Thompson's health became impaired by what 
he had undergone at Kars, as well as owing to the severity of the 
weather during their journey. 

On 30th March the Governor of Penza sent for Colonel Lake, 
and told him that he had just received orders to inform them 
that they were no longer prisoners of war. 

They accordingly resolved to return via Moscow and St. 

On 5th April they heard that they would be compelled to 
travel via Odessa. This was extremely unpalatable to them, 
and, with some little trouble, they got this order altered. 

On 13th April they left, via Moscow and St. Petersburg, 
travelled by road to Moscow, via Saransk and Nijni-Novgorod, 
and thence to St. Petersburg by rail. 

They left the Russian capital on 31st May, passed a day off 


Cronstadt waiting for cargo, where they landed and drove all 
over the place, after which they proceeded direct to England, 
landing at Hull, where they were kindly and enthusiastically 
received by the warm-hearted citizens of that place. 

General Williams was rewarded with a baronetcy, and became 
Sir Fenwick Williams of Kars. He also received a pension of 
MlyOOO a year for life, and the rank of K.C.B. He also obtained 
the honorary degree of D.C.L. at Oxford, and last, but not 
least, the Freedom of the City of London. 

Atwell Lake was, on 24th June 1856, appointed A.D.C. to 
the Queen, with the rank of Colonel in the army. He was also 
made a C.B. 

In a letter from the Honourable East India Company, dated 
1st October, it is stated : " Colonel H. A. Lake, C.B., A.D.C. 
to the Queen, lias been permitted to retire from the service (to 
have effect from the 12th March 1856). As a recognition on the 
part of the East India Company of the distinguished services 
which that officer has rendered to this country during the 
memorable siege of Kars, a special personal allowance of £100 
per annum has been granted to him. In communicating their 
decision, we have informed Colonel Lake that we deeply regret 
that the state of his health compels him to retire from the 
service of the East India Company, but that it is a source of 
gratification to us to have learnt that his merit and qualifications 
are so highly appreciated by H.M.'s Government that they have 
resolved to appoint him to an unattached Lieutenant- Colonelcy, 
and will consequently have the benefit of his marked ability, 
energy, and zeal." 

Colonel Lake was appointed subsequently to the command of 
the Irish Constabulary, which he resigned only in August 1877. 
He was, besides, promoted to the rank of K.C.B. He died at 
Brighton on I7tli August 1881, at the age of seventy-two. 

The other British officers concerned received suitable rewards ; 
but one of them, Captain Thompson, who had done such 


excellent service at the Karadagh, died shortly after reaching 

General Williams survives his gallant Lieutenant, having 
reached his eightieth year. 

In 1856 he was appointed to the command of Woolwich, 
which he held till 1859. He was then sent to Canada, as com- 
mander of the British forces, and in 1865 he was appointed 
Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, In August 1870 he was 
sent to Gibraltar as Governor and Commander-in-Chief. He 
retained this command till November 1875. He was also raised 
to the dignity of a G.C.B. 

1856-57.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 279 


Persian War, 1856-57.— Causes of it.— British Minister strikes his flag.— War 
declared. — Outram appointed to command. — Battle of Khoosh-ab. — Redoubts 
constructed at Bushire. — Expedition to Mohumera. — ^Enemy defeated and 
flies. — Work of Sappers very heavy. — Enemy pui-sued three or foiu- miles. 
— Army moves back to Mohvmiera. — Small expedition to Ahwaz. — Peace 
concluded at Paris on 4th March. — Services of the Sappers. — Deaths of 
Strover, Boyd, Moore, and Roberts of Madras Engineers. — Corps of Engi- 
neers. — Abolition of Addiscombe College. — College, &c. sold. — EstabHshment 
at Addiscombe College. — Various head-quarters of Madras Sappers, &c. 

For some years before the outbreak of hostilities, the Persians, 
through the influeuce of Russia, seemed determined to oppose 
England, especially with reference to Herat. In 1851 the 
British Minister heard of an expedition against Herat. The fact 
was, however, denied by the Persians. Eemonstrances were 
again repeatedly made in 1851 and 1852, but they were dis- 
regarded, and in the spring of 1852 the Persian expedition 
advanced on Herat. Herat was occupied, and the Persians 
persisted in annexing it. The British Minister urged the with- 
drawal of the Mission, and the occupation of the island of 
Kharrack, thirty miles from Bushire. The Minister continued 
to oppose the movement of Persian troops towards Herat, and 
after various negotiations the Shah conceded the principal points 
in dispute, and on the 25th January 1853 an engagement regard- 
ing Herat was signed. The Persian Government, however, was 


not sincere, and still continued to throw obstacles in the way of 
a satisfactory settlement. 

On the 1 5th June 1854 Meerza Hashim Khan was named 
First Persian Secretary to the British Mission at Teheran. The 
Persian Government declined to receive him, on the plea that he 
had been in the Shah's service, and had not been formally 
discharged. Accordingly, Mr. Thomson appointed Meerza 
Fezl-oolah in his stead, hut intimated that Meerza Hashim 
Khan would be appointed as soon as he received his formal 

On the 6th November 1855 Sadrazine (Persian Minister) 
informed Mr. Murray (British Minister) that if he (Meerza 
Hashim) set out for Shiraz, the Persian Government would 
cause him to be seized. The next step was the seizure of the 
wife of Meerza Hashim, by order of the Persian Government. 

On the 1 7th November Mr. Murray gave oflBcial notice that 
if the wife was not liberated by noon, on the ensuing Monday 
(the 20th) friendly relations would be broken off. 

Accordingly, on the 20th November Mr. Murray struck his 
flag. To make matters worse, the Persian Prime Minister said 
that the reason why Mr. Thomson first took Meerza Hashim 
Khan into the Mission was because he had an intrigue with his 
wife, and he afterwards made the same statement as regards Mr. 
Murray. An angry correspondence followed, but the necessary 
concessions were refused, and on the 5th December 1855 Mr. 
Murray withdrew his mission, The satisfaction demanded was, 
the restoration of Meerza Hashim Khan's wife to her husband, 
the Prime Minister to visit Mr. Murray and apologise for the 
offensive despatch, and to withdraw it. A high officer was to 
call at the Mission on the part of the Shah, and make apologies 
for the objectionable sentence in the Eoyal autograph letter. 
The chief Moollahs, who had been induced to affix their seals to 
a document tending to bring the Mission and Her Majesty's 
Government into contempt, were to call and express their utter 

1856-57.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 281 

disbelief of the calumnies, and to state that they would contradict 

On the 2nd January 18.56 the Persian Charge d'Aflfaires at 
Constantinople had an interview with Lord Stratford, deplored 
the rupture, but delivered a communication from the Persian 
Minister complaining of Mr. Murray. In this memorandum all 
the British ministers were censured, and the charge against Mr. 
Murray, with reference to Meerza Hashim Khan's wife, was 
repeated. The statement regarding Mr. Murray was a gross 
falsehood from end to end. 

It now became evident that the Persian Government intended 
to break faith with the British Government in the matter of 

In December 1855 Prince Sultan Moorad ^leerza set out with 
an expedition to act against Herat. 

In April 1856 the Persian Charge d'Aflfaires at Constantinople 
applied to Lord Stratford to settle the difficulty, and expressed 
the willingness of the Shah to receive Mr. Murray, 

On the loth May Lord Clarendon wrote that before Mr. 
Murray could return to Teheran the Prime Minister of Persia 
must write a letter to Mr. Murray apologising for the offensive 
imputation, and a request to withdraw his letter, as well as others 
containing the same imputation ; that Mr. Murray should be 
received, on approaching the capital, by persons of high rank, 
to escort him into the town, and that almost immediately after 
his arrival the Prime Minister should go in state to the British 
Mission, and accompany Mr. Murray to the presence of the 

The fall of Kars emboldened the Persians. The expedition 
went against Herat. The Heraties were defeated near Ghorian, 
and Herat was besieged. 

On the loth June, Lord Clarendon wrote: "If Herat is 
immediately evacuated, he would not insist on sending Meerza 
Hashim Khan to Shiraz." 



This did not produce the desired eflFect, and on the 11th July 
Lord Clarendon wrote to the Persian Prime Minister, that unless 
reparation were promptly made for breach of agreement in occu- 
pying Herat, and the Persians troops withdrawn, the British 
Government would adopt other measures. 

Instruction s were soon after sent to the Governor- General of 
India, to prepare a force to occupy Kharrack, and the city and 
district of Bushire. 

On the 22nd November the British ultimatum was delivered 
to the Persian Ambassador at Constantinople. 

On the 1st November a declaration of war was issued by the 
Governor-General of India against Persia, orders having been sent 
out for the despatch of an expedition to the Persian Gulf 
towards the close of September. 

Major-General Sir James Outram was appointed to assume 
command, shortly after the fall of Bushire, which had been taken 
by Major-General Stalker^ C.B., in command of the First 

Sir James Outram landed in the latter part of January. 

The B Company of Madras Sappers did not arrive at Bushire 
till March, having embarked at Coconada on the 19th January 
1857, so they were not present in the first part of the campaign. 

On the 3rd February the army began its march. It marched 
to Charkota, twenty-six miles, and then fourteen more, when it 
was supposed to be eight miles from the enemy at Brasgoon, 
where they were said to be entreuched. 

The enemy retreated, and we captured their entrenched camp 
on the 5th. 

After a halt of two days the return march was commenced at 

An attack was made on our rear-guard; the troops were 
halted, and formed to protect the baggage. Four of the enemy's 
guns opened on the column, while it was too dark to attempt 
to capture them. 


At daybreak the Persian army was found drawn up in order 
of battle. By 10 o'clock they were completely defeated. This 
was the battle of Khoosh-Ab. 

The troops bivouacked for the day on the field of battle, and 
at night accomplished a march of twenty miles over a country ren- 
dered almost impassable by the heavy rain which fell incessantly. 

After a rest of six hours the greater part of the infantry con- 
tinued their march to Bushire, which they reached before mid- 
night, thus performing another most arduous march of forty- four 
miles under incessant rain, besides fighting and defeating the 
enemy during its progress, within the short period of fifty 

Five strong redoubts were now constructed at Bushire, the 
four in front sweeping the width of the isthmus, and that in rear 
securing communication with the town. 

On these being completed, it was arranged by General 
Outram that General Stalker should remain in command at 
Bushire, with two field-batteries, mountain train, the cavalry of 
the 2nd Division, three companies of H.M.'s 6ith and 78tb, 
the 4th Eifles, the 20th Native Infantry, and the Belooch 

Sir James Outram proceeded himself with the remainder, 
about 4,000 (the force at Bushire being 3,000) against 

For some months past the Persians had been strengthening 
their position at Mohumera ; batteries had been erected of great 
strength, of solid earth twenty feet thick and eighteen feet high, 
with casemated embrasures on the north and south points of the 
banks of the Karoon and Shat-ool-Arab, where the two rivers 

The company of the Madras Sappers had proceeded to Mohu- 
mera on board the Indian Navy ss. Victoria, up the Shat-ool- 
Arab river, to within three miles of the south battery of 


The ofiBoers with the Madras Sappers were Major Boileau, 
M.E., Lieutenants Prendergast and Gordon, M.E., Lieutenant 
Fox, llth M.N.L, Assistant Surgeon T. Lowe, Subedar Seelo- 
way. Jemadar Ali-Khan. 

On the night of the 24th March, Major Boileau, and other 
staff officers, reconnoitred the enemy's position, especially with 
a view to ascertain if it was possible to establish batteries on 
the island of Dubbee, west of the northern battery. 

In this reconnoissance " the Engineer officers approached the 
batteries within 300 yards in a small canoe, and a raft with two 
8-pounder and two 5-pounder mortars was established behind a 
low swampy island in mid-stream, and fronting the enemy's north 
and most powerful battery." 

" The cool daring of the men who placed, and the little band 
of artillery who remained on this raft, for several hours of dark- 
ness, in the middle of a rapid river, without means of retreat, and 
certain destruction staring them in the face should the enemy, 
within but a few hundred yards, be aroused to the fact of their 
presence, requires no commendation. The simple narration of 
the event as it occurred is sufficient." 

At daybreak on the 26th, the mortars from this raft opened 
fire. The first shell killed and wounded (as was afterwards 
learnt) eleven of the enemy, who were at prayers at the moment, 
and in great consternation at not being able for some minutes 
to discover whence the missile came. 

On the evening of the 25th, the B Company of the Madras 
Sappers had been transferred to the Bengal Marine s.s. Hugh 

On the morning of the 26th the squadron ran up the river 
to opposite the forts, and engaged the batteries. 

The carronades of the Hugh Lindsay were worked by H.M.'s 
64th, assisted by the Sappers. For about three hours the Per- 
sians stood to their guns, but then their fire slackened, and by 
11 A.M. the signal was given for our infantry to disembark. 


By 2 P.M. all ilie infantry, with a field battery and fifty Scinde 
Horse, were on shore, and the General resolved to advance. 

The division advanced through date-groves intersected by 
irrigation canals, many of which were bridged by date-trees 
felled by the Sappers. 

The bridges by which the artillery and cavalry crossed the 
main irrigation channels consisted of trees felled on both sides 
of the channels, with a large Arab boat as a central support. 

T'he enemy on our approach fled precipitately after exploding 
their largest magazine ; leaving their tents, baggage, stores, 
several magazines of ammunition, and sixteen guns, behind. 

The want of cavalry prevented pursuit. The General could 
not wait for more cavalry before he attacked, owing to the rising 
of the tide having filled the creeks, and made the ground to be 
crossed by the Horse Artillery and the 14th Dragoons impass- 

The party of Scinde Horse, however, followed them up for 
some distance. The officer in command came up with their 
rearguard retiring in good order, but found that the road was 
strewed with property. 

The loss of the Persians was 300 killed, among whom was an 
officer of rank, Brigadier Agha-Jan-Khan, who fell in the 
northern battery. 

The work of the Madras Sappers at Alohumera was extremely 
heavy. Batteries were destroyed, roads made, landing-stages con- 
structed, streams dammed or turned, and huts erected. 

The Persians had the odds greatly in their favour, and could 
hardly expect to meet us on better terms, yet they disgracefully 
fled as soon as they were seriously attacked. Every tent was 
left standing. Just previous to their departure they blew up 
their reserve ammunition. 

Every caution was observed by us in entering their lines, but 
no halt was made, the General moved at once on the track of 
the enemy. 


The pursuit was continued for three or four miles without 
much result, and, as there was no chance of the 14th Dragoons 
or the Horse Artillery joining, a halt was sounded for the 

On the 27th the army marched back to Mohumera, took 
possession of the town, and occupied the camp. Eighteen very 
handsome guns and mortars were taken, immense stores of grain, 
a great quantity of ammunition, arms, and accoutrements, 
besides the entire tentage of their army. 

The Persians allowed a loss of 300 killed, but it must have 
been greater; we had only ten men killed and one officer and 
thirty men wounded. 

The strength of the batteries was found to be very great, and 
they were skilfully placed and constructed, " Nothing but stout 
hearts within, then, was required to have made their capture a 
matter of bloody price to the victors ; happily for us, these were 

The 27th and 28th March were occupied in removing the 
guns, collecting the stores, and in landing supplies and our own 
tents. Our troops (with the exception of those to whom the 
Persian tents had fallen prize), had been living in the open air. 
Sir James Outram having heard that the Persian army was 
greatly disorganised and in full retreat, resolved to send three 
armed steamers up the Karoon, to Ahwaz, with 300 European 
infantry to make a reconnoissance, and, if possible, to destroy 
the magazines at that place. 

The expedition left on the 29th March, and arrived at Ahwaz 
on 1st April. It was most completely successful, but as the 
Sappers, being engaged at Mohumera, did not accompany the 
force, no details need be given. The expedition returned to 
Mohumera on the 4th April. 

On the same day news arrived that peace had been concluded 
at Paris on the 4th March. The force was shortly after broken 
up, and the B Company of the Madras Sappers arrived at 


Bombay on the 1st June, iu time to take part in the Central 
India campaign, for which service they volunteered with great 
alacrity. The Chief of the Staff thus writes of the services of 
the B Company : 

" The conduct of the men had been exemplary since they 
joined this force, and they have rendered the most efficient 
service in the expedition against Mohumera, and during its 
occupation. The peculiar feature of the country afforded them 
ample employment, and the skill and wonderful rapidity, and 
cheerful alacrity with which they constructed roads through the 
extensive date-groves, bridged the canals, and formed piers for 
disembarkation of troops and stores from the vessels on the 
Shat-ool-Arab river, were the admiration of the whole army. I 
am commanded to request you will be so good as to lay before 
His Excellency, Lieutenant- General Sir Patrick Grant, this 
record of Sir James Outram's appreciation of the services per- 
formed by the Sappers, and that you will permit me to convey 
through you, to the officer commanding (Brevet-Major Boileau), 
and to all ranks composing the Company, an expression of the 
Lieutenant-General's best thanks for the very efficient service 
they have rendered." 

Sir James Outram himself, in his Despatch to the Governor- 
General, dated the Sth July 1857, says of Major Boileau, Madras 
Engineers (Commanding Engineer at Mohumera) and the 
Madras Sappers : 

" His and their services were conspicuous in the zeal and 
activity they displayed in filling ditches, preparing bridges, &c. 
to facilitate the landing and advance of the troops at Mohumera, 
and subsequent incessant labours they were exposed to during 
our occupation of Mohumera, and I consider that they deserve 
special notice and warm commendation for the alacrity with 
which they volunteered for foreign service, though they had only 
very lately rejoined their families, after a separation of nearly 
five years of successive absences on field service. Although sent 


back to India, this devoted body of soldiers, instead of being 
allowed to rejoin their families in the Madras Presidency, has, I 
understand, been attached to the column under General Wood- 
burn, intended for the relief of Mhow, with which they are now 
employed, having displayed, I am told, the utmost cheerfulness 
and alacrity when ordered on that duty." 

As a matter of fact, the B Company volunteered for the duty 
mentioned, as will be clearly shown further on. 

During the years 1856 to 1858 the Corps of Engineers lost 
the services of three young officers by accidents. 

At about half-past 4 on the evening of the 3rd April 1856, 
Lieutenant Strover, taking his double-barrelled gun, went out 
alone to shoot in the jungles near Kurpoor, in the Woodiar- 
polium Talook of Trichinopoly. As he did not return at 
half-past 7, his servants and others searched for him all 
night. They did not succeed till 6.30 the next morning, 
when he was found lying dead in a thick jungle not far off his 
camp, with his brains blown out. It would appear, from the 
position in which his body was found, that he was forcing his 
way through the thick jungle with his left hand protecting his 
face, and his gun held close to his body by his right, when the 
trigger caught in a bush. One barrel exploded, and the ball 
entered his face near the left side of the eyebrow at the root of 
the nose, and carried the whole crown of the head away. Death 
must have been instantaneous. 

His superior officer thus wrote of him : " The unfortunate 
fate of this young officer will occasion a loss to the State only 
to be appreciated by one who, like myself, knew the energy and 
zeal with which he undertook and performed all the duties of 
his post, and the earnest interest he felt in work under his 
personal superintendence." 

The death of Lieutenant Boyd occurred on 31st December 
1857. He was engaged in striking the centering of the ninth 
arch of the new bridge over the Palar. After the centering was 


struck, the " stuffing " clung to the intrados of the arch. 
Lieutenant Boyd went underneath to discover the cause of the 
adhesion, when a sudden disengagement took place ; he was 
smitten to the ground, and when he was extricated, two hours 
after, life had long been extinct. Death was ascribed to fracture 
of the skull and partly to suffocation, but it is probable that the 
concussion on the brain proved instantaneously fatal. A maistry 
of the P. W. Department, who went in to dissuade him from 
remaining in such a dangerous place, was also killed at the 
same time, and six other natives were hurt, two of them 
seriously so. 

The death of Lieutenant Moore took place on 27th November 
1858. He left Tanjore and proceeded to Satiamungalum, to 
get into the lower part of the Paupanassum Talook. He crossed 
the Vennaur river by the road to Paupanassum, and then turned 
towards Tanjore along the left bank, for the purpose of inspect- 
ing the breaches, some of which he crossed by the aid of 
"coolies"; but in one case with great risk to life. He then 
came to a larger breach in Goodaloor, three miles and a half 
from Tanjore. Here the " coolies " refused to carry him across. 
Lieutenant Moore ordered a lascar to go in, but the man only 
just entered the water and then returned. Hereupon Moore 
took off his hat, coat, waistcoat, shoes, and stockings, entered 
the water, and swam two-thirds the way across, when he began 
to struggle, having probably been struck by some timber. The 
lascar was alarmed, and ran off for assistance ; by the time he 
had returned, Moore had disappeared. His body was recovered 
some fifteen miles down the river, near Ammapettah. 

In 1867 a very excellent officer of the Corps was drowned 
in the Godavery. 

Lieutenant Roberts was employed on the works in the Upper 

Godavery. Having suffered considerably from fever during the 

previous seven years, he had obtained three months' sick leave. 

He was to leave Dumagudiem for Coconada on IGth September. 

II. 19 


The syrang in charge of the Godavery river-steamer received 
orders to bring it up above the " Gorge." At the part called 
the " Gorge " the river is very narrow, at one part, for a distance 
of about three miles, being only 250 to 300 yards wide.* In 
this part of its course the banks of the river consist of hills 
rising abruptly from the river to a height of 2,000 feet above the 
sea. During floods the river pours its immense volume through 
this confined channel with great velocity, chafing against the 
rocks which shut it in, which form numerous whirls and eddies 
all over its surface. 

The course of the river just above the entrance to the " Gorge" 
is tortuous. It describes nearly a semi-circle, with a very short 
radius, and just at the end of this, where the "Gorge" com- 
mences, a large rock juts out from the left or concave bank, and 
flings off the current, which sweeps with its greatest force along 
that shore. Immediately at the back of this rock there is, con- 
sequently, a whirlpool of considerable size. The little village of 
Kollur is situated about 300 yards above this point. 

Lieutenant Eoberts left Dumagudiem (150 miles from the sea), 
at II A.M., in a small open boat. He had with him three 
servants and five lascars. The river was high, and rising fast. 
Twenty-three miles below Dumagudiem he obtained a larger 

On the morning of the 17th he pushed on, and arrived in 
safety at the point where the river enters the hills. The steamer, 
owing to the extremely violent current, had not been able to 
ascend the river through the Gorge. Koberts proceeded on as 
far as he thought he might with safety — unhappily he went too 

He arrived within sight of Kollur at 3 p.m., and then endea- 
voured to make the left bank at the village, but it was too 
late, the current was too strong, and the boat, missing the 

* The GodaveiT rises in the Western (jhauts, near Nassick, in the Bombay 
Presidency, and drains probably 120,000 square miles. 


shore, was swept down past the rock, and so into the whirl 

Koberts saw the danger, and told the crew they would have to 
swim for their lives. He ordered his servants to hold on to the 
boat if she upset. Meantime, be pulled off his coat and pre- 
pared for the worst. He was a good swimmer. He took out 
his watch, and told the men it was 3 o'clock. Immediately after 
the boat was swept into the whirlpool, and engulfed in a moment. 
Two of the servants sank at once ; the third, with three lascars, 
clung to the boat, which whirled about bottom upwards. 

Koberts and the tindal (head boatman) struck out for the 
shore, about thirty or forty yards distant, but the whirling 
current ever baulked their eflForts. More than once Roberts all 
but grasped the bank, but was finally swept round outwards 
towards the middle of the river. He then struck out for mid- 
stream to get clear of the eddy, but his strength failed. 

Weakened as he was by innumerable attacks of fever during 
seven years of arduous and honourable service on the river, he 
failed to reach the other shore, and sank after a short struggle in 
mid-stream. The tindal who had followed him shared his fate. 
Three of the lascars and one servant, who clung to the boat, 
were swept some miles down the river, and then picked up in a 
very gallant manner by some native boatmen in a canoe. 

Lieutenant Roberts' body was never found, although it was 
searched for as far down as Dowlaishwaram,* and even to the sea. 
The boat was recovered, but none of the bodies were found. 

From 1829 to 1845 the Corps continued of the same strength, 
forty officers. 

On the 10th June 1844 a letter was sent to the Court of 
Directors, forwarding a memorial from certain officers of Engi- 
neers regarding their unprecedented supersession by the other 
branches of the army. 

* Dumagudiem to KoUur, GO miles ; KoUur to Dowlaishwaram, 45 miles, 

19 * 


The reply to this, in a military despatch dated 27th November 
1844, was the addition of four First Lieutenants and two Second 
Lieutenants, which addition was to have effect from the I7th 
January 1845. The relief afforded by this was trifling, and did 
not meet the case in any way. 

No further increase to the Corps was, however, vouchsafed 
till 1854. 

In a letter from the Court of Directors, dated 24th May 1854, 
a third battalion was ordered to be added to the Corps, from 1st 
August 1854, 

The Corps then consisted of — 
3 Colonels. 

3 Lieutenant-Colonels. 
3 Majors. 
18 Captains. 
27 Lieutenants. 


On 18th March 1858 a further increase was made of one 
Captain and one First Lieutenant to each battalion, bringing the 
total up to sixty. 

Three years after this came the so-called amalgamation of the 
Eoyal and Indian armies, when the Corps of Engineers in Madras 
was to consist of only two battalions. 

Each battalion was to have — 

1 Colonel-Commandant, 

2 Colonels, 

5 Lieutenant- Colonels, 
8 Captains, 
8 Second Captains, 
24 Lieutenants ; 

the full strength of the Regiment being thus ninety-six. 

At this time there were only eighty-four officers on the list, so 
that there were only thirty- six Lieutenants, with vacancies for 


twelve. These were not filled up, and no officers joined the 
Corps after 8th June 1860. 

On 5th July 1872 all the First Captains were transformed into 
Majors, and the Second Captains into Captains. At this date 
(1882) the list of Madras Engineers still contains thirty-six 

One of the results of the extinction of the Honourable East 
India Company and the amalgamation of the armies, was the 
abolition of the Company's military college at Addiscombe. 

On 30th August 1861, by direction of the Secretary of State 
in Council for India, Addiscombe College was sold by auction 
at the Auction Mart, opposite the Bank of England. 

As it is probable that the particulars regarding the property 
will prove of interest to many who read this book, they are 
given below. 





It is 
within a mile of the town of Croydon, 
in the 





formerly the residence of Lord Liverpool, built in the most 

substantial manner, of handsome and imposing elevation. 

Approached by entrance-lodges, and in the midst of a beautifully 

timbered park. 

It contains — 

On 2ud floor, eleven bed-rooms, &c. 


On 1st floor, saloon, drawing-room, ante-room, 
four bed-rooms, &c. 
On ground floor, a noble entrance-hall, approached by a flight of 
steps ; dining-room ; ante-rooms ; library ; four sitting- 
rooms ; wide oak staircase. 
The ceilings and walls of staircase and saloon are supposed to 
have been painted last century by Sir Wm. Thornhill. 
On the basement, servants' hall, kitchens, &c. 
Stable-yard, with stabling for four horses, double coach-house, &c. 
This with the beautifully-timbered park-like lands, might still 
be appropriated for the residence of a nobleman or gentleman 
who would like to reside within an easy distance of London. 
There are also three other small residences on the estate 
adapted for private occupation. 
The remainder of the extensive buildings contain accommodation 
for about 150 cadets, with 


Spacious kitchens. 

Rooms for non-commissioned oflBcers and servants, 

Bake-house, Dairy, Brew-house, Stores, and offices of every 

description necessary for the Establishment. 

The land which immediately surrounds the mansion is laid 

out in park-like meadow, 

§tautifiil(i) oriuimcntcir feitj) Cimbr, 

the whole property containing 

The property had been originally purchased by the East India 
Company in 1809 for ^916,604 10s., and the sum realised by its 
sale in 1801 amounted to rather more than ;£33,600. 

The East India Company's Civil Service College of Hailey- 
bury was sold about the same time, but did not realise more 


'-O, of the 3-' 


fi-orrv O-oy^fS 


than £15,200. The ground attached to Haileybury was about 
fifty-five acres.* 

Early in the century a certain number of cadets for the 
Artillery and Engineers of the East India Company studied at 
the Royal Academy, Woolwich, and at Marlow ; while others, 
for whom there was no room at those institutions, worked under 
private tuition. 

Thus, in 1808 there were twenty-three at Woolwich, two at 
Marlow, and thirty-six at private academies. 

In the early part of the year 1809, the East India Company 
for the first time established a " Seminary " of their own. This 
" Seminary " was at first only large enough to hold fifty-eight 
cadets, while eighteen, still studied at Woolwich, and seven in 
private schools. Amongst those who first studied at the " Semi- 
nary," were the following cadets, who were afterwards officers of 
the Madras Engineers : C.C. Nattes, J. W. Nattes, Alex. Ander- 
son, Alex. Grant, John Coventry, and Duncan Sim, while J. C. 
Proby was at a private establishment. 

At the head of the " Seminary " was Dr. James Andrew, who 
was termed Professor of Mathematics and Resident Classical 
Master, while Lieutenant-Colonel William Mudge, R.A., was 
appointed Public Examiner. 

In addition to these there were — 

James Glennie, Esq , Professor of Fortifications. 

Joseph Bordwine, Esq., Assistant Professor. 

John Shakespeare, Esq., Professor of Oriental Languages, 
with Moonshee Meer Hussan Ali as his assistant. 

In 1813 Mr. W. F. Wells was appointed Drawing Master. 

Next year Mr. Glennie left and Mr. Bordwine succeeded to his 
post, while two assistants were allowed to Dr. Andrew. 

Mr. Alexander Anderson, Mathematical Assistant. 

Mr. Samuel Parlour, Classical Assistant. 

Mons. Pierre Oger was appointed French Master. 

* Both properties were bought by the British Land Company 


In this year also a visitor in the Oriental Department was 
appointed for the first time in the person of Charles VVilkins,Esq., 
F.R.S., LL.D., and Dr. McCulloch became Chemical Lecturer. 

In 1815 Mr. H. Angelo, jun., was appointed " Instructor in 
the new broadsword exercise." 

Up to 1820 no further changes were made, but in that year 
Mr. Parlour became Mathematical Assistant, and Dr. Strachan 
was appointed Resident Classical Assistant. 

Next year Colonel Sir Howard Douglas, Bart., C.B., replaced 
Colonel Mudge as Public Examiner, and Captain Charles Chaplin 
became Instructor in Military Surveying. 

In 1822 the Professorship of Mathematics, &c. became vacant 
owing to the death or retirement of Dr. Andrew, and he was 
succeeded by a man well known to so many generations of 
cadets, the Reverend Jonathan Cape, who was appointed Head 
Mathematical and Classical Master and Chaplain. 

About this time Richard Haughton, Esq., was made Assistant 
Professor of Oriental Languages, while Mr. Reeve Jones became 
one of the Assistants in Mathematics and Classics. 

At this date, for the first time, a military man was placed at 
the head of the institution, and termed Resident Superintendent. 
This officer was Major William Carmichael Smyth, and Captain 
F. P. Lister was appointed his Adjutant. 

In 1824 Sir Alexander Dickson, K.C.B., was appointed Public 
Examiner instead of Sir Howard Douglas, and Major Smyth 
was replaced by Lieutenant- Colonel Robert Houstoun, C.B., 
who next year was appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of 
Addiscombe. This officer served with great distinction in India. 
He entered the service in 1795, having been born in 1780. He 
served as Brigade-Major in the Second Mahratta War, 1804. 
was present at the capture of the strong fort of Bhowanny in 
1809. Succeeded to command of 6th Regiment of Cavalry when a 
Captain in 1805, and retained it till 1814. Commanded troops 
in South Behar in 1812-13, to protect frontier against the 


Pindarries; and, in 1814, commanded on the Mirzapore frontier. 
Nominated a C.B. in February 1817. In 1817, after a visit to 
England on account of ill-health, he returned to India, and 
joined the Grand Army under Lord Hastings, and was nominated 
to the charge of the Guides and Intelligence Department. At the 
close of the campaign he was appointed Commandant of a cavalry 
depot, which post he held till November 1819, when 2,000 men 
whom he had recruited and disciplined were drafted to the line, to 
form an additional squadron to each regiment. He was then 
appointed to command of the forces in Malwa (6,000 men), and 
this distinguished situation he held for two years, when bad 
health again compelled him to visit England." 

In 1824 Mr. Thomas Bisset became one of the Assistant 
Mathematical Masters, and in 1825 Monsieur Marin de la Voye 
replaced Monsieur Oger as French Master. 

In these years the establishment connected with military 
discipline was considerably increased, both in numbers and 
importance. The head of the establishment obtained the digni- 
fied title of Lieutenant-Governor in 1825, while three officers 
were placed under him— 

Captain Charles O. Aveline as Adjutant, and 
Lieutenant Talbot Ritherdon, 

^ .--..--„ , Orderly Officers. 

David Liddell, ) "^ 

In 1826 Mr. John B. Ruddock was appointed fourth Assistant 
Mathematical and Classical Master, and the Reverend T. Bisset 
became Chaplain, Cape being relieved of those duties. 

It was in this year that the well-known Captain Hector Straith 
was appointed Assistant Professor of Fortification, while the 
establishment for " drawing " was increased to two by the addition 
of Mr. T. H. Fielding. 

The whole establishment was now of considerable dimensions, 
and we find that in 1828 it consisted of the following: — 

Sir Alexander Dickson, K.C.B., Public Examiner. 


0. Wilkins, Esq. (afterwards Sir Charles, Kut.), Public Exa- 
miner, Oriental Department. 

Lieut.-Colonel Robert Houstouu, C.B., Lieutenant-Governor 
and Resident Superintendent. 

Reverend Jonathan Cape, Professor of Mathematics and 

Dr. Alexander Anderson, First Assistant ditto. 

Mr. Samuel Parlour, Second ditto. 

Reverend Thomas Bisset (Chaplain), Third ditto. 

Mr. J. B. Ruddock, Fourth ditto. 

Monsieur de la Voye, French Master. 

Joseph Bordwine, Esq., Professor of Fortification. 

Captain Hector Straith, Assistant ditto. 

Captain Charles Chaplin, Professor of Military Drawing. 

Mr. E. B. Metcalfe, Assistant ditto. 

John Shakespeare, Esq., Professor of Oriental Languages. 

Richard Haughton, Esq., Assistant ditto. 

Mr. W. F. Wells, 

,^ rr^ TT ^. ,1. I Drawing Masters, 
Mr. r. H. Fielding, j ^ 

Dr. McCulloch, Chemical and Geological Lecturer 

Lieutenant Ritherdon, Staff Officer. 

Lieutenant Giles Emly, 

T • T-, . T-, 1 I Orderly Officer. 

Lieutenant L. A. larquharson, ' 

Mr. H. Angelo, juu., Superintendent of Broadsword Exercise. 

Mr. R. M. Leeds, Purveyor and Steward. 

The establishment thus consisted of two public examiners, 
four officers for military discipline, fifteen professors, and one 

Next year Mr. John Shakespeare retired, and was succeeded 
by Richard Haughton, while the well-known Charles Bowles, 
Esq., was appointed Assistant. 

In 1834 Colonel Ephraim Stannus, C.B., Bo. N.I. (afterwards 
Sir Ephraim, Knt.),was appointed to succeed Colonel Houstouu 
as Lieutenant-Governor. 


Sir Ephraim Stanuus entered the service in 1800, and was 
posted to the Bombay European Regiment. 

He served in 1803-4 in the operations* against the Cotiote 
Rajah under Colonel Montresor. The force was employed 
marching about the districts of Coonnanaad, Curtinaad, and 
Wynaad, sometimes enduring extreme privations, engaged with 
the enemy, and carrying fire and sword in every direction. 

Appointed Brigade-Major to force under Colonel Lionel 
Smith for campaign in Kattywar, December 1811. Received 
the grateful thanks of Colonel Smith for his " abilities and his 
zealous exertions on the present service." In 1816, Military 
Secretary to General Lawrence, commanding Field Force on 
banks of the Myhie, and in November of that year Brigade- 
Major, and afterwards Deputy Adjutant- General to the force 
under Colonel East for service in Kattywar. In 1816, Deputy 
Adjutant- General to Field Force at Baroda, and served in the 
Deccan War as Deputy Adjutant-General to Sir VV. Grant Keir's 

In 1817 he accompanied an expedition against Palhampore 
and Deesa, under Lieutenant-Colonel Elrington. He highly 
distinguished himself at the capture of Kairee, where he, with 
Lieutenant Marriott, were the first that entered the town through 
a port-hole before the scaling-ladders had arrived. In 1819 he 
was appointedAssistant Adjutant General to the Guicowar's force, 
and directed to proceed to Cutch with Sir W. Keir. Served at 
the capture o± Bhooj. Sir W. Keir, in his despatch, preferred 
a request that the General commanding the forces would be 
pleased to recommend Captain Stannus, Assistant Adjutant- 
General, and Lieutenant Remon of the Engineers (Bombay), to 
the Marquis of Hastings for some special mark of his lordship's 

* Occasioned by the surprise of an outpost, and the murder of two British 
officers and many sepoys, and the escape of the Pyche Rajah's nephews 
(accompanied by a few of our native troops) from confinement in the fort of 


Appointed Assistant Adjutant-General to the Expedition to 
the Persian Gulf under Sir W. Keir, in September 1819, when 
he was allowed temporary rank of Deputy Adjutant-General. He 
was again mentioned with great approval. Assistant Adjutant- 
General to Field Force in Cutch, May 1820, and was present at 
reduction of fort of Dwarka, in province of Okamundel, where 
the Arabs and Scindians offered a desperate resistance, fighting 
sword in hand. Stannus and Remon were again mentioned as 
having displayed great gallantry. He was thus noticed by Lord 
Hastings : — 

" The names of Major Stannus, Captain Wilson, and Lieu- 
tenant Remon are familiar to his lordship as connected with 
former services, where zeal, intelligence, and gallantry combined 
led also to results equally creditable to their characters as 
British officers, and advantageous to the Government of India." 

In December 1820 Stannus was appointed Assistant Adjutant- 
General to Expedition to coast of Arabia, under Major-General 
Smith. In the operations against the Beni-boo-ali tribe of 
Arabs he was thus noticed : — 

"The services of Major Stannus, Captain Wilson, Major 
Mackintosh, Artillery, and Captain Dickenson, Engineers, have 
arrested my particular attention." 

On return to Bombay he was posted to command the 
Bombay European Regiment in March 1821, and in January 
1822 officiated as Private Secretary to the Governor, while in 
January 1824 he was appointed the first British Resident in 
the Persian Gulf. On 2Gth July 1823, he was made a Com- 
panion of the Order of the Bath. He resigned appointment of 
Resident in November 1826, and proceeded to England. He 
was thanked by the Bombay Government for the " zeal, decision, 
and judgment with which you have conducted your important 
duties," and for " the eminent success which has attended your 
exertions in preventing the revival of piracy." 

In March 1834 he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of 


Addiscombe, on a salary of £800 per annum, with accommo- 
dation for himself and family. 

On 7th April he assumed charge from Colonel Houstoun. 

Lord Hill, Commander-in-Chief, at the request of the Court 
of Directors, appointed him Brevet-Colonel in H.M.'s service. 

The honour of knighthood was conferred upon him on 9th 
May 1837. He died at Addiscombe House on 21st October 

In 1836 the Court expressed approval regarding the arrange- 
ments made by Colonel Stannus, and they " fully approve of the 
orders issued by him with a view to the prevention of the 
pernicious habit of smoking, and extend the power confided to 
him of immediately sending to his friends any cadet who may 
have been guilty of any offence against the laws of the institu- 

In 1836 the post of Public Examiner, Oriental Department, 
became vacant, and Professor Horace H. Wilson, F.R.S., Pro- 
fessor of Sanscrit at Oxford, succeeded to the vacancy. In this 
year Major Basil Jackson became Assistant Professor of Fortifi- 
cation, and Professor Daniell succeeded Dr. McCulloch as 
Lecturer on Chemistry and Geology; while in 1837 Mr. J. C. 
Schetky replaced Mr. Wells as Drawing Master ; and in 1838 
Straith became Senior Professor of Fortification, with Lieu- 
tenant T. Cook, R.N., as his Assistant. Mr. Metcalfe took the 
Military Drawing Department, while the Department of Military 
Surveying was entrusted to Major Basil Jackson. 

No change now occurred till 1841, when Colonel C. W. Pasley, 
F.R.S., C.B., R.E. (afterwards Major-General Sir Charles, K.C.B ), 
was appointed Public Examiner, and the Rev. Alfred Wrigley 
succeeded Mr Ruddock as Junior Professor of Mathematics. 

In 1843 a medical practitioner was specially appointed to the 
establishment in the person of Dr. Westall ; while the Reverend 
VVilliam H Johnstone and the Reverend J. Fenwick took 
vacancies formed by the retirement of Dr. Anderson and Mr. 


Parlour, and next year Mr. Fenwick retired, making way for the 
Reverend Robert Inchbald. In 1845 the chaplaincy became 
vacant, and Johnstone was appointed to fill the post, while 
the Reverend G. R. J. Tryon joined as Junior Mathematical 

About this time Major Hector Straith died, when Lieutenant 
Cook became Senior Professor of Fortifications, with Major W, 
Jacob, B.A., as his Assistant. 

Two lecturers were now appointed in the place of Dr. McCul- 
loch, Mr. Ansted for Geology, and Professor Solly for Chemistry, 
and Monsieur Leon Contanseau succeeded Monsieur de la Voye 
as French Master. 

From this time up to 1850 the only alterations were — Rev, A. 
Dusuatoy appointed to succeed Rev. G. Tryen as Junior Pro- 
fessor, and Captain William A, Tate as Professor of Military 
Drawing instead of Mr. Metcalfe. 

Captain Tate entered the service in 1812 in the Bombay 
Engineers, and retired 5th December 1829 on account of ill- 

In 1851 Lieutenant-Colonel F. Abbott, C.B , B.E. (after- 
wards Major-General Sir F. Abbott, Knt ), was appointed 
Lieutenant-Governor (in succession to Sir Ephraim Stannus), 
which appointment he held till the close of the College in 1860. 

"Sir F. Abbott, C.B., was educated at Addiscombe (and 
entered the Bengal Engineers), which has been a prolific Altna 
Mater of eminent men. When a very young oflBcer, he secured 
distinction by his professional skill in the First Burmese War, 
1824-26, and was wounded while leading Major Gully's column 
(87th Foot) near Prome on 2nd December 1825. He served 
as Chief Engineer of the army which, under the late Field 
Marshal Sir George Pollock, retrieved our laurels in Afghan- 
istan. Captain Abbott was present at the actions of Mammoo 
Khel, Jugdulluck, and Tezeen, in September 1842. Again, 
when in 1845 war broke out with the Sikhs, he was second in 


command of the Engineers, and received the thanks of Lords 
Hardinge and Gough for the rapid and skilful manner in which, 
after the hattle of Sobraon in February 1846, he bridged the 
Sutlej in a few hours with boats, over which the army with its 
guns and stores marched through the Punjab to Lahore. Lord 
Hardinge — clarum et venerabile nomen — wrote of his services 
on this occasion : ' Two days before the battle of Sobraon I 
consulted you and Colonel Henry Lawrence as to the best 
means of overcoming some difficulties which had arisen relating 
to the employment of our heavy artillery in the attack on the 
Sikh entrenched camp, and I sent you to the Commander-in- 
Chief confidentially to communicate with his Excellency ; the 
result being a ready concurrence of Lord Gough, and the deci- 
sion taken to storm the enemy's camp after the defences should 
have been shaken by the fire of thirty-five pieces of heavy artillery. 
The instant that great victory was achieved you returned to the 
ghaut, and, without repose night or day, directed all your 
energies and talents in laying down the bridge of boats by 
which the army and its siege train was able in a few hours to 
enter the Punjab and march to Lahore.' Li September 1847 
Colonel Abbott relinquished the office of Superintending Engi- 
neer, North-West Provinces, and returned to England. On the 
death of Sir Ephraim Stannus, the Court of Directors conferred 
the post of Lieutenant-Governor of Addiscombe on Colonel 
Abbott, which he held till the abolition of that famous College 
in 1860. He now found a new and congenial scope for his 
talents as Member of the Council of Military Education, where 
he remained until 1868. In 1859 he was nominated one of the 
Commissioners for the National Defences." * 

It may be mentioned here that about up to this date the 
establishment at Addiscombe was designated by the strange name 
of " Seminary," and it was only during the last few days of its 
existence that it was dignified by the name of College. 

* Extract from Mr. Low's Memoir of Major- General A. Abbott, C.B., R.A. 


In 1851 Fielding died and Schetky became Senior Drawing 
Professor, while Aaron Penley was appointed to make up the 

Next year Mr. Haughton retired and Mr. Charles Bowles took 
his place, with Major M. T. Rowlandson, M.N.I., as his 

About this time Mr Angelo died and was replaced as instructor 
in fencing, singlesticks, &c., by Mr. Stevenson " of the Life 

In 1855 Capt. John T. Hyde (late Bengal Artillery) succeeded 
to Jacob's post in fortification department, and next year Mr. John 
Callow became Junior Drawing Master in place of Schetky. 

At this time Sir J. M. Frederick Smith, K.H., R.E., was 
appointed Public Examiner instead of Sir Charles Pasley, and 
retained the post till the close of the College in 1860. 

In 1857 John Whitt, Esq , B.A., was appointed a fifth 
Assistant Mathematical Professor, but was almost immediately 
succeeded by the Rev G. Roberts. 

In 1858 Captain John Ouchterlony, M.E., took the place of 
Major Basil Jackson, and next year Major F. Ditmas became 
Junior Fortification Professor on the death of Lieutenant Cook, 
R.N., while Mr. Cotton Mather took the vacancy caused by the 
retirement of Mr. Bowles, and E. Frankland succeeded Professor 
Solly as Lecturer in Chemistry, just before the close of the 

Captain P. M. Francis became Professor of Military Drawing 
in lieu of Captain Tate. 

It was not till 1823, when a military man for the first time 
was placed at the head of Addiscombe, that a stafi" oflBcer was 
appointed. He was Captain F. P. Lister, and was styled 
Adjutant. Next year it was found necessary to give him an 
assistant. Lieutenant Talbot Ritherdon. 

In 1826 this department was strengthened by the addition of a 
third officer ; one being termed Stafi" Officer, and the others 



Orderly Officers. The first was held by an officer permanently, 
while the others held office only for eighteen months or so. The 
Staff officer was Lieutenant Ritherdon, and he retained the post 
till the year 1851, when he was succeeded by Major T. Don- 
nelly, Bo. I., who remained at the College till its close. 

The names of the officers who held the posts of Orderly 
Officers, are given below. Several of them afterwards attained 
considerable distinction : — 

Captain F. P. Lister, Adjutant . . . 1823 

Lieut. Talbot Ritherdon, Assistant Adjutant . 1824 

Captain Charles 0. Aveline, Adjutant . . 1825 

Lieut. T. Ritherdon, Orderly Officer . .1825 

„ David Liddell, „ . . 1825 

„ T. Ritherdon, Staff Officer . . . 1826 

„ D. Liddell, Orderly Officer 1826 

„ Brind, „ 1826 

„ Giles Emly, „ 1828 

„ Archibald Hyslop, „ 1828 

„ Edward A. Farquh arson, „ 1828 

„ Charles Whinfield, „ 1829 

„ Clements Blood, „ 1830 

„ Gother Kerr Mann, „ 1831 

„ A. r. Oakes, „ 1832 

„ John Grant, „ 1833 

„ C. W. Burdett, „ 1833 

„ Le Grand Jacob, „ 1834 

„ W. Hill, „ 1836 

„ R. C. Moore, „ 1836 

„ G. Broadfoot, M.N.I., „ 1837 

„ Thomas Tapp, Bo.N.L, „ 1838 

Ensign Robert Hay, B.N.L, „ 1838 

Lieut. J. D. Scott, M.A., „ 1840 

„ Alexander Tod, M.N.I., „ 1840 

„ J. M. Rees, „ 1841 

Brevet Captain H. T. Tucker, „ 1841 

H.G.Napolett,M.N.I., „ 1843 

II. 20 




. Gunthorpe, M.A., 

Orderly Officer 


G. A. F. Hervey, B.N.L 



R. Kinkead, M.A., 


J. P. Nixon, Bo.N.I., 


F. I. Goldsmid, M.N.I., 


W. C. Brackenbury, M.N.I., 


0. Taylor, M.N.I, 


E. J. Ferrers, M.Cav, 


M. Vibart, B.A, 


A. Pond, B.N.I, 


W. N. Dyett, Bo.N.I., 


W. Olpherts, B.A., 


E. H. Coucbman, M.A, 


E. Milligan, B.A., 


Brevet Captain S. Mainwaring, 




. H. A. Maxwell, B.A., 



J. S. Gibb, B.A., 



H. M. Smith, B.A., 



L. Lawder, M.N.I., 



E. C. H. Armstrong, B.N.I., 



lin A. P. Toogood, Second Europeans 


It was in the year 1 834 that the 2nd battalion of Pioneers was 
absorbed into the Corps of Sappers and Miners. The Corps 
consisted of eight companies, distributed as follows : 

Head-Quarters, Bangalore, 4 companies. 
Neilgherries, 2 companies. 
Madras, 1 company. 
Hydrabad Road, 1 company. 

After the war in Coorg in this year, the head-quarters of the 
Sappers was removed to Mercara. 

In December 1835 the Commander-in-Chief reviewed them, 
and " issued a highly complimentary order regarding the intelli- 
gence displayed by them in the various operations of attack and 
defence, which they executed during the inspection." 


In February 1838 the head-quarters of the Corps was stationed 
again at Bangalore. 

In 1855, at the suggestion of Colonel Arthur (now Sir 
Arthur, K. C.S.I.) Cotton, the head-quarters of the Sappers was 
removed to Dowlaishwaram, as it was considered they might be 
employed with advantage, both to. the Government and to the 
Corps, on the works in the vicinity of the fine anicut across 
the Godavery, lately constructed by Arthur Cotton. They 
stayed at this place till the year 1H65, when they returned to 
Bangalore, at which important station they have remained ever 
since. While at Dowlaishwaram in 1860, the Sappers were 
inspected by Sir Charles Trevelyan, then Governor of Madras, 
who was on an official visit to the fine irrigation works of the 

An incident is related, connected with this visit, which brings 
out, in an amusing manner, the great general intelligence of the 
Corps. After the inspection was over, Sir Charles addressed 
them in a very complimentary speech, couched in high-flown 
Bengal Hindustani ; then calling out the senior subadar present 
(Ram Sing), he said, " I suppose the men did not understand 
me? " The subadar replied, "No, sir, but I did." Sir Charles 
then requested him to translate what he had said into some 
language which the men could understand. The subadar, much 
to Sir Charles Trevelyan's astonishment, promptly turned to the 
Sappers, and repeated the Governor's speech in English ; and Sir 
Charles Trevelyan left Dowlaishwaram, with a very high opinion 
of the intelligence of the Corps. 

In February 1837, the establishment of the Corps had been 
revised, but consisted still of eight companies of eighty men 
each. In December of the same year its constitution was again 
altered, and was ordered to be formed into six companies ; but 
the strength of each company was largely increased, and con- 
sisted of 120 privates, besides two native officers, six European 
N.C.O., twelve native N.C.O., and two buglers ; total, 142. 

20 * 


The superior grade of Subadar was introduced for the first time ; 
the native officers with the Corps were increased by four, while 
the number of naiques (native corporals) was doubled. 

After the First China War, the Corps was increased to twelve 
companies, as it had proved of so much use in that campaign. 

Early in 1862 it was again reduced to ten companies, L and M 
being absorbed. At this strength it has remained up to the 
present date. 

In 1876 the Viceroy of India announced that, to commemo- 
rate the visit to India of H.R.H. the Prince [of Wales, the 
Queen had been graciously pleased to appoint His Royal 
Highness to be Honorary Colonel of several regiments in the 
different Presidencies. Among those selected on the Madras 
side was the Corps of Madras Sappers and Miners, which was 
now styled " Queen's Own" Sappers and Miners, and the Corps 
was authorised to wear on its colours and appointments, the 
Royal Cypher within the Garter. 

Here may be fitly introduced, the complete list of honorary 
distinctions which the Corps has won during its career. 


(Officered from the Corps of Engineers.) 

The Royal Cypher within the Garter. 

" Seringapatam " — " Java" — " Egypt " (with the Sphinx) — " Assaye " — 
" Mahidpore " — " Nagpore " — " Ava " — " Lucknow " — " Central India" — 
" Afghanistan, 1878-80." 

A, B, and F Companies bear on their appointments a 
" Dragon," wearing an Imperial Crown with the word " China." 

A Company " Taku Forts '" and " Pekin." 

„ " Meeanee " and " Hydrabad, 1843." 

B „ "Pegu" and "Persia." 

A, C&E „ "Pegu." 

G, H&K „ "Abyssinia." 

K „ " Taku Forts." 


Honorary Colonel. 
Field Mat-iihal, H.R.H. Albert Edward Prince of Wales and 
Duke of Cornwall, K.G., K.T., G.C.B , K.P., G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G. 

The Corps has a Commandant, an Adjutant, a Quarter- 
master, and twenty Company officers, all taken from the 
Royal Engineers. 

Shortly after the Abyssinian campaign Major (Brevet Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel) H. N. D. Prendergast, Y.C., was appointed to 
command the Madras Sappers. This post he retained for fully 
eleven years (till 1st September 18R0), when he was appointed 
Brigadier-General, Malabar and Canara. He was afterwards 
transferred to command the Brigade at Bellary.* Before pro- 
motion to the rank of Brigadier-General, he acted for some six 
months as Military Secretary to the Madras Government. He 
was succeeded, as commandant of the " Queen's Own " Sappers, 
by Major (Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel) C. A. Sim, who still 
retains that command. 

♦Brigadier-General H. N. D. Prendergast, VC, C.B., still (October 1882) 
commands at Bellary. 



Indian Mutiny, 1857-59. — Report of Lieutenant J. C. Anderson on defence of 
Residency, Lucknow. — Services of B Company. — Relief of Asseerghui" and 
Mhow. — Siege of Dhar. — Action at Mundisore. — Prendergast shot. — Goora- 
riah. — Neemuch relieved. — Force returns to Indore. — Sir Hugh Rose takes 
command. — Marches to Ratgurh. — Siege and captiu'e of Ratgurh. — Neville, 
Royal Engineers, killed. — Saugor relieved. — Sappers destroy forts. — 
Barodia put in state of defence. — Force marches towards Jhansi. — Crosses 
the Betwa. — Chandairee Fort captm-ed by 1st Brigade. — Siege of Jhansi. — 
Battle of the Betwa. — Gallant conduct of Lieutenant Fox, Madras Sappers. 
— Jhansi stomied. — Severe casualties among Engineers. — Dick and Meikle- 
john, Bombay Engineers, killed, and Bonus wounded. — Action at Koonch. — 
Sappers destroy Hurdooi. — Force marches towards Calpee. — Gains Go- 
lowlee on the Jamna, six miles from Calpee. — Enemy defeated and 
Calpee taken. — Flying column imder Robertson pursues. — Orders of Sir 
Hugh Rose to Central India Field Force. — Rebels march on Gwallioi*. — Sir 
Hugh Rose follows them. — Defeats them at Morar and captures GwalUor. 
— B Company SapjDers leaves Gwallior and returns to Madras. — Sir Hugh 
Rose highly praises B Company. — Saugor Field Force. — L Company Madras 
Sappers. — Column leaves trunk road at Jokehi. — Arrives at Dumoh. — 
Countermarching of Saugor Field Force. — Jheeghun shelled. — Battle of 
Banda. — Engineer officers with advanced guards. — Fort on Cane river blown 
up. — Advance on Kirwee. — Fort at Kirwee put in state of defence. — Whit- 
lock marches west to Banda. — Action at Chittrakote — Punghatee Pass. — 
Punwarree Heights. — Relief of Kirwee. — Ludlow at Indore with Dui'and — 
Field Engineer with the Kamj^tee Movable Column. — Lieutenant Sankej' 
— Entrenchments at Allahabad. — General Windham's force at Cawnpore. — 
Commander-in-Chief arrives from Lucknow. — Enemj' defeated. — ReUef of 
Lucknow. — C Company Madras Sappers. — Garrison of Residency withdrawn. 
— C Company sent to Bunnee. — Then to Alumbagh to serve under Outram. 
— Outram's position. — Attacked by rebels. — Second attack. — Capture of 
Lucknow. — Franks defeats enemy in four actions. — Gallantry of Lieutenant 
Innes, Bengal Engineers, — Outrnm crosses to left bank of Goomtee. — Enemy's 


■works. — Storm of Beguin Kotee. — Jung Bahadoor arrives. — Emaumbarra 
captured. — Jung Bahadoor's force. — Capture complete. — C Company joins 
force under Hope Grant. — Action at Nawabgunge. — Hope Grant enters 
Fyzabad. — Sultanpore. — Rafts made by Sappers. — Force crosses River Sye. 
— Hope Grant goes to Allahabad. — Action at Daodpore. — Chiefs of Bys- 
warra coimtry svibmit. — C Company under Horsford. — Fort of Rehora. — Fort 
of Koelee. — Scott killed. — First half of Oude Campaign finished. — Nicholson, 
Royal Engineers, bridges Gogra at Fyzabad. — Commander-in-Chief goes to 
Secrore. — Contest in Oude terminates. — C Company returns to Madras. — 
Distinguished Sappers. — Jtmg Bahadoor's force jDrevious to captui'e of 
Lucknow. — Lieutenant Sankey — reconnoiti'es the Gogra. — Sankey and 
Garnault improvise pontoons. — Cross river opposite Nowranee. — Action near 
Plioolpore. — Bridge of boats constructed. — Sankey thanked. — Fort of 
Jumalpore. — Sankey recommended for V.C. — Sankey constructs bridge over 
Goomtee at Sultanpore. — Action at Kandoo Nuddee. 

Before proceeding to detail the services rendered by the Madras 
Engineers and Sappers and Miners in the Mutinies 1857-58, it 
will be as well to give a list of the officers employed, together 
with the general direction in which their services were made 
use of 

Altogether twelve officers of the Madras Engineers were 

Lieutenant J. C. Anderson was engaged throughout the 
defence of the Kesidency at Lucknow, and was, towards the end 
of the siege, the Garrison Engineer. 

Lieutenant R. H. Sankey was at Cawnpore with General 
Windham's force, and was afterwards employed in the capture 
of Lucknow by Lord Clyde in March 1858. 

Brevet-Major Boileau, Lieutenants Gordon and Prendergast, 
were employed with Deccan and Mhow Field Force under 
Major-General Woodburn, with the Malwa Field Force under 
Brigadier-General Stuart, and with Central India Field Force 
under Sir Hugh Rose (now Lord Strathnairn). 

Captain C. Scott and Lieutenant Burton were employed in 
second relief of Lucknow, defence of Alumbagh, and capture of 
Lucknow, &c. 

Major Ludlow, Captain Hemery, and Lieutenants Howes, 


Lindsay, and Wood, were employed, under General Wliitlock, in 
Saugor, Nerbudda, and Bundelcund, 

Three companies of Madras Sappers were engaged. The 
B Company in Deccan, Malwa, and Central India. The C Com- 
pany at Lucknow, Alumbagh, capture of Lucknow, and Oude 
campaign ; while the L Company served under General 

The following officers of Infantry served with the Madras 
Sappers : — 

B Company : Lieutenant Brown, 1st Eur., Lieutenant Fox, 
and Dr. Lowe. 

C Company : Lieutenants Kaynsford, 14th N.I. ; Lieutenant 
Wynch, 31st; Lieutenant Eawlins, 7th; and Ensign Ogilvey, 

L Company : Lieutenants Campbell, 7th N.I., and Eager, 
52nd N.I. 

First as to the defence of the Residency at Lucknow. 

The general history of this gallant defence is too well known 
to need to be repeated ; but it will, I think, prove interesting to 
insert the report of Lieutenant J. C. Anderson (who was Garri- 
son Engineer at the close of the siege). 

On the defences of the Residency — 

"The outbreak at Meerut and Delhi, and reports of general 
disaffection among the sepoys, caused Sir Henry Lawrence to 
take immediate measures for the defence of the place. Some 
time previously he had selected the Muchee Bowan as a site for 
our magazine and stores, and judging it from its commanding 
position, and the moral effect that the occupation of it would 
exercise over the city, he, in the first instance, proceeded to 
strengthen it. The works were commenced on l7th May, and 
carried forw^ard with unremitting energy by Lieutenant Innes, 
under the general direction of Major Anderson, Chief Engineer, 
until the commencement of the siege. The defence of tbe Resi- 
dency was also commenced, though at first it received a secondary 


share of attention. It was not till after the mutiny in canton- 
ments (30th May), and the subsequent mutinies of corps in the 
districts, that it became apparent that we should have probably 
to defend ourselves against a combined attack of mutineers and 
rebels from the country and city. The more clear this became, 
the more clearly the inadequacy of the Muchee Bowan, as a 
fortified position, became apparent. It was also seen that if the 
mutineers came on in great force we had not sufficient hands to 
man both it and the Residency ; and it having been ascertained, 
after full consideration, that the defects of the Muchee Bowan, 
both as regards defensive measures and shelter of troops and 
the large European community, were very great, Sir Henry 
Lawrence made up his mind to abandon it on the invest- 
ment of the city by the enemy. On this being decided (Jlth 
June), the defences of the Residency were prosecuted with 
vigour. Prior to this, the Chief Engineer was doubtful as to 
the extent of the force he had to shelter within the works, but 
now he could form a definite plan, and he lost no time in forming 
a connected line of defensive works round the buildings he 
thought it necessary to occupy. The Residency compound was 
first protected by a line of parapet and ditch across it, a strong 
battery, since named " Redan," was constructed in a corner of 
the garden, which furnished a command over the iron bridge. 
A battery, called the " Cawnpore," was constructed at the oppo- 
site point, enfilading the Cawnpore road, and was then designed 
chiefly as a barrier to the approach of mutineers from Cawnpore. 
Two other batteries were partially constructed — one between 
Gubbins' and Ommaney's compounds, the other between the 
slaughter-house and sheep-pen — but neither were ready at the 
commencement of the siege, and want of labour prevented their 
being completed afterwards. Heavy and light guns and mortars, 
more or less protected by parapets, were placed in various posi- 
tions intermediate to the above-mentioned principal batteries. 
Those positions are marked in the annexed sketch, though, of 


course, various changes occurred during the siege, a gun or 
mortar having heen frequently required to silence an enemy's 
battery, and withdrawn ^Yhen the object was accomplished. Mr. 
Gubbins, by means of labourers procured by his subordinates, 
carried on the defence of his own compound, and the general 
line round our positions was continued from battery to battery, 
and house to house, by abbatis (in lanes), and by parapets and 
ditches, or stockades. 

" Outside our line of works, also, a great amount of labour 
was required. Masses of buildings extended to within a few 
feet of us in nearly every direction, and though some of them 
would act as traverses to us from the enemy's batteries, the 
majority were a most undoubted source of annoyance to us, and 
it was necessary to proceed with their removal as vigorously as 
our means permitted. Several mosques which occupied positions 
commanding us were left alone, much to our future injury ; but, 
I believe, the reason that prevented their removal was a good 
one, namely, the danger of precipitating an outbreak before we 
were prepared for it. But, apart from this, the demolition of 
private buildings was far from complete. 

** The affair at Chinhut brought the enemy upon us earlier, I 
believe, than was anticipated by any individual of our force, and 
our command of labour having been limited, we had to close our 
gates with nothing in many places separating us from the 
besiegers but the width of the street. The houses that remained 
became nests of rebels, and, besides forming secure starting-points 
for their mines, enabled them, from under shelter, to keep a 
deadly fire of musketry upon us day and night, and it is to it, 
and not to round shot, that we have to attribute the greater part 
of our casualties. The latter was mainly injurious in destroying 
the buildings occupied by our troops and camp-followers, and 
though the loss of life, considering the amount of battering they 
sustained, was much less than was to be expected, it was a con- 
stant source of danger and annoyance to the garrison, and the 


repair of damage entailed heavy labour on men who were weak- 
ened by exposure and want of rest. 

" The enemy proceeded to invest the place immediately on the 
return of our force from Chinhut on 30th June. The Muchee 
Bowan was still garrisoned by troops, though the treasure and 
the greater portion of munitions and stores, had been pre- 
viously removed to the Residency, and it now became an object 
of primary importance to withdraw the garrison without loss. 
A telegraphic message was communicated to Lieutenant Inues, 
the Engineer officer (Bengal), to the effect that the powder in 
the magazine, about 200 barrels, was to be used in blowing up 
the fort, and that the garrison was to leave at midnight on the 
1st July, This order was carried out with perfect success, and 
the garrison marched into our gates without the loss of a man 
The Garden battery was one of the first established by the enemy. 
It played on the guard-house at the Cawnpore battery, the bat- 
tery itself. Brigade Mess, Anderson's, and Judicial Commis- 
sioner's. The combined fire of heavy guns and musketry on the 
Cawnpore battery became so deadly that our guns could not be 
served, and eventually it was thought necessary to withdraw 
them, and to leave the positions to be defended by musketry, and 
to repair the parapets as fast as they were damaged by the 
enemy's round shot. 

" At the beginning of the siege, the 8-inch howitzers which 
fell into the enemy's hands at Chinhut were placed out of sight 
of our guns on the opposite bank of the river, near the bridge of 
boats, and kept up a destructive fire on the Residency. It was 
by one of the shells from it that Sir Henry Lawrence was 
killed. Batteries were also established by the enemy on the 
road leading from the iron bridge, in front of Gubbins' house, 
the Brigade Mess, and Post Office, and at the clock tower, and 
all the buildings were more or less damaged by them. A por- 
tion of the Residency was battered down, and six men were 
buried in the ruins. Many of the buildings were reduced to 


such a state as to appear to be quite untenable, but the garrison 
continued to occupy nearly all ; and though the defences of the 
post have been very mucb weakened by the continued and 
heavy fire, not a single one has been abandoned ; on the con- 
trary, several buildings (Financial Commissioners', Sago's, and 
lunes') have been occupied and strengthened since the com- 
mencement of the siege. When the enemy found that neither 
repeated attacks nor the destruction of our buildings could force 
us from our posts, he had recourse to mining. This had been anti- 
cipated, but the Chief Engineer, acting under the suggestion of 
the late Captain Fulton, B.E,, would not take the initiative, as 
he apprehended that our enemies would at once follow our 
example, and that the unlimited command of labour they 
possessed would give us a poor chance of competing with 

" On the 20th July the first mine was exploded by the 
enemy at the ' Redan.' It preceded a general attack, and, both 
as regards direction and distance, was a complete failure. 

" This was followed by one on the 27th at the angle of the 
Sikh quarters, and is the only one from which any loss of life on 
our side has been sustained. The sound of the moving had not 
been heard, owing to the proximity of the cavalry horses, and 
the guard were completely surprised ; seven gunners were killed 
on this occasion. 

" Two other mines at the building occupied by the Mar- 
tiniereboys, and at Sago's, were also exploded, on 10th August, 
but, beyond breaking the outer line of walls, did no damage. 
The enemy in no case showed any great alacrity in assaulting 
the breaches, and we soon formed retrenchments in rear of 

" We had meanwhile commenced counter-mining, and on the 
5th August foiled a mine of the enemy's against the guard- 
house at the Cawnpore battery ; and since then, up to the 
arriving of the relieving force, we have been incessantly 


employed in mining and countermining. We have generally 
worked into their galleries, and after having frightened the 
miners away have destroyed them ; or in some cases we have 
blown in their galleries by charging and firing our own. I need 
hardly add that this was a service of danger. 

" Two of our mines for directly offensive objects require sepa- 
rate notice, the one at Sago's to the enemy's guard-room, which 
we blew down with a loss to them of, it is supposed, between 
twenty and thirty men. The second to Johannes' house, in 
which we destroyed above eighty of the enemy. The explosion 
was followed by a sortie to cover the demolition of the remainder 
of the house and one adjoining, which object was effectually 
accomplished, and relieved us from the destructive fire of many 
of the enemy's best marksmen. I may mention that several 
other sorties were made on other occasions, and with equal 

"We had, on the arrival of the relieving force, fifteen galleries 
ready for countermining further operations of the enemy. Several 
of the enemy's galleries have since been discovered and 

" I believe I have now noted every measure of importance 
with reference to the defence and attack of the place, in an 
engineering point of view, and it remains for me to add the 
means at our disposal for carrying on the work. 

" During the early part of the siege we had working parties of 
H.M.'s 32nd Regiment ; on one work during the night I have 
had forty-two men. The soldiers, however, had their other 
duties to perform ; they were exposed to the rain, and were very 
often under arms, which prevented them having a proper amount 
of rest. They could, therefore, have very little physical 
strength left to work in the trenches, and, as the siege pro- 
gressed, their numerical strength became so much reduced, that 
it was necessary to give up European working parties almost 
entirely, and to depend on the sepoys. The latter came forward 


most willingly, and I cannot speak too liigbly of the way in 
which they worked. They have, also, been of material assistance 
in our mining operations, and a party of the 13th N. I., thanks to 
the good management of Lieutenant Aitken, have constructed a 
battery for an 18-pounder, worked the gun, and dug a shaft 
and gallery at their own post. There has been but one squad of 
European miners, eight men, under Sergeant Day, all of whom 
have worked with the most unremitting zeal throughout. 

" As regards general superintendence, the late Major Ander- 
son, R.E., Chief Engineer, designed the defences of the Muchee 
Bowan and Eesidency, and, until shortly before his death, 
directed the construction of the various works and repairs. 

" Captain Fulton became the senior Engineer officer on the 
demise of Major Anderson on 11th August. He had con- 
structed the greater portion of the defences, powder-magazines, 
Sec, and up to the day of his death displayed the most unre- 
mitting energy, in spite of bad health, in advancing our work. 
In particular, he took a most active part in foiling the enemy's 
attempt to destroy our advanced post by mine; and the manner 
in which he conducted the blasting operations during our sorties, 
invariably excited the admiration of all who were present, officers 
and men. 

" In the performance of the above-mentioned engineering 
operations generally, he received the most able and untiring 
support from Lieutenants Hutchinson, Innes, Tulloch, and the 
late Lieutenant Birch, and latterly, since Captain Fulton's 
death, I have received much assistance from Lieutenant Hay, 
Assistant Field Engineer. 

" The active part I have myself taken in the superintendence 
of work has been small, owing to my having suffered from 
continued ill-health. 

" Finally, I beg to bring to the notice of the Brigadier the 
excellent service performed by the late Mr. Casey, Head 
Accountant to the Chief Engineer, who had been Sergeant- 



Major of Sappers, and who was recommended by Ma-jor Anderson 
for the rank of Assistant Field Engineer; of the late Mr. Super- 
visor Barrett ; Mr. Beale, overseer ; and Sergeant Ryder, 
Assistant Overseer ; all of whom have left families behind them. 

(Signed) " J. C. Anderson, Lieutenant, 

" Garrison Engineer. 

"Lucknow, 5th October 1857." 

On the 14th September, Captain Fulton, B.E., was killed by 
a round shot, which struck him on the head. 

Lieutenant Anderson succeeded him as Garrison Engineer, 
which post he held till the second relief, about the 20th 
November, when the ladies, the wives and children of the 
soldiers, and the sick, were removed from the Kesidency by 
Lord Clyde to a place of safety, and despatched to Calcutta. 

The first relief of Lucknow, by the gallant force under 
Havelock and Outram, occurred on the 2oth September. On 
the arrival of the Relieving Force, a greater extent of ground 
was required for the accommodation of the increased force, and 
a large mound and musjid adjacent to Innes's post, were taken 
possession of and made defensible. 

The great number of wounded which accompanied the force 
into the position, speedily increased the number of patients 
from 130 to 027. 

During the period between the first and second reliefs, 
several sorties were made under the direction of Outram. 

With reference to these, Brigadier J. Inglis, in his despatch 
dated 12th November, remarks: — 

"Neither mast I omit to record my appreciation of the 
gallant bearing of the Engineer officers, Lieutenants Anderson 
(Madras), Hutchinson and Innes (Bengal), who accompanied 
the storming parties." 

To give an idea of the sorties, it will suffice to enter here the 
official account of the sortie on the 29th September, sent by 


Lieutenant J. 0. Anderson to Colonel Napier, Militaiy 
Secretary : — 

" Sortie on the 29tli September from the left square Brigade 
Mess, for the object of destroying the enemy's guns left in front 
of Brigade Mess, in front of Cawnpore battery, and on the left 
of Cawnpore Eoad. 

" This sortie proceeded simultaneously with two others ; one 
from the Sikh square to the right of the Brigade Mess, and 
another from the ' Redan ' towards the iron bridge, led by 
Captain McCabe, H.M.'s 32nd Regiment, with a few of the men 
of his regiment, who had during the siege been on duty on the 
posts opposite to the position to be attacked. 

" The whole strength of the sortying party was 200 men 
with a reserve of 150. 

" At daylight the party issued from an opening in the Brigade 
Mess wall, and formed up, under cover of a wall which runs 
parallel to the other at the distance of a few paces. The advance 
was then made in file, the men having to scramble over the 
debris of a house which had been blown down on a former occa- 
sion, and a rush made direct on the enemy's gun, an ] 8-pounder, 
which lay behind a breastwork at a distance of eighty yards 
from the Brigade Mess. 

" The gunners fired two rounds at us when we made our appear- 
ance, but before they could fire again we had scaled their battery 
and driven them to flight. We then proceeded to force a 
building immediately to the left of the gun. The lower storey 
was quickly occupied. 

" Captain McCabe, the gallant leader of many former sorties, 
was mortally wounded in the operation, and some delay having 
in consequence occurred, a few of the enemy in the upper storey 
had time to kill and wound several of our men before they were 
attacked and bayoneted. 

"After the house had been taken possession of, a picquet of 
twenty-five men was left to hold it, while the main body pro- 


ceeded along a narrow lane, under command of Major Simmons, 
H.M.'s 5th Fusiliers, to occupy two large buildings about sixty 
or eighty yards respectively in advance of the first, with several 
other smaller buildings adjoining ; the loss to the enemy, in all, 
being probably above thirty men. On our side we had the 
misfortune to lose Major Simmons, who was killed by a musket- 
shot while leading his men into the most advanced building. 

" We had now progressed to a position from which we had a 
view of the enemy's 18-pounder in front of the Cawnpore 
battery. It lay in a lane running towards the Cawnpore road, 
(he end of which was barricaded and loop-holed ; and directly 
in line with it, on the opposite side of the road, the enemy 
occupied a house from which they kept up a hot musketry-fire 
on our position. 

"I then went for the reserve, and desired that an oflBcer of 
rank might be sent to command the whole party. 

" General Sir J. Outram, having become acquainted with our 
progress, sent word that, unless further advance could be made 
without danger of considerable loss, the design of proceeding 
against the enemy's gun, now in our rear, should be abandoned, 
and that the party should retire, after destroying in succession 
the houses we had taken possession of. 

"After consulting with Captain Evans (attached to the Artil- 
lery), who had meanwhile destroyed the enemy's gun which we 
left at the first house, and also a 6-pounderin its neighbourhood, 
I returned a reply to the General that further advance could not 
be made without considerable loss, and I proceeded to demolish 
the three large houses we held, commencing with the one furthest 
in advance, and withdrawing the party gradually to the rear. 

" This operation, in which thirteen barrels of powder were 
expended, destroyed the principal musketry cover of the enemy 
against our defences between the Brigade Mess and Cawnpore 
battery ; and the destruction of the gun in front of the latter, 
together with that effected by the sortieing parties acting in 
II. 21 


conjunction with us to the right, has relieved a considerable 
portion of our work from serious annoyance. The party 
returned about 9.30 a.m. 

(Signed) "J. C. Anderson, Lieutenant, 

" Garrison Engineer." 

The casualties on this occasion were 2 officers killed, Major 
Simmons and Captain McCabe, 1 sergeant and 9 men killed, 
1 officer wounded, Captain Lockhart, and 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, 
and 10 men wounded. Total casualties — 25. 

After the second relief of Lucknow, Lieutenant J. C. Anderson 
was sent down to Calcutta very ill, suffering from scurvy brought 
on by privations which he, in common with the rest of the 
garrison, endured; and on the 80th December 1857 he obtained 
three years* leave on sick certificate. Eighteen months of this 
he was allowed to count as service, as the illness had been 
contracted by service in the field. 

On the 24th March 1858, he obtained his brevet-majority for 
his services with the "illustrious garrison" of Lucknow. 

We will now turn to the services of Major Boileau and the 
B Company Madras Sappers. 

On the 1st June 1857, the B Company disembarked at 
Bombay on its return from service in Persia. 

On the 8th Major Boileau wrote to the Adjutant-General, 
Bombay Army, asking that the company might be attached to 
the force about to be sent from Poona against the mutineers. 

On the lOth Major Boileau and his Sappers received " the 
thanks of Government for the readiness with which they have 
volunteered their services." 

Their services were accepted, and on the 16th June they pro- 
ceeded by rail and road to Aurungabad, and joined the Deccan 
Field Force, under Major-General VVoodburn, C.B,, on the 5th 

On the 7th there were execution parades for men of 1st 


Hydrabad Contingent Cavalry who had mutinied at Aurungabad 
some days previously. 

On the I2tb the force left Aurungabad, and, having crossed 
the rivers Poornah, Tap tee, and Nerbudda, relieved Asseerghur 
on 23rd July, and Mhow on 2nd August, the Sappers having 
had frequent employment by the way, as pioneers, in making 
roads passable, and in ramping banks of rivers and streams. 

During the monsoon, which broke on 2nd August, it was 
impossible to march, and the Sappers were employed in 
strengthening the defensive post at Mhow. 

On the 20ih October the left half company marched, under 
command of Lieutenant Fox, with Major Keane's column for 
Dhar. Lieutenant Prendergast acted as Brigade-Major to the 

The force consisted of the 8(Jth, with half B Company Sappers, 
Woolcombe's battery, some troopers of Hydrabad Cavalry, and 
a squadron l4th Light Dragoons. 

There were no roads, and, owing to the late rains, the country 
was almost impassable to the artillery and baggage. The first 
day they marched to Ochanna, and the next only five miles. 

At 8 P.M. on 21st, Major Keane was directed to march on 
Dhar next morning ; to draw up on a ridge 800 yards east of 
the Fort, but not to engage till arrival of Brigadier Stuart. 

On the 22nd, at 3 a.m., they marched from Decklaun river, 
crossed by a strong stone bridge. The enemy's cavalry were 
seen in rear of a village two miles from Dhar. They retired, 
and our troops halted on the ridge about a mile from Dhar. 

A reconnoissance was now made. Troops were observed in 
the fort, as well as in our front and left front. Shortly after- 
wards the great gun on north-east tower opened fire. We drew 
up in order of battle, 1,300 yards from the fort. Skirmishers 
appeared, and the enemy's cavalry extended 700 yards to the 

Captain Orr's Hydrabad Cavalry were forced to retire by 

21 * 


enemy's light infantry, one native officer being killed. Skirmishers 
were thrown out on right by the dragoons, but the enemy's 
cavalry being too strong, Captain Orr was directed to drive back 
enemy with his irregulars. The artillery also opened fire. 

Brigadier Stuart's column was now approaching. Major 
Keane was ordered to drive in picquets in front, and join the 
Brigadier to the left without exposing his men to the heavy 
guns of the fort. The light company of the 86th was thrown 
out as skirmishers to front and left. 

The Madras Sappers, on right of the infantry, covered advance 
of artillery. One troop of dragoons remained with the guns, 
and Orr's cavalry skirmished with enemy's cavalry on the right. 

Shortly after the guns were brought to bear, the enemy got 
the range, and their artillery was well served, one ball passing 
86th detachment, and another burying itself in the midst of the 
Artillery. The guns were charged and captured, and the enemy 
retired to the fort. 

On the 21st the other half of the B Company conducted the 
siege train from Mhow to Dhar. It did not reach Dhar till the 
24 th. 

Lieutenant Christie, Bo. A., was most unremitting in his exer- 
tions on this occasion. 

The camp was pitched a mile and a half from the fort on the 
south, in a ravine surrounded by heights broken by fissures. 

Dhar is considered the strongest fort in Malwa, and presents 
a most formidable appearance. The walls are rubble faced with 
red stone, very neatly built, and varying from 50 to 70 feet high. 
The fort is built on an eminence rising about 40 feet above the 
plain, 330 yards east of the town. 

A hill, forming an admirable parallel to the east front of the 
fort, has its summit 270 to 350 yards from the fort walls. 

A reconnoissance was made, and south-west tower fixed on as 
point of attack. 

" On 23rd night a sand-bag battery was thrown up on the 


height. The sand-bags were built from the interior, as for a 
revetment, for five feet ; a second was built in front, but soil 
being very hard, little of the intervening space was filled in. 
No. 1 battery was for one howitzer, and one mortar, to enfilade 
the west side of the fort, and to dismantle the heavy guns in 
south-west tower." 

" Next day at 1 1 a.m., the Sappers commenced to fill sand-bags; 
the horsekeepers carried the bags to the battery, where they 
were placed in position by Sappers. The working parties were 
withdrawn at 5.30 p.m., when the interior wall was six feet high, 
and interior filled to four feet. One N.C.O. and six privates were 
placed in the battery to prevent the enemy placing sand-bags, 
&c. in embrasures to cover a heavy gun in south-west tower, 
which had been brought to bear on the town, and its platform 
raised and arranged so that the gun could be depressed. At 
G P.M. the working party of the 8Cth and 25th N. I. commenced 
work, and at C.30 thirty-five Sappers returned ; the whole were 
broken off at half-past 10. During the night the battery was 
finished, and the guns brought into position." 

"2o{h. — At 3.45 A.M. filty Sappers were ordered to make a road 
for heavy guns. At 4.15, all men not on duty, of the 86th and 
25th, were posted on heights running parallel to west face of 
fort at 400 yards. Their fire was so accurate that the enemy in 
the fort were unable to man the guns. The point for attack 
was the curtain between the south-west tower, and the adjoining 
tower on the west front. The mortar and howitzer opened fire 
at A.M. Practice was good, but little eflect was produced on the 
walls, or from the fire of three howitzers, which were brought on 
the newly-occupied hill. Fire of gingalls on howitzers was so 
heavy that the pieces could not be worked. The Sappers were 
employed in dragging 18-pounders into the town, and con- 
structing battery No. 2. There was no opposition to the 
construction of No. 2 battery, except musketry-fire. No. 2 
battery was for one howitzer and two guns, to breach the curtain." 


" 26/A. — Battery No. 1 continued firing six rounds an hour. 
Some buildings in the fort took fire. A few rounds were fired 
at the gate." 

" 26//i and 21ili. — Battery No. 2 was continued. Enemy 
attempted to burn the pettah, but were unsuccessful. On 27th 
the fort was completely surrounded." 

" 21th and 2(S/A.— Battery No. 2 completed, and No. 3 com- 
menced for two guns to dismantle gun on south-west tower, 
and to destroy parapet of tower, curtain, and adjacent tower. It 
was afterwards converted into a battery for two 5j-inch mortars." 
2'Sth and 29th. — Battery No. 4 was commenced for two 
howitzers to fire on palace and gateway; but it was afterwards 
adapted for one mortar and one howitzer. Nos. 2 and 3 
batteries were armed, and in action early on the 28th, but con- 
stant work was required at them till the end of the siege, the 
Sappers frequently revetting and improving the embrasures 
in broad daylight, and always working fifteen hours out of 

" On the 27th, the village was fired at night by Major Wool- 
combe, Lieutenants Strutt and Chrystie, some men of the 
Bombay Artillery, Lieutenant Fenwick, and a company of the 
25th N. I. In returning, Lieutenant Chrystie missed his way, 
and, while swimming across the tank, was fired upon by grape 
from one of his own guns. He cried out, 'Don't slioot me!' 
and luckily crossed in safety." 

" On the night of the 28th-29th, battery No. 4 was erected, 
and the screen approach to it was made the following morning. 
Fire was kept up almost unremittingly from the batteries till 
the evening of the 31st. Corporals Hoskins and Clarke of the 
Sappers examined the breach in broad moonlight, at a time 
when there was every reason to suppose they would be fired on 
at every step, and almost certainly shot on the breach." 

" On the 80th a white flag was hoisted on the fort, and a parley 
ensued without any result." 

1857.] MADEAS ENGINEERS. >327 

" On the 31st the breach was reported practicable, and orders 
\Yere issued for storming the fort before daybreak." 

" On 1st November, the storming parly was to consist of — 
Thirty men of the 8Cth, Lieutenant Henry ; 
Sixty men of the 25th N. I., Captain Little ; 
Fifty Madras Sappers, Captain Brown ;" 
but the enemy escaped during the night. The fort was found 
deserted, and Dhar was occupied without any further opposition. 
In his despatch, Brigadier Stuart brought to notice the services 
of Major Boileau, and the officers and men of the Madras 
Engineers and Sappers, and trusted that Corporals Hoskins and 
Clarke would be rewarded for their gallantry. 

On 8th November, the B Company marched from Dhar with 
the Malwa Field Force, under Brigadier-General Stuart, for 

On the I4th, Major Orr overtook the rebels at Rawul, defeated 
them, and captured eight guns. He had with him the cavalry 
of the Field Force. Dr. Orr had a hand-to-hand encounter 
with a Rohilla, and speared him. The force marched to Oneil, 
thence to Taul, and on the l9th reached Hernia, on the banks 
of the Chumbul. The river was crossed by the 20th, and on 
the morning of the 21st the force encamped four miles south of 
Mundisore. Major Robertson, 25th Bo. N. L, commanded the 
outposts. About midday, his picquets were driven in by a 
determined advance of the enemy's infantry, which, however, 
was checked by a charge of cavalry till the main body of the 
Field Force, hitherto concealed from the enemy by the rising 
ground occupied by the outposts, had formed for action. The 
villages in which the outposts had been placed were speedily 
prepared for defence by the Sappers, who afterwards aided in 
the defence, and in the defeat of the enemy on the subsequent 
advance of the Field Force. 

Second Lieutenant Prendergast, M.E., was shot through the 
chest while charging wnth the cavalry ; the ball passed through 

323 MILITAKY OF IHE [1857. 

just to the left of his heart For his gallant services on this and 
other occasions, he received the Victoria Cross. At Mundisore 
he saved the life of Lieutenant G. Dew, llth Light Dragoons, 
at the risk of his own, hy attempting to cut down a Valaitee who 
covered Lieutenant Dew with his piece, from only a few paces 
to the rear. Lieutenant Prendcrgast was wounded in this affair, 
by the discharge of the piece^ and would probably have been cut 
down had not the rebel been killed by INIajor Orr. 

On the following day a short flank march was made without 
serious opposition, to place the force on the road to Neemuch, 
then besieged by the rebels. 

On the 23rd the force marched north; but before long they 
found the Shahzadah's army, which had been encamped before 
Neemuch, in the strong position of Goorariah, five miles north- 
west of Mundisore. The Brigadier at once prepared to attack, 
and eventually charged the batteries in the centre of the 
position. The Sappers were in echelon on the left of the 25tli 
N. I., in the advance. During the action a strong body of rebels 
marched from Mundisore with the intention of attacking in 
reverse the right of the British line, which was already out- 
flanked by the preponderating strength of the army from 
Neemuch. Their attempt, however, was frustrated by prompt 
action on the part of the rear-guard, consisting of detachments 
of the 14th Light Dragoons, 1st and 4 th Hydrabad Cavalry, 
Madras Sappers in charge of an 8-inch howitzer, and 25th Bo. N.I. 

Hav]ldars Appoo* and Gooroosammy, of the Sappers, were 
distinguished for their readiness in loading and firing the 
howitzer at a critical moment. 

Next morning the village of Goorariah was shelled, and at 
4 P.M. 86th and 25th N.I. and Sappers stormed and carried it. 
The Sappers were especially useful in knocking down walls and 
making approaches by which the troops could advance upon the 
enemy under cover. 

* Aft&rwatds Subadar Bahado«r. 


Naiqiie Vellien (afterwards Subadar ]\rajor, " Sirdar Balia- 
door"), distinguished himself by his cool courage. 

Thus four days' fighting was brought to a close, Neemuch was 
relieved, and the camp again pitched at Mundisore. 

A breach was effected by the Suppers in one of the walls of 
the Mundisore Fort, and the force prepared to march to Indore, 
via Mahidpore. 

Sir Hugh Rose arrived next day, and the force assumed the 
name of Central India Field Force. On visiting the hospitals, 
Sir Hugh Rose said that Government were highly pleased with 
the Madras Sappers. 

On 8th January 1858 the siege-train commenced to march 
from Indore towards Sehore. Sir Hugh Rose's force was divided 
into two brigades, 1st under Brigadier-General Stuart, 2nd under 
Sir Hugh Rose himself. The Madras Sappers were attached to 
the 2nd Brigade. While at Sehore 149 rebels were shot. 

The 2nd Brigade left for Ratghur on the I6th,* encamped on 
the 18th at Bhopal, on the 21st reached Bhilsa, on the 23rd 
Gwanopore, and on the 24:th marched four miles from camp, 
■when the road was found obstructed. 

The Sappers were ordered to clear the way, which they did 
with intense labour. The heavy guns were also dragged up by 
the Sappers. 

On the 24th bivouacked in the jungles, and arrived at Ratghur 
at 1 P.M. on the 2oth, after driving the enemy (who sallied forth 
with the intention of holding the ford of the Beema)into the fort. 

On the 25th a reconnoissauce was made by Sir Hugh Rose 
and Major Boileau, and siege materials were collected. 

On the 26th the pettah north of the fort was taken, from which 
commenced the right attack. At the same time troops moved 
by a circuitous road to within 300 yards of the east face of the 
fort, to commence the left attack. 

* The 1st Brigade under Stuart marched along the trunk road to capture 


On this day the B Company of Sappers were throwing np a 
battery for the attack, when Captain Brown, commanding the 
company, told the Subadar Seeloovey that General Kose and the 
Chief Engineer, Major Boileau, wished to know if there was a 
ditch in front of a certain wall they intended to breach, and 
called for volunteers to ascertain the fact. The Subadar at once 
volunteered, and with him Jemadar Appavoo and Privates Chin- 
natumby, Appasaramy, and Samathevan advanced under a heavy 
fire, jumped into the ditch, took all the requisite measurements, 
and returned safely with the report. 

The river Beema washes the precipitous south and west fronts 
of the fort, and the fords of the river were entrusted to the 
Bhopal Regiment. The Sappers were employed in making the 
road to the left attack, and in making such protective works as 
were practicable for men and guns, by cutting brushwood for 
screens, and building stone breastworks. By unremitting labour 
cover for the troops had been made by the Sappers parallel to 
the east face, and an elevated sand-bag battery for two 18- 
pounders and one 8-inch howitzer, to breach a curtain between 
two towers, was erected by daylight on the 27th. 

On the evening of the 28th the breach was inspected by 
Corporal Linaban and Privates Pitchamootoo and Chinnatumby 
(all of the Sappers), and found practicable. 

Two days afterwards the Chief Engineer, wishing to know the 
progress made in breaching the wall. Captain Brown called for 
volunteers to accompany Corporal Linahan, B Company, on this 
service. Lance-Naique Pitchamootoo and Private Samathevan 
at once volunteered to accompany him (the latter had alieady 
been to the ditch on the 26th), and proceeded to the breach 
under cover of the Enfield rifles of 3rd Bombay Europeans 
and blank firing of the heavy guns. Corporal Linahan jumped 
bravely into the ditch, followed closely by both privates, under 
very sharp fire from the enemy; everything that was required 
was ascertained, and was reported by the Corporal in the most 


correct manner, as was found on the following morning. All 
these native sappers received the 3rd class of the " Order of 

The enemy evacuated the fort during the night, crossing a 
ford of the Beema south-west of the fort, and passing through 
the Bhopal camp. 

On the 30th the Sappers occupied the fort, and commenced 
mining and demolishing the huildings. Sir Hugh Kose received 
information that the rehels had taken up a position eight miles 
off, and went after them with Horse Artillery, 3rd Europeans, 
some Cavalry, and Sappers. Captain Neville, R.E., who had 
just joined, was killed by a round shot striking him on the 

On 3rd February the Brigade relieved Saugor, and on the Gth 
a parade of all troops took place. 

On the 8th, half of the B Company, with an Engineer officer, 
marched to Nurrowlee, fourteen miles off, and returned the same 
day, having blown up and ruined the towers flanking the gate. 

The next day they marched to Sanoda, and destroyed the fort. 

On the 10th they marched to Bussaree, close to Gurracottah, 
and took part that afternoon in an affair with the enemy. 

On the 11th the fort was reconnoitred, and batteries were 
commenced at night; but during the night the fort was aban- 
doned. Captain Hare, with Hydrabad Cavalry, pursued them 
for twenty-five miles. The fort was occupied, and a short front 
was destroyed by mines, so as to leave a practicable breach in 
the enceinte of Gurracottah. 

Madras and Bombay Sappers were employed on this work. 
The B Company marched back to Saugor, and then towards 
Jhansi, arriving at Rajiwar on 1st March. 

The little fort of Barodia was taken that afternoon, and on 
2nd March half the company took possession and put it into a 
state of repair. Lieutenant Prendergast was in charge of 
Barodia, and, in addition to the Sappers, had a company of 


Khoonds. He posted them as guards during the night, but 
wlien he went his rounds he invariably found them asleep, and 
had to rouse them up. 

The General now determined to gain the table-land by a flank 
movement through the pass of Mudhanpore. At 2 a.m. a force 
moved for Malthou Pass, while the remainder left at 5 a.m. for 
Mudhanpore Pass. In forcing the pass a sharp fight took place; 
the enemy were routed. The Hydrabad Cavalry were sent in 
pursuit, and succeeded in killing 300 of them. 

As soon as the troops had rested they marched again, and 
halted at Pepeena. Sir Hugh Rose said he had never been 
under hotter fire in his life, while it lasted. 

They were now encamped in sight of the fort of Sorai ; the 
next day the Sappers marched to destroy it. 

The force next marched on Murrowna, twelve miles north, and 
on the 7th the British flag was hoisted on the fort. A proclama- 
tion was read, and the Eajah of Shahghur disinherited. Here 
the force under Major Scudamore, 14th Light Dragoons, re- 
joined, after having an engagement with the enemy at Malthon 

On the 9th the force marched for Bandipore, and Major 
Boileau and the Sappers blew down the palace, and fired it. 

On the 12th marched towards Tal Behut, where they arrived 
on the 14 th, the Hydrabad contingent having preceded 

On the 14th and 15th the B Company were engaged in sur- 
veying the fort of Tal Behut, which had been evacuated by the 
enemy a few days previously. The Major-General now became 
anxious for the 1st Brigade, and despatched Captain Hare, with 
Hydrabad Cavalry, to communicate with Brigadier-General 

On the 16th the Madras and Bombay Sappers, with Hydra- 
bad conlingent, marched to the left bank of the Betwa, eight 
miles from camp. The Chief Engineer, Major Boileau, was 


ordered to make a bridge. The river, however, was found ford- 

The force crossed the Betwa on the I9th. On the same day 
the fort of Chandairee was captured by storm by the 1st Brigade, 
under Brigadier Stuart. Rebels were reported to have escaped 
north towards Jhansi. The Hydrabad Cavalry were sent in 
pursuit, and cut up a few. 

At midnight on the 19th the force marched to Chuckampore 
(fifteen miles), eight miles from Jhansi, and on the 20th a strong 
detachment from the 2nd Brigade advanced by a forced march 
of twenty-five miles, and placed picquets on all the chief roads 
round Jhansi. 

On the 21st a reconnoissance was made by the General, and 
Major Boileau, accompanied by cavalry, horse artillery, and 
light field-guns. Lieutenant Prendergast accompanied the 

The General did not return till half-past 6. 

Tantia Topee was reported to have left Jhansi for the purpose 
of bringing down a large army from Calpee (chiefly Gwalior 

On the 22nd Jhansi was invested by the cavalry. 

The following extracts from Sir Hugh Rose's despatch will 
explain the operations which now took place : — 

*' The great strength of the fort, natural as well as artificial, 
and its extent, entitled it to a place among fortresses. It 
stands on an elevated rock rising out of a plain, and commands 
the city and surrounding country. It is built of excellent and 
most massive masonry. The fort is difficult to breach because 
composed of granite. The fort was extensive and elaborate ; 
outworks of the same solid construction, with front and flank- 
ing embrasures for artillery-fire and loop-holes, of which in some 
places there were five tiers for musketry. Guns placed on the 
high towers of the fort commanded the country all round. One 
tower, called the White Turret, had been raised lately and 


armed with heavy ordnance. The fortress is surrounded hy 
the city of Jhansi on all sides except the west, and part of the 
south. The steepness of the rock protects the west, the forti- 
fied city wall with bastions springing from the centre of its 
south face. The mound was fortified by a strong circular bas- 
tion for five guns, round part of which was drawn a ditch twelve 
feet deep and fifteen feet broad, of solid masonry. Quantities 
of men were always at work in the mound. 

" The city of Jhansi is about four miles and a half in cir- 
cumference, and is surrounded by a fortified and massive wall 
from six to twelve feet thick, and varying in height from 
eighteen to tliirty feet, with numerous flanking bastions, armed 
as batteries with ordnance and loop-holes, with a banquette for 
infantry. Outside the walls, the city is girt with wood except 
some parts of east and south fronts. On the former is a pic- 
turesque lake and water-palace ; to the south are the ruined 
cantonments and residences of the English. Temples with their 
gardens, one, the Jokun Bagh, the scene of the massacre of our 
countrymen, and two rocky ridges; the eastmost, called ' Kapoo 
Tekri,' both important positions facing and threatening the 
south face of the city wall and fort. 

"I established seven flying camps of cavalry as an investing 
force round Jhansi. 

"The attack of Jhansi offered serious difficulties. There 
were no means of breaching the fort except from the south, 
but the south was flanked by the fortified city wall and mound 
just described. 

"The rocky ridge was excellent for a breaching battery, except 
that it was too far off, 640 yards, and that the fire from it 
would have been oblique. The mound enfiladed two walls 
of the city, and commanded the whole of the south quarter of 
it, including the palace. 

" It was evident that the capture of the mound was the first 
most important operation, because its occupation ensured in all 


probability that of the south of the city, and of the palace, 
affording also the means of constructing by approaches an 
advanced breaching battery. 

" The desideratum, therefore, was to concentrate a heavy 
fire on the mound and on the south face of the city, in order to 
drive the enemy out of them and facilitate their capture ; 
to breach the wall close to the mound, and to dismantle the 
enemy's defences which protected the mound and opposed an 

" This wns effected, firstly, by occupying and placing batteries 
on a rocky knoll (the right attack), which I had found in my 
reconnoissance, to the south of the lake opposite the Aorcha 
gate and south-east wall of the town, which took in reverse the 
mound and two walls running from it. Secondly, on the rocky 
ridge there was the left attack. 

" These batteries could not be completed till the arrival of 
the 1st Brigade with its siege guns on the 25th. 

" By the evening of the 24th, there were four batteries on the 
right attack. 

" In the meantime, the right attack opened fire from an 8-inch 
howitzer and two 8-inch mortars on the rear of the mound and 
the south of the city, with the exception of the palace, which I 
wished to preserve for the use of the troops. 

" A remarkable feature in the defence was, that the enemy had 
no posts outside the city. 

" Sir Robert Hamilton estimated the number of the garrison 
at 10,000 Valaitees and 1,500 sepoys, of whom 400 were 
cavalry; and the number of guns in city and fort at thirty or 

"The fire of the right attack on the first day (28th) cleared 
the mound of the workmen and the enemy. The mortars shelled 
and set on fire long rows of hay-ricks in the south of the city, 
which created a pretty general conflagration in that quarter. 

" The enemy had been firing actively from the White Turret, 



the Tree Tower battery in the fort, the Wheel Tower, Saiigor, and 
Lutchman's Gate batteries in the town about midday. 

" The chief of the rebel artillery was a first-rate artilleryman. 
He had under him two companies of Golundawze. 

" The manner in which the rebels served their guns, repaired 
their defences, and reopened fire from batteries and guns 
repeatedly shut up, was remarkable. 

" From some batteries they returned shot for shot. The 
women were seen working in the batteries and carrying ammu- 

" The Garden battery was fought under the black flag of the 
Fakeers. Everything indicated a general and determined resist- 
ance. This was not surprising, as the inhabitants, from the 
Ranee downwards, were more or less concerned in the murder or 
plunder of the English, 

" To silence the city wall batteries to the south, and cannonade 
more effectually the town, two 24-pounders were placed in a 
battery between an 8-inch howitzer and two 8-incli mortars, and 
opened fire on the 25th. 

" On the 25th I caused the rocky ridge left attack to be occu- 
pied by a strong picquet with two 5j-inch mortars, which played 
on the mound and the houses adjoining it. 

" The same day, the siege train of 1st Brigade having arrived, 
batteries were constructed, and opened fire from the 26th to the 
29th on the rocky ridge as follows: The left attack — two 
18-pounders to dismantle the defences of the fort; two 10-inch 
mortars to destroy the fort ; two 8-inch mortars and one 8-inch 
howitzer to act on the mound and adjacent wall and city ; one 
18-pounder to breach the wall near the bastion of the mound. 

" In order to prevent delay and confusion, T gave names to 
all the enemy's batteries in the town as well as in the fort ; they 
were thirteen in number. 

" The fire of the two 18-pounders was so efficient, that to- 
wards sunset the parapets of the White Turret, the Black Tower, 


and the Tree Tower, which faced our attack, were nearly 
destroyed. The lO-mch mortars created great havoc in the fort, 
and having pointed out to Lieutenant Pittman, Bombay Horse 
Artillery, the position of a powder magazine, he blew it up at the 
third shot. 

" The breach was practicable on the 30th. The enemy 
retrenched it with a double row of palisades and earth. I 
ordered every description of fire, including red-hot shot, to be 
directed on it, and the result was a considerable portion was 
destroyed by fire. 

" Riflemen were placed in all the batteries as well as in the 
temples and gardens to east and south sides of the city. The 
Jokun Bagh, nearly opposite the mound, was occupied by rifle- 

" Two of the enemy's defences which annoyed the left attack 
the most, were the Wheel Tower on the south, and the Garden 
battery on a rock in rear of the west wall of the city. 

"A new battery, called the ''East,' was established on a 
ridge to the east of the rocky ridge with two 5j-inch mortars. 
For these were afterwards substituted two 8-inch mortars, a 
9-pounder and a 24-pounder howitzer, to enfilade the wall 
running east from the mound. 

Before the sand-bag battery could be made for the 9-pounder, 
an Acting Bombardier, Brenner, of Captain Ommaney's company, 
Eoyal Artillery, quite a lad, commanded and pointed the 
9-pounder in the open, and silenced the enemy's gun in battery 
in the bastion, destroying besides the defences. I praised him 
for his good service, on the ground, and promoted him. 

" The two 8-inch mortars, and occasionally the two 10-inch 
mortars of left attack, answered the Garden battery, shelling also 
the rear Bustee and five wells, where the sepoys had taken up 
their quarters on account of the good water. 

"The obstinate defence of the enemy, the breach, and the 
extent fired on, had caused a great consumption of ammuni- 
II. 22 


tion, so much so, that it was evident there would not be sufficient 
to multiply breaches iu the town wall, or to establish a main 
breach in the south double wall of the fort. Uuder these cir- 
cumstances the officers commanding the xlrtillery and Engineers 
called to my notice the necessity of having recourse to escalade, 
to which I gave my consent, requiring, however, that the breach 
should form an important and principal point of attack. 

" I had made arrangements on the 30th for storming, but the 
general action on the 1st April with the so-called Army of the 
Peishwa, which advanced across the Betwa to relieve it, caused 
the assault to be deferred. 

" With the view of acquiring rapid information, I established 
a telegraph on a hill commanding Jhausi and the surrounding 
country. It was of great use, telegraphing the Ranee's flight, 
and the approach of the enemy from the Betwa, &c. The 
Sappers on Telegraph Hill discovered the near approach of 
Tantia Topee on evening of 3 1st March. 

" The 1st Brigade was moved along the Calpee road to right 
flank of the enemy. Two 24-pounders were placed on the 
Oorcha road near the hill. 2nd Brigade remained under arms, 
and the picquets were strengthened. The force available for the 
battle was ouly 1,200, of whom 500 men were British infantry. 

" The enemy reconnoitred, and, deceived by the removal of the 
1st Brigade, took up a position in front of our camp. Between 
4 and 5 a.m. our picquets retired, and then commenced the 
roaring of heavy guns and field artillery. The infantry were 
ordered to lie down, while the Horse Artillery fired over on left 
flank of the enemy. The General and Captain Prettejohn charged 
their right and left, and turned their position. The infantry 
dashed forward and put them to flight, while the cavalry and 
mounted officers charged through and through them. 

" Second-Lieutenant Prendergast, acting as A.D.C. to the 
General, charged, with Captain Need's troop of 14th Light 
Dragoons, the mutineers' infantry and artillery posted behind 


works. The charge was equal to breaking a square, and the 
result was most successful, because the charge turned the enemy's 
position and decided in a great measure the fate of the day. 

" The 1st Brigade had moved round the hill on the Maidan 
on enemy's right, encountered the enemy, and drove them before 
them, and the 8fith, 25th N. I., and cavalry pursued. 

"Their front line broken, right flank turned, and our troops 
moving on second line, induced Tantia Topee to retreat to the 
Betwa. It now became a cavalry and horse-artillery aflair. 
While Tantia Topee crossed the river he used his guns well. 

" A thousand of the enemy were killed, and we captured ail 
their guns — one 18-pounder, two 9 -pounders, and thirteen native 
pieces, and a brass mortar." 

Sir Hugh Rose mentions Lieutenant Fox's (Madras Sappers 
and Miners) gallant conduct. In the course oi' the action 
Lieutenant Fox killed eight men with his own hand, and amongst 
the ofiicers whom circumstances called prominently into action, 
and who, profiting by the opportunity, did valuable service, was 
Lieutenant Prendergast, M.E., " who on various occasions, under 
my eye, has distinguished himself by his merit and gallantrj', 
as devoted as they were unostentatious." Despatch was dated 
30th April 1858, G.O.C.C. 022 of 1859. 

Lieutenant Prendergast was severely wounded on this occasion, 
having received several sabre- cuts on his left arm, and the thumb 
of his left hand was almost severed. 

On 2nd April orders were given to storm on morning of the 
3rd. The breach was stormed by the left attack, while the right 
attack escaladed. A feint was made on the west face. About 
3 A.M. the storming parties advanced. Right attack (escalading 
party) — Madras and Bombay Sappers, 3rd Europeans, and 
Hydrabad Infantry. Left attack — Royal Engineers, 86th and 
25th N. I. 

The moon was very bright, and the escalading party had to 
march 200 yards through a heavy fire. The Sappers planted 

22 * 


the ladders in three places. Three of the ladders hroke. Lieu- 
tenants Dick, Meiklejohn, and Bonus, of the Bombay Engineers, 
led the way. Lieutenant Dick was bayoneted and shot dead, 
Lieutenant Bonus was hurled down. Lieutenant Meiklejohn was 
cut to pieces, and Lieutenant Fox, Madras Sappers, was shot 
through the neck ; but the British pushed on, and gained a 
footing from eight ladders. 

The left attack carried the breach. Street-fighting took place 
in every quarter, from wall to palace. A body of the enemy 
were in some stables, when the 86th and 3rd Europeans rushed 
in and slew fifty ; but in the melee twelve Europeans were cut 
down. Here was found the British flag (it had been presented 
to the grandfather of the Ranee by the British Government for 
faithful service), which was hoisted on the top of the palace. 

Street-fighting still went on ; the rebels fought like tigers, 
and the bayoneting went on till sunset. 

The next day there was also a good deal of street-fighting. 
On the 5th, Lieutenant Baigree, 3rd Europeans, went to Fort 
Gate, found it open, went on from gate to gate, and found 
himself in possession of the Fort of Jhansi. The Ranee had 
fled in the night. Our cavalry went in pursuit, and cut up 200. 
Street-fighting still continued. 

On the 6th the last desperate body was disposed of in the 
Lai Bagh. After four days' hard fighting, Jhansi was ours. 

Havildar Chendrigherryan was the handsomest man and the 
smartest havildar in the B Company. He was killed during 
the street-fighting which had been so fiercely carried on after 
the breach at Jhansi had been carried. He was in command of 
a party of Sappers, who assisted Captain Simpson of the 23rd 
Bo. N. I. (doing duty with the Artillery), to dislodge a body of 
the enemy from a strong building of which they had possession. 
The Sappers were on the arched roof, through which they 
"jumped " holes, with the object of dropping live shell among 
the enemy. While he was on the roof, one of the rebels fired up 


through the hole in the roof aud killed the havildar on the spot. 
Captain Simpson was dar'3-erously wounded in the same way. 

Killed and wounded, upwards of 300; of the enemy some 
3,000 must have been killed. Forty guns were found in the 

The father of the Kanee, and the Jhansi paymaster were 
captured by a zemindar twelve miles to the west, and brought 
in on the 18th. Both were hanged next day, near the nullah 
where the massacre had taken place. 

Sir Hugh Rose, in his despatch, says: " It will be a gratifica- 
tion to the relatives of Lieutenants Meiklejohn and Dick of the 
Bombay Engineers, to know that these two young men had 
gained my esteem by the intelligence and coolness which they 
evinced as Engineer officers during the siege. I should have 
recommended both for promotion, if they had not died in their 
country's cause, for conspicuous gallantry in leading the way up 
two scaling ladders." 

The Sappers' mess before the battle of the Betwa had eight 
members ; it was now reduced to two. 

Lieutenant Prendergast wounded in cavalry charge on 1st 

Lieutenant Fox wounded in storm, by bullet in neck. 

Lieutenants Meiklejohn and Dick killed. 

Lieutenant Bonus wounded, and Captain Brown sick. 

Lieutenants Goodfellow and Gordon escaped unhurt. 

Jhansi was garrisoned, and on 22nd April Major Gall, llth 
Light Dragoons, moved out to reconnoitre. 

1st Brigade started for Calpee at midnight on the 25th. 
2nd Brigade to follow. 

On the 29th they moved on Sunrie ; country flat, wells almost 
dry. Arrived at Pooneh on 2nd May. Major Gall went on to 
a fort a few miles off, surrounded it, blew open the gate, and 
every man in the fort was slain. The rebels were now collected at 
Koonch, fourteen miles in front ; the Ranee of Jhansi, the Rajah 


of Rampore, the Nawab of Banda, the Rao Sahib, and Tantia 
Topee were with them. The 2nd Brigade joined on 5th May. 

The 1st Brigade camped ten miles from Koonch, while the 
2nd took route to south of it. Hydrabad Contingent to east. 
The General and 1st Brigade to the west. Enemy were found 
at Koonch. They opened a battery, which was answered by our 
guns. In less than an hour Koonch was in our hands. Cavalry 
and Horse Artillery pursued, and cut them up. Many officers 
and men were prostrated by the sun. The General fell three 
times, but struggled till victory was won. We captured eight 
guns, ammunition, and grain. Enemy numbered 20,000, of 
which 7,000 were cavalry. 

On 9th May we camped at Hurdooi. The Sappers destroyed 
the defences of the fort. The General moved off with the 
column, leaving the company of Sappers to complete demolition. 

On the 11th the Sappers started to rejoin the General. On 
arrival at Oorai, they found that the force had marched towards 
Calpee. The Sappers marched on at once, and reached the 
Brigade at 2 p.m., having marched twenty miles. The weather 
was now most frightfully hot, and liquor of all sorts was most 
scarce. Eighteen, twenty, and twenty-six rupees a dozen was 
given for beer. 

Brigadier Stuart reported sick after Koonch, and the com- 
mand devolved on Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, of the 7Jst. 

From the Nerbudda to the Jumna, the enemy had no longer 
any place if they lost Calpee. The Ranee of Jhansi and Tantia 
Topee were both there. Colonel Maxwell was to the north of 
the Jumna. 

On the 15th the force gained Golowlee, six miles from Calpee 
to the east, and pitched camp along the bank of the Jumna. The 
enemy expected we should have marched direct on Calpee, and 
among the tombs had posted large batteries, and large bodies of 
infantry and cavalry ; but we left the road, marched on their left 
flank, with ravines between us. After our arrival, the enemy's 


cavalry came down on the baggage, but were repulsed with 

The 2nd Brigade with Major Orr's force, had an encounter 
with the enemy on the 10th. It was a hard fight, but, as usual, 
the enemy were discomfited. Between our camp and Calpee 
there was an extraordinary labyrinth of ravines, over which 
cavalry and artillery could not go. They afforded good cover 
for the enemy's infantry. To the south of Calpee were great 
numbers of huge tombs, capable of affording shelter to large 
bodies of troops. 

On the 17th the 2nd Brigade was attacked, and the attack did 
not cease till 8 p.m. ; they then joined the 1st Brigade. 

On the 20th the enemy made another attack from the ravines. 
The same evening two companies of the 86th, the Camel Corps, 
and 120 Sikhs, crossed the river from Colonel Maxwell. For 
the last two days the town was shelled by a mortar battery. 

On the 21st, batteries from Colonel Maxwell's camp opened 
upon the fort and town. 

Between 8 and 9 a.m. on the 22ud, large bodies of the enemy 
advanced from the Calpee road, and our picquets retired. 

On our right we had the 86th, 3rd Europeans, and four 
companies of the 25th Bo. N. I., half a field battery, a troop of 
the I4th Dragoons, and one of the 3rd Jjight Cavalry. On 
right of centre, half a field battery, Royal Engineers, and some 
of the 25th N. I. In centre, siege guns, howitzers, and rockets, 
with Madras Sappers under Lieutenant Gordon; wing of 7 1st, 
some 3rd Europeans, squadron of the l4th Light Dragoons, one 
of the 3rd Light Cavalry, and Royal Artillery guns. To left of 
centre. Horse Artillery, and two troops of the 14th Light 
Dragoons ; beyond these Camel Corps, field battery, and Sikhs. 
Extreme left, Hydrabad Contingent. 

Enemy extended to our extreme left. Our shot and shell 
began to tell after a time, and the enemy limbered up, and began 
to retreat. 


A dense mass of cavalry and a field battery tried to get on our 
left flank. Hydrabad Contingent was too quick for them, and 
turned them. After two hours' pounding, the General advanced 
with Horse Artillery, field battery, and cavalry, when the rebels 
fled, and our guns and cavalry routed them ; volleys of musketry 
going on all along the ravines. 

On the right, their infantry advanced close to our field-guns 
and mortars, H. M.'s 86th and 25th Light Infantry fought 
bravely, they were reinforced by Camel Corps, who trotted rounds 
dismounted, and charged with the General at their head, with 
the 8Gth and 25th N. I., and 3rd Europeans. Our whole line 
now dashed forward, and the enemy fled. The 25th extended to 
Tehree and carried everything before them, driving the enemy 
into the village, through it, and over the plain towards the road. 
The enemy's infantry was completely broken up, and flying 
towards Calpee and Jaloun. 

On our right, Colonel Smith, with part of the 86th and 
Camel Corps, cut up a body ten times their number and killed 
them in the ravines, or drove them into the river. Colonel 
Maxwell, all this time, was pouring shell into the town and fort. 
Thus ended a hard days' work, with a glorious victory over ten 
times our number. 

On the morning of the 23rd the 1st Brigade moved on Calpee 
through ravines, and along the Jumna, nnd the 2nd, under 
Sir Hugh Kose, to the left, along the Calpee road. 

Tehree was set on fire by Colonel Maxwell's shells. A halt 
was made in front of the town for an hour. 

The General's force then came up. Advance was sounded, 
and we entered the town without resistance. 

Enemy was pursued by Colonel Gall with cavalry and Horse 
Artillery, and Hydrabad Contingent under Captain Abbott, for 
many miles. All their guns were captured, with camels, 
elephants, and horses. A great number of the enemy were 
cut up. 


We remained in town till 5 p.m., and then camped among the 
tomhs. The baggage had great difficulty in reaching camp. 

A flying column, under Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson, left 
camp to follow up the rebels, who were reported to have gone to 
Jaloun, intending to make for Sheerghaut^ and to cross the 
Jumna into Oude. Enormous quantities of sugar, corn, and oil 
were found, and an astonishing amount of ammunition and 
military stores. In the arsenal was 60,000 lbs. of powder, and 
large heaps of shot and shell. 

Sir Hugh Rose described the enemy's tactics of "unceasingly 
harassing his troops, and forcing them into the sun ; large 
bodies of cavalry hanging on his positions, retiring when 
attacked, but ready to fall on escorts sent to a distance for 
forage, the want of which was the cause of serious losses. Out 
of thirty-six men of the 14th Light Dragoons forming part of 
one forage escort, seventeen were brought to camp on doolies, 
after two hours' exposure to the sun. A similar amount of 
sun-sickness had prostrated the 2otli Bo. N. I. on the march to 
Muttra. The prostration of the whole force had become a 
matter of arithmetical calculation. So many hours' sun laid low 
so many men. The thermometer stood at 118° in the shade. A 
great proportion of officers and men were ill. The force, for 
months, had been making the strongest physical exertions, with 
broken sleep, or no sleep at all ; watching the camp half the 
night, and marching the other half to avoid the sun; 
often all day without a rest, fighting, or on the rear-guard, 
or reconnoissance escorts under a burning sun. On the march 
from the west to the centre of India, country tracks and 
unbridged nullahs, with very few exceptions, were the communi- 
cations. The consequence of this was, that one deep nullah 
often detained troops, baggage, guns, and rear-guard, for hours 
in the sun, while the Sappers were making it passable. Bad 
roads, and an unorganised system of transport and supply, were 
the causes why the rations were at times in arrears ; and the 


troops on those occasions performed hard duties, or fought all 
day on insufficient nourishment. The Sappers were constantly 
employed in making roads passable throughout the march, and 
occasionally hauling heavy guns tlirough difficulties." 

The following order of Sir Hugh Rose is of great interest : — 
" The Central India Field Force being about to be abolished, 
the Major- General cannot allow the troops to leave his imme- 
diate command without expressing to them the gratification he 
bas invariably experienced at their good conduct and discipline, 
and he requests that the following general order may be read at 
the head of every corps and detachment of the force : — 

" ' Soldiers ! you have marched more than 1,000 miles, and 
taken more than 100 guns ; you have forced your way through 
mountains, passes, and intricate jungles, and over rivers; you 
have captured the strongest fort, and beaten the enemy, no 
matter what the odds, wherever you met him ; you have restored 
extensive districts to the Government, and peace and order now 
reign where before, for twelve months, were tyranny and rebel- 
lion ; you have done all this, and never had a check. I thank 
you with all sincerity for your bravery, your devotion, and your 
discipline. When you first marched I told you that you, as 
British soldiers, had more than enough of courage for the work 
which was before you ; but that courage without discipline was of 
no avail, and I exhorted you to let discipline be your watchword. 
You have attended to my orders. In hardships, in temptations, 
and in dangers you have obeyed your General, and you never 
left your ranks. You have fought against the strong, and you 
have protected the rights of the weak and defenceless, of foes 
as well as of friends. I have seen you in the ardour of the 
combat preserve and place children out of harm's way. This 
is the discipline of Christian soldiers, and this it is which has 
brought you triumphant from the shores of Western India to 
the waters of the Jumna, and establishes without doubt that you 
will find no place to equal the glory of your arms." 


In his report regarding Jhansi, Sir Hugh Rose says: — 

"They had to contend against an enemy more than double 
their numbers, behind fortifications, who defended themselves 
afterwards in suburbs and very difficult ground outside the walls." 

" The nature of the defence and strictness of the investment 
gave rise to continued and fierce combats ; fur the rebels, having 
no hope, fought to sell their lives as dearly as they could. But 
the discipline and gallant spirit of the troops enabled them to 
overcome difficulties and opposition of every sort, to take the 
fortified city of Jhansi by storm, subduing the strongest fortress 
in Central India, and killing 5,000 of its rebel garrison. I beg 
leave to state the obligation I am under to Captain Brown, com- 
manding company Madras Sappers. ' 

Major Boileau, commanding Engineers, Lieutenant Fox, 
Madras Sappers, were also mentioned. 

The rebels now marched on Gwallior, defeated Scindiah, 
captured his fort, guns, and treasure, and compelled him to fly 
to Agra. 

It now became necessary for Sir Hugh Eose's force again to 
take the field. 

On the Gth June the B Company marched with a detachment, 
consisting of battery of Horse Artillery and two squadrons of 
cavalry, towards Gwallior. 

After a rapid march the General and his forces sat down 
before Gwallior on the ICth. The thermometer stood at 130° in 
the shade. The General determined to give battle at once, 
opened fire, and advanced. The enemy were driven from can- 
tonments at Morar with great loss. The B Company*, reduced 
to forty-five men, took part in this action. Tiiey were com- 
manded by Lieutenant Gordon, who was mentioned in Brigadier 
Napier's despatch as having kept pace with the 71st Regiment, 
and joined in the attack on the ravines. 

* Strength of B Coinj^any : one European officer, two native officers, forty-two 
N.C.O. and rank and file. 


Sir Hugh Eose, after the capture of Morar,* made a recon- 
noissance of Gwallior, and came to the conclusion that if he 
attacked it from Morar he would have to cross the plain between 
Morar and Gwallior under the fire of the fort, and of masked 
and formidable batteries established in strong houses and gardens 
on the banks of the old canal, and a dry river in front of the 
Phool B-agh Palace. Consequently, he moved with his force to 
Kota-ke- Serai, about twenty miles, to effect a junction with 
Brigadier-General Smith, who had been directed to march with 
the Eajpootana Field Force from Segoree to Kota-ke-Serai, 
seven miles to east of Gwallior. 

A force was left in Morar, under Brigadier-General Napier, for 
its protection, daring the investment of Gwallior, and pursuit of 
enemy when they retreated. 

The march to Kota-ke-Serai was very harassing. One hun- 
dred men of the 86th were compelled to fall out by sun-sickness. 
The column bivouacked on the left bank of the river Morar. 
Meantime, Brigadier Smith, finding that the enemy occupied a 
hill opposite Kota-ke-Serai, and were pressing on him, advanced, 
and, following the road to Gwallior by the ford across the river, 
had attacked and driven the enemy from the hills on his right 
front, and occupied the road which led through a pass, two miles 
long, through the hills, and to the left or south side of a very 
deep and dry old canal, cut out of the rock, which led from the 
ford close by the left of the road through the pass to the fort of 
Gwallior. To the left of the road and canal in the pass, rose 
from a narrow plain a succession of slopes, intersected by 

* At the fight at Morar three sections of the B Company advanced in Hne with 
fom- companies of H.M.'s 71st Regiment, when they came, vmawares, upon a 
nullah in which were concealed a number of the enemy ; a hard fight ensued, 
during which Naique Narrainsawmy saw a soldier of the 71st about to be killed 
by three of the enemy. He fired at one of them, and wounded him, but as he still 
continued to advance, he attacked and killed him with his bayonet. The other 
two, on seeing him killed, ran away ; and the Naique, by his great gallantry, 
saved the hfe of the British soldier. The Xaique was admitted to the 3rd Class 
of the Order of Merit. 


ravines. A. ridge ran along the top of the slopes, on which the 
enemy had placed a battery of 9-pouuders, and a numerous force 
of all arms was on the ridge, as well as a large body of cavalry 
in rear of it, about a mile and a half further back ; and about the 
same distance from the left of the road was stationed, in a gorge 
of the hills, a large body of infantry with guns. They guarded 
a road which branched off from the ford southwards through 
the hills to Gwallior. 

It was clear that the enemy must be driven from both these 
positions. The impediment to this was the deep canal, imprac- 
ticable for cavalry and infantry. To remove it, Sir Hugh Rose 
directed the company of Madras Sappers and Miners to make a 
bridge some way to the left rear of our position across the 
canal. The bridge, or dam, was to be ready by sunset. The 
General had arranged to cross during the night, get in south- 
wards to Gwallior, place himself between Gwallior and the 
enemy's two positions, fall on them before daybreak to attack 
their front, and turn their left flank. 

He now received an express from Sir Eobert Hamilton that 
the enemy had agreed to attack him this day. The company of 
Madras Sappers and Miners, whose zeal and intelligence no hard- 
ships could abate, would have completed the bridge across the 
canal by sunset, and Sir Hugh Rose anticipated the best results 
from availing himself of it for the purpose of cutting off, during 
the night, the enemy's numerous force of all arms on the hills. 
It was, however, necessary to free the position in the narrow 
pass from the risk of a serious attack. Brigadier Stuart was 
ordered, with 86th, who were encamped between the pass and 
the river Morar, to move from the left rear, supported by 25 th 
Bo. N.I., across the canal, ascend the heights, and attack the 
enemy on their left flank. Brigadier Smith, at the same time, 
was to move with the 95th from left of the right flank across the 
canal in skirmishing order, over the shoulder of the hill on 
which was the battery, against the enemy's left flank. This 


oblique movement, and the lay of the ground, prevented the 95th 
suffering seriously from the battery. 

The 10th N. I. was to move up from the right of right front, 
across the canal, to support the 95th and to cover the right. 
The 3rd troop of Bo. H. A. was ordered up to the entrance of 
pass towards Gwallior, as well as a squadron of the 8th Hussars. 
The rest of the force was disposed of in support of attacking 
columns, and for the defence of the camp from the rear. 

Brigadier Stuart, crossing the canal, ascended the heights ; 
the enemy taken in flank, retired rapidly from the attack of our 
left flank towards the battery. The skirmishers pressed the 
rebel infantry so hard that they did not make a stand even 
under their guns, but retreated across the entrenchment. The 
skirmishers gave them no time to rally, but dashed at the 
parapet, crossed it, and took the guns (three 9-pounders) which 
defended the ridge. The 8Gth passed on after the enemy's 
cavalry and infantry, who fled, part to Gwallior, and part to the 
hills to the south. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Raines now came up with the 95th, and 
turned the captured guns on the enemy's cavalry and infantry. 
The 10th Bo. N. I. moved on in support of the 95th, and, 
finding themselves exposed to a fire of artillery and infantry 
from the heights on enemy's extreme left, cleared the two 
nearest heights, and, charging gallantly, took two brass field-guns 
and three mortars, which were in a plain at the foot of the 
second height. 

The troops were now in possession of the highest range of 
heights to the east of Gwallior. 

To our right was now the handsome Palace of the Phool 
Bagh, with its gardens, and the old city surrounded by the fort, 
with a line of extensive fortifications round the high and 
precipitous rock of Gwallior. To the left lay the " Lushkar," 
or new city, with its spacious houses half hidden by trees. The 
slopes descended gradually towards Gwallior, the lowest one 


commanding the grand parade of the Lushkar which was almost 
out of fire of the fort. 

Sir Hugh Rose now determined to make a general advance 
against all the positions which the enemy occupied for the 
defence of Gwailior, extending from beyond the Phool Bagh 
Palace on the right of the grand parade of the Lushkar, and 
then take the Lushkar by assault. The movement was com- 
pletely successful. 

The 1st Bo. Lancers charged into the Grand Parade, and 
pursued the enemy's infantry into the Lushkar. The 95th also 
charged down into the Grand Parade, and took two 18-pounders 
and two small mortars. 

Sir Hugh Rose then advanced through the Lushkar, the 
enemy's cavalry and infantry retreating before him, and before 
sunset the whole of the Lushkar was in our possession. It 
was reported that the enemy had evacuated the old town and 
fort; orders were given to occupy it immediately. 

Brigadier Smith captured the Phool Bagh, killing numbers of 
the enemy. He then pursued a large body of the enemy who 
were retiring round the rock of Gwallior towards the Residency 
(several miles to the north of the rock), covering their retreat 
with horse-artillery guns. After a short resistance, Brigadier 
Smith captured the guns, and killed numbers of the retreating 
army. He continued the pursuit of those escaping towards the 
Residency till long after night, and until his men and horses 
were unable to move on. On this occasion he captured more guns. 

It was found that the enemy had not evacuated the fort. The 
fort was invested, as closely as possible, from the old city and 
the liUshkar, and by the officer commanding cavalry at Phool 

The next morning the enemy again fired from the fort. 
Lieutenant Rose (25th Bo. N. I.), Lieutenant Waller, and a 
party of the 25th, with some of Scindiah's police, burst 
open the main gateway of the fort, and surprising the other 


gates before the garrisou, a party of fanatical Alussiilmans, 
could shut them, reached an archway on which the rebels 
brought a gun to bear. Lieutenant Rose and his party got 
through the archway, and then engaged in a desperate hand-to- 
hand conflict with the rebels, who defended the narrow street 
leading into the fort. But the determined gallantry of Lieu- 
tenant Rose and the men of the 25th, aided by Lieutenant 
Waller, who climbed, with a few of his men, on the roof of a 
house and shot the gunner, carried all before them. They 
took the fort, and killed every man in it ; but the gallant leader, 
Lieutenant Rose, fell mortally wounded, after taking Gwallior 
by force of arms.* 

Abandoning the defence of Gwallior, whilst the troops were 
still fighting, Tantia Topee, with a considerable body of cavalry 
and infantry, attempted to retreat southwards, by the road to 
Punniar and Goornah ; but learning that Punniar was occupied 
by Major Orr, he went to the Residency. The Residency was to 
have been occupied by Colonel Riddell ; but that officer, owing 
to the difficulty of crossing the ford of the Chumbul at Dholpore, 
was unable to eff"ect this. 

Brigadier Napier pursued the enemy in the most able manner, 
and effected the capture of twenty-five pieces of artillery, and the 
total dispersion of the enemy. 

Sir Hugh Rose wrote to Sir Robert Hamilton suggesting the 
immediate return of Scindiah, and the next morning Scindiah 
arrived, was received with every mark of respect, and was 
escorted by Sir Hugh Rose, and all his principal officers who 
were able to be present, to the Palace of the Lushkar, with a 
squadron of the 8th Hussars and another of the lith Light 
Dragoons. Scindiah was greeted by the inhabitants with 
enthusiastic acclamations. 

* Lieutenant Rose -was a brother of Major Rose, the present representative 
of the ancient family of the Roses of Kib-avock-Xairn. Lieutenant "Waller 
received the V.C. for his gallantly, and Lieutenant Rose would also have 
obtained it had he survived the capture. 


He wished to present the army with six months' batta ; but 
this was not considered desirable, and he then expressed a wish 
to give a medal for " Gwallior." 

Sir Hugh Rose recommended that this second request might 
be complied with, and offered to give up his claim to the deco- 
ration if it would facilitate the array obtaining it. 

Sir Hugh Rose thus closes his despatch : — 

"But as the Commander of the forces engaged, it is my duty 
to say that, although a most arduous campaign had impaired the 
health and strength of every man of my force, their discipline, 
devotion, and courage remained unvarying and unshaken, enabling 
them to make a very rapid march in summer heat to Gwallior, and 
fight and gain two actions on the road — one at Morar canton- 
ments, the other at Kota-ke-Serai — arrive at their posts, from 
great distances, before Gwallior before the day appointed, 19th 
June, and on that same day carry by assault all the enemy's posi- 
tions on strong heights and in most difficult ground, taking one 
battery after another, twenty-seven pieces of artillery in the action, 
and twenty-five in the pursuit, besides the guns in the fort, 
the old city, the new city, and, finally, the Rock of Gwallior — 
held to be one of the most important and strongest fortresses in 

" I marched on 8th of June from Calpee, and on 19th of the 
same month the Gwallior States were restored to their Prince." 

The B Company marched from Gwallior a few days later, 
and with the exception of one affair on the banks of the Jumna, 
when, under command of Lieutenant Gordon, it routed a detach- 
ment of the enemy, it had no more opportunity of distinguishing 
itself in the Central Indian campaign. 

The company took the field with six European officers, two 
native officers, four havildars, eight naiques, and 105 privates 
and artificers ; and it returned to Madras forty-one strong of 
all ranks, commanded by the junior subaltern. Lieutenant 

II. 23 


The officers of Madras Engineers and Sappers ^^•l^o were 
rewarded were — 

]\Iajor Boileau, Brevet of Ijieutenant-Colonel and Colonel. 
Captain Brown, Madras Fusiliers, Brevet of Major. 
Lieutenant H. N. J). Prendergast, M.E., Brevet of Major, 

and Victoria Cross. 
Assistant Surgeon T. Lowe, Brevet Surgeon. 
Subadar Seloway, " Bahadoor." 
Jemadar Ali Khan, " Sirdar Bahadoor." 
The following native officers, N.C.O., and privates, of the 
Sappers, were admitted to third class of the " Order of Merit" 
for conspicuous gallantry at Eatghur and Morar : — 
Subadar Seloway. 
Jemadar Appavoo. 
Naique Narrainsawmy. 
Lance Naique Pichamootoo. 
Privates Savathean. 
,, Appasawmy. 
,, Chinnatumby. 
The following extract of a letter from Sir Hugh Rose will 
show how highly he appreciated the services of the Company : — 
"I have already praised the excellent conduct of the B Com- 
pany, Madras Sappers and Miners, which formed part of my 
force ; but I now beg leave to request most respectfully His 
Lordship, the Commander-in-Chief in India, to have the good- 
ness to convey to H.E. the Commander-in-Chief of the Madras 
Army, the high sense which I entertained of the excellent ser- 
vice which they performed under my orders. They lived on the 
very best terms with their English comrades ; no work was too 
dangerous or too difficult for the gallantry and devotion of this 
Company, which has been twenty months on foreign service. 

" On account of the great length of hard service which the 
company had gone through, it was to return to Madras from 
Calpee, but on Gwallior falling into the hands of the rebels, the 
company again took the field with the utmost alacrity, and again 


earned not only my sincere approbation, but that also of the 
Central India Field force, by its unvarying gaHantry and zeal. 

" Captain Brown deserves to be specially mentioued for having 
led this distinguished company at the escalade of Jhansi, and 
for having commanded it from 5th July 18o7 (when its com- 
mander was appointed to the Staff) till the close of the opera* 
tions against Jhansi, when he fell sick. Lieutenant Gordon 
then took the command of the company, and I beg to mention 
him specially for the satisfactory manner in which he performed 
his duty. The Subadar (Seloway) of the company has a full 
right to be mentioned for his admirable conduct throughout the 

In accordance with the recommendation of the Commander- 
in-Chief — 

Lieutenant H. N. D. Prendergast was allowed to count as 
service for retiring pension fifteen months' sick leave, which was 
necessary for the recovery of his health, and Lieutenant T. R. Fox, 
Madras Sappers, w^as similarly allowed to count eighteen months. 

The Madras troops of the Saugor Field Division,* having 
assembled at Jubbulpore, advanced northwards early in 1858. 

Their task was to afford assistance that might be required to 
the Bombay Division advancing on its left, as well as to prevent 
the rebel troops from breaking southwards out of the Saugor and 
Nerbudda territories. 

At the date of leaving Jubbulpore, it was uncertain whether 
the Rajah of Rewah, who was wavering in his policy, might not 
throw in his lot with the revolted troops and chiefs of Central 
India, and so increase the number of the enemy in this localitv. 

The division, to which was attached a very large siege train 

* Wing 12tli Lancers, Colonel Oakes ; 1st Regiment Hydrabad Cavalry, 
Macintire: A Troop, M.H. A., Main; F Troop, H.A., Brice : 14tli Battery, R. A., 
Palmer ; Horse Battery, M.A., Gosling ; 43rd Regiment, Primrose ; 3rd M. E. 
Regiment, Apthor]! ; SOth M. N. I., Reece ; 1st M. N. I., Gotheux ; and L Com- 
pany of Madras Saj^pers, Lieut. Campbell, 7th X. I., and Lieut. Eager, 52nd X.I. 


and park of Engineers, accordingly marched, for the reasons 
given, in the first instance, along the grand trunk road in the 
Eewah direction. Matters in that territory having, however, 
taken a more favourable turn, General Whitlock changed his line 
of march westwards at Jokehi. Up to this place the progress 
of the division having been along a metalled road, not much 
difficulty had occurred with the line of carts of artillery and 
engineer material, which stretched to a length of some ten miles. 

With the exception of a few bridges and culverts, which had 
been destroyed by wandering bands of rebel troops, and which 
•were speedily made passable by the Sappers under the direction 
of the Engineer officers of the force, there w^as no obstacle to the 
progress of the Madras troops. 

At Jokehi, however, the division entered upon a cross country 
track, where the services of the Engineers and Sappers were 
frequently required, in making approaches to streams and in 
improving the road as far as possible. 

Arriving at Dumoh, the column halted for news of the Bombay 
force under Sir Hugh Rose, who had then just reached Saugor 
(early in February). 

After a personal consultation with Sir Hugh Rose, General 
Whitlock gave orders for the complete demolition of Garrakotah, 
situated about half-way between Saugor and Dumoh. 

Lieutenant Howes and Wood, M.E., were told off for this 
duty, and had prepared their park of material, but the demoli- 
tion was countermanded, and the Madras force somewhat sud- 
denly started in a north-easterly direction to Purnah. 

The object of this move was to contain the stragglers of the 
enemy, who, escaping from the defeats suffered at the hands of 
Sir Hugh Rose during his rapid advance from Saugor, might 
endeavour to double southwards into the Nagpore and Jubbul- 
pore countries. 

From Purnah the Saugor Field Division turned north-west to 
Chickharee, thus zigzagging through the eastern Bundelcund 


States, and over-awiug by its presence the petty chiefs as well 
as the more powerful Rajah of Rewah, whose territory, lying 
between Mirzapore and Jiibbulpore, might have been used by 
the rebels to intercept British commuuications. 

While, therefore, the Bombay Army was reaping a glorious 
harvest of laurels in their gallant advance northwards, the 
Madras Division was employed in producing a " moral eflect," 
by marching through districts whose loyalty was doubtful. It 
was, besides, held in reserve to afford that aid to Sir Hugh Rose, 
which (as events proved) was never at any moment needed. 

At the same time, their position on the flank of the Bombay 
force compelled the northward retreat of the fugitives flying from 
Sir Hugh Rose's master-strokes. In that direction they would 
eventually be offered a warm reception by the British force on 
the Jumna. 

The history of the Saugor Field Division during the early 
part of 1858, would suffice to show that the Madrasees were 
no ordinary troops, if, as Marshal Saxe averred, " the secret of 
the art of war lies in the legs." In addition to the perpetual 
marching and countermarching to which they were subjected, 
it must be remembered that the troops of the Saugor Field 
Division underwent the severest labour, owing to the quantity 
of military materiel with which they were burdened, the care of 
which entailed extraordinary exposures and pains on all branches 
of the force. 

Getting under arras at midnight, it was the usual thing that 
the rear-guard did not enter camp till after the following mid-day. 

At Chickharee the dull prospect of mere usefulness to which 
they had been condemned seemed to brighten for the Saugor Field 
Division, Sir Hugh Rose had won the battle of the Betwa, 
and the fall of Jhansi took place soon afterwards. Events 
seemed, therefore, preparing for the final sweeping of the rebels 
northwards, and the Madras troops were directed in a north-east 
direction on Banda, their line of march being north-eastward; 


and parallel to the route followed by Sir Hugh Rose from 
Jliansi to Calpce. 

On the outset of this last advance, General Whitlock made a 
short detour, and destroyed Jheejliun, the ancestral village of 
Dess Putt, a petty Bundeicund chief, who had for some time 
previous been outlawed, and for whose marauding talents the 
outbreak of the Bengal INIutiny with its subsequent chaos of 
lawlessness had created a fitting stage. While on his rapid 
advance to Jheejliun, with a battery of Horse Artillery and 
two squadrons of Lancers, the General and Staff of the Madras 
Force encountered Dess Putt quite unexpectedly.* 

" Lienteuaut Wood was ridiug, as orderly ofScer, -with General Whitlock at 
Jheejliun, while the village was being shelled by the A Troop of the old Madras 
Horse Artillery. Round the foot of the hill on which Jheejliun was situated was 
a belt of thorny jungle, from which the Bundoola matchlock-men were keeping 
up a sharp fire upon our party. The General moved off, just outside the skirt 
of this jungle to the left, in order to reach a better spot from whence the effect 
of the shells on the village might be observed, and Lieutenant Wood and a 
Lancer orderly (of 12th Lancers) followed him. Passing along the edge of the 
jungle at a foot's pace, Lieutenant Wood noticed that a matchlock-man was 
making particularly good practice, and that shot after shot whistled nearer and 
nearer. Just then General Whitlock halted to use his field-glass, and Wood 
took the opportunity of turning to the Lancer orderly, and said," You nad bettor 
go and polish that fellow off, or else he will soon be hitting one of us "; so the 
orderly trotted off gaily on his errand, and disappeared behind a thick patch of 
the jungle from whence the matchlock-man was firing. 

The General continued watching with his glass the eft'ect of the fire of the 
battery on Jheojhun, and Wood began to get rather uneasy as the Lancer orderly 
showed no signs of re-appearance, so he stole off gently after him, and having 
tiu'ned the corner of the thorny patch of jungle where ho saw him disappear, 
the following scene was presented to his eyes. The Lancer had speared the 
Bimdeela through the body, and the mortally wounded man was hanging on with 
both hands to the staff of the lance. Embarrassed by this, as well as by the 
thick thorny surrounding bushes and the boulders of rock which strewed the 
place, the Lancer could not get sufficient space to tuna his horse and gallop 
away. Consequently, he was induced to keep tugging away at his lance, in 
order to free himself from his dying victim. He had, apparently, been engaged 
for some few minutes in this employment, and had lost his temper at the 
Bundeela's tenacity of grip ; for, just as Wood came up, he dropped the lance 
with his right hand, leaving it suspended to his arm by the sling. Doubling his 
fist, he leant over the dying man, and shook it energetically in his face, with the 

words, "G d d n your eyes, if you don't let that there go I'll get off' my 

horse and punch your b y head I "' 


The Bundeela chief escaped by a mere accident, for his know- 
ledge of the paths tbrougli the surrounding jungle alone enabled 
hira to avoid the different officers wlio spurred in hot baste after 
Dess Putt, when made aware of his identity from the sudden 
exclamation of their guide. Jbeejhuu was tben shelled, and set 
on fire by the artillery ; while the cavalry cut up some Bun- 
deela skirmishers who attempted to oppose the proceeding. Tbo 
whole of the Engineer officers were present, and Lieutenant 
Wood attended General Whitlock as orderly officer throughout 
the day. 

A day or two subsequently brought tbe advance-guard of the 
Saugor Field Division into collision with a reconnoitring party 
posted at Kubrai, in advance of the rebel forces, wbich were 
collected at Banda under the Nawab of that place. Rome guns 
posted bebind a ridge of rocks, at a point where the road passed 
between two low hills, somewhat unexpectedly opened fire at 
daybreak on the Deputy Quartermaster-General and a group of 
officers who were with him, in advance of the column of march. 
The halt thus caused did not, however, last for any long time, 
as the speedy arrival of a battery of Horse Artillery, which 
opened with shrapnel on the rebels, soon cleared the way for 
the advance of the cavalry attached to the Madras Division. 

Owing, however, to the entire ignorance of the Staff officers 
of the locality, the rebel detachment effected its retreat without 
having suffered much loss in this enterprising attempt to check 
the British advance. 

Two days afterwards, the Saugor Field Division was engaged 
in the first of the two general actions that fortune somewhat 
unkindly thought to be a sufficient recompense for troops which 
had undergone many months of severe and laborious, though 
still inglorious, work. On this occasion, the infiintry of the 
force had a share of those warlike duties of the campaign which 
had hitherto been monopolised by their more fortunate brothers 
of the cavalry and artillery, while the Madras Sappers were also 


engaged in company with the line. At Banda, as elsewhere, 
previously and hereafter in the history of the Saugor Field Divi- 
sion, the officers of Engineers were employed as orderlies on the 
staff of the Major-General. In fact, the utter lack of any pro- 
fessional duties which they might fulfil was of so much advan- 
tage to them during the campaign that it allowed of their 
usually being with advanced guards, and seeing all that there 
was to he seen of the actual fighting that fell to the lot of the 
Madras Force. 

After the occupation of Banda, however, their more strictly 
professional labours commenced in earnest. Quarters were pre- 
pared for the troops, and fortified positions were constructed. 
The stone fort on the left bank of the river Cane, on which 
Banda was situated, was blown up, under the immediate direc- 
tion of Lieutenant Howes, while all buildings of the town 
situated within short musket-shot of fortified posts were 
demolished by the Sappers, under the orders of the Engineers, 
and the debris removed. During the whole of the hot weather, 
therefore, both Engineers and Sappers were fully employed in 
most arduous duties, while the remainder of the troops were 
resting from their long and trying march. 

Having been reinforced by his 2nd Infantry Brigade, General 
Whitlock, leaving a strong detachment at Banda, advanced with 
the bulk of his force on Kirwee, about forty miles to the east. 
Here, again, disappointment awaited his troops; for the rebels 
dispersed at the approach of the Saugor Field Division, leaving 
all their material, together with forty guns and an immense 
treasure, behind them. 

As regards the last, the various Law Courts in England for 
many years afterwards were the scene of a costly and prolonged 
litigation between the various field forces who put forward their 
claims to share the prize of war that was made by the actual 
captors, the Madras troops. 

At Kirwee the Engineers and Sappers were again employed as 


at Banda. The small fort was put in an eflBcient state of 
defence, and garrisoned with a battery of artillery, together with 
a detachment of European and Native infantry. Brigadier 
Carpenter was left in command, with Lieutenant Wood as Gar- 
rison Engineer, and though the place did not admit of much 
professional skill being devoted to its improvement, it was made 
strong enough to enable a very reduced detachment of troops to 
hold their own against an enormously larger number of rebels 
who invested Kirwee, in December following, during several 

With the larger portion of his division, General Whitlock 
marched westward to Banda, whence several flying columns were 
pushed in pursuit of various fugitive bodies of rebel troops, 
whom the decisive operations of Sir Hugh Rose at Calpee had 
thrown broadcast over the country south of the Jumna. With 
these columns Captain Hemery and Lieutenants Howes and 
Lindsay served. 

The whole of Bundelcund soon, indeed, swarmed with such 
bands of rebel fugitives, and Brigadier Carpenter, finding a body 
of these collecting in larger numbers than he cared for, in close 
proximity to Kirwee, sallied out to Chittrakote and inflicted a 
severe defeat on them. 

Lieutenant Wood on this occasion had command of a squadron 
of Metga Sikh Horse, a body of irregular cavalry that had been 
sent from Cawnpore to reinforce General Whitlock. 

The Sikh Rissaldar of the squadron was, unfortunately, shot 
dead on this occasion while conversing with Lieutenant Wood. 

Soon after the fight at Chittrakote, a Bundeela chief, Rummust 
Singh (who had formerly been one of the rebel chiefs of the 
force which had dispersed from Kirwee), found in the jungles 
south of this place an appropriate refuge and central point where 
many of the rebel fugitive bands formed a junction. 

To prevent an inconvenient increase to Rummust Siugh's 
forces, Brigadier Carpenter moved southwards in pursuit of the 



rebels, who retreated before him, but made a short stand at the 
Punghattee Pass, leading up to the jungle-covered highlands of 
Bundelcuud. During this march of Brigadier Carpenter's troops, 
Lieutenant Wood was employed iu command of the squadron of 
Irregular Sikh Cavalry before mentioned to reconnoitre the line 
of advance. At the Punghattee Ghaut itself, he was sent forward 
to prepare the road for the passage of the guns, and returned to 
camp in the afternoon with his troopers, after setting the native 
working-parties to their duties. These, after the withdrawal 
of the Sikh cavalry, were attacked, and handled rather roughly, 
by a reconnoitring party from Rummust Singh's bands, who 
occupied a large village called Kothee, a few miles beyond the 
bead of the Ghaut. 

Next morning Brigadier Carpenter advanced, and found the 
Ghaut occupied in force by the rebels. Having opened fire 
from his two small guns, the ascent of the Pass was speedily 
made with small loss, while the Sikh Horse, under Lieutenants 
Gompertz, 1st N.I., and Wood, of the Engineers, pursued the 
flying rebels beyond Kolhee. 

The great facilities offered to the fugitives by the thick jungles 
of the locality, prevented their suffering much loss at the hands 
of the horsemen. A few days subsequently, another jungle 
encounter took place between the rebels and a detachment of 
Brigadier Carpenter's force ; but the bulk of the enemy had 
retreated on a second and larger mass of fugitives, who were 
encamped some twenty miles from Nagode. This second body 
of rebels were composed of many flying bands, which had been 
driven headlong eastwards by tlie incessant operations of Sir 
Robeii, Napier's flying column against the Gsvallior Contingent 
and the forces under Tantia Topee on the western confines of 

Brigadier Carpenter confined himself to observing this body 
of rebels, who were stated to be 20,000 strong, and to increase 
day by day. 


At the same time, General Wliitlock's scattered detachments 
■were concentrated at Banda in this conjuncture, though strong 
detachments were left in Calpee and Hummerpore. 

The General himself marched with his head-quarters via 
Puuuah to reinforce Brigadier Carpenter at Nagode ; but left 
again for Banda, on a report that Rummust Singh's force, now 
swelled to still greater numbers, had broken up tlieir camp, and 
gone hastily northwards. 

Brigadier Carpen'ter was also directed once more on Kirwee, 
by the same route he had traversed in following Rummust 
Singh southwards. When within a few marclies of Kirwee, the 
Brigadier found that a general action had been fought very 
recently on the Punwaree heights, some four miles from Kirwee, 
and that General Whitlock had utterly routed and broken up 
the considerable forces under Rummust Singh. It is necessary 
to explain that this enterprising chief had, in lieu of marching 
directly north from the neighbourhood of Nagode, turned sharply 

Misled by the information of the political officers, General 
Whitlock was at the same moment pressing north-west in the 
direction of Mahoba, on reaching wliich place he received the 
unexpected and alarming information, by express, that Rummust 
Singh was engaged in besieging the small garrison that had 
been left by Brigadier Carpenter in the fortified post at Kirwee.* 
The General immediately made a forced march of ninety miles 
in thirty-six hours, with his horse-artillery and cavalry. On 
his approaching Kirwee, the troops of Rummust Singh drew ofl' 
to the Punwaree heights, where they remained in observation, 
and where they were energetically attacked immediately upon the 

* On tho the enemy had reached Kirwee, and at once ca])tured the to^^■^ 
Captain Woodland, of the 1st ]M. N. I., had been loft to defend the post with 104 
men, which included a mere handful of the 43rd. For three days the enemy 
made incessant attacks, but were invariably repulsed. On the third day the 
rebels obtained some artillery, and now the position became very perilous : but 
relief was at hand, and the besiegers retreated on the 25th. 


arrival of the infantry brigade, which followed the fl)ing column 
as speedily as possible from Mahoba and Banda. In the action 
of Punwaree, Captain Hemery and Lieutenants Howes and 
Lindsay were present. Major Ludlow had previously left the 
Division lo take up the Duties of Chief Engineer of the Saugor 
and Nerbudda territories. 

The detachment under Brigadier Carpenter, to which Lieu- 
tenant Wood was attached, was, as has been already stated, 
marching on Kirwee, and was within a short distance of it when 
the action took place at Punwaree, and they had no share in it, 
but the interception of a few fugitives who unexpectedly found 
Brigadier Carpenter immediately on the line of their flight. 

With the action of Punwaree, the history of the Engineer 
officers employed with the Saugor Field Division comes to 
an end. 

Though engaged subsequently in a few small jungle fights, 
their duties consisted — until the country entirely calmed down — 
in providing for the necessities of the troops of the Madras 
Force, which were cantoned in various localities, between the 
Nerbudda and the Jumna, east of the line of the Betwa. 

The Engineer officers present with the force under General 
Whitlock were — 

Major Ludlow. 
Captain Hemery. 
Lieutenant Howes. 
,, Lindsay. 


Captain Hemery joined General Whitlock's column at Jubbul- 
pore on 12th February 1858, and was present at Bandn, 
Jheejhun, Kubrai, and Kirwee. He left the force on the 10th 
November on account of illness, and obtained three months' 

Major Ludlow, previous to the campaign under General 
Whitlock, had experienced disagreeable adventures, and seen 


some active service. He was present with Colonel Durand at 
Indore in the previous year. 

On the 1st July two of Holkar's regiments mutinied. 
Colonel Durand despatched a messenger to Mhow for the Euro- 
pean battery, but before it could arrive, he (the "Resident) was 
compelled to betake himself to fliglit. Colonel Durand, with 
the ladies and officers at Indore, found his way to Sehore, and 
thence to Hoosingabad, on the Nerbudda, a distance of IGO 
miles. From thence. Captain Ludlow went to Jubbulpore, as 
next month he was Field Engineer with the Kamptee moveable 
column, under Brevet-Colonel Millar, at Dumoh. 

On the 1st September 1857 the force, consisting of about 800 
men, marched against Balacote, fifteen miles distant ; a large 
village with an old fort on a neighbouring hill, the residence of 
Eajah Surrop Singh, who had assisted in the attack on Dumoh. 
A skirmish took place, and the enemy were driven in ; the 
artillery opened fire on the village, and after a few rounds the 
infantry entered it and found it evacuated. The village was 
destroyed, and the detachment returned to Dumoh. 

On the 18th September, the 52nd B. N. I. mutinied at Jubbul- 
pore, and it was then decided that the town and district of 
Dumoh should be abandoned, and that the moveable column 
should return and defend Jubbulpore. 

The column left Dumoh on 21st September, and, having been 
delayed three days in crossing the Nowlah, reached Singrampore 
on 2Gth September. News was here received that the mutineers 
of the 52nd B. N. I., 500 strong, had taken up a position at 
Kanee west of Heran river, twelve miles below Kuthenghee. 

On the 27th a party, consisting of one company of the 83rd 
M. N. I. and 12 troopers of the -Ith Madras Light Cavalry, was 
sent off at 2 a.m. to secure the boats on the Heran at Kuthenghee, 
under Lieutenant Watson; and Major Jenkins, Assistant 
Quartermaster-General, accompanied. At 5 a.m. two troopers 
galloped in, with the news that the party had been surprised by 


the 52ncl, that the two officers had been killed, and the party 
was retreating on our camp. 

Our force consequently pushed on and took possession of 
Gohra, three miles in front of Singrampore, which commands 
the mouth of the Pass. The 52nd were now seen marching 
along the road ; two guns were fired into them, when they left 
the road and advanced against us. We retired 200 yards, close 
to the village; after a brisk fire for about half an hour, the 
enemy were driven back. We then advanced, with skirmishers 
thrown out, through three or four miles of jungly country, 
driving the enemy before us. On reaching open country near 
Kuthenghee, the cavalry were sent forward, when the enemy 
were seen making off up the hills. The cavalry were unable to 
follow them, and before the infantry arrived the greater number 
escaped. Some were, however, killed, and a few taken prisoners 
and afterwards hanged. 

When near Kuthenghee, Major Jenkins and Lieutenant Walson 
rode up to the column ; they had succeeded in cutting their way 
through the ambuscade, and had concealed themselves on the 
hills. Lieutenant Watson was wounded in the cheek by a 
musket-ball, and Major Jenkins' charger had two bullets through 

The body of Captain McGregor, 52nd B. N. L, was found at 
the entrance to the town on the road, with his throat cut, a shot 
in his breast, and a bayonet wound in his body. The mutineers 
had murdered him before they attacked us, having taken him 
prisoner at Jubbulpore. The 120 men of the 52nd B. N. I. 
who were with our force, had been disarmed when the mutiny at 
Jubbulpore was heard of, and Colonel Millar's movements were 
much hampered by having to keep a sharp eye on them during 
the action. 

The Madras troops behaved well, and proved that they had 
no sympathy with Bengal mutineers. A colour-havildar of the 
52nd B, N. L was captured by a havildar and two sepoys of 


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the 1st Irregular Infantry ; the former was promoted to jemadar, 
and the otliers to havildars. 

Colonel Millar stated in his despatch that he had received 
every assistance from Captain Ludlow, M.E., Captain Harrison, 
and Captain Pinkney. 

Before narrating the services of C Company of Madras 
Sappers at Lucknow and elsewhere, it will be as well to state 
the services of Lieutenant (now Colonel) Sankoy before tlie 
actions at Cawnpore in November ISoT. 

Lieutenant Sankey was appointed Additional Secretary to 
Government of India P. W. D. on 2nd June 1857, and almost 
immediately after his arrival at Calcutta was sent up country 
for service in the field. 

He proceeded to Allahabad on special duty in July, and was 
there engaged in carrying out, under Ma.jor H. Yule, the 
entrenchments, which extended a considerable distance along 
the left bank of the Jumna, between the fort and the Kyd 
Gunge hospital. These earthworks gave cover to the steamer- 
ghaut, Sec, as well as to several temporary hospitals for the 
reception of wounded from Havelock's force, to the number 
of 450. Some 5,000 or 6,000 people were engaged on this 

As the level of the Ganges lowered, it became necessary to 
make arrangements for assisting the crossing of the advanced 
detachments of Sir Colin Campbell's force; and Lieutenant 
Sankey constructed 1,000 yards of causeway across the deep 
muddy bed, and established two boat- bridges over two branches 
of the river. The causeway was formed of brushwood, fascines, 
&c., over which rough timber frames, planking, straw, and sand, 
were placed for the roadway. 

During most of the time Lieutenant Sankey was the only 
Engineer officer at Allahabad. On being relieved by Captain 
Impey he went to Benares, and received orders to establish 
temporary shelter for the detachments of European troops all 


along the grand trunk road. On this duty he proceeded to 
Cawnpore, and was present in the actions against the Gwallior 
Contingent by General Windham. 

The force with General Windham at first was a little over 500 
men. The Commander-in-Chief, Sir Colin Campbell, crossed 
the Ganges into Oude on 9th November 1857, to relieve Luck- 
now, leaving General Windham to guard Cawnpore. 

The entrenchments on the right bank of the Ganges had been 
commenced the previous summer. They were limited in extent, 
and unfinished. The part on the canal side was enclosed by a 
stockade. It was an indifferent tete-du-pont covering the bridge 
of boats. 

General Windham's orders were to improve the defences, 
watch the Gwallior Contingent force, and to make as much 
show as possible, if threatened ; to leave a sufiGcient guard in 
entrenchments, and look well to his line of retreat ; but not to 
move out to attack, unless compelled by circumstances. 

The works were extended, and glacis partly cleared. Two 
thousand coolies were employed under Major McLeod, B.E. 

The Gwallior Contingent was at Calpee and Jaloun, forty 
miles south-west of Cawnpore. About the middle of November 
the Gwallior troops crossed the Jumna gradually, and on the 
19th were reported to be 9,200 strong, and 38 guns, with 
reserves, at Jaloun. 

Calpee 3,000 and 20 guns. 

Bogulpore ... 1,200 ,, 4 „ 

Akbarpore ... 2,000 „ „ 

Shewlie 2,000 „ 4 „ 

Shirajpore ... 1,000 ,, 4 „ 

Total ... 9,200 and 38 guns. 

About 1 4th November, General Windham got leave to detain 
detachments instead of forwarding them to Lucknow, and by the 
2Cth he had J, 400 bayonets in the field, besides 300 left in the 


works. He at first determiued to attack the enemy at Shewlie 
and Shirnjpore, strike a blow rapidly, and return. The Com- 
mander-in-Chief, to whom he applied, gave no reply, being 
much engaged ; but a message was sent to General Windham 
that he would get a reply shortly. Immediately after this the 
roads to T.ucknow were closed, and he got no answer. 

General Windham, although very weak, detached some Madras 
N. I., witli two 9-pounders, to proceed to Bunnee, to hold that 
post, and communicate with the Alumbagh. 

On the 24th the General advanced his camp close to the 
bridge by whicli the Calpee road crossed the canal. 

On the 25th the enemy's main body was reported to be at 
Suchowlee, and their leading division on the Pandoo Nuddee, 
three miles from camp. General Windham resolved to strike a 
blow at Pandoo Nuddee, and return. 

On the 2Gth the General and Staff reconnoitred. Enemy 
were found in motion. Our force was ordered to advance with 
1,200 bayonets of 34th, and parts of 82nd, 88th, and 2nd Rifle 
Brigade, with four 9 pounders and four G-pounders— the latter 
Madras guns. 

On our approaching the enemy's position they opened fire. 
The enemy held their ground for some time, and pouied iu 
several rounds of grape. Our ti'oops advanced with a rush, 
crossed the stream, and the position was won. The enemy fled, 
leaving two 8-inch howitzers, one G-pounder, and some ammu- 
nition waggons. They were followed for some distance, and 
their defeat completed by the artillery. 

General Windham, having halted to rest his troops for some 
time, returned to a position in front of Cawnpore. 

The main body of the enemy were observed to be not far 
distant, and followed up the British as they retreated. 

Our loss was 1 officer and 13 men killed, 5 officers and 73 
men wounded. Total, 92. 

General Windham now received a letter from the Commander- 
II, 24 


in-Chief to say that all ^Yas V\'e\\, and that they were coming 
back to Cawnpore with the Lucknow garrison. 

The camp at Cawnpore was pitched on open ground outside 
the town, across the Calpee road, in front of brick-kilns. 

On the 27th the troops were under arms before daybreak. 
Accurate information was not obtainable, several of our spies 
having been maimed during the previous days, and there was no 
cavalry to bring intelligence. 

About 10 A.M. the enemy attacked us in front and on right 
flank. The heavy fighting in front fell on Rifle Brigade, com- 
manded by Colonel Walpole, supported by 8fith, four guns 
Royal Artillery, and two guns manned by seamen of the Shannon. 
The flank attack was met by 34th, Colonel Kelly, and Madras 
Battery, Lieutenant Chamier, with part of the 82nd. 

General Windham conceived the attack on the right to be the 
more important, owing to the entrenchment being more readily 
got at on that side; so he went there himself. Two actions 
were thus being fought — at each point 600 bayonets. 

The attack of the enemy in front was vigorous, and their 
artillery-fire rapid and well directed. The enemy was also 
found to be advancing on left flank. Two companies 04th were 
taken from the fort to meet them. 

The fight had now lasted several hours. The enemy gradually 
advanced their artillery, but did not bring their infantry to close 
quarters. The British troops fell back on the brick-kilns, and 
about 5 P.M. were in position there. 

General Windham now went to see how the fort was. He 
was met by a stafi" officer, who said that the enemy were in 
possession of lower part of the city, and were attacking the 
fort. A detachment of the Rifle Brigade had just arrived. 
General Windham put himself at their head and led them through 
the streets, and the mutineers fled. 

General Dupuis, who had been left in command in front, was 
ordered to withdraw from the kilns. He accordingly retreated 


to the entrenchment without being pressed; and lost not one 
man in the operation. 

The success of the enemy was entirely due to their enormous 
superiority of men and guns. Number of enemy, 25,000 with 
50 guns. General Windham's force amounted to 1,700 bayonets 
and 10 guns. His infantry consisted of various detachments 
that had never acted together before ; cavalry, none wortli 
mentioning; artillery, ten pieces, manned by men of different 
nations, and drawn by bullocks, eight field-guns and two 
24 -pounders. 

A night attack was now proposed, but no information could 
be obtained. 

The next day (28th) the enemy attacked again. The great 
object of General Windham was to keep the enemy as far 
as possible from the works, and prevent their flanking the 

Two separate engagements were fought — one on the left front, 
near tlie old dragoon lines; the other on the right, beyond the 
Baptist Chapel. The former was a complete victory for us, and 
two guns were captured. The enemy attacked on the right in 
immense force, and the ground gave them great advantages. 
The fighting was very severe, but the position in front of 
Assembly Rooms was held till nightfall. Our total loss on the 
third day amounted to 300 men. 

During night of the 28th the enemy took complete possession 
of the city. The same evening chief part of force from Lucknow 
encamped on the other side of the Ganges. 

On morning of the 29th the enemy established heavy guns to 
north of entrenchments, and opened fire on the bridge. They 
struck the boats three times, but they were held in check, and 
finally driven away, by a cross-fire from guns of Commander- 
in-Chief's force on left bank and those in the fort. 

On the 29th and 30tli the force from Lucknow crossed, and 
encamped near the old dragoon lines. 

24 * 


On 0th December an easy victory was gained over the Gwallior 
Contingent, and they were pursued to the fifteenth mile-stone on 
the Calpee road, leaving their camp, seventeen guns, and ammu- 
nition in our hands. 

On 8th December Sir Hope Grant was sent in pursuit, and 
succeeded in capturing fifteen more guns. Altogether thirty- 
seven guns were captured — 

3 on 2Gth November. 
2 on 28th 
17 on 6th December. 
15 on 8th 

Before detailing the services of Lieutenant Sankey before 
Lucknow and while serving with Jung Bahadoor's force, it will 
be convenient to relate as succinctly as possible the second 
relief of Lucknow, in which the C Company Madras Sappers 
were engaged, as well as the operations of Sir Colin Campbell's 
and Outram's forces after the relief up to the time that Jung 
Bahadoor's force joined the besieging army. 

The C Company of Madras Sappers was engaged for a con- 
siderable time at Lucknow and in the province of Oude, during 

In 1857 it was quartered at Dowlaishweram, where the fine 
anicut is placed across the river Godavery. 

In August 1857, the C Company embarked for Calcutta, the 
officers with it being Lieutenant F. M. Eaynsford, and Ensign 
D. S. Ogilvie, M.N.I. 

At the end of August, Lieutenant W. H. Burton, M.E., joined 
the company. 

For a short time the company was quartered at Howrah with 
1-3 E Troop, M. H. A., under Lieutenants Bridge and B. 

In September they formed part of a moveable column under 
Brigadier FitzHardinge Berkeley, 32nd, en route to Lucknow. 

This column consisted of C Company Madras Sappers and 

1858.] MADllAS ENGINEEES. 373 

Miners, 1-2 E Troop M. H. A., left wing of 53rcl Infantry, Mili- 
tary Train (mounted on horses of disbanded 8th Madras Light 
Ca7"lry), and 27th M. N. I. 

They went by rail as far as Ranegunge, inarching fifteen miles 
a day onwards from thence up the grand trunk road. 

Going througli the Sonthal hills, they momentarily expected 
to be atacked by mutineers and Sonthals. However, nothing 

In a month they reached Benares. They found on their way 
that all the villages and roadside bungalows had been burnt. 

At several of the unbridged rivers the Sappers had to work 
to enable the force to cross. 

From Benares they marched without delay to Allahabad. At 
this place the Commander-in-Chief (Sir Colin Campbell) broke 
up the brigade, and the Madras Sappers were sent into Cawnpore. 

Lieutenant C. Scott, M.E., joined at Allahabad, and took 
command, and was also appointed Field Engineer. 

They proceeded by rail to Futtehguih, a distance of forty 
miles, and tiieu by three forced marches of twenty-five, twenty- 
eight, and thirty, to Cawnpore. 

They halted in the bridge entrenchment for a week. 

From Cawnpore they marched with the 23rd Company R. E. 
to Bunnee bridge, eighteen miles south of Lucknow. 

The bridge (which the mutineers had blown up) had con- 
sisted of a brick arch of twenty feet. The Royal Engineers and 
Madras Sappers encamped three or four days at Bunnee bridge 
with the 8th Foot, repaired the bridge with jungle timber, and 
then marched to within a few miles of the Alumbagh, where 
was collected a force of 5,000 men for the second relief of 

The force near the Alumbagh at Buntera had been under the 
command of Brigadier (afterwards Sir Hope) Grant. Sir Colin 
Campbell joined on Uth November. He waited a few days for 


On 14tli November, all was ready, and an advance was 
made from camp in rear of the Alumbagh towards Dilkhusha 
and the Martiniere. 

The Madras Sappers were ordered to the front to make 
passages through the Dilkhusha park wall (at A in Map), when 
the enemy opposed us at " long bowls." 

Lieutenant Burton, M.E., took up a detachment of about 
thirty men, with Corporal Britten; and whilst knocking a 
passage through the wall, Burton's horse was shot in the ribs 
just behind the girth. 

As soon as the Sappers had done their work, the whole force 
passed through the park, driving the enemy before them. 

Our force then encamped at the Martiniere. 

Burton, M.E., and Lang, B.E., were the two first on the top 
of the Martiniere, and they planted our flag on it. 

On the ]5th a halt was made at tbe Martiniere, when Colonel 
Goodwyn, who was commanding the Engineer Brigade, left, 
being sick, and Lieutenant Lennox, ll.E., became Brigadier of 

On 16th November, the Secundra Bagh was attacked. 
This was a high-walled enclosure, J 20 yards square, carefully 
loop-holed all round, and numerously defended. Fire was hotly 
maintained for an hour and a half. A small breach was made, 
and the position was then stormed in the most gallant manner 
by the 93rd Highlanders, 53rd Foot, and 4th Punjab In- 
fantry, supported by a battalion of detachments under Major 

After this, Captain Peel, R.N., with his siege train proceeded to 
the front towards the Shah Nujeef. This was resolutely defended 
for three hours. It was then stormed by 9ord Highlanders. 

On the J 7th, a building called tbe Mess House was can- 
nonaded by Captain Peel, and stormed by a company of the 
00th, under Captain Wolseley (now Sir Garnet), and a picquet 
of the 5ord. The place was at once carried, and the troops 


lined the wall separating the Mess House from the Motee 
Mahal. Here a final stand was made, but after an liour's fight- 
ing, the soldiers poured through with a body of Sappers, and 
accomplished communications with the Residency; and shortly 
afterwards Sir Colin met Sir James Outrara and Sir Henry 
Havelook, who came out to meet him. 

The Commander-in-Chief sent out a detachment of Madras 
Sappers under Lieutenant Burton, M.E., to occupy some 
trenches, and drive out the enemy from them, as the rebels 
were annoying us from this point. 

The Residency garrison was now withdrawn. 

The Engineers and Sappers had made a battery at the Motee 
Mahal, whence to bombard the city and the Kaiser Bagh, still 
held by the enemy, and the troops were in hopes of figliting their 
way through the city and clearing it of rebels, of whom some 
00,000 or 80,000 were still said to be there. However, the 
Chief's first object was to withdraw the garrison. 

Fire was opened on the Kaiser Bagh on the 20th; and when the 
enemy was led to believe that an immediate assault was intended, 
the garrison with the women and children withdrew through the 
picquets at midnight on the 22nd. 

The mutineers were completely deceived, and continued firing 
on the old positions hours after they had been evacuated. 

The Chief's force thus became, as it were, the rear-guard of 
the now retreating British army. They thus got back to the 
Alumbagh, where Outram had previously left a strong detach- 
ment in a walled garden containing a large house. 

Thence the C Company Madras Sappers was detached to 
Bunuee bridge to join the 27th N. I., under Colonel Fischer, in 
forming the village of Bunnee into a defensive post for the pro- 
tection of the bridge against further injury. 

In addition to the 27th M. N. I., there w^ere two guns of 
the Madras Artillery under Lieutenant Chamier."' 
* Now Colonel Chamier. 


On the 27tl"i, the Commander in Chief, Sir Colin Campbell, 
passed through Bunnee efi route to Cawnpore with his force, 
and most of the Lucknow garrison, and all the women and 

Sir James Outram was left with a force of about 4,000 men, 
to hold a position at the Alumbagh until the return of the 
Commander-in-Chief for the capture of Lucknow, 

After two weeks' work at Bunnee, the C Company of Madras 
Sappers, after some difficulty with Colonel Fischer, got away 
to the front again with Sir James Outram. They were the only 
Sappers with his force, although there were several Engineers : 

Lieutenant G. Hutchinson, B.E., Commanding Engineer. 

Lieutenant C. N. Judge, B.E. 

Alessrs. May and Taite, Civil Engineers. 

Mnjor Oakes, B.I. 

Lieutenant Hon. J. Eraser, B.I. 

Lieutenant A, Tulloch. 

Mr. Birch, Indian Navy. 

Lieutenant C. Scott, M.E. 

Lieutenant Burton, M.E. 

Ensign Ogilvie, M.S. 

Lieutenant Raynsford had gone with the Commander-in- 
Chief to take charge of the Engineer's park with his force. 

On 22nd December a skirmish took place at Guilee between 
the enemy and a portion of Sir James Outram's force under 
Brigadier Stisted. 

The numbers engaged on our side were 190 cavalry, J ,227 
infantry, and six 9-pounders. ^Vith this force there were forty 
Madras Sappers under Lieutenant Ogilvie. 

Four guns and twelve waggons filled with ammunition were 

The Military Train (112) under Mnjor Robertson followed 
the enemy up so rapidly, that they dispersed their cavalry and 
drove their guns into a ravine, where they were captured. 


Tile ]\rilitary Train was far ahead of the iufautry and unable 
to I'emove the guns. They were menaced in front by a htrgc 
body of fresh troops from the city, and attacked on right Hank 
by 2,000 men ; but by the bold front shown by the Train, and 
the gallant advance of their skirmishers, the enemy were held 
at bay, till the arrival of a party of 5th Fusiliers, and two 
9-pounders under Major Olpherts, secured their capture and 
enabled a working party of the Madras Sappers, under Ogilvie, 
to extricate them from the ravine into which they had been 

Outram's position was of considerable extent. The most 
advanced post, that nearest to the city, was the Alumbagh 
itself, a walled garden a quarter of a mile square, with a mosque 
at the angle nearest to the city. At each of the angles was a 
>battery for two guns. Two thousand yards to the left was the 
left front picquet, about 1,G00 yards distant from enemy's line 
of works ; the mosque close to the Alumbagh not being more 
than 1,000 yards. Between these two posts three batteries 
were thrown up, two guns each, 2,000 to 2,500 yards from the 
enemy's works, to sweep the ground between the Alumbagh and 
the left front picquet. The left centre picquet was 1,500 yards 
in rear of the left front, and connected with it by a trench, the 
left rear picquet being 2,700 yards in rear again — the connection 
being carried on by a line of abattis. The rear picquet where 
two guns were posted, was on the Cawnpore road, 3,300 yards 
distant from Alumbagh ; and at a mosque two miles further along 
the road there was a cavalry picquet. In a dry tank about 1,000 
yards to right of left centre picquet, two guns were placed to 
play on the ground in front of the left front and centre picquets. 
Between the left rear picquet and rear picquet on the road, was 
a large jheel or swamp, and to the left of left rear picquet 
•was another smaller one. 

On the right a parapet was made from south angle of Alum- 
bagh for a distance of 600 yards, connecting the garden with 



another battery about half a mile to the right of the Cawupore 
road (which ran right through the centre of the position). This 
battery was to sweep the ground to the right of Alumbagh, as 
well as that in advance of right front picquet, wliich was placed 
about a mile to right of the battery (the battery facing east). 
This picquet was strengthened by trenches, abattis, &c., and was 
connected with the centre of the position by a line of abattis; 
the centre being 2,000 yards in rear of Alumbagli. One thou- 
sand five hundred yards south-east of the right front picquet was 
the fort of Jellalabad, to the west of which lay the considerable 
village bearing the same name, strengthened by abattis, Sec. 
Eight hundred yards south of the fort was the right rear picquet 
at a point where a road crosses a small stream by a bridge. 
The right rear picquet was three miles and a half to east of left 
rear picquet, which space was covered by the cavalry picquet pre- 
viously mentioned as being placed at a mosque on the Cawnpore 
road, two miles beyond the rear picquet. 

The total circumference of the ground thus held was fully 
twelve miles, the Cawupore road running for a distance of four 
miles right through the centre of the position. Roads were 
formed connecting all the outposts with the centre, the roads 
thus made being some ten or twelve miles in length. 

From November 1857 to March 1858 Outram's force occupied 
this position, and during this time the Madras Sappers made 
the several field batteries C C C, and did other works in the 
shape of trenches, abattis, rifle-pits, &c. A large quantity of 
coolies were imported from surrounding villages to assist and 
work under the Engineers and Sappers. 

The C Company was commanded by Brevet- Captain Scott, 
j\I.E., but they were worked indiscriminately under the Engi- 
neers previously named. 

On 12th January the rebels attacked the position, but were 
repulsed with considerable loss. As Outram had heard that the 
enemy intended to intercept his communications, he sent a 


Stronger escort than usual to accompany his convoy, then on its 
way from Cawnpore, the escort consisting of 450 infantry, eighty 
cavalry, and four guns. 

The rebels were encouraged by this reduction of his force to 
make an attack. About sunrise large masses of the enemy were 
seen on the left front, and they gradually spread round the 
whole front and flank of the position, extending from our left 
rear outposts to near Jellalabad on our right, a distance 
of six miles, and their force amounted to fully 30,0U0 

Our right brigade (713 strong), and the left (733), witli 100 
men of the regiment of Ferozepore, were formed in front of their 
lines. The enemy first advanced on the left front and flank, 
covered by skirmishers ; on which, two regiments from the lefc 
brigade were detached to support the outposts, and extended in 
skirmishing order on their flanks. At the same time. Major 
Olpherts, with four horse-battery guns, supported by a detach- 
ment of Military Train, was directed to check the enemy on left 
rear, where their cavalry showed in greatest strength. The 
Volunteer and Native Cavalry were drawn up to protect the rear 
of the camp. As soon as the enemy were well within range, they 
were exposed to a severe fire from Alumbagh, and from the 
advanced batteries of the outposts on the left front and centre, 
and they fled without having come within musket-range, except 
at left centre outpost, where a considerable number entered a 
grove of trees, usually occupied by our outlyiog picquets, from 
which they were driven in a few minutes. 

On the left rear Major Olpherts moved out his guns at a 
gallop, and drove ofi" and dispersed a very large body of infantry 
and cavalry which was endeavouring to penetrate our rear. He 
did much execution by the fire of his guns in their masses at 
500 yards. 

At this time Outram received a report that Alumbagh and 
Jellalabad were threatened, and, proceeding to the right, he found 


that the enemy had brought three horse-artillery guns, sup- 
ported by an immense mass of infantry, agninst the picquets 
which connected his right with Jellalabad, and which had been 
strengthened to 100 men and two guns. He moved the regi- 
ment of Ferozepore and 5th Fusiliers, with two guns of the 
bullock battery, from right brigade to the front, taking the enemy 
in flank and driving them back. They were then exposed to 
the fire of Maude's guns from Alumbagh, which played upon 
them with great effect. 

About this time the enemy again advanced on the left front 
and flank, their cavalry being more to the front than before. 
Alexander's and Clarke's guns opened upon them, and drove 
them back in confusion. At the same time, the enemy on the 
right again advanced from the heavy cover of groves and villages 
into which they had retreated, and re-opened their guns on the 
Jellalabad picquet, but were finally silenced and driven off by 
the fire of the two guns. 

Simultaneously, the enemy advanced upon Alumbagh, and 
established themselves in the nearest cover. About noon they 
also advanced into the open, but were at once dispersed and 
driven back by fire of Maude's guns, and the riflemen from 
Alumbagh. By 4 p.m. the whole of the enemy had retired to 
their original positions in the gardens and villages in our front, 
or to the city. 

Our casualties were only one officer slightly wounded, and 
five privates wounded. 

On 16th January the enemy made a similar attack on the 
position, except that their attack was bolder than before. In 
the morning they made a sudden attack on the Jellalabad 
picquets, but were received with a heavy fire, which drove them 
back, leaving their leader, a Hindoo devotee representing Hunoo- 
man, who was advancing bravely at their head, and several killed 
and wounded, whom they were unable to carry off. They re- 
moved many bodies, and their loss was severe. Two O-pounders 


under Captain Moir, completed their expulsion from the cover in 

On the left front and flank they advanced skirmishers, and 
threatened us during most of the day. After dark they assem- 
bled in great strength in front of the left advnnced village out- 
post, and attacked it with a large body of infantry, who were 
allowed to approach within eighty yards of the post, when they 
were received with discharges of grape from three guns and a 
heavy fire from the rifles of the post, and were driven off*. Some 
shells from an 8-inch mortar hastened their retreat. The 
Enfield rifles and Captain Maude's guns in Alumbagh had 
several opportunities of inflicting some loss on the enemy, which 
were promptly taken advantage of. A large body of cavalry 
showed on our left rear, and were safely left to the vigilance of 
Miijor Olpherts and his four guns, supported by a detachment 
of the Military Train under Captain Clarke. 

Our casualties w^ere — 

1 Artilleryman killed. 

1 „ wounded. 

7 European Infantry wounded. 

There were several other attacks made on the Alumbagh, but 
always with the same result. 

The Sappers were employed every day, and all day from 
morning to night, and sometimes all night, in case of any new 
or advanced battery being required. 

The enemy's and our sentries frequently approached one 
another within 200 yards. The enemy made zigzags of approach 
up towards the walled Alumbagh, and built batteries, with 
gabions, &c., with the village coolies, whom our Sappers had 
taught. It was said (but the truth of it was doubted) that there 
were some Bengal Sappers in the mutineers' ranks. 

The position at the Alumbagh was held by Outram till the 1st 
March 1858, when the Commander-in-Chief returned to eff"ect 
the capture of Lucknow; so that Outram, with his small force, 


held the place for more than three months against fifteen or 
twenty times his numbers. 

Sir James Outram's testimony to the conduct and services of 
the C Company of Madras Sappers and Miners is highly honour- 
able to them. 

" Their skill as workmen, their industry, their cheerful 
alacrity and general good conduct, commanded the respect of all 
who saw them at Alumbagh ; and their coolness and bravery 
when called upon, as they were on every occasion of attack on 
our position, to act as soldiers, was conspicuous." 

During the time that Sir James Outram was engaged in 
holding Alumbagh, &c.. Sir Colin Campbell remained at Cawn- 
pore making preparations for a final advance on Lucknow, 

On 4th February 1858 our troops commenced to cross the 
Ganges at Cawnpore. 

On the 28th the Commander-in-Chief transferred his head- 
quarters to Buntera, the camp of Sir E. Lugard. 

The divisions under Sir Hope Grant and Walpole joined 
the next day. It was decided that it would be necessary in the 
attack on Lucknow to operate from both sides of the river, so as 
to enfilade the enemy's new works. 

This plan would also close an avenue of supply, which was 
important. The city being twenty miles in circumference, it 
was hopeless to attempt to invest it. 

The siege-train having arrived, the Commander-in-Chief went 
to the Alumbagh on 1st March, and on the 2nd the Dilkhusha 
was seized — a gun being captured from the enemy after a 

The Dilkhusha now formed our advanced post on the right, 
while the Mahomed Bagh was on our left. Heavy guns were 
placed at both these positions. 

Additional troops arrived during the two following days, and 
Brigadier-General Franks, C.B., joined on 5th March, having 
traversed a distance of 150 miles. He was in command of the 

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1838.] MADE AS EXGINEEES. 383 

Juanpoi'o Field Force, consisting of nearly 6,000 fighting-men ; 
Besides Goorkbas, infantry and artillery, six battalions, he bad — • 

10 European officers, 
96 Native officers. 
2,913 non-commissioned officers and men. 


On Jung Bahadoor reaching Luoknow, the Goorkbas were 
"svithdrawn from General Franks', and joined H.E. Jung Baha- 
door's force. 

During his march General Franks defeated the enemy in four 

On 23rd January, at the position at Nursutporenear Secundra, 
three guns were taken. 

On 19th February General Franks left Singramow, crossed 
the Oude frontier, and attacked the rebels at Chanda, drove the 
enemy before him, and captured six guns. When this was over, 
he took ground across the road to Ameereepore. Near sunset 
the enemy appeared, were again attacked and discomfited, and 
retreated in disorder towards Waree. The lateness of the hour, 
and rapid flight, alone saved the rebel artillery from capture. 
Enemy's loss estimated in these two actions at 800 men. 

On the 20th Franks halted. During this time enemy remained 
at Waree. Franks' flank movement and the Nazim's defeat at 
Ameereepore having thrown him off his direct line of retreat on 
Lucknow, he contemplated occupying the strong jungle pass 
and fort of Budhungun, nine miles in our front ; but Franks 
forestalled him. Five companies of Goorkbas were thrown into 
the fort, and six companies and two guns posted on the nullah 
which runs through it ; while the main force was encamped two 
miles in advance. 

During the 22nd Franks remained halted ; and in the course 
of the day the Nazim reached Badshahgung.e, two miles beyond 


Sultanpore. The rebel force numbered 25,000 men, 5,000 being 
sepoys and 1,100 cavalry, ^vith twenty-five guns. 

A sketch of the position was drawn up by Lieutenant Innes 
(B.E,). Assistant Field Engineer, from information furnished by 
Lieutenant Smith, 58th N. I., and Lieutenant Tucker, 8th B. C. 

The enemy were attacked and totally defeated, the result 
being that an army of 25,000 men was driven from a position of 
great strength and scattered to the winds with a loss of 1,800 
killed and wounded, twenty- one guns (nine siege calibre) being 
left in our hands. Our loss was only eleven. 

The effect of this engagement was to open the road to Luck- 
now for the unopposed march of this force, as well as for that 
of the IMaharajah Jung Bahadoor. 

Franks resumed his march, and arrived at Selimpore, eighteen 
miles from Lucknow. In this day's march a most dashing 
cavalry combat took place, in which Captain Aikman, com- 
manding 3rd Sikh Cavalry, with 100 of his men, attacked a 
body of 500 infantry and 200 horse with two guns, three miles 
off the road, utterly routing them, cutting up more than 100 
men, capturing the guns, and driving the remaining force into 
and over the Goomtee. 

Franks halted at Selimpore till the 4th. On the evening of the 
8rd he received a message to push on to Lucknow, and at G a.m. 
on the -1th he marched from Selimpore, and reached without 
opposition a moscjue a mile beyond Amethie, eight miles from 
Lucknow. Here news was brought that a large force, with two 
guns, was posted in and round the fort of Dhowrara, two miles 
to right of road, and situated among ravines which run into the 

Franks resolved to drive them out. About 500 originally 
occupied the fort, while 3,000 were collected in the vicinity. 
Most of these escaped down the ravines and across the river 
when they saw our cavalry circling round their flank, but 200 
fell back and prepared to defend it. 


Two H. A. guns were brought into action at GOO, 400, and 
200 yards, and silenced the enemy's guns, but failed to do the 
same with the matchl jck-men. However, after a time, a few of 
the assailed, seeing themselves about to be surrounded, attempted 
to escape up a ravine ; but after a desperate resistiinee they w(.'re 
despatched by the native cavalry posted at every outlet. Com- 
panies of 20th and 97th effected an entrance into the fort and 
bayoneted 120. 

Repeated attempts having failed to break down the door of a 
house in which the survivors had barricaded themselves — the 
shot from one of their own guns turned on it making no im- 
pression on the massive door, a fire kindled having no effect, and 
the only Engineer officer, Lieutenant Innes, B.E., being severely 
wounded while trying to burst open the entrance — General 
Franks determined to withdraw, having secured the two guns, 
which were carried off under a heavy matchlock- fire that the 
enemy continued from the loop-holes. 

The force resumed its march, and reached the Commander in- 
Chief 's camp the same evening, without further interruption. 

These operations have been given in some detail, as it is 
supposed that it will be of interest to note the gallantrv of 
Lieutenant Innes, B.E. General Franks wrote : — 

" Lieutenant T. T. McLeod Innes has been of the greatest 
assistance to me with his professional aid. I have already 
mentioned his distinguished conduct at the attack on Dhowrara. 
It is now his due to relate that at the action of Sultanpore, far 
in advance of the leading skirmishers, he was the first to secure 
a gun which the enemy were abandoning. Retiring from this, 
they rallied round another gun further back, from which the 
shot would in another instant have played through our advancing 
columns, when Lieutenant Innes rode up unsupported, shot the 
gunner about to apply the match, and, remaining undaunted at 
his post, the mark for a hundred matchlock-men sheltered in 
some adjoining huts, kept the artillerymen at bay until assist- 

II. 25 


ance reached liim. For this act of gallantry, surpassed by none 
within my experience, it is my intention to recommend him for 
the honourable distinction of the V. C." 

Lieutenant Tnnes obtained the V. C. in consequence. 

To proceed with the capture of Lucknow. Bridges of casks 
had been prepared by the Engineer department, for crossing 
the Goomtee. Between our left and Jellalabad (the right of the 
Alumbagh position) there was an interval of two miles occupied 
by Hodson's Horse. Brigadier Campbell, with a strong brigade 
of cavalry and infantry, secured our left. 

An Engineer brigade was formed under Colonel E. Napier 
(now Lord Napier of Magdala), and to this the C Company of the 
Madras Sappers was attached. The Engineers' brigade consisted 
of two companies of Royal Engineers, C Company of Madras 
Sappers and Miners, and two or three companies of Punjab 
Sappers and Miners, a regiment of ]\Iuzbee Sikhs, under 
Chalmers, and a regiment of Purbea Sikhs. All these were 
employed indiscriminately in breaking a way for the army 
through the closely built city, over ground parallel to the road 
into the Kaiser Bagh, 

On the 5th the Goomtee was bridged near Bibiapore, and 
next day Outram crossed to the left bank of the river, and 
pushed his advance up the left bank ; the troops in the position 
of Dilkhusha remaining at rest till it was apparent that the 
first of the enemy's works was turned. The works are thus 
described by Sir Colin Campbell : — 

" The series of courts and buildings called the Kaiser Bagh, 
considered as a citadel by the rebels, was shut in by three lines 
of defence towards the Goomtee, of which the line of the canal 
was the outer one; the second line circled round the large 
building called the Mess House, and the Motee Mahal ; and the 
third, or interior one, was the principal rampart of the Kaiser 
Bagh, the rear of the enclosures of the latter being closed in by 
the city, through wliich an approach would have been dangerous 


to an assailant. These lines were flanked by numerous bastions, 
and rested at one end on the Gooratee, and at the other on the 
great buildings of the street called the Huzrut Gunpre, all of 
which were strongly fortified, and flanked the street in every 
direction. Extraordinary care had been expended on the 
defences of the houses and the bastions, to enfilade the street." 

Outram pitched his camp on the 6th in front of the Yellow 

On the 7th he was attacked by the enemy, but they were 
driven back. 

On the 9th the Yellow House was seized, and the whole of 
Outram's force advanced. He then occupied the Fyzabad road, 
and was able to plant his batteries to enfilade the works on the 
canal. While this attack was being made, a very heavy tire was 
kept up on the Martiniere from Dilkhusha. At 2 r.M. the 42nd, 
supported by the 'J3rd, 53rd, and 70th Regiments, stormed the 
Martiniere, under Sir E. Lugard, K.C.B., and Brigadier Hon. 
A. Hope. The 4th P. N. I., supported by the 42nd, climbed up 
the entrenchment abutting on the Goomtee, and swept the whole 
line of works till they reached Banks' house, when it became 
necessary to close operations for the night. 

On the 1 0th Outram strengthened his position. At sunrise 
on the same day Banks' house was attacked, carried by noon, 
and secured as a strong military post. 

The second part of the plan of attack against the Kaiser Bagh 
now came into operation. This was to use the great blocks of 
houses and palaces extending from Banks' house to the Kaiser 
Bagh as our approach, instead of snpping up to the front of the 
second line of works. Thus the Commander-in-Chief was able 
to turn the second line of works on the right, while Outram, in 
his advance, was enabled to enfilade them. 

Outram had received orders to plant his guns with the view 
of raking the enemy's position, and to annoy the Kaiser Bagh 
■with vertical and direct fire, as well as to attack the suburbs 

25 * 


near the iron and stone bridges. Outram carried all this out 
■with marked success; but the enemy still held to his own end of 
the iron bridge, on the right bank. 

The operations had now become those of an engineering 
character, and every effort was made to save the infantry from 
being hazarded before due preparation had been made. 

Brigadier (now Lord) Napier (of Magdala) placed the batteries 
with a view to breaching and shelling a large block of palaces 
called the Begum Kotee. 

At 4 A.M. on the 11th the latter was stormed by 93rd, 
supported by 4th Punjab Rifles and 1,000 Goorkhas under 
Brigadier A. Hope. This w^as the sternest struggle which 
oecurred during the siege. 

From thenceforward the Chief Engineer pushed his approaches 
with the greatest judgment through the enclosures, by the aid of 
the Snppers and heavy guns ; the troops immediately occupying 
the ground as he advanced, and the mortars being moved from 
one position to another as ground was won on which they could 
be placed. 

The buildings to the right and the Secundra Bagh were taken 
in the early morning of tlie 11th, without opposition. 

On the 10th, ]\ralinrnjah Jung Bahadoor, with a force of 9,000 
men and twenty-four field-guns, drawn by men, nrrived ; and on 
the 1 1th took up a position on our left, in front of tbe village 
of Bhurdurwa, to the south-east of the CharVagh. He was 
requested to pass the canal and attack the suburbs in his 

During the night of the 12th Outram was reinforced with a 
number of heavv guns, so that he might increase his fire on 
the Kaiser Bagh ; while at the same time mortars at the Begum 
Kotee never ceased to play on the Emaum Barra, the next 
building it was necessary to storm between the Begum Kotee 
and the Kaiser Bagh. 

On the 12th, Brigadier Franks, C.B., with the 4th Division, 


Madeas engineers. S89 

relieved Sir E. Liigard with tlie 2nd, and on him devolved the 
duty of ntlacldng the Emaum Barra. 

The Emaum Barra was carried early on tlie 14th; and the 
Sikhs of the Ferozepore Regiment, under Major Brasyer, pressing 
forward in pursuit, entered the Kaiser Bngli, the third line 
of defence having heeu turned without a single gun being fired 
from them. Supports were quickly thrown in, and all the well- 
known ground of former defence and attacks — the Mess House, 
the Tara Kotee, the Mothi IVIahal, and the Chulter Munzil — 
were rapidly occupied by our troops ; \vhilst the Engineers 
devoted their attention to securing the positions towards the 
south and west. 

It is now necessary to turn to the doings of Jung Bahadoor's 
force on the left of our position. 

On the evening of the l^ih they made an attack on the Char- 
bngh. The enemy were strongly entrenched on the other side 
of the canal, and the attack having been commenced too late in 
the day, the troops had to be withdrawn. The Goorkhas here 
showed a great deal of pluck under a heavy fire from the 
entrenchments in their front. 

On the 13th a battery, under Lieutenant Sankey's advice, 
was established near the Hussain Gunge bridge (he was Com- 
manding Engineer with the Goorkha force), to enfihide the 
enemy's entrenchments with twelve guns from point marked D. 

After two hours' heavy fire, the Goorkhas, at a <^iven signal, 
rushed over the entrenchments in their front, and carried all 
before them to a point in the city marked I, three quarters of a 
mile south of the Kaiser Bagh. 

Lieutenant Sankey was engaged with the Goorkhas in this 
attack. While he was waiting at point I for further orders, with 
Lieutenant Robertson, they heard that Generals franks and 
Napier had then carried the Kaiser Bagh ; and they at once 
pushed on through the city with eighty Goorkhas, while the 
enemy was on the run (magazines exploding on all sides), to the 


gate of the Kaiser Bagb, along tlie line I-H, where they reported 
themselves to General Franks. At night they returned round 
by Banks' house, and rejoined the Goorkha force. 

The various buildings worked into by the Engineer Brigade, 
under General Robert Napier, formed a range of massive 
palaces and walled courts of vast extent, equalled, perhaps, but 
certainly not surpassed in any capital in Europe. 

Every outlet had been covered by a work, and on every side 
were prepared barricades and loop-holed parapets. The extra- 
ordinary industry evinced by the enemy in this respect was 
really unexampled. Hence the absolute necessity for holding 
the troops in hand, till at each successive move forward the 
Engineers reported that all which could be effected by artillery 
and tlie Sappers had been done, before the troops were led to 
the assault. 

The loth March was employed in securing what had been 
taken, removing powder, destroying mines, and fixing mortars 
for the further bombardment of the positions still held by the 
enemy on the line of our advance up the Goomtee, and in the 
heart of the city. 

Hope Grant was sent on with the cavalry towards Seetapore, 
and Brigadier Campbell to Sundeela to intercept fugitives. 

On the 15th the greater part of the Goorkha force attacked 
the enemy (chiefly cavalry), who was threatening the Alumbagh. 
On seeing the advance of the Goorkhas the enemy did not show 
very freely, and, after some fire on both sides, they retired with 
little damage. 

On the IGth, Outram, with oth Brigade under Brigadier 
Douglas, supported by 20th and Ferozepoie Regiment, crossed 
the Goomtee, by a bridge of casks, opposite the Secundra 
Bagh, and advanced through the Chutter Munzil to take the 

It now became apparent that the enemy were intending to 
retreat across the stone bridge* Outi-am was accordingly ordered 


to press forward, and was able not only to take the iron bridge 
in revei'se, but also to advance for more tban a mile, and occupy 
the Aluchee Bawan and ih^ great Eraaura Barra. 

On tlie same day the Goorkhas pushed through the Charbagb, 
and l^ieutenant Sankey made immediate arrangements for re- 
establishing the bridge over the canal at M, which had been 
destroyed by the enemy. 

This bridge was reconstructed under difficult circumstances. 
The gap was seventy feet wide, and thirty-live or forty feet 
deep, while the ripped-up roofs of houses only afforded baulks 
of sixteen feet. 

Lieutenant Sankey had frames of them lashed together, and 
while planting one foot of each frame against the bank, lowered 
them into a sloping position. Sending men on to the nppor 
ends of the frames thus placed, other baulks were passed on, 
till by these and various horizontal ties, they joined the apices 
of the frames thus ^advanced from either bank. The stiffen- 
ing of the frame was afterwards easily effected, and though the 
whole looked light and unsubstantial,- all the Goorkha force, 
with 5,000 carts, 300 camels, besides elephants, passed over it; 
and the bridge was for some months afterwards used for 
ordinary traffic, after the capture of the city. 

While the bridge was being built, the Goorkhas attacked 
along the line M G on iBdi and 19th, and carried a good 
deal of the city, sustaining some loss in the operations. 

It was while the Goorkhas were thus engaged, that Lieu- 
tenants McNeil and Bogle of the Artillery reached Wajid All's 
house, rescued his harem, and with it Mrs. Orr and Miss 
Jackson, all of whom were got away safely in palanquins. 

The enemy shortly after reoccupied portions of the quarter 
taken by the Goorkhas, but were finally driven out. 

On the 19th, Outram moved forward on the Moosa Bagh, 
the last position of the enemy on the line of the Goomtee. 

Sir Hope Grant cannonaded the Moosa Bagh from the left 


bnnk, while Brigadier Campbell, moving round the west side 
from the Alumbagh, prevented retreat in that direction. 

The rout was now complete, and great loss was inflicted on 
the enemy by all the columns. 

On the 21st, Sir E. Lugard was directed to attack a strong- 
hold held by the Moulvie in the heart of the city. 

This position was occupied after a sharp contest, and it now 
became possible to invite the return of inhabitants, and to 
secure tlie city from the horrors of this prolonged contest. 

Brigadier Campbell attacked the enemy when retreating from 
the city in consequence of Lugard's advauce, pursued him for 
six miles, and inflicted heavy loss. 

The capture of Luckuow was now complete. 

Before proceeding further, it will be convenient to state on 
what duties the otflcers of Madras Engineers and Sappers with 
the force were employed subsequently. 

Lieutenant Burton, M.E., was sent to the Moosa Bagh, which, 
with one European sapper and such hibour as he could obtain, 
he was required to put into a defensible state. The Moosa 
Bagh was a walled garden with a few houses inside. It was 
garrisoned by the 97th. Lieutenant Burton remained here two 
weeks, when, having completed the necessary works, he was 
sent to the Muoha Bawan, then being converted, under Lieu- 
tenant Smith, B.E., into a fortified post to guard the iron bridge 
and that part of the city. 

After the 19th, the Goorkhas had no more fighting. They 
were shortly afterwards encamped at Nawabgunge, twelve 
miles from Lucknow ; and after a brief bait, they were marched 
back to Nepaul. 

Lieutenant Sankey, shortly after the siege, returned to Cal- 
cutta sick, and saw no further service. 

On the 2nd July 1858 he was obliged to go on six months' 
sick leave. 

After the siege was quite over, Lieutenant Burton was employed 



in piercing the heart of the city by three straight roads, 150 feet 
wide, radiating from the fort: one to Charbagh bridge, the second 
to Taracotta bridge, and the third to ]\loosa Bagh house. 

The C Company of Madras Sappers, commanded by Captain 
Scott, marched off with one of the moveable columns under Sir 
Hope Grant. The other officers with it were Lieutenants 
Raynsford and Wynch, M.S.C. 

The latter joined it at the close of the siege, vice Ensign 
Ogilvie, who was wounded near the Kaiser Bagh. 

On 10th April 18oS, Hope Grant was ordered to march to 
Barree, twenty-nine miles from Lucknow, on the Seetapore road, 
to clear away the rebels under the Moulvie. 

He marched on the 11th with about 3,000 men. Two days 
after he came up with a force of G,000 infantry and 1,000 
cavalry in position on the banks of a stream, with hills on 
either side. 

Their cavalry attacked our advanced guard, and nearly took two 
guns, but a squadron of 7th Hussars soon put them to flight. 

The enemy now occupied a village on a hill in front of us. 
This village was stormed, and two colours captured. The rebels 
then fled. 

On the 14th the force marched to liurrassie, twelve miles ; on 
the loth to Mamidabad ; on the IGth to Belhir; and on the 
19th left for Ramnugger, six miles from Bellowlie. 

Orders were now received to return to Lucknow. They started 
on the return march on the 21st, and arrived at Mussowlie, half- 
way to Nawabgunge, where Jung Bahadoor's Goorkhas were 

A force was sent from this place under Brigadier Horsford to 
destroy the fort of Rnjah Ruzzul Bukhut. 

After this the troops remained at Nawabgunge, and Hope 
Grant went to Cawnpore. 

Shortly after, the force was ordered to return to Lucknow, when 
it crossed the Goomtee by a bridge of boats near Dilkhusha» 

S94 :aiLITAKY IIISTOEY of the [1858. 

On the 59th they marched to Bunnee, next day to Kantha, 
and on 1st 'May to Poorwah. 

The force at this time consisted of 4,800 men. They first 
took a small fort called Pachingaum, and then set out for 
Doundeakaira, a strong fort close to the Ganges, belonging 
to Ram Buksh ; arriving ou the 10th May, they found it 

Ou the 12th they reached Nuggur, where they heard that tlie 
euemy had taken up a position at Sorsee, five miles to the east. 
They came up to the position at 5 p.m., and attacked at 

By dark two guns had been taken, and the enemy were in fall 

Next morning our force returned to Xuggur, the following 
day to Poorwah, where they halted for two days, and then 
passed to the other side of the Goomtee, through Bunnee and 

On 25th May, the force marched again to Bunnee. 

Sir Hope Grant left the infantry and artillery there, and pro- 
ceeded to Nawabgungc ou the Cawupore road. He here waited 
a few days for a contingent from Raja Kuppertola. 

At this time Beni Madhoo was said to be at Jessenda. Hope 
Grant resolved to attack him, and returned to Bunnee, but 
found that the enemy had vanished. 

On 4th June he crossed the Sye river, and went to Poorwah. 

The rebels in Oude now began to collect again at Nawab- 
gunge on Fyzabad road, eighteen miles from Lucknow. 

Their position was very strong, surrounded by a stream on 
three sides, while on the fourth there was jungle. The stream 
was crossed by a fine old stone bridge. 

The object aimed at was to turn his right, and Sir Hope 
Grant determined to cross by a platform bridge, some two miles 
up the stream. 

The troops marched at 11 P m, on the 12th June, on a very 

1858.J MADIUS KXGlXEEltS. 395 

dark night. The bridge was reached half aii hour before day- 
h'ght, after a twelve-mile march. 

It was foimd that two or three of tlie enemy's guus bore on 
the bridge, so some 9-pouuders were brought up and silenced 

The troops then crossed, and found themselves in the centre 
of the enemy, who, having been surprised, had not concentrated. 
Their attacks were, however, vigorous, especially that of a fine 
body of zemindaree men, who brought two guns iuto the open, 
and attacked us in the rear. 

Sir Hope Grant says " their conduct was mnguificeiit." 

They attacked Hodson's Horse, who would not i'ace them. 
The 7th Hussars were ordered up, as two guns were io danger, 
and four other guns opened a fire of grape. Their chief planted 
two green standards close to the guns, but our fire was too 
destructive. Two squadrons of 7th Hussars and two compa- 
nies of 60ih came up, and forced them to retire. The 7th 
charged through them twice, and killed most of them. 

Around the guns alone there were 125 bodies. 

The fight lasted two hours. We took six guns and killed 
GOO men. 

Our loss was sixty-seven killed and wounded. Thirty-three 
died of sun-stroke, and 250 men were taken into hospital. 

" The victory was of the greatest possible importance, and 
completely broke the spirit of the rebels." 

The force now remained at Nawabgunge, while Hope Gi'ant 
went to Lucknow ; but shortly after he was called upon to maj'ch 
to the relief of Maun Singh, a raja of great importance. 

He was besieged by the enemy, 2,000 strong, with twenty 
guns, in a large ruined fort. 

On 22nd July the force left Nawabgunge, and proceecled 
eight miles along thc.Fyzabad road. 

A letter was received from Maun Singh, urging speed, and 
Sir Hope Grant pushed on as fast as possible. 


On the 29tli he entered Fyzabad. Maun Singh paid him a 
visit; and on 2nd August Sir Hope Grant returned it at his fort, 
twelve uailes south. 

The 20,000 who had been besieging Maun Singh, had rapidly 
melted away as Sir Hope Grant advanced. 

This relief having been effected, Hope Grant received orders 
to send two regiments of infantry, a battery of artillery, and 
GOO cavalry, to occupy Sultanpore. 

On 7th August, a column marched under Horsford, and 
arrived on the 12th within three or four miles of the town, 
situated on the banks of the river Sye. 

On his approach the rebels retired to the far side of the river, 
and Horsford awaited orders. 

On the 1 9th, Hope Grant marched with all his available 
force, dragging with him four heavy guns and four 8-inch 

After four days he reached Sultanpore. It was now arranged 
to cross the river. The great difficulty was to get boats. They 
had secured three small very rotten canoes hollowed out (" dug- 
out "). 

Captain Scott, M.E., and Lieutenant Raynsford, with a party 
of Madras Sappers, "set to work with a will,'' and soon con- 
verted these into a substantial raft. 

Captain Reid discn\ered six other small boats, out of which 
two more rafts were made. 

On the 2r)th the troops commenced to cross. The Madras 
Fusiliers and 5th Punjab Infantry got over in two hours. Two 
9-pounders came next ; but in embarking one of them a raft 
collapsed, so the guns had to be dismounted and ferried across 

Captain Gal way, who was in command of the Fusiliers, 
attacked and occupied two villages in his fr nt. 

The passage of the whole force was not completed till the 


On the evening of the next tiny the enemy attacked us, but 
they were repulsed. 

The next morning at 3 a.m. we advanced, but found that the 
enemy had retreated. 

A number of boats were now procured from a friendly chief, 
and a bridge was built by the oth September. 

The enemy was now split up into small parties, and many had 
joined the Amethie Rajah at his fort, twenty-five miles from 
Sultanpore, in direction of Pertabgurh, and eight miles distant 
from if. 

The fort was a very large one, being seven miles in circum- 
ference. Owing to the time of the year being unhealthy, it was 
proposed to postpone attacking it till after the loth October. 

Sir Hope Grant now went to Allahabad to be invested with 
the Order of the Bath as a K.C.B., and did not return to Luck- 
now till the 2m\ October. He received orders shortly after to 
march towards Tanda; left Lucknow on the 1 1th, and returned 
to Sultanpore on the 23rd. 

During Sir Hope Grant's absence. Brigadier Pinckney, C.B., 
commanded at Pertabgurh and Sultanpore, while Brigadier 
Horsford was at Sultanpore. 

On the 13th October Brigadier Horsford had an affair with 
the enemy at Shahpore, eighteen miles south-east of Sultanpore, 
in which the C Company of Madras Sappers was engaged. 

Brigadier Horsford received intelligence that the enemy had 
taken up a strong position at Daodpore, eleven miles west of his 
camp, on the Lucknow road, with a force of 200 cavalry and 
4,000 infantry, with six guns, under command of Davhie Dheen, 
and the rebel Nazim Mehndee Hussain. He resolved to attack 
them. His force consisted of — 

F Troop, B. H. A., 
2 6-pounder Field Battery, 
2 9-pounder „ 

101 men of Hussars, 


76 Hodson Horse, 
183 Oudh Military Police Cavalry, 
312 32nd Light Infantry, 
321 1st Madras Fusiliers, 
180 5th Punjab Rifles, 
351 Oudh Military Police Infantry, 

and detachment of Madras Sappers under Lieutenant Raynsford ; 
his total force being 1,589. 

He marched at 2 a.m. on the 20th, and arrived within three 
miles of the enemy's position at daylight. Two miles from 
Daodpore the jungle became very dense, and it was necessary 
to proceed with caution, as the enemy had commenced throwing 
up batteries to command the road. The main body of cavalry 
was detached to turn the enemy's right, and an advance was 
made by a line of skirmishers on both sides of the road. The 
artillery were kept on the road, supported by cavalry and 
infantry. The movement was successful, and the enemy were 
pressed rapidly through the village of Daodpore and adjoining 

It was now reported that their guns had retired towards the 
Kandoo Nuddee, 'J'he infantry were ordered to continue their 
advance, while the Brigadier started in pursuit with the artillery 
and part of the cavalry. After a gallop of four miles, he came 
up with the enemy retreating in great disorder. The enemy was 
soon compelled to abandon his guns, &c., which fell into our 
hands, several of the gunners being cut down at their guns. 

The main body of the cavalry here rejoined, and continued 
the pursuit for two or three miles further, inflicting considerable 
loss on the enemy. 

The Brigadier now retired four miles to some topes, where the 
infantry had halted, and the troops rested till 4 p.m., when 
the return march to Sultanpore was commenced. Sultanpore 
was reached at half-past 9 p.m., the infantry having marched 
twenty-six miles, and the cavalry and artillery fully thirty-five. 


Our losses were merely nominal, consisting of two Native 
officers and five privates wounded, and ten horses wounded. One 
24-pounder howitzer and one 9-pounder gun were captured, with 
ammunition-waggons, &c. 

Shortly after his return to Sultanpore, Hope Grant marched 
to Kiindoo Nuddee to drive away 4,000 rebels posted there with 
two batteries commanding the bridge. The enemy would not 
wait. The cavalry and horse artillery were sent in pursuit, and, 
after a thirty-mile chase, picked up two guns, one a brass 
21 -pounder. 

On 28th October, Brigadier Horsford was sent to destroy the 
small fort of Mohana. It was found deserted, and was blown 
up, five guns being taken. The whole force now returned to 

Early in November the Commander-in-Chief took the field, in 
order to assume direction of military affairs in the Byswarra 

On the 2nd he rode to Pertabgurh, where his camp was 
pitched. The column under Sir Hope Grant, which had 
recently been assisting the advance of Colonel Kelly from Azim- 
ghur, that under Brigadier Wetherall from Soraon, and that 
under Brigadier Pinckney at Pertabghur, efl'ected combined 
movements for the reduction of the country and the submission 
of Raja Lai Madho of Amethie. Hope Grant had been ordered 
to move up the right bank of the Goomtee to Jugdespore, then 
to move south and place himself between Pursedapore and 
Amethie. Colonel Kelly, in communication with Brigadier 
Fischer, was to be responsible for the district between Tanda 
and Sultanpore. Wetherall was to move to l)ehaigue (leaving a 
strong force at Soraon), thence to Bowaneegung, or Cliowras ; 
and Brigadier Pinckney to take Deolee. 

On the arrival of the Commander-in-Chief nt Pertabghur, Sir 
Hope Grant was in position six miles from Rampoor Kussia, on 
tlie Sye river. Wetherall was near Rampore Kussia, which he 


took on 8rd November. He was to have attacked it in concert 
with Hope Grant, but for some reason he disregarded this in- 
struction. The Commander-in-Chief was much put out at this, 
as he considered Wetherall had incurred a heavy loss in con- 
sequence. Wethenill, however, captured the fort, with twenty- 
three guns, killing 300 of the euemy, with only a loss of 
seventy-eight killed and wounded. Sir Hope Grant made for 
the fort to cut off fugitives, but arrived too late. 

The Commander-in-Chief now closed his forces round 
Amethie. The Raja tendered his submission, and the fort was 
occupied ; but his troops in the night, amounting to some 4,000 
men, bolted. Sixteen guns were taken in this fort. 

Sir Hope Grant next marched to Pursedapore, arriving on 
11th November to take up a position north of Shunkerpore, a 
fort belonging to Beni Madho. 

On the 15th the Commander-in-Chief arrived, and summoned 
Beni Madho. In order not to alarm him, the three brigades 
under Hope Grant, Pinckney, and Wetherall, were placed north, 
south, and east of the fort, but out of sight, although the rebel 
was fully aware of their presence. 

On the night of the 1 5th Raja Beni Madho, taking advantage 
of the Commander-in-Chief's forbearance, evacuated the fort, 
and led his troops, 10,000 strong, to the west. 

On the 10th Sir Hope Grant was despatched to Roy Bareilly, 
as the Raja was supposed to be making for that neighbourhood. 
Wetherall s brigade, now transferred to Colonel Taylor, was 
ordered to move by forced marches to Fyzabad, to commence 
the Trans-Gogra movements. The Commander-in-Chief re- 
mained at Shunkerpore till the 18th, with Pinckney's brigade, 
now transferred to Colonel Jones, when he, also, moved to Roy 

On the I7th Brigadier Evelegh came across part of the Raja's 
force, 5,000 strong, dispersed them, and took three guns. Peroo 
being still held, Evelegh was ordered to advance on it. Reports 


were most conflicting as to the direction the Eaja had taken, 
and Evelegh was ordered to send in his heavy guns to Roy 
Bareilly, move towards Doundeakaira, and to give the Raja's 
force no rest. The Commander-in-Chief, at the same time, 
moved to Buchraon, to intercept the fugitives from Beni 
Madho's force. 

The Commander-in-Chief joined Evelegh on 23rd November, 
having marched sixty miles in three days, and found tlie enemy 
mustered in considerable force at Doundeakaira, under the Raja 
in person. The position, consisting of enclosures of jungle 
flanked by the fort of Doundeakaira and village of Buksar, was 
very strong. 

He was attacked on the 21th with about 2,800 men of all 
arms. The enemy were completely broken and dispersed, suffer- 
ing a very heavy loss, and all their guns, seven in number, were 
taken. Pursuit was vigorously pressed till midnight. Raja 
Beni Madho was now a fugitive, and was supposed to have turned 
to the north. The chiefs of the Byswarra country now every- 
where gave in their submission. 

Sir Hope Grant advanced from Roy Bareilly to Jugdespore 
and the Goomtee. He was then ordered to Fyzabad to take 
charge of the operations Trans-Gogra from that quarter, and put 
the brigade he had been with under Horsford, who was now 
moving leisurely up the right bank of the Goomtee, engaged in 
destroying forts and reducing that part of the country. The 
C Company of Madras Sappers had been engaged, under Horsford, 
in this work. It was in these operations that Captain Scott, of 
the Madras Engineers was killed. 

On the 23rd November Colonel Galway marched at daybreak 
from Mahona with detachment F Troop R.H.A., 1 officer, 52 
men, one 6-pounder and one 12-pounder howitzers ; detachment 
Royal Artillery, 1 officer, 13 men, two 6^-inch mortars; 
Madras Sappers, 1 officer, 42 men ; detachment 7th Hussars, 
4 officers, 78 men ; detachment Hodson's Horse, 1 officer, 

II. 26 


25 men; Madras Fusiliers, 28 officers, 566 men; 5tli Punjab 
Eifles, 5 officers, 137 men — total 41 officers, 913 men; and at 
8.30 arrived before small fort of Reliora, on right bank of the 
Goomtee, nine miles from Mahona. 

Her Majesty's proclamation was sent into the fort, and an 
answer was shortly received that the fort, and all the munitions 
of war it contained, would be surrendered without opposition. 
Captain Steel, with a detachment of the Punjab Piifles, entered 
the fort, but found that many of the rebels were escaping with 
their arms, some across the Goomtee, and some towards Koelee, 
a fort about two miles higher up the river. The Punjabees 
poured a fire into them, and followed the latter along the bank 
of the river in the direction of Koelee, while Colonel Galway 
took the Horse Artillery (supported by cavalry and infantry), 
round to intercept the fugitives ; but, owing to the numerous 
ravines, did not arrive in time to do more than throw a few 

Colonel Galway now heard that the officer of Punjab Eifles 
had suddenly come under the fire of the fort of Koelee, and that 
he required support. He accordingly resumed his march, and 
arrived before Koelee (which was said to be held by 200 rebels), 
about half-past 12. Our terms were offered, and rejected. 

A village, between the road by which we approached and the 
fort, was cleared by the fire of two mortars and two companies 
of Madras Fusiliers, who had been placed on the bank of the 
river to watch the ghat and prevent the rebels from doubling 

Colonel Galway then moved with the mortars and the remainder 
of the Fusiliers round the village to the west face of the fort, of 
which a view was obtained at 350 yards. While a fire was 
kept up by the mortars and the supporting Fusiliers, the place 
was more closely reconnoitred by Captain Scott, Field Engineer, 
and Lieutenant- Colonel Galway, until they discovered the 
approach to the gate, and a position from which the artillery-fire 

1858.] MADRAS ENGINEEItS. 403 

would be more effective. To tins position the mortal's and two 
guns were brought up. 

In a short time a practicable breach was opened in front of 
the gate; but as this only disclosed the fact that the approach 
was strongly flanked by defences, on which the artillery with 
Colonel Galway could have little effect, and as he did not think 
the speedy possession of such a place worth the sacrifice of life 
it must have entailed, he decided on suspending operations, and 
withdrew troops to camp about a mile from the fort. 

Unfortunately, before this was decided on, Captain Scott, 
while more closely reconnoitrings was shot dead. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Galway thus writes : — 

" It grieves me deeply to have to report the loss on our part 
of Captain Scott, Field Engineer, who was shot while endeavour- 
ing more nearly to reconnoitre the gate. I need not dilate on 
his value, as it was well known to the Brigadier; but must 
express my sorrow at being unable to return him my thanks for 
his zealous and active services during the day." 

The first half of the Oude campaign was now finished. The 
advance in line from the confines of Eohilcund to Allahabad 
and Azimghur had compressed everything like rebellion in a 
large sense beyond the Gogra, except in the Seetapore district, 
which was about beiug settled by advance of Brigadier Barker, 
Avho was already beyond the Goomtee. He and Brigadier Colin 
Troup had executed their several instructions in a very satis- 
factory manner. 

At Fyzabad Sir Hope Grant found a force of 4,300 men under 
Colonel Taylor, C.B., 7yth. 

Colonel Nicholson, R.E., the Commanding Engineer, having 
formed a bridge over the Gogra at Fyzabad, Hope Grant crossed 
on 27th November, and assumed command of the troops in the 
Goruckpore district under Brigadier Rowcroft. "Grant defeated 
the enemy at Gonday, taking six guns and occupying: the place. 
Brigadier Piowcroft's force was gradually pushed across 



the Raptee to Heer, dviving the rehels into Toolsepore in Oude. 
Sir Hope Grant was now ordered to prevent the rebels passing 
round his right flank, to invade Tirhoot and Behar. 

After the fight at Doundeakaira on the 24th, the Commander- 
in-Chief moved by forced marches to Lucknow. 

A brigade, broken up into two movable columns, pursued 
Beni Madho to the banks of the Gogra. While this pursuit 
was going on, Brigadier Horsford intercepted Beni Madho, and 
drove him across the Goomtee with his cavalry and horse 
artillery under the officer commanding the 7th Hussars, 

The Commander-in-Chief arrived at Lucknow on 28th 
November, but was obliged to stop there some few days to make 
arrangements. The brigade was, however, pushed on under 
Brigadier Evelegh, at once to assist in reduction of Seetapore 

On 2nd December he occupied the fort of Oomeriah which 
barred the north-west road from Lucknow, remained there three 
days, and destroyed the fort. 

By this time, Brigadier Horsford, having completed his pre- 
scribed duty on the right bank of the Goomtee, had marched 
through Lucknow, Another brigade at Nawabgunge, under 
Brigadier Purnell, C.B., was now joined to his force. 

The Commander-in Chief left Lucknow on 5th December, 
and reached Byramghat with Horsford's brigade on the 6th, 
Beni Madho's followers were still found to be lingering on the 
other side of the river. 

Sir Hope Grant was ordered to occupy Secrore, in their rear, 
when they disappeared to the north. 

Purnell, with his brigade, was left to collect boats, &c. to 
bridge the Gogra, while the Commander-in-Chief marched, at 
the rate of twenty miles a day, to Fyzabad, crossed the Gogra, 
and thence went to Secrore, followed by Colonel Christie, 
H.M.'s 80th, with a troop B. H. A. heavy field battery, 
C Company of Madras Sappers, -wing of 80th, Kumaon 


Battalion, 5tli Punjaub Kifles, and a detachment of Hodsou's 

Sir Hope Grant met the Commander-in-Chief at Secrore, his 
troops having been pushed on towards Bulrampove on the 
Raptee. He was now ordered to commence his movement on 
Toolsepore, where Bahi Rao was reported to be in considerable 

Brigadier Rowcroft was to invade Toolsepore from north-west 
corner of Goruckpore, while a strong post was formed at Simree 
to prevent his advance being turned to the east. 

The Commander-in-Chief marched to Bareitch with Brigadier 
Horsford, the Begum and her force retiring from Boondee, and 
the Nana from Bareitch as our troops moved on. 

Brigadier Evelegh took post at Gonda, to form a reserve to 
the column marching on Toolsepore, as well as to level the fort. 

Brigadier Purnell was to assist in guarding the Gogra to 
north-west, a small force marching up between the Chowka and 
Sargor to Mullapore. 

Brigadier Troup, who, after the fall of Biswah, had taken 
post at Jehangirabad on the Chowka, was to throw 60th Rifles, 
with two guns and cavalry, across the Chowka, and extend the 
remainder of his force to his left. 

The various forces on the Rohilcund frontier were put well 
on the alert, so as to leave no alternative to the rebels but 
surrender, or to take to the hills of Nepaul. 

To make this pressure still more felt, Colonel Christie was 
detached from Bareitch with four guns B. H. A., 50 Carabineers, 
detachment Hodson's Horse, Aving 80th, two companies 20th, 
5th Punjab Rifles, detachment Oude Police Cavalry, and C 
Company Madras Sappers and Miners, and ordered to march 
up the left bank of the Sargor to Darmapore. 

He left Bareitch on 21st December, having been for some 
days delayed by rain. 

Two days after, the Commander-in-Chief left Bareitch, passed 


Nonparali on the 2Gtl), and, after marcliiug twenty miles, attacked 
a body of rebels at Burgidia, who were dispersed and pursued 
till nightfall. Their guns were captured. 

On the 27th we marched to Musjidia, which was taken after 
three hours' vertical fire from two mortars. The Chief Engineer 
was Colonel Harness, R.E. 

On the 29th the troops returned to Nouparah, made a forced 
march on the night of the 30th to near Bankee, wliere the 
Nana had loitered. He was surprised, attacked, and driven 
through the jungle into and across the Eaptee. 

The 7th Hussars entered the river with the fugitives. Major 
Home was drowned. His body was afterwards found in a deep 
hole. He had a firm grip of two of the enemy, and two 
privates were found each clutching a sowar. 

In these various affairs eighteen guns fell into our hands. 

Colonel Christie, with whom were the Madras Sappers, had a 
successful skirmish on 23rd December, and took two guns in 
pursuit. He then made a circuit to the north by Pudnaha, and 
rejoined the camp of the Commander-in-Chief on 3rd January 

Meantime, Rowcroft attacked Toolsepore on 23rd December, 
driving Bala Rao to foot of the mountains, and taking two guns. 

Sir Hope Grant, having made his right flank safe, advanced 
through the jungles against Bala Rao, took fifteen guns, and 
dispersed the rebels, Bala Rao flying into the interior as his 
brother, the Nana, had done before. 

Thus the contest in Oude was brought to an end. 

Horsford was left watching the frontier Avhere the Raptee 
debouches. Similar arrangements were made in Toolsepore. 

Sir Hope Grant was placed in command of the whole force 
on the frontier, and the Commander-in-Chief returned to 

On the l7tli January the C Company of Madras Sappers 
appears to have recrossed the Ganges, and shortly after returned 

1858.] MADEAS ENGINEERS . 407 

to the Madras Presideucy, liaviug been absent on field service 
for fully eighteen months. 

Before leaving the subject of the Indian Mutinies, it will be 
well to add that Captain Scott, M.E.,* highly distinguished 
himself in all the attacks on the Begum's palace and Kaiser Bagh 
at Lucknow, and that Ensign Ogilvie's conduct at the attacks on 
Emaum Barra and Kaiser Bagh at Lucknow, was most gallant. 
In the taking of the latter Ogilvie accompanied the most ad- 
vanced party of H.M.'s 10th Foot under Captain Norman, 
assisted in the defence of their post, and went through a heavy 
fire to bring up reinforcements, which he succeeded in doing, 
remaining with them till severely wounded. Captain Norman 
publicly thanked Ensign Ogilvie for his services on this occasion. 

Captain Scott was honourably mentioned by Sir E. Lugard 
as having accompanied the advanced party, on 11th March, with 
powder-bags and ladders. 

Lord Clyde expressed his regret at Scott's death, stating that 
"he had already achieved a good reputation as an officer"; and 
the Governor-General regretted his loss " as one who had earned 
the approval of Government by a zealous and efficient discharge 
of his duty." 

Lord Clyde wrote : " The C Company Madras Sappers and 
Miners were engaged and distinguished at the relief of Lucknow, 
subsequently remaining with General Sir James Outram at 
Alumbagh, taking a part in the siege and capture of Lucknow, 
and being afterwards constantly employed in Oude during ISSS." 

Havildar Teroovengadum, Naique Chinnien, and Privates 
Bagawaddy and Perumal, of the C Company, received the Order 
of Merit for distinguished gallantry at Lucknow. Havildar 
Kistnen and some others were also favourably mentioned by 
Captain Scott in his confidential recommendation rolls. 

On 17th November 1857, at Lucknow, at the attack of a 

* He obtained his Brevet Majority. 


building called D Bungalow, the direct road being exposed to a 
heavy fire, the Sappers were ordered to open a way through the 
houses close to D Bungalow. It was necessary to cross a space 
exposed to a flank fire. The Brigadier (82nd — shortly after 
killed), addressing the havildar, said that some defence must be 
thrown up to protect his men in advancing on the D. Bungalow. 
He (the havildar) put three of his party of thirty to this work, to 
throw up the earth. He himself, to raise the cover rapidly, took 
up a plank and placed it so as to protect this earthwork. In the 
act he w'as shot through the left arm. All the time they were thus 
engaged, a heavy fire was kept up on them from the Begum Kotee. 
On the 11th March 1<S5.^, Captain Scott, with his orderly, 
Permaul, carrying a sand-bag, and Bagawaddy carrying a 
powder-bag, were in advance of the assaulting column through- 
out the storm and capture of the Begum Kotee at Lucknow. 

The latter laid the powder-bag against the inner-gate of one 
of the Mahals, and the former placed his sand-bag on the 
powder-bag. Captain Scott then fired it, and the gate was blown 
in under a heavy fire. 

Bagawaddy was an old soldier, and had served in Coorg, 
Scinde, and Burmah. Permaul had been in Burmah. The cool- 
ness of both men specially attracted Captain Scott's attention. 

On 14tli March 1858, at Lucknow, the force was preparing 
to advance on the Kaiser Bagh. Captain Scott called for two 
privates to carry powder-bags. Chinnien and Kolundy Veloo 
stepped out. Captain Scott directed Kolundy Veloo to go with 
his powder-bag with Lieutenant Ogilvie in advance, and ordered 
Chinnien to accompany himself. 

About thirty yards from the line of march of our troops there 
was a wall from which the enemy were keeping up a heavy fire. 
Captain Scott and Chinnien made a rush to the wall and 
crouched down, and Chinnien commenced with a crow-bar to dig 
under the wall. Chinnien placed his powder-bag, struck a light, 
and fired the train, and a breach was made. 


The fire of the enemy on our men was so heavy, that they 
could only rush across the exposed space singly. When the 
breach in the wall was made, the enemy retreated. 

We will now describe the operations of Jung Bahadoor 
previous to the capture of Lucknow. 

In these operations Lieutenant (now Colonel, C.B.) Sankey 
greatly distinguished himself. 

Lieutenant Sankey, shortly after the return of Sir Colin 
Campbell from Lucknow, received orders to join the Goorkha 
force under Jung Bahadoor at Goruckpoor as senior Engineer 
officer. He joined the head-quarters of the Goorkha force, and 
accompanied the leading brigade of Goorkhas to Bilwa Bagaur. 
Goruckpore had been reoccupied by the Goorkha force on the 
6th January 1858, the rebel Nazim Mahommed Hussain having 
been totally defeated by the Goorkha auxiliary force under 
Jung Bahadoor. 

A number of British officers were attached to this force. 
Brigadier-General G. H. Macgregor, C.B., being Military Com- 

When the advanced brigade reached Bilwa Bagaur, opposite 
Adjoodeah, Lieutenant Sankey was detached alone to recon- 
noitre the Gogra near Tanda. 

During his absence on this duty. Captain Plowden with a 
division of Goorkhas defeated and dispersed 10.000 rebels, with 
eight or ten guns, at Shah Gunge, on 5th February 1858. 

No boats were to be had within 100 miles of Goruckpore, so 
arrangements had been made to cart at all speed solid jhcel 
boats (the ordinary " dug-out " of the country) to that place. 

With the help of Lieutenant Garnault, B.E., (an excellent 
officer), Lieutenant Sankey made up some 200 pontoons by 
covering the boats with tarred canvas, and placing saddles 
in them. These, with hastily-improvised fishermen's anchors, 
plenty of rope, cordage, baulks, &c,, enabled them, when 
the advance was made to Tanda, to calculate on being 



able to cross the river rapidiy. These pontoons answered 

It was first settled to cross the Gogra at Chupra Ghaut, but 
the force having been reinforced by Brigadier Rowcrofi's column, 
consisting of the Naval Brigade and some Goorkhas convoying 
a large number of cargo-boats from the Ganges, it was deter- 
mined to make use of the latter. 

The crossing at Chupra Ghaut was thought likely to cause 
much delay in the upward progress of the fleet of boats, so it was 
determined to cross opposite Nowranee, twenty miles higher up. 

On the I9th morning, the force marched twenty miles to 
opposite Nowranee, which place was reached in nine hours, at 
6.15 P.M. 

The river was crossed in boats, and about midnight the 
village and fort of Nowranee were seized, the fort having 
been evacuated. 

Lieutenant Sankey accompanied the troops. 

The enemy were reported to be at Phoolpore, about six miles 
distant on the right bank. About 1 p.m. Brigadier Rowcroft 
marched with a force of 1,600 men, four 12-pounder howitzers, 
and six guns, and found the enemy in position in a wood on 
the banks of the river beyond Phoolpore. 

An artillery-fire was opened by the enemy, which was briskly 
replied to by the Naval Brigade for about an hour. The attack 
was then made, and in about an hour more the enemy gave 
way, and were speedily in full retreat, with the loss of three of 
their guns and a part of their camp equipage. 

Being nearly dark when the action ceased, the success was 
not so great as it would otherwise have been. 

" Lieutenant Sankey of the Engineers," the Brigadier stated 
in his despatch, " afforded me every assistance in passing orders 
in the field." 

Lieutenant Sankey constructed a bridge of boats at Phoolpore 
in two davs and a half, for which he received the thanks of 


the Brigadier General Macgregor, and subsequently those of the 
Government of India. This bridge was 960 feet long. Three 
miles of road were also made. 

The next day the Goorkha army, 20,000 strong, crossed into 
Oude with twenty-four guns and a baggage train of 5,000 carts. 

Extract from letter from Military Secretary to Commissioner: 
" I am directed by the Brigadier-General to convey to you 
his cordial acknowledgments and best thanks for the skill and 
untiring energy with which yon have accomplished a work of 
such magnitude in so short a time." 

(Signed) " MacAndrew, Lieutenant, 
"Military Secretary." 

Erom the Government of India : 

" I am directed to request you will convey to Captain Sankey 
the thanks of Government for his great and successful exertions 
on that occasion" (constructing bridge of boats over Gogra). 

On 2Gth February, while on the line of march from Mobaruk- 
pore to Akbarpore, as Jung Bahadoor and Brigadier-General 
Macgregor were proceeding along the road, they were informed 
that at a small fort near by, called Jumalpore, there was a small 
party of rebels. 

As it was feared they might attack the baggage, Jung Baha- 
door sent some of his body-guard. 

The rebels said they would submit in about two ghurries 
(forty minutes), the cavalry having surprised them. The 
Goorkhas unaccountably fell into the trap; and on their return 
with a reinforcement of three companies they were fired on, and 
several killed and wounded. 

This news reached camp, six miles distant, and Jung Baha- 
door sent back his brother, and subsequently went himself. 

Lieutenant Sankey, at the request of the Brigadier-General, 
thus describes the small gurree ; — 

" Viewed from the outside, nothing very suspicious or for- 


midable was discoverable about the place. It had all the appear- 
ance of au ordinary clump of bamboos at the corner of a village, 
which latter, like all inhabited places in this part of the country, 
was very well screened in foliage. Some newly-planted bamboo 
slips, eight to ten feet high, all round the clump above men- 
tioned, alone marked the place as differing from others, and on 
another occasion would be sufficient warning to induce caution 
in approaching what proved to be a very hedge-hog of fortifica- 
tion. The fort itself was a complete wall, surrounded by a 
ditch more or less formidable ; this, again, by a belt of high 
bamboos, which was succeeded by another ditch, some ten or 
twelve feet deep ; the row of bamboo slips above mentioned 
being planted on the immediate lip of the counterscarp of the 

" The Avorks were quite new, and were situated on the 
south-east corner of the village. A well, inclosed by the outer 
line of ditch (within a sort of demi-lune) lay on the east, and a 
pond, not included in the works, on the north. The only imme- 
diate entrance was on the pond side ; the approach to it leading 
round the north-east bastion, and, curving round in a narrow 
thorny path, led out at the east of the well. Nothing could be 
more difficult of approach, every portion bristling with thorns 
and intercepted by ditches and banks. 

" The mud ramparts of the fort were fifteen feet above the level 
of the ground ; the upper portion for about seven feet, consist- 
ing of a thin mud-wall, was loop-holed in every direction ; the 
lower part being from ten to twelve feet thick, and furnishing a 
banquette for the defenders. 

" In plan the fort was some sixty-feet square, with circular 
bastions at the angles, the banquette on all sides ten feet wide, 
leaving forty feet square for the enciente, within which the 
defenders could retire when the fire was too hot, and where were 
two thatched sheds. No steps led to the banquette, a bamboo 
ladder being the only means of communication. When once, 


therefore, the defenders were driven from the upper works, they 
were caught in a trap." 

The following is the account given by Captain J. De O. 
Baring, in military charge of the 2nd Brigade 1st Division 
Goorkha Force : — 

" Instructions were received to detach a party to dislodge the 
insurgents. On arriving in front of the enemy's position (where 
I had nine companies and three guns), I was reinforced by two 
other regiments and two companies with seven guns, under 
military charge of Captain Edmonstone. The difficulty of our 
operations was materially increased by the enemy's position 
being completely surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of bam- 
boos, which prevented our ascertaining the nature of the defences 
within. Under these circumstances I deemed it expedient to 
suggest to the General, Dere Shumsheer, that he should open with 
shell from the guns on the south side, sending a regiment out 
on each flank to prevent escape. After firing for some time, and 
finding we made little or no impression on the position from its 
natural defences, we determined on altering our tactics, and 
moved three guns to the east side. I now suggested the pro- 
priety of pushing the men up to the place in extended order, 
under cover of the guns, with the view of taking it by assault. 
This plan was adopted, and the troops rushed on with a cheer, 
and succeeded in obtaining a lodgment in the bamboo fence and 
trench within it. The assailing regiments here finding that they 
were unexpectedly opposed by a high wall and bastion, the 
necessity for bringing up a gun became manifest, and accord- 
ingly with great labour a G-pounder was dragged through the 
outer fence of bamboos, and brought up to within a few yards 
of it. Five or six rounds having effected a partial breach, Lieu- 
tenant Sankey, M.E., followed by the men, carried the place by 
storm. Nothing could exceed the gallantry of all engaged — the 
Goorkhas charging with great bravery." 

"Captain Edmonstone gallantly led the men of the Rifle 


Regiment into tlie entrenchment, and also aflFovded me valuable 
assistance, I beg to bring his name prominently to the notice 
of the Brigadier-General, as well as that of Lieutenant Sankey, 
M.E., whose conspicuous bravery elicited the admiration of all." 

Our losses were 8 men killed and 42 wounded. Total, 50. 

Captain Edmonstone, in his report, said : "The only approach 
to the place was at last discovered ; a gun was then forced, 
with great labour, into a position within ten or twelve yards of 
the wall; another, a 12-pounder, and a third, were placed at right 
angles to the first, and the cross fire thus produced was attended 
with the happiest results." 

" Lieutenant Sankey, of the Engineers, who had been on the 
ground the whole day, discovered a small breach made by the 
first gun ; it ceased firing. He enlarged the opening with his 
hands until it was sufficiently large to admit his head and 
shoulders, forced himself through it, and was the first man 
inside. The gallantry of this act, which, as I was standing 
with him close under the wall, I was an eye-witness of, I 
venture to bring particularly to the notice of the Brigadier- 

"I myself immediately followed the two first Goorkhas, I 
believe, who penetrated into the enclosure by a ladder which 
was placed against the wall close to me. Our men then forced 
their way in through tlie breach by the ladder, and through 
a narrow opening, apparently the entrance to the place, but 
which only came half-way down the wall ; and the enemy 
(thirty- one bodies were subsequently counted) were all, I believe, 
cut to pieces." 

General Macgregor says the number of enemy killed was 
thirty- two. 

Captain Baring, who was present, says: "Loss of enemy was 
between forty and fifty killed." 

The Military Commissioner, in his despatch to Government, 
remarked : " The conspicuous gallantry of Lieutenant Sankey 


was the admiration of everyone. It was by his advice the gun 
was brought up which breached the wall, and he was the first 
man in the fort, followed by the Rifle Regiment with Captain 

For his conduct on this occasion, Lieutenant Sankey was 
most strongly recommended for the distinction of the Victoria 

The following note vras written by the Military Secretary to 
the Commissioner to Lieutenant Sankey : — 

"The General this morning has confided to me the pleasing 
duty of telling you that he has recommended you for the 
V.C. for your conduct at capture of Jumalpore. As the 
Governor-General keeps your plan of it, and is mucli pleased 
with that business altogether, I should think there is very little 
doubt of your getting that much-coveted distinction. At any 
rate, the General has done what he can for you ; and there is no 
officer in the force, including your humble servant, who does not 
think you richly deserve it, and does not feel that the granting 
of it to you will reflect credit on our whole campaign. I offer 
you my most hearty congratulations, and hope you may live 
long to wear it. You must be the first officer of Madras army 
to whom it will be given." 

Lieutenant Prendergast, M.E., was recommended for acts at 
Mundisore, 21st November 1857, Ratghur, 21th January 1858, 
and Betwa, 1st April 1858 ; so that the gallant acts of Sankey 
at Jumalpore and Prendergast on the Betwa and at Ratghur 
occurred within a short time of each other. 

The following extract from a letter from General Macgregor 
to Military Secretary, India Office, will show the unfortunate 
way in which Lieutenant Sankey was deprived of tlie honour he 
so richly deserved : — 

" In March 1858, when I was Military Commissioner with 
Jung Bahadoor's force in Oude, I recommended Major Sankey 
for the V.C. for conspicuous gallantry at capture of fort of 


Jamulpore in Oude by the Goorkha force. The late Earl 
Canning supported the recommendation, and forwarded it to 
England ; but as it came direct from the Government of India, 
without having been previously submitted to the Commander-in- 
Chief, it was considered informal, and was referred back to India. 
Sir Hugh Rose referred the case to a committee of officers, and 
their report was, I believe, to the effect that, while considering 
the action a gallant one for which the recommendation was 
made, yet, from the circumstance of Major Sankey having 
been made a Brevet Major while a subaltern, they could not 
support it. 

" The fact of Major Sankey having been made a Brevet Major 
one month earlier than he had a right to expect,* can hardly be 
looked upon as weighing in the balance against a decoration 
which in many respects is deservedly considered the proudest 
honour in the gift of the Crown. No man, in my opinion, ever 
better earned the V.C. than did Major Sankey. In the per- 
formance of his duty he exposed himself to almost certain 
death, setting a brilliant example of courage to the men who 
were engaged with him at the fort ; and I may add, with much 
truth, that his services on that occasion contributed greatly to 
the capture of the place, and while it would be a mere act of 
justice on the part of Her Most Gracious Majesty to confer the 
V.C. on Major Sankey, it would be at the same time a delicate 
compliment to the memory of the lamented Earl Canning, who 
recommended Major Sankey for that honourable distinction." 

In reply to this, a cold and somewhat curt answer was received 
from the Assistant Military Secretary (General Macgregor's 
letter having been addressed to the Secretary) : — 

" I am directed by the Secretary of State to acknowledge the 

* Lieutenant Sankey was first mado a Brevet Major on 20th July 1858 ; but 
after some years it was discovered that, being a subaltern at the time, he had 
no right to it ; it was changed to 28th August 1858, the day after he attained to 
the rank of Captain in the Madras Engineers, 


receipt of your letter of 1 4th July, and to acqua-nt you, in 
reply, that applications from persons resident in this country on 
behalf of otficers in India for promotion or other reward cannot 
be entertained. I am, however, directed to add that the claim 
of Major Sankey, AI.E., to the distinction of V.C. had been 
decided on agreeably to the opinion expressed by the Com= 
mander in-Chief in India, and that this decision cannot be 
departed from." 

It will be seen from the note to General Macgregor's letter 
that Lieutenant Sankey, after all, was a Captain before the date 
of his Brevet Majority ; but how the date of a Brevet Majority 
can affect the question of a V.C. it is utterly impossible to 
understand, as he would certainly have obtained that, even had 
he not been present at the capture of Jumalpore, His services 
in bridging the Gogra and Goomtee, &c., would have sufficed 
for that. 

It should be mentioned that the Right Hon. the Governor- 
General, in publishing the reports of the capture of the fort of 
Jumalpore, said : — 

" To Generals Ilunoodeep Sing and Dere Shumshere, to 
Lieutenant Sankey of the Madras Engineers, Captain Edmon- 
stone, and all the officers and men who took a part in effecting 
the capture of the fort, the Governor-General offers his hearty 

From Akbarpore the force marched to Sultanpore on the 

Lieutenant Sankey constructed a bridge over the Goomtee at 
Sultanpore, for which he received the thanks of the Government 
of India. 

" Lieutenant Sankey's exertions were as conspicuous as they 
were successful, and they merit the best thanks of the Govern- 

The bridge at Sultanpore was partly constructed by the 
Goorkha army in its own fashion. This consisted in their 

II. 27 


attacking all the neighbouring trees with their " kookeries," 
hewing off forked limbs, using these as piles, and straight ones 
as baulks for the roadway. It was a singular sight to see some 
13,000 men thus engnged, some up at the tops of the highest 
trees, and others wading up to their necks in the river fixing the 
piles, &c. The work was a perfect ant-swarm, from -which a 
very effective bridge emerged. 

Lieutenant Sankey's pai-t consisted in placing boats across all 
the deep portions of the stream, and linking them with the 
piled parts. 

Shortly after the Goorkha force crossed the Goomtee they 
were engaged with the enemy at Kandoo Nuddee. 

On 5th March 1858, at this action, Lieutenant Sankey was 
present, and was mentioned in Brigadier-General Macgregor's 
despatch to the Government. 

The enemy amounted to 4,000 men, under Nazim Mehndee 
Hussain. They had taken up a strong position on the Kandoo 
Nuddee, had erected a battery by the side of the bridge on the 
Lucknow road, and had advanced across the bridge. 

The Gooiklia division advanced in quarter-distance column, 
and on viewing the enemy were deployed into line. 

The ground between the right brigade and the enemy at first 
appeared level cultivation ; but afterwards proved to be deep 
ravines with brush jungle, though that in front of left brigade 
was a plain. 

Our guns now opened. After a few rounds the advance was 
sounded. Tlie right brigade advanced fifty yards, when the 
enemy opened a sharp fire of musketry on our right front from a 

A brigade was turned on this point. The troops rushed 
gallantly into the jungle with a loud cheer, formed a line of 
skirmishers, and forced the rebels to make a rapid retreat. The 
Goorkhas' pursuit was so rapid that numbers of the enemy were 
shot and cut down. The pursuit was followed up for miles, 


when the "assembly" was sounded, and camp was formed on 
the Nuddee. 

A few days after, the Goorldia force reached Lucknow (wliich 
Sir Colin Campbell was besieging), and took possession (on the 
left of his force) of a suburb south-east of the Charbagh. 

The services of the Goorkhas, at the siege of Lucknow, under 
Jimcf Bahadoor have already been related. 




War with China, 1860. — Cause of war. — Our squadron repulsed, 25th June 1859. 
— British and French GoTemments agree to enforce treaty. — French 
assemble at Shanghae — we at Hong Kong. — JIadras Sappers reach 
Talien Whan Bay, June 1860 — Lieutenant Gordon drowned. — We disembark 
at Pehtang. — Force leares Pehtang. — Sinho occupied. — Engineer brigade 
formed. — Tang-koo captured. — Taku forts. — All the Taku forts taken. — 
Shaw Stewart with A Company ordered to Tientsin. — Battle of Chang-kia-wan. 
— Battle of Pa-li-chow. — Summer Palace taken by the French. — Breaching 
batteries at Pekin constructed. — An-ting Gate surrendered. — Convention 
signed and ratified. — Position of breaching batteries. — Army leaves Pekin. — 
Sappers sail for Hong Kong. — Weather very trying towards close of cam- 
paign. — Notices regarding Sappers. — Sir Hope Grant's despatch. — Shaw 
Stewart a brevet major. — Bhotan War. 1865. — Expedition to the Little 

The cause of this war appears to have been the unwillingness 
of the Chinese Government to ratify the Treaty of Tientsin, 
which, according to the provisions of that agreement, should 
have been completed on or before 26th June 1859. 

On l7th June Admiral Hope, Commander-in-Chief of H.M/s 
naval forces in the Eastern seas, appeared at the mouth of the 
Peiho to announce the approach of the English and French 
Ministers. The Admiral was told that the passage had been 
closed by the Militia without the orders of their Government. 
These untrue representations were supported by false appear- 
ances ; the batteries of the forts were masked, no banners were 
displayed, and no soldier was seen. No communication was 
allowed with the shore. After promising to remove the obstacles 
at the river mouth the Militia repudiated the promise. 

1859-60.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 421 

Such was the state of affairs when the British Minister, the 
Hon. F. Bruce, arrived outside the bar on 2()Lh June. Finding 
that the Chinese officials kept aloof, while (he Militia continued 
to assert that the obstruction was their own unauthorized act, 
he called upon, the Admiral to take such steps as were necessary 
to reach the capital by the time appointed. 

This, on the 25th June, the Admiral was proceeding to effect, 
when the forts, which for eight days previous had appeared 
deserted, suddenly opened fire on the squadron. The result was 
that our squadron was repulsed, and that we were obliged to 
abandon some ships, guns, and materiel. 

The British and French Governments now entered into a treaty 
to enforce the Treaty of Tientsin by force of arms, if necessary; 
and it was agreed that 10,000 English and 7,000 French should 
be sent to China. 

The French army had to be despatched from France, ours 
chiefly came from India. The French assembled at Shanghai, 
we at Hong Kong. 

The A and K Companies of the Madras Sappers formed part 
of our force. They were commanded by Captain J. H. M. S. 
Stewart, Madras Engineers. 

A Company — 

Captain Dakeync, Madras Infantry. 
Lieutenant Gordon, Madras Engineers, 
Lieutenant Filgate, ,, ,, 

K Company — 

Captain Swanstou, Madras Infantry. 
Lieutenant M. Foord, ,, ,, 

Lieutenant Trail, Madras Engineers. 

Assistant- Surgeon Pearse being in medical charge. 

The Sappers embarked at Madras in the transport Statesmatit 
reached Singapore on 28th March 1860, and Hong Kong on 27th 
April* They disembarked at the latter place, and remained for 


about three weeks at Kowloon, on the north side of Victoria 

On IHth May tliey left Hong Kong, and, after a stormy pas- 
sage, arrived, on IGth June, at Talien-Whan Bay, which had 
been fixed upon as the place of rendezvous for the English 
forces, the French being at Chefoo on the opposite side of the 
entrance to the Gulf of Petcheli. 

Immediately after their arrival the Sappers were employed in 
digging wells for watering the fleet, building piers, making 
roads, &c. 

Lieutenant Gordon, M.E., and Sergeant Hoskins, of the 
Sappers, joined at Hong Kong, having arrived from Madras on 
16th May. 

The English army was ready for action by the middle of 
June, but the French were not so forward with their arrange- 
ments, and fixed the 25th July as the earliest date on which 
they could assume offensive operations. 

While the Englisli army remained inactive at Talien-Whan 
Bay, Lieutenant Gordon, of the Engineers, was drowned on the 
morning of the 11 th July. He went across the bay to inquire 
for letters, which he had heard were on board the steamer 
Lifjhtiiintj. He was accompanied by Captain Lumsdeu> 
D.A.Q.M.G. They put off in a boat belonging to the Impcratriz. 
The boat was manned by the third ofliccr and two sailors. On 
their return from the opposite side, the wind blew strong ; and 
at about 5 p.m., when half-way across the harbour, a sudden 
gust capsized the boat. For some hours they all clung to the 
boat, till between 8 and 9 p.m., when there seemed to be doubts 
of it being able to sustain them all. The shore was distant 
about four miles, with a strong wind blowing, and a very heavy 
sea. Captain Lumsden volunteered to try to reach the shore, 
with the view of lightening the boat and sending assistance to 
the sailors, neither of whom could swim. Lieutenant Gordon 
followed him with the same object^ but he was numbed with cold. 


and his streuglli soon failing he was obliged to return to the 

According to tlie testimony of one of the crew, Gordon's 
strength was so far gone that he was barely able to clutch at 
this man's legs as they hung in the water. His strength soon 
failed altogether, he lost his hold and sank. 

Captain Lumsden, by a most marvellous feat of strength and 
pluck, succeeded in reaching the shore, and the officer and men 
belonging to the Imperatriz were picked up during the night by 
boats which chanced to pass. Lieutenant Gordon's body could 
not be found, although every exertion v,as made to recover it. 

Captain Shaw Stewart, in his report, remarks : " Lieutenant 
Gordon's services, though short (about four years in India), had 
been most brilliant and distinguished, and a very promising 
career lay before him. Our corps has lost in him a much- 
beloved brother officer, the Madras army a distinguished orna- 
meut, and the State a most zealous and able servant. He 
served at Mohumera in the Persian war, and was present 
throughout the whole of the Central India campaign under Sir 
Hugh Rose, having been mentioned with approval by that 
distinguished soldier." 

The Madras Sappers remained encamped near Talieu-Whan 
Bay till 21th July. During this time they were employed on 
various duties connected with the safety and well-being of the 

On 24th July they re-embarked on the Statesman, and, after 
lying at anchor for some days in the Gulf of Petcheli, they dis- 
embarked, without opposition, on the 7th August, at Pehtang, 
a large village situated on a river of the same name, ten miles 
north of the Peiho. 

On the 1st August the 2ud Brigade of 1st Division, supported 
by the French, had landed, experienced great difficulty in getting 
through the mud, and passed the night on the mud-flats. 
The 2nd Division remained on board the ships. 



The forts looked formidable, but no active opposition wns 
offered to the disembarkation ; the chief difficulty \\as the mud. 

In the morning the forts and town were taken possession of. 
The Chinese, before withdrawing, had buried large shells with 
trains with spring locks, so as to cause an explosion should the 
latter be accidentally pressed by the foot. Warning was, how- 
ever, received in time to prevent damage. 

On 3rd August the troops had a skirmish with the Tartars, in 
which Major Greathed, R.E., was wounded. 

By the 7th August all the troops had landed. The quarters 
allotted to the Sappers were found full of putrid matter, the 
Chinese having killed their animals prior to abandoning the 
town, and distributed parts of them over the different houses, 
doubtless with a view to cause a pestilence among the invaders. 
After making the houses habitable, the Sappers were employed 
in making a road through the marshes (which surrounded 
Pehtang, and which had been rendered very difficult by late 
rain), so as to facilitate the transit of the guns and heavy baggage 
to the main embanked road, which led to the entienchmeuts in 
front and to the Taku forts. 

On the 9th Captain Wolselev reconnoitred to the right, by 
which the enemy's lefi might be turned. He ascertained that the 
country in that direction was practicable for all arms. 

The allied force left Pehtang on 12th August, and marched in 
the direction of Sin-ho, a large village on the Peiho, about 
eight miles from its mouth, the Tartars being known to occupy 
a strongly-entrenched position on the line of march. 

The 2nd Division, to which the Madras Sappers were attached, 
went in advance, by the route to the right, to take the entrenched 
camp in flank. The 1st Division, and the French force, moved 
along the causeway. On approaching the entrenchment, a large 
force of Tartar cavalry came out and hovered about our flank to 
charge, but without effecting it. Upon one occasion the brigade 
to which the Sappers were attached was halted, and formed into 


squares to receive them ; but our fire kept them most effectually 
at a distance. 

A small detachment of K Company Sappers, under Lieutenant 
Trail, had been sent in advance with Mihvard's battery of 
Armstrong guns, to improve the road, which was extremely 
heavy. The work was excessively severe, and several Sappers 
were obliged to fall behind from sheer fatigue. Two men who 
had fallen out of the line of march \vere taken prisoners by the 
Tartar cavalry, which had been hovering on our flank nud rear; 
one of these men was returned on l7th August, but of the other 
no certain news was received. 

Notwithstanding the work of the Sappers, the marsh was so 
bad that the horses stuck, the guns sank up to their axles, and 
it was found absolutely necessary to leave behind many of the 
waggons. After many hours of hard work (the start had been 
made at 2.30 a.m ), struggling against these difficulties, the guns 
■were dragged through about two miles of marsh, and eventually 
landed on hard ground about 10 am., when the troops were 
halted, the enemy heing known to be close in advance. After a 
short lest, the advance was ordered, and the Tartars were soon 
observed in sight. In spite of some gallant attempts at charges 
on their part, they had to retire and leave the Allies in possession 
of the entrenchment at Sinho ; and the army bivouacked there for 
the night. 

Next day the force moved to the east of Sinho, within two 
miles of the fortified town of Tang-koo. An Engineer Brigade 
was then formed under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Maun, 
commanding R, E. 

The brigade consisted of 10th and 23rd companies R. E., half 
of the 8th Company, with A and K Companies of Madras 

On the night of the 13th a working-party, consisting of 
details of R. E. and Madras Sappers and a strong body from the 
line, were sent in the direction of Tang-koo, for the purpose of 


throwing up cover for the riflemen. Lieutenant Trail, on this 
occasion, was in command of the Sappers. After reconnoitring 
the fort closely, the party was set to work, and hy daybreak a 
good line of cover had been thrown up about 400 yards from 
the fort. 

About 6 A.M. the 1st Division advanced to the attack, the 
English on the right close to the Peiho, while the French 
attacked the gateway. 

A strong body of Artillery and Engineers accompanied the 
force. Among the latter were parties of Madras Sappers, with 
scaling-ladders and powder-bags. Lieutenant Filgate being in 
charge of the former, and Lieutenant Swanston of the latter. 
The Artillery opened fire at a distance of 1,500 yards, and, 
gradually approaching the fort, silenced the Tartar fire after a 
sharp cannonade of three hours. 

The pontoons and scaling-ladders were then called for ; but 
before they reached the ditch a few riflemen had crept round the 
work close to the river, and found that the Tartars had fled and 
were crossing to the south side as fast as they could. Twenty- 
four guns were taken in this fort. 

The capture of Tang-koo left us in a very strong position in 
rear of the Peiho forts. 

The following days were occupied in reconnoitring, and on 
the I7th the Commander-in-Chief (Sir Hope Grant) determined 
that the fort to the north of the Peiho should be first attacked. 

Its shape was nearly square, each side measuring loO to 200 
yards. In the centre was an immense tower of solid earth, on 
which were mounted three very large brass guns. The whole of 
the fort was strongly defended by smaller batteries. 

The enemy had lost no time in strengthening the land 
defences ; all their heavy guns had been turned round, the 
parapet had been raised and strengthened with enormous piles, 
and fresh embrasures and loop-holes had been cut. 

But it was in what may be called its " passive " defences 



that the fort especially excelled. Throughout a circuit of about 
a mile the country was iutersected by numerous canals and deep 
ditches, running in every directiun. The fort itself was sur- 
rounded by three wet ditches — the outer one broad and shallow, 
and the two inner ones varying in breadth from twenty to twenty- 
five feet, and four to eight feet in depth ; the intervening spaces, 
as well as the berm, were protected by very strong abattis, and 
by masses of sharp -pointed stones and bamboo spikes firmly 
rooted in the ground. 

All were agreed that few places of the kind have ever been 
more perfectly supplied with obstacles of this nature. Nothing 
seemed to have been neglected. Troiis de hup, crows' feet, and 
strong iron spikes were scatterred in abundance to impede our 
progress, while the garrison was defended against night sur- 
prises by alarm bells, which anyone attempting to cross the 
abattis must inevitably sound. 

The 18th and 1 9th August were taken up in preparing small 
bridges to carry the artillery over the canals and ditches. 

At 5.30 P.M. on the 19th, a party started to place these 
bridges in position. The Sappers who were employed in this work 
were under the orders of Lieutenants Dakeyne and Filgate. 

They returned at 8 a.m. on the 20th, having efiected their 
purpose, besides making two dams to shut off the supply of 
water from the canals. 

On the afternoon of the same day. Lieutenants Hime, K.E., 
and Trail, M.E., were directed to trace five batteries in positions 
which had been fixed after the reconnoissance and personal 
inspection of Sir Robert Napier (second in command), B.E. 

This duty was carried out without much opposition from the 

When night closed in, all the available men of the ^Madras 
Sappers were marched out to complete the necessary works 
before daylight, by which time it was intended that the gnus 
should be in position and ready to open fire. 


This intention was successfully carried out, and the Tartars 
did not notice that the English were in position till 4.30 a.m. 
on the '^Ist, when they opened fire. 

Lieutenants Swanston, Dukeyne, and Foord, each had charge 
of the construction of one battery. 

The elevation of the enemy's guns was, fortunately for us, too 
great, and, as by their arrangements this could not readily be 
altered, their fire did comparatively little harm. 

Our guns at once returned the fire of the enemy, and a very 
heavy cannonade was kept up for about four hours, when the 
Taku fort was somewhat silenced. 

The 44th and 07th Regiments were pushed forward as skir 
mishers, followed by the Sappers, &c. with pontoons and 

There was some delay in crossing the ditch, owing to the size 
and weight of the pontoons, and during this slight halt our 
troops suffered severely from the heavy cross-fire. 

Tlie Sappers accompanying the storming party were divided 
into four sub-divisions : the pontoon party under Lieutenant 
Pritehard, R.E.; the ladder party under Lieutenant Hime, R.E. ; 
the detachment for removing obstacles under Lieutenant Trail, 
M.E.; and the powder-bags with Lieutenant Clements, R.E. 

Once over the ditch, the scaling party were not long in eifect- 
ing a lodgment in the work, despite the fierce attempts of the 
Tartars to repulse them. 

Lieutenant Trail was with the ladder party, and was among 
the first of those who entered the fort. 

Lieutenant Filgate, with a party of Sappers, was highly 
praised for the rapidity with which, under a heavy fire, he made 
a causeway for heavy artillery across a canal close to the fort. 

The escalade was greatly facilitated by the Chinese coolies 
from the south ; who, rushing into the ditch, and throwing 
ladders across their shoulders, iormed a temporary bridge, over 
which the assailants passed. 



* yh7har J)'^ 


Many of the coolies were wounded, but, instead of retiring to 
the rear, they took up their position behind the first mound, 
which oflfered the slightest shelter, and thence viewed the attack 
going on in front. 

In the afternoon we moved against a second fort. We were 
allowed to take possession of it without opposition, and one after 
another the remaining forts capitulated. 

This was a very fortunate circumstance, as almost immediately 
after heavy rain came on, which so saturated the mud, that 
moving the gnus would have been a task of a very serious nature 
in the face of the enemy. 

During the 22nd and 23rd, all the forts on the south side of 
the river were evacuated and surrendered to the Allies. 

It was now thought the campaign was finished. 

The 1st Division moved up to Tien-tsin on the 30th, and 
the 2nd followed on 1st September. 

On the advance of the expedition 'towards Tien-tsin, part 
of the K Company of Madras Sappers was left at the forts under 
the command of Lieutenant M. E. Foord, orders being at the 
same lime given to Lieutenant Trail to make tlie necessary 
arrangements for the demolition of the forts on the south side of 
the river, while the French undertook the destruction of those 
on the north. Instructions were likewise issued to complete a 
survey of the forts before they were demolished. 

In accordance with these directions, the Wasp and Artillery 
forts were completely destroyed, and the mining of the South 
fort proceeded with until stopped by the conclusion of peace at 

The forts were very formidable, and their mode of construction 
curious. Piles about twelve inches square having been first 
driven in at short intervals, straw ropes about two inches in 
diameter were twisted in and out. These were covered with stiff 
clay, rammed hard at each foot of height. The outline was 
irregular, being in some forts nearly a circle, in others egg- 


shaped — irregularly elongated. The centres of the small forts 
were occupied by a cavalier commanding the whole fort, as well 
as the ground outside. In the main fort on the south side there 
were three such cavaliers, dividing the space nearly into four 
equal parts. 

Owing to the unexpected interruption of the negotiations at 
Tien-tsin, a large part of the force then at that place was 
ordered to march in the direction of Pekin. 

On 10th September, Captain Shaw Stewart received orders to 
take the A Company of Sappers to Tien-tsin, with the view of 
proceeding further north. 

The army marched by Pookow, Yang-tsin, and Hose-woo, 
which last place it reached on the 13th. 

On the I4th, a mission, consisting of Messrs. Parkes, Locli, 
&c., started for Tung- chow. 

The army moved forward on the 18th. 

Although carrying a flag of truce, Messrs. Parkes, Loch, and 
their whole party were taken prisoners, and most shamefully 
treated. Many of them were cruelly tortured to death. 

On the 18th was fought the battle of Ghang-kia-wan, when 
the enemy were signally defeated and driven back with great loss 
on Tung-chow. 

Tung-chow was occupied, and the army remained there till 
the 21st. 

Captain Shaw Stewart was directed to proceed alone from 
Tien-tsin to join the army as soon as possible, leaving the 
A Company to follow. He joined our force at Chaug-kia-whan 
on the evening of 20th September, in time to be present at the 
battle of Pa-li-chow. 

From this place General Montauban, the French Commander- 
in-Chief, derived his title as Count Palikao. 

The French attacked the bridge of Pa-li-chow on the right, 
while the English assaulted the enemy on the left. 

It was at this bridge that Brabazon and the Abb6 de Luc 


were beheaded by the order of the Tartar Commander-in-Chief, 

The enemy were driven from one intrenched position after 
another with great loss, and we pursued them till within about 
five miles of the south-east angle of Pekin. 

Their large force being principally cavalry, their loss was not 
so great as it otherwise would have been. Indeed, the action on 
our part was chiefly fought with artillery and our small body of 
cavalry, Barry's battery of Armstrong guns and the King's 
Dragoon Guards particularly distinguishing themselves. 

The strength of the enemy was estimated at 70,000 men. Of 
their wounded nothing was known, but their killed considerably 
exceeded 1,000 men. 

The euemy retreated to Pekin, east and north-east of the 

It was now necessary to establish a base at Tung-chow. 

By the beginning of October, complete arrangements having 
been made at Tung-chow, and the siege-train having arrived 
from Tien-tbin (escorted by the A Company of Madras Sappers, 
with Captain Dakeyne, Swanston, and Lieutenant Filgate), the 
army was ready to advance, and on 3rd October the Allies 
moved round the north-east angle of Pekin to gain an open 

All this time negotiations were in progress for the surrender 
of the prisoners treacherously taken on 18th September. 

The negotiations having failed, on 0th October our array took 
up their quarters in the large suburb north of the city ; the 
French on the same day taking possession of Yuen-ming-yuen, 
the Emperor's magnificent summer-palace with its stores of 
treasure and unrivalled collection of rare and valuable works 
of art. 

The Emperor and the principal Mandarins having fled to 
Gehok, notice was sent to the highest Mandarin remaining in 
the citv, on the 9th October, requiring the surrender of all the 


prisoners' and the cession of the An-ting gate on 13th, failing 
which, Sir Hope Grant threatened to commence breaching the 

On the ]2th, Messrs. Parkes and Loch, with a French officer 
and a Sikh dufifadar, were released ; a few more Sikhs and French 
were subsequently sent in, and the Mandarins then stated that 
no more of the prisoners remained alive. 

They afterwards sent in the bodies of all who had been 
murdered, with the exception of two, Captain Brabazon and 
the Abbe de Luc, who had, as stated before, been beheaded 
at the bridge of Pa-li-chow, having met the Tartar army on its 
retreat on 2 1st September. 

From the 9th to 12th October the Engineer Brigade was 
busily employed in constructing breaching batteries near the 
north-east angle of the city. 

On the morning of the thirteenth everything was ready, and, 
the gate not having been delivered up, the artillery had orders 
to open fire at noon, when at the last moment — 11.45 a.m. — 
the An-ting gate was surrendered and taken possession of by 
H.M.'s 97th and 8th Punjab Regiments, with Desborough's 

The bodies of the murdered prisoners were buried on the 17th 
with great solemnity. 

On the same day Lord Elgin wrote to Prince Kung that 
when Sir Hope Grant wrote, demanding possession of the An- 
ting gate and naming the terms on which he was willing to 
spare Pekin, he was ignorant of the barbarous treatment of the 
prisoners treacherously taken on the 18th, and that more than 
half of them had been murdered, in spite of the pledges which 
His Highness had given of their safety in many of his despatches. 
Under these circumstances he would be quite justified in setting 
aside the conditions named in the General's letter ; but from 
an anxiety for the safety of the people. Lord Elgin said he was 
ready to make peace. 


His terms were that 300,000 taels should be handed over by 
22Dd October, to be distributed among those who had suffered * 
and the families of those who had been murdered. 

He notified, also, that it was intended at once to utterly 
destroy all that remained of Yuen-ming-yuen, within the pre- 
cincts of which several of the British captives had been subjected 
to the grossest indignities. 

Before the 20th Prince Kung was to inform Lord Elgin that 
he was willing to sign the convention. 

On the 18th October the 1st Division, under Sir John 
Michel, marched to Yuen-ming-yuen, and set fire to all the 

On the 19th the fires were still burning, and the wind carried 
the smoke over our camp right into the city. By the evening the 
summer palaces had ceased to exist. 

On the 20th Lord P^lgin received Prince Kung's absolute 

On the 2ith the convention was signed by Lord Elgin and 
Prince Kung (brother to the Emperor). Sir Hope Grant was 
present at the proceedings, while Sir Robert Napier had charge 
of the military arrangements connected with them. 

The French convention was signed next day. 

Both treaties were afterwards sent to Gehok, where they 
received the Emperor's signature. 

The position selected for our breaching batteries is a point 
of interest worth record. It was about GOO yards to the east of 
the An-ting gate. The guns v/ere to be placed within the high 
wall which surrounded the Te-tsu or Temple of the Earth. 

Four 8-inch guns were to make a breach between the second 
and third square flanking towers east of the gate. Two Arm- 

* Prisoners returned safe — Messrs. Parkes and Loch, Monsieur L'Escayi-ac 
de Lauture, 11 Sikh soldiers, 5 French soldiers. Total, 19. 

Prisoners murdered — Lieutenant Anderson, Mr. De Nermann, Phipps, K.D.G., 
Mr. Bowlby {Times Correspondent), Captain Brabazon, R.A., Abbe de Luc, 
4 French ofiBcers and soldiers, 10 Sikhs. Total, 20. 

u. 28 


strong 12-pounders were to play upon the breach, whilst two 
others fired down the road leading to the gate, two more to be 
in reserve. A battery of 9-pounders to counter-batter. Our 
mortars to play on the breach. 

Our guns were placed on wooden platforms laid down behind 
the massive brick walls of the temple. 

The French had no regular breaching guns, but they hoped 
to make their heaviest field battery serve instead. Their battery 
was to our left, and only 60 yards from the walls. Ours was 
200 yards. 

Shelter was dug in advance for our infantry, so that the 
Chinese gunners and the breach might be well plied with rifle- 

Nothing now remained for the army to do in the north, and 
the march to the south shortly commenced. 

The Madras Sappers left Pekin on 7th November, with the 
2nd Division under Sir Eobert Napier. They reached Tien-tsin 
on the 12th. There the Sappers were embarked on board gun- 
boats and taken to the mouth of the Peiho. They there found 
their transport, the Statestnafi, Captain Marshall, ready. They 
weighed anchor on l7th November, and sailed for Hong Kong. 

*' The weather in the latter part of the campaign was ex- 
tremely cold and trying to the troops, especially the natives 
of India. The sudden transition from heat to cold was very 
remarkable. On 6th October, the day we marched into the north 
suburb, the heat was almost unbearable. Within less than a week 
the north wind had set in, and the keen biting cold became intense. 
On the march south from Pekin the thermometer at night was 
often below 20° Fahrenheit, and on the day after we weighed 
anchor the thermometer at noon was at 35°, hail and snow 
having fallen several times." 

The Governor in Council at Madras, in noticing Captain Shaw 
Stewart's reports to the Commandant of Engineers, observed 
" that the reports are most creditable to the detachment of the 

1860-65.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 435 

Madras Sappers recently employed in Cliina, where tliey appear 
to have well sustained the ancient reputation of their Corps." 

Sir Hope Grant, in a letter to the Viceroy, dated 21st Novem- 
ber 18Gt), thus writes : — 

" The two companies of Madras Artillery under Captain 
Hicks, and the two companies of Madras Sappers under Captain 
Shaw^ Stewart, rendered good and useful service in the opera- 
tions which preceded and led to the fall of the Taku forts. 
The latter Corps was most energetic in working without reliefs 
at the construction of the batteries, and have always shown 
themselves to be cheerful and willing workmen." 

Captain Shaw Stewart was recommended to favourable notice 
for his exertions in trench duties, and promoted to a Brevet 
Majority from loth February 18G1. 

The Bhotan Field Force had, early in 18G5, been divided 
into two independent commands — the right brigade under 
Brigadier Tombs, the left under Brigadier Frazer Tytler. 

Tytler commenced operations on the 15th March,, recaptured 
Balla, and moved towards Buxa on the 23rd. 

Tombs was at Gowhatty on 7th March; thence he marched 
forty-one miles to Koomrekatta, and made arrangements for the 
capture of Dewangiri. 

The passes were reconnoitred, and on 1st April an advance 
was made by the Durungah Pass. Dewangiri was captured, 
after which the troops were withdrawn and the place abandoned. 

The two brigades were then consolidated, and placed under 
the command of Brigadier-General Tytler, with head-quarters 
at Gowhatty. 

Further operations were contemplated later in the year, and 
Captain iEneas Perkins, B.E.,* was appointed Chief Engineer 
of the force, and towards the end of September moved to 

* Now Colonel Perking C.B.. A.D.C. to the Queen. 

28 * 


Lieutenant W. T. Whish, E.(M.)E., joined the force at this 

It was intended to drive forward a road along the chain of 
mountains that contain the Tchin-chu river on the west. The 
Engineers worked up from Buxa, about 1,800 feet above sea- 
level, over the ridge in front (5,500 feet), by the track, which, 
on the summit, was called the Tchin-chu-la, and continued their 
line to a place called Tapee, and thence to Murichom, in all 
about twenty miles. 

The object was to continue the liue first to Chuka (two 
marches ahead of Murichom), where a dip would have been 
made to the river, which it was proposed to cross by a native 
canti-lever bridge of 100 feet span; secondly, along the left 
bank of the river so gained, direct upon Panakha (the capital), 
about fifty or sixty miles from Chuka. 

The work was a most laborious one, carried on, as it was, 
during the winter season. 

The labours of the Engineers, however, proved of little 
account ; for what was a most promising expedition, and one 
greatly needed to remove the stain left on our arms by the sad 
discomfiture the previous year at Dewangiri, was brought to an 
untimely and miserable termination by a peace patched up by 
our political officers. 

The Engineers retired to Buxa, and in February 1866, when 
Captain Perkins left the force. Lieutenant Whish took charge of 
all stores, &c., and remained in charge of the Buxa garrison work. 

In 1867 an expedition was despatched from Port Blair to the 
Little Andamans, with the view of ascertaining the fate of the 
captain and European crew (seven in number) of the Assam 
Valletj, supposed to have fallen into the hands of the inhabitants 
of the island. 

It consisted of 1 lieutenant (Much), 1 sergeant, I corporal, 
and 8 men of 2nd-S4th ; Naval Brigade, 1 petty officer and 


6 seameu ; Madras Sappers, 1 jemadar, 1 havildar, and 6 men. 
Assistant-Surgeon Douglas in medical charge ; Lieutenant Glas- 
furd, 9tb B.N. I., volunteer. 

They embarked on board ss. Arracan on 6th May, to e£fect a 
landing on Little Andamans Island and endeavour to obtain 
intelligence regarding the crew who, it was supposed, had been 

At 4.15 p M. they arrived at East Bay, and anchored for 
the night. At daybreak next day the steamer proceeded to the 
south coast of the island, and dropped anchor about a mile and 
a half from where the crew were supposed to have been captured. 

At 8.30 A.M. Lieutenant Much left the steamer in the second 
cutter with the petty officer and six Naval Brigade men, 
Jemadar Mootien, and four Sappers. They made for the rock 
where the massacre was reported to have occurred. 

The second gig followed, containing Mr. J. H. Homfray 
(Assistant to Superintendent in charge of Andaman Home), a 
havildar, and two Sappers, with some Andamanese. 

The first cutter, containing one sergeant, one corporal, and 
eight men of 24th, followed next to act as coverers to the other 
parties when on shore. 

About 150 yards west of the rock the surf appeared to admit 
of a landing. Mr. Dunn, the oflScer in charge of the boats, 
accordingly ran the boat in stern on, and, on a hint from that 
officer, they all jumped out, wading to shore in four feet and a 
half to five feet of water, rifles in hand, the ammunition being 
slung round their necks. Part of the ammunition was thus 
unavoidably wetted. 

The party having landed, the second cutter moved off outside 
the surf. 

The havildar and two Sappers in the second gig were unable to 
land, as Mr. Homfray did not bring his boat in close enough 
to give them a chance. 

The first thing done on landing was to dry the ammunition. 


After this, the party under Lieutenant Much moved along the 
shore in an easterly direction towards the rock, where they found 
the skull of an European; and a little further on an ankle-boot 
such as is worn by sailors. Beyond this, still nearer to the 
rock, the knees and planking of a boat that was painted white 
inside and lead-colour outside. Here, also, closer into the 
jungle, the ground had evidently been cleared for cooking. 
Proceeding on J 00 yards past the rock, they noticed a party 
of aborigines, who showed themselves from time to time, as they 
strove apparently to have a peep from behind the bushes 
skirting the jungle, and who discharged their arrows at the party 
as it approached. 

Lieutenant Much noticed that many were retiring with the 
probable intention of surrounding his men, so he threw back 
the left flank of his little party and advanced. 

On arriving at the point, Lieutenant Much, finding his ammu- 
nition was running short, his own in part damaged and remainder 
expended, signalled to the second cutter to come in shore and 
take them off. 

By this time the surf had greatly increased, and was running 
fifteen to twenty feet high. Mr. Dunn backed the cutter in, but 
in so doing it was upset, all hands being washed out of her. 
Some gained terra Jirma without assistance, others w'cre dragged 
from the surf, Mr. Dunn among them, much exhausted, but 
Lieutenant Glasfurd, 9th B. N. I., was drowned. This occurred 
at about 11 a.m. 

Seeing the fate of this boat, Lieutenant Much marched the 
party on towards East bay, in the hope of meeting with a 
suitable spot for disembarkation. 

The first cutter, containing the men of the 24th, coasted along 
as the party on shore advanced, and kept up a fire on the 
natives who were not visible to those on shore. 

Three hundred yards further on, the bodies of four men were 
observed, the heads of whicli (mere skulls in appearance) pro- 


trudecl from the ground, the bodies being partially covered with 
sand ; but to these bodies Lieutenant Much could not give more 
than a cursory glance, his whole attention being occupied by 
the critical position in which they were placed from the want of 
ammunition, the apparent small chance of boats ever reaching 
them, and the knowledge that in their state, with the enemy 
attacking them in any number, their case was hopeless. 

Between 1 and 2 p.m., finding that the boat containing the 
24th men, as also the other boats, were not following, but, on 
the contrary, were signalling them to return, they retraced their 
steps nearly to the place where they landed in the morning. 

Here it was that the first cutter sent a raft ashore. By this 
thirty rounds of ammunition were sent, which was a great boon, 
as the party on shore had at this time only two rounds left 
in all. 

Lieutenant Much, Mr. Dunn, one Naval Brigade man, and 
one lascar, got on to the raft. The raft remained for fully five 
minutes exposed to the violence of the surf, from which it was 
very slowly hauled out. They proceeded, holding on the best 
way they could, for 300 yards from the beach, when a wave 
larger than usual swept Mr. Dunn and Lieutenant Much off: 
They at once struck out again for the shore, which they all but 
reached utterly exhausted, but were luckily dragged out by those 
standing there. 

A fresh attempt was made to send the raft ashore, but with- 
out success. 

About an hour later in the day. Dr. Douglas, 2nd-2]:th, 
and four privates (David Bell, James Cooper, William 
Griffiths, and Thomas Murphy), gallantly manning the second 
gig with its sekunnie (helmsman), made their way through the 
surf almost to the shore ; but finding their boat was half filled 
with water, they retired. 

Those on shore seeing their approach, attempted to meet them 
part way, but failed to do so, losing in their endeavours the 


greater part of their arms and spoiling what little ammunition they 
had left. 

A second attempt made by Dr. Douglas proved successful, five 
of the shore party being safely passed through the surf to the 
boats outside. 

A third and last trip got the whole of the party safe to the 
boats, when all proceeded on board the steamer, reaching it at 
half-past 5, much exhausted, and almost destitute of clothing, 
having had to strip to gain the boats. 

With the exception of Lieutenant Glasfurd, there were no 

On the 8th morning the steamer left, reaching Port Blair the 
same afternoon. 

Lieutenant Much wrote ; — 

" I cannot speak too highly of the manner in which all 
behaved. To commence with Dr. Douglas, who, at the risk of 
his life, gallantly made three trips through the surf with his 
soldier crew. He stood on the bows of the boat and worked her 
in an intrepid and seamanlike manner; cool to a degree, as if 
what he was then doing was an ordinary act of every-day life. 
His four gallant volunteers were equally cool and collected. I 
have likewise great pleasure in reporting the excellent manner 
and bearing of the Naval Brigade men under Petty OfiScer 
Wilson; also of the Sappers and Miners under Jemadar Mootien, 
both of whom, under most trying circumstances, behaved with 
every degree of pluck, rendering Mr. Dunn and myself, when 
perfectly helpless in the surl', the greatest assistance, and helped 
us out to the boat when Dr. Douglas came to rescue us." 

The Sappers on shore were — 

Jemadar Mootien. 
Private Annacolum, 
„ Ramasawmy, 
,, Lazar, 
„ Mausee. 



Those in the second gig were — 
Havildar lyanen. 
Private Poonasawmy. 
„ Permaul. 

The Governor of Madras brought Dr. Douglas' " disin- 
terested and intrepid conduct to the special consideration of 
Her Majesty's Government through the Government of India," 
and the Governor-General "received with the highest satisfaction 
the report of the excellent conduct of all engaged, and par- 
ticularly the gallant behaviour of Assistant Surgeon Douglas 
and the four men of the 2nd -24th." 

*' The conduct of Dr. Douglas and these men, as well as 
that of Lieutenant Much of the same regiment, who behaved so 
creditably, will be brought to the notice of Her Majesty's 

Jemadar Mootien, Madras Sappers and Miners, was admitted 
by the Governor- General in Council to the Order of Merit, for 
the excellent services rendered by him on this occasion. 

Petty Officer Wilson of the Naval Brigade, and Toke, 
sekunnie, were also suitably rewarded for the part taken by 
them in this hazardous service ; a silver watch with an inscrip- 
tion being given to the former, and a donation of two months 
pay to the latter. 



Expedition to Abyssinia, 1868. — Zulla selected as landing-place. — Pier com- 
menced. — Sir Robert Napier arrives. — Pass between Knmayli and Senafe. — 
Napier leaves Zulla. — Construction of railway. — Difficulties at Zulla. — 
Napier at Senafe. — Reaches Adigerat. — Antalo occupied byPhayre. — Trans- 
port Corps. — Meeting between Napier and Prince Kassai. — Force begins 
march to Antalo. — Distribution of Sappers and Pioneers. — Troops for final 
advance at Antalo. — Napier at Ashangi. — At Lat. — Passage of the Takkazzi 
secured. — Force reaches Dalanta Plain. — Napier demands surrender of 
prisoners. — British force moves to the Beshilo. — Action of Arogi. — Abys- 
sinian loss very severe ; oiirs trifling. — Theodore orders release of prisoners. 
— Assault of Magdala. — Theodore shoots himself. — British force leaves 
Magdala. — Napier's address to his army. — Works in Suru Pass damaged by 
a storm. — Napier reaches Senafe. — Stomi of 19th Ma}'. — Napier passes Suru 
defile and reaches Zulla. — Embarks for England. — Report of Commanding 
Engineer. — Trophy obtained by Madras Sappers. — Kohat. — Ooblow disaster, 
1868.— Attack on Gara, 1869.— Dour Valley Expedition, 1872.— Duffla 
Expedition, 1873. — Campaign in 3Ialay Peninsula, 1875-76. — Stockade at 
Campong Baia captured. — Kinta taken. — AllPerak in our hands. — Excellent 
work of Madras Sappers. 

It was on 13th August 1867, that the English Government 
telegraphed to Bombay that Sir Robert Napier was to bo Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the expedition to Abyssinia, which had been 
resolved on for the purpose ot rescuing Mr. Rassam, Consul 
Cameron, and other prisoners, from Theodore, who had stub- 
bornly refused to set them free. 

Preparations were at once commenced, and on September 16 
a reconnoitring party sailed from Bombay, to ascertain the best 
point for landing. 

1867.] madeas engineers. 443 

The party consisted of Lieutenant-Colonel Merewether, C.B., 
as President, and Lieutenant-Colonel Phayre, Q.M.G., Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel St -C. Wilkins, Royal Bo.E., with the senior 
naval and medical officers, members of a committee to decide the 

They were accompanied by nine other officers and an escort 
of one company Marine Battalion, eight Sappers, and forty of 
the 3rd Bombay Cavalry. Captain Goodfellow and Lieutenant 
Jopp, of the Bombay Engineers, were with them. 

Zulla, in Annesley Bay, was selected as the best landing-place 
for the army. 

This having been arranged, the advanced party examini^d the 
passes through the mountains to the table-land, and finally 
Kumayli Pass was chosen. 

Meantime, the advanced brigade arrived in Annesley Bay, on 
2 1st October, and landed on 30th. 

Nos. 8 and 4 Company of Bombay Sappers accompanied this 

Early in November Colonel Merewether thoroughly surveyed 
the Kumayli Pass, and as soon as he returned to Zulla, 
despatched working parties to improve the road. 

Directly the road was sufficiently good, Colonel Merewether 
resolved to push forward the advanced brigade to the high lands, 
and on 5th December Senafc was occupied. 

At this time the Sind Brigade from Kurrachee reached Zulla, 
and at the same time Sir Charles Staveley arrived. 

By order of Sir Robert Napier, he dissolved the committee of 
which Colonel Merewether was president, and assumed command 
of the forces. 

For about a month Staveley remained in command, and during 
this time more troops arrived from England and from Bombay, 
including two companies of the Madras Sappers. 

A pier 900 feet long, was commenced at Zulla. This was 
very necessary, as the bay had a very shelving shore. 


Great diflSculty was experieuced in carrying out tins work, as 
stone had to be brought ten miles, from a place called Dissee, 
and there was no timber to be got. 

Arrangements were made for the supply of water by con- 
densers, and a second pier was commenced for the Commissariat 
Department. Large wooden sheds were also erected. 

On 2nd January 1868, Sir Robert Napier, with General 
Malcolm and staflp, arrived at Annesley Bay. He disembarked 
on the 5th, but did not land in state till the 7th. 

Up to the beginning of January Captain Goodfellow, Bo.E., 
was in charge of the works at Zulla, but early in that month 
he was ordered to the pass between Kumayli and Senafe, and 
Captain Chrystie, M.E., succeeded him at Zulla. 

Kumayli is fourteen miles from Zulla. The road here entered 
the mountains, but for three miles further was nearly level, 
when the ascent began, the track following the dry bed of the 

As the ascent was continued, the mountains grew closer and 
closer together, rising more precipitously and to a greater height, 
till at Lower Suru, ten miles from Kumayli, there w'as only a 
fissure a few yards wide. 

This narrow defile was over two miles long to the station of 
Upper Suru. 

At this place a detachment of Beloochees and Sappers were 
stationed to make the road, and after six weeks of hard labour 
they formed a road safe for field artillery and wheeled traffic. 

It was certain, however, that this road would be swept away 
by the first rains, and it was therefore necessary to store Senafe 
as far as possible with supplies. 

For thirteen miles beyond Suru, the road, ascending, twined 
along the water-course till it reached Undul Wells. This brought 
us to Guinea-fowl plain, where fine vegetation commenced. 

From this plain the road again ascended for eighteen miles 
to Rahajuddy, 6,000 feet above Zulla and 4,000 above Suru. 


Eight miles further of ascent, and the table-land of Senafe was 
reached — 7,000 feet above the sea. 

A good road was now made as far as Kumayli, and the rail- 
way pushed forward. 

Between Kumayli and Suru the road was widened and 
cleared for the passage of carts, and the Senafe Ghaut was made 
practicable by a fine display of engineering talent. 

The Sappers and Pioneers attached to the force consisted of — 
10th Company E. E., under Major Pritchard. 
H, G, and K Companies Madras Sappers, under Major 

Prendergast, V.C, R.M.E. 
2nd, 3rd, and 4th Companies Bombay Sappers, under 

Captain Macdonnell, R.E. 
23rd Punjab Pioneers, under Major Chamberlain ; 
and the Beloochees. 

The K Company M. Sappers, after a short stay at Zulla, 
were employed on the Senaf6 Pass, but all this time the other 
two companies were retained on the coast. The H Company, 
indeed, w^as employed during the whole campaign on the 
works at Zulla. 

In the defile, working on the road (seventy miles), between 
Zulla and the high lands, were the Beloochees, 10th Company 
R. E., Bombay Sappers, detachment Punjab Pioneers, and K 
Company Madras Sappers. 

By the end of January the railway was half-way to Kumayli, 
and the telegraph reached to Suru. 

Mules were purchased in Egypt, and camels from the coast 
of Arabia, and these were disembarked by means of barges, 
tugs, and native boats; but the second pier for the commis- 
sariat proceeded slowly, owing to a want of skilled labour. 

Early in January mules arrived from Lahore and Rawul 
Pindi, and with their aid the Commander-in-Chief was enabled to 
occupy Goona-Goona, twelve miles beyond Senafe, on January 


Preparations were now made for a general advance. The trans- 
port and baggage of every oflScer and man was reduced to the 
smallest possible dimensions, and, by the 25th, Sir Robert Napier 
thought he was justified in commencing an advance on Antalo, 
and the troops which were to complete the force were ordered 
to be sent on in troop-ships as rapidly as possible. 

On the 25th Napier left Zulla for the front, and a brigade 
under Brigadier Collings was ordered to march on Antalo. 

Sir Charles Staveley remained at Zulla till he should be 
relieved by General Russell from Aden. 

The construction of the railway was placed in charge of 
Captain Darrah, R.E., and under his orders were Lieutenant 
Willans, R.E., Lieutenant Pennefather, R.E. (Madras), and 
Lieutenant Graham, 108th. 

Lieutenant Willans had made a rough survey of the line by 
the time the 2nd Brigade arrived, and was told off to that work 
for the first half of the campaign, when he was sent to the 

Captain Darrah, Lieutenants Willans and Pennefather, went 
on with it, Graham being left at Zulla to land stores, &c. 

Darrah surveyed the line; Willans made all the bridges, and 
had charge of the work-sheds ; while Pennefather had general 
superintendence of the line and kept the accounts. 

When the line had sufficiently advanced to allow of trains 
being run, Lieutenant Baird, R.E., was appointed traffic manager. 

As soon as the last bridge was completed, Willans was sent 
to the front. 

An Army Works Corps of 1,000, partially organised in 
Bombay by Captain Ducat, R.E., was employed on the works 
at Zulla. 

An amusing incident occurred the first day the men were 
paid, showing how little they knew of the terms of the agree- 
ment they had signed. The first gang was engaged a week 
before the second, and, of course, had an extra week's pay due 


to them. By some mistake the first gang received the pay of 
the second (a week too little for them), and went away quite 
happy, until they had compared notes with the second gang, who 
had received a week's pay in excess of their dues. The men of 
the second gang stoutly refused to give up their extra money, 
and those of the first gang as rigidly refused to do any more 
work till the pay was made all right. At Lieutenant Penne- 
father's suggestion, the first gang were paid for another fortnight, 
so as to put them a week ahead of the second gang, and the 
following month a week's pay all round was cut from them. 
They were perfectly contended, though they could not possibly 
have understood the arrangement, the more so, as there was 
nobody who could converse with them. 

The difficulties to be met at Zulla were very great. No 
material of any kind was procurable from the resources of the 
country, even ihe coral for the stone pier being brought in Arab 
dhows from Dissee^Tsland, or the mainland, some eight miles 

The time of one Assistant Engineer was almost entirely taken 
up in going from ship to ship in the bay endeavouring to pur- 
chase tools (especially augurs), marine glue, cordage, spare 
spars, and wood of any kind. Nearly 350 feet of one of the 
wooden piers sent from Bombay was unavoidably cut up to 
supply miscellaneous requirements of wood. 

The work, also, at Zulla was excessively trying. 

Under a burning sun, and in a tropical climate, with an appor- 
tioned allowance of water, and with perpetual clouds of dust, 
lodging in every pore, pliysical labour was exceedingly severe ; 
but the piers, roads, and railway had to be made, and made they 

Sir Eobert Napier arrived at Senafe on 29tli January. This 
post formed the secondary base of operations, and was the great 
store-house for supplies and provisions. The camp was situated 
on the plateau, two miles in front of the issue from Kumayli 


defile, on some elevated rocky ground. On its east side rose 
some high sandstone cliffs, scarped and water-worn. On the 
west the spurs of Mount ISowayra protected the left flank. 

In front was a large plain, over which stretched the road to 
Antalo. Beyond the sandstone cliffs a steep ascent of some 
1,000 feet led into the valley of the Marab, over which, to the 
south, could be seen the mountain of Adowa, a magnificent view. 

It was at first supposed that the country beyond Senafe would 
furnish abundant supplies ; and when this hope was found to be 
delusive, it was thought that Adigerat would be the " promised 
land." Nothing, however, but fire-wood and meat could be got 
there. Antalo was then said to be the point where every diffi- 
culty of supply would vanish. 

At that place grass was certainly procured. Barley, also, 
was purchased, but not nearly in sufficient quantities. Meat was 
obtained, and the wood wherewith to cook it, but vegetables, 
tea, sugar, and spirits had all to be carried, so that the security 
of the food of the army depended upon good and uninterrupted 

The Commander-in-Chief left Senafe on 3rd February, and 
marched to Goona-Goona; on the 5th he reached Adigerat. 

From Senafe to Goona-Goona the road ran for eight miles 
over the plain in front of the camp ; it then turned to the west 
into a valley with steep and lofty sides of sandstone. Here, for 
the first time, growing crops were met with. 

About ten miles beyond this Focada is reached, whence to 
Adigerat is some twelve miles. 

Six miles from Focada the track rose with a long and gentle 
slope to the top of a hill, down which it fell abruptly into the 
valley of Adigerat. This was an important strategical point, as 
here the roads from Adowa and Antalo unite. 

Major Grant, who had been sent by Napier as envoy to Kassai, 
Prince of Tigre, returned on 7th February from Adowa, and 
joined the Commander-in-Chief at Adigerat. 


The Pioneer force, consisting of 200 cavalry, two companies 
of infantry, and two of Pioneers, occupied Dolo, seventy miles 
south of Adigerat, within two marches of Antalo, on lOth 

Antalo was occupied by Colonel Phayre five days later, with 
150 cavalry. 

On 11th February a column under Brigadier CoUings was 
pushed forward to support the Pioneer force. It consisted of 
a wing of 33rd, Penn's battery, and 100 Siud Horse. 

At this time Captain Chrystie was ordered from Zulla to 
Senafe, to relieve Captain Goodfellow (who had been ordered to 
the front), and he accordingly handed over charge of the Zulla 
works to Captain H. W. Wood, R.M.E. " Captain Wood com- 
pleted the pile pier, and built a new head to the stone pier, 
greatly improving it. Caj)tain Wood's work was distinguished 
by its solidity and permanent character. That the piers were 
not damaged by the late gales is attributable to this officer's 
good work at the head of the piers. Captain Wood was, un- 
fortunately, afterwards taken ill, and had to go on board the 
hospital-ship, Lieutenant H. H. Lee, R.Bo.E,, assuming charge." 

The Commanding Engineer testified to the excellent work 
done by this officer also. 

Captain Chrystie remained at Senafe till the 24th February, 
improving the ghaut by extending the zig-zags, &c. He also 
constructed three miles of bullock-road over a saddle of the 
Sedra mountain, towards Tekonda, as an alternative route for 
the retirement of the force via the Huddas Valley. 

In the end of February Captain Chrystie was moved up to 
take charge of the entrenched camp at Adigerat. 

Napier halted at Adigerat till the 18th February. 

At this time there was great deficiency of transport, and it 
was proposed to put the troops on half rations, but the Com- 
mander-in-Chief declined to entertain the proposal. Troops at 
this time consumed 170 mule-loads of provisions daily. 

ij. 29 


The Trausport Corps soon became more efficient. It was 
formed into two divisions, one for higlilands and the other for 
lowlands, and as far as Adigerat. The former followed the army. 
This division consisted of four sections of 2,000 mules each, 
subdivided into troops of about 150. 

x\ll this time a party of Engineer officers were occupied in 
making an accurate triangular survey of the country. Every 
exertion was at this time made to reduce baggage, but the 
climate interfered. The thermometer frequently stood at freez- 
ing point, and often lower. Warm clothing and blankets were 
hence absolutely necessary. 

While at Adigerat the Commander-in-Chief was joined by 4th 
King's Own, Beloochees, 10th Company E.E., and Murray's 
Armstrong battery. Two elephants were brought up to show to 
Kassai, Prince of Tigre. Tbe Abyssinians considered this a very 
wonderful sight, as tliey had never previously supposed that 
these enormous animals could be tamed. The Armstrong guns 
proved, also, of great interest and curiosity to the people. 

At this time the latest news of the captives was dated 17th 
January. Theodore was reported to be one day's journey from 
Alagdala, but not expected to arrive before the end of February, 
unless he abandoned his baggage and guns. The prisoners were 
in the fortress. 

Napier left Adigerat* on the 18th February, the Beloochees 
and one company of Sappers having been previously pushed 
forward to repair the road. 

The force with the Commander-in-Chief consisted of a wing 
of -Ith K. 0., wing of 10th N. I., four Armstrong guns, 3rd 
Bombay Cavalry, and detachment R. E. The garrison left at 
Adigerat was composed of wing of 25th Bo. N. I., under Colonel 
Little, two Armstrong guns, and two companies Sappers. 

These were all the troops in front of Senafe. 

* Before leaving Adigerat the baggage of the force was greatly reduced : each 
officer "J lbs., and each man 25 lbs., inchidiug bedding. 


On Februiiry 24 th the force was ordered to advance from 
Adabagi (two marches in front of Adigerat), when news of the 
approacli of Kassai was received. A meeting was arranged to 
take place on the banks of the Diab, half-way between Adabagi 
and Hauzzain. 

On the 25th Napier and Kassai met. A review of our troops 
took place, followed next morning by a visit to Kassai's camp. 
The friendship of Kassai was of the greatest consequence to us. 
He was chief of a country in which the route of our army lay 
for 150 miles, and his refusal to assist us would have involved a 
campaign in Tigre before we could proceed. 

After a farewell visit from Kassai our force, on 2Gth February, 
began its march to Antalo. 

On the 28th the banks of the Dolo were reached. A halt was 
here found necessary to rest the wearied troops; but on 2nd 
March Napier reached the neighbourhood of Antalo, half-way 
between Zulla and Magdala. 

At the end of February the entrenched camp at Adigerat was 
incomplete, and Captain Chrystie, on reaching that place, pro- 
posed certain modifications at its western extremity which tended 
to hasten its completion, as well as improve tlie trace, besides 
omitting from the interior space some ground which was com- 
pletely commanded at 200 yards both from the west and the 

These works were carried out to completion by the w'orking- 
parties furnished by the wing of the 25th Bo. N. I. Large 
huts were constructed, also, to give shelter to commissariat 

The Pioneer force, consisting of 280 cavalry and 500 infantry 
(two companies 33rd, two companies Beloochees, one company 
Punjab Pioneers, and 3rd and 1th companies Bombay Sappers), 
had been sent forward. By direction of Colonel Phayre. they 
commenced to clear a road leading to Antalo, by way of Mai 
Musgi Musno and the defile of Gurnbdek-dek ; but after tliey 

29 * 



had been employed for five days on this, a better route was 
discovered from Mai Musgi by Meshik. 

The distribution of the Sappers and Pioneers at this time 
was as follows : — 

Pioneer force : 3rd and 4th Companies Bombay Sappers, and 
two companies 23rd Punjab Pioneers. 

1st Brigade, 1st Division : 10th Company E. E., and two 
companies Beloochees. 

2nd Brigade, 1st Division : K Company Madras Sappers, 
seven companies Punjab Pioneers, and wing of Beloochees. 

Adigerat: 2nd Company Bombay Sappers. 

Kumayli : G Company Madras Sappers. 

ZuUa : H Company Madras Sappers, five companies 21st 
Punjab Pioneers. 

The troops intended to compose the 1st Division, who were 
not already at Antalo, were now ordered up to the front. 

The 8rd Dragoon Guards and 12th Bengal Cavalry were in- 
structed to proceed forward by double marches. 

By the middle of March all the troops which were to advance 
on Magdala were round or in front of Antalo. 

On 12th March the Coramander-in-Chief left Antalo, moving 
by route which leads by Amba Mayro and Alagi Pass (9,500 
feet) to the Antalo valley. 

Three days after he joined the Pioneer force, and directed its 
operations in person. 

On the 17th Sir Charles Staveley moved with the 1st Brigade 
from Antalo to Belago, five miles short of Makhan, which place 
he reached next day. The march fiom Antalo toMukhan (fifteen 
miles) was very severe, the Belago Pass being 9,700 feet above 
the sea. 

On March I8th Napier moved to Ashangi, while Staveley was 
ordered to halt at Haya. 

The route from Makhan to Ashangi lay round the edge of a 
mountain range covered with juniper-trees, which formed a thick 


jungle. After crossing a deep valley, a summit of 9,4 00 feet 
was gained, whence the first view of the Lake of Ashangi was 
obtained. The lake was small, four miles by three, surrounded 
by fine hills, which enclosed a fertile valley with crops of 
standing coru, with numerous villages on the hill-sides. The 
nninhabited border of the lake consisted of swampy ground. 

An advance was now made on Lat. 

On 20th March Napier marched to Mesagita. It was here 
reported that the pass beyond, over Womberat hills to Lat, was 
very difficult, and two companies of Bombay Sappers and two of 
Pioneers were marched f(,irward to improve it, and a wing of the 
33rd was sent to assist. 

Two days after, a battery of R. A. and four companies Beloo- 
chees, under Staveley, marched in one day from Ashaugi, and 
joined Napier at Lat. 

At Lat new arrangements were made for the distribution of 
troops and Pioneer force, while the Island 2nd Brigades were 
ordered to proceed without baggage, and it was from this place 
that the rapid advance on Magdala was commenced. 

On the 28rd Napier advanced to Marawa (eleven miles), 
and next day to Dildi. The road was very mountainous, bad, and 
narrow. The first part was passed without great difficulty, but 
afterwards it was rugged, devious, and broken, and Dildi was 
only reached late in the evening. A halt of one day was made 
at Dildi, when a move was effected to Wondaj. During this 
march the force was exposed to a terrific thunderstorm. The 
distance was only seven miles, but there was a continuous rise 
of 3,000 feet to the head of the Wondaj Pass. From this point, 
10,500 feet above the sea, a grand view of the valley of the 
Takkazzi was obtained. 

On the 27th the advance was continued to Moga. 

At this time Theodore was reported to have crossed the 
Beshilo, and to be advancing to defend the passage of the 


Napier cletei mined to secure the passage of the river, and ou 
the 28th moved to the banks of the Takkazzi. 

Working parties of the 4th King's Own, Beloocheos, and 
Punjabees were pushed forward at once, under Captain Good- 
fellow and Lieutenant LeMesuriei', to form a practicable path up 
the precipitous south bank, which rose 4,000 feet above the 
river. After no great length of time a Sapper on the summit 
signalled "road prepared," and the force began to climb the ascent. 

Before night tlie ascent was complete, the passage of the 
'J'akkazzi secure, and orders were sent to Staveley to push ou 
and concentrate on the advanced force. 

The 1st and 2nd Brigades were massed at Santara, on the 
edq-e of the table-land of Wadela, II. -500 feet above the sea. 
The range of the thermometer was here very great ; for although 
in the day-time it was as high as 7-5°, it fell at night as low as 
19° or 20^^. 

Between the Takkazzi and the Beshilo, besides the Wadela 
plateau, lay Dalauta and Damt south of the Beshilo ; and in 
the fork formed between that river and the Kulkulla lay the 
mass of mountains of which Magdala is the key. 

On 31st March the 1st Brigade went to Gaso, next day to 
Abdakom, and on 2nd April to Yesendie, followed closely by 
the 2nd Brigade, and two days after the force crossed the 
ravine of the Jidda to Dalanta plateau. 

At Bethor the army struck the road made by 'J'hcodore on 
his march from Debra Tabor to Magdala. 

For some days the force was delayed on the Dalanta plateau,* 
owing to want of supplies; but on 9th April it was enabled 
to move forward five miles across the plain to the top of the 
descent into the Beshilo, where it encamped within sight of 
Fahla Selassie, Islamgi, and Magdala, around which Theodore's 
army could be clearly distinguished. 

* The weather wns very stormy at this time, rain ciud thimdcr bcin^' of 
jiitrhtlv occurrence- 


On 5th April, Napier made a formal demaiul for tlie siirreuder 
of the prisoners. 

While on the Dalanta plateau, scaling-ladders and sand-bags 
were got ready. Arrangements were also made to cut off Theo- 
dore's retreat. Dejatch Mashesha was requested to occupy 
Amba Kuhait, and the Queen of the Gallas was asked to close 
the avenues to the south. 

On the farther side of the Beshilo lay a rugged mass of broken 
ground, in the centre of which the Amba of Magdala rose to 
an almost equal height with the plateau of Dalanta. The 
rugged country, studded with a bushy vegetation, was bounded 
in the distance by the table-land of Tanta and of Ambala 
Suda. From tlie former the mountain mass of Magdala was 
separated by the ravine of the Menchouan, from the latter by 
the Kulkulla torrent. Both of these rivers were tributaries 
of tlie Beshilu. 

The mountains of Magdala form a crescent, of which Magdala 
is the eastern horn, Fahla the western ; midway between the 
two, in the centre, lies the plateau of Selassie. Magdala and 
Selassie are connected by the saddle of Islamgi, and Selassie 
with Fahla by the saddle of Fahla. 

The highest of these plateaux is Magdala, 9,000 feet above 
the sea and 3,000 above the ravines surrounding it. Its sides 
are scarped and very steep, but at two points they fall on the 
terraces of Islamgi and Sangallat. It is at these two points 
fdone that an entrance can be made to the Amba, by the Koket- 
bir and Kaffir-bir gates. 

From the foot of the Fahla saddle the Worehi Waha- valley 
runs down to the Beshilo, and between the upper part of the 
stream which forms the valley and one of its tributaries lies 
the plain of Arogi. At the foot of the ascent to Fahla, and west 
of the same tributary, at a higher elevation than the plain of 
Arogi, lies the plateau of Afficho, which dips down towards the 
Beshilo in the Gumbaya spur. 


On 25th March Theodore had reached Islam gij where he 
pitched his camp and awaited the attack of the British. 

On 10th April he assemhled his army, ordered a road to 
be prepared for the passage of his guns from Magdala to 
Fahla, and here he posted fotir large gtins and four smaller 

On the same day the British final advance commenced, and 
the whole of the army was moved down to the Beshilo, twelve 
miles from Magdala. Napier determined to occupy the spur 
leading towards Fahla, called Gumbaya and Afficho ; he could 
thence operate on either side of Fahla. 

As the only supply of water between the Beshilo and Magdala 
was under the enemy's fire, all the water-carriers were organised 
for the purpose of carrying forward regular supplies of water 
from the river. 

The 3rd Bombay Cavalry, 3rd Seinde Horse, and 12tli Bom- 
bay Cavalry were posted to hold the Beshilo, and the remainder 
of the 1st Brigade moved across the river, the 2nd Brigade 
being directed to remain in the bed of the Beshilo as a 

The infantry of the 1st Brigade was intended to occupy the 
Gumbaya spur, and cover a reconnoissance of Colonel Phayrc 
in the direction of Fahla. 

The 1st Brigade consisted of ],Hl!J men, and included — 

20 J 0th Company, R.E. 
675 23rd Punjab Pioneers. 
259 27th Beloochees. 

70 Madras Sappers. 
283 Bombay Sappers. 

The troops toiled painfully np the rugged slopes of the 
Gumbaya spur, suffering severely from the great heat and want 
of water. 

Four companies of Sappers were to make a path up the 



Gumbaya spur for guns, &c.* Colonel Phayre, however, took 
the Sappers as his escort, and the road remained unmade. 

Colonel Phayre, some time after, sent word that, having 
secured the head of the pass, the Sappers would be left to hold 
it, and that the guns and baggage might take the route by the 
King's road. 

Napier accordingly ordered the guns, rockets, and baggage to 
move up by the King's road. He then proceeded himself to the 
front, and passing the infantry brigade, arrived on the Afficho 
plateau, when he found, to his astonishment, that at the point 
where the King's road emerged from the Werki Waha ravine, 
1,200 yards from him and 700 feet below, there were no troops. 

He at once ordered Staveley to send Chamberlain's Pioneers 
to the left, and hurried up the 1st Brigade, This was effected 
only just in time, for the leading mules of Penn's battery were 
seen to be emerging from the pass. A few moments later a 
round shot from Fahla whirred over the heads of the Staff, and 
at once the steep path and mountain sides of Fahla were covered 
by masses of warriors, rushing down to secure the wealthy 

They were led by Theodore's favourite General, while he 
himself remained on Fahla. The assailants were fully 5,000 in 
number, and among them were 500 mounted chiefs. 

The Naval Brigade now hurried up and opened with their 
rockets on the advancing masses, who nevertheless advanced 
with great confidence against the head of the column on the 
plateau, while another party bore down to attack the artillery 
and the baggage. 

The 4th King's Own, a wing of Beloochees, the detachment 
of Royal Engineers, and the Bombay Sappers rapidly descended 
the path which led down from the Afficho plateau. As they 
rose on the brow of the plateau of the Arogi plain they opened 

* This, being on the reverse >;ide of the Gvimbnya spur, would be sceitrc froiu 
the jfuns of Fahht, 


fire. Their fire told with fearful effect, and the onemv were 
driven back slowly but stubbornly. They were finally driven off 
the plain of Arogi, down the slopes, into the ravines at the head 
of the Werki Waha defile. 

Another party of the enemy tried to pass round the sides of 
the Afficho plateau to turn Staveley's right, but were checked 
by rockets and the exertions of the K Company Madras Sappers 
under Major H. N. D. Prendergast, V.C., supported by Loch 
with the Bombay Cavalry. 

As soon as these were repulsed, the fire of the rockets 
was directed on Fahla, and one nearly killed Theodore, who was 
engaged in person with his artillery. 

Meantime a sharp action had been fought at the point where 
the King's road issued from Werki Waha valley. A large 
body of Abyssiuians bore down on the position occupied by 
Milward's guns and Chamberlain's Pioneers. Chamberlain 
advanced, and a close contest ensued between spears and 
bayonets. The Abyssinians made a gallant resistance, but were 
forced off into the ravines on Chamberlain's left front. 

The baggage master, Lieutenant Sweeny, 4th King's Own, 
massed the baggage, and the baggage guard was brought 
forward and checked the attempt of the enemy to penetrate into 
the defile. Arrested by the baggage guard, closed in upon by 
Chamberlain's Pioneers and two companies of 4th King's Own 
which Staveley wheeled up against their flank, the enemy suffered 
very severely. 

It was 4 P.M. when the engagement commenced, and 7 before 
the enemy were completely driven off. 

There was heavy rain during the greater part of the action. 

The troops bivouacked for the night on the ground which 
covered the issue of the Werki Waha valley. 

During the night the '2nd Brigade marched up the valley 
from the Beshilo and occupied this position. 

The Abvssinian loss was TOO killed and 1,200 wounded, 


includiug many cliiefs of uote ; iimong them was the Coin- 
mancler-in- Chief himself. 

Our loss was trifling — only 20 wounded, of whom 2 died. 

This great disparity of loss was due to the persistent attacks 
of the Abyssinians against a better disciplined and better-armed 
force, as well as to the eool courage everywhere evinced by our 

Theodore, after some hesitation, now sent duwn Lieutenant 
Prideaux, Bombay Army, with Mr. Flad and a chief (Theodore's 
son-in-law) Dejatch Alami, to the British lines, with a verbal 
message desiring reconciliation. 

Napier, in reply, demanded all the Europeans in his hands, 
and further guaranteed honourable treatment to Tlieodore. 
J'rideaux and Flad returned with this letter. 

Theodore, having considered it, wrote a paper (he did not 
condescend to write a letter), with which he returned Napier's 
letter. Tliis paper closed with the words, "A warrior who 
has dandled strong men in his arms like infants will never 
suffer himself to be dandled in the arms of others." 

Prideaux and Flad had again to return with Napier's 
original letter, and an intimation that he could grant no other 

Theodore, it appears, after he had sent his insulting missive, 
spent some time in meditation and prayer, and finally, after 
taking counsel with his chiefb — some of wliom recommended the 
murder of the ])risoners and resistance to the last — he ordered 
the prisoners to be released. Immediately after giving this order 
he attempted to shoot himself with a pistol, but was prevented 
by a chief, the bullet just gi'azing his ear. 

After this he had an interview with ]\Ir. Eassam. The result 
was that Mr. Rassam and the remainder of the British captives, 
and several others, were sent down the hill, while Mr. Meyer was 
despatched in advance to announce their approach. He met 
Lieutenant Prideaux and ^fr. Flad returnins:. Thcv turned 



buck and nceompauied Mr. Meyer, and one hour after sunset 
Mr. Rassam and all the captives arrived free men. 

Early next morning Napier received an apologetic letter from 
Theodore, releasing all. He also sent a present of cows and 
sheep as a peace oflfering, but these were not allowed to come 
within our picquets, as it would have meant that there was peace, 
whereas Napier intended to insist on unconditional surrender. 

The Germans who had escorted Mr. Rassam's party down the 
evening before, returned to the mountain. They took up with 
them the remains of the Abyssinian leader, Fituarari Gabri, and 
the body was at once burned in Magdala. On finding he could 
not obtain peace without his personal surrender, Theodore went 
into the Amba and spent a restless night. 

Besides Mr. Rassam, Consul Cameron, Mr. Flad, Lieutenant 
Prideaux, and Dr. Blane of the Bombay Army, there were 55 
other prisoners — 22 men, 10 women, and 23 children. 

Napier had promised to abstain from hostilities for twenty- 
four hours, and he waited twice the time he had agreed to ; but 
on Monday, when he found that the conditions he demanded 
had not been complied with, he prepared to attack Theodore's 

Our troops were paraded on the plain. They consisted of — 

750 men of 33rd. 

-150 men of 4th. 

•100 men of 45th. 



Detachment of Royal Engineers. 

Six companies of Sappers and Miners. 

Detachment of 1 0th N. I. 

Murray's Armstrong Battery. 

Two mountain batteries. 

Naval Rocket Brigade. 

Two 8-inch mortars. 


The cavalry had previously been sent to close the issues from 
i\Iagclala which were not already held by the Gallas. 

Napier determined to attack Islamgi by the King's road. 
The Armstrong guns and mortars were placed in position, with 
Selassie in front and Fahla on the right, so that they could fire 
in long range in support of our advance. 

At this time large bodies of the King's troops on Fahla had 
surrendered, and it was rumoured that Theodore contemplated 
flight from Magdala by the gate on the further side of Magdala. 
Napier at once sent word offering a reward of 50,000 dollars for 
his capture. 

Theodore, if he ever really intended to fly, reconsidered the 
matter when he found the outlet from Magdala watched by the 
Gallas, and resolved to defend the place. 

The Beshilo was held by cavalry, to prevent escape by the 
Menchana ravine. 

At 7, some cavalry (50 sabres) was sent up the Fahla saddle 
to communicate with those of Theodore's troops which had 

Staveley was now ordered to advance on Islamgi and occupy 
Fahla and Selassie. The three hills — Fahla, Selassie, and 
Magdala — were surrounded at the top by steep and precipitous 
scarps. Fahla and Magdala were joined to Selassie by saddles, 
and were nearly at right angles to the central hill. A good but 
very steep road led up the north side of Fahla over the saddle of 
Fahla, then along the south side of Selassie and by the next 
saddle of Islamgi into Magdala. A pathway branched off" the 
road at the Fahla saddle to the left, ran along the foot of the 
Selassie scarp for some distance, and then turned up a zigzag 
to the top, near the entrance to Magdala. Another path led 
direct up to Selassie from the Fahla saddle. 

Both Fahla and Magdala had flat tops, but Selassie sloped 
upwards from the scarp, and its summit commanded the other 

462 :\riLiTARY history of the [i.%8. 

The artillery having been placed to cover the head of the 
ascent, the advance was ordered at half-past 8. 

The division moved up the road with the 2nd Brigade in 
advance, headed by a ladder party of Sappers (detachment of 
10th Company R. E. and K Company Madras Sappers). 
There were — 

694 men of 33rd. 
425 „ 45th. 
271 „ 10th N, I. 

About mid-dny the head of the column reached the Fahla 
saddle, when two companies of the 33rd were pushed on to the 
summit of Selassie, supported by artillery ; but the road was so 
bad, that only three mountain guns could be passed up. 

When Selassie was crossed, the King's troops were ordered 
to lay down their arms and retire to the plain below. 

The first part of the order was quickly obeyed, but it took 
many hours for the large mass of people to pass down. 

The numbers were estimated at 25,000 to 30,000, one-third 
being armed men. 

The positions of Fahla and Selassie were immensely strong, 
and if defended would have caused us very severe loss. 

When they were secured, the Armstrong guns and 8-inch 
mortars were brought up. 

About noon, Theodore, with 100 followers, left the Amba and 
went towards the market-place of Islamgi, where his guns were 

At this time, a detachment of the Bombay Light Cavalry had 
emerged on the Islamgi Saddle, and Sir Charles Staveley 
pushed down a company of 33rd, with orders to keep Theodore's 
guns under fire. 

Theodore observed these detachments, mounted his horse, 
and careered about in a defiant manner; while Colonel Loch 
made arrangements for preventing the escape of any by paths 
leading down from the Islamgi saddle, 


For some time Theodore's attendants continued to drag tlieir 
guns towards Magdala, but, one of the party being shot, they 
left them, retired within the Amba, and shut the gate. 

A dreadful stench was now observed by our troops ; this 
came from the dead bodies at the foot of tlie precipice on the 
right. Theodore had massacred a large body of prisoners on 
the 9th, and thrown them over the precipice. Many were alive 
Avhen thrown over. The British soldiers were greatly incensed 
by the sight of this wholesale slaughter. 

Napier, meantime, reconnoitred Magdala. At 1 p.m. he 
ordered a sharp cannonade to be directed on the gate, and 
Sir C. Staveley then made dispositions for the assault of 
the fortress by the 2ud Brigade, supported by the 1st, 
which had advanced by the lower road after Selassie had been 

The 33rd, ten companies strong, was to advance across 
Islamgi, two in skirmishing order, two in support, and the re- 
maining six, headed by a detacliment R. E. and the K Company 
Madras Sappers, under Cnptain Elliot, with ladders, crowbars, 
&c., were to form the storming-party. Two companies of 
Bombay Sappers, under Captain Leslie and Lieutenant Leacock, 
were to follow in rear of the 33i'd. 

On nearing tlie foot of the steep ascent to tlie gate, the 
skirmishers were to halt, and, with the supports to keep up a 
heavy fire on the gateway. The 45th Regiment was to advance 
in line in rear of the 83rd. The 1st Brigade, with the excep- 
tion of Punjab Pioneers, and two companies lOtli X. I., left to 
guard the camp at Arogi, was to move in column as a reserve, 
two companies of lOth N. I. having been delachcd to Selassie 
to guard captured arms, &c. 

The Armstrong guns and 8-inch mortars were to advance 
along the main road south of Selassie, as far as possible, to 
cover the advance, while the mountain guns and naval rocket- 
batteries at foot of Selassie were to keep up a fire on the ^ate. 



At 3 P.M. the batteries opened fire, and at 4 the advance to storm 
was ordered. 

The 33rd soon surmounted the precipitous cliff which lay 
between it and the outer gate. On arrival at the gateway our 
progress was arrested, for the gate was closed, and the Sappers 
had not at hand the powder-bags. 

The Sappers at once set to work with the crowbars, and the 
gate was soon broken down, when it was found that the gateway 
was completely blocked up with large stones to a height of 
twelve feet (afterwards found to be fifteen feet in thickness). 

While the Sappers were engaged with the gate, the garrison 
maintained a constant fire on them, and nine men and ofiBcers 
at this time received wounds or contusions. Meantime, Lieu- 
tenant Le Mesurier, Bo.E., found a point where the wall was 
low enough to be surmounted by means of a scaling-ladder, and, 
with some men of the 33rd, he first entered the fortress of Mag- 
dala, and, taking the defenders in flank, drove them up a narrow 
path leading to another gateway, seventy yards higher up. 
Through this the leading men of the 33rd rushed, and, being 
followed by the whole regiment, the summit was quickly occu- 
pied, and the standard of England was planted on Magdala. 
Theodore's followers now threw down their arms, and asked for 

This fortress of Magdala, so easily captured, was one of the 
strongest which could be found in the world. 

At the outer gateway several of Theodore's chiefs were found 
dead. Among them Ras Engedda, who had proposed the mas- 
sacre of the European prisoners. It appears that when Ras 
Engedda fell, Theodore divested himself of his gold-brocaded 
mantle and hurried farther up the fortress. As soon as the outer 
gateway was carried Theodore shot himself with a pistol, and 
fell dead. 

All Theodore's guns, thirty-seven in number, were captured, 
and the whole (with the exception of one 56-pounder, which 


~ "J — 

>- Wounded. 

Received contusioDs. 


had burst on the 10th April), were found serviceable, and well 
supplied with ammunition. 

The British casualties were trifling : — 

Major Pritchard, R.E. 

Corporal Hobson, 

Sapper Dennis, 

5 men 33rd, 

1 Madras Sapper, 

1 of Light Cavalry, 

Captain Elliott, Madras Sappers,\ 

Cornet Dalrymple, attached to 

Madras Sappers, 
Corpl. Fielding, Madras Sappers, 
Sergeant Dean, R.E. 
Lieutenant Morgan, R.E. 

At the action of Arogi Captain Roberts and three men of 4th 
King's Own, and thirteen men of 23rd Punjabees were wounded. 

At the time of the capture of Magdala nearly all the posts 
were being pressed by the Abyssinians. Senafe, Adigerat, Goona- 
Goona, Agula, Belago, Makhan, Ashangi, and Dildi garrisons 
had frequently at this time to repel casual attacks made on 
them. Had Napier's force been unsuccessful, and com- 
pelled to retire to the coast, the attacks would certainly have 
increased in frequency and importance, and would have proved 
most embarrassing to the withdrawal of the force. 

Magdala was first offered to Wagshum Gobaze, but he refused 
to take possession ; it was then given to Masleeat, Queen of the 

The captured guns were all burst, the defences of the gates 
mined and destroyed, and fire applied to the palace and other 

On 18th April the British force left Magdala and crossed the 
Beshilo, and next day preparations were made for the return of 
the force to Zulla. 

II. 30 


On 20th April Lieutenant-General Sir Eobert Napier, G.C.S.I., 
G.C.B., issued an address to his army, dated Camp, Dalsulo : — 

" Soldiers of the Army of Abyssinia, — 

" The Queen and the people of England intrusted to you a 
very arduous and difficult expedition — to release our country- 
men from a long and painful captivity and to vindicate the 
honour of our country, which had been outraged by Theodore, 
King of Abyssinia. 

" I congratulate you with all my heart on the noble way in 
which you have fulfilled the commands of our Sovereign. You 
have traversed, often under a tropical sun, or amidst storms of 
rain and sleet, 400 miles of mountainous and difficult country. 
You have crossed many steep and precipitous ranges of moun- 
tains, more than 10,000 feet in altitude, where your supplies 
could not keep pace with you. 

" When you arrived within reach of your enemy, though with 
scanty food, and some of you for many hours without either food 
or water, in four days you passed the fornndable chasm of the 
Beshilo and defeated the army of Theodore, which poured down 
upon you from their lofty fortress in the full confidence of 

" A host of many thousands have laid down their arms at 
your feet. 

" You have captured and destroyed upwards of thirty pieces 
of artillery, many of great weight and efficiency, with ample 
stores of ammunition. You have stormed the almost inacessible 
fortress of Magdala, defended by Theodore, with the desperate 
remnant of his chiefs and followers. 

" After you forced the entrance, Theodore, who never showed 
mercy, distrusted the offer of mercy held out to him, and died 
by his own hand. 

" You have released not only the British captives, but those of 
other friendly nations. 


" You have unloosed the chains of more than ninety of the 
principal chiefs of Abyssinia. • 

" Magdala, on which so many victims have been slaughtered, 
has been committed to the flames, and remains only a scorched 

" Our complete and rapid success is due, first, to the mercy of 
God, whose hand, I feel assured, has been over us in a just cause; 
secondly, to the high spirit with which you have been inspired. 

" Indian soldiers have forgotten the prejudices of race and 
creed to keep pace with their European comrades. 

" Never has an army entered into a war with more honour- 
able feelings than yours. This has carried you through many 
fatigues and difficulties; you have been only eager for the 
moment when you could close with your enemy. 

" The remembrance of your privations will pass away quickly, 
but your gallant exploit will live in history. 

" The Queen and the people of England will appreciate your 

" On my part, as your commander, I thank you for your de- 
votion to your duty and the good discipline you have maintained. 
Not a single complaint has been made against a soldier of fields 
injured or villages wilfully molested in property or person. 

" We must not forget what is due to our comrades who have 
been labouring for us in the sultry climate of Zoulla and the 
pass of Koomaylee, or in the monotony of the posts which have 
maintained our communications. Each and all would have 
given all they possessed to be with us ; they deserve our 

" I shall watch over your safety to the moment of your re- 
embarkation, and to the end of my life remember with pride 
that I have commanded you. 

" B. Napier, 
" Lieutenant-General, Commander-in-Chief. 

"Camp, Dalsulo, April 20th, 1868." 

30 * 


On 24th April Napier was at Abdakom, and received an 
aiHience of a large party of Abyssinians of note, who had been 
liberated by our operations. The principal chiefs liberated were 
thirty-four in number. Seven of them had been more than ten 
years in captivity, while four had been detained by Theodore for 
fourteen or fifteen years ; the remainder had suffered imprison- 
ment for terms varying from one to seven years. 

On the 26th our returning force reached the Takkazze valley. 
It was at this time that the works in the Suru pass were 
damaged by a severe storm. Captain Chrystie, R.M.E., was 
ordered over from Adigerat to take charge of the works. He 
reached Upper Suru on 2nd May, and relieved and took under 
his orders Lieutenant Mainwaring, R.E At this time the force 
under Napier had reached Lat. 

Captain Chrystie found that the pass had been closed to traffic 
for about a week, but that although the road for wheeled trans- 
port had been everywhere washed away, the only very serious 
obstacles were at the Devil's Staircase, a mile below Upper 
Suru, where about fifty yards of ramp had been destroyed, and 
at the defile of Lower Suru, where the ravine had resumed its 
original state as found by our Pioneer force. 

The only men available for the work was a wing of 10th N. I. 
returning to Zulla, and detained by the breaking up of the 
road. In two days the road was again made passable for mules 
and camels, and the regiment resumed its march to the coast. 
On Captain Chrystie representing the state of afi'airs, the follow- 
ing working-parties were despatched to his assistance : — 

2 companies Bombay Sappers, 

2 „ 16th P. N. I. 

150 Bengal Cavalry Corps. 
00 Masons. 
200 Lahore Muleteers. 

Lieutenant Mainwaring had charge of the lower part of the 
work, while Captain Chrystie himself directed tbat in the upper 


portion. The road was repaired in a most substantial manner 
at tlie gaps in the Devil's Staircase and at other difficult points, 
the work being cyclopean throughout, stones of large size being 
rolled down from the hill-side and dragged into position with 
three companies at once on the drag-ropes. Hardly had the 
work been well completed, when, on the afternoon of the 1 9th 
May, a terrific thunderstorm broke over the pass and the hills to 
the north of it. Before detailing the damage done and the 
steps taken to make it good, it will be as well to mention the 
movements of the Commander-in-Chief. 

On the 10th May he was at Meshib, at which place Theodore's 
queen was reported to be ill. 

The march had been very trying, owing to the constant storms 
of rain. The tribes, also, were very troublesome, and constantly 
made attacks on us. In some of these both Abyssinians and 
Gallas were killed. 

This shows what difficulties would have been experienced had 
the force been returning unsuccessful. 

At Haik Hellat the queen died ; her son Alawayo afterwards 
accompanied Napier to England. 

On May 24th Napier reached Senafe, and a review was held 
by him in honour of Her Majesty's birthday. Prince Kassai 
was present on this occasion. 

Three days after, Prince Kassai reviewed his troops, and next 
day Senafe was evacuated by our force, and by the close of the 
month the Commander-in-Chief was ready to pass down the 
Suru defile. 

It will thus be apparent that the storm of the lt)th May was 
a very serious matter, and had occurred at a most critical time, 
calling for the most strenuous exertions to repair the damage 

The storm had been quite local, no damage being apparent 
two miles above Suru, and it only lasted half an hour, but 
during that brief space not only were the water-courses foaming 


torrents, but the sides of the hills themselves were sheets of white 
water, whilst the reverberations of the thunder hardly rose above 
the roar of the torrent and the din of the falling rocks and 
stones. In the main pass itself the flood rose with extreme 
rapidity and irresistible violence. Seven men of the working- 
parties were carried away before they could reach the hill-side, 
only a few yards distant ; whilst at the lower part of the defile 
two officers riding down to Kumayli, overtaken by the water, 
had such a narrow escape that the horse of one was swept from 
under him just as he reached the rising ground, the rider being 
saved by his companion seizing him. 

Some idea of the force of the water may be formed from the 
above and the two following incidents : — 

At the Devil's Staircase a cart was deposited on the summit 
of a rock 22^ feet above the bed of the torrent ; and a little 
above where the hills close in at Lower Suru, a rock 6 by 4^ by 
4 was forced on to a shelf of rock in mid-valley about ten feet 
from the ground. 

Next morning Captain Chrystie inspected the pass, as far as 
possible. All work was found to have been effaced. The local 
character of the storm and the sudden cessation of the flood had 
not permitted time for the holes scooped out, whilst it was at 
its height, being refilled by deposit, as would have been the case 
had it subsided gradually. The consequence was that the narrow 
parts of tlie defile were a succession of precipices and pools* 
The worst place was near the centre of the lower defile, where a 
passage with nearly vertical rocky sides, four feet wide at bottom, 
led for a distance of about forty feet to the edge of a perpen- 
dicular drop of eighteen feet to the surface of a pool fourteen 
feet in depth. 

Although there was no place so bad as this, still, for fully 
200 yards beyond, the same features were repeated again and 
again on a smaller scale. 

The Yery morning after the storm the Autalo Brigade, under 


Brigadier Collings, arrived at Suru at 7.30, after a twelve-mile 
march from Undee Wells, and by 9 the following working- 
parties started to make the pass practicable : — 

Left wing 45th Foot. 

3rd Bo. N. I. 

Wing IGth P. N. I. 

K Company Madras Sappers. 

They worked till 3.30, when the weather looked so threaten- 
ing that, fearing another catastrophe, the parties were withdrawn. 

They resumed work on the 2lst at daylight, and at 1 p.m. the 
brigade, with their baggage, passed through the lower defile 
en route for Kumayli. 

Thus, by the exertions of 2,000 men working for ten hours, 
four miles of the most difficult portions of the pass were made 
passable for laden animals of all kinds. The road was made 
almost entirely by building ramps of loose stones and covering 
them with sand ; and as this process had been repeated three 
times, all the stones easily procurable from the sole of the valley 
and the foot of the hills near the narrow parts of the pass had 
already been used, and material for the only kind of road possible 
had become so scarce that had another torrent of the same 
violence come down, and subsided with equal rapidity, the pass 
could not have been re-opened in the same time without a much 
larger number of men. 

Work was continued for ten days longer, the narrow parts 
were blasted out, grades eased, boulders removed, &c., so that it 
became possible to withdraw all the wheeled carriages which 
still remained in the highlands ; but it did not, of course, recover 
the condition of a good carriage road. 

On 1st June the Commander-in-Chief passed through the 
Suru defile, and reached Kumayli and Zulla. 

The troops were despatched to England and to Bombay, and 
on 10th June Sir Robert Napier embarked for Suez and 


Mr. Disraeli (afterwards Earl of Beaconsfield), in congratula- 
ting the House of Commons on the success of the expedition, 
made a remarkable speech on the subject.* 

As the account of such a campaign as this can hardly be 
considered complete without the report of the Commanding 
Engineer, it will be as well to state that it is to be found 
in the official report of the expedition, under date Zulla, 30th 
May 1H68, addressed to the Assistant Quartermaster-General, 
Expeditionary Force. 

The report is unavoidably somewhat lengthy, but must always 
prove of interest, especially to Engineers. The Commanding 
Engineer, Lieutenant-Colonel St. Clair Wilkins, E.Bo.E., was, 
very much against his own inclinations, obliged to remain at 
the coast during the campaign, as Sir Robert Napier justly 
considered that the safety and welfare of his force would be 
entirely dependent upon the works at Zulla and the railway to 

A curious incident may here be mentioned in connection with 
an Abyssinian trophy. A silver drum was among the spoils, 
and half of this was given to the 10th Company R. E., while 
the other half fell to the K Company Madras Sappers. It was 
decided to send this home to Elkington, with the view of having 
it made into a cup. It was accordingly carefully packed into a 
tin case, with an outer wooden one, and sent to England in the 
care of Mrs. Young (wife of the doctor of the Sappers). About 
two months after, a letter was received, stating that the case 
had been opened in the Custom House and found to be empty. 
This created a good deal of astonishment, as great care had 
been taken with the packing, and an officer had actually seen it 
packed and escorted it himself to the doctor's house. It was 
suggested that as the drum fitted the case very tightly, and the 
silver was much discoloured, it might have been overlooked and 
mistaken for the inside of the tin case. In point of fact, this 
• On 2nd July 186g. 


actually was the case, and on receipt of a letter from Bangalore 
Mrs. Young communicated with the Custom House authorities, 
who then found it. All this time the case had been in an open 
lumber-room of the Custom House unobserved. It was found 
quite safe, and, fortunately for the Corps, had not been thrown 

Lieutenant C. A. Sim was employed in executive charge of 
the Kohat Division from November 1866 to May 1869, and 
again, when a Captain, from June 1871 to January 1873. 

During the first period he was engaged in an attack on Gara, 
and while there for the second time he accompanied an expe- 
dition to the Dour valley. 

In March 1868 the Bazotie Afreedees (a clan close to Kohat) 
commenced to annoy our picquets. Not quieted by their 
(Ooblow) pass being blockaded, they one day appeared in great 
force on a round knoll not far from the Mahomedraye picquet. 
Our force was hurried out to the village of Mahomedraye to 
attack them. The dread of our cavalry and artillery forced them 
up the Ooblow valley, but they established themselves in a 
" sanga" on the top of a knoll. Some mistake in the orders issued 
resulted in a sad disaster. The cavalry thought it possible to 
cut off the enemy from the main range, when a direct attack 
by the infantry would force them to retire from their stronghold. 
The knoll was found, however, to be connected with the main 
range by a saddle. The direct attack was a matter of alpine 
climbing, and resulted in the death of one commandant, with his 
subadar-major, and some twenty-five men (the adjutant was also 
wounded), and the driving back of a second regiment with its 
commandant badly wounded. The body of the commandant 
(Captain Kuxton) could not be recovered on the day of the fray, 
but was sent in some days after, owing to the dissensions of two 
clans, who both claimed it as battle spoil. 

Up to the early part of 1869 the Bazotie Afreedees still con- 


tinned to anuoy the station outposts, and arrangements were 
therefore put in hand to make a demonstration against the tribe 
from three sides: first, by a small force advancing from Peshawur 
in the direction of Fort Mackeson ; second, by a column from 
Kohat to assault Gara (lying just within their border) and burn 
both it and Dana Kwoolla, if possible; third, by a feint on the 
part of Saodan Kwaja Mahomed Khan and hisKhuttucks against 
the Aleezye section'of the Afreedees. 

At midnight on 24th February 1869 the force moved out of 
Kohat, Lieutenant Sim accompanying it. 

It consisted of 1st and 4th Punjab Infantry, two mountain- 
guns, and a strong force of mountain levies. A reserve was 
left to guard the mouth of the Ooblow pass, drawn up between 
Mahomedraye and the foot of the pass. Colonel Keyes, C.B., 
V.C. (now K.C.B.), with the Deputy Commissioner, Captain 
Cavagnari (afterwards the much-lamented Sir Louis Cavagnari), 
and twelve orderlies, rushed up the steep ascent, expecting to find a 
strong post at the summit on the water-shed, the boundary between 
British and Afreedee territory ; but all was silent and deserted. 

At 6 A.M. on the 25th the Punjab Infantry were ordered to 
leave two strong companies to hold the ledge and line some hills 
immediately above, while the remainder advanced slowly to allow 
of ten headmen of Gara coming forward to tender their sub- 
mission. A shot was fired by an Afreedee, a general fusilade at 
once commenced, and our skirmishers advanced gradually to the 
village. As the inhabitants left it, the fighting-men of the tribe 
took up a position in a natural stronghold behind and above it. 

Our men occupied the outskirts of the village, and speedily 
set fire to the huts and stacks of corn. 

Our unexpected visit had, as the Afreedees themselves said, 
"lifted the purdah of their stronghold," and the flames of Gara 
announced that Ruxton was avenged. 

The steady fire now kept up by the villagers from their strong- 
hold clearly showed that others besides the inhabitants were 

1869-72.] MADEAS ENGINEEES. 476 

engaged in the fight. On all sides white puffs of smoke told 
of new arrivals. Dana Kwoolla, our original destination, was 
still six miles off, and the frontier was aroused. The Afreedees 
are said to number 40,000 fighting-men ; sufficient mischief had 
been done with a loss of only two or three men on our side, and 
our retreat to the kotul and home by the Ooblow Towers was 
sure to be disputed and followed up. 

As quickly as we had arrived, so the order for retiring was 
passed round. Hardly could our men leave individual rocks and 
cover before they were occupied by the Afreedees. Our whole 
force was quickly and successfully drawn off to Kohat, after just 
twelve hours' stay in Afreedee territory. It was politically 
reported that the sharpness of the attack astonished and cowed 
the Bazoties, and it is certain that no more depredations took 
place up to the beginning of 1873. 

The Government of India thanked Colonel Keyes and the 
force employed for this most successful expedition. 

On 6th February 1872 Brigadier-General Keyes, C.B., accom- 
panied by Colonel Kennedy, 2nd Punjab Infantry, the Com- 
missioner, Major Munro, his staff oflBcer, Captain ^lackenzie, 
and Captain C. A. Sim, R.E., left Bunnoo about the middle of 
the day to reconnoitre in the direction of the Tockee Post, the 
route for the next day's march. 

About twenty of the 2nd Punjab Cavalry accompanied them, 
as well as a large number of frontier militia, horse and foot. 
They followed the bed of the Tockee Nulla for six or seven 
miles, until high precipitous banks closed the pass and forced 
them to ascend the Shinkee Kotul, where Mahomed Hay at Khan 
had been sent forward with 1,000 Bunnoochees and Wuzeerees 
to guarantee a safe passage the next day. As they rode up 
towards him, his undisciplined levies showed signs of falling 
back, rallied for a moment when they saw us, and finally bolted 
clean back to Tockee and Koorum. 


Tlie escort was sufficient to ensure the safety of our party 
back to camp, at Dregonde, wliere tbey found assembled fifty 
Punjab Cavalry, 900 Sikh Infantry, and 430 Punjab Infantry, 
besides six guns and two howitzers. Captain Sim had with him, 
in addition, fifty picked coolies, under one of his contractors, 
Jummoo Khan; and while the party was reconnoitring, Mr. 
Hilton, Captain Sim's assistant, had been easing slopes and 
removing boulders from the road along which they were to 
march next day. 

By 9 A.M. on the 7th February the whole force had marched 
the seven easy miles, and were ready to ascend the kotul. The 
Government of India having limited the General to an expedi- 
tion of twenty-four hours, the chief consideration was how quickly 
the guns could be dragged over the pass. 

A Sikh regiment was told o£f to assist Captain Sim, and by 
half-past 2 the guns were on the opposite side ready to march 
into the Dour valley. An hour previous to this, the General 
had reconnoitred up to Haider Kheyl, where he found drawn up 
in front of the village, with a marsh in front of them, the fighting 
strength of the Dour valley. 

The 1st Sikhs were now coming up in skirmishing order, the 
howitzers were ready, while the cavalry made a wide detour to 
get round the village. A hostile shot was fired, and the 1st 
Sikhs advanced with a rush, firing heavily. Haider Kheyl was 
soon in flames, and the population in full flight, only to fall into 
the clutches of our cavalry. One man only was wounded on 
our side. Had a determined stand been made in the Shinkee 
Kotul, there would have been some tough fighting ; as it was, 
our guns and cavalry saved us from any loss in attacking such 
an open valley as the Haider Kheyl. 

The Dour valley had never been visited by our troops before, 
and the expedition served the purpose of suppressing all sorts of 
raids that had been constantly occurring for a long time past. 
The Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab " had much pleasure in 

1873-4.] MADRAS ENGINEERS. 477 

placing on record bis admiration of the brilliant manner in wbich 
Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell led bis regiment to the successful 
attack and capture of Haider Kheyl. He also fully appreciated 
the difficulty experienced in dragging the guns of the Light 
Field-Battery over nearly twenty-five miles of boulders ; but the 
successful manner in which that difficulty was overcome, and 
the efficient fire of the battery when brought into action, reflect 
the greatest credit upon it and its commanding officer." His 
Honour " also noticed with special approval the services of the 
officers mentioned in the General's despatches, Captain Mac- 
kenzie, Captain Sim, Executive Engineer Kohat Division, and 
Mr. Hilton, Assistant Engineer." 

The Dufflas, a wild tribe of the Himalayas, in February 1873 
carried oflF a number of Assamese as prisoners ; attempts were 
made to get them back by negotiations, but all efforts failed. 

In October 1874 an expedition was organised to punish the 
Dufflas and recover the prisoners. The force consisted of 900 
Native Infantry, half a company of Bengal Sappers, and two 
mountain-guns, besides 1,200 transport coolies, under the com- 
mand of Brigadier-General Staflford, C.B. 

In January 1874 Lord Napier of Magdala had visited the camp 
of Exercise at Bangalore, and having been greatly struck with 
the working of the signalling-parties, and especially with the 
heliostat, he determined to send Captain E. Begbie, Madras 
Sappers, with the expedition as signalling officer. Accordingly, 
Captain Begbie received the following telegram : " Lord Napier 
specially selected you for employment Duffla Expedition." 

On 9th November he sailed with signalling equipment and 
two men (Bugler Maple and Private Ragoo) for Calcutta. 

He started with the impression that the Bengal force had its 
own signalling establishment, and that he had merely been 
selected to illustrate the working of his system of signalling and 
of the heliostat, so that a comparison might be made. 


After a tedious journey up the Bramahpootra, they arrived at 
Borgain on 12th Decenaher 1874, and joined the head-quarters 
of the force. He then found that the General supposed he was 
bringing a complete party. The misunderstanding was, happily, 
of no great consequence, as the country was far from suitable 
for visual signalling, as the march was chiefly through perennial 
forests, iu which they could generally hear a shout further than 
they could see. Captain Begbie, however, managed to send 
messages between stations twenty miles apart, and sometimes 
they were useful to the Q.M.G. and Commissariat Departments 
by signalling information in half an hour which would take more 
than a day by field-post. 

The expedition itself was uneventful, and the enemy not the 
ferocious savage expected, but a mild inhabitant of the wood, 
fond of tobacco, rum, and illustrated papers. 

The prisoners were recovered (thirteen). This involved a good 
deal of hard marching, all in single file; for there were, of course, 
only mountain-paths, and one day the march led over a mountain 
7,700 feet high. 

There was a little excitement one night in one of our camps. 
During the day there had been rumours that the advanced force 
a few miles distant was likely to be attacked. At midnight the 
sharp cracks of a few rifles was heard in the direction of the 
advance. The fire steadily increased till there was no doubt 
that a severe fight was going on. This lasted for an hour and 
a half, when the noise of battle gradually got less, and finally 

There was naturally much excitement in the camp, and the 
troops were hurried into the stockade with the stores, and every 
preparation made. On the firing ceasing it was supposed that 
the enemy had been repulsed. 

Early next morning messengers were sent forward for news, 
but returned with the disappointing intelligence that there had 
not been any fight ; and the terrible firing, which had been taken 


for Sniders and mountain guns, proceeded from the bursting of 
bamboos in a jungle which had caught fire ! 

Captain Begbie was assisted by Lieutenant C. E. Eoberts> of 
72nd Kegiment, and Sergeant McQueen, Bengal Sappers, who 
volunteered for the service. With this assistance he was enabled 
to work four signal-stations with two European officers, one Euro- 
pean sergeant, and two Sappers — total, five. In accordance with 
the code there should have been fourteen ; so, considering the 
circumstances, the operations, though limited, were satisfactory. 

By the 23rd February 1875, the operations came to an end. 

The immediate cause of the campaign in the Malay Peninsula 
in 1875-76, was the murder of Mr. Birch, British Resident in 

On 2nd November 1875, Mr. Birch ascended the river to 
Passir Sala, seven miles from the Residency, to fix up pro- 
clamations showing the powers of the British Resident in the 
government of the country. 

About 9 A.M. he went into one of the small neat bath-houses 
on the river-bank to bathe. 

Some armed Malays tore down the proclamations, stabbed 
Mr. Birch's interpretei", and made for the bath-house where 
Mr. Birch was. The Malays thrust their spears through the 
mat sides of the bath-house, and thus murdered the Resident. 

Lieutenant Abbott, R.N , was at the time shooting on the 
opposite bank, and Mr. Swettenham, C.S., was at QuallaKampa, 
on duty. Both reached the Residency in safety. 

News of the murder arrived at Penang on 4th November, and 
one officer with sixty men of the 1st-] 0th Regiment, under 
Lieutenant Booth, left for the Residency, accompanied by Captain 
Innes, R.E., as Commissioner. 

They arrived on the 6th November, and next day (Sunday) 
started up the river to attack the Malays. A landing was 
efl"ected a little below Campong Baia stockade, and the small 


force marched up the bank. They were suddenly fired into 
from the Campong Baia stockade. They then attempted to take 
it by assault, but were obliged to retire. 

Captain Innes, R.E., was shot through the heart, while Lieu- 
tenants Booth and Elliot^ of Ist-lOth, were both wounded. 
Besides these casualties five men were killed and seven wounded. 

A retreat was unavoidably made to the Residency to await 
reinforcements. These reached the Residency on the 8th and 
9th, consisting of a detachment of Ist-lOth under Captain 
Whitla, one gun R.A. under Lieutenant Monckton, and eighty 
men of the Naval Brigade with one gun, two l2-pounder 
howitzers, and two 24-pounder rocket-tubes under Commander 
Sterhng, R.N. 

Boats were as soon as possible prepared for the guns, and on 
the l5th all was ready for an advance. The force accordingly 
started up the river to attack the stockades. When they got 
near Campong Baia the land force disembarked, and, marching 
up, kept pace with the boats. 

The land force captured the stockade without the loss of a 
man, the enemy flying before them. They also captured the 
stockade at Passir Sala, and during the day four stockades 
were taken. The troops burned all the houses, destroyed as 
much of the stockades as possible, and returned to the Residency 
to await orders. 

Meantime the Governor of the Straits Settlement telegraphed 
to Hong Kong and India for reinforcements. 

General Colborne, with 300 men of 80th, left Hong Kong 
on J 1th November 1875; and General Ross, with 8rd Buffs, 
400 1st Goorkhas, and a battery R.A., left Calcutta towards the 
latter end of November. 

The remainder of tlie battery already in Perak, left Singapore, 
under Major Nicolls, R.A., for the Residency. 

The C Company Madras Sappers, under Lieutenant A. Hew- 
lett, was ordered, on l7th November, from Rangoon to proceed 


to Penang. They left Rangoon on the 22nd, and, arriving at 
Penang on the 29th, found head-quarters, and four companies of 
the Buffs, and half a battery of artillery already there. 

The assembled force left the same evening for the mouth of 
the Larut river, forty miles south-east of Penang, landed at 
Telook Kartang, about six miles up the river, on 1st December, 
and marched to Qualla Kangsa, about thirty miles due east on 
the Perak river. 

The general plan of operations was for General Colborne, 
with 200 men, to advance from the Residency, up the Perak 
river to Blanga, while the force from India, under General Ross, 
was to advance from Larut to Qualla Kangsa, The two forces 
were then to converge on Kinta, the chief town, and attack it 
on south and north. 

The company of Madras Sappers was attached to General 
Ross's force. 

General Colborne arrived at the Residency (Banda Bahru) on 
24th November. His troops remained there till the 8th 
December, the delay arising on account of the difficulty in pro- 
curing boats for the transport of the force up the river. 

On the 13th they reached Blanga. At Blanga General 
Colborne expected to hear from General Ross at Qualla Kangsa; 
but as he got no news, he pushed on to Kinta. 

He had considerable difficulty in moving to Kinta, owing to 
the badness of the track ; but on the I7th succeeded in reaching 
it, and having shelled and fired rockets into Kinta for some 
time, the chief town of Perak fell into our hands. All the 
houses on the right bank of the river were burnt, and our force 
encamped for the night. 

We must now turn to the movements of General Ross's 

Colonel Cox, 3rd Buffs, with two companies of his regiment 
and C Company of Madras Sappers, landed, as we have seen, 
up the Larut river on 1st December. 

H. 31 


The Sappers were employed until the arrival of the main 
body at Gapis and Campong Eoyale. The former they stockaded 
in a few days, and did much to render the latter habitable by 
the troops, and to forward tents, &:c. 

Owing to insufficiency of transport provided by the Colonial 
Government, the C Company Sappers was, on 8th December, 
sent in advance to Qualla Kangsa to erect hutting. By the 
exertions of the Sappers, aided by ten Chinese, hut accommo- 
dation was provided as fast as the troops could be moved. 

The Sappers, while employed on this, were at work from 
sunrise to sunset in all weathers ; and between 8th December and 
end of the month no less than 10,000 square feet of hutting were 

Major Twigge, E.E., in his report, says: — 

" Considering the climate and the difficulties which had to 
be contended with in the unture of the work, and the use of 
material to which the men were unaccustomed, I venture to 
submit that they were deserving of especial praise for the 
readiness of resource they displayed." 

Besides the hutting, they enclosed the position by palisading, 
bridges were built, and communications to the rear improved. 

General Ross landed in Larut about 8th December, and 
reached Qualla Kangsa on the loth (two days after General 
Colborne had left Blanga). 

The original plan of marching on Kiuta through the jungle 
from Qualla Kangsa was abandoned, probably on account of 
its impracticability, and it was determined to move down to 
Blanga by boats. 

A party of the Naval Brigade, under Lieutenant Wright, R.N., 
was sent down the river for boats. They captured several with- 
out opposition, and on the 19th Colonel Storey, 1st Goorkhas, 
with 50 Goorkhas, 100 of the Buflfs, and 50 or 60 Naval 
Brigade, with one rocket-tube, left Qualla Kangsa for Blanga, 
where they arrived the same evening. 


Lieutenant Rich, R.E., in his Campaign in Malay Peninsula 
says : — 

" Considering that these troops were able to get from Qualla 
Kangsa to Blanga in one day, whilst it took General Colborne's 
force five days to get from the Residency to the same place, 
there seems to be no excuse for them not arriving in time to 
join General Colborne's force at Blanga." 

There seems to be no sufficient justification for this remark. 
Colonel Cox only arrived at Qualla Kangsa on 12th December, 
whilst we have seen that General Colborne left Blanga on 
morning of the 13th. Colonel Cox was naturally obliged to 
remain at Qualla Kangsa until he received orders from the 
General commanding as to his movements. 

General Ross did not arrive at Qualla Kangsa till the I5th. 
After his arrival it took four days for him to get boats ; so that 
even if Colonel Cox had at once set to work to procure boats 
they could not have been obtained till the 16th or l7th, and on 
the latter date Kinta had been captured by General Colborne. 

Moreover, at the time Colonel Cox reached Qualla Kangsa 
it is to be presumed that the advance on Kinta from Qualla 
Kangsa was fully intended to take place through the jungle, and 
it was hence no part of the duty of Colonel Cox to procure 
boats ; and as he was unaccompanied by any of the Naval 
Brigade he would have found much difficulty in obtaining them. 

General Colborne, on the contrary, had eighty men of the 
Naval Brigade under Captain Butler, R.N., and yet was com- 
pelled to remain at the Residency from 24th November to 8th 
December (fourteen days), owing to the difficulty of procuring 

When Colonel Storey reached Blanga he found that General 
Colborne was at Kinta, and so followed him there as soon as 
possible, leaving the Naval Brigade at Blanga, 

He reached Kinta on the 21st, having marched the distance 
in two days. 

81 * 


On I7th December our troops had got possession of the 
whole of Perak. They commanded the rivers Perak and Kinta, 
and possessed all the chief towns. 

Early in January 1876, General Colborne, after holding a 
consultation with General Ross at Kinta (Queen's Commissioner, 
Major McNair, also present), left it under command of Colonel 
Storey, and went to Penang to obtain instructions from the 

The force at Qualla Kangsa had still some little work to do. 

On 4th January it was determined to search the village of 
Kota Lama (three miles above Qualla Kangsa), which had for long 
been known as the haunt of all the worst characters in Perak. 
Part of the force skirmished up the right bank, and part up 
the left. 

The party on the right were not opposed, and, having reached 
the village, placed double lines of sentries round the outskirts, 
and entered the village. They searched portions of the village, 
and took 100 spears, eighty muskets, three barrels of powder, 
a number of knives and other weapons, which they carried 
to Qualla Kangsa. 

The party on the left bank were opposed. The enemy fired 
several times at them, but we advanced through the village, the 
enemy retiring into the jungle. 

General Ross and Staff landed on the left bank in the centre 
of the village. He had with him four Goorkhas as escort, and 
twenty sailors joined the group. 

Major McNair was explaining to a group of women that they 
need fear nothing, when suddenly a party of Malays fired a 
volley and rushed from the jungle. They were driven off after 
a short time, but we lost Major Hawkins (Brigade-Major), 
] marine, i sailor, and 1 Goorkha killed, and Dr. Townsend 
and 2 Goorkhas wounded. 

The troops then burnt a large part of the village, and returned 
to Qualla Kangsa ihe same night. 

Hjom' prerailM is S E ef TereA' 


On 19th January a party of fifty Malays murdered a Malay 
policeman and an officer's servant "who were proceeding from 
Qualla Kangsa to Campong Baia. 

Meanwhile the C Company Madras Sappers (Lieutenant 
Hewlett), under Lieutenant Hare's (R.E.) directions, had 
begun to form a road up the right bank of the Perak river to 
Kota Lama. The working-party was covered by fifteen of the 
1st Goorkhas. 

On one day a party of Malays advanced to within fifteen 
yards of the working-party, and wounded a havildar of Sappers 
and a Goorkha. The Goorkhas returned their fire, but the 
Malays escaped into the jungle. 

Another attack was now planned on Kota Lama, from which 
place these Malays had come. 

On 28th January it was carried out successfully. The troops 
burnt the remaining parts of the town and returned to Qualla 
Kangsa. A strong stockade was then built at Kota Lama. 

The manner of skirmishing through the jungle was in the 
form of a hollow square ; at a halt all the skirmishers faced 
outwards. The success of this plan was shown by a fact after- 
wards learnt, that a hostile rajah with an armed force was 
following the whole day, but failed to get an opportunity of 

In the month of December a campaign was carried on in 
Junghie Ugong, which was most successful. Junghie Ugong is 
a small province north-east of Malacca. 

A rising took place in beginning of December 1875. A force 
which had originally been intended to cross from the mouth of 
the Bruas to Blanga was diverted to Junghie Ugong. 

The garrison of the Residency at Rassa consisted of fifty 
men of the Ist-lOth, under Lieutenant Hinxmau. He was in 
great danger of being surrounded, so he called up Lieutenant 
Peyton from Malacca with thirty more of Ist-lOth, and then 
marched with eighty Ist-lOth and forty auxiliary troops to 


attack Paroa on 7th December. They took the village after a 
hard fight, casualties being forty-one killed and Avounded out 
of 120. 

Reinforcements arrived on ITth December, consisting of 300 
Goorkhas, half a battery of artillery, two 7-pounders, and two 
rocket-tubes, with 200 of 3rd Bufis under Colonel Clay. He 
advanced to Paroa, and on the 20th sent out a party of twenty- 
five Goorkhas under Captain Channer to reconnoitre. 

Captain Channer came suddenly on a strong stockade, went 
up to it looked over the parapet, and found the Malays at 
their evening meal. He at once attacked, and took it with the 
loss of one killed and two wounded. 

The stockade was the right flank of the enemy. Captain 
Channer fired into two other stockades, and, large reinforcements 
arriving, both were taken. Captain Channer obtained the Y.C. 
for his gallant conduct on this occasion. 

After this the force in Junghie Ugong had no difficulty. The 
Malays became panic-stricken and would not face us. 

Our total loss in the campaign was 2 officers killed and 4 
wounded, about 20 men killed and 41 wounded. Grand total, 
67 killed and wounded. 

Brigadier-General Boss, C.B., thus writes of the Madras 
Sappers to Major-General Sir T. Colborne, K.C.B. : — 

" I would solicit your Excellency's commendation for the very 
excellent work performed by the Madras Sappers under Lieu- 
tenant A. Hewlett. Working eight or nine hours a day, they 
were ever willing and cheerful, and proved themselves in every 
way to be right good and valuable soldiers." 

The C Company re-embarked for Madras, via Rangoon, on 
22nd March li'^76, having thus been four months on active 
field- service in Perak. 



Expedition to Malta and Cyprus, 1878. — Sappers disembark at Malta, 27th May. 
— Land at Larnaka 16th July. — Hard work of Sappers. — Sail for Bombay, 
2nd November. — AiTive at Bangalore, 29th NoTomber. — DistTii'bances 
in Rumpa, near Rajahmundry. — War in Northern Afghanistan, 1878-79. 
— B, E, and K Companies sent imder command of Major Sim. — Em- 
ployed in the Khyber Pass, Basawul, Jellalabad, and Gundamuck. — Return 
to Bangalore, July 1879. — Accoimt of road, Peshawiu" to Gmidamuck. 
— Renewal of hostilities in September. — A, C, and I Cos. Madras Saj^pers 
sent on service. — Ai'rive in Afghanistan in November and December. — 
Major Ross Thompson in command.— A Company at Basawul, C at Lundi 
Kotal, and I at Jellalabad. — Whole of Sappers sent to Daranta Gorge. — Attack 
on Momimds near Dakka. — Expedition in Lughman Valley. — Girdikas river 
road. — Thompson reconnoitres route through Adrak Badi'ak Pass, between 
Jellalabad and Kata Sang. — Expedition to Wazeeree country. — Expedition to 
Hissarak country. — Action of Maizena. — Besud affair. — Expedition against 
the Momunds. — I Company with Brigadier- General Arbuthnot, C.B., in 
Lughman Valley. — Preparations for retui'n to India. — The three comj^anies 
march to Hassan Abdul, via Kohat — And thence to Bangalore. — Services of 
Lieut. -Colonel Lindsay and Major S. C. Clarke in Afghanistan. — Railway 
accident on Madras Railway to Madras Sappers, October 31st, 1879. 

In April 1878 Lord Beaconsfield determined to despatch a 
force from India to the Mediterranean, to show that England 
was prepared, by every means in its power, to prevent Russia 
from utterly crushing Turkey, and that they had resources 
available in India of which free use would be made. Seven 
thousand men were ordered to embark at once for active service, 
the troops beiog selected from all three Presidencies. 


From Bengal — 

13th B. N. I. 
31st P. N. T. 
2nd P. W. 0. Goorkhas. 
From Madras — 

25th M. N. I., under Colonel Gib. 

G and H Companies of Queen's Own Sappers. 

From Bombay — * 

9th Bo. N. I. 

3rd and 5th Companies of Bombay Sappers ; 
besides cavalry and artillery. 

The officers accompanying the Madras Sappers were : — 

Col. H. N. D. Prendergast, V.C., E.M.E., commanding. 
Capt. A. F. Hamilton, E.M.E., Staff officer. 
Lieut. C. Wilkieson, B.E., commanding H Company. 
Lieut. Ellis, R.E., commanding G Company. 

Lieutenants Conner, Lindley, Attree, and Grant, all of the R. 
Engineers, Surgeon Lee, in medical charge ; Conductor Jones ; 
Subadar Anthony ; and Jemadars Caullemootoo, Eajahman, and 

On 80th April the two companies arrived at Bombay, and at 
once embarked. 

On 2nd May they sailed in the Canara, accompanied by 
Lieutenant-Colonel McLeod, R.M.A. 

On the 26th they steamed into the Marsa Muschetto harbour 
of Malta, amidst the cheers of the British troops at Ricasoli, 
St. Elmo, and Mauvel. 

The next day they disembarked, and occupied the Lazaretto 

Two days after, the Bombay Sappers arrived, with the follow- 
ing officers : — 

Major J. H. Cruickshank, R.Bo.E., 
Captain Marryat, R.Bo.E., 
Captain Stock, Bo. Infantry, 


Lieutenants Fullerton, Innes Jones, Bethell, Coles, and Bate; 
Surgeon Dane ; two Subadars and two Jemadars. 

While at Malta the Sappers were employed in handling the 
parks, making roads, looking after water-supply, covering-in all 
the hospital- huts and tents of British soldiers with bamboos, 
thatch, or tarpaulins. They also did various work in the way 
of hutting, bridging, &c. 

On the 12th June the Governor of Malta (Sir Arthur Burton, 
K.C.B.) paraded the troops; and on the 17th all the troops in 
Malta were inspected by H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge. 

At noon on 10th July orders were received for the Madras 
Sappers to be ready to embark for Cyprus at 5 p.m. The G 
Company was at San Antonio, and the H at Lazaretto. Carts, 
&c. had to be procured for the former. 

The order for the Bombay Sappers was received at 6 p.m. 
(Half the 5th Company Bombay Sappers was left behind at 
Malta in charge of the Bombay Park.) 

By a little after midnight all the Sappers were on board the 
Catiara, and ready to start. 

Before noon next day the Canara sailed, under orders for 
Cyprus, and arrived off Larnaka on the 1 6th. 

The orders received were of the vaguest description, so much 
so that it was not known whether the Sappers would have to 
take the island or not. 

On arrival, a commencement was made to land the siege- 
train, which was continued till the I9th, when the last man 

Light landing-stages were constructed for the disembarkation 
of the troops expected the following week, and the Royal Navy, 
under H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, commenced building a 
pier, in which the Queen's Own Sappers rendered assistance, 
under Colonel Prendergast. 

Orders were now received to choose a camp for 10,000 men, 
and to make arrangements for landing, transporting, and feeding 


them. There were but five days to do this in, and, when re- 
quired, the Sappers could show six piers, a road to the camp at 
Chifflik, and water-supply troughs at the camp, with carriage 
enough to take the regiments on as they landed. 

The Sappers became very friendly with the sailors, and His 
Royal Highness appeared to take a great interest in the Sappers 
(both officers and men), who helped very materially in building 
the Duke's pier by swimming about all day, taking out timbers 
to their places. To procure timber the Sappers had to forage 
about, pull down old houses, and search the bazaars, and as every 
man in Cyprus, as a general rule, lies, it was difficult to do or 
get anything unless you set about it yourself. 

On 22nd July Sir Garnet Wolseley arrived. 

On the 24th and 25th Major Hamilton accompanied him in 
his visit to Famagousta and Limasole, to select camping-grounds 
for the Native Infantry, and inquire into the water-supply. 
Lieutenant Wilkieson was directed to report on the road between 
Larnaka and Nicosia, while Lieutenants Lindley and Attree 
surveyed the country between Famagousta and Nicosia. 

On the 26tb the G and H Companies moved into camp out- 
side Larnaka, leaving half a company of oth Bombay Sappers with 
the Bombay Park, which had now arrived. A line of visual 
signalling was started between Chifflik and the Sapper camp, 
with heliostat, and from the Sapper camp to Marina by flag, 
which was much used by the Commissariat Department. After 
the arrival of 31st Company E. E., this line was superseded by 
a wire. 

Mr. Archibald Forbes, the Special Correspondent of the Daily 
News, thus wrote of the Madras Sappers : — 

" Tramping back along the sun-scorched strand, running the 
gauntlet of numerous donkeys, and smells more numerous than 
donkeys, I found myself back again on the east flank of the 
Marina, close to the jetty which the blue-jackets had been con- 
structing. Here I found a half-melted Engineer officer striving 


to overcome the vis inertice of a very miscellaneous batch of 
native labourers, Turks, Greeks, and nondescripts. In marked 
contrast to their pottering was the honest labour at the road- 
making of the Madras Sappers and Miners, dark lissom fellows, 
stripped to the dhotie and streaming at every pore, but working 
steadily on at their heavy toil with the cheery contentment of 
willing men, to look at whom did one good, altliough it scarcely 
made liim cooler." 

At first Colonel Prendergast was the senior Engineer officer in 
Cyprus, and would in ordinary course have been Commanding 
Royal Engineer, but Lieutenant-Colonel Maquay was sent out 
from England, and, being about six months senior to Prendergast 
as Lieutenant-Colonel R. E. (although two years younger), 
became Commanding Royal Engineer. Colonel Prendergast 
returned to India 25th August. 

It was now determined to improve the road between Larnaka 
and Nicosia, and on 7th August the company at Chifflik was 
brought to head-quarters camp to be deployed along the road. 
The H Company marched to Peroi (eleven miles from Nicosia), 
a section being left at Gosli, eight miles from Larnaka. 

A half section of the G Company went with 31st R. E. to 
Nicosia, and the other half relieved the Bombay Sappers at 
Marina, while the latter took the road between Larnaka and 

By this time all the companies were a good deal impaired in 
strength by the almost universal fever. Lieutenant Bethell's 
report on a place called Mathiati, caused its selection as a site 
for the winter hutment. This necessitated a change in the dis- 
position of the companies along the road ; the Larnaka end was 
an entirely new trace for about five and a half miles out; the 
main road was then joined ; this was improved and a small 
diversion made beyond Gosli. 

At this point the road to Dali turns off"; this was afterwards 
improved to one mile short of Dali, when a new road was traced 


(two miles) to Perokoria, thus avoiding the crossing of the Dali 
river. From Perokoria to Haia Varvara a cart-road was im- 
proved, and from the latter place to Mathiati the road was almost 
an entirely new trace, having to surmount a " col " into the 
Mathiati valley. 

The huts for the winter encampment hegan to arrive on 23rd 
September, and the G Company was employed for twelve hours 
daily on the beach, superintending the disembarking and load- 
ing of these huts. The duty was very heavy, and both Captain 
Marryat and Lieutenant Ellis, who succeeded him, were knocked 
up by the work. During nil this time various Engineer officers 
were employed in making surveys and reconnoissances. 

The G and H Companies Queen's Own Sappers, and the 5th 
Company B. S., remained in Cyprus till the end of October, and 
embarked on Simoom on Jst November. 

The 3rd Company Bo. S. arrived next day, having been march- 
ing all night. The Simoom sailed at noon on the 2nd, and 
anchored in Bombay Harbour on 20th November. 

The men were landed on the 22nd, and next day the Queen's 
Own Sappers left by rail, arriving at Bangalore on 29th Novem- 
ber, after an absence of just seven mouths. 

Colonel Prendergast, in his report, stated : — 

" The conduct and efficiency of the Sappers (officers and men) 
were remarkable even in a picked force such as the Indian Expe- 
ditionary Force ; that the Queen's Own Sappers proved them- 
selves not inferior to the K. E. or Bombay Sappers in any 
respect ; that no task was imposed upon them which they could 
not perform right well ; that the labour of preparing press, roads, 
watering and slaughtering arrangements for a force of all arms, 
' 11,000 strong, together with the landing of an E. E. park and 
commissariat stores in five days, was accepted cheerfully by all 
ranks ; and that the fatigue of landing, sorting, and setting up 
huts in the most inclement weather was undergone with no less 
alacrity and goodwill." 


The following were tlie casualties : — 





M. Bo. 





M. Bo. 

Invalided from 


— ] 





— 1 

Invalided from 


1 3 

Dr. Lee. 





— — 


— — 





1 2 

Total ... 

1 4 





1 3 

Colonel Prendergast thanked Major Hamilton for " his valu- 
able services," and added that " the officers commanding companies, 
Lieutenants Wilkieson and Ellis, deserve high praise," while 
" Conductor T. Jones acquitted himself admirably as officer in 
charge of the park, a most important and onerous duty." 

On 3 1 St October the following order was published by Sir 
Garnet Wolseley : — 

" The Madras and Bombay Sappers being about to embark for 
India, the Lieutenant-General cannot allow them to leave the 
command without placing upon record his sense of the valuable 
work they have done in this island " ; and in permitting Colonel 
Prendergast to proceed to India he desired that the Commanding 
Royal Engineer " will inform him of Sir G. Wolseley's appre- 
ciation of the excellent work done by himself and the officers and 
men under his command in this island." 

Brigadier-General Macpherson, C.B., V.C., in taking leave of 
the troops under his command at Malta and Cyprus, " offered 
to all ranks his very best thanks for the admirable discipline 
that has been maintained throughout the expedition, under cir- 
cumstances of no ordinary temptation. The highest authority 
in the army has represented to Her Most Gracious Majesty his 
high appreciation of their soldier-like bearing in terms of which 
every individual of the Indian Contingent must feel justly 


The troops thus addressed were : — 

G and H compaDies Queen's Own Sappers and Miners. 

3rd and 5th companies Bombay Sappers. 

18th Bengal Native Infantry. 

31st Punjab Native Infantry. 

2nd P. W. 0. Goorkhas. 

25th Madras N. I. 

Owing to -certain serious disturbances which took place, in 
1879, in the hill-tracts of llumpa and Golconda (situated to north 
and north-east of Rajahmundry, in the Godavery district), it was 
found necessary to despatch troops to those parts, and in July 
1879 two companies (D and G) of the Queen's Own Sappers 
were ordered there with the following officers : — 

Lieutenant-Colonel Howes, R.M.E., in command; Lieuten- 
ants Piawson, R.E., Haiuilton, R.E.,Wahab, R.E., D Company; 
Major Hamilton, R.M.E., Lieutenants McDonnell and Gale, 
R.E., G Company. 

They proceeded to Dowlaishwaram by means of the Bucking- 
ham (East Coast), Kistna, and Godavery canals, and the head- 
quarters were located there, the camp being pitched on the site 
occupied by the Sappers in former years, when the head-quarters 
of the Corps was stationed at Dowlaishwaram, close to the 
splendid anient (or dam) built across the Godavery river by 
Arthur Cotton (now General Sir Arthur Cotton, K.C.SJ.). 

It was intended atfirst that the Sappers should be employed 
entirely on the river ; but a party of sixty men,D Company, under 
Lieutenant Hamilton, R.E., was sent above the " gorge" of the 
Godavery to Wuddagudiem to guard the village and watch the 
banks of the river, in order to prevent rebels from crossing to 
the Nizam's territory. 

The Sappers at head-quarters were employed as guards on 
board the steamers. The party at Wuddagudiem improved the 
camp, strengthened the village, and constructed a landing-stage. 


On one occasion an attack was made on Cliendriah (the rebel 
leader) and his followers near Vencatapollium ; but he retired 
into the jungle and evaded pursuit. 

The Sapper detachment was afterwards withdrawn and replaced 
by Nizam's troops. 

Meanwhile, the otherhalf of D Company was employed, under 
Captain Kawson, R.E., at Chodarum, in Rumpa, garrisoning 
the place, improving the camp, and watching the movements of 
the rebels. Lieutenant McDonnell had also taken a party of the 
Gr Company further up the country to construct a bridge of casks 
across a streaui which at times was not fordable. Owing to 
unforeseen difficulties, however, and to the bridge not being 
urgently required, the project was abandoned. 

In October 1879 Captain Eawson's party was withdrawn, and 
Lieutenant Gale took some of the G Company to Yellaishwaram,* 
on the borders of Golconda, to watch events. They hutted the 
men, improved the camp, and were occasionally employed on 
escort duty. 

In December Lieutenant Gale was relieved by Lieutenant 

About this time heliostats were received, and Lieutenant 
McDonnell opened out a station on the Kappa Konda, a large 
hill in Eumpa, and from thence communicated with Eajah- 
mundry and with the party in Golconda. 

About February 1880 the whole of the Sappers, with the 
exception of a few signallers, were withdrawn to Dowlaishwaram, 
as the men had suffered a great deal from fever, and there was 
really no work for them to do in the jungles. At Dowlaish- 
waram they were merely employed in quarrying and road-making. 

Afterwards, the D Company improved parts of the road near 
Chodarum, in Rumpa. 

In January IS^sl the D Company returned to Bangalore, 
followed by tlie G Company in July. 

* The lOtli il. X. I. were in camp at this place. 


During the time the Sappers were employed Lieutenant- 
Colonel Howes, Lieutenants Hamilton and McDonnell were in- 
valided. Lieutenants Wahab and Gale were transferred to other 
duties, and Lieutenant Ellis eventually took command of the 
G Company. 

Beyond road-making, constructing and strengthening camps, 
and signalling, very little work had been forthcoming for the 

In July 1878, Shere Ali, the Ameer of Afghanistan received 
a Kussian Envoy in Cabul, having frequently in previous years 
refused admittance to any English one. 

Lord Lytton, the Viceroy of India, considering this an inten- 
tional affront put upon England, organised a mission with Sir 
Neville Chamberlain, G.C.B., G.C.S.I., at its head. 

This mission, as is well known, was stopped at Ali Musjid 
and obliged to return to Peshawur. 

An apology was demanded, and it was required to be received 
before the 20th November ; but as none was received, on the 
morning of the 21st our troops crossed the frontier, and the 
war with Afghanistan commenced. 

On the 1st December the B and E Companies of the Queen's 
Own Sappers and Miners received orders to join at Peshawur, 
and accordingly left Bangalore on the 5th, followed a fortnight 
later by the K Company. 

Major C. A. Sim, E.E. (Madras) in command. 

Surgeon Charles Sibthorpe in medical charge. 

B Companij. — Lieutenants \V. D. Conner, K.E., F. J. Attree, 
Pt.E., K. A. Wabab, E.E. ; Sergeants Price and Dove ; Corporals 
Eoberts and Terry ; Subadar Eaja Eam ; Jemadar Eamalingum. 

E Company. — Captain T. H. Winterbotham, Madras Infantry ; 
Lieutenants W. D. Lindley, E.E., A. C. MacDonnell, E.E. ; 
Sergeants Balding and Eraser; Corporals Clarke and Curtis; 
Subadar Gregory; Jemadars Mootoosammy and Annasammy. 


K Company. — Lieutenants 0. 0. Rawson, R E., P. B. Poulter, 

R.E., R. E. Hamilton, R.E. ; Sergeant Anderton ; Corporal 

Sparkes; Subadar-Major Narrainsammy ; Jemadar Padmanaben. 

The B and E Companies reached Jumrood on 9th January 

1879, and the K Company on the 23rd. 

Directly the Sappers arrived they were set to make a road 
from Ali Musjid to Jumrood. This was a tedious affair, as for 
100 yards it had to be cut through hard rock. The road by 
February was wide enough for the passage of convoys of camels, 
and was opened for cart traffic on I7th March. 

In January the Sappers were likewise employed in preparing 
a defensive post at Shargai, two miles from Ali Musjid. 

On 25th January a force of about 900 men started from Ali 
Musjid for the Bazar valley, and two officers and fifty men of 
the Sappers accompanied it. 

At Karumna ten towers were destroyed, when the force 
marched to Boorg and blew up three more towers. An onward 
march was then ordered, and on the evening of the 26th, 
Cheena, the entrance to the Bazar valley, was reached. 

The picquets were attacked all round the camp during the 
night, and continuous firing was kept up till the morning. 

On the 28th the Sappers accompanied a reconnoitring party 
to a distance of four miles ; and next day another tower, three 
miles distant from camp, was blown up. 

Nothing very eventful occurred during the stay in the Bazar 
valley, which was quitted on the 3rd February, and the force 
arrived at Ali Musjid next day. 

On 26th February, Lieutenant Wahab, R.E., with Jemadar 
Rajalingum and two Sappers, accompanied a party to ascend the 
surrounding hills in search of a suitable site for an encampment 
for the hot weather. After visiting Rotas they returned, on 1st 
March, without having succeeded in finding one. 

During February work was continued on the road, and on 
the 27th a party of Sappers were employed in building a wall 

n. ^2 


alongside the road from Ali Musjid fort to the river to afford 
cover to tlie road from the tops of the surrounding hills. 

On 12th March a party of one officer and fifty Sappers started 
towards Jumrood to meet the elephant battery from Peshawur. 
The guns were brought up Mackeson's road by the elephants, 
but the store and ammunition waggons (thirty-five in number), 
drawn by bullocks, could not get up till hauled along by the 
Sappers with drag-ropes. 

On 22nd .March the head-quarters of the 2nd Division moved 
up to Lundi Kotal, and five days after, the B Company joined 
them there. 

The Sappers were again employed in road-making, as well as 
in quarrying and well-sinking, while an entrenchment was also 
formed round the camp. Some sangas were also built. 

The country between Lundi Kotal and Dakka was at this time 
in a very disturbed state, so it was determined to build a strong 
post at Torkumar, half-way between the two places. 

On 2yth April the company marched to Lundi Khana, when 
the encampment at that place was put into a thorough state of 
defence. The next day they commenced work at Torkumar. 

On the 1 0th May, while the Sappers were at work, several 
shots were heard. Work was at once abandoned, and the com- 
pany proceeded to the scene of action. They found that a body 
of Afreedees had driven off a large herd of cattle. Pursuit was 
at once given, but the marauders got clear away before the 
Sappers could come up with them. 

The very next day, a large body of Zukka Kheyls appeared 
from the direction of the Bazar valley, and attacked a company 
of the Mhairwarra battalion, half-way between Torkumar and 
Dakka. The Sappers joined in the pursuit. The Zukka Kheyls 
took up a very strong position on the top of a precipitous hill, 
and remained there till a party of the 2oth tried to cut them off, 
when they retreated precipitately. The Sappers killed two, and 
the 25th three of them. 


On the 1 4th the Sappers were again interrupted; pursued 
the enemy as usual, but without success. 

On the 22nd the work at Torkumar was completed, and three 
days later the company returned to Lundi Kotal, leaving a small 
party at the post with the 25th. 

At Lundi Kotal the new cantonment was laid out, and the 
men were employed in boring for water, and in superintending 
the erection of huts. 

At this time there was a bad outbreak of cholera, and on 19th 
May one of the British regiments was ordered back to Peshawur; 
and the Sappers consequently had to furnish all the picquets 
round their part of the camp, thirty-six men being on guard at 
the same time. 

The company lost three men by cholera on this occasion. 

The E Company remained at Jumrood, on the road towards 
Ali Musjid. 

By the 23rd January a fair driving road had been cleared to 
the Sar Kaye Nulla, along two miles of sand preceding the 
ascent up the Khyber gorge. 

The E Company with fifty men were ordered to precede the 
advance of the Jumrood force, and clear the road for the camels 
and elephants of the transport train. After leaving the Khyber, 
the road was but a hill track, and it took the company the whole 
twelve hours of each day to prevent a block. 

The whole force was enabled to reach Barakas on the after- 
noon of the second day. On leaving Barakas the Sappers were 
again sent on in advance to join the detachment of the B Com- 
pany in destroying the towers of Boorg. After this they marched 
to Cheena. 

On 29th January a detachment of Sappers accompanied 
Colonel Thompson's force, to blow up the two towers of 

On the return of this expedition the E Company received 
orders to join the B Company at Ali Musjid, and the two worked 

32 * 


together till the middle of April, when the E Company was 
marched to Basawal. 

The K Company reached Jumrood on 24th January, and two 
days after marched on to Lundi Kotal. They were employed 
till the I6th March on the ghaut road from Lundi Kotal to 
Lundi Khana. 

On 10th March this company was ordered to he transferred to 
the ist Division, and on the 1 8th it marched to Dakka with the 
elephant battery, and next day reached Basawal. 

On the 26th the Company marched into Jellalabad, and 
was brigaded with the Bengal Sappers, It remained there till 
the end of the month, and then marched with the advanced 
brigade under General Gough, reaching Futtehabad on the 
1st April. 

They formed part of the reserve during the action of Futteh- 
abad against the Khugianies (where Major Battye of the Guides 
was killed). 

Lieutenant E. E. Hamilton, R.E., gave the following account 
of what he had seen of the action near Lokhi : — 

" About 2 P.M. a body of men became visible on the hills west 
of Futtehabad, about three miles oflf. About 3 p.m. the artillery 
opened fire against the enemy, who were on the heights in great 
numbers behind rough breastworks. The artillery-fire had little 
or no effect, and the enemy advanced, driving the guns back. 
The infantry had meanwhile come up, and advanced on the 
flank of the cavalry. The enemy, however, on the other side, 
continued to advance up the nullahs and harass the guns ; so the 
Guides and lUth Hussars charged, and it was at this period 
that Major Battye (Guides Cavalry) lost his life. The infantry 
had meantime advanced on the other side, and lost an officer 
(Lieutenant Wiseman) who attempted to capture a flag carried 
by one of the enemy. After the loss of this officer the infantry 
retired a short distance ; but being ordered on, again advanced 
on the breastwork, which was found deserted. The cavalry then 


started in pursuit, and went some five or six miles, driving the 
enemy into the villages. 

" The British loss was 2 officers killed, 2 men killed and 30 
wounded (chiefly Guides Cavalry). 

" The enemy's loss was not known, but from their own account 
probably 150 killed and 50 wounded." 

Three days after the action the Sappers blew up six towers and 
a gateway. 

Until the 13th the companies remained at Futtehabad engaged 
in road-making both towards Gundamuck and Jellalabad, after 
which they marched to Nimlah, and on the 14th reached Gun- 
damuck, where they remained till the close of the campaign, 
detaching two parties for the construction of Forts Rozabad and 
Battye between Jellalabad and Gundamuck. 

Lieutenant Poulter, R.E., was engaged at the former fort, 
while Lieutenant Eawson, R.E., built Fort Battye. 

On 8th May the company was on parade, when the Ameer, 
Yakoob Khan, came into Gundamuck ; and on the 24th they 
were brigaded with the Bengal Sappers at the general parade of 
the whole of the 1st Division in honour of the Queen's birthday. 

During their stay at Gundamuck the company was variously 
employed — road-making, hutting, constructing water-troughs, 
&c. &c. 

A party of two naiques and twenty Sappers accompanied 
Lieutenant Bartram, R.E., Bengal Sappers, to the hill about five 
miles from Gundamuck in the direction of Cabul (where the 
44th Regiment made its last stand during the former Afghan 
war), and were there employed in building a monument to those 
of the 44th who fell on that occasion. 

This party rejoined the company at Dakka on 5th June, 
having come down the river from Jellalabad on a raft with a 
party of Bengal Sappers. This detachment was fired on by the 
Momunds during its passage down the river, and one Bengal 
dooly-bearer was killed. 


Late in May orders were received to break up the 1st and 
2rid Divisions, and for the three companies of Queen's Own 
Sappers to return to Bangalore. 

The K Company left Gundamuck on the 31st, and joined the 
others en route. They reached Jhelum by the 4th July, and 
marched into Bangalore on the 29th, after a ten days' quarantine 
at Kistnaveram to recover from the effects of cholera. 

The companies had left Bangalore with 11 European officers, 
7 native officers, and 370 N.C.O. and privates, besides 184 
followers ; they returned with 9 European officers, 6 native 
officers, 343 N.C.O. and privates, with 173 followers, having 
lost 2 European officers, 1 native officer, 27 N.C.O. and 
privates and 11 followers. 

The European officers were Captain Winterbotham, died at 
Peshawur l4th February 1879; Lieutenant Poulter, died at 
Peshawur 22nd June 1879. 

The native officer was Jemadar Padmanahen, died at Jubbul- 
pore 10th July 1879. 

Lieutenants Rawson, Hamilton, Wahab, MacDonell, and twenty 
rank and file and artificers, left Kistnaneram for Rumpa without 
coming into Bangalore. 

In the official account of the 2nd Bazar Expedition, Lieu- 
tenant-General Maude wrote : — 

"The services of ... . Major C. A. Sim, R.E., were cheer- 
fully given when required." 

Again, on the conclusion of the campaign, he wrote : — 

"Major Sim, R.E., Madras Sappers and Miners, is a good, 
practical, hard-working officer. Both he and his two (B and 
E) companies did excellent services." 

Lieutenant-Geueral Sir S. Browne, K.C.S.I., C.B,, command- 
ing 1st Division P.V.F.E., reported: — 

" With regard to the K Company Madras Sappers under 
Lieutenant Rawson, which joined the 1st Division before leaving 
Jellalabad, I have to record my satisfaction of their conduct." 


A brief account of the road from Peshawur to Gundamuck 
may fitly close the record of the work of these three companies 
of Sappei's. 

" From Peshawur there was a well-made road as far as Hurrie 
Sing Ka Boorg, a village on the old frontier, from thence to 
Jumrood the road was over an open very stony uncultivated 
plain, through which a path had been partially cleared. Jum- 
rood is on a low-lying plain, about the same height as Peshawur, 
l,-")00 feet above the sea. From Jumrood to the fort of Ali 
Musjid is nine miles. The Kliyber pass is entered about two 
and a half miles from Jumrood ; the entrance is very wild and 
picturesque, through a narrow gorge between high hills. Soon 
after entering the pass the road ascended along a well-made, 
though narrow and steep declivity, made by Colonel Mackeson 
during the previous war; Mackeson's road, near the entrance to 
the Khyber, was very much improved by means of diversions, 
bridging, &c. At the summit of this it reaches a small undula- 
ting plateau, called the Shargai heights, from which the fort of 
Ali Musjid first becomes visible. It was from these heights that 
the heavy batteries shelled Ali Musjid and the ' sangar ' on the 
hills above it. About four miles further on the road drops to a 
pathway, which runs partly along the bed of the Khyber river. 
The road from the Sliargai heights down to the Khyber was 
very bad, and was covered with dead camels, whose hearts had 
been broken by the climbing, and whose dead carcases polluted 
the air horribly till means were taken to bury them; but this was 
the case at all the more difficult parts of the road. The bed of 
the river at this point is about 000 feet higher than Peshawur, 
and the fort of Ali Musjid is situated on a hill fully 450 feet 
above the river, but commanded and surrounded on every 

"Ali Musjid was named after a mosque built by Mahomed Ali 
in one of his marches; the ruins still exist. It seems to have 
been a sacred spot for centuries. A Buddhist tope was dis- 


interred at the entrance, which must have been built just before 
the Christian era, 

" All this part of the pass is very wild, with scarcely any vege- 
tation. There was only one village, surrounding which were 
some well-cultivated fields, and the inhabitants had spent much 
trouble and ingenuity in constructing rude canals for the pur- 
pose of irrigation. This village was burnt by us on account of 
the murders its people had committed. 

" From Ali Musjid to Lundi Kotal the road passed through the 
narrowest gorge in the whole pass. This gorge formed a very 
■weird piece of scenery. The path was through the bed of the 
river, winding among enormous boulders. A road was eventu- 
ally cut, at great cost, by Colonel Limond, R.B.E., out of the 
sheer face of the cliff. 

" About a mile beyond this, on passing Katti-Kurthi, the pass 
opens out, and the road passed through the centre of a valley 
containing several villages, and well-cultivated. 

" About half-way to Lundi Kotal another Buddhist tope is 
passed, in excellent preservation, the hills close by being full of 
caves, in which the priests lived. 

"Lundi Kotal is situated, as its name signifies, at the top of 
the pass, and is 1,000 feet higher than Ali Musjid. The camp 
was pitched round a ruined fort, in the midst of an elevated 
plain surrounded by hills. There were several villages on this 
plain, which was much cut up by huge deep ravines. There was 
great difficulty in getting water for this camp ; it had to be 
carried a mile or more from two very prettily-situated streams, 
which were named Venus' and Diana's baths. 

" Lundi Khana is the next station, four miles further on, and 
1,000 feet lower, the decline being got over by a very narrow 
steep road, made by Colonel Mackeson, greatly improved by the 
K Company Madras Sappers, and eventually became a capital 
road. At the junction of the road from Peshawur and the one 
leading to the camp at Lundi Kotal, the Sappers put up a sign- 



board with three arms, one pointing towards Lundi Khana, 
marked ' To Cabul,' the second towards camp, marked ' To 
Lundi Kotal,' and the third showing the road to Peshawur, 
marked ' To Madras,' which hist-named amused passers-by not 
a little. 

" The view from the Kotal was very fine, with all the rugged 
hills of this portion of the pass in the foreground, backed up by 
the ever-beautiful snow-covered range of the " Safed Koh " in 
the far distance. 

" Dakka is ten miles beyond this again, and is reached by a 
road gradually descending towards the Cabul river. This was 
one of the most dangerous parts of the road, as there were direct 
paths from it to the ' Barah ' and ' Tirah ' valleys, whence the 
Zukka Kheyls made frequent raids. 

" For a distance of seven miles the road is very narrow; after 
this, it enters a small plain stretching down towards the Cabul 
river, close to the bank of which is the large mud-walled fort 
built within the last few years by the late Ameer. It was 
erected for the purpose of over-awing the Mohmunds, and the 
Khan of Lalpura, whose village is on the other side of the river. 
The fort at Dakka is 1,200 feet above the sea. 

" From Dakka to Bassawul is ten miles. The road first passes 
through the Khoord Khyber pass, a short but very steep ascent, 
which required a gi*eat deal of work before it was made practi- 
cable for carts. Having surmounted this, the road was found 
fairly level all the way to Bassawul. The plain on which Bas- 
sawul is situated is an extensive one, and towards the north can 
be seen the snow-covered peaks of the ' Safed Koh.' A great 
portion of this plain consists of very fertile land, but immediately 
around the camp, on the river-side, there is much low-lying 
marshy ground. Bassawul is 1,500 feet above the sea. 

" From Bassawul to Buttikot, or Barrukab, a distance of ten 
miles, the road passes over this plain, but beyond Barrukab it 
proceeds through another pass into the Jellalabad valley, Jel- 


lalabad being twenty-six miles from Bassawnl. Thei'e is an alter- 
native route by the river from Bassawnl to Jellalabad, passing 
through a village called Girdi-Eas, but the road was not com- 
plete, nor was it practicable even for camels. 

" From Jellalabad to Gundamuck the distance is thirty miles, 
the road having a steady rise the whole way to Gundamuck. 

" The distances are : to Futtehabad, seventeen miles ; to Mim- 
lah, eight ; and to Gundamuck, five miles. 

" It was only the K Company of Sappers which was moved as 
far as Gundamuck, a distance of 105 miles from Pesbawur. The 
E Company went no further than Bassawnl, while the B Com- 
pany had to confine its operations to the line between Ali 
Musjid and Lundi Kb ana." 

In accordance with the Treaty of Gundamuck, the British 
Mission left India in June 1879. It consisted of Sir Louis 
Cavagnari as Envoy, with an assistant, Mr. Jenkins, Lieutenant 
Hamilton, in charge of the escort, and Dr. Kelly, in medical 
charge. They reached Cabul on the 24th August. 

On the 3rd September, as is well known, a revolt took place 
in Cabul, and an attack was made on the Residency. It was 
stormed and set on fire, and the whole of the mission, together 
with the escort, were slaughtered to a man. But their defence 
was magnificent, and though none (except a few absent at the 
time) escaped, the assailants suffered very heavily. Immediately 
on receipt of this news, the renewal of the war was imperative, 
and a force was at once despatched to Cabul under Sir Frederick 
Roberts, via the Shuturgardan pass, at the head of the Kurram 

Roberts fought the action of Charasiab on the 6th October ; 
on the 8th Sherpur was entered, and next day our whole force 
encamped on the Seah-Sung plateau overlooking Cabul. 

On the renewal of hostilities the Madras army was ordered to 
furnish three regiments of Native Infantry and three companies 


of Sappers for service in Afghanistan, and Colonel W. A. Gib, 
M.S.C., was appointed Brigadier-General. 

The regiments selected were the 1st, 4th, and loth N. I., 
while the Sappers consisted of the A, C, and I Companies. 

The A Company left Bangalore on 3rd October, followed two 
days after by the I Company. The former arrived at Lundi 
Kotal on 14th November, while the latter advanced to Jellalabad 
by the 19th. 

The C Company was at this time in Rangoon. It left that 
place on 1 6th November, and reached Lundi Kotal on Christmas 
Day. On their arrival they found the A Company at Basawul, 
and the I Company at Jellalabad. 

The whole force of Queen's Own Sappers was under the com- 
mand of Major Ross Thompson, R.M.E., while the Company 
officers were : — 

A Company. — Lieutenants C. H. Darling, R.E., W. D. Lindley, 
R.E., R. A. Wahab, R.E. 

C Comjmmj. — Lieutenants A. R. F.Dorward,R.E., L. Langley, 
R.E., G. E. Shute, R.E. 

/ Company. — Lieutenants A. E. Dobson, R.E., C. B. Hen- 
derson, R.E., T. Digby, R.E. 

]\lajor Ross Thompson, at the time of Roberts's advance, was 
at Rangoon. He and Lieutenant Dobson sailed from that place 
on 5th October, leaving Lieatenant Dorward, with the C Com- 
pany, to follow. Thompson arrived at Calcutta on 10th 
October, left it on the 14th, and overtook the A and I Com- 
panies at Mean Meer on the l7th, where he assumed command. 

The A Company, after arrival at Lundi Kotal, was at first 
employed in building protective-works, and in surveys, &c. In