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DOCUMENTS 

ILLUSTRATIVE 




BXTRMESh WAR. 



WITH AN 



INTRODUCTORY SKETCH 



(B\)mt^ Of tfit Wiav, 



AN APPENDIX. 



COMPILED AND EDITED 



By HORACE HAYMAN WILSQJS^, Esq. 



Calcutta: 

FROM THE GOVERNMENT GAZETTE PRESS, BY G. H, HUTTMANN, 



1827. 



vi' 



QH 



'■'J 



c- 



TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

LORD AMHERST, 

GOVERNOR GENERAL OF BRITISH INDIA; 

^c. ^c. 4c 

THE FOLLOWING PAGES, 

ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE EVENTS OF A WAR, 

CONDUCTED UNDER HIS AUSPICES, 

TO A 

SUCCESSFUL AND HONOURABLE TERMINATION, 



RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED. 



m^tof ^nMctii)tv*i. 



THE Right Honorable the Governor General in 
Council, one hundred copies- 

The Right Honorable the Governor General, ten co- 
pies. 

Viscount Combermere. 

The Honorable J. H. Harington, Esq. two copies. 

Tiie Honorable W. B. Bayley, Esq. four copies. 

Sir A. Campbell, Commander of the Forces in Ava, 
six copies. 

Abbott, F. Lieutenant, Engineers. 

Allan, John, Esq. 

Armstrong, R. Captain, 2d Assistant Military Auditor 

General. 
Arnold, Major General Sir J., k. c. b. 

Backhouse, Thomas, Major, H. M. 47th Foot. 
Bathgate, J. Esq. 

Beatson, W. S. Major, Deputy Adjutant General. 
Bird, Robt. M. E^q. 
Blundell, E. A. Esq. Tavoy. 
Bracken, C. Lieutenant. 
Brooke, R. Esq. 

Burlton, William, Captain, Deputy Assistant Com- 
missary General. 
Burnett, R. L. Lieutenant. 
Burney, H. Captain. 

Cheek, G. N. Esq. , 

Darval, E. Lieutenant. 
Dempster, J. Dr. 
Dillon, P. Captain. 
Douglas, W. Lieutenant. 
Dwyer, F. Dr. 



Frith, R. Dr. • 

Frith, Richard, M. D., Assistant Surgeon, Bombajr 
Establishment. 

Gardner, W. L. Colonel. 

George, F. D. Lieutenant, II th Light Dragoons. 

Glas, James, Captain, 33d M. N. L 

Gordon, Hugh, Lieutenant. 

Gowan, G. E. Captain, H. A. 

Graham, Charles, Captain. 

Grant, P. W. Captain. 

Grant, J. Esq. 

Hale, Edward, Esq. Private Secy. Gov. Genl. two 

copies. 
Hands, F. W. Captain. 
Havelock, H. Lieutenant, Deputy Assistant Adjutant 

General in Ava. 
Hewett, J. Lieutenant, Adjutant 52d N. L 
Hodgson, Henry, Col. 
Honifrays, J. Jr. Esq. 
Hunter, John, Esq. 

Jackson, J. N. Major. 

Kyd, J. Esq. 

Livingston, W. A. Esq. 

Low, Wm. Capt. Nagpore Auxiliary Horse. 

Lurasden, Tliomas, Capt. H. A. 

Mackenzie, Holt, Esq. 

INIackintosh, A. Capt. Comdt. Amidpore Local Bn. 

Maingy, A. D. Esq. Tavoy. 

McLeod, A. Major, Rungpore Lt. Inf. 

Martin, Wm. Lieut. 57th N. I. 

Moule, J. Lieut. 23d N. L . « 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



Nicolls, Major General »ir Jasper, K. C. B., Com- 
/luanding Northern Division Madras Army. 

Officer- jf tlie 69th Rcgt. 

Paton, J. Lieut. 

Pemberton, Lieut., Qr. Mr. Genl.'s Dept. 

Persian Office. 

Ramarao, C. 
Robertson, T. C. Esq. 

Samchand Baboo. 
Saunders, R. Esq. 
Scott, D. Esq. 
Shakcspear, H. Esq. 



Sprye, R. S. M. Lieutenant, 9th M. N. L 
Smitii, T. P. Colonel. 
Stewart, D. Dr., M. D. 
Stirling, A. Esq. two copies. 
Swinton, George, Esq. two copies. 

Tliomason, J. Esq. 

Tliomson, Lieutenant, Engineers, 

Trant, Lieutenant, Deputy Assistant Quarter Master 

General. 
Turnbull, M. H., Esq. 

Williams, D. Lieutenant, Sub-Assistant Commissary 

General. 
Wyndham, H. Lieutenant. 



INTRODUCTION. 



The work that is now offered to the Public, makes no pretensions to the character of 
a History of the late War with the Burman State. Its humbler aim is to provide and 
preserve materials for the Historian. 

The little knowledge Europeans possess of the countries which were the theatre of 
military operations, has given an interest to all information on the subject, that does not 
attach to the details of hostilities in countries more visited, and amidst nations better 
known. It is, therefore, the more expedient to preserve those documents, which origi- 
nated in recent events, and to present them in a collective and convenient form. 

The official papers relating to the war, are scattered through the columns of the 
Calcutta and London Gazettes, the papers printed for the use of the Court of Proprie- 
tors, or House of Commons, and various daily or monthly journals. To bring them to- 
gether in one compilation has, at least, the merit of accommodation, and must save much 
trouble to all who wish to refer to them, either as the record of the past, or as a guide for 
the future. 

The intelligent industry of many of the military and civil officers employed in the 
late war, furnished the Government of India with much valuable topographic and 
statistical information, which, with great liberality was, in many instances, allowed to 
be imparted to the public. The communications from this source, which appeared,' 
from time to time, in the Calcutta Government Gazette, have been collected in tl^e present 
compilation, and appended to the official papers. 



INTRODUCTION. 

In the Introducioiy Sketch by Avhich the documents are preceded, no other object has 
been proposed, than to supply a succinct and connected view of the events narrated, and 
a key to the documents which form the substance of the compilation. It is hoped that 
no omission nor mistake of any importance has been made in the narrative, and should 
such have occurred, it will easily be corrected by reference to the authorities on which the 
whole depends. 

The Editor is obliged to the kindness of Major Jackson, for the map which accom- 
panies the work, and which will, probably, be thought not the least valuable of the contents 
of the volume. He is indebted to the same officer for the plan of Rangoon, and for the 
opportunity of consulting various plans and maps calculated to render his narrative dis- 
tinct. He is also indebted to Captains Grant and Pemberton, for assistance of a similar 
description, in opportmiities of inspecting their surveys of Tenasserim and Manipur. 

Calcutta, \st November, 1827. 



HISTORICAL SKETCH 



OF 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



1 HE occurrence of hostilities with the neighbouring kingdom of Ava, was an event which 
was not unforeseen by the British Government of India, as the eventual consequence of the 
victorious career, and the extravagant pretensions of the Burman state.* 

Animated by the re-action which suddenly elevated the Bunnans from a subjugated and 
humiliated people, into conquerors and sovereigns, the era of their ambition may be dated 
from the recovery of their political independence, and their liberation from the temporary 
yoke of the Peguers, was the prelude to their conquest of all the surrounding realms. The 
vigorous despotism of the Government, and the confident courage of the people, ci'owned 
every enterprise with success, and for above half a century the Burman arms were invaria- 
bly victorious, whether wielded for attack or defence. Shortly after their insurrection against 
Pegu, the Burmans became the masters of that kingdom. They next wrested the valuable 
districts of the Tenasserim coast from Siam. They repelled, with great gallantly, a formidable 
invasion from China, and by the final annexation of Aracan, Manipur, and Asam, to the 
empire, they established themselves through the whole of the narrow, but extensive tract of 
country, which separates the western provinces of China from the eastern boundaries of Hin- 
dustan. Along the greater part of this territory they threatened the open plains of British 
India, and they cn!y awaited a plausible pretext to assail the barrier, which, in their estimation, 
as presumptuously as idly, opposed the further prosecution of their triumphs. 

The imperious disposition of the Court of Ava, was manifested at a very early period, and 
even the liberator of his country, Alompra, not satisfied with disdaining the proffered alli- 
ance of the Company, authorised a barbarous massacre of their servants on the island of Ne- 
grais, which was never disavowed nor excused by his successors, nor resented by the British 

Government 



* Documents 1 and 2. 

A 



2 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

Government of InJia.* Shortly after the conquest of Aracan, a Burman army entered the 
territories in pursuit of robbers, without any previous representation of the cause of 
their aggression, or intimation of their purpose — whilst a force of twenty thousand men 
assembled at Aracan to support tha invasion. The advance of a British detaclnnent, 
iir.der Colonel Erskine, and the prudence of the Burman commander, prevented hostilities; 
but the presumption of the Burman Government was so far encouraged, that the principal 
individuals who had incurred its displeasure were secured, and delivered to its vengeance.! The 
communication thus opened, was thought to affjrd a favourable occasion for a pacific mission, 
pnd Colonel Symes was, accordingly, despatched on that object. The reception of the 
Envoy, however, as detaded by himself, clearly exhibits the interpretation given to it by the 
Court, and they evidently regarded it as the tribute of fear, rather than as an advance towards 
liberliP'conciliation and civilised intercourse.^ 

Upon the subjugation of Aracan, great numbers of the native population fled from the 
cruelty and oppression of their conquerors, and either found an asyluin in the district of 
Chittagong, or secreted themselves amongst the hills and thickets, and alluvial islands, 
along its southern and eastern boundaries : from these haunts, they occasionally sallied, 
and inflicted upon the Burmans in Aracan, a feeble retaliation for the injuries they had 
sustained : retiring to their fastnesses, when their purpose was effected, or when encountered 
by superior force. In general, their efforts were insignificant, and their incursions were 
rather predatory than political ; but in § 1811, a more formidable invasion took place, and 
the fugitives having collected under the command of Khynberring, a Mug Chief, attempted 
an aggression of a serious character. They were joined by many of the Mugs from Chitta- 
gong, and being aided by those still resident in Aracan, they soon overran that province, 
and recovered the whole of it, except the capital, from the Burmans. Their success was 
transient. Reinforcements arrived from Ava. Khynberring was defeated, and his followers 
put to the route, and the insurgents were compelled to return to their hiding places on the 
frontiers of Chittagong. Although every exertion was made by tlie police of Chittagong, 
aided by the military, to prevent all assemblages of armed men in the district, and to disperse 
them as soon as formed, the nature of the country, and the general devotion of the Mug 

populatjon 

* On these subjects, Dalryraple's Repertory furnishes some characteristic details Vol. I. pages 151 anil 394. 

■\ Of this transaction, Dr. Hamilton remarks, '■ The opinion that prevailed both in Chittagong and at Ava was, that 
the refugees were given up from fear, and this opinion has, no doubt, continued to operate c;i t'.ic iU-infornied Court of 
Ava, and has occasioned a frequent repetition of violence and insolence, ending in open war. The consequence of this 
will, no doubt, be fatal to Ava, but may produce subsequent difficulties to the Government of Bengal. These evils might 
possibly have been avoided by a vigorous repulse of the invasion in ITQi, and a positive rcfusf;! to hearken to any pro- 
posal for giving up the insurgents, after the Court of Ava had adopted hostile measures in place of ncgociation, to which 
alone it was entitled. Account of tlte frontier between the southern part of Bengal and Ava. — Edinburgh Journal of Science, 
for October, \%lo. 

\ Symes's Mission to Ava, 8vo. 1. 275. Sec also Cox's Burmhaii Empire. 

$ Calcutta Annual liegiittr for 16^1. 



THE BURMESE WAR. c^ 

population to the cause of Khyrberrirg-, rendered evcv-;,-.caf::rc o; 1. - ^cccy, whilst 

the issue of the insurgents in such numbers from the Coi'ipany's (••'.:itc , ' ■■.■.. i!;e com- 
mand of an individual who had resided many years under the protection ot the iocal autho- 
rities, did certainly afford reason to the Court of Ava to suspect that the invasion was 
instigated -and supported by the British Government. In order to efface such an impression, 
letters were addressed to the Raja of Aracan, and Viceroy of Pegu, and Captain Canning 
was sent on a mission to Ava, to offer e\ ery necessary explanation. These advances were 
unsuccessful, and the Envoy, after experiencing much indignity at Rangoon, and incurring 
some personal peril, was recalled to Bengal, without communicating with the capital. As 
long as the chiefs of the insurgents were at large, the Burman Government declined all 
amicable communication. They insisted upon the seizure of the obnoxious individuals, and 
their delivery by the British officers, or threatened to overrun the district of Chittagong, 
with a force more than sufficient for their apprehension. Tliis menace was frustrated by the 
presence of a body of troops, but due attention was paid to the just claims of the Burman 
Government, and parties were dispatched against the fugitives, and rewards offered for their 
capture. Khynberring escaped ; but several of his chief followers were secured. Common 
humanity forbade their being resigned to the barbarity of the Burmese, and the refusal 
to deliver them was a source of deep and long cherished resentment to the Court of Ava. 
After a few years of a precarious and fugitive life, during which, deserted by his followers, 
and straitened by the vigilance with which his movements were watched by both British and 
Burmese, Khynberring was deprived of the means of doing mischief, that chieftain died, 
and left the Court of Ava no cause of complaint against the Government of Britisli India.* 

The death of Khynberring, the dispersion of his adherents, and the confinement of the 
principal leaders, produced a favorable change in the state of the country, and divest- 
ed such disturbances as subsequently occurred of all national or political importance. 
The insurgents generally manifested a disposition to return quietly to their homes, but a 
few, unable to resume at once habits of tranquil industry, continued to lurk in the hills and 
jungles of Chittagong, under the command of Kyngjang, a chief of Khynberring's party, who 
continued at large. At first, his band did not consist of more than thirty followers, but it 
gradually increased to about a hundred, and with these he committed some predatory exces- 
ses, but solely upon the subjects of the British Government ; being impelled to this conduct 
by the terror of a prison and the want of food. The depredations of this chief, and his adhe- 
rents, were speedily checked by the activity of the magistrate, and in May 1816, were finally 
suppressed by the surrender of the chief. Their existence, however, furnished the Court of 

Ava, 

* Although we have thought it advisable to refer to these occurrences, as explanatory of the feelings which haye 
since influenced the Court of Ava, we do not conceive it essential to enter into them in detail, nor to record the autho- 
rities upon which the preceding summary is founded. Tlie events of the period are narrated in the works, which we 
have cited, or form the bulk of the papers, printed by order of the House of Commons, in May 1825, to which, therefore, 
we refer our readers for any further illustration, which they may think the subject requires. 



4 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

Ava, with no additional ground of complaint, as tliey were restricted to the territories of 
the Company. 

The perfect immunity of the Burman frontiers from aggression for a period of two years, 
and the repeated assurances of the British Government of India, that, as far as depended upon 
their officers, this desirable state of things should be perpetuated, might have satisfied the 
Government of Ava of the sincerity of the pledge, and justified the expectation that amica- 
ble relations would be permanently formed. 

The second year, however, of the restoration of tranquillity on the confines of the two 
states had not quite expired, when the demand for the surrender of the Mug refugees was 
renewed by the son of the Raja of Ramree, who brought a letter from his father to that effect.* 
The magistrate of Chittagong was directed to reply to the letter of the Raja of- Ramree, but 
the Governor General, the Marquis of Hastings, thought jt advisable to address a letter to the 
Viceroy of Pegu, in which it was stated, for the purpose of being communicated to the King 
of Ava, that "the British Government could not, without a violation of the principles of justice, 
deliver up those who had sought its protection, that the existing tranquillity and the improbable 
renewal of any disturbances rendered the demand particularly unseasonable, and that whilst 
the vigilance of the British officers should be directed to prevent and punish any enterprize 
against the province of Aracan, it could lead to no advantageous result to either state to 
agitate the question of the delivery of the insurgents any further." No notice was ever taken 
of this letter, and the silence of the Court of Ava, for some time afterwards, confirmed the 
Government of Bengal in the belief, that *' there was not the least reason to suspect the exist- 
ence or the future contemplation of any hostile design on the part of the Burmese Govern- 
ment," in consequence of which Impression, the Government countermanded " the extraor- 
dinary preparations of defence against the Burmese, which had been adopted upon the ge- 
neral tenor of the intelligence obtained after the receipt of the communication from Ramree, 
the knowledge possessed by Government of the arrogant spirit of the Court of Ava, and the 
extreme jealousy which it had always entertained of the protection granted, by the British- 
authorities, to the emigrant Mugs."t 

The impression thus entertained was, by no means justified by the result, and after the expi- 
ration of another twelve month, a second letter was received from the Raja of Ramree, making 
a demand, on the part of the King of Ava, for the cession of Ramoo, Chittagong, Moorshe- 
dabad, and Dacca, on the alleged grounds of their being ancient dependencies of Aracan, now 
annexed to the liurman dominions, and filled with extravagant and absurd menaces, in the 
event of a refusal to comply with the requisition. A letter in reply, was written to the Vice- 
roy of I'egu, treating this demand as the unauthorised act of the Raja of Ramree, and stating, 
that " if the Governor General could suppose it to have been dictated by the King of Ava, 
the British Government would be justified in considering it as a declaration of war." The 

letter 
<> _ 

• Documents No. 3 and 4. 

f Public Letter to tlic Honorable the Court of Directors, of the 20th December, 1817. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 5 

letter from the Raja, it may be observed, was never disavowed, and the demands it conveyed 
as well as the tone, in which they were expressed, could not have emanated from a subordinate 
officer, if he had not been previously armed with the full authority of the Court. Nor in 
fact, was the demand altogether new, although now, for the first time, directly uro-ed. The 
claim was repeatedly advanced both in public and in private, as far back as 1797, when Captain 
Cox was at Amerapura, and it must even then have been familiar to the discussions of the 
administration.* It was therefore, not the unauthorised impertinence of a provincial Governor 
but the expression of sentiments long entertained by the Government of Ava, and presently, 
as we shall observe, explicitly avowed by other and more important of its functionaries. 
Had not the attention of the Government of India been directed to more emergent considera- 
tions in other quarters, there is no doubt that a satisfactory explanation of so extraordinary a 
procedure would have been insisted on, or that the alternative would, as intimated by Lord 
Hastings, have then been war. 

The successful termination of hostilities in central India, was, perhaps, one cause of the 
subsequent silence of the Burmese Government, but other reasons may be found in the 
death of the King of Ava, who expired in 1819, in the arrangements consequent upon the suc- 
cession of the reigning prince, the active interference of the Court of Ava in the politics of 
Asam, and the reduction of that country to its authority.t 

The constitution of Asam comprised even to a greater extent than usual with Asiatic Go- 
vernments, the seeds of civil dissension. Although the Government was hereditary in the 
same family, the choice of a successor rested with the King, or the great council, or the per- 
sons of most authority in the state. These were also, for the greater part, hereditary, not only 
as to rank, but function, and the son of a minister ordinarily succeeded to his father's post. 
The chief ministers were three in number, the Barputra Gohain, the Bara Gohain, and the 
Boora Gohain : next to these v.'as the Bar Barua, or great secretary, and then came the Phokuns 
and Baruas, who filled the different public offices of the state, and were mostly supposed to 
be descended from the original companions of the founders of the ruling dynasty, in conse- 
quence of which they were entitled to the influence and authority they enjoyed. 
__^ Amidst 

* " A desultory conversation tlien took place, in which the Woonghees, Woondoks, and others indifferently joined. 
One advanced, that Chittagong, Luckipore, Dacca, and the whole of the Casimbazar island, formerly made part of the 
ancient dominions of Arracan, that the remains of chokeys and pagodas were still to be seen near Dacca, and that they 
would further prove it from the Arracan records, and hinted, tiiat his Majesty would claim the restitution of those coun- 
trie?. Cox's Burmhan Empire, p. 300. TheWoondok again brought forward his Majesty's claims on the ancient territory 
of Arracan, and reduced it to the form of a demand of half of the revenues of Dacca, p. 302. The Woondok renewed the 
subject of the Burmhan claims 011 Dacca, &c., but lowered the demand to one-tenth of the revenues. He said it was evident, 
we were dubious of our right, by Captain Syraes having so strenuously urged the building of a chokey on the Naaf, to mark 
that river as the boundary between the two countries. Had the Naaf been the proper boundary, there was no occasion for 
Captain Symes's agitating the subject : we had betrayed our consciousness of our want of right by his solicitude on that 
occasion. They have publicly said, that three thousand men would be sufficient to wrest from us the provinces they 
claim." p. 304. So little change did nearly thirty years effect in the ideas of the Burman Court. 

j- Document No. 8. 

B 



6 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

Amidst these individuals, jealousy and intrigue were always busy, and the annals of Asam 
present a singular picture of intestine discord. It was, however, between the Kajas and the 
Gohains, that the principal struggle prevailed, in which the Boora Gohain had acquired an 
irresistible ascendency, and subsequently to the year 1796, usurped the sovereign authority, 
the Raja being a mere cypher in his hands. 

Upon the death of Raja Kamaleswar in ISIO, his brother, Chandra Kant, was raised by 
Purnanand, the Boora Gohain, to the throne, but the new Raja soon became impatient of the 
controul of a servant, and encouraged his adherents to enter into a conspiracy against his mi- 
nister. The plot was, however, discovered : the Raja was obliged to disavow all participation 
in it, and his adherents were put to death with the most horrible cruelty. The Bara Phokun, 
who was one of the conspirators, made good his escape to Calcutta, where he applied, on be- 
half of his master, to the British Government. Meeting with but little encouragement in that 
quarter, he had recourse to the Bufman Envoys then at the presidency, and accompanying 
them on their return to Ava, immediately procured military succors. Six thousand Burmans, 
and eight thousand auxiliaries, accompanied him to Asam, where the Boora Gohain had breath- 
ed his last, two days before their arrival. The son of that minister, who succeeded to his fa- 
ther's station and ambition, retreated to Gohati on the approach of the Burmans, leaving the 
Raja at Jorhath to welcome their arrival, and reward the activity of the Bara Phokun, by mak- 
ing him his minister. The Burmans were reimbursed their expences, and dismissed with 
honour, and a female of the royal family was sent with valuable presents to Amerapura. 

The services of the Bara Phokun were unable to protect him against the effects of court 
intriofue, and the Bara Barua and Bara Gohain influenced Chandra Kant, to put him treacher- 
ously to death, on which his friends and kindred fled to Ava. In tlie mean time, the son of 
the late Boora Gohain, inheriting his father's resentment against the reigning Raja, invited 
a Prince of the royal family, Purandar Sinh, who had resided sometime in obscurity, to become 
a competitor for the throne, and in his cause, defeated and deposed Chandra Kant. Puran- 
dar Sinh was satisfied with slitting an ear of his rival, a mutilation which was held to disqua- 
lify him for the regal dignity. 

The Court of Amerapura, on hearing of the murder of their ally, the Bara Phokun, des- 
patched a large army to Asam to avenge his fate. The force entered the . country early in 
1818, and were opposed at Najeera, a place three days from Jorhath, with some spirit, but a 
panic seizing the Asamcse commander, he fell back to Jorhath, from whence Purandar Sinii and 
his party retreated to Gohati. Attributing, apparently, the murder of the Bara Phokun to 
Chandra Kant's advisers, rather than to himself, the Burmans re-established that Prince in his 
authority, and on their departure, left a division, under Maha Thilwa, for his defence. The 
Bara Barua and the Bara Gohain were taken, and put to death at Rangpur. Upon the advance 
of tlic Burman force to Gohati, Purandar Sinh and the Boora Gohain took refuge in the ter- 
ritories of tl»e Company. Their surrender was demanded by Chandra Kant. 

A very short interval elapsed when Chandra Kant's brother-in-law, and one of his mi- 
nisters, having incurred the displeasure of the Burman general, was put to death by his order. 

This 



THE BURMESE WAR. 7 

This act having alarmed the Raja for his own safety, he fled with his sister to Gohati, and al- 
though Maha Thilwa endeavoured, by professions of friendship, to dissipate his alarm, he could 
not be induced to trust himself again in the power of the Burraan general. In resentment of 
his mistrust, a great number of Asamese were put to deatji. Chandra Kant retaliated on the 
Burman officers who had been deputed to persuade him to return, and the bitterest enmity se- 
parated him from his allies. The Burman commander sent a force against him, which com- 
pelled him to evacuate Gohati, and retreat towards the British frontier. There, however, he 
made head against his enemies, and having purchased supplies of arms and ammunition, and 
being joined by a number of the Asamese, he became, in his turn, triumphant, and at the end of 
1S21 had again established his authority over the western part of Asam, as far as to the vicini- 
ty of Jorhath. His success, however, was of no long duration, for in the beginning of 182i2, the 
Burmesein Asam, who had set up anotherpretenderto the throne, were joined by considerable 
reinforcements from Ava, under Menghee Maha Bandoola, an officer of rank and military 
ability. Chandra Kant was defeated at Mahagar-ghat in an action, in which he displayed 
great personal bravery, and was compelled to seek safety once more in flight. He refrained 
from retiring to the Company's territories, but the Burman commander anticipating that he 
would take that direction, addressed a letter and message to the officer commanding on the 
frontier, stating, that although it was his wish to remain on friendly terms with the Company, 
and to respect the British authorities, yet, should protection be given to Chandra Kant, he had 
received orders to follow him wherever he might go, and to take him by force out of the 
British dominions.* Although it was not thought likely that these menaces would be en- 
forced, yet orders were, in consequence, sent to the Magistrate, that should Chandra Kant or 
any of his pai-ty appear within his district, they should be disarmed and sent to a distance, 
and measures were taken to strengthen the force on the frontier. In the meantime, a 
general feeling of insecurity prevailed amongst the inhabitants of Rungpore, and on various 
occasions, parties of Burmese crossing the river, committed serious devastations within the 
British territor}^, burning a number of villages, and plundering and murdering the inhabi- 
tants, or carrying them ofFaS'slaves. These proceedings, when complained of, were disavowed, 
but no redress was ever obtained. 

The pretence of maintaining the lawful Prince in possession of his throne, was soon abandon, 
ed by the Burmans, and a chief of their own nation was appointed to the supreme authority 
in Asam. The vicinity of a powerful and ambitious neighbour was therefore substituted for a 
feeble and distracted state, and this proximity was the more a subject of reasonable appre- 
hension, as, from the the country being intersected by numerous rivers, and from the Burmese 
being equally prepared to combat by water as by land, it was at any time in their power to 
invade and plunder the British provinces, without its being possible to offer eflTective opposi- 
tion, or to intercept their retreat, under the existing constitution of our defensive force. It 
was also to be anticipated, from the known pretensions of the Burmese, and thcispirit they 

had 

* Document No. 9. 



-8 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

had invariably displayed, that it vould not be long before they found some excuse for 
disturbing the amicable relations which, chiefly through the forbearance of the British Govern- 
ment, in not exacting retribution for the injuries offered to its subjects, were still suffered 
to subsist on the frontiers of Asam. This anticipation was speedily realised. An island in 
the Bramahputra, on which the .British flag had been erected, was claimed by the Burmese ; 
the flag thrown down, and an armed force collected to maintain the insult.* It does not 
appear that this conduct was ever resented, but sickness weakening the Burmese force in 
Asam, and the rising of some of the native tribes engrossing their attention, they desisted for 
the time, from their unwarrantable encroachments. They were, however, likely to renew them 
whenever the opportunity was convenient, and a sense of insecurity could not fail to be en- 
tertained by the authorities in Asam, until the actual occurrence of war relieved the appre- 
hension by the certainty of danger. 

The threatening attitude of the Burmese, at either extremity of the frontier, now render- 
ed it incumbent on the British Government to advert to the position which they likewise occu- 
pied in the more central portion, and to take such measures as were at once practicable for 
the defence of the eastern provinces. With this view they determined to accede to a requi- 
sition that had been some time under their consideration, and to take the principality of Ca- 
char under British protection, by which arrangement they were enabled to occupy the principal 
passes into the low lands of Sylhet, and thus effectively oppose the advance of the Burmans 
from the district of Manipur, which they had some short tmie previously reduced to their 
authoritj'.t 

Bhogi Chandra, Raja of Manipur, who died about 1796, left several sons, of whom the 
eldest, Hersha Chandra, succeeded. After a few years, he was put to death by the brother of 
one of his father's wives, but this chief was speedily slain by Madhu Chandra, the second son 
of the late Raja. He was killed after a reign of four or five years by his brother Chourajit, who 
then became Raja. Of the remaining brothers, Marjit fled to the Court of Ava, and Gambhir 
Sinh continued in Manipur. After repeated alternations of reconciliation and animosity, Mar- 
jit, having obtained a strong Burmese force, invaded Manipur about 1812, and succeeded in dis- 
possessing his elder brother, and compelling him to fly. Chourajit took refuge first in Cachar, 
and subsequently in Jyntea. The youngest brother, Gambhir Sinh, after residing with Marjit for 
a twelve month, found it also expedient to leave the principality, and he entered into the service 
ofGovinda Chandra, the Raja of Cachar, by whom he was invested with the command of his 
troops. In 1817, the new sovereign of Manipur invaded the neighbouring state of Cachar, on 
which the Raja fled into Sylhet, and solicited the aid of the British Government, offering to hold 
his country under an acknowledgement of dependency. As these offers were decHned, he had 
recourse to the brothers of the Raja of Manipur, and invited Chourajit from Jyntea, promising to 
divide with him and Gamblur Sinh, the territory of Cachar, as the price of their services. The 
succour of the two brothers, and the exertions of hisown adiiercnts, proved effectual, and Marjit 

was 

* Documents Nos. 10, 11, 12, f Document No. 13. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 9 

was compelled to withdraw to Manipur. Tlie allies of the Cachar Prince were, eventually, 
equally detrimental to his interests, and Chourajit and Gambhir Sinh uniting their forces agSinst 
Govinda Chandra, expelled him in 18'20, from Cachar, and divided the country between them. 
Govinda Chandra again took refuge in the Company's territories. Some time afterwards, pro- 
bably after the death of the Kingcf Ava, Marjit was summoned to Amerapura, and declining 
to comply with the summons, a powerful Burman force was sent against him, which drove him 
from the country, and annexed Manipur to the Burman empire, connecting and concentrating 
its conquests in this direction. Marjit was received by his brothers in Cachar, with kindness, and 
a portion of their principality was assigned to him. This harmony did not last long, and Chourajit 
and Gambhir Sinh disagreeing, the former was defeated, and fled into the Company's territories. 
On this occasion, Chourajit tendered his interest in Cachar to the Company. The Burmese tak- 
ing advantage of these dissensions, now prepared to invade Cachar, on which, both Marjit and 
Gumbhir SinliTiastened to invoke the support of the British Government of India, and for 
the reasons above referred to, it was determined, that Cachar should be taken under the pro- 
tection of the Company. The same was extended, upon his request, to the Raja of Jyntea. 
Notwithstanding the intimation of these determinations to the Burmese, they persisted in their 
purpose of invading Cachar, and thereby provoked the commencement of actual hostilities 
in that quarter, as will be hereafter noticed : in the mean time, the discussions on the side of 
Chittagong had assumed a decided tone, and left the question of peace or war between the 
two states no longer a subject of speculation. 

The insolence of the Burman authorities in Aracan and the adjacent countries, had not 
been restricted to the extravagant menaces which have been noticed. Repeated instances of ac- 
tual aggression had still more distinctly marked either their intention of provoking hostilities, 
or their indiiference as to their occurrence. The chief objects of these acts of violence were 
the elephant hunters in the Company's employ, whom the Burmese seized, and carried off re- 
peatedly, under the pretext, that they were within the territories of the King of Ava : a pre- 
text that had never been urged throughout tli'evlong series of years, during which the Com- 
pany's hunters* had followed the chase in the jungles aryd hills of the eastern frontier. In 
May 1851, the Burmese carried off from the party employed in the Ramoo hills, the Daro- 
gah, the Jemadar, and twenty-three of their men, on whom they inflicted personal severities, 
and then threw them into confinement at Mungdoo, demanding from the prisoners a consider- 
able sum for their ransom. 

In the following season, or February 1822, the outrage was reiterated : the party 
employed at the Keddah, was attacked by an armed force, dispersed, and six of the hunters 
were carried off to Aracan, where they were thrown into prison, and threatened with death, 
unless they paid a heavy ransom. The place whence these people were carried off was, un- 
doubtedly, within the Company's territory, being considerably to the west of the Morassi 

rivulet. 



* Documents Nos. 14 and 15. 
C 



10 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



rivulet, which, in 1794, had been acknowledged by the Burmans to separate the two states. 
Urgent applications were made therefore, to the Raja of Aracan, to release his unfortunate 
captives, and a representation on the subject was made to the Court of Ava, but no notice wa^ 
taken of either application. Several of the people, after experiencing much ill usage, were 
released, but some died in captivity. The object of the Burmans was evidently'to establish 
themselves, by intimidation, upon the hilly and jungly tracts, which were calculated to afford 
them a ready and unexpected entrance into the level and cultivated portions of Chittagong. 

The same system of violence was adopted in another part of the Chittagong district, in 
order to maintain pretensions to territorial jurisdiction equally unfounded with those made up- 
on the elephant grounds of Ramoo, and in like manner, without communication with the local 
authorities. A boat laden with rice, having, in January 1 823, entered the nullah, which is on 
the British side of the Naf, was followed by an armed Burmese boat, which demanded duty.* 
As the demand was unprecedented, the Mugs, who were British subjects, demurred payment, 
on which the Burmese fired upon them, killed the manjee, or steersman, and then retired. This 
outrage was followed by reports of the assemblage of armed men on the Burmese side of the 
river, for the purpose of destroying the villages on the British territory, and in order to provide 
against such a contingency, as well as to prevent the repetition of any aggression upon the 
boats trafficking on the Company's side of the river, the military guard at Tek Naf was 
streno-thened from twenty to fifty men, of whom a few were,posted on the adjoining island of 
Shahpuri. 

The determination thus shewn by the British authorities to maintain the integrity of their 
frontier was immediately resented by the Burmese, and the Mungdoo Ucherung, or police 
officer, to whom the conduct of these transactions was committed by the Viceroy of Aracan, 
was urgent with the Magistrate of Chittagong to withdraw the guard, asserting the right of 
the King of Ava to the island, and intimating his having authority from the Viceroy to 
declare, that if the detachment was not immediately recalled, the consequence would be a 
war between the two countries. 

The Raja of Aracan was therefore addressed on the subject, who replied by reiterating the 
demand for the concession of Shahpuri.t In answer to his demand,! the right of the Company 
was asserted, but at the same time a disposition to investigate the claim in a deliberate and 
friendly manner was expressed, and a proposal was made, that Commissioners on the part of 
either Government should be deputed in the ensuing cold season, to meet and determine all 
questions respecting the disputed territory on the borders. Before this reply could have reached 
the Raja, however, he proceeded to carry his threat of applying force, into execution, under 
the express orders, as was carefully promulgated, of his sovereign the King of Ava. A body 
of one thousand Burmese, under the Raja of Ramrco, landed on Shahpuri, on the night of the 
Slth September, attacked the British post, and killed three, and wounded four of the sipahees 

stationed 

* Document No. 16. f Do. No. 17. J Do. No. 18. 



THE BURMESE WAR. H 

stationed there, and drove off the rest off the island. The Burmese then returned to the main 
land.* 

The act was reported to the Bengal Government, in a naenaeing letter from the Raja of 
Aracan himself, stating, that unless the British Government submitted quietly to this treatment, 
it would be followed by the like forcible seizure of the cities of Dacca and Moorshedabad.t 

Notwithstanding the assertions of the Burmese, that the island of Shjflipuri had belong- 
ed to their Government, the earliest records of the Chittagong jurisdiction, shewed that it had 
been always included in the British province, that it had been surveyed and measured by 
British officers, at different periods from 1801 to 1819, and that it had been repeatedly, 
although not uninterruptedly, held by Mug individuals, under deeds from the Collector's office, 
ever since 1790.t It lay on the British side of the main channel of the Naf, and the stream 
Avhich separated it from the Chittagong shore was fordable at low water. With these facts 
in its favour, however, the British Government invariably expressed its readiness to investigate 
the subject in a friendly manner, which offer being met by the forcible irruption of the 
Burmese, placed them under the necessity of upholding their character, as well as vindicating 
their rights. 

It was not the value of the island of Shahpuri, which was, in fact, of little worth, being of 
small extent, and affording only pasturage for cattle, that was in dispute. The reputation of 
the British Government, and the security of their subjects, enjoined the line of conduct to be 
adopted, and, in fact, the mere possession of Shahpuri was clearly not the object of the Burmatx 
court. The island was avowedly claimed upon the very same pretext, as the provinces of 
Chittagong, Dacca, and Moorshedabad, and its abandonment would have been an encourage- 
ment of other and more serious demands. It was, therefore, no more than prudent to make 
a stand at once in this quarter, with the view of deterring the Burmese from the further pro- 
secution of those encroachments, which they evidently projected. 

In order, however, to avoid till the last possible moment, the necessity of hostilities, the 
Government of Bengal, although determined to assert their just pretensions, resolved to 
afford to the Court of Ava an opportunity of avoiding any collision. With this intent, 
they resolved to consider the forcible occupation of Shahpuri, as the act of the local autho- 
rities alone, and addressed a declaration to the Burman Government, recapitulating the past 
occurrences, and calling upon the Court of Ava to disavow their officers in Aracan. The tone 
of this dispatch was that of firmness, though of moderation, but when rendered into the Bur- 
man language, it may, probably, have failed to convey the resolved and conciliatory spirit, by 
which it was dictated, as subsequent information of the most authentic character estab- 
lished the fact of its having been misunderstood, as a pusillanimous attempt to deprecate the 
resentment of the Burmese, and it was triumphantly appealed to at the Court of Ava, as a 
proof, that the British Government of India was reluctant to enter upon the contest, be- 
cause 

* Document No. 19. f Do. No. 22. ^ % Do. No. U9. 



13 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

cause it was conscious of possessing neither courage nor resources to engage in it with any 
prospect of success. The declaration was forwarded in a ship bound to Rangoon, with a let- 
ter addressed to the Viceroy of Pegu.* 

In the mean time, the island in dispute was re-occupied. Two Companies of the 20th 
Regiment, whicli had been forwarded from Calcutta, were landed on Shahpuri, on the 21st No- 
vembcr,t and stocRaded on the island: no opposition was offered, nor did any Burmese appear. 
A proclamation was distributed at the same time, stating, that the only object of the detachment 
was the re-occupation of the island, and that the intercourse of the people on the frontier, 
should suffer no interruption from their presence. The force left on the spot was two Compa- 
nies of the 20th Battalion 20th Regiment Native Infantry, and two field pieces, six pounders, 
on the stockade at Shahpuri : one Company at Tek Naf, and the Planet, armed vessel, and 
three gun-boats, each carrying a twelve-pounder carronade, were stationed in the Naf. 

Although no resistance was offered to the occupation of the island, yet, a variety of con- 
current reports, and the unreserved declaration of the Burmese officers with whom com- 
munications were entertained, made it evident, that the result would be a war between the two 
states. Certain information, also, that the Burmese were collecting troops, both in Asam and 
Aracan, and menaced an attack upon the different exposed points of the Company's frontier, 
rendered it necessary, that the Bengal Government should look to the occurrence of hostili- 
ties, as an impending contingency .4^ Under this impression, the correspondence that had 
taken place was referred to the Commander-in-chief, who, during a great part of the time, 
had been absent on his military tour to the upper provinces. His Excellency was also 
requested to take the subject into his consideration, and provide, as he might think most 
advisable, for the defence of the frontier, as well as for the system of offensive operations, 
that might be expedient, should war between the two states become inevitable. 

In reply to this communication, the Commander-in-chief suggested, that for the de- 
fence of the eastern frontier, three brigades should be formed, to consist of three thousand 
men each, to be stationed at Chittagong, Jumulpore, and Goalpara, and a strong corps of 
reserve, to be posted under a senior commanding officer in Dinagepore, to which all comma- 
rications should be made, and from w'hence all orders should be issued. His Excellency also 
urged the formation of an efficient flotilla on the Burrampootra, towards Asam, and in the 
vicinity of Dacca. The course of operations on the frontier, he recommended, should be 
strictly defensive, or, at the utmost, limited to the re-establishment of the states subdued by 
the Burmese, whilst the offensive system, which was likely to be the only effectual mode of 
punishing the insolence of the Burmese, was an attack from sea, on such points of their 
coast, as should offer the best prospect of success. § In a subsequent dispatch, in reply to a 
further communication from the Supreme Government, his Excellency declared his convic- 
tion, that the conduct of the Burmese had rendered hostilities inevitable ; and reported the 

dispositions 

* Documents Nos. 20 and 21. f Do. No. 2G. % Do. No. 23. § Do. No. 21. 



THE BURMESE WAR. ' 13 

dispositions which had been made for the defence of the eastern froniicr ; vm2. the views 
adopted by the members of Government at the presidency, being thus confirmed by the 
sentiments of the Commander in Chief, arrangements were adopted for carryinn- on the 
war upon the principles in which he had concurred.* 

In the end of October, information was received by the Commissioner of the N. E. 
frontier, that the Burmese were concentrating their troops in Asam, for a military ex- 
pedition, which, in the first instance, was intended for Cachar, and, according to general 
report, eventually against the British territories.! ' Instructions were sent to the Commis- 
sioner, to lose no time in apprising the Burman Government of Asam, that Cachar was 
placed under British protection, and warning it to abstain from any project of molesting that 
country,and that any attempt against it would be regarded as an act of hostility, and com- 
munications were accordingly made by him repeatedly to that effect, to the authorities iu 
Asam. A force was also advanced from Dacca to Sylhet, consisting part of the 1st Bat- 
talion of th? 10th (14th) Native Infantry, three companies of the 2nd Battalion of the 23d, 
(iGth) Native Infantry, four companies of the Rungpore local corps, and a few guns : divi- 
sions of which, under Captains Johnstone and Bowe, and Major Newton, were posted at Bha- 
drapur, Jatrapur, and Talain, in advance of the Sylhet frontier, and covering that station 
against an attack from either of the directions in which it was menaced. 

These arrangements were scarcely matured, when events justified their policy. The 
Burman armies, notwithstanding the representations of the Commissioner in Asara, entered 
Cachar in different quarters.^ and it became necessary to resist their progress, before they oc- 
cupied positions, which would give them the command of the Sylhet frontier, where their 
irruption into Cachar had already spread a general panic, and inflicted much serious mischief, 
causing many of the Ryots to abandon their homes, and materially impeding the collection of 
the public revenue. As it was evident, that there was little hope of attention being paid to 
any representation, or remonstrance, the British officers were instructed by the Civil autho- 
rity, to oppose the advance of the Burmans by force, and hostilities shortly ensued. 

In the early part of January, a force of about four thousand Burmans and Asamese ad- 
vanced from Asam into the province of Cachar, to the foot of the Bherteka pass, and began to 
stockade themselves at Bikrampore.§ Intelligence was also received that the troops under 
Gambhir Sinh, had been defeated by a Burman force from Manipur, and that a third Burman 
division was crossing into Jyntea, immediately to the north of the station of Sylhet. It was 
thejefore judged advisable by Major Newton, the officer commanding on the Sylhet frontier, 
to concentrate his detachment at Jatrapur, a Cachar village about five miles beyond tlie boun- 
daries of Sylhet, and thence advance against the invading party from Asam, before they should 
have time to compleat their entrenchments. The British division accordingly marched at two 
A. M. on the 17th January, and at day-break came in sight of the stockade, whence a few shots 
were fired upon the advanced guard. An attack upon the positions was immediately made iu 

two 

» Document No. 25, f Do. No. 27. t Do. No. 19.* § Do. No. 20.* 



14 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

two divisions, one commanded by Captain Johnstone, upon the south face of the stockade, and 
the other under Captain Bowe, upon the village adjoining. The Burmans in the village pre- 
sently gave way, but those in the stockade made a resolute resistance. The Burmans lost 
about a hundred men, whilst six Sipahis were killed on the part of the British. The Burmans 
who escaped, fled to the hills. 

Shortly after the action of the lyth January, the Commissioner, Mr. Scott, arrived at 
Sylhet, and thence advanced to Bhadrapur, to maintain a more ready communication with the 
Burmese authorities. On the 31st of January, a messenger sent by the Magistrate, returned to 
camp, and from his information, as well as a letter previously received, it appeared, that the 
Burmese Generals professed to have advanced into Cachar upon an application formerly made 
by the Ex-Raja, Govind Chandra, for assistance, and that they had orders to follow and appre- 
hend Chorajit, Marjit, andGambhir Sinh, wherever they might take refuge. In reply, a letter 
was addressed to the General commanding in Asam, stating, the English Government had no 
objection to the re-establishment of Govind Chandra under their protection, and that 
the interference of a Burman army for this purpose could not be permitted : that although 
the Manipur Chiefs could not be delivered up, they should be prevented from disturbing the 
tranquillity of the province, and finally, the Burmese were required to evacuate the country, 
or the forces of the British Government would be compelled to advance both into Cachar 
and Asam.* It was also intimated, that any attempt upon Jyntea, which it was known was in 
contemplation, would be resisted.! A letter had, in fact, been addressed by the Commander of 
the Asam force, to the Raja of Jyntea, calling upon him, and his ministers, whoever they might 
be, to bow in submission and send offerings, and ordering the Raja to come to the Burmese 
camp. The Raja had, accordingly, thrown himself upon the British Government for protec- 
tion.* 

To these communications, no answer was received, the Burman Commander declaring 
he would give none, until he had received instructions from Ava. The messengers sent by 
the Commissioner were also detained for a considerable period in the Burmese camp under 
different pretexts, and it was evidently the object of the Burmese to procrastinate the nego- 
ciations, until they had strengthened themsehcs in the position they occupied, which 
they might then hope to maintain until the state of the w'eather rendered it impossible to 
act against them with advantage. 

Subsequently to the action of the lyth January, j\Iajor Newton returned, with the 
force under his command, to Sylhet, withdrawing the whole of the troops from Cachar. The 
Burmese then advanced to Jatrapur, about five miles east of the frontier, and eight miles 
from Bhadrapur, where the two divisions from Asam and Munipur effected a junction, and 
erected stockades on cither bank of the Surma, connecting them by a bridge across the river. 
Their united force amounted to about six thousand, of whom four thousand were Asamese 
and Cacharees : a detachment of two thousand more was posted at Kila Kandy, in the 

S. E. 



• Document No. 2I.» f Do. No. 22.* $ Do. No. 23.» 



THE BURMESE WAR. i ^ 

S. E. quarter of Cachar. Tlie main body of the Burmese proceeded to push their stock- 
ades on the north bank of the Surma, to within one thousand yards of the British post at 
Bhadrapur, where Capt. Johnstone commanded, having under him a wing of the 10th (14-th') 
N. I. the third company of the 23d (46th), and a small party of the Rungpore Local Corps. 
With these, he determined to dislodge the enemy before the entrenchments were completed, 
and having the concurrence of the Commissioner, he moved against them on the 13th of Fe- 
bruary.* Having divided his small force into two parties, one under Captain Bowe crossed the 
river, whilst the other, under his own command, proceeded higher up. Finding it unlikely 
to prevail upon the Burmese to discontinue their arrangements, by amicable expostulation. 
Captain Johnstone ordered the columns to attack. The Burmese fired as they advanced, but 
the troops pressed on without hesitation, and drove the enemy from their unfinished works at 
the point of the bayonet. The Asam division of the Burmese, fell back upon the Bherteka 
pass and the Jetinghi river, whilst the Manipur force stockaded itself at Doodpatlee. 

With the view to expel the former of these detachments altogether from Cachar, 
Lieutenant-colonel Bowen, who had joined, and taken the command, marched in pursuit of 
the retreating enemy.t They were found at the foot of the Bherteka pass, stockading 
themselves in a strong position on the opposite bank of the Jetinghi river. The stream 
being deep and rapid, a passage was effected with some difficult}', and after a division of the 
force had crossed, it was found that a rivulet opening into the stream, rendered an advance 
along the bank impracticable. It was therefore necessary to make a detour through the 
thick jungle, which was accomplished only with great exertion ; but the passage to the north- 
east angle of the stockade being at last eflTected, the troops formed, and carried it with the 
bayonet. The enemy fled to the hills, and left no further force in the direction of Asam to 
be encountered. 

There still remained, however, the Manipur division to be expelled, and with this object. 
Lieutenant-colonel Bowen directed his march against their position at Doodpatlee, which 
proved to be much stronger than any yet assailed. The Burmese were stockaded on the 
north bank of the Surma river. Their rear rested on steep hills. Each face of the en- 
trenchment was defended by a deep ditch, about fourteen feet wide : a fence of bamboo spikes 
was constructed along the outer edge, and the approach on the land side was through jungle 
and high grass. After the post had been reconnoitred, and the three field pieces v.'ith the 
detachment, had been brought to bear upon it with considerable efiect, the Commanding 
Officer directed the assault to be made upon the western front. The Burmese remained 
passive, till the troops advanced to the spikes, when they poured upon them a destructive and 
well maintained fire, which checked the advance of the assailants, although they kept their 
ground. After being exposed to this fire for some time, and, as it appeared, with no hope of 
advantage, the attempt was abandoned. The force was withdrawn to Jatrapur. Four 
officers were wounded, two severely : Lieutenant Armstrong, of the 10th, was killed, and 

about 



* Document No. 24.« f Do. No. 25.* 



16 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

about one hundred and fifty Sipahis were killed and wounded.* On the 27th February, 
Colonel Innes joined the force at Jatrapur, with four guns, and the 1st Battalion of the 
19th Regiment, (3Sth,) and assumed the command. In the mean time the Burmans retreated 
from the position at Doodpatlee, and fell back to Manipur, so that Cachar was freed from the 
presence of an enemy. As there seemed little reason to apprehend their speedy return in 
ibrce, and the nature of the country rendered it difficult to procure supplies for any 
number of troops for a protracted period, it was thought sufficient to leave a detachment of the 
Rungpore Local Infantry in Cachar, whilst the main body went into cantonments at Sylhet. 
While these events were taking place in Cachar, the occurrences in the southern extre- 
mity of the frontier partook of the same character, and equally indicated the determination of 
the Government of Ava to proVoke hostilities.! Early in January, the British detachment sta- 
tioned on the island of Shahpuri was withdrawn, in consequence of the unhealthiness of the post, 
and, at the same time, intimation was conveyed to the Raja of Aracan, that two British officers, 
Mr. Robertson, the Civil Commissioner, and Captain Cheap, had arrived at Tek Naf, where they 
were ready, under the orders of their Government, to meet any persons the Raja might depute, 
for the purpose of defining and settling the boundary. The Raja sent four persons to meet the 
British authorities with a letter, demanding the unconditional surrender of the island ; and 
his envoys, in the conferences that ensued, declared they would not enter upon any conver- 
sation respecting boundary, until the island was acknowledged to belong to the King of Ava, 
or at least allowed to be considered as neutral, and to be occupied by neither power. As 
this demand was not at once submitted to, they returned to Aracan, where it had been as- 
certained, a considerable force had been assembled under the four Rajas, under whose seve- 
ral jurisdiction the province of Aracan was divided. These were shortly afterwards placed 
under the supreme command of the Maha Bundoola, or chief military officer of the state, 
who quitted Ava early in January, to take the supreme command, both civil and mili- 
tary in Aracan, and brought with him considerable reinforcements. Shortly prior to his 
arrival, however, four individuals, said to have been deputed by the Court of Ava, arrived 
at Mungdoo, and under their authority, a wanton outrage was perpetrated, which could 
only tend to precipitate the commencement of the war. When the Sipahis were withdrawn 
from Shahpuri, the Hon'ble Company's Pilot vessel Sophia was ordered to join the gun-boats 
off that island, to serve in some degree as a substitute for the troops that had been removed. 
Upon the arrival of the deputies, or Wuzecrs, at Mungdoo, on the opposite bank of the Naf, they 
invited the commanding officer of the ^o/it/z/a on shore, under the pretext of communicating witli 
him amicably on the state of affairs, and on his unguardedly accepting the invitation, they seized 
him, and an officer and the native seamen who accompanied him, and sent them prisoners to 
Aracan, where they were threatened with detention until the chief Mug insurgents should 
be delivered in exchange. Mr. Chew, the commander of the Sophia, was kept at Aracan 
from the 20th January to the 13th February, when he was sent back, with his companions 

and 



Documents Nos. 2Q* and 27.* f Do. No. 28. 



THE BURMESE WAR. j^ 

and some natives of Chittagong, to Mungdoo. The motive of this seizure was, the Sophia's 
being anchored off Shahpuri, and the act was no doubt intended as one of intimidation. 
In a similar light might be considered the circumstance of the Burmese agents, crossino- from 
Mungdoo to Shahpuri, and planting the flag of Ava on the island. This was a bravado little 
worthy of notice, and was only important as displayed after the arrival of the Maha Bundoola, 
and, consequently, indicative of the spirit by which he was likely to be actuated, but the forcible 
arrest of an officer in the British service, was a national insult, that could not be suffered to pass 
without apology or excuse, neither of which, it was likely, would be tendered. As the two states 
might nowbe considered as actually, although not declaredly, at war, the British Government, 
agreeably to the usage of civilised nations, promulgated the grounds of their recourse to 
hostile measures, in a declaration,* addressed to the Court of Ava, and the different powers 
of India, and a public proclamation,! dated the 5th March. In these documents, the causes of 
the war were declared to be the acts of encroachment and aggression, so perseveringly com- 
mitted on the south-east frontier, the attack upon the post of Shahpuri, the arrest of a British 
officer and crew, the invasion of Cachar, and the menaces addressed to the Jyntea Raja, 
and the tacit approbation of tlie conduct of their officers by the Court of Amerapura, 
which evinced a determination not only to withhold all explanation and atonement for past 
injuries, but to prosecute projects of the most extravagant and mischievous ambition, preg- 
nant with serious danger to the British Government. The proclamation was speedily fol- 
lowed by a communication from Pegu,t in reply to that addressed to the Court of Ava in 
the preceding November, which might be considered as a counter-manifesto, as it declared, 
in terms of singular arrogance, that the Governors on the frontier had full power to act, 
and that until every thing was settled, a communication need not bei made to the golden 
feet. 

The war being now formally declared by the British Government, and virtually an- 
nounced by the Court of Ava, measures were taken at once for its prosecution, upon the 
principles adopted with the concurrence of the Commander in Chief. The operations on 
the frontier were to be limited to the protection of the British provinces, and the expulsion 
of the Burmese from the adjacent territories, which they had recently wrested from the na- 
tive princes, whilst a powerful force was to be directed against the most vulnerable and 
important points of the maritime provinces of the enemy. Of the former plan, it appeared, 
in the first instance, only necessary to dislodge the Burmese from Asam, as Cachar was al- 
ready cleared of them, and the invasion of Aracan was not immediately proposed. In Sythet 
and Chittagong, therefore, a strictly defensive line of conduct was pursued. Colonel Innes, 
with his brigade, remaining at the sudder station of the former, and Colonel Shapland com- 
manding at the latter. The Chittagong force consisted of the left wing of the 13th (27th) 
Regiment Native Infantry, five companies of the 2d Battalion 20th (40th) Native Infantry, 
and the 1st Battalion 23rd (45th), with the Provincial Battalion : a Local Corps, or Mug 
Levy, 

* Document No. 29. -j- Do. No. 30. % Do. No. 31. 



18 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

Levy, was also raised, and the whole amounted to about three thousand men. Of these, a 
detachment under Captain Noton, consisting of five companies of the 4<5th Native Infantry, 
with two guns, and details from the Provincial Battalion and Mug Levy, was left at Ramoo, 
to check any demonstration on tlie side of Aracan, It was in Asam, however, the first 
hostilities occurred after the war was proclaimed. 

The Asam force stationed at Goalpara, under the command of Brigadier McMorine, 
consisted of seven companies of the Cd Battalion of the 23d (46th) N. I., six companies of the 
Rungpore Local Corps, the Dinapore Local Corps, and a Wing of the Champarun Local 
Corps ; three brigades of six-pounders, ^d a small body of Irregular Horse, besides a gun- 
boat flotilla on the Brahmaputra. 

This force moved from Goalpara on the 13th March, 1824. The route lay along both 
banks of the river, occasionally through thick jungle and long grass, in which the troops 
were completely buried ; a number of small rivulets and ravines also intersected the road, and 
heavy sands, or marshy swamps, rendered the march one of more than usual toil. Through 
the greater part of the advance, the signs of cultivation were of rare occurrence, and all the 
supplies of tlie divisions were carried with them on elephants, or in boats. On the 2Sth, the 
force arrived at Gohati, where the Burmese had erected strong stockades, but evacuated them 
on the approach of the British. The necessity of retreat had apparently exasperated them 
against their unfortunate subjects and fellows in arms, the Asamese, the bodies of many of 
whom, barbarously mutilated, were found upon the road and in the stockade at Gohati. On 
entering Asam, a proclamation was addressed to the inhabitants, encouraging them with the 
prospect of being released from the cruelty of their Burman invaders, and assuring them of 
British protection. Several of the barbarous tribes in the eastern portion of Asam, as the 
Khamtis and Sinhphos, availed themselves of the unsettled state of affairs to harass the Bur- 
mese, but their operations were equally directed against the unfortunate natives of Asam, num. 
bers of whom were carried off by them as slaves. The Asamese displayed the most favourable 
disposition towards the British, but their unwarlike character, scanty numbers, and reduced 
means, rendered their co-operation of no value, and the uncertainty of support, and doubt of the 
capability of the country to maintain a large advancing force, as well as inaccurate informa- 
tion of the state of the roads, induced the Commanding Officer to pause at Gohati, and at one 
time to abandon all thoughts of prosecuting the campaign further in the season, notwithstand- 
ing the fairest prospect offered of expelling the Burmans altogether from Asam, even by the 
partial advance of the British force. 

Mr. Scott, the political agent, having crossed from Sylhet through Jyntea,* ai'rived atNoa- 
gong, in advance of the Brigadier on the 15th April, with a party of some strength. Leaving 
his escort under Captain Horsburgh to occupy Noagong, a town, or series of villages, extending 
twelve miles along the Brahmaputra, and which the Burmese had deserted, he traced a retro- 
grade route to Gohati, to coaununicate with the head-quarters of the invading force. The 

Burmese 



• Appendix No. 12. 



THE DURMESE WAR. jg 

Burmese had retreated to their chief stockade at Moura Mukh, but finding that no steps 
were taken in pursuit of them, they, in the end of April, returned to Kaliabur. Colonel 
Richards was now, therefore, detached from Gohati with five companies of the 23d, and 
the flotilla, and having joined the Commissioner's escort at Noagong, he advanced to 
Kaliabur, a place on the left bank of the Brahmaputra, near the junction of the Kullung 
with that river. The Burmese stockaded at Hautbur, pursued their previous system of not 
waiting for an attack, but deserted it, and retired to Ranglighei", a post at the distance of 
about eight hours' march. A small party, however, having returned to re-occupy the Haut- 
bur stockade, were surprised by Lieutenant Richardson, with a resala of Horse, and a company 
of Infantry. The surprise was effectual. The enemy, in attempting to escape, fell upon the 
Horse, by whom about twenty were killed, besides a Phokun,. or officer of rank. 

Whilst the main body of the detachment continued at Kaliabur, a small party was left 
under Captain Horsburgh, in the stockade of Hautbur on the Kullung, at a short distance from 
its junction with the main stream. The Burmese exhibited, on this occasion, the only proof of 
enterprise, which they had yet displayed in tlie campaign in Asam, and advancing from their 
entrenchment at Rangligher> they attempted to cut off Captain Horsburgh and his division. 
Their advance was, however, seasonably ascertained, and arrested by the picquet, until the whole 
detachment could form. Upon Captain Horsburgh's approach with the Infantry, the Bur- 
mese fled, but the Irregular Horse, which had been sent into their rear, having intercepted 
the retreat of about two liundred, a great number of them were sabred on the spot, or drown- 
ed in crossing the Kullung. After this repulse, they abandoned the Rangligher stockade, and 
retrograded to Maura Mookh, where the chief force of the Burmese, now not exceeding one 
thousand men, was posted under the Governor of Asam. Colonel Richards having succeeded 
to the command, upon tlie death of Brigadier McMorine, of cholera, early in May, establish- 
ed his head-quarters at Kaliabiu-; but upon the setting in of the rains, it was found neces- 
sary to retire to Gohati, in order to secure the receipt of supplies. The operations of the first 
campaign in Asam were closed by a successful attack upon a stockade on the north bank 
of the Brahmaputra, by Captain Wallace : the enemy had time to escape, but the stockade 
was destroyed. The general result of the operations was decidedly favourable, and the Bri- 
tish authority established over a considerable tract of country between Goalpara and Gohati. 
It is likely, however, that had an advance like that made by Colonel Richards in, April, been 
authorised a few weeks sooner, the Burmese might have been expelled from a still greater 
portion of Asam ; their force in this country never having been formidable, either in num- 
bers or equipment.* 

In prosecution of the offensive system of operations, a powerful force was fitted out by 
the presidencies of Bengal and Madras, destined to reduce the islands on the Coast of Ava, 
and to occupy Rangoon, and the country at the mouth of the Irawadi river. The Bengal 
armament left the Hooghly in the beginning of April. Their further proceedings we shall, 

hereafter, 

* Document No. 32. 



20 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

hereafter, notice in order to keep the course of them entire, and in the mean time shall termi- 
nate the military transactions on the British frontier. 

It has been already noticed, that a large Burman force had been assembled in Aracan, 
under the command of the chief military officer of the state of Ava, INIaha Mengee Bun- 
doola, an officer who enjoyed a high reputation, and the entire confidence of the Court, and 
who had been one of the most strenuous advisers of the war, in tlie full confidence, that it 
•would add a vast accession of power to his country and glory to himself. His head-quarters 
were established at Aracan, where, probably, from ten to twelve thousand Burmese assembled. 
Early in May, a division of this force crossed the Naf, and advanced to Rutnapullung, about 
fourteen miles south from llamoo, where tliey took up their position, and gradually concen- 
trated their force, to the extent of about eight thousand men, under the command of the four 
Rajas of Aracan, Ramree, Sandaway, and Cheduba, assisted by four of the inferior members 
of the Royal Council, or Atawoons, and acting under the orders of the Bundoola, who remain- 
ed at Aracan. 

Upon information being received of the Burmese having appeared, advancing upon Rutna- 
pullung, Captain Noton moved from Ramoo with the whole of his disposable force to ascer- 
tain the strength and objects of the enemy.* On arriving near their position, upon some hills 
on the left of the road, in which the Burmese had stockaded themselves, they opened a smart 
fire upon the detachment, which, however, cleared the hills, and formed upon a plain beyond 
them. In consequence, however, of the mismanagement of the elephant drivers, and the want 
of Artillery details, the guns accompanying the divisions, could not be brought into action, and 
as, without them, it was not possible to make any impression on the enemy, Captain Noton judg- 
ed it prudent to return to his station at Ramoo, where he was joined by three companies 
of the 40th Native Infantry, making his whole force about one thousand strong, of 
whom less than half were regulars. With these. Captain Noton determined to await at Ramoo, 
the approach of the Burmese, until the arrival of reinforcements from Chittagong. 

On the morning of the 13th of May, the enemy advanced from the south, and occupied, 
as they arrived, the hills east of Ramoo, being separated from the British force by the Ra- 
moo river. On the evening of the 14th, they made a demonstration of crossing the river, but 
were prevented by the fire from the two six-pounders with the detachment. On the 
morning of the 15th, however, they effected their purpose, and crossed the river upon the left 
of the detachment, when they advanced, and took possession of a tank, surrounded, as well as 
otlier tanks in this situation, by a high embankment, which protected them from the 
fire of their opponents. Captain Noton drew up his force behind a bank about three 
feet high, completely surrounding the encampment. Upon his right hand, and about sixty 
paces in front to the eastward, was a tank, at which a strong picquet was posted, and his 
right flank was also protected by the river. On his left, and somewhat to the rear, was another 
tank, in which he stationed the Provincials and Mug Levy. The regular JSipahis were posted 

with 

* Document No. S3. 



THE BURMESE WAR. gj 

with the six-pounders on liis front, or along the eastern face of the embankment. From this 
face a sharp fire was kept upon the Burmese as they crossed the plain to the tank, but they 
availed themselves with such dexterity of every kind of cover, and so expeditiously entrenched 
themselves, that it was much less effective than was to have been expected. 

Information having been received on the 15th, that the left wing of the Battalion of the 
23d, N. I. had left Chittagong on the 13th, and its arrival being therefore looked for on the 
following day, Captain Noton was confirmed in his intention of remaining at his post, 
although the Burmese were in very superior numbers, and were evidently gaining ground. 
Several of the officers were wounded, and the Provincials had manifested strong indications 
of insubordination and alarm. 

On the morning of the l6th, the Burmese, it was found, had considerably advanced their 
trenches. The firing was maintained on both sides throughout the day, but no important change 
in the relative position of the two parties was effected. The officer in command of the guns, 
however, was disabled, and it was with some difficulty, that the Provincials were intimidated 
from the desertion of their post ; a retreat was still practicable, but a reliance upon the 
arrival of the expected reinforcement, unfortunately prevented the adoption of the only 
measure which could now afford a chance of preserving the lives of the officers and men. 

On the morning of the 17th, the enemy's trenches were advanced within twelve paces 
of the picquets, and a heavy and destructive fire kept up by them. At about nine a. m. 
the Provincials and Mug Levy abandoned the tank entrusted to their defence, and it was 
immediately occupied by the enemy. The position being now untenable, a retreat was ordered, 
and effected with some regularity for a short distance. The increasing numbers and 
audacity of the pursuers, and the activity of a small body of Horse attached to their force, 
by whom the men that fell off from the main body were instantly cut to pieces, filled the 
troops with an ungovernable panic, which rendered the exertions of their officers to preserve 
order unavailing. These efforts, however, were persisted in, until the arrival of the party 
at a rivulet, when the detachment dispersed, and the Sipahis throwing away their arms and 
accoutrements, plunged promiscuously into the water.* In the retreat. Captains Noton, 
Trueman, and Pringle, Lieutenant Grigg, Ensign Bennet, and Assistant Surgeon Maysraore 
were killed. The other officers engaged, Lieutenants Scott, Campbell, and Codrington, made 
their escape, but the two former were wounded : the loss in men was not ascertained, as many 
of them found their way after some interval, and in small numbers, to Chittagong: according 
to official returns, between six and seven hundred had reached Chittagong by the 23d May, 
so that the whole loss in killed and taken, did not exceed probably two hundred and fifty; 
many of those taken prisoners were sent to Ava, where they served to confirm the arrogant 
belief of the Court, in the irresistible prowess of their troops, and their anticipations of future 
triumph. The defeat of the detachment at Ramoo, was also the source of some uneasiness 
at Chittagong and Dacca, and even at Calcutta, although there was, in reality, no reasonable 

ground 

* DocumBiU Nos. 34, 35, 36, 37, 38. 
F 



22 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



ground of apprehension, except perhaps at the former station. All anxiety, however, was soon 
allayed, by the evident want of enterprise in the victors, and by confidence in the 
measures immediately taken to oppose the remote possibility of their further advance.* 
Colonel Shapland was speedrly re-inforced to an extent, that plaged the frontier out 
of danger, had the Burmese shewn any inclination to prosecute their success. With 
exception, however, of an advance to Chekeria, whence they soon retrograded, the capture 
of the small post at Tek Naf, and an unsuccessful attempt to cut off the Vestal, cruizer, and 
the gun-boats in the river, the Burmese General undertook no other military operations in this 
quarter, and was shortly after recalled, with the most eftective portion of his force, for the 
defence of the provinces of Ava. By the end of July, the Burmese abandoned all their 
positions to the north of the Naf.t 

The absence of the British troops from Cachar, and the system of active operations, ap- 
parently adopted at this period by the Court of Ava, seem to have induced the Burmese to 
renew their invasion of that province. They advanced from Manipur, and resumed their 
position upon the heights of Talaiu, Doodpatlee, and Jatrapur. The force that occupied 
these positions, was estimated at about eight thousand men, and it was given out, that they 
formed the advance of an army of fifteen thousand, destined by the Court of Ava, to march 
upon the frontier in this direction. 

In consequence of the apprehensions excited for the safety of Chittagong and Dacca, 
after the defeat at Ramoo, the force at Sylhet had, in the first instance, moved from the latter 
station, towards the south. The alarm having subsided, the movement was countermanded, and 
Colonel Innes returned to Sylhet on the 12th of June,t with the troops under his commj,nd, 
amounting to above twelve hundred men, with which he again proceeded to Cachar to expel 
the invaders, after resting a few days at Sylliet from the fatigues to which the period of the 
year, and the inundated state of the country, had exposed the troops. On the i^Oth June, 
Colonel Innes arrived at Bhadrapur, from whence he proceeded by water, along the 
Barak river, to Jatrapur, where, with considerable diincuity, he arrived on the 27th. On 
the route, an opportunity offered to reconnoitre the position of the enemy on the heights of 
Talain, where they were strongly stockaded, and it was determined to attempt to dislodge 
them from their post. § With this view, part of the force was landed, and a battery of two 
howitzers, and four six-pounders, erected on a rising ground, about six hundred yards on the 
south-west of the stockade, which opened on the (Jth July. As the guns, howeverj made but 
little impression at the distance at which they were placed, they were removed on the 7th, to 
an eminence nearer to tlie stockade, the occupation of which was spiritedly, though un- 
successfully, opposed by the enemy. «1f On the 8th, however, they assembled in force upon the 
heights, in rear of and commanding the battery, dislodging the party of Raja Gumbliir Sinh's 
men, who had been posted on the hills for its protection, and frustrating, by their superior 
numbers, an attempt made to turn their flank. It was therefore found necessary to bring off 

the 

. ' . , 

• Document No. 40. f Do. Nos. 33 and 41. J Do. No. 42. § Do. Nos. 43 and 44. ^ Do. No. 45. 



' THE BURMESE WAR. 23 

the guns, and as tlie troops were exhausted by the fatiguing service they had tindergone, and 
the season was becoming every day more unfavourable for military operations, it was deter- 
mined to fall back to Jatrapur, to which the troops accordingly retired.* The increasing 
sickness of the men, induced by constant exposure to the rain, in the midst of ac ountry abound- 
ing with swamp and jungle, compelled a retreat to a more healthy situation, and the force was 
disposed along the river near to Bhadrapur, either in boats, or in elevated situations on the 
banks. The Burmese remained in their entrenchments, being, in fact, confined to them by the 
rise of the rivers, and no further movements took place on either side, during the continuance 
of the rains. 

We have thus terminated the first period of the system of defensive operations, and 
shall now proceed to the more important enterprises of an offensive war, to which those 
we have noticed, were wholly subordinate. The results of the operations described, were of a 
mixed description ; but such as to leave no question of the issue of the contest. In Asam, a 
considerable advance had been made. In Cachar also, a forward position had been maintain- 
ed, although the nature of the country, the state of the weather, and the insufficiency of the 
force, prevented the campaign from closing with the success with which it had begun. The 
disaster at Ramoo, although it might have been avoided, perhaps, by a more decided conduct 
on the part of the officer commanding, and would certainly have been prevented by greater 
promptitude, than was shewn, in the despatch of the expected reinforcements, reflected no 
imputation upon the courage of the regular troops, and, except in the serious loss of lives, 
was wholly destitute of any important consequences. In all these situations, the Burmese 
had displayed neither personal intrepidity, nor military skill. Tlieir whole system of war- 
fare resolved itself into a series of entrenchments, which they threw up with great readiness 
and ingenuity. Behind these defences, they sometimes displayed considerable steadiness and 
courage, but as they studiously avoided individual exposure, they were but little formidable 
in the field as soldiers. Neither was much to be apprehended from the generalship, that 
suffered the victory at Ramoo to pass away, without making the slightest demonstration of a 
purpose to improve a crisis of such splendid promise, and which restricted the fruits of a bat^ 
tie gained, to the construction of a stockade. 



The difficulty of collecting a sufficient force for a maritime expedition from Bengal, 
owing to the repugnance which the Sipahis entertain to embarking on board vessels, where 
their prejudices expose them to many real privations, had early led to a communication with 
the Presidency of Fort Saint George, where there existed no domestic call for a large force, 
and where the native troops were likely to undertake the voyage without reluctance. The 
views of the Supreme Government were promptly met, and a considerable force was speedily 

equipped. 

• Document No. 46. 



24 HISTORICAL SKECTH OF 

equippetl. The like activity pervaded the measures of the Bengal authorities, and by the 
beginning of April, the whole was ready for sea. 

The period of the year at which this expedition was fitted out, was recommended by 
various considerations of local or political weight. Agreeably to the information of all nautical 
men, a more favourable season for navigating the Coast to the eastward could notbe selected, 
and from the account given by those who had visited Ava, it appeared, if tlie expedition, upon 
arriving at Rangoon, should be able to proceed into the interior without delay, the rising of the 
river, and the prevalence of a south-easterly wind, rendered June and July the most eligible 
months for an enterprise which could only be effected, it was asserted, by water conveyance.* 
Tliat no time should be lost in compelling the Burmese to act upon the defensive, was also 
apparent, as by the extent of their preparations in Aracan, Asam and Cachar, they were 
evidently manifesting a design to invade the frontier with a force, that would require the 
concentration of a large body of troops for the protection of the British provinces in situa- 
tions, where mountains, streams, and forests, could not fail to exercise a destructive influence 
upon the physical energies of the officers and men, and would prevent the full developement 
of the military resources of the state. To have remained throughout the rains, therefore, 
wholly on the defensive, would have been attended, probably, with a greater expense, and, 
under ordinary circumstances, with a greater sacrifice of lives, than an aggressive movement, 
as well as with some compromise of national reputation. The armament, therefore, was 
equipped at once, and was not slow in realising some of the chief advantages expected from 
its operations. 

The Bengal force was formed of his Majesty's 38th and 13th Regiments, of the 2d Batta- 
lion of the 20th (now 40th) Native Infantry, and two companies of European Artillery, 
amounting in all to two thousand, one hundred, and seventy-five lighting men. The Madras 
force, in two divisions, consisting of his Majesty's 41st and 89th Regiment, the Madras 
European Regiment, seven Battalions of Native Infantry, and four companies of Artillery, 
besides Golandaz, Gun Lascars, and Pioneers, amounted altogether to nine thousand and three 
hundred fighting men, making a total of eleven thousand, four hundred, and seventy-five fighting 
men of all ranks, of whom nearly five thousand were Europeans. In addition to the transports, the 
Bengal force comprised a flotilla of twenty gun-brigs, and as many row-boats, carrying one eigh- 
teen-pounder each. The Bengal fleet was also accompanied by his Majesty's sloops, Laivie, Capt. 
Marryatt, and Sophie, Captain Ryves, by several of the Company's cruizers, and the Diana, 

steam 

• During tlie dry months of January, February, March, and April, the waters of the Irawadi subside into a stream 
that is barely navigable: frequent shoals, and banks of sand retard boats of burthen, and a northerly wind invariably pre- 
vails. Symes. I. 24'. In the months of June, July, and August, the navigation of the river would be impracticable, were 
it not counteracted by the strength of the south-west monsoon : assisted by this wind, and cautiously keeping within the 
eddies of the banks, the Burmans use their sails, and frequently make a more expeditious passage at this, than at any other 
season of the year. Ibid. 1. 128. See also Appciulix, p. xliv. where it is said, that the internal trade from Bassein was 
carried on in boats of large size chiefly, which assembled about the end of April, ready to take advantage of the rise of 
the river, and the prcTailing wjuds from the south. Account of Bussein. 



25 

)mmand of the 
led the Madras 
id Joint Com- 
"om Saugar in 

appointed the 
tedious, but ia 

25th and 30th 
ij. Commodore 

Madras ships 
illis or on the 
:ed its progress 
the 23d May, 

received from 
, from Bengal, 
jreneral's Body 
housand men.* 
lents severally 
d Negrais. 
ind stood into 
2 bar : on the 
'^^iffey and the 
the advance of 
:asionally fired 

of the Irawadt, 
;he sea. It ex- 
Ired yards wide 
centre, or the 
igthened inter- 
er, and on the 
ipanding at the 
of the town of 
hree faces, and 
ing's wharf, in 
•y came to an- 
ixy soon silenc- 
from the trans- 
ports 




.....n/' '■■''■''//, 

C ,:,„.r;/ //.■■/■"■'■ 

D '{■'.'/''■■"''"'"" 

T I,,. /■■'"'''""^''' 



joint force. Colonel Macbean, with the rank of Brigadier General, commanded the Madras 
force, and Captain Canning accompanied the expedition as Political Agent and Joint Com- 
missioner with the Commander in Chief. The Bengal expedition sailed from Saugar in 
the middle of Api-il, for Port Cornwallis, in the Great Andamans, which was appointed the 
place of rendezvous for both divisions. The Bengal ships, after a somewhat tedious, but in 
all other respects most favourable passage, reached the rendezvous between the 25th and 30th 
April. They were joined on the 4th May by his Majesty's frigate the Liffiy, Commodore 
Grant, and on the 6th by the Slaney sloop of war. The first division of the Madras ships 
sailed on the l6th April, and joined the Bengal fleet either at Port Cornwallis or on the 
voyage, and on the 5th May, such of the armament as had assembled commenced its progress 
towards Rangoon. The second division of the Madras force, left Madras on the 23d May, 
and joined at Rangoon in June and July. Further accessions to the force were received from 
the Madras Presidency in August and September ; and by the end of the year, from Bengal, 
including a weak regiment of the line. His Majesty's 47th, and the Governor General's Body 
Guard, making the whole force engaged in the first campaign nearly thirteen thousand men.* 
From the rendezvous at Port Cornwallis on the voyage to Rangoon, detachments severally 
under Brigadier McCreagh and Major Wahab, were sent against Cheduba and Negrais. 

The expedition arrived off the mouth of the Rangoon river on the 9th, and stood into 
the river on the morning of the 10th, when the fleet came to anchor within the bar : on the 
following morning, the vessels proceeded with the flood to Rangoon, the Liffey and the 
Lame leading, and the Sophie bringing up the rear : no opposition was made to the advance of 
the fleet, nor did any force make its appearance, although a few shots were occasionally fired 
from either bank. 

The town of Rangoon is situated on the northern bank of a main branch of the Irawadi, 
where it makes a short bend from east to west, about twenty-eight miles from the sea. It ex- 
tends for about nine hundred yards along the river, and is about six or seven hundred yards wide 
in its broadest part : at either extremity extend unprotected suburbs, but the centre, or the 
town itself, is defended by an enclosure of Palisades ten or twelve feet high, strengthened inter- 
nally by embankments of earth, and protected externally on one side by the river, and on the 
other three sides by a shallow creek or ditch, communicating with the river, and expanding at the 
western end into a morass crossed by a bridge. The Palisade incloses the whole of the town of 
Rangoon in the shape of an irregular parallellogram, having one gate in each of three faces, and 
two in that of the north: at the river gate is a landing place, denominated the King's wharf, in 
which situation the principal battery was placed, and opposite to which the Liffey came to an- 
chor about two p. M. After a short pause, a fire was opened on the fleet, but was very soon silenc- 
ed by the guns of the frigate. In the mean time, three detachments were landed from the trans- 
ports 

* Documents Nos. 47, 48, 49, 50 and 31. 
G 



26 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

ports of his Majesty's SSth Regiment, under ^lajor Evans, above the town, and his Majesty's 
41st, under Colonel McBean below it, whilst Major Sale, with the Light Infantry of the 13th, 
was directed to attack the river gate, and carry the main battery. Tliese measures w-ere suc- 
cessful. The Burmans fled from the advance of the troops, and in less than twenty minutes 
the town was in the undisputed possession of the British. Whilst the divisions were moving 
to the shore, Mr. Hough, an American Missionary, came on board the Liffei/, accompanied 
by a native officer, having been deputed by the llaywoon to demand the object of th? attack 
made upon the town, and intimating that, unless the firing ceased, the lives of the Europeans in 
confinement would be sacrificed. Any stipulation for terms of surrender was now, necessarily, 
of little avail, but assurances were given, that persons and property would be respected, and the 
release of the European prisoners, was insisted on, under menaces of severe retaliation, if they 
suffered any violence. The chief authorities of the town, however, were too much alarmed 
to await the return of their messengers, and abandoned the place before they relanded.* 

Upon taking possession of Rangoon, it was found to be entirely deserted. The news of 
the arrival of the fleet had scarcely reached the town, when the population began to depart, 
and to secrete themselves in the adjacent thickets. This desertion was, in a great measure, the 
effect of a universal panic, but it was promoted by the local authorities, in order to deprive 
their invaders of the resources of the population. The perseverance, however, with which the 
natives of the country submitted to the privations to which they were exposed in the jungle, 
during the heavy rains that ensued, clearly proved that the abandonment of their homes was, 
in a considerable measure, a voluntary act, emanating, not perhaps from any feeling of ran- 
corous hostility, but a firm conviction, that the occupation of Rangoon by the invaders would be 
but temporary, and that to submit to their ride, would only involve themselves in that destruction 
to which they were devoted. However this may be, the absence of the population, and the 
impossibility of deriving any aid from their local experience and activity, were productive of 
serious inconvenience to the expedition, and moi-e than any thing else disconcerted the ex- 
pectations which had been formed of its immediate results. 

One of the first objects of the British Commander on occupying the town, was the 
rescue of his countrymen and other christians, who were in confinement, and the party 
imder Major Sale discovered, and released in the custom house two English traders, with an 
Armenian and a Greek, who had been left there in irons : seven other prisoners of this 
class had been carried away by the Burmans in their flight, but they were all liberated on 
the following morning by the detachment sent out from the town to reconnoitre the ground, 
who found them in different chambers where they had been secured, and forgotten by the 
. Burman chiefs, in the confusion of their retreat. 

The days immediately following the capture of Rangoon, were appropriated to the 
landing and disposition of the troops, who were posted in the town, in the great pagoda of 

Shwe- 



• Document No. 52. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 27 

Shwe-da-gon, about two miles and a half from the town, or on the two roads which, leading 
from each of the northern gates, gradually converge until they unite near the pagoda, leaving 
a tolerably open space between them. Parties of seamen from his Majesty's vessels, with 
detachments of the European Regiment were also employed in scouring the river, and to 
discover and destroy any armed boats or fire rafts, which it was thought likely the enemy 
would prepare. In one of these excursions, a stockade having been observed in course of con- 
struction at the village of Kemendine, about four miles distant from the town, it was 
attacked by the Grenadier Company of his Majesty's 38th, and the boats of the Liffey, and 
stormed with great intrepidity, although maintained by four hundred of the enemy, who be- 
haved with considerable spirit, and, notwithstanding the strength of its defences, it was carried 
accordingly not without some loss. Lieutenant Kerr, of the 38th, was killed, and Lieutenant 
Wilkinson, R. N., who commanded the boats, was dangerously wounded : the enemy suffered still 
more severely, and left sixty killed in the stockade.* Detachments were also sent in the interior, to 
endeavour to find and bring back the population ; but without success. On this occasion, parties 
of the Burmans were sometimes encountered, and skirmishes ensued, with invariably advantageous 
results to the invading force: measures were also adopted to collect boats and supplies as far as 
practicable, with the view to the ultimate advance into the interior. Some heavy falls of 
rain occurred in the latter part of May, and cover was provided for the troops with the least 
possible delay. They were cantoned chiefly along the two roads before mentioned, 
_ in the numerous pagodas and religious buildings, which connected the chief temple with 
the town. The Staff and different departments were placed in the town, whilst the ter- 
race of the great pagoda was occupied by part of his Majesty's 89th Regiment and the Madras 
Artillery, and formed the key to the whole position. The Shwe-da-gon Pagoda stands upon a 
mound, to which the ascent is by eighty or a hundred stone steps, and the summit of which is 
about eight hundred yards square. Besides the central edifice, or the temple itself, a number 
of buildings, smaller shrines, or the habitations of the attending priests, chiefly of teak, and curi- 
ously carved and gilt, surmount the elevation, and formed not incommodious dwellings. 
It very soon appeared that there was little chance of quitting this position before the end of 
the rainy season, as the disappearance of the inhabitants rendered it impossible to provide 
and equip a flotilla necessary to proceed up the river, or to man it with rowers when equipped. 
The same circumstance, and the desolate state of the country, from which nothing in the 
shape of supplies was to be procured, rendered it equally certain, that both for the temporary 
occupation of Rangoon, and eventual march into the interior, the force was entirely depend- 
ant upon the Presidencies of Bengal and Madras, for every description of conveyance and 
food : a state of things which was little to have been expected, from the known commerce 
and supposed resources of Rangoon, and for which, accordingly, no previous preparation 
had been made. Whilst 



* Document No. 53 



23 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

Whilst thus situated, the force at Rangoon was re-joined by the detachments which had 
been despatched against Cheduba andNegrais. The latter, a small island of about six miles in 
circumference, was found uninhabited, but the enemy having collected in some force on the 
opposite main land, and constructed a stockade, Major Wahab detached a part of his force 
ao-ainst them. The first division, three companies of the 17th Regt. Madras N. I., having land- 
ed within a short distance of the enemy's entrenchment, the officer commanding determined to 
advance at once against them without waiting for support, and giving them time to prepare for 
the contest. Having carried a breast-work, which had been thrown up by the enemy, the party 
came upon a stockade, one angle of which being still open, they were able to direct their fire 
amongst those within it, supposed to amount to between seven and eight hundred men, who 
abandoned the defences after sustaining some loss. Having destroyed the stockade, and brought 
off the guns and ammunition found in it, Major Wahab re-embarked his men and sailed for 
Rangoon, being short of provisions, and not considering that any further advantage would be 
derived from the occupation of Negrais, or an advance to Bassein, the success of which was, in 
some degree, doubtful, from his comparative inferiority to the Burman force.* 

The capture of Cheduba, by the force under Brigadier McCreagh, was attended with 
more permanent results, and was more vigorously contested. The transports with the 
Slaney, sloop of war, collected off the mouth of the river leading to the chief town, on 
the night of the 12th of May, and early on the 14th, two hundred of his Majesty's 13th, 
and one hundred of the 20th Native Infantry, being embarked in such boats as could 
be assembled, proceeded up the river : about a mile up the river, the enemy were dis- 
covered in some force, on the northern bank, and as the headmost boat arrived upon their 
right flank, they opened a slight fire, on which the troops landed, and after a short contest, 
compelled them to retreat. They retired with some precipitation upon the village, and pass- 
ing through it, gained a strong stockade at the further end. The guns were landed from the 
ships without delay, and a battery opened upon the gate-way by the 18th, the fire of 
which having much weakened the defences, Major Thornhill, with a company of the 13th, 
forced an entrance into the stockade, without much difficulty. After a short contest, in 
which their Commander was slain, the Burmans retreated by the opposite gate, leaving a 
great number killed. The loss of the assailants was inconsiderable. On the 19th, the Raja 
of Cheduba was taken by a reconnoitring party, and sent prisoner shortly afterwards to 
Calcutta : such of the Burman force as had been sent to his succour, and survived the late 
action, returned to the main land, and the people of Cheduba very readily submitted to the 
British rule. Brigadier McCreagh, therefore, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Hampton with his 
detachment of the 20th Native Infantry, and the sloop Slaney, for the protection of the 
island, proceeded with the European division to Rangoon, where he arrived on the 11th of 
June.t 

Between 

• Document No. 55. (B) (C) (D) f Do. No. 57 (B) 



THE BURMESE WAR. gg 

Between this date and the attack of the Kemendine stockade, on the 10th of May, seve- 
ral engagements had taken place with the Burmans, who having received reinforcements, had 
been for some days closing upon the British lines, and entrenching themselves in their 
immediate, vicinity, or concealed in the dense jungle that grew close to the posts, maintained 
a system of harassing attacks, cutting off stragglers, firing upon the piquets, and creating con- 
stant alarms by night as well as by day, which subjected the troops to much unnecessary and 
hurtful exposure and fatigue. In order to deter them from persisting in this mode of war- 
fare, as well as more precisely to estimate their number and position. Sir Archibald Campbell 
marched out on the morning of the 28th May, with four companies of Europeans from his 
Majesty's 13th and 38th Regiments, two hundred and fifty Sipahis, one gun, and a howitzer, 
against the entrenchments in the vicinity of the Camp, which were supported, it was said, 
by a considerable body of troops under the command of the Governor of Shwedang. After 
passing and destroying three unfinished and undefended stockades, and exchanging a few shot 
with such of the enemy as shewed themselves from time to time in the jungle, the Artillery-men 
being exhausted with fatigue, the guns were sent back under escort of the Native Infantry, and 
Sir Archibald continued to advance with the Europeans, through rice fields, some inches under 
water, and in a heavy fliU of rain. After a most fatiguing march of eight or ten miles, the enemy 
was discovered in great numbers at the village of Joazong, and defended in front by two stock- 
ades. The attack was immediately ordered, and the stockades were carried at the point of 
the bayonet, in the most daring and determined manner. A demonstration was then made of 
advancing against the Burman line, which immediately fell back, as if intending to retreat 
into the thicket, and, as it seemed doubtful if they could be brought to action, the detachment 
returned to the lines. The loss they sustained was severe. Lieutenant Howard, of the 13th, 
was killed, and Lieutenants Mitchell and O'Halloran, severely wounded, each subsequently los- 
ing a leg by amputation. The enemy was said to have left three hundred dead in the stockades, 
in which the conflict was maintained for some time man to man.* Brigadier General Mac Bean, 
with two regiments and some howitzers, was sent out on the following morning to the same 
spot, to see if he could again fall in with the Burman force, but they had disappeared, and the 
stockades remained deserted. On the following day, a party of the enemy were driven with 
some loss from a stockade in the jungle, not far from the Shwe-da-gon pagoda, by the Light 
Company of the 38th, under Major Piper, and on the same day a detachment, under Col. Godwin, 
was sent against Siriam, which fort was found, on the opposite side of the Pegu river, abandoned. 
The strongest position occupied by the Burmans, at this time, was at Kemendine, upon 
the river, nearly two miles above the post called, also, the Kemendine stockade, from which 
they were driven on the 10th of May. At this place the Burmans had erected one main stock- 
ade of unusual strength and extent, whilst in the vicinity there were several others, more or 
less elaborately constructed. In order to remove them from the position, two columns 

of 

* Document No. 55 (A) , 

H 



30 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



of the Madras foree, one under Lieutenant-colonel Hodgson, and the other under Lieutenant- 
colonel Smith, marched on the 3d of June from the Shwe-da-gon pagoda, to attack the post by 
laud, whilst Sir Archibald Campbell proceeded up the river with two cruizers, and three 
companies of his Majesty's 4Ist. The vessels advanced abreast of the entrenchment, and 
the troops landed and burnt the village. The laud cohimns arrived in the vicinity of the 
stockade after a very harrassing march, but as they moved through the thicket within gun shot, 
they w ere mistaken for a body of Burmans, and received a heavy cannonade, which occa- 
sioned some loss, and disconcerted the troops, so that they could not be afterwards led to the 
attack : the force therefore was obliged to return without accomplishing the object for which 
it had marched.* 

Previous to the attack upon this post, two Burmans, of inferior rank, had come into Ran- 
goon, stating that they were sent to ascertain the objects of tlie British, by the newly 
appointed Meywoon, or Viceroy, who was at Kemendine with the Governor of Prome: as 
they could produce no credentials, it was supposed that they were merely spies; but they 
were civilly treated, and sent back. On the 5th of June, two other messengers arrived to 
announce the proposed mission of other officers of high rank, two of whom, whose attendants, * 
and gilt umbrellas, indicated them to be personages of consequence, came down to Rangoon in 
two war boats ; the senior had been the Woon of Bassein, but was now a personal attendant, 
on the King. They were received by the Commander in Chief and Political Commissioner, and 
stated that they were deputed by the Thekia "Woongyee, recently nominated Viceroy of Pegu, 
and then at Donabew, to which they invited Sir Archibald Campbell, or Major Canning, to repair, 
expressing themselves willing to remain as hostages for their return. As such a proposal, 
however, could not belistened to, and it appeared, that the Thekia Woongyee could do no more 
than forward the result of the conferences, supposing him sincere in wishing to open them, to 
the Court, it was stated in reply, that the Commissioner would be content with an opportu- 
nity of forwarding despatches to Ava : to this the Deputies engaged to obtain the Viceroy's 
assent, and promised to return with it on the 15th. As, however, they did not repeat 
their visit, it seems probable, that their only object was to gain time, and suspend the British 
operations until the force assembling at Donabew should be ready to act. If such was their 
object, it was disappointed, and on the 10th of July, a strong force was sent once more 
against Kemendine and the stockades inland, between it and the great pagoda. 

The force destined for this service, consisting of nearly three thousand men, with four 
eighteen-pounders, and four mortars, moved from the lines on the morning of the 10th of June, 
under the Commander in Chief, whilst two divisions of vessels proceeded up the river to attack 
the stockade in that direction. On the march, the land columns came upon a strong stockade, 
about two miles from the town : in front, the palisades were from twelve to fourteen feet high, 
strengthened by cross bars and railing of great solidity ; on the other three sides, it was protected 
by 

* Document No. 56. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 3| 

by the denseness of the surrounding jungle : it was invested on three sides, and a breach beino" 
made in front by the fire of the two eighteen pounders, the Madras European Regiment, sup- 
ported by his Majesty's 41st, made good their entrance, whilst, at the same time, the advanced 
companies of the 13th and 38th, clambered over the palisadoes on another side, and co-operated 
in clearing the entrenchment.* The enemy fled into the "thicket, but they left one hundred and 
fifty dead, including a chief of some rank, as indicated by his golden chattah. Several of the 
British officers and soldiers distinguished themselves by their personal prowess on this, and 
on similar occasions, being engaged repeatedly in single combat with their antagonists in 
the mele that followed the storm of a stockade. Before the Burmans had learned to 
appreciate the valour of those with whom they had to contend, these conflicts were of 
necessity sanguinary j for, unaccustomed to civilised warfare, they neither gave nor ex- 
pected to receive quarter ; and whenever, therefore, unable to escape, they rushed desperately 
upon the bayonets of their assailants, and often provoked their death by treacherously attempt- 
ing to effect that of the soldiers by whom they had been overcome and spared. 

After carrying this post, the force moved forward to the river, where it came upon the chief 
stockade, Avhichwas immediately invested. The left of the line communicated with the flotilla, 
but the right could not be sufficiently extended to shut in the entrenchment completely between 
it and the river, in consequence of the enemy having thrown up other works beyond the 
stockade. By four o'clock, the troops were in position in a thick jungle, and no time was lost 
in bringing the guns to bear. Notwithstanding a heavy fall of rain, batteries were erected 
during the night, and opened at day-light on the 11th : after a cannonade of two hours, a party 
advancing to observe the breach, found that the enemy had evacuated the stockade, carrying 
with them their dead and wounded. The immediate contiguity and thickness of the jungle, 
enabled them to effect their retreat unobserved. The stockade of Kemendine, commanding the 
river between it and the town, and connecting the head of the British line, the Shwe-da-gon 
pagoda with the river, secured the latter from being turned, or the town of Rangoon from 
being threatened in that direction, and it was therefore occupied by a small European detail, 
and a battalion of Native Infantry. The Burmese, after the capture of their post, retired for a 
while from the immediate vicinity of the British lines, and continued to concentrate their 
forces at Donabew. 

In the short interval of comparative tranquillity that ensued between this date and the 
renewal of active operations, the British authorities had leisure to consider the position in 
which they were placed. An advance up the river, whilst either bank was commanded by the 
enemy in such formidable numbers and by strong entrenchments, was wholly out of the question, 
as, although conveyance for the troops and ordnance had been provided, the impossibility of 
deriving supplies from the country was undeniable, and it was equally impracticable to main- 
tain a communication with Rangoon. It was clearly necessary, therefore, to begin by anni- 
hilating the force immediately opposed to the invading army, before any advance could be 

attempted. 

* Document No. 57. 



32 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

attempted. But this was not so easy a task as was to have been anticipated from the superior 
cro-anisation and valour of the British army. In the field, the enemy were as little able as inclined 
to face the British force, but their dexterity and perseverance in throwing up entrenchments, 
rendered theirexpulsion from these an undertaking, that involved a loss of time, and sacrifice of 
lives, and the country and seasons stood them inthe steadof discipline and courage. Thevicinity 
of Rangoon, except about the town or along the main road, was covered with swamp or jun- 
gle, through which the men were obliged to wade knee-deep in water, or force their way 
through harassing and wearisome entanglements. The rains had set in, and the effects of a 
burning sun were only relieved by the torrents that fell from the accumulated clouds, and 
■which brought disease along with their coolness. Constantly exposed to the vicissitudes of a 
tropical climate, and exhausted by the necessity of unintermitted exertion, it need not be 
matter of surprise, tliat sickness now began to thin the ranks, and impair the energies of the 
invaders. No rank was exempt from the operation of these causes, and many oSicers, amongst 
whom were the senior naval ofiicer. Captain Marryatt, the Political Commissioner, ISIajor 
Canning, and the Commander in Chief himself, were attacked with fever during the month of 
June. Amongst the privates, however, the use of spirituous liquor, and the want of a sufficient 
supply of fresh meat and vegetables, the consequence of the unexpected flight of the inhabitants 
of the town, which threw the force wholly upon their sea stock for sustenance, augmented the 
malignantinfluence of the climate, and crowded the hospitals with thesick: fever and dysentery 
were the principal maladies, and were no more than the ordinary consequences of local causes j 
but the scurvy and hospital gangrene, which also made their appearance, were ascribable as 
much to depraved habits and inadequate nourishment, as to fatigue and exposure. They were 
also latterly, in some degree, the consequences of extreme exhaustion, forming a peculiar feature 
of the prevailing fever, which bore an epidemic type, and which had been felt with equal 
severity in Bengal. The fatal operation of these causes was enhanced by their continuance, 
and towards the end of the rainy season, scarcely three thousand men were fit for active dflty. 
The arrival of adequate supplies, and more especially the change of the monsoon, restored the 
force to a more healthy condition.* 

Although, however, the proportion of the sick was a serious deduction from the available 
force, it was not such as to render it unequal to ofi'ensive operations altogether, or inadequate 
to repel, in the most decisive manner, the collected assault of the Burmau force that had been 

some 

• A correct notion of the extent of the prevailing sickness, may be formed from the following statement of a com- 
petent observer. " During June, Jul)', August, September, and October, the average monthly admissions into liospital 
Jrom the Artillery, was sixty-five Europeans, and sixty-two Natives, being nearly one-tliird of the greatest numerical 
strength of the former, and one-lourlh of the latter ; and large as was this number, I am assured, that it was considerably 
less, in proportion, than that which was exhibited by any European Regiment, in either division of the army. The ag- 
gregate number in hospital, during the whole fourteen months, to which this account is limited, Mas six hundred and five 
^Europeans, and six hundred and eighty-seven Natives, a large proportion being \ui.dc up of re-admissions for dysentery. 
Of the former, forty-nine died, including twelve, who died in the field hospitals of Rangoon and iMergui, or a fraction less 
than one in twelve and half. Amongst the latter, thirtj -four deaths occurred, or something less than one in twenty. 
On the setting in of the cold season, the general sickness began to decline, and from .lanuary to July, W2d, it was com- 
paratively moderate. " On the diseases prevailing amongst the British troops at Rangoon. By G. \\ addell, JM. D. 
Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta, vol. 3d. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 33 

sometime assembling in its vicinity. During the month of June, several aftairs of minor im- 
portance occurred, and on the first July, the only general action in which the troops had yet 
been engaged, took place. 

On receiving intelligence of the occupation of Rangoon by the British armament, the 
Court of Ava was far from feeling any apprehension or alarm : on the contrary, the news was 
welcomed as peculiarly propitious : the destruction of the invaders was regarded as certain, and 
the only anxiety entertained was, lest they should effect a retreat before they were punished 
for their presumption. Notwithstanding the unseasonable period of the year, therefore, orders 
were sent to collect as large a force as possible to surround and capture the British, and one 
of the chief officers of state, the Thakia Woongyee, was dispatched to assume the command. 
The result of these arrangements was little calculated to inspire the Court of Ava with confi- 
dence in its officers or men. 

On the morning of the 1st of July, the Burman force was observed in motion: the main body 
drew up upon the left of the British lines in front of the Kemendine stockade, and Shwe-da-gon 
Pagoda, but they were screened from observation by the intervening thicket, and their dispo- 
sition and strength could not be ascertained. Three columns, each of about 1000 men, moved 
across to the right of the line, where they came in contact with the piquets of the 7th and 22d 
Regiments of Madras Native Infantry, which steadily maintained their ground against these 
superior numbers. The enemy then penetrated between the piquets, and occupied a hill, 
whence they commenced an ineffective fire on the lines, but were speedily dislodged by three 
companies of the 7th and 23d Regiments M. N. L, with a gun and howitzer, under Captain 
Jones, and the personal direction of the Commander-in-Chief: after a short but effective fire, 
the Sipahis were ordered to charge, which they did with great steadiness, and the enemy im- 
mediately broke and fled into the jungle. The body in front of the head of the lines appa- 
rently awaited the effect of this attack, and fell back immediately on its failure: part of the force 
re-crossing the river, a considerable division entered the town of Dalla opposite to Rangoon, where 
Lieutenant Isaack, of the 8th M. N. I., in command of the post, was shot, as he advanced to drive 
them out: the town of Dalla was, in consequence, destroyed.* 

The check sustained by the Burmans on the 1st had not altered their plans, and they con- 
tinued gathering strength in front of the lines and giving constant annoyance. It again, 
therefore, became necessary to repel them to a greater distance, and on the 8th, a column, 
about twelve hundred strong, under Brigadier General Macbean, moved out to operate by land, 
whilst Brigadier General Sir A. Campbell, with another division of eight hundred, proceeded by 
water. The boats with the Lame and several of the Company's cruizers advanced to a place 
where the Lyne river, or branch of the Irawadi, falls into the Rangoon branch, and at the point 
oftheir junction, termed Pagoda-point, they found the enemy strongly posted. The main enti-ench- 
ment was constructed on the projecting tongue of land at the junction of the two rivers, whilst 

stockades 

* Document No. 38. 

I 



34 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

stockades on the opposite bank of either stream commanded the approach, and afforded mutual 
support. Notwithstanding these formidable dispositions, the post was soon carried. A breach 
having been effected by the fire of the vessels, a gun-brig, and three cruizers, under the command 
of Captain Marryat, of the Royal Navy, the troops consisting of the Madras Infantry, supported 
by part of his Majestys41st and the Madras European Regiment, landed and stormed the first 
stockade : the second was carried by escalade, and the enemy abandoned the third. Brigadier 
G eneral Macbean, supported by Brigadier McCreagh, was equally successful. He advanced to Kam- 
root, about six miles from Rangoon, a short way inland from Pagoda-point, and, notwithstanding 
the fatigue they had undergone, the troops under his command, headed by the 13th and SSth, 
under Majors Sale and Frith, maintained the character they had already so well earned for 
desperate valour, and captured, in rapid succession, seven strong stockades. The enemy, driven 
from the inferior defences, fell back upon the central position, consisting of three strong en- 
trenchments within each other, in the innermost of which Thamba Woongyee, who command- 
ed, had taken his station, and endeavoured to animate his men to resistance, not only by his 
exhortations, but example. This conduct, so contrary to the usual practice of the BurmaH 
Chiefs, who are rarely even present in an engagement which they direct, was equally unavail- 
ing, and served only to add his death to that of his followers. Another leader of rank fell 
also on this occasion, in a personal contest with Major Sale, who, in every attack, had distin- 
guished himself by his personalintrepidity, and who engaged in this encounter to rescue a 
soldier, who had fallen beneath the sword of the Burman Chief, and was about to become the 
victim of his revenge. The capture of so many stockades by so inferior a force, and without 
any assistance from artillery, was an achievement unsurpassed during the war, and first made 
a profound impression upon the minds of the enemy, who henceforward learnt to think them- 
selves insecure within the strongest defences. The business was accomplished also with a 
trifling loss on the part of the assailants, whilst eight hundred of the Burmans were left dead 
in the stockade, and numbers of their wounded were left to perish in the surrounding jungle, 
or the adjacent villages.* 

The inundated state of the country, now precluded the possibility of undertaking any 
movements of importance, but the period was not suffered to pass unimproved. Information 
being received of the assemblage of a force at Kykloo, Sir A. Campbell despatched a column 
of one thousand and two hundred men against them by land, on the 19th July, whilst he him- 
self, with six hundred more, proceeded up the Puzendown creek in boats to the same point. 
The land column was unable to make good its advance, and the division by water, deprived 
of its expected co-operation, returned to head-quarters, having on the way seen only a few 
flying parties of the enemy, and liberated several families, inhabitants of Rangoon. It was 
satisfactory also, to find an indication of reviving confidence in the appearance of the popu- 
lation of the villages, who, although they had fled on the advance of the detachment, gathered 
courage to return to their homes, by the time of its return, and saluted it as it passed.! 

The 

• Documents Nos. 58 and 39. f Do. No. 60. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



35 



The head man of the district of Sirian, near the junction of the Pegu with the Rangoon 
river, having collected, in obedience to the orders of his Government, a considerable force, 
and being actively engaged in constructing works to command the entrance into the river, 
the Commander-in-Chief undertook to dislodge him, and embarked on the 4th of August, on 
board a flotilla for that purpose, with about six hundred men, consisting of part of his Majes- 
ty's 41st, the Madras European Regiment, and 12th Madras Infantry, under the command of 
Brigadier Smelt. The Burmans, it was found, had taken post within the walls of the old Por- 
tuguese fortified factory at Sirian, having cleared the jungle from its surflice, filled up the 
chasms with palisades, and mounted guns upon the ramparts. As the troops advanced to storm, 
they were received with a brisk fire, but the enemy had not resolution to await an escalade. 
Thej^ fled towards a Pagoda in the vicinity, and were pursued by a detachment under 
Lieutenant Colonel Kelly. The Pagoda also was guarded and mounted with guns, but after 
a hasty fire, its defenders abandoned the post with precipitation, leaving the assailants in 
possession of the temple.* 

Reports having reached Sir A. Campbell, that much dissatisfaction had been excited in 
the district of Dalla, by the orders of the Court for a general conscription, a force of four 
hundred men was embarked under Lieutenant Colonel Kelly, and despatched on the 8th of 
August, to take advantage of any opportunity that might offer of giving support to the dis- 
contented. The party entered a large creek, about two miles from the mouth of which they 
came upon a couple of stockades, one on either bank, which they landed to storm. In con- 
sequence of the difficulty of getting through the mud, they were exposed for some time to the 
enemy's fire, and suffered some loss. Here, hov^'evers as iu the preceding instance, the en- 
trenchments were carried as soon as the escalade was attempted, and the Burmans immedi- 
ately fled into the neighbouring jungle.t 

In the begining of August, Major Canning, the Political Agent, who had been some time 
ill of fever, went on board the Nereide, in order to return to Bengal for the recovery of his 
health : he died shortly after his arrival in Calcutta. 

In the impossibility that existed of engaging in any active operations in the direction 
of Ava, it was judged advisable to employ part of the force in reducing some of the maritime 
provinces of the Burman kingdom. The district of Tenasserim, comprising the divisions of 
Tavai and Mergui, was that selected for attack, as containing a valuable tract of sea coast, as well 
as being likely to aftbrd supplies of cattle and grain. Accordingly, an expedition was detached 
against those places, consisting of details of his Majesty's 89th and the 7th Madras Native 
Infantry, with several cruizers and gun-brigs, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Miles. 
They sailed from Rangoon on the 20th August, and reached the mouth of the river leading to 
Tavai, on the 1st September: some difficulty occurred in working up the river, in consequence 
of which, the vessels arrived ofif the town only on the eighth. A conspiracy amongst the gar- 
rison 

* Document No. 62. t Do. No. 63. 



2Q HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

rison facilitated the capture of the place, the second in command making the Maiwoon and his 
familyprisoners, delivered them to the British officer, and the town was occupied without oppo- 
sition. At INIergui, whither the armament next proceeded, and where it arrived on the 6th 
October, a more effective resistance was offered : a heavy fire was opened from the batteries 
of the town, which was returned by the cruizers with such effect, as to silence it in about an 
hour. The troops then landed, and after wading through miry ground between the river 
and a strong stockade, which defended the town, and being exposed to a brisk fire from the 
enemy, they advanced to the stockade, and escaladed in the most gallant style. The enemy 
fled. The town, when first occupied, was deserted, but the people soon returned, and both 
here and at Tavai, shewed themselves perfectly indifferent to the change of authorities. Af- 
ter leaving a sufficient garrison of the Native troops and part of the flotilla. Colonel Miles 
returned with the European portion of his division to Rangoon in November, m time to take 
a part in the more important operations about to occur. 

In the end of August, and throughout September, nothing of any importance took place : 
the Burmese continued in force about Pagoda-point and in the Dalla province, and were evi- 
dently only waiting till the country should be more practicable for some important enterprise. 
In the mean time they were engaged in perpetual night attacks upon the piquets, whose 
musquets they frequently contrived to carry off, and on two occasions, a considerable body of 
chosen men, designated as the Invulnerables, made an attack upon the piquet of the Shwe- 
da-o-on Pagoda, but were repulsed with loss. An attempt was also made in the beginning 
of September, to cut off three gun-brigs stationed in the Dalla creek, and a number of war- 
boats attacked them at eleven at night, the crews of which were engaged in boarding, when 
a re-inforcement of row-boats arrived, and drove off the assailants. Five of the enemy's 
boats were captured. The men serving as marines on board the gun-brigs, behaved with great 
steadiness, and received the Burmans, as they attempted to board, at point of the bayonet. To- 
wards the end of September, a detachment was sent under Brigadier General Fraser to 
Panlano-, by which a post of the enemy at that place was taken and destroyed.* 

The beginning of September was marked by a failure, on our part, of some magnitude. 
This occurred against the post of the enemy at Kykloo, fourteen miles from Rangoon. 
Colonel Smith was detached against this place, on the 5th of October, with eight hundred 
Madras Native Infantry, two howitzers, and forty Pioneers. On the first day's march, the 
division came upon a stockade at Tadaghee, which they carried, although not without some 
loss. Information was here received, that the strength of the enemy at Kykloo was greater 
than had been anticipated, and Colonel Smith applied for re-inforcements, and especially for a 
small body of Europeans : three hundred of the ^Otii and 30th Madras Infantry, and two other 
howitzers, were directed to re-inforce him, but no Eurojteans joined the division. On the Sth of 
October, the force arrived in the vicinity of the stockades, and carried a succession of breast 

works, 

• Documents Nos. Gl, 65, G6, 67, and 68. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



37 



works, thrown across the road, which delayed their approach to the main position, an 
entrenchment resting on an eminence on its right, which was crowned by a fortified 
Pagoda. As the storming party, conducted by Major Wahab, advanced to escalade, a 
round of cannon was fired from the Pagoda, but the troops in the stockade reserved 
their fire until the assailants were within fifty or sixty yards : they then poured down voUies 
of grape and musketry, with an eflTect and regularity till then unequalled, by Avhich Major 
Wahab, with the leading officers and men were knocked down, and the rest so panic-struck, 
that they lay down to evade the fire. As the evening was too far advanced to allow of 
repairing the evil, Colonel Smith ordered a retreat. Upon the first fire from the Pagoda, a 
detachment had been directed to attack, but it was found too strongly stockaded, and the 
discomfiture in this quarter, adding to the alarm already excited by the repulse from before 
the stockade, completely banished all regard for discipline, and the whole of the troops re- 
treated in a confused and indiscriminate mass to a plain at the foot of the rising ground of 
Kykloo. The second division of the force, which had been detached into the jungle, hearing 
the retreat sounded, came back in good order, and in time to cover the retreat of the fugitives. 
The detachment being again formed, proceeded without molestation to Tadaghee, carrying 
with them their wounded. The loss, on this occasion, was twenty-one killed, and seventy-four 
wounded ; amongst the former were Captain Allen and Lieutenant Bond, and amongst the 
latter Major Wahab, Captain MoncriefF, and Lieutenants Campbell, Chalon, and Lindesay.* 
As a counterpoise for this temporary discomfiture, complete success attended an expedi- 
tion directed at the same time against the post of Thantabain, at the junction of the Lyne 
river, or branch, to which the Prince of Tharawadi, the favorite brother of the King of Ava, 
who had been latterly sent with very considerable re-inforctments from the capital, had push- 
ed forward some of his army. Instructions were also circulated by him to the heads of the 
districts, to assemble every inhabitant capable of bearing arms, and either to join him, or 
take up such positions as should prevent a single man of the ' wild foreigners,' as he termed 
the British, from effecting their escape. They were also to block up the passage of the river,- 
so as to render the retreat of the fl.otilla equally impracticable. The Prince's head quarters 
were fixed at Donabew, but the advance division of his army, under the first Minister of 
state, the Kyee Woongyee, was posted at Thantabain, against which Major Evans was 
sent, with three hundred of his Majesty's 3Sth, and one hundred of the 18th Madras 
Native Infantry, a detachment of Bengal Artillery, and a division of gun-boats ; the flotilla 
being under Captain Chads, of his Majesty's Ship Arachne, who had joined the expedition at 
Rangoon, relieving the Larne, of which the crew was completely disabled by sickness. The 
force sailed on the 5th of Octobei", proceeding up the Lyne river, and skirmishing as they ad- 
vanced with the war-boats of the enemy, and flying parties on the bank. One war-boat, carry- 
ing a gun, was captured on the 6th, two stockades were taken, and seven war-boats destroyed 

on 



* Document No. 69. 
K 



3g HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

on the 7th, and on the same day, the force arrived opposite to the village of Thantabain, which 
was defended by three -breast-works of large beams, and by a flotilla of fourteen war-boats, each 
carrying a gun. After the exchange of a brisk fire the troops were landed, and the work carried 
with little resistance. On the following morning, the principal stockade was attacked, and, not- 
withstanding its unusual strength, carried without a struggle.* It was two hundred yards long, 
and one hundred and fifty broad, built of solid timber, fifteen feet high, with an interior platform, 
five feet broad and eight feet from the ground, upon which a number of wooden guns, and 
shot, and jinjals were found, whilst below, were seven pieces of iron and brass ordnance ; the 
entrenchment was strengthened by outworks, and altogether was capable of containing two 
thousand men. In the centre of the stockade was found a magnificent bungalow, the re- 
sidence of the Kyee ^Voongyee, who, as well as the Thakia Woongyee, was present at the 
commencement of the action. The bungalow was found perforated, in many places, by 
the shot from the vessels. Only seventeen bodies were discovered in the stockade, although 
the enemy's loss must have been more considerable. For some time past, however, the Bur- 
mans had made it tlieir practice to carry off their dead and wounded, wherever an opportu- 
nity occurred. The British detachment returned to head quarters without the loss of a man, 
not having had, in fact, any opposition to encounter beyond the ineffective fire of the ill-con- 
structed and worse-managed artillery of the Burman force. The absence of opposition, not- 
withstanding the strength of the post, and the encouraging presence of officers of high rank, 
clearly .showed the impression made upon the Burmans by the intrepidity of the British 
troops. The first lessons they received, were finally confirmed by the daring escalade 
of the seven stockades at Kamaroot, on the 8th July, by the troops under Brigadier 
Macbean, and from that moment, althougli they might be induced to keep up a fire from be- 
hind their palisades, and to evince consiJerable determination against the Sipahis alone, they 
never offered any effective opposition to British troops in the storm, and rarely, if ever, await- 
ed the consequence of an escalade. 

Nor were the Burmans suffered to indulge in the idea of the impregnability of the Kykloo 
stockades, as, on the same day that Colonel Smitli's detachment returned to head quarters, 
Brigadier M'Creagh wag sent, with a combined force of Europeans and Natives, to attack the 
post. He arrived at the entrenchments on the 11th, but the enemy had deserted them, and fallen 
back to one said to be of still greater strength. Colonel jNIcCreagh, accordingly, advanced, and 
overtook the Burman force in their entrenchments at a considerable village, but they again 
fled and dispersed in all directions, after setting the village and stockade on fire. After further 
destroying the works, the detachment returned to Kykloo, and thence to Rangoon. On their 
advance, they had an opportunity of witnessing the barbarous character of the enemy, many of 
the bodies of the Sipahis and Pioneers, who fell in t!\e former attack, having been fastened to 
the trunks of trees, and mangled and mutilated by imbecile and savage exasperation.! 

During 

* Document No. 70. (C) (D) f Do. No. '0. (A) (B) 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



39 



During the rest of October and November, the troops enjoyed a state of comparative re- 
pose, and this interval, together with the gradual approach of a more healthy season, and im- 
proved supplies, contributed materially to diminish the number of sick, and to preserve 
the health of those who had hitherto escaped. The force was therefore gathering vigour, for 
the renewal ofactive operations. On their side, the Burmans were not idle. The succes- 
sive capture of the strongest stockades, the discomfiture of every attack, and the prolonged 
occupation of ilangoon, had begun, in the estimation of the Burmese themselves, to change 
the character of the war, and to inspire the Court of Ava with uneasiness and alarm. Ascribing 
however the impunity of the invaders to the want of energy in their generals, rather than to 
any inferiority in arms, the Court still looked wit'h some confidence to the effect of the measure 
which had been adopted at an early period, of recalling the Bundoola, and his victorious army 
from Aracan. That chief, as we have already noticed, withdrew his troops from Ramoo in July 
and sending his army in detached parties across the mountain towards Sembewghewn and Prome, 
with instructions to assemble at Donabew, repaired to Ava to receive the rewards and com- 
mands of his Prince. No pains nor expence were spared to equip this favourite general for 
the field, and by the approach of the season for active operations, it was estimated that fifty 
thousand men were collected for the advance upon Rangoon, who were to exterminate the 
invaders, or carry them captives to the capital, where the chiefs were already calculating on 
the number of slaves who were, from this source of supply, to swell their train. Reports of 
the return of the Aracan army soon reached Rangoon, but some period elapsed before any 
certainty of its movements was obtained. By the end of November, an intercepted despatch 
from the Bundoola to the governor of Martaban, removed all doubt, and announced the 
departure of the former from Prome, at the head of a formidable host. His advance was 
hailed with delight, and preparations were made immediately for his reception. 

Before we advert, however, to the results of the conflict, it will be convenient to notice 
some other occurrences which took place in the interval, connected v/ith the general course of 
the war in this direction.* In the course of September, the Company's cruizer Hastings, sta- 
tioned offCheduba, had made several reconnoissances of the large and neighbouring island of 
Ramree, and cutoff several of the enemy's war-boats. In the beginning of October, Lieut. 
Colonel Hampton, commanding on Cheduba, detached a party of two hundred men, who, with a 
part of the crew of theii"«stoj5, landed on the island and destroyed some stockades: nothing 
further was attempted. A more important measure was the capture of Martaban by Colonel 
Godwin, who was detached on this duty in the end of October, with part of his Majesty's 41st 
Foot, the 3d Regiment of M. N. Infantry, and Madras Artillery, under convoy of his Majes- 
ty's ships 'Arachne arid Sophia, They reached Martaban on the 29th November : the place was 
found to be of considerable strength, and was, at first, warmly defended by Maha Udina, the 
governor, a bold and active chief. After a mutual cannonade, the troops were landed 

under 



* Documents Nos. 73 and 73. 



40 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

under a heavy fire from the enemy, \vho, as usual, did not await the effects of the storm, but 
evacuated the entrenchments as soon as the British entered. The town was at first deserted, 
but the inhabitants, chiefly Taliens or natives of Pegu, gradually returned, and the post was 
occupied by a British detachment throughout the remainder of the war.* Towards the end 
of November also, Lieut. -Colonel Mallett was detached to display the British flag iVi old Pegu, 
which was effected without opposition, and the division returned to head quarters in time to 
take a part in the brilliant operations of the ensuing month. 

The concentrated effort to which the energies and expectations of the Government of 
Ava had been, for some time, directed, was at length made, and the first half of December 
was the season of a series of operations which shewed, by the perseverance of the Burman 
generals, how much they had at stake. The grand army, which had been sedulously form- 
ing along the course of the Irawadi, and which had been gradually approaching the British 
lines, now ventured seriously to invest them. The force was now estimated at C0,000 men, of 
whom more than half were armed with musquets, the rest with swords and spears ; a consi- 
derable number of jinjals, carrying balls of from six to twelve ounces, and a body of seven hun- 
dred Casay Horse, were attached to the force, whilst a numerous flotilla of war-boats and fire- 
rafts proceeded along the stream. No opposition was made to the advance of tlie enemy to 
the immediate proximity of Rangoon, which took place on the 1st December, and encouraged 
by this seeming timidity, as well as inspired by the confidence that they were now to exter- 
minate their invaders, they formed a regular investment of the British lines, extending in 
a semicircle from Dalla, opposite to Rangoon, round by Kemendine and the great Pagoda, to 
the village of Puzendown on the creek communicating with the Pegu branch of the river, their 
extreme right being thus opposite to the town on one side, and their extreme left approaching 
it on the other, within a few hundred yards. In many places, their front was covered by thick 
jungle, but where it was more assailable, the Burmans entrenched themselves with their usual 
dexterity, throwing up these defences within a couple of hundred yards of the piquets. 

The British force, reduced by sickness, and by the casualties of the service, was far from 
adequate to the defence of the position they occupied : their numerical insufiiciency was, 
however, compensated by their superior skill and valour, whilst the openings in the lines were 
covered by the judicious disposition of the artillery, in batteries and redoubts along the 
assailable front. The shipping protected Rangoon, and the position on the river side, whilst 
the extreme left was defended by the post at Kemendine, supported on the river by his 
ISIajesty's sloop Sophie, and a strong division of gun-boats. 

The operations on the part of the enemy were commenced on the morning of the 1st of 
December, by a resolute attack on the post of Kemendine, which was met with equal vigour, 
and repulsed by the garrison and flotilla, the former under Major Yates, of the Madras Ser- 
vice, the latter under the Commander of the Sophie, Capt. Ryvcs. Repeated attacks were 

made 



• Document No. 74'. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



41 



made during the day, but with invariably the same results, and a bold attempt after dark to 
direct fire-rafts of formidable construction down the stream against the shipping of Ran"-oon, 
was frustrated by the skill and intrepidity of the British seamen. 

In the afternoon of the 1st, a reconnoissance was made of the enemy's left, by a Detach- 
ment of his Majesty's 13th, and the 18th Madras Native Infantry, under Major Sale, which broke 
through their entrenchments, and after killing a number of the enemy, and destroying their 
works, returned loaded with military spoil. In the evening of the same day, two companies of 
the 38th, under Major Piper, drove back a considerable force, which was approaching inconve- 
niently near to the north-east angle of the great Pagoda, and on the following morning a party 
was dislodged from a commanding situation in front of the north gate of the Pagoda, by Capt. 
Wilson, with two companies of the 38th, and a Detachment of the 28th Madras Native Infan- 
try. With these exceptions, and the reply to the enemy's fire by the artillery, nothing was 
attempted for a few days, in order to encourage the Burman Generals to trust themselves 
completely within the reach of the British army. 

Between the first and the fifth of December, the Burmans accordingly advanced their ea<- 
trenchments with incessant activity close to the principal points of the British lines. On the 
north of the great Pagoda, they occupied some high ground within musquet shot, separated 
from the temple by the reservoir, known by the name of the Scotch tank. They thence formed- 
at a right angle, facing the eastern front of the temple, to the vicinity of a morass, beyond which 
their lines proceeded parallel with those of the British, nearly to the Puzemloun creek, and afc 
their southern extremity, within gun-shot of Rangoon. From these positions, they kept up 
a constant fire upon the Pagoda and the advanced, piquets, and made it dangerous for the 
men to shew themselves beyond the defences. On the opposite side of the river, they can- 
nonaded the shipping with little intermission, whilst at the post of Kemendine, scarcely any 
respite was given to the garrison, and frequent fire-rafts were launched against the vessels ia 
the river. Little harm was effected by this shew of activity, but as the Burman force could no 
longer be permitted to harass the troops with impunity, and it was now impossible for them to es- 
cape from the consequences of a defeat, the Commander-in-Chief resolved to become the as- 
sailant, and terminate the expectations in which they had hitherto been permitted to indulge.* 

With this view, on the 5th December, a division of the Flotilla and gun-boats, under Captain 
Chads, was ordered up the Puzendoun creek, which cannonaded the enemy in flank, and drew off 
their attention in that quarter : at the same time two columns of attack were formed to advance 
from the Rangoon side, one eight hundred strong, under Major Sale, and the other of five hundred, 
under Major Walker, of the Madras service. A party of the Governor General's Body Guard, 
which had arrived on the preceding evening, was attached to Major Sale's column. The columns 
advanced at seven o'clock : that under Major Walker, first came in contact with the enemy, 
who, at first, offered some resistance, but the entrenchment being carried at the point of the 

bayonet, 

* Documents Nos. 76 and 78. 
L 



42 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

bayonet, tliey quickly broke and retreated. The other column equally forcing the point of 
attack, compleated the discomfiture of the Burman army, the whole of whose left was driven 
in scattered parties from the field, leaving numbers dead on the ground, and their guns, and 
military and working stores in the hands of the assailants. The loss of the latter was in- 
considerable, except in the death of Major Walker, who was shot, gallantly leading his troops 
into the works, by a jinjal ball. The Bundoola made no attempt to recover this position, but 
collecting the fugitives upon his right and centre, continued to carry on his approaches to the 
great Pagoda, until the trenches approached so close that the bravadoes of his men could be 
distinctly heard in the barracks of the British force. In order to terminate the contest, there- 
fore, now that the chief part of the enemy's force was in his front, Sir Archibald Campbell 
directed an attack to be made on the 7th, by four columns, under Lieut.-Colonels Mallet, Parlby, 
Brodie, and Captain Wilson, and under the general superintendance of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Miles, Major Sale, with his division, acting upon the enemy's left and rear. The advance 
of the columns was preceded by a heavy cannonade, during the continuance of which they 
moved to their respective points of attack. The left column, under Colonel Mallet, advanced 
against the right of the enemy, and that under Colonel Brodie, upon their left, whilst the other 
two marched directly from the Pagoda upon their centre. Tiiey were saluted, after a mo- 
mentary pause, by a heavy fire, in spite of which they advanced to the entrenchments, and 
quickly put their defenders to the route. The Burmans left many dead in tlieir trenches, and 
their main force was completely dispersed. Their loss, in the different actions, is supposed to 
have been five thousand men ; but they suffered most in arms and ammunition, which they could 
not easily replace, two hundred and forty pieces of ordnance of every kind, and a great number 
ofmusquets, were captured. The right division at Dalla, lingering at that position after the 
dispersion of the main body, was expelled from their entrenchments on the 8th, by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Farrier, and were driven from the neighbourhood, on the following day, by a more con- 
siderable detachment under Lieutenant Colonel Parlby.* The loss of the British, in these dif- 
ferent affairs, was less than fifty killed, but above three hundred were wounded. Amongst the 
former were Lieutenant O'Shea, of H. M. 13th, and Major Walker, as noticed above. 

The utter incompetence of their means to oppose the British force should, it might be 
thought, have pressed itself upon the Burman Commanders, and they might have been cau- 
tious how they ventured again upon an encounter with such an enemy. The Maha Bundoola, 
in spite of the confidence he had always expressed, appears to have received some impression of 
this nature, as, although with that perseverance which the Burman Chiefs displayed, he spee- 
dily re-organised his troops at no great distance from the scene of his late defeat, he seems to 
have withdrawn himself from the dangerous proximity, and rehnquished the command to an 
officer of rank and celebrity, MahaThilwa, who had been Governor of Asam, and under whom 
the Burmans were soon stockaded at Kokein, a place about xnid-way between' the Lyne and 

Pegu 

* Document No. 77. 



THE BURMESE WAR; 43 

Pegu rivers, and about four miles to the north of the Shwe-Da-gon Pagoda. Their removal was 
necessary to confirm the impression made by the late victory, and to open the country to the 
further advance of the army, as well as to secure the safety of Rangoon, which was endangered 
by the practices of Burman warfare, that not only launched fire-rafts down the stream, but em- 
ployed incendiaries to set the town on fire : on the night of the lith, a great part of Rangoon was 
inflames in diiferent quarters, and more than half the town was consumed, including the quar- 
ters of the Madras Commissariat. Upon the first alarm, the troops were at their posts to 
repel any attack that might be attempted, whilst parties, from the fleet and land force, were 
detached to suppress the conflagration. It was subdued by their exertions in the course of two 
hours, without any serious damage beyond the destruction of the wooden houses of Rangoon. 

Accordingly, on the morning of the 15th, Brigadier General Campbell moved out against 
the enemy in two columns, the right of five hundred and forty men, with sixty of the Body 
Guard under Brigadi'^r General Cotton, the left eight hundred strong, besides one hundred of 
the Body Guard, under Major General Campbell himself, the former being directed to make 
a detour, and take the work in the rear, whilst the latter attacked them in front. They were 
found to be of great strength, consisting of tw3 large stockades on either flank, connected by 
a central entrenchment: each wing was about four hundred yards long by two hundred 
broad, and projected considerably beyond the center : the whole w^as occupied by a force of 
twenty thousand men. The right column having gained the rear, attacked the centre, whilst 
the left, forming into two divisions, commanded by Brigadier Miles and Major Evans, stormed 
the flank stockades. In fifteen minutes, the whole of the works were in the possession of the 
assailants. Besides the loss sustained by the enemy in the entrenchment, a number were des- 
troyed in their retreat, by Colonel Miles's column, and many were sabred by the Body Guard. 
The British loss was also more than usually severe and the 13th suffered heavily, in conse- 
quence of having borne the brunt of the rear and principal assault, and having been, for some 
interval, exposed to the whole of the enemy's fire in a disadvantageous position, before 
the escalade could be effected : This regiment, which was foremost in every action, and par- 
ticularly distinguished itself throughout the war, had, on this occasion, three officers. Lieute- 
nants Darby, Petry, and Jones, killed, and seven officers, including Majors Sale and Dennie, 
wounded. Lieutenant O'Hanlon, also, of the Bengal Artillery, died of his wounds. The total 
killed amounted to eighteen, and the wounded to one hundred and fourteen, of whom twelve 
killed and forty-nine wounded, were of the 13th Regiment alone. 

During these operations, the boats of the Flolilla were equally active, and -with the assis- 
tance of the Diana steam packet, which filled the enemy with equal wonder and terror, succeed- 
ed in capturing thirty war-boats and destroying several rafts.* 

These several actions changed the character of the war. The Burmans no longer dai-ed at- 
tempt offensive operations, but restricted themselves to the defence of their positions along the 

river, 

* Documents Nos. 81 to 86, 



44 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

river, and the road was now open to the British force, which, agreeably to the policy that had 
been enjoined by the events of the war, prepared to dictate the terms of peace if necessary, with- 
in the walls of the capital. Before prosecuting their course, however, we shall revert to the renewal 
of active hostilities on the north-eastern and eastern frontier of the British Indian dominions. 



Upon the return of the British forces in Asam to their cantonments in Gohati, Burmaa 
parties re-occupied the stations of Kaliabur, Raha Chokey, and Noagong, levying heavy contri- 
butions on the people, and pillaging the country. They even carried their incursions into the 
neighbouring states, and devastated the frontier districts of the British ally and dependant, the 
Raja of Jyntea. The renewal of operations in this quarter, therefore, commenced with their 
expulsion once more from these positions. The force under Lieutenant-Colonel Richai'ds, who 
had been continued in the command, and had been instructed to clear Asam of the Burmahs 
during the ensuing campaign, consisted of the 46th and 57th Regiments of N. I., the Rungpoor 
and Dinapore local battalions, and the Champaron L. I., with details of Artillery and Flotilla, 
and a detachment of Irregular Horse, amounting altogether to about three thousand men ; a 
corps more than adequate for the purposes it was directed to effect, being fully equal, if not 
superior, to the aggregate of the Burman troops in Asam, and infinitely superior in equipment 
and efficiency. 

The numbers of the army, and the necessity of recourse to water-carriage, preventing the 
forward movement of the whole body at an early period, Colonel Richards detached two 
divisions about the end of October 1824, to put a stop to the exactions and excesses of 
the Burmans. Major Waters, with a Flotilla, and part of the Dinapur Battalion, was direct- 
ed to proceed to Raha Chowkey and Noagong, and the other boats, with one wing of the 
Chumparun Light Infantry, with four guns, under Major Cooper, advanced to Kaliabur. The 
latter arrived at Kaliabur on the 29th October, surprising a small party of Burmans on his 
route, who were dispersed with the loss of one of their chiefs, and the capture of another. 
!Major "Waters also, on his way, dislodged a party from the village of Hathgaon, and on his 
arrival at Raha Chokey, on the 3d of November, took the party stationed there by surprise. 
They were scattered about in the houses of the village, and in their attempt to escape from 
one of the columns into which Major "Waters had divided his force, fell upon the other, by 
which many were killed. A small body which had been detached to reconnoitre, returning in 
ignorance of these transactions, was, on the following day, drawn into an ambuscade, and near- 
ly half destroyed.* In these affairs, the completeness of the success was not more owing to 
the steady courage of the troops, than to the accuracy of the information obtained through 
Lieutenant Neufville, in charge of the Intelligence Department in Asam. On the morning 

of 

* Document No. 87. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 4,5 

of the 3cl, learning that the Boora Raja, the Burmese governor of Asain, was meditatin'T his 
retreat from Noagong, ^lajor Waters made a forced march in order to anticipate and inter- 
cept him. He was unable, however, to reach the village before the following morning, when 
he found the enemy had the start too far to leave any chance of his being overtaken.* From 
information obtained on the spot, it appeared, that the retreating division amounted to about 
one thousand and three hundred men, of whom five hundred were Burmans, and the pre- 
cipitate abandonment of their defences by so considerable a body, upon the approach of 
a force not one-third of their strength, clearly shewed how little they were disposed to 
offer effective opposition to the entire redaction of the country. The advanced posts 
being thus secured. Colonel Richards moved the remaining portions of his force up to 
Kaliabur, but the head-quarters were not transferred thither earlier than the 27th of De- 
cember ; the chief means of transport being water conveyance, and the boats being 
tracked against the current, the progress of the stores and supplies was necessarily slow, and the 
advance of the army was proportionately retarded : no difficulty was experienced from any 
other cause, as the people were friendly, and there was no enemy to encounter. From 
Kaliabur, the route was resumed to, and the force arrived at JSlaura Mukh on the 6th January. 
On their ari'ival, intelligence was brought that a party of the enemy were about three miles off, 
on the road to Jorehat. Colonel Richards immediately detached a company from the 46th 
Regiment, under Lieutenant Jones of that Corps. They proceeded, under the guidance of 
Lieutenant Neufville, to the spot, but unluckily, the enemy were found on the move, and only 
a few of their stragglers were seen and pursued without effect.! 

Having afterwards received intelligence that two parties were in the hills to the south- 
ward, one of which, at Kaleana, was considerably in his rear. Colonel Richards deemed it 
expedient to endeavour to dislodge them, as, if allowed to remain, they would have it in their 
power to command the road between his force and Kaliabur, and cut off its supplies; besides 
deterring the inhabitants from returning to their homes. The enemy being reported also 
to have parties in stockaded positions at Cutcheree Hath, Deogoroo, and Deogaon, ditferent 
parties were detached against them, under Captains Macleod, Waldron and Martin, whilst 
other detachments were sent out to intercept the enemy, after they should be dislodged in 
their retreat. 

The party under Captain Martin, accompanied by Lieutenant Neufville, reached Deogaon, 
against which it had been sent, a distance of nineteen miles, about one a. m. on the morning of the 
10th of January, but found the enemy too much on the alert for a surprize. Several of their scouts 
had been on the line of route during the day and night, looking out for the advance of the force 
expected, and, although the Detachment moved in perfect silence, and avoided two of their ad- 
vanced posts, by a detour of half a mile, its approach was evidently known, as the party 
were repeatedly challenged, and signals by fire made from the Chokies. They gained, 

however, 

* Document No. 87. f Do. No. 88. 

M 



46 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

however, the western entrance of the stockade, as the rear of the enemy were quitting the 
opposite one, when some of the hindmost were killed, an J some made prisoners ; but the main 
body taking to the jungle could not, in the uncertain light, be eifectually pursued. Captain 
Martin accordingly, in obedience to instructions, halted the following day, and after destroy- 
ing the stockade returned to camp. 

Captain Waldron's party proceeded on the 9th to Deogooroo, and on their arrival at the 
place, were informed that the enemy had gone on to another post, about fifteen or eighteen 
miles distant, where they had a stockade. They accordingly pushed forward, and succeeded 
in falling upon them at day-break, when they immediately carried the place by assault, with a 
loss to the enemy of their Chief and twenty men, the remainder flying towards Cutcheree Hath. 
Captain Waldron then returned to camp. 

The detachment under Captain Macleod, succeeded in cutting up some small parties on 
their route, but on reaching Cutcheree Hath, found it vacated by the enemy, who, the day pre- 
ceding had taken the direction of Dodurallee. Captain Macleod was, however, fortunate in 
encountering the fugitives from Captain Waldron, who fled upon Cutcheree Hath, in igno- 
rance of its being in the possession of a British detachment.* 

The success that attended these arrangements compelled the enemy to concentrate their 
forces at Jorehat, and left the country open for the British advance. At Jorehat, intestine 
division contributed to weaken the Burmese still further, and the Chief, known by the name of 
the Boora Raja, who had been considered as the head of the Burmese party in Asam, was kill- 
ed by the adherents of Sam Phokun, a rival leader, although equally an officer in the Bur- 
man service. Despairing, consequently, of defending the position at Jorehat, the Burman 
Commanders, after setting fire to the entrenchment, fell back upon the capital, Rungpore, ou 
the banks of the Dikho, about twenty miles from its junction with the Brahmaputra. 

The country being thus cleared of the enemy. Colonel Richards advanced to Jorehat on 
the 17th January ; the movements of the force, on the following days, were much impeded by 
heavy rain, but by the 25th, the head-quarters were at Gauri Sagar, on the Dikho river, 
about eight miles from Rungpoor. The Flotilla was left near the mouth of the Dikho, which 
was too shallow to admit of boats of burthen, and the left wing of the iGth Native Infantry 
remained for its protection. The guijs and supplies of ammunition were removed into camp 
by land conveyance. 

On the morning of the 27th, the Burman garrison of Rungpore made an attack upon 
the advanced post of the encampment, at a bridge over the Namdong nullali, which was de- 
fended by the Rungpore Light Inflmtry, under Captain Macleod : on hearing the firing, Colonel 
Richards moved out with two companies of the 57th Regiment, and the Dinagepore Local 
Corps, and found the enemy in considerable force, extending themselves into the jungle, right 
and left, and threatening to surround the party defending the post. The thickness of the 

jungle 

• Document No, S9. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 47 

Jungle rendering it impossible to attack the enemy with advantage, Colonel Richards with- 
drew the party from the bridge and suspended his fire, by which the assailants were encouraged 
to show themselves more boldly, mistaking these arrangements for weakness or apprehension. 
As soon as they offered a sufficient front, Colonel Richards directed a charge to be made, 
■which the B.urmans did not wait to sustain. After giving their fire, they broke and fled, but 
they were overtaken, and a considerable number put to the sword : the loss of the British 
was trifling.* 

Having been joined by the requisite reinforcement of guns. Colonel Richards resumed his 
march towards Rungpore on the morning of the 29th. The approach of the capital had been 
fortified by the enemy : a stockade had been drawn across the road, the left of which was 
strengthened by an enti-enched tank, a little way in front, and the right was within gun-shot of 
the fort : the position mounted several guns, and was defended by a strong party. On ap- 
proaching the defences, the assailants were saluted by a heavy fire, which brought down half 
the leading division, and caused a momentary check ; a couple of shells, and a round or two of 
grape having been thrown in, the column again advanced, and the stockade was escaladed and 
carried by the right wing of the 57th Regiment, under Captain Martin, supported by the 46th. 
The tank on the right was also occupied, and two temples, one on the right and the other on 
the left, v/ere taken possession of, by which the south side of the fort was completely invested, 
and the enemy were driven in at all points. In this action, Lieutenant-Col. Richards and Lieu- 
tenant Brooke were wounded ; the former slightly, the latter severely ; the number of wounded 
was considerable, but the loss in killed was of little amount. t 

The result of these two engagements not only dispirited the Burmans, but gave renewed 
inveteracy to the divisions that prevailed amongst them. The two chiefs, the Sam and Bafli 
Phokuns, were willing to stipulate for terms ; but the more numerous party, headed by the sub- 
ordinate chiefs, were resolutely bent on resistance, and threatened the advocates of pacific 
measures with extermination. The latter, however, so far prevailed, as to dispatch a messenger 
to the British Commander, a Bauddha priest, a native of Ceylon, but brought up in Ava, 
Dhermadhar Brahmachari, to negociate terms for the surrender of Rungpore, and they 
were finally agreed upon through his mediation. t Such of the garrison as continued hostile, 
were allowed to retire into the Burman territory, on their engaging to abstain from any act of 
aggression on their retreat, and those who were pacifically inclined, were suffered to remain 
unmolested, with their families and property : their final destination to await the decision 
of the Governor General's Agent; but in the event of peace with Ava, they were not to be 
given up to that Government. Colonel Richards was induced to accede to these conditions, 
by his conviction of the impossibility of preventing the escape of the garrison, upon the 
capture of the fort, or of pursuing them on their flight. It was also to have been apprehended, 
if the evacuation of the province had been much longer delayed, that it might not have been 

cleared 

* Document No. 90. f Do. No. 91. J Do. No. 92. 



48 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

cleared of the enemy during the campaign, as the want of carriage and supplies would have 
detained the army some time at Rungpore, and might have delayed its movements till the 
season was too advanced to admit of its progress far beyond the capital. By the occupation 
of Rungpore on the terms granted, much time was saved, as well as some loss of lives avoided ; 
and the object of the campaign, tlie expulsion of the Burmans from Asara, without the fear of 
their renewing their irruptions with any success, was peaceably and promptly secured. The 
persons that surrendered themselves, by virtue of these stipulations, were Sam Phokun and 
about seven hundred of the garrison; the rest, about nine thousand, of both sexes and all 
ages, including two thousand fighting men, withdrew to the frontiers ; but many dropped off 
on the retreat, and established themselves in Asam. 

The surrender of Rungpore, and the dispersion of the Burmans, terminated the regular 
campaign on the north-eastern frontier ; but the state of anarchy into which Asam had fallen, 
and the lawless conduct of the Siuhpho, and other wild tribes, inhabiting its eastern portion, 
continued to demand the active interference of British detachments throughout the remainder 
of the season.* The Burmans also appeared in some force, in May, at Beesa Gaon, a Sinhplxo 
village, on the right bank of the Nao Dehing, where they erected a stockade ; they also 
advanced to Duffa Gaon, a similar village, a few miles inland from the same river, about ten 
miles to the north of the former, where they entrenched themselves. The force at these posts 
consisted of about one thousand men, of whom six hundred were Burmans, the rest Sinhphos, 
under the command of the Governor of ^logaum. From these stations they were dislodged in 
the middle of June, by a party of the 57th Native Infantry, under Lieutenants Neufville and 
Kerr, after a march of great exertion and fatigue. At Beesa Gaon, the stockades were five in 
number, and were carried at the point of the bayonet : the enemy at first formed in front of 
the stockades, as if determined to offer a resolute resistance ; but they retreated precipitately 
before the charge of the British detachment, who, following them as quickly as the preserva- 
tion of order, and the nature of the ground would permit, drove them out of each stockade in 
rapid succession, without firing a shot : on quitting the last entrenchment, the Burmans fled 
towards their frontier, but their retreat was pursued by a party under Ensign Bogle, and they 
were so closely pressed, that they were obliged to abandon several hundred Asamese, whom 
they were carrying off as slaves.! 

The plan of operations on the Sylhet frontier, during the campaign of 1825, comprised the 
march of a considerable force through Cachar into Manipur, whence an impression might be 
made on the teniloryof Ava, or at least the anxious attention of the Court be drawn to its fron- 
tier in that direction. With these views, a force of about seven thousand men was collected 
under Brigadier Shuldham, who was appointed to command the eastern frontier. The army 
consisted of six Regiments of Infantry, the 7th, itth, and l^th Native Inflintry, forming the 
3rd Brigade, and the 14th, 39th and 5-2d Regiments Native Infantry, Brigaded as the 4th 

Brigade, 

• Documents Nos. 93 aud 94. \ Do. No. 95. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 4.9 

Brigade, two Companies of Artillery, four of Pioneers, the Sylhet Local Corps, a Corps of 
Cavalry, Blair's Irregular Horse, and a body of Cacharis and Manipuris about five hundred 
strong, under Raja Gambhir Sinh. 

At an early period, after the rains had ceased, a reconnoissance was made by Brigadier 
Innes, of the positions which the Burmans had occupied throughout the season at Talayn, and 
which they had now abandoned, after sustaining a serious reduction of their force by the cli- 
mate and want of supplies.* Tliere was nothing, therefore, to apprehend from the enemy on the 
advance to Manipur, nor was it probable that they were to be found there in any strength : 
the defence of Arracan and the Irawadi furnishing ample employment to the resources of 
Ava. Although, however, hostile opposition was not to be dreaded, the face of the country to 
be traversed, and its utter unproductiveness, afforded obstacles equally serious, and which prov- 
ed insurmountable to a numerous and heavily-equipped army. From Bhadrapur to Bans- 
kandy, a road was speedily made by the exertions of the Pioneers, on which General Shuld- 
ham, with the Artillery and tlie third Brigade, advanced to Doodpatlee, there to await the fur- 
ther operations of the Pioneers, and the arrival of carriage cattle and supplies. Captain Dud- 
geon, with the Sylhet Local Corps, Gambhir'sLevy, and awing of Blair's Horse, was sent in ad- 
vance to cover the Pioneers. The country from Banskandy towards Manipur was a continu- 
al series of ascents and descents, the route being intersected, at right angles, by ridges of 
mountains running nearly due north and south, the base of one springing from the foot of the 
other, with the intervention only of a mountain rivulet, swoln into a deep and precipitous ri- 
ver after every shower ; for the first thirty miles, also, the sides of the mountains were com- 
pletely covered with a thick forest, the intervals between the trees of which were filled up with 
a net-work of intertwining reeds and brushwood, except where a narrow and often interrupted 
foot-path wound through the labyrinth. The soil was a soft alluvial mould, converted by the 
slightest rain into a plashy mire, and to aggravate all these difficulties, frequent and heavy 
showers commenced early in February, and continued with slight occasional intermission until 
the proximity of the rainy season rendered the attempt to reach Manipur hopeless. 

During the whole of February, the Pioneers, assisted by a few of the Mountaineers, some 
Coolies from Sylhet, and working parties from the Local Corps, contrived, with immense labour, 
to open a pathway through the forest to the banks of the Jiri nullah, about forty miles from 
Banskandy, but the nature of the soil, and the state of the weather, rendered their success of little' 
avail, as the road continued impassable for guns and loaded cattle. In the attempts to move 
forward, and in the conveyance of supplies to the Pioneers and the advanced guard, several 
hundred bullocks perished, a great number of camels were destroyed, and many elephants 
were lost, both by the fatigue they underwent, and from their dislocating their limbs as they 
laboured through the mire, or from their becoming so deeply plunged into it, that no efforts 
could extricate them. After struggling against thsse physical obstructions in vain, through 

February 



* Documents Nos. 96 and 97. 

N 



50 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

February and March, General Shuldham reported the impracticability of the advance to 
Manipur, in consequence of which the attempt was abandoned, and the force broken up. 
The head-quarters were removed to Dacca, a force under Brigadier General Donkin was 
posted at Svlhet, and two Corps of Native Infantry, with the Sylhet Local Corps, and the 
Manipur Levy, were left in Cachar.* 

That the difficulties which had thus arrested the progress of a heavy body were not insur- 
mountable to a small force differently organised, was very speedily established, and tlie 
Burmese were driven out of Manipurby a corps attached to the invading army, on tlie strength 
of which it was scarcely enumerated. At his earnest solicitation, Garabhir Sinh was allowed 
to undertake the recovery of his ancestral possessions with his own Levy, formed of five hun- 
dred Manipuris and Cacharis, armed by the British Government, but wholly undisciplined. 
Lieutenant Pemberton volunteered to accompany the Raja. They left Sylhet on the lyth 
!May, and did not reach Bankskandy till the 23rd, the direct road being impassable, in 
consequence of heavy rain, which compelled them to make a circuitous detour. They 
started with the Levy on tlie Qoth, and after a march of great difficulty and privation, 
chiefly owing to repeated falls of rain, which compelled them to halt several days toge- 
ther, they gained the western boundary of the valley of Manipur on the 10th of June. 
In the town of Manipur, and at two villages in advance, they found the Burraans 
posted, but the enemy retreated to a village called Undra, about ten miles to the south. 
The Raja and Lieutenant Pemberton advanced to attack them, but they again fled, and 
information was shortly afterwards received, that they had evacuated the district. The 
season of the year, and the want of supplies, rendering the valley of Manipur equally 
untenable for friend or foe, Gambhir Sinh leaving a division of his Levy, and a body of armed 
inhabitants, to defend the chief town, returned with Lieutenant Pemberton to Sylhet, where 
they arrived on the 22d June, having, in this manner, accomplished one of the objects of the 
campaign, and, with a few hundred undisciplined mountaineers, cleared Manipur of the 
enemy. 

An effort on a still more extensive scale than the armament on the Sylhet frontier formed 
part of the plan of this campaign, and important results were expected to follow the employ- 
ment of a powerful force on the side of Arracan. With this intention, an army of about eleven 
thousand men was assembled at Chittagong in the end of September, t and placed under the 
command of Brigadier General Morrison, of his Majesty's Service ; a Flotilla of Pilot vessels 
and gun-brigs was attached to it, under the direction of Commodore Hayes, and a numerous 
equipment of brigs, boats, and other craft, was prepared on the spot by the Political Agent, 
for the conveyance of the men and stores along the coast, and across the numerous creeks 
and rivers by which the approach to Aracan was intersected. General Morrison arrived at 
Chittagong, and assumed the command of the force on the 5th September, 1824. 

The 



» Documents Nos, 98 to 105. •[■ Do. No. 106. 



THE BURMESE WAR. . 52 

The state of affairs at Rangoon had operated sensibly upon the effective strength of the 
Burmans in Aracan, and they no longer threatened offensive operations. After quittiii"- the 
stockades at Ramoo, they retreated to Mungdoo and Lowadhong, and finally concentrated 
such of their forces as remained in the province, at the city of Aracan, which they laboured 
diligently to fortify agreeably to their usual method. Considerable detachments, however 
moved across the mountains to the Irawadi, whither the Bundoola himself followed, leaving 
about five hundred men under the command of the Atwen Woon, Maungza, an officer of 
distinguished intelligence and courage. 

Although no serious obstruction to the march was to be apprehended from hostile opposi- 
tion, yet the advance to Aracan was impeded by the same difficulties which had been found 
the most formidable foes in every stage of the war. The country thinly peopled and overrua 
with jungle, afforded no resources, and the stores and provisions, as well as cattle and carriage, 
were necessarily brought from a distance, and collected slowly with much labour and expence. 
The elements were also unfriendly, and the rainy season of 1824. being protracted to the end 
of November, rendered it impossible for the troops to quit their cantonments, or the supplies 
to advance by land, and retarded the preparation of a military road from Chittagong to the 
Naf, by which the artillery and loaded cattle were to proceed. This was completed with- 
out delay, as soon as the season permitted ; but a considerable portion of the stores and cattle 
had not arrived at Chittagong as late as January 1825, in the beginning of which month Gene- 
ral Morrison determined to move out. The troops were, accordingly, ordered to march, and, 
in the course of the month, they were assembled in the vicinity of Cox's Bazar, to which place 
they were accompanied along the coast by the transports and flotilla. 

At this point it became necessary to determine on an election between pursuing the road 
along the coast to the mouth of the Naf, or, by taking a more easterly direction, cross it at a 
higher and more practicable portion of its channel, or avoid it altogether. The rivers of 
Aracan rise in a range of mountains at a short distance from the sea coast, and neither by 
the length of their course, nor communications with other streams, become of considerable 
depth or expanse. They are, indeed, in general, fordable, except after heavy i-ain, but as they 
approach the coast they suddenly change their character, expanding into vast estuaries, and 
spacious creeks, communicating with each other and the sea, spreading, at high water, over 
the soil for a considerable extent, and leaving, at the ebb, broad miry deposits on either bank. 
The whole coast is to be considered as indented by spacious inlets of the sea, receiving moun- 
tian torrents, rather than as broken by the mere passage of rivers of magnitude ; and the dif- 
Acuities immediately on the sea shore were, accordingly, as serious as they were trilling on this 
account, but a few miles inland. 

General Morrison preferred following the direction of the coast, as free from the risk 
attending a inarch inland, and recommended by important advantages. The existence of any 

road 



52 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF , 

road was, with some, a matter of doubt, and there could be no question that it led through a - 
wild and mpracticable country, amidst thickets and over mountains, through which, although 
the troops might make their way, the artiller}'^ and loaded cattle could scarcely be conducted. 
AVhilst proceeding along the coast, the vicinity of the flotjUa ensured supplies and conveyance 
to a certain extent, and it was hoped that, Mith their aid, the delay in crossing the mouths of 
the rivers would not be such as to frustrate the objects of the campaign, the expulsion of the 
Burmans from tlie province of Aracan, and the possible co-operation of the force with the 
army on the Irawadi. How little likelihood existed of accomplishing both these purposes ap- 
peared from the very first occasion that offered of transporting the army across the debouche of 
a river on the coast of Aracan. 

The army arrived at Tek Naf on the 1st of February, and a detachment was sent across 
the river on the following day, by which Mungdoo was occupied. No enemy made his appear- 
ance, and the population was decidedly friendly.* A proclamation was addressed to them by 
General Morrison, calculated to keep alive the amicable feeling they displayed. The troops 
were gradually crossed over the river, but the delay inseparable from such an operation, ex- 
ceeded anticipation, and, notwithstanding every exertion, the force was unable to quit Mungdoo 
before the l'2th of the month, at which time a considerable part of the baggage was still on 
the western bank, and a great portion of the carriage cattle had not even readied the Naf. 
From Mungdoo, a road led by Lawadong to Aracan, by Avhich the Burmese retreated to the 
latter, and which presented a much less questionable inland route than that from Ramoo, but 
acting on the principles first adopted, General Morrison continued his march along the shore to 
the mouth of another large river, the Meyu, about five marches south from the Naf. To this 
point his Majesty's 5ith, the 10th Madras Native Infantry, and left wing of the l6th Madras 
Native Infantry, proceeded by sea; whilst the right Field Battery, his Majesty's 44th Foot, 
1st Light Infantry Battalion, four Companies of the 42d Native Infantry, five Companies of 
the GCd Native Infantry, the left wing of the l6th Madras Native Infantry, and two Resalahs 
of the 2d Local Horse, moved by land. Brigadier Richards, with the remainder of the force, 
was left at Mungdoo, with directions to follow as soon as carriage cattle capable of conveying ' 
three weeks supplies, should have crossed the Naf. This officer had previously been detached 
to Lowadong, which the Burmans had deserted. 

Tlie land column advanced to the Meyu, without much difficulty, by tlie 22d February,! 
but the detachment, by water, encountered a squall on the lyth, which compelled the gun-boats, 
conveying his Majesty's 54th Regiment, to return to Mungdoo, with the loss of much baggage 
and camp equipage thrown overboard. The boats with the native troops on board were 
also scattered, and seven were driven on shore, but without any loss of lives. No inconve- 
nience beyond farther delay was experienced from this disaster. Provisions were for- 
warded from Mungdoo to the land force, and the detachment proceeding by water, 

was 



• Documents Nos. 107 and 108. f Do. No. 109. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



53 



was speedily re-embarked, and reached the river in safety. Upon arriving at the Meyu, 
the difficulties of the route were experienced in a still greater degree than at the Naf. The 
mouth of the river was about five miles broad, and was separated by the Island of Akyab, 
scarcely twelve miles from the mouth of the Oreatung, or Aracan river, which, at its debouche, 
expanded into an estuary of above ten miles in breadth : at a short distance from the mouth of 
the Meyu, a creek running north of Akyab, formed a communication between the two streams, 
opening into the Oreatung at a point marked by the site of a pagoda, and opposite to a simi- 
lar channel which led to the spot chosen for tlie encampment, Chang Krein Island, a part of 
the country, insulated like many others in its vicinity, by the innumerable communicating and 
intersecting rarhifications of the rivers and creeks. The gun-boats, with other boats and rafts, 
having joined on the 27th February, the force was gradually transported across the Meyu and 
along the canals above described, to Chang Krein Island, where a sufficient force for forward 
movements was collected by the 20th of March ; nearly a month having elapsed since 
the arrival of the force at the mouth of the Meyu. From Chang Krein, the main bo- 
dy was advanced on the 20th of March, a short distance to Kay Krang Dong, with 
the right pushed forward five miles to Natonguay, to cover the working parties era- 
ployed in rendering the nullahs passable, and the left in position at Chang Krein,* threaten- 
ing some stockades at Kheoung Peela, or Chambala, which had been the scene of a temporary 
check to the marine division of the invading force. Commodore Hayes having entered the 
great Aracan river on the 22d February, received information which induced him to believe 
that the principal Mug Chieftains were confined at Chambala, a stockade garrisoned by 
about one thousand men, half a tide from the capital, and concluding that their libera- 
tion would prove of essential service to the advancing army, he determined upon attack- 
ing the^ work. Accordingly, on the 23d, he stood up the Prome Pura Khione, or Branch, 
leading from the Oreatung river to Aracan, in the Research, Vestal, and several gun- 
vessels, having on board oiie Company of his Majesty's 54th Regiment. At two p. M. 
they came in sight of the enemy's works at Kheoung Peela, which immediately opened 
a heavy fire upon the Gunga Saugor, and Vestal, the headmost vessels. The Research 
getting within half pistol shot, commenced a heavy cannonade and fire of musketry upon 
the stockade and breast-work, which was returned by the enemy with great regularity 
and spirit. On ranging to the northern end of the stockade, with intent to anchor and 
flank it, as well as to allow the other vessels to come into action, the Commodore found his 
ship raked from forward by another stronger battery and stockade, of which he had no previ- 
ous information, and the strength of the defendants was more considerable than had been 
anticipated, amounting, as subsequently ascertained, to three thousand men, commanded by the 
Son of the Raja of Aracan and other Chiefs of rank. After a severe engagement of two hours 
duration, the tide beginning to fail, the Commodore was obliged to wear round and drop down 

the 

* Document No. 110. 
O 



54, HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

the river. Tlie Research, Asseergurh, Asia Felix, and Isabella, took the ground, and re- 
mained fast for several hours near the batteries ; but the enemy made no attempt to fire at or 
molest them. The loss in this attack was severe. Three privates of his Majesty's olth were 
killed, and several of the natives of the Flotilla. Amongst the killed also was Mr. Rogers, 
the second officer of the Research, and Major Schalch, a distinguished officer of the Company's 
service, commanding an extra Pioneer and Pontoon Corps attached to the army, who was on 
board the Research for the recovery of his health. He was struck whilst standing on the poop 
by a musket ball in his breast, and died ou the morning of the ^5th. The fall of this Officer 
deprived the army of professional talent of the highest description, animated by unwearied zeal, 
and guided by equal judgment. His remains were consigned to the deep with military honours.* 

The arrangements for moving being completed, the troops advanced on the 21th of March. 
The line of march lay along the eastern bank of the branch of the main stream, or Aracan river, 
and was directed against the south-eastern face of the defences of the capital. This road was in- 
tersected every few miles by nullahs, communicating at right angles with the main river, and 
by occasional ridges of low hills parallel to the nullahs, and equally resting on the stream. On 
these, it was supposed, the enemy would endeavour to make a stand, but little was to be appre- 
hended for the result. In other respects, the march was made under auspicious circum- 
stances. The weather was favourable, the country productive, and the people warm in the 
cause of those who were likely to liberate them from Burraan oppression. 

On the ^th of March, the army encamped on the southern bank of the Chabattee nul- 
lah. The 25th was occupied in preparing to cross this, and the Wabraing, a similar channel, 
above a mile in advance, beyond which the road was intersected by the Padho hills, on which 
it was understood the enemy were posted. The nullahs being crossed on the morning 
of the 26th, by day break, the force was formed into four columns, the right 
commanded by Brigadier Grant, the centre by Brigadier Richards, the left by Captain 
Leslie, and the reserve by Lieut. Colonel Walker. Tue left column proceeded up the main 
branch of the river ; but the boats soon grounding, the men were landed, and the column 
was directed to skirt the river, in order to turn the hills on the enemy's right. The right and 
centre columns moved upon the passes, which had been ascertained to lead through the range. 

When the right and centre columns first moved towards the hills, no appearance of an enemy 
was discernible amidst the forests that crowned their summits, and the presence of armed men 
was only indicated by the occasional toiling of a Gong, or the report of a single Jinjal, at distant 
intervals ; at last, however, a wild irregular shout, followed by a scattered and desultory fire, 
announced a hostile force. In order to dislodge them, the Light Companies of the 26th, 28th, 
49th, and 6Sd Regiments, were directed to ascend the summit, which they effected in a most 
gallant manner, and then moving along the heights, carried several intrenched posts, whilst the 
column below, proceeding in a parallel direction to the left, cleared an unfinished stockade, and. 

drove 

• Document No. 111. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



55 



drove the enemy from the heights above where they attempted a stand. The passes were 
thus gained, and the army crossed the hills to their northern side, which opened upon an exten- 
sive plain, intersected by several deep tide nullahs, skirted with jungle, and, consequently, fa- 
vourable to the escape of the flying Burmans. They made a demonstration of resistance at 
one point, and menaced the -iGth Native Infantry, under Lieutenant Colonel Smith, which 
was in advance with an overwhelming force ; the Sipahis, however, stood their ground, and 
before the affair became serious, the approach of the columns obliged the Burmans to resume 
their retreat. The army bivouacked within a mile and a half of the enemy's principal post at 
Mahatee. The reserve and the Artillery joined at midnight. 

On the morning of the 27th, after the fog with which it commenced had dispersed, the ad- 
vance was resumed. The post of Mahatee was a peninsula, protected in front and on the left by 
broad rivers, and backed by high conical mountains : deep entrenchments along the front, with 
epaulments to protect them from an enfilading fire, and with stakes in the banks of the rivers, 
formed its defences, and the hills in its rear were crowned with stockades and fortified pagodas. 
In front of these works, and on this side of the nullah, was a small elevation, in which a party was 
stationed, but who speedilj' retreated across the river upon the approach of three Companies 
of the 44.th Regiment, under Major Carter, forming the advance. The return of the outpost 
within their lines, was the signal for the enemy's Artillery to open, but their fire was soon silenc- 
ed by the guns of the British, and the troops descended to the fords as soon as they were left, 
by the ebb tide, passable. The enemy did not await their crossing, but fled towards Aracan. 
A Resalah of Horse that had crossed further to the right, to gain the road by which they were 
retreating, arrived in time to do some execution on their rear, and to prevent the destruction 
of the bridges on the road to the capital. 

On the 28th, the whole of the troops in the rear, and the Flotilla, with Commodore Hayes, 
having joined, the enemy's position ^was reconnoitred, and at day-break on the 29th, the army 
proceeded to the attack of the defences of Aracan on its eastern front. These proved to be a 
connected series of stockades, carried along the crest of a range of hills, from three hundred and 
fifty to four hundred and fifty feet high, running parallel for some distance with the town, imme- 
diately to the east and south of it, but extending considerably beyond the town, and strength- 
ened by escarpment, abbatis, and masonry, where such means could be advantageously em- 
ployed. One pass alone, at its northern extremity, led through the hills to the capital, and 
that was defended by the fire of several pieces of artillery, and about three thousand muskets. 
The whole number of the enemy was estimated at about nine thousand men. The ground in 
front was a long narrow valley entirely clear of underwood, and in depth not.wholly out of the 
range of the enemy's artillery. Along the foot of the hillsran a beltof jungle, which partly screen- 
ed the advance, and an interrupted piece of water extended, serving as a natural fosse ; but 
above these the ground, again, was clear and open, not only to the fire of the defenders, but 
to the large stones which they precipitated upon the assailants, who attempted to scale the 
summit. 

The first attempt to carry the position was by a direct attack upon the pass, and the 

division 



56 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



division appointed to the duty was placed under command of Brigadier General MacBean. 
The assault ^vas led by the Light Infantry Company of his Majesty's 54th, four Companies of 
the 2d Light Infantry Battalion, and the Light Companies of the 10th and l6th Madras Native 
Infantry, with the Rifle Company of the Mug Levy, under Major Kemm, and supported by 
six Companies of the l6th Madras Native Infantry, under Captain French. Notwithstanding 
the utmost gallantry of the troops, the attempt to escalade failed, in consequence of the steep- 
ness of the ascent, and the well-directed fire and incessant rain of stones which knocked down 
the assailants as fast as they approached the top of the pass. After a fiuitless struggle, in 
which the Sipahis and Europeans vied with each other in the display of cool and determined 
courage, every officer being disabled, and Captain French, of the l6th Madras Native Infantry 
killed, the troops were recalled, and the force took up a position for the rest of the day. 

Having determined, in consequence of the failure of this attempt, and the nearer obser- 
vation of the enemy's defences, to attack them on their riglit, as the key to their position, whilst 
their attention should be drawn by a continued fire to their front, the 30th of March was spent in 
the construction of a battery, to play especially upon the works commanding the pass, and on 
the 31st, at day light the guns opened, and maintained, during the day, a heavy cannonade, 
which had the effect of checking, though not silencing the enemy's fire. At about eight in 
the evening. Brigadier Richards moved off with six Companies of his Majesty's 41'th, three 
of the '26th, and three of the 49th Native Infantry, thirty seamen, under Lieutenant Arm- 
strong, of the Research, and thirty dismounted troopers of Gardener's Horse. 

Though there was moon-light, yet it was evident from the silence of the Burmese, that 
the movement from the camp had not been detected from the heights. The hill was nearly 
five hundred feet high, but the road by which the party ascended was winding and pre- 
cipitous, and an anxious interval elapsed before it covdd be known that the undertaking 
had succeeded. At last, a few minutes after eleven, a shot from the hill [proclaimed, that- 
the enemy had discovered the advance of the assailants. The whole camp was in a mo- 
ment on foot : a yell or two from the Burmese, was followed by a sharp fire for a very short 
period, and then the drums and fifes of the Detachment proclaimed that the point was carried, 
even before the preconcerted signal, by rockets, had been given. 

On the following morning, as soon as a six-pounder, carried up the hill with some diffi- 
culty, had been brought to bear upon the enemy. Brigadier Richards advanced to the assault 
of the entrenchments on the adjacent height, whilst a simultaneous movement of the 
advance, luider Brigadier General McBean, was again directed against the pass from below. 
The enemy, apparently panic-struck, abandoned the hills after a feeble resistance, and the 
capital of Aracan was in possession of the British force. The loss in these subsequent opera- 
tions was inconsiderable. 

Aracan stands upon a plain, generally of rocky ground, surrounded by hills and tra- 
versed by a narrow tide nulla, towards which there is a prevailing slope. On the northern face, 
another nulla intervenes between the wall of the fort and the hills, and both these streams 
unite a little below the Baboo Dong hill, through the rocky fissures of which they rush, at 

low 



THE BURMESE WAR. 57 

low water, with the velocity, and noise of a rapid. The space on which the town stands 
is not an absolute square, nor are the hills arranged with rectilinear regularity ; but allowing 
for the ruggedness of the natural outline, and supposing the surface to be sprinkled 
with a few detached and separate little eminences, a tolerably accurate idea of the situ- 
ation of the place may be formed. The fort stands at the N. W. corner of the space above 
described. It consists of three concentric walls, with intervening spaces between the third and 
second, and the second and inner wall, which forms the citadel. These walls are of consider- 
able thickness and extent, constructed with large stones, and with a degree of labour such as 
a powerful state alone could have commanded. Where the masonry is dilapidated, the inter- 
stices have, by the Burmese, been filled up with piles of timber. This interior work is compa- 
ratively trifling to that by which, in former days, the defects in the circumvallation of 
hills appear to have been supplied. At every point, where the continuity of their natural out- 
line is broken, artificial embankments, faced with masonry, some of a very great height, con- 
nect them with each other, and the excavations whence the materials were quarried, 
have now formed into what resemble large natural ponds. The Burmese entrenchments mere- 
ly followed and took advantage of this ancient line of defensive outworks. The extent of the 
circumference is nearly nine miles. At the gateways, the stone walls appear to have been of 
considerable elevation and great solidity, but where the steepness, or altitude of the hill render- 
ed artificial defences of less importance, a low wall of brick or stone has been carried 
along the summit. These defences are said to have been constructed several centuries 
ago. 

All the hills and hillocks contiguous to the town are surmounted by Pagodas, which, by 
resembling spires, give the place something of a town-like appearance ; but, with the exception 
of these edifices, and the walls of the fort, its palaces and its huts were all of the same mate- 
rials — bamboos, timbers, straw, and mats, with not a single stone or brick-building among them. 
The number of houses in the town was said to have been eighteen thousand, but half had been 
destroyed by fire. The greater part of the population had abandoned the place on its first 
occupation, but speedily returned to their homes, and shewed themselves well satisfied with 
the change in their Government. 

The first days after taking possession of the town were occupied in preparing for fur- 
ther operations : the nature of the country defeated one object of the attack from the 
eastward, and assisted the Burman force to effect their escape, although in small scattered par- 
ties, across the low lands between the capital and the mountains, and across the latter to Chalaia 
by the passes from Talak and Aeng.* Two of the four provinces of Aracan, or Aracan and 
Cheduba, were therefore cleared of the enemy, and it only remained to dislodge them from the 
remaining divisions of Chynda (or Sandoway) and Ramree, for which purpose a part of the force, 
under Brigadier General MacBean, was dispatched on the Sth of April. 

We have already seen that the Burman posts on Ramree were kept on the alert by the 

troops 

* Document No. 141. 



58 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



troops atCheduba, under Lieutenant Colonel Hampton, and the crews of the Hastings frigate 
and gun-boats, under Captain Hardy, and that several successful descents upon the Island had 
been made dining tlic preceding year. Encouraged by the result of these attempts, and an- 
ticipating the reduction of the enemy's force in order to strengthen Aracan, Lieutenant Co- 
lonel Hampton determined, in the beginning of the current season, to undertake the reduction 
of the Island with a few of his Majesty's 54th and European Artillery-men, and five-hundred 
and twenty men of the 40th Native Infantry, with the seamen and mariners of the frigate. 
The party landed on the morning of the od February, and proceeded to attack the defences 
by land, whilst the gun-boats effected a passage up the creek leading to the harbour, across 
which strong stakes were planted. In consequence of the treachery of the guides, the assail- 
ants, after a fatiguing march through a considerable part of the day, found themselves in a 
thick jungle, at a considerable distance from the stockades, and it was therefore necessary to 
return to the beach before the day should close, Vvfithout effecting the object of (.he attack. As 
the troops retired, the Burmans kept up a scattered fire from the jungle into which they had 
been driven, from some intrenched positions that had been stormed and carried at the point of 
the bayonet. Upon tlie junction of the reserve with two six-pounder field pieces, this annoy- 
ance was checked, and the party re-embarked, witliout further molestation, by six in the even- 
ing. The loss was much less considerable than might have been anticipated.* 

The detachment now. sent against Sandoway and Ramree, embarked on board the Flotilla 
on the morning of the 17th April, and anchored, on the night of the 18th, within three miles of 
the Cheduba-roads. On proceeding for water to Low Island, to the south of Ramree, informa- 
tion was brought by the Mugs of the evacuation of the latter by the enemy, which proved to be 
correct, and the town was occupied without opposition on the 22d. Had resistance been at- 
tempted, its possession might have been dearly purchased, as its defences were of unusual 
strength, and judiciously constructed. 

After leaving a detachment in Ramree, General Macbean proceeded against Sandoway, on 
the main land, and arrived at the mouth of the Sandowi river on the 28th. The troops ascend- 
ed in boats on the 29th, and reached the town on the morning of the 30th. Stakes had been 
planted across tlie river in various places, and several stockades were observed, but there was no 
appearance of the enemy, who had withdrawn from all their positions in Aracan upon hearing 
of the downfall of the capital. t 

The entire occupation of the province of Aracan thus fulfilled one chief object of the ex- 
pedition, and, in as far as it excited the apprehensions of theBurman Court, of an invasion in 
that direction, proved a seasonable diversion in favour of the Rangoon force. It was not 
found practicable, however, to carry into effect the other main purpose of the force, a junction 
across the mountains with Sir Archibald Campbell. Several rcconnoissances were made, with 
the view of determining the practicability of a route across the mountains, but they failed to 
afford satisfactory information. 

Little 



* Document No. 115. f Do. No. 116. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 59 

Little was to be apprehended from the enemy until near the Burman boundary. They 
had retreated over the mountains with great precipitation, losing great numbers 
by the way from want, fatigue, and contests with the mountaineers. At Chalain, 
in the Ava country, they halted, and whilst the chiefs, the Atwen AVoon Moungza 
and the Viceroy Toroo-wyne, proceeded to the capita], an officer of high military re- 
pute, Maha Mengyee Thilwa, assumed the command with considerable re-inforcements. 
The chief impediments, however, were of a physical character, and consisted in the face of 
the country and the change of the season. Above eighty miles of a low jungly tract, crossed 
by numerous rivulets, intervened between the capital and Talak, at the foot of the mountainous 
ridge which separates Aracan from Ava. It thence passed, for ninety miles more, over lofty 
and rugged precipices, where no supplies could be expected, and even water was scarce, and 
which could be rendered practicable for guns and baggage only by great effort and with consi- 
derable delay. A force was formed of the Light Companies of his Majesty's 44th and 45th, 
and I6th Madras Infantry, and three Companies of the 2d Bengal Light Infantry, and 
placed under the command of Major Bucke, to explore this route in pursuit of the enemy. 
They proceeded to Talak by water, and thence made four marches over the mountains, 
in which the men and cattle underwent extreme fatigue. When arrived at Akowyn, with- 
in one stage of Tantabain, on the Burman frontier, they learned that the Burmans were there in 
strength, and the exhausted state of the detachment, and the impracticable nature of the route, 
induced Major Bucke to retrace his steps, and return to Talak. At a more favourable season 
the route might have been traversed by the army, but it was now too late, and at any time would 
have been a work of much difficulty. A mucli more practicable road across the moun- 
tains by Aeng, was not discovered until the end of the war, but it would not have been of 
much avail for the passage of troops had its existence been known earlier, as none of the car- 
riage cattle of the army had crossed the Meyu river in June, and some were even then to the north 
of the Naf. Even their presence would not have enabled the army to advance, as the rains set 
in early in May, and precluded all possibility of military operations. The season also brought 
with it, its usual pestiferous inlluence, in the midst of a low country overrun with jungle, and 
intersected by numerous rivers. Notwithstanding the precautions that had been taken in the 
timely cantonment of the troops at Aracan, fever and dysentery broke out amongst them to 
an alarming extent, and with the most disastrous results. That the unavoidable privations 
of troops on service tended to aggravate the severity of the complaints, was a necessary occur- 
rence; but all ranks were equally affected, and a large proportion of officers fell victims to the 
climate. Brigadier General Morrison himself, after struggling through the campaign against 
it, was obliged to quit the country, and died on his way to Europe. The maladies were so 
universal, and the chance of subduing them so hopeless, that the Government of Bengal was 
at last impelled to the necessity of recalling the troops altogether, leaving divisions of them on 

the 



* Document No. 83. 



50 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

the Islands of Cheduba and Ramree, and the opposite coast of Sandoway, where the climate 
appeared to be not unfavourable to their health.* 

From these transactions," we return to the operations of the army at Rangoon. 



The capture of the stockades at Kokain on the 15th of December, was followed by the com- 
plete dispersion of the Burman army, and the exertions of the chiefs were vainly directed to its 
re-organization. Two or three small bodies were thus assembled on the Lyne river, at Mophi 
and Panlang, whilst the Maha Bundoola retreated to Donabew, where he exercised his utmost 
efforts, and ultimately with some success, to concentrate a respectable force, which he strongly 
intrenched. The victory produced also a change in the sentiments of the enemy, and a letter 
was addressed to some of the European residents at Rangoon by the Maha Bundoola, which, 
although of a vague and indefinite character, evinced a material alteration in the temper of 
that chieftain, and a disposition, if not to treat for peace, to respect his antagonists. The tenour 

of 

* On this subject, we are able to cite the most authentic testimony in the following extracts from the Transactions 
of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta : " The causes of this sickness were too obvious to be overlooked : the 
locahty was sufficient to satisfy every Medical observer, that troops could not inhabit it with impunity, and a reference to 
tlie meteorological register, will shew a severitj' of season to which the men were quite unaccuiMmed, and which no cover- 
ing could whollj' resist. Exposure to the weather, which no precaution could prevent, and intoxication, which European 
soldiers aie unfortunately too prone to, had their share in producing disease ; but a still greater in pre-disposing to or 
rendering more violent the endemic, with which nearly every one was visited in a greater or less degree-" Sketch of the 
Medical Topography of Aracan, hrj P. N. Burtmrd. " In a country like Aracan, and in Cantonments, such as have been 
described, it seems not difficult to trace the causes of disease, and after what has been advanced regarding ihe influence 
of a raw, variable, and impure atmosphere, little remains to be saiid, either of the causes of the sickness, or of the mortality 
which followed it. But it is the opinion of some, that the sickness of the south-eastern division of the army arose, not 
from the unwholesomeness of the climate, but owed its origin to the bad quality of the supplies. That the provisions 
were occasionally bad, and that the army suffered from the want of many little comforts which such a situation required, 
may be admitted, but that the great mortalitj'in Aracan owed its origin to this source, is a conclusion of which there is 
no proof." On the sickness prevailing in Aracan, by J. Stevenson. In further proof, that the sickness arose from climate, 
Mr. Stevenson cites the different fate of the two detachments sent against Talak and Ramree : both were supplied from 
the same stores; but the former, who, on their return, had to travel through jungle and marsh after the rains had set in, 
almost all fell ill of fever and died. Tlie latter, who spent about six weeks at sea, had only tv.o deaths, one from fever, 
and the other from dysentery, and it was observed, that the men who composed the detachment resisted the influence of 
the climate after their return much better than those who remained behind. The detachment of Europeans and Sipahis 
stationed at Sandoway preserved their liealth during the rains. From tables included in Mr. Burnanl's paper, it appears* 
that the European force, amounting to above one thousand five hundred men, lost, between iSIay and September, two 
hundred and fifty nine ; and at the end of the latter month, had nearly four hundred in hospital. During the same time, 
ten native corps, the strength of which was nearly eight thousand, lost eight hundred and ninety-two, and had three 
thousand six hundred and forty-eight in hospital. It appears, also, that during July, August, and September, the Ther- 
mometer ranged from 92° 8' to 78°, and the fall of rain was a hundred and twenty-three inches, of which a hundred and 
three ftU in the two first months. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 61 

of the letter, and its address to unofficial persons, precluded its being made the basis of negocia- 
tion, but a letter was written by Sir A. Campbell to the Burman Commander, to point out to him 
the propriety of addressing the British General direct, if he had any communication to make, to 
which he was desirous the latter should pay regard, and assuring him that Sir A. Campbell 
would ever be accessible to any correspondence of an amicable purport. No notice of this 
letter was taken by the Bundoola, and even if sincere in his first advance, the re-assembling of 
his forces probably encouraged him to make another appeal to the chance of war. 

Having been joined by his Majesty's 47th Regiment, a detachment of Rocket Artillery, 
and a division of gun-boats. Sir A. Campbell determined to make a forward movement upon 
Prome. In order to leave no obstruction in his rear, he dispatched Colonel Elrington against 
the only remaining post in possession of the enemy, in the vicinity of Rangoon, the old 
Portuguese fort and the Pagoda of Syrian, which had been re-occupied by part of the grand 
army in December, and from whence they were once more driven, after a slight resistance, on 
the 11th February, and the army was at liberty to commence its advance. 

The departure of the army from Rangoon was encouraged by the indication of favourable 
changes in the political situation of the country. The major part of the population in the low- 
er districts of the Burman kingdom, are Taliens or Peguers, who, although depressed by a long 
course of servitude, retain some memory of their ancient greatness, and hostility to their op- 
pressors. During the presence of the Burman force in the immediate neighbourhood, and the 
compulsory removal of their families, they had been obliged to avoid all communication with 
the British, and to desert the town : now, however, that the Burman leaders had retreated, and 
the army was scattered, they began to recover confidence, and join the invaders, in which they 
were encouraged by a proclamation issued by Sir A. Campbell, copies of which were conveyed 
even into the enemy's camp at Panlang, where the greater part of the troops consisted of Pe- 
guers.* The consequence was, the desertion of nearly the entire division in the direction of 
Dalla, and their retreat being supported by a detachment sent to their succour, they effected, 
their escape, with their wives and their children, to Rangoon, and the population, thencefor- 
ward, daily and rapidly returned to its original enumeration. 

During the period of Burman ascendancy, vast numbers of Peguers had sought refuge in 
the kingdom of Siam, and these also manifested, apparently at the suggestion of the Siamese, 
some inclination to come forward and join their countrymen in the Rangoon province, in an 
attempt to recover their political existence.! Some of their chiefs addressed both the British 
Commander and the head men of the towns and villages in Pegu, offering the assistance of the 
Siamese forces under their command, against the Burmans. This circumstance, and the 
actually existing state of hostility between the Courts of Bankok and Ava, were a sufficient 
guarantee of the disposition of the Siamese, although, with the timid and selfish policy of a 
setni-barbarous state, they were averse to committing themselves by any decided step in 

favour 



* Document No. 121. f ^o- No, 119. 



62 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

favour of a power, wliose success they probably knew not whether to hope or fear. In fur- 
ther confirmation, however, of a friendly feeling, the Siamese Commanders addressed a 
compHmentary letter to Sir A. Campbell, upon the success that had attended the British arms.* 
On the other hand, the advance into the heart of the country was not without its unpropi- 
tious accompaniments. There was no doubt that a similar policy would be pursued in the inte- 
rior that had been adopted at Rangoon, and that all the local resources would be removed 
from the reach of the invaders. It would, therefore, be necessary to maintain an uninterrupted 
communication with Rangoon, for which purpose a considerable force must be left there, and 
at different points on the line of march, and, above all, the navigation of the Irawadi was to be 
commanded by a numerous and well-equipped Flotilla. Whatever carriage was required for the 
baggage, artillery, and stores, was procurable only by sea from Ben gal and Madras, from whence 
few of the class of bearers or coolies would consent to embark, and the transport of cattle was 
attended with much delay and loss. The Bengal cattle also were found too small and feeble for 
effective field service, and the chief dependance was necessarily placed on those sent from Ma- 
dras, which had been shipped with great promptitude for the use of the army. Still, the whole 
number of available cattle was far from adequate to the transport of guns, ammunition, and 
provisions, and General Campbell was, accordingly, obliged to reduce his force materially, leav- 
ing a much larger portion than he had contemplated at Rangoon, to join him at a subsequent . 
opportunity. His determination to advance remained unaffected by these embarrassments, and, 
confiding in his own resources, and the tried courage of his gallant troops, he did not shrink 
from assailing the concentrated force of the kingdom of Ava, formidable from its positions, 
its numbers, and the spirit of pertinacious resistance, which repeated defeat seemed unable to 
shake or to subdue. 

Before breaking up his cantonments at Rangoon, General Campbell considered it expedi- 
ent to dislodge an advanced division of the Burman force stationed at Thantabain, on the Lyne 
river, and Colonel Godwin was dispatched for this purpose, on the 5th February, with a detach- , 
nient of his Majesty's ilst, and the 30th and 43d Madras Native Infantry, with the Satellite 
armed vessel, the steam vessel, and gun-boats, under Captain Chads, R. N.t The enemy, about 
three thousand strong, with thirty-six pieces of artillery, of various calibre, were posted in a 
strong stockade upon the point of a peninsula, and received the detachment with a brisk fire, 
which was more eflectively returned by the guns of the Satellite, and some rockets from a 
division of the rocket troop, under Captain Graham, on board the steam vessel. As soon 
as a near approach was secured, the troops were landed, and the stockade carried by 
storm, with little difficulty or loss. The enemy suffered severely. The two branches of the 
Panlang river were reconnoitered on the following day, for a considerable distance, and many 
lire-rafts were destroyed, bui no division of the enemy appeared, and the path was, thence- 
forward, open to the advance of the main army. 

Every 

* Document No. 120. f Do. No. 122. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



63 



Every thing being now ready for the advance, General Campbell formed such force as he 
possessed the means of moving, into two columns: with one, about two thousand four hundred 
strong, he purposed moving by land, whilst the other, of the strength of eleven hundred and 
sixty-nine, under Brigadier General Cotton, was to proceed by water to Tharawa, where the land 
column it was intended should reach the bank of the Irawadi, carrying on its way the entrench- 
ed posts of Panlang and Donabew. The Flotilla consisted of sixty-two boats, carrying each one 
or two pieces of artillery, and the boats of all the ships of war off Rangoon, the whole under 
command of Captain Alexander, of his Majesty's navy. It having been reported, that a friendly 
disposition was manifested by the people of the district of Bassein, a third division, of sevea 
hundred and eighty, was sent thither, under Major Sale, who, it was expected would be able, after 
occupying Bassein, to penetrate across the country to Henzada, on the Irawadi, and form a junc- 
tion with the main army. The rest of the force, nearly four thousand effective men, was left in 
Rangoon, under Brigadier McCreagh, who was to form a reserve column as soon as means of 
transport could be collected, and to follow the advance of the Commander in Chief. These 
arrangements being completed. General Campbell began his march on the 13th February : the 
water column moved on the l6th, and the detachment for Bassein sailed on the 17th of the 
same month. Two days after the departure of Sir A. Campbell, the Talien chiefs arrived at 
Rangoon, and represented themselves as desirous of negociating for the independance of 
Pegu. It proved, however, that they were officers in the service of Siam, from which state they 
brought a letter to the British commander. As, however, they possessed no authority to enter 
upon any definitive discussion, and the movement of the army precluded the possibility of 
Sir Archibald Campbell's holding any personal communication with them, they were referred 
to Lieut.-Col. Smith, who had been appointed to the command of Martaban, from whence they 
had come, and in the vicinity of which place, but within their own frontier, it was ascertained 
that a Siamese force had assembled.* 

The land column under the Commander in Chief proceeded along a narrow and difficult 
path, a short distance from the left bank of the Lyne river, and tending obliquely, in a north- 
westerly direction, towards the main stream on the Irawadi, through the provinces of Lyne and 
Tharawadi. On the 17th, the force arrived at Mophi, where the Burman General Maha Thilwa 
had taken up his post, with between two and three thousand men, in an old Peguan fort, where 
he seemed determined to await an attack; but as the division approached, the Burmans, after 
firing a few shots, fled, and escaped into the jungle. The column halted at Mophi till the 
morning of the 19th, when it moved onwards to Lyne, the capital of the province, where it 
arrived on the morning of the 23rd : on the 2i<th, the marcli was resumed, and on the 2Gth, 
the division halted at Soomza two days, to allow two Native battalions, which had been left at 
Lyne, to replenish the carts from the boats, which accompanied the march as high as Thaboon, 
up the river, to rejoin. On the 1st of March, the column forded the Lyne river at Thaboon, 

and 

• Document No. 123. 



64 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



and moving nearly due west, a march of fourteen miles, came on the 2nd to Tharawa, on the 
Irawadi. Throughout the whole march from Rangoon, the country had continued to improve, 
and, although much overrun with jungle, offered ample evidences of fertility. The villages 
were mostly deserted, but some of the Carian tribes remained, and some supplies were collect- 
ed ; and in various places, after the first panic had subsided, the people, both Carians and 
Burmans, returned to their homes before the troops had taken their departure. The men 
composing the column, kept their health, although the weather was beginning to be hot. As 
the column entered Tharawa, the whole of the population was observed crossing to the oppo- 
site bank, who, after halting for a short time, disappeared in the adjacent thickets.* 

The water column reached Teesit on the 17th February, and destroyed three stockades 
newly erected, but unoccupied : on the 19th, the advance arrived at Panlang, where the Bur- 
mans were strongly stockaded. t Two stockades were constructed on the opposite banks of the 
main stream, at Yuathat and Miaghee, and one still stronger, on a point of land between the 
Elenchinnaer and Dalla branches : on the 20th, a battery was erected, from which, as well as the 
Satellite, and steam boat, shells and rockets were thrown into the stockades, with admirable 
effect, so that when the troops landed to take possession, they encountered no resistance. 
The troops then advanced against the great stockades, and the right column forded a third 
branch of the river, breast high. The Satellite, unfortunately grounded, but the steam vessel 
and the boats, keeping up with the troops, embarked them across the Yengen-chena branch, 
against the main stockade, from which, after a feeble fire, the enemy precipitately retreated, 
and the passage of the river was cleared. The stockades at Yuathat and Miaghee, were des- 
troyed, but a division of the 18th Madras Native Infantry, was left in the Panlang stockade, 
to maintain the communication with Rangoon. Brigadier General Cotton then advanced to 
Yangen-chena, where the Panlang, or Rangoon, river branches off from the Irawadi. He arriv- 
ed at this point on the 23d February ; on the 27th, the whole of the Flotilla entered the main 
stream, and on the 28th, the advance came in sight of Donabew, where the Maha Bundoola 
was strongly posted with all the troops he could assemble, amounting to about fifteen thou- 
sand men. The post consisted of a series of formidable stockades, extending nearly a mile 
along the bank, commencing at the Pagoda of Donabew, and continuing to increase in strength, 
until completed by the main work, situated on a commanding height, and surrounded by a deep 
abbatis, with all the usual defences. 

Some delay having occurred in getting the whole of the most heavily-laden vessels, 
across the sands, at the mouth of the Yangan-chena branch, the whole of the force was not in 
position until the evening of the 5th March. On the 6th, Brigadier General Cotton advanced 
to within two miles below Donabew, and sent a summons to surrender} to which a refusal was 
returned in a tone of unusual courtesy : on the receipt of the reply, a party of the 89th was 
landed opposite to the main stockade, to effect a reconnoissance, which was successful, not- 
withstanding 

« Document No. 121. \ Do. No, 135. 



I 



THE BURMESE WAR. 55 

withstanding a heavy fire from the enemy : on the 7th, five hundred men were disembarked 
a mile below the Pagoda, and formed into two columns, under Lieutenant-Colonel Donoo-hue 
and Major Basden, with two six-pounders and a detachment of Rocket Artillery: after receiv- 
ing and returning the enemy's fire, the men rushed on to the stockade, and forced an entrance 
into it, with a determination that overpowered the resistance oifered, although more resolute 
than had for some time been encountered. The first stockade was carried with the loss of 
about twenty killed and wounded. The enemy fled to the next defence, leaving two hundred 
and eighty prisoners in the power of the assailants. 

The second defence was at the distance of about five hundred yards from the first, and at 
an equal distance from the main work, by which it was commanded. Previous to assailing it, 
two other six-pounders, with four mortars, were brought up and placed in position, and a fresh 
supply of rockets was procured. The enemy remained quiet until the near approach of the 
storming party, when a destructive fire was opened from all parts of the face of the work, which 
checked the progress of the column, and inflicted so severe a loss upon them, that it became 
necessary to order a retreat. Captain Rose, who commanded the detachment, and Captain 
Cannon, of the 89th, were killed, and the greater number of the men were killed or wounded. 
In consequence of this failure, Brigadier General Cotton deemed it advisable to abstain from 
any further attempt against the post, until joined by General Campbell, or at least reinforced, 
and he therefore re-embarked the men and guns, and dropped down to Yoong-yoon, to await 
the result of his communication with the Commander of the forces. 

On receiving intelligence at Nangurh, about twenty-six miles above Tharawa, of the oc- 
currences at Donabew, Sir Archibald Campbell determined to retrace his steps, and attack 
the post with all his strength. He accordingly returned to Tharawa, from which place the force 
had to cross the Irawadi with such scanty means as could be procured. A few small canoes 
were collected, and rafts were constructed, and in the course of five days, between the 13th and 
IStli, the passage of the whole division was corapleated, and the head-quarters established at 
Henzada. Information having been received, that the Kyee Woongyee was posted about 
fifteen mdes from thence, to intercept the detachment expected in that direction from Bassein, a 
party, under Lieut.-Col. Godwin, was sent off" by night to endeavor to surprise him. The alarm, 
however, was given in time for the Burman force to escape ; but it was completely scattered 
without a contest, their commander setting the example of precipitate flight. After halting 
two days at Henzada, to prepare carriage for the stores, the army resumed its march 
along the right bank, and came before Donabew on the 25th : a communication was 
opened with the Flotilla on the 27th, and both divisions zealously co-operated in the reduction 
of the place.* Batteries, armed with heavy artillery, were constructed without delay. Spirited 
attempts to interrupt their progress, were frequently made by sorties from the work, and on 
one occasion, the Bundoola ordered out his elephants, seventeen in number, each carrying a 

complement 

• Docament No. 126. 
R 



66 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

complement of armed men, and supported by a body of Infantry, They were gallantly 
charged by the Body Guard, the Horse Artillery and Rocket Troop, and the elephant drivers 
being killed, the animals made off into the jungle, whilst the troops retreated precipitately 
within their defences, into which rockets and shells were thrown with a precision that 
rendered the post no refuge from danger. 

The mortar and enfilading batteries opened on the 1st of April, and the breaching bat- 
teries commenced their fire at day -break on the second, shortly after which, the enemy were 
discovered, in full retreat, through the thicket. The entrenchments were immediately taken 
possession of, and considerable stores, both of grain and ammunition, as well as a great num- 
ber of guns of various descriptions, were captured. The sudden retreat of the enemy, it was 
ascertained, was occasioned by the death of their General Maha Bundoola, who was killed, 
on the preceding day, by the bursting of a shell. With him fell the courage of the 
garrison, and the surviving chiefs vainly attempted to animate the men to resistance. 
The death of the Bundoola was a severe blow to the Burnian cause. He was the chief 
instigator of the war, and its strenuous advocate, and, in courage and readiness of 
resource, displayed great abilities to maintain the contest. He was a low and illiterate 
man, who had risen to power by his bravery and audacity. When the war broke out he pro- 
fessed himself ready, and no doubt thought himself able, to lead a Burman army to the capital 
of British India, and wrest from its Government the lower districts of Bengal. Although not 
present in the action at Ramoo, he commanded in Aracan, and derived additional reputation 
from the result of that campaign. When called to the defence of the territory of his sove- 
reign, he anticipated fresh triumphs, and engaged t J conduct the invaders captives to Ava. 
The operations at Rangoon taught him a different lesson, and, although they seem not to have 
shaken his pertinacity and valour, they inspired him with a new spirit, and engrafted courtesy 
on his other military merits. Of this the reply, he is reported to have returned to the summons 
sent him by General Cotton, is a remarkable instance. He is said to have answered, "we are 
each fighting for his country, and you will find me as steady in defending mine, as you in 
maintaining the honour of yours. If you wish to see Donabew, come as friends, and I will 
shew it you. If you come as enemies, land [" 

Immediately after the capture of Donabew, Sir Archibald Campbell resumed his forward 
movement, and was again at Tharawa on the 10th of April.* There he was joined by the co- 
lumn of reserve from Rangoon, consisting of the Battalion Companies of the Royals and 28th 
N. I., with a supply of elephant?, under Brigadier McCreagh. From thence he pushed forward 
to Prome ; the brother of the King of Ava, the prince of Tharawadi, who now commanded the 
Burman force, and who had recently received a reinforcement of six thousand men from Ava, 
falling back as the British advanced : consequently, the force reached Prome unopposed on the 
25th of April, and occupied the place without the necessity of firing a shot. The weather, 

though 

* Document No. 127. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 67 

though hot, was not found oppressive, and the troops took up their position in high health and 
spirits. 

Upon the advance towards Prome, at Turrip Miii, thirty miles from the former, an intima- 
tion was received from the Burman authorities, of a disposition to enter upon negociations for 
peace.* A letter from them was brought into a camp by a Burmese, accompanied by a soldier 
of the 3Sth Regiment, who had fallen into the hands of the Burmans, and who, with two native 
Khlassis likewise taken, was liberated on this occasion. Two Burman messengers were sent 
back with an answer, professing the readiness of the British commander to treat with the Bur- 
man deputies, but declaring his determination to advance to Prome. To this communication 
a reply was received,! when within eight miles of Prome, in which the Atwen woons pro- 
posed, that the army should halt where it had already arrived ; but they abandoned the city 
without waiting for a reply, and Sir A. Campbell having continued his march, arrived only 
just in time to save the town and its granaries from fire ; an act, which coupled with inform- 
ation, that large reinforcements were on their way from Ava, rendered it probable, that the 
overtures of the deputies were made without authority, and were rather with a view to gain 
time than in consequence of instructions received from the Court of Ava. That it was 
the sincere wish of the Prince of Tharawadi to terminate the war, was proved satisfactorily 
by subsequent information, and he shortly afterwards quitted the camp for the express 
purpose of advocating a treaty of peace, in opposition to the infatuated councils of the war 
party of the Lotoo, at the head of which were the Queen and her brother.1: 

Upon the first appearance of the force before Prome, the city, although strongly fortified, was 
deserted, and part of it consumed: the same was found to be the case for a considerable distance 
along the course of the river, the villagesboing everywhere abandoned and laid in ashes ; but this 
state of things, the result partly of the fears of the people, and partly of the policy of the Burman 
Court, was not of long continuance, and a few days sufficed to bring back the population of Prome 
to their dwellinss. The command of the lower provinces acquired by this position, inspiring the 
people with confidence, they sOon began to resume their usual avocations, and to form markets 
along the river, and especially at Prome and Rangoon, by which the resources of the country 
now began to be fully available for carriage and support. This was the more satisfactory, as in the 
commencement of May, the periodical change of seasons took place, and obliged the force to 
establish itself in cantonments at Prome. Previous to the setting in of the rains, the Thermometer 
had risen in the. shade to 110°, but the nights remained cool, and the climate was not found un- 
healthy. The monsoon brought with it, its ordinary effects upon the conditionof the troops, but 
by no means to the same extent as in the previous season at Rangoon, the face of the country 
being mountainous, and free from swamps, and of some considerable elevation above the sea. 

The temporary repose enjoyed in the cantonments at Prome was, in the early part of the 
season, enlivened by the accounts of the success of Major Sale, in the direction of Bassein, by 

advice 

* Document No. 128. f Do. No. 129. f Do. Nos. 130 and 131. 



68 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

advice of the successful repression of the kidnapping practices of the Siamese, in the districts 
of Tenasserim, and the further developement of the relations with that power and the Talien 
Chiefs of Pegu, through the agency of the British authority at Martaban, 

Iklajor Sale, with his detachment, arrived off Pagoda-point on the 24.th February,* and on the 
26th, the Flotilla stood in for the Bassein river. Parties of the force having been landed, several 
stockades were encountered and destroyed, but in no place did the enemy offer any opposition. 
On the 3d March, the detachment arrived at Bassein, which it was found had been set on fire 
and abandoned ; the Governor of the district having retreated to Lamina, a town about six days 
journey up the river. Having occupied Bassein, the town was soon restored to a comparative- 
ly flourishing state, and the population gradually returned. The chief part of the force, with 
its gallant commander, was speedily recalled to Rangoon, to reinforce the main army, after theline 
of its operations had passed the point at which a diversion in the direction of Bassein was likely 
to be useful, but the pl^ce continued to be occupied throughout the war. A reconnoissance was 
also made as far as Lamina, about one hundred andforty miles from Bassein, by two hundredmen 
of his Majesty's 13th, one hundred Native Infantry, and seventy seamen, under Major Sale, who 
proceeded up the river in boats, bivouacking at night upon the banks. They encountered no op- 
position, although flying parties of Burmans hovered about them throughout their course, and 
the river was, in many places, very narrow, and ran between lofty banks, mostly covered with 
long grass and jungle, from which an enemy might have opposed a resistance that it would have 
been difficult to overcome. The Woongyee, who had commanded at Bassein, was but a short 
distance a head, and the party was repeatedly upon the eve of overtaking him. He contrived, 
however, to escape. All the villages on the banks of the river were deserted, and in general burned, 
and the population driven into the interior by the retreating Burman force. Lamina also, al- 
though a place of great extent, was found abandoned, and as no resources, therefore, were 
' available for the support, or the further progress of the detachment. Major Sale returned to Bas- 
sein, after an absence of fourteen dajs. A state-boat and two war-canoes were captured. Whilst 
on the march, the firing at Donabew was distinctly heard. 

Although no declared war existed between the powers of Ava and Siara, active hostili- 
ties had been only suspended for some years past, by the mutual fears and weakness of the 
parties, and a system of border-inroads had been maintained, by which the countries on the 
confines of the two states had been almost depopulated. The Siamese commanding the 
passes, and the southern points of the Peninsula, had the advantage in this contest, and, availing 
themselves of their position, annually made incursions, especially into the districts of Ye, 
Tavai, and Mergui, and carried off the inhabitants, whom they detained in slavery. These 
practices were, however, now to cease, and the protection thus afforded to the persons of the 
people of Tenasserim, was no unimportant benefit for which they were indebted to their new 
rulers. In the course of January 1825, a Siamese Flotilla, of thirty large boats, made 

its 



* Document No. 125. (D) 






THE BURMESE WAR. 69 

its appearance near Mergui, on which, a party of Sipahis was sent to prevent any 
aggression. On falling in with the Siamese commander, he professed his ignorance of the 
country being in the possession of the English, and consented to repair to Mergui, where he 
restored ninety of the prisoners he had taken.* Finding, however, that nothing short of the 
surrender of the whole would satisfy the British authorities, he suddenly made off, and accounts 
were shortly after received of Old Tenasserim having been attacked and plundered. It was 
calculated that five hundred persons had been thus carried into captivity. In February, other 
parties were heard of, but were sought for in vain, and in March, a large party landed and 
scoured the country about Tenasserim: on this occasion, they were surprised by a detachment 
sent against them : a chief and a few men were taken, and the rest dispersed. In the end of 
March, however. Lieutenant Drever, with a detachment, being sent against a marauding party, 
captured several of their boats, nearly secured the person of their Chief, the Raja of Choomp- 
hon, drove them from their cantonments on the island of Yeagudan, and inflictedso se\5ere a loss 
upon them, th^ they never again ventured to molest the territories under the British authority. 
The negociations also that presently ensued with the Court of Bangkok, not only contributed to 
prevent the repetition of the predatory incursions, but eventually obtained the liberation of 
almost all the Burman inhabitants who had thus been carried into bondage. 

We have already noticed the arrival at Rangoon, of deputies from the Siamese army that 
had advanced to the frontiers, and the transfer of the duty of ascertaining the characters and ob- 
jects of these emissaries to Colonel Smith, in command at Martaban. That officer conducted the 
deputies with him to his head-quarters, furnished with a letter to the Siamese commander, the 
Ron na Ron, a Talien, or Pegu Chief, who had, with many of his countrymen, found a refuge 
from Burman oppression in the territories of Siam.t The communication of the British 
authorities was duly acknowledged, and the Siamese General having announced his intention of 
approaching to Martaban, to hold a conference with Colonel Smith, arrangements were made to 
facilitate his advance, and provide for his accommodation, when information was received of 
the recall of the army, upon the plea of the rainy season being near at hand, and the troops 
being required for the cultivation of the country. Further enquiries, however, left little doubt 
of theunreality of this excuse, and the chief cause appeared to be a suspicion entertained by the 
Siamese Court of the views of their own General. Possessing, in a great degree, the affection of 
the Talien people, and being encouraged by the chief men, an apprehension was excited, that 
he might induce the English to put him in possession of those towns and districts which the 
Siamese coveted for themselves. It is also highly probable that they were not sorry to avail 
themselves of any plea for delaying active operations, until they should be better able to judge 
of the progress of the war. That they were in some degree sensible of the inconsistency of 
their conduct, was rendered apparent by a subsequent letter from the Chief, apologising for his 
retreat, upon the plea of sickness. This document was remarkable, also, for an affected appre- 
hension 



* Documents Nos. 132 to 136. Dos. Nos. 137 and 138. 

S 



70 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

hension of the retreat of the English, which was apparently designed to draw from the British 
functionaries some declaration of the future purposes of their Government. Shortly after the 
receipt of this dispatch, others arrived from the Siamese Ministers, as well as from the General, 
to the address of Sir A. Campbell, in which they renewed their professions of esteem for the 
English, and their promise of affording active co-operation after the rains had ceased, a mea- 
sure now far from desirable, and one which there was little reason to anticipate. The aid of 
a Siamese army could be but nominal, and the presence of an undisciplined rabble would on- 
ly be formidable to the provinces now subjected to the British authority. 

Immediately after the occupation of Prome, Sir A. Campbell detached Colonel Godwin 
with a force of eight-hundred Infantry, a troop of the Body Guaid, and two field pieces, to the 
eastward, on the route to Tongho, the capital of the province of Tharawadi, in order to ascer- 
tain the state of the country, and the strength of the enemy in that direction. The force left 
Prome oa the 5th of May, and marched in a north-easterly course till the 11th, when they 
came upon a mountainous and difficult country, beyond which, apparently interminable forests 
extended. They then turned to the left, and moved to Meaday, sixty miles above Prome, on 
the Irawadi, which they found deserted. They thence returned to Prome, where they arrived 
on the 24-th. At setting out, they disturbed a gang of plunderers, who fled, and effected their 
escape, notwithstanding a party of the Body Guard was sent in pursuit, but no enemy was seen : 
the villages were all burnt, and the people living in the thickets : the intercourse held with 
them dissipated their alarms, and greatnumbers came into Prome. A stock of cattle was 
collected, but no grain, and the army continued to depend upon Rangoon for its principal 
supplies.* 

The months of June, July, and August, were necessarily spent in inactivity, from the setting 
in of the rains, and the prevalence of the inundations. The monsoon, however, proved mild : 
the men were comfortably hutted : there was no want of provisions, and, although extensive 
sickness occurred, it was not more than was fairly attributable to the nature of the service 
and the season of the year, and was by no means so severe as that of the previous rains at 
Rangoon, nor, indeed, more so than it would have been in any of the lower Gangetic provinces. 
The casualties were comparatively few. 

The same cause that suspended the operations of the British force, arrested the activity of 
the Court of Ava, and during this interval, it was unable to send any armies into the field. The 
only military occurrence, was the expulsion of the Thekia Woongyee, who had retreated to Old 
Pegu, where his force having gradually become thinned by desertion, the people themselves rose 
upon his detachment, and put it to the rout, taking prisoner a Burman Cliiefof rank, whom they 
brought into Rangoon, and delivered to Brigadier Smith.t At their request, they were furnished 
with a small Sipahi force, for their defence against any attempt of the Thekia Woongee tore- 
cover his footing in the city. The presence of this detachment, it was ascertained, gave much 

uneasiness 

* Documents Nos. 139 and 140. f Do. No. 141. 



THE BURMESE WAR. ij-l 

uneasiness to the Ava Government, as supposed to indicate an adv-ance upon Tonglio, the "-ar- 
rison of which was, accordingly, reinforced. 

The capture of the stockades at Donabew, and the death of the Bundoola, were events 
that excited the utmost consternation at Ava : no person about the Court ventured to commu- 
nicate to the King the first reports of these disasters, and when the official intelligence arrived, 
the first feeling of the Government was that of utter despair. The members of the administra- 
tion, however, soon resumed their lofty tone, and declared it would be better they should die, 
than consent to the humiliation of their Monarch, or the 'dismemberment of his dominions, 
and the Pagahm Woongyee, especially, undertook to remedy the evil consequences of 
the Bundoola's failure, and still drive the invaders from the country. The impressions 
thus, at first, made upon the Court, gradually gave way to reviving hope ; but that 
upon the people was more permanent, and high bounties, as much as a hundred and 
seventy rupees per man, were necessary to induce them to enlist in the army. The necessary 
sacrifices were, however, made, and information was received at the end of June, of the 
assemblage of a numerous force at Ava, preparatory to the season for resuming operations : 
early in July, a reconnoissance was made in boats up the river, when about three or four thou- 
sand men were found cantoned near a village about ten miles above Songhee, or about eighty- 
four miles fromProme : a few shots were exchanged, and it was ascertained that the equipment 
of the force was far from formidable. 

Although prepared for the renewal of hostilities, the English General being sensible that 
it was not the wish of the Government of India to urge them to extremities, availed him- 
self of an opportunity that occurred at this period, to aflford an opening to a negociation for 
peace. Amongst the individuals of all ranks, who had now flocked to Prome, was a confiden- 
tial servant of the Prince of Tharawadi, who made no secret of his relation to the Prince, nor 
of the distress which the latter suffered from the occupation of his Government by the Eng- 
lish. A private letter was, accordingly, addressed to the Prince, through this channel, by Sir A. 
Campbell, stating the disposition of the British Government to terminate the war, whenever the 
Court of Ava should be inclined to offer reparation for the injuries which had provoked it, and 
to indemnify the British Government for the expense. This attempt, however, was unavailing, 
and no answer was received. In the mean time, the whole of the lower provinces were 
becoming habituated to the change of masters, and yielding their new governors cheerful sub- 
mission. The villagers issued from their hiding places in the thickets, re-constructed their huts, 
and resumed their occupations, and the Miuthagis, or head men of the districts and chief 
towns, tendered their allegiance, and were restored to their municipal functions by the British 
General. A state of desolation and anarchy once more gave way to order and plenty, and 
from Bassein to Martaban, and Rangoon to Prome, every class of natives, not only contributed 
their aid to collect such supplies as the country could afford, but readily lent their services 
to the equipment and march of military detachments. 

At the end of July, General Campbell quitted Prome for Rangoon, to expedite arrange- 
ments connected with the Commissariat, which his presence materially forwarded. He left 

Prome 



72 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

Prome in the steam vessel, the Diafia, and after spending a few days at Rangoon, returned to 
the former place on the 2d August. The entire security with which his journey was performed, 
satisfactorily established the settled state of the country under English administration. 

In compliance with the repeated injunctions of the Government of Bengal, that no 
opportunity should be omitted of entering upon pacific negociations, Sir A. Campbell 
judged it expedient, upon the approach of the season for active operations, to address a letter 
to the Court, declaratory of his being authorised and desirous to abstain from further hostili- 
ties.* Various reports were current at this time, which rendered it probable that the over- 
ture would be acceptable. Insurrections had taken place, it was asserted, in different parts of 
the Burman dominions, and a rumour of the deposition of the King seems to have found 
extensive currency. These reports turned out to be incorrect ; but there was no doubt that 
the war was highly unpopular, and that the Lotoo, or great council of the nation, was much 
divided. The Queen, however, and her brother, both possessing great influence with the King, 
were resolutely bent on the continuance of hostilities, and great exertions were made to collect a 
formidable force, which, as it was formed, was advanced to positions approaching to the British 
cantonments at Prome, and stationed at Pagahm, Melloon, Patanagoh, and finally at Meaday, 
where the troops arrived in the beginning of August, to the extent of about twenty thou- 
sand men. The whole force in motion was estimated at double that number, under the com- 
mand of Memia Bo, a half brother of the King, besides twelve thousand at Tongho, under 
the Prince of Tongho and the Thekia-woon. To oppose them. General Campbell had, at 
Prome, something less than three thousand effective men, and had ordered about two thousand 
more to join liim in time for the opening of the campaign. 

On receiving intelligence of the advance of the Burman army. Brigadier General Cotton 
was despatched in tlie steam boat, with fifty men of the Royal Regiment, to reconnoitre. 

The enemy were discovered on the morning of the 15th August, at Meaday, on the left 
bank of the river. A large nullah runs into the Irawadi, immediately below Meaday, from 
the mouth of which the Burman force was ranged to the extent of a mile and a half up the 
bank of the main stream. This bank had several Pagodas upon it, for the most part near the 
nullah, all of which the enemy were stockading, and had entrenched, and they had thrown a 
ditch and breast-work between them and the river, to protect their boats, which were ranged 
underneath. 

During the progress of the reconnoitring party along their line of defence, the Burmans 
opened a battery of sixteen guns, of different calibre, from four to six pounders, upon the 
steam vessel, but, the width of the river being at least one thousand five hundred yards, their 
shot fell short. 

The force displayed by the enemy was estimated, by Brigadier General Cotton, at be- 
tween sixteen and twenty thousand, who appeared to be all armed with muskets, and 

twenty 

• Document No. 142. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 73 

twenty golden chattalis were counted. They had also a small force on the right bank, with 
jinjals, opposite to the right ot their line, as it faced the river. On the return of the party, 
the gun boats which the steam vessel had in tow, were disengaged to cannonade the enemy's 
line, and make them develope their whole force ; and it was then ascertained, that they had 
an advanced party across the nullah already mentioned, thrown on the road leading to Prome, 
and occupying some Pagodas which overlook it, and which they were stockading. This party 
were working also on a breast-work on the side of the hill, which would likewise command the 
road. Three golden chattahs were visible with the latter force. About four hundred boats 
were seen at Meaday, but only one regular war boat.* 

The menacing aspect of the Burman force was, however, suddenly changed to pacific 
demonstrations, and the letter addressed by Sir A. Campbell to the Ministers promised to pro- 
duce the happiest effects.t On the 6th September, a war-boat, with a flag of truce, arrived at 
Prome, and two Burman deputies, on being conducted to the British General, presented him 
with a letter in reply to his communication of the 6th of August. This letter purported to be 
from the General of the advanced army, acknowledging the petitions of the English agent, and 
officers, and directing them, if they wanted peace, to come and solicit it. This style was not 
very conciliatory, but being the Court language, it was not thouglit proper to object to it, be- 
yond pointing out its impropriety to the deputies, and explaining to them, that although the 
English General was willing to meet Burman commanders half-way, he could not condescend to 
seek them in their entrenchments. They admitted the force of the objection, and proposed that 
two officers should be deputed to the Burman commanders, which request was readily com- 
plied with, and in order that, if necessary, full powers to negociate might be obtained 
from Ava, the British General proposed to grant a suspension of hostilities for a term of 
thirty or forty days. This proposal, the deputies expressed their conviction, would be 
concurred in by the Burman commanders. The deputies returned to their entrenchments 
on the following day, accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Tidy, Deputy Adjutant General, 
and Lieutenant Smith, of his Majesty's ship Alligator. 

The British Officers were met on their way, by a flotilla of war-boats, having on board 
several Chiefs of rank, who escorted them to the Burman advanced cantonments, about a 
mile from Meaday. On their arrival there, they were received with every demonstration of 
respect, and conducted through a guard of two thousand men, armed with muskets, to a 
house prepared for their accommodation. On the ibllowing day, a deputation visited them 
from the Kyee-AVoongee, the chief in command, to assure tliem of his anxiety to conclude a 
pacific treaty ; but requesting them not to urge immediate negociation, as it would be necessary 
to receive instructions from Memia-bo, who was at Melloon, The British deputies having ac- 
ceded to this proposal, were treated in the interval with the greatest possible attention and kind- 
ness : no guard was set over their movements, and all comers had free access to them, which 

afforded 



* Document No. 143. -j- Do. No. Hi. 



74 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



afforded them ample opportunity of learning the sentiments of individuals of every rank, who 
were unanimous in expressing a hope that hostilities were about to cease. On the 13th of 
September, the officers waited, by appointment, on the Kvee-'\Voongee, but the result of the 
interview was their assent to wait two or three days longer for the arrival of instructions. On 
the I6th, it was intimated to them, that full powers had arrived, and on the 17th, they again 
visited the Kyee-Woongee, when it was settled, that the latter should meet General Camp- 
bell at Neubenziek, a place mid-way between the two armies, on the 2d of October, to dis- 
cuss the conditions of peace, and, in the mean time, the terms of an armistice were agreed 
upon between them and the Atwen-Woon Menghie Maha Menla Raja, and Wondok Men- 
ghi Maha Senkuyah. By this stipulation, hostilities were suspended till the 17th of October: 
the line of demarcation was drawn from Comma, on the western bank of the Irawadi, 
through Neubenzeik to Tongo. The armistice included all the troops on the frontiers in other 
parts of the dominions of Ava, none of whom should make a forward movement before the 18th 
October. With respect to the meeting of the 2d of the ensuing month, it was also settled, that 
two officers on either part should meet on the 23d of September, at Neubenziek, to determine 
the requisite arrangements, and as it was contrary to etiquette for the Burman Minister to 
move with a less escort, than one thousand men, half armed with muskets and half with swords, 
the option was given to General Campbell to be similarly attended. On the conclusion of 
these preliminary negociations. Colonel Tidy and Lieutenant Smith returned to Prome.* 

On the 30th of September, the British General proceeded to Neubenzeik, assisted at his 
request, as Commissioner, by Sir James Brisbane, Commander of his Majesty's Naval Forces in 
the Indian Seas, who had arrived at Rangoon, in H. M.'s ship Tamar, early in September, and 
reached Prome on the 22d, where he assumed the direction of the operations by water.t The 
ground was found prepared for the encampment of the respective chiefs, with their attendants, 
and aLotoo, or hall of audience, erected in the intermediate space, equi-distant from the Bri- 
tish and the Burmese lines. At a few minutes before two o'clock, on the 2d of October, two 
Burmese officers of rank arrived in camp to conduct Sir A. Campbell to the Lotoo, Lieutenant * 
Colonel Tidy and Lieutenant Smith, R. N., were dispatched at the same time to the Burmese 
cantonment, to pay a similar compliment to the Kyee Woongyee. At two o'clock, Major Ge- 
neral Sir A. Campbell and Commodore Sir J. Brisbane, accompanied by their respective 
suites, proceeded to the Lotoo, and met the Burmese Commissioners, Kyee Woongyee and 
Lamain Woon, entering the hall, arrayed in splendid state dresses. After the whole party 
were seated, Sir A. Campbell opened the conference with an appropriate address to the 
Woongyees, who replied in courteous and suitable terms, and expressed their hope that the 
first day of their acquaintance might be given up to private friendship, and the consideration 
of public business deferred until the next meeting. This was assented to, and a desultory 
conversation then ensued ; in the course of which the Woongyees conducted themselves 

in 



* Document No. Mj. t Do. No. 146. 



THE BURMESE WAR. -75 

in the most polite and conciliatory manner, inquiring after the latest news from England, the 
state of the King's health, and similar topics, and offering to accompany Sir A. Campbell 
to llangoon, England, or wherever he might propose. 

On the following day, the appointed meeting took place, for the purpose of discussing 
formally the. terms of peace, at which the following officers were present on the side of the 
British, Major General Sir A. Campbell, Commodore Sir J. Brisbane, Brigadier General Cotton, 
Captain Alexander, Brigadier McCreagh, Lieutenant Colonel Tidy, and Captain Snodgrass. 

On the part of the Government of Ava, the Chiefs present were Sada Mengyee Maha 
Mengom-Kyee Woongyee, Munnoo R,ut,ha Keogong Lamain Woon, Mengyee Maha Menla 
Rajah Atwenwoon, Maha Sri Senkuyah Woondok, Mengyee Maha Menla Sear Sey Shuagon 
Mooagoonoon, Mengyee Attala Maha Sri Soo-Asseewoon. 

The principal conditions of peace proposed by the English Commissioners, were the non- 
interference of the Court of Ava with the territories of Cachar, Manipur, and Asam, the 
cession of the four provinces of Aracan, the payment of two crores of rupees, as an indemni- 
fication for the expences of the war, one to be paid immediately, and the Tenasserim pro- 
vinces to be retained until the liquidation of the other. The Court of Ava was also expected 
to receive a British Resident at the capital, and consent to a commercial treaty, upon princi- 
ples of liberal intercourse and mutual advantages. 

In the discussion of these stipulations, it was evident, notwithstanding the moderate tone 
of the Burman deputies, and their evident desire for the termination of the war, that the Court 
of Ava was not yet reduced to a full sense of its inferiority, nor prepared to make any sacrifice, 
either territorial or pecuniary, for the restoration of tranquillity. The protection given to 
fugitives from the Burman territories, was urged in excuse for the conduct of the Bur- 
jnan Court, although the actual occurrence of the war was attributed to the malig- 
nant designs of evil councillors, who had misrepresented the real state of things, and sup- 
pressed the remonstrances addressed by the Government of India to that of Ava, thus virtually 
acknowledging the moderation of the former Government. It was also pleaded, that in the in- 
terruption of trade and the loss of revenue, the Court of Ava had already suffered sufficiently 
by the war, and that it became a great nation like the English, to be content with the vindica- 
tion of its name and reputation, and that they could not possibly be less generous than the 
Chinese, who, on a former occasion, having conquered part of the Burman territory, restored 
it on the return of peace. To this it was replied, the Chinese were the vanquished, not the vic- 
tors, whilst the British were in possession of half the kingdom, the most valuable portion of 
which they were still willing to relinquish ; but that as the war had been wholly unprovoked 
on their part, they were fully entitled to expect such concessions, in territory and money, as 
should reimburse thenvin theexpence they had incurred, and enable them to guard more effec- 
tively against any future collision. The manner in which these points were urged, satisfying the 
Woongyees of the firmness of the British Commissioners, they, at last, waved all further ob- 
jections, and confined themselves to requesting a prolongation of the armistice till the 2d of 
November, in order that they might put the Court fully in possession of the views of the 

British 



76 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

British negociators, and be empowered to give them a definitive reply. This request was 
readily acceded to. On the representation of the British General, the Woongyees also pledged 
themselves, that all British and American subjects detained at Ava, should immediately be set 
at liberty, the British Government liberating the Burmans taken on the coast, and confined in 
Bengal. On the day after this conference, the Burman officers dined with the British General, 
and this intermixture of friendly hospitality with the prosecution of hostilities, whilst it excited 
their astonishment, taught them a lesson of civilization, which it is to be hoped may not have 
.proved in vain. The Burman character, although not worthy of implicit trust, is far from 
suspicious, and no feeling of uneasiness or alarm appeared to impair their enjoyment of British 
hospitality. The parties separated, well pleased with each other. Captain Alexander and 
Brigadier McCreagh accompanied the Kyee Woongyee to near Meaday, and three of the 
Burman Chiefs attended Sir A. Campbell to Prome. 

The notion of treating upon a perfect equality, which evidently pervaded the recent ne- 
gociations on the part of the Burman Commissioners, and which probably originated not only 
in the haughtiness of the Court of Ava, but in an impression entertained by it, to which the 
acknowledged anxiety of the British authorities for peace had given rise, that they were unable 
or disinclined to carry on the war, rendered the ultimate result of the conferences at Newben- 
zeik little problematical, and arrangements for resuming hostile operations were actively 
pursued. Their necessity was soon evinced.* The Court of Ava, indignant at the idea 
of conceding an inch of territory, or submitting to what, in oriental politics, is held a mark 
of excessive humiliation, payment of any pecuniary indemnification, breathed nothing but 
defiance, and determined instantly to prosecute the war. With more regard to the existing 
treatv, however, than was to have been expected from the Burman commanders, no operations 
of a decidedly liostile character were attempted by them, and although, in the end of October, 
several Burman parties passed the line of demarkation, and pillaged and burnt the villages 
within the British lines, these outrages were attributable to the difficulty of checking so ill organ- 
ised a force, under the immediate expectation of renewed hostilities, rather than to any design 
of the Commanders to violate the terms of a solemn stipulation. In the pause that ensued before 
hostilities were renewed, Sir Archibald Campbell addressed the Kyee Woongyee, relative to the 
prisoners, whose liberation was refused on the plea of troops having moved by way of Negrais 
to Rangoon ; and in reply to his enquiiy, as to the probable termination of the truce, that 
Chief intimated, that the demand for any cession of money or territory, precluded all possi- 
bility of a renewal of friendly intercourse. Nothing remained, therefore, but a further appeal 
to arms.t 

The information of the last few weeks, had fully established the assemblage of a very con- 
siderable force along tlie line of the river, between Meaday and Ava, which was gradually 
diawing towards tlie British position at Prome. From a direct attack, there was nothing to 

apprehend, 

* Document No. 147. f Do. Nos. 148 au J 119. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 77 

apprehend, but any serious movement on either flank, might have been attended with some 
inconvenience. In order to oppose an advance on the right, Colonel Pepper was stationed in 
Old Pegu, whilst it was thought the detachment at Bassein, after the division at Donabew 
had been withdrawn, would be a sufficient check against any annoyance from this quarter. 
The chief point, however, was to keep the enemy on the alert in the line of his immediate 
advance, and draw his attention as much as possible to Prome. Upon the close of the armis- 
tice, the state of the country, and the yet incomplete concentration of resources, rendered the 
forward movement of the whole army impracticable ; but Sir A. Campbell lost no time in de- 
taching afoi'ce to drive the Burmans back from an advanced position which they occupied at 
Wattigaon, about twenty miles from Prome.* With this view. Colonel Macdowall marched with 
two brigades of Madras Native Infantry, to attack the post from the left, and Major Evans, 
with the 22d Native Infantry, was ordered to move upon the front of the position, and attack 
in concert with the main body, whilst the ISth Native Infantry was advanced to support the 
22d, if required. The 38th Native Infantry also was sent round by Saagee, to make a diver- 
sion in favour of the assailants. The state of the road did not admit of artillery being attached 
to either column. 

The result of this attempt was disastrous. The main body marched on the evening of the 
15th of November. On the morning of the 16th, they encountered the Burmese in great force, 
who maintained a spirited contest, and, although forced to fall back, kept up a fierce and de- 
structive fire, as they slowly retreated to the works in their rear, which proved to be too strong 
for the attacking force to carry by storm, and which their want of artillery prevented thera 
from breaching. In attempting, however, to overcome the fire of the enemy, and approach the 
works, the officers set their men the example of personal exposure, and, consequently, sus- 
tained a severe loss. Colonel Macdowall himself was shot in the head by a musket ball, and 
four of the junior officers were disabled and carried from the field. Lieutenant Colonel 
Brooke, who succeeded in the, command, finding it impracticable to make any impression on 
the post, was compelled to order a retreat. This was effected with as much regularity as cir- 
cumstances would permit, the country being a thick jungle, in which the enemy lurked in 
great numbers, and kept up a galling fire. After a march of severe fatigue, in which a num- 
ber of the wounded and exhausted were unavoidably left behind, the detachment came to a 
nulla about nine miles from Prome, where the enemy desisted from pursuit, their attention hav- 
ing been diverted by the movements of the other detachments.t 

Major Evans having moved on the night of the 15th, fell in with the enemy's piquets at 
day-break on the following morning. After driving them back, he proceeded to an opening in 
the jungle, when he was checked by a very heavy fire from a strong stockade, by which the 
Light Company, who had preceded the advance, were almost annihilated, and the men of 
the other companies struck down in considerable numbers. The firing in the direction of 

Colonel 

• Document No. 150. f Do. No. 151. 

u 



78 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



Colonel Macdowall's column had been heard early in the morning, but as no appearance r>{ 
their co-operation was indicated, and the enemy v/ere in much too great a number for a single 
Ee^iment to make an impression on them, Major Evans also retreated. The enemy pursued 
for about three miles, and harassed the rear, but the corps effected its return after a fatiguing 
march in good order. In this division, as well as Colonel Macdowall's, many of those who 
fell on the march, through wounds or fatigue, were left behind : the dooly bearers having, at 
an early stage, thrown down their loads, and fled into the thicket. 

TheSSth Regiment, under Colonel Smith, approached Wattygaon, only about twelve o'clock 
on the l6th, and then fell in with what appeared to be the rear of the enemy, at this time engaged 
in the pursuit of the main division. On the first appearance of the corps, the Burmese fled, 
but no traces of the main division being visible, and the firing having ceased. Colonel Smith 
found it necessary to measure back his course to Prome, which he reached after a fatiguing 
march, without encountering any opposition. The loss on this occasion was severe ; besides 
Colonel Macdowall killed, thirteen officers were wounded, of whom Lieutenant Ranken, of the 
43d Regiment, subsequently died of his wounds : fifty-three Rank and File were killed, and about 
one-hundred and fifty were reported wounded and missing. The principal cause of this dis- 
aster appears to have been misinformation as to the enemy's strength, as, instead of two or 
three thousand, at which their numbers were originally computed, Major Evans estimated 
those opposed to him to be not fewer than five thousand, whilst those engaged by the 
main division were reckoned, by Lieutenant Colonel Brooke, at between ten and twelve thou- 
sand men. The position was also one of considerable strength, and, from the density of jungle, 
of difficult access. 

The ultimate consequences of this disaster were not unfavourable, as it encouraged the 
Burman Generals in the high opinion, they were still rather inclined to entertain, of their own 
power, and induced them to adopt a system of confident warfare, which brought them within 
the reach of the British Commander. Relying on the manifestation of their purpose to attack 
him in his position. General Campbell determined to await tlieir advance, and the enemy soon 
made their appearance round Prome to the extent, it was estimated, of between fifty and sixty 
thousand men. As their numbers enabled tliem to spread over a considerable tract of country, 
they were enabled to detach parties past both flanks of the British position, by which the com- 
fnunication with Rangoon was threatened, and the districts below Prome, on botli banks of the 
river, exposed to the depredation of irregular and marauding bands.* The entire command of 
the river by the British Flotilla gave them an important advantage, and on the western bank, 
a position at Padownmew, was' occupied by a small detachment i« concert with the river force, 
and maintained, with great spirit, against repeated attempts of the enemy to dislodge them: a 
detachment was also sent out under Lieutenant Colonel Godwin, to Shudaun, which cleared 
the left bank of the river of the enemy for ten miles below Prome, and a party of Burmans 

having 

* Document Mc. 152, 



THE BURMESE WAR. ^g 

having fired upon a division of the Sytli, on their way to join the army, the men landed and 
dispersed the assailants. 

After awaiting for some days the expected approach of the Barman force. General Camp- 
bell finding that they were reluctant to quit the cover of the jungle, and that they continued to 
harass the country, and disturb the line of communication, determined to make a general at- 
tack upon every accessible part of the enemy's line, to the east of the Irawadi, which extend- 
ed from the Napadee hills, a commanding ridge on the bank of the river, to the villages of 
Simbike and Sembeh inland, about eleven miles to the north-east of Prome. The Burman 
army was divided into three corps : the right was formed on the western bank of the river ; the 
centre was stationed upon the hills of Theybu, or Napadee, and communicated through a 
thick forest by a line of posts with the left, which was posted at Simbike, upon the Nawine ri- 
ver. The left was commanded by Maha Niow, the centre by the Kyee Woongyee, and the right 
by the Sada Woon : the divisions were all strongly stockaded, and occupied positions of diffi. 
cult approach. 

Leaving four regiments of Native Infantry for the defence of Prome, General Campbell 
marched early on the morning of the 1st December against the enemy's left, whilst the Flotil- 
la, under Sir James Brisbane, and the 26th Madras N. I. acting in co-operation, by a cannonade 
of the works upon the river, diverted the attention of the centre from the real point of attack. 

Upon reaching the Nawine river, at the village of Ze-ouke, the force was divided into two 
columns. The right, under Brigadier General Cotton, proceeding along the left bank of the 
river, came in front of the enemy's entrenchments, consisting of a series of stockades, covered 
on either flank by thick jangle, and by the river in the rear, and defended by a considerable 
force, of whom eight thousand were Shans, or people of Laos, under their native chiefs. The 
post was immediately stormed. The attack was led by Lieutenant Colonel Godwin, with the 
advanced guard of the right column, consisting of his Majesty's 41st, the flank companies of 
his Majes-ty's Royal and 89th Regiments, supported by the 18th Madras Native Infantry, and 
the stockades were carried in less than ten minutes. The enemy left three hundred dead, 
including their General Maha Niow, and all their stores and ammunition, and a considerable 
quantity of arms were taken. The left column, under the Commander in Chief, which had 
crossed the river lower down, came up as the fugitives were crossing, and completed the dis- 
persion of the Burman army.* 

Following up the advantage thus gained. General Campbell determined to attack the 
Kyee Woongyee in his position without delay. The force accordingly marched back to Ze- 
ouke, where they bivouacked for the night, and resumed their march on tlie following morning 
at day-break. The nature of the country admitted of. no approach to the enemy's defences 
upon the hills, except in front, and that by a narrow path-way, accessible to but a limited num- 
ber of men in line. Their posts at tlie foot of the hills were more readily assailable, and from 

these 



* Document No. 153. 



80 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



the se they were speedily driven ; but the attack of the heights was a more formidable task, as 
the narrow road by which they were approached, was commanded by the enemy's artillery 
and breast-works numerously manned. After some impression hn.d been apparently made by 
the artillery and rockets, the first Bengal Brigade, consisting of his Majesty's 13th and 38th, 
Regiments, advanced to the storm, supported on their right by six companies of his Majesty's 
87th. They made good their ascent in spite of the heavy fire they encountered, and to which 
scarcely a shot was returned ; and when they had gained the summit, they drove the enemy 
from hill to hill, until they had cleared the whole of the formidable and extensive entrench- 
ments. These brilliant advantages were not gained without loss, and in the affair of the 1st, 
Lieutenants Sutherland and Gossip, of his Majesty's 41st, and Ensign Campbell, of the Royal 
Regiment, were killed, and Lieutenant Proctor, of his Majesty's 38th, Lieutenant Baylee, of 
the 87th, and Captain Dawson, of his Majesty's ship Arachne, in that of the 2nd. On the 
4th of December, a detachment, under Brigadier General Cotton, proceeded across the river, 
and drove the left wing of the enemy not only from their post upon the river, but from a 
strong stockade about half a mile in the interior, completely manned and mounting guns. The 
enemy were dispersed with severe loss in killed and prisoners, and their defences were set on fire.* 
The beneficial results of this action were immediately apparent in the disappearance of 
the flanking parties of the enemy, and the re-establishraent of a free communication along the 
river ; but in order to realise all the advantages to which it was calculated to lead. Sir A. Camp- 
bell immediately advanced in pursuit of the retreating army. As it was known that the 
enemy had fortified the positions along the river from ISIeaday to Paloh, and had strength- 
ened them with great labour against the direct line of attack. General Campbell determined 
to move upon them circuitously, with one division of his force, so as to turn them as high as 
BoUay, whilst another division proceeded along the river, communicating and co-operating 
with the Flotilla. Of the first division he took the command himself: the second was placed 
under Brigadier General Cotton, and the Flotilla proceeded under Commodore Brisbane, having 
on board a military force, commanded by Brigadier Armstrong. General Campbell marched on 
the 9th of December to Wattygaon: on the 11 tli, the column was detained by a heavy fall of rain, 
which continued lor thirty hours, rendering the roads almost impassable, injuring a considerable 
quantity of Commissariat stores, and inducing extensive sickness amongst the troops : cholera, 
in particular, became alarmingly prevalent both in this and General Cotton's division, but lucki- 
ly was not of long continuance. Li consequence of these causes of detention, the column did not 
reach BoUay till the l6th, when it came into communication with the other divisions. The 
enemy having abandoned Meaday, General Campbell pushed on to Tabboo with the advance, 
whence he detached the Body Guard in pursuit, who overtook the Burman rear about five 
miles beyond Meaday, and made some prisoners. General Campbell fixed his head-quarters at 
Meaday on the 19th.t 

The 



• Document No. 154. f Do. No. 155. 



I 



THE BURMESE WAR. 81 

The column underGeneral Cotton moved on tire 13th December, and on the 16th, approach- 
ed Bollay ; but just below that place was stopped by a deep nulla, across which it was necessary 
to throw a bridge. On the 18th, the division crossed, and encamped at Inggown on the 19th. 
On the road, the column passed the enemy's stockades below Palho, which, had they been 
defended, could not have been carried without great loss, the stockades extending along rugged 
and deep ravines, and being screened by a thick bamboo jungle, so as not to be visible till the 
road led to Avithin a few yards of them. These defences were, however, abandoned, and the 
villages everywhere deserted.* 

The Flotilla moved on the morning of the 12th December, and worked up against the current 
with great labour, but failed to encounter that opposition for which the extraordinary strength 
of the works along the river had been prepared. The channel of the river being also, in many 
places, so narrow, as to oblige the boats to pass within two hundred yards of either bank, the 
passage, if opposed, could not have been forced without sustaining considerable loss.t Their 
defeats, however, early in the month, and the unexpected movement of the main force on the 
flank of their positions, seem to have disconcerted the Burman commanders, and they preci- 
pitately retreated to Melloon on the right bank of the Irawadi. Their losses in the field, and 
by desertion, had likewise been augmented by the ravages of disease, and the road was strewn 
with the dying and the dead, or the mangled remains of the Burmese, who had perished in 
vast numbers on the retreat. At a short distance from Meaday, it became necessary to halt 
the European part of the force, owing to a failure in the supply of animal food. Sir A. Camp- 
bell, however, moved on with the Madras division towards Melloon. The Flotilla also pro- 
ceeded on its route. 

On the 26th of December, General Campbell was met on his march by a flag of truce, 
with a letter expressing the wish of the Burman commanders to conclude a peace, and pro- 
posing that the leaders, on both sides, should meet to determine its conditions. Two British 
officers. Lieutenant Colonel Tidy and Lieutenant Smith, R. N., were deputed to ascertain what 
arrangement was contemplated by the Woongyees, and, in the mean time, the army continued 
its march to Patanagoh, opposite to the Burman entrenchments of Melloon. It arrived at 
Mingeoun on the 28th, where a letter was received from the Burman General, postponing the 
meeting till the 24-th of January, a delay that was declared inadmissible, and a definitive re- 
ply was demanded before sun-set on the 29th, at Patanagoh, where the army arrived, and 
encamped without molestation. The Flotilla also ascended the river, and anchored above the 
Burman lines, without experiencing any demonstration of hostility ; an indication of the 
sincerity of the Burman commanders.! 

In the communications that ensued, Sir A. Campbell was assisted by Mr. Robertson, the 
Civil Commissioner in Pegu and Ava, who had been appointed to the general saperinten- 
dance of the civil affairs in the provinces under British authority, and to the conduct, jointly 

with 

♦ Document No. 155. (B) f Do. Do. (C) t Do. No, 156. 

W •• 



g2 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

with the Commander in Chief, of political intercourse with the Court of Ava. Mr. RoherN 
son arrived at Rangoon in October, and joined the army at Prome on the 27th Novem- 
ber. Shortly after his arrival, arrangements were made for the civil administration of 
Rangoon, Bassein, Martaban, and Ye, as well as for the collection of the revenue from such 
parts of the Country, as had not suffered from the desolating system of Burman warfare. 

In the train of the Commissioner, was a Burman priest, designated as the Rajgooroo, the 
spiritual preceptor of royalty, who, with his followers, had been allowed to return from Bengal. 
At the breaking out of the war this person had been travelling, ostensibly, for purposes of 
devotion, in Hindostan, and after leaving Benares was arrested by tlie British authority at 
Lucknow. After being detained some time in Calcutta, he was liberated, and sent back to 
Rangoon, and he reached Prome in the suite of ]\Ir. Robertson. As the period of his arrival 
was the eve of important military operations, he was not allowed to proceed immediately on 
his journey ; but, after the defeat of the Kyee AVongyee at Napadee, and the advance of the 
army to Meaday, he was permitted to continue his route, and was furnished with a private 
note, expressive of the undiminished readiness of the British officers, to grant peace to the 
Court of Ava upon liberal conditions, which it was expected he could communicate to his 
master. It seems doubtful if he displayed much anxiety to smooth the way to the restoration 
of tranquillity, and it is probable that his influence was little felt in any respect. The Burman 
priests, generally, possess but a slight hold upon the minds of the people, and the personal charac- 
ter of the present king renders it unlikely that he would listen to the councils of the Gooroo. 

In the present instance, however, a sufficient interval had not elapsed for his interfer- 
ence to have produced any effi^ct at Ava, although, from the letters of the Burman Generals, 
it appeared that he had been instrumental in inducing them to make their present overture. 
Kolein Woongyee, who had lately joined the army, had been furnished with authority to 
enter upon negociations, and had been sent from the Coint for that purpose. There could 
be no doubt of the prevailing feeling amongst all ranks of Burmans. The war had long been 
most unpopular : tlie best troops of the state had been destroyed or disorganised : the new 
levies raised to supply their place, were of the worst description, procured at an irhmense ex- 
pense, 9nd were thinned by desertion the moment they took the field. JMost of the members 
of the Lotoo, or great council, and the King's own relations, warmly advocated peace, and he 
was well inclined to listen to their advice. The Queen, and the small party of her kindred and 
adherents, still, however, counselled opi)Osition, and the pride of a barbaric sovereign could 
ill stoop to make the sacrifices, by which alone tranquillity could be purchased, The advance 
of the British army from Napadee seems, however, to have turned the scale in fiivour of pacific 
councils, and Kolein Woongyee was, in consequence, sent from Ava to Melloon, .to endeavour to 
set a treaty on foot. In this he was cordially seconded by the Kyee Woongyee, who, although 
he continued high in command, and discharged his duties with credit, was, throughout, ojipos- 
to the war. 

After some unimportant preliminary discussions, it was agreed that Sir A. Campbel], 
Mr, Robertson, and Sir James Brisbane, whom the British Commissioners solicited to co- 
operate 



THE BURMESE WAR. QS 

operate with them in the pending negociations, should hold a conference with Kolein Men- 
ghee and the Kyee "Woongyee, on the Irawadi, between Patanagoh and Melioon, in a boat 
fitted up by the Burmese for the purpose. The first conference took place on the afternoon 
of the 30th December ; each party was accompanied by fifty unarmed attendants, and the 
conference was public. At the first meeting, the terms were stated generally, and their further 
discussion postponed till the next day. On this occasion, Koleiii'Menghee declared, that, be- 
sides the general orders issued by the Court to make peace, he had lately received particular 
instructions to that effect, and that his acts were to be considered as those of the King. On the 
next day, the Burman Commissioners acceded to those terms which were previously proposed 
as the basis of the treaty, with the addition of the provinces of Ye, Tavai, and Mergui, which 
were now included amongst the demands for territorial concession. The pecuniary demand 
was reduced to one crore of rupees. 

A third interview, for the purpose of adjusting the payment of the stipulated indemnifi- 
cation, was to have taken place on the 1st of January ; but Kolein Menghee being unwell, it 
was deferred till the 2d. The Burmese Chief requested the aid of an English Doctor, and 
Assistant Surgeon Knox was selected, for his conversancy with the language, to wait upon 
him. On the 2d, the meeting took place, when the Biurraan Commissioners endeavour- 
ed strenuously to evade the money payment, which they asserted the country was unable to 
make, and they solicited its remission as an act of charity. They were also very reluctant 
to concede the province of Aracan, as compromising the national honour; and, with respect 
to Manipur, they declared that they had no objection to withdraw from all interference 
with the affairs of that country, although they hesitated to acknowledge Gambhir Sinh as 
the Raja, as they asserted that the person whom tliey regarded as the lawful Prince was 
residing under the protection of the Court at Ava. Finding, however, the British Commis- 
sioners could not be induced to deviate from the conditions stiptilated, they finally yielded, 
and Kolein Menghee closed the conference by exclaiming, " Now we shall be excellent 
friends." The English copy of the treaty was signed on the 2d, the Burmese on the 3d of 
January, and an armistice was agreed upon till the 18th of January, by which period it was 
expected the treaty would receive the ratification of the King, and would be returned from 
Ava, and that all prisoners would be delivered up, and the payment of the first instalment 
commenced. 

During the conferences, the Burman Commissioners repeatedly declared their being fur- 
nished with full powers, and their firm persuasion,, that whatever they agreed to, the King 
would ratify ; they expressed their entire satisfaction with the spirit in which the negociations 
had been conducted by the British Commissioners, and their gratification at the prospect of a 
speedy renewal of friendly relations : they made no secret of their motives, and frankly and 
unreservedly admitted, that the 'King had been ruined by the war; that the resources of the 
country were exhausted ; and that the road to Ava was open to the British army. There 
ippeared every reason to credit their assertions, and all who had an opportunity of exer- 
:ising personal observation, were impressed with the conviction, that the negociators were 
lonest. 

- To 



84 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



To the treaty now agreed upon, the Siamese were made a party, as far as regarded 
the establishment of amicable relations. Although they had taken no part in the war, 
they had continued their military demonstrations. In December, a letter was received 
by Captain Fenwick, at Martaban, from the Ron na Ron, announcing that he was on his 
march towards the Pegu frontier, with a Siamese army, and had moved to Kamboori 
on his wav. It was, accordingly, arranged by the Commissioners, that Captain Wil- 
liamson should be attached to the Siamese, and a letter was addressed to the ministers 
of Siam, in encouragement of the disposition thus manifested. In the mean time, how- 
ever. Captain Burney had been dispatched by the Supreme Government to congratulate 
the King of Siam upon his accession, the former sovereign having expired on the 22d 
July, 1824. His remains were burnt on the 5th May, 1825, agreeably to the Siamese custom, 
which delays this ceremony for about a year from a sovereign's demise. His successor 
was crowned on the 4th of August, and Captain Burney reached Bangkok on the 4.th of 
December. He found the Siamese Court much alive to what was passing in their vicinity, 
but rather sceptical as to tlie extent of the advantages gained by the English over the 
Burmans, and by no means confident of the ultimate termination of the war. Neither 
was it any part of their policy to take an active share in it, or their wish to contribute to the 
re-establishment of Pegu, as an independent kingdom. The Court of Siam would have been 
well pleased to have recovered the Tenasserim provinces, which had been wrested from them 
by the Burman arms, but they hesitated to render the services that might have entitled 
them to some compensation, not only in the uncertainty of the return they might expect, but 
in mistrust of their own army.'composed as that was, in a great degree, of Peguers, and com- 
manded by a General of Pegu extraction. It was very evident, therefore, that they were by 
no means in earnest in any intention to co-operate in the war, and the objects of the Envoy 
were limited to frame a treaty of friendly and commercial intercourse, to adjust some disputes 
of local importance, and procure the release of the individuals carried into captivity, in which 
he fully succeeded. 

The establishment of the independance of Pegu would have been a serious infliction upon 
the Burman state, and was well deserved by its procrastinating the war. The measure might 
have been carried into effect with extreme ficility, as the bulk of the inhabitants of the lower 
provinces were of Pegu, or Talien origin, and were well enough disposed to shake off the 
heavy yoke of their Burman conquerors. At the same time, there were obvious objections to 
the arrangement. The people were very much mixed with the Burman race, and their 
characters indicated neither personal intrepidity, nor national spirit, which could have been 
relied upon as available in undertaking their defence: neither did it appear tliat any individual 
of rank or influence existed, round whom the population would have rallied, as the common 
object of their reverence or attachment. Subsequent events did not invalidate these con- 
clusions, as, in the short-lived insurrection which immediately followed the war, the Taliens 
displayed neither steadiness nor valour, and the person who came forward as their leader, was 
an individual who had actively opposed the British, and who derived his importance from his 

connexion 



THE BURMESE WAR. 35 

connexion with the royal family of Ava, not Pegu, his sister having been one of the wives of 
the present King. The only persons of any importance in Pegu were the head men of the 
villages, who had been all appointed under the Burraan rule, and the Ron na Ron, a General 
in a foreign service, boasted no higher an origin than that of the head man of Martaban, 
which situation had been held by his father, under the Burman Government. The burthen 
of maintaining Pegu in its independance, must, therefore, have fallen entirely upon the British 
power, and in the difficulty of nominating a ruler, it would, probably, have been compelled to 
assume the sovereignty, involving an extension of dominion compatible neither with its 
policy nor advantage. These considerations induced the Commissioners to abstain from 
urging any stipulation to this effect, and to reserve it as an extremity, to which the obsti- 
nate perseverance of the Court of Ava, in a course of hostility, might compel them to 
resort. 

In the interval that elapsed before the close of the armistice, the utmost cordiality pre- 
vailed between the two camps, and the officers of either army associated in the most unre- 
served manner. That the spirit of the Court was also improved, was evinced by its sanction- 
ing, though unavowedly, an intercourse with the English prisoners at the capital. A boat from 
Ava arrived in eight days at Patanagoh, on thfe 6th January, with letteis from Dr. Sandford, 
and Lieutenant Bennet, of the Royal Regiment. These officers left Prome for Rangoon on 
sick certificate, and fell into the enemy's hands a little below Padoun. It was evident, 
that their letters were written under dictation, as both the writers wei'e made to say, that 
the religious principles of the ruling dynasty, and the high sense of honour entertained by 
the Burmese, would never consent to the dismemberment of their empire, or to the violation 
of an oath, which had not been broken for ages. They also wrote, that " the Emperor had 
always been well-disposed towards the British, and neither sanctioned nor approved the pre- 
sent rupture," which, at an)' rate, was an indication of his now entertaining pacific disposi- 
tions. They added, that they were not closely confined, and had been treated, both on their 
way to Ava, and in the capital, with every indulgence that they could reasonably expect. 

In fact, the treatment of the prisoners, who experienced much ill usage, rather perhaps 
through the haughty indifference, than the cruelty of the Court, and especially through the 
barbarity and extortion of the inferior officers, was much amended after the capture of Prome, 
although still frequently and wantonly severe. They had been removed to Amerapura, and 
from thence to a place about ten or twelve miles from Ava, Aong-ben-le, where they were 
kept closely confined, and subsisted wholly upon the charity of the poorer and middling 
classes of Burmans, and upon the earnings of their native servants who were not imprisoned, 
and who behaved with exemplary fidelity : most of the Sipahis taken prisoners died in confine- 
ment, either of hunger or disease, brought on by long abstinence and occasional repletion ; 
and one prisoner, an old Greek, died on the way to Aong-ben-le, of extreme fatigue, and the 
barbarous treatment he experienced. As the British army advanced, the fears of the Burman 
Court secured better usage for the captives, and their services and mediation soon became of 
importance in the negociations that ensued. 

X The 



86 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

The happy prospect of an immediate termination of the war at this period was once more 
disappointed. 

On the 17th of January, the day before the armistice expired, the Atv/enwoon, Maun Yeet, 
and three other Chiefs, were sent to the British camp, to apologise for the non-an-ival of the 
ratification of the treaty; at the same time they offered to pay the first instalment of the crore 
of rupees, or four lacs of ticals, about five lacs of rupees, and to deliver hostages for the safe 
return of the English prisoners from Ava, who it had been stipulated, should be liberated. 
These conditions, the Burman Commissioners proposed to fulfil on their own authority, pro- 
fessing not to have received, in consequence of some accidental delay for which they could not 
account, any answer from Ava, and they solicited, in return, the retreat of the British force to 
Prome, or at least a further suspension of hostilities. In reply, a conference with the principals 
was proposed, which being declined on the plea of indisposition by Kolein Menghee, Mr. Mangles, 
Secretary to the Commissioners, Major Jackson, Lieutenant Smith, Royal Navy, and Mr. As- 
sistant Surgeon Knox, were deputed to Melloon, to confer with that officer. On landing at 
Melloon, they were conducted to the house of Kolein Menghee, in the principal stockade ; but 
a short interval elapsed before the principal Chiefs made their appearance. When the Kyee 
Woongyee, and Kolein Menghee entered the hall, and were informed of the ultimatum of 
the Britisii Commissioners, Kolein Menghee stated, that it would be necessary to refer the 
matter to jNIemia Bo, the King's brother, who was now in the immediate neighbourhood, and 
went to him accordingly to receive his instructions. He returned in about a quarter of an 
hour, and declining to sign a compliance with the terms required, a further appeal to arms 
became unavoidable.* 

On the 18th, the Burman Commissioners proposed a further suspension of hostilities for 
six or seven days, which was at once refused; as it was well known that their excuse of not 
having received any communication from Ava, was untrue, boats passing daily between 
the capital and the camp. They were told, that if they evacuated their position at Melloon 
by sun-rise on the 20th, and withdrew towai'ds Ava, hostilities would not be re-commenced, 
and the British force would halt wherever the ratified treaty should be received. As they de- 
clined compliance with this alternative, they were apprised, that hostilities would com- 
mence after midnight on the 18th. Batteries were accordingly erected with such expedition, 
that by ten the next morning, eight and twenty pieces of ordnance were in position on points 
presenting more than a mile on the eastern bank of the Irawadi, which corresponded with the 
enemy's line of defence on the opposite shore: nor had the Burmans been idle, having, in the 
course of the night, throv/n up additional defences of considerable strength and extent, and 
well adapted to the purposes for which they were constructed. 

At eleven o'clock on the 19th, the cannonade began, and having produced the desired im- 
pression by one, the troops, previously embarked imder cover of the fire, moved off" to the oppo- 

site 

* Document No. 137. (A) 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



87 



site bank. Lieut. -Col. Sale, with his Majesty's 13th and 38th Regiments was ordered to drop 
down the river, and assault the main face of the enemy's position near its south-eastern ano-Ie, 
whilst Brigadier General Cotton, with the greater part of the remaining strength, crossed above 
Melloon to attack its northern front. The boats pushed off together, but the current carried 
Lieutenant Colonel Sale's partyagainst their point of attack, before that under Brigadier General 
Cotton had passed the river. Colonel Sale was wounded whilst in his boat, but the Brigade hav- 
ing landed and formed under Major Frith, rushed on to the assault, and bore everything before 
them with their usual intrepidity. The place was in their possession before Brigadier 
General Cotton's division could attack the entrenchments, and he therefore directed one 
of his Brigades, under Lieutenant Colonel Blair, to cut in upon the enemy's line of retreat, by 
which they suffered considerable loss. The loss of the assailants was inconsiderable, in com- 
parison with the importance of the object achieved, and the resolute manner in which all the 
divisions, both military and naval, exposed themselves to the enemy's fire. No officer was 
killed, and but two were wounded besides Lieutenant-Colonel Sale, Major Frith, of his Ma- 
jesty's SSth, and Lieutenant Dickson, of the Bengal Engineers. In addition to the ordnance 
and military stores captured, a large magazine of grain was taken, and specie to the value of 
ten thousand rupees. The efforts of all concerned in the attack were of the most meritorious 
description, but to none was the success due in a greater degree, than to the Artillery and 
Rocket Corps, under Lieutenant- Colonel Hopkinson and Lieutenant Blake. The precision 
and rapidity of the practice in both branches, spread destruction and panic through the Bur- 
man entrenchments, and paralysing the energies of the defenders, enabled the assailants to 
reap the fruits of their daring v/ith so comparatively trifling a sacrifice of life.* 

The original treaty was found in the lines of Melloon, and from this, and from letters 
ascribed to the Raj Guru taken at the same time, it seemed probable, that the Burman Com- 
missioners had been playing a treacherous part, and had sought only to protract the war by 
their negociations for peace, to wliich they had never intended to obtain the sanction of the 
King. As far, however, as the Burman Commissioners are concerned, subsequent informa- 
tion exonerates them from the imputation of insincerity. A copy of the treaty was sent to 
Ava. The treaty which they signed was not submitted, for, in the formal execution of 
it they rather exceeded their powers, and presumed to anticipate the intentions of their 
Royal master. Their offer to pay a portion of the instalment, and the discovery of a sum of 
money in their possession, were further evidences of their integrity, as were their offer to de- 
liver hostages for the release of the European prisoners at Ava, and their actual liberation of 
Lieutenant Flood, of his Majesty's 12th. There is no reason, therefore, to suspect them 
of any want of candour, nor is it doubtful, that the Court was anxious for peace. The terms 
of the treaty were however unquestionably very unpalatable, and the cession of Aracan, and 
the payment of money, most galling to the feelings of the King and those about him. That 

-he 



* Document No. 157. (B) 



88 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 



he should hesitate to give them his acquiescence was not surprising, and those who advocat- 
ed desperate resistance, taking advantage of this mood, urged him to withhold his final con- 
currence. Whilst he thus fluctuated, a Chief, whose incapacity was only equalled by his 
presumption, volunteered his services to lead another army against the English, and promised 
to retrieve the sinking glory of the empire. As a last hope, his offers were accepted, and it 
was resolved to try once more the fortune of war. The opportunity was not long wanting. 

In the mean time, advices of the capture of Melloon reached the capital, and created 
the utmost consternation. In the uncertainty of the ultimate result of negociations for peace, 
the military operations were suffered to proceed, but the Court determined to renew communi- 
cations of a pacific tendency with the British General. It was, however, no easy matter to 
find negociators in whom the British and Burman authorities could now confide, and the high 
officers of the latter state were very reluctant to be sent upon what they considered a hope- 
less, if not a dangerous errand. In this dilemma, the Court applied to Mr. Price, a member 
of the American mission to Ava, who was liberated from confinement on the occasion, and ob- 
tained his consent to be employed as an envoy to the British camp. In order also to amend 
the chance of success, Mr. Sandford, the Surgeon of the Royals, a prisoner at Ava, was associat- 
ed in the negociation, upon his giving his parole to return, and in order to conciliate the British 
authorities, four prisoners of war, three soldiers and the master of a gun-vessel which put into 
Martaban by mistake, at the beginning of the war, were restored to their liberty, and sent down 
with the deputies. Mr. Price and Mr. Sandford reached head-quarters on the 31st of January, 
and after conferring with the Commissioners, returned to Ava on the following day. They 
were made acquainted, that the terms proposed at Melloon were still open for the acceptance 
of the Court of Ava, and that with respect to the pecuniary indemnification, the army would 
retire to Rangoon upon the payment of twenty-five lacs of rupees, and would evacuate the 
Burman territory upon the discharge of an instalment of similar amount. The advance of 
the army was not retarded by the stipulations, but was continued towards Pagahm, where 
it was understood, the enemy's force was collecting. On the route, a small but brilliant 
affair took place between a reconnoitring party of the Body Guard, under Lieutenant Trant, 
in which a party of between four or five hundred Burmans was charged, and their Chief kil- 
led. The army left Patanagoh on the 25th of January, and reached the Petroleum Wells, at 
Yenan Gheoun, on the 31st, over a most bleak and sterile country. From thence it moved to 
Pakang Ye, where it was halted from the 4th to the 6th of February. Above Yenan Gheoun, 
the country improved at every step, and began from thence to assume the appearance of 
verdure and cultivation.* 

Having marched from Pakang Ye on the 6th of February, the army under General Camp- 
bell reached the village of Yapang on the 8th, and a reconnoissance, on the evening of that 
day, discovered the enemy about five miles in advance, on the road to the ancient city of 

Paffahni. 



♦ Document No. 159. 



THE BURMESE WAR. gg 

Pagalim. On the morning of the 9th, the army proceeded to the encounter, and for the first 
time found the Burmans had abandoned their system of combating behind barriers, and pre- 
pared to dispute the day in the open field, in front of their position at Loganunda Pagoda. 
Their numbers were estimated at sixteen thousand men, under Zay-yah-thoo-yan, the new- 
General, who had received, on his departing to take the command of the army, the title of 
Na-wing Phuring, or Prince of Sun-set. His dispositions for the action, whilst they displayed 
unwonted audacity, exhibited considerable judgment, and he had formed his men in the prickly 
jungle, on either side of the main road, by which he had calculated the British army must 
necessarily advance. The object of this manoeuvre was easily detected, and frustrated by a cor- 
responding change of position, by which the army advanced in two columns against his flanks. 
The right, under the Commander in Chief, was formed of his Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, 
four guns of the Bengal Horse Artillery, and a small detachment of the Body Guard, supported 
by his Majesty's 89th. The left, under General Cotton, consisted of his Majesty's 38th, sup- 
ported by his Majesty's 41st, and two guns of the Madras Artillery, whilst the extreme left 
was further protected by the 43d Madras Native Infantry, under Lieutenant Colonel Parlby.* 
On moving to the attack, the advanced guard of the right column, consisting of thirty- 
eight troopers of the Body Guard, and fifty men of his Majesty's 13th, followed closely by 
General Campbell and his staff, with a couple of guns, and a howitzer, had pushed on consi- 
derably a head of the main body, when they came upon a strong piquet of the enemy, who 
observing their detached position, made a well-concerted movement on both their flanks 
to enclose and cut them off: a party even succeeded in forming in their rear, but were 
presently attacked and dispersed by the rest of the 13th continuing their advance and 
proceeding in open order. After clearing the road of the enemy, the advance proceeded, 
and left the Commander in Chief behind, with his personal escort and the guns, when the 
few men immediately in his front were driven in by a mass of Manipur horse, and forced back 
precipitately upon the guns. Their situation, and that of the whole party, was one of imminent 
peril, from which they were extricated by the gallantry and steadiness of the small division 
of the Body Guard, attached, as his personal escort, to the Commander in Chief. Dashing 
past the retreating skirmishers to right and left, they deployed in their rear, and with 
a cool determined courage, that would have done honour to any cavalry, kept the su- 
perior number of the enemy at bay : falling back gradually till witliin range of the guns, 
they then filed off to the right and left, to allow the latter to open, which effectually 
checked the assailants, and gave time for additional troops to come up, and drive them from 
the field.t 

The attack upon the main divisions of the enemy was eminently successful, and they 
soon broke and fled before the fire of the advancing columns ; part retreated to a well-con- 
structed field work, from which they were immediately dislodged by the bayonet, with great 

slaughter. 

* Document No. 160. f Do. No. 161. 

y 



90 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

slaughter. They then made an attempt to rally within the walls, and about the Pagodas of 
Pagahm, but were followed with unremitting activity, and in the course of five hours, this 
last hope of the kingdom of Ava was utterly annihilated. Their vaunting General made his 
escape into the neighbouring jungle, and shortly afterwards returned to Ava, where he ear- 
nestly solicited another opportunity to redeem his credit. The presumption of the request 
was held less venial than the defeat, and for that, he was ordered from the presence on the 
night of his arrival, to the place of execution, cruelly tortured on the way thither, and finally 
beheaded. One gratifying result of this action was, the liberation ef the population of the 
country from the restraint under which they had been kept by the Burman army, and the 
compulsory separation from their homes. Immediately after the action, they began to come 
into the camp for protection, and several thousand boats, crowded with people, passed Pa- 
gahm downwards, on their way to their native villages and towns. The contest was now evi- 
dently about to close, and it remained to be seen, whether the Burman Court would offer 
timely submission, or whether the British army w'as to add the capital to its other conquests. 
To prepare for either alternative, and refresh his troops after their late- fatigues. Sir A. 
Campbell halted the army for a few days at Pagahm. 

"Whilst these transactions were taking place on the upper line of the Irawadi, the province 
of Pegu had been the scene of some military operations, which we may here pause to notice. 
The force stationed at Pegu, under Colonel Pepper, had been originally intended to act only 
on the defensive, and to cover the province from the Burman detachments that might be 
sent out from the main body or the garrison of Tongo, which, with some other fortified posts 
on the Sitang river, still remained in the possession of the enemy. Encouraged by the absence 
of molestation, and obtaining in the person of Ujina, the former Governor of Martaban, an ac- 
tive and enterprising leader, the Burnians in the end of 1825, became daring and troublesome, 
and by the acts of pillage and devastation which they committed, occasioned some mischief, 
and still more alarm. In order to check their incursions, therefore. Colonel Pepper moved 
from Pegu on the 23d December, and marched to Shoe-gein, on the left bank of the Si- 
tang, which he occupied without resistance. Parties of the enemy shewed themselves occa- 
sionally in the jungle, but attempted no collective opposition. A party of one hundred and 
fifty men was posted at Mikow, and Lieutenant Colonel Conry, with the 3d Light Infantry, 
was detached to reduce Sitang, the Burman post between Tongo and Martaban. 

Lieutenant Colonel Conry reached Sitang on the forenoon of the 7th January, and imme- 
diately made his dispositions for the attack, which, from the strength of the place and the ina- 
dequate number of the attacking force, entirely failed, with the loss of Lieutenant Colonel 
Conry and Lieutenant Adams killed. Lieutenants Harvey and Power wounded : one native 
officer and nine privates were killed, and eighteen rank and file wounded. 

On receiving news of the repulse. Colonel Pepper moved with a re-inforcement of the 12th 
and 54'th Regiments Madras Native Infantry, the flank companies of the 1st European Regiment, 
and a small detachment of Artillery, and at nine in the morning of the 11th of January, reach- 
ed Sitang. The stockade was found of great extent, built entirely of teak timber : its height 

was 



THE BURMESE WAR. 91 

was from twelve to fourteen feet, and it was constructed on an eminence, which com- 
manded every approach : the north face was protected by a creek fordable only at low 
water. After placing the guns in position, the force advanced to the attack in three 
columns, the right commanded by Major Home, 12th Native Infantry, the left by Captain 
Cursham, Ist European Regiment, and the centre by Captain Stedham, 31th Local Infantry. 
A simultaneous advance was ordered ; on which the creek was forded, and the stockade was at- 
tacked and carried in about twenty minutes : the advance was made under a heavy fire from 
the enemy, and the loss was proportionately severe. Captains Cursham and Stedman were 
killed. Major Home, Lieutenant Fullerton and Lieutenant Gower, were wounded, and the 
loss in rank and file was fourteen killed and fifty-three wounded.* 

The number of the enemy was computed at three or four thousand. Three hundred dead 
bodies were found in the stockade, and their loss was estimated at double that number, many 
being thrown into the river, or into wells, or carried off. The whole of the defences were 
destroyed on the morning of the 13th. 

Shortly after the reduction of the stockade of Sitang, Colonel Pepper Was joined by 
strong re-inforcements from Rangoon, consisting of four companies of his Majesty's 45th, 
seven companies of the 1st Madras Native Infantry, besides details of the 3d and 3iih ]\Ia- 
dras Native Infantry, altogether eight hundred strong, by which all apprehensions for the 
security of the country were dissipated, and the population once more resorted with con- 
fidence to their homes and ordinary avocations. The efforts of the enemy were not how- 
e\'er relaxed, and in the month of February, they made a vigorous attack upon the British 
post at Mikow, which maintained the communication between Pegu and Shewgein, and 
covered the country between the former and the Sitang river. The attempt was gallantly 
repulsed by the young officer who commanded the position. Ensign Clark, with a small 
detachment of the 3d Madras Native Infantry. Immediately after the news of the action 
reached Colonel Pepper, a re-inforcement of a hundred rank and file of the 13th Regiment, 
with twenty Pioneers, under Captain Leggett, was sent to Mikdw, as well as a hundred from 
Pegu, by which the post was secured against the repetition of a similar attempt. The estab- 
lishment of peace suspended further operations in Pegu. 

No occasion had offered for the further prosecution of hostilities against the Burraans 
in Aracan or Asam, and those provinces continued in the undisturbed possession of the British 
authorities. Cachar had been likewise unmolested by any foreign force, but it was not till 
about this time that Manipur was finally cleared of the enemy. It has been already mention- 
ed, that Gambhir Sinh and Lieutenant Pemberton, after reaching Manipur in the beginning 
of the year, were obliged to return to Sylhet for want of supplies. Being furnished with ade- 
quate provisions and arms, the Raja, with Captain Grant and Lieutenant Pemberton, again 
set off for Manipur with the Levy. They quitted Banskandi on the 4th December, and 

arrived 

* Documents Nos. 162 and 163. 



92 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

arrived at the town of iM:\nipur on the 18th.* There was no Burman force in the 
vicinity of the city, but a considerable body of them were stockaded at Tun:imoo, in the 
south-east corner of the valley, against which a detachment was sent. Finding, however, 
that the enemy was too strong for the force sent against them, the Commander of the de- 
tachment applied for re-inforcements, on which the Raja and Captain Grant immediately 
marched to his assistance, with the rest of the Levy, across the JMirang hills, into the Burman 
territory, in which route they passed several stockades that had been commenced in the defiles, 
but abandoned on their unexpected advance : they joined the detachment on the 18th of 
January. On reconnoitring the stockade, it was found to be of considerable strength and extent : 
the party were unprovided with artillery, and an attempt to carry it by escalade must have 
been attended with serious loss. It was ascertained, however, that the water of the stockade 
was procured from a Nullah sixty paces distant, and advantage was promptly taken of this 
circumstance to cut off the Burmans from their supply.t 

On the 19th, the Manipur troops effected their advance through a thick jungle, and 
were not discovered till they had obtained command of the spots whence access to the stream 
from the stockade was practicable. The enemy on perceiving them, opened a heavy fire, but 
the men being sheltered by the thicket, suffered little. The Burmese made several spirited 
sorties to drive them from their positions, as well during the rest of that day, as on the two 
days succeeding, but they were received with great spirit in a desperate, and, as it appeared, 
final sortie on the night of the 21st, being repulsed with severe loss, they commenced their 
retreat. They retired in small parties, three or four at a time, and had completely cleared 
the stockade by the night of the 22d, when it was taken possession of by the Raja. Four 
small guns and several jinjals were captured in the stockade, with a quantity of rice, suffici- 
ent for two months' supply of the Levy. Lieutenant Pemberton joined the force on the 
morning of the 20th. 

Immediately after this success, a detachment of three hundred men was sent forward, 
who succeeded in capturing a stockade on the right bank of the Ningti river. More than 
two hundred of the people of Manipur were liberated on this occasion, and many others were 
rescued from captivity, by flying parties of the Levy, the whole of which was advanced to the 
banks of the Ningti, by the 2d of February, whence a ready road lay before them to the 
capital of Ava. The restoration of tranquillity, however, arrested their advance, and saved the 
frontier districts from that retaliation, which a long series of cruelty and oppression exercised 
by the Burmans in Manipur, would, no doubt, have provoked, and would almost have justified.! 

After halting two or three days at Pagahm, General Campbell resumed his march, which 
now seemed likely to conduct him to the capital of Ava. There, one feeling alone prevailed, and 
although various reports were thrown out, at one time, of the intention of the King to defend 
the city to the last extremity, and at another, to protract the war by flying to the mountains, these 

purposes, 

# Documents Nos. 164 and 1G3. + Do. No. 166. % Do. No. 167. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 93 

purposes, if ever conceived, originated in the anxiety of the moment, and were never seri- 
ously entertained. The King and his Ministers felt, that they were in the power of the 
British, and their only anxiety was, that the personal dignity and security of the sovereign 
should not be violated. It was with as much satisfaction as astonishment, therefore, that they 
learned from Mr. Price, on his return from Ava, that the British Commissioners sought to 
impose no severer terms than those which had been stipulated in the treaty of Melloon. To 
these there was now no hesitation to accede, although a lurking suspicion was still entertained, 
that the invaders would not rest satisfied with the conditions they professed to impose. With 
a mixture of fear and trust, Mr. Price was again despatched to the British Camp to signify 
the consent of the Burman Court to the terms of peace, and Mr. Sanford was now set wholly 
at liberty, and allowed to accompany the negociator to rejoin his countrymen. These gentle- 
men returned to Camp on the 13th of February*, but as the Envoy had brought no official rati- 
fication of the treaty, Sir A. Campbell declined suspending his march until it should be re- 
ceived. Mr. Price having returned to Ava to obtain this ratification, the army advanced to 
Yandabo, within four days' march of Ava, when the negociator, accompanied by the Bur- 
man Commissioners, again made his appearance with the ratified treaty, and the amount 
of the first instalment, or twenty-five lacs in gold and silver bullion. By this treaty, the Burman 
Government engaged to abstain from all interference with the affairs of Asam, Cachar and 
Jyntea, to recognise Gambhir Sinh as Raja of Manipur, to receive a British Resident at 
Ava, and depute a Burman Resident to Calcutta, to concur in a commercial treaty, and to 
cede, in perpetuity, the four provinces of Aracan as divided from^Ava by the Anupectumien 
mountains, and the provinces Yeh, Tavai, Mergui, and Tenasserim, to the south of theSanluen 
or Martaban river. The treaty was concluded on the 21th February lS27.t 

On the 5th of March, the troops commenced their return, the greater part proceeding 
by water to Rangoon : one detachment marched by Sembewghewn to Aeng, over the moun- 
tains, and another by the Tongho pass to Ramree, and both reached the places mentioned, 
within a moderate period. At Rangoon, no time was lost in embarking such portion of the 
force as was no longer required. Mi*. Robertson, the Civil Commissioner, returned to Cal- 
cutta early in April, and Sir A. Campbell also visited the Presidency by the same opportunity ; 
but shortly afterwards returned to Rangoon, which continued to be occupied, agreeably to the 
terras of the treaty, by a British force, for some months after the termination of the war. 

It is foreign to the object of the present Sketch to notice the subsequent intercourse with 
the Court of Ava, and it is sufficient to remark, that the terms of the treaty have, up to the 
present period, been fulfilled with as much punctuality as could reasonably be expected. That 
the Government of Ava feels humiliated by the result of the late contest, cannot be question- 
ed, and any great cordiality between the two powers is not to be looked for, until that impression 
shall have yielded to the influence of time, the interchange of friendly communication, 

and 

« Document, No. 172. -j- Do. No. 170. 
Z 



94 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF 

and the realization of those advantages, which improved commercial intfercourse must eventu- 
ally afford. In the mean time, the just appreciation of British valour, and of the power and 
moderation of the Government of India, which the Burmans have derived from the late events, 
will, it is to be hoped, prevent the possibility of any unfriendly collision, or endanger the har- 
mony that is now happily restored. 

It has been already shown that the occurrence of hostilities was unavoidable on the part 
of the Government of India. Their conduct will best be judged from the details already given, 
or may be learned from the explanation afforded by the Supreme Government of the principles 
which influenced their measures.* Whatever disappointments were felt in the outset, were chiefly 
the result of physical difficulties, aggravated on the Rangoon side by the judicious but barbarous 
policy of the Burman Court, and in other quarters by the employment of armies unnecessa- 
rily numerous, and consequent embarrassment in providing adequate equipment. These 
impediments, in some degree inseparable from the prosecution of hostilities amidst local pe- 
culiarities, which could not be fully estimated until they had been actually experienced, were, 
however, no sooner overcome, than a career of rapid and brilliant success ensued; such as was 
to be expected from the resources of British India. To the intrepid exertion of every branch 
of the force, native and European, military and marine.t and to the spirit and skill with which 
they were led, the Government of Bengal paid appropriate acknowledgements in a public Order, 
and also yielded the tribute of its regret to those who had fallen in the course of the war, by 
the sword of the enemy, or the still more destructive influence of the climate. The public 
thanks of the Court of Directors were also given to the Governor General, and Governor of 
Madras, to Sir Archibald Campbell and Sir James Brisbane,! and the Officers and men 

engaged 

* Document No. 175. f Do. No. 171. 

t During the progress of these pages through the press, the Quarterly Review for April 1827, has reached us, in 
which we find it asserted, that the command of the Naval Expedition to Rangoon was entrusted to the Quarter Master 
General. How far this is from being correct, the subjoined Documents, to which we have been permitted to have access, 
will shew. 

Extract from a Letter from the Secretary to Gorernment in the Political Department, to Commodore Grant, e. b. ; 

dated the \1fh March, I83-1. 
I am directed bj' the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch 
of the 25th ultimo, and to convey to you the cordial acknowledgements of the Government, for the prompt and valuable 
aid, which it is your intention to afford his Lordship in Council, in the prosecution of offensive operations against the 
Burman nation. 

In the event of your being able, without injury to the service in which you are now engaged, to proceed to Rangoon 
in the months of May or June, either touching at Madras, for the purpose of accompanying the second division of 
troops from that presidency, or repairing at once to the scene of action, his Lordship in Council would anticipate the 
most essential benefit to the expedition from the presence of his Majesty's ship, and your personal superintendence of 
the measures which it may be found expedient to undertake against Rangoon, aud the other maritime possessions of the 
enemy. 



THE BURMESE WAR. 



95 



engaged in the war,* His Majesty's Government signified their approbation of the conduct of 
the Governor General, in his elevation to superior honours,! and the thanks of both Houses 
of Parliament were voted to the officers and men of the Army and Navy, in His Majesty's or 
the East India Company's Service, for their exertions in the operations against Ava.t 

That the results of the war cannot fail to be widely beneficial, will be evident from a 
consideration of the state of those countries which are now annexed to the British empire. 
Distracted hitherto by incessant feuds, and overrun by hostile armies, or predatory bands, 
regions once animated by a happy and numerous population, had been converted into wide and 
unwholesome thickets, and ceased not only to be the haunts of man, but had become hostile to 
human life. Under their new masters, Asam, Cachar, Aracan, and the Tenasserim provinces, 
will experience a tranquillity and security they have not known for ages, and must once more 
assume that character of plenty and prosperity, which the latter wore when the Europeans first 
visited their coasts, and which tradition, and the remains of roads and towns still found in 
them, indicate were equally the enjoyment of all. 

The contracted territory of the Burman kingdom will be productive of little real diminu- 
tion of its resources, from the circumstance already referred to, of the desolate condition of 
the provinces which it has consented to reHnquish. Its most valuable districts, those along 
the Irawadi, and at the mouths of that river, are still untouched, and if the lesson the late 
war has inculcated, induce the Court of Ava to forego schemes of military conquest, and in 
their room to cultivate the ample means of domestic wealth, which the forests, the fields, and 
the mines of Ava, and an active and intelligent population supply, it will derive from the 
contest more solid benefits, than if it had come out of the struggle with undiminished honor 
or augmented rule. 

The advantage to the British empire of India is dependant upon that which its new ac- 
quisitions will realise, and will be proportioned to their increased prosperity, A variety of 
valuable raw produce is procurable, or may be raised from the new territories, to be replaced 
by the manufactures of India or of Britain. Indigo, Cotton, Salt, Spices, Lac, Dying woods. 

Timber, 

Extract from a Letter from the Secretary to Government in the Political Department, to the Officers Commanding 
His Majesty's Slcops Lame and Sophia; dated 2d April, 1824. 

The Expedition under the command of Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, being about to proceed against 
Rangoon, in the dominions of the King of Ava, after touching at the place of rendezvous, .Port Cornwallis, on the north- 
east of the Great Andaraans ; I have been directed to intimate to you the request of the Right Hon'ble the Governor 
General in Council, that the senior officer of his Majesty's sloops of war, detached by Commodore Grant to accompany 
th6 armament, should assume the naval command of it, subject to the general direction of the Brigadier, commanding the 
forces. 

Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell will apprize you in detail of the objects of the Expedition, In which the 
services of the naval force will be of the most essential use ; and his Lordship in Council relies with confidence on your 
affording that cordial and zealous co-operation, which ever distinguishes his Majesty's navy, when employed with land 
forces in the service of their country. 

* Document, No. 176. f Document, No. 177. J Document, No. 178. 



96 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE BURMESE WAR. 

Timber, Antimony and Tin, are amongst the products of Aracan and the Tenasserim coast, 
which are likely to invite enterprise, and reward industry. Before, however, the capabilities 
of these regions can be turned to full account, the people by whom they are tenanted, must 
be raised both in number and character, so as to become productive labourers in their own 
country, and liberal consumers of the produce of others. That this must be the result of the 
present order of things cannot be doubted, although any attempts to precipitate so desirable a 
consummation, would only lead to disappointment. 

The acquisition of the southern provinces, as well as the war itself, have brought British 
Commerce more immediately in contact with the Burman kingdom, and are likely to enhance 
those advantages which have hitherto been reaped from it. It will, indeed, be no unim- 
portant benefit to the merchant to be relieved from the vexatious arrogance which he hereto- 
fore experienced from the officers of the Burman ports, and which it is not likely they will 
feel disponed or be permitted to reassume. The same will be the case at Siam, the trade with 
which state, under the treaty formed with its Government, and the sentiments of fear and respect 
which the late events, and the proximity of the British power must inspire, will be conducted 
hereafter on principles more consonant with the practice of polished nations. 

To commerce, the provinces of Cachar and Asam hold out less promising prospects ; but 
they are politically of value as forming a well-defined and naturally strong frontier ; and in the 
approximation they afford to Tibet and and China, it is not impossible that trade may be extended 
in those directions. Even from the intercourse with the barbarous mountain tribes on the 
frontiers, some advantages may be obtained, which will gradually augment, as the people are 
brought Vithin the nearer reach of refinement. 

In all these countries, valuable accessions to science are already made, and must gradually 
accumulate. In Geography, alone, the dark mist that overhung so extensive and interesting 
a tract, is rapidly clearing away, and the natural features of river and mountain, which are 
here developed on a magnificent scale, are becoming visible and distinct. Geographical know- 
ledge may seem, indeed, an inadequate compensation for the cost and peril of war ; but its con- 
sequences are of the utmost importance to humanity, as well as to science, as a country that 
has been once rendered accessible to European energy, is no longer excluded from the chance 
of being visited by the blessings of Civilization. 



liotuintnt$»t 

ILLUSTRATIVE 



OF THE 



BURMESE WAR. 



No. 1. — Extract from a Despatch from the Govejmor General in Council, to the Court of chittago 
Directors of the East India Company ; dated ith March, 1812. isi^. 

75. The foregoing detail of our measures, orders, and instructions will sufficiently explain to your honor- 
able court the course of our deUberations, and the system of proceeding, which it is our intention to pursue 
with respect to the late occurrences in the quarter of Chittagong, as far as it is practicable in the present stage 
of these transactions to form our resolutions. Your honorable court will observe, that while guided on the 
one hand, by the unavoidable necessity of resisting menace, insult and aggression, we are on the other, resolved 
to practise every practicable degree of moderation and forbearance in pursuance of our solicitude to maintain 
the long established relations of peace and amity with the state of Ava. It may possibly even appear to your 
honorable court, that we have allowed this disposition to operate in a greater extent than is compatible with the 
rights and the dignity of the relative power of the company's government ; but an additional motive of 
caution and forbearance is suggested by the situation of our envo)', whose personal liberty, and even safety, 
might be endangered by the vindictive resentment of a barbarous and haughty court in the event of actual 
hostility between the two states. It might indeed contribute to the future tranquillity of our eastern territory, 
•which has repeatedly been disturbed by the aggressions of the people of Arracan, and to the permanent relief 
of our government and our subjects from the effects of that arrogance and insolence to which both have so 
frequently been exposed, and which may, in a great degree, be ascribed to anterior forbearance and conces- 
sion on our part, if by example and experience that government were led to form a just estimate of the great- 
ness of our power, and the weakness of its own. We state this observation, however, rather as tending in the 
present instance to alleviate the regret with which we must ever contemplate the necessity of war, than as 
constituting on our part a principle of action. 

No. 2. — Extract from a Despatch from the Governor General in Council, to the Court sf 
Directors of the East India Company ; dated 25th May, 1812. 

70. It has been indispensable to protect the province of Chittagong against the inroads of a barbarous 
race of men, whose incursions, openly and distinctly menaced, would have subjected the country to the ex- 
treme evils of devastation and outiage, and our government to affront and indignity. It was a branch also 

B " of 



2 DOCUMENTS. 

of general duty, never to be omitted, to repel insult and maintain inviolate the honour and credit of the British 
name. For the first of these purposes, the advance of a small body of troops, and the employment of an 
armed vessel or two became necessary ; and the second object has required occasional remonstrance against 
insolence, and a firm but always temperate assertion of national dignit}', both in language and measures : but 
every part of our conduct which could bear the character of controversy or contest with the Burmahs, has 
been limited to those views ; and we trust your honourable court will see with satisfaction, the 
moderate, forbearing, and amicable character of the measures which have been pursued, both on tlie frontier 
of Chittagong and at Rangoon, They have been perseveringly directed, under many provocations fi-om a 
very contemptible adversary, to the ends of present conciliation, and the maintenance of a good understanding 
with the government of Ava. We shall continue to act, as long as circumstances admit, on the same principles ; 
and we entertain a reasonable hope that the late occasion of mistrust and jealousy will pass over witliout having 
induced a rupture. 

71. We cannot however refuse to entertain the sentiments, that it may become absolutely necessary at 
some future time, if not at an early period, to check the arrogance and presumption of that weak and con- 
temptible state. 

No. 3. — Ecctract from a Despatch from the Governor Geiieral in Council at Fort WiUiayn, in 
Bengal, to the Court of Director's of the East India Company ; dated QOth December, I8I7. 

22. In the month of May last a despatch was received from the magistrate of Chittagong, reporting the 
arrival at that station of the son of the Rajah of Ramree, as the bearer of a letter from the Rajah purporting to 
be written under the immediate orders of the King of Ava, and containing a demand for the surrender of the 
Mug nisurgtnts. 

23. 'I'he magistrate very properlj' repUed on his own part, at a conference which took place between the 
young Rajah and himself, that tlie demand for the surrender of the Mug refugees had been repeatedly made by 
tlie governor of Arracan, and a compliance with it declined, on the grounds of its being inconsistent with the 
principles of tiie British govermnent to deliver up a race of people who had sought protection in its territorj', 
and had resided in it upwards of thirty years; but that he had no authority to discuss the question, which must 
be referred to the Governor-General in Council. 

24. Mr. Pechell was desired to address an answer to the Rajah of Ramree, to the effect of his own reply 
to the Rajah's son ; observing a conciliatory and firm tone, and stating his answer to be written under the or- 
ders of the Governor-General in Council. 

25. The Governor-General at the same tune addressed a letter to the Viceroy of Pegu, referring to the 
mission of the Rajah of Ramree's son to Chittagong, and explaining to the Viceroy, for the information of the King 
of Ava, the impracticability of our delivering up the emigrants, and thi inutility of renewing the subject. 

26. The draft of the Governor-General's letter to tlie Viceroy is recorded on the proceedings of the an- 
nexed date. 

21. The magistrate had been directed to use his endeavours to discover the motives and objects of the 

court of Ava in reviving the question of the surrender of the Mugs; and, if possible, to ascertain from the agent 

whether any preparations or arrangements were in progress in Arracan indicative of a design to attempt the 

^seizure of tlie Mugs by violence, or of any other hostile purpose; and his subsequent communications witli the 

Rajah of Ramree's son satisfied his mind that projects of this nature were in contemplation. 

28. The intelligence obtained by the magistrate was of a description which appeared to require secrecy, 
and tlie dcsjiatches wliich contained it were accordingly recorded in the secret department, and wUl be found 011 
the consultation noted in the margin. 

29. liie general tenor of that intelligence, combined with the knowledge possessed by government of -the 
arogant spirit of the court of Ava, and tlie extreme jealousy which it has always entertained of our protection of 
the emigrant Mugs, induced the Governor-General in Council to deem it bji nomeiuib improbable that, on receiv- 
ing intimation of the refusal of the British government to comply with the demand conveyed in the Rajah of Ham- 
ree's letter, an attempt might be made on the district of Chittagong, or the neighbouring British possessions, by 
the Burmese. The Governor-General in Council, therefore, judged it expedientto adopt precautionary measuresfor 
the security of the honourable company's territory against a sudden irruption ; and orders were accordingly is- 
sued lor reinforcing the post of Chittagong without delay. A cruiser and two gun-boats were accordingly or- 
dered to be stationed on Uie coast, so as to provide against a sudden descent by sea. 

30. The magistrate was also furnished with suitable instructions on the occasion, and in consequence, 
however, of subsequent despatches from the magistiate of ChitUigong, intimating his opinion that the probability 
of a hostile attack on our territories by the Burmese government, was considerably diminished, the vice-presi- 
dent 



BURMESE WAR. 3 

dent in council was led to believe that the reports of projected invasion of the eastern provinces arose more from 
the presumption and ambition of interested individuals, than from any real manifestation on the part of tlie high- 
er authorities of Ava, of intentions inimical to the existing tranquillity of the company's territories. 

31. Impressed with these sentiments, the vice-jiresident in council resolved to suspend the departure of 
the naval force which had been prepared lor the protection of the coast of Chittagong, retaining, however at 
disposal the means of having recourse to the projected system of defensive arrangements, if events should sub- 
sequently require the resumption of it ; it was not however considered by the local government to be advisable 
to make any alteration in the miUtary arrangements which had been resolved upon for the better security of 
the eastern provinces. 

32. By a reference to the despatch from the magistrate of Chittagong, recorded as per margin, your 
honourable court will observe that the intelligence contained in it was such as to warrant the conclusion, "that 
the information which had suggested extraordinary measures of defensive arrangement was devoid of any solid 
foundation, and that there was not the le;ist reason to suspect the existence or the future contemplation of any 
liostile designs on the part of tlie Burmese government ; under those circumstances the vice-president in coun- 
cil submitted to the Governor-General, whether it might not be expedient immediately to countermand some of 
those augmentations and dispositions of military force which were founded on a contrary supposition. 

33. In suggesting this course of proceeding, the vice-president in council was guided not merely by a 
solicitude to avoid unnecessary expense, and to obviate inconvenience to the public service, but also by the 
alarm on the part of the Burmese government, v/hicli the measures of defence already in progress appeared, 
from the last despatch of the magistrate of Chittagong, to have excited respecting the designs of the British 
government. 

34.. The Governor- General having signified his entire acquiescence in the suggestion of the vice-president 
in council, that the extraordinary preparations of defence against the Burmese should be abandoned, the ne- 
cessary orders were immediately issued foi carrying it into execution. 

No. 4. — Translation of a Letter from the Governor of Ramree to the Magistrate of Chittagong, 
'without date, delivered by his Son on the 2ith April, ISI7. 

After extolling the King of Ava the letter proceeds : " His Majesty has appointed me Governor of 
Ramree. In the disputes with Kingberring, I beat that chieftain ; he fled, and" the dominions of the Kincr of 
Ava remained unbroken. On hearing this, the King conferred on me a dress of honor, many boats, and 
troops, and appointed me Governor of Cheduba, Chynda, and Arracan, and ordered me to take the command 
of the four provinces whenever any war was being carried on. The king conferred on me the title of My-ne- 
meo-soora. Understand what kind of personage I am. You are the magistrate of Chittagong. The four 
provinces of Arracan, Chynda, Cheduba, and Ramree are under my orders. The Mugs belonging to your 
territory have injured and despoiled my country, and have returned and received protection in j'our territory. 
The King of Ava has ordered me, in his Majesty's name, to demand those Mugs. I therefore send my son, 
Mung-pyng-ge-keo-deng-akhoon, to you. The King's family has been on the throne for three generations. 
To the south of the King's territories are the countries of Byk, Tenasser^', Dawje, Martaban, "Pegue and 
Rangoon. In those countries, Enghshmen and other Europeans are permitted to reside. The greatest friend- 
ship subsists between the British Government and my sovereign, and mercantile intercourse exists between the 
subjects of both countries. Since the conquest of the four provinces of Arracan, the King has been always 
cultivating a good understanding with the English nation, and the magistrate of Chittagong is the Sirposh of 
our friendship. It is proper that the greatest friendship should subsist between you and me. I have seen and 
heard that the Mugs, the slaves of my territory, having despoiled this country, have gone and remained in your 
country. It is not well to detain diose ungrateful people with their ears bored. It is the custom to restoi-e 
them with their women, children, and grand children. It is not advisable to retain then^ To the east of the 
King's territories are five other great countries. It is not the custom among the Kings of tliose countries to 
detain each others' subjects. To the north of the Burmese territories are Munnypore, China and Wyzalee. The 
Kings of those countries are m amity with the King of Ava. If the ungrateful Mugs go into their territories, they 
are restored on being demanded. This is friendship. There are also ninety-nine other countries to the eastward, 
called Siam, &c.; these have been conquered by the arms of the King of Ava. The sovereigns of many countries 
have, through fear of the King, delivered up their territories to him, w hich His Majesty governs like gold and 
silver. The friendship which subsists between the King and the British Government is hke gold and silver. 
It is like the affection of relations to each other. If a c[uarrel takes place between two people, a third comes 
and settles it. It is the custom to settle quarrels in this manner. It is not right to preserve enmity be- 
tween j'ou and me. It is better tu be friends. — Let our fi-iendship cause us as much satisfaction as a person feels 



4 DOCUMENTS. 

in the shade, or by the hght of the moon. It is not proper to be at enmity ; but the Enghsh Government 
does not try to preserve friendship. You seek for a state of affairs hke fire and gunpowder. The Mugs of 
Arracan are slaves of the King of Ava. The Enghsh Government has assisted the Mugs of our four provinces, 
and given them a residence. There will be a quarrel between us and you like fire. You act according to the 
order of your King, and I according to the order of mine. Consider what I have written. I was formerly a 
chiei' in the army. The King witnessing my bravery, made me governor of Ramree. There is no use in being 
of high rank. It is useful to have great abilities. — The King gave me many boats, troops, and the government 
of Kamree ; not that I should sit looking at the ground of Ramree, but he ordered me to demand the Mugs 
from the magistrate of Chittagong. You are, on account of your qualifications, appointed magistrate of Chitta- 
- gong, and not to sit looking at the countr\'. — Formerly the governor of Arracan demanded the Mugs from the 
British Government, which promised to restore them, but at length did not do so. Again, the Mugs having 
escaped from your hands, came and despoiled the four provinces, and went and received protection in your 
countrv. If this time you do not restore them according to my demand, and make delays in doing so, the 
friendship now subsisting between us will be broken. If our countries are once well, they will continue so, 
but if they are once bad, it will not be surprising if they are ten times as bad. You are the chief of Chittagong, 
and I am governor of Ramree. I write to you in order to preserve the fi-iendship of myself and the sirdars of 
Ramree, with you and the British Government. It is proper that we should conduct business as we formerly 
did. Therefore I write to you to restore the Mugs, then our friendship will continue. Understand this. 

No, 5. — Letter from lite Governor General of India to the Viceroy of Pegu. 

Written May 1st, I8I7. 

The friendship subsisting between His Burmese Majesty, your illustrious sovereign, and the British Go- 
vernment of India, and the amicable intercourse which I have always maintained with you personally, induce me 
to adch'ess you on the present occasion, and to request j'our good offices, in conveying to the King, your master, 
a faithful representation of what I am about to state. 

About three weeks ago a letter was received by the magistrate of Chittagong, from the Rajah of Ramree, 
who is at present charged with the Government of the four provinces of Arracan, Cheduba, Chynda, and 
Ramree, purporting to be written under the immediate direction of the King, and requiring the surrender of the 
Mug emigrants settled in the district of Chittagong. The letter was brought to the magistrate by the son of 
the Rajah of Ramree, who has expressed his anxiety for merely an answer, declaring, at the same time, that he 
was not authorized to enter with the magistrate on any discussion of the subject. 

I'lie Magistrate having reported to me the arrival of this letter, and transmitted a copy of it, and the con- 
tents of it having been understood, the magistrate has been directed to state to the Rajah of Ramree, in reply, 
that with every desire to gratify the wishes of His Burmese Majesty, the British Government cannot, without 
a violation of the principles of justice, on which it invariably acts, deliver up a body of people who have 
sought its protection, some of whom have resided within its territory thirty yearsr but that no restraint is 
imposed on the voluntary return of those people to their native country, although no authority would be exer- 
cised for the purpose of effecting their removal from the British territories. The Rajah of Ramree will, of course, 
communicate the magistrate's answer to His Burmese Majesty, but my reliance on your friendship, and your 
desire to promote tiie harmony so h»>}ipily existing between the two states, have suggested the advantage of 
addressing you on the present occasion. 

Exclusive of the reasons already stated in this and our former letters for not expelling these imfortunate 
persons from the B.itish territories, there appears to be less cause than ever for such a measure at the present 
moment, when, owing to the persevering exertions of the British Government, and its officers, the trouUcs which 
formerly existed on the frontier, have been allayed, and the death or captivity of Kingberring and his principal 
associates, and the return of the Mugs, in general, to industrious pursuits, have rendered their renewal a matter 
of great improbability. 

His Majesty may rely on the continued vigilance of the British officers to prevent any disturbance beinggiven 
by those persons to the tranquillity of his frontier, and on any persons who may engage in such criminal en- 
terprises being punished with tlie utmost severity ; but after the full explanations that have been made of the 
principles, views, and resolutions of the British Government, relative to the surrender of the emigrants, I feel 
satisfied, that the enlightened mind of His Burmese Majesty will perceive the inutility of agitating a question, 
the further discussion of which can lead to no result advantageous to either state. 

I request you to receive the assurances of my profound respect for your illustrious sovereign, and of my 
high personal consideration for yourself. &.c. 

No. e. 



BURMESE WAR- s^ 

Xo. 6. — Traxsiaikm of a Letter from the Rajak of Rjmree, to tie Governor General. 

Received Sih June, iS18. 

I, Kaoeo Snn, GofcrBor cf (Tamxwoodv) Ramree, placing my head under the rojal feet, rpsp mhCng ^e 
gaidem BSj^ and bowing to the nainMiiris of the most iilajtriotis sovereign of the tmiverse, kii^ of »reat aod 
Gokei Tirtae, hmi of white ekpfaaBts, catted Siddan, strict observer of' the divine laws, wlm fiitfik ^ {qq 
fmBBCplSf and per^mas ail tbe good works consBanded bv &rmer virtaoas king?, who assists and fRtitects all 
finag; 1k><^^ wfced>» aear or rennt^ and possesses miraculoos and invincible arms, &c. &c. address and" 
. aAna dte Guvtiuor General of Bewgai, tibaC oaz' mighty monarch is distingoished throughout the vast world, 
Sr kis ■BexaoBfifed pieCjr andjastice. He has alnmdred sons, a thoosand grand-sons, and one great grand son, 
vdMBi he i—iiilw ' j in Ins ovn anas, aad. wlio is mexpressibly esteemed and beloved, as a rarity oi* as ^eat 
a na^g^ufeade as die white dkfikaHt is soperior to tatocJbiO' vaurioas sptries of rare eiefiiiants: the acquiadoa 
qf Aiarayal in&nt,1sc a M ii d e redasano fi ii ii i gi iia d i toiheki^hyAea^dcf heanmhHnsel£ The power, 
eood lock, and iaestaiiable iqwital i iat of oaor gre^ so«eicig% is mtnxsaUy known, and he is dulv recognised 
D^all fiire^n km^ TItose who coaae to Mm Sx die porpose of paying due homage and respect, are iavaria- 
hfy taagh l the pnnt^Jes cf jdiffoa, and die systoa of good gorenmient. Our miaster, in hcz, protects all 
firaBgbemgs. 

from Keopagm Laigai Pej^ee^ and the nine cities of Shjwa, sitaated to the eastward, king Wocdv, 
sat thiee of his esteemed d aa gh te r s, as idknttg^ to tbe golden soles of the royal feet of our gracioas sore- 
ii ^i^ a , lad Ih i ihj f-rtiHiihr rt a nypjj fjr i mrfihip hrrarinlhi laii l M g^ h w a , aliiili iiili n mii i li i beenatteod- 
cd wi& BcaksUble advattages. 

M^ena'^aysa. King of Assan, (Weaaiey) presaited His ^lajest^ with his bekrved dai^^ifter, and signi- 
fied safaJBCtioD to tiie anthori^ of our sotere^^n. 

The Mahan|ah of N^ja-shesndatain, in Mamnepooa, praniscd to resign his dirone to his brother 
Saohv^i^dKafta^ a lapse of three years. Thw Mahaf^A nnt fetfillin g his png j^wim i j and otherwise hav* 
mg flKed his hnMher, he pnceeded ta> ^e capital, and rqge a ent e d tfab fareaSi of promise^ and remon- 
stiaicd agawTit die aripistiffrr by plaring his head under the gotdai soles of the royal feet of our sovereign, 
who issaed ordos to die SBperiv authorities of the ne^bouring city, situated to the westward of Naga- 
Jaiu dataiiij to send an anny, under skilful generals, for the express porpose of placing Soorbavrujah oa 
Ae 'Wjmm*^ he haroig Hiidetgone the Royal Ceremonies, and being vested with the title of Maha-shein-rajah. 
In csnodcxaboa of the great distinction and favor thus conferred on him, he likewise presented His Majesty 
■wA his esteoned dai^facer, and also signified himself a subject of the authority of our monarch. 

A»Bt|w»«j« Koanhay, minister of Checka-daya, King of (MegemaHlaysa,) Assam, having disturbed 
Ae peace of the ooimtzy, and acted insubordinatelr, by not recognizing the authority of the Kmg, his bro- 
dbei^ or his son, the two latter proceeded to Uine apoora, and placed their heads under the royal feer, and 
icpresected the circiHnstaace to our sovereign, who was graciously pleased to order that Bamo ileo's'oon, 
Mn^imn Meownoo, and Moing Meowoon, be dispa:ched with forces, elephants, and horses to secure the 
Anaie to the real sovereign. In pursuance of the royal commands, they proceeded to the spot, and, hav- 
Bg ascertained the merits of the claim, settled the dilFerence in a satisfectory and peaceable manner. 

In Kameo, the laws of good government not bemg strictly observed, discontent and mutiny incessandv 
prevaSedL IhiS being also represented to our sovereign, an army was sent to storm the city, which was 
aptnred, bat no properly was safered to be plimdered. Upon investigation, Chandu-ganda-shein proved 
to he Ae real sovcxei^ and entitled by blood to the inheritance. He was accordingly placed on the throne, 
with aB die dignities ctaisistKit with his high rank. 

"Hose who do not minutely and scrupaiously cb-erve the la'ws of good govemmeit, and exercise op- 
pzessioai -and injustice, incur the marked displeasure of our sovereign; who, in sinular cases, invariably sends 
anaiea^ imder generals, to capture their provinces, but noc to pLmder them, and subsequendy restore them to 
tbe Mcn ai c h entitled to its inheritance. 

Out sovodgn is an admirer of justice, and a strict observer of the laws and osages, as they existed in an- 
cient times» aad stron^tjr dtsappraies erery thing unjust and unreasonaole. Ramoo, Chituigong, Moorshe- 
^M?««tj and Dacca, are coontries whidi do not belong to pie English, they are provinces, distant &om the 
Azracanese c^utal, but were originally safcgect to the govercunent of Arracan, and now belong to our so- i 
■s«eign. Neither the English Company nor their nation observe the ancient laws strictly, they ought not" ' 
to have levied reveaaaes, tributes, &c. fixjm these provinces, nor have disposed of such funds at their discretion- 
The Govemor-Goiefal, representing ihe English Company, should surrender these dominions, and pay the 
ooUectioiis reatiKd therefrom to otir sovereign. If this is refused, I shall represent it to His M^esty. Gene- 
ral widi ptwua&d fisces will be dispatched, both bv sea and land, and I shall myself come for the purpose 

C of 



g DOCUMENTS. 

of storming, capturing, and destroying the whole of the English possessions, which I shall afterwards offer to 
my sovereign ; but I send this letter, in the first place, to make the demand from the Governor-General. 

No. 7. — Letter from the Governor General of India to His Exxellency the llceroi/ of 
Pegu, S^x. S;c. S^c; dated 2'2djune, 1818. 

A letter ha\-ino- been addressed to me by the Rajah of Ramree, containing a demand for the -cession of cer- 
tain provinces belonging to the British Government, I deem it incumbent on me, in consideration of the 
friendship subsisting between His Burmese Majesty and the British Government, to transmit to you a copy of 
that extraordinary document. 

If that letter be wTitten bv order of the King of Ava, I must lament that persons utterly incompetent to 
form a just notion of the state "of the British power in India, have ventured to practise on the judgment of so 
dignified a soverein-n. Any hopes those individuals may have held out to His Majesty, that* the British Govern- 
ment would be embarrassed by contests in other quarters,- are altogether vain, and this Government must be 
indifferent to attack, further than as it would regard with concern the waste of lives in an unmeaning quarrel. 

My respect for His JNIajesty, however, induces me rather to adopt the belief, that the Rajah of Ramree has, 
for some unworthy purpose of his o\vn, assumed the tone of insolence and menace exhibited in his letter, with- 
out authority from the King, and that a procedure so calculated to produce dissension between two friendly 
states, will experience His Majesty's just displeasure. 

If I could suppose that letter "to have been dictated by the King of Ava, the British Government would 
be justified in considering war as already declared, and in, consequently, destroying the trade of His Majesty's 
empu-e. Even in this supposition, ho^vever, the British Government would have no disposition to take up 
the matter captiouslv, but, trusting that the wisdom of the King of Ava would enable him to see the folly of 
the counsellors who would plungehim into a calamitous war, and that His Majesty would thence refrain from 
entailing ruin on the commerce of his dominions, the British Government would forbear (unless forced by 
actual hostilities,) from any procedure wliich can interrupt those existmg relations so beneficial to both 
comitries. 

No, S. — Extract from a Despatch from the Governor-General in Council at Fort WiUiamy in Bengal, 
to the Court of Directoi-s of the East India Company ; dated the IQth of September, 1823. 

' JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES. 

90. The most important part of the correspondence under this head relates to the occupation of Assam 
by the Burmese, and the discussions which arose between the local authorities of the two states, in consequence 
of the i^artial violation of our boundary by the troops of tlie latter. To place the subject in a distinct point of 
view before vour honourable court, it will be necessary to advert briefly to the state of parties and the course 
of events in Assam prior to 1822, as indicated by correspondence which has not j-'et been regularly brought to 
your notice. 

91. On the 26th June 1819, Mr. Scott, commissioner in Cooch Behar, reported to the government, that 
the party in Assam acting under the mfluence of the principal hereditary officer of stale, called the Booda or 
Bura Goheyn, and the nommal authority of Rajah Poorunder Singli, had been driven from Gohatee or Gowa- 
hatee, by the opposite faction headed by Chunder Kaunt, a competitor for the Raj, \n iio was supported by the 
Burmese power, and an army composed of the subjects of the Man Raja, with other rude tribes bordering on 
Assam. 

92. In September following, the Ex-rajah Poorunder Singh, addressed a letter to the Governor-General, 
stating that he had been driven from his territories by a hill tribe called Maun, and had taken refuge at Cliilma- 
ree in the district of Rung|>ore ; he solicited the protection and assistance of tlie honourable company, and offer- 
ed to become tributary, and to pay the expence of the detachment that would be necessary to eflect his restora- 
tion to the Musnud of his ancestors ; this ajjplication was repeated in the following month. 

93. About the same period the Bui-a Goheyn, or prime minister of the Assam Raj, came to Calcutta and 
presented several successive memorials, soliciting the interference of the British government for the lestoration 
of himself and Poorunder Singh, the rightful Rajah (or Surgdeo) to authority, and stating that tlie King of Ava 
had been induced to support Clmnder Kaunt, through false representations made to him of his title to the 
Musnud : we sliould remark that tliere is some confusion and obscurity in the petitions presented by the Bura 
Goheyn ; he sometimes represented himself as the adherent and supporter of Poorunder Singh, and at other 
times seemed to state the supreme authority as vesting iu lus own person, owing to the default of legal heirs 
to the Raj. 94. In 



BURMESE WAR, ' 7 

94. In reply to these several applications, we informed, the Ex-rajah and the Bm-a Gohejm, that the Bri- 
tish government does not interfere in the internal affairs of foreign states, nor pronounce on disputetl titles to 
the musnud ; but maintains with the reigning prince the relations of friendship and concord. Under these cir- 
cumstances we declined taking cognizance of the disputes between themselves and Rajali Chunder Kaunt, who 
had obtained the Musnud of Assam ; but assured them, that whilst they should conduct themselves in a quiet 
and peaceable manner, and conform to the orders of government, they would find an asylum within the honora- 
ble company's territories. 

95. In the meantime repeated applications were made to us by Chunder Kaunt, the successful competitor, 
for the seizure of the Ex-rajaii, and the Bura Goheyn and his followers, with their property and effects, wliich 
he claimed as the property of the state : we replied to tiie Rajah's letter by stating, that as it is contrary to the 
principles of the British government to interfere in the affairs of foreign states, we did not pretend to a right of 
pronouncing on the disputed title to the Musnud of Assam, but should be ever disposed to maintain the most 
friendly intercourse with the reigning prince of the country, and under this exposition of our sentiments should 
be happy to cultivate with him the relations of amity, and to pay every attention to his wishes, so long as a com- 
pliance with them was not at variance with our estabhslied usage and policy. We met his request for the sur- 
render of the heads of the defeated party, by informing him that as it is not the practice of this government to 
deny an assylum to political refugees, so long as they conduct themselves in a quiet and peaceable manner, the 
Governor-General felt precluded from complying with his wishes for their apprehension and punishment. 

96. The Governor-General was addressed likewise by one of the ministers of tlie King of Ava on the sub- 
ject of the intervention of that state to support Chunder Kaunt, and to re-establish tranquilhty in Assam ; and 
requesting that certain refugees, w ho continued to disturb the frontier, might be apprehended and delivered over 
to the military officers of His Burmese Majesty, for the purpose of being conducted to Arracan, His Lordship's 
reply was couched in generally amicable and complimentary terms, and professed every disposition to promote 
the friend-hip and harmony so happily subsisting between the two governments. With respect to tiie persons 
expelled from Assam, who liad sought refuge within the British territories, it was stated that a letter had been 
written on the subject to Rajali Chunder Kaunt, and the minister was i-eferi'ed to him for particulars. 

9T. In the despatch recorded on our consultations as per margin, Mr. Scott reported, that the Ex-swerg 
deo, or Rajah Foorunder Singh, was employed in collecting troops in the Bhootan territory, for the purpose of 
invading Assam^ and that it was reporteci his force was to be headed by Mr. Bruce, a native of India, who 
had long resided at Ingigopa. He added, that Chunder Kaunt, the reigning Rajah, was supposed to be very 
desirous of getting rid of his allies, the Burmahs, and was understood to be treating with the Bura Goheyn and 
other refugees of consequence for their return, with a view to a combination of the whole means and strength 
of the country against the Burmese. 

98. On the 30th of April, Mr. Scott made known to us that the Bar Barwah, or Assamese minister, who 
was an adherent of the interests of the Burmese party, had been murdered, as was supposed, with the conniv- 
ance of Rajah Chunder Kaunt ; that the latter had in Consequence retired from Jorahawt to Gowaliati ; and 
that it was generally believed an army from Ava would soon invade the country to avenge the death of the Bar 
Barwah, and to depose the reigning -prince. The above communication was followed almost immediately by 
information that the Burmahs had set up another Rajah in Assam, and that it was supposed Chunder Kaunt 
would shortly be compelled to fly the country. 

99. Applications having been received by us from the Bura Gohayn and tlie Ex-rajah Foorunder Singh 
for the restoration of certam arms left by them in deposit at Chilmaree in 1819, and also for permission to 
purchase arms at the arsenal at Fort William, we declined compliance with the latter request ; and to enable 
us to decide on the former, we called upon the joint magistrate at Rungpore for more particular uiformation 
regarding the existing state of afiiiirs in Assam. In replying to the above call, Mr. Scott took occasion to 
remark that with reference to the arrogant cliaracter of the Burman government, and the spirit of conquest by 
which it is actuated, it seemed to him probable that, in tiie event of its authority being established in Assam, it 
would become necessary to station a considerable force on that unhealthy frontier; and he submitted, therefore, 
whether the interests of the British Government would not be best consulted by permitting the Assam refugees 
to obtam the necessary means for the expulsion of the invaders. He added, that the cruelties practised by the 
Burmese, and the devastation of property that had taken place since they first entered Assam, had rendered all 
classes of people desirous of being relieved from them ; and that all that seemed necessary to enable either 
Foorunder Singh or the Bura Gohayn to establish their authority, was a supply of fire-arms. Though there 
might be objections to furnishing them with muskets from the arsenal of Fort William, there could be none, he 
conceived, to permitting them to transport such arms as they might be able to obtain by private purchase into 
the hootan territories, with the consent of the local authorities. We stated, in reply, that we were aware of no 
objection to the several parties struggling lor ascendancy in Assam procuring muskets and stores by private 

means. 



8 DOCUMENTS. 

means, in order to carry them across tbe frontier and arm their adherents. For otlier less important points 
comprised in tlie above correspondence, we must beg leave to refer yom- honoui'able coiu-t to the rqp ord of our 
proceedings as per margin. 

1 00. Towards the end of May, the Ex-rajah Poorunder Singh, having entered Assam from the Bhootan 
territory, or tlie nortliern part of Bijnee, was attacked by a party detached by Chunder Kaunt, and his force 
entirely defeated and dispersed. His commander also, Mr. Bruce, was made prisoner, and sent to Gowahati. 

101. On the 30th of September, the joint magistrate of Rungpore reported, that Clmnder Kaunt had 
been expelled from Assam by the Burmese party, and had fled to the Chokey opposite to Gov/alpareh. The 
above communication was succeeded by reports of various outrages conunitted on the British frontier villages by 
parties of the Maun or Burmese ti'oops, and by suggestions from the joint magistrate that a small force should 
be detached from Titalaya to protect our territory from further insult. 

102. With reference to tlie measures which Mr. Scott stated himself to have adopted for obtaining repara- 
tion on account of die above aggressions, we, in reply, informed him, that we entirely approved his having called 
on the commander of the Burmese troops, and the Assam minister who accompanied them, to deliver up the 
peipetrators of the outrages alluded to, whose acts appeared to have been disavowed by their chiefs. In the 
event of the requisition not being complied with, the Governor General in Council authorized him to accept the 
offer which there was reason to believe the Burmese commander might make to punish the offenders himself. 
We expressed ourselves satisfied of the necessity for strengthening the military force in the north-east quarter 
of Rungpore, and apprised Mr. Scott that the officer commanding at Titalaya would be directed to detach a 
party of sufficient sti-ength to repel by force any further violation of our boundary, but not to follow the aggres- 
sors into the Assamese territory. We instructed the joint magistrate likewise to warn the principal authori- 
ties in Assam of the necessity of restraining their followers from the commission of any similar outrages in future. 

103. In the meantime a letter had been received by the jomt magistrate from the commander of the Burmese 
troops, stating that his soldiers had by mistake plundered the villages of Habbraghat within the British bounda- 
ry, thinking that they belonged to Assam ; that he had no intention of molesting the inhabitants of Bengal, and 
that he would afford satisfaction for whatever had occm'red, on the receipt of orders to tliat effect from the Swerg- 
deo or Kajah at Gowahati. 

10-1. In a letter, recorded on our consultations of the annexed date, the joint magi^:trate of Rungpore 
reported that he had signified his compliance with a request preferred by Rajah Chunder Kaunt, through Mr. 
Bruce, for permission to transp rt gunpowder and military stores into Assam, and suggested that orders shoidd 
be issued to the proper authority at the presidency for the grant of passes. 

105. We informed Mr. Scott, in re;)ly, that we had directed the sanction of government to be conveyed to 
jVIr. Bruce for the transport of three hundred muskets and ninety maunds of gunpowder, intended as a supply 
to Rajah Chunder Kaunt. 

106. We pointetl out to him, that the government licence only protected the arras as far as Rungpore, 
beyond which place they were not to be carried without his permission. This condition the Governor General 
in Council thought it necessary to introduce under existing circumstances ; and Mr. Scott was directed to use 
his discretion m allowing supplies of arms to be furnished under passes from tlie officers of government to any 
of the parties who contested the sovereignty of Assam. 

107. The necessary orders, we informed him, would be issued through the Territorial Department to give 
effect to any pass that he might himself hereafter grant; and in case of apphcation being made at the presi- 
denc}', the sanction of government would be given, as in the present instance, subject to the cimdition of his 
deeming the transport across the frontier unobjectionable at the time and in the manner proposed. It is per- 
haps unfortunate, we added, that arms should, under the existing regulations, require a government pass for 
their protection during transport through the countrv, as such a document is open to be misconstrued into a 
support or countenance of the particular party to whom the arms may be supplied ; whereas while government 
itself is a neutral party, and no way involvx'd in the contests and disturbances which make a supply of arms de- 
sirable to the inhabitants of a country, there is no reason, as far as it is concerned, for any dillerenee between 
these and other articles of traffic, which any party having the means may purchase without obstruction. 

108. At the end of 1821, the cause of Chunder Kaunt became again temporarily triumphant: he defeated 
the Burmese in several .skirmishes, and advanced into the interior nearly ar far as Gowahati. These successes, 
and the contmued attempts of Poorunder Singh and the Bura Goheni from the side of Bootan and Bijnee, to 
recover their lost domuiion, drew forth a letter from the Burmese general Mengee Maha Sihva (who had arrived 
some months before to take the command of the troops in Assam) to the address of the Governor Geneial, which 
your honourable court will find recorded as No. 23 of cur consultations referred to in the margin. The docu- 
ment may be consulted as a curious specimen of the Burmese style of official correspondence, and of the arrogance 
and loliy pretensions of tlie court of Ava. Its object was ai^parently to request that assistance might not be 

alibrded 



BURMESE WAR. 



9 



afforded to Rajah Chunder Kaunt (or Shundraganda) by any persons residing within the British dominions ; and 
to sugf!;est the expediency of iiis being surrendered, witli all other refugees, who might seek refuge or had already 
taken shelter there. A letter was also addressed to Mr. Scott on the same occasion, to which he very properly re- 
turned for answer, that it is not the custom of the British Government to deliver up persons who may take refuo-e 
in its territories on account of political disturbances. 

109. We do not think it necessary to enter here into any particular account of the Bura Goheyn's miscon- 
duct, who, whilst hanging on the frontier, had contrived to intercept and for a time to detain the above letters 
from the Burmese party. Tiie relation of that circumstance, and of the orders which we issued in consequence 
to detain him for some time in confinement, will be found in the papers already cited. 

110. A letter having been addressed to the Governor-General by the pretender to the sovereignty of Assam, 
last set up by the Bumiese, named Phunzader, we referred him to the joint magistrate at Rungpore for a know- 
ledge of our sentiments, and directed Mr. Scott to keep us apprised of the countenance which the new claim- 
ant of the Musnud might receive from the people of the country. 

111. Mr. Scott informed us in reply, that Phunzadur had no better title to be considered ruler of Assam, 
than his adversary Chunder Kaunt, and that the interests of the latter for the moment predominated, as he was 
in possession of nearly all the country between Gowahati and the Company's frontier. Such being the case, 
Mr. Scott suggested the expediency of the refugees being )irohibited from returning to Assam with any body of 
armed followers, whether natives of the country or others, except under the sanction of the latter. We con- 
curred in the propriety oi' the measure, and desired him to instruct the officer on the frontier to carry it into 
effect accordingly, but not to molest individuals proceeding in the direction of Assam, whether armed or 
otherwise. 

112. We instructed the joint magistrate likewise to call on rajah Chunder Kaunt to indemnify the inhabi- 
tants of the British pergunah Hubragat for the plunder of their vUlages and property between 1819 and 1821, 
by the Burmese troops attached to his party ; and authorized him ui the meantime, to disburse on that account 
from his own treasury a sum not exceedmg sicca rupees 5,800. 

113. In a despatch recorded on our consultations of the annexed date, the joint magistrate of Rungpore 
brought to our notice the distressed situation of many of the Assam emigrants, who to the number of several 
thousands took refuge in the British territory in 1819, and had been deterred from returning to their own coun- 
try by which the continuance of disturbances there, and the dread excited by the excesses committed by the 
Burmese. He suggested that permission should be granted him to farm the small estate of Singeemaree, which 
lies rather remote from the frontier, and to settle the emigrants upon it, under the protection of government. We 
approved the scheme, and authorized him to obtain a lease of the estate, at a rent of about rupees 523 per annum. 

114. The Burmese party in Assam received a considerable reinforcement in the month of April or Maj', 
commanded by an officer of high rank from the court of Ummerapoora, named Mengee Maha Bandoola. 
Chunder Kaunt soon gave way before the new force, and in Jane was reported to have sustained a decisive defeat, 
and to have disappeared altogether from the field. This event was followed by a representation of rather a 
threatening character on the part of the Burmese officers, to Lieutenant Davidson, the officer commanding the 
small post of Goalpareh, stating, thaf their army consisted of 18,000 fighting men, commanded by forty Rajahs; 
that they had every wish to remain in friendship with the Company, and to respect cautiously the British terri- 
tories ; but that should protection be given to Rajah Chunder Kaunt, they had received positive orders to follow 
him wherever he might go, and to take him by force out of the Company's dominions A letter was, at the same 
time, written by Mengee Maha Silwa to the chief British local authorities, setting forth that Chunder Kaunt 
had rebelled against the sovereign of Ava ; that it behoved them not to permit him to enter their territories, and 
that if he did so, it was the wt's/i of the Burmese authorities to foUow and apprehend him. The dispatches 
detailing the above particulars, and describing the insecure and disturbed state of the British frontier, in conse- 
quence of the anarchy and civil war which raged in Assam, and the augmentation of the Burmese force in that 
quarter, will be found on our proceedings of the annexed date. 

115. On a consideration of the above circumstances, we signified to the joint magistrate, that should 
Chunder Kaunt or any of his party appear within our territories after their late defeat, they must be disarmed and 
sent to a distance from the frontier. We stated that we did not consider it probable that the Burmese would 
attempt to follow up the Ex-rajah into the British dominions ; but that should the attempt be made, it must 
instantly be repelled by force. Instructions were accordingly issued to the officer commanding at Dacca to detach 
such reinforcement as Mr. Scott might require to the extent of his means. Rajah Pooneadur, or Phtmzadar, 
being now the nominal ruler of Assam, we directed the joint magistrate to acquaint him with our demand upon 
his government, for restitution of the property plimdered at Hubraghat by his alUes the Burmese, and to renew 
the hitherto unsuccessful appHcation for the punishment of the mdividuals by whom certain murders and outrages 
had been committed at the time of tlie plunder of the villages. 

D 116. In 



. iQ DOCUMENTS, 

Asam. 116. In Jiilj', Mr, Scott reported that a Vakeel, said to be a person of rank, had been deputed by the 

1822. Burmese authoriiy in Assam to the presidency, with a letter addressed to the Governor-General. He recom- 

ii^ended stron<;ly that he should be allowed to proceed on, to which we signified our assent. This person stated 
to Mr. Scott tliat nearly two months before, the Wuzeer Mengee Maha Bandoola was sent with an army of 
2O5OOO men, for the purjiose of supporting Mengee Maha Helorah (or Silwa), the commander previously em- 
ployed in Assam, and who had been contending unsuccessfully against Chunder Kaunt for more than a year, 
and that his orders were to seize the refugees wherever they were to be found. The above accounts of the Bur- 
mese force we believe to have been greatly exaggerated. 

117. The Burmese vaket-l Yazoung Zabo Noratha reached the presidency at the end of the same month, 
and was received with civility and attention. He delivered letters from the two chiefs, requesting the surren- 
der of Chunder Kaunt and other Assamese refugees, and complainuig of the conduct of the British authorities 
on the frontier in shelterinrf them ; but containing nothing offensive or objectionable, either in style or matter. 
They will be found rtcoided as per margin, with a note by the acting Persian secretary on the subject of the 
Vakeel's reception and behaviour. 

No. 9. — Letter from the Officer Commanding at Gowalpara to the Magistrate of Rungpore^ 

June '^Otli, 18«2. 

I beg leave to state for j'our information, that the Burmese Sirdars sent their Hurkarrahs to me yesterday 
evening, with a letter, which I have the honor to send with this letter, it is written in a language and character 
not understood here, and 1 suppose it is in Burmese. 

With the Hurkarrali, came a Native of Assam, who understood a little of the Burmese language, for 
the purpose of interpreting the messages sent to me by their chief, the substance is as follows: 

That there at present is friendship between the Con]j)any and the King of Burmah — that when the Bur- 
mese army last came to this country, they by mistake, plundered some of the Company's villages, that at 
present, they will be more careful, and have received orders to that effect. That they wish t<> remain in 
friendship with the Company, but that, if we give protection to the llajah of Ass;im, Chunderkaunt, they 
liave received positive orders to follow him, wherever he may go, and take him by force of arms (if the 
Company decline to give him up to them) out of the Company's territory, that their army consists of 18,000 
fighting men, and is commanded by forty Rajahs. 

They also informed me, that the letters sent from your Thannah of Gonalparrah were received, but 
that they could not read them, and had, in consequence, sent for a person who understood the Bengal language 
up to Gowahattv, and that upon his arrival at their post, they would send an answer. They particularly 
requested, that a respectable native should be sent, on our part, to explain the wishes of our Government, and 
prevent misunderstanding. 

I have sent the Hurkarrahs back this morning, under a guard of one Naick and four Sepoys, with orders 
to see them safe to their first post, which is at Hider Cliowky, and then to return without having intercourse 
with the Burmese. 

No. 10. — Letter from the Magistrate of Rttngpore to the Secretary to Government, 

iind September, 1S22. 

I have the honor to forward for the information of His Excellency the Most Noble the Governor General 
in Council, a copy of a letter received from Lieutenant Davidson, respecting a certain island near Gowalpara, 
upon which, as it was considered as appertaining to the British territ(>ry, a flag had been erected at the time of 
the arrival of tlie Burmese at the Chowky, in order to distinguish it from the Assam dominions, and of which 
the Burmese now threaten to take forcible possession, upon the ground of its belonging to them. 

2. I understand, by a private letter from Gowalpaia, that the Burmese have actually proceeded to throw 
down the bamboo which, under the above circumstances, liad been erected, and to take possession of the island, 
but I have not learnt wliat steps Lieutenant Davidson may have taken in consequence. 

3. The object of dispute in this case is a mere sand-bank, and of very little present value, but as I have 
reason to beheve that it will, on enquiry, be found to appertain to the British Government, and it nmst at ail 
events be considered, under the circumstances above stated, as a part of that territory, until a fair enquiry into 
the case may shew that it properly belongs to Assam, I conceive that it would be highly impolitic to submit to 
the summary mode of settlement which, it my private information be correct, would appear to liave been adopted 
by the Burmese, aiid that it will be advisable on the arrival of llic gun-bouts at Gowalpara to re-establish the 

land 



BURMESE WAR. H 

land mark that has been thrown down, and to acquaint the Burmese, that any attempt to take possession of the Asam. 
island would be resisted, but that an enquiry can be made into the nature of their claims by persons mutually 1822. 

appointed for the purpose. 

4. The occurrence of this dispute so immediately after the acquisition of the country by the Burmese, 
and the haughty demeanour which they have assumed, will serve to shew what is to be expected in future from 
such neighbours, and seems to point out the expediency of entering into some regular agreement for the settle- 
ment of all existing boundary disputes, as well as for the disposal of all churs or islands that may hereafter be 
thrown up in that part of the Burhampootur where it forms the boundary between the two states ; questions of 
this kind have frequently occurred in past times, but under the late peaceable government, they generally ad- 
mitted of adjustment, when of minor importance, without even the necessity of referring the matter for the 
orders of the Governor General in Council. 

No. 11. — Letter from the Officer Commanding at Go'walpara to the Magistrate of Rungpore, 

25 th August, 1822. 

I beg leave to state, that I have received a visit from a Burmese officer who came from Menghee Maha ,. 

Bundulah, some time since to escort the Burroh Goseah up to Gowahatty. 

The Burmese officer state? that he was sent in consequence of a humble supplication on the part of the 
Burroh Goseah to be allowed to return to Assam, that if he does not think proper to go, that it is not a matter 
of importance to them. 

From a long conference with them on the subject I am of opinion, that they only want the Assam chiefs to 
make prisoners of them, and that they have no serious intention to give the government of the Assam country 
to any Assam chief 

1 have made enquiries about the reinforcement of 500 men I heard had lately arrived at the Assam 
Chowky, they admit the fact, and state that 500 more are expected, and ti-om the conversation I have had with 
the chiefs to-day, it appears their intention to dispute the boundary in some places, particularly a small island 
beyond the two large islands, close to my post, rather above it, and directly between this and Ruttun Sing's 
Chowky, and which is stated by the Jemadar's servants as being in the Company's territory; they have, however, 
requested that I will send a man who knows the boundary, over to them to settle this business, but from the 
warmth with which the argument was carried on their part, I have some doubts whether they will allow the 
decision of the person whomay be sent to befinal ; I will comply with their request, and report the issue of this 
business to you without delay. 

I have stated to the 13in mah chiefs that if, in consequence of their having a large force at the Chowkj', any 
irregularities are committed in the Company's territiny by their troops, it will lead to the most serious conse- 
quences, as no excuse can now be taken for any act of violence behig committed either upon the Company's 
subjects or territory. 

No. 12. — Extract from a Despatch from the Governor-General in Council at Fort William, in 
Bengal, to the Court of Directors of the East India Company ; dated lOth September, ISS*. / 

27. On our consultations of the annexed date, your honourable court will find recorded a despatch from 
the commissioner in Rungpore, reporting on the actual sti'ength of the Burmese force in Assam, which was then 
reduced very low ; and they were supposed to be placed in a situation of some difficult}' from a rising of the Mo- 
liammeries and other native tribes, who, unable any longer to endure their tyranny, had united together, and 
successfiiUy attacked their oppressors on several occasions. 

;^8. The commissioner considered it proper, however, to state for our information, that such is the nature 
of the country, and the facility of brinp^ing down the largest army by means of the river with the utmost 
celeritj', that should the Burmese at any time determine upon invading the British territory by way of the 
Barhampooter, previous intelligence of their designs, supposing them to act with common prudence, could not 
be obtained in his quarter in sufficient time to be of any avail, for, on the supposition of an army being sent 
into Assam for the above purpose, they might reach Dacca in fifteen days from the time of their arrival on the 
banks of the upper part of the river, and in five from that of their appearance on our frontier at Gowalpara. 

29. No previous extraordinary coUeciion of boats, Mr. Scott stated, would be required, nor any extensive 
preparations near our frontier that might excite suspicion, as the Burmese soldiers carry nothing with them 
but their anns, subsisting upon what they can find in the country they pass through, and proceeding, after they 
reach the streams flowing into the Barhampooter, upon rafts made of bamboos, until they may be able to seize a 

sufficient 



12 DOCUMENTS. 

sufficient number of boats for their accommodation ; which is very easily effected in a country where, for four 
months in the year, the communication from house to liouse is by water, and where a canoe is as necessary a 
part of the husbandman's establishment as a plough or a pair of oxen. 

30. Mr. Scott further took the opportunity of bringing to the notice of government, that no redress had 
yet been afforded for the plunder of the villages in the pergunnah of Hubraghat, reported in his former letters. 
We had again addressed Menjee Maha Thelooa on the subject, but had no expectation of his reimbursing the 
Ryots for tlie loss sustained, imless government should be prepared to compel him thereto, either by a show of 
taking possession of the chokev, or by laying an embargo on the trade ; which latter measure might be adopted 
after giving due notice to our merchants, without any permanent loss to them, and might indeed be rendered 
highly advantageous to their future interests, by binding the Burmese authorities, amongst other conditions for 
the re-establishment of the trade, to reduce the duties on imports to the rates fixed by tlie treaty of 1793, or at 
least to what was usually paid under the late government, double and treble the amount having lately been 
levied, to the great detriment in particular of those concerned in the commerce in salt. 

33. We stated, that we had not before been apprised of the sei'ious depredations committed by the Bur- 
mese troops within the British fiontier at Doopgoory, and elsewhere, when property was destroyed to the value 
of 21,998 rupees, and called for a more detailed and circumstantial report on the subject. 

No. 13. — Extract from a Despatch from the Governor -General in Council at Fort JFilliam, in 
Bengal, to the Court of Directors of the East India Company ; dated 9th January, 18:24i. 

8. From the year ISIT downwards, constant appUcations had been received from the ancient and legiti- 
mate Rajah of the country, Govind Chimder Narayn, praying for the aid and intervention of the British Go- 
vernment to settle his affairs, and to protect him against the subjugation with which he was menaced from the 
side of Munnipore. In 1820, the above chief was entu-ely dispossessed by three brothers, adventurers from 
Munnipore, named Chorjeet, INIarjeet, and Gumbheer Singh, who had themselves been expelled from their 
hereditary possessions by tlie Burmese, and had originally obtained a footing in Cachar, by engaging in the 
Rajah's service. Shortly after the expulsion of the legitimate ruler, a struggle for superiority ensued between 
the brothers, which involved the country in much suffering, tUstuibed the peace of our own frontier, and occa- 
sioned renewed appeals for the interference of the British power. 

9. The receipt of an application from Chorjeet Singh, in May last, offering to cede the sovereignty of 
Cachar to the British Government, and stating his apprehension, that designs were entertained against the 
country by the Burmese, induced us to take the subject of his proposition into our serious consideration in the 
Judical Department, and to review such of the recorded correspondence as was calculated to thiow light on 
the past and present condition of that petty state. The resolution detailing our views will be fomid recorded 
in an extract from the Judicial Department, entered as No. 19 of our consultations in this department, dated 
14th November last. 

10. We observed, that it does not appear that Cacliar has ever been subject or tributary to the govern- 
ment of Ava. It is true, that Marjeet, when in possession of the Raj of Munnipore, which he attained by the 
aid of the Burmese, and held as their feudatory, did invade, and for a time possess himself of Cachar, but he 
was speedily re|)ulsed, and no trace appears in the correspondence of the Burmese having at that time, or 
before, or since, laid claim to that country, or to any right of interference in its affairs. 

11. Our measures with regard to Cachar might, therefore, we felt satisfied, be taken without any fear of 
infringing the rights or claims of the Burmese, and the only question for consideration, as far as th.^y are con- 
cerned, was one of policy; viz. whether by extending our authority or influence over Cacliar, a country bor- 
dering, and having relations with their dependency, Munnipore, we should run the risk of embroiling ourselves 
■with them. If the measure, we stated, be expedient on other grounds, we ought not to deprive ourselves of 
its advantages irom an apprehension of giving mnbrage where it cannot, with any colour of justice, be t;d(en, 
and where, therefore, no opposition is hkely to be offered, however unacceptable the extension of our influence, 
in that direction, might prove 

12. There appeared to us several inducements for the British Government to establish its direct authorit}', 
or at least a preponderating influence in the territory of Cachar. These considerations were not deemed of 
sufficient strength, on former occasions, to lead government to avail itself of the opportunities that presented 
themselves of efiecting this object, nor diil they indeed possess the weight that subsequent occurrences, and 
further experience have given tliem. It is understood, that one of the easiest passes from Ava, into the Com- 
pany's possessions, is through Munnipore and Cachar, and that the occupation of the latter is essential to the 
defence of that pass, which it also efl'cctualiy secures. The recent progress of the Burmese arms, and their per- 
manent occupation of Assam, the force stationed in which country it would also contribute to keep in check, 

gives 



BURMESE WAR. 13 

gives the possession of Cachar, we observed, an importance, under present circumstances, which did not before 
belong to it. A perusal of the correspondence shows, moreover, that Cachar has long been a prev to internal 
dbsensions; that its weakness has more than once been tlie means of disturbuig or menacing the tranquillity 
of our neighbouring district of Sjlhet, and that the contentions of the parties struggluig for superiority, and 
their appeals to our a? sistance and support, have been a frequent source of trouble and embarrassment j both 
to the local authorities and to government. Thei-e seemed no other probable mode of appeasing these dis- 
sensions than tiie emploA^ment of our influence for the purpose, and that can only be rendered eifectual, we 
observed, by taking the country openly and decidedly under our protection. Cachar is described to be for the 
most part, an open country of no great extent, (forty or tift}' miles square,) and partly hilly, and similar hi 
chmate to the neighbouring parts of Sylhet. The occupation of it would, probably, be attended with little 
additional charge, even if it were formally annexed to our dommions, and with stiU less if it were to continue to 
be governed by its own chiefs, under our general protection. 

13. Our information of the actual condition of the government was not, we added, very accurate in de- 
tail. The open country was then understood to be still held by the three Munnipooreean brothers, Marjeet, 
Chourjeet, and Gumbeer Singh, but we were not aware, what extent of country or degree of power was pos- 
sessed by each. Tolaram, a Cachar chief, was understood to possess the hOly portion of the country. Th«! 
power of the hereditary chief, Govind Chunder, seemed to be extuict. 

14. The offer of the country to the British government was made, we observed, by Chourjeet, b . ii; 
right to transfer it was questionable. It appeared to us probable, however, that all the chiefs wo''.^ '.,s 
brought without difficultj' to place themselves under the protection of the British government, and th'; ^ach 
a settlement of the country and the government might be effected, as would rescue the people fi'om the state 
of anarchy and discord to which they have so long been exposed. Until more distinct information should 
have been obtained, however, we found it impossible to form any decided opinion, as to the measUiCS which 
ought to be pursued for that purpose. 

15. It may be gathered, we remarked, fi-om Chourjeet's letter, that the Burmese authorities in I\Iunnipor» 
were turning their attention to Cachar. Whatever measures, therefore, were adopted, should be taken earl}', 
so as to anticipate their design. 

16. The Governor General in Council accordingly resolved, on the 19tli June last, that the magistrate 
of Sylhet should be instructed to avail himself of Chourjeet's letter to open a communication with him, and 
eventually with the other chiefs of Cachar, in order to ascertain their sentiments, and to enable him to fur- 
nish a full report of their relative power and influence, and the actual state of the country and its inhabitants. 

17. Oa the receipt from the magistrate of the information required, it was proposed to determine, how 
far it would be expedient to extend to Cachar the protection of the British government, either on the usual 
conditions of political dependence, or by an arrangement for the transfer and annexation of the country, to 
the dominion of the Company, suitable provision being made for the chiefs and their families. 

Ko. 11. — Letter from the Sub'Assistant Commissary General to the Magistrate of Chlttagong ; 

dated the 1st May, 18-21. 

I consider it my duty to report to you, that the Burmahs have made a most unprovoked and 
unwarrantable attack upon the people employed at tlie Keddah in the Ramoo Hills, having made prisoners 
and forcibly carried away the Darogah, the Jemidar and twenty-three of their men, under the pretext, that they 
had trespassed upon the Burmah boundary. 

This circumstance occurred last month, but I forbore to bring it to your notice, until I had previously 
ascertained whether the allegation of the Burmahs, with regard to our people having entered their territory, 
was correct or not. 

From tlie best information I have bean able to collect, I find that the allegation of the Burmahs is not 
correct, as from the situation of the spot where our people were seized, there can be no doubt of its being 
within the Honorable Company's boundary, it being to the north of the Mooressee Nullah, where we repeat- 
edly caught elephants heretofore, without the least molestation from the Burmahs, who now, for the first 
time, have set up a claim to the jungles. Our people could easily have resisted this unprovoked attack from 
the number of fire arms they had, but having been strictly enjoined to engage in no quarrel with the Burmahs, 
they submitted without resistance. Tliat this wanton attack upon our people by the Burmah Tannadar on 
the Naaf, has been made solely with the view of extorting money from us, is self-evident from his offer of 
releasing his prisoners, provided three thousand rupees and three of the seven elephants captured were 
given to him ; but to such a proposal I could not listen. I have therefore to beg, that you will be pleased to 
adopt such measures as you may think best to obtain the release of the men thus improperly seized, while 
upon public duty, and who, I am told, have been very cruelly treated since they were taken. 

E Letter 



14 DOCUMENTS. 

No. 15. — Letter from the Sub-Assistant Commissary at CJiittagong to the Commissary General; 

dated the 22c? April, 1822. 

I am sorry to have to report to j'oii, that the Burmahs have again this season attacked our Keddah peo- 
ple at Ramoo, six of whom they have seized and carried off as prisoners to Arracan. The enclosed is tlie 
copy of a letter I have addressed to the magistrate upon the subject, but as his endeavours, last year, to ob- 
tain the release of the men then taken away were of so little avail, we cannot expect that he will be more 
successful on the present occasion, and the interference of government becomes therefore necessary to pro- 
cure the hberty of these men. 

On account of what Rammohun and his men suffered during their captivity last year, it was with much 
difficulty that our hunters could be prevailed upon to enter the jungles in that direction this season, from 
the dread of the Burmahs : the seizure of Acbur Alee and the other five men may, therefore, be considered 
as at once putting an end to our Keddah business at Ramoo, unless some arrangements be made to prevent 
similar aggression in future. 

It is for the wisdom of government to determine what these arrangements shall be, but as a humble 
observer of passing events, I cannot but remark, that the Burmah government of Arracan has manifested 
an uniform spirit of encroachment upon our territory in this district, since 1794, advancing progressively from 
the banks of the Mooressee river, which they themselves then declared to be the boundary of Arracan, until 
they now claim the jungles of Gurgeneea, where our Keddah was formed this season, at a distance of nearly 
forty miles from the Mooressee river — the intermediate tract of jungle is of little moment to either state, fur- 
ther than that, as being our best hunting ground for elephants, and where our villagers cut their annual sup- 
ply of rattans, renders it of some value to us, while to the Burmahs it is of no apparent benefit w-hatever : their 
laying claim to it therefore appears to proceed from a mere spirit of arrogance — unless, indeed, that they look 
forward to the event of future hostilities with our government, when the possession of these jungles would 
fenable them to come, unperceived, into the rear of such troops as might be stationed at Ramoo. 

Our hunters had a herd of elephants surrounded near Gurgeneeah, of which they had secured five, with 
another herd close in view, when the Burmahs came upon them, and put them all to the route. 

No. 16. — Deposition of a Mug, named Doongree, before the Thannadar of Teh Nqf, 
on the Qlst February, 18'23. 

In the month of Maugh last, I and Kunchuk, the deceased, and Merkeree, Fatoe, and Nyea, were going 
to Cox's Bazar, on a boat with seven hundred arees of rice, when we reached the mouth of the Koor Nullah, 
twelve Burmese in a boat came up with us in the Nullah, and called out to us to pay them permit, (custom 
dues,) we replied, we are the Company's Ryots, why should we pay you permit, we are taking rice for sale to 
Cox's Bazar ; on this a Burmese, whose name I know not, and whom I did not recognise, fired a ball from a 
gun at Kunchuk, who was the Manjeeof our boat, which entered his back, under the left shoulder, and came 
out near his right breast. My brother fell lifeless in the boat : we went to the Thannah and related the parti- 
culars: the Darogha and others came to the place, and made an enqmi'y into the affair. On seeing my bro- 
ther fall in the boat, the Burmese made off. This is my statement. 

Q. Did ever any one demand (Muhsool,) of you before? 

A. No. 

Q. How far was your boat from the shore ? 

A. Very near to the shore. 

Q. How far was it from the Thannah ? 

A. About do ghuree. 

Q. Besides the person who fired, had any one else a gim in his hand ? 

A. No one else had a gun in his hand, but there were six guns laying in the boat 

Q. Did they say any thing besides demanding Muhsool? 

A. Nothing else. 

Q. How long have you been in the habit of going along the Naf river? 

yl. For ten years I have gone in boats, and never had a demand made upon us for Muhsool. 

Q. When the ball was fired, what distance were the boats from each other? 

A. The Burmese laid hold of the rudder of my boat. 

Q. Did the person who fired, do it of himself or by the orders of another? 

A. AH said fiie, and one rose and fired. 

Q. Did you recognise the man who fired ? A. No ; 



BURMESE WAR. 15 

A. No ; but he is a Burmese. Chittagone 

Q. How far is Sliapuree from the place where the act was committed ? 1823. 

A. About half an hour. 

Q. Whicli way did tlie Burmese go, after firing ? 

A. They made off quickly to the southward. 

Q. Did you ascertain whether they were Uchurung's men, or not? 

A. I think them certainly to be Uchurung's men. 

Q_. Did you ever go to Shapuree ? 

A. I have gone. 

Q. When you first saw the Burmese boat, how far were you distant ? 

A. At the distance of an axmiz: on seeing us, they pulled as quick as possible towards us. 

Q. Were any other boats near you ? 

A. Some five or six boats had gone before. 

Q. Was there ever any quarrel between you, or your brother and the Burmese ? 

A. Never. 

Q. Did the Burmese ever demand Muhsool before from you or your brother ? 

A. This time only they demanded it — had we been in the habit of paying it, we should have done so now. 

Q. How far is the mouth of the Koor Nullah from Shapuree ? 

A. About two doon. 

Q. From whence did 3'ou bring the rice which was on board your boat ? 

A, We are Ryots of Myoon Choudry — it is the produce of our own lands. 

Q. Did you ever go to Tup Mungdoo ? 

A. Never. 

Q. Have you ever had any trade or business with them ? 

A. Never. 

Q. Have you or Kunchuk, deceased, and the Burmese ever had any dispute ? 

A. Never. 

Q. Have the Burmese ever come to the village where you live ? 

A. Never. •' 

Q. What sort of a boat was the Burmese? 

A. I think it was made of the Telsur or Gurjun wood, and about twenty haths ia length, and three and a 
half haths broad, havhig twelve paddles. 

Q. When you first saw the Burmese, from what quarter were they coming? 

A. From the south. 

Q. On seeing you did they immediately come after you, or as usual go along quietly ? 

A. They came as quick as they could after us, and demanded permit, and not in the manner other boats do. 

Q. How broad is the Koor Nullah at the place where the Burmese came up with you ? 

A. About twenty haths broad, and to the north is the island of Shapuree, distant about one and a half 

doons of land. 

Q. How far distant from the Naf river ? 

A. Two or three ghuree. 

Q. Are there any villages or houses on the banks of the Koor Nullah? 

A. None on the banks of the Koor Nullah, but on the Rungdoon Nullah and Nona Churree Nullah, 
there are houses. 

Q. How far distant from your boat at the time of the Burmese firing the gun? 

A. Two or two and a half doons distant from the village of Rungdoon, and from Nona Churree four or 
five doons. 

Q. How long did you see the Burmese boat after it left you ? 

A, For about a ghuree's distance. 

Q. How far was that from Tup Mungdoo ? 

A. About half way. 

Q. Did you see them go to Tup Mungdoo ? 

A. No — towards it. 

Q. How far was the boat from the Burmese shore when you last saw it ? 

A. Four or five doons. 

Q. How long a time elapsed after the murder, before you gave information at the Thannaji ? 

A. About four ghurees. 

Q. Within that time, did you meet with any one else ? 

A. No 



16 DOCUMENTS. 

A. No one — there was no other boat at that place. 

Q. Did you go alone, or others go with you to the Thannah ? 

A. I went alone, leaving the others in charge of the body and the boat. 

Q. In what part of the "boat was the Burmese standing who fired the gun ? 

A. In the after part of the boat, near the Manjee. 

Q. How far distant from Kunchuk ? 

A. About fifteen or twenty hath. 

Q. How old was Kunchuk ? 

A. Forty years old. 

Q. Has he left any children ? 

A. Two daughters and one sou. 

Q. How old are they? 

A. The boy is ten years of age, and the eldest daughter five years, and the other an infant at the breast. 

No. 17. — Letter delivered by Dayen-ya-geo, Vakeel from the Rajah of Arracan, 
on the Sth August, 1823. 

Alalia Mengee Keojoa, Governor General of Arracan, and the Western Frontier of the Burmese Em- 
pire, &c. &c. &c., to the Governor General of Calcutta, in Bengal. 

Our sovereign is extremely fortunate, he reigns over the great kingdom, by inheritance from his grand- 
father, since liis ascension to paradise. He is replete with reUgious principles, a strict observer of the ten 
commandments, and of the twenty-eight acts of virtue ; to him has descended tlie throne of his grand- 
father, which he now feels. 

There is a certahi island known by the name of Shein-mabu, where a stockade has been erected, and a guaid 
of native seapoys stationed : in order to their being removed, I forwarded a letter on the subject to the Govern- 
or of Chittagong by the hands of General Moungdoli, who brought an answer written on a sheet of paper in 
the English, Arracanese, Persian, and Hindoo characters, declaring the said island of Shein-mabu to belong 1 
to the English. I ask, therefore, if this communication is to be considered as an authorized one on the part] 
of the Governor General, if it be so, I assert, that the island of Shein-mabu does not appertain to the Bengali 
o-overnment : from the time Arracan was subject to the original Arracanese ruler, and since it came to th&l 
•Tolden possession, the island was always annexed to the Denhawoody (Arracanese,) territories, and still be 
loHTS to our sovereign. The guard now stationed at that place, may be the occasion of disputes among the! 
lower order of the people, and of obstruction to the poor merchants and traders now carrying on commercel 
in the two great countries, and eventually cause a rupture of the friendship and harmony subsisting between thej 
two mighty states. To prevent such occurrences, it is requested, that the guard now stationed at Shein-mabu, f 
may be removed. 

No. IS. — Letter from the Governor General to the Raja of Arracan, S^r. S^x. S^x. 
Kirittcn loth August, ISiJJ. 

I have received your letter brought by Dayen Yageo, regarding tlie island of Shapuree, which you terml 
Shein-mabu. 

The communication addressed to you by the magistrate of Chittagong, on the subject of that island, wag 
entirely in conformity with the views and sentiments of the supreme government. 

The island of Shapuree has always appertained to the Britisii territory of Chittagong, and is the un-l 
doubted right of the Honorable Company It lies on the British side of the main channel of the Naf river, [ 
which is the admitted boundary between the tv.^o states in that quarter, and is, in fact, obviously a continuation of I 
the Tek, or point of tlie main land of the district of Chittagong, Irom which it is separated only by a narrowl 
and shallow channel. The occupation of Shapuree by the Britisii government for a length of years, is also! 
proved by the records of the Chittagong collectorship, which shew that it lias invariably been comprehended! 
in the revenue settlemtnts. 

Under these circumstances, with every disposition to receive your communication in the most friendly spirit,! 
and after giving to the claim which you have advanced on this occasion, all proper consideration, I must declare! 
my conviction, that the Burmese government has not a shadow of right to possession of the island of Shapuree. | 

With respect to what you have written of your apprehensions, lest the guard now stationed at Shapuree,] 
may be the occasion of disputes among the lower order of people, and of obstruction to the poor merchants] 
and traders, rest assured, that they are wholly without foundation. The proximity of British troops is a cause] 

ofj 



BURMESE WAR. 27 

of protection, and not of injury to all wlio arp rip-.ceibly and well disposed, and in the present instance, I feel ChiifaTong 
persuaded, that the maintenance of the post .vill insjiire confidence and encourage the resort of traders. 1833. 

As to the possibility ot'a rnpture eventnally occurring between the two great states, from the British go- 
vernment maintaining a small party of troops on an island undoubtedly its own, you must have written this 
passage incautiously and without one reflection. 

It does not appear from the contents of your letter, that your present communication has been made with 
the knowledge or authority of your royal master, the King of Ava. The respect which I entertain for His 
Majesty's wisdom and discernment impresses me with a full conviction that, on learning particulars, he will 
not fail to recognize the justice of the title by which the British govenunent holds, and will continue to hold, 
the island of Shapuree. 

I regret that the first communication which has passed between us, since my arrival in India, should 
bear any appearance of a difference of sentiment between the principal authorities of two friendly states; but 
I trust, that the arguments and explanation contained in this letter, will have the effect of terminating the 
pending discussion. Should they fail to produce conviction on your mind, it will afford me much satisfaction 
to depute an officer of rank, from Chittagong, in the ensuing cold season, to adjust finally all questions relating 
to boundary disputes on the S. E. frontier of that district, in concert with a properly qualified and duly em- 
powered agent from Arracan. 

I request you to accept the assurance of my high consideration and friendly regard, &c. 

No. 19. — Extract from a Despatch from the Magistrate of Chittagong, 
dated the 2Slh September, 1823. 

The enclosed report from the Darogha of Tek Naf, will inform you of the Burmese having attacked and 
taken possession of the island of Shapuree — three sepoys have been killed, and three wounded, the re.^t have 
escaped to the Thaua of i'ek Naf. The action took place on the night of the 2J.th September. The Bur- 
mese were in force, about one thousand. 1 shall address you to-morrow, and give immediate notice to Lieute- 
nant Colonel Shapland, c. b. 

THANSLATION OF A RePORT FROM THE DaROGHA AT TeK NaF, DATED 24tH SEPTEMBER. 

This morning Ram Jeuren, Jemadar of the guard stationed at Shapuree, came to me and the Subedar 
of the guard at Tek Naf, and stated that at midnight, whilst the sipaliees were under arms at their post, the 
Burmahs, in number about one thousand, surrounded the Shapuree stockade on all sides, and beg;m to fire 
on the party. The guard finding themselves attacked, returned the fire, and several i-ounds were discharged 
on both sides, for the space of nearly an hour, when three of the men, named Koorbanee, Sauchee, and Ghol- 
1am Khan, having been killed, and the Burmahs having, by the fire of their gre.at guns (probably swivels) set in 
flames a part of the stockade, the Jemadar was obliged to abandon the spot, and retreat to the banks of the 
river Khor. At this time Akber, the. interpreter of tlie guard, according to the orders of the Jemadar, called 
out " Dooahee Company Behadoor," but the Burmahs paid no attention to the i-emonstrance. The ghat 
(landing place) of the river was taken possession of by crowds of Burmese boats. The Jemadar finding his 
ammunition nearly expended, got with his party into two boats, which the boat-men of the place had contrived 
to get ready f >r them and retreated, the Burmese all the time firing at them, and they returning the fire. Dur- 
ing the passage, four of the party were wounded, as per margin. On arriving near Tek Naf, they were joined Bifkshof''' 
by a party sent by the Soobedar to re-inforce them, but finding that they could not pass back to the island in Lai Mahomed. 
consequence of the Shapm'ee ghat being in the possession of the Burmese, they returned to Tek Naf. The ^^^^'' 
Jemadar fiuther states, that many of the Burmahs were killed in the action. , Also a Manjhee and a boat-man 
are missing, and one fisherman was killed and another wounded by the fire of the Burmahs. 

No. 20. — 'Letter fom the Governor General to the Viceroy of Pegu, dated VJth October, 1823. 

I have the honor to forward to your Excellency's care a declaration, prepared on my part, to the address 
of the Burmese government, which, as it relates to matters of the highest importance, I request the favor of 
your transmitting to the court of Amerapora, by the surest and most expeditious channel. 

Adverting to the friendly connection which has so long subsisted between the two states, and the desire 
uniformly evinced by the minister holding the office of Vicjroy of Pegue, to improve and cement the relations 
of amity, and to augment the commercial intercoui-se between the British and Burmese dominions, I feel per- 
suaded, that your Excellency will learn, with regret, the rashness and folly of which the local officers of the 

F Burmese 



18 



DOCUMENTS. 



Bui-mese government ill Arracan, have recently been guilty on the Chittagong frontier, and to which the 
paper now forwarded relates. 

The most probable view of the case appears to be either, that the Rajahs of Arracan, Ramree, &c. have acted 
entirely on their own responsibilitv : or thar, if their proceedings havj been in any degree authorized, the judg- 
ment of His ]Majestv die King of Ava must have been practised upon, and misled by ui\)ss misrepresentations, 
and designed perversion of the^truth, on the p;irt of the local officers of ihe distant province of Arracan, who, 
for some"unwoithy purpose of then- own, aad utterly regardless of consequences, have dared to represent the 
island of Shapuree as belonging to Arracan, and psrhaps even to exaggerate a simple police arrangement of the 
British government into an'invasion of the i5urmese territories. The object therefore of the accompanying 
declaration is, to place the real facts of the case fully and distinctly before His ^Majesty, and to state the de- 
mand and expectation of die British government, tliat the court of Ava will take such notice of the insolent 
and unwarrantable proceedings of its officers, as the circumstances of the case imperatively demnnd. 

Cordially solicitous to maintain the relations of peace and amity with the state of Ava unimpaired, it will 
afford me the most lively satisfaction to find, that the sentiments entertained by His Burmese Majesty on this 
affiiir are such, as not onlv to render unnecessary any interrupdon of the intercourse and connection which 
have proved so beneficial "to both countries, but even to rivet the bonds of friendship more firmly than before, by 
occasioning the removal and punisluiient of the authors of this and former acts of outrage and aggression on 
tlie Cliittagong frontier. 

No. 21. — Declaration on the part of the Right Honourable the Governor General, <§-c. 8^c. 
to the Burmese Government, 17th October, 1S23. 

The recent disturbance on die soudiern frontier of Chittagong has induced the Right Honourable the 
Governor General to direct, that the tbllowing declaration respecting the facts of die case, and the sentiments 
and resolutions to which they have given rise, should be prepared on his part for transmission to the Burmese 
government. 

Earlv in the present year, the perpetration of a most unprovoked and atrocious murder on the person of 
a British subject, named Kunchuk, by a party of armed Barmese, belonging to the post of the Achurung of 
Mungdoo, in die vicinity of Shapuree, suggested to the magistrate of Chittagong, the expediency of station- 
in o- a'small f uard on the island, to quiet the apprehensions, and to protect the lives and properties of the in- 
habiUmts of'that quarter of die district. Upon the adoption of this necessary and perfectly legitimate mea- 
sure of police, the local Burmese authorities, regardless of the friend^jhip and good understanding subsisting 
from of old between die two states, presumed to warn oft" the British troops in the language of menace, and 
formally to claim the island of Shapuree, as belonging to Arracan, under the designation of Shein-mabu. The 
demand, notwithstanding its utter want of foundation, was met by a polite and temperate statement of the in- 
controvertible grounds, on which the title of the British government to that portion of the Chittagong terri- 
tory rests ; and the argument was repeated, with the adduction of fresh proofs in a letter from the Governor 
General, to the Governor of Arracan, written only last month, in reply to a requisition on his part for the 
reUrement of the British guard and surrender of the island. For the pardculars of the proofs and reasoning, 
which demonstrate tiie title of die British goveriiment to the island of Shapuree ; it can only be necessary to 
refer to the above document itself, (a copy of which is subjoined.) From this paper also, it will be observed, 
that the Governor General oflered, should his arguments tliil to produce convicdon on the Rajah's mind, to 
depute an officer, to discuss and adjust all questions on the south-east boundary of Chittagong, with an agent 
deputed from Arracan during the present season. 

The Governor General has now learnt with equal astonishment and indignation, that before this letter 
could have reached the Rajah of Arracan, the British party at Shapuree was suddenly, and under cover of the 
night, attacked bv a large force of Burmese, (acting apparently under the orders of the Rajah of Ramre,) who 
kifled and wounded five of the British sepahees, and usurped forcible possession of the island. 

Ever ready to receive with temper, and to investigate in the spirit of fairness and equity, any claims which 
foreign states may have to prefer against it, the Briush government in India entertains too just a sense of its 
powei-, dignity, and essential interests, to yield even the most trifling point to menace, still less can it permit 
success to attend any attempts to enforce an unjust demand on its territories, by acts of positive violence and^ 
aggression. The Governor General has accordingly dispatched a reinforcement to the southern quarter of 
Chittagong, to recover immediate possession of Shapuree, to expel, by force of arms, any Burmese troops 
who may be found on the island, and to remain in that quarter, for the purpose of preventing fresh aggression, 
so long as the authorities in Arracan shall continue to maintaia their present tone of menace and 
hostility. 

Aldiough 



BURMESE WAR. 19 

Altliough the Burmese officers liave presumed to use the name of tlieir sovereign as a sanction to their con- 
duct, in attackinir the British post at Sliapuree, the Governor General is reluctant to believe that His Ma- 
jesty can have authorized the commission of so serious an outrage against a friendlj' power, at least widi a 
full knowledge of facts and circumstances. He ratlier adopts the conclusion, either that the R.ijah of Rainre, 
whose rashness and insolence have before given just offence to this government, has, in the prosecution of 
some unworthy and chimerical purpose of his own, ventured to act in the affair without any authority ; or that 
if his proceedings have been in any degree authorized, tlie judgment of His Majesty the King of Ava must 
liave been practiced upon and misled by some gross misrepresentation and perversion of the trutii. The Go- 
venior General expects and demands therefore now, that as the real facts of the case have been fully explained, 
His Majesty the King of Ava will hasten to evince his just indignation at so flagrant an attempt to pro- 
duce dissension between two friendly states, by inflicting an adequate and exemplary punishment on the au- 
thors of the disturbance; by removing them forever from their situatio;is, and by issuing such orders to the 
local officers of Arracan, for their futin'e guidance, as will effectually prevent the recurrence of disputes and 
diflerences tr, the frontier. 

Actuated by the most cordial solicitude to preserve unimpaired the existing relations of peace and amity 
between the two states, the Governor General li;is, on this occasion, confined his measures to the indispensa- 
ble object of recovering possession of the island of Shapnree, and to the above exhibition of the unwarrantable 
and offensive proceedings of the Burmese local officers in Arracan, in the expectation, as already stated, that 
the court of Ava will perceive the necessity of adopting without delaj', such measures as may atone for the 
past, and prevent the long established harmony and good understanding between the two governments from 
being exposed to similar hazard of interruption hereafter. The Governor General deems it, however, incum- 
bent on him, in the actual posture of affairs, to call the attention of the Burmese government, in the most point- 
ed and solemn manner, to the consequences which must necessarily ensue, if the insidting tone and unguard- 
ed procedures adopted by the local Burmese officers, at every point, where they have come in contact with the 
British power, but more cspeciaUy of late in Arracan, are longer persisted in. The forbearance and mode- 
ration of the British government, and its unfeigned disposition to cultivate the relations of peace and con- 
cord with the state of Ava, have been constantly manifested during a long course of years, and never more 
unequivocally so, than under the present provocation. But the Burmese government will be sensible, that 
patience and forbearance, under a succession of ]jetty insults and encroachments, must have their limits; and 
it cannot be ignorant either of the means which the British government in India possesses for avenging 
wrong and outrage, or of the fact, that its strength and resources have never yet been exerted in vain for the 
vindication of its rights and honor. 

The sincere respect which the Governor General entertains for the personal character of His Majesty 
the King of Ava, and his confidence in (lie wisdom which jiervades the royal councils, persuade him that 
a consideration of the above grounds of remonstrance will induce His Majesty to afford the reparation due to 
the British government, and to prescribe such a course to his ministers as may effectually preclude the repe- 
tition of insult and aggression on the Cliittagong frontier hereafter. Under any result, His Lordship will 
enjoy the consolation of reflecting, that by the temper and moderation evinced on tb.e present occasion, he has 
afforded fresh and striking proof of the desire on his part to preserve unaltered the mutually beneficial connec- 
tion so long established between the Burman empire and the territories of the Honorable Company in India. 

No. 22. — Letter from the Rajah nf Arracan, received tlie 29tk October, 1823. 

Men Maha Mengee Krojou, Governor of Denhawoody (Arracan), minister and commander in chief^ 
ruling over Yeoka-poora, and one hundred and ninety-eight conquered provinces, to the westward of tlie great 
Ctolden Empire, to the Governor of Bengal. 

A stockade having been erected on the island of Shin-ma-bu, (Shapuree) belonging to Denhawoody, 
adverting to the friendship and commercial intercourse subsisting between the two great states, I sent Daren- 
ya-gro and Hossain Ally, linguist, with a letter to the Company's Governor, who pretends that Shein-ma-bu 
belongs to the English, on theproof of certain papers. The island was never under the authority of the Moors 
or the EngUsh ; the stockade thereon has, consequently, been destroyed in pursuance of the commands of the 
great Lord of the Seas and Earth : If you want tranquillity, be quiet, but if you re-build a stockade at Shein- 
ma-bu, I will cause to be taken, by the force of arms, the cities of Dacca and Moorshedabad, which originally 
belonged to the great Arracan Rajah, whose chokies and pagodas were there. 

We purchased one hundred muskets ; these have been seized by the Company's subjects. The rebels, 
young Anja, Gua-jan-sheag, Bay-gounja, and young Gnar-toon-bowa, you are requested to have them 
restored. 

No. 23. 



20 DOCUMENTS. 

No. 23. — Extract from a Despatch from the Governor General in Council to the Secret Committee 
of the Court of Dtrectoi^s, dated the 9th January, \S2\>. 

27. The receipt of this letter from the Rajah, and the opinion generally prevailing among those best con- 
versant with the character of the Burmese government, that seme attempt would be made on different parts 
of our frontier, rendered it necessary that, as a measure of precaiiuon, the small force on our nortli-east frontier 
should be re-iuforced without delay. The requisite arrangements were accordingly made in the Military De- 
partment for five complete companies of the Chumparun Light Infantry, with tlie guns of tlie corjis, to move 
to Rungpore, and five companies of the 1st Battahon, lOtli N. I., to advance upon Sylhet, also five compa- 
nies of the 2d Battalion, 23d N. I., to proceed by water IVom Dinapore to Da< ca, to repl.ace the five compa- 
nies of the 10th. Lieut.- Colonel Penham, the ofiicer commanding on the north-east frontier, was directed to 
repair, at his earliest convenience, to Jumalpore, for the purpose of communicating more effectually with Mr. 
Scott, the civil commissioner in Kungpore, regarding the defence of that quarter, should the Burmese attempt 
to cari-y their threat into execution. The necessary instructions were, at the same time, issued to Mr. Scott, 
and to the magistrate of Sylhet. 

28. The troops thus collected at Chittagong, and those directed to re-inforce the districts of Rungpore 
and Sylhet, we consider to be adequate for the purpose of defence and protection against any army which the 
Burmese could immediately assemble on our fi-ontier. In the uncertainty, however, of the turn which affairs 
might take, when the court of Ava should learn our determination to expel the Burmese from Shapuree, it 
appeared to us to be necessary, that some furdier ari'angenient should be made for eventually strengthening our 
force generally on the eastern frontier. We accordingly requested his excellency the Commander in Chief 
to take the subject into his consideration, furnishing him with copies of all the documents which would serve to 
assist his judgment in determining to what extent further re-inforcement might be required. 

29. In making this communication to his excellency, we observed, that with advertence to the peculiar 
inconvenience of a contest with the state of Ava, to the injury thence resulting to our conmiercial interests, and 
to the utterly worthless and insignificant nature of the actual point of contention, we were of course desirous to 
avoid any extreme measures as long as possible, and would accordingly exercise every degree of forbearance 
and moderation compatible with the honor and character of the British government. We remarked further, 
that if the local authorities in Arracan, notwithstanding their present insolent tone, shoidd abstain from fur- 
ther acts of hostility, after our re-occupation of Shapuree, we were willing that the relations between the 
two states should revert to the former footing. On the other hand, if the menacing and hostile proceedings of 
the local Burmese authorities should be persisted in, and further aggressions take place on our frontier, no 
course would be left to us but to adopt the most promjjt and decideil measures for striking such a blow as 
would impress the court of Ava with juster notions of the power and resources of the British empire in the 
East, than it at present entertains. 

30. In the event of hostilities becoming inevitable, we conceived that it would be a primary object of 
attention to exr«el the Burmese from the countries of which they have at no distant period possessed them- 
selves on our frontier, such as Assam, Munneepore, and even Arracan, by encouraging and supporting the 
original inhabitants of those countries in any attempt which they might be disposed to make for the restoration 
of the line o-' their native princes, thus securing for ourselves a barrier of friendly states between the British 
and Burmese dominions along the whole of our eastern frontier. 

31. Tlie most eliectual measure, however, to humble the overweening pride and arrogance of the Bur- 
mese monarch; to bring the contest to a speedy termination; and to secure ourselves from petty encroach- 
ments and aggressions in future, would unquestionably be tlie conquest and occupation of the principal islands 
and sea ports in the Ava dominions, such as Ramre, Cheduba, Rangoon and other places, for whicli purpose 
it would become necessary to fit out a combined naval and military expedition at the presidency. Wc do not 
indeed contemplate this measure as one of immediate or probable occurrence, but in our communication to the 
Commander in Chief, we adverted to it generally, in order, that it might come within the scope of his excel- 
lency's consideration in dehberating on the nature and extent of the ' military arrangements which it 
would become expedient to adopt, if we should be forced, by the hostile acts of the Burmese government, into 
an open rupture with that state. We trust, that it is unnecessary here to repeat to your honorable committee, 
the assurance of our determination strictly to conform to the views and principles laid down for our guidance 
in the 8th, and fbllowuig jiaragraphs of your letter of the 10th March last. We should, indeed, deplore in 
the highest degree, the necessity of engaging in hostilities with the Burmese government, and attacking and 
conijuering any of the possessions of that state; and in the event of our being compelled, by further aggressions, 
on the part of the Burmese troops, to proceed to the extreme measures alluded to in our communication to 
his c.\cullency the Commander in Chiefs we shall hope to avoid making any permanent acquisition of territory, 

and 



BURMESE WAR. 21 

and propose to occupy Ramree, Cheduba and Rangoon, temporarily only, as a means of efFecting compliance Chittago 
■Hith our demands for reparation, and for the relinquishment of all claims, by the Burmese, of sovereignty 
OTer the petty states on our frontier, which it may be deemed expedient to declare independent of their 
controul. 

32. Anxious, however, as we are to avoid a rupture with the state of Ava, as long as forbearance shall 
be compatible with our interests and reputation, we are impressed with a strong persuasion, founded on the 
experience of the past, that no permanent security from the aggressions of the Burmese, whether on the Chit- 
tagong frontier, or to the northward, can be safely calculated on, until that people shall have been made to 
feel the consequences of their provoking the British Government to depart from the pacific line of policy it 
has hitherto pursued, the motives for which, there is too much reason to believe, have alwaj's been misconstru- 
ed by the arrogant and barbarous Court of Amrapoora. 

33. Acting on the principles above adverted to, we have uniformly declined to listen to any overtures 
from the Assamese, for assistance in their struggle with the Burmese, for the independence of their countrj-, 
and we will persevere in the same course, unless some fresh act of aggression, on the part of the Burman 
government itself, shall compel us to resort to arms. Your honorable Committee will have remarked, that 
we have treated the attack on Shapuree, as the unauthorized act of its subordinate officers, who would have it 
believed, that in takuig possession of that island, they have not violated the British territories, but only re- 
sumed what we had usurped. This plea can no longer avail them, as we have distinctly declared, and offered 
proof of our declaration, diat the island is a portion of the British dominions, and have apprised the Court of 
Ava of our determination to re-occupy and maintain it as such. Any subsequent attack on that island, there- 
fore, or any attempt on the part of the Burmese to execute their threats of invasion elsewhere, must necessarily 
be considered hereafter, as undertaken by the orders of the King of Ava, and must be treated, accordingly, as 
a declaration of war. 

No. Qi. — Extract from a Letter from the Adjutant General ; dated the ^Atth November, 1823. 

The Commander in Chief can hardly persuade himself that, if we place our frontier in even a tolerable 
state of defence, any very serious attempt will be made by the Burmese to pass it ; but should he be mistaken 
in this opinion, he is inclined to h- pe that our military operations on the eastern frontier will be confined to 
their expulsion from our territories, and to the re-establishment of those states along the line of our frontier 
which have been over-run and conquered by the Burmese. Any military attempt beyond this, upon the inter- 
nal dominions of the King of Ava, he is inclined to deprecate, as, instead of armies, fortresses and cities, he is 
led to believe that we should find nothing but jungle, pestilence, and famine. 

It appears to the Commander in Chief, that the only effectual mode of punishing the insolence of this 
power is by maritime means ; and the question then arises, how Iroops are to be created for the purpose of 
attacking the vulnerable parts of his coast. 

No. 25. — Extract from a Letter from the Deputy Adjutant General ; dated l6th Febj/. 1824<. 

His Excellency cannot but entertain the most painful solicitude for what may yet be expected, and 
concurring in opinion with Government, from a careful perusal of the documents received with your despatch, 
under acknowledgement, that the insolence and encroaching disposition of the Burmese have now assumed 
such a decided character, as to call for the adoption of the most powerful measures on our part to punish and 
humble that spirit- His Excellency contemplates the necessity which Government will be under, at no remote 
period, of employing a considerable part of its forces against that state, when the casualties likely to occur from 
prosecuting warfare in such a country will doubtless be severely felt. 

No. 26. — Extract from a Letter from the Magistrate of Chittagong ; dated the 

5th December, 1823. 

I have the honor to submit, for the information of the Right Hon'ble the Governor General in Council, 
R letter this day received from Lieutenant Colonel Shapland, c. B. 

I had forwarded to him several proclamations to be sent to the Uchurung of Chota Anuk, and to be 
promulgated through the district, in conformity to the tenor of your general instructions, representing the 
desire of this Government to remain on amicable terms, and our intention of keeping possession of the island 
of Shapuree, and confinmg the operations solely to this measure, and that the usual intercourse between the 
two states would, as heretofore, subsist. 

G Extract, 



22 DOCUMENTS. 

Extract, t^c. I have tlie honor to acquaint j'ou, that the detachment which came from Calcutta anchored 
off Tek Naf in the forenoon of the 20th instant — Early in the morning of yesterday, two companies of the 
20th regiment, were disembarked on the island of Shapuree, from two vessels which dropped down to it during 
the night, A spot has been selected for the erection of a stockade, and the Mugs with the detachment, are 
employed in clearing the ground, and preparing materials for the construction of one. 

"Since our arrival in the Naf river, no Burmese have, I believe, visited Shapuree, nor does any thing on 
the island indicate that they entertained any notion of defending it — I enclose the copy of a letter which was 
yesterday brought to me by a Vaqueel from INIungdoo : to the complamt mentioned in it I verbally replied, 
that 1 could not think the outrage was committed by any subjects of the British Government, which was 
alwaj's readv to repress and punish such conduct. — And on his expressing himself desirous of knowing, on the 
part of the Rajah of Arracan, from whom he said he came, the cause of our appearing here in such force, 
I gave him some copies of the Proclamation, and desired him to distribute them on the other side of the Naf, 
and I told him we came here to occupy and keep possession of the island of Shapuree. I am not aware that 
the Burmese are making any preparations with a view to dispute our occupation of this island, nor do I think 
they will dare to shew themselves offensively against us whilst we remain here with our present force. What 
their conduct may be hereafter it is difficult to conjecture ; should nothing in the interim occur, it is my inten- 
tion to leave a detachment here, with an armed vessel and two gun boats, and as soon as the stockades here 
and at Tek Naf are completed, to proceed to the northward, and make arrangements for the security of the 
other parts of the district. 

No. Ti. — Extract from a Private Letter from Mr. Scott to Mr. Swinton ; dated Gottalpara, 

nth November, 1823. 

" By the last accounts from Assam, it appears that the expedition alluded to by Mr. Bruce, is intended 
for Cachar, and will march immediately. The force is said to be only nine hundred Burmese, and some 
Hindostany sepahees, but where they can have got the latter I do not know, and suppose it must be a mistake. 
I think it is probable, that they will desist from the attempt, on being uiformed of our alliance with the 
Ilajah, unless the disputes in other quarters should, in the mean time, terminate in war." 

^0. 19.* (A) — Copi/ of a Letter from TV. J. Turquand, Esq., Officiating Magistrate at Sijlhet, 
to G. Sieinton, Esq., Secretary to the Bengal Governmefit ; dated Sth January, 1824. 

Yesterda}-, from a letter received from the Vakeel of Jyntea, on the part of Government, I learnt that 
the body of Burmese alluded to in my Ibrmer letters, with a Vakeel on the part of Govind Chunder, were ad- 
vancing towards Cachar, and would, most probably-, pass through Jyntea; that the Rajah of that country had 
sent for him, and desired him to find out whether our troops might assist him in repelling the invaders in 
case of necessity. The Vakeel stated the body of men were reckoned at fourteen thousand men, but this I 
conclude must be a very great exaggeration; however, I thought it best to write him to make further enqui- 
ries, and to inform the Ilajah, that when he wrote himself on the subject, I would give him an immediate 
reply. To day I heard, through Gumbheer Singh, that an army of Burmese on the Munnipore side, stated 
to be in his letter about seven thousand or eight thousand men, with a person called Takang Mopala (who 
he is I know not), together with Kistnanund, another Vakeel of Rajah Govind Chunder, and Pakeedul, name 
of a Sirdar at their head, had arrived from Burmah into Munnipore, but he was not certain whether they 
intended to remain there or come to attack Cachar. Two hours since I received an exi)ress from Captain 
Johnstone, commanding a detachment consisting of three companies of the left wing of the 23d Native Infan- 
try, a copy of which I annex, as also a cojiy of a letter from Ca]itain Bowe, received at the same time, and 
adverting to the decided intention of Goverinnent to protect Cachar from the ingression of the Burmese. I 
have addressed a letter to Captain Johnstone, copy of which also I annex, and trust my measures may be 
approved of. Mr. Scott has written that he will leave Mymunsingh on the 12th instant tor Sylhet, but un- 
der the present pressing circumstances, I have not thought fit to wait for his instructions on this head, as I 
could not expect a reply earlier than his arrival. 

No. 19.* (B.) — From Captain Johnstone, to W. J. Turquand, Esq., Acting Judge and 
Magistrate, Sylhet ; dated Sth January, ISS'i. 

I have just this moment received an express from Captain Bowe, communicating intelligence of a large 
body of Bunnahs approaching towards the British frontier ; on my arrival at liudderpoor, should I obtain 

the 



BURMESE WAR. 23 

the sanction of Rajah Ghumbeer Sing of Cachar, to enter his dominions, may I have yoiir permission to Cachar. 
advance and give them battle ? 

No. 10* (C.)—From Captain Boxce, to TF. J. Turquand, Esq., Acting Judge and Magistrate, 

Si/Uiet. 

I have the honor to acquaint you, that a messenger, with letters from the Rajah Gumbheer Sing, has 
brought me intelligence of the near approach of a body of Burmese, estimated at about four thousand, and 
that a considerable force was in the way to support them. The Rajah's letters, written last night, state that 
they are three or four day's march from me, and as Captain Johnstone's detachment left Sylhet on Mondaj', 
I trust his arrival may be expected, and that our detachments will have joined previous to any affair with the 
enemy. I lost no time in writing to acquaint Captain Johnstone with the circumstances that have been report- 
ed, and to suggest the necessity of his taking measures for the probable junction of the Dumdunah detach- 
ment, in case of urgenc}', as also to expedite his arrival. 

No. 19* (D.) — To Captain Johnstone, Commanding a Detachment of the Left Wing '23d Native 

Infantry. On t/ie River. 

I have just this moment received your letter of this day's date, and in reply, beg to apprize you that the 
determination of Government is decided, that any endeavours of the Burmese to possess themselves of Cachar 
should not be permitted. I i-equest, therefore, you will immediately require them to withdraw, and forward 
the enclosed letter* from me to the Commander of the Burmese troops, in which I have stated, that Cachar 
is considered under the protection of the British Government, and will, therefore be defended from all foreign 
interference. After this being done, should he not think fit to comply with the requisition therein contained, 
and still persist in withdrawing a foreign force into Cachar, you will, of course, on the requisition of Gum- 
bheer Sing, in conjunction with Captain Bowe's detachment, and that at Dumdunah, use your best endea- 
vours to restrain the invasion, by taking such measures as you may deem most advisable. I have sent a copy 
of your letter to me and your express to his address, to Major Newton, and requested his return forthwith, 
he being at present at Pundwuta, examining that pass. 

No. 20.* — Copi/ of a Report from Major Thomas Nexeton, to TV. J. Turquand, Esq., Acting 
Magistrate, Sylhet ; dated Camp Budderi^ore, January 18, 1821. 

In consequence of intelligence which I received on the evening of the 16th instant, that a body of 
about four thousand Burmese and Assamese had crossed into the plains at the foot of the Berteaker pass, 
and were stockading themselves at the village of Bekrampore ; also, that a force to the eastward had defeated 
Rajah Gumbeer Sing's troops, and that a third division were crossing the Mootagool pass into Jyntea, to the 
north-west — I resolved, under circumstances so threatening to my force, to concentrate my detachment at 
Jattrapore, and move fi-om thence with the whole due northward, and attack the enemy before they could 
have time to strengthen their position. I accordingly ordered Captain Johnstone to join me from TUaven, 
leaving his camp standing, and at two a. m. of the 17th, we moved off. At six a. m. just beyond an almost'im- 
pervious grass and reed jungle, which we, with considerable difficulty, marched through, we came into a com- 
paratively plain country, where the situation of the enemy was discovered, by the discharge of two shots at 
the advanced guard. Their position extended along the villages at the foot of the hills : they were covered 
by the huts, bushes, &c. in a close and difficult country, and on their right they had a stockade on the banks 
of a steep nullah, occupied by about two hundred men : the attack was made in two divisions ; the southern 
face of the stockade being assaulted by Captain Johnstone, with part of the 23d Regiment and Rungpore 
Light Infantry, and the enemy's line, in the villages, being attacked by Captain Bowe, with part of thelOth 
Regiment: the whole under my command. This last was immediately successful; the greater part of the 
enemy, supposed to be Assamese, flying to the hills at the first fire. Captain Bowe then wheeled his force 
to the attack of the stockade, which was making a brave resistance against Captain Johnstone, and in a short 
time it was carried by assault, by the united exertions of both parties. 

No. 21.* f J J— Extract 



* The Letter not transmitted. 



24 



DOCUMENTS. 



c«char. No. 21.* (A.) — Ejctract froni a letter from D. Scott, Esq., Agent to the Governor General on 
the North-East Frontier, to G. Sxiinton, Esq., Secretary to the Bengal Government ; dated Camp 
Budderpore, Slst January 1824. 

I have now the honor to submit a report of occurrences on this frontier since the date of my last 
dispatch from the station of Sylhet, for the information of the llight Honorable the Governor General in 
Council. 

Subsequently to the action which took place on the 17th instant, Major Newton returned witii the force 
under his command to tliis phice, withdrawing the whole of the troops from Cacliar. The Burmese then 
advanced to Juttrapore, about five miles east of the frontier and eight from hence, and the two armies from 
Assam and Munnipore formed a junction near that place, and threw a bridge over tlie Soormah river, on 
both sides of which they erected stockades. 

This day the Vakeel, formerly deputed by the Magistrate of Sylhet to meet the army from Assam, and 
several messengers who had been dispatched with letters, and detained in the Burmese camp, returned with 
a letter to my address, written in Bengal character, but in a dialect wliich no person in camp understands, 
so that I have not yet been able to ascertain the contents. 

From the information brought by the Vakeel and Messenger, it appears that the Burmese force at 
Juttrapore is about six thousand strong, of whom four thousand are Assamese and Cacharees ; they have also 
a force of about two thousand men in Kila Kandy, of whom one-half are supposed to be Burmaiis, so that 
the number of the latter, who arrived by the way of Munnipore, must have been more considerable tlian 
might have been supposed from the effect of the opposition made to them by Gumbheer .Sing, who himself 
computed them at one thousand or one thousand and five hundred men carrying muskets. 

In a letter from the Burmese Commander, to the address of Govind Ciiunder and the British authorities 
jointly, received some day's ago, as well as from the information now brou^'ht by the Vakeel, who was confined 
in the Assamese camp for eighteen days, it appears that the Burmese have entered Cachar upon an invitation 
formerly given by Govind Chunder ; they profess to have no desire of retaining the country themselves, but 
said they mean to return to Assam via Jynteah,', after re-visiting Govind Chunder, and securing the persons 
of their enemies Gumbheer Sing, Margeet, and Chourjeet, whom they declare they have orders to follow 
and seize wherever they may have retired. In the Commander's letter he also complains of the attack made 
upon him at Bikrampore. 

In reply to this letter, and in a communication previously made, I have acquainted the Commander in 
Chief, that I had already, in three different letters, informed him by the way of Assam, that the country of 
Cachar was under the protection of the British Government, and that the occupation of it would therefore be 
resisted, and that, while I regretted the occurrence at Bikrampore, he could not but be sensible that it was 
entirely attributable to his own conduct in persevering in this unwarrantable encroachment after repeated 
intimations that it would not be permitted. 

I further called upon him, now that he was convinced that we were in earnest, to evacuate the country 
without delay, and jirevent worse consequences; and I acquainted him that in case of refusal, I should be 
compelled, however unwillingly, to order the advance of our troops, not only into Cachar itself, but also into 
Assam, whence the chief part of the invading army had proceeded. In respect to Govind Chunder, I stated - 
that we had no objection to his re-establishment, under the protection and as the act of the British Govern- 
raent, and that, although we could not with honor deliver up the Muneepoorian Chiefs, much less suffer 
them to be arrested in our territory, we would willingly concur so far in his master's views, as to engage that 
they should not again be permitted to disturb the peace of Cachar. 

The reply to this communication will be submitted to his Lordship in Council when received ; but with 
reference to the considerable time that has elapsed since my arrival here, and which has hitherto been spent 
in vain attempts to establish a correspondence with the Burmese, interrupted, until yesterday, by their 
invariably detaining my messengers, 1 have considered it proper to make his LorSship in Council acquainted 
with our past proceedings, and to state, that although I am satisfied that the Burmese Commander has no 
intention of committing hostilities in our territories at present, yet I have little expectation of his being 
induced to retire from Cachar without recourse being had to coercive measures, the necessity for which 
appears now more urgent than ever, with reference to the tenor of Mr. Robertson's dispatches, copies 
of which were conveyed to me in your letter of the 24th instant, and the consequent probability that the 
Court of Ava will avail itself of the presence of the army now in Cachar, to annoy us in this quarter, 
which, from the want of cavalry on our part, and the number of their forces, there is no doubt they could 
do to a very great extent, by merely plundering the country in small parties, without ever risking an 
engagement. 

I have 



BURMESE WAR. 17* 

1 have tlie honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of the Hth and 24-th instant, with their 
inclosure, to which I shall hereafter reply. In the mean time I beg to state, that I shall consider myself 
authorized to prevent the entrance of a liurmese force into the territories of the Jynteah Rajah, by which 
route they threaten to return to Assam. 

Having just received a translation of a document in the Burmese character, that accompanied the 
Bengalee letter alluded to in the fifth paragraph of this address, I find that it differs very considerably from 
the latter, of which it was supposed to be a counterpart. I have the honor to enclose a translation, and to 
save time, I have sent the rough copy, which I recjuest may be returned. I also enclose the original Bur- 
mese letter, the Persian version being obviously defective in several places, and in particular where it is 
stated that Gopee (Govind) Chund went to Ava, and is now with the Governor of Assam, that person being 
still in our territories, and whatever he may formerly have done, at present elisclaiming the connexion. I 
am informed, that after the action on the 17th, messengers were dispatched for instructions to Ava, so that 
unless previous orders to that effect may, in the interim, be received, I do not anticipate any hostile move- 
ment on the part of the Burmese until the receipt of an answer. 

No. 21.* (B.) — Translation of a Letter 'written hy the Governor of Assam t one of the Nobles of 
the King of Ava, an Emperor of the Burinah Country. 

Mahanund Kegoodeen, Governor of Assam, intimates to the Magistrate of Sylhet the following circum- 
stances : Gopee Govind Chund, the Rajah of Cachar, • being driven from his country by the chiefs of INIuni- 
pore, threw himself at the foot of the throne of the Burmese emperor, and preferred an earnest request for 
assistance, pleading, that Chowrjeet and Marjeet, chiefs of Munnipore, had attacked and conquered his coun- 
try ; that on the occurrence of the misfortune, he had retired into the Company's Province of Sylhet, and that 
li-om that place he had proceeded to Arrakan. The Governor of that district having inquired into the com- 
plaint of the said Gopee Chund, he related the particulars of his hard case, and stated, that for redress he 
sought the protection of his Burmese Majesty. The Governor of Arrakan having detained the said Gopee 
Chund there, sent a petition reporting the application made by him. In reply, an imperial mandate w-as issued 
regarding the presence of Gopee Chund at Court, and in obedience thereto the Governor of Arrakan sent 
him to the presence. On the arrival of the Gopee Chund at the foot of the throne of the King of Kings, he 
represented the hardships he had endured, and his Majestj", pitying his misfortunes, comforted him, and said, 
" We will re-establish you in your kingdom of Cachar." At length the Emperor ordered the advance of two 
armies, one from Munnipore and one from Assam ; and accordingly Munghee Maha Keyoong Jowa, General 
of the forces, with eighteen thousand men, has arrivetl from the former country ; and I, the writer, Maha 
Nund Kegoodeen, with fifteen thousand from Assam. 'I'he distressed Rajah Gopee Chund is also with us. 

On the I3th of the month of Pendula, or in the month of Poss 1230, Bengal style, the Magistrate of 
Sylhet sent a letter to meet us, and the army of the King of Ava and that of the Company, meeting on the 
banks of the Jatinga since, an alarm ensued. The letter from Sylhet having arrived, was read, and the contents 
thereof are: That besides friendship, there was no enmity between the Rajah Gopee Chund and the 
King of Ava, and that on hearing that I was coming to re-establish the said Rajah, great pleasure was expe- 
rienced by the fiuictionaries of th.e Company ; also that the Rajah Gopee Chund, in retaining the protectioa 
of his Imperial ^lajesty, was highly fortunate. 

An imperial mandate directed to me has been received, couched in the following terms : — Whereas 
Chowrjeet and Maijeet, by deceit and insolence, have obtained possession of the country of Cachar, the patri- 
mony of Rajaii Gopee Chund, you are hereby commanded to conquer the said Raj, and to restore it to the 
rightful owner. 

In obedience to this order I, IMaha Nund Kegoodeen, have arrived with an army, and intending to fight 
with and to conquer Chourjeet and Marjeet, I have met the English Company's troops, and fought with them. 
It will not be unknown to you, that before this, King Bering, a son of one of the nobles of Arrakan, having 
disobeyed the orders of the Emperor, was expelled from that country, and took refuge in the English Com- 
pany's territories. On that occasion the chiefs of his Imperial Majesty and the functionaries of the Com- 
pany had disputes, and quarrels ensued. Now. also an account of the IMunnipore Rajah's receiving protec- 
tion from the English Company, the like occurrence has taken place, and a battle has ensued. Besides that, 
Boosyn anJ Eyassyn, and the Boora Gohayn and Chunder Kant, former Rajahs of Assam, one after another, 
having misbehaved and rebelled in the dominions of the King of Ava, took refuge in the territories of the 
Company on that account ; also disputes occurred between the functionaries of the Company and those of the 
King of Ava, and rebels have thus been suffered to occasion discord between the two stateS; until at length a 
battle has actually taken place. In reality, the above-mentioned chiefs justly apprehended our vengeance, 
being fit objects for punishment, but they have escaped, and without reason a battle has taken place between 

F* the 



]8* - DOCUMENTS. 

tlie forces of tlie Company and those of the King of Ava. Now the armies of his Majesty have arrived from 
Munnipore, and also from Assam, and I, Maha Kund Kegoodeen, will re-establish Rajah Chund in his law- 
ful station. I have come with the most positive orders to effect this, and besides, by chance, there was a battle 
on the way. Never will I depart from the orders of lus Majesty, but I will certainly restore Gopee Chund 
to his former dignity. 

It will not be unknown to you, that between the functionaries of the Company and those of his Majesty 
there was peace : and that notwithstanding frequent disputes, never had an open breach of friendship taken 
place, but the merchants of the two countries continued all along to carry on trade, as usual, between the ports 
of the two states. Now that state of things is at end, I shall not tail to do my best, and with the English Com- 
pany War •will ensne. The former Kings of Ava were always at peace with the Company, but that is now over, 
and tiie bands of friendship are severed asunder. Formerly you wrote a letter from which it appeared there 
was friendship between Rajah Gopee Chund and the English Company ; it is therefore likely that their func- 
tionaries will not be disinclined to promote his benefit ; and it is therefore proper, that having confined the 
Munniporean chiefs, you deUver tliem up to me. If you will not do this, I have the King's order to seize 
them in whatever country they may be found. According to that order I will act. The above is the truth : 
I have wi-itten it. 

No. 21.* (C.) — Translation of a Letter from the Burmese Chief Commanding in Assam. 

Mengec Mahu Handa Krodra, Commander in Chief at Assam, acquaints the Saheb of Sylhet, that Go- 
vind Chunder, the Hajah of Cozooee, on being deprived of his throne and conquered by Jorajeet, Marajeet, 
and the younger Kanibeera Sing, natives of Cas^ay, in order to s-ive his own life, made. his escape to Sylhet; 
and to gain the protection of our most fortunate Sovereign, he immediately forwarded a statement of his griev- 
ances to his Burman Majesty, through the English territories, and by the route of Arracan, and afterwards 
secreted himself npon the hills of Kumaree. He owned submission to his Majesty, ani entreated him to tnke 
his country, and replace him on the musnud. In consequence of this representation, his Majesty commanded 
that Jorajeet, Marajeet, the younger Kumbeer Sing, and all the Cassayers may b.^ taken prisoners, and Govind 
Chunder, the rightful owner of C'ozalee, restored to his throne. A very large militarv force, with the several 
elephants and horses, was accordingly ordered to proceed via Munneepoora, under the command of Mengee 
JMaha Krodra; and a similar force was ordered to march from Assam. In 1185, on the 13th of the moon, in 
the month of Tenzo, (January) Jahat sent a letter, written in Bengalee, in charge of Medana Sing and Go- 
vind, who fell in with our army at Jatting. From that letter it was understood that Govind Chunder was an 
ally of the English, as well as of the Burmans, and that the officers of the Companv wonlil feel most happy if 
Govind Chimder were raised to the musnud. It is also stated, that the Rajah was under consitlerable obliga- 
tions to his Burman Majesty, for the innumerable favors trnterred en him by thnt monarch. 

In order to apprehend Jorajeet, Marajeet, the yoimger Kumbeera Sing, and the Cassavers, who are vassals 
of our Sovereign, and to place Govind Chundtr, the lawful Rajah of Cozalee, on the musnud without loss of 
time, in compliance with the repeated solicitations made on behalf of the Rajah by his minister, mundoory 
S.ajakoop, in obedience to the Royal mandate to the army, proceeded by land, and on the ITth of the moon of 
Fozo, 1185, (January) arrived at Beekrampore, where it had not to contend against the Cassayers, but against 
numberless seapoys, who opposed them with arms, as on the occasion of Kingberring's escape from Arracan, 
vhen he took refuge in the English territories after exciting a rebellion. \^'e had not him to fight with, but 
English seapoys. This happened also, when Poorunder Sing, Boora Gossain, nnd Chmider Kant Sing, 
violating their oaths of allegiance, caused an insurrection at Assam, and fled to the English iloniiijons. On 
this instance, the English seapoys occasioned much destruction in the country ; and we had not the Rajah of 
Cozalee to fight, but English seapoj's. 

In order to acquaint the Rajah of Cozalee, that his Burman Majesty had ordered troops to proceed by 
two difTerent routes for the express purpose of placing him on the musnud, the Rajah's slave, Dunnnazee. was 
sent to him in 1 18.5, in the month of Fozelan (August) He has not yet returned; but the two men who 
were with Dummazee, Viza Sela Yan, and Chacroelea. have come back, and reported that the Rajah of Cozalee 
is not now on the Kumaree hills, but is said to be in the village of Dewayalee, belonging to the English. The 
Arracanese and Wegaleese, meeting with protection in the English territories, frequently attacked us with 
numberless English seapoys; but no notice of it was taken, in consideration of the commercial intercourse 
which subsi-ted betwet^i the two states; as from the time of our former kings, no disturbance or difference 
ever occtnred. Our troops were withdrawn to prevent any injury to the English countries ; and all mischiev- 
ous men who fell in onr iiands, were destroyed, with the view of preventing similar occurrences. Chahap's 
letter states, that the English are really allied to the Rajah of Cozalee. \Ve have come to make jirisoners 
of Cassayers for the sake of Govind Chunder. The Cassay rebels who have escaped, must, without loss of 

time, 



BURMESE WAR. jg* 

time, without reference to any country where thej' may be, and without any exception, be taken, in obedience 
to the Royal mandate. Should Jorajeet, JNIarajeet, Kambeera Sing, and the Cassayers enter the Eno-Iish 
territories, apprehend and deliver them, to save any breach of friendship ; so doing, no rupture will take 
place, and the commercial intercourse now in existence, will continue. If the Cassayers enter the Enolish 
territories, and their surrender is refused, and if they receive protection, know that tlie orders of the most 
fortunate yovereign are, that vvithout reference to any countrj', they must be pursued and apprehended. 

No. H^* (^A.) — Extract from a Letter from D. Scott, Esq., J gent of the Governor General 
on the Islorth East Frontier, to G. Swinton, Esq., Secretary to the Bengal Government ; dated 
Munnipore, 3d February, 1824. 

In continuation of the subject of my letter to your address of the 31st ultimo, I beg to acquaint you, for 
the information of the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council, that my interpreter returned this 
day from the Burmese camp at Jattrapore, and states that the Commander of the forces there, in reply to 
his demand, for an answer to the various letters addressed to him, declared that he would give none, until he 
received instructions from Ava, to which place he had despatched messengers. 

The interpreter says, that the Commander behaved to him in a very outrageous manner, sometimes 
threatening in a violent passion to cut off his head, and sometimes declaring that he would satisfy his 
resentment by marching to England. He further states, that they said, that the Governor of Assam was not 
with the army ; but on consideration of the tenor of the Burmese letter, of which a translation was submitted 
with my postscript of yesterday's date, I think it is not improbable that they have been induced to make this 
declaration, witli reference to the contents of my letters of date the 23d ultimo and 1st instant, of which 
translations are annexed, in hopes of preventing the advance of our troops into Assam. 

The Jynteah Rajah has, with the usual prot:rastina;ing policy of the native princes, declined entering 
into a treaty of alliance, until, as he says, the necessity may prove more urgent. I have pointed out the 
folly of this line of conduct, in the stroivest term^ ; a:ii, with a view to prevent his being intimidated into 
submission by the appi-oach of the Burmese armv, I liave, in the mean time, promised him the assistance of 
our troops, provided he himself makes all the opp'sition he can ; and declared, that if he admit the Burmese 
into his territories without doing so, we shall treat hiin as an enemy. 

He has collected a considt-rable force, said to amount to several thousand archers ; and has undoubtedly 
the means of defending his own territory, at least until assistance could be afforded him; should he, from 
his conduct, appear to deserve it, I would propose presenting him with a part of the muskets that are ex- 
pected from Calcutta. 

I have the honour of forwarding a translation of a letter respecting the Jynteah country, which I am just 
about to despatch to the Burmese Commander. 

In respect to the exercise of the power with which his Lordship has been pleased to vest me, of eventu- 
ally directing the advance of the troops into Assam, I shall observe the utmost caution. Of tlie inconvenience 
that might result from such a movement, I am fully aware ; and it is only in case it should appear to be 
indispensable towards compelling the evacuation of Cachar before the commencement of the unhealthy 
season, that I should venture to have recourse to it. Iq that case, also, I shall at the same time address you 
by express ; and there will still be time to countermand the order, via Rungpore, should it then appear inex- 
pedient to Government. 

No. -22.* (B.) — Translation of a Letter addressed by the Jge?it to the Governor General to 
the Commander oj the Burmese forces in Cuchar ; dated the 23d January, 1824. 

After the usual compliments. — rreviously to this, from Gowalpara, I wrote three letters to the Governor 
of Assam, acquainting him that the country of Cachar was under the protection of the British Government, 
and that we could not permit the forces of ihe King of Ava to occupy it without resistance. Notwithstanding 
this, forgetting the obligations imposed by the subsisting friendship between your Sovereign and the Honorable 
Company, YOU have come into Cachar with an army from Assam, and another from Munnipore, and are 
devastating' the country. Before I wrote you, and I now repeat, that the country of Cachar is under our 
protection, and upon receipt of this letter it is incumbent upon you to retire with your army to the places 
whence you came. If nnibrtunately you should refuse, notwitlistaiiding the subsisting friendship, I must 
direct the British troops to advance into Assam, whence you came, and also into Cachar, to repel you by iorce. 
For the consequence of such a measure, followed as it may be, by a war between the King of Ava and the 

Honorable Company, you will have to answer. ^ . , 

Besides 



20^' DOCUMENTS. 

Besides this, I have heard that you have detained our Vakeel Biddeanund Sein, contrary to the custom 
of all countries. This is a very improper and illegal act, sanctioned by the customs ot no country ; I there- 
fore request that the Vakeel may be immediately released. If you keep him confined, or maltreat him, or 
any other person in a similar situation, you will be held personally responsible for the same. 

No. 22.* (C.) — Translation of a Letter addressed hi/ the Agent to the Governor General to 
the Commander of the Burmese forces in Cachar; dated the Isi February, lS2i. 

After the usual compliments. Your letter of the month of Maugh, 1745, has been received, and the 
contents understood. You write, that by the orders of the Burniali King, you have come with an array to 
reinstate Rajah Govind Chuuder in the (Grovernment of Cachar. j\ly friend, the country of Cachar is under 
the protection of the Honorable English Company, and we cannot permit a foreign power to estabUsh a 
; Rajah there. To the reinstatement of Rajah Govind Chuuder we have no objection, but it must be done 
' on the part of the Government. I am therefore hopeful, that having withdrawn from further interference 
with the affairs of Cachar, you will retire to your own country. You have written respecting the affair at 
Bikrampore. I regret that such an occurrence should have taken place, but as 1 wrote three letters to the 
Commander of the Burmese forces in Assam, from Gowalpara, declaring that the country of Cachar was 
under our protection, and that we should forcibly resist any attempt to occupy it ; and, notwithstanding 
this formal warning, you persisted in invading the country, you must be sensible, this unpleasant affau', which 
happened previously to my arrival here, was entirelj' attributable to your own conduct. Now I hope yoa 
will retire with your army from Cachar, and prevent the further progress of hostilities. You state, that j'ou 
will attempt to seize Chourjeet, and Marjeet, and Gumbheer Sing, iu a foreign territory, should they be found 
therein; mv friend, this declaration is inconsistent with the rules of friendship and good manners, as the 
abovementioned persons are in our dominions. You, of course, have the power of apprehending delinquents 
in your own territory, but not beyond the boundary, which we could never permit. If you come into our 
territory to seize the abovementioned, we must resist, and war may ensue. It is the desire of your Sovereign 
that Chourjeet, Marjeet, aud Gumbheer Sing should not be allowed to return to Cachar ; and we, also, are 
willing to prevent them from ever again creating disturbances in that country. Before this 1 wrote, and I 
no^v repeat, that I am desirous of having a personal interview with you. I therefore hope that you will meet 
me half-way between our respective encAmpments, when we may discuss the above and other matters, by which 
means the peace that has so long subsisted between your Sovereign and tlie Honorable Company may be 
maintained. 

P. S. What else I had to say, I wrote in a letter dated the 23rd of January. You will consider the 
contents, and act with propriety. 

No. 22.* (Z).) — Translation of a Letter addressed hy the Agent to tlie Governor Geyieral, 
to Maha Nund Kegoodeen, Commander of the Burmese forces in Cachar ; dated the Und 
February, 1S24. 

After the usual compliments. I received 3'our letter in the Bengal language. That in the Burmese 
character also arrived, but for want" of an able interpreter it was sent elsewhere for translation. This has 
now arrived ; and it appears tliat you write, that the old friendship subsisting between us and your Rajah 
is at an end, and that war will ensue. Of the result of hostilities, we have no appreiiensiou ; but we shall 
regret to find the long established friendship between the two countries interrupted by your proceedings. 
Hidierto you have experienced the advantages of being at peace with us : now if you insist upon var, you 
will also taste its bitter fruits. On all other matters I addressed you on the 23rd of January, and 1st of 
February. From my letters of those dates, j'ou will have learned my mind. 

Now, I hear that you design to enter the Jynteah country, and that you have sent people to the Rajah. 
Tlierefore I acquaint you, that we will not permit the execution of this fresh act of aggression. First, because 
tiie Rajah's ancestor received that country as a gift, after conquest, firom the Honorable Company, and he 
liimself has sought our protection. 

Secondly. Because, as you openly threaten war, we cannot permit you to occupy that or any other 
favourable position for commencinor hostilities. 

Having understood this, you will do well to return speedily by the road by which you came, otherwise 
j-ou may lose possession of Uiu coumry of Assam, wlience you proceeded. 

No. 23.* fJJ~-Coj»f 



BURMESE WAH 21* 

No.^3.* {A.)— Copy of a Letter from D. Scott, Esq., Agent of the Governor General on the 
North-East Fr-ontier, to G. Swinton, Esq., Secretary to the Bengal Government ; dated Camp 
B udder pore, ith February, 182 1-. 

I have the honour to acquaint you, for the information of the right honorable the Governor General in 
Council, that nothing material has occurred in this quarter, since the date of my despatch of the 2nd. 

This day I received from the Acting MagistrateofSylhet, a letter in the Burmese character, addressed, 
by the Commander of their forces, to the Rajah of Jynteali, and forwarded by the Rajah to Mr. Turquand. 

An interpreter whom I expect soon, not having arrived, I have as yet been unable to ascertain the con- 
tents of this letter, whicli are also unknown to the llajah himself; and, as it is not improbable that it may be 
of an important nature, I enclose a copy of it without a translation, fur the information of Government. 

My letter of tlie 2nd, to the Burmese Commander, was this morning returned after being opened, 
upon pretence of its being directed to one, instead of the tv,-o ('oinmanders. I have since despatched it with 
the necessary explanation ; and it is my intention, should the Burmese proceed towards J3'nteah, to send a 
detachment from this post to assist the Rajah's troops in tlie defence of the stockades he has erected on the 
frontier of this country. 

Although no treat}' has yet been executed, for the reason stated in my last despatch, I hope this measure 
will be approved of by Govei'nment, as ths-abandoment of the Rajah's cause, at this critical juncture, would 
be productive of the most injurious consequences, by placing at the disposal of the Burmese, the whole means 
he has collected to oppose them, and still more so by the panic that their progress in that direction could not 
fail to create at the station of Sylhet, which has once already been almost entirely deserted by the inhabitants 
on a false and absurd alarm. 

P. S. As the letter to the Rajah of Jynteah could not be copied in time for transmission by this day's 
dawk, it will be sent to-morrow. 

No. 23.* (B.)~Copy of a Letter from D. Scott, Esq., Agent of the Governor General on the 
North East Frontier, to G. Sxcinton, Esq., Secretary to the Bengal Government ; dated Camp 
Budderpore, 5th February, 18'24<. 

I have now the honour to forward the copy of the Burmese letter to the Rajah of Jynteah, promised in 
my despatch of yesterday's date. 

No. 23.* (C,)— Translation of a Letter from the Burmese Commander in Chief of Assam, to the 

Rajah of Jynteah. 

Menga Maha Nanda Kroden, Commander in Chief of Assam, acquaints the Rajah of Jynteah and 
ministers, that presents and offerings from the country of Jynteah were invariably sent to the Rulers of 
Assam, until Rajah Goorenath becartie engaged in war with Matounka; and the country and several villages 
were depredated ; from this time the usual offerings were discontinued. 

Assam and its Sovereign having been conquered by his Burman Majesty, a Governor has been appointed 
<o rule its four cities and eight provinces, including Jynteah, and to preserve peace. Loja Koop, the Chief 
ofChajooky, and Nattee, and Cho-hu-ru, other Chiefs, recognize our authority. The General is, accordingly, 
commanded to acquaint the Rajah of Jynteah and ministers, wherever they may be, that they must bow 
submission and send offerings. He is also commanded to proceed by land, for the purpose of placing the 
Chief of Cozalee on the musnud. By the good fortune of our Sovereign, the King of White Elephants, 
&c., on our arrival at Cozalee, we attacked and assaulted the Cassayers, took prisoners, and quieted the 
disturbances which prevailed there. The Rajah of Jynteah and ministers always obeyed the commands of the 
Assamese Rulers, and sent presents and offerings. 

Doolwyun, now in the Royal service, the son of the Rajah of Cozalee, and his officers like Kooran, 
Lijah Koop, Dooraik Woourah, are charged with this letter, and ordered to request the Rajah of Jynteah to 
come to the place where our forces are assembled for the purpose of affording explanation. 

No. 21.* — Copy of Letter from Captain Johnstone, Commanding a detachment of the 23rd Regiment 

Native Infantty, to the Deputy Adjutant General of the Army, dated Budderpore, 14-tk 

February, 1834. 

The command of this post having devolved upon me, in the absence of Major Newton, I have the honour 

to acquaint you, tor the information of his Excellency the Commander-in-chief, that the Burmese advanced 

yesterday morning in very great force to within one thousand yards of this post, on the north bank of the 

Soormah river, and commenced upon the construction of five separate stockades on most advantageous ground. 

G* Having 



22* DOCUMENTS. 

Having obtained the sanction of Mr. Scott, the Governor-General's agent, for dislodging them from 
positions which, if permitted to be finished, would form a serious hindrance to our future plans, and inevitably 
cause the sacrifice of many lives in their reduction, I was determined, if possible, ' to drive the enemy from 
them in their unfinished state, and with this view directed Captain Bowe, with part of the 2d Battalion 23d 
Regiment Native Infantry, and a party of the Rungpore Liglit Infantry, to cross the Soormah, whilst I 
proceeded, accompanied by Mr. Scott's interpreter, up the river, in order to induce them to desist from 
throwing up these fortifications ; but seeing no probability of their acquiescence, and that they were rather 
waiting for further reintbrcements, I thought proper to direct the advance of the column. 

On reaching the first stockade, the enemy fired upon the leading sections, who ascended the height and 
instantly drove the enemy with the bayonet from the stockade, and rapidly followed them up without giving 
them time to rally, till every stockade was carried in the same gallant manner, and left in our possession ; my 
instructions from Mr. Scott being not to commence firing, unless much resistance was made, prevented the 
enemy's loss from being so great as they otherwise must have sustained : with the stockades the enemy 
abandoned a number of gingals and muskets, and the whole of their ammunition. 

I am sorry to add, that this success, on our part, was not obtained without tlie loss of a Jemedar of the 1st 
battalion, 10th regiment, and a number of men wounded, principally by spikes and bows set in the ground to 
impede the advance of the detachment. 

I cannot close this dispatch without bringing to his Excellency's notice the gallant conduct of Captain Bowe, 
who commanded the column of attack, and that of Lieutenant Ellis, who commanded the detachment 2d batta- 
lion 23d Native, Infantry, and of whom Captain Bowe makes particular mention ; indeed, the whole of the 
detachment behaved with the utmost steadiness and bravery throughout. 

Ko. 25.* — Copy of a Report from Lieutenant Colonel H. Bonen, Commanding in Sijlhet, to Captain 
Baj/ldon, Major of Brigade, Dacca ; dated Camp near Tilai/n, I9th February, 1824. 

I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information of Lieutenant-Colonel McMorine, commanding the 
eastern frontier, that at the requisition of Mr. Scott, Governor General's Agent, the whole of the detachment 
at Budderpore, embarked on board the boats, in which the right wing, 1st battalion, 10th regiment Native 
Infantry arrived, under my command, from Dacca, and proceeded up the Surmah river, towards Jattrapore, 
on the 16th instant. The same morning I detached Major Newton to the latter place by land, with two 
hundred men, for the purpose of occupying the stockades at that place, should it be found that the enemy 
liad quitted them, as was supposed to be the case. About half-way towards Jattrapore, four stockades 
which had been deserted by the enemy, were destroyed, and I had the satisfaction of learning here, that 
Major Newton had taken possession of Jattrapore, where we arrived on the 17th. It appears, that the enemy 
had abandoned these very strong and extensive stockades on the evening of the 13th, after having been driven 
from those opposite Budderpore by the detachment at that place, and that a considemble number of them had 
retired to the foot of the Bhurteeka pass, in the nmge of hills to the north-east of Jattrapore. 

Having left Major Newton, with a detachment of about two hundred men at Jattrapore, to protect the 
stockades, and to prevent the enemy from returning in that direction and occupying them, and it being 
ascertained that several of the Burmese chiefs had concentrated their forces and taken up their position 
under the Bhurtekee pass, the detachment continued its route in the boats to the mouth of the Jetringhy 
river, where it disembarked at nine o'clock on the morning of the 18th, and moved in the best order towards 
the enemy's position, where we arrived about eleven a. m. and found them strongly posted in two stockades, 
on the left bank of the river, the passage of which, at the only place where it was supposed to be fordable, 
was completely commanded by one of them. Their position was naturally very strong, and had been made 
by the enemy, and the late heavy f;dls of rain so difficult, as to appear almost impracticable to human means. 

Having reconnoitred the river, both above and below, and all my endeavours to discover a more eligible 

passage having failed, in consequence of the depth and rapidity of the stream, and no boats being procurable, 

the only expedient left was to endeavour to get the men across on the backs of the elephants which accom- 

^ panied me, under the cover of the fire of Light Company 1st battalion, Iftth regiment, and a party of the 

Rungpore Light Infantry. 

Having in this manner succeeded, after some little dela)', and much difficulty, in crossing nearly the whole 
of the 1st IJattalion, 10th regiment, detachment 2nd, battalion 23 id, I directed an attack upon the stockades 
along the bank of the river,' but having ascertained that there was a rivulet in that direction that was 
impassable, I was compelled to order the attack through the jungle higher up the bank. In this attempt, 
the difficulties opposed to us by the jungle and muddy rivulet were almost of an insufferable nature, but the 
detachment having at length arrived at the north-east corner of the stockade, immediately formed and carried 
it with the bayonet, the enemy dispersing and flying in all directiotis pursued by our detachment towards 
another strong and extensive stockade under tlie hills, where it was imagined they were prepared to offer a 

determined 



BURMESE WAR. 23* 

determined resistance. They, however, merely passed through it in their way to the hills, and the detach- 
ment advaucec!, and took possession of and passed the night in it. 

From all tlie accounts which have reached me, and from tlie number and extent of the stockades they 
had constructed, I cannot estimate the number of the enemy in this affair at less than five thousand, of 
whom at least two thousand are supposed to be Burmahs ; and the remainder Assamese, their dispersion and 
flight in the greatest disorder and confusion towards the passes into Asam, the capture of all their standards, 
jingals, and eight gilt chattahs, are the fruits of this affair. 

It is impossible for ine to close this report without endeavouring to do justice to the good conduct of 
Captains Johnstone and Bowe, who led the attack at the head of the Grenadiers of the 1st battalion, 10th 
regiment. Lieutenant McLaren, detachment staff", and Lieutenant Ellis, 23rd regiment. This youncr officer 
set a most noble example in dashing into the nullah, and fording it, followed by such of the troops as had not 
passed on elephants, which mainly contributed to our success. ' 

I am happy to say that this service has been performed with little or no loss. 

No. 26.* — Copij of a Report from Lieutenant Colonel H. Botcen, Commanding in Sylhet, to 
Captain Bayldon, Major of Brigade, Dacca ; dated Jattrapore, 22r/ February, 1824. 

I have the honor to report to you for the information of Lieutenant-Colonel McMorine, commanding the 
frontier, that agreeably to the requisition of D. Scott, Esq. Political Agent, the detachment under my com- 
mand again disembarked yesterday morning at eight o'clock, and after a march of two hours, fell in with the 
enemy's stockades at Uoodpatlee. 

Several spirited attacks wei-e made upon their position, under cover of a heavy fire from three six- 
pounders, all of which, I am sorry to say, failed, and after a most severe action, %vhich lasted from ten o'clock 
until evening, I was compelled to draw oft" the detachment, and return to the strong stockades, which have 
been evacuated by the enemy at Jattrapore on the 16th instant, leaving two European officers and one hun- 
dred and fifty men (between the enemy and our present position) at the strong post of Tilayn, as a 
measure of observation and safety. 

I regret to say, that our loss has been severe ; one European officer killed, one Lieutenant-Colonel 
wounded slightly, one Captain and one Ensign wounded dangerously, and' about one hundred and fifty-five 
men killed and wounded. 

I have not as yet been able to ascertain the exact extent of our loss, but as soon as I collect the returns, 
I shall have the honor to forward them. 

The enemy's force may be fairly computed at two thousand Burmahs, including cavalry, and they fought 
•with a bravery and obstinacy which I have never witnessed in any troops. It is impossible to estimate their 
loss, but it must be very severe. 

Our troops behaved with their usual steadiness and gallantry, and retired with the heavy guns in the 
best order. 

P. S. — The returns having been received, they are herewith enclosed.* 

No. 27.* — Copy of a Report from Lieutenant Colonel H. Bowen, Commanding the Detachment at 

Cachar, to Lieutenant Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army, Head Quarters ; dated 

Camp near Jattrapore, '^25th February, 1824. 

I regret to have to report to you, that Lieutenant A. B. Armstrong, of the 1st battalion, 10th regiment 

N. I. was killed in action with the Burmese on the 21st instant at Doodputlee. This valuable officer was 

shot at the head of the Grenadiers, among the stakes and spring guns which were planted all round the 

enemy's stockades outside, for a distance of from twenty to thirty yards, concealed for the most part in long 

grass. 

It is my painful duty to mention, by this opportunity, that Captain Johnstone, of the 23rd regiment N. I. 
and Ensign Barberie, of the 10th regiment N. I are in a very dangerous state; the former was shot through 
the thigh bone, and the latter had his leg shattered to pieces, and has since been amputated. I trust it will 
not be considered presumption in me to expres3 my hope, that something may be done for these two officers 

in the 

♦ Seturn of KUled and Wounded of the \st Batlahon \Qth Regiment, in netion with the Burmese, on the 2]sl Fehnmry, 182+. , 
Killed — 1 Lieutenant, and It Sepoys. — Wounded — I Lieutenant-Colonel, 1 Ensign, 1 Subadar, 4 Jemadars, 6 Havildars 
6 Naicks, 8+ Sepoys and 1 Lascar. — Lieutenant Armstrong, killed.— Lieufcnant-Colonel Bowen, wounded slightly.— Ensign- 
Barberie, wounded severely. 

L\tl of Killed and Wounded of a Velaclment of the 'id Battalion 2Zd Regiment, in an action with the Bwrnese, on the 21j< Feby. 182i 
Killed — 2 Sepoys. — Wounded — I Captain, I Havildar, 1 Naick, and 21 Sepoys. — Captain Johnstone, wounded severely. 
List of Killedand Wounded of a Detachment of the RungpoTe Light Infantry, in an action with tht Burmese, 2\st February, 1824. 
Killed— I Naick, and 3 Sepoys.— Wounded— 2 Naicks, and 4 Sepoys. 



g4* DOCUMENTS. 

in the erent of their recover}', and in consideration of their brave and gallant conduct in the actions of the 
13th, 18th, and 21st instant". 

Captain John>tone lias been twenty years in the army, has seen much actual service, has never been 
absent from his corps during all that time (except on sick certificate for four months) and has rendered me 
the greatest assistance throughout. 

I cannot close thi> letter without deeply lamenting our failure at Doodpatlee, and the loss we have sus- 
tained, and I sincerely hope his Excellency, the Commander-in-chief, will concur in opinion with Mr. Scott, 
the Governor General's Agent, and myself, that we were justified in following up our former rapid successes 
m our attack at Doodpatlee, in order to prevent the junction of the Assamese and Burmese armies, and 
the invasion of our own territories, which they had repeatedly threatened by letter, since (notwithstanding 
our failure) it has caused the enemy to evacuate their strong stockades at and around Doodpatlee, and to pro- 
ceed in disorder in the direction of Munnypore and Assam, of which authentic accounts reached me yesterdaj'. 

It has now been ascertained by people sent to examine the evacuated stockades at Doodpatlee, that the 
enemy had between four and five hundred men killed and wounded. They were wholly composed of 
Burmese, and they fought desperately, reserving their fire to the last moment, and seldom missing their object. 

I beg leave to supply an omission in my report of this affair, under date the 22nd instant, and to state 
that Major Newton, witli an hundred and fifty men of the detachment left to protect the stockades at Jattra- 
pore, joined me by order, on the evening of the 20th, near Doodpatlee. 

No. 28. — Extract from a Despatch from the Governor General in Council to the Secret Committee 
of the Court of Directors ; dated the 9,M February, 1824.. 

2. It is proper to state, in the outset, that up to this date, no notice whatever has been taken by the 
government of Ava, of the declaration transmitted to that court in November last, on the subject of the 
outrage committed by the Rajas of Arracan in the attack of the British post, and the slaughter of our guard 
at Shapuree on the 9th of September last ; and the sequel will abundantly show, that far from entertaining 
any disposition to disavow or redress that injury, the Bnrman monarch himself obstinately perseveres in a 
system of injury and insult to the British power, and disdains to enter into negotiation or explanation. 

3. Mr. Robertson, the gentleman whom we had appointed to act as Magistrate of Chittagong, and to 
conduct political atTairs on the south-east frontier, arrived at Tek Naf on the 8th ultimo. On the 11th ditto, 
he reported to us that the detachment on the island of Shapuree had been attacked with a peculiarly malignant 
fever, and that tlie climate of that spot had proved so peculiarly unhealthy, that its further occupation for a long 
period would be impracticable. Such being the case, and as there existed at the moment, no appearance of 
hostile preparation, he judged it expedient, after consulting with Lieutenant-Colonel Shapland, to direct the 
removal of the detachment, considering the moment to be favorable for the adoption of the measure which, 
'ere long, the increased sickness would render inevitable under any circumstances ; and being farther of opinion, 
that the step would affbrd the fairest prospect of an amicable adjustment with the Arracanese authorities. 
Mr. Robertson had previously addressed the Chief, called the Raja of Arracan, requesting him to depute a 
competent and proper officer to meet Captain Cheape and himself, for investigating and defining the boun- 
dary between the two states. On removing the detachment from its position on the island of Shapuree, Mr. 
Robertson conceived it proper to address a fresh letter to the Raja, stating, that as two months had elapsed 
since the British troops were stationed on Shapuree, and no indication having, during that period, appeared of 
any further attempt on his part to dispute the right of the British Government to the island ; considering also, 
that since the first outrage an amicable intercourse had continued uninterrupted between the subjects of both 
states, it was deemed superfluous to maintain the detacliment there any longer, which had been, in consequence, 
removed. The Raja was farther informed, that the immediate object of the letter was to apprise him of the 
above circumstance, that he might warn any of his subjects and followers against venturing to encroach on the 
island, an act which would be resented and instantly punished. 

4. We had not been previously apprised of the sickly state of the officers and men on the island of 
Shapuree, and adverting to this consideration, and to the real unimportance of maintaining a guard at the 
place itself, with the view either to the assertion or the defence of our right, whilst so respectable a force, both 
naval and military, was in the immediate neighbourhood, we regarded the measure adopted by Mr. Robertson 
to be entirely proper and judicious, and we still think it so, notwithstanding tiiat many untoward events and 
circumstances have since arisen in rapid succession, which it was impossible at the moment to foresee. 

5. Only three days after the abandonment of the post, Mr. Robertson learnt that the four Hajas had 
again assembled their forces at Lowadhung, with the declared intention of attacking and expelling our de- 
tachment, under fresh orders received from the Conrt of Ava, to dislodge the English at all hazaad, and a letter 
was brought to him from the Raja of Arracan, announcing that circumstance, and stating that he bad deputed 
four messengers to wait on him. 

6. Those 



BUR^^ESE WAR. 25 

6. Those agents, in the conferences which took place, insisted on the right of their sovereijTn to Sha- Cliittaiong 
puree, ai-gued the folly of going to war about such a trifle, and professed that they would be satisfied by a 182i, 
declaration, that the island should be considei-ed neutral ground, and remain unoccupied by either party. The 

tenor of the whole conversation leit a strong impression on Mr. Robertson's mind, th.at the re-establishment 
of a post on the island would invite an attack on the part of the Burmese, and infallibly lead to a rupture, 
which he very naturally and justly deemed it a great obji ct to avoid at so advanced a period of the season, 
though sensible that it might be eventually necessary, under .any turn which the Shapuree discussions might 
take, to adopt measures for compelling the Burman nation to pay more respect than they had hitherto been 
disposed to show to the British power. 

7. In our instructions, in reply, we expressed our conviction of the justice of the grounds on which the 
measure of withdrawing the detachment had been adopted, though immediately followed bv a combination of 
circumstances, which naturally excited our regret. Could it have been foreseen, we observed, that the pre- 
tensions of the Burmese to Shapuree were to be so soon renewed, accompanied by the threat, that an army 
had assembled at Lawudhung, and was approaching, under orders from the court of Ava, to expel our post by 
force of arms, it would have been necessary to co tinue the British troops on the island for a time at least, 
since our retirement would doubtless be imputed to the apprehensions of an attack. As the troops had been 
removed, however, we did not see, in these circumstance-;, any paramount or adequate motive for directing their 
return, but left it at the discretion of the magistrate and the commanding officer, either to adopt that measure, 
according to circumstances, or simply to hold such a force in readiness at Tek Naf, as, with the aid of the arm- 
ed vessels in the river, would suffice for repelling and adequately chastising on the spot any attempt which the 
Burmese might make to re-occupv the island. 

8. Relatively to the proposition of the Arracanese vakeels for declaring the disputed island to be neu- 
tral ground, we observed, that worthless and insignificant as the place must be to either party, and 
willing as the Governor General in Council might have felt to listen to any such proposal, had it been 
brought forward by the government of Ava itself, at an earlier stage of the discussion, and previous to 
the assault ou our post, antl the slaughter of our sipaliees, the just indignation excited by that act of outrage, 
and the declarations and resolutions it had necessarily induced, must utterly preclude any compromise of the 
above nature, even if not proffered in the tone of insolent menace which the Raja of Arracan had invariably 
assumed. We therefore pointed out distinctly to Mr. Robertson, that no overtures involving the relin- 
quishment of our absolute and unqualified right to shapuree, must for a moment be entertained, and we de- 
sired, that if the Burmese deputies should again urge the peremptory orders of their government, to pi-event 
the British authorities from keeping a guard on the island, he would at once meet the argument by stating the 
no less positive orders of the British government to maintain the fullest right of posssession, and to inflict in- 
stant and signal chastisement on those who might attempt to cross the Naf for tlie purpose of disturbing that 
possession. 

9. In conclusion, we informed Mr. Robertson, that considering the altered tone of the Burmese since the 
aiTival of the late orders, which thev professed to have received from the King of Ava, and more especially ad- 
verting to an affair between our troops and the Burman force on the Sylhet frontier, of which we had just then 
received accounts, we were of opinion that any attempt to define the south-east boundary could no longer be 
carried on with a hope of success, or even with safety to himself and Captain Cheape, and we desired him 
therefore to desist from the prosecution of that part of his original instructions. 

10. On the 22d January, the acting magistrate of Chittagong reported to us, that he had just learnt the 
arrival, in Arracan, of four ministers of rank from the court of Ava, who had been deputed to the province to 
enquire into the real state of the tlispute with the English, and, as it afterwards appeared, to supersede the func- 
tions of the local authorities. This intelligence was speedily followed by the report of afresh act of outrage and 
treacherous violence, committed by the directions and under the immediate orders of these confidential agents 
of the court, the particulars of which, as exhibited by the log-book of the Honorable Cojnpany's armed ves- 
sels Sophia, and the reports of the Darogha of Tek Naf, are as follows : 

11. It appears that the Burmese commissioners, immediately on their arrival at Mungdoo, the post oppo- 
site to the British Thana of Tek Naf, fiudinf that the island of Shapuree had been evacuated, crossed 
the river in four large boats full of armed men, "with some pomp and displaj', and landed at Shapuree, not- 
vitlistanding the solemn warning- which had been given against any such encroachment. On their retiring it 
was found that they had set fire to a hut, the only tangible object on the island, as the redoubt had been razed 
when our detachment was removed. 

12. About the same time an interpreter waited on the Darogha at Tek Naf, to announce the arrival 
of the abovementioned Wuzeers, or ministers, from the court of Ammerapoora, and to invite the officers of 
the troops and those of the vessels, to wait on thent at Mungdoo. With the former, ihis insidious invitation 

H had 



26 DOCUMENTS. 

had no effect, but some of the latter unhappily fell into the snare, and by their deplorable imprudence, afforded 
to the Burmese au opportunity of perpetrating an act of insult and treacherous violence which it is impossible 
for this government to overlook <;r tolerate with impunity. 

13. It should b^:" observed, that on tlic removal of tiie detachment from Sliapuree, the Honorable Com* 
pany's vessel Sophia, one of tiie pilot schooners, armed for the occasion, was ordered to take up a position with 
the guu boats more immediately off the north-east point of the island, to serve, in some degree, as a substitute 
for the presence of the troops. 

14. On the 20th January, a boat full of armed Burmese pulled along side of the Sophia, and asked a 
number of suspicious questions regarding the force and equipment of the vessel, and the objact of her remain- 

'ing in the Naf. The same afternoon, a second boat came off from Mungdoo, witli an invitation to Mr. Chew, 
the commander, to call on the following morning at that post. INIr. Chew was absent at the time, but on re- 
turning to the vessel he determined on accepting the invitation, with what motive cannot bs conjectured, as the 
season for amicable communication and intercourse had obviously passed away, in consetjuence of the altered 
tone and language of the Burmese, occasioned by the arrival of the commissioners with fresh orders and powers 
from the court. So fully sensible indeed was Mr. Chew of the hazard attending the step, that on proceeding 
to the Burmese shore the next morning, he left particular instructions that, in the event of his not returning by a 
certain hour, a gun boat should be sent to demand iiis person and those of his companions. The commander 
of the Sophia was accompanied, in this ill-timed and inconsiderate visit, by ^Ir. lloyce, a young man who com- 
manded the row boats, and the boat's crew of eigiit lascars. Tlie particulars of what passed after their reach- 
ing Mungdoo are not known, but at 8 o'clock, on the morning of the 21st January, Alee Chand, ferryman, saw 
these unfortunate persons surrounded hy a large party of Burmese, and carried off to Lowadhung, in the in- 
terior. The witness was himself seized and confined for a time at Mungdoo, and saw the Wuzeers gooff, 
with their )irisoners to the interior. Subsequent accounts have fully established the fact, that this treacherous 
seizure and imprisonment of two officers and a part of the crew of the Honorable Company's vessels in the 
Naf, was accomplished by the order and imder the immediate directions of the commissioners deputed ex- 
press from the court of A va to settle affairs on the frontier, and who it must, of course, be presumed, are 
well acquainted with the temper and designs of their sovereign. 

A humane consideration for the safety of the gentlemen who had thus fallen into the hands of the most 
barbarous and sanguinary of all eastern nations, very properly induced jNIr. Robertson to try, at first, tlie 
effects of persuasive and conciliatory language, in accomplishing their release, and a letter was accordingly ad- 
dressed by hun to the Rnja of Arracan on the subject, which your honorable committee will find recorded in 
No. 2 of our secret consultations, dated 6th February. 

On the 23d January, Mr. Robertson communicated a report from the Daroghaof Tek Naf, that the oc- 
currence described in the preceding paragraph, had created the greatest terror and alarm in the southern part 
of the Chiltagong district, and that the inhabitants were preparing to flv with their cattle and property. 

In Kply to the despatches of the acting magistrate of Chittagong, as above, we expressed the strong sen- 
timents of concern and mortification with which we had learnt the act of treachery and outrage therein reported 
on the part of the Burmese. We observed, that the deputation of commissioners by the King of A va (who it 
should be observed nuist have been dispatched after the arrival of our declaration at the capital) might have 
afforded a hope, that after inspecting the mere position of the disputed island, they woulil have become satisfied 
of the justice of the British title, and the unfounded nature of the pretensions set up by the llajah of Arracan, 
and that thus the result of their mission would have been conducive to the jjreservation of friendly relations 
between the two states. Unhappily, however, their very fii'st act had destroyed all hope of such a result, and 
could be regarded only as aflbrding irresistable evidence of the hostile spirit perv.iding the councils oi the 
government of Ava, and the absence of any disposition on the part of the Burmaa monarch to afford us re- 
paration for the former outrage. 

Wliilst unwilling to relinquish, altogether, the hope that the representation addressed by the acting ma- 
gistrate to the iwTJah of Arracan, would j)roduce the release of Mr. Chew and his companions, and entertain- 
ing a sincere disposition to make every reasonable degree of allowance for the barbarous character and notions of 
the Burmese, and their singular ignorance of the strength of the power, whose vengeance they had thus dared, 
a second time, to jjrovoke, we stated that we considered it hidispensibly necessary to declare our sentiments and 
determination as to the line of conduct which must be adopted, under the supposition of our officers, detained 
as prisoners by the Burman government, not being speedily released. 

We instructed the acting magistrate therefore, that in the event supposed, he would, on the receipt of 
our instructions, address one more letter to the Raja of Arracan, in the strongest language of remon- 
strance, peieniptorily calling upon that chief and the Wuzeers from Ava, in the name of the Governor Gene- 
ral in Council, to deliver up the officers and men whom tliey had detained, within a certain period, (to be fixed 

by 



BURMESE WAR. 



87 



by liimself.) under pain of the severest vengeance of the British power. We directed it to be distinctly avow- 
ed, that as the act of treachei-y and violence complained of, had been committed under the orders of the com- 
missioners deputed from the court itself, it must be considered as emanating from the King of Ava's authority 
and, unless instantly remedied, the relations of peace between the t\t'o goveriunents, already so seriously disturb- 
ed by past proceedings, would be hekl to be dissolved, and war to have actually commenced. The man-istrate 
was, of course, instructed to make known to us his proceedings, and the results of them imder the above orders 
by express. 

'20. For the particulars of our views as to the offensive operations, which might safely and expediently 
be adopted on the southern bank of the Nafj in the event of the Burmese failing to restore Mr Chew and 
his companions, and for other particulars comprised in our instructions, we must beg leave to refer your ho- 
nourable committee to our secretary's letter, recorded as No. 4, of our consultations, of the 6th of February. 

21. On the 27th ultimo, the political agent on the Chittagong frontier reported to us, that the Burmese 
were certainly assembling their forces in unusual numbers at Mungdoo, Lawudhung, and Arracan, and that 
it was currently believed, that a large reserve, rumoured at 12,000 men, had been collected at a place inland, 
called Dulak. Mr. -Robertson observed on diis occasion, that there could exist no longer any doubt that the 
Burmese, ^^hatever their ultimate intentions might be, were making preparations for warlike" operations, and 
that he was disposed to think the designs of the court of Ava to be a hostile nature, though it seemed proba- 
ble, diat die Tiajuhs and subordinate authorities in the Arracan province, were well disposed to promote an 
amicable and pacific adjustment. 

22. On the 31st ultimo, Mr. Robertson f )rwarded translations of two letters to his address from the Ra- 
jah of Arracan, distinctly avowing that Messrs. Chew and Royce were seized by die orders of the generals of 
the sultan of Ava, because their vessel was anchored off the island of Shapitree, and promising, at the same time, 
to treat them well. Mr. R^obertson stated, however, that a perusal of those documents had considerably di- 
minished his hopes of the eventual release of those gentlemen and their companions. 

23. In communicating our instructions to jMr. Robertson, founded on a consideration of the above dis- 
patches, we signified to that gentleman our resolution, that even shoidd the demand for the release of Mr. 
Chew and his companions be complied with within the sp^ifled time, there would still remain two conditions 
to be required of the Burmese, compliance with which could alone induce the British government to abstain 
liom the just measures of retaliation, which we had provisionally authorized him to adopt. The first was am- 
ple apology and reparation for the insult offered to this government, by the treacherous seizure and temporary 
detention of the Honourable Company's officers — and the second, a declaration in writing, that the Burmese 
abandon all pretension to the island of Shapuree, and engage to withdraw the troops they have assembled at 
Lawudlmng and Mungdoo, and to reduce the detachments at those posts to their usual strength. We observed 
on this occasion, that liie hostile and insulting conduct of the Burmese officers, in attacking and slaughtering 
our guard at Shapuree, which the government of Ava had failed to disavow, and had thereby acknovvledf^ed 
as its own act, after ample space had been allowed for explanation, might justly be considered to have already 
placed the two countries in a state of war, and to warrant the adoption, on our part, of instant measures of 
retaliation without farther notice. " 

21. On the 1st instant, we received a farther report from the acting magistrate of Chittagong. In this 
letter Mr. Robertson observed, with reference to some remarks contained in our former insU-uctions, that had it 
not been for the unexpected arrival of the general and his two colleagues from the capital, and their subse- 
quent conduct, he should still have had hopes of averting hostilities, and that his endeavours had been frustrat- 
ed by circumstances such as no one could possibly at the moment foresee. It must be evident to us, he ob- 
served, that the approach of the personage styled the general, and the ascertained fact of a force having been 
collected with the avowed purpose of commencing hostilities, if their terms (viz. the surrender of Shapuree,) 
are not complied with, renders the dispute on the Chittagong frontier no longer a mere provincial discussion. 
Whether or not they will attempt what they threaten depend-;, lie added, upon the degree of resolution which 
the Burmese may be supposed to possess; for of the inchnations of their present leaders there could no longer 
be a doubt. Mr. Robertson then took occasion to express his own opinion of the peculiarly exposed state of the 
Chittagong frontier to predatory irruptions, and the strong probabiUty that the Burmese, when once become 
our avowed enemies, would direct their operations to har;issing us in this manner by repeated incursions, and 
at the same time gratifying their revenge against the Mug refugees who occupy the most easily assailable 
part of the district. He further remarked, that considering the state of affairs in Cachar, and the conduct 
of the Burmese on the Naf, the British government must be regarded as virtually at war with the 
empire of Ava, and that every allowable measure of hostihty might therefore justly be resorted to. A de- 
fensive system involves, he observed, so many difficulties, and would hereafter prove so endless, as literally 
to afford the prospect of no point, however remote, at which it might be expected to terminate, while the 

climate 



28 , DOCUMENTS. 

climate renders delay the worst evil we can encounter. On tliese gi-ounds, Mr. Robertson avowed his sentiments 
as decidedly in favour of offensive operations. For the successfid conduct of any such operations against the 
province of Arracan, no less than for the protection of the Chittagong district itself, the acting magistrate stated 
his opinion, that it would be indispensable to raise Mug levies, and to supply them with arms and ammunition. 

23. On the 8th .ind 9th instant, Mr. Robertson reported to us the steps which he had taken in pursuance 
of our instructions of the 31st ultimo, for procuring the release of Mr. Chew and his companions, and appriz- 
ed us that he had peremptorily called upon the Rajah of Arracan and the Wuzeers to set them at liberty 
■withm ten days, luider pain of the consequences. — Accounts had, in the interval, been received from Mr. Chew 
himself, evincing a spirit unbroken bj' the calamitous situation in whicli he had placed himself and his com- 
panions, and stating, that he had latterly been treated with humanity and even kindness. ISJr. Robertson 
however remarks, " It is with deeper regret than I can express that I resign the hopes I have hitherto enter- 
tained of Mr. Chew's release.' The high spirit evinced in his letters, and the elasticiiy of mind with which, 
under circumstances so depressing, he still keeps his attention directed to his professional pursuits will. I am 
sure, excite the admiration of His Lordship in Council for the character of the individual, whilst it must deepen 
his regret at the calamitj' that has befallen him. Did it rest with the Rajah (of Arracan) to release or detain 
the two gentlemen, I should still hope for their return, but it is now evident that the local authority of that of- 
ficer is for a time superseded bv that of the person styled the general, whose unexpected approach towards 
the frontier has so materially altered the aspect af affairs in this quarter." 

No. 29. — Declaration on the part of the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council, 

24>th February, 1824. 

During a long course of \'ears, the relations of peace and friendship have been established between the Ho- 
Eorable East India Companjf and the state of Ava, by public engagements, and by the mutually beneficial inter- 
course of trade and commerce. The supreme government of India, scrupulous!}' adhering to the obligation of 
pubhc faith, and cordially solicitous to cultivate a good understanding with all surrounding states, has never 
ceased to manifest, in a special degree, its desire to cement and improve the relations of amity, subsisting with the 
court of Ava. it is notorious, however, that, notwithstanding the uniformly pacific and conciliatory demeanour 
of the British government, the sovereign of Ava has, in repeated instances, committed or sanctioned acts of 
provocation and aggression which liave more than once placed the two countries on the brink of liostilities, 
and the natural consequences of which have been averted only by the moderation ar.d forbearance of the Bri- 
tish power, conscious of its superior strength and resources, and naturally disposed to make tlie largest al- 
lowances for the peculiar character of the people and the government. 

Of late, the Burman monarch, emboldened by a career of successfhl encroachment against tiie jietty states 
intervening between the two emjiires, and more especiall}' elated by the conquest of Assam, has dared to 
ofler injury to the British power, under circumstances of studied insult, menace, and defiance, such as no 
government, alive to a sense of honour, and duly mindful of its safety and best interest, can suffer to pass un- 
avenged. 

In the prosecution of a singularly wanton and unfounded claim to the island of Shapuree, situated at the 
southern extremity of the Chiitagong district, the Burman chief, styled the Rajah of Airacan, addressed a 
letter to the Governor General in August last, demanding, under the ijnplied alternative of a rupture with the 
state of Ava, the removal of a small guard which had been stationed on that island, as an arrangement pure- 
ly of police. No time was lost in replying to this letter, by a temperate exposition of the undeniablj title of the 
British government to the place, ns^stabhshed no less by its position on the British side of the main channel 
of the Naf, than by the indisputable evidence of the public records. The Governor General on the same oc- 
casion expressed his j)ersuasion, that the tone assumed in the Rajah's letter had been adopted without due re- 
flectirn, and that neither that, nor the abrupt and unwarrantable demand for llie evacuation of tihapuree, could 
have been authorized by the government of Ava. An offer was farther made, should the arguments contain- 
ed in the letter fail to satisfy the Rajah's mind, as to the justice of our title, to depute an oliicer during the ap- 
proaching cold season to afford additional explanation on the spot, and to adjust all disputed boundary questions 
appertaining to the Chittagong frontier, in concert with commissioners from Arracan. 

Some of the subordinate Arracanese autiiorities having previously declared, in writing to the local officers 
of the Chittagong district,. that the British guard, if not speedily withdrawn from the island of Shaj)uree, 
would be attacked and forcibly expelled ; they were, in reply, distinctly warned, under orders trom the Governor 
General in Council, that any such procedure must be resented by the British government as aii act of positive 
hoslihty, and be punished accordingly. 

The 



BURMESE WAR. 29 

The languaffe of the Burmahs, in their official communications with the British ofScers, had been ever of a 
sir..<nilarly boastful, assuming, and even insolent strain, and adverting to this habitual extravagance of tone, and 
to the i'act, that the government of Ava itself had never raised a claim, nor addressed any representation to the 
supreme government on the subject of this paltry object of contention, it was not imagined that the Arracanese 
rulers seriously meditated the execution of their threat. 

It was therefore, with equal astonishment and indignation, that the Governor General in Council learnt 
early in October last, that the Burmese chiefs of Arracan, called the four Rajahs, after suddenly assemblino- an 
unusual force at their frontier posts on the Naf, had, under cover of the night, deliberatelv attacked our "nard 
en the island, consisting of a Jemadar and twelve privates of the Chittagong Provincial jjattalion, whom^ they 
forced to retire after killing or woundintj six of our men. Tlie Rajahs at the same time sedulously promulgated, 
both verbally and in writing, that thoy had acted under the authority of a mandate from the sultan of Ava, and 
that any attempt of the British government to recover possession of what that government had solnmiy declared 
to be its unquestionable right, would be followed by an invasion of the eastern districts of BenTal, for which 
purpose the forces of the Burman empire were advancing to the frontier. In a letter also addressed shortly 
afterwards by the Raja of Arracan to the Governor General, that chief had the unparalleled audacity to delare, 
that the party on the island of Shapuree had been destroyed in pursuance of the comminds of the great Lord 
of the Seas and Earth ; that if the British government wanted tranquillity, it would allow the matter to pass; 
but if it should rebuild a stockade on the island, the city of Dacca and Moorshedabad, which originally belong- 
ed to the great Arracan Rajah, would be taken from it by force of arms 

No comments can be needed to illustrate the character of proceedings thus pushed to the extreme of in- 
sult and defiance, by a people who, notwithstanding their barbarous character, and extravagance of national 
pride, are by no means ign rant of the principles and observances which ordinarily regulate the intercourse 
between independant states, and who, as their whole conduct and language have shown, can feel keenly enough^ 
in their own case, any supposed infraction of national rights or honour. If any additional circumstance were 
wanting to demonstrate to the conviction of the whole world, the utterly wanton, as well as gross nature of the 
injury thus offered to a friendly pawer, in a time of profound peace, and when no question or discussion had 
arisen between the two governments, it will be found in the fact, that recently these very officers have profess- 
ed their perfect willingness that Shapuree should be considered neutral ground — thus acknowledijeinop the du- 
bious nature of the Burman title, and insidiously tendering a proposition at this late period of the season, 
which, if advanced iii proper la: guage by tlieir government on the first commencement of the discussion, 
would probably have been assented to by the British authorities, as an admissible compromise, where the ob- 
ject in dispute was so utterly worthless and unimportant. 

The first impulse of the British government, on learnmg the outrage at Shapuree, was naturally to take 
into its own hands the instant chastisement of its authors, by fitting out an expedition to attack any assailable 
points in Arracan. But various considerations induced the Governor General, subsequently, to pause in the 
adoption of this course. On farther reflection, it appeared possible that the King of Ava might have been 
misled by false and interested reports, or that the name of their sovereign might have been used without au- 
thority by the Rajahs of Arracan" and Ramre, whose intemperate and even insolent language had, on former 
occasions, excited the serious displeasure of the British government. It was deemed, at all events, a step wor- 
thy the magnanimity of a powerful nation, and consistent with our uniform policy towards the state of Ava, to 
afford to the Burman monarch an opportunity of disavowing and making atonement for what we were willing to 
consider, in the first instance, as the unautliorized act of a subordinate authority. Under this view, a letter was 
addressed to the ministers of the King of Ava, in the form of a declaration on the part of the Governor General, 
explaining in decided, but moderate language, the sentiments to which the occurrence at Shapuree had given 
rise on our part : demanding reparation for that outrage, by the disgrace and punishment of its immediateauthors; 
and solemnly warning the Burman government of the consequences which must inevitably attend a refusal to 
comply with this just demand, and to repress, in future, tlie insolence and hostility of tone which its local 
ofticers had invariably assumed^t every point where they h.id come in contact with the British power, whe- 
ther in Chittagong or Assam. Copies of this letter were forwarded to the capital of Ammerapoora, by two 
separate channels about the middle of November last. 

Conformably with the intention avowed in the letter to the court of Ava, the Governor General in Coun- 
cil, at the same time dispatched re-inforcements to Chittagong, in order to ensure the safety and restore the 
tranquillity of that district which had been so seriously disturbed by the conduct of the Burmese, and like- 
wise to overpower any opposition that might be made to the re-occupation of the island of Shapuree, On the 
arrival of the force in the Naf river, the limited objects with which it had been deputed, and the pacific inten- 
tions of the British government pending the reference to the court of Ava, were distinctly explained to the 
Arracanese authorities, both by the magistrate of the district, and the officer commanding the troops, and so 

I perfectly 



30 DOCUMENTS. 

perfectly disposed were the Burmese to credit our assurances, that an Intercourse was speedily re-established 
between the officers and functionaries of both states, on the most fi'iendly and confident footing. 

For a time hopes were entertained, that the differences with the Burmese might be amicably adjusted on 
terms consistent with the national honor, and that the Burman government would consent to the definition 
of such a boundary between the two countries, as would obviate the future occurrence of disputes and misua< 
derstanding on the south-east frontier. 

About the middle of January, this pacific aspect of affairs was suddenly changed, and all friendly inter- 
course suspended, by the arrival of a military officer of the highest rank, at the head of large re-inforcements, 
accompanied by two commissioners from the capital, vested with extensive powers, and bringing positive orders 
to dislodge the English, at whatever hazard, from the island of Shapuree. The purport of these orders was osten- 
tatiously proclaimed with a distinct intimation, that any attempt on our part to interrupt their execution, would 
be considered tantamount to a declaration of war between the two states. The first act of the commissioners 
was to cross over, in state, to the disputed island, obviously for the purpose of recovering a nominal possession ; 
the British detachment having been previously witlidrawn, in consequence of the unhealthiness of the spot. 
The following day, they succeeded in decoying to the shore two of the officers of the Honorable Company's 
anned vessels in the Naf, whom, with their boat's crew, they treacherously seized, in defiance of the laws 
of good faith and hospitality, and imprisoned and detained them for nearly a month, expressly on the ground of 
their having anchored their ship off the island of Shapuree. Shortly afterwards, the standard of the Bur- 
man empire was hoisted by stealth, during the night, on the disputed ground, an act which, however con- 
temptible in itself, must necessarily be regarded as a farther pledge of the obstinate determination of the 
Burman government to carry its point, even at the known hazard of involving the two nations in war. 

During all this period the King of Ava has maintained a haughty and contemptuous silence on the sub- 
ject of the remonstrance addressed to the Burmese court more than three montlis back. The above docu- 
ment musthave reached the capital some time previous to the deputation of the commissioners, and the Govern- 
or General in Council is hence compelled to interpret the acts and declaration of those ministers, as the only 
answer which the government of Ava deigns to return. 

Whilst the British territories on the southern frontier have been thus actually violated under circum- 
stances of peculiar and aggravated insult, the language and proceedings of the Burmese, on the north-east 
frontier of Bengal, have evinced more extensive and mischievous designs of aggression, and leave no rational 
ground to doubt that the King of Ava has deliberately resolved to pursue the schemes avowed by his officers, 
in contempt of the rights and dignity, and in open defiance of the British government. 

For many years past, the parties dividing authority, and struggling for ascendancy in the Raj of Cachar, 
had incessantly applied to tlie British government, soliciting it to interfere, as the paramount state, to settle 
the affairs of that country. Its internal dissensions had frequently disturbed the tranquillity of the adjoining 
district of Sylhet, and the Governor General in Council having satisfied himself, that Cachar was altosrether 
independent of the Burmese, and that the measure could ailbrd no just ground of umbrage to that govern- 
ment, adopted a resolution on the 19th June last, to take the country avowedly under pi-otection, on the 
usual conditions of political dependence. Whilst arrangements and negotiations were in train for defining the 
terms of our connection with the chief, whom it was determined to re-instate in possession, and who was re- 
siding under British protection within the Honourable Company's territorj', intelligence arrived from Assam, 
that the Burmese were preparing an army to invade and conquer Cachar. The Governor General's agent on the 
north-east frontier, lost no time in addressing letters to the Burmese governor of Assam, briefly apprising hira 
of the nature of our views and measures in regard to the Raj of Cachar, and calling upon him to desist from 
any project of molesting that country. The outrage at Shapuree having in the inteiwal occurred, the agent 
subsequently warned the Burman authorities, under the express instructions of government, that iheir occu- 
pation of Cachar would not be permitted, as, independently of the resolution recently taken by the British go-- 
vernraent to protect that territory, it could not, without a culpable dereliction of duty, and a disregard of the 
plainest maxims ot prudence, allow the Burmese to advance unopposed to a position, the command of which 
would so greatly facilitate the execution of the threat of hivasion, repeatedly pronounced by their country- 
men ill other quarters. The only answer retuined to these coimnunications was, that orders had arrived from' 
tlie King of Ava, to follow up and apprehend certain Munniporian chiefs, (peaceably residing wiihin the Bri- 
tish territory,) wherever tliey might be found ; that these orders would be executed without any respect to 
territory or jurisdiction ; and that the Burmahs were not to be hindered from carrying uito effect the man- 
dates of their sovereign, by any ojiposition which the British authorities might offer. 

It soon appeared, that an army had been assembled in the Burman tiependency of Munnipore, as well as 
in Assam, for the execution of tlie liesh purpose of aggression now distincdy threatened. 

On the advance of the invading force from the eastward, tlic acting magistrate of Sylhet addressed*. 

letters 



BURMESE WAR. 31 

letters of remonstrance, under the orders of government, to the military chiefs in command, of a pur- 
port and tendency similar to those which had been previously transmitted to the commander of the forces 
in Assam. 

Totally disregarding, however, the intimation thus explicitly given by the British government, of its deter- 
mination to resist their occupation of Cachar, on grounds the justice of which cannot be questioned, and 
anxious only to effect their object of concentrating a large army on the immediate frontier of the Company's 
possessions, the parties from tiie northward and eastward hurried on, by forced marches, in avowed defiance of 
our remonstrances, and efi'ected a junction at Jattrapore, only five miles from the fi-ontier of SyUiet, where they 
entrenched themselves in extensive and formidable stockades. Happily, a party of observation had been ad- 
vanced to the frontier on the first intelligence of the near approach of the forces of the King of Ava, of sufficient 
strength to keep them in check, and prevent any actual violation of the British territory in that quarter. But 
the injury already sustained by their advance has been serious, no less to the suffering country of Cachar, than 
to the district of Sylhet, throughout which a general alarm has been spread, causing many of our Ryots to 
abandon their homes, and materially impeding the collection of the public revenues. 

The conduct and declarations of tlie Burman commander, on the Sylhet frontier, have unequivocally dis- 
closed, if indeed any farther proofs were wantmg, the ambitious designs, and insufferable arrogance of the 
court of Ava. 

After long detaining and grossly insulting the vakeel, and successive messengers deputed to their camp 
by the Governor General's agent, they notified in a letter to Mr. Scott, that they had entered the country of 
Cachar to restore the Kaja, and to follow up and seize the Munnipoorian chiefs wherever they might be found, 
knowing well at the time, that the whole of tliose chiefs had obtained an asylum within the British provinces. 
•' Should (they observed) Chorjeet, Marjeet, and Gumbheer Sing, and the Cossayers enter the Enghsh 
territories, apprehend and deUver them, to save any breach of friendship. So doing, no rupture will take 
place, and the commercial intercourse now in existence, will continue. If the Cassayers enter the English 
territories, and their surrender is refused, and if they receive protection, be it known, that the orders of the 
most fortunate sovereign are, that, without reference to any country, they must be pursued and apprehended." 

Whilst occupying their threatening position in Cachar, the generals of the King of Ava had, morever, 
planned the conquest of Jyntia, another petty chiefsliip, situated similarly with Cachar, in regard to the Bri- 
tish frontier; but which having formerly been restored as a gift to the Kajah's family, by the British govern- 
ment, after a temporary convulsion, was more distinctly recognized as a dependency of Bengal. The Rajah of 
Jyntia, in a letter addressed to him by the Burmese commanders, was called upon to acknowledge submission. 
and allegiance to the King of Ava, and to repair forthwith to the Burman camp. A demonstration was further 
actually made against Jyntia, to enforce the above requisition, when the British troops frustrated the execution 
of this hostile and menacing encroachment. 

Two successive checks sustained by the armies of his Burmese majesty on the Sylhet frontier, at lengtli 
induced their partial retreat from the threatening position which they had taken up in that quarter. One 
party, however, still maintains its position in Cachar, and the retirement of the Assamese force, which had 
taken post more immediately on the British frontier, has been made under circmnstances, indicating no re- 
tractation of tlie hostile designs of the government. The ofiicers and men also of tlie Honourable Company's 
armed vessel Sophia have been released, but no kind of apology or explanation of their detention has been 
ofl'ered by the chiefs who committed that outrage. 

From the foregoing detail it will be evident, that in a season of profoimd peace, and wholly without pro- 
vocation, the court of Ammerapura has grossly and wantonly violated the relations of friendship so long estab- 
lished between the two states, and by tlie hostile conduct and language of its officers, and the actual advance 
of its forces to several and widely distant points of our frontier, has compelled the British govermnent to take 
up arms not less in self-defence, than for the assertion of its rights, and the vindication of its insulted dignity 
and honour. 

The scornful silence maintained by the sovereign of Ava, after the lapse of so many months, and the com- 
mission of renewed outrages and insults in that interval, obviously by his sanction and command, evince, that 
all prospect of an honourable and satisfactory adjustment of our differences, by correspondence or negotiation, 
is at an end. At the same time, the season for military operations is rapidly passing away, and it hence becomes 
indispensable, whilst an effort may yet be made, to adopt measures, without delay, for repelling the dangers 
which menace the eastern districts, and for placing the safety of our fi-ontier beyond the reach of the caprice 
and violence of the Burman monarch. 

The Governor Geneuil in Council has tlierefore ordered tlie advance of the force assembled at Gowal- 
pareh, into the territory of Assam, to dislodge the enemy from the commanding position which they oc- 
cupy at the head of the Burhampootcr, and is prepared to pursue such other measures of ofiensive warfare 



32 DOCUMENTS. 

as the honor, the interests, and the safety of the British government demand recotn-se to at the present 
crisis. 

Anxious, however, to avert the calamities of v/ar, and retaining an unfeigned desire to avail itself of any 
proper opening, which may arise for an acconnnodation of differences with the King of Ava, before hostilities 
shall have been pushed to an extreme length, the British government will be prepared even yet, to listen to pacific 
overtures on the part of his Burmese majesty, provided, tiiat they are accompanied with the tender of ade- 
quate apologv, and involve the concession ol such terms as are indespensable to the future security and tran- 
quillity of the eastern frontier of Bengal. 

By command of the Bight Honorable the Governor General in Council, 

GEORGE SWINTON, Sea-etary. 

No. 30. — Proda-mation hjj the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council, 5th March, 1824. 

The conduct of the Burmese having compelled the British government to have recourse to arms in sup- 
port of its rights and honour, the Governor General in Council hereby notifies, that the governmeut of Ava is 
placed in the condition of a public enemy, and that all British subjects, whether European or Native, are prohi- 
bited from holding any communication with the people of that state, until the diii'erences now unhappily exist- 
ing, shall be terminated. 

The Governor General in Council deems it proper to take this opportunity of publicly declaring the 
causes that have led to hostilities with a state, between which and the Honorable East India Company, a 
friendly intercourse has long subsisted, to the great advantage of both parties, and witii which the British go- 
vernment has invariably sought to cultivate and maintain the relations of amity. 

During many years past, the Burmese oilficers governing the country contiguous to our south-east 
frontier, have, from time to time, been guilty of acts of encroachment and aggression, which the British go- 
vernment would have been fully justified in repelling by force. 

Solicitous, however, to preserve with all nations, the relations of peace, the British government has con- 
sidered it to be, in an especial manner, its duty to make large allowances for the peculiar circumstances and 
cliaracter of the Burmese government and people. The consciousness of its power to repel .and punish 
aggression has strengthened the motives of forbearance towards a nation removed, by their geographical situa- 
tion, from the immediate circle of our political relations, and with whom (as we have no ojiposing interests) 
the supreme government sought only to maintain a commercial intercourse on terms of equality and freedom, 
conducive to the welfare and prosperity of both countries. 

So long, therefore, as the aggressions of which the British government had to complain, could be treated 
as the unauthorized acts of the subordinate officers of tlie Burnian government, and could be tolerated con- 
sistently with the national honor and the security of the British territories, the supreme government sedu- 
lously endeavored to preserve unimpaired the existing relations of ]ieace and friendship, notwithstanding pro- 
vocations which would liave fully justified, and from a state more formidable in position and resources, would 
have imjieriously demanded a resort to arms. 

Trusting that the motives of its conciliatory demeanor could not have been misunderstood, the British 
government persuaded itself that the government of Ava, however extravagant in its pretensions, must have 
been no less desirous than ourselves to maintain a friendly intercourse so profitable to that country, and could 
not but be sensible, that as our moderation was founded on a consciousness of our strength, and on a general 
desire to preserve the blessings of peace, so our forbearance would not be carried beyond the limits where it 
ceased to be compatible with the safety of our subjects, the integrity of our dominions, and the honor of our 
country. 

Unhap])ily, these expectations have been disappointed. The Burmese government, actuntetl In' an extra- 
vagant spirit oipride and ambition, and elated by its con(juests over the petty tribes by which it is surrounded, 
has ventured to violate the British territories, to attack and slay a party of British sepoys, to seize and 
imprison British subjects, to .avow extensive schemes of mischievous aggression, and to make hostile pre- 
parations on our frontier, that leave no doubt of its intention to execute its insolent ami unjustifiable threats. 

In prosecution of a groundless claim to the island of Shaimree, the Burmese chiefs of Arracan, in a time 
of profound peace, and widioutany previous attempt at negotiation on the part of their government, attacked, 
under cover of nidit, a small guard of British troops stationed on that island for purposes of police, and 
drove them from tiieir post with the loss of several lives. No answer has been returned by the court of 
Amerapoora to the demand of explanation and atonement which it was of course the duty of the British go- 
vernment instantly to preter, but which was made in the s.atne spirit of conciliation which had always charac- 
terized our communications with the court of Ava. On the contrary, the Burmese local authorities have 

distinctly 



BURMESE WAR. 33 

distinctly declared the determination of their sovereign to invade the British dominions unless their ground- Chitta 
Jess claim to Sliapuree is unequivocally admitted. l&i 

Suhsequ^ntl)' to the attack on the island of Shapuree, the commanding officer and several of the crew of 
the Honorabl-J Company's schooner Sophia were insidiously enticed on shore, and carried into the interior, by 
the order of comuiissioners sjiecially deputed to Arracan by the Burmese court, and although subsequently 
released, they have been sent back widiout any explanation or apology for the insulting outrage. 

The Burmese generals on the north-east have, at the same moment, advanced their troops into the 
country of Cachar, and occupied a post within only five uiiles of the frontier of Sylhet, notwithstanding that 
they were distincdy warned by the British authorities, in that quarter, that the petty state of Cachar was imder 
the protection of the British government, and that the movement of their troops must be regarded as an act 
of hostility to be repelled by force. In both quarters, the Burmese chiefs have publicly declared their determi- 
nation to enter the British territories in pursuit of alleged oiienders against the government of Ava, and have 
avowed intentions of open hostihty as the alternative of our refusing to comply with tlieir unjust and utterly 
inadmissible pretensions. 

Whilst occupying their threatening position on the British frontier, the Burmese government planned, 
moreover, the conquest of Jynteea, another chiefship situated similarly with Cachar, in regard to the district 
of Sylhet, and which having formerly been restored by the British authorities to the iamilv of the reigning 
Rajah, after a temporary convulsion, had been more tlistinctly recognized as a dependency of Bengal. They 
called on the Rajah to acknowledge submission and allegiance to the King of Ava, and a demonstration was 
actually made to enter his territory, when the advance of the British troops frustrated the execution of their 
hostile design. 

The deliberate silence of the court of Amrapoora, as well as the combination and extent of the operations 
undertaken by its officers, leave it no longer doubtful that the acts and declarations of the subordinate autho- 
rities are fully sanctioned by their sovereign, and that that haughty and barbarous court is not only determin- 
ed to withhold all explanation and atonement for past hijuries, but meditates projects of the most extravagant 
and unjustifiable aggression against the British government. 

The Governor General in Council therefore, for the safet\' of our subjects, and the security of our dis- 
tricts, already seriously alarmed and injured by the approach of the Burmese armies, has felt himself impera- 
tively called on to anticipate the threatened invasion. The national honor no less obviously requires that atone- 
ment should be had for wrongs so wantonly inflicted and so insolently maintained, and the national interests 
equally demand that we should seek, by an appeal to arms, that security against future insult and aggression 
which tiie arrogance and gi-asping spirit of the Burmese government have denied to friendly expostulation and 
remonstrance. 

With these views and purposes, the Governor General in Council has deemed it an act of indispensable 
duty to adopt such measures as are necessary to vindicate the honor of the Bi'Itish government, to bring the 
Burmese to a just sense of its character and rights, to obtain an advantageous adjustment of our eastern 
boundary, and to preclude the recurrence of similar insult and aggression in future. 

Still animated by a sincere desire for peace, and utterly averse from all purposes of aggrandizement, the 
Governor General in Council will rejoice if the objects abovementioned can be accomplished without carrying 
the war to extremities. But to whatever length the conduct of the Burmese government may render it ne- 
cessary to prosecute hostilities. His Lordship in Council relies with confidence on the justice of our cause, on 
the resources of the government, and on the approved valor of our troops, for the early and successful ter- 
mination of the contest. 

By Command of the Right Hon'ble the Governor General In Council, 

GEORGE SWINTON, Sey. to Govt. 

No. 31. — F7-om Menla Maha JSIengoung, the Viceroy of Pegu, and of the 32 Provinces of 
Planza-ii'oodjj, to the Bengal Government, representing the Company, received the IJth 
March, 18^24. 

The letters brought by Webster's ship were delivei'ed, and on the petition being submitted to the minis- 
ters of the most fortunate King of White Elephants, Lord of the Seas and Earth, &c. &c. they observed, 
that the English protect the Arracanese rebels, who have violated their oaths of allegiance, as well as Jora- 
jeit, Mora-jeit, the Cassayers, and natives of Eckaba, also Boora Counhay, Chundee Gunda Sing, and the 
Assamese people ; and that Chittagong, Ramoo, and Bengal, form part of the four great cities of Arracan, 
but that as they were worldly matters, they are not worth notice, on account of the commercial intercourse 
carried on by seafaring men. 

K Shein-mabu 



34 DOCUMENTS. 

Shein-mabu is annexed to the four great cities, and because seapoys were stationed there, the governor 
of Arracan requested, in the first instance, that they might be withdrawn, and afterwards caused them to be 
expelled by royal authority. 

The governor of Arracan has represented, that three ships and three boats are stationed on the opposite 
side of the Naf, and that a stockade has been erected on the island; also that his messenger, on arriving at 
Chittagong, was confined there. If this be true, know that the governors on the Burinan frontiers have 
full authority to act, and that until every tiling is settled, a communication need not be made to tlie golden 
feet. 

The Rajalis and generals of Arracan, Rarare, Cheduba, Meeawoody, Bassein, and the western sea- 
coast would, on hearing these occurrences, rise like giants; for this and for many other considerations, Mengee 
IMaha Bandoola has been ajjpointed to regulate all the state aflairs. He is vested with full military powers, 
and on all important occasions, he must be referred to via Arracan. This appointment has been communi- 
cated to all die authorities. 

The letter sent by the Governor General states, that he has been newly appointed; he can, therefore, 
know nothing of the guilt of the Arracanese rebels, and he believes what they repi'esent. Much rests upon 
those in charge of chokies and such places. Let him ascertain the truth, consider duly every thing, inves- 
tigate and judge properly, and by petition represent his case to the general, via Arracan. 

No. 32. — Extracts from the Goverrunent Gazette. 

April 12. — Capture of Go-xahaUy. — Official intelligence has, we understand, been received from Bri- 
gadier iSIacMorine, dated Camp Pundoonauth, on the left bank of the Berhampooter, 23th March, reporting 
llie occupation by our troops of Gowahatty, the capital of Assam. 

Brigadier MacMorine was joined by the howitzers on the 26th of March, when he advanced with the 
whole force, consisting of die Rungpore Light Infantry, Chumparun Light Intantry, and Dinagepore Local 
Battalion, and on the niorm'ng of die 2Sdi, proceeded to the vicinity of Gowahatty with the view of taking up a 
position for hivesting the place. 

On his arrival, with the flotilla gun-boats, at Pundoonauth, a reconndissance was made, by which it was 
discovered that the Dewan Gorreah fort had been deserted, the enemy having, during the preceding night, eva- 
cuated the whole of their stockades and chokeys, in and adjoining Gowahatty, and retired, it is reported, to 
Roosali, to join a considerable body of Burmese at that place. 

A few loaded iron guns were found in the fort, and a sepoy of the Chumparun Light Infantry possessed 
himself of a pair of colors, which the enemy had left behind. 

Some small parties of sepoys were detached to the town and neighbourhood to take care that the uiha- 
bitants were not plundered of what little the Burmese had not carried oifwith them. 

From private accounts, we have gathered tlie following further particulars. On the 27th, the troops ar- 
rived at Plosbaug, and the advance guard, under Captain Sneyd, saw about twenty Burmese close to the place 
■where they were to encamp. The Burmese took to flight, and were followed by Captain Sneyd's party until 
they disappeared in a deep nullah, when a loud shout was set up by about two lunulred others from the ojiposite 
bank, beating tom-toms, &c. Re-inforcements from the Dinagepore Battalion, and Rungpore Light Intantry 
having come up, the Buniiese retreated, and the party under Captain Sneyd dashed at them, but could not 
come up with them. They were so closely pursued, however, that some of them hid themselves in the huts of 
the village that surrounded their post, one of ^^honl was discovered dm'uig the day by the villagers, who 
brought liini into camp fastened like a wild beast. 

In the stockatle abandoned by the Buranese, a dead body was found with the head cut off, and other- 
wise dreadfully mutilated, and on the preceding night fourteen shots, supposed to be cannon, were distinctly 
heard in the camp, which the villagers afterwards informed our party, were large jinghals, from which the 
Burmese had blown fourteen Assamese chiefs suspected of an intention to come over. 

It is supposed that no furtlicr resisti^nce will be made by the enemy. Several of the Assamese tribes had 
assembled to cut them up, and prevent their passage throagii their country to Ava. The llajah of Dring had 
accepted our protection, together with a number of petty chiefs. The Rajah of Lucky Dewah and^oine 
others, had been carried away by the Burmese. 

Five companies of the 23d Native Infantrj-, under Lieutenant- Colon el Richards, were proceeding up by 
water, and expected to reach Gowahatty on the evening of the 2Sth, the day on w hich Gowahatty was taken. 
The mtelligence of the success of Brigadier MacMorine had reacheil Mr.' Scott, the agent to the Governor 
Cencral, then at Sylhet, and he had marched to Gowahatty with ihicc companies of the 23d Native Infantry 
on the 3d uistant, across Jynleeapore. 

We 



BURMESE WAR. 35 

We have been flivoured with a cop)' of the proclamation issued by the British authorities on enter ui" the 
Assam territor}^, which in substance is as follows : 

"Inhabitants of Assam ! It is well known to you that some years ago the Burmese invaded your territory, 
and that they Iiave since dethroned the Rajah, plundered the country, slaughtered Brahmins, and women 
and cows, defiled your temples, and committed the most barbarous outrages of every kind, so that vast num- 
bers of your countrymen have been forced to seek refuge in our dominions, where they have never ceased to 
implore our assistance. Notwithstanding our regret at witnessing the miseries to which you were subjected, as 
we were on friendly terms with the King of Ava, we could not interfere. But now the officers of his Burmese 
majesty have invaded our dependent territory of Cacliar, and there and elsewhere have committed such 
outrages, and held a language so arrogant and hostile, that we are at length at war. The wished-for oppor- 
tunity of relieving yourselves from the hands of your oppressors hasnovv arrivecL Our victorious army has 
crossed the boundary?, and ere long we will drive the barbarians beyond the Burmahkoond, nor cease until we 
restore peace and security to your distracted country. Come forward, therefore, without fear for the present or 
the future, Supply our troojis with provisions, for which ready money will be paid, and fail not, where you 
have an opportunity, to wreak your vengeance on the remnant of those who have caused jou so many calami- 
ties. We are not led into your country by the thirst of conquest; but are forced, in our own defence, to deprive 
our enemy of the means of annoying us. You may, therefore, rest assured, that we will never consent to de- 
part until we exclude our foe from Assam, and re-establish in that country a government adapted to your wants, 
and calculated to promote the happiness of all classes. 

May 6. — Assam. — Advices have been received from Mr. Scott, the agent to the Governor General, report- 
ing his arrival at Noagaong on the 15th ultimo. This place is described as one of the largest towns in Assam, 
extending, in a straggling manner, for about twelve miles along both sides of the Kullung river, and containing, 
it is said, four thousand families. Mr. Scott proposed advancing on the 17th, with the detachment of the 23d 
Native Infantry, under Captain llorsburgh, to KuUiabur, one day's march north-cast of Noagaong. The ene- 
my's force stockaded at Maura Mook'h, was understood to consist of 500, natives of the Ava country, and about 
the same number of Assamese, worse armed than usual, inconsequence of almost the Whole of their muskets 
having been thrown away by that portion of their army which fled from Birkola on the 18th of February last, 
'i he forward movement on Kalliabur is calculated to establish our authority without further delay in the wes- 
tern part of Assam, to secure provisions for the future supplies for the troops, and to dispel the well ground- 
ed fears of the inhabitants, that if the country be left mfucli longer unoccupied, the Burmese will recover their 
courage, and at least deprive uj of its resources, if not create a subsequent famine by sending out small parties 
to devastate and burn the villages. Noagaong is represented to be a place well calculated for a cantonment, 
and as likely to prove much more healthy than anj' part of our own frontier, and more abundant in grain. 

The Burmese are said to be in great alarm, and sensible of their inability to make any efl'cctual opposition 
without reintin-cenients, which they had repeatedly called for from Ava. The inhabitants of the country, 
through which Mr. Scott had passed, and which seemed to be very populous and well cultivated, had evinced 
the utmost satisfaction at the arrival of our troops. Such of them as had displayed any backwardness in as- 
sisting us were either dependants of the Burmese, or afraid of their return, which latter feeling could only be 
completely dispelled by the advance of a large force. 

Private letters mention, that a messenger, sent with letters to the governor of Assam, had been barbarously 
murdered by his order. They also describe the country round Noagaong as highly cultivated and very popu- 
lous, although evidently much less so than it had recently been. Noagaong itself is said to be an immense 
gi-ove of Beetul and other trees, principally those upon which the Moogul silk worm is fed. 

Further imiiiculais. — Letters from RussaCiiokey, of the 15th of Ajiril, state, that the Bmunese had left that 
part of the country, and retired seventy miles higher up, where they had an advanced post at Maura Mook'h. 
They were said to have been attacked by the Assamese chief Chunder Kaunt, assisted by some of the neigh- 
bouring hill tribes, and driven down to .lorhaut. Kalliabur, the place upon which the detachment, with the 
Governor General's agent, was advancing, is about a week's march above Goahuttee. 

June 7. — Assam. — By official reports received from Goahattee, of the 22d May, it appears, that the Bur- 
mese who had taken up a stockaded position at Hautbur, on the south bank of the Kullung river, evacuated 
it on the advance of Lieutenant Colonel Richards, and retired to Runglyghur, where they have a strong 
stockade, about eight hours march from KuUiabur. 

On Lieutenant Colonel Richards proceeding with a small guard to examine and give orders for the des- 
truction of the stockade at Hautbur, he was informed on his arrival there, by a villager, that about sixty of the 
enemy liad returned to it. He, in consequence, immediately returned to Captain Horsburgh's canlp, and ordered 
Lieutenant Richardson to repair with the russala of cavalry, and a company of infantry, to endeavour to 
surprise lliem. la this he succeeded. The eacniy had only time to fu"e a few shots from the stockade, which 

did 



36 DOCUMENTS. 

did not take effect, and ran off to the rear, right upon the cavalry, who had been previously detached to inter- 
cept them, and wlio killed twenty of them, and a Phnkun (commander,) all real Burmese, The name of the 
Phokun killed is supposed to be Tamee, and he is reported to have been the second in command to Boogly 
Pliokun, and to have had the chief management of the enemy's camp. 

June 17. — Assam. — We are now enabled to give the particulars of the gallant affair with the Burmese, 
who had advanced to attack Captain Horsburgh's position at Hautbur on the 24th of May. 

Lieutenant Colonel Richards had posted Captain Horsburgh with four companies, and the russala, in 
the stockade at Hautbm-, from which the enemy were driven by Lieutenant Richardson on the Tuh of May. 

It is conjectured, that die enemy advanced upon Captain Horsburgh's position to try their fortune with 
him before their retreat was finally cut off by Colonel Richards, w!io was only about four miles in their rear, 
anxiously waiting the arrival of the elephants, for the conveyance of the guns, and which alone prevented hiin 
attacking them eight dajs before. 

At about 3 p. M., on the 24di of May, there was an alarm given, that the enemy was cutting up our grass- 
cutters; the picket, in consequence, marched out, and Captain Horsburgh got the rest of the men quickly under 
arms, both cavalry and infantry. When he came up to the picket, he found them carrying on a brisk fire 
(Lieutenant Jones at their head) with the enemy, who were in the jungle to the right of the road, where they 
had planted a number of jinjals. He sent Lieutenant Jones to the right w ith the cavalry, with directions to 
endeavour, if possible, to get into their rear, and intercept their retreat to their stockade at Runglyghur. 

Captain Horsburgh then ordered the picket to proceed along the baidvs of the river, and went himself 
with two companies into the jungle on the right of the road, advancing down in as good a line as the thick jun- 
gle would admit. The enemy only fired their jinjals once, and fled through the jungle, leaving the jinjals 
behind. In the mean tune, Lieutenant Jones, dashing across with the horsemen to the river, succeeded in cut- 
ting oft' the retreat of about two hundred. Some escaped by swimming, about forty were killed by the Suwars, 
a number were drowned, and several sabred or shot in the water. The picket which had marched along the 
banks of the river KuUung, got up in time to kill several in the water. Many of the enemy on horseback 
attempted to escape by swimming their horses, but they were thrown from their saddles in the middle of the 
stream ; the horses, or rather tattoos, swimming back, fell into our hands, together with a number of old 
muskets, brass drums, and about eighteen jinjals. 

The enemy are said to have retired to a place called Oopah Rutt/a, two long marches from Runglyghur, 
where they were making another stockade. 

The particulars of the attack made on Gowahatty by Captain W^allace, detached by Colonel Richards, 
with one hundred men, against a p^rty of one hundred and twenty, are as follows : 

At 2 A.. M., Captain Wallace proceeded with his detachment and flotilla, on the 4th ultimo, to the north 
bank of the Burrumpootei", and advancing about three miles up the Bishenat river, disembarked, and marched 
to the enemy's position, distant about six miles, where he arrived at half-past seven in the.mornmg. The 
enemy were on the alert, and had taken precautionary measures to ascertain our approach by placing men in 
trees within the vicinity of the place, who observed the advance of the detachment at the distance i.f four or 
five hundred j'ards, so that tliey had mei'ely sufficient time to make their escape, as the rear of the enemy were 
just leaving their position when the detachment entered it. There is every reason to believe that the enemy 
had but little baggage, and that from the few bundles of clothes, &c. which liave been captured in the pursuit, 
it appears that sucli as they did possess had been previously packed up to be removed at a moment's notice. 

Captain Wallace had calculated upon arriving at the enemy's position at dawn of d.iy, but unforeseen cir- 
cumstances on the Burrumpooter at night, without the advantage of moonlight, in a river from six to eight 
miles in breadth, unfortunately frustrated his intentions. A few arms were captured, seven prisoners, and 
three women. 

It is satisfactory to observe, that the information obtained by the guide and intelligence department, under ' 
the immediate authority and control of Lieutenant Neufville, deputy assistant quarter-master general, who 
accompanied the detachment, was perfectly correct in every point of view. 

Captain Wallace destroyed the position by fire before his return to the boats. 

June 28. — Assam. — From the information we have received of the strength and disposition of the enemy 
in Assau), it appears that the force at Maura Mook'h consists of one thousand, under the personal command 
of the Boorah Rajah (Governor of As.sam), who is looking f')r reinforcements from above. At Dee Sooali, or 
Joorhath, between Maura Mook'h and Rungpoor, one hundred — At Rungpoor, one thousand. These com- 
prise the entire force of the enemy in Assam at present, with the exception of the small party near Bishenath, 
and it is believed that there are not five hundred real Burmese at this time in the whole country of Assam. 

Dy all accounts that have been received, the situation of Maura Mook'h differs much from the stockades 
we have hitherto met with, which are all indebted, more or less, for strength to nature. But Maura Mook'h 

appears 



BURMESE WAR. 37 

appears to be upon a perfectly open plain on the bank of the river, and defended with all the art and streno-th 
in their power. It is of great extent, and constructed, as usual, of beetul trees and bamboos, forming strong 
palisades, and surrounded by ditches, every where closely staked and spiked. 

The party repulsed and dispersed by Captain Horsburgh, are supposed to have fled towards Maura 
Mook'h, which is considered as their grand point of resistance to tlie attack of any force. 

No. 33. — Copi/ of a Report from Captain Noton to the Major of Brigade at Chittagong, dated 

Camp, Ramoo, Wth May, 1824. 

On the 11th instant, a naik, from the Rutnapulling stockade, came in with a Bengalee vUIao-er, stating 
tliat the latter had seen the enemy advancing upon Rutnapulling, with four chiefs and about one hundred and 
fifty men, wishing to negociate, which the naik also stated to be the case. 

Conceiving this to be some design of the enemy to put the jemadar off his guard, and thereby more easily 
gain possession of the stockade, I determined upon moving with the wliole of my disposable force to ascertain 
what their intentions were, leaving the convalescents of the 23d, the whole of the provincials, and one hundred 
Mugs, to protect the cantonment and sick, in case the enemj' might detach a party to outflank me. 

I moved off" about five p. m., the detachment 23d Native Infantry leading. On our arrivinor near to the 
stockade (about half a mile,) a heavy fire was opened upon us from the hills on the left of the road, which the 
enemy had taken possession of in numbers and fortified; their larger guns were fired from the further hill, and 
the smaller ones from the lower, thereby completely commanding the road. The naik of the provincial bat- 
tahon, who had come to give the report with the Bengalee in the first instance, told me that we were very 
near the plain where the stockaJe was ; I consequently pushed on with the detachment of the 23d, and reach- 
ed the plain. I then returned with a few men to bring on the guns, directing Ensign Campbell to follow, 
should I not join him in a short time. It was then to my disappointment that I found that two of the elephants 
had thrown their loads and blocked up the road. This, Captain Pringle reported to me, was the fault of the 
mahouts. 

To extricate the gun, which, together with the gear, was hanging to the elephant, we were obliged to cat 
the ropes, but from the inexperience ot Lieutenant Scott (having never seen guns carried on elephants before,) 
and none of the golundauze being present, after many trials, and failing in all, I was obliged to leave it, and 
take steps for carrying away the ammunition, which the other elephant had thrown off, and also that which had 
been left on the road by some coolies, who had run off. Previous to this, I had been joined by Ensign Camp- 
bell. We with difficulty succeeded in getting it away, chiefly by the exertions of the sepoys, the ISIugs having 
hid themselves in the jiinijles, with the exception of a very few, who a-;sisted the sepoys. After this was effect- 
ed, I proceeded quiedy with a small party of sepoys and an elephant, and brought in the gun, with as many 
things as I could find, though several articles are missing. 

To give the men some rest, and an opportunity of procuring water, I took up a position on the plain, and 
there remained on the alert during the night. One of the Mugs fancied he saw some Burmahs creeping towards 
us, and commenced a running fire, which was with difficulty stopped, otherwise we remained quiet. The ene- 
my were firing and shouting during the whole time. From the circumstance of the ammunition-coolies having 
deserted, and the guns being rendered perfectly useless, by the great deficiency in the detail of artillery, and not 
placing any confidence in the Mugs for support, should we again have experienced a fire from the hills, even by 
taking a circuitous route, and there being no possibility of procuring supplies for the men, I deemed it most 
prudent to return again to Rtunoo, there to await the arrival of Captain Trueman's detachment, as well as to 
obtain further information as to the strength of the enemy's force. 

On my return to Hamoo, I was surprised to hear tliat the jemadar, with his party from Rutnapulling, had 
arrived about two hours before. 

I reeret to say our loss has been severe; in all seven missing and eleven wounded. I am sorry to say that 
Ensign Bennett is among the latter, being severely wounded in the left arm, though I trust not of any very se- 
rious consequence. Ensign Campbell likewise received a hurt in the right ancle, from a spent ball, and also 
some shots in his legs. The whole of the wounded are doing well. 

I beg leave to state, that there were a fevv of the Mug levy, that were under the immediate eye of Captain 
Pringle (to whom every credit is due for Ills exertions) who behaved with great coolness and much to my satis- 
faction, as well in firing upon the enemy, as in assisting our sepoys in carryuig off the ammunition. The men 
of the detachment of the 23d Native Infantry advanced with great steadiness, notwithstanding the suddenness 
of the attack upon them, and the very heavy fire that was kept up for upwards of three hours from a hiddea 
foe ; and I deem it butjustice to Ensigns Campbell and Bennett, ou the occasion to report, that they both de- 
served the greatest credit for their coolness and exertions throughout. 

L Ib^ 



38 DOCUMENTS. 

I beg to add, that Lieutenant Scott shewed every anxiety to bring the guns forward, but was prevented by 
the circumstances above-mentioned. 

No. 34<. — Extract Jrom a Dispatch Jrom Lieutenant Colonel Skapland, c. b. Commanding 
Chiltagong Frontier ; dated IStk May, ISSJ'. 

It is with the utmost concern that I have to report for the information of His Excellency the Commander 
in Chief, that as I was making preparations for advancing from this place towards the frontier, I received the 
melancholy intelligence of Captain Noton's detachment having been completely destroyed by the Burmese 
force on the 16th instant. 

I received this information from Captain Brandon, commanding left wing 23d regiment, who is of course 
retiring to join me: under the present circumstances, I intend to re-cross the Sunker river, which is imme- 
diately behind me, and retire to Chittagong, to provide for the defence of that station. 

No. 35. — Extract from a Dispatch from Lieutenant Colonel Shapland, c. b.. Commanding 
Chittagong Frontier; dated 10th May, 1824. 

I have the honor to report for His Excellency the Commander in Chief, that being joined by the 
detachment of the 1st battalion 23d Native Infantry regiment, I returned to Chittagong this morning 
with the detachment, which was advancing towards Ramoo : when the disastrous event occurred at that place. 

I enclose a report of the officers who have escaped after the action. 

JRejJort of the Action at Ramoo, received from Lieutenant Scott, Lieutenant Codrington, and Ensign Campbell. 

Information having been required, relative to the retreat of Captain Noton's detachment from Ramoo 
on the 17th instant, we being the only surviving officers beg leave to forward a condensed statement of the 
circumstances which have fallen under our observation, for the inlbnnation of Brigadier Shapland, c. b., 
commanding the district. 

The Burmese, amounting it is supposed to ten thousand men, advanced on Ramoo from the Rutnapul- 
lung road, and encamped on tlie south side of the river on the 13th instant. On the following evening, being 
within gun shot, and advancing apparently with the intention of fording the river, a party, with two six-pound- 
ers, under the command of Captain Trueman, was detached for the purpose of annoying the enemy, and frus- 
trating any attempt to cross ; this our troops effected. 

On tlie 15th, however, the enemy at 8 a m. advanced, and commenced entrenching themselves about 
tliree hundred yards in front of our position, the right flank of which was protected by the river and by a tank, 
about sixty paces in advance. This being surroundt-d by a high embankment, serving as a breastwork, was 
occupied by the picquet, who opened and kept up, without intermission, a fire on the enemy during tlie whole 
day and foilowiiig night. Our position was strengtiiened in the rear by a similar tank to that in front, for the 
defence of which a strong detachment from the provincial battalion and Mug levy was allotted. 

On the morning of the I6th, it was discovered that the enemy had, during the night, opened trenches on 
our left flank, and had considerably advanced those in front, a desultory fire was continued during the next 
twenty-four hours from each tank, but with little effect on either side. — By day break on the 17th, the enemy 
had carried on their trenches to within twelve paces of the picquet, and had also approached to within a short 
distauce of the tank in our rear — They gained jiossession of the latter about 10 a. m., the troops defending it, 
having quitted their post and fled with precipitation ; the consternation caused by this quickly spread, and 
they were almost immediately followed by the remainder of the Mug levy. The elephants (on one of which 
Lieutenant Scott, who had been severely wounded, was tied) were alarmed at the tumult and fled. 

Shortly after this (our rear being now undefended) Captain Noton ordered ai-etreat, which was effected in 
good order for about half a mile. 

The two six-pounders beinor from necessity abandoned. The enemy's cavalrj', however, pressing hard 
upon the men of the column, a square was ordered to be formed, but, in consequence of the excessive fatigue 
and privation which the troops had previously undergone, reiuiering them absolutely incapable of offering 
any efiectual resistance to the overwhelming masses of the enemy, pouring in on them on every side, the ut- 
most exertions of the officers to preserve discipline were unavailijig, and on our arrival at the river, the 
sepoy's dispersed in every direction, and individual safety became the primary object of each. Under these la- 
mentable circumstances, Ensigns Codrington and Campbell having seen the other officers cut to pieces by the 
enemy, together with the greater part of llie detachment, and deeming all further chance of resistance hope- 
less, 



BURMESE WAR. 



39 



less, escaped, the foi-mer closely pursued to Cox's Bazar, and thence by water to Chittagong, and the latter, Chi 
who was shghtly wounded, by a circuitous route through the hills, to the same place. 

No. 36. — Extracts from the Government Gazette. 

July 8. — Ramoo. — As the details hitherto published of the affair at Ramoo, convey but an imperfect no- 
tion of the whole circumstances which occurred on that disastrous occasion, we avail ourselves of apian, which 
we have received, descriptive of Captain Noton's position at Ramoo between the 13th and 17th of May, and 
a narrative in explanation, drawn up by one of the surviving officers. We were commencing upon a litho- 
graphic sketch of the scene of action, but further consideration induced us to think that the following particu- 
lars would be sufficiently explanatory. 

The narrative is nearly as follows : 

On the morning of the 13th, the enemy appeared advancing from Ramcote and the Rutnapulling road, 
and occupied, as they arrived, the hills east of Ramoo. The picquet under the officer on duty was detached to re- 
connoitre, and oppose any attempt of the enemy to ford the river, with orders also to fire on them if they ap- 
proached within musquet shot on the opposite bank. 'l"he enemy remained stationary till about three p. m. 
when a large body (probably half their force,) took up a position under the hills to the southward, which led 
us to expect that they would attack us in the course of the night, and the troops accordingly remained under 
arms. The enemy, however, engaged themselves in strengthening their position wicb breast-works, and about 
noon, on the following day, abandoned it, and rejoined the other body. — On their way they halted, and Captain 
Noton communicated with two horsemen, who approached the opposite bank of the river, who disavowed any 
liostile intention of the Burmese towards us, but desired only, that some rebellious subjects, under our protec- 
tion, should be delivered up to them— offering at the same time, to explain farther the views of the Burmese, 
provided Captain Noton would allow them to cross the river with a guard of one hundred horsemen, and 
guarantee the safety of that party. Captain N., however, placing little confidence in these assertions, rejected 
their proposal, and the enemy .again moved off. The horsemen appeared to be Musselmen of Hindoostan, 
and one of them mentioned his having been formerly in Skmner's horse, and repeated, as a proof of it, the 
names of several officers in the H. C service. We had no means of ascertaining correctly the numbers of 
the enemy's force, but from their occupying, when encamped, an extent of ground upwards of a mile in length, 
it was generally considered that they could not have amounted to less than ten thousand fighting men, (includ- 
ing about two hundred Cavalry,) besides, at least, an equal number of coolies and camp-followers. Captain 
Noton's force consisted of the right wing 1st battalion 23d Native Infantry, which had been reduced by 
sickness to about two hundred and fifty nren fit for duty, three companies 2d battalion 20th Native Infantry, 
not exceeding one hundred men, about two hundred and fifty of the Provincial Battalion, and four hundred 
of the Mug Levy, amounting altogether to one thousand men. Although Captain Noton placed little confi- 
dence on the Provincials, from their conduct on a former occasion, or on the Mug Levy, from the little military 
instruction they had received, and the short period they had been in the service, yet so confidently did he de- 
pend on being joined in a day or two, by reinforcements from Chittagong, that he determined, with the con- 
current opinion of every officer, present, to defend, against such superior numbers, the post which he com- 
manded. 

On the evening of the 14th, (the enemy's whole force being concentrated on the opposite bank of the 
river, apparently with an intention of crossing at a favourable opportunity,) the two six-pounders, with Captain 
Trueman's detachment and the picquet, were detached for the purpose of annoying the enemy in their encamp- 
ment, and preventing their fording the river, should they attempt it. Several rounds of grape and shrapnell 
were fired from the six-pounders with effect, and appeared to create much confusion. On our return to camp, 
a party of the enemy came round to the rivei', and the picquet was engaged in a sharp skirmish with them, 
the two six-pounders returning the fire of their jinjals, which were quickly silenced. The enemy had, in the 
mean time, set fire to most of the surrounding villages and huts, and our troops remained on the alert the whole 
night in expectation of an attack. 

On the following morning, (15th,) the enemy crossed the river unobserved, and advanced in great num- 
bers, but without any regularity, towards a tank, of which they took possession. Captain Noton directing the 
picquet to occupy the second tank, (which as well as all the other tanks was surrounded by a high embank- 
ment, serving as abreast-work,) took up his pobition bchintl an embankment about three feet high, whicli com- 
pletely surrounded our camp, of which the 20ih and 23d Native Infantry, with the two six-pouulers, occupi- 
ed the front or eastern face, the right flank being protected by the river and the tank, and the Provincials and 
Mug Levy (with the exception of a dtio:ig party of the former, and two hundred and fifty of the latter, allotted 
for the defence of a third tank, were posted on the north face. The two six-pounders opened a destructive fira 

on 



40 DOCUMENTS. 

on the enemy, at a distance of about two hundred and thirty yards, as they ran across the plam to reach the 
tank, and the picquet also commenced a fire on them, when within musquet shot, but they so cautiously con- 
cealed themselves in the neighbouring huts and behind trees, and so expeditiously entrenched themselves, that 
our fire could not have been very effectual. About ten a. m., the enemy appearing to meditate an attack on 
the picquet, it was reinforced by the detachment 2-20th under Captain Trueman, who shortly afterwards was 
shghtly wounded — A party of the Mug Lew had been in the mean time detached to a small spot of rising 
ground on our left, within musquet shot of the tank occupied by the enemj', on whom they kept up a constant 
nre the greater part of the day. Captain Trueman's detachment, after remaining with the picquet till sun- 
set, and keeping up a desultory fire on the enemy, who exposed themselves as little as possible, was withdrawn, 
leaving the usual picquet of eighty men for the defence of the tank. 

Information was this day received from Chittagong, that the left wing of l-23d Native Infantry, under 
Captain Brandon, would leave that place on the 13th, andjoia us with all practicable expedition, and Captain 
Noton having now every reason to expect with certainty the arrival of this reinforcement on the evening of the 
16th, persevered in his former determination to defend his post till tliat time. 

Captain Pringle, Commanding Mug Levy, and Ensign Bennett, 23d Native Infantry, were slightly 
■wounded in the course of the day — the former, whilst endeavouring to restore order amongst- a party of Pro- 
vincials, who were quitting their post in confusion, and the latter, in reinforcing with his company, the tank 
defended by the Provincials, who also beti"ayed: symptoms of alarm. The picquet continued the fire on the 
enemy throughout the night, and on tlie morning of the 16th, it was found that they had considerably advanc- 
ed their trenches, but were still at such a distance from our main body, that the picquet only was engaged with 
them — we were not, however, out of the reach of the eneniy's musquet balls, which appeared to range much fur- 
ther than ours, and Lieutenant Scott, in directing the guns to another position, was severely wounded, and was 
obhged to quit the field instantly. The enemy took an opportunity, about noon, of setting fire to the Mug bar- 
racks in our rear, but no advantage of any importance was gained on either side. About nine p. M., Captain 
Noton received information, that the Provincials had betrayed an intention of deserting us and going over to 
the enemy, and on repairing to the spot, tlie elephants were found loaded with their baggage, and appeared 
on the very point of starting. Captain Noton instantly secured the ring-leaders, and took measures to prevent 
the remainder from carrying their intention into effect. 

Under such unlooked-tbr and unfortunate circumstances. Captain Noton at first determined instantly to 
commence a retreat, which, from the darkness of the night, would have been undertaken at the most fiivourable 
opportunity, and with that uitention directed Lieutenant Scott, (severely wounded,) tb be fastened on an ele- 
phant, to enable him to accompany the detachment. Reluctant, however, to quit the post, which he had so 
long and so successfully defended, without allowing the enemy to gain a single advantage over him, and anx- 
iously, but confidently expecting to be joined in a few hours by Captain Brandon's detachment, he at length, 
(depending solely on the courage and good discipline of the regular troops in the event of an attack,) once 
more resolved, with the concurrence of' the officers, to hold out till the arrival of tlie wished-for reinforcement, 
which it was considered could not be delayed beyond the following morning. 

The enemy were very active during tha night in carrying on their trenches, keeping up, at the same time, a 
constant fire, which was returned by the picquet. On the morning of the 17th, Lieutenant Campbell, on be- 
ing relieved from picquet duty, was slight!)' wouiuled, in passing between the tank to our position, where the 
enemy's fire was so severe and dangerous, that Captain Noton had directed the picquet to be relieved before 
day-break. The enemy's nearest trench appeared, at day-break, to be within thirty yards of the picquet, and 
shortly afterwards a single man advanced, and being protected from our musquetry, in a recumbent posture, by 
the raised site of a Bengallee hut, which had been burnt on the preceding day, commenced entrenching himself 
within twelve paces of the picquet, and was quickly joined by numbers from the enemy's main force. The 
tank in our possession was also similarly invested, and the fire on both sides was now incessant, and at so short 
a distance, proportion ably formidable and effectual. At about nine a. m., the Provincials became so alarmed 
at the near approach of the enem}-, that they quitted their post and fled with precipitation ; the two hundretl 
and fifty of the Mug Levy followed their example, and the tank was instantly taken possession of by the ene- 
my, the remaining body of the Mug Levy almost innnediately followed, and the elephants (on one of which 
Lieutenant Scott was fastened,) took fright also, and ran off with tlie fugitives at full speed. 

It will be clearly seen that our position became untenable (or at least comparatively so) the instant that 
either of the two tanks which we defended, fell into the hands of tlie enemy, and very nearly surrounded, as 
we now were, by an enemy whose numbers were from the first overwhelming, and had been daily increasing 
since the 15th, and left to oppose tliem with a body of men not exceeding tour hundred, fatigued and exhaust- 
ed from having constantly remained under arms, day and night, since the morning of the I3th, without an/ 
interval of rest, or any other sustenance but that which a haiidful of rice occasionally afforded tliem, we had 

no 



BURMESE WAR. 



41 



no other alternative, but to attempt a retreat instantly. The bugle was sonnded repeatedly for the recall of the 
picquet, but from the heavy fire which was kept up at the time, it was not heard, and as there was no time to 
lose'p the detachment cominenced its retreat. The oiKcer on picquet, in the mean time, totally io-norant of 
Captain Noton's intention, and anxiously looking out for Captain Brandon's detachment, which was erroneous- 
ly reported to be in sight, perceived by chance the retrograde movement of the detachment after it had proceed- 
ed a considerable distance. Tlie picquet was then instantly withdrawn, and joined the main body, which (hav- 
ing from necessity abandoned the two six-pounders,) proceeded in tolerable order for about half a mile, keep- 
ing up a desultory lire on the enemy, who poured in on us on every side in immense numbers. On the arrival 
of the enemy's cavalry, who fell upon our rear and cut to pieces numbers of sepoys, the detachment quickened 
its paces, and the utmost combined exertions of the officers to preserve the ranks, and effect the formation of 
a square, were unavailing, and each corps and company presently became so intermingled with each other, that 
all order and discipline became at an end. The exertions of the officers, both European and native, to res- 
tore order, were nevertheless persevered in till our arrival at the river, when the detachment dispersed and 
each sepoy hastily divesting himself of his arms, accoutrements, and clothes, plunged into the river and en- 
deavoured to gain the opposite bank. Captain Noton, who was on foot, having been left in the rear by the 
rapid pace of the detachment, was overtaken by the enemy, who having brought him to the ground by a mus- 
quet ball, barbarously cut him to pieces. Captain Trueman was overtaken under similar circumstances by 
the enemy's horse, who dismounted and cut him down in cold blood. Captain Pringle and Ensign Bennett 
were killed in attempting to cross the river, (which was not fordable,) but Lieutenant Campbell succeeded in 
reaching the opposite bank in safety, and escaped to the hills, whence he afterwards proceeded towards Chitta« 
gong, and reached that place with much difficulty on the 20th. Lieutenant Codrington made repeated at- 
tempts to cross the river on horseback, but at length finding himself followed by some of the enemy's horse, 
escaped (closely pursued by them a great part of the way,) to Cox's Bazar, and thence by water to Chittagong. 
Lieutenant Scott also escaped on the elephant before alluded to, but the concurrent account of the sepoys who 
have escaped leave no room to hope that either of the remaining officers (Lieutenant Grigg and Dr. Maysmor,) 
could have been equally fortunate. 

It is but justice to the regular troops engaged to state, that they behaved with the greatest coolness and 
bravery throughout, and it was not until the enemy's horse had cut to pieces numbers in our rear that any con- 
fusion or alarm was betrayed. The Mug Levy also conducted themselves equally well till the Provincials set 
them a disgraceful example, which, considering all circumstances, it is not perhaps surprising that they followed. 

No. 37. — Extract from a Dispatch from Colonel Shapland, Commanding Chittagong Frontier; 

dated 21st May, 1824. 

I have the honor to report for the information of His Excellency the Commander in Chief, that the ac- 
count received by Mr. Robertson to-day from Chuckereeah mentions, that the enemy had arrived at that place. 
I am making every preparation for them in my power, by strengthening the hills which I have selected as a 

fosition for the troops. I have as yet received no report of the actual march of the wing of the 15th Native 
nfantry, though I trust it must be now on its way, as I repeated the urgency of my receiving every reinforce- 
ment which could be spared from Dacca. 

I forgot to mention in my letter of yesterday, that Ensign Campbell, of the 23d, had arrived here slightly 
wounded, having escaped with a few of the men of his company. The enemy, by every account, in the affair 
at Ramoo, gave no quarter whatever. 

It has not yet been ascertained how many of the Ramoo detachment escaped, as some men belonging to 
it daily arrive ; as soon as I can collect an accurate statement of them, I shall have the honor of forwarding it. 

A^o. 38. — Extracts from the Government Gazette. 

May 3L — Chittagong. — Accounts received from Chittagong, between the 22d and 25th instant, represent 
that tranquillity is greatly restored, and that large bodies of the Mugs had arrived in the neighbourhood, 
whom the magistrate was endeavoring to settle in some convenient situation, their services being considered of 
the greatest use in the event of offensive operations, as little reliance could be placed on any other class of 
the inhabitants. 

The following particulars respecting the fate of the officers engaged in the affair at Ramoo, had been col- 
lected from various .accounts given by the sepoys and others, who had been present in the action, and found 
their way back to Chittagong. Captain Noton, it is said, was cat down by the enemy after the complete dis- 
persion of his detachment. A Soobadar of the Provincials declares, that he saw him spike the two six-pounders 

M with 



42 DOCUMENTS. 

with his own hand immediately before he fell. Captain Trueman appears to have been destroyed by some 
of the enemy's horse, when unarmed and defenceless, after the close of the action. Lieutenant Grigg is sup- 
posed to have fallen by a musket shot during the engagement. Captain Pringle is said to have been attaiSked 
and killed by two of the enemy's cavalry, when endeavouring to make his escape on horseback. Ensign Ben- 
nett is belie^■ed to have been killed, while attempting to swim across the Ramoo river. Of Mr. Maysnior's fall, 
no particular information had transpired, but there was not the slightest reason to hope, that he had escaped. 
On the 22d instant, a sepoy of the 23d Regiment, who had been taken prisoner at Ramoo, arrived ia 
comjiany with a Bengalee Zemindar, bringing a letter from the Burmese commanders, a translation of which 
will be found below. 

Translation of a Letter from the Rajah of Arracan and other Burmese Authorities 

Our master, the lord of the white elephant, the great chief, the protector of the poor and oppressed, wishes 
that the people of both countries should remain in peace and quiet. 

The Bengalees of Chittagong excited a dispute about the deep of Shapooree which belongs to Arracan. To 
prevent all dissention, by orders of Ezumaba .Sunadwuddee, the general, a letter was sent by Hussain UUee, 
Doobashee, to the judge of Chittagong, who wisely relinquished the deep of Shapooree, as belonging to Arracan. 
After this, some mischievous persons misled the English gentlemen, and caused a dispute and an encounter 
between the English soldiers and our people, whereon the general advanced from Pegu, with a large force 
into Arracan, and with a view to the tranquillity of the two great countries, came to Ruttnapulling, and sent 
a message calculated to benefit both parties, through Hussain Ullee, Doobashee, to the Bengalee captain and 
commandant of the stockade. 

While this conference was going on, a number of Bengalee and Mug sepoys arrived from Ramoo, and 
began to fire with musket and cannon at the Burmese, among whom Hussain UUee was wounded. 

On this the Burmese also commenced the combat, and putting the Bengalee and Mug troops to flight, 
shewed forbearance, and refr.ained from killing them. The surdars forbade them killing any one. Still no 
•letter came from the judge of Chittagong, and therefore we remained at Ramoo. 

Our soldiers injured none of the poor inhabitants, and committed no oppressions, and destroyed no inha- 
bitants, yet the English gentlemen, with the Bengalee sepoys, began firing upon us from muskets and cannon. 
At last the Burmese surdars advanced with a Doobashee, to say what would have contributed to pacify both 
states. On this the Bengalee sepoys began a fire, which the Burmese were obliged to return, a battle ensued, 
many were killed, many wounded, and many put to flight. The people of Ramoo set fire to their o^vn village 
and burned it. The judge and colonel of Chittagong, the generals and chieftains of Calcutta, are all men 
of wisdom and intelligence: from their keeping and protecting the traitor Hynja, all of these calamities arise. 
"We send this letter by a Bengalee whom we took at Ramoo, ^th Jeth 1186, Mug Era. 

No. 39. — Extract from a Despatch from Lieutenant Colonel Shapland ; 

dated 2rf Jime, 1824. 

In continuation of my reports for the information of His Excellency the Commander in Chief, I have to 
inform you, that by the accounts received to-day, the Burmese are represented not to have made any further ad- 
vance from Ramoo and Eadgong. 

No. 40. — Extract from a Despatch from Lieutenant Colonel Shapland ; dated 5th June, 1824. 

I have the honor to acknowledge my receipt of your letter dated the 2.3d instant, communicating the 
intended embarkation of a detachment of Artillery, and of His Majesty's 44'th Regiment, on two pilot 
schooners for Chiiiagong. 

By every account, the Burmahs still remain as reported in my former letters, but no information which can 
be relied on, as to their future designs, has been received. 

The rainy season has set in here with much violence during the last tliree days. 

No. 41. — Extracts from the Governmefit Gazette. 

July 1. — Bamoo. — Some Arracan Mugs having effected their escape to Chittagong from Ramoo^ the in- 
formation tlu y have given respecting the enemy at that place is contained in the following abstract of their de- 
positions, taken before Colonel Shapland on the 21st of June. 

Napoo 



BURMESE WAR. 



43 



Napoo states, that tlie four Ava chieftains named Uttawioon Miing Khan, Uttawioon Mung Jut, Challee Chii 
Waioon, and Keeoo Lumboo, with the four Rajahs of Airacan, Raynbeny, Chaindoo, and Chedooba, were ' 

detached by the Maha Bundoola, with fifteen thousand men from Arracan, to attack the Enghsh force at Ramoo 
were a battle took place, in which five hundred Burmese were slain. About the lOthof June a despatch reached 
Ramoo from the Bundoola, and he heard the Burmese say that it communicated '• the intelhgence of the fall 
of Rangoon, Bassein, and Chedooba, and that the English were on their way to Ava. That the Rajahs and 
sirdars were immediately to detach reinforcements." The sirdars and Rajahs forthwith consulted together, and 
without loss of time detached five thousand musketmen to the Bundoola at Arracan. Ten thousand men remained 
at Ramoo, firom which parties have been detached to Rutnapulling and Tek Naf, but he cannot specify their 
strength. They have no force elsewhera in that quarter, but send parties during the day to Cox's Bazar, 
Eadgong, and I3urwah Kullec, to look out, and they always return at nightfall to Ramoo. Before the dis- 
patch of the five thousand from Ramoo to the Bundoola, he had with him at Arracan eight hundred men. 
The deponent also heard that the English had taken Assam fort, and killed a general of the sultan of Ava, 
named Mung Kirraroo. Napoo was a servant of the Burmese sirdar Challee Waioon. He had to cut grass 
in the day time, and pound rice at night, and not being able to stand this hard work, he ran away in the hopes 
of better fortune at Chittagong, a week before the date of his deposition. 

Nabookee corroborates Napoo's statement respecting the Burmese force sent against Ramoo, but includes 
three hundred horse, He says that the Burmese captured one elepliant, two guns, and three hundred muskets, 
and three officers' horses. He also corroborates the particulars of the dispatch received from the Bundoola 
with regard to the capture of Rangoon. Three English ships had arrived at Chedooba, and captured the 
island, ujion which the Rajah escaped to Arracan. In the conflict at Ramoo, three hundred Burmese were 
killed, which he saw with his own eyes. Hussain Ullee, the Burmese Dobashee, was disabled by a shot 
through his arm, and one in the hip. The deponent knows not how many of the English were killed and 
■wounded, but many of the sepoys were made prisoners, and sent to the Bundoola at Arracan. He under- 
stood fiom the Burmese that the English were proceeding from Rangoon and Bassien, to capture Seemana, 
and that the force which took Chedooba ^^as attacking Chuindoo. He also heard, that from the ten thousand 
men at Ramoo, two thousand five hundred were detached to secure Rutnapulling, and a number to Tek Naf. 
He saw no English officers at Ramoo. He was told by the Burmese that there were under a sirdar, whose 
name he does not remember, one thousand men in the Mungdoo stockade, and he heard it whispered, that a ge- 
neral of the sultan of Ava, named Mung Kirraroo, had been killed at Assam, the fort of which had been taken 
by the English. Both Napoo and Nabookee were servants of the sirdar Challee Waioon, and ran away on 
the same plea. 

The accounts received since the departure of these men firom Ramoo, state the Burmese force to be re- 
maining quiet there. 

June 10. — Chittagong. — Accounts from the southward mention that the enemy had not advanced beyond 
Eadgong, where they have a small post, the bulk of their force continuing at Ramoo. There was a rumour 
that the Burmese were constructing a road through the jungles and mountains towards Runguneeah ! 

The force concentrating at Chittagong is considerable. Besides the detachment of H. M. 44th Regi- 
ment, which left Calcutta on the 24th ultimo, two battalions of Madras Infantry are almost daily expected there. 
The Cavalry which the enerny had at Ramoo are called Munnipore Horse, but it is believed that there 
were among them some individuals who had served in our irregular corps. They appear to have been very 
active in the dispersion of Captain Noton's detachment at Ramoo, but to have shewn a much greater disposi- 
tion to give quarter than the Burmese, from whose hands they are said to have saved the lives of many of 
our men. 

June 12. — Extract from a Letter, dated Naf River, June Mh, 1824, H. C. C. Vestal. — Yesterday, at 7 a. m., 
the Subadar in charge of the stockade at Tok Naf came on board, after enduring much hardship and peril, 
to inform us that the provincial troops under his conmiand, had mutinied, and given themselves up to the Bur- 
mese, after refusing to obey his orders to fire npon the enemy the preceding evening, under wliich circum- 
stances he immediately spiked the gun and destroyed the ammunition belonging to it, and would have done tlie 
same with the magazine, but the sepoys threatened to take his life if he did so. He escaped to us in disguise 
•with his orderly, having seen the Burmese, whose force consists of one hundred and twenty horse and a large 
body of foot. 

Supplies being now cut off, and our stay of no further utility, at three p. M. weighed and stood down the 
river. At Muniloo creek, we fell in with a fleet of Burmese war bi>ats. most of them carrying swivels and one 
hundred men each, drawn out in order of battle, one came off with an order for us immediately to surrender 
the vessel, or every hand on board would be massacred. The gun boats, under Mr. Boyce's command, return- 
ed for answer a shower of grape and cannister, and bore down upon them, firing as fast as they could load. 

An 



44 ' DOCUMENTS. 

An immense number of men were killed, and some of the largest boats totally disabled. Nothlntj could exceed 
tlie high spirited conduct of Mr. Boyce, the artillery-men, and ^lug sepoys in the boat, under his command. 

After silencing the boats and men on shore, who had kept up a close fire during the attack, the vessel 
made for Shapuree island, where a great number of boats and men lay, who, upon our pouring in a brisk fire, 
drew up their boats and ran into the jungle, but not before a vast number were killed, in fact, they weie lite- 
rally mown down by our great gims. By tliis time the gun boats came up, which were left to complete tlie 
confusion by clearing the shore and jungle, which they did most effectually. While the brig "bore down on 
the stockade, situated on the opposite shore, on nearing it they gave us three cheers, or more properly speak- 
ing three war whoops, but our first broadside soon silenced them, the boats likewise gave their assistance in 
this grand object. Night coming on, we anchored a little to the southward of the stockade. All the men 
under arms and at their quarters during the whole of the night, expecting an attack in the dark, but the great 
loss they sustained during the day I fancy deterred them. 

This morning we weighed and are now on our way to Chittagong, not a boat to be seen in the river, I con- 
ceive there were yesterday at least two thousand men afloat, and twice that number on shore. To give you an 
idea of the havock made among them would be impossible, and had not the night prevented, it would have been 
much greater. During our stay at anchor, we saw the place we left in the morning on fire, but as the villages 
were deserted some time ago, no great damage could have been done. Our decks exhibit a most motley groupe. 
men, women, and children, with 32 Mug sepoys, together with the Subadar, Daroga and Mug Jemidars, 
who have put themselves under our protection. 

July 12. — Chittagong. — The reply of the Rajah of Arracan to the acting magistrate's application for the 
^e^ease of the two officers, supposed to be prisoners in the Ramoo stockade, has been received. He distinctly 
denies that any EngUsh gentlemen were taken prisoners, either by him or his sirdars. The magistrate had in- 
formed him of Rangoon and Cheduba being in the possession of the English, to which he replied that, in con- 
sequence, the Sultan had sent his generals, colonels, and other chieftains to Rangoon, as weU as to Munnipore 
and Assam, and that they had arrived at those places. " Now," he concludes, " have the evil minded men of 
Munnipore, Assam, and Arracan, caused a quarrel between the two states, and therefore war exists !" 

The messenger employed to convey the magistrate's letter, has added some particulars regarding his mis- 
sion. When the contents of the letter were read, the Rajah said, that no EngUsh gentlemen were taken pri- 
soners ; if that had been the case, he would have been happy to release them. " If the English," he observed, 
" have taken any of our people at Rangoon, and will release them, it will be an act of kindness !" Every per- 
son present corroborated the assertion that no Englishmen had been taken prisoners at Ramoo, and that none 
were in confinement in the stockade. The messenger was three days in attendance, and was told that there 
were about eight thousand men at Ramoo, Rutnapulhng, and Cox's Bazar, that tlie Bundoola was expected 
to arrive with nine thousand men on the new moon, and that the Burmese consider it certain, if he comes, the 
whole force will advance to Chittagong ! Moreover, the Bundoola is represented as a man of a fierce and vio- 
lent disposition ! Their cavalry, in number two hundred and thirty, is still at Ramoo. The messenger saw 
two blacksmitlis' forges constantly at work, repairing arms of ever s- description ! The walls -of the stockade are 
nine cubits thick, wluch the Burmese are confident will be sufficient to resist the English artiller\-. 

There is said to be increased vigilance among the Burmese at Ramoo. Tlieir piquets and outposts are 
frequently relieved, and instead of the Bandaala being expected with nine thousand meu, and marching to 
Chittagong, they seem to show strong indications of expecting an attack from our troops. 

August 21. — Ramoo. — Yesterday accounts were received from Chittagong of the evacuation of Ramoo by 
the Burmese. This information is founded on the deposition and letter of two natives from that quarter. 

One of them, with seventeen others m company, on reaching the Bukhalee river, on the 27th of July, met 
with a Mug woman, who, on being asked why there were no Burmese about the place, replied that they had 
all fled from Ramoo. The party crossed in a boat, and went into the fort, where tliey found tha fires burn- 
ing, the food ready dressed, but not a single man. Tiiey entered several houses, which were all deserted. Two 
of the party went to the southward, towards Rutnapulhng, to look after some of tlniir Mussulman Ryots, but 
they saw no one. They went to the eastward, and on returning, reported that the Burmese must have retired 
by the road over the Sonacharry or Muglatung hill. — There were many broken d'hows and digging tools 
scattered about the fort, but no other weapons. These particulars are corroborated by others, who had also 
visited the stockade at Ramoo. 

The most probable cause of the evacuation of Ramoo by the Burmese, is the alarm excited at the court 
of Ava, by the fiiilure of the grand attempt to drive our army into the sea at Rangoon, on the 1st of July, aud 
the tremendous overthrow which the Burmese troops received on the 8tli. On the receipt of those accounts, 
nothing is moie hkely than that an immediate order for the recall of the Burmese force from Ramoo and Arra- 
can would be issued, for the purpose of their proceeding to the assistance of the armies opposed to us at 

Rangoon. 



BURMESE WAR. 45 

Rangoon. We know that the Burmese at liangoon were badly armed, and that the Ramoo force was most Cacf 
efficient in that respect. J 82 

No. 42. — Extract from the Government Gazette. 

June 20. — Si/Uiet. — Letters of the 12th, from Sjlhet, mention the return of Colonel Innes to that station, 
■with the troops under his command. The force, we understand, exceeds twelve hundred men. The report 
of the advance of a considerable bodj- of Burmese into Cachar had been confirmed. 

No. 43. — Extract of a Letter from Lieutenant Colonel Innes, c. b.. Commanding the Si/lhet 
Frontier ; dated QTith June, 1824. 

His Excellency is already in possession of what has transpired on this frontier up to the 22d instant, and 
I now beg to stat^, that owing to the rapidity of the current of the Barak river, the banks of which are so over- 
grown with an impenetrable grass jungle, and, in many parts, imder water, as to render tracking impossible, I have 
been obliged to warp np, and did not reach the mouth of the Gogra nullah till tlie evening of the 25th instant. 

Having heard, that from this nullah a passage across the jheels to the hill of Telayn might, possibly, be 
effected, a movement which would have enabled me to turu the enemy's advanced position at that place, I re- 
solved on making the attempt, but had not proceeded far belbre I discovered the channel to be too narrow to 
admit the passage of the large boats, on which the ordnance is embarked, and I therefore returned into the 
Barak river this morning, and am now in progress to Jaitrapore. 

My operations after reaching that place will be guided entirely by circumstances, and of which no time shall 
be lost in making His Excellency fully acquainted. 

I deemed it advisable to take advant.age of my proximitj' to the enemy, whilst on the Gogra nullah, to re- 
connoitre their position, and accordingly detached Lieutenant Fisher, of the Quarter Master General's depart- 
ment, and Lieutenant Craigie, staff to my detachment, for that purpose. From the report of these officers, as 
well as from my own observations, I learnt that the hill of Telayn is strongly stockaded, and that the enemy 
are there in considerable number. 

P. S. It has rained with little iu-tennission since we left Sylhet, and the comitry is consequently much 
inundated. 

No. 44. — Extract of a Letter from Lieutenant -Colonel Innes, c. s.. Commanding the Sylhet 

Frontier ; dated 6th Jidy, 1824. 

I have the honour to report, that a battery was opened on the stockaded position of Telayn this morning 
at six o'clock. 

1 he shells fii'om both howitzers and six-pounders were thrown with the greatest precision ; but the round 
shot from the latter, 1 regret to say, had scarcely any effect on the strong palisade surrounding the works, 
the palisades in question being heavy trunks of trees. I regret also to add, that the carcases when thrown from 
the howitzeis went wide of the mark, and consequently the firing of the huts on the sides and summit of the 
hill, which I expected, has not been accomplished : the guns are now posted on a rising ground, about six 
hiuidred yards to the south-west of the stockade, but I purpose to-morrow carrying the six-pounders to a 
small hill directly south of the enemy's position. 

No. 4.5. — Extract Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Innes, c. b., to the Adjutant General; 
dated before Telayn, "^th July, 1824. 

In continuation of my last dispatch, I have the honour, for the information of his Excellency tlie Commander- 
in-Chief, to report, that on the afternoon of yesterday, about five o'clock, the enemy made an attempt to turn 
the right of my position, by occupying a high liill in the rear of a rising ground, where a working party was 
employed in clearing the jangle, for the purpose of enabling me to place my guns m battery on it this morning. 
I directed the Rajah, Gumbheer Sing, whose local knowledge is excellent, with a body of his infantry, to take 
the enemy in rear, and at the same time threw foiward a strong detachment to support tha working party : 
after a short .skirmish, the enemy were driven from their position, and I succeeded m retaining the spot I had 
fixed on for the guns : during the night a breast-work was thrown up, and tliis morning, at day-break, the guns 
opened from it at the distance of four hundred yards. 

N Three 



46 DOCUMENTS. 

Three natives of Cacliar who, this morning, made their escape from the.enem}', state their loss, from the 
effects of yesterday's shells, to be very considerable, though they screen themselves in a measure from the 
severity of the fire by burrowing in the ground. 

The onlv casualties consequent to the skirmish of yesterday, were one man killed and three wound- 
ed, of the ilajaa Guuibheer Sing's infajiiry, and one recruit of the 16th, or Sylliet local battalion, 
wounded. 

Althousli the artillery has been playing on the enemy's works with the greatest steadiness during the day, 
the fire has not had the desired effect, and the enemy still continue in possession of the placa ; many of them 
liave been killed, and many more wounded ; but till further reinforcements join me, to enable me to extend 
my operations, I am uot sanguine in my hopes of carrying the position. 

jSlo. 46. — Extract Letter from Lieutenant-Coloy^el Innes, c. s., to the Adjutant General ; 
dated on the Barak river, off Juttrapore, 9th July, 1824. 

I have the honour to acquaint you, for the information of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, that on 
the morninc of yesterday, a little after day-light, the enemy, in great numbers, made a sudden and unexpect- 
ed attack oil the' height immediately in the rear of the battery, which had been occupied by Ghumbeer 
Sint^h's followers, and succeeded in driving them from it ; I immediately sent off a party to endeavour to get 
on the hills on their flank, but, I regret to say. this attempt failed, as it was discovered, on i^pproacliing, that 
the enemy had occupied the whole line of the hills in immense numbers, and that there wa.^ no prospect of 
attacking' them with any chance of success ; the party was therefore recalled, and the battery being no 
longer tenat^le, it being so entirely commanded by the heights now in the occupation of the enemy, I was 
under the necessity of drawing nff the guns. I have, however, to observe, that this measure was determined 
on before, in consequence of the exhausted state both of the artillery and infantry of my detachment, the 
fiirmer having been in the batteries from the morning of the 6th, and till the 8th inst. I tlnnk it my duty to 
brin"- to the notice of liis Excellency the very zealous exertions of this arm of the service ; the practice was 
beyond praise, and the shot and shells were thrown with a precision which could not be surpa.ssed, but the six- 
pounder shots were found to have no effect on the enemy's works, althougli the shells must have done consi- 
derable execution. 

I feel myself much indebted to Captain Smith, for his great exertions during the three days the battery 
was open, and to Lieutenant Huthwaite, who, though labouring under a severe fever, rendered me the most 
essential service. 

I reoret to say, that, from the commanding position of the heights, tiie guns were not withdrawn from the 
battery without, some slight loss on our part, and which, from the advantages possessed by the enemy, might 
have been much greater, bad they not been kept in check' by the steadiness of the troops in the battery, 
mider the command of Captain Cowslade, of the 39th Regiment, whose conduct was particularly conspicuous. 

I deemed it advisable to re-embark my detachment yesterday atternoon, and to fall back upon Juttrapore, 
where I have taken up an eligible position on both sides of the Barak river, and within two miles of the 
enemy's works, where I shall remain till re-inforced, and then act as circumstances may require. 

Enclosed I have the honour to forward a return of the killed and wounded* of the detachment ui^der my 
command, on the affair of yesterday. 

No. 47. — Abstract Return of the Bengal Force, embar/icdfor Foreign Service, in April, 1824. 

Transports. — Hashmy, Argyle, Eliza (1st,) Eliza (2d,) Mermaid, Robarts, Earl KeUie, Reliance, Hydeiy, 
Zenobia, Ernaad, Anna Robertson, General Wood, Janet Hutton, Peuang Merchant, McCauley, Frances 
Warden, — Total Tonnage, 7339-1-410=7749 Tons. 

Corps. — His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, and 38th Regiment Foot — Detachment — 2d Battalion 20th 
(now 40th,) N. I., proceeded to Cheduba — Detail of General and Regimental Staff, Engineers, Artillery, 
Quarter-master General's Department, Adjutant General's Department, Pay-master's Department, Medical 
Department, Commissariat and Camp followers. Totiil 3:i31. Fighting men, Europeans, of all ranks 2089, 
Natives 86. Total 2175. 

Artillery. — 18-poundcrs 4 — Liglit 5i inch Howitzers 4 — 8-inch Mortars 4 — 6-pounders 4. 

Honourable 

• Killed— 2 Sepoys. WouiuleJ— 1 SobaJar, 1 HuvilJar, I Naick, 14 Sepoys, 



BURMESE WAR. 



47 



Honourable Company's armed Gun Brigs, Schooners. &c. Robert Spankie, Goldfinch, Eliza, Emma, Eair 
Phoenix, ocjphin, KitLy, Pliaeton, Narcissa, Hebe, Mary, Sulkea Packet, Active, Tyger, Swift, Saucjor, Tom is' 

Tou^'", 1 0'.vcTfui : 80 Row Boats, each carrying an IS-jiounder Carronade in the bow, Diana Steam Vessel. 

.'.vernge number of men to each Brig, &c. Europeans 1, Natives 12. 

Ditto ditto to each Row Boat, Natives 18, and one European in charge of the whole. 

H. M.'s Ships, Liify, Slaney, (Ch6duba,) Larne, and Sopliie, — H. C. Cruizers, Mercilrv, Teignmouth, 
Thetis, Prince of Wales, and Jessy. 

H. M.'s S'lip Arachne, joined in October 1824, when the Larne went to Penang and Calcutta. 

No. 4)8 . — Abstract Return of the Ist Division of the Madras Force, embarked for Foreign 

Service ; dated 13th April, 1824. 

Transports. — Moira, Glenelg, Hercules, Bannerman, David Clark, George 4th, East Indian, He'en, 
Virginia, Heroine, Carron, Jehangir, David Malcolm, Bombay, John Shore, Resolution, Nurbudda, Ann, 
James Colvin, Susan, Fergusson, Ahgarris, Bombay Merchant, — Total Tonnage, 10,793. 

Corps. — His Majesty's 41st — Madras European Regiment — 1st Battalion 3d, or P. L. I. — 2d Battalion 
17th, or C. L. I.— 2d Battalion 8tli N. I.— 1st Battalion 9th N. I.— 2d Battalion 10th N. I.— Detail of 
General and Regimental Staff", Engineers, Artillery, Pioneers, Commissariat and Camp followers. Total 8778. 
Fighting men, Europeans of all ranks 1983, Natives 4538, Total 6526. 

Artillery. — Howitzers, 2 8-inch, 2 5i-inch, 2 4i-inch, — Mortars 2 8-inch, 2 5^-inch. — Four Iron 
18-pounders, Six Iron 12-pounders, teix 6-pounders, Two 3 ditto. 

No. 49. — Abstract Return of the Q.d Division of the Madras Force, embarked for Foreign 

Service; dated Q'^d Mai/, 1S24<. 

Transports. — Cornwallis, Windsor Castle, Asia Felix, Indian Oak, T)unvegan Castle, Mary Ann, Fort 
William, Satellite, Edward Strettell, — total Tonnage 4809. 

Cojps. — His Majesty's 89th, 1st Battalion 7th Regiment N.I — 1st Battalion 22d Regiment N. I. — 
Pioneers and Camp followers, — total 3672. — Fighting men, Europeans of all ranks 906, Natives 1935. ^ 

No. 50. — General Staff, (§t. of the Forces in Ava, 1824-5. 

Major General Sir A. Campbell, K. c. B., H. M. 38th Foot Commanding the Forces. 

Captain J. J ^nodgrass, H. M. 38th Foot, Military Secretary ^- A. D. C. 4' -Deputy Post Master. 
Lieutenant J. Campbell, H, M. 38th l^oot... ... ... ... ... ... Aide-de-CamjJ. 

BENGAL DIVISION. 

Brigadier General M. McCreagh, c. b., Commanding Bengal Division. 

Brigadier M. Shawe, c. b., 87th Foot. ... ... ... -.. — 2d in Command. 

Lieutenant-Colonel G. Pollock... ••• ••• Commanding Artillery, 

Colonel F. S Tidy, c. b., H. M. 14th Foot Deputy Adjutant General. 

- Captain H. Piper, 38th Foot Deputy Assistant Adjutant General. 

Major Evans, 38th Foot Commanding \st Brigade. 

Captain G.Aitkin, H. M. 13th Light Infantry Brigade Major 1st Brigade. 

'Lieutenant Colonel R. G. Elrington, 47th Foot... ... Commci7iding 2d Brigade. 

Captain Sadlier, 47th Foot... ... ... ... ... Brigade Major 2d Brigade. 

Major J. N. Jackson, 45th Native Infantry Deputy Quarter Master General. 

Captain R. Becher... ... ... Deputy Assistant Qua7-ter Master General. 

Lieutenant T. A. Trant, 38th Foot.... ... Deputy Assistant Qiiarter Master General. 

Lieutenant G. R. O'Brien S8th Foot... ... ••• Deputy Assistant Qiiarter Master Gmeral. 

Captain T. Fiddes, 42d Native Infantry... ... ... ... Deputy Commissary General. 

Captain W. Burlton, 4th Light Cavalry... ... ... ... Assistant Commissary General. 

Captain W, J. Gairdner, I4th Native Infantry... ... ... ~) Sub Assistant Commissa- 

Lieutenant G. II. Rawlinson, Bengal Artillery, officiating... ... 3 ries General. 

Pay Master C. Grimes, H. M. 13th Light Infantry... ... ... Deputy J. A. General. 

Major H. Nichelson, I7th Native Infantry ... Deputy Pay Master. 

Captain 



48 



DOCUMENTS. 



Rangoen, 
1824. 



Captain J. J. Snodgrass, 38th Foot... 

Lieutenant Dickson..,. 

Lieutenant R. Ware, H. M. 38th Foot... 

R. Limoiul, Esq.... 

W. Jackson, Esq.... 



... Deputy Post Master, 
... ... —• Field Engineer. 

... Fort Adjutant of Rangoon, 

.. Officiating Supei- intending Surgeon, 

... Medical atm-e-keejpa: 



MADRAS DIVISION. 



Brigadier General McBean, left in August, 1824. 

Brigadier General Fraser, left in October, 1824. 

Brigadier General W. Cotton, from January, 1825. 

Lieutenant Colonel W. Mallett... 

Lieutenant Colonel W. Smelt, H. M. 41st Foot... 

Lieutenant Colonel J. Prodie... 

Lieutenant Colonel H. F. Smith, c. b., Madras Native 

Lieutenant Colonel Godwin... 

Lieutenant Colonel C. Hopkinson... 

Lieutenant Colonel E. W. Snow... ... 

Lieutenant J. Ker.... ... 

Captain S. W. Steel... 

Captain A. E. Spicer... 

Captain A.'Tuliock... 

Lieutenant T. R. Manners... ... ... 

Captain W. AVilliamson... 
Lieutenant W. F. Lewis... ... 

Captain A. Stock... 

Captain J. Todd... 

Captain P. Montgomery,.. 

Captain P. Young... ... ... 

Captain A. Wilson... ... 

Captain E. Briscoe... ... ... 

Captain H. Kvd... 

Lieutenant N. Johnston... ... ... 

Surgeon S. Heward... ... ... ... 

Assistant Surgeon R. Davidson... ... 



... ... ... Commanding. 

... Commanding ith Brigade. 

1st Ditto. 

... 2d Ditto. 

Infantry,.. ... ... 3d Ditto. 

... 6t/i Ditto. 
... ... Commanding Artillay. 

... Dcputij Adjutant General. 

... Deputy Assist a7it Ditto 

... ... Assistant Quarter Master Genei-al. 

... Deputy ditto. 

... Deputy Comm.ssary General. 

... Deptdy Assistant Commissary Genei'al. 

... Deputy Judge Advocate General. 

... Commissary oj" Stores. 

... ... ... Pay Master. 

... Deputy ditto, 

... Brigade Major to Artillery. 

... Ditto Ml Brigade. 

... Ditto \st Ditt'. 

... Ditto 2d Ditto. 

...Ditto 3d Ditto. 

... Ditto Glh Ditto. 

... ... Superintending Surgeon. 

... ... Deputy Medical Store Keeper. 



No. 51. — Statement of Troops Composing the Expedition landed at Rangoon, in May 1824, 
and such as Joined the Head Qua7'ters of the Army vp to the 1st Jayniary, 1825. 



JRegiments, 



Date of arrival at Rangoon. 



Xo. includ- 
ing Officers. 



Remarks. 



BENGAL TROOPS. 



Detachment European Foot Artillery, , 

His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, , 

Ditto 38th Regiment Foot, .... .... 

Detacliment 2d Battalion 20th (now 40th Native Infantry,) 
Rocket Artillery, ~ 

Right Honorable the Governor General's Body Guard, .... 



11th May 1824, 



28th December 1824. 
Carried forward 



360 

727 

1035 

24 

86 

353 



Tlie Corps left at 
Cheduba. 



2585 



Statement, S^c.-— Continued, 



BURMESE WAR. 

Statement, <^-c. — Continued. 



MADRAS TROOPS. 



Detachment Foot Artillery, . . . . 
His Majesty's 4Ist Regiment Foot 
Madras European Regiment, . . . , 

1st Battalion Pioneers , 

3d Regiment Native Infantry, . . . 



7tii Ditto 

12th (8th) Ditto 
9th Ditto 

18th (10th) Ditto 
34th (17th) Ditto 
43d (22d) Ditto 
His Majesty's 89th Regiment Foot, 
Ditto .. 47tli.... ditto, .. . 
26th Regiment Native Infantry, , . . 

28th Ditto ditto, 

SOth Ditto ditto, 



ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto. 



BOMBAY TROOPS. 
Detachment Foot Artillerj', .... 



Brought over 



> Uth May, 1824. 



J 

6 th June & 22d Nov. 1824. 
26th December, 1824. ... 
1st October, ditto. 
1st & 3d September, ditto. 
27tli September, ditto. . . . , 



12th June, ditto. 



Total ... 



2585 
656 
76e 
433 
552 
676 
695 
652 
658 
609 
617 
711 

lOK 
177 
636 
832 
613 



69 



49 



12,8+5 



The rest joined In 
1825. 



No. 52. — Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, jp. c. s., Commanding the 
British Forces at Rairgoon, to George Sninton, Esq., Secretary to the Government, Secret and 
Political Department, S^c. &^c. 8^c. ; dated Xlth May, 18i£4-. 

You arc already apprized of the different periods of sailing of the transports with the troops from 
Bengal and Madras, composing the expedition, which the Right Honorable the Governor General in Coun- 
cil did me the honor of placing under my command. Owing to calms and very light winds, the Bengal 
division did not reach the place of rendezvous, at Port Cornwallis, before the end oi' last month, and the Ma- 
dras division not until the 2d instant, at which period several ships from both presidencies were still absent. 
I bad, however, determined to sail with the ftuxe assembled, and would have done so that very dav, had I not 
been prevented by a general report of the scarcity of fresh water on board the Madras transports, some of 
them not having more than four days consumption. This difficult}' was very speedily removed by Captain 
Marryatt, of His Majesty's Ship Lame, whose indefatigable exertions m collecting and appropriatin"- the 
scanty sujiply which the land springs afforded, and distributing a j)roportion from such vessels as were well 
supplied, to those most in need, enabled him, on the following day, to report the fleet ready to proceed to sea. 
As we were accordingly getting under weigh. His Majesty's ship Lifffy, Commodore Grant, c. b., appeared iu 
the offing, as also several of (he absent transports : judging tiiat some of them might also be in want of water, 
and being desirous of making the necessary arrangements with the Commodore relative to our future opera- 
tions, I determined upon remaining in harbour one day longer. On the following morning (the 5th) we 
finally put to sea, detaching a part of my force, under Brigadier McC'reagb, against the island of Cheduba, Chedi 
and sending another detachment under Major Wahab, of the Madras establishment, against the island of ^" „• p 
Kagrais, (each of the force in ships and troops stated in the margin,) proceeding myself with the main body for Erna'ad.' 
the Rangoon river, which we reached on the 10th, and anchored within the bar. — nn the following morniu"', 
every arrangement having been previously made, the fleet, led by the Liffey, sailed up the river, followed by 
the transports, in the order I wished to en)})loy the troops on the attack upon Rangoon, arid in the coiu'se of a 
few hours arrived off the town, receiving on our passage up, some insignificant discliarges of artillery from 
one or two of the Chokies on the banks of the river. 

Commodore Grant anchored the Liffey immediately opposite the King's wharf, where we bad observed a i^'^and"' 
battery, of apparently from 12 to 16 guns, manned and ready to open its lire. Still, from motives of liumanity, panieszot 

^ IJie Jjativeini 



Transp 
Anna R 
son, Frar 
Warden. 
Detacht 
H. M. 



50 



DOCUMENTS. 



the Commodore and myself were unwilling to commence so unequal a contest, thinking the immense 
superiority on our side, within full view of ihe shore, would have induced the auihcrities in the town to make aa 
ofler of ne"-otiating: tlieir presumption and folly, however, led tliein to pursue a tl ffereut course: a feeble, ill- 
supported,' and worse directed tire was opened upon us, which the first few guns from the Z-?^(/ effectually 
silenced, and cleared the battery : the Commodore, couiequeutly, directed his fire to cease. I had previously 
ordered the plan of attack, and now gave direcdons for two bri:^ades to be in readiness in tlieir boats for land- 
ing : His Majesty's 38ih Regiment, commanded by Major Evans, above the town ; Major Sale, with His 
Majesty's 13ih Light Infantry, at tiie centre, to make a lodgement in the main battery, should he be unable to 
force the "ate of the stockade,' and a biigade of the Madras division below the town, under the direction of 
Bri<Tadier- General McBean. Tiie 36th and this brigade being ordered to push round by the rear and enter 
the town, should they find an opportunity of so doing. 

These measures ui pro"-ress, the Burmese again returned to their battery and commenced firing, which 
was a"-ain silenced by a broadside from the Liffeu, and the signal being made for the troops to land in the or- 
der akeady stated, which they did in the most regular and soldier-like style, and in less than twenty minutes, I 
had the satisfaction of seeing "the British flag flymg in the town, without the troops having had occasion to dis- 
charo-e a single musket, and without my having occasion to regret the loss of one individual, killed or wounded, 
on our side; nor do I beheve that of the enemy, fi-om their rapid flight, could have been great, of the latter, 
kdled, only eight or ten were left hehind. 

The news ol' om- arrival in the river having reached Rangoon the preceding night, and our rapid progress 
up in tlie mornin"' being marked by an occasional shot, in answer to the nre from the Chokies, together with the 
preparations of tlie Burmese authorities for defence, threw the inhabitants into such a state of consternation as to 
cause a <>eneral flight in every direction towards the jungles, so much so, that out of a large populaiion, I do not 
think one hundred men were found in the town on our taking possession of it. 

The members of government fled at the first shot, carrying with them seven out of eleven Europeans, whom' 
thev had ordered to be imprisoned and put in irons. Oii oar arrival, in th^ir hurry, three were left in the 
Kin"-'s o-odv)\vn, whose irons were filed ofl' by the troops on entering the town. 

"^ V\'liea we were actually in possession of the town, Mr. Hough, an American missionary, released from irons 
for the purpose, accompanied by a Burmese, came on board the Lijf'ey, delegated by the Raywoon and other 
members of government (then some miles off" in the jungle) to entreat that the firing might cease, and to ask 
what terms would be given to them, hintuig that they nad -.even Englishmen out with theai in irons, whose fate 
■woidd probably depend upon the answers they received. The Com.uodore and myself told them, that it was too 
late to aik fjr terms, as the place was then in our possession : protection to persons and jjioperty was all they had 
to expect, and even that promise woidd not be confirmed to ihem until the prisoners wereTeleased and given 
up to US; warning them, that if they dared to injure them, or put one of them to death, fire and sword sliould 
revenge the atrocious deed over the whole face of th.nr country. The messengers left us, promising to return as 
soon as possible ; but neither the liaywoon or his adhereiits could again be Ibaad, fear having driven them still 
farther into the country. 

We remained in great anxiety for the fate of our countrymen daring the night, bat early next morning, 
in pushing forward some reconnoitring parties, the whale seven were found safe in different place; of confine- 
ment, strongly fettered, their guards having fled at our approach; a nominal list of these gentbmea I beg here- 
with to transmit.* 

1 am sure it will afford the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council much satisfaction to know, 
(and 1 believe my information to be correct) that there is not another Englishman, with the exception of a Mr. 
Gouger, now at Ava, in the power of the Burmese government. 

Altliough 1 am not yet enabled officially to communicate to you the subjection to the British arms of the 

iskmds 



* Lift of j,eiions imprisoned and placed in irons bj^ ihe Burmese Government at Rangoon, on the approach of the British arms, for tht 

purpose of being jnit to death. 

R. J. Trill British. 

R. Wjiitt ){iiii>li. 

G. H. Hoys, Country born. 

Arratoii, Armeiiiuo. 

P. Aide, Greek. 



Mr, 



Mr. 



J. Snowball, British. 

— J. Turner British. 

— Wni. Roy, British. 

— Alex. Tench Briti>!i. 

— II. W. Thompson, British. 

Rev. J. Wade, American Missionary. 

Rev. hlr, Hou-h, ditto, taken out of irons and sent by the Burmese on board the L'Jri/, to beg the filing, &c. might cease. 



BURMESE WAR. 51 

islands of Cheduba and Negrais, tofjetlier wiih Bassein, yet I have not the least doubt, from the calculation of 
time and the fineness of the weather, that the attatk in the^e quarters has been so simultaneously n.ade as to 
render their fall, about the same time with that of llaiigoon, almost cert:nn. 

The captured ordnance far exceeds in number any tiling we supposed the country to possess, althoucrh, 
generally speaking, of a bad description ; the guns are now collecting from the different batteries, and as soon 
as a correct statement can be made out, I will have the honor of forwarding it. 

It would be presumption in me to speak in terms of an officer so well known as Commodore Grant ; but 
it is my duty to inform you, that the cordial co-operaion I have received, and continue to receive from him, calls 
for my warmest acknowledgement. 

P. y. I am happy to say I jiave been able to put the troops under cover, one brigade in the town of 
Rangoon, and the other three in tlie houses in the vicinity of the great Pagoda. 

No. 53. (J) — Extract of a Disjmtch from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b. ; 

dated l\)th May, 1824-. 

Information having been received that fire rafts were constructing and war boats collecting at no great 
distance up the river, Commodore Grant, some days ago, senr the boats of his ship, under Lieutenant Wilkin- 
son, of the Liffey, for the purpose of reconnoitring. Tiiey fell in with and destroyed one boat (the crew 
escaping,) liaving seen several others, which effected their escape. Our boats had two seamen wounded by 
musquetry from the shore. On the evening of the 14lh, it was thought farther advisable that the river 
should be explored considerably higher up, and for this purpose Lieutenant Wilkinson, with the boats of the' 
Liffey, accompanied by forty rank and file of His Majesty's 4.1st Regiment, under Lieutenant McLean, went 
about eighteen miles up, receiving a smart fire of musquetry from the villages on either bank, both in going 
and returning. At one place, in particular, the enemy assembled inconsiderable force, but were speedily dispers- 
ed by the fire from the boats ; on which occasion Lieutenant Wilkinson expressed himself in terms of high 
admiration of the determined gallantry and coolness of the party of tlis Mujesty's 41st Regiment. They had 
three rank and file wounded. , 

A work having been observed in preparation at the village of Kemmendine, only four miles distant from 
the shipping, which if allowed to be completed, might prove a very serious annoyance, the Commodore and I 
determined upon destroj'ing it, for which purpose a sufficient number of boats were ordered from the fleet, un- 
der the command of Lieutenant Wilkinson, and I ordered the Gienadier Company of His Majesty's 38th 
Regiment, under Captain Birch, to be embarked on board of them. The whole were in readiness and sailed 
a little before day-light on the morning of the I6th. 

Herewiih I beg lave to enclose Captain Birch's report of the result, which leaves me to regret the loss 
of a valuable officer, Lieutenant Kerr, of the 38th Regiment, who, with one rank and file, was killed, and 
nine rank and file v.ounded. On the part of the navy, that enterprising and active officer Lieutenant Wilkin- 
son, -and five seamen wounded. 

The spirited decision of Captain Birch and Lieutenant Wilkinson, and the gallant manner in which 
their orders were carried into efl'ect by both officers and men, merit every praise, and must have left a strong 
impression upon the enemy of what they have to expect should an opportunity offer of bringing them fairly 
into contact with the British arms. 

No. 53. (B) — Letter from Captain Birch, H. M. 3Sth Regiment, to Brigadier General Sir 
Archibald Campbell, k. c. b.. Commanding the Forces, &^c. i^c. ^c. ; dated lijth May, 1824. 

I have the honor to inform you, that in obedience to your orders, I this morning embarked with 
the Grenadier Company of His Majesty's 38th Regiment, under my command, on board the boats of His 
Majesty's Ship Liffey, commanded by Lieutenant Wilkinson of the Royal Navy, having four row boats for the 
conveyance of the soldiers, for the purpose of dislodging the enemy from the village of Killyumdine, and 
atljacent villages. 

Agreeable to my instructions, I landed the troops at a small village about a mile from Killyumdine, where 
I observed a party of the enemy had stockaded themselves, and immediately attacked their position, which I 
carried, after exchanging a few rounds and killing ten or twelve of the enemy. 

I then endeavoured to penetrate the jungle towards the village of Killyumdine, for the purpose of assail- 
ing it by the rear, while the boats attacked it in front, but I regret to say, that I found the jungles SO impervi- 
ous as to prevent me from executing this part of my instructions. 

I therefore re-embarked my detachment and proceeded in the boats. 

On 



52 DOCUMENTS. 

On approaching a point liigher np. intending to land, we found ourselves suddenly exposed to a heavy 
fire from a stockade, till then unobserved, and as any attempt to retire would have exposed the detachment to 
certain destruction, and would have given encouragement to the enemy, which I felt convinced you would have 
highly disapproved of. Lieutenant Wilkinson, r. n., and myself, resolved upon immediately landing and storm- 
ing the stockade. 

We had many unforeseen diflSculties to overcome, the enemy having placed bamboos and pikes so as to 
make landing both difficult and dangerous. 

Nothing, however, could withstand tlie gallantry and determination of both soldiers and sailors, who shortly 
established themselves within the stockade, defended by about 400 men, who were quickly driven out at the 
point of tlie bayonet, leaving sixty dead. 

The enemy were well armed, a great proportion having muskets, and a small field piece was taken in the 
stockade; and I must do them the justice to say, that they fought with very great spirit, many of them receiving 
our charge with their spears. 

I again re-embarked my party and proceciled to the opposite side of the river, where we drove the enemy 
from a third stockade, which we destroyed in the same manner as we had done the two former. 

In concluding, I regret to state, that Lieutenant Thomas Kerr, of H. M.'s 38th llegiment, and one private, 
was killed, and nine privates wounded in taking the second stockade ; and I have further to regret, that Lieu- 
tenant \\ilkinson, of the Royal Navy, was severely wounded through the thigh, with eight or nine of his crew, 
one of which has had his arm subsequently amputated. I have much satisfaction in reporting the conduct of the 
officers and men under my command, to have been steady and soldier-like. I hope I may be allowed to express 
the highest admiration of the cool aud intrepid conduct of Lieutenant Wilkinson, r n , who, although severely 
wounded, continued to render me the greatest assistance, in givuig directions from his boat — also of the officers 
and men under his command. 

Ko. 54. — Extract of Despatch received from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, S^c; 

dated 1st June, lS'-24i. 

Herewith I have the honor of transmitting you a return* of the ordnance captured at this place on the 
11th ultimo, including ten small pieces brought from Negrais. — 1 he strength of the enemy in this arm, so far 
exceeding any thing reported, is now, I conceive, very much crippled, as in the different encomiters we have 
since had, nothing larger than jinjal..., or small pieces, have been found with them. 

No. 55. f./ij — Extract 

* RetuiH of Ordnance Captured at and near Rangoon, Mai/, 1624'. 

Iron long puns, serviceable, mounted: — One 24-poun(ler, one 20-ilitto, one IS-ditto, two 10-ditfo, three 9-ditto, one 8-ditfo, 
seven 6-dilto, five 5-ditto, one 4Wi!to, one -l-ciitto, one 2J-ditto, and three a-ditto — Total 27. Dismounted : two e-pounders, 
three SJ-ditto, four 4i-ditto, one SJchtto, one 2J-ditto, and one I -ditto — Total 12. 

Iron long gnns, unserviceable, mounted :— two 12-pounders, one 6-ditto, five 5J-ditto, one 4J-ditto, and one 2^-ditto — Total 10. 
Dismounted: onelO-pounder, eight 9-ditto, two G-ditto, one 5J-ditto, four 3-ditto, one 1 J-ditto, one J-ilitto, an i eight ^-ditto — Total 26. 

Carronades, serviceable, mounted: — three 18-puuuders, and one 12-ditto — Total 4. Dismounted :— three 24-pounder8, four 
18-ditto, and six I2-dino — Total 13. 

Carronades, unserviceable, dismounted : — one. 

Iron Swivel, Berviceablo, njo'inted : — one. 

Brass Swivel, serviceable, dismounted : — two. 

Guns, brass, lerviccable, dismounted ;— three I-pounders and two |-ditto — Total 5. 

Iron jinjals, unserviceable : — nine. 

Of the above gunu, 6 brass and 5 iron, were captured at Negrais. 

Shot, 12-pounder, 133 

Ditto, O-ditto SO 

Ditto, 6-ililto, , 276 

Ditto, 3-ditto, 4-75 

Diuo, 3-ditto box 44 

Ditto, Irregular aod Foreign , 299 

Total... 1257 

Gun-powder, computed at lbs. 2,400. 



BURMESE WAR. 53 

No. 55. (A) — Extract of Despatch from Brigadier General Sir A. Campbell, &c. Sec. • 

dated 1st June, 1824. ' 

Since I last had the honor of addressing you, tlie detachment sent against Negrais has returned to head- 
quarters. The reports of the officers commanding, relative to the operations against that part of the enemy's 
toast, I beg, herewith, to enclose, and under all the circumstances therein stated, I hope Major Wahab's eva- 
• cuation' of a place so little calculated for a military post may be approved of. Indeed, I am fully of opinion 
tiiat the object, which the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council had in view, has been accomplish- 
ed, by reports of the simultaneous attacks upon Rangoon, Negrais, and (I make no doubt) Cheduba, reaching 
the Court of Ava at the same time, and it will appear by Lieutenant Stedman's report, that the enemy again 
experienced the valor of the British arms. 

Here litde change has taken place in our situation. Every act of the enemy evinces a most marked determi- 
nation of carrying hostility to the very last extremity; approaching our posts day and night under cover of an 
impervious and uncombustible jungle; constructing stockades and redoubts on every road and path-way, even 
within musquet shot of our sentries, and from these hidden fastnesses, carrying on a most barbarous and har- 
rassing warfare, firing upon our sentries at all hours of the night, and lurking on the outskirts of the jungle for 
the purpose of carrying off any unlucky wretch whom chance may throw in their way. 

At one post in particular, they had been unusually bold and troublesome, often appearing in large bodies 
in front of the piquet, and had been constantly heard during the night felling timber and making other prepa- 
rations for defence. On the 27th ultimo, my Aide-de-Camp, Captain Snodgrass, having observed a body of the 
enemy a short distance in front of this post, apparently making their observations on our line, he advanced with 
a small patrole for the purpose of feeling them, and ascertaining their strength and intentions. They found 
sentries and posts regularly established, which having driven before them, to where the path-way on which they 
were advancing joins a main road, they were suddenly fired upon from a stockade only forty yards distant, and 
an entrance being observed in an angle of the work, which the enemy in his hurry had neglected to shut, an im- 
mediate charge was ordered, and this small party, consisting of eighteen men of His Majesty's 38th Regiment, 
drove from a strong and well constructed stockade, at least two hundred men, with the trifling loss of three men 
wounded. 

From the precautions which the enemy, on tlie preceding evening appeared to have adopted for the defence 
of the road above alluded to, I felt convinced it must lead to grounds which it was intended we should not ap- 
proach ; I therefore, on the morning of the 28th, left camp with four companies of Europeans, from His Ma- 
jesty's 13th and 38th Regiments, too hundred and fifty sepoys, and one gun and a howitzer from the Bengal 
Artillen,'. On approaching the stockade taken on the preceding evening, we found it re-occupied, but 
only a few shots were fired from it, wounding one man of the 13th Regiment. About a mile further on, we 
came upon two more stockades, admirably constructed upon well-chosen ground, not quite finished, and aban- 
doned by the enemj', all of which were destroyed. Continuing to advance through a thickly wooded country, 
we observed, at every opening in the road, parties of the retreating enemy beyond the reach of musquetry, but 
some excellent practice was made with round shot and shrapnels by the Artillery. After marching in this 
manner seven miles from camp, I found the Artillery soldiers quite exhausted with fatigue, and was under the 
necessitv of sending back the guns' escorted by the Native Infantry. Having determined to advance with the 
four companies of Europeans as far as a large plain, vihich my guide informed me was then only a mile distant, 
at length the road did debouche from the jungle into an extensive valley of paddy-fields, (already some inches 
under water) at the end of which, two miles distant, stands the village of Juayhyvaug, where immediately I ob- 
served quantities of smoke, as if arising from a concourse of people cooking, and concluded that the long desir- 
ed object of releasing the wretched inhabitants from the hands of their cruel tyrants was now within my reach. 
The rain fell in torrents, but I pushed on with my small party, confident of victory, should the enemy meet us 
in the field, which I flattered myself was intended, from seeing their generals drawing out a long line in rear of 
the village flanked by impenetrable jungles. Our .advance was by Echellon of companies, left flank leading 
direct for the village Juayhyvaug, close to which a heavy fire was suddenly opened upon us from two stockades, 
so well masked as not to be distinguished from a garden fence, even at the short distance of sixty yards. Not 
a moment was to be lost — I ordered Brigadier General Macbean to keep the plain with the Light Company 
outflanking the stockades and village, and keeping the enemy's line in check, while the other three companies, 
led by that gallant soldier Major Evans, of the 38th Regiment, at the head of the two flank companies of his 
regiment, and Major Dennie, of the 13th Light Infantry, in like manner at the head of a company of his regiment, 
destined for the attack ; on the order being given, the troops rushed forward to the assault, with an intrepidity and 
gallantry I have never seen surpassed, and in less than ten minutes the first stockade was carried and cleared of 
the enemy at the point of the bavonet, many escaping into the thick jungle in the rear. The troops then moving 

P out, 



54 



DOCUMENTS. 



out, formed up for the attack of the second work, with a coolness and regularity which only an eye witness could 
sufficiently appreciate. The second stockade, resolutely and obstinately defended, was carried in the same 
o-allant style, tlie "-arrison wiihin, fighting man to man, was pat to the bayonet, many escaped to tiie jungle in 
their rear, but those who fled to the plain, met a similar iate with their comrades within from the company under 
Brigadier- General Macbean, who allowed few to get away ; he took no prisoners. 

°The disadvantan^es under which the attack was made, considering the heavy fall of rain, and the strength 
of the three companies, commanded by Captains Piper and Birch, of the 38th, and Captain MacPherson of tlie 
13th Regiment, not exceeding in number two hundred men, carrying by assault two formidable stockades, 
defended by six or seven times their force, and that in the face of what I have seen, ascertained to be the main 
body of the enemy in this part of the country, amounting to about 7,000 men, I need not, I trust, endeavour to 
speak in praise of the gallant band I had that day the honor to conmiand. Indeed, I feel that nothing I might 
say could, in adequate terms, do them justice. Every man appeared to feel and act as if the honor of his coun- 
try, and the success of the enterprise depended upon his own personal conduct and exertions. The enemy left 
three hundred dead in the stockades and adjacent fields, and 1 hope the nature of the contest will not admit of 
our loss beino- considered great although some valuable officers and men have been lost to the service, among 
■whom I liave to regret, Lieutenant Alexander Howard, of the 13th Light Infantry, killed, and Lieutenants 
Michel and O'Halloran, of His Majesty's 38th Regiment, very severely wounded, each having since lost a leg 
by amputation. After carrying the stockades, I drew up my small force and remained an hour in front of the 
Burmese army, which even then, althougli late in the day, and ten miles from home, I would have immediately 
attacked, had" I seen any prospect of bringing them to action, but a forward movement, on our part, at once 
satisfied me of their intention to retreat into the jungle had we approached them. 

Durincr the whole of this day, as on every other occasion since we lauded, I received the most able assis- 
tance from Brigadier-General Macbean. 'l"o him, my Adjutant General, Lieutenant Colonel Tidy, and the 
officers of my personal staft', my best thanks are due. 

At day-light next morning, I detached Brigadier-General Macbean, with two regiments and some camel 
liowitzers, to endeavour to fall in with the enemy on the same ground he had occupied on the preceding day, 
but on arrivin"' there, not a man was to be seen, even some strong stockades wei'e found evacuated and aban- 
doned, and from the observations of the Brigadier-General and others, I have reason to believe tire slaughter 
of the enemy on the day preceding, must have been even greater than that already stated. 

Durintr the night of the 29th, a piquet, posted in front of the great Dagon Pagoda, was repeatedly fired 
upon from the jungle in their post, and from the noise of voices heard, it was concluded that the enemy was 
there in some force. The Light Company of His Majesty's 38th Regiment was, in consequence, ordered to 
the front at day-light, to reconnoitre, and at no great distance came upon a strong masked stockade. With 
Captain Piper at their head, they charged and carried iu their usual gallant style, the enemy leaving twenty- 
one, men dead on the field ; on our part only five men were wounded. 

On the 29th, I detached Lieutenant-Colonel Godwin, of the 41st Regiment, with a sn>all force 
against Lvnain. He found the place totally' deserted, and too insignificant and unimportant to mi fit farther 
notice. He returned here next day. 

P. S. — Herewith I have the honor to enclose a return of the killed and wounded* in the different affairs 
with the enemy smce tlie 21st, up to tiie 31st ultimo, inclusive. 

No. 55. (B) — Report from Major Wahab, 12/// Madras Native Light Infantry, to General 
Sir A. Campbell, k. c. d., Commandiiig E^cpedition, <§-c. ; dated 25t/i May, ISi^^. 

In conformity to the instructions I had the honour of receiving from you, the three ships thereby ordered, 

separated 

* General Report of killed and wounded and misshig of the troops composing the expedition, under the command of Brigadier-General 
Sir A. Campbell, K. c. B., serving against the dominions of the King of Ava. 

H. M. 13iA Light /n/an/y,— Killed— 1 Lieutenant. 

■Wounded — 1 Bugler, and 9 Rank and File — 1 Bugler and 1 Private since died of their wounds. 

H. M. -^Sth Foo/,— Killed— 2 Rank and File. 

Wounded — 2 Lieutenants, 2 Serjeants and 15 Rank and File — 2 Privates since died of their wounds. 

1st Battalion 9th Xative Infantrj/, — Killed — 1 Serjeant or Hnvildar, and 2 Rank and File — 1 Private since died of his wounds, 

2rf Battalion \Oth Native Infantry,— \Wo\xnde<X—\ Rank and File. 

H. M. I'.ith Light Infantry— Nairn- of the Officer Killed: Lieutenant Alexander Howard. 

//. M.'.iHth Foot — Names of Officers Wounded: Lictitcnants Georce Michel and Edwaid O'Halloran ; the former suffered nm- 
putation of the right leg and severely wounded in the left — the latter suffered amputation of the left leg. One Seaman of ihe H. C. 
Cruizcr Tcignmoulh, killed whiUt suuiidiiig. 



BURMESE WAR. 55 

separated from the fleet on the 5th instant, and on the evening of the 11th, anchored off Pagoda-point near 

Negrais. 

On the morning of the 12th, we again got under weigh, and with some difficulty got in the river, and at 
noon anchored off the middle of the island. Towards four p. m., boats were seen making from the northern 
part of the island towards the main land. I desired Captain Goodridge to get the ships under weigh imme- 
diately, and I got the troops on board the Heroiri-e ready for landing, having previously got the flat-bottomed 
boat launched for that purpose. Accordingly, about sun-set, I landed with a party of troops, and having gone 
over the northern extremity without seeing any one, I returned towards the point, where I landed. Two com- 
panies having landed by this time, I directed guards and sentries to be posted in various directions for its se- 
curity, and returned to my ship. 

On the following morning at day light, two parties (previously warned for this duty) one under the com- 
mand of Captain Ogilvie, composed of the troops on board the Carron, was directed to explore and search the 
island, from the southward; the other under Captain Tod, of four companies, from the Heroine, to proceed 
along the foot of the hill, until he met with Captain Ogilvie. 

The latter party, after six hours of indescribable labour, through an almost impenetrable jungle, and up to 
their middle in water, returned without being able to see or discover any thing. The former, after searching 
the southern side of the island, came up by its eastern side, and joined at smi-set; the rest of the troops landed 
at its northern extremity with the same success, and without discovering a single spring of fresh water or ha- 
bitation of any kind. 

From the above survey, it is evident that the island at Negrais is perfectly barren and covered with an 
almost impenetrable jungle and deep inlets of salt water, not producing any article of subsistence for troops. 
The only spot is in the northern extremity of it, where the jungle has been cleared away sufficiently to build a 
few fishermen's huts, without any signs of cultivation. 

Under these circumstances, it became necessary to search for some place where supplies of provisions 
might be procured for the subsistence of the troops destined to keep possession of the island. With this view, 
I crossed over to the main land with a party of troops, and, accompanied by two or three officers, I proceeded in 
search of some village. After sailing up nearly ten miles, we came to a village, whence, on seeing us, the inhabi- 
tants began to fly, but as it was my desire to conciliate them as much as possible, I made them understand by 
signs (not having any one to interpret) that we would not molest them, and directing the sepoys to keep at a 
like distance, I proceeded to the village with the other officers. The inhabitants, after a little, seemed pleased 
at our visit, and those that had fled began to return with their families and goods, and we made them under- 
stand by signs, that we wished to have provision, for which we would pay in money, they appeared satisfied, 
and, as well as we could understand, said they would bring us provision's of all kinds. 

Under an idea that these people would be induced to bring supplies of provisions to the troops destined 
to keep possession of the island, without which they could not possibly remain long there, as there was only a 
few week's supply on board, I directed five companies to be disembarked with their baggage, and directed the 
two ships that were to return with me, to complete their water as quick as possible. 

The next evening, a number of people were seen collected at a point on the main land, opposite to the is- 
land, about five miles distant ; but thinking that they came out of curiosity, I took no farther notice of them, 
than ordering a strict look out to be kept towards them. 

The following days were occupied in completing the water of the two ships, but on the morning of the 
17th, observing that the numbers collected on the opposite side to be very considerable, and continually in- 
creasing, and that they were accompanied by boats of a large description, I considered that their intentions 
could be no longer deemed peaceable, and as I discovered that a stockade had been thrown up, I ordered 
immediately three companies, under Lieutenant Stedman, to embark in boats and cross over to the main land, 
and three other companies, under Captain Ogilvie, for their support, to embark on the return of the boats, 
there being only five capable of conveying troops, and that not above two hundred and fifty men at a time. 
Accordmgly, they were embarked about noon, but the wind and current was so much against them, it being 
flood tide, they were carried away four miles bevond the point I intended them to land at, and were brought 
close to where the stockade had been constructed, fortunately the boats reached the same place nearly at the 
same time. Lieutenant Stedman having collected and formed them in order, he found there was no time to be 
lost in waiting for the party under Captain Ogilvie, and he determined to attack them immediately with the 
party that had already landed, and on his advance the enemy opened their guns upon him. Lieutenant Sted- 
man's letter, which I have the honour to enclose, will explain the result and success of his attack. 

The steady conduct of the troops employed on this occasion, the celerity of their advance, and 
steadiness of their fire, seem to have shaken the courage of the enemy, and on the troops pene- 
tr^ing the stockade by an opening which, fortunatejiy, had not been completed, the enemy fled in the 

utmost 



56 DOCUMENTS. 

utmost disorder, leaving every tiling behind them ; the route was most complete, they fled in the utmost con- 
sternation in every direction ; they must have suffered severely, as they were collected in vast numbers, to the 
amount of about eight hundred men within so small an enclosure. 

There were six found dead the following moraing at a little distance from the stockade ; our loss, con- 
sidering the exposed situation of the men, was small, being one killed and five wounded — the Jemadar died 
during the night. 

The troops took possession of ten or twelve guns, brass and iron, of various calibres, muskets, spears 
and d'hows, without number, from forty to fifty boats, some of a very large description, with a quantity of gun- 
powder and balls, &c. 

The guns have been taken on board the Cruizer Mercury, and all other articles were completely 
destroyed. 

I'he island of Negrais is a barren desert, covered with an impenetrable jungle, and the low part, towards 
the southward, seems to be covered with salt water ; at tlie northern extremity is a hill, with an old pagoda 
upon it, and at the foot of it, to the westward, is a small flat covered with jungle, where it has been suiTicient- 
Iv cleared only to erect a few fishermens' huts, and has no signs of cultivation. It is evident, fi-om the desolate 
appearance of the island, that it has never been considered by the Burman government as a place of any 
importance, nor can it be made dispensible by them, nor is there a village \\ithin ten miles of it on the 
main land. 

No. 53. (C) — Report Jt-om Lieutenant J. O. Stedmmi, Commanding Detachment 9.d Battalion 
17th Regiment, or C. L. I., to the Officer Commanding 2d Battalion 17th Regiment, or 
C. L. I. ; dated I8th May, 1824. 

I have the honor to report, that agreeably to orders of yesterday's date, I crossed the river, and landed 
witli the three companies detailed to accompany me, at about three o'clock, and witliiu three quarters of a mile 
of the enemy, whose appearance, before reaching the shore, left me little doubt as to tlieir intentions of oppos- 
ing our approach beyond the spot on which it was evident they had strongly stockaded themselves. — As the 
day was too far advanced to expect anj' re-inforcement under Captain Ogilvie, and as our situation, from not 
knowing the strength of the Birmans, did not ensure success against them, I determined to detain the boats 
that brought us, in case it might be necessary to retreat to the ships, at the same time ordering the companies 
(all of whom landed nearly at the same moment) to follow the advanced guard at the distance of fifty 
paces — We had proceeded but a short space, when I observed the guard in advance to halt, and I received 
intimation that they were already close under a brest-work of the enemy, surmounted with guns, and which 
the thick jungle along the beach had prevented my observing, or indeed any of the party in advance, till very 
close to it. Delay, however, under any circumstances, was to be avoided, and as I had made up my mind to 
return their fire the instant they commenced it, I pushed on, desiring the advance to join their companies, and 
having loaded, returned their first shot from cannon and small arms, with a volley which was followed up by 
a charge and an incessant fire on them from the rear companies for the space of ten minutes, when the brest- 
work, with guns complete, was ours, and all our attention was directed to the stockade itself, in which, at this 
period, at least seven hundred armed men were observable. — Providentially for us, an opening to the right of the 
stockade from the brest-work had not been completed, into which we continued to pour our fire with such suc- 
cess, that the enemy were observed to decamp wth the greatest precipitation, leaving us their cannon and, in- 
deed, every thing they were possessed of A list of which, with a return of killed and wounded, will be found 
in the margin* — I cannot conclude this report, without expressing my entire approbation of the conduct of .ill 
concerned on this occasion, for to all I feel my best acknowledgements are due, thougli were I to pariicularise, 
the services of Lieutenants Lindsaj', Haig and Hutchings, were such as to entitle them to praise more valuable 
than mine. Our loss is so trifling, when I consider the means the enemy had of annoying us, that it can only 
be attributed to their fire being diiected too high. 

2vb. 55. (D)— Report 



* List of killed and wounded with a detachment of the 2d Battalion 17th Regiment, or C. L. I., under the command of Lieu- 
tenant Stednian — Killed, 1 Jemidar and 1 Sepoy — Wounded, 2 Naigues and 2 Sepoys. 

• List of stores taken and destroyed by a detachment of the 2d Battalion I7th Regiment, or C. L. L, under the command of 
Lieutenant Stedman, — 10 pieces of ordnance of diSereat calibre, between fifty and si.tty boats containing rice and military storw. 



BURMESE WAR. 57 

No. 55. (D) — Report from Captain R. Goodridge, H. C. C Mercurrj, to Brigadier General 
Sir A. Campbell, k. c. b.. Commanding at Rangoon, c^r. Sjc. ; dated Tjth May, 1821. 

I have the honor to report the arrival at this anchorage, of the Honorable Company's rruizer Merctiry, 
under my commanc, to wait your further orders, and to acquaint you, in compliance witk the instructions 
received fi'om Comiaodore Grant, of His Majesty's Royal Nav}', I effected the purpose on the 12th May, 
p. M., for which I was directed to accompany Major Wahab, of the 17th Madras Native Infantry, to the island 
of Nagrais, on which a party was landed by Major Wahab, and, the British flag hoisted without opposition. 

On the 16th, our attention was called to a collectiim of men and boats on the opposite side of the river — 
a party was sent, accompanied bj' the Mercury, which produced a letter from the governor of Basine. 

On the 17th, a stockade was perceived of some e.vteut and strength. W^e weighed anchor in company 
with a party of troops. At 4h. 39m. anchored off the stockade, the party having previously landed from all 
the boats procurable. At 5. p. m., the Birmahs opened an indifferent fire on the troops, when I commenced at 
a long range shot, and after firing a few rounds from our long guns, the troops marched into the stockade 
without further opposition, on which occasion I have to report the capture of twenty-eight beats, (all of which 
were destroyed) and fourteen pieces of small cannon. 

The island of Negrais is confined to about six miles in circumference, extending north-east and south-west. 
On the south-west end, tliere is a plain of some extent, covered with grass, on whicli I saw a number of cattle, 
and enclosures for a very small quantity of rice ; the hills and other parts are quite woody, no run of water was 
discovered, but confined to wells ; they are capable of producing a great deal with a little attention. 

The entrance into Negrais harbour I consider difficult, and only to be effected with great precau.'ion, 
the chamiel being extremely narrow ; it is quite secure from all winds : the river beyond that to Bassii:e i», 
from my own observations, and what 1 have since collected, clear, and safe from the island to Bassine. 

No. 56. (A) — Extract fi'om a Dispatch from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b.; 

dated 4^th June, 1824. 

On the 2d instant, I received information that the enemy had assembled in great force, and were stockad- 
ing themselves at Kemmendine, intending to attack our lines, and that the messengers who had been sent in, 
were, as I suspected, spies. I therefore ordered two strong columns of reconnoissance, from the Madras division, 
to move on the following morning upon two roads leading from the great Dagon I'agoda to the village of Kem- 
mendine, the right column under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hodgson, the other under the command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, proceeding myself up the Rangoon river, with two of the Hon'ble Company's 
cruizers and three companies of the 41st Regiment, for the purpose of observing the enemy's force, and 
making a diversion in favour of any attack which might be made by land. In the course of two hours we 
were abreast of the enemy's encampment. The troops landed, and burnt every hut to the ground : brought 
away one war boat, and destroyed aiiother : carried off an 18-pound carronade, all without the least annoyance 
from the enemy, who either fled into the jungle, or retired into a very large stockade which I observed close by, 
and from which some guns were fired, killing and wounding a few men. 

In the course of the morning, the two columns coming down from the great Dagon Pagoda, met close to 
the stockade of Kemmendine just alluded to, and an effort was made to enter it, which I have no doubt would 
have succeeded but for the occurrence of some mistakes, and as the attack was never in any way persevered in, 
I do not much regret the results, as it will tend to lull our crafty foe into a security that may soon prove fatal to 
him. — I am anxiously employed in preparing ti'ansport for the future progress of the expedition. We have 
already captured from fifty or sixty large cargo boats, which are getting cut down and made more manageable, 
and are calculated, on an average, to carry a complement of sixty men each. 

The second embarkation from Madras, consisting of His Majesty's 89th Regiment, and two battalions of 
Native Infantry, has arrived in the river. 

No. 56. (B) — Report from Captain Rt/ves, Commanding H. M. Sloop Sophie; 

dated 3d June, 1824. 

1 beg leave to state to you for the information of Commodore Charles Grant, that during your absence of 
yesterday. I received directions from Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., and Commander in Chief of Military 
forces employed against the Burmese, to order the Cocilla and row boats to convey troops up tlie river. 

Q At 



58 DOCUMENTS. 

At 5 A. M. the troops embarked, accompanied by the Hon'ble Companj^'s cruizers Mercury and TJietis, 
three flotilla gun boats and pinnaces of His Majesty's ships Lurne and Sophie. 

In consequence of the draught of water of His Majesty's sloop under my command, being too great for 
the upper part of this river, I did not consider it prudent to remove her. Tlie boats of the said sloop and 
LiUi-ne were, consequently, employed, and made their rendezvous on board the Hon'ble Company's cruizer 
Thetis. At 7 a. ji. the cruizers and flotilla anchored and commenced a heavy fire on a very strong stockade 
(Kemandyne) when the troops were landed 

Tiie pinnaces of His Majesty's sliips Lame and Sophie, in proceeding in advance, carried a small stockade, 
from which was brought an eighteen pounder carronade, they were afterwards engaged under a most harass- 
ing fire of carronades and musquetry from anotlier stockade-, and I am sorry to say suffered severely, although 
mfinitfcly less than could have been expected on such service. 

The commander if the Hon'ble Company's cruizer Thetis^ being severely wounded when I was on board, 
I took command of her, but Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., having embarked on board the Hon'ble Com- 
pany's cruizer Mercury, all orders to the cruizers and flotilla proceeded from him. 

Where every man did his duty, it is diflicult to bring into notice the conduct of individuals, yet I cannot 
avoid particidarizing the pre-eminent and gallant conduct of ]Mr. George Goldfinch, and I much regret the 
severe wound which he has received, as it will deprive me for a time of his valuable services. He has since 
our arrival here always been employed in the command of the boats belonging to His Majesty's sloop Sophie, 
and has always met my warmest approbation ; indeed, I cannot speak too highly of this meritorious officer. 
He has passed his examination for a Lieutenant nine years and three months. I hope you will take the con- 
duct of this deserving officer into your consideration, and recommend him to the favorable notice of Commo- 
dore Grant, and I trust it may be the means of procuring for him that promotion he so richly merits. 

I have every reason to be much satisfied witli the co-operation of Lieutenant Fraser, who commanded the 
Lame's jiinnace, and whose exemplary zeal and gallant conduct were conspicuous. 

The zealous conduct of Mr. Charles Scott, who has passed his examination for Lieutenant four years, re- 
flected on him great credit 

At about 3 p. Bi. the enemy being in great force, the troops were re-embarked, tlie cruizers and flotilla 
then weighed and retui'ned to tlieir former anchorage. 

No. 57. (A) — Extract of a Despatch from Brigadier Geijeral Sir Ai-chibald Campbell, to George 
Sxcinton, Esq. Secretary to Government Secret and Political Department, S^x. S^x. S^-c. ; 
dated 16th June, ISSi. 

Smce I last did myself the honor of addressing you. Brigadier McCreagh, and the European part of the 
detachment sent against Cheduba, have returned to head-quarters, having fully executed the orders given by 
me, agreeable to the instructions I had received from the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council. 
The able and satisfactory manner in which Brigadier McCreagh carried on the operations entrusted to 
hinj, will appear by the enclosed report, and the result has been such as might have been expected from the 
judicious arrangements of that experienced officer. 

Having completed my arrangements for striking a blow upon the enemy's force assembled here, on the 
morning of the 10th instant, although the weather continued most unfavourable, I moved upon the enemy's 
fortified camp and stockades at Kemmendine, with about three thousand men, four eighteen pounders, four 
mortars and some field pieces, sending two divisions of vessels up the river to prevent the enemy from escap- 
ing on that side. It was my mtention not to lose a man if it could be avoided. The enemy had already 
frequently experienced the irresistible influence of the British bayonet, and it was now my wish they should 
also know that we had still other and perhaps more dreadful means of exterminating them in every stockade 
they might be found in. The country, season and roads rendered the undertaking extremely arduous, but 
not beyond the inexhaustible spirit of such soldiers as I command. About two miles from town, tlie head of 
the colunm was stopped by a stockade, apparently very strong and full of men : I ordered two heavy guns 
and some field pieces to open upon it, while the troops surrounded it on three sides, but the jungle was so 
very thick and close as to prevent the possibility of altogether cutting off" the garrison. In less than half an 
hour, a considerable gap was made in the outward defences of the work, and the defendants, not daring any 
where to shew themselves, I ordered a part of the Madras European Regiment, supported by part of the 
4.1st Regiment, to charge, and the work was innnediately carried, with a trifling loss on our part, the enemy 
leaving one hundred and fifty men deatl on the grouml. Major Chalmers k-ading the support of the 41st 
Regiment, and one of the first men in the breach received a wound in the face from a spear, which I am 
happy to say is not dangerous, ^\'hile tliis was going on, under my own eye, a very spiiited and successful 

attack 



BURMESE WAR. 



59 



attack wns made on the other side of the stockade, by the advanced companies of the 13th and 38th Regi- 
ments, who, by assisting each otlier up the face of the stockade, (at least ten feet high) entered about the same 
time as the party by the breach, putting every man to deaih wlio opposed their entrance ; and it affords me 
pleasure to state, that the first man who appeared on the top of the work, was, I believe, Major Sale, of His 
Majesty's 13th Light Infantry. 

This point gained, the column again moved forward nearly a mile, where our left was posted, communi- 
cating with the flotilla on the river about half a mile under the great stockade and fortified camp : the head 
of the column moving up to the right, with great toil and labour, through the thick and tenacious jungle, for 
the purpose of again reaching the river above the stockade, and thus completely investing the enemy's great 
strong hold. In this I was partly disappointed, the enemy having thrown up other works above the stockade 
which would have exposed my right to certain loss, and not being able to invest the whole of the enemy's ex- 
ten Jve fortifications, I was under the necessity of leaving about a hundred yards, between our rio-lit and the 
river, unoccupied ; but as the principal work appeared full of men, animating each other with loud and 
boisterous cheering, I still hoped they would remain till the impression I intended had been made. At 4 p. m., 
my troops were in position in many places within aiiundred yards of the place ; but in all parts with a very 
thick j ungle in front, extending to the very bottom of the stockade. The night passed in erecting batteries 
and making preparations for ojiening the guns at day-light next morning ; the enemy continuing loud and 
incessant cheering till after daylight in the morning. The moment we had sufficient light on the following dav, 
a heavy and well-directed fire was opened from our breaching and mortar batteries, which was kept up for 
nearly two hours, when a party advancing to observe the breach, found the enemy, during the cannonade, had 
evacuated the place, carrying oif their dead and wounded. The chain of posts occupied by the enemy, render- 
ed flight at all times ea;y, and the thickness of the jungle necessarily prevented our observing when it took place. 
The stockade, j'ou will observe by the accompanying plan, is one of great strength, and capable of being 
obstinately defended. It was garrisoned by the most desperate crews of the enemy's war boats, and it cannot 
be doubted that the dreadful example of the day before, and awful effects of our opening fire, alone could have 
induced men possessed (as the Burmese unquestionably are) of great personal courage, to give it up. 

The object I had in view has thus been fully accomplished ; a general pause and terror for our arms at 
present prevail among the troops lately opposed to u?, and from one or two reconnoitring parties, which have 
since been out, 1 find that every stockade in our neighbourhood has been evacuated, and 1 have reason to think 
the enemy has retired to some distance from our front. 

I continue to receive every assistance and co-operation from Captain Marryat, R. N. and the ships em- 
ployed under his command.* 

No. 57. (B)— Extract 

* General Return of kilted, wounded, and missing of the troops comprising the expedition, under the command of Brigadier-Generttl 
Sir Archibald Campbell, K. c. B., serving against the dominiotis of the King of Ava,from tlie 1st to the I6th June, 18^4. 

Commissioned Officers. — Madras European Regiment. — Wounded — 1 Captain and 1 Lieutenant. 

H. M. Vith Light lufanlri/. — Wounded — I Lieutenant. 

H. M. 3Sth Foot. — Wounded — I Lieutenant. 

H. M. -H.!* ii'yo<.— Wounded— I iMajor. 

Madras European Regiment. — Wounded — 1 Lieutenant. 

Kon- Commissioned Rank and File.—H. M. ZSth flcgime«f.— Wounded— 1 Rank and File. 

H. M. ilst Regiment. — Wounded— 9 Rank and File. 

Artillery. — Wounded — 1 Serjeant or Havildar, and I Rank and File. 

Madras European Regiment. — Killed — :i Serjeants or Havildars, and 7 Rank and File— Wounded — 2 Serjeants or Havildars, 
and 30 Rank and File. 

ist Battalion 3d Regiment N. /.—Wounded— 2 Rank and File. 

2d Do. Sth Do. — Wounded — 2 Rank and File. 

1st Ball. 9th Regiment X. /.— Wounded— 2 Serjeants or Havildars. 

2d Batt. 10/// Regiment M. /.—Killed— 1 Rank and File— Wounded— 3 Rank and File. 

Pioneers.— K\\\ed~l Rank and File— Wounded— 2 Rank and File. 

H. M. I3th Light In/anlrt/.—KiWed—l Rank and File— Wounded— 10 Rank and File. 

H. M. 3Sth Fuot.—K\\\ed~\ Rank and File— Wounded— 8 Rank and File. 

//. M. ilst /"oo/.- Wounded— 2r Rank and File. 

Madras European Regiment. — Killed — 1 Serjeant — Wounded — 2 Sergeants or Havildars, and 6 Rank and File. 

ist Bait. 21d N. /.—Wounded— 2 Rank and File. 

Nalives Attached. — Blieesties — Killed — 1 — Wounded— Mistrees—1 — Bearers — 6 — Gun Lascars — 4 — Tindals — \. 

Total — Commissioned Officers — Wounded — 6 — Non-commissioned Rank and File— Killed — 14 — Wounded — lOa — Natives at- 
tached— Killed-2— Wounded— 1 1. 

Remarks.— Wii Majesty's 13th Light Infantry— Name of Officer wounded— Lieutenant James Petry, slightli/. 

His Majesty's 38th Foot— Name of Officer wounded — Lieutenant Henry Grimes, slightly. 

His Majesty's 41st Foot— Name of Officer wounded— Major P. L. Chambers, severely not dangerously. 



60 ' DOCUMENTS. 

No. 57. (B) — Report from Brigadier McCreagh, Commanding the expedition to Cheduha, to 
Major General Sir A. Campbell, ^c. S^c. ^c. ; dated \lth June, IBS*. 

I have the honour to report, that in execution of the service you assigned nie, I anchored on the eastern 
side of the island of Chediiba, with the transport Anna Robertson in company, on the night of the 12tli of last 
month, and found the other transport and His Majesty's ship the Slaney ah-eady there. I immediately con- 
ferred with Captain Mitchell, and on the 13th, Lieutenant Mathews, of that ship, made a bold and very intelli- 
gent reconnoissance up the small river, on which the enemy's town is situated, and in our entire ignorance of 
the localities, his report was of essential use to me in arranging the disembarkation. 

The ships lay three miles from the shore outside of a mud flat, which stretches parallel with the land, and is 
nearly dry at low water, and the coast on this side is covered with jungle to the edge — indeed the mouth of the 
river is not distinguishable at a very little distance. We moved towards it on the morning of the 14th, with as 
many men as the boats would hold — two hundred of His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry Regiment, and one hun- 
dred of the 20th Native Infontry. 

On the southern bank, a short distance up, was an out-post, which was immediately taken possession of by 
a small party from the leading boat, the Burmese retiring from it without resistance. The river varies in breadth 
from aboutVorty to one hundred yards, the jungle on both sides extending for into the water. About half a mile 
farther up, the ground is cleared and cultivated, and tlie enemy became visible, lining a trench of three hundred 
j-ards extent, on the edge of the northern bank, with their right flanked by a bridge over the rivers. They 
permitted our boats to range along until the headmost arrived opposite their right, and then opened a fire of 
musketry and swivels, accompanied by flights of arrows. The bank was steep and somewhat difficult, but two 
or three parties of the 13th were soon on its summit, in spite of the enemy's efforts, wlio opposed them with con- 
siderable boldness : a few minutes firing followed while the remaining boats landed their men, and they fled, 
leaving upwards of twenty killed and many wounded. Their village or town commences near the spot at which 
we had landed, and I immediately moved up tlie street in pursuit ; on arriving at the end of it (about a quarter of 
a mile) we found a stockade, into which they had retired, and from which they opened a lire as soon as we 
appeai-ed. It was a square of about two hundred yards each face; the outward piles, from sixteen to twenty 
feet high, and embankment and a parapet within them, salient gateways in each face, and a triple row of railing 
round the entire exterior, ajjpeared to be in good order, and the fire was from several six-pounders, as well as 
swivels of various calibre, and musketry. 

I immediately lodged parties at such points close to the work as afforded tolerable cover, ordered the 
howitzer and two or three ship guns ashore, together with the remainder of the sepoys, and meantime marked 
off a battery within a hundred yards of their front gateway. The weather now became exceedingly unfavorable, 
but as all gave their most heart}' and zealous endeavours to the execution of what was pointed out to them, our 
■want of proper materials, implements and workmen was surmounted. Repeated feints upon the enemy's left, 
sufficed to turn his attention from our working parties on his right, and during the night of the 16th, two nine- 
pounders and a canonade, on ship carriages, were placed ui the battery, the hut that marked it pulled down, and 
it opened in the morning. Its fire was soon decisive on the gateway, which having been their last thorough- 
fare, was not so strongly embanked as the others. Having prepared some seamen with axes and ropes to ac- 
company the column, I ordered it forward; it moved rapidlj- to its point, headed by Major Thornhill's company 
of His Majesty's loth, a few moments sufliced to compteat the destruction of the wounded spars, and we were 
speedily in the stockade, followed by the reserve, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hampton, of the 20th Native In- 
fantry. The Burmese chief in command was killed near the point of attack, they abandoned their interior 
defences, (a trench and breastwork) and fled through their rear gate, leaving a great numbei* killed. 

Considering that, throughout these little operations, our investment was very close, and the enemy's fire 
kept up without any intermission, I am hanpy to say that our loss has been singularly small. 

\Vhere all evinced not only ready obedience, but the utmost zeal, it would be difficult to remark upon in- 
dividual claims to notice ; but my thanks are due to Lieutenant-Colonel Hampton, connnanding the detach- 
ment of tlie 20th Native Infantry, and to Brevet Major Thornliill, of His Majesty's ISth, for the manner in 

which 

Madras European Regiment, — Names of Officers wouaJed — Captain KjJ, — Lieutenants Stentou and Robertson, scvcrelj/ not 
daiigcruiisli/. 

Two men of the Madras European Regiment were missing soon after tlie arrival of the army at Rangoon, and liave not been 
inserted in any of tiie returns, having been taken whilst straying from their line, and not whilst engaged with the enemy. 

N. B. Xhe quantity of slugs made u^e of by the euomy will account for the great (les[>uriiy in the proportioiid of killed and 
wounded. 



BURMESE WAR. - 61 

which they and their officers and men fulfilled tlieir duties ; the latter officer was wounded by a spear while lead- 
ing his men into the stockade. 1 am also much indebted to Lieutenant Malins, of the 13th, (Brigade Major,) 
for the active and valuable assistance he afforded me throughout. 

I must do myself the pleasure to acknowledge the cordial co-operation that I received from Captain Mitch- 
ell, of His Majesty's ship Slatiei/, who accompanied me at the disembarkation, and te whose readiness in af- 
fording me every assistance his ship could supply, the service was importantly indebted, and the exertions of his 
seamen, under tlie immediate command of Lieutenant Matthews, in getting the guns landed, and assisting in the 
battery, contributed essentially to accelerate the result. 

On the 19th, one of our reconnoitering parties, under Captain Aiken, of His Majesty's 13th, succeeded in 
capturing tlie Rajah, who was concealed, with some of his followers, in the jungle, a few miles in the interior. It 
appears, that of six hundred Burmese who, about a month previous to an attack, were sent over to assist in the 
defence of the island, little more than three hundred survived the contest unhurt, and the Chedubans, whom they 
had mustered to assist in the defence of the stockade, have also suffered considerably. The surviving Burmese 
passed over to the main land. 

Having made such arrangements regarding the island as circumstances admitted, I re-embarked the Eu- 
ropean part of my force, in conformity with your orders, and sailed with the ships Eniaad and A7iiia Robertson 
on the 3d of the present month, leaving Lieutenant- Colonel Hampton, with his detachment of the 20th Native 
Infantry, and His Majesty's ship Slaney, in possession, and on themost friendly understanding with the inhabitants. 
On the 6tli, we lost sight of the islands, on the 9th, we made Negrais, with tiie intention of visiting and reporting 
to you the situation of the detachment I had ordered there, but the weather becoming so threatening as to render 
it unadvisable to risque in ships, in such a situation, I stood on for this place, and anchored off the bar of the 
river this day. 

I enclose returns of our killed and wounded,* and am happy to add, that most of the latter are doing well. 

No. 58 — Thefollo'wing Copy of a Dispatch received from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Camp- 
bell, K. c. B., ^c. c^'C. (§-c. Commanding the British Forces at Rangoon ; to George Swintoii, Esq. 
Secretary to Government Secret and Political Department, c^r. ^c. S^c. ; dated July 11, 1S24. 

Since I had the honor of addressing you on the 16th idtimo, we have had several partial affairs with the 
enemy, except in one solitary instance, invariably sought for on our part, and all ending in the same brilliant 
manner, that has hitherto marked the gallant and intrepid conduct of the troops under my command. About 
the end of last month, it was stated to me by a few Rangoon people, who had escaped from the jungle, that the 

Burmese 

* hiit of Officers, Seamen and Marines, belonging lo His Majesti/'s Skip Slcaiey, Charles Mitchell, Esq., Commander, who were Killed or 

Wounded at the reduction of the Island of Cheduba. 

John Parr, Corp. Mar., killed, — John Thompson, Quarter-Master, wounJed dangerously, — T.ouis Paget, able, wounded dan|er- 
ously, (since dead,) — Bathurst Mathews, "1st- Lieut, slightly, — James May ning, Boatswain, slightly, — Edward Chamberlain, Captain's 
Steward, slightly. 

Killed 1 Marine, — Wounded 1 Lieutenant and 4. Seamen. 

Gudvba, ISth May, 1824. — Return of Killed and Wounded of the Force, under the Command of Brigadier McCreagh, c. B., from the Hti 

to the nth of Maj/, 1824, both days inclusive. 
Honorable Company' s Artillery, — Wounded 1 Gunner, — 1 Gun Lascar. — Total 2. 

His Majesty's Vith Light hifaiUry.—YLxW&A 1 Rank and File,— Wounded 1 Brevet Major,— 1 Ensign,— 1 Serjeant,— 1 Bugler, 
—16 Rank and File.— Total killed 1,— Wounded 20. 

-2d Battalion iOth Regiment Native /n/on/jy,— Killed 1 Rank and File,— Wounded 1 Lieutenant,— 1 Havildar,— 6 Rank and 
File.— Total Killed 1,— Wounded 8. 

Followers, — Wounded 6 Lascars. — Total 6. 

Grand Total,— Killed 2,— Wounded 36. 

Names of Officers Wounded.^Uis Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, Brevet Major Tliornhill, (slightly.)— Ensign Kershaw, (slightly.) 

2d Battalion 20th Regiment Native Infantry, — Lieutenant and Acting Adjutant Margrave, (severely.) 

Return of Arms and Ordnance taken in the Enemy's Works at Cheduba, llih May, 1824. 
5 European six-pounder Guns. 
30 Smaller Guns, and Swivels of various Calibre. 
40 European Musquets, and a few matchlocks. 
12,523 Leaden Balls of various sizes. 
200 Six-pound Shot. 

A few hand Granades. 
1,080 European Flints. 

R 



62 DOCUMENTS. 

Burmese chief had received positive orders from court to make a general attack upon our line, and drive us 
at once out of the countrj*. Every movement of the enemy plainly indicated that something was intended; 
large bodies of troops were, for two successive days, seen crossing the river above Kemendine, from the Dallah 
to the Rangoon side, and I felt the more inchned to give credit to the report from being well aware, that had 
any such order been received by the Burmahn general, certain disgrace or even decapitation would be the 
inevitable consequence of his disobeying it. — On the morning of the 1st instant, every doubt on the subject 
■was removed. Three columns of the enemy, estimated at one thousand men each, were seen crossing the 
front of our position, moving towards our right : and the jungle ui front of the great Dagon Pagoda, and 
along the whole extent of our hne to the left, was occupied by a large force, but on this side, from the nature 
of the ground, it was impossible to ascertain either the disposition or strength of the enemy. The columns 
moving on our right soon came in contact with the piquets of the 7th and 22d Regiments of Madras Native 
Infantry, which received the attack with the greatest steadiness, none of them yielding one inch of ground. 
The enemy then penetrated in considerable force between two of our piquets, and took post on a hill about 
four hundred yards from our position, occupying an old Pagoda and some houses in front, from which they 
commenced a feeble and harmless fire from some jinjals and swivels. I instantly repaired to the point of 
attack with a gun and howitzer from the Bengal Artillery, and three companies of Native Infantry, viz. one 
company of the 7tli and two of the 22d Regiment, the wliole under the command of Captain Jones, of the 
latter corps. After a short but well directed fire from tlie artillery, I ordered Captain Jones to advance with 
his three companies, and drive the enemy from his post at the point of the bayonet, and I had the satisfaction 
of seeing my order carried into effect in the most cool and gallant style ; the enemy flying in every direction 
towards their favorite haunt, and ordy place of safety, the jungle. During the firing on our righ^ parties of 
the enemy felt the piquets along our line to the left, but never appeared in anv force, and retired on the first 
fire from our advanced post. Thus ended the mighty attack that was to have driven us into the sea : defeated 
with the greatest ease by the three weak companies of sepovs, and two pieces of artillery; although such an 
enemy might be well appalled at the appearance of the whole British hne under arms. 

From some prisoners who were taken, I am informed that twelve thousand men were marched to the 
attack : the left columns were ordered to engage with vigour, and as soon as they had succeeded in penetrating 
our line, the attack was then to have become general. Such were the orders issued, but nothing more con- 
temptible than die conduct of the enemy on diat daj' was ever witnessed! 'Jhey paid for their folly, leaving 
at least one hundred men dead on the field. We had not one man either killed or wounded. 

Before daylight on the following morning, some hundred men of the Dallah force, entered the town of 
Dallah, firing in the dfrection of our post. Captain Isaack, of the 8th Madras Native Infantry, commanding, 
pushed forward with a few men, and was, I regret to say, unfortunately shot. The Burmese mutilating his 
body with the most savage brutality during the few minutes it remained in their power. 

While the enemy abstained from converting their town to the purpose of annoying us, I also respected 
and afforded it every protection, although uninhabited by one individual; but when they thought proper to 
make it a mighty scene of savage warfare, I rased it to the ground. 

Niunerous re-inforcements daily johied the enemy's army in our front, a thing much to be desired, as 
tending to encrease the distress and discontent already jirevailing in their lines, and having observed a dispo- 
sition to re-cross part of their force to the Dallah side of the river, I determmed, on the 8th instant, to make as 
general an attack as tlie very woody and inundated state of the country would possibly admit of. For that 
purpose, I formed the force to be employed into two colum.ns of attack ; one proceeding by land, under the 
command of that excellent and indefatigable officer Brigadier General McBean, for the purpose of surround- 
ing the enemy on the land side, while I, with the other, proceeded by water to attack their stockaded position, 
along the banks of the river in front. To this post the enemy appeared to attach the greatest importance, and 
tlie stockades were so constructed as to afford mutual support, presenting difficulties .ipparently not to be 
overcome without a great sacrifice of lives. I therefore resolved to try the eflect of shelling, and consulted 
with Captaui Marryat upon the employment of such armed vessels as he might select to breach, in the event of 
our mortar practise not succeeding. The shells were thrown at too great distance to produce the desfred 
effect, and the swampy state of the country would not admit of any advance. The armed vessels, viz. the 
Satellite, transport, (lately in His Majesty's service) the Honorable Company's cruizers Teignviouth and 
Thetis, commanded by Captain Hardy and Lieutenant Greer, and the Penang Government yacht, the Jrss/V, 
Captain Poynion, the wIidIc under the command of Lieutenant Frazcr, of His Majesty's ship LMrne, now took 
their stations according to a disposition made by Captain Marryat, and opened a tire, which soon silenced that 
of fourteen pieces of artillery, swivels, and musketry from the stockades, and in one hour the jireconcerted 
signal of hreach, practicable, was displayed at the main-mast head. The troops, as previously arranged, entered 
their boats on the signal bemg made, consisting of a detail of the 3d, 10th and 17th Native lul'aniry, com- 
manded 



BURMESE WAR. 63 

manded by Major Wahab, of the latter corps, ordered to lead the attack, and supported by Lieutenant Colonel 
Godwin, with two hundred and sixty men of His Majesty's 41st Regiment and one company from the Honor- 
able Company's Madras European Regiment. The assault was made in the best order and handsomest style : 
Major Wahab, with the Native Infantry, landed, and immediately attacked the breach, while Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Godwin, almost at the same instant, pushed ashore a little higher up, and entered the work by escalade ; the 
enemy kept up a sharp, but ill-directed fire while the troops were landing, but, as usual, fled on our making a 
lodgment in the place. I now ordered Colonel Godwin to re-embark with the detachment of the 41st Regi- 
ment, and attack the second stockade, which was immediately carried in the same style. The third stockade 
was evacuated by the enemy. 

The cool and gallant conduct of both European and native troops on this occasion was, to me, a most gra- 
tifying sight. To the officers and men of the breaching vessels every praise is due ; and I much regret that 
severe indisposition prevented Captain Marryatt from being present to witness the result of his arrangements. 

The inundated state of the country did not admit of any communication with Brigadier General MacBean 
from the shipping, nor did I know the result of the operations of his column, until I returned to Rangoon in the 
evening. Nothing could be more brilliant and successful ! He took, by assault, seven strong stockades in the 
most rapid succession, throwing the enemy into the utmost consternation; and he had also the good fortune to 
fall in with a large body flying from a stockade attacked by the shippincr, of whom a great number were killed. 
The Brigadier General assures me the ardor of his column was irresistible, and speaks highly of the able aid he 
received from Brigadier MacCreagh. He also reports most favorably upon the judicious and gallant style in 
which Majors Sale and Frith, of His Majesty's 13th and 33th Regiments, led the troops under their respective 
comm*»id. 

Ten stockades were thus taken from the enemy in one day, and upwards of eight hundred of his best 
troops were left dead on the ground: — thirty-eight pieces of artillery, forty swivels and three hundred mus- 
quets were also ca]3tured, a loss of no small inportance, where fire arms are so scarce. Three of the enemy's 
chiefs, whose names are not yet known, were found among the dead. The chief destruction of the enemj' was 
by the land column. 

Our loss has been comparatively small — four rank and file killed; one Captain, and tliirty-five rank 
and file wounded.* 

To Brigadier General MacBean, my particular thanks are due upon this and on all occasions. To Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Tidy and Major .lackson, Deputy Adjutant and Quarter- Master Generals, and to my personal 
Staff, I feel very much indebted for their indefatigable exertions in carrying on the duties of the service, occa- 
sionally under every disadvantage^ and I also beg leave to bring to the notice of the supreme government the 

name 

* General Relum of Killed, Wounded, and Missing of the Troops, comp"sing the Expedition under the Command of Brigadier General Sir 
Archibald Campbell, K. C. B., serving against the Dominions of the King of Ava, from tlie XHth of June to tlie I2th of July, 182-1. 

Head-Quarters, Rangoon, July Vi, 1824-. 

21jf June — Madras European Regiment — Wounded: 2 Rank and File. 

24rt June-2d Battalion lOlh Katice' Infantry— K'Med: 1 Subadar. 

1st July — His Majesty's \oth Light Infantry — Wounded : 2 Rank and File, 

Ditto — His Majesty's 'iHtk Foot — Wounded : 1 Seijeant, and 2 Rank and File — 1 Rank and File missing. 

Ditto — \st Battalion 22d Native Infantry — Wounded: I Rank and File. 

3d July — His Mnjesty's i^st Foot — Wounded : — 1 Seijeant, and 3 Rank and File. 

Ditto— 2d Battalion 8th Xative Infantry — Killed: I Captain. Wounded: 1 Rank and File. 

Ditto — Ist Battalion 0th Native Infantry — Wounded : 3 Rank and File. 

5M July — Engineer's Department — Killed : 1 Rank and File. 

Ditlu—Hts Majesty's \3th Light Infaritry— Wounded : 1 Captain, 1 Serjeant, and 15 Rank and File. Killed: 1 Rank and File. 

Ditto — His MaJesly'sBOth Regiment— KMed: I Rank and File. Wounded: 2 Rank and File. 

Ditto — Madras i.uropea:i Regiment — Killed: 1 Rank and File. Wounded: 2 Rank and File. 

Ditto— \st Battalion I'ioneer's— Wounded: 4 Rank and File. [Serjeants. 

Sth July— His Majesty's \Sth Light Infantry— Wounded: 1 Captain, 2 Corporals, 3 Rank and File, and 1 Lascar. Killed: 2 

Ditto— Hm Majesty's 6htlt Foot — Killed : 2 Rank and File. Wounded: 1 Serjeant, 1 Corporal, and 13 Rank and File. 

Ditto— His Majesty's 4li< i'bo<— Wounded : 5 Rank and File. 

DittB—Mis M'jesty's S9th Regiment— Wounded: -i Rank and File. 

JMto — \st Battalion 1th Native Infantry — \Vounded : I Rank and File. 

Ditto — \st Battalion Pioneers — Wounded: 2 Rank and File. 

Total— Killed : I Captain, 1 Sub.adar, I Serjeant, and 6 Rank and File. Wounded : 2 Captains, 4 Serjeants, 3 Corporals, 66 

Rank and File, and I Lascar. Missing: I Rank and File. 
2rf Battalion Sth Native Infantry— Name of OJJicer Killed: Captain G. H. Isaack. 
Hit Majesty' s loth Li-ht Infantry— Names of uyicers Wounded: Brevet Captain Knox Barrett, severely, arm amputated; and 

Capuiu Johnsou, severely and dangerously. 



64 DOCUMENTS. 

name of Lieutenant-Colonel Snow, Deputy Adjutant General to the Madras Division, whose ability, zeal and 
activity I have often had occasion to remark. 

I cannot conclude without again adverting to the high feeling which animates every corps and every sol- 
dier under my command. Their patience in frequently undergoing the greatest fatigue, marching over a 
country almost wholly under water, merits every praise, and their intrepidity and valor, whenever the enemy 
can be found, cannot be sufficiently extolled. 

No. 59. — Eairacl from the Governmeiit Gazette. 

In consequence of a very successful reconnoitre made about a week ago by two companies of His ISIajes- 
ty's 13th Liffht Infantry, imder the command of Major Dennie, Sir Archibald Campbell determined to give 
the three Golden Chattahs ^^•ho had come down from Ava, with 30,000 men, a regular stirring up, by land and 
by water. Accordinilv, on the 8th July, Sir Archibald, with 300 of his Majesty's 41st Regiment, the 17th 
Madras Native Light" Infantry, Artillery in proportion, together widi those of the Hon'ble Company's 
cruizers, the Satellite, the guns of the Lame, having been put on board her, besides gun-boats, proceeded up 
the river to attack some stockades on the banks. Generals McBean and McCreagh commanded the expedition 
about to proceed by land, consisting of 250 of H. M. 13th Light Infantry, 250 H. M 38th, 250 H. M. 89th, 
250 H. C. European Regiment, 250 H. C. 7th Madras Native Infantry, with a due proportion of Madras Ar- 
tillery. Of this latter force I am about to speak as I was an eye witness. At 6 o'ciock on the morning of the 
8th, the whole force had assembled at the great Pagoda ; every thing being ready, the column moved on, H. 
M. 13th Light Infantry leading, the Artillery followed, then the 38th, 89th Eurcpean Regmients, and .S.cpoys. 
We had not proceeded above a mile into the jungle, before the road narrowed so much that it became impos- 
sible for the Artillery to proceed, they were accordingly sent back again ; after marching about five miles fur- 
ther into the jungle, the advance guard sounded on the bugle '• Enemy discovered, ' and then fired a few 
shots, upon which the Burmese fled to alarm their main force. A bridge which the enemy had destroyed here, 
stopt us a few minutes, but the Madras Pioneers soon made another. 

The advance guard indeed passed over without a bridge, but the water was so deep that the ammunition in 
mens' pouches got wet ; — the whole of H. M. 13th Light Infantry having now crossed over, we moved on into 
a small plain : a very thick jungle being upon our right and left. We had not advanced above three hundred 
yards from the bridge, when two stockades were seen on our right ; the halt was immediately sounded, to wait 
till the Pioneers, with scaling ladders, and the i-eraainder of the force, who were a little in rear, came up. At 
this moment the enemy were seen advancing in column with an intention of attacking us ; H. ^I. 13th formed 
line across the plain, flanked on both sides by a jungle, the front rank kneeling ready to give them a volley, but 
our appearance was too formidable for them, they prudently retired into their stockades before arriving within 
range of a musket ball. Our whole force being now arrived on the ground, which was perfectly hid from 
the enemy, (I must here tell you, that General McBean had entrusted to Brigadier McCreagh the 
whole charge of taking the stockades on that day with the three King's Corps, 13th, 3Sth and 
89th.) Brigadier McCreagh ordered an Engineer Officer to go and reconnoitre ; in about a quarter 
pf an hour he returned, reporting that he saw two stockades on our right, one of them very large, 
and one on our left — upon this a signal rocket was fired (as agreed upon betore,) to let Sir Archibald and 
his party know when we were about to attack our stockades, that he might at the same time commence 
upon his the other side of the river, — this being done, (having no artillery,) the scaling ladders were ordered to 
the front, being covered in their advance by a company of His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, the lad- 
ders being fixed, the 13th and 38th stormed in the most gallant manner ; nothing could resist the impetuosity 
of the attack; the Burmese fled with precipitation, numbers were bayonetted inside ; all this did not occupy 
more than ten minutes of time. The 13th and 38th being again formed outside, were reinforced by the Gre- 
nadier Company of H. M. 89th Regiment, and then proceeded to storm the second large stockade; the Ma- 
dras Pioneers advanced most gallantly to place the ladders, without even waiting for a covering party : at this 
stockade very great resistance was made, but our men were very soon masters of it ; having scaled this, we 
found that there was an inner stockade where the enemy kept up a heavy fire ; not having scaling ladders 
within, the men assisted one another over on their shoulders. Here the slaughter was tremendous, being 
obliged to fight hand to hand. Major Sale, of H. M. 13th Light Infantry, engaged the Burmese Commander 
in Chief, and cut him in two atler a short resistance, he then took from him his gold chain 
which hung round his neck, and his gold hiked sword and scabbard. Being now masters of the outer and 
inner stockade, we next proceeded to attack two others, one on our right, the other on our left, which were 
taken in the same gallant style, two others were taken, but the enemy did not stop to defend them. — Seven 
stockades had now fallen into our hands, and not a single gun was fired, all being taken by escalade in the space 

of 



BURMESE WAR. 65 

of half an hour. The enemy lost one thousand men killed, — their Commander in Chief, and fonr 
men of distinction, seven <:joIden chattahs, seven ponies, twelve barrels of gunpowder, besides 
mnskets, spears, &c. ; four of Parker's double barreDed guns, a quantity of silver dishes, plates, 
the Conmiander in Chief's bed, which is very beautiful; flowered silver, gold rings, brass three- 
pounders, and numerous other articles. So sudden was our attack, and unexpected, that the Com- 
mander in Chief's dinner was on the table, of which some of our officers partook ; not being very particu- 
larly nice myself, I should certainly prefer dining with our own Commander in Chief General McBean, with the 
European Regiment, and 7tii N. I , remained in the rear as a reserve, so that seven hundred and fifty were only 
engaged, two hundred and fifty from each cor})s of 13th, 38th and 89th. Our loss was trifling, — an officer of 
H. M. 13th, was shot through the shoulder in mounting the ladder. He was the only officer hit. In men, 
our loss was altogether not more than thirty men killed and wounded, owing entirely to the suddenness of the 
attack. Had we stopt to batter the stockades with the artillery, our loss would have been treble, and the 
enemy's hardly any, for they would have escaped to the jungle. Col. McCreagh said, he never saw troops 
behave better in all his life, perfectly cool, and obedient to the different words of command and sounds on the 
bugle. It certainly has been the most brilliant day our troops have had yet, and with less loss. 

The Burmese will never stand again, they must lose all confidence in bamboo ramparts. The party by 
water took two stockades, after battering all day long with nine, twelve, thirty-two pounders, and innumerable 
shells — they only knocked out diese bamboos, and when they got in, the enemy had taken away every thing; 
five men were found dead, but some say they found in a well upwards of a hundred dead bodies ; a greater 
proof of the inefficacy of battering for a breach before you .storm, could not be given than by the result of die 
two affaus on the 8th. 

No. 60. — Dispatch from Brigadier General Sir Jrchihald Campbell, a-, c, b., ^c. S;c. S^'C. ; 

dated il-2d July, 1S«4.. 

I am now enabled to inform you, from information received from deserters, and through other sources 
which can be relied on, that the loss of the enemy in the action of the 8th instant was much more severe, and 
its consequences much more fatal and disastrous than I could at the time have found any idea of. The num- 
ber of killed very much exceeds that stated in my dispatch of the 1 1th instant, and great numbers have since 
died of their wounds in the jungle. All accounts agree, and I have no longer a doubt of the fact, that Soom- 
ba Woonghee, (3d minister of the empire) a Woondock, and two other chiefs of the first class, were among the 
slain, and the troops, deprived of their leaders, have either dispersed, or fled in confusion to the rear, there to 
await the arrival of the Prince of Sarrawaddy, said to be advancing with seventy thousand men. 

The only body of the enemy I could hear of in this neighbourhood, was a small force of three thousand 
men assembletl at a place called Keykloe, about twelve or fifteen miles from Rangoon, and measures were 
adopted for immedi.atelv attacking them. On the morning of the 19th instant, I ordered twelve hundred men 
to proceed by Land direct to the spot, proceeding myself with six hundred more up the Puzendown creek, Tun- 
ing in its whole course nearly parallel to, and at no great distance from the road upon which the land column 
■was directed to advance. 

'I'he inundated state of the country precluded all possibilit}' of proceeding to any great distance with the 
troops by land, and having advanced rapidly up the creek in the Diana steam boat, I did not hear of the im- 
passable state of the countrv, and consequent return of the land column to their quarters, till the following dav, 
• when I had reached the point where I intended to co-operate, or act in concert, as circumstances might require. 
In our progress up, some small parties of the enemy were seen flying towards the jungles in evident dread and 
consternation, without firing a shot at us, or we at them ; we also passed several villages visited for the first time 
by our troops, from each of which I had the pleasure of restoring to their homes, some Rangoon families, 
found in the extreme of wretchedness and misery; we could distinctly observe there were some armed men in 
the villages, who apparently' connived at their escape, and who it may be presumed will remain in arms only 
until an opportunity offers of providing for the safety of their wives and families. It was not to be expected 
that a people unacquainted with the customs and manners of the civilized nations of Europe, should, on our 
first approach, h.ave placed nnlimited confidence in us. At all the villages, the greater part of the inhabitants 
fled from their houses to the fields, where they remained as spectators, but at each we found a few men left to 
converse with us, who received every assurance I could give them of safety and protection, if they remained 
quietly at their homes. On our return yesterday to quarters, I had the satisfaction of seeing some of these 
villages thickly inhabited, the people quite at their ease, and saluting us as we passed. 

Although this expedition, upon which I was out for three days, has terminated differently from what I 
intended, I feel confident much good will result from it. The favorable impression made shall be cullivated 

a to 



QQ DOCUMENTS. 

to the very utmost of my power, and liappy indeed will I be to slienth the sword, as often as the object in view 
can be attained by kindness and mercy. 

No. 61. — Dispatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, e. c. b., S^x. S^c. S^c. ; 

dated 5th August, ISSJi. 

Being informed that the Governor of Syriam had assembled a force on the banks of the Pegue or Syriam 
river, and" had ordered the whole conscription of the district to repair withont deh'.y to tlie place of rendezvous, 
for the purpose of finishing and defending a large field work, which was to tammand the river, and protect the 
surrounding country ; although aware that few had obeyed the summons, I determined upon dislodging the 
enemy, and for that purpose, I yesterday morning proceeded up the Syriam river, with three hundred European 
and an equal number of Native Infantry, die whole under the command of acting Brigadier Smelt. Upon 
approaching the landing place, leading to the town Pagoda of Syriam, I observed the old Portuguese fort, long 
concealed from view by trees and overgrown brush-wood, cleared and scraped, where the old wall had fallen 
down, and from fifteen to twenty feet high: upon this the enemy had raised a parapet, and suspended huge 
logs of wood on the outside, intended to be cut away during the assault, and to carry the assailants before 
them in the descent. 

The troops landed under the fire of the Penang Government brig Jessie, and the Powerful, sloop, em- 
ployed as a mortar vessel, and the advanced party moved on until stopped by a deep, impassable nulla, the 
bridge over which had been destroyed, and threatened to check our progress ; but the difficulty v.-as speedily 
removed, and a very tolerable bridge constructed, by Captain Marryat and part of the officers and crew of His 
Majesty's ship Lame. The enemy's fire from musquetry and artillery was even unusually feeble and contemp- 
tible, aiid thev abandoned the place with the utmost precipitation when the troops moved forward to the attack, 
leaving behind them eight pieces of good artiller}'. 

I next directed Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, of the Madras European Regiment, to proceed with part of 
the force to the Syriam Pagoda, which I was informed was also occupied by about three hundred men. The 
Lieutenant-Colonel, on arriving at the Pagoda, found the enemy inchned to dispute the possession of their 
almost impregnable post, but they lost confidence while the troops were ascending the long flight of steps 
leading up tothe Pagoda, and fled in the utmost confusion, leaving four pieces of artillery, and a great quantity 
of powder.* 

Although in these affairs, the enemy aiforded little opportunity for displaying the discipline and gallan- 
try of the troops, their usual feeling and ardor were by no means less conspicuous, and I had every 
reason to be satisfied with the arrangements of Brigadier Smelt, ^nd Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, in conducting 
the different attacks. 

From Captain Marryat and die officers of His Majesty's navy I ever received the most prompt and 
cordial co-operation. 

No. 62. (A) — Dispatch from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. s., S^c. c^r. S^r. ; 

dated Uth August, 1824.. 

I was informed some days since, that the province of Dalla was in a very distracted and unsettled 
state, owing to orders having been received for a general levy of every man capable of bearing arms : the order 

had 

• Ordnance and Ammuniiion laken and destroyed at Si/riam, on the ith of August, 1821. 

Brass. — ♦ Pounder, Dutch, one. 

Ditto, 3 Pounder, Spanish or Portuguese, two. 

Iron. — 18-Pounder, Carronadc, one. 

Ditto, one lost in a deep Nulla. 

Ditto, 6-pounder, one. 

Ditto, ditto, four destroyed for want of means to brin^ them on. 

M'all Piece.s, two. 

A considerable quantity of Gun-powder destroyed, and about one hundred weight of Grape. 

Return of Kilted and Wounded from the \iih of July, to the 5th of August. 

His Majesty's ^Ist Foot, 3 Privates wounded. 

Madras European, I ditto ditto. 

Bombay Artillery 1 ditto ditto. 

Seauicn uf the Z.arnr, ... 3 ditto ditto. 



BURMESE WAR. 67 

had been most strenuously opposetl, and even blood had been shed on the arrival of a person of rank to en- 
force obedience to the measures of government. I thought the opportunity favourable for a little interference, 
to assist the opposition and escape of the discontented, and ordered a detachment of four hundred men, under 
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, of the Madras European Regiment, to embark in boats on the 
morning of the 8th instant, and proceed up the Dalla river, with directions to act in furtherance of the object 
alluded to, and to attack any part of the enemy's cordon he might fall in with. The Lieutenant-Colonel's report 
of his opei'ations, in obedience to th.ese orders, I have herewith the honour to transmit, by which it will ap- 
pear, how well he and the troops under his command supported (under difficulties which he has modestly 
omitted to state,) the reputation of the British arms. 

I am informed that finer or more characteristic traits of British soldiers were never witnessed than on this 
occasion, the officers, less encumbered than their men, forming line breast-deep in mud and water, and passing 
the scaling ladders from one to another to be planted against the walls of the stockade. 

I regret, with Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, the severe wound received by Mr. Maw, Midshipman of His Ma- 
jesty's ship Liffcy, left with me in the capacity of Naval Aide-de-Camp, by His Excellency Commodore Grant. 
Of this young man's gallantry of conduct and merit I cannot speak too highly : he has repeatedly distinguish- 
ed himself by the most conspicuous and forward bravery. 

No. 62. (B) — To Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, jr. c. b., 8^c. S^c. &;c. ; 

dated 8th August, 1S24.. 

I have the honour to report to you, that I proceeded with the detachment you were pleased to place under 
my command, as per margin,* at 1 1 a. M. this morning ; and after entering a large creek on the east side of 
Dalla, and proceeding about two miles, I observed two stockades, one on the right, and one on the left bank, 
immediately opposite to each other — both in commanding situations, particularly that on the left bank, which 
I instantly decided on attacking. The boats were hove to for a short time to make the necessary preparations for 
the attack, and as soon as these were completed, the whole moved on luider a heavy fire from the guns and 
musketry of the enemy in both stockades. — The landing was effected under an incessant fire from the enemy, 
and after great labour and exertion in getting through the mud, which was remarkably stiff, and thigh deep, 
the scahug ladders were placed, and the stockade stormed and immediately carried. Some of the troops were 
again embarked, crossed the river, and took possession of the opposite stockade. 

Our loss (a returnf of which I do myself the honour to enclose,) although severe, is not so great as might 
have been expected from the nature of the ground we had to go over, and the sharp and severe fire kept up 
by the enemy until the scaling ladders were placed. The loss on tlie side of the enemy was but small, (between 
twenty and thirty,) in consequence of the vicinity of the jungle, into which they escaped the moment our men 
entered their works. 

Of the conduct of the troops, I cannot speak in too high praise, although it will be impossible for me to 
particularize the officers who so gallantly led their men to the assault, as they are too numerous, many of tliem 
having assisted in carrying the ladders to the walls. 

1 felt myself highly indebted to .Lieutenant Eraser, and a party of seamen and marines of H. M. ship 
JLarne, whose unremitting exertions throughout the affair, greatly contributed towards the success of the 
day. 

It is with regret I have to report that Mr. Maw, (Royal Navy, H. M. ship Liffey,) your acting Aid-de- 
Camp, was severely wounded at the earlj' part of the day, whilst he and Captain John Campbell, H. M. 38th 
Regiment, your Aid -de-Camp, who was a volunteer on the occasion, were cheering on some of the seamen 
who accompanied us. 

I have further to report, that the enemy, previous to their flight, threw some of their guns into a wet ditch 
that surrounded the fortifications. We found but two small ones, which were brought away. All the houses 
in both stockades were destroyed by fire, and a part of the paUisade pulled down by the Pioneers, before the 
return of the detachment to Camp. 
" No. 63. (AJ—Copy 

• Four hundred men, composed of details from H. M. ship Lame, the Bombay Artillery, 1st European Regiment, 18th and 

34th Regiment Madras Native Infantry, and 1st Battalion Pioneers. 

f Return of Killed and Wounded at the attack of tite Stockades in the Dalla Creek, on the Sth of August. 

Killed— Natives, 6 

•IV 1 i5 Officers, 3 

vVounded< r> • . or 

( rrivates, do 

Karnes of Officers Wounded. — Lieutenant J. Grubb, 1st European Regiment, (severely.) 

Captain A. Wilson, I8th Regiment Native Infantry, (^lightly.) 

Mr. Maw, H. M. ship Lrffey, acting Aid-de-Camp to Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, (--everely.) 



68 DOCUMENTS. 

Rangoon. No. 63. (A) — Copi/ of a Despatch from Brigadter General Sir Archibald Campbell, r. c. b., 
^~ • <§T. c^T. S^-c, to George Suinton, Esq., Secretary to Governme?it Secret and Political 

Department, ^c. <§t. c^t. ; dated 23d October; 1824. 

Herewith I have the honor to transmit you Lieutenant-Colonel Miles' s, c. b. report to me of the subjec- 
tion to the British arms, of the enemy's seaport towns of Tavoy and Mergui, and as the Mayhoons (governors) 
and a few more of the head men of each of those provinces are prisoners of war, I trust the poor inhabitants 
will be left in the enjoj-ment of tranquillity and, consequently, our protection. 

Ko. 63. (B) — Copy of a Despatch from Lieut.-Col. E. Miles, c. b., to Brigadier General Sir 
Archibald Campbell, ic. c. b., &jc. ^c. 8^c. ; dated Tavoy, September '^.'Jth, 1824'. 

I do myself the honor of reporting to you, that the force placed under my order for the reduction of the 
enemy's possessions on the coast of Tennasserim, sailed from the Rangoon river on the 26th ultimo, and arrived 
at the mouth of that leading to Tavoy on the evening of the 1st instant, with the exceptions named in the mar- 
Vo eun ves- ^"' ^"'^ which vessel quitted the squadron the day after we sailed. Having advanced with the large ships as 
els, far as the deptli of tiie water would allow, I found it necessary to distribute the troops embarked on the Honor- 

able Company's cruizer Teignmouth, and transports Argyle, Ind'utn Oak, and Marianne, among the smaller 
vessels and boats of the fleet, myself and staff proceeding in the Honorable Company's Penang cruizer Jessey, 
which, drawing the least water, was appointed to lead. These arrangements having been effected, on the 4th 
instant we advanced, but from the difficulty of the navigation of the river, full of shoals, and in many parts 
only to be passed at the top of high water, together with the obstacles by wliich the enemy attempted to im- 
pede our progress by sinking their largest boats in shallow places, and stockading it across one of the narrow 
channels, it was not till the 8th, about noon, that we anchored within three miles of the fort : I had, prior to 
this, dispatched a summons for its unconditional surrender, and no reply having, at that time, been received, I 
proceeded with Captain Hardy and my Staff' to make a reconnoisance within a short distance of the works. 
This object had just been accomplished when it was perceived that three war boats, full of men, were puUing 
along shore apparently for the purpose of cutting us ofT; in this they, however, failed, and on our regaining 
the Jessry, I directed two guns to be fired, and they instantly retired with great precipitation. The tide serv- 
ing in the evening, the whole fleet arrived within gun-shot of the place about ten o'clock at night, when two or 
three shots were fired from the fort at our headmost ship, the Honorable Company's cruizer Prince of Wales, 
but without effect. At an early hour in the morning of the 9th, two Burmete came on board, and brought 
me a communication from the second in command, stating his readiness to seize or destroy the Mayhoon, or 
governor of the jirovince, or to obey such orders as I might dictate. Immediately on receipt of tliis, an 
answer was returned to say, 1 was on the eve of advancing, and that he was to be taken and confined until 
my arrival, which was in about two hours after. All was directed ; aiid at one o'clock, p. m., we were in pos- 
session of the fort, pettah, and all the dett;nces of the place, without opposition. The population is very great, 
and from the strength and extent of the works (all built of brick and very liigh) our loss must have been very 
great, had any defence been attempted. The annexed copy of my orders, issued on tlie lOlh instant, the 
sketch of the fort and pettah, herewith sent, together with the return of ordnance, ammunition, and mihtary 
stores, will, 1 trust, give you some idea of the importaaice of our acquisition. The capture of the Mayhoon, 
his bi-other and family, with his principal adherents, completely weakens the eneni}-, and places us in a com- 
manding situation to cripple any exertions in this quarter. 

Wlien every thing has been so happily accomplished, I have but to add my sincere and heartfelt thanks 
to Captain Hardy, of the Honorable Company's Marine, who com)nands the naval branch of the expedition, 
for his cordial co-operation, and the unceasing labour and fatigue he experienced in sounding the river, and 
directing the movements of [.lie ships; whose officers and crews exerted themselves to the utmost. 

'1 he patient endurance of a heavy and incessant rain, for five days, of the troops who were on board the 
boats, deserves my warmest commendaiions ; and the cheerfulness and alacrity of every grade was peculiarly 
grateful to me. I cannot finally conclude without bringing to your notice the able assistance afforded me by 
my Brigade-Major, Captain P. 'Young, of His Majesty's 8Mth Uegiment, and the Deputy-Assistant-Quarter- 
Mastcr-Gcneral, Captain Spicer, of the 12lh Regiment Madras Native Infantry, in carrying my wishes and 
orders into effect, and whose incessant labour and fatigue after landing, and in making the necessary arrange- 
ments for the fiiture objects of the expcilitii)ii, called forth my warmest acknowledgements ; and I beg most 
earnestly to recommend these officers to your protection. 

No. 63. (C)—Copy 



BURMESE WAR. ' qq 

No. 68. (C)—Copy of a Despatch from Lieiit.-Col. G. Miles, c. b., to Brifradier General Sir 
Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., S^x. S^x. S^x. ; dated Mei'gui, 9th October, 1821. 

My despatch of the 27th ultimo will have placed you in possession of the movements of the force under 
my command, up to that period. Havins; left the detail named in the margin* for the temporary protection 
of Tavoj', the remainder proceeded for the accomplishment of the ulterior object of the expedition on this 
coast; and I have now the honour to announce to you, the fall of this place, by storm, on the 6th instant, the 
day we arrived before it. My first care was to send a summons to the town for its unconditional surrender ; 
but, instead of a reply, at half-past eleven o'clock, their guns opened a heavy fire upon the H. C.'s cruizers, 
who had previously taken their position in front of the enemy's batteries, mounting thirty-three pieces of heavy 
ordnance. The practice on our part was so gOQd, that in about one hour the whole were silenced : during this 
period, as many troops had been assembled in the boats of the fleet as they could contain, and I directed a 
landing to be effected to the right of the town. This movement was immediately followed up by the advance 
of a party of H. M.'s 89th Regiment, to the gate of the stockade, under a hea\'v and well-directed fire from 
the enemy; and it was at this spot the greater loss was sustained. The ground, for some distance between the 
river and the stockade, was deep mud and water; and from the moment the disembarkation commenced, the 
rain poured down in torrents. Under these disadvantages, the troops maintained their ground with the great- 
est steadiness; and as soon as it was possible to bring up the ladders, an escalade was ordered, and carried 
promptly and most gallantly into effect by H. M. 89th Regiment. From this instant the enemy gave way ; their 
loss is said to be about five hundred men. The Raja remained till we were actually in the town, and then 
withdrew with about three hundrtd of his followers on the opposite site. More than common attention had 
been paid in arranging the defence of the place, and the natural strength of the ground gave the gi-eatest ad- 
vantage to them. Their batteries were placed on the brows of the different hills, commanding the shipping. 
From the best information I have been able to collect, the enemy had three thousand five hundred men in arms. 
On our first gaining possession, the whole population fled; but in the course of that night and the following 
morning, great numbers came in, and are now following their several avocations. About onfe hundred men be- 
longing to Tenasserim, I have detained in confinement ; and as that place has lost all its former consequence, 
and is at present nothing bej-ond a fishing village, this body forms half its force. 

A copy of my orders issued on this occasion, and the return of killed, wounded, and missing, as also of the 
ordnance, ammunition, and stores, are herewith transmitted. f 

The whole of this affair has proved so decisive, and the gallant and exemplary conduct of every individual 
' so prominent, that I>feel at a loss how to bring individual instances of merit forward. I, however, have much 
pleasure in recording the names of Lieut. -Col. Commandant McDowall, of the Tth Regiment Madras N. I., 
Major Basden, commanding H M. 89th Regiment, Captain Russel, commanding detacliment Bombay Artil- 
lery, serving on board the Honorable Company's cruizer Thetis, and Lieutenant Cotton, of the Engineers, to 
the whole of whom I feel most obliged. The attention of Mr. Staff-Surgeon Smart was imremitted in his de- 
partment. 

To my own Staff, Captain Young, of H, M.'s 89th Regiment, Brigade-Major, and Captain Spicer, of 
the 12th Regiment Madras N. I., Deputy-Assistant Quarter-Master-General, I am much indebted for their 
assistance; and the promptitude with which they performed and executed every wish of mine, not on this oc- 
casion alone, but in all situations in which they have been employed under my command; and I beg leave to 
recommend them, in the strongest manner, to your favourable notice and protection. 

Ther? 

• Ship, H. C. cruizer. Mercury; troops, rank and file, 370; 1 row gun-boat. 

Abstract of Ordnance, S^cS^c. captured at Mergui, October 12, 1824. 

Calculation, total of round shot, iron, of different sizes, 800 ; ditto, brass, 21; iron bars, weilded two shot, 200; grape shot, 
fixed, 27; musquet balls, leaden or tin, 300; musquets, 668; blunderbusses, 6; country-swords, 48; spears, 110; powder, l,200lbs.; 
Standards, 33. 

Grand total — Ordnance, iron, of sorts, 37; swivels, iron and brass, 106 — total, 143. 

<j- General Return of Killed, Wounded, and Missing, in the Force under the Cemmand of Lieutenant-Colonel Miles, C. B., in the Assault of 

Mergui, on the Glh October, 1824. 

His Majesty's 89//; Regiment — Killed — 6 Privates. 

Wounded — 2 Lieutenants, 7 Serjeants, 2 Corporals, and 13 Privates. 

Missing — I Bheastie. 

Names of Officers wounded — Lieutenant William Kennedy, severely. 

Lieutenant P. McKie, slightly. 



70 DOCUMENTS. 

^anffoon. There beins; many points wliicli it is necessary to communicate to you, I have felt the necessity of sending 

ibi-i. my Brigade-Major, Laptain Young, with this despatch, who, possessing my full confidence, will develope to 
you personally every transaction that has occurred, and the view I have taken of the state of these 
conquests. 

No. 6i. — Despatch from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell^ k. c. b., S^r. S;c. (Sj-c. ; 

daled Ath September, 1S24-. 

The enemy in the Dalla district having, of late, become very troublesome by their predatory excursions, 
rushinii^ from the creeks and nullahs, with which the country abounds, upon unarmed boats and even fishermen, 
from the jjarrison, and having again established the head-quarters of these marauding bands in the stockades, 
taken bv Lieutenant Colonel Kelly's detachment on the 8th ultimo, much strengthened by additional works, 
I once' more determined to drive them not only from the stockades, but permanently to a greater 
distance. 

For that purpose I directed ^Vlajor R. L. Evans, of the Madras Army, with a detachment of Infantry, 
accompanied by two mortars from the Brigade, commanded by Captain Timbril, and some howitzers from the 
Madras Artillery, under Captain Kemian, to proceed up the Dalla creek on the 2d instant, and shell the ene- 
my from their position. Such was the excellent practice of the artillery and gun boats, under the immediate 
orders of Captain Marryat, manned by the officers and crews of His Majesty's ship Lame, and Honorable 
Company's transport Moira, that the enemy were soon forced to abandon their defences, with some consider- 
able loss, and I am happy to say with only one man slightlj' woanded on our part. 

On taking possession of the stockades. Captain Marryat and Major Evans pushed up the creek, and suc- 
ceeded in taking twenty-five boats and canoos from the enemy; who, on seeing themselves closed with, jumped 
overboard, and escaped into the jungle. 

Major Evans's arrangements, for cutting off the retreat of the enenij', were excellent, but the swampy 
state of the country and thickness of the jungle prevented their meeting with the success they so well merited. 
To him and every officer and soldier employed, my best thanks are due. 

I cannot do adequate justice to the sense I entertain of tlie ability and readiness with I find myself at 
all times supported by Captain Marryat and the officers and crew of the ship under his command : nor ought 
I to omit mentioning, that the officers and crew of the transport ship Moira are volunteers on every occasion 
when die enemy is likely to be met with. 

Kg. 65. — Extract from the Government Gazette, dated 30th September, 1824. 

Itangooh. — Private letters from Rangoon, in the lieginning of this month, mention, that the enemy's main 
force still remains at Denobew, under the command of the Prince of Sarawuddy. 

It is said, that in the Burmese army there is a corps of about 3,000 men, specially denominated warriors: 
of these again, some hundreds assume the title of Invidnerables ; both one and the other enjoying immunities un- 
known to other subjects, particularly the latter class, who, in general, remain about the person of the King. 
Lately, a large body from this redoubted legion made a vow, that if His Majesty would send or allow them to 
go to Rangoon, they would retrieve the national honor by the immediate expulsion of the British army. — Leave 
was granted, and the Invidnerables, headed by the Attawoon of the Prince of Sarawuddy, proposed, in the first 
instance, to carry by assault the great Pagoda. 

Accordingly, one of thc-ir party was sent to reconnoitre and fix upon the best point of attack. Tiie sight 
of our guns and troops upon the works, to use his own words, " so struck hira with awe and terror, that he 
was at once satisfied he would be much better inside than outside of our lines." He, accordingly, came iu as a 
deserter, and communicated their plans, adding, that any one of four nights of the moon's age, which he speci- 
fied, was declared by their astrologers to be favorable for the attempt. Oa the evenuig of the 29th ultimo, a 
small force in the jungles was looking oul for them, but they could not see a man. Invisible, as well as in- 
vulnerable, they succeeded alter dark, in creeping unobserved to the edge of the jungle, and, during thj darkest 
part of the night, ruslied with great celerity along the road leading to the north gate of the Pagoda, firing and 
shouting in their usual style. An officer's j)iqnet. of His Majesty's 3Stii Regiment, was instantly under arms, 
and received them at the boitont of the stairs leading up to the place, with a cou])le of voUics. A l2-pounder of 
the Madras Artillery, mounted only a few hours before, opening upon them with grape at the same moment, 
they found it prudent to retrace their steps with all possible expedition. It has been learnt from a wounded 
man, who has since fallen into our hands in an attack upon a piquet, tiiat twenty of the first class warriors were 
killed in tliis attempt. 

The 



BURMESE WAR. tyX 

The brutal system of warfare practised by the enemy is alluded to in the same letter, in which it is stated, 
that the gig of His Majesty's ship Lame found floating the remains of an European sailor, supposed to be the 
gunner of the ■General Wood. It appeared that the unfortunate man had been first tortured by puUino- off bits 
of flesh, and piercing him with spears in parts not mortal, and then sawed in half. 

No. &Q. (A) — Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. jb., ^c. S^x. c^-c; 

dated 9th September, 182i. 

I have the honor to forward, for the information of the Right Honorable the Governor General in Coun- 
cil, the enclosed report from Captain Marryat, His Majesty's ship Lame, of an attack upon a small post, es- 
tablished a short distance up the Dalla creek. 

The gallant and good conduct of all engaged in this first rencontre with the enemy's war boats, affords me 
much satisfaction ; and Captain M-arryat has particularly mentioned to me the steadiness with which Lieu- 
tenant Wight, and a piquet of the IStli Madras Native Infantry received the eneni}', botli by land and water. 

All accounts concur in bearing testimony to tlie resolute gallnntry of Mr. Crawfard, in defending his ves- 
sel, " the isT/V/y," against very superior numbers, although wounded early in the attack; and I beg leave to 
bring his name to the favourable notice of the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council. 

No. 66. (B) — Report from Captain Marryat, to Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, 
K. c. B., 4'c. S>^c. S^c. ; dated Sth September, lS2t. 

In compliance with j'our request for a detail of the circumstances which occurred in the attack on the 
Dalla stockade, made by the Burmese on the morning of the 6tli instant, I have the honor to inform j^ou, that 
at midnight of the otli, a straggling fire was heard in that direction, and shortly afterwards a rocket was 
thrown up, the signal previously arranged with the detachment, in case of immediate assistance being required. 

With the advantage of a sti'ong flood tide, the boats of His Majesty's sloop Ijarne, proceeded rapidly to the 
sceneof contention, where a heavy fire was exchanged. As our approach could not be perceived Irom the 
smoke, we cheered, to announce that support was at hand, and had the satisfaction to hear it warmly returned 
both by the detachment in the stockade, and the crews of the gun vessels. 

It appeared that the attack of the enemy had been simultaneous ; the gun brigs laying in the creek, havinw 
been assailed bv a number of war boats, while the detachment on shore had been opposed to a force estimated 
at 1500 to 2,000 men. 

Upon our arrival we found the enemy on shore had not retreated, but still kept up a galling fire. The 
war boats which had endeavoured to board the Kitty gun brig, had been beat off by the exertions and gallantry 
of Mr. Crawfurd, commanding that vessel, and were apparently rallying at a short distance up the creek, with a 
determination to renew the attack, but on perceiving our boats advancing a-head of the gun brigs, they made a 
precipitate retreat. 

Although, from their superior speed, there was little probability of success, chase was immediately given, and 
five of the war boats which had been most severely handled, and could not keep up with the main body, were 
successively boarded and captm-ed. Many others appeared to be only half-manned, but we could not overtake 
them, and the pursuit was abandoned about four miles above the stockade. 

The spears remaining in the sides of the gun brig, the ladders attached to her rigging, and the boarding 
netting cut through in manj^ places, proved the severe conflict which had been sustained, and I trust you will 
be pleased to reconmiend the very meritorious conduct of Mr. Crawfurd to the consideration of the Right Ho- 
norable the Governor General in Council. 

Great praise is due to Mr J. King, of the Narcissa, and Mr. Frames, of the Tiger, for the well-directed 
and destructive fire which they poured into the war boats, and I trust, as an eye wtness, I may be allowed to 
express my admiration of the intrepid conduct of the officer commanding the detachment on shore. 

The loss of the enemy in this attack, cannot be correctly ascertained, but from the number of dead in the 
boats captured, and the crippled slate of many others, it cannot be estimated at less than 2 or 300 men. 

I have the honor to enclose a return of our killed and wounded. 

No. 6'7.-^Copjj of a Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, jr. c. b., 8^c. 
8^c. 8$c. ; to George Swinton, Esq. Secretary to Government Secret and Political Department, 
t^x. ^c. S^c. ; dated 30th September, IS','4. 

The enemy's mam body still remains, as far as I can ascertain, in the neighbourhood of Donoobew quite 

' disheartened, 



72 DOCUMENTS. 

disheartened, and their commander unable to form any plan for our further annoyance, leaving us in undis- 
puted possession of the surrounding country. Even the trifling repulse of their corps of warriors from the great 
Pagoda, on the night of the 30th of July, has had its full effect upon the minds of men, already damped by fear 
and constant disappointment, and who m the employment of these invulnerables, aided by the confident pre- 
dictions of their best astrologers, appeared to anticipate the intervention of supernatural power in overcoming 
difficulties they had so often found insurmountable. — The heroes themselves, instead of returning to join the 
Prince of Sarawuddy after their defeat, have fled to conceal themselves in the hills to the eastward, and all ac- 
counts agree, in representing the country to be in a most agitated and distracted state. 

Last week we were joined by the native regiment from Madras. Five hundred Mug boatmen from Chit- 
tagong, have also arrived under the charge of Captain Wiggins, who the magistrate of Chittagong requested 
might remain in charge, till the pleasure of the Right Honorable die Governor General was known, but who 
is now so ill, as to require his return to Bengal in the transport he arrived in. I have therefore appointed Ma- 
jor Jackson, Deputy Quarter Master General, to the charge of the Mug Levy, who, with the Chinese and 
.Malays, formerly under him, amount to about eight hundred men. 

The monsoon is evidently at a close, and although the country still remains completely under water, I am 
very generally assured that most parts of the district are dry and passable before the end of October, when I 
trust I shall be able to undertake some movements I have long anxiously contemplated, and if I succeed in 
obtaining such a supply of cattle, as the accounts of the country lead me to expect, I shall consider the chief 
barrier to our progress as removed. 

No. 6S. (A) — Copt/ of a Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, r. c. b., 
S)X. S^c. S^r. ; to George Swiiito?!, Esq. Secretary to Government Secret and Political Department, 
4'C. 4'C. 4'c. ; dated 1st October, 1824.. 

Since I last did myself the honor of addressing you, a movement has been made upon Paulang, where I 
had been informed the enemy had established a post, and was busily employed in constructing combustible 
rafts and boats for the destruction of our shipping. 

In consequence of this information, I, on the 21st ultimo, directed Brigadier General Fraser, with a 
strong detachment, to proceed to Paulang, for the purpose of putting a stop to any preparations for our an- 
noyance, and dislodging the enemy from his post. 

The detachment fall in with several stockades and breast-woi-ks, which the enemy instantly evacuated on 
the spirited approach of the seamen and troops, without, in any one instance, shewing a disposition to come to 
close quarters, as will appear by the Brigadier General's report to me of the operations of his expedition, 
which I herewith beg to enclose. 

No fire-rafts were seen. 

No. 68. (B) — Copy of a Despatch from Brigadier General H. Fraser, to Brigadier General 
Sir A. Campbell, k. c. s., S^x. S^-c. S^'C. ; dated QTith September, 18'24. 

I have the honor to report, that in conformity to your orders of the 19th instant, the party detailed in the 
margin* embarked on the morning of the 21st, and anchored off Kummundine the same evening. 

It proceeded on the 22d, and about two miles from Pagoda-point, fell in with five stockades, three on the 
right side and two on the left. 

The Satellite, towed by the steam vessel, led, and on approaching these stockades, a heavj' fire was opened, 
from both sides, from musketry and cannon, which was returned by the ships and by the troops on die decks 
and tops of the Satellite. Arrangements were immediately made to disembark a proportion of the troops. On 
their approach to the stockades, the enemy, after a slight resistance, qtiitted their position, and fled to the jungle, 
leaving several men killed in the right stockade, as reported by Major Sale, H. M. 13th Light Infantry, who 
led this party. 

One large gun was found burst, and four others were brought off, with several jinjals and other arms. 

On the 23d, the flotilla continued to advance without meeting witli any obstacle — distance estimated be- 
tween twelve and fifteen miles. 

On the 2'tth, continued our route up the river about five miles, and in the afternoon fell in with three 
stockades, 

* 1«/ Division. — I Captain, 1 Subaltern, 2 Serjeants, and 65 Rank and File, from each of the European Regiments in the 
Force, under a Field Officer. 

2i l>ii'iiiuii.— l Captain, 4 Subalterns, and 220 Rank and File, from Native corps. 



BURMESE WAR. 73, 

stockades, wliicli were bombarded for a short time previous to the landing of the troops, who found the dif- 
ferent stockades evacuated. 

On tlie 25th, seve- al boats filled with troops, went in pursuit of some war boats stated to be near, but did 
not succeed in overtaking them. 

During this time tlie Pioneers were employed in destroying the different stockades, which being com- 
pleted, the flotilla commenced its return to Rangoon, at the recommendation of the naval commander. 

The destruction of the diiferent stockades taken on the 22d was completed during our passage down the 
river. 

I am happy to add, that no casualties occurred amongst the troops duruig these operations, but I under- 
stand two or three sailors were wounded. 

The ordnance was taken possession of by the naval commander, with the exception of one gun burst, and 
another sunk in the river. 

No regular return of the ordnance was taken in consequence of the hurried nature of tlie operations, and 
the necessity of taking advantage of the tide to reach the anchoring ground, but the number of all caUbres is 
estimated, by the naval commander, at fifteen pieces. 

The country on both sides of the river was generally woody, and the few open spots, which evidently had 
been cleared for the purpose of cultivation, are now overgrown with high grass, and covered with a consider- 
able depth of water. Few villages were seen, and the population appeared inconsiderable. Some herds of buffa- 
loes were discovered, but no other cattle. 

My best thanks are due to Captain Chads, of H. M. ship Arachne, for the cordial co-operation and assist- 
ance I received from him during the whole operations, and I cannot omit to notice the zeal and alacrity with 
which Lieutenant Keele and Mr. Litt, master's mate H. M. ship Arachne, Lieutenant Bayeley and Mr. 
Wendson, of H. M. ship Sophie, performed the different duties assigned to them by Captain Chads. 

Major Sale and all the Officers and men, both Europeans and natives, evinced the utmost zeal and spirit 
in the performance of every duty required from them, and endured their fatigues with the utmost cheerfulness. 

The native troops I beg particularly to notice, who, for the space of four days, had few opportunities of 
dressing any food. 

I have much pleasure in stating, that I received every assistance I could possibly ■wish from the different 
Staff Officers who accompanied me ; videlicet. Captain Ritson, Brigade Major, Captain Steele, Assistant Quar- 
ter Master General, and Lieutenant Lake, Superintending Engineer, who performed their respective duties in 
a manner highly creditable to themselves. 

No. 69. (A) — Despatches from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., S^c. S^c. 8^c., 
to George Sn'in/.on, Esq. Secretary to Government Secret and Political Department, 8^c. S^c. S^c. ; 
dated llth October, 1824. 

Being informed that a part of the enemy's force I formerly stated as having concentrated in the vicinity 
of Pegue, had advanced in this direction, and taken up a position, fourteen miles from hence, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Aunaaben, and the Pagoda of Keykloo, I ordered out a reconnoitring party on the morning of the 
6di instant, conii.ting of eiglit hundred rank and file from the Madras Brigade of Native Light Infantry, under 
its commander. Lieutenant- Colonel Commandant Smith, c. B., accompanied by two camel howitzers, and a 
competent number of Pioneers, with scaling ladders, &c., with orders to advance upon the enemy's position, 
and to attack him as often as he might consider his force and means adequate to do so with effect. 

I afterwards reinforced the above detail with three hundred rank and file, from the 28th and 30th Re- 

f'lments of Madras Native Infantry, and two more camel howitzers ; and with this combined force Colonel 
mith arrived at the enemy's stockaded position at Aunauben and Keykloo, on the evening of the 7th 
instant. 

For a detail of the operations of this force, during the period of its absence from quarters, I beg leave to 
tefer you to the accompanying report. 

That their close was very different in result from the promising commencement made at Todgoghee, is 
to me a most painful task to notice, but it forms a pleasant part of my duty to observe, that Lieutenant-Colonel 
Smith's orders for the attack at Aunauben were judicious, and the coolness and bravery of conduct of himself 
and every British officer present, in endeavouring to support discipline during the attack, and afterwards to 
re-establish order and regularity among the troops, were highly conspicuous. 

Unpleasant as the circumstances detailed in Lieutenant-Colonel Smith's report must be, the Right Ho- 
nourable the Governor General in Council may rest assured, that the enemy shall not long be left to exult in 
his present triumph. 

U ^0- 69. (B)—Desj>atck 



74 DOCUMENTS. 

No. 69. (B)— Despatch from Lieut. Col. Smith; dated lOtk October, 1824. 

Conformably to the instructions conveyed to me by the Deputy Quarter- Master General, I marched on the 
morning of the 5th instant, with a detachment of the Madras Native Light Brigade, consisting of eight hundred 
rank and file, two four and half inch howitzers and forty pioneers, by the route pointed out by the guides, the first 
part of which was low and marshy, and in many places one or two feet under water ; but on clearing an exten- 
sive swamp, over which is thrown a wooden bridge, requiring some repairs, the road became good, and lay 
through a large stockade in ruins. At ten o'clock, I arrived at Todagabe, and finding the troops much ex- 
hausted from the extreme heat, I halted a few hours to refresh. During our halt the rain fell plentifully. 

At two o'clock the detachment moved on, and in twenty minutes the head of the column was obstructed 
by a deep nulla affected by the tides, but by the assistance of a temporary bridge, which I had caused to be 
put together prior to mv leaving the lines, I pushed over the advanced guard, which had no sooner crossed, 
than it received a line of fire from the enemj'. 

The leading companj' of the 3d Light Infantry, under Lieutenant Shennan, was quickly pushed on, and 
proceeded fifty or sixty yards under cover of trees and brush-wood, till he reached an open spot, where a party 
of the enemy had taken post to annoy us in crossing the nulla — these he quickly dispersed, and in pursuing the 
fugitives, a stockade was discovered directly facing the main road, a plain bounding it on the right, its left face 
being enveloped in jungle. 

After reconnoitring the position, I directed Lieutenant Shennan to make a rapid movement to a certain 
point, and then wait until the howitzers and other divisions could be brought up. Captain Williamson, com- 
manding the leading division, soon joined with two scaling ladders brought up by Lieutenant Campbell ; — this 
promising young officer, I lament to say, received a serious wound shortly after, and fell together witli some 
men of the 3d Light Infantry. Firing and shouting were at this time distinctly heard in the jungle on our 
left, and Captain Williamson was directed to detach a party to out-flank, and keep in check any body of the 
enemy that might appear in that quarter, as well as to ascertain whether any other works had been thrown up 
to flank the one in front of us. 

In the mean time the howitzers came up, were placed in position, and opened a fire upon the stockade, 
while Lieutenant Dallas, of the 3d, who commanded the detached party, gave them a flanking fire and turned 
to the concealed stockade I had conceived, from the cross fire, existed in that direction. Captain Williamson, 
upon this signal, moved forward in double quick to escalade the enemy's works, which was executed in a smart 
and gallant style bj' that officer, seconded by Lieutenant Shennan, and the other officers and men of the 3d 
Light Infantry. Lieutenant Dallas also advanced and entered, at the same time, from his position. Major Wahab, 
with the 34th, coming up at the same time, made a spirited charge round by the right face of the works, but 
the enemy, I regret to say, succeeded in effecting liis escape witli a trifling loss. 

The rear guard, in coming up, was attacked by the enemy, when Lieutenant and Quarter Master Challon's 
horse was shot dead. Partial firing was also continued upon our troops from the front and left flank for some 
time alter. 

A prisoner was taken armed with an English musket. From this man I obtained information ■which led 
me to suppose that the enemj' was in considerable force in the neighbourhood, with guns and a partj' of horse, 
very strongly stockaded. These were spoken of as a different description of soldiery to those we had hitherto 
encountered. I was induced, in consequence, to request tliat I might be furnished with a strong reinforcement. 
The correspondence that passed subsequently on that subject, I need not dwell upon, the commander of the 
forces being aware of its nature. 

On the reinforcement of 300 native rank and file of the 28th and 30th Regiments, with two more 4j-incli 
howitzers joining the detachment, I issued an order, of which No. 1 is a copy. I have thought it necessary to 
forward this document to satisfy the commander of the forces, that every means was used in my power to estab- 
lish systematic order and regularitj', and a proper understanding b^itween all the parties employed in the 
operations against the enemv^ 

At two o'clock the detachment marched, Major Wahab leading the 1st division, from which was detached 
an advanced guard of a Subaltern's party under Lieutenant McCaUen. 

Prior to moving, 1 directed Major NA'ahab, in the event of a shot being fired from the enemy, to return it, 
and push on without retarding the progress of the force. — The same instructions regarded breast-works and 
other obstacles of that nature. 

In a short lini ■ a tew shots were fired from a distance, and on the advance party emerging into the plain, a 
small body of iiorse and foot were seen about 600 yards in fiont — Lieutenant McCallen continued his course 
stcadi'y, and on ncariiig the enemy, the horse shewed a disposition to threaten our flank. Our advance formed 
line, and supported by Major Wahab, actually drove at thtui, and the horse, on seeing this movement, pulled 

up 



BURMESE WAR. 75 

up and retreated precipitately. Immediately after this a breast-work was discovered, from which several shots 
were fired, Major Wahab pushed on without a moment's delay and carried it in great style, with a trifling loss 
on our side. 

A succession of breast-works on our route were stormed and carried in the same rapid and gallant way, by 
the bravery evinced by Major Wahab and the officers of that corps ; in short, the spirit that animated both 
officers and men was such as to ensure success in any undertaking ; but I regret to saj', that the taking of these 
breast-works retarded our progress, and the detachment, consequently, did not arrive in the vicinity of Kikaloo 
till five o'clock. It was about this time the guides affected to be ignorant of the direct route to the stockade, al- 
though they pointed in the direction it was erected. As the road we were in appeared to be good, and leadino- 
direct upon a Pagoda which was represented to lay on the left of the stockade, we pursued it. 

Shortly after Captain Williamson, with the 2d division, was directed to diverge from the column of march 
to the right, and push though the jungle, and attack the enemy's works in that quarter, while Major Wahab 
should assail it on the left, intending that the 3d, or Major Ogilvie's division, should be available for any other 
service it might have been required for. 

The necessary reconnoisance having been made, which the enemy allowed us to complete unmolested, and 
the extreme silence that had hitherto prevailed, induced me to believe that the post had been abandoned, but 
notwithstanding, as the lateness of the evening would not allow of any further examination of the enemy's posi- 
tion, arrangements were made for assailing the place, and Major Wahab was directed to move forward in dou- 
ble quick, with ladders toescalade. This gallant officer gave the cheering signal, and the 1st division, with a spirit 
and animation I never saw surpassed, and with shouts of " Huzza" and " Dun Dun," rushed forward to the 
attack. This was only answered by a round of cannon from the Pagoda, which until now I was led by the 
guides to believe was undefended. The enemy in the stockade still observed a sullen silence, not a shot was 
fired until the division of the 34.th, and ladders had got well in front of their works. It was then that vollies 
of grape and musketry were discharged upon the party at the distance of fifty or sixty yards with an effect and 
regularity hitherto unequalled in this country ; several of the Pioneers with the ladders were, at this instant, 
knocked down, together with the leading officers, and the men, consequently, from the awful and destructive 
fire that fell among them, and the loss of their commanding and leading officers, were seized with panic, and 
lay down to secure themselves from its further effects. 

The lateness of the evening rendered this first check irreparable, or otherwise I might have brought up 
the 3d, or supporting division, to renew the attack. But to satisfy myself more thoroughly at this momentous 
crisis of our actual situation, I proceeded to the head of the attacking column, and there I learnt from Lieute- 
nant Sliiel, of the 3d Light Infantry, who, in the ardour of zeal, had moved forward with some of his men, that 
Major Wahab had retired, his wounds not admitting of his remaining any longer in advance. I quickly sur- 
veyed the enemy's works, and saw it had a parapet, from which blazed a continued sheet of fire; under these cir- 
cumstances, I had no alternative 1 thought left me. I must either bring up the 3d division and renew the attack, 
to the eminent hazard, nay certainty of losing all, or saving what remained by speedily retrograding. Of two 
evils I instantly chose the least, and directed Lieutenant Shiel to file away to the rear vi'ithout noise or confusion. 
As soon after as possible I sounded the retreat, and the several parties, and such of the wounded men as could 
walk, assembled on the ground from which the reconnoisance was taken in the first instance. The firing from 
the enemy was still kept up from three positions. 

On the discharge of the first cannon shot from the Pagoda, I directed Captain Bell, with one hundred men 
of the 28th Regiment, to move round by the left and make an effort to seize it, and overcome any other obstacles 
he might meet on the way. This promising officer, seconded by Lieutenant Craigie, executed their instructions 
as far as their means would admit of it, with a spirit and bravery that does them honor. The Pagoda, contrary 
to report and expectation, wasfound to be strongly stockaded, and not assailable without ladders, and Lieutenant 
Briggs, who had zealously volunteered his services to conduct the party in returning to secure ladders, was at- 
tacked by thirty or forty Burmese, who rushed upon him with drawn knives, and from whom he only escaped 
by jumping down a deep ravine. 

Order, regularity, and discipline, which had been strictly observed until about this period, vanished, and the 
whole of the corps, crowded indiscriminately into one general mass, retired to the plain which I had pointed out. 

On reaching the bottom of the hill, 1 fortunately fell in with Captain WiUiamson's division, which had 
just then emerged from the jungle on the right. From his report, I found the guides had again deceived us, 
for, by their account, the jungle in that direction was extremely limited, and on clearing it I had reason to sup- 
pose Captain Williamson would have come upon a plain, from which also the guides declared a part of the 
stockade was to be seen. This was not the case, and Captain Wilhamson, after innumerable difficidties, could 
not penetrate beyond a certain distance, and on hearing the retreat sounded, thought it advisable to desist from 
any farther attempt, aud returned accordingly. 

Our 



76 DOCUMENTS. 

Our meeting at this spot v.-as truly desirable, for I immediately directed him to form up two hundred men 
to the right and left of the road, frontmg the enemy, to cover the retreating colunms. This arrangement I was 
happy to find he had, in a great measure, anticipated. My next object was directed to forming the men as they 
came out on the plain. 'I'his duty was intrusted to Major Ogilvie, whose utmost exertions were used to res- 
tore regularity and confidence amongst the troops. 

The wounded artillery, and such of the baggage as was recovered, were shortly after sent on, preceded by 
a party, and the line under Major Ogilvie, followed slowly, and when it had retired to a sufficient distance, I 
formed such parts of Captain Williamson's covering division as I judged necessary into rear guard, with di- 
rections for its following the line, and in the event of a sally being made from the stockades, to halt, showing 
as large a front to the enemy as circumstances and the nature of the ground would admit of. This duty was 
ably executed by that cool aiid steady officer, aided by the zealous exertions of Captain Williams, of the 28th 
Regiment. 

The detachment, I am happy to sa}', arrived at Todajee at 11 o'clock, p.m., whhout meeting any 
annoyance on the route. — l he wounded^ were immediately collected, and through the indefatigable exertions 
of the medical officers of the 3d, 34th', and 28th Regiments, and the zealous aid of Captain Milne, of the 
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 o'clock in the morning, an hour previous to which we had been disturbed by a few 
shoe from an advanced party of the enemy. 

Captain Murray, ai.d Lieutenant A Idrit, of the Madras Artillerj-, were, from the first, zealous and indefati- 
gable in' their exertions, in bringing their howitzers to the positions fixed upon ; and the steadiness and alacrity 
evinced by them and their men, under a galling fire, was such as has, on all occasions, distinguished that corps. 

I have deemed it advisable to make this unudually long report, in order to put the Commander of the 
Forces in possession of the most minute events that occurred in the prosecution of this service ; and in con- 
cluding, I beg leave to add, that the gallantry and good conduct of Major Wahab was particukuiy conspicuous 
on all occasions, as likewise that of the officers of his corps and division. To Captain Williamson and officers 
of the 3d Light Infantry, I am equally indebted for their cool and steady demeanour, under all the trying cir- 
cumstances the detachment encountered. I cannot appreciate too highly the services of Major Ogilvie and 
Captain Milne, whose judgment, bravery and steadiness, 1 had frequent opportunities of witnessing. Li short, 
to all the officers iind men composing the detachment, praise is due, but to Captain Sneyd, Brigade Major, 
Lieutenant Briggs, of the Quarter Master General's Department, and to Lieutenant Trant, of His Majesty's 38th, 
the kitter of whom volunteered to convey orders, I am particularly indebted for the able assistance they afford- 
ed me, and for the cool, steady courage they munUested in all times of danger and difficulty. 

I have the honor to forward paper No. 2, list of killed and wounded,* and have deeply to lament the 
severity of the loss sustained, particularly in the death of Captain Allen, who, after having received one- wound, 
persisted in leading on his men, when a second shot terminated his gallant career. 

No. 70. (J) — Copy of a Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Camphell, a-, c. j?., 
S^c. S^c. S^x., to George Srcinton Esq., Secretary to Govenwient Secret and Political Department ; 
dated 15th October, lSii4. 

On the return to quarters of the column under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Smith, 
C. B., under the circumstances stated in my despatch of the 11th instant, I lost no time in sending out another 
force of the strength mentioned in the margin, f under the command of Brigadier ISIcCreagh, c. b., in the hope 
that the enemy might be so far elated with his success as to await his arrival in their position at Keykloo, in 
that, however, I have been disappointed, as will appear by the accompanying report to me from the Brigadier. 

No. 70. (B)—Copy 

* Return of Killed and Wounded nf Detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, c. B., in the Actions of the 5M (mdlth Octofier. 

Killed— European Officers 2— Wounded 6— Ditio, diuo, Private 0— Wounded 1— Native Officers and Privates 19— 
Wounded 67. 

Names of Officert Killed and Wounded. 

JSTift-rf— Captain Allen, 34-tli Regiment I.i<;lit Infiinlry, and Lieutenant Bond, ditto ditto. 

Wounded — Major Wahal), 3itli l{es;iiiient Light Lif'aTitry — I.ieutenaiit and Adjutant Campbell, 1st Battalion Pioneeri!— Captain 
Moncriede, ditto ditto— Lieutenant Cliullon, 3itli Regiment Light hiranlry, and Licuteiwnt Liudesay, ditto ditto. 

t 420 Rank and File from His Majestv's Regiments. 

350 Native Infantry from the 28th and 30th Madras Regiments. 

770 Hank and File. 

1 8i-inch Mortar. 

1 5^-inch Howitzer. 

1 C-Pr. Field Piece. 



BURMESE WAR. 77 

No. 70. (B)—Copy of a t)espatch from Brigadier M. McCreagh, to Brigadier General Sir Bans 
Archibald Campbell, i: c. b., S^c. ^c. ^c. ; dated 14ith October, 1825. 1** 

In obedience to the instructions I received from you on the 9th of this month, to dislodge the enemy from 
liis position at Keykloo, I have the honor to report, that I marched from this at 5 o'clock in the afternoon of 
that day, with three pieces of artillery and the detachments, Europeans and natives, which you had placed 
under my orders, and arrived at the Toodoghee stockades at seven in the morning of the 10th, where I halted 
to rest and refresh the troops. I marched again at two in the afternoon of that day, leaving the detachment of 
the 3d Madras Native Infantry, (one iTundred and fifty men) to occupy the stockades as a post of communi- 
cation, and reached a tolerably favorable piece of ground within about a mile of the enemy's position at sun-set, 
where we passed the night. 

However revolting to humanity and to the customs of civilized nations, it is my duty to report to you, 
that during this latter march a considerable portion of the road jiresented to us the horrid spectacle of the 
bodies of the sepoj's and pioneers who had been lost in the unsuccessful attack of the 7th instant, fastened to 
the trunks of trees on the road side, mangled and mutilated in every manner that savage cruelty could devise, 
and the feelings of the troops under my command were obviously raised to a very high pitch of indignation at 
the sight — twentj'-three bodies were counted. 

At break of day on the 1 1th, I put the column in march, with the intention of immediately attacking. 

A Pagoda, situated upon an eminence, and slightly fortified, appeared lo be the key to their position, as it 
commanded and overlooked both their stockades within very effective musket range, and would, in fact, render 
them untenable. The stockades were of a very poor description, the defences low and faced with crooked' 
and irregular timber, so as to be very easily scaled at any point, even without ladders ; appearances, however, 
led me, while reconnoitring, to believe the works altogether unoccupied, and on bringing forward a company 
from our advance to carry the Pagoda, we had the mortification to find that the enemy had entirely evacuated 
the position. 

In the course of the morning I learned, from a few Burmese stragglers caught in the neighbourhood, that 
the Rayhoon, with his people (about three thousand, including all descriptions) had retreated the preceding 
afternoon to a large village called Kaghahie, ^\here he had a reserve of one thousand more people, and a much 
stronger stockade. This intelligence raised a hope that his better position, combined with exultation in his 
late successful defence, might perhaps induce him to await my attack there; I consequently decided, that it 
would be right, under such circumstances, to go be3'ond the instructions you had given me, and leaving the de- 
tachment of the 30th Madras Native Infantry, (one hundred and eighty men) as a post of communication, I 
marched with the remainder of my force, (the Artillery, and about six hundred,) at two in the morning of 
the 12th. We found the road, as usual, embarrassed with felled trees, and in some places strong breast-works 
thrown across it, but our movements were perhaps too unexpected and rapid for the enemy to take advantage 
of these defences, and their outposts successively fled before us without firing a shot. At length, circumstances 
began to indicate pretty clearly, that they were in complete and disorderly route, and directing our advanced 
guard to hasten forward at once to the stockade, I found it entirely evacuated, the barracks within it burning, 
and the enemy were seen flying in -all directions, through the neighbouring jungle. 

We instantly moved on to the village, which was extremely large, and calculated to contain many thou- 
sands of inhabitants, but altogether deserted, and burning rapidly, having been set on fire by them in a 
great number of places. 

Vexatious as was this second disappointment, it is in some degree satisfactory to report to you, that the 
information we received from some aged and infirm Burmese in it, perfectly agreed in proving that their force 
is in a state of utter dispersion and panic ; the Rayhoon himself having fled across the country almof un- 
attended. 

Here also we found five more of the sepoys and pioneers, victims to the deliberate cruelty of this bar- 
barian, in the same manner as those before described. 

The stockade was built of straight spars and rather lofty, but somewhat unfinished, and like those at 
Keykloo, no barriers at the entrances — we were fortunate enough to procure two or three buffaloes, which 
served to refresh the troops, and at three in the afternoon, after injuring the stockade, and burning the bar- 
racks around it, I returned towards Keykloo, where we arrived at about seven, resumed our march at three in 
the morning of the 13th, after burning all the huts in and round the works, and arrived at Toodaghee early in 
the day, — moved from thence at half-past one this morning, and reached our lines here, between seven and eight 
o'clock, and I am happy to add that no individual of any description is missing. 

Fruitless as were our efforts to overtake and bring them to action, it would still be an injustice to omit 
reporting to you, that the active and hearty exertion manifested in every department of the force, was exem- 

W plary, 



78 DOCUMENTS. 

plar}', while Uie spirit and steady obedience of the oflficers and men, gave ample token, that could we have 
closed with the enemy, no one would have enquired his numbers. The manner in which the Bengal Artillery 
was forced over the most unfavorable ground and vario.is difficult obstacles, reflects high credit on Lieutenant 
Lawrcnson and his detachment, and the effective exertions of the Madras Pioneers, under Captain Milne, 
attracted the notice of every one. 

To Major Sale, of His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, who acted as my 2d in command, my best thanks 
are due, and I received on this, as on other occasions, very valuable assistance from Captain Aitken, of that 
Corps, who has for some months acted as my Aid-de-Camp. 

No. 70- (C) — Copy of a Despatch from Brigadier General Sir A. Campbell, k. c. b., S;c, ^c. 
^c, to George Swinton, Esq. Secretary to Government Secret and Political Depariment, ^c. 
^•c. S;c.; dat^ed October 12, 1824.. 

I sometime since received information that the Prince of Sarrawuddy had pushed forward a part of his 
force to Thantabain, upon the Lyng river, which joins the Rangoon river above Kemmendine, and is noted in 
the maps, as pa^^sable from Rangoon to the Irrawuddy during the rains. 

As far back as the month of July last, I was aware that the enemy had erected very strong stock- 
ades in the neighbourhood of Thantabain, but since the defeat they experienced on the 8th of that 
month, until very latelj', being merely occupied as a post of observation, I deemed them imworthy 
of notice, but having now become the head-quarters of the Kee-Woongee and Sykia-Woongee, 
(1st and 2d ministers of the state) already at the head of a considerable force, and receiving daily 
reinforcements, and large supplies of military stores for the future operations of their army in this 
quarter, I considered it high time to interrupt their farther proceedmgs, and as a land column was moving 
upon Keykloo on the 5th instant, in the hope that mutual advantage might be derived fi-om a simultaneous 
movement, \, on the same morning, directed Major Evans, of His Majesty's 38th Regiment, to embark with 
three hundred rank and file of his own Regiment, and one hundred Native Infantry, from the 18th Madras 
Regiment, with orders to attack the enemy wherever he might find him posted on the river, and could do so 
with every prospect of success. 

The naval part of the expedition was prepared and led by that zealous and excellent officer Captain 
Chadd-;, of His Majesty's ship Arachne, the senior naval ofticer on the station. 

How well my orders have been executed by these gallant officers, and the brave men under their com- 
mand, the accompanying detail of operations will shew. 

That their well-earned reputation and undaunted conduct, should have ensured them an easy victory over 
a numerous enemy, strongly posted, and acting under the immediate eye of the two first men m the state, is to 
me most gratifying and satisfactory. 

No. 70. (D) — Copi/ of a Despatch from My or Thomas Evans, II. M. 3Sth Regiment, to 
Brigadier General Sir A. Campbell, k. c. b., S^c. 8^c. S^c. ; dated October 11, 1824. 

In obedience to orders I had the honor of receiving from you, to feel the strength and disposition of the 
enemy upon the Lyng river, and to attack him as often as opportunities might ofier of disjilaying the discipline 
and valor of the troops under my command, on the morning of the 5th instant I embarked with three-hundred 
men of His Majesty's 38th Regiment, one hundred rank and file of the 18tii Madras Native Infantry, and a de- 
tachment of Bengal Artillery, under Captain Timbrel, on board a squadron of gun boats, flotilla, &c. &c. &c., 
under the immediate command of Captain Chadds, of His Majesty's Ship Arachne, and the first day's tide car- 
rietl uvas high as P;igoda-point above Kemmendine, at the junction of the Lyng and Paulang rivers. Having 
been joined by the armed transport flotilla, at two P. M. next day the squadron proceeded up the Lyng river 
with a flowing tide. Bodies of the enemy were seen moving up the right bank of the river, and numer- 
ous vvar boats hovered in our front, and kept up a continued but distant fire from cannon, with which they were 
all provided. After the flotilla anchored, the light boats in advance, under Lieutenant Kellet, of His Majesty's 
ship Araclcne, pursued the enemy's war boats, and having closed with one carrying a gun and full complement 
of men, boarded and took lier in the hamisomest style, the Burmese jumping overboard to save themselves. 
On il.e 7th, after proceeding about four miles, I observetl two stockades, which were taken possession of without 
loss, and we reached with this tide within a short dist;mce of the large works and fortified village of Thantabain, 
having, in the course of the day, destroyed seven of the newly constructed war boats. On reconnoitring the 
village of I hai.tabain, I found it was defended by three long breast-works, with a very extensive stockade, con- 
structed of large teak beams, and fourteen large war boats, each mounting a gun, were ancliored so as to defend 
the approach to it. Having 



BURMESE WAR. 79 

Having consulted Captain Chadds, we advanced to the assault, the steam boat, with the Satellite and bomb 
ketch in tow, and the troops in their boats ready to land when ordered. In passing tlie breast-works we re- 
ceived a smart running fire from jinjals and musketrj', which was returned with showers of grape from the Sa- 
tellite, and observing the entmy evidently in confusion, I directed the troops and scaling ladders to be immediately 
landed, and in a few minutes every work about tlm place was in our possession. During this night some ftre- 
rafts, of a most formidable appearance, were floated down the river, but very fortunately passed without touching 
any of the vessels. 

At six o'clock next morning, we again moved with the tide, and in passing a narrow neck of land at the 
junction of two rivers, were received with a brisk discharge of musketry from a long line of breast-works, and a 
cannonade from a very large stockade on our right. The fire of the latter was soon silenced by the well-point- 
ed guns of the Satellite. 

The troops and Pioneers were ordered then to land, and this formidable stockade was carried by assault 
without a struggle. It is, without exception, the strongest work of the kind I have ever seen — the length of the 
front and rear faces is two hundred yards, and that of the side faces one huntlred and fitly. It is built of 
solid timber, fifteen feet higli, with a platform inside all round, five teet broad and eight feet from the ground — 
upon this platform were a number of wooden guns, and piles of single and double-headed wooden shot, and 
many jinjals, and below, we found seven pieces of iron and brass ordnance. In front, the stockade is strength- 
ened by breast-works and regular demi-lanes, and would contain wiih ease above two thousand men. In the 
centre of tliis stronghold, we found the magnificent bungalow of the Kee Woongee, who, I presume, fled early in 
the day, altho' we found the house was perforated by balls in many places, and the rooms mucii stained with 
blood. I cannot doubt but the enemy's loss must have been severe, but we only found seventeen dead bodies, 
which they had not time to carry off. 

The advanced boats having pushed up the river some miles, without seeing any other works, I considered 
the objects you had in view fully accomplished, and we, accordingly, began to move back to Rangoon. Had 
not the most marked respect for the British arms been shewn during our whole progress upon the river, I 
should have regretted that the enemy afforded me no opportunity of bringing my troops into regular contact 
with them ; but the reduction of the most formidable stockades I have ever seen, fully garrisoned by men, as far 
as 1 could see, all armed with muskets, and animated by the presence of tlie two ministers of state, Kee Woon- 
gee and Sykia Woongee, sufficiently denotes the terror we inspired, and leaves me the satisfaction to report, 
that not one man was lost to the service during the operations abpve detailed. I cannot adequately acknow- 
ledge my obligations to Captain Chadds, for his zealous, judicious and cordial co-operation, and the spirited 
conduct of Lieutenant Kellet, in command of the advanced boats, attracted the notice of every one. To Cap- 
tain Timbrel, Bengal Artillery, who volunteered his services, and Captain Waterman, Assistant Deputy Quarter 
Master General, who accompanied me, my best thanks are due, and I need scarcely add, that every 
officer and man evmced, on all occasions, that cheerful i-eadiness and determined valor you have so often 
witnessed. 

I cannot close my report without mentioning the very meiitorious services of Brevet Captain Wheeler, 
and the detachment of Pioneers that accompanied me, their prompt and i*eady zeal in situations of difficulty 
and danger was not less conspicuous than their indefatigable exertions in performing other parts of their labo- 
rious duty, and the very gallant style in which they repeatedly dashed forward with scaling ladders, was as ho- 
norable to themselves as it was a gratitying mark of faith and confidence in the troops employed. 

Herewith I have the honor to transmit a return* of captured ordnance, in addition to which much powder 
and an immense quantity of Petroleum oil, and warlike stores, were destroyed at the different stockades. 

No. 11.— Extract 

* Return of Ordnance and Stores taken and destrnt/ed by a Detac/iment, under the Command of Major Evans, His Majestt/s 38/A Regiment 

between the 5th and lOth October, 1821. 

Brass Ordnance, two J-pounders, one 1 -ditto, one IJ-ditto, and one 2^-ditto. 
Iron ditto, one J-pounder, and three aj-ditto. 
Jinjals, iron, 22. . 
Rockets, signal, 53. 

Carriages, one J-pounder, and two SJ-ditto. 

oOO-lbs. of Gun Powder, a few Iron Shot, and 400 gallons of Earth, Oil, besides 7 Wooden Guns and Carriages, destroyed on 
the 9th instant. 

General Return of Killed, Wounded and Missing of a Detachment, under the Command of Major Tliomas Evans, of His Majestifs 38/A, 
Regiment, in the Attack on the Enemy's Stockades near the Village of Tkantabain, on the St/t and 9th instant. 
His Majesty's 38th Regiment — Killed: none — Wounded: Two Rank and File — Missing: none. 
lit Battalion Madras Pioneers — Killed : none — Wounded : One Uank and File— Missing : none. 



80 DOCUMENTS. 

^0. 71. — Extract from a Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, r. c. b., 
<^c. S^c. ^c. ; dated l6th October, 1824.. 

If I can trust the information I receive, I may conclude that the united strength of the Barmhan empire 
is now collecting in my front. I have not a doubt that part of the Bundoola's army was present at all the late 
affairs, but their presence does not appear to have yet given any additional confidence to the troops 
we were in the habit of encountering, although it is certain, they are now very generally armed with 
musquets. 

The Bundoola, all the prisoners say, has arrived at Donoobew, with unlimited powers, and is to make 
a general attack upon our position early in the ensuing moon. Preparatory orders from him had been receiv- 
ed at those posts nearest our hue, to cut quantities of bamboos of a certain length, and collect all the earth-oil 
and cotton the country could supply. These materials were, of course, intended for the construction of fire 
rafts, but Major Evans's party having destroyed all the earth-oil collected, that part of the General's plan is so 
far disarranged. 

The court of Ava has already made great exertions in supplying their army in this quarter with such ma- 
terials as the country and capital contain, all or great part of which has been successively captured by the 
troops under my command. What farther exertions in that respect they may be capable of making, I cannot 
judge, but if any inference can be drawn from the wooden guns, double and single-headed wooden shot, lately 
found in their stockades, and the rude lumps of ragged iron used as shot, I should conclude their arsenal de« 
partment must now be at a very low ebb. 

Since last I had the honour of addressing you, one hundred and eighty bullocks have arrived from Madras, 
and more are daily expected. They are the best caste of the draft cattle on that coast, and will be highly useful. 

No. 72. (A) — Extract Letter from Captain Barnes, Commanding the East India Company's 
Frigate Hastings, to George Suinton, Esq.; dated Cheduba Roads, ^Ist September, IS'^l. 

I have great pleasure in transmitting to you, for the information of the Right Honorable Lord Amherst, 
Governor General in Council, an account of a most dari)ig, well-conducted, and successful attack made by 
two cutters, belonging to the H. C. frigate Hastings, under my command, on four boats, belonging to the 
enemy, on the coast of Ramree; and trust that my entering somewhat into detail will be excused, as I am 
anxious to do justice to the officers and men who so gallantly achieved the dispersion of the enemy, whose 
numbers were so disproportionate to their little force. 

On the morning of the 10th instant, at daylight, the look-out at the mast-head announced three large 
boats to be in sight, close under the shore of llamree, and about five or six miles distant from the frigate, 
rowing to the southward. I immediately directed the two ten oared cutters to be manned and armed, and 
sent six marines in each, placing both boats under the command of Lieutenant Harrison, second of the 
friorate, Mr. Graves, master' s-mate, being in charge of one boat, with orders to bring them alongside, if pos- 
sible. Some time after the cutters had left the ship, I observed a fourth boat, and could plainly perceive they 
were all full of men; our launch unfortunately being absent watering, I manned and armed the two boats be- 
longing to the pilot brigs Meriton and Planet, with European seamen and marines, and dispatched them to the 
assistance of the cutters ; but, owing to the start they had of them, and these being very heavy pulling boats, 
they were not able to assist in the capture, which I cannot better describe to his Lordship than by transmitting 
the verv modest, but manly letter of Lieutenant Harrison, describing the affair. Annexed I have the honor 
to send a list of the arms captured,* and understand a considerable quantity was lost in the boat that was bilged, 
and which was the largest of the four, and had their sirdar on board it, who, it is believed, escaped. 

No. 72. (B) — Copy of Report from Lieutenant Hanison, to Captain Barnes ; dated on board the 
Frigate Hastings, Chedtcba Roads, lOth September, 1821. 

In pursuance of your orders this morning, I proceeded with the two cutters under my command, in pur- 
suit of four boats belonging to the enemy, as seen Irom the Hastings, ))ulling along the Ramree coast to the 

southward ; 

• Litt of Arms captured. — 15 muskets, I bayonet, 130 spears, 95 swords, I swivel gun, 

A large quanlity of gun-powder, the major part damaged by water. 

Some iiiubket ammunition thai had lieeu taken from our troops al Ramoo. 

A quantity of inu^kct balls und flints. 



BURMESE WAR. gl 

soutTiward ; after a smart prJl of about six miles, I had dosed with the chase so nrnr as to enable the cutter, 
under the couunand of Mr Graves, to interrupt the two sternmost boats of the cnemv, while myself succeeded in 
turning the two boats in advance; they then seemed inclined to receive u-. warmly, by giving loud cheers, which we 
imm:d.ately returned by our seamen and marines with their accustomed spirit; a fire of musketry now commenced 
on both sid^-i, ;md the enemy, perceiving our intention of laying them on board, immediately beached their 
boats ; we pursued so closely as to enable us to do considerable mischief; three boats were captured and 
towed into deep water, six of the enemy made prisoners, and the fourth boat, I regret to sav, was bilged and 
rendered useless ; so i recipitate was their retreat, that they kft every thing behind, and amongst various arti- 
cles, a great number of arms, of all descriptions, have been captured. 

I feel much pleasure in bringing to your notice the zeal a.id exertions of Mr. Graves, to whom the high- 
est praise is due, as well as the satisfactory conduct of every body employed, particularly the seamen, whose 
great exertions in pulling deserves my best thanks, and although the second division of boats were not up at 
the commencement, I have every reason to suppose they aided in enabling me to effect my purpose without the 
loss of a man : as the enemy could not be estimated at less than four hundred effective men, their loss in killed 
and wounded I have no means of ascertaining correcdy, but I should imagine it to exceed sixty. 

No. 72. (C) — Extract Letter from Lieut. -Colonel Hampton, Commanding at Cheduba, to Lieut.- 
Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army ; dated 23dLctober, ISiil. 

Captain Barnes, of the H. C.'s fi-igate Hastings, having intimated to me his intention of making another 
reconnoissance on the enemy's coast, with the frigate and gun-boats under his command, and having made a 
requisition for two luindred men of ray regiment, I ordered the flank companies to be completed to that num- 
ber, with the usual proportion of European commissioned, and native commissioned and non-commissioned 
officers, under the command of Captain Vincen% for the service, furnishing, at the same time, two European 
artillerymen for each of tlie gun-boats of the third division flotilla, under Captain Finucane. 

The whole embarked on the loth instant, on board the frigate and buoy- vessel Planet, and with the 
H. 0. surveying ship Investigator, proceeded the same afternoon to the point of attack. 

I have the honour to transmit, for his Excellency's information, a copy of Captain Vincent's report. 

No. 72. (2)) — Copy of Letter from Captain Vincent, to Lieutenant and Adjutant Margrave ; 
dated Cheduba, I8ih October, 1824. 

I have the honor to report the return of the detachment embarked under my command, for service on 
the island of Ilamree, and to state, for Lieut.-Col. Hampton's information, that having, in conformity to his 
instructions, placed myself and troops at the disposal of Captain Barnes, commanding the H. C. ships of war 
and gun-boats on this station, we were, on the morning of the 16th instant, joined by one hundred seamen 
and marines, and soon after landed in front of a breast-work, which had been occupied by the Burmese dur- 
ing the morning, but evacuated immediately on our advancing to attack it. I then pushed on to the stockade, 
described by Lieut.-Col. Hampton as being in an unfinished state, but foimd it completely destroyed, a few 
sticks only remaining to mark its actual situation ; learning, however, from the guide, that there was a 
fortified village a short distance in front, I proceeded on till we came to a stockade, which we found totally 
abandoned, although capable of defence against any but a British force, without gims. As I had the advan- 
tage of your valuable services on this, as well as every other occasion during the day, I must request that you 
will do me the favour to afford Lieut.-Col. Hampton any information he may be desirous of obtaining as to the 
Strength of this post, its peculiarity of construction, and description of buildings within it, the report itself 
being too unimportant to intrude any thing further on the Lieutenant-Colonel's attention, than merely to state 
the nature of tlie service on which the detachment was employed. 

Conceiving it probable that the Burmese had returned to a stockade which I understood was no great 
distance from us, I did not consider it advisable to delay longer than was necessary for the destruction of the 
buildings in and about that we were in possession of; and after a march of nearly a mile, had the satisfaction 
to find the guide's information correct ; but although inferior to the other only in size, we were allowed to 
enter this second stockade, as usual, without resistance, the Burmese having fled in all directions on the ap- 
pearance of the advanced guard. 

As die abandonment of this last stockade evinced but little inclination, on the part of the enemy, to afford 
us an opportunity of doing more in that direction, I thought it advisable, after firing the whole of the buildings 
(from many of which I had the satisfaction to see large quantities of powder explode), to return to the beach, 
and bivouac near the breast-work we bad possessed ourselves of on landing. I ought to have mentioned 

X before, 



82 DOCUMENTS. 

before, that we were joined in the morning by a parly of the Calcutta Militia, doing duty on board the gun-boats ; 
these men were stationed as a piquet in rear of the line, the piquets of the regular Native Infantry being thrown 
out in directions whence a night attack was more to be apprehend:;d ; it appears, however, that between three 
and four in the morning, a lew of the enemy had the temerity to advance on the sentries, and actually fired 
amongst them, wounding three privates, and one of them so badly as to render amputation of the right 
arm necessary ; I am happy to add that the piquet behaved with the greatest steadiness on this oc- 
casion. 

Having made a march of about four miles to the northward, where it was reported some large boats were 
in a creek, and finding only one, which was immediately destroyed, the detachment returned to the beach, and 
re-embarked on boarcl the boats held in readiness for that purpose. 

Although this report has nothing to detail of a brilliant nature, it must nevertheless be gratifying to Lieut- 
Col. Hampton, that the conduct of every individual belonging to the detachment was such as to ensure, on 
any future occasion of greater difficulty, every possible advantage which bravery and devotion to its interests can 
bestow ; and though it mav be considered presumption in me to speak of the merits of any other branch of the 
service than that to which I immediately belong, I cannot, in the present instance, avoid bringing to the notice 
of the Lieutenant-Colonel, the highly meritorious conduct of the oiKcer-, seamen, and marines of the H. C.'s 
frigate Hastings, and surveying-ship Invest igatai; who acted in conjunction with the troops, not only as regard- 
ed their readiness to meet every obstacle which the nature of the service led us to expect, but likewise in their 
steady and prompt obedience to the rigid rules of disciplhie, which the pecuhar nature of the enterprise ren- 
dered so essentially necessary to be observed. 

No. 73. (A) — Dexpatch frovi Captain Barnes, Comrnanding the IT. C. Frigate Hastings, to 
George Swinton, Esq., S^c. S;c. S^x. ; dated I'jth October, iS^i. 

Captain Ross, of the H. C. Marine, and commanding their ship Investigator, having delivered into my 
charge, on the tth instant, a division of gun boats, five in number, under the direction of Captain Finucane, 
of Flis Majesty's 14th Regiment of Foot, I thought this additional force might be employed to advantage for 
the purpose of covering a landing of troops on the north part of Kamree, for tiie purpose of destroying some 
stockades and breast-woi-ks the enemy possess on the sea face — and as I had learnt, liiat the Burmalis had 
some strong defences at a short distance ui-land, I applied to Lieutenant-Colonel Hampton for the .aid of 
two hundred sepoys, which that officer was pleased to grant, and on tlie evening of the 14tli, the troops be- 
ing embarked on board the Hastings, and Planet, pilot brig, we weiglied and proceeded to our position. The 
frigate drawing too much water to-approach the shore near enough for her guns to prove useful, I placed the 
gun boats close in shore, abreast of the enemy's works, and iiivdie morning disembarked the whole of our 
force, consisting of two hundred sepoys, 40th Regiment, commanded by Captain Vincent. 

Commanded by Lieutenant f Europeans, Marines, 261 rr >-. t-. • t-t 

H. WjTidham, i Ditto; Seamen, bl]^' ^- ^"S^^' Hastings. 

\st of the Hastings, 1 Ditto, Seamen, 40? ^''Jf^'Y' >.'""/^- ^- 

° L J ^I'P Investigator, 

and myself went on board the Elizabeth, gun boat, to give such directions as I might think requisite. A smart 
fire was kept up by the boats on the enemy, who shewed themselves in force, and fired smartly on the boats, 
but with the exception of one shot from a large jinjal that hit the Burrampooter, and a few musket balls that 
struck the Megna, which was placed by her gallant conrmander, Mr. Boycc, so close to the bank, it was hard to 
miss her — no accident occurred, the whole of the enemy flying into the jungle as soon as the troops landed, 
leaving their jinjals behind them. The position held by the enemy was exceedingly strong and well chosen, 
being composed of a wcU-l'ormed breast-work fronting the sea, with a nullali of considerable width between 
it and the high sand bank forming the shore ; the tide flowing into the nullah, so that the place was capa- 
ble of good defence. The rear of the stockade was also intrenched .at the distance of about 100 yards, and 
that backed by a thick jungle. As the force, about noon, moved ofl" into the interior, and being unable, from 
my weak state of health to march with them, I beg leave to give the remaining account of the reconnoissance 
in the language of my first Lieutenant, who commanded the nautical party on shore. 

I have much ])leasure in mentioning, that on the morning of the 16tli, Mr. Midshipman Laughton landed 
about a mile and a half to the south of our first position, and, witli the crews of the Burrampooter and Irrawaddy, 
burnt a respect.able Chowkey belonging to the enemy, who fled on his approach. Hoping diis diversion may 
meet the approval of the Right Honorable Lord Amherst, Governor General in Council. 

- No. 73. (BJ—Rcport 



BURMESE WAR. gS 

Ko. 73. (B) — Re2)ort from Lieutenant Wijndham,' to George Barnes, Esq. Captain 

H. C. Frijsatc Hastings. 

In obeilience to your orders of the 16th instant, I proceeded on shore with the seamen from the Hastings 
under my command, to co-operate with Ca])t:iin Vincent, in the destruction of the enemy's stockades. The 
landing of thj force having been effected in sight of the enemy, without opposition, about one mile to the 
southward of Umlabc?n, I was joined bj' Lieutenant Lloyd, with forty seamen from the Invest! gatoi-. A large 
body of the enemy were seen in their trenches half a mile to the southward, but immediately our force was 
put in motion, they disappeared among the jungle, and we then occupied a breast-work guarding the road to 
the interior: a short halt vvas made for arrangements ard the guides to be landed. 

At noon we were again put in motion, and commenced our march to the stockades along a narrow path- 
vray, admitting, in many places, only two abreast, and intersected with rivulets. In about twenty minutes, we 
were upon the spot of the expected stockade ; but the eneniy had previously demolished it, leaving nothing but 
a few of the large posts standing at its angles, and the entrenchments not filleil up. — From this place, we push- 
ed forward about one and a half mile more, and came upon a regular and well-constructed stockade capable 
of containing fjur thousar 1 men, with a double fence round a sand breast-work, and well filled up between 
with pointed bamboo stakes inclining outwards. I regret to say that Wm. Williams, seaman of the Hastings, 
was severely wounded by one of them running into his foot. Here again the enemy fled upon the approach 
and firing of the light troops in advance, when our party triumphantly entered the gates and took possession. 
A small jinjal, with a pair of colors were taken, and the stockade set on fire, which consumed the whole of 
tlie interior buildings, and from the explosion of some concealed powder, did damage to the breast-work and 
outer fences; from this we marched on ilie left, and destroyed another large stockade, which had no outwork, 
but a brcast-v.nk inside the sti.ckade, about 4 feet 6 inches high, and barracks sufficient to contain three thou- 
sand men; from hence we marched down to the beach and occupied our former position within the breast-work, 
and slept under arms for the night. Here another accident occurred from the going off of a musket, which I 
am very sorry to add, severely wounded one oi the Invest igat07-'s seamen tiirough the arm. About half-past 
three o'clock next morning, we were aroused from our slumbers by the enemy, who commenced an attack 
upon our picquets. We received them with cheers, and every one was at his post instanter. The enemy, when 
they found us on the alert, and oar picquets commenced firing upon them, retreated immediately to the woods, 
and nothing more was seen of them. We continued under arms till day-light and then commenced a circui- 
tous march of about four miles to the northward, and passed three villages in the rear of Umlahbeen; but as 
they appeared to be Mug habitations, v. ith no work of defence about them, they were not destroyed. We 
then marched towards the sea, and came up in the rear of the breast-\vorks, which the frigate under your com- 
mand, upon a former occasion, drove the enemy from. We proceeded along the beach to the position held by 
US during the night, where we halted, refre.-.hed the men, destroyed the buildmgs, and embarked the force. 

I have much pleasure in bringing to your notice the good conduct of the officers and seamen you did 
me the honor to place under my comujand ; and I feel conhdent, had the enemy stood, they would have shewn 
themselves to be British seamen. 

Ko. T^' C-^} — Cop?/ of Letter from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, s. c. b., to 
George Swi?iton, Esq.; dated Head-Quarters, Rangoon, Tth November, 1821<. 

For the last fortnight I remained under a very considerable degree of uneasiness at not hearing of, or from 
the expedition I had sent against Martaban on the 11 th ultimo, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Godwin, of H. M.'s 4.1st Regiment, apprehensive that the strong currents that prevail on this coast on the 
change of the monsoons, might have driven them either past the port or out to sea, and the consequent depri- 
vation of provisions and water ; but the arrival at head-quarters la:,t night of my Aid-de-camp, who accompanied 
Lieutenant-Colonel Godwin, as a volunteer, dispelled all apprehensions, and now enables me to transmit you, 
for the information of the Right Hon'ble the Governor Genezal in Council, the detail of an achievement, no less 
honourable than beneficial to the British arms, reflecting the highest credit on the able, judicious, and gallant 
officer that led, as well as every individual composing the force under his command. 

No. 74. (B) — Extract further Letter from same to the same ; dated Head-Quarters, Eatigoon, 

'jlh jSovcmber, lS2i. 

By this opportunity I have the honour to transmit you Lieutenant-Colonel Godwin's report of the fall 
of Martaban, which wLU be read willi iruerest, as evincing another proof of the impression our arras have made 

on 



84 DOCUMENTS. 

on the minds of the enemy. It will scarcely be credited, that upwards of four thovsa-^d men, well armed, and 
well prepared far the nltack, from the unforeseen impediments the expedition met wuh in reaching its destina- 
tion, and figLtir ^- behind defences of a very formidable nature, should be driven out of them by a mere hand- 
ful of British troops. On this occasion you will be pleased'to see the handsome manner in which Lieutenant- 
Colonel Godwin speaks of the 3d Madras Native Inflintry, one of the corps which retired from the stockade 
at Keykloo. 

No. 74. (C) — Copi/ of Report from Lieuteimnt-Cohnel Goducin, to Brigadier General Sir 
Archibald Campbell, k. c. b. ; daied Martaban, 2d November, ISSi. 

The force you did me the honour to place under my command, for the capture of the town of Martaban 
and its dependencies, cleared the Rangoon river on the morning of the 14th ultimo ; but owing to the igno- 
rance of the people acting as pilots, with calms and contrary currents, the expedition did not reach Martaban 
till the morning of the 29th. 

It was my intention to have landed on my arrival at Martaban, but the tides which run rapidly here, ren- 
dered it almost impracticable, and the ships having it in their power to get nearer the defences in the evening, 
I deferred landing till the next morning at day-break. I took two opportunities tl.is da}' to see the whole front 
of the place, with Captain Waterman, Assistant Quarter- Master General, and Captain Kennan, commanding 
the artillery. Its appearance was uncommonly sti'ong and commandin^r, and differed from any thing we have 
seen about here. The place rests at the bottom of a very high hill, washed by a beautiful and extensive sheet 
of water; on its right a rocky mound, on which was placed a two-gun battery, with a deep nullah under it. 
This battery cnmmunicates with the usual stockade of timber, and behind this a work of masonrj', varying 
from twelve to twenty feet thick, with small embrasures for either can:ion or musketry. The stockade runs 
along the margin of the water for more than three-quartei's of a mile, where it joins a larger pagoda, which 
projects into the water in the form of a bastion. The delences then continue a short distance, and end at a 
nullah, on the other side of which all is thick jungle. The town continues to run in an angle way from the 
Pagoda for at least a mile, and terminates in the hojse of th3 Miyoon, close to a stockade up the hill. The 
whole defence is the waterline, with its flanks protected. 

The rear of the town and works is composed of thick jungle and large trees, and open to the summit of 
the hill : as we moved along the place all was silent, not a gun to be perceived, but a slight wicker work to 
hide every thing behind the embrasures in the Pagoda, and few men to be observed on the works. They never 
offered to fire on the boat, though rather close in shore. Vln second time we went to look at it, the same 
silence prevailed, so that we were induced to think the pl.ice abandoned. Shortl}-, hnvever, after this remark, 
the ships had approached nearer the works, when a well-directed fire was opened on them from the fort on 
the height, and down the line a well-pointed gun, from the I'agoda, with grape, was at the same time fired at 
my boat, and wounded a seaman of the Moira, whose arm was amputated an hour after. I was prepared for 
a determined resistance by the quantities of boats filK-d with men crossing; as we went up the river, two 
Chokeys opened a smart but useless fire on us — I made it a rule never to fire first. 

All the night of the 29th there was a cannonade iioni both sides, and the excellent practice of Captain 
Kennan, of the Madras Artillery, commanding, assisted by Lieutenant M'Gregor, of the Bengal Artillery, in 
the bomb vessel, must have done great execution among the defenders of the works, whose repeated cheers 
informed us that their numbers were great. 

I had made up my mind to storm the escalade immediately under, and to the left of the rocky battery 
on the enemy's right; and when in, to storm the battery itself, and then the business could be but easy, as we 
should take all the works in flank. 

At five o'clock in the morning of the 30th, the men composing the first division, were in their boats. 
Ninety-eight men of His Majesty's 41st regiment, seventy-five of the 3d Native Light Infantry, eight of the 
Bengal Artillery, and thirty-eight seamen of the Royal Navy; about two hundred and twenty men; and I was 
fully aware that these men would have the business to themselves, as I had no where to wait for the remainder 
of the force, and every boat was already occupied. The advance sounded a litde after five, and the boats rowed 
off, and soon came under a very heavy fire of all arms. On approaching the shore, I perceived there had been 
a misunderstanding with respect to the sp,)t at which I wished to land, and we had got on the wrong side of 
the nullah. As we could not carry the ladders through the mud, I ordered the boats to push off" and put in at 
the place I appointed ; at this time a heavy fire of artillery and m 'skctry was on us, and the lascars would not 
face it. Lieutenant Keele, of the Aiachnc, commanding the naval force, with me, pushed on shore, and gal- 
lantly went to see if the nullah could be pa ..sed : he came back almost directly, and informed me there was a 
boat in the nullah, over which the men could go, and the side of the rock to the battery appeared practicable. 

Trusting 



BURMESE WAR. 



85 



Trusting to the gallantry of tlie people with me, I determined to try it, and from the men gettine on shore 
there was not a halt till we had possession of it. It was stormed under a heavy fire of musketiy, and the rock 
not high, but to appearance impracticable, and in the opinion of the enemy it was so. 

The enemj- did not leave the fort till we were within a few paces of them, and they even threw stones at us 
when we were too much under die fort for the fire to reach us. It is due to Captain Burrows, of His Majesty's 
41st Regiment, and Lieutenant Keele, Royal Navy, to say they were in first. I now felt secure of the place, and 
after waiting till the men liad recovered from the exertion, and to get them together, they marched down aloncr 
the works, and cleared all before them. The 3d Light Infantry flanking us in the wood, I proceeded to the 
I'agoda, near which they appeared disposed to stand ; however, they only suffered the more by it. On entering 
the Pagoda, I was surprised not to find it full, but on looking over the wall, they were in hundreds, rushino- 
down, taking the water, and crossing the jungle. There were about one hundred and twenty muskets bearino- 
on them, .aud their loss was very severe. 

All opposition was now at an end, and on marching through the town it was, as usual, deserted, except 
by a great many women. The Woonghee had six elephant? ready, and had escaped with, as I am told, a wood 
deal of property. The emptiness of the houses showed every preparation had been made, if the place was'cap- 
tured, to prevent our getting any property. I inclose you a return* of the guns taken, as also the ordnance 
stores, and the quantities of the latter immense, kept in stockade about half a mile up the hill, and a regular 
manufactory to make the powder. I had it blown up yesterday. 

Our loss has been comparatively small, seven killed and fourteen wounded. Captain Booth is not badly 
wounded. In this immense place, with so many facilities to escape, I cannot guess what the enemy's loss may 
have been ; but from the prisoners, of whom we have a great many, and other sources, it must have been great, 
as allowing that two- thirds of the numbers reported were within this place at the attack, there must have been 
between three and four thousand. 

Where every one contended honourably, it would be difficult to select for your particular notice. I must 
ask your best thanks, however, for Captain Waterman, 13th Light Infantry, Assistant Quartei'-Master General, 
for the ailvice and assistance I have had, and still have, from him ; for Lieutenant Cochrane, His Majesty's 
4lst Regiment, Acting Brigade Major; for Captain Kennan, Madras Artillery, commanding; Captain Hepe- 
lin, detachment 41st Regiment ; Captain Williamson, 3d Native Light Infantry, which regiment vied in this 
attack with British courage ; and Lieutenant McGregor, of the Bengal Artillery, who armed his men with 
muskets, and were distinguished in the attack ; Lieutenant Keele, of the Aiachne ,• Lieutenant Baizely, of the 
So2'hie, and their- respective crews, behaved with their usual gallantry. 

Lieutenant Keele's unremitting exertions with this little force, as also the share he has taken in the fall 
of the place, together with the good understanding kept up between tlie services, I leave for you, sir, properly 
to appreciate. 

Your son, and aid-de-camp. Lieutenant Campbell, of His Majesty's 38th Regiment, will present you this 
despatch, a volunteer on the expedition, whose gallantry and other quaUties make me very sorry to part with 
him. 

: '. ■^°- '^•^- f^J—^^p. y 

• Return of Killed and Wounded of a Detachment under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Godwin, in the approach to the attack of 

Martaban, on the 30th October, 183*. 

Martaban,^d Kovembcr, I Sit. 

Madras Artillery — 1 gunner killed ; 2 gunners wounded. 

His Majesty's 4lst regiment — 2 rank and file ItilleJ ; 1 captain, 1 Serjeant, 3 rank and file wounded. 

3d Light Infantry— 1 rank and file killed ; I havildar, 3 rank and file wounded. 

Navy— I mariner, I seaman, killed ; 1 mariner, 1 seaman, wounded. 

Bow-boats — 1 sun-boat lascar killed ; 1 gun-boat lascar wounded. 

^'ame »f the Officer WoMHdei.— Captain Bootfl, of His Majesty's 41st Regiment, (slightly.) 

Return of Ordnance and Stores captured at Afarbalan by the Troops, under the command of Lieulcnanl-Co/unel Godwin, His Majesty's 

♦ Iri Regiment, on the '30th of October, 1824-. 

Iron guns, &c. mounted on the works— 4 four.pounders, 3 three-pounders, 1 one aiid a half-pounder, 2 one-pounders, 3 half- 
pounders, 48 v.ali-pitces. The wall pieces destroyed. 

Iron guns, &c. found in the arsenal— 1 six-pounder, 2 one-pounders, 52 wall-pieces. The wall-pieces and unserviceable guus 
destroyed. 

In the expense magazine— 2,000 round iron-shot of different sizes, 500 grape-shot, 10,000 musket cartridges, e,000 cartridges sor 
wall-pieces, 500 lbs. loose gunpowder. 

In the arsenal and magazine— 5,000 round iron-shot of different sizes, 1,000 grape-shot, 26,000 lbs. gunpowder, 10,000 lbs. salt- 
petre, 5,000 lbs. sulphur, 500 muskets, 53 wall-pieces, 20,000 flints, 100,000 musket-balls, 9,000 lbs. lead. 

Y 



8Q DOCUMENTS. 

No. 75. (J) — Copi/ of a Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, r. c. s., S^r. 
^r. S)V. ; to George Swinton, Esq., Secretary to Government Secret and Political Department, 
i^c. <?jc. S^c. ; dated ^5th November, 1824. 

Since I had the honor of announcing the capture of Martaban by the troops under the orders of Lieute- 
tenant Colonel Godwin, I have received intelligence of the submission of Tenasserim, and the town and small 
province of Yeah — these places, of their own accord, requested our protection, and the whole Burmese coast, 
from Rangoon to the eastward, is now subject to the British arms. The enemy's troops which fled from the 
captured towns and assembled at Yeah, embarked there in forty boats, and, I understand, have since landed in 
the district of Dalla. The reiterated accounts I have lately received from all quarters of a numerous army 
collecting in the neighbourhood of Frome, for the purpose of expelling us from Rangoon, now fully convuice 
me the effort will be made. Maha Bundoola is said to have been nominated to the chief command, and I make 
no doubt we shall, ere long, have the whole strength and talent of the empire to contend with in this neigh- 
bourhood. Lieutenant Co'onel Miles, with the European part of the force detached to Tavoy and Mergue, 
has returned to head-quarters. 

Herewith I have the honor of enclosing a report from Lieutenant Greer, of the Honorable Company's 
Marine, of a gallant little affair with the enemy's boats on the 7th instant. 

No. 75. (B) — Copi/ of a Despatch from Lieutenant S. TV. Greer, Commanding the II. C. Cniizer 
Thetis, to Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., l^-c. ^c. S^c. ; dated lltn 
November, lii2i. 

I have the honor to report, that on Saturday the 7th instant, at 11 A. M. I left the ship in a row boat with a 
guard of six sepoys of the Bombay Marine Battalion, for the purpose of waiting on the senior officer at Rangoon. 
Abreast of a small creek, a little below Baseen creek, six war boats pulled out and stood up close along till 
abreast of Baseen creek, when eight more boats of the same description joined them, they then came out and 
endeavoured to cut her off by pulling across the river, ahead of the row boat. — I kept up a constant fire from 
the 12-pounder and musketry until two of the boats came alona; side, I immediately jumped on board of them 
with the sepoys, and succeeded in bayoneting every man ; in one of the boats there appeared to be a chief, whom 
I .shot in the act of darting a spear at me. — The other twelve boats were coming close up, but seeing tlie fate of 
the two, made off towards the shore, upon which I kept a smart fire while w thin range; I am sorry to stats, 
that during the action, one sepoy and one row boat-man were severely wounded, the former in two places : 
in each of these boats were from thirty to forty men. — I cannot conclude this report without recommending 
strongly to your notice the gallant conduct of the sepoys of the Bombay Marine Battalion in leaping into the 
enemy's boats, and for the destructive and well-directed fire they k.pt up on the approach of the enemy, where- 
by great numbers were either killed or wounded before they came alon^^side. The conduct of the row boat- 
men deserves every praise. 



No. 76. (.A) — Copiy of a Despatch from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, z. c. s., 
t^c. (^'c. 4'c. ; to George Srcinton, Esq., Secretary/ to Government Secret and Political Department, 
i^c.i^c.&;c. ; dated 8th December, 1824. 



The long-threatened and, on my part, no less anxiously wished-for event has at length taken placo : Maha 
Bundoola, sa;d to be accompanied by the Princes of Tonghoo and Surrawuddy, appeared in front of my posi- 
tion on the morning of the 1st instant, at the head of the whole united force of the Burman empire, amounting, 
upon the most moder.ite calculation, to from fifty to sixty thousand men, apparently well armed, with a numer- 
ous artillery and a body of Cassay horse. Their haughty leader had insolently declared his intention of leading 
ns in captive chains to grace the triumph of the golden monarch ; but it had pleased God to expose the vanity 
of his idle threats, and crown the heroic efforts of my gallant little army with a most complete and signal victory. 

Tlie enemy hail assembled his forces in the heavy jungle in our front, during the nigiit of the 30th ultimo, 
and being well aware oi his near approach, I had previously made every necessary arrangement for his reception, 
in wluiiever way he might think proper to leave his impervious camp. The absence of Lieutenant Colonel 
Godwin, at .Martaban, and of a strong detachment under Lieutenant Colonel Mallett, whicii I had sent to dis- 
play the Briiisli flag in the ancient capital of Pegue, had much weakened my lines, but I had been too long 
familiar widi tlie resolute courage of British troops to have felt any regret that fortune had given me an oppor- 
tunity of contending with Bundoola and his formidable legions, even under circumstances of temporary disad- 
vaaUge. Early 



BURMESE WAR. 87 

Early in the morninfr of the 1st histant, the enemy commenced his operations by a smart attack upon our 
post at Kemmendine, commanded by Major Yates, and garrisoned by the 26th Madras Native Infantry, with a 
detachment of the Madras European Regiment, supported on tlie river by as strong a naval force as could be 
spared. As the day became light it discovered numerous and apparently formidable masses of the advancing 
enemy issuing from the jungle, and moving at some distance upon both our flanks, for the purpose of sur- 
rounding us, which I allowed them to etfect without interruption, leaving us only the narrow channel of the 
Rangoon river unoccupied in our rear. 

Bundoola had now fully exposed to me his plan of operations, and my own resolution was instantly adopt- 
ed, of allowing, and even encouraging him to bring forth his means and resources from the jungle to the more 
open country on his left, wliert; I knew I could at any time attack him to advantage.' 

The right corps of tlie Burmese army had crossed to the Dalla side of the Rangoon river, and in the 
course of the morning was observed, in several divisions, crossing the plain towards the site of the ruined village 
of Dalla, where it took post in the neighbouring jungle, sending on a division to occupy the almost inaccessiiile 
ground on the bank of the river, and from which they soon opened a distant fire upon the shipping. Another 
division immediately broke ground in i'ront of Kemmendine, and for six successive days tried in vain, every effort 
that hope of success and dread of failure could call forth to drive the brave 26th and a handful of Europeans 
from this post, while tremendous fire-rafts and crowds of war boats were every day employed in the equally 
vain endeavour to drive the shipping i'rom their station off the place. 

1'he enemy's right wing and centre, occupied a range of hills immediately in front of the great Dagon 
Pagoda, covered with so thick a forest as to be impenetrable to all but Burman troops, and their left extended 
nearly two miles further, along a lower and more open bridge, to the village of Puzendoon, where their ex- 
treme left rested. They were no sooner thus placed in position, than muskets and spears were laid aside for 
the pick-axe and shovel, and in an incredibly short space of time every part of their line, out of the jungle, was 
strongly and judiciously intrenched. 

In the afternoon of the 1st, I observed an opportunity of attacking the enemy's left to advantage, and or- 
dered Major Sale, with 400 men from the 13th Light Infantry, and 18th Madras Native Infantry, under Major 
Dennie of the former, and Captain Hoss of the latter corps, to move forward to the point I had selected, and 
I never witnessed a more dashing charge than was made on this occasion by His Majesty's 13th. while the 
ISth Native Infantry followed their exiniple with a spirit that d.d them honor, carrying all opposition before 
them. Tliey burst through the intrenchments, carrying dismay and ten or into the enemy's ranks, great num- 
bers of whom were slain, and the party returned loaded with arms, standards, and other trophies. Having 
correctly ascertained every tiling 1 r.^quired, I now, as I originally deteruiined, abstained from giving any 
serious intcrrujuion to the indefatigable labor of the opposing army, patiently waiting until I saw the whole of 
their material fully brought forward, and within my reach. Aboaf sun- et in the evening, a cloud of skirmish- 
ers were pj-,hed forward close under the north-east angle of tlu Pagod.i, who taking advantage of the many 
Pagodas and strong ground on our front, commenced a harrassing and galling fire upon the works. I at once 
saw we should sufflr from their fire, if not dislodged, and therefore ordered two comjianies of the 38th Regi- 
ment, under Captain Piper, (an officer I have often had occasion to mention) to advance and drive them back. 
"Were it permitted on such an occasion to dwell upon the enthusiastic spirit of my troops, I would feel a plea- 
sure in recounting the burst of rapture that followed every order to advance against their audacious foe; but 
it is sufficient to remark, diat the conduct of these two companies was most conspicuous : they quickly gained 
their point and fully acted up to the character they have ever sustained At day-light on the morning of the 
2d, finding the enemy bad very much encroached during the night, and had intrenched a height in front of the 
north gato of the Pagoda, which gave them an enfilading fire upon part of our line, I directed Captain Wilson, 
of the 3Sth Regiment, with two companies of that corps, and 100 men of the 28th Madras Native Infantry, to 
drive them from the hill. — No order was ever more rapidly or handsomely obeyed. The brave sepf)ys vying 
with their British comrades in forward gallantry, allowed the appalled Burmese no time to rally, but drove 
them from one breast-work to another, fighting them in the very holes they had dug, finally to prove their 
graves. 

In the course of this day Colonel Mallett's detachment returned from Pegue (having found the old city 
completely deserted) and gave me the additional means of attacking the enemy the moment the time arrived. 

During the 3d and 4th the enemy carried on his labors with indefatigable industry, and but for the in- 
imitable practice of our artillery, commanded by Captain Murray, in the absence, from indisposition, of Lieute- 
nant Colonel Hopkinson, we must have been severely annoyed by the incessant fire from his trenches. 

The attacks upon Kemmendine continued with unabating violence, but the unyielding spirit of Major 
Yates and his steady troops, although exhausted with fatigue and want of rest, baffled every attempt on shore, 
whde Captain Ryves, with His Majesty's sloop Sophie, the Hon'ble Company's cruizer TeignmoiUk, and some 
flotilla and row guii-boats, nobly maintained the long established fame of the British navy, in detiyiding the 

passage 



88 DOCUMENTS. 

passage of the river against the most furiouS assaults of the enemy's wav-boats, advancing under cover of the 
most tremendous fire-rafts which the unwearied exertions of British sailors could alone have conquered. 

Captain llyves lost no opportunity of coming in contact with the much-vaunted boats of Ava, and in one 
morning five, out of six, each mounting a heavy piece of ordnance, were boarded and captured by our men of 
war's boats, commanded by Lieutenant Kellett, of His Majesty's ship Arachic, and Lieutenant Goldfinch, of 
tlie Sophie, whose intrepid conduct merits the highest praise. 

'1 he enemy having apparently completed his left wing, with its full complement of artillery and warlike 
stores, I determined to attack that part of his line early on the morning of the 5th. 1 requested 
Captain Chaddsj tlie senior naval otlicer here, to move up to the Puzendoon creek during the night, with the 
gun flotilla, bomb-ketch, &c. and commence a cannonade on the enemy's rea^ at day-light. This seivica 
was most judiciously and successiully performed by that officer, who has never yet disappointed me in my most 
sanguine expectations. At the same time, two columns of attack were formed agreeably to orders I had issued 
on the preceding evening, composed of details from the different regiments of the army, the first, consisting of 
1100 men, I placed under the orders of that gallant officer. Major Sale, and directed him to attack and pene- 
trate the centre of the enemj's hne, the other, consisting of 600 men I entrusted to Major Walker, of the 3d 
Madras Native Light Infantry, with orders to attack their left, which had approached to within a few hundred 
yards of Rangoon. At seven o'clock both columns moved forward to the point of attack. Botli were led to my 
perfect satisfaction, and both succeeded with a degree of ease, their intrepid and undaunted conduct undoubt- 
edly ensured; and I directed Lieutenant Archbold, with a troop of tlie Right Honorable the Governor Ge- 
neral's Body Guard, which had been landed the preceding evening, to follow the column under Major Sale, 
andtake advantage of any opportunity which might ofi'er to charge. 

The enemy was defeated and dispersed in every direction, and tiie Body Guard, gallantly charging over 
the broken and swampy ground, completed the.r terror and dismay. The Cassay horse fled, mixed with the 
retreating infantry, and all their artillery, stores, and reserve depots, which had cost them so much toil and la- 
bour to get up, with a great quantity of small arms, gilt chattahs, standards, and other trophies, fell into our 
hands. Never was victory more complete or more decided, and never was the.triumph of discipline and valour 
over the disjointed efforts of irregular courage and infinitely superior numbers, more conspicuous. Majors 
Dennie and Thornhili, of the 13th Light infantry, and Major Gore, of the 89th, were distinguished by the stea- 
diness with which they led their men ; but it is with deep regret 1 have to state the loss we have sustained in 
the death of Major Walker, one of India's best and bravest soldiers, who fell while leading his column into 
the enemy's intrenchments, when the command devolved upon Major Wahab, who gallantly conducted the co- 
lumn during the rest of the action, and I observed the 34.t!i Madras Native Light Lil'antry on this occasion con- 
spicuously forward. 

The Burmese left wing thus disposed of, I patiently waited its effect upon the right, posted in so thick a 
forest as to render any attack in that quarter, in a great measure, impracticable. 

On the 6th, I had the pleasure of observing that Bundoola had brought up the scattered remnant of his 
defeated left, to strengthen his right and centre, and continued day and night employed in carrying on his 
approaches in front oi" the Great Pagoda, I ordered the artillery to slacken its fire, and the infantry to keep 
wholly out of sight, allowing him to carry on his fruitless labour with little annoyance or molestation. As I 
expected, he took system for timidity, and on the morning of the 7th instant,' I had his whole force posted in 
my immediate front — his first line intrenched so close, that the soldiers in their barracks could distinctly hear 
the insolent threats and reproaches of the Burmhan Bravos. 

The time had now arrived to undeceive them in theirs anguine but ill-founded hopes. I instantly made my 
arrangements, and at half-past eleven o'clock every thing was in readiness to assauk tlie trenches in four columns 
of attack, under the superintendence of Lieutenant-Colonel Miles, my second in command, and commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonels Mallet, Parlby, brodie, and Captain Wilson of the 38th Regiment. At a quarter 
before twelve, I ordered every gun that would bear upon the trenches to open, and their fire was kept up with 
an effect that never was surpassed. Major Sale at the same time, as directed, making a diversion on the ene- 
my's left and rear. At 12 o'clock the cannonade ceased, and the columns moved forward to their respective 
points of attack. Every thing was done under my own immediate eye ; but where all behaved so nobly, I can- 
not particularize; but must injustice state, that Captam Wilson's and Lieutenant-Colonel Parlby's divisions 
first made an impression, from which the enemy never recovered. They were driven from all their works wiiii- 
out a check, abandoniug all their guns, with a great quantity of arms of every description, and certainly not 
the least amusing part of their formidable preparations was a great number of ladders for escalading the 
Great Pagoda, found in rear of their position. The total defeat of Bundoola's army was now most fully ac- 
comphshed. His loss in killed and wounded, from the nature of the ground, it is impossible to calculate, but I 
am confident I do not exceed the fairest limit, when 1 st ite it at 5000 men. In every other respect the mighty 
host, which so lately tlireatened ta overwhelm us, now scarcely exists. It commenced its inglorious flight during 

last 



BURMESE WAR. gg 

last night. Humbled, dispersing, and deprived of their arms, they cannot, for a length of time, acain meet 
us in the field, and the lesson they have now received will, I am confident, pi'ove a salutary antidote lo the na- 
tive arrogance and vanity of the Burmese nation. Thus vanished the liopes of Ava ; and those means which 
tiie Burmese government were seven months in organizing for our annihilation, have been completely destroy- 
ed by us in the course of seven days. Of 300 pieces of ordnance that accompanied the grand army, 240 are 
now in our camp, and in niusquets, their loss is to them irreparable. 

Our loss in killed and wounded,* although severe, will not, I am sure, be considered great for the impor- 
tant services we have had the honour to perform. 

Of my troops I cannot say enough : their valour was onlj' equalled by the cheerful patience with which 
they bore long and painful privations. My Europe;nis fought like Britons, and proved themselves worthy of 
the country that gave them birth ; and I trust I do the gallant Seapoys justice when I say, that never did troops 
^ more 

* General Report of Killed, Wounded and Missing of the Army under the Command of Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, K. C. B., 

from the 1st to the 1th December, 18i4. 

Head-quarterB, Shoe Dagon Pagoda, 8th December, 182-t, 

The Right Wing of the Governor General's Body Guard — Missing 2 Horses. 

Bengal Artillery — Wounded — 3 Rank and File, 3 Lascars, and 1 Bheesty. 

Madras Artillery. — Killed — 1 Lascar. 

Wounded — 3 Rank and File, 4 Golandauz, and 1 Lascar. 

His Majesty's \3th Light Infantry. — Killed — 1 Lieutenant, 1 Serjeant, and 3 Rank and File. 

Wounded — 1 Captain, 2 Ensigns, 1 Serjeant, and 20 Rank and File. 

His Majesty's 3Sth Regiment. — Killed — 10 Rank and File. 

Wounded — 2 Lieutenants, 47 Rank and File, 3 Lascars, I Camp-color man, aud 2 Cooks. 

His Majesty's 4 1 si Regiment. — Wounded — 9 Rank and File. 

His Majesty's 89th Regiment.— KMed — 1 ."-'erjeant. 

Wounded — 1 Captain, and 6 Rank and File. 

Jiladras \st European Regiment. — Killed — 1 Serjeant or Havildar, and 3 Rank aud File. 

Wounded — I Lieutenant, 3 Serjeants or Havildars, 1 Drummer or Bugler, and 9 Rank and File. 

Madras Sd Regiment Light Infantry f Native.) — Killed — 1 Major. 

Madras 9th Regiment Native Infantry — Wounded — I Lascar. 

Madras \2th Regiment Native Infantry. — Wounded — 1 Seijeant or Havildar, 6 Rank and File, and 1 Dooley Bearer. 

Madras 18rt Regiment Native Infantry, — VV'ounded — 2 Rank and File. 

Madras 26th Regiment Native Infantry. — Killed — 2 Rank aud File. 

Wounded — 1 Ensign, 1 Jemadar, 1 Serjeant or Havildar, 42 Rank and File, 3 Bheesties, and 3 Dooley Bearers. 

Madras 28th Regiment Native Infantry. — Killed — I Rank and File. 

Wounded — 1 Lieutenant, 1 Ensign, 1 Subadar, 3 Serjeants or Havildars, 1 Drummer or Bugler, 16 Rank and File, I Dooley 
Bearer, and 1 Bheesty. 

Madras 3ith Regiment Light Infantry, ("Native.) — Killed — 1 Rank and File. 

Wounded — 1 Jemadar, 1 Serjeant or Havildar, and 5 Rank and File. 

Madras 43rf Regiment Native Infantry. — Wounded — 1 Lieutenant, and 2 Rank and File. 

ist Battalion Jiladras Pioneers. — Wounded — I Serjeant or Havildar, and 4 Rank and File. 

Madras HOth Regiment Native Infantry. — Wounded — 1 Jemadar, 1 Serjeant or Havildar, and C Rank and File. 

Names of Ojftcers Killed aud /f'ounderf.— Killed — Major Walker, of the 3d Regiment .^L N. Light Infantry; and Brevet Captaia 
and Liiutenant O'Shea, of His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry. 

Wounded— Captain Clarke, severely, of H. M. Kith Light Infantry: Ensign J. Blackwell, slightly, ditto; Ensign R. W. Croker, 
severely, ditto; Lieutenant J. S. Torrens, severely, not dangerously, of H. M. 3Sth Regiment ; Lieutenant A. H. McLeroth, severe- 
- ly, ditto; Captain R. C. Rose, severely, of H. M. b9i\\ Regiment"; Lieutenant C Butler, slightly, H. C. Madras 1st European Re- 
giment; Ensign Smith, severely, of the Madras 26th Regiment Native Infantry; Lieutenant J. C. Torriano, severely, ditto 28th 
ditto; Ensign O'Brien, severely, ditto ditto; and Lieutenant Scott, slightly, ditto 4od ditto. 

Return of Ordnance and Military Stores Captured by the Force under the Command of Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, K. C. B., 
in the different attacks between the Ist and 7th December, 1824. 

Brass Guns — One 8-pounder, one 6-ditto, and six j-ditto. 
1 Iron Guns— One 8-pounder, three 6-ditto, one d-ditto, four 4-dilto, sLx 3-ditto, four 2-ditto, and 195 swivels. 

Gunpowder destroyed, lbs. 10,000 

Round Shot, 360 

Muskets, 900 

Spears, 2000* 

Intrenching Tools oOOO 

Many Stands of Muskets, besides Spears, Swords, and other Implements taken and destroyed, of which no account has been 
received. 

Additional Return of Ordnance Captured from the Enemy, by the Force under the Command of Sir Archibald Campbell, K. C. B., 

and brought in since the 8th Instant. 

Iron Guns — One 4-pounder, one 3-pounder, and five swivels. 

* We are authorized to state, that amongst the small arms taken from the enemy, there are some hundred stand of those taken 
from us at Ramoo.— Ed. 

z 



90 DOCUMENTS. 

more strive to obtain the palm of honor than tlicy to rival tlieir European comrades in every thing that marks 
the steady, true and daring soldier. 

My obligations to Captains Chads and Ryves. and tlie officers and seamen of his Majesty's Navy are 
great and numerous — In Captain Chads himself, I have nhvays found that ready alacrity t > share our toils 
and dangers, tliat has ever characterized the profession he belongs to : and the most cordiiil zeal in assisting 
and co-operating with me on every occasion. 1 have also to notice tlie good conduct of the Honorable Com- 
pany's cruizers, the gun flotilla and row-biats, nor ought I to omit mentioning the handsome conduct of 
Captain Binny, acting agent for the Bengal transports, in volunteering both his European criw and 
ship for auy service. On the present occasion she was anchored oft" Dalla, and sustained st)me loss from the 
enemy's fire. I may also add, that ivery transport in the river was equally anxious to contribute every possible 
assistance to the public service. 

To Lieutenant Colonel Miles and Major Evans, commanding the 1st and 2d divisions, my most particu- 
lar thanks are due, for the alacrity and promptitude with which my orders were carried into effect by their res- 
pective divisions; and ISIajor Fritti, of his Majesty's 38th Regiment, commanding in the Pagoda, attracted my 
particular notice, by his steady method of conducting all the severe duties of that important post. 

The services of the Artillery from the three Presidencies, commanded by Captains Timbrell and Montgo- 
merie, under the general direction of Captain iNIurray in the lines, and of Captain Kussell, of the Bombay 
Artillery, in the town and its vicinity, were most conspicuously brilliant. 

To Captain Cheape, conunanding engineer, and every individual of 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 whose command they are placed under. 

The extent and long continuance of our late operations necessarily entailed a most arduous and sevei-e 
duty upon my Deput\- Quarter Master General, Major Jackson, whose zea:!, talent, and activity, entitle him to 
my fullest approbation. — Lieutenant Colonel Tidy, my Deputy Adjutant General, performed the duties of his 
station with that ability and cheerful readiness that has ever distinguished him, and from my personal stalf, 
Captains Snodgrass and Campbell, I received every aid and assistance that devotion to the service could com- 
mand. 

Many points may remain unnoticed, upon which the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council 
may desire to be informed, and I have therefore directed my 1st Aide-de-Gamp, Captain Snodgrass, an officer 
of long standing and experience, and who has seen much service, to be the bearer of tins despatch. He enjoys 
my fullest confidence, is intimately acquainted with all my views and intentions, and most capable of affording 
any information that may be. required, and I beg most earnestly to reconaiiend him to the kind protection of 
the Right Honorable the Governor General. 

No. "77 • — Copy of a Despatch from Si?' ArcMhald Campbell, jr. c. b., S^c. ^c. ^c, to George 
Sxiinton, Esq., Secretary to Government Secret and Folitical Department, ^c, S^c. <§r. ; 
dated December 10, 182i. 

Upon returning to Rangoon on the evening of the 8th instant, I found the enemy's corps of observation, 
on the Ualla side of the river, had not been wholly withdrawn, probably from ignorance of what had taken 
place on the preceding day, in front of the great Pagoda; and as I was well aware they wouhl not remain 
long after the news of Bundoolah's defeat had reached them, I at once detei'mined to assault their works. 

Detachments from LI is RLajesty's 89th, the Honorable Company's 1st Madras European Regiment, and 
the 43d Madras Native Infantry, were immediatelv ordered under arms, and just as the moon arose ihey mov- 
ed across the river muler the conunand of ]Major Farrier, of the latter corps, landed and jumped, without a 
moment's hesitation, into the enemy's trenches ; many Burmese were slain in the short conflict that ensued, 
they w ere driven at tlie point of the bayonet into the jungle in iheir rear, and ten good guns, with many 
small arms, fell into our possesion.* 

RLijor 

* Return of Killed, Wounded and Missing of the Army under tlie Command nf Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, K. C. S., 

OH the 9M December, Ibii, 
H. ^f. S9M Pcgiment.—Ki\\ci\~] Rank and File. 

Woumled — 2 Lieutenants, 1 A>sist!int Surgeon, 3 Serjeants, and 22 Rank and File. 
Madrnt \st Eiiri'pean Regiment. — Wounded — 1 Captain and 7 fiank and File. 
Madras \itli Regiment N. /.—Killed— I Rank and File. 
Wounded— I Captain, I Serjeant or Havildar, and .} IJank and File. 
Madras mtit Regiment X. /.— Wounded- 2 l.'ank and File, and 1 Bheesty. 
Madras i:id Regiment jV. /. — Wounded — I Rank and File. 
Madras \st Battalion Pioneers. — Wounded — i Rank and File. 



BURMESE WAR. gi 

Major Farrier kept liis ground during the night, and in making a reconnaissance early in the morning, 
found the enemy still occupied some stockades in tlie jungle, in considerable force. I, in consequence, directed 
Lieutenant Colonel Paribv, \\kh a reinforcement of His Majesty's 89th Regiment, under Major Basden, and 
three hundred of the 12tli and 30th Madras Native Infantry, to join jNIajor Farrier, and attack the enemy 
wherever he niight be found — Lieutenant Colonel Parlby's cooluess and judgment full}' confirmed the high 
opinion so justly entertained of him: he drove the enemy in great confusion ti-om all their strongholds in the 
jimgle, and they are now only seen in unconnected groups at a great distance on the plain. 

Lieutenant Colonel Parlby bears the most honorable testimony to the valor and intrepidity of Major Bas- 
den and His Majesty's &9lh Regiment, and pays the highest compliment to JNLijor Farrier and all the troops 
employed, as well as Captain Russell of the Artillery, who accompanied him. 

iVo. 78. (A) — Extract Letter from Captain Chads, of His Majesti/'s Sloop Arachne, to Captain 
Coe ; dated Rangoon, December 8, lb'^4. 

On the 30th ultimo, the enemy's boats were seen by the Honorable Company's cruizer Tfignmoulk, at the 
advanced post above Kemniindine, coming down in great numbers, loaded with men. The same evening they 
came forward with fire-rafts, which obliged the Tcignmoutli to slip and go below Kemniindine to avoid them ; 
• this unfortunately left that post exposed to a most furious attack on every side, the enemy's war-boats on its 
front; but it was nobly defended by its garrison, under jNIajor Yates, and the enemy repulsed. On the next 
daj-, 1st December, the enemy were seen in great numbers advancing towards Ualla, about five tliousand men; 
and they also surrounded the Dagon Pagoda, where a constant heavy fire has been kept up. Captain Ryves, of 
the Sophie, in command during my absence, prociu'ed a guard of one hundred sepoys from the General for the 
transports, and placed this ship in her old station, about a mile an:l a half in advance of the shipping, to en- 
filade he Madras lines, and also ordered the Teignmouth back to her station, to support the post at Kemniin- 
dine. At daylight I retiu-ued and found things in this state, with the exception of the Teignmouth having been 
again driven from her station during the night bv fire-rafts, and the post at Kemniindine again subject to furious 
and incessant attacks. I immediately sent the pinn.ice up, under Lieutenant Kellett and Mr. Picker, admiralty 
midshipman, to gain information and reconnoitre, and shortly after, three gun-boats, under Mr. Coyde, mid- 
'shipman, with a party of my seamen to fight the guns ; this assistmce tvas most timely, as the garrison was 
sorely pressed in every direction ; from which critical situation, Lieutenant Kellett's highly judicious a:id deter- 
mined gallant conduct immediately relieved them, by clearing bodi tlieir flanks of the enemy by showers of 
grape-shot. This service performed by a single boat, in the face of hundreds of the enemy's boats, was the 
admiration of the whole garrison ; and Major Yates had expressed himself to me in terms the most gratifying, 
for the able assistance Lieutenant Kellett aUbrded him. 

The Teignmouth shortly afterwards resumed her station, and was constantly engaged with th • enemy's 
War-boats, which had long guns in their bows, and annowd her a great deal. Li the atteruoon, finding the 
enemy were making every effort to gain that post, and as it was of the last importance, both in a military and 
naval point of view, I ordered the Sophie up for its support, with three more gun-boats, and oar party undjr 
Lieutenant Kellett to remain. Whilst this post is held, the enemy cannot annoy tiie shipping at llangoon by 
fire, as the distance is great, and the winding of the river, with the fire-booms laid out, tlirow all the rafts upon 
die opposite side. The enemy upon the Dalla side having begun to throw up works, I ordered the Satellite 
armed transport, in charge of" Lieutenant Dobson, of the Lame, with a party of seamen from this ship, to the 
support of the Good Hope transport, already for some time stationed there, and several of the small gun-vessels. 
These vessels have been, from first to last, occasionally exchanging shot with the enemy, dismounting their guns 

as 

Karnes of Officers (Fojoirfcd.— Lieutenant A. B. T:i}lor, H. M. 89th Regiment, sliglilly. 
Lieutenant A. Dowdall, ditto, severely. 
Asii.'itant Surgeon J. Walsh, ditto, sliiihtly. 
Captain .T. Roy, Ut European Regiment, blightly. 
Lieutenant Glover, 12th N. I severely, ann amputated. 

'Return vf Ordnance and Military Stores Captured from the Enemi/ by the Force under the Command (if Brigadier General Sir Arcliibald 
CampbeU, K. c. B., in the different attacks at Dallah, between the Hth and Mth December, iBii. 

Brass Guns — two l-poimders, one 7-dilto, and two S-ditto. 
Iron Guns — two 3-pouiKlcrs, one 0-pounder, and eleven Snivels. 
Powder Viestioyed, cwt. \a ■ 

Spears capUired, ■ ii 

Entrenching Tool.-', . . 20 
Musquets, 2i 



93 DOCUMENTS. 

as fast as they got them up ; and the commander of the Good Hope, Mr. Binnj', is entitled to my best thanks, 
for handsomely coniina; forward on this occasion, and for the essential service he has performed. 

Early on the 3d, the Sophie took her station oft' Keramindine. With the ebb, the enemy again brought 
fire-rafts down, not lighting them until within a very short distance of the ships, with their war-boats firing 
their shot over them* to prevent the approach of our boats. The Sop/«V cleared thein, but the 'rcignmmitk 
was touched, and on fire for a short time witliout damage. During this day, the enemy became extremely 
daring, finding their shot went fiirther than ours; upon which I sent the Sophie two long nines, which kept 
them farther off. The enemy's boats becoming more bold, it was thought right to endeavour to give them a 
check; and Captain Kyves thinking they might be surprised, laid his plans accordingly, and succeeded to the 
fullest extent. A report of this gallant attack I inclose (No. 2), which will again bring to your notice, officers I 
have already mentioned to vou for their good conduct. The result of this defeat of the enemy's war-boats 
has been highly beneficial, not one having ventured within gun-shot since. The two ships, however, have had 
their hands quite full, in keeping up a constant fire on the enemy attacking Kemmindine, and throwing up 
works against tliem, to mount gun* in, which were dismounted as soon as got up, without their having done 
any material damage. In the evening, Sir A. Campbell communicated to me his intention to attack the enemy's 
left wing towards Poussendown, and requested a diversion to be made by a naval force up that river ; a report 
of which 1 inclose (No. 3), and which ended in the total defeat of that portion of the enemy's force. 

In the afternoon, finding the enemy at Dalla strengthening themselves, I sent the Paxaerfid mortar-vessel 
over, and t!n-ew a few shells, which had considerable effect. 

On the 6th, in the morning, finding the enemy still persisting in his attacks on Kemmindine, I sent the 
mortar-vessel upthere, which rendered the post very essential service, and relieved the garrison considerably. 
The enemy's war-boats still continue in sight in great numbers, but at a respectful distance. On the 7th, in the 
morning, the enemj' were seen very busy with rafts and boats for fire, and witti the strong ebb they brought them 
down, reaching nearly across the river ; but as their boats now do not venture close, they were fired earlier ; they 
consisted of upwards of twenty-six rafts and eight large boats, all lashed together. The So/)/;/ejujt touched the 
outside one withontinjury, and heldher ground At noon, the troops at the Pagoda made another sally, and carried 
the whole of the enemy's entrenchments, taking their guns, ammunition, &c. ; on receiving this information, I 
immediately sent every disposable man from this ship, under Mr. JManly, the master, with twenty sepoys in the 
steam-vessel, up to Captain Ryves, to endeavour to intercept their boats and cut off" their retreat; and in the 
night they went up far beyond Pagoda-point, without seeing above four or five small boats, the enemy ha\ing 
retreated, and deserted the neighbourhood of Kemmindine. 

Thus, Sir, has this formidable attack ended in the total discomfiture of the enemy ; having called forth 
fiom the very small force I have the honor to command, in every instance, the greatest gallantry and imiforra 
good conduct, under the utmost exertions by day and night, the greatest part of them havuig been in the boats 
since the starting of the expedition to I'egue, on the 26th ultimo. 

From Captain Ryves I have received all the aid and counsel that a good and valuable officer could afford, 
and his determined perseverance in liolding his ground, when the fire-rafts came down, merit the highest com- 
mendation ; and from his ready and zealous co-operation with the post at Kemmindine, that place was greatly 
relieved in the arduous contest it was engaged in. 

Of Lieutenant Kellett I cannot speak in terms sufficiently strong to express my admiration of his uniform 
gallantry. 

Lieutenant Goldfincli's conduct has also been most conspicuous, together with all the midshipmen named 
in my reports, not one of whom but have shewn individual acts of great bravery. 

Also to Mr. Manly, master of this ship, who has, from necessity, been frequently left in charge during my 
absence, 1 fee! umch indebted. 

These officers, the seamen, and marines I had the pleasure to serve with, I earnestly beg to recommend to 
your most favorable attention. 

No. 78. (B)— (Report Xo. 2.) Arachne, Rangoon, Sth December, 1824. 

Captain Ryves having thought it ]iracticable to surprise the enemy's war-boats, who were annoying the 
ships with their long guns very considerably, placed the whole of his disposable force of Europeans, abouti 
seventy in number, under the orders of Lieutenant Kellett, of this shij), and Lieutenant Ooldfinch, of the 
Sophie, Lieutenant Clarke, of the Bombay Marine, widi Messrs. Pickey, Coyde, Scott, and Murray, midship- 
men ; Mr. Clarke, Bombay Marine, and Mr. Lindguist in charge of the gun-boats. The force nas put into 
the three men of war's boats and six gun-boats, and, as the moon went down on the morning of the 4th instant, 
shoved off", and puljing up on the contrary shore to the war-boats, by daylii;ht came abreast, and boldly made 
a dash at them, notwithstanding tbeii- great luunber and sii:e; they were taken by surprise, but did not run till 

our 



BURMESE WAR. 93 

our boats were within pistol sliot, when their confusion was great, and they fled witli all haste, keeping up a 
smart fire ; their large boats with heavy guns were fixed on by our boats, and from the fire of grape were soon 
unmanned and captured. Lieutenant Kellett came up with some of the first, with heavy guns, and Lieutenant 
Goldfinch, passing him whilst talking possession, captured the boat of the commander of the war-boats, with the 
flag, her crew running into the jungle. The chase was continued three or four miles, when Lieutenant Kellett 
judged it prudent to secure his prizes, having an enemy of considerable force in his rear, up another branch of 
the river. 

The result of this gallant exploit was the capture of seven large-war-boats, four of which carried long nines 
on the bows; and on their return they cut adrift and brought down a large floating stockade from Pagoda- 
point; and what adds to the value of this service is, that it was performed without the loss of a man. 

Lieutenant Kellett's conduct on this and on former occasions speaks for itself, and I trust will meet with its 
due reward. 

Lieutenant Goldfinch is a valuable officer, and merits every praise ; and Lieutenant Kellett reports the high 
gallantry of Lieutenant Clarke and the midshipmen commanding the boats, and of every individual under his 
command. 

Dimensions of the largest •war-canoe, — Length, 83 feet ; breadth, 12 feet 6 inches; depth, 5 feet 6 inches ; 
pulling 52 oars, with a 9-pounder. 

No. 78. (C) — {Report No. 3.) Arachne, Rangoon, 8th December, 1824. 

Sir A. Campbell, commander of the forces, having wished for a diversion to be made on the left flank of 
the enemy's line, posted on the Poussendown river, whilst he attacked them in front, I proceeded with the 
whole of the disposable force I had, consisting of a few gun-vessels, three gun-boats,' and several merchant- 
boats, to make an appearance, with about forty Europeans ; I also took the steam and mortar-vessels, and in 
the evening of the 4th, dropped to the mouth of the river, and, waiting till the last of the flood, took our station 
off" the village of Poussendown about four o'clock. At six, I opened the fire of all our vessels, and made every 
appearance of landing, which brought the enemy down to us in great force, and their loss from our fire, and 
particularly the shells, was vevy considei-able, ours, only five natives wounded ; thi^ was continued till seven 
o'clock, when a signal, previously arranged, was made from the Pagoda for our fire to cease as our troops ad- 
vanced, and in a few minutes we had the satisfaction of seeing the enemy driven from every post in the greatest 
confusion, not knowing which way to run, from the variety of attacks at the same time. The loss of the guns, 
ammunition, &c. was very gi-eat. 

Mr. Reed, admiralty midshipman, and Mr. Guthers, boatswain, were with me, and rendered me much 
service ; and the conduct of all merits my best praise. 

No. 78. (D) — Copi/ of a Despatch from H. D. Chads, Senior Naval Officer, to Brigadier General 
Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., S^c. S,-c. ^c. ; dated on board the Arachiie, Rangoon, 10th 
December, 1824. 

It becomes a most pleasing duty to me to recommend to your favourable notice, officers in the Honora- 
ble Company's Service, whose good c >nduct has been con<;picuous in the recent attack of the enemy. The 
first I ought to name is Mr. Binny, agent for transports of the Bengal division, in charge of the Good Hope 
transport— that ship. Sir, with the British crew of the Resource, who handsomely volunteered, did all the 
duties of a man of war.Mn silencing the enemy's guns as they mounted them at Dalla. Mr. Hornblow, also 
agent for transports of the Madras division, in charge of the Moira, has also shewn very great zeal in for- 
wlirding all the late arduous services, and the British crew of his ship, in charM of the mortar vessel, have 
continued their usual good conduct. In the attack on the enemy's war-boats. Lieutenant Kellett speaks in 
high terms of the gallantry of Lieutenant Clarke, and Mr. Boscowen, of the Honorable Company's cruizer 
Teignmouth, and Mr. Lindguist, in charge of the row-boats; this latter young officer, I have also had reason 
to be much pleased with. 

No. 78. (E) — Proceedings of the Hon'ble Company's Row Gun Boats, from the 26M November 
to the 10th of December, 1824, from the Government Gazette of the Sd January, 1825. 

i- November 9oth. — At two p. m., left Rangoon with eleven row boats, (Nos. as per margin,)* under the 
immediate orders of Captain Chads, R. N. for Pegue. At four p. m., received sailing instructions to lead next 

to 

• Nos. 2, 3, 6, 13, 15, 18, 21, 23, 32, 39, 41. 
A a 



94 DOCUMENTS. 

to the boats belonging to His jNIajesty's ships. At half-past seven p. m., in passing Synan fort, enemy fired great 
gnns and musketry — passed on without noticing it. At ten p. m., anchored in a direct line across the river. — 
Man of war's boats on the starboard and larboard bows, flats, &c., with troops and artillery in the rear, closed 
in by two row gun boats. 

"27th. — At half-past three a. m., weighed and proceeded up; man of war's boats ahead; flats astern; river 
shallow and narrow; two row boats closing in the rear : at eleven a. m., anchored close on the starboard shore — 
the rear guard some distance astern — at three p. m , all boats arrived — at four p. m., weighed and proceeded 
up — at SIX p. M., anchored in six feet water, taking up the same position as yesterday. 

28th. — At day-lio-lit weighed and proceeded up; at noon came to a small village named Abo, made fast to 
the shore ; river fifteen or twenty yards broad, fordable at low water. 

November 29th. — At nine p. m, proceeded up, enemy fired a few muskets from several villages, — at 1 p. m. 
arrived at Peoue, landed the troops, and received orders to bring up twenty men to assist in dragging forward 
the artillery ; reconnoitring party returned and reported the place to be evacuated by the enemy ; re-embark- 
ed the arlillerv, and anchored for the night; river forty yards broad, and fordable at low water. 

November 30th. — At noon disjxitched four row gun boats under the orders of Captain Chads, to recon- 
noitre up the river ; embarked all the troops, having previously hoisted a white flag in tlie ancient city of 
Pegiie, — at 4 p. m. reconnoitring party returned; proceeded down, four boats being ordered as a new guard ; 
grounded several times during the night 

December 1st. — At ten a. m. Commodore made signal to close and anchor, — at three p. M. weighed and 
proceeded down, — at eight p. m. passed three vessels with foraging party on board, — at nine p. Ji. Commodore 
made signal to close an anchor. 

December 2d. — At.three a. m. weighed, and proceeded down ; at day light heard a heavy firing in the di- 
rection of Da<Ton Pagoda: at eight A. M. arrived off" Rangoon, and found it besieged by the enemy; disembarked 
the troops, and anchored in advance of the fleet, forming a direct line across the river; at noon manned seven row 
boats with seamen from the Arachne, and received orders to despatch them to re-inforce Kemraindine, — at 
two r. M. received orders to proceed with two row boats, to communicate with the foraging party, for the purpose 
of recalling the troops, then marching across the country with cattle, — at four p. m. anchored abreast of Pussan- 
dawn creek, — at seven p.m. observed some of the enemy's boats reconnoitring; when within grape-shot distance, 
opened fire on them, which caused their immediate retreat, — at eight p. m. gun vessels on the foraging party 
came down and anchored : went on board and held a communication with Captain Jones, N. I. ; learnt he had 
one hundred men escorting a herd of cattle in a direction for the enemy's entrenchments. On the flood , 
dropped up about two miles, and despatched a Mug, who volunteered his services for a small sum, to prevent 
the escort advancing. 

December 3d — At T a. m. foraging party came down abreast the vessels, embarked them and made sail for 
Rangoon; received orders to proceed innncdiately to Kemmindine ; at 11 a. m arrived at Kemmindine, found 
it closely besieged by the enemy — six war boats within bow-shot annoying the shipping then riding flood ; 
having eight row-boats, anchored them on the Sophy's starboard quarter, brought the cables aft, and got the 
guns to bear up tiie river, — at 7 p. M. enemy sent down two fire rafts, and accompanied them in the rear with 
war-boats, keeping up a heavy fire of great guns and musquetry on the boats and shipping, which did no 
damage except cutting away the Soplii/'s after shroud on the starboard side; kept up a smart fire from the row- 
boats and bow-guns of the Hon'ble Company's cruizer Teignmotifh ; fire rafts passed clear of all; in the 
course of this night, enemy made three attacks on Kemmindine stockade; row-boats' position advantageous for 
flanking the right of the stockade. 

December 4th. At 3 a. m. all boats, (Nos. as per margin*) alongside' His Majesty Sloop So/)/;^ ; at 4-30. 
p. M. left for the purpose of attacking the enemy's boats, laying about one mile above their entrenchments ; 
our boats pulled up all silence astern of each other on the larboard shore; enemy occupying the starboard ; at 
day-break Burmese sighted us from their boats, and opened a smart fire of six pounders and muiquetry ; 
Lieutenant Kellet, in the Arachne s pinnace, and commanding, issued orders to form a line, and advance to 
board ; the line being formed without the least confusion, gave three cheers and advanced, firing; the enemy 
also advancing, and never did I witness a better spirit and cheerfulness in the row-boats' people than on this 
occasion ; iy ten minutes we got within grape-shot distance, and then confusion commenced in the enemy's 
boats; they pulled in shore, and made for the jungles; we then advanced, as fast as possible, without regard 
to the line, and took possession of seven boats, three of M-hich had six-pounders in the bow ; one with a nine- 
pounder, and the other three musquets, spears, &,c. in great number; and also took the flags, one of which was 
red, bordered green, Brahmeni goose in the centre ; — in the boats with guns were found one hundred round 
^__^ shots 

• Nos. 2, 3, 6, 13, 33, 39, 3t and 41. 



BURMESE WAR. 95 

shots and five barrels of inferior powder : as soon as we were in possession of the enemy's boats, we gave way 
for the Sophy, but in passing their entrenchments, experienced a volley fire of musquetry ; but three cheers 
from a British sailor has a powerful effect on my inexperienced warriors, and invariably inspires them with 
confidence. I regret to say that one war boat escaped us. Two attaks on Kemmindine stockade this day, but 
shipping and boats quiet, otherwise than flanking the stockades ; notwithstanding the duty of this day, fortune 
favoured us all, and not a man touched. 

December 5th. At 9 a. m. returned to Rangoon in No. 6, for a supply of ammunition, having fired about 
450 rounds since the 3d instant ; at 3 p. m. returned to my station with four hundred rounds ; the enemy all 
silent afloat during the night, but mounted two six-pounders abreast of the H. C. cruizer Teignmoutk, with 
which they hulled her several times. Row boats at anchor in their station. 

December 6th. Row boats at anchor in their station ; at 8 a. m. enemy made a desperate attack on Kem- 
mindine stockade, but were driven from bodi flanks by the Sophy's and boats' guns ; at 9 they retired with 
three horrid yells. 

December 7th. At 7 a. m. enemy sent down 26 rafts of split shin beam, lashed together, placing six large 
boats on them filled with petroleum oil; war boats in the rear firing at the shipping and boats; all boats away 
to tow rafts ; got clear of the ships, and let it go ; lost two irons grapnels in the raft. 

December 8th. At 4 a. m. steam vessel arrived from Rangoorv; at 5 a. m. made all boats fast astern of 
her; at 5-30 p. m. proceedtd up in chaceof the enemy's boats, but unfortunately could not fall in with them; 
no firing from the enemy's lines ; at 7 p. m. received orders to return to Rangoon with all boats except four ; 
at 8 p. M. received orders from Captain Chads to be ready to start at midnight. 

December 9th At 1 a. m. rendezvoused alongside the transport ship Good Hope, waiting the flood to 
attack Dalla; at 1-30 left, and proceeded up Dalla Creek, anchored by the stern and -fired on the enemy's 
flank ; shot from our troops falling about and in the boats very thickly. Troops having routed the enemy, 
weighed and proceeded to tlie China wharf. At day light commenced transporting a reinforcement with the 
artillery to Dalla ; at 1 p. m. left with six boats to make a diversion on the enemy's left flank. Troops pro- 
ceeded out to attack them on the right; at 3 p. m. anchored in shore off H. M. ship Arachne. 

No. 79. — Copi/ of a Despatch from Lieutenant-Colonel J. W. Mallet, to Captain Snodgrass, 
MiUtary Secretary to Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., S^x. <^r. ^c. ; dated 
Head-Quarters, Pegue River, 30th November, 1824'. 

I have to report for the information of Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, k. c. b., that I pro- 
ceeded with the force which he did me the honor to place under my command, in boats up the river, on the 
afternoon of the 26th instant. The advanced boats were fired on while passing Syriam-point, from the right 
bank of the river. The expedition proceeded without further molestation, passing a large village, with a 
stockade on each side of the banks, in a deserted and ruinous state, on the 27th instant, distant from Ran- 
goon about twenty-three miles. 

On the morninff of the 29th, a short distance in advance of the anchorage grotmd, we passed a village 
and stockade on the right bank, where there were four large fire rafts moored across the river, to appearance 
just finished, though, in consequence of our sudden approach, there was not time for their being used against 
us. At some considerable distance beyond this village the advanced boats were fired on by a party of the 
enemy. At half-past one on this day, the force anchored opposite Pegue. The houses on the banks of the 
river "were all deserted, and finding that the ancient city was about a mile in-land, I immediately gave directions 
for the landing of the troops. This was efiected (agreeably to orders issued the day previous) with perfect 
regularity and steadiness. 

In rear of the village is a plain on which the detachments formed, and the artillery landed without loss of 
time. Beyond the plaiuj^along a very considerable extent, are the remains of one side of the ancient rampart and 
ditch, all parts of which being surrounded with jungle, I sent out a reconnoitring part)', which was accompanied 
by my Brigade Major Captain Briscoe, His Majesty's 41st Regiment, and Captain Jones, of His Majesty's 89th 
Regiment, who acted as my Aid-de-Camp. During their absence I advanced with the guides, crossed the 
causeway that led to the city, and then formed to wait the return of the party, who after having proceeded to 
the great Pagoda of Shoe Madoe, reported that the inhabitants had all fled on their approach, and that the 
city and every part adjacent was entirely deserted. On hearing this intelligence, I proceeded with the Grena- 
dier companies of the Madras European Regiment, and 28th Regiment Native Infantry, to . tlie city and 
Pagoda, and hoisted the BriUsh colours. Among the houses were found a few old men and women, from 
whom 1 ascertaineil that from one hundred and fifty to two hundred fighting men were all the place contained : 
these had, on our arrival, dispersed in the jungle. 



96 DOCUMENTS. 

The object of the expedition having been thus completed, I made arrangements for my departure. The 
force was re-embarked the same evening, when Captain Chads, Royal Navy, with myself, deeming it advisable 
to reconnoitre the upper part of the river, and endeavour to ascertain the existence of a high road to Prome, he 
proceeded with the man of war's boats about six miles beyond Pegue, and on his return on the afternoon of 
the 30th instant, the whole weighed for Rangoon. 

I cannot close this dispatch without expressing the high gratification I felt on witnessing the steadiness and 
order with which the troops landed, and the ardour they evinced during the advance towards the city, all 
being in full expectation they were leading the attack of a well-defended fortress; and I have only to regret, 
that the premature retreat of the enemy deprives me of the gratifying part, that no doubt I should otherwise 
have had to perform, that of stating every one under my command had done his duty. 

I feel much indebted to Lieutenant Colonel Brodie, commanding the detachment of the 28th Regiment 
Native Infantrj', as also to Captain Forbes, commanding that of the 1st Madras European Regiment, for the 
promptitude and zeal with which they landed and formed column ; and great prase is due to Captain Murray, 
Madras Artillery, for landing the Guns, (which, with the assistance of the Naval part of the force, was effected 
with speed) over the steep and rugged bank of the river, as well as to Lieutenant Macartney, of the 1st Batta- 
lion Pioneers, for his arrangement regarding the scaling ladders. 

I must call the particular attention of the Brigadier General to the zeal and abiHty shewn by Captain Chads, 
Royal Navy, in his conducting the flotilla, and the valuable assistance I at all times received from him. 

In conclusion, I beg to notice the assistance I derived from Captain Briscoe, His Majesty's 41st Regiment, 
and Captain Jones, His Majesty's 89th Regiment, together with that of Captain Russel, Bombay Artillery, and 
Lieutenant Trent, His Majesty's 3Stli Regiment, Acting Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, and the 
good and steady conduct of the whole of the officers and men, both naval and military, merits my warmest praise. 

Ko. 80. — General Order hy the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council, Secret 
Department, Qith December, 1824. 

The official despatches already published in an Extraordinary Gazette having announced the late brilliant 
achievements of the British arms at Rangoon, the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council now 
proceeds to the discharge of a most gratifying duty, in signifying, in tiie most public and formal manner, his high 
admiration of the judgment, skill and energy, manifested by Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, in 
directing the operations of the troops under his command, on that important and arduous occasion. 

The Governor General in Council requests Brigadier- General Sir Archibald Campbell to accept the cordial 
thanks of the Government, and to notify to the brave officers and men under his command the sentiments of 
admiration with which it regards the gallantrj^, spirit, and enthusiasm evinced by them, througliout the severe 
and protracted conflicts witii the enemy, which terminated in his entire rout and dispersion, with great slaughter 
and the loss of two hundred and fifty pieces of artillery, and most of his mihtary stores. His Lordship in 
Council has remarked with particular approbation the recorded instances of meritoi-ious conduct displayed by 
Lieutenant Colonel Miles, second in command, and Lieutenant Colonels Mallet, Parlby, and Brodie ; Majors 
Evans, Sale, Frith, Yates, Dennie, Thornhill, Gore, Wahab, Farrier, and Basden; and Captains Piper, 
Wilson and Ross. The Governor General in Council entertains also the highest sense of the efficient services 
and honorable exertions of Captains Murray', Russell, Timbrell and Montgomerie, of the Artillery; of Captain 
Clieape, commanding Engineer ; Captain Wheeler, of the Madras Pioneers ; Lieutenant-Colonel Tidy and 
^lajor Jackson, Deputy Adjutant and Quarter jNIaster Generals ; and of Captains Snodgrass and Campbell, 
Personal Stafl'to Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell. 

'1 he Governor General in Council seizes this opportunity of expressing his warm acknowledgements to 
Captain Chads, of His Majesty's Ship Arachne, the senior naval officer at Rangoon, and to Captain Ryves, 
of His Majesty's ship Sophie, for their distinguished personal exertions, and requests the former to- convey to 
the officers and crews of His Majesty's ships, of the Honorable Company's cruizers as well as the officers 
and men of the transports who volunteered their services, the sense which Government entertains of their 
gallant conduct in the several actions with tlie enemy's war boats, when they so conspicuously displayed the 
irresistible and cliaractcristic valor of British seamen. On these occasions, His Lordship in Council observes, 
that Lieutenant Kellett, of His Majesty's ship Arachne, and Lieutenant Goldfinch, of His Majesty's ship 
boj)hie, particularly distinguisheil themselves. 

The high encomium bestowed by Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell on the conduct of all the 
troops under his commnad, in which he states that their valor was only equalled by the cheerful patience wiUi 
whicii they bore long and painful privations, and that whilst his Europeans fought Uke Britons and proved them- 
selves worthy of the country that gave them birth, the gallant Sepoys successfully obtained the palm of honor in 

rivalling 



BURMESE WAR 97 

rivalling their European comrades in every thing that marks the steady, true and daring soldier, has been 
perused by the Governor General with peculiar gratification ; and His Lordship in Council requests the Briiradier 
General to take the most effectual means of making known to his troops at 1 irge the high estimation in which 
their valorous deeds and exemplary fortitude are held, and specially to mark the admiration of Government of 
the heroic manner in which the native troops have so nobly sustained the long and well-earned fame of our 
Indian army. 

The Governor General in Council deeply laments the loss of Major Walker, of the 3d Madras Native 
Light Infantry, emphatically styled by Sir Archibald Campbell, " one of India's best and bravest soldiers;" 
of Brevet Captain and Lieutenant O'Shea, of His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry ; and of the gallant soldiers 
who have fallen in the service of their country. His Lordship in Council trusts, that the brave officers who 
have been wounded in the several actions with the enemy, may soon be restored to the public ser\nce. 

No. 81. (A) — Copy of a Despatch received from Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, 
K. c. B., ^c. S^c. 8^c.y to George Sxvintoii, Esq., Secretary to Govt. Secret and Political 
Department, ^c'. S^c. 8^c.; dated I6/A December, 1824. 

When I had the honor to address you on the 10th instant, I did not expect I should so soon have the 
pleasure of communicating to you, that it has again pleased God to favor us with a great victory over the 
army of Bundoola, re-collected after his late defeat, and considerably re-inforced on his retreat ; which latter 
circumstance induced him and his chiefs to determine upon one more great effort to retrieve their disgrace. 
For this purpose they succeeded in rallying and forming, with the re-inforcements mentioned, a force amount- 
ing to between twenty and twenty-five thousand men, and returned to the village of Cookain, about three miles 
from the great Pagoda, and immediately commenced intrenching and stockading with a judgment, in point 
of position, such as would do credit to the best instructed engineers of the most civilized and warlike 
nations. 

On the evening of the 12th, a deserter from the enemy (amongst much other information) declared it to 
be their intention to attack our lines on the morning of the 14th, (pronounced a fortunate day by their Sooth- 
sayers), determined to sacrifice their lives at the dearest rate, as thev had nothing else to expect than to do so 
ignominously, by returning to the presence of their King, disgraced and defeated as they had been. This 
information was too circumstantially given to be disregarded, and I prepared accordingly. On the 13th, the 
enemy's movements left little doubt on my mind of the truth of the deserter's information. 

About half-past two, on the morning of the 1 4th, a formidable fire-raft was launched from a httle above 
Kemmendine (which, however, effected nothing) and, at the same time, their emissaries succeeded on setting 
fire to Rangoon, in several places at once, by which one-fourth of the town has been destroyed ; notwithstand- 
ing the utmost efforts of the garrison and well-disposed part of the inhabitants to get the fire under. 

The 14th past without any other attempts on the part of the enemy; during the day, however, he was 
seen above Kemmendine, to transport large bodies of troops from the Dalla to the Rangoon side of the river. 
For many urgent reasons, I determined to attack Bundoola on the following day, rather than wait his pleasure 
as to time and place of meeting. Tiie position he had taken up (though formidable) was still more favorable 
than any he had yet presented me with. I also derived much advantage from a knowledge of the ground the 
enemy were in possession of, having been over it with a part of my force upon a former occasion. 

On the morning of the 15th, my columns of attack were formed as follows: the right, consisting of two 
hundred of His Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, and three hundred of the 18th and 34th Madras Native Infan- 
try, mider the direction of Brigadier General Cotton, with one field piece and a detachment from the Rigiit 
Honorable the Governor General's Body Guard, under the command of Lieutenant Archbold. This column 
I directed to make a detour round the enemy's left, and if possible, to gain the rear of his position, and there 
wait the preconcerted signal of attack from me. I marched myself with the left column, which consisted of 
five hundred Europeans, from the 38th, 41st, 89th, and Madras European Regiments, and three hundred 
natives, from the 9th, 12th, 28th, and 30th Regiments of Madras Native Infantry, five field pieces, and 3 
detachment of the Body Guard, under the command of Lieutenant Dyke, intending to attack the enemy in 
firont. On arriving before the enemy's position, it appeared truly formidable, and such as I would hardly 
have felt myself wan-anted in attacking with a less force than ten thousand men, had I not, fi"om experience, 
known and appreciated the valour of the troops I had the honor to command. Of this column two divisions 
were formed, giving the command of one to Lieutenant-Colonel Miles, of the 89th, and the other to Major 
Evans, of the 3Sth Regiment, 

My dispositions being complete, the preconcerted signal guns were fired, and I had the pleasure to hear 
Brigadier General Cotton's reply, which assured me that all was ready on his side. The artillery now opened, 

B b and 



98 DOCUMENTS. 

and the three columns rushed on to the assault with the most determined and enthusiastic bravery, and in 
less than fifteen minutes were in full possession of this most stupendous work ; making the enemy suffer most 
severely, and obUging him to leave his camp standing, with all the baggage, and a great portion of their arms 
and ammunition. On returning, we were disappointed to find that Bundoola did not command in person, 
having retired to a distance, leaving his orders w ith a Chief in the immediate command of the post, whom we 
found had been mortallj' woimded in the assault. Whilst this was going on within, the Governor General's 
Body Guard made some gallant charges amongst retreating Infantry and Cassay Horse, dealing death and de- 
struction to all around. When it is known, that thirteen Jhundred British Infantry stormed, and carried by 
assault, the most formidable, intrenched, and stockaded works I ever saw ; defended by upwards of twenty 
thousand men, I trust it is unnecessary for me to say more in praise of men performing such a prodigy. The 
prisoners declared that our appearance before their works, was treated by them all (from tlieir Generals down- 
wards) with the utmost derision and contempt, so confident were they m their immense superiority in numbers, 
and the fancied security of the works tliey had constructed. 

Our gallant friends afloat were determined not to let this auspicioiis day pass without their share of its 
operations. Captain Chads directed that intrepid and enterprising officer Lieutenant Kellet, of His Majesty's 
ship Arachne, to proceed in command of an expedition up the river, and avail himself of any opportunity which 
might offer of attacking the enemy's war boats. He soon came up with a fleet of two and thirty, and after 
some little manceuvering to encourage the enemy to a confidence that they would, by their superiority in row- 
ing, keep their own distance, suddenly put the full power on the Diana steam boat, and immediately cut 
through the midst of their fleet, throwing their coiiimanders and crews into the utmost consternation. Some 
making for the shore, and others leaping over board in the middle of the river; all abandoning their boats, 
leaving Lieutenant Kellet at leisure to take possession of and bring away thirty out of the thirty-two originally 
discovered, and to destroy, on his return, several fire-rafts, as well as materials and combustibles for their fu- 
ture construction. Every day's experience of the zeal and cordiaUty with which Captain Chads, (and every 
individual composing the naval part of the expedition) co-operates with me in carrying on the combined ser- 
vice, increases my sincere obligations, and merits my warmest thanks. Although I have already endeavoured 
to describe to the Right Honorable the Governor General in Council, the enthusiastic bravery of the troops 
engaged yesterday, still I cannot omit to mention the able and judicious aid I received from my second in 
command, Brigadier General Cotton. The movements by which his column was brought to the point of attack, 
through an intricate country, were well executed, and the attack itself afterwards was conducted with the most 
beneficial effects, to the general success of the day. To Lieutenant Colonel Miles and-lNIajor Evans, who led 
the other columns of attack, every praise is due. The exertions of Captain Montgomerie, commanding the 
artillery hi the field, together with those of Captain Cheape, and Lieutenant Underwood, of the engineers, 
were most conspicuous. Lieutenant Colonel Tidy, Deputy Adjutant General, and Major Jackson, Deputy 
Quarter Master General, afforded me on this day, as well as on all former occasion.^, tlieir able and zealous aid. 

In the list of wounded* will be seen, with regret, the name of Major Sale, of His Majesty's 13tli Liglit 
Infantry, an officer whose gallantry has been most conspicuous on every occasion since our arrival at Ran- 
goon. 

* General Selum of Killed, Wounded and Musing of the Army under the Command of Brigadier General Sir Archibald Campbell, K. C. B., 
in the attack on the Enemt/ on the loth of December, 1824. 

Mead-Quariert, Rangoon, 16M December, 1824. 
TTie Right Honorable the Governor General's Body Guard. — Killed — 1 Jemadar, 2 Rank and file and 4 Horses. 
Wounded — I Lieiiteiiiuit, 4 Rank and File, and 8 Horses. 
Bengal Artillery. — Wounded — 1 Lieutenant, and 4 Lascars. 
Madras Artdicry — Wounded — 1 Lascar. 

m.f Majesty's Vith Light /»y««<ry.— Killed — 3 Lieutenants, 2 Sergeants, and 7 R.ink and File. 
Wounded — i Majors, •> Captains, 2 1 icutenaiils, 2 Ensigns, 2 Serjeants, and 40 Rank and File. 
His Miijcsly's 3bth Resimcnt.—\y oumk'ti — I Serjeant, 1 Trumpeter, and 7 Raiik and File. 
His Majesty's S'Jih Regiment.— KiWed— 2 Rank and File. 
Wounded— 18 Rank and File. 

Ist Mmlriis European Hegiment. — Killed— I Rank and File. 
Wounded- 1 Serjeant, and 7 Rank and File. 
Bth Madras Native /'//I/ji/rv.— Wounded— 3 Rank and File. 
18/A Madras Native I'ljan'try. — Wounded — 1 Cofitaiii. 
'iOth Madras Native Infantry.— Woumlei — I R:a.k and File. 

:i\L't Madrat Native Light hi/antry.~Womi>ied—\ Sul)adar, I Jemndar, I Scrjrant or Havildar, and 10 Rank and File. 
1*/ Battalion Madrat fionccrs.—'^ oundcd— 3 Lieutenants, and 1 Rank and Kde. 

Names nf OJpcers KiUcd and Wnundtd. 
Killed.— /fij Majesty's \'.ith Light Infantry — Ueu:iina\\f& Win. Darby, John Petry, and James Jones. 
The 'Right llunoral/le the Uovernur General's Body Guard. — Jeuiadar Shun Loll tjing. 



BURMESE WAR 



69 



goon. — I am happy to say that his wound, though severe, is not dangerous, and I trust his valuable services Ran 
will not long remain unavailable. i^ 

No. 81. (B) — Extract Letter from Captain Chads, of His Majesfi/'s sloop Arachne, to Captain 
Coe; dated Rangoo7i, lOth December, ISSJ-. 

Within these last three days, the enemy having returned, and re-commenced offensive operations, par- 
ticularly by annoying us with immense quantities of fire-rafts, one of which consisted of upwards of sixty canoes, 
besides bamboo rafts, all loaded with oil and combustibles, I thought it probable these preparations might be 
destroyed ; and as I had before sent a force up the Pain-lain branch of the river, without finding any thing, I 
this time ordered one up the Lyne branch, under Lieutenant Kellett, of this ship, to consist of the steam-ves- 
sel, with this ship's marines and soldiers, (kindly granted by Major Yates, commanding Kemmendine) amount- 
ing in all to forty men, for her defence, the pinnaces of the Arachne and Sophie, and to tow the Honorable 
Company's cruizer Prince of Wales. Before daylight yesterday morning, they proceeded with the first of the 
flood, and at a short. distance above Pagoda-point, saw large niunbers of the enemy's war-boats, at least two 
hundred, who retired in good order as they advanced, keeping up a smart fire from their long guns, five boats 
having them mounted, and taking their distance that the carronades should not reach them ; when about seven 
miles up, a raft was drawn right across the river, and set on fire by them to prevent the advance of our vessels; 
but an opening was found, and Lieutenant Kellett, now seeing the river quite clear, with great judgment, 
decreasing the power of steam, deceived the enemy, and lulled them into security, when putting on the whole 
force of steam, and casting off the Prince of Wales, he was immediately within grape and musketry distance ; 
the enemy, finding themselves in this situation, drew up in a regular line to receive them : this gallant little 
band was not, however, to be daunted by their show of resistance, but nobly dashed on, although the Prince of 
Wales v>a.s out of sight; the heavy fire from tlie boats, carronades, and musketry, threw the enemy into confu- 
sion and panic, and they flew in all directions, leaving us in possession of three of their large war-boats, the 
chief's one, mounting three guns, and pulling sixty oars ; the other two, one in their bow, nine and six-pound- 
ers, with about forty other boats of all descriptions, many of them loaded with ammunition and provisions for 
their army before Rangoon. 

The securing of thirty of these boats and destroying the others, took up the whole of the flood; when 
Lieutenant Kellett, having most tully accomplished my instructions and wishes, returned, destroying, on his way 
down, quantities of materials for fire-rafts, and a great many canoes laden with earth oil. The ememy's loss in 
killed and wounded must have been very great; ours, I rejoice to add, not a man hurt, the steam-vessel having 
been stockaded to secure tlie men. 

I cannot find words sufficiently strong, in which to recommend Lieutenant Kellett's uniform gallantry to - 
you ; his conduct on this, as well as the former occasions, proves hun a most valuable officer. Lieutenant 
Goldfinch, of the Sophie, I have al.io frequently had occasion to name to you, and, with pleasure, I repeat my 
former recommendations ; he was m i\\e Sophie' s pinnace, with Mr. Murray, midshipman. Mr. Tomlinson, 
admiralty midshipman, commanded this ship's pinnace, and Mr. Wiusor, adiniralty midshipman, was in charge 
of the steam-vessel, and shewed his usual judgment and good conduct. 

. Li eutenan t 

WoDNDED — His Majesty's \3th Light Infantry. — Major R. H. Sale, severely, not dangerously — Major \V. H. Dennie, slightly— 
Captain (Bievet Major) George Tliornhill, severely, not dangerously — Captain Jaines McPherson, severely, not dangerously — Lieu- 
tenant (Brevet Captain anil Adjutant) Michael Fenton, slightly— Lieutenant (Brevet Captain) Robert Pattison, severely, not danger- , 
ously — Ensigns A. Wilkinson and Thomas Blackall, slightly. 

Bengal Artillery. — Lieutenant O'Hanlon, severely, since dead. 

The Right Honorable the Governor General's Body Gwarrf.— Lieutenant Archbold, slightly. 

Madras Pioneers — Lieutenant and Brevet Captain F. Wheeler, Lieutenant J. Macartney, and Lieutenant J. A. Campbell, se- 
verely, not dangerously. 

18</j Madras Native Infantry. — Captain D. Ross, slightly. 

Received too tale for the Return of the 6th of Decetnber, 1824. 

Wounded — H. M. Navy — 8 Seamen. — H. C. Service — 8 Seamen. 

Return of Ordnance and Military Stores Captured in the Enemy's Works, on ike \5th of December, \82i', by a Detachmfttt from the 
Force under the personal Command of Brigadier General Sir Aichibald Campbell, K. C. B. 

Ordsasce— Iron Gmis.— Three 3-pounders, one 2-pounder, five swivels, J-pounders, and 33 jinjals. 

Muskets, brought in No 870. 

Ditto, destroyed 500. 

Gun Powdcrj lbs SOOO. 



100 DOCUMENTS. 

Lieutenant Kellet speaks in the highest terms of the determined steady conduct of every man under him, 
soldiers, sailors, and marines ; and feels much indebted to Lieutenant Collinson, commanding the H. C.'« 
cruizer Prince of Wales, for the able assistance that vessel rendered him. 

During these operations, the commander of the forces, Sir A. Campbell, attacked the enemy in the same 
direction, and gained a most brilliant victory. 

In addition to the foregoing reports. Captain Coe has transmitted to Mr. Croker a letter from Captain 
Mitchell, of H. M.'s sloop Slaney, giving an account of the co-operation of a party of sminien and marines 
from that vessel, under the orders of Lieutenant Matthews, first of the Slaiipij, with the force employed, in 
May 1824, under Colonel M'Creagh, in the reduction of the island of Cheduba; in which service the following 
officers and men of the Slanet/v/eie killed or wounded, viz.* 

No. 82. — The following Copies and Extracts of Despatches from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald 
Campbell, k. c. s., <§-c. ^x. S^c, to George Sicinton, Esq., Secretary to Government in the Secret 
and Political Department, S^c. ^c. Sjc. ; dated Head-Quarters, Ra?igoon, Januai-rj 14, 182.5. 

Some peasants that have come in, state Bundoola's late army as still dispersing, and iiimself, with only a 
few thousand men, at Donahue ; but using every exertion in his power not only to stop the fugitives, but is- 
suing orders for fresh levies, l lid to be little attended to. 

When the Burmese grand army were here, they uncovered some of the walls of the old Portuguese fort 
and factory at Syriam, and by throwing up parapets, &c. &c., rendered it a tolerable strong post, which had 
since continued to be occupied by a small force of the natives of the Syriam district, and I have reason to think 
they had been jointd by some of the men who deserted from their Chiefs when ordered to go and retake Mar- 
taban. Although this post did not offer us any annoyance whatever, j-et I did not wish to leave it occupied, 
from the facility its contiguity to the river afforded of being troublesome to our boats on the breaking up of the 
British army from Rangoon ; I therefore, on the morning of the 11th instant, detached a small force against 
it, consisting of two hundred men from His Majesty's 4Tth Regiment, with a detachment of seamen and ma- 
rines from tne Royal Navy and the Honourable Company's Flotilla, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Elrington, with orders to scour that part of the country, as far as the Syriam Pagoda, of any enemy to be 
met with. The Lieutenant-Colonel, in the course of a few hours, came before the fort and the bridge over 
the nullah leading to it. From the landing-place having been broken down, much labour and some delay 
was occasioned in repairing it, during which the enemy, from behind the works, kept u]> a smart aijd well di- 
rected fire on the head of the column, which caused some loss, but no sooner were the troops able to cross, than 
they rushed on and gallantly carried the place by storm. The Lieutenant-Colonel afterwards went on to the 
Syriam Pagoda — also found to be occupied by a small force of the enemy, who fled after the discharge of one 
volley, and seeing the British troops rush on to the assault. 

Lieutenant Colonel Elrington speaks in the highest terms of the gallant and good conduct of every indi- 
vidual composing his little detachment, and the Lieutenant-Colonel himself merits my best thanks for the per- 
formance of this duty. 

To prevent the enemy from again finding security in those posts, the chief engineer is now employed in 
blowing them up. 

Herewidi I begtoenclose a returnf of killed and wounded, and also of the ordnance captured on this occasion. 
No. S^.— Extract 

* Corporal of Marines, killed; Lieutenant H. B. Matthews, slightly wounded; and 4 seamen wounded. 
\ General Return of Killed, Wounded and jllissing, of a Detachment under the Command of TJmUenanl-Colonel Elrington, in the attack on 
the Portuguese Factory and Stockades of Sj/riam, on the 1 Ith and I2th of Januari/, I82j. 

Rangoon, January 14, 1825. 
His Mnjeslt/s Mth Regiment. — Killed— 1 Ensiin, nnd 1 Rank and File. 
■Wounded— -2 Captains, 1 Serjeant, and 18 Rank and File. 
Ist Battalion Madras Pioneers. — Wounded — I Ensign, and 4 Rank and File. 
Seamen of H. M. Ships Arachne, Sophie and inine.— Wounded— 3 Europeans. 
Seamen of the Tramport Darid Scott. — Wounded — I Seaman. 
Gun Boats. — Wounded — 1 Serjeant, and 3 Liiscars. 

yames of OJJlccrs Killed and Wounded.— His Majesty's Mth ^egim«!<.— Killed— Ensign J. M. Geddes. 
Wounded— Captain Backhouse, (>lightl.v,) — Captain Forbes, (severely, not dangerously.) 
\st Battalion Madras i'/onecrj.— Wounded- Ensign McLeod, (slightly.) 
Return of Ordnance and Stores Captured at Si/riam hii a Detachment under the Command of Lieutenant-Colonel Elnngton, 

H.'M. ilth Regiment. 
Serviceable Brass Guns, mounted, one 2-poundcr. 

.Serviceable Iron Guns, one 4-pounder, two ;j-pounders, twenty jinjals. — Thejinjals were destroyed. 

N. U. Six Wooden Guns, I y-poundcrs, Caldine, lined and lioopid with iron — destroyed. A small quantity of gun powder 
and inusket balU— destroyed. About 50lbs. of grape nnd round shot— destroyed. 



BURMESE WAR. Iqj 

No. S3. — Ed.iraci from a Despatch from Br'iiiadier-General Sir Arcliibald Campbell, k. c. b., 
SfX. c^r. <§r. ; dated January 15, 1825. 

All my sources of information from the interior of the country, gi^e me to understand, that the immense 
nrmy lately before us, is still dispersing in spite of every effort of some of their Chiefs to stop them; but it 
will be seen by the information contained in the enclosure No. 1, received this-day, that the collection of ano- 
ther army is in progress. 

I last night received a most extraordinary communication from the General Maha Bundoola, (enclosure, 
No. 2.) Although not immediately to my address, the bearer of it was instructed by that General, to deliver 
it to me in person. 

The stranger mentioned in the pass, addressed to his Chiefs, as being the bearer of his letter, is a Bengal 
Lascar, a deserter from the transport ship David Scoff, and who deserted from her the very day she arrived in 
this river, went into the jungles and was there made prisoner. He was brought near to our shipping at Kem- 
mendine, by a large Burmese boat, and then drifted olT in a canoe. He is to return this evening with my 
answer. 

Enclosurr No. 1. 

January 15, 1825. — The Carians employed in the intelligence department returned last evening, and state 
that Mounsooazar, Lansago, iMeecli-eea-on, named Mounkea-on, Oon J^haonda Maimgee, are reported to have 
arrived at Frome, and are endeavouring to collect another army, with a view to make a la^jieftbrt against the 
British troops at Rangoon; that if they are not victorious, they will yield, but that they wilt most assuredly 
make ihe effort, as artillery and muskets are said to have been brought down from Ava ; when the attack 
will be made they do not know, neither are they acquainted with the exact force tha above Chiefs have been able 
to collect. 

The Carrians state the greater part of the Bundoolah's army have dispersed, Cassay Horse, &c. and that 
great efforts are making to re-collect them, but with httle success, as those sent to seize the fugitives are 
invariably opposed by them, and that constant fighting occurs between the two parties. The people declaring 
that it is useless to attempt to cope with a force so far superior in every way to themselves. 

No. 2. 

Translation of a Letter from Woeyi-Sheondah, AUoon Mynghee (Maha Bimdoolah) addressed to 
Messrs. Gibson, Arratoon, Sarkies, I'utmer, Snowball, and Manuel ( Ventura) Greeting. 

The Chiefs of Munnypoor, by name* Jaewyhe and Marwye (small men) forgetting their allegiance to the 
Golden King, revolted from his authority, and ran away into the country of the Euglish, which the King heard. 
For many years friendship has subsisted between the two nations, and therefore it was not right that the Eng- 
lish should have received and kept these two rebels, therefore the King gave an order that they should be 
demanded, and I then sentfrom Arracan to the British chokies at Shahpuree (" Pawah") and Gunda Pullung, 
(Rutna Pullung) on the subject, but tiie people there would not attend to what was necessary to be said, and 
with the few men that were there, the said people made flight. — How strange it is, that for two paltry men, war 
should break out between our nations, therefore, did I afterwards remain with my troops at Arracan, waiting 
daily in the hope of hearing and understanding the reason of this; bat I never could succeed in thoroughly 

fetting to the bottom of it. Therefore, when I could only learn that on account of these two paltry men, war 
ad commenced, and the ancient friendship of the two nations been destroyed, I returned from Arracan, and 
on my way heard that ihc English had taken Rangoon, Martaban, Merguie, and Tavoy, — and upon this, too, I 
received the King's orders to proceed and ascertain the causes of this proceeding, and to find out from the Eng- 
lish, why they had devastated our provinces. In obedience to this order, I arrived at Sembewghewn, and with 
the view of obtaining correct information dispatched three Chiefs, Mynghee Maha Mynzla Yaza, (Chehey woon) 
Mynghee Mynzlohraha Mynghoon, and Myndeira Mynghaon, each in command of a division of the army, 
consisting of ten thousand musketeers, coolies attached two thousand, three thousand fighting men (not mus- 
keteers) with six thousand working men, and two hundred horse, with orders to proceed to Rangoon. At the 
Sheo Dagon Praw of Rangoon, at Kymendine, Dalla and Kambha (Kokaine) there was much fighting, and 
many men woimded, which I have understood from the reports of the Chiefs, whom I sent down to command ; 

now, 

• Cliorjeet and Morject, 
C c 



102 DOCUMENTS. 

now, on hearing this, I moved from Sembewghewn witli my force, and aitived at Deneboo on the 15th of 
Peeazoo, (thirteen days since) I liear, Mr. Gibson, that you are now at Ranjroon, and you are a man whom the 
Golden King has conferred great honors on. You, Messrs. Arratoon, Sarkies, Turner, Snowball, and Manuel, 
are merchants, who have carried on traffic between the two nations, and it will therefore be proper that you 
should do every thing in your power for the service of the King, under whose protection you have long lived. 
The English having invaded the country, I am now very anxious to learn with what views or intentions they 
have come ; whether, with the wish of devastating all our kingdom, or for what purpose ; therefore, some of my 
people having captured a foreigner, I send this dispatch by him, and when it reaches you, desire that you will 
aiTord me all the information regarding the wishes or intentions of the Enghsb, that you can obtain from them. 
No date to this letter. 

No. 3. 

Translation of a Purwannek, or Order, to the Burrnan Chiefs, addressed to them by Maha 

Bundoolah, the Generalissimo. 

T, Maha Bundoolah, having with me an immense army ! elephants, horses, &c., have arrived at Deneboo 
on the 15th of Peeazoo, (thirteen days since) and having first understood and ascertained the state of affairs, 
will then act as may be best. I have now sent a foreigner, by name Kummoo, with this — let him pass and re- 
pass, without hindrance or molestation, and ask him no questions — When the Chief of an army gives an order, 
whether to fight, or any thing else, the soldier will obey it ; but, till he receives an order, his duty is not to do 
any thing of his own account. As for the foreigners who, during the present war, may have been taken or 
put to death, or ill-treated, that is now irrevocable ; but now, should any of them fall into our hands, take care 
that they are not killed, or maltreated in any way. In the present case, the bearer has fallen into our hands, and 
is returning with this dispatch, having received every kindness, and good treatment, as well as food and money, 
and therefore let him go backwards and forwards without molestation. 

No. 84. — The substance of the depositions given in by most of the Prisoyiers taken on the 
15 th December, 1824. Government Gazette. 

The stockades at Kokaine or Cambah, were occupied by about twenty thousand men, commanded in chief by 
the Ex-Governor General of Assam, by name Maha iSilwa, with the M.-iha-lut-Woon, Maha-Wec-lah-Meangee, 
Atawoon-Meingee, Moha-Mulah-raj, with other inferior officers. The Maha Hundoolah had his head-quar- 
ter's at a village near Tadaghee, between it and the Morace Nulla. After the defeat of the enemy by the Bri- 
tish troops, on the 3th and 7th, the great body of their force concentrated at Cambah, with the only two guns 
they liad, while in this stockade it was currently stated thoughout the army, that an order had arrived from the 
King to the Maha Bundoolah, directing him to desist from attacking the British force, as he had sent down 
Moon-shooe-za to endeavour to negotiate, and if he did not succeed, the Maha Bundoolah might then carry on 
the war. 

The messenger, it is asserted, who brought this order was insulted and illtreated. The Maha Bundoolah 
would not see him, and said, what are the British that we should be afraid of them, they are not soldiers; I will 
drive them out of Rangoon, and ordered preparations to be made for attacking the Shew Dagon Praw and Kem- 
mendine at one and the same time, on the 16tii. When our troops were observed, they felt themselves quite 
confident in the strength of their works, and that nothing could carry them. 

Moon-shooe-za is stated to have reached Henzadah, or Doneboo, and is expected to join the Maha Bun- 
doolah in the course of seven days, for the purpose of endeavouring to open a negotiation with the British general. 

The Chiefs who have fallen in the several actions are the Chucka-Woon, Maha-lut-Woon, Mala-muUah- 
Meangee, Bassein-llow, Mainc-Chain-Maunghee, Ka-Ma-Nee. The Bundoolah's brother, Moungoolah, was 
wounded through the thigh in the action of the 3th. 

It is supposed that the force will be re-assembled to the number of twenty thousand, under the Maha 
Bundoolah in person, near Tadaghee. 

No. 8.5. — Substance of the information comprised in certain Documents taken in the entrenched 
position of the Burman Army, on the 15th December, 1824. Government Gazette. 

(Sheet 1st.) 

An order from the King, dated 15th Natoh, 1186, details the names of twelve Chiefs with their forces, 
placed under the Maha Silwah's orders, and calls on them all to proceed to Henzawuddee, (Pegu) and fight 
with cheerfulness for the honor of their King and country. 

The above date corresponds with the 4th or 5th December, 1821. 

(Leaf 2d.) 



BURMESE WAR. 



103 



(Leaf 2d.) 

An order fi-om the King, same date, tells Neimee Noortu, a Chieftain, that he places five hundred men 
under his orders, and directs him to proceed immediately to tlie figiit. A long invocation of all the gods in 
the calendar to be copied and tied round the arm, as a charm. 

A letter to Maha Bundoolah, dated Tauzaungilloony 30th, 1186, or about the middle (18th or 20th) of 
November, from Tara-Shea Sheweedaung, reports, that he had received one thousand Tickals, per order of 
Maha Bundoolah. Acknowledges to have received one thousand five hundred men also, with instructions 
from Bundoolah, to proceed with them to re-capture Martaban from the English ; that on arrival in the vicinity 
of that place, one thousand men deserted, and he, the writer, is left with only five hundred ; whereas the EngUsh 
are in quiet possession of the defences of Martaban. 

Further, he states, that he and the five hundred men are Bundoolah 's slaves, and only wait his orders to 
proceed and attack the English : also reports, that the families of the one thousand men who deserted, have 
been seized and placed in confinement. At the bottom of this letter is a copy of a return, delivered in by the 
Secretary of War of the Martaban army, giving names of a few men and their wives and children, but appa- 
rently incomplete. A large detail of expences incurred by the Secretary and some Chief, (name not to be found) 
gives a detail of various receipts of expenditure of money at different places — amongst them the following: 

Leaves for choppering Bundoolah's house, Tickals 1 

Fawn for Bundoolah, „ \ 

Betel nut for ditto, „ 1 

A pot for Bundoolah to bath in, „ 1 

Five baskets of rice for the Chekynhoon, „ 5 

Vegetables for ditto, „ 1 

Dried fish for ditto, „ 1 

Red cloth, , 1 

Fish (fresh shrimps,) „ i 

Red cloth, top of the Soorgee, for the Chekynwoon's wife, „ I^ 

One dish for Bundoolah to eat from, „ 1 

Paid soldiers proceeding to Martaban, „ 200 

Tamarinds for Bundoolah, „ \ 

150 Pureits (a species of insect) said to be fine eating, and some tea leaves for ditto, „ 1 
A Musket, purchased, , IT^ 

An account of expences incurred on account of boats proceeding to Martaban : — 



Boat, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 
Ditto, 



32 men, 
15 _ 
46 __ 

33 __ 
15 „ 

6 _ 

10 __ 

20 „ 

6 _ 
20 _ 
13 __ 

3 __ 

4 _ 

7 _ 
9 _ 



10 muskets, 

4 _- 

13 _ 

10 __. 

4 _ 

2 „ 

3 „ 
6 „ 

2 

6 — 

4 __ 

1 _ 

2 _ 

2 _ 

3 __ 



20 Rs. 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 



advanced. 



15 



247 



72 



300 



No date. A list of Bundoolah's personal attendants, followers, and people living with him, Total 29. 
Names only mentioned, not occupations. In the same paper, list of articles provided for Maha Bundoolah. 



At Seebunzee, above Prome, 9 Pieces of cloth. 

At Ditto, 8 Goonees of rice. 

At Ditto, saddle, bridle, &c. . 19 Tickals. 



Same 



104: DOCUMENTS. 

Same paper. List of property brought with Bundoolah from his own house. 

Silver Talee, 1 — Silver spoons, 2 — Silver Kutorah, 1 — Silver driuking cup, 1 — Silver Peek Dawn, 1 
— "^ilver J^iwn box, 1 — Gold ring set with cat's eye, 1 — Ditto with emsraid, 1 — Ditto cornelian, 1 — 
Plain gold ring, 1 — Gold cliain, sallowish, 1 — Gold ornament for neck, 1 — (a cliarni) a box to keep it 
in — A hog's tusk, being without an orifice, supposed to be a charm against sword or musket — A velvet 
and gold dress — A gold embroidered cap — A velvet great coat — A sjt of chintz bed curtains — A vel- 
vet coat with gold lace — A red Ungurka — A broad cloth Clmdder — .\ ditto great coat — 4 or 5 plain 
Pucholes — A broad cloth l-'urd.ih, worked — A black velvet coat — A cream coloured do. — A white cloth 
Chudder — 4 Cheek Pacholes (Dhooties) — 1 dyed ditto, large — combs, pipe, and other trifles. 

Statement of money disbursed, same paper — Also a copy of an agreement between the Chief of Tullo- 
gillion and a man called iNlouasa : the latter agrees to fui-nisli /two men to proceed to Rangoon, and fight for 
one hundred and twenty tickals each, fifty to be paid in advance, and the remainder on their return. Also a 
letter, reporting all well, unfinished; a filthy song — A charm, — Also a return of 15 muskets dispatched to 
Rangoon, with 20 b.arrels of gun powder, 8 of balls — no date. 

A return of 139 speai-s, and 33 swords, dispatclied t© Rangoon — No date.— Also 2 large and 2 small 
guns; an account of expences (trifling) on the march — (Leaf 3d. ) An order from Bundoolah and Chekia 
Whoon, jointly addressed to Maha Silw.ah — No date, time, or place. — Tells Maha Silwah tliat they, the writ- 
ers, are his Chiefs, and that their orders must be respected, that a large force has been placed under Maha 
Silwah's command, and that the Maha Bundoolah's and Chekia Whoon's orders are, that he must forthwith 
proceed to Henzawuddee, and do his utmost to drive the foreigners in the sea ; that if lie succeeded in ob- 
taining a victory, his wealth and honors will Ije infinitely increased by the King ; and so will those of every 
soldier who can tahe a fbrei;iner. — Ordered to explain this to his troops. — Power of killing any man who 
may flinch, or be inclined to desert, granted to Maha Silwah, at discretion, by virtue of this authority — (Leaf 
4th.) — Fiom Bundoolah, addressed to the King's head treasurer — No date, time, or place — directs him to 
prepare for the Elephant Force, 84 guns, for each gun 2 Vis of gun powder. Total 168 Vis. Balls for 
each gun 25. 2100 total. Elephant Howdalis 42 — Rammers 84— Portfires 84 — Ropes 165 — Powder- 
horns 126 — Gunners 250. — That having got them all ready, he will take and deliver them o.er to the 
Naimu-Jhaya-Yaown, Cliief of elephants, and take special care that every thing is according to the number stated. 

Leaf 3th — A letter from some private soldier telUng his son not to 'be alarmed f i r his safety ; reporting all 
safe and well. 

Leaf 6th — A letter from or by order of the King, dated Natoh 4th, 1186, or about 24th Nov. last, address- 
ed to Jeyah Seeree Keodien, appointing him chief of artillery. 

Rout pursued from Chaguin to the Shew Dagon Pagodab. 

From Chaguin to Keeawtotoin, Tullockillion, Pagahm, Shembem Gheon, Muroowhay, Semboungwhey, 
Meraday, Prome, Kanghaiu, Henzada, Denobew, Yanguinchungatt, Turratabain, Kullyncallah, Keoogoo, 
Mowabee, Rogie, Rykaloo, Yavungbeingwheing, Kokein, Sliew Dagon. No date. 

Statement of cotton bales delivered to different chiefs, and return of arms missing — No date. 

Entrenching tools, sixty-eight, compliment, forty-eiglit remain, — swords, twenty ditto, sixteen ditto, — axes, 
six ditto, — Oolees chissels, twenty ditto, seven ditto, — roimd ditto, — gauges, twenty ditto, five ditto — stick and 
bitts, twenty ditto, two ditto, — nails 600 ditto, 480 ditto. 

Sama paper contains two or three separate accounts with the above. 

Account of men employed in building boats, and of sundry expences incurred. — Same paper contains a 
copy of a letter from a person to his chief, in which he reports, that having arrived at Donneebo, he was seized 
by prince Surrawuddee, and placed in confinement, till he chose to produce ten boat builders ; that, at last, 
having obtained them, he was set at liberty when their work was done, and received 150 tickals. 

Same paper contains more account^s of expences incurred in building and repairing boats, procuring 
workmen, &c. &c. 

Statement of money refused by men who had received advances at Donneebo, and refliscd to march. 

Statement of money advanced to 20 men proceeding towards Rangoon, and the amount recovered firtmi 
them on their return to Dunmibeu for not having completed the duty on which they were sent. 

Same paper — statement of money recovered. 

No. 86. — Extract from a Privale J.eiter from Rafigoon, dated the IJth December ; from th( 
Government Gazette of the G/A January, 18'.^5. 

About 2 o'clock on the morning of the 14th we were rouzcd from our sleep by an alarm of fire, and found 
that the town had been designedly set on fire in different places. — The houses beijig constructed of very 

inflammable 



BURMESE WAR. 



105 



inflammable materials, the flames raijecl with great violence, and we were under considerable anxiety in regard 
to our powder magazines, &c. The boats of the fleet were immediately employed in removing the powder, and 
we subsequently succeeded in extinguishing the fire. 

While this was going on in the town the enemy were not idle. Fire-raft after fire-raft came down the 
river, signal fires were lighted all round our lines, and an attack was made on Kemmendine. Our troops kept 
steady at their posts, and the enemy were deterred from carrying into effect their intended attack upon our 
lines. The 14th was passed in making the necessary arrangements for forcing the enemy's entrenched position 
at Kokaine. At ten o'clock of the 15th, the troops destined for the attack moved off from the Pat^oda in two 
columns, the right under Brigadier General Cotton, the left under Col. Miles ; the whole superintended by 
by Sir A. Campbell. 

On reaching the ground, in front of the enemy's position, the left column was halted, and formed into 
two divisions. 

In the mean time. General Cotton's division, which was ordered to proceed by a road to the right, in order 
to turn the enemy's left, and to attack his rear, had reached the position assigned to it. At halt-past one every 
tiling was ready; the preconcerted signal was made, the columns advanced, and in ten minutes we were in pos- 
session of the wiiole of the enemy's entrenched position, which was six miles in circumference, and surrounded by 
a ditch of eight feet. The place was much stronger than we had anticipated, but nothing could restrain our gallant 
troops. Archbold, who with 60 of the Governor General's Body Guard, was attached to General Cotton's divi- 
sion, fell in with the enemy's horse, and gave immediate orders for attacking them. The enemy were in the 
act of charging, but turned to the right-about when witliin four or five yards of the Body Guard; they suffered 
severely for their temerity, and many of them escaped to report their defeat. — Archbold had a very narrow 
escape. His horse was wounded in three places; two shots striick his saddle, and he himself was wounded on 
the right foot, but is doing well. Poor O'Hanlon received wounds in botli his arms, and another shot 
pierced his breast, and he expired to our great regret about 1 1 o'clock yesterday. 

Our attacking force, which only comprised 1300 Infantry, 160 Cavalry, and 100 Artillery, was opposed 
to 20,000 Burmese, entrenched in one of the strongest positions I ever saw. The enemy's force was command- 
ed in chief by the ex-governor of Assam; he was one of the first to decamp ; but one chief of rank, with three 
others of somewhat inferior note, was killed. The Bundoolah's brother was wounded in the thigh, and the 
enemy's loss on the 15th, is supposed to have amounted to at least 8000 men. We have got three guns, stand- 
ards, golden chattahs, and a large number of small arms. 

They have received a sound drubbing, and I doubt whether the barbarous and despotic means they use to 
collect and keep together their force will enable them to face our troops again. The war will, I think, be con- 
cluded here; tor the whole disposable force of the empire seems to have been collected and vigorously employ- 
ed, with the exclusive object of recovering Rangoon. In this they have totally failed, after successive attempts, 
and I scarcely think they will offer further resistance; if they do, it will be a last effort by Bundoolah, in 
person, to recover his honor, if possible, and with the full knowledge of the fate which awaits him at Ava if he 
fails. 

During the time that the troops were engaged on shore, a detachment went up the river, and succeeded in 
capturing thirty of the enemy's war boats. 

P. S. We have just heard that the Maha Bundoolah has taken up a position between Taga-hee and the 
Mooraie nullah, where, it is said, he will make another stand ; but I doubt it, for he has lost his artillery, a 
great part of his small arms, and his troops are very badly off both for ammunition and provisions. 

No. 87. (A) — Extract Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, Commanding in Assam, to 
D. Scott, Esq., Agent to the Governor-General on the North-east frontier ; dated on the Rivevy 
off GoXL-ahatti/, loth November, 1824. 

I commenced operations about the 20th ultimo, by detaching Majors Cooper and Waters, the former 
to KuUiabar, and the latter to Kahachokey, with the intention of repossessing ourselves of the countr}- west of 
KuUiabar, which is as much as I can do, being without the means of marching a corps in the interior, which 
I consider absolutely necessary. 

From the result of several successful enterprises, of which I have the pleasure to send you copies, I am 
happy to say this object has been accomplished; but as the Boora Rajah and his followers are still on the bor- 
ders, I have sent orders and instructions to Majors Cooper and Waters, to attempt their destruction, and I have 
every hope they will fall into our hands, or be obliged to try the road to Munnipore, in which case their anni- 
hilation is certain, as the Naghas will no doubt cut them up. 

D d No. 87. (B)—Copy 



106 DOCUMENTS. 

Ko. 87. (B) — Copi/ of Letter from Major Cooper, to Captain Bayldon, Major of Brigade in 
Assam; dated Kulliabar, 3\st October, 18'2i, 

I have the honour to report, for the infcrmation of Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, commanding the 
troops in Assam, that having obtained information of a party of sixty Burmahs being at Dickaree, in Char- 
doar, under Coggutie and Hillee Fookans, belonging to the Moogum llajali, I detached a party of forty men 
there, under the command of Lieutenant Watson (Cluimparun Light Lii'antry), in three police row-boats, on 
the evening of the 29th instant, considering my detachment to be within one day's journey of Kulliabar. 

I have now the satisfaction of reporting, that Lieutenant Watson's parij' succeeded in surprising the 
enemy yesterday afternoon in some huts at Dickaree, in which little affair Coggutie Fookan, and six Burmahs 
were killed, Hillee Fookan and four Burmahs, two Doannees, and thirteen women and children taken prisoners; 
also a small war-boat and nine indifferent muskets have been taken. 

The surprise of the enemy, I am happy to state, has set at liberty two Christians (natives) in the employ 
of Mr. Bruce, of Juggy-gassal, named Henry Collins, and Frederick Swain, also a native merchant, named 
Shaik Saharge, who were permitted, on paying a sum of money, to leave Joorliaut eight days ago. 

Lieutenant Watson's party and prisoners joined me again to-day ; he reports, that the men of the corps 
behaved in a steady and spirited style. I must, in a great measure, attribute their success to the judicious ar- 
rangements adopted by Lieutenant Watson for the attack, and to the military ardour and zeal, for the good of 
the service, I have, on all occasions, observed him to possess, and which 1 trust will, at a proper time, meet 
with his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief's favourable consideration. 

I have also to report, the Chumparun Light Infantry and four gun-boats reached Kulliabar this evening, 
and that tlie post is unoccupied by the enemy, who, I am informed, are principally collected at Namgong. 

'I'his detachment has been much longer in reaching Kulliabar than 1 expected, owing to tiie easterly 
winds, strong current, and the tracking grounds being covered with strong and high reeds. 

No. 87. (C) — Copy of a Letter from Major Waters, Commanding the Dinagcpore Local Bat- 
talion, to Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, Co^nmanding in Assam ; dated on the River Kullungy 
^^th October, 1824. 

I have the honour to report to you, that I arrived on the evening of the 2Tth inst., at a point of the 
river opposite the village of Moree Kullung, about one-third of the distance between Jaggee and Rahacho- 
key, where I received intelligence from Lieutenant Neufville, of the Quartei'-Master-General's Department, of 
a party of the enemy, amounting to about two hundred and fifty men, being stationed at the village of Haut- 
gong, a few miles inland on the north bank. 

I determined on surprising them, and with that view proceeded at one a. m. yesterday morning, with a 
detachment of one hundred Light Infantry of the Dinagepoor Battahon, which I deemed sufficii-nt, liaving 
ascertained that their post was open. After a fatiguing march of seven hours we reached their position, 
and completely succeeded in effecting our purpose, the enemy having no intimation whatever of our approach; 
owing, however, to the thickness of the jungle, and the numerous outlets from the village, their loss has been 
comparatively small; we did not remain to ascertain the exact amount, but those found killed were chiefly 
Usseel Biu'mese. Had a small party of Cavalry been with the detachment, not a man could have escaped, as 
the enemy effected it with great difficulty, and only by abandoning tlieir women and baggage. After conti- 
nuing the pursuit some distance over very heavy ground and through grass jungle, and finding that I could 
not gain upon them, I returned to the village of Hautgong, and subsequently to my boats. 

I have every reason to be highly satisfied with the steadiness and cheerful exertion of the men in this 
fatiguing march of thirty-five miles, exposed to almost incessant rain, and through a country mostly inundated; 
and feel particularly indebted to the ofKcers who accompanied the detachment (all being on foot). Lieutenant 
Neufville, Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, Lieutenant Jones, of the 4Gtli Regiment, temporarily 
doing duty with my corps, and Assistant Surgeon C. Stewart, for the active assistance afforded me by them in 
every respect; and I beg further to add, that the correct information I received from the Intelligence Depart- 
ment, paved the way to ultimate success. 

No. 87. (D) — Copy of a Letter from same to the same ; dated Rahacholcey, on the River Kullung, 

3d November, 18i2k 

It is with extreme satisfaction that I have the honor to report to you the successful result attending an 
attack on this post, on the morning of yesterday. 

On 



BURMESE WAR. 107 

On ap]5voachiiig Rahaclioke\', I had every reason to believe, from the information received fi-om Lieute- 
nant Neufville, of the Quarter Master General's Department, that my attack on Hautgong had directed the 
attention of the enemy to the line of the great river, and that they were quite unaware of my advance up the 
KuUiuig, or tiiat our attack had been made from that quarter. 

I therefore again resumed the expectation of being able to effect another surprise, which was confirmed 
by repeated intelligence in progress. 

On the night of the 1st instant, I arrived at the situation which was conceived the best distance from the 
enemy's post, from whence to push on the detachment destined for the surprise, and having embarked one 
hundred men on the gun and light boats, I reached the landing place about two miles below the point of 
attack, which I received, by this arrangement, at early day-break. 

Having rapidly reconnoitred the situation, I divided my men in two parties, directing Lieutenants Neuf- 
ville and Jones, of the 46th Regiment, to conduct the one by the right into the village, and proceeding my- 
self, with Mr. Assistant Surgeon Stewart, with the other by the left, through an unfinished stockade which the 
enemy were throwh^g up. 

The party under Lieutenant Neufville immediately pushed on, and fortunately came first on the enemy's 
chief guard, all of whom were either bayonetted or shot; and the alarm being given, the body rushed out of 
their houses for the purpose of escaping on the opposite side, under a heavy fire ; this threw them on my par- 
ty, which had made a detour by the left, where they were received with great loss. The remainder were 
pursued nearly two miles, and many killed and wounded in the jungles ; their loss cannot be estimated at less 
than one-third of their number. I am happy to say no casualty occurred on our side, with the exception of 
one sepoy woimded by a musket-ball. 

I had previously been informed that a party of sixty Burmahs, from the main body at this post, had been 
detached the preceding morning in the direction of Hautgong (for the purpose of ascertaining from what 
quarter the attack of the 28th ultimo had been made, and also to arrange themselves in the villages), and on 
my return fronr the pursuit I directed my attention towards them, as Lieutenant Neufville had received infor- 
mation of their expected return to their head-quarters. 

At mid-day their approach was announced, apparendy in total ignorance of the defeat of their main body ; 
and, in consequence, I proceeded with liie officers and a party of forty men, with a view of laying in ambush. 
The plan was, I am happy to add, attended with complete success ; and the enemy's loss, in killed and wound- 
ed, amounts to nearly hali' their number, the remainder flying in the greatest confusion towards Namgong, 
after a feeble attempt at returning our fire. 

I have the honor to acquaint you, that I have sent down those of the prisoners brought in from the jun- 
gles by the villagers, who are Usseei Burmese, to await your orders. I'he Doannees will be usefiil here in 
clearing our ground. 

It is with'just satisfaction that I again bring to your notice the active and zealous assistance I derived from 
the officers under my command (Lieutenants Neufville and Jones, and Mr. Assistant Surgeon Stewart); in the 
second affair — Lieutenant Jones contributed personally to the loss of the enemy. 

The verv steady and spirited conduct of the men was also very praiseworthy. 

P. S. I had omitted to noticej that many of the enemy's arms were found in the guard-room and other 
places, consisting chiefly of old muskets and a great number of swords, of which some belonged to chiefs. 

No. 87. (E) — Copy of Letter from same to the same ; dated Namgong, 6th November, 1S24-. 

In continuation of my despatch, of the 3d instant, I have the honour to report, that early on the 
following morning information was given me, that the main body of the enemy, under the Boora, or Moo- 
gaum Rajah (the Burmese Governor of Assam), had quitted the stockade in which they had taken post at 
Namgong, and had moved to another situation, with the intention of retreating across the hills into Munni- 
pore ; I accordingly ordered out a strong reconnoissance, in the hopes of surprising them, or at least of com- 
pelluig them to retire within their stockade ; and having a sufficient party for the protection of the guns and 
fleet, 1 proceeded with Lieutenants Neufville and Jones, and Mr. Assistant Surgeon Stewart towards Nam- 
gong. 

After marching a few miles, I received intelligence that the enemy had commenced their flight towards 
the hills, leaving a Fookan and eighty Burmese to cover their retreat; in consequence, I pushed on, but was 
not able to cover the distance in one march, and after continuing it for twenty-five miles, bivouacked for the 
night. The next morning 1 advanced, and occupied the stockade, which I found quite evacuated by the 
enemy, who had gained too much upon us to render a pursuit practicable, unless bj' the Cavalry. From the 
villages I learnt tiiat, imuK^diately on the alarm being given by the fugitives from Raliachokey, of our attack on 
them, and the loss sustained, together with the appearance of the wounded, the main body of this post were 

seized 



1C8 DOCUMENTS. 

seized wiih the utmost panic and consternation ; and the Boorah Rajah and Fookans determined on instant 
and precipitate flight; this they effected, leaving beliiiid tiiem all tlieir baggage, plunder, military stores, and 
heavy property J the greater part of the plunder was immediately seized and secreted by the villagers, and we 
found the stockade already much destroyed. 

^Ve have captured twenty iron guns, a number of boxes of powder, a manufactory of which had been 
established, and for which the materials captured are of superior quality, three war-boats (one very large), 
the state-boat of the Boora Chief, and a number of small ones. 

From the appearance of the stockade, and the intelligence gained from the villagers, I am of opinion that 
our account of their numbers must have been correct, and that they were at least thirteen hundred in all, of 
whom four or five hundred were Usseel Burmese. The stockade is defended principally by stakes and spikes, 
thickly set all round, but could not have held out if attacked, being clearly exposed to the fire of the guns, 
and also commanded fi'om the opposite banks of the river. The enemy appear to have been totally unprepar- 
ed for our rapid advance, as all their houses and works were in progress, in a very extended scale, as if for 
permanent residence. They have fled towards the hills, in a south-easterly threction ;, but I have not yet 
been able to ascertain whether they will attempt to cross, or whether they propose to skirt them, directing 
their flight towards their former positions at Mauroo and the eastward. 4 

I am informed by Lieutenant Neufville, Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, that a body of Sauns 
and Unjphas is said to be at Jookauth ; but as they are now opposed to the Burmese, the latter must find 
themselves on every side beset with difficulties. 

I have left a Subadar's party with the gun-boats at Rahachokey. I have taken post for the present at 
Kamgong, pending your further instructions. 

No. 88. — Copi/ of a Beportfrom Lieiiienmit-Cohnel A. Richards, Co7)ma7iding hi Assam, to Captain 
SInddham, Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Eastern J)iiision ; dated Camp, Moura 
Mookh, [)th January, 18'2J. 

I have the liouour to report, for the information of Brigadier-General Shuldham, Commanding Eastern 
Division, the arrival at this place of the force noted in the margin*, on the morning of the 6di instant, and to 
detail the operations against the enemy subsequent to that period. 

About three hours after we arrived, intelligence was brought that a party of the enemy were about three 
miles off on the road to Jorhaut, I immediately detached a company from the 46th Regiment, under Lieute- 
nant Jones of that corps ; they proceeded under the guidance of Lieutenant Neufville, Deputy Assistant Quar- 
ter Master General, to the spot, but unluckily the enemy were found on the move, and only about ten of their 
stragglers were seen and pursued, but without effect ; had Lieutenant Jones had a small party of Cavalry, few 
of the enemy could have escaped : further news being received, that two parties were in the hills to the south- 
ward, and one of them considerably to my rear, I deemed it expedient to endeavour to dislodge them, as, were 
they allowed to remain, they would have it in their power to command the road between this and Kulliabur, 
and cut off our supplies, and also deter the inhabitants from returning to their houses ; I therefore detached 
Captain MacLeod, Conmianding Uungpore Liglit Infantry, with near two hundred men of that corps, yester- 
day at four p. M., so as to reach Cutchery Haut by day-break if possible, and after dislodging the party there, 
to send an oflficer and one hundred men to Kuleeanee, in the liopes of surprising the party there. Another de- 
tachment of a company from the 57th, under Lieutenant N. Jones, of that Regiment, went off last night at 
eleven o'clock to Podurallee, which place is on the direct road from Cutchery Haut to Jorhaut, the present 
head-quarters of the enemy; Lieutenant Jones will place his party in ambush to intercept the fugitives from 
Cutchery Haut, as it is expected they will take that direction. In order to enable the Brigadier-General to 
comprehend the situation of the difii^rent points of attack. I do myself the pleasure to enclose a sketch. 

There being a road also from Cutchery Haut, via Deogong, to Jorhaut, I sent off" a patrol of a company 
from the 57th Regiment, under Lieutenant Hopper of that corps, he marched this morning at four o'clock, with 
directions to go about twelve miles on the Dcogung road, and to attack any small party he might fall in with ; 
he was to lay in ambush for the day, and to send forward hurcurrahs to Deogong, to learn if there were any 
party of the enemy there, and if they did not exceed three hunilred men, and in an open situation, he was to 
move and attack them to-night, as the moon rises ; but at noon, to-day, certain intelligence being brought in, 
diat there are lour hundred men at Deogong, 1 ordered Captain Martin, Commanding 57th Regiment Native 

Infiintry, 

• Flotilla of Gun Boats ; Detachment of Artillery ; 46th Regiment ; 57th Resiment ; Dinagepore Local Battalion ; Rungpore 

Liglil liifantj}'. 



BURMESE WAR. 109 

Infantry, to proceed instantly with another complete company from that corps to reinforce Lieutenant Hopper, 
and to make the attack — but I suspect the advance of Lieutenant Hopper in the morning will have caused them 
to retire. In addition to the above parties, I have to report, that Captain Waldron, with one hundred and fifty 
men of the 46th Regiment Native Infantry, marched from hence at eleven this forenoon, to attack another party 
of one hundred and twenty at Deonpoora. When I know the result of these expeditions, I shall do myself 
the honour to report. 

I ought to have mentioned, that Lieutenant Neufville has accompanied Captain Martin, and that from the 
best intelligence I have been able to obtain, the enemy's force now in Assam amounts to between six or eight 
thousand men of every description, under Sam Phokin, who, with the main body, is stationed at Jorehaut. 

No. 89- (A) — Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, Commanding in Assam, to the 
Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Eastern Division ; dated Camp, Moura Mook, the 13th 
January, 1S25. 

I had the honour to report to yon, in my letter of the 9th instant, the march of several detachments 
against the enemy ; I have now the honour to transmit copies of letters from the different officers, who have 
all returned to the fleet, detailing the particulars of their operations. I feel much obliged to the officers and 
men who have been employed. The object for which they were detached lias been completely fulfilled. 

I am happy to state, that, notwithstanding the fears of the inhabitants of those places visited by my de- 
tachments, 1 do not think the enemy will dare to venture to molest them again, after their late defeat at all 
points. 

The detachments under Captain M'Leod and Lieutenant N. Jones having joined me this forenoon, I have 
to report my intention of advancing to-morrow morning upon Joor Haut, at which place the enemy are con- 
centrated and stockaded. 

No. 89. (B') — Extract of a Letter from Captain Martin, Ccmmavdivg a Detachment of the 5"^ th 
Regiment Native Infantry, to Brigade Major Bayldon ; dated Camp, Deeorgong, 10th Janua- 
ry, 1825. 

About eleven o'clock r. M , the detachment under my command moved silently forward, and as we ap- 
proached the stockade of Deeorgong, Captain Neufville led us by a considerable detour to the right, to avoid 
two advanced posts, and to get into the rear of the stockade. 

We were now in sanguine hopes of effecting a complete surprise, but the enemy must have had scouts on 
the plain, as we were challenged by both out-posts. At a sliort distance from tlie stockade, signal-lights ap- 
peared from both chokies, and the alarm had evidently been taken ; at this moment a small party of men that 
had broken from the rear, by mistake, suddenly appeared in front, and a few shots were fired, but immediate- 
ly stopped. 

The detachment now pushed on rapidly, and entered the stockade as the last of the fugitives were quitting 
it on the opposite side; they were pursued to the jungle; six men were killed and seven taken. The only ca- 
sualty I have to regret on our part, is tiie death of one sepoy by an accidental shot. 

This stockade consisted of a double fence of bamboos, but without a ditch. The amount of the enemy's 
force within it could not, 1 imagine, have exceeded two hundred men. 

No. 89. (C) — Extract of a Letter from Lieutenant Waldron, Commanding a Detachmeiit of the 
46^A Regiment Native Infantry, to Brigade Major Bayldon ; dated Moora Mookh, 13th 
January, 1825. 

Having ascertained that the enemy, to the number of one hundred, or one hundred and twenty, were in 
the stockade, distant four or five coss, and judging from the time they had been absent, that it might be more, 
I immediately ordered the men under arms, leaving a small {larty to guard the knapsacks, and proceeded over 
a very bad road, which greatly distressed the men. A little before day-break, I crossed the Dhonseera again 
(about a mile below the- stockade), and proceeded along its right bank, and reached the stockade about sun- 
rise ; a fog allowing me to come up unperceived, the enemy were completely surprised, and about twenty were 
lulled, amongst whom was a Phokun and five Usseel Manas : thirteen prisoners were taken. 

E e ifo. QQ.—Copy 



no DOCUMENTS. 

No. 90. — Copj/ of a Letter from Lieut. -Col. A. Richards, to the Deputy Adjutant General^ 
Eastern Divisioii ; dated Go'xree Sagur, ■2.']th Januarxj 1S25. 

I have the honor to report for the information of Brigadier General Shuldham, commanding Eastern Divi- 
sion, that at half an hour after ten o'clock this morning, many hundreds of the enemy attacked my advanced 
position at Namdong Nulla, over which there is a fine pucka bridge, and where Captain MacLeod command- 
ed with the Rungpore Light Infantry. Tiie bridge is distant from my present camp about three-quarters of a 
mile on the high road to Rungpore. On hearing the firing, I ordered the troops under arms, and moved on 
to the support of Captain MacLeod with two companies of the o7th Regiment and the Dinagepore Local 
Battalion, leaving the remainder of the former corps, under Captain Martin, to defend the camp, as the hur- 
carrahs acquainted me that the enemy meant to attack in three divisions. On m}' reaching the scene of 
action, I found that gallant officer Captain MacLeod, and his little band, defending the position in a steady 
soldier-lilce manner. As I perceived the enemy were collecting and spreading to the right and left in a very 
heavy jungle, in which it was impossible our troops could act with effect, and tliat those in our immediate front 
were keeping up a very sharp fire of jinjals an^ muskets, I ordered the party on the bridge to retire to the 
front division and lay down .and cease firing. The enemy thought this was the prelude to a retreat, and set up 
a sli out and came forward ; but our fire from the advanced division soon made them retire; after this the 
enemy were apparently gaining confidence, and began to show themselves boldly, — I therefore gave them half 
an hour to collect, and to induce them to suppose we did not meditate an attack. At the expiration of that 
time, I directed Captain IMacLeod to charge their position with the Rungpore Light Infantry, followed by the 
Volunteer Cavalry, in number twenty-eight, under Lieutenant Brooke, Sub- Assistant Commissary General ; this 
was performed with the utmost gallantry, and the enemy fled after giving their fire, but were overtaken, and 
Captain MacLeod reports, that full sixty were killed in the charge, amongst wiiom were three Phokuns, mount- 
ed on horse-back ; their horses were taken, as also forty-one muskets, and thirty-six spears, and four prisoners. 
T.ie number killed in the charge is, independe.U of those that were killed in the first attack, w^ho were all 
immediately carried off as they fell, audit is supposed they must have lost near one hundred killed, as the at- 
tack lasted one hour and twenty minutes. On our sidi, I regret to s.ay, Lieutenant and Adjutant Kennedy, 
Rungpore Light Infantry, was wounded in the head (slightly.) The other casualties are one sepoy of the same 
Corps, and one horse attached to the Cavalry wounded. The conduct of the Rungpore Light Infantrj-, and 
the Volunteer Cavalry, which belong to the same corps, merit my warmest ap;)ri)bLition. To Captain Mac 
Leod, commanding Rungpore Light Infantry, and Lieutenant Brooke, who commanded the Volunteer Cavalry, 
and ^vhose conduct is reported by Captain MacLeod, to have been most conspicuous, my best thanks are 
especially due : as also to Lieutenant Fleming, Officiating Sub-Assistant Commissary General, who joined the 
Rungpore Light Infantry in the charge; and to Lieutenant and Adjutant Kennedy, and Mr. Surgeon Thom- 
son of that corps, for the zealous assistance afforded b\' them during the action. 

I trust the guns, spare ammunition, and supplies will arrive in camp in the course of the night or to-mor- 
row morning, which will enable me to move forward to the attack of Rungpore on the day following. 

I omitted to mention in my letter of yesterday's date that forty-six prisoners have been taken subsequent 
to my former letter of the 19th inst.ant. 

No. 91- (A^ — Copy of a Letter from D.Scott, Agent to the Governor General, North-east 
Frontier, to George Suinton, Esq., Secretary to the Government in the Secret and Political 
Department ; dated Kulleabur, '^th February, 1825. 

I have the honor to forward for the information of the Right Honorable the Governor General in Coun- 
cil, copies of despatches received from Lieutenant Colonel Richards. 

2. — By a private letter from the same officer, of date the 2d instant, I learn that the fort of Rungpore 
was delivered up to our troops on the 1st, and that Sham Phooken and the Rajahs Chunder Kaunt and 
Jysing, had been in camp. 

No. 91. {B.) — Copy of a Despatch from Lieutenant-Colonel A. Richards, Commanding in 
Assam, to Captain Shuldham, Deputy Assistaiit Adjutant General, Eastern Division ; dated 
Q\)th January, 1825. 

In continuation of my letter of the 27th instant, I have to acquaint you, for the information of Brigadier 
General Sliuldham, commanding Eastern Division, that I was joined by Lieutenants Bedingftld and Burlton, 

with 



BURMESE WAR m 

with two howitzers and two twelve-pounder cnrronades on the same evening, and having arranged every thing 
for our advance towards Rungpore, I marched at day-break on the 29th in the following order : 

1st. — The detachment 64th Regiment (Light Company leading) the advance guard from which a havil- 
dar's party was sent one hundred paces on in front. 

2d. — The Volunteer Cavalry. 

3d. — The Bi'igade of Howitzers, drawn by elephants. 

4th. — The 57th Regiment right in front. 

5th. — Two twelve-pounder carronades on elephants, with ammunition attached. 

6th. — The Dinagepore Local Battalion. 

7th. — The Rungpore Light Infantry. 

8th. — The spare ammunition. 

I was aware that the enemy had a stockade across the road, near Rungpore, as Lieutenant Neufville, 
Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, had gone out to reconnoitre on the morning of the 56th, and got 
to it witliout being perceived. He reported that it was defended by two hundred men and some guns, and 
that lie was fired upofi from a fortified tank, a little in advance on the right, and which appeared to command 
the before-mentioned stockade, and that a gun was also fired from the left, which he considered must have 
been from the fort of Rungpore, as he observed the tops of pucka buildings and mosques in that direction, 
distant about three-quarters of a mile ; and he also stated that the whole country he traversed was a deep 
jungle. 

Before advancing, I gave directions to Captain Waldron, commanding the advance guai'd, to storm the 
stockade across tiie road, if he thought he had a chance of carrying it, but if not, to turn into the jungles, right 
and left, and act as a covering party, which latter plan he adopted, as the fire of the enemy was extremely 
heavy. It may be here proper to remark, that the stockade had been greatly strengthened and re-inforced 
since Lieutenant Neufville was there, and that the first discharge from the enemy, who were entrenched, 
brought down more than half of the leading division, which caused a momentary check. — At this time the 
guns and column were about tvvo hundred paces in the rear. On the first shot being fired, I gave directions 
lor the elephants to be cast off from the howitzers and prepare for action ; whilst this was performed, I ad- 
vanced near to the stockade to examine it, and immediately returned to the head of the column, and ordered 
a couple of shells and a round or tvvo of grape to be thrown in, and for Captain MacLeod to prepare to as- 
sault with the right wing of the 57th Regiment, which was accordingly done in the most gallant style, _ assisted 
by the detachment 46th Regiment, who rushed forward to support him, and I had the pleasure to see the 
enemy fly at the moment our troops began to scale and break down the stockade. At this period I was un- 
fortunately wounded, but,gave orders for the guns and column to advance, and sent for Major Waters and 
gave him directions to carry the stockaded tank on the right, or any other outworks the enemy might have, 
and I would be up so soon as my wound had been dressed. Herewith I have the pleasure to enclose a copy 
of that officer's letter, stating what occurred from the time he assumed the command until I joined, which I 
was able to do in a dooly in about twenty minutes. — Captain MacLeod, with the Rungpore Light Infantry, 
took possession of a mosque on the left, about four hundred yards from the fort, and another party was de- 
tached to occupy another mosque on the right side, by which means the south side of the fort was invested, 
and the enemy driven in at all points. — As the fort appeared an extensive place, and full of guns and men, 
who shewed themselves on the v/alls and gateways, I deemed it advisable to order the camp to be pitched, and 
to have the place reconnoitred, which was done the same evening, and it was considered necessary by the ar- 
tillery officer, that two more guns should be ordered from the fleet, and that people should be immediately 
sent out to cut and collect materials for a battery, which was complied with. — In the course of the day we fired 
a few rounds of shells, carcasses, and round shots at the fort, to give them a specimen of the means we had of 
annoying them, which they returned by constant discharges of cannon. 

1 am sorry to say that our loss, in wounded, is very heavy,* but from the nature of the service, and the 
troops being for a time unavoidably exposed to a cross fire of twenty pieces of ordnance, all of which were 

captured, 

* General Report of Killed, Wounded and Missing nf the Force under Command of Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, in Action with the Enemy 

near Rungpore, on the 29th Januarj/, 1825. 

Head-Quarters, near Rungpore, 20th January 1825. 
General Staff. — Wounded. — One Lieutenant-Colonel, nnd One Lieutenant. 

iCth Regiment.— Wounded. — One HuvilJar, Four Rank and File, severely.— Oue Jemidar, Two Haviklars, Twenty-one Rank 
and File, slightly. 

blth Regiment. — Wounded. — Eleven Rank and File, severely — One Subadar, One Havildar, and Seven Rank and File, slightly. 
Rungpore Light Infantry. — Killed — Two Rank and File. 



112 DOCUMENTS. 

captui'ed, and a large body of men, armed wth musquets, it is providential that we suffered so little. I have 
particularly to lament the severe wound that enterprising officer Lieutenant Brooke, Sub-Assistant Commissary 
General, received at my side, at my first advance to the stockade, but I trust that as the surgeon's report of his 
case is favorable, he will soon be restored to health and the service. — I have not been able to ascertain the loss 
the enemy suslauied in this affiiir, but it cannot, I have every reason to believe, be less than one hundred 
men killed and wounded. — To the whole of the troops employed on this occasion my best thanks are due for 
the zeal they evinced ; but I feel it incumbent on me to bring to the notice of the Brigadier General com- 
manding the division, the gallantry and steady conduct of the following officers who had the good fortune to 
be more immediately engaged ; viz. Major Waters, my second in command, for the judicious arrangements 
he adopted, after 1 had been disabled; to Captain Waldron, commanding a detachment 46th Regiment; 
Captain Martin, commanding 57th Regiment, the right wing of which carried the stockade by assault ; 
Lieutenant Bedingfield, commanding the Artillerj-, as well as to Lieutenant Burlton, attached to the same ; 
to Captain MacLeod, commanding Kungpore Light Infantry, for taking possession of a commanding position 
before the enemy were aw.are of its importance; and to Lieutenant Neuf^'ille, Deputy Assistant Quarter 
Master General, for his gallant conduct in leading the advance, and for the correct intelligence he gave 
me, bv which means I was enabled to form the plan of operations with such success, and I trust that our attack 
on the fort will be equally fortunate, the result of which I hope to have the pleasure of reportuig in a day or 
two. 

I cannot close this despatch without recording my approbation and thanks to Captain Ba3ldon, Major 
of Brigade ; Lieutenant Neufx'ille, Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General : Lieutenant Brooke, Sub-As- 
sistant Commissary General; and Lieutenant Fleming, officiating Sub-Assistant Commissary General, the 
Staff attached to this force, for the prompt and great assistance I have at all times received from them in the 
execution of their respective duties. 

No. 91. (C) — Copi/ of a Report from Major E. F. Waters, to Captain Bayldon, Major of 
Brigade, Assam ; dated Camp, before Rungpore, Assam, January 29, 1825. 

I have the honor to apprize you, for the mformation of Lieutenant Colonel Richards, commanding in 
Assam, that agreeably to his instructions, I repaired to the head of the column on his being wounded, and on 
assuming the temporary coiinnand, I perceived Captain Martin in possession of the stockade and posts on the 
right flank, and the Burmahs in full and precipitate retreat towards the fort, from which a strong fire was 
opened. I immediately ordered the artillery to the front, which soon silenced the enemy's fire. Precautiona- 
ry measures were then taken for the security of the posts vacated by the enemy, and a verbal report of cir- 
cumstances made to Lieutenant-Colonel Richards. 

No. 92. (A) — Extract of a Dispatch from David Scott, Esq., to the Secretary to Government 
in the Secret and Political Department ; dated KulUabur, \dth February, 1825. 

I have the honor to forward for the information of the Right Hon'ble the Governor General in Council, 
copies of dispatches received from Lieut. Colonel Richards, together with copies of the correspondence al- 
luded to m die Tth and 8ih paragraphs of that officer's letter to the address of Captain Shuldham. 

No. 9'2. (B) — Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel A. Richards, Coinmanding in Assam, to 
D. Scott, Esq., Agent to the Guvenior General, North-east Froidier ; dated Camp, near 
Rungpore, '^th February, 1825. 

I have the honor to enclose for your information the accompanying documents relative to the surrender 
of the Fort of Rungpore. 
No. 92. fCJ—Cojy 

Names rf Officers Wounded. — LUtitenant-Colanel A. Richards, (sligluly,) commanding ihc Force, Lieutenant 3. Brookf, (severe- 
ly, not daiigcrou»lj ,) i>ub-Assietani Commissary Generjil. 

Return of Ordnance, tfc. captured at the Stockade and Fortified Tank, near liuncpore, on the 29/A January 1825, bi/ the Force under 

Command uf Lieuienant-Cvloncl Hichards. 
Brass Gun>!, one 2-pounder. 
Iron Guns, three 2-i)0unders, and 19 swivels. 
Irou lialis, ot' bizts, 2M. 



BURMESE WAR. 123 

No. 92. (C) — Copi/ of a Dispatch from Lieutenant-Colonel A. Richards, Commanding in Assam, Asam. 
to Captain Shuldham, Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Eastern Division ; dated Q.d Febru- '^^^■ 
ary, 1825. 

In continuation of my dispatch of the 29th ultimo, I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information 
of Brigadier-General Shuldham, commanding Eastern IDivision of the army, that on the moon setting, on the 
morning of the 30th, the enemy, in small parties, came out and attacked the picquets, but were soon compelled 
to retire, with the loss on our side of two sentries killed, and on their part, as far as is known, of one man 
killed. 

The firing from the fort continued dui-ing the whole of the night and morning at intervals ; but as they 
had not the range of our camp, I did not return a shot, as the place is too extensive to have made any great 
impression, and our supply of ammunition being but small, I was anxious to reserve it for the day of attack. 

About ten o'chck on the morning of the 30th, a flag oi' truce was seen coming from the fort, and I sent 
out Captain Bayldon, M. B., and Lieutenant Neufville, Dejiuty Assistant Quarter Master General, to receive it. 

Those officers having met the herald, and conducted him to the outer picquet, reported to me that he re- 
presented himself to be a native of Ceylon, by name Durmadur Burmacheree, many years resident in Bengal 
and the Eastern Islands, in the employment of various well-known public servants, and conversant with our 
manners and customs, at present Raj Gooroo, or chief priest, to the Sauni and Burmese authorities in Assam, 
and an accredited messenger from Snum and Baglee Fhokuns to me. 

I accordingly directed him to be admitted, under the usual forms of precaution. 

After his introduction, he said that he was deputed by the Phokuns to enquire, what were the objects of 
our present advance upon Rungpore ? To which I replied, that my instructions were to clear the country of 
Assam of all opposing forces, and to occupy it on the part of the British government, for the protection of 
the inhabitants ; that I was surprised at the question, since I conceived the Phokuns must have been already 
apprized of our intentions by Mr. Scott's- (A. G. G.) communication in reply to theirs. 

The Gooroo expressing his total ignorance of the receipt, by the Phokuns, of Mr. Scott's letter, I explain- 
ed the general tenor of the contents, which he promised faithfully to deliver to the Phokuns, and to return in 
the course of the day with their reply. I also took the opportunity of bringing forward a messenger of the 
Phokuns returning with dispatches from Mr. Scott, who had arrived in camp the same morning, and of deli- 
vering the letters to the Gooroo for transmission to the Phokuns. 

These proved to be the delayed communication above adverted to. 

Within the period stipulated in the armistice, the Gooroo returned, stating, that he had not met 
with any opportunity of delivering the letters privately, which it was necessary to do, to avoid the 
jealous suspicions of the numerous conflicting factions into which the enemy were divided ; that he had 
every reason to believe the two great chiefs, Saum and Baglee Phokuns, to be unanimous, and disposed to 
enter into treaty with us ; that he trusted much to his own sacred influence over them, and all the others, to 
bring matters to an amicable adjustment ; and requested a continuance of the truce till the morrow. He also 
asked for some definite explanation of our wishes. 

To this I acceded, adding, that he was authorized to say to the Phokuns, that if they decided on making 
terms of alliance with us, I was ready to meet them ; if on fighting, I was equally ready; and if they wished to 
retire out of Assam into their own country, I was willing to permit them to do so, provided that they took the 
directest route, committed no ravages on the road, and carried away none of the inhabitants now in their pos- 
session, by compulsion. To this latter alternative I was induced by finding, from the Gooroo, the impractica- 
bility of a plan proposed by me to separate the two factions, by admitting the friendly-disposed portion to the 
benefit of terms, provided they would come over and abandon the others to their fate in a continuance of hos- 
tilities with us. This he declared impossible, since the latter considerably preponderate in strength over tlie 
former, though headed by the chiefs, and that the slightest suspicion of such an incluiation, would entail 
bloodshed and destruction, not only on their families here, but in their own country. I was also compelled re- 
luctantly to reflect on the total want of means in my power to prevent their escape, or to pursue them, in which 
Case all hope of rescuing the captive Assamese inhabitants must have been abandoned. It was at the same time 
clearly pointed out to the Phokuns, and understood by them, that any act of plunder or aggression committed 
by the retiring party in progress through Assam, or in the territories of our allies, would be tantamount to an 
infringement of engagements, and again draw down on them our arms. 

The following morning the Gooroo returned, accompanied by two inferior Phokuns, (the brother of Saum 
Phokun and Hathee Phokun,) with a friendly offering, and a letter from the chiefs, of which No. 3 is a trans- 
lation. 

After much desultorv conversation, the Gooroo returned with my reply, and an exchange of presents. 

F f On 



114 DOCUMENTS. 

On the following morning, a messnge was brought from the Gooroo by his brother Ruttun Pal, stating that, 
in compliance with my terms, one portion was preparing to evacuate the fort for their own coUntry, and that 
the remainder were ready to surrender; also that the chiefs were anxious to wait on me to adjust the various 
points of capitulation. 

I accordingly invited them to a conference, and directed the officers of my staff to proceed to meet them 
and conduct them to me. 

The principal chiefs, Saum Phokun, Sheick Phokun, and Nabaroo Phokun, (Baglee Phokun having 
joined the other party and quitted the fort) having been introduced, we proceeded to arrange the terms 
of treaty, of which the principal are as follows : 

On the part of Saum Phokun, Sic, that all his followers should deliver up their arras and warlike stores, 
of all descriptions ; and that possession of the fort be given to us the moment the evacuating party should have 
quitted it. 

On our part, that their wives and personal property should be guaranteed ; their wives, children, and all 
who may be voluntarily attached to them, secured to them, in conformity with instructions from Mr. Scott, 
A. G. G., that they should remain in every respect in their present situation, until the arrival of Mr. Scott, or 
instructions from him respecting their ultimate destination ; and that having once entered into bonds of friendly 
alliance with us, they shall not eventually be delivered over to the King of Ava, in case of a peace, shoidd he 
make such a stipulation, of which they entertained great dread, and were most anxious to receive positive assu- 
rances. 

These points being settled, the chiefs expressed their wilUngness to surrender without delay, and I, accord- 
ingly, directed Major Waters to take a party and receive charge ; when I had soon the satisfaction of seeing 
His Majesty's colors flying on the top of the palace in the inner fort, under a salute from the battery in camp. 

The examination of the fort fully justified the opinion I had formed of the unportance of the acquisition, 
by the mode adopted, and of the utter inadequacy of my means of preventing the escape of the greater part of the 
garrison, should we have proceeded to the assault. The place is of very great extent, and surrounded by deep 
swamps and jungle, with a ditch; the sorties to the three gates were strongly defended; and on them and the 
walls were more than two hundred pieces of ordnance ready for service. 

The garrison was reported to consist often thousand of all classes, of whom, perhaps, one-third were fight- 
ing men, of these, seven hundred have surrendered with the Phokuns. 

I have the honour to transmit a return of the ordnance, arms and military stores captured.* 

By the acquisition of Rungpore, I may now consider myself in entire possession of Assam, and it is a 
source of great self-gratulation to me, that that important point has been accomplished with so little loss 
on. our side, considering the means of annoyance possessed by the enemy, in defending a country pecu- 
liarly unfavorable to regular military operations. 

My total dependence for supplies in the fleet, which is twenty miles distant (at the mouth of the Dikho 
river, now not navigable) would have rendered it impossible for me to proceed further, under any circum- 
stances, until the arrival of land carriage from the provinces; and I therefore consider the prospect of peace- 
able evacuation of the remaining portion of the country as an object gained of the most vital importance, 
while the possession of the capital secures a key to all points from whence any future irruptions may be at- 
tempted from the eastward. 

No. 92. (D) — No. 1. — From the Burmese Authorities in Assam, to the Agent to the 

Govertior General. 

Moonkoong Aloonapoo and Mueeng-Amah Muntue, (the one a Phokun commander-in-chief of the 
forces, and the other a state counsellor) represent for the information of the Presence who has come into 
Assam, by orders of the Honorable Company's government, that the Prince of Moonkoong and the Prince of 
Assam, in cast were brothers, descended from Indra, and as our titles, Swurgee Rajah, (celestial princes) sig- 
nify, alighted from heaven, by means of a gold and silver ladder. 

We 

* Ixcturn of Ordnance and Military Stores surrendered by Capitulation to the Force under the Command of Lieutenant-Colonel 

A. Richards, on the 1st February, 1823. 
Brass Guns, — one I '.?-pouii(ler, Danish, twciitv-one, from 3-poundeis downwards. — Total 22. 
Iron Gems, — one -l-O-pounder, one f)-|)ounder, "English. — 9-H, from ci-pounders down to Swivels. — Total 913. 
Brass Guns, — Twenty-two, — Iron Guns 913 — Grand Total — 965. 
Muskets— .33-2— «wo'rds—2iC—.''pcais— 228. 
Several thousand Iron Balls of sizes, and a considerable quanlity of Gunpowder, were found in the Fort. 



BURMESE WAR. 1 j 5 

We participated in equal shares in the territories of Moonkoong and Assam, whicli we have held until 
the present time. 

The deep friendship we have professed and signified, by the endearing terms of brotherhood, remains 
still unimpaired. 

A treaty of alliance between, on the one hand, the Princes of Moonkoonii; and Mueena;, -with their states- 
men, Phookuns and Barooas, and on the other, with your government of Bengal, would realize the attain- 
ment of all our common objects. 

The Assamese letter your Agent sent by the hands of our Kutkee of Moonkoong, he delivered to me at 
Jorhat, on the 4th of Puash, 1746, Assam era, which I recognized as an authentic document. 

Should you adhere to your former manifestations, I am willing to meet them. 

At present, a large force, officered by your nation, has advanced as far as from Kanjee Ranga to Mohoora. 

Such a demonstration of your troops will prevent the negociation of the terms proposed. 

If desirous of prosecuting the advance of an accommodation you have made, we are, in Assam, here, ready 
to meet them, but must, depend for instructions upon the authorities of our government in Moonkoong, — our- 
selves being merely subordinate agents. 

The three letters we received from you, wer-e sent by an express horseman to Moonkoong, with injunc- 
tions to proceed there day and night. 

The answer to these letters, which we despatched by a Kutkee, will reach us five months hence. 

I am but an inferior agent, and can, consequently, give you no further decisive answer for the present. 

Do you, until we receive an answer to our despatches, remain with your forces in the neighbourhood of 
KuUiabur and Char-Dooar, while we take our quarters in the vicinity of the country immediately in advance of 
Kanjee Ranga. 

In the meantime, the traders who have come to vend their wares, will be allowed to traffic as fonnerly, 
while you will be expected, in your turn, to reciprocate the privilege. We will make a definitive arrangement 
upon the return of the answer to our despatches to our government. 

There exists no enmity between our two nations. 

No. 92. (E) — No. 2. — Translation of a Letter from the Agent to the Governor General, to Saum 

Fhukun and Baglee Phokiin. 

After Compliments. 

Your letters, in the Bengal and Burmese characters, have been received, and the contents understood.You 
write, amongst other matters, proposing an armistice, and requesting that the British troops may not advance 
further until you receive an answer from Moonkoong, which will take four or five months. 

My fi'iends, the purport of my former communication to you was to acquaint you, that war ha^ang been 
declared between the Honorable Company and the King of Ava, the invincible armies of the former power were 
advancing by sea and land to the golden capital, and that a favorable opportunity was therefore offered to the 
people of Moonkoong and the other conquered states of Sham, to throw off the grievous yoke imposed upon 
them by the Burmese. 

In respect to the kingdom of Assam, our orders are to occupy that country, and to destro}^ all opposing 
forces ; but, considering that you and your countrymen were acting against us by compulsion, we were desirous 
of aflbrding you an opportunity of returning to your own counti-y unmolested, and there adopting such mea- 
sures as might enable you to regain your national independence, for which purpose we offered aid in tlie 
event of 3'our evincing your sincerity. 

The proposal you make, that our army should halt at Kalliabur, cannot therefore be listened to for a mo- 
ment, nor can we enter into any negociation with the Burmese authorities respecting the country of Assam, 
which you must well know we have ample means of occupying in despite of any opposition the armies of that 
nation are capable of makuig. Considering these matters, you will best consult your own safety and the future 
welfare of your countrymen, by entering heartily into our cause, and availing yourselves of our aid to re-estab- 
lish the independence of your country, and avenge yourselves of the many injuries suffered at the hands of the 
Burmese. 

No. 92. (F) — No. 3. — Tr-anslation of a Burmese Letter. 

Moonkoong Aloompoo, alias Saum Phokun, represents, on the part of himself and the others chiefs, to the 
ti English Commander in Assam, that the inhabitants of Assam were originally slaves to the Burman Emperor, 
and that an embassy was sent by the Rajah to the King of Ava to solicit assistance, and to request he would 

send 



116 DOCUMENTS. 

send troops into Assam ; in consequence of which, men from five slates, all subject to the Burman'authority, 
were collected and ordered to invade the country. Now, a number of the chief men of Assam have invited 
you to come in to turn us out, and we are aware of this ; but these Assamese wish for their own benefit to 
provoke us to war widi each other, by which both parties would suffer ; — we therefore, to prevent this, are 
willing to evacuate this country, and to prove our stncerity. we depute Durmadur Burmacheree, a native of 
Ceylon, and our high priest, to apprize you of this, and as the people in Assam are now inuuical to us, we will 
immediately retire to our own country, and inform our King of it, and we hope you will not molest us on our 
journey, aiid that you will send orders to the Chokies under your control, to allow us to pass unmolested — 
this is "absolutely necessary, or if we are attacked in our retreat, it will cause much bloodshed. 

No. 92. (G) — Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel A. Richards, Commanding in Assam, in 
reply to the foregoing from Saum Phokun ; dated Camp, before Rungpore, 3\st January, 1825. 

I have received your friendly letter by the hands of Durmadur Burmacheree, high priest, and fully com- 
prehend its contents. 

I am willing to permit your force to retire fi-om Assam, and will not commit hostilities or molest you with 
any attack from my army, provided you go peaceably, and without committing depredations on the country or 
inhabitants of Assam. Your wives, children, and such people as are willing may accompany you, but none of 
the inhabitants of Assam are to be taken away by force. I will give orders to all under my authority, and to 
Chokies not to molest you on your way out of Assam, which you will leave immediately, and by the most 
direct route. 

No. 93. — Despatch from Lieutenant-Colojiel Richards, to Captain Shiddham, Deputy Assistant 
Adjutant General, Eastern Division ; dated Camp, near Rungpore, 8th February, 1825. 

Since my last despatch to your address of date the 3d instant, I beg to apprize you, for the information of 
Brigadier-General Shuldham, conmianding Eastern Division, that, in consequence of intelligence communicated 
to me, that the Sing Phos (a hill tribe,) were plundering and carrying off the inhabitants of Assam into slavery, 
I deemed it advisable to detach some parties from my force in pursuit of these depredators, with a view not only 
to repress their incursions, but to drive them back to their own territory. The first detachment, consisting of 
the Volunteer Cavalry, with one subadar, one jemadar, five havildars, and one hundred and five rank and file, 
under the command of Captain Martin, .57th Regiment, proceeded on the morning of the 2d instant, to a vil- 
lage named Kudulpurra, on the banks of the Dullung Nuddee, distant from my camp about seven miles N. E., 
•where the Sing Phos were reported to be in a stockade, but the plunderers had, it appeared, received intel- 
ligence of our advance, and, in consequence, ha\TJig previously divided into three separate parties, they fled. 
Captain Martin, on being informed of this circumstance by some villagers, pushed on the Cavalry in pursuit 
of one party, consisting of about forty men. The horsemen soon came up with them, and entirely dispersed 
them, killing five, and wounding several who got into the heavy grass jungle, and escaped further pursuit. 

In the meantime Captain Martin, with the Infantiy, was conducted by a detour to the right of the post of 
the Sing Phos' main body, but found they had also recently quitted it. He, however, perceived in the vici- 
nity, a body of about thirty armed men, with several women interspersed amongst them. As he advanced, 
they threw down their arms, and declared themselves to be Burmese retiring from Rungpore, on the faith of 
their capitulation, but as their situation, in the midst of the Sing Phos, was suspicious. Captain Martin very 
properly determined to secure them for future investigation. After this. Captain Martin, with great judgment, 
continued the pursuit of the Sing Phos, until the Cavah-y came on the track of the flying enemy, but found 
they had quilled all the path-ways, and taken a direction through thick reed jungle, which rendered further pur- 
suit unavailing. 

Captain Martin rejiorts, that on passing through the village of Kadulpurra, every hut was filled with 
stocks newly made to confine the unhappy villagers, from which he had the pleasure to rescue a few, whom the 
Sing Phos had not had time to carry ofti and that he had the gratification to see several other villagers issue from 
the grass, who had taken advantage of the rapid flight of the Sing Phos and thick jungle, to make their escape; 
and there is no doubt, but a number of these unfortunate people have, by this tunely movement, been restored 
to their homes. 

Captain Martin having accomplished the object for which he was detached, returned in the evening to 
camp, and I feel much indebted not only to him, but also to Lieutenant Neufville, Deputy Assistant Quarter 
Master General, who voluntarily accompanied and conducted the detachment, and to the native commissioned', 
non-conunissioned officers and sepoys, for the perseverance they manifested on this occasion. 

On 



BURMESE WAR 117 

On the morning of the 3rd instant, the Volunteer Cavalry, accompanied by a detail of one subadar, one 
jemadar, five havildars, and eighty-five rank and file, was detached, under the command of Captain Chapman, 
Dinagepore Local Battalion, in pursuit of another part}^ of 6ing Phos, who were reported to be plundering and 
burning several villages in a N. W. direction from this camp ; but after the detachment had been out the whole 
day, it returned to camp, and Captain Chapman reported that the Sing Phos had fled prior to his arrival. 

On the 4th instant, 1 deemed it advisable to detach Captain Waldron, of the 46th Regiment, at 12 o'clock 
at night, with the Volunteer Cavalry, and a detail of Infantry of the same strength as that sent with Captain 
Chapman, in a southerly direction from this camp, with instructions to attack the Sing Phos wherever he might 
find them, and to follow them. This party returned to camp yesterday afternoon, and Captain Waldron reports, 
that the Sing Phos had obtained intelligence of his approach, and that they had quitted their position a day 
previous to his arrival, and had gone in the direction of Jypore, situated at the mouth of the pass leading into 
the Sing Phos' country. He followed their route for a considerable distance, but was not able to come up with 
them. Their ravages in this quarter seem to have been unusually barbarous and cruel ; whole villages have 
been burnt to the ground, and their inhabitants carried off into slavery. 

No. 94>. (A) — Letter from Lieutenant Neiifville, to Captain Martin, Major of Brigade ; 
dated Now Dehing Mookh, 9ih May, 1825. 

I have the honour to report, for the information of Colonel Richards, commanding, that having received 
authentic intelligence, that the body of the enemy recently arrived from Mogaum, had pushed on an advanced 
party of sixt}', w ith three mounted chiefs, to within an accessible distance from my post, for the purpose of 
throwing up entrenchments at a village about twenty-five miles off on the Dehing, 1 deemed it highly expe- 
dient to dislodge them. With that view, I embarked in canoes on the afternoon of the 7th, taking with me 
Ensign Bogle ; and half the strength of the detachment, calculating that by pushing on the whole night, I 
might be able to reach them by day-break in the moi'ning. 1'he arrangement, I am happy to say, was attend- 
ed with complete success. I landed about half a mile below the place at early dawn, and by making a detour 
round the jungle, came on the quarter, occupied by the Burmese at a little before five. 

On our charging, the enemy immediately fled, in the greatest confusion, very closely followed by our men 
as far as the ground would admit, but as they threw away their arms, and every thing that could impede their 
flight, even their clothes, we were soon distanced and obliged to discontinue the pursuit. 

They lost either eight or ten killed, and I should suppose many must be wounded, from the precision 
with which the men fired. 

The principal of the three chiefs (who was recognised by my Burmese to be Ao-ladung Pah,) escaped 
most narrowly, being several times almost at the point of the bayonet. 

The only casualty on our part is one sipahee, wounded by a punjah. 

I have brought down with me the chiefs of the viUage, prisoners, as security for the ransom of the nu- 
merous Assamese captives confined in their jungles. 

I feel greatly indebted to Ensign Bogle, for his active and cordial co-operation, and the cheerful soldier- 
like conduct of the men, deserves the highest praise. 

I have also the honour to report, that having heard of a few straggling Saums, from amongst those who 
quitted Rungpore with Boglee Phokun, being concealed in the jungles, near Suddeeya, I detached a party to 
bring them in ; five out of the nine were secured, with their families, and I shall take the earliest opportunity 
of sending them down. . 

I have received a letter from the three chiefs newly arrived, written in their usual style of verbiage, and 
finishing with a desire that I should immediately go back to Rungpore, and on my arrival there, fall back 
with the whole force out of Assam, to which I returned the annexed reply. 

No. 94-. (B)— He-ply to the Letter of the Chiefs Sah Doungh, Menglah Poh, and Ao-Zoung Poh. 

After Compliments. 
I have received your communication. — If, my friends, you want us to quit the country of Assam, you had 
better come and turn us out. 

No. 95. — Dispatch from Lieutenant -Colonel Richards, to the Adjutant General of the Army ; 

dated Rungpore, 2lst June, 1825. 

For the information of his Excellency the Commander in Chief, I have the honor to transmit to you, 
copy of a letter addressed by me this day to the Deputy Assistant Adjutant General of the Eastern Division, 

G g conveying 



118 DOCUMENTS. 

conveying the copy of a dispatch fiom Lieutenant Neufville, commanding at Nowa Deng Mook, of wliicii 
the enclosed is a duplicate. 

Copy of a Report from Lieutenant J. B. Neifville, Deputy Assistant Quarter-Master General, 
Commanding Detachment, to Captain Martin, Major qf^ Brigade, Assam; dated near Wakerjut, 
in the Nov) Dheeing, June 15, 1S25. 

I have the honor to report, for the information of Colonel Richards, commanding, that the stnte of the 
weather having resumed a favourable appearance on the 4th instant, and intelligence up to the evening of that 
day, reporting no alteration in the strength or disposition of the enemy, I prepared to proceed against them 
according to ray original intention, and leaving a party of two gun-boats, with thirty sepoys, and the propor- 
tion of non-commissioned officers under a subadar, to protect the post and passage of the Theing, embarked 
the remainder of the detachment on covered canoes and rafts. 

At day-break on the 5th, we commenced our progress up the Now Dheeing. The delay and difficulties 
in tile passage proved much greater than I had anticipated, and we did not reach the large deserted village of 
Lee}'ung till the evening of the 8th. 

Here we were obliged to leave the gun-boats and girdwarees, and by dragging the canoes up the rapids 
with great labor, in which all hands were obliged to assist, arrived, on the afternoon of the 9th, at a point op- 
posite Dupha Gaum, which I now found to be situated tliree or four miles inland on the right bank. 

As it was evident that we could proceed no further by water, we occupied the remainder of the day in un- 
successful researches for a road, in wliith, I regret to say, the Purbutteea Phookun, (whose eminent services I 
have fi-equently brought to the notice of the commanding officer,) was killed by a party in ambush. 

Early on the following morning, the Ghaee Gaum (Chief) of Wakeyut, who came over to me, informed 
me that I had passed about two miles above the proper landmg place, and that he would thence shew me a 
good and practicable road. 

At the same time, we received the gratifying intelligence, that a body of the enemy of 400 foot and 100 
horse, (in reality less than half that number) hatl moved down to Dupha Gaum to oppose us. 

I accordingly dropped down immediately, landed the detachment, and marched towards them. 

On reaching l^upha (about eight miles,) we found the enemy occupying a stockade of very considerable 
strength, and on our appearance, making hasty preparation for defence. 

They were unable, however, to stand the very prompt and gallant manner in which Lieutenant Kerr 
brought up his men to the assault, at once gaining possession of a commanding line of fire upon their trenches, 
in which lie their principal security, and abandoning these, the whole body pressed for escape through the 
gate at the opposite face. Their loss was but trifling, since they were covered from our fire by the carriers of 
their own works (about fourteen feet high and nearly solid, amied by double and triple rows' of chevaux de- 
frise,) and we had no immediate mode of entrance but by the gate, to gain which there were two long faces 
of the place to traverse without cavalry, therefore all hope of overtaking tliem was vain, and they were imme- 
diatel}' lost sight of in the jungle. 

I'he enemy being now concentrated at Beesa Gaum, I made arrangements for attacking them, and as their 
works were said to be very strong, determined to carry them by a night surprise, by which I should have the 
benefit of a diversion to distract their attention. 

With these views, wemarched on the afternoon of the 11th, expecting to reach the post at about two in the 
morning by moonlight, but such was the nature of the road, that, after proceeding about eight miles in .as 
many hours, I was obliged to halt at an open spot, on the bank of the river, for the remainder of the night, and 
the next morning occupied the village of Gakhind, where the men were enabled to get some food and rest, 
which, notwithstanding their assertions to the contrary, they were evidently much in want of 

While there, I received information from several quarters, that the enemy had abandoned Beesa Gaum, 
and had gone off' towards their own country immediately on the arrival of the fugitives from Dupha, and short- 
ly afterwards a letter was brought from the Gaum of Beesa to the s;ime effect, adding that, as they had carried 
oft all his people and property, it would be needless for me to take my whole detachment there since he could 
give me no supplies or assistance. 

As, however, I had very great reason to suspect treachery on the part of the Beesa Gaum, and that he was 
endeavouring to entice me into a snare, I resolved upon proceeding immediately without countermanding the 
orders previously given for the mode of attack, or departing from any of the necessary precautions during the 
line ol march. '1 he event proved the justice of my suspicious, for, on arriving within aliout two miles of Heesa, 
I was informed by my scouts and some Assamese deserter.^ that the enemy had returned from their feint, and 
had been received into the stockade belonging to the Gauui, with whom they were acting in concert, and short- 
ly afterwards the advanced guard saw two mounted Burmese, who immediately fell back. 

When 



BURMESE WAR. 119 

"When within a quarter of a mile from the post, we saw the enemy on the open spot below the first 
stockade, drawn up in line, with some horse on their right, advancing as to oppose us; we immediately de- 
bouched from the jungle to the clear plains below, (the bed of the river) and formed line in the front. 

No sooner was it put in motion preparatory to the charge, than the enemy faced about and commenced a 
rapid retreat to the stockades, followed up by us as quickly as the required preservation of regularity and the 
inequality of the ground would admit. 

Entering the first stockade, we found that they had already gained the second, and successively they aban- 
doned their five very formidable defences before us without once attempting a stand. 

The whole affair was conducted by the steady advance of the bayonet, not a shot being fired by us 
throughout. 

On quitting their last stockade, they took to precipitate flight, in which manoeuvre they have so decided 
an advantage over us, that I did not attempt harassing the men by an unavailing and hopeless pursuit. 

Early on the following morning, I directed Ensign Bogle, with eighty men, to press upon their rear as far 
as the villages of Nimko and Kesson, to the first pass, (about eight miles) in order to conlinn their confusion, 
and also to cover the 'escape of the Assamese captives. 

This duty he performed in the most able manner, and the result, giving liberation to several hundreds of 
these unfortunate people, must be equally gratifying to his own feelings, as it is creditable to his tact and 
judgment. 

From the top of the first pass, the extreme rear of the enemy were seen clearing the second, and I conclude 
their flight to have been in great panic, from the gilt chattalis, silver swords, and other insignia of the chiefs, 
abandoned on the route. 

Before quitting lieesa, we endeavoured, as far as possible, to burn and destroy the houses and works, but 
with all the assistance we could procure, could but partially effect our purpose from their great strength and 
extent. '1 hey are all, however, too much dismantled to be again tenable without considerable repair. 

In the detail of operations, the commanding officer will perceive how entirely I must have been indebted 
for success to the active and zealous co-operation of the officers under me. Lieutenant Kerr and Ensign 
Bogle, most nobly seconded by the men, who, I may venture to assert, in all that regards the soldier, as well in 
cheerful endurance of more than ordinary fatigue and privation, ardent alacrity on every prospect of service, 
and steady bravery when opposed to the enemy, could have been surpassed by no troops whatever. 

Captain Bedtbrd, of the Survey Department, who accompanied us throughout as a volunteer, gave me the 
benefit of his experience and personal assistance on every occasion. 

No. 96. — Extract of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Lines, c. s.. Commanding the Sylhet 
Frontier, to Lieutenant-Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army ; dated on the River 
near Budderpore, ^5th October, 1824. 

I have the honour, for the information of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, to report, that intima- 
tion having been received from some of the hurkarus of the Intelligence Department, that the Burmese army 
in Cachar were retiring towards Munnipore, 1 directed a reconnoissance this morning to be made : according- 
ly, a party under the command of Captain Hawes, accompanied by Lieutenant Fisher, of the Quarter Mas- 
ter General's Department, proceeded up the Barak river at day-break, attended by the flotilla to Juttrapore, 
where a disembarkation was effected, and the party marched across to Tiloyan, which place was found evacu- 
ated, and the works partly destroyed ; from the intelligence collected from the natives of Cachar, who had been 
captives with the Burmese, it appears that the main body of the army, which occupied a large cantonment at 
Doodpatlee, left, in progress to Munnipore, early yesterday morning, and the rear guard vacated Tiloyan early 
last night ; the same body is said to be now at Banskand}-, on the route to Munnipore, and distant from my 
present position four days' march in the dry season ; but at present, I regret to say, the country remains so 
much under water, that it would be impossible to march regular troops across, consequently the eikemy are 
now beyond pursuit. 

1^0. 97. — Extract from a Letter from LJeutenant Colonel Innes, c. n.. Commanding the Sylhet 
Frontier, to Lieutenant-Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army ; dated on the River near 
Panchgaon, 30th October, 1824. 

I have the honour to report, for the information of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, that I pro- 
ceeded up the Barak river on the morning of the 26th, towards the posts lately occupied by the Burmese force 
at Tiloyan and Doodpatlee. The first-named place is occupied by a deiacliment of the 52d Regiment, under 

Captain 



120 DOCUMENTS. 

Captain laster, and I have instructed that officer to have the outward defences destroyed, the paHsades on the 
summit renewed, and the hill itself rendered tenable by a small body of men; the stockades on the heights 
to the south of Tiloyan have been directed to be destroyed also. 

The Burmese position at Doodpatlee consisted of seven stockades of a most formidable nature: from 
their extent, and the number of huts, I should not imagine the strength of the enemy to have been less than 
ten thousand men. The whole of the stockades, with the exception of a principal one erected round a pucka 
house, I have directed to be destroyed ; in it 1 have posted Rajah Ghumbeer Sing, with his levy, he having 
retuined with a great proportion of his men, not being able to come up with any part of the enemy's rear- 
guard. 

Cachar may now be esteemed entirely vacated by the enemy, for as far to the eastward as Banskandy, 
they are said to have passed six days ago, in full retreat for Munnipore. 

No. 98. — Extract of a Despatch from Brigadier General Shuldham, Conima}idi?ig Eastern Fro7i- 
iier, to LieiitenaiU-Coloiiel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Anni/ ; dated Head-Quarters, Eastern 
Division, Sylhet, December, IS'-^i. 

I have the honour to report, for the information of his Excellency the Commander in Chief, my return 
to this station from Cachar, whither I proceeded for the purpose of ascertaining the actual state of the country 
and roads, the most advantageous position for concentrating the whole of the troops on the frontier, to be in 
readiness for a forward movement, as also the inspection of the corps stationed in Cachar. 

The water in the country through which I passed, between Silhet and the frontier, is subsiding fast, but 
the saturated state of the ground admitting of little or no absorption after a shower of rain, still renders it ex- 
pedient for the troops to remain in their boats; however, I trust, on the arrival of the public cattle, it will be 
sufficiently dry to admit of their being encamped, when I purpose moving up with the Brigade here by water 
to Telayn, and breaking ground thence to the Munnipore frontier. 

The obstacles in making a road from Budderpore to Doodpatlee being trifling, I have directed Major 
Swinton, with the Pioneers, to commence training the road from the latter place towards Munnipore, by the 
route pointed out by Lieutenant Fisher, Deputy Assistant Quartet Master General. 

No. 99. — Extract of a Letter from Brigadier General T. Shuldham, Commanding Eastern 
Division, to Lieutenant-Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army ; dated Camp, near 
Doodpatlee, 9.\st January, 1825. 

I have the honor to report my arrival at this post, for the information of his Excellency the Commander- 
in-Chief, at which place, with the 3d Brigade, (now complete in corps, the 22d Regiment Native Infantry, 
having just reported their arrival,) and Captain Scott's detachment of Artillery, with the heavy train, I must 
•nwait the arrival of the public cattle, consisting of one thousand large and five thousand Bunjaree bullocks ; 
four hundred of the former being required to complete the train, and the latter for the conveyance of supplies, 
wliich by my last report from the Deputy Assistant Commissary General of the 15th instant, had not reached 
Silhet, but were expected there in four or five days, and may be looked for here about the latter end of the 
month, when I shall be enabled to move forward with the troops above enumerated, and take up an eligible a 
position in the vicinity of Chireepore, about six miles in advance of Banskandy, to which place the Pioneers '■ 
have succeeded in opening the road. 

The assistance of the hill people, if procurable in any considerable numbers, will be most necessary and 
essential towards opening a sufficient passage through the forest, the size and number of the trt es benig such as 
to render it impossible for the Pioneers to effect, calculating their rate of progress during the last month, with 
only reed jungle to contend. 

No. 100. — Copy of a Letter from Brigadier General T. Shiddham, Commaiiding Eastern Division 
of the Army, to Lieutenaiit-Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army ; dated Camp, Ba7u 
skandy, ^4lh February, 1825. 

With reference to my letter, No. 78, of the 16th instant, I have to report, for the information of Iiis Ex- 
cellency tlie Connnander-iii-Chitf, the arrival at Banskandy this day only, of the detachment therein detailed, 
having been delayed on the banks of the Badrce nullali five days, by heavy rain, wliich rendered the road over 
the liadree hills so difficult, thai llic train and rear-guaid did uot join nie for three days after reaching that 

ground 



BURMESE WAR. 121 

ground with the Infantry Brigade, where, keeping in view the healtii of the men, I was induced to stand fast 
until the weather cleared up, and was only yesterday enabled to resume my march in progress to this place. 

From the heavy obstruotions caused by the late rain, both to the progress of the Pioneers and cattle, load- 
ed w-ith supplies, in getting through the forest, I shall be under the necessity of halting here, until the road is 
made completely through the forest to Noongshie, arid sufficient supplies laid in there to avoid the risk of my 
being separated from them, as Lieutenant Fendall, Sub- Assistant Commissary General, who joined me to-day, 
states, the utter impossibility of loaded cattle of any description being able to proceed in the forest for a con- 
siderable time after a fall of rain, from the slippery state of the ascents and declivities, also quagmires, in which 
the animals sink so deep, they are obliged to be dug out by parties of coohes sent to assist them along. 

No. 101. — Extract of a Report from Brigadier-General T. Shuldham, Commanding Eastern 
Division of the Army, to Lieutenant-Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army ; dated 
Banskandy, 26th Fehr'uary, 1825. 

The last ten dalys and nights have been attended with frequent torrents of rain, and the nature of the coun- 
try is such, that it is with the greatest dllficulty loaded animal-;, of any descripti>n, can proceed from hence to the 
great forest, distant only twelve miles, and attempting a passage through it, under present circumstances, is quite 
imposbible. 

No. 103. — Extract of a Letter from Brigadier-General Shuldham, Commanding Eastern Di- 
vision, to Lieutenant-Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army, dated Camp, Banskandy, 
11th March, 1825. 

I have the honor to report, that I have just returned from the Jeer;-, and the state of the roads is such, 
that it is quite impossible to send supplies on to the advance, either on camels, bidlocks, elephants, or men, 
the two former lay dying, and some dead on cither side, and their loads scattered about perfectly spoiled, a 
few elephants have also died, and one of the Nuwahs broke his leg 3^esterd;iy, by falling down a steep hill. 

No. 103. — Extract from a Letter from Brigadier General T. Shuldham, C.nnmanding Eastern Di- 
vision, to Lieutenant-Colonel Nicol, Adjutant General of the Army ; dated Camp, Banskandy, 
Q3d March, 1825. 

The several reports I hnve had the honor to submit, subsequent to that of the 5fh instant, will have in- 
formed his Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief, of the utter impossibility of maintaining a position to the 
eastward of the great forest, and that I was, consfqnently, compelled to withdraw the whole of the party in 
advance, from the total impracticability of keeping thein supplied with the means available for that purpose. 

No. lOi-. (A) — Copy of a Despatchfrom Colonel Robert Stevenson, Quarter Master General of 
the Army, to George Sicintun, Esq., Secretary to Government Political Department ; dated 2d 
July, 1825. 

I have the honouf to transhiit you, for the information of government, copy of a letter this day received 
from Lieutenant Pemberton, OiRciating Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, who volunteered to accom- 
pany Gumbeer Sing from Sylhet to Munnipoor. 

No. 101. (B) — Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant R. B. Pemberton, Officiating Deputy Assistant 
Quai'ter Master General, to Colonel Robert Stevenson, Quarter Master General of the Army ; 
dated Munnipoor, 14//i June, 1825. 

Lieutenant Brown's letter of the 12th ultimo, will have apprized you of my having volunteered to attempt 
reaching Munnipoor, accompanied by Gumbeer Sing, and a detachment from his Levy. 

I have now the honour to inform you, for the infonnation of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, that 
the Brigadier General, commanding the Eastern Division, having sanctioned the proposal, I left Sylhet on 
the 17th ultimo, accompanied by Gumbeer Sing, expecting to reach Banskandy by the direct route of Goo- 
babgung, Byragie Bazar, &ci, but on arriving at the former village, the road was found impracticable from the 

H h heavy 



122 DOCUMENTS. 

heavy rain that had fallen for several prececling days, and it became necessary to adhere to the left bank of the 
Barak river, by which circuitous route we reached Banskandy on the 23d. The i'ollowing day was employed 
in making the necessary preparation for the march, and on the 25th, the force, consisting of five hundred mus- 
kets, under the personal command of Guinbeer Sing, crossed the Cheree Nullah, passed the low swampy 
ground in the vicinity of Luckipoor, and after traversing a range of hills, north of the Barak, encamped on the 
borders of the forest, west of the Jeree Nullah. 

2. From this Nullah commences the ascent of the numerous and irregular ranges of hills, extending, with- 
out a single interval of level ground for eighty miles, to the valley of Munnipoor. — I have the pleasure to annex 
a list of the few Naga villages in this route, all of which are situated on, or near the most lofty points of the 
different ranges, and the various places at which we halted. 



From Banskandy to Tookmu Nullah, 

Jeeree Nullah, 

Mookroo ditto, 

Village of Kala Naga, 

Barak Nullah, 

East side of Kamboon, 

Noongba, 

!Moonjiron Koona, 

Right bank of Erung Nullah, 

Village of Awang Kool, 

Eyee Nullah, 

Village of Noonie, 

Left Bank of Eyee, 

Valley of Munnipoor, 

Town and Stockade, 



M. 


F. 


Yds. 


11 ., 


.. 5 . 


.. 89 


6 . 


.. 7 . 


..204 


11 .. 


,. 4 . 


.. 


2 . 


.. 7 . 


.. 73 


4 . 


.. 4 . 


..167 


7 . 


.. . 


.. 


5 ., 


.. 7 , 


.. 56 


3 . 


.. 7 . 


.. 6 


4 . 


.. 2 . 


.. 39 


3 . 


.. 2 . 


..185 


3 . 


.. 6 . 


.. 


3 . 


.. 5 . 


..148 


5 . 


.. . 


..163 


10 . 


.. 2 . 


..197 


11 . 


.. . 


,,. 5 



Total Perambulator distance, 96 ... .. 11 



3. Our progress had been considerably retarded by rain, and on reaching the village of Moonjerion-do, 
on the 1st instant, we were compelled, from the same cause, to halt for three days, in which time the provisions 
became exhausted, and from that period to the day we entered Munnipoor, the men had but a scanty and pre- 
carious supply iif bad rice, obtained at most exorbitant- rates from the Nagas of the different villages through 
which we passed. To these deprivations Gumbeer Sing's men, composed entirely of Munnipooreans, sub- 
mitted without the slightest appearance of dissatisfaction, and cheerfully continued to advance, though constant 
rain had so much swollen the Nullahs, that it was necessary to throw bridges over the three principal ones, the 
Euraing, Eyee, and Toobut, the timber for which was, in each instance, cut immediately after marches, render- 
ed peculiarly har.assing from the mountainous nature of the country traversed 

4. On the 10th instant, the forcemarched from the left bank of the I'.yee Nullah, and commenced the ascent 
of thehills forming a western boundary to the valley of Munnipoor, parties had been previouslv detached to take 
possession of two Naga villages, one on either flank, in which the Burmahs had stationed pickets twelve miles 
in advance of the town. At three p. m , the village of Koongakool, on the left, was reached by one of the par- 
ties, and a few of the Burmahs captured, and the otiier party was equally successful at Miangkeenow, where 
a large portion of the enemy was killed, and some taken — the men were so much exhausted by the day's march, 
and want of food, that it was necessary to halt, although at such a crisis, rapidity of advance was most advisable. 

5. At two o'clock p. M , on the 11th, while attempts were makuig to obtain a small supply of rice for 
the men, from the few neighbouring villages, information was received that the Burmahs had evacuated the 
stockade in the town, and we took possession of it the following day : every thing of value had been carried 
ofli and notliing was found in the .stockade but a few muskets, two iron guns, and about one hundred and 
twenty maunds of rice in liusk; the enemy, consisting of six hundred fighting men, and as many followers, re- 
treated in a southerly direction, .ind information being yesterday given, that they liad stockatled them.selves at 
a villaL;e called Undro, about ten miles distant, Gumbeer Sing and myself, with two hundred men, went in 
pursuit of them. On reaching the Eric Nullah, six miles disumt, we Ibunil that the enemy had again retreat- 
ed, and subse(jucnt intelligence proving that thcv had altogether left the district, I returned to Munnipoor, and 
Gumbeer Sing jiroceeded to tiie Towban Pergunnali, to make such arrangements for procuring supplies for 
his men, as tlie exhausted state of this once fertile district will permit. 

6, As 



BURMESE WAR 



123 



6. As the principal objects contemplated in attempting this advance were, the obtaining some accurate 
information regarding the different passes into the country, its resources, and tiie strength of the enemy, my 
attention is now whclly directed to their accomplishment; and I hope in a few days after my return to Sylhet, 
to have the pleasure of transmitting plans of the town, stockade, and surrounding country, together with a 
map of the route from Banskandy, and such information as may eventually prove useful. 

7. The favourable mention of Gumbeer Sing's name will not, I trust, be considered presumptuous. 
To liis energy, perseverance and skill, is the success of the undertaking principally attributable, and should 
his co-operation in any subsequent advance be required, it will, I doubt not, be such as to reflect equal credit 
upon himself and men. 

No. 105. — Exlract of a Letter from Mr. C. Tucler, Commissioner at Sijlhet, to Brigadier Wilson, 
Commanding in Sylhet and Cachar ; dated Paunchgong, July 25, 1825. 

I have had the honor to receive j-our letter of the 13th current. 

Yesterday I had an interview with Rajah Gumbeer Sing, from whom I received the following information. 
He did not retreat from Munnipore, in the commore acceptation of the term, but returned with Lieutenant 
Pemberton, agreeably to the previous instructions he had received from me. He has left in IMunnipore a 
force, consisting of three hundred men and twenty horse, under the command of Nun Liag Senna Putty. 
These men are armed with musquets received from the British government, and have plenty of ammunition. 
To this force he has added seven hundred of the inhabitants of Munnipore, armed in their own way, who 
came in and voluntarily offered their services to aid in expelling the Burmese. The whole are stockaded in a 
commanding position. 

Gumbeer Sing is c