Hyder makes himself master of the Mahratta territory south of the Kistna – his jealousy of the English – his connection with the French – The English expect to be attacked by the French, on the west coast of India – Rugoba received by the English – Report of a general confederacy against the English – The British Government acts as a principal in the negotiation with the Poona state not as the auxiliary of Rugoba – War declared – Capture of Dubhoy – Alliance with Futih Sing Gaekwar – terms – Siege and storm of Ahmedabad – Sindia and Holkar advance against Goddard – Policy of Sindia – Negotiation – Goddard partially surprises Sindia’s camp – Operations prolonged in Guzerat – reasons – Lieutenant-Colonel Hartley sent down to assist the troops in the Concan – Operations in that quarter – Capture and defence of Kallian – relieved by Colonel Hartley – Operations of Captain Popham’s detachment – Capture of Lahar – Surprise of Gwalior – Unsuccessful attempt on Mullungurh – Distress of the Bombay Government – War with Hyder Ally – Admirable conduct of Governor Hornby – Hartley opens the campaign with great spirit – Siege of Bassein – The covering army is attacked by the Mahrattas – Battle of Doogaur – Reduction of Bassein – Memoir of Colonel Hartley – Extensive confederacy against the British Government – Peace proposed to the Peishwa’s government, through Moodajee – who declines the mediation, in consequence of the success of Hyder – Proceedings at Bombay – Goddard injudiciously takes post at the Bhore Ghaut – Preparations of the Mahrattas – they act vigorously on Goddard supplies – Goddard retreats to Panwell with heavy loss – Proceedings of the Bengal government – Operations of Lieutenant-Colonel Camac’s detachment – Camac is surrounded by Sindia – retreats – surprises Sindia’s camp – is joined by Colonel Muir – Negotiation opened by Sindia, through Colonel Muir –
Moodajee Bhonslay sends an army into Kuttack – Warren Hastings purchases its retreat, and detaches Moodajee from the confederacy – Instructions to General Goddard for negotiating at Poona – Extensive plan proposed by Goddard for carrying on the war – Peace with Sindia – A general treaty of peace with the Mahrattas concluded at Salbye, through Mahadajee Sindia – Delay in its ratification – Baroach conferred on Sindia
Hyder Ally, though mulcted and duped by Mahadajee Sindia, and Hurry Punt Phurkay, was amply compensated by the opportunity afforded when they were called away, in the end of May, 1778. Dharwar was taken, and the whole tract, as far north as the Gutpurba and Kistna, submitted to his arms. He also took Chittledroog, and extended his territories to the eastward by the reduction of Kurpa. During his stay in that neighbourhood, he was joined by Monsieur Lally, a military adventurer, who had been for some time in the service of Busalut Jung, at Adonee, and afterwards with Nizam Ally, but he now came over to Hyder with his corps.
Prior to this event, Hyder had become thoroughly jealous of the English; and had he not been deterred by fears of a Mahratta invasion, he would, probably, at an early period, have gone to war with them, and declared himself an ally of the. French. He had for some time encouraged a close intercourse with that nation, and was supplied with arms, warlike stores, and occasionally with men, from the island of Mauritius. The capture of Pondicherry, on the 18th October 1778, could not fail of occasioning regret to
Hyder; and when the governor of Madras intimated the intended reduction of the French settlement of Mahé, the port through which Hyder drew his supplies, he formally protested against the attack of a settlement, which, being situated in his territory, was, he pretended, under his protection. The expedition however went forward; Hyder, during the siege, hoisted his colours on the works by the side of the French; but the fort fell to a detachment of Madras troops, under Colonel Braithwaite, in the month of March.
The governor-general and council, in consequence of having received intelligence that the French meditated an attack on the English settlements on the west coast, made an application to Madras for the assistance of some troops to reinforce Bombay, including Colonel Braithwaite’s detachment; and accordingly, after demolishing the works of Mahé, these troops were held at the disposal of the Bombay government, and intended, if necessary, to join General Goddard after the monsoon.
The fugitive Rugoba was received, though at first scarcely welcomed, by the English; and, on the 12th June, accompanied by his sons, Amrut Rao, and Bajee Rao, the latter a child of four years old, visited General Goddard in his camp, from whom he received an allowance of fifty thousand rupees a month, which the governor-general and council totally disapproved, and condemned as a lavish and unnecessary expenditure. General Goddard had been sufficiently prudent to avoid entering on any terms of alliance
with Rugoba: it was considered very impolitic to attempt forcing a person into the Mahratta government, to whom the whole nation had manifested indifference or aversion; and therefore, acting upon the terms of the Poorundhur treaty, if all accommodation were rejected, the English, in support of their national honour, could do no less than engage in the war as principals.
The negotiation between General Goddard and Nana Furnuwees continued for several months; but, towards the end of the monsoon, Goddard communicated to the Bombay government some intelligence he had received of a general confederacy of the Mahrattas, Hyder, and Nizam Ally, against the English, on whom it was said they meditated an attack at all the three presidencies. General Goddard, prior to the receipt of this information, had sent to demand explicit answers from Nana Furnuwees, which were obtained sooner than was expected, by his declaring that the surrender of Salsette, and the person of Rugoba, were preliminaries to any treaty which the English might wish to conclude with the Mahratta state.
An immediate requisition was made for Colonel Braithwaite’s detachment, on the first intelligence of a confederacy; but, in consequence of an attack of the Nairs311, secretly instigated by Hyder, against both, Mahé and Tellicherry, the services of the detachment could not be immediately spared; the Madras government, therefore,
who then foresaw no impending danger to their own presidency, prepared another detachment, under Lieutenant Colonel Browne, of one hundred artillery, a regiment of five hundred Europeans, and a battalion of Sepoys; but, before they joined Goddard, the campaign of the ensuing season was nearly at an end.
When General Goddard obtained the answer from Nana Furnuwees, he evaded giving an immediate reply, embarked for Bombay, where he arrived on the 1st November, and immediately consulted with the government respecting the plan of operations, particularly in regard to the proposed alliance with Futih Sing. His principal motive, however, for repairing thus promptly to Bombay, was to urge despatch in preparing and sending off a reinforcement. Accordingly, although the Bombay government recommended delay, they acceded to his desire, and a detachment, under Colonel Hartley, of one hundred European artillery, two hundred European infantry, two battalions of native infantry, one of them a battalion of grenadier Sepoys volunteer drafts from different corps, principally those who had before served under Hartley on the rear-guard at Tullygaom, were speedily embarked for Guzerat.
On the side of Bengal, a detachment of two thousand Sepoys were in readiness to follow General Goddard’s route, but, on hearing that the war was inevitable, and might have broken out before they could have reached their destination, their march to Surat was countermanded. Mr. Hastings, desirous it would seem of embracing any proposal
for effecting a diversion, and perhaps of giving the country a rallying point of insurrection against the Mahrattas, entered into an alliance with their turbulent tributary, the Rana of Gohud.
Meanwhile, General Goddard, on his return to Surat, dismissed the wukeels of Nana Furnuwees, put his army in a state of readiness, and opened the negotiation with Futih Sing. A treacherous correspondence was about this period intercepted by General Goddard, between the wukeels of Nana Furnuwees, and Mr. Vandegraaf, the Dutch chief and director at Surat, from which it appeared, that the Dutch had engaged in a plot for assisting the Mahrattas to surprise Surat castle; but Mr. Boddam, the English chief; took effectual precautions to prevent the perfidious design.
Futih Sing, on the receipt of the proposals, attempted to procrastinate, and showed every disposition to evade a definite engagement with the English.
General Goddard therefore put his army in motion, crossed the Taptee on the 1st January, but advanced very slowly to the northward, until his battering train and stores had joined him from Baroach, when he marched to attack the fort of Dubhoy, which was in possession of the Peishwa, and garrisoned by about two thousand men. Whilst General Goddard moved forward, Mr. Boddam occupied the Peishwa’s districts near Surat. Mr. Robert Gambier, and the gentlemen of the civil service at Baroach, having enlisted irregulars, also took advantage of General Goddard’s being in their neighbourhood, drove out the Peishwa’s thannas,
and took possession of Oklaseer, Hansot, Desborah, and Amod. Jumbooseer had not been restored by the Bombay government.
The army arrived before Dubhoy on the 18th January. The Bramin commandant, on being summoned to surrender, answered by a vaunting discharge of matchlocks, and kept up a continued fire during the ensuing day, which did no other mischief than that of wounding one subaltern of the Bombay army, Lieutenant Charles Reynolds, the same person who was afterwards surveyor-general.
By day-break of the 20th, a battery of three eighteen pounders was ready to open within two hundred yards; but the garrison had evacuated the place in the night, and Mr. James Forbes312 of the civil service, with a company of Sepoys and a few irregulars, were placed in charge of the new acquisition.
Futih Sing now began to negociate in earnest; met General Goddard, seemingly with as much cordiality as alacrity, and concluded a treaty of offensive and defensive alliance, which was signed on the 26th, on the terms proposed by Governor Hornby, and approved by the supreme government.
The Peishwa’s share of territory, north of the Myhie, was to be given up to Futih Sing, in lieu of which, he agreed to cede his share of revenue south of the Taptee, or those districts known by the appellation of Uthawees Mahal (or Attaweesee),
his share of the revenues of Baroach, the district of Sinnore on the Nerbuddah, and his villages in the Baroach district. The usual tribute to the Peishwa was to be remitted, at all events during the war, but three thousand horse were to join Goddard’s army. The Company were to be put in possession of the districts ceded, from the day that Futih Sing’s troops were put in possession of Ahmedabad.
For that place General Goddard marched with expedition, and arrived before it on the 10th February. The walls of Ahmedabad are of immense extent, and, for so vast a city, were remarkably strong. Though this ancient capital was considered in a comparatively deserted condition, even at this period it was supposed to contain upwards of one hundred thousand inhabitants. The Bramin in charge on the part of the Poona government, being summoned to surrender, expressed his willingness to give up the place, but desired a little time to persuade his garrison, composed of six thousand Arab and Sindee infantry, and two thousand Mahratta horse, to comply with the general’s desire. This is the ordinary language of Mahrattas when they intend a firm resistance; but General Goddard had afterwards reason to believe there was truth in what the Bramin asserted.
Next day, some of the troops having ventured too near the wall suffered for their temerity, and amongst the rest, an officer, the second in command, Lieutenant Colonel Parker, was wounded.
On the 12th, however, General Goddard opened a battery.
by which a breach was effected, and reported practicable by the evening of the 13th. From motives of humanity, and the fear of excesses in the city, the assault was next day delayed, in hopes that the garrison might be induced to surrender; but the endeavour was unavailing, and the storming party was formed on the morning of the 15th February, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Hartley. The advance was composed of volunteers from the Bombay division. Two unfortunate individuals313, of those who had been dismissed for misbehaviour in the preceding campaign, came forward to General Goddard and earnestly solicited permission to accompany the forlorn hope, which was humanely granted, and both survived, after proving themselves worthy of being restored to the service. The command of the party, however, was intrusted to Serjeant Fridge of the Bombay European regiment, a corps always celebrated for gallant volunteers on such occasions. The grenadiers of the Bombay division followed the forlorn hope,
with a strong reserve of chosen men from the army. On the preconcerted signal, the whole moved off at a brisk pace, rushed up the breach where the garrison stood ready to receive them, and for a short time made a very determined stand, until three hundred of them lay dead, when resistance ceased. The most honourable part of this gallant assault was the subsequent steadiness and good conduct of the troops. No excesses were committed, and two only of the inhabitants, not composing the garrison, lost their lives. Of the British troops one hundred and six were killed and wounded, among the latter were ten European officers and four gentlemen volunteers, three of whom died of their wounds314.
The capital of Guzerat was scarcely reduced, when General Goddard heard of the approach of Mahadajee Sindia and Tookajee Holkar, with a body of fifteen thousand horse, to which were to be united seven thousand horse, then engaged in plundering the villages about Baroach.
After the escape of Rugoba there was some coolness between Sindia and the minister, but they were speedily reconciled; and although Mahadajee did not wish to quit the capital at that time, yet as he had Nana under command by causing him to apprehend an alliance with the English, he at last consented to oppose Goddard in Guzerat; and it is necessary to apprize the reader, that Nana Furnuwees
was without reserve informed of all the subsequent proceedings of Sindia: a report, however, was spread of Sindia’s being on the eve of a rupture with Nana, which was speedily followed by another report of his intention to make a desperate effort to recover possession of Rugoba’s person by assaulting Surat.
Rugonath Rao had been persuaded by General Goddard to remain in that city when the army took the field, a circumstance which Mahadajee, from not exactly comprehending that the English were at war as principals, did not expect, and which may have disconcerted the scheme he was hatching. The momentary alarm, however, occasioned by his threat, was dissipated on the arrival of the European part of the Madras detachment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Browne, which had disembarked at Surat, before the Mahratta army had passed Candeish.
Sindia and Holkar forded the Nerbuddah on the 29th February, with upwards of twenty thousand horse, and proceeded to the neighbourhood of Baroda, where they halted. Goddard crossed the Myhie on the 6th March at Fazilpoor, to give them battle; but on his advancing towards Baroda, they retired in the direction of Pawungurh. Sindia, so far from evincing hostile intentions, professed the greatest friendship for the English. The two hostages, Mr. Farmer and Lieutenant Stewart, who were still in his camp, and whom he had treated with much hospitality, were restored to liberty, and
joined General Goddard on the evening of the 9th. This act of kindness was followed by the appearance of a wukeel, Abajee Shabajee, who gave assurances of his master’s friendship for the English, and enmity to Nana Furnuwees, declaring that his master had experienced from the latter the greatest ingratitude and treachery. But Goddard, without being drawn in to make proposals for an alliance, which, allowing Sindia to have been sincere, would have afforded him a grand advantage, made suitable answers, by assurances of a reciprocal regard on the part of the English.; but with respect to the terms of a treaty, he left Sindia to be the judge of what would prove mutually advantageous, as the British governments in India had no other view than a permanent peace, which they were determined to obtain on terms honourable, defined, and secure.
Sindia’s object was to waste the time in negotiation, and keep Goddard inactive during the fair season; but Indian chicane is no match for European honesty. General Goddard was sincere in assuring Sindia of his desire for peace, but he limited the negotiation to a certain time, and allowed Sindia three days from the time his wukeel quitted the British camp, to offer his proposals.
Accordingly, on the 16th, March, the wukeel returned and submitted the following terms from his master: – “That, formerly when Rugoba was at Tullygaom, after the return of the English army to Bombay, an agreement had been entered into between him and Sindia, and written engagements mutually exchanged for its performance,
when the former consented to relinquish all claims to any share in the administration at Poona, and to retire towards Jhansee, where he should receive an allowance of twelve lacks of rupees per annum; that the sicca should continue in the name of the young Peishwa, Mahdoo Rao Narrain, and that Bajee Rao, the son of Rugoba, should be appointed the Peishwa’s De an, but as he was too young: to transact the business of the office himself; being only four years of age, the care and management of it should be left entirely to Sindia. He now therefore proposed that Rugoba should retire to Jhansee, and that the young Bajee Rao should accompany him to Poona.”
Such were his proposals, without declaring himself further respecting the English, whose part he still reserved for Goddard to propose; but General Goddard merely objected to what was wrong-, declared that no force should be put on Rugoba’s inclination, that he had sought the protection of the English, and that his quitting it should be voluntary; that even allowing the English did assist Sindia to acquire the entire powers of the state, for the sum of his proposals amounted to nothing less, Sindia, on his part, in name of the Peishwa, should previously consent to certain conditions favourable to the British interests, as well in consideration of the benefits he was to derive, as in compensation for the wars of the Mahratta state in which they had been compelled to engage. The negotiation was thus brought to a point within seven days, which Sindia probably intended to have spun out into as many months; when it would have been
his study, to balance Bramin fears and jealousy, against the policy of the English, and that sanguine temperament of Europeans which is usually accompanied by credulity.
Mahadajee Sindia continued to profess his friendly regard, but perceiving that Goddard was not to be duped, he opened a negotiation with Govind Rao Gaekwar, for putting him in possession of Guzerat; and Goddard had now no other desire than to bring on an action, which the Mahrattas as carefully avoided. Sindia apprehending a surprise, sent his heavy baggage under the protection of the hill-fort of Pawungurh, which was in his own possession, and threw out a number of small parties of horse to retire on the first alarm, and enable him to avoid any sudden attack that might be meditated.
In this manner, fancying himself secure, he allowed the British army to encamp on the 27th March within six miles of his main body, in which situation they lay watching each other for a week.
But Goddard, on the night of the 2d April; prepared a detachment of ten companies of grenadier Sepoys, headed by the two European grenadier companies of the Bombay regiment, two battalions of Bengal, and one of Bombay native infantry, with the regiment of Bengal cavalry, and a small body of horse belonging to the nabob of Oude, the whole being supported by twelve pieces of artillery.
This force he disposed in two lines; the first line was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel W. A. Baillie, the second by Major Hopkins, and at two o’clock on the morning of the 3d, the time when the guards
of irregulars begin to be overpowered by drowsiness, they moved off silently under General Goddard’s personal command: Lieutenant Colonel Hartley remained in camp, in command of the rest of the army. The detachment passed the Mahratta out-parties without being discovered, – came upon their grand guard of several thousand men, – pushed on for their camp, still a mile and a half in front, without firing a shot; but the day dawned, the alarm had been communicated, and the main body were ready mounted. They stood for a short time, and even advanced, as if to charge, but they were received with a heavy fire, on which they turned their horses until they were beyond reach of the guns; a spirited charge by the body of cavalry belonging to the nabob of Oude, distinguished from the regiment of Bengal cavalry by the name of the Candahar horse, on a body of the Mahrattas, completed the rout, and drove them beyond the reach of pursuit.
Of the regular troops, not a man was touched, but fifteen of the Candahar horse fell in the charge. The loss of the Mahrattas was supposed to be considerable; and General Goddard imagined he had gained a victory; but as soon as he had encamped, Sindia took up the same distance as before, observing a greater vigilance in guarding against surprise.
On the 14th, Colonel Browne, with the Madras troops, joined, and General Goddard on the 19th, made another attempt on Sindia’s camp, but the Mahrattas only waited until he came within sufficient distance, when they let off a flight of rockets and retired as before.
The Bombay government expressed some impatience at General Goddard’s allowing himself to be thus amused, as they imagined that his army might have been better employed in reducing the fort of Bassein, which they considered of value as a permanent acquisition; but General Goddard was constrained to this mode of operations; the time would not have admitted of his forming a regular siege, and to quit Guzerat at that period, was to leave their ally Futih Sing at the mercy of the enemy. It was evident that Sindia wished to draw him into a long pursuit; and although no decisive advantage was gained, the mere circumstance of forcing Sindia and Holkar to decline a battle, and retire before his army, was of importance in the neighbourhood of the new acquisitions.
At the request of the presidency, however, Lieutenant-Colonel Hartley was ordered down to Bombay, and quitted the army near Baroda on 8th May. The presence of this reinforcement in the Concan was very necessary.
The greater part of the provisions for the consumption of the inhabitants of Bombay being drawn from the neighbouring continent, in order to prevent the Mahrattas from cutting off the supplies, in which they had partly succeeded, detachments were sent from Salsette and Bombay, which had seized and occupied several posts, and one party, consisting of two companies of Sepoys, headed by four European subalterns, pushed on to the Ghauts, occupied one of the passes where they established a post, got up three pieces of cannon, and were reinforced by a small detail of European artillery.
But the principal acquisition was the town of Kallian, where a captain’s post was established under Captain Richard Campbell. Nana Furnuwees, who set a high value upon that place, assembled a large force for the purpose of recovering it, and driving the English from the continent: the post at the Ghauts was attacked before it could be withdrawn; the party was cut off or dispersed, and the guns were taken. Three of the officers were killed, and one of them was made prisoner. The Mahrattas, elated with this success, advanced towards Kallian, threatened to exterminate the garrison if they dared to resist, and forced their prisoner, Ensign Fyfe, to write315 to the commanding
officer, Captain Richard Campbell, to demand the surrender of the town. To all which Campbell replied, “that they were welcome to it if they could take it,” and made a most spirited defence. Colonel Hartley fortunately arrived from Guzerat just in time to prevent the assault which was to have taken place on the morning of the 25th May; but on the night of the 24th Hartley surprised the Mahratta camp, followed them up for several miles, killed a great number, but could not succeed in taking the guns. They retired, however, from the Concan and left the British troops unmolested during the remainder of the fair season.
General Goddard in the mean time being incommoded for want of forage, was obliged to send to a distance to procure it; a covering party was briskly attacked, but repulsed the enemy, and shortly after this event, Goddard moved to the Nerbuddah in order to place his troops in convenient stations during the approaching rains.
He received a pressing application from the Bombay government to endeavour to seize Parneira, a hill fifteen miles north of Damaun, fortified by Moro Punt Pingley in the time of Sivajee; but their wishes had been anticipated. Gunnesh Punt, a Mahratta officer, who had been stationed in the Concan, quitted that quarter, plundered such
parts of the Attaveesy as did not acknowledge the ministerial party, and advanced close to Surat, where he had committed great devastations. Lieutenant Welsh, an officer of the Bengal cavalry, having been sent forward by Goddard, at the requisition of the civil authorities in Surat, with the regiment of cavalry, the Candahar horse, and a body of infantry, surprized the camp of Gunnesh Punt at four o’clock on the morning of the 23d. April, killed upwards of a hundred of the Mahrattas, mortally wounded Gunnesh Punt, the commander, took his guns, three in number, and the whole of his baggage316. Lieutenant Welsh went on to the southward, and greatly distinguished himself by reducing Parneira, Bugwara, and Indergurh, three forts in the neighbourhood of Damaun, of which the Bombay government were very anxious to obtain
possession. A detachment of the Bengal Sepoys, under Major Forbes, also distinguished themselves by attacking and routing one of Sindia’s detachments near Sinnore, on the banks of the Nerbuddah, which insured tranquillity to the newly acquired districts, in Guzerat during the approaching monsoon.
In the Concan, after the rain fell, the Mahrattas in small parties returned, to molest the different posts; but Major Hopkins and Captain Abington, who were stationed with the eighth317 and ninth
battalions at Kallian, prevented any attempt upon that place.
In regard to the affairs of Bengal, the treaty on the part of Mr. Hastings, with the Rana of Gohud, was opposed by some of the members of the Bengal government with more reason than is always to be found in their objections; such an insignificant ally, without troops, resources, or extensive popularity, was more likely to embarrass than to aid a regular army, unless in regard to supplies whilst actually within the Gohud territory. A diversion, by attacking the Mahrattas on the north-east part of Malwa, by passing through Gohud, was strongly recommended by Goddard, and supported by Sir Eyre Coote. The latter, however, disapproved of sending a small force; and when at the requisition of the Rana, Captain Popham was ordered to cross the Jumna, Sir Eyre Coote deemed the measure extremely injudicious.
The detachment under Captain William Popham was composed of drafts intended to recruit the Bengal battalions serving with General Goddard, but in consequence of the renewal of the war, they were not allowed to march across India, as had been originally ordered, and were now selected for this service. The whole amounted to two thousand four hundred men; they were formed into three battalions of equal strength: a small body of cavalry, and a detail of European artillery, with a howitzer and a few field-pieces accompanied them. Captain Popham crossed the Jumna in the month of February; he immediately attacked a body of Mahrattas, who were plundering in the neighbourhood
of Gohud, drove them from the country, and at the request of the Rana marched against Lahar, a fortified place fifty miles west of Kalpee, in possession of the Mahrattas. Having summoned the fort, which refused to surrender, he was obliged to commence an attack, although he found it much stronger than had been represented, and that battering guns were necessary to insure its capture. But the determined bravery of the troops overcame every difficulty; long before the breach was, in the ordinary sense of the word, practicable, Capt. Popham, foreseeing that field-pieces might never effect the purpose, determined to storm. Lieut. Logan and Cornet Gardiner led on the advance; both fell in the breach; but Mr. O’Dell, a volunteer, rushed forward to supply their place, mounted the works, gallantly followed by the party, and, after a persevering assault, the place was carried, although with the heavy loss of one hundred and twenty-five men of the storming party. This success was entirely unexpected by Sir Eyre Coote, who, on hearing of the attack without battering cannon, only anticipated disaster; and in consequence of his representations, another detachment of four regular battalions, with a battering train, was held in readiness to cross the Jumna, under Major Jacob Camac. But if the successful assault of Lahar was unexpected, the capture of the strong hill fort of Gwalior, without the loss of a man, excited the utmost admiration. Captain Popham, after his return from Lahar, was encamped during the rains within five coss of the celebrated fortress of Gwalior, expecting to be relieved as soon as the season
permitted. Gwalior was in possession of Mahadajee Sindia, and in Hindoostan, where the stupendous fastnesses of the west of India were little known, it was accounted one of the strongest forts in Asia.
Captain Popham, with equal enterprise and prudence, was employed for about two months in laying his scheme; and at last, assisted by spies, furnished through the Rana of Gohud, he determined to carry his plan into execution. Every preparation had been made with the utmost Secrecy, and on the night of the 3d August he formed his party. The command of the advance was conferred on Captain Bruce, who had before distinguished himself in the attack of the Mahratta horse, upon the first arrival of the detachment in the Gohud territory. The advance on this occasion consisted of two companies of Sepoys, chosen grenadiers and light infantry. They were led by four lieutenants, Wilson, Scott, Allen, and Paterson; and as the surprise of natives was intended, twenty Europeans followed the Sepoys; a judicious disposition, as they were near enough to gain the head of the column if necessary, and where they were placed, less likely to lead to discovery; two battalions of Sepoys followed: scaling ladders applied to the foot of the scarped rock, which was sixteen feet high, enabled them to mount with ease. Thence they had to climb a steep ascent of about forty yards to the foot of the second wall, which was thirty feet high. The spies ascended, made fast ladders of ropes, by which the Sepoys mounted with alacrity, and each man as he got inside squatted down. Twenty of the Sepoys, with Captain
Bruce, had entered the fort, when three of them so far forgot themselves as to shoot some of the garrison who lay asleep near them. This indiscretion occasioned an immediate alarm; but the Sepoys stood their ground, their comrades mounted to their support, the garrison became intimidated, and the sun had scarcely risen on the 4th August, when the assailants had obtained possession, almost without resistance, of the celebrated fortress of Gwalior.
On that very night a similar attempt was made with different success on the western side of India. Captain Abington, afterwards so well known from his gallant defence of Tellicherry, made an attempt to surprise the strong fortress of Mullungurh, or as it is frequently termed Bhow Mullun, one of the most conspicuous objects of the beautiful view to the eastward of the island of Bombay. Captain Abington succeeded in possessing himself of the lower hill; but the garrison, before his men could get sufficiently near to mingle with them, took the alarm, and made good their retreat to the upper fort: an enormous mass of perpendicular rock that defied all attempts at an assault.
During the rains, the Bombay government had full leisure to contemplate the state of their affairs. Their greatest, distress was their total want of funds. They looked to Bengal for a supply of treasure; but the hostility of Hyder, which the supreme government had doubted, and which the majority of the Madras rulers disbelieved, burst with appalling certainty on the province of Arcot, which was invaded in the month of July with the most
formidable army that had ever opposed the British power in India. This new difficulty superadded to their own distress, induced the supreme government to declare that they could afford no assistance to the Bombay presidency. “We have no resource,” says Governor Hornby in his admirable minute of the 1st August, “but such as we may find in our own efforts;” and in this strait his measures showed much judgment and vigour. To raise funds was the subject of immediate deliberation, and the difficulties are best expressed in the means taken to obviate them. A quantity of copper in the Company’s warehouses, valued at ten or twelve lacks of rupees, was disposed of to the highest bidder; loans in Bengal, on the credit of the Bombay government, were proposed to be negotiated, and a plan laid of seizing as much as possible of the enemy’s resources, by anticipating them in the collection of their revenue.
General Goddard was to besiege Bassein as soon as the season permitted: the European part of his army was sent down to Salsette by sea, the battering train was prepared in Bombay and the Sepoys were to march by land. Early in October the whole of the disposable force at Bombay, and in the neighbourhood, consisting of five battalions, were placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hartley, who was instructed to drive out the enemy’s posts, and cover as much of the Concan as possible, so as to enable the agents of the Bombay government to collect a part of the revenues, and secure the rice harvest, which is gathered at the close of the rains. There is perhaps no
part of Mr. Hornby’s minute more expressive of the distress under which that government laboured, than that where, alluding to the field force they were preparing, he observes, “Our troops will better bear running in arrears when employed on active service, and subsisting in the enemy’s country,” for it is a principle with the British government and its officers in India, than which nothing has more tended to the national success, always to consider the peasantry under their strictest protection. As General Goddard advanced to invest Bassein, it was intended that Colonel Hartley should then take up a position a little to the east of that fortress, and prevent the Mahratta army from attempting to raise the siege.
Hartley, however, in the first place was required to march to the relief of Captain Abington, who still occupied the lower part of the fort of Mullungurh; but a large body of upwards of three thousand of the enemy, principally infantry, had cut off his communication with Kallian, so that he was attacked by the garrison from the works above him, and surrounded by the body in question.
This service Colonel Hartley effected on the first of October, without loss; and another corps under Captain Jameson, joined the party at Mullungurh, which now consisted of the 2d and 8th battalions under Major Hopkins. The enemy, however, were also reinforced, and pitched their camp next day on the south-east side of the hill, where they began to lay waste the country. Colonel Hartley immediately prepared to attack them, and for this purpose marched from Kallian
with the Bombay European regiment, and the 1st battalion of Sepoys, directing Major Hopkins to send down the 8th battalion, under Captain Jameson to assist in the attack. The Mahrattas were apprized of Colonel Hartley’s advance, and met him at the foot of the hill. Thence they gradually retired towards their camp, which was left standing in the confidence of perfect security, and maintained a running fight, as if they had intended to draw the troops into an ambuscade; but all at once, Captain Jameson’s corps, advancing from the hill, came upon the whole body, and without waiting for the rest of the troops, instantly attacked them; to use the words of Colonel Hartley, “with the utmost eagerness and spirit, pursued them to their camp, (of which they took possession,) and were shortly afterwards joined by the rest of the troops.” This spirited success which was effected with the loss of only a few men of the 8th battalion, put the troops into high spirits, of which Hartley took immediate advantage, followed up the enemy’s parties with alacrity, drove them out of the Concan, occupied a position not far from the Bhore Ghaut, and thus for a short time enabled the Bombay government to carry their plan of collecting the revenue into effect.
General Goddard having before sent down the Europeans by sea, commenced his march from Surat on the 16th of October. For the protection of Guzerat, six companies from the Bengal, and two of the Bombay detachment had been left with Futih Sing Gaekwar to strengthen his garrison at Ahmedabad; that party was accordingly directed
to remain there for the present. In Baroda, Futih Sing had a considerable force of his own, and Dubhoy was guarded against all but a regular siege. Two Bengal battalions were stationed on the Nerbuddah, at Sinnore; two battalions of Bombay Sepoys, one of which was held ready at Surat, and the other at Baroach, to act conjointly or separately, were placed under the orders of Major Forbes, a Bengal officer of approved merit, to whom the charge of the general defence of the Guzerat province was assigned, and Futih Sing Gaekwar’s quota of three thousand horse, were to join Major Forbes if necessary.
General Goddard arrived before Bassein on the 13th of November, and having carefully reconnoitred it, he found the north face the only side on which it could be attacked by regular approaches, a mode which, owing to the great strength of the place, although it might require more time, he determined to adopt.
He accordingly opened trenches, and completed his first battery on the 28th of November, at the distance of nine hundred yards; other batteries were opened at the distance of eight and five hundred yards successively. He had a very powerful artillery, principally twenty-four pounders, and one battery of twenty mortars, at the distance of five hundred yards, which did great execution.
In the mean time Nana Furnuwees and Hurry Punt Phurkay were making every preparation to recover the Concan, and raise the siege of Bassein. The horse did not arrive until the Dussera, and the guns and equipments which had been before
furnished, principally by Mahadajee Sindia, were not in sufficient readiness to enable them to take the field. Ramchundur Gunnesh, Pureshram Bhow, Anund Rao Rastia, and several other officers were sent forward, and as fast as the Mahratta troops were assembled, they were sent down to join them in the Concan.
The division under Colonel Hartley were for upwards of a month engaged in daily skirmishes; a great deal of their ammunition was expended, and the sick, many of whom were wounded, amounted to six hundred, which, with his detachments, reduced his number to little more than two thousand effective men.
Having heard that the enemy intended to throw succours into Bassein, and cut off his communication with that place, it being no longer possible to cover the country, Colonel Hartley judiciously moved to Titwalla on the 8th of December, from thence he continued his march towards Doogaur, nine miles east of Bassein. The Bombay government, overanxious to recover the revenue, disapproved of his quitting the neighbourhood of the Bhore Ghaut, but they were not fully aware of the strength of the Mahratta army, or the experience and enterprise of the principal commander, Ramchunder Gunnesh. Finding that the precautions of Goddard had effectually prevented an attempt to succour Bassein; the Mahrattas had determined to make amends for its loss by the destruction of the covering army. On the 10th December, their united force, amounting in horse and foot to upwards of twenty thousand men, thrice attacked the Bombay
division in front and rear, but were each time steadily repulsed. Five thousand of their horse made a spirited charge on the left of Hartley’s line, but they were so well received, that no impression was made, and the troops sustained but little loss, having only eighteen killed and wounded; two, however, were officers, Lieutenants Drew and Cooper.
On the ensuing day, the attack was renewed, the horse did not charge, but the Mahratta guns did considerable execution, and the division lost Lieutenants Cowan and Peirson, with upwards of one hundred men; the troops, however, though weakened and harassed, during a period of nearly six weeks constant fighting, behaved most gallantly, and “their conduct,” says Colonel Hartley, in his spirited but modest despatches, “only confirms me in the high opinion I shall ever have of them.”
On the right and left of Colonel Hartley’s line, there were two eminences, which, when well secured, completely covered his flanks. These heights were guarded by strong pickets, and Colonel Hartley having observed that the enemy’s skirmishers came very close to the right in the action of the 11th, with that judicious anticipation which always gave the Bombay Sepoys so much confidence in Hartley, he strengthened those points by directing the field engineer to throw up a small breast work, and a gun was sent to each eminence, during the night, both to the right and left. Ramchunder Gunnesh perceived the advantage of carrying one of these points, and next day intended to direct his principal attack on the right flank, as
Hartley had foreseen. Orders were given to the Mahratta officers to advance in front and rear; Ramchundur in person, by a circuitous route for the purpose of storming the height, led on a body of Arab foot, and a thousand regular infantry under Signior Noronha318, a Portuguese officer in the Peishwa’s service. A body of the best horse supported the infantry, and Ramchundur was determined to carry this post or perish.
Taking advantage of a thick fog, by nine o’clock in the morning they had approached close to the picket, but the mist suddenly cleared away, the sun shone forth, and both parties, having now a near and full view of each other, paused for a moment, – when a brisk fire opened at once, and the guns did surprising execution; the storming party advanced with great ardour; guns from the right of the line were brought to bear upon the assailants, and committed great havoc among the horse; but the Mahrattas still persevered, – when suddenly their fire slackened, and a body was seen borne off towards the rear; – it was Ramchundur Gunnesh, who fell with the well-earned reputation of a gallant and skilful officer. Signior Noronha was wounded, when the enemy, dispirited by the loss of their leaders, retired precipitately and with
heavy loss. In the action of the 12th, the Bombay troops suffered very little, and their whole conduct appears to have been much more justly appreciated by the Mahrattas than by their own government319; the fact is, that military service in India seems always to have been commended rather in proportion to the result than to the duty performed, and this trying and well-fought campaign is scarcely known, even to the gallant army by whom it was maintained.
Bassein surrendered on the 11th December, and General Goddard, hearing that the whole army had attacked the Bombay division, set off in person at the head of the cavalry, and the assembled grenadiers of the Bengal and Madras troops, with whom he reached Colonel Hartley’s camp on the thirteenth. He expressed his admiration of the judicious position which had been chosen, and of the fortitude shown by the troops on that and on every occasion, where harassing service and great privation, from want of their pay, had been borne not only without a murmur, but with the greatest cheerfulness. The whole army was now united under General Goddard; and it unfortunately happened that the orders from the Court of Directors, before alluded to, which made Hartley the junior Lieutenant Colonel on the Bombay establishment until all those formerly his seniors should be promoted, was at this time promulgated, Lieutenant
Colonel Baillie, of the Madras establishment, though just promoted to that rank, immediately claimed his right, and of course superseded him. Hartley represented the peculiar mortification to which he was subjected; but the order was irrevocable. He quitted the army, repaired to England, and laid his case before the Court of Directors, who, sensible of his merit, although they could not alter the constitution of their service, recommended him to his Majesty, by whom he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 73d regiment. Although no longer engaged in Mahratta warfare, he was afterwards distinguished on many occasions in India320; and though hitherto best known as Major General Hartley, his real merit is not less conspicuous in the military annals of our country, when holding the rank of Captain of Sepoys.
The reduction of Bassein, and the defeat of the army in the Concan, were severely felt by Nana Furnuwees321. The judicious operations of Goddard had secured that important fortress, with an inconsiderable loss of thirteen men, of whom was one officer, Lieutenant Sir John Gordon, who died of his wounds. On the same day that General Goddard joined Colonel Hartley, the Bombay government received a letter from Bengal, dated 9th October, informing them of their intention to make peace with the Mahrattas: ordering, that upon the Peishwa’s intimating that he had commanded a cessation of hostilities, that they were immediately to desist in like manner; but, until
such an intimation was received, they were urged to prosecute the war with vigour322. Similar instructions were transmitted to General Goddard.
To account for these orders it is necessary to explain, that the supreme government had received information that all the Mahrattas, except Futih Sing Gaekwar, (whose communication was in a manner cut off from his countrymen by the British troops, and whose interests strongly bound him to the Company,) were combined with Hyder and the Nizam against the English, and that Nizam Ally, although he had not commenced hostilities, was the contriver of the whole confederacy. The immediate cause of the enmity of Nizam Ally towards the English, originated in a treaty concluded by the Madras government, in April, 1779, with his brother, Busalut Jung, Jagheerdar of Adonee, by which they received him under their protection, on condition of their being allowed to rent the district of Guntoor, which was, at all events, to come into their possession after the death of Busalut Jung. The alliance alarmed Nizam Ally, whose jealousy of Busalut Jung was extreme; and Hyder, some of whose late acquisitions would have been cut off from the rest of his territory, would not suffer the British troops to take possession of Guntoor, and opposed their march even before the war broke out. The treaty of the Madras government with Busalut Jung was illegal, because it never received the sanction or ratification of the governor-general and council, who, therefore,
when it came to their knowledge in February, 1780, disavowed and annulled it, a measure which tended considerably to appease the resentment of Nizam Ally; but, from the time of the Wurgaom convention, he had adopted a tone of overbearing insolence, which, towards the British authorities, he had not before ventured to assume. Hyder, in addition to those motives of jealousy already described, had a very strong inducement for engaging in the confederacy. The conquests he had made as far north as the Kistna, had been ceded to him by Rugonath Rao, whom he affected to consider the legitimate Peishwa; and the confirmation of this cession, on the part of the Poona ministers, was preliminary to his becoming a party in the alliance; his right to the Mahratta territories, south of the Kistna, was admitted, and the future tribute, for the whole of his possessions, was fixed at the inconsiderable sum of eleven lacks of rupees.
Mr. Hastings, although Moodajee Bhonslay had acquiesced in the scheme of a general confederacy against the English, perceived that he might still ultimately indulge the hope of an alliance with them at some favourable period; but, from the crisis to which events were hastening, he began to doubt whether the neutrality privately professed by Moodajee could be lasting. The governor-general was sensible of an influence, which Nizam Ally, although in reality an enemy, possessed over the ruler of Berar, through his, Moodajee’s, dewan, Dewakur Punt, without whose counsel Moodajee decided on no political measure. The power of Hyder Ally was such, that peace with the Mahrattas
seemed necessary to the safety of the British in India; but, in the adversity which threatened them, it seemed less difficult to engage Moodajee as a mediator than as an ally. Under these circumstances, Mr. Hastings offered peace to the Peishwa’s government through Moodajee, early in the month of October, on the following terms: – Ahmedabad to be retained for Futih Sing; Gwalior for the Rana of Gohud; and Bassein, if in possession of the Company at the time, to be kept by them; but the whole of the other acquisitions made, since the 1st January, 1779, to be restored; a provision to be made for Rugonath Rao during his life, and a place of residence fixed wherever he might desire, except in the neighbourhood of Bombay; at all events, no assistance to be afforded by the British government in re-asserting his pretensions. Such were the conditions offered, provided the Peishwa’s government agreed to enter on an alliance, offensive and defensive, with the Company, against Hyder Ally and the French nation; but, if the alliance thus tendered, should not be accepted, a peace was proposed, by each party retaining its respective conquests. Moodajee Bhonslay was to be the declared mediator and guarantee; the subordinate governments in India, and all officers commanding divisions of British troops, were to desist from hostilities upon the Peishwa’s intimating that he had sent like orders to the commanders of his armies. But before these proposals reached Nagpoor, news had arrived of the disastrous affair where Colonel Baillie’s detachment
was destroyed by Hyder Ally, near Conjevaram, on the 10th September323, on which Moodajee, concluding that the Company’s affairs were desperate, hesitated in becoming mediator, unless on terms to which the governor-general and council would not accede.
Moodajee did not send answers to the proposals from Bengal for upwards of two months, but the offers made to him account for the orders already mentioned, which were received on the west of India in December. Although the wants of the Bombay presidency had been partially relieved by an unexpected supply of money from Bengal, the prospect of peace, notwithstanding the sacrifices they must make, was hailed by the members of that government with satisfaction; but as no intimation from the Peishwa arrived, they proposed to secure the Concan, reduce the forts, and then act only on the defensive.
General Goddard was detained for some time by the fort of Arnaul, situated on a small island, ten miles north of Bassein, the Killidar of which refused to give it up until a force appeared before it; – he then surrendered on the 18th January. It appeared to General Goddard, that an advanced movement, so as to threaten Poona, was more likely to Meditate the negotiations of the governor-general with the Peishwa, than wasting time in attempting to reduce hill-forts, the greater part of which seemed totally impregnable. Although General
Goddard, by order from the Court of Directors, was now commander-in-chief of the Bombay army, he was still intrusted with his former powers from Bengal, and at liberty, in a great degree, to follow his own plans. The orders from Bengal, although they desired that the war should be vigorously prosecuted in the event of receiving no intimation from the Peishwa, were yet of a nature to unsettle any steady plan of the authorities acting in subordinate co-operation; and from Madras, where all their evils were attributed, with some justice, “to Rugoba Dada and the Mahratta war,” every despatch to Bombay, teemed with regrets on this subject, pressed the necessity of peace with the Mahrattas, and an attack on Hyder’s possessions on the Malabar coast.
Under these circumstances Goddard adopted the half measure of threatening, without being prepared to carry his threat into execution; and this excellent officer committed his first error by a departure from a rule which common observation inculcates, even in ordinary life. He advanced towards the passes of the mountains: Hurry Punt, then in the Concan, retired to Poona, but left the Bhore Ghaut guarded. It was gallantly attacked by Colonel Parker at the head of the advanced party of Bengal troops on the night of the 8th of February. He forced the pass with ease, and the troops were encamped at Kundalla, on the same spot which Captain Stewart had occupied about three years before, where they were soon joined by the greater part of the force; although Goddard324,
with the head-quarters, remained at the village of Campoly, at the bottom of the Ghauts.
Their appearance gave Nana Furnuwees no alarm, for his political boldness was contrasted in an extraordinary, but amongst Bramins by no means a singular manner, with his personal timidity, and the only effects produced on him by the advance to the Ghauts, were additional efforts to increase the army, and the most vigorous preparations for rendering the country a desert and Poona a ruin. He however tried to amuse General Goddard by sending an unauthorized agent to treat with him, which induced Goddard to make overtures on the terms proposed through Moodajee Bhonslay. Of these Nana affected ignorance; Goddard sent him a copy of the terms, and thus subjected them to positive rejection; for Nana
Furnuwees observed, that proposals had been tendered by the governor-general, but that Moodajee had refused to forward them; that these now sent could not be listened to, nor at that time would any terms whatever be admitted in which Hyder, the ally of the Mahratta state, was not included325. It is probable that General Goddard’s own judgment disapproved of such unavailing concession, but he was urged to it by letters from Sir Eyre Coote, at Madras, who, in the month of October 1780, had been solicited by the governor-general to repair to the coast and retrieve the fortunes and honour of his country; a call which was as gratifying to the feelings of the general, as to the army of Fort St. George.
Nana Furnuwees had sent the Peishwa, now in his 7th year, to Poorundhur; Hurry Punt Phurkay and Tookajee Holkar commanded the main body of his army, with which Nana himself advanced towards the Ghauts, and Pureshram Bhow Putwurdhun was sent down into the Concan with a force of twelve thousand men, to harass Goddard’s detachments and obstruct the communication
with Bombay326. An opportunity soon presented itself; a detachment of two corps, the 1st Bombay and 5th Bengal battalions, under Captain Mackay, when returning from Panwell as an escort to a convoy of grain for the army, were very briskly attacked by Pureshram Bhow.
On the night of the 15th March, Captain Mackay had brought up his convoy a distance of twelve miles, to the village of Chouke, when early on the morning of 16th March, he was suddenly assailed by the whole force of Pureshram Bhow, which he repulsed though not without difficulty; but Pureshram Bhow’s loss was comparatively very severe. Both battalions behaved well, and the Bengal Sepoys, who had never before been so closely engaged, showed very great spirit. One company, however, in charging a body of horse with the bayonet, after having routed them, were drawn forward in the eagerness of pursuit, when the Mahrattas, than whom, if no troops sooner fly, none are so speedily rallied, wheeled about, charged, and overpowered them, but the contiguity of the line saved them from total destruction. Captain Mackay had still twelve long
miles to march before he could reach the bottom of the Ghaut: the face of the country in the Concan has already been described, and although the road was the best in the country, it was a mere path-way, through a tract exceedingly rugged, full of deep ravines and dells, strong jungles on his right and left, and frequently high rocks and precipices within musquet shot on both sides. Captain Mackay renewed his march as soon as it was dark, and advanced before morning to within a few miles of Campoly, whence General Goddard sent out a reinforcement, with carriage for his wounded, and enabled him to bring in his men and the whole convoy without further molestation.
The movement towards the Ghauts, from which Goddard calculated advantageous political results, had completely failed, and the Bombay government, in the prospect of keeping Guzerat and the Concan, did not regret that an end was put to the negotiation; even Mr. Hastings, in that view, considered the rejection of his proposals as a circumstance by no means unfortunate. The opinion of the Bombay government, in regard to a system of defence, and sending back the Madras troops to the assistance of their own presidency, was now adopted by Goddard; but as the season for taking forts was nearly at an end, he proposed raising a work and establishing a strong garrison at the Bhore Ghaut, of which Mr. Hornby disapproved, and judiciously observed, that a large garrison left at the Bhore Ghaut, a pass which experience had shown they could at any time carry with ease, would be but a waste of money and of men. The
capture, as Mr. Hornby observed, of Rajmachee, a fort a little to the north of the Bhore Ghaut, which might have been easily reduced, would, with a very small garrison, have served both to form a depôt and to distress the enemy.
After some deliberation it was resolved, in council, that the army should return to canton for the rains, at Bombay and Kallian; that the Madras troops should be sent back to their own presidency, and two of their own battalions sent down to assist in the defence of Tellicherry, which they had intended to abandon until they received some treasure from Bengal; but this ancient possession they now determined to defend. After all had been thus settled, General Goddard found it impracticable to march without sacrificing a great part of his stores and equipments. About the 1st of (April 1.) April he had sent down to Panwell, a strong escort of three battalions of Sepoys, ten guns, and the whole of the cavalry, for the purpose of bringing on another convoy of grain and stores. On the road to Panwell, this escort, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Browne, was attacked by Pureshram Bhow, and although every exertion was made to save the cattle, the Mahrattas, whose dexterity in driving off unloaded bullocks is remarkable327, carried away a considerable
number of them. The escort would have been sufficient to bring on the convoy through the whole force of Pureshram Bhow, but Holkar was sent down the Ghauts, by Nana Furnuwees, to strengthen him; when Colonel Browne, on hearing of the great army which lay in his route; deemed it impracticable to advance without a reinforcement, in which opinion General Goddard coincided. Unfortunately, the greater part of the cattle of the army, had been sent down to assist in transporting the supplies, so that Goddard could not march with his whole force, without sacrificing a great deal of public property, and with a part, he was sure of being cut off by the enemy; he therefore represented his situation to Bombay, and entreated the government to send every disposable man of their garrison to reinforce Colonel Browne, a request with which they instantly complied, and the escort advanced without delay. The Mahratta force amounted to upwards of twenty-five328 thousand horse, besides several bodies of rocket men, and infantry; they attacked the escort during their march for three clays, but were constantly baffled and repulsed by the skill of Colonel Browne, whose conduct was the theme of very great praise.
He brought in his convoy safe329, but with the loss of one hundred and six men killed330 and wounded, during the three days on which he marched.
The junction of this detachment on the 15th April, enabled General Goddard to prepare for his retreat.
By the 19th he had sent down his guns and baggage to the bottom of the Ghauts, unobserved, as he supposed, by the enemy; but the Mahrattas had correct information of the least stir in his camp, and were silently but anxiously watching the result. Tookajee Holkar, with fifteen thousand men, without any baggage, was at the bottom of the Kussoor Ghaut, and Pureshram Bhow, with twelve thousand, was also below the Ghauts near Bheema Shunkur. Hurry Punt Phurkay was above the Ghauts, between Kundalla and Karlee, with above twenty-five thousand horse, four thousand foot, and several light field pieces.
General Goddard’s information represented Holkar and Pureshram Bhow, as about to ascend the Ghauts, but on the 20th, the moment that Goddard marched, Hurry Punt’s force poured down into the Concan331, took a considerable quantity of baggage, consisting of tents, boxes of musquet ammunition, and two thousand cannon shot332. On
the 20th Goddard halted at Kalapoor, and renewed his march on the 21st. His rear had scarcely cleared the ground of encampment, when the first shot from Hurry Punt’s guns struck a tumbril full of ammunition, which instantly exploded, and although it did very little mischief, the Mahrattas were greatly encouraged by the circumstance, and harassed the troops during the whole of their march to Chouke. The nature of the ground gave their irregular infantry every advantage, as they were enabled from the cover of rocks, bushes, and ravines, to take deliberate aim, and Holkar and Pureshram Bhow, made their appearance in front, about nine o’clock in the morning. At one o’clock in the afternoon, when Goddard pitched his camp, the enemy retired, Hurry Punt to Kalapoor, and the others, to some distance in the rear of the right flank of the British army. The loss on the 21st, which was severe, fell principally upon the Bengal Sepoys, who were stationed in the rear, and behaved with much gallantry. On the 22d, General Goddard halted, and again marched on the 23d, when the attack was renewed, but the baggage having been sent forward at two o’clock in the morning, he was thus enabled to get on a considerable distance before the enemy came up. The attack on the rear was at one time very determined, and the 6th Bengal and 13th333 Bombay battalions, particularly distinguished themselves, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Parker of the Bengal establishment, an excellent officer,
who fell whilst bravely exerting himself at head of the rear-guard. General Goddard observing that the enemy always retired when they saw him established in his camp, made a show of pitching his tents, the manoeuvre succeeded, and being the last march was judicious.
The army arrived at Panwell on the evening of the 23d April, without further molestation. On this retreat, which the Mahrattas consider one of their most signal victories, General Goddard’s army sustained a heavy loss of four hundred and sixty-six in killed and wounded, of whom eighteen were European officers334.
Although the Mahratta troops, particularly the infantry, and that part of the horse under Pureshram Bhow Putwurdhun, behaved well, it may be here remarked as a symptom of the decline of military spirit, that the despatches of Hurry Punt, are written in a style of the most vaunting gasconade,
in which Bramin commanders, before this period, were less apt to indulge, than either Mahratta or Mahomedan officers. The loss of the English was estimated by the Mahrattas, at fifteen hundred men, one gun, several tumbrils, and a great part of their baggage; both Hurry Punt and Nana Furnuwees acknowledged that they too have sustained a heavy loss, both in men and horses335.
The reinforcement for Tellicherry and the Madras troops were embarked and sent off as predetermined; but the European privates were drafted into the Bombay regiment, a measure, against which, the Madras government bitterly inveighed. The remainder of the army, after they had remained encamped for some weeks at Panwell, marched to Kallian, where they were cantoned for the monsoon, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Baillie336. Ten thousand Mahrattas were sent towards Guzerat, under Mahdoo Rao Ramchundur, the garrisons in the Concan were strengthened, and the main body of the Peishwa’s army returned, as usual, to their homes337.
Whilst these events were passing on the west of India, the governor-general and council in Bengal having disapproved of the Bombay defensive system, were endeavouring to create a powerful diversion, by carrying hostilities into the heart of Sindia’s territory; that he, the principal promoter, should become the greatest sufferer by the war; and Mr. Hastings was at the same time engaged in
an intricate negotiation, for the purpose of detaching Moodajee Bhonslay from the confederacy.
It has been already mentioned that a division of troops under Major, now by regular promotion, Lieutenant-Colonel Camac had been prepared to assist the Rana of Gohud; and as the brilliant successes of Captain Popham, who was appointed a major for his gallant enterprize on Gwalior, had cleared the Gohud territory of the enemy, Colonel Camac invaded Malwa, reduced Sippree, and advanced to Seronje, where he arrived on the 16th of February. Mahadajee Sindia, who was marching from the westward to oppose him, came up with his division at the latter place, and Colonel Camac, having taken post, allowed himself to be surrounded. The want of provisions and forage soon reduced him to great distress. Perceiving the mistake he had made, and the great danger to be incurred by retiring, he sent off the most pressing letters to Colonel Morgan, commanding in the Oude territory, to send on a reinforcement to his relief. Lieutenant-Colonel Muir was detached accordingly, with three battalions of infantry, two regiments of cavalry, and a company of artillery. But in the meantime Lieutenant-Colonel Camac was attacked by Sindia, and cannonaded in his camp for seven days successively, when he determined to attempt a retreat at all hazards.
At midnight on the 7th March, with great skill he commenced his march, and was not discovered till day-break, but on the 8th and 9th he was constantly harassed, until his arrival at the town of Mahautpoor,
where he forced the inhabitants to supply him with provisions, and then turned and fronted his pursuers. Sindia encamped every night at the distance of five or six miles from the British troops, in a state of instant readiness, having his heavy baggage at an equal distance in his rear. This disposition, to guard against surprise, continued for several nights, until Colonel Camac by his seeming want of enterprise, had thrown the wily Mahratta off his guard; when, on the night of the 24th of March, he entered Sindia’s camp, attacked and routed his force, killed numbers of his men, took thirteen of his guns, three elephants, his principal standard, twenty-one camels, and many horses. This achievement, which deservedly ranks very high, and marks a military genius, was suggested by Captain Bruce, the same officer who led the escalade at Gwalior. It was of the utmost importance, not only in raising the fame of the British arms, but in particularly affecting Sindia, whose reputation had suffered, whilst that of the Bramin party supported by Holkar was greatly increased by the supposed victory over General Goddard. Colonel Muir’s detachment did not join that of Colonel Camac until the 4th of April, when the former assumed the command; but although their united forces kept the field, and encamped during the rains within the territory of Sindia, they obtained no further advantage, and were frequently straitened for supplies by numerous bodies of horse from Sindia’s camp, which continued in the neighbourhood of their own. Endeavours were ineffectually used by the English to excite active cooperation
on the part of the Rajpoot princes in the neighbourhood, against the Mahrattas; and Gwalior was restored to the Rana of Gohud, in hopes, by this act of good faith, to wean him from a disposition he had evinced of making terms for himself with Mahadajee Sindia; but the Rana was not inclined to bring forward the slender resources which he possessed; and matters remained in this situation until the commencement of a negotiation on the part of Sindia with Colonel Muir, in the month of August. But although the governor-general’s scheme of stirring up those petty princes against their Mahratta superiors failed, his negotiations with the Raja of Berar were productive of more beneficial consequences.
Moodajee, to support appearances with the confederates, had sent forward an army of thirty thousand horse towards Kuttack, in the month of October, 1779, under his second son, Chimnajee; but in order to convince Mr. Hastings that his real design was not hostile to the English, they were seven months in reaching their destination; this favourable symptom, however, did not induce the Bengal government to relax in their vigilance, or to circumscribe their efforts. It had been determined at Calcutta, on the news of Hyder’s invasion of Arcot, to send a division of six battalions of Sepoys to assist in the war against him, as soon as the season permitted of their marching along the coast towards the Carnatic Payeen Ghaut. This force was to have been assembled in the month of October, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Pearse, and it was hoped that Moodajee
might be induced to aid them with a body of cavalry, but as Chimnajee’s army lay in the route, it was deemed advisable to suspend Colonel Pearse’s march, until Moodajee’s answer was received. When the replies did arrive, on the 9th January, it was determined to send on the detachment, -and Colonel Pearse, on entering the territory of Moodajee, was instructed to observe an exact discipline, to protect the country, and to consider the Raja of Berar as a friend, until any attempt was made to obstruct his march, when he was commanded to force his way against all opposition. To reconcile Moodajee, however, to this measure, the governor-general deputed an agent, Mr. David Anderson, to Kuttack, for the purpose of explaining the reasons, and obtaining, if possible, a body of two thousand horse to co-operate with Colonel Pearse. Before Mr. Anderson reached Ballasore, Chimnajee had proceeded with his army to attack the fort of Dhikanall, the Raja of which had neglected to remit the tribute, and refused to pay the arrears. Mr. Anderson, however, proceeded to Kuttack, and thence returned to Calcutta. Chimnajee, in the meantime, had quitted the hills, and come down with his army to the open country. Colonel Pearse had not only been allowed to pass without molestation, but assistance was afforded in procuring supplies through the province of Orissa; and the most friendly assurances were continued on the part of Chimnajee. The position of this Mahratta army was threatening: the government of Berar had behaved liberally to General Goddard, and civilly to Colonel Pearse: Moodajee had been so situated as to be
compelled to join the confederacy, or at once declare his alliance with the English; – the last a daring, a doubtful, and a generous policy, too great for any Mahratta to adventure. The governor-general had secretly promised to advance Moodajee the sum of sixteen lacks of rupees, in order to engage his aid, either in the alliance, or mediation proposed; for it is not very clear how this bribe was originally tendered. Twelve lacks were now offered to Chimnajee if he would withdraw his troops and return to Nagpoor, at the same time it was carefully expressed that the money was not given in a manner to enable them hereafter to demand it as a right, or to expect it in future, but merely to bespeak their friendship, and engage them against Hyder, who was represented to have at this period received sunnuds from the emperor for the whole Deccan; at the subjugation of which, including the complete peninsula of India, he was said to be aiming. The son of Moodajee observed, that on payment of fifty lacks he would be happy to afford the British government a proof of his friendship, by retiring to Nagpoor, and uniting against Hyder, especially if it should appear that he had procured sunnuds for the Deccan. This fictitious report obtained credence, especially with Nizam Ally, and it tended greatly, once more, to turn his versatile and treacherous mind against Hyder, whom as a rival Mussulman and an upstart eclipsing him, he hated and feared.
After some discussion, conducted with much ability on the part of Mr. Anderson, Chimnajee at last observed, that of the sixteen lacks originally
promised, three lacks had been paid; but if the balance of thirteen lacks were now tendered, he would withdraw; that two thousand horse, at fifty thousand rupees a-month, should be sent to join Colonel Pearse, against Hyder, provided the govern nor-general and council would assist the Berar state in raising a loan of ten lacks of rupees, and aid Moodajee in reducing Gurrah Mundelah districts which, the reader may recollect, had been taken by Ballajee Bajee Rao during his first campaign in 1742, before the return of Rughoojee from the Carnatic, and which, from their vicinity to their northern frontier, had, ever since, been an object of the greatest jealousy to the Bhonslays of Reran. The tenders were accepted, and thus by an objectionable policy, justifiable only by the peculiarity of the circumstances, Mr. Hastings temporarily detached the eastern Mahrattas from the confederacy, and turned them against both Hyder and the Peishwa, at a moment when, with thirty thousand horse, it is scarcely to be doubted that they might have pillaged Bengal, and burnt the towns from Burdwan to Point Palmyras. But, in this negotiation, no credentials from Moodajee were given or demanded; and shortly afterwards copies of letters from Nana Furnuwees to Moodajee, were transmitted to Bengal, representing the retreat of General Goddard, as a great victory, and threatening Moodajee with the utmost vengeance of the Peishwa’s government, for seceding from the confederacy, and his allegiance to his prince. In consequence of these letters it was not altogether convenient for Moodajee to avow the agreement
to its full extent; he wished, however, to mediate a peace, and to engage with the English in a general confederacy against Hyder. For this purpose, he intended sending Dewakur Punt to Poona; but many circumstances rendered it desirable that this minister should first meet Mr. Hastings. An interview was to take place at Benares; but in the meantime orders by the supreme government were despatched to General Goddard, to negociate a peace nearly on the terms formerly proposed; retaining the fort of Bassein if possible, but if not, to give it up, if he could thereby ensure an honourable pacification, which was now the sole end in view.
These instructions were not received by General Goddard until the month of August; various plans were in the meantime proposed at Bombay: that, by General Goddard, of making an increase of eight battalions of native infantry, drawing out the old, and leaving the new levies in garrison; calling on Futih Sing Gaekwar, the nabobs of Surat and Cambay, to assist with their utmost means; permitting Rugonath Rao to assemble horse; bringing clown Colonel Muir’s force from Malwa; forming a junction with his (Goddard’s) army; and carrying the war, first into the heart of the Deccan, and then into Mysore, was very extensive, and with fimds it would have been practicable; but the lowest estimate of the required monthly disbursement was seven lacks of rupees, an expense which, to the members of the Bombay government, was quite appalling at this season of unprecedented distress. Goddard, however,
in hopes of aid from Bengal, proceeded to Guzerat, for the purpose of conferring with Futih Sing and Rugoba. Several schemes were proposed for the ensuing season; but one, which was suggested to the Bombay government, is too remark able to be omitted: – Certain dispossessed Mahratta Deshmookhs338, and men whose ancestors had held jagheer lands under the Mahomedan governments, came forward, and offered, on certain conditions, to put the English in possession of the Concan, and of the whole of the forts in the Syhadree range; provided, the British government would, on obtaining possession of the country, recognise their ancient rights; grant them, on the delivery of each fort, fifty thousand rupees for each of the larger fortresses, and ten thousand for the smaller; allowing them to retain whatever plunder in money, jewels, gold and silver ornaments, and mares, they might acquire; but everything else, of whatever description, they agreed to relinquish. Their proposals were fully considered339, but finally rejected.
On the opening of the season, Goddard returned from Guzerat, after some satisfactory explanations with Futih Sing, and obtaining a positive promise of being assisted by five thousand good horse. If recovering the revenue had been the only object, General Goddard observed, that the defence of Guzerat should have rather been secured than that
of the Concan; but until it could be ascertained, whether the force in Malwa would be sent to join him, it was agreed to maintain defensive operations in the Concan, preserving as much as possible an appearance of action.
Early in November accounts reached Bombay of a separate treaty between Mahadajee Sindia and Colonel Muir, concluded 13th October, 1781, by which Sindia agreed to return to Oojein, and Colonel Muir to recross the Jumna; and that Sindia had further agreed to negociate a treaty between the other belligerents and the British government, but he, at all events, bound himself to stand neutral. His territory, west of the Jumna, was restored; but the Rana of Gohud was not to be molested in the possession of Gwalior, as long as he conducted himself properly. The first overtures, as already mentioned, were made by Mahadajee Sindia, who, after his defeat by Colonel Camac, perceived that he had everything to lose by maintaining a contest in the heart of his own dominions, which would probably end in his being driven a fugitive across the Nerbuddah, without lands or friends, and probably to the secret satisfaction of his rivals at Poona.
Mr. Hastings was particularly pleased at the opening of this channel to a general pacification, as the plan of a mediation through Moodajee, was obstructed by the death of Dewakur Punt, who did not live to meet the governor-general at Benares, as had been agreed upon; Moodajee, however, afterwards wrote to General Goddard, assuring him of his readiness to interpose his best
endeavours for the attainment of peace, and even to repair in person to Poona for that purpose. About the same time, on the arrival of Mr. John McPherson at Madras, a letter was addressed to the Peishwa, dated 11th September, 1781, in the joint names of Lord Macartney, Sic Eyre Coote Sir Edward Hughes, and Mr. McPherson, forwarded to the wukeel of Mohummud Ally, at Poona, stating their wish for peace, the moderation of the Company’s views, the desire of the British nation to conclude a firm and lasting treaty, which no servant of the Company should have power to break; and assuring the Peishwa, upon their own honour, and that of the king, the Company, and the nation, that just satisfaction should be given in a sincere and irrevocable treaty.
Amid all these authorized pacificators, General Goddard, who as yet considered himself the accredited agent on the part of the supreme poem, vent, also opened a negotiation, and assumed, what was privately agreed though not expressed in the treaty between Colonel Muir and Sindia, that the latter should use his endeavour to obtain a cessation of hostilities between the Peishwa and the English, until the terms of a general peace could be adjusted.
Captain Watherstone was deputed to Poona in January, but shortly after his arrival there, official intelligence was received of the appointment of Mr. David Anderson, as agent of the governor-general, with full powers to negociate and conclude a treaty with the Mahrattas; for which purpose Mr. Anderson was deputed
to the camp of Mahadajee Sindia. Upon this news Captain Watherstone was recalled, a circumstance which both Nana Furnuwees and Hurry Punt regretted, for although they were not fully prepared to treat, they could have wished to conclude the pacification without the mediation of Sindia. The terms to which Mr. Anderson was authorized to accede, differed little from the conditions before tendered, except that as the Rana of Gohud had by his conduct forfeited all claims to the benefits of the alliance, and had besides secretly endeavoured to conclude separate terms for himself with Sindia, it was deemed unnecessary to include him as a party in Mr. Anderson’s negotiation. A principal obstacle to the conclusion of a treaty, was the restoration of the Peishwa’s share of Ahmedabad which had been apportioned to Futih Sing. This point, however, was at last conceded, and a treaty was concluded at Salbye on the 17th May by Mr. David Anderson on the part of the East India Company, and by Mahadajee Sindia on that of the Peishwa, Nana Furnuwees, and the whole of the chiefs of the Mahratta nation; Mahadajee Sindia being at the same time plenipotentiary of the Peishwa, and the mutual guarantee of both parties for the due performance of the conditions The treaty consisted of seventeen articles: the whole of the territory conquered since the treaty of Poorundhur was restored, together with the three lacks promised near Baroach. The territory of the Gaekwar, and the whole of Guzerat, were to remain precisely on the same footing as they had been prior to the war of 1775; so that the Baroda
state was thus secured from dismemberment, and no claim of tribute was to be preferred by the Peishwa against Futih Sing, during the period of the late hostilities. Rugonath Rao was to be allowed twenty-five thousand rupees a-month, and to be permitted to choose a place of residence.
It was settled that Hyder should be obliged to relinquish the territories lately conquered from the English and the Nabob of Arcot; and the Peishwa, on the one part, and the English on the other, agreed that their allies respectively should maintain peace towards each other. A free trade, the restoration of wrecks, and the exclusion of all European establishments, except those of the Portuguese within the Mahratta dominions, also form part of the substance of the treaty of Salbye, which was ratified at Calcutta on the 6th June following; but the adjustment on the part of the Peishwa was delayed by Nana Furnuwees, for reasons which will be hereafter explained, until the 20th December, nor was it finally exchanged until the 24th February 1783.
During the period when the ratification was in suspense, the governor-general in council agreed to fulfil the former intention in regard to the cession of Baroach; and that valuable district was bestowed on Mahadajee Sindia, in testimony of the sense entertained of the conduct manifested by him to the Bombay army at Wurgaom, and of his humane treatment and release of the English gentlemen who had been delivered as hostages on that occasion.
311. There were two chiefs in Malabar, known by the appellations of prince of Cherika, and king of Cartinadee, who were leaders in the hostilities alluded to.
312. The author of the Oriental Memoirs.
313. Their names were Fraser and Clancey. Fraser was dismissed for abandoning his post at the Bhore Ghaut, on hearing of the defeat at Wurgaom. But the infamy was rendered particularly striking and ridiculous, as it was from him that the first intelligence was received in Bombay of the disaster; and, writing from recollection, his note is on the Bombay records, in these words: “Dear Sir. – Our army is cut to pieces; I can effect my retreat, but I scorn it, at the risk of my honour. This is the last you shall hear from, yours truly, W. Fraser.” Fraser, however, lived not only to retrieve his honour, but to distinguish himself on several occasions, and to be muck esteemed throughout the army. This last, I mention on the authority of Major-General Baillie, who knew him intimately.
314. Major Spaith, Bombay Engineers; Captain Gough, Bengal Native Infantry, and volunteer Wright.
315. The following is a copy of the letter: –
“I am now a prisoner in the Mahratta camp, with seven European artillerymen, one Subedar, two Jimmadars, and fifteen Sepoys. They are encamped within a very little distance of Callian, and are about sixteen or eighteen thousand fighting men. They have eight guns, and one howitzer. This is the best account I can give you. I write this at their desire, to demand that you will immediately deliver up Callian and Ballapore, otherwise they threaten to kill every one of us, to storm both those places, and put every man to the sword. You may act as you think proper, but I beg you will return the bearer, as I have pledged my head you will not hurt the messenger; so be sure to return an answer soon. Our situation is none of the most agreeable. I should be obliged to McLean for a few clothes, as I have none.
“I am, Dear Sir,
“Your most obedient humble servant,
(Signed) “THOMAS FYFE.”
Camp, near Callian,
12th May 1780.
“ To Captain Campbell.”
P. S. – “This does not please Mr. Bappoojee, the Bura Surdar; he also demands he may be paid for all the batty (rice) that has been taken, and a tribute for the expense of his army. He also says, that General Goddard, with the grand army, is at present surrounded in the Guzerat, and if you will peaceably comply with the above terms, he will get the grand army released, and further threatens us on refusal.”
316. Lieutenant Welsh’s despatch, to the chief of Surat. Mahratta Letters.
Lieutenant W. does not seem to have been aware that Gunnesh Punt was mortally wounded, which the Mahratta. letters mention. The following is a copy of the dispatch:
“I have the pleasure to acquaint you, that I rode on at the head of the regiment and Candahars, and reached Gunnesh Punt’s camp, at four o’clock this morning, when I took his camp standing, bazar, and three guns, killed ninety, and wounded fifteen. I have only lost one Duffedar, and two troopers wounded, one Candahar killed. In short, there was nothing wanting to complete this matter, but sending you in Gunnesh Punt’s head. I don’t think he has much to brag of now. The inhabitants of the villages seem exceeding happy, and are coming in from all quarters.
“I am, Dear Sir,
“Your very obedient humble servant,
(Signed) “THOMAS WELSH.”
317. The grenadier Sepoys, who accompanied Hartley to. Ahmedabad, were formed into a separate corps, but on their return lost their name of the grenadier battalion, and were called the eight battalion; a circumstance which nearly created a mutiny in the corps. To restore the name, to men who remonstrated in a manner so unsoldier-like, was deemed improper; but they afterwards behaved with such extraordinary valour, that their name of grenadier battalion was restored in 1783. They distinguished themselves during the arduous campaign in the Concan, which will be presently detailed. For their conduct, in the battle of Paniany, by the side of the 42d regiment, they received the highest compliment ever paid to a Sepoy regiment. “The Royal Highlanders,” says Colonel McLeod, in his despatch of the 29th of November 1782, “evinced the ardour which always inspires their countrymen in battle. The eighth battalion of Sepoys, showed themselves equal to any troops in courage, coolness, and discipline.” They then petitioned, through Colonel McLeod, to have their name restored; but it was refused. In the following year, however, the eighth battalion formed part of the garrison which maintained the heroic defence of Mangalore, and their name was restored, as the only reward which the sickly, famished men, on their return to Bombay, solicited. They were long fortunate in a succession of excellent commanding officers; and on every occasion of service, the spirit of Stewart and of Hartley has lived in their ranks.
318. I find this Portuguese officer mentioned in very high terms, by Captain Bonnevaux, of the Madras establishment, in a letter dated, Prison in Poona, 25th February 1781. Captain Bonnevaux, intrusted with an overland despatch from the Court of Directors, was taken near the coast of India, carried into Viziadroog, and thrown into the fort Russalgurh. After enduring great hardship he was conveyed to Poona, where his sufferings were humanely relieved by Signior Noronha.
319. Mahratta MSS., and letters. The Mahrattas never mention Colonel Hartley’s name, and always attribute the defeat of their army, and the capture of Bassein to the same person Goddard.
320. Bombay Records.
321. Mahratta MSS., and letters.
322. Bombay Records. Sixth report.
323. See Wilks, vol. ii.
324. Nana Furnuwees, as appears by his letters, had very exact intelligence of everything; but in stating Goddard’s force at ten thousand fighting men, he greatly overestimates it. The following is the exact number, exclusive of European officers: –
Present for duty.
|Bengal Golundaze, or Native Artillery||97|
|Lascars and Pioneers||200|
325. The reply which I have expressed, as above, is couched in the following smooth terms, after explaining that Moodajee had refused to forward the terms. Nana observes, “the copy of the proposals which you have sent, has been read from beginning to end, by your friend; and it is certain, that the contents therein written, are not proper or fit for the approbation of this government. If you be sincere in your desire of friendship, it is incumbent on you to make proposals, which shall include those persons who at this time are allied to, and connected with the councils of this state.” (Extract of a letter from Nana Furnuwees, to General Goddard, 5th March 1781.)
326. Letter from Nana Furnuwees, to the Peishwa at Poorundhur. The letters which I shall from this time have occasion to refer to, both from Nana Furnuwees, and Hurry Punt Phurkay, are all translated from originals, in their own hand-writing. They were found amongst the records in the Peishwa’s palace, recovered by Captain Henry Robertson, collector of Poona, and the late Lieutenant John McLeod, resident at Bushire, when assistant to Mr. Chaplin, commissioner, and by those gentlemen they were made over to me, by special authority, from the Honourable M. Elphinstone.
327. The usual way is, for two or three horsemen to steal forward quietly, get the bullocks’ heads turned to a flank, when a few, on each side, gallop at them with their spears; two or three goad them from behind, and off they go at full speed, guided in any direction with great facility. The Madras followers, who are by far the most active of all camp people, (though the practice is not confined to them,) tie the bullock’s load to his head, so that when the animal throws his load in any way, he is, as it were, anchored; and whilst the rope holds, he cannot get away; but when unloaded, or let loose to graze, they are very apt to be carried off, even from within the camp guards.
328. Letter from Nana Furnuwees. Colonel Browne, reported them only twenty thousand.
329. Nana Furnuwees states, that they took from one hundred, to a hundred and fifty bullocks, chiefly laden with sugar.
330. Of this number, there were five officers, namely, Captain Bowles, Lieutenants Wheldon and Tindall, of the Bombay Infantry, Ensigns Gibbings and Richardson, the former of the Madras, and the latter of the Bengal establishment.
331. General Goddard’s, and Hurry Punt’s despatches.
332. Hurry Punt.
333. The present 6th regiment, and lately the 2d battalion, 3d regiment, was formerly the 13th battalion.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Neville Parker, Bengal Native Infantry.
Captain Sambers, Bombay Native Infantry.
Lieutenant Gibson, and Surgeon Penny, Madras Artillery.
Lieutenant William Rattray, Bengal Artillery.
Lieutenant F. W. Rutledge, Madras Artillery.
Lieutenant Duncan, Major of Brigade, Madras Native Infantry.
Lieutenants Hall, Taylor, More and Smith, Bengal Native Infantry.
Captain Bannatyne, Lieuts. Taylor, Mills and Reynolds, Ensigns Read and King of the Bombay Native Infantry, and Mr. Fleming, Surgeon-general of the army.
335. Original letters.
336. Bombay Records.
337. Original letters.
338. Arjoonjee, and Jeewajee Bamlay and Suntajee Naik Surkunday, seem to have been three of the chiefs who tame forward; but their native villages are not recorded.
339. Bombay Consultations, 29th June 1781.
This collection transcribed by Chris Gage