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INDIA-Re-commencement of Hostilities with the Burmese Military
Operations in the neighbourhood of Prome-British Army advances to Melloone-Conferences and Terms of Peace accepted-The Treaty not being ratified, the Army takes MellooneThe Army advances to Pagahm-men-Battle there-A Treaty concluded and ratified-Siege and Capture of Bhurtpore by Lord Combermere.--AFRICA-Defeat of the Ashantees.
concluded on the 17th Sep- from any blame on account of the tember, 1825, between the British hostile acts committed in Arracan, and Burmese commanders, was not which had led to the war, by asemployed by the court of Ava in surances that they had been com any serious negotiations for peace, mitted without his authority or but in collecting forces for a vigor- consent, and that the remonstrances ous prosecution of the war. By of the Indian government had the second article of the amnesty been kept from his knowledge. it had been agreed that a commis- In the terms of peace which were sioner from Ava, with full powers, proposed, they quarrelled princishould meet the British author- pally with the demands for a cesities, on the 2nd of October, half sion of part of their territory, and way between Prome and Meaday, an indemnification in money for the stations of the respective the expenses of the war, and laarmies, to treat of the re-establish- boured hard to have them withment of peace. These conferences drawn, at least in the mean time, took place on the plain of Neoun- gravely holding out such considerben-zeik, the negotiators on each ations as this, that the dignity of side being accompanied by a train the king of Ava did not allow him of five hundred men, as the dignity to submit to terms imposed upon of the prime minister of Ava did him by a present force, but that, not allow him to move with a so soon as the Indian government' smaller retinue. The Burmese should have withdrawn their army commissioners displayed ostensibly from the country, there was nothe most amicable dispositions ; thing which his generosity would were anxious in their inquiries not concede to them. Being unafter the health of his majesty of able to obtain any modification of England, and the latest news; the terms, they desired, and obuniformly spoke of Britain and tained, an extension of the armisAva, as the “
two great and civil- tice for twenty days, that they ized nations," and scrupulously might have time to transmit them avoided every thing which might to Ava, and receive new instrucbe construed into an acknowledg- tions. The extension of the armisment of inferiority. They endea- tice, although proposed by the
enemy merely to gain time, was to cut off the communication with no sacrifice on the part of the Rangoon.
When remonstrances British commander; for the season were made to the Burmese comand the state of the country would manders, they with their usual not have permitted him to take disregard of truth, denied all knowthe field at an earlier period. ledge of these marauding expedie
On receiving the proposed terms tions, although it was proved by the of peace, his majesty of the Golden prisoners taken, that they were Foot broke out into the most in, acting directly under orders from temperate bursts of impotent pas- head-quarters. At length, when sion, and gave orders to his gene- the armistice had nearly expired, rals immediately to renew offen- the thin mask was taken off
, and sive operations. His vigorous pre- the following haughty and laconic parations had again collected in answer was returned to the prothe neighbourhood of Meaday, an posals of peace made at Neoun. army of between 50,000 and 60,000 ben-zeik: If you wish for
He had sent down from you may go away; but if you wish Ava, a veteran leader of great either money or territory, experience, Maha Nemiow, who friendship can exist between us. was to introduce a new mode of This is Burman custom.” conducting the war, and had at The whole army of Ava, nearly tached to his army a body of eight sixty thousand strong, immediately thousand Shans, a species of force advanced along the banks of the bearing a high character for gal- Irrawaddy against Prome, and lantry, and who had not yet met the six thousand British and naa British army in the field. Along tive Indian troops by whom it with them were three young wo was occupied. It was divided men of high rank who were be into three bodies, which moved lieved, by their superstitious coun- parallel to each other, but were trymen, to be not only endowed dispersed with so little tactical with the gift of prophecy, but to skill, that insuperable physical obpossess the miraculous faculty of stacles prevented any one of them turning aside balls and bullets or from supporting any other, all rendering them innoxious. Con- being thus exposed to the immifident in their strength, and urged nent danger of being destroyed in by the threatening mandates of detail. The right division, contheir monarch, the Burmese chiefs sisting of fifteen thousand men, had no scruples of delicacy in vio- under the command of Sudda lating the truce. Scarcely had Woon, moved along the right or they departed from the place of western bank of the river. On conference at Neoun-ben-zeik, the opposite bank, separated by when numerous irruptions were the whole breadth of the Irramade by predatory bands from waddy, advanced the centre, contheir army, transgressing the line sisting of between twenty-five of demarcation laid down in the thousand and thirty thousand men, armistice, laying waste the country headed by the Kee Wonghee in almost to the walls of Prome, in- person, and escorted by a consiterrupting the supplies of the derable armament of war boats. army, ascending the river, and Maha Nemiow himself took the threatening, and plainly intended, command of the left division,
which likewise was fifteenthou- tinued succession of brisk skirsand strong, and contained the mishes. The division, however, Shan horsemen; it marched on made good its advance to the the same side of the river with neighbourhood of Watty-goon; the centre, still to the east- but colonel M‘Dowgal, having ward, but was completely sepa- been killed while reconnoitring rated from it and the river by an the works, there being no appearimpenetrable forest several miles ance of the two other divisions, in depth. The different divisions and the force and position of the advanced in the ordinary style of enemy being much too strong to Burmese warfare, creeping on be attacked without their assistwards slowly and certainly, stock- ance, a retreat was effected, with ading and entrenching themselves the loss of four officers and sixtyat every step, risking no general one men killed, and ten officers engagement, patiently working and a hundred and twenty men themselves round Prome to obtain wounded, besides forty missing: positions in its rear as well as in Maha Nemiow was emboldened its front. On the 10th of No- by this partial success to advance vember, the advanced guard of closer to Prome, but was not seMaha Nemiow, on the extreme duced from his cautious and secure left, was at Watty-goon, a village mode of approach, throwing up to the north-east of Prome, and his stockades at every step that not more than sixteen miles dis- he gained. The centre and the tant; his intention being to turn right division advanced simultathe right of the British position,neously, in the same mole-like and thus, at the same time, throw manner; and in the end of Nosuccours into the kingdom of Pegu vember, the centre, under the Kee on the east. Colonel M‘Dowgal, Wonghee was distinctly visible, with two brigades of native in- stockaded in the difficult heights fantry, was ordered to dislodge of Napadee, which run along the them, and approached them in right bank of the river about five three divisions; one marching by miles above Prome, while Sudda the direct road to Watty-goon, the Woon, with the right, was posted two others by circuitous routes, opposite to him in a similar man. but with the design that they ner. The British army, in the should all reach the point of attack mean time, remained quiet in its at the same time, and act simul- `positions, anxious that the enemy taneously against the front, flank, should be seduced to attack, and and rear of the enemy. But the even giving him apparent encou, plan was disconcerted by the for- ragement to risk an assault. The wardness of the Burmese, who, troops never showed themselves instead of awaiting the attack in beyond the lines ;. batteries were their position, met the centre and erected and entrenchments thrown principal division of the detach- up, as if in apprehension of the ment half way, and, bringing on approach of the assailants, and large bodies of Cafray horse, wher- rumours were circulated that preever the road emerged from the parations were making for a sudjungle into ground sufficiently den retreat to Rangoon. But open for cavalry
, to act, both réa every expedient failed to divert tarded and weakened it by a con- Maha Nemiow from his own sys«
. tem. He had now approached day-light commenced a heavy canwithin a morning's walk of Prome, nonade on the enemy's centre, and stockaded himself strongly at and continued nearly two hours to Simbike and Kyalaz, on the Na- attract his chief attention to that wine river. As his detached parties point. gave serious annoyance to the river On reaching the Nawine river, convoys of the army, and as it was at the village of Zeouke, the force of much importance that no part was divided into two columns, the of the fitting season for efficient right column, under the command operations should be suffered to of brigadier-general Cotton, conpass away unimproved, sir Archi- tinuing to advance along the left bald Campbell, small as his force bank of the river, while the comwas, determined to become the mander-in-chief, with the other assailant himself.
column, crossed at the ford of The inferiority of the British Zeouke, and advanced upon Simtroops in point of number was, bike and Lombek, in a direction in a great measure, counterbalanced nearly parallel with the brigadierby the unskilful disposition of the general's division. The troops three great masses of the Burman had to contend with every disadarmy, which, separated from each vantage of a difficult and enclosed other by a broad and rapid river, country, and the information acor an impenetrable forest, formed quired regarding the position occuin reality three distinct armies, pied by the enemy had not enabled which might be attacked and routed the general to make any previous successively without any possibi- fixed arrangement for intercepting lity of mutual co-operation and the retreat of an enemy, to whom assistance. On the 30th Novem- every footpath in the jungle was ber, the British commander made familiar, and whose irregular flight his dispositions. The division of would be made by every path that Maha Nemiow himself, posted at promised safety at the moment. Simbike on the left of the grand The object, therefore, was, that army, was the first and principal whichever columpit hould have the object of attack; but, to divert the good fortune to fall in with the attention of the centre and the enemy first, shiud attack him vi right, a demonstration was to be gorously in front, while the other made against the heights of Na- should endeavour to occupy such padee, and the flotilla was to main- positions as would enable it to cut tain a fire against both sides of in upon him, when driven from the river. At day-break on the his defences. The route followed 1st December, 1825, sir Archibald by brigadier-generalCotton brought Campbell, leaving four regiments him in front of the stockaded posiof native infantry in the works at tion at Simbike, which he at once Prome, marched with the rest of assaulted; and when his fire first the force, to dislodge the corps of opened, the other column was Maha Nemiow from its position about a mile and a half distant to on the Nawine river; and, as had his left and rear. Sir A. Campbeen previously concerted, the flo- bell, in consequence, sent a detachtilla, and a regiment of native in- ment to guard the fort at Zeouke, fantry, acting in co-operation on the main road leading to Neounthe bank of the river, shortly after benzick, and the position of the VOL. LXVIII.
Kee-Woonghee, while, with the the troops only two hours repose, rest of the column, he pushed on he returned the same evening to towards Sagee, in the hope of fall- Zeouke, where the army bivouacked ing in with the enemy retiring for the night, having performed upon Watty-goon. Brigadier-ge- during the day a harassing march neral Cotton and his division did of twenty-nine miles, and fought not allow time for completing this a battle. movement. In less than ten mi At daylight in the morning of nutes every stockade was carried, the 2d, they were again in motion. the enemy completely routed, and It was the general's intention to the second column had only an have cut in upon the river so as to opportunity of cannonading his divide the Kee-Woonghee's force; panic-struck masses as they rushed but the impassable nature of the fast through the openings of the intervening country prevented him jungle in front. Every thing had from reaching Pagaon, the point been confusion within the stock- selected for breaking through the ades from the moment that gene line; and the only road that could ral Cotton's column entered them, be discovered led to the front of at the first assault; the very num- the fortified ridge of Napadee, bers of the enemy, crowded within which, from its inaccessibility on their works, disabled_them for three sides, could be attacked only effective resistance. The Shans in front, and by a limited number alone maintained their character, of men. Early in the morning and fought bravely. Animated by general Cotton's division endeatheir young prophetesses, and the voured to push round to the right, example of their chobwahs, or and gain the enemy's flank by chiefs, they maintained the con every path that could be discovertest till the greater part of them ed; but, after great exertion, the were cut down. One of the
pro effort abandoned as wholly phetesses received a mortal wound, impracticable. The artillery being and old Maha Nemiow himself placed in position, opened with fell, encouraging his men in the great effect, while the flotilla hottest of the conflict, to desperate under commodore sir J. Brisbane, resistance.
moved forward and cannonaded the The dispersion of the enemy's heights from the river. At the left wing was thus complete: the same time, brigadier Elrington fugitives did not attempt to effect was directed to advance through a junction with their centre, but the jungle to the right, where the fled through the jungle towards enemy opposed him with great Meaday which had been fixed gallantry and resolution, defending upon as a point of re-union in case
every tree and breast-work with of any disaster. Sir Archibald determined obstinacy. To the Campbell, therefore, having his Brigadier's left, six companies of hands clear, resolved immediately the 87th regiment were ordered to attack the centre itself, on the to drive in the enemy's posts to the heights of Napadee, before the bottom of the ridge. This service Kee-Woonghee should effect the was successfully performed, and retreat to which the overthrow of the enemy was driven from all his the left wing would probably de- defences in the valley, retreating termine him. Having allowed to his principal works on the hills.