Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

tem.

1

[209 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 thrée 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; bút, to divert the good fortune to fall in with the attention of the centre and the enemy first, shoiud attack him viright, a demonstration was to be gorously in fronty while the other made against the heights of Na- should endeavour to occupy such padee, and the flotilla was to maina 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.

[P]

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 generaľs 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 was abandoned as wholly phetesses received a mortal wound, impracticable. The artillery being and old Maha Nemiow himself placed in position, opened with fell, cncouragelig 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. T'his 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.

The enemy

The appearance of these works river, now remained to be disposed was sufficiently formidable; and of. So quiet had this general kept the hills, which they covered, himself, and so carefully were his could be ascended only by a men concealed from observation, narrow road, commanded by artile that it was at first doubtful when lery, and numerous stockades and ther he had not quitted his works, breast-works filled with men, ap- and retired in silence. On its parently all armed with muskets. being ascertained however, that he As soon as the artillery and rockets still maintained hisoriginal ground, had made an impression upon the preparations were made for immeenemy's works, and silenced several diately attacking him. On the of his guns, the troops advanced to morning of the 5th December, the the assault. The 1st Bengal troops intended for this service brigade, consisting of the 13th and under general Cotton, were carried 38th regiments, was directed to across the river by the flotilla, and advance by the beach, and storm landed somewhat higher up the the height in front, and the six river than the stockades, a rocket companies of the 87th regiment, brigade, and a mortar battery which had advanced through the having been established during the jungle to the right, drove every night, on a small island in the thing before them on that side. channel, within range of the Nothing could surpass the steadi- enemy's works, and opening their ness and resolute courage displayed fire at day break. in this attack. Scarcely a shot speedily retreated from his position was fired in return to the enemy's on the river; but, on taking poscontinued vollies. The 38th re session of it, it was discovered that giment, which led, first entered they had a stockaded work about the enemy's entrenchments on the half a mile in the interior, comheights, driving him from hill to pletely manned, and mounted by hill, over precipices which could guns. Brigadier Armstrong, coonly be ascended by a narrow stair, lonel Brodie, and colonel Godwin, until the whole of the formidable immediately moved upon its centre position, nearly three miles in ex and right; general Cotton himself tent, completely carried. led the royals to the left, and During the attack, the flotilla, the work was instantly carried, whose cannonade had been most the enemy leaving three hundred usefully effective, pushed past the dead on the field, and dispersing works, and succeeded in capturing in every direction. From three all the boats and stores which had hundred to three hundred and been brought down for the use of fifty muskets were taken, having

been abandoned by the enemy. The two divisions which had The whole of the defences were been advaneing along the eastern set on fire. bank of the Irrawaddy were now Thus, in the course of four days, completely dispersed, with the loss the immense army of Ava, which of their artillery, ammunition, had threatened to envelope Prome, military stores, and the bravest of and swallow up the British troops,

Only the right had melted away like a vapour, division under Sudda Woon, stock and sir A. Campbell was at liberty aded on the western bank of the to march upon the capital, still

was

the army.

their troops.

distant about three hundred miles. that the whole of the enemy's He commenced advancing,' after forces had crossed to the Melloone allowing his men a day's repose; side of the river, and occupied, on the 6th of December. The with ten or twelve thousand men, order of march was in two di a series of strongly fortified heights, visions. The first, to which head and a formidable stockade, conquarters were attached, was in șidered the chef a' cuvre of the advance, making a considerable Burmese engineers, having in front circuit to the eastward, for the a rapid stream six hundred yards purpose of turning all the river broad. On the 26th, however, defences of the enemy as far up as they sent' in a flag of truce, bringMeaday, where it was expected ing a letter from their chiefs, that the enemy might have ral- stating their desire to put an end to lied, as the stockades had been hostilities, that a minister had arstrengthened with every thing rived from Ava with full powers that Burmese art could effect. to negociate and ratify a peace, The second division under briga and requesting a meeting for that dier general Cotton, advanced, by purpose. · On the 28th two officers a route nearer, and parallel, to the were sent to Melloone to arrange river, to act in co-operation with the proposed conference; but the the flotilla, until it should be as. Burmese leaders again displayed certained that the navigation of their usual anxiety to gain time. the river was open, at least to They made many profound reflecMeaday. The earlier part of tions on the expediency of waiting the march was through a difficult a propitious season for so important country, with roads scarcely prac- a transaction, and argued strongly ticable for artillery, leading through for the propriety of not proceeding a thick and tangled jungle, that before the approaching full moon. kept the soldiers almost continually The British officers, unable to ac deluged with water, which, besides complish the object of their errand, damaging their provisions, was per- declared the truce at an end, and, nicious to their health. The cholera next day, the British army took again made its appearance, and possession of Patanagoh, from carried off numbers of the men which its cannon could reach the before its ravages could be checked enemy's works across the river. by gaining a more open and ele- The Burmese flotilla immediately vated country. When the army attempted to run up the river to reached Meaday on the 19th De secure their communications with cember, they found it just evacu- Ava; but the artillery being hasated by the rear-guard of the tily brought to bear upon them, enemy, the Burmese having re- they returned to their former positired upon Melloone where their tion under the guns of the stockade. army had received orders again to The British flotilla which had been concentrate. The pursuit was con- detained by the intricacy of thechantinued from Meaday by forced nel, and the propriety of waiting marches ; and on 'arriving within the erection of batteries to check

five miles of Patanagoh, a town on the fire from the Milloone side, apthe left bank of the Irrawaddy, op- oqehed so soon

the cannonade posite to Melloone, which occupies began. It had to pass close under the right bank, it was ascertained the enemy's works, but the Bure

[ocr errors]

mese chiefs thought it imprudent cunning, entreaty, lying, downto precipitate hostilities, when right begging, all equally ineffecthere was a chance of gaining tual, and that they had no choice something by delay. Instead of but between immediate acceptance firing a single shot at the flotilla, of the proffered terms, and the intwo gaudy war-boats came out to stant re-commencement of active act as pilots; and it anchored safely hostilities, they finally signed the at some distance above the town, treaty on the 3d of January. By cutting off all means of retreat or its terms, the four provinces of of supply by the river.

Arracan, together with those of The consequence of these ami- Mergui, Tavoy, and Zea, were to cable dispositions on the part of be ceded to the company, the the enemy was the conclusion of a kingdoms of Assan, Cachar, Zeattruce, and the appointing of a con- ing, and Munnipoor, were to be ference to be held, to treat of placed under princes named by the peace, on board of a large boat

British government.

Residents moored for that purpose in the from each court were to be receive middle of the river. The commis ed at the other, and allowed to resioners for Ava were, the Kee tain an escort of fifty men; BriWoonghee, and the new negocia- tish ships were to be admitted into tor Kolein Menghi. The first Burmese ports, and to land their carconference was held on 1st of goes, free of duty, without unshipJanuary, 1826. As formerly they ping their rudders, or landing their resisted obstinately, the payment of guns; and Ava was to pay to the money, and the cession of territory. company a crore of rupees by inTo the first of these demands they stalments, as some indemnification answered, that they were unable for the expenses of the war. The to pay such a sum; that the war treaty was to be returned from the had been much more expensive to capital ratified by the king, along themselves, from the large armies with the English prisoners there which they had been compelled to detained, within fifteen days. maintain, than to Britain; that During these fifteen days, howthey might be able, by using great ever, it became very evident that economy, to pay a million baskets the Burmese had no serious intenof rice within a year, but they did tion of making peace, that delay not grow rupees; and, if sir A. had been the only object of their Campbell had any disinclination to negotiations, and that they would the rice, there were abundance of again encounter the chance of war, fine trees in the forests, which he rather than yield to the terms immight cut down, and carry away posed upon them. Prince Meinstead of the money. They miaboo, who commanded in Melwished to retain Arracan, they loone, continued to strengthen hiç said, not on account of its value, works in violation of the truce, for it was rather a burden to Ava and in defiance of the remonstranthan a source of profit, but because ces of the British general, as if he the nation was proud of the con- had been perfectly aware that quest, which had been achieved by there was no chance of the valour of their ancestors, and the 17th January, the day before the national honour was engaged that on which the ratification of not to yield it. Finding, however, the treaty was to be delivered,

[ocr errors]

peace. On

« EdellinenJatka »