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On the following morning it was ascertained, that, opposite to Youtheet stockade, there was another on the right bank, named Mighee; and about a mile further up on the point of land formed by the division of the river, was discovered the very extensive stockade of Panlang. A point of land, about 500 yards distant from the outer works, was immediately occupied, and a battery of four mortars and two six-pounders erected, and was opened within an hour from the time when the order was given; two columns of attack were formed on the right and left banks, the right under lieut.-colonel O'Donaghue, and the left under major Basden, with orders to attack the stockades situated on the respective banks, and then to advance, according to circumstances, after their reduction.
About five o'clock in the evening, the steam-vessel arrived, and anchored in advance between the two stockades, with the boats a little in her rear: the attack was then made. The enemy fired from both their positions, but deserted them the moment the troops landed. The right column and the left, advanced by the respective banks. The Tantabain creek was forded by the column under lieut.colonel O'Donaghue, and the branch of the river leading to Yungunchinyah still interposing, no time was lost in re-embarking the troops and pushing them forwad to attack the main stockade. It, too, was found deserted, the Burmese having left it by both flanks. These operations were effected with the loss of only two men.
On the 25th of February, the flotilla proceeded to Mezlee, about ten miles from Panlang, up the branch of the river leading to Yungunchynah. Information was
that day received, that the light and advance divisions had the evening before taken up a position in the river Irrawuddy, commanding the entrance of the branch leading to Panlang, and that the passage, though extremely intricate, might be made good. The following morning (the 26th), they proceeded to Talynda, a distance estimated to be eighteen miles from the former anchorage. The heavier vessels having grounded there, it was found necessary, on the 27th, to unload the steam-vessel and gun schooners, for which purpose boats were allotted; and the remainder of the flotilla joined the advance division in the Irrawuddy. General Cotton proceeded on the 28th to reconnoitre, and came in contact with the enemy at Youngyoun, about ten miles above our position. They occupied the left bank of the river, as we advanced, and appeared to be an outpost from Donabew, the white pagoda of which was visible on the right bank about ten miles higher up the river. The right bank was deserted, except by a few Carrians.
The whole of the flotilla, except the boats employed in assisting the heavy vessels through the shallows and over the bar, were directed to proceed and to occupy the position reconnoitred the day before. When they had advanced about half-way, it was discovered that the enemy had occupied a post on the right bank, and pushed on thirteen war-boats. The latter were driven away by the boats of the light division, while a few soldiers of the 89th regiment were landed, who dispersed the former, at the expense of four men slightly wounded. The flotilla occupied the allotted position, resting the left upon an island which there divides the river; and two six-pounders were placed upon the
point, completely commanding the space between the island and the left bank, which is about one-third of the whole width of the river, and maintaining free intercourse with the right bank.
The last of the vessels having arrived on the evening of the 5th of March, the flotilla got under weigh early on the morning of the 6th, and took up a position about two miles below Donabew. The enemy was protected by a succession of formidable stockades, commencing at the pagoda, and increasing in strength, until completed by the main work, which stood upon a commanding site, surrounded by a deep abatis, with all the customary defences. The guns appeared to be numerous, and the garrison were seen in crowds upon all the works. At half-past one o'clock, there was sent, by a prisoner, a flag of truce, with a summons to surrender the place. A reply arrived at half past three, containing a civil, but decided refusal to accede to the proposed terms. A party of 160 men of his majesty's 89th regiment, covered by the light division, and some row-boats, had been prepared to land on the right bank, to reconnoitre a point opposite the main stockade, which was in possession of some men belonging to war boats, that were lying under cover of the bank of the river. This party was immediately advanced; some of the warboats retired under the guns on the opposite side, where they were unassailable; and the object of the reconnoissance was completely gained. During the time that our boats were advancing, and while they were lying at the point, the enemy kept up an incessant fire from about thirty pieces of cannon, many of heavy calibre; and the precision with which they were
directed, gave a colouring of truth to the report, that the chief, Bundoola, had been for some time practising his artillery.
General Cotton was anxious to have attacked the place on the side which stood furthest up the river: but to have done so, he must have left behind him a force to maintain his communication with Panlang; and his numbers were too small to be separated with safety. The column under his command was originally composed of. 750 Europeans, exclusive of the 18th regiment of native infantry, stationed at Panlang. Of these, twenty-five men had been left to guard the armed transport Satellite; about twenty-five more were sick; and guards were required for the different boats; leaving only about 600 bayonets disposable for the attack of a strong place, the garrison of which was estimated by no one at less than 12,000 men, well furnished with artillery and muskets. Under these circumstances general Cotton had no option but that of landing below the works of Donabew, and attacking them in succession, while the flotilla defended the river.
Preparations were accordingly made to commence with the pagoda stockade; and at sun-rise, on the 7th of March, 500 men, being disembarked one mile below the pagoda, were formed into two columns of equal strength, under the command of lieutenant-colonel O'Donaghue, and major Basden ; two six-pounders were also landed, and a small rocket battery was established. Both columns were led on with great steadiness; while, at a proper range, a regular fire was opened from the guns and rocket battery. All were exposed to a heavy fire, which was kept up by the enemy to the last, with
perseverance and spirit. The non, also of the 89th, was killed;
gorges of this strong work were narrow and completely occupied by the assailants, who were forcing an entrance; and the enemy, amounting to about 3,000 men, had no means of escape except over their own defences. They were overtaken in the last abatis, where they stood to fire, until they were closed upon by the troops who had forced their way, and checked by others who had run round on the outside in search of an entrance to the body of the work.
In obtaining possession of the first line of defence, we had about twenty men killed and wounded: the enemy lost between four and five hundred.
The second defence was about 500 yards from the pagoda stockade, and at the same distance from the main work, from which it was distinct, though commanded by it. For the immediate reduction of this place, two other six-pounders, four five-and-a-half-inch mortars, and a fresh supply of rockets were brought up and placed in position at a house in advance of the captured work. When it was presumed that a sufficient impression had been made from the batteries, 200 men, under the command of captain Rose, of his majesty's 89th regiment, advanced in two parties to the storm: a destructive fire was immediately commenced from all parts of the face of the work, which caused the columns to diverge to the right of the point of attack, and to get into a ditch, filled with spikes, and scarped so as to expose it to the fire of the work.
all who presented themselves were knocked down; captain Rose, who had already received one wound, fell by a second shot, while persevering in the attack; captain CanVOL. XLVII.
other officers were wounded, and the loss in men was extremely heavy. The party was at length directed to retire. Two eight-inch mortars, and four light twelvepounders from the gun-boats, were landed, to increase the battery. The enemy strengthened the work, and, towards evening, brought more heavy guns into play. Although general Cotton was confident that he could have carried the second work, it would have been with such a loss as would have prevented him from attacking the main stockade; and he would have been either left in a position exposed to one of superior strength, or forced to relinquish the post after carrying it at a great sacrifice. He therefore determined to re-embark the troops, and to occupy a position untilhe could receive a reinforcement. The guns and stores of every description were re-shipped, and after spiking the enemy's cannon, and destroying the numerous jingals and other arms which had been taken, the troops marched out at two o'clock on the 8th of March, and embarked without opposition. The loss sustained in this affair amounted to 129 in killed, wounded, and missing.
Sir Archibald Campbell, having been deceived by false intelligence, on the 8th of March, of the supposed capture of Donabew, moved from Sarrawah on the 9th, and on the 10th reached U-au-diet, at a distance of 26 miles. There he received information from general Cotton of the failure of the attack of the 7th, and on the night of the 11th he commenced a retrograde march on Donabew. He arrived there on the 25th, and on the 27th opened a communication with the water column. On the 1st of April [K]
the mortar and enfilading batteries were opened, and the breaching batteries had just commenced their fire at day-light on the morning of the 2nd, when the enemy's small rear-guard was discovered in full retreat towards the jungle. The place was immediately taken possession of; and, in addition to the great number of guns, &c. found on the works, granaries and dépôts of grain were taken, sufficient for the consumption of the army for many months. Maha Bundoolah was said to have been killed by a rocket while going his rounds on the preceding morning, and no entreaty of the other chiefs could prevail upon the panic-struck garrison to remain longer together. They fled through the jungle in the direction of Lamina. During the siege, the enemy made several bold and desperate sorties on our line, but were, on all occasions, quickly repulsed. In one of these sorties, a novel scene presented itself in front of both armies. Seventeen large elephants, each carrying a complement of armed men, and supported by a column of infantry, were observed moving down towards our right flank. The body guard, under captain Sneyd, charged them, and mixing boldly with the elephants, shot their riders off their backs, and finally drove the whole into the fort.
Sir Archibald Campbell resumed, without loss of time, his march towards Prome. The enemy nowhere attempted any resistance; and though great preparations had been made for defence, he entered Prome on the 25th of April without firing a shot. The enemy, before they withdrew, had set fire to a part of the town, and a whole quarter was reduced to ashes.
In the mean time, the subordinate operations of the campaign had been carried on with success. Colonel Richards, on the 1st of February, obtained possession of Rangpoore by capitulation. By that acquisition, the Burmese and their allies were completely expelled from Assam, the whole of which was now reduced under our power. In Cachar, too, general Shuldham, who was directing his march upon Munnipore, which lies North by West of Ammerapoora about 200 miles, made some progress: though he was retarded, in a degree greater than had been anticipated, by the nature of the country. The forests and jungles were almost impenetrable: and the unusually heavy rains had rendered the task of constructing roads toilsome in the extreme.
A series of brilliant operations on the 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th, of March, gave general Morrison possession of Arracan. A force detached by him, under the command of general Macbean, occupied without resistance, the islands of Ramiree and Sandowey.
In the principal scene of warfare, no further operations took place. Sir Archibald Campbell's head-quarters remained at Prome, where his army was shut up by the rainy season, which usually lasts in that country till the end of October. Although a considerable number of the inhabitants had returned to Prome and to other places, the system acted upon by the Burmese, of depopulating the country in the route of the British forces, had been to a great extent successful. Provisions for the supply of the army could not be obtained in the neighbourhood of Prome, in the requisite quantity,and they were conveyed from Rangoon,
a distance of about 150 miles, up the river Irrawaddy, by a flotilla of men-of-war's boats employed for that purpose, under the command of captain Alexander, of his majesty's ship Alligator. Nearly the whole of the country between Rangoon and Prome had been deserted by the inhabitants.
The Burmese army, amounting to 60,000 men, was stationed as follows:-20,000 at Meeaday, 50 miles from Prome; a second division, of the same strength, at Patana-go; and the remaining 20,000 at Ghem'bi'gune, where they were posted for the purpose of preventing our force in Arracan from joining the troops under the commanderin-chief.
The mortality among the troops was considerable. The season was more than usually rainy, and the partial inundation of the country greatly increased the epidemic. The proportion of Europeans who were sick, was about one-eighth of the whole number. In addition to the mortality caused by disease, the troops sustained considerable loss from the incessant attacks made upon them by the Burmese; for scarcely a day passed without some skirmish between our troops and the enemy. The latter always made their approaches under cover of the woods and jungles, and annoyed our troops, without giving them an opportunity of effectually chastising their assailants.
In the mean time some negotiations for the restoration of peace had been set on foot; and on the 17th of September, lieutenant-col. Tidy and lieutenant Smith, commanding the light division, were met at Meeady by the Attawoon, Moonjee Maha Moula Rajah, and the Woondock Maha Sree Senkeegah, duly auth by Saha
Menjee Maha Mengom, first minister of the king of Ava, when the following articles were agreed upon, signed by, and exchanged between the parties:
"1st. There shall be a cessation of hostilities between the British and Burmese armies, from the date hereof to the 17th day of October next, inclusive:
"2nd. The first minister of the king, Sahdo Menjee Muha Mengon, being invested with full powers from his majesty for that purpose, will meet the British authorities (duly qualified by their government) at the village of Nenbonzick (being half-way between the armies) on the 2nd of October next, there to enter into negotiations for the re-establishment of peace between the subjects of the two countries:
"3rd. A line of demarcation shall be drawn between the two armies, commencing at Comma, on the western bank of the Irrawaddy, passing through the village of Nenbonzick, and continuing along the road from that village to Tongho.
"The respective parties engage to prevent their troops or adherents passing the said line; and further give assurance that all parties or detachments belonging to either shall be immediately recalled to their own side of the line respectively.
"It is further agreed on the part of the British commander, that this cessation of hostilities shall be observed by the several British armies on the frontiers of these dominions, which shall remain without making any forward move ment before the 18th of October next, when the armistice shall cease and determine; the Burmese authorities engaging that this ar ticle shall be reciprocally observed.