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Commc^ore Johnstone's fleet, 13tb March 1781» and was in the
engagement between the French and English fleets at Porto Praya,
and formed part of the forces under Gen. Medows, for the attack of
the Cape of Good Hope, which was afterwards abandoned by that
officer. He arrived in India in March 1782^ was then promoted to
ensign, and immediately joined Gen. Goddard's detachment, at that
time on actual service on the western coasts. H^ was promoted
lieuU in July 1782, and served with the above detachment till the
peace with the Mahrattas, in Nov. 1783, when he marched with
the army across the peninsula to Bengal, where on its arrival the
whole of the troops composing it received the particular thanks of the
Gov«-Gen. in council, and Com.-in-Chief, and the commissioned
officers were assured of a prior claim to the favour and patronage
of Government. In Jan* 1796 he was promoted to capt. In 1799
he served with the force assembled at Goorackpoor, under Gen.
Stuart, for the purpose of proceeding against Vizier Ally, who had
collected a large body near Betool, which,, after two slight attacks,
was completely dispersed, and Vizier Ally obliged lo fly with a
few horsemen for refuge to the fort of Jey poo^.

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Ca|>t Wood commanded the 1st batt. 12th r^. N. I. at the assault
of the town of Agra, 11th Oct 1803, wh^i the place was carried ;
he also commanded the batt. in the trenches, during the siege of
the fortress of Agra, until that place capitulated. On both occasions
^ the whole of the troops employed, received the thanks of Lord

■^i^ Lake, the Com-in-Chief. He commanded the same batt. at the
battle of Laswarree, 1st Nov- 1803, when the enemy were com-
pletely defeated, and the whole of their artillery, 75 pieces of
cannon, captured ; and which this officer had the honour to escort
in safety from the 6eld of battle, a distance of 65 miles, through
the enemy's country, and deposit in the fort of Agra. In Decs

1803 he was ap{>ointed to a new-raised reg. the 22d N. L, and
ordered by the Com.-in-Chief to discipline and bring it forward
as speedily as possible; and he had the honour to report ttie
whole reg- fit for any service, in less than six months from die
time the men first had a musket put into their hands. In Aug.

1804 he was ordered to proceed with the 1st batt. 22d reg., and
take the command of the fort of Allygurh, in which station he
continued upwards of twelve months, and preserved that impor-
tant place, under circumstances of extreme difficulty and impend-
ing danger, the fort being, when he took the responsibility of it,
entirely unprovided witfi provision, the whole district in a state
of rebellion, and the city of Coel, from whence supplies for the
garrison had alwajrs been obtained, shortly a^rwards given up
by its rebellious inhabitants to the enemy, and taken posses-
sion of by the troops of Jeswunt Rao Holkar. Thus circum-
stanced, and with a force not amounting to 400 rank and file, (hav-
ing been obliged to detach four companies of his batt. on another
service) and unprovided with public money, he retained possession
of the fort, having, by the greatest exertions, and by making use of
private money, procured supplies for the garrison.

With a force not exceeding in rank and file 400, and a small de-
tachment of art-, he stormed and carried the city of Coel, when op-
lK)sed by a body of 3000 hcMrse and foot of Holkar's, and its rebellious

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inhabiUinls. This event took place 33d Sept. 1804h wlien die town

was declared subject to military law, and, as well as the fort, placed

under Capt- Wood's jurisdiction ; and although the district was twice

invaded, once by Holkar, and once by Anoeer Khan, during the time

he held these posts, which was more Uian twelve months after he retook

the town, he was so fortunate as to retain them till there was no longer

any apprehension for their safety.

On the 5th June 1805 he was promoted to a majority ; and the
latter end of that year, having been relieved from the charge of AUy-
gurh, was ordered with his batt. to join the force assembled under
Gen. Dowdeswell, for the purpose of pi-oceeding to take a position qn
the northern frontier of the Dooaub, to intercept Jeswunt Rao Holkar,
should he endeavour to escape with his army by that way. Upon
the breaking-up of Gen. DowdeswelFs detachment, lie was ordered
with the 1st reg. N« C. and 1st batt. 22d N. I., to. occupy the frontier
station of Saharunpoor ; and, in addition to this force, had two batks.
of die Begum Sumroo's, with their artillery, placed under his imme-
diate command. Here he remained till Sept. following; and, on
quitting the command, received the following letter from the officerr
of the detachment : —

^* Sir, — About to leave Saharunpoor, you are not permitted to de-
part without a. recorded testimony of our extreme satisfaction with
your public conduct whilst in command of the detachment, and of
om deep regret at the loss of your society* The expreswon of simti-
ments we all so sensibly feel, it would be unjust to withhold ; to your-
self the conveyance of them, we hope, will be a source of some little
gratification. We ofier you our ardent wishes for honour and hap-
piness, in compliance with the dictates of sincerity; and remain, Sir,
** Yoiu* most obliged and fiuthful servants, ,

(Signed by every Oficer of the Detachment.)
" Saharunpoor, Sept. 29, 1806.''

On the 39th Aug. 1809 Maj. Wood commanded the 1st batt. 2^d

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reg. at the storming of Bohwanny. Shordy after this he was ordered
to join the force under the present Sir Gabriel Martindell, assembled
in Bundlecund the latter end of 1809» to oppose Ameer Khan, which
advanced into Malwah in Jan. 1810, and co-operated with a large
force from Madras under, the late Sir Barry, Col. Close. For this
service the whole of the troops received the thanks of Sir George
Hewett, then Com-in-Chief in India. On the 11th March 1811 this
oflScer was promoted to lieut.-col. He continued to serve with the
army in the field until the bad state of his health, and a lameness
which rendered him incapable of mounting his horse, obliged him to
return to England, where he arrived the beginning of Aug. 1814;
and in Sept. 1816 he retired from the Service on the full-pay of his

Lieut-Col. Wood was appointed a Companion of the Bath on the
extension of that Order.


(Madras Establishment J

This officer was appointed a cadet in 1802, and cornet April 27,
1803 : he arrived in India 2d Jan. 1804, and was promoted tolieot.
28th Oct. of the same year; quart.-mast. in Feb. 1809; capt. Nov. 4,
1814; and maj. Sept. 1, 1818. He served in the campaigns of 1805,
6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, under the late Cols. Wallace and Close, and in the
Mahratta war of 1817-18 with Maj.-Gen. Sir Lionel Smith's division
of the Deccan army, in pursuit of his highness the late Peishwa, and
subsequently with Sir John Doveton's division, which terminated the
campaign. He was present at the cavalry aifair with Sookareem, near
Pepulgaum in Berar, in Dec. 1805, and at the battle of Ashtee, Feb.
20, 1818.

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{Bombay Establishment.)

In 1776, at a very early age, this officer was appointed a cadet on the
Bombay establishment. In 1779 he served with a corps opposed to
the Mahrattas during the war in support of Ragonath Rao. In
1780 and 1781 he served at the siege of Bassien, and with the Bengal
army under Gen, Goddard. From 1781 to the conclusion of the
Mahratta war he was employed in the enemy's districts of Bassien,
and at Terrapore, Maughaum, Mandeire, Danoo, Omerghaum, Belal-
ghur, Underghur, &c.^ and afterwards under Gen. Macleod in Mala-
bar. In 1788 he repaired on furlough to England. ^ On his return to
India he was employed from 1792 to 1798 in Malabar, at that period
in a very disturbed and unsettled state. In 1799, on breaking out of
the war with Tippoo Sultaun, he commanded the Bombay grenadier
batt., forming part of the force sent from Bombay, under Col. Little,
to co-operate with the Mahrattas- This force being ultimately obliged
to retire from the Malu-atta territories, Maj.-Gen. Grant's (then Maj.
Grant) corps embarked at Jayghur, and pushed forward by sea, by
way of Cananore and the Poodycherum Ghauts, to join the grand
army under Gen. (now Lord) Harris ; and having reached Sidapoor
on the river Cavery in the Coorgah country, returned, on the capture
of Seringapatam, to Malabar, with the army under Gen. James
Stuart, and was immediately employed in taking possession of Man-
galore and the province of Canara, and at the siege of the fortress of
Jemaulabad. In 1800 he returned to Malabar, then in rebellion : in
1804 he succeeded Col, John Montresor in the command of Malabar
anc| Canara, the former province being slill in open rebellion. In
Dec. 1804, Madras troops from Mysore were ordered to relieve the
Bombay troopa in Malabar and Canara; this relief having taken
place, Maj.-Gen. (then Col.) Grant, on his passage to Bombay, hav-

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ing received reinforcements of a detachment of art. battering cannon,
howitzers, and stores from the presidency, landed on the coast of Con-
can, with about 3000 men mider his immediate command, and, in
pursuance to orders from government, reduced the important fortress
of Savendroog, and its dependencies, then held, as Gen. Sir Barry
Close expr^sed himself, by " the wily and atrocious rebel Hurry
Belial/' For this service Maj.-Gen. Grant received the entire appro-
bation of government, of Lieut.-Gen, Oliver Nicolls, Com.-in-Chief,
of the late Gen. Sir Barry Close, British minister at the court of
Poonah, and of his highness the Peishwa. In 1807f this officer being
in extreme ill health, and his constitution greatly impaired, returned
to £ngland«

The following are the dates of this officer's commissions: £n$.
20th Nov. 1777; Heut., 1st May 1780; capt-, 1st Dec- 1790; major,
15th Jan. 1796; lieut.-col., 6th March 1800; lieut.-coL conmiandant
of a reg. of N. I. 1st. Oct. 1809; col, 25th July 1810; and maj.-
gen., 4th June 1813.


(Madras Establishment.)

This officer commenced his career in India in 1804; he was present
at the suppression of the mutiny at Velore in July 1806 ; and at the
commencement of 1809 was ordered to Bombay, and joined a detach-
ment of cavalry destined (with about 2000 other troops) for Persia,
under the orders of Maj.-Gen. Sir John Malcolm: circumstances,
however, occurring to render the expedition unnecessary, it was brokfim
up, and the Madras troops sent back to their own presidency. As
soon as this measure was determined on, Maj. Riddell sailed from
Bombay to England for the recovery of his health : in 1813 he re-

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turned to Madras, and from that period until the fall of the fortress of
AsscCTghur in 1819, he was either actually in the field, or on a frontier
station, liable to move at a moment's notice. The 7th reg, of cavalry,
to which he belonged, was with Sir John Doveton, who conunanded
die Hyderabad subsidiary force, in all the excursions and harassing
movements after the Pindarries in 1815-16.

An idea of the fatigue the troops underwent in this desultory warr
fare, may be formed by the description of a march executed by a
squadron of cavalry under Maj. RiddielFs command in April 18 1&
He received orders from Gen. Doveton to make for a certain point,
distant about thirty miles from the camp, and to endeavour to obtain
information of a body of Pindarries, expected in the direction of
the Adjuntah pass, near to which the British were encamped: he
marched at seven o'clock at night, and on the road received various
reports of their approach, which he transmitted to the Gen. ; but on
reaching the point to which he was ordered, all traces of them were
lost ; for, in fact, they had passed on some miles distant from the
camp before this officer received instructions to quit it. In about
half an hour a trooper made his appearance, with an order for his
immediate return ; the squadron accordingly retraced its steps, add
found the force had moved six miles beyond its former ground. On
approaching (he camp, about ten in th€ morning, Maj. Riddell re-
ceived directions to remain two miles from camp, as an outlying
squadron : in a short time after he was desired to join the force ; and
on his arrival, at two o'clock in the afternoon, he found the whole
cavalry mounted, and had only lime to take up his position in the
line, when this force moved off, marched twenty-6ve miles, found the
enemy gone, rested two hours, and came back to their original ground,
twenty-five miles more, by len next morning, — making a distance of
116 miles in 39 hours. When the Mahratta war broke out in 1817,
the 7lh reg. was ordered to Maj.-Gen. Pritzler's division, and Maj.
Riddell was present at tlie different affairs with the enemy's cavalry,
until the junction of the division with that of the Bombay army com-
manded by Maj .-Gen. Lionel Smith. The cavalry of both divisions

£ £

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being placed under the latter officer, it encountered and defeated
the whole of the Peishwa^s force at Ashtey, which occasioned the
surrender of the Sattarah Rajah and family. A short time after-
wards, a distribution of the cavalry between Maj.-Gens* Doveton
and Smith, placed the 7th reg. under the command of the former
officer, with whom Maj. Riddell continued until the fall of Asseerghnr,
in April 1819*

The following are Uie dates of this officer's commissions : Cornets
18th July 1804; Heut., 21st Feb. 1808; capt. 7th Sept 1811; and
major, 15th July 1819.


(Madras Establishment.)

This o&cev was appointed a cadet in Feb. 17979 and arriving at
Madras in Aug. 1798, was promoted to an ensigncy, and appointed
to the 2d batt 11th reg. N. I. then ordered on 6eld service, and
forming a part of the force assembled at Begoarah, on the banks of
the Kislna, imd^ Col. (now L.-Gen.) Roberts, for the purpose of de-
stroying the French force and influence at Hyderabad ; which being
effected in Oct. and every thing adjusted, the Hyderabad detach-
ment, as it was then called, received orders to march to the Car-
natic, to join the army under Gen* (now Lord) Harris, which was
then forming for the siege of Seringapatam ; that object having been
attained. Ensign Gillespie (who was removed to the cavalry during
the march of the army to Seringapatam, but who continued to do
duty with the nth N. I. during the siege) joined the 2d reg. of
cav., then composing part of the detachments under Cols. Stevenson
and James Dairy mple, employed against the noted freebooter
Doondia. On the 10th of Sept* the latter officer, after some hard

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marching, came up with, and attacked the whole of Doondia's
force, with the Ist and 2d regs. of cav., and succeeded in defeating
him with great loss. Doondia, however, continued to collect the
remains of his army, which obliged CoL S., who joined after the
action on the 10th, with the 4th cav., to push after him again ; and
Doondia was compelled to take reftige in the Mahratta country. CoL
S., although within a few hundred yards of the enemy's army, declined
then attaching it, and returned to the Mysore country. All prospect
of further active service in the field being at an end, £ns. Gillespie
was ordered to proceed to Bangalore to join the 4th reg.cav., to which
he had been removed in Sept. 17999 ahd promoted to a lieutenantcy.
He was employed on detached duty till May 1800, when the 4th reg^
was again ordered on field service against Doondia, which ter*
minated in Sept- following by the defeat c^ the enemy, and death of
the freebooter.

Lieut Gillespie next accompanied the 4th reg. into the ceded dis*
tricts, first composing part of a detachment under Col- Monnypenny,
and afterwards with the force under Gen. D. Campbell* This force
was actively employed till the beginning of 1803 in attacking many
Poligar forts, &c. in these districts ; and in Feb. of that year the 4th
was ordered to form part of the army under the present Duke of Wel-
lington, for the purpose of attacking Scindia, who then meditated the
subversion of the Peishwa. The battles of Assaye and Argaum fol-
lowed, in which the Madras troops were engaged. Lieut. Gillespie,
however, had the misfortune, from a very severe kick from a horse, to
be witli the rear-guard of the army on the day of the former battle.

Peace having been concluded with the Mahrattas in the end of
1803, the 4lh cav., in Sept. 1804, returned to the Carnatic, when it
was again ordered on field service, with a detachment under Col.
Monnypenny, against the Chitore Poligars. This service closed in
March 1805, by the capture of the Rajah, and his execution put a
period lo the troubles in that part of the country.

The 4th now went into cantonments at Conatore, near Arnee, to
refit in men, horses, and appointments. Ii^ July 1806 the 4th were

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employed in the suppression of the mutiny at Velore ; . and in Dec. it
was again ord^*ed to march, and early in 1807 formed part of a light
detachment undeir Col. Bowness, employed to escort the Peishwa on a
pilgrimage to Sundoor, but the real object was to attack, if necessary,
the numerous rabUe of horse and foot who accompanied his highness,
and whose licentious habits could only be kept in check by the dread
of punishment.

£arly in 1808 the 4th again took the fidd, and joined the Bombay
army in the Detjcian under Col. Wallace, employed against Maypi»*
tram amd.Sookah Roodur ; that service detained ihereg. in the field tiU
June 1808, when it went into cantonment at Jalnah. A marauder,
by name Wyud Ally Cawn Bungui^h, started up in Nov. of that year,
and after a short but active service, the detachment under Col. Dove-
ton, of wliich the 4th composed a part, succeeded in destroying his
whole party, and, aided by the people of the country, in taking him
prisoner : his force was surprised by the 4th and 8th cav., and a corps
of flankers from the infantry, after a march of 120 miles. In March
1809 the troops returned into cantonment at Jalnah, and at the end of
the year again took the field with the army under Gen. Close, against
Meer Cawn,, who then plundered the Peishw^'s territories in the
qeighbourhood of Bundlecund. No event of any consequence oc-
curred in this service, and matters being adjusted with the chieftains,
the 4th went into quarters at Hyderabad in June 1810 ; where it re-
mained till Oct. 1812, when it .marched for Cuttack, to cover that
and the Gauzam provinces fi'om an expected visit ft-om the Pindarries,
but as they did not make their appearance, the 4th were ordered to
Arcot, where they arrived in July 1313. The remainder of the latter,
and part of the following year, were passed in recruiting and refitting
the reg. ; and in Aug. 1814 Maj. G. was appointed paymaster of
Trichinopoly, where he continued till Oct. 1819, when he was, for the
second* time, promoted to the rank of maj., and rejoining the 4th

* In consequence of casualties in the army, and the dismissal of the present Lieut.- CoK
Lushington from the service during the disturbances in the Madras army in 1809, Major
G. was promoted to the rank of Major in April 1812 ; but on the restoration of Lieut«-CoL


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cav. at Bangalore, commanded it from Feb- 1820, till he left India,
in consequence of ill health, in Jan. 1822.

During the above period of service Mftj. G. was occasionally em-
ployed in leading attacking parties against small forts, and selected
for the command of light detachments in the field ; he was adj. to
the 4th cav. from Sept. 1802 till Aug. 1805 ; he held the temporary
command of a cav. brig- both in the field and in cantonment, and
obtained the thanks of Sir S* Achmuty and Sir John Abercrombie,
Coms.'in-Chief, and of Gen. Hare, as well as the approbation of other
oncers, under whose command he served. Maj. Gillespie has re-
ceived the Seringapatam medal.


{Madras Establishment.)

This officer entered the service of the East India Company in 1793 ;
he served at the last siege of Pondicherry, in 1795-6 ; and was pre-
sent at the capture of Malacca, Amboyna, Banda, and their depen-
dencies. In 1811 he accompanied the expedition under Sir Samuel
Achmuty, and was at the reduction of the Dutch settlements in the
island of Java.

The dates of Maj. Durand's commissions are — Ens. 1793 ; lieut.
39th Nov. 1797; capt.-lieut., 27th June 1804; capt., 21st. Sept.
1804; brev.-maj. 4th June 1814 ; maj., 19lh July 1817.

Lushington to the serrice by the Court of Directors, the local govenunent of Madras thought
fit to cancel Maj. Gillespie's commissioD, after his having held it nearly for a year and a half,
attd daring that time in the command of the reg. on active service against the Pindarries.

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(Madras Establishment)

This officer, after passing through the different gradations of military
rank, attained that of Lieut.-Col- in the army, 10th Dec. 1800; and'
was appointed Lieut.-Col. 3d Native Infantry, 13th Jan. 1801. His
services commenced in India, in the year 1777, and terminated after
the Mysore campaign, in 1800, in which latter year he was com-'
pelled to return to Europe for the re-establishment of a constitution
impaired to excess, the natural consequence of severe trials encoun-
tered during a period of thirteen years' service in the field, and various
parts of India ; and which finally obliged him, in May 1803, to retire
from the service.


(Bombay Establishment.)

This officer was appointed a cadet 4th May 1776 ; ensign 4th Aug. fol-
lowing; and iieut 4th Dec 1779. He was actively employed three
campaigns, under Gen. Goddard, Maj. Forbes, and Brig. M*Cloud;
at Mangalore, and present at the assault of Cananore. The 18th June
1784 he was promoted to capt-lieut., and appointed to the command
of several Native corps. With this rank he served as Commandant
of TelUchery and Sural station. The 8th Sept. 1788 he was promoted
to capt., and appointed to the European reg. proceeded to Darwar,
and was present at the assault of that fortress in 1793, under Col.
Frederick. The 4th June 1793, he was appointed to the command
of a local batt. of Sepoys at Surat. The 9th July 1796 he was pro-

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moted to maj.^aDd appoiiited to the command of the 2d batt.4threg. N. I.
at Bombay. The 28th Dec- 1798 he attained the rank of lieut-eol,
and proceeded in command of tlie 2d batt. 4th reg. N- 1, on field ser-
vice, under Lieut-Col John Little, to Jygur, to co-operate with
the Mahrattas against Tippoo Sultaun. In April following he was
sppointed to command a detachment of two batts. of Sepoys; he pro-
ceeded to the Malabar coast, and joined CoL Wiseman's brigade in
May 17999 ^nd was actively engaged in taking possession of the lower
country, and forts on the sea coast, in Canara, from Neelsaram to
Sadishgure; he was also employed against Doondia Waugh; and
took possession of Hydergur Ghaut. In July following he was ap-
pointed to command the district of Cundapoor : in Jan. 1800 he was
removed, and appointed to raise the 2d batt. 6th reg. N. I. at Sural,
and conimanded that garrison. In 1802 he was transferred to thfe
1st batt. 3d reg, N, I.: he proceeded to Bombay, and obtained the com-
mand of a field force, consisting of detachments of H. M. 84th and 88th
regts., a company of art., complete field train, 1st batt. 3d reg., and the
Ist batt. 7th reg. N.L; and marched with it to Bassiien, under the orders
of the late Sir Barry Close, resident with his highness the late Peishwa^
Badjee Row. In April following. Col, Murray, H. M/s 84th r^.,
succeeded, as senior oflScer, Lieut-Col. Boy6 in command of the field
detachments ; with this force Lieut.-Col. B. proceeded to Poonah. He
commanded a brigade of N. I. and joined the grand army, under
Maj.-Gen. Sir A. Wellesley. At the conclusion of the war with
Scindia, and other refractory Mahratta chieftains, LieuL-Col. Boy6
was removed to the 2d batt. 4th reg. N. I. : he proceeded to Goa, and

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 19 of 45)