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The East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 online

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appointed to the command of a provincial batt. at Surat; and on the
disbanding of this eofps, in Dec. 17999 joined his reg. at Ooa. In
1800 he received the government appointment of major of brigade
in the provinces of Malabar and Canara, to which he immediately
proceeded ; and in this situation, and as secretary to the qcM&maDd^
ing-officer, he was present during the warfare in Cotiote.

In 1802 Capt S. was appmtited aid«de^^oamp to the Gov. of Bom-
bay, and, in tiiat year, dep.-i|iiai«^-mast.«gen. to the army. In the
latter situation he, accompanied' a detachment^ sent to Baaseen for the
protection of the Peishwa, to which he waa also appointed oonmnsi
sary. This d^tachtnent was considerably rdnforded, and subsequently
escorted the Pei^wa to Poonah, where it joined Sir A. Wellesley.

When Sir Arthur marched from Poonah, he placed Capt. Spans in
the important charge of a large dq)6t of provi^ns^ with instructions
for receiving grain and provisions from Bcnnbay, and forwarding them
to his army in advance. This depdt soon became of the utmost conse-
quence, and encreasing quantities of provisions of ail kinds poured
into it, while the country afbufid was in a state of famine. His con*
duct in the management of this compUcated department met with
Gen. Wellesley's marked approbation, of which be had the satisfac-
tion of receiving a gratuitous testimony conveyed to him, with his
thanks, through the CcHEn.-in-Chief at the presidency. He received
the same personally from Sir Barry Close^ the resid^t at the Poonah
durbar; and^ previously to bis being. relieved from, that cfaai^ and
leaving Poonah, he was appointed quart^masL-gen* of the army,
with the rank of lieut.-col., Iiaving, in Jan* 1803» been promoted to

- In 1804, pn his appointment of quart-ma6t.**gen., he prooveded
to the presidency, to take charge of thatx^ce, and took his seat at

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die militaiy boArcL in May 1807 he was promoted to lieiit*^H>K In
1808 he obtained peraoistionto return to Burope for the b^^efit of his
hei^ ; and on his leaving Bomba/t the following general order was
issued bj government :~

'' Bombay Cutk, Jubf 5, 181&
^^ Lieut.-Ccd. Spensy quart.-mast.-gen. under this presidencji having
produced the prescribed certificates, has the permission of the Hon.
the Gov. in Council to proceed to Europe for the benefit of his health,
with the option of retiring from the service in England, agreeably to
the regulations.

'^ In granting this permisaon, the Hon. the Gov. in Council joins
in the regret, expressed by th(^ commanding-officer of the forces, at
the departure of an officer of Lieut.-Col. Speos' experience and abi-^
lities, whose zealcnis exertions have contributed so successfully to
place the important department of quart.-maBt.-gen. on the most ex-
tensive scale of utility.''

'^ Lieut«-Col Spens ultimately requested permission to retire from the
service, which was granted in Nov. 1809*


(Bombay Establishment.)

This officer commenced his service as a volunteer. in the Company's
army, having been invited to India by a relations who commaiHled
the Madras artillery ; his deaths whilst this officer was on his passive
outy in 1781^ left him many years unprovided for, and deprived him
of the advantages he had expected ftom raising nearly half a com<»
pany of recruits, and bringing them almost at his own expense » to

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Portsmouth. He was present as a volunteer at the siege of Cananore
in 1783, and saw some of the roughest service about that period.
His commission as ensign was dated in 1791 » shortly subsequent to
the battle of Travenan Gurry, under Col. Hartley, than which few
actions baye been fought more desperately, or decided more import-
ant consequences. He was present and actively employed during the
&tst Seringapatam campaign, and wa^ wounded before that place in
Feb. 1792 ; on which occasion his services were publicly acknow*
ledged. He was a second dme wounded in Uie Surat river in 179d»
under circomatances which gained him some credit : a body of pirates
haring captured a ship of about 600 tons, belonging to a merchant
in Sural, were prevented by the ebb tide from carrying her out of the
liver, the water on the bar being too shallow ; he was ordered to re-
take the vessel wiUi a detachment of thirty Sepoys ; he laid his boats
alongside, under a very heavy fire ; boarded, and carried the ship.
The loss of the enemy was very severe, while the casualties in the
detachment were trifling, only a few killed and wounded ; this <^cer
was among the latter ; he received two wounds, one a pistol-ball and
the other a sword wound in the arm. He volunteered his services,*
but was refused permission, by Gen. Stuart, to join the army wl^ch
took Seringapatam in 1799* In 1803 he was ordered to join the
army under Sir Wm. Clarke, and commanded a separate detachment
the flank companies of 1st batt. 3d reg. N. I. He had charge of it
at Kurree, and maintained rather a perilous posi^on for several days.
After the surrender of the fort, he was appointed by Sir William to
escort the chieftain, Mulhar Rao, to Cambay. On delivering him
up to the late J. Duncan, this officer was appointed to the command
of Fort Victoria, and ordered to proceed to that station wiUiout
delay. Shortly after his arrival, the Mabratta war of 1802 having
driven the late Peishwa from his capital, he fled to the town of
Mahr, Iwenly-five miles east of Fort Victoria; and this officer was
ordered, by the government of Bombay^ to join him there in capa-
city of agent. On Holkar's troops descending the Ghauts in pursuit
of him (the Peishwa,) his highness and his brother, Chimnajee Appa,

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proceeded overland to Savendroog; while his minsters and his trea^are',
under charge of this officer, were conveyed to the same place by
water. At Savendroog, this officer received an order from govern-
ment to enforce the acceptance of the subsidiary' force; he succeeded
in this object, and, in conformity to the orders of government, at-
tended his highness to Basseen. There being joined by Col. Close,
and every thing being arranged, he obtained permission from the Gov.
to return to Fort Victoria, where he was ordered to raise a lotal batt.
for the protection of the Company's territory in that quarter from
the ravages of Holkar's troops, who were scattered through the
Concan. The Gov. was pleased to order a letter to be addressed to
this officer,* intimating his approbation of his conduct during the
time he was employed with his highness : his services in the political
department, in attendance on the prince, and in the guardianship of
his person, until he parted from him at Basseen, are recorded in the
papers published by order of parliament at that period.

He next acted as the Gov/s agent, and superintended the pro-
ceedings which took place when the Bombay army, on its removal
from Malabar, was employed in the reduction of the island fort of
Savendroog, then in rebellion against his highnesses authority. He
was appointed shortly after town-maj. of Bombay, and private sec. to
the Gov., which duties he discharged Until the death of the Gov., when
he joined his batt.

In 1815 he commanded a brigade for the protection of the Attavesy
from the Pindarries, a labour which, however, only occasioned him
anxiety of arrangement and preparation, as the banditti* never ad-

* The Pindarries are a singular race ; singular in their formation^ in their habits, in their
physical qualities, in their moral attributes, and in their social system. Chance made them
m people ; plunder and robbery constitute the bonds of their union ; cunning and courage
Mxc the patents of their ndbility ; and aopmor talent for intrigue and military skill the sole
title to command. In the rapidity of their movements, their endurance of fatigue, their
attachment to their horses, their want of discipline, and their predatory mode of warfare,
the Pindarries strikingly resemble the least civilized of the Cossacks : their number is stated
lo amount to between thirty and forty thousand ; but in a comtnunity liable to such fluc-
tuations, it is not easy to form any accurate idea of their real strength. A year of plenty
reconciles many to peaceful habits, and a season of scarcity multiplies the horde of free-

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vanced in his dtreotion. la Jan* 1818 he wats ordered with his batt
into the Concan ; the batt. consisted of recruits^ having been only
embodied a few days, and the old soldiers, intended to forin the basis
of its discipline, &c. having never been able to join, from the alarm
and preparation following the breaking out of the Mahratta war.
With these recruits^ assisted by a detachment of 180 men from the 1st
batt* lltii reg* N- 1., and the crews of two cruisers, which contrived to
work up the Bankoot river, and two twelve-pounders from the Prince of
Wales' Island, brought up a steep mountain, seven miles in length, on
men's shoulders, this officer attacked and took Mundenghur, on the 15th
Feb, 1818; the garrison Was triple his force, and the fort one of the
strongest hill forts in the Concan : the enemy stockaded the whole
line of approach, and defended every irregularity which a most rugged
ascent of more than a mile from tliis officer's position enabled him to
avail himself of. The stockades were stormed in succession, the Kille-
dar and most of the garrison killed, and the place finally carried by

Being obliged to leave a large garrison in Mundenghur, this officer
returned, after making some arrangements for its defence, to Saven-»
droog, to. recruit and drill the batt. On the 2d March he mustered
upwards of 250 volunteers, and marched to the attack of the hill forts
of Paulghur and Ramghur. He arrived before them on the evening
of the 3d, and the next morning attacked and took the forts by assault,
without the loss of a man, though they were prepared to offer a warm
reception ; but the British, by not mounting the hill the way the enemy
expected, avoided their stockades. From this time until the 4th June,
this officer took the whole country between the 17th and 18lh deg. of
north latitude, from the sea to the Ghauts, closing the campaign by

booters beyond the powers of common calculation. Bat whatever may be their force, they
cHiefly inhabit the country north of theNerbiiddklr, lodnd Nimbawiar, Kautipore, Gobmass,
''fieresha, and part of theBilsa and Bopal territory. Unless when 'united on an exetmkm,
they live together in societies of one or two hundred ; which, as is the case in most irre-
gular combinations, are governed by him who possesses the greatest personal influence.

See Quarterly Remw, May 1818.

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the capture of Rutna-Gurry ^. Since that time he ocnnmanded, in ISIP*
the southern division of Gozerat; and upon the fomiatioo of a forpe
for the Gulph, he volunteered his services, which were accepted, to
proceed with Sir Wm. Keir against Rasal Khyma ; but his batt., 1st.
3d reg. N. I., being withdrawn from the expedition, he was deprived
of the honour he had anticipated. Upon the formaUon of the south
Concan into a division command, the services of this officer were ac^
knowledged by his being appointed to it.


{Bombay Establishment.)

This officer was appointed to an ensigncy on the Bombay establish-
ment in Sept. 1796; lieut.,6th Sept. 1797; and actively employed
on the coast of Malabar from 1798 to 1800. In Feb. 1802 he em-
barked for Guzerat, and joined the force at Cambay under Lieut.-Col.
Alex. Walker^, destined for the reduction of Kurree. He was ap-
pointed to command the pioneers, and acted as aid-de-camp at the
battle of Kurree, 17th March. On the l6lh April he was appointed
capl. of Guides, and was present at the storming the enemy's lines, and
surrender of the fortress of Kurree, under the command of Gen. Sir
W. Clarke. He was appointed in Feb. 1803 fort-adj. and garrison
quart.-mast. of Surat ; and the same year promoted to a company.
In 1806 he was appointed barrack-master of Surat ; on the 23d July
1810 promoted to a majority, and assumed the command of the Ist

• Adeoinooof goTerDineiitoii prwe-money stales, that the places were, for the most
part, peaceably sarreodered, because the KiUedars had orders to sarrender their forts to this
officer from certain chieftains in the Deccan. It is however notorious, that they frequently
had secret orders to resist to the utmost.

t Vide senricee, p. 147*

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batt. 9th N. I., at Baroda. In Dec* 1814 he accompanied the force
under Gen- Sir W. Holmes, and was present at the siege and capture
ofl^lhaunpoor ; and in 1815 marched to the Deccan, and was actively
employed under Brig.-Gen. Smith, till 1816. He was promoted lieut-
col. 28th 0<^. 1816, and appointed to the command of the Concan
field force, 9lh Nov. 1817. On the 26th, at the head of five com-
panies of Native troops, and a detachment of H. M/s 1 7th dragoons,
and 47th reg., he attacked and drove the Peishwa's troops from the
stockades established in thedifiScult fastness' of the Bhore Ghaut; by
the maintenance of which position the supplies of the army had been a
considerable time detained, and the communication obstructed between
Poonah and Bombay, to the exclusion of intelligence, so mutually de*
sirable to the authorities of the presidency and the Deccan. On the
31 St Dec. 1817 he captured the Fort of Kotdaghur, in the northern
Concan ; 20th Jan. 1818, the fort of Kurnella, or Funnell hill, which
surrendered by capitulation after three days' siege. The latter fort is
so narrow as almost to have baffled the ability of the professional
officers engaged, who nevertl^ess twice set the funnel in a bla;ze,
thereby inducing the enemy to come to terms- On the 4th Feb. he
captured the fortof Owchetghur; on the 5th, Soorghur; 8th, Pallee»
or Purusghur ; 13th, M eaghur ; 15th, Boorup, or Soodaglmr, — all in
the southern Concan. On the 27th the force and battering train
ascended the Bhore Ghaut into the Deccan ; and on the 2d March
defeated and drove the garrison of Loghur, or Iron Rock, from their
strong positions and outworks, which, with Issapour and Toong, w^*e
taken on the 7th. On the 11th defeated a large body of the enemy
before the walls of Koarre, which surrendered at discretion on the
14th, after several hours bombardment; on the 12th, Ragh and
Mutchey. On the 20th the force quitted the Deccan, and returned
to the Concan ; and on the l6th April, on its route to invest Rhyghur,
attacked and defeated a large force of the eneniy posted in stockade,
consisting of the garrisons of Tulla and Gonzella, bolh of which sur-
rendered on the 18th ; on the 20th, Manghur; and on the 11th May
the important fortress of Rhyghur. A more vigorous or active siege,


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for ihe inadequacy of the force and means, was never attempted
against a fort near 2500 feet from its base : it was carrying war against
a mountain. The measures taken are marks of prodigious labour ;
2 thirteen-irich brass mortars, 1 iron thirteen-inch, and iron bed (which
required the utmost exertion of 1200 men for four days to place it in
the battery), 1 ten-inch, 2 eight-inch — 4 five-iftch howitzers — 4 twelve^
poundCTs, and 6 sixpounders, were carried up rtiree hills, exposed to
the enemy's fire, before the battery could be laid forieflGect. .An ac-
tion had previously occurred, in whifch Col. Hall, of H^ M/s 89th reg.,
surprised and defeated a large body of the enemy with con^idembie
loss, drove them into the Khoob Larri bastion (a very fwmidable. posi-
tion), which was subsequently carried. The siege lasted fourteen
<)^ys, pushed with extraordinary fatigue and endurance; at last the
enemy submitted to terms, and one of the strongest forts in India be^
came the conquest of this force. The garrison, consisting of near
3000 men, with their families, were permitted to retain all their pri-
vate property ; but the Killedar broke the treaty, and embezzled
public treasure to a large amount-MieaF 10 lacks of rupees, or 120,000/.
sterling. The Consequence whs, the subjection of the whole country,
and the forts specified, besides several others to the southward of the
Bancoot river. The Peishwa's wife was in the fort, and was permitr
ted to retain all her property, which was considerable^ On the 13th
May the fort of Lingana was captured by the troops mkd^r Lieul;-
Col. Prother's command ; on the l6th, Kahgopry ; 17th, Myputtghur ;
18th, Chunderghur ; 21st, Koordew; Slst, Reodunda and Boewarree.
He continued actively employed till Oct. 1818 pand onthctddjan.
1819 embarked for England, on account of ill health, having com-
pleted an actual service of twaity-twb years and three months* He
has since returned to India.

The following extracts from ofiScial communications shew the sense
entertained by government of this officer's services :—

jFro^n the Honourable Mountstuart Elphifistonej 12th May 1818.
"Our guns are jtist announcing the fall of Rhygur; I wish you joy

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of this great event, which crowDs all your former successes with the cap-
ture of the strongest fort in India/^

JFrom General Orders of the Governor General.
' ^^ The rapid, sttcc^ssion of fortresses, including many of high repur
tation and remarkable strength* subdued by XiieuL-CoL Prother in
the Ccmcsin, with ao inconsiderable force, sufficiently testifies the emi-
nent exertions of that officer/!

• • '
From General Orders of the Bight Honmrabie the Govfirnor in CqwucU.
** The Right' Hon. the Gov. in council will teve much -pleasure in
bringing to the notice of the Hon. the Court of Directors the promi^
nent activity, perseverance, and valuable services performed by Lieirt.-
Col. Prother, duriqg the late war, in command of a field detachment
employed in subduing numerous fortresses in the Concan/'

Lieutenant^CoIonel Prother is a companion of the Bath.


fBengal Establishment.)

This officer was appointed to the Company's service in 1794^5 ; he
sailed for Bengal in 1796, and was posted to the 3d reg. light cav. 9lh
Oct. in that year ; and in 1798 marched with the corps from its canton-
ment at Mqneah, in Bahar^ to join the grand army formed on the fron-
tiers of the British possesssions, under Gen. Sir James Craig, who ad-
vanced to Anoopsheher ; from whence the army returned in several
columns into cantonments, Zemaun Shaw, king of Cabul, having de-
clined the contest. Cornet Gall, at the conclusion of the campaign,
was promoted (23d June 1799) to lieut. in the 1st. reg. N. cav., sta-

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ttoned at Futtehgurh^ This corps was ordered, in 1799) to cross the
Ganges, and formed part of Maj.-Gen« R. Stuart's division in RohiU
cundy subsequently commanded by Col. (now Lieut.-Gen.) RusselK
On the return of the 1st reg. to tlie cantonment of Futtehgurh, Lieut.
Gall's troop, and another from the 1st, were selected to accompany
Col. Collins, Resident at the court of Dowlut Rao Scindia, to the
court of the Rajah of Jeypoor ; and Lieut. G., being the senior officer,
commanded the squadron of cav., which, with some inf., and a detadi*
ment of art., was placed under the general controul of Capt., now
Maj.-Gen., Thos. Brown.* This service, which bore a political as well
as a military character, terminated in the seizure of the notorious Ex-
Newaub, Vizier Ally, in spile of a numerous force of Scindia^s troops^
encamped under the walls of a city, and commanded by the French
Gen. Perron. The thanks of the Resident, and subsequently of the
Gov.-Gen., Lord Wellesley, were conveyed to Lieut Gall, in common
with his brother officers, for his conduct on that occasion, wHidi
ultimately led to Lieut. G's appointment to the Gov.-Gen/s body-

After joining that distinguished corps, Lieut. G. obtained leave
irom his lordship, to serve with the army under Gen. Lake, who was
then besieging Sasnee : he was present at the capture of Bejighur,
and the fall of Catchoura, and at the latter place had one horse shot
dead under him, and another severely wounded.

On returning from this service, Lieut. G. was the bearer of a letter
from Gen. Lake to Lord Wellesley, expressive of the Gen/s approba-
tion of Lieut G /s conduct.

During the Mahratta campaign, Lieut. G., being then adj- to the
body-guard, formed part of Lieut.-Gen. Martindell's army of obser-
vation, which covered the operations of the grand army, during the
siege of Burtpoor. The Gov.-Gen., Lord Minto, having occasion to
proceed to Madras, Lieut. G., who had been promoted to capt 11th
March 1805, proceeded by sea with the whole of the body-guard, to
the command of which he had succeeded, to Fort St. George, tlie

♦ Vide Services, page 258,

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officei^ and men acting as nmrines on board the Compan/s ^ip,*
General Stuart, which sailed in company wiAl the Dover frigate,
haying on board the Gov.-Gen., Lord Minto. His Lordship having
Accomplished his objects, Capt G. returned by Jand to Bengal, about
the time that the expedition against Java was preparing, upon which
occasion he volunteered his services, and xhey were accepted; and his
example was followed by every individual officer, non-commisssioned
officer, and private trooper of the body-guard- This corps landed with
the first division of Sir S. Auchmuty^s army^ at Chillingching in Java,
and being immediately attached to the advance, under Maj.^en.
Gillespie, marched to Tanjan Priok, where the troops bivouacked, and
the next day took possession of Batavia, the French and Dutch re-
treating as the British troops advanced. In the warm engagement,
which ended with the forcible possession of the enemy's lines at Wel-
tevreeden,Xieul.G-, who commanded a reserve, consisting of the body-
guard, dismounted men of H. M/s 22d dragoons, and a brigade of
art., received the public expression of the Com-in-Chiefs approba-
tiop of the conduct of those troops. After the assault of the redoubts
at Coraelis, Capt G*, still attached to Maj.-Gen. Gillespie's brigade,
obtained the thanks of that officer, of the Com.-in-Chief, and of the
Gov.-Gen. of India, and was one of the officers on whom a medal was
bestowed by the Prince Regent. Immediately after the fall of Cor*
nelis, Capt. G. was ordered to place himself under the orders of the
late Maj.-Gen. Gibbs, who marched all night to surprise Buitenzorg,
which, by direction of the Maj.-Gen., Capt. Gall summoned to sur-
render, and it was accordingly delivered up. During this cam-
paign Capt. G. received a slight contusion on the right side^ and
a severe wound in one of his eyes.

Lord Hastings having succeeded Lord Minto in the government
of India, was pleased to continue Capt<^ Gall in command of the body-
guard, to which his lordship added a squadron, which, with the rest

* French frigates sailing in couples at that time in the bay of Bengal^ rendered H ne*
cessary to have an armed ship in company with the frigate.

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310 . TH£^ EAST. INPIA

of the corpsi'accompataied liis lonkSup ou h^ grand military tour, in

the upper pr6vinces of Hindostan, in 1814-15, during which the Gov.-

Oen^ termitiated with signal success the Nepaul war.

i At the expiration of upwards of twenty years actual residence in

India, Capt. G. was compelled, by ill health, to return to England

on furlough. In Sept. 1818 he was promoted to the rank of field*


Maj< Gall, during his residence in India, held the following situa-
tions : — aid-de-camp and private secretary to the Vice-President in
council, Peter Speke, Esq. ; aid-de-camp and private secretary to Sir
G. Barlow ; aid-de-camp to, and commanding the Gov.-Gen.'s body-
guard ; secretary to the Board of Superintendence for the improve-
ment of cattle in India ; second Member of that Board ; and super-
ilntending officer of Calcutta militia.


(Bengal EstabUshmeni.J

This officer arrived in India in Dec.' 1900, having obtained permis-
sion from the Court of Directors to remain in, England^ for the pur-
pose 6f completing his military education, one year after his nomina-
tion to a cadetship, and he in consequence joined the 1^ reg. N. L,
then stationed at Dacca, in Aug« 1801, widi the rank of lieut. He

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 27 of 45)