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son ; in the course of which, Capt. W. personally beat up the camp of
that chief, at Chargong, and for a time dispersed his followers ; but
having been obliged to approach him in open daylight, the affair was
not so decisive as he had hoped. Subsequently to this, that daring
rebel, during the rainy season, had been for some time reassembling
troops, and was again in considerable force, preparing to pour into
the British districts the moment the breaking up of the rains should
permit him. At this period (the eve of the season of action) Capt W.,

* Extract from General Orders, Dec: 7, 1810. — ** The Gov.-Geo. id council has great
pleasure in diffusing a knowledge of every transaction in which the officers and men of
the military service of the Company have had an opportunity of manifesting their charac-
teristic spirit of bravery and exertion ; and on the present occasion, his Lordship in
council discharges, with peculiar satisfaction, the duty of rendering justice to the skill
and judgment displayed by Capt. Watson in planning the aattck of the enemy's force,
and to his activity, zeal, and gallantry, and those of the officers and troops under his
command, in carrying it into effect with such signal success."

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by the temporary absence of Col. Brown, from illness, obtained the
command of the troops above the Ghauts, and acquired such exact in-
formation of the situation and force of the enemy, as well as the per-
fect security he was in against all fear of attack in such a place as that
he had chosen, and at such a time and season, that he planned, and
submitted to Gen. Martindell, an attack on his camp and canton-
ment, with a view to destroy his hourly increasing force before it
should arrive at maturity ; and, above all, at that critical season of
the year, when the breaking up of the rains, and the commencement
of the cold weather, should enable him, as usual, in full strength,
to inundate the districts under the British government or influence.

When Capt. W. marched against the enemy on this occasion, he
had received an order from Gen. Martindell, in reply to his commu-
nication just mentioned, " not to pass the Keine, or any other river,
till the enemy descended" (the second range of hills above which his
camp and cantonments lay) into our districts. The Keine lay be-
tween Capt. W/s camp and the second range of hills. The general,
aware of the accumulating force of the enemy, his extreme caution,
and the skill with which he always chose his ground, and seized every
advantage where he himself personally commanded, was unwilling to
hazard any detachnients out of our own districts, or through the
passes of the mountains, at such a season, and especially beyond the
rivers, then swoln, and, for the most part, overflown by the rains, to a
degree that rendered retreat difficult, if not, for a time, impracticable.
But Capt. Watson being on the spot, and relying on the accuracy of
his information, the tried 6delity of his spies, whom he had attached
to his service by liberal rewards, together with his own knowledge of
the passes of the mountains, the approaches to the enemy's camp,
and the camp itself, with the ground in its vicinity, after assigning
his reasons to Gen. Martindell, with his conviction that they would
ultimately meet with his full approbation, which they accordingly
did ; and having previously formed several detachments, and directed
their march upon different points, with a view to distract the atten-
tion of the enemy, he, by forced marches in the night, came upon

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faim by surprise at day-break, on the morning of the 7th Sept., at
^ strong village of Chargong, drove him from his holds, and so
totally defeated, dispersed, and destroyed his force, he himself es-
caping only by the swiftness of his horse, and his superior know-
ledge of the country, (which is every where full of rocky hills and
ravines, deep, precipitous, rapid streams, thick jungles, impervious,
but bye paths, known only to the enemy,) that that daring and for-
midable marauder no more attempted to make head; and, being
fiirther disheartened by the recent loss of his principal chiefs, hastily
submitted to the British government. Capt. Watson again received
the public acknowledgments of his superiors, the thanks of the Com.-
in-Chief, and of the supreme government.

When the force was assembling against Java, Capt* Watson volun-
teered his services, with those of his whole troop ; but at that period
more cav. was not required. He was subsequently present at the
siege of Callinger, in 1812, and was selected by Sir G. Martindell
for partisan co-operation with his army, and for blockading the passes
of the mountains, interception of reinforcements, as well as all egress
from the garrison, &c. After having fiilly reconnoitred the place,
and, through his spies, obtained accurate information regarding the
interior, with the gates and wickets on that face of the fortress
nearest to his detachment, and in other respects most eligible ibr
such an attempt, Maj. Watson immediately planned, submitted to
Gen* Martindell, and offered to conduct a party in disguise to enter
the fortress, and seize one of the gates by stratagem* This enter-
prize depended on the circumstance of the enemy's soon expecting
or not a reinforcement ; the nature of the country making it almost
impossible completely to blockade a place, which, on three sides,
is surrounded by lofty mountains, terminating every where in
steep precipices, and intersected by numerous, though very diflS-
cult passes, &c. ; the fortress itself, situated on a high and exten^
sive rock, bordered on all sides by craggy cliffs that overhang
each other as they rise, even to the summit ; the surrounding vales
covered with thick woods and impenetrable jungles. Maj. Wat*

3 B

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soo'fi party, lightly armed for the occasion, was to approach the
fortress in disguise towards day-break, as such reinfarcement, by
paths ho' had discovered; fired upon with blank cartridges, and
apparently pursued by the British picquets and out-posts, now
become hi^ supporters. Gen. MartindelFs information, however,
did not warrant him in accepting Maj. Watson*s proposal, nor
permit him to wait such contingency, though expected; and the as-
sault, unhappily unsuccessful, and with very severe loss on our side,
soon after t6ok place.

He subsequently again volunteered for Java, where he understood
a corps of light cav. was to be formed for that service. He next
offered his services, through Gen. Champagn6, to command a de-
tachment for partizan co-operation with the corps assembling at
that time, under Col. Prole, against the Bhattie country; and after-
wards marched on that service with his reg., which he had now
long commanded, with a division of the army under Brig-Gen.
Arnold. This expedition was attended with complete success.

He next offered his services, through Col. Bowie, commanding
the Agra frontier, for clearing our borders in the river Chumbul,
and the whole of Scindia's country, from the Pindarry banditti
which infested them; and, finally, he commanded his reg., the 1st
light cav., with Gen. Sir Rufane Donkin's division of the grand army,
under the personal command of the Marquess of Hastings, during
the late war with the Mahratta states, and in the complete extirpation
of the Pindarry hordes, which had so long over-run some of the
finest provinces of Hincjostan. In Feb. 1 820 Maj, Watson left India
on furlough to Europe, since which he has attained the rank of lieut.-

The following are the dates of this officer's commissions : cadet, 8th
Nov. 1795; lieut. 28th April 1797; capt. 22d Jan. 1802; major,
4th June 1803 ; and lieut.-col. in 1823.

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{Bengal EstabUshmeat.)

This officer was appointed a cadet on the Bengal establishment
in 1771; ensign, 8th Feb. 1773; lieut. 6th March 1778; captain,
4th Oct. 1781; major, 1st Jan. 1794; heut-coL 1st Jan. 1798;
Keut.-col. commandant, 20th Oct. 1805; col. 25th April 1808;
maj.-gen. 4th June 1811 ; and lieut.-gen. 19th July 1821.

In 1774 this officer served at the battle of Rohilla*; and in
1778-99 80, and 81, in the campaigns in Malwa, in the war with
Madajee Scindia, under Colonels Camac and Muir ; and, in 1794,
in Rohilcund. He subsequently, for several years, commanded the
Ramgurh batt., a local corps, stationed on the south-west frontier
of Bengal : he also commanded at Kumaul.

At the attack and capture of the fortress and town of Hattrass^,

« <^ On St. George's day, 1774, the Rohilla battle was fought on the plains of Rohii-
CQDd, in which six Sepoy battalions were engaged, together with the 2d European
regiment, under the command of Col. Champion, then the Commander-in-Chief in
Bengal. They were opposed to a superior number of a very brave and hardy race of
men, devoted to their leader, whose cause was their own^ fighting for the country and
home which he had established for them, in the fruitful province of Khuttair. Their
gallant chief fell early in the action, when the discipline and valour of the British troops,
and the execution of their artillery, soon spread terror and dismay among the Ro-
hHla bands, and led to a prompt and decided victory."

mUiamg' Hitt. Bengal N. /. p. 181.

t The following field army orders, by this officer, are inserted, as tbey particularly refer
to the distinguished services of several officers : —

^^ Camp before Hattrass, March 6. — Maj.-Gen. Marshall congratulates the army he
has the honour to command, on the successful termination of its services against the
fortress and town of Hattrass ; which event has led to the surrender of Moorsaum and
eleven other forts.

** To Maj.-Gens. Donkin, Sir J. Horsford, and Brown, and Maj. Anburey, General
Marshal feels extremely indebted for the judgment, zeal, promptitude, and energy,

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this officer bad the command of the troops, and for his services was
nominated a Knight Commander of the Bath. He also served dur-
ing the Pindarrj war.

which they iovariably displayed Id carrying into efiect the operations devolyiog upon the
several branches of the service to which they were attached.

'^ The science and skill displayed by the engineer and artillery departments were
eminently conspicuous; and the bombardment and explosion of the enemy's principal
magazine, which, without derogating from the merits of others, must be allowed to have
given us almost immediate possession of the place, will long be regarded as the most
memorable among the brilliant events of the last fortnight, and as demonstrative of
the extent and soundness of that judgment and penetration, which, in the avowed
anticipation of these very consequences, enabled the army, by the provision of ade-
quate means, to ensure them. The practice of the artillery has answered the expec-
tations of that high authority, to which the Major-Gederal has ventured to allude
in the foregoing observations. Another motive for them is to bring forward and illustrate
the fact more closely, that where the means are equal to the science and practical know-
ledge known to pervade every branch of the army, the results must invariably) be
rapid and successful, even against such strong and formidable forts as Hattrass has
pit>ved to be.

'^ The infantry and cavalry on thb occasion had abundant opportunities of showing their
bravery, zeal, and devotion to the service.

<* On one occasion, particularly, the Major-General was highly pleased with the
alacrity and eagerness displayed by the infantry, who were formed in columns ready to
storm the works of the town, holding out every expectation of success from men who
evinced such resolution and desire of being led on.

^< The duties of investing the fort latterly devolved on the cavahy, and their vigi-
lance and constancy in maintaining the blockade entitle them Co the Major-Generart
highest consideration. The loss sustained by the enemy in making their retreat from
the fiirt reflects great credit on the two squadrons of his Majesty's 8th light dragoons,
the 7th Native cavalry, and part of the 1st Rohilla cavalry, who entered — — and
routed them.

*^ The pioneer corps has given another proof to the many already on record of their
coolness in the most trying situations, and of their extraordinary skill and dispatch in the
labours which belong to them in this particular species of warfare.

** Having thus noticed his high approval of the conduct of every branch of the
army, Maj.-Gen. Marshall desires that the several officers employed on the general staff
of the army will accept his warmest thanks for the able manner in which their several
duties were conducted.

'* The Major-General's personal staff, consisting of Capt. James, aid-de-camp, Major
Cartwright, and Lieut. Sneyd, of the quart.-mast.-gen.'s department, who both volunteered
tiiehr services on this occasion, and acted as aides-de-camp, aro entitled to his best thanks *
for their ready assistance on all oecasions.

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Sir Dyson Marshall served his tour on the staff, in command of
the field army, in which he was continued for a further period,
during the absence of one of the staff generals on account of


(Bengal Establishment.)

This officer was appointed a cadet of art. in 1779; promoted to
lieut. fireworker 30th Sept. 1780; to lieut. 28th May 1786; to capt.
7th Jan. 1796; to maj. 12th Nov. 1804; to lieut.-col. 18th Sept.
1807 ; and to col., by brevet, 4th June 1814.

In 1781 he served at the rebellion of Rajah Cheyt Sing in Benares.
He was present at the capture of the forts of Petitah Luf kypore,
and Bejighur/ at the time the Gov.-Gen., Warren Hastings, pro-
ceeded up the country, for the settlement of the Benares provinces.
This oflScer was next ordered with a company of art. to join Lieiit.-
Col. Cockereirs* detachment, at Masulipatam, on its march to Ma-
dras in 1789, and which force joined the Madras army, under Col.
Kellie, at Arnee. He was present during the whole of the opera-
tions that followed in the campaigns of Gens. Medows and Lord
Cornwallis ; at the siege and capture of Bangalore and Sav€»idroog ;
and with Gen. Medows, when the army stormed Tippoo's lines, under
the walls of Seringapatam, in 1792.

<^ The pommissariat department, under Lieut.-Col. Stevenson and Capt. Cunlifle, an-
swered the high expectations formed of it from past experience.

** Lt. Alpin's exertions as acting assist.-qoart. mast.-gen. marked the zeal, intelUgence^
and ability of this deserving and promising officer; Capt. Watson, provincial assist, adj.-
gen., and Brigade-Major Gough^ had important and laborious details to conduct, which
they performed to the entire satisfaction of the Major-General.''

• See Services, page 1 14.

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In 179s he was detached with three companies of European art.,
under the command of Col. R, Bruce, and went by sea to Madras,
to co-operate witk the Madras troops, for the reduction of Pondi-
cherry ; but which capitulated, before the arrival of the detachments
at that presidency. The art. returned by sea to Fort William. In
1794 he served on board the Britannia £a^ Indiaman, armed as a
ship of war, with a detachment of European artillerymen and inf.,
which vessel, in company with three others, viz. the Houton and
William Pitt, and Company's frigate. Nonesuch, were employed in
the protection of the India trade, against the French cruizers. He
was at the capture of two French ships of war, with the Britannia
and Nonesuch, in the streights of Sunday. The squadron was after^
wards engaged by two French forty-gun fngates, a fifty "gun sWp,
and a brig, but which they beat off, at Hog Island, near Batavia.
In 1801 he embarked by sea irom Fort William, and served on an
expedition, to China. In 1805 he joined Jjord I^e's army^at Bi)rt-
poor, and served during that campaign.

In 1814 he returned to England; and the 15l;h Feb- 1818) ob-
tained permission to be placed on the retired list, after a period of
thirty-nine- years service, thirty-five of which were passed in India
without a furlough*


(Bengal Establishment. J

This officer was appointed a cadet on the Bengal establishment, in
1767 ; ens. 23d July, in the same year ; lieut. 22d April 1769 ; capt.
7th May 1777; maj. 17th July 1781; Ueut-col. 1st March 1794;

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col. 1st Jan. 1798; maj.-gen. 1st Jan. 1805; and lieut-gen. 4th
June 1813.

In 1781 this officer, then having the rank of maj., commanded. a
corps, in ihq service of the Newaub Vizier, in the province of Goorack-
pootj contigliousto the Zemindary of Benares, at the time of Rajah
Ghejt Sing's insurrection: on which occasion, by his influence and
example, Maj. Macdonald materially contributed to check the spirit
,of rebellion, which spread over a large portion of the Vizier's domi-
nions, lie was subsequently Resident at the court of Scindia. In
1794 Maj. Macdonald belonged to the 2d European reg., and was
engaged with it on the 26th Oct. in that year, in the hard fought
battle of Betooirah,* on the plains of Rohilcund, (not far from the
scente of the former Rohilla battle, on St. George's day, 1774,t) under
the personal command of Lieut.-Gen- Sir Robert Abercromby, Com.-

♦ " Camp Ramporcy 26th Oct. 1794.

*^ The whole line was ordered to he onder arms this morniDg, an hour before daylight ;
the General and his Staff moved to reconnoitre some miles in front; they saw the enemy
forming in full force ; and after waiting some time to judge of the probable disposition
they would take, rode back to camp to direct the arrangements for action. Our army
moved forward in line, the art. in the intervals of corps, the cav. on the right flank ; the
charge of the enemy was most daring and gallant, and it is utterly impossible it could have
been surpassed : both lines met, and intermingled. The bayonet at length prevailed, and
our army pursued the enemy across the Doojoora rivulet. Tlie enemy was said to have
coQsbted of 35,000 men, of which 4,000 were cav., who directed all their efforts against
the reserve, and made dreadful execution. The number of the enemy killed was great.
Our loss in European officers was very afflicting. Maj. Bolton was shot, after having cut
down several of the assailants. Maj. Bolton commanded the 18th batt. He was a re-
markable large, powerful man. His batt. behaved with a degree of steadiness which
would have done honour to the most disciplined corps in the world.

" The charge on the part of the enemy was particularly singular; they formed in line,
infinitely beyond the extent of ours, in deep wedges, supposed of 50 deep. When the sig-
nal for our advancing was given, we moved in good order, slowly forward, at that time
about 1200 yards from the enemy. They likewise moved towards us. When the lines
were within 500 yards of each other, Gholam Mahomed's people scattered individually,
approached in that extraordinary manner, and contested the point with our bayonets. They
appeared to despise our musketry; and upon every discharge of art. embraced the ground,
instantly rising again and advancing to the charge : their arms were spears, matchlocks,
and swords ; which latter, they employed with destructive effect, and their attack, as if by
universal consent, was called the Highland Charge.'' — Calcutta Gazette.

t See Note, page 395.

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iD-Chief in India. Maj. Macdonald's reg« was one of the corps
particularly engaged in this memorable battle. In consequence of
the great extent of ground covered by the enemy, the Com -in-Chief
ordered the reserve, consisting of the 2d European reg., with two
choice batts. of Sepoys, viz. the Idth on the right, and the 18th on
the left, to be brought into the line, of which those corps became the
right wing ; and the cav. were also brought into line, forming on the
right of Uie whole. Upon those chosen corps, composing the reserve,
the enemy directed their principal attack, and were fast closing
with them, when, by a lamentable fatality, the officer* command-
ing the cav. gave the word of command to wheel inwards, by quar-
ter ranks, or such, at leasts was the movement that took place; the
consequence was, that they broke in headlong upon the 13th batt,
the ranks of which became disordered, before the order of their
gallant leader, Capt. Norman M'Leod, to fire upon the cav., could
be executed : the enemy, for whom nothing could possibly have been
more favourable, rushed in, sword in hand, and, in many instances^
seized and turned aside the bayonets of the British troops with one
band, whilst they made use of their broad swords with the other;
and following up the impression thus made, they penetrated, in Kke
manner, Maj. Macdonald's reg., the 2d European, and the l6th batt^
killing and wounding a great number of gallant officers and men
of those three corps. The enemy were at length overcome, and com-
pelled to retreatt-

When the 15tb reg. was raised, in 1798, Col. Macdonald was ap-
pointed to the command of the corps, with which he served during
the first campaign of the MfihrattJ^ war of 1803-4, and was wounded,
in the command of a brigade, at the battle of Laswarree.^ In this
engagement the right wing of the British army was under the com-
mand of Maj-Gen. Ware, and during the contest, in forcing the
enemy's right, that vel^ran officer had his head carried off by a

* He absconded, to avoid being broaght to trial,
t See Capt. Williams's account of the Bengal Native Infantry,

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cannon ball, and was succeeded, in the command of the wing at
this important crisis, by Col. Macdonald.

Tliis officer was next appointed to the staff as col. there not
being, at that period, sufficient maj.-gens* in India; and after his
promotion to the rank of maj.-gen., he was nominated to the com-
mand of the Benares' division of the army, in which situation his
personal influence and authority were particularly required to su|>->
press a spirit of discontent, bordering on revolt, which occurred in
the city of Benares, in consequence of some taxes ordered to be
levied by the government.

For his conduct in the Mahratta war, this officer was one of the
first, of the Hon. Company's service, admitted to the honours of the
Military Order of th^ Bath, and of which he is a Knight Com-*


(Bengal JEtStabUshment.)

In 1779 this officer was appointed a cadet on the Bengal establish-
ment: in 1780, when the belligerent fleets of France and Spain were
off* Plymouth, he lost his passage and passage money to India, by
serving as a volunteer on board the Monarch, Capt* Adam Duncan,
without pay or reward ; and, in consequence thereof, he was allowed
to proceed to India without prejudice to his rank. In Jan. 1781 he
arrived at Fort St George, and commanded a company of cadets,
then embodied as part of that garrison, when Hyder Ally was in the
vicinity. At the end of that year he applied to join Gen. Goddard's
detachment, then serving at Bombay, and where he arrived in 1782,
and was appointed to command a light inf. company, attached with
guns to a body of cavalry, forming an advanced corps, the whole then
being under the command of Col. Morgan. In 1788 he was ap^

3 F

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poiQted, by Lord Cornwallis, dq).-judge*adv.-gen. ; and in 1790, in
addition to the above appointment, he was made adj. and quart*
mast, to the two batts. of volunteers, then about to proceed with his
lordship to Fort St. George, where he arrived in Jan 1791» and was
immediately put in charge of all the extra cattle belonging to the East
India Company. This charge increased during the war, and this
officer became the agent for the carriage of the public camp equipage
of the whole army ; in which situation he continued until thq tennina-
tion of hostilities, by the peace of Seringapatam, in March 1792.

At the storming of Tippoo's lines, on the night of the 6th of Feb,
1792, this officer was one of those who conveyed the orders of Lord
Cornwallis, principally to the 74th reg., within the bound hedge. On
the morning of the 7th he was directed by his lordship to proceed

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 35 of 45)