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

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fused to give up their arms until they were paid their arrears in cash. Those who thus
80U{^t redress^in mutiny were attacked and dispersed^ without receiving any thing what-
ever. This lu4>pened to a batt. which was stationed near Madura^ when the 16th and 20th
batts. and a reg. of cav. marched against it. On the approach of this force, the corps threw
away its arms, fled, and disbanded itself.

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the Native powers of India had excited their alarm and resentment/
The first act of injury was directed against an ally of the British go-
vernment ; but the flame of war was ready to kindle all around, and
a general confederacy was formed -•under our auspices. The Com-
pany's army was in the highest state of efliciency, and their cav., in
which they had heretofore been deficient, was of the due numerical
strength, and in the finest order.*

The troops for field service in the Camatic assembled at Wallaja-
bad, and the 4th reg. of cav. joined this division. It proceeded in
April to Trichinopoly, under Col. Musgrave, to join the main army,
which was commanded by Gen. Medows. This campaign proved
abortive ; and on the 20th Jan. 1792 Lord Cornwallis assumed the
command of the army. On the march of the army from Bangalore,
two troops formed the advanced guard, under Cornets Deas and
Walker. Th^y were detached in front to secure some forage, but
unexpectedly fell in with Tippoo's line of march crossing the front of
our direction. Intelligence of this circumstance was immediately
communicated to the field-oflScer, who was with the infantry of the
advanced guard ; and it appeared that neither his lordship nor Tippoo
were aware of each other^s movements. It was about two hours before
any part of the line came up to the support pf the advanced guard ;
and during all that time the enemy and our people continued looking
at each other across a tank which was surrounded by a swamp. The
enemy's cavalry formed, but merely to protect or cover his infantry,
which retreated on various points, and were soon out of sight, their
rear only receiving a few shots.

On the 27th Feb. about a thousand of the enemy's horse made their
appearance, but soon went oflf : on the 28th the army reached Collar,
which had only a small garrison of Europeans, and surrendered, on a

* This is to be ascribed in a great degree to the zeal and exertions of the late Sir John
Floyd, at that time a lieut.-col., and who was indefatigable in disciplining the regts. The
Company's cav. on the Madras establishment possessed probably some of the best officers
that were ever seen in any army ; and, under their direction^ the squadrons attained a state
of corresponding excellence. Cornet Walker, although he had yet acquired no higher rank,
was numbered among those distinguished officers.

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gun being run up to blow the gate open, without resistance : on the
2d March the British arrived at Ooscottah, which was garrisoned by
PoHgars and a few irregular infantry, who refused to give up the
place; but when the first gate was forced, they surrendered at discre-
tion. From the ramparts of Ooscottah large bodies of the enemy's
horse were seen in motion ; and it was certain that the army of Tippoo
was near Bangalore. On the 4th the march was resumed: the
enemy's horse- were observed hovering in all directions, particularly in
front and rear, and became extremely daring : they found means to
interrupt a great part of the baggage ; but while they were plunder-
ing it they were attacked by the cav., and every thing was recovered.
On the 5th the enemy appeared in still greater numbers, both of horse
and foot, but the day passed without an action, which Lord Corn-
wallis expected would have taken place, and the army encamped be-
fore Bangalore. On the forenoon of the 6th, at eleven o'clock, the
enemy's army appeared in motion about three miles distant, and di-
recting their march to the south face of the fort. The British cav. and
the reserve, consisting of a brigade of inf., moved off at 3 P. M. to
cover a reconnoitering party. This detachment, under the command
of Col. Floyd, gained a height, from which the engineers could view
the fort and make their observations. From this eminence the line of
march of Tippoo's army, his guns and inf , were perceived moving on
slowly and unconcernedly at no great distance, together with an im-
mense quantity of baggage, which covered the plain to a great ex-
tent. It appeared that we had come upon them by surprise. Col.
Floyd was a gallant and an unaffected soldier. The temptation was
too great to be resisted ; *and he ordered the cav. to charge the enemy.
The attack was instantly made ; his batts. were dispersed ; guns, stores,
carriages, and baggage of ev^ry description were left in our possession.
Here we ought to have stopped, and the success would have been com-
plete ; but, hurried on by the ardour pf victory, the cav. continued to
advance to the very head of Tippoo's line, and this handfiil of brave
men soon found themselves beyond the reach of support. Col. Floyd
was shot through the face and fell, but itas removed by the care of

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bis men. The wounds of the commanding <^cer deprived him of
speech, and some unknown voice gave the word of retreat. The regts.
were thrown into confusion, and the enemy pressed on their rear.
The dragoons and Native troopers, however, displayed the most un-
daunted courage, and at length formed on an eminence which lay in
their front. Capt Dallas, now Sir Thomas, collected a small party,
and went off full gallop to the eminence, where he halted and fotmed.
Soon afterwards the whole cav* also formed at this spot, and stood
fronting the enemy. About the same time the reserve under CoL
Gowdie came up, and advanced in front of the height; whence
a cannonade was opened on the enemy, which effectually checked

In the first general action on the 13th May 1791^ which Tippoo
risked with the British army, the cav. were actively and gallantly em-
ployed. For some time the cav* of the enemy did not appear in any
great numbers ; but at last they were seen coming over the hdghts in
considerable bodies, and threatened the left flank of our inf^ baring
even made a charge upon a r^. of Europeans. The car. undar C<^
Floyd inunediately galloped through the intervab of the inf., and
drove the enemy back so effectually, that they attempted nothing con-
siderable afterwards. Again, afler the enemy's line was broken, and
they were drawing off their guns, (a constant practice of Tippoo, when^
ever the issue of a battle ajf^eared dubious,) our cav. charged and
rendered the victory complete. The ground was broken and fiiU of
defiles ; but every obstacle was surmounted in the diarge, which was
made with spirit and execution.

The subsequent retreat of our army, and the circumstances attend-*
ing it, belong to the general history of the war, aind would be foreign

* Although this charge of the cav., having been made contrary to orders, was liable to
blame, and was in fact censored by Lord Cornwallis, its gallantry excited the admiration of
every soldier. There is also reason for coiicTuding that the liddness of their attack pre-
vented Tippoo firool ccioforeiiig the pettah or town of Bangalore, and by that means pro-
bably facilitated the capture of the place^ which w^s carried the same morning by assault,
after a defence of much resolution, which we may presume would have been still greater had
they received the meditated scK^cours.

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to the purpose of diis relation. The caT. -were greatly reduced, and
as they required rest, Aey were ordered into the Carnatic, to recruit
their horses, and to repair their deficiencies. Lord CornwiJhs in the
intenral employed himsdf in preparing for another campaign, and in
reducing ihe hill forts contiguous to Bangalore and the Camatic. The
horses of the cav. being abundantly supplied i?iUi green forage and
grain, soon recovered their condition ; but ihere were no means of
•applying their number, which was reduced to one half. It was there-
fore found impossible to mount more than two regts. and part of a
Aird, for the next campaign. The 19th light dragoons and the 3d
light cav. were accordingly ordered to be completed with horses, and
the 5th light cav. to receive all that remained • Cornet Walker was
appointed to do duty with the 3d reg., and joined that corps at Arcot,
whence it marched to join the army ittlhe field. In Jan. 1792, the
army under [jord Corawallis once more resumed its march towards
Seringapatam. Hiere was no general action in which the cav. had an
opportunity of displaying their gallantry ; but they were actively em-
ployed during the rest of the campaign in keeping the enemy's horse
in check, and never failed to chastise whenever they could encounter

The third campiugn of 1792, ended in the submission of Tippoo,
the division of his treasure, and of a third part of his dominions,among
the confederates. In the course of this brief but harassing war, which
was a rapid series of privation and danger, victory and relief. Cornet
Walker distinguished himself on many occasions, particularly in the
severe cav. rencounlBr near Bangalore, which has been already.related,
and in all those active and useful duties which the cav. are peculiarly
called upon to perform in the camp as well as on the march. On the
7th Jan. 1793 he was promoted to lieut., and removed to the 2d reg.
Native cav. On the 24lh Feb. Tippoo delivered his sons as hostages

into the hands of Lord Cornwallis. CoL Stevenson* was appointed to


* Col. Stevenson was an officer •f great honour and gallantry, activity and enterprise ;
his disposition was generous, his mind intelligent. He arrived afterwards at the rank of ge-
neral, distiogdshed himself in that extended field for military talent, and enquired the
friendship of the Duke of Wellington.

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command the escort, consisting of his own reg. of cav. and several
corps of inf., which accompanied the princes to Fort St George. On
the arrival of the hostages at Madras, the command of their guard
of honour was conferred on Lieut. Walker. This was a delicate
and important charge, which required the exercise of no small share
of judgment, temper, and discretion. On the 24th Oct. lAe^^W. was
appointed adjutant to the 4th cav. stationed at Arcot. Tbeduties of
this arduous appointment he was admirably quahfied to perfonn. He
was sometime afterwards appointed grain agent to the same regt.
The next staff appointment which Lieut. Walker held was that of
brigade-maj. to the cav. employed at the siege of Pondicherry- He
was appointed to this temporary service 6th Aug. 1793 ; when it was i

ended, he resumed his adjutantcy of the 4th reg. On the 9th Nov. \

the dep.-judge-adv. of the centre division of the army being indisposed, \,

Lieut. W. was appointed to act as judge-adv. on the trial of Maj.-Gen. r

Geiles. The Com.-in-Chief expressed his approbation of the readi- ^

ness with which he undertook, at so^ short a notice, this difficult duty,
and of the attention which he had shewn in the execution of it;
Lieut, and Adj. Walker was stationary at Arcot with the 4th reg;
during 1794-5, and 6. On the 8th Jan. 1796, after a service of six-
teen years, he obtained the rank of capt. by brevet On the 23d Aug.
1797) he was appointed adj. and quart.-mast. to the details of cav.
ordered on foreign service. This expedition was destined against
Manilla, but was abandoned after some part of the force had em-
barked, from the apprehension of an attack by the French in India ;
and, when the service was countermanded, Capt. W. resumed the
duties of adj. to his old regt. In the beginning of 1798 the regt.
changed quarters to the cav. cantonment near Cudalore.

The deci^ve war which terminated the life and the government of
Tippoo broke out in 1799- The corps to which Capt. Walker had been
for many years attached, took the field with the army under the com-
mand of Gen., now Lord Harris. All our preparations on this occasion
were equal to the magnitude of the stake at hazard. It was neces-
sary to give more efficiency to the forces of our allies, and at the


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same time to conciliate their regard; two objects difficult to re-
concile. It was requisite they should be in some state of discipline,
to afford some ground for relying that they would obey the orders
to be received; but, as this could only be effected by the instruc-
tion and agency of European officers, it became a matter of great
moment to select for this trust men of approved judgment, temper,
and experience.

Col. Wellesley was placed in the command of the Nizam's army,
and, at his desire, Capt. Walker was appointed to serve with his
highnesses troops. This order was issued by the government of Ma-
dras on the 26th June. Soon afterwards. Col. Wellesley appointed
Capt. Walker to command a select body of cav. of the Nizam's
army. The Nizam's cav. were made efficient; and, during the march
to Seringapatam, they displayed the utmost activity in keeping Tip-
poo's horse, but especially the Looties, in check. Capt* W. was
always at their head, encouraging them by his example, and, by
his attention to their habits and prejudices, attached them to his

It may not be superfluous to subjoin a few dates and details of
this campaign, so far as they are connected with the services of Capt.
Walker. The 4th reg. of cav. marched from Cudalore, and arrived
at Arcot in the beginning of 1799 : here they found most of the cav.
and a considerable body of inf. assembled, under the command of
Col. Wellesley. The cav. w;ere completely mounted, and in a high
state of discipline. On this occabion Capt. W. resigned the adju-
tantcy of the 4th, as he deemed it more honourable to act as a brevet
capt. in the line, when in the field and opposed to the enemy. He
had held this appointment for nine years. Col. Wellesley was ordered
to move his corps near to Velore, where the army for the campaign
was collected, under the Com-in-Chief, Gen. Harris. Soon after.-
wards, H. M.'s 33d reg. was ordered to join the Nizam's subsidiary
force, and Col. Wellesley was appointed to the command of those
troops. The Nizam's army, under Meer Allum, consisted of five
thousand horse, a large body of disciphned inf., and a body of re«

3 x,

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gular cav., which had been instructed in the European exercise by the
French partizan Perron. A ti*ain of field-pieces were attached to this
force, and, to make the batt. more respectable, some British^i||Bcer$
were appointed to them. The general charge, however, was in-
vested in Capt., now Sir John, Malcolm, the assistant to the Resident
at the court of Hyderabad ; the British subsidiary force wa|r at the
same time attached to the Nizam's army. ^

Soon after the British army had entered the enemy's country. Gen.
Floyd, at the desire of Col. Wellesley, informed Capt. Walker, that
the Com-in-Chief intended to appoint him to the command of the
regular cav. with the Nizam's contingent ; that he should be allowed
a European and a native adjut. and a detail of men from our own
cav., and that at least 1000 of Meer Allum's best horse would also be
placed under his orders. It was besides intended, the Gen. observed,
after the war, to raise a reg. of Native cav., whidi was to be paid by
the Nizam, and that Capt. W. would undoubtedly retain the com-
inand of it. He was accordingly appointed to the command of the
division of the allied cav., and received a handsome allowance from
the Nizam, besides his captain's pay. In this conspicuous situation^
opportunities continually offered, which served to distinguish an
active and intelligent oflScer. The very day after Capt. Walker joined
Col. Wellesley's army, he fell in with a large body of the enemy's
horse ; but they refused to wait a charge, and drew off after a few
guns were fired at them. Capt. W.'s immediate duty with Col. Wei-
lesley's line was to watch his front and flank, to protect the baggage,
and to keep the cav. of the enemy at a distance. Their practice was
a harassing and a daily annoyance : he had often a long and fatigu^
ing pursuit after their partizan parties, whose object is more generally
to plunder than to fight : he frequently brought in horses, and drove
five times the number of the enemy before him. At the battle of
Malavilly, 27th March, the cav., regular and irregular, made some
fine and gallant charges, in which they cut to pieces and dispersed
several corps of the enemy^s infantry.

On the 6th April Capt. Walker's corps was ordered to march with

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Gen. Floyd, who was detached with a large body of forces to meet
the Bombay army, which was assembled on ih^ Mysore frontiers.
Sadullah Khan, one of the Nizam's best officers, and 1000 good
horse, were placed under Capt. Walker's command on this occasion.
The protection of the rear and flank were entrusted to his care, and
a troop of Madras cav. were put under his orders, to enable him to
perform more effectually this duty. Tippoo detached* Kummer-u-
deen with a large force of inf. and cav., to prevent the junction of
the Bombay and coast armies. On the return of these forces to-
wvds Seringapatam, Capt- Walker's post was the flank, on a line
with the rear-guard. The enemy's cav. repeatedly appeared in front
of the line of m^rch, and threatened to charge ; but, excepting on
one occasion, when they came down on a gallop upon the rear-
guardy which formed and repulsed them, they continually drew off*
before they reached the line. They stopped short just when they
came within the reach of the British guns, at the very instant when
cav. ought to advance, and exposed themselves to an useless and un-
necessary danger. They continued until the troops reached Serin-
gapatam^ on the 14th, this shew of charging, without the resolution
of executing it, which harassed and retarded the progress of the
troops. On the 15th April Gen. Floyd again marched beyond the old
fort of Mysore with the cav. and Capt. Walker's parly. The object
was to cover the foragers of the army, and all the followers and
cattle were ordered to accompany the detachment. . Some supply of
provisions was by this means obtained, which was of the utmost im-
portance at the moment, and the party returned to camp in the
evoning, without having seen any large body of the enemy.

On the 19th April Gen. Floyd marched with the whole of the ca-

* It has been observed by an able writer^ that the Saltauu's cavalry had on no occasion
been so well commanded, or held themselves so effectually prepared at a moment's warn-
ing, to profit by the slightest irregularity or error, and strike a decisive blow, as throughout
the whole of thb march to and from Periapatam ; but the only result Was to compel
their opponents to corresponding vigilance and care, and of course to retard their move*

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valrj of the army, and a brigade of infantry, to meet the large con*
voys of provisions which were advancing by the Cavariporam pass,
under the charge of Lieut.-Cols. Brown and Read. On this occasion
Meer Allum detached all the Nizam's horse, supposed to be 5000
men, mider Capt. Walker's command ; his duty was to cover the flank
and rear; and on the 20th these points were attacked by the enemy's
horse, but the gallopers were sufficient to oblige them to draw off. The
detachment were, in the same manner, attacked or threatened daily^
without any thing serious following. During this service the Nizam's
cavalry behaved well. Capt. W. found that temper and patience
were essentially necessary in directing their operations. They might
be prevailed on to do any thing, but they did not understand force or
positive orders, the only infallible test which we allow of military obe-
dience and discipline. At assembly-beating in the morning, those
troops turned out with alacrity, and each division ranged round their
respective chiefs, who were usually mounted on elephants. They
either waited there for Capt* W.'s orders, or moved to the stations
which had been previously appointed for them. Many of their chiefs
were men of rank and respectability. SaduUah Khan was the supe-
rior. Some of this cavalry were remarkably well mounted ; the men
were good horsemen, and possessed of great personal courage, but
quite unacquainted with the restraints of discipline. By treating them
with mildness and attention, Capt. W. gave them confidence, and
they did their duty cheerfully. They always paid due attention to his
orders, and behaved to him personally with the greatest respect. In
posting them to cover the flank and rear, he judici
arrangement which they observe among themselves
separated or mixed their divisions, because, in the
their military regulations, they conceive themselves only bound to
obey their respective leaders.

The Nizam's camp was, however, at this time, in the greatest dis-
tress for grain and provisions. When the detachment came up with
the supplies, to meet which it had marched, an impoUtic and unjust
refusal to issue rations to the Nizam's troops, excited clamours among

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the men, and a general disaffection. They proceeded, according to
their custom when they have any grievance to redress, to place one of
their chiefs, Hassain Ali Bey Khan, in dhuraa ; and when they found
this expedient not likely to produce the result they expected, about
iOOO of the men went off to their own country. The quantity of rice
they required was at length supplied, and the remainder joined their
standards, and returned to camp.

When the property and dominions of Tippoo fell into our posses-
sion, after our own cavalry had supplied themselves with horses, Cape
W. was directed to take charge of the remainder for his highness
the Nizam. Upwards of 500 horses, and SOO mares, were ddivered
over, from which it was intended to mount two regiments of cavalry
for the Nizam's service, but to be raised and disciplined on the same
principles as our regiments. Capt. W. was, at the same time, desired
to recruit for this establishment; and in a very riiort time collected
about 300 fine young soldiers. He was ordered with this corps to
Arcot, and accompanied Meer Allum, who was going that way to
Madras : he had also charge of all the horses received from Tippoo's
cavalry, and a brigade of gallopers- He left his corps at Arcott and
proceeded with Meer Allum to the presidency. The intention, how.,
ever, of raising regs. for the service of the Nizam, was abandoned ;
and instead of this arrangement it was resolved, that one of our own
regs. of cavalry should be added to the subsidiary force at Hyderabad.
Capt. W. was soon afterwards, therefoite, directed to discharge the
men he had enlisted, or to enter diem for the service of the Com-
pany, and to deliver over the horsA and mares to one of the Nizam's
officers. After the conquest of Mysore he rejoined his r^. ; and on the
4th Sept 1799 was promoted to capt. of cav. About the same period
be was appointed, by the Gov. -Gen* in council, to command the escort
which was to accompany Capt. Malcolm, Envoy to the court of Persia ;
but this appointment was vacated, in consequence of an order of the-
government of Madras of the 18th Sept., appointing him to be maj.
of brigade, to complete the establishment of the second brigade of

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Soon after his appointment, Capt* W. proceeded to Hoolionore to.
join his Brig.-Col.^ Stevenson, and inarched with him to Serah with
two regs. of cavalry. Towards the end of 1799, Col. Stevenson was
appointed to the command of Chittledroog, and Capt. Walker, as
major of brigade, accompanied him. In the beginning of 1800 a
severe intermitting fever prevailed in the garrison and country of
Chiltledroog. Capt. W. was seized with this fever, and being unable
to shake off the disease, he came to the resolution of resigning his staff
appointment. He accordingly joined the 4th reg., of which he was
senior officer, and commanded it on the ensuing service. About the
middle of 1800 an army was assembled at Hurryheer, und» the com-
mand of Col. Wellesley, to act against Doondia Waugh*. The cam-
paign was of the most active kind ; the conduct of it displayed as

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 39 of 45)