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SIR, Cape Coast, February 26, 1824.
IN compliance with your direction, that I should detail, as nearly as I possibly can, all the particulars that may have occurred in the division of the army which marched from Djuquah, under the immediate command of His Excellency Sir C. M'Carthy, as well as such circumstances as may have fallen under my observation, relative to the action which took E. on the 21st ultimo, in the Wassaw country, etween the said division and an army of Ashantees, I have the honour to state, that I marched from Djuquah at seven o'clock on the morning of the 9th, with one company of the Royal African Colonial Corps, eighty strong; one company of volunteers, sixty-eight strong; three companies of militia, one hundred and seventy strong, making a force of three hundred and eighteen; besides two hundred Commendas, two hundred of Appia's people, and a company of matives of Cape Coast, about forty strong, making a total of four hundred and forty, which were ordered to follow us ; this, with the troops which marched under my command, made a
force of seven hundred and fifty-eight strong. Bansoo, a village distant about seventeen miles from our camp at Djuquah, was the place at which we were directed to halt. His Excellency having marched on by himself, we overtook him about half way; the road, or rather tract, was excessively bad, in consequence of which, we did not arrive till a late hour in the evening at Bansoo, much fatigued. We remained at Bansoo the whole of the next day, the 10th, waiting for the native force to join, which they did not do until late in the day; the next morning, the 11th, His Excellency marched off with the combined force of regulars and militia, and desired I would remain till every thing was sent forward. This I found the greatest difficulty Aot in accomplishing, as I could not get carriers, the people who had brought the things from Djuquah having run away. I was, therefore, obliged to send a party of the rear guard to press every person they could find, women as well as men, and, after a considerable delay, we succeeded in getting a sufficient number of carriers, and proceeded; but a number of them, as they found opportunities, flung their loads into the woods and ran off. We arrived at a village on the banks of the Boosom-pra, called Ihimin, late in the evening of that dry, having marched eighteen miles; where we remained till six o'clock the next morning, the 12th, when we marched for another village, about seventeen miles lower down on the banks of the Boosom-pra, named Darabooassie, which, from the extremely bad state of the path, being frequently obliged to pass swamps which took us much higher than above our knees, we did not arrive at till very late in the day, every person excessively fatigued; the native force at this time kept a considerable distance in our rear. About seven o'clock in the morning of the 13th, we commenced crossing the River Boosom-pra, about two hundred yards wide, in small canoes (eight in number), which could only carry two men at a time, besides the person who paddled; as soon as the company of regulars, under the command of Ensign Erskine, crossed the river, His Excellency, who was one of the first that had passed over, proceeded with them on the march, towards Assamcow, in the Wassaw country, distant about twenty miles from the river. To give a description of this road is beyond my ability, suffice it to say, that in my opinion I think it impossible that there can be any thing worse in the shape of a path; we had to cross munerous small rivers, some of which, from their extreme depth, as well as the numerous swampy places we had to pass over, considerably delayed
village, called Guah, that night, where we slept. The next morning, the 14th, His Excellency proceeded in advance with the company of the Royal African Colonial Corps, and desired I would bring up the rear; we did not find this path so bad as was expected, and we arrived at Assamacow, at about half-past two in the afternoon, where we hated and remained five days, waiting for the native force to come up ; we found Mr. Brandon, the Acting Ordnance Stor, keeper (Cape Coast), at this place, where he had arrived several days before with ammunition, &c. having come in the Colonial schooner, to Succondee, ten hours march, to As amacow, which was truly welcome now to us, as our men (the regulars and militia), had only twenty rounds each man, a great deal of which, fron; the badness of the paths, the crossing of rivers, and the rain which fell on our march, was damaged, and which was immediately replaced; at this place we found provisions very scarce. During our stay at Assamacow, we were informed that the Wassaws and Dinkeras were retreating before the Ashantees, and were in distress for provisions; Sir Charles, therefore, immediately on the arrival of art of our native force, dispatched Mr. Tasker Williams, the Colonial Secretary and AdjutantGeneral of militia, with twelve volunteers, to assure the Wassaws and Dinkeras that he would, in a day or two, march forward with the force uuder his command to join them, and that he expected the division of the army, under Major Chisholm, and numerous parties of natives, would soon form a junction with us, and then we should have sufficient force to meet the Ashantees : but Mr. Williams found them retreating, and it was with the greatest difficulty he persuaded them (they having crossed the small river Adoomansoo), to halt on its bank, and make some preparation for defence till Sir Charles should join with his force; this was on the 20th, on. on the morning of which I arrived with the company of the Itoyal African Colonial Corps; the company of volunteers, and the three companies of militia, already alluded to, having, by direction of His Excellency, marched from Assamacow on the 19th. On my way to the Wassaws and Dinkeras, I met a very great number of women and children, and, sorry am I to say, men; I asked the men where they were going they told me they were going to look for provisions, and would soon return; on my arrival on the borders of the aforesaid river Adoomansoo, on the morning of the 20th, having been, from the extreme bad state of the paths, the mud in some places reaching to the middle of our bodies, obliged to sleep one might in the bush ; from Assamacow to this river, I should suppose, is distant about twenty-four miles.
Shortly after my arrival with the troops Mr. Williams, Adjutant-General of militia, informed me that he could not get any of the people to cut the bush for the camp. I accordingly went to the Chiefs of the Wassaws and Dinkeras and told them the necessity there was for the bush about the place, intended for a camp, to be cleared, and which ought to be done immediately; they promised to send people over to the opposite bank of the river, where we expected the Ashantees to attack us, and to have all the wood cleared immediately; shortly after this the Wassaws mustered rheir force, and were moving off with every thing they had. I enquired where they were going? they said they were going to clear the wood on the other side of the river. I stopped where they had to cross over, for a considerable time, to see if the really intended to go over; but at last I could plainly see their intention was to reti eat ; I therefore put a strong guard of militia to prevent their doing so, till Sir Charles should arrive. I then sent for the Chiefs or Headmen and asked them what they in
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tended to do, whether they intended to fight or not they said they intended to fight. At this moment an alarm was given that the Ashantees were advancing, and every one went to his station. where we remained for about five hours, exposed to a most tremendous shower of rain; it being by this time nearly dark, and as it is a rule with the Ashantees never to fight at night, we called in the troops, leaving sentries where necessary; inimediately on the alarm being given I despatched a messenger to His Excellency to request he would send all the assistance he could; at this time it was supposed His Excellency was at a croom with two huts, about four or five miles from us. Both Officers and men slept this night without any covering, as there was not time to erect huts, and the men were much fatigued ; mext morning, the 21st, His Excellency arrived with about two hundred of Appia's people and forty of the natives of Cape Coast; the Commendas having halted on the way, I acquainted him with the manner the Wassaws had behaved. After he had taken a little rest he sent for the Chiefs of the Wassaws and Dinkeras, but before he had got half through the palaver, the alarm was given and every person repaired to his station. His Excellency then went round with me to see how the men were posted. About two o'clock the Ashantees, ten thousand in number, marched up to the opposite bank of the river, when the action commenced on both sides, with determined vigour on both sides, and lasted till nearly half-past four o'clock; it was reported before four o'clock that the regulars, volunteers, and militia, had no ammunition left, only twenty rounds per man having been previously issued to them, on which I immediately went to the Ordnance Storekeeper, Mr. Brandon, who had received His Excellency's positive orders always to have forty rounds for each man, packed up in *: all