페이지 이미지

‘propriating the scanty supply which the land springs “afforded, and distributing a proportion from such vessels as were well supplied to those most in need, enabled him on the following day to report the ‘fleet ready to proceed to sea. As we were accordingly getting under weigh His Majesty's ship Liffey, Commodore Grant, C. B. appeared in the offing, as also several of the absent transports. Judging that some of them might also be in want of water, and being desirous of making the necessary arrangements with the Commodore relative to our future operations, I determined upon remaining in harbour one day longer. On the following morning -(the 5th) we finally put to sea, detaching a part of my force under Brigadier M'Creagh against the isJand of Cheduba, and sending another detachment under Major Wahab, of the Madras establishment, against the island of Nagrais, (each of the force in ships and troops stated in the margin,”) proceeding myself with the main body for the Rangoon River, which we reached on the 10th, and anchored within the bar. On the following morning, every arrangement having been previously made, the fleet led by the Liffey sailed up the river, followed by the transports in the order I wished to employ the troops on the attack upon Rangoon, and in the course of a few hours arrived off the town, receiv‘ing on our passage up some insignificant discharges of artillery from one or two of the chokies on the banks of the river. t

* * Cheduba.-His Majesty's ship Slany, and Honourable Company's ship Ernaad. Transports.-Anna Robertson, and Francis Warden. Detachment.—His Majesty's 18th Light Infantry, and seven companies 20th Regiment Bengal Native Infantry. Nagrais-Honourable Company's cruizer Mercury, Transports.-Hermoine and Carron. , , ; ; 1st Battalion 17th Madras Native Light Iufantry, and a small detachment Madras Artillery. - -- - - - - - -

... 1824. K k Com

‘Commodore Grant anchored the Liffey immediately opposite the King's wharf, where we had observed a battery of apparently from twelve to sixteen guns, manned and ready to open its fire. Still from motives of humanity the Commodore and myself were unwilling to commence so unequal a contest, thinking the immense superiority on our side, within full view of the shore, would have induced the Authorities in town to make an offer of negotiating: their presumption and folly, however, led them to pursue a different course; a feeble, ill supported, and worse directed fire was opened upon us, which the first few guns from the Liffey effectually silenced, and cleared the battery : the Commodore consequently directed his fire to cease. I had previously ordered the plan of attack, and now gave directions for two brigades to be in readiness in their boats for landing : His Majesty's 38th regiment, commanded by Major Evans, above the town ; Major Sale, with His Majesty's 13th light infantry, at the centre, to make a lodgement in the main battery, should he be unable to force the gate of the stockade, and a brigade of the Madras division below the town, under the direction of Brigadier-General M*Bean. The 38th and this brigade being ordered to push round by the rear and enter the town, should they find an opportunity

of so doing. These measures in progress, the Burmese again returned to their battery and commenced firing, which was again silenced by a broadside from the Liffey; and the signal being made for the troops to land in the order already stated, which they did in the most regular and soldier-like style, in less than twenty minutes I had the satisfaction of seeing the British flag flying in the town, without the troops having had occasion to discharge a single musket, and without my having occasion to regret the loss of one individual killed or wounded -Oll on our side ; nor do I believe that of the enemy, from their rapid flight, could have been great; of the latter, killed, only eight or ten were left behind. The news of our arrival in the river having. reached Rangoon the preceding night, and our rapid progress up in the morning being marked by an occasional shot in answer to the fire from the Chokies, together with the preparations of the Burmese Authorities for defence, threw the inhabitants into such a state of consternation as to cause a general flight in every direction towards the jungles, so much so that out of a large popula-tion, l do not think one hundred men were found, in the town on our taking possession of it. The Members of Government fled at the first shot, carrying with them seven out of eleven Europeans whom they had ordered to be imprisoned. and put in irons. On our arrival in their hurry. three were left in the King's godown, whose irons were filed off by the troops on entering the to Wn. When we were actually in possession of the town, Mr. Hough, an American missionary, released from irons for the purpose, accompanied by a Burmese, came on board the Liffey, delegated by. the Raywoon and other Members of Government (then some miles off in the jungle) to entreat that the firing might cease, and to ask what terms. would be given to them, hinting that they had seven Englishmen out with them in irons, whose fate would probably depend upon the answer they received. The Commodore and myself told them, that it was too late to ask for terms, as the place. was then in our possession : protection to persons and property was all they had to expect, and even. that promise would not be confirmed to them until the prisoners were released and given up to us,. warning them, that if they dared to injure them. or put one of them to death, fire and sword should.

[ocr errors]

revenge the atrocious deed over the whole face of the country. The messengers left us, promising: to return as soon as possible; but neither the Raywoon or his adherents could again be found, fear having driven them still farther into the country. We remained in great anxiety for the fate of ourcountrymen during the night, but early next morning, in pushing forward some reconnoitring parties, . the whole seven were found safe in different places. of confinement, strongly fettered, their guards having fled at our approach ; a list of those gentlement I beg herewith to transmit. I am sure it will afford the Right Honourablethe Governor-General in Council much satisfaction. to know (and I believe my information to be correct) that there is not another Englishman, with the exception of a Mr. Gauger, now at Ava, in the power of the Burmese Government. Although I am not yet enabled officially to communicate to you the subjection to the British armsof the islands of Cheduba and Nagrais, together with Bassein, yet I have not the least doubt, from the calculation of time and the fineness of the weather, that the attack in these quarters has been so simultaneously made as to render their fall, about the same time with that of Rangoon, almost certain. The captured ordnance far exceeds in number any thing we supposed the country to possess, although, generally speaking, of a bad description; the guns are now eollecting from the different batteries, and as soon as a correct statement can. be made out, I will have the honour of forwarding it. It would be presumption in me to speak in terms of praise of an Officer so well known as Commodore Grant, but it is my duty to inform you, that the cordial co-operation I have received and con- - tinue

tinue to receive from him calls for my warmest acknowledgement. I have, &c.

A. CAMPBELL, Brig.-Gen.

P. S. I am happy to say I have been able to put the troops under cover, one brigade in the town of Rangoon, and the other three in the houses in the vicinity of the great pagoda.

List of Persons imprisoned and placed in Irons by the Burmese Government at Rangoon, on the Approach of the British Arms, for the Purpose of being put to Death.

[ocr errors]

— G. H. Roys,

Arratoon, - — P. Aide, - t- - Greek: Rev. J. Wade, - - American Missionary. Ditto Hough, - ditto ditto, taken: out of irons and sent by the Burmese on board the Liffey to beg the firing, &c. &c. might cease.

A. CAMPBELL, Brigadier-General.

« 이전계속 »