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Mercury, and all other articles were completely destroyed. The island of Negrais is a barren desert covered with an impenetrable jungle, and the low part towards the southward seems to be covered with salt water; at the northern extremity is a hill, with an old pagoda upon it, and at the foot of it to the westward is a small flat covered with jungle, where it has been sufficiently cleared only to erect a few fishermeil's huts, and has no signs of cultivation. It is evident from the desolate appearance of the island, that it has never been considered by the Burman Government as a place of any importance, nor can it be made defensible by them, nor is there a village within ten miles of it on the main land. I have, &c. J. WAHAB, Major, commanding the 12th. Madras Native Light Infantry.
Copy of a Report from Lieutenant Stedman to the Officer commanding 2d Battalion 17th Regiment, dated on board the Heroine, 18th May 1824.
I HAVE the honour to report that, agreeably to orders of yesterday's date, I crossed the river, and landed with the three companies detailed to accompany me, at about three o'clock, and within three quarters of a mile of the enemy, whose appearance before reaching the shore left me little doubt as to their intentions of opposing our approach beyond the spot, on which it was evident they had strongly stockaded themselves. As the day was too far advaneed to expect any reinforcement under Captain Ogilvie, and as our situation, from not knowing the strength of the Burmans, did not ensure success against them, I determined to detain the boats that
brought us, in case it might be necessary to retreat to
to the ships, at the same time ordering the companies (all of whom landed nearly at the same moment) to follow the advanced guard at the distance of fifty paces We had proceeded but a short space, when I observed the guard in advance to halt, and I received intimation that they were already close under a breast-work of the enemy, surmounted with guns, which the thick junglealong the beach had prevented my observing, or indeed any of the party in advance till very close to it. Delay, however, under any circumstances. was to be avoided, and as I had made up my mind to return their fire the instant they commenced it, I pushed on, desiring the advance to join their companies, and having loaded, returned their first shot from cannon and small arms, with a volley, which was followed up by a charge and an incessant fire on them from the rear companies for the space of ten minutes, when the breast-work, with guns complete, was ours, and all our attention was directed to the stockade itself, in which, at this period, at least seven hundred armed men were observable. Providentially for us an opening to the right of the stockade from the breastwork had not been completed, into which we continued to pour our fire with such success, that the enemy were observed to decamp with the greatest precipitation, leaving us their cannon, and indeed every thing they were possessed of; a list of which, with a return of killed and wounded, will be found in the margia”. I cannot conclude this report without expressing my entire approbation of the conduct of all concerned on this occasion, for to all I feel my best acknowledgments are due, though were I to particularize, the services of Lieutenant Lindsay, Haig, and Hutchings, were such as to entitle them to praise more valuable than mine. 'Our loss is so trifling, when I consider the means the enemy had of annoying us, that it can only be attributed to their fire being directed too high. I have, &c.
* List of killed and wounded, with a detachment of the 2d battalion 17th regiment, or C. L. I. under the command of Lieutenant Stedman.—l jeniidar, 1 sepoy, killed; 2 maigues, 2 sepoys, wounded.
List of stores taken and destroyed by a detachment of the 2d battalion 17th regiment, or C. L. I. under the command of Lieutenant Stedman.—10 pieces of ordnance, of different calibre ; between 50 and 60 boats, containing rice and uilitary stures.
J. C. STEDMAN, Lieut. commanding detachment, 2d batt: 17th regt. or C. L. I.
Copy of a Report from Captain Goodridge, commanding the Cruizer Mercury, to Brigadier-General Sir A. Campbell, K. C. B. dated off Rangoon, 27th May 1824,
I HAVE the honour to report the arrival at this anchorage, of the Honourable Company's cruizer Mercury, under my command, to wait your further orders, and to acquaint you, in compliance with the instructions received from Commodore Grant, of His Majesty's Royal Navy, I effected the purpose, on the 12th May, P. M. for which I was directed to accompany Major Wahab, of the 17th Madras native infantry, to the island of Negrais, on which a party was landed by Major Wahab,
and the British flag hoisted, without opposition. On the 16th our attention was called to a collection of men and boats on the opposite side of the river, a party was sent, accompanied by the Mercury, which produced a letter from the Go
vernor of Bassine.
40n the 17th a stockade was perceived, of some extent and strength, P. M. We weighed anchor in company with a party of troops. At halfast four anchored off the stockade, the party song previously landed from all the boats procurable. At five P. M. the Birmahs opened an indifferent fire on the troops, when I commenced, at long range shot, and after firing a few rounds from our long guns, the troops marched into the stockade without further opposition, on which occason I have to report the capture of twentyeight boats (all of which were destroyed), and fourteen pieces of small cannon.
The island of Negrais is confined to about six miles in circumference, extending N. E. and S. W. On the S. W. end there is a plain of some extent, covered with grass, on which I saw a number of cattle, and inclosures for a very small quantity of rice; the hills and other parts are quite woody, no run of water was discovered, but confined to wells, they are capable of producing a great deal with a little attention.
The entrance into Negrais harbour I considered difficult, and only to be effected with great precaution, the channel being extremely narrow, it is quite secure from all winds; the river beyond that to Bassine is, from my own observations, and what I have since collected, clear and safe from the island to Bassine.
I have the honour to be, &c.
R. GOODRIDGE, Captain
Extract from a Dispatch from Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Campbell, dated 4th June 1824.
ON the 2d instant I received information that the enemy had assembled in great force, and were stockading themselves at Kemmendine, intending to attack our lines, and that the messengers who had been sent in, were, as I suspected, spies, I therefore ordered two strong columns of reconnoissance from the Madras division to move on the following morning upon two roads leading from the Great Dagon Pagoda to the village of Kemmehdine, the right column under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hodgson, the other under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, proceeding myself up the Rangoon River with two of the Honourable Company's cruizers and three companies of the 41st regiment, for the purpose of observing the enemy's force, and making a diversion in favour of any attack which might be made by land. In the course of two hours we were abreast of the enemy's encampment. The troops landed and burnt every hut to the ground, brought away one war boat and destroyed another, carried off an eighteen-pound carronade, all without the least annoyance from the enemy, who either fled into the jungle or retired into a very large stockade, which I observed close by, and from which some guns were fired, killing and wounding a few men.
In the course of the morning the two columns, coming down from the Great Dagon Pagoda, met close to the stockade of Kemmendine, just alluded to, and an effort was made to enter it, which I have no doubt would have succeeded, but for the occurrence of some mistake, and as the attack was never in any way persevered in, I do not much regret the result, as it will tend to lull our crafty foe into a
1824. N n security