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Morgan, is nearly of the same description with that which regards Lieutenant Colonel Sentleger; and probably the sources of it, and the channels through which it has passed, may hereafter be fully developed, but at present it would be improper, and perhaps unfair, to indulge any speculations regarding it.
The case of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bell, of Artillery, who commanded the Mount Cantonments, and held a seat at the Military Board, is, however, very different. The vicinity of his residence to the Presidency afforded the best means of ascertaining the correctness, or otherwise, of the information which had been obtained respecting him, if such had been desired. But this transaction may, at a future period, be fully explained to the public; for the present, any further discussion of it is deferred, Colonel Bell having himself made an appeal to that source, whence the Government of India derive their authority. It may not, however, be irrelevant to notice, that, on the day after the order was received at the Mount, all the officers who had been stationed there, (one only excepted) drew up an address to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bell, in which they expressed, in the warmest terms, their regret at the loss which they were about to experience in his removal from the command of the station, and from their society. They also offer the most solemn declaration, that the charge contained in the general order of the 1st of May, against Colonel Bell, was wholly and entirely groundless. The exception amongst the officers to the signing of this paper was Sir John Sinclair, who had just been appointed Commissary of the Arsenal at Madras. Colonel Bell conceiving that the Government might be desirous to be undeceived, in a matter of so much importance, would willingly have transmitted to them a copy of the declaration of the officers, together with an affidavit, or any other asseveration, from himself, purporting that he was wholly and unequivocally innocent, in thought, word, and deed, of the charge specified against him, in the general order of the 1st of May. However, this step was prevented, by his learning, through a third person, a Member of the Council, that the Government would resent, in the most severe manner, any attempt at the justification of himself by the transmission of the paper, And Colo
nel Bell has been obliged to rest satisfied,
with the consciousness of his own innocence, and to wait patiently for a decision from Europe, (which possibly may take place on the ea parte statement of Sir G. Barlow) or for a change of the Government, before he can hope for even a public investigation of the subject. - Such being the motive, and the ground upon which the punishments announced in the general order of the 1st of May had proceeded, it cannot be a matter of surprize, that universal indignation was felt on the occasion. However, such was the general feeling towards the Governor of Madras, that the compliment paid to the Hydrabad force, in the last paragraph of the order, was deemed a greater insult than even the punishment, and the defamation of the respectable characters who are vilified in it. The receipt of the order at the several stations of the army, produced considerable solicitude and commotion; but at Hydrabad the ferment was excessive; one and all felt the keenest sense of injury and insult, from perceiving the paltry attempt to sow dissension among the officers of the army, by supposing a difference of feeling, and interest, between men, whose characters and fortunes were united by the established system of the service, as well as by those ties which are, above all, dear to men of honor and principle. As might naturally be expected, a perfect unanimity prevailed among the officers at Hydrabad; who, as soon as practicable, after the receipt of the order, addressed to the different divisions of the army, a paper to the following effect; a copy of the same being also sent to the Governor of Madras, through the officer commanding the force. “In the late general order by Government, under date the 1st of May, 1809, the conduct of the officers of this force, with respect to the late occurrences, is particularly mentioned in terms of approbation. “ This unexpected compliment may possibly have impressed our brother officers throughout the army, with an idea that we tacitly have approved of the acts of Government to which the general order refers, and that we are divested of those sentiments and feelings, which have been excited throughout the army. “ Under this impression, we feel it to be a duty incumbent on us to declare, that we have viewed, with the most lively emotions of concern, the extreme acts of power, and exertions of authority, by which so many valuable and respectable officers have been displaced from their commands, and suspended from the service; and while we assure you of our resolution to contribute to the support of those officers who have incurred the displeasure of Government, for their exertions in a cause which we must pronounce just, we shall be ready to participate in any legal measures of temperance, dignity, and firmness, which may be thought effectual, to remove the cause of the present discontent, and to restore our brother officers to the honourable situations from which they have been removed.
[Signed by 145 field and other officers of the troops composing the Hydrabad Sub
“Hydrabad, 14th May, 1809.”
Were not the above facts susceptible of the most unequivocal proof, by the number of persons to whom the particulars regarding them are fully known, no indifferent person would believe, neither would any venture to assert, that the chief organ of a Government, so extensive as that of Madras, could, after