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The Variation Of The Compass.
(Continued from p. 601.)
Royal Observatory, Oct. Is/, 1841,
MEAN MAGNETIC DIP.
1811—July 09° V I 69" V
G. B. Airy, Astronomer-Royal.
The following despatches containing accounts of the late brilliant proceedings of our land and sea forces before Canton, will be read with great interest, evincing as they do, in every line, the brave and determined spiiit of our gallant countrymen. We find the following summary in the Times.
The fact is known in Europe that Capt. Elliot had, at the end of the month of March, concluded a convention with the Chinese; trade was carried on during six weeks, and an appearance prevailed of a good understanding on both sides. But, although a vast quantity of tea was exported, the Chinese were not idle in making preparations for war. Troops were assembled at Canton and its neighbourhood, new cannon were cast, and the forts were put into a state of defence, and several fleets of small fire vessels were got ready to destroy the British men-ofwar. Capt. Elliot went in a steamer on the 10th of May to Canton, where he saw the preparations made by the Chinese. He had an interview with the Mandarin Governor, and on his return to the British fleet he countermanded the expedition which was to proceed in five or six days to Amoy. On the 17th Capt. Elliot went again towards Canton, and orders were issued to the expedition under the command of Sir H. Le Fleming Senhouse and General Sir Hugh Gough to move up the river, and to anchor near the city, where the most hostile preparations were made by both parties. Crowds of the citizens fled, and the merchants began to remove their goods.
On the 20th the Mandarin Governor Yu issued a proclamation declaring that there was no ground for alarm, and on the 21st a British proclamation was issued, desiring all the foreigners to retire from the factories " before sunset." The former proclamation was looked upon as a trick to deceive the merchants into a false security, with the object of seizing them during the night.
At 11 o'clock that night the Chinese began the attack by firing at all the British vessels within reach of the forts. The fire-ships were let loose, but the British men-of-war were on the alert, and the steamer Nemesis towed off the Chinese vessels. The fight began .during the night between several of the British ships and the fort of Shaming, which was silenced in the morning. Eight new brass guns were found in it. During the engagement a fleet of war junks came out of a cr«t The Nemesis moved towards them, but afraid of her 31-pounders, u*j retreated into the creek. Thither the Nemesis pursued tbem, ami taring three hours the sailors were busy in setting fire to at least fert] junks. Having completed the work, the steamer emerged from lie creek decorated with the flags and pendants of the junks; the saik-a too presented a comical sight, they were dressed in Chinese roles—«w* with Mandarin caps, and others, particularly one boat's crew,had eata a Chinaman's tail hanging at the back of their necks.
On Sunday, the 23rd of May, the squadron and the troops arrived, and the chiefs. Klliott, Senhouse, and Gough, held a conference. They then sent Capt. Belcher, of Her Majesty's ship Sulphur, to reconooirtt the river, and to find a place for landing on the north side. This teconnoissance was attacked, but beat off the assailants, aud burned twentyeight of their boats. An excellent place for landing the troops and guns was then discovered.
On the 24th, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the troops being in the boats, the steamers proceeded to tow them to their destination. The AuUnta took the right column, under the command of Major Pratt, of Her Majesty's 2Gth regiment, to serve and hold the factories on tbe bank of the river to the south of the city, while the Nemesis towed the left column towards Tsing-hae, five miles up the river. The guns «« landed during the night. Before the right column landed the Dutch aud British factories had beeu most thoroughly plundered by the mot) of the-city.
Iu the official account sent by General Sir Hugh Gough will b» found an animated detail of the proceedings of the gallant soldiers. The Mandarin Governor of Canton was soon forced to cry out for quarter, and after various parleys Capt. Elliot agreed to spare the ciij from an assault, and withdraw the British troops and ships-of-»M from the river, upon the conditions—first, of the three imperial commissioners and all the troops under their command (the provincial troops alone excepted,) quitting Canton and its vicinity, and marching sixty miles from it, and of the forts not being restored; seem 6,000,000 dollars to be paid for the use of ilie British Crown with"" one week, the first million before sunset of that day (the 27th); *"" third, the troops to remain in their positions until the two former conditions were completed ; and the ransom to be increased to 7,000,000 u seven days elapsed, to 8,000,000 if 14 days, and to 9,000,000 if 20<lip were allowed to elupse. The losses sustained in the factories, and bj the destruction of the Spanish brig Bilbaino, to be paid within a »eei< The assent of the three Imperial Commissioners was also required w the convention. This was soon granted.
After three days delay, the whole of the conditions having rjeeflWf» plied with, the British troops, who had previously had several skirmUM* with the Tartar troops, were withdrawn, the Chinese furnishing eve7 means to get rid of them and their guns. The heat was excessive—on* officer, Major Becher, fell dead from a stroke of the sun. There «<" several thumler-Ktorms, and sickness was apprehended from the '|S' fields around the forts where the troops had taken their stations. NinetJ* lev en men, including fifteen officers, we it wouudtd, aud thirteen lulW' including Lieut. Fox, of the Nimrod. Sir H. Lc Fleming Senhouse died on board the Blenheim on the morning of the 14th of June, in consequence of fever caused by excessive fatigue.
The latest intelligence from Macao is to the 21st of June; it represents the Chinese as highly incensed with the acts of the British, and their determination to resist as most uncompromising. The Emperor's nephew had sent a report to his uncle, in which he declares that the English did great execution at Canton, and that the cries of the inhabitants for peace tore his bowels with anguish, and that he had giveu them several millions " for the opium," and to induce them to withdraw; and that, as he had beguiled the barbarians away, he would set about the repairs of the forts on the river. This report is looked upon as an irrefragable proof of Chinese perfidy, and no security existed for peace.
In the meantime Cf.pt. Elliot was busy in settling the sites of the houses in the new city, of which he has laid down the foundation in the island of Hongkong. Preparations were, however, going forward for an expedition destined, as it was stated, to proceed to the northward, as some conjecture, to attack even Pekin itself. Sir J. J. Gordon Bremer had arrived in the Queen steamer from Calcutta. The steamer having on board the new Plenipotentiary, Sir H. Pottinger, and the Admiral, Sir W. Parker, had been spoken with on the 28th of July, in the Straits of Malacca, and was expected to arrive at Macao early in August. Her Majesty's steamer Nimrod came with the despatches to Earl Auckland at Calcutta, and the gallant Capt. Barlow was to proceed by this mail with the despatches for London. A steamer took him on the 10th ult., from Calcutta to Masulipatam, whence he proceeded, notwithstanding the most formidable obstacles in crossing the torrents, with all haste to join the steamer for Suez.
It may be proper to mention that the rumours at first circulated respecting the steamer Atalanta having broken her back in the Canton river turn out to be exaggerated. She was injured, but not seriously. She is expected to arrive soon in Bombay, in order to be effectually repaired.
In consequence of the non-arrival of the Calcutta overland mail, which was delayed by the torrents on the road to Bombay, the departure of the steamer was postponed until the 2nd ult.
The Castle Huntley, a merchant ship, arrived on the 20th of June. The newspapers to that date add but little to the intelligence already stated. The health of the troops, which had suffered from great heat and great rains during the attack on Canton, was improving. The deaths are mentioned of Capt. Brodie, of the troop-ship Rattlesnake, by apoplexy; Dr. Wallace, of Her Majesty's ship Conway; Adjutant Wilson, of the 18th Royal Irish; and Lieut. Fitzgerald, of Her Majesty's ship Modeste, in consequence of a wound received during the attack—Times
Official Accounts Op The Late Naval And Military OrtnAtions Jn China.
(From the Calcutta Gazelle, Extra, Aug. 7.)
Fori William, Secret Department, Aug. 7, 1811. The Right Hon."the Governor-General of India in Council having this day received intelligence of the happy result of the joint operations of Her Majesty's and tlic Hon. Company's naval and military forres in an attack upon the Chinese forces in front of ilic city of Canton, on the 25th and 30th of May last, is pleased to direct the publication for general information of the following despatch from General Sir Hugh Gough, Kcb., commanding the land forces, and extracts from a despatch addressed by Capt. Henry Le Fleming Senhouse, Ech., the senior naval officer of the fleet at Canton, to his Excellency the Naval Commander-in-Chief in India, which has been communicated to the Supreme Government.
These accounts of the brilliant successes of the British arms have been received with the highest gratification by the Governor-General in Council, who, In expressing his admiration of the gallant conduct of every portion of the forces employed in this service, has deeply to lament the loss which has been sustained by the death of Capt. Sir H. Le Fleming Senhouse, who is reported to have subsequently sunk under the fatigue and exhaustion caused by his exertions in the actions with the Chinese.
The Governor-General in Council is pleased to direct, that in honour or this victory of the British arms, a Royal Salute be fired from the ramparts of Fort William, and at the principal military stations of the army of India.
By order of the Bight Hon. the Governor-General of India in Council.
T. H. Maddox,
Head- Quarters, ship Marion, Canton Rictr, proceeding to llotigknng, June 3. Mr Lord.—My letter of the 18th from Hongkong will have made your lordship aware of the temporary abandonment of the movement on Amoy, in order to resume active operations against Canton, consequent upon the constant arrival and concentration of a large force from the several provinces, and other demonstration indicative of an interruption to our friendly intercourse with the provincial Government.
2. From the judicious and unwearied exertions of Sir Le Fleming Senhouse, the senior naval officer, the fleet of men-of-war and transports was prepared to sail on the 18lli, hut in consequence of light and variable winds the whole did not get underway until the 19th. Her Majesty's ship Blenheim took up her position within six miles of Canton in the Macao passage on the 21st ult., but the whole of the force wss not assembled until the morning of the 23rd, when
1 proceeded with Sir Le Fleming Senhouse to the vicinity of the suburbs of the city, for the double object of meeting I lor Majesty's Plenipotentiary and ascertaining, as far as possible, the extent of the enemy's preparations.
3. It being the anxious wish both of Sir Le Fleming Senhouse and myself to commence active operations on so auspicious an epoch as the anniversary of the birth of our sovereign, every exertion was made, and the troops were placed by
2 P.m. on that day m various craft, procured during the previous day and night by the great exertions of the Royal navy.
4. From ail the sources from which 1 had been enahlcd to collect information, or rather from the conjectures of persons who have long resided iu China (for no European had been permitted to see the country above the factories, and the Chinese would give no information), I was induced to decide on making my principal point of demarcation to the north-west of the city, while another column was to take possession of the factories, drawing the attention of the enemy to that quarter, and at the same time to co-operate with the naval force which was to attack the river defences, in order to silence numerous new works recently erected by the Chinese along the whole southern face of the city. A most spirited and judicious reconnoissancc made by Captain Belcher, of 11.M.S. Sulphur, the previous evening, established the practicability of effecting a landing at the point I had selected.
5. Every arrangement having been completed by 2 o'clock, and the boats and other craft placed in tow of the steamers, the force moved to the point of attack as follows:—
Right column, to nttnck and hold the factories, in tow of the Atalantn, consisting of [Icr Majesty's 26ih regiment, (15 officers and 291 other ranks,) an officer and 20 rank and file of tlie Madras Artillery, with an officer of engineers, under Major Pratt, of Her Majesty's 26th.
Left column, towed hy the Nemesis, in four brigades, to move in front.
Fourth (left) brigade, under Lieut-Col. Morris, 49th regiment.—Her Majesty's 49th, commanded by Major Stephens, 28 officers, 273 other ranks; 37th Madras Native Infantry, Capt. Duff) 11 officers, 219 other ranks; one company of Bengal Volunteers, Capt. Mee, 1 officer, and 114 other ranks.
Third (Artillery) brigade, under Capt. Knowles, Royal Artillery.—Royal Artillery, Lieut. Spencer, 2 officers, and 33 other ranks; Madras Artillery, including Gun Lascars, Capt. Anstruther, 10 officers, 231 other ranks; Sappers and Miners, Capt. Cotton, 4 officers, 137 other ranks.
Ordnance.—Four 12-poundcr howitzers, four 9-pounder field guns, two 6-pounder field guns, three 5 J-incli mortars, and one hundred and fifty-two 32-pounder rockets.
Second Naval brigade, under Capt Bonrchier, H.M.S. Blonde.—First naval battallion, Capt. Maitland, H.M.S. Wellesley, 11 officers, 172 other ranks; second naval battalion, Com. Barlow, H.M.S. Nimrod, 16 officers, 231 other ranks.
First (right) brigade (reserve), under Major-Gen. Bnrrell.—Royal Marines, Capt. Ellis, 9 officers, 372 other ranks; 18th Royal Irish, Lieut-Col. Adams, 25 officers, 495 other ranks.
6. The right column reached its point of attack before 5 P.m., and took possession of the factories, when Major Pratt made the necessary, arrangements, strengthening his post, holding his men ready for offensive or defensive operations.
7. The left column, towed by the Nemesis, from the difficulties of the passage with such a fleet of craft as she had in tow, did not reach the Sulphur until dusk, which vessel Capt. Belcher had judiciously anchored close to the village of Tsing-hae, the point of debarcation, about five miles by the river line above the factories, I could therefore only land the 49lh regiment, with which corps I made a reConnoissance to some distance, meeting a few straggling parties of the enemy. After placing the pickets, the corps fell back on the village of Tsinghae to protect Hiid cover the landing of the guns, which was effected during the night hy the zealous efforts of the artillery. The following morning the remainder of the column lauded, and the whole proceeded soon after daylight.
8. The heights to the north of Canton, crowned by four strong forts and the city walls, which run over the southern extremity of these heights, including one elevated point, appeared to be about three miles and a half distant; the intermediate ground, undulating much, and intersected by hollows under wet paddy cultivation, enabled me to take up successive positions, until we approached within range of the forts on the heights and the northern face of the city walls. I had to wait here some time, placing the men under cover, to bring up the rocket battery and artillery.
6. I have already informed your lordship that I was totally unacquainted with the country which I had to pass over, the amount of the enemy's force, or the difficulties that might present themselves at every step; but I had the proud consciousness of feeling that your lordship had placed under me a band whom no disparity of numbers could dishearten, and no difficulty could check. They nobly realized, by their steadiness under fire, their disciplined advance, and their animated rush, my warmest approbation.
10. Having at 3 o'clock got up the rocket battery, with two 51-inch mortars, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 9-pounder guns, a well-directed fire was kept up on the two western forts, which had much annoyed us by a heavy fire. 1 now made the disposition for attack en chellon of columns from the left, and directed the 49th regiment to carry a hill on the left of the nearest eastern fort, supported by the 37th Madras Native Infantry and Bengal Volunteers, under
ENLARGED SER1E8.—NO. 11.—VOL. FOR 1841. 5 F