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while the enemy's numerous cavalry attacked him in front.
About four o'clock in the afternoon the action commenced by a heavy cannonade on both sides; the motions of the enemy had induced Mr. Thomas to divide bis army according to the ground he occupied, the advantage of which, allowing for the quality of the troops, was much in his favor; but his battalions not being accustomed to be exposed to a cannonade, he drew up his army on a loose fand, which thereby deadened the shot and prevented their rising after the first graze.
His force confifted of ten battalions of infantry, fifty pieces of cannon, fix hundred Rohillas, and about five hundred cavalry, not exceeding in the aggregate five thousand men ; of which number only four thousand could be brought into action.
Of this force five battalions were opposed to Mr. Lewis, two were assigned for the battalions opposite the centre of his line, and three to sustain the shock of the enemy's horse. On
the commencement of the action Mr. Lewis's division came on briskly, having their guns at the drag ropes; Mr. Thomas, by a rapid disa charge of round and grape shot from his artillery, at first threw them into confusion, and had he been able at this moment to prevent his troops from giving way, would have entirely defeated the enemy; but the centre of his line at this time being hard pressed by the enemy's cavalry, gave way, and no effort could prevent the remainder from following their example.
This rendered an immediate and spirited advance necessary to support. For this purpose Mr. Thomas ordered Mr. Hopkins, with the right wing, and Mr. Birch with the left, to ad, vance and charge with bayonets in their refpective wings; which service they perfosmed with no less gallantry than success.
The enemy halted, and began to retreat; but a heavy fire being still continued from their numerous and well-ferved artillery, Mr. Thomas's people fell in great numbers, which the enemy's çavalry perceiving charged a second time.
They were not only repulsed with loss, but pursued by Mr. Thomas's horse to a considerable distance from the field of battle. At this time intelligence was brought to Mr. Thomas, who was on the left wing, that Mr. Hopkins had received a severe contufion by a cannon shot, which broke his leg. This circumstance so disheartened his men, that they fell back in disorder, and increased the confusion in the centre of his line.
· A strong detachment of the enemy, who were stationed in Mr. Thomas's rear, prevented his receiving any support from the troops opposed to them, and he could only spare one battalion to support the centre. This body,
however, conducted themselves with so much · gallantry, that could Mr. Thomas have afforded
the additional aid of one hundred resolute men, they might have advanced, and would in all probability have decided the fate of the day.
Night approaching, and his people being fatigued with the severe service they had undergone, deserted their colours, and took shelter in the neighbouring ravines.
Mr. Thomas exerted every effort to rally them, but without effect. In this exigency he called in a body of Rohillas, who had been
stationed in an adjoining village, for the pro. tection of the baggage ; and to stimulate their
exertions to a renewal of the attack, proffered, but in vain, a large increase of pay.
Both armies now drew off, and during the night lay on their arms; and the next morning, after a short and but distant cannonade, the enemy left Mr. Thomas master of the field of battle.
In this action, the enemy lost two thousand · men, and thirty pieces of artillery. Mr. Thomas's loss was seven hundred men, and twenty pieces of cannon rendered unfit for further service. The cause of this loss in artillery was occasioned partly by his cannon being dismounted by the enemy's Thot, and partly by the breaking of their axle-trees, as the carriages of the guns, instead of recoiling as usual after the discharge, from the nature of the soil, being a deep and heavy sand, stopt short and broke.
· A few days after this action, the gallant Mr. Hopkins died of his wounds. The death of this young man was a great loss to Mr. Thomas's interests ; and the firmness of his behaviour during the whole of his service, as well as the manly resignation which he exhibited at the close of life, stamps his character as an amiable man, a brave and gallant soldier. *
The enemy were daily reinforced by considerable numbers ; among the first of whom were the troops under Bappoo Scindiah. Goordut Sing, Bunga Sing, Jonde Sing, and feveral other Seik chieftains, added their forces on the present occasion, Runjeet Sing, also ruler of Burtpoor, the Hattrass Rajah, Ramdeen of
* To do justice to the memory of my friend, I cannot, on this occasion, forbear to mention, that after the death of the gallant youth, Mr. Thomas, with a liberality of spirit which reflects the highest credit on his character, sent the young man's disconsolate sister (then become an orphan by her father's death) a present of two thousand rupees ; with a promise if that sum was not thought sufficient to supply her wants, to extend his benevolence, though out of the remains of a ruined fortune of his own.