Page images
PDF
EPUB

which Mr. Thomas received the sum of 14,000 rupees, and an assignment for the rest of his claims. The latter, however, was never fulfilled.

In the march towards his districts, Mr. Thomas retaliated upon the Begum Sumroo, whom he now considered his bitter enemy, laying under contribution that part of her country which came within his route..

Arriving at Goorath, a large and populous village, he imposed heavy contributions. These amounted to a considerable fum. He found here also an ample supply of bullocks and forage.

Continuing his march, after a long and tedious day's journey, he encamped near the town of Tejara, a place in the centre of the Mewattee district. The night was dark and rainy: this and the extreme fatigue of the soldiers conspired to render successful an attempt which the Mewattys made, and they carried off a horse from the very centre of the camp.

THOMAS.

In the morning, a party was detached to difcover the village to which the horse had been conveyed. The party had not proceeded far when they were attacked, and obliged to retreat. Orders were then given for the cavalry to advance, and cover the detachment. And Mr. Thomas himself leading the infantry, haftily marched, and with his collected force, attacked the enemy at the village, to which, it appears, the horse had been carried. By this time they had assembled and became formidable. The centre division of Mr. Thomas's troops, in a short time set fire to the village, and there seemed no doubt of a complete victory, when the divisions on the right and left giving way, fled with precipitation. The wounded left on the field were, even at this. crisis of the action, cut to pieces by the enemy.

The centre division, under the special command of Mr. Thomas, now following the example of their brethren, left him, of his troops, only a dozen infantry and a few cavalry.

Thus discomfited and vexed by the unsteadiness of his troops, Mr. Thomas, as a last resort,

encouraged his small party to exert themselves in extricating a nine-pounder, which unfortunately, previously to the battle, had stuck in the bed of a nullah. In this he had just fucceeded, when the enemy, as certain of victory, recommenced a furious attack, and endeavoured to seize the gun.

The commandant of cavalry, a man of dif tinguished bravery, still adhered to Mr. Thomas, and desperately, with a few others, threw himfelf between the gun and the enemy. They were cut to pieces, but the gallant effort afforded time to re-mount and oppose a welldirected fire of grape from the nine-pounder. This faved Mr. Thomas and the brave few of his surviving party. For, after the discharge of a few rounds, the enemy retired to the surrounding ravines.

Mr. Thomas now collected the fugitives, who with his veteran party formed a detachment of about 300 men. With these he' unconcernedly challenged the enemy to a renewal of the combat, which they now as cautiously declined.

GEORGE THOMAS

In its firft view fo disastrous, this action, by the dread it spread among the enemy, proved highly fortunate. Great as was Mr. Thomas's loss of brave and attached soldiers, that of the Mewattys was infinitely more confiderable. The immediate consequence was an overture, on the part of their chief, of terms which Thortly led to an amicable adjustment. They agreed to pay Mr. Thomas a year's rent, and to restore to him the property that had been stolen. The performance of these articles was guaranteed by securities.

The punishment of this village, the strongest in the whole district, and its inhabitants the most refractory, was highly favourable to Mr. Thomas's interest; the more so, as in a preceding campaign the whole force of Begum Sumroo had been in vain exerted to reduce it. Mr. Thomas next prepared to march against the remaining districts which were still in rebellion; and, having recruited his force for this purpose, he was ordered by Appakandarow to affift the collector of the district of KishnaConvinced by experience that vigorous measures could alone ensure success, Mr. Thomas marched towards the refractory villages; of which having gained poffefsion, they were quickly consumed by fire. .

gur.

An example fo fevere deterred others from pursuing a similar conduct. Of these the most considerable was the town of Jyjur; which, however, submitting on the approach of the troops, opposition was at an end, and Mr. Thomas returned to Tejara.

mas

ra.

. On the submission of Jyjur, Appakandarow gave Mr. Thomas an order for a supply of money upon the collector of that place. The collector endeavoured to evade payment, by representing that the distressed situation of Appakandarow (whose troops had just mutinied for want of payment of their arrears), required every rupee that could be raised; in consequence, Mr. Thomas must, for the present, dispense with payment. This, he observes, was true ; but his people being in distress, to provide a remedy, he marched to. Behadurg

« PreviousContinue »