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The Detachment, after an easy and pleasant march, and crossing one River in Jangars; arrived at Cottiangurry at 8,O'Clock in the morning, and Encamped on the Right of the Line. — This Ground is about 9 miles in a due East direction from Tellicherry. —
Having Posted the necessary Guards and dismissed the Detachment to their Tents, I waited on Colonel Dow to report to him my arrival in Camp with the 4 Companies of the 77th. Regiment, and to receive his further orders respecting them. — The Colonel was very glad to see me and expressed great satisfaction at having me thus placed under his command.
The two Brigades of Guns under Capt. Griffiths of the Bbay Artillery, and the Bbay Grenadier Battn. of Sepoys under the command of Major John Mc.Donald, arrived in Camp in a few hours after the 77th. Detachment. —
Lieut. Colonel James Dunlop of the 77th. Regt. arrived also in Camp this afternoon from Tellicherry, being appointed to serve with Colonel Dow's Field Army as second in Command. —
My friend Col: Dunlop and myself agree to mess together during the Campaign in the Jungle. —
Colonel Dow at 2,O'Clock this afternoon held a Council of War Composed of the Field officers Commanding Wings and Divisions, for the purpose of laying before them his Instructions from the Commander in Chief, and to take their opinion on his intended Plan of Operations and movements in the Jungle. —
After the Council of War broke up, we all dined with Colonel Dow.
The Army were accordingly directed to be in readiness to march tomorrow morning in two Separate Wings or Columns by different Routes – towards Todicullum, the Capital of the Pyche Rajah, and where he is reported to be at present. —
I was directed to command the Advanced Guard of the Right Column, and to march about 500 Yards in Front of the Main Body. — The number of the advanced Guard was only 350 men, on account of there being but one Column to flank on the march. — The rest of my Division remained with Colonel Dunlop. —
Captain Browne of the Bbay Establishment, who requested of Colonel Dow to permit him to serve as a Volunteer on the present Service, was appointed to act as Aide de Camp to Lieut. Colonel Dunlop during the Campaign. The two Columns being provided with the necessary Guides, moved on into the Jungle in the order already mentioned, a large Body of the Auxilliary [sic] Irregular Troops of Nairs and Mopillas marching at the Head of each Column. —
After the Right Column had marched about six miles into the Jungle, the Enemy appeared in front and made their first attack upon us about 1 P.M. at a Village called Kydree [?] belonging to a noted Rebel. — They kept up a smart scattering fire upon us for about half an hour from behind the high banks and enclosures near the Road; but small flanking Parties of the Advanced being detached for that purpose soon dislodged the Enemy from their cover and completely dispersed them, compelling them to take to their heels in different directions. —
Two men of our Irregular Mopillas were wounded in this short conflict, which was all the mischief the Enemy did us. — From Kydree we marched on for about an Hour, through very close Jungle, and occasionally through Batty Fields, without meeting with any molestation, until we entered a narrow Pass that led through remarkable thick Jungle and rough broken Ground full of Ravines, Rocks and Banks that afforded excellent cover for the Enemy. This Pass or Defile – bounded by very high Ground on both Flanks – continued for above two miles. — It was at the entrance of this Pass that Capts. Bowman and Troy and Lieut. Bond were attacked and killed on the 7th. of January last, and that our Convoys were afterwards so severely attacked and annoyed by the Enemy.
We therefore had every reason to expect to meet them again at the same Place; and accordingly every precaution was taken by Colonel Dunlop in marching his Column through this dangerous Defile to guard against a Surprise – and be prepared for the Enemy. — The Column had hardly advanced half a mile in the Defile before our Flanking Parties were fired upon by the Enemy from behind the Rocks and Banks. — The Enemy then commencing a very smart and galling fire upon our whole Line from the Front and both Flanks, the Advanced Guard, under my command were ordered to charge and drive the Enemy from their Cover – but they were no sooner Dislodged from one set of Rocks and Banks than they occupied others at a distance to annoy us from with this teasing and galling Fire. — At length, however, they were completely driven from their Cover – and forced to take to their Heels in different directions through the Jungle – our Troops pursuing them to a considerable distance. —
We had the misfortune to lose Capt. Browne Acting Aide de Camp to Colonel Dunlop on this occasion, having been killed early in the action. — He was a brave and very deserving officer, and was consequently very much regretted by us all. —
Besides Capt. Brown [sic], one Serjeant (Wilson) and Sixteen Privates were killed and wounded; the loss chiefly falling on the Advanced Guard; poor Serjt. Wilson was killed close to me, and was a fine active fellow. — The Enemy being completely dispersed, and our wounded men taken proper care of, the Column continued its march forwards until we arrived at Mananderry, a considerable Nair Village, situated in a large beautiful Valley, surrounded by pretty high Hills, on one of which, close to the Village, stood a small Square Mud Fort. — As soon as the Head of the Column had emerged out of the Jungle into the Plain of this Valley, the Enemy again made their appearance on all the surrounding Heights from whence they commenced and kept up for some time a very smart and most galling fire of Musquetry on the Column as it advanced. — Whilst the Column were deploying into Line, the Advanced Guard, with some additional Companies detached from the Main Body, charged the different Bodies of the enemy posted on the Heights and very soon put them to the Rout, excepting one Party that kept up a constant fire upon us from the Fort. — I sent an officer to Col: Dunlop to obtain his Permission to storm it; which being granted, and some scaling Ladders having been sent me at same time, I moved on rapidly with the Advanced Guard to storm this little Fort accordingly; but the Enemy posted within it perceiving our design, abandoned it in a great hurry and confusion as we were approaching towards it, and before we could possibly reach it to cut off their Retreat – which they unfortunately effected, setting fire to the few Houses in the Fort. —
We had five men killed and wounded in this attack, but luckily no officer materially. — In our advance for the purpose of storming Mananderry Fort, I received a slight contusion on the upper part of my left Foot, where I was struck with a spent Ball, and which I picked up; but which only left a blue mark on the skin, and did not even penetrate through the Leather of my Boot. —
It being almost dark before we were in Possession of Mananderry Fort and the different surrounding Heights, Colonel Dunlop determined to halt the Column here for tonight, the Troops being a good deal fatigued. — We accordingly posted the necessary Guards and Piquets; allowing one half of our Line to sleep while the other lay on their Arms. —
The Remains of Capt. Browne were buried at Mananderry with the usual Honors, and also the few men we lost in this last affair. — Some of our Public & Private Followers were killed in this last attack, and also Fifteen men of our Auxilliaries [sic] – notwithstanding they were very backward and fought very shy all day; – but being always huddled together in great confused Crowds, the Enemy's shot made the greater havock [sic] amongst them.
After a fatiguing march of six Hours, we arrived at the Rebellions Rajah's Capital of Todicullum, and formed a junction with the Left Column, which had arrived there only two Hours before us – but found the Place abandoned – the Rajah and his principal Adherents having fled up the Ghauts on hearing of our approach. — The Left Column met with no opposition whatever in their advance to Todicullum by the Neeloor Route, the whole of the Enemy's force having been directed against the Right Column. —
There was a considerable Body of the Enemy however stationed at Todicullum, where they remained till the Left Column made its appearance, and then fled into the Jungle with the greatest percipitation without firing a shot. —
The Town or Village of Todicullum is situated in a small and very deep Valley, surrounded every way by Heights, covered with very close and almost impenetrable Jungle from the bottom to the tops of these Hills. — The Rajah has here a very fine fortified Pagoda, and which is his favorite place. — The Pagoda and other adjoining Houses are all covered with Copper, and make a beautiful appearance at a distance. Colonel Dow having determined to remain here for a couple of days to rest the Troops – and to [to] endeavour to obtain some intelligence respecting the force of the enemy and the place of the Rebellious Rajah's Retreat, orders were given to the Line to Encamp on their present Ground. —
The men had no sooner began to Pitch the Tents than a straggling fire of Musquetry upon our Line commenced from our concealed Enemy in the Jungle, not a man of them being to be seen with the naked Eye; but on watching and looking with our Spy Glasses at the particular spots from whence the smoke of their fire issued, this dastardly Enemy were seen sitting like monkies [sic] in the Tops of the thickest and Highest Trees in the Jungle, from which they fired in perfect security to themselves – and unperceived by us. — In this way they continued to annoy our Camp the greater part of the Day, killing and wounding a few Soldiers – and several Pubic and Private Followers. — But a few rounds of Grape having been fired amongst them at random from the six Pounders, and some Flanking Parties having been sent out at the same time towards the Evening, these Intrepid Warriors fled from their lofty Nests – and we were no more annoyed by them. —
We could form no correct judgment of the force of the Enemy thus opposed to us, as we had never seen more than Forty or Fifty of them at any one time together.
In this affair Brigade Major Batchelor was killed, besides Eight Noncommissioned Officers & Soldiers killed and wounded in the Advanced Guard; there were also a few of our Followers, and some of our Auxilliary [sic] Troops killed and wounded on this occasion.
Capt. Batchelor had come up to the Head of the Advanced Guard to deliver me some orders from Colonel Dow, and whilst he was in the act of speaking to me and standing close to me, he received shot through the Head, and fell dead instantly. — He was a smart and gallant good officer, and deservedly much regretted by the Army. —
After Canote Pagoda and all the Houses in the Neighbourhood of it were destroyed (–the Nambiar of Canote being a most active noted Rebel–), the Army proceeded to Cherwancherry, a large and Populous well cultivated District, lying about 5 miles in a Southwest Direction from Canote. — Here we halted during the Night of the 12th., having burnt and destroyed all the Houses in this and the Neighbouring Villages. — Our Auxilliary [sic] Troops (–the irregular Corps of friendly Nairs and Mopillas–) are famous for this cruel work of Destruction and devastation, and were accordingly employed on it to great good purpose. — But in the fighting way they were of no use to us at all, as we never could prevail on them to go on in front on any account after the first day. —
My worthy good friend General Stuart reminded me the moment he saw me of my Engagement to live with him and make one of his Family as long as he remained on the Coast, and which Invitation I very readily accepted. — He apologized for not being able to give me a Room in his own House, there being none to spare; but this was no inconveniency as I had the offer of a Room in a House close in the Neighbourhood of the General from my friend Mr. Forbes Mitchell which I accepted accordingly. —
Genl. Stuart's Family consists at present of
the following Gentlemen besides himself: – Vizt. —
I took a ride along with my friend Colonel Dunlop as far as Mahe. — He has very kindly promised me to recommend my Nephew–in–law Mr. Thomas Scott, for an Ensigncy in one of the King's Regiments in India, as soon as he assumes the Command of the 77th. Regiment, when he can with more propriety write to the Commander in Chief on the Subject. —
I have asked Colonel Dunlop to do me this favor in consequence of a Letter from my Sister in law Mrs. Scott to my Angelic Jane, which came to hand after her demise, and in which she tells her beloved Sister that she wishes to get a Commission in the Army in India for her eldest son Thomas in case I can obtain it for him. — I therefore feel it a duty incumbent upon me to do all I can to procure one for him accordingly –; as, I know it would be the wish of my Angelic Jane that I should do so if she were now in being – for she had always the greatest affection for her Sister Mrs. Scott.
[End of entries for 1797]