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friendly intercourse, which ended only with the life of Sir David Baird. *
When the expedition sailed, Colonel Wellesley remained for a short time at Bombay, under medical treatment; but he was still anxious to promote the expedition, and we find him sending after General Baird some supplies, which had not been ready when the general sailed.
As soon as his health permitted, Colonel Wellesley, to the great satisfaction of the Madras government, returned to the command, or we should rather say, the civil as well as military government of Mysore, which he conducted for about eighteen months with his usual skill, moderation, and justice, especially towards the natives, whose interests, and even whose prejudices he invariably studied, and, whenever it was possible, conciliated and gratified. Towards the latter end of 1802, the advance of Holkar
Poonah-bis capture of that capital—and the consequent flight of the Peshwah, the federal chief of the Mahratta states-obliged the supreme government to take a part, both for the security of its own frontier, and for the protection of its ally, the Peshwah; and in the negotiations and in the hostilities which eventually ensued, Colonelnow become, by the promotion of 29th April, 1902—MajorGeneral Wellesley was called upon to take a conspicuous partnot only by his position in Mysore and by his military rank, but by the confidence with which his personal character and talents had inspired both natives and Europeans in all the presidencies, but particularly in that where he was most known—the presidency of Madras. Indeed, it is observable, that highly as no doubt Lord Wellesley appreciated his services, he had won-in at least as great a degree—the confidence, favour, and friendship of Lord Clive, the governor of Madras, with whom he had no family connexion, and whom, it appears, he had never so much as seen, till he happened, by the location of the 33d regiment in that presidency, to be placed under his lordship's orders.
It is impossible to make any extracts, or to compile any sum
* We extract what follows from a letter with which we were favoured (21st Nov., 1832) shortly after Mr. Hook's Life of Sir David Baird' was published, by a late lamented friend--Sir John Malcolm:
I never saw Baird from 1803, when he spoke thus sorely about Wellesley being 80 often, as he called it, “put over his head,” until ten years afterwards, when I met him in Hyde.park. He then came up with open hand and heart, saying—" Times
are changed: no one knows so well as you how severely I felt the preference given, ..on several occasions, to your friend Wellesley; but now I see all these things in a far Jifferent point of view. It is the highest pride of my life, that any body should ever nave dreamed of my being put into the balance with him. His fame is now to me joy, and, I may almost say, glory; and his kindness to me and mine” (he alluded, I believe, particularly to the Duke's friendly attentions to his nephew, Sir Alex. Gordon, afterwards killed at Waterloo) “ has all along been most distinguished. I kuow both him and myself now."..
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mary, that would give our readers an adequate idea of the judgment and zeal with which General Wellesley conducted these difficult affairs—the wisdom of his designs—and the activity of his *movements. We can select but two or three instances.
When Holkar found that the British army was collecting to support the Peshwah against his rebellious aggression, he thought proper to retire with the greater part of his force, leaving, at Poonah, a kind of rear-guard under a powerful chief, Amrut Rao. About the middle of April, Colonel Close, the resident at the Peshwah's court, informed General Wellesley that Amrut Rao intended, on the advance of the British, to burn the city of Poonah; and the Peshwah made an urgent request that some steps should be taken for the safety of that capital and part of his Highness's family, which, on his hasty flight, had been left there. General Wellesley did not hesitate to make an effort to avert so great a calamity, and putting himself at the head of his cavalry, leaving the infantry to follow, he performed with only one halt, sixty miles in a single march—and by this unexampled rapidity arrived at Poonah before Amrut was aware that he was even approaching, and saved the city from total destruction—the inhabitants, (writes Sir John Malcolm to Lord Clive,) testifying by the most lively gratitude their sense of the exertion by which they were saved from entire ruin.'
Holkar being thus repelled into his own country, the Peshwah was restored to his capital, but, as soon appeared, not to his power. Fresh dissensions arose between this prince and two of his own most powerful chiefs and late allies—Scindiah and the Rajah of Berar. These led to long and tedious negotiations, and at last to
part of the combined rajahs against the Peshwah and the British. A campaign ensued, desultory and complicated, in which General Wellesley's first object was to protect our provinces and those of the Peshwah from the sudden and devasting incursions which the immense cavalry of the allied rajahs enabled them to make with a rapidity and effect which, with so small a force as General Wellesley commanded and on so extensive a line of open frontier, it seemed impossible to
General Wellesley, however, succeeded in doing so by a series of the most skilful and rapid movements; and at last, on the - 23d of September, he came up, near the village of Assye, with the combined force of the army, consisting, as is computed, of a body of near 50,000 cavalry, and the best-disciplined infantry ever seen in India, amounting alone to three or four times the number of the whole British army.
General Wellesley was marching in two divisions (the second under Colonel Stevenson) on roads distant eight or ten miles from each other, and converging on a point on which he had
been informed by his native scouts the enemy was posted. It turned out, however, that this information was incorrect, and that they were much nearer than was expected, and he suddenly found his own column in presence of the whole Mahratta force -- the swarms of cavalry covering the plain to his left, and the infantry posted to his right, behind the rapid and (as it was stated) unfordable river Kaitna, a little above the point where it received the Juah, a tributary stream. The position was formidable, and the situation of the British critical. There seemed no means of attacking the infantry, which was (as we have said) highly disciplined, abundantly provided with artillery, and directed by a great number of French officers—while the myriads of cavalry left General Wellesley little more ground than he occupied. It was impossible to form a junction with Colonel Stevenson, and if it had been possible, the delay might have counterbalanced the accession of force. To retreat would have been perhaps practicable; but the moral, and indeed the military, effect of a retrograde movement would have been very bad. And here it was that General Wellesley exhibited one of those traits of military genius-founded on the less brilliant but more useful quality usually called common sense—which are the essential characteristics of a great captain. In reconnoitring the enemy's position along the farther bank of the impassable Kaitna, he observed that there were on the left of the enemy, and of course nearer to him, two considerable villages, one on each bank. He immediately concluded that two towns could not have grown up in such a site, unless there had been a communication between them across the river--he determined to act on that supposition--he moved rapidly to the nearer village, and, as he expected, found a ford, narrow indeed, but practicable, over which he immediately, marched, and thus placed his small force in the fork made by the confluence of 'the two streams. The effect of this movement is obvious. It threw at once the whole of the enemy's cavalry out of play, and by placing one of the streams on each flank of his little army, it prevented the enemy's employing their numerical superiority in out-flanking and surrounding him. It narrowed the field of battle to what his forces could occupy; and it obliged the enemy to abandon his original position, which was thus turned, and to change his front by throwing back his left to the Juah, so that the two armies were now parallel to each other.
The battle immediately began, and was, in proportion to the numbers engaged, one of the severest ever fought-certainly the most severe ever fought in India. The victory was complete. The enemy left 1200 men killed on the field of battle—their dying and wounded were scattered in all directions through the neighbouring country-and they lost one hundred and twenty-eight
guns—of which one hundred (seventy of brass), were taken on the field of battle,-evidences of the extent both of the enemy's means of resistance and of their defeat.-A curious incident occurred towards the close of the battle. This immense artillery was, under the direction of French officers, most admirably served, and when our army advanced and took the guns, the cannoniers pretended to be dead, but when the line had passed, they jumped up and worked the guns upon the backs of the British.
The enemy fled that night (the battle lasted till dark) twelve miles, and General Wellesley having, before the action, calculated the result, and ordered Colonel Stevenson's corps to advance towards the enemy's rear, this movement completed the rout, and the next morning the whole remains of their forces went off with the utmost precipitation across the ghauts. We have heard from an officer who accompanied General Wellesley in this and in all his other battles, that in none did he ever see a more determined resistance, or a more tremendous cannonade ; and here we may mention an anecdote relative to this very officer, which cannot fail to interest our readers.
About six weeks before the battle of Assye, General Wellesley thought it necessary to obtain possession of an important fort, named Ahmednugger. It was taken by a most gallant escalade: in the thick of the assault, General Wellesley saw a young officer, who had reached the top of the very lofty wall,' thrust off by the enemy, and falling through the air from a great height. General Wellesley had little doubt that he must have been severely wounded, if not killed, by the fall; but hastened to inquire the name aud fate of the gallant young fellow, and had the satisfaction of seeing him in a moment after, comparatively little injured, again mounting to the assault. Next morning the General sent for him-- . offered to attach him to his staff as brigade-major-and from that hour, through all his fields and fortunes, even down to the conquest of Paris-continued him in his personal family and friendship, and used sometimes to observe that the first time he had
ever seen him was in the air: that young officer is now Sir Colin Campbell-knight commander of the Bath, a major-general in the army, and governor of Nova Scotia ! We record with pleasure this act of justice to a brave and distinguished officer, whose subsequent services have fully justified his own early promise, and the generous patronage of his illustrious commander. But the dispatches afford us many proofs that the Duke of Wellington could be as kind as he was just.
We see a few days after the battle of Assye, and while he was organizing the results of that victory, that he could find time to exert his good nature in humbler matters. In a letter from the camp at Assye to Major Shawe (the governor-general's private secretary), amidst the military details of the action, we find a passage recommending to Major Shawe's care a young gentleman who had lately arrived at Calcutta as a writer :
I have received a letter from Mr. Thomas Pakenham, a writer on the Bengal establishment, respecting whom I am particularly interested. He is the son of Admiral Pakenham, a very old friend of Lord Wellesley and of me. I believe him to be very young and inexperienced; I therefore most anxiously recommend him to your care and attention. I have also given him a letter of recommendation to my friend Mrs. Ross, whom I have requested to have an eye upon his conduct, and, above all things, to prevent him from keeping bad company.
• Should the college last, of course he will attend that institution; if not, I have desired him to acquire a knowledge of the country languages. I request you to urge him particularly upon this point, and do not allow him to be idle. Desire him to show you the letter which I have written to him. Do not allow him to run in debt; if he should want money, I have desired him to apply to David Ross or you. Pray supply his wants, if he should require it, and apply to David Ross for any sums you may give him.'-pp. 407, 408.
Such attention, at such a moment, from such a man, to the son of an old friend, is a very amiable trait; and will, we think, in every reader's estimation, exalt still higher the character of the hero of Assye.
This victory did not disturb the principles of moderation with which General Wellesley had always been disposed to treat the native princes. He listened readily to the propositions which were made to him for a treaty of peace, and negotiations were commenced accordingly. These negotiations, studiously delayed by the Rajahs, lasted a couple of months, and at last a suspension af arms was granted to Scindiah alonę, on certain conditions. This was, however, on Scindiah's part, but another subterfuge ;-he not only failed to execute the prescribed conditions, but when the Rajah of Berar had made all his arrangements for the resumption of hostilities, and organized a new and not inconsiderable army, Scindiah suddenly joined his forces to those which the Rajah had levied ;- and their combined armies appeared before General Wellesley, on the 29th of November, on the plains of Argaum. He immediately attacked and entirely defeated and dispersed them, with little loss on his side; and advancing after the battle, he took the fortress of Gawilghur by storm, and extinguished the last hope of the confederated Mahrattas. A treaty of peace was now negotiated with celerity, and signed on the 30th of December, 1803, with both Scindiah and the Berar Rajah; and with this