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tern. He had now approached within a morning's walk of Prome, and stockaded himself strongly at Simbike and Kyalaz, on the Nawine river. As his detached parties gave serious annoyance to the river convoys of the army, and as it was of much importance that no part of the fitting season for efficient operations should be suffered to pass away unimproved, sir Archibald Campbell, small as his force was, determined to become the assailant himself.
The inferiority of the British troops in point of number was, in a great measure, counterbalanced by the unskilful disposition of the three great masses of the Burman army, which, separated from each other by a broad and rapid river, or an impenetrable forest, formed in reality three distinct armies, which might be attacked and routed successively without any possibility of mutual co-operation and assistance. On the 30th November, the British commander made his dispositions. The division of Maha Nemiow himself, posted at Simbike on the left of the grand army, was the first and principal object of attack; but, to divert the attention of the centre and the right, a demonstration was to be made against the heights of Napadee, and the flotilla was to maintain a fire against both sides of the river. At day-break on the 1st December, 1825, sir Archibald Campbell, leaving four regiments of native infantry in the works at Prome, marched with the rest of the force, to dislodge the corps of Maha Nemiow from its position on the Nawine river; and, as had been previously concerted, the flotilla, and a regiment of native infantry, acting in co-operation on the bank of the river, shortly after
day-light commenced a heavy cannonade on the enemy's centre, and continued nearly two hours to attract his chief attention to that point. On reaching the Nawine river, at the village of Zeouke, the force was divided into two columns, the right column, under the command of brigadier-general Cotton, continuing to advance along the left bank of the river, while the commander-in-chief, with the other column, crossed at the ford of Zeouke, and advanced upon Simbike and Lombek, in a direction nearly parallel with the brigadiergeneral's division. The troops had to contend with every disadvantage of a difficult and enclosed country, and the information acquired regarding the position occupied by the enemy had not enabled the general to make any previous fixed arrangement for intercepting the retreat of an enemy, to whom every footpath in the jungle was familiar, and whose irregular flight would be made by every path that promised safety at the moment. The object, therefore, was, that whichever column should have the good fortune to fall in with the enemy first, should attack him vigorously in front, while the other should endeavour to occupy such positions as would enable it to cut in upon him, when driven from his defences. The route followed by brigadier-generalCotton brought him in front of the stockaded position at Simbike, which he at once assaulted; and when his fire first opened, the other column was about a mile and a half distant to his left and rear. Sir A. Campbell, in consequence, sent a detachment to guard the fort at Zeouke, the main road leading to Neounbenzick, and the position of the
Kee-Woonghee, while, with the rest of the column, he pushed on towards Sagee, in the hope of falling in with the enemy retiring upon Watty-goon. Brigadier-general Cotton and his division did not allow time for completing this movement. In less than ten minutes every stockade was carried, the enemy completely routed, and the second column had only an opportunity of cannonading his panic-struck masses as they rushed fast through the openings of the jungle in front. Every thing had been confusion within the stockades from the moment that general Cotton's column entered them, at the first assault; the very numbers of the enemy, crowded within their works, disabled them for effective resistance. The Shans alone maintained their character, and fought bravely. Animated by their young prophetesses, and the example of their chobwahs, or chiefs, they maintained the contest till the greater part of them were cut down. One of the prophetesses received a mortal wound, and old Maha Nemiow himself fell, encouraa^tg his men in the hottest of the conflict, to desperate resistance. wSV%
The dispersion Of the enemy's left wing was thus complete: the fugitives did not attempt to effect a junction with their centre, but fled through the jungle towards Meaday which had been fixed upon as a point of re-union in case of any disaster. Sir Archibald Campbell, therefore, having his hands clear, resolved immediately to attack the centre itself, on the heights of Napadee, before the Kee-Woonghee should effect the retreat to which the overthrow of the left wing would probably determine hint. Having allowed
the troops only two hours repose, he returned the same evening to Zeouke, where the army bivouacked for the night, having performed during the day a harassing march of twenty-nine miles, and fought a battle.
At daylight in the morning of the 2d, they were again in motion. It was the general's intention to have cut in upon the river so as to divide the Kee-Woonghee's force; but the impassable nature of the intervening country prevented him from reaching Pagaon, the point selected for breaking through the line; and the only road that could be discovered led to the front of the fortified ridge of Napadee, which, from its inaccessibility on three sides, could be attacked only in front, and by a limited number of men. Early in the morning general Cotton's division endeavoured to push round to the right, and gain the enemy's flank by every path that could be discovered ,• but, after great exertion, the effort was abandoned as wholly impracticable. The artillery being placed in position, opened with great effect, while the flotilla under commodore sir J. Brisbane, moved forward and cannonaded the heights from the river. At the game time, brigadier Elrington was directed to advance through the jungle to the right, where the enemy opposed him with great gallantry and resolution, defending every tree and breast-work with determined obstinacy. To the Brigadier's left, six companies of the 87th regiment were ordered to drive in the enemy's posts to the bottom of the ridge. This service was successfully performed, and the enemy was driven from all his defences in the valley, retreating to his principal works on the bills. The appearance of these works was sufficiently formidable; and the hills, which they covered, could be ascended only by a narrow road, commanded by artillery, and numerous stockades and breast-works filled with men, apparently all armed with muskets. As soon as the artillery and rockets had made an impression upon the enemy's works, and silenced several of his guns, the troops advanced to the assault. The 1st Bengal brigade, consisting of the 13th and 38th regiments, was directed to advance by the beach, and storm the height in front, and the six companies of the 87th regiment, which had advanced through the jungle to the right, drove every thing before them on that side. Nothing could surpass the steadiness and resolute courage displayed in this attack. Scarcely a shot was fired in return to the enemy's continued vollies. The 38th regiment, which led, first entered the enemy's entrenchments on the heights, driving him from hill to hill, over precipices which could only be ascended by a narrow stair, until the whole of the formidable position, nearly three miles in extent, was completely carried. During the attack, the flotilla, whose cannonade had been most usefully effective, pushed past the works, and succeeded in capturing all the boats and stores which had been brought down for the use of the army.
The two divisions which had been advancing along the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy were now completely dispersed, with the loss of their artillery, ammunition, military stores, and the bravest of thek troops. Only the right division under Sudda Woon, stockaded on the western bank of the
river, now remained to be disposed of. So quiet had this general kept himself, and so carefully were his men concealed from observation, that it was at first doubtful whether he had not quitted his works, and retired in silence. On its being ascertained however, that he still maintained lusoriginal ground, preparations were made for immediately attacking him. On the morning of the 5th December, the troops intended for this service under general Cotton, were carried across the river by the flotilla, and landed somewhat higher up the river than the stockades, a rocket brigade, and a mortar battery having been established during the night, on a small island in the channel, within range of the enemy's works, and opening their fire at day break. The enemy speedily retreated from his position on the river; but, on taking ^possession of it, it was discovered that they had a stockaded work about half a mile in the interior, completely manned, and mounted by guns. Brigadier Armstrong, colonel Brodie, and colonel Godwin, immediately moved upon its centre and right; general Cotton himself led the royals to the left, and the work was instantly carried, the enemy leaving three hundred dead on the field, and dispersing in every direction. From three hundred to three hundred and fifty muskets were taken, having been abandoned by the enemy. The whole of the defences were set on fire.
Thus, in the course of four days, the immense army of Ava, which had threatened to envelope Prome, and swallow up the British troops, had melted away like a vapour, and sir A. Campbell was at liberty to march upon the capital, still distant about three hundred miles. He commenced advancing, after allowing his men a day's repose, on the 6th of December. The order of march was in two divisions. The first, to which head quarters were attached, was in advance, making a considerable circuit to the eastward, for the purpose of turning all the river defences of the enemy as far up as Meaday, where it was expected that the enemy might have rallied, as the stockades had been strengthened with every thing that Burmese art could effect. The second division under brigadier general Cotton, advanced, by a route nearer, and parallel, to the river, to act in co-operation with the flotilla, until it should be ascertained that the navigation of the river was open, at least to Meaday. The earlier part of the march was through a difficult country, with roads scarcely practicable for artillery, leading through a thick and tangled jungle, that kept the soldiers almost continually deluged with water, which, besides damaging their provisions, was pernicious to their health. The cholera again made its appearance, and carried off numbers of the men before its ravages could be checked by gaining a more open and elevated country. When the army reached Meaday on the 19th December, they found it just evacuated by the rear-guard of the enemy, the Burmese having retired upon Melloone where their army had received orders again to concentrate. The pursuit was continued from Meaday by forced marches; and on arriving within five miles of Patanagoh, a town on the left bank of the Irrawaddy, opposite to Melloone, which occupies the right bank, it was ascertained
that the whole of the enemy's forces had crossed to the Melloone side of the river, and occupied, with ten or twelve thousand men, a series of strongly fortified heights, and a formidable stockade, considered the chef d' ceuvre of the Burmese engineers, having in front a rapid stream six hundred yards broad. On the 26th, however, they sent in a flag of truce, bringing a letter from their chiefs, stating their desire to put an end to hostilities, that a minister had arrived from Ava with full powers to negociate and ratify a peace, and requesting a meeting for that purpose. On the 28th two officers were sent to Melloone to arrange the proposed conference; but the Burmese leaders again displayed their usual anxiety to gain time. They made many profound reflections on the expediency of waiting a propitious season for so important a transaction, and argued strongly for the propriety of not proceeding before the approaching full moon. The British officers, unable to accomplish the object of their errand, declared the truce at an end, and, next day, the British army took possession of Patanagoh, from which its cannon could reach the enemy's works across the river. The Burmese flotilla immediately attempted to run up the river to secure their communications with Ava; but the artillery being hastily brought to bear upon them, they returned to their former position under the guns of the stockade. The British flotilla which had been detained by the intricacy of the channel, and the propriety of waiting the erection of batteries to check the fire from the Milloone side, approached so soon as the cannonade began. It had to pass close under the enemy's works, but the Burmese chiefs thought it imprudent to precipitate hostilities, when there was a chance of gaining something by delay. Instead of firing a single shot at the flotilla, two gaudy war-boats came out to act as pilots; and it anchored safely at some distance above the town, cutting off all means of retreat or of supply by the river.
The consequence of these amicable dispositions on the part of the enemy was the conclusion of a truce, and the appointing of a conference to be held, to treat of peace, on board of a large boat moored for that purpose in the middle of the river. The commissioners for Ava were, the Kee Woonghee, and the new negociator Kolein Menghi. The first conference was held on 1st of January, 1826. As formerly they resisted obstinately the payment of money, and the cession of territory. To the first of these demands they answered, that they were unable to pay such a sum; that the war had been much more expensive to themselves, from the large armies which they had been compelled to maintain, than to Britain; that they might be able, by using great economy, to pay a million baskets of rice within a year, but they did not grow rupees; and, if sir A. Campbell had any disinclination to the rice, there were abundance of fine trees in the forests, which he might cut down, and carry away instead of the money. They wished to retain Arracan, they said, not on account of its value, for it was rather a burden to Ava than a source of profit, but because the nation was proud of the conquest, which had. been achieved by the valour of their ancestors, and the national honour was engaged not to yield it. Finding, however,
cunning, entreaty, lying, downright begging, all equally ineffectual, and that they had no choice but between immediate acceptance of the proffered terms, and the instant re-commencement of active hostilities, they finally signed the treaty on the 3d of January. By its terms, the four provinces of Arracan, together with those of Mergui, Tavoy, and Zea, were to be ceded to the company; the kingdoms of Assan, Cachar, Zeating, and Munnipoor, were to be placed under princes named by the British government. Residents from each court were to be received at the other, and allowed to retain an escort of fifty men; British ships were to be admitted into Burmese ports, and to land their cargoes, free of duty, without unshipping their rudders, or landing their guns; and Ava was to pay to the company a crore of rupees by instalments, as some indemnification for the expenses of the war. The treaty was to be returned from the capital ratified by the king, along with the English prisoners there detained, within fifteen days.
During these fifteen days, however, it became very evident that the Burmese had no serious intention of making peace, that delay had been the only object of their negotiations, and that they would again encounter the chance of war, rather than yield to the terms imposed upon them. Prince Memiaboo, who commanded in Melloone, continued to strengthen hit works in violation of the truce, and in defiance of the remonstrances of the British general, as if he had been perfectly aware, that there was no chance of peace. On the 17th January, the day before that on which the ratification of the treaty was to be delivered,