INDIA IN THE 1840s
Gwalior Campaign of 1843
Order of Battle
Right Wing of the Army of Gwalior.
General Sir Hugh Gough Commanding (C-in-C Bengal & India)
Artillery Division. (Brigadier Gowan).
2nd Tp/2nd Bde, Bengal Horse Artillery.
3rd Tp/2nd Bde, Bengal Horse Artillery.
2nd Tp/3rd Bde, Bengal Horse Artillery.
1st Coy/1st Bn, Bengal Artillery, with No. 10 Light Field Bty. [Horse Draught, Foot Artillery].
1st Coy/4th Bn, Bengal Artillery, with No. 17 Light Field Bty. [Horse Draught, Foot Artillery].
4 x 8-inch howitzers.
1. Thirty guns and howitzers: 6-pdr gun and 12-pdr howitzer in the BHA troops; 9-pdr gun and 24-pdr howitzer in the foot artillery.
2. Gowan's artillery division was an administrative command. The five sub-units listed were assigned to the tactical command of infantry and cavalry brigades as shown below. The two foot artillery batteries were referred to as Browne's and Saunders's batteries, though it is not immediately clear which one was which. The horse artillery troops were Lane's, Anderson's and Grant's troops, though again which of the captain's names refers to which of the numbered troops is unclear.
3. The 8-inch howitzers came up just in time, but were at no point given orders to open fire and in consequence did not open fire!
Cavalry Division. (Major-General Sir J. Thackwell, KCB, KH).
3rd Brigade. (Brigadier Cureton). [Operating initially as a Left flank column].
HM 16th (The Queen's) Regiment of Light Dragoons (Lancers).
1st Bengal Light Cavalry.
4th Bengal Irregular Cavalry.
Lane's and Alexander's Troops of the BHA.
4th Brigade. Brigadier Scott, CB). [Operating with the Right flank column under the C-in-C].
HM 9th (The Queen's Royal) Regiment of Light Dragoons (Lancers).
4th Bengal Light Cavalry (Lancers).
10th Bengal Light Cavalry.
Grant's Troop of the BHA.
2nd Infantry Division. (Major-General Dennis).
3rd Brigade. (Major-General Valiant, KH). [Operating initially as a Central Column].
HM 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment.
2nd Bengal Native Infantry (Grenadiers).
16th Bengal Native Infantry (Grenadiers).
4th Brigade. (Brigadier Stacy).[Operating with the Right flank column under the C-in-C].
14th Bengal Native Infantry.
31st Bengal Native Infantry.
43rd Bengal Native Infantry (Light Infantry).
3rd Infantry Division. (Major-General Littler).
[Operating with the Right flank column under the C-in-C].
HM 39th (The Dorsetshire) Regiment.
56th Bengal Native Infantry.
No. 7 Coy, Bengal Sappers and Miners.
Khelat-i-Ghilzee Regiment (formerly of Shah Shoojah’s Forces).
TOTAL STRENGTH: 1,350 Horse, 4,800 foot, 30 guns and howitzers.
Baggage Guard: (Brigadier Riley)
Major-Gen. Valiant on the Scindian Force at Maharajpoor.
"They had fourteen regular battalions, one thousand artillerymen, about 60 guns and 6,000 cavalry."
Personal Letter dated Camp Gwalior, 18 January 1844.
Official Despatch for the Battle of Maharajpoor [Maharajpur]
(29 December 1843)
The Commander-in-Chief in India to the Governor-General of India.
Head-Quarters, Camp, before Gwalior, January 4, 1844.
Your Lordship having witnessed the operations of the 29th, and being in possession, from my frequent communications, of my military arrangements for the attack on the Mahratta army, in its strong position of Chonda, I do not feel it necessary to enter much into detail, either as to the enemy’s position, or the dispositions I made for attacking it. I shall here merely observe, that it was peculiarly well chosen, and most obstinately defended; indeed, I may safely assert, that I never witnessed guns better served, nor a body of infantry apparently more devoted to the protection of their regimental guns, held by the Mahratta corps as objects of worship.
I previously communicated to your Lordship, that my intention was to have turned the enemy’s left flank by Brigadier Cureton’s brigade of cavalry, consisting of Her Majesty’s 16th Lancers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Macdowell; your Lordship’s body-guard, under Captain Dawkins; 1st Regiment of Light Cavalry, under Major Crommelin, C.B.; 4th Irregular Cavalry, under Major Oldfield, C.B.; with Major Lane’s and Major Alexander’s troops of horse artillery, under Brigadier Gowan; the whole under the orders of Major-General Sir J. Thackwell, K.C.B. and K.H., commanding the cavalry division.
With this force the 3rd Brigade of infantry, under Major-General Valiant, K.H., was directed to co-operate, consisting of Her Majesty’s 40th Regiment of foot, under Major Stopford; 2nd Regiment of Grenadiers, under Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton; and the 16th Regiment of Grenadiers, under Lieutenant Colonel Maclaren, C.B.
It is equally known to your Lordship, that I purposed to have attacked the centre with Brigadier Stacy’s brigade of the 2nd Division of infantry, which consisted of the 14th Regiment Native Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Gairdner; the 31st Native Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Weston; and the 43rd Light Infantry, under Major Nash; to which I attached No. 17 Light Field Battery, under Captain Browne; the whole under Major-General Dennis, commanding the 2nd Division of infantry.
This force was to have been supported by Brigadier Wright’s brigade, composed of Her Majesty’s 30th Regiment, commanded by Major Bray, and the 56th Native Infantry, under Major Dick, with No. 10 Light Field Battery, under Brevet Major Sanders. Major-General Littler, commanding the 3rd Division of infantry, superintended the movement of this column.
On the left of this force I placed the 4th Brigade of cavalry, under Brigadier Scott, C.B., of Her Majesty’s 9th Lancers, consisting of the 4th Light Cavalry (lancers), under Major Mactier, and the 10th Light Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel Pope, with Captain Grant’s troop of horse artillery; with this force I purposed threatening the right flank of the enemy’s position.
Your Lordship is aware of the extreme difficulty of the country, intersected by deep and almost impassable ravines, which were only made practicable by the unremitting labour of Major Smith with the sappers, and that I had to pass the Koharee River in three columns, at considerable distances, on the morning of the 29th; but, by the judicious movements of their respective leaders, the whole were in their appointed positions by 8 o’clock, A.M., about a mile in front of Maharajpoor.
I found the Mahrattas had occupied this very strong position during the previous night by seven regiments of infantry, with their guns, which they in trenched, each corps having four guns, which opened on our advances. This obliged me to alter, in some measure, my disposition. Major-General Littler’s column, being exactly in front of Maharajpoor, I ordered it to advance direct, while Major-General Valiant’s brigade took it in reverse; both supported by Major-General Dennis’s column and the two light field batteries.
Your Lordship must have witnessed, with the same pride and pleasure that I did, the brilliant advance of these columns under their respective leaders, the European and Native soldiers appearing emulous to prove their loyalty and devotion; and here I must do justice to the gallantry of their opponents, who received the shock without flinching, their guns doing severe execution as we advanced; but nothing could withstand the rush of British soldiers.
Her Majesty’s 39th Foot, with their accustomed dash, ably supported by the 56th Regiment Native Infantry, drove the enemy from their guns into the village, bayoneting the gunners at their posts. Here a most sanguinary conflict ensued; the Mahratta troops, after discharging their match-locks, fought sword in hand, with the most determined courage.
General Valiant’s brigade, with equal enthusiasm, took Maharajpoor in reverse, and twenty-eight guns were captured by this combined movement; so desperate was the resistance, that very few of the defenders of this very strong position escaped. During these operations, Brigadier Scott was opposed by a body of the enemy’s cavalry on the extreme left, and made some well-executed charges with the 10th Light Cavalry, most ably supported by Captain Grant’s troop of horse artillery and the 4th Lancers, [i.e. 4th Bengal Light Cavalry] capturing some guns and taking two standards, thus threatening the right flank of the enemy.
In conformity with previous instructions, Major-General Valiant, supported by the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, moved on the right of the enemy’s position at Chonda. During the advance, Major-General Valiant had to take, in succession, three strong intrenched [sic] positions, where the enemy defended their guns with frantic desperation; Her Majesty’s 40th Regiment losing two successive commanding officers, Major Stopford and Captain Coddington, who fell wounded at the very muzzles of the guns, and capturing four regimental standards. This corps was ably and nobly supported by the 2nd Grenadiers [i.e. 2nd Bengal Native Infantry (Grenadiers)], who captured two regimental standards, and by the 16th Grenadiers [ditto], under Lieutenant-Colonels Hamilton and Maclaren: too much praise cannot be given to these three regiments.
Major-General Littler, with Brigadier Wright’s brigade, after dispersing the right of the enemy’s position at Maharajpoor, steadily advanced to fulfil his instructions of attacking the main position at Chonda, in front, supported most ably by Captain Grant’s troop of horse artillery and the 1st Regiment of Light Cavalry: this column had to advance under a very severe fire over very difficult ground, but when within a short distance, again the rush of the [HM] 39th Regiment, as before, under Major Bray, gallantly supported by the 56th Regiment, under Major Dick, carried everything before them, and thus gained the intrenched main position of Chonda. In this charge, the 39th Regiment lost the services of its brave commanding officer, Major Bray, who was desperately wounded by the blowing up of one the enemy’s tumbrils in the midst of the corps, and were ably brought out of action by Major Straubenzee. This gallant corps on this occasion captured two regimental standards.
A small work of four guns on the left of this position was long and obstinately defended, but subsequently carried, and the guns captured by the grenadiers of the [HM] 39th, under Captain Campbell, admirably supported by a wing of the 56th Native Infantry, under Major Phillips.
Brigadier Cureton’s brigade of cavalry, taking advantage of every opportunity, manoeuvred most judiciously on the right, and would have got in rear of the position, and cut off the retreat of the whole, had they not been prevented by an impassable ravine. I witnessed with much pride the rapidity of movement of the three troops of horse artillery, which bore a conspicuous part in this well-contested action; their leaders promptly brought them forward in every available position, and the precision of their fire was admirable. With the two light field batteries I have every reason to be pleased; they well supported the high character of the Bengal artillery.
I was greatly gratified with a spirited charge made by Major Oldfield, C.B., of the 4th Irregular Cavalry, who had been left to cover Major Alexander’s troop of horse artillery, and who charged by my orders a considerable body of the enemy’s infantry, who were moving off from the right position of Maharajpoor. Two guns and two standards rewarded this charge.
I was likewise much pleased with a charge made by my personal escort, under Cornet Stannus, which did great credit to himself and the small body of the 5th light cavalry which formed it.
Several acts of individual heroism occurred on this day: none exceeded those of Major-General Churchill, C.B., Quartermaster-General of Her Majesty’s forces in India, and Captain Somerset, of the Grenadier Guards, your Lordship’s Military Secretary, whom you kindly allowed to act on my staff, and whom I sent with Brigadier Cureton’s brigade to communicate to me the movements of that corps.
These two gallant officers nobly fell, having received several wounds in personal rencontre. In Major-General Churchill Her Majesty’s service will experience a great loss; he died during the night, after amputation of the leg; but I am glad to add, that there is every hope that Captain Somerset will do well, though severely wounded.
I regret to say, that our loss has been very severe, infinitely beyond what I calculated on; indeed I did not do justice to the gallantry of my opponents. Their force, however, so greatly exceeded ours, particularly in artillery; the position of their guns was so commanding, they were so well served, and determinedly defended, both by their gunners and their infantry; and the peculiar difficulties of the country gave the defending force so great advantages, that it could not be otherwise.
In the return of killed, I have greatly to deplore the loss of Lieutenant Colonel E. Sanders, C.B., of the Engineers, than whom this army, with its numerous list of devoted soldiers, could not boast a more promising, nor a more enthusiastic officer.
It is also my painful duty to record my deep regret at the loss of a most valuable officer, Major Crommelin, C.B., of the 1st Light Cavalry, who died of wounds received when nobly leading his corps in support of the Bth brigade of infantry.
Your Lordship is aware that I had collected a strong force in Bundelcund, under Major-General J. Grey, C.B., to co-operate with me, and that both corps crossed the Scindean frontiers from the north-east and south-west at the same time. It may, therefore, be necessary here to observe that, on finding that all your Lordship’s strenuous attempts to maintain those friendly relations which had hitherto existed between the two Governments were fruitless, and that the Mahratta army, the ruling power, appeared determined to rest the fate of their country on the hazard of a general action, I instructed Major-General Grey, with the troops under his command, to push on as rapidly as practicable to Punniar, twelve miles south-west of Gwalior; thus placing the Mahratta army between two corps capable of supporting each other, should it remain in the vicinity of its capital, or of subdividing that army to repel or attack these two columns. They adopted the latter alternative, and, under Divine guidance, the consequence has been most decisive and honorable [sic] to the British arms.
I beg now to inclose [sic] Major-General Grey’s report, detailing his movements and operations, which were as creditable to this meritorious officer as the result has proved highly honorable to the brave troops he had under his command; and I beg earnestly to draw your Lordship’s favourable attention to their conduct, and to the recommendations of Major-General Grey.
I beg also to bring to your Lordship’s notice the several officers named by those in command of the separate columns. In this list I shall not re-name those whom it is my intention to bring to your Lordship’s favourable consideration as commanding divisions and brigades, and on the staff, at the conclusion of this report.
Major-General Sir Joseph Thackwell, commanding the cavalry division, mentions having received every assistance from Captain Pratt, 16th Lancers, Assistant Adjutant-General, Captain Clayton, 4th Light Cavalry, Assistant Quartermaster-General, and Lieutenant Pattinson, 16th Lancers, Brigade-Major of cavalry, Lieutenant Cowell, 3rd Light Dragoons, Aide-de-Camp, and Captain Herries, 3rd Light Dragoons, your Lordship’s Aide-de-Camp, who acted as Aide de-Camp to Sir J. Thackwell on this occasion, and Lieutenant Renny of the engineers, attached to the cavalry division.
Major-General Dennis mentions having derived every assistance from Captain M’Kie, of Her Majesty’s 3rd Buffs, Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieutenant Sneyd, 57th Native Infantry, Acting Deputy-Assistant-Quartermaster General of the Second Division of infantry; and Lieutenant Dowman, of Her Majesty’s 40th Foot, Acting Aide-de-Camp.
Major-General Littler strongly brings to notice Major Bray, commanding the 39th Regiment (severely wounded), and Major Straubenzee, of Her Majesty’s 39th regiment; Majors Dick and Phillips, 56th Native Infantry; Major Ryan of Her Majesty’s 50th Regiment; Captain Nixon, of Her Majesty’s 39th Regiment; Brigade-Major Captain Campbell, of Her Majesty’s 39th, grenadier company; Captain Graves, of 16th Grenadiers, Assistant Adjutant-General; and Lieutenant Croker, Her Majesty’s 39th Regiment, Assistant Quartermaster-General, 5th Brigade of Infantry; Captain Harris, 70th Native Infantry, his Aide-de-Camp; and Captain Alcock, 46th; Captain Johnston, 46th; and Lieutenant Vaughan, 21st Native Infantry, Acting Aide-de-Camp.
Major-General Valiant has also strongly brought to my notice the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Maclaren, C. B., 16th Grenadiers; Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, 2nd Grenadiers; Major Stopford and Captain Coddington (both severely wounded), and Captain Oliver, successively commanding Her Majesty’s 40th regiment; Captain Manning, 16th Grenadiers; Captain Young, 2nd Grenadiers; Brigade-Major Captain Abercrombie, engineers; and Lieutenant Nelson, Her Majesty’s 40th Foot, his Aide-de-Camp.
Brigadier Gowan strongly recommends Captain McDonald, Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General of Artillery.
Although it was not their good fortune to come into action, I feel it due to Brigadier Tennant, and the officers and men of the foot artillery, to express my thanks for the great exertions they made to bring up the heavy ordnance, which alone was prevented from opening on Maharajpoor by the rapidity of the movement of the attacking columns, and from the action having commenced earlier than I expected. My thanks are likewise due to Brigadier Riley, and that portion of the 6th Brigade of infantry which formed the rear guard, for the manner in which he protected and brought forward the immense train of stores, provisions, and baggage which accompanied the army over so great an extent of the enemy’s country.
I have thus, my Lord, attempted to detail a series of movements, many of which came under your Lordship’s observation. It now becomes my duty, as Commander-in-Chief of this army, to do justice to those gallant men who, I feel I can conscientiously assure your Lordship, merit my warmest approbation; and, although it fell to the lot of some, as in all actions it must, to be more prominently forward than others, yet I am proud to say I found in all arms the most animated enthusiasm, and the most able support.
To Major-General Sir Joseph Thackwell, K.C.B., to Major-Generals Dennis and Littler, and to Brigadier Gowan, commanding divisions, my best thanks are due, for the manner in which they conducted and led their respective divisions.
To Major-General Valiant, K.H., and Brigadiers Scott, Stacy, Cureton, and Wright, I am equally indebted for their gallantry and exertions in command of brigades; and to the several officers commanding corps and troops of horse artillery and light field batteries, named in a foregoing part of this dispatch, I feel called on to express my warmest approval. They nobly led, and were gallantly supported by, the officers and men of their respective corps.
I beg to bring to your Lordship’s notice the high professional talents of Major Smith, from whom I derived every assistance, as well as from the several officers of the engineer’s department.
To the General Staff I am greatly indebted; from Major-General Smith, C.B., Adjutant-General of Her Majesty’s Forces in India, and Major-General Lumley, Adjutant-General of the army, I experienced the most cordial support.
To Lieutenant-Colonel Garden, Quartermaster-General of the Army, whose exertions were as creditable as they were unceasing, I am much indebted to Major Grant, Deputy-Adjutant-General of the Army, to Major Barr, Assistant Adjutant-General of Her Majesty’s Forces, and to Major Drummond, Deputy Quartermaster-General of the Army, I feel under much obligation for their zeal and assistance.
The arrangements of Lieut.-Colonel Burlton, Commissary-General, who accompanied me in the field, and Captain Ramsay, Assistant Commissary General, and principal executive officer, have been very judicious.
Lieut.-Colonel Birch, Judge-Advocate. General, accompanied me in the field, and rendered me his assistance. The exertions of the junior officers in the several departments well justify my most favourable report of them; especially Lieutenant W. Fraser Tytler, Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General, and Captain Ekins, Assistant Adjutant-General of the Army.
I have every reason to be satisfied with the conduct of the Superintending Surgeon Wood and Field-Surgeon Chalmers. This latter officer peculiarly and most creditably exerted himself in the field hospital at Maharajpoor.
To Lieutenant-Colonel Gough, C.B., Her Majesty’s 3rd Light Dragoons, my Military Secretary, and the other officers composing my personal staff; Major Havelock, C.B., Her Majesty’s 13th Light Infantry, Persian interpreter; my aides-de-camp, Lieutenant Frend, of Her Majesty’s 31st Foot, (who was severely wounded, and had his right arm amputated in the field); Captain R. Smith, 28th Regiment of Native Infantry; Captain Evans, 26th Light Infantry; and Lieutenant Bagot, of the 15th Native Infantry, I am greatly indebted for their alacrity and zeal in carrying my orders; also my best thanks are due to Captain Sir R. Shakespear, of the artillery, to Captain Curtis, 37th Native Infantry, Sub-Assistant Commissary-General, to Lieutenant Macdonald, of the 2nd Madras Light Cavalry, and to Lieutenant Hayes, of the 62nd Native Infantry, all of whom acted as my aides-de-camp during the day. I must not omit to mention Assistant-Surgeon Stephens, M.D., Her Majesty’s 63rd Regiment, surgeon on my personal staff, who accompanied me in the field, and was most attentive and useful to the wounded.
I have the honor [sic] to inclose a list of our killed and wounded; that of the enemy must have been exceedingly great. By the accompanying returns, your Lordship will perceive we have captured in the action of Maharajpoor fifty-six guns, and the whole of the enemy’s ammunition waggons.
I feel I have been led into a much longer detail than I had intended, and have brought to your Lordship’s notice a very lengthened list of officers who led, and troops who achieved, a victory that in one day has brought a once powerful nation, and undoubtedly brave army, to feel the indomitable power of the British arms, thus securing the internal peace of Central India.
I have, &c., H. GOUGH,
Commander-in-Chief, East Indies.
Order of Battle Left Wing, Army of Gwalior
Battle of Punniar,
(29th December 1843).
Major-General J. Grey, CB, Commanding
Artillery. (Brigadier Biddulph).
1st Tp/3rd Bde Bengal Horse Artillery
3rd Tp/3rd Bde Bengal Horse Artillery.
Coy Bengal Artillery with No. 16 Light Field Battery.
Cavalry. (Brigadier Harriott).
8th Bengal Light Cavalry.
8th Bengal Irregular Cavalry.
HM 3rd (East Kent) Regiment (The Buffs).
1st Coy, Bengal Sappers & Miners.
2nd Infantry Brigade (A/Brigadier Anderson, KH).
HM 50th (The Queen’s Own) Regiment.
39th Bengal Native Infantry.
50th Regiment Native Infantry.
51st Regiment Native Infantry.
58th Regiment Native Infantry.
Official Despatch for the Battle of Punniar [Panniar]
(29 December 1843)
Major-General J. Grey, C.B., commanding left wing, Army of Gwalior, to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
Camp, Punniar, December 30, 1843.
I have the satisfaction to report to your Excellency, that the left wing of the army of Gwalior, under my command, yesterday obtained a complete victory over a large force of the Gwalior troops, under the command of Colonel Secunder [sic], consisting of about 12,000 men of all arms, and captured all their guns, twenty-four in number, one standard, all their ammunition, and some treasure, &c.
Agreeably to your Excellency’s orders, I marched from Simmereea [sic] on the 28th instant, and encamped at Burka-ka-Serai. I had information of the Gwalior troops being in position at Antree, seven miles in front of my camp, and of their intention of making a night attack. On the 29th (yesterday) I made one march to this place, 16 miles, being desirous of getting through the narrow valley from Himmutghur to Punniar. The enemy (as it afterwards appeared) marched from the Antree Pass early on the morning of yesterday by a parallel movement, with the left wing concealed behind a lofty and extensive range of hills, some miles distant on our right, and took up a strong position on the heights, in the immediate vicinity of the fortified village of Mangore, near Punniar, and commenced firing on my immense line of baggage. I immediately detached all the cavalry I could spare under Brigadier Harriott, and an addition of a troop of horse artillery under Captain Brind, which, on approaching the baggage on the other side of the town of Punniar, took up a position, and returned the fire of the enemy with much precision and effect. Every attempt was made by Brigadier Harriott to attack the enemy, but, from the ground being intersected by ravines, this able officer was prevented from bringing the cavalry into action, and proceeded with them to the rear-guard, having passed under a smart cannonade. About 4 o’clock P.M., the enemy was observed to have taken up a very strong position on a chain of high hills, four miles to the east of our camp. I decided immediately to attack him, and detached Her Majesty’s 3rd Buffs and a company of Sappers & Miners to take up a position on an opposite ridge, followed afterwards to the right by the 39th regiment native infantry, consisting of five companies, until I could bring up the force, amounting to 2,007 men, and then make an attack upon the enemy’s left flank and centre, and drive him from the strong position he occupied; owing to the lateness of the day, it was some time before I could support the force I had detached. The Buffs and Sappers attacked the enemy’s centre, exposed to a galling fire from their guns, but most gallantly carried every position before them, drove the enemy from height to height, and captured eleven of his guns and the standard. I cannot sufficiently express how much indebted I feel to Lieutenant-Colonel Clunie, who commanded the Buffs, for the gallant and judicious manner he took his regiment into action, and overcame all obstacles. The wing of the 39th Native Infantry, with Brigadier Yates, was conducted to the crest of a hill commanding the enemy’s left; and after pouring in a destructive fire, rushed down on him, and on approaching the nullah below, was exposed to a heavy fire from two guns, which they captured. Brigadier Yates and Major Earle, commanding the 39th Native Infantry, were both wounded at this place, and I have to thank them for the manner in which the battery was carried.
The 2nd Infantry Brigade, under the command of Acting Brigadier Anderson, K. H., Her Majesty’s 50th Regiment, arrived in time to put a finish to the action, and formed on the crest of the hill, and by a most gallant and judicious movement, attacked the enemy’s left, and completely defeated him, taking the remainder of his guns. I have to return my thanks to Major White, who commanded the 50th Native Infantry, and took the 2nd Infantry Brigade out of action, Brigadier Anderson, K.H. being wounded. Major Petit, commanding Her Majesty’s 50th Regiment, distinguished himself by the gallant charge down the hill he made at the head of his regiment. A wing of the 50th Native Infantry was posted with the main battery of horse artillery, which attacked the enemy’s right, and the remainder accompanied the brigade. The 58th Native Infantry supported Her Majesty’s 50th Regiment, under the command of Captain Parker, who led his regiment into action much to his credit.
Brigadier Biddulph, with six horse artillery guns, much distinguished himself by the manner he disposed of his battery, which silenced those of the enemy on the right, and committed great havoc. He was assisted by Major Geddes, commanding the brigade of horse artillery, and by Captain Campbell, commanding the troop whose fire on the enemy was particularly effective. Lieutenant Olpherts, with four guns No. 16 light field-battery, took up a position south of Mangore, and opened on the enemy’s centre as he retreated up the hills. Lieutenant Tombs, attached to the rearguard, with two guns of No. 16 Light Field Battery, fired several shots with great precision and effect on the enemy’s left.
I feel indebted to Major Fitzgerald, of the 11th Cavalry, who commanded the rearguard, for bringing up the whole of the stores and baggage of the army into camp this morning.
Brigadier Stubbs, with the Sipree contingent under his command, moved out of his camp near Punniar in the evening, at my request, to occupy the heights of the scene of action, to enable me to withdraw the force that had been engaged two hours with the enemy four miles from camp, after a fatiguing march of sixteen miles. This morning the sappers and miners, and two squadrons of the 8th Irregular Cavalry, joined the contingent, who were fired upon by a party of the enemy. A few shots from the contingent artillery cleared the ground, and silenced the enemy’s only gun, and enabled Captain Christie, with the 8th Irregular Cavalry, to follow the broken enemy.
I beg to draw your Excellency’s particular attention to the very valuable services I derived from Lieutenant-Colonel Parsons, Deputy Commissary General, on all occasions, but more especially in the field yesterday. I have to thank Lieutenant Cunningham, Field Engineer, who turned on the enemy the guns first captured by the 3d Buffs, and Lieutenant Maxwell, commanding the company of sappers, for their exertions, and for bringing the captured guns into camp over great local impediments.
The conduct of Brevet-Captain G. Reid, Assistant Quartermaster-General, who accompanied the Buffs into action, and by his gallantry rendered me the greatest service, merits the warmest approbation. I have also to bring to your Excellency’s notice the able assistance I derived from Captain Guyon, Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General, and also from my Aide-de-Camp, Captain Tudor, Her Majesty’s 50th Regiment, whom I particularly beg to recommend to your Excellency.
The enemy’s loss was most severe, but, from the action closing at nightfall, many of his killed and wounded were carried off during the night, and it is difficult to form a correct estimate of his loss; all his wounded found on the field were brought into camp this morning, and are under medical treatment.
Owing to the strength of the enemy’s position, and the number of his guns, I regret to say that our loss has also been severe.
My best thanks are due to all the troops employed on this occasion, for their unflinching steadiness under a heavy cannonade, and the conspicuous gallantry with which they stormed the enemy’s strong position. A portion of the 1st Cavalry Brigade, under Brigadier Campbell, K. H., accompanied the force as far as the ground would admit, but I regret that an opportunity was not afforded for actively employing them.
Brevet Major Mainwaring, and Captain C. Mainwaring, Sub-Assistant Commissaries-General merit my thanks, for the assistance they rendered me as extra Aides-de-camp.
I have, &c., JOHN GREY,
Commanding left wing Army of Gwalior.