Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Historical Affairs.

EAST INDIES.

FINAL REDUCTION OF JAVA.

last Number we inserted the offcial details of the capture of Batavia, by the British troops, under the command of Sir Samuel Auchmuty. Dispatches have since been received, announcing the capitulation of General Jansen, with the remainder of the French forces, and the surrender of the remaining part of the island of Java, eastward of Samarang, to the British. The dispatches containing these accounts, were forwarded by Governor Farquhar, from the Mauritius, and were brought to England by the Phoebe frigate. The details were published in a London Gazette Extraordinary, on the 20th January, but they are so voluminous that our limits will only admit of the following abstract :—

General Jansen capitulated on the 17th September, and surrendered all the country, not already subject to the British arms, to his Majesty. The Europeans in the service of the enemy are prisoners of war. The native troops were dismissed to their homes. General Jansen did not retire to Sourabaya, as was expected, but retreated to Samarang, where he endeavoured to collect the remains of his scattered forces. On the appearance of Sir S. Auchmuty before that place in the Modeste frigate, with a few transports, the French commander evacuated the town, as he before had done the eity of Batavia, and took a mountain posi tion at Jattee Alloe, about six miles off, on the road to Solo, the residence of the Emperor of Java. In this position he was at tacked by Colonel Gibbs on the 16th of 'September, routed, and pursued for 12 miles up the country, most of his forces and artillery taken; and the next day he surrendered as above stated. The British loss in the attack, was only 2 rank and file

killed; 1 serjeant, and 9 privates wounded. Sir S. Auchmuty took 56 pieces of cannon, and ammunition in proportion.

All the other places held by the French fell in succession, as the British and marines were landed. Cheribon was taken without loss, by Captain Beaver, of the Nisus, and there the French General Jamelie and his suite were captured, on their way to join General Jansen. Sourabaya surrendered without resistance on the 22d September, and Fort Ludowick, containing 98 pieces of heavy cannon, followed the example. A detachment from the Nisus marched 35 miles from Cheribon to Carang Sarabang, and seized a large magazine of coffee, &c. valued at 250,000 dollars, and made about 700 prisoners, although their own number was only 239. Not one man was hurt. They also seized 9 waggons laden with silver and copper money at Bongas, with a great quantity of arms. Taggal was taken possession of by Captain Hillyar, of the Phabe, who found the Government stores capacious and well filled with coffee, rice, and pepper.

The greatest resistance was experienced at the fort of Samanap, which was taken by Captain Harris, with the boats of the Sir Francis Drake and the Phæton.

By Captain Harris's desire, the fort of Bancalang was taken possession of by the Sultan of Madura, on the 10th of September, and British colours hoisted. The French governor, and all the Dutch inhabitants were sent prisoners on board the Drake. The whole of Java is now in possession of the British forces, much to the satisfaction of the natives. Lord Minto concludes his letter, which is dated from Batavia, Sept. 29, by saying, "Your Excellency will observe with satisfaction, from these documents, that the final pacification of, the island has been hastened by fresh examples of the same spirit, decision, and judgment, which

have marked the measures of his Excellency the Commander in Chief, and of the same gallantry which has characterised the troops since the hour of their disembarkation on this coast. The Commander in Chief will sail in a few days for India, and 1 flatter myself that I shall be able to embark on board his Majesty's ship Modeste, for Bengal, about the middle of October."

The Emperor of Java is spoke of in the capitulation as a vassal of the French Government. Sir S. Auchmuty detached Captain Robinson with a small escort to his Court, to announce the change that had taken place; and also to call upon the residents, Van Braam and Englehard, to continue, agreeably to the capitulation, the exercise of their functions in behalf of the British Government, and to secure careful ly the public property.

SWEDEN.

On the 7th January the King of Sweden resumed the reins of government; on which occasion the Prince Royal addressed a long speech to his Majesty, which, after congratulating him on his recovery, proceeds thus:

When your Majesty decided upon embracing the continental policy, and declaring war against Great Britain, Sweden had got clear of an unfortunate contest; her wounds were still bleeding; it was necessary for her to make some sacrifices, at a moment even when she lost one of the principal branches of her public revenuesthe whole of that produced by the customs being nearly annihilated. In defiance of the insular situation of Sweden, she has performed, for the interest of the common cause, all that could be expected from a people faithful to their engagements; more shan2,000,000rix-dollars have been expended in recruiting the army, and placing in a state of defence our coasts, our fortresses, and our flect. I will not dissemble from your Majesty, that all our commerce has been reduced to a simple coasting trade, and has greatly suffered from this state of war. Privateers, under friendly flags, against which it would have been injurious to have added measures of safety and precaution, have taken advantage of our con#dence in treaties, to capture, one after another, about 50 of our merchantmen; but at last, Sire, your flotilla received orders to protect the Swedish flag, and the just commerce of your subjects, against piracies which could neither be authorised, or avowed by any Government.

"The Danish cruisers have given much cause for complaint on our part; but the evil decreases daily, and every thing leads us to think the lawful commerce of Sweden will not be any longer disturbed by them, and that the relations of good neighbourship will be more and more strengthened.

"The cruisers, under the French flag, have given an unlimited extension to their letters of marque; the injuries which they have done us have been the object of our complaints. The justice and loyalty of his Majesty the Emperor of the French have guaranteed that redress.

"The protections given by friendly Governments have been respected, and such of their ships as have touched upon our coasts have been at liberty to continue their voyage whatever might be their destination.

"About 50 American ships driven upon our coasts by successive tempests have been released; this act of justice, founded upon the rights of nations, has been appre ciated by the United States, and appearances promise us that better understood relations with that Government will faci litate the exportation of the numerous piles now filled." of iron with which our public places are

[The speech then goes on to state that Sweden was on the most amicable footing with Prussia, Russia, Austria, and Turkey. That Swedish intercourse had entirely ceased with South America, owing to the civil war that rages there. That he (Bernadotte) had adopted measures to encourage the manufactures of linen, the growth of hemp, &c. That the army and the finances had been the object of his solicitude. That by measures of precaution the course of exchange on Hamburgh,

which in March last was at 130 sk. had been reduced to 81. That great attention had been paid to the state of the public hospitals, religious edifices, police, agriculture, the works of the Canal of Goth

land, &c. &c. That in consequence of

the harvest having proved defective, he had provided for the importation of corn, sending salt in exchange.] After touching on other minor points, the Speech then proceeds --

"I have carried into execution the solemn resolution of the States of the kingdom, sanctioned by your Majesty, regarding the national armament; but, careful not to deprive agriculture of any more armis than are indispensibly necessary, for the defence of our country, I have merely ordered

dered a levy of 15,000 men, exclusive of the 50,000 which the States had placed at your Majesty's disposal. The most direful errors manifested themselves in Schonen, where violence and a public rebellion threatened for a moment to oppose the exe cution of the measures ordained. Already did our enemies, or such as are enemies of our repose, begin to rejoice at our intestine divisions, but these are now suppressed by the united force of the army and the laws, and were succeeded by the return of national sentiment, and obedience to their duty."

After noticing that the vacancies in the

new enrolment and national armament had been filled up, the regular army recruited and clothed, together with the reserve, which is supplied with well-conditioned arms, manufactories of which, antl of artillery, as well as of gunpowder and saltpetre, have been established, the Speech continues :

"Your Majesty will deign to perceive, by this statement, that, notwithstanding all that the detractors of Sweden have insinuated on this head, as that it would take 60 years to organize an army of 60,000 men, yet this will be apparent in the month of April next, both to the friends and enemies of your Majesty. The intent of this augmentation of our military force is merely defensive-without any other ambition than that of preserving the liberty and laws, Sweden will have means of defending herself; and she can do it. Bounded by the sea on one side, and on the other by inaccessible mountains, it is not solely on the courage of her inhabitants, nor in the remembrance of her former glory, that she has to seek for the security of her independence; it is rather to be found in her local situation, in her mountains, in her forests, in her lakes, and in her frosts. Let her therefore profit by these united advantages; and let her inhabitants be thoroughly persuaded of this truth, that if iran, the produce of her mountains, cultiVates their farms, by ploughing up their Selds, that it is likewise iron alone, and the firm determination of making use of it, that can defend them."

The Speech concludes with noticing, in terms of approbation, the conduct of the different Swedish Authorities and Mi fisters, during the indisposition of the Xing.

By a recent mail from Anholt we have accounts of the occupation of Swedish Pomerania by the French. This event took February 1812.

place on the 26th January, when 6000 French troops entered Stralsund, having previously desired quarters to be provided for them. The object of this movement is not explained; nor does it appear whether it originates in hostility to Sweden or Russia. The politics of the north of Europe seem at present to be wholly involved in mystery. It was generally imagined that, when Bernadotte assumed the government of Sweden, the resources of that country would be wielded for the common objects of the continental confederacy. This does not appear to be the case. Bernadotte, as far as we are able to judge, from appearances, is guided by no principle foreign to the interests of the country which he governs, and it is possible on this account he may have incurred the resentment of Bonaparte. It is also stated, that Russia has been long uneasy under the fetters of the continental system, and has manifested an inclination to resume her former friendly intercourse with this country. In that case, these military movements of the French may be intended to overawe that power into her former state of subserviency to foreign councils.

1

In support of this opinion, it is stated in letters from Paris, that the Emperor intended setting out on a journey to the Prussian States about the end of the present month; and that he would then demand of the Court of St Petersburgh, a full and complete adoption of the continental system in the Russian harbours of the Baltic, and the admission of a French force into those ports, as the security for an unreserved compliance with the stipu lations and restrictions of that system. To support her bold pretensions, according to these advices, France has nearly 100,000 men in Dantzick, the Prussian fortresses, and the adjacent country, with an equal number at Warsaw; 125,000 men on the shores of the Danube, to obstruct the return of the Czarine forces engaged in the Turkish war, in the event of peace with the Sultan, and hostilities with Napoleon.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.

CAPTURE OF CIUDAD RODRIGO.

On the 8th January, the allied army un der the command of General Viscount Wellington, invested Ciudad Rodrigo.The enemy had increased the difficulty of approach, by erecting a redoubt on the hill of St Francisco, and by fortifying three convents in the subarb. These were gallantly carried

[blocks in formation]

We continued from the 15th to the 19th to complete the second parallel, and the communications with that work; and we had made some progress by sap towards the crest of the glacis. On the night of the 15th we likewise advanced from the left of the first parallel down the slope of the hill, towards the convent of St Francisco, to a situation from which the walls of the Fausse Braye and of the town were seen, on which a battery of seven guns was constructed, and they commenced their fire on the morning of the 18th.

In the mean time, the batteries in the first parallel continued their fire; and yesterday evening their fire had not only considerably injured the defences of the place, but had made breaches in the Fausse Braye wall, and in the body of the place, which were considered practicable; while the battery on the slope of the hill, which had been commenced on the night of the 15th, and had opened on the 18th, had been equally efficient still further to the left, and opposite the suburb of St Francisco.

I therefore determined to storm the place, notwithstanding that the approaches had not been brought to the crest of the glacis, and the counterscarp of the ditch was still entire. The attack was accordingly made yesterday evening in five separate columns, consisting of the troops of the 3d and Tight divisions, and of BrigadierGeneral Pack's brigade. The two right columns conducted by Lieutenant-Colonel O'Toole, of the 2d cacadores, and Major Ridge, of the 5th regiment, were destined to protect the advance of Major-General McKinnon's brigade forming the third, to the top of the breach in the Fausse Braye wall, and all these, being composed of

1

troops of the third division, were under the direction of Lieutenant-General Picton.

The fourth column, consisting of the 43d and 52d regiments, and part of the 95th regiment, being of the light division under the direction of Major General Craufurd, attacked the breaches on the left, in front of the suburb of St Francisco, and covered the left of the attack of the

principal breach by the troops of the 3d division; and Brigadier-General Park was destined with his brigade, forming the 5th column, to make a false attack upon the southern face of the fort. Besides these five columns, the 94th regiment, belonging to the 3d division, descended into the ditch in two columns on the right of Major-Gen. M⭑Kinnon's brigade, with a view to protect the descent of that body into the ditch, and its attack of the breach the Fausse Braye, against the obstacles which it was supposed the enemy would construct to oppose their progress.

All these attacks succeeded; and Bri

gadier-General Pack even surpassed my expectations, having converted his false attack into a real one, and his advanced guard, under the command of Major Lynch, having followed the enemy's troops from the advanced works into the Fausse Braye, where they made prisoners of all opposed to them.

Major Ridge, of the 2d battalion of the 5th regiment, having escaladed the Fausse Braye wall, stormed the principal breach in the body of the place, together with the 94th regiment, commanded by LieutenantColonel Campbell, which had moved along the ditch at the same time, and had stormed the breach in the Fausse Braye, both in front of Major-General M⭑Kinnon's brigade. Thus these regiments not only effectually covered the advance from the trenches of Major-General M‘Kinnon's brigade, by their first movements and operations, but they preceded them in the tack.

at

Major-General Craufurd and Major-General Vandeleur, and the troops of the light division on the left, were likewistvery forward on that side; and in less than half an hour from the time the attack commenced, our troops were in possession of, and formed on the ramparts of the place, each body contiguous to the other. The enemy then submitted, having sustained a considerable loss in the contest.

Our loss was also, I am concerned to add, severe, particularly in officers of high

rank

rank and estimation in this army. Major-General M Kinnon was unfortunately blown up by the accidental explosion of one of the enemy's expence magazines, close to the breach, after he had gallantly and successfully led the troops under his command to the attack. Major-General Craufurd likewise received a severe wound while he was leading on the light division to the storm, and I am apprehensive that I shall be deprived for some time of his assistance. Major-General Vandeleur was Fikewise wounded in the same manner, but not so severely, and he was able to continue in the field. I have to add to this list, Lieutenant-Colonel Colborne of the 52d regiment, and Major George Napier, who led the storming party of the light division, and was wounded on the top of the breach.

I have great pleasure in reporting to your Lordship, the uniform good conduct, spirit of enterprise, and patience and per

severance in the performance of great labour, by which the general officers, officers, and troops of the 1st, 3d, 4th, and hight divisions, and Brigadier-General Pack's brigade, by whom the siege was carried on, have been distinguished during the late operations. Lieutenant-General Graham assisted me in superintending the conduct of the details of the siege, besides performing the duties of the general officer commanding the first division; and I am much indebted to the suggestions and assistance I received from him for the success of this enterprise.

The conduct of all parts of the 3d division, in the operations which they perform ed with so much gallantry and exactness en the evening of the 19th, in the dark, afford the strongest proof of the abilities ef Lieutenant-General Picton and Major General M Kinnon, by whom they were directed and led; but I beg particularly to draw your Lordship's attention to the condat of Lieutenant-Colonel O'Toole of the 2d cacadores, of Major Ridge of the 2d battalion 5th foot, of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell of the 94th regiment, of Major Manners of the 74th, and of Major Grey ef the 2d battalion 5th foot, who has been twice wounded during this siege.

It is but justice also to the 3d division to report that the men who performed the sap belonged to the 45th, 74th, and 88th regiments, under the command of Captain M'Leod, of the royal engineers, and Captain Thomson of the 74th; Lieutenant Beresford of the 88th and Lieutenant Met

calf of the 45th; and they distinguished themselves not less in the storm of the place, than they had in the performance of their laborious duty during the siege.

I have already reported in my letter of the 9th instant, my sense of the conduct of Major-General Craufurd, and of Lieutenant-Colonel Colborne, and of the troops of the light division in the storm of the redoubt of St Francisco, on the evening of the 8th instant. The conduct of these troops was equally distinguished throughout the siege and in the storm; nothing could exceed the gallantry with which these brave officers and troops advanced, and accomplished the difficult operation allotted to them, notwithstanding that all their leaders had fallen.

I particularly request your Lordship's attention to the conduct of Major-General Craufurd, Major-General Vandeleur, Lieutenant-Colonel Barnard of the 95th, LieuMajor Napier of the 52d, and Licutenanttenant Colonel Colborne, Major Gibbs, and

Colonel M⚫Leod of the 43d. The conduct of Captain Duffey of the 43d, and that of Lieutenant Gurwood of the 52d regiment, who was wounded, have likewise been particularly reported to me; Lieutenant-Colonel Elder and the 3d cacadores were likewise distinguished upon this occasion.

The 1st Portuguese regiment, under Lieut. Colonel Hill, and the 16th, under Colonel Campbell, being Brigadier-General Pack's brigade, were likewise distinguished in the storm, under the command of the Brigadier General, who particularly mentions Major Lynch.

In my dispatch of the 15th, I reported to your Lordship. the attack of the Convent of Santa Cruz, by the troops of the 1st division, under the direction of Lieutenant-General Graham; and that of the Convent of Saint Francisco, on the 14th inst. under the direction of Major-General the Hon. C. Colville. The first mentioned enterprize was performed by Captain Laroche de Stackenfels, of the 1st line battalion King's German Legion; the last by Lieutenant-Colonel Harcourt, with the 40th regiment. This regiment remained from that time in the suburb of Saint Francisco, and materially assisted our attack on that side of the place.

Although it did not fall to the lot of the troops of the 1st and 4th divisions to bring these operations to their successful close, they distinguished themselves throughout their progress, by the patience and perseverance with which they performed the labours of the siege. The brigade

« ForrigeFortsett »