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assault was fixed upon for next day at noon, as then the defenders would be least vigilant. In the morning, 2500 European, and 1800 native troops, under General Baird, were placed in the breaches for the assault. The heat was intense, the massy walls of the fortress were silent, and deep stillness prevailed in the crowded trenches.
The attacking force was to move forward in two columns; that on the right commanded by Colonel Sherbrooke, the left by Colonel Dunlop ; each being preceded by forlorn hopes headed by Lieutenants Hill and Lawrence. Colonel Wellesley's brigade was stationed in the trenches to support the assault if necessary. At one o'clock the awful stillness was broken by the voice of Sir David Baird, who called out, “ Now my brave fellows, follow me, and
prove yourselves worthy the name of British soldiers !" The troops rose from the trenches ; the forlorn hope dashed forward, followed closely by the advancing columns. A tremendous fire opened upon the troops, as they passed across the broad and rocky channel of the Cauvery. In spite of every obstacle, the British flag erected by a brave serjeant* waved from the top of the breach, which in a few moments was thronged by men, who, filing off right and left, entered upon the ramparts. The enemy fled in a panic ; numbers threw down their arms, while others, by the long folds of their turbans endeavoured to lower themselves down to the ground, and many were dashed to pieces in the attempt. The left column however met with more opposition. The enemy had previously erected traverses, behind which, as they were driven back,
* His name was Graham, he had been promised a Lieutenantcy if he succeeded, but at the moment of planting the standard, he was shot through the heart.
they successively took refuge. But the 12th regiment having crossed the ditch which divided the outer and inner ramparts, fortunately discovered a narrow opening through which the workmen had passed, the traverses were thus turned, and the enemy driven from them with great loss. Here the Sultan himself had fought with the greatest intrepidity, freelyexposing his person, and incessantly discharging loaded muskets upon his assailants, and using every means to stimulate the courage of his troops. But as the English gained, and his men deserted their posts, he slowly and reluctantly retired. Complaining of pain in his leg, where he had formerly received a wound, hę rode towards the gate of the inner fort, followed by his palanquin, and a number of his officers and troops. Here he was struck on the right side by a musket-ball, and soon afterwards by a second. The passage was crowded with fugitives struggling to make their way, for the British troops were advancing in both directions. The constant fire of the victors choked up the archway with the dead and dying. The Sultan's wounded horse sunk under him, and his turban fell to the ground : his attendants placed the wounded warrior in his palanquin, where he lay exhausted and motionless. The English soldiers poured in: one made a snatch at the Sultan's sword-belt, which was covered with rich ornaments. Roused by the insult, Tippoo with his expiring strength, dealt the soldier a heavy cut upon the knee ; who starting back, shot the Sultan through the head. The body was thrown out of the palanquin, and lay covered by heaps of the slain.
The palace surrendered after a brief parley, and General Baird, who had languished in rigorous confinement three years within the town, now stood at
its gates a conqueror. Tippoo's youthful sons were led trembling into his presence; knowing the cruelty their father had exercised towards the English captives, they probably expected immediate death, but the victor kindly received them, and quieted their fears.
General Baird proceeded in search of the Sultan's corpse, the features of the dead were scrutinized by torch-light; a number of bodies were examined, and they at last found it beneath a pile of slain. Turban, jacket, and sword had vanished ; but, bound upon his right arm, was the amulet, which he constantly wore. The countenance was undistorted, and bore an expression of stern composure ; the eyes were open, and the body still warm, so that the bystanders could scarcely at first believe that life was extinct. The body was conveyed to the court of the palace.
Colonel Wellesley remained in command of the captured city, General Baird having retired. He issued orders that the Sultan's funeral should be performed with every mark of respect. Four flank companies of Europeans, attended as a guard of honour, and minute guns were fired. Verses were chanted by the kauzee from the Koran, and the inhabitants responded. The streets were filled with mournfulcrowds, and many threw themselves before the bier. Thus was buried Tippoo-a stern and arbitrary prince, yet both respected and feared by his subjects.
More than 8,000 of the defenders of the fortress had fallen. The chief carnage had taken place around the great mosque, where the staunch mussulmen had made a desperate stand. Colonel Wellesley exerted his power for the protection of the frightened inhabitants ; and the few acts of rapine and violence which took place, were instantly checked with a firm hand. In person he was busied in restoring confidence to the people, and before three days had elapsed, order was restored, and the bazaars and chief streets occupied with busy crowds. While Colonel Wellesley commanded the garrison of Seringapatam, the duties he had to discharge were of a difficult and complicated nature. The total overthrow of the government of Mysore, and the dispersion of all the local authorities, compelled him, not only generally to superintend, but also to regulate the minute details of each department. He acquitted himself of these arduous duties to the entire satisfaction of all. He soon became a fa vourite, even with the natives, who could not fail to contrast his mild and merciful government, with the tyranny and oppression of their late ruler ; and to this very day, his remembrance is engraven on the hearts of many of the inhabitants of Seringapatam. Studious at all times of the feelings of others, he invariably treated the conquered with delicacy and forbearance, protected their property from outrage, and exerted himself to promote their interests. At this season, also, that punctuality and attention to the details of business, and that сараcity for the discharge of civil duties, which are now acknowledged features in his character, were clearly manifested.
The booty acquired by the capture of Seringapatam, was inferior to the expectations of the victors. However ten lacs of rupees worth of jewels, with 500 camel loads of rich garments, merchandize, &c. were found ; exclusive of the Sultan's throne, which was so massive that it could not be carried away.*
* The Sultan's throne, we are told, being too unwieldy to be conveyed away, was broken up. It consisted of a hondah, or armed seat, upon a tiger covered with sheet gold : the CHAPTER II.
Operations in the Mysore Territory--Irruption of Dhoondiah Waugh-Defeat-Colonel Wellesley's prospects-Expedition to Egypt-Wellesley's Illness-Takes the Field against Holkar-Mahratta War-Scindiah and the Rajah of Berar - Plan of the Campaign-Assault of Ahmednugger-Siege of Gawilghur-Treaty-Honours conferred on General Wellesley-Marquis of Wellesley's Summary of the Cam
paign. AFTER the division of the Mysore territory, Colonel Wellesley was appointed sole commander of those portions of it which had become subject to British authority. In the year 1800, however, the tranquillity of Mysore was interrupted by the enterprise of a robber chief named Dhoondiah Waugh. This man had been released from captivity by the English, who had found him languishing in one of Tippoo's dungeons ; by whom he had been treacherously ensnared, after he had received the promise of pardon for a predatory excursion made into the Sultan's dominions. No sooner had he been set at ascent was by silver steps, gilt; the canopy was equally superb, and decorated with a costly fringe of white pearls all around it. The eyes and teeth of the tiger were of glass; it was valued at 60,000 pagodas, or upwards of £25,000 sterling. The sheet gold alone was estimated at 40,000 pagodas. Every inch of the howdah contained an Arabic inscription, chiefly from the Koran, and superbly stamped, being raised and polished in the most beautiful manner.
A gold figure of a bird, covered over with the most precious stones was fastened to the top of the canopy; its beak was a large emerald, its eyes were carbuncles, the breast was covered with diamonds. On its back were many large jewels, fancifully arranged, while the tail, made to resemble a peacock's, was actually studded in the same manner. The whole was so formed, as to have the appearance of plumage, and so closely set, that the gold was hardly to be seen.