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which vessel, during the present important juncture, have proved most valuable indeed.
I am happy to say, that none of the houses in the town have been burnt, and that Moungda's rule was not sanguinary, as he appears to have put only two Chinese to death.
As might have been expected, however, from the number of prisoners who escaped from the jail, the houses of the European officers and all who joined us, were plundered and rifled in the most barbarous manner. They have lost much property, but I am happy to say Government has lost little. For myself, I have to regret the total destruction of my valuable library, a great portion of my manuscripts, and furniture and wearing apparel. Yet it is some consolation to me to know that the insurgents never shewed or expressed any feelings of personal dislike or vengeance against me, and I am too much absorbed in gratitude for my family (whom I had left at Tavoy,) being saved to think of any other loss.
I am under most important obligations to the Reverend Mr. Boardman,* an American Missionary, resident at Tavoy, who censented to remain with me and afford me the valuable aid of his knowledge of the Burmese language and other mental acquirements, in the conduct of the difficult and responsible duty which fell upon me, of investigating and discrimina ing the extent and nature of the insurrection, and the guilt of the different persons whom we apprehended. The native, Mahomed Suffie,† to whom Government lately granted a donation of 5,000 rupees for his services during the Burmese war, attached himself to us, and rendered himself eminently useful to me, by his acuteness and intelligence, and particularly, by his intimate acquaintance with the characters of the principal rebels, and of the Tavoyers in general. It was he who accompanied the guard which apprehended Moungda and his party.
My return to Moulmein has been productive of considerable advantage in checking the insolent behaviour of the Burmese at Martaban, who had before, upon hearing of the revolt at Tavoy, openly expressed great satisfaction, and shown a disposition to give trouble, and alarm our native population.
I have just received intelligence that the arrangement which I had made at Tavoy for intercepting Moungda and the messengers who were proceeding from Moungda towards Ava and Oojenah's Camp, has been attended with success. They we e apprehended near Ye, and are now on their way back to Tavoy. I may therefore congratulate myself upon having secured the person of every individual who took a distinguished part in the late revolt at Tavoy.
I have, &c.
(Signed) H. BURNEY,
Deputy Commissioner in the Tenasserim Provinces.
Major Burney, afterwards, in a letter to the secretary to Government, under date 13th March, 1830, gave the following reasons for having returned to Moulmein immediately after quel ing the revolt at Tavoy, instead of proceeding to Mergui, and ascertaining that all was quiet there. Had he, however, gone to Mergui, he would have arrived there just in time to meet in the mouth of the harbour, and tow back the boats containing the unfortunate officers and garrison who had quitted Mergui town on the night of the 21st August.
13. The Commissioner, upon leaving this coast for Calcutta, had brought me up to Moulmein as my prover post during his absence. In the beginning of July, a large force and fleet of boats came down from Oojina's camp (at Bileng) to Martaban, and passed close to our cantonments in so insulting a manner, as to induce me to send Lieut. Leslie over to the Chief at Martaban. I knew that a very small portion of the population of Mergui consisted of regular Burmese, and that this portion had not the means or spirit to rise against our garrison, supported, as it would be, by the larger number of the native Christian, Chinese,
• This good Christian and most worthy man died at Tavoy in 1830.
+ Now the Tsitke or head native officer at Tavoy.
Mahometan and Malay inhabitants, Capt.himself represents that he had no apprehension of any thing which the people of Mergui of themselves could have done; and he had reason for despising them, as he knew, judging from some answers which he was writing about this very time to certain queries put by the Commissioner to his different assistants, that "the whole province of Mergui could not muster above two dozen muskets."
14. When therefore the Hon'ble Company's steam vessel Diana came in to Tavoy with the reinforcements on the 19th of August, recollecting the large force which had been before brought down to Martaban, and hearing that a strong sensation had been manifested there upon the first intelligence of the revolt at Tavoy, and learning also, that expresses had been sent via Rangoon to Calcutta, conveying the first exaggerated accounts of the state of affairs at Tavoy, I very naturally felt anxious to be, at what I conceived the more important post, Moulmein, and to communicate to Brigadier Vigoureux, as well as to transmit to Calcutta early intelligence of the real state of affairs. I had, of course, no apprehensions whatever for the safety of Moulmein, but I was satisfied that if the folly or madness of Oojena led him to make an attack, the lives and property of our crowded native population in Moulmein would suffer much, before the troops could crush the enemy. Whilst the Diana steam vessel was getting ready for sea again at Tavoy, a native boat came in from the immediate vicinity of Mergui and reported that all was quiet at that place down to a late date. This intelligence decided my movements, and despatching therefore (in the south-west monsoon small native boats can navigate between Tavoy and Mergui but not between Tavoy and Moulmein) a fast sailing Malay boat with letters to Capt. at Mergui, I left Tavoy on the afternoon of the 21st Augt. and came up here (Moulmein) when I learnt that the inhabitants of Martaban had been for some days most insolent and abusive to our guard-boats, and that they had actually fired upon one gun-boat on the very morning of the day of my arrival. Our gun-boat at Myain (up the Salween) was attacked about the same time, and it has since been ascertained also by Capt. Rawlinson, that the Talian chief, Oojena, had sent an express to the Rangoon Woongyee, reporting the state of affairs at Tavoy and applying for authority to make an attack upon Moulmein.
15. If our officers at Mergui had delayed their departure for six hours, my letter by the Malay boat would have reached them.
TO THE DEPUTY ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
SIR,-I have now the honor to detail for the information of the BrigadierGeneral the particulars of an insurrection, which broke out among the inhabitants of Tavoy, but which has now been completely suppressed.
About the latter end of last month having heard some rumour of an intention on the part of the convicts confined in the jail to endeavour to effect their from imprisonment I deemed it expedient, in communication with the officer in escape temporary civil charge of the station, Mr. Assistant-Surgeon Maule, to order the military guard there to keep on duty with its arins loaded.
I had been suffering for some weeks past from a very severe attack of liver, and had not left my house for a fortnight previous to the 9th instant. Early on that morning between 4 and 5 o'clock I was informed, that a large party of the inhabitants had attacked the jail and assisted by the very peons of the jail, had liberated the whole of the convicts confined there, and that a large party of Burmese was engaged at that time in attacking the small guard of one naick and six sepoys at the magazine, of which the assailants were attempting to get possession. Of course I beat to arms immediately and collected our little force of two companies at the barracks, and sent the officer-of-the-day with a party in aid of the guard at the magazine. Before my arrival at the barracks a few men had been sent to re-inforce the magazine guard. It is my bounden duty here to bring under the notice of my superiors in as strong terms as language will admit of, the gallant and heroic defence which the magazine guard made until it received the support with which the assailants, were beat off. Had the insurgents succeeded in obtaining possession of our magazine, there is every probability the whole of the
Light Company of the 19th Regt. was in command of the magazine-guard.
When the day broke, I found, that the whole of the inhabitants of the town were flying outside of the gates, and that not c..e of the Burmese officers of Government had joined the officer in civil charge. My own recent arrival and necessary limited local experience obliged me to refer for some positive intelligence to the officer in civil charge, but he was deserted by all the public native servants and the inhabitants, and was unable even to open a communication with those who had taken up arms against us, and I found that we had no means of ascertaining either the nature or objects of the insurrection, or the points at which the insurgents were concentrating themselves. In fact, they eppeared to be collecting in every direction around us, outside of the town, and their aim was manifestly to cut off the whole of the troops. I bad sent a party of sepoys to apprehend the principal native officer of Government, Moung Shoegain, but he had absconded. In this conjuncture I thought it right to consult with my own officers and with the officer in civil charge, as to the steps we should adopt. It appeared for the reasons which are detached in the order of which I enclose a copy, No. 1, that our most expedient course would be to take up a post on the wharf by the side of the river, the communication by which we might always command, and I made arrangements therefore at 2 PM. of the 9th to remove to the wharf the whole of the civil treasury, the military chest, four 6-pounders, and as much ammunition as possible, destroying the small quantity which we found it difficult to transport. In the operation, the Chinese, who had joined our party for protection afforded aid to the store-lascars.
On our arrival at the wharf, Sub-Conductor Corly, Staff Serjeant Richardson, Sub-A-istant Surgeon Bedford, and Mr. Drumgoole, a European settler, volunteered their services to man one of our 6-pounders. On the morning of the 10th I found the gates of the town closed, and heard that the insurgents had entered the town in considerable force; but our position enabled us to avail ourselves of the services of the Chinese and to man an arined boat, and The whole of the despatch it with a report of our situation to Mowmein. Chinchew race of Chinese took possess on of their junks, and having launched them, placed them under the protection of our guns.
On the 11th we succeeded in obtaining the services of several Malays and Moormen to man another despatch boat, which we forwarded with letters to Mergui. The insurgents appeared to be mounting some guns and jinjals upon the wall and gate-way in front of the wharf, and during that day and the 12 h they occasionally fired upon our position, but were always driven off the wall by the fire which we returned.
On the morning of the 13th, about 3 o'clock, the insurgents issued from the town in a large body and surrounding the whole front of our position, repeatedly set fire to the houses adjoining it, as well as to a junk lying near us. But the fire from our gun and sepoys, at length beat off the whole of the insurgents, and forced them to retire into the town, apparently with a considerable loss.
At 9 o'clock A.M. of this day we had the pleasure of seeing the H.C's steam vessel Diana join us with Major Burney, the Deputy Commissioner, who, however, was unaware of our situation, until he approached close to the wharf. The Deputy Commissioner immediately placed under my orders Mr. Lindguist the commander of the Diana, and a small party of lascars of that vessel, and we employed them immediately in throwing up a breast-work in front of our position, and in assisting to remove a portion of our ammunition on board one of the vessels afloat, and to collect some grain upon the wharf. Under Mr. Lindguist was at the same time placed all the vessels afloat. Towards the evening of this day the insurgents fired upon the steam vessel from the walls, and at 9 o'clock she was despatched to Moulmein, under Mr. Corbyn, the Master Attendant of Amherst, with a report of our situation.
The arrival of the steam vessel at this juncture was most fortunate, for we discovered that neither of the despatch boats, which we had previously forwarded with letters to Moulmein and Mergui, conld get out of the river in cons quence of the badness of the weather. The arrival of the Deputy Commissioner also was most fortunate, as his presence gave confidence to the Chinese, native
Portuguese, Malay and Mahometan inhabitants of the town with us, and induced them to afford us much more zealous and active assistance than before, and his superior local information, which he most cheerfully and frankly granted to me, enabled me to form a judgment as to the best course next to be adopted by the troops.
On the 14th, a sepoy of the detachment proceeded close to the walls of the town and placed there two copies of a proclamation addressed by the Deputy Commissioner to the inhabitants, calling upon them to return to their duty, and acquainting them with the little chance they possessed of coping with us. With the aid of the native Christians we manned a second 6-pounder, and an hour after we saw the proclamation taken into the town, battered it for some time with two 6 pounders. On the night of this day all was quiet, but early on the following morning we learnt, that, during that night a great many of the inhabitants had been flying from the town into the interior, aud that our proclamation and battery had occasioned some sensation within the
Although, on the first day, when the Deputy Commissioner proposed that the troops should advance on the insurgents, and act on the offensive. I doubted the propriety of the measure, for reasons, in which he concurred; yet, when our position was well defended by a breast-work, the ammunition being secured on board the schooner Susan, I arranged, that a sortie from our works for the purpose of reconnoitering the inside of the town, and attempting to destroy the defences which the insurgents had prepared in front of us, should be made at day-light of the 15th, but from the heavy rain it was delayed for a few hours by the advice of the Deputy Commissioner.
The enclosed copy of my order, No. 2, will shew the arrangements which were made, and I am happy to say, that in our sortie we succeeded completely in blowing open the gate, and carrying off the whole of the guns and jinjals mounted in front of us, with the exception of one gun which we spiked.
Upon our return to the wharf the Chinese having entreated the Deputy Commissioner to make an attempt to save their families, which were said to be confined in the middle of the town, I made the arrangements detailed in the enclosed copy of the order No. 3, for a second sortie. We found the gate had been repaired, but our 6-pounder again burst it open, and we marched into the middle of the town without any opposition driving the insurgents before us. We found the whole of the houses, and particularly, where the Chinese had understood their families to be confined, quite deserted, and having taken possession of a battery of 13 jinjals which the insurgents had placed near the Court House, we re tired again for the night to the wharf.
On the morning of the 16th hearing that the town had been evacuated, we marched in and re-occupied it according to the plan described in Order No. Towards evening the Deputy Commissioner having received information where the ringleader and his principal adherents were secreted, we sent a party of sepoys with a Mahometan in the employ of the Deputy Commissioner, and this party succeeded in apprehending the ringleader Moungda, his brother, and five of his immediate adherents, who were instantly tried by the Deputy Commissioner, and hung.
From the moment we re-occupied the town the inhabitants began to re-join us, and as soon as the ringleader was executed, the whole country appeared to recover their confidence in us, and to return to a state of order and tranquility, volunteering to proceed and secure the confidential adherents of Moungda.
The town is now fast approaching to the same state in which it was before this insurrection broke out, and the arrival of the H. C. steam vessel Diana this morning with the re-inforcement has removed every cause of uneasiness. I am happy to say none of the houses in the town have been burnt, and we have had only two sepoys killed and one Chinese.
I cannot describe in sufficiently appropriate language, the aid and support which all officers and sepoys, and volunteers have afforded me during the late affair. The sepoys, in addition to a display of gallantry and steadiness, have put up most cheerfully with the very severe duty which has been imposed
upon them without any relief during seven nights and days. I beg to submit a copy of an order, No. 5, in which I have attempted to express to all concerned, the sentiments which their conduct has inspired in my mind.
For the distinguished excellence of conduct pursued in this affair by Major Burney, the Deputy Commissioner for the Tenasserim Provinces, I am equally at a loss for language to express my thanks, and my admiration. The firmness and consistency of his whole conduct, the suavity of his manners, the kindness with which he imparted his advice, which was rendered peculiarly valuable by his superior local knowledge and extensive acquaintance with the character and resources of the rebels, and the usual mode of Burmese warfare, the condescension with which he yielded to me his military rank, still preserving entire his military character, intrepidity and energy, setting an example of distinguished bravery on every occasion, and particularly in both attacks upon the town, all combine to impress my mind with the deepest sense of his personal worth, and military excellence.
I beg leave to enclose a general return of ordnance and military stores captured at the two attacks, as also a return of the troops.
I have, &c.
A. CUXTON, Captain.
Tavoy, the 18th Angust, 1829.
(Translation of a letter to the King of Burmah.)
Nay-myo-rai-hla-kyaw-khoung the Yay-woon of the city of Tavoy, which is a part of your Majesty's dominions, bowing himself beneath the sole of the Golden Imperial Excellent Feet, places the imperial mandate on the top of his head, O Sovereign! The extraordinary imperial favor of having made me a good man in the city of Tavoy, I cannot, through successive states of existence fully re-pay or requite. At the time when the Koo-lahs (English) came with a force and entered the place, they succeeded in occupying it, b cause there was in the imperial arenal in the city, but a scanty supply of powder, balls, flints, weapons and arms, and the military force was small. But on the 9th day of the waxing of the moon wah-khoung, in the year 1191, relying on the Excellent Golden Imperial glory, I, together with the inhabitants of the city, the headmen, chief, and common people, attacked and destroyed the Koo-lahs, and now offer and present the city to the Golden Imperial hand. I continue to protect and defend the city with a very small supply of powder, balls, flints, wear ons and arms. Bowing myself beneath the excellent sole of the Golden Imperial Foot, and placing on my head the imperial mandate I petition, that such Nobles and Ministers may be appointed as enjoy the imperial confidence, O Sovereign.-Translated by Revd. Mr. Boardman.
(Translation of a letter to Oozana, the Burmah Chief of Martaban )
Nay-myo-rai-hia-kyaw-khoung the Yay-woon of Tavoy city, which is subject to your Highness' jurisdiction, humbly awaits your Highness' orders, my Lord. Your Highness' extraordinary favor in making me a good man, I cannot through successive states of existence fully re-pay or requite. At the time when the Koo-lahs came to the city of Tovoy, because there were in the imperial arsenal in the city no balls, powder or flints, and the military fo.ce was not sufficient, the city fell into the bands of the Ko-lahs. But now relying on your Excellent Highness' golden glory, having attacked and destroyed the Koo-lahs, on the 9th day of the waxing of the moon wah-khoung, in the year 1191, I attacked and destroyed them, and am now guarding and defending the city with a very smali military force. As your Highness is proprietor of this southern section of the imperial domain, I humbly petition that your Highness will appoint such military and other officers as enjoy your Highness' confidence; that your Highness will graciously aid us by affording a supply of fighting-men, balls, powder and flints; in all which I await your Highness' orders my Lord.-Translated by Revd. Mr. Boardman.
N. B. The obove copies of two letters despatched by Moungda, were found among the books and records, which were captured with him.