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St. Lucie, 25th December. After the taking of Morne Fortunée, Major Harris was second in command under Brigadier-General Medows at the Vigie, where the French were repulsed in their repeated attacks on our post, and in consequence retreated from the island. In 1779 he embarked with his regiment as marines, and was present in the engagement off Grenada under Admiral Byron; and in 1780 returned to England. In December that year he succeeded to a LieutenantColonelcy in the 5th foot, from which he exchanged into the 76th, and accompanied, as secretary, to the East Indies, Sir William Medows, who was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Madras. He was in the campaigns of 1790 and 1791, against Tippoo Sultaun; and in the action of 15th May, 1791, was appointed by Lord Cornwallis to command the 2d line; he was also personally engaged in the attack of the Sultaun's camp and island of Seringapatam, on the night of the 6th February, 1792, the success of which terminated the war. Peace being re-established, Lieutenant-Colonel Harris returned with Sir W. Medows to England. In reward for his services, he was appointed Colonel by brevet Nov. 18. 1792; the 3d October, 1794, he was appointed to the rank of Major-General, when he re-embarked for India, and was placed on the Bengal staff. The 3d May, 1796, he received the local rank of Lieutenant-General, and was appointed Commander-in-Chief under the Presidency of Fort St. George; and in February, 1798, he succeeded to the military and civil government of the troops and territories of Madras. In December, 1798, the distinguished military talents of Lieutenant-General Harris pointed him out to the discriminating eye of the Marquess Wellesley, then Earl of Mornington, as the fittest person to command the army against the formidable power of Tippoo Sultaun. The forces under his command exceeded 50,000 men; and the object of the expedition was accomplished by the capture of Seringapatam, the death of Tippoo, and the annexation of his dominions to his
Majesty's crown. The following is the despatch which he addressed on the subject to the Earl of Mornington; which despateh was transmitted by the noble Earl to the Right Hon. Henry Dundas, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and inserted in the London Gazette Extraordinary of the 14th of September, 1799.
4. seringapatam, May 7. 1799. “My Lord, – On the 4th instant I had the honour to address to your Lordship a hasty note, containing in a few words the sum of our success, which I have now to report more in detail. “The fire of our batteries, which began to batter in breach on the 30th April, had on the evening of the 3d inst, so much destroyed the walls against which it was directed, that the arrangement was then made for assaulting the place on the following day, when the breach was reported practicable. “The troops intended to be employed were stationed in the trenches early in the morning of the 4th, that no extraordinary movement might lead the enemy to expect the assault, which I had determined to make in the heat of the day, as the time best calculated to ensure success, as the troops would then be least prepared to oppose us. “Ten flank companies of Europeans, taken from those regiments necessarily left to guard our camps and our outposts, followed by the 12th, 33d, 73d, and 74th regiments, and three corps of grenadier Sepoys, taken from the troops of the three Presidencies, with two hundred of his Highness the Nizam's troops, formed the party for the assault, accompanied by one hundred of the artillery and the corps of pioneers, and supported in the trenches by the battalion companies of the regiment de Meuron and four battalions of Madras Sepoys. Colonel Sherbrooke, and Lieutenant-Colonels Dunlop, Dalrymple, Gardiner, and Mignan, commanded the several flank corps, and Major-General Baird was entrusted with the direction of this important service. “At one o'clock the troops moved from the trenches,
crossed the rocky bed of the Cavery, under an extremely heavy fire, passed the glaciers and ditch, and ascended the breaches in the fausse braye and rampart of the fort, surmounting, in the most gallant manner, every obstacle which the difficulty of the passage and the resistance of the enemy presented to oppose their progress. Major-General Baird had divided his force for the purpose of clearing the ramparts to the right and left. One division was commanded by Colonel Sherbrooke, the other by Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlop : the latter was disabled in the breach, but both corps, although strongly opposed, were completely successful. Resistance continued to be made from the palace of Tippoo for some time after all firing had ceased from the works: two of his sons were there, who, on assurance of safety, surrendered to the troops surrounding them; and guards were placed for the protection of the family, most of whom were in the palace. “It was soon after reported that Tippoo Sultaun had fallen: Syed Scheb, Meer Sadus, Syed Gofa, and many other of his chiefs, were also slain. Measures were immediately adopted to stop the confusion, at first unavoidable, in a city strongly garrisoned, crowded with inhabitants and their property, in ruins from the fire of a numerous artillery, and taken by assault. The princes were removed to camp. It appeared to Major-General Baird so important to ascertain the fate of the Sultaun that he caused immediate search to be made for his body, which, after much difficulty, was found, late in the evening, in one of the gates, under a heap of slain, and soon after placed in the palace. The corpse was the next day recognised by the family, and interred, with the honours due to his rank, in the mausoleum of his father. “The strength of the fort is such, both from its natural position and the stupendous works by which it is surrounded, that all the exertions of the brave troops who attacked it, in whose praise it is impossible to say too much, were required to place it in our hands. Of the merits of the army I have expressed my opinion in orders, a copy of which I have the honour to enclose; and I trust your Lordship will point out
their services to the favourable notice of their King and country. “I am sorry to add, that on collecting the returns of our loss, it is found to have been much heavier than I at first imagined. “On the 5th instant, Ardul Chalū, the elder of the princes formerly hostages with Lord Cornwallis, surrendered himself at our outposts, demanding protection. Kermin Saheb, the brother of Tippoo, had before sought refuge with Meer Allum Behander. A cowl-namah was yesterday despatched to Futteh Hyder, the eldest son of Tippoo, inviting him to join his brothers. Perneah and Meer Kummer Odeen Khan have also been summoned to Seringapatam : no answers have been received; but I expect them shortly, as their families are in the fort. “This moment Ali Reza, formerly one of the vakeels from Tippoo Sultaun to Lord Cornwallis, has arrived from Meer Kummer Odeen Khan, to ask my orders for four thousand horse now under his command. Ali Reza was commissioned to declare that Meer Kummer Odeen would make no conditions, but rely on the generosity of the English. “Monsieur Chapue and most of the French are prisoners : they have commissions from the French government. “I have the honour to be, &c. “GeoRGE HARRIs.”
The following letter from the East India government was addressed to the Lieutenant-General on the occasion: —
“Fort St. George, August 7, 1799.
“The Governor-General in Council now directs me to signify his particular sense of the firmness, constancy, and perseverance with which you subdued the difficulties opposed to the progress of the army through the enemy's country; of the zeal and unanimity with which you inspired all the great departments of your army; of the judgment displayed in the whole conduct of the campaign, especially in the pas
sage of the Cavery, and in the position taken up before Seringapatam ; and the vigour and skill with which the siege was conducted. This great achievement entitles you to the gratitude and respect of the Company, of your King, and of your country; and the Governor-General has already discharged, with particular satisfaction, the grateful duty of stating to the Honourable Court of Directors, and to his Majesty's ministers, your eminent services, in a manner adequate to the honour and advantage which the British empire in India is likely to derive from the splendid victories obtained by the army under your command.” The conqueror was promoted to the Colonelcy of the 73d foot, February 14, 1800; to the rank of Lieutenant-General, January 1. 1801; and General, January 1. 1812. He was raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Harris of Seringapatam and Mysore in the East Indies, and of Belmont in Kent, August 11. 1815; and was appointed a Grand Cross of the Bath, May 27, 1820. His Lordship succeeded General Francis Dundas as Governor of Dumbarton Castle in January, 1824. During the latter years of his life Lord Harris lived in dignified retirement at his seat in Kent, beloved and respected by all around him. He was remarkable for his clear understanding, his unaffected bravery, his kind disposition, and his simple manners. His Lordship's death took place at Belmont, in Kent, in the month of May, 1829. Lord Harris married, December 9. 1779, Anne-Carteret, youngest daughter and co-heiress of Charles Dixon, Esq. of Bath; and by that lady, who survives him, had four sons and six daughters : — 1. the Honourable Anne-Elizabeth, married, in 1799, to the present Right Honourable Stephen Rumbold Lushington, M.P.: 2. Major-General the Right Honourable William-George, now Lord Harris, C.B. and K.W.; he has been twice married; and by his first lady, Eliza-Serena-Anne, daughter of William Dick of Tullimet, in Perthshire, Esq., has three sons and a daughter: 3. the Honourable MichaelWOL, XIV, X