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IN the course of the year 1764, intelligence was received at Calcutta, that the forces of the Vizier and Cassum Ali, with some few troops attached to the King, had penetrated into the vicinity of Patna ; whither our troops, on the approach of the combined army, had precipitately retired. The enemy being afterwards repulsed in assaulting the European trenches, retreated towards the river Soane, where the Vizier made pacific advances to the English officer, who had been authorized to negociate, but pointedly dire&ted to demand, in the preliminary articles the surrender of Sombro, and the European deserters.” The purpose of the Vizier, in the desire he had shewn of obtaining a peace, was only to procure a cessation of hostility, that he might recruit his army. It has been even said, that he endeavoured to bring over to his cause Jaffier Ali Khan, whom the English, on the expulsion of Cassum, had a second time advanced to the government of the provinces. The Vizier, at a future period, did not disavow this supposed correspondence, which appears to have been condućted on the part of Meer Jaffier, by Nundocomar, Í who gave the Vizier an assurance of his master's inclination to form a separate treaty. Shujah-ud-Dowlah had derived an essential advantage from the fears of Cassum Ali, now seriously alarmed by the repulse at Patna ; and having first inveigled away his European and best native troops, he stripped him of the largest part of his treasure, and military stores. The drift of the Vizier's negociations becoming notoriously manifest, it was resolved that the English army should move towards his camp, and decide the contest in the field; which after a gallant ačtion of five hours, gave a complete vićtory to the English.* . . The defeat at Buxar produced obstinate difficulties to the political and military career of the Vizier, who on that event was deserted by all his allies. Shah Alum, in a condition ill suited to the title he bore, sought an asylum in the English camp, and loudly accused Shujah-ud-Dowlah of having forced the royal authority into becoming an instrument of his ambition, and a sančtion of his hostile designs against the English. This was the second time that the unfortunate Shah Alum had taken refuge in an English army. Here let me direct the view of the reader to the revolutions, which within no wide compass of time, have affected the empire of Hindostan : where at the close he will behold, with an awe and wonder that must humble the proudest of us to the dust, the illustrious house af Timur shaken to its foundation. IN the reign of Aurungzebe, it may, without any violation of truth, be said, that Hindostan, whether for its wealth, magnitude, or military resource, was the most distinguished empire in the Asiatic world. It must also be noticed, that the English, at that period, were not known beyond the sea coasts of India, where they occupied, under various restrićtions, the profession of merchants. Behold the scene presented in our day, of the feeble princes of Dehli, where a near successor of the great Aurungzebe, impelled by the destruction of his fortunes, is seen soliciting, in a country fo lately under the dominion of his ancestors, maintenance and protećtion from an English subject.”
* About two hundred private Europeans had deserted to the Vizier. + The person who suffered death at Calcutta, by a sentence of the Supreme Court for forgery.
Vol. I. T part * The English army consisted of 857 Europeans, and 6215 native troops, of which, 101 Europeans, and 773 sepoys, were killed and wounded. The army of Shujah-udDowlah was computed at 40,000 men, 2000 of whom it is said were slain in battle. The artillery taken by the English in the field, and in the pursuit of the enemy, amounted to 133 pieces of various sizes.
t This prince died in 1707, having reigned near fifty years. OT * This fačt has been again exemplified in the person of Schamdhar Shah, the eldest son of Shah Alum; who, by the interposition of the Bengal Government, receives a pension of three lacks of rupees out of the Oude revenue.
The Vizier, who had now severely felt the superiority of the English arms, shewed a serious desire of peace, but still refused to fubmit to the terms of the preliminary article, in the manner required by the Bengal Government. He refused to deliver up Cassum Ali, and Sambro, but promised to employ some convenient instrument in destroying the one, and to expel the other from his territories. This mode of qualifying the article, not being acceded to, Colonel Munro marched with the army to Benares, The desertion of a party of Europeans, and the retreat of our troops towards Patna, on his entering the Bahar province, had given him sanguine hope of success, which were wholly dissipated by the defeat at Buxar : and from that period, he began to model his army on a plan not before praćtised by the princes of India The author * of a valuable manuscript, which has largely aided this compilation, says, that the aera of the real consequence and power of the Vizier may be dated from the battle of Buxar. Conformably to an usage not unfrequent in Hindostan, this prince had colle&ted a larger army than the sources of his country could maintain; and even where the funds are competent, military payments are ever distributed in the native armies with a griping hand; though the most pernicious effečts are often produced by this fallacious system. The strength of the Vizier's army, consisting of cavalry, and a cumbrous body of artillery, was composed of many nations and tribes, but chiefly of Moghuls. These men, naturally violent and licentious, ill-brooked the failure of payment, and on every demand of arrears, either caused dangerous tumults, or forced expedients that were injurious to the civil government of his country. Orders
T 2 author * * Colonel Polier;
The English army advanced from Benares to invest ChunarGhur; but after making two unsuccessful assaults it returned to Benares. Bulwunt Sing, the Hindoo Chief of the province, had accompanied the Vizier in the campaign against the English, with a party of troops, which were stationed on the north side of the Ganges, opposite to the Buxar plain. After the battle, he withdrew himself from the Vizier, and having effected an accommodation with Colonel Munro, he joined the English army: but, alarmed at the repulse of Chunar-Ghur, and the Vizier's approach, he suddenly deserted Benares, and his new connexion.
Colonel Munro, resigning about this period * the command of the army, was succeeded by Major Fletcher, who immediately marched out of Benares, and pursued the Vizier, who had already invested the town as far as Juanpour. He formed the army into two divisions, one of which, under Major Stibbert, reduced the fort of Chunar-Ghur, and afterwards penetrated into the interior
parts of the Vizier's country —the other division he led himself
into the Allahabad districts, which were subjected. The Vizier, not able to oppose the success of these parties, called in a body of Mahrattas, who entered his country on the side of Corah, F and were defeated by the English army, then commanded by General Carnac.; The Mahrattas were attacked a second time by this.
* This occurrence happened in the beginning of the year 1765. + This distrićt, which is situated in the Allahabad territory, is bordered by the Jumna. # In May, 1765.