Allis artillery battlefield Blunderbuss British cannon cavalry Charles Cornwallis Daily EAM East India Company England Europe French General grenadier HBO Howitzer india James Stuart john ford King Louis XV King Louis XVI light infantry london Louis XV Military History Morat Movies museum napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte OSS POW SAS Scots Sepoy Sniper sword swords Tanks Tern Tory US Army weapons West Bank william wallace WIN wounded

The Fall of Seringapatam

The British resolved to reduce the power of French ally Tipu Sultan during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.

The British resolved to scale back the facility of French ally Tipu Sultan in the course of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore Struggle.

By Charles Hilbert

As converging columns of British and native infantry surrounded the internal palace of his capital, Seringapatam, Tipu Sultan didn’t hesitate. Round him all was chaos: the crack of muskets, the screams of dying males, the exultant shouts of their conquerors, the acrid odor of black powder, the confused mob of fugitives milling across the mounted sultan within the confined area between the inside and outer ramparts, all underneath the blazing warmth of the Indian solar.

It will have been straightforward for him to spur his charger ahead by way of the outer defenses to hunt security within the darkness of an impenetrable jungle, or he might have declared himself and surrendered to the approaching troopers. However the transient existence of a hunted fugitive was not acceptable to the Tiger of Mysore, nor was the notion of an honorable captivity. With no second thought, he rode towards the Water Gate and the internal palace, there to make his final stand.

Tipu hated the British. He had been preventing them for 30 years. As a younger cavalry commander within the military of his father, Hyder Ali, in the course of the First Mysore Struggle, he had led a lightning raid proper as much as the gates of Madras, capital of the Carnatic, which triggered the panicked British governor to swiftly embark on a brief cruise in a moderately small boat.

That conflict had ended favorably for Hyder Ali with a return to the prewar established order, however animosities remained, and by 1779 Hyder and Tipu have been once more at struggle with the British East India Firm. In 1780, they annihilated a contingent of three,500 sepoys and Englishmen at Polilur, and although Hyder died of most cancers two years later, Tipu fought the corporate to a standstill, signing the treaty of Mangalore in 1784, which as soon as once more restored the prewar established order. To commemorate his victory at Polilur, Tipu made himself the current of a life-sized, mechanical, picket tiger savaging a supine sepoy, full with a bellows that produced roars and screams of ache.

Tipu skilled a critical setback in 1792 when Lord Charles Cornwallis, governor common of India, surrounded Seringapatam and compelled him to surrender half his territory. However the Sultan of Mysore was no quitter. He tried to rearrange alliances with numerous Indian powers and with the French beneath King Louis XVI, after which Napoleon Bonaparte. This final little bit of diplomacy alarmed the brand new governor common, Richard Wellesley, Lord Mornington, who had imperialistic plans of his personal.

Tipu and Mornington spent the autumn and early winter of 1798 exchanging letters, the previous expressing his friendship for the English and hatred of the French, the latter his want for peaceable relations between the corporate and Mysore. On the similar time, each ready for struggle. On February three, 1799, Mornington ordered his forces to maneuver towards Mysore.

He had ready a two-pronged assault. The Madras, or Grand Military, underneath the command of Common George Harris assembled at Vellore, 100 miles west of Madras and fewer than 200 miles east of Seringapatam. The Bombay Military, commanded by Basic James Stuart, was marshaled at Cananore, about 100 miles to the west of Tipu’s capital.

Cornwallis’s marketing campaign towards Tipu eight years earlier than had been stricken by provide issues. This time the English have been taking no possibilities. When the 21,000 males of the Madras Military marched out of Vellore on February 11, they have been accompanied by a crowd of camp followers 10 occasions their quantity, main a loud menagerie of greater than 100,000 oxen, horses, donkeys, and elephants carrying provides, ammunition, and ordnance. They didn’t make good progress. On February 13, Lord Mornington acquired a letter from Tipu asking him to ship an envoy to Mysore to debate the state of affairs. He dispatched his reply to Harris with orders to ship it on to Tipu when the Madras Military crossed the boundary of Mysore.

Two weeks later, Harris was nonetheless plodding alongside when the Bombay Military, 6,500 males beneath Stuart, left Cananore. Anticipating the British to aim a repeat of their 1792 invasion, Tipu took up a place east of Seringapatam at Madur on the street to Bangalore, sending out raiding events that devastated the countryside, burning something that could possibly be of use to the enemy.

The Nizam of Hyderabad, Tipu’s neighbor to the northeast, having recently allied himself with the English, despatched 16,000 males to hitch the Madras Military. This detachment was underneath the command of the Nizam’s son, Meer Alum, however actually took its orders from Lord Mornington’s 29 year-old brother, Arthur Wellesley, the longer term Duke of Wellington. They met the Madras Military at Karimungalum, not removed from Tipu’s japanese border, on February 28. On the identical day, apprised by his spies of the advance of the Bombay Military, Tipu left Madur and marched west to assault Stuart.

Stuart’s advance publish, commanded by Colonel John Montresor, was at Seedasere, about seven miles west of Periapatam and about 50 miles west of Tipu’s capital; the primary physique of his military was stationed at two cities, eight and 12 miles to the rear of the advance drive. Whereas Tipu was advancing on Stuart, Harris reached Ryacotta on the border of Mysore on March four, from whence he dispatched Mornington’s letter to Tipu, which knowledgeable the potentate that his future correspondence must be addressed to Harris, who had full powers to barter a settlement.

The subsequent day, Stuart’s scouts noticed the arrival of Tipu’s military, which encamped between Periapatam and Seedasere. Stuart despatched a battalion of sepoys to strengthen Seedasere. That very same day, Harris crossed the Mysore frontier and commenced to seize numerous hill forts.

On the morning of February 6, barely seen by way of the mist and the thick woods that surrounded Seedasere, 12,000 of Tipu’s males steadily took up positions across the city. At 10 am, they concurrently attacked the entrance and rear of Montresor’s place. Led by their British officers, the corporate’s sepoys fired disciplined volleys that minimize down the advancing Mysore troops. By 2:30 pm, Stuart had reached the battlefield and attacked the rear of the drive that had attacked the rear of the advance publish. After a 30-minute firefight, the Mysoreans withdrew, and Stuart superior to relive Montresor. By three:20 pm, Tipu was retreating, and Stuart withdrew to Seedapore, 12 miles to the rear of the advance publish, to safe his line of provide. “I personally noticed a minimum of Three Hundred males killed or mortally wounded laying on the Street and in several elements of the Jungle, the place an amazing slaughter of the Enemy befell,” wrote Main Lachlan Macquarie, one in every of Stuart’s employees officers. Tipu returned to Periapatam. He left on February 11 and marched towards Seringapatam.

Tipu Sultan’s life-size mechanical tiger  celebrated his victory over the East India Company at the Battle of Polilur in 1780.

Tipu Sultan’s life-size mechanical tiger celebrated his victory over the East India Firm on the Battle of Polilur in 1780.

Harris’s large military was advancing slowly, making many stops on the best way. On March 14, his troops encamped close by of Bangalore. Fearing that the British would make this their base of operations, as that they had carried out within the earlier conflict, Tipu’s cavalry commander ordered his males to burn the city and the encompassing villages. However Harris had different plans. He turned south on March 16 and took the street to Kaunkanully. Tipu, anticipating Harris to take the northern and extra direct street to Seringapatam, once more took up place at Madur on the Bangalore street and laid waste the countryside alongside that route; nevertheless, he uncared for to do the identical to the southern street, upon which Harris was now marching. Studying of Harris’s southward motion, Tipu turned to his proper and took up a robust place on the west financial institution of the Madur River on March 18. A detachment of the Madras Military arrived at Kaunkanully, a number of miles east of Tipu’s military, on March 21, simply in time to stop Tipu’s males from draining the native reservoirs, or tanks. Two days later, Tipu inexplicably left the Madur River and made camp at Malavelly, about 30 miles east of Seringapatam. The subsequent day, Harris crossed the river and camped on the bottom recently vacated by Tipu. On March 26, the Madras Military halted in sight of Malavelly.

Because the solar rose on the morning of March 27, Harris’s advance guard, 5 regiments of cavalry beneath Maj. Gen. John Floyd, got here in sight of Tipu’s cavalry on the suitable, a few mile in entrance of Malavelly. Tipu’s infantry was drawn up on the excessive floor behind the city. Floyd might see them dragging cannons into place on their proper.

Wellesley and Floyd have been ordered to advance towards Tipu’s proper, whereas Harris led the remainder of the military by way of Malavelly towards the middle of the Mysore line. As Wellesley superior, supported by Floyd’s cavalry, Tipu’s gunners and infantry withdrew to a different ridge within the rear of their unique place. Seeing this, Harris ordered his quartermaster common, Colonel John Richardson, to organize the day’s encampment. At this second, Tipu’s weapons opened hearth at a variety of two,000 yards. Richardson carried on, and Colonel John Sherbrooke was ordered ahead to take a village in entrance of the left of the enemy line. Sherbrook left the 25th Dragoons within the village to regulate a big detachment of Tipu’s cavalry that threatened the British proper. Harris then shaped line of battle with Wellesley and Floyd on the left and Maj. Gen. David Baird on the best.

Because the advancing British line crossed the primary ridge, a niche opened between Baird and Wellesley. Hoping to take advantage of this tactical alternative, Tipu instantly led his cavalry ahead in two columns to the left and proper of Baird’s place. The left column reached Baird first. He ordered three corporations of the 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot to fireside and fall again, however after they fired they impulsively charged as an alternative.

With the 74th out in entrance, the proper column of Tipu’s cavalry charged their uncovered flank. Baird spurred his horse and rode out between the strains to halt their impetuous advance. As Baird reformed the 74th, the 12th and the Scots Brigade on his proper halted the advance of Tipu’s troopers.

Richard Wellesley.

Richard Wellesley.

A lot of the Mysore cavalry wheeled to their left and rode alongside the entrance of the British line, uncovered to the hearth of the corporate’s sepoys; a number of galloped by way of the interval between Baird and the brigade to his proper. They charged straight at Harris and his employees, considerably to the rear of the British line, and the Mysore troopers and British officers fired on one another with their pistols.

On the similar time, roughly 2,000 of Tipu’s foot troopers superior in column towards Wellesley and the Nizam’s troops. At 60 yards, Tipu’s males fired. Wellesley charged with the bayonet, and Floyd led a cavalry cost. The sudden impetus compelled the Mysore column to retreat. Harris didn’t pursue. The corporate misplaced 61 males killed, whereas Tipu left behind a thousand lifeless, scattered throughout the sector of battle.

Again in 1792, Cornwallis had approached Seringapatam on the north aspect of the River Cauvery and camped on the village of Arakery on the north financial institution of the river. Anticipating Harris to do the identical, Tipu withdrew within the path of Arakery. However Harris meant to strategy Tipu’s capital from the southern aspect of the Cauvery. As soon as once more he took the southern route, which, since Tipu anticipated him to take the northern and extra direct street to Seringapatam, remained untouched and offered meals and forage for the Madras Military.

Marching out of Malavelly on March 28, Harris despatched a pressure to reconnoiter the ford over the Cauvery on the village of Sosilay, some miles to the southwest of his place and 15 miles southeast of Seringapatam. They returned that night time and reported that the ford was practicable. The British reached Sosilay the subsequent day and, after reassuring the locals that no hurt would come to them, started crossing the broad Cauvery by way of a ford the place the water was solely three ft deep. It took two days for Harris to maneuver the massive column to the southern financial institution of the Cauvery, whereas Tipu waited for him on the incorrect aspect of the river. When Tipu discovered that he had been outmaneuvered, he assembled his entire employees. “We now have arrived at our final stage; what’s your willpower?” “To die with you,” was the unanimous reply.

Tipu despatched his infantry and artillery into Seringapatam and, on March 31, crossed to the southern financial institution of the Cauvery together with his mounted troops. The large Madras Military lumbered on, making about seven miles a day. Tipu shadowed them together with his cavalry. He watched from a hilltop as they made camp 5 miles from his capital on the night of April 2.

Tipu Sultan.

Tipu Sultan.

Tipu ordered his infantry and 20 weapons to cross the river and be a part of him, aspiring to occupy some excessive floor 4 miles south of the town. One thing modified his thoughts, and he withdrew to Seringapatam, constructed on an island in the midst of the Cauvery River. Tipu’s gardens, together with the tomb of his father, Hyder Ali, shaped a triangle on the japanese finish; the city lay within the middle, and his fortress and palace occupied the western level.

For the subsequent two days, the massive column crawled eastward throughout the heights recently vacated by the Sultan of Mysore. On the night of April four, the column halted. Earlier than it was a small grove of betel nut timber generally known as the Sultanpettah tope. The betel nut being an necessary ingredient in sure spiritual ceremonies, nice care was taken to irrigate the timber, so the Sultanpettah tope was crisscrossed by large ditches. Hid among the many tall, bamboo-like palms and irrigation ditches was a big physique of Mysorean troops, together with rocket males. Baird was ordered to clear the tope, and at 11 am on April four he superior. Tipu’s males withdrew. Baird returned to camp, the rocket males returned to the tope, and Tipu’s infantry took up posts in a ruined village to the left of the tope.

On April 5, the military marched by the left, protecting underneath the ridges to the south and west of Sultanpettah to keep away from the topes, which afforded cowl for the enemy’s rocket males and from whence a variety of rockets have been thrown with out impact. After a brief march, the military took up its floor reverse the west face of the fort of Seringapatam on the distance of three,500 yards.

The military encamped dealing with east, its proper anchored on excessive floor, its left protected by an aqueduct that lay between the military and the town and curved round behind the rear of the encampment, affording an additional protection towards any shock assaults by a determined enemy.

That night time, Harris ordered Wellesley to filter out the tope as soon as and for all. Colonel Robert Shaw was directed to take the ruins of a village northwest of the tope and 40 yards in need of the aqueduct. At sundown Wellesley and Shaw superior. Shaw carried the village however was fired upon by enemy infantry coated by the aqueduct. Wellesley’s firm superior into the black night time, highlighted from behind by the lights of the British camp. Disordered by the deep irrigation ditches and dense vegetation as rockets exploded and musket balls slapped into the foliage round them, a dozen males wandered into the enemy’s place and have been taken to the fort to be strangled later. The longer term Duke of Wellington obtained misplaced. After a number of hours of stumbling in the dead of night, he returned to camp.

At 9 am the subsequent day, as Main Alexander Beatson relates, “Colonel Wellesley, with the Scotch brigade, two battalions of sepoys, and 4 weapons, superior to the assault of the tope; from which the enemy fired…. Their hearth was returned by a number of discharges of grape from the sector items … events have been indifferent to take the enemy in flank, which quickly threw them into confusion, and obliged them to retire with precipitation.” On the similar time, Shaw superior from the village and cleared the aqueduct in his entrance whereas one other detachment beneath Colonel William Wallace secured the remainder of the road of the aqueduct to Shaw’s left, inflicting the enemy to withdraw from their ahead positions. Tipu’s cavalry left the island and took the street to Periapatam.

Cavalry officer Maj. Gen. John Ford.

Cavalry officer Maj. Gen. John Ford.

The subsequent day, Harris despatched Floyd and half the military to hyperlink up with Stuart at Periapatam. Tipu fortified a powder mill on the south financial institution of the Cauvery somewhat to the west of the top of the island, and he constructed entrenchments from the powder mill to the Periapatam bridge, which was close to the southwest angle of the fort.

Two days later, Harris acquired a letter from Tipu, “I’ve adhered firmly to treaties. What, then, is the which means of the advance of the English armies and the prevalence of hostilities?” Harris knowledgeable him that, in accordance with the phrases provided in Mornington’s final letter, the worth of peace can be half his kingdom, 4 of his sons as hostages, and a big indemnity.

On April 10, Floyd rendezvoused with Stuart at Periapatam and the subsequent day set out for Seringapatam. “About 5,000 of the Enemy’s Horse made their look quickly after we marched, inside about half a mile of our Line on our Proper Flank,” wrote Main Lachlan Macquarie. “They threw some Rockets on the Nizam’s Horse however didn’t try and assault them; they nevertheless hung the entire of our march on our Flanks and Rear.”

For the subsequent two days the Bombay Military marched slowly, dragging its artillery items over tough floor. On April 13, the military discovered itself arduous pressed by the enemy, which attacked the rear guard because it negotiated a slender cross. Mysorean cavalrymen overtly rode as much as the rear guard and fired musket rounds whereas rockets burst among the many sepoys.

Marching at daybreak on April 14, the mixed forces arrived at Seringapatam within the early night. “We encamped instantly within the Rear of the Grand Military,” wrote Macquarie. “We have been harassed throughout the entire of this Day’s march as typical by the enemy’s Horse.” On April 16, the Bombay Military crossed the Cauvery and took up a robust place on the north aspect of the river about 1,800 yards from the fort at Seringapatam. The Bombay Military’s proper was anchored on the river, and its left prolonged to excessive floor dealing with east towards the fort. Floyd and his males acquired little relaxation, now being despatched off to cowl foraging events.

A soldier of the Mysorean army is shown using his rocket as a flagstaff. He wears typical clothing of Tipu’s army, including a purple wool jacket, a turban and matching sash. The Mysorean troops fought the British with great determination.

A soldier of the Mysorean military is proven utilizing his rocket as a flagstaff. He wears typical clothes of Tipu’s military, together with a purple wool jacket, a turban and matching sash. The Mysorean troops fought the British with nice willpower.

Nineteenth-century techniques required that a breach be made within the fortifications of a walled metropolis for infantry troops to make an assault. This was achieved by a sluggish advance of artillery batteries via a collection of parallel trenches related by zigzag trenches. Based on Beatson, the southwest wall of the “north-west angle of the fort … a line almost 5 hundred yards in size … uncovered to a damaging enfilading hearth from the north aspect of the river … completely uncovered to breaching batteries from the westward,” can be the location of the breach, the Cauvery at that time being simply fordable.

On the night time of April 17, the British established a battery of six 18-pounders 800 yards from the southwest angle of the fort. Tipu despatched males down into the principally dry mattress of the Cauvery. From the duvet of the financial institution they fired upon their enemies, who replied with grape shot, canvas luggage filled with lead balls that turned their two 6-pounders into big shotguns. After an hour of this relatively uneven battle, the Mysorean infantry withdrew into the fort. The long-range firefight resumed the subsequent day, Tipu’s snipers firing from the riverbed and his cannons from the fort, whereas the British continued to rake their enemies within the Cauvery with grape. Through the day, Floyd returned to the camp, having rounded up portions of grain and cattle. Because the 18-pounders have been being wrestled into place that night time close to the south financial institution of the Cauvery, Tipu’s cavalry and rocket males attacked the rear of the Bombay Military and have been pushed off by grape shot.

Daybreak of April 19 noticed the 18-pounders in motion towards the southwest bastion of the fort. The next day these cannons have been turned towards Tipu’s males within the powder mill, and by early night the place was taken and work begun on the primary parallel trench. That night time Harris acquired one other letter from Tipu providing to barter. Two days later, Tipu acquired Harris’ reply, reiterating his calls for for hostages and the cost of a giant sum of gold inside 24 hours.

To place an enfilading battery that may have the ability to hearth on the partitions of the fort from the northwest, from which place their shot would journey the within size of the partitions, exposing the defenders to fireside from their proper, Montresor led the 74th Regiment of Highlanders towards the village of Agarum, near the north financial institution of the Cauvery. The preventing there was intense. The 74th carried the village  however was pushed out by a heavy hearth of grape from the fort, adopted by a basic assault on the place; they returned, drove out the defenders, and spent the remainder of the night time averting their relentless foes. By dawn the assaults petered out, and the rising solar revealed numbers of the enemy lifeless mendacity near the British place, amongst them a number of Frenchmen who had led the assaults. Tipu had lengthy employed French mercenaries, and there have been about 450 current on the ultimate Battle of Seringapatam. Through the night time, the British emplaced a six-gun battery on the mill.

The protracted conflict between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company is depicted in a work of art showing a mythical Indian figure battling British soldiers. Pressed with fresh demands by the British, Tipu Sultan stressed that he had adhered firmly to existing treaties.

The protracted battle between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Firm is depicted in a murals displaying a legendary Indian determine battling British troopers. Pressed with recent calls for by the British, Tipu Sultan harassed that he had adhered firmly to present treaties.

The subsequent three days noticed extra assaults on the rear of the Bombay Military, whereas the 18-pounders and the enfilading battery stored up a heavy hearth towards the fort, which was answered simply as enthusiastically by Tipu’s artillery. The artillery duel continued, with the British including extra cannons, and the firing from the fort slowly slackening because the British superior their strategy trenches, including howitzers that threw shells over the partitions into the fort.

On April 26, the picquets of the Bombay Military have been attacked at four am by a fireplace of muskets and rockets. By daybreak, their attackers have been pushed away, and the bombardment of the fort continued. That night, troops of the Madras Military took Tipu’s advance positions south of the Cauvery in entrance of the southwest wall of the fort. Saturday noticed extra harassing assaults on the Bombay Military, whereas Tipu’s infantry tried to retake the positions misplaced the day earlier than, with out success. The British emplaced extra artillery batteries. A extreme bombardment was opened on the fort, which was returned, and for the subsequent three days the British and Mysorean artillery slugged it out. On April 29, Tipu wrote to Harris one final time, providing to ship ambassadors. Harris replied that he was “ready to reject any ambassadors who didn’t come absolutely ready to comply with all of the circumstances of the treaty, and convey the cash with them.” As Tipu continued his ineffectual correspondence, the British trenches inched nearer and nearer to the fort.

By Might 1, with extra British batteries emplaced virtually day by day, the fort’s weapons close to the meant breach have been silenced. Fifty-two weapons opened on the fort on Might 2. “By Midday a really giant Hole was made within the Wall and each shot hanging the underside of it introduced a part of it down … by Sundown a really giant Breach was made within the South West Curtain,” wrote Macquarie.

On Might three the breach within the southwest angle of the wall was deemed practicable. The order to assault the subsequent day was given to Maj. Gen. David Baird, who was cranky and ailing tempered at one of the best of occasions, and who had spent a number of years as Tipu’s prisoner, having been captured on the Battle of Polilur in 1780. The passage of time had not diminished his implacable hatred of the Tiger of Mysore. That night time Lieutenants James Farquhar and John Lalor waded the Cauvery, jamming stakes within the river backside to mark the trail that the attacking columns ought to take. The troops destined for the assault have been stationed within the trenches earlier than dawn. Baird was amongst them, assuring those that had been captured with him years earlier than and had suffered alongside him in Tipu’s dungeons that they might quickly have the ability to settle previous scores.

Redcoats and Sepoys fight at close quarters during the height of battle at Seringapatam. Colonel John Sherbrooke leads his men in a fresh attack as Lt. Col. James Dunlop with bandaged hand watches.

Redcoats and Sepoys struggle at shut quarters in the course of the peak of battle at Seringapatam. Colonel John Sherbrooke leads his males in a recent assault as Lt. Col. James Dunlop with bandaged hand watches.

Beginning at daybreak the subsequent day, the breach was blasted once more. At 10 am, a detachment of Tipu’s cavalry attacked the rear of the Bombay Military, however was pushed off. A basic bombardment of the city and fort at Seringapatam was begun. Beatson mentions that Tipu’s astrologers had warned him that Might four, 1799, can be “an inauspicious day.” As his cavalry was attacking the Bombay Military, Tipu was distributing largesse among the many Brahmins as a religious protection towards the ill-omened day. His spies and a number of other of his officers, together with Syed Goffar who commanded close to the breach, knowledgeable him of numerous the enemy within the trenches. For some purpose, Tipu thought-about this unlikely and went off to have lunch.

Baird had divided his pressure into two columns, which might separate as soon as that they had entered the breach: the left, beneath command of Lt. Col. James Dunlop, would take the northern rampart; the correct, commanded by Colonel Sherbrooke, would advance alongside the southern wall; they might meet on the japanese rampart and thus encompass the inside city and palace.

As recorded within the Regimental Historical past of the 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot: “At 1 pm by Baird’s watch, the large Scot stood, his sweat-soddened uniform caught to him as he climbed out of the ditch; he drew his regimental claymore and bellowed, ‘Now, my courageous fellows, comply with me and show yourselves worthy of the identify British troopers!’” Roughly 2,000 Europeans and 1,800 sepoys clambered out of the trenches and rushed the breach, the main corporations ordered to make use of the bayonet and chorus from firing until it was completely mandatory. Every column was preceded by a forlorn hope composed of a sergeant and a dozen Europeans. They have been greeted by an intense hearth of rockets and muskets.

British soldiers pursue Tipu Sultan as he retreats to the tunnel-like passageway known as the Water Gate that led to the inner fortress. The Mysore leader chose to fight to the death rather than surrender.

British troopers pursue Tipu Sultan as he retreats to the tunnel-like passageway often known as the Water Gate that led to the internal fortress. The Mysore chief selected to struggle to the demise moderately than give up.

Baird had determined to steer the left column, however the heavy hearth of the enemy brought on this column to incline away from the marked ford. The troopers stumbled into deeper water underneath the excessive financial institution of the river, which protected them from the flaming rockets and spattering bullets. Baird, impatient to familiarize yourself together with his previous enemy, leaped into the Cauvery and headed straight for the breach whereas leaden musket balls whizzed and splashed round him. He was scorching on the heels of the forlorn hope. The soldiers of Mysore met their attackers head on.

Macquarie tells how Dunlop, on the head of his troops, crossed swords with one among Tipu’s officers. He parried his opponent’s minimize “and immediately making a reduce together with his sword on the Sirdar throughout the Breast, laid it open, and wounded him mortally.” Hanging again as he fell, the Sirdar almost reduce off Dunlop’s proper hand. Spouting blood, the colonel gained the highest of the breach whereas his males bayoneted the recumbent and moribund Sirdar.

Six minutes after the graduation of the assault, the British colours waved within the breach, however just for a second. “A sudden, sweeping hearth from the inside wall got here like a lightning blast, and exterminated the dwelling mass,” wrote Lieutenant Richard Bayly. “Others crowded from behind, and once more the flag was planted.”

“Colonel Sherbrooke was knocked down by a spent musket ball as he mounted the breach, however shortly recovered,” recalled Macquarie. Firm troops now crammed the 100-foot area between the ruined partitions. After a second’s delay in crossing an sudden water-filled ditch, Baird ordered the columns ahead. He led the best alongside the southern rampart whereas Dunlop, having collapsed from lack of blood, was carried off the sector.

Maj. Gen. David Baird, who had once been Tipu Sultan’s prisoner, looks on as the Mysorean leader’s body is identified and recovered among the pile of slain soldiers that filled the Water Gate. He is revered as a martyr.

Maj. Gen. David Baird, who had as soon as been Tipu Sultan’s prisoner, seems on because the Mysorean chief’s physique is recognized and recovered among the many pile of slain troopers that crammed the Water Gate. He’s revered as a martyr.

Tipu was having lunch in a small gateway underneath the northern rampart, which had been walled up years earlier than, the place he had been headquartered for the final two weeks. Listening to the sound of preventing, he left his unfinished repast and referred to as for his sword and fusils. As he was strapping on his sword, somebody ran as much as him and informed him that his pal Syed Goffar had been killed on the breach. Noting that Goffar was by no means afraid of dying, the sultan instructed that Mahommed Cassim ought to take command of his division. Then, adopted by 4 males who carried his fusils and by a fifth who carried a blunderbuss, Tipu mounted the northern rampart and headed towards the breach.

Many transverse partitions obstructed the advance of the left column. Though the sunshine infantry, led by Captain Thomas Woodhall, had penetrated into the city and was now flanking the transverse partitions, the preventing was heavy, and all of the officers of the left column have been both killed or wounded. Lieutenant Farquhar took command and was instantly shot lifeless.

Tipu stood behind one in every of these transverse partitions and fired on the advancing firm troops as his servants loaded for him. Three or 4 Englishmen fell by his hand, however the remaining got here on relentlessly. Confronted by the advancing troops and flanked by the sunshine infantry, these of Tipu’s males who had not fallen started to flee. Unable to rally them, Tipu had no selection however to retreat, preventing from one transverse wall to the subsequent with a small group of his most decided adherents. “A brief fats officer” defended each traverse, in line with the Regimental Historical past of the 73rd (Highland) Regiment. The officer himself stored firing loaded weapons that have been handed to him by his searching servants. A type of who fell by this correct hearth was Lalor of the King’s 73rd. This description matches the observations of Allen, who would later be concerned within the seek for the sultan. Tipu “was of low stature, corpulent,” he wrote.

The correct column led by Baird encountered much less resistance, probably as a result of the Mysorean troopers there didn’t have the encouragement of their sultan’s presence to encourage them. “We had a definite view of each motion,” wrote Beatson. “The enemy retreated the second our males superior upon them with the bayonet … most of the fugitives in trying to flee from the fort, by decreasing themselves down with their turbans from the partitions … have been dashed to items on the rocky backside of the ditch.”

Reluctantly retreating alongside the northern rampart, Tipu mounted his horse and rode eastward atop the rampart. As he rode down a ramp close to the Water Gate, he was struck in the correct aspect by a musket ball. This he appears to have barely observed. To his proper the Water Gate led to the internal city and his palace, the place his household awaited the result of the battle. He headed towards the gate, which was crowded with fugitives. As he tried to move via, the left column caught up with him and on the similar time the sunshine infantry reached the inside of the gate. Tipu was now trapped between two hostile forces. The British opened hearth; the close-packed troopers and civilians of Seringapatam stumbled and fell as clouds of smoke rolled over them. Bullets ripped via Tipu’s fantastic clothes. The gate was instantly crammed with lifeless and dying. Tipu’s final remaining servant, Rajah Cawn, suggested him to announce himself and be taken alive. “Are you mad? Be silent!” shouted the wounded sultan. One other burst of fireside and Tipu’s horse was hit, and Rajah Cawn took a bullet within the leg. Horse, sultan, and trustworthy servant collapsed onto a pile of writhing our bodies.

The Tiger of Mysore lay within the gateway upon a heap of the slain. Because the British troopers entered, considered one of them approached him and reached ahead to despoil him of his wealthy accouterments. The bleeding, moribund sultan struck with what remained of his power, slicing open the Englishman’s knee together with his sword. The soldier stepped again, took goal, and shot him within the head.

The left and proper columns met on the japanese rampart. The town had fallen. “The fortress now turned one wild scene of plunder and confusion,” wrote Bayly. “The troops had crammed their muskets, caps, and pockets with zechins, pagodas, rupees, and ingots of gold. Considered one of our grenadiers, by identify Platt, deposited in my arms, to the quantity of fifteen hundred kilos’ value of the valuable metals, which in six months afterwards he had dissipated in consuming, horse-racing, cock-fighting, and playing.”

The sultan’s palace was surrounded. Baird despatched Main Allen with a suggestion of safety to Tipu and his household if he would give up unconditionally on the spot, or “the palace can be immediately assaulted, and each man put to the sword.” Allen was admitted, and the sons of Tipu surrendered themselves, however they denied any information of their father’s whereabouts. Baird, though disinclined to consider them, despatched them off safely to the British camp after which tore via the palace in the hunt for his previous enemy. The governor of the palace, after some critical threatening by Baird, revealed the final recognized place of Tipu Sultan. He led Baird, Allen, and others to the Water Gate, the place a pile of roughly 300 bloodstained corpses crammed the archway.

At nightfall the our bodies have been dragged out one after the other and examined by the governor. This was a prolonged course of, and because the night darkened, torches have been lit. Main Allen and the governor entered the gateway and continued the search within the flickering mild. They came across Tipu’s servant, who was mendacity wounded underneath the sultan’s palanquin. He directed them to the spot the place Tipu had made his final stand. The physique was carried out and acknowledged because the sultan.

“His eyes have been open, and the physique was so heat that for a couple of moments Colonel Wellesley and myself have been uncertain whether or not he was not alive: on feeling his pulse and coronary heart, that doubt was eliminated,” wrote Allen. “He had 4 wounds, three within the physique, and one within the temple; the ball having entered just a little above the suitable ear, and lodged within the cheek.” The sultan’s physique was carried to the palace, and the subsequent day Baird, in an effort to cease the looting, ordered that any man discovered doing so can be hanged. The looting stopped.

Because of the autumn of Seringapatam, Lord Mornington was made Marquess Wellesley; he appointed his brother the governor of Mysore. Baird, who was not happy about Colonel Wellesley’s new command, was shunted off to Dinapore in Bengal. Tipu’s mechanical tiger (together with anything of worth) was shipped to England, the place it and its unlucky sufferer now silently occupy a case within the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

About the author

Admin