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COMMENCEMENT OF THE WAR.

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CHAPTER IX.

THE WAR CONTINUED.

The third division consisting of three thousand men, under General Gillespie, made the first movement, and commenced active operations with little delay. The General not having joined, the troops moved under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Mawby, of Her Majesty's 53rd foot, from Seharunpore, whereto they had been previously ordered from Meerut, and on the 22nd October cleared the Timbee Pass, through the first range of hills into the Dhoon, and took up a position at Deegrah, the chief town of the valley, about

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five miles distant from the foot of Kalunga or Nalapanee.

This fort is situated on an isolated hill, about tive or six hundred feet high, covered with jungle, and in most places very steep. The table-land on the top may be about three quarters of a mile in length; and on the southern and highest extremity of the hill was Kalunga built. It was an irregular fortification, following the form of the ground, and at this time was imperfect, the wall not having been fully raised, but they were busily engaged in heightening and strengthening it.

It was commanded by Bhulbudder Sing, nephew of Umur Sing; and he had with him three or four hundred men, chiefly of the regular troops of Nepaul.

A letter was sent to this chief summoning him to surrender the fort. The manner in which he received this summons was rather characteristic, and gave foretaste of the steady coolness with which they defended the place. The note was delivered to him at midnight

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ARRIVAL OF GENERAL GILLESPIE.

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and he tore it up, observing that it was not customary to receive or answer letters at such unseasonable hours; but sent his “ Salaam" to the English Sirdar, assuring him that he would soon pay him a visit in his

camp On the next day Colonel Mawby reconnoitered the place, and having carried up two 6-pounders and two howitzers on elephants, made an attempt to carry the fort by assault. After firing a few rounds however, this was declared impracticable, and the party retreated.

General Gillespie now joined and took the command. The place was reconnoitered, and dispositions were immediately made for the assault.

Parties were employed in preparing fascines and gabions for the erection of batteries ; and two 12-pounders, four 51-inch howitzers, and four 6-pounders were carried up the hill on elephants.

The table land was taken without any resistance on the part of the enemy; and batteries for the above-mentioned were ready

to open on the fort on the morning of the 31st of October, at six hundred yards distance.

The storming-party was formed into four columns and a reserve; the first, under Colonel Carpenter, consisted of six hundred and eleven officers and men; the second, under Captain Fast, of three hundred and sixty-three officers and men; the third, under Major Kelly, of five hundred and forty-one officers and men; the fourth, under Captain Campbell, of two hundred and eighty-three officers and men; the reserve, under Major Ludlow, of nine hundred and thirtyeight officers and men. These were so disposed as to ascend at a given signal, (the firing of a gun), from different points, and thus to distract the, attention of the enemy from attending too much to any one point.

The enemy had on his side taken what precaution his situation offered him the means of. The well of the fort had been raised, though it was not then quite finished, so as to render it difficult, if not impossible to gain

DEFENCES OF THE FORT.

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the top without ladders, even in the lowest part. Every point where the fort was approachable, or thought weak, was covered by stockades, formed of stones and stakes stuck in the ground, a species of fortification in which the Goorkhas are very highly skilled.

Guns were placed where they could do execution, and at a wicket left open,

but so barred as to render entrance exceedingly difficult, and which covered a great part of the wall, a gun was placed to enfilade the approach with showers of grape. The batteries kept up a warm and well-directed fire upon

the foot, but the execution was not equal to expectation, and this, perhaps, uniting with eagerness of sanguine temper, induced General Gillespie to give the signal for the assault some hours sooner than intended, and which, probably from being unexpected, was not heard by either Major Kelly, Captain Campbell, or Captain Fast.

The column under Colonel Carpenter, and the reserve under Major Ludlow, then moved forward to the assault at nine o'clock, and

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