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PLAN OF ATTACK.

241

was sent with two companies from the battery to support the reconnoissance, but a much larger body came down to the Goorkhas and surrounded the whole party, who thus found themselves under the necessity of fighting their way through the enemy to secure their retreat. The movement was successfully executed, but with the loss of poor Williams, who was killed besides seventy-five Sepoys.

This affair was of no further consequence than it gave the enemy an occasion of triumph. The Nepaulese, however, permitted us the next day to remove and bury the dead, a courtesy they certainly never refused us during the war. Sir David Ochterlony was busily engaged all this while in surveying and improving the roads, and reconnoitering Umur Sing's position on every side. By the first week in December, he was enabled to form a plan of attack, the object of which was to make a lodgment on a point within the position; the proposed advance was to be made from the battery above mentioned, and was a dangerous under

VOL. I.

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taking in consequence of there being but one road to the position, and that laid under fire of one of Umur Sing's principal stockades, which the advancing column would have to receive on its flank, probably followed by a sally from the garrison as it passed. However, seeing no other way of inflicting a heavy blow on the enemy, Sir David submitted the plan to his two Brigadiers, Arnold and Thompson to obtain their opinion of it.

The propriety of making the attack was still under deliberation when the news arrived of our second failure before Kalunga, and Ochterlony hearing of a reinforcement being on its way to his own force by direction of Lord Hastings, determined to abandon the plan and to hazard nothing. Sir David at this time had many serious doubts of our ultimate success in the struggle, and he feared that our native army with its well known courage, and gallant officers, would be found ill adapted to a protracted warfare in a country too rugged to admit its discipline being brought in play. The gallant old general,

ARRIVAL OF REINFORCEMENTS.

243

manner

however, expressed his apprehensions on this point to none but the Commander-in-chief, nor could his most familiar associates detect in his

the slightest interruption of that cheerful flow of spirits for which Sir David was characterized through life.

Sir David, while waiting the arrival of his reinforcements, successfully exerted himself in obtaining the services of the small chief of Plaseea, and usefully employed him in making a road for artillery N.N.E. of Ramgurh, where his head-quarters were for some time fixed. This was previous to his attempting any operations in Umur Sing's rear. About the end of December, another battalion of Native Infantry, with a train of light guns joined Ochterlony's force; he detached Colonel Thompson with two regiments and guns to attack two stockades that were opposed to his right, and were situated on a spur from the Ramgurh ridge projecting N.E. in the Goorkha commander's rear. These stockades were if possible to be carried at once, and another point on

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which there was no stockade was to be occupied
by Thompson's detachment, who moved off
in the night, and late in the morning arrived
near the first stockade, but delayed carrying
it by a coup-de-main ; he therefore moved on
and occupied a ridge about eight hundred
yards distant from a stone work thrown up by
the
enemy,

and which was within a few hundred yards of the second stockade to be attacked. Here he halted for his guns to come up; on their arrival opened on the Deboo ki Tibia stockade until dark, hoping to effect a breach, but the rude defences of this nature quickly thrown up by the Nepaulese are often proof against light artillery, consequently no great impression was made, and Colonel Thompson was obliged to be satisfied by establishing himself on the ridge.

The Nepaulese not liking his close proximity, evacuated this stockade in the night, which was accordingly taken possession of by a party of our troops unopposed. The Nepaulese, however, employed themselves during the night in

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THE RAMGURH STOCKADE.

245

concentrating their force, preparatory to a determined effort to dislodge our detachment. Accordingly, at the Nepaulese favourite hour of attack, viz., just before daybreak, they made a simultaneous rush from a stockade which crowned the heights of the Ramgurh ridge, at the point where it was joined by that on which Deboo was situated. The detachment, however, was well prepared for them, and drove back the Nepaulese with considerable loss, killing and wounding nearly three hundred of them, our loss being very small, twelve only killed, and fifty wounded, without an officer being touched. Sir David, on hearing the firing, sent a small force to reinforce the post. By the end of December, it was re-stockaded and well secured.

It must here be noticed that Ramgurh formed the Goorkha commander's right, as his position fronted the plains. Colonel Thompson's post was in the rear of his centre, so as almost entirely to intercept his supplies and interfere with his communications. On

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