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of three miles, and at two to the west of the fort. The camp was in two lines feparated by paddy fields; a great tank + covered the left flank of both lines. At 300 yards in front of this tank, but a little on its left, was another, and farther on, likewise on the left of this, another, neither more than 200 yards in circumference, and both dry; and the bank which furrounded the foremost tank had been converted into a retrenchment, on which were mounted fome pieces of cannon, which commanded the plain in front, and flanked in its whole length the efplanade in front of the camp.
All the Morattoes were returned, and lying with their plunder under the foot of the mountain, extending along it towards the N. E. end. Their scouts brought intelligence of the approach of Colonel Coote's divifion, on which all mounted, as did the European cavalry in the French camp, and the whole spread in different bodies across the plain to the east of the mountain. Colonel Coote, with 200 of the black cavalry, followed by two companies of Sepoys, was adyancing a mile in front of the rest of the cavalry, which composed the divifion he was leading; and the Morattoes fent forward 200 of their horfe, on which he halted, called up the Sepoys, and interfperfed them in platoons between the troops of horfe.
The advanced body of the Morattoes nevertheless pushed on, but were flopped by the fire of the Sepoys, before they came to the ufe of the fword. Nevertheless, they recovered after their wheel, food till within reach of the Sepoys again, then turned again, and in this manner fell back to their main body, which with the French cavalry had gathered, and were drawn up, extending in a line to the east, from the end of the mountain; the French on the right of the Mo
'Colonel Coote, whilft halting for the Sepoys, had fent off a meffenger, ordering up the body of cavalry, which were a mile behind, and the first five companies of Sepoys with two of the field-pieces from the head of the line of infantry, to come on likewife as fast as they could march the cavalry foon joined him, but more time was requifite for the Sepoys and guns, as the line was three miles off. During which, Colonel Coote, by continual halts, advanced very flowly; and the enemy's cavalry continued on the ground they had chofen. At eight o'clock the detachment of Sepoys, with the guns, came up, when the divifion with Coote were at an afcent, which intercepted them from the fight of the enemy, who, although they had perceived the cloud of march, had not diftinguished the two guns which accompanied the Sepoys, who, joined by the other two companies, formed in a line in the rear of the cavalry, with the guns in the center; the two troops of European horfe were in the center of the cavalry in the firft line. In this order the two lines advanced against the enemy, who were still waiting for them; but when at the distance of 200 yards, the cavalry opened from the centre, and brought themselves round, divided on each wing of the Sepoys, in the fecond line; and the inftant the ground was clear, the two field-pieces began quick firing on the enemy's line of cavalry, which were fetting off to take advantage of the evolution making by the English. The field-pieces were, one a twelve, the other a fix-pounder, both of brafs; and Captain Robert
* Paddy, rice,
Barker, although he commanded the whole of the Company's artillery, had come up with, and now ferved them himself: the effect anfwered the good-will and dexterity; the fire was directed amongst the Morattoes; and every fhot was feen to overfet men and horses, which topped their career, but not before they were within reach of the mufketry of the Sepoys; and fome of them on the wings had even rode in amongst the outward of the English cavalry during their evolution; but the encreafing havoc which fell amongst them foon after, put the whole body to flight, and they galloped away to their camp, leaving the French cavalry alone, who were advancing in regular order on their right, against whom the field-pieces were then directed, which they stood for fome time, feeming to expect the Morattoes would rally; but feeing them entirely gone off, turned and went off themselves, but ftill in order, and with much compofure.
Colonel Coote advanced with his divifion to the ground they had quitted, and feeing the plain clear, quite up to the French camp, fent orders to his line of infantry to halt, wherefoever the order should meet them, until he returned to them himself. There were fome gardens and other enclosures half a mile to the right of the ground which the French cavalry had occupied, whilft drawn up in a line with the Morattoes extending from the end of the mountain. The enclosures were good fhelter on neceffity, and the ground beyond them excellent for the display and action of the whole army, which Colonel Coote having reconnoitred, ordered his divifion to file off to the left, and to form on this ground, in the fame order as before; the cavalry in a line in front, the Sepoys in another behind them.
As foon as this difpofition was executed, he rode back to the line of infantry, which were halting, drawn up in two lines according to the order of battle he had iffued to the principal officers in the proceding night. He fignified his intention of leading the army on to a general action, which was received with acclamations, that left no doubt of the ardour of the troops, to engage the enemy they had fo long been feeking. The plain, dry, hard, and even, admitted of their marching on in the fame order they were drawn up, without filing off in columns, fo that they were soon upon the ground where the advanced divifion were halting, when the cavalry wheeled from the right and left, and formed the third line of the main battle, and the five companies of Sepoys took their place again on the right of the first line: but the two field pieces, ftill attended by Captain Barker, with the two detached companies of Sepoys, kept apart at fome distance in front, but to the left of the first line.
In this array the army ftood in full view of the French camp, in which no motions were perceived; but no firing was heard against the fort of Vandivash. Colonel Coote having waited half an hour to fee the effect of his appearance, rode forward with fome officers to reconnoitre the enemy's camp, who fuffered them to approach near, without cannonading or fending out a party of cavalry to interrupt them.
The day began to wear, and Colonel Coote, as foon as he returned to the troops, ordered the whole to file off to the right; the infantry marched in two lines at the fame parallels they had drawn up; the baggage formed a third column on the right, and the ca
REV. Jan. 1779•
valry followed in the rear of all the three. They proceeded towards the fouth fide of the mountain, but inclining a little towards the French camp. As foon as the first files of the infantry came to the ftony ground which extends from the foot of the mountain, on which the enemy's cavalry could not act, the whole halted, and the two lines of infantry facing to the right, prefented themselves again in order of battle, oppofite to the French camp, at the diftance of a mile and a half, but out-ftretching it on the right; the baggage falling. back at the fame time, gave place to the cavalry to refume their former flation as the third line. The Morattoes were spread at the foot of the mountain to protect their own camp, and none of them ventured within reach of the two guns, which during the march had kept on the left of the first line; but fome of the French cavalry came out to reconnoitre, and were driven back by their fire. The army halted fome time in this fituation, in expectation that the defiance would bring the French out of their camp; but they flill remained quiet; which obliged Colonel Coote to profecute the reft of the operations he had meditated.
The ground for fome distance from the foot of the mountain, is, as under all others in the Carnatic, encumbered with ftones and fragments of rock. From this rugged ground up to the fort the plain was occupied by rice fields. The English army coafting the mountain until oppofite to the fort, and then making a converfion of their lines to the right, would immediately be formed in the ftrongest of fituations; their right protected by the fire of the fort; their left by the impaffable ground under the mountain, and with the certainty of throwing any number of troops, without oppofition, into the fort; who, fallying with the garrison to the other fide, might eafily drive the enemy from their batteries in the pettah; from whence the whole of the English army might likewife advance against the French camp, with the choice of attacking it either on the flank, or in the rear, where the main defences, which had been prepared in the front of their encampment, or arofe from the ufual difpofitions on this fide, would become entirely useless.
The English army had no fooner began their march along the foot of the mountain, than Mr. Lally perceived the intention, with all the confequences of this able operation. The camp immediately beat to arms, and foon after the troops were feen iffuing to occupy the ground in front of its line, where the field of battle had been previously marked out.
The French cavalry, 300 riders, all Europeans, formed on the right; next to them were the regiment of Lorrain, 400 firelocks: in the centre, the battalion of India, 700; next to them Lally's, 400, whofe left were under the retrenched tank, in which were pofted the marines or troops from the fquadron, with Poete's from Ganjam, in all 300, with four field-pieces. Between the retrenchment and Lally's were three, the fame number between Lally's and India, India and Lorrain, Lorrain and the cavalry; in all 16 pieces. Four hundred of the Sepoys of Hyder Jung, whom Mr. Buffy had brought from Cudapah, were pofted at the tank in the rear of the retrenched tank where the marines were, whom they were to fupport on occafion : 900 Sepoys were ranged behind a ridge which ran along the front of
the camp; and at each extremity of this ridge was a retrenchment guarded by 50 Europeans, which covered the entrances into the camp. The whole force drawn out, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, was 2250 Europeans, and 1300 Sepoys: 150 Europeans and 300 Sepoys continued at the batteries against Vandivash; but none of the Morattoes, although 3000, left the ground and protection of their own camp to affift their allies in this decifive hour.
The fight of the French army iffuing into the open plain gave Colonel Coote all he intended by the preceding operations of the day. He inftantly halted his lines, which had advanced fome way along the foot of the mountain. Facing as foon as they halted, the two firft lines were in order of battle, oppofite but obliquely to the enemy. The baggage were fent back under the efcort of two companies of Sepoys, to a village in the rear, and the cavalry as before took their place in the third line.
The English army confifted of 1900 Europeans, of whom 80 were cavalry, 2100 Sepoys, 1250 black horfe, and 26 field-pieces. In the first line were Coote's regiment on the right, the Company's two battalions in the centre. Draper's on the left; but all without their grenadiers; and 1800 Sepoys were equally divided on the right and left of the Europeans in this line; in the intervals of which were 10 pieces of cannon, three on each fide of the Company's battalions, and two between Coote's and Draper's and the Sepoys. In the fecond line were all the grenadiers of the army, 300, with a field piece next, and beyond 200 Sepoys on each of their flanks: the cavalry formed the third line; the 80 Europeans, as before, in the centre of the black horfe; the two field-pieces with the two companies of Sepoys of the morning ftill continued apart, advanced as before a little on the left of the first line.
As the English army were marching up, and before they were within cannon fhot, Mr. Lally, putting himself at the head of the European cavalry on the right, fet off with them, and taking a large fweep on the plain, came down, intending to fall upon the horse of the English army, which made their third line. The black horfe; who were nine-tenths of this body, pretended to wheel, in order to meet the enemy's, but purposely confufed themselves fo much, that fome went off immediately, which gave a pretext to the reft to follow them, and the 80 Europeans were left alone, who faced and drew up properly to receive the charge, relying on better affiftance. As foon as the intention of Mr. Lally was understood, the divifion of Sepoys on the left of the first line were ordered to fall back in an angle from the front, ready to take the enemy's cavalry in flank as they were approaching, but performed the evolution with fo little firmness, that little hope was entertained of any execution from their fire; but Cap tain Barker with the 2 guns of the feparate detachment, had watched, and directing his own by the movement of the enemy, was within point blank of them juft before they were oppofite and riding in on the flank and rear of the horse, where only the European were ready to oppose them, for all the black were gone. In less than a minute the quick firing of the two guns brought down ten or 15 men or horfes, which, as ufual, threw the next to them, and they the whole, into confufion; and the horfes growing every moment wilder, all E 2
turned and went off on the full gallop, leaving Mr. Lally, as he afferts, fingly alone. If fo, he could not have ftaid long where he was, for the European horfe, on feeing the enemy's check, were ad- · vancing; and many of the black, encouraged by the fecurity, were returning, and the whole foon after fet off after the enemy, whom they purfned in a long course quite to the rear of their camp.
The English army halted ten minutes in attention to this attack, ' during which the French line cannonaded, but beyond the proper diftance even for ball, and nevertheless often fired grape, and neither with any effect. The English did not begin to answer until nearer, and then perceiving their own fire much better directed, halted in order to preferve this advantage, as long as the enemy permitted it to continue, by not advancing from the front of their camp. Mr. Lally retiring from the English cavalry, and deferted by his own, rejoined his line of infantry, which he found fuffering, and with much impatience, from the English cannonade: his own impetuofity concurred with their eagerness to be led to immediate.decifion, and he gave the order to advance. The English line was not directly oppofite to the front of the French, but flanting outwards from their left, which required the French troops on this fide to advance much less than thofe of their right, who had more ground to wheel, in or- ' der to bring the whole line parallel to that of the English.
'Colonel Coote feeing the enemy coming on gave the final orders to his own. None but the Europeans of the first and fecond lines were to advance any farther. The Sepoys on the wings of both, and the cavalry in the third line, were to continue where they were left, and to take no fhare in the battle, until they should hereafter receive orders how to act.
The enemy began the fire of musketry at one o'clock, but Co. Jonel Coote intended to refrain until nearer; neverthelefs the company of Coffrees, which was inferted in one of the Company's battalions, gave their fire without the order of their officers, and it was with difficulty that the irregularity was prevented from extending. Colonel Coote was at this time paffing from the right to the left to join his own regiment, and received two or three shot in his cloaths from the fire of the Coffrees. As foon as he arrived at his regiment they began, and the fire became general through the whole line.
• Coote's had only fired twice, when Lorrain formed in a column twelve in front: the operation is fimple and was expeditious. Colonel Coote made no change in the difpofition of his regiment, but ordered the whole to preferve their next fire: which Lorrain coming on almost at a run, received at the diftance of 50 yards in their front and on both their flanks; it fell heavy, and brought down many, but did not flop the column. In an instant the two regiments were mingled at the push of bayonet; thofe of Coote's oppofite the front of the column were immediately born down, but the reft, far the greatest part, fell on the flanks, when every man fought only for himself, and in a minute the ground was fpread with dead and wounded, and Lorrain having juft before fuffered from the referved fire of Coote's, broke, and ran in diforder to regain the camp. Colonel Coote ordered his regiment to be restored to order