The Duke of Wellington - Warrior of the Empire Part 2
Patrick Harris -
Colonel Arthur Wellesley had been on an expedition to the Philippines with the 33rd when the Fourth Anglo- Mysore War broke out. The British East India Company set out to establish rule over more of India, and it fell to the Sepoys and the British Army to do their dirty work. Lord Mornington (Arthur's brother, Richard, who was Governor General of India) ordered the capture of Seringapatam. General Harris set out with 24,000 men from Calcutta. Arthur was ordered to join him.
Arthur was appointed advisor to the Nizam of Hyderabad, whose army had accompanied the British. Wellington did well for himself when he held the 33rd steadfast against a portion of the Tipu Sultan's army during a skirmish on the way to Seringapatam. Once the siege had commenced and a breach was formed, Arthur led the rear, and was the first senior officer to see the Tipu's body. Arthur was then appointed Governor of Seringapatam and promoted to Brigadier General. He presided over the recovery from the siege and the incorporation of Mysore into British India. He spent much of his tenure ill.
Arthur learned in September 1802 that he had been promoted to Major General. Shortly after, the Second Anglo-Maratha War commenced. Arthur had a small army, but he boldly decided to go on the offensive. He split his force into two and went on the march, easily capturing the first Maratha fort. Arthur then learned of the main Maratha army camped at a place called Assaye. The British set off, eager to confront a numerically superior Maratha army led by capable European Officers (such as Anthony Pohlmann, who may or may not have been present).
The British forded the Kaitna river and approached the Maratha army in line, coming under horrific fire as they did so. Arthur had two horses shot out from under him, and was as one soldier remarked "in the thick of the action the whole time". The British casualties were heavy, but they won the day, turning the Martha's flanks with cavalry and excelling in the close quarters melée of the battle.
The war did not end. Arthur led his army to victory once again at Argaum. Later, he led the siege of Gawilghur. The first two assaults on the main gate failed, shattered in a hail of musket fire, but third, by the 94th Scot's, through a ravine between the inner and outer walls, was successful.