The son of a soldier, Archibald Campbell belonged to the
family of the Campbells of Glenlyon in Perthshire. When almost a boy he
managed to raise twenty stout Highlanders for the army, and was rewarded
with a commission. A few weeks later he sailed for India, where he made
three campaigns under Sir Robert Abercromby.
On the outbreak of the Second Mysore War, Archibald
Campbell was made brigade major of the Bombay Division, and took part in
the battle of Sudaseer. At the second siege of Seringapatam the young
officer’s gallant conduct attracted the attention of Wellesley, who
remembered him at two important periods of his career.
Rapid promotion followed, and the young soldier was
anxious to follow up his successes in India, but his health had broken
down. He was obliged to return to England, but through Wellesley’s
influence he was given a command at home, and spent several years in the
On the breaking out of Napoleon’s wars in the Peninsula,
Campbell, who was then with the 71st Highland Light Infantry, was sent
to Portugal, in charge of the 1st Battalion of his regiment. He was
present at the battles of Roli9a and Vimiera, and accompanied Sir John
Moore during the advance into Portugal and the retreat upon Corunna.
Wellesley once more proving his friend, Campbell returned
to Portugal as one of the officers selected to assist Marshal Beresford.
Showing himself clever and capable, he was appointed to the command of
the 6th Regiment, and bore a distinguished part in the battle of Busaco.
Further promotion was his reward, and as brigadier-general in command of
the 6th and 18 th Portuguese regiments he rendered conspicuous services
at Arrago des Molinos and also at Albuera.
The Portuguese order of the Tower and Sword was conferred
upon Colonel Campbell, and his brigade was sent to the Pyrenees as a
division under the command of General Hill. At the battles of Vittoria,
the Pyrenees, the Nivelle, and the Nive he distinguished himself by his
bravery and skill. His services were mentioneJ in dispatches, and at the
declaration of peace he was rewarded with a knighthood, a colonelcy, and
a gold cross with one clasp. He was appointed aide-de-camp to the prince
regent, and became a K.C.B.
The Burmese campaign of 1824-1826 brought this gallant
soldier still, higher opportunities of distinction. The Burmese had been
making unprovoked attacks upon the frontier of Bengal. Complaints were
sent to the king, who replied only by a contemptuous silence. The
British Government changed its tone, and sent first warnings and then
threats; but still no notice was taken, and it became necessary to teach
the insolent ruler a lesson.
War was declared, and Sir Archibald, being in command of
the 38th at Berhampore in India, was sent with about 11,500 men,
including four British regiments, to Rangoon.
As the fleet sailed up the river, beacons were lighted on
the shores to warn the inhabitants, and bonfires flaming on all the
heights carried the news into the interior of the country. The ships had
to sail close by the wooded banks, and a sharp lookout was kept, the
invaders fearing an ambush.
Nothing was done, however, by the natives, save to fire a
few harmless shots from one or two huts on the shore. By midday the
fleet arrived at Rangoon, and anchored close to the King’s Wharf; but
still no resistance was made. In spite of the threats which had been
exchanged, the Burmese seemed to have thought no foreigners would dare
to invade their country, and when the war-vessels really did appear they
were stupefied with surprise and terror.
On the shore the British saw some natives standing by the
guns of a battery, hesitating and apparently afraid to fire. The orders
and threats of some
men who stood beside
them, and who appeared to be leaders, at last induced them to venture;
but the broadside poured in return from the British vessels silenced
every gun in the town.
The natives fled, and when the invaders landed they found
Rangoon completely deserted. The houses of the British and American
residents were empty, and a terrible fear seized the white men lest they
might have been massacred.
Sir Archibald ordered search parties to explore the
country in every direction; and all night bodies of soldiers and
bluejackets patrolled the forests. At dawn a shout went up from one of
the parties—the unfortunate white men had been found chained hand and
foot in a half-ruined hut. They had been taken prisoners, ill-treated,
and sentenced to death for refusing to give information regarding the
movements of the British. When the town was bombarded their guards had
dragged them for several miles into the forest, and then left them.
The captives were brought back to the town, where Sir
Archibald found himself in a great difficulty.
It had been hoped that the presence of a fleet would
terrify the king into yielding. No means had been given to the army for
an advance into the interior; and now the leader found himself enclosed
with all his forces in a' deserted town, while the people of the country
had as little idea as ever of giving in.
All around the city the country was laid waste, No
provisions were to be found, the houses and gardens of the poor people
having been destroyed, while their cattle were driven into the interior.
Still more alarming was the discovery that the enemy were
gathering in hosts in the jungle which .surrounded the British
encampment. The king, a mysterious, dreaded potentate, who lived in Ava,
and was seldom seen by his subjects, had issued a proclamation; and men
were advancing upon Rangoon from every part of the country. The
Irrawaddy was covered with boats, and troops of warriors were making
their way silently and secretly through the forests. A cordon was being
formed around the British, who could neither see their enemies nor form
any idea of their number.
Towards the end of the month, the Burmans having become
bold enough to make stockades within a rifle shot of the British
position, Sir Archibald moved out with a small body of troops and two
field-guns to reconnoitre. The soldiers marched cheerfully through
stockades abandoned by the enemy, and through rice-fields flooded with
torrents of rain. Smoke was seen at last rising behind the villages of
Yanghoo and Joazoang. The alarm was given by the inhabitants, and bodies
of men were seen moving rapidly about. Generals on horseback galloped to
and fro, forming their troops into position for defending the narrow
gorge through which the British were passing. A heavy fire was poured
from the heights, and the muskets of the British being soaked with rain
they rushed impetuously forward ; both sides closed, and there was a
short but fierce struggle. The natives fought with fury, rushing upon
the bayonets with their heads down, but were driven back, leaving four
hundred dead on the field.
Finding that the main body of the enemy were busy
fortifying themselves in the village of Kemmandine, a few miles from
Rangoon, Sir Archibald ordered preparations to be made for attacking.
The troops were nearly ready to start when a war-boat was announced,
bearing two chiefs who had come to confer with the British general. The
ambassadors were shown into Sir Archibald’s tent, and began inquiring
why the white men were making war upon their country. They tried to
persuade the general that all they wanted was peace ; but as they were
unable to promise that their king would listen to the grievances of our
Indian allies, Sir Archibald saw that they were only trying to gain
He refused to grant a delay even of a few days; and the
envoys took their departure with many compliments, but with contemptuous
smiles upon their faces. The boatmen were as defiant as their masters,
singing in chorus as they rowed back to their war-boat: “Oh, what a
happy king have we!”
Before daybreak on the following morning the British
troops were on their way, and a stockade which opened fire was breached
and carried. Two hundred of the enemy were slain in the defence, and
among them was found the dead body of one of the chiefs who had come to
Sir Archibald’s tent.
The march began again, and soon, rounding the corner of a
hill, the British came in view of the great Kemmandine stockade, an
immensely strong fortification on a steep slope. Attacks in the rear
harassed the troops, and some harm was done by native sharpshooters
perched unseen in the forest.
It was too late to do anything that night, and the men
rested where they were. The rain came down in torrents, and they had no
shelter. All night they remained in the open, listening to the noises
with which the men in the fort were trying to terrify them. On the
following morning a few shells fired into the stockade so alarmed the
defenders that they fled, and the troops took possession.
In a short time the Burmans recovered from their panic. A
great chief, Sykia Wongee, was sent from Ava by the king with orders to
“drive the audacious and rebel strangers into the sea.” Once more the
British felt that the jungle all around was full of an unseen multitude
who observed all their movements. Smoke began to arise from the Burman
encampment, and the sound of noisy preparations showed that an attack
was shortly to be expected.
Sir Archibald fortified the Great Shoe Dagon Pagoda
outside the town, and when the enemy issued from the jungle they were
received by a sharp firing which caused them to retreat.
Sykia Wongee was recalled in disgrace, and a still higher
chief, Soomba Wongee, was sent by the king to expel the “wild
The new commander established his army in the most
inaccessible parts of the forest, and began such a system of guerilla
warfare that the British commander found it necessary to bring him to an
open battle. The English vessels, which had sailed up the Irrawaddy,
lost no time in pushing across the river ; the troops attacked by land,
and there was a sharp fight.
So confident had the Burmans been of victory that the
chief Soomba Wongee, who was sitting down to dinner in the fortress when
the advance of the British was announced, calmly sent orders to the
garrison to “drive the audacious strangers away.” The sound of firing,
however, soon convinced him of the seriousness of the situation: he
rushed out, and placing himself at the head of his troops, fought with
the courage of despair, until a backward rush of the defenders showed
him, that the day was hopelessly lost. The rout of the Burman army in
Kemmandine was complete, Soomba Wongee being among the killed. The rainy
season put an end for the time being to further operations on the part
of the British, who retired to Rangoon.
The King of Burmah, who had believed that the British
would be easily repelled, had now seen the defeat of one noted chief
after another. He began to think the invaders would take some beating.
After the defeat of Soomba Wongee he recalled the ablest of his
generals, Maha Bandoola, who was waiting on the frontier with an army to
invade India. This chief undertook not only to drive the British from
his country, but after their defeat to lead his army to the capital of
British India and take possession of Bengal.
The courage of the Burmans was restored when this
renowned general arrived. Maha Bandoola set out from Ava with the
largest and best-armed force the Burman court had ever sent into the
field. Seven hundred Cassay horse and a train of artillery accompanied
the expedition, with a body of spearmen, splendid fighters, armed with
long spears and short swords, which gave them the advantage even over
firearms and bayonets. To make victory more certain, the king sent with
the troops a body of “invulnerables” skilled in devil dances and in the
use of spells and charms. These oddities tried to strike terror into the
foe by performing the most extraordinary antics accompanied by
discordant music and singing, but only succeeded in convulsing the army
The first warning which the British force received of the
approach of the Burmans was the blaze of fire-rafts which were drifting
down the river. On the 30th of November the besieging force was in the
forest before the Shoe Dagon Pagoda, where the British had established
their strongest point of defence. Clouds of smoke rising through the
trees soon showed that the enemy had halted for a bivouac. During the
night the entire army advanced through the trees, the defenders being
aware of the slow and almost silent movement of an immense body of men
to the very edge of the jungle, where they halted in readiness for an
attack next morning.
At dawn a tremendous firing in the direction of
Kemmandine and the shouts of seamen showed that the combat had begun.
Pouring out from the trees the Burman columns approached from all sides
until the pagoda was surrounded, except on the small portion immediately
overlooking the river. The enemy then proceeded to establish themselves
in earthworks, into which they vanished as though by magic, leaving no
sign of human presence except the occasional movement from point to
point of some general under his great gilt umbrella.
The British troops were sent forward. The hot fire which
burst from the trenches was useless to check their advance; they forced
a passage, drove the enemy from their cover; and the Burmans retired
with loss. The fighting continued all day, and at night the weary
defenders had scarcely gone to rest when a blaze in the distance showed
them that the enemy were sending several enormous fire-rafts floating
down the river. The alarm was given to Sir Archibald, who came out of
his tent and looked at the flames, which lighted up the sky and the
Those standing near heard him utter an exclamation; then
the rattle of musketry and the roar of cannon showed that the seamen in
the men-of-war were quite prepared.
Almost at the same moment an attack was made by land; but
the garrison was ready, and succeeded in repelling a desperate
onslaught. As the foe retreated, the silence in the naval station showed
that the fight there too had come to an end, and the darkness made it
certain that the fire-rafts were destroyed. The bluejackets had behaved
with the utmost intrepidity, grappling the flaming rafts from their
boats and dragging them past the shipping, or casting them ashore on the
beach; and the fleet of two hundred war-boats which followed was
For several days the British were harassed. Any one who
showed his head above the ramparts was saluted by a dozen muskets, and
when there was nothing better to do, the besiegers amused themselves by
trying to bring down the Union Jack which waved above one of the temples
in the city.
Sir Archibald felt it was time for energetic measures,
and on the 5th of December two attacking columns were sent out under
Major Sale and Major Walker, supported by part of the naval flotilla and
some boats under Captain Chads. The enemy made a spirited resistance,
and Major Walker and a number of his men fell in the first attack. The
men rallied, and the Burmans were driven from trench to trench at the
point of the bayonet, and took refuge at last in flight.
On the 7th a determined effort was made. A tremendous
cannonade was poured upon the besiegers, and the troops descended upon
the Burmans at different points. The enemy appeared at first to be
paralyzed by this strong attack; then they recovered, and tried to repel
the British. But Sir Archibald ordered a fresh charge, and the Burmans
were driven into the forest and dispersed. For some time they were
pursued, but the victors were at last obliged to desist from sheer
weariness. In the enemy’s camp were found scaling ladders and everything
in readiness for storming the pagoda, the Burmans having felt certain of
In the evening the British set out to occupy the enemy’s
position, which was done almost without firing a shot. The spirit of the
Burmans was broken, and during the whole of the following day troops of
them were to be seen crossing the plain which led to Donabew.
His troops had been beaten in the field, but pride and
the fear of the king’s anger made Maha Bandoola try the most desperate
means of driving out the invaders. He set his army to dig trenches all
round Rangoon, and build stockades of huge trees from the forest, until
the city was completely surrounded by fortifications. The chief then
established communications with the natives who had taken refuge within
the British lines. Messengers came and went by stealth, and in a short
time the city was full of spies.
The general ordered redoubled precautions to be taken,
but the enemy were too crafty.
At midnight on the iith of December the cry of “Fire!”
was raised. Maha’s spies had fired the town in several places, and a
high wind was driving the flames with great rapidity from house to house
and from street to street.
Sir Archibald posted troops to repel the attack which was
expected, and every available man was set to fight the flames. After two
hours of hard work the fire was extinguished, but not before more than
half the city lay in ruins.
Towards the close of the rainy season the British were
joined by the 49th Regiment and two brigades of sepoys. Leaving Rangoon
on the 11th of February 1825, the army marched along the banks of the
Irrawaddy towards Prome, an advance party, under Brigadier-General
Cotton, being sent up the river in boats. On the 7th of March, a
cannonade was heard by the land column coming from upstream, showing
that Cotton’s brigades were engaged with the enemy.
The men pressed forward, and at two o’clock the firing
ceased. Rumours that Donabew had fallen raised their spirits to the
highest pitch of expectation.
What was their disappointment when a messenger arrived
with tidings that the attack had failed, and that Brigadier-General
Cotton and his troops were in danger from a large body of the enemy.
To help their comrades the men would have to cross the
Irrawaddy, which was wide and rapid at this part, and there were only a
few canoes and rafts available. Sir Archibald gave orders to make more
rafts; and the men, who would do anything for their leader, laboured day
and night. By the fifth day every man of the army and all the ammunition
and supplies were on the other side of the river.
News having been brought that the chief Lee Wongee was
encamped at a little distance, Sir Archibald hoped to fall upon him by
surprise. A night march was made, but the alarm had been given. Beacons
flaming on every hill announced the approach of the British, and the
natives fled into the jungle.
On the 25th the army came in sight of Donabew, where the
enemy were entrenched behind strong fortifications a mile in length. The
place was assaulted by land and water for six days, the enemy fighting
bravely; but on the morning of the seventh day, when the British were
preparing to renew the attack, they found to their astonishment that the
fort was empty.
Two Lascars, who had been taken prisoners, came running
to tell them that Maha Bandoola had been killed the day before, and his
followers, stricken by panic, had all fled into the jungle.
Prome was reached on May 5th, and Sir Archibald made the
town his headquarters for the rainy season. Ambassadors were sent by the
king to treat for peace, but the terms could not be accepted.
On hearing of Sir Archibald’s refusal, the court of
Burmah made mighty preparations. An immense army was collected, and
ordered to “ surround and attack the rebel strangers on all sides.” An
enormous force descended upon the city, led by the highest chiefs and
accompanied by women of rank, who rode among the troops and encouraged
them to fight. A letter sent to the king announced that not one of the
strangers would be allowed to escape; all would be killed, destroyed,
Three weeks of desperate fighting followed, by land and
water; but at last the foe was dislodged, and fled to the woods in
Continuing their march towards Mellaon the British found
the line of advance laid waste. Villages were in ruins, and the troops
appeared to be traversing a desert whence all mankind had fled. They
travelled a distance of a hundred and forty miles without meeting one
single human being or being able to obtain a day’s supplies from a
country once abounding in cattle.
Melloon was reached at last, and the first object which
attracted the eyes of the British was a gorgeous pagoda which had just
been erected to Bandoola.
As the British approached, the Burman troops ceased their
work upon the defences, and stood in groups gazing at^the redcoats.
After some firing a truce was made, and once more envoys arrived from
the King of Burmah. Campbell soon discovered, however, that the
messengers were only endeavouring to gain time, and upon the expiry of
the armistice the town was stormed. The natives made but a poor defence;
the storming party carried all before them, and one time a handful of
gallant fellows were to be seen driving a dense multitude of ten to
fifteen thousand men before them.
A fresh advance was made on the 25 th of January 1826,
but one evening the general was surprised to see in his tent an American
missionary, Dr. Price, with his assistant, Mr. Sandford. These two
gentlemen had been taken prisoner by the Burmans, and were sent on
parole to try to induce the general to make terms of peace. The plight
of the poor envoys was pitiable in the extreme: their clothing was in
rags, and they had not been allowed to cut their hair or beards for
months. Sir Archibald did his best for their comfort, and sent them back
on the following day with a letter for the king.
A last effort was made by the Burman king to drive the
invaders from his country. Messages were sent to all the strong men of
his dominion, and an army was formed entitled “The Retrievers of the
King’s Glory.” The general put in command of those forces was a savage
warrior entitled Nee Woon Breen, whose name has been rendered as the
“Prince of Darkness” or “The Lord of the Setting Sun.” This redoubtable
body set out with much warlike display, but was completely routed at the
first encounter, and “The Lord of the Setting Sun” returned to Ava with
tidings of his defeat.
By this time the British achievements had so terrified
the king that he made an unconditional surrender. Dr. Price and Mr.
Sandford were set at liberty, and entered the British camp with the
news. A treaty of peace was signed on the 26th of February 1829, Rangoon
being made an open port.
Sir Archibald’s splendid achievement roused the greatest
enthusiasm both in England and in India. The victorious general was
thanked by the Governor-General, Lord Amherst, and the court of
directors awarded him a gold medal, and an income of £1,000 a year.
For three years the old soldier governed the provinces
which his success had won, and then he returned to England in
ill-health, being received with the highest honours. In 1831 he was
created a baronet with special arms, and the privilege by royal licence
of bearing the motto “Ava.” He was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New
Brunswick, a position which he held for five years; but failing health
caused him to refuse further honours, and he died in October 1843.
A distinguished member of the clan, Sir John Campbell was
born at Kingsburgh, in the island of Skye. Entering the service of the
East India Company, he became a lieutenant, and afterwards a captain, in
the 41st Madras Native Infantry. His first opportunity of distinguishing
himself occurred during an insurrection of the hill tribes of the
ancient kingdom of Orissa. The 41st Madras was sent to quell the
disturbance, and the major dying at a critical time, Captain Campbell
assumed the command, and held the position with the utmost bravery until
the arrival of reinforcements.
When the Goomsoor War broke out Captain Campbell was
attached to the force sent out under Sir Henry Taylor, and took part in
two years of hard fighting against the rajah and the wild tribes of the
The campaign, our clansman says in his interesting
account of the expedition, was one of unexampled severity. “We had no
knowledge of the country, were frequently cut off from all supplies, and
suffered fearfully from the pestilential nature of the climate.
Hardship, peril, and privation were the lot of all who took part in this
second Goomsoor War. The casualties from the bows and arrows of the
Khonds were not very great; but on one or two occasions they came in
force upon weak detachments of our troops who had lost themselves in the
unknown mountain defiles, and then no mercy was shown— they hacked them
to pieces. We lost in this way two European officers, who were
accompanying a small escort down a narrow mountain pass, where they were
surrounded by the Khonds and slaughtered.”
The rajah, hunted from place to place, died at last in a
little mountain fortress, his principal supporter, the Dora Bissaye, was
taken prisoner, and the whole country became British territory.
It was necessary to civilize the wild, ignorant people,
and teach them to live quietly under British rule. No man living had so
much knowledge of the hill tribes as Captain Campbell, and at the end of
the war he was sent to bring the newly-conquered country into order.
The task was a terribly difficult one. The religion of
the people taught them to sacrifice human beings to the cruel and savage
gods they believed in, and it was the first duty of the new governor to
put down this cruel practice, and also the barbarous custom of
destroying girl babies.
Captain Campbell set out upon his duties with a stout
heart. The natives he found very fierce and difficult to deal with. They
were great hunters, and lived in villages perched like eagles’ nests
among the rocks. To reach them the governor and his companions had to
scramble up hillsides which were almost inaccessible, and it was
impossible to foretell what would be their reception when they reached
Difficulty and danger only made John Campbell the more
eager for success. He made friends of a few of the more intelligent
natives, taught them humane ideas, and sent them among the villages to
carry the message to their fellow-countrymen. A noted chief, Sam Bissaye,
became his friend, and helped him.
After a few months of travelling and teaching, the
governor thought it was time to bring the chiefs together. He summoned
them all to a meeting, and made them a great speech.
He spoke of the barbarity and wickedness of human
sacrifice, and said that long ago, even in England, the people had
offered human victims to their gods. “We know better now,” he said; “a
better religion has taught us that our God is not pleased by deeds of
cruelty. Since then we have grown happy and prosperous, and we wish all
‘the people living under our rule to be the same. I command you return
this day fortnight and bring with you all the poor slaves whom you were
about to sacrifice to your gods.”
Sitting all around the governor, in a little valley among
the hills, the chiefs listened with the greatest interest; and when he
had finished his speech they promised to do as he bade them.
Time passed, and the Englishmen wondered whether the
savages would keep their word. On the appointed day they were ready at
the meeting-place, and were overjoyed to see the natives come pouring
in, every chief being present, and bringing with them nearly a hundred
men, women, and even little children, who had been destined for
After speeches and compliments had been made, the chiefs
took the oath in the following fashion. Seated upon tiger skins, and
holding in their hands a little earth, rice, and water, they repeated
the words: “May the earth refuse its produce, and rice choke me, water
drown me, and tiger devour me and my children, if I break the oath which
I now take for myself and my people, to abstain for ever from the
sacrifice of human beings.” Campbell's sword was then passed round as a
token of amity, and the Khond assemblage was dissolved.
For four years Captain Campbell remained in Orissa,
exercising a marvellous influence over the natives. He lived among them,
saw them every day and hour, joined their hunting parties, and judged
their quarrels. Often when he was away upon a tiger hunt with his native
friends he passed the night like themselves, sleeping under a tree or on
a heap of straw, and he gained their confidence in every way. His
regiment being ordered upon active service, he accompanied it to China,
where he won promotion and a C.B. Disturbances having broken out in
Orissa, John Campbell was sent once more to try his influence. Peace was
restored without difficulty or bloodshed, and Colonel Campbell received
the thanks of the governor-general.
To his great joy he discovered that during his absence
not one of the natives had relapsed into the practice of human
sacrifice, and not a single girl baby had been destroyed. In defiance of
difficulties he set out to explore every part of the country under his
charge. Having heard that a hundred and seventy victims were about to be
sacrificed by the wild tribes of Boad, he crossed into that district.
The inhabitants fled to the forests, taking their victims with them, but
were run to earth at last. During the expedition every nook and corner
was visited of a frightful country reeking with fever, where no European
had ever yet penetrated. The camp suffered severely, rain, fires, and
fever doing their worst for the expedition, and numbers had to be sent
to the low country to recruit.
Cost what it might, the work must be done, and the sadly
diminished little party struggled on, its leader having the satisfaction
of seeing mothers bringing to him children whose lives had been saved
through his courage and endurance.
Chima Kimedy was the next province to be visited—a most
wild and savage country. The governor issued a proclamation that human
sacrifice would be put down at all costs, and by force if necessary; and
two hundred victims were rescued.
This triumph cost Colonel Campbell and the members of his
expedition much suffering from fever and sickness, but they were
encouraged by receiving the thanks of the governor-general in council.
Scarcely were they on their feet again when the governor
led them through unexplored country to Lumbargam. For eleven days they
travelled through rice fields flooded with rain; then they cut their way
through the jungle. When they came upon the natives at last the tribes
were in a state of wild excitement, believing that the British had come
to exact punishment for three murders which had been committed some time
before. Three hundred armed savages came down upon the camp yelling like
demons, and the jungle was full of an unseen number uttering cries of
encouragement. Nothing but cool courage could have saved the few
Europeans and their followers from destruction.
“Stand firm, and give it to them,” said the colonel; and
the small group of men formed themselves into a compact body and faced
their assailants. The attacking party paused, and a resolute advance of
the British drove them off.
A few shots were fired among them, and the natives fled
in a panic. Their pursuers chased them over the mountains until they
were lost in the deep jungle of the dells on the other side. In a few
days all submitted, declaring that they might as well fight against the
sun as against the white men who had such terrible weapons of thunder
On another expedition Colonel Campbell found the natives
determined to fight. They refused to hold parley, and boasted that they
would make a meriah (human sacrifice) of the English chief himself if he
would not quit the country.
The warriors assembled to the sound of horns, and came
pouring down from the jungle. The British sent a volley of shots among
them, checked their advance, and the natives fled, their villages being
burned by the friendly Khonds who were with the expedition.
Colonel Campbell succeeded in stamping out the sacrifice
of human life, but years of hard work and fatiguing travel had
undermined his health, and he was obliged to resign his position. The
Friend of India wrote when he left : cc In eighteen years a worse crime
than any known in Europe has been eradicated. Twelve hundred and sixty
human beings have been preserved from a horrible death, and a district
as large as Wales has been raised a whole grade in the career of
“Colonel Campbell has been concerned in these operations
from the first. His firm gentleness has made them successful to the end.
Had he destroyed in battle the number he has saved from immolation, he
would have received honours which should not be denied only because of
his modest appreciation of his own success.”
Queen Victoria bestowed the order of the Star of India
upon this modest, courageous, and truly great man, who was made a
general, and spent the last years of his life in retirement.