I gave you an account of the taking of Chandernagore in my last letter; the subject of
this address is an event of much higher importance, no less than the entire overthrow of
Nabob Suraj-ud-Daulah, and the placing of Meer Jaffier on the throne. I intimated in my
last how dilatory Suraj-ud-Daulah appeared in fulfilling the articles of the treaty. This
disposition not only continued but increased, and we discovered that he was designing our
ruin by a conjunction with the French.
About this time some of his principal officers made overtures to us for dethroning him.
At the head of these was Meer Jaffier, then Bukhshee to the army, a man as
generally esteemed as the other was detested. As we had reason to believe this
disaffection pretty general, we soon entered into engagements with Meer Jaffier to put the
crown on his head. All necessary preparations being completed with the utmost secrecy, the
army, consisting of about one thousand Europeans and two thousand sepoys, with eight
pieces of cannon, marched from Chandernagore on the 13th and arrived on the 18th at Cutwa
Fort. The 22nd, in the evening, we crossed the river, and landing on the island, marched
straight for Plassey Grove, where we arrived by one in the morning.
At daybreak we discovered the Nabob's army moving towards us, consisting, as we since
found, of about fifteen thousand horse and thirty-five thousand foot, with upwards of
forty pieces of cannon. They approached apace, and by six began to attack with a number of
heavy cannon, supported by the whole army, and continued to play on us very briskly for
several hours, during which our situation was of the utmost service to us, being lodged in
a large grove with good mud banks. To succeed in an attempt on their cannon was next to
impossible, as they were planted in a manner round us, and at considerable distances from
each other. We therefore remained quiet in our post. . .
About noon the enemy drew off their artillery, and retired to their camp. We
immediately sent a detachment, accompanied by two field-pieces, to take possession of a
tank with high banks, which was advanced about three hundred yards above our grove, and
from which the enemy had considerably annoyed us with some cannon managed by Frenchmen.
This motion brought them out a second time; but on finding them make no great effort to
dislodge us, we proceeded to take possession of one or two more eminences lying very near
an angle of their camp. They made several attempts to bring out their cannon, but our
advance field-pieces played so warmly and so well upon them that they were always driven
back. Their horse exposing themselves a good deal on this occasion, many of them were
killed, and among the rest four or five officers of the first distinction, by which the
whole army being visibly dispirited and thrown into some confusion, we were encouraged to
storm both the eminence and the angle of their camp, which were carried at the same
instant, with little or no loss. On this a general rout ensued; and we pursued the enemy
six miles, passing upwards of forty pieces of cannon they had abandoned, with an infinite
number of carriages filled with baggage of all kinds. It is computed there are killed of
the enemy about five hundred. Our loss amounted to only twenty-two killed and fifty
wounded, and those chiefly sepoys.
From: Oliver J. Thatcher, ed., The Library of Original Sources, (Milwaukee:
University Research Extension Co., 1907), Vol. VII: The Age of Revolution, pp.
Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg
has modernized the text.