Sir William Montagu Scott McMurdo, G.C.B.

In 'The Conquest of Scinde' written in 1844, Major-General W.F.P. Napier describes the battle of Meeanee (Miani) in graphic terms. The 'General' that the author refers to is his brother, General Sir Charles James Napier, G.C.B.

"Such was the battle of Meeanee, fought on the 17th of February 1843, with two thousand men against more than thirty thousand. It was in its general arrangements, in all that depended on the commander, a model of skill and intrepidity combined; and in its details fell nothing short of any recorded deeds of arms. The front of battle was a chain of single combats, where no quarter was given, none called for, none expected; Sepoys and Europeans and Beloochs were alike bloody and remorseless, taking life for life, giving death for death. The ferocity on both sides was unbounded, the carnage horrible. The General, seeing a 22nd soldier going to kill an exhausted Belooch chief, called to him to spare; the man drove his bayonet deep, and then turning, justified the act with a homely expression, terrible in its truthfulness accompanying such a deed: "This day, General, the shambles have it all to themselves."

"But in every quarter were performed astonishing feats of personal daring and prowess as well as ferocity.

"Lieutenant McMurdo of the General's staff, a young man of an intrepid temper, rode like Teasdale and Jackson down on the Beloochs in the bed of the Fullaillee; his horse was killed, yet he rose instantly, and meeting Jehan Mohammed, one of the greatest and most warlike of the chiefs, slew him hand to hand in the midst of his tribe. Then while engaged with several in front, one came behind and struck fiercely, but a sergeant of the 22nd killed this enemy so instantly that his blow fell harmless. McMurdo turned and did the same service for his preserver, cleaving to the brow a Belooch who was aiming at his back; another fell beneath his whirling weapon in quick succession, and thus he extricated himself from the dangerous press. The tomb of Jehan, a great one, has since been raised by his people, who, with a warlike vanity, have placed it, not where he fell in the bottom of the Fullaillee, but sixty yards beyond the British lines where he never penetrated."

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These pages are published by a ggg-grandson, Robert McMurdo, of Brisbane, Australia
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