(Referred to at LETTER CXXXVII.)

It is proper I should here premise, that the copy of the Futhûl Mûjâhideen, with which I have been favoured by Colonel Marriot, is unfortunately extremely imperfect; for though the work is stated in the beginning to consist of eight chapters, my manuscript contains only three (viz. the third, fourth, and fifth), and even these are in some disorder. The following abstract of this curious per­formance is, therefore, less complete and satisfactory than I could have wished to render it.

The work commences with the usual invocations to God and the Prophet, which are followed by a high-flown eulogium on Tippoo Sultan, in which last, however, nothing new occurs. Next comes a long and bitter invective, apparently levelled at Europeans in general, but evidently intended to apply more immediately to the English, whose various possessions in the Carnatic, in Bengal, and on the west side of the Peninsula, are particularly noticed and stigmatised, as the acquisitions either of fraud or of violence.

The author then passes to some slight observations on the military tactics of the Europeans; mentioning, more especially, their early superiority in point of artil­lery, together with their dexterity in the use of small arms; and contrasting these acquirements with the extreme ignorance of the natives of India in those essential branches of war.

But whatever advantages the Christians might, at first, have possessed in these respects, they could, it is observed, be no longer boasted of; at least by those among them who were opposed to Tippoo Sultan: since the latter is stated to have improved so greatly on the European tactics, as to have left his masters in the art at an infinite distance behind him. But it was, most of all, in the ord­nance department, that he is pretended to have surpassed his rivals: a circum­stance the more remarkable, according to our author, “because the Nazarenes “pass all their lives, like the salamander, in the fire.”*

The order for the compilation of the present work,* which was expressly de­signed “for the instruction of true believers in general in the art of war, to the “end that they might thereby be enabled more effectually to subdue the enemies “of the faith,” appears to have been issued in the year of the Higera 1197,* (A.D. 1783), and was, probably, among the earliest measures of the Sultan’s reign. It is not stated by the writer, what assistance he received in the composition of it; but it may be safely presumed, from the characteristic style of various passages in it, that Tippoo himself contributed largely to it. Neither is it, perhaps, unlikely, though it is not acknowledged, that M. Lally, the commander of the European party in his service, had some share in its production.

The work appears to be divided into eight chapters, and each chapter into several sections. The copy in my possession being, however, as already stated, imperfect, and not containing either the two first,* or the three last chapters, I can only describe the general contents of those before me.

The third chapter treats of the various manœuvres of a body of regular infantry on actual service, and is divided into twenty-one sections. The eleventh and fourteenth sections describe the mode of fighting in a close or woody country, and form the particular part of the work, with his inattention to which the author is reproached by the Sultan, in Letter CXXXVII.

The two sections referred to are very short, both together not exceeding sixteen lines. Being, however, expressed in technical language, some parts of which I do not clearly understand,* I decline attempting a regular translation of them, lest I should do injustice to the original. It may suffice to say, that a corps is supposed to be advancing by Indian files, of two men abreast, through a wood, in which situation it is assailed, on each flank, by the enemy. In this case, the troops in question, having been previously formed into platoons, the rear platoon, after facing to the right and left outward, and giving fire, was to divide, and advance to the head of the corps, the right hand files taking the right, and the left hand files the left, of the platoons in their front. In this manner was each platoon successively to advance, till the enemy was dispersed, or the wood was passed.

The third chapter is introduced by some general observations on the different modes of attack; in the course of which, notwithstanding all that has been else­where said against it by the Sultan himself, the Shub-khoon, or night-assault, is declared to be the best, when the situation of the enemy is favourable to it; that is, when he is encamped on a plain, or in an open country. Particular directions are accordingly given for conducting this species of attack.

It is in the same place directed, that if, in the hour of battle, any soldier fall back out of his station, he shall be instantly put to death; and that if any Risâ­ladâr turn his back to the enemy, he shall be put to death, by his Sipahdâr’s own hand.

Any Sipahdâr disobeying the orders herein given, or abandoning his guns to the enemy, or seeking his safety in flight, was, on due proof of the same, to be hung in public. On the other hand, if he distinguished himself, he was to be advanced in [rank* and] Jâgeer, and to have an elephant bestowed on him.

When a Sipahdâr was killed in action, or died, he was to be succeeded in his station by the Risâladâr in command of the first Risâla. The first Risâladâr was to be succeeded by the second; the second by the third; and the third by the fourth.* The latter was to be succeeded by the first Jowkdâr of the senior Risâla.

All soldiers and others were strictly to obey their respective Sipahdârs and Risâladârs, on pain of being punished, at the discretion of the said superior officers.

In the introductory part of the third chapter, the author likewise describes the manner of attacking the Nazarenes (i. e. the English) in a plain. It is stated to be of infallible success; and triumphant allusions are made, on the occasion, to the actions with Colonels Baillie and Braithwaite, during the last irruption of Hyder into the Carnatic.

By the twelfth section of this chapter, “on charging with the bayonet,” the commanding officer was directed to exclaim, at the moment of charging, “the “Sultan of the Faith is living and well;” which words were to be repeated aloud by all the troops. This mode of attack is highly commended by the author, as being that in which the assailant suffers least and the enemy most.

The nineteenth section (which is a very long one) treats of the performance of the manual exercise by signals made with the sword and drum, instead of the word of command. The chief advantage of this mode consists, according to our author, “in its binding the mind, hands, eyes, and ears of the soldiers, to their “commanding officer;” that is to say, in its obliging them to attend carefully to him: “by which means,” it is observed, “they learn the exercise much “sooner than by the other method.”

The fourth chapter is divided into eighteen sections, which describe the duties of the variousranks of the army.

I. The Sipahdâr.

1. The Sipahdâr was to understand writing and accounts. He was to inspect narrowly into the conduct of all those under him, from the Risâladâr to the Yuzukdâr, or common soldier: to punish and remove such as misbehaved, and to promote such as merited advancement.* If a Risâladâr appeared to him to deserve promotion, or the contrary, the Sipahdâr was to make a faithful report of the circumstance to the Sultan. Other officers, to the Jowkdâr, or captain, inclusive, when guilty of any offence, were to be brought to trial before all the officers of the Risâla to which they belonged, and to be dealt with according to the decision of the assembly on the case. A Risâladâr, on being convicted of any offence, was to be deprived, in the presence of all the officers of his corps, of his sword, which was to be lodged in the guard [room] of the corps, and the circumstances of the case to be reported to the Presence.

2. It was likewise the duty of the Sipahdâr, in conjunction with the Bukhshy and Mûtusuddies attached to his Kushoon, to take a muster, once in every month, of the men, firelocks, and accoutrements, belonging thereto. He was also, personally, to inspect into the state of their clothing, and other necessaries; and, conjointly with the Bukhshy and Mûtusuddies, to make a report of the same to the Sultan.

3. He was to pay particular attention to the state of the ordnance branch, as well as that of the firelocks of his Kushoon, and to take care that all the necessary and warlike apparatus and stores were kept in good order, and ready for service.

4. A tolah weight of oil was, every fifteen days, to be served out to the private men, for the purpose of enabling them to keep their arms in good condition.

5. When the Kushoon had a field day, the Sipahdâr himself was to attend the parade, and give the word of command. He was constantly to exert himself to perfect his men in their excercise, and was to be responsible for any deficiency which might appear in his corps in this respect.

6. If, on actual service, any material difficulty occurred, he was to consult his Risâladârs on the occasion; and, in the first instance, to state his own opinion, on the case. In the event of their differing from him, he was to require the opinion of each in writing, and to act according to the general will.

7. The standard of the Sircar was not to be moved backward and forward, but to remain on a march constantly under the immediate eye of the Sipahdâr, and in charge of a guard belonging to the first Risâla. When the corps took up its ground after a march, the standard was to be erected in the most secure part of the encampment.

8. He was to take care, that the troops under his command encamped in regular order, and that the proper guards were placed and relieved every twenty-four hours.

9. He was to give the guns, tumbrils, and ammunition stores, belonging to his Kushoon, in particular charge to the Risâladârs, who were to take care that every thing appertaining thereto was in constant readiness for service. If any repairs of the articles in question should be wanting, or if there should be any other deficiency in them, the said Risâladârs were immediately to report the same to their Sipahdâr, who was to give directions for supplying what was necessary, and for the execution of the requisite repairs.

10. The guns and tumbrils were, on a march and in action, to be attached to the Sipahdâr’s own Risâla.* When the corps was encamped, they were, in like manner, to be stationed, the guns in front, and the tumbrils in the rear of his Risâla.

11. The Sipahdâr was to recommend to the Presence a person properly quali­fied (and particularly in point of reading and writing) to fill the office of Sur (or Head) Yusâkchy (or brigade-major). The duty of this officer will be described in the proper place.

II. The Bukhshy and Mûtusuddies.

To each Kushoon was attached a Bukhshy and two Mûtusuddies, one of whom (generally called a Mirzâey Duftur)* kept his books and accounts in Persian, and the other in Hindooy. Their duties were:

1. To muster the Kushoon on the twenty-seventh day of every month, in the presence of the Sipahdâr, to whom they were, at the same time, to make a full report of every thing relating to the corps.

2. To take a separate muster of the Kushoon every two months in their own Kuchurry; which muster, however, was to be attended by the Sipahdâr.

3. To make out, on the last day of every month, a just and faithful account of the pay due to the Kushoon: to deliver in the same on the following day (or first of every month) to the Hûzoor Kuchurry: to receive the amount thereof from the said Kuchurry: and there to pay the same, in the presence of their Sipahdâr, to the troops, delivering each man’s pay into his own hands.*

4. It was also the duty of these officers to return, at the end of five days, to the Hûzoor Kuchurry, the pay of all such men as had been drawn for, but had not been claimed (owing to the absence or neglect of the party entitled thereto) within the specified period.

5. Any failure in these duties was to be punished by removal from office.

III. The Sur-Yusâkchy (or Brigade Major) and the Yusâkchies (or Adjutants).

The duty of the former of these officers was to visit daily, but at no fixed hour, each Risâla of the Kushoon, and to enquire of the adjutants (Yusâkchies) and Risâladârs of the different Risâlas, into the state of their respective corps. Having committed all the accounts, thus obtained, to writing, he was to wait upon his Sipahdâr, and, sitting down, to communicate the same to him. He was then to attend the Presence, where he was to make a similar report: and, after that, he was required to repair to the Jyshe Kuchurry of the Presence, and there also sitting down, to furnish the same details, for the information of that office. The Yusâkchies, or adjutants of Risâlas, were to make their reports standing; but, on other occasions, might sit in the presence of their Sipahdâr and of the Hûzoor Kuchurry.* The several Adjutants were to accompany the Brigade-Major, when he attended the Sultan with his report. It was, furthermore, the duty of the Sur, or head Yusâkchy, 1st. to convey daily the sign, or parole, to the Sipahdâr and Risâladârs of his Kushoon. 2d. to attend parades and field days, and see that the men stood properly to their arms, and went through their exercise correctly, setting those right who might happen to be wrong. He was, 3dly, the channel of all orders from the Sipahdâr to the different Risâladârs and Jowkdârs of the Kushoon; and, on service acted as an aid-de-camp to the former. 4th. When a Yusâkchy* merited advancement, he was to be made a Jowkdâr:* and when, on the other hand, he was to be degraded, it was to be to the rank of Surkheel.* 5th, and lastly, the Yusâkchy (or adjutant) was to go round the quarters of the Risâlas at unexpected times, and examining closely into the state of the men and arms, was, at the established orderly hours, to make his report of the same, standing, to his Sipahdâr, to his Risâladâr, and to the Hûzoor Kuchurry of the Jyshe: after doing which he was at liberty to seat himself.

IV. The Risâladâr.*
1. The Risâladâr was, at all events, to be able to read and write: but in the selection of persons for that station, a preference was to be given to men of approved courage and prudence, and conversant in accounts.

2. During six days of the week, he was to consider himself as on constant duty, and to appear accoutred accordingly. He was to put his Risâla through their exercise at the stated times. He was himself, also, to look closely into the conduct of those under him, and not to trust, in this matter, to the recommen­dations or complaints of the other officers. Having formed his own judgment of the merits and demerits of every one, he was to make his report accordingly to his Sipahdâr, in order that the due rewards might be distributed, and the necessary punishments inflicted.

3. When the punishment, or removal, of any one (i. e. any officer) appeared necessary to him, he was to assemble all the officers of the Risâla together, and direct them to examine strictly and impartially into the imputed charge: after which he was to report the result to the Sipahdâr, who was to act accordingly.

4. There was to be no exercise on a Thursday, that day being set apart for an inspection of arms and necessaries.

5. A Risâladâr, when deserving of promotion, was to be raised to the rank of Sipahdâr. On the other hand, if it became necessary to degrade him, he was to be reduced to the station of a Jowkdâr.

V. The Jowkdâr.*
He commanded a Jowk (or company) consisting, according to the original, of fifteen Yuzuks, which, from other passages, I conclude to be equivalent to ninety men; a Yuzuk appearing to have been composed of six rank and file. His rank corresponded with that of the Soubadâr* of our Sepoy corps, and his duties were as follows:

1. He was to take a survey of his company once in every fifteen days.

2. When on guard, he was to take care that his men were constantly at their post, with the exception of two hours in the twenty-four, during which they were allowed to attend to their own concerns.

3. He was to report to his Risâladâr the conduct of the officers under him; to point out those who were deserving of punishment or removal, and to recommend such as merited advancement.

4. He was to appoint a Jumaadâr of the Week, or bell-tents,* who was to have the immediate superintendance of the arms and accoutrements of the company, which he was carefully to inspect [from time to time], and to keep in proper condition.

5. Whatever part of his company might be on guard, or on other duty, he was to visit the same once in twenty-four hours, and to see that the centinels and others were alert and vigilant.

6. In case of being guilty of any neglect of duty, his sword was to be taken from him, and lodged in the [quarter] guard, till such time as the charge against him should be duly enquired into: nor was the same to be restored to him without the orders of the Sircar.*

A Jowkdâr, when sentenced to be degraded, was to be reduced to a Surkheel; and when promoted, was to be raised to the rank of a Risâladâr.

VI. The Surkheel.*
This officer would appear to have answered, in point of rank, to the Jumaadâr of our native corps in India. He was subject, however, to corporal punishment, which the Jumaadâr of Sepoys is not. When a guard to the amount of twenty-four men was on duty from his Jowk, he was to visit the same twice during the day, and as often during the night, and to see that the men did their duty properly. If he failed in his own, he was to receive fifty strokes of a cane,* and to be reduced to the rank of a Jumaadâr. On the other hand, when deserving of promotion, he was to be made a Jowkdâr.

VII. The Jumaadâr.*
He seems to have answered, in most respects, with the Havildâr of our Sepoy corps. If he neglected his duty, he was to be reduced to the rank of Dufaadâr, and to receive two hundred and fifty strokes of a cane.* When deserving of promotion, he was to be raised to the station of Surkheel.

VIII. The Dufaadâr.*
He may be compared with the Naig of the British native infantry of India. If he neglected relieving the centinels regularly every two hours, he was to be punished with two hundred strokes of a cane, and to be reduced to the ranks. It was his duty, when he placed sentries, to take proper notice of the nature of the ground, where they were posted, and particularly of the different avenues leading to it, to the end that, in case of any alarm or disturbance, he might not be at a loss how to proceed.* If he omitted this precaution, he was to receive one hun­dred and fifty strokes of a cane, and to be broke. He was to pay strict obedience to the orders of his Jumaadâr; and, failing herein, he was to receive a hundred strokes, and to be reduced to the ranks. When meriting promotion, he was to be made a Jumaadâr.

IX. The Yuzukdârs.

The word <Arabic> (yuzuk) properly signifies a guard: it is also applied, in Tippoo Sultan’s regulations, to a centinel’s post, as well as to a specific number of men; that is, as I suppose, six rank and file. The word Yuzukdâr would strictly mean a centinel; but it appears to have been likewise used to denote a private soldier, or rank and file in general.

If the Yuzukdâr sat down, or neglected to move about, while posted as a centinel, he was to receive a hundred strokes of a cane. If he was found sleeping, or if any thing under his charge was stolen during his guard, he was to be punished with five hundred strokes. He was to render strict obedience to the Dufaadâr; and, failing herein, he was to receive a hundred strokes. When judged deserving of promotion, he was to be made a Dufaadâr.

The five following sections treat of the manner of mounting and relieving guards, and other ordinary details.

The fifteenth section specifies the salutes to which the different officers of the army were entitled from guards and centries. On this occasion, a Meer Bukhshy is for the first time mentioned, and he appears to have taken precedence of the Sipahdâr. Thus, when the Meer Bukhshy passed either the advanced or rear guard, a Surkheel, at the head of four Yuzuks (or twenty-four rank and file) was to turn out and salute him: whereas, to a Sipahdâr, a Jumaadâr and two Yusuks (or twelve rank and file) only, were to turn out. Neither of them was to be saluted upon coming on parade. The Risâladâr was entitled to no more than presented arms from sentinels. No officer whatsoever was to be saluted after sun-set: nor were the superior ranks, above-mentioned, to receive the specified com­pliments, if they appeared without their gorgets (puduks).

The sixteenth section relates to the furloughs to be granted to the men and officers when in quarters. The furlough was not to exceed two months. Deser­tion, in time of peace, was to be punished with a thousand strokes of the cane; but in time of war, the culprit was to be shot, in front of the Risâla to which he belonged. If a soldier deserted to the enemy, and was afterwards taken, he was to be hanged. A soldier running away in face of the enemy, was, on being apprehended, to be punished as above (that is, I suppose, to be hung). If through any neglect of the Sipahdâr, Risâladârs, or Jowkdârs, the fugitive escaped, the punishment appointed for him was to be inflicted on those officers.*

The eighteenth section specifies the different occasions on which salutes of ordnance were to be fired. The anniversary of the Sultan’s birth-day (14th Tûlooey, A. H. 1165), and of his accession to the Musnud (or the 3d of Behâry, A. H. 1197), were each to be celebrated by a salute of thirty-one guns, which seems to have constituted the royal salute. The several Eeds, or holy festivals, were honoured with no more than twenty-one guns, which was also the number appointed to be fired on any victory obtained by the Sultan in person.

The fifth chapter treats chiefly of the different establishments of the army; and among the rest, of the Uskur (or regular) cavalry, and the artillery branches: for both of which various rules and manœuvres, of no particular interest, are given.* It is introduced by some regulations regarding promotion, which are little more than a repetition of what is stated in the fourth chapter. There is one article, however, on this subject, which deserves to be noticed. It is expressed in words to this effect: “whatever any person’s reputation for gallantry or talents may be, “it is not proper that he should be at once advanced to high station: it is neces­sary that he should arrive thereat step by step. This difference may, however, “be made between men of superior endowments and those of ordinary merit: “while the latter must be suffered to remain a long time in their respective “stations, let the former be advanced rapidly through the established ranks of “the service.”

I reserve what I have to offer on the various establishments of the army for the Appendix L.: because they are by no means so minutely or so clearly detailed in the Futhûl Mûjâhideen as in some other documents of a later date, which I had only cursorily examined, when the former part of the present work went to press, or I should have been enabled to give a more satisfactory explanation of several military terms occurring in the correspondence, than it was in my power to do at the time I translated the latter.