Sir Archibald Campbell now determined to advance, if necessary, even to the capital, which was 600 miles distant, or from the brilliant success of his arms, to force the enemy to accede to his terms. With this intention in view, it became necessary to despatch an expedition, to compel the enemy to evacuate the old Portuguese fort and the Syriam pagoda before mentioned, of which they had again possessed themselves, and doubly stockaded, making it a formidable post to be left in the rear. In order to dislodge the enemy from these strongholds, Lieutenant-colonel R. Elrington, of his majesty's 47th regiment, with 200 troops, were embarked on board some good boats, the naval part of the expedition being intrusted to Lieutenant Keele. We have had frequent occasion to speak in high terms of this officer, but in all his brilliant exploits he never was more conspicuous than on the attack of the Syriam pagoda, the day after the surrender of the fort. The seamen as they manned the scaling ladders, were cheered on and headed by Lieutenant Keele, and he was the first person over the stockade : the enemy gave way before him, and the works were instantly destroyed.
In moving upon Ava it was decided not to take the road by Pegu and Tonghoo, for the army was destitute of sufficient carriage to enable it to advance in that line. It became therefore absolutely necessary to keep the troops on a parallel with the river, with a view to mutual co-operation and support, and likewise to receive by that communication, supplies for the army.
Captain Alexander, in the Alligator, arrived at Rangoon on the 22d of January, and, being senior to Captain Chads, the command of the naval department devolved upon him.
In order to command the navigation of the river Lyne, Lieutenant-colonel Godwin and Captain Chads, were detached with a sufficient force to ensure success. " The vessels employed consisted of the Satellite, Diana, Prince-of-Wales, 15 row gun-boats, seven boats belonging to his majesty's squadron, and several flats and canoes." * The officers under Captain Chads, were Lieutenants Fraser, Dobson, Keele, and Kellett, acting Lieutenants William Hall and Goldfinch ; midshipmen Pickey, Tomlinson, Scott, Reed, Norcok, Lett, Biffin, Wyke, Wimson, and Coyde. The " surgeon of the Arachne, Mr. William Watt, volunteered his services and accompanied the expedition, which on the 5th of February, moved up the river towards Quangalee, or Than-ta-bain, a formidable stockade garrisoned by 2000 men ; the place stands upon a peninsula, and every exertion of the enemy had been rendered to strengthen the position towards the water, but the rear was altogether unprotected.
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