Colonel W. F. B. Laurie in a Our Burmese Wars.a a On went our gallant troops,a he wrote, a crossing over to the pagoda in the most steady manner, under a heavy and galling fire from the enemy on the walls. At length they reached the desired gate, which was immediately pushed open. . . . Now a grand rush was made up the long flight of steps they had discovered. The storming
party, however, suffered from the shower of balls and bullets which immediately came down upon them with dreadful effect, but nothing could ever check the determined rush of British infantry. Near the foot of the steps fell Lieutenant Doran, mortally wounded, and by his side fell also two men of his regiment. The young hero lay pierced by
four balls. Colonel Cote was also wounded. But our troops nobly gained the upper terrace. A deafening cheer rent the air ! The Burmese defenders fled in all directions before the British bayonet. The 4 Shwe Dagon,a or, say, 4 Dagon the Great,' had fallen for the second time into our hands.a The defenders of the pagoda made their retreat good, some proceeding in the direction of Kemmendine,
others going towards the river. Only a small number of them are said to have been killed in the final struggle, a circumstance which shows how nicely they had timed the period of their departure.
After the capture of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda there was a lull in the operations to permit of the recovery of the force after the exhaust-
ing operations of the month, and to afford an opportunity for the arrival of reinforcements, which were seen to be badly needed, in view of the opposition which had been offered. In the course of a few weeks fresh troops from India began to pour in, and eventually General Godwin had under his command 20,000 men of all arms, including some of the best European troops of the Indian army. Meanwhile, Rangoon, under the protecting shadow of the British Raj, had become a flourishing town with some forty or fifty thousand inhabitants. Traders drawn from all parts of the East figured in the bazaars, and the crowds presented a strange medley of races. In the train of legitimate commerce followed more questionable elements. These gave a good deal of trouble to the authorities, but Captain Latter, installed in the judgment seat meted out stern justice to all evil-doers, and so kept the undesirables well under control. Though no strong advance was made while the army of occupation was being re-organised, military operations were by 110 means suspended. Early in July Prome was occupied by a steam flotilla, which was sent up the Irrawaddy. The Burmese force, which was under the command of a son of the redoubtable General Bandula, made a fair show of resistance, but the smart movements of the fleet disconcerted the defenders and left the place an easy prey to the invaders. Soon after this event Lord Dalhousie arrived at Rangoon to see for himself how matters were progressing. As the first Governor-General of India to set foot in Burma he was received with fitting pomp passing through streets lined with troops to the great pagoda. His visit, which lasted until August 1, confirmed an impression which had been growing daily stronger, that the British had this time gone to Burma to stay.
The Governor-General's departure was followed by active preparations for an advance 011 Prome. At this time, besides Rangoon, British troops were in occupation of Martaban and Bassein, and it was felt to be desirable as a preliminary to further measures to make an effective lodgment in Pegu, the inhabitants of which were bitterly hostile to Burmese rule. The force told off for the work met with little resistance, and the occupation of the town was effected with the loss of only one man. A strong garrison having been left there, the advance was continued to Pegu, the capital, which, after being taken and retaken, was permanently occupied at the end of the year. British policy up to this period suffered from a lack of definiteness. The Peguans hated the Burmese with an undying hatred, but they knew the cruel weight of their arm and they feared that at the end of
PAGODA AT PROME.PAGODA AT PROME.