Argaon - Battle of Argaon

Battle of Argaon

The Battle of Argaon took place on 29 November 1803, between the British under the command of General Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) and the forces of The Rajah of Berar and Nagpur, Raghoji II Bhonsle, under Sindhia of Gwalior. The battlefield is located between Adgaon and Sirsoli, three miles south of Adgaon. This battle followed the victory of Arthur Wellesley at the Battle of Assaye.

Three of Wellesley's battalions, which had previously fought well, on this occasion broke and fled, and the situation was at one time very serious. Wellesley, however, succeeded in rallying them, and in the end defeated the Marathas, with the loss of all their guns and baggage. The British lost 346 - killed and wounded.

The series of battles between British and Marathas in second Anglo-Maratha War, were consequences of Peshwa Baji Rao II being defeated by the Holkar ruler of Indore, at the Battle of Poona, at Hadapsar, near Pune on 25 October 1802. He fled to British protection, and in December the same year concluded the Treaty of Bassein with the British East India Company on 31 December 1802, ceding territory for the maintenance of a subsidiary force and agreeing to treaty with no other power. This act on the part of the Peshwa, their nominal overlord, horrified and disgusted the Maratha chieftains, in particular, the Sindia rulers of Gwalior and the Bhonsle rulers of Nagpur & Berar. They contested the agreement. But there were defeated - Sindia at Laswari and Delhi by Lord Lake and Bhonsles in Battle of Assaye and Battle of Argaon by Sir Arthur Wellesley.

After initial treaty signed in the palace of Argaon, to endorse the defeat in the Battle of Argaon, on 30 December 1803, the Scindhia signed the Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon with the British and ceded to the British Ganges-Jumna Doab, the Delhi-Agra region, parts of Bundelkhand, Broach, some districts of Gujarat and fort of Ahmmadnagar. Subsequently, by the partition treaty of Hyderabad (1804) between British and Nizam, the ceded territories in Berar were transferred to the Nizam, together with some tracts about Sindkhed and Jalna which had been held by Sindhia.

On the other side, on 17 December 1803, Raghuji Bhonsale (II) of Nagpur signed the Treaty of Deogaon with the British after the Battle of Laswari and gave up the province of Cuttack including Balasore.

Medal, with the bar of commemorative of Argaon, was struck in 1851 and presented to the surviving officers and soldiers.

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Battle of Argaon - Role of Deshpandes-local Vatandar, in Battle of Argaon
... locals, it is said that, Deshpandes, the local chieftain(Vatandaar) of Argaon region, received the information in advance about the size of Maratha army that was arriving, so as to make themselves ready to ... also acquired the information about the secret tunnel which Maratha army had built from Argaon palace to Sirsoli battle-ground to make a surprise attack on enemy from underground ... This, is said, was major cause of Maratha army defeat in that battle ...

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