Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Madras Army

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Covid-19
Type  Command
Founded  1757
Branch  British Indian Army
Size  47,000 (1876)
Headquarters  Ooty
Madras Army wwwindianetzonecomphotosgallery594thMadras
Active  1757–1895 (as the Presidency of Madras Army of the Honourable East India Company) 1895–1908 (as the Madras Command of the British Indian Army)
Garrison/HQ  Ootacamund, Nilgiris district
Similar  Bengal Army, British Indian Army, Bikaner Camel Corps, Calcutta Scottish, Volunteer Force

The Madras Army was the army of the Presidency of Madras, one of the three presidencies of British India within the British Empire.

Contents

The presidency armies, like the presidencies themselves, belonged to the East India Company until the Government of India Act 1858 (passed in the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion of 1857) transferred all three presidencies to the direct authority of the British Crown.

In 1903 all three presidency armies were merged into the British Indian Army.

Establishment and early history

The Madras Army of the Honourable East India Company came into being through the need to protect the Company's commercial interests. These were mostly untrained guards, with only some bearing arms. The French attack and capture of Madras in 1746 forced the British hand. In 1757, the British decided to raise well-trained military units to conduct operations, conquer territory, and force allegiance from local rulers.

The loosely organised military units were later combined into battalions with Indian officers commanding local troops. One of the first major actions fought by these troops was in the battle of Wandiwash in 1760. The troops were highly praised for their steadiness under fire. Earlier a good part of the force was sent to Bengal under young Clive, who made history and a personal fortune after the Battle of Plassey.

The Madras Army officers were in the early years very conscious of the soldiers' local customs, caste rituals, dress, and social hierarchy. Some leading landowners joined the Madras Army, one of whom is recorded as Mootoo (Muthu) Nayak from the nobility in Madura. As the army expanded and new officers came in, mostly from Company sources, the leadership style and care of the men changed for the worse. The most famous incident in the Madras Army was the Vellore mutiny. Looting was an organised activity among the East India Company officers. Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, was in the Seringapatnam battle. In keeping with the times, he laid down the share of every officer and sepoy from the loot that was organised after Tipu was killed. The defeat of Hyder Ali and the death of Tipu with the most widespread looting of Seringapatnam rankled with Indians at all levels. After Tipu Sultan was killed, his two sons were held in British custody in Vellore Fort.

In the 1830s the Madras Army was concerned with internal security and support for the civil administration. This was a multi-ethnic army in which the British officers were encouraged to learn and speak Asian languages. In 1832–33 the Madras Army put down a rebellion in the Visakhapatnam district: the superior discipline and training of the Madras Army produced a victory for them.

Post-1857 history

The Army of the Madras Presidency remained almost unaffected by the Indian Rebellion of 1857. By contrast with the larger Bengal Army where all but twelve (out of eighty-four) infantry and cavalry regiments either mutinied or were disbanded, all fifty-two regiments of Madras Native Infantry remained loyal and passed into the new Indian Army when direct British Crown rule replaced that of the Honourable East India Company. Four regiments of Madras Light Cavalry and the Madras Artillery batteries did however disappear in the post-Mutiny reorganisation of all three of the Presidency Armies. The Madras Fusiliers (a regiment of European infantry recruited by the East India Company for service in India) was transferred to the regular British Army.

End of the separate Madras Army

In 1895 the three separate Presidency Armies were abolished and the Army of India was divided into four commands, each commanded by a lieutenant-general. These comprised Madras (including Burma), Punjab (including the North West Frontier), Bengal and Bombay (including Aden).

Disbanding of Madras infantry regiments

While the Madras Army remained in existence as a separate entity until 1895, twelve of the Madras Native Infantry regiments were disbanded between 1862 and 1864. A further eight went in 1882, three between 1902 and 1904, two in 1907 and four in 1922. The remainder were disbanded between 1923 and 1933, leaving the highly regarded Madras Sappers and Miners as the only Madrasi unit in the Indian Army until a new Madras Regiment was raised in 1942, during World War II. Both of these regiments continue to exist in the modern Indian Army.

The gradual phasing out of Madrasi recruitment for the Indian Army in the late 19th century, in favour of Sikhs, Rajputs, Dogras and Punjabi Mussalmans, was justified by General Sir Frederick Roberts on the grounds that long periods of peace and inactivity in Southern India had rendered the Madras infantry soldier inferior to the Martial Races of the North. The military historians John Keegan and Philip Mason have however pointed out that under the "watertight" Presidency Army system, Madras regiments had little opportunity of active service on the North-West Frontier. As a result, the more ambitious and capable British officers of the Indian Army opted for service with Punjabi and other northern units and the overall efficiency of the Madras Army suffered accordingly.

Madras Native Infantry

  • 1st Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 2nd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 3rd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry Palamcottah Light Infantry
  • 4th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 5th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 6th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 7th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 8th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 9th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 10th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 11th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 12th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 13th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 14th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 17th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 18th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 19th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 20th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 21st Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 22nd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 23rd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry Wallajahbad Light infantry
  • 24th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 25th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 26th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 27th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 28th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 29th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 30th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 31st Regiment of Madras Native Infantry Trichinopoly Light Infantry
  • 32nd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 33rd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 34th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry Chicacole Light Infantry
  • 35th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 36th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 37th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 38th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 39th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 40th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 41st Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 42nd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 43rd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 44th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 45th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 46th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 47th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 48th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 49th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • 50th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
  • Madras Rifle Corps
  • Madras European Infantry

  • 1st Madras (European) Fusiliers
  • 2nd Madras (European) Light Infantry
  • 3rd Madras (European) Infantry
  • Madras Light Cavalry

  • 1st Madras Light Cavalry
  • 2nd Madras Light Cavalry
  • 3rd Madras Light Cavalry
  • 4th Madras Light Cavalry
  • 5th Madras Light Cavalry
  • 6th Madras Light Cavalry
  • 7th Madras Light Cavalry
  • 8th Madras Light Cavalry
  • Artillery

  • Madras European Foot Artillery
  • Madras Native Foot Artillery Golundauze Battalion
  • Madras Horse Artillery
  • Engineers

  • Corps of Madras Sappers and Miners
  • List of Commanders of the Fort St George garrison

    Commanders included:

  • Lieutenant Jermin (1640–49)
  • Lieutenant Richard Minors (1649–51)
  • Captain James Martin (1651–54)
  • Lieutenant Richard Minors (1654–55)
  • Sergeant Thomas Sutton (1655–58)
  • Captain Roger Middleton (1658–60)
  • Lieutenant William Hull (1660)
  • Captain Thomas Axtell (1661–64)
  • Lieutenant Francis Chuseman (1664–68)
  • Lieutenant Timothy Sutton (1668–73)
  • Captain Philip O' Neale (1673–80)
  • Captain James Bett (1680–92)
  • Captain Francis Seaton (1692–1707)
  • Captain Gabriel Poirier (1707–16)
  • Major John Roach (1716–19)
  • Captain Alexander Fullerton (1719–23)
  • Captain Alexander Sutherland (1723–24)
  • Major John Roach (1724–29)
  • Major David Wilson (1729–38)
  • Captain Peter Eckman (1738–43)
  • Major Charles Knipe (1743)
  • Captain Peter Eckman (1743–46)
  • Commanders-in-Chief

    Commanders-in-chief included:
    Commander-in-Chief, Madras Army

  • Major Stringer Lawrence (1st term) (1748–1749)
  • Captain Rodolphus de Gingens (1749–1752)
  • Major Stinger Lawrence (2nd term) (1752–1754)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel John Adlercron (1754–1757)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Stringer Lawrence (3rd term) (1757–1759)
  • Colonel Eyre Coote (1759–1761)
  • Major-General Stringer Lawrence (4th term) (1761–1766)
  • Brigadier General John Caillaud (1766–1767)
  • Brigadier General Joseph Smith (1767–1770)
  • Major General Eyre Coote (1770)
  • Brigadier General Joseph Smith (1770–1772)
  • Colonel Sir Robert Fletcher (1772–1773)
  • Brigadier General Joseph Smith (1773–1775)
  • Brigadier General Sir Robert Fletcher (1775–1776)
  • Brigadier General James Stuart (1776–1777)
  • Colonel Ross Lang (1777–1778)
  • Major General Sir Hector Munro (1778–1782)
  • Major General James Stuart (1782–1783)
  • Colonel Sir John Burgoyne (17 Sept 1783)
  • Lieutenant General Ross Lang (1783–1785)
  • Lieutenant General Sir John Dalling (1785–1786)
  • Major General Sir Archibald Campbell (1786-1789, while Governor of Madras)
  • Brigadier General Mathew Horne and Colonel John Floyd (1789–1790)
  • Major General William Medows (1790-1792, while Governor of Madras)
  • Colonel John Braithwaite (1792–1796)
  • Major-General Alured Clarke (1796–1797)
  • Major-General George Harris (1797–1800)
  • Major-General John Braithwaite (1800–1801)
  • Major-General James Stuart (1801–1804)
  • Major-General John Cradock (1804–1807)
  • Lieutenant-General Hay McDowall (1807–1810)
  • Major-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty (1810–1813)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir John Abercromby (1813)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Hislop (1814–1820)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Alexander Campbell (1820–1825)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir George Walker (1825–1831)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Robert O'Callaghan (1831–1836)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Peregrine Maitland (1836–1838)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Jasper Nicolls (1838–1839)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Samuel Whittingham (1839–1841)
  • Lieutenant-General The Marquess of Tweeddale (1842–1848)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir George Berkeley (1848–1851)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Armstrong (1851–1853)
  • Lieutenant-General William Staveley (1853–1854)
  • Lieutenant-General George Anson (1854–1856)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Patrick Grant (1856–1861)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir James Grant (1861–1864)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir John Le Marchant (1865–1867)
  • Lieutenant-General William McCleverty (1867–1871)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Haines (1871–1876)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Neville Chamberlain (1876–1880)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Roberts (1880–1885)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert MacPherson (1886)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Arbuthnot (1886–1891)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir James Dormer (1891–1893)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Clarke (1893–1895)
  • Commander-in-Chief, Madras Command

  • Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Clarke (1895–1898)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir George Wolseley (1898–1903)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Egerton (1903–1907)
  • References

    Madras Army Wikipedia


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