Capture of Cuttack

Puri’s occupation encouraged the British to continue processing. They devised a complex plan to seize Cuttack. Harcourt planned his march to Cuttack by making necessary arrangements to halt the Maratha army’s possible advance from Nagpur. Lieutenant Ogilvie and Major Fletcher were stationed at Manikpatna and Puri, respectively, to deal with Maratha forces.

Harcourt began his march towards Cuttack on 24 September 1803. Naturally, the Marathas resisted the British soldiers’ advance, and it became toe in Ahmadpur and Mukundapur. However, Harcourt’s artillery force defeated the Marathas, and by 10 October 1803, the entire town of Cuttack, except for Fort Barabati, was under British control. The fort of Barabati appeared to be impregnable. Harcourt attempted to bribe Shiv Prasad, the Maratha officer in charge of the Barabati fort, but his scheme was a complete failure. On the night of 13 October 1803, British troops established a battery of one 12-pounder, two 6-pounders, and two howitzers 500 yards from the fort’s outer gate. Fort Barabati’s capitulation operation began on 14 October 1803, early in the morning, with a heavy bombardment from all canons at the fort’s outer gate, which cracked. A group of soldiers and artillerymen led by Lt.Colonel Clyton stormed into the fort and occupied it despite heavy fire from the Marathas.

Fearful of the British army, the Marathas fled the fort, and many were drawn into the ditch. Only two European and three Indian soldiers were killed during the operation, while sixteen European and thirteen Indian soldiers were injured. With the surrender of the Barabati fort, the Maratha rule in Odisha came to an end. Major Forbes pursued the Marathas to Nagpur via the Baramula Pass, captured it on 2 November 1803 and effectively ended the Marathas’ presence in Odisha for the foreseeable future. After capturing the Barabati fort, Lord Wellesley appointed a commission comprised of Harcourt, Melville, and Earnst (the magistrate of Midnapur) to deal with the local chiefs who were feudatories of the Nagpur Marathe chiefs. The Rajas and zamindars of Khurda, Kujang, Kanika, Aul, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Hindol, Darpan, Sukinda, and Madhupur, among others, acknowledged British suzerainty and pledged to pay the annual tribute to the British authority. At the outset of its administration in Odisha, the British power reached an amicable agreement with the local chiefs.

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