The Coorg War was fought between the British East India Company and the State of Coorg in 1834. Defiance of the Raja of Coorg (Chikka Virarajendra), a small state in South India, led to a short but bloody campaign in 1834. In February 1834, a force of 7000 was assembled under the command of Brigadier General Lindsay to commence operations against the Raja, who had begun hostilities against the British. Due to the poor state of roads, the force was divided into four columns, which were to enter Coorg from different directions and converge on the capital of Mercara. On 11 March, the Northern Division under the command of Colonel Gilbert Waugh entered the territory of Coorg and on 3 April, the leading troops made contact with the enemy. At noon, the advanced guard arrived in front of the fortified position of Soamwar Pettah (now called Somwarpet). The force launched an attack on the position but was forced to retreat after a severe mauling. Similar fate was suffered by another column, but the other two divisions entered Mercara on 6 April, bringing an end to the hostilities. The British losses during the campaign were 93 killed and 200 wounded. The leader of the Coorg resistance at was 'Madanta' (Mathanda) Appachu.
The Coorgs displayed the utmost bravery in the resistance they made against the advance of the other divisions. Two of the British columns were repeatedly repulsed by these gallant hill-men, and many officers and more than 200 soldiers fell beneath their weapons.
But the Raja after cowardly abandoning his capital, surrendered to General James Stuart Fraser, the Political Agent, who issued a proclamation, annexing the territory of Coorg to the Company’s dominions, “in consideration of the unanimous wish of the people”.
Colonel Lindsay had that morning (6th of April) hoisted the British ensign on the ramparts of Madikeri (Mercara) Fort. Some of the British officers who served in the Coorg campaign against the Coorgs and survived were Colin Mackenzie and William Anson McCleverty.
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