Adas (or Arras)

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Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Adas (or Arras)

A plain in Kaira District, Bombay, situated in 22 degree 29' N. and 73 degree 2' E., between Anand and the Mahi river, which has, in modern times, been the scene of three battles. At the first of these (1723) Rustam Ali, the imperial governor of Surat, was, through the treachery of Pilaji Gaikwar, defeated and slain by Hamid Khan, deputy of Nizam-ul-mulk. At the second (February, 1775) Raghunath Rao Peshwa was defeated by the Maratha confederation.

At the third, a few months later (May 18, 1775), the Maratha army was, after a severe struggle, defeated by a British detachment under the command of Colonel Keating. Of the third battle of Adas, James Forbes, who was present, gives the following details : The enemy's cannon silenced, and their cavalry dispersed by die British artillery, a party was sent forward to take their guns. While a strong force of cavalry opposed this party's advance, a body of Maratha troops, professing to be partisans of Raghunath Rao, was allowed to pass between the advanced party and the main British line. Attacked both in front and rear, the forward party resisted bravely till the grenadiers, facing to the right- about to change ground, by some mistake began to retreat.

The rest followed, and at the same time a tumbril of shells blowing up added to the confusion. The men retreated at first in order, but getting broken at a high hedge, fled to the main line. The enemy followed, but wire met by so steady a fire of grape-shot and shell that they were driven off the ground. The British were left masters of the field, and a gun that had fallen into the enemy's hands was retaken. The engagement lasted for four hours. Victory was dearly bought. Of fifteen British officers in the advanced division, seven were killed and four wounded. Eighty Europeans, a number of native officers, and 200 men, were killed or missing.

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