War in the East – 16 May 1855

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Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 16 May 1855

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Wednesday 16th May 1855

This morning some of the Sardinian cavalry were disembarked at Balaklava, and proceeded to their camping ground, near the French camp of the left. They consisted of Lancers, and were well mounted, handsomely equipped, serviceable looking men, with a martial air and hearing. As they passed by our cavalry camp at Kadikoi they cheered lustily, one, two, three, and continued to do so at intervals, till they had wound up the road out of sight. The French on the hills above them turned out, and re-echoed their cheers. There is an amicable controversy between us and our allies as to who shall fraternize the most.

Thursday 17th May 1855

Since the bombardment has ceased there is, indeed, very little to record. Lord Raglan took General della Marmora into the trenches to-day, and proceeded to the advanced parallel, explaining the nature of the position. On their return the enemy caught sight of them, and sent some unpleasant tokens of their recognition in the shape of heavy shot and shell, which excited the attention of every one around Lord Raglan, but did not at all disturb the equanimity or draw the notice of the Field-Marshal. The work of arming our advanced batteries continues to be executed with alacrity and success. We are now moving all our heavy mortars 13 inches and 10 inches into the advanced parallels. A shell from the enemy fell by chance yesterday on the platform which had just been laid for one of these large mortars, and utterly destroyed it. There was scarcely a shot fired to-day on either side.

Miss Nightingale is, I am glad to say, very much better to-day, and is now past the dangerous crisis of the fever.

The Russians are working vigorously at the north side. They are erecting an earthwork over the Tchernaya, opposite the eastern angle of the plateau, under the very eyes of the French battery.

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.


Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil