War in the East – 4 June 1855

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Below is another 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.

War in the East – 4 Jun 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.

Thursday 31st May 1855

Paid another visit to Kertch. Preparations are being made for the expedition to start as soon as the works at Yenikale are completed.

Friday 1st June 1855

This morning at 3 o’clock the launches and armed boats of the fleet were sent up to the Sea of Azoff. The force is a strong one, for the boats are all furnished with 24 lb. howitzers. The fortifications of Yenikale progress rapidly.

Sunday 3rd June 1855

It has been telegraphed from the Black Sea that Soudjak and the adjacent forts have been all evacuated, and the magazines blown up by the Russians. The “Spitfire” has returned from Anapa, and reports that half the garrison of Soudjak marched to Anapa, and the rest, accompanied by the inhabitants of the Settlements around the forts, crossed the Kuban in a large caravan, and proceeded to the north-east.

Monday 4th June 1855

The news from Captain Lyons’ squadron in the Sea of Azoff is of the most cheering character. Our success has indeed been signal. Within four days after the squadron passed the Straits of Kertch they had destroyed 245 Russian vessels employed in carrying provisions to the Russian army in the Crimea, many of them of large size, and fully equipped and laden. Some of these ships were built in Finland for this specific purpose. Immense magazines of corn, flour, and breadstuffs were destroyed at Berdiansk and Chenitschesk (Genitchi?), comprising altogether more than 7,000,000 (seven million) rations. Arabat was bombarded, and the powder magazine blown up, but, as there were no troops on board the vessels, and as the Russians were in force, it seemed more desirable to Captain Lyons to urge on the pursuit of the enemy’s vessels than to stay before a place which must very soon fall into our hands. At Berdiansk the enemy were forced to run on shore and burn four war steamers, under the command of Rear-Admiral Wolff, carrying six 68 pounders and 32 pounders each. At Kertch the enemy destroyed upwards of 4,000,000 lbs. of corn and 500,000 lbs. of flour.

Tuesday 5th June 1855

We are making every preparation for the expedition to Anapa, which will be ready to sail on Friday.

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.

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Further Reading and External Links

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia