Category Archives: Battles

War in the East – 11 Jun 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.

War in the East – 11 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.

Monday 11th June 1855

OFF YENIKALE,

HAD I been aware that this expedition would have been so barren in everything but considerable strategical and great political results, I certainly would have hesitated before I abandoned the camp before Sebastopol. The mode of defence adopted by the Russians has left one nothing to write about. Corn ricks blazing. batteries and forts blown up, and stores and magazines gutted and burnt, offer but little variety of detail. We have inflicted great ruin on the enemy, but they have emulated our best efforts in destroying their own Settlements. Our haste to attack has not exceeded their precipitation to retreat.

The intelligence of the destruction of Anapa has had rather a perplexing effect on the authorities, who do not seem well prepared for the enemy anticipating their intentions, and for such eccentric operations of war as those of the Russians, who delight to do the work of hostile fleets and armies, and to burn and blow up their own forts and settlements. However, the embarkation of the troops goes on as usual. The Turks have been reinforced by 2000 men, who were landed yesterday. The French force is all embarked, except about 2500 men. The news of the destruction of Anapa was brought by Mr. Hughes, who sailed over in an open boat from the coast near Anapa to the Admiral, who lay off Ambalaki.

Two o’clock, P.M.

The whole expedition will return to Balaklava forthwith, with the exception of the 71st Regiment, which has been ordered to disembark again from the “Valorous” and “Sidon.”

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

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

War in the East – 7 Jun 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.

War in the East – 7 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 7th June 1855

At four o’clock this morning a still and sluggish atmosphere, half mist, half the result of gunpowder, hung about the town, and, the Sun enfilading, as it were, all the points of view from his low level in the horizon, telescopes were put out of joint for the moment. The Redan, however, which stands up boldly in front of the hills that slope from Cathcart’s Mound, gave some evidence of having yielded to rough treatment, the jaws of its embrasures gaping, and its fire being irregular and interrupted. Captain Peel came by, on his way up from the trenches, about five, very dusty and powdery. His reckless and dauntless seamen had been making beautiful practice, and had met with what must for them be considered a very moderate proportion of loss, having to record two deaths only and fourteen wounds during the fifteen hours, and, with one exception, the last were not very serious.

At nine a cool breeze, much stronger than usual, sprang up, and continued throughout the day, blowing the wreaths of smoke out of the batteries, and carrying off the solid little round nebulae extemporized by bursting shells, which can only be compared in their expansion to the genie who, in the Arabian Nights, comes out of the iron pot sealed with Solomon’s seal. The whole range of fire from right to left became visible in a bright sun, that for once was not a scorching one. On the extreme left, towards the Quarantine, there was very slight firing from the French. The perpetual hiss and crack of shells was still the chief point of contrast with the last bombardment in April. The enemy either could not or would not keep up a very vigorous reply. All the early part of the day we had the work very much to ourselves, but, since it has been very much the habit of the Russians to knock off work in the hotter part of the twenty-four hours, no very important disclosure was contained in this fact.

About eleven o’clock a shell from the Russians exploded a magazine in our eight-gun battery, and a yell of applause followed the report. Very slight harm happily resulted from the explosion – one man was killed, one wounded, and a few scorched a little.

 

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

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

War in the East – 6 Jun 1855






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Search the library for more like this

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 – 6 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.

Wednesday 6th June 1855

An end has been put once more to the long days of expectation and the wearisome indolence or sameness of our camp life. For the third time our fire has opened along the whole range of positions. At half-past two o’clock to-day 157 guns and mortars on our side, and above 300 on that of the French, awoke from silence to tumult.

The two armies – one should say the four armies, but that the Turks and Sardinians will hardly take a very prominent part in the trench work and assault – are now in strength equal to any achievement, and in spirits ever chiding the delay, and urging that one touch of the bayonet which makes all the world scamper. If the strategic necessity points to some more decisive action this time, so, on the other hand, the intention of going beyond a vain cannonade is tolerably plain, and I think with some stout defiance of the risks. Yesterday the late general order announcing the victories of the fleet was read before the brigades, and to-night Lord Raglan and General Pelissier have ridden through the camps amidst the hurrahs and acclamations of both their armies. There cannot be any doubt as to the zeal of those whom they command. Our fire was kept up for the first three hours with excessive rapidity, the Russians answering by no means on an equal scale, though with considerable warmth. On our side the predominance of shells was very manifest, and distinguished the present cannonade in some degree even from the last. The superiority of our fire over the enemy became apparent at various points before nightfall, especially in the Redan, which was under the especial attention of the Naval Brigade. The Russians displayed, however, plenty of determination and bravado. They fired frequent salvos at intervals of four or six guns, and also, by way of reprisals, threw heavy shot up to our Light Division and on to the Picquethouse-hill. After dark the animosity on both sides gave signs of relaxing, but the game relative advantage was maintained by our artillery. It was a sultry day, with the dull mist of extreme heat closing down upon the valleys, and with no air to rend away the curtain of smoke which swayed between the town and our batteries; and at night flashes of lightning in the north-east made a counter-illumination on the rear of our position.

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

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.

===+++===

Further Reading and External Links

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

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.

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Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil

War in the East – 15 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 – 15 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.

Tuesday 15th May 1855

BEFORE SEBASTOPOL

THE active operations of the siege are suspended for a time; our batteries are complete, our works finished, but the armament of them is not yet accomplished. Even the French are tired of a useless cannonade, and there has not been much firing for the last two nights. The Sardinians are accumulating at Balaklava daily. Two or three steamers arrive every four-and-twenty hours laden with those excellent and soldierlike troops. They land all ready for the field, with horses, carts, etc. Their transport cars are simple, strongly made, covered vehicles, not unlike a London bread-cart, painted blue, with the words “Armata Sarda” in black letters, and the name of the regiment to the service of which it belongs. The officers are well mounted, and everyone admires the air and carriage of the troops, more especially of the “Bersaglieri” (Chasseurs), and the eye is attracted by their melodramatic head-dress – bandit-looking hat, with a large plume of black cock’s feathers in the side. The officers of the corps wear a plume of green ostrich feathers. General della Marmora and his staff have arrived, and Lord Raglan has received him with marked consideration.

Those nocturnal frights which went on so briskly last week have ceased for the present. Although our losses were not heavy, we were generally deprived of the services of the best men. The old soldiers would go to the front and were knocked over, and in that respect our losses were serious. The Russians lately adopted various “dodges” to get our men into their hands and to draw them over the parapet, such as putting their caps on the muzzles of their firelocks and holding them just over the trenches, etc., or shoving their bayonets above the earthworks, and keeping men ready to fire at any soldiers who came forward to seize them.

On Friday night, a Russian bugler, a mere lad, leaped upon the top of the trench, and was killed by numerous balls in the very act of sounding the charge. His dead body fell into our trench. The enemy are repairing and strengthening their batteries, and are busy throwing up new works inside the town itself. It is not correct to say that there are any earthworks about Sebastopol with tiers of guns in them; indeed, it would not be possible to construct earthworks with guns placed one above the other in them. The expression applies rather to the fact that there are some batteries formed on the slopes of hills, and that the intrenchments rise up one inside the other, so that the inner one is higher up on the hill-side than that in front of it.

I regret to say that the cholera has commenced its ravages. It is reported that twenty men died of that terrible disease last night. The 71st Regiment are about to shift their encampment to the high ground on the left of the Third Division. Both the Buffs and the 71st were in a miserable plight during the rain. Their camping-ground became a slough, and illness rapidly increased in a few days – no doubt because of the wet ground on which the men lay.

Omar Pasha, after visiting Lord Raglan this morning, proceeded to Kamiesch, and embarked for Eupatoria.

Miss Nightingale is suffering from an attack of Crimean fever. M. Soyer has been inspecting the hospitals and kitchens, and it is hoped he may effect some change for the better in our present abominable mode of regimental cooking. He had an interview with Lord Raglan again yesterday. Numbers of amateurs are arriving. The Royal Yacht Squadron yacht “Stella” came in on Sunday.

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

War in the East – 10 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 – 10 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.

Thursday 10th May 1855

About one o’clock this morning the camp in front was roused up by an extremely heavy fire of musketry and repeated cheering along our right attack. The elevated ground and ridges in front of the Third and Fourth Divisions were soon crowded with groups of men from the tents in the rear. It was a very dark night, for the moon had not yet risen, and the sky was overcast with clouds, but the incipient flashing of small arms, which lighted up the front of the trenches, the yell of the Russians (which our soldiers have christened “the lnkermann screech”, the cheers of our men, and the volume of the fire indicated, the position, and showed that a contest of no ordinary severity was taking place.

For a mile and a half the darkness was broken by outbursts of ruddy flame and bright glittering sparks, which advanced, receded, died out altogether, broke out fiercely in patches in innumerable twinkles, flickered in long lines like the electric flash a!ong a chain, and formed for an instant craters of fire. By the time I had reached the front about five minutes after the firing began the fight was raging all along the right of our position. I cannot now ascertain the particulars of the affair, and can only describe what I saw. The wind was favourable for hearing, and the cheers of the men, their shouts, the voices of the officers, the Russian bugles and our own, were distinctly audible. The bugles of the Light Division and of the Second Division were sounding the “turn out” on our right as we reached the high ground, and soon afterwards the alarm sounded through the French camp close to them. Hundreds of the soldiers had got up, and were drawn up, watching with the most intense interest the fight before them, as far as they could see it. The tents of the Fourth Division were lighted up, and the old Inkermann men were all anxious and ready for the word to march, should their services be required. The musketry, having rolled incessantly for a quarter of an hour, began to cease at intervals along the line. Here and there it stopped for a moment altogether; again it burst forth. Then came a British cheer which thrilled through every heart. “Our fellows have driven them back; bravo!” Then a Russian yell, a fresh burst of musketry, more cheering, a rolling volley subsiding into spattering flashes and broken fire, a ringing hurrah from the front; and then the Russian bugles sounding “the retreat,” and our own bugles the “cease firing,” and the attack, after half-an-hour duration, was over.

The enemy were beaten, and were retiring to their earthworks; and now the batteries opened to cover their retreat. The Redan, Round Tower, Garden Batteries, and Road Battery, aided probably by the ships, lighted up the air from the muzzles of their guns. The batteries at Careening-bay and at the north side of the harbour contributed their fire, and the sky was seamed by the red track of innumerable shells. You could see clearly at times the ground close around you from the flashes of the cannon. The instant they began to fire, our ever active allies the French, on our right, opened from their batteries over Inkermann and from the redoubts to draw off the Russian guns from our men; and our own batteries also replied, and sent shot and shell in the direction of the retreating enemy.

The effect of this combined fire was very formidable to look at, but was probably not nearly so destructive as that of the musketry. From half-past one till three o’clock the cannonade continued, but the spectators had retired before two o’clock, and tried to sleep as well as they might in the midst of the thunders of the infernal turmoil. Soon after three o’clock a.m. it began to blow and rain with great violence, and on getting up this morning I really imagined that one of our terrible winter days had interpolated itself into our Crimean May. 

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

War in the East – 8 May 1855

 

Search the library for more like this

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 – 8 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.

Tuesday 8th May 1855

THE details of the Kertch Expedition have lost their interest, inasmuch as it effected nothing. The most extraordinary rumour are afloat respecting the reasons of its return re infecta; but it is sufficient to say that the fleet, consisting of about forty sail, with nearly 12,000 men on board, arrived at the rendezvous, lat. 44’54, long. 36’28, on Saturday morning and on the previous night, and that they were summoned to return to the place whence they came by an express steamer which left Kamiesch on Friday night or Saturday morning with orders (it is said) from General Canrobert. These orders were, it is reported, sent by the French General in consequence of a communication from Paris, which rendered it incumbent on him to concentrate the forces under his command in the Chersonese. It is not to be wondered at that this abrupt termination of an expedition which, from its secret character, was doubtless intended to effect important services, excited feelings of annoyance and regret among those who expected to win honour and glory and position. Admiral Bruat could not venture to take on himself the responsibility of disregarding orders so imperative and so clear, and Admiral Lyons was not in a position to imitate the glorious disobedience of Nelson.

Those on board the ships which were the furthest at sea could easily make out the land. A high peak rising out of the sea to the north was visible to the whole squadron; two or three smaller elevations at no great distance could also be seen distinctly; and there is no doubt but that the low land itself could have been discerned from the tops of the men-of-war at the rendezvous.

Kertch is said to have been the place where Caesar penned his pithy despatch “Veni! Vidi! Vici!” We may certainly say we came, and saw, but we cannot complete the sentence.

The men disembarked this morning.

Sir Edmund Lyons is said to be unwell, and his illness is attributed to chagrin at the result of the expedition, or rather at the want of it.

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

War in the East – 2 May 1855

 

Search the library for more like this

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 – 2 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 2nd May 1855

There was a very brilliant exploit performed by seven battalions of French infantry, in which the 46th Regiment were particularly distinguished, last night and this morning. They advanced before midnight and seized on the Russian ambuscades under a heavy fire. The Russians came out to meet them in forces – a tremendous conflict ensued, in which the French used the bayonet in repeated charges, and at last they forced the Russians back into the works, followed them, stormed the outworks of the Batterie Centrale, and took off eight cohorns, in which they brought to General Pelissier. In this gallant affair, which lasted till two o’clock this morning, the French had sixty-three killed and two hundred and ten wounded, and nine officers put hors de combat.

The obstinacy of the combat was sufficiently evident from the spectacle presented by the ground between the French lines and the Batterie du Centre. The space of rubbish, broken earth, ruins of batteries, and the debris of outworks, was covered with gabions, fragments of arms, and dead bodies, and the Russians were busily engaged in burying those who had fallen inside their lines. The firlog on the left was incessant and exceedingly heavy, and the Russian artillery did their best to avenge the losses of their comrades, but probably not with much effect, although the air was obscured by the clouds of dust arising from the shower of cannon balls, which tore along the surface, marking their course they ricochetted among the batteries by pillars of earth dashed as up by the concussion.

The French replied with vigour, and from dawn till eve the contest was continues between the artillery and the riflemen in front of the Flagstaff Battery. Our batteries all day maintained a most profound silence.

Early this morning a little flotilla of some twenty-five or thirty French vessels, most of them brigs and schooners, sailed from Kamiesch, and stood over to the south-west with a gentle breeze. They were visible all day, and could be readily seen from Sebastopol. At sunset some were hull down. Several French men-of-war accompanied them. It is supposed that these vessels contained a portion of the troops and stores of the secret expedition. At half-past two, a body of Russian troops, in three divisions, each about 2500 strong, were seen marching into Sebastopol from the camp over the Tchernaya. A very large convoy of carte and pack animals also entered the town in the course of the day, and an equally numerous string of carts and horses left for the interior. The troops marched along by the road at the head of the harbour, on the north side, and were lost to sight at three o’clock, behind the rise of the cliffs on the south of the road. The day was so clear, that one could almost see their faces through the glass. Their officers were well mounted, and the men marched solidly and well. Numbers of dogs preceded and played about the line of march, and as they passed by the numerous new batteries, at which the Russians are working night and day, the labourers ceased from their labours for the time, saluted the officers as they passed, and stood gazing on the sight just as our own artisans would stare at a body of troops in some quiet English town. A smaller body of troops subsequently passed out from the town, and marched up towards the camp at the Belbek, taking a road more to the north than that by which their comrades entered.

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

War in the East – 1 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 – 1 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.

Tuesday 1st May 1855

May-day in the Crimea! Worthy of the sweetest and brightest May Queen in merry England! A blue sky, dotted with milkwhite clouds, a warm but not too hot a sun, and a gentle breeze fanning the fluttering canvas of the wide-spread streets of tents, here pitched on swelling mounds covered with fresh grass, there sunk in valleys of black mould, trodden up by innumerable feet and hoofs, and scattered broad-cast over the vast plateau of the Chersonese. It is enough to make one credulous of peace, and to listen to the pleasant whispers of home, notwithstanding the rude interruption of the cannon before Sebastopol. This bright sun, however, develops fever and malaria. The reeking earth, saturated with dew and rain, pours forth poisonous vapours, and the sad rows of mounds covered with long lank grass which rise in all directions above the soil impregnate the air with disease.  

As the atmosphere is purged of clouds and vapour, the reports of the cannon and of the rifles become more distinct. The white houses, green roofs, and the domes and cupolas of Sebastopol stand out with tantalizing distinctness against the sky, and the ruined suburbs and masses of rubbish inside the Russian batteries seem almost incorporated with the French entrenchments. The French on the left are indeed too near the enemy’s lines; they are exposed to constant annoyance and loss by frequent volleys of hand grenades and cohorns, and their works are interrupted by little sorties of a few yards out and back again.

On the extreme right, however, the English works towards the Round Tower are in advance of the French works towards the Mamelon. On our proper left we can make no considerable approaches in advance of our actual works up to the Redan, in consequence of the deep ravine before our batteries. The ravine winding from the right between the two attacks sweeps down below the Green-hill, with a precipitous ascent on the Russian side towards the Redan, and a gentle rise up to the Green-hill. The French approach towards the Round Tower is obstructed by the Mamelon, which is due south of it, and we cannot approach much nearer towards the Round Tower working from our right, till the Mamelon is taken. The distance from the Mamelon to the Redan is about 550 yards. From the Round Tower to the sea (of the harbour) behind it the distance is about [1700] yards. The French are now within a few hundred yards of the Mamelon, and our advanced parallel, which is connected with theirs, inclines forward of their line towards the Round Tower. Although the Mamelon is pierced for eleven guns, there are not apparently more than five guns mounted, but all the embrasures are screened. The Russians have been checked in their attempts to advance upon our right towards Inkermann, and as I have said the French on the left towards the sea have pushed their lines inside the old Russian outworks; but the centre, protected by the Garden Battery, Road Battery, Barrack Battery. and Redan, still offers considerable difficulty to an approach, and presents a very strong position.

An expedition from the British and French fleets, consisting of the smaller heavy-armed steamers and gun-boats, is to sail this evening for Kertch, to test the strength of the fortifications there and at Yenikale. If the flotilla reduces the forts which guard the entrance to the Sea of Azov, and leaves the navigation open to us, it will effect an enormous service – always supposing the Russians are not allowed to build them up again, and that we will really take some efficient steps to cut off the source of supplies from which the Russians are mainly furnished with their provisions, if not with their materiel of war.

Lord Stratford has gone to Eupatoria in the “Royal Albert,” and is expected back on Monday.

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

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

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