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the operations of the allied armies in the Crimea. To them, and especially to Mr. William Howard Russell of the Times, and Mr. N. A. Wood of the then existing Morning Herald, the army was indebted for singularly graphic and accurate descriptions of the various engagements, and for those earnest accounts of the necessities and sufferings of the men, which contributed to a more energetic action on the part of the authorities at home, and roused the nation itself to an effort for the relief of the brave fellows who were fighting their battles under vicissitudes which threatened to be more fatal than the actual warfare in which they were engaged. The special correspondents, and artists who went out for the Illustrated London News to send home veracious pictures of the camp and of the more striking events of the siege of Sebastopol, made a new era in military history, and added to the scant intelligence of ordinary despatches the complete and intelligible narratives of independent, and for the most part disinterested witnesses accustomed to observe and to describe what they saw around them. The result of the accounts which had appeared in the newspapers at home, and the establishment of a fund for the relief of the sick and wounded as one of its results, has already been mentioned. At a still earlier date the philanthropy of a number of devoted men and women had been deeply moved by the narratives which had reached them of the sufferings of our soldiers in the East, and a staff of nurses and medical attendants had already arrived at Scutari, where a more complete system of hospital accommodation had been organized under the superintendence of Miss Florence Nightingale.
The name of Florence Nightingale has long been associated in the public mind with works of charity and mercy. Her whole life was devoted to the care of the sick and the suffering, and from an early age she chose for herself the mission which, during the terrible two years of the Crimean war, she carried on with such energy and success. Not in England only, but all over Europe, the story of the untiring ministration of this gentle woman
amidst scenes by which even strong men were appalled, was known and appreciated, and the example set by her, and many of those who accompanied her, may be said to have originated those organizations which have since been recognized, as affording at once an amelioration of the sufferings inflicted by war, and a silent protest against its inhumanity. This is not the place in which to discuss the question whether the efforts of societies for providing nurses to tend the victims of the battlefield are liable to be made excuses for perpetuating an appeal to the sword for the settlement of international quarrels; nor can the argument that war is more likely to cease when the universal sense of mankind revolts from the horrors that must inevitably accompany it, be practically upheld to forbid such alleviations to the misery of the sufferers as are to be found in the exercise of a noble philanthropy, like that which induced a band of English ladies to face the sickening spectacles and the arduous duties awaiting them on their arrival in the hospital at Scutari immediately after the battle of Inkerman.
Florence Nightingale, who was born in Florence in 1820, was the daughter of Mr. William Edward Nightingale of Lea Hurst, in Derbyshire, and her education included a very considerable knowledge of modern languages. It would seem that she possessed an instinctive desire to turn her acquirements to practical account by entering upon a career of charitable effort, especially in connection with the care of the sick, and her serious and earnest character found in such a mission full scope for activity, though her physical strength would have been unequal to the task had she not been sustained by a calm and sincerely religious conviction that she had undertaken a duty which she was bound to fulfil. From the local institutions in the county, where her father resided on his estate, she extended her experience by visiting the schools, hospitals, and workhouses of London, aud then entered on a regular course of training as voluntary nurse in the Kaisersworth Hospital at Dusseldorf. After a careful examination of the systems adopted at similar
institutions in other parts of Germany she returned to London and founded a sanatorium for English invalid ladies in Upper Harley Street, and there became associated with Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Herbert in the charitable efforts in which they were so deeply interested. It was this association which led to the request of the secretary at war that Miss Nightingale would set out to the Crimea as superintendent of a staff of voluntary nurses, and on her consenting she was readily accompanied by about forty women, many of them ladies of rank and fortune.
The Rev. Mr. Bracebridge (of Atherstone IIall, Warwickshire, and his wife), accompanied them, and their journey through France was one of public honour, the people saluting them everywhere with enthusiasm, and many of the innkeepers and proprietors of hotels refusing payment for entertaining them.
Except for a short time, during which she was herself suffering from a severe attack of hospital fever, Miss Nightingale was in constant attendance upon the sick, and when, after the want and exposure suffered by the troops in the winter of 1854-5, cholera attacked the camp, and the duties of the nurses were still more exacting, she remained to encourage and support them by her example, to minister to the sick, and to console the dying with an assiduous care which caused many of the soldiers to regard her as a ministering angel sent to soothe their sufferings or to listen to their latest words of love and remembrance to the friends whom they would never again see in this world. It may be mentioned here that upon the return of Florence Nightingale to England in 1856 her name had become a household word throughout the country, and the national enthusiasm demanding that some recognition should be given to her unselfish services, a testimonial fund was opened and the amount of £50,000 was subscribed. This sum, at her own request, was devoted to the establishment of a Nurses' Training Institution which bore her name. The band of nurses had reached the great hospital at Scutari in time to receive the wounded after the battle of Inkerman, and
though the official attendants and the surgeons at first regarded their arrival with some degree of doubt, and feared that they would increase the confusion, and by falling sick themselves, become a fresh burden on the resources, these prognostications were quickly set at rest. The skill with which Miss Nightingale organized her staff, the quiet promptitude and efficiency which they soon displayed, and the order they introduced into the various departments, no less than the skill with which they assisted the patients, made them invaluable, while the effect of their sympathy was, in general, to exercise a marked improvement in the condition of the sufferers. It was a new thing in the land, and sticklers for routine were ready to oppose and to decry the experiment of employing voluntary and, as they supposed, amateur nurses; but in a very short time these prejudices were for the most part refuted, and had quite disappeared when, to meet the urgent and increasing needs of the large military hospital at Scutari and one which had been opened at Kululee, another staff of forty ladies and nurses under the direction of Miss Stanley, the sister of the late Dean of Westminster, arrived to aid in the good work. There were at that time 4000 patients in the two hospitals, and but for this systematic and ready assistance the official staff would have been unable to meet the terrible exigency.
While the government transport service had failed, and the commissariat department had broken down, the people of England were endeavouring to furnish the soldiers at Balaklava with clothing and provisions by private effort. The royal family and thousands of other families in the kingdom were making or buying warm garments, or preparing various kinds of food, to be sent out whenever there was an opportunity of conveying them. Women and children were knitting socks, mittens, and comforters, or scraping linen for lint for the wounded. Men were purchasing thick coats, blankets, and boots, and consigning them to the camp, where the desperate condition of the soldiers had been somewhat alleviated by the consignment of some stores of clothing purchased at Glasgow for the
THE CAMP AT BALAKLAVA.
emergency and by the safe arrival of a large | pictures the scene between the harbour and transport ship similarly laden.
The battle of Inkerman had so dispirited the Russians that there was apparently little probability of another assault on the position of the allies; but Sebastopol was not yet taken, and though its fall was believed by many to be certain, the time of its surrender was so indefinite that it became a question how a starving army, which was being seri ously diminished by sickness and exposure, could hold its ground outside the walls.
As a result of their continued privations, cholera was attacking the men with a more deadly result than would have ensued from any renewed assault by the enemy. Even when vessels arrived with their cargoes the difficulties were not overcome. In describing the situation, Mr. Theodore Martin said: "The siege operations were practically at a standstill. The camp was drenched with rain. The men, reduced in numbers and enfeebled by want of food, and rest, and shelter, were tasked to the utmost limit of their strength to hold their own in the trenches. The commissariat had broken down for want of the means of transport. With abundance of provisions a few miles off at Balaklava men and horses were perishing for lack of food. The horses, that had carried their riders so magnificently into the enemy's lines on the memorable 25th of October, were either rotting in a sea of mud, or being wasted away in doing the ignoble work of sumpter mules; while the survivors of Inkerman, after spending a day and night in the trenches, were often compelled to wade through mire to Balaklava to bring up the rations, which the commissariat were without the means of forwarding to the front. All the evils, in short, were threatening the army, which want of foresight and of effective organization for the exigencies of a lengthened campaign could not fail to inflict. Who were to blame? was the question in every mouth. It was by no means easy to find an answer to a question which only too many were ready to discuss; but to find and to apply the remedy was the one thing needful."
A correspondent, writing in December, thus
the English position:--
"Compared with the dull, marshy solitude of the camp, Balaklava is quite a metropolis; in fact there is not another village in the world which, for its size, could show the same amount of business and excitement as is perpetually going forward in that little collection of huts which all the world is talking of under the name of Balaklava. The harbour is now like the basin of the London docks, so crowded is it with shipping of all kinds; and from every one of these vessels, at all times of the day, supplies are being constantly landed. Along a flat, dirty causeway rather beneath the level of the harbour are boats and barges of all kinds, laden with biscuit, barrels of beef, pork, rum, bales of winter clothing, siege-guns, boxes of Minié ammunition, piles of shell, trusses of hay and sacks of barley and potatoes, which are all landed in the west and stacked in the mud. The motley crowd that is perpetually wading about these piles of uneatable eatables is something beyond description. The very ragged, gaunt, hungrylooking men, with matted beards and moustaches, features grimed with dirt, and torn greatcoats stiff with successive layers of mud -these men, whose whole appearance speaks toil and suffering, and who instantly remind you of the very lowest and most impoverished class of Irish peasantry, are the picked soldiers from our different foot regiments, strong men selected to carry up provisions for the rest of the camp. Mixed with these are about 200 horsemen, whose feeble steeds seem barely able to move about with their riders through the thick, tenacious mud. The horsemen themselves are all pretty much alike—that is, they are all ragged and all muddy; yet on examining these men closely you perceive that some have dingy brass helmets on their heads, others the small Scotch cap of the 'Greys;' the remnants of red trousers indicate a hussar; while a head-dress singularly misshapen discovers a lancer. The led horse carries one bag of biscuit, and frequently is unable to bear this weight (80 lbs.) more than half the distance to the camp."
The French suffered less than our soldiers,
and their commissariat and hospital ambulance departments were better organized, but they also were in great distress and food was very scarce with them. Their condition was less publicly known than that of our troops, and if there were newspaper correspondents in their camp they issued no detailed reports. Even allowing that the reports of the English correspondents were greatly exaggerated, however, the situation of the British troops was bad enough. The condition of our men in the trenches was wretched. "Fancy working five nights out of seven in the trenches," wrote Miss Nightingale to a friend. “Fancy being thirty-six hours in them at a stretch, as they were all December, lying down or half lying down, often for forty-eight hours, with no food but raw salt pork sprinkled with sugar, rum, and biscuit; nothing hot, because the exhausted soldier could not collect his own fuel, as he was expected to do, to cook his own ration; and fancy, through all this, the army preserving their courage and patience as they have done, and being now eager1 (the old ones more than the young ones) to be led even into the trenches. There was something sublime in the spectacle."
The poor Turks, 800 of whom were on the heights at the back of our position, died almost neglected-half of them were lost by sickness, hunger, and privation, and their own government took little heed of them. The French, it is said, suffered less than we did, mainly because of their larger forces enabling them to divide the work in the trenches. They had also two harbours for their ships, both of them nearer to the camp than ours and connected with it by good roads. But the mortality from sickness was, it was declared, greater than ours; they lost an enormous number of horses for want of forage, and they were often on very short rations. Colonel Vico, the French commissioner attached to Lord Raglan's staff, while he recognized the sufferings of the army, declared that the position of the British, bad as it was, was much exaggerated by writers who represented it to be of no efficient service; but after all he
1 This was written on the 15th of May, 1855.
apparently attributed this to the courage and determination of the men under circumstances that might well have dismayed them. The state of things complained of he attributed to the fault of the system, but he said that the English newspapers represented the condition of the men to be worse than it really was. They had suffered more than the French for want of transport and a corps d'intendance. For this want of means of transport they had found it impossible to be in the same state of forwardness as their allies; but their army was very far from having ceased to be of practical help, as some would have it to be believed, and were the enemy to appear he would find they would give him quite enough to do. (Il trouverait bien à qui parler de leur côté.)
This was no doubt true, for our men were ever ready to fight-nothing seemed to daunt them when they had to face the enemy. They had given sufficient proofs of their valour, and their comrades on the French side did not stint their praise.
"Les vingt mille Anglais campés devant Sébastopol comptent par leur bravoure comme cinquante mille hommes aux yeux de l'armée française." "The 20,000 English encamped before Sebastopol count, by reason of their pluck, as 50,000 men in the eyes of the French army," wrote Napoleon III. These were encouraging words and pleasant, and no doubt they were a genuine record of the estimation in which our men were held. Praise even of the most honourable kind, however, could not always sustain our battalions. There is a homely adage which says, "Fine words butter no parsnips,” and in this case there were no parsnips to be buttered. Things were about to improve, however, just soon enough to revive the spirits of the poor fellows who had almost begun to wonder whether they were to succumb to the monstrous neglect and disorder which had already so reduced their numbers. One thing was painfully obvious—if the reports of correspondents of the newspapers said too much, the reports of the commander-inchief said far too little. The fact was that Lord Raglan was an excellent field-officer, but he lacked the genius, and the prompt forethought, of a competent general, or he would not have
LORD RAGLAN'S RETICENCE-GUESS-WORK
left the way between the camp and the har-
It seems to have been Prince Albert who first emphatically called attention to this want of intelligence, and he wrote to the Duke of Newcastle proposing to send out to the general an efficient and detailed form of returns for him to fill up, as the only remedy "when people are not born with the instinct of method and are prevented by want of time or
inclination from writing." The returns themselves should, he said, be so framed as to draw the attention at once to the points of the greatest importance; and he accompanied his letter with a form drawn up by himself, which, if properly returned by the commander, would acquaint the government at home with such full information of every particular that they would be able to provide for the comfort and appointments for the men and materials for the siege. It was, however, not till the Duke of Newcastle had gone out of office that the arrangement was made by Lord Panmure, who succeeded him, and who wrote in the month of February, 1855:
"It appears to me that your lordship's reports to my department are too scanty, and, in order to remedy this inconvenience, I have to request that you will call upon general officers commanding divisions, and they in their turn will desire their brigadiers to furnish reports once a fortnight, which you will regularly forward for my information. These reports must exhibit fully the state of the troops in camp. They will mention the condition of their clothing, the amount and regularity of issue of their rations, the state of their quarters, and the cleanliness of the camp in its several parts. The general officers
will mention in these reports any difficulties which may have occurred as to the issue of rations, fuel, or forage, and you must inquire strictly and immediately into all neglect, and visit upon the delinquent the punishment due to his fault.
"By following the above directions you will, at little trouble to yourself, convey to me most interesting information, for all which I am at present compelled to rely on the reports of unofficial individuals."
The instructions here given were carried out; and from this time reports, accompanied by tabular returns, were regularly forwarded to the secretary for war, and by him to the queen.
All this looks a good deal like a successful shifting of blame from the shoulders of one to those of another, and it is tolerably clear that by the time that this information was provided, the government at home had begun to get their own departments into better order.