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the operations of the allied armies in the amidst scenes by which even strong men were Crimea. To them, and especially to Mr. appalled, was known and appreciated, and the William Howard Russell of the Times, and example set by her, and many of those who Mr. N. A. Wood of the then existing Morning accompanied her, may be said to have origiHerald, the army was indebted for singularly nated those organizations which have sinco graphic and accurate descriptions of the vari- been recognized, as affording at once ous engagements, and for those earnest ac- amelioration of the sufferings inflicted by counts of the necessities and sufferings of the war, and a silent protest against its inmen, which contributed to a more energetic humanity. This is not the place in whiclı action on the part of the authorities at home, to discuss the question whether the efforts of and roused the nation itself to an effort for the societies for providing nurses to tend the relief of the brave fellows who were fighting victims of the battlefield are liable to be their battles under vicissitudes which threat- made excuses for perpetuating an appeal to ened to be more fatal than the actual warfare the sword for the settlement of international in which they were engaged. The special quarrels; nor can the argument that war is correspondents, and artists who went out for more likely to cease when the universal sense the Illustrated London News to send home of mankind revolts from the horrors that veracious pictures of the camp and of the must inevitably accompany it, be practically more striking events of the siege of Sebastopol, upheld to forbid such alleviations to the misery made a new era in military history, and added of the sufferers as are to be found in the exerto the scant intelligence of ordinary despatches cise of a noble philanthropy, like that which the complete and intelligible narratives of in- induced a band of English ladies to face the dependent, and for the most part disinterested sickening spectacles and the arduous duties witnesses accustomed to observe and to de-awaiting them on their arrival in the hospital scribe what they saw around them. The re- at Scutari immediately after the battle of sult of the accounts which had appeared in the Inkerman. newspapers at home, and the establishment of Florence Nightingale, who was born in a fund for the relief of the sick and wounded Florence in 1820, was the daughter of Mr. as one of its results, has already been men- William Edward Nightingale of Lea Hurst, tioned. At a still earlier date the philan- in Derbyshire, and her education included a thropy of a number of devoted men and very considerable knowledge of modern lanwomen had been deeply moved by the narra- guages. It would seem that she possessed an tives which had reached them of the suffer- instinctive desire to turn her acquirements to ings of our soldiers in the East, and a staff of practical account by entering upon a career of nurses and medical attendants had already charitable effort, especially in commection with arrived at Scutari, where a more complete the care of the sick, and her serious and system of hospital accommodation had been earnest character found in such a mission organized under the superintendence of Miss full scope for activity, though ber physical Florence Nightingale.
strength would have been unequal to the task
had she not been sustained by a calm and The name of Florence Nightingale has long sincerely religious conviction that she had been associated in the public mind with works undertaken a duty which she was bound to of charity and mercy. Her whole life was fulfil. From the local institutions in the élevoted to the care of the sick and the suffer county, where her father resided on his estate, ing, and from an early age she chose for her. she extended her experience by visiting the self the mission which, during the terrible schools, hospitals, and work houses of London, two years of the Crimean war, she carried on aụd then entered on a regular course of trainwith such energy and success. Not in Eng- ing as voluntary nurse in the Kaisersworth land only, but all over Europe, the story of Hospital at Dusseldorf. After a careful exthe untiring ministration of this gentle woman amination of the systems adopted at similar
institutions in other parts of Germany she though the official attendants and the surgeons returned to London and founded a sanatorium at first regarded their arrival with some degree for English invalid ladies in Upper Harley of doubt, and feared that they would increase Street, and there became associated with Mr. the confusion, and by falling sick themselves, and Mrs. Sidney Herbert in the charitable become a fresh burden on the resources, these efforts in which they were so deeply inter-prognostications were quickly set at rest. The ested. It was this association which led to skill with which Miss Nightingale organized the request of the secretary at war that Miss her staff, the quiet promptitude and efficiency Nightingale would set out to the Crimea as which they soon displayed, and the order superintendent of a staff of voluntary nurses, they introduced into the various departand on her consenting she was readily accom- ments, no less than the skill with which panied by about forty women, many of them they assisted the patients, made them invaluladies of rank and fortune.
able, while the effect of their sympathy was, The Rev. Mr. Bracebridge (of Atherstone in general, to exercise a marked improveIIall, Warwickshire, and his wife), accom- ment in the condition of the sufferers. It panied them, and their journey through was a new thing in the land, and sticklers for France was one of public honour, the people routine were ready to oppose and to decry saluting them everywhere with enthusiasm, the experiment of employing voluntary and, and many of the innkeepers and proprietors as they supposed, amateur nurses; but in of hotels refusing payment for entertaining very short time these prejudices were for the them.
most part refuted, and had quite disappeared Except for a short time, during which she when, to meet the urgent and increasing
, was herself suffering from a severe attack of needs of the large military hospital at Scutari hospital fever, Miss Nightingale was in con- and one which had been opened at Kululee, stant attendance upon the sick, and when, another staff of forty ladies and nurses under after the want and exposure suffered by the the direction of Miss Stanley, the sister of the troops in the winter of 1854–5, cholera at- late Dean of Westminster, arrived to aid in tacked the camp, and the duties of the nurses the good work. There were at that time were still more exacting, she remained to 4000 patients in the two hospitals, and but encourage and support them by her example, for this systematic and ready assistance the to minister to the sick, and to console the official staff would have been unable to meet (lying with an assiduous care which caused the terrible exigency. many of the soldiers to regard her as a minis- While the government transport service tering angel sent to soothe their sufferings or had failed, and the commissariat department to listen to their latest words of love and had broken down, the people of England were remembrance to the friends whom they would endeavouring to furnish the soldiers at Balanever again see in this world. It may be klava with clothing and provisions by private mentioned here that upon the return of Flor- effort. The royal family and thousands of ence Nightingale to England in 1856 her other families in the kingdom were making name had become a household word through- or buying warm garments, or preparing variout the country, and the national enthusiasm ous kinds of food, to be sent out whenever demanding that some recognition should be there was an opportunity of conveying them. given to her unselfish services, a testimonial Women and children were knitting socks, fund was opened and the amount of £50,000 mittens, and comforters, or scraping linen for was subscribed. This sum, at her own request, lint for the wounded. Men were purchasing was devoted to the establishment of a Nurses' thick coats, blankets, and boots, and consignTraining Institution which bore her name. ing them to the camp, where the desperate The band of nurses had reached the great condition of the soldiers had been somewhat hospital at cutari time to receive the alleviated by the consigument of some stores wounded after the battle of Inkerman, and of clothing purchased at Glasgow for the
THE CAMP AT BALAKLAVA.
emergency and by the safe arrival of a large 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
pictures the scene between the harbour and 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 ambu- , apparently attributed this to the courage and lance departments were better organized, but determination of the men under circumstances they also were in great distress and food was that might well have dismayed them. The very scarce with them. Their condition was state of things complained of he attributed to less publicly known than that of our troops, the fault of the system, but he said that the and if there were newspaper correspondents English newspapers represented the condition in their camp they issued no detailed reports. of the men to be worse than it really was. They Even allowing that the reports of the English had suffered more than the French for want correspondents were greatly exaggerated, how- of transport and a corps d'intendance. For this ever, the situation of the British troops was want of means of transport they had found it bad enough. The condition of our men in impossible to be in the same state of forwardthe trenches was wretched. “Fancy working ness as their allies; but their army was very five nights out of seven in the trenches,” wrote far from having ceased to be of practical help, Miss Nightingale to a friend. "Fancy being
as some would have it to be believed, and thirty-six hours in them at a stretch, as they were the enemy to appear he would find they were all December, lying down or half lying would give him quite enough to do. (Il trouclown, often for forty-eight hours, with no food verait bien à qui parler de leur côté.) but raw salt pork sprinkled with sugar, rum, This was no doubt true, for our men were and biscuit; nothing hot, because the exhausted ever ready to fight-nothing seemed to daunt soldier could not collect his own fuel, as he them when they had to face the enemy. They was expected to do, to cook his own ration; had given sufficient proofs of their valour, and and fancy, through all this, the army preserv
their comrades on the French side did not ing their courage and patience as they have stint their praise. done, and being now eager? (the old ones “Les vingt mille Anglais campés devant Sémore than the young ones) to be led even into bastopol comptent par leur bravoure comme the trenches. There was something sublime cinquante mille hommes aux yeux de l'armée in the spectacle."
française.” “The 20,000 English encamped The poor Turks, 800 of whom were on the before Sebastopol count, by reason of their heights at the back of our position, died pluck, as 50,000 men in the eyes of the French almost neglected-half of them were lost by army," wrote Napoleon III. These were ensickness, hunger, and privation, and their own couraging words and pleasant, and no doubt government took little heed of them. The they were a genuine record of the estimation French, it is said, suffered less than we did, in which our men were held. Praise even of mainly because of their larger forces enabling the most honourable kind, however, could not them to divide the work in the trenches. always sustain our battalions. There is a They had also two harbours for their ships, homely adage which says, “Fine words butter both of them nearer to the camp than ours no parsnips," and in this case there were no and connected with it by good roads. But parsnips to be buttered. Things were about the mortality from sickness was, it was de- to improve, however, -just soon enough to clared, greater than ours; they lost an enor- revive the spirits of the poor fellows who had mous number of horses for want of forage, almost begun to wonder whether they were to and they were often on very short rations. succumb to the monstrous neglect and disorder Colonel Vico, the French commissioner at- which had already so reduced their numbers. tached to Lord Raglan's staff, while he recog- One thing was painfully obvious—if the renized the sufferings of the army, declared that ports of correspondents of the newspapers said the position of the British, bad as it was, was too much, the reports of the commander-inmuch exaggerated by writers who represented chief said far too little. The fact was that Lord it to be of no efficient service; but after all he Raglan was an excellent field-officer, but he
lacked the genius, and the prompt forethought, 1 This was written on the 15th of May, 1855. of a competent general, or he would not have LORD RAGLAN'S RETICENCE-GUESS-WORK
left the way between the camp and the har- inclination from writing.” The returns thembour from which its supplies were drawn selves should, he said, be so framed as to draw without a road and without sufficient means the attention at once to the points of the of transport. The whole wretched business greatest importance; and he accompanied his was a proof that the departmental system of letter with a form drawn up by himself, which, our army was rotten, and if further proof had if properly returned by the commander, would been wanting it might have been furnished acquaint the government at home with such by the fact that while the men in camp and full information of every particular that they in hospital were perishing for want of shelter, would be able to provide for the comfort and clothing, nourishment, and medicine, the very appointments for the men and materials for supplies they needed, were lying in ships' holds, the siege. It was, however, not till the Duke or were buried beneath piles of still uncleared of Newcastle had gone out of office that the commodities, or could not be delivered in time arrangement was made by Lord Panmure, because somebody had failed to sign one of who succeeded him, and who wrote in the half-a-dozen routine documents, or, as in one month of February, 1855:instance, had placed his signature half an inch “It appears to me that your lordship’s retoo high or too low. There was a good deal ports to my department are too scanty, and, in of squabbling and wrangling while the men order to remedy this inconvenience, I have to went on starving and shivering and fighting, request that you will call upon general officers and the newspapers contained the only infor- | commanding divisions, and they in their turn mation which acquainted the people at home will desire their brigadiers to furnish reports with the real state of affairs. It was after- once a fortnight, which you will regularly wards asserted that the letters of the com- forward for my information. These reports mander-in-chief were silent as to the suffer- must exhibit fully the state of the troops in ings, with accounts of which private letters as camp. They will mention the condition of well as newspapers were teeming. From the their clothing, the amount and regularity of despatches it was impossible to learn what was issue of their rations, the state of their quarwanted for the supplies and comfort of the ters, and the cleanliness of the camp in its troops, and the government could, therefore, several parts. . . The general officers only act upon conjecture, and send out what- will mention in these reports any difficulties ever they thought was likely to be required. which may have occurred as to the issue of Scarcely less meagre, it was said, were the offi- rations, fuel, or forage, and you must inquire cial returns, which were barren of the most strictly and immediately into all neglect, and essential information as to the numbers of the visit upon the delinquent the punishment due army available and not available for action, the to his fault. provision made for their shelter, clothing, and “By following the above directions you food, the supply of horses, the means of trans- will, at little trouble to yourself, convey to port-all those details, in short, in the absence mie most interesting information, for all which of which the government could neither know I am at present compelled to rely on the reon what force they had to depend nor how ports of unofficial individuals." that force was to be maintained in a state of The instructions here given were carried efficiency.
out; and from this time reports, accompanied It seems to have been Prince Albert who hy tabular returns, were regularly forwarded to first emphatically called attention to this want the secretary for war, and by him to the queen. of intelligence, and he wrote to the Duke of All this looks a good deal like a successful Newcastle proposing to send out to the general shifting of blame fron the shoulders of one to an efficient and detailed form of returns for those of another, and it is tolerably clear that him to fill up, as the only remedy “when by the time that this information was propeople are not born with the instinct of vided, the government at home had begun method and are prevented by want of time or to get their own departments into better order.