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BATTLE OF BALAKLAVA.
the enemy; the guns had to be taken from quarters of Sir Colin Campbell to warn him of our ships in order to complete our batteries; the advance and the attack on the redoubts. the supplies of gunpowder ran short, provi- Sir George Cathcart and the Duke of Camsions were scarce, and could only be obtained bridge were ordered by Lord Raglan to lead at a high price. The troops, who, on their their divisions to the scene of action; the divilanding were still suffering from dysentery sion of General Bosquet was ordered to the aid and other diseases, had found some relief of the British in holding the valley. What by partaking of the fruit of the vineyards and would become of the town of Balaklava, where orchards which they passed on their march; the 93d Highlanders alone had to hold the but privations, wounds, and incessant toil had approach against an overwhelming force, which so thinned their ranks, that out of our 35,000 consisted of two light batteries of guns playing men not more than 16,500 rank and file were fit ' upon the redoubts, immense bodies of cavalry for service. Large contingents of the Russian and a body of infantry; while a mile behind army continued to arrive, and though they too these, coming up the valley, were six large masses suffered greatly in the long march, and num- of infantry marching in regular order, and in bers fell on the way, there were countless their front a regular line of artillery? The detachments to fill their place. The bat- Turks, who had fled towards the Highlanders, talions of their army of observation had been recovered themselves and formed into comjoined by the force under General Liprandi, panies, and the Russian cavalry in pursuit who had come from the Danubian Principali- reached the high ground, and seeing the ties. For some days the Russian commanders Highlanders half a mile beyond, checked the had been reconnoitring the position of the advance until the squadrons behind them had allies, and now 30,000 men were ready to come up. About 3500 men then went thunbear down upon our lines, cut us off from the dering on in a charge towards Balaklava, the harbour and its supplies, and place us between Turks fired a second volley and again fled. the fire of the land force and that of Sebas- To oppose the impending mass there stood topol. That portion of the British line held alone the thin red line of the 93d, who had by the Turks was the weakest, and there been drawn up only two deep. It was a terthe Russiaus began their attack. On the rible moment. It seemed that the tremendous night of the 24th of October they brought | charge must annihilate them. The Russians against four hillocks of earth, each defended approached within 250 yards, and then in by 250 men and two or three heavy ships' front of the red line of the 93d shone a line of guns, a battery of heavy artillery placed on fire. A close volley from the Highlanders' an opposite ridge. On the morning of the rifles emptied scores of the saddles of the 25th, while this battery opened fire, it was nearest Russian cavalry, who pulled up, wavseen that, at the eastern end of the valley, ered, opened their files, and fled. A shout Liprandi's corps d'armée was drawn up in went up from the troops who stood and order of battle with a strong reserve on the watched the 93d, but there was another mass Simpherophol road, while a large body of of cavalry advancing down the hill. The Russian cavalry was advancing steadily down Scots Greys and the Inniskillen Dragoons the valley, and a column of Russian infantry had moved from their quarters under the moved along the foot of the hill towards the command of Lord Lucan, and saw the approach first Turkish redoubt. The Turks, dismayed, of the enemy, who outnumbered them four to fired a few rounds and fled, leaving their guns one, and came on confidently down the hill. to be turned against them by the enemy. If
Another moment and the word of conmand the Russians reached the ground overhanging was given; the Greys and Inniskillens charged the harbour our shipping and stores would be straight at the centre, broke it, and were lost lost. There were but a few minutes in which to in the mass. The spectators were breathless, decide-but there was time for an orderly to but again there was a wild cry of victory, leap into the saddle and gallop to the head- our troops had crashed through the first line
of the Russians, and though many of them had of infantry. It was 600 light horsemen against fallen, were already hurling themselves against an army occupying a regular defensive posithe second. If the first line had had time to tion. The order of Lord Raglan was, “ Lord rally and close upon them they must have been Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly overwhelmed, but the 4th and 5th Dragoons to the front, follow the enemy, aud try to were already tearing onwards, and in a single prevent the enemy carrying away the guns ; charge broke again the line through which troops of horse artillery may accompany. their comrades had swept their way. The French cavalry is on your left. Immediate.” defeat was complete. But there followed an- Was this order to be obeyed under all condiother charge, the story of which has been told tions—at any hazard? Lord Lucan thought again and again, and not only in despatches that it was,—that the message was imperaand histories of the battle, but in those lines of tive. In his despatch afterwards Lord Ragthe poet laureate which have become a part, lan said, “From some misconception of the of our popular literature, and, if rightly read, instruction to advance, the lieutenant-general should provoke detestation of war even while considered that he was bound to attack at all they fire the imagination and cause us to hazards.” But there the order was, and the admire the daring courage which they so aide-de-camp spoke (or so it was afterwards vividly commemorate.
said) in an authoritative and, if not in a disre“Somebody blundered !" and long after- spectful, in a significant manner, when Loru wards the “Charge of the Light Brigade” Lucan stated the objections—in which he concontinued to be a subject for acrimonious curred with Lord Cardigan — to an attack discussion. It had, however, furnished a which would then expose the brigade to profresh proof of what no one had ever denied, bable destruction. It was Lord Raglan's orders that Englishmen would fight against over- that the cavalry should attack immediately. whelming odds, and rather than yield, would “Where and what to do?" was the question, face any danger, or would obey an order to for neither the enemy nor the guns were in go forth and meet almost certain death. sight. “There, my lord, is your enemy and
The enemy was in retreat, but it seemed as there are your guns," was Nolan's retort, as he though the guns were being taken from one pointed to the further end of the valley. There of the redoubts which had first been captured, was no more to be said but “ forward;” and and this it was necessary to prevent if pos- the Light Brigade, summoned hastily to the sible.
charge, swept on towards the “valley of death," A rapidly written order from Lord Raglan with Captain Nolan at their head. The shout to Lord Lucan to advance and pursue the by which he cheered on those who followed retiring foe was carried by Captain Nolan of him was turned into a death cry. The fragthe 15th Hussars, an officer of ardent courage ment of a shell had struck him to the heart. and great ability. Before the message had His uplifted arm dropped to his side, but his reached its destination, however, the disposi- horse, unchecked, galloped forward, and for tion of the Russian troops bad so changed, that, some seconds the charge was led by a dearl instead of having merely to follow and charge officer who still sat in the saddle. Yet ona bastily retreating body of men, encumbered ward sped that devoted force, till at 1200 as they appeared to be with the guns which yards from the enemy the fire from thirty they had seized, the Light Brigade would i cannon and a murderous hail of bullets from have found itself engaged in a rapid onslaught the Russian infantry opened upon them. upon the main body of Liprandi's corps d'armée · Without drawing rein, but with the grim drawn up ready to receive it at the bottom determination of men who see their comrades of the valley, with the batteries of the two falling around them, they plunge at the ramredoubts in advance, with another battery on part of steel that lies in front-a rampart the Tchernaya ridge, and with the steep hill of steel amidst a volcano of fire. Breathlessly sides lined withı riflemen supported by columus | the French and English troops watch them
LORD CARDIGAN AND HIS QUARRELS.
from the ridges. They are lost in the vortex, this he retorted, that each commander had to and men groan and clench their hands. How do only with his own men, and his only duty is it possible that they can come out alive? was to obey orders as promptly as possible. Yet at that moment it is seen that they have Lord Lucan was so little satisfied with the hewn their way through the serried ranks of reference made to his misconception of the the enemy, have cleft the Russian army from orders given him, that he afterwards brought front to rear, and those who still live emerge the matter before the House of Lords, and on the other side. Their sabres, hacked and Lord Raglan then declared that a previous bloody, still flash in the air, as with renewed order had been given, saying, that the cavalry cheers the men wheel round, and again with was to advance and would be supported by indesperate valour plunge into the Russian fantry, that this order was not attended to, masses, to come out, few indeed in number, and that the second was only dependent on fighting hand to hand with the cavalry sent the first, and was not intended to be separately to intercept them, or falling from the can- obeyed at all hazards. Lord Lucan demanded non shot of the Russian gunners, who are now an inquiry by court martial, but the contentiring upon them, indiscriminately mowing tion ended in recriminations, and the death of down friend or foe in the determination to Lord Raglan, no less than the events which destroy the remnant of opponents whose ter- engrossed public attention, caused the dispute rible courage may well have caused them to sink into the long catalogue of grievances to fear, as they certainly cannot comprehend of which the war was so fruitful a source. it. “It is magnificent, but it is not war," The Earl of Cardigan had shared the blame said Bosquet, as he gazed with surprise and for the misdirection of the light cavalry under admiration at the returning horsemen. All his command. What was worse, he had been that remained of the 607 who had gone to accused of neglecting to lead his men in that that unequal, and, so far as the material desperate charge, and imputations were whisresult was concerned, useless encounter, were pered of a want of courage, which were alto198, the rest having been killed, wounded, or gether unfounded. But Lord Cardigan was made prisoners. Even this remnant would a man who, by his arrogant bearing, quarrelnot have reached the British lines alive but some temper, and unnecessary and unequal for their return being covered by the Heavy strictness to his men, had caused a widely Brigade-which was to have followed them in spread dislike and suspicion. It was true that the charge, but which had been halted, as a when he had succeeded to his title he spent support, beyond the reach of the enemy's fire, large sums of money in completing and per--and for the prompt action of the French fecting all the arrangements connected with general, Bosquet, who ordered his Chasseurs his regiment, but he was popular neither with d'Afrique to go and silence the battery that his own officers and the men under his comwas pouring destruction from the ridge of the mand, nor with the world outside military disTchernaya. Only one squadron of the brave cipline. It was not forgotten that at an earlier fellows could be spared to charge the Russian part of his career, when he was Lieutenantartillerymen, but they went at their work colonel James Thomas Brudenell of the 8th with a fierce determination and an activity Hussars, he had left his regiment because which swept the battery of its gunners, and a captain, whom he had charged with insubmaintained the position against all odds, till ordination on a more or less private quarrel, the British Light Brigade had passed.
was acquitted after trial by court martial; Among the many disputes on the subject of that when, as Lord Cardigan, he commanded the order given by Lord Raglan, and the action the 11th Hussars, he had fastened another of Lord Lucan, was one which involved a cen- quarrel on a Captain Tuckett, in resentment sure upon Lord Cardigan for having allowed of an alleged insult, consisting of the appearhis men to gallop to the charge too rapidly ance on the mess table of a “ black bottle” for the heavy cavalry to follow them. To when the wine should have been in a decanter.
This led to a duel, and he was tried before The attacks of the Russians were constantly the House of Peers and acquitted. Four directed against the British position, and the years afterwards, in 1840, he had fallen foul enemy seemed to possess singularly accurate of another of his officers, a Captain Rey- | information of our weak points. On the very nolds, charging him with writing an improper morning after the battle of Balaklava a sortie and intemperate letter, which it appears was made from Sebastopol by a force of about was one strongly remonstrating against Lord 6000 men, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, in Cardigan for using language at a party reflect another attempt to take the town, where ing on the captain's character, and implying they expected the co-operation of the Russian that his conduct had excluded him from | army outside. It appeared as though their visiting his superior officer. This caused much intention was to join the force of General adverse comment, since Captain Reynolds was Liprandi by the road through the Inkerman (lismissed the service, and almost directly after- valley, or as its name implies,“ the fortress of wards, by order of the commander-in-chief, caves,” but they suddenly turned to the right the adjutant-general read a memorandum to towards a weak part of our defences apthe officers of the regiment, in which it was proached from the ravines of the Tchernaya distinctly said of Lord Cardigan," he must and overlooking the valley. This was held by recollect that it is expected from him not only the division under Sir de Lacy Evans, who to exercise the military command over the had long seen the need of a stronger force at regiment, but to give an example of modera- that particular spot, and had made representation, temper, and discretion. Such a course of tions to headquarters that it was not sufficonduct would lead to far less frequent refer- ciently secured. But the general was on the ence to his lordship from the 11th Hussars than alert, and though the Russians came rapidly has been the case in the last few months." down the hill, the pickets, on whom their
This did not prevent the agreeable officer first onslaught was made, opposed their adand gentleman from causing a hundred lashes vance until Sir de Lacy had time to draw to be inflicted on one of the soldiers of the up his lines in advance of the camp. regiment in the riding-school at Hounslow the sound of the cannonade the Duke of immediately after divine service on a Sunday Cambridge with the brigade of guards and morning, before the rest of the men could General Bosquet with five French battareturn to barracks. Such were the antece- lions came rapidly to support the division; dents of the officer whose conduct in the but before they could render any decided Crimean war was impugned, whose character assistance eighteen of our guns had been was regarded with dislike and distrust, and placed in position and opened a fire which who, though he had certainly kept up a high drove back the Russian artillery and then degree of efficiency in his regiment, was ploughed through their infantry. This was scarcely likely to be either loved or trusted followed by a charge with the bayonet, which by those over whom he had control. A man of utterly routed them. They fled, pursued by violent temper and overweening pretensions, our men, over the ridges, and hurried back to he was perhaps justly regarded as a tyrant the shelter of the citadel, losing 600, who whose own conduct was unworthy of respect; were dead or wounded. This success, achieved but it was probably a still greater injury to by one division of only about 1200 men, was his pride to be stigmatized as a coward. This one of the most decisive achievements of the charge was afterwards abandoned, for there campaign, and for that and his subsequent was nothing to sustain it, and if he suffered services Sir de Lacy Evans afterwards received for the want of that self-control which is the thanks of parliament. But the Russians necessary for a commander, he did not go still contemplated a grand coup. The allies, altogether unrewarded, though it is possible unable to take the citadel, were scarcely capthat he felt himself shelved when he came to able, with the diminishing force at their disbe appointed inspector-general of cavalry. posal, to hold the position which they had
At BATTLE OF INKERMAN.
taken up. With an apparently impregnable sodden ground and the ravines of Inkerman fortress and its unceasing cannonade on one darkened the air. Through the heavy mists hand and an encamped army on the other;— were heard the pealing of church bells and the half-starved, insufficiently clothed, badly shel- singing of psalms from the distant city—the tered, and suffering not only from the inclem- kernel of that great outer shell of stone and ency of the weather but from the effects of dis- fortress. At an earlier hour, a sentry of an ease;--they maintained a spirit which was the outlying picket on the heights, had heard wh:tt wonder of their commanders and of those who he supposed was the usual creaking and rumlat home were anxiously awaiting intelligence. ling of carts and wagons on their way to the Meanwhile Prince Menschikoff was preparing town, and he bestowed little attention on for one great effort which should annihilate sounds which were afterwards known to be them between the fortress, where fresh troops, caused by the passage of masses of Russian artillery, and provisions were arriving from troops and artillery slowly creeping up the the Russian base of operations at Perekop, and rugged acclivities leading to the heights above the army, numbering something like 60,000 the valley of Inkerman, where they drew up, men, which occupied the heights of Inkerman. ready to make a sudden and resistless onset The allies must now be vanquished at any cost, upon the defenceless Aank of the second and there was no other way than to overwhelm division. them by a furious attack from the Russian ves- It was remarkable that Brigadier-general sels in the harbour, from the heavy artillery of Codrington, having, according to his usual the town itself, and from the converging forces custom, visited the outlying pickets of his that might assail the British at once at the brigade at about five in the morning, had said point which was known to be weakest, while to one of his officers that it would not be surLiprandi could so engage the French as to prising if the Russians took advantage of the prevent their coming to the rescue. It would darkness and the wet to attempt a surprise. be strange, indeed, if an army 50,000 strong, He had scarcely ceased speaking when the with parks of artillery, aided by a continuous noise of a fusillade was heard in the valley discharge of the heavy ordnance from Sebas- below, and the general galloped back to arouse topol and the harbour could not at length the sleeping troops. The camp was in comavenge previous defeats. “A terrible calamity motion; the Russians had dragged up artillery impends over the invaders of your dominions,” to every point which commanded the English wrote Menschikoff to the Emperor Nicholas.
lines. The host swept down upon the pickets "In a few days they will perish by the sword of the second and light divisions, which were or be driven into the sea. Let your majesty soon driven in. By a crafty stratagem the send your sons here, that I may render up to outlying sentinels had been prevented from them untouched the priceless treasure which giving the alarm. A small party of Russians your majesty has intrusted to my keeping." | had come forward as though they were stragIt was believed that the two sons of the czar, glers about to give themselves up as prisoners, the Archdukes Nicholas and Michael, were and the picket advancing to meet them were thereupon despatched to the Crimea. They taken prisoners by a number of others, who arrived to witness another and a terrible had been concealed, and rushed upon them proof of the unyielding determination of the before they could fire a shot. The battle foe against whom the resources of the empire began, and raged round the front British posihad been concentrated.
tion, which the enemy seemed determined On the night of the 4th of November a to storm at all hazards. It was at first 50,000 deluge of rain was falling. The ground of the men against a handful, for even when all our camp was washed into mire, the tents were available troops were engaged, we only numsoaked, and the whole scene was desolate and bered about 10,000 men, so greatly had the dispiriting. On the dawn of the next day-- ranks been reduced by death, wounds, and it was Sunday--the vapour rising from the sickness. A brigade coming to the relief of