The Diary of William Jowett
Leaving Manchester 4th April, 1854
Embarked, and sailed from Southampton, on board the steam ship Oronoco, about 3 p.m.; lost
sight of Old England during the night.
Coast of France in sight; weather beautiful.
Several very large fish in sight; weather very fine.
Band playing; all on board quite merry, and apparently very happy.
Weather still fine; expect to reach Gibraltar to-morrow. Wrote to Susan; passed Cape St.
Vincent during the night;
The Coast of Africa or Barbary in sight. Enter the straits of Gibraltar, and reach that place at 7
p.m.; put into the harbour, for the purpose of taking in coals and water. Gibraltar is a strong fortified place on the coast of Spain, belonging to our
Government; one side inhabited and looks beautiful, the other nothing but a steep rock.
Weather very warm. Bomboats alongside with all sorts of fruit, very cheap. Oranges six
for a penny, figs also very cheap. Took on board about 600 tons of coal and sailed from Gibraltar about 9 p.m.
Weather not quite so calm; wind ahead.
In sight of the coasts of Spain and Barbary for a long time.
Very stormy; ship rolls dreadfully. Sick for the first time in my life.
Recovered from sea sickness.
Divine Service to-day. Weather more calm. Expect to reach Malta by to-morrow morning.
Malta in sight at daylight. Pilot comes on board and takes us into the harbour to take in coal
and water; sail again at 3 pm. A large number of bomboats alongside, but the articles for sale not so cheap as at Gibraltar; so many troops being there made
things scarce and the natives know how to charge extortionate prices; they are funny people; it is quite amusing to see them. Malta is a fine place, worth seeing;
looks splendid from our vessel.
Raining very fast, which makes it rather unpleasant. Some of the Ionian Isles in sight.
Cape Mataplan in sight; running along the coast of the Morea. Land on both sides. Weather beautiful.
General washing-day; every man busy washing his things.
Land still in sight, on both sides; expect to enter the Dardanelles to-morrow.
Enter the Dardanelles about 3 am; splendid scenery on both sides. Arrive at Gallipoli at 11 am;
pass through the French fleet. It is a beautiful sight to see the Men-of-War floating at the entrance of the Dardanelles; there are only three English ships
in harbour, the rest are in the Black Sea. We can see the English and French Camp, about six miles from Gallipoli. It is a poor miserable-looking place; the
houses are very low. Contrary to our expectation, we are going to Constantinople.We expected to have landed at Gallipoli, but as soon as we sailed into the
harbour, we were ordered to proceed to Constantinople. We are all very glad of it. There are about 20,000 French and 8,000 English troops in the encampment;
several of them have been on board our vessel; they don’t much like it, the weather being rather cold. Sailed out of Gallipoli at 4 pm; enter the Sea of
Marmora. Very calm and very pleasant. Expect to reach Constantinople to-morrow morning.
Arrive at Constantinople about 5 am; the weather is beautiful and fine. It is a splendid place;
language can scarcely describe the beautiful sight. Landed about 2 pm and got stationed in the barracks which are beautiful to look at outside, but the interior
is far different. About one hundred of us in one large room, together; we have no beds, nothing but one blanket and one great-coat to sleep upon. There were six
regiments here when we arrived, viz: 33rd, 41st, 47th, 49th, 77th and 88th. The barracks are very large. The sun is very hot and I expect we shall have it
much hotter. The natives are funny people, the clothing they wear makes them look very awkward; they wear unmentionables that hang about them like bags, but
they are very strong and can carry a great load; it makes us smile to hear them talk. The men never shave and are always smoking long pipes; the females never
show their faces when they come out (which is very seldom), they are covered over with a white cloth; their windows too are blocked up, so that we cannot see them.
All settled in barracks, busy getting ready for a long campaign; not allowed to leave the barracks.
The 95th regiment arrived this morning; they are encamped outside the barracks, on a large plot of ground.
Nothing to-day but the ordinary work of encampment.
Orders issued by Lord Raglan, that no parade is to take place between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm.
Divine Service at 6 am. Posted letters to-day to Uncle William and Cousin George. Weather not quite
so hot; a very nice cool breeze blowing.
Nothing more than daily routine of employment.
Inspected by Lord Raglan to-day. The Duke of Cambridge was present and all the Staff of the army.
Several regiments landed since my last date, but I could not find out what they were. The 17th Lancers are about
eight miles from Scutari; several batteries of Artillery have come on shore and are in camp near us. The Queen’s birthday was celebrated with great pomp by all
the army, the Guards in particular; all were formed up and gave three hearty cheers. It was a splendid sight. Fireworks finished the sight in the evening from the
shipping in the harbour; also from our camp. The whole of the Light Division served out with the Minnie Rifle. Expect to embark to-morrow.
Received orders this morning that we are not to go until further orders.
Nothing particular to-day.
The whole of the Light Division marched out of camp this morning, for embarkation to Varna. Our
regiment embarked on board Her majesty’s troop ship Megeara; the remainder of the division on board different ships. The Division is composed of the following
regiments, viz: 7th Royal Fusiliers, 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers, 33rd Duke of Wellington’s, 19th, 77th, 88th and Rifle Brigade. We sailed about twelve o’clock, but
had to take in tow the troop ship Shooting Star, No 48, with two troops of the 8th Hussars on board; after sailing a few miles up the Bosphorus, we got detained by
the Shooting Star not being able to get in her anchor, so we did not get out of the Bosphorus till the 31st. During our stay there, we had a good opportunity of
seeing the beautiful scenery around that delightful spot; and especially at this time of the year, on both sides of this noble river, it is very grand.
Expect to disembark to-day. Sailing now in the Black Sea; 7 pm, very calm, land in sight on the European
side; the British and French fleets in sight on our right; firing very heavy, but cannot say what for. In sight of Varna; sail into the harbour about 12 at noon; several
of the English and French ships in harbour. We land and march into camp, just outside the walls of the town; the rest of the Division already there. The town is a very
low, dirty looking hole; the streets are narrow and filthy, like all their places in the East. There are some very strong fortifications round it. Our encampment is
beautifully situated near a large fresh-water lake. We had a little rain when landing, but it blew over, so we were pretty comfortable after we got our tents pitched and
very glad we were, for it was miserable on board the Megeara; she is a dirty old tub. We met with a great number of Turkish soldiers here, preparing to go to the war and
also a great many French, who are very friendly. Our provisions are not quite so good; sometimes we get biscuit, at others bread, but it is very black, though
generally speaking, very good. The English newspapers said we should get porter and many other good things, but that is quite false; we have only had two pints
per man since we came out. In Scutari we could get almost anything but here, nothing except what is brought by the Commissariat, and that is very little.
Weather very hot. Several thousands of the French marched in to-day and took up their quarters on
the right of our encampment.
Several more of the French regiments arrived in camp to-day.
The 17th Lancers arrived in camp to-day. Captain Wallace, killed by a fall from his horse,
buried this evening. Orders issued to march to-morrow morning.
Parade this morning at four o’clock and marched off at five; arrived at a place called Aladyn,
where we took up our encampment on a beautiful piece of ground pointed out to us by the Adjutant-General. There are several small villages near, very similar
to the towns in this country, but the scenery is splendid and the soil fruitful. The villagers are poor and have nothing to sell us except a few fowls. We
could get a goose at first for sixpence, but they soon rose to one shilling.
Employed in making ourselves comfortable.
The 17th Lancers passed our camp to-day, on their way to a place called Devno.
Weather very wet this morning.
Orders issued to march to Devno to-morrow morning.
Weather very wet. Order for marching to Devno cancelled. The General has issued an order that
circumstances having occurred, the Division will not march this morning. - That circumstance was the Russians retreating from Silistria.
Divine Service was read by the Chaplain of the brigade. Weather very warm.
Marched out to-day and inspected by Lieut. General Sir G. Brown. Tents struck and baggage-horses
Horse-racing and sports of every description.
Very wet to-day. We are very short of provisions. The Commissariat having, through some neglect,
not arrived yet, so we are without either tea or sugar. Several people have brought things from Varna, but they charge very dear for them, and besides, will not
give us more than tenpence for a shilling; so if we change a sovereign, we lose three shillings and fourpence by it. We get 1 ½ lbs of brown bread and ¾ lb of beef
(very tough!), every day; there is also a little rice served out, to boil along with the beef. We also get what they call tea; it is a little tea put into
a camp kettle full of boiling water and that is all; no sugar. We have been served this way ever since we arrived here and we cannot tell how long it will
Received a letter from Father to-day and had to pay one shilling and ninepence for it.
A very hard field-day, by Brigadier-General Airey. Weather very hot.
Inspected to-day by General Canrobert and the Duke of Cambridge. General Brown was present.
Sun very hot to-day, which makes it very fatiguing.
A field-day with the knapsacks on; sun very hot.
Sun still very hot.
Everything going on as usual.
Several guns and a great many prisoners passed by our camp to-day, on their way to Varna; the
guns were taken from the Russians somewhere near Silistria; orders issued for marching to-morrow.
Tents struck this morning at three o’clock; bat horses loaded and everything ready, by four, for marching away. The order
given to march to Devno. We there pitched our tents on the slope of a hill; the cavalry had been there for some time. It is a very open-looking place; river close by.
Sun very hot. Water rather scarce; have to go a long way for it.
I went over to the cavalry camp to-day, but could not find out how many regiments there were; I think there were the 17th
and 5th besides a great deal of artillery.
Inspected by Omer Pasha about two o’clock to-day; he is a finelooking old man. We were put through several
movements and then marched past to our tents. After we were dismissed, the cavalry formed up (8th Hussars, 13th Light Dragoons, 11th Hussars and 17th Lancers) and were
inspected by him in the same way; at the close of their movements, they made a grand charge, with Omer Pasha in front. After they were dismissed, he passed along the left
of our lines and was cheered by each regiment with great enthusiasm as he passed by them. He appeared to be very pleased with us and I am sure the whole of
his Staff were very much surprised at our appearance.
Every man received to-day a full ration of rum, in commemoration of the visit of Omer Pasha the Commander-in-Chief
of the Turkish forces.
Several regiments of Turks marched through here to-day on their way to join the Turkish army.
Nothing of very particular consequence since my last date, until now; the cholera has broke out among the
whole of the Light Division; two men of the 23rd were the first who were seized with it. At present there are a great number in every regiment in camp.
Orders issued to be in readiness to march away at a moment’s notice. Cholera still very bad.
Marched this morning to Monastir, about five miles from Devno, twenty from Varna and about fourteen from
Schumla. Two bad cases of cholera today.
The two cases of yesterday proved fatal. Several very bad in our own regiment. I have seen a great many funerals.
Sun very hot. Several fresh cases of cholera to-day; Quarter-Master Hogan died to-day about noon. This is
a beautiful country where we now are. Our camp is situated near the valley of Monastir, a very nice spot; plenty of fresh water; a great deal more cultivation.
The whole country is covered with cornfields. It looks a little more homely; not like Devno and Aladyn, which, though beautiful as nature formed, but only
a patch of cultivation here and there. The further we get into the country, the more cultivation we see. It is a pity that such a fine country should be
visited with such dreadful disease, but I trust in God that it will soon be over.
Raining very fast; thunder and lightning dreadful.
Raining fast still; the whole camp in a dreadful state. Made full Corporal to-day.
The right wing of every regiment employed every morning and left in the evening, in throwing up fortifications.
Sun very hot. No more fresh cases of cholera, but several very bad cases in hospital.
Five men of our regiment died since yesterday morning.
Nothing particular since my last, except the cholera.
Changed our encampment to-day for a more healthy place.
Orders issued to-day to wear the beard on the upper lip, so in the course of time we shall look more warlike.
Nothing particular since my last date, except throwing up fortifications. Sun not quite so hot as it was.
Several cases of fever have proved fatal. Parade yesterday for the whole Division, for the Brigadier-General’s inspection. Bat horses loaded and tents struck;
expect to go away to-morrow morning, but not certain. Some of the artillery left to-day for Verna. There are several reports going about, but I cannot place
any confidence in any of them. Some say that we are going to Sebastopol, others that we are going into winter quarters; the latter is the more likely, for the
winter will soon set in and I believe it is very severe and that we could not live under canvas during the winter months.
Tents struck, baggage packed and we marched away at 6 am. Halted at a place near Aladyn, about two miles
from where the Second Division are encamped.
Sunday. Remained here to-day. The second brigade marched.
Left early this morning for a place near Varna. Weather nice and cool.
March again this morning; halt two miles from Varna.
Struck tents early and marched on board the transport steamer Empereur, for the purchase of invading the
Crimea; the ships in harbour embarking troops and their munitions of war, which are enormous. French, English and Turks have embarked. We expect to sail in
a day or two; we shall join the Fleet. It will be a grand sight to see ships, containing about 60,000 troops, sailing under convoy of the Allied Fleets. I long
to see it.
Still in harbour. Weather very mild. Troops embarking in all quarters.
Not sailed yet; expect to do so every day. Embarking as fast as they can. Several vessels sailed to join
the Fleet in Baltschik Bay.
Sailed to-day to join the Fleet and arrived there about 3 pm; the whole of the Fleet not there, but the sight
was very imposing. Several cases of cholera on board; the Captain of the ship was the first victim.
Expect to sail to-morrow morning, early. Weather very calm. Several hundreds of ships ready to sail. The
whole of the Allied Fleets are not here, but I expect they are in advance, somewhere near Sebastopol.
Sailed this morning, with two sailing vessels in tow, with Artillery and Rifles on board. It is a splendid
sight to see so many vessels sailing together. We are the leading ship of the transports. I cannot describe the sight so well as I could wish; the whole
are in full sail, the Light Division in front, with the Fleet on our flank, shaped for the Crimea. Weather very calm.
The whole fleet of transports in sight, with the Allied Fleets sailing all round us. Language cannot
describe the splendid view that is to be seen from the deck of our vessel. Weather very calm and beautiful.
Arrive at a place about thirty miles from land, where the whole hove to and cast anchor, as close together
as possible; the Fleet forming line in front of us.
Still at anchor. Expect to sail to-morrow morning. Served out with three days’ rations every man, from the
General down to the drummer-boy. Weather beautiful.
Orders issued this morning, that we are not to land to-day. Land in sight on both sides; the right-hand
side, I believe, is Sebastopol. We had a very severe hail-storm this morning, but the sun is shining beautifully now. Everyone on board getting quite tired
and out of patience. We expected to have landed long before this; but here we are still and cannot tell how long we are to remain.
Anchored to-day very near the land; expect to disembark in a small town on our left, Eupatoria.
Sailed again this morning to a place nearer Sebastopol. Orders issued to be in readiness to land at a
moment’s notice. Boats came alongside for the purpose of taking us on shore; one very full of red-coats. About 10 am I land in the Crimea, being in the
second boat load that landed. Our regiment and the second battalion Rifle Brigade, were the first to land, but before half an hour had passed the beach
was covered with our troops. The French landed a little higher up, on our right, under cover of their Men-of-War steamers. The steamship Sanspareil covered
our landing, but there was no occasion for any of them, for there was no opposition whatever; only one Officer and two Cossacks to be seen and they soon
made off when we made our appearance on shore. One company of the Rifles were sent to cover our front; they soon brought in several carts, drawn by oxen.
When the whole of our Division were landed, we marched off right in front; the Rifles still in advance. When we had marched about four miles into the country,
after a great deal of harassing about by General Brown, we halted for the night. The Rifles went into several villages, but with the exception of a few
inhabitants, they found nothing. On the road to Sebastopol they fell in with a number of Arabs, with loads of flour, corn and hay; some of them drawn by
dromedaries, the remainder by oxen. No appearance of the enemy. Several more regiments disembarked.
Very heavy rain last night; we were very uncomfortable. Having no tents to cover us and the rain pouring
in torrents, you may easily imagine the state we were in. No appearance of the enemy. The French have made dreadful havoc in the villages; plundering
everything they came across. Expect to remain here all day, in consequence of the Artillery and Cavalry not yet being on shore. It is a beautiful flat country
where we are at present, but not sufficient water for so many troops. The land appears very rich and better cultivated than Turkey; it is more like England.
The whole of our army, with the exception of the Light Division, have got their tents. We, however, sleep in the open air; but we manage to make a tent
with two blankets and two firelocks, so are pretty comfortable considering. The weather has cleared up and looks beautiful.
Last night, about eleven o’clock, the alarm was given and the whole of us turned out and got to arms, but
it proved to be nothing. Not gone away yet. Nearly all the Cavalry and Artillery on shore. A large fire seen last night, in the direction of Sebastopol. Weather
Fresh meat served out to our Division to-day; very good indeed. Our tents brought up to us to-day.
A very comfortable night’s rest. No orders for marching yet. Several regiments of Cavalry came on shore
yesterday. Twelve at noon. Orders just issued to strike tents and send them down to the beach, to go on board again. 4 pm - Orders issued to march to-morrow morning.
Formed up and marched about six. It was a splendid yet awful sight. After marching about ten miles, we saw
the enemy, about two or three miles before us. Our Cavalry and Light Artillery were ordered in front, supported by the Light Division. We had not advanced
far before the enemy opened the ball by letting fly some nine-pounders at us, but with little effect. They were on the slope of a hill, where our Artillery
could play on them nicely; so as soon as they had got within range, they let fly. That was our first shot and it fell short of the enemy’s columns; but the
next one dropp’d right in the middle of them and off they went over the hill, leaving several dead men and horses behind. We all had a good hearty laugh
at them for running away and everyone would have been delighted to follow them, but of course that would not do. They tried to flank us, but soon saw that
it was useless. Two or three of our Artillery were killed and two or three Dragoons wounded. We could hear the French at them on our right, which position they
took; they made them scamper like wildfire. It is a beautiful country for a fair fight, if they will only come to the scratch; but I am afraid they will not,
except they have a great advantage. We expect, however, to have a smart tuck them to-morrow. Lord Raglan and the whole of his Staff were in front of us.
Several of the enemy’s spent shot come rolling through the ranks of our regiment, but they did no harm; we picked them up, I saw one of our round shot
strike one of their squares and split it right in two. They appeared to be about 5,000 strong, but there are more behind the hill. Stood to our arms till
dark and then piled them; took off our belts and lit our camp or bivouac fires, but not before taking every precaution that is necessary in front of an
enemy. Not being able to procure any wood, we had to cook our drop of tea with dried grass.
A comfortable night’s rest. The enemy in great force in our front. Under arms at sunrise as usual; made
our little fires, got our breakfast and marched away about six o’clock. After marching about six miles, we came in sight of the enemy on the river Alma,
in very strong position. We were ordered to form up ready for the attack. The French had to pass by our front and as they passed, we gave them a hearty
English cheer. Marshal St. Arnaud also passed by our front and whilst doing so, addressing himself to us said, "English, I hope you will fight well
to-day". An Irishman, in the centre of one of our battalions cried out, "Sure, you know we will, yer honor". About twelve o’clock at noon
we came within range of their cannon and as soon as we did they opened the ball by sending a number of 24 and 32-pounders amongst us. Nothing daunted, we
formed line; the Second Division in front of ours for some time. We passed through the 95th regiment; at three different times the round shot and shell
now came amongst us dreadfully. The French were then hard at work. At last the work was given, "Fusiliers will advance;" and forward we went,
for every one felt anxious to be at them. We crossed two stone walls and then a vineyard, amidst showers of grape, canister, round shot, shell and musketry.
Many of our comrades fell here, never to rise again. I was struck, I think, with a grape shot, on the left side of the throat, which stunned me, but I soon
got up and followed my regiment and joined them just as they had crossed the river Alma. The firing was then dreadful; the musketry fell like hail-stones,
but we had no fear. The bold Fusiliers dashed nobly forward, drove the enemy from their strong position and by half-past two were in possession of the
heights of Alma. But this was not done without severe loss. The first brigade, Light Division, suffered dreadfully. The Company I belonged to lost 22 men;
the Regiment, about 350. Total loss of the British about 4,000 men and that of the French about 3,000. The enemy’s loss must have been very severe, for
we could hardly walk on the ground they occupied, without treading on the dead or wounded. They retired in the greatest disorder, but we did not follow
them; from what reason I cannot say, but I expect it was on account of our deficiency in Cavalry. We encamped on the very ground that the Russians occupied
the night before, where we soon made ourselves as comfortable as circumstances would admit. When daylight appeared next morning, we found several dead
Russians around us; some had even made pillows of them. Men in the state we were in could sleep anywhere and on anything.
Marched down to the river Alma, to-day to wash. Passed where they were employed in burying the dead; the
sight was dreadful. Heaps upon heaps of dead and wounded Russians; the cries of the latter were heart-rending. Weather beautiful and fine. No enemy in sight.
Employed all day in burying the dead.
Orders issued to march this morning. All the dead buried and the wounded carried on board ship. Marched
about six o’clock; halted on river Katcha. The country is beautiful. A delightfully situated village on the river Katcha, the enemy not having had time
to destroy it. No enemy in sight. Plenty of ripe grapes to eat.
Marched this morning, early; halted on the river Belbeck. No enemy in sight. Our camp in a large wood.
Several men left behind to-day with the cholera.
Alarmed last night, but it was nothing. Marched early this morning, through a very thick wood; leaving
the northern side of Sebastopol and marching for the South; Sebastopol in sight on our right. Marched through Mackenzie’s Farm; took several prisoners and
a great deal of baggage belonging to Prince Menschikoff’s army. Halted on the banks of the Tchernaya, after marching from sunrise to sunset; the hardest day’s
march I every performed. No enemy in sight.
March for Balaclava and take it without any trouble with about 87 prisoners. A prettier little valley I
never saw in my life. Fruit in abundance; in fact, everything we could wish for. The poor people had all run away and left their homes; they appeared to
be quite taken by surprise. I can scarcely describe the particulars of this night; suffice to say, that it is a regular feast-night. Ships in harbour ready to
disembark the siege train.
Employed to-day in landing the siege train.
Busy to-day disembarking munitions of war of every description.
Marched early this morning to the front of Sebastopol, in sight of it, in line. Lie down tonight, for the
first time, in our belts.
Expect the siege guns up here to-morrow. No enemy in sight.
Change our position to-day, more to the right, leaving our original ground to the French. Several shots
fired to-day from the town, falling near our lines. A great deal of firing last night. An immense number of French landed.
Beautiful weather. All very quiet this morning.
Nothing particular since my last date, except hard work; bringing up guns, planting them and erecting
batteries. The enemy send shot and shell amongst the working parties both by day and night; several have been hurt. About 1,500 sailors came up to-day
with guns. Expect to commence bombarding every day. Weather very fine to-day, but the last few days previous piercing cold.
Everything ready; expect to commence to-morrow morning. Beautiful weather.
Commenced, this morning, to bombard, about 6 am; the fire is tremendous.
Several magazines blew up to-day.
Everything going on very nicely; firing very steady. The guns on the Malakoff Tower were dismounted after
about two hours’ firing, but those in the earthworks around it appear to receive no damage.
Still firing away on both sides. Some of the enemy’s guns silenced, but not many.
A dreadful explosion to-day inside the enemy’s works; a great deal of damage must have been done.
Nothing particular to-day.
A large army of the enemy in the rear; expect them to attack us very soon.
No attack yet. Bells ringing in Sebastopol.
The enemy attacked Balaclava early this morning, drove the Turks out of the redoubts they had thrown up
and took their guns from them; they then brought up a large force of Cavalry to bear upon Balaclava, but were driven back with great loss. Our Light Cavalry
brigade were ordered to re-take the Turkish redoubts from the enemy; in this attempt they got cut up nearly to a man and of course did not succeed.
The enemy made his appearance on Inkermann to-day, about twelve o’clock, in number about 8,000 and attached
our right position. We were soon under arms and ready for them; they came on very boldly and appeared quite confident, but they quickly halted and in about
half an hour afterwards were scampering off to Sebastopol in all directions, except those who were left on the field and there were a great many. Our loss
was very trifling. We were all in a great rage at being thus molested, for we had just got our dinners cooked and had to go and leave them; so you may depend
we paid them smartly for disturbing us at meal-times.
Very quite since my last date, except cannonading. Duty very hard; scarcely a night in our tents. Weather very cold.
Weather still very cold. Cannonading going on as usual, on both sides, but with little effect.
On duty last night in the 21-gun battery; at about two o’clock this morning, the enemy began to fire a
shower of shot and shell at the parties coming to relieve us; four of the Rifles were killed by one shell. Weather still very cold. A despatch was received
from Her Majesty and was read to us on parade yesterday afternoon. The language was beautiful. If I live, I will try to procure a copy of it.
Nothing particular to-day. Weather beautiful.
The sky looks very cloudy; raining very fast, but warm.
A very wet night. Orders given, "Stand to your arms. March to our front." The enemy appears on
our right front, in great force and shouting like madmen; their Artillery commences playing on us and their Infantry advance. A furious fight take place,
which lasts the whole day. A great number killed and wounded on both sides. The enemy is obliged to retire to his old position. We retire to our camp about
dark, tired and worn out; not a mouthful to eat or drink the whole day. The ground is covered with dead Russians and I am sorry to say, a great many of our men
likewise; but I really think that there are as many dead Russians as we had men engaged altogether. I believe the enemy were about 50,000 strong; and we
kept them at bay, with about 8,000, until about two o’clock pm; 6,000 of the French then came to our assistance, dashed in between us and we fought side by
side, driving the Russians under the cover of their guns. I had several very narrow escapes. I was close to Sir Thomas Troubridge when both his legs were
struck off by a 68-pounder.
Went this morning to the 5-gun battery, on duty. A great number employed in carrying away the wounded and
burying the dead. The ground, for two or three miles, is covered with the dead and dying. Weather very fine.
Nothing particular to-day. An alarm, but it proved to be without foundation. Wrote to Uncle William Jowett to-day.
Nothing particular to-day. Very wet last night. Cannonading rather louder than usual.
Nothing of any consequence since my last date. Early this morning a thunderstorm blew over our camp and
continued all day. Tents were blown down and we were in a miserable condition. I never saw such a storm in my life before; it was dreadful. Several men found
dead next morning. Hail, rain and snow came down in torrents.
More calm this morning; the sun rises and a beautiful day appears, thank God. Got our tents up again and
drying our thongs. The storm lasted all night.
Duty on outlying picket. Weather very fine, but wind rather cold.
Weather still holds fine. Sun shining and everything going on as comfortable as circumstances will allow.
I fully expected the enemy would have attacked us, but I think they are as hard up as we are.
Weather beautiful, Cannonading very slack.
Nothing particular to-day. Weather still fine.
Nothing particular since my last date. A small work taken by the 1st battalion rifle Brigade
a few nights ago and is now occupied by the French. This morning a little fine, but rather cloudy; the ground very wet and dirty. Very little firing at present.
On outlying picquet this morning, very wet and miserable; fancy me to be at this moment sitting on a bundle
of sticks, with my blanket round me and a biscuit-sack over my head and rain coming down like fury. We are really in a most miserable condition, every man of us. I don’t know
what we shall do this winter; I am sure most of us will be perished. Very little firing; a shot now and then, at a new battery that we have made on Inkermann hill.
Very heavy firing in the direction of the French, but no alarm given.
Sun shining and a nice dry wind blowing, which enables us to dry our blankets and other things that are wet.
Very wet and miserable to-day.
One Jersey shirt served out to-day to each man. Went on duty last night in the 21-gun battery; we had not been there
long before a sharp fire was heard towards the advance works and then we heard a cheer or shout, such as we heard on the 5th of November. We knew it was the enemy, so we stood to
our arms ready for them, expecting them to attack us, but they did not; if they had, they would have met with a warm reception. I believe they were trying to re-take the work that
was taken from them some time ago, but did not succeed.
Still raining. Very miserable; many dying through the effects of the wet and hard work.
Nothing but rain since last date. Perfectly miserable.
Weather very fine since my last date. Written and posted letters to Susan and Cousin George. About twelve this morning
the enemy made a sortie on our left position, but were driven back with great loss. I was in the 21-gun battery and expected they would have attacked us, but they had enough to-day
where they were. I have not heard of the loss on our side, but it must be great on both sides, for the firing was very heavy. The enemy made use of their well-known screech, but were
soon silenced and we heard a good hearty English cheer ringing in the air; we then knew that they were repulsed. After they got back to their own battery, they began to fire a
most tremendous shower of grape and shell, but with little effect.
Went to Balaclava yesterday, to carry up our rations; a most disagreeable affair. The French had a rare laugh at us.
Another party gone to-day. Weather very mild and warm. Two more regiments just arrived, to be attached to our Division; viz., 34th and 90th.
Weather very wet since my last. We are in a most deplorable condition. Reinforcements go into trench, so the fresh troops
make no difference; duty very hard. A little snow fell yesterday; to-day rather fine, but very dirty. Served out to-day with comforters and gloves. The most disgraceful thing imaginable,
I am now almost barefoot and cannot get a pair of boots; and even if I did get the boots that our Government serves out to us, they would be but of little use; for during this
weather, we cannot step without going six or eight inches deep in mid or water and then our stockings get wet and in that condition we have to remain until the weather
clears up and the sun comes out to dry them. We still have to carry our meat and biscuits up from Balaclava; we are in a miserable plight when we return to camp and perhaps for duty that
night. Some days we get quarter of a pound of pork and about six ounces of biscuits. I am at this moment fit to eat my fingers’ ends.
Very miserable yesterday. To-day rather fine. Obliged to report myself to the Doctor, being very ill; having caught a severe
cold. I am scarcely able to walk. The Doctor gave me some medicine and sent me to my tent.
To-day is very fine and, thank God, I feel a little better. Nothing more than usual to-day; that is, men dying very fast from
dysentery and the severity of the weather.
Very wet since my last date; nothing but continual rain - rain - rain. On the morning of the
21st, the enemy made a sortie on our advanced, in front of the 21-gun battery; they drove our men out and held possession of the work for an hour and a half. The Company I belong to went
on duty there next morning; five of our men lay dead in the work, stripped of almost everything they had on; they were bayoneted while asleep. The enemy came on them quite by surprise. The
poor fellows, being tired and worn out with heavy duty, were nearly all asleep. The enemy took away all our wounded as well as their own and everything else they could lay their hands on.
It was a most disgraceful affair on our part; there was certainly some neglect of duty somewhere, but it cannot be made out where. Two companies of our regiment were on at the time and
several others. Our men were commanded by an Officer of the 34th regiment, who was taken prisoner; the 34th are all young hands. It is both snowing and raining at this time and is bitter cold.
Christmas-day. Last night was a beautiful frosty night; to-day it is also very fine; the frosty weather appears to have set in.
Such a Christmas-day I never passed in my life before,. I cam from the trenches this morning, so managed to get a bottle of brandy and intended having a bit of a spree, but I was taken
in for the Company for the trenches this evening; so I left my bottle for to-morrow and contented myself with my grog. My Christmas dinner consisted of a little salt pork and hard biscuit.
A very sharp frost last night; very fine to-day and very little firing going on. I happened rather lucky last night, after I got
into the 21-gun battery. I was walking about on the platform of one of the guns; the night was beautiful and I alone, thinking about the place where I spent my last Christmas-day, when a
young sailor came up to me and said, "Well Corporal, how did you enjoy your Christmas dinner?" "Well," said I, "I enjoyed it pretty well, because I had good reason
for doing so," "Why," said Jack, "had you something extra, then?" "No," I said; "nothing but our regular rations and very little of that; but I
knew that I could get nothing else, therefore I enjoyed it." "Well," says Jack, "will you have a bit of plum pudding?" I said "I should like to have some; for
if I pass to-day over without any, it will be the first time since I have been able to eat any." So Jack handed me "a lump of dough," as he called it. I took it and you may
depend I was pleased with it. In return, I gave Jack a drop out of my grog bottle, which I always used to carry with me; so I and Jack passed the night in talking about Old England and the
merry Christmas they were spending there. Little does a man think, when seated by his fire-side at home, what hardships his own countrymen are enduring for his sake. I often wonder if a soldier
will be treated the same in England as he used to be. Orders issued last night and read to us to-day, that the Queen had been pleased to allow every soldier that serves in the
Crimea to have a medal; and those who were in the bloody battles of the Alma and Inkermann to wear two clasps; one for each engagement.
Nothing particular to-day. No firing. Weather fine.
Came off duty this morning. Rather fine, but very cold.
Cold and miserable.
Came off the advanced works, Gordon’s battery. Very cold; a little
snow fell in the night. Went down to Balaclava to-day; returned very tired and weary.
Very cold and stormy.
Very wet and miserable to-day.
A very heavy fall of snow last night and continued all night.
Things appear to change but little. Cannonading continues. Something going on that we know nothing about. Weather
very cold, freezing very sharp and snowing fast.
The frost continues. We are in a most deplorable condition. Language cannot describe the state we are in. All sorts of rumours
are going through the camp; I shall not mention any, for I cannot say whether they are true or not. Just fancy yourself in the middle of a field, up to your knees in snow, after walking about all
night in it. You are hungry and want something warm. Well, you have some raw coffee, some pork and a little biscuit, with a small portion of sugar and a little rum, or
grog; of course you dispatch the latter the moment you get hold of it. The other articles are different. You have no wood; none to be got, only the roots of
brushwood. You manage to steal a pickaxe, for you cannot get one without and then you commence grubbing for these roots of an hour or so, you are tired, but still you
must have something warm. In the course you manage to get a few roots; but the next thing is, how are you going to light a fire? - that has to be done and must be done, if
you wish to live. You manage to get your fire lighted after a great deal of trouble and perhaps burning half the only shirt you have (that on your back); you then have your
raw coffee to roast or burn. You get a piece of tin, put the coffee berry on it and place the tin over the fire. All this time, perhaps, you are almost frozen to death. When the
berry gets black put on your tin of water and get a piece of old sack that you have stolen from your employers and two stones and beat it to powder and then wait till
your water boils; you than put it into the water and your coffee is made. You then have your pork to boil; but that is not much trouble, after your fire is lighted. I
wonder how many would like to pass away three months in the manner I just picture; not many, I think, even though strong. I hope I shall never see the same again, but
what I have stated is not half; it is enough, however, for I am well aware that hundreds would not believe half of it.
Very severe frost since my last date. Nothing particular has happened. It thaws a little to-day.
Frost still continues; cold and bleak; wind blowing from the north and
at times snowing, accompanied with hail and sleet. At this moment the wind is very keen and sever.
Early this morning, a sortie was made by the enemy on our left attack
and the French right, but they were soon repulsed.
Another sortie this morning, in the same place as on the 13th, but they met the same fate as on that occasion. Weather still
very cold and severe. Never felt it so cold in my life. Snow - snow - snow and frost; it is dreadful.. Men dying fast and going away ill. Our regiment nearly all gone. Thank God I am quite well at
present, having just recovered from a slight touch of bowel-complaint, though not so well as when at home, nor can I expect it, not having had my shoes or any of my
clothes off for five months, but lying down every night, when not on duty, in full dress, with rifle by my side. I wonder what our sweethearts would think of us, if they
were to see us now; unshaved, unwashed and quite old men.
Nothing particular since my last date. The snow has disappeared; weather rather mild.
Wrote to Susan, enclosing five pounds. A draft of 75 men arrived from England. Poor fellows, I feel sorry for them. Just
coming from home, they cannot stand the cold. Out of 150 who joined us two months back, only 30 remain.
Rumoured about the camp that peace is made. I hope it is true, but am afraid to believe it. This war has been badly managed;
long after the cold set in we had nothing to cover us and many a life has been lost in consequence; and now the winter is getting over, they have begun to serve out warm clothing and to
set up huts., which will be ready by next spring. None of those things sent by the good people of England have ever reached us; no, not a single article. A very sharp frost last night,
but the sun shines to-day, which makes the ground soft and dirty and difficult to walk upon.
No frost last night; a little rain and rather cold. Very heavy firing, last night, towards the French lines.
No frost last night. Sun shining beautiful.
Frost again, very severe. On duty at the 21-gun battery. A sortie made
on the French lines this morning, but without effect.
A slight thaw to-day, but very sharp frost last night. Working parties out every day, getting up guns to the batteries; so I
expect something will take place very soon, either to our advantage or the enemy’s. Reports are in circulation that the enemy has received large reinforcements; also, that the two Grand
Dukes, Michael and Nicholas, are in Sebastopol.
Very heavy firing last night. Frost disappeared; weather beautiful; everything looks nice and comfortable.
Heavy rain yesterday; rather cold to-day, but fine. Very heavy firing last night; in fact, there has been during the last five
or six nights. Preparations to open fire again still going on. My birth-day to-day; I am 25 years old and hve been 8 years and 32 days in the army.
Nothing of any particular consequence since my last date. Weather
very wet and ground very muddy, which makes everything look miserable.
Weather still wet and miserable. Very little firing going on. Have but
little chance of seeing what is going on in the trenches, being employed in Quarter-
Master’s stores as an assistant to the Quarter-Master Sergeant.
Very dry morning and very pleasant.
Beautiful fine day.
Rather cold this morning, but the ground being dry and the sun shining, makes it very pleasant.
Still very dry; the roads are nice and hard.
Dry and pleasant.
To my surprise, when I turned out of my tent this morning, the ground
was covered with snow and it was dreadfully cold; it continued snowing the whole day, which made it piercing cold.
Snow still on the ground, but the sun shining beautiful.
Early this morning, the French attacked the enemy in front of our old 5-gun battery; the Mamelon was their object. The
firing was kept up for a long time and very sharp on both sides. The enemy gave us their usual war-cry. I have not heard the result of the attack, but I am afraid our gallant
allies were obliged to retire without gaining their object. The ships in harbour threw shells in clusters, which I think, but am not certain, made the place too hot for them. Weather fine,
with a little frost. The place where the French made the attack from was where Inkermann hill stood; it was formerly ours, but given up to them in consequence of not being strong
enough to defend such an extensive line of position.
Nothing particular since my last date. The weather has been very
moderate. Preparations going on very fast in order to open fire again, which I expect we shall do in a day or two.
Weather splendid and has been since my last date; more like summer than the time of the year. Everything is going on
beautiful and looks very pleasant. A great many things have arrived, of late, from the Crimean Army Fund; such as butter, potatoes, onions, herrings, bacon, sugar, tea and a variety
of other articles. Every soldier in the British camp is truly grateful to the benevolent people of England for sending us so many good things. The warm clothing was certainly rather too
late, but that was not the fault of the kind-hearted people; as soon as they knew we were in want, they spared no expense in purchasing and sending to us what we required as
soon as they possibly could. I cannot find words to express my gratitude for the kindness and attention that has been shown to me since I have been in this campaign.
Weather not quite so fine; yesterday a little rain, but still it is warm. A great deal of firing on both sides. The guard in the trenches
was reinforced last night, but nothing occurred. Expect to open fire on the 14th. Weather very fine to-day; a strong wind blowing from the south.
St. Patrick’s day. Weather rather cold. Several of our men seem rather worse for drink. Very little firing going on. Nothing
particular since my last date.
Last night, about eight o’clock, I heard a heavy roll of musketry and a loud cheer; I listened for some time and soon found
it was the enemy. It was in our front, so we knew that the French and the enemy were engaged. Our men assembled and turned out. The firing and shouting was kept up for a long time. We
were formed up in rear of our batteries, ready to assist them if required, but the French and the enemy had it all to themselves. They don’t like to attack our works, though they are
advanced of late. I heard this morning that the enemy were repulsed with great loss, but I am sorry to say that our gallant Allies lost 300 men killed and wounded.
Weather very dry. But very little firing going on, except with musketry. No big chaps spoke this morning at all.
Made full Sergeant to-day. Very little firing.
A sortie made from the town, both on our works and on those of the French; a great many were lost on both sides; our regiment
lost one Captain and two privates killed and one Lieutenant and eight men wounded. It was a rather strange affair. The enemy first attacked the French and our men had orders to leave their own
works and go to their assistance; and when our men were returning to their own works again, they were full of Russians. The wily Russians called out, when they saw our
men gong into the trench, "Bono France," "Bono Inglis," so our people thought they were French; but they soon found out who they were. On coming nearer to each
other, the enemy fired a volley right into us, killing and wounding a great many. This quite confused our men, but they soon rallied, came to the charge, at them, then a
regular melee followed and those of the Russians who were fortunate enough to be enabled to do so, scampered off, but few indeed returned to tell the tale. Their leader
was killed and I think all the Officers. Our men did not retire this time. No; they were commanded by Officers belonging to our own regiment.
Very heavy firing last night and to-day. Weather very fine.
Flags of truce hoisted to-day, on both sides to bury the dead.
Weather very hot and dry since my last. Everything going on as usual. The Railway progressing favourably. Ammunition coming up as
fast as possible. The alarm was sounded last night, but nothing occurred. Heavy firing was heard along the French lines. We were turned out for about half an hour, with orders to be
in readiness at a moment’s notice.
Cannonading very heavy. Weather very cold and rather inclined to rain.
Busy every day since my last date and daily expecting to open fire. Weather very fine since my last date. Came off the
21-gun battery tonight; rather inclined to rain. Everything ready to open fire in the morning, which I expect and hope they will.
Very heavy rain all night and raining very fast about day-light. This morning all the Allied Batteries thundered forth their
murderous fire into the renowned City, which appeared to take them by surprise. They were some time before they could return the fire and when they did, it was not with half the vigour
that they fired before.
On duty in the advanced works. Our batteries keep up their fire very
well. The enemy is rather slack. Weather a little finer than yesterday.
Weather quite fine to-day. Cannonading going on with the greatest vigour on both sides.
Very heavy firing since my last date, but apparently without effect. The weather has been very unfavourable; a great deal
of rain having fallen. Expect an order every night to storm the town, or some part of it. I think we shall succeed, but
not without great loss. Of late, the enemy has been very slack in their cannonading.
Weather very fine since my last date. Nothing particular has occurred.
Firing very slack on both sides; in fact, it has almost ceased altogether.
Nothing of any particular consequence since my last date.
Very heavy firing in the night. It is reported that the French have taken
a battery from the enemy; 8 guns and 9 mortars. I hope it is true, but cannot vouch for the authenticity of the report.
Weather very fine. Sir George Brown goes on board ship to-day, to
take command of an expedition that is going to destroy some of the Russian ports. I hope they will succeed.
Weather very fine and hot. Sir George Brown and his expedition returned, without attaining their
object; I believe they were recalled. A sortie made last night on our Rifle pits; it was very easily repulsed, but not without loss on both sides.
Last night a most powerful sortie was made by the enemy, but was repulsed with the utmost vigour; we had five men wounded. An
order was given for us to lie down with our belts and great-coats off; so for the first time since coming before Sebastopol, we lay down with a little comfort; but we had not been down long
before we heard a long roll of musketry and shortly afterwards the assembly sounded, so the whole had to turn out, for the first time in the last two months. It began to rain
and the firing ceased, so we turned in again, but I am sorry to say it continued raining all night. Several regiments have joined us of late, so we are pretty strong now.
Nothing very particular since my last date. The weather is now very fine; dry and hot. The heat is almost unbearable. I am sorry
to say that we had one case of cholera, the night before last, which proved fatal. Very little firing going on at present.
Very heavy firing last night, on our extreme left - the French and the enemy had it all to themselves. I have not heard the cause of the
firing, but it was dreadful. Musketry and round shot the whole night. Weather still very hot.
Porter served out to-day, the first since we came to the Crimea; they gave us a double allowance, in commemoration of Her Majesty’s
birthday. A Royal salute was fired by some of the Artillery, but no extra parade.
Firing very heavy last night along the whole lines, but no turn out; I have not heard the cause. An order came this morning for all
hands to fall in, to hear an order read and that order was the success of Sir George Brown’s expedition. "Kertch is taken; 50 pieces of artillery and a large foundry destroyed. This has been
done without loss on our side." After the order had been read by Major-General Codrington, we were desired to give three good hearty cheers; we did so, taking the words from the good old General.
Each brigade paraded separately for that purpose. Our brigade paraded pretty strong. Present, Rifle Brigade; 7th Royal Fusiliers; 23rd, and 34th regiments.
The following letter, descriptive of Camp life, written to his sister on the 28th of May, will not, it is hoped, be considered out of place here:-
My Dear Susan
I cannot help smiling when I read part of your letters, you seem so anxious about me. Why, I shall call you a coward in a bit. Drive away all
anxiety and be a brave woman; Recollect your brother is a soldier and if he dies a soldier’s death, it will be a noble one. Think, My Dear Girl, the cause
we are fighting for is liberty - which is dearer than life to any true bred Englishman. You cannot imagine how merry we all are; everything is
comfortable in Camp now. Any-one would think it was a peaceable city or town, instead of a large hostile Camp; and we are never so happy as when
beating the Russians, which we can do easily, if they will only give us fair play; but cramped up as they are in Sebastopol, we cannot get at them; and if
we were to attempt, they would shoot us all before we could get in, which would never do. But after all, we should like to return home; still, not while
our Queen and Country require our service out here. I was very sorry to hear of Doctor Gavin’s death, it certainly was shocking to you people at home, but
these things do not affect us so much, being used to them. When any of our men are shot, the word generally is "poor fellow". Not but we feel for anyone,
but it would not do for soldiers to give way to grief.
The sun is very hot and I am sorry to add, several cases of cholera and
fever have broken out; most of which the men cause themselves by their intemperance. We can purchase almost anything now in Camp, but very dear.
Porter, 2s. per bottle; butter, 2s. per lb.; eggs 2d. each; white bread, 1s 2d. for a loaf 1 ½ lb., and everything else in proportion; so that I spend all my pay now.
Happy to say I never was in better health. Hoping you enjoy the same blessing,
I remain your Affectionate and Loving Brother,
Another great victory by the Allied Fleets. An order was read this
morning, that they had attacked several plows in the Sea of Azof and destroyed 260 merchant ships and 4 war steamers and took upwards
of 100 pieces of cannon, besides destroying provisions that would keep an army of 100,000 men for four months. Nothing particular has happened here
since my last date. We expect soon to open fire again; I think this will be the last time. The weather is still very hot.
Opened fire to-day at 3 p.m. It is now about six. Fire going on terrific on both sides.
The enemy did not appear to be taken by surprise this time; they were quite ready and answered us very quick and with great vigour. They have sent
several shots into our camp the last day or two; in another day or two, I hope, we shall be in the town.
Orders issued for parties to be in readiness to storm part of the enemy’s works. Most of
our regiment are for it and thousands of the French are moving towards the front. About six o’clock the attack is made; the French are in the Mamelon, but
they appear to have hard work to keep possession. Our people are hard at work in the enemy’s trenches, which they have taken, in front of the Redan. The
firing was dreadful on both sides. The enemy have no trenches now in front of our works; no place but their batteries. We had 12 killed and about 90 wounded
in our regiment, but a great many belonging to other regiments. The French have suffered dreadfully. The enemy must have suffered considerably. Firing kept up
with great vigour on our side, but the enemy rather slack. The French are very busy converting the Mamelon into a battery of their own, with the enemy’s
guns. Expect another attack will be made tonight.
I was disappointed yesterday, being left with the reserve in the camp, so did not share the
honours earned by our gallant regiment, who took the enemy’s trenches from them and were actually entering the Redan battery.
No attack made last night. Very little firing from the enemy last night, but from our batteries
all night long; at this moment the shot and shell that are going into the Malakoff Tower is astonishing; they cannot possibly hold out much longer.
An attempt was made last night, by the enemy, to re-take the Mamelon, but without success. Firing
ceased on both sides. A flag of truce was hoisted, on the 9th, to bury the dead. The siege is stopped for want of shell. Everyone is quite disheartened at
it. A great many killed and wounded in our new works, the enemy being able to play on them so well.
Scarcely any firing at all to-day. Weather very fine.
No firing to-day, except an odd shell now and then.
Sir George Brown returned to-day with the whole of this expedition.
Very heavy firing last night, about 12 o’clock. I heard this morning that it was the enemy
firing at each other, through some mistake; I hope it is true. The firing was behind the Malakoff and Mamelon. Weather very hot. Our works are close under the Redan.
Opened fire this morning at 2 a.m., with the utmost vigour. The enemy’s fire is very slack. An attack
expected this evening, or early to-morrow morning. We expect to have a second Waterloo day.
Orders issued last night for the Allied Armies to storm the Malakoff and Redan batteries; the French
the former and us the latter. Our regiment paraded at a quarter to twelve o’clock last night; 300 rank and file and about 50 Sergeants and
Officers and other regiments of the Light Division, of equal strength. The attack commenced at daylight. Rockets were thrown up as signals, but I am sorry to say we
did not succeed. The French attacked the Malakoff three different times, but were driven back. Ours was a scandalous affair altogether; through some mistake or
mismanagement, our attack was not conducted properly, therefore it was a failure. We suffered severely, but thank God I escaped, although it was a miracle, for the
grape fell as thick as hail all round me. The enemy made a bold and determined defence; they even jumped on the parapet to fire, but they suffered for that. We
retired about 11 o’clock. Our regiment was ordered to occupy what is called the "right boys", and to act as a support, but our Colonel took us out to the front as soon
as the storming party and he suffered for it. I saw him near the Redan, giving orders. I was then doubling as fast as I could, but when I came to look round and could see
nothing but dead and dying all round me, I thought it best to retire; I did so, into the first work I came to. Several others came into the work after me and it was not too
soon, for the ground was then covered with our poor men. We here revenged ourselves on the bold Russians that mounted their parapet. The work I was in was
about 250 yards from the Redan, so we could fetch them down at our ease; they soon all disappeared. I walked back to camp quite downhearted, but very thankful to God
for my narrow escape, I believe it was worse than either Alma or Inkermann; the grape, canister and musket shot, fell all around me in showers. But have it we must,
or die every man of us.
That enemy made a sortie last night on our works, but were repulsed. A flag of truce hoisted to-day, to carry
away the wounded and bury the dead. The enemy did not hoist one till 4 o’clock p.m. Our Colonel, who was killed, was brought
in this evening. Our loss was our Colonel, Adjutant, 3 Sergeants and about 10 men killed; 9 Officers and about 70 men wounded. Went on duty tonight.
Nothing particular since my last date. Weather hot. Several cases of
cholera in camp of late. Very little firing on either side.
Nothing particular since my last date. Very heavy rain last night; sun shining beautifully at this moment.
It is reported that they have begun to run a mine under the Redan, to blow it up; I hope they will succeed.
Lord Raglan is dead. We are busy making a 10-gun battery. Weather very fine; a nice cool breeze blowing.
Cholera very bad amongst the French and Sardinians; some of our troops are also affected by it, but, thank God, but very few of them. I attribute this to being on a hill,
where a nice cool sea breeze can blow over the whole of our camp ground. Very little firing going on.
The remains of Lord Raglan were taken away yesterday. Fifty men of each regiment went as a funeral
procession and the remainder were under arms. Nothing worthy of notice occurred since my last date. Weather rather wet.
A draft of 113 men joined us to-day. Weather very hot since my last
date. Nothing worthy of notice. Preparations going on rapidly to re-open fire again.
Very heavy firing last night; I think the enemy made an attack on the
advanced works of our Allies, but were repulsed. Expect to make another attack soon.
A nice cool breeze blowing, but rather inclined to rain. Several cases
of bowel-complaint amongst the young soldiers.
Very heavy firing last night, in our front.
Heard to-day that the firing last night was occasioned by the enemy making a sortie on the French
works in front of the Mamelon. I believe the French took one General and a great many other prisoners. The enemy’s loss is estimated at about 2,000 men. Scarcely a night
passes without an attack being made by them on the French works, but they are afraid to come into ours.
Weather very fine. Brigade parade to-day to hear an order from Her
Majesty read, concerning the death of our late Commander-in-Chief. It was full of sympathy and very feeling.
The enemy made an attack last night on the French works in front of the Mamelon and also on the extreme left, but
were repulsed after about an hour’s hard fighting. The loss must have been heavy on both sides, for the firing was dreadful. We were under arms about half an hour.
Another attack last night on the French in front of the Mamelon, but it was easily repulsed.
Nothing worthy of notice since my last date. Weather very mild. A very heavy shower of rain last night.
It has scarcely ever ceased raining since my last date. Nothing worthy of notice transpired.
A sortie made on our works last night, about ten o’clock, but was easily repulsed. The enemy advanced to the attack with
great intrepidity; the firing, at first, was very slack, but a volley from the advanced trench on Green-hill side sent the enemy staggering back to their stronghold; they then opened a
most tremendous fire on our works. Being on a working party in the 8-gun battery, I had some very narrow escapes.
Nothing particular since my last. Weather very fine.
Several very heavy showers since my last date; nothing else particular.
On duty tonight in the advanced trenches; nothing particular occurred.
I had several good shots at the enemy in the Redan, only about 200 yards from where I was.
On coming off duty last night, an order was issued for the whole of us to parade at twelve o’clock that night. We expected
something was going to take place, but we were mistaken, for as soon as daylight appeared we were marched to our several camps.
Nothing particular to-day. Weather very hot. A great deal of sickness among the young soldiers.
A grand field-day to-day with the French troops, in commemoration of
the Emperor’s birthday. Royal salutes fired from the ships in harbour.
Early this morning the enemy attacked us in the rear with great force; their intention was to force their way to Balaclava,
but they were stopped by our gallant Allies, who retired, enticed them on to the open plateau, poured into them and drove them back in a few hours, with great loss. I have not been on
the ground, but have heard that thousands of them are lying there. About 400 prisoners were taken; miserable-looking creatures, I believe. I am informed that the loss on our side is
Re-opened fire this morning from our batteries. The bombarding is
going on with great vigour. The enemy’s fire appears rather slack.
Nothing worthy of notice to-day.
Came off duty last night; nothing particular happened. We expected an attack and the troops in camp were under arms, but none
took place. An attack was made on the French works in front of the Mamelon, last night, but the enemy was soon driven back.
Went on duty last night in the advanced parallel; as soon as we arrived there the enemy made their appearance and firing was
kept up for a long time. They did not get into our trenches, but I think they did into those of the French. I had several very narrow escapes.
Came off duty last night; the enemy made their appearance again just before we came away, but were driven back; they continued
making sallies the whole night. Stood to our arms this morning at three o’clock. Weather very warm.
About 12 o’clock last night, a magazine on the Mamelon, belonging to the French, blew up; it made a dreadful noise and the damage
is immense; about 3,000 killed and wounded. A great number were hurt in our trenches with the stones, etc.
Went into the trenches tonight. A beautiful moonlight night.
Last night about nine o’clock, the enemy made a sortie on our front trenches. Our regiment was not stationed in the front parallel,
so we were not engaged. Our people were taken by surprise. The enemy crawled on their hands and feet, through the long grass and were on them before they could get hold of their
rifles; but they soon recovered themselves and made young Russ go back a little quicker than he came; not, however, before we had several killed and wounded.
Weather very fine and warm in the day-time, but rather cold at nights. Duty rather hard.
Another attack last night on our works; several men killed and wounded.
Very heavy cannonading this morning; I think the whole of our batteries opened fire. Weather warm and fine.
One of the enemy’s ships on fire in the harbour; it was a splendid sight.
The French set it on fire. Firing going on as usual. All our batteries are not opened, but it is hourly expected that they will be. Came off duty this morning.
END OF DIARY