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Drake Letters Index 12. Drake to Louisa 10 August 1854 ◄ ● ► 14. Drake to Louisa 24 August 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Varna) № 3 - Louisa Drake (London), 19 August 1854
№ 3 Varna 19 August 1854
5 A.M. 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        My last was dated the 14th and I sent with it the 1st of a Treasury Bill for £100. – № 74. – I shall enclose the 2nd with this
 
You see we are still at Varna & have not yet taken Sevastopol as the English people seem fondly to imagine – things are not done in a hurry here except things Commissariat which are all hurry & confusion – Since I wrote last I have had time to read all the letters I recd. that day quietly. John 2 seems well & tolerably satisfied & although he has got nothing very splendid, yet if he keeps his eyes open it may lead to better things and he be able to work his way up in the world.
 
My pests, fleas, bugs &c. continue to make great inroads into my flesh & I have still a little prickly heat or rather the remains of it otherwise I am quite well. The Cholera has abated both among the Troops & inhabitants of the place but I am sorry to say has broken out very badly we hear on board the English & French Fleets. If they do not quickly get rid of it, I fear it will stop our intended expedition which is still talked about & for wh. preparations are going on slowly    They talk again of this day week & if they delay much longer, the winter will set in & stop everything
 
Sir Colin Campbell 3 & I have been hunting for each other for two days without meeting – his Brigade the Highlanders of 1st Division are about 12 miles out   the Guards the other Brigade of 1st Division are encamped on the South Side of Varna Bay with the Heavy Cavalry under my [sp?] Lord Lucan 4 – I see none of these great people in fact I seldom see anybody but our own Dept. & those of other Depts. who are the true working men. I am happy to say I have done well here – our own & other Officers have repeatedly said that there has been a marked change in the arrangements since they were left with me & while before they experienced the greatest rudeness & incivility that Mr. D does all in his power to oblige – One of the Asst. Qr. Mast: Genl. told Carpenter 5 this now Singular to say after all we had heard of Mr. Filder. He is very civil never abusive or Vulgar to any one nor even snappish – he has an unpleasant voice & crotchety manner but is very civil to me & has even asked me to stop & take some of his dinner – a favor I understand not before extended to anyone I was too busy doing his work & could not but it shows the civil intention of the man – both Ramsay 6 & Adams 7 are rough & hot tempered & the latter vulgar & abusive, Officers do not like this & I stopped a regular row the other day with Capt. Hamilton 8 D.A.Q.M.G. by taking him off & doing what he wanted at once – Both of these Gentlemen however get on very well with me & both have (they say tell me) recommended the C.G. 9 to give me Actg. Rank when Cowan goes home
 
Adams who is his right hand man & assists in managing the Dept. told me yesterday he had recommended it but Mr. F was nervous & had not made up his mind what to do yet I am to do the Work of a D.C.G. if we embark for the talked of Expedition as I am to have the Superintending Charge of the whole of the Force with Division Assistants & Brigade D.A.C.G. or Clerk under me with a Head Quarter Chest & Magazine, while the C.G. 10 with Adams exercise a Supervision & keep up their correspondence – I have intimated that I will not have any interference with my arrangements but if I receive an Order I will carry it out my own way and I have no doubt we shall pull very well in the business, if we go which seems very doubtful to me even now.
 
A great number of our people are sick especially the Asst. Storekrs. last from England & Ireland I think there were 18 sick on the list I gave the C.G. today – None of our officers have died since my last letter nor have any new cases of illness among them occurred – on the other hand only one or two have been able to return to duty. I had intended writing to John 11 (Melbourne) by this mail but really have not had time, no idle excuse nowadays   It is all I can do to keep up my correspondence with you, which I think I may take great credit for doing with great zeal & regularity – I know how anxious you all are to hear of & from me so I miss very few mails & as I told you before my chief & almost only gratification here is the receipt of Letters from you – We all long for an English Mail as our best link to home – I wish you wd. send me an Army List. Mr. Petrie 12 [in London] wd. frank it through the Comy. Genl. Bag I want it really officially – They send one to the C.G. & one to D.C.G. at Pera the latter might as well be in London as far as we are concerned & as my Office is some distance from that of Mr. F, I have many trots to find out who people are who write their names badly
 
Three days ago another fire broke out quite close at the back of our Stores Commt. & Engine   it arose among some low Shantys which should have been pulled down long since. It did no harm but on the contrary by consuming them cleared the ground around us. I hope I shall get my flannel shirts before I start for the Campaign as I have but two except my old White flannel which have no Collars but which I shall wear (without any overshirt) if I do not get the others. Kiss all the children for me, I wish I could do so for myself – I continue to look for the bright side of the picture when we may be all reunited in England for even a short time – Many of The Generals are in Town. I hope it tends towards the move. – Mr. Webb still on board the Orinoco. With best love to all believe me
 
2 PM. 19 Aug ‘54 Your affectionate Hub –
W. H. Drake.
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Henry’s son John Drake, who at that stage seemed to be in Melbourne, Victoria. [See Journal entry 3 July 1854.]
 
3. Sir Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde, British Field-Marshal.
 
4. George Charles Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan, was commander of the Cavalry Division.
 
5. ACG Frederick Stanley Carpenter.
 
6. DCG Thomas Wharton Ramsay.
 
7. DCG George Adams.
 
8. Captain Henry Meade Hamilton, Assistant Quartermaster General, Second Division.
 
9. C.G.: Commissary-General, Mr. William Filder.
 
10. C.G.: Commissary-General, Mr. William Filder.
 
11. Henry’s son, John Drake.
 
12. DACG Samuel Petrie.
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 12. Drake to Louisa 10 August 1854 ◄ ● ► 14. Drake to Louisa 24 August 1854