You are here: [ RESOURCESMEGAN STEVENS: DRAKE LETTERS ► 19. DRAKE TO LOUISA 20 SEPTEMBER 1854 ]

Drake Letters Index 18. Drake to Louisa 15 September 1854 ◄ ● ► 20. Drake to Louisa 22 September 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (aboard Hope) № 9 - Louisa Drake (London), 20 - 21 September 1854
№ 9 Steamer Hope, under weigh, Kalamita Bay
Crimea 20 Sept 1854. – 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        My last was finished & sent away on the 16th   I sent it to Smith 2 at Constantinople to whom I had a chance the C.G. 3 not being at hand to send his mail which was in consequence kept & is here now   I fear also my No. 7 4 missed at least one mail from the same cause – I hope you will get them both, I recd. yours of 2nd & my Father’s of 1st Sept. on the 18th
 
at Kalamita Bay, just off which we now are lying to, to see my Fleet all under weigh for their several destinations – Since my last I have been incessantly at work from 4 A.M. till long after dark – The Army numbers nearly 30000 with some 3000 followers all to be supplied with Biscuit Salt meat Rum Rice Sugar Coffee & Scotch Barley!! Tea occasionally – This duty I have & the general Superintendence of The Supply Branch   not a day but I have been once or oftener up to my waist in the Surf which is very heavy occasionally in Kalamita Bay – Yesterday morning the Army moved on 7 miles   Mr. Filder & others went on – I was left in charge to reship all the supplies which had been landed. I had to go some three miles & as the Transports had landed much without my knowledge or order from me (or other Commt. Officer) all hands Navy & others had to work very hard to get them off which we however did by 10 or 11 at night except 45 bags damaged Bread & 170 Barley   I was certainly very tired the walking being just like that in the middle of the Streets of Perth 5 in old times – My horse I had sent on in charge of a Clerk as I am to go in this Ship some miles down the Coast & rejoin the Army by a March across the Country – We had not been off Shore an hour when a body of Cossacks scoured the Beach, they caught no one & made no booty worth having Barley being not convenient to move about with on horseback.
 
The regularity of our mails is a great luxury   I write as you see every day when I have a moments leisure & I need not say thankful for each letter I get from you, it is always a great consolation & comfort to hear of you all & I know you all feel the same, my Letters are more like Memo or a bad journal as I write when I can & frequently close them in a most desperate hurry to catch the Mail Bag – none will go from this probably until the 23rd by which I hope to send this – With all my hard work & duckings I am quite well perhaps a little thinner but if at all very little & I can spare it yet – I have seen & introduced myself to Dr. Hall 6 P.M.O.   I did so at Varna before I got your Letters – he remembered you very well & was very civil, he is very much liked   Poor young Lewis 7 has long since been to Constantinople for his health, he was very ill but our last accounts say he is much better recovering fast – Shirts not come to hand yet – Braces received – A Battle is going on   Russians are in strong force on the Almie or Alma River with 60 Guns & 40000 men – we can see the fight – the Russians are defeated & the heights above the Almie taken –   21st. We have lost about 500 killed & 400 or 500 wounded  French lost [sic] comparatively small, the brunt of action falling on 7. 8  23. 9 95 Regt. & Guards   95 are said to have lost 12 Officers Killed & wounded. Capt. Conolly 10 & Evans 11 23rd both dead, Honl. Major Wellesley A.Q.M.G. 12 dead of dysentry – Capt. Cresswell 13 11 Hussars do. – I have not heard of other names –
 
I take the chance of sending this by Admirals Bag 14
 
21st 10 A.M. I am quite well just going to land Rum & Biscuit – Love to all from
 
Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. ACG John William Smith.
 
3. Commissary-General William Filder, C.B.
 
4. Henry’s No. 7 letter was started on 6 September 1854, and finished on 13 September 1854.
 
5. Perth, Swan River Colony, now Western Australia. Henry and his family were stationed there from 1831 till 1848. Their five children were all born in the Colony. Commissary George J. Webb described the streets of Perth as follows: “The streets of Perth are rather unique – something characterises them that is peculiar to themselves, and which it is therefore difficult to describe. One circumstance that tends towards this impression is the paucity of wheel tracks; but this is accounted for by the character of the soil, which is sand, and (comparatively speaking), the little occasion there is for much land carriage, even in the principal street of the capital of the colony, and the seat of Government. … As for driving for pleasure through Perth, it is quite out of the question – I have never seen it even attempted” ; “the sand is so very heavy that our horses almost plough their weary way through it”; The Swan River News, and Western Australian Chronicle, No. 39, (London, 1 March 1847), pp. 118-9, at National Library of Australia, Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845: Australian Cooperative Digitisation Project,
https://www.nla.gov.au/ferguson/14605996/18470301/00040039/1-5.pdf, accessed 30 April 2015.
 
6. John Hall, M.D. I have not worked out how Hall knew Louisa.
 
7. Henry Clutterbuck Lewis.
 
8. 7th Regiment of the Foot (Royal Fusiliers).
 
9. 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers Regiment of Foot.
 
10. Captain John Charles Conolly, 23rd Regiment, was killed at the Battle of Alma on 20 September 1854.
 
11. Captain Francis Edward Evans, 23rd Regiment, was killed at the Battle of Alma on 20 September 1854.
 
12. The Hon. Brevet-Major Edward Wellesley died of cholera on 21 September 1854. He was a great nephew of the 1st Duke of Wellington.
 
13. Captain William Gilfred Baker Creswell, 11th Hussars, died of cholera on 19 September 1854.
 
14. Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, second in command to Vice-Admiral Sir James Dundas.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 18. Drake to Louisa 15 September 1854 ◄ ● ► 20. Drake to Louisa 22 September 1854