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Drake Letters Index 25. Drake to Louisa 17 October 1854 ◄ ● ► 27. Drake to Louisa 27 October 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 17 - Louisa Drake (London), 22 - 23 October 1854
№ 17 Balaklava, on Shore 22 Oct
1854 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        Since my last I have recd. no letters fr. any of you – The Seige is still going on it is rather a bombardment than a Seige. Sevastopol has been on fire several times but not seriously – two or three Magazines have been blown up but not the Magazine – Deserters to us are numerous & some prisoners have been taken – they all represent the State of the City as very deplorable with more than 3000 killed & wounded, but yet the Works are but little injured though they now do not fire more than one gun for our two while at first they fired 3 to our 1 – The Fleet did little it appears from it is said very gross mismanagement, Admiral Dundas 2 is not esteemed or thought much of by Navy or Army – He & the French Admiral botched the attack completely & were repulsed with loss
 
All sorts of rumors are afloat as to where the Army will Winter and I fear I am likely to winter Somewhere in these parts. Many of our Officers are making arrangements for their Wives joining them, and I see no reason why you should not do the same – If I am at Constantinople Louisa 3 might come with you, the same if at Malta or Corfu but if at Varna or this place which may be it would be better for her to remain at home if any arrangement can be made. I think Constantinople & its vicinity the most probable place myself – As there are not Schools at any of these places it would be necessary to arrange so as to let Charlotte 4 & Laura 5 continue to get the benefit of an English Education – if you come by yourself you may arrange to come out as soon as you can by Steamer to Constantinople unless my Lords will give you a passage at the Govt. rate of 7/6 a day in a Govt. chartered Steamer – Constantinople must be the place to which you go first wherever I may be & then meet you [sic] further orders at the Commissariat Office. You will require very few things except your own apparel, I will send you a list of the few things to bring by next mail in fact I know little that is requisite but Six knives forks large & Small Spoons (not Silver) two or three very plain candlesticks, all even flat ones wd. do 4 large white tea cups & saucers milk jug 2 basons [sic] & 4 plates these last are not indispensable but luxuries.
 
I think, if the C.G. 6 would go to Mr. Grant at Somerset House the Comptroller of Transport 7 he wd. if he could let you have a passage in some Contract Steamer coming out. He was very civil to me & so was Mr. Leybourn [sic] Chief Ck. 8 a great friend [written across the page] of Mr. Archers 9 & of Mr. Petrie’s 10 who has much to say on Transport matters with Mr. Grant
 
It would be impossible for me to make any arrangements from here for you or what you are to do at the other side of the World   I must leave them all to my Father & you   You would only require Cash for your Passages & a little for your pocket – If you wd. ride which I think most likely you must bring a Sidesaddle   Bridles I have plenty, & yr. own gear for it   A Wide awake hat with very small feather is the best for Sun & weather – get a good saddle if not a new one as you please but it will always do to take away again & it is to be hoped we shall not be here for ever.
 
The hope that War will cease is great but even if peace were declared – I most likely should [be] left some months at Pera to conclude the matters outstanding – Adieu dear Lu give my best love to all & believe me ever your affectionate Hub
 
W. H. Drake
 
23. Last night our batteries were moved nearer to the City & On dit 11 that they will try to effect a breach & Storm tomorrow
 
I had a note from De Lisle 12 (in Camp) Ingleby [sic] 13 is here but I have not seen him   Dr Munro 14 I see often
 

 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Vice-Admiral Sir James Whitley Deans Dundas, commander of the British fleet.
 
3. Henry’s eldest daughter, Louisa Maria Drake.
 
4. Henry’s second eldest daughter, Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake.
 
5. Now, after the death of Emily in 1853, Henry’s youngest child, Laura Mary Drake.
 
6. Henry’s father, retired CG John Drake.
 
7. Thomas T. Grant, F.R.S., was Comptoller of the Victualling of the Navy and of the Transport Service in 1854.
 
8. William Leyburn was Chief Clerk of the Victualling of the Navy and of the Transport Service in 1854.
 
9. ACG William Spearman Archer.
 
10. DACG Samuel Petrie.
 
11. On dit: They say; report; a flying rumour. [The household dictionary of the English language, p. 915.]
 
12. Surgeon Richard Francis Valpy De Lisle.
 
13. Charles Henry Ingilby was in the Artillery.
 
14. Dr. William Munro was the Surgeon attached to the 93rd Highlanders.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 25. Drake to Louisa 17 October 1854 ◄ ● ► 27. Drake to Louisa 27 October 1854