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Drake Letters Index 29. The Standard 26 December 1854 ◄ ● ► 31. Drake to Louisa 13 November 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 20 - Louisa Drake (London), 7 November 1854
№ 20 Balaklava 7 Nov 1854 1
 
My dear Lou,
 
        I received all the Letters to 19 Oct. & Illustrated & Punch yesterday   What will the people of England think of this last battle 2 – On Sunday the 5 the Russians round this made a feint on Balaklava & attacked the 2d Div in front of Sevastopol in earnest – they took them by Surprize from neglect on some part or other in Cutting thro’ a road the high road into Sevastopol or throwing up some work to defend the flank – The enemy made three distinct attacks with fresh Troops each time & in very Strong Force, they had reinforcements of 12000 men the day before – they fought well meeting our men with the Bayonet their Artillery was Strong & first rate   They are reported by Prisoners to have had little to eat the day before & a double ration of Rum that morng.
 
Our loss is thus reported
 
Officers Killed - 38   Killed
Sir G Cathcart 3
Genl. Strangways 4 R.A.
  “      Goldie 5 57
  “      Adams 6 – 49
Col. Carpenter 7 41
  Wounded - 96 134 Wounded
Genl. Torrens 8
  “      Bentinck Gds. 9
  “      Sir G. Brown 10
  “      Pennefather 11
  “      Buller 12
Men
Killed
442
 
 
 
Wounded
1763
 
 
 
Missing
156
2361
 
 
Total
 
2495
 

A fearful list, worse than Alma – The Enemy lost by different reports from 6000 to 8000 men – It has been a regular Carnage – How the Seige progresses it is not possible to say but it has not flagged a moment in Consequence of this affair
 
Report said the day before that we were to Winter in the Crimea – now report says nothing on the Subject – You will however have a report of the Battle in the Times
 
For myself I am better than when I last wrote on the 3rd. – I cannot understand why Mr. Petrie 13 says the Mail is only 3 times per Month, we have up to this had the 6 regular mails & send the same & their Bag has come as usual by each
 
The Fleet lie supinely doing nothing   Now the day they attacked they lost a fine chance of bombarding the Forts   Every one imputes this to Admiral Dundas 14    Lord Raglan in Genl. Orders 15 has thanked Sir E Lyons 16 & the Navy passing over the Senior Admiral 17 so I suppose they no longer pull together a bad State of Affairs which can only lead to mischief   People here do not Scruple to say Lord Raglan 18 did nothing on the day of the Attack but sit quietly on his horse in the rear dressed in a plain Grey or brown Coat!! Of course I do not Vouch for this but mention it as a report heard from more than one quarter   I can scarcely think it true   His courage is undoubted – Mr. Moore 19 has duly arrived   I lend him nags & he was at the Field & saw the battle – He does not wish to see another – He goes tomorrow to the Katska River where I am sending the “Faith” Steamer in which he came out thus he will see Sevastopol & the Fleet   he will return in two day & then shortly go to Scutari 20 to brew his Beer for the Hospital – If Northey 21 had remained in the Army he wd. have been a Lt. Col. or killed on the 5th   His Colonel Carpenter 22 was killed – Mrs. C is at Pera with her wounded son of the 7th 23 wounded I believe at Alma 24 – The Duke of Cambridge 25 had a Horse shot under him on the 5th but was not himself hit 26
 
Our work is of course increased by all this business but it cannot be helped
 
The Weather is fine today but cool & the nights Cold. –   8 Nov. We have nothing new this morning   All sorts of queer reports are daily afloat but these one gets accustomed to – The Fleet continue to do nothing but watch the Harbor & keep in the Ships
 
With best love to all believe me
 
Your Affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

No Billet as all the inhabitants are sent away. I have a small house – The Times does come to Mr. F 27 & I see it occasionally.
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. The Battle of Inkerman. The Russian Army of 50,000 men attacked about 15,000 Allied troops, the most Raglan believed could be spared from the Sevastopol siege. French reinforcements saved the day for the Allies. The Allies lost about 3,300 men, of whom, Henry says, 2, 495 were British. The Russian casualties were put at about 12,000. [R. Parkinson, The encyclopedia of modern war, (New York, 1979), p. 83.]
 
3. Sir George Cathcart was killed at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
 
4. General Thomas Fox Strangways, R.A., was killed at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
 
5. Brigadier General Thomas Leigh Goldie, 57th West Middlesex Regiment of Foot, was killed at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
 
6. Brigadier General Henry William Adams, 49th Princess Charlotte of Wales’s or Hertfordshire Regiment of Foot, was killed at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
 
7. Colonel George Carpenter, 41st Welsh Regiment of Foot, was killed at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
 
8. Brigadier General Henry D’Oyley Torrens, D.A.Q.M.G., was wounded at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
 
9. Major General Henry John William Bentinck, Coldstream Guards.
 
10. Sir George Brown was commander of the 5th (Light) Division.
 
11. General John Lysaght Pennefather
 
12. General Sir George Buller.
 
13. DACG Samuel Petrie of the Treasury in London.
 
14. Vice-Admiral Sir James D. Dundas, commander of the British fleet.
 
15. General Order, 27th October 1854. No. 1. [General Orders issued to the Army of the East from April 30 1854, to December 31 1855, (London: John W. Parker and Son, 1856), pp. 61-64. – Google Books.]
 
16. Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, second in command to Vice-Admiral Sir James Dundas.
 
17. Vice-Admiral Sir James Dundas, commander of the English fleet.
 
18. The words “Lord Raglan” have been heavily crossed out, but are still legible. This letter seems to have been censored, but not very successfully.
 
19. DACG Henry Moore.
 
20. Scutari, now Üsküdar, Turkey, on the eastern side of the Bosporus, opposite Constantinope (now Istanbul). The British hospitals were situated at Scutari.
 
21. Augustus J. W. Northey, formerly Major of the 41st Regiment.
 
22. Colonel George Carpenter, 41st Regiment.
 
23. Lieutenant George William Wallace Carpenter, 7th Regiment.
 
24. The Allies defeated the Russians in the Battle of the Alma on 20 September 1854.
 
25. George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge.
 
26. The Battle of Inkerman took place on 5 November 1854.
 
27. CG William Filder.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 29. The Standard 26 December 1854 ◄ ● ► 31. Drake to Louisa 13 November 1854