You are here: [ RESOURCESMEGAN STEVENS: DRAKE LETTERS ► 54. DRAKE TO LOUISA 1 FEBRUARY 1855]

Drake Letters Index 53. Drake to Louisa 29 January 1855 ◄ ● ► 55. Drake to Louisa 5 February 1855
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 44 - Louisa Drake (London), 1 - 2 February 1855
№ 44 Balaklava 1st Feby. 1855 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        I recd. yours of 14 & one from Caroline 2 on the 30 Jany we got the Times of the 15th wh: I am happy to say looks like a move in the direction of Peace, 3    Mean while our Position as regards the Army, has improved   The health of the Troops though nothing to boast of, is better, The Scurvy is the worst feature at present
 
The Grand Dukes Michael 4 & Constantine 5 are again in Sevastopol & in consequence increased activity is perceptible among the Russians   They made a Sortie last night on the French & one of our Batteries   our loss was very trifling. The French lost 4 Officers Killed or missing & some men   they were Surprized but they repulsed the Russians with loss – The fine weather has dried up the Country a little. Our people have got up some more very heavy guns into position & are expecting an attack tonight not near us at Balaklava but at the front – The “Sans Pariel” 6 has gone out and the St Jean D’Acre 7 is to come in – For some time past our Transport has improved as to the number of Pack ponies & consequently the Army has been better supplied, in fact they are not in want of any thing as far as the Commissariat are concerned, Bread, Meat, rum, Sugar, Roasted Coffee & Rice they get their full daily rations   we have 30 days of each of them here & some 3 days in each Camp with a reserve half way at Lord Raglans of 8 days Bread (i.e. biscuit) Meat Rum & 4 days Roasted Coffee Sugar & Rice – Lord Raglan dates his Despatches “Camp before Sevastopol”   I might as well do the same – He & Staff live in a very excellent house have their Sheep, poultry, wine, tons of Coals [sic] & Wood & are 3 miles from Sevastopol & 3½ from this – The whole of the Misery of the Army has been attributed to two things   the 1st Not knowing we were to Winter here & that when Lord Raglan thought of it he did not communicate with the Commy. General 8 to procure supplies of every thing necessary for Winter & 2ndly The gross neglect of the Quarter Mast: Genl. Dept. 9 in not making a road from this to the Camp, in fact that Dept. have proved quite incompetent & useless – There are some very gentlemanly clever fellows in it but it wants a head – In fact heads are very much wanted all through the Service here & very badly
 
Mr. Seivright [sic] 10 James’ 11 brother in law called on me a day or two ago apparently a quiet sort of man, he said James had written to him & told him to call on me
 
I don’t think it likely I shall be relieved from my present duties   Our Chief 12 has no administrative talent & if I were made a C.G. tomorrow wd. keep me at the same work as now   Mr. Adams has done little or nothing since we have been in the Crimea, not fr. his own wish, he does all he can but Mr. F gives him no work all he does do is of his own seeking – Up to this time Mr. Filder has not made a Single change in consequence of the Promotions and I don’t think he contemplates any.
 
Feby. 2. Still nothing new. If any attack was made last night we did not hear it at Balaklava the wind was high – D.C.G. Smith 13 at Pera has been very ill, quite delirious at times and having frequent fits of an hysterical character – Mr. Weir hourly expected there is to relieve him   at present A.C.G. Turner 14 is doing the duty – A.C.G. Watt 15 is also very ill at Pera, has had a Medical board & goes to Malta   The Railway navvies have arrived & commenced work some unloading their Ships, preparing the ground at Terminus & some on the road – Report from the front, “Russians fired grape & Canister all night, Killed 1 man 16 & wounded 2 – no attack – The French advanced to about 80 yards were firing Vollies all day & night of musquetry whenever a Russ showed he was shot but after all little was done
 
Give my love to all and with thousands of kisses   believe me
 
Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

 
Bowen 17 sent a parcel for you to 3 Mincing Lane African St. Ship Co. Some of my Spoils here
 
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Henry’s sister, Caroline Browne (née Drake).
 
3. In part the leader reads: “It is therefore not only without regret, but with very great satisfaction, that we hear of the possibility of reopening negotiations for peace, and that satisfaction is only diminished by the distrust which cannot be felt for the sincerity of our antagonist. His conversion has been somewhat too abrupt, and his protestations of a desire for peace are said to be too lively, to be received with unlimited confidence.” [The Times (London, England), 15 January 1855, p. 6:1-2.]
 
4. Grand Duke Michael (1832-1909), the fourth son of Tsar Nicholas I.
 
5. Grand Duke Constantine (1827-1892), the second son of Tsar Nicholas I.
 
6. Captain Leopold George Heath commanded the Sans Pareil from 22 November 1854 to February 1855. – http://www.pdavis.nl/ShowBiog.php?id=891, accessed 30 April 2015.
 
7. Captain Henry Keppel commanded the St Jean d’Acre from 21 May 1853 to July 1855. – http://www.pdavis.nl/ShowBiog.php?id=546, accessed 30 April 2015.
 
8. CG William Filder.
 
9. General Richard Airey was the Quarter Master General.
 
10. Paymaster Andrew Sievwright served with the 9th (The East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot.
 
11. I don’t know who Henry is referring to here. Andrew Sievwright married Emily Henderson – http://website.lineone.net/~remosliema/britisharmy1.htm, accessed 30 July 2015.
 
12. CG William Filder.
 
13. DCG John William Smith.
 
14. ACG Philip Turner.
 
15. ACG Fitzjames Edward Watt.
 
16. Possibly J. Strutt of the 11th Hussars - http://glosters.tripod.com/crimcavx.htm, accessed 30 April 2015.
 
17. William Henry Bowen.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 53. Drake to Louisa 29 January 1855 ◄ ● ► 55. Drake to Louisa 5 February 1855