Drake Letters Index 56. Drake to Louisa 8 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 58. Drake to Louisa 13 February 1855
The Drake Letters
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 47 - Louisa Drake (London), 12 February 1855
№ 47 Balaklava
12 Feby. 1855 1
My dear Lu,
        Since my last we have had Soft weather & plenty of rain  This village is consequently Knee deep in peasoupy mud of an oderiferous nature – We have news by Telegraph Lord Westmoreland [sic] 2 to Lords Redcliffe 3 & Raglan to 1st Feby. notifying that Ministers were out & that The Queen 4 had sent for Lord Derby 5   – Our next papers can give us no more news but other Telegraphs may be sent. No more news of the Peace Conference nor do I expect any until affairs are Sufficiently advanced to admit of an Armistice if it ever comes to that – As to Glory, after the way our men have died here it cannot be a very glorious war so far as the Winter Campaign is concerned, Bad arrangements No discipline No headwork Official disputes & growling have been the order of the day   I shall hail the declaration of Peace with great joy I assure you I am tired of Slaving on in so unsatisfactory a way never ending – Winter Quarters is no doubt the time for all sorts of growling – I think the great sources of grumbling are inactivity, hard work, no heads Shewing or taking interest in the army – Want of regularity in the Mails to & from England – Now I fully concur in this last   This mail however is hurried off to be sure – The irregularity is twofold – First our bags not being sent in time to catch the Steamer going to Constantinople & 2nd The [sic] sending a Slow Stear. from this & consequently not arriving in time to catch the Steamer leaving for Marseilles   The first fault often lies with Mr. Filder who is very dilitary & always changing his mind & thus never has his Officials ready & then they sometimes send the Vessel off to the Fleet before the appointed time   One reason of hurrying the mail today is that no mail is expected in tomorrow –
I wish Fortnum & Mason & their game pies 6 were at the bottom of the Sea I am fully occupied by Selling these Stores – & have my Office crowded by Clamorous Officers crying out for Claret – Paté Diable 7 – Bloaters game Pies & other necessaries in Seige operations – Mr. Ramsay 8 is here, going off in a few days on route home – I yesterday send [sic] you a Box by Capt. Liddle of the Bride who has sailed for Constantinople & England   You may expect it by the end of March he promised to take all care of it & send or take it to you – I yesterday saw the Capt. of the Hesperus I think we shall probably take the Ship as one of our Cattle Steamers   I don’t think Capt. Cruikshank 9 altogether likes the idea of staying out here so long as that may probably keep him – Give my love to all & believe me

Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland.
3. Stratford Canning, 1st Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe.
4. Queen Victoria.
5. Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was asked to form a Government when Lord Aberdeen’s Government resigned following Roebuck, Radical member of Parliament’s, successful motion for an impartial inquiry into the conduct of the Crimean war.
6. THE WAR IN THE EAST. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. CAMP BEFORE SEBASTOPOL, JANUARY 29. … The stores sent out by Messrs. Fortnum and Mason have not yet been arranged so as to be sold. You are aware that these stores are sent out under the directions of the Duke of Newcastle, with a view to relieve in a measure the distress and hardships endured by officers and men. They are to be sold at cost price to such as wish to purchase. “THE WAR IN THE EAST.” Morning Post [London, England] 13 February 1855: 5. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 18 July 2013.]
7. Diable: Devil. [The Collins paperback French dictionary French-English English-French, (London, 1988), p. 115.]
8. CG Thomas Warton Ramsay.
9. Captain D. Crookshank, Hesperus.

Drake Letters Index 56. Drake to Louisa 8 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 58. Drake to Louisa 13 February 1855