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Drake Letters Index 61. Drake to Louisa 23 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 63. Drake to Louisa 2 March 1855
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 51 - Louisa Drake (London), 26 February 1855
№ 51 Balaklava 26 Feb 1855. 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        No great news since my last as we have no mail in to give us a stir up. On Friday the French made a gallant attack on a Strong Battery – The Zouaves fought through it and into a Second, Killing many of the Enemy but the French Marine Battalion which was to have been their support & reserve failed & it is said fled – The Zouaves were consequently Surrounded & lost a great many Officers & men in Cutting their way back which they did in good Style – 1 General & 11 Officers 250 Men Wounded 5 Officers and 187 Men Killed
 
There was very heavy firing again last night, The Zouaves were most determined to Attack the same Batteries again & made it a point of honor to do it all themselves and redeem the National Character   Last night or tonight were the times named I do not know what was done last night but I do not think the attack was made so I presume it will come off tonight – I dined with Mr. Filder yesterday – Mr. Adams Mr. Archer 2 & myself were the party   we had an excellent Turkey & some fair Sherry – The little gentleman was very civil but he is not an amiable host. I have been all day at work with old Admiral Boxer a queer old stick, people cannot generally manage but I did not find it a difficult matter, I wanted to get three more Cattle Ships transfered [sic] to us for bringing fresh meat from Asia Minor & Mr. Filder sent me to him & do the necessary business
 
I hope you will send my Coat as soon as possible as I am very Seedy at present. I am wearing my Old Hobart Town frock coat without the Shoulder Straps as they are a nuisance & generally dropped by the Army – I have my old Canadian Cloth pants & my grey homespun Waistcoat very handsome uniform altogether   by the time the Coat comes it will be warm enough to wear black or blue cloth [pants] a pair of each of which I have – Warm clothing they have given us abundance of, which as I had plenty before rather encumbers me, in fact the Supply of warm clothes they have sent out is altogether most absurd enough for three Winters   They must perforce send much of it back to Constantinople or it will get rotten if landed here
 
Our weather continues fine & for winter I think it very mild of course men suffer when exposed to work at night in the Trenches and to that exposure and the want of a road between this & the Camp are all the miseries of the men & not the want of Supplies   The best proof of this is – The Guards 3 have never been without their rations for a single day as the Duke of Cambridge 4 has written to Mr. Filder yet they have but 400 left out of more than 4000 landed at times from the 1st coming to the Crimea
 
I wish you to send me Sandfords Bird’s eye View of Sevastopol & the Siege Colored – Sandford is at Charing Cross bookseller – look at it well & then send it to me
 
With love to all & plenty of Kisses believe me
 
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 William Spearman Archer.
 
3. Guards: Guard Brigade, 1st Division.
 
4. George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 61. Drake to Louisa 23 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 63. Drake to Louisa 2 March 1855