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Drake Letters Index 62. Drake to Louisa 26 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 64. Drake to Louisa 5 March 1855
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 52 - Louisa Drake (London), 2 - 3 March 1855
№ 52 Balaklava 2d Mch 55 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        Your two Letters of 11 & 15th Feby. and one from my Father of the 14th have arrived safely – All things here continue to improve  We have all sorts of rumors of Changes of System Old officers being put by & younger ones brought forward – One is that no officer above 50 is to be employed on Active Service if so I believe I shd. be the only D.C.G. eligible 2 – that would be rather a funny proceeding not very probable – The French have none above 60 Abroad & this may possibly be adopted for Active Service with us but if so we have no C.G. & only 6 D.C.G. under that age – People were not so old in the Peninsula 3 .   The C.G. 4 was a Dy. at 27 or 28 and consequently was not much above 30 at Waterloo & of course fit to be a C.G.   by parity of reasoning I may be a C.G. in a Short time if this abominable war lasts & I hold out, I would rather have peace & be a Deputy – things are very different from those good old days but they must revert to the plan of having younger officers – Mr. Filder is in hot water with the Authorities at our Head Quarters here & one of the rumors is that Sir G. Maclean 5 is to come out to relieve him – We have had mild fine weather yesterday it rained & was Colder with Slight Snow & today it is Still coldish with light flaky Snow at intervals – Col: McMurdo 6 has arrived & takes charge of all the Transport a regular job but I believe he is a very zealous and intelligent Officer – likely to pull well with most. – Mr. Weir arrived a few days ago at Pera & took charge   I have not heard from him, but I see his name on the letters & his report of himself. – There is a good Chance of Acting again this month   A Colonel of Artillery said he should be ready to open fire about the 10th   Suppose we say the 15 by that day I think we shall again open our regular fire on the City [of Sevastopol]   So that if Peace is to be, the Sooner they make it the better as regards saving lives, but of that they don’t seem to think   We must either invest the City on all sides or fight & thrash the Army outside, We think they will next try to attack this place but so we have from the very first & their only trial failed –   3rd March   Nothing new – Sick are still coming down from the Camp but not so many as before the Cases are principally Scurvy   It is singular the Sailors have less Fresh Meat & have been of course long without on board Ship but they suffer less than our Soldiers, I think they get too much rum.
 
I send a rough Memorandum for the C.G. 7 just to Show where the faults of this Campaign should lie & not with the Commissariat   The Quarter Mast: Generals 8 is the very worst & most inefficient in the whole Service – They are the regular laughing Stock of the whole Army & yet have had more promotion that any other – Mr. Filder is in a regular quandary about Colonel McMurdo’s 9 business, it certainly will interfere very much with us & I think impair the working & efficiency of the Dept. as to expense it will be a most extraordinarily heavy affair altogether – I only wish the whole was ended & I well out of the East – Give my love to all and plenty of Kisses – I hope by this you have the Priests dress 10 from Mr. Bowen 11   believe me ever
 
Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

 
3 Mch 10 A.M.
 
all well – 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. At this stage Henry, born 29 September 1812, was 42 years old.
 
3. Henry’s father, John Drake, served in the Commissariat during the Peninsular War. Henry was born while his father, aged 30, was serving at Coimbra, Portugal, in 1812. John Drake is listed as having been present at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815, when he was 33 years old.
 
4. CG William Filder was born c. 1789, and became a DCG in 1816, when he was about 27 years old. The Battle of Waterloo took place on 18 June 1815, when Filder was around 26 years old.
 
5. CG Sir George Maclean.
 
6. Colonel William Montagu Scott McMurdo.
 
7. His father, retired CG John Drake.
 
8. The Quarter Master General was Gen. Richard Airey.
 
9. Colonel William Montagu Scott McMurdo.
 
10. Is this the little lace coat I have?
 
11. Is this Capt. Bowen of the Steamer Hope?
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 62. Drake to Louisa 26 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 64. Drake to Louisa 5 March 1855