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Drake Letters Index 85. Louisa to Maria Drake 7 December 1855 ◄ ● ► 87. Louisa to Maria Drake 17 December 1855
The Drake Letters
 
Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet, and General Advertiser (Truro), 7 December 1855
THE STORES AT SEBASTOPOL.  
On the 10th of July this year a treaty was entered into between France and England with respect to the distribution of booty and trophies, which enabled the French and English Governments to form a mixed commission for the purpose of classifying and arranging such articles. In compliance with this provision Marshal Pelissier named the following officers on behalf of the French army immediately after the capture of Sebastopol:- General of Division Niel, Aide-de-Camp d l’Empereur, President, and commanding the Engineers; General of Division Thiry, commanding Artillery; Admiral Regnault de Genouilly, commanding Marine Artillery; M. Paris, Intendant (Commissary-General); M. Budin, Payeur-General. General Simpson named the following officers for the English army:- Sir G. Dacres, commanding Royal Artillery; Captain Drummond, R.N.; Colonel Chapman, commanding Royal Engineers; Mr. Drake, Assistant Commissary General. It will be observed that the English officers are not equal in rank or numbers to the French members of the Commission.
 
The Commission met on the 15th of September at the quarters of General Niel. Its first act was to order an inventory in detail to be made of everything found in Sebastopol. To effect this the city and forts were divided, and the care of exploring each part devolved upon sub-commissions. The first of these, charged with the exploration of the west of the city and of Forts Nicholas and Alexander, of the Quarantine and of the Central Bastion, and of the Bastion du Mât (Flagstaff), were, M. Mazare, General of Artillery, President, M. Cacoze, Captain of Artillery, French, Captain Dickson, R.A., 1 Compte Feldtrappe, French Engineers, Captain Montagu, R.E., 2 Lieutenant Laurent, French Navy, Lieutenant Buller, R.N., 3 M. Gontier, French Assistant Commissary-General, and Mr. Lundy, Deputy Assistant Commissary-General. 4 The second sub-commission, charged to explore the east of the city, the Redan of Careening Bay, the Malakhoff, the Great Redan, and the adjacent works, consisted of – Brigadier-General Dupuis, Royal Horse Artillery, President; Captain Shaw, Royal Artillery, Comte de Callac, Imperial Artillery, Major Staunton, R.E.; Major Cadart, Imperial Engineers; Commander Marten, R.N.; 5 Commander de Genoux, Imperial Navy; Mr. Crookshank, Deputy-Assistant-Commissary-General; 6 M. Goutran, same rank French army; and Lieutenant Rumble, R.M.A. On the 25th of September the Commission held its second sitting, and all the members were present except General Thiry, who was represented by General Mazare. That officer and Brigadier-General Dupuis, as presidents of the sub-commissions, then laid on the table a detailed statement of everything found in Sebastopol. The number of cannon in bronze (brass) is 128; that of iron guns, 3,711; total 3, 839. The President read the convention of the 10th of July, and it was then unanimously agreed that the guns should be divided into two equal parts, paying due regard to the different calibres, and that one-half should be sent to French, the other half to Great Britain, with the exception of two field brass pieces, which should be offered to General de la Marmora, 7 with the approbation of the Commanders-in-Chief; but that for the present they should remain in Sebastopol, and in the redoubts and fortifications of Kamiesch and Balaklava, till such time as they were not required for the defence of the place, when each Government might do what they liked with their own share. These decisions, taken conformably to the first act of the Convention, leave the valuation of the pieces out of the question; but by the 4th article of the same Convention it is agreed that the value of the booty, &c., shall be divided between the two Powers proportionally to the number of men each had serving in the siege. The effective strength of the Anglo-Sardinian army on the 8th of September was 63,715 men, and that of the French army on the same day was 126,705 men. The Commission, therefore, decided that France should have two-thirds, and Great Britain one-third of the value of the booty and trophies. It was declared impossible to fix the value of the guns immediately, in consequence of want of sufficient information and of the necessity of employing the iron guns in the defence of the place. The Commission, therefore, passed on to the partition of the other materiel taken, and divided the following into three parts, two for France and one-third for England, with the understanding that they are to remain for the supply of the defence:- 407,314 round shot; shell, 101,755; canister cases, 24,080; gunpowder, 525,000lb.; ball cartridges for muskets and carbines, 470,000 in good condition, and 160,000 damaged; wagons, 80; yawls, 6; logs of lignum vitæ, 500; anchors of port moorings, 400; anchors of different sizes, 90; grapplings and small anchors, 50; chains for anchors, 200 yards; old copper for sheathing, 104,000lb.; old ropes, 100,000lb.; water casks, 300; new ropes of different sizes, 50,000lb.; pulleys, 400; spars, 40; tools, 300; bar iron and steel, 1,460,000lb.; iron wire, 400lb.; iron checks, 320lb.; sheet iron, 16,000lb.; tin plate, 14,000lb.; red copper, 120,000lb.; nails, 6,000lb.; firwood, a large quantity; pitch and tar, 200 barrels; barrels of paint, 150; small boilers, weighing 6,000lb.; the remains of a steam-engine of 220-horse power, taken out of a steamer burnt by the Russians; large copper boilers, weighing 100,000lb., 8; old copper, 100,000lb.; copper screws, 10,000lb.; old iron, 160,000lb.; large bells, 6; small bells, 10; hospital beds, 350; iron forges, in great numbers; main tackles, 12; coal, 2,000 tons; steam-engines, of 30-horse power, for the basins, 2; large pumps, for the basins, 3; iron boilers, 3; 1 high-pressure engine of 16-horse power, for the basins; iron cranes, 17; an engine of 12-horse power in the military bakery; 2 dredging machines of 30-horse power, unserviceable; a still, a clock, six marble statues, two sphinxes, a large basso-relieve; biscuit, 500 tons; flour, 150; barley, 9; buckwheat, 117; oats, 18; millet, 54; wheat, 20; peas 1½; salt meat, 60; wheat in the granaries, 500 quarters, &c.
 
The Commission, having examined the quantity and quality of the breadstuffs found in the magazines, declared them unfit for the use of the allied armies, and decided that should be sent to Eupatoria for the support of the Tartars, to whom the allies furnish subsistence, and the French Intendance is charged with that duty. They consisted of 11,000 sacks, weighing 500 tons, of black bread, 370 sacks or 150 tons of flour, 100 sacks or 9 tons of barley; 1,300 sacks or 117 tons of black barley, 18 tons of hay, 54 tons of millet, 20 tons of barley, 1½ tons of peas, 60 tons of salt meat, and 500 quarters of barley in the granaries. The Commission decided further that the few objects of art found in the place should be placed at the disposal of the General-in-Chief, and finished the sitting by nominating as secretary M. de Genoux, Capitaine de Frégate.
 
The third sitting took place on the 20th of September, and the subject of their deliberations was the valuation of the guns. As the calibres of the Russian artillery do not correspond with those of the allies, it was decided unanimously that in the valuation of the guns they should only take count of the value of the metal, which was fixed at 2f. 50c. per kilogramme for brass guns, and at 10c. for iron guns. One of the members observed, that among the brass guns there were two field pieces, and it was at once declared to be the wish of the Commander to put these guns at the disposal of the Ottoman Porte. It was further decided that, as many of the articles could not be divided, a distribution should take place as might be best arranged, and, accordingly a high pressure engine of 20-horse power, a distilling machine, and a clock were comprised in the French list, and in the English list were comprised a high-pressure engine of 16-horse-power and a furnace. As it would be impossible to divide the wood of the houses and buildings to be demolished, the city itself was divided, and to the English was allotted the east and to the French the western portion. The list already published gives the gross amount found, but there were immense quantities of all kinds of articles, muskets, clothing, &c., improperly removed. Mr. Johnson, naval instructor, was named as English secretary, and Mr. Cruikshank, 8 since the close of the sittings, has discovered a store containing about 5000 suits of Russian military clothing. The following is a part of the English return:-
 
GUNS IN MALAKHOFF, REDAN, &c.
 
  Serviceable Unserviceable
8-inch guns 38 23
7 to 7½ inch ditto 76 11
6 to 6½ ditto 846 135
5 to 5½ ditto 310 85
Smaller calibers 449 42
13-inch mortars 17 1
10-inch mortars 8 0
Brass cohorns, 6 to 6½ inch 21 0
Brass field pieces 16 0
Wall pieces 9 0
Total guns 1790 297
  297  
Total 2087  

 
The return includes eight 8-inch and two 3⅞-inch brass guns.

 
Number of Shot. Shell. Grape. Live Shell. Powder and small Ammunition.
257,314 60,515 13,380 1,240 419,200 lb. of powder, 436,000 lb. of ammunition.

 
Three small bells and one large one of fine tones. £    
Two marine condensing steam engines of 50-horse power in good condition, nearly new 2,000
Three large pumps for pumping out the docks, in good condition, with gear complete 2,500
Three iron boilers for engines 1,500
Spare gear for the above 700
Blocks, with brass sheaves 10
One 16-horse power engine, for pumping out coffer-dam, not complete 800
Three 3-ton cranes, good 1,500
One ditto, not fixed, good 200
One 12-horse power condensing engine, for bakery 200
One 20 horse high-pressure engine, incomplete, with gear packed in cases 900
Iron boiler and iron chimney, complete 800
Copper boiler, for steaming plank 336
Pair of 220-horse power marine engines, unfit for use, original value 12,000
Eight copper boilers for ditto, repairable, 50 tons 5,600
Patent ship cradle dredging machine, &c. 3,100
Copper, pumps, forges, hydraulic pump 32,146
Cranes, &c. 13,280
Total £45,426

 
This, taken with the French return, gives the total in the list; but there is an immense number of small articles which would swell the inventory to an immense extent. The Karabelusia, or English portion, it will be observed, contained the largest and most valuable portion of the articles captured. The 14 bells are divided thus – one of 2500.00 kilos, French Pars de Siège, one 21 cwt. Ditto, one 16 cwt. Ditto, one 533,00 kilos at Right Siege Train, another of 146,00 kilos at ditto, one 68,00 kilos at French Parc de siege, one of 3 quarters 22 lb. at ditto, ditto; one of 3 quarters 17 lb. at Parc du Moulin; one of 36.00 kilogrammes at Right Siege Train; one of 26 4.5 lb. at French Parc de Siege; one of 9.00 kilos. at General Mazare’s office.
 
The quantity of wood taken from the place is very great, and it still furnishes our officers, who are left to their own resources, with vast supplies – only to be got under fire however – of wood, iron, bricks, and cut stone. It is a hard tug for horses and men to get them up from the city, and the enemy are sure to let fly a shot at them whenever they see a party engaged in collecting wood or building materials.
 
[“THE STORES AT SEBASTOPOL.” Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet, and General Advertiser [Truro, England] 7 December 1855: 6. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 24 July 2013.]
 

 
WH Drake Journal
 
Decr. 8. Cormorant. At daylight, up anchor & ran into the harbor of Sizapolis. Found the Cattle Str. Tomming, Dido 9 & Elcelsior at Anchor & about 12 or 15 other craft. Went ashore & saw A.C.G. Gardiner 10 & Mr. C.Ck. Gibson. 11 Walked through the Town & small Bazaar. Went off to breakfast ashore and inspected the Chest, stables, coal, etc. Gardiner dined with me & we then took a ride round the country & inspected the sheep. [Margin notes] Letters to Lu & Sir Geo. Maclean by ‘Dido’.
 
Decr. 9. Sunday. Cormorant. At 8 a.m. got under weigh & stood over to Bourgas. Monastry [sic] on the Island Zingani Kalessi. 12 At 10 ashore at Bourgas. 13 Got horses & rode over the Town & Country. Visited Mons. De Gernon Intd. Francais. Mons. Pitzmitz, Madame Petaktaridis & Sisiter Bourgas. At 2.30 reembarked & stood over to Kzingari Kalessi Bay. Mr. Gardiner & Mons. Falanga dined on board. At anchor at 5 p.m.
 
Decr. 10. Cormorant at Sizopolis. Closed up to Wharf to coal. I went on shore, finished my Inspection, called on the Bishop of Sizopolis, Greek Church, saw his library & manuscripts, pipes & coffee chat Gardiner. Gardiner dined with me on board Cormorant. Evening blowy & rainy.
 
Decr. 11. Rainy. bought a Cow & Calf from Mr. Falanga. Got them on board. Rode out to Kavaki – the Sweet waters of Roumelia. Dined with A.C.G. Gardiner, Mr. Gibson & Mr. Draper 14 there, eat Halva, returned to ship at 7 p.m. ‘Capt. of Chester’ shifted her moorings.
 
Decr. 12. Cormorant. At 6 a.m. got under weigh & started for Baltzik. Wind at South until noon. At anchor at Baltzik at 3 p.m. Heavy gale with rain & sleet from 12 noon. Snow, Sleet & heavy Gale from N.W. all night.
 
Decr. 13. Cormorant at Baltzik Bay. Gale continues from N.W. Very cold & rainy with Snow. Landed at 9 a.m. with much difficulty. Inspected Cattle & Pens, Office. Dined with Mr. Green 15 & returned to vessel at 6 p.m. Asked Capt. Phillips of Comt. [Cormorant] to assist at enquiry on board 120 oxen. 16
 
Decr. 14. Cormorant at Baltzik Bay. Gale heavy. Landed early. Inquiry as to loss of cattle with Capt. Phillips. Turkish cont. 17 Cattle Scow sunk. Two lighters adrift. Very cold. Took on board 50 oxen.
 
Decr. 15. Cormorant at Baltzik Bay. Gale still, cold. Finished inspection & at 8 p.m. Cormorant got under weigh for Crimea.
 
Decr. 16. Sunday. Cormorant at Sea. Very heavy gale & thick fog last night. Blowing fresh this morning. This with sleet continuing all day.
 
Decr. 17. Gale still blowing at 10 a.m. saw the land, very heavy squalls. At 1 p.m. saw brig in shore. In Balaclava Bay at 3½ got into harbor & home once more. Snow lying thick.
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Captain Collingwood Dickson, R.A.
 
2. Captain Horace William Montagu, R.E.
 
3. Lieutenant Alexander Buller, R.N.
 
4. ACG James Bell Lundy.
 
5. Commander Frances Marten, R.N.
 
6. DACG Alexander Crowder Crookshank.
 
7. General Alfonso Ferrero de la Marmora.
 
8. Probably DACG Alexander Crowder Crookshank.
 
9. Transcribed as Dodo.
 
10. ACG Robert May Gardiner.
 
11. CC George Rawstorne Gibson.
 
12. Cannot find on map.
 
13. Near Baltzik?
 
14. CC John Draper.
 
15. Acting DACG Walter Umfreville Green.
 
16. Last line rather muddled.
 
17. Turkish contingent.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 85. Louisa to Maria Drake 7 December 1855 ◄ ● ► 87. Louisa to Maria Drake 17 December 1855