Drake Letters Index 96. Louisa to Maria Drake 29 February 1856 ◄ ● ► 98. General Orders 19 March 1856
The Drake Letters
Louisa Drake (Balaklava) - Maria Drake (London), 17 March 1856
March 17th [1856] 1
My dear Mrs. Drake,
        We have no Mail today, not yet Telegraphed, but a strong northerly wind blowing, bitterly Cold, which I suppose will delay it. Henry has joined our writing party tonight, fearing he may not have time in the morning, he will be anxious to tell his Father, the proceedings and anxieties of the last few days; I hope all will end as we wish at all events, he will have left nothing undone, that could be done, and it seems just now, a case, of every one for himself: Sir G_ 2 is very ill, and the Doctors say he must go home; if he had arranged for Mr. Adams 3 to come in his place, of course Henry would have considered it quite correct, (he [Mr. Adams] being the Senior Officer) even if he [Henry] had been ordered to Kertch, but his [Sir George’s] determined and extraordinary desire to have Mr. Smith 4 and get him also made an Acting C.G. – thinking & caring nothing in any way about Henry, who has worked so hard and managed everything for him, is very extraordinary, however we shall see!! I hope & believe Henry will be left in Charge for the present, Sir William 5 and Dr. Hall 6 have both been to see Sir G_ today, though the former did not see him, as he [Sir George] has been in bed all day; Henry was up at Head Quarters early this morning, on his own business; and has been there again on public affairs this afternoon, so he has had a long fatiguing day, for it has been a fearful one to ride, the wind so very cutting, his poor eyes are quite red and tired with it; however, he will tell you his day’s work, as he seems to be writing a long epistle: I trust he has a few good friends and well wishers here, who would rather he remained than a stranger should come to get the loaves and fishes. I write you all my thoughts, as I know you are interested and anxious about our affairs, by next Mail, all will be decided I suppose, till we hear from England; I think if Sir William decides for Henry’s taking the Charge for the present, Sir George will be rather surprised, the last thing he appears to have thoughts of. We have winter, very severe again, it is bitterly cold   Louisa and I have not ventured out all day, indeed, she has a nasty cold, Influenza is going about, I conclude from this sudden change of weather, I am glad that it cannot last much longer for we have had quite enough of it. My dear little Puss has presented me with some Kittens today, I think only two [written across the page] but I have not disturbed her to see if she had a large number, I could give them all away. We had an early visit from Mr. Russell 7 this morning, he had just arrived, having been five days coming from Constantinople, (I shall shun that steamer) he is looking very well, all the better for a little English shores, he went off to the Camp at once, where I dare say he will receive a warm welcome. Dr. De Lisle 8 spent yesterday with us, Henry and I went for a walk nearly to Koraine [sic] 9 with him in the afternoon, but it was very cold; I have arranged to take a ride with him tomorrow, (if the wind changes) we are going to take the Tractir [sic] Bridge and round by Inkerman, a long ride, I am going to beg one of his horses for Louisa, he says it is so very quiet, if I like it, he will lend it to her, or I believe give it, if she wishes, she is rather a coward, will not get on my horse or Papa’s, though both are very good tempered, I must confess mine is not a lady’s animal, for he will trot in preference to any other pace but then he is very nice looking. I expect before the end of this week, to hear some more certain news about Peace, the last Telegraphs were so favorable: of course all kinds of stories are circulated for and against it, that you know not what to believe: we must try and be patient, but how sadly we shall be disappointed if the War continues. Henry has finished his letters, and taking a nap, tired enough poor fellow, & will be glad to go to bed, I have just been to see the un-cooked meat put in the Kitchen for tomorrow’s dinner, it is all frozen hard, all the water tubs frozen over, like middle of winter. Give my kind love to all, and believe me,

Ever Your Affectionate Daughter
Louisa Drake

WH Drake Journal
March 19. Fine but cold. North Wind. Went to Head Qrs. Saw Genl. Windham 10 & Col. Blane Mil. Secy. In orders to act for Sir G. M. Went with Mrs. D. & Lu to see the Guards Theatre in Barne Hs cast [sp?]
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. CG Sir George Maclean.
3. DCG George Adams.
4. DCG John William Smith was made an Acting CG on 19 April 1856.
5. General Sir William John Codrington, Commander in Chief of the Eastern Army.
6. Dr. John Hall, Principal Medical Officer.
7. William Howard Russell, The Times’ correspondent.
8. Surgeon Richard Francis Valpy De Lisle.
9. Henry’s Journal entry for 16 March 1856 states that they “walked over the hill towards Karani. Therm. 13ยบ.” Karani was in the hills to the west of Balaklava.
10. General Charles Ash Windham, Chief of Staff.

Drake Letters Index 96. Louisa to Maria Drake 29 February 1856 ◄ ● ► 98. General Orders 19 March 1856