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Drake Letters Index 102. General Orders 27 April 1856 ◄ ● ► 104. Louisa to Maria Drake 24 May 1856
The Drake Letters
 
Louisa Drake (Balaklava) - Maria Drake (London), 9 May 1856
  Balaklava
May 9th [1856] 1
 
My dear Mrs. Drake,
 
        I have not received a letter, or heard a word from Henry, since he left a week today, 2 but I hope to soon; I have had two opportunities of writing to him this week, I was doing so yesterday morning when the Mail arrived with all your letters of the 24th, so he will get those of the previous mail, and 24th, by tonight, very lucky, thanks to our kind friends here, I shall always know of any opportunity of writing to Kertch, during the short times we are likely to remain here, I can know nothing of our movements till [I] hear from Henry or Mr. Downes 3 from Constantinople, we are getting on very quietly, the men do everything just the same as when their Master was here, which is a great comfort; we have been rather gay this week, considering Henry is away, we dined with the Admiral 4 on Wednesday, he sent his row boat and the Flag Lieut. to fetch us, and bring us home, it was a very pleasant party of eight, he is very kind and agreeable, he told me if I found myself in the least difficulty, to be sure and apply to him, and he would do all in his power for me; but I do not anticipate any difficulty about getting away. I have already had two kind offers from Captains to take us, and our luggage, when we are ready to be off to Constantinople, so I dare say when the time comes, we shall not be left behind; but is rather a queer thing, we womenkind being left in a place with such thousands of men, to manage for ourselves; but we have so many of our Department in Balaklava, and all think of us; last night the Routh 5 and Carpenter 6 Mess (as we call it) wanted Lou & I to dine with them, to hear some Sardinian Officers play on the Flute and Guitar in the evening; I declined going to dinner, and asked them to come and take tea with us instead, which they did, and we spent a very pleasant evening, the Flute player is a beautiful performer, a Captain of Engineers, he has left with some hundreds of Sardinian troops for Italy today, he was quite sorry to go, wished to remain till the last. Our weather is now delightful, this morning was so lovely, that Lou and I walked up to the old Castle, and sat about on the stones, admiring the view for an hour and a half, [written across the page] Mr. De Lisle 7 came down from Camp, to see if we would ride this afternoon, Louisa said she was too tired with her walk, so he and I went for a lovely ride, the Spring flowers are now so very pretty, we brought home a bunch of them, our Season is very late, the Vines are only just beginning to bud, I am glad the Rose slips got home safely, it appeared to me such a long time since we sent them, that I had given them up as lost. I mustered Courage the other day to call on Miss Nightingale, I had put off doing it so long, I was ashamed to go, but having a little excuse about a Cow of hers, I took advantage of it, as we wanted to see her; Mrs. Campbell went with us, she [Miss Nightingale] is an agreeable person, much younger than I expected, Lou and I found we had often seen her in our walks, but did not know who she was, she said she had no time to pay visits, so we shall see no more of her, she has left her residence up at the Castle Hospital, and lives in Balaklava, at the General Hospital, I am glad we have seen her, as she is one of the Lions of the present day. I have not seen our friends of the 92nd since Henry left, I will ask Captain Haines 8 what you wish when I next see him; I believe the Highland Division give Sir Colin Campbell 9 a grand farewell dinner tomorrow, something very extra, I do not know when he goes. All the Regimts. for Canada have left, but the move seems to me to go on very slowly; but the arrangement for embarking troops is very good when they do get here, the 63 10 were only six minutes going on board, and the 62nd five, the Ships went off directly they were on board. I was very glad to hear dear Laura 11 was better, of course I always feel anxious, when I hear of any complaining, I do so hope to be with you all again soon, many thanks for your kind letters received yesterday, I sent it on to Henry after reading it hurriedly, for it came just as it was time to send my letter to Kertch.
 

With kind love to all. Believe me ever,
Your Affect. Daughter,
Louisa Drake


 
WH Drake Journal
 
May 2. Fine. Embarked on my two horses & Baggage on board ‘Peninsula’ No. 172 & started for Kertch at 5 p.m. Several passengers.
 
May 3. Arrived at Kertch about 4 p.m. Landed, saw D.C.G. Archer, 12 A.C.G. Uniacke, 13 Shepherd [sic] 14 & slept on board the Peninsula.
 
May 4th Sunday. Fine but blowing. Landed horses & baggage & took up my quarters on shore. Landlady called on me. Called on General Mitchell [sic]. 15
 
May 5. Fine. Rode to Fort Paul, looked at Uniacke’s Magazines etc. Rain at night.
 
May 6. Fine. Saw Genl. Michel on business. Rode to Yenicale. Wrote Capt. Hayes R.N. 16
 
May 7. Fine. Wrote the finish of letter to Louisa. May 3 to 7th via Pera recd. letter from her of the 5th by Snake. Wind cold & rheumatism bad.
 
May 8. Fine, warm, finished letter to Lu & sent T.B. No. 3 for £120 to C.G. 17 Took a walk round the Museum & lines.
 
May 9. Fine. Mail from Pera. Russian came to see me. p ‘Lady Eglinton S. [sp?]
 
May 10. Fine, weather like summer. Wrote note to Lou by the ‘Peninsula’. ‘Arrow’ arrived fm. Balaclava, no letters.
 
May 11, Sunday. Fine. General Michel called on me. Received letters from England of 20th & 25th April & from L (second) 8th & Mr. Wakefield 18 10 May.
 
May 12. Fine, blowing. Russians in town.
 
May 13. Fine, blowing fresh. Walked to Burial ground & round the Hills.
 
May 14. Fine, breeze fresh. Could not sleep, much pain. Rain during night.
 
May 15. Rainy, called on the General. Cleared up in the afternoon. Put on mustard plaster.
 
May 16. Fine. Finished a long letter to Lou, via Pera. Sent these afterwards with a short note direct to Balaclava by H.M.S. Arrow & wrote to Mr. Pritchard 19 of H.M.S. Leander to let Lu know.
 
May 17. Dull, cloudy & showery. Took some pills.
 
Sunday May 18. Dull, light showers. A most horrid murder committed last night near the Museum. A Russian man, an old French man & a Russian woman, all dead.
 
May 19. Rainy, continued showers all day.
 
May 20. Rainy. Arrow arrived from Balaclava 3 letters from dear Lou, 14th, 18th, 19th May & letters from home to 5th May. Looked at General Cunynghame’s 20 house & ordered it to be cleared out for me.
 
May 21. Dull & Cloudy. Wrote to Lu by ‘Imperial’, to Admiral Freemantle, 21 Adams, 22 Pritchard & Osborn. 23 Heavy rain. Moved into House formerly occupied by General Cunynghame & slept there.
 
May 22. Fine morning. Muddy, wrote letter to England. Cleaning house.
 
May 23. Fine, arranging & cleaning house.
 
May 24. Fine. Queen’s birthday. Rheumatism bad. Consulted Dr. Sim 24 who ordered me medecines [sic]; began them. (Mail of 9th arrived.)

 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Henry left Balaclava at 5 p.m. on 2 May 1856 per the “Peninsula”, and arrived at Kertch the next day at about 4 p.m.
 
3. Acting ACG Arthur William Downes.
 
4. Admiral Charles Howe Fremantle.
 
5. DCG Leonce Routh.
 
6. DCG Frederick Stanley Carpenter.
 
7. Surgeon Richard Francis Valpy De Lisle.
 
8. Captain Edward Eldridge Haines.
 
9. General Sir Colin Campbell.
 
10. 63rd West Suffolk Regiment of Foot.
 
11. Louisa’s daughter, Laura Mary Drake.
 
12. DCG Francis Bisset Archer.
 
13. ACG Redmond C. Uniacke.
 
14. ACG George Shepheard.
 
15. General John Michel.
 
16. Captain John Montagu Hayes, R.N.
 
17. Henry’s father, retired CG John Drake.
 
18. Felix Wakefield.
 
19. Charles A. Pritchard.
 
20. General Arthur Augustus Thurlow Cunynghame.
 
21. Admiral Charles Howe Fremantle.
 
22. CG George Adams.
 
23. Acting DCG Kean Osborn.
 
24. Dr. Robert Sim.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 102. General Orders 27 April 1856 ◄ ● ► 104. Louisa to Maria Drake 24 May 1856