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SP40 Through the Crimean War with the 2nd Rifles by William Long with introductory notes by Pamela Haines. Private 3594 William Long (1834-1890), wrote this paper 'Through the Crimea War with the 2nd Rifles' in the year 1885. He took part in the battles of the Alma, Inkerman, the attack on the Redan and was at the Quarries before Sevastopol. [A4, 32pp, saddle-stitch].
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Private 3594 William Long (1834-1890), my great-grandfather, wrote his paper 'Through the Crimea War with the 2nd Rifles' in the year 1885. He took part in the battles of the Alma, Inkerman, the attack on Sevastopol and many other engagements. William, the son of James and Susannah of Faringdon, Berks (now Oxon) was baptised at All Saints, Faringdon in 1834. He enlisted in the army in the Reading District in 1853 and then he embarked at Portsmouth on the Vulcan, bound for Malta on the February 1854 and thence sailed to the Crimea in Golden Fleece. When he joined the army (there is some confusion about his age here, records state he was 17 but if baptised in 1834 he must have been 19) he was, in his own words, rash and thoughtless and ready for anything. Little wonder then that his father James Long of Witney, Oxon regarded his decision to join the army as his greatest mistake. But whilst so many of his comrades were never to return from the war, William was fortunate to survive unscathed, which strongly reaffirmed his religious convictions. W.H. Russell, the Times war correspondent, also sailed to the Crimea in Golden Fleece. I should like to mention the anecdote that when Russell's luggage was stolen at Malta, soldiers of the 2nd battalion of the Rifle Brigade helped him to replace some of his missing belongings and that afterwards he would always refer to them affectionately as my friends the Rifles. William was deeply affected by the death of a comrade, Thomas Turner, Private 3729, recorded as killed in action on 4 May 1855. This tragic event he attributed to the influence of intoxicating drink and it is clear from the concluding paragraphs of his paper, written to be given as a talk, that he wholly supported the aims of the National Temperance League. Whilst the account reflects William's memories of the drama of events, it is evident that he strove for accuracy in recounting his war memories. Private William Long embarked with the 2nd battalion of the Rifle Brigade, when they left Balaklava in King Philip, a transport ship, on 8 June 1856. When they disembarked at Portsmouth on 11 July the regimental band which had travelled on ahead, welcomed them by playing 'Home Sweet Home'. The 1st and 2nd battalions of the Rifle Brigade were reviewed by Queen Victoria on 16 and 30 July. Wiliiam left the rifles on 17 October 1856. He received the Crimean Medal with three clasps, and the Turkish Medal. He married Harriet Berry in 1866 and died on 12 February 1890. He is buried at Hastings Cemetery and his headstone contains two errors - his age, given as 49 when he must have been 56 and the fact that he received two clasps for his Crimean medal when in fact he received three. I inherited the manuscript from my father, Leonard Leslie Long, who received it from my great-aunt Emily, William Long's daughter. It contains 37 copperplate handwritten foolscap pages. Although I have no record of my great-grandfather having met W.H. Russell, he was obviously impressed by his brilliant reporting, making good use of it in preparing this lecture. Pamela Haines 2007 Paper on Through the Crimea War with the 2nd Rifles by William Long In bringing before you this paper, at my very best I can only skim over very lightly the leading events that took place during that terrible struggle of nearly two years in the East. It at once throws me back to the early days of my life when I was rash and thoughtless and ready for anything; my after experience has shown that I for one have made many mistakes in life and my father told me I never made a greater one than this; and as I had made my bed, so I should have to lay upon it that has come true all through my life. I entered the Army in the year 1853 at Portsmouth in the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade; without exception one of the finest Corps serving under Her Majesty's Crown and soon after Russia became very restless in the East & our Statesmen clearly saw that Russia's designs against Turkey would have to be resisted even at the cost of a War. Owing to the defeat or rather the massacre of the Turkish Naval Forces at Sinope in December 1853; the combined fleets entered at once the Black Sea when war was declared against Russia. In March 1854 I embarked with my battalion on board the Vulcan troop ship at Portsmouth Dockyard for Malta. You can well imagine the excitement that prevailed when it came to the last Farewell to Old England, many a brave soldier's eyes were dimmed as he gazed on the shores and faces of those whom he knew he might never see again on earth; never did a finer set of fellows leave old England than those ; still the change soon altered our feelings, the Daily Rations, grog and inevitable plum duff. Hanmock swinging, rifle practice, heaving the log etc, not forgetting our feeling during the rough time at sea. We put in at Gibraltar for coal and water and after a lovely passage thro' the Straights reached Malta about the 16th March; here we first met the French and the cheering and greetings were simply deafening, the place seemed all confusion We left Malta about the end of March for Gallipoli; a port in the Dardanelles; on board the P. & 0. steam ship Golden Fleece. At Gallipoli we commenced operations by throwing up earthworks and batteries, we numbered 50,000 French and English about 50,000 Troops and while we were here a great Council of War was held, there being present the Duke of Cambridge, Lord Raglan, Marshall St. Arnall [sic], Prince Napoleon and all the leading men. The general confusion and bewilderment of the many buyers and sellers I cannot describe; hundreds of camels came daily into the town with provisions of all kinds, which were exceptionally dear, 8s. for a Dutch cheese, etc, still grapes and figs were plentiful. The French had a fixed price for their goods but we had to strike the best bargains we could. Drunkenness was very great among the Allied Armies and it was a thing of common occurrence for an Highland soldier to be seen wearing part of the dress of a Zouave and to get locked up in that condition. We left this delightful region, with its splendid scenery, early in May for Scutari on the Asiatic side of the Bospherous; early at morn we struck our Tents and moved towards the ship, the mass of baggage belonging to the various regiments was enormous, trains of Buffalo and bullock carts, of pack horses, mules, led horses etc. which filed along the road for seven or eight miles; teams of country carts, piled up with beds, trunks, tents, etc, were to be seen in an almost unbroken line. How and then an over-laden mule would fall or a wheel come off and then the whole line of march became a confused struggle of angry men and goaded cattle; the heat was very intense and many were gasping for breath and nearly choked through the leather stock, but still on we went compact as a wall of iron. The French also were on the move towards the beach. Soon after daybreak two or three hundred little camp fires were lit and sent up a tiny column of smoke, and soon their coffee is boiling, and the busy Vivandier with a smile for everyone and a joke or a box on the ear for a favourite moustache, passes along the lines and fills their tiny cups with coffee or cognac. The sight of prancing horses, the dancing plumes, the gold and silver lace of Dragoon, Artillery, Rifle, Spahi, Lancers, and officers of all arms, dressed with that eye to effect, which in France is their pride, was wonderful to behold. I might here say that the Spahis are extraordinary soldiers; they are wild fiery eyed, muscular and well made men, wrapped in flowing robes of white and red, they ride horses as wild as themselves and use neither stirrup or saddle in action and neither give or take quarter, but kill and have done with it. Arrived at the beach we went on board the Golden Fleece with Sir George Brown and his staff, our Col. Lawrence, Major Norcott and others, and were landed at Scutari and quartered in a very large Turkish barracks, near which were large clumps of trees with sheds erected under for the sale of provisions, cakes, wines, lemonade, sherbet, etc; here we were always being pestered by the Jew and Armenian money changers, lean hungry looking fellows, prowling about with the raven cry of I say, Johnny, change de monnish, change de monnish. Upon the opposite shore could be seen Constantinople with its lofty minarets and many Palaces and Harems making a magnificent picture. One thing strikes the European very much that is, to see the distinction between the men and the women. The latter always go about by themselves and with veiled faces, passing up and down the Golden Horn are to be seen small steamers laden with veiled women. The apathy of the Turks was almost unbearable and with all our endeavours we could not make friends with them, and were very glad to receive orders to embark for Varna. We, the Rifles, with the 7th and 25th Fusiliers, the 19th and 77th Foot, 55th Wellingtons and 88th Connaught Rangers, were formed into the Light Division, commanded by Sir G Brown, and were destined to take a very important part in the coming Campaign; similar to our predecessors in the Peninsula. Our tents were soon struck and we were on board in double quick time leaving nothing behind to mark the spot save the bare circles of baked earth where the tents had stood and the blackened spots where the camp fires had been. The flotilla began its voyage at midday, passing off Constantinople some five or six large frigates with the silver crescent moon and star of the Ottoman Porte flying from their mast head. Passing up the Bospherous [sic] we enjoyed some beautiful scenery; the Villages with their Kiosks, Imperial Palaces and the Residences of the rich Pashas, who live on these favoured shores. The Turks delight in going up and down, in their light Caiques, sitting out on the platforms and enjoying their Chibouque. The water here abounds with fish, and Porpoises and Dolphins are seen in myriads playing on its surface until a swordfish takes a dig at them, when they speedily decamp snorting like sea horses. We were soon in the Black Sea and all this was speedily shut out by the Fog; a nasty drifting mist falls down upon us like a shroud which sticks to our hands and faces, and makes the deck totally dark. It was genuine Black Sea weather. However, in the morning the mist rose and we found ourselves near shore, and we soon sighted Varna, We landed the same day and at once got under canvas about a mile from the town. Being short of Transport horses Omar Pasha sent some into camp; they were very small ones, hardy and wild-looking. Near us were large clumps of sweet briar which scented the air, and also a large lake, but we could not use the water as it was full of enormous leeches. However, we obtained a good supply from the Fountains which are very common in the East, along the roads and mountain side. We were soon moved up country, to make room for the Guards and the First Division, to the little Village of Aladyn. The villagers had all made off, leaving their houses wide open. This was a lovely spot in the evening the place all around us was alive with fireflies and the lakes seemed full of croaking frogs. In the day long lines of storks would fly over our heads, and the eagles could be discerned on the look out for dead horses, etc. The woods round harboured wild dogs and boars and large snakes and a small kind of deer. Right in front of our Camp was a disused Burial Ground, and the large blocks of Granite which served as tombstones were used by our Sappers and Miners in forming a bridge over one of the narrow channels which joined lake to lake. Camp life was very quiet, and we occupied our time with plenty of drills and sham fights. We had as many as 60 men ill at once, suffering from diarrhoea caused by drinking the red wine or eating too many plums which were to be had in abundance; which with very poor meat and water and no vegetables soon told upon the men. While at this camp orders were issued to discontinue the use of the Leather Stock, and considering we had to carry, when on the march, 56 pounds weight upon our backs, also the rifle, 50 Minnie cartridges, shako, cates and water bottle, it was a treat to do away with some of the load. While we were here (Sir George Brown) our General and his staff made a reconnaissance at Sebastopol on board the dispatch boat Fury. At night they ran softly in and were enabled to count the number of guns in the different batteries before being discovered, but immediately they were seen a shot came whistling through the rigging and they left as fast as possible, followed by shot after shot. One at last crashed thro' the hull but fortunately no one was hurt. The blow so long waited for at last fell. A council of war was held, attended by all the English and French Generals, and we soon had orders to proceed to Sebastopol. The French mustered 50,000, Turks 20,000 and British 25,000, and right glad were we to find ourselves once more on the way to the scene of action. All the vessels were drawn up in a long line extending over nine miles. As we cruised along the shore of the Crimea towards Eupatoria we could see the Cossacks watching our movements, but they were not numerous. We landed at a place called Old Fort. The French were first and we followed close after them. About noon we moved off across country towards a village, we, the Rifles, covering the advance in skirmishing order. I shall never forget the first night in the Crimea. We bivouacked without tents or the least shelter whatever; in the night the wind rose and rain fell heavily, and having no shelter we got thoroughly drenched. However, our tents were sent on to us next day which made things a little more agreeable. On that day we seized 60 Arabas or wagons laden with flour which were going towards Sebastopol. On the evening of September 19th we received orders to strike tents at daybreak, and at three o'clock the whole camp was roused by the Reveille and 50,000 men woke into active life. The boats from the fleet lined the beach ready to receive our Tents, and the Commissariat Officers worked hard to send on the baggage, food and ammunition, in rear of the Troops. 7,000 Turkish Infantry under Suleiman Pasha moved along by the sea side, next to them came the Divisions of Generals Bosquet, Canrobert, Forey and Prince Napoleon. Our order of march was about 4 miles to the right of their left wing, and about as many behind them. It was 9 o'clock before the whole of our Army was ready for marching, owing to the wretched transport furnished for our baggage. After an hour's march we halted for about 50 minutes during which Lord Raglan, accompanied by a very large staff, rode along in front of the Columns and as he passed the air was rent with three loud English cheers. As he passed each column he exclaimed, English I hope you will fight well today. The replies were, You may trust us for that. It was a thrilling sight to witness these grand masses soldierly descending the hills, rank after rank, with the sun playing over Forests of Glittering, Steel. Onward we swept, wave after wave, huge stately billows of armed men, while the rumble of the artillery and the tramp of the men accompanied our progress. At last the smoke of burning villages told us the enemy in front were aware of our approach. Presently from the top of a hill a wide plain was visible, beyond which rose a ridge darkened here and there by masses of Cavalry. It was our first sight of the enemy. About 500 of the 8th and 11th Hussars pushed on in front. Lord Cardigan throwing them out in skirmishing order. About 10 or 12 yards from each other the Cossacks advanced to meet us in like order, man for man. Suddenly, one of the Russian Cavalry squares opened, a puff of white smoke rose, and a round shot came tearing through our ranks, then another, and then thick and fast. Our Artillery now opened fire with round shot, ploughing through the enemy's Cavalry who speedily dispersed into broken lines. Our fire was hot, and the service of the guns so quick, that the enemy retired in about 15 minutes after we opened on them. The French meanwhile had crept up on the right and surprised a body of Cavalry with a battery of nine pounders, which scattered them in all directions. One of our wounded men, a Sergeant in the 11th Hussars, behaved with great fortitude in this brush with the enemy, by very coolly riding to the rear with his foot dangling by a piece of skin and telling the doctor he had just come to have his leg dressed.' Orders were now given to halt and bivouac for the night. Next morning we were on the move early, and on this day was fought the battle of the Alma. It is impossible for me to describe with sufficient vividness and force all that took place but I will do my best. As soon as the position of the enemy was accurately ascertained our whole line extending itself across the country advanced. Our grand old Battalion, the 2nd Rifles, under Col. Lawrence and Major Norcott, were now all spread out in skirmishing order; I was in the middle of the rear rank of my company. We were covered by squadrons of the 11th and 8th Hussars, 4th and 13th Light Dragoons and 17th Lancers. The French columns on our right were keeping up with us in splendid style; they and the Turks were to force the passage of the river Alma, which was a tortuous little stream. Tumbling down in it I nearly came to grief. Several men were drowned in the rush while crossing, for all were getting very excited and mad to get at the foe. The French opened fire about 12 o'clock; we could see their shells falling over the batteries of the enemy. The Fleet was also at work on the right, helping us capitally. Presently we saw the French columns struggling up the hills covered by a cloud of skirmishers whose fire was terrible, a threatening mass of Russian Infantry above them, pouring in volley after volley at a cruel rate, causing the French to pause a little, but it was only to collect their skirmishers, for as soon as they had reformed we saw them going up the hill at a quick pace, driving the Russians before them, hip and thigh. At one o'clock we, the Rifles, got within range and at once the Russians opened fire from their batteries in front, their shot ploughing through us and falling into the advancing column behind. The Russians bad now opened a furious fire on the whole of our line. But as yet the French had not made sufficient progress to satisfy Lord Raglan to advance, who with his staff was now being shelled severely and attracted much of the enemy's fire. We were laying down all this time to escape the enemy's shot. At last Lord Raglan was tired of waiting, his spirit was up and he gave us the order to advance. On went the Rifles, up rose all those behind us, and passing through a fearful shower of round shot and shell they dashed into the River Alma, which was literally torn into foam by the deadly hail from the Russian rifles in our front. Officers and men were now falling fast all around us, but Lord Raglan was gallantly leading us on. As he dashed over the only bridge there was, under the Russian guns, all ranks of our Army were now coming on, struggling thro' the river and up the heights in masses, firm indeed, but mowed down by the murderous fire of the batteries. Rifle Brigade skirmishers lead the advance over the River Alma Now commenced one of the most bloody and determined struggles it is possible to imagine. Sir Geo. Brown, our General, was riding in front, urging us on by his voice and gesture, now and again saying to us, Steady splendid fellows. On we went, steady as a rock. It was now with us a death struggle. Down went Sir Geo. Brown in a cloud of dust, but he was soon up again. At this moment an immense mass of Russian Infantry was seen moving down upon us; no doubt it was the crisis of the day. Lord Raglan saw the situation and immediately got some guns to bear on the Russian square, and soon they wavered, broke and fled over the brow of the hill, leaving heaps of their dead behind. At last we crowned the heights with terrific hurrahs, the Russians flying from their batteries, leaving everything behind them. We turned the enemy guns upon their flying masses, and thus the battle of the Alma was won, at a cost of nearly 5,000 killed and wounded on our side. The battle was fought and won in three and a half hours. The scene upon the field of battle next day was one never to be forgotten; the dead and dying lay in all directions. Our first work was to look after the wounded. There was no distinction paid; the enemy were attended to as well as our own. For miles the ground was covered with clothes, arms, etc; it took us two days to get the wounded on board the fleet and bury the dead. It was said that when we got the Russian wounded all together they covered over an acre of ground. On the 25th we received orders to move forward and leave behind us the blood-stained height of the Alma. Soon after dawn the French assembled all their drums and trumpets on the top of the hills they had taken, and a wild flourish and roll repeated again and again celebrated their meeting. The music was thrilling and its effect as it swelled thro' the early dawn over the valley one can never forget. The tents were all struck about 8 o'clock and we marched up the beautiful valley of the Katcha. We found the course marked by neat white cottages, vineyards and grounds, wrecked and smashed up by the Russians, and on thro' Belbeck. Here we had to make a diversion in order to avoid the guns of the Russians who were in position on the hills to which we could, not reply. In the morning commenced a march which was considered very bold upon the part of our General. The enemy had posted strong batteries along the north west of the harbour of Sebastopol, which would cause us loss and delay in an attempt to invest the town, but by a flank movement performed with decision and energy on Balaklava we should turn the effects of the 5 batteries, so the whole of our Army marched south east towards the Black River, and emerging from a wood we suddenly came upon a body of Russian Infantry which proved to be the baggage guard of a large force leaving Sebastopol. We now captured an enormous quantity of baggage and other things, it being lawful plunder. The troops were allowed to take what they liked of the goods, consisting of boots, shirts, coats, dressing cases, jewellery, military jackets richly laced, and champagne in abundance. Next morning we advanced upon Balaklava and after keeping up a sharp fire for half an hour they suddenly ran up a white flag and surrendered, and when we entered the town the inhabitants met us bearing fruit, flowers, bread and salt in token of good will and submission. Balaklava Harbour Next day three transports came into harbour with portions of the heavy siege train consisting of 50 heavy guns, 32 and 64 pounders, and Lancaster guns. On October 3rd we, the Rifles, with the Light Division marched up to the front and took up our positions on the extreme right of the British lines, from which we never moved during the whole of the 2 years campaign. All the heavy guns and baggage had to be dragged to the front by the Blue Jackets and Soldiers and deposited in the batteries, which we were hard at work forming for miles around us; working night and day, with our rifles and ammunition laying by our side ready in case of a surprise attack from the enemy who used to harass us as much as possible. We used to steal out in the dark making the famous trenches, being such dangerous work, and very often we were disturbed at it. The Russians frequently opened a heavy cannonade upon us; their batteries were livid with incessant flashes. Our working party was divided into four companies of 100 men. After a great deal of labour the trenches and batteries were finished, and the front of both Armies was united. The line of offensive operations covered by us extended from the sea to the Tchernaya, a distance of 7 or 8 miles, making the position of our army secure against all efforts of the Russians. All the enormous masses of metal were dragged by men, aided by such inadequate horse power as was at our disposal, over a steep and hilly country and wretched broken roads to a distance of about 8 miles.Rifle Brigade working partyAll this must have been seen to form any notion of the length of time and trouble we had to get them each to their proper stations. It is somewhat difficult for me to describe accurately the Russian position. There was in our front a large camp of about 10,000 men situated upon rising ground, on the top of which was a round Tower, surrounded by extensive earthworks and armed with heavy guns, which constantly threw shot and shell right over our advanced posts and working parties and sometimes into the camps below. At a distance of about 1200 yards from this Tower, in a southerly direction, our first Batteries were formed whose guns commanded the Dockyard Creek, in which were the Russian ships. On the night of the 16th it was determined that Fire should be opened on the Russian lines as the enemy were entrenching themselves with much activity and greatly strengthening their position. The cannonading on all sides was most violent for about 2 hours. We, the Rifles, were packed in the 21 Gun battery all day and witnessed some terrible scenes. A piece of stone struck the stock of one man's rifle and broke it; he was going to show it to the Colour Sergeant and a round shot took his head clean off. An artilleryman while pricking the vent of the gun he was working had his arm carried away close to his shoulder. These cases happened close to us. The bombardment went on all day furious and fast. Early in the morning a French magazine on the right blew up with a tremendous explosion killing and wounding over 100 men. Our practice was splendid but our works were cut up by fire from the Redan and the circular tower on our right. About one o'clock the French line of battle ships ran up in a most magnificent style and engaged the batteries on the sea side. The scene was indescribable, the British artillery firing into SevastopolRussians replying vigorously. Suddenly a great explosion took place in the centre of Sebastopol amid much cheering from our men. Now a loose powder store inside our Naval battery was blown up by a Russian shell but did no damage, and another terrific explosion took place in the Russian Redan Fort. The ships outside were ripping up the forts and stone works by tremendous broadsides.Toward dusk the firing slackened and at night it ceased altogether, thus ended the first day's siege. The same followed on the second day. We, the Rifles, had a sharp brush with the Russian riflemen about mid-day in a Quarry where we were quietly picking off the Russian gunners. They sent their riflemen to engage us. All of a sudden we discovered we had used all our ammunition and without any more to do we commenced to pelt away at them with stones as hard as we could, and the Russians, either they were surprised or were also short, picked up stones and did the same thing. After a short fight they retreated, we pelting away at them as long as we could.The Russians having plenty of labourers were better off, as they could easily repair during the night the damage done to their batteries in the day, but it was difficult for us to do the same, as worn out with the daily service we were too much exhausted for heavy work during the night.Edward Morrley 2nd Rifle Brigade No incident of consequence now occurred between this and the Balaklava Charge which occurred on the 18th of October. Early in the morning the enemy's Infantry was seen to be approaching and immediately the roll call to boot and saddle was sounded. The Scot's Greys, and a troop of horse artillery and the 93rd assembled on the plain, and the batteries on the heights were at once manned. This position of affairs continued for an hour. The enemy kept advancing, and as they numbered several thousands we thought we were in for a hot time. The Moskows, however, halted and in the evening lighted their watch fires about 2,000 yards in front of our Vedettes. We were on the alert all night, and when the sun rose and The mists had rolled away it was also found the Russians had rolled away too. But on the 25th they paid us another visit, the outcome of which was the memorable Balaklava Charge. For several nights previous their bands were heard playing up among the mountain passes around the plain. On this morning at half past seven an orderly came galloping in to head quarters with the news that a strong corps of Russian Cavalry supported by guns and battalions of Infantry had marched into the valley and had already dislodged the Turks from No.1 redoubt, and except the Turks offered a stouter resistance all the rest of the redoubts would soon fall into their hands. General Cathcart and the Duke of Cambridge received orders to put their respective divisions in motion for the scene of action. General Canrobert also ordered General Bosquet to advance with his divisions, and to send the Artillery and Chasseurs D'Afrique to assist us in holding the valley. Great excitement prevailed; in our camp; the men had not had time to water their horses, nor broken their fast from the evening before, and had barely saddled before they were drawn up behind the redoubts. Away to the left six compact masses of Russian Infantry were slowly advancing up the valley. Right in their front was a regular line of Artillery, about 20 pieces strong, which were playing sharply on our redoubts. To the right were enormous bodies of Cavalry moving down towards us. The valley was lit up with the blaze of their sabres, lance points and gay accoutrements. In their front were clouds of mounted skirmishers, wheeling and whiling in all directions like autumn leaves tossed by the wind. The Turks fired a few rounds at them, got frightened, and then bolted towards Balakiava, but the Russian Cossacks were too quick for them and with sword and lance cut them to ribbons in their retreat. We were unable to help them as they did not hold the redoubts long enough for us to get to them. As the Russian Cavalry crowned the hills they saw our 95th Highlanders drawn up calmly awaiting their approach. 93rd Highlanders – The Thin Red Line They halted to draw breath and then, in one grand line, made a terrific dash at our Highlanders, The ground seemed to fly beneath the horses' feet. On they came towards the thin red streak topped with a line of steel. Down goes that line and out rings a volley of minnie musketry. On they come through the smoke. Suddenly another wave of bullets was sent, carrying death and terror among them. They wheel right and left and fly back faster The Charge of the Heavy Brigade than they came. The Russians went down the Hill in our front at a canter which they soon changed into a trot. Their first line was at least double the length of ours and three times as deep; behind them was a similar body. The shrill blasts of our trumpet rang out across the valley, and the Scots Greys and Inniskilling went right at the centre of the enemy's cavalry. The distance was about 100 yards. In an Instant the Greys pierced the dark masses of the Russians; there was a clash of steel and our redcoats disappeared among the enemy's column, in another minute they are out and charge the second line. It was a terrible moment; it was a fight of heroes. The first line of the enemy had reformed and were coming back to swallow up our handful of men, but by their courage they won their way through and now with irresistible force the 1st Royals, 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards rushed at the remnants of the first line and went thro' and thro' as though it were made of pasteboard, and dashing on the second soon put them all to utter rout. In the midst of this the officers and men took off their caps and shouted with delight. The English and French Generals were holding a council of war, for the day promised to be one of battle. And now occurred that unfortunate and rash Light Cavalry Charge. It will be remembered that Quartermaster General Airey, thinking that the light Cavalry had not gone far enough in front when the enemy's horse had fled, gave an order in writing to Captain Nolan, 15th Hussars, to take to Lord Lucan, directing his Lordship to advance his Cavalry nearer to the enemy. A braver soldier than Nolan the army did not possess; a matchless horseman and a first rate swordsman, he held in contempt shot and shell. When Lord Lucan received the order it is said he asked Where are we to advance to Captain Nolan pointed with his hand to the Russians and said, There are the Enemy and there are the Guns, sir, before them. It is your duty to take them, or words to that effect, according to statements made since his death, Lord Lucan very reluctantly gave the order to Lord Cardigan to advance upon the guns. The Earl, although he did not shrink, saw what fearful odds he had against him. About 11 o'clock our Light Cavalry Brigade advanced (the whole brigade scarcely made one good regiment equal to those of continental armies). As they rushed to the front the Russians opened on them with guns in the Redoubt on the right and with volleys of musketry and rifles. They swept proudly by glittering in the morning sun in all the pride and splendour of war. It was said, surely that handful of men are not going to charge all those in their front, especially in such a position. It was so. Their desperate valour knew no bounds. A more fearful spectacle was never witnessed than by those who without the power to aid beheld their heroic countrymen rushing into the arms of death. At a distance of 1200 yards the whole line of the enemy belched forth from 50 iron mouths, a flood of smoke and flame through which hissed the deadly balls and made instant gaps in our ranks. The first line is broken; it is made up by the second. They neither halt or check their speed one minute, but with thinned ranks, by those 50 guns which the Russian had laid with deadly accuracy, and swords above their heads and a ringing cheer which was many a noble fellow's death cry, they dash into the smoke of the batteries. There they are seen cutting down the gunners as they stood, then riding through the guns, and it was with great delight when they were seen returning after breaking through a column of Infantry scattering them like chaff. In their return the Russians hurled a mass of Lancers on their flank. Col. Sherwell of the 8th Hussars saw their danger and rode his few men at them cutting his way through with fearful loss. The other regiments turned and engaged in a desperate encounter,. breaking their way through the columns which enveloped them, and then took place an act of atrocity without parallel in modem warfare. The Russian gunners when the storm of Cavalry had passed returned to their guns; they saw their own men mingled with ours who had just ridden over them, and to their eternal disgrace the miscreants poured a murderous volley of grape and canister on the struggling masses, mingling friend and foe in one common ruin. At half past eleven not a British soldier except the dead and dying was left in front of the Russian guns. Capt. Nolan was killed by a shot as he rode in advance of the Hussars cheering them on. Lords Lucan and Cardigan were also wounded. The Russians now began to retire. All interest in the Trenches were lost sight of in this melancholy day in which our Light Brigade was nearly annihilated by their own rashness and the brutality of a ferocious enemy. I must pass over all the minor details and sorties to the battle of Inkerman. The earthwork around the town of Sebastopol now assumed a formidable aspect, batteries, trenches and parapets run across the plain in our front in every direction and join the hills and mounds to each other so as to afford lines of defence and cover the whole place for miles around in nothing but earth-works and guns. For the past few days the Russians had been showing signs of unrest and on November 5th they showed their hand, which resulted in the memorable day of Inkerman. That battle is as fresh to my memory as though it only occurred a short time since, instead of being over 30 years ago. It had rained almost incessantly in the night and the early morn of the 5th, which by the bye was on Sunday, gave no promise of any cessation. The fog and vapours were so thick that we could scarcely see 2 yards ahead. About four o'clock the bells of Sebastopol were heard ringing drearily through the cold night air but that had become such a usual thing that it excited no particular attention. Little did we imagine that the enemy were bringing into position an overwhelming Artillery ready to play upon our tents at the first glimpse of daylight. We the 2nd Rifles were encamped close to the heights on the top of the Right Ravine, so that we were in the thick of the battle from early morn till sunset, fighting all day without anything to eat or drink. It was a little after 5 o'clock when General Codrington, as Map of the Battle of Inkerman was his usual habit, visited the outlying pickets of his own brigade of the Light Division. He received the report that all was well. He had scarcely turned his horse towards our camp when a sharp rattle of musketry, the flashes of which we saw right away like a long line of fire fringing for miles the tops of the heights, announcing the close proximity of the enemy in great forces, their grey coats made them almost invisible even when close at hand. The pickets of the second division had scarcely made out the advancing lines of Infantry who were clambering up the steep sides of the hill through a drizzling rain, when they were forced to retire by a close volley of musketry. It was now evident that a very strong sortie was being made upon our right, if possible to drive us into the Sea or to surrender. Large semaphore posts had been erected so as to carry the knowledge of our defeat to Sebastopol in order to encourage the garrison in a general sortie along their whole front. Everything to ensure victory to their Eagles was done by their Generals. A steamer with very heavy shell guns was sent up to the head of the creek. Previous to the alarm being given we had been endeavouring to light our fires for breakfast, but now that was forgotten and every available man was sent to the front. The 2nd Rifles were thrown out in skirmishing order to pick off the enemy's gunners. The Duke of Cambridge brought the Guards to the front and never in the history of England did they fight so unequally matched; although cut to pieces and repulsed time after time they knew no defeat. Sometimes being out of ammunition they kept the enemy at bay with the bayonet until they received fresh supplies. We had now commenced in earnest the saddest struggle that was ever witnessed since war cursed the earth. The Battle of inkerman admits of no description; it was a series of hand to hand fights, of desperate assaults, from which Russian or British issued again and again, until our old supremacy so rudely assailed was triumphantly asserted and the battalions of the Czar gave way before our steady courage and bravery. Inkerman As soon as the fog lifted the Russians opened fire on our tents with round shot and large shell and tent after tent was sent into the air. Two guns were now placed in position and replied to the enemy's fire with much effect and greatly aided in deciding the fate of the day. In darkness and gloom the Generals had to lead our lines. We could not see the position of the enemy or where they were coming to. After fighting for some time the fog cleared, and oh! what a cruel sight met my view. All around the ground was covered with the bodies of the dead and wounded, friend and foe intermingled, for without knowing it we had been all mixed up in the fog. We were fighting on the top and sides of the right ravines and on the other side, about 200 yards off, the Russians were drawn up. The firing now became deafening. Sir G. Cathcart's men were having a warm time from the fire of a large column of Russian Infantry, which were outflanking them; and when a cry arose that the ammunition was failing he coolly said to his men. You have got your bayonets. A deadly volley was now poured into our scattered regiments, and Sir G Cathcart rode at their head cheering them on. Suddenly he reeled in his saddle and fell close to the Russian columns. Our men had now to fight their way through a host of the enemy and lost fearfully, surrounded and bayoneted on all sides. The general's body was afterwards recovered with a bullet wound in the head and three bayonet wounds in the body. They fought against us in bodies; coming up and then retiring while others took their place. We not having many men had to stick to it all day without relief. Just about 10 o'clock the Guards were again engaged. A contest was going on the like of which perhaps never took place before; they were opposed by a dense column of Infantry, five times their numbers, which they had charged and driven back. Presently they found the Russians had outflanked them. They were out of ammunition and were unce whether they were friends or foes in the rear. They had no support, no reserve, and were fighting with their bayonets against an enemy who stoutly contested every inch of ground, when another column appeared on their right and poured a fearful fire into them, volley after volley of rifle and musketry. The Guards were broken. They lost 14 officers and half their number lay dead on the field. But reinforcement was at hand, and then they speedily avenged their losses. About 8,500 British had to contend against at least four times our numbers. No wonder if at times during the day we had to retire before them; but only to charge them again with renewed vigour. The courage and devotion of our officers and comrades who knew the Rifles were special objects of attack can never be too highly praised. At one time the Russians succeeded in getting close to our Guns, their columns gained the hills, and for a few minutes the fate of the Day trembled in the balance, but our soldiers with renewed energy and with undiminished valour and steadiness, though with sadly decreasing numbers, pushed on again, and once more the rolling of musketry, the crash of steel, pounding away of guns was simply deafening, and the Russians as they charged up the heights yelled like demons. They advanced, halted and received and returned a close and deadly fire; but our minie rifle was more than a match for them. Inkerman proved it. They fell in front of us like autumn leaves. Presently the trumpets of the French Artillery and Chasseurs sounded above the noise of the battle, and as we saw their eager advance we knew we should win the day. Assailed by us in front, broken in several places by the stubbornness of our charges, renewed again and again, now attacked by the French on the right and by the artillery all along the line, the Russians were forced to retire, and by midday they were driven pell-mell down the hill, leaving heaps of their dead behind. In fact for miles all around the battlefield was covered with the dead. The Russians were now in full retreat towards Sebastopol. Thus ended one of the hardest day's work we had been engaged in. The Russians deserve great credit for the obstinacy with which they sought to drive us into the sea, and the laborious determination with which they clambered up the hillside to attack us. We were opposed by 50,000 Russians, our number were 8,500 British and 9,000 French. Let us look for a moment at the battle field. We were encamped on a Ravine which was covered with a scrubby low brush-wood, so thick that it was difficult to force our way through; the ridge of the hill descends rapidly in a slope at least 600 feet high; at the base is the road leading to Inkerman and then on to Sebastopol, a quarter of a mile across the valley the sides of the mountains opposite to the ridges of the plateau on which our camp stood arose abruptly in sheer walls of rock, slab after slab to a height of 1200 or 1500 feet. All around the ground was covered with the dead and dying, the Russians, the well-known bearskin of our Guards, the redcoats of our Infantry and the bright blue of the French Chasseurs. The dull cold eye, the tranquil brows, the gentle opening lips which had given escape to the parting spirit as it fled from its bleeding shell, showed how peacefully a man may die in battle, pierced by the rifle ball, the British and French, many of whom had been murdered by the Russians as they lay wounded, wore terrible frowns on their faces with which the agonies of death had clad them. Some in their last throes had torn up the earth in their hands and held the grass between their fingers up towards the skies. The Russian wounded were far more numerous than ours. These were placed in heaps so that they might the more readily be removed to hospital. Groups of litter bearers are hard at work burying the dead all along the hill sides in large graves or trenches about 50 feet by 20 feet and 6 feet in depth. For about a mile and a half by a mile in width the hill sides were the scene of such sights as these. At length our work of buiying is o'er, the bodies lie as closely as they can be packed, in all kinds of attitudes, buried and left alone, no, not alone, for the hopes, fears and affections of thousands of human hearts lie buried with them. In reference to this battle it is only right for me to say that we who met those furious columns of the Russians were the remnants of three Divisions, and as I mentioned before scarcely numbered 8,500 men. We were hungiy and wet and generally out of our wretched tent beds four nights out of seven, enfeebled by sickness and severe toil, sometimes 24 and 48 hours in the Trenches at a stretch without relief of any kind. With these facts before us I think it will be admitted that never was a more extraordinary contest maintained by our army in any part of its history, than on that memorable day the 5th November 1854. If those men who delight in war at home could only have seen our hardships and for one moment have seen a battlefield all covered with scarlet and blue cloth and the bodies of the flowers of England lying side by side, staring up to heaven with sightless eyes, the field all covered with gore, the agonies and sufferings of the wounded, me thinks they would join in one universal prayer for the advent of that day to come when war shall be no more. Winter had now set in, the weather was terrible to endure, the trenches were practically nothing better than ditches with water in them a foot deep, and in these, in front of the deadly storms of the enemy's shot and shell, hungry and nearly frozen to death and scarcely any clothing to keep our bodies warm, we had to pass sometimes 24 hours at a stretch. Our tents so long exposed to the blaze of sun in Bulgaria and now so continually drenched by rain and snow let the water through and were perfectly useless. Sometimes the overworked and sickly soldiers would be seized with illness and die before our eyes, for in such cases medical aid was hopeless. I must now bring my paper to a close. But the half has never been told. We had been contesting with the Russians for some time for several rifle pits in our front, and after terrific fighting and heavy loss gained possession. We soon turned the rifle pits into a Mortar Battery. This very much annoyed the enemy, who attacked us in large forces, and at length regained possession. Then came a deadly hand to hand struggle. I shall never forget it. There were only about 200 of us Rifles; on our right was a portion of the 90th who moved up in double time. A heavy fire was opened upon them and then with a loud hurrah our gallant band sprang right into the battery like tigers and drove the enemy pell-mell over the parapet. The Russian leader, who was dressed in splendid Albanian Costume, and other officers were killed. My comrade named Turner was killed while defending the trenches; he had only come to the front the day before, having been left invalided at Scutari. He brought with him a bottle of French Cognac which caused his death; the bugle had sounded cease firing, but he under the influence of drink went on firing, a stray bullet entered the loop hole and pierced his throat and he fell at my side dead. Shortly after this came the French attack upon the Mamelon and ours upon the Quarries in front of the Redan battery on the 18th June. A rocket was thrown up as the signal of our diversion, and as instantly our small force of men detached for this post of honour made a rush at the Quarries. I had the honour of being among the first in the attack. After a stubborn fight and a slight check we drove the Russians out and at once commenced to turn the gabions round, to cover ourselves. While this was being done I saw a round shot strike the gabions where two soldiers were at work, and knock them into pieces. We in the Quarries were fighting all night and had to repel six distinct attacks. These Quarries were about 200 yards from the Redan. Here we made a Battery and it worked well against the Russians behind the Redan and Malakoff, and also enabled us to pick off their gunners. The fire which we opened on Sunday morning, June 17th previous to the Assault, was terrific. In the first relief the Quany Battery threw no less than 500 8? Shells, and throughout the day we fired 12,000 rounds of the heaviest ordnance into the enemy's lines, and on the following day we fired nearly the same, making 24,000 rounds in two days. next day we stormed the Redan. As soon as the signal was given by the The attack on the Redan, 18 June 1855 Rockets away we went over the tops of our Trenches, some carrying scaling ladders, others wool packs. I had to carry a wool pack. Our order was to throw them into the deep ditch in front of the Redan, at the bottom of which were iron spikes by the hundred. But the job was to get there thro' .the enemy's fire, which is impossible to describe; it positively rained bullets, shot and shell, and our men were mowed down as soon as we showed ourselves on the open Plateau between our Trenches and the Redan. Colonel Yea of the 7th Fusiliers fell while leading his men; he was at the front endeavouring to compose his men ready for a rush at the batteries. A charge of deadly grape passed and the old Colonel fell dead in advance of his men, struck in the head and stomach. We got up to the ditch but we could not get over, as it was so wide and deep. It was an awful time now. Our orders were to enter the Redan, but we could not, and all this time we were exposed to the Enemy's cruel fire, the ground all around us being ploughed up with grape shot and shell. The French just for a while entered the Malakoff but they were soon driven with heavy losses, so after a terrific struggle we sullenly retired to our trenches. The next day, under a flag of truce, we were engaged in getting in the wounded and burying the dead. At length under the advice of the The Redan: recovery of woounded and burying the dead united Generals the final attack was decided for the 8th September. We were glad the time had arrived, although we knew we had a tough job before us, and many began to speculate whether they would live through the day, and no wonder for of all the desperate encounters which had taken place, none equalled the 8th September in fierceness and slaughter. The ground between our advanced works and the Malakoff Redan and all along the whole line of both armies was thickly strewn with the fallen. It was a sad sight never to be forgotten. It was agonizing to see the wounded men, lying under a scorching sun, racked with fever and agonized with pain, waving their caps to us or making signals for help. Our Red and Green coats lay sadly thick in front of the Redan, and the French blue coat and Russian grey coat lay about in piles, in the rain courses before Malakoff. It is impossible for me to give a correct account of the fall of Sebastopol. In our attack we had to face a complete network of batteries, zigzags and parallels, and the ground over which we passed was completely honeycombed with small mines, which if any man happened to tread upon instantly exploded. While we were attacking the Town on land the fleet was hard at work engaging the heavy forts facing the Sea. The bombardment lasted from morning till evening without a pause and right through the night; it was awful. The Town was in flames and the sky above The French capture the Malakoff, 8 September 1855 seemed all on fire, terrific explosions taking place at intervals in many of the enemy's batteries. On the following morning we had the joy of seeing the town deserted; not a soul was left. All had fled during the night across a bridge of boats nearly a mile and a half long to the north side of the Harbour. I shall never forget the peculiar sensation that came over us as we passed along the, streets without meeting a soul; the detached mansions, Public Buildings, Theatres and Churches, all deserted and nearly in ruins from the long exposure to our shot and shell. The last work that we did was to blow in the sides of the docks and jetties, and I remember well seeing horses, guns and carriages at the bottom of the water as we passed along the Quays. The Russians in their hurry to get across the bridge actually drove whole batteries into the sea. The war was now really over. It only remains for me to say that through the mercy and goodness of God I was brought safely through the whole of that terrible war. I had the honour of being present at all the great battles, and was also engaged in all the leading hand to hand conflicts, assaults, sorties and also put nearly 2 years in the trenches before Sebastopol, and passed through the whole of it without a scratch, while I had many shot The Russians fire Sevastopol and withdraw over a bridge of boats dead by my side. Truly God was watching over my young life, and the language of the 7th verse of 91st Psalm in my experience was proved true to the letter. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand but it shall not come nigh thee. I am grateful to God for the change that He has wrought, by His Divine Spirit, in my heart and the peace, joy and happiness I have so long enjoyed through trusting in the atoning blood of Christ. My heart is also full of gratitude and love to God for the grace that enables me day by day to fight on under the banner of my Saviour, in the glorious cause of total abstinence from Intoxicating drinks. In these days the army is better off morally and spiritually than when I was in it; through the combined efforts of such Christian women as Misses Weston and Robinson on the one hand and the National Temperance League and our own noble order, of Good Templars on the other. For this we are thankful to God and my heart's desire and prayer is that not only may our glorious principles permeate the ranks of the Army and Navy, but may the day soon dawn when not a vestige of Intemperance shall be found in our beloved Country.