Home About Sources Topics Background

Crimean texts

The Times 3.4.1863 p 8



Sir — In common with thousands of your readers, I rejoice to see truth vindicated, and justice done to the gallantry of our allies at the Alma, by the excellent review in The Times of today of Mr Kinglake’s account of the battle.

Permit me to add further confirmation of your exposé of the injustice of Mr Kinglake’s version of the French attack on the Telegraph Heights in the subjoined extract of a letter written by an eyewitness to the United Service Magazine, and which appeared in the number for November, 1854:-

“On mounting the hill, which is very abrupt, and was escaladed by the Zouaves, a large plain presented itself. Here was in course of erection an octangular tower, strongly constructed, and contrived to carry a pivot gun of the largest calibre. Fortunately the works were not sufficiently advanced, and no gun was mounted. This tower, crowded with infantry, formed the point d’appui of the Russian left wing.” . . . “Around this tower the dead were lying in hundreds. The French were employed in carrying off the wounded of both nations.”

It need hardly be remarked how strikingly these words confirm the extract you have given from Colonel Hamley’s narrative. But Mr Kinglake has deliberately chosen to ignore the English as well as the French accounts, and uses only that Russian one which he finds to accord with his own personal prejudices. Your reviewer clearly shows that, even from the narratives of the beaten Generals only, he might have gleaned somewhat of the truth of the matter.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

April 1

Home About Sources Topics Background