Will you allow me to correct from personal knowledge an error of memory on the part of your reviewer in his critique in The Times of the 4th inst, on Todleben’s account of the Russian defeat at Eupatoria on the 17th of February 1855? He remarks “Todleben does not mention the English, but, if our memory is right, a detachment of our Marine Artillery worked its guns with signal success that day.”
The fact is that the detachment from Her Majesty’s ship Leander, under Lieutenant Hawkins, which had been in Eupatoria during the blockade of the preceding months, had shortly before the Russian assault been re-embarked. They, however, handed over, I think, six 32-pounders to a small detachment of the French Marine Artillery of the wrecked Henri IV. The latter by their gallantry and energy proved themselves most worthy of using our guns, but they were totally unpractised in the ranges of their new weapons, and the small supply of ammunition left on shore for their use was exhausted before the action was ended. Some of the Tartars within the town were killed and wounded, but they were unarmed and starving.
The Turks, therefore, ought to have almost the entire credit of thwarting a cherished scheme of the Czar Nicholas, and inflicting on a powerful division of his army a bloody repulse.
I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,
United Service Club, Edinburgh, Oct 11