Home About Sources Topics Background

Crimean texts

The Times 14.8.1868 p 10



Sir — Your review of Mr Kinglake’s Invasion of the Crimea in The Times of the 11th inst contains the following passage, relating to the march of the English army towards Balaclava, after descending the Mackenzie heights:—

“That night Lord Raglan slept by the Tractir bridge, while his army, French and English, were wandering for miles in broken straggling columns behind him, and the enemy, for all he knew, was ready to attack at daybreak.”

This passage implies that Lord Raglan left his army behind him in a state of disorganization, and that no precautions of war were taken towards the front. Such an idea is unfounded, and must be known to very many of the army to be unfounded.

Lieutenant-General Sir George Brown was in command of the Light Division, which formed the advance of the army on that march; the Brigade in front, composed of the 7th, 23d, and 33d Regiments, with a portion of the 2d battalion Rifles, arrived towards evening in the plain of the Tchernaya, passed the post house situated on the flat ground short of the river (where, I presume, Lord Raglan had his quarters), halted to receive orders for the night without even falling out for water, marched over the bridge in brigade, and across the narrow water conduit on the slope above to ground where it bivouacked. The outlying pickets from each regiment were told off, marched and posted to the front, taking up their positions on the brow in advance of the brigade at dusk; and not till this proper and ordinary precaution of war was taken were men allowed to return to the canal in rear to get the water of which all were sorely in need after such a march.

I know nothing of what happened elsewhere, but I know that this happened in the front of Lord Raglan and of the army towards the enemy, by the orders of Sir George Brown, commanding the Light Division, given personally to myself, and which I saw carried out.

Your obedient servant

110 Eaton Square, Aug. 12

Home About Sources Topics Background