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Crimean texts

The News of the World

1 October 1843, page 2

Lord Cardigan and his Officers

Several statements having appeared with reference to a quarrel between Lord Cardigan and one of his officers, the following has been put forward as a correct version of the affair.

On Thursday, the 31st ult, there was a brigade field day, under the command of Lord Cardigan. The cavalry on the ground consisted of the 5th Dragoon Guards, and his own regiment, the 11th Hussars. After some hours' very fatiguing exercise, the troops returned to town, and when his own regiment was drawn up in the Royal Barrack square, his lordship gave the word "to dismount," which, we may state, is commonly understood as tantamount to the technical order, "retire to stable," or "file off."

Two of the officers, on receiving the word "to dismount," did so, and, acting on the generally understood acceptation of that order, their grooms being in waiting, sent their horses to the stables. After a brief delay, during which, in the presence of the entire regiment, the horses of the two officers in question were conducted to the stable, Lord Cardigan unexpectedly gave the order "to mount."

This order was, of course, complied with by all the regiment, except the two officers referred to, who were left standing in the square. Seeing them without their horses, Lord Cardigan approached the senior of the two, and enquired from Captain — why he was not mounted. The answer was, that his horse had been sent to the stable; but that he had sent for him. Lord Cardigan replied, "Go for him yourself sir." This mandate was immediately obeyed.

The same scene occurred with Lieutenant H—, the second officer in question, who also obeyed; but with evident reluctance. The regiment was then put through some trifling manoeuvres, and Lord Cardigan again gave the word "to dismount," which being complied with, was followed by the final order to "file off."

The whole matter was then supposed to be at rest, but it is understood that Lieutenant H— sought in the legitimate mode, through the adjutant, an interview with Lord Cardigan, which being granted, he told his Lordship that he had that day given him an order in the presence of the regiment which was calculated to bring him into contempt, and that, if ever repeated, he would not obey it. Lord Cardigan coolly advised him to reconsider his language — the reply was, that he adhered to his language; whereupon Lord Cardigan placed him under arrest.

On retiring, Lieutenant H— consulted over the matter with some friends, and the result was, that he was induced to consider his conduct, in a strictly military point of view, as rendering him amenable for a breach of military discipline. He therefore communicated to Lord Cardigan his regret, &c, which was accepted, and thus ended the matter.

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