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Crimean texts

McNeill/Tulloch Commission of Enquiry

This presentation is based on transcripts by Megan Stevens, and includes the page numbers of the original publication in order to maintain the validity of page references. It is arranged in the following sections:-

Evidence, page 88

TWENTY-FIFTH DAY - Thursday, April 19th.

CHARLES G. BLANC, Deputy-Assistant Commissary General, examined.

Has been attached to the 3rd Division since 19th January, and in charge of the Commissariat of the division from about the 5th March, to the 16th April. In charge of the 1st Brigade from the 1st February. Mr. Fonblanque was in charge of the Commissariat of the 3rd Division from his arrival in the Crimea to the 5th March. During the time he has been in charge, has been able to issue full rations of provisions as regulated by general orders, except rum to certain regiments. Has not been able till the 10th of April, to issue rations of fuel, except to the hospital; or any forage rations, except to the staff, to whom forage has been issued in the divisions since the 1st of April. For fuel and forage rations, except those above mentioned, checks were given on the depôt at Balaklava till the 12th of April,[1] when a depôt had been formed at the head of the railway line, from which date forage rations have been issued

Evidence, page 89

p. 48.

there. The rations issued at Balaklava were brought up by the regimental bat horses. Thinks that they were unable to bring up their full rations of fuel. Will furnish a statement explaining how in his opinion, deficiencies in rations issued, for which a receipt in full has been given by the Quartermaster, ought to be adjusted in the estimate for the next period. From the date of his taking charge of the division, has obtained transport sufficient to bring up all the provision rations, except that some regiments have had to bring up their ration rum to the 19th of March; but had not sufficient transport to bring up the fuel of the effective men or the forage. Vegetables are not issued as a ration, or in the Division, but are obtained at Balaklava on requisition as an extra, and brought up by regimental animals; about a fortnight ago, however, compressed vegetables have been brought up and issued by the Commissariat, and distributed gratuitously to the regiments in proportion to their strength. In February, split peas were also issued as an extra on checks. These checks are given on Balaklava whenever they are required, and it is known that peas are to be had there. These also they bring up on the regimental animals. Cheese and maccaroni [sic] were issued with the dried vegetables above-mentioned. Thinks that the cheese would average about two pounds per man. Is not aware whether there is any more cheese in store in Balaklava. At the same time that the compressed vegetables were sent up to the divisional store, seventy-four cases of preserved meats were also sent to be kept as a reserve for the use of the hospitals, when no other fresh meat was to be had on the spot. A few cases have been so issued. Soft bread has been issued on the 14th of April, and the 18th of April. So far as he knows, the whole of the soft bread issued was of good quality, and has heard no complaints of it. It was brought from Constantinople. Will furnish returns of the quantities of fresh and salt meat issued, as far back as he is able.

HENRY J. BROWNRIGGE, Deputy Assistant Commissary General, examined.

Has been attached to the 3rd Division since their landing in the Crimea. During that time has been in charge of the 2nd Brigade. During the month of January, was in temporary charge of both brigades of the division. During that month was able to issue to the division full rations of provisions, except that on one occasion half a ration of biscuit was deficient. In consequence of want of transport was unable to issue rations of fuel, except that towards the latter end of the month, fuel for the hospitals was issued in the division Gave checks for fuel and forage, but did not provide transport for either, nor for extras. Vegetables were issued on an arrangement with Mr. Drake, without requisition or check from him whenever the regiments had transport for them. All other extras were issued on check or requisition. Compressed vegetables, maccaroni, and cheese, have on two occasions recently, been distributed to the regiments of the 2nd Brigade in proportion to their strength. Is now in charge of the 2nd Brigade. During the months of November and December, there were some occasions when he was unable to issue full rations to that brigade. In consequence of his being, during the period of the greatest difficulties, almost constantly employed in getting up provisions from Balaklava, and from the deficiency of the assistance at his command, has not been able to keep such a record of the daily issues as would enable him to furnish an approximate return as accurate as he can make it. Will furnish a return of the weekly issues of fresh and salt meat to the regiments in the brigade, showing the quantities of each. When there was not enough fresh meat for a whole regiment, a preference was given to the sick, who therefore had fresh meat much more frequently than the effective men. Pack animals during the latter half of November, and the greater part of December, carried average loads of about 150 pounds, leaving camp at half-past five in the morning, and allowing an hour for feeding and rest at Balaklava, they did not get back to the camp on many occasions till eleven or twelve o'clock at night, the distance to Balaklava by the route then followed, may have been as much as seven miles.


[1] See statement herewith. Fuel was issued on the spot from 10th April to regiments, and 1st April to Staff; and forage to regiments at Col de Balaklava from 15th April.

Commissariat, 3rd Division, April 20, 1855.

I certify, that since my joining this division, on the 19th of January, the following have been issued in the manner stated:

Meat, Roasted Coffee, Rice, Sugar, Candles. - From 19th January to present date, without a single failure, on the spot, and all in advance of the day for which the same were due.

Biscuit. - From 19th January to 6th February, biscuit was issued at Lord Raglan's, and there was no failure. From 7th February to date, it was issued without fail on the spot.

Rum. - From 19th January to date, the 9th, 18th, 89th (and 39th partially) received all their rum (including French rum) on the spot, without fail. The other regiments had to procure their ration rum in Balaklava to 19th March, and their French rum to 1st February, sinch which dates all rum has been issued on the spot, without fail.

Lime-juice and Sugar. - these were issued from date of General Orders irregularly (but on an average about three days in seven) up to the 16th March, since which the full ration has been given, without fail. The irregular supply was occasioned by the General Order being issued before a proper supply had arrived in Balaklava.

Forage. - This was issued on checks drawn on Balaklava up to 1st April, in the case of the Staff, and ot the 15th April in the case of regiments, on and after which dates forage was issued on the spot to Staff, and at that Col de Balaklava (about 1/3 [?] miles off) to regiments. No complaints about forage were made to this department, and we heard nothing.

Fuel. - For this article checks were given on Balaklava to the Staff to 1st April, and to regiments to 10th April; this is as respects the effective men. Full rations of fuel were issued to the hospital during the whole period from 19th January to date. This hospital fuel, on the average, amounted to about one-fifth of the fuel due to the regiments. No complaint about fuel was made to us, probably because our difficulties on the subject were known, but we understood in a general way, that the regiments did not in all cases bring up their full quantity.

(Signed) C.J. BLANC,
Deputy Assistant Commissary-General.


Commissariat Camp before Sebastopol, May 11, 1855.

As in making this certificate correctness is particularly desired, Deputy Assistant Commissary-General Blanc respectfully draws Generals Eyre and Barnard's attention to the same, and would feel obliged if any errors were pointed out, in order that the same may be explained or amended before the report is finally sent back to the Committee.

It may be acceptable to Deputy Assistant Commissary-General Blanc that I should state, that I have caused this return to be examined, and I believe it to be quite correct.

(Signed) W.M. EYRE, Major-General.
(Signed) H.A. BARNARD, Major-General.

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