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McNeill/Tulloch Commission of Enquiry

This presentation of the McNeill/Tulloch Commission of Enquiry 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:-

page 51

Sir J. McNeill to Field Marshall Raglan.

Transport "Göttenburg", Balaklava Harbour,
March 13, 1855.

My Lord,

THE instructions which directed me to proceed to the Crimea accompanied by Colonel Tulloch, have, no doubt, been communicated to your Lordship, and as the demands upon your Lordship's time and attention, which, on two occasions to-day prevented us from having the honour of an interview, may again put it out of your Lordship's power to see us when we wait upon you, it appears to me that we may best promote the interests of the public service intrusted to us, as well as your Lordship's convenience, by stating in general terms the course we propose to pursue, and by requesting authority to summon such witnesses, and to require the production of such documents, as may be necessary to the effective prosecution of the inquiry in which we are engaged.

It appears to us, that the first point to be established is the nature and extent of any deficiency of Commissariat supplies for the army that may have occurred, and, with that view, we should desire your Lordship's authority to summon as witnesses such Officers as may be able to speak from their own personal knowledge of the quantity and quality of the supplies furnished by the Commissariat, and actually issued to the men.

It is not probable that we shall be able to examine more than three or four Officers daily, and, as we should propose to begin with the regiments nearest to the harbour, and to examine the witnesses, for the present on board the steam transport "Göttenburg", which is lying close to the shore upon the northern side, near the shoal water at the head of the harbour, we hope that the inquiry may be conducted without materially interfering with the other duties of the Officers, whom we might find it necessary to examine.

When we have completed the inquiry into the nature and extent of any deficiency that may have occurred, we should propose to call upon the Officers of the Commissariat, and especially the Commissary-General, to state the causes of any such deficiency.

It will also be our duty to inquire into the measures that may have been taken to insure an adequate supply for the future, and, with that view, it could be desirable that we should have authority to examine Commissary-General Filder at any time when we may consider it expedient.

It is almost unnecessary, I hope, to add, that we consider it our duty, and that it is our anxious desire, to carry out our instructions in a manner that may be useful and acceptable to your Lordship.

I have, &c.
(Signed) J. McNEILL.

Field-Marshal Lord Raglan to Sir J. McNeill.

Before Sebastopol, March 15, 1855.


I have had the honour to receive your letter of the 13th instant.

I regret that I was so occupied when you called on that day, in the despatch of the mail, that I was not able to see you: I was not aware that you were twice here.

I shall be happy to afford you every assistance in the prosecution of the inquiry you have been instructed to institute, and it appears to me that the course you propose to follow is the best you could adopt.

I will direct Lieutenant-General Sir Colin Campbell to order the attendance of any of the Officers serving under his orders whom you may desire to examine, and I will give the same instructions to Major-General the Honourable J. Yorke Scarlett, who commands the Cavalry at Kadikoi.

The Commissary-General will also be requested to attend himself, and to direct the Officers of his Department to obey your summons whenever you may require their presence.

I am, &c.
(Signed) RAGLAN.

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